Entrepreneurship is a thing of this era. Some say it’s more natural to the youngest generations than it’s ever been to others. I am not certain of that, yet my wife, who is younger than me, has been by far way more entrepreneurial than me. Her success is based on a simple formula that repeats through generations: work, work, work.
That’s what Candice Galek, CEO and Founder of BikiniLuxe.com figured out a few years back when she decided she would not work for others and instead, create her own Company. She was barely 25 years old, had been a model and was really into bikinis and social media. She soon realized that that, was not enough. Being curious, driven and with a plan in her mind, she branched out. What happened afterwards can be explained in many ways, but I’d rather simplify: she hit a wall at 100 mph.
But, as stories goes the Hero always rises up the challenge, and so she did.
A love-hate story
Candice became heavily active on LinkedIn, who was growing rapidly and becoming more like Facebook. Being an avid user of social media and the platform itself, Candice quickly leveraged the key aspects of Social Selling that back then, not even LinkedIn had identified: she made her profile all-star in no time, expanded her network, started sharing content and created valuable relationships with other people in fashion that would carry her name.
Pretty soon her name and brand was everywhere. Her content popped out immediately: posts with girls in bikinis. As cheesy as it may sound, it wasn’t at all. Candice was pushing for her own personal brand and the one she was building around her. Invitations to connect were pouring in, her network was growing and she soon found herself loving LinkedIn. By all accounts, the love was mutual…until that fatal post came up, with the rear of a girl in a bikini (a daring close-up look) and a simple question that by then had been stuck at her head for some time: “Is this appropriate for LinkedIn?”
b-O-O-m. Pun totally intended. She went viral and the wall appeared out of nowhere: you can tease people, you can tease LinkedIn but in time, someone’s ought to say something. Some people didn’t like her approach, some thought she had taken it too far. Some of those people worked for LinkedIn and blocked her account, deleted her posts and images and so on.
But she came back. She now knew there were limits and yet, she would not be told what to say or what to do. She knew how Social worked so she kept trying.
People doesn’t change. Algorithms do.
The fight was bigger than the one she was given, she realized. By then she was already very familiar with LinkedIn’s Pulse, the content platform they acquired on 2013 (the same year she started her own Company) and she had pushed most of her content through it.
As she was licking her wounds and trying to understand what the limits of LinkedIn where, something changed. Suddenly her posts were invisible: they would not grab as many eyes or interactions as the previous ones had. She figured it out quickly though: what changed was not the people reading her, it had been the actual algorithm that pushes out content LinkedIn users. This meant she couldn’t manage exposure as easy as she did before and considering her content was already being blocked, the wall suddenly seemed higher and thicker.
But she took a deep breath, looked up, and hit at it again.
What doesn’t kill you…
…makes you a successful Entrepreneur. If you interview Candice today she’s hardly a different person than the 25 year old girl that started fiddling around with Social Selling a few years ago. What’s different is her Company now, a start-up that’s starting to slowly chip away revenue from other bikini vendors and retailers.
Her figures are hard to believe. More than 250,000 followers on different Social Networks (with almost 50,000 on LinkedIn alone) and 40 employees around the globe, she’s rapidly escalating.
Her formula is still simple: grow your network, connect with the right people, engage with true insights and nurture the right relationships.
Why would you not want to be like this under 30’s powerful and successful business woman? Or why would you try as she did, to shake up things a bit bending the rules not for profit, but for success? Why would anyone take the time to go, round after round, against what might seem like solid structures?
Well, why wouldn’t you? That’s what she would ask you.