Episode 104

End of Year Prompts

December 27, 2016

It’s time to reflect on 2016! We’re here with some prompts to consider what worked, what didn’t work, and what to change in your business in order to look forward and continue being boss in 2017.

"It's the freedom in business model that makes us creative entrepreneurs."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Reflecting on the past year and looking for themes
  • End of the year exercise:
    • Make a list of accomplishments and victories in 2016
    • Make a list of what didn't work in 2016 + how can you tackle those things differently in 2017
    • Make a list of what you hope to achieve in 2017
  • Choosing a word for the year
  • The Change Cycle
  • Cultivating your creative network and having conversations with your business bestie


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Unknown Speaker 0:01
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:03
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. Today, Emily and I are talking all about reflecting on your year. So we're going to be sharing a few prompts that we use that really helped us get a look at where we've been and where we want to go. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links, we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 0:44
Right, I was sitting, I was talking to a neighbor the other day, we're sitting on the porch, and we have like life as planned until the New Year, legit. And I was like, I think in January, I'm gonna do this thing. And she's like, January, where are you talking about January? And I was like, because that's like tomorrow to me. Like tomorrow? Yeah. Like she couldn't even fathom that, like I was already thinking like three months ahead.

Kathleen Shannon 1:08
So it's funny that you mentioned that because we have our entire 2017 planned. And we've talked about really being bad at just jumping over our victories into what the next thing is. So I really want to use this episode to talk a little bit about 2016. And really goes through some prompts that we are giving to our own clubhouse members so that they can spend a good amount of time reflecting on what worked, what didn't work, and where they want to make changes in 2017. And what they want to happen, what they want to do differently. So I think it's super important to apply this to our own lives and our own business and really just catch up and make sure that we're looking back before we look ahead. Now let's get into it.

Emily Thompson 1:59
All right, now let's enjoy this one. Cory, Cory was editing the or yesterday, we have a team meeting every Monday morning. And he's he's been doing a lot of like getting all the editing done up for like November and even December, so it's all done. He was like, I realized the other day that I can only take so much of you and Kathleen in a single day.

Unknown Speaker 2:22
Like I can bet.

Unknown Speaker 2:23
Yeah, right. That's not a job I'd want.

Emily Thompson 2:27
No, we appreciate you, Cory, I think very, very much warm. fuzzies for you now go blush. Um, okay, so let's, let's talk about in the year, this, as much as I like,

Unknown Speaker 2:42
all of the year.

Emily Thompson 2:45
I think my favorite is like end of year, like I love looking back at all the things that I've done, and I love planning, like, I'm a crazy planner. So I like being able to have a point in my year. And I do this a couple times throughout the year. But really, at the end of the year, where I sit down, I look at all that I've accomplished. And I look back at like what I was hoping to do and like my journal the year before, and I'm not a huge crazy journal, er, but like indivior I do. So I compare it to what I was hoping for the year. And then I see what actually happened. And then I like set my intentions and like make goals and stuff for the for the next year. And I've always done this, like under the guise of business like I don't usually do it very personally, like, I don't look at personal development, or those sorts of things, right, have always been pretty hardcore at looking at my business, seeing how much money I want to make, how much I'm going to make it what do I need to do to make it happen? And the things that I want to make, which as a creative with a business, that's one of the best parts is I get to make things for other people. So love this end of your planning stuff. I'm excited to dive in.

Kathleen Shannon 3:58
So looking back on 2016, and the accomplishments and maybe even the failures along the way. Are you seeing any themes come up for your 2016? Like, what do you really take away from 2016

Emily Thompson 4:16
I feel like 2016 is when I really started to be boss. Right? Like looking at your accomplishments and things that didn't work I really saw this year as a huge level up here. For me personally, which I don't really dive into too much when I'm doing these lists, but like I feel it, but also definitely in my business. So like just releasing dead weight. Basically being very intentional about what it is that I want to accomplish and actually making that shit do. So I really feel like this was a level up here where like I went for the things that I wanted and I let go of the things that were holding me back. What about you? Well, when

Kathleen Shannon 4:59
I look back at my year, I think the things that really keeps showing up time and time again, is that I really value in person connections. And so there were a lot of things that happened over my year kind of kicking off with a kind of makeshift mastermind that I did with a couple of creative girlfriends down in Mexico. And it really sparked my passion for business again, I felt like 2015 was just a year of exhaustion, I was simply trying to survive with having a toddler and growing a business and starting another business being boss. And so yeah, I feel like this in person connection with a couple of girlfriends who are also creative entrepreneurs, really sparked my passion again, and it was a great way to start the new year. And I found that between the being boss vacation in Miami and a few other trips that we've done, really connecting with people in person is where my heart is. And so taking that, that theme and those values and applying it to how we do business and really making that our focus and being boss is taking those offline vibes into our online space and growing with intention and even joining a more official mastermind group with Tara Gentilly and using that to strategically grow in a way that doesn't squash the values that we organically built out of being boss. It's just been really huge. And so that's been like, my favorite thing about 2016 is just really remembering that as much as we thrive online, and as much as we champion for the online creative entrepreneur, nothing beats that face to face in person. magic that happens.

