Episode 131

Be Brave with Kristen Kalp

July 4, 2017

Life coach, Kristen Kalp, joins us today to talk about being brave and showing up for yourself in your life and in your business. We’re talking about weighing the desire of a six-figure income vs. showing up for authentic human connection in your business, separating your work’s worth from your self-worth, and taking the time for intentional, slow growth.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Being brave is just the ability to turn up the volume on yourself."
- Kristen Kalp

Discussed in this Episode

  • Life coaching vs business coaching
  • Kristen's creative entrepreneurial journey + as she works as a coach
  • Using a brand name vs using your own name as your business grows
  • Balancing the desire of a six-figure business with not wanting to focus on money
  • Listening to your body
  • Turning up the volume vs being loud
  • Separating your work from your worth
  • Taking the time for intentional, slow growth
  • Being vulnerable and showing up as who you are for your audience


More from Kristen Kalp

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Unknown Speaker 0:09
I'm Kristen cope, and I'm being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
Hey guys, today we are talking with Kristin Calvert about being who you are and showing up in your business. This is such a good one for those of you who are needing a little bit of pep talk and need a little bit more encouragement to show up. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being bossed club. All right, I don't know about you guys, but sometimes it can be really awkward, asking your clients to pay you. And this is why I love fresh books, cloud accounting so much. One, it makes it less personal. It makes it feel like you have your own accountant sending out invoices and they're super professional, you're going to feel completely confident sending your clients invoices, but also what's really awesome about it is that freshbooks helps you avoid having that awkward talk with your client about past due payments, you can automate late payment email reminders, so you can spend less time chasing payments, and more time working your magic and doing what you do best. And you guys if you have any questions whatsoever, freshbooks has award winning customer service. It's amazingly helpful, super friendly, and zero attitude. Plus a real live person usually answers in three rings are less. So if you've been wanting to try out fresh books, I want to offer it to you today for free a 30 day unrestricted free trial just for our being boss listeners to claim it. Go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Hey, Kristen, thank you so much for joining our show.

Unknown Speaker 1:55
Thanks for having me. I'm

Kathleen Shannon 1:56
excited. All right, tell us a little bit about yourself. What work do you do?

Kristen Kalp 2:03
Right now I do work kind of helping people into their own hearts and minds. With poetry and books and business coaching. That's more like life coaching but not in the in the the horrible way where I imply that I know things about life like so finding you're finding yourself through the lens of business is probably the best way to put it at this point in the game.

Emily Thompson 2:28
I feel like whenever you get too into the business realm that we're all in life coaching and business coaching is basically the same thing. Or there's such an overlap between the two where we're putting so much of ourselves into our work that for you to coach one, you're definitely going to be coaching the other. So totally understanding that overlap there.

Kristen Kalp 2:48
Yeah, people are like, Well, I have $100,000 in debt and my marriage is failing. But I don't talk about that. I just want to talk about my business. And I was like

Kathleen Shannon 2:59
exactly why I got life coaching certification through Martha Beck was because at the end of a brand platform where I'm showing someone their new logo identity and messaging and positioning, they would say things like, okay, but I'm getting a divorce next week, what does that mean for my brain?

And I felt

very ill equipped to handle those conversations. I guess that's not true. I didn't have the confidence that certification gave me. And so you know, even after going through the process, I realized, Oh, it's just the conversation is just asking really great questions. But it definitely give me a few extra tools that were really great. Okay, so tell us how you got to where you are, what's your creative entrepreneurial path been like? Um,

Kristen Kalp 3:45
it's been like a zigzag hit by lightning strike. I think it's, it's a situation about nine years ago, I guess it was I have degrees in education and English and I was teaching special education. And that was every bit as draining and exhausting as you might imagine, in your mind when you hear those things put together. And so I decided that I was going to go ahead and leave as quickly as I could by giving my two weeks notice and I didn't have a job lined up and I didn't know what I wanted to do. But I did have a portfolio of four by six prints from Target because I was doing photography right total air quotes here. So I got a job doing photography, I got a job doing like you stand here and I will take your photo and it will be very, very there is there is a formula use like it's it's all very precise. And I found out I was really good at it. I was really good at connecting with people. I was really good at selling to them and I got a lot better at selling to them. And so I started to talk to other people I started to write a blog to other people about this is what I'm learning. This is what I'm doing. This is what's working. This is what isn't working. And I had never learned a thing about marketing because Why would you learn marketing when you're taking education classes, that's not a thing. So I was learning and sharing in real time. And that was the brand camp blog that lasted for seven years. I would write twice a week and tell people, this is what I did. This is what I'm learning. And it's all been an experiment. And then very recently, I switched over to my name because I got too big for brand camp and making the this one time at band camp joke like it finally finally outgrew it.

Emily Thompson 5:29
I don't know if really that joke will ever be fully played out.

Unknown Speaker 5:35
It's up for debate, but I am done with it for now. That's all I can say.

Kathleen Shannon 5:39
I wouldn't dig in here real quick. There's a couple of things here. I think it's so cool that by sharing your story along the way of what you're learning, and what you're experimenting with positions you as an expert in that thing. And that has been my experience. So for you listeners out there who are learning something new capture shape, and share it somewhere, because it will take you places and obviously it's taking you places, Kristin, I think what's really interesting is that your brand got too big. So you went to your name. And I'm seeing the opposite happened a lot where people start out with their name. And then they feel like they're growing and getting too big for just their name. So they want something like you know, something that's a little bit less attached to their own personal brand or own personal identity. So I would love to hear a little bit more about that shift for you just as like a brand nerd myself.

