Today I’m interviewing Lauryn Evarts Bosstick aka the face behind the ever so popular blog, brand, book and podcast, The Skinny Confidential. Lauryn shares incredible insight, advice and wisdom on how she grew The Skinny Confidential to be the successful business it is today.
Lauryn Evarts Interview with Hello Spoonful
Wow. Where do I begin? A few months ago I wrote down a bucket list of people I’d be beyond excited and honored to interview. I had two lists. One was the “potential list” and the other was my “dream list.” And guys… Lauryn was at the VERY top of my dream list. I reached out to her asking if she would be willing to answer some questions via e-mail and the next thing I knew I had a calendar invite for a phone interview scheduled. Safe to say I freaked.
I’ve been following Lauryn since the very beginning. Before her husband, Michael Bosstick, had a role on her blog and before Mimi was her right-hand gal. She has been my inspiration from day one. Lauryn inspired me to start this blog, cut out the excuses, out-hustle every person I meet and “stay in my own lane.”
Lauryn covers a WIDE variety of topics on her blog. I’m talkin’ from addiction to boob jobs.. she literally covers it ALL. Her podcast is my #1 resource for business advice and makes me literally LOL every time I listen. Lauryn is such a light in this whole blogger/influencer world. She remains true to herself with a heart that continues to serve her audience + a passion to help them grow.
I am humbled and honored to share this extremely valuable interview with you all.
E: OK SO… You basically wake up with millions of eyes on you every single day.. Do you enjoy the pressure or does it stress you out?
L: I try not to think of it like that. I think I’ve cultivated a tight knit community, but there are times I feel a lot of pressure. I think that’s in every job, not just my job. For me, when I know that im getting too stressed or feeling too much pressure, I take a step back. I’m very in tune with when I need to take a minute for myself.
It’s good for anyone with a high-pressure job to have that mind body connection and stay in tune with what they’re feeling. If you’re feeling too much stress it’s probably time to disconnect + turn off the phone.
My advice? Think with logic. Step back, take a minute for yourself + respond in a logical way.
E: If you’re naturally a logical person that doesn’t sound too hard, but what about people that lead with their emotions?
L: It’s practice. No one is born being logical or emotional. I practice it every single day. It’s meditation. It’s reading. I read all the time. Read about history and how other people have handled stressful situations. You have to look outside yourself. How are other people learning to control that emotion? I’m not super sensitive by nature, but I do find myself needing to take a minute sometimes.
E: Do you think it also comes with confidence? When you’re confident about what you’re putting out there then you care less about what they think?
L: Absolutely! That’s another thing I practice: not caring what other people think. If you don’t like me you can unfollow me. 8 years ago I was more sensitive than I am now, but it’s come with practice.
E: What were some mistakes or difficulties you had in finding your voice?
L: My voice has definitely evolved in the sense that I have opened up more. I never want to introduce the entire cast or characters all at once. When I started blogging I was really methodical about how I rolled out the characters in my life. I didn’t introduce Michael into my blog for two years. Same way with my grandma. I waited.
I was really, really patient. Looking back I think I would attribute that to intuition. I knew that if I was going to build a substantial, huge brand there was going to be a lot of patience involved. Strategy and building a compelling future by design of working backwards to where I wanna be.
I wanted to court the audience. Get to know this facet of me and then I’ll introduce this other facet. You can’t meet my family right away. Maybe I’ll let you first meet my grandma, then my sister, etc. I want to get to know the audience. I want to trust them and them trust me. Really think of it like dating. No one wants to establish a real true relationship with someone who just gives it up right away. Hold a little bit back.
E: You give the analogy of growing your business like an upside down triangle a lot (very niche at first and then gradually expanding) — when would you suggest bloggers begin introducing a new area or character to their blog?
L: It’s really about intuition. I don’t think there’s a blanket answer for that. I think you roll things out when you know. I would just really practice patience. Put yourself out there day after day after day. Even if you aren’t comfortable and don’t like it. My audience is my compass. They tell me where to go. I pay attention.
