I have a confession, over the last few months I went down the anti-MLM wormhole on YouTube and stumbled onto a series of videos over the ‘rise’ and fall of Rachel Hollis. Somehow, I missed out on Hollis becoming such a big name– I didn’t know about her books or even her social media presence.
I’m a dabbler in social media *side glance at the large gaps in posting on here, photos, reels, etc.* that’s probably why I missed the drama leading up to the fall. I was also dealing with being pregnant and being a first time mom when it really hit the fan. But I did see the “…what makes you think I’m relatable…” video and yeah, it was something all right.
One of the YouTube commentators did an excellent job of not only reviewing Hollis’s books but of the rise and fall, SAVY Writes Books. Savy also took a look at Rachel Hollis’s self-help RISE conference. Savy did a deep dive and looked at Hollis’s social media and had a field day with the plagiarizing posts Hollis shared as her own; including one of my favorites, “Still I rise,” by Maya Angelou.
This led to Savy uttering one of my most favorite lines ever, “Girl, stop plagiarizing.”
Which she made into a totally awesome sticker which you can find at her online store: https://savyleiser.bigcartel.com (support small businesses!).
So… by this point I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with hiking or really anything. In an odd turn, I kind of like *some* of Hollis’s ideas– stop apologizing, therapy isn’t bad, and you can do a lot through hustle. However, there are huge red flags to some of the other stuff she mentions. The biggest red flag, that you should cut *any* kind of negativity out of your life–this came up a lot in the MLM speeches she gave. There is something to cutting negativity out of your life but don’t cut off your mom, sister, or friend if they are genuinely asking if you are okay and are concerned when you drop a lot of money to start a business. The other red flag is how she “edits” her story. Hollis didn’t totally pull herself up by her bootstraps. Yes, she was accomplished. Heck, Hollis started out as an indie-author and event planner who hustled to make things work! That is amazing. However, my problem was that she sold her success as a testament to hard work but left out the key detail that as the wife of an executive at Disney she had more access and funds than the average small business owner.
But– you’re still asking what does any of this have to do with hiking?
Hiking is a form of self-help. It is a great way to get into shape, relax (hopefully), gain some mental clarity, and it can be a passion. Anyone can do it– all you really need to go on a hike is a decent pair of shoes and a bottle of water. It can get expensive but unlike some things you don’t have to put a lot of money into it unless it’s your passion.
It can also be a brand *cough*wannabebackpacker*cough.* I have no intention of becoming an influencer like Hollis though. I wouldn’t mind making enough on the ad revenue and swag to fund my hiking soirées. However, I don’t need to make a living off of this blog. I have a great job and one that I love. I started this as a way to work on my writing and share some of the cool places in the world. And document my successes and failures at backpacking. I’m also going to use it as motivation to get back into shape…for like the fifth time.
I’m good with being a wannabe. I wannabe a lot of things. Author, photographer, napping, in shape, backpacker, and so on. I’m now making stickers on RedBubble. Two were inspired by this Anti-MLM deep dive, “Girl, Read a Book,” and “Girl, Take a Hike.”
Thanks for letting me ramble,
BJ, the wannabe…