Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Mindset: The Matter of Money

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Let’s face it. I can spew all the spirituality and personal self help mantras to manifest and create abundance from within. But there is nothing like having some money in the bank. And in order to work hard at earning the kind of money we feel we deserve, we have to change our mindset about the whole megillah.

Although our money may seem scarce – to live in a mentality of scarcity only keeps you in the low numbers.

To freak out on not having the dosh by jumping ship to live where you don’t want to live, to be with the people you don’t want to be with, to think the way you don’t want to think – will only keep you there.

If you need something – work hard to earn it. To earn it is to know how to get it. To get it is to know how to keep it.

Think of all the lottery winners who’ve lost their dough by buying stupid stuff or “making it rain” instead of investing wisely. If you didn’t know how to earn it – how are you going to know how to keep it?

I’ve always feared money. I seemed to have come into this world fearing everything. Sometimes I wonder if I was ripped away from my previous life and reincarnated so fast that I still had the old birth marks of the person I may have once been. Everything, from the first day I can remember being here on earth,  felt frightening. The constant feeling of nausea – at food, mornings, doctors, school – was constant, until I could navigate the world.

But money is weird for me. My parents were always saving and being careful with it. I had friends who always seemed to have more money in their lives than I did. Nicer houses, more vacations, nicer clothes. Although my folks tried hard and did give me a lot, money had to be treated in practical terms.

If my mother wanted to join a gym to get fit and healthy, my father would scream and yell about it.

If my mom wanted to go back into the workforce after raising me past the age of 10, my dad would tell her she was all talk and no walk. So – she didn’t try.

I’m not trying to rail on my dad. He was a good man who felt he needed the whole world to be on his shoulders, and didn’t know how to understand my mom.

Money and how we treat it tends to come from how our parents handled it. But we’re only a product of our parents. We don’t have to live or think the way they did.  We’re individuals with our own strengths.

Sometimes we have to look at money like positive energy. It’s a currency that is so ethereal. It’s paper with value, and it determines our well being. But it shouldn’t.

We should feel wealth from within.

But try saying that to my bank account and landlord. Am I right?

Time to change the mindset. I’m going to try not to allow money to frighten me.

How about you?

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Celebrity Lifestyle Branding: Build a Better You?

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Oh, the feel of a Brand. I love it. Everything about the idea and texture of a brand that resonates with my soul it alright by me.

Barefoot Contessa, Anthropologie, Apple, Crate & Barrel, CB2, Williams Sonoma, Ikea – hell, I’m on board. They conjure the lifestyle I want to snuggle up to. I mean – who doesn’t want to live in Ina Garten’s barn in East Hampton, cook splendid meals with stylish/functional tools, or live in a CB2 showroom while using an Anthro or Hugo Boss location as your personal closet?

Since I’m working on my ‘The Good Write’ brand, I’ve been exploring business images  that make me feel warm and fuzzy. (See the paragraph above).

I’ve written about branding before. I’m fascinated by how a brand makes you feel, how it enhances your well being – your lifestyle.

Lifestyle.  I mean, we all live a life, and we all want to live it to its fullest. Brands that provide expert advice on health, beauty, travel, arts, fashion, cooking, housekeeping, etc… are going to be pretty damn popular.

But here’s the interesting thing: When you Google “Lifestyle Guru” – you will find articles that list the top go-to people in this category are celebrities.

Celebrities. Mostly actresses with lucrative film and television careers – filling the lifestyle niche that sit nicely on top of the Google search engine with articles like “These Celebrities Want you to Live a Better Life”.

Gwyneth Paltrow,  Blake Lively, Zoey Deschannel, to name a few, have all extended their celebrity status into the lifestyle brand.  With research and a good team of people to help fulfill these branding goals, they have no doubt done their research. They know who they’re branding for. They know their customer avatar right down to the pocketbook she carries (Hermes? Michael Kors?), the nail polish she wears (Butter? Esse?), the daycare she uses, the organic food she eats and the vegan life she longs to fulfill.

I applaud these famous people.  It’s obvious they provide an amazing service to the person they have in mind – the person they are speaking to who yearns to find the best cleanses, money advice, physical fitness regimes and fun fashion suggestions.

This blogger is no different from those who actively seek out celebrity advice. When it comes to makeup and hair – YES, I want to know their secrets and the products they use.

But here’s my issue. Do these brands REALLY resonate with regular people who are seeking out celebrity “expert” advice?  How is their  lifestyle experience anything like mine or my friends?

Unless a celebrity found fame a bit later in life and had children to feed and bills they struggled to pay (see J.K. Rowlings, Loretta Lynn), Celebrities don’t gain their expertise from a gaping hole in the marketplace. They gain their expertise through the good stuff provided to them by well paid experts and swag parties.

Did these celebrities once have their own struggles? Sure. But their advice comes from the rarefied air that celebrity affords them.  These are brands built by managers who work to optimize their careers. They’re built via easy access to the best of everything in clothes, schools, trainers, chefs, nutritionists, money managers, nannies, doctors, spas, organic food, travel and many other important people who will take their calls.

If a celebrity can provide affordable advice on how to dress like them for less money – I mean LESS money  (not show a pair of $1000 shoes marked down to $500 and call that a bargain), then…cool! Maybe they are offering something in their brand we can relate to.

But can the average person really relate to them?

Can most of people who search for Paltrow’s “Goop” really afford the$200 denim shorts she promotes? Or the $500 hand stitched slippers?

Maybe the mom who just put the baby down and wants some “Me” time enjoys escaping into “Goop” or Oprah’s Super Soul. Nothing wrong with that. But can she afford these “must haves” for summer or do a major herbal colonic?

A brand created by someone who launched her business from nothing is more meaningful to me.

No top film gross filling up her bank account. No agent or manager to consult her and connect her with the right people. Just a smart, non-celebrity who saw a need in the market that was not being met and did something about it.

People like Joy Mangano who created the Miracle Mop, or Sara Blakely who created Spanx. Marie Forleo whose multi-passionate business model branded her the leader in helping other business people make a “business and a life you’ll love”.

They may not specifically be “Lifestyle gurus”, but they made something that real people need – both men and women:  A good mop, a good way to smooth out that booty, and a beloved coach that will teach you to give something valuable to the world while earning a living on your own terms.

So, enjoy the Goops and the Reese Witherspoons and the Kardashian brands. They’re offerings are fun to behold. Maybe we can gather some interesting advice on life and style from them.

But I’d be careful about celebrities who claim to want to help you live a better life. In the end, you’re on the receiving end of a career strategy carefully cultivated by a team of people who’ve invested time and money into the overall celebrity brand of this person.

You may be bettering their lives instead. $$$$