Gala Darling is a total girl-boss who is the perfect mix of magic, unicorn-fairy dust, and bad-ass. She’s currently a published author who travels the world sharing her tips, tricks and methodologies for a life fuelled in Radical Self-Love. She started her journey as an inspiring entrepreneur as a blogger, which began as soon as she could get her hands on a computer with an internet connection, and has been writing ever since.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with her about how she got her start, how sometimes having your back to the wall is the perfect storm to create a dream business, and how to get past the fear of not hiding behind your brand and letting your readers know the real you.
Watch the full interview with Gala here:
Prefer to read the interview with Gala Darling? Read the full transcript of the interview below:
Reese: Hey everyone. So today we’re gonna be interviewing Gala Darling. If you don’t already know who Gala is, she is a self-love enthusiast. She started her blog after many years suffering from eating disorders and depression and was able to turn that into an amazingly successful business, starting off with her books and many courses. And so we’re so excited to have her here today, sharing her tips, tricks, strategies and methods with the Yes Supply Society. She’s a total girl boss. She really has crated a life that she loves, doing exactly what she loves to do.
She talks to women all over the world to encourage and motivate them to use self-love to create the life of their dreams and so she’s really such a Yes Supply muse. I’m so excited to have her here today. I’ll be honest, I was nervous all day getting ready for the interview. I was deleting stuff off my computer hoping that there is space for the interview, rewriting and writing out all of my questions, of course putting in the questions that you guys, the Yes Supply Society, have left for her.
So I will just get right into the interview. Definitely leave comments, questions, like and please subscribe to the youtube channel so that you don’t miss out on any future interviews that we do. So with that, let’s say hello to Gala and get right into the interview.
Reese: How are you?
Gala: I’m good how are you?
Reese: Good. I spent the whole morning trying to delete stuff of my computer. To make sure that this is not going to crash or not get saved or anything like that, so that’s how my day has been. But I’m super excited to be chatting with you. I think it’s gonna be amazing. I told my community and my Facebook group called The Yes Supply Society and I first started off just being like: “Who knows who Gala Darling is?”. And so people were like: “I know, I know”. And I was like: “Oh my God I’m interviewing her!”. So they’ve submitted some of their own questions for you as well.
Reese: So they’re really really excited for this today. So thank you so much for hanging out with me. I guess you’ve had a kinda busy last few weeks, you’ve been traveling a lot?
Gala: I feel like I’m always traveling, yeah. I have like maybe two weeks now where I’m not going anywhere and then I’m like in New Orleans and then I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina like the weekend after that so.it’s never ending.
Reese: Super exciting. Thanks so much for taking the time. So have you had a chance to look at Yes Supply? Maybe I’ll give you a bit of a background of Yes Supply.
Gala: Yeah, give me a bit of background.
Reese: Yeah, absolutely. So I started Yes Supply essentially because I saw a huge gap in there being real interviews and real life help for people who are just starting out. So I used to be a stylist and kind of on my dream to becoming a stylist, I just found it so hard to find interviews of people who weren’t like: “Oh, I just fell into this job” or “It was so easy” or “I had a friend who gave me a connection and that’s how I started my thing” so I love when I’m interviewing people to be honest and not be afraid to share any negative experiences or maybe somebody who told you no.
Because I think that for somebody who’s starting out, to know that other people who are successful have kind of… gone through obstacles or struggles and still made it through on the other end, is so much more relatable than… “yeah my family knows their family and that’s why I own this famous company now” or whatever it is. Right?
How Did You Get Started?
Reese: But I know you’ll have no problem with that. I’ve followed you for a while and I’ve seen a lot of your interviews so… you are amazing. So I’d love to just get started off at the very beginning. So what, for people who don’t already know you and haven’t already followed you, what sort of got you started with blogging?
Gala: So I got an internet connection in 1996, I was like thirteen years old and I was immediately obsessed with news groups and chat and I was.. cause I lived in New Zealand and it was very… it just felt really small.
I went to an old girls private school, it was like an Anglican school and I just found it really hard to meet people that I identified with and had things in common with. So I started seeking out other weirdos on the internet and then I started building web-pages when I was thirteen.
