Earning My Stripes

Living the influencer life seems exhilarating from afar -gazing through its elusive golden gates. But once you knock, and become, a pervasive stench lingers within the muddled levels of the so-called superstructure. 


Hey Gents!
What. A. Caption. 
Sorry for the scare. Intensity got the best of me. I blame it on the latest season of Daredevil (#notsponsored). Love that series!
…on a serious note, what does it really take to become an “influencer”? Personally, that question has been harping like a broken record for many years now.
In short, it takes a ton of tenacity, talent, and truthfulness.

Blogging (actual blog and instagram alike) mentally frees the mind, bringing ideas to life. However, there’s more than meets the eye. Lots of hard work goes behind the scenes.

Imagine a retail space. The selling space where customers shop looks exquisite, but the stock room -where the nitty gritty stuff happens- prove the opposite.

CharlesTucket started back in 2014 (in social media time, that’s considered a century). I was a college freshman looking for a creative space. A metaphoric spa getaway from reality, if you will. I never expected the blog to captivate a large readership.

Both the blog and instagram had their fair share of humble beginnings. From Microsoft paint logos, to tacky filters, there’s no shortage of cringe radiating from those days. But remember:

“It’s not how you start, the real magic starts in the journey.”

Despite the competition, the letdowns, the years filled with white noise, I kept hitting “publish” while mastering my craft in silence. Similar to olympians, the work happens behind closed doors.

Through the years, opportunities came left and right, and suddenly this “blogger thing” picked up steam. Who knew people actually resonated with my content? not I.

You’re probably asking how I “earned my stripes” in the industry. I may be small in following, but what matters is the impact you make in the industry. One loyal reader is plenty enough!

Simply put, it goes back to the 3 T’s mentioned earlier:

Tenacity | many people think professional blogging is a one-and-done process. Bloggers (full-time) don’t just write, publish, and gain money/traction from the get-go. In reality, there’s a lot going behind the scenes. Talking to “clients,” endless editing, market strategies, analytic research to name a few tasks. Hard work is no joke in the industry. Believe it or not, self-preneuers work 24/7. I’m constantly improving the blog behind-the-scenes, as well as generating interesting ideas. Now it’s finally reaping some fruit. Working for yourself has it’s downsides, but sticking out of the saturation is equally arduous.

Talent | In order to succeed in the industry, talent must take place. Whether it’s photography, word play, a friendly personality, or a peculiar POV, there has to be something interesting about the content being published. Some people (or wannabe bloggers I should say) think that copying people’s creativity and aesthetic can get their foot in the door, but people nowadays can sniff the fakers. You can’t be a nurse just because you’re wearing scrubs. The same idea goes with blogging. A pretty face and a wealthy lifestyle doesn’t cut it. 

Truthfulness | Perhaps the most practical of all. As the famous quote says, “you can’t give what you don’t have.” In today’s day and age, superficiality continues to infiltrate social media. Just look at your instagram explore page. When posting, I always make sure every photo/caption encapsulates the lifestyle I live in real life. Transparency is something people naturally draw to. I never share anything beyond my usual doings. When my truest self comes out, people tend to receive it warmly as if i’m their friend; but when I gloss over everything, i’m seen as an “aspirational” figure to look at -which leaves a salty taste to my mouth.

Oh, and before we part ways, here’s a couple of photos I found quite fitting with the title. (Earning my “stripes” on social media / “striped” shirt). Corny but a goodie.
Can we talk about this outfit real quick?
It’s simple and chic all-in-one, The retro-inspired stripe never gets old. This shirt makes my heart sing because, heck, it’s different from a lot of patterns I see in most retail shops.
Definitely one of those ugly looking shirts on display, but better on. I paired it with my go-to chinos and off-white Vans to lighten up the mood.
all the brotherly love,


I'm Ian, the writer behind CharlesTucket (a mix between Charleston & Nantucket, two of my favorite places). My hope is to inspire every man to live a wholesome & whimsical life, one quirk at a time.


"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." | 1 Corinthians 16:13-14


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