This month’s Hustle Profile features blogger, Pinterest guru, taco lover, and all around amazing human – Kayla Watkins! I’ve known Kayla for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed watching her grow her brand and her business, she even left her day job at the end of 2017 to pursue her side hustle full-time! So without further ado, here’s my interview with Kayla:
Tell me about yourself.
I’m a full-time social media freelancer and blogger, an inhaler of coffee and a Mexican cuisine aficionado. My businesses currently consist of a lifestyle blog, a wedding blog, Pinterest management clients and an online course entitled Pinterest for Bloggers. I clearly took “diversify your income” a little too literally…
What made you want to start your blogs?
I have two blogs. The first one, Kayla’s Five Things, is a lifestyle blog and I started that about three years ago. I started it as a creative outlet, but in the last two years, I’ve gotten serious about monetizing it and making it a viable source of income. I started my second blog, The Internet’s Maid of Honor, last September. I went into this one with a lot of valuable lessons learned from K5T and knowing full-well I wanted to make it a scalable business.
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
I definitely do internally, but I certainly have trouble verbalizing that when I talk about what my career is.
When did you say ok, I can call myself an entrepreneur now? What happened for you to give yourself that recognition?
I feel like “entrepreneur” has a connotation that you have it all together. That’s definitely not the case for me, but I am someone that owns and manage my own business(es) and who is trying to create something new, innovative, and profitable. That’s a dang entrepreneur, even if my bank account might not reflect the word some months (yet). I think I started internalizing it when I went full-time in January. I think it’s something I will be continually learning to embrace until I make $10K+ a month BUT if I don’t start taking myself seriously as a businesswoman and entrepreneur, no one else will.
How do you balance running your business with other parts of your life?
This is one of my favorite aspects of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. I love to learn about how different successful people maintain a balance in their life and then implement the ideas that resonate with me. I am still learning about this, but I have found that taking weekends off and working around weekday events have brought me a lot of balance. I wanted this life so I could say “yes” to things (in terms of family and friends), so I’m saying “yes” to these moments and adjusting my work around that. I don’t want to be hustling forever, so I’m trying to incorporate the “slow-down” mentality early.
I will definitely say that it does get crazy some weeks. I can get very sucked into my business in a way that prevents me from sleeping and being happy. I try to “start over” every day and journal what I’m grateful for every day to keep me grounded.
What do you find most difficult about balancing launching your online course, running your blogs, and everything else?
Everything. Ha. I have found it so hard to prioritize and zoom out on my business vision. I usually zero in on the project I’m working on which is not great for long-term success (or my sanity).
How can you tell when you’re stretching yourself too thin and you need to pull back to take a break? What do you do when you’re feeling that way?
When thoughts about work stop me from sleeping or leave me feeling sad or inspired, I know I need to take a break. Honestly, there is no point in forcing myself to power through an hour, a day, or a week of me being unmotivated and uninspired. I will waste so much time scrolling through Instagram, and I will end the week feeling worse than I started.
I usually switch to something that either interests me (maybe taking a look into the future) or let myself indulge in a complete do-nothing- break. I’ll watch TV. I’ll take a nap. I’ll step away. When I come back, I take a look at the big picture and make a plan that allows me to do bite-sized pieces of the project. Being able to see how and when I can tackle a big project usually helps me feel less defeated. Oh, and I don’t come back to work without coffee, because duh.
How or where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration all the time mainly because I am constantly seeking it out. I am obsessed with business podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs. I listen to something every day so I can learn more and get new ideas about how to grow my business. I use it for every transitional period throughout the workday to keep my mind focused and excited about my work. For example, if I stop work to fold laundry mid-day, I’ll make sure Amy Porterfield, Screw the Nine to Five or ProBlogger are sharing their genius in my ears while I do so.
Where do you find valuable collaboration and support? What does that look like for you?
My main support systems for my business (actually probably my only) are my mastermind group and my husband. That inability to call myself an entrepreneur publicly and to own that has definitely stopped me from adding additional people in my support group. I hate explaining what I do to people who don’t “get it,” even if I really love the people. It’s something I need to work on for sure.
My mastermind group consists of three other women (including the owner of this site, Sam) who have very different businesses but are all at the same sort of level in our career. We give each other advice, hold each other accountable, and provide valuable feedback. It’s been one of the best things to help me feel less isolated and has helped me prioritize and zoom out immensely. My husband is sort of my person to vent everything to when I want to hear feedback about what is the most authentically me and what business direction would make me happy.
How many hours do you typically spend on your business in any given week?
I probably spend about 35-40 every week. Sam would tell me to track it… she’s right.
What’s next for you?
A year from now I hope to be a little more financially comfortable, have a good passive income stream from my Pinterest for Bloggers online course and be able to step back from the service side of my business. Five years from now, I hope to have complete freedom as far as when I work and what I work on. I hope to have built up The Internet’s Maid of Honor, maybe with a membership site, maybe with more products… we’ll see. I just hope to be working when I want and on what excites me while simultaneously helping to provide my family a comfortable life.
Is there any advice you would give someone who is looking to start their own business?
I have always been the “just jump in and do it” kind of girl. I still don’t know whether it’s ballsy or stupid yet, but I think I would still tell people to just do it. Give yourself the shot you deserve and don’t expect or even wish for overnight success. Take in every bit of free education you can, and then pay for it when you can afford to spare the income. Finally, find what works for you. There’s a million “foolproof plans” out there for entrepreneurial success, but there’s a custom plan that you have to create for yourself.
What do you wish you had known before you started?
I’m not sure if there’s anything. I mean sure I’d like to be way more successful by now, but I believe that eventually, I’m going to look back on this more difficult time frame in my business and be glad I went through it. I believe I’ll come through the other side and be proud of what I accomplished.
Or I’ll go back to a 9-5 and this would’ve been a colossal waste of time… lololol *nervous laughter*
Where can people reach you if they have questions or would like to buy your product?
If you have entrepreneurial questions or anything business/blog related, please shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat.
Pinterest course, services, blog posts, etc.: www.kaylawatkins.com
The Internet’s Maid of Honor | www.theinternetsmoh.com | @theinternetsmoh
Kayla’s Five Things | www.kaylasfivethings.com | @kaylas5things
Anything else you would like to add?
Coffee is bae.