And I did that up until I was 23 and then decided that I would try and do this blogging thing full-time and try to make some money from it. And when I did that… people had only been blogging for money for like a year. It was super, super fresh. It was 2006. And so no one really knew how to make it work. Some people were making it work but we didn’t really know what we were doing. I was working these really shitty jobs and always hated it. Always wanted to be creative but didn’t know how to make the leap or whatever and I moved to Australia with my boyfriend at the time and I was like: “You know what? I’m just gonna try because I literally have nothing to lose right now. I don’t have a job anyway… like let’s just see what happens”. That’s kinda how it started.
How Do You Share Personal Aspects Of Yourself Online?
Reese: That’s kinda how you got started? So my community is a lot of female creatives as well. And people who wanna start their own business and get into entrepreneurship. A big thing that they struggle with, and something that I struggled with a lot too when I was starting out, was being comfortable with sharing personal aspects about yourself online. So how did you get comfortable with sharing the ups and the downs and the vulnerability and that sort of thing?
Gala: Well, it’s interesting because I started kind of blogging before there was blogging. When I was like fourteen I was just sharing like bad poetry and then moved into like online journaling… I was on live-journal for a long time and I would be just like a total oversharer. I told people way too much information about myself. So I basically had ten years of job training before I started my blog.
And so I kind of had gotten used to sharing too much, not sharing enough, figuring out where the balance point was and also learning what people responded to…like how do you get people to react to what you’ve said, rather than just hoping that they will. There’s kind of a science to it, which sounds very tactical but really it’s just like you have to treat them like they are your friend. You have to be open. You have to be willing to go there as well. If you’re not willing to share about yourself and your journey then your readers are not gonna be willing to share about theirs either. And it’s very important to be able to be vulnerable and to be able to own up to your flaws. And when you do, even though it’s terrifying, your readers really resonate with that and they see that you are are a real person and that kinda changes everything. When I started my blog I had just come out of a very long depression and eating disorders so it was really… kinda felt like I was rediscovering the world a lot because things looked really different without those two things kind of clouding my vision. So I was super positive all the time, like almost without incident. And so I’ve kind of, over the past few years, come back to that point of it being like: “I had a shitty day today and that’s OK.”. And like really being able to express the full spectrum of my feelings rather than just being like: “Everything is great all the time and if it’s not…choose a happy thought”. It’s true that we can still choose how we feel but you have to acknowledge that it’s not always that easy and choosing a thought isn’t always the way to be. So it’s really been an experience where kind of goes up and down and I’m always kind of exploring how much to share and how much positivity and how much realness and stuff people really need.
How Do You Balance Self-Love With Being A Busy Entrepreneur?
Reese: That’s so awesome that you share that too. Because I think a lot of people wake up and they open up their phone and they scroll through Instagram and it looks like everyone is living these pretty perfect lives with like expensive bags or perfect contour. Just seeming like they live the best life ever. Only happy. Only buying a new house. And so I love that you just shared that. You know, you don’t always have the best days and times it’s down days and that’s OK, that’s part of the journey. So my next question kind of to segue into that is: you’re super busy, you’re traveling all over the world, you’re doing public speaking and all this, so self-love is such an important part of your brand, how do you balance self-love with being a busy entrepreneur?
Gala: I don’t even know if it’s balance really. I think after a while self-love becomes a part of the way that you live your life. So for example, over the past few years I’ve done a lot of different things within my business. Where I’ve started new projects with other people and I’ve written books and I’ve created courses and I’ve done lots of different things. And now I’m really at a point where I have to ask myself: “Is this fun?”. And if it’s like… if I wouldn’t do it if there was no money involved then I can’t do it, as a project.
And that’s a part of me taking care of myself and loving and honoring myself and recognizing where I’m at as a creative and what works for me, like that has just become a part… it’s embedded into the fabric of my business. It has to feel good. What I do has to feel good or like what’s the fucking point? I have been doing this now full-time for ten years and it’s about time to know like when you say yes to a project that doesn’t work it makes you wanna through yourself out the window and if that’s how you feel you should just go back to work in an office again. Like why are you putting yourself through the ringer when you’re literally your own boss and you get to say yes or no to anything?
