Episode 215 // Travel, Perspective & Impact

August 13, 2019

Fresh off of their trip to Guatemala, Emily and Kathleen are ready to talk about traveling, the importance of seeing new places, and the positive impact your business can have in the world. They are also opening up about their experience in Guatemala, meeting their sponsored kids, and taking life for granted.

This Episode Brought to You By:
"So much can come out of showing up, going to different places, experiencing it with people, and broadening your view of the world."
- Emily

Discussed in this Episode

  • Why we get anxiety when we travel
  • Why traveling is important and what you can gain from it
  • Why we went to Guatemala and how the trip went
  • Using your business to make a positive impact
  • Meeting our sponsored kids and supporting their education
  • What you can take away from traveling
  • Packing tips!


Bosses that sponsored the computer lap:

  • Kita Roberts
  • Farran Tabrizi
  • Jessica Blackstock
  • Rachelle Magadan
  • Lexys Magadan
  • Merry Beth Myrick
  • Linda Gines
  • Amie Henry

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Katherine Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is being boss.

And this episode of being a boss, Kathleen and I are talking all about travel, most importantly, why it's important, as well as our trip to Guatemala with the Cooperative for Education. And our best and favorite is travel tips. As always, you can find all the tools at books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot boss dot club.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
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Kathleen Shannon 0:43
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Unknown Speaker 1:39

Emily Thompson 1:41
is a fun time.

Kathleen Shannon 1:42
It was a fun time. We need more words. And just fun because it was so many things. So many things.

Emily Thompson 1:49
I keep having people ask me like how was your time? And I'm just like, how long do you got this? I wrote the whole rollercoaster of emotions. So it was a fun time.

Kathleen Shannon 2:00
If you follow us on Instagram, my sister was telling me that we always look like we have a fun time together. Like we're always just laughing. In fact. I mean, we laugh more together than I laugh with just about anybody.

Emily Thompson 2:14
I agree. I've thought about that. Actually, since we've gotten back. I'm like I haven't laughed since I saw. Which is not true. Exactly.

But kind of like I don't laugh with anyone else like that either.

Kathleen Shannon 2:27
So it's funny, because we just got back and the truth of it is neither of us were super excited about going,

Emily Thompson 2:35
huh. That is a ugly truth is what that is right. I was stressed about this trip, more than I have about any trip ever. But I will say there's also been a couple of trips before that I felt really stressed out and remember that time we did our book shoot in New Orleans. Yeah, years ago. I had so much anxiety the night before that trip, and I don't think I ever told you but I'm telling you about it right now. I was freaked out for whatever reason. This trap was even more than that. And what he was you were freaked out about? Well, my business partner is someone who always goes to the worst case scenario. Meaning Kathleen here. Anyone who's hung out with Kathleen knows that she's immediately like, well, what if I die?

Kathleen Shannon 3:20
Yeah, we're we're all gonna die. I've ever told you that I get a lot of comfort flying with you. Because I'm like, if I'm going down, you're going down with me. And at least they're not dying alone.

Unknown Speaker 3:31
Right, then

Emily Thompson 3:32
somebody else can figure out all of our shit. No, I right. So just a lot of anxiety. And I didn't really think about it until you came to me with some of the shit that your dad was saying.

Kathleen Shannon 3:45
I know. So I had a lot of anxiety about this trip just because of what's happening politically, specifically between the Guatemala and Mexico border. And, you know, some of the policies around that is pretty horrific people who are seeking asylum can't get it. And so, you know, in America, what we think of as retaliation, and that people are gonna be mad about it. And we're two blonde girls going into Guatemala, it's gonna be like brokedown Palace, Claire Danes, we're going to accidentally be carrying someone's drugs and be sent to jail. I mean, this is just where I spiral into,

Emily Thompson 4:19
right? It can go there really quickly sometimes. So usually, I don't, usually I'm not really thinking about those things, but then you'll bring them up and I'm like, Oh, wait, that could actually happen. But then we got an email that was like, wear pants because Zika and I was like, Wait, what? And not trying to have another kid or anything, but I still don't want Zika. So just a lot of this sort of preparation things we were having to do around you know, getting shots and wearing pants and buying DEET and all of these things. It kind of ended up equating to quite a bit of anxiety.

