Season 1 // Episode 1

It’s all about VALUE

March 14, 2018

Starting a new business means getting in the right mindset, so we’re talking about creating a business based on your values, having a long-term vision to make sure your business is really something you want, and how to overcome the fraudy feelings that inevitably arise.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"Having a business that aligns with your own personal values is a foundational practice of starting and growing an authentic business."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • Past work experiences as stepping stones and tools to help you get to new places
  • Building a business with a long-term vision as something you truly want to be doing every day
  • Using your values to shape your business
  • How to deal with fraudy feelings when you're starting a business


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:00
I have spent the past six months journaling my little heart out around what it is that I want to be known for. What do I want to be doing all day? And what is it that I want to do next because with the Being Boss book coming out with, you know, Being Boss really being in this place where more or less we can coast at this point unless we do want to scale bigger or whatever it may be. And you know, we don't know exactly what that is yet. I just have some space to do this thing that I've always wanted to do and it has Almanac Supply Company answers all of those questions in a way that I'm really excited about the moment. From being boss. This is Making a Business.

Kathleen Shannon 0:49
A podcast about starting a business from scratch and overcoming the obstacles face when pursuing your dreams. I'm Kathleen Shannon,

Emily Thompson 0:57
and I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 1:06
In this miniseries, we're following Emily's journey as she jumps into life as a maker and retailer with her new creative endeavor Almanac Supply Company.

Kathleen Shannon 1:22
In our last episode, we introduce you to Emily's new business endeavor Almanac Supply Company, and our plans for capturing and sharing her journey here in this podcast. In this episode, we're excited to dive into Emily's vision for this business and how she's gotten herself into the right mindset to get it started. Let's dive right in. Okay, so you're starting another business Almanac Supply Co. And I feel like with our experience, and even I don't know the brands that we've built for ourselves, like you could take any direction that you wanted, whenever it came to what you were going to launch and build and do next. So how did you decide on this vision? And how did you really decide to like, take the leap with this vision?

Emily Thompson 2:10
Yeah. Oh, all the things. So why this one? I feel like for a long time, I've gone at businesses and opportunities because they were in front of me. And not to say that didn't find them fulfilling. I've just always seen them as like steps to the next thing. I guess you can say, where and you know this as a web designer, I never was comfortable calling myself a web designer. Like even now even though I've had almost a decade of doing that. I don't feel like a web designer. I'm not I mean, I can. But I don't see myself as a web designer, I never saw myself as a 40 year old web designer as a 50 year old web did like it just wasn't, it wasn't what I'm here to do. I'm glad I did it. And it taught me lots of things. But that was one of those opportunities that presented themselves to me. And I did it. But it wasn't the most fulfilling thing I'd ever done.

Kathleen Shannon 3:08
But what's so cool about it is that it became another tool in your tool belt, like you became a web designer to literally get your website on the internet. So you could do ecommerce. And that's a skill that you're going to take with you to everything that you touch moving forward, I'm sure.

Emily Thompson 3:23
Yes. And so and I feel like especially after those first couple ones, I recognize them as like this is just something else I have to do to gain the skills to do the next thing, whatever that thing may be. So for several years, I've thought about doing I've thought about opening a retail shop, both online and offline. And it's just been one of those things that's nagged at me for years and years and years and years. And it's finally come time where I have a little bit of a break in my schedule or not even a break because this I don't I don't have a break in my schedule.

Kathleen Shannon 3:56
I was about to say what break. I'm not feeling that break.

Emily Thompson 3:59
There's a simple it's simply time in my life for me to like plug this in to what I'm already doing. And I have I see this vision for it. Absolutely. And how it and how it weaves together all the things that I'm currently doing, and that we're doing all of these things like having this be an additional platform or like even an additional backbone to what it is that we're creating. I see I don't know how to like completely and utterly explain it yet. But this is the next step on my path. And it's not so much about being a serial entrepreneur, which I was totally accused of whenever I told a friend that I was wanting to do this. It's not so much that. I really see it too, as what I want to be doing all day or even what I can see myself doing 20, 30 years from now, maybe so for me Almanac this like this path, like I could see myself being a shopkeep in 20 years. That is cute as fuck to me, I love that idea. And building those processes and all of those things, or curating products, or having a space to compliment, what it is that I'm sharing in the world, like complement that with goods with like, really well curated product to support whatever it is that I'm out in the world doing.

