Founder of Her Space, Kayla Pendleton, worked out of her home for several years while telecommuting for her career in digital marketing. She found that working from home was distracting and it was really tough to have a healthy work/life balance. On top of that, she developed social anxiety and depression because she had been isolated for so long. What do you do as an entrepreneur when you see a problem with no solution? You start a business!
At 26 years old she launched Her Space, a coworking space for women in Fresno, Ca. After only a year and a half, there are 75 women that work out of the office day to day. Besides access to flex or dedicated desks, private offices, a kitchen, and meeting spaces, Kayla has put together some amazing programs and funding options to help female entrepreneurs all over the world.
She lives in Fresno with her husband and 2 fur babies. In her spare time she loves to go hiking and cruise the lake with her family on their boat.
Where did the idea for Her Space come from?
I was a part of a similar space in San Diego for a couple months while on vacation. When I came back home, I couldn’t get the concept out of my head, so I ended up creating my own version!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is full of meetings (planned and unplanned)- usually mentoring business owners or training my team. My team of 12 operates efficiently all thanks to our project management software. Luckily, we have a great system in place where we can all easily communicate our progress and ask questions, etc. I am not usually doing all of the tasks related to the business except for a few crucial ones. My team handles all the day to day operations.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I speak them out loud! If they stick, then I run with them. I tell my team the plan and then we execute. As a business owner, you have to make decisions often and quickly. The longer you take to make decisions, the more opportunities lost.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think that it is great that there are lots of alternative lending options coming out. When I went to start Her Space, I couldn’t get anyone to finance me, and I had great credit + a few assets. I thought I’d have no trouble. After finding no help from groups like the SBA, or other small business support groups, I had to refinance my house to pull the cash I needed. It worked, but it wasn’t the most ideal option. I am glad that the trend of alternative financing options is growing. I am looking forward to Her Space continuing to expand our financing options for our members.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I give myself deadlines on EVERYTHING. I work well under pressure.
I also have figured out what my boundaries are with myself and when to recognize when I need to rest, vs. when I can allow myself to continue working. My business is my favorite thing ever, so it is really hard to “turn it off”. I have had to spend the first 2 years of this journey figuring out how much I can comfortably handle, and where I have to draw a line.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Learn to enjoy the present. Also, know that you don’t always have to be busy. Learn to enjoy not doing ALL.THE.THINGS.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Okra is delicious!!!!! My grandma used to make it all the time when I was a kid. Everyone else of my family and friends hate it, but it is my favorite veggie.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Create a morning routine that includes some time just for you. I have found that can keep myself much more grounded on days that things go wrong if I have had some time to just breathe before I head to the office. The days I break my morning ritual, I find myself feeling more easily stressed.
My morning routine:
6:00 up and go journal on the sofa
6:30 throw in some laundry and do the dishes
6:45 put on workout clothes
7:00 walk the dog with my hubby
7:45 make breakfast
8:15: shower and get ready
8:45 head to the office
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
When I first started, I didn’t have a clue how the sales process worked. It was intimidating. What I learned is that sales is simply having a conversation to get to know someone. If your product or service is a need for their situation, then perfect! If not, that is one more person that understands what you do. Now they can give you referrals. I just genuinely help people all day, and they end up either being my customer eventually, or they share about my business to friends that DO need us. It is a lot of fun!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started the business with one of my best friends as an employee. In the first 2 months of being open, I realized we hadn’t made enough money for me to continue paying her. This was tough, and we were both heartbroken. I hustled for about 6 months before I could afford anyone else. It made me realize how precious cash flow is, and to 100% have your finger on the pulse of your finances.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think there could be an alternative name for “unisex” clothing. If someone started a brand tailored to the LGBTQ+ market that was called “gender-neutral” clothing instead, they would be very successful. Also, most unisex clothing is not cute. As long as this new brand was very hip and trendy, they would do well.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I subscribe to Grace Lever’s marketing courses online. Biannually she hosts an awesome educational retreat that only requires $100 of a deposit to attend. As long as you show up, you get the $100 back. Each time, hands down, I learn things I would pay thousands of dollars for normally. The best part is, I get it back after the retreat in September! Boom!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Asana. I do all of my projects in the board format. We have all of our long term event planning organized there, our social media planning, our tasks for day to day operations, etc. All team members have access to it and can see what others are working on. We can attach files, comment back and forth if we have questions, and assign roles for every subtask with due dates. It even emails you to let you know when changes are made. Oh, and there is an app! I can add anything I need and communicate easily with my team even when I am out and about. This is SO important for me, now that my team has grown so much!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It changed my perspective on everything when I first became an entrepreneur. Your thoughts dictate your life. If you want to level up, you must change your thoughts and mindset.
What is your favorite quote?
Make moves or make excuses.
- Mindset is everything
- Always have your finger on the pulse of your financials
- Morning routines dictate how you handle your business and daily life
- When you have a team, you need to have a great system in place in order to manage all the tasks
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.