The $3 comeback with VA queen bee Kayla Sloan

Kayla sloan instagram white border.png

After an early divorce set Kayla Sloan on an emotional spending binge and into debt, she discovered she could help herself, by working behind the scenes helping a growing market of entrepreneurs- and then becoming one herself.  

In Kayla’s money story you will learn:

-How her marriage, at age 19, had on her financial behavior

-The way Kayla’s desire to spend, contrasted with her husband’s push to save money, and the conflicts that resulted from those differences. 

-Kayla’s emotional spending after the marriage ended after less than a year

-How Kayla managed the cash flow challenges once she was divorced

-The moment she realized she had hit rock bottom, with $10,000 in credit card debt and just $3 in her banking account

-How her total debt moved into six figures by age 21

-The solution she found, that has morphed into a successful entrepreneurial venture

-What virtual assistants do, and how entrepreneurs can tap into that resource

In Kayla’s lesson you will learn:

-How simply filling up her time with an exciting new venture was enough of a distraction to stop the emotional spending

-How Kayla came up with specific ideas for slashing her debt, and what were the most effective techniques

-Why Kayla also prioritized increasing her income, so she would still be able to enjoy responsible spending

In Kayla’s money tip you will learn:

-Why you should not save your fancy stuff (if you have it) for special occasions

-How she made the most of all the fancy wedding presents she did not use during her marriage, including appliances

-How to avoid buying new things, when you already have things in your home that can get the job done, even if they are not what is conventionally expected

-How to tell if you need a virtual assistant, and how to get yourself ready to onboard a VA. 

In My Take you will learn:

-How to learn the value of your time, and decide if you should outsource aspects of your business

-Where to get fancy stuff to use if you did not get it as a gift for a wedding or special occassion like Kayla

Episode links:

kaylasloan.com

Twitter @kaylarsloan

Instagram @kaylarsloan

Facebook @krsloan

Kayla's course on How to be a Virtual Assistant and Make $10k a Month

You can buy vintage dinnerware, crystal, silver and other collectables at places like Replacements.com, Chairish.com and even TheRealReal.com

  

 
After an early divorce set Kayla Sloan on an emotional spending binge and into debt, she discovered she could help herself, by working behind the scenes helping a growing market of entrepreneurs- and then becoming one herself. In this Financial Grownup podcast episode you'll learn how you can tell when you need a virtual assistant. #Entrepreneur #VirtualAssistant #Debt

After an early divorce set Kayla Sloan on an emotional spending binge and into debt, she discovered she could help herself, by working behind the scenes helping a growing market of entrepreneurs- and then becoming one herself. In this Financial Grownup podcast episode you'll learn how you can tell when you need a virtual assistant. #Entrepreneur #VirtualAssistant #Debt

 

Transcription

Announcer:
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Kayla Sloan:
I went into total rebellion mode. I adopted a pet kitten. I went to the mall during every spare moment I had when I wasn't working or in class, and racked up about $10,000 in credit card debt and had only about $3 in my bank account.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner Bobbi Rebell, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup. And you know what? Being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money. But it's okay. We're going to get there together. I'm going to bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
What to know more about how those super successful entrepreneurs pull off their busy schedules? Well, there's usually someone called a virtual assistant behind the scenes keeping everything going. Stay tuned to learn more about how our guest tapped into that need to pull herself out of an emotional spending cycle.

Bobbi Rebell:
First, a couple of announcements. We are having a little competition here. It is about the video promos that you see on social media letting everyone know about the episodes. We've gotten amazing feedback about them and people asking how can they get one. So if you want one for your business or just for yourself, share them, retweet them, repost them between now and July 1st. Whoever does it the most, we will declare you the winner and we will make you a promo for your business or just for you.

Bobbi Rebell:
Also, we want to welcome the new listeners here and thank returning listeners. So glad you are joining us. We keep the podcast short, usually around 15 minutes. The idea is that we're all really busy and sometimes we only have little bursts where we can listen to a podcast, maybe we're running a quick errand, so we want to make it easy for you. And then, of course, if you have more time -- if you commute or you're running around town and want to listen to podcasts while you're doing other things throughout the day -- you can binge listen to three, four, five episodes for an hour or so and enjoy it that way. So whatever works for you, we're all about being flexible and fitting into your lifestyle.