Emily Thompson 6:57
I agree. And you're right reminds me of something that Tara Gentilly is all saying is always saying and that's like, what are you going to double down on? Like what's working so well, that you're gonna put double the energy into it? And I think for us, it was certainly the in person interactions like one of the things that made it to my like, accomplishments list for 2016 was relationships so was doubling down on the personal or personable is that the word he sure I'll use that one like, though face to face, one on one relationships that I've built, both in my life but also in my business. And I think that that's, I agree, that's certainly something that I have been super okay with and excited about doubling down on because it is those relationships and those interactions, and that way of relating to another creative in this case, something that I was super okay with doubling down on.

Kathleen Shannon 7:56
I think this year is the first time I've also really invested in my business in a way that felt really scary. So I guess the first time I happened is whenever I invested in Martha Beck coaching training, I spent 1000s of dollars on that training, and I didn't quite know where it was going to take me. And we spent 1000s of dollars again this year on masterminding and really investing in our business in being boss and really figuring out how we were going to grow it and hiring professional help to figure that out, felt really good, but also scary. And so it's given me a lot of compassion for creatives who are like, Oh, I don't know if I can invest in this thing, because I've been bootstrapping it for so long myself. And then also investing as far as kind of just betting on myself. And I'm super fortunate that I've had braid creative backing me up and allowing me to pursue being boss and what it has become, I've definitely been able to shift my focus from client work even though we still do one on one client branding and business visioning at braid creative. I've been able to personally shift my focus and my role within our business to really bring my attention to growing being boss. And so you Emily took a big shift in your business by ditching one on one work altogether. How's that been for you this year?

Emily Thompson 9:23
It's been fantastic. It was super scary, or, and now that I look back on it, I'm like, I feel like I should have been super scared. But I almost don't even think I was like, I think I just believed so much in what we were doing that it was just the next step. And doing this thing is, again, sort of letting go of the dead weight and realizing that it was dead weight. It was dead weight that Lou was putting me in touch with really awesome clients and I was doing really awesome work and it was paying me well, but it was not really serving that higher purpose that I found myself moving into as I went into 2016. So yeah, This year, I stopped doing one on one projects, which was super scary and not having, like, I don't have a terra like running projects. Without me behind the scenes at Indy. It was just me and my team. And if I was leaving client projects, then the team was leaving client projects. So. So it was it was scary, at least in theory, it was scary, I don't think I really let myself be scared, I just jumped in. And it's all worked out really well. And doing that letting go of that dead weight, left me with this opening that was rock your web design business, which was creating my first really digital product that I had done alone in a really long time. And I'm just am wrapping up delivering that to the first round of students. And it has been life giving, like taking these processes that I have developed over the past couple of years, and delivering them to web designers who want to better manage their clients and sell better projects, and you know, make more money doing the work that they do like doing that and delivering it and seeing the impact impact that it has, I could not have done that, if I were still doing client projects.

Kathleen Shannon 11:13
So think about is that between the two of us, we're still rocking a bunch of different business models, between indie shot biography, being boss and braid creative. And I think that what I've really learned from the experience and from working with even more creative entrepreneurs this year, and having conversations with them, and trying out our own experiments in business model, and really seeing what works is that you've got to make it your own. Like, I think that I've learned there is no silver bullet. And if you're following someone else's idea, or checklist or formula, without having kind of heart behind it or really feeling confident in it, it's not going to work. And you can totally make up what it is that you're doing. And you can do it in a different way than ever before. So that's what we really did with the being boss clubhouse, we decided to take what started as a Facebook group, blend it with our own personal expertise is that we have from indie shop biography and bring creative expertise is that really beyond just talking about branding and online business and blending who you are with what you do and personal branding on the podcast, we weren't really able to share that expertise in the way that we love and the way that we're best at and so really taking that Facebook group our own expertise is and then these in person events that really fuel our fire. And turning that into what the clubhouse has become this two day online and offline retreat, followed by a year of support, where we're able to really get to know the creative entrepreneurs that are hanging out with us. Like, I haven't really seen much else like that. And it's really cool to just be able to do it our way. So I mean, and of course taking from other people who have influenced us and learning from the best and being inspired by a bunch of different business models, and then blending it together, throwing it all in the Vitamix and making it our own. Like, that's just been really fun. And that's what I think I want to spend maybe even a little bit more time in 2017 helping people figure out business models that work for them. I don't quite know what this might look like yet, but really exploring that idea a little bit more, might be kind of fun.

Emily Thompson 13:45
I agree. And I'm always thinking about like, Who or what is a creative entrepreneur, like because we say we're a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. And sometimes I can't like I don't even know what the fuck that means. Like, on the one hand, I feel like that we're just talking to a bunch of artists like who are just making things but like really, a lot of our crowd is even service providers. And a lot of them would not really see themselves as creatives because they're life coaches or yoga teachers or whatever it

Unknown Speaker 14:12
may be or realtors I feel like we have a healthy dose

Emily Thompson 14:15
of realtors or lawyers and like we have so we have such a, an amazing modge Podge of creative entrepreneurs that I think a lot about that term and like How is it? Or what is the common link that like pulls our crowd together. And I think it's the fact that we're allowed to be creative in our business model. Like the fact that we can make money however we want to as long as it's like said make sense and is like good for people and those sorts of things. But um, but we do have the opportunity because we have the internet, obviously and we can reach anyone who needs the things that we provide. And we have the like, I don't know, gumption to do something totally off the wall. So I do feel like as I'm refining what that definition is, for myself, and I guess for the being boss brand, I do think that it it is like freedom in business model that makes us creative entrepreneurs, not so much that we can draw, or paint things. But that we do business in ways that's kind of creative.