Reese: That’s so awesome. That’s so true too because I think a lot of people see somebody on, for example Instagram or Facebook, and they’re a successful blogger and they look happy so they’re like: “Oh, I wanna be a blogger”. Or they’re a coach so: “Oh, I wanna be a coach”. But I think personally it’s really important to get away from all those distractions and look at yourself and just be like: “What skills do I have… What skills do I have? What am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? What gives me that warm tingly feeling?” And that’s kind of the right path for you.
On Picking The Perfect Job For You
Gala: Right. And I think there’s also a lot of value in asking yourself like what did you enjoy doing when you were eight years old. Like what did you love back then… I loved writing and acting, and talking into a little Dictaphone thing, and recording a fake radio station, and reading books, and dressing up and being crazy like all of those things is basically my business.
Reese: That’s so amazing. You know I never though of that… like what did I enjoy doing when I was eight years old? But me being eight years old being an only child and introvert, I would cook in the kitchen and pretend that I was on a cooking show. Or my cousin and I would spill water all over the counter top and then pretend that it was one of those bounty commercials. Like look how absorbent this paper towel is. So I don’t know if I can make a blog out of that but… sharing and teaching and educating has actually been part of what I do so that kind of makes sense.
Gala: Yeah so…
Reese: Sort of on the topic of self-love as well. I created a 21 day challenge for women called “Good Morning Beautiful” for their morning rituals and some people subscribe and use it every single day. It combines gratitude practices, meditation, yoga poses and daily self-love. People are really really enjoying it….
Reese: … So I’m interested to know from you: Do you have any morning rituals that you use on a day-to-day basis to help you wake up and be ready for the day and feel centered?
Gala: It really depends. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. And I love the idea of having this perfect morning ritual where I get out of bed, and I drink a glass of water with some lemon squeezed in it and then I meditate, and then I grab my gratitude list, and then do some stretching, and then I start walking but it’s just does not… in reality that’s not what happens. So always different. My boyfriend is usually up at 5 o’clock in the morning because he’s a personal trainer so I’m often up with him at 5 o’clock. And when that happens I love it ‘cause he leaves and I sit at my computer and I get so much work done in those like first three hours of the day. And then I’m kind of free to do what I wanna do. But I do have practices in my life that are really important, for my self-love practice.
So working out is really really important. If I don’t work out I just get so mad about everything, I’m insufferable. I have to work out. I have to make sure that I eat enough food… I’m very guilty of working working working and forgetting to eat and then again you feel like shit so that’s… no good.
And gratitude lists. Gratitude is one of like my biggest and most important practices. I’m always working on a gratitude list and I post them on Instagram and that just helps me focus on what’s going well in my life and that’s really important is to not obsess of your problems all the time. And I think there’s a difference between being like: “Oh, I have a problem but I’m not gonna think about and I’m gonna try and gratitude or meditate it away” because that doesn’t work and that’s not the purpose of those practices. But to be able to look at a problem objectively, feel your real feelings about it and deal with it. But also be like: “OK, I may have this problem but I also have all of these great things in my life”. And so those two things have to coexist in a parallel kind of way. You can’t pretend that the bad stuff isn’t there because your life will just get messier and messier and messier because you’re not unpacking anything.
And we have to really just be thoughtful about that like… I used to think that radical self-love… the most important think was that you make an effort to feel good every single day. And I still think that that’s important. I think it’s a corner stone. But I also think that we use the idea of feeling good as an excuse to avoid transformation. Because ultimately transformation only happens when we’re in pain. And growth and change is like ugly and messy, and it sucks, and it’s never just like: “Here I aaaaaaam …”, like RuPauls drag-race kind of catwalk.
Reese: Would be nice.
Gala: I’m pretty sure that they would like that but …
Reese: It’d be so fabulous.
Gala: Right. But it’s not like that. And so we have to be really realistic about the fact that if we’re just trying to feel good all the time really it’s kinda of a spiritual bypass and we have to get comfortable with the messiness and ugliness of life and not knowing all the answers and having an ugly cry in public sometimes, you know?
Reese: Actually this relates to me perfectly ‘cause I l re-launched my website, I think it was last week, obviously mercury was in retrograde. If you ever re-launch your website, please don’t do it during mercury in retrograde. It’s the worst. And I think it was Friday morning, just everything was going wrong and I hadn’t cried in a very long time but I just sat there and like ugly cried the shit out of ugly crying. But then after I was like: “Wait, that felt really good!”
