Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.
Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is Being Boss. In this episode of Being Boss, Kathleen and I are talking about our year plus of burnout, what caused it, and how we dealt with it. The effects it had on our businesses and in our partnership and some big changes that are happening here at Being Boss. As always, you'll find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club.
Kathleen Shannon 0:36
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Emily Thompson 1:38
Okay, bosses. Before we dive into our topic today, we have a big and very exciting announcement to make. We're hosting a conference, for years a Being Boss conference has been on our vision board and and 2020, we're making it happen. We're planning two and a half days of keynotes, breakout sessions, panels, and live podcast recordings with me, Kathleen, and some of our favorite bosses, thought leaders, and industry experts. It's going to be high vibing, totally beautiful, and filled with awesome folks doing cool things with their businesses and careers. Bosses like you. It's all going down in April 2020 in New Orleans, and it seems that you all are as excited about this as we are because during the first 48 hours after launch, we sold a third of our tickets. Most of them were past attendees to our vacations, meaning they know they're in for a good time. I mean, we did announce that we're throwing a boss celebration parade again. And that was a memory that will last a lifetime. If you want more information or are ready to join in on the fun head on over to beingboss.club/conference. We hope to see you there.
Emily Thompson 2:50
Okay, let's let's dive into this. I think it was about a year ago now that you and I started openly, like really openly talking about burnout and what it was like to completely and utterly energetically, morally, maybe not morally but like, I don't know.
Kathleen Shannon 3:11
Yeah, a little morally.
Emily Thompson 3:12
Sort of hit the bottom.
Kathleen Shannon 3:12
Like, I feel like even like my spiritual practices were gone. Zilch.
Emily Thompson 3:17
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. For sure. And through that a put maybe pick up some red flags around when I'm not doing well. And one of them is like if I stop picking up my tarot deck, or if I stop journaling, then I know that like, things have gotten really rough. So anyway, about a year ago, we started talking about our burnout openly and about this time a year ago, I feel like we were probably six, seven months into it. And I remember this time last year, thinking, once winter is done, I will be over or like my burnout will be over. And it wasn't yet. Like it kept going for months after we started talking about it. So I thought it would be fun, for lack of a better word, to do like a follow up on our burnout to really talk about what it felt like, what it looks like. Now that I think I can safely say say we're both on the other side of it. Yes.
Kathleen Shannon 4:19
Um, I don't know. I don't know if I'm on the other side of it, because I didn't know whenever I was in it. So I even started to write down a timeline to kind of pinpoint and gather some patterns of when I was feeling burned out the difference between kind of sprints, and the difference between burnouts. So here's what I've gathered, and this might be great for any of our listeners, like if you're experiencing burnout to start putting together a timeline of all the stuff that you've done, and maybe circle the things that were life giving and energizing and you know, highlighting the things that were draining or the things that really stress you out that led to the burnout, because in hindsight, I can definitely see certain points in time and certain projects that definitely contributed to my burnout more than others. So just to quickly go through my timeline in August of 2011, is whenever I started Braid, I quit my day job.
Emily Thompson 5:15
So a decade ago.
Kathleen Shannon 5:16
So I was born in May of 1982. And out of the womb, I was fantasizing about kidnappers and what I would do to save my family. That's really whenever it started.
Emily Thompson 5:27
Right? High stress baby. High stress baby.
Kathleen Shannon 5:31
Okay, so I decided to put together a timeline and in 2010, like in the fall of 2010, is whenever I quit my day job in August of 2011, is whenever I started Braid Creative with my sister, it was just the two of us. We quickly hired a designer. And then in January 2014, is whenever I had my first son, Fox, one and only, and then in January 2015, is whenever we started Being Boss. So January 2015, it was kind of a magical time. One, I was incredibly sleep deprived. But I also felt really optimistic. Braid was growing. I think that we had a few employees by this point. You had suggested starting the podcast, we started the podcast and came out with a bang, like we instantly hit new and noteworthy. We had a ton of downloads. I mean, there's just amazing response to Being Boss that really started the trajectory of all of the success that would also lead to all the burnout. You know, and that's something else that I want to say is, at this point, I'm kind of maybe this should go later in the episode, but at this point, I'm kind of scared of success, because of the burnout I experienced.
Kathleen Shannon 6:39
So let's put a pin in that because I want to, I want to kind of talk that through with you a little bit. Then in April 2018, is whenever we launched the book, and I really feel like in my mind, around the book launch is probably whenever I started feeling bad. So I remember you and I landed in San Francisco for one of our book tour events at the Hivery and it was incredible. The redwoods were incredible. It was so fun getting to travel the world with you like the launch in New York City was so much fun. But I remember I started feeling sick like I, I kept getting colds, we had to go to minor emergency in San Francisco because my eardrum wouldn't depressurize after being on the plane, my throat hurt so bad. I was so sick. Then the following January 2018, I moved to Michigan and I might be getting my timeline wrong, because I'm terrible at timelines. But I made across the country move away from my entire support system, away for my family away from Braid headquarters. And then the following year, December 2018. So we launched our book in April, then I moved, or did I move before our book launched?
Emily Thompson 7:48
You moved before the book launch because I remember you went home to Oklahoma City to do a book event.
Kathleen Shannon 7:54
Oh, right. So I guess I moved, then we launched the book, then the following winter, like we kind of spent the whole year traveling and promoting the book. And then last, this time last year, right after Christmas, I came down with the shingles. And the shingles I think was the full like the the stress and burnout really started happening in April of 2018. And then I think that it fully manifested itself as shingles whenever I just kept going. And I even went to a roller skating party after I had shingles, I skated through that and it was just a lot. And in the meantime, Braid is still growing, we had brought on a third partner, we had tripled, no more than, like 10 times our size in revenue. I mean, it's just insane. We've definitely doubled our actual office space and our employees. So everything's been growing a lot. All that to say, I did a lot and I couldn't recognize it in the moment that I was doing a lot that there were a lot of stressful events, including a cross country move. My husband was changing jobs, this book launch. The success of that, all these stressful things were happening, I felt fine, but my body was saying otherwise. So all that say I don't know, I don't know if I'm out of it. If I'm on the other side of it. My back started tingling the other day, like going a little numb and I thought I was getting shingles again. So who knows? But I will say this. I'm feeling like, I've made some decisions and actions to create a little bit more space in my life. And I feel like I'm protecting some time and space. I'm prioritizing things in a different way. And I don't know I kind of feel like if burnout is running your car to empty and having nothing left like you're running on fumes until you have to pull over and put on your hazard lights. Like I'm at the point where I've refueled but maybe I'm just idling. Like, I'm not really going hard.
Emily Thompson 10:02
You still got your hazard lights on.
Kathleen Shannon 10:04
I still got my hazard lights on. I'm like, I'm just gonna take a nap here for a little bit. I'm also staying very busy with Braid. So I've been getting back in the swing with design, and that's actually rebuilt my confidence. So there's a few things that happen with burnout again, like this anxiety and fear. There's also my confidence was shaken. And I don't know if it's like a chicken or egg situation. But overall, I'm feeling a lot better. I bought my dream house this year. So that was a huge confidence boost and a big morale boost. But I still have very little capacity for extra. How are you? How are you feeling? Sorry, that was a long, long answer to how are you feeling?
Emily Thompson 10:46
That's Kathleen, let me start with 10 years ago.
Kathleen Shannon 10:51
So let me start with the moment I was born.
