Someone asked me to share the Top 5 business adventures I’ve had the last 12 years! It really made me think! I don’t even know if I’ve gathered the “Top 5” adventures, but I’ve gathered some pretty cool and crazy stories to share. It’s so fun to talk about and so fun to reflect on my business!
1 – SPEAKING ON BIG STAGES
I’ve been able to speak to over 2,500 people on some big stages! The same stages and conferences as people I’ve looked up to so much. Jasmine Star, Joanna Gaines, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, etc. Big and huge educators. I was able to speak at the same conferences as these people! It’s been a cool accomplishment and adventure for me!
Years ago, I went to a conference in Las Vegas. I was afraid to leave my baby, it was on a whim, I was having a lot of guilt, but I decided to go last minute. I flew to Las Vegas, stayed 2 nights, and attended so many classes. I met Kaitlyn James, I met Jasmine Star, I attended their classes and I remember thinking: “I love these educators!” I love what they stand for, I love their style, I love how relatable they are, and one day, I want to be on the stage with them.
I am NOT a natural speaker – I get really nervous, I have to take 2 Zofran to make it through, etc. I hate it, but afterwards, I feel such a rush and such a high. It’s not in my comfort zone to speak, but for whatever reason, I wanted to. I wanted to be like these speakers at this conference I attended.
Year later, after I got some more experience under my belt, I applied to speak at United. I got rejected. The next year, I attended and applied again. Finally, on the third time applying, I was accepted and spoke at United. It was such a cool experience. I tried and failed so many times, but I finally succeeded. It was the right timing. I was a better speaker and a better educator. In that same year that I spoke at United, I also spoke at Alt Summit in Palm Springs! I spoke at a huge stage at Seint multiple times.
I’ve had a lot of really cool experiences speaking on big and little stages and met some really cool people. It was a big dream I had, and it’s not necessarily a dream I still have, but it was super awesome.
2 – KYLEE ANN SLEEPOVERS
My Kylee Ann sleepovers were created out of almost selfish intentions. I had been doing workshops and I felt like “I was the teacher, and they were the students.” I feel like this a lot in my business, and I don’t share about it a lot. Often, people come to my workshops and attend my classes, and I’m almost out of touch with the students. I feel like an outsider even though these people love me. It’s almost a one-way “me to you,” and not often reciprocated.
I started doing sleepovers because I was feeling lonely doing workshops, classes, content days, etc. I started my sleepovers in 2015. I started them in my home – I invited people to come to my home, I’d teach them everything I do in my business, they’d sleepover, and we’d hang out together. It was much more of an intimate experience because I got to actually know people rather than just “Kylee is the teacher.” They got to see ME. We became friends instead of just the teacher and the leader.
I’ve done Kylee Ann Sleepovers in my home (in Utah), in Oregon, Alaska, Arizona, and a few times at Bear Lake. I’ve loved traveling and spending time with like minded businesswomen. We’ve gone to so many places, seen so many things, and I’ve made so many friends!
3 – STOLEN PHOTOS AND THE NEWS
This one isn’t as happy, but it’s a crazy adventure. Someone stole my pictures.
Early on in my business, I got an inquiry for a birth story. She said she saw my portfolio online, but timing wasn’t great, and I wasn’t able to photograph her birth. Only 30 minutes after our email exchange, this lady messages me back. She says, “Hey, I just reached out to another photographer, and she shared your pictures with me. I think she’s stolen from you.” Weird. I messaged the other photographer and gave her total benefit of the doubt. I was curious if maybe she knew anything about it. Asked her to please stop if she was using my photos. The photographer blamed the lady saying she was harassing this photographer and her business. I felt bad, and posted it in the Facebook group. Everyone went crazy saying they recognized this girl and she was stealing my photos. She lied to me.
I gave this photographer 2 options: take the photos down and apologize to each person she had sent them to, or I would take legal action. She blocked me. I ended up writing a blog post about how it’s not okay to steal pictures and use the as their own. Stealing other people’s work is wrong, obviously. Also, birth photos are SO intimate, private and personal. I shared the blog post in the same Facebook group. Again…. PEOPLE. WENT. CRAZY!
People were ROASTING this girl. Honestly, people cared more about it than I was at that point! They shared it, called the news, got upset, etc. It went viral. I was shocked about what my followers were doing.
I got home one day, and there was a news truck in front of my neighbor’s house. One of the moms from the stolen birth photos. She had me throw on a blazer and run over to be interviewed. The unfortunately got the story not quite right.
Crazy adventure, really.
4 – SHOOTING ALL OVER THE WORLD
I have been able to shoot weddings all over the United States. It’s been so cool to have a job that takes me to all of these fun places!
Equally as cool – we are shooting brands from all over the world! We have brands from Canada, Asia, Europe, Africa, etc. It’s crazy to me that these brands are hiring this small town, Utah photographer to photograph their products. They trust us, and it honestly makes me emotional to think about! This girl with no real dreams for her business has been able to travel all over the nation taking photos, and can now shoot photos in her back yard for brands all over the world. These brands are on Target, Good Morning America, Shark Tank… they’re everywhere! What if I had big goals when I started out.
5 – ATTENDING CONFERENCES
I know I talked about speaking at conferences, but attending them has been just as incredible! I have LOVED seeing and hearing all these incredible people. All over the nation. I’ve been able to see a lot of things, meet a lot of people, and learn a lot of perspectives.
*BONUS* – PHOTOGRAPHING CHUCK NORRIS
I forgot one of the most amazing, craziest adventures of them all! In 2017, Rachel was taking me and my kids to the airport. We were flying to California to go to Disneyland and see my husband at a conference he was attending. On the way to the airport, I get a text that asks if I would be willing to photograph Chuck Norris for the day. Rachel totally thought it was a scam. It didn’t seem scammy – no one would joke about Chuck Norris. They said he’d be at Maverick in Logan in an hour and a half. “Rachel, GO!” She sped all the way back and photographed Chuck Norris for the whole day! How crazy is that?!
I have LOVED reflecting on all these adventures and experiences I’ve had. Please, share some more of these fun questions with me! I love hearing from you!
Episode 131. My Biggest Business Adventures: From Chuck Norris to Channel 5 News
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