Episode 182

Values and Partnering – Live from Printers Row Lit Fest

June 26, 2018

This episode is coming at you live from the Printers Row Lit Festival in Chicago! We had moderator, Dana Kaye, there to help facilitate the conversation—all about writing the book, our entrepreneurial journey, and tips and tools we suggest for emerging entrepreneurs and authors alike!

This Episode Brought to You By:
"There is an absolute connection between your life and work, and I feel like it would be doing an injustice to address one without addressing both."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Emily & Kathleen's entrepreneurial journeys
  • Getting support from your family & friends at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey
  • Creating healthy boundaries for a solid work / life balance (or blend)
  • Emily & Kathleen's values and how they've evolved over the years
  • The experience of co-writing a book
  • Tools we used for writing this book
  • Putting what you want out there


More from Dana Kaye

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Hey Emily, guess what I'm looking forward to

Emily Thompson 0:03
if I had to guess I'd say your next meal all through that.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
But even more than that I'm looking forward to our annual being boss vacation in New Orleans.

Emily Thompson 0:13
Same. We still have a handful of tickets left. So if you've been wanting to join us on our annual being boss vacation in New Orleans and consider this your sign to join us for a live podcast, recording, masterclasses and workshops, and an epic Abbas celebration and more with me, Kathleen and your creative peers from all over the world

Kathleen Shannon 0:35
in the most magical city in the whole world, right? Yes. All right. The being boss vacation is happening September 26. To the 28th in New Orleans. Go to being boss club slash Nola. For all the details.

Emily Thompson 0:50
We hope to see you there.

Kathleen Shannon 0:55
Hello, and welcome to being boss, a podcast

Emily Thompson 0:57
for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 1:07
In this episode of being boss, we recorded live from printers row lit Fest in Chicago, talking about using our values to guide our decisions and life and work and more insights into the process of creating the being boss book together and how you can use them in your own creative projects too. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we referenced on the show notes at WWW dot FBI boss club.

Kathleen Shannon 1:35
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Emily Thompson 2:49
Now before we dive into our printers or ro lit fest episode, I want to take a moment to say how honored Kathleen and I are to have been invited to such a prestigious and community driven event. The weekend started out with me flying up to Detroit to spend some quality time with Kathleen, we wanted to make sure to work plenty of business bestie time into this work trip. Because we found that even though we get a lot of work done Despite living 600 miles apart, some of our best brainstorms happen when we're in the same physical space, and honestly, it doesn't happen often enough. So we carved out a whole CEO day together to look at the next 12 months of business of being boss and get some serious bird's eye view mapping and reorganizing done. It felt so good to sit down together in the same space to work through what it is we're here building for all of you. And we can't stress enough how important dedicating a full day to focusing on future planning for your business really is. It's all about being as proactive as you can be instead of being reactive. So just a quick plug here. We've packaged up what Kathleen and I do literally every year, quarter monthly and sometimes just on a regular Tuesday for our businesses. And this includes being boss Kathleen's branding agency, and I've even begun using it for my new product business Almanac supply company. We've packaged it all up into a set of tools that you can apply to your own business, no matter what you're selling, or how new or old your business is. It's called the CEO day kit and you can find it at courses dot being boss dot club. But back to our Chicago trip from Detroit, Kathleen and I made our way to Chicago where we had an impromptu meeting with a fellow boss. We've learned that the most unexpected and glorious benefit of showing up to share our stories with you here is that we've cultivated a community of cool creatives in almost every city that we travel, knowing that we have boss friends, wherever we go turned into the most fulfilling perk of doing this work. So thank you for being here. We tromped around downtown Chicago had some amazing food and even attended a comedy show, all while talking life and business and soaking up the experiences that our work has afforded us. And finally, we got to the main event the printers are row lit fast. We had a moderator and fellow boss Dana Kay there to help facilitate the conversation, all about writing the book, our entrepreneurial journeys, and tips and tools we suggest for emerging entrepreneurs and authors alike. It was an absolute blast to chat in that space with that crowd of bosses about how we've made our work do and how other bosses like you can do the same. So without further ado, here's what we recorded that rainy spring day at printers Rowlett Fest in Chicago. Please welcome today's moderator, Dana k of K publicity.

Dana Kaye 6:01
Hi, everyone. So I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon of being boss, so I'd love to bring them out. Emily Thompson founded indie shop autography, a design and strategy studio for creative small business owners. Emily has worked to help retailers makers coaches and designers develop an online business models strategize and launch websites and grow their business online. And Kathleen Shannon. She's the founder of braid creative and consulting a boutique branding agency and consultancy she co owns with her sister. Together they have helped 1000s of creative entrepreneurs authentically brand and position themselves as creative experts. And self proclaimed business besties and host of the top ranked podcast being boss, Catherine Emily, know what it takes to launch your own business, do the work and be boss and work and life. Out of curiosity. How many of you currently listen to the being boss podcast? A lot of you? How many of you, this is your first time being introduced to Kathleen and Emily.

