I can’t think of a better person to kick off our 2022 Women Who Inspire blog than Kim Miles! I first met Kim at a breast cancer event called Spring into Pink at the Winchester Country Club where she was the emcee. The positive energy you get when you meet Kim is contagious. After our first introduction I started following Kim on Instagram and we struck up a friendship over the years that I’m truly grateful for having. I’m thrilled to introduce her to you and who knows…you might meet Kim at a local event she happens to be the speaker at!
Before we get to the Q & A, here’s a little background. Kim is a successful businesswoman with a vibrant financial advisory practice with over 25 years of sales experience and has created Miles in Heels Productions where she found her true calling. Miles in Heels is a way for Kim to connect people, creating a relaxed atmosphere where they really feel they can open up and share. Kim has been described as not only an in-demand emcee but also a motivational speaker and I can tell you from experience, she has much more to offer. Without further ado, Meet Kim Miles….
Women Who Inspire Q & A
Kristen: What’s unique about the product/service you provide?
Kim: As an Event Strategist, I’m proud to say that I’m a true unicorn in the event production space: I use both sides of my brain, equally, when helping my clients bring their live or virtual events from ideation to execution. Different from an “event planner” who typically focuses solely on the aesthetics of an event, my job is to partner as a creative collaborator with my clients and make sure that all angles are covered to ensure that an event is delivering on its promise. I’m dialed into everything from the branding and messaging of the event to the talent to the fundraising and margins, where applicable. My role is to make sure that when people attend one of my clients’ events that they leave having had a unique experience where they have both been entertained as well as learned something.
Kristen: If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Kim: NOTHING! And I mean that, truly. My journey has, without a doubt, led me to where I am today and there isn’t any way I’d be here had my journey looked different. Having graduated with a degree in Television, Radio, and Film Production, my post-collegiate career has been peppered with an array of jobs in an array of industries. For the past 20 years, I have been a financial advisor (a choice completely out of left field!) but it’s the skills that I’ve acquired through running that business that gave me the confidence and know-how to run my production company which I started about eight years ago. I never dreamed I’d be an entrepreneur but knowing what I know now, I realize it’s in my blood and I was meant to run these two businesses all along.
Kristen: What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year?
Kim: The past year has been one that has challenged so many people on so many levels. Besides the pandemic and its obvious effects, I spearheaded the decision to move my parents out of their home of 50 years right at the height of the pandemic. This decision was precipitated by an accident that left my father incapacitated for almost six months. We quickly realized that my childhood home was going to become increasingly challenging for my parents to navigate. I learned SO much about myself and my family during this incredibly stressful period. Now that we are on the other side of things, what I am most grateful for is the fact that my parents are happy, healthy, and safe in their new residence. Every time I visit them, it reinforces the fact that “home” truly is where the people you love are. It’s not about the structure itself.
Kristen: What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life?
Kim: Without question, one of the toughest decisions I’ve made with my husband was the decision to not pursue having children. After a cancer diagnosis early in our marriage and three failed IVF attempts, my husband and I took a long pause and decided that we wanted to enjoy each other and our marriage versus spending more years embroiled in health struggles. That decision was indeed tough, but I realize that it was the right decision for us. I spend a lot of time discussing this topic on various podcasts and through my writing which I hope inspires and helps other women who are dealing with similar difficult choices and conversations. As women, we need to celebrate each other’s decisions and be a champion for one another regardless of our choices.
Kristen: What accomplishment are you most proud of, and why?
Kim: In April of 2021, I gave a TEDx Talk at Babson College and it was, unequivocally, a professional and personal highlight for me. The talk is entitled, “Surviving the Big C: Conformity” and I proudly share my journey in the hopes of inspiring other women to take solace and pride in their life choices. I discuss my belief in celebrating instead of apologizing for the version of your life that you’ve chosen to lead, no matter how different it appears to others, both personally and professionally. My signature line from my talk is, “Bridging the gap between our perceived, projected future-self and our actual present-day self is an act of self-love and acceptance.” And for me, that’s at the heart of what I stand as a champion for. I want other women to support each other and their choices and to stop judging people whose lives look different from theirs. We never know someone’s story until we get to know them and when we take that time, we can experience and exhibit so much more empathy.
Kristen: What is currently the biggest challenge to your success and how are you handling it?
Kim: I have too many ideas that I want to pursue and there are only so many hours in the day!! I’m the type of person who really dives into an idea when I’m motivated by it and my biggest struggle is just finding the time to execute on all of them. I have a game plan for 2022 where I hope to be launching two different ideas that have been percolating for some time now. I have been doing my research and since my winter season is usually my quietest, I’m promising myself to put the time to good use.
Kristen: How did mentors influence your life?
Kim: For me, my mentors have reinforced just how important it is to give back. Not by way of telling me that, but by simply showing me in how they have always been there for me when I’ve needed them. I know how grateful I am to all the people who have taken my call, met me for a cup of coffee, or facilitated an introduction with someone who has had an impact of my professional trajectory. I pride myself on paying these types of actions forward; I’ve been a mentor with the Babson College WINLab for eight years. The WINLab is a business incubator for female entrepreneurs and it’s some of the most gratifying work that I do. I always get so much out of it, and I learn so much from these aspiring businesswomen. I’m so honored to contribute to this educational ecosystem.
Kristen: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?
Kim: Singing with my band! I’ve been a singer all my life and 12 years ago, I started a band with one of my best friends. We perform for lots of private parties and fundraisers and it’s an absolute blast. (It’s a great excuse to rock some leather pants…not that I need an excuse!) We are all a bunch of 50 plus musicians with lives and families and full-time jobs that get together and play truly just for the love of music. It’s fueled by passion. While we aren’t ever going to get rich doing it, our souls are overflowing.
Kristen: What mantra do you live by?
Kim: There is strength in storytelling. The simple act of sharing your story can have a significant, if not life-altering, impact on someone. You never know who you are influencing or helping by being your authentic self and sharing your truth. I have felt incredible freedom in the transparency with which I share my journey and health struggles and I have had complete strangers reach out to me to tell me how my words have helped heal them or helped them through a particularly rough patch. That means the world to me. And if you think about it, it’s just about staying authentically true to yourself that provides that freedom.