The Problem with Free Information on the Internet – a Rachel Hollis critique

Let me just start out by saying – I have zero problem with the fact that Rachel Hollis is a success. I think anyone can do anything they put their mind to – hustle, heart and a whole lot of ambition can get you anywhere you want to go. To a certain extent it really is motivation and consistency that can get you anywhere. It is abundantly clear that Mrs. Hollis has all of that in spades. Looking at the way we are in 2020 with an abundance of people making careers as influencers we are in a different time. Digital careers are saving the world during the COVID crisis. Digital nomad life is going to hit the globe strong when we can all start travelling again. This is more about the claim that all you need is high school and Google for success. Because Rachel Hollis is now very wealthy it appears that she figures that her opinion and her way is the smart way to see this type of success – making lots of money does not mean you are smart. Her privilege as a white woman blogging in and from the USA is rarely discussed.

Free information on the Internet does not teach you how to do business properly, think independently or how to interpret information and make it your own.


Perhaps I am butt hurt because I have been formally educated in a University and a College but when influencers talk about how their success with only a high school education it makes me irrationally furious. It is not so much that they are successful because anyone can hustle – but it is that they make glaring mistake on citing sources and crediting other authors. They are stealing people’s thoughts and using them as their own. Anyone in any area of post secondary education knows the importance of citing sources and influence. You simple can not steal other people thoughts and call them your own. We all know that we learned from the thoughts of other people, it is how we evolved, it is how we got here – there aren’t really original thoughts anymore – things have been done before but not interpreting the information and making it your own  – this is the problem.

person in gray long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by Andrew Neel on

Since quarantine has started, I have been trying to fill my time by catching up on my podcasts and half-finished books. I have been subscribed to the RISE podcast for months because there is some great information in the podcast and Rachel Hollis is an amazing speaker – she interviews with elegance and has amazing guests and at times has some great advice. In general her podcasts are great HOWEVER in the intro she has made it clear that her brand is being successful came solely from the “ free information she got on the internet” – and while yes she did learn a lot from the internet she really hasn’t quite figure out that she can’t steal people words and call them her own. She needs to site her sources. She has been accused publicly of plagiarism and it seems to me that the posts are taken off her social platforms but there is zero discussion about it.  Just a couple of days ago – her media team actually posted on Instagram a post that read “still … I rise” which is a quote from Maya Angelou – at least in 2020 she has learned to take it down and to credit the source which she did in a follow up post where she blamed her team. However, has she learned how to properly source and credit other authors from the “free information she got on the internet”? It does not look like she has.

I own a copy of ‘Girl, stop apologizing’ and ‘Girl, was your face’ …  Both okay reads. Both glaringly have stolen information from other self-help leaders and turned into her own work. It wreaks of privilege and this is my problem with Rachel Hollis. I want to like her because I LOVE motivational, personal development books. But I cannot get passed her arrogance.


woman working at home using her laptop
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

Yes, she worked hard but also yes she had an abundance of white privilege. Why can we never discuss how privileged she really is? How her connections got her where she is? How she did not build this business alone?

Love her or hate her Rachel Hollis has really become someone to pay attention to over the years. But do not fool yourself into only seeing her overnight success because that does not exist. It took years to grow her brand and her business. The idea of on overnight success is an illusion – spending 10 years working at her business with no success to finally have that one post, that one viral sensation to reach you to success. That is basically how it is all done. The one viral post that took you 10 years to figure out. Along the way Rachel has been accused of plagiarism. Stealing quotes and stealing concepts and basically not knowing how to site a source for her information. It boils down to being ACCUSED of COPYING AND NOT CREDITING PEOPLES WORK. This is NOT the way to do it, Friends. The issue here is not being about to critically assess where the information is coming from and whether it is a credible source. She is sharing stolen information and is misguided about crediting sources and using quotation marks – she is trying to pull it off as her own. Basically, she is taking the spotlight from people that earned those credentials.