Kathleen Shannon 5:23
I love that you talk about that long term vision of what you're doing. And 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, one of the things that we've always shied away from is this like five year business plan, because it's just hard to tell. But I love that you're really thinking about what you want to be doing all day. And it's something that we even, you know, have talked about before, like your dream day, what kinds of conversations are you having? What are you wearing? What are you eating for breakfast? What are you literally googling and looking up on your computer screen. And so for you, I can kind of start to see this coming to life whenever it comes to having this vision of what it could be. So it's making things with your hands, it's interacting with your community. It's using your skills probably to scale, I'm sure. But how do you really know that this is like a long term vision? What if it doesn't make you happy? In a year or two from now? Do you think it will just be another step on to the next thing? Or? Like, do you really believe that you could be doing this for the rest of your life in some capacity?

Emily Thompson 6:30
Yeah, I really do see myself potentially doing this or at least like having it be one of the things one of the things that I do. Worst case scenario, I just learned some good lessons. And I can put this dream to bed, like, worst case is I can move on to the next thing. But best case, I get everything that I currently want, which is super exciting to me. And you're right, like, in how did I come to come to this idea? I have spent the past six months journaling my little heart out around what it is that I want to be known for? What do I want to be doing all day? And what is it that I want to do next because with the Being Boss book coming out, with you know, Being Boss really being in this place where more or less, we can coast at this point, unless we do want to scale bigger, or whatever it may be. And you know, we don't know exactly what that is yet. Um, I just have some space to do this thing that I've always wanted to do. And it has Almanac Supply Company answers all of those questions in a way that I'm really excited about the moment. And then it also, for me, it also sort of brings together so many things that I've done thus far. And like three of my biggest interest being retail, because guys, I love retail. So stinking much, I love the idea of like crafting this retail experience, of curating product, you guys want to see me judgey? Take me into a couple of really cute retail stores. And I can pick those places to pieces, like both good and bad. It's just one of those things that I feel like I've always had a really good eye for. And it's something that I've had experience in and I really want to go back into doing. So retail is one of them. For me also making, Almanac does have a very strong maker component to it, it will not be a complete maker store. It's not all about making. It's about supporting makers, it's about us personally making some of our items. But it's also about like bringing that bringing the idea of making into the community, or some of the products that I want to offer encourage other people to make their thing. So for me making is a huge thing, I want supported through Almanac. And then the last one being living with nature. I am a geographer, still at heart and via that paper that I have somewhere in this house, but I don't even know where it is. Um, and I've always had a super deep connection to the earth. I absolutely believe in global climate change. And I think that a whole lot of the world can be healed if we reconnect with the nature that is around us. So I want to use the Almanac Supply Company, business model and platform and all of those things to nurture all of those things within myself but also present them to others.

Kathleen Shannon 9:37
I love that you have that value and intention of nature coming to the forefront. Are there any other values that really went into helping you figure out the backbone of this business?

Emily Thompson 9:48
Yeah, for sure. And that's actually one of the reasons it took me so long to like finally dive into doing this. Because I've three, I have three that really like connect to this, to this, to this project. One of them is freedom. The other is respect, and creativity. All of those are really super important to me with. Well, before I get to freedom will hit respect and creativity.

Kathleen Shannon 10:16
Yeah, I'm curious about respect.

Emily Thompson 10:18
This is one that I've, I've acknowledged relatively recently, where we, even we've joked about, like, maybe my life's purpose is to teach other people manners. And that one is aligned with both the maker community. And also, with the nature aspect, this idea of going back to nature and showing nature, the attention and the respect that it deserves. It is our, it's our home, it provides us with everything we need, I think we could we could all practice a little more respect there. And then, yes?

Kathleen Shannon 10:52
Well, I was just gonna say like, I think that the cool thing about sharing your values and intentions with your business bestie, which is what we're doing now is that we can kind of riff on it. So can I share a couple of thoughts I have on this aspect. So I kind of think about the hospitality aspect of respect. And whenever you talk about creating that retail experience, I can really see that coming out from people walking into your store, and even just having respect to how the flow of the space is going, or how you set things up so that people can interact with them and smell the candles and touch the stones like that is a certain amount of respect. And then kind of on a more woowoo level, you know how at the end of every yoga class, the teacher is like the light in me sees the light in you.

