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Krista Miller of Summit in a Box: “There is no ceiling”

There is no ceiling. In entrepreneurship, there is absolutely no ceiling to the success you can have. My first goal when I started my business was to make 1500 dollars per month — and I didn’t know if I could do it. After 5 months, I hit that 1500 dollars per month and set a new goal […]

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There is no ceiling. In entrepreneurship, there is absolutely no ceiling to the success you can have. My first goal when I started my business was to make 1500 dollars per month — and I didn’t know if I could do it. After 5 months, I hit that 1500 dollars per month and set a new goal of 3k dollars per month. Anything more than that felt impossible to me. Then, I hit it and my goal became 5k dollars per month. From there 10k dollars, 30k dollars, and so on.

Every step of the way, that “next level” has felt impossible. Like I’d hit my ceiling and it was time to sit back and be happy in that place. But every time, I’ve broken through it and found another goal to aim for. When you’re doing what you love and helping others along the way, there’s no ceiling for your success.


As a part of our series called “My Life as a TwentySomething Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Krista Miller.

At Summit In A Box, Krista helps entrepreneurs 3x their monthly revenue through virtual summits without wondering where to start or what to do next. Her method is focused on strong connections, collaboration, and making a difference in the lives of everyone involved. After hosting her first successful virtual summit with a tiny audience and hosting several 60k dollars+ events since, she now provides strategies, templates, and tutorials to others who want to follow the same path.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! What is your “backstory”?

Founding a company was never something I thought I’d do. Growing up, I was the shy-type who barely said a word, took bad grades to avoid giving speeches (despite my obsession with straight As), and hated the thought of any attention pointing my way. But here I am.

Near the end of my time earning a master’s degree in my early 20s, I landed my dream job doing software and web development for a large corporation. With that first job offer, I had already reached my lifetime salary goal and thought I had it made.

I did enjoy my time in that job for about a year, but then things started to go downhill. As the youngest and only woman on a large team, the more my team members became comfortable with me, the more uncomfortable I started feeling around them. Eventually, it turned into a toxic environment. I dreaded going to work every day and would leave in tears a couple of times per week.

For a while, I accepted that as the way it was going to be. I mean, this was my dream job, what else was there to do?

But after a particularly hard couple of weeks, I knew that I couldn’t continue the 40+ years I had left in the workforce going through anything even close to what I was dealing with. I needed an out.

The thought of trying to land another software development job wasn’t appealing. I’d seen what it looked like to work in the tech space as a woman and I didn’t want anything to do with it. The problem was, I loved what I did and I definitely didn’t want to waste the time and money I’d spent in college.

One day, while scrolling through Pinterest, I noticed that there were other young women running their own web design and development businesses, focused on serving other young women. It was my “ah-ha” moment.

I had no idea what I was doing, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off, but I got to work immediately. In one weekend, I had a business name, a website, and an underpriced offer to build websites for other women in business.

It took a few months to land that first client, but things picked up quickly from there. Within 6 months, I was making the bare minimum my husband and I would need to get by and I left my corporate job to go full-time on my own.

After 3 years of running that business, I launched my first successful virtual summit. It went so well that I found myself bombarded with emails and messages asking if I’d teach others how to do it. And that’s where the story of Summit in a Box began.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company? What lessons or takeaways did you take out of that story?

I’m always entertained by the way my family views the work I do. Coming from a small town, the idea of running an online business is unheard of to all of them. Attempting to explain how I teach other people to host virtual summits? Forget it.

Instead of seeing me creating a business that brings in more than I’d make at a “real” job and truly helping people, they see me sitting at home all day, working on my “little projects”.

Over the years, they’ve started seeing that I am doing real work and I’ve been able to laugh at it more, instead of being offended. But the October after leaving my corporate job, I was so sick of the side comments that I dressed up as “myself” for a family Halloween party. The costume consisted of messy hair, an “I’m busy” shirt, pajama pants, and slippers. When anyone asked about it, I mentioned that I was dressing to match what everyone assumed I did every day.

On the plus side, it opened up conversations and opportunities to let them know that I was actually running a business, not doing those “little projects”.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our company stands out because of the way we treat our audience and customers as well as the done-for-you templates we provide.

Most of the other people teaching about virtual summits do things significantly differently than I do. They provide the strategies for how to host a summit but don’t include templates and resources to make it easy or a personable human connection.

Connecting with our audience is at the forefront of what we do and that has paid off time-and-time again with customers emailing us and sharing their thanks. We’ve had several tell us that they purchased a product from a competitor before finding us and that it didn’t even come close to the value of what we offer or the experience we provide.

Because of that, I will never stop focusing on other people first.

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?

As cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t be where I am without my husband’s constant support. When I started my business, everyone else told me what a terrible idea it was, while he cheered me on every step of the way.

When it came time to leave my corporate job, I left the decision up to him. With that job, I was bringing in the majority of our income, and the goal I had set with my business was to bring in about 20% of that to get us to our bare minimum.

Instead of showing even a hint of doubt, he acted like leaving my job was the only option available. He never flinched when I asked about making another business investment out of our personal bank account and instead was excited to see me taking another step forward.

If it wasn’t for his support in those first couple of years (both monetarily and emotionally), I wouldn’t be taking part in this interview.