Unknown Speaker 7:08
Yeah, that's

Dana Kaye 7:09
so great. So they are also the authors of the being boss book, which is available for sale. If you're interested. It is the most gorgeous business book I have ever seen. If you go and like flip through, there's like gorgeous graphics. So beautiful. So for the people who are new to you and your journey, can you each speak briefly about your entrepreneurial journey and then how you to connect it?

Emily Thompson 7:31
Sure. So I guess my entrepreneur journey probably started a little sooner I owned a tanning salon when I was 18, which is a long and funny story that I'll not share here. But it started then. And I knew then that I had been bitten by the business bug I wanted to work for myself, I wanted to create something that was bigger than myself. But I didn't get back into business for probably about five years after that. And it started whenever I discovered Etsy, which was probably about 12 years ago. So it was just getting started as a really cool place. It was forming community around people who wanted to make things and sell it on the internet. And I was amazed and excited about it. So I started making jewelry, which is something that I was already doing. But I started selling it on Etsy. And that really got me into the online business world, the the way you brand and position yourself online and describe and take photos I got really into how it is that you present yourself and your products in a way that makes people want to buy them without ever actually seeing and touching them, which is super fascinating to me. And from there, I found myself building a website for myself and then having Etsy friends asking me to build a website for them. And that led to me, designing and developing websites for creatives for almost 10 years. And along that way I met Kathleen who was freelancing at first and then building her branding agency and being boss got started in the middle.

Kathleen Shannon 9:00
Yeah, and before I owned my own like freelancing, or before I started freelancing and owned my own business, I did not have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, I was all about that nine to five life, someone giving me a paycheck benefits 401k I just wanted to be the best designer I could be. And so I kind of grew up my skills in an advertising agency working for somebody else. And it's whenever I wanted to take a like month long trip across the world to Mount Everest base camp that I realized, oh, one I have to ask permission to leave for this amount of time. And I'm technically not allowed to like I don't have this much time, paid time off, saved up to take this trip. And so at the same time I have been blogging and creating and sharing content of remodeling my house and getting married and designing my own wedding invitations and that really sparked this creative career accidentally more people than started asking me to design their wedding invitations. Or could I do a logo for them? So I kind of stumbled upon my entrepreneurial journey. And it was through making friends in the online sphere like Emily, were once I was ready to take the leap, I could say, Hey, what do you know about this freelancing situation? And what do I need to know? And that's really where it started. And I think that's where it starts for so many people where they might be born entrepreneurs, or kind of stumble upon it. But I think the most important thing is having those people to connect and chat chatted out with because you never really know entirely what you're doing. And we still don't, we're still having these conversations with each other about what it takes to be boss.

Dana Kaye 10:45
And it changes every day. Right? Well, so you had spoken like you weren't originally an entrepreneur, and Emily, you had it in your blood, but both of your parents were not self employed people. Emily, you mentioned your parents worked in government? No, Kathleen worked in government. And you guys and Emily wrote in the book that you had parents who worked really hard doing things they didn't love. And so how has creating a life that's so different from that of your own upbringing? You know, what are the challenges? What's been most rewarding? Can you speak a little bit about that?

Kathleen Shannon 11:16
So my dad is constantly skeptical about what it is that I'm doing. And I actually own my business braid creative with my sister. So he kind of has like that double freakout our brother. So I'm the youngest, my brothers in the middle. And then my older sister is when I in the agency with my brother in the middle is a sideshow performer who swallows swords for a living. So my parents just don't even know what to make of us. But I remember at the beginning of it, he was really nervous about us going to school for graphic design, and how would we ever get a job? And then once we got jobs in advertising, he was like, Okay, okay, this is good. And if it doesn't work out, he always said, like, we'd be selling pencils on the side of the road. And I don't, I don't know if that's a generational thing. I've never seen anybody selling pencils, on the road that for some reason, he thought that that was the career path that we could take, if, if nothing else worked out. And even to this day, we'll be hanging out at my parents house on the weekend. And my dad will say, hey, if this braid thing doesn't work out for you all, he knew what you could do, you could paint that houses for a living, I don't know. So like, he always takes it to the next level, where he's really trying to think of something really nice and creative. But I think for the most part, they're really proud and excited, and at first a little bit scared. And I think that whenever you are in a family or even with your spouse, like if you're working for yourself and your spouse isn't or, you know, even your circle of group of friends, if they're not working for themselves, they might be really confused and scared for you, because they could never imagine doing that themselves as well. And I think that what works the best is bringing those people in on your journey, showing them spreadsheets, showing them what you plan on building and creating, asking for their advice or opinions where they can contribute in a really positive way along the way, I think that that's a really great way to just get people involved in it kind of temper some of the fear for them, and get them excited and onboard.

