When I asked Kyla what she was up to today, she told me she was going shopping for rocks.
That doesn’t sound too thrilling – but when you realize the rocks are for the pool she’s always fantasized about having that’s being built in the backyard of her dream home, it’s a different story.
On The Brink
Just 4 short years ago, Kyla remembers herself as a very different person living a very different life.
A hairdresser of 17 years by trade, Kyla was working multiple jobs just to barely stay afloat. She would be in the salon during the day, and supplemented that with teaching painting classes in the evening (she’s a woman of many talents). She was also working for a direct sales company she’d been with for 2 years.
It wasn’t enough though.
In the summer of 2014 she received a letter stating that her home was about to go into foreclosure.
With their debt spiralling out of control and at risk of losing their home, Kyla was in a dark place.
“I was in a bad state of depression. I would come home from work and just lay down in the dark” Kyla told me.
Just a couple of days before receiving that foreclosure notice, a good friend of Kyla’s, Jewely Stephens, had contacted her about a new opportunity. Kyla had turned it down initially, but two days later she reconsidered.
The opportunity was with a new direct sales company named Monat. The company hadn’t even launched in the U.S yet. It was a gamble, but Kyla felt she had nothing to lose.
Monat is a direct sales company that produces an all-natural line of hair care products. Being a hairdresser, Kyla thought this could be a great fit for her.
She knew she had to jump into action. She called everyone she knew to tell them about the product and the opportunity. Of the first 10 people she called, everyone she spoke to told her no.
But she didn’t let that deter her. She called all those people again. And again.
She started to get some positive responses. By the end of day 5 she had 15 people on board.
By the time Monat officially launched in October of 2014, Kyla was doing well and it was getting noticed. She was called by Monat Corporate to join them in Miami for the official launch event. Something big was happening.
As she started to have success with Monat, Kyla was able to cut back her other jobs. In the first month she had to say goodbye to her other direct sales job. In the second month she ended the painting classes.
Fast-forward four years, and Kyla now has the title of Senior Executive Director at Monat. As does her good friend Jewely, who also happens to be the top income earner within the company.
Saying Goodbye To Hairdressing
Ironically, through introducing people to Monat line of hair care products, Kyla began meeting more people who wanted to become hairdressing clients of hers. While Monat was becoming more of a passion for her (she was running events almost every night), she was becoming overwhelmed with an ever-growing book of business at her salon.
Soon she was having to turn hairdressing clients down.
It was just about a year ago, in the June of 2017, that she finally gave up hairdressing completely – a decision that didn’t come quickly or easily.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, it was so hard to let that go” remembers Kyla. “The minute I did, big doors opened. It was like God was saying ‘See I told you!’ – he was waiting for me to make that decision. My faith is everything to me, recognizing that I need to listen to what he has planned for me. I didn’t listen for a year and it seemed like things were difficult, and as soon as I listened – boom! – doors started opening.”
The Power Of Words
Aside from her faith, Kyla firmly believes in the power of words. She tells a story about taking some samples over to a friend’s house over three years ago. As she walked through the doorway, her jaw dropped as she looked around her friend’s beautiful home. “I want a house like this one day” she said out loud.
Kyla feels that when she sent those words out into the universe, she was making a claim. And guess what? Kyla and her husband bought this very home just a couple of months ago. Hence the rock-buying for a new pool that’s being built in their backyard.
“Whenever we come back home from being out, we drive super slow just so we can take a good look at our home. We love it so much. I always dreamed of having a pool, and what it would be like – and it’s being built right now!”
Inspiring Through Leadership
Along with her success at Monat came the responsibility of leading a team of people. I can tell that this is something that Kyla takes seriously and thinks about a lot.
“One of the biggest parts of my leadership style is my transparency: I’m not ever going to tell people just anything to keep them happy. I tell people about the struggles I have. If you’re real with people, you can inspire and empower them to be the best they can be.”
Like any leadership role, there are times when there are disagreements and difficult conversations to be had.