Kathleen Shannon 15:22
You know, it's so funny, because whenever I first started braid, creative, I remember my sister and I had this mentor locally, who we were chatting with her whenever we first launched our business. And I remember specifically, we were saying, We just want braid, creative to stay small and sustainable and nimble, where we can really have the freedom to do anything we want to do, we don't want to pigeonhole ourselves into something. And that's separate from niching. But we didn't want to really force ourselves into something by growing bigger than we were ready for. And what I specifically mean, there is we didn't want to turn into an agency. But five years later, what's funny about this is that we've grown being bought into this multimedia platform where we're reaching. I mean, what 2 million downloads at this point, and we've got a book in the works. And there's a lot of amazing growth and big things happening. But it's still within this small and nimble framework that still allows us to do whatever it is that we want to do. And so five years ago, whenever I was talking to this mentor about wanting to stay small and sustainable, she kind of, um, I don't know, what's the word for it,

Emily Thompson 16:41
who in your parade?

Kathleen Shannon 16:42
She was she basically kind of play devil's advocate or question, this idea of staying small and sustainable, because the traditional model, and what most people are working for is that growth and that money and working your way up the ladder, whatever ladder that looks like, right? And I remember thinking, wow, maybe she's right. Maybe I should be trying to grow this into this huge thing. And five years later, I can honestly say I've had it both ways. I've had growth and success. And I don't think I've played it small. But at the same time, I've been able to maintain freedom and flexibility and what I'm doing and that's really what I hope for everyone who is listening to this podcast that you can do things and make it your own.

Emily Thompson 17:34
Alright, so let's let's go to these like questions and prompts and kind of go through I think ours, ours a little more clearly, because I have a couple more things that I'd like to hit on. But also have some good things for these con folks listening to us that they can use to reflect on their year as well. So the first one that we that we have for you to do we also did is make a list of accomplishments and victories and 2016. So Kathleen, yeah, are some of yours, please?

Kathleen Shannon 18:08
Well, and I want you guys to feel free to flip through your calendar or diary or journal, to remind you of everything that you did, sometimes it's so easy to forget everything we accomplish, if we're just relying on our memory. So this can be professional winds or personal favorites, we definitely recommend a blend of both. And so what made it onto my list was kicking off the year with my Wabi Sabi tattoo. So that was my kind of mantra

Unknown Speaker 18:37
for the year.

Kathleen Shannon 18:38
I'll come back to that. I did a lot of travel personal and professional travel. I was on a plane basically once a month. I think there was maybe one month where I didn't go somewhere. I'm like you I feel like I really got strategic about being boss. And specifically, I became really passionate about email marketing, and getting a lot smarter there. I know that sounds really silly. You

Emily Thompson 19:07
guys know that is an accomplishment if you know Kathleen in any capacity like a year ago, if you had brought up email marketing, she would have your phone on your face, but like she's totally in it and I love it. So that is a huge accomplishment. I agree.

Kathleen Shannon 19:22
And I mean, I've been emailing for a long time and I've had a healthy size the list for that whole time. I just never knew how to use it and leverage it in a way that works. So that's been really exciting and fun. Definitely the being boss events the clubhouse, launching an offering and turning. What started as a podcast into a business model has been really fun. Having a book proposal out the door and getting that in the works has been really cool. masterminding with a few other brilliant creative minds has been so like such a huge accomplishment. I'm freshbooks hanging out with freshbooks. In Toronto for a live being boss podcast recording, there was a lot of fun. And another freshbooks highlight that stands out, is them renting a yacht for us and my

Emily Thompson 20:15
husband to say that you're in Miami better be on that list.

Kathleen Shannon 20:21
Yeah, so

those definitely stand out as accomplishments for sure. How about you, Emily?

Emily Thompson 20:28
I love that a lot of mine are the same. The book, the traveling, whenever we started being boss, we like internally chatted about like being involved is going to help us travel the world. Like that's something that I remember as like saying together. And that's totally what we're doing. And at the moment, you know, Toronto is as international as we have gone, but that's still International. So I think and it'll only grow from there. So that's been a really fun thing is actually seeing that to come to fruition. Um, business model, for sure is one of those, you know, whenever we started 2016, being boss didn't have a business model, we were turning it into a business, but we hadn't really like defined what that was for, for us yet. And now that we have the clubhouse rolling, and we, you know, can do income projections, and we're seeing the difference that we're making, and all of those things like that's a business model. And that's really fun for me. Um, we rebranded and launched a new website, which was huge. And I like that was very early in the year. So like, the pain of it is worn off quite a lot.

Unknown Speaker 21:34
But that was not like birthing a baby for sure.

