Inspiration October 18, 2017
“My passion has always been to create and share."
Cassey is an award-winning fitness instructor, the creator of the #1 female fitness channel on YouTube, Blogilates, the creator of POP Pilates, the author of bestselling book “Hot Body Year Round” — oh, and she has 1.4 million followers on Instagram.
She launched into success after the ingenious idea of paring Pilates with pop music, and sharing it on YouTube (though originally it was just meant for her 40 students at the time). But Cassey is always trying to infuse fun into her workouts. “If you turn healthy habits into a lifestyle, and a lifestyle you enjoy, it’s so much easier to stick to it,” she tells ENTITY.
Cassey started her Blogilates YouTube account in 2009, though admits she has always been running some sort of business. “My passion has always been to create and share,” she says.
The fitness mogul and influencer took time out of her busy schedule to chat with ENTITY about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, how to handle haters and her tips for starting a fire Instagram account.
ENTITY: What was your “a-ha” moment that led you to where you are now?
CH: When I started putting Pilates to pop music in my classes, I saw an immediate increase in student attendance! It was then that I knew I had stumbled onto something that not only got me excited, but got lots of other people excited, too.
ENTITY: Did you ever hit any bumps in the road, that made you want to give up?
CH: There was a significant period of time when I was being severely harassed online. It really hurt, and negatively affected my emotional well-being and performance at work. But I reminded myself that what I do brings positivity into so many people’s lives, so I can’t let the bullies stop me. I made a conscious decision to keep going.
ENTITY: When you first started your business, was it your side gig or were you doing it full-time?
CH: It was my side gig until I needed more time to create better and better content. I was making YouTube videos while working a “regular” corporate job. When the videos started doing well, I pursued it hardcore. And it has continued to blossom into new ventures.
ENTITY: How has finding your balance with fitness enhanced your life and others?
CH: It’s brought a sense of purpose to my life. Fitness can bring so much clarity AND it’s connected me to a like-minded community.
ENTITY: How can the working woman make lasting healthy habits?
CH: It’s all about planning! I write down workouts I’m going to do and schedule cooking as “me-time.” You have to make things fun!
ENTITY: How do you deal with the haters?
CH: Remember who you are and your purpose. People will always try to tear you down, but if you have a good foundation, it’ll be hard to knock you over.
ENTITY: Being a public figure on the internet – is sexual harassment an issue? How do you deal with that?
CH: My audience is made up of mostly women, so sexual harassment hasn’t been much of an issue. However, I do receive body shaming harassment. But I want to note that that’s such a small percentage of the people who follow me.
A good way to deal is to take a break from social media. Surround yourself with people who love you and support you in real life. Remind yourself whose opinions actually matter.
ENTITY: It’s easy to see the benefits of being an influencer, but what are some things that are really difficult about your job?
CH: There are times I feel like I have to censor myself. I never change who I am, but I feel like I can’t give my full, uncensored opinion on things because of how sensitive internet culture is right now.
ENTITY: What do you think people misunderstand about influencers?
CH: Our lives are not just what you see online!
ENTITY: Have you come across competitive women who perhaps think there is only room for one of you to succeed?
CH: Unfortunately, I have encountered that. There has been competition and jealousy, but I actively distance myself from people who aren’t genuinely happy for my success. I strive to be around people who inspire me, who make me better and who don’t try to drag anyone else down. My circle is filled with people who are happy for my successes, and in turn, I’m happy for their successes!
ENTITY: Has there been a time when you found the community to be really supportive? What happened?
CH: Oh, all the time! During some of my worst harassment, so many YouTubers rallied around me. We came together and spread positivity. Having people like that is so helpful during “low” moments.
ENTITY: Did your content change at all after you grew a larger audience?
CH: I never post a certain way to please anyone. I am who I am. There’s nothing I’m trying to prove. But yes, I am more careful with my words.
Cassey wants to warn up-and-coming Instagrammers that, “It’s not all fun and games.” And while being an influencer is fun a majority of the time, she tells ENTITY, “But it comes with responsibilities, like any other job.”
That being said, she did share a few tips for those trying to build their own brand. “Be you to the max! Don’t try to copy anyone else,” she says, adding, “Let your unique personality shine.” If you gain anything from Cassey’s story it’s that she got to where she is because she followed her heart and was always 100 percent herself.
That’s probably one of the best takeaways from Cassey. Finally, she tells aspiring influencers, “If you do things that excite you, that will be exciting to other people, too!”
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