We know that you're thinking - what is a "Nive Girl of the Month"? Each month, we will be interviewing a millennial woman that acts as a catalyst for deviating from the typical nine-to-five lifestyle. This month, our Nive Girl of the Month is Kayla Trautwein, founder and coach of Happily Ever Wiser.
For over 20 years of her life, Kayla spent her days in an overall state of unhappiness, which made it nearly impossible to enjoy what was happening around her. She was truly dissatisfied with life and wanted to make a change, but did not know how. It was then that Kayla decided to study the world's most prolific wisdom, and subsequently created a powerful methodology for successful self-improvement. After years of rigorous self-transformation, Kayla is now helping others live the lives of positivity, presence, and peace they deserve.
Check out how Kayla is now helping others live a life of positivity, presence, and peace in this months Nive Girl interview.
Tell us a little about your background
“I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California (about an hour East of Los Angeles). I went to college at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and graduated with a degree in Economics. My former jobs have all either been in startups or supporting startups. I used to be the Director & Sr. Portfolio Manager of a non-profit startup technology program in San Diego. In 2017 I quit that job to travel the world for six months. After coming home and taking the time to really discover myself, I started my coaching program where I teach people how to create inner peace, happiness, and self-harmony using logic and reprogramming techniques.
My interests include traveling, writing and playing music, being in nature, using philosophy to solve challenges, and helping others do the same!”
What is something that most people don't know about you?
“I'm very outgoing and sociable, but I'm actually an introvert! Social situations don't drain me per-say, but I do my best work when I'm alone. Like I could be completely content living in a cabin in the woods in the middle-of-nowhere...which now that I'm saying this, is ironic because my plan is to move to Manhattan by 2020!”
As our Nive Girl of the Month, how do you think you would define your individual style?
“Oh man, this is a tough question. It's been a challenge to express my individual style while working from home. For a while, I got in a routine of working in my pajamas. More recently I've forced myself to get dressed, even when I'm in my home office. It adds a level of motivation for me. Unlike my college days, I definitely choose comfort over things that are attention-grabbing. I can't go wrong with a soft floral dress and an outer-kimono. I keep my jewelry simple (just a few rings collected from my travels in Greece and Morocco) and I'm well-known for my black platform combat boots J”
Tell us about your morning routine!
“I'm usually awake between six and seven. I like to start my day by journaling about how I'm feeling and planning out my schedule for the day while I have my morning cup of coffee. This always gets my day off to the right start and stops me from getting stressed as I block out time for the things I need to get done and intentionally reflect on what I'm grateful for. If I have extra time, I'll go for a run. Otherwise, I'll squeeze that in later in the morning.”
How have you chosen to deviate from the typical 40-hour workweek? What initially prompted you to start your own business?
“I always wanted to start my own business because my ultimate goal is to experience financial freedom (not trading time for money). But I never had the confidence to do so until recently... I struggled most of my life with anxiety, negative thoughts, and general feelings of hopelessness. Over the past 7-8 years, I've done a tremendous amount of work overcoming all of my challenges and I've been able to package what I've done into a coaching methodology that teaches people how to change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that aren't serving them positively. So, my main motivation for deviating from the 40-hour work week and starting my own company is helping other people enjoy lives of peace and happiness that they rightfully deserve!”
Starting your own business can be a tough road. In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?
“This is a great question. It's cliché, but it always has to come back to your "why." When you start to question yourself or things get tough, you have to remember why you're doing this in the first place. It's easy to allow one negative thing to color your feelings. It's hard to see the good you're doing if you're not constantly getting validation for your efforts. For me, even if one person connects with me or reads something I wrote and finds it helpful, then that's all that matters.
That's the best part about having a business you're passionate about, in my opinion. You stop caring so much about what other people think because you believe in it so wholeheartedly that none of the external stuff matters. If you're doing something just for validation, then you'll always be left wondering whether you're making the right decisions.
Along with that, developing your sense of intuition is crucial, too. It can be easy to get caught up thinking you have to do all these things to push your business forward. But if something doesn't sit right with you, then don't do it. Don't force yourself to post on social media every day or go to networking events if you really don't feel like those things will add value to you. Don't get caught up in the noise. Listen to those subtle feelings you get and lean into them. Really trust yourself and know that no matter what happens, you're going to figure it out.”
Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
“This is going to sound really nerdy, but my biggest influences are ancient philosophers. I actually have a tattoo of a passage from Marcus Aurelius' journal, Meditations, on my arm. "Be satisfied if you can live, the rest of your life, however short, as your nature demands." He's a huge influence in my life. Whenever I find myself experiencing an unpleasant thought or feeling, I keep him at the top of mind and think, "How would Marcus Aurelius respond to this?"
The fact that a Roman Emperor was journaling about the same things that I worry about today gives me comfort because it proves that human nature hasn't changed. If human nature hasn't changed, then there is a way to make sense of our experiences if we have the right wisdom to turn to. If Marcus Aurelius could manage the Roman Empire while managing his stress and trusting himself fully, then I can, too!
Philosophy saved my life because it allowed me to question why I was living in a state of hopelessness. I couldn't change my external circumstances or the things that had happened to me, but finally accepting that I could change the way I responded was life-changing.
The more I studied, the more I realized that I had a flawed understanding of the world. I thought I had control over the thoughts and feelings of other people. I didn't think I could control my own emotions. I worried about the future instead of doing my best and accepting that the outcome would always be partially uncertain.
So, philosophy has been my biggest muse and I believe it holds the key to end suffering for so many people. I'm on a mission to resurrect it to fulfill its original purpose: helping people understand how to consciously structure their lives toward happiness.”
What is one piece of advice that you'd like to share with our readers?
“Life is too short to spend in a state anything less than the pure joy, peace, and happiness you deserve. If you're experiencing unpleasant thoughts or feelings, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. But it does mean that something isn't working for you and you should seize the opportunity to discover how to change your situation. We get in the mindset of thinking that who we are is set in stone--that some of us are just happier, more confident, less of a perfectionist, etc. than others. Don't label yourself. You can be whatever you want to be. Take it from me. I wish I could make a movie of my life so you could see how hopeless I used to be compared to the enrapturing joy I feel on a daily basis today. It's unbelievable.
Dig deep to question your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and always be seeking wisdom. Don't wait around thinking that you'll stumble upon the answer one day. Every day, I talk to people who tell me how lucky I am to have figured out "how to live" in my 20s. So many of us float through life not truly living, but just experiencing the passing of time. You deserve to live as fully as possible.”
THE INTERVIEW DOESN'T STOP HERE...
Don't be shy, we don't bite! If you know somebody that would like to be interviewed as the next Nive Girl of the Month, don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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