Kathleen Shannon 4:50
Yeah, and I didn't get shots or D.

Emily Thompson 4:53
Me neither. Me neither.

Kathleen Shannon 4:57
So I think that there's always a little bit of anxiety. That goes into any travel just this stuff like, Am I gonna wake up on time to get to the airport? And what am I going to pack, but add on to that international travel. And I think in general, the culture of America is not very travel centric. I know that there's this culture in america that's like you should be scared of everywhere But America,

Emily Thompson 5:20
right, except I think we all know that America is just as scary if not more scary than the other places that we go to turns out,

Kathleen Shannon 5:29
but we were so glad that we went, you know, by the time we were on the flight, so we met together in Atlanta. And by the time we were on our flight together and landing in Guatemala City, and then especially driving into Antigua, we knew we had made the right decision, for sure. And going into it, I knew that once we were together in Atlanta, that's when I could just look forward to the trip. And that's where I usually find myself, it's

Emily Thompson 5:56
like, the anxiety building up to it, I just want to be sitting in the airport. Like, that's always the point where I can just release it all and just be there and do it. But there is a lot that goes into preparing for any kind of big travel, especially International.

Kathleen Shannon 6:11
Fortunately, we didn't have to do a lot of that prep, because we were partnering up with the Cooperative for Education, who was handling all of the on ground logistics of what we would be doing in Guatemala, which was really, really nice. They were so professional and on top of everything. But beyond all of that, you know, beyond the planning and prepping and packing, which we will be talking about. In the last segment of this episode, we will be giving you all of our tips and tricks on how we get prepared for big travel. And I want to talk a little bit about why it's important to travel both personally and professionally.

Emily Thompson 6:48
Let us count the ways as much as we will talk about getting anxious before travel. And I will say do I don't get anxious before all travel like I am a traveler, I love travel, I will go anywhere, anytime just asked me buy me a plane ticket and I'm there for sure. However, occasionally, I will get a little anxious. And it's usually like during busy parts of my life and to work like the idea of doing all the things so that I can leave always brings up a lot of anxiety. So anyway, all the anxiety aside, love traveling. And my favorite thing is my favorite thing is experiencing in different places and different culture, there is a shift and broadening of perspective that happens when you travel to different places. And that can literally be to a city that's just, you know, a day's drive from you. It can be a very long flight away from you, it can be near or far. Either way, that broadening of perspective that comes from being in different places, seeing different landscapes, eating different foods, seeing different architecture and talking to different people does some really awesome things to your outlook on the world.

Kathleen Shannon 8:01
For me, I love the way that travel makes the world a little bit smaller, you know, sometimes we feel so separate and so distanced from our global neighbors. And it's so easy to remember that borders are not a real thing, you know, and that we're all in this together and that we can see a lot of the world and find commonalities and celebrate our differences. And like you said with, you know, the colors and the food and the smells and nature and it's all just so expansive and inspiring. And so for me, I just always feel really connected before I went to Nepal, I would not have been as connected to you know, an earthquake in Nepal or like a or as whenever the landslides but with snow called avalanches. Yeah, there's an avalanche on Everest, and it was devastating and, and it for me, it just gives me a lot more compassion, not that I don't care. Whenever those things happen without having been there, I do care. I just don't, I'm not able to internalize that kind of compassion as much as I do. When I've been there when I've met people who live there, you know, and then you just hold those people in your heart for the rest of your life. And you can just become a much better neighbor on a global sense.