Emily Thompson 21:36
Right. I remember launch day I cried a lot that day, because it was so stressed and at the end of my rope. So we did we relaunched we relaunched our website. What else is on my list? I put reading books, which is something that I used to do a ton, especially when Lily was when Lily was younger, I guess was when I stopped. I guess maybe she was like four, I stopped reading books as much as I always had. And I was always the kid who would like come back from school, like school, summer break, and I will have read like 40 bucks that summer or something stupid like that. So I had sort of gotten out of a habit of reading, but this year, I've picked that habit back up, which personally is a huge accomplishment. Um, when I think those are the things that I'm most excited about, Oh, no, I actually I've one more I saved for last because it is my favorite. And that is our team, and how we have not only like, nurtured and grown a really amazing team that I sincerely love. But we've also got them so systemized, that you know, we're getting content ready a month in advance now. And so we're not super reactive to things. We're super chill and just doing the work and enjoying ourselves along the way, like our weekly meetings is some of my favorite hours of the week. Because they're ridiculous and fun. So I think I think our cultivation and like bossing out a team that helps us do all these things, is one of my biggest accomplishments for the year.

Kathleen Shannon 23:16
Yeah, big shout out to Cory. Caitlin, Sharon, Jessica, David, Tara,

Emily Thompson 23:23
sometimes other people and Liz half of

Kathleen Shannon 23:28
all the people, Laura Lee, we have a lot of people who have our back. So thanks to all of you. Um, and then of course, our amazing listeners. Thanks to you guys for tuning in. Right? I can't get enough of your tweets at us or your Instagrams whenever you hashtag I am being boss. I'm looking at every single one of those. I love that. Okay, so we talked about what worked in 2016. So now I want you guys to take out your notebook and write down what didn't work in 2016. What got you feeling down or stressed out? Were there any failures or setbacks? And how do you think you can tackle these problems differently in 2017?

Unknown Speaker 24:11

Unknown Speaker 24:12
this one's never fun. Right?

Unknown Speaker 24:15
This one can get this one also, super

Unknown Speaker 24:17
easy. This

Kathleen Shannon 24:18
one comes super easy to me.

Emily Thompson 24:20
Did it? So this one actually, I only have two down. I really couldn't think of a whole lot of things that had me super stressed out. Okay, before we go into this one. What was your word for the year?

Kathleen Shannon 24:35
I mean, I think that I had to. So professionally growth.

Emily Thompson 24:42
Mm hmm.

Kathleen Shannon 24:43
Right. Wasn't that your word for 2016?

Emily Thompson 24:46
Yeah, that was my word last year. Oh, thank you recycled your word. Okay. Then

Kathleen Shannon 24:52
my word was Wabi Sabi, which is what I got tattooed on my wrist. Yeah, so my word for the year was Wabi Sabi, which is the Japanese aesthetic of what is imperfect, impermanent, and it's really about everything being changing, nothing is nothing is permanent, nothing is certain. And whenever it comes to the ascetic, it's the kind of thing that makes me feel okay with my couch being ripped up by my cats, or, or, you know, like those rusty spots on my T cuddle, like, those things can actually lend character and beauty. And it's something that I have to remind myself too. I can I can be quite the perfectionist whenever it comes to a lot of different things in my life. And this was a reminder and actually came out of our conversation with Paul Jarvis and Jason Zuck to really enjoy the process. We talked to them last January about kind of our New Year's goals and, and yeah, like this idea of enjoying the process really stood out to me, what about you? What was your word for 2016?

Emily Thompson 26:03
My word was joy. And so whenever, like, that's why I asked pertained to this whenever I think about where I failed, in bringing joy into my life, because my focus for the year really was saying yes to only projects that I really wanted to do. And it made it really easy to say no to anything that was not going to make me feel joyful, or, or doing things that just generally cultivated the feeling of joy. For me that was spending less time behind the computer and more time with my family. And those sorts of things was really mindful about I've been very mindful about what brings me joy. And so, so that was my focus for the year. And whenever I think about what didn't work, I think about like what I did, that didn't bring me joy. One of those, I think, was the first iteration of the clubhouse. So we launched the clubhouse for the first time, either March or April of 2016. And we did is just like, basically a paid version of the Facebook group, because people wanted a more more intimate place because the Facebook group was growing so big. But we quickly realized that the clubhouse needed to be so much more than that. It was certainly imperative that we got it out the door and we started seeing how we wanted to make it better. But the first iteration of the clubhouse did not bring me joy. Now the clubhouse brings me a ton of joy. And I love what we're doing. And I love the connections that we get to make and how we get to how we get to pull together what you were talking about earlier, those like really close knit like conversations and, and face to face interactions like bringing that into the clubhouse is really what has made it magical. So tanky, taking something that we find joy in and infusing that into something that wasn't really working for us the way we wanted to. And then also client work for me, client work had stopped bringing me a ton of joy. Because what I was doing at being boss was so much more fun than launching a website that I was able to I'm glad that I was able to ditch the thing that wasn't bringing me joy to stop doing one on one projects, and instead move on to working full time doing being boss, but then also creating a digital product that I've had a fun time delivering as well. So for me what didn't work is tied to how I wasn't able, or the things that weren't cultivating my word of the year, which was joy. What about you? Can you tie yours together in a pretty little bow like that?

Kathleen Shannon 28:39
Yeah, well, it's funny that you say that because I feel like I failed in the same place. So I got this Wabi Sabi tattoo to remind me that nothing is perfect, and nothing is permanent, and that everything is temporary and that everything has its season. Um, does that necessarily mean that I enjoyed the process? Not necessarily. So I feel like my year was definitely imperfect, far from perfect. But did I see the beauty in that? Not necessarily, but I think it's because I wasn't specific enough about my intention. So your intention was to only say yes to the things that bring you joy. And you can very clearly see back on what did and what didn't bring you joy, right, and you can adjust accordingly. Mine is kind of an overarching theme for my life where I would love to be able to see more beauty and the imperfections. But I think I need to get more specific about what that is. So I'll come back to that. But what didn't work for me in 2016 or what I'm feeling as I kind of recap the year whenever I look at all my accomplishments,

Unknown Speaker 29:50
that sounds really snotty.