Kristen Kalp 6:33
Sure. I think it's because I realized that everything in me that was learning about business, like big quotes business, was that you need to have a team and then you have to outsource and then you have to have people then you hire people, and then it gets bigger, and then there are more people. And everything in me is like screeching to a halt screaming No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So I took on I called it brand camp as a joke, and then kept it because eventually, I was going to have the team and the employees and the staff and the org charts and all the things. And then like it just kept coming back to me being like no, and no and no. And it isn't that I don't want to get x people big or x following large. It's just that it's if it's more than like me and a few people that I've hired and a really handy delivery man for pizza, like it's too big for me. And it's too It's too close to my heart to be to give it a different name at this point. So it's not that I'm anti, I'm not it's not a pro or anti. It's just for me. And for what I want to do. It's the only thing that I think can hold me for the long term because it's held me this far. I

Emily Thompson 7:41
feel like so many of our creatives can resonate with that idea where the idea of growing a business does come with some some preconceived notions of building big and I know I found myself in this exact same place. And so as Kathleen with this idea of, you know, we're supposed to grow these big things. But that doesn't necessarily hit home for what we're all trying to build. Like, we're not trying to build huge corporations with hundreds of employees, even though for so long, that's been the blueprint that a business would follow. But we find ourselves much more so wanting to build these very, like close tight knit organizations that can do big things without tons of effort.

Unknown Speaker 8:26

Kristen Kalp 8:27
I've found it's so fascinating that since I've switched, it's been about four months. My following quote, unquote, again, I've lost like 1000s of email subscribers, but income is higher than ever, which is such a fascinating fact. Like, that's not how it's supposed to go. According to the experts, and I think it's because the game I'm playing isn't more and more and more it's deeper, deeper, deeper. I mean, like obviously that's a that's what she said joke but

Unknown Speaker 8:58

Kristen Kalp 8:59
it's that one right but the the game of like how can we how can we connect across time and space and and where we are and how can we connect as humans is so much more interesting to me than the game of how can we make more money and get more followers and get more launch funnels, funneling and all that kind of stuff. So that's, that's where I'm choosing to kind of throw my cards and play the game. Ah,

Emily Thompson 9:23
I love that to do more with less, I think is going to be a mantra for everyone in the coming decades.

Kristen Kalp 9:31
I hope so I hope I hope so

Kathleen Shannon 9:34
give us peanuts a picture of what it looks like to work with you or maybe even what your dream client looks like before they work with you and after they work with you and how people actually are engaging in the work that you do.

Kristen Kalp 9:47
Sure. So I can tell you that my favorite favorite thing in all the world is to work with people in person that as much as I would love for being on the phone to be the same as us breathing the same air. It's just not and if I could have you in person, I would Hold you and squeeze you and we will talk for three hours and I will bring you champagne. Sadly, these things are not possible for you guys. So I'm so working with.

Kathleen Shannon 10:08
But doesn't that sound right? Right?

Emily Thompson 10:11
champagne is my favorite,

Unknown Speaker 10:13

Kathleen Shannon 10:14
I'm feeling right life.

Kristen Kalp 10:19
So I found as like as much as and again, I've only learned this by pushing for everything. I wanted everything to be online and scalable and huge. And like I had the six figure launch, and it did nothing to my soul. And I was like, that's not how that was supposed to go, that was supposed to be the be all and end all and it wasn't. So workshops like tiny, tiny, six month program with Mr. Your ship, it's six people, at the beginning of our three days together, you're probably closed off, you're probably a little bit numb, you probably a little bit too a lot hate your business, you're probably really, really, really sensitive. And you've been told that that's a really bad thing for a very long time. In many cases, you're also an empath, meaning you can feel other people's feelings and you have trouble distinguishing between, these are my feelings, these are those feelings and these now there's another layer, or the feelings of the general populace post Trump election because there is a whole other layer at this point of just like. So we come together, and we explore all those things. And we talk about your business, and we vote a bunch of stuff off of your personal Island. And we put a bunch of things onto your island. So if you have an org chart for how it's gonna go eight years from now, we're probably going to be like, okay, burn that and start tomorrow. And what does that look like? So it's kind of a way to fast forward, the things that you would really like to have happen in the future, someday, it's time to bring that into now. And then I stay with you while you're in the now, which is inevitably hard and dark and painful, and also beautiful and wonderful and magnificent. And they tend to be tied together. And I'm with you the whole day. And then we meet at the end. Again,

Emily Thompson 11:55
I have two questions. One is when did you decide that you needed to break the mold in this way where you were going to work with people the way you wanted to work with people period and the kind of business that you wanted to build period? And two, how do your people react when you encourage them to do the same thing.

Kristen Kalp 12:15
One was I paid a butt ton of money to an individual to do a giant mastermind group. And I did like under her tutelage, it was so amazing, because I got all the things that I thought I wanted. Like I was like, following doubled six figure launch check, like just all the prestige was rained upon me. And it didn't do a thing for my heart and my soul and my gut. And it made me sad. And it didn't stop me from getting on the phone and crying about how I was in the wrong marriage and how I was going to therapy and it. So like the big be all and end all thing that costs a lot of money didn't actually work. And I was like, wait, I'm just gonna have to do this, the way that I feel like it should be done, which is smaller and closer and tighter. And it's not as scalable. And it's not, it's not sexy to have six people at 4500 bucks apiece, I'm supposed to charge 30 grand apiece, minimum, right? So there's a part of me that's a rebel, that's a part of me, that is just like, Fuck the system. And there's a part of me that had to go all the way into the system, understand it, master it and be like, Oh, that's still not the way that I want to do that. And then there was a lot of anger that came out of I wasted all that money and time. I didn't I just learned a lot about myself and how I work. And it's a lot easier for me to give people the parts that have really served me like the six figure launch parts are still helpful. But they aren't the be all and end all of what I do. So that's that's how I learned by going in and doing it the right wrong way for me. And then I forget your second question entirely. I'm sorry, no, my

Emily Thompson 13:50
perfect. My second was how do the people that you coach through this process react whenever you encourage them to break the mold as well?

