Working for a business and running your own are two entirely different things. Being an entrepreneur means no breaks, a little sacrifice and a lot of risk. But when your business is truly your passion, none of the lows of entrepreneurship can scare you away. This is true for KSM Group and This is Her Movement founder Kyshira Moffett, MBA.
Coming from being someone who thought they’d spend the rest of their career rising the ranks of corporate America, to now being a woman running several businesses virtually alone - has definitely been a challenge for Moffett.
A growing bucket list and unlimited ambition has kept her continuing her journey of success, and she shared her story with Creative Smart Girl.
What motivated you to start your own business?
KSM Group was started in 2013, and it was originally called KSM Career consulting Inc. That was around the time I finished my MBA and a lot of the people that I went to undergrad and grad school with started to call me, and ask me for resume help, interview help and branding help. I kept getting calls because I was the friend that worked in human resources.
I worked in diversity recruiting at this time and one of my sorority sisters told me “you need to make this into a hustle, you're doing everything for free and people are going to take advantage of that.”
So I started the company doing resumes, interview prep and cover letters and personal branding from the standpoint of how to use social media to find a job. From there, entrepreneurs started reaching out to me to brand Linkedin profiles for their business, and [then it was] brand my Facebook, Twitter and help me with my website. So KSM Group career consulting was restructured into the branding services that KSM group offers now.
What was your vision for KSM Group when it all began? Has anything changed?
When I first started it was literally a side hustle. I was charging $50-70 so nothing really serious but i noticed I wasn't marketing my business, I was getting all of my customers through word of mouth.
If you asked me if I wanted to be a serious entrepreneur I would say no, my dream was to climb the corporate ladder and become a chief diversity officer. So it's absolutely changed because I’ve gotten deeper into this and I started to love interacting with clients, and women around the world. Its awakened a passion in me that I honestly didn't know I had and it’s very hard to go back at this point.
How are you able to successfully manage a full time job with all of your other projects?
It definitely takes a lot of discipline and I tell people all the time that I have productivity hacks and time management thing that I do but honestly it's about how bad do you want it to work. You have to get up early and put in work, you have to stay up late and put in work, you have to maximize your lunch hour, etc.
I was in a leadership development program in corporate America, but instead of socializing with my peers, I was in Starbucks with my laptop working. If I had downtime in the office I was reading blogs and articles that would help me better myself in my business. Also, maximizing weekends. There's an Instagram quote that says there are no weekends as an entrepreneur, and it so true.
"When you're authentic, no one else can be you and no one else can do you."
What do you think sets you apart from other bloggers and branding experts?
I love so many people but the one that sets most of us apart is authenticity. When you're authentic, no one else can be you and no one else can do you. How Nia is authentic to Creative Smart Girl is how I’m authentic to This is Her Movement. How I am with you right now is how I am in my workshops, on periscope and that's how I write my blogs. I put my personality into this because that's what makes this unique. I’m like the pink version of Forbes, similar information but it’s presented to you in a way where its easier to digest and not intimidating.
I’m also very transparent about my journey. I don't create this [idea that] everything is glamorous. [I’ve told the people on my email list] about a breakup, falling out with friends and even trying to get a mentor and having women tell me I wasn't focused and didn't have my stuff together. That's what I love about the rise of Instagram stories and Snapchat is that it allows me to be more honest in my truth.
"I’m like the pink version of Forbes, similar information but it’s presented to you in a way where its easier to digest and not intimidating."
With a background in Human resources, how did those experiences and skills translate into founding This is Her Movement?
It helped because I was working with mostly the millennial population, and new hires and I would always teach classes to new hires about branding yourself and time management from the time when I was in HR. And teaching those classes helped me understand how we learn, process information, communicate our needs and wants, public speaking, and creating engaging presentations.
HR is a business that costs money but doesn't make money and we had to justify everything, so that just taught me how to sell and everything that I’m doing has a value proposition.
How have the early stages of having a cosmetics line been? What were some challenges you had to overcome?
So It’s been about six or seven weeks now and it's been good. I thought either this is going to be great or I’m going to have a lot of Lipsticks to use for the next couple of years. One challenge I faced was figuring out to brand it as far as the packaging. Aside from the website because I had all of that down pact.
