David speaks with Kelly Wilde Miller, a writer and speaker giving voice to the necessity of authentic self-expression. She is a self-help author who was challenged to write and publish her first book in 5-days, an award-winning speaker and creator of the growing newsletter Wild on Purpose.

They talked about:

📉 Lessons from missed opportunities

🎭 Finding your agency

🎨 The struggle between creativity and stability

🏆 The successes and setbacks in writing

🧠 The power of choices

⚖️ How to balance self-doubt and success

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📄 Show notes:

[00:00] Introduction

[02:51] The journey from high school to performing arts

[09:13] How missed opportunities shaped Kelly's journey

[11:54] The influence of our upbringing

[14:06] The effects of parental decisions on career path

[17:15] Lessons from starting a business at 14

[19:43] The challenges of being a creative professional

[22:31] The highs and lows of writing

[24:16] Success vs. Doubt

[25:44] Overcoming inner conflict in writing

[27:31] The influence of family on educational choices

[31:12] How Kelly followed her impulses and found herself

🗣 Mentioned in the show:

Sundance Film Festival | https://festival.sundance.org/program/films/

DisneyQuest | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisneyQuest

Google | https://www.google.com.ph/

Microsoft | http://www.microsoft.com/

Radio City Rockettes | https://www.rockettes.com/

Broadway | https://www.broadway.com/

University of California | https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/

Disney | https://www.disney.com/

Creative Dysregulation | https://amzn.to/3xIbSAu

Amazon Kindle | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle

Bhagavad Gita | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita

Full episode transcript below

👤 Connect with Kelly:

Twitter: https://x.com/kellycwilde

Website: https://www.kellywildemiller.com/

Newsletter and Podcast: Wild on Purpose by Kelly Wilde Miller | https://www.wildonpurpose.co/

5-Day Creative Momentum Challenge | https://fivedaycreative.com/challenge/

Creative Regulation Self-Assessment | https://creativedysregulation.scoreapp.com/

Book: Creative Dysregulation | https://amzn.to/3xIbSAu

👨🏾‍💻 About David Elikwu:

David Elikwu FRSA is a serial entrepreneur, strategist, and writer. David is the founder of The Knowledge, a platform helping people think deeper and work smarter.

🐣 Twitter: @Delikwu / @itstheknowledge

🌐 Website: https://www.davidelikwu.com

📽️ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/davidelikwu

📸 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delikwu/

🕺 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@delikwu

🎙️ Podcast: http://plnk.to/theknowledge

📖 Free Book: https://pro.theknowledge.io/frames

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📜 Full transcript:



Kelly Wilde: I've been working on is every time I ship something out into the world, even if it's super well received or not, I just, I'm like, I did a thing, keep going. I did a thing, keep going. Like just keep going, just keep producing, keep writing, keep shipping, keep sharing.

There's a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, and I'm going to butcher it, but it's essentially like, your job is to just focus on doing the work. You have no ownership of the fruits of your work.

David Elikwu: This week I am very excited to share part of my conversation with Kelly Wilde Miller, who is an emerging writer and speaker advocating for authentic self expression.

Now, funnily enough, I've had both Kelly and her husband on the podcast now, and both of those conversations were incredibly impactful for me and for loads of people in the audience for very different reasons. So I'm really excited to share this with you.

Kelly famously now got a challenge to both write and publish her first book in just five [00:01:00] days. She's also an award winning speaker and the creator of the growing newsletter Wild On Purpose.

So in this part, you're going to hear Kelly and I talking about the lessons that we've learned from missed opportunities. We talk about the ways that we can sometimes get in our own way and subconsciously self sabotage.

We talk about the value of early business experiences and generally just the idea that As you grow and as you develop, you go through multiple try fail cycles. You try something, you fail, you try again. You're continually pushing the boundaries, finding your agency, and discovering the thing that really makes you tick, and the things that you really care about, or are passionate about, or have some talent or skills in.

Kelly has definitely been on that journey. And I shared some of my experiences with that as well. We talk about finding the balance as a writer or as a creator between your creativity and stability. We talk about the weight of success in writing.

We talk about the concept of a shadow self and the kind of unlived life that very often hangs around in [00:02:00] the background as you continue progressing in your life or career and as you try to explore and how we should deal with that, and how we deal with, you know, the shadow of our dreams and the things we once wanted to accomplish.