Emily Thompson 10:58

Kathleen Shannon 11:03
I kind of think about, I kind of think almost about that level of respect, like really this respect, almost on a self esteem level, but also having that in holding that for other people. And I could really see you bringing that beyond just the please and thank yous, which are also incredibly important. I think of that as more of the hospitality level, but like, and whenever you start talking about respecting nature, and respecting our role as a part of nature, and what we're creating within that, I really love that word, I was surprised to hear it as a value within the context of this business. I think it's really exciting.

Emily Thompson 12:17
Yeah, whenever I connected with this one, it really felt right to me as well. And then so respect is the first one. And I feel like that creates a great blanket there. The second one is creativity, which creative entrepreneur, help creatives, always talking about creative stuff. I'm always creating things. So this one is really big for me, but also plays a whole lot into Almanac, where I want to create some of the products we sell, I want to support other creatives and sell their products as well in the platform that I build. And I want to nurture creativity in our community through some of the products that we that we're putting together. I think that whenever you are creative, you are listening to yourself. And you are developing intuition, I guess, if you want to, but I see is like really just sort of like getting into your own body and mind and making things which I think is an important, important thing that obviously we all know the value of as creative entrepreneurs. But a lot of people don't and I'm always really blown away by by people who don't know how to flex their creative muscles. So I'm excited to both support creativity within the maker community and my own but also and hoping to share creativity with others as well.

Kathleen Shannon 13:48
And then let's talk about the last value.

Emily Thompson 13:50
F reedom. So this one actually almost kept me from opening Almanac all together.

Kathleen Shannon 13:56
I know I was about to say like the word freedom feels counterintuitive to opening another business.

Emily Thompson 14:01
Yes, yes, I'm well aware because it this definitely is definitely butts it's head against my own personal freedom. But I've still found it super important with the idea that it is giving me the freedom to express myself in a way that I cannot currently express myself. And so once I was able to make that mindset shift, where it's not that it's taking away my freedom, but actually giving me freedom that I don't currently have. It made more sense, which also just goes into like you can just twist your values around however you'd like to for sure, but you can also choose how you view things in the world. And for me not doing it would definitely have kept some of my like current freedom in my calendar. But it would not have allowed me to have the freedom of expression that this business is going to allow me.

Emily Thompson 14:15
What what kind of process did you use to find your values? I know that we wrote about it in our book and we have a worksheet. Did you follow that process of really narrowing down and digging into the words and meditating on them? What did you do?

Emily Thompson 15:14
Absolutely, Totally used our own process.

Kathleen Shannon 15:21
Having a business that aligns with your own personal values is a foundational practice of starting and growing an authentic business. So much so that we want to help you identify your core values so that you can feel good about your career, your relationships, and more.

Emily Thompson 15:37
Go to to learn more about identifying those core characteristics that define who you are, and what's most important to you, and see if your work is aligned to your values too.

Kathleen Shannon 15:57
Okay, so Emily, I want to talk a little bit more about values and intentions. And one thing that keeps coming up for us in our own businesses and in our conversations that we're having with each other, and with the bosses that we see, doing the best work is self reliance and commitment. Can you riff on that a little bit?

Emily Thompson 16:16
Absolutely. So self reliance is easy one for me. Just because I've always been super self reliant. And so starting a business, like really being able to count on myself to do those things wasn't that much of a problem again, like I've been practicing that muscle for years, not that difficult. The committing part that like first step, I knew I could do it once I made the decision to do it being the self reliance piece, but that first initial step of committing was the most difficult. I think I've ever like experienced and I've started several businesses, I've done several things I've moved several times, I've you know, made large life changes all of these things. But committing to this project was a long, painful, somewhat tear filled process. And part of it came from just actually, it all came from simply feeling all of the fraudy feelings that our bosses are always emailing us about like and all the ones that I totally take for granted, because I've been doing this for, like, I've been working for myself for over a decade, almost 15 years since I started my first business. So I always thought I just do it, just take the leap. It's fine, do the thing, whatever, because I've gotten really comfortable. But for this one. And it's not like the podcast, because starting the podcast was was flippant, almost like it was just like a fun project we were gonna do and it was going to be fine. We didn't really like expect all the things that happened. With starting Almanac, I know everything to expect, I absolutely know like all the things I'm going to run into, I know the ones that I don't expect them going to run into, I will run into them. So I'm ready and ready for anything. And so going into it, making the commitment knowing everything that I know was super, super difficult. And then just all the fraudy feelings that were coming up that I haven't felt and so long because they haven't pushed myself out of my comfort zone, at least alone in a really really long time. So I find myself asking myself really asshole questions like, Who am I to think that this is going to work? Or who's going to think that I'm an expert at living seasonally, which is one of the things that we'll be diving into a lot with Almanac or why would anyone buy my shit when there's so much other things in the world like it just the basic fraudy ass questions that your you know, inner imposter will ask you when you're thinking about doing something new. So I would like any day while I was trying to like make these decisions was like hell yes, I'm totally gonna do this and it's gonna be awesome to like, Why the fuck would you ever do this? No, you're not like I felt like a crazy person a little bit. So that committing piece was super difficult.