But actually labeling cosmetics products? People don't realize how hard that is or how expensive it is. Another challenge was inventory. I don't do drop shipping, so anytime you buy from Life of a Bombshell, it’s me stuffing your envelope and dropping it in the mail.
Right now I’m just trying to keep people excited about it so they can continue to sell, having a cosmetics line has always been a secret goal of mine. I love makeup.
Tell me about your new book, Bombshell of all trades.
I’m so excited I can’t believe I actually have a book. This has been on the bucket list for forever and a day. Bombshell of all Trades is basically a book for the side hustler and the solopreneur. Everyone has this false narrative that when they launch a business they’re going to have a team, but then you don't have the money to pay them and it’s hard to find free quality help, so how do you manage your brand by yourself? It’s absolutely possible.
Of course our faves who are making six and seven figures can get on social media and tell you you need a team, a manager for this and that, but where are all of these unlimited coins coming from? I wanted this to be the kind of book that was always in your bag, with your launch plans, products and all of that stuff.
The Hustle Her Way Summit is approaching soon. How has it been curating your signature event?
Hustle Her Way is Her Movement brought to life and it’s actually been easy for me to plan in terms of what I wanted it to look like, since I have event planning experience from corporate America.
So it was really about finding the right people. When I did my call for speakers, about 60 people applied but I asked for speaker reels, bios, etc because I needed the right energy, the right brand and the right content. I don't like presentations with fluff information, I don't want to leave with a notebook full of affirmations and no strategy. If you know what you want your audience to leave with, it will come together.
"I don't like presentations with fluff information, I don't want to leave with a notebook full of affirmations and no strategy. If you know what you want your audience to leave with, it will come together."
How has mentorship impacted your career? What’s your advice for someone looking for a mentor?
Getting a mentor in entrepreneurship is hard. A lot of people don't want to offer you advice for free because they’re running a service and as a brand strategist I totally get it. But at the same time I wish people weren't so closed-minded because a mentor and a coach aren't the same thing. When I ask you to mentor me, I’m not asking you to review my business plan or sales strategy.
Mentors are for helping you figure out the things you can’t find on Google. I’m more interested in hearing about your personal journey because I learn better from hearing from people who’ve been there done that and the obstacles they faced.
I don’t have a mentor in entrepreneurship, I wish I did but I am not a sob story. I am blessed with great accountability partners who are the same age as me, but are in different fields. We’re helping each other as we go along and experimenting and they’re doing for me what a mentor would do.
"Mentors are for helping you figure out the things you can’t find on Google."
What's the best and worst pieces of advice you’ve been given?
One of the best pieces of advice was given from a mentor at my first job. I was having an interpersonal conflict with one of my rotational managers who was really being rude to me for no reason. I talked with this person through it, she confirmed I wasn’t just being a brat, and she told me “Let this serve as an example for you of how not to act when you get in power.” And I carry that with me because even when I reach out to certain women or they reach out to me, who have 20 - 25 years of experience in the game, who were just rude and nasty and tried to tear me down in order to sell me an overpriced package, I tell myself that when you have more experience and coins don't treat people who are up and coming like that.
The worst advice I was given was to change Her Movement. Someone said it wasn’t inclusive to men and I wasn’t going to make as much money only working with women. A good 20% of my readers are men, they’re a quiet bunch but they exist. Again, I think its authenticity. Yes, everything on my site is pink but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality. I have male clients, I have men that reached out to me to do a blog for the site and I’ve done an all male Twitter chat. So for me, pink has not stopped any coins around here.
"Everything on my site is pink but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality. I have male clients and I’ve done an all male Twitter chat. So for me, pink has not stopped any coins around here."
What advice would you give to someone who’s serious about becoming an entrepreneur? What do you wish someone had told you about it?
You need to find a balance between learning and executing. You absolutely need to be a sponge, but some people get overwhelmed in that and they don't actually execute the things they are learning. You have to find the fine line between the two or you’ll never move forward.
One thing I wish someone had told me was the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Remember when Periscope and Facebook live launched, those were new tools. The people who were early adopters are the ones who won on those platforms. Being hesitant can cost you money and opportunities.