Emily Thompson 9:26
I read a quote yesterday, and I'm totally going to butcher this I need to go back and find it. But the idea of it was that you protect the things you love, and you love the things you take time to understand. And I think that that plays perfectly into this where maybe we're not necessarily protecting things, but we do have this connection to things that we take the time to experience and understand. And that's right there right there with you. There's something that happens to your connection to a place to a people to, you know, a landscape, whatever it may be when Never you take the time to be there and experience it and soak it

Unknown Speaker 10:04

Kathleen Shannon 10:05
You know, I also feel this way very much about professional travel and networking and attending conferences, it's one thing to have an online network. And then it's another thing to travel and meet the people and have real conversations to be breathing the same air, you just become so much more emotionally connected to your peers whenever you travel to hang out with them. So, Emily, I know that even you host mastermind groups, and is not just connecting over zoom, which has saved our lives and has helped us grow so much. And we are constantly staying connected over zoom and over Marco Polo. But like we were saying earlier, we don't laugh like we do. Over zoom like we do whenever we're together in person. And the same can be said for the conversations that you have just even in transit with people going from one place from point A to point B, and van, you're having these conversations, and some of them are serious, and some of them are silly, but all of them add to your experience and they add to your relationship.

Emily Thompson 11:06
For sure. Another thing I love about travel is how inspired I always leave any place like ugly or pretty, or whatever it may be. So much happens to there's the creative side of your brain when you are getting this extra additional outside input visually or audibly, or whatever it may be. That it always sparks some amazing inspiration for coming back and, and doing the things we do. And if you're a creative who sometimes misses inspiration you have these days or weeks or months where you're not feeling inspired, go somewhere, see something different. I have never come back from a trip and not had something new and exciting to either put on paper or you know, design on my computer or whatever it may be. Inspiration always comes from from travel.

Kathleen Shannon 12:03
I also think that so many of us say that we value things like resiliency and adventure. But we don't like the hard feelings that come with that. And travel for me is always a reminder that sometimes adventure means that you're going to get caught in the rain. Sometimes resiliency means that your flight is going to be rebooked, and you just have to deal with it. And you have to you who are you going to be in that process? Are you going to be that jerk that's complaining to a flight, you know, staff that can't do anything about it? Or are you going to be that person that just goes with the flow. So for me, travel gives me an opportunity to define who I am and who I want to be out of the context of my own home. It allows me to get out of my own head and to have different challenges and different problems than the ones that I'm used to facing in my day to day routine. And I'm so appreciative of that.

Emily Thompson 12:57
Yes, we were talking about this before we left this idea that you know, we talk often about, about practicing your values and setting intentions and those kinds of things. But that's relatively easy to do in the day to day life that you've built around practicing your values and setting those intentions. But what is it like to be resilient in another country where you have none of your comforts? Or what is it to be adventurous when you are you can't control anything about the adventure you're having? I think I think that it is it's quite stretching for a person to do big travel and still hold your values and intentions in mind. I think it helps you cultivate those within you even stronger.

Kathleen Shannon 13:49
What would you say your favorite thing about traveling is or what was maybe even your favorite thing about traveling to Guatemala.

Emily Thompson 13:57
landscape is huge to me so geographer background. I'm super interested in what the earth looks like in different places. So as we were driving down the road I think I quickly started maybe not getting on peoples nerves by any means but like people learned who I was pretty quickly in that we're driving by and everyone's all like oh look at that funny car that like very beautiful bias or whatever I'm like oh my god look at that tree. So for me like looking at the landscape and looking at the vegetation and I thought it was amazing result fiddle leaf figs growing like weeds on the sides of mountains or like snake plants used as used as landscaping and things like that. I that is super fascinating to me looking at landscapes looking at the plants. I was all asking, like, what's the native wildlife here? And everybody's like, I don't know. Those are the things that I'm interested in. And part of that too. You know, I loved like seeing the volcanoes and stuff while we were in Guatemala. Like I like seeing things that I don't see in the middle of Chattanooga, or here in, you know, the south of the USA. So for me always landscapes, vegetation, Wildlife, if applicable. And from that to food, I experienced places through food I want to eat. Not quite anything, because if you put something too weird in front of me, I do have limits, I do have some boundaries. But I do love experiencing the food of places because that is like the human nature connection. It's the food that you eat that comes from places. So those two things are probably my favorite. What about you?