Reese: I should do this everyday.
Gala: It totally feels really good. Louis C. K. did a thing recently, he was on Conan O’ Brian, he was talking about how we all use our phones as a way of pushing away the ugliness and the pain. Because we all have this pain kind of sitting in the back of our head and this sadness that kind of threatens to overwhelm us all the time. But when we feel it we usually grab our phone and look at a cat video on YouTube or something so we don’t have to deal with it. And he said he was driving down the road and he felt the feeling come up and instead of grabbing the phone and texting like ten people, he was like: “OK, I’m just gonna let it wash over me and I’m just gonna feel it”
And he pulled over to the side of the road and he cried and he felt the feelings and he was really in it and afterward he said he felt the sense of bliss and happiness that the hadn’t felt in a really long time. And he said that when you don’t allow yourself to feel both sides of the spectrum… or at least when you don’t let yourself feel the sadness… you’re kinda just in this numbed out place all the time. You never really feel great, you never really feel shitty, you’re kinda just bumbling along. And that’s not the goal like you wanna be able to feel the full spectrum of emotions. That’s why we’re here and that’s why we have those emotions. They are there to show us what’s not working or draw attention to something. Not to just be ignored or pretend they’re not there, or, you know, pray it away. It doesn’t work like that.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Competition While Starting Your Business
Reese: You know what’s so crazy? I actually saw that video. I saw it and I thought it was great and I thought it was true. But even now you just saying that back to me, in your own way, makes me really understand it and feel it that much more. And it kinda just makes me think: a lot of woman wanting to start their own business or wanting to start their own blogs they say: “Oh, I can’t do it because there’s already someone doing it” This is just the perfect example of if you’re doing something in your own unique way it’s gonna hit somebody differently. And your words of Louis C.K. hit me differently than they’d coming straight from him, which is so interesting.
Gala: Right. Because his delivery is different. He’s telling it in an anecdotal talk-show…making it funny…’I wanna sell some tickets to my show’ kind of way and I’m telling in a way being like: “Please feel your feelings!”.
Gala: He doesn’t care if you feel your feelings. He’s just trynna make you laugh.
Gala: So it’s a totally different thing. But it’s true, everyone is so obsessed with like: “Oh, that’s already been done”. FUCK THAT. There is literally no such thing as an original thought. Everything has been done. So the only thing you can do is pick something you really love. Pick something you could talk about everyday for like two years and not get sick of and go for it. Because it’s true there are so many people who do business advice online or they do like spirituality or fashion or whatever. And there’s an unending appetite for this because someone different is gonna appeal to everyone.
There’s No Guarantee Of Success, But You Should Do it Anyway…
Reese: I only started my blog a year ago and I often struggle with the same thing ‘cause for me self-love is very important but I’m learning so much about online business and social media, so I wanna share that too. And for a while I was struggling like: “OK, who am I? Am I this person? Am I that person?” and then, one day, hit me and I’m like: “I don’t have to put myself in a little box. I don’t have to say I’m a self-confidence person. I don’t have to say I’m a business-blog person. I can just share and it’s great because my community is so many different people that come to me for some many different things”. So which kind of works for my next question too. A lot of people want to start something and they don’t because of fear. Because of those excuses, you know, it’s already been done. And so when you first started there was no guarantee that you are gonna see all this success that you did. There’s no guarantee that anyone was gonna open up your book, like I’m so glad you did, but there was no guarantee so did you know all this was gonna happen? Did you have a feeling like what was it?
