With her bright blue hair and punk rock style, Kimra Luna is probably the last person you’d expect to have become a millionaire, or to be profiled in The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Yahoo! or Forbes.com.
In a modern day “rags to riches” story, 30-year-old mother-of-three Kimra went from growing up on welfare to becoming a highly-sought after personal branding and social media expert - earning over a million dollars in her first 18 months in business. She now leads a community of over 90,000 entrepreneurs.
Since starting her business in May 2014, she has been interviewed by some of the biggest names in the online business world including Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn and Lewis Howes. She speaks on topics such as social media marketing, personal branding, and how to create customers and clients that are raving fans. KimraLuna.com
We're so excited to have you as our cover star, Kimra!
What is your purpose here on this wonderful Earth?
To help people achieve freedom by starting their own online businesses. Essentially, I teach people how to take responsibility for creating their own success.
For me, freedom starts with helping people recognize and embrace their strengths at a core level. We live in a society where people have been used to waiting for other people to give them permission to do the things they want to do. For instance, for people to promote them to higher positions or agree to increase their annual salaries.
I’m here to show people that they don’t need to follow those rules. They don’t need to wait and they sure as hell don’t need to sign contracts that put a cap on their annual earnings.
How did you come to be where you are right now?
The short answer is I had a super-rough upbringing, and that lit a fire under my ass to make a different life for myself.
I grew up on welfare and so at school I was always “the poor kid”. I remember telling my careers counsellor at school that I wanted to be an astronaut and was basically being told “people like you don’t become astronauts.”
In that moment I was stunned. It wasn’t “Well, you’d have to work really hard and only the top 0.01% of scientists ever become astronauts.” It was a very definite jibe at my status. From that point on I pushed for whatever I wanted because I knew nobody was ever going to just hand me opportunities because of who I was.
What does your current business model look like?
I have my signature program Be True, Brand You for new and aspiring online business owners that opens for enrollment once a year. All the content is pre-recorded and students can dive right into whichever lesson they need depending upon what stage of business they’re at, or follow along as I guide them through the lessons for a 16-week period.
I have a brand new website that’s about to launch with a range of smaller, highly-actionable mini-courses. Whenever I teach anyone anything, I want the content to be as easy to consume as possible. People need to be able to dive right in and get results almost immediately.
Aside from my own courses, I also make affiliate income from a handful of programs I’ve taken, as well as for software products that I know and love.
You’ve said your early success can be credited to voraciously studying online business. Can you share the most important things you learned in that time that have helped with your journey?
The most important piece of advice I would give to anyone is to be an A+ student. If you’re going to enroll in an online program, do every single thing that the course creator tells you to do. Sure, some will work for you and some of it won't. But do it all anyway because it’s the only way to work out what will work best for you.
The same goes for free content. There is so much awesome free advice and information online and this is what I studied when I first started to learn about online marketing because I had literally no money to spend on courses or programs. Don’t be a passive consumer. If you listen to a podcast that teaches a great strategy step-by-step, go implement that strategy. After all, implementation is the only real way to get value from free content.
You've had some amazing business and financial successes. What mindset shifts have you had to go through to level up in your business?
Oh my god, there have been hundreds. Like I said, I had a less than stellar upbringing and I decided early on that I would not allow my upbringing to dictate the direction the rest of my life would go in.
The reality is, mindset shifts happen every day. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to keep mentally clear. To be successful online you really need to have grit, tenacity and focus and an incredible belief in yourself and your own abilities. If you don't believe in yourself there’s just no way you can be successful. Deep down I’ve always known that the universe has my back and that makes it far easier for me to put myself out there and just do the things I want to do.
I'd love to ask you about your mentors and peers. How has this helped you, and what would you suggest to people looking for something like this themselves?
Most of my mentors were people I followed for years before reaching out to them to make personal connections. People like James Wedmore, Pat Flynn and Derek Halpern whose free content I devoured and implemented. Once I started getting results from their strategies I reached out and started to engage with them and now they’re all personal friends.