Bobbi Rebell:
Now to our fantastic guest. She is tapping into a growing market need, entrepreneurs who need just the right amount of help but without the commitment of hiring someone -- usually in-person, full-time, where they have to get office space for and so on -- because the growing class of often solo entrepreneurs just need a little help sometimes for a project, sometimes a little longer. Kayla Sloan discovered she had a unique talent for tapping into this demand when she found herself with just $3 in her bank account and growing pile of debt, and needed to find a way out. Here is Kayla Sloan. Hey, Kayla Sloan. You're a Financial Grownup. Welcome to the podcast.

Kayla Sloan:
Thanks for having me.

Bobbi Rebell:
I am excited to have you on because you have tapped into a niche that is so cool in this ever-emerging gig economy because you help entrepreneurs.

Kayla Sloan:
Yes, I am a consultant in the virtual assistant space, and not only do I train people who want to become virtual assistants, but I also work with business owners who are in need of a virtual assistant. So I help them identify what they can outsource so they can up-level their businesses and find a great virtual assistant that can help them get there.

Bobbi Rebell:
Genius. All right, so let's talk about your money story. Sadly, it is something so many of us can relate to, and that is going through things like a divorce, broken relationships, and the financial impact that they can have. In your case, you had $3 in the bank. You basically started emotionally shopping, but that was in reaction to what was going on in the marriage. Tell us more.

Kayla Sloan:
So this story really started when I was about 19-years old. I got married very young and went off to college. I was attending school and he was working, so I wasn't really earning very much money at that time. I had a student internship that paid about $10 an hour is all. And so since he was earning the majority of the money, it really felt like I needed to ask permission whenever I wanted to spend money on anything. Since he was a saver and I was a spender, there was always a lot of conflict around money in our relationship. At the time, I really felt as if I couldn't purchase anything without asking permission, which is never a fun feeling, especially if you are a spender. So fast forward a few months and we actually ended up getting divorced.

Bobbi Rebell:
The marriage was less than a year, right?

Kayla Sloan:
Yes, just under a year. And we had no kids or property to split up, thank goodness, because that would have made it much more difficult I'm sure. I've talked to a lot of friends who've been in that situation. Anyway, we split up and luckily I was able to take the assets with me that I had brought into the marriage; it's just my vehicle, household belongings, things like that. And even my retirement account was intact.

Bobbi Rebell:
So this is interesting. So you were actually in okay financial shape when the marriage actually split up.

Kayla Sloan:
Yes. I really didn't end up that bad off. I was kind of struggling to pay the bills with an immediate cashflow because of only working part-time and suddenly having to pay the rent by myself.

Bobbi Rebell:
But then the trouble came with this emotional shopping, which was really ... This is interesting. It was reactive to the fact that he was so controlling with your finances during the marriage, so then you went the other way.

Kayla Sloan:
Yes, I went the absolute other way. I went into total rebellion mode. I adopted a pet kitten. I went to the mall during every spare moment I had when I wasn't working or in class, and racked up about $10,000 in credit card debt and had only about $3 in my bank account.

Bobbi Rebell:
Oh, my goodness. And of course, then comes graduation time and there's even more debt, correct?

Kayla Sloan:
Yes. Graduation brings on more debt for most people. As you and I both know, student loans are a huge problem. I was lucky in only having about $8,000 of student loans when I graduated, making a total of $18,000. But then I turned right around at age 21, right after graduating, and bought a house for $120,000, so I really was feeling that financial pinch after I graduated.

Bobbi Rebell:
So total debt ... I'm trying to do the math here. $140,000?

Kayla Sloan:
Yeah, pretty close. Pretty close.

Bobbi Rebell:
At age 21, with income of about 10 bucks an hour still?

Kayla Sloan:
At that time, I did land a full-time job after graduation, so my take home salary was probably about $25,000 plus benefits.

Bobbi Rebell:
What I like about this story is that you turned things around basically by starting to think like an entrepreneur. So tell us, fill us in on the rest of what happened.

Kayla Sloan:
Yeah. So I started looking for ways to earn extra income and stumbled upon the world of freelance writing and virtual assistant work. And virtual assistants are basically people who work behind the scenes and help entrepreneurs grow and maintain their businesses. And so I started doing this because I love organizing things and helping people create systems, and really working through some of those problems that entrepreneurs typically struggle with. And after doing it on the side for about 12 months, I was earning the same amount from my part-time business as I was making at my full-time job. So I actually quit my job.