Emily Thompson 10:54
So I'm feeling significantly better. So let me share, I'll share a little bit of my timeline, it's significantly shorter, because I had my kid 11, almost 12 years ago. So like I wasn't, and about the time I was actually starting Indie, way back in the day. So like very far removed from that. Which has been nice. So I've worked through that I've moved several times in the past couple of years. So like that wasn't that didn't have any contributing factors for me. The success, the unexpected success of Being Boss definitely piled some extra things on my plate. I don't know, I've always had quite a large capacity for doing lots of work. Even like in high school and college, I never just had one job, I always had two or three, like I've just, I have the capacity to do that, which is fine. So I've always filled that capacity. And that's what got me in trouble. Was I've always worked with that capacity fill. So for me, I think I do contribute the book, with being the biggest factor. And I'm not talking about the writing of it, because the writing was the most fun thing I've ever done. And I'm not even really talking about the launch of it. I'm talking about everything that came between. And we haven't talked about this very publicly, I think we can and will more that we're a little more removed from it. But the actual publishing of the book, the process of publishing was difficult to say the least. But in just a simple word, it was very difficult. And that was really hard. It's sort of squashed some of our expectations, which, for me, one of the biggest lessons I've learned from burnout is to release all expectations. It's something that I I just like walk around preaching now maybe I'll make myself a shirt that just says release all expectations. Because it's the squashing of expectations that I think hurts your spirit to do the work. And that can contribute hugely to burnout. But for me...
Kathleen Shannon 12:58
Hey, Iwant to share real quickly, I want to know that we have at Braid that's very similar, which is high intent, low attachment. So your intentions are always very high for whatever project you're working on. But low attachment to that outcome, which very much reminds me of release all expectations. Release all expectations.
Emily Thompson 13:17
Yes. Love it. So um, so the book was difficult. And once we got it sort of put to bed, we had to do all of the things around setting up to market it, which was a lot of things. But around that time, I also just, like a lot of little catastrophes started happening for me. So imagine like working at full capacity, and then having things just start piling on top of you. So around the beginning was the book came out in 18, April 2018. So at the beginning, so in December 2017. So the December before the book came out in April, I decided to start another company, Almanac Supply Co with a friend of mine. And so we started hustling that out and doing it and my thought was you know, once the book was launched and all of those things that I could put some more energy into Almanac and you know, I would be able to sort of manage my time in, in that way but the universe had other plans for me. And in January or February we learned immediately that we had to get some major house work done so that was like a very large mid five figure house reno that had to be done we had to get a new roof basically overnight, which was very surprising and unexpected. At Being Boss I made or we made a bad decision around getting Facebook ads done. We lost another five-ish figures in a bad Facebook ads campaign. GDPR hit right after I finished rebuilding our email funnels. So imagine like doing it and then having to go back and just dump it all and do it again.
Kathleen Shannon 15:00
Which for those of you who don't know, GDPR is basically email compliance to the European, European Union standards, which is something that we decided to comply with, you know, we didn't really have to here but we decided to for the sake of our business. We thought it was a good decision, we poured a ton of time, money and resources into becoming GDPR compliant. Right stressful.
Emily Thompson 15:24
We did a whole lot of time, money. And like I said, I still have some PTSD around GDPR, whenever people mentioned it, like my face clenches up and start getting, I start sweating. But it was also the exact same time that the website platform that I had built all of my Indie Shopography websites on, emailed us and said they were shutting down. And so basically, overnight, I also had to shut down my web design business, we actually emailed all of our clients to let them know the bad news about their website platform on the day of book launch. It all just ended up rounding out in that wonderful way as it does.
Emily Thompson 16:04
Which my business was included in that. We were one of your clients.
Emily Thompson 16:08
Including Braid. Right, you guys had two years to figure it out, I had two weeks.
Kathleen Shannon 16:13
Oh, I know, yeah.
Emily Thompson 16:14
To figure out how to deal with all of you. So we did all of that. While we're you know, getting ready for book launch, a very exciting time. But in the course of four months, a lot of things are sort of got dumped on me. And then in the week between two of our biggest book tour dates, my founding partner at Almanac, just quit, just quit one day with no good explanation, and no warning by any means. So it was just one thing after another for a couple of months on top of an already very filled schedule. And that for me was a really big lesson in that I need to leave myself a bit more room. Just because I have the capacity does not mean that I need to fill it because sometimes other things are going to pop up.
Kathleen Shannon 16:54
Well all the time. I think as bosses and as the CEO of your business, whether you're a solopreneur, or you have a small team, or a large team, your job whenever you become the leader and the visionary behind your business, is to have space for all the little fires that you have to burn or not burn. Rhe fires that you have to put out. The unexpected meetings, the phone calls, the hard decisions, like even just having capacity for hard decisions whenever it comes to how you're running your business. That is your job as a CEO. And so you cannot fill your days, with a ton of meetings and deadlines. You can't say yes to everything whenever you get to the level that all of our listeners are striving to get at and the level that we got at.
Emily Thompson 17:40
For sure, for sure. So for me, it was you know, working at capacity, having a lot of things fall on me, not having good room to figure it out, and completely hitting the bottom really, really quickly. So for me, I started feeling really awful in about June. And I remember, so about two months after a book launch, I started bottoming out. And by that I mean I got severely depressed and like I don't really struggle with depression. I have before, I had some postpartum depression, I struggled with a little bit and sort of late high school. But on the regular isn't something that really bothers me. But I hit it harder than I ever have. And I remember specifically July the fourth. And I love July 4th, because it's right around my birthday. Firecracker baby. Right. And I remember being so sad. So sad July 4th of that year. So for me for a couple of months, I laid in bed a lot, I cried a lot. I wallowed in some self pity, a lot. And I remember I mean I was like crying like every day, basically. And feeling really awful about all the work that I had done not equating to what I had hoped it would. To not be in the place that I wanted to be. And again, like learning that I needed to release all expectations. And I felt like that for months for months and months and even, even this time last year thinking okay, six months into it like I'm about done with this. And then for me, it didn't actually start, I did not start feeling better until this past summer. So for me it was a year and at the year mark, so right at the beginning of June, sort of mid June, I thought okay, I've been in it a year. I'm not okay with this. I'm not okay with continuing this path any longer.
Emily Thompson 19:47
I do remember I had started having weeks when I wouldn't cry. And I were very specifically telling David one day. Being like David, do you realize it's been a whole week since I've cried and he goes yes. Yes, I have totally have noticed. But I still was not feeling back to myself. And for me that really equated to not being very excited about my work, I had a really hard time sitting down at the computer, I was not dealing with my inbox at all, like I couldn't even go into my inbox most weeks, just feeling really off about what it is that I was wanting to build, or create, or just run the thing that I had already created. It was really difficult for me. So anyway, a year in I got a therapist, had a couple meetings with her, that was really great.
Kathleen Shannon 20:37
And you're not going anymore? You're like two and I'm good.
Emily Thompson 20:40
So I went four times, and she was like, you're fine. You just call me if you need me. And I was like, okay, perfect can do. Because again, like I don't, or I'm not a person who generally lives in that space. And I understand that there are people who do for sure. And I needed her like and because for me, I could feel I looked sad, if that makes sense. Like, physically, I was starting to like, bend over and make myself small. And like, I don't know, just weird things like that. I knew I was starting to really manifest in ways that I did not want to live with. So getting a therapist was a, was a big thing for me. And I found it really helpful. But along the way, I will say, Kathleen and I had sort of decided to do something crazy, because we were both tired.
Kathleen Shannon 21:29
Not crazy. It was the only thing that we could imagine doing.
Emily Thompson 21:34
Right? It was the only thing we could imagine doing and I will say to you along the way, we got very intentional about what it was that we were doing for work. We started paring down a lot of things we pared down our team, we obviously started podcasting less and it was really in like August I think of 2018. We decided that for us to both healthily move forward, that we were going to shut down Being Boss.
Emily Thompson 22:07
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Kathleen Shannon 23:12
Dun. Dun. Dun.
Emily Thompson 23:16
Right. Okay, so we decided that we were going to shut it down it was the only thing that we could think of to really, to really get the thing off our plate. That was the biggest. We were all going to become vegetarians, we're removing the meat. That's a weird analogy, but I like it.
