Do You Mind If I Brag a Little Right Now?

If you follow me at all you know I like to write mostly about personal life experiences in hopes of encouraging at least one person. I tell my stories raw and real and I like to end with inspiration.

This post will be no different.

I was reading something the other day about people bragging on their social media profiles about things. Like bragging things: new boyfriend /girlfriend, new job /promotion, new house, you get the idea.

Over in some blogging groups I belong to, every now and then someone will share a ‘win’ with other members. I love seeing these. It gives me hope. I think if someone else can accomplish what I’m after, then obviously I can too.

Not only that, maybe I can far exceed what they’ve done. Not to outshine them, but to push my own limits. To see how much further I can go then Becky did.

That kinda thing.

I’ve pushed a lot of limits. I’ve tested and tested. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and blazed my own trail.

I’ve worked up to 14 hours on some days trying to make things work or at the very least, make them even better.

It’s thrilling and exhausting at the same time. But I’ve done it. I won’t necessarily say succeeded, but I accomplished what I set out to do. I don’t always feels successful when that happens.

Success means different things to different people. Some think it’s a success when they finally start making 6 figures a year, for others, success means being on their own and finally not have to be dependent on others.

To me, success means, reaching new heights. Sometimes the money that comes with it means something, but mostly it doesn’t. The money will follow. I believe that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the financial reward that comes with me pushing and testing, but it’s not what drives me anymore.

It used to. Until I finally learned to do what’s in my heart, from my heart, not my bank account.

Anyway. This isn’t about how much money I make. This is about how far I’ve come in a little over 5 years.

I’m not holding back anymore

It took me an awful long time to share my business things on my personal profile on Facebook and in real life. I just don’t. Most of my friends here in Guatemala don’t even know what I do.

I write, I tell them. I’m just a writer. The end.

But I’m more than a writer.

I don’t really like to talk about myself much or my ‘wins’. People will think I’m bragging and no one likes a fucking braggart, amirite? You know the one.

Bragging person: Oh this year we are set to make 6 figures and I will take 5 holidays this year all expenses paid.

Other person: Hard eye roll.

See what I mean?

But this time is different. This time I’m blowing my own horn hard, loud and fucking proud. I’m bragging my ass off to you today.


Because I want someone to think “Well shit, if that old retired hairstylist from bum fuck nowhere Ontario Canada can do it with nothing, then goddammit so can I!!”

Because you can.

Most of what I did and learned, I did by myself. I taught myself shit that I never thought in a million years I would ever understand. Boring techy geeky shit like:

  • coding
  • video creation
  • branding
  • building a following
  • understanding plugins and which ones to use
  • making money online

5 years ago I was cutting hair in a salon in a mall.

Today I am inspiring millions (and I do mean millions) around the world with messages of hope and faith.

As of today, these are my numbers (bragging time) and the reason I am sharing them with you now is this:

If I can do it, so can you!!

I’m gonna break it all down for you and the time frame so you will know I’m not an overnite success. No one is. Most people are successful because they worked their fucking assess off and had the determination and fierceness of a bear coming out of hibernation in the spring looking for food (that might be a Canadian thing? 🤷‍♀️)

I started with a dream

I’m no different than you. We all have dreams. We all start with this dream. We have a vision of what we want to do and the impact we want to make on our lives and the world.

My dream was to reach millions of people around the world and give them hope for a brighter happier tomorrow. And I do just that.

Boring stats time!


I started a Facebook page almost 5 years ago not having a clue what I was doing. I barely even knew how to make proper inspirational quotes posters. Today my page has a little over 625,000 fans with an engagement of up to 2 million each week.

Remember I used to be a hairstylist in northern Ontario Canada with no clue how this social media shit works. Don’t forget this one very important thing please.


I really had no clue about Pinterest either. Like everyone else, I thought it was casserole recipes, Christmas wreaths/home decor and cute baby outfits. I started in January of 2018 with 15 followers and 0 engagement. No boards, 5 pins and mostly tumbleweeds and crickets.

Today my account has 28,000 followers with a monthly view of over 10,000,000. That’s 10 million. I didn’t accidentally add too many 0’s. I started testing videos on Pinterest about two months ago and one video has a little over 500K (that’s 5 hundred thousand) views. Most of my video views are between 5K and 100K. Oh and these are videos that are generally under 10 seconds long that take me 2 minutes to make.

I had no idea how the videos would perform. Not a fucking clue. I was just ‘testing’.

Remember I used to be a hairstylist in northern Ontario Canada with no clue how this social media shit works.

My website

I started up my website also about 5 years ago and it has gone through hell and back in a million different directions but since firing up Pinterest and putting it to work for me, my website monthly views are now over 120K. Monthly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that number is nice but it isn’t fantastic. I’d like to get that one up to 1,000,000 monthly visitors! All in good time.

I have learned SEO, proper blogging format, understanding WordPress dashboard, customization, you name it, I learned it. I still have a shit ton to learn but I’m on the right track. Finally.


No clue what I’m doing over there either but I somehow managed to amass a little over 4K followers and one day I may even figure out what to do with Instagram.

Twitter, the same. 1500 followers. Don’t even ask me what goes on over there. I dunno. Ever. 🤦‍♀️

Here on Medium I’m doing relatively ok. One of my stories even got tweeted by the one and only Neil Patel.

Wanna know my secret?

Wanna know what every successful person’s secret is? We learn and learn. We ask questions, even stupid ones. We test and push. We ‘fail’ and try again harder.

We don’t ever give up because winners don’t quit.

We blaze fucking trails to show others that they too can blaze trails and succeed. We want to set examples for others who think it’s hopeless.

Nothing is hopeless when you have enough drive and determination.

5 years ago I was nothing. A nobody. A 52 year old hairstylist with a big dream (and big hair to go with it). I saw a future, or should I say, desperately wanted a future that didn’t include working to build someone else’s dream.

I wanted a lot of things and it was up to me to bring all my dreams to life. And I did. I traded in 25+ yrs of hairstyling and became a freelance writer/Facebook page owner/website owner/influencer.

I also traded in 53 years of life in Canada in October of 2015 and bought a one way ticket to Guatemala and never looked back. Know why? Because it was a dream I had for so long to not see winter in Canada ever again.

I wanted a better life. A different life. A freer life. And I did what I had to do to have that life.

How big is your why?

So tell me, how big is your why? How bad do you want to realize your dreams? How bad do you want a new and better life? What does success look like to you and how fucking bad do you want it?

Remember I used to be a hairstylist in northern Ontario Canada with no clue how this social media shit works.

I’m bragging right now because it’s time I showed you, if I can do it, so can you. There’s no need to keep these numbers a secret and to be honest, anyone can go to my Facebook page and see the numbers there. Pinterest too. They’re right there for everyone to see.

But I want to share this with you now because too many people think that anyone who has that many followers/monthly views must be paying for ads or have been doing this for a long time or know what they’re doing. Nope nope and nope.

I didn’t have a clue. You know what I had? You know what I had.

Determination. You can’t buy that shit. It’s in you or it’s not.

I’m no one special. I’m just like the next person trying to make things work and make a difference in the world. The only difference is I’m actually making an effort, busting my ass and doing whatever the fuck I have to do to make it work.

Are you? Do you have it in you to blaze trails and make shit work? How big is your why? What’s stopping you? When are you going to start?

I love you ❤

Peace and Love

xo iva xo

Self help Guru|Expat|Website: mini self help eBook series here:

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