Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Kira Matthes, Founder & CEO of Handle + Hone! Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Kira gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder of Handle & Hone which is a digital agency that combines graphic design, copywriting, and SEO to produce content that looks good, sounds good and ranks on search engines. Because if you really think about it, what good is any content that only does one of those things?
I started Handle & Hone because I wanted to offer my clients a full-service experience. By tying in design and SEO with on-brand copy, we’re able to produce content that doesn’t just sound good, it also looks good, and it advances their businesses!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
I knew I needed something different! I used to come home crying from my corporate job knowing that I could do more than I was doing. I was dying for someone to take a chance on me. Cassie and Shay got me thinking it might be time to take a chance on myself!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
“The courses gave me the foundation to start my own business, in every possible way.”
While I love being creative, most of my experience is in administrative work. I originally thought I would become a Virtual Assistant using a combination of my past skills.
I loved that the Design Skills Course taught me about design processes and how to use the Adobe Creative Suite programs. However, I ended up loving the tech route. Having a window into both the online design and tech world has made me more confident in the industry, especially when speaking with designers and clients.
The Work Online & Travel the World gave me everything I needed to actually START my business: from tangible things like proposal swipe copy and client questionnaires, to having confidence in myself as a business owner. Without this course, I would have had new online skills in design and tech but I wouldn’t have known how to actually start using them.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5 and how much time did you dedicate a week in order to make it happen?
I took the courses in October 2018 and freelanced as more of a side-hustle until March 2019, when I decided to jump in fully. By May I was fully booked with clients!
“When I truly decided to go for it, I filled my calendar in 8 weeks!”
Q: What was the final push to ditch your 9-5 job? What was the “aha” moment for you?
It all comes down to taking action. One day I was listening to a podcast and someone was talking about life and goals. They said something like, “It’s all good to want something in life, but don’t stop there. You have to pedal the bike!” For whatever reason, that struck a chord.
I realized that I had been wishing for it more than I had been working for it. So I just decided to take action! I wrote a bunch of proposals on UpWork and within 3 days, I had 3 interviews and landed 3 clients!
“I got hooked on what it felt like to take action, and my business grew very quickly after that.”
Now I try and only do the things that actually move the needle for me, and it keeps me focused and my business growing.
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I like variety in my days, so depending on my mood I do a combination of working from home or from whichever coffee shop draws me in that day. We just moved to Vancouver, Canada in August, so I’m still having fun exploring my new city.
I like to start my day with a fitness class with a friend or a beach walk with my fiance. My fiancé works kind of crazy hours, so sometimes I work my day around his so we can spend more time together! My travel plans this year aren’t exactly exotic, but within the next 4 months, I’ll be flying to my hometown, Winnipeg, four times for weddings.
“For the first time in my life I don’t have to ask for time off or lose any income when I travel!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
I’m still getting the hang of balancing work for clients, creating content for my own business and actually running the business. But, it’s a challenge that I really like. I think the hardest part for me is finding a routine and developing the discipline to work for myself without anyone telling me what to do.
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
Right now, I’m so obsessed with the lifestyle that I’m creating that motivation is not even an issue.
“I’m in one of those seasons of life where I am excited for the next day when I go to sleep at night!”
Some days when the sun is shining, I feel like I’d rather just sit on the beach or read my book. In those cases, I usually indulge and do whatever I’m dreaming of doing for a while. Then, I listen to a podcast, get a coffee, and get back to work!
“I love looking at my calendar and realizing that I actually love and look forward to everything that’s on it. To me there’s nothing more freeing!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
TBD! I haven’t traveled with my business yet, but I’m planning a month-long visit to Australia next year to visit my bestie who moved there.
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcasts that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
The Goal Digger Podcast, for sure. Jenna Kutcher serves up serious business inspo! But honestly, I love it because the episodes are full of tangible tips that you can implement in your business. I listen to the podcast, practice the new skills myself and once I have it down, I add the skills to the list of services I offer my clients. Podcasts are totally free and they’re a great way to keep expanding your business while staying up-to-date on your industry trends.
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Take an action step every day that leads to growing your business. You could write a proposal, ask for a referral or testimonial, work on your website, learn a new skill… anything! Just act!