Kathleen Shannon 23:37
I mean for me Being Boss was, it's an incredible success. Like we have built such an incredible community. The unexpected success of it has, it still blows my mind. Writing the book was incredible. But for me, I felt like I said everything that I had to say in that book. And then I was like, Okay, what now? What now? And I was also just feeling the energetic burnout of even the great things that we do, I think because of what you were saying earlier about just having very little capacity for all the extra stuff. Like I didn't have much capacity left for engaging in the way that I once had. It was just, I just couldn't imagine still going on.
Emily Thompson 24:22
Yeah, considerably less space. And I felt the same. Like I said, I did not want to come to work. I did not want to do any of it. And so for me, I was like yeah, fine. Let's do it. Like I'm done. We'll figure out over the next year. So over 2019 we would figure out, we'd start breaking it down basically we would start slowly shutting it down, figure out what we're gonna do with the website. No, where was the podcast going to live? Start having all those conversations, because I really anticipated that to be like a year long task base. Basically, how do we shut this down?
Kathleen Shannon 24:54
And here's the thing that's hard about it is that we have all these assets it costs thousands of dollars. Even just a month, thousands of dollars a month even to have Being Boss on idle. Between all of our subscriptions and the things that we're doing, it's just expensive.
Emily Thompson 25:09
Kathleen Shannon 25:10
And so that that needed a kind of exit strategy to slowly shut those things down without shutting down. Like I'm pulling the plug on the whole brand overnight.
Emily Thompson 25:20
Yeah, so we started recording less in 2019. As you guys know, we're doing once a month instead of once every week, because we had been podcasting once or twice a week for four years. We were so done, I felt often that, I was like, most people have problems with their throat chakra being closed, or like, not very active because they're not speaking their truth, or they're just not saying what they mean. Like, I felt like mine was overworked. Mine was too wide open. Way too wide open, and I needed to close it down. So we had decided that we were going to start shutting it down. We're gonna spend 2019, figuring that out. And once we made that decision, I started feeling a little better like and for me, it was because I had made a decision. Where I felt like I'd been wallowing for months not able to figure anything out, not knowing where I was going, or what I was doing. And making that decision gave me a little boost of energy and confidence that okay, like, at least the next step for me is in place, let's start walking in that direction. I didn't realize until later how completely and utterly miserable that decision made me.
Kathleen Shannon 26:24
No one can see it, but I have like a frowny face.
Emily Thompson 26:28
Right? For me, and I did not recognize this for a long time. I that. After the initial break of feeling better after making that decision, I realized or I started having more anxiety because for me, you know, right around the Being Boss book coming out, I had had to shut down Indie because my website platform was closing was shutting down. There was a platform that was using, it wasn't mine, it belonged to another company was shutting down. And Almanac was just a baby. So I didn't have another business to go into that would support me. So for me, I started immediately having to figure out okay, how is it that I'm going to sort of start and build another business. And so for a couple of months, I was completely, it probably did worse things for my relationship to my computer. Where I was even less willing to come in here and start another business because for me it was doing my masterminding and coaching with creatives, which I love doing. But it was building another house for it. So I would was building a brand for myself that was basically exactly like Being Boss, doing a lot of what Being Boss does. But it wasn't Being Boss. And I was gonna be building it from scratch. And as I kept rolling that over in my mind, I felt like I was a crazy person.
Kathleen Shannon 28:00
Yeah. Yeah, I think that around this time, I was a separate from what you were going through, I was really going through the hard decision of I need to pick one thing. And this decision was I need to either choose Being Boss or Braid Creative. I started Braid Creative with my sister, we had brought on a third partner, we had an operating agreement saying that I could no longer start any more businesses. And Being Boss was grandfathered in, but I really learned that. You It's funny you were even saying in college, you had two or three jobs in college, I had school and I had one job, like one part time job. And in hindsight, I've even told myself, man, I wish I would have just focused on school, I wish I would have just taken out a few loans. Nothing big that I could have paid off in a few years to really be able to focus on school. I'm just kind of like a very monogamous kind of gal. But you know, and in the meantime, also, like, I know that you had your business split with your old business partner at Almanac. We were bringing on a third partner but it didn't. Even though like that's a that was a great thing. And it's still a great thing. It doesn't come without a lot of hard conversations about worth and value and all of those things. So even though it's good, it's still stressful and hard. So I was just having the overwhelming feelings that I needed to pick one. But I love them both.
Emily Thompson 29:37
Kathleen Shannon 29:38
But we'd already decided okay, let's shut down Being Boss. So I kind of felt like I already picked.
Emily Thompson 29:44
Right. Yeah, you had and I was it made sense to me in every single way. Until one day I had a big magic moment as you often do. So and even to show you how big magic it is. It happened the day after I had my first meeting with my therapist. So for me, I felt like getting the therapist to help me figure out what I was doing wrong. Or how it is I needed to pick my pieces back up. That little energetic shift around investing in my own mental health and well being, I think was the little energetic shift that I needed to see what I felt at the time and what I maintained to be the perfect decision. So I was sitting outside, I remember I had been crying that day. And I was sitting in the backyard with David, we were sitting at our outdoor table, and we weren't talking because I had cry face. And I had this idea. And I look at David, I'm like, I just had a weird idea. And he goes, okay. He never knows what's about to come out of my mouth. And I was like, what if I buy Kathleen out of Being Boss? He didn't say anything for a minute. And he was like, well, it kind of solves a lot of problems, doesn't it? And then I woke up. Because for me, and looking back at it now, for me, burnout felt like going to sleep. I can, I feel like I slept for like a year, a year and a half, I was just asleep for a really long time. Or I crawled under that rock you always ever, like just go crawl under a rock and hide. I crawled under a rock and hid for a solid year. And for me whenever I had that decision, or whenever I had that thought, and started working out in my head, it was the first time in a really long time that I got excited, like really excited about something. And I just felt like it was the right decision. I felt like it was the right decision. So I immediately started going to work, which again, is something I hadn't done in a year, like immediately go to work on something I wasn't doing things like that. And I started putting together thoughts and a presentation for Kathleen, as to what it could look like if I bought her out.
Kathleen Shannon 32:27
Yeah, and so then how did you approach it with me? I feel like maybe even on Marco Polo, you were like, I need to meet with you.
Emily Thompson 32:34
I know it was one of our regular Monday meetings.
Kathleen Shannon 32:36
And you know that stuff stresses me out.
Emily Thompson 32:37
I know. I would never say that to you. I know better. So it was actually the weekend that you are moving into your house.
Kathleen Shannon 32:44
Oh, yeah. Good timing.
Emily Thompson 32:46
Yeah, I know, I and I'll even tell you the the morning or the week that I guess. Okay, so I thought of it on a like Wednesday or Thursday. And I'll tell you too, it was the day before the Fourth of July.
Kathleen Shannon 32:59
I was about to say because I moved around the Fourth of July.
Emily Thompson 33:01
Yeah, it was that it was July 3 that I had this idea. Forth of July hit. And then it was like a weekend and all weekend, I was like working away on just some ideas. I was like looking at.
Kathleen Shannon 33:13
Emily Thompson 33:14
Some spreadsheets, really trying to make sense of it for myself, but also how it is that I could like talk to you about it in a way that was knowledgeable. And then you were moving and then you have the disaster with your air conditioning. And then Monday, we always have our like, management meetings on Monday. And that was set and ready to go. And I was planning on telling you about it then. But I had asked David i was like maybe I shouldn't tell her, like maybe I should like wait a week. And because you were like in the throes of a broken down air conditioner, and you're new house.
Kathleen Shannon 33:45
Oh my God. That's right. But the thing is, is I can feel you. Like we're at the point now where we are basically psychic with each other. And I would have thought something was wrong. And you were just weren't telling me.
Emily Thompson 33:57
And I knew that that was the case. So I was like, no, it would literally be worse if I didn't tell her because she's gonna know that there's something that I want to tell her as soon as she looks at my face. So I was like, No, I'm just going to do it. And David even said, and it would probably make her feel better knowing that like there is a movement in another part of her life that is, hasn't been the happiest thing to think about lately. So on Monday took me about five days to get things together. On Monday, I asked you I think it was as simple as like, hey, I had an idea. Hope you don't think this sucks. I also had a nightmare the night before that you were really mad at me about it. So I even like went into it like a little scared. And I was like what if what if I buy you out of Being Boss? And you were like, well, that makes sense.