Gala: No. I had no idea. So I started my blog ‘cause I was like: “OK, I have to do something that’s gonna make me some money”. I literally got out a piece of paper and I wrote a list of like twenty or thirty things I thought I could do to make money. And there was like become a make-up artist, be a photographer, become a florist, like it was all creative stuff. But most of it required equipment or training or some kind of vague initial investment. And start a blog was literally the cheapest option. And I had like no money so I was like: “Well, I guess I’m gonna do that”. And I had always wanted to start a magazine but again that costs a lot of money to put together and I thought: “Well, I’ll start my blog and maybe if that works then I’ll do a magazine and that’s how it will go”. But the blog so much fun that I never made that leap. But no I had no idea that it was gonna work. And l think in some ways that was an advantage. People who start blogs now look at it thinking like:”Oh, I wanna deal with target, and I want a book, and I want a TV show and all of this stuff. I think when you’re starting something for those reasons, it really comes across. It doesn’t feel like an authentic sharing of what you really have to say. And I started my blog thinking like I have no idea how I’m gonna make money. Maybe I’ll sell advertising which is what I started doing in the beginning…
Gala: But really I just wanted to talk about what I wanted to talk about. And the real primary drive of my blog, initially, was I wanted to talk about personal style and how that can make us feel good. And at the time there were a few blogs about personal style but they were mostly either obsessed with like trends which I’m not into or they were really snarky and would be like: “Look at what the celebrity is wearing”… disgusting. And I wanted to create a place online where women could come and feel inspired by getting dressed and feel good about themselves and feel empowered to experiment with clothing and try something different. Like wearing leopard print leggings.
Reese: Love those. They’re so amazing.
Gala: I feel like Peg Bundy in them. I feel amazing. It’s so good.
What to do when people tell you no…
Gala: But. I wanted people to have fun with style. And I think if I’d gone into being like: “Well, I wanna write a book”. It just has a different vibe… like your intention is everything and that people can feel it, comes through the screen. They can feel how genuine you are. But I had no idea and for years my parents were like: “Don’t you think you should get a job? Bla bla bla”. Until it really started to pick up, but it look a long time to be really self-sustaining and for me not to be like: “Oh fuck! How am I gonna pay my rent this month?”, you know? And that’s just part of the game. And it’s like about with everything that I’ve tried that I wanted to do… with my first book I decided to self-publish it because I had met with some publishers and they were like: “We don’t get it!”. And I was like: “You know what? I think this is important enough that I’m willing to put my own time and money into it. I’ll hire my own designer and photographer and all of that stuff and we’ll sell it through Amazon Print-on-Demand and see what happens”. And it was instantly a number one Amazon Bestseller, it was in number one Amazon new release and then I got an email from Hay House saying: “We wanna buy your book”. So it was worth the gamble. I could still be in that position of not having written a book, still thinking about it and being intimidated because a big publisher didn’t understand my vision and just waiting for someone to say that it was okay to do it. And I don’t believe in waiting for someone to give you that permission slip. You have to give yourself a permission slip.
Reese: Yeah. Absolutely. I totally agree. I think that so many people wait for permission and it’s like sometimes you just have to be that thing that you know is the next step and then people are like: “Oh, you already are that thing and so now we have to ask to buy your book”, or whatever it is so that’s really really cool.
Gala: And to like create the thing that you always wished existed.
How do you avoid over-consumption as a creative?
Reese: One of our Yes Supply insiders was actually asking: so you’re a creative person, you’re always getting inspired by so many different things around you and sometimes if you’re consuming too many things it stops you from actually creating, so how do you bottle over-consumption as a creator?
Gala: It’s an excellent question. I think about this all the time. I don’t really read blogs. So that probably tells you a lot like I don’t give a fuck what other people are doing. I really don’t care. And when I’m on Instagram and I start to feel like people are getting really trendy or they’re just posting things for likes or whatever I unsubscribe from them because I don’t wanna see that.
And I think that game of chasing likes and validation is really dangerous and insidious and I also think it breeds mediocrity and I’m just not interested in that so I just unfollow people, religiously. One of the most creative people I know is a woman called Tiffany Pratt who’s an interior designer, she’s on Canada’s HGTV. She’s amazing and she’s a friend of mine.
She is like never on the internet. She’s never on the internet and she is the most creative person that I have ever known. Like her brain is just firing on a totally different system. And I think that’s one of the reasons why is ‘cause she’s not looking what other people are doing. Who gives a fuck what other people are doing. It doesn’t matter. So if you find yourself looking at that stuff then cut yourself off cold turkey or, you know, allow yourself maybe like a half an hour a day, just look at your favorite blogs or whatever. But there’s definitely such a thing as inspiration overdose just is paralyzing. And Pinterest makes people crazy, like… stop.
