Vacuum Books

I recently became obsessed with Rachel Hollis.

But not in the way you think.

I suppose it happened when she started getting press with her first #1 New York Times Bestseller- Girl, Wash Your Face. And I thought Who is Rachel Hollis? Why is she sitting next to a fire hydrant? Why is she telling me to wash my face? I started following her on Instagram, like any well-programed millennial would, to learn more about her. I subscribed to her podcast. I signed up for her newsletter because if she can send out an interesting email to thousands of subscribers, then I CAN TOO (the interesting part, not the thousands of followers part… at least not yet, right Rachel??!! *wink*)

I started researching more about her- why was this woman making such waves and where did she come from (and at the same time wondering why the hell I cared about why she was making waves and where she came from). Now you call all do a quick Google search to find out she didn’t go to college, owned and operated a very successful, high-end event planning firm in LA, has 4 kids, co-runs another successful business with her husband, stars in her own Instagram live morning show, and recently celebrated her 36th birthday. Oh, and also wrote another bestselling book that just came out- Girl, Stop Apologizing.

These are not things that appeal to me. I do not want to do these things. BUT.

But here I am having just bought her second book last night. Ready to soak up the self help chapters of Rachel Hollis.

I don’t normally read self-help books. Here’s why:

  1. They stress me out with their long to-do lists that don’t seem to accommodate for the restrictions of real life.

  2. They’re often written by people who have not done the research or don’t have the degree. If you have research-based support that what you are telling me to do actually works, then by all means, I’ll eat that up. But if you’re some Instagrammer who decided to write a book one day and BAM now it’s published, noooooo thank you. (Wait, is that what Rachel Hollis did?)

  3. These pull yourself up by your bootstrap type people who tend to forget that some people don’t have bootstraps to begin with.

  4. Don’t tell me what to do.

Ok, great Katie, now what’s your point?

My point is this. I think Rachel Hollis is for one type of person, and I don’t identify as that type of person. My definition of success is not the same as her definition of success. My ways to be happy are not her ways to be happy. BUT.

But she is incredibly successful on her terms. She has built and empire and a following, which is exactly what she set out to do. In fact, she has the word MOGUL tattooed on her wrist WHICH SEEMS SO OUTRAGEOUS TO ME. BUT.

But I can pull from her story what works for me.

We don’t experience books in a vacuum. Things are constantly swirling around online, in bookshops, on Instagram or Twitter, and in movies that influence how we see a book or author.

I can see on Instagram that Rachel Hollis is truly a positive person. I can read in her books about the hard work and dedication she has committed to her goals. I can follow along and learn from her business journey through her weekly newsletter. I can listen to her words of advice and gain insight by listening to her podcast and interviews with other successful entrepreneurs.

Does the gospel of Rachel Hollis work for everyone? No, of course not. But for some reason it works for me.

Katie Terhune