When my business hit the million dollar mark I decided it was time to hire a business coach to help me put some structure and systems in place. I also wanted to learn how to be a better leader as I grew my team. I’ve been working with Todd Herman for over a year now and I’m also part of his mastermind. Having a community of high-performing leaders around me is really important - I’m definitely someone who needs to talk ideas out in order to move forward.
Talk us through what a typical day (or week!) in your world might look like:
I typically wake up between 8am - 9am depending on what kind of night the baby has had. The first thing I do is check in with my team, either on calls or via Slack to see what progress is being made on projects. Then I might be interviewed for a podcast or be interviewing someone for my new YouTube channel, the #StellarLeaderShow.
I hang out with my kids in the morning too. We eat breakfast, play games and read books before our nanny arrives. I often then head out to lunch meetings or get my butt behind my desk to create content.
The entire day is one big back and forth between work and being a mom and I kind of like that because my kids get to see me working and get a taste of what it means to be an entrepreneur. My office is in my apartment so the nanny will bring baby Sirius in whenever he needs to nurse - it’s crazy the number of webinars that I’ve delivered while nursing at the same time!
Down time, and work/life balance. How do you make it work?
I hire people to help me! When I first started out it was all me. My husband Seth was out of the house 10 hours a day at work and I was making it all happen in the time I had. As my business grew I slowly added more people to my team. Now I have a copywriter, 2 designers, 3 VAs, a project manager, a nanny who also helps around the home and I often get my meals sent in by a fantastic vegan chef. My husband also works behind the scenes in my business too, taking care of the finances.
Despite the amount of help I have the days don’t always feel balanced -- far from it. I’m no different to anyone else. There are days when I have the best of intentions to plow through my to-do list and practically nothing gets done because the baby is crabby, unexpected stuff comes up or life just gets in the way. I don’t see any point in freaking out - I just do it the next day.
What has been your most rewarding project to date, and why?
Without a doubt, it’s seeing the results that the students are getting after going through my program Be True, Brand You. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to watch as students’ confidence grows and one by one, they start achieving these massive breakthroughs, not just in business but in life too. I’ve had students quit career paths, call time on unhealthy relationships, move across the world and follow their dreams of living location-independent lifestyles. They’re people of all ages too, from early twenties to late sixties.
What three key lessons have you learnt in your entrepreneurial path, which continue to carry you forward?
1. Patience. This is something I think I’ll always be working on. I have so many ideas that I have to constantly remind myself to be patient and not think three projects ahead. Sometimes I wish I found it easier to slow down just a little bit and let ideas run their course.
2. It's not about my results - it’s about the results that others are getting around me. This is something I think every service-based entrepreneur needs to realize as quickly as possible when they start out in business. You can have a badass website, amazing graphics and shit hot copy, but if nobody is getting results after buying your products or programs you’re toast.
3. That freedom doesn’t have a universal meaning. Freedom means so many different things to so many people and I see part of my role as a leader as helping people to figure out their own definition. For that reason I choose not to market one particular lifestyle. You won’t find pictures of me sipping Mai Tais on the beach while typing on my laptop. MacBooks hate sand anyway!
What doubts or fears have you had to face during your entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve had momentary setbacks when I’ve wanted to make something happen quicker than it seemed possible and in those situations I’ve tended to hire people to help me. Getting to the million dollar mark and realizing I didn’t really have a team, any systems, any structure or processes was daunting once it occurred to me to think about it. But then I hired Todd and we got straight to work to do something about it. Whenever a challenge crops up I try to hit it head on.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Focus on what you’re good at and play to those strengths. Don’t care what others think about your new business venture - fear and self-doubt will kill your dreams dead every time. Always, always do things that you are emotionally invested in and love.
Please tell us your favourite:
Book: The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Early morning activity: Umm...checking my Facebook groups!
Late night activity: Checking my Facebook groups! Kidding. I’m a big late night journaller.
Gourmet snack: Sea’s Gift Sweet N’Salty Roasted Seaweed - it’s awesome!