Emily Thompson 13:25
Yeah, and for me, similar in some ways, where my parents didn't have any entrepreneurial entrepreneurial experience. So it was really difficult for me whenever I didn't have that kind of mentor to go to and be like, you know, these are the things that I'm struggling with, they'd be like, well then just go get a job. But they were also so incredibly supportive every step of the way, even though they did not understand what it is that I was doing. They knew I could do it, whatever, whatever it was. So it was really helpful to me to have that. But it also forced me to find those mentors and that help in that camaraderie and other places, which I think was actually a blessing. You know, I always hear these stories about how I think it's like, third generational businesses like second first generation starts the business second generation will usually continue but third is usually when things start falling apart. I like to think that I like to think that I'm actually ended advantage and that I'm not sort of they didn't pass pass it down to me they didn't pass this, this on to the next generation that I'm actually getting to start it out and being able to pull information from everywhere around

Kathleen Shannon 14:39
anyway. But are you like good luck daughter

Emily Thompson 14:44
and your kids are screw. Exactly. Well, and I think it's it's definitely like the same business going down. I don't expect Billy to be doing what it is that I'm doing. But I think there's something to be said about once you get into those multi generational businesses. The Yeah, the perspective is so narrow, you're not going out and getting outside mentors, because your dad did it first. And why not just go ask him, I think it allows you, it forces you to go out and get a broader perspective of how it is that you can do the thing that you're doing.

Kathleen Shannon 15:15
I think one of the coolest things, too about us writing the book is that it's this tangible physical thing that our parents can understand. So that's been cool. Yeah, you're not gonna have anything else.

Dana Kaye 15:28
You're not the first person. The writers. I mean, we have. We've been talking to writers all week. And so many of them will say things like, my parents didn't understand what I did, until they like, saw my book on Amazon, or saw it in their indie bookshop. And also like, Oh, this is a thing. Your real This was you? This is real. And it's like that tangible thing that you can hold, it's no longer out in the ether that they don't understand. Yeah. So you talked a little bit, going back to like the work life plan, you both have families. And this, the being boss book is unlike any business book I've ever read in the sense that it's not just about your business, it's also about your life. And having that kind of work life blend in the book is really, there's a lot of activities and things that have to do with business. But it does always takes into account your life, your health, your family, is that how you guys approach your own business is that how does that manifest in your current lives?

Emily Thompson 16:17
Absolutely, it's holistic. I mean, you can't, you can't completely healthily I don't think separate life and work. I think we talk about that work life separation, or even like balance, a lot of times, and I think all of that's a lie, or it's, it's a ruse, it's going to you know, sell you a product or something, where if you go at it, as you know, your work and live contribute to your greater existence, which is fact, then you are much more able to intentionally build a life that you love living that's contributed to by the work that you're doing along the way. So I don't think you can focus on one without focusing on the other, and we do the type of creative work that just proves that whatever, you know, writing the book, for example, if we were having a really bad morning, with you know, our kids or our family or just woke up late or sick, or whatever it may be, the creative work that we were doing was not going to be as good. And if we had a really great day working, it definitely made our evenings at home with our family that much more pleasurable. There is an absolute connection between your life and work. And I think it would be it would be doing a distressed us to address one

Dana Kaye 17:32
without addressing both. It seems like a very different mindset from like your parents who viewed it as like, you go and you work hard, you tough it out so that you can provide for your family, when it seems like you're taking the approach of like work in light work is part of my life and family is part of my life. So why can't we enjoy all you

Emily Thompson 17:48
can't just clock in and out. I mean, you can even try but you can't like you're going to take some of that stuff home with you. And I think I think that's definitely one of the things that we've been tackling is like, there have been many generations who have just thought that you were able to clock in clock out, go home, not think about it. But then you know, heart attacks are happening a lot in stress related, you know, physical ailments. And most of them are because either work wasn't great, or that like attention between work and life was so real that it causes distress.

Kathleen Shannon 18:20
So my son is four and a half years old, and he goes to school every day from I would say nine to five, but it's really like 730 to 630. He's there for a long time. And in the mornings, he's been he likes to sleep in. And so I have to wake them up and get them ready and pack the lunch. And he's been asking, Why do I have to go to school and I noticed that one of the first things I want to say like my initial reaction is, well, because mom and dad have to work and this is what your job is. And I realized that it is this negative spin that kind of is ingrained in our society, or at least how I grew up where you clock in, you clock out, you come home, eat dinner, same rinse and repeat. And we are kind of on that schedule. However, I noticed that this small shift in mommy is choosing to work because I love what I'm doing. And let me show you this book. That's mommy on the cover. So it my parents and my four year old kind of understand what I do now. And that really that shift in language and your dad is designing self driving cars and he's going to change the world. And so really putting this positive spin on that we are intentional and doing what we love for a reason. Whether it's working for ourselves or for somebody else, we are incredibly intentional and we're happy to do it and that's why we do what we do. And so even that is where I'm seeing a work life blend lately just in that shift in language

Dana Kaye 19:52
and my son's are similar ages and it's the same thing he like doesn't want to get up for school and I'm like, I got meetings and stuff to do. I started to say You know what, that's fine. I'm starting my day. And here's your breakfast. And if you want to go in late, but like I'm starting my day, and I'm not playing with you, and he can see me working and see that, but then have a little bit more flexibility. You know, sometimes we have to get out. But for sure, it's always that if he sees the work life plan, and he sees, he sees the work you're doing, it makes it feel like okay, I'm going to school. So mom can do this. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:19
for sure.