How to do you all day, err day
Reese: OK, so my train of thought that like rode away actually just came back to the station. So what you were saying about how you wrote all the things you could do to make money is actually really similar to how I came with the idea for Yes Supply. So I was working retail. I could not find a job outside of retail and so I was like: “OK, if I can’t find a job that I like, I’m gonna make one”. So I just wrote done all the things that I’m good at, all the things that I enjoy doing and it was just separating from everything else and coming up with that. So I always encourage people too, to like take some time away from social media because that’s when all my best ideas come; When I’m not looking at something else. And I try make Tuesdays and Thursdays no social media day. So I have this really cool app that blocks everything from me that I don’t get tempted to go on stuff. So that’s really cool that you say the exact same thing, I love that so much. Another insider question is: how do you continue your radical self-love practices that are out of the ordinary even when you’re busy? You know? Wearing eyeliner at the gym, personal style, self-care, tapping… how do you stay on top of them even when there’s so much going on in life?
Gala: I like that they mention that eyeliner is still one of my priorities. It’s clearly…clearly a priority.
Reese: Yeah. They look perfect by the way.
How to maximize your time
Gala: Thanks. I don’t know. I think the stuff is just non-negotiable for me. With tapping and stuff … especially I really tend to, if I think like: “Oh, I should tapp on that”, I just start tapping on it. I don’t think: “Oh, I should do that” and then I put it off cause it will never happen. I really … like this idea that you touch things once. So if an email comes into your inbox you don’t read it and not reply. If you’re gonna open it then you reply to it and you archive it and you’re done. And the same kind of thing I like to do with thoughts. So if I have an idea of something I wanna create, I stop what I’m doing and I start making it. Because the longer that you push something away or let it percolate it just kinda the juice drains out of it and it no longer seems interesting to you. So it’s like that with tapping or working out or whatever it’s like I just have to do them in the moment when it happens it happens. And I also schedule my time fairly rigorously so I know … I make my gym appointments and I know if I can’t go to the gym. Like I’m gonna spend an hour in my apartment, you know, listening to Ru Paul’s podcasts and doing my booty exercises so. You just have to make that stuff a priority. People say all the time: “Well, how do I do it?” and “I always forget to do these things” and stuff. Well set an alarm on your phone. It’s literally that easy. There are so many ways to skin that cat and yeah, it’s really simple. If you really want it, you can have it.
Reese: I love scheduling my day too but I’d like to take a tip from you on replying to emails as soon as they come, because my inbox is scary right now. I like…what?
Gala: I can’t deal with it, when I look at somebody’s phone and they have like 210 thousand unread emails and I’m like: “Oh, my God”.
Reese: Yeah. That’s me right now. I think that I overthinking sometimes. I’m like: “Ok, I wanna sit down and give them a really good response”. But sometimes you just have to nail a response back so that you can say that you did it. So I was gonna jot it down that note for later.
When is the right time to expand your product offering?
Reese: One question that I had actually was… so you started your book, you had this really great successful blog, how did you know that it was the right time to expand your product offering and start selling courses? … I actually just bought Tap That so I’m really excited to get started…
Gala: Oh, awesome. Yay. It’s funny ‘cause I’m sitting, literally, on this couch for the whole … for all the videos.
Reese: Yeah, I looked at it briefly and I’m like: “Oh, I can’t wait to give myself some time to get started”.
Gala: Awesome. Yeah. So, how did I start that? OK, so back in 2008 I’ve been running my blog for a year and a half and I was living in New York city and I had been making all my money by selling advertising on my blog. And advertising on blogs was going really well and I would get an add from American Apparel that would be like 3 000$ a month or something. So it was enough money for me to live on basically. I was good to go. And then the economy crashed and people didn’t wanna buy adds on blogs anymore and I was like: “Holly shit! This is my only income stream. What am I gonna do?”. And I called my friend Mike Dooley who does Notes from the Universe, I don’t know if you know him?
Gala: He’s an awesome guy and I was talking to him on the phone and I was like: “What the fuck do I do? Like I have this audience but I don’t know how to monetize and I don’t know what to do”. And he said: “Well, I walk around my house with a recorder, like a dictation machine and I speak into it and then I create CD’s of my thoughts on various subjects and I sell them to my audience”. And I thought like: “Oh, that’s interesting! OK”. And at the time I wasn’t very confident with my speaking abilities and I really preferred to write something so I thought: “What if I decided to write a book, over the course of a year and I write one chapter every month and people can subscribe so when the new chapter comes out, the start of February or whatever, they get it immediately. And I could record myself reading it aloud and they could have an mp3 ‘cause my people are modern, they don’t need a CD. And I could try doing that”. So that my first digital offering which I think was… must have been 2008 or 2009. And it was the best thing I did for my business. I made like six figures on that.