Um, and being able to wrestle with the sense of identity that we find in our careers as we grow and as we develop. So, it was a really engaging conversation. I know that so many of you are going to love this. You can find the full show notes, the transcript, and read my newsletter at theknowledge.

io. And you can find Kelly online on Twitter at kellycwild. Her website is kellywildmiller. com and we'll have links to her book, Creative Dysregulation. We'll have the links in the description and in the show notes. And if you love this episode, please do share it with a friend and don't forget to leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts because it helps us tremendously to find other listeners just like you.

The journey from high school to performing arts

David Elikwu: Probably where I'd start is, when I was preparing for this conversation, I think I was doing some research and looking into some of your work and some of your background, [00:03:00] et cetera. And your life seems to be, it's funny. I think sometimes I have friends that will say, Oh, it feels like I've lived many lifetimes in my life so far. And these are people that obviously haven't met you because your life feels a bit like a, like a Sundance movie. And so I thought that might be a good place to start. And then we can kind of go from there towards a lot more of the creative aspects.

Kelly Wilde: I love that so much. Let's do it.

David Elikwu: Okay, so I've heard you mention that you were kind of like a straight A student that fell through the cracks of life and ended up waitressing at a 50s style diner, and then at some point you end up working at the most magical place on earth, but not quite inside, kind of Disney Quest, somewhere on the, on the outside or nearby.

So I'd love to know the journey of getting to there. Maybe we could start from, I'm not sure what your parents might have did for work or was there any impetus in your background of pushing you towards a particular type of career or to consider a particular [00:04:00] type of thing?

Kelly Wilde: Hmm. Well, first of all, great job. That's a lot of research. I can tell that you've actually dug deep.

Where would be a great place to start? So, yeah, I was born in, I was actually essentially born in the heart of Silicon Valley in the late eighties. And so my mom, specifically was really kind of influenced by what was happening with all the startups around Google and Microsoft and really felt this electricity around the tech boom that was happening. But simultaneously, there was a lot of personal things happening in my family. My parents got divorced, the Bay Area became unbelievably expensive to live in. Although from an energetic perspective, my mom, who, who's very entrepreneurial at heart, felt a lot of that excitement, she ended up making the choice to move me and her up to Sacramento, California, which was more or less the suburbs, a lot less excitement, really quiet, just suburban living.

I do reflect back of what, what would [00:05:00] have been for my life and trajectory had we stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and if I had truly grown up fully immersed in that type of electricity energy. But instead we moved kind of to the suburbs and my earliest years were very devoted to dance and the performing arts.

I got a really cool high school experience. So from seventh grade to 12th grade, I went to a performing and fine arts charter school. So kind of like imagine high school, I think it's a high school musical that the movie, like I actually lived that where students were just singing in the hallways and it was incredible. So we had performance artists, visual artists, digital artists. We didn't have any sports whatsoever. So as the dancer, like I was the sports team. And that was such a beautiful way to be exposed to kind of a creative, just creativity in general.

But at some point along the line, I picked up the programming that the [00:06:00] arts were not a viable career and that I actually needed to start positioning myself to study finance or business. And I was a straight A student, like you mentioned. I graduated third in my class with a 4.2 GPA, and school was always very easy for me. It was really my happy place, which in hindsight I realized was because my home was not as much of a happy place, and I was very lonely at home because it really was just me and my mom, and she worked very much full time.

Even from kindergarten, I actually have my box of childhood things. My mom gave me everything from my childhood. And I was looking back on some of my report cards from kindergarten and first grade, and I was already getting top marks and positioned for leadership and whatnot. And so I really thrived in school.

But things started getting really derailed right around the time that I needed to apply for colleges and despite [00:07:00] graduating at the top of my class, which in California, if you graduate in the top 5 percent of your high school, you're actually guaranteed admittance into the California UC system. So that's UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Santa Cruz. You don't necessarily get the school of your choice, but you'll at least get into A school.

And with the grades I had it was, it was reasonable to assume I could have gotten into one of the better schools. However, right when I was starting to apply and take that seriously, my mother said, you're not going to a four year college. You're going to go to junior college just like I did. And I won't co sign on any loans. And we had no money to send me out to college. And what happened, there was a whole breaking point there for me where instead of asking for help from my high school counselors or teachers or other parents. I took my mom's word as the word and I just stopped. I just stopped applying myself. I dropped out of AP [00:08:00] calculus. I started partying more and I just said, okay, well, if that's what my mom says, I'm going to do, that's what I'm going to do. That intrinsic disempowerment is what I've been healing for the past 14 years or so, and it's what I believe children and youth need the most is a deep sense of empowered ability to make their own choices and to know what is best for them and to feel empowered to go ask for help when obstacles come up.