Rachel Hollis pretending like privilege did not help in getting her where she is and that it was all from the free information on the internet is absolutely a false claim.

The Power of Habit

Literally for ages I have walked by this book in the bookstore, have been attracted to the bright cover and then thought nope – I am not gonna like it, put it back. For years I have been interested in how I might need to change habits because Lordy knows I am in a habit breaking cycle the last few years. But I still resisted. But then last pay day after I crushed out all my bills, I found myself in the book store looking in the small business self help section (because lately I have been a non-fiction whore) and I finally thought you know what, I am doing it. I grabbed and finally had enough balls to buy it.

Here is the thing – I am currently reading two other books

But once I picked this one up, I could not put it down.

Charles Duhigg is a phenomenal writer. His ability to capture a story and make a point is so eloquent and inspiring. But through out the book – as I weaved through the chapters I realized he was following a formula and I am not sure if I got sucked into the habit and reward of the formula or what happen – but whatever Charles was doing – it worked.
The truth is – I have lots of habits that I have worked on breaking over the years. Lots of habits I returned to. Lots of pressure I put on myself to accomplish things that I think I want and then get overwhelmed when I don’t see results. Maybe it is because of cell phone instant gratification maybe it is because I am lazy – maybe it just something that I need to dig deeper into and figure out, so I don’t go on repeating the same fucking mistakes. I’ll have to get back to you.

Today I had so many plans of things I think I wanted to do but it is cold as fuck outside. So instead of messaging people my boredom texts I took it upon myself to finish reading my pile of books. You know what feels super great, finishing a book. You know what feels even more great feeling like I am using my brain. Thinking about things, assessing things, introverted me is such a thinker – idea generator – and sometimes it just feels good to flex that muscle.

The Power of Habit is the book that I didn’t know I needed to read. But I couldn’t put down. Talking about how everything humans do is habitual and in order to break the habit we need to form new habits. Now I know that that isn’t new information. But sometimes old information presented in a new way makes information stick in a way that it didn’t stick before.

I mean I inherently know that in order to find financial success I need to break spending habits. In order to find weight loss success, I need to form new eating and non-eating habits. In order to stop myself from being lazy and requiring so much down time is to effectively understand my sleep cycles and find new at home routines. But the actuality of doing that is harder than it is so easily presented.

I have realized I have bad habits. I have also realized I need change. When this happens I try and do all the big projects all at once. I try and change everything because I get so fucking excited about new beginnings – then I get tired and stop doing all of it – I let myself down and spiral. And then around we go again.  I know that tackling to many projects and making to many changes at once is a recipe for failure in all areas. So really this book confirmed what I have been telling myself for months. Actually I have been giving myself a hard time about this stuff for years and what needs to happen is I need to pick one main focus or habit to break. Currently the forerunner is finances. Spending habits – what I need to continue to work on is my path to financial freedom and stop putting so much pressure on myself to also see success at weight loss and figure out some sort of crazy online business/social media take over to generate something that I literally just don’t have the energy to focus on. The Power of Habit is really taking a look at what our habits already are and showing us that we can indeed form new habit.

Since I have admitted that I am hyper focused on my finances right now it is best for me to really look into my spending habits. What kind of reward am I gaining from spending? What kind of reward might I gain by saving?

I like to think I am pretty self aware but maybe I am just living in the looney bin of blissfully unaware. And perhaps that is where a lot of people live – I have no idea. But what I can do is focus on me, and what I am trying to do and that my actions have consequences both good and back and learning to understand that my decisions are the reason I am where I am in life.

Some of you may know that I have a script tattoo on my arm that reads: “No One is Coming to Save You” – some people read that and look at me like I am either in the depths of depression in a way they can’t understand or that I am totally fucked (I mean those things maybe true) but ultimately that tattoo got permanently etched into my arm to remind me all the time that all the work needs to come from with in. No one person or one thing is going to pull you out of the mess you got yourself in. No other human is the answer to anything we are fighting. Inner turmoil is solved by you. Weight loss again solved by you. Money problems also solved by you. The only thing that can change me or my habits is a cold hard look at how I got myself into this situation and how I need to gruelingly pull myself out.