Kathleen Shannon 34:46
It made total sense, which just goes to show and this has been every single hard conversation we've ever had. We're both on the same page, which.
Emily Thompson 34:55
Kathleen Shannon 34:55
I think is wonderful. And it should make us less scared to say things to each other, I also find this with my, you know, business partners that Braid Creative, too. Um, but yeah, it makes total sense. And here's the deal is that I care more about you and I care more about the brand, you know, because the options were either we shut down Being Boss all together, we go our separate ways do our things. We're still friends. And the brand, just we have the book. I mean, what do we have? It just, it was hard to reconcile shutting it down, because I feel like this brand is bigger than just us, you know. And so then We're shutting it down for what an entire community of people who have become friends through Being Boss, who have built their businesses listening to us, I care more about the brand and just wanting it to keep going. And so for me, it seems like a win win situation. Like okay, yes, I'm not holding you back any longer. Being Boss, here's the other thing about Being Boss. And this is the, this is actually the hardest thing. The hardest part for me probably is that I think in a few ways, Being Boss itself was holding me back from being the actual kind of boss that I want to be at Braid Creative. You know, like, I love designing brand platforms. And I love building out brands, and I love working with clients one on one. That's what I love doing. I love Being Boss too. I love podcasting. I love writing books with you. And it's complicated, because it's not holding me back. But.
Emily Thompson 36:26
Kathleen Shannon 36:26
Does it make sense? Do you feel?
Emily Thompson 36:28
Yes, I felt it was. So that was even one of the reasons. One of the reasons why I was so okay with shutting it down. Because one of my favorite things about you has always been that you have such a clear idea or like your purpose here is to be the best graphic designer you can be.
Kathleen Shannon 36:44
Yeah, or like the best, whatever it is that I'm doing at any given moment. So like even with podcasting, then my goal is to be the best podcaster I could be. And that's still probably my goal. But then with the unexpected success of Being Boss, I didn't know how to be the best in this role that we had created at Being Boss. And I was, it was freaking me out. You know, like I was caused, I started becoming scared of saying the wrong thing, especially in the kind of like, climate that we're in right now. With social media and politics and all of it. I was just constantly scared of saying the wrong thing. And the more eyes that are on you the more criticism you're going to get. And I had a hard time dealing with it, honestly. But then also like, yeah, I just felt like a chapter had been closed. You know, like I said, what I needed to say, and I needed to go back and do the work. That's really what it felt like. But then at the same time, I felt like I was really holding you back from growing Being Boss in the way that I knew you wanted to grow it. You wanted to launch a community, what, 18 months ago, and I said, No. I cancelled, I essentially cancelled Being Boss, New Orleans last year, because I didn't want to do it, you still went to New Orleans. You were feel like forget it, I'm still gonna go I'm going to invite a handful of bosses to go with me. Um, but we're where we most recently, I do love traveling with you. And I do love hanging out with our bosses, oh, Guatemala. So we went to we had a Being Boss, Guatemala this year in conjunction with Cooperative for Education, which is a nonprofit. And that was so much fun. And I remember thinking like, okay, I could do this. Like, I love traveling with Emily, sharing a room with her. I love getting on the podcast, you know. So whenever you propose the buyout is like, okay, what does this mean? Like? What are what are the legal logistics of it, but then what are also the roles and duties and implications.
Emily Thompson 38:47
Right. And I will say to you, I want to go back to this Guatemala piece, because Guatemala happened early August. So we were like, less than a month from when I had the idea. So whenever I like, that, for me, having that idea was literally like I woke up, it was the craziest thing for me. So less than a month later, we were in Guatemala. So I was still kind of, like energetically still feeling off. And I still do, we can talk about that a little bit. I still feel energetically off, and I think I will for a long time. But Guatemala was really huge for helping, like continuing to pull me out because for me, Guatemala and going and seeing the work that they were doing and that we were helping facilitate in that moment, was sort of that that bigger, way bigger than me why. Of like okay, if I'm going to continue doing this, then like, we can make real impact like it's not just you know, helping a boss start a stationery business, which is great and wonderful. But we can help girls in third world countries educate or get educated out of a horrific cycle of poverty. Like that is next level and I can do it with my friend in a beautiful place with a whole group of friends. That for me was also a monumental sort of baby step after a big step that sort of kept moving me in the right direction.
Kathleen Shannon 40:13
And, you know, Guatemala, for me made me realize was we had a discussion of, okay, how much is the buyout? Do I just sell all of my shares to you? And I'm out, you know, what does that look like? And it made me realize that it's going to be really hard to separate me from the brand for a while, you know? And it's just we're enmeshed, right. Like, we are known as being in it together, and we are in it together. Like, even if I sold you 100% of my shares of Being Boss, we would still be Marco Poloing like, every day, you know what I mean?
Emily Thompson 40:46
Kathleen Shannon 40:47
And we wrote this book together. So I was really doing a lot of soul searching and thinking around, okay, what does this mean for like, my personal brand? You know that feels weird to say now, but whatever it is, what it is. What does it mean for you know, what I've helped create? Right? Like, my face is on a lot of stuff. We're still business besties, whether or not I'm in Being Boss or not. What does this mean for my role at Braid? You know, does our original intention for Being Boss was actually to talk about how we're bosses in our individual businesses? So, you know, does Being Boss still support Braid Creative, which was my original intention, which is yes, like, we have a ton of listeners who then end up hiring me for branding. It is a big factor in my livelihood. And I love that. I love that it helps me do what I really love doing. Right? So it just made me realize that like, I can't really fully step out, at least not yet.
Emily Thompson 41:46
Yeah, no. And so let me even talk a little bit about what that looked like. So over that five days or so that I put this sort of plan together, I went back and looked at our operating agreement, like if you have a partnership, and you don't have an operating agreement, yet, you're too late. Go get an operating agreement. Because for me, that was sot of the starting point for even having the conversation with myself. Because in our operating agreement, we had sort of made these, we had defined what would happen if we, if we ever, if we bought each other out, what would that would look like. And so we did not follow those at all. Like, even though we had it, we didn't use it, it gave me a place to start, which is really nice. So I actually, I put together a Google Doc for Kathleen, that was like, you know, here's some like numbers, here's some facts about the business where we are right now. And here are three buyout options. One was like, I don't buy you out, and we just like really do this. We continue doing what we're doing. But we like it not with the intent of shutting it down, but of actually doing it.
Kathleen Shannon 42:51
And one of the challenges with that was energetically, because I was totally down to still be 50/50, just adjusting in salaries, which is essentially what I had done at Braid Creative while Being Boss was really, you know, in its heyday, and it's still in its heyday. But like around book writing time, whenever Being Boss was really demanding a lot of my time and energy. I just adjusted my salary so that Tara was making more money than I was in that way. But we were still 50/50 partners.
Emily Thompson 43:20
Kathleen Shannon 43:21
So I was like, we could do that. But it was energetically challenging for you.
Emily Thompson 43:25
Right? Well, I'm for you, too, for both of us.
Kathleen Shannon 43:29
Emily Thompson 43:29
Um, second was a partial buyout, and it was just open, like, some are all or some or most whatever that looks like. And then third was a complete buyout. So I had those three little options of what sort of what kind of look like what would change in our roles and duties very lightly, like, you know, six bullet points each, it wasn't anything too crazy. And we use that to facilitate that first conversation, and basically spent five months having that conversation.
Kathleen Shannon 43:57
I felt like we had that conversation. So many times, I felt like I kept forgetting things, having a Google document to keep track of our conversations was incredible. I would recommend it to anybody, but I would and I would have to say, you know, like, forgive me, Emily, if we've already covered this, but even just today, I was like, hey, next year am I still writing the agendas or are you writing them for the podcast? You know, like still we're still going over roles and duties. Oh, because we want to get specific about the amount of buyout that we did.