Kristen Kalp 14:00
Oh, It's horrifying. And they don't want to do whatever

Emily Thompson 14:08
email exchanges that happened between you.

Kristen Kalp 14:11
Because it's so it's so hard, because you know that you're going to have to feel everything and you're going to have to like the thing that you're trying to hide from me is the thing that I'm going to see and pull up and be like, we'll take a look at this thing. And they're gonna be like no anything with that bag and I'm gonna be like that. That's the thing then yeah. And then we work through it and they understand that like some part of my genius is that I can help people feel safe really easily and really quickly. And when people feel safe, they're willing to do the work without feeling like they're going to die even though your heart pounds, your chest is tight and you're sure that you are going to die if you have to stand there and accept compliments for three minutes. And then you don't die. Right like it's that's what happens.

Emily Thompson 14:57
Love that. Good.

Kathleen Shannon 15:01
So people might come into it being attracted to that six figure launch. And there is like, what is it specifically about the six figure thing? And I feel like it's a trap that even we, as hosts of being boss can start to fall into, because I feel like, Sure, we can talk about running a six figure business, and it gives you this clout and credibility, but we're also so much more interested in our hearts and our minds. But we've also got to pay the bills, and there's something to being profitable. Do you ever think about that balance and blend and how it all works together

Kristen Kalp 15:35
all the time. I figured out a long time ago that my trigger for people like the Sally hogshead trigger, how to fascinate is rebellion. And so if I'm doing it the way everyone else is doing it, I'm inevitably going to find a way that doesn't, that doesn't work that way for me anymore. I'm going to make it about breaking the system. I think part of it is just that we teach everywhere all the time. It's it's how to establish clout and how to show social proof and how to just, you know, basically appear vulnerable, but not actually be vulnerable. And I've just found that to be really dull and boring and terrible. And like, if all you have to say about me is Kristen kalp who once had a six figure launch, then I have failed as a human and my soul hurts. Like that's, it's just so terrible. So if there's nothing against that, I've done it, and it's cool. And I can probably do it again. It'd be great. But I just don't think that that's like the that's a good place to start a conversation that I felt like a good place to kind of focus all of our conversations. It's it's sort of soulless and lifeless. And

Kathleen Shannon 16:41
yeah, amen.

Emily Thompson 16:44
I hear now, I'm like rethinking my next six months.

Kathleen Shannon 16:51
No, because I think that we've all proven I mean, the three of us sitting here I have proven ourselves to be very successful. creatives who can launch and we've all seen the other side of it, or we I think that at least the three of us have experienced that. Oh, I got exactly what I thought that I wanted. And it didn't change how I feel, you know, or didn't change. It didn't change how easy or hard it is to run a business. It didn't make anything. You know, I mean, it all comes. Danielle Laporte talks a lot about the core desired feelings. And I think that a lot of creative entrepreneurs go into business, fantasizing about the six figures, and not really fantasizing about how they want to feel. Emily, were you gonna say

Emily Thompson 17:37
yeah, brings up some Notorious BIG for me with Mo Money Mo Problems is definitely been one thing that that has come up for me and not even like the money aspect. But, but definitely as you do more, life doesn't get easier, it gets harder. It also reminds me of like raising a child where like, as soon as they start sleeping all night, they'll start teething. And as soon as they're done teething, they'll start telling you No, and so like one problem will always only turn into another one, which is all good environments, the process and all the things but you have to choose which problems you want to have. And the ones that you want to be okay with or you want to live with and deal with it because every every success will come with a different set of problems. It's just which ones are going to make you okay with getting up in the morning.

Kathleen Shannon 18:29
I think it's also like, though, that I guess I've been thinking about this lately, Emily to that Mo Money Mo Problems, yes, kind of thing. And I've experienced this even with having like that social proof having a bigger following means you're going to get bigger criticisms, or you know, anything like that. But at the same time, that kind of what you're talking about Kristin, of being vulnerable, versus saying you're vulnerable means that you're going to get criticism or I don't know. Okay, so back to the Mo Money Mo Problems thing, though. For me, where I feel conflicted about this is that we're also against the starving artists myth. You know what I mean? And so these are kind of in contrast to each other because I do want people to get paid. And I don't want to believe that it's Mo Money Mo Problems. I don't know. I'm like I'm I've been having I've been grappling. This is something I've been grappling with a lot lately. Like, is it more Money Mo Problems? Is it better? problems? Which

Unknown Speaker 19:25
ones do you want?

Unknown Speaker 19:28
That's true. That's true. Yeah. I've also found though, that

Kristen Kalp 19:34
I'm totally willing to take on the problems, the Mo Money, Mo Problems, the different problems, if it's a project that like lights me up all the way down to my core and my credentials. And if it doesn't, and I make the money I'm like, Oh, my God, this was so not worth it. Even if it's more money, like I would rather make less money at a thing that lights me all the way up, then make a shitload of money get like, Well, that was all right. Yes.

Emily Thompson 19:59
Right. I Completely agree with it. And that's like choosing your problems. And so I guess it's even less about choosing your problems and more about choosing the environment of your problems, like where do you want to be to deal with these things or not. And I feel like a lot of times, whenever we're following the blueprints of moving forward, and whatever blueprint that may be, for whatever outcome it is that you think that you desire, whenever we start blindly following those things, we lose sight of the environment of the feelings that you feel along the way, and you're, you're checking off the boxes, or you're addressing the issues as they come up, but you get lost somewhere. And so I think whenever you start following those, like those, like, six figure models, or you know how to grow your list of 10,000, or whatever it may be, you know, you are just checking off the boxes, and probably not checking in with yourself near as often as you should be.