The thing is maybe you don’t have any bad habits or habits that you would like to change. And I commend you if you’re that person. But if you are like me there are lots of things, I need to continual work on to watch myself grow. So really in theory if you follow these 4 steps you should eventually get to where you want to go:

Identify the routine
Experiment with rewards
Insolate the cue
Have a plan

Sounds simple, right?! The Power of Habit isn’t a step by step problem solver it really is just the tool you need to know that you can change. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that in words we didn’t hear before.

If you need me, I will be working on breaking some habit cycles, working on crushing out those student loans – probably drinking free coffee at ‘40 000, reading something else to pass the time.

Happy Habit Changing,

The bag of burritos I needed.

Truth: Even though I had a fairly great job situation in Calgary post SAIT I quit my job and moved to Montreal. I transferred with Starbucks to get me started and took my boho looking, dreadlock sporting self to the city of liberty and freedom and decided it was about time I make a life for myself.  My friend told me there were lots of jobs, and even though I hadn’t actually found anything online and had no response I packed my stuff, shipped my entire life and decided to make a go of it.

Truth: Montreal was the hardest 6 months of my life.

Truth: I struggled with my pay dropping to a quarter of what I was making in Calgary.  I struggled with transferring into a store that instantly and blatantly hated me because I had dreadlocks among other stupid reasons (sidenote: I later actually made some amazing friends and connections at that Starbucks – Monkland represent!). I was already feeling self conscious and that just wreaked havoc on my emotions and my state of mind. I struggled with sleeping on the hardwood floor for 6 months. My self worth was trapped in material possessions.  When I finally made the decision to leave Montreal my options were limited. I didn’t have any money. I was so fucked. My spirit and soul were crushed. Needless to say moving in with my sister and her family for a couple months changed my life. It propelled me to get where I needed to be.

Edmonton has been a lot of growing and progress; baby steps to a brighter future. However, because I moved here under those dire circumstances. Edmonton has always felt like a failure. That my life is a fail. I failed at Montreal. And that, right there, my friends is a lesson I just learned after almost 2 years in Edmonton.

I have felt like a failure in Edmonton because of the hiccup of time I spent in Montreal that crushed my soul.

It is funny how that works.

So while this might sound like a pity party. It is actually a blessing and a break through in my development as a human. I am so focused on why this (Edmonton) was a fail I have failed myself in seeing my success. I feel so profound in my discovery. Like someone has ripped off some blinders.

So how did I get here ?…. Mark Manson.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Saturday. I read the entire book. It is fresh in my head so I am trying to implement as many of the lessons as I possible can. But the overarching theme is taking a look  at yourself and your self worth and basically working on yourself to become better for you and then others. I am not going to lie it sucks to realize that you are the root cause of all your problems. It sucks to realize that you are causing your own unhappiness from preconceived notions of yourself. But it makes me smile when I think about all the foolish pressure I have put on myself in the last couple of years because I have limiting beliefs about myself. My mind is fucking blown Friends. All the sudden I am peeling back the layers of destructive self hatred and attempting to lift some pressure from myself and work on my own happiness instead of placing that in other people’s hands and other peoples acceptance of me.

Truth: Sometimes I compare Carol today to Carol back then (not Montreal just happier times) to try and learn from the times in my life when I thought I was my happiest. The thing is. Those were times where I literally and wholeheartedly didn’t give a fuck about what anyone else thought. I never listened I just got on the plane and went. I went to Japan. I went to Korea. I went to China. I went to Chile. I went everywhere. I met amazing people. I didn’t give a flying fuck. I have realized recently I don’t actually want to live like that anymore. I like the stability of not having to figure out where I am going to move every year. I like knowing that my job still exist tomorrow. I don’t need visas and immigration and worrying about whether I can afford a visa run. I don’t have to save for my next flight – unless I truly want to. I think all that time I was searching for security and the only one that can provide that is me.

