Haley Hoffman Smith, known for trailblazing her own route to success, has now added indie singer/songwriter to her long list of accomplishments with her new single “Worth the Flight.”
Haley has given over 56 keynote presentations, is a two-time TEDx Speaker, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brown University in 2018, where she was the president and founder of the first-ever women’s entrepreneurship incubator. Her work and regular keynote discussions dive deep into subconscious breakthroughs and identifying and obliterating the limits women feel in the pursuit of their ventures, so they may live in their full power and create their own BIG ideas.
She has her own podcast, “Big Conversations with Haley Hoffman Smith,” and is the bestselling author of “Her Big Idea,” a book on creativity, ideation, and women’s empowerment. She also founded the Her Big Idea Fund in partnership with Brown University’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, which awards grants to women who apply with BIG ideas. Having founded an international nonprofit for girls’ literacy and empowerment at age 18, Haley has harnessed her own self-agency to surpass doubt surrounding her age and gender, the power of which she continues to share within her highly sought-after online coaching programs.
Centering around the art of the subconscious breakthrough, Haley’s manifestation coaching and online mentorship aims to help people identify and release major blockages in life, including difficulty with money blocks, lack of purpose, relationships and friendships that may no longer serve them (and manifesting healthy love), low confidence and self-worth, career instability and the fear of success, and more.
“Worth the Flight” was written by Haley to inspire listeners to take fate into their own hands and forge their own unique stories; an urging to pursue one’s dreams and bucket list items without leaving “fate” up to a partner who may or may not come through for them. With a uniquely personal sound that blends deep feeling, notes of indie pop and riveting, soulful vocals, Haley also plays both piano and guitar on the track.
Check out my interview with Haley!
You are incredibly impressive, what all do you do?
Haley: So, I did motivational speaking pre-COVID, and then when COVID happened, I channeled those efforts into TikTok to create motivational and spiritual content, and that took off in some really cool ways. And so now I do one-on-one coaching, I do group coaching, a lot of it’s along the lines of spirituality and personal development. And then I also have a podcast called Big Conversations where I talk about a lot of these different topics and I have a community called Dreamaway, which is basically where I do some of the group coaching related to spirituality and mindset
When people ask you what you do, what title do you tell them?
Haley: Honestly, sometimes I just say Content Creator.
What kind of sparked your passion for your motivational speaking and all of this?
Haley: So first, I was doing entrepreneurship as my concentration at Brown University alongside Gender Studies. And I was interested in this because I had started a nonprofit when I was 18 and then I had started a forprofit as a sister company to the nonprofit and so I kind of threw myself into entrepreneurship. It’s just really a joy to be giving back initially with a nonprofit, and then being creative and getting to offer a product and put myself out there. And when I was in college, I ended up writing an honors thesis on female self agency and entrepreneurship and venture capital, which is just a really fancy way of saying I’d use a socio political theory to look at how women feel about themselves and entrepreneurship and venture capital. And at the same time, I was working for a startup so I was being introduced to all these different people in entrepreneurship and one of them was a Georgetown professor who had a course where you would basically write a book over the course of the course at Georgetown and then at the end, the main deliverable was a manuscript. He was trying to launch this outside of Georgetown aso he asked me to be one of the main authors to kick the whole thing off.
So I had written this book called “Her Big Idea,” which was about my entrepreneurial experience and my research at Brown on the topic. Then that book, once I launched it into the world, was really in the hands of a lot of entrepreneurship professors and directors at different universities and this one guy called me and said, ‘I really like the book, will you come in and speak to my students,’ and he offered me money. I didn’t even know you could get paid to speak. And so that was the first validation of like, ‘oh wow, okay. People actually want to hear what I have to say.’ And so then I got a little bit of confidence to put myself out there and pitch myself to universities. I went around and spoke and just really loved the time on stage and it was really cool to hear about how the students, who were in the audience, were starting their own businesses as a result or feeling super empowered. So, it just snowballed from there.
When you began this journey, did it ever come across your mind that singing and songwriting would be a part of it?
Haley: So singing and songwriting was my dream when I was like 15 years old. I’d actually written about six songs and I’d recorded them in a studio, but I didn’t do anything with it past that. And at the time, too, I was struggling with a lot of insecurities because I went to a really competitive high school and I didn’t get into the competitive choirs. So I kind of took that as like, ‘Oh, I must not have a good voice. I must not be a good singer,’ and it took a toll and I just kind of gave up and left it behind. So throughout all of that, I was really enjoying what I was doing, obviously, and I felt very aligned with it, but deep down I still wanted to do something in entertainment or something with performance aspects. I felt like I was touching on that by being a speaker and like creating content on TikTok, but if you’d gone back and told me a few years ago, like, ‘hey, it a few years, you’d have a song coming out,’ I’d be so elated, but I’d also be like,’ really?’
I’ve had to spend, honestly about the last 10 months, really working on my mindset around my beliefs and healing some of those wounds. And I think a lot of us have dreams of what we wanted to do with for our lives when we were in middle school or high school, and we always think it sounds so stupid looking back, we’re like, ‘oh, it’s a childhood dream,’ but those early rejections really make us stop. It did stop me. It will always be part of who I was. But coming back to it has felt like a returning to myself which has required a lot of healing.
And your debut single is “Worth the Flight.” What is the song about?
Haley: So the song has a few elements to it. It’s called “Worth the Flight” because it is quite literally about a flight but it also can be a bit metaphorical, about waiting for someone to put in the effort to be with you. So, kind of putting off your own life for love for this person who you think is like the person for you, but waiting for them and them coming through for you. It could also be like bridging the distance between two people emotionally and at the end of the song it has a really hopeful message because the protagonist, or me, decides to take her own flight, literally, to France in the song. Like, okay, I’m gonna focus on myself and my dreams. I’m going to choose myself instead of waiting for you to choose me.
Is this a personal song to you?
Haley: Yeah, but I didn’t move to France.
Did you at least get to visit France?
Haley: Yes! And I’ve gotta go back now that the song will be out.
Is there going to be an album coming out soon?
Haley: I plan to just keep recording songs and going little by little. It’s definitely like a ‘learn as I go’ type thing, but I’m writing songs all the time. And I would definitely say an album could be in the cards for next year.
How would you describe your sound or like the vibe of your music?
Haley: I’m very inspired by performers like Gracie Abrams, Kevin Garrett, Sasha Sloan, and Chelsea Cutler. I grew up listening to Taylor Swift, which everyone did, but me in particular, I love, love, love her stuff, but the sound is very much like definitely Gracie Abrams. So, it’s technically the pop genre but there’s a little bit of a jazz influence, definitely like q singer songwriter emphasis. The song is very much like a narrative, it’s really about lyrics. And I really like strings and like a very melodramatic feel to the song with a keyboard as well.
So, what else are you working on at the moment?
Haley: So I would say I’d probably do an EP before an album. So I’ll probably do that first and then an album like a year from now. I’m really bringing my focus back to music and it’s also a shift for me because with a lot of the work I’ve done in coaching and spirituality, like it’s all very nice, but I haven’t really shared my emotional side. Like I don’t talk about love, you know, in a spirituality sense, at least not from a personal perspective. And so, when I’m putting out these songs, it’s very much from the core of my heart, like it’s very, very emotional and it feels almost like a little bit of identity shifted. And I think that will actually help me with all the other aspects of what I do.
If people want to hear your content or kind of keep up to date with your music, where can they go?
Haley: Definitely on Instagram @haleyhoffmansmith and my TikTok has the same handle.