Emily Thompson 44:27
Sure, let's do it. But first, let's take a break.
Emily Thompson 44:34
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Kathleen Shannon 45:40
Alright, so we had all of these options, and we decided on a partial buyout, it didn't feel right to do a full buyout, it didn't feel right to stay in all the way. So we decided on a partial buyout, and we both kind of gut feeling came to the number 15% that I would stay in as a 15% partner, and Emily would buy out 35% of my shares.
Emily Thompson 46:04
Yes. So and I will, like this was magic guys. Because that day that I had that idea. Sitting in the backyard with David, we started talking about what that would look like. And I told him in that moment, I was like, ideally, it's not buying her out all the way. Like that's not what I'm trying to do here. I would love to have her in. And at that moment I decided 15/85 was like for me dream scenario where she's in it just enough that she can come travel and do all the fun things and like is still in it in that capacity. But is out or but my capacity is so much so that I am driving the boat. The whole boat. Boats, mine. Kathleen is on for the ride.
Kathleen Shannon 46:40
Yeah. Like whenever we're having these roles and duties conversations, I'm literally doing nothing. So whenever you all direct message me asking me how much the conference costs. I have no idea. Whenever you direct message me asking me how much the community costs. I have no idea. I believe in all of it. I'm super stoked. But you got to ask Emily.
Emily Thompson 46:59
Right, for sure. So in that conversation, where we were going over what the options were, you naturally landed on at 85/15. And I was like, and I didn't tell her this in that moment. I was like, okay, so I have to tell you, that's crazy awesome, because that's exactly where I had landed to. So Kathleen is 15%. I am 85%. And we spent weeks then discussing roles and duties. Like Kathleen would sometimes messaged me, like on a Saturday and be like I was up late last night thinking about this. And what are we going to do about? I don't know, you know, who's taking care of Instagram?
Kathleen Shannon 47:33
Emily Thompson 47:33
Or whatever it's going to be.
Kathleen Shannon 47:34
Or, you know, one of the bigger conversations was who's going to manage the branding. So the look and feel of Being Boss, which I feel incredibly attached to. And that's been a hard thing to have to let go of. But it's a good it's a good practice in letting go. Because, honestly, the look and feel of everything is something I would be proud to direct a junior designer through or you know what I mean? Like if someone else on my team at Braid Creative, for example, was designing that I would feel fine with it. Does that make sense? Yeah. And I think every designer encounters this or every creative director encounters this where it might not be the way I would have done it. But it's great. But it's still hard to let go of.
Emily Thompson 48:11
Kathleen Shannon 48:12
But it would be harder to keep it. Because you gave me that option, too.
Emily Thompson 48:16
Exactly. So yeah, we went through everything, every little roles and duties piece, we went through it to see who would be taking, taking, taking it. We also talked through expectations, we did pretty much set it up so that I was immediately the managing partner. So basically, on that day, in early July, it became my responsibility to do all of the things which is why so many things immediately got started. So many things started being put into place. Because I was able to hit the ground running, I had taken a nap for a year. Plenty of energy to finally make it do, which was nice.
Kathleen Shannon 48:58
So you decide to launch a conference, you launched a community, you did all of the things that I wouldn't let you do, and they're going so well. They're wonderful. And I'm so proud and excited. And I can't wait to be there because I will literally be at the conference. And so some of the things that I'm still going to be doing though, is podcasting. Yes, is my favorite thing about doing what we do. A hard conversation that we had was, what if there's another book, you know, can we are we both allowed to use the Being Boss brand to help leverage the book? Can I still use the Being Boss platform to advertise a book that I write on my own? You know, like, what does that kind of look like? And I think a lot of these things are conversations that we have whenever we get there. I think it was just setting the stage for this might be a conversation we have to have later. But ultimately agreeing I feel like every single step of the way through these logistics of like worst case scenarios, best case scenarios, like one of the best case scenarios is that Emily, you make $8 million next year on Being Boss. I get 15% of the profit. Worst case scenario, I have to pay taxes on that $8 million. So that was like another hard conversation. Like, I just want to make sure taxes are covered, stuff like that. But anyway, we had a walk through, you know, worst case and best case scenarios, every step of the way.
Kathleen Shannon 50:19
The idea is we don't want to screw each other over, like we have each other's backs. And there is so much this whole process made me realize. There's like, there's so much implicit trust in our relationship. And we had to make it explicit. Like we had to explicitly say, I trust you, and you trust me, and we're gonna still be in this together. And I'm so happy with where we landed on it. But I still have like...
Emily Thompson 50:49
This, so Kathleen now has to learn some karmic lessons around FOMO.
Kathleen Shannon 50:57
I mean, I have so you know, at the front of this episode, I said, I've made a lot of hard decisions and choices in order to not be burnt out. And I have been saying yes to a lot of stuff over the past 10 years, I've said yes to starting Braid Creative. I've said yes to having a baby. I've said yes to moving across the country. And lots of little things in between, you know, yes to a lot of travel, yes to a lot of success. And now I'm needing to say no, a little bit more. And that includes saying, No to big parts of Being Boss that I've been a part of for a really long time. And it's just hard to let go. I mean, it's like, seeing your baby off. But at the same time, I know that you're still running the ship. It's not like I'm seeing my baby off the baby's just, I just handed the baby over to you.
Emily Thompson 51:48
Right? We're gonna go play together. It's gonna be fun? Right? Yeah, it's this conversation could have been the most difficult conversation of my life.
Kathleen Shannon 52:01
I mean, it could have literally been a divorce. And I've been divorced before, and I have never once talked to my ex. Like, and that was a decision that happened in a week, you know, like, we did not consciously uncouple. I feel like you and I very, for lack of better words, we consciously uncoupled and
Emily Thompson 52:19
Kathleen Shannon 52:21
That was the most important thing to me through it. And I actually wanted to make sure that that didn't color some of my decision making. Our friendship, because we're also still business people. And this is where the blurred lines get really tricky, right. And so I wanted to make sure I wasn't giving too much or too little, because we're such close friends. You know what I mean?
Emily Thompson 52:42
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So let's talk a little bit about how that conversation went down. Because I know there are a lot of people in there who may be are in a bad partnership, and need to start negotiating out. Or maybe you're in a good one that just has seen its way to its end. Either way, I think Kathleen and I were able to have this conversation with so much grace. And I will say again, this has been one of the easiest conversations like, and it's also it's been a long conversation. Five months, it took five months from me having the idea to us signing the papers, and we signed the papers like four days ago, like it's just now a fresh thing. So for five months, we...
Kathleen Shannon 53:23
Have you sent me a check yet. Where's my money?
Emily Thompson 53:31
Oh, I told David. He was getting it done today. And he said, Yes, it's Thanksgiving Kathleen, It's Thanksgiving.
Kathleen Shannon 53:37
We signed this paper four days ago. Marco Polo David right now. Where's my check.
Emily Thompson 53:43
Next time and don't sign papers on a holiday.
Kathleen Shannon 53:45
This is where the conversations get real. Oh, we did sign the papers. Right after Mercury, Mercury was in retrograde.
Emily Thompson 53:53
We waited until after mercury was out of retrograde because were those people. But going back to that conversation, I want to sort of note a couple of important things that really helped us along the way. And these were things that we said out loud to each other. That I mean, we were so explicit about all of these things so that we could continue moving forward. One was that first we're friends, we're business partner second, that really set the tone for how these conversations, or how we came into these conversations. Like we always do, even when we had meetings about like, okay, we need to get together and really like look over this new operating agreement. We start that conversation with how was your weekend? Right? What have you been up to? What yummy food did you cook and eat like whatever it may be? First friends, business partner. Second.
Kathleen Shannon 54:40
I think also the fact that we Marco Polo so much helps. Like I don't know where that fits into this conversation. But we really do Marco Polo a lot.
