Influencer, model, actress and entrepreneur, Alexis Ren, launched a new interactive platform for women, during the pandemic, focusing on ‘personal development and community connection’ through wellness and spirituality. Alexis cultivated her 20 million followers on social media to create an intimate community of women that she wants to help educate. Here, she discusses the inspiration behind it, how she’s learning more about financial empowerment and not being afraid to fail…
Three years ago in 2018, I was writing in my notes on my phone that I wanted to create a mentorship community. I didn’t even know what I was thinking of. I was slowly manifesting it. I didn’t realise what it was. I just knew that I wanted a way to connect to girls and actually help them, to actually teach them, and not just preach to them. Because one of the biggest things I’ve seen on social media is that we preach, we preach, we preach, but most of the time we’re not in a space in which we’re open and we’re actually learning. And so I didn’t want to preach on social media. I didn’t think that was how I was going to affect real people.
The inspiration behind We Are Warriors was actually my mother because I saw how many people she affected throughout her life. And I always tell this story to this: I went to my mom’s funeral and there were 200 people that I’ve never met. And each of them told me ‘your mom changed my life so much’. This is impact. We think impact is numbers and reach and how many views and likes we can get, but that doesn’t create the deeper, full effect connection. We want to leave a legacy because we want to be remembered at the end of the day.
So, my mom was a huge inspiration for starting it, and then it slowly just keeps evolving. And I think that’s what I love about the company is because it’s evolving just like a human being. As the girls grow and as more girls come on board, we’re all ears and we listen to exactly what they want. It started off as fitness and wellness, but now we’re focusing on topics like money and branching out.
Spirituality to me is knowing that life doesn’t happen to me, it happens for me.
Spirituality is looking at something that society says is bad or a mistake. Like for instance, my mom passed away and I could look at that as a very negative thing. I could go down a very dark road, spirituality is knowing that life doesn’t happen to me, it happens for me. And so anything that has happened to me is in favour of me becoming my best self. Always looking at that perspective and that’s really hard; it’s very easy to be angry and feel bad. It’s hard to feel good. That’s what I teach the girls (at We Are Warriors). It’s very hard if it’s, it was easy to feel good and not suffer. We’d all be doing it, but we all are kind of suffering.
Sometimes the lack of money is just the lack of awareness of what you truly want to do…
Nicole Lapin, author of Rich Bitch, partnered with us at We Are Warriors leading the ‘What The Finance’ challenge in April. Nicole hosted three Live Calls discussing all things personal finance including saving, spending, investing, and more. When the girls were learning about financial empowerment it was about accountability and sitting down and actually learning, what do I want? What is my life? What do I actually want my life to look like? Do I want to travel? Do I want to buy a house? Because those things don’t usually go together. Like those kinds of questions got them thinking hard about the big questions: do I want to get married? Do I want to have kids? Cause that’s a $2 million investment to have a kid. Having these conversations is actually how you direct your spirituality. I think there’s a combination of structure and spirituality.
I think one of the biggest things in my own personal life is putting so much financial pressure on the things that I want to do that I truly love. Then at the same time, when I follow a passion, the money usually flows because it’s coming from my heart.
You can’t live on a financial diet
You can’t live on a financial diet, telling yourself, for example, ‘I can’t buy that $6 coffee’ means you hold back, hold back. It’s kind of like telling yourself ‘no, I can’t have like half of that cookie’, hold back, hold back. And then you’ll splurge. You’ll go and get a Gucci bag just to fill that ‘I need something’ urge. And so, and that actually is, has more detrimental effects than just get the coffee. It should be a lifestyle not a diet.
My biggest advice is to never live below your means, I’ve never felt the need to buy designer this designer that in order to fit in, because if you work on your spirituality first, that’s not where you’re putting your identity. Work on the foundation of your own identity, your spiritual path.
We’re lacking real connections in education…
Having a real connection is what we’re lacking within the education system. All the teachers in my life were my mentors, people who actually accomplished what I wanted to do and turned around and was like, I want to help. So for me, my purpose is all about who can I help and teach? Like be my little grasshopper. I’ve managed to attract a lot of mentors in different areas in my life. And I think that’s the key to education, because back when we were in tribes we learned from our elders, we would listen to their stories and we would be in conversation with them.
I understand that, you know, I’m a model and society really puts beautiful people on pedestals. So, how can I give back? Because I am grateful. I am super grateful. I want to help girls so they don’t suffer as I have and be a mentor.
My advice to young women wanting to start their own company or become self-employed is to really get to know yourself first…
I’ve always said that whatever breaks your heart the most, go in that direction. Whatever inspires you the most, follow that. Getting off social media helps too, and spending time with your boredom is what stems creativity. And we’re rarely bored nowadays. When I’m scrolling on TikTok I ask myself ‘should I just be sitting with myself right now. Why am I looking for myself here?’. I feel like sometimes we lose our personalities, watching so much on social media.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
I’ve already had two businesses that failed and I could question that, but once again, coming to the spiritual, everything is happening for me, not to me, I can look at it from that way. So for instance, the company last year that I started, it taught me how to build a business. That was not a fail. I learned how to start a business that is so valuable. So don’t look at failure as failure. Like the real failure is to not learn from your failure.
Meditation, journaling, dancing, walking, being in nature, they’re all tools. So figure out what tools work for you. If meditation doesn’t work for you, you’re not broken. Maybe you’re the type of person that needs movements to find stillness, it took me a while to figure that out. I need movement. Exercising is my meditation, dance is my affinity answer. Since I was five years old, dance is meditation.
A lot of the We Are Warriors girls are really good with journaling. Journaling works for me to an extent, but I’m such a movement person. I also think you outgrow certain tools and then you can come back to them.