Welcome to kimgarst.com! I am currently the CEO and co-founder of Boom! Social but how did I get here?
I grew up in rural Virginia. Life in a small rural area is a much slower style of living. At the time, I thought wow, gotta move on and see the world. Now that I am older, I appreciate the slower pace of small town life when I go home to visit!
I am married to the love of my life…incidentally, we were high school sweethearts. Out of high school he went into the military and I went to college. Three years later, we got married. Twenty eight years later, we are still blessed and going strong. We both finished college the hard way…night classes! About five years after we were married, we had our first child. Four years later, we were blessed again with our youngest son. They are 21 and 17 respectively now and WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?
My undergraduate degree is in Political Science and my intent was to attend law school, however, after my oldest son was born, LIFE CHANGED or better said…my PRIORITIES changed. Right up until the day he was born, I had my life planned out in a total opposite direction from where I find myself today. As I mentioned earlier, my husband was in the military and I had a job as a paralegal in a prominent law office. We loved our jobs, bought our first home and as with many young couples, had life by the tail. ENTER one of the greatest blessings that God has ever given me…SON #1. When Tyler was born my entire focus changed and the thought of leaving him with someone else was truly painful to me. I am sure there are many Mothers that can identify with this feeling. I resigned from my job and became a ‘stay at home Mom’.
I don’t know if you know this or not but those that protect our freedoms DO NOT GET PAID A LOT OF MONEY! We went from having the world by the tail to worrying about our finances and how we were going to provide for our new little fella.
Leaving my son in a day care situation was not an option so now what? What could I do that would generate income for my family FROM HOME? Remember, this was 21 years ago…AOL and CompuServe were the big DIALUPS – anyone still have dialup? If so, my heart goes out to you! B2B Boards and floppies…yikes, I am definitely dating myself now huh? I started researching online, trying to find something, anything that would produce income for our family.
It was not easy! When I started I could not even cut and paste. I remember writing email addresses on post cards of people who I found on B2B boards that I thought might be interested in my services. I would then retype their emails into my email client (Eudora – anyone remember this one?); before OUTLOOK LOL. I spent HOURS and HOURS teaching myself how to do certain things. If I didn’t know how, I simply found a resource and taught myself. Before long, I was perceived as an “AUTHORITY” because I knew more than the next guy or gal, which wasn’t hard in those days because of the newness of the Internet. When this happened…my business really took off.
Because of the commitment I had to each of my clients, 100% of my business came my way via word of mouth. The best part…I earned my first 7 figures from my DINING ROOM!
I was spending 18 hours or more a day keeping up with the MONSTER that my online business had become. I began to hate the phone with a passion. Spending the better part of my day on it probably had something to do with that. Worse yet, my children hated the phone! “Don’t answer it, Mom” was heard pretty routinely in our home. While I was physically home with my children, my attention was not where it needed to be or in the proportion that it needed to be for sure. I was EXHAUSTED. Ultimately, I decided to sell my business and go back to being simply a ‘stay at home Mom’. I sold my business and immersed myself in being a ‘stay at home mom’. I started home-schooling my boys. Tyler was entering the 7th grade and Logan the 3rd grade when we started learning from home. My boys play travel hockey so I entered the realm of constant activity; getting ‘em here and there on time. Additionally, I began work on my Master’s degree and after completing that felt I needed to do “something” but didn’t quite know what I wanted at that time
And coincidentally, that is when one of my good friends shared with me a direct sales company that had a novel concept. While I was very familiar with the marketing technique they were utilizing, I had never seen it harnessed in such a unique way and I was intrigued. I had marketed for many distributors involved in network marketing companies while my business was still operational but had never become involved in a network marketing company myself until this time.
The entrepreneurial spirit inside of me began to stir and awaken again and I knew that THIS was what I had been waiting for. Like many of us who become involved in a network marketing company, I immediately thought I was going to make millions. While I did not hit the MILLION mark, I was blessed and did very well with my first adventure with a network marketing company. But the best part…I quickly realized that I could use my skill set to help OTHERS earn an income from home. I WAS HOOKED back into an online business!
I often laugh and tell people social media choose me and not the other way around. I was “social media’ing” before it was even called social media. After dipping my toe back into the online arena, it quickly became apparent that social media, in its present form, had huge implications for anyone who owned a business and was interested in marketing online. I turned my full focus and energies on mastering the big four social media platforms. I started using those skills sets to help others who want to learn and ultimately have a thriving business that revolves around social media and personal branding.
In August, 2012, I partnered with Terry Williamson to form an explosive new digital marketing company called Boom! Social. The rest is history as they say!