Set-Back Series: 11 Years Of Perseverance with Kelli McKinney

*This is part 2 of a 3 part series sharing inspirational stories of set backs that led to positive outcomes overall.


If your dream seems to be taking for-ev-er to become reality, this interview is for you. My guest, Kelli McKinney, chased a lifelong dream of becoming a published author for 11 solid years before it became reality. After deciding to shift gears she wrote her last attempt at a fiction book and it’s now her debut book. Her perseverance through this process will inspire you to continue chasing your dreams.


Dreams Take Time…And Trial & Error


Most of us see people’s dreams coming true whether it’s the perfect wedding, someone flying on a private jet, or a newly renovated home. This is because we all tend to show the highlights of our life to others. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just part of what we do.


The problem is that we see other people’s highlights and we don’t recognize that they likely had a long road to achieving that “highlight”.


My guest for this interview, Kelli McKinney, shares how there were many times during her pursuit of being a published author that she didn’t think it would happen. And that rejection is part of the process as you’re chasing a dream.


“There have been so many times where I thought, I don't know, I don't know if this is ever going to actually happen.” - Kelli McKinney


**This was also a podcast episode (episode #163. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.


“I feel like when something is planted inside you, when you think about yourself and what you want out of life, if that's what you're supposed to do, it doesn't matter the path, the time it takes. It takes the time it takes, it will happen.” - Kelli McKinney


One thing that Kelli did as she was experiencing rejection as an author was to narrow her focus. She shares about how at first she sent her manuscript to any and all publishers to see if it would get picked up. But it was after many rejections that she decided to get clear on her niche and get more strategic.


“I was mindful and I was strategic and I niched down into which agents and which editors and which publishers and lo and behold, within three weeks, I got requests from people to see more of the manuscript.” - Kelli McKinney


If you’re experiencing rejection of any kind in your business, this is great advice for you. Take a step back and see if there are ways to narrow in and get more specific. For example, maybe you’re offering general yoga classes now but you decide to offer a back-pain series to help relieve back pain. BINGO! You’re now more specific and it will likely get more traction than a general class.






Self Doubt Is Part Of The Process Of Chasing A Business Dream


It starts with the “shoulds” of “should I even do this or try to do this” and then it turns into self doubt and not believing you can do it or even try.


“Rejection is a constant thing and a person can only hear ‘no’ so many times before they start doubting.” - Kelli McKinney


As you’re chasing a dream it’s only a matter of time before you begin to doubt yourself and your abilities to make your dreams come true. In these moments it’s important to remember that this is part of the process and every entrepreneur goes through this.


It’s also important to remember that as you stretch yourself to try new things and push beyond your comfort zone, this will continue to happen. Self doubt doesn’t necessarily stop after the first time you experience a win. It will continually creep into your entrepreneurial journey so it’s all about finding ways to navigate your self doubt.


“What changed for me was my perspective…It didn’t work this time but it might work next time” - Kelli McKinney




The Best Way To Persevere As An Entrepreneur


As you continue on your entrepreneurial journey and hit these moments of self doubt and rejection, there is one thing that will help you persevere and that is finding support from others.


“The thing that helped the most was finding a community of other writers. When I first started investing in myself, I was on a little island. I had just made this decision and I was like, okay, I'm gonna put my butt in the chair and I'm gonna write. I had a small child, I had a husband starting a new job, all the things that life brings you, and so I thought I would will myself to become an author, through sheer determination and sitting down and hitting the keys, but what I learned was that you need other people.” - Kelli McKinney


Kelli shared that she tried doing this on her own but then realized that she was actually making things harder than they needed to be. It’s easy to fall into this trap for many reasons but the key is to recognize this and then seek out support. There are many places to find support such as:

  • Social media

  • Local groups

  • Paid masterminds or organizations

  • Memberships

  • Group Programs


“Once I started talking to other people who were like, yeah, this happened to me and this is how I dealt with it; that was life changing.” - Kelli McKinney



Your next step

Take action, a small action, towards your dream. Whether that means putting your butt in a chair to write or plan out your next series or send a few personal messages so you can book some private sessions. Take action towards your dream because it will happen. It might take years to fully be revealed to you but small steps lead to big progress.


“Don't give up. Just take a deep breath, take care of yourself. Get up tomorrow and try again because it'll get you there, you can get yourself there. It'll be okay.” - Kelli McKinney


Until next time give yourself permission to try again and grace along the way. I’ll talk to you soon!