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Kate Bagoy: “Rise of the influencer”

I’d teach people how to stop worrying about what other people think, and how to get real with themselves about what they want. I believe there is an epidemic of codependence & people-pleasing in the world these days and it’s just getting worse with the “rise of the influencer.” We have an entire generation of kids […]

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I’d teach people how to stop worrying about what other people think, and how to get real with themselves about what they want.

I believe there is an epidemic of codependence & people-pleasing in the world these days and it’s just getting worse with the “rise of the influencer.” We have an entire generation of kids who value their self-worth based on how many “likes” they get and millions of people so caught up in the race to look good that they are living lives they hate.

I want to see more happy people doing what they love.


As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Bagoy. Kate is the founder of SixFigureFreelancers.com. An MBA and former startup strategist, she’s worked with more than 50 early-stage startups and has coached 1000’s of small business owners. Kate’s been obsessed with travel since a flight to Oregon at the age of six, and has been running her business entirely online — from 25 countries so far — since 2017.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

I’m a product of your typical lower-middle-class, dysfunctional American family. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, mostly raised by a hard-working single mom. Thanks to some childhood abandonment issues, a little emotional abuse and some vicious middle-school bullying I became an achiever, and a little bit of a rebel.

I got straight A’s in high-school, right up until I dropped out to get my GED. In college I wanted to do everything, so I ended up graduating with a double major and a minor — and within a year I’d landed my dream job with a Fortune 500 company. I worked hard, advanced quickly and I made more and more money.

I had all the outward appearances of success, but inside, my soul was dying. I hated getting up for work in the mornings, I dreaded every meeting, I started spending half my day looking forward to happy hour, usually while eating some sort of microwave meal at my desk.

I resented my boss and my coworkers plus exhaustion from burnout made even the best parts of my job — the stuff I liked to do — feel more painful than a root canal. Eventually, I realized I had to make a change and I quit without a plan, figuring I could start freelancing.

My journey wasn’t an easy one — my first freelance job netted me about 0.50 dollars an hour — but I’ve never looked back from that decision to quit because it was me or the job, and I chose me.

That choice led me to getting a masters degree, working with early-stage startups and a later spiritual breakdown led me to getting sober and studying mindset.

All of these things have come together to allow me to serve others as a coach, and have given me the freedom to do crazy things in my life — like giving up all my possessions to travel the world full-time with a laptop and suitcase.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m in the process of pivoting my brand to focus on my flagship program, Six Figure Freelancers, and we’re moving to a membership model with a mastermind component.

I’ve seen clients have some amazing success in our current online program, but what I’ve discovered in the last few years is that people need inspiration more than they need information.

There’s no shortage of business training online — but finding your community, meeting people who have done what you’ve done before, getting support and feeling seen — that’s where the magic happens.

I want to help more people do what they love, and make a lot of money while they’re at it.

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

In a single word — authenticity.

I’m a nerd with an MBA whose superpower is doing things the hard way & teaching a better way to others. My clients are usually sick of the corporate BS and are ready to start getting real with themselves and building their dreams.

They come to me because I’m real, honest, quirky, and covered with tattoos. Where most online business coaches are posing in front of a jet or a helicopter in a business suit, I own a handful of tank tops, wear flip-flops 7-days a week and am willing to talk about my failures nearly as often as I discuss my success.

I’ve basically made a name for myself by being myself and sharing my story.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

If I listened to everyone in my life who told me I couldn’t, I’d probably be raising a handful of kids in a trailer park right now. I had a step-father who was a really sick man and told me on a near daily basis that I was a stupid, lazy, piece of garbage and would never amount to anything.

I think when people tell you that you can’t do something you have two choices:

  1. Believe them and give up
  2. Fight like mad to prove them wrong

I’m forever grateful I’m in camp #2 and I’ve spent my life proving people wrong!

I got a master’s degree in business, even though I dropped out of high school and was told I’d never get into grad school with a GED.

I landed a job with Nike right out of college, even though I was told it’d be impossible to get a Fortune 500 job without years of experience first.

I made over 100K dollars in my freelance business the first year — after moving cross-country to a new city — when everyone I spoke to told me it was nearly impossible to get those results unless you have a massive network (which is total BS).

I built a multi-six-figure coaching practice while travelling full-time in 25 countries, without an existing email list, and I’ve designed a life I love for myself.

While I’m fairly certain I’d never be able to lead an NBA team to a championship — seeing as I’m a 5’2” women who can’t play basketball — I believe that’s an exception rather than a rule; most things ARE possible.

The trick is to get clear on what you really want, believe you can get it and to develop a little bit of an obsession working towards it. And to politely thank anyone else for their opinion and move on, or better yet, don’t tell anyone else what you’re trying to achieve!

Telling someone who doesn’t share your vision — like your parents or coworkers — is the fastest way to get talked out of living your dreams.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’ve been on a bit of a spiritual journey over the last decade or so and am 100% certain that the happy life I lead today is thanks to what I’ve learned from authors & teachers like Tony Robbins, Gabby Bernstein, Matthew Kimberley, Brene Brown, Abraham Hicks, Tim Ferris and most recently Rachel Rodgers.

Attending Unleash the Power Within & Date with Destiny events were particularly pivotal for me, as I was able to let go of a lot of the “mind garbage” I had previously. You know, that left over self-doubt and conflicting beliefs from childhood that were keeping me stuck… learning how to clear that, and use it to my benefit, has massively improved my success & happiness.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

As mentioned before, I experienced some verbal & emotional abuse from a narcissistic step-parent, grew up in a codependent family full of alcoholics and was bullied mercilessly throughout elementary & middle school.

And because I primarily lived with my single mom, and spent summer with my dad, I also moved a lot — I believe I lived in more than 20 homes before I was 20. Looking at that, I suppose it’s not much of a surprise that I’m able to bounce around the world nomadically!

One of the awesome by-products of a less-than-stellar childhood experience is the development of empathy and adaptability to change.

These are incredibly powerful tools when you learn how to use them to your advantage.

For many years I was a people pleaser with a fierce inner hatred and I threw myself into my career to avoid feeling less than. I saw therapists, took prozac, splurged on luxury vacations & made sure I had my “look good” going on, but I never seemed to really be happy.

It wasn’t until I got sober, and started down a spiritual path, that I started to unravel those core beliefs that had me chasing happiness everywhere except the root — my mind.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Nope, but I can give you ONE really good one.

Stop listening.

YOU are the only person who knows — or who can discover — what you’re capable of. YOU are the only person who will experience your exact life. YOU are the only person responsible for your happiness.

If you want to do the impossible, first believe in the possible.

Then learn not to give a f*ck what anyone else thinks.

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

And many thanks to Brene Brown for breathing some life back into this quote with her book, Daring Greatly.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’d teach people how to stop worrying about what other people think, and how to get real with themselves about what they want.

I believe there is an epidemic of codependence & people-pleasing in the world these days and it’s just getting worse with the “rise of the influencer.” We have an entire generation of kids who value their self-worth based on how many “likes” they get and millions of people so caught up in the race to look good that they are living lives they hate.

I want to see more happy people doing what they love.

Can our readers follow you on social media?

Absolutely. I’m @kbagoy on most platforms and am most active on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!

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