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by Kunti Benson September 15, 2021 8 min read

Kaylene helps people achieve their greatest, most unapologetically epic lives, coupled with the career of her dreams. She believes there needs to be more resources out there for those who want to start their own business & that’s exactly what her website www.startupcreative.com.au provides. Let's get to know this talent more deeply.

At Lahana we are all about taking risks and chasing we're most passionate about. We love that you help dreamers kick start their business ideas and build their own empires!
Can you tell us about StartUp Creative? What made you pursue your creative passion?

Thanks for the love team! StartUp Creative aims to educate, inspire and grow creative entrepreneurs to turn their passions into viable businesses. I host a podcast (StartUp Creative on iTunes & Spotify) where I share straight up business advice and interviews with inspiring entrepreneurs who have made their dreams a reality, a print magazine, I host workshops and events, offer 1:1 business coaching, online courses and trainings and more recently have just finished writing my first book ‘How to start your side hustle’ which will be published in 2021 by Hardie Grant Publishers and distributed globally.

I started StartUp Creative out of my own need for straight-up, inspiring and beautiful business advice. I knew I wanted to leave my 9-5 in the corporate world and when I went looking for advice on how to make my idea a reality I struggled to find resources, coaches, workshops and real life stories that inspired me or made it easy for me to understand and take action on. I set out to understand the world of business and threw myself into learning from online courses, workshops, books, coaches, interviews, peers and everything I could get my hands on. As I was implementing the advice and seeing the results in my own business I started teaching others and over the last five years have developed resources, finding and sharing the real and raw stories behind some of my favourite businesses and offering advice, tips and tricks for those looking to turn their passion into a business that can and will thrive if their ready to put in the work.

Your Instagram is drenched in natural minimalistic tones and a laid back yet informative aesthetic. How have you seen Instagram develop and evolve as a platform for creative people like yourself?

It’s been wild to experience the ups and downs of Instagram and a little heartbreaking to reflect on how much it’s changed since I first started. I remember the days of finding like minded entrepreneurs to learn from and collaborate with and producing content that you knew would be seen by those you were looking to help. That was back in 2014 before the algorithms, ads and bots came into play. In the beginning it was such a powerful tool to get your word out there and unfortunately it’s not as easy to do so anymore.

Whilst it can be a painful, unpredictable and at times very frustrating platform, I was lucky enough to grow my reach early and there are still a few hacks I think can work like producing quality content at people are genuinely interested in, ensuring you have re-grammable content that means your audience can share for you (our quotes are good for this) and where possible being a real and authentic voice. The platform lost a lot of trust with people buying followers and so many companies running bot accounts to get traction but if you’re showing up and offering value to your audience then they will find you and be loyal to you. As much as having a big following has helped me over the years, it’s less about the growth now and more about being someone that people know they can come to for advice and inspiration and can trust that it’s a real person running the account, so where possible I try to show my face and share my story with our community. Hot tip, don’t get too caught up in it or it will quickly dwindle your sparkle - instead focus on providing value and showing up authentically to those who need what you have to offer.

You have worked with some amazing clients including Tess Robinson, Zoe Foster Blake and so many more. What has been the proudest moment in your career?

I'm always inspired by the people I’ve been lucky enough to work with and interview. The podcast for me is a constant inspiration. At times it feels like a lot of work and I can go through stages of doubting myself and procrastinating hard but everytime I interview the founder of a brand that I love, it’s like a crash course in business and explosion of inspiration. I’m honoured to see it sit in the top 200 charts for business on iTunes most weeks, even when I do take a break. Producing five magazines was a lot of work and sleepless nights but always worth it when you get to hold the publication in your hands and see it be shipped around the world. Writing my book in four months was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done/ am still doing with the editors and I’m still in awe that it’s happening but I would say that my proudest moments have come from picking myself up on the days when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore and faced some personal and business challenges that made everything feel so hard and overwhelming. Looking back and knowing that I got through it, I found a way to re-energise, make it work and still be in business today.

 

Do you draw your creative inspiration from the outside world or do you find your best ideas are when you are scrolling through cyberspace?