And so instead of going to a four year university, I went to junior college. I was waitressing at that 50 style diner, partying a lot, dating a man 10 years older than me. I'm 19 dating a 29 year old, which just feels insane now, looking back on that. And I was sort of struck one day with this future vision that if nothing were to change, I was probably going to be married by 21 with three kids by 25 and then maybe an AA degree, just like an associate's [00:09:00] degree and work a front desk as a receptionist. Not that there's anything wrong with that path, but I knew I've always known that there was more for me.

How missed opportunities shaped Kelly's journey

Kelly Wilde: My first dream in life was to be a Rockette on Broadway. So I've always sort of like, shot for the stars. My second dream was to be an astronomer. So literally I was like going for the stars.

And so when that, that knowing struck me that I need to make a change ASAP, I broke up with my partner and I got a internship at Walt Disney world, not Disneyland, because I wanted to get as far away from home as possible. So I didn't want to just go to Southern California. So I went to the other side of the country to Florida and worked at Disney World.

And then the second major sort of turning point and, yeah, just an important turning point was growing up as a dancer. It was very clear that I could get into the performance side of Disney world, you know, the parades or the shows or something there, there's so many performers there. [00:10:00] I knew I wasn't going to be a princess, that's everybody's first follow up question is which princess were you? And I was too tall to be a princess. And my face is not symmetrical enough. These are the things I actually look for. But I at least was like, I could totally be in the parades. And I had one shot to audition on the West coast and the day of the audition in San Francisco, I don't fully remember what happened, but I do believe that on some level I unconsciously self sabotaged my ability to get to that audition. And I was two hours late. I sat in traffic and I didn't leave early enough and I just didn't even show up.

because of that choice, I did not get a performance role at Disney. Instead, I got placed into Disney Quest, which is a five story arcade in downtown Disney. It's not even in one of the parks. It's has eight virtual reality rides, 300 video games, and it's essentially where parents drop their kids off for hours on end so that they can play video games while the parents go shop and [00:11:00] drink.

It couldn't have been further away from what I wanted to do there. And they gave me one more shot after I arrived in Florida to make a change, and they're like, you can audition, we'll see what we can do. And I didn't take it. And so that was a continuing thread of this disempowered Inability to take action towards my dreams. And who knows what life would have been like, had I said yes to the performing arts in that way. at 34 years old now, it's actually all coming back and I'm coming full circle and getting back into the performing arts now.

But those two pivot points of not going to college and not taking the performing role at Disney, I believe set my life on a pretty crazy trajectory that I've learned and grown through tremendously, but has also fueled my passion to better equip young people to make choices that are truly authentic and aligned for them.

The influence of our upbringing

David Elikwu: Okay. Wow. That a really incredible story with lots of details that I didn't know. It's so interesting [00:12:00] how listening to you speak, you know, and I'm probably going to elucidate my version of this in a much worse way, you know, I, I realized actually, there's a lot of, you know, mirrors in my, in my own life, obviously not quite the same, but mirrors in, in a sense.

And it's so interesting the way in which our parents and our environment can shape our trajectories. And also how there's a strange sense in which sometimes, so, you know, as children, sometimes people wonder, Oh, you have a baby. Why are they chewing on this fork? Why are they poking? These sticks, why are they eating dirt, doing all these things. And really it's because they're trying to find agency in the world, like they're trying a bunch of things, testing as many things as possible for as long as possible to figure out what is possible with their bodies. Like, what can I do? How far can I bend? What happens if I jump off this chair? What can I actually do in the world?

And as we grow, we're still kind of like our almost entire personality is built by just bouncing around the edges and you just, you know, bounce off some different things and you try some different [00:13:00] things and kind of like feel around and figure out, you know, what can you do? What talents do I have? What things are possible? but then while you are doing that breaking out from the inside, there's also the, the outside and how your environment or your, your parents, the people around you, how they can simultaneously shape what you think is possible and the directions that you end up wanting to go in.