So today I commit to trying my best to stop that self deprecating behavior. Stop comparing myself to other people doing different things at different phases of their lives. And to just breathe. Because honestly I couldn’t of lived my 20ies any cooler than I did. I didn’t get where I am today but not chancing all those things …testing myself.  Learning that I can build a life where ever I go. Learning that people are selfish assholes and that most advice comes for their own personal experiences, drives, desires and failures. I commit to opening myself up to the possibilities of a wonderful life right here in this city – a place that has been so incredibly good for me, my bank account and my financial well being. I also commit to trying to stop interjecting my suggestions when people what to talk to me. My opinion doesn’t matter much.

So if your are reading this thinking – good gawd – know this – I feel like I am bursting with positivity because I unlocked a secret about my life or I finally figured something out. It is going to be a journey to a brighter Carol. It isn’t my first time pulling myself out of a mess. And I have the power to change everything. It’s a choice.

So Friends – are you trapped in a circle of negative behavior and thoughts? Are you trapped on the hamster wheel of self deprecating behavior and don’t know how to jump off? The sad reality is … it is a choice. Bad things may have happened to you but in the end you chose how you feel about it, how you internalize it or if and when it’s time to let go. You chose to stay. You chose to go. Everything is a choice. So you need to chose to not let past experience affect your current life. And it is hard as fuck. But I am sure as fuck it is going to be worth it.

And with that – all my Love and Self help magic vibes!

Stay dirty,



What keeps you HAPPY?

I recently started reading the book Pivot by Jenny Blake. One of those interesting reads that forces you to look within to figure out to where to go next.

This last little while I have been feeling stagnant in my life:  work, sleep, eat, sleep, go on a date, have it not work, go for a coffee with friends, realize I’m on a different page, sleep, chat with my sisters, visit the shopping store, buy shit, attempt to be fulfilled … blah, blah … I like all those things but it lacks adventure.  I have been feeling stagnant at my job because there is no where for me to advance and in Edmonton as a city as a whole. I feel bored. Boredom to the extent that it is causing me headaches from not being challenged enough.

Normally my next move would be to move. Country hop. Lifestyle hop. Do something that challenges me. However, I am trying to adult. Hardcore. I am trying to get a stronghold on paying off my loans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t move abroad again until I have paid down 20K off my student loans (hint – that is at like 19k and change away OR at very least I need to have paid of my Alberta and Nova Scotia Loans)

And then this came up in my Instagram feed this AM:


And it hit me hard with the wonderment of this existence in my life. You know, happiness. What is missing? What is lacking? Am I happy with my life here in Edmonton?

With all this information smacked together – I have come to this vortex of knowledge.  The Oprah light bulb moment or “AH-HA” rang its bell. My intentions for Edmonton was money. Pure and simple. I moved to this city out of a place of desperation. I left Montreal crumbled, beaten down and exhausted. I moved back to Alberta and specifically Edmonton because I needed a fresh start, I needed a job in my field and I needed to crush some immediate debt that I acquired living in Montreal.  I was over extended everywhere.


However, since I now have paid those debts. Had my debt fatigue trips. And have re-budgeted for student loan payments. I am thinking, what’s next? I am month two into this and I just feel drained. I lack a drive and desire to do things. Be social. Have fun. I feel like everything goes back to money. I don’t want to drink because I don’t have money. I don’t want to drink because  am on a diet.  I don’t have money because I am spending $1000 a month on debt repayment. I want to be skinny but can be fucked to eat right buuuut my weight is wearing on my self confidence. There is always fucking something that limits me … and you know what guys, that something is me. That something is my intentions. That something is an unwillingness to go it alone and explore Edmonton for what it really has to offer.

