Latest posts by Kayla Ybanez
While there is no perfect time to start a business, I always knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit. I remember being 12 years old, going around the neighborhood with flyers I designed in Microsoft Paint and made copies of on my Dad’s fax machine. I’d knock on people’s doors, scared out of my mind to tell them that I offered babysitting and yard work services for a nominal fee. I even threw an extra copy into their mailbox. I was eager to make some money, and I actually did really well!
While I was a popular neighborhood babysitter through high school graduation, I took a break from my entrepreneurial pursuits until I got started in networking marketing in college. I did well, while also pursuing my degree in marketing and PR.
Like many post-grads, I got sucked into the idea of working for someone else and having minimal responsibilities outside of “show up and do my job well.” Being an entrepreneur had been hard and I wasn’t sure if I was up for it as an adult. I believed that I wasn’t good enough.
StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here
Later, I became a mom and life changed again. Then, I welcomed my second child. At this point, I was pretty far from that entrepreneurial vision I had for myself as the 12-year-old boss version of myself handing out handmade flyers.
Then, January 2018 happened. My three-year-old daughter, Theresa, was fighting for her life from a sepsis infection, wreaking havoc on her body because her immune system stopped working.
It was at that point our family embarked on a new life chapter that involved living in the hospital full-time for over 436 days while doctors searched day in and day out for a diagnosis and a cure. As a last resort, my daughter underwent a bone marrow transplant that saved her life.
During those 436 days of being in a hospital playing the waiting game with minimal answers, starting a business certainly wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. But do you know what was? An income. How the heck were we going to make money? I couldn’t work a typical 9 to 5 anymore—I needed to be at my daughter’s bedside while she fought.
I started documenting our journey from that very first night in January 2018 on Instagram. It was an outlet for me to not feel so alone in the journey of uncertainty, and also provided a way to keep friends and family informed. After a while, Theresa and her story began to get a lot of attention and my page began to grow with engagement.
I began to get DMs asking how I was doing certain things on Instagram, so I started to create content, sharing tips on how to properly use hashtags and how to create appealing visuals. From there, I started getting asked if I offered Instagram consultations or training calls.
Thus, my business was born. I started doing one-on-one Instagram consultations from my daughter’s hospital room. From there, my company grew. Since 2019, I have brought in over $300K in revenue. Best of all, I am able to work from home, expanding on my coaching and consulting services while serving as my daughter’s primary caregiver as she continues to heal.
The vision I have for the future is expanding my brand and coaching services so that my systems become a staple for online business owners and entrepreneurs who want to lead service-based businesses, putting relationships first.
If you’re thinking about starting an online business of your own, here are my tips:
- Make sure you’re so passionate about what you’re doing that you’d do it even if you weren’t getting paid to do it. If you aren’t excited about it, your audience won’t be, either.
- Where is there a gap in a market that you know you can fill with your expertise?
- Understand that in going into entrepreneurship, you will find there are a lot of people in your life who don’t understand what you’re doing and may try to talk you out of it. Keep going!
The crazy journey of starting your own business isn’t for everyone, nor is it for the weak at heart. You’re here for a reason, and when you want it badly enough, nothing will stop you from reaching your dreams.