“She believed she could so she did!” is the perfect quote to describe the creative in this week’s Spotlight by The Plug! We are stoked to introduce our girl, Naomi Genota, aka @naohms…and let us tell you SHE. DOES. IT. ALL. Has incredible style and beauty tips? Check! Works a #girlboss day job? Oh yeah(she’s a structural engineer)! Is an amazing photographer and editor? You bet! Promotes wellness habits? Yep! Is the most down to earth, relatable, straight up sweetheart? If there was ever one, it’s her. Naomi told us about her motivations to becoming an influencer, gave inspiring advice on following dreams, and shared the body positive message she promotes for every girl who follows her message! She also dives into the misconceptions about being a creative, and how to deal with self-doubt! Read on to gain some real #girlpower inspo!
How did you get into the influencer game, what was the motivation?
I’ve been a content creator/influencer since 2012, but I took a break in 2015 when I decided to focus more on my structural engineering career. At the end of 2017, I traveled with my family to the Philippines and I was so inspired to do more things outside of my desk job. I thought to myself, “I’m missing out on so much because I’m such a workaholic. I’m always on my desk.”
Was there someone that inspired you to start?
When I started hanging out with more creatives, I got the inspiration and was motivated to start again[after my break]. I have a friend who’s a photographer and, at the time, he decided to quit his job in retail and be a creative full time and he asked me, “when are you going to do this full time?”
I have always wanted to do it full time, but I felt like I wasn’t good enough. It’s not really what I do. I wasn’t an expert, so I wasn’t as confident as I would have liked to be.
How would you describe your platform now?
When I made my blog, I called it Outsidemycubicle because, over the years, I’ve been in this influencer world and other creatives would always get intimidated when I tell them what I do [ as a structural engineer]. I would try to tell them in the most fun, most relatable way possible and they would still be like “IDK how to talk to you.” But I’m a normal person! At school, I was always the odd one out. I loved other things than school. I love everything. I dress up. I love makeup. I love to be outside. I wanted to have a platform where I can be a part of the creative world. I may have a desk job, but I do all these other things that are so also fun!
What’s the End Goal [for your blog?]?
I definitely love empowering other women and helping them to realize the comfort they can have in their own skin and be comfortable in what they like. That’s been a struggle for me, personally. It’s so easy for people to think “Oh this IG model is who I want to be”, but it’s not always real. I want people to know you can be fabulous, and you can be your best self, by just being yourself. I love sending a the message that I’m a real person and that I’m not trying to pretend to be someone I’m not just to get likes or gain followers or be liked by famous people. Even if I’m showing you highlights of my life, there are so many things that happen behind the scenes. I also go through things other girls are going through. I posted a bikini photo not that long ago where I knew my body wasn’t looking its best and just wanted to send the message that even though I always get compliments on my body, it’s not always lean, it’s not always perfect. My weight fluctuates A LOT, and I give into my cravings, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Even though I want to only post the best stuff on my gram, it’s still always important to be raw with your audience and let them know you go through the same struggles. But I will NEVER Photoshop or Facetune my body just to pretend that my body is always on top shape.
What’s been the hardest part?
I took a break for a while a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to keep my Instagram going, but I didn’t have time to get creative with my content. I was in grad school full-time and I was hired as a structural engineer and I worked all the time. I tried to film and create content over the weekends and I would edit at night during the week, but it was too much. I got no sleep. I was always tired. I took a break on YouTube, but was still kind of posting on Instagram.
I really wanted to pursue [being a creative] and transition into doing this more full time. So, I decided to switch up how my feed looks and try different things to elevate my feed, but it was so hard because my followers stopped engaging. Now, they’re starting to engage more, but I’m still doing little experiments: I did a giveaway to boost it a little bit more and that worked a lot! I picked up a lot of traffic and I started engaging on my followers’ pages. I also started downloading apps to analyze my insights to figure out what times are best to post and which hashtags would be most engaging.
Is there any part of your life that you choose not to show on social media?
If I ever have a relationship, I probably won’t show that on social media because people can be very invasive and be quick to assume based on what they see. As much as I love sharing my life with my followers online because I treat them like my friends, I’m a little more cautious about sharing about my personal relationships. I don’t show my family that often because I don’t want internet trolls or haters to speak ill or negatively about them. Internet bullying is real and, as much as possible, I’d like to keep my personal life as far away from that cruel treatment as I can. I’m very protective of people that I care about.
Do you have any special talents?
I play the piano but I haven’t done that in a while! I’m also pretty nerdy. I collect Funko Pops! I am a Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Marvel movie fanatic. You’ll see it when you walk into my house. I don’t know if this is also a special talent (because I still consider myself a beginner), but I can squat over 1.5x my body weight and put my entire body weight (in barbell form) over my head. I can do 100 double unders unbroken in 90 seconds.
Do you have any advice for creatives like yourself who are struggling to break into the industry?
Just hustle hard! Don’t give up on your dream and just hustle. If it means you giving up something else, then do it! For me, I value hard work and your dreams don’t work unless you do. People will always make an excuse to give up on their goal or put up their own hurdles and say “I can’t because I don’t have the time”. They don’t realize that they are their own problem.
There’s 168 hours in a week. 40 of those hours, you work . 56 you spend sleeping. 42 you spend eating/commuting/family time/exercise/recreation. There’s still 30 hours left. That’s way more than enough time to pursue you dream.
What do you think is the greatest opportunity that having this platform has given you?
The connections that I’ve made that turned into long time friendships. Being able to relate to someone just because they’ve seen your post or a story or something that inspired them is the most impactful for me.
What message do you want people to get from your blog?
I don’t think my life is fabulous and I don’t it’s lavish, but I try to at least help one person. When I post something, I try to inspire one person, and even if it’s one person that tells me that I’ve impacted their life, then I feel like I’m doing something right. If they’re going through a bad day and they see some inspiration from me and they tell me it was something they needed to see—it means the world to me when someone says that.