Kathleen Shannon 15:38
Yeah, food, for sure is a big one. You know, there was a couple, there was a couple of nights where we were eating in at the hotel, and we snuck off and grabbed some food and not that it was necessarily, particularly local cuisine, because we ended up grabbing pizza, and it wasn't even that great. But we got to walk through the streets of, you know, Guatemala, panna headshell, I think is the city that we were in Yes. And so is you know, getting to experience more of the cityscape by foot, you know, that slow travelers slow travel moments where you're walking on foot and getting to see people and do some people watching people watching is huge for me while I'm traveling, that's always really exciting. I also love Oh, and back to the food thing, too, because this is a big thing that I picked up from you, Emily that I've started doing that really helps me remember and document my trips is to write down everywhere we age. I love that so much. I think it's such a good way to journal your trip or to help spark memories of where you've been and what you did. And it just helps solidify, you know, the whole the whole shebang. But the other thing for me, and I wasn't really expecting this, it just came up for me, though, are those moments in transit. I think that those moments always stick out for me whenever it comes to travel. So for this trip in Guatemala, specifically getting on the boat and driving across the lake, you know, or, and in the conversations that happen, we were on a van a lot. I know that that is not appealing at all to you, Emily, because you suffer from some motion sickness. Yes,

Emily Thompson 17:19
I do. I had good conversations laying down.

Kathleen Shannon 17:25
The Yeah, those conversations that happen while you're in transit, or just getting to see a lot, you know, going from point A to point B, I always think that that's really interesting and exciting. And you get to see things like what are the gas stations here look like. And I mentioned this too, because one of my earliest travel trips and a rise younger that really stood out and made an impression on me was going to New York, I was probably 13 or 14 and getting on the subway, I had my Felicity moment. I felt so cool getting on the subway. And now it just seems like no big deal if not an inconvenience, but remembering how magical that once was. Or I one thing that sticks out to me is once Jeremy and I were in Mexico, and we took a local collect TiVo, a local van that local workers were using to get to and from work to go visit some ruins outside of Toulouse. And I will never forget that what it's like to be on a local van. So those moments always really stuck out to me, I would say are kind of third like the mortar between the bricks of the travel.

Emily Thompson 18:34
Yes, for sure. So and it's funny that you say that because for me, it's the that for me is the meals like there was one evening we were sitting having pizza. I remember like having a moment of thinking like I will remember this moment forever, like sitting under that cute little tree, eating our pizza, having the conversation for me, it's it's always those moments of sitting around sharing a meal with people and the topics that come up. And that's why I journal food is like so much context for me as added, you know, during or around those meals, where those are like, those are like the anchor points for me for a trip. The great cocktails you had the great food you had the great conversation you had and what you did just before and just after. And the way you know, we usually do it, there's a lot of eating. So you're basically talking about the entire trip. If you just write down the food. All of that to say though, traveling for us is something that will spark some anxiety and is difficult. It's hard to block off a week from a busy schedule to do no work at all and it's hard to get your family situated and it's difficult to make all the plans and show up and do it. But I always find that the return on investment is many times fold set I'm sure many times returned have have that many times returned. Because so much can come out of showing up going to different places experiencing it with people. And I don't know just broadening your view of the world, whether that is relatively near to you or as far away as you can get. We know that when it comes to booking travel, it's oftentimes a big calendar game. Because as a boss, we know your calendar is full. When it comes to managing blocks of time for travel and taking care of all the little meetings along the way, we use acuity scheduling to help us make time for what's most important to us. acuity scheduling helps us reschedule meetings with clients. So we can make room for adventure and keeps our scheduled time away free from those unexpected meetings that always seem to pop up at the last moment by synching with our calendars and automating scheduling and reminders for our clients. acuity saves us from the day to day drudgery of having to manage it all by hand, leaving us time to choose just the right outfits and scope out those must eat meals. For a limited time only you can get 45 days of acuity scheduling absolutely free, no credit card required by going to acuity scheduling, calm slash being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 21:28
bosses who have signed up for podia have made 