In light of signing my lease for another year. And officially staying in Edmonton for awhile – I have decided to give it my all.  Because I know that debt repayment is happening I can now set my intentions on other things like – weigh-loss, building a social community, developing my creative space online via this blog, Instagram and twitter and just being here. This is a huge shift. This means maybe reworking my schedule, maybe feeling uncomfortable, maybe learning to not let my anxiety take over my life. But there is only one person that can change things and that person is me. Sometimes you need to change up the routine, apply for new jobs, work on your passion projects and really see the fruits of your labor.

With that in mind I want to know from you:

Are you in love with your life? How did you make that happen? Could you have more? How are you challenge yourself to be happier?





My Favorite Murder

People are fucked up.

I have noticed recently a whole lot of podcasts, youtube channels and creative content that surrounds murder. Maybe because I am just into podcasts – a lot – lately or maybe because  – there are lots and lots and lots of cases and stories of murder in America (Canada & USA and I’m sure lots of other places in the world).  I am actually blown away by the amount of cases of murder in the USA. How does it even happen? I am also sickly interested in the darker side of America.  I guess we are all a little bit like that – just innately curiosity about people that have the inner violence and the capability to commit such crimes.

With the crazy interest in reality TV it is no surprise that murder podcasts and radio in general are such a hit. It is in fact reality.

Anyway – if you are a podcast listener, a murder fan and an rubber neck about gruesome events you should totally listen to my favorites podcast for this week:

My Favorite Murder.

Seriously Friends, Karen and Georgia = hilarious. Basically the two come together for a length podcast where they two bring their favorite story of the week. Generally they are themed to some capacity.  But they discuss crimes that have happened in the USA and Canada. They go through the event, and do a tell all of the particular murder. There shock and horror for each event ceases to be anything less than hilarious. They truly bring a laughter to your eardrums. I am totally hooked and a hardcore murderino.

Let me know if you are listening so we can talk about it.

And in the wise words of Karen & Georgia – Stay Sexy and don’t get murdered,



a change in business …

Quite a few months ago I wrote about #girlboss the book written & inspired by Sophia Amoruso. I can’t say I ever shopped at Nasty Gal but I am very interested in Women entrepreneurs and the vague and intriguing idea of making money online. I am truly inspired and curious by how these online entrepreneurs go from zero to everything leveraging the internet.

I really enjoyed a lot of what she had to say in the book. I was less inspired by the fact that she stole things to sell in her fledgling store. However, she went from nothing to highest paid female billionaire in American powerhouse in 10 years (well maybe not exactly that but – you know – something amazing). She has won awards for netbased entrepreneurial things and a powerful woman in terms of what woman can do with the right mind set.  I guess a true success story.

This last week while watching a content creator  Brittany Balyn on YouTube, she was talking about the bankruptcy of Nasty Gal. Well actually she was talking about the 70% off sale. But, I was more interested in the decline of Nasty Gal.  I felt like I was living under a rock, where have I been?  If you don’t know – Sophia Amoruso is the creator of Nasty Gal clothing company. It was one of the fastest growing online clothing companies; it was born out of selling vintage clothing on eBay. A little online searching led me to see that Ms. Balyn was actually right and  Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy sometime in November 2016.

There are two things I want to discuss from this event:

  1.  I originally was writing this post because I was all like WTF?! Sophia Amoruso is done. Then I realized that actually there is a whole new  #girlboss situation.  I caught wind of the podcast she now hosts. And now I have something new to listen to at work because I am not a Girl boss yet but I’m well on my fucking way. Also, a podcast with her chatting with other prominent female business people in the USA in mega interesting to me. So take away number one – the company went under but I learned about a super inspiring new podcast
  2. The crash of business as we once new it. That is take away #2.  I never went to business school, nor do I understand that much about the business world. But I find it increasingly interesting that the most random of companies have closed their doors due to the development of the internet and modern day shopping. The change is in how we acquire products like movies, tv & music but also how we shop for full retail products online instead of at locations. There has been a huge movement to go back to a simpler time; with more locally sourced products. Which is by far a different world than the internet obsessed  world we currently live in. Are we witnessing the demise of modern day business when bustling online retailers are failing too?.