Dana Kaye 20:20
So how many of you in the audience and curious on work from home or entrepreneurs, a lot of you, that's awesome. So I think that it would be really beneficial. In the book, there's an activity that talks about like, it encourages bosses to think of their work in their life as a garden, and like the different plots. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about how bosses can identify healthy boundaries and how they can and a little bit more about that activity, so they can establish like the different areas of their life and not let one consume by the others.

Kathleen Shannon 20:54
So whenever we were writing the book and needed to write about boundaries, we realize, Oh, this is kind of vague, like how do you even define what your boundaries are? And, and is it just what you say yes to and what you say no to. And so we think very visually, and we're often coming up with elaborate metaphors, and sometimes mixing them and going all over the place with it. But we thought of a garden, and how that will help you really think of a garden as what you're trying to create. And what you're trying to build. And the fence around your garden is your boundaries. So it's really containing that creativity. So with that, you have to prioritize what you want to grow if you only have so much space. And that is time, energy, resources, money, you can only grow so much. So it is really getting clear about your priorities of what it is that you're wanting to create and cultivate. And then what you're trying to keep out of that space. So that could be distractions. That could be energy drains, it could be money, drains, it could be day, job drains, whatever it looks like for you. And so that really helped us define it not only for ourselves. And when we think about it all the time in that way. Now, right now, we're

Emily Thompson 22:12
always talking about gardening.

Dana Kaye 22:15
Always and does it evolve what you're planting in your How is your particular gardens evolved over the past year? Absolutely.

Emily Thompson 22:21
I mean, when we were writing the book, like book was in the center of the garden, being protected from all things or writing the book and making space for that creative process. Since then, obviously, that project is off the books. And so even because we each run separate businesses as well, sometimes we'll go through a season where we need to be super focused on our separate businesses. And there are seasons where we need to be super focused on being boss. And there are seasons when it's neither of those things. And it's our family or vacations or a friend is getting married, or whatever it may be, it definitely changes. I mean, if not month to month, like sometimes even week to week, it can change. So it is it's something that we're always talking about, in terms of you know, what our priorities are watching how they shift, because I also think people can get in a kind of sticky place where they don't address the fact that your priorities are changing. And you're still putting too much time and energy into a thing that should probably be put outside your garden for a little while. I think that's when you find yourself, you know, 15 years into a day job that you actually hate, or you are in a relationship that is no longer healthy and supplying you with energy to move on, or whatever it may be. You have to continue to look at your priorities, and cultivate and weed your garden so that you're only protecting the things that are most important to you. This

Dana Kaye 23:47
kind of is a good transition to the values portion. Because we all talk a lot about what you value and centering your business around your core values. Can you share, like your personal core values and how they've evolved over your career?

Kathleen Shannon 24:00
Yeah, so mine has for a long time been around expression and authenticity. And I know that the word authenticity is being used a lot, but it's a good word. I'm just really being who you are 100% of the time. And I will say more recently, I've added I've layered a value into the mix. And that is honesty. And so one of the things that we're asking ourselves as we're writing the book or creating podcast content, is how can we get or even our Instagram feed? And how can we be more honest about this? How can we say it in a way that sounds more like us? And it's as simple as that. It's not that we're lying. It's that we're just being even more of who we are through this lens of honesty. And even this week while we've been in Chicago last night, we were like okay, what do we want to do for fun? We could go see Hamilton down the street, or we could see this comedian fortune Feemster. I think that's how you say her last name. We You guys see this comedian. And it was almost like running that through the lens of our values like, okay, musical theater or like observational, hilarious comedy, and they're both very appealing. I mean, who doesn't want to see Hamilton? Right? But even that, like, was a really hard decision and running it through the lens of Okay, what kind of experience do I want to have?

Emily Thompson 25:20
What do I want to laugh? Or do we want to cry? That's really what it came down to. And we're always going to choose laughter. And so even

Kathleen Shannon 25:27
that, like, that's just a really small example. But sometimes just running any of the decisions that we have to make through the lens of our values, bring so much clarity, or at least helps you shape up the conversation, the hard conversation of what it is that you want to create, and what it is that you want to protect or not do.

Emily Thompson 25:47
Yeah, for sure. And it's also something that we see coming into our business and more like, real tangible, like mission ways to so even deeper than our Instagram feed, or what we're doing on a Saturday night. One of my core values is freedom, but also also self reliance. And those are the kinds of things that we bring into the core of what being bosses I think that we're creating together? Or how it is that you know, I go at the business that I have, where is this thing going to give me more freedom? Is it going to help people cultivate freedom for themselves or self reliance for themselves? I mean, it really does make up the backbone of the businesses that we create, because then we're gonna feel more in line with what it is that we're doing all day, and therefore more fulfilled by it as well.

Dana Kaye 26:35
And I don't know, if you subscribe to the idea that we only have a certain amount of decisions in any given day that I make. Yes. Otherwise, we're making the wrong decisions. I

Kathleen Shannon 26:43
mean, it's why everyone gets so mad, or they get asked what's for dinner? Yes, like, at that point, you're done.