Kathleen Shannon 29:51
Whenever you look at everything that I did, I did a shit ton of stuff. And I have a two year old and the question that comes up is did I do too much? Like, I basically once a week had friends texting me saying, Hey, are you okay? Are you doing too much? And I think it's because I don't know if they were just feeling my vibes or if they were noticing how much work I was producing through social media and how much I was doing, or how much time I maybe wasn't spending with them. And it really gets me thinking that maybe I did too much. But I still don't know what it looks like to scale back. Because literally, our calendar for 2017 is now full, it's booked. So I really don't know I don't have the answer. And I don't know how to scale back honestly. Like, I don't know how to trim back on what's not working, or how do I because I love what I do. That's part of it is I love what I do so much that it's hard to say no. And I don't want to miss out on anything that could be great for our career or for being boss or for the creative entrepreneurs that we're trying to serve. So I think that's really, the question is did I do too much, but I'm proud of all of it. I think the other thing that didn't work is my nose ring. Yeah, let's

Unknown Speaker 31:21
talk about that.

Kathleen Shannon 31:23
So I got my septum pierced. I don't know what maybe six months ago. And it was on a Friday night date night, I was feeling supermom ish. And just bummed out. I think this is part of it, too, is just having a toddler is no joke. The tantrums and the energy that it takes to just get the boy to put his pants on in the morning wears me out. Like I'm tapped out by 8:30am. So that's part of it. But um, but anyway, I was feeling supermom ish on a Friday night. And I thought I've seen it do something wild. So Jeremy and I were having dinner, we'd had a couple of cocktails and I thought I'm going to get my nose pierced. So and I've had my septum pierced before it wasn't really that big of a deal. But we walked down the street to a piercing studio. And I got my septum pierced. So that's the for those of you who don't know, that's kind of the the Bull Ring piercing. So it's in the middle of your nose. It's not like a cute little nostril ring. And I already have a big nose as is most people. Most people are like, wait a highlight that area of your fries.

Emily Thompson 32:32
Way to bring attention to it cafe.

Kathleen Shannon 32:38
So I got this nose ring. And I actually just took it out a couple of weeks ago and no one really noticed for a while. But I think that's meant that that's it's meant to be either everyone was like, Oh, thank God, she took it out and didn't want to say anything or really just legit didn't notice.

Emily Thompson 32:57
Right? Either or either or. So. Okay, I want to let's go on to the next question. And then I want to address what you were just talking about in terms of in terms of feeling like you did too much. And how do we like get out of that feeling? Because I have it and I have some ideas. So great, right? So the next question for you guys to jot down in your on your piece of paper or in your journal or wherever it is that you're doing and maybe just in your head, that's fine, too. Is that what are you hoping to achieve in 2017? Whether it's big goals, a productive mindset, or daily habits and routines? In what ways? Are you hoping to be more boss in the new year. So the first thing that I wrote down for mine here was to grow, but not to hustle. I want to coast. Maybe just for a year. Like actually, you probably will may just be for the first six months, we'll see if I can if I can let go of the hustle. But I'm right there with you. I feel like we've accomplished so much. And I was just doing before. Before we even said that we were doing this for a recording today I was sitting down doing my like annual like income projections. I woke up this morning, just needing to get it out of my head was really excited about some things. So I do what I usually do. I sat down with my notebook and just started writing out like the products that we have and how much money we can make if we launch it X number of times and what does that look like and even make a little spreadsheet of like month by month that David could see it so he could be less frazzled. All of those things, and just with what we already have created, and this is not new ideas is not implementing anything new in our businesses, we can make a good impact and some good dollar bills on just what we've already created. So the goal here I think, is for you and I to rein it in and just do what we already Have. And I know that for both of us, that is going to be so hard, so hard to do. But we have built an amazing platform. And we have the best like listeners and fans, and people who are hiring us to do cool things and joining the clubhouse and feeling that community and being boss in their own life and businesses like we have the foundation, we just need to take a moment and enjoy our square four.

Kathleen Shannon 35:32
Yeah, so for those of you who don't know what square four is, this is actually a concept that I learned from Martha Beck. And it's called the change cycle. And I bet you might even be able to Google the change cycle and look into that. But basically, it's looking at your life as a cyclical process and the change that you go through as really coming in seasons. And your goal is to really tighten the process of that change. It's not like that you're stopping change, and you're just always content and happy forever is that you're able to move through change with a little bit more grace and intention. And so Square One is the death and rebirth phase. And that's where you're just basically freaking out. Square two is where you're dreaming and scheming. And this is where anything is possible, you might be doing some research, you might be taking some courses. And for me, square two is always super daydreaming, and I'm like, Oh, it's gonna be so amazing. Whenever I have a baby that's just hanging out in a white one. Xen is so sweet and cute. It's also where I'm daydreaming about, like, my life as a creative entrepreneur is just going to be potting plants all day. I don't know why that was part of my initial dream as a creative entrepreneur was well, um, and square three is really this hero's journey where you're in it, you're doing the work. And this is the square that we've definitely been in, where we're having a lot of little successes and victories along the way, but also a lot of struggle and lessons learned along the way. Lessons Learned is a euphemism for failure, or at least maybe not necessarily feeling the way that we want to feel in the process. And then square four is the promised land. So this is where you're just feeling good in life, and you can enjoy and reap what you've sown.