Gala: That blew my mind. And especially because when I started it no one was really doing anything like that. And I was really nervous about asking my audience for money because I’d been giving them all this free content and I thought maybe they’re gonna think I’m selling out or something. Maybe they’ll be offended. But what I realized is if your readers like you and what you do, then they’re usually really happy to pay for more access to more of it. Like if they love your stuff… like if you have a favorite author you’re gonna buy their books like that’s how it works. And so that was kinda beginning of digital offerings and then I started creating courses from there. That’s all really being like a work in progress and very much like a big experiment like what works. Asking how do you get people to get all the way through a course and enjoy it, and find value. And there’s so many things that I’m still refining and so many things that I still find interesting as an idea.
Reese: That’s so awesome. So did that book turn into radical self-love?
Gala: Yes. It was the really really really rough draft at that. Which is crazy, so it means I basically I used that information three times over. So I sold it back in 2009 then I self-published it and then I sold it to Hay House. It obviously went through massive changes and iterations during that time. And it’s a completely unrecognizable product now but it was the bones of what would become my first book. And that really worked for me because when I was writing for my blog everyday and dealing with emails and all the other stuff I was doing, the idea of writing a book seemed impossible. So giving myself a deadline of like: “OK. Every month I have to write 10 000 words”, really forced me to get it done. It was another way of kind of motivating myself to finish it up.
How to get comfortable asking for money
Reese: That’s so cool. One thing that I see with a lot of people starting out is like they have amazing product, they have something they wanna share but they’re afraid to share it ‘cause they’re afraid to ask for money or they’re afraid of appearing spammy. So this is a great tip because if you are offering something that can change someone’s life or inspire them or motivate them, it’s kinda your job to share it, right?
Gala: It’s… selfish not to share it. Like if you have something that can really help people then you’re kinda being a dick if you don’t tell them about it.
Reese: Exactly. That’s so true. So, I think it was one of your blog posts or maybe one of your interviews, I know you said that you’re a little bit of an introvert and I am as well and I’m sure a lot of my followers are. So how did you branch out being introvert into doing public speaking? Because I know public speaking really scares a lot of people.
Gala: Right. It’s interesting. Public speaking doesn’t really scare me and in fact it’s one of my favorite things to do ever. When I say I’m an introvert it really just means that I need a lot of time by myself to refuel and get my ideas together and sometimes if I don’t get to spend enough time with my own thoughts I kind of don’t know how I feel about things. I have to be alone to figure that out. It takes me some time of my own to figure it out. But public speaking … I had kinda done a few little thing, especially in the fashion blogging space, which is where I started so I would be asked to speak on a panel for fashion week or something which is fun. And panels are easy ‘cause you’re up there with a few other people and so it’s really not that intimidating. But the first real public speaking engagement I got invited to was to do a TED talk at Carnegie Mellon University, which is like the scariest fucking thing ever.
And you know, you have to prepare a speech that is 18 minutes long and you’re not allowed to have any notes. You have to fully memorize it. So that was my chore and then I got there and there’s like 500 people in this room, it was massive and it was terrifying. And it actually… it’s really funny… I re-watched some of the TED talk today because I was tryna find a reference for something from it, and that came out in 2012 so it’s now been like four years, I literally have not watched the whole thing ever because it’s so horrible. But I feel like I have more compassion for myself now so I can now watch and be like: “Actually this is not that bad”.
Stop magnifying your insecurities…
Reese: I think everyone is their own biggest critic. You know what I mean? It took me forever to get comfortable with my curly hair meanwhile everyone’s like: “Can I touch your hair?” So everyone has this one thing that they hate about them or that they don’t like about them but everyone else is like: “That’s the most amazing thing about you”. So…
Gala: Right. Like your hair is so gorgeous. I can’t even imagine you with straightened hair.