My mediation practice has been one of the most powerful game changers for my business. I read Dr Joe Dispenza’s book ‘Breaking the habit of being yourself’ about 4 years ago now and have been practising his guided meditations, online courses and attended a week long retreat with him in 2019 which taught me the power of your unconscious mind, how hold a clear intention for your life and draw your wildest dreams to you from a place of ease. I start my day with a meditation and before looking online or at my phone I will ask myself ‘how can I be of service today’ and really aim to tune into what my community needs and how I can show up for them. Also being in nature and surrounded by inspiring people always brings out good ideas in me.

You have met and interviewed so many inspiring women, what advice do you give to people wanting to start their own businesses?

It’s not so much about the idea and business plan as it is about your drive, passion and determination to make it work. I truly believe that if you want it bad enough you can and will have the business and life of your dreams. I’ve seen it time and time again in the successful people I’ve met, learnt from and featured - your mindset around business, yourself and your commitment to listening to the needs of others, learning from people smarter than you and getting up everyday to do the work is what will make your business successful. You can only learn so much from the sidelines, you have to be willing to jump in the deep end and give it a good hard crack if you want any chance of making your dream a reality.

In this day and age, we all have the opportunity to reach out from the normal 9 - 5 and delve into our passion project. What advice can you give to people to dig deep and find what they love to do and turn it into a career?

Find something that you’re passionate about and are willing to give A LOT to! It might not be money or resources but your time, energy and laser focus. If you don’t have a strong enough reason to make your idea work then when it gets hard you’re likely to give up. Find yourself a coach or mentor who has gone before you, tell them your idea, get advice on how to make it a reality, then wake up every day and do one thing that will take you in the direction of your dreams. Your job is to find the idea that’s going to stick with yourself and an audience that needs what you have to offer and provide them the best possible solution to that need. It might not be the first idea or perfect solution to begin with but if you can be open to learning along the way you’ll eventually find the sticking point that will gain momentum. Once you have it, work hard, set goals and stay focused on the end goal, eventually you’ll get to look back and celebrate how far you’ve come. It won’t always be smooth sailing, in fact it will most likely be one of the hardest things you do but if you care enough and you’re willing to ride the waves, it will be one of your greatest achievements.

Do you listen to any female-led podcasts?

Brene Brown

Eventually Millionaire

Tara Brach

Amy Prorterfield

Ghost of a podcast

Super Soul Sunday with Oprah

What are your favourite small business brands?

Oh there’s so many! I’ve been meeting some inspiring women on my podcast of late, Nagnata is an incredibly inspiring brand, Loco Love, Seed & Sprout, Del Rainbow, Market Lane Coffee and have been loving art by Delta Venus on Instagram lately.

Who are your favorite success stories?

One that inspired me to start my business five years ago was my mate Brendan who started Canteen Coffee Shop on the Gold Coast. He took out a loan to open a hole in the wall coffee shop in a run down alley way that no one really remembered was there. Three years later he expanded it to a cafe next door and sold both for $1.3million. He lead the way in bringing a city vibe and quality coffee experience to the coast at the time and since opening his coffee shop, the laneway has been reactivated with about five other coffee shops and loads of foot traffic. Someone who can have a vision, take the risk and do the work to not only activate his business but an entire suburb is so inspiring to me. I'm also a big fan of athletes stories and how they are so determined and disciplined to be the best - Serena Williams is my all time favorite inspiration! She started playing tennis and visualizing winning grand slams at aged three, she won her first at aged 14 and is now 39, a mother and still one of the all time greatest players in the game.

What have you learnt during isolation?

I learnt to smoke fish on the BBQ! Haha.First lock down I had my head in books and was up writing my book at 6am most days so didn’t have much time to think about anything else. I’m thinking about getting my motorbike licence this time around. On a personal note, I’ve learnt that when you can empathise and show up to be of service to those around you, it almost always comes back 10x. I’ve been very lucky to have been so busy with supporting my business coaching clients, those who are looking to use this time to start their own business and upskilling our community to cope with the significant changes to how we do business in the world right now.

Thanks so much for sharing Kaylene, Much Love xxxx

Thanks for having me!

 

Lovers, untameher.



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