Emily Thompson 37:26
Right? So I think that's what I need us to do for 2017. Because I feel you I mean, I don't feel overworked. Because I do feel like I have a really great sense of balance, like I don't work more than I should. Whenever I am working, I'm balls to the wall working. So I'm super productive, I'm getting shit done. But like my brains getting tired.

Kathleen Shannon 37:51
Yeah, my brains real tired,

Emily Thompson 37:53
right. And so I think I think what I would like to challenge us to do is in 2017, to do what we have laid out to do, and try to have that be enough. But obviously, also being open to any opportunities that come our way. I also feel like we tend to make our own opportunities a lot of times so that we don't have room for outside opportunities. So maybe 2017 is the year that we keep ourselves open to other things.

Kathleen Shannon 38:22
That's a good point. So I made a list of things that I've already got going on in 2017. So things that I've already committed to goals that I have already planted the seed for. And whenever it comes to coasting, I think if it's just really implementing the things that we've already done, I will be solid. So we've got the being boss clubhouse, I've got the braid, creative ecourse, we're writing a

Unknown Speaker 38:44
book. So that's a thing,

Kathleen Shannon 38:46
right, and we have our in person retreats, and then our big vacation that we'll be doing in the fall. And then, of course, we have our podcasts and our content. And it's easy to overlook that. But that's what this started as. And I really want to put some, or have the space to put focus into doing what I love the most, which is this podcast and creating bomb ass content for anyone who wants to consume it.

Unknown Speaker 39:11
And then a couple

Kathleen Shannon 39:12
other like things that I have is my Martha Beck coaching. So I'm finally going through the certification process. And I'm thinking about pursuing master coaching training with Martha Beck and this is actually while it sounds like it might be professionally driven, it's actually very much personally driven. I don't know that I'm going to use her master coaching certification to become the next Brooke Castillo or anyone else. I mean, she has some amazing an amazing repertoire or curated like an amazing list of people who are master coaches under her but for me more than anything, I'm just dedicated to my craft and being a student at what I'm best at. And so for a long time, that was graphic design, I was really committed to being the best graphic design siner by no means am I the best graphic designer, but I was really committed to that. And so I was recently thinking, How can I become a student, again, of the things that I care about, and the things that I care about are having really good conversations, staying curious, and really integrating a little bit of magic into the work that I do. And I feel like Martha Beck does that so beautifully, that I have a lot to learn from her both personally and professionally. So I think I'm going to pursue that in 2017. And I think it will definitely help me professionally, especially when it comes to the podcast, and hopefully coaching more of the creatives that we're working with in our clubhouse. But personally, I think that I have a lot to gain from it as well. So I'm excited about that. But now after our conversation, I'm wondering like, maybe I should put a pin in it. I don't know. I don't want you.

Unknown Speaker 40:56
I'll tell you what, wait,

Kathleen Shannon 40:57
one more thing. Okay. I think I want to grow my hair out in 2017. Like if I could just not cutting it off anymore.

Unknown Speaker 41:08
Right? Well,

Emily Thompson 41:08
so and I was thinking about that, right? You're about a year and a half after you cut your dreads off. You're usually like a two year cycle person, right?

Unknown Speaker 41:15

Emily Thompson 41:16
So yeah, you're getting there. I was literally thinking about that. And just the other day is like Kathleen's gonna do some crazy to her hair soon. It I feel it coming, I feel it coming. Right, I'm game.

Kathleen Shannon 41:28
And maybe the crazy thing is just having normal hair.

Emily Thompson 41:31
That is crazy. That would be nuts. Um, so let me I've one more thing on my 2017 list. So I had grow but not has also had published it, like, at least getting published date for our book may not come out to 2018 we'll get all that info hopefully real soon. Um, but mine is personal development too. And I don't like have specifics around what that is yet. But I have been growing businesses, hard core for years. And I think I am ready to like close the business. Like let's do the work. I'm totally okay with staying in it and like having these processes. So I know what my job looks like week to week, whereas the past year or two, no two weeks look the same, by any means. Like I'm okay with coasting the business for a minute, so that I can do some personal development. And again, I don't know what that means. Maybe this is where like me reading books, again, is coming into play. Or maybe I've thought lightly about getting yoga teacher training. I don't want to teach yoga by any means. But I do think I want to like deepen my personal practice, like on that level. So I don't know exactly what it means yet. But personal developments when of mine.

Kathleen Shannon 42:43
That's exactly how I feel about coaching training. So I've had a couple of my Yogi friends tell me that they've gone through yoga teacher training just for themselves, and that they have learned so much about their personal practice and what Yoga means to them. And I feel like that's what this Martha Beck coaching training would do for me. So I kind of am approaching it just like that like with like a yoga teacher training. But for myself.

Emily Thompson 43:08
Yeah. I love that personal development.