And that duality and that balance is something I find quite interesting and similar to you in a sense, you know, some parts might be opposite, but I was just thinking about my journey, just as you were speaking. And it's funny how, you know, I remember when I was going to school, I think there's probably one, one or two things. So one is reading a lot of books, which is something that I do now. And also doing like business and entrepreneurship and those kinds of things. And it's so interesting how both of those things in some ways happened by accident. And in some ways just happened specifically because of the background that I had. And also that they're both things that maybe I stopped or changed the way I did for a [00:14:00] significant period of time. And I'll, I'll explain both. So for example, with reading, it's specifically only because I think two reasons.

The effects of parental decisions on career path

David Elikwu: One, so I actually grew up in Nigeria for a bit, and then I came to the UK and I did some of the school here and the rest of the school here. But I do remember, you know, when I first came and I started at a new school, they had this library and It just, it was a wall, just end to end with books and it just seemed incredible and I couldn't believe it was free and you could just go there and you could just pick up books and it sounds silly, but I have that memory so viscerally in my mind and just, I didn't really know what to do.

I just picked a book that, you know, someone else picked up and those were some of the first series that I read and I kind of started doing a bit of reading from there.

But then I think we, we moved house at one point and so that was probably like the end of primary school. And then I went to secondary school, which I guess is maybe halfway between like middle school going towards high school. And the secondary school I went to was not a great school, but it's not really a [00:15:00] great school, not really a great environment overall, I would say.

But it's funny, the house that we moved to was directly across the street from a library. And I used to get in trouble at school a lot. The first day of school that I had, I got into a fight. So I was in detention. What that meant is that my parents just assumed that school finished maybe about an, and I took my cell phone from school. So I got home the first day of school, maybe like five o'clock. And so my parents just assume this is what time school finishes. This is the time that you're going to expect me to come back from school. And what that meant is that every day after school, I baked in a whole lot of extra time, either to get into some kind of trouble, but also to or if I'm not, you know, running around and doing stuff, I have to find somewhere to wait until the time they're expecting me. And so sometimes if I had nothing to do, then I would just go to this library that was across the road from school and I would just kind of wait there and hang around. So I was just thinking about that, you know, in terms of environment, the same way that you were saying, how my life have been different. If I stayed in Silicon Valley and, you know, it's interesting how the environment shapes us. But then simultaneously, I [00:16:00] also remember, you know, I started my first business type thing when I was like 13 or 14. And I remember that, that was something it went quite well the first year. I think we've made maybe like 6,000 pounds or so. And then my dad shut it down. And I wouldn't get into the whole story, but the long story short is, obviously I was 14, so you're too young to be like a legal director of a company. So I wasn't actually a director but my dad was. And so that's how he shut it down. And he did, he did it before having the conversation with me about his idea that it's something I should shut down so I could focus on my schoolwork.

You know, we had that conversation and I kind of disagreed and he was like, well, it's too late because I've already done it. And, and that was the end of that. And that's something I didn't really pick up. Again, at all until much later in life. From that point I was like, okay, you know, then I'll just focus on school and this is now what I'm going to do. And I kind of went on this now different path. Similar to you in a sense, it's interesting how that came back around and I was able to like rediscover that part of my [00:17:00] life and my identity.

But again, yeah, just this idea that there's a strange balance between the agency that we have as individuals and then also the extent to which we can be shaped by the people around us and the constraints that exist in our lives.

Lessons from starting a business at 14

Kelly Wilde: I'm really moved by your story of starting a business at 14 that was profitable and actually working and then your dad just shutting it down without consulting you or talking through it with you.

And there's a couple missed opportunities there, like on one level, you know, maybe he could have still shut it down or you guys could have decided to shut it down together, but by walking you through all the different variables that he was tracking. And letting that be an empowered decision for you to say, actually, maybe he's, you know, I agree. It is more important to focus on my studies or to find a third door. A yes, I always am looking for yes and. It's like, yes, get your schoolwork done and run this business.

A 14 year old to me is a whole human, you [00:18:00] know, like it's legal to start working in California at 15 and a half and drive at 16. That's not very much older. And if you are psychologically mature and emotionally mature as a 14 year old, I just think that's a tremendous learning opportunity to run a business and see where it can go. And I've met a few kids actually, over the past decade, whose parents empowered them to start businesses. And it's remarkable to see the kind of people they've become by 16, 17, 18 years old, and they are young adults who are kicking ass in the world in a way that my 19 year old, you know, can't even relate to.