Kristen Kalp 20:51
Yeah, cuz there's so much to be said, for this feels horrible. No,

Kathleen Shannon 20:57
we're like, You're,

Kristen Kalp 20:58
you're clicking on something, and then your whole body just moves away from the screen, and you're like, this is fine, this is fine. I'm, this is great. I love this. And like, it's not great, like your whole body's trying to, like, attach to the wall behind you. So that you are far from this. I don't think that we pay enough attention to our bodies and to the signals that they give that tried to tell us like no stop going down this road. And we ignore them for a long time. Or at least I did, I don't want to project on to your very wise people that are listening. But that's what I did for a long time. It took a long time for me to learn to be like, body is very clearly giving you a no and you're trying to override it, this is going to go horribly wrong for you.

Emily Thompson 21:37
Oh, I want to talk about that for a second for sure. Because I will never forget, like elementary school going through this exercise where I think it was like dealing with your anger exercise for like fourth graders or something. And they brought up this idea of like, where do you feel anger in your body? Like, what does that feel like to you? And I remember, like, realizing that I clench my fists and my jaws are at my job. So I just have one or two, what is it two? Is it a set, I don't know, it doesn't matter. Um, so I clenched my teeth, basically, and I clench my fist. And I'll never forget, realizing that and how empowering that was, and how like, even to this day, I know that I'm mad because my jaw is hurting, because I'm clenching my teeth, and my fingernails are digging, digging into my palms. And I think that whenever you can learn to recognize how your body is affected by any emotion is that when you have that connection, both to your body, but also it triggers something in your mind to realize what's happening, when you may not even realize that you're mad, or, or not enjoying whatever part of the process that you're in at the moment. So I would love to hear from you like, what are some of those? What are some of those cues? Or how should you test out to figure out what some of those cues are.

Kristen Kalp 22:55
So you are ultimately very enlightened Emily, because you learned that in fourth grade. And I learned that when I was 30. That was when I started. It's been it's been a good couple of years. So one of the easiest ways I found is that your body will generally move towards something at once and away from something it doesn't want. So anytime that you have a yes no decision and not like a life threatening decision. This is very like, should I have an apple or a banana for breakfast decision? If you're standing and you say I want a banana and your body moves forward, then you want a banana? And if it moves back then you don't. Which seems really stupid until you're like in the whole foods aisle holding supplements like my body wants this? No. Okay, my body wants to know, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten just what I needed without any sort of using my logic with my mind, just like or just tapping into body and body will say like, yeah, this is what you need. So once I use that to bite nettle leaves in the middle of Kenya, because my stomach hurt really badly. And I had no idea what nettle leaves were. And it turns out, they're a digestive aid that helps with stomach problems. So when I was in the middle of pharmacy, like, No, no, yes. Okay, we're taking those out. I don't know what those are.

Emily Thompson 24:09
I love that.

Kristen Kalp 24:10
It's a really, really simple one. And the other thing is that if you don't label, whatever it is that you feel in your body as good or bad, if you can just identify it, it often has, there's often a positive and a negative that goes with it. So you might react in just the same way if you find out that like, Prince is being resurrected from the dead and he's coming to do a concert in your bedroom. Like you might clench your fists and clench your jaw and be like oh my god and just scream a little bit, which is exactly the same thing you do if you're really angry, except that it's actually really positive emotion that's moving through you. So if you can avoid if you can just give examples like what you did, which is my my, you know, my fists clench and my jaw tightens. There's often more than one emotion that it happens for there's usually a positive and a negative.

Emily Thompson 24:55
Interesting. Yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 24:56
think a lot about the difference between fear an excitement feels very similar to me. And so sometimes, let's say even coming onto a podcast recording, I might have butterflies in my stomach. And I could easily translate that to I don't want to do this. I'm scared. I don't want to do it. Or how can I alchemize that feeling in my body to be the emotion that I want to have, which is excitement, and really realizing, oh, that's butterflies in my stomach. I'm really excited to meet someone new and have a conversation. And so I'm, I'm super curious about that. And that's exactly kind of what I heard you saying, Kristen, talking about prints, doing a show in your bedroom, you know, like having those same kinds of feelings. And that's where I like to think about being almost a master of my emotions, not not beating them into submission, but realizing that the emotions running through my body that I still have the, the I can decide, I can decide if I'm excited, or I can decide if I'm afraid to some extent, obviously, there's a there's some point of listening to your body, like don't go down the dark. Excited to go down the dark alley,

Emily Thompson 26:07
skipping down because you're gonna do it.

Probably not the best way. Is that

Kathleen Shannon 26:15
okay, so I'm gonna shift topics just a little bit. And because Kristen, one of the things that you talk about is being bold, you have a magazine called brave. Am I wrong?

Kristen Kalp 26:28
Fuck yeah, magazine with the first episode is brave.