“My audience is my compass. They tell me where to go. I pay attention. Make your community or audience your main priority. Focus on the followers in front of you instead of getting more followers. They’ll be able to guide you.” Lauryn Evarts, Hello Spoonful Interview
I think a lot of bloggers get Instagram famous and start to forget the people that are following them are the reason they are where they are.
To me, I’ve always thought of my audience as my number one priority. Its a community. I wake up every morning and they’re the number one priority of the day. If you can make your community or audience your main priority (not focus on getting more followers) and focus on the followers in front of you, I think they’ll be able to guide you. You’ll then be able to tap into that intuition.
E: I’ve noticed you’ve been doing more vlogging and that you’re a big fan of the Kardashians. If E! Were to approach you and ask you to have your own reality show, what would you say?
L: I would never do a reality show. Well… I mean, I don’t know… never say never I guess, but I would not like to do a reality show that I didn’t have the producer rights on. I definitely would want to be a producer on the show. I’ve built this brand from nothing, and it’s really important to me if I was going to sign onto a reality show to make sure the brand’s integrity was represented right. Michael and I have made this decision between each other, because we’ve been approached by reality shows before. We’ve said no because it wasn’t right, something felt weird or we couldn’t get producer rights.
Also, a lot of people don’t understand that so much of our life is business and it’s maybe not that interesting as it looks. I would definitely want to be an executive producer and that’s funny that you mention the Kardashians because they are executive producers.
E: The kardashians + Jenners have built their brand really well. I hear people mock them all the time, but they really know what they’re doing.
L: For me, I don’t know how you could mock them because they are THE influencers of our time. The reason we’re all able to blog and grow in this space has a lot to do with the Kardashians. I mean Kim K and Kylie Jenner are THE influencers. They’re paving the way for us. I always want other people in my industry to be really succeeding because then it gives you space to grow.
“I always want other people in my industry to be really succeeding because then it gives you space to grow. We want women to rise in this industry because it creates more space for all of us to get better.” – Lauryn Evarts, Hello Spoonful Interview
Let me give you an example: if everyone just stayed with a blog and an instagram and no one else did anything outside the box, it wouldn’t make us want to grow. The reason you want to grow as a blogger is because you see someone above you that’s doing something that you want to do. It causes you to rise to the occasion.
The Kardashians are these women who have built this incredible platform with this incredible community. They’re so engaged and tapped into their audience. To me it sets the bar higher for everyone. Its like step up! “Oh you’re doing a blog and an IG? Thats not enough. You need to do snapchat + more.” I just think they’ve set the bar higher.
Terry Crews was on Tim Ferriss’s podcast and said he used to get jealous when he would drive around LA and see billboards of actors getting roles that he wanted, but one day he realized that these other actors were raising the bar and creating space for him to have more actual gigs. We want women to rise in this industry bc it creates more space for all of us to get better.
E: You talk about how you’re nowhere near where you want to be….That you haven’t even “tapped into your potential.” Can you explain this? Can you talk about your end goal?
L: I think I’ve built the foundation to have the tools to tap into my potential, but I have not nicked the surface of what I wanna do. I’m starting to read a lot about people that are achievers and it’s never enough. I don’t wake up and think “Look what I did.” I think, “What can I do?” I think in the present and I think in the future.
“I don’t wake up and think ‘Look what I did.’ I think, ‘What can I do?’ I think in the present and I think in the future.” – Lauryn Evarts, Hello Spoonful Interview
A con of my personality is I sometimes think it’s not enough. That’s something I have to practice.. looking around and thinking “I’ve come pretty far from being a bartender and teaching Pure Barre.” That’s important for me to remember, but at the same time I think what makes extremely successful entrepreneurs are people that are hungry.
If you don’t have hunger in you I don’t think this is the life for you. You have to constantly be hungry.
