Kelsey Chapman is a brand and business strategist who is passionate about equipping entrepreneurs to build their business, grow their platform and steward their influence. Adding to that, Kelsey is the is the host of The Radiant Podcast and empowers and equips women through her Radiant Retreats and The Radiant Mastermind.
It is her mission to help women to turn their dreams into profitable ventures that can allow them to live with both freedom in their finances and their time. Kelsey wholeheartedly believes dreams are worth pursuing and loves walking alongside women to bring their visions to life in a tangible way! Inevitably, we couldn’t agree more!
Can you share a typical 24 hours with us, Kelsey?
I’m learning to work from a place of rest. After years of 70 hour work weeks in the hustle and grind of making my business goals happen, I’ve learned that hard work is a must but just as vital to growth in every area of life is a balance. In the mornings, I typically take an hour drive with my pup and a Starbucks to prepare myself for my day. I might listen to a podcast, or drive in the quiet while driving mountain roads with stunning overlooks.
Then I come home and start checking off the to-dos for the day. I have certain days prioritized for calls and certain days prioritized for cranking out creative projects. Sometimes I’ll take lunch breaks with a friend at either Buffalo Wild Wings (my ultimate fav) or the best Indian place in town. My evenings vary but always consist of being with my people! My husband and I love hosting community dinners (because friend time is the best time, am I right!?) or relaxing and ending the night watching our favorite shows.
Can you talk to us about your career prior to becoming a business coach?
After graduating with the classic liberal arts degree and living in Africa for a short period of time, I realized it takes money to fund important things. So I came home to Tennessee and began working with a public figure to build their online presence. I was let go soon after they realized my personal online presence was outgrowing theirs and I found myself moving to Colorado and landing what I thought was my dream job until it wasn’t. The job market was blah and cubicle life had no appeal. I wanted the freedom to design the life I love. I wanted a way to have the time, money, and flexibility to build my dreams and run with them. And that’s when I started to build my own business.
What were the first steps you took, did you train or study any specific courses?
As crazy as it sounds, Instagram was the game changer for me. I quickly realized that without an audience, who would I serve? Although my prior jobs had absolutely helped me build an understanding of marketing and how the business world works, I found the best tools and techniques and built my online presence from the ground up and that is what drove traffic to my website. Within a year and a half, I was able to leave my day job and work on my own.
How much research did you undertake prior becoming a self-employed business coach to understand the market as best as you could?
A lot! It’s not magic, and it requires hard work, but it’s worth it. Last year was my most successful year bringing in six figures, yet most of that income was funneled right back into my business. Why? Because this is what has given me the greatest ROI in my business and personal health and success as an entrepreneur! I’m always learning and trying to grow in my own personal health as well as my business. Each year, I prioritize investing in e-courses, retreats, masterminds, being mentored, counseling, and books to stay healthy and continue to grow so that those I’m coaching get the absolute best.
Since launching, where can you identify the strengths and weaknesses?
One thing I am confident in, I am an ideas person. I can visualise just about anything and then turn around and make it happen. One of my greatest strengths is that I can visualize other people’s dreams with them and help them get there. It is truly one of my greatest joys when I have the privilege of helping someone bring their dreams to life.
As for weaknesses, where do I start?! Seriously though, I am an abstract thinker. All the ideas floating around in my head do not form a linear pattern. So I have to call in the ranks to help me create systems. Systems are something I love but have a hard time creating myself. This has been a weakness in my business, but I have compensated for this weakness by relying on the strength of others who are able to help me in this area.
How are you financing business? Is it bootstrapped, private funding ect
Like I said earlier, I have funded myself and a lot of my income goes right back into investing in my business. When I had my first six-figure year, I hardly noticed because it was all funneling back into my business, but it’s so worth it.
You also host a podcast, can you tell us more about that?
This podcast is my baby. One of my greatest passions is hearing the journeys of other solopreneurs and the way they have gotten to where they are now. The Radiant Podcast is absolutely one of my favorite things I get to do each week! Interviewing truly inspiring people and feeling encouraged and refreshed after each interview? Sign me up! My hope is that my listeners have this same experience!
Any challenging times you have had to overcome? When were they and how did you learn to overcome them?
Over the years, I’ve seen countless doors open only to later close, I’ve seen dreams evolve and relationships do the same. It’s been a big learning curve, but even with the pain, I’m realising just how much I love the freedom and creativity I get to live out each day.
Last year was one of my hardest years not only in business but also with relationships and I spent the majority of my year meeting weekly with my counselor, friend, and mentor Catherine Toon and my life is forever changed because of it. For me, a lot of overcoming these difficult times has been learning to trust God and know He’s got this and will see me through. He’s put so many incredible people in my path that have invested in me, counseled me, poured into me, and made ways for me to walk towards wholeness and freedom. Healing is also in the little day-to-day things. In the hard times, I’ve taken lots of morning drives to think and refuel, travel to help me reset and come back more motivated, friend time is true life-giving to me in difficult times, and let’s be honest, a batch of brownies always makes a girl feel better.
Also, get a puppy. Cuddles with my Goldendoodle, Marlowe has been everything. They change you, they bring you back to the basics, and they’re always happy to see you. Tell me, what’s better medicine than that?
Have you ever had to deal with any doubts of contention or lack of support from relatives or friends? If so how did you push through?
I have an incredibly supportive and amazing circle of people surrounding me and cheering me on. But yes, there have been times I have doubted myself, felt lonely or not understood and have had tension in relationships. And frustrations only push me to find solutions. God is constantly refining me and who I am surrounding myself with. You are the sum of the five people you surround yourself with and I’m learning to surround myself with those who remind me, “YOU ARE ENOUGH.” Knowing who I am and my purpose, and seeing the change and impact in the lives of women I work with, helps reel me back in, confirm what I am doing and push me through many times that I doubt or question if this is where I’m supposed to be.
