An Unexpected Love Letter

I felt compelled to write this because of the difference in responses I’ve received over the last 6 years doing what I do.

I felt compelled to write this because of the good press, viral bad press, in-the-middle press Influencers have gotten over the last many years.

I felt compelled to write this because my team launched a huge product update today that I’m really freakin’ proud of.

We rebuilt an entire platform –

from the countless financial models I created, to the thousands of lines of code my team wrote and the endless designs sketched & copy written.  This platform serves thousands of Influencers, all around the world, who have bootstrapped businesses that inspire others with their creativity and help pay for their (or their employees’) student loans, rent, for their kids’ educations, to care for aging loved ones, and yes, sometimes for an extravagant Prada bag.

I’m a product manager; in my current role, my main objective is to use innovative technologies & creative strategies to help Influencers monetize their influence.

The thing is….when I say,

“I build tools to support a global network of entrepreneurs to develop & scale growth of their businesses.”

I get very different reactions from when I say,

“I build tools for Influencers.”

For me, they’re synonymous.  But I’m also really close to it.

The former gets a response of approval, awe, & validation.

And the latter response I get, when I say “Influencer”, usually evokes a negative reaction as if I’d used a dirty word, and ugh, I’m sick of it.  

Green-with-envy isn’t a good color on anyone y’all, and “Influencer” is not a dirty word.

How can we chip away at the negative stigma surrounding this subset of hard-working & creative entreprenuers?

What if we all just started being more empathetic to each other at a basal level?

Regardless of our different interests, focuses, backgrounds, sexes, body-types, educational achievements, bank accounts, et cetera.

Don’t we want our children to have more and more diverse role-models to look up to – not simply a select 1% of industry titans & 6’2″ air-brushed supermodels?

___

When a tall, handsome, white man achieves professional successes

– in finance, engineering, gaming, entrepreneur-ing, whatever else –

he is admired & applauded for his courage to take risks, his mental tenacity, his unique smarts & savvy.

And when he celebrates his success by buying a Tesla,

we cheer him on.

___

So, my dear Influencers – you’re not always the easiest to work with nor to build tech for – but I applaud & celebrate you & your achievements.

I am really freakin’ proud to build tools that help men & womyn,

anywhere in the world,

with the courage to take risks bootstrapping their entrepreneurial endeavors,

with the mental tenacity to get through the growing pains (& all the haters),

with the most unique smarts & savvy – technically, creatively, strategically,

to subsist & thrive independently, supporting their families, contributing to the passion & inspiration of others, and yes, sometimes celebrating their achievements with

a Prada bag.

Love ya, mean it.

xo, Huckleberry Kim

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