Kayla Sloan is a virtual assistant coach and CEO and owner of both KaylaSloan.com and $10K VA. She teaches other virtual assistants how to start and scale their VA business, and guides business owners on how to scale their businesses through automation, systems, and outsourcing. She also formerly worked as a virtual assistant and project manager.

What was your childhood like? Any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

My childhood was relatively normal, although I was kind of a nerd. As a kid, I created a family newspaper. I would ask my parents and brother questions for interviews and then write up articles about it. I would print a few copies and share them with my aunts and uncles too. I guess I always wanted to be a writer.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I kind of already talked about this. My divorce was really the hardest thing in my life. I’d like to say that now, a few years later, that I’ve come out wiser and stronger than ever. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t gone through this time in my life.

What advice would you give to a younger self (20-year-old you)? Place where you were at the time, and what you were doing.

I was going through a super hard time when I was 20. I had already gotten married at 19 (Big mistake!) and was getting divorced. I was an emotional wreck and my finances were a disaster. If I could look back on that, I would counsel myself to find ways to cope with my emotions other than through shopping and spending money. I would also tell myself that because of this experience you’ll be stronger than ever!

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I mostly blog and freelance in the personal finance niche. One of the worst recommendations I hear is that people think they need to keep a balance on their credit card from month to month to build a good credit score. That is completely false and can actually hurt your credit score, as well as costing you a ton of money in interest. I wish this would stop being spread around.

What is your morning routine? 

You can read all about it here. Basically, I get up at 6:30 to work out. Then I shower and work on some household chores in the morning before starting my workday at 9. My work takes a lot of my creative energy, so at the end of the day I can’t do household chores because I’m exhausted, so I’ve started doing as much of that as I can in the mornings. I also recently started meditating for 10-15 minutes with the Calm app.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Working out. When I started working out and taking care of my physical health (I lost 45 pounds this year!), I started having more energy for my business too. I’ve gone through spurts where I’ve taken better care of myself and times when I didn’t and by far the times when I do work out and take care of myself I’m happier and more successful. When I started working out regularly again last fall, my income FINALLY crossed the 5-figure/month threshold that I’d been trying to break for months.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

I take a break. I try to go for a walk, take a nap, read for fun, or watch TV. I have to get my mind off of it temporarily.

What’s a book(s) that have influenced your life the most? Why?

A few years ago, I read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Even though I don’t 100% agree with every aspect of his system, I think it’s a great resource for people looking to get started with the basics of budgeting and financial management. It encouraged me to make changes to my finances and since then I’ve taken advice from him and others to create what works for me.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I take initiative. A lot of people get to where they feel comfortable and they just sit there. I like to go further. I know that always hustling and looking for what’s next sounds exhausting, but it’s lead me to where I am today.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

One of my favorite quotes is, “She believed she could. So she did.” I like it because it’s inspiring to me and since I really love to help women be successful, this is a quote I think of often.