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Making Up for Glossed Time

June 23, 2023

The Story of an Accidental Influencer

5 lessons i've learned as an over 50 influencer
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I'm Jen!

I'm an over 50,
former Corporate America
9 to 5-er who walked away from a 25 year career in sales leadership to pursue my passion of coaching women to be their boldest and most confident self


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If you told me three years ago that I would build a community of over 100,000 people from around the globe on my social media channels, I would have laughed in your face—I barely understood what a hashtag was. But here we are. And for those of you that are new here, I’m going to tell you my story–about taking chances, reinventing yourself, and how you’re never too old to write a new chapter for your life.

My journey started in the spring of 2020–I was, like many people around the world, stuck in my home during COVID lockdown. At first I was thrilled—an imposed break, not much work to be done, and an opportunity to re-binge Sex and the City and Friday Night Lights sounded like heaven. 

And it was. For the first month. 

Then, the extrovert in me started to SCREAM inside for human contact. As a salesperson and a “hi, I know we just met, but do you want to be my friend?” only child, I’m wired for connection. So I turned to social media. It started with some Facebook groups talking about beauty and fashion—two things I could talk about all day, every day. People were sharing their outfits, some of their favorite beauty products, and I began to do the same. Those posts garnered quite a bit of enthusiasm and encouragement, so I created more. 

After a few months, I got up the guts to post on Instagram. Up until that point, my Instagram attempts had been feeble – – just a handful of still pictures of me in various makeup looks. At the time, I had about 300 followers (all friends) and I’d get a handful of likes and comments. In one post, I talked about a favorite pair of pants I had purchased, and my friend asked me to give her more ideas on how to wear them. So, I filmed a styling video, learned some rudimentary editing skills, and my first “Style Up” was born. People from Facebook found me on Instagram and I gained a few more followers. I kept going–posting about 2-3 times a week with style ideas and beauty tips. I was hooked. I loved having an outlet for my creativity and enjoyed connecting with people through the platform.

Over the next handful of months, I gained another 300 followers. I studied Instagram and social media marketing. I bought a tripod and a ring light, came up with a catchy handle and proceeded to secure that handle across multiple platforms with a fleeting notion that maybe this social media thing could become something–that maybe I could gather enough of a following over the next 10 years so that when I was ready to retire, I could work part time as an over 60 influencer. I laughed at the idea. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a squirrel—attracted by a shiny new thing, going all in for a few months and then losing interest. I wondered if this was going to be yet one more creative fling that I dabbled in and then gave up on.  It could have been if it weren’t for my community of followers—they were looking forward to my posts, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. 

In the spring of 2021, I was at a party at a friend’s home and she introduced me as “my friend, the influencer.” I laughed it off—with my paltry 1600 followers? (Yeah, right! Watch out, Kardashians! I’m coming for you!) But when she said it, I liked the sound of it. Not necessarily the “influencer” title, but that I was starting to be seen as a legitimate content creator. It spurred me on.

A few months later, I had grown my Instagram community to over 3,000 followers. I was working my corporate 9-5 job, and on the weekends I would spend hours filming and editing content. I loved talking about beauty and style and the connection between your outward appearance and how it relates to inner confidence. Creating on social media pulled together all of my strengths– sales, coaching and mentoring, public speaking, writing, and human connection. I began believing that I could make a career at this. 

Then in the fall of 2021, I had my first viral video moment. Within a few days, it racked up over 10,000 views, and over the next few months, my community jumped from 3,000 to 30,000. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately went into “shrug off the success mode” as women often do. When I hit 10,000 followers I thought to myself, “I’m so lucky that video went viral.”

Immediately after the words left my mouth, I stopped and gave myself some credit. It wasn’t luck. I had been grinding away for over a year and a half, giving up weekends to film content with no expectations–just for the sheer joy of creating and for the positive feedback. And it was finally paying off. I was 50 years old, I had tapped into my career experience, combined it with challenging myself to learn new platforms and technology, and built something from scratch. For the first time in a long time, I felt really proud of myself. Because for years, I had been coasting along, moving up the corporate ladder, doing what was expected of me—but not challenging myself to do the unexpected. Becoming a social media creator at 50 years old? Well, shit… that was unexpected.

Fast forward 9 months, and I found myself leading a community of over 100,000 people—all hanging around to watch some menopausal broad bop around her bedroom and talk about confidence and finding yourself in makeup and clothes. It was then and there that I started putting the plan in motion–I was going to leave my 25+ year career in corporate America, and go all in on myself and start dreaming new dreams in my 50s. It was a career pivot that both excited me and scared the shit out of me. There are a lot of conversations when you’re younger about dreams— we’re asked “where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?” But sometime around age 40, people stop asking. As if dreams are only for the young. But for me, I came alive in my 40s. I began to realize that there was more for me, and more for this life that I was living. I had played it safe for decades, and for once in my life, I felt emboldened to roll the dice and take some chances on myself.

So in the spring of 2023, I resigned from corporate America, so I could focus on a new career as a confidence coach for women. At almost 52 years old, I was embarking on life as an entrepreneur. And as I write this, there’s a flutter in my belly as I think about what this could be, combined with a fear of “holy shit what have I done?“

I have no idea if this will be successful. Maybe it will. And maybe at some point I will have to go back to a regular 9 to 5. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I do know one thing for sure–if I didn’t try, if I didn’t take a chance— that I would regret it for the rest of my life.

So welcome to Glossed World and to my second half. Thank you for being part of my journey.

Are you in the process of a midlife pivot? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Next Up: The 5 biggest lessons I’ve learned as an over 50 unexpected influencer

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  1. Vicky says:

    I’m so happy for you! You just explained my last 12 years. So I am all about lifting you up for success 🙌
    You go girl, you have the pulse of your entire generation! Shout it and make us stronger with you.👍🏼😎❤️🙌

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