When it comes to creating a thriving business from scratch, Kimberly Wilson sets the gold standard. Her transformation from stressed out DC 9-to-fiver to best-selling author, designer, small-business owner, and do-gooder is a blueprint for success - and she makes no secret of the keys to success: hard work and chutzpah!
I was fortunate to stumble into Kimberly's cozy yoga studio in Washington DC nearly a decade ago, and her encouragement has been critical in my own steps toward a life I am loving more and more each day.
Read on for my interview with the inimitable Ms. Wilson.
How did you know it was time to make a change?
By the time I took a leap into my New Beginning of self-employment, I was tired of living a double life and wondering how many years there were until retirement. Sigh. Working at a 9-5 job, dashing home to teach yoga, and then teaching more yoga on the weekend was taking its toll. I wanted to balance my work and play into a way that nurtured my spirit, allowed me to grow, and encouraged me to give everything I had to my students.
What gave you the confidence you needed to move forward?
I had the support of a couple encouraging confidantes plus enough classes around town to cover rent and basics, and lots of chutzpah. I also knew that I could no longer live my life the way I was (working in something other than my passion) and that it was time to take a leap. I felt it in my body.
Who/what inspires you today?
Today I am inspired by creating, challenging myself, and learning. Always learning. Currently I’m signed up for two online art classes, one 10-week writing class in NYC, two dance classes, and am hosting my own 24-day e-course. I love expanding and connecting with blog readers and podcast listeners. Traveling brings me great joy, especially if it involves France. I love spending time in my vintage RV, Miss Lillie, and designing for the TranquiliT clothing line. I’m also super duper inspired by amazing voices in the animal rights movement, especially Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary. I’m crazy about pigs.
What are you dreaming about now?
Launching an oil perfume, getting the next level of my social work licensure, celebrating my yoga studio’s 15th year, and enhancing what I currently do. Oh, and making a difference for the animals.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Never try to please everyone.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
Make self-care the first priority in your life. When I was younger I was able to work 16+-hour days, be on all the time, and still have a social life. Now I’m content curled up at home with my beau and three furry boys, spending my mornings writing, afternoons on projects or even a ballet class, and evenings teaching.
What encouragement can you offer someone who wants to make a change but is apprehensive?
You’ll know when the time is right, you’ll feel it in your core. In the interim, dabble in the waters of change. Take a course, explore a new city, conduct an informational interview. Gather the data, start slowly, and grow organically. The world is waiting for what you have to offer. And it’s big. Promise.