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Not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. Getting money on your own requires a strong mindset and relentless attitude to never give up. However, a self-made mindset can be rewarding, especially if you dare to see it through.
One person that has embodied this mindset of entrepreneurship is model, business owner, content creator and musician Charly Jordan. Jordan has quickly become one of the most familiar faces on social media, amassing a following across multiple platforms, with almost 5 million followers on her Instagram and over eight million followers on her TikTok page.
But her role in the entertainment industry goes beyond being a social media influencer. The creator turned her social media success into a blossoming career as an entrepreneur and musician.
Asides from her work in social media content creation for brands such as Revolve, Savage x Fenty, BooHoo, Alo Yoga and others, she is also the founder of two online brands of her own. Smoke Roses is Jordan’s answer to pushing the smoking industry in a more natural direction. Beauty In Pain is a fashion and jewelry brand with a cornerstone mission to destigmatize the conversation around mental health through her clothing and accessories. She hopes to take the brand one step further as a charity in the future.
With a long history of doing shows, the rising talent became one of the few female DJs with a Las Vegas residency at Zouk Group. As a vocalist, Jordan amassed millions of listens around the world, most recently dropping back-to-back singles titled Innerbloom and Soak Her.
Jordan reflects on how her tumultuous upbringing shaped her success as an entrepreneur and why perseverance and structure are her two most important virtues.
The importance of perseverance
Born in Las Vegas, Charly Jordan grew up in a reserved household where showing her shoulders or knees and even drinking soda wasn’t allowed. “I was doing all these things because I was supposed to and because my family was religious,” Jordan explains. Right around the age of 17, Jordan knew that the path her parents had guided her on for so long wasn’t going in the direction she wanted. “I had seen enough to realize that’s not what I wanted,” she said.
During her senior year of high school, Jordan was excelling in her athletic career in track and field, being ranked as high as number four in the nation for hurdles. Jordan was faced with the tough decision to keep moving forward with a life that was leaving her unfulfilled — or leave it all behind. On the one hand, she had multiple scholarships lined up that would take care of her education, but on the other, she was burnt out and tired of being forced to live a certain way. The pressures of her decision started to cave in. “I started having panic attacks,” Jordan recalls. The panic attacks escalated to self-harm, eventually pushing the young woman past her breaking point.
Taking a leap of faith, Jordan de-committed from her scholarship, leaving behind any security in her future. Battling a rough life at home, Jordan was kicked out of her house and left homeless for the last three months of her senior year. “I took my phone and car and left,” she said. At the time, the young creator was living an hour away from her school, attendance became an issue and she barely graduated as a result. “I walked by myself at graduation — that’s crazy to have spent your whole life going to school, and the one moment to celebrate, none of my family showed up. My life was falling apart.”
With nothing but her phone and car, Jordan started taking advantage of her newfound freedom to connect with other people in the social media industry. She started dm-ing photographers and models, going on road trips to collaborate with others. Jordan would travel to neighboring states, making stops in national parks and other scenic areas to capture their beauty. Barely getting by, Jordan began documenting her travels, creating videos, and compiling footage along the way. With just over 100,000 followers on her Instagram page at the time, things started to look better. “I was just doing it for fun, then as a job and a year later, I had over a million followers, which is pretty crazy growth,” Jordan explains. Her following continued to grow exponentially by almost a million new followers a year while she was living out of her car and couch hopping.
Image Credit: Veronica Sams; Makeup: Ashley Simmons; Styling: Jordan Marx
While growing fast on social media, getting into modeling was initially a challenge for the social media guru. Jordan’s body was critiqued as “too muscular” for her to work as a fashion model. “When I hit 150,000 (followers) is when a brand actually flew me somewhere for the first time. I was doing all nature photography and modeling. I am really grateful that I actually got into that because I wasn’t getting jobs for regular modeling. No one wanted to sign me because I was too muscular,” Jordan explains. As a model, Jordan began working with brands like TenTree and Pura Vida, often making stops in third-world countries for charity work.
Jordan was living a double life, spending time in the most beautiful places in the world and then returning home to nothing. “People on Instagram saw this beautiful life I wanted to have, but it wasn’t my reality. But six months later, that became my life,” she said.
The importance of structure
Much of Jordan’s success depends on her tightly knit, weekly schedule and work environment. The influencer says allocating different tasks and projects to each day of the week and having her own space to focus is key to her success.
“I try not to overcomplicate things. I have a million things going on,” she said. “Each day is dedicated to something different: Monday is self-care, Tuesday is YouTube, Wednesday is music, Thursday is phone calls, and Friday is catch-up day for anything I fell behind,” she continues. “Having an intense schedule is the only way to manage it all.”
Juggling so many responsibilities at once, Jordan understands how important a rigorous, disciplined schedule is to managing time correctly and staying productive.
She began her social media career with just her phone and a car, working through obstacles in her way to go on and build a more than successful life for herself. Her story is an inspiring one and shows how perseverance, above all else, can see you reap the rewards.
Beyond just having the will to keep going when things get hard, structure plays an important role in Jordan’s success as a self-employed business owner. Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle and structure in your day-to-day is key.
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