Have you ever had a business coach or mentor, and if so what have you learned in business so far?
Yes! I would not be where I am today without the women in my life that have poured into me and believed in me. I’ve learned so much about being thankful for those who have invested in you, and to give back by investing in others. These women have championed me and celebrated me in my greatest successes and most difficult seasons, always reminding me of who I am and that what I carry matters. I have learned to not resent the hard things you have gone through in the past or are currently going through because they could be shaping the very thing you’re meant to carry into this world. There’s enough room for all of us to be successful in this world and I am thankful for those willing to mentor those coming up under them because they ACTUALLY believe it’s true!
When you find someone willing to invest in your dreams, hug them and never let them go!
What outlets do use to market your services?
I’m an Instagram guru and this has been a major outlet for me along with Facebook and my blog. But I’m diving into Pinterest full force this year and can’t wait to see what comes of it!
What methods are you using to build your audience and expand your network?
Authenticity all the way. I am raw and real with my audience and I do my best to show my true self to the world and share in my failures as well as my successes. I’ve found that when you’re honest, relatable to where people are at and have confidence in your story and the message you carry, that people appreciate that and will naturally link arms with you.
I hone in on my target audience and find my dream clients, then allow the brand story I’ve created to do the work for me. Authenticity is huge for me and I never use bots or purchase followers. But if you want to know all the secrets of the trade, you’ll just have to jump in on my Instabreakout E-course and learn more!
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Take the first $5000 you make and invest it in yourself.
At this point, I have invested way more than that into myself, but I am so glad that this idea was implanted into me early on. Continuing my education will always be a priority, and thanks to this advice it was foundational from day one.
We like that! Ok so now what is the best advice you could give to others?
It’s not only how we respond to the good days that make a successful entrepreneur – it’s also how we manage the hard ones.
Be someone who makes whoever you encounter feel safe to be themselves, free to dream, empowered in their destiny, and confident in their value. That’s a friend. That’s a leader. And that is who you’re designed to be for others.
What would you tell your 18 year-old-self?
It’s going to be hard, but you’re going to make it and you’re going to thrive. Prioritize rest and never stop pursuing that freedom you desire. Love yourself through the process, own your unique story, invest in yourself. It’s okay to say no, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. When you fail at times, it’s okay. Let the seasons of pain and everything in your life being shaken, push you to discover yourself because these times will be catalysts for your dream and it’s beyond anything you can imagine. Also, pack warm clothes because you’re moving to Colorado.
Are there any entrepreneurs or leaders do you admire the most and why?
The leaders I admire make people feel safe to be themselves, free to dream, empowered in their destiny, and confident in their value. The people I admire the most are those that level the playing field. A true mentor calls you up to their level versus treating you as if you’re forever a few steps behind them.
Some incredible mentors of mine in the business space have been Anne Samoilov, Catherine Toon, Amber McCue, and Kate Crocco. Each of these women generously invests in their time in women, never withholding information that has propelled them to greatness. I am so thankful for women who freely give what they have received.
What YouTube or online space channels are you watching currently?
I am la-la-loving my friend Alexis Giostra as Miss Trenchcoat. She is a productivity guru and keeps me on my A-game.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Girl, Wash Your Face, I couldn’t put it down! Rachel Hollis is THE woman and totally speaks my language. I’m a sucker for personal development books and this book has been making its rounds in the female entrepreneur world (let’s be honest, with women all over) and for good reason! Working in the digital sphere, it can be tempting to see blemishes in yourself where there are none, believe you’re not deserving of the abundance and success you seem to be seeing in everyone else around you, and let the opinions of others stain your view of yourself. Rachel puts truth back in its place, crushing lies and doubt and encouraging women to go after their dreams. She helps reignite the confident women inside that has no fear to go against the grain of society and be everything she’s called to be.
What does success look like in your eyes?
To me, success is freedom in my finances and in my time. It’s healthy and thriving relationships. It’s believing in myself and that God created me for greatness. It’s looking around me at the other women in my life and cheering them on in making their dreams a reality. It’s stepping into obedience even if it’s not the popular path. You better believe I have a dream bigger than myself stirring inside of me. But I also want to thrive and run this race with excellence, staying healthy doing it.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Yes, Yes, Yes! I hit hard on this when I am coaching women in business. One of my greatest joys is to see women look at each other, to see their ‘competition’ and say, “You Go Girl!” because they’re so confident in the unique voice that they carry that the world needs to hear and so are able to be genuine in their joy and belief in others for the same! We all carry a message inside of us that we were created to share with others. It’s easy to look around and conform to those we look up to or even cower down from fear that there’s no room for us. The world is big enough for all of us and no one can do what you were made to do like you can! When we stop trying to be like those we see on Instagram and hone in and embrace the uniqueness we each carry, that is when we truly thrive in what we’re called to do and will change the world.
Kelsey, what is next for you throughout 2018?
So many things! I’m an enneagram number 7, always looking forward to my next big dream. Last year was my year of rest and it was one of the most caring things I’ve done for myself in a long time and it made room to dive into 2018 with full force and make this my year of FUN!
Let me tell you, I have several exciting projects stirring in my heart that I can’t wait to share soon (hint, hint: it may be a book about mentorship). I’m traveling a lot this year and I recently announced my Radiant Mastermind launching this Summer! I can’t wait to come along some amazing entrepreneurial women for six full months.