The first time I saw Kelsey Humphreys, I double checked my shoe to make sure I didn’t have toiled paper stuck to the bottom of it. I also flashed a big smile at one of my girlfriends and said, “My teeth. Do I have anything stuck in them?” The first thing you feel about Kelsey is that she has her crap together. She has that sensation about her of knowing who she is, where she is headed, and how she is going to get there. Once you’ve talked to her, you realize this is pretty close to reality and she can teach you the same things. But you feel much more comfortable.
Like all of us, Kelsey isn’t completely perfect. In fact, when I asked her how she got to the point of owning her own business and publishing her first book, her exact words were this: “It was a crazy hot mess.” When she began college, she had planned on getting a degree in music. Deciding that this just wasn’t stable enough, she chose an art degree instead. Yes, you are thinking the same thing that Kelsey’s parents did. Brilliant.
She ended up getting a graphic design degree, pursued a career in that, quit her design career and went back to pursuing music. Becoming a singer/songwriter pop star became her goal. She soon found that she was spending most of her time marketing herself and designing things instead of practicing. Though she loved being up in front of people and making them laugh, performing wasn’t something she enjoyed anymore. So, she bit the bullet and went back to her design career.
Very quickly, she rose to the top. She was soon the Associate Creative Director and then was approached by a large company to do freelance work, having the opportunity to start her own business.
Which leads us to now, Kelsey has just released her first book. She wrote it to help people avoid making the same mistakes she made. It’s called Go SOLO: How To Quit a Job You Hate and Start a Business You Love. One of the things she learned from pursuing a career in music was how frustrating it is to work on a dream and realize it’s not what you actually want.
One of the things I love about Kelsey is her unfailing positivity about humanity. “Everyone has so much untapped potential,” she said, “we’re the ones who put limitations on ourselves. God builds us with the passions we have and we’re so quick to dismiss them.
I asked her how she knew this was the right dream. That it was the dream.
Her response made me smile because I knew exactly the feeling she was talking about. It echoed my experience with this project. My feelings about writing.
“It’s like suddenly being all consumed. When you find your sweet spot, you are energized rather than depleted. Doors begin to open unexpectedly. Dreamers are going to fail more and fail harder. I would rather do that then submit myself to a life I don’t love. I kept the book close to my heart until it was past tense, until I had already written it.” And I understood. Sometimes close people in our life have seen all of our screw ups and mistakes and won’t always recognize the dream the same as we do. Sometimes we have to pursue it with everything, make it a reality, then present it to the world.
And that is what Kelsey is done. She and her dream are taking the world by storm. And she’s not done. I asked what was next and she was ready with her answer. “I want my own show. If Ellen and Tony Robbins had a love child show that would be my show. One that focused on entrepreneurs tapping into their potential but also where we had fun.” I smile as she waves her hands about enthusiastically. There is no doubt in my mind that Kelsey will continue changing the world. She’s learned the difference between what she’s good at and and what she was created for. The story will have more twists and turns than she can imagine but I think she’s learned how to embrace them.