Kathleen Shannon 43:11
So what are your ideas for like, for me for? Am I doing too much? Do you think just the coasting or, like whenever I make that list of all those things, does that still seem like too much? Or?

Here's another one I had, I wonder if maybe taking us social media sabbatical might help me feel less overwhelmed. Because I'm starting to wonder if I look at everything I did. I think it was a healthy amount of stuff. And it's all stuff that I wanted to do, but maybe what really contributes to the feeling of overwhelm, or just is this all too much is being so connected online all the time. And that's something I've been feeling a lot lately is, is my entire identity online, like Who am I without my business? Who am I and I think that you know, even looking at my chart, in astrology, I have a lot of stuff in my business house. And in my communication house or communication aspects. I don't even know what it all is. But whenever I look at it, there are a lot of things in business and communication. So I feel really super aligned there. And I kind of feel okay with a lot of my identity being wrapped up in my business. But I don't feel okay with feeling a lack of connection offline because I am online so much. So I'm almost wondering if there's something I can do to kind of kick off the new year with being more mindful about my social media consumption specifically, because there's a difference between putting a post up on Instagram and then coming back and hitting refresh a million times for no reason. Like I really don't care how many likes I get or not, or going to the random search screen on and so I know and NZ Inquirer dashians pop up and then I get, I get stuck. You get the Kardashians, I

Emily Thompson 45:04
get Harry Potter.

Kathleen Shannon 45:06
I started getting Lady Gaga more recently, I've kind of trimmed my who I'm following a little bit so that maybe my algorithms are bringing up more Lady Gaga and less Kim Kardashian. Yeah, but still like, I think that, honestly, like a big part of this feeling is manufacturer from maybe being a little bit too connected, digitally having a screen in my face too much.

Emily Thompson 45:33
Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. And actually, that's something that's come up for me a couple of times in 2016, is I've literally had periods of time where my fingertips are bruised from typing so much. And I definitely see this obviously, as my body telling me that I do not need to be in front of the screen as much as I am. Like, I need to be out in the world doing things. And that's totally has influenced some of the things that I want to accomplish in 2017. I want to make Chattanooga meetups for being boss a monthly occurrence. That's a goal of mine. And again, doing more like community cultivating not with my fingertips on a keyboard, but with face to face conversations. So no, I think I think that as long as we can go into this new year with a mutual understanding that in terms of business, we want to coast and make things easy for ourselves, because we do have life hustle to take care of that. I think I think we can accomplish it together.

Kathleen Shannon 46:37
So I want to talk about one of the things that we've talked a lot about over this last year is cultivating your creative network with a bunch of peers who've got your back and finding your business bestie someone who can help hold you accountable, but also kind of have an objective view of what's going on. And sometimes I wonder if we've been in each other's business so much that we're starting to lose sight of objectively of the kind of advice that we give each other as business besties. But you are my business bestie. So I'm curious, like, I wonder in what way we could bring back some of that vibe a little bit, as far as holding each other accountable to that life hustle.

And it makes me wonder if we just kind of have even weekly check ins or just like we do with with our clubhouse, if we started doing that with each other like, okay, in what ways do you feel like you're doing too much this week? And what ways do you feel like you could scale back and really getting actionable and tactical, because I think that's where we could really go wrong is if we don't get specific about what it looks like to coast, then we'll find ourselves getting back on that on ramp hitting the accelerator, we will have to get specific.

Emily Thompson 47:58
I'll think on that. And I think I think it's putting things into play that we've already talked about. And they were talking, you know, last week I think about having like, I don't take meetings on Thursdays. And I'm pretty hardcore about it. And like unless it's just something legit, that will only fit on a Wednesday or Thursday. I do not take meetings on Thursdays and maybe implementing we've talked about implementing another day, a week where we're not taking meetings. Because podcast recording, for example, has sort of sprinkled itself throughout our calendar over the past couple of months. So I think getting really intentional with those sorts of things. I think we should I think we should get really specific and find some way to hold each other accountable to you know, meeting our meeting our like chill goals, which is going to be completely different from anything we've ever done before.

Kathleen Shannon 48:52
a whole other thing to address that might make a really good minisode or whole other episode is I've become a little addicted to the hustle. And so I remember actually Melissa Hartwig had an article on whole 30 about being a stress addict. And whenever you've been going at the pace that we've been going, and I'm sure a lot of you listening can relate to this, that whenever you do slow down even if things are good, even if the money is still coming in, you can feel almost guilty, like you're not doing enough only because you've scaled back to a normal pace or a pace that feels good for what you're needing versus that really hard grind and that acceleration in that go go go which a lot of you might be feeling if you are just now starting your business. That said I don't remember feeling as hard of a hustle in my early years. Maybe it's like labor and I've totally forgotten the pain of starting up. But it's been it's been a painful couple years really growing being boss and not like I'm not saying that it's bad. It really does feel like labor and delivery like it It's a labor of love, that still hurts a little bit. Does that make sense?

Emily Thompson 50:05
Yeah, definitely. I mean, looking back early in my business, I was certainly working more hours, I work less now than I used to. But I think the time that I'm working now is more focused and therefore, like harder on my brain, then, you know, 40 hours then is equivalent to like, 25 hours now, I'm doing the same amount of work. I'm just doing it in less time. Yeah, it's not a lot more work now.