Dana Kaye 26:49
The decisions that I'm gonna make today, streamlines the process, if you have your core values on a posted or just ingrained in your brain, it helps streamline that process of like making decisions quicker. So you don't get that decision fatigue, and you don't you know, get pissed when someone asks you what's for dinner? And, and you also have a lot of confidence that you're making the right decision. Yes, I think for me, as an entrepreneur, I'm sure for a lot the entrepreneurs here that we are, it's a little bit lonely. And we're always not sure, like, you can't bounce those ideas off a business bestie always and like you're not sure if you're making the right decisions. And so when you have the core values, you're more confident like, Okay, if this adheres to my core values, and it must be the right decision.

Kathleen Shannon 27:27
Yeah. And I think if you're early in your business, you're saying yes to everything, because you just need to pay the bills. And I think that that's fine, I think that can help you navigate and find your boundaries. And what it is that you value by really experimenting and trying a lot of different things. And then if you are further along in your business, and you're in the fortunate position where you're being offered a lot of opportunities that might even all feel really cool, but you can't take them all on. You can also use that to be just a little bit more discerning about what it is that you say yes to. This being boss episode is brought to you by 2020, where creative minds get authentic real world stock photos. Are you tired of coming across stock photos that misrepresent women's identity and truly lacking diversity? When looking for new content for your creative projects. 2020 lets you buy millions of authentic real world photos proven to increase the brand image of your business. And they have a very notorious or real women photo collection. Today, they're offering listeners of being boss of five photo free trial to start yours right now go to 20 twenty.com slash being boss. That's where 20,000 to zero.com slash being boss to get five free photos.

Dana Kaye 28:46
So let's talk a little bit more about the writing and production of the book. Since we're all book people here. Can you speak a little bit about the experience co writing a book and how that worked. And then also working with your publisher and designing the book and just walk us through that process.

Emily Thompson 29:02
It was so much fun. So it started with us talking to all of our friends who had written books and everyone going this is the worst part like writing the book is going to be the most grueling process. All of these things end together. Like that's going to be challenging. But we started doing it in the first two weeks were difficult. We were trying to find our groove and how it was that we were going to work. We tried different things we tried just picking a chapter and separating it and going okay, you write these parts, I'll write these parts and let's bring them back together. And it'll be magical. We brought it back together and there was no magic. And so we decided to scratch a whole chapter and just go at it chronologically and writing it together in the same space in real time together. And you have to remember to at that point, Kathleen was in Oklahoma City. I was in Chattanooga. So we're doing this all over the internet. And we're using Google Docs so that we could see each other live typing and editing and we were reading aloud to each other. It ended up being the most fun work that we have ever done. And then we got Do it together and produce something that we were talking earlier as almost like a third person wrote it. Like, I didn't write this book because this is not my words. And Kathleen didn't write this book because it's not her words. It's the product of a host like this third person that came out of us sitting down and writing this book together is the boss, it was the boss, it was the boss.

Kathleen Shannon 30:21
And yeah, so probably two to three times a week, we would block off a couple of hours in the morning, we found that that was our most creative time. So really identifying what time of day we were most creative for that kind of work was really important. And we would start to go through what we were working on. And then in the afternoons, we would divide and conquer and then come back the next morning, and do what we call the workshopping it. And so at the end of the day, like at the end of the book, we ended up probably reading through each section four times with each other and reworking it. And I would say, hey, this doesn't quite sound like you were I'm not understanding what it is that you're really trying to say here. And so then Emily would say, Okay, what I'm really trying to say is, which is also one of my favorite writing tricks. If you don't know what you want to write about, and you're creating content, open up a blank piece of paper, and at the top of it, right, what I'm really wanting to tell you is or what I'm really wanting to write about is, and then just let it go. And so Emily would say, Okay, what I'm really trying to say is this, this and this, and I would start just transcribing for her. And then we would clean it up. And we went through that process where we were editing each other out, probably four rounds. And what was really funny and surprising to us is that we got to the very end of the book, and we were like, okay, let's read through it one more time, clean it up, before we hand it off to the editor at the publishing house, which is running house. Alright, so I running press, and we got to chapter one, and we were like, Whoa, we became a lot better at writing from chapter one to chapter seven. So then we retooled chapter one again, and then we handed it off to the publisher. And so what happens at that point is that the editor did a pass through if anything felt like it wasn't resolved or clarified. And it was just a few things. She said, Hey, could you go into this a little bit further, the design process was a little tricky, and we knew going in and working with a publisher. Okay, so here's another thing. We've been self publishing. For years, we've been writing blog posts, we've been publishing podcasts, and we're doing that ourselves, right. So going, the traditional publishing route we knew would be a challenge that would allow us to grow and learn and be held accountable in all new ways. And we knew that we might go into this having to pick our own battles, because we don't have complete creative control over this thing that we're doing. And we knew that one of the battles we were willing to fight was over the design. So even as you were introducing the book, he said, this is one of the most beautiful business books I've ever seen. And that was our vision from the beginning. Even when we pitched it to the publisher, we said, we want it to feel almost like a coffee table book meets a business book, we want it to feel almost like a cookbook, where you're going through page by page and writing in the margins. And maybe there's cake batter in the middle somewhere. We wanted it to be something that you're really engaged with and want to open and read and keep on your nightstand and Instagram to your friends. And so we did get the first design draft back. And it wasn't quite. It wasn't quite what we wanted edition, it was not what we think you see, we need to we need some PR on hosting our podcasts all the time. It wasn't what we envisioned. And so I asked him if I could take a stab at it. So I have a background in design. And this is not something that's very typical for publishing. And this is part of the reason why we chose running press is that they were willing to collaborate with us and they said yes, and you have four days to lay it all out from start to finish. So that's four days of a lot of work

