Kahlea Nicole fits more into one day than most people fit into an entire week. When she’s not showing up to serve a huge slice of value to her 14k+ Instagram followers, she’s mentoring aspiring influencers or planning an intimate Gal Getaway to gather creative women for a weekend of connection, content creation, and business chats. And most of the time she’s balancing a full course-load of college credits on top of that!
When I first met Kahlea a year ago, it was at her inaugural Gal Getaway: The Conference. As I’ve worked in events since I was a teen, I always love seeing how other people bring their imagination to life through an in-person experience. Let me tell you – Kahlea’s event did not disappoint! From an incredible line-up of speakers to the gift sponsors and the local food & drinks served, and down to the Instagram-worthy photo ops – every detail embodied the spirit of creative collaboration.
So how does Kahlea do it? And what keeps her showing up every day for the people she wants to help?
Grab a cup of something good, and read on to hear what Kahlea Nicole has to say about running a creative business on her terms.
Welcome, Kahlea! Please tell our readers who you are and what you do.
Hello, hello! My name is Kahlea and I’m a Business Coach for Millennial Women as well as the Founder of Gal Getaway!
Most people know me for my dorky personality and how I always keep it really real, but overall I’m crazy passionate about helping other women monetize their passions and leverage their online influence.
With Gal Getaway, I host quarterly trips and events for female creatives and entrepreneurs where they have the opportunity to get plugged into a community of like-minded women who are looking for some accountability and inspiration to achieve their goals.
Beyond my life as an entrepreneur, and event planner, I am also a full-time student at the University of South Florida St. Pete. I am currently finishing my Bachelors in Marketing and International Business and I graduate this August, so I am beyond excited to be done!
Some facts about me: I used to want to be an Olympic Track Athlete, I can flare my nostrils, and I have a major taco obsession.
What inspired you to create your business?
Initially, with my blog, I was intrigued by the idea of having this personal platform to talk about things I loved. That intrigue became the inspiration for me to transition into an influencer, and then now to a coach for influencers and other creatives.
With Gal Getaway, I was inspired by the other events that I was attending as an influencer because I found them to be fun and good ways to network with like-minded ladies. At the same time though I always left wanting more. So, with the encouragement of a few friends, I launched Gal Getaway in efforts to bring women together in a deeper and more impactful way!
What is your favorite way to help people?
It’s hard to pick a “favorite way” because I just love showing up and serving my audience through a myriad of different outlets. I enjoy doing Facebook and Instagram lives, in-person events, digital intensives, Instagram stories, taking time to write value-packed Instagram captions. I personally HATE “fluffy” advice where the tips all sound good in theory but have no backing of HOW you actually achieve the goals. So, with any content I produce for my audience, I make a point to provide actionable steps. That way I can say, “If you want to get HERE, THIS is how you do it.” I suppose that would be my favorite way of helping people.
How did you get started with your passion and profession?
It all started in 2015, during my Freshman year of college, when I realized I wanted a creative platform where I could express myself. I ended up choosing to go the route of blogging, so I launched kahleanicole.com and then dove into learning about how to get people to come read my posts. That’s where I developed a love for Instagram.
When I first started out, social media and influencer marketing was not at ALL what it is today. It was truly just beginning. What intrigued me about the platform, however, is how easily I could connect with others who shared the same passion. So, for a while, I stuck with blogging, and then I began to see bloggers working with brands and thought, “Why not me? Why can’t I do that?”
I got a lot of pushback on that mindset because I only had about 600 followers at the time and more seasoned influencers just didn’t think it was possible for me to start working with brands.
I was determined that I would though. And I did.
Now, I’ve been working with brands for 3 years, made over $20,000 from doing so, and I’ve since developed a love for teaching other women how they can do the same. WITHOUT needing 2,958,240 followers to do so.
So, long story long, over the last few months I’ve been transitioning from influencer to entrepreneur, but it all started out with 17-year-old Kahlea having a big dream of sharing her life with the world!
What has been your biggest learning lesson so far?
That I can’t make everyone happy and not everyone is going to like me. I’ve been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember, and though I’ve gotten better at not caring what people think over the last few years, there is still that fear of, “What if they don’t like me? What if I hurt their feelings? What if I offend them?”
Within the last 6 months, however, I’ve definitely made the biggest shift in this mindset.
I started to own my truth and show up completely raw and honest online because I was sick of saying things behind the scenes and not saying them publicly.
For example, a HUGE pet peeve in the creative industry is that experts and professionals in our field often get messages like, “Hey, I love what you’re doing and I would love to pick your brain” all the time. YET – no one wants to talk about it publicly. We never want to seem insensitive or like we don’t want to help by answering their questions, however, the conversation also needs to be breached considering what an epidemic it truly is.
My biggest aim is to initiate conversations on “tough love” topics by letting my audience know that I love them SO much I’m willing to talk about the hard things that will help them grow.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you that they might not know by following you on social media?
Oooh, this is a good question since I’m truly an open book online! I think the one thing would be that I can actually be somewhat of an introvert! Which probably sounds bonkers to anyone who meets me in person or sees my Instagram stories, haha, but one of my friends one time described herself as an overly excited extrovert, and that resonated with me so much!
While I love being around people, I definitely can get drained easily and then need alone time to recharge.
What’s one of the things you’re most proud of creating?
Definitely my Network to Networth Group Coaching program! I’ve spent over a year on developing it and just recently launched the first round which has been SO exciting for me! It’s a 6-week program that’s designed to take 10 women through the processes and strategies of working with brands long term and leveraging their influence to create income. The first round starts this April and I am just bursting at the seams to start teaching it already!