Kyla’s philosophy is to be honest but always approach a situation with positivity. “I love people wherever they are at, and if they’re not ready to move forward, I love them through it. I always try to leave relationships open and let people know I’m there for them when they need me. I’ve had people leave and then come back to me because of that.”
Kyla explained that at times she still feels overwhelmed by where she’s at professionally and the responsibility she has a leader.
In order to keep progressing with her own personal development, she does a lot of reading and listening to Audible books. This allows her to keep learning and continue to find motivation and inspiration. I asked Kyla for her top recommendations, and here are her favorite 4:
- The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson (The Ultimate Guide For Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom)
- Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt (The No B.S. Blueprint to Building A Life-Changing Business)
- The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon that taught Kyla a lot about positive mindset (10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy) and
- Jump by Steve Harvey (Take The Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance.)
[Interestingly, Steve Harvey’s Jump speech was also mentioned by my good friend Melissa who made the leap to become a fashion consultant, leaving behind her career as a pharmacist. You can read her story here.]
Having a positive mindset is key to both Kyla’s leadership style, as well as how she deals with the inevitable challenges that she is faced with.
“Some people fly off the handle in difficult situations, but I’ve learned not to. When bad things start to happen I don’t react, I will sit and think ‘why is this happening?’ There has to be a reason, and I’m going to learn from it and keep moving forward.”
Managing Time Management
Kyla admits that time management has sometimes been a struggle for her in this new life and career.
However she’s working to become more efficient through delegation. By building a team around her she can hand off any of the functions that take time away from the activities that she’s skilled at.
That’s included hiring a CPA to help manage the financial side, a social media specialist and an SEO company who she’s working with on building her own website.
She’s also just started using SetMore.com, an online appointment scheduling tool that allows her to block out her time for meetings. This allows her team members to easily book time with her without all the back and forth that usually happens.
Without a doubt though, the biggest change that has happened most recently is that her husband was able to retire from his job. He’ll be working alongside Kyla running her Monat business and adding a focus to some of the men’s products that are available.
Oh, and he also gets to help Kyla out with the day to day jobs like picking up the kids from school and doing the grocery shopping. Those things don’t go away even when you’re successful in business!
What Does The Future Hold?
Kyla has learned a great deal through her own journey with Monat, and now she has a passion and a vision for helping others learn from her experience.
While she herself acknowledges that the idea of direct sales used to make her turn on her heel and run the other way, she now has a completely different outlook. “Some of the best products are available by direct sales these days, so whenever I can buy from a direct sales company, I do.”
With that in mind, she wants to help others succeed through direct sales, and achieve financial freedom like she has. In the next few years she hopes to inspire others through her website, aloveforhair.com and through speaking at public events.
“I would love to be somebody who empowers women to be better versions of themselves. I want people to know I’ve been where they are, and through hard work and overcoming their fears they can do it, just like I did.”
Not only that, she looks forward to the opportunity to give back to others. Like many of us, she has seen friends and family go through the trauma of battling cancer. She speaks about a cancer treatment facility, in her native Oklahoma, that people visit from all over the world for treatment. She has a dream of providing houses for those visiting for treatment who need somewhere to stay, something that can be incredibly expensive for patients otherwise.
Advice For Others
I finished up by asking Kyla what advice she would give to someone who is facing a new opportunity, who perhaps is in the same boat she was in 4 years ago. She didn’t hesitate.
“Don’t even think about the ‘what ifs’: what if I fail, what if this doesn’t work out. That is coming from a bad place and that is keeping you from doing something good.”
“Just go for it, whatever you feel like you want to do – just don’t look back.”
While Kyla is obviously overjoyed to be living in her dream home, it’s clear that it’s the time freedom she now has that means so much to her. “As a hairdresser I didn’t get paid vacation leave. If my kids are sick I didn’t get paid to take of them. I knew there had to be a better way.”
So after picking out rocks, she and her husband Shawn are going to take their kids out for lunch – because they can! And that’s priceless.