Kelly Wilde: So yeah, I just really felt you in that story and I'm curious how that's like, how that informed your entrepreneurial journey, which I know you're the, I know this is your podcast, but I am just very curious. How that like shaped the future trajectory of you being an entrepreneur?

The challenges of being a creative professional

David Elikwu: Yeah, that's a great question. I haven't spent you know, a tremendous amount of time thinking about that specifically. I would say, okay, there's probably, I think I, again, going back to the analogy, like bounced around a lot between trying to figure out, okay, the things I was good at and the things that I kind of wanted to do, [00:20:00] because like you also mentioned, this is, you know, touching on something you mentioned, I was also interested in art around that time as well.

And I remember being very interested in art and just having all these sketchbooks and doing lots of drawing, doing lots of those kinds of things. And I'm probably going to make my dad sound bad here, but, you know, similar to you, I just remember just getting this message that, you know, Oh, artists end up homeless. And if you do this, you're not going to be able to provide for your family, you're not going to have any kind of life or anything. And it's funny how, you know, that's not necessarily something I think about all the time. However, I am interested in the extent to which if I did think about it sufficiently, the current tension that I have in my life now between, oh, and we'll probably get more into this later, but you know, there's a lot of creative stuff that I specifically want to do, some of it I'm already doing now, but there's this tension between, and actually we can talk about this now, this tension between, Oh, here's the creative work that I want to do. I primarily would call myself a not, not work wise, but, you [00:21:00] know, creative wise, like, I write fiction and that is something I do and it's something I've always done. It's something I have very little time to do and I don't do a lot, you know, even like work wise, a lot of my time is mostly spent writing nonfiction because I have a newsletter, I have to send several emails a week, blah, blah. And it's so interesting how the way I've structured my life, it's almost as though, I don't know if I would call them excuses. But it's like, okay, I need either some kind of job or some business that allows me some time and freedom to do the nonfiction writing. I do the nonfiction writing to, you know, provide some additional stability so that then I can do the fiction writing.

So I'm now like two layers separated from the only thing that I really want to do, like if I had all the money in the world, like the only thing I would actually want to spend my time doing. And all the, the layers of things that I have to do to give myself the freedom to do that thing. And some of that is very real, right? You know, money is real. You have to pay your bills. You have to do of those things, but I [00:22:00] do wonder the extent to which some of that is also self limiting in a sense and kind of self inhibiting because Hey, what would happen if I did actually step out and spend all my time doing those things?

And a perfect example of that, that just came to mind is the fact that, I think when I first started writing and publishing stuff online, at least like fiction wise, I didn't publish anything under my own name. So I was on all these like random forums and on all these writing platforms, publishing stuff, but it's not really connected to me you know, in name at all.

The highs and lows of writing

David Elikwu: And so I did that a long time ago, and then one time I decided to submit something for some writing award. And this is now 2016 so actually it's a while ago from now, but it didn't feel a while ago, let's say before the pandemic. Okay, I submitted this short story for this writing prize. I ended up winning. And I was like, wow, that's surprising. The first time I've ever put my name on something, I win this award. I got invited to the house of Lords. They gave me this trophy, you know, it was like, [00:23:00] incredible affair. But I didn't submit anything after that. And it was almost like there's this strange duality where even now, so I just submitted something again, so two things actually, just in the last few months, one was for an anthology, which I did get, which is fantastic, which is, you know, coming out now. And then the other is for writing prize. I'll probably find out next week if I get on the long list for that.

But it's interesting how, even when I was thinking about submitting for that, there was this deep internal friction in my mind where it's like, Oh, I submitted for one thing before and I won. But in some ways, I don't know if that's worse than having not won, because now it's like, I could just leave that there. And I will never know whether that was a fluke or not. If I submit something else and I don't win, or I don't get long listed or anything at all, then it would feel like, Oh, I suck. Like, really? I'm not good at all. That other thing was just happenstance. It just came about one way or another.

And you know, if you only swing once, you and [00:24:00] you hit, you've got a hundred percent record. The more times to swing, if all the rest of the misses, then it can feel worse and worse. And there's that sensation in the back of my mind as well, which I know it makes no sense and it sounds silly even saying it but, I do recognize that there was some of that tension there.

