When I was asked to give a guest lecture at Harvard Business School (HBS) in January, I was honored to be among aspiring entrepreneurs and likeminded peers. Several successful entrepreneurs, from various industries, were invited to speak and share their stories — including Kim Kardashian.
Now, I won’t lie: My interest was peaked.
The Kardashian name is well-known, but between the reality TV and tabloid press, Kim’s entrepreneurial success is often overlooked. Jens Grede, the co-founder and CEO of Kim’s brand SKIMS spoke to Forbes about the projected 50% growth expected in 2023 for the billion-dollar company. (An impressive surge in revenue for any business.) Kim’s presence both as celebrity and co-founder is a part of that. So when I saw Kim’s name on the HBS lineup, I knew I wanted to tap into her business brain.
My one question for Kim was simple: How does she do it all? Even though we know Kim has resources at her disposal that go beyond most of our means, at the end of the day she’s human and one person, so it has to be a challenge for her too. Between law school, being hands-on with raising four children, participating in human rights campaigns, SKIMS, influencing, and even having a skincare line she has so much going on.
“You can say a lot of things about me, but you cannot say I don’t work hard.” – Kim Kardashian
As a fellow entrepreneur with a lot on her plate, I always circle back to the question of how I can optimize my time. In my own day-to-day, I find myself with tasks left to do. While I structure my work windows, prioritize my well-being, and more, I am always seeking ways to be more efficient and elevate my relationship to time.
Maximize Your Days
Kim alluded to the fact that she has razor-sharp discipline. She credited discipline as being secret to unlocking her success. In practice, Kim shared that discipline stems from maximizing the hours in each day. To do this, she calendars her every move. Everything from lunch to picking up the kids, showing up for a fitting, and more; it’s on her calendar. I later learned from a friend that this calendar discipline is also known as time blocking. Time blocking is a productivity technique that involves scheduling specific blocks of time for specific tasks for activities to help you focus on one task at a time without distractions so that you can manage your time more efficiently.
By providing herself with a visual aid, Kim can see exactly where her time goes. This not only supports her routine activities like 5 a.m. workouts before the children wake up, but allows Kim to see where she is missing opportunities to connect, create, and drive her focus to ensure she completes her goals.This tip made me realize I am not maximizing my time outside of work. Creating discipline within my free time is less about being restrictive or “busy” and more about practicing the intentionality that I want to cultivate in my life. Organizing my time outside of my work schedule will allow me to better understand my capacity and get a sense for how much time is under-utilized for non-work related goals that could ultimately inspire me to expand my potential.
Say “No” More
With discipline and a visual schedule to hold herself accountable, Kim stressed the importance of prioritizing her time. What’s priority comes with the discipline to be discerning. As a public and popular figure, Kim is no stranger to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to connect and build. With an endless stream of possibilities, Kim has to do the work of understanding what’s truly important to her goals, joy, and livelihood.
What’s a priority to you is very personal and specific. Maybe you reserve your mornings for yoga or prayer. Maybe your Friday evenings are only for family time. Whatever your non-negotiables are for life or in the next two weeks is up to you. On the other end of that discernment is the art of saying “no”.
If you’re anything like me, saying no to people, events, and tasks can be an underutilized muscle. This resistance to turning down offers can be a mixed bag of limited beliefs, people pleasing, or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) No matter the reason, we can all stand to learn that doing a lot of things doesn’t mean you’re being productive or impactful. Aligning our schedules with our intentions is the key to getting more done in our business and lives.
Get a clear vision on what you do and don’t do. Be intentional. Then, write it down, schedule it, and set up reminders to hold yourself accountable. Lastly, do it.
Kim K didn’t become a success because she did nothing but dream and plan. She showed up, took calculated risks, and was unapologetic about the abundance she gained from it. (And that’s something we can all benefit from!)
Are you watching the Kardashians? Share what business tips and inspirations you’re taking away from Kim in the comments.