Bobbi Rebell:
Love that. And now you are growing that into a full-blown consulting firm, which is amazing and something that so many entrepreneurs really need these days.

Kayla Sloan:
Yes. I am so excited about this. So I started training people who wanted to be virtual assistants, but then I realized there was a need on the other side for connecting entrepreneurs with those virtual assistants. I find that a lot of business owners struggle with finding someone they can trust, someone who's already trained and knows how to step in and get to work, and so that's where I try to fill that void.

Bobbi Rebell:
Let's talk about what the lesson is for our listeners from this story because you basically were able to stop the emotional spending and then turn that into your motivation to start your own business and basically control your income flow. So what is the lesson for our listeners? And especially, how do you stop that emotional shopping?

Kayla Sloan:
Oh my gosh, stopping the emotional shopping can be so, so hard. But for me it was really about finding something else to fill up my free time, which ended up being my business.

Bobbi Rebell:
So it all came together. So for listeners, what can they do? After shopping, shopping, shopping, how do you come up with something? Do you have a technique? Is it just surfing the internet? What was it that got you this idea?

Kayla Sloan:
Yeah. My first ideas did come from surfing the internet. I did some of those classic things like cutting up the credit cards and putting the rest on ice and all of those kinds of things. And they sound crazy, but they work.

Bobbi Rebell:
So you did those things, and then you just decided that you had to up your income?

Kayla Sloan:
You know, you can only be so frugal. There's only so many things you can cut from your budget, especially if you start to feel deprived. And as a spender, I liked to spend money. I liked my lifestyle, so I decided that I also had to find a way to increase my income because I didn't want to cut anything else from my budget.

Bobbi Rebell:
So your money tip has to do actually with kind of a splurge with things that you already have, which actually is very relatable for many people who get divorced and have a lot of wedding presents that maybe are still unopened, not that I would know anything about that kind of thing. But a lot of times, we get fancy stuff for our weddings or graduations or all kinds of special occasions, and then it just sits there because there's never an occasion that's good enough for this stuff.

Kayla Sloan:
Exactly. That's exactly what I found was, I was going through my divorce, I had all these beautiful that I had received for my wedding, and since I was super broke I didn't have any money to spend. So my tip and the way I that I decided to treat myself, rather than spending is that I started using things I already had. So instead of saving my nice dishes that I got for my wedding and using cheap ones every day, I decided I was going to just use the pretty ones. They make me feel happy.

Bobbi Rebell:
And why not? We're all so busy saving for these magical events that are going to happen, and then we don't ever use all this stuff that we have.

Kayla Sloan:
Exactly. And it just sits there and collects dust, and there's no point in that.

Bobbi Rebell:
So what are some other examples of things that you used that people can relate to?

Kayla Sloan:
I said my nice dishes, and then I also used all of those kitchen appliances that never get brought out. And I decided I was going to make some of my favorite meals instead of saving them for a special occasion or saving them when I had guests over and things like that. I'm a big foodie, so those are probably two of the biggest things for me.

Bobbi Rebell:
Let me ask you just quickly, how do people know if they need a virtual assistant? Because I think that's something that confuses people, is where is the tipping point where you're at the point where you need somebody, and are there certain things to look for?

Kayla Sloan:
Yes. So the first sign that you need a virtual assistant is that things start slipping through the cracks. If you find yourself as an entrepreneur or business owner with more things to do than time to do them, then you definitely need to bring someone on. For entrepreneurs, it can be difficult because you don't want to bring someone on and get stuck paying them if you have busy seasons and slow seasons, so a virtual assistant can really help fill that void because you can kind of pay as you go; pay for a certain number of hours per month, and then if you have extra work, you can buy some more. So it's a lot easier than hiring an employee for a set number of hours no matter what.

Bobbi Rebell:
And what are some specific things that people can outsource to a VA?

Kayla Sloan:
A lot of people start with social media because they find that social media is something that takes up a lot of their time and can easily be outsourced to a virtual assistant. I know a lot of other things are blog post research; sometimes they'll bring on someone to do outlines and things like that. And then also a lot of people who have podcasts use virtual assistants, hint hint.

Bobbi Rebell:
For what kinds of things?

