In today’s Her Business Story here at A League of Her Own we meet Kyla Neill, the female entrepreneur and business woman behind Succeeding in Heels.
Kyla when did you found your business?
I have been working under ‘Kyla Neill Coach and Consulting’ for six years, but I wanted a name change to expand and reach more women. This happened in April 2017, with the Succeeding in Heels website to launch soon.
Kyla tell us more about Succeeding in Heels
Succeeding in Heels is a coach / consulting company that supports smart, dynamic and determined women looking to be bold with their careers to design the life they want on their terms.
Having lived abroad for the better part of the past twfenty years, I’ve found that the common thread linking women from different cultures, nationalities and religions is to find fulfilling work that they can fall in love with, and to have the freedom and flexibility they desire. That’s where I come in.
It has become my passion and mission to support women in feeling stronger and less stressed, in gaining clarity and empowerment, and in simply being happy. Success means different things to different women, and defining what it means for each individual is the key. This is what I explore with my clients.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I loved ballet and did it for around twelve years. Being close to 6ft tall, I realized that being a ballerina wasn’t going to be an option. I always knew I would work with people, as my strength is communication and helping people. Finding something which incorporates both was key. This is why previously Human Resources, and now Coaching, have been the perfect fit for me.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
The main motivation was to be my own boss and call my own shots; especially when I had first child in 2010. It was vital for me to still do what I loved, but also have the flexibility and balance that allowed me to collect my children from school or nursery. Some days it doesn’t all come together as planned, but that’s when you have to let things go a little.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
I starting consulting for various clients in 2013. It took around two months to get my first the client that I could support in Recruitment and Human Resources. Then, with that under my belt, I used it as a referral to get others.
After I obtained my coaching qualifications in 2014, I incorporated Coaching and took on individual clients from there. This aspect of my business has grown and is now the main focus.
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
Not returning to a ‘permanent’, full time role with a company. I found putting myself out there to get my clients, and simply being ‘seen’, to be quite humbling.
I was filled with emotions and scared it wouldn’t work. What if I couldn’t make this happen and no one wanted to work with me (insert ‘imposter syndrome’)?
The fear is the biggest thing to overcome. I had to program my mind in a positive way to be successful, and really discover what that means for me.
What has been your proudest moment?
It was when I got to a point where I found my control and could pick and choose who I wanted to work with. At the beginning you want to help everyone and you don’t want to say “No” to anything. Between consulting for companies and taking on private clients, my calendar was filling up. I needed to remind myself why I started the business in the first place, which was to have a flexible schedule a flow in my days rather than be completely ruled by work.
My aim is to support as many women as possible but also have time to spend with my beautiful family.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
Firstly, I have learnt that my mind and thoughts are so powerful and that I shouldn’t let fear overtake them. If I had, I wouldn’t be able to move forward with my dream of creating this business. I had to remind myself every day of my purpose and vision not only for my business, but for my life. This is what has kept me focused.
Secondly it was so easy for me to say ‘yes’ to everything. You see, I’m a recovering ‘people-pleaser’ [Symbol] . I started saying no more if I didn’t feel right, if the client wasn’t a right fit, or if my schedule didn’t allow me to take more clients on. This ended up being so powerful for me. Not only for myself in taking control over my workload and lifestyle, but clients tend to respect it. I’ve often found that this can make them want to work with you more. That’s when you start creating your waitlist [Symbol].
What does success mean to you Kyla?
Success means achieving my dream on my terms; being happy and having a happy family. Not everything is balanced 100% of the time, though. I think as women we expect this to be the case, and the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve this work/life balance sometimes ends up complicating things. Then we feel like failures.
I believe that as long as what I am doing adds value, and aligns with my values, beliefs, and what I want for my life, then I’m on the right track. I can then handle any obstacles that are thrown my way.
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
When I was first consulting I use to undercharge, or as I like to say it ‘mischarge’. I accepted a Human Resources project early on and looking at it I thought it would take me a certain amount of time. When the details were sent to me I realized it would take me double that.
So from then on I definitely asked for an outline and specifics when doing contract work, to make sure I was quoting the right amount for my time and not undercharging. Not only that but why was I undervaluing myself. The assumption I would trade dollars for hours of work I knew was not the way forward. The value that I provide should be what I base my charge rates on.
Which women inspire you?
Louise Hay, Danielle La Porte, Gloria Steinem and all the strong women who are bold, stand up for what they believe in, and work on their journey to their dream careers, on their own terms to create the life they love.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
That building a business takes time. Nothing happens overnight. I think we expect things to happen immediately and when they don’t we get disappointed and think we are doing something wrong. The fact is that it takes consistency, determination and belief that it will work. With that all in alignment it is very hard to fail.
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
To build connections from the heart. Don’t think about what you can get from someone when you connect with them. Think about what you can do for them. What value can you provide? How can you contribute and support them? This always wins in the end and builds even stronger connections.