Kaleigh Wiese is one of those people I could talk to for hours and never run out of things to say, and our conversation on the podcast is no exception. She is an Austin, Texas-based endless creator, visual branding educator, entrepreneur, and public speaker.
Kaleigh has one of the most unique upbringings of anyone I know because she was homeschooled and went to college at 15… yes, 15! This early start has impacted her outlook on life and business in profound ways. She always knew that entrepreneurship was her calling and she has worked her entire career helping creatives find their visual voice.
Today she opens up about where she is in business and some of the growing pains she is experiencing as she works to scale to the next level. We also discuss how the pandemic gave her a new sense of freedom in identifying what fulfills her and how to protect her energy while still pouring into and serving others, and how she has come to redefine success on her own terms.
Kaleigh talks about the vast growth she has been experiencing recently in her business and we peek behind the curtain at what some of those growing pains have been like. Things get more complicated as you scale, and investing to help your business grow to the next level means that other areas take a hit. (Like pausing your own paycheck for a little while). It can be so isolating as a solopreneur when you feel like you are navigating everything on your own, and it was so refreshing to hear Kaleigh open up about what this time in her business and life is really like.
“It’s okay to have conversations about what is not going right. Having a business is hard, being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s really not that glamorous.”
Lessons From the Pandemic
The pandemic was a wake-up call for so many of us, and Kaleigh and I talk about how this turbulent time changed things within our personal lives and businesses. For Kaleigh, it really helped her identify the parts of her business that were serving her and fulfilling her, and most importantly, the parts that were not. This revelation helped her release some of her people-pleasing tendencies and learn to unapologetically take ownership over what her life looks like.
This meant cutting down on some of her services and offerings. When she started saying no to people or things in her business, she had to catch herself from focusing on what the person on the receiving end’s reaction would be, and instead focus on her own needs.
“I’ve become very empowered in saying no when it serves me. I’m constantly pouring from my cup into other people’s cups. But how can I make sure that I am filling my cup? Because it’s not sustainable to give, give, give. Saying no gives other people the freedom to say no in their own life, it’s contagious.”
Post-pandemic we are all relearning how to integrate back into society and “business as usual”, but without the hustle culture. Kaleigh talked about finding her new normal and sticking to the things that ground her. Sometimes that looks like intentional time blocks in her calendar for fresh air or silence instead of before doing back-to-back calls the way she used to. It’s all about setting expectations for yourself and realizing the things that you need to do to recharge, so that you can then show up for other people in the way that you want to.
A theme that came up throughout my entire conversation with Kaleigh was the idea of success. She explained how she is beginning to think of success less as a big picture and more as a micro picture. She believes success can look different in different chapters of life. We can look back at previous chapters in our life and the joy they brought us, while also realizing that those chapters needed to come to an end to make way for the current chapter we are in.
“I’m focusing on what success looks like for me right now and giving myself the grace and freedom to change my mind about a future chapter where other things may take priority.”
She goes on to say that things happen to us that are out of our control that can alter the goals we set for ourselves. There are bookends and new beginnings, and you can choose to celebrate the beauty of where you are at. We can choose beauty over pain, and just because something is painful, it doesn’t mean it’s a failure.
More from Kaleigh Wiese
Kaleigh and I could have talked for several more hours on all things life and business, and I will certainly be having more RAW honest conversations with her on the podcast in the future. Tune into the full episode on Apple podcasts and Spotify, and be sure to connect with Kaleigh on Instagram @gokaleigh or visit her website www.kaleighwiese.com to learn more about this powerhouse leader.