Emily Thompson 54:50
Kathleen Shannon 54:50
In a way that has cultivated our friendship beyond business partnership. And I think that that's helped. So Marco Polo, your friends.
Emily Thompson 54:59
right. Be real friends. This came out a couple of times that we want each other to be the best we can be. And we are here to support each other in every way, shape and form and I will say to it has been a delight for me to see you come out and do things that you haven't done in a long time. I went looked at your Instagram recently and saw the outfit of the day is like coming back strong.
Kathleen Shannon 55:23
I archived a bunch of them. But funny enough, we're here to support each other. I've had a lot of Being Boss ideas since relinquishing some of the control. Like I feel like it opens me up to I guess I don't have that fear anymore. So I can just throw out a bunch of big scary ideas that you're like, Yes, I will do that.
Emily Thompson 55:41
Kathleen Shannon 55:42
Or no, because you can say no to it.
Emily Thompson 55:46
Right. Um, we also gave each other a lot of grace just make the choices that felt best. And that in a situation like this, no choices are wrong, even like going through our operating greement. Our lawyer Autumn has been on the podcast a couple of times, has sort of give us like the usual and we be like, we actually want to do it in a different way. Right, because you can define what these things look like, you do not have to use some cooker, cooker, cookie cutter, like boilerplate template.
Kathleen Shannon 56:16
You also don't have to do it like a dude would do it. That's like the best way to describe it. Because I feel like a lot of people whenever they put on their business hat feel like they need to act tough. I feel like we had a lot of gut checks and real conversations along the way.
Emily Thompson 56:34
For sure. For sure, I will say to another really great facilitator of this whole thing was Profit First. So we had Mike Michalowicz on the podcast a while ago, he wrote a really great book called Profit First, that gives you a blueprint for how it is that you can efficiently and effectively manage money in your business. And whenever it came to deciding what it looked like to do profit shares in a different way, because we've just been so solidly 50/50 every time I got a check, Kathleen got a check for years. That now that things are going to be different, we needed a way of defining what the money piece would look like. Because we all know to money can be one of the hardest things to talk about. So going in using an accepted model that we've been using, to sort of define those parameters for ourselves and how it is that we move forward has been very helpful. So if you are making any of these moves, find something like Profit First, or some sort of like understandable model for money, that makes it really clear as to how that important piece of the puzzle is going to play out. Are you scared, Kathleen?
Kathleen Shannon 57:34
You know, it just I'm still thinking about the taxes thing, like with Profit First, it's funny, because the model that we have is where 5% of the revenue goes into a profit bucket. And then we're gonna split that at 85/15. But really, I'm 15% of the whole business. You know what I mean? So it's tricky there. That's where Emily and I have had multiple conversations over taxes and having that tax bucket, which is also a model first component. But, you know, I mean, this, this really is, and it still is the trickiest part. For me, I think that we just have to see how it goes over the next year, but we're gonna have quarterly finance meetings, and really save, set aside money for taxes, and really look at how this ends up shaking out, you know, and I think it's just gonna take a year, but again, we have each other's best interests in mind. Like, no one's trying to screw each other over. So at one point, I said, well, if Emily has all the decision making power, she can decide to just boost her salary to eat, you know, to take up all the profit. And then like, is that fair? You know? So that's the trickiest part. But again.
Emily Thompson 58:40
right, and then I said, it doesn't behoove me to screw you over Kathleen.
Kathleen Shannon 58:43
Emily Thompson 58:44
You know, like, that's not what we're trying to do here.
Kathleen Shannon 58:48
And, then I'm like is that what I would?
Emily Thompson 58:51
Am I a bad person?
Kathleen Shannon 58:52
Am I the bad person here? Because I even had the thought.
Emily Thompson 58:56
Right? You did have a lot of crazy thoughts.
Kathleen Shannon 58:58
I do, I do have a lot of a lot of crazy thoughts.
Emily Thompson 59:01
You have to, you have to.
Kathleen Shannon 59:02
But I also think that this is where once we landed on, hey, we're going to strictly follow Profit First, that also goes through how much employees can be paid and how many employees Emily can bring on and what she's getting paid. Like, it's such a good healthy formula that it really put my mind at ease. And this is not a Profit First commercial. It's just something that really works for us.
Emily Thompson 59:25
For sure. So all that to say, we've made a really big move. And it's been technically or I guess, not technically, sort of in effect since July. It is now truly in effect.
Kathleen Shannon 59:40
Yeah, it's been in transition since July, and it's been in full effect for four days as of recording this.
Emily Thompson 59:48
And we're still speaking to each other.
Kathleen Shannon 59:51
Yeah, we are.
Emily Thompson 59:53
If anything, now things are better than ever and that now when we talk it's not all business is not all let me tell you all this shit. Let's figure out all of this stuff. Did you see that email, all those things? Like, I can just go deal with all those things. And whenever we talk, we can really just talk about that new cookbook that you got.
Kathleen Shannon 1:00:10
Though you know what it is funny, though, because I can still feel you, you know, and sometimes I do.
Emily Thompson 1:00:15
You always always will.
Kathleen Shannon 1:00:16
I know. Love you, Emily Thompson. No, but really, I think that sometimes I want to know, because I'm like, what's up? You know, and I feel like sometimes, since this shift, you want to protect me, which is great. Like, and we've agreed not to, that I don't have to hear about this stuff anymore. That's part of it. But then I'm like, wait, but really what happened there? And then you'll tell me.
Emily Thompson 1:00:40
Kathleen Shannon 1:00:40
So I think that we're going for over the next year probably have lots of conversations around boundaries. And like, you know, like, you might say, hey, there's something I really want to tell you. Do you have the capacity for it? Like that might be how that conversation starts, I'll be like, okay, yes, tell me, because essentially, you know, kind of what we landed on is, I'm acting almost as one talent. So I'm showing up for the podcasts, I'm showing up for conferences, I'm showing up for vacations. If Emily's throwing like a separate extra retreat, I usually have an invitation to that if there's enough beds. Um, so I'm still showing up and I love showing up. There's nothing I love more than getting to hang out with Emily in person and to get to hang out with bosses in person. I think also, some of my burnout with Being Boss too. It's just that we're creating all this content from behind a microphone only seeing each other and we don't get to meet a lot of our bosses all the time. So getting to meet people in real life really energizes me, I'm also an extrovert. Um, so I'm excited to still be showing up. But I just don't have to, like, put out the fires and answers the emails.
Emily Thompson 1:01:47
Right. But you were saying you're one talent, but two now, Board of Director.
Kathleen Shannon 1:01:51
So like quarterly, you know, I will probably, and it might be more than quarterly, sometimes just depending on the season. But what we've agreed on is at least once a quarter having a big management meeting where, you know, you can talk about who you want to hire who you want to fire. Watch out, Corey. I'm just kidding. Um, you know, you can you we can go over finances, and that might help us, you know, I might be a sounding board for money decisions, or branding decisions, of course, like, I always want to have my hand in a little bit. You know, so really just still being that sounding board with years of context, and knowing you and what decisions you want to make and how you want to grow. And I just feel like I can support you so much better. In all the things that you want to do with the Being Boss brand, I'm so happy that the brand isn't just going to, we're not going to pull the plug on it. I mean, it really was such a good thing. I have a few fears, but it's gonna be fine.
Emily Thompson 1:02:56
It's gonna be fine. It's gonna be better than fine. 8 million next year, right? That's the goal. Actually, that's where it gives me maybe some hives, if I think about that too long.