Dana Kaye 34:08
well because when your original publishing house, they have a catalogue to put out they have a season they're going to their sales conferences, which is why you signed with a publisher, right? Because you wanted the most widespread distribution. And so to be like, Okay, I know I need to do this because this is what we want. So let's figure out how to get the product. So you day four days. And I think that part

Kathleen Shannon 34:27
of it is that we were on time with every single deadline. So this is another way to get what you want probably in anything is to show up and be reliable and on time and on point every single time so that whenever you do say hey, this really matters, they believe you and they trust you to get it done. Do you want to say anything else about the publishing process after that? I

Emily Thompson 34:49
don't think so. I mean, just maybe piggybacking off of the the showing up and doing I mean, they were consistently surprised with the fact that we were on time and apparently they needs to more directly understand what being boss means. Because we're gonna be there and but that also gave us the ability to pick those battles a little more carefully, and to, you know, go to go to them with new ideas and knowing that we had the ability to back those up, that was just a really important part of the process that, like Kathleen, and I would have never dreamed of showing up late for anything. But because we were just there doing the thing, there was so much more appreciation and the ability to collaborate.

Dana Kaye 35:30
And now that you're coming out on the other end, I'm assuming there's surprised some aspiring writers in the audience. Is there anything that you wish you had known? Going into it that you know, now?

Kathleen Shannon 35:41
I think one of the things that I know now is that proposal process is so important to clarifying what it is that you want your book to be about how you envision it, so that whenever it's not lined up, you know exactly what went wrong. And where, and so the proposal process, I was surprised it took us a while. I mean, probably four or five months,

Emily Thompson 36:03
it probably took us longer to do the proposal than it did to write the actual book.

Kathleen Shannon 36:06
Yeah. Because at that point, we are saying, what is it that we're wanting to make? What is it that we want to be known for? What content Do we know best that we can really share and speak on because one of the things that we talked about a lot of being boss, and even in the book is frosty feelings. So this is kind of that imposter syndrome. And especially when you're writing your first book, those feelings can come up a lot, like, oh, wow, this is going to be in print. And we can never update or modify or change it. And so that I think that's where it helps that we were writing what we knew best. And we were doing it together, that we could cultivate confidence in that way. True, you can do a second edition, for sure.

Emily Thompson 36:45
Right. But those are still printed in in the world. Those are still there. Right. And that also led us to, you know, the the conversations with publishers, because we had been so intentional and, and you know, in depth with this proposal. And we have been doing the work for so long beforehand, showing up and publishing the podcast and writing blog posts and, and speaking and all of those things, whenever it came time to have those conversations with publishers who were interested, we were able to show up and say exactly what needs to be said, and with a kind of confidence that gave them confidence in us. So you know, if we had tried to propose a book three, four years ago, probably wouldn't have gotten it. Because we weren't there, our content wasn't there. And our ability to show up and represent that content was not at the level that it was when we finally did do it. And I mean, I think still pretty much to this day, I've never felt more boss than I did in some of those conversations that we had with publishers being able to show up and show exactly what it is that we were doing. What it is that we had to say and why it was important and then going, we gotcha.

Dana Kaye 37:52
Well, and that's a really good lesson. I think for a lot of aspiring writers and as entrepreneurs and online business owners who, you know, if I want to write a blog post, I just write it and hit publish, and boom, it's out in the world, and being able to take focus and take some more time to make sure it's right. And to not be I we work with a lot of authors and a lot of them like, okay, I want to get this out there right now, right now, right now. And if their agents like it's not quite ready, or you're getting rejected on the agent front, like taking the time to really make sure everything you're putting out there is what you want to be out there. Because once it's out there it is, like you said, Emily, it's out in the world, even if you can update it for a second edition. So this book is chock full of tools, whether it's like ways to do meditation, or to brainstorm or to get your creative juices flowing. And I'm wondering, what are some of the tools that you outline that you use for doing the actual book,

Emily Thompson 38:46
I think one of one of my very favorites, and it plays into the book and kind of small ways, but it definitely plays into my business a ton is the scientific method for creatives is I have a background in geography, which is weird, but true. And so and I've always been super fascinated with this like step by step process that you can replicate over and over again, to have an idea, test it, tweak it if it doesn't work, or run with it when it does. And that being the scientific method that we hopefully all learned in like middle school or high school. And it works just the same for any sort of creative project or business project or idea that you have. You make a hypothesis, you, you know, do the work. You see if it worked or not. If it didn't you tweak and try again. And if it did, then you continue. And I feel like the book was one of those things where I found a couple of notebooks a couple of couple of months ago that I've been using in my business for the past 10 years. And I was going through some of the really old ones really old, like goals and to do lists and those sorts of things from 10 years ago, was writing a book. And over and over I tested this idea of is it time for me to write this book. Maybe it's gonna be about this Let me talk to my business bestie about this idea. Let me see if I can write a proposal about this idea. And it never worked until it worked.