Kayla Sloan:
They will help with show note creation, transcription. They can help with, again, social media when it comes to your podcast as well, so a lot of different things.

Bobbi Rebell:
And what do VAs typically run? What's the range that people would expect to pay?

Kayla Sloan:
For a U.S.-based virtual assistant -- which I think is important to make that clarification -- you're probably going to be looking at as little as $15, but probably as much as $40 or more if you have someone who's very experienced.

Bobbi Rebell:
Tell us more about where people can find you and the kind of things that you are doing, and how people can use your services.

Kayla Sloan:
Sure. My main website is at kaylasloan.com, and that is where you can find out more information about how to work with me to get connected with a virtual assistant. Or if you're wanting to be a virtual assistant, we can connect there as well. And I'm also all over social media.

Bobbi Rebell:
And your handles?

Kayla Sloan:
Are all the same: @kayla-r-sloan.

Bobbi Rebell:
Kayla R. Sloan, very important. Well, thank you so much, Kayla Sloan. This has been absolutely wonderful, and congratulations on your growing business.

Kayla Sloan:
Thank you so much. I hope you have a great day.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey friends, so here's my take. I love what Kayla is doing for entrepreneurs and for the virtual assistants that are so important to their success. Financial Grownup tip number one: consider outsourcing. Whether or not you are an entrepreneur, think about the value of your time. If you're running a business, maybe you're running a household, consider the best use of your time. Outsourcing may be hiring a babysitter if you're a parent trying to grow a business from home, or if you're an entrepreneur trying to do everything. Sometimes you're better off doubling down on your strength, say sales, or anything that directly has to do with your clients, and it may make sense to have a VA do things that are more administrative in nature, like the billing. Weigh the cost. The great thing about a VA is that you can often hire them on a project basis, so you're not locked in the way you would be if you hired a full-time assistant.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number two: I love Kayla's money tip to use what you have, even if it's super fancy. But here's my tip if you don't have all that fancy stuff but want to have the fancy stuff and maybe don't have the budget or want to spend the money to go and buy it in the store. You see all that fancy wedding gifts like China and crystal, well a lot of people don't really want it, or they inherited it and they want to sell it, they get rid of it, they just don't use it. So you can often get great stuff, fancy stuff, far less than the everyday stuff if you know where to look. Who doesn't like to feel fancy, right?

Bobbi Rebell:
So some sites to check out: Replacements.com -- they sell vintage and current dinnerware, crystal, silver, and other collectables. Also take a look at Chairish, like sitting on a chair, chairish.com. You can find vintage dinnerware at really amazing prices. They sell a ton of other stuff, including chairs, but also other furniture and vintage stuff; really nice stuff. I spotted a vintage Hermes dinner plate set that retailed for $2,000 and it was down to just 950 bucks. The Real Real, which is known for selling designer handbags and clothing, they also -- a lot of people don't realize this -- they also have things like dishes and serving stuff; high-end names like George Jensen, Tiffany, Vernadeau, all at massive discounts. So check those out if you like the higher end stuff instead of going for the everyday stuff that you may see in, whatever, the mall stores. I don't want to name names, but the everyday stores. You guys know what I'm talking about.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thanks to all of you for being part of our growing Financial Grownup community. If you're enjoying the show, consider leaving a rating and even a review on Apple podcasts. I know it seems like it's going to be really difficult, but it only takes a couple of minutes and it is really appreciated, and makes a big difference in helping other people discover the show. And of course, hit that subscribe button to make sure you don't miss any upcoming episodes.

Bobbi Rebell:
Please follow me on Twitter @bobbirebell, on Instagram @bobbirebell1; you can also DM me there. And then don't forget, if you want a custom video like the promos that we do for the show, join the competition. Share the videos when you see them. You can even see them now on the YouTube channel that we have set up, so just search for Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell, that channel on YouTube, and you can see the promos there and check them out that way.

Bobbi Rebell:
We have our first listener episode coming up in June. If you want to be on the show and have a great money story to share, email us info@financialgrownup.com. Tell us what money story you would share, and what everyday money tip you would like to share with our audience, and we will be in touch if you are chosen.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thank you to Kayla Sloan for sharing her story. We'll be watching how her business grows along with all the entrepreneurs that she is working with. So thank you, Kayla, for helping us all get one step closer to being Financial Grownup.

Announcer:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stewart, and is a BRK Media production.