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:08
Which, I think 8 million, 8 million downloads now. So that's something to celebrate,
Emily Thompson 1:03:13
Right? 8 million downloads. Right and I will tell you to, you know, often we talk about the energetics of things, how things sort of show up when you show up in ways that you could never like, draw the line between them. And I will say that me picking this back up and putting as much energy into it as I have it started coming back to me in really amazing ways. Because, you know, one of the things of burnout is that I spent a year questioning every decision that I made, like David would ask me what we're eating for dinner, and I would start crying like literally could not. It was like the most insane decision fatigue a person could have. And I started questioning all of my decisions, all of those things. But whenever I picked Being Boss back up, a lot of that went away. But it did not go away completely. Like I still had moments to be like, oh my God is the dumbest thing I've ever done. Like, is this ridiculous? But things started showing up for me in interesting ways.
Kathleen Shannon 1:04:11
Do you think that that's maturity? Like, I feel like there's a lot of I know now what I don't know, I could never be the business owner I was 10 years ago that I am today. Because I'm so freaked out. Right?
Emily Thompson 1:04:24
And that's why I bought you out.
Kathleen Shannon 1:04:28
I'm gonna say this too. I don't want to hold our listeners back either, because I'm definitely at this point where I'm like, don't do it. Which isn't true at all. Like do it. Do the thing. I support you too. I just have a lot more caution and risk adversity, adversity risk adversity.
Emily Thompson 1:04:45
Kathleen Shannon 1:04:46
Aversion. And you're definitely like, let's do this thing.
Emily Thompson 1:04:51
Yeah, right. I thought I was that too. But now that I'm back in it, I feel myself coming back, I feel myself coming back. So let's like, I'm sorry, not sorry, this ending up being long, we're just gonna keep going for a minute. I have things to say. Um, one of them is that, oh, those decisions, so making decisions, questioning them, little things started showing up for me. So just sort to tell me that I was making the right decision and just sort of proof that when you put energy into something, you get energy out of it. Like it just it's all reciprocal. Especially if it's the right thing to do. One launch of the conference, I was blown away by how many tickets we sold in that first weekend. Like, yeah, we filled a vacation. Basically in the first weekend of conference ticket sales.
Kathleen Shannon 1:05:44
I was blown away. Anecdotally how excited people were on Instagram about it, because I felt like I think part of our burnout was feeling like are people even excited about this anymore?
Emily Thompson 1:05:54
Yeah, but they are, they are a super excited, right. And so at this point, we're half sold out, over half sold out of the conference tickets, which I think is super exciting. So also, if you want to buy a ticket to the conference, Kathleen and I will be there. Those are like selling out, which is amazing. That for me was like a high five from the universe. Like you were supposed to continue doing this. Getting people into the community has also been one of those things, just having people in there talking about how excited people have been to join it. That will always be open. Feel free to join that at any point.
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:26
Hey, I have an idea.
Emily Thompson 1:06:28
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:28
Do we maybe want to hop in the community together? And do you like a more detailed q&a if people have more questions about the buyout?
Emily Thompson 1:06:35
Oh, I love that.
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:36
I mean, I haven't even been in there yet. But I would love to meet people and say hi,
Emily Thompson 1:06:41
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:42
And then maybe after this, because I feel like there's so much stuff that we didn't cover or like questions that people might have that we didn't even think of that they might ask us that also might feel too personal or vulnerable to put on the podcast.
Emily Thompson 1:06:54
I would love to do that. I would love to. Yes, let's do that. Okay, so there you go. If you want to ask us more questions about all of this, especially navigating partnership stuff, that seems to be the thing that's coming up the most. Feel free, go join the community. We'll do a q&a in there. We'll figure it out. It'll be there once you get there. Okay, so maybe Oh, whenever Daymond John from Shark Tank, got on Instagram and high fived Being Boss, I almost peed myself guys. I literally hit my head on the wall. I was so excited. Like, I threw my head back in excitement. And there was a wall behind me. I was stoked. For me, that was another one of those just like small energetic things that happens, who knows how or why. But for me.
Kathleen Shannon 1:07:40
I should also mention you FaceTime me at what 10pm to tell me. I was in bed it felt very late.
Emily Thompson 1:07:48
I immediately had to say I'm not getting murdered.
Kathleen Shannon 1:07:50
Yes. Which I appreciated. My biggest fear is like getting an unexpected FaceTime and seeing that other person on the other side being murdered.
Emily Thompson 1:07:59
I know, I know, I always have to like, show you a sandwich or something. So that you know, I'm just eating it, I want to talk about it. Anyway, so like little things like that keep coming up for me that just, I don't know, tell me that I made the right choice. And whenever you're coming out of a year of burnout, that's all you need. That's all you need is for something to tell you that you're doing the right thing, which is really nice. And I will say to just sort of wrapping up that burnout piece. I'm on the other side of it. 100% I've been able to get down to business, I don't feel traumatized by my inbox anymore. I feel fine. I feel like my old self more or less, I will say however, my tank doesn't hold as much gas as it used to by any means. I have to take more breaks, I need to take more naps. I still have very little capacity for social interaction. Like David the other days mentioned something he was like, we should have people over the house and I like immediately froze up like, Oh, that's not a bad thing. I can figure that out. Can you give me like three months?
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:05
You know, it's so funny is that Jeremy always wants to have people over to the house to I don't even articulate this to him yet. And I hate rejection so much that I don't even want to invite people over because I'm afraid that they'll say no. Like, that's my thing. Isn't that terrible.
Emily Thompson 1:09:22
Kathleen, maybe you should get a therapist next.
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:25
Well, so I did have a therapist once and I hustled to impress her, which does not work in therapy. Like I tricked her into thinking I was okay. Which is like therapy's not gonna work if you're trying to impress your therapist.
Emily Thompson 1:09:43
No, no, I don't think it does.
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:45
But then I also felt like whenever I like let the real shit shine.
Emily Thompson 1:09:49
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:50
Like that. She thought I was crazy.
Emily Thompson 1:09:57
I love that story.
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:58
You know, so with my burnout, like how I said, I'm at idle right now.
Emily Thompson 1:10:03
Kathleen Shannon 1:10:04
I don't know, my biggest fear is I don't know when I'm going to have the enthusiasm or be open to the next big thing. Like I'm enthusiastic about my individual projects at any given moment. So I'm really excited to design that next brand platform, and I'm really present with it. I'm really excited to go to the Being Boss Conference. And whenever I'm on a stage, I am present, like I am 100% there. But I don't know like when I'm going to want to start a blog, I even remember how I talked about starting a blog around my house last year. And that's whenever I said, okay, nope, too much. I need to just keep saying no, keep saying no. But when is that going to hinder my growth? You know, like, when do I start saying yes again.
Emily Thompson 1:10:47
I think we use feel it in your gut, I think you'll feel it, I think you'll know it.
Kathleen Shannon 1:10:51
Ugh, I hope so.
Emily Thompson 1:10:52
For a long time. I will say, to those who are going back to that burnout piece, I gave myself a ridiculous amount of grace, even though I didn't look at it, look at it all. It wasn't cute. By any means. I let myself not be cute.
Kathleen Shannon 1:11:09
Are you talking about like literally?
Emily Thompson 1:11:14
I meant figuratively. But also literally, I was in my PJ's, I probably wash my hair less that year than ever. I'm definitely stopped using makeup for a while. Anyway, all that to say I like, I gave myself the space to honor the dark places. And it's also really, whenever I really started thinking about some of that seasonal living stuff that I do. On the side, the Almanac content that I'm in and creating and that I'm going to be bringing more into Being Boss, like, the darkness of winter is real. And winter is my least favorite season. So I'm very good at just like scooting that one under the rug and forgetting it. But like you have emotional winters too. And I think our society, our society shames them a little bit, I let it be there. I let it be there. I'll just let it do what it needed to do until I was really done with it. And then I had to force Spring a little bit, which is all fine and good. But I went to, in my last therapy session, she asked me she was like, do you think you handled burnout in the best way that you could? I sat and thought about it for a second. I was like, Yes. I like it wasn't cute. It wasn't fun. But I really do think that I dealt with it in the best, like in a way that I'm not mad about. It happened. And it's going to happen to everyone at some point, especially if you don't learn to mitigate your stress now. But you have to, like honor it and live through it. And we did it. And I think we did a good job. And I think that we came through it, I came through it, you may not be through yet.