Kathleen Shannon 26:31
Yeah, magazine. Okay. But yeah, so it had brave across it job. And I just feel like you have this bold personality. And I think that everyone, I mean, if you have a podcast, you probably have a bold personality. And all of us here do have podcasts. So I think it's easy for creatives like us to, you know, be all fuck yeah. And tell people to show up and brave and our hair is probably changing every two years. We're probably wearing glitter liner. No

Unknown Speaker 27:00

Kathleen Shannon 27:01
but I've been really curious. This is another thing I've been really grappling with lately. With like, the message of authenticity coming up a lot is what about, you know, creatives who are just authentically more quiet, or subtle, or not rockin pink hair or glitter liner? How would you guide those kinds of creatives to be a little more brave, or to show up. Um,

Kristen Kalp 27:32
I don't think that my pink hair makes me more me. But it is a very accurate expression of what I feel. And so anyone who's sharing a very accurate expression of who they are, and what they're feeling, is doing a good job, and anyone who is connected to their worth, and their work in the world without making their work, their sole source of worth is, is doing it, okay. The way that I define brave is to just the ability to turn up the volume on yourself. So if you naturally want to write emo songs and sing them, then the next step might be to share them with other people. And the next step after that might be to segment that open mic. And so it doesn't mean that you need to change what you're singing, you don't need to change your tune, but you might have to share your tune with more people.

Kathleen Shannon 28:17
That I love that so much. I feel like that's one of the best descriptions I've ever heard of it is turning up the volume on it. Yeah, so

Kristen Kalp 28:25
there isn't any right or wrong way. But there's only is this an app? Is this a song you actually want to sing? Are you trying to sing someone else's song? And if you're trying to sing someone else's song, it's never gonna go as well as you would planned?

Kathleen Shannon 28:37
Yeah, and then you're just being loud. You know, like, I think that people talk a lot about noise. And I think that whenever we're experiencing noise, it's probably because we're hearing a lot of people just being loud, and not necessarily turning up the volume in a way that resonates.

Kristen Kalp 28:51
Yeah, cuz sometimes, like, Mary Oliver is so loud. And I've never I've heard one interview with Mary Oliver in my whole lifetime. She just writes poems and they're so quiet but they're so they're so her and they come from like, the source of her way deep down in and the only way to hear that is the quietly turn up where you are and what you're hearing inside for decades and decades and decades on end. So like, loud in terms of volume is not really the same as loud in terms of how deeply connected to yourself you are and how you express that.

Emily Thompson 29:21
That's amazing. And I think the role of the internet makes that so much easier now than it has ever been before. I mean, I obviously don't think that comes as a surprise to anyone listening to this. But you so easily have a platform to reach people and to share what it is that you are here creating or want to share. So I do love the idea of just do what you do, but actually hit Publish. actually share it with someone and then share it again and then share it again more personally in a personal email or whatever it may be. I think that there are there are very easy little steps that you can take in the online world to be to be more brave with what whatever it is that

Kathleen Shannon 30:06
you're creating. And that my friends is the secret to marketing, even if you know nothing about a great, absolutely, yeah. Okay, you said something about not putting your worth into your work and creative entrepreneur, I mean, myself, personally, I'm sure that you guys have struggled with this too. Whenever you do what you love for a living, it's really hard to find that balance between wrapping up your worth into your work. So speak more on that,

Kristen Kalp 30:39
I think it's really important for me to be able to discern the difference between my value as a human being and whether or not someone bought my book of poetry. Because if I make my worth as a human being how many poetry books I've sold, I'm always going to be like, Dear God, I should just be shot. Because I haven't hit my marks, I haven't hit my targets. And I'm not an international number one New York Times bestseller yet. And I it's always been, especially in the photography community, which is kind of where I came up with brand camp, people would be like, they would say, like, I'm not worth it, don't be like, Whoa, your work may or may not be worth it. But that has nothing to do with you as a human with a soul who's doing things in the world and whether or not that's worth it, to so just to be able to delineate the two like being able to delineate between your asshole brain and then the part of your brain that's like good and soft and kind and nice to you in there. There's two different forces at work. And so your work and your work are two different things. And they're often tied, but they don't have to be and if somebody says, I don't want to work with you, it doesn't mean you're a terrible scum villain of a human who should die right now. Those are, that might be what you hear. But that's not what the person actually saying at that moment. And that's just a lot of work. That's a lot of rejection. And a lot of like, Oh, this is you're saying no to working with me. But you're not saying no, I hate you die, you're just saying I don't have the money right now. Or it's not a good time, or I will totally work with you in six months. Or my husband says no, and he has control over the finances at this very moment. Or I am breastfeeding a child because I had one three months ago. And I don't have time for anything right now. There are lots and lots and lots and lots of good reasons to work with you as a human. And as a person doing incredible work in the world that have nothing to do with how much your work costs. And when you can delineate those two, you're like, Oh, your life gets so much better. Because it's so much less emotional and tumultuous in there. When somebody says no,

Emily Thompson 32:33
right, your life gets better. And I've also found that business gets better too. Whenever you can separate the two, you're so much more easily able to make clear rational decisions around what it is that you're offering, and how much it costs. And how it is that you're going to sell whenever you have wrapped up your own self worth into what it is that you're creating. And selling your business tends to be a bit of a hot mess.

Kristen Kalp 32:58
Yes, and you tend to be horribly underpriced so that everyone can just say yes, and that'll make your life easier.

Kathleen Shannon 33:03
Yeah. And then, you know, I think even about the time whenever I was able to say no to someone, not because I didn't want to work with them. But because I literally was not the best fit for them. There was someone else out there that could do the job differently or better, or give them what they needed, which was, for example, a website and I don't do websites. So then being able to say no, for someone really feels good. Like, I felt like for me, that was the moment whenever I was like, Oh, I don't have to say yes to everything. And not just for money or whatever. But because there might be someone out there who's a better fit. Yeah.

Kristen Kalp 33:38
Yeah, if my sense is that there's someone who's a better fit, I will 100% recommend them without hesitation.