Success vs. Doubt

Kelly Wilde: Yeah. Well, it sounds like there's really a part of you that cares about being a good writer and being received as a good writer and acknowledged as that. And so getting a prize and winning, like obviously is one beautiful reflection that you're a good writer and people like what you're doing. But then the other parts of you that might still feel some imposter syndrome or just, you know, some doubt or some concern, the part of you that's still developing as a writer might then say like, no, no, no, don't get too excited about this. Like stay, stay humble, that was probably just a fluke.

And I think this is just part of the creative path where we realize that there are these conflicting parts within ourselves that have different opinions about what's actually taking place or how good things were.

I'll share a story from my life recently, [00:25:00] when I published my book in 5 days and on creative dysregulation. So this is a very meta topic because I think what you're describing is a, is kind of a flavor of creative dysregulation. The day I published the book, it went live on Kindle, I was in a 10 day meditation retreat. So it actually went live the first day of the meditation retreat, after I took my vow of technological celibacy. And I, I broke that to come out and just be like, when is it going to be live, so I can send the newsletter? So then it went live, sent the newsletter and then put away all my technology, and I went into this 10 day retreat. And as I sat there in meditation, kind of meditation. For those 10 days, I noticed these very antagonistic parts inside of me.

Overcoming inner conflict in writing

Kelly Wilde: One voice said, you're an idiot. Like who publishes a book in five days? You're the laughing stock of authors and no one's ever going to take you seriously. And this book isn't even good. And like, who do you think you are to, to have done something like this? And [00:26:00] then another voice saying, I bet when I get out of my retreat, there's going to be a million dollar book offer in my, in my inbox, because this story is so epic and so great.

You know, because I was in a meditation retreat, I was, I couldn't take action at all. So I just sat there and witnessed these different energies inside of myself. And was able to distance from both and just say like, those are here. I did a thing and this is the aftermath of doing a thing or hearing all these different parts inside of us, some of which are very wounded. I would say both of those opinions come from a wounded place and just got to help integrate those different parts so that I could come back out and actually meet what was the reality, which was neither of those things were true. It was a cool launch, people liked it. It was well received. Nope, no publishing offer in my inbox, but it was just like, it was just good. Everything was good.

And I think what, like I've been working on is every time I ship something out into the world, even if it's super well received or not, I just, I'm like, [00:27:00] I did a thing, keep going. I did a thing, keep going. Like just keep going, just keep producing, keep writing, keep shipping, keep sharing.

There's a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, and I'm going to butcher it, but it's essentially like, your job is to just focus on doing the work. You have no ownership of the fruits of your work. And I really been liking that, because I can see when my ego gets all wrapped up in the sales or the likes of the publicity and that takes me away from creating, you know, which is ultimately what I'm, I'm here to do.

The influence of family on educational choices

David Elikwu: I actually wanted to, to double click on two questions. One is your mom telling you not to go to college and to go to junior college. Was the only reason just because that she happened to go to junior college or was there some other reason? And then I'm interested in, you went to seven colleges and that Tells me two things without knowing any of the details. One is that sounds like there's a lot going on and perhaps,

you know, Hey, life is happening. There's loads of [00:28:00] different things happening in your life, but also that you are incredibly determined to do this one thing. And so I'm really interested in. Either what was it that you, you wanted or what were you driving at? Because remember simultaneously you're winning these entrepreneurship awards. You're winning money. You're trying to do that side of life as well. And was this something that was that specifically something that you were aiming for? Because I think, you know, it's funny. I think about it now when I see some people maybe on Twitter sometimes or in general in life, I think. Very often you, there are people that are trying to figure themselves out and they don't realize that they're trying to figure themselves out and they feel like they just have a strong sense of conviction about whatever the thing is that they're doing, but they're trying a lot of different things and everyone else can see, okay, this person's just, you know, figuring some stuff out.

Maybe he doesn't realize it yet, but he's going to realize it eventually. And, you know, I'm interested to know, cause I think you mentioned before that, Hey, there was this period during your twenties where you were [00:29:00] still trying to. You know, figure life out and figure yourself out. Did it feel like that at the time?

Or did it feel like, Hey, I know exactly the thing that I'm trying to do. And this is exactly what I'm doing.

Kelly Wilde: Yeah. What a great question. so I'll go back. So my mom, I don't fully know her reason. It's a very tender topic. I don't, we don't talk about it yet. but I think well, on, for one thing, I graduated high school in 2007, so it was right around the financial collapse. However, the, the decision to not go to college happened, I think like two years prior, a year and a half prior to that.