Kathleen Shannon 40:09
Yeah. And I think that one of my favorite tools as to speaking of that journal, and having these goals is I think that the whole book is really about setting some goals, and getting in the right mindset. So we also suffer from feeling like we don't know what we're doing from time to time. And so we will sit down, like one of the exercises in the book is a candle concentration exercise where you're sitting and staring at a flame for 10 minutes, and just keeping track of your thoughts. And I kind of felt like, I felt like, okay, I've written about this, I don't ever have to do it, because I wrote about it. And just the other day, I was losing focus and thought, Oh, I should do that thing that I recommended other people do. And I think it's easy to do that, like Yogi's, oftentimes that are teaching and lose their own practice. And so I think that we are really intentional about practicing what we preach. And one of my favorite parts in the book is that list make making magic part. And so we just talked about all the different kinds of lists that we're making all the time to do lists, bucket lists, all the lists, and we included some of our own in the book. And one of my lists I included in the book, which felt really vulnerable, was to see this very book that you are holding in your hands on the shelf at the airport. That was something I wanted to see. I still have not seen our book in the airport. But Emily has a couple of times. Yes, I guess it's a Atlanta in Atlanta. And so like, that's one of those things are where Oh, it works.

Dana Kaye 41:39
So if any of you were flying out today, if you could go to the Hudson bookseller and request that they order it. And then the next time they're in Chicago, they'll see it in the Atlanta book unless it's sold out. That's maybe

Kathleen Shannon 41:50
that is part of how it works with that list. Making magic and putting it out there is that okay? Now, I've said this to you, and even on some of our other book tour stops, people have asked us, okay, well, what's next, and I'll say a TV show anyone work for Netflix? Like, I think that's part of it is just putting it out there. And whenever you write it down, that's like the first scary step. And then you can start speaking it out loud. And it really it feels like magic. But it's not. It's just setting the goal, and then taking the steps to get there and seeing if you can recruit other people to help you get to that goal along the way. Yeah.

Dana Kaye 42:25
And if you don't know, if you people don't know what you need, then how can anyone ever help you get there? Right? Like I remember seeing I was speaking at a conference and someone asked like, what kind of authors you work with? Who would you like to work with more of and I was like, I would love some romance authors. I don't work with enough romance authors. And two weeks later, someone was like, Oh, my agent told me that you're looking for more romance authors, and I need PR, and you have to put it out there. If you just hold it to yourself. One, no one knows about it. And two, you're probably not actively working on that goal. Really, if you're just if you're not manifesting it out in the world,

Kathleen Shannon 42:56
I love that you also got really specific and said romance authors. Because I also think that that helps people understand what it is. They then see themselves like, Oh, well, I'm a romance author, then why wouldn't I hire you, I would have never dreamed of spending, you know, whatever, hiring someone like you. But I didn't realize that you wanted to work with me too. And then you can find those matches. And so I think the more specific you can get started now I'm going to start nerding out on branding. But the more specific you can get in your positioning and saying, you know who you're for. That's actually one of the things that we did in our book proposal, as we wrote, here's what this book is. And here's what this book is not. And that's something that you can also do when it comes to positioning yourself in your own businesses. This is who I'm for, or this is what I'm all about. This is who I'm not, and this is who I'm not for.

Dana Kaye 43:48
And so one question I was curious about is how did creating and launching this book compared to creating and launching your podcast?

Emily Thompson 43:57
Um, there was a little more stress involved with this one. And maybe stress isn't the right word. I mean, the listener of the podcast, the podcast was just for fun. Just for fun. Whenever we created the podcast, it was a passion project. We had no plan, there was no grand scheme. We were just like, let's record these conversations, hit publish and see what happens. And we were showing up week after week to do this. There wasn't even actually really a launch. We just sent an email out to our individual list and we're like, let's see if our moms listen. Um, so the podcast was even was I don't think minded either. Same so our moms didn't even listen.

Kathleen Shannon 44:35
write the book, they read the book, and they were real proud.

Emily Thompson 44:37
Yes. Um, so you know, the podcast was super easy, like, no stress there. There was no there was nothing in it except just doing something fun, which was so much fun and kept it really low key and low stress. But for the book, you know, having it be backed by traditional publisher, really wanting it to do well and we went into this book with a very clear goal of what we want to do is two things, one, finally write a book, because we've been talking about it for years. And two, we wanted to be able to grow the reach of the being boss brands, but really the being boss message, this idea that if you want to do the thing, show up and do it. And we think more and more people need to hear that if we had traditional or self published, only the people who were already hearing that message would have continued to hear the message. But by traditional publishing, we were able to spread it even further than that. So he went into it with his very clear goal of, let's get this book into as many hands as possible. And that upped the ante on how it was that we showed up to market and launched the book.

