Leaving 8-5 behind and finding your place

Angela Duncan Photography-Longview-TX

Angela Duncan Photography-Longview-TX

I first met Kayla when I photographed a local charity event last year called "Blue Jeans and Ball Gowns." After that, we became "official" friends on Facebook. Over the course of a year of being friends with someone on Facebook, you kinda get to know a little bit about them. I noticed that Kayla had a real passion for fitness. She's a runner and I used to run in high school and college and LOVED it. So, I obviously would take notice when she made running related posts.

Once I posted an image of my model call client Alex, Kayla immediately messaged me asking about how she could get some rad personal branding/boudoir shots for her new LLC site she was launching. Of course, I said, umm, YEAH! So we planned the shoot and she rocked it.

Angela Duncan Photography-Longview-TX

During her shoot we talked about all the normal things girls talk about. Boys, makeup, clothes, etc. But we also talked about being young, female entrepreneurs. Because in one space, we had managed to combine THREE female business owners only 5 years apart in age - into one space.

So before she left her shoot, I asked if she would be willing to share about how she went from an 8-5 she had no heart for to a business she's passionate about all by the age of 25.

Here's her story.


When I first graduated college I had no idea what I wanted or the direction my life was going to take. I had just ended an abusive engagement, I was graduating, and had no plan really or any idea what my goals were. Little did I know that walking across the stage at my college graduation was just the beginning of my journey and path to becoming who I am supposed to be.

When I first graduated I worked as an admissions counselor for my college, LeTourneau University. I had been the schools Zumba teacher for the past 3 years and continued to do that upon graduation sicne I loved it so much. Working for Letourneau required a lot of traveling. It was hindering my classes so I had to make the hard decision to leave. I took a job as a recruiter at a staffing agency called Aerotek.

Working 8-5 for something I did not enjoy was awful. My only sense of release was teaching Zumba 3 nights a week. I got this crazy idea,

What if I could make this fitness thing I have going full time?

I read up on different personal training courses and just like that signed up to take the test.

Once I passed I had a tough decision to make. I knew the only way to make it in the industry was devote my time to it. But that required me to quit my full time job that was paying the bills. But, all my life I have said I wanted to be happy and to take risks - and taking a risk is exactly what I did. I packed up my office and off I went to pursue a fitness career full time

Angela Duncan Photography-Longview-TX

When I first began I had 4 classes and 2 clients a week. There were some days I thought to myself, "How am I ever going to make this happen?"

But, I continued to work hard and get my name out there. I was working for 5 different gyms driving all over east Texas working from 5 am to 10 pm just to make it, pay the bills, and get my name out. I was tired but I knew I was on to something great. I loved all what I was doing and that I was helping people.

As time went on, my reputation grew and my client load grew, and I was able to fill up my schedule more during the day at 2 gyms, the institute for Healthy Living and Anytime Fitness Kilgore. I was finally starting to see my hard work pay off. This was my dream and I was finally getting to live it.

Angela Duncan Photography-Longview-TX

Since then, I have continued to grow even more in my career. I have failed multiple times trying to take my career to the next level, but recently I have been soaring. My client load has doubled, I was chosen to be a SCW Fitness Mania presenter and get to travel all over the US to lead and educate other fitness instructors. I started my own website and apparel brand as well. All these things came from hard work. It is more than I ever imaged to be this successful at age 25 and I do not see myself slowing down anytime soon.

My main goal in all this is to challenge everyone to live a happy and healthy life - mentally and physically. Living and working a career that you work for yourself is so rewarding and challenging. I get to make my own hours, change lives around me and love what I do every single day and that’s rare to find. I encourage anyone who has a dream to NEVER go a day without working towards it. You never know when your breakthrough moment is coming. Do not be afraid to fail, and go confidently in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.

Make sure to check her out online at www.kaylabonina.com!

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