Kathleen Shannon 33:45
Okay, so we talked a little bit about the creatives who were maybe a little quieter. And one of the things I loved that you just said was how your pink hair might be an authentic expression or you know, kind of aligned with how you feel on the inside. And you're able to express that accurately express that on the outside. So let's say there's a creative who is wanting to more accurately accurately express who they are in their work or in their personal style or even on their website. Or even in their content, the blog posts they write, or the podcasts they produce or YouTube video. And let's say they want to let their freak flag fly a little bit, whatever that means for them, but maybe they're just a little too freaked out. How can they embrace turning up the volume and bringing that to the work they do?

Kristen Kalp 34:36
Well, so the first rule isn't that you have to go from one to 12 which is what most people want to do. Like I'm going to go from wearing all black to wearing just solid colors and looking like just a VISTA of pastel explosion. You can go from one to one and a quarter and then one to one and a half. I find that it's that consistency is a lot more important than that. Then how deep you're willing to go. So if you're willing to turn it up just a quarter of a fraction of a teeny tiny bit every day, it's probably going to go a lot better for you than if you're the person that's like, it's six months, I'm going to make the leap, but I'm going to jump over the mountain, and it's going to be it's going to be terrible is what it's going to be. It's, it's gonna go horribly wrong. So if you look at me and think like, Oh, she probably went from zero to 17. And like, 43 seconds, like, no, what you're seeing is, is a process that is wild and unfolding magnificently over the course of a decade. So don't ever assume that the people that you see, unless they have celebrity stylists have gone from zero to 12. But it's probably been a very, very, very, very slow unfolding. And it's probably you're always, when you bring your best work to the table, you're always going to be jealous of someone else for the talents that they have, that you don't have, like, you're always going to wish for something different. And you're going to have to deal with the fact that you have the talents you have. So freakin deal with it and bring them to the table, and keep showing up and keep showing up and keep showing up and keep showing up. I know, it's really boring and terrible, I'm sorry, but keeps showing up.

Kathleen Shannon 36:08
I think it's so it speaks. So true to that feeling of, you know, even for example, my house like I just want it to look the way I want it to look, I have this vision in my mind. And I could go out tomorrow and literally buy all the things. But it would then be so out of the box, right or just off the rack, it wouldn't really there wouldn't have been that amount of evolution or growth or personal style that evolves along the way. And I think that really speaks to the journey is where it's at, it's not about the end result, it's not about your end vision, because I could even change along the way and it ends up costing us so much money. Whenever we think that we want something, we fill our house with it, or we fill our wardrobe with it, or we completely overhaul our website, and then realize, Oh, that's not actually what I want. And there's like no room for error along the way, if you're going from one to 12. Overnight, if you're going from one to one and a half to two to two and a half, there's room for error, you can make mistakes, and it's not devastating.

Kristen Kalp 37:13
Yeah. And the worst thing that could happen to you is to go from one to 12, for you to be wildly successful. And then to find out that actually, you don't like being a 12, or you don't like yourself at 12, or it's terrible up there like you You want to go slowly and just past the comfort point at every point. So you don't ever want to be comfortable. But you don't ever want to be so wildly uncomfortable that you fall into the space of just like shutting down and hiding because that does not want any good either.

Emily Thompson 37:40
This brings up for me the idea of curation and how how you start with a thing, whatever that may be, that could be a product that you want to sell or a service or a really nice couch, or whatever it may be like you start with a thing and you slowly curate the things around you. So that you are slowly turning up the volume as opposed to just you know, buying that IKEA living room just out of the little showroom there or whatever it may be. You You have so much more control. And I think it also gives you so many more opportunities to go back to what we were talking about earlier and checking in with yourself to see if the path that you are taking is the right one for you. He said a second ago like even growing your business into like taking it from one to 12. And having a huge business, if you check in with yourself at 12 at that point and you've created something that you don't want to do think about having to fire your team, and how awful that would feel to have to do that or to tell all of your clients or customers that you're going to close down and that is no more because you didn't take the time to curate slowly and check in with yourself consistently along the way. I think that's where you get into these like, you know, seriously like horrible case studies of businesses that fail or have people who just go off the deep end or whatever it may be is because like they're turning it up too loud too quickly and finding out that that's not actually who they are either. Yeah, I

Kristen Kalp 39:11
would say most people have a pretty low volume threshold and then they get scared and just start to repeat what other people say or try and find a way to make themselves fit into an existing model. So going anywhere past like a six is a very slow slow slow slow process I found because we don't have a whole lot of role models for past six not good one.

Emily Thompson 39:36
I think of a whole lot of bad ones right off the cuff

Kristen Kalp 39:39
right you end up with some Brittany some shave your head and whatnot like it's it's not good. So you go very slowly.

Emily Thompson 39:47
Yeah. Oh, I love that. And that's also so against like industry standard or like what is usually expected usually, you know, once you get the snowball rolling, the idea is to make it Quickly. But that also scares the shit out of me. Like personally, whenever I'm checking in with myself, the idea of a fastly moving snowball, in reality, or hypothetically is frightening. So I'm much more like the, I guess the permission to, to raise the volume slowly. I love this.

Kathleen Shannon 40:22
I know we talk a lot about expanding our capacities for success and how that works. And so I've always thought of it as an electrical circuit and how you don't want to like overwhelm your circuit board with electricity if you can't handle it, right. And so even thinking about the metaphor of it being volume, you will blow out your speakers in your car, if you just go from one to 12, right. But if you go slowly, you can get a real loud party going on. And so I like this idea to have slow growth, and really using that time to figure out who it is that you want to be, who it is that you really are, and how that shows up in your work in life. So I'm curious, like, I feel like we've been talking about the concepts of this, but how does this actually show up for a lot of your clients in their work and their lives? So they're going through the process with you, they're getting in tune with what they actually want? They're, you know, figuring out the station, they want to turn up the volume on, how does that actually show up in the daily grind?

