Karlie Kloss is one of the most famous supermodels in the world. And she’s also an entrepreneur. She is the founder of Kode with Klossy, a free coding boot camp for girls across America. This week she joined us on the couch to discuss how her own curiosity drives every aspect of her career, from being a runway model to a role model.
Karlie told us how she overcame imposter syndrome, what mentorship means to her, and shared her tips for taking care of yourself.
For the young women in your life who are interested in learning how to code, Kode with Klossy applications are now live for applicants aged 13-18.
On Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Carly: What I was really struck by meeting you when we met a few years ago was that you were very obviously curious. You had lots of questions, and it was very obvious you liked to learn. When you are someone who's curious, you ask a lot of questions. And that is something that requires confidence, and it requires admitting what you don't know, and it requires putting yourself on the spot. We've talked a lot on this show how it can be really hard to admit the things that you don't know, or it can feel embarrassing, or raise imposter syndrome feelings, either in the classroom, or in an office. And so when you went back to school- how did you deal with that?
Karlie: You mentioned imposter syndrome, and that really strikes a chord, because that's something that I have felt at so many stages of my career and my life. I think even when I was kind of having this success at a very young age in my fashion career, I felt imposter syndrome. I felt unworthy of that success.
...But not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy to be in that room, in that seat at the table, is something that I've really had to work to overcome. And I am genuinely a very curious person- to a fault. I mean, I ask a million and one questions.
And I think the confidence to do that is because I feel grateful to be in the room and I think getting over that kind of fear of feeling like an idiot... I feel like I take advantage of being in the position to learn from the people around me. And I really challenge anyone out there listening to do that. I challenge you to speak up and to ask questions, because that's the way that I've learned.
Danielle: So you've become a mentor to your Kode With Klossy scholars, obviously. And your scholars also act as mentors, and have developed a network to support each other. Traditionally, people think of mentors as someone older, or towards the end of their career. I love how that has started to change the idea of a mentor, even within the Kode With Klossy community. How do you start to think about that role of mentorship?
Karlie: It's, you know, exactly what you said. I really didn't think I was old enough, wise enough, experienced enough to be anybody else's mentor. I kind of had this realization that you don't have to have it all figured out to be able to take on that title… The idea of mentorship, in my mind, is really more just this connection, this support in helping someone else through whatever they're going through.
On Taking Care of Herself
Carly: How do you avoid burnout?
Karlie: You have to realize your limits. I've realized that when I push myself too hard, it doesn't serve me. It actually is so counterproductive, because when you reach that burnout, you feel so empty and you're not doing yourself any justice. And I think what I've learned is to have balance in my life, and to really take time and prioritize time to protect my mental and physical health.
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