Kathleen Shannon 50:28
I mean, that's part of getting more efficient, and having systems in place and having a team and also just leveling up like I was figuring out stuff back then, that now seems like sweet potatoes. I'm gonna say sweet potatoes. I don't think that's the right word.

Emily Thompson 50:44
They can be sweet potatoes if you want to. Alright, so I want to go on to a last question. I don't think that either of us are ready to do this. Now. I'm readily like, Oh, no, I'm not I Oh, wait until just at the New Year. But have you been thinking about what your word for 2017 will be? Yep,

Kathleen Shannon 51:04
I've got it. Do you I do have it. So my word for 2017. And a way that I can get more specific about feeling the way that I want to feel in the next year is the word

Unknown Speaker 51:17

Kathleen Shannon 51:19
So I want my 2017 to feel more magical. I want to really celebrate the synchronicities that show up in my life. So I've always loved coincidence. And even in really little ways, like every time I look at the clock, it's 1111. But then also in bigger ways, like wanting to write a book and then having a book agent contact us the next day. Those are the kinds of synchronicities that light me up. And so I want more of that, please in 2017. I also on the subject of coasting, I want to think of it more as my intentions unfolding. You know, we talk a lot about farming and not hunting. And I feel like the past two years we've been hunting, and that's both of our personalities very much. But I would love to be a little bit more of a farmer in 2017 by watching the intentions that I have already planted. And I've certainly nurtured and watered, really just letting them unfold and harvest it makes me think about some of my cactuses, and my plants here at my house. Sometimes they do a little bit better whenever I just ignore them for a while, like I don't have to be flooding them with water every day. I'm also really just getting in tune with what I've got going on in my own mind, body and soul. And I've always been pretty good about working out. But I would love to get better in 2017, about meditating and just getting a little bit more quiet. And I think that's the part where this social media detox or sabbatical, I don't know what that will look like might come into place. And then really just focusing on my home and family. Whenever we did our push goals episode with chalene Johnson, one of the things that came up that is really super important to me, that I don't spend a lot of time or money on is my home. And so I would love to bring magic into my home by decorating it, filling it with good smells from cooking an incense and candles and oils and just really creating a magical home. And maybe really focusing on my garden outside. See now I'm getting really like this I like talking about this gets me really excited about 2017. And I think if I can keep this word front of mind and asking myself, does this feel magical? Yes or no? That's really going to help me make decisions about what to say yes to what to say no to and not over commit myself to scrolling on my Instagram.

Emily Thompson 53:52
That is some beautiful shit. I agree with all of that. And not surprisingly, one of my I have two words that I'm sort of bouncing between at the moment and one of which is strength. I think both like in my business, building stronger brands, building stronger systems and processes, but also personally like stronger relationships with people. Maybe going to the gym, don't count on that too. Like, maybe that's my yoga teacher training and getting like strong body. Strength is one that I'm thinking about. And then synchronicity was the second one. And that actually came up really hugely in our in our October clubhouse retreat, our online retreat with some of the members in there. Someone brought up the word synchronicity and using it for their word of the year and I really loved that a ton. So right along the lines of magic, just sort of being really mindful of where I am and what I'm doing and what is going on around me at any moment. So So that I can see the fun things that pop up for me whether it be, you know, I love cicadas so this entire summer for me or the entire summer for me was was full of just like little, little no synchronous and the moments but also not like just cicadas around, but me noticing when and where the cicadas were singing and when they were flying by or whatever, whenever you can be really mindful. And that way, not only are you more in tune with the magic that's going on around you, but I think you're inviting a lot more of it into your life. So those are my two words, at the moment, I'll let you know which one I completely decide on for the new year. But um, either way, it's going to be fantastic.

Kathleen Shannon 55:45
I think he should look into yoga teacher training, like lean into it, just find where there are some local offerings,

Emily Thompson 55:51
it's gonna be somewhere tropical and amazing. Like, that's also one of my requirements is like when I do it, it will be in like Costa Rica or Bali, or somewhere amazing. Like I will travel somewhere beautiful and get teacher training there.

Kathleen Shannon 56:07
I feel like this has been such a fun podcast, it's I feel like it brings us back to our business bestie routes of really figuring out what's working and what isn't. And these are the conversations that make me feel so good and make me feel boss. And so I really want to encourage everyone who's listening to be having these conversations. And if you don't have someone to have these conversations with or if you want to really get intentional about it. Be sure to check out the clubhouse, go to being boss club slash clubhouse, and see if it's a fit for you. We take on 25 clubhouse members at a time. And it stays really tight and intimate. And over our two day retreat, we really set the foundation for what it is that we want to create over the next year, we really get into goal setting and intention setting. We're also looking at things like our business models and our sales funnels. So be sure to check that out. If that sounds interesting to you. Again, that's being boss club slash clubhouse. And also you guys, before the end of the year, I want you to go sign up for our newsletter. And it's not because I want to sell you anything is because we are creating so much content both on our website and these podcasts. We just want to make it as easy as possible for you. We will show up to your doorstep with whatever it is that you want to read or not read, and you don't have to come to us. So I think that you can get the most out of being boss if you sign up for our newsletter.

Emily Thompson 57:39
through that. And until then, though, go through those questions. Revisit how you did look ahead for next year. And be boss.

Kathleen Shannon 57:57
Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 58:06
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 58:29
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. Our graphic designer Jessica Bramlett and our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 58:51
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.