Reese: Yeah, I had it in braids and I’m trying not to straighten it because when I straighten it then the crawls get all messed up and that’s just not pretty so. Yeah you just gotta work with what you’ve got. It’s easy: just wash and go. Is your hair naturally straight like that?
Gala: Yes. It’s like a pen. I don’t straighten it, I just blow it dry and it’s done.
Reese: And see for the longest time I wished I had just super straight hair but. Takes like three hours so I’m not gonna do that everyday.
Gala: Also it’s really flat, like my ears stick through it, you know, you probably never have that problem. There’s pros and cons to everything.
Reese: Yeah my ears… I’m in Canada so my ears are nice and warm in the winter.
What are you excited about this upcoming year?
Reese: So, our community wanted to know what projects that you are working on are you most excited about for the next year?
Gala: I’m working on so many things right now. OK.
Reese: OK. You can tell us about all of them. It’s fine.
Gala: OK. So our list, I’ll start at the top. So I’m working on my second book right now, which is all about magic and I’m really excited… like I’m soooo pumped up about it. So I’m working on that. I’m putting together an almanac for next year which is like a physical book which is full of ideas and articles and inspiration for the new year. I did it last year as a digital product and it sold like crazy, people loved it. So this year we’re gonna do it in physical form, which I’m really excited about.
And I’m also developing a workout plan with my boyfriend so we have a thing called ‘Bad Witch Workout’, which is for girls who are not like the SoulCycle type and we’re weird and that’s fine and we still wanna work out and look after our bodies. So we’re working on that and it’s pretty awesome.
Reese: That sounds amazing.
Gala: But it’s all keeping me really busy like I have so… it’s craziness. But I kinda like it this way. I love having lots of pans in the fire.
Reese: Yeah. I’m the same way. I can’t get bored. When people are like: “I’m bored”. I’m like: “How are you bored? There’s so much that you could be doing right now”.
Reese: But I’m definitely excited about that work out. I go crazy if I don’t work out so I’m really excited to see what you guys come up with.
Gala: You’re gonna love it. It’s so good.
Reese: I think that’ll be really cool. So I think most of the people who are part of Yes Supply already know where to find you but if they don’t, where can they find you online? Where can they find you on social media that sort of thing?
Gala: So my site is my name: galadarling.com and my book is at galadarling.com/book and there’s links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all that good stuff. And then on social media I’m usually just @galadarling, pretty much everywhere actually. And on Facebook I’m facebook.com/xogaladarling, that’s the only anomaly. Everything else is just galadarling.
Reese: So how when you first started like I gotta get my social media name on every single platform.
Gala: I know. I know, it’s crazy. Also we went to… I went to buy the domain for Bad Witch Workout yesterday and someone fucking bought it and I was like…
Gala: Noooooo. It’s a fucking badwitchworkout.org, which I’m really annoyed about but whatever, it’s fine. Most people claim….
Reese: That’s so frustrating.
Gala: … at least that’s what I’m telling myself and I’m annoyed with myself ‘cause I should’ve bought the domain back when I mentioned it on social media ‘cause I knew somebody would squat on it.
Reese: Ohhh. That’s probably what’s happening.
Gala: But that’s life.
Reese: I know. That’s the biggest annoyance when somebody has the twitter name you want or the Instagram name you want and then it’s like one picture of them eating a hot dog.
Gala: Especially with a domain. People, there’s a special place in hell for people who squat on domains because they know you’re gonna want it like you’re a dick.
Reese: Yeah, no. Absolutely.
Gala: Find another way to make money that doesn’t ruin people’s lives. Cause that is so…
Reese: Yeah. You’re like: “I could be doing so much for this domain and it’s gonna be impossible for people to find…”. Well people will find it. You have links in social media and everything. People find it so don’t stress but… maybe we can manifest it for you. Let’s try that. I’m gonna ask the community to manifest the domain. They’re gonna email you anything like: “You know what? I really wanted your work out so here you go”.
Gala: Awesome. I like it.
Reese: Thank you so much for taking the time to meet, with me and meet with us and I’m so excited to share it with everyone and they’ll be super inspired and ready to practice more radical self-love everyday.
Check out Gala’s website at galadarling.com, check out Gala’s Book Radical Self-Love or start the yes supply self-love challenge 21 day Good Morning Beautiful challenge.