E: Ok so what’s the end goal?
L: I try to think in gaps of 3 months and 7 years. I learned that from Warren Buffett. Again, it’s about constantly reading, learning, and focusing on other people and what they’ve done. He always says to think in 3 months and 7 years. So I think “What do I wanna do in 3 months that’s going to get me to the next level, and then where do I wanna be in 7 years? What are the strategies that are going to get me there?”
Getting to where you want to be has to do with a lot of factors. You need to be able to deligate. You need patience, discipline, hunger, the right state of mind. It’s important to get out of the story of why you can’t do something.
People need to stop with the story. If everyday you’re saying “I’m fat, I’m fat, I’ve tried everything and I can’t do anything to lose weight. I’ve tried every single diet.” Well, no you haven’t. It’s the same with business. If you’re living in the story of why you can’t do something its unproductive.
Another end goal is definitely product.. but doing product that’s very involved with the community. Involving them in every step of the way and then when it’s launched not just sitting back and wanting to make money but actually getting out there and engaging and making sure they feel apart of it. Maybe some kind of TV show — I think it would live on the digital space, though. & more books.
I’m really interested right now in consulting businesses. I think there are a lot of brands and businesses that don’t understand the influencer space, and as a practitioner of it the last 8 years, I think that it’s going to be interesting for me to do behind the scenes. Very interested in the business side.
E: It’s SO needed. Bloggers and influencers have no idea how much to charge or the impact they truly have. It’s all very confusing. We don’t always know where to go next and are always looking at what the other person is doing for reference.
L: I think that the industry is a lot of wizard of oz, man behind the curtain, and I think there needs to be some form of consulting. People don’t wanna see you in your PJ’s everyday. People want to see pretty images, but at the same time it’s important to talk about real issues, take a stance, stop looking at other peoples formulas and start creating your own, stay in your own lane.
This industry is in for an awakening. The community and the audience is going to start to expect more. I know this myself as a consumer. I want more. That’s great you can do a flat lay… what else? It’s an interesting transition for our space. It’s kind of like a midlife crisis for our industry.
“People want to see pretty images, but at the same time it’s important to talk about real issues, take a stance, stop looking at other peoples formulas and start creating your own, stay in your own lane.” – Lauryn Evarts, Hello Spoonful Interview
E: How long do you think Instagram will be around?
L: I have no idea and that is not something I ever think about for one second. If it isn’t around, I can’t control it. I really try to not think about things I can’t control. If it went away tomorrow, I have other avenues and I’d be fine. If it stayed tomorrow I’d be fine.
People want to talk about algorithms and analytics, but im like… I don’t even look at any of that. I’m too focused on creating quality content, engaging with my community, building the brand, podcasting and hosting meet-ups. When you’re that focused you don’t have the capacity to think about if Instagram is going to disappear or what’s the hot new thing. You’re focused on your own shit.
E: That makes sense. I struggle with Instagram as a micro influencer (If you can call me that) because we have to put so much time into it to make it grow nowadays. I get worried “What if this disappears and all my hard work and time was wasted on a platform for nothing.” You know?
L: First of all, I definitely wouldn’t worry about if you’re a micro influencer or not… if you wanna be a micro influencer you’re a micro influencer. In fact I wouldn’t even call yourself micro.. I hate that word. It sounds so negative! I would say “I’m a blogger and I’m an influencer.”
I don’t think having a certain amount of followers on instagram makes you an influencer. All of these labels people are putting on things is so boring to me. You are whatever you wanna be and where focus goes, energy flows.
If you’re focused on being an influencer it doesn’t matter if IG goes away bc you’re still gonna be influential. I would focus on who you have in front of you. Don’t let a number on IG define who you are and what your job is because im going to tell you… so many girls have bought their instagram followers. I don’t say that to rat out my industry, I say that because people are looking at their number following and that’s gauging on where you are. I would think of yourself as an influencer.