What do you guys think about this new business? Have you noticed a change in the kind of retail available in your area? or online? Are you even an online shopping or do you refuse?

Comment below, lets talk about this!



#girlboss #gettingit

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I totally listened to this book on Audible. I took the time out of my day job, while it was slow .. obviously .. and listen my way through this book. I actually don’t have much interested in vintage fashion. I don’t really online shop and I am not super into the kind of clothing she has on Nasty Gal. What I am super interested in is being my own boss. I am interested in companies that have bosses that are women.  I want to start on the journey of becoming my own digital nomad and these are the kinds of things that I am interested in right now.

Sophia has touched on themes and ideas that made me think … Yes! Yes! Yes! So let’s dive in (I guess I should state now – this is me kind of wanting to discuss some of the concepts in the book so if you haven’t read it – maybe go and do that):

Right out the gate Sophia is discussing the idea of luck and fucking hating the idea of it! I love this and therefore I am hooked. This set the tone for the entire book. I abso-fucking-lutely agree that luck is bullshit. BULLSHIT! I  kind of agree that you get what you want in life because you work hard and create opportunity – not always because someone hands you things. Now maybe I am just one of those people that aren’t lucky in the conventional sense  – or maybe I am just a firm believe in the law of attraction. But, If you know anything about the law of attraction you know that you create your own vortex of awesome. So luck plays no part of your life, creating a positive, sure fire belief in yourself and your success is the most important part. This is why I believe that if you say something enough times it will eventually come true. You need to carefully and intentional choose your thoughts, approach your days with goals and intentions and believe the shit out of yourself and your abilities.

“When you think about people you give them power” – Sophia Amoruso, GirlBoss

Who, wait .. what?? Never thought of that did you? When you constantly think about, rant jealously about, and/or spout insecurities about someone or something –  you are giving them the power over you too succeed. Thoughts become things, people. The last thing you want to do is to give a competitor the power of your well crafted thoughts. You can see how Sophia hammers in the point that the law of attraction dictates our lives. What you put in your mind you put in your life.  You need to surround yourself with people that motivate, inspire and bring your creative juices to a max flowing potential.  Network the shit out of the good ones and leave everything else behind.

“Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw

Who do you want to be? That is the most poignant question you can ask yourself. Knowing that you can create anything, what exactly do you want to create? I spent a lot of time in my youth trying out different scenes, different styles, different diets till finally something stuck. But, that doesn’t mean this is where I remain. We have the ability to recreated ourselves as many times as we want. Maybe what you thought you wanted didn’t work at all – so here you are trying something else. You need to experiment with different lifestyles, try things out, see if they worked.

Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite.

It’s your life, why are you sitting around waiting for something amazing to happen. You need to get out there and create the amazing. You need to create your the first impression you want – be that Facebook, Twitter, Linked in – social media is a powerful, powerful tool that can be used to your advantage. You chose how you want people the perceive you. So get out there and get the amazing you deserve. If what your doing and being doesn’t serve you, rewrite it.

I think over all this was pretty alright – I would recommend to anyone interested in creating something huge out of nothing. She really hammers in the thoughts that: Impressions are important. Creating you is important. Being a caring, sensitive human who works hard is essential. Don’t talk about about your personal development – the person trusting you doesn’t give a shit about how their company, their person or being is going to benefit you – they want to know how you are going to benefit them. Connect your own dots. Don’t make others do it themselves. You create the journey for them. Learn to write. Learn to write well. Don’t be greedy. Work hard. Read more than you watch Netflix. Learn to listen. Learn to take criticism. Be a leader even if you aren’t asked too. Be open to amazing. Do things you don’t like. Be the person you want to be. Love yourself. And last but not least – fucking focus.