Kathleen Shannon 45:44
I also think that the podcast was for the lack of a better word as selfish endeavor. Like we just wanted to have these conversations and have a place to explore the conversations that we were having. And then what really surprised us about the podcast was the community that came out of it that people wanted to listen, other people were craving the conversation, we would have it, they would interact with us, but then also with each other people were starting to connect with each other through being boss. And we were like, oh, okay, this is so cool. And I think the book was an extension of that. So that was not about selfishly expressing ourselves in a book. It was about taking what we had learned this, this exploration through the podcast, focusing it in and reaching more people so that they can do the work and be boss.

Dana Kaye 46:36
Well, and that's actually how when I found you guys, it was I was listening to podcast I my business had been in maybe like, I think eight years at that point. But like I was looking at growing new endeavors. And someone in the Facebook group said, I am Joey, I am a lawyer and I just moved to Chicago or any of you in Chicago. I raised my hand. I was like, Sure, let's meet for coffee. And we have quarterly coffees to discuss business. We did a joint webinar together. Like it was a really nice thing to use an online platform to connect with people in real life. Yeah. So we're gonna go I'm gonna ask if you're afraid to do some like quick lightning round question. Yes. And then we're gonna go to q&a with you guys. So be thinking I'm asking them kind of in the back your head think about any questions you may want to ask. So and you can feel free to pass on any of them to what is the one thing that's always in your refrigerator?

Emily Thompson 47:28
Milk was the first thing that came to my mind, but I don't drink milk. Let's just say milk

Kathleen Shannon 47:34
means eggs. I have like a two dozen a week habit. I eat a lot of eggs.

Dana Kaye 47:41
And if there was a TV show based on your life, what would the theme song be? I feel like Kathleen's maybe,

Kathleen Shannon 47:47
I mean, it's got to be something Beyonce, right.

Emily Thompson 47:50
I thought of The Wonder Years theme song which may be cheating, but that's the first one that popped into my mind for whatever reason. Yeah, it speaks to how you're living your life though. That's great. Yes. So

Dana Kaye 48:01
if you were to give one book to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?

Emily Thompson 48:07
Can I cheat and say being boss? Right being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 48:14
Okay, I've got I'm gonna cheat. I have two one is reworked by Jason fight and David Heinemeier Hansson, I think that they've created this holistic, timeless book of advice when it comes to client management meetings, creating all of it, I just adore their book, and then daring greatly by Bernie Brown. I think that getting into that deeper work is so important for any creative entrepreneur. And I'm also going to cheat and say watch her 99 you conference, because it's specifically for her talk at that conference. It's an hour long, and it's specifically for creatives. And I think it really takes all of her expertise and is speaking straight to people like us.

Dana Kaye 48:54
And if you can meet any author living or dead, who would it be

Emily Thompson 48:57
JK Rowling all day? period?

Kathleen Shannon 49:01
period. Can I say Beyonce? Yeah, she had a $400 coffee table book on her website. So yeah, I didn't buy it. But I'm just gonna put that out there that I want that book.

Dana Kaye 49:17
secret. Just put it out there. Someone will say to you, and then are you what book are you currently reading? Are you currently excited about or that you recently read that you want to share?

Kathleen Shannon 49:27
We're like constantly book clubbing. So Emily just recommended a book to me called geography of genius. So I've just started that one.

Emily Thompson 49:36
Right. I'm reading a really weird book about food in business called grocery, which is maybe super nerdy and kind of boring, but I'm finding it super fascinating. And it's probably going to change the way I buy groceries.

Dana Kaye 49:47
That's really interesting, though. Yeah, cool. And then of course, what's making you feel most boss these days?

Emily Thompson 49:54
Things like this. I think book tour right now is just the most gratifying and fulfilling and exciting experience to like travel which is something we always wanted to do together and was always like one of those secret like, goals of being boss was like what if being boss helps us travel the world, again, super selfish, but we're loving it. And and also just meeting people who are doing what they want to be doing and are like in the process. We talk a lot to people who have quote, unquote, made it like who are successful and have done the thing. But we love talking to working creatives, the people who are in it doing the thing. And it's just so amazing to meet those people and to hug and all of those things because we're just like, just like you guys like sitting behind a computer all day like pressing buttons. And it's fun to go out into the world and see that the content that we're putting out in the world is encouraging people to do work that they enjoy saying that.

Kathleen Shannon 50:55
Hey, bosses, I want to tell you about the CEO day kit. The CEO day kit is 12 months of focus planning for your business in just one day. So Emily and I have packaged up the exact tools that we've been consistently using for years that have helped us grow from baby bosses to the CEOs of our own businesses. gain clarity find focus, get momentum, prioritize your time, make better decisions and become more self reliant with the CEO date kit. Go to courses that being boss club to learn more and see if it's a fit for you and your business. We'd like to give a shout out to our partner fresh books cloud accounting, you can try it for free for 30 days no credit card needed and cancel anytime. Just go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. Special thanks to our sponsor 2020 who is offering are being boss listeners of five photo free trial to start yours right now go to 20 twenty.com slash being boss. That's the word 20,000 to zero.com slash being boss to get five free photos. Thank you for listening to be boss Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot v boss club. 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 are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography,

Emily Thompson 52:30
do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.