Even to go off on that — there was a girl who said to me the other day “You’ve gotta try this sheet mask. It’s SO incredible. My skin is so dewy and glowing, etc, etc.” I looked at her and I go “You are an influencer you know that?” And she goes “What do you mean, I only have 200 followers on IG?”
I look at my entire audience as influencers. I know that when I can really engage, communicate and hang with them, they will go and be influencers themselves for other people. I don’t want to go and find other followers. Let my audience go influence what they like from my content and let them be the influencer.
E: OK getting a little morbid here.. what do you plan on doing with your company when the time comes? Do you plan on passing it down?
L: I’ve never thought about that once. I swear im being honest. Michael will probably kill me for saying that but I’ve never thought of it once!
I’m so focused on that 3 months and 7 years. To be honest, if you wanna get really morbid, I could be dead in 2 month. What is the point of me thinking about that? When I get there I’ll get there. A lot can happen in your lifetime. You never know.
E: What is a quote or saying people spout out that is complete BS?
L: “Ohhhh the blogging and influencer world is so saturated..” I literally wanna blow my head off when people say that. If you owned a gas station on the side of the street and someone opened a gas station on the other side of the street, that’s saturated. That’s called, you’re saturating your industry. That gas station should open 5 miles from the other gas station.. right? We are dealing with the WORLD. There’s millions and billions of people.
How can an industry be saturated when it just came out!? When someone says that to me im like “Uhhhhh… NO.”
Millie Brown of Stranger Things just came out and now she’s a bigger celebrity than anyone. How long has the world celebrity been around!? We’re the pioneers, sure. I’m a pioneer of this industry but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be more people that have room to shine.
E: What’s your favorite part of your business to work on and what’s your least favorite?
L: Least favorite is definitely finances and numbers. Thank God I have Michael because Michael is very good at that. Most favorite is writing and creating content… but as your company grows you have to be able to understand that it isn’t always going to be like that. Some days I don’t get to create. I have conference calls. 5 years ago on a Wednesday I’d be creating all day long. There’s a lot of travel involved now. Before I just got to sit there and create.
A girlfriend of mine is a facialist and she wants to grow her business. I said to her, “You understand you’re stressed now… as a facialist. You understand when you bring on employees it’s a whole different ball game? You are going to have to stop doing as much of what you love and start scaling if that’s what you wanna do. And scaling is tricky.”
It’s really hard for me to transition into a boss. I was a solopreneur for a long time and now I have a team of 10 employees. I’ve had to listen to podcasts and read books on management. It’s been an interesting transition, but I realize to take my business to the next level I’ve got to learn, I’ve got to delegate and I’ve got to be a good boss.
E: When did you first add employees to your business?
L: Mimi was my first add-on and that was probably 6 years ago.
E: Speaking of mimi… is she going to college?
L: She was going to go to college and I was like “Mimi.. what are you doing?” She doesn’t wanna be a doctor or a scientist. She didn’t really know what she wanted to do. So I’m like, “Come work for me.”
Mimi has really thrived in her position. She started by cleaning my closet and doing Pinterest and now she’s blossomed into this creative mind that breathes youth into my brand. She has graphic designers under her that she manages. She knows the business. She understands what I’m building. She’s interested in taking on a big role in the product line. She started as this 15 year old who had no idea what she was doing and now she’s this 21 year old who has completely committed herself to growing the brand. She understands every facet so that’s been really cool to watch.
I was like, “Don’t you understand there are all these people that go to college to get the job you already have? Come work for me and i’ll give you business 101.” And that’s what she’s done. The other day we went out for her birthday and she’s like, “Gosh Lauryn, there’s not a lot to talk about at the table when we’re not talking business.” I said, “Oh my gosh I’ve ruined you.”
E: We’re almost out of time, so my last question is: what should every woman try at least once in their life?
L: Running their own business + a vibrator.