Kathleen Shannon 1:13:02
Emily Thompson 1:13:02
I came through it. And I feel good about being on the other side of it. I do feel like I lost a year and a half. I went to a conference recently. And in one of the sessions I have thought like, wow, I really slept for the past year. Like I didn't think about business strategy. I didn't think about what I was doing next are how I could use the assets that I have to, you know, do more better things. Like I didn't think about any, I slept for over a year. And whenever it really hit me. It didn't make me sad, but it was like it was a little bit of a wake up call of like, okay, like, I feel awake. But now it's time to get back to business. And it feels good to be back.
Kathleen Shannon 1:13:40
Well, I can just keep going. I keep keep going. Because I have more thoughts around like,
Emily Thompson 1:13:44
We can into a two part series if you'd like to.
Kathleen Shannon 1:13:47
No, I'm almost done. It's like, do I wait it out? And wait for the inspiration? Or do I get to work? And then the inspiration finds you working? You know, and so I've always believed in the latter, where you get to work, you go through the motions of acting as if you're an inspired person. I just can't. Or maybe I do I mean, I'm saying I can't I'm still designing every day. I'm writing. I'm posting on Instagram. I'm making art. Like I'm doing a lot of things still.
Emily Thompson 1:14:21
Kathleen Shannon 1:14:22
I feel inspired around certain things like remodeling my kitchen. But I don't want to launch an ecourse.
Emily Thompson 1:14:30
Right? I don't know, I think I think the most important thing is knowing what kind of person you are. That was really one of the things, another one of those things that came out of my burnout. And I think this is particularly important or notable around how we, in order to deal with our burnout, we sort of we cut everything in half if not more like we downsize the team. We downsize our responsibilities and our roles like all of these things. I think that was important for my first phase of getting through burnout was I needed to rest and the only way to rest was to do all of those things. And then what came from that was okay, let's shut down Being Boss. And for the purpose of further removing and not having something to drive towards, and I think that's important for you. But I learned that that's not what works for me.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:29
Yeah no, I need something to drive towards.
Emily Thompson 1:15:33
Oh well, once I had something to drive towards. I felt fine again. I felt fine. But it was also the right thing.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:40
I think I'm feeling that around my house. Like, I think I'm feeling it around. I'm feeling very inspired around my house That just, it doesn't make money, it costs money. So I thought about monetizing it for a hot minute.
Emily Thompson 1:15:52
You can start getting friends to pay to come over.
Kathleen Shannon 1:15:58
And that's gonna cost you $500.
Emily Thompson 1:16:00
Right? $5 a drink. You can have a house wine, that'd be funny. Right? But okay, but then around the idea of making something for you to do and waiting for inspiration, or just waiting for inspiration. I know that I have sparks of big magic. And I waited for a year for one of those sparks. I mean, I consciously was waiting.
Kathleen Shannon 1:16:29
Emily Thompson 1:16:29
For a big magic moment. And that even probably fed a little bit of my depression was it wasn't coming. And so I wasn't doing something right. And then it spirals as it does. But then when I made enough space, when I was done making all the space and then went to the therapist and like cleaned out that dirty corner, or whatever it was,
Kathleen Shannon 1:16:49
Emily Thompson 1:16:49
The big magic moment happened. So for me, I know, it's not just. I know, it's not making the thing while waiting. For me, it's doing what I'm doing. But then waiting, it really is waiting for me.
Kathleen Shannon 1:17:06
Like being open to it.
Emily Thompson 1:17:07
Being completely and utterly open. So I think it's just, you need to know what kind of person you are Kathleen.
Kathleen Shannon 1:17:13
Yeah, well, as you know, is, whenever you said that I was thinking or know what kind of person you've become. And maybe I've become the kind of person that just doesn't have the amount of energy that I had, you know, 10 years ago.
Emily Thompson 1:17:25
Right, true that.
Kathleen Shannon 1:17:26
But also, you know, I've added a lot to my life in the past 10 years. So I have a family now and.
Emily Thompson 1:17:33
Right, maybe this is just the season of enjoying what you've built.
Kathleen Shannon 1:17:36
That's really how I feel because I don't feel bad about it. I think I felt bad about it. Because I'm usually striving towards the next thing. And I'm definitely in a place where I'm just kind of enjoying what I've created. You know, like, I'm so grateful that whenever we decided to pause on Being Boss a little bit I had, I had a job at Braid Creative, you know. And so I think that's where our path kind of forked a little bit, is that you had the rug pulled out from under you with your web business, like that would have potentially been a fallback.
Emily Thompson 1:18:10
Kathleen Shannon 1:18:10
even though it's all but you know, that was kind of on pause too, for you. But the thing is, is that you had that like, Oh, I gotta do something. You know, like you had a different kind of pressure.
Emily Thompson 1:18:23
Yeah, for sure.
Kathleen Shannon 1:18:25
Anyway, I don't know. Good conversation.
Emily Thompson 1:18:28
For sure. I'm excited about this, Kathleen. Super excited about all things, literally all things both like what you and I get to do and just like hang out together and really just talk about cookbooks, guys. That really is our favorite thing to talk about is cookbooks. We like we'll buy cookbooks and go through them together via Marco Polo. It's ridiculous.
Kathleen Shannon 1:18:45
I love it.
Emily Thompson 1:18:45
Um, but then I'm also very excited about what we're doing and Being Boss. It has been a blast and completely and utterly gratifying to get back in this and to build the things that I've been wanting to build and have them be so well received. I will be back next week, no in two weeks with another podcast and just me, which is going to be crazy. I was telling someone the other day, I was like, you know, I can launch a conference in a city that I do not live in and it does not faze me. Like that's easy and fun. That's fine. But podcasting by myself, might actually make me nervous. It'll be fine. But I will be back in two weeks for a solo episode where I plan on breaking down all of the fun things that I have planned for 2020 because it's gonna be good.
Kathleen Shannon 1:19:39
I'll have to listen to that to see what you're up to you.
Emily Thompson 1:19:45
You can if you want to just don't tell me about it.
Kathleen Shannon 1:19:47
Honestly, I probably won't.
Emily Thompson 1:19:49
Kathleen Shannon 1:19:49
Have you noticed that like your closest friends don't listen to the podcast?
Emily Thompson 1:19:52
Yeah, I actually request some of them don't. For sure. For sure.
Kathleen Shannon 1:19:58
I know Jeremy listens because you he was like, hey, so I heard what you're grateful for.
Emily Thompson 1:20:07
Slightly passive aggressive Jeremy.
Kathleen Shannon 1:20:09
No, because it was boning.
Emily Thompson 1:20:15
That's right. That's funny. That's so anywho. So there you guys go. And I will also one last thing, Kathleen and I questioned ourselves and each other as to whether or not we would even share this.
Kathleen Shannon 1:20:28
Oh, yeah, right, right.
Emily Thompson 1:20:29
We did not know, we thought we'd just keep going and let you out, you let you all think that we were still 50/50. Two things changed your minds, one, you guys are not idiots. And we know most of you are quite intuitive. And you've probably felt the shift. And so we wanted to be, similar to how I couldn't keep it from Kathleen, that I wanted to do something crazy. I don't think that we could keep this from you. So we're respecting your geniusness and just telling you the way it is. Two, we hope that you find this helpful, one way or the other, and how it is that we navigate our own relationship. And also just deal with business. One of the things that really came out of this for both of us was that business can be a year at a time scenario. We're going at this a year at a time to see how this thing, this thing moves and changes before making any like 5, 10, 15 year plans with the transition like this going out at small is okay too. And that's it.
Kathleen Shannon 1:21:31
I mean, that's not it, but we got to stop this podcast at some point.
Emily Thompson 1:21:35
Emily Thompson 1:21:40
Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more. Go to our website at www.beingboss.club
Kathleen Shannon 1:21:54
Do the work. Be boss.