Kristen Kalp 41:28
We usually my clients are making stuff, and then they're like, well, I'm going to share it eventually. So it's like, uh, okay, well, I want to see that on Instagram every day for the next 12 days. Oh, like the noises that come out of people. Just are like, okay, so you have an email list? Yeah. Okay. And it has 1000s people. Yeah, okay, when was the last time you emailed them? Well, like, like Christmas or song, you know, like that, those really boring things that mean that you're actually using the channels of communication that you have from people that want to hear from you, and you're making new things and showing them and you're selling for a while on each product, instead of like, well, I put on once on Facebook, and it didn't work out. So fuck it, I'm out. Like it, just the boring, boring, consistent, consistent, consistent means of doing it. And then there are a couple of common things people do. Like for on bio pages, if you just have if you either talk about yourself and the third person, or you don't have a photo of yourself, or you're hidden behind someone else, or behind, especially your children. The doodoo on that is like you front and center looking at camera, come on. Now we can do this. If you have a physical brick and mortar location, or you work in some fashion, we're going to be working with people locally, just having your name, address, phone number, email address, easy, simple. There are all sorts of ways to hide. And then if you if the voice in your head is hurting you, you can just stop listening to it is the other thing. Like at some point, we all take on advice from someone who we think is quote unquote, better. And they say things and then they keep saying those things long after those things serve you. So my goal when I'm podcasting, and when I'm coaching is 100% to be the voice in your head that's like No, fuck that.

Unknown Speaker 43:13
Don't do that.

Kristen Kalp 43:14
Don't do that ever again, that's bad. You're hurting yourself. That's terrible. Please don't do that. And then instead of having that other voice to listen to your own voice, what is it that you would like to do? I know you would like to have Cheetos and you would like to never go outside again, because the world is scary. Yes. Let's assume that someone's going to see you today. And they're going to see who do you want them to see and what you want them to feel when they see it. Because you probably don't want them to see like perfection porn and look how perfect My life is. And oh my god, I'm awesome. There's probably something softer and more tender in there. And if you can express that softness and that tenderness, via whatever it is that you do in business, you're going to be a whole lot better off. So it's about bringing your vulnerabilities and your tenderness and the parts that you would rather hide to your business and to your life and to your sales process and to your marketing every day, day in and day out month after month, year after year. Despite the fact that it's a long, slow slog through time. That's how it is

Unknown Speaker 44:12
pretty much

Emily Thompson 44:15
he says Hans. I so fucking agree with everything that you just said. And I'm gonna not tear up because that was really fantastic.

Unknown Speaker 44:26
You can tear up.

Emily Thompson 44:28
I'm okay with battling.

Unknown Speaker 44:32
But no, I agree. What about that especially resonates and

Emily Thompson 44:36
just with working with artists basically for so long? I mean, I feel like being boss has attracted a lot of b2b people, which I think is well and I think specifically of the clubhouse, people who are joining our clubhouse. We do have a lot of makers and things but I feel a lot lately that we've been working with a lot of b2b people, which is fine, but it really brought up for me and b2b for those of you who don't know what that means. means business to business. So examples of that might be if you're selling your services, specifically to hospitals, for example,

Kathleen Shannon 45:09
like business to business, yes.

Emily Thompson 45:10
And that requires a little more hardness I think, which is something that I feel like I've adopted a lot lately, I sell, obviously, b2b. But it brings back up for me my prior life with working just with artists and makers, and how so what you were saying, I'm going to go about like an about page, if I could count the number of conversations I've had with makers, where I'm telling them, they have to have a photo of themselves on their website so that people can see they're real people. And that there's actually someone making this beautiful thing. And that creates a connection that makes people want to buy and trust you and know that you're beautiful, and all of these things. That's such a real conversation I've had so many times, because artists tend to have such a problem with putting themselves out there in line with their work, they're fine with putting their work out there in most cases, but putting themselves out there with it is a whole other story. And I know that a lot of people who are probably listening to this and not joining the clubhouse. So we're not able to have those one on one conversations are probably totally feeling this, if you are my kind of people. So I'm just glad that that has been said out loud.

Kathleen Shannon 46:23
You know, and it's funny, because we talk a lot about giving it all away. That's one of our philosophy that drives I mean, it's how our podcast came about anyway, is that Emily and I were having these business bestie conversations, and we're like, why not record these and put them out for the world to hear. And so one of the things that we talk about a lot is giving it all away for free everything we know about branding and online marketing and building a business that you love. We're talking about it all the time here on the podcast, but we get a lot of questions from makers and artists who asked how do I give it all away for free if I have a product like I can't be sending everybody a bracelet or a painting. And we always say no, but you can be sharing your story. And that's how you're giving it all away is that you're talking about? What drove you to make that bracelet or to paint that painting. So I think that there's so much to that telling your story showing your face being who you are making the thing and selling it by simply sharing the story behind how it came about to be

Emily Thompson 47:25
I agree. And I have a really great example of someone who does this. It's actually someone that we've had on the podcast before Brenda Mangalore Bray did the branding, and he did her website. So like just all kinds of magnificent threesome happening there. And Brenda is fantastic. And is one of those like really great artists, who also totally understands how to sell herself in a way that I've always admired. Whenever she came to me to do to do her website, I had to work with Brenda, because she was one of those like unicorns who just got it, it was so great. And she does. She does a regular newsletter that's just updating the people on her list what is going on in the studio, what painting she's working for, or working on. Or she shares cute photos of her and her daughter. And you don't even have to go that far into the sharing spectrum. But it's very open about her process and what's inspiring her and what sort of event she's doing. And that intrigues people and it makes people interested in connected to her. And so for me even like I've talked to her many times, but still getting these newsletters, I consistently stay so connected to her work, because she's simply telling me about her work. So just a great example of someone who is totally doing it, where she has a product and what she is giving away as her sources of inspiration. And I think these days, we are all hungry, I think for more sources of genuine inspiration for making and doing beautiful things.