But that, was, that was my mom's path. You know, she didn't really understand anything other than her own path. And, uh, the money just wasn't there. And so there's this kind of black and white thinking of college is expensive. Money's not there. We can't go versus, wow, my daughter has thrived in school since she was four.

There is a very high likelihood that we could get a very strong scholarship, if not a full ride scholarship, if we just [00:30:00] applied ourselves and got really clear. Um, and so that wasn't my mom's way of thinking, which is, is unfortunate. I wish that I had had, one of the main things I wish that I had had and that I missed and that I want every young person to have is mentorship and guidance from strong, healthy, embodied, thriving adults.

And I think it's rare to find adults that really fit that bill, but because we're not this gets into a whole nother conversation around, um, Parenting and just kind of like lack of rites of passage and initiation and like maturing the right steps that we all need to take to mature. Um, because nobody was in my corner helping me navigate, I kept making all these decisions as I was figuring myself out.

So the going to seven colleges thing, it was just me, myself, and I figuring out what I'm doing with my life. Basically, I hit 18 and my mom's like, good luck. I'm like, okay, right. And so I'm like, I'm gonna waitress. I'm gonna date this older man and I'm gonna figure some shit [00:31:00] out. And I just I got a very intense crash course on learning how to listen to, that inner pull, that inner tug towards.

How Kelly followed her impulses and found herself

Kelly Wilde: Whatever the next thing is, and I think I am an extreme case of being a multi passionate, multi hyphenate kind of person, so for me to figure myself out, I've had to go drink water from lots of different sources, and that is still a very much a part of me. My husband jokes that he's married to 10 women, and I have a lot of Gemini in my chart.

I just, There's just a lot of different aspects of me. More than the average person, I would argue, and my friends would probably corroborate that too. Kelly is a lot. I have a lot going on. And so. Those seven colleges were also me following all the different interests that were arising. So I studied graphic design and advertising, sustainability, entrepreneurship, outdoor adventure, leadership, [00:32:00] um, hospitality, and just kept being like, well, this is the next thing that feels good and interesting because I am a voracious learner.

And I wasn't quite tracking like how expensive going to seven colleges was accumulating into and I didn't have a lot of financial like wherewithal at the time to kind of like try and narrow it in. But I just kept following my curiosities still do that today. I love that about myself. I love that about early state early 20s.

Kelly. I'm so lost and so wandery. But because of that, I broke out of the default paradigms really fast. And so after Disney, I went to Vail, Colorado and I, for three years, I was like an avid outdoors woman, snowboarding, mountain climbing, ice climbing. I bashed my two front teeth out twice, rafting, camping, like it was super cool.

But then at some point I was like, I'm not going to spend my whole life doing this. Now I need to [00:33:00] go back to college. And that's when the whole, like, Moving to Lake Tahoe thing kind of stirred up and ultimately we are all just figuring out who we are based on these decisions that we make. And I think one of the gifts, it's a double edged sword, but I do see it as a gift that I have is when something doesn't feel right anymore, I'm willing to hop and leave it.

Now my stance on that has changed now because I'm, I'm in a marriage, I'm committed to my business. So if something doesn't feel right now, I actually lean in and do all the unearthing and the work to kind of figure out what is happening here. But back then I just kept moving forward. I just kept rolling with the impulses and it was painful at times and it was chaotic.

And you know, from the outside in, people are like, Kelly is crazy. This woman does not, the girl does not know how to make decisions and choices. But no one taught me how to make decisions and choices for myself. Had I been taught how to do that, [00:34:00] then I would have stood up for myself at the end of my high school time and gotten into a college had I known how to check in with myself.

So I had a long, weird journey of learning how to make decisions. Make my own empowered, um, healthy decisions. And now I know, you know, I'm going to be a mom's in the next couple of years. And the thing I'm going to be. hyper fixated on probably to an extreme unhealthy stances. Do my children know who they are and do they feel empowered to be themselves?

Like I'm going to be tracking that so hard because to me it's one of the most fundamental things we need um, for this world but as individuals.

David Elikwu: Thank you so much for tuning in. Please do stay tuned for more. Don't forget to rate, review and subscribe. It really helps the podcast and follow me on Twitter feel free to shoot me any thoughts. See you next [00:35:00] time.

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