Kathleen Shannon 19:14
All right, let's talk specifically for a moment about fraudy feelings because this shit is legit. When we poll you, talk to you in person, or even chat with some of our creative heroes on the Being Boss podcast. Fraudy feelings are the topic of conversation. So to hit on this topic, specifically here, we're going to turn to our book Being Boss, Take control of your work and live life on your own terms. Available wherever books are sold, where we dedicate some serious attention to cultivating confidence in the face of your fear.

Emily Thompson 19:47
Cultivating confidence. Fear, insecurity and self doubt come with owning who you are living and working your values and being your own boss part of your job description is getting in regular staring contest with uncertainty, and you're not going to win every time. But here's the deal. When you sign up to be boss, you sign up for all the scary stuff that comes with it. We all have lain awake at night, wondering what we're doing and we've all cried into our pillows, wondering when it's going to get easier. You find success when you stop letting fear and bad vibes get you down. Those who are truly boss rise above and in the face of their weaknesses and cracks in their self esteem. They grab ahold of their confidence. It can be tricky to define confidence, we want to be clear on what it's not. Confidence is not bending your own values or behavior to make other people happy. It's not about placing blame or playing the victim when things don't go your way, throwing a hissy fit, or always having to have the last word. In other words, being confident isn't the same thing as being an egotistical asshole. We're going to trust that you know the difference. Confidence is standing in your truth and claiming your right to take up space and be happy even when your circumstances or feelings are a little shaky. Confidence is owning who you are and what you value without apology. It's taking responsibility for your victories and mistakes alike. It's trusting yourself to figure out what's next. And having your own back along the way. Cultivating confidence doesn't happen overnight. It's a hero's journey with lots of roadblocks that will test you along the way. But as long as you stay focused and determined, you'll begin to trust your strengths, work around your weaknesses, and keep your eye on the prize, you'll be able to take the next steps to get where you want to go. Even when you can't see what's around the bend. Confidence isn't a destination. It's a practice.

Kathleen Shannon 21:57
On the next episode of making a business. How do you have enough time to do this?

Emily Thompson 22:06
Right? I had to find a break in my calendar, basically. And I knew it was coming. So I knew that as we were ending up 2017 that we were taking December off. So we know we've structured Being Boss in a way where we do this now for two years and I imagined for the rest of forever. Next year I'll actually take December off. Trust. So I knew that 20.

Kathleen Shannon 22:30
Wait, with a retail business you think you're gonna take December off?

Emily Thompson 22:34
I will most of it. Haha I got plans.

Kathleen Shannon 22:38
Okay. We'll talk about that.

Emily Thompson 22:44
Mindset boundaries, habits and routines. These are what turn a creative into a boss. These foundations and more makeup our new book Being Boss, take control of your work and live life on your own terms. A guide slash workbook slash sleep with it under your pillow book filled with what we've learned over the years as working, thriving creative entrepreneurs. Plus what we've picked up from the hundreds of conversations with industry leaders and experts on the Being Boss podcast.

Kathleen Shannon 23:17
And it's all so that you can cultivate confidence in your work, make good money doing what you're best at and live a life you love. To learn more about our book and order one for yourself. Go to

Emily Thompson 23:31
And to check out almanacs supply company, head on over to get 15% off of your first order with discount code being boss at checkout.

Kathleen Shannon 23:42
Do the work.

Emily Thompson 23:43
Be boss.