If you could assign our readers some homework today, what would that be?
My homework would be to grab a journal or notebook and go sit down for 30 minutes in a quiet place with no distractions.
No phone. No noise. Nothing.
Sit in silence with your eyes closed for a few minutes until you’re truly present in the moment. Then, open your journal up to a blank page. On that page, write down one of the biggest goals you want to achieve within the next 3 months in NLP format.
NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming and it’s essentially the practice of training your subconscious to believe in what you want to see happen in physical reality.
So you’re going to journal like this:
It is now ________ (3 months from current date and time) and I have achieved ________ (the goal you want to achieve)
I have achieved this because…
You want to place yourself in the position as if the goal has ALREADY happened.
Then, I want you to tear out that journal page, photocopy it 2349 times, and paste it everywhere you look daily.
I want you to repeat it morning and night. I want you saying it and seeing it all the time. Then, when it happens because you’ve trained your subconscious to actively prepare for the goal to be met, do this same process for your 6-month and 12-month goals and watch it happen again and again and again.
Also, read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Trust me. It will change your life.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, Kahlea. Any final thoughts you’d like to share with BossBabe readers?
If I could leave you with any final encouragement, it would be to never let anyone tell you what you are and are not capable of. What you should and should not do. What you’re worthy and not worthy of.
You do YOU.
People are ALWAYS going to have something to say, but don’t let them ever hinder you from pursuing what your soul is made for. You ARE good enough. You ARE capable. And you ARE SO worthy.
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DON’T MAKE BRAND PARTNERSHIPS YOUR ONLY REVENUE STREAM 👇🏼 Up until this year, brand collabs were the #1 (and practically only) reason I was able to pay my bills 💸 And contrary to what every other influencer tells you – that wasn’t a good thing 🙅🏽♀️ In January I was set to lock down my BIGGEST deal yet – a $12,000 partnership. Then it fell through. And so did my ability to pay my bills. Get gas. Or even buy groceries. Why? Because I was ANTICIPATING that deal 🤪 So I turned down other opportunities, didn’t feel the need to sell any other products, and got too comfortable. I don’t want you to make that same mistake 🙈 While it took me awhile to realize, losing that deal was actually the BEST thing that could have happened 🙏🏼 For so long I was caught up in trying to get more partnerships under my belt and “make it” as an influencer, that I neglected my expertise in business. My knowledge of social media. My passion for helping other woman 👯♀️ I was landing deals, but in reality, I felt unfulfilled due to the stress and overwhelm of figuring out where my next paycheck was going to come from 😭 So when that $12,000 door closed, I told myself that it was now or never to become a biz coach. Now or never to transition my personal brand. Now or never to make my income through revenue streams I can CONTROL. Losing that deal made me realize that the brand I should be promoting the most – is my OWN 💪🏼 Because THAT’S what’s going to help me leave behind a valuable legacy and earn true financial freedom 💫 I don’t teach Network to Networth to show you how to make brand partnerships your end all be all. I teach N2N to help you create ANOTHER revenue stream for your brand 👌🏼 Because at the end of the day, if you asked yourself where you would be if you had NO brands offering you money, would you be scared or content with your answer? 🤷🏽♀️ If it’s scared, it’s time to rethink some things in business ❤️ Tomorrow I’m going to help you with this by covering some ways you can branch OUTSIDE of brand deals to further support yourself. Stay tuned! (📸: @faithdaniellephoto / Romper: @goodnightmacaroon)
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YOU DON’T OWN YOUR INSTAGRAM, YOU’RE RENTING IT 🏡 You’ve heard it all before: 👉🏼 “Build a website!” 👉🏼” Create an email list” 👉🏼 “Get people off social media!” But let me ask you a question: what WOULD you do if your Instagram account got deleted right NOW? 🚫 What if it got hacked? 👩🏽💻 What if all the sudden you got logged out of your own account and couldn’t get back in because Instagram thinks you’re a fraud? 💀 All 3 of these scenarios have happened to friends of mine over the last week. TRULY – what would you do? 👀 Would you freak out because you have no way to connect with your audience and years of work have gone up in flames? 🤯 Or would you be bummed but have peace knowing that you have a site or email list (that you fully own) allowing you to stay in touch with your tribe? 🤗 Don’t be the person thinking it will never happen to you. Don’t be the person thinking you have plenty of time to think about getting a site or email list so you put it off until later. No one’s going to send you a note saying “hey, I’m going to hack (or delete) your account now, just wanted to give you a heads up to prepare!” 😉 It. Just. HAPPENS. 🤪 So get prepared NOW. Stop putting all your eggs in this Instagram Easter basket and start extending your reach and audience beyond this platform. 🤳 Remember – you don’t OWN your social media. You’re just renting the space. 📦 And before you ask, “what if the whole INTERNET goes does?!?!! What about that Kahlea?!” 🧐 Well then I would just pack your bags for heaven because in that case I’ll just consider it as a sign that Jesus is coming back 😂 Don’t take action AFTER the fact. Take action NOW before it’s too late ❤️ P.S. This 💃🏽 dress is from @showpo and I just ordered it in white too 😍 #showpoambassador #showpo (📸: @faithdaniellephoto) • • • • #intentionalbusiness #girlbosstips #millenialwomen #millenialbusiness #byoboss #thisgirlmeansbusiness #shesbuildingherempire #womensupportingotherwomen #freedombasedbusiness #femaleswhohustle #shesbuildingherempire #withgracemovement #followertofan #keepsocialmediasocial #goaldiggersociety