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

I’m working on getting the 5th round of one of my virtual summits out into the world and it gets more exciting every time. I love the freedom of being able to experiment with strategies I know will work to see how I can expand them and make them even more effective.

Sometimes, those experiments flop, and sometimes they’re incredible, but I love being able to use those learning experiences to serve my customers even better.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Something I’m passionate about when it comes to virtual summits is that, as a host, you make a difference for more than just yourself.

Virtual summits tend to have a bad reputation because there are so many entrepreneurs who host them with too much of a focus on themselves. It’s all about how much money they can make, attendees don’t get results, it’s a constant pitch, and speakers have a terrible experience.

On the other hand, my strategies focus on putting everyone else first and yourself, as the host, last. The truth is, when you make sure everyone else benefits through your event, your own results will soar.

Spreading that message has brought so much good to the way virtual events are run. With the hundreds of events we’ve influenced, we’ve seen a noticeable difference in the way attendees and speakers look at participating in virtual events.

We have a long way to go, but it is so incredible seeing events focused on truly making a difference start to take the lead.

Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is one of the most impactful books I’ve read. Usually, business books are hard for me to read and the lessons don’t stick, but this is one I’ll never forget.

Part of the book talks about how ideas work. They flow to one person and that person will choose to either take action on it or not. The choice isn’t always a conscious one, but it’s one that happens. If that person chooses not to take action, the idea will flow to the next worthy person.

That’s an oversimplification of the idea, but it has always stuck with me and is why I said “yes” to the idea of starting Summit in a Box. The idea came to me and I knew it was either one I could grab and take action on, or it would find its way to someone else.

There are many ideas I’ve decided to let go of throughout my journey, but I’m so glad that I grabbed onto that one and held on tight.

Can you share 5 of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of being a “TwentySomething founder”. Please share an example or story for each

1. Sometimes, the only one who will believe in you…is you.

Like I mentioned before, when I started my business, my entire family told me what a terrible idea it was. They viewed it as me throwing away a safe, high-paying, and “perfectly good” corporate job for something that was going to leave me penniless. I’d be lying if I said it never got to me, because there were a lot of tears shed after phone calls with parents and grandparents, but I’m so glad that I didn’t let the doubt that other people had in themselves hold me back.

When you take a big leap like starting a business, you might find that the only one who believes that you can do it is you. But luckily, that’s all you need.

2. Only you can control your happiness.

Society tells us that we should do things a certain way. After high school, we’re supposed to go to college, get a nice degree, find a steady job, and that’s that. If something isn’t going quite how you want? Well, you better learn to deal with it.

The truth is, if you’re doing something that isn’t making you happy, only you have the power to change it. It will probably mean getting uncomfortable, making others uncomfortable, and going beyond what’s considered “normal”, but the rest of your life and ongoing happiness is worth that discomfort.

3. Your actions dictate your success.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has been unhappy with the work that she does. There have been times where it’s been significantly worse than others, but she’s definitely not in a career that has her waking up happy to go to work each day.

About 7 years ago, she finally decided to do something about it. She applied for a few jobs, I helped her get ready to apply for tech school, and she was ready to go. But after a couple of rejection letters, she decided that she couldn’t do it. She said she was too old, not smart enough, and didn’t have the energy to do it.

Was any of that true? Nope. It was a decision that she and only she made.

It still breaks my heart to think about, but it was an important lesson for me that your actions will dictate your success. If you decide that you can’t do something, you won’t be able to do it because you’ll take actions that make success impossible. Instead, decide that you can do it and take action in that direction. It might not always work out perfectly, but it will give you a significantly better chance than giving up completely.

4. There is no ceiling.

In entrepreneurship, there is absolutely no ceiling to the success you can have. My first goal when I started my business was to make 1500 dollars per month — and I didn’t know if I could do it. After 5 months, I hit that 1500 dollars per month and set a new goal of 3k dollars per month. Anything more than that felt impossible to me. Then, I hit it and my goal became 5k dollars per month. From there 10k dollars, 30k dollars, and so on.

Every step of the way, that “next level” has felt impossible. Like I’d hit my ceiling and it was time to sit back and be happy in that place. But every time, I’ve broken through it and found another goal to aim for. When you’re doing what you love and helping others along the way, there’s no ceiling for your success.

5. Past limitations don’t have to hold you back.

When working a “real” job, it’s not rare for past limitations and mistakes to hold you back. For example, maybe the way a project went two years ago is what keeps you from getting that promotion or gets you removed from the job altogether.

In entrepreneurship, that’s not the way it works. Instead, we can work with our limitations and let them bring us further. I’ve had some wildly successful launches, but I’ve had some total flops as well. Instead of being punished for those flops and it affecting my career, I’ve learned from them — what to try next time and what to never do again.

Acknowledge your limitations, mistakes, and failures and leverage the heck out of them in everything you do.

What are the main takeaways that you would advise a twenty year old who is looking to found a business?

The main takeaway I’d like to give is that you are in complete control of your success. That doesn’t mean entrepreneurship will be easy or that everything you do will work — in fact, it definitely won’t. What it does mean is that if you believe in yourself and lean into what you’re doing when things get tough that you will break through barriers, ceilings, and limitations every single time.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

I’d love to connect on Instagram @summitinabox!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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