Unknown Speaker 49:05
Got the shoulder shimmy.

Kathleen Shannon 49:07
Let's all just sit with that one. So Kristen, what a piece of advice would you give to one of our listeners who's wanting to be more boss by showing up as they are every single day in their business, and maybe even not just every day, but in their long term vision for what they want to create.

Kristen Kalp 49:29
It's okay to be too much, because somebody somewhere along the line said that you're too much of something you're too soft or too sensitive.

Kathleen Shannon 49:36
You're too bright or too happy.

Kristen Kalp 49:39
I get that one. And you can never know about people what they've experienced. But you can know that anyone who's willing to be too much has had to fight to be too much. That it's a really vulnerable position to be in that the reason I smile at kids and laugh at dogs is because i've you know I've spent years dealing with clinical Depression. And so any day that I can wake up and not feel like I want to hurt myself or kill myself is a day in which I am happy. If you're like, well, you're too happy that I'm like, Whoa,

Emily Thompson 50:10
you're too much of an asshole.

Kristen Kalp 50:15
Right? Like just just be willing to be too much of something. Because when you're too much of something, in your opinion, you're probably just the right amount of it in other people's opinions and in the opinions of the people who desperately need to hear from you or see what you have to offer or what you have to make. So if you're willing to go all the way down in there and be too much of something awesome, keep going. It'll be great.

Emily Thompson 50:41
I love it.

Kathleen Shannon 50:43
I know that's where the magic lives in the too much and really great brands.

Unknown Speaker 50:47
Yes. Always right. Yeah.

Emily Thompson 50:49
Like, one of the things that I love about that is people who attach themselves or attach their brands to colors, like that, I think is a perfect example of someone who like, will only design shit with orange, or, or purple or whatever. Like, that's an example of like too much, but totally works. Those brands tend to do fairly well, I find,

Kristen Kalp 51:11
yeah, absolutely. Focus, you're going to push people away. But you're also going to alchemize the people that you need right to you, I find that I don't get that much hate mail, because people tend to unfollow unsubscribe or give up on me way before they give me their email address. So I think that's part of the part of the danger of being like not too much being quote, unquote, safe. There's so many air quotes, for those of you listening, because you can't see me. Part of the danger is that you might get lots of people that think that they're your people. And then when you actually do turn it up, like half an inch, or half a dial, they're gonna go screaming, because they didn't get what they thought they were getting, they kind of made that up because you were boring. Whereas if you're too much right from the start, then they just run away. And it's so much better. So, so make people run away, because it's awesome. On the other side of that, I promise.

Kathleen Shannon 52:01
I feel like I want that to be my tagline making people run away since 19 years

Emily Thompson 52:07
old totally have support that, that support that.

Kathleen Shannon 52:13
Yeah, Kristin, what makes you feel most boss?

Kristen Kalp 52:18
Oh, man, those emails when people are like, I did this, and I did this. And I did this. And I did this. And I did this. And I think I'm gonna throw up a little bit, but thank you, oh, all those. It's always always the the people that have gone further than they think they could go because of something that I said, or something that I mentioned somewhere. And I was like, Oh, that's silly. I don't even know why I'm talking about that. That was stupid. And then years, and it's usually years later, people will come to me and be like, just so you know, this change everything. And I'm like, Hey, thank you and be Why didn't you tell me sooner?

Unknown Speaker 52:53
Always, always.

Kathleen Shannon 52:54
Yeah. You know, that makes me think a little bit about how we show up and we hit Publish. And we're super consistent with that. But something happened, especially in blogging where the conversation stopped. I feel like things started moving so fast that people stop sending those kinds of emails. And so I try and make it a practice every month to go in and do a batch of podcast reviews of book reviews of leaving someone a comment on their Instagram rather than just liking it, and letting them know what a difference they've made in my work and in my life. So I think that there is this conversation that happens because those emails are going to make somebody's day and so if you're if you have been affected by someone's work, shoot them an email and let them know because

Emily Thompson 53:41
positively if it's negatively negatively keep your trap shut.

Unknown Speaker 53:44

Unknown Speaker 53:47

Emily Thompson 53:50
No one wants to hear that shit. But otherwise, please spread the law.

Kathleen Shannon 53:55
Yes, but it's easy. It's easy to forget to do that as content producers, you know, and people who are churning it out and writing and podcasting and all that stuff. It's easy to forget, like, Oh yeah, there are people who greatly impact my work and they might like to hear a thank you letter even as big as they are, you know, like they might it might seem like someone who is such a big deal. They would never care about your thank you note, but they totally care and introverts especially because they

Kristen Kalp 54:20
don't want to bother anyone quote unquote, like you can. thank you notes are never bothering as a rule. Just never ever, ever. You can always send a thank you note

Kathleen Shannon 54:29
or a kind word.

Unknown Speaker 54:30
Oh is

Unknown Speaker 54:32
Kristin thank you so much for hanging out with us. where can our listeners find more of you?

Kristen Kalp 54:37
When you can find me at Kristin kalff.com k r i s t e n k LP calm. That's where

Kathleen Shannon 54:47
this episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books, cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss thanks you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 55:08
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 flash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 55:32
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. And our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography,

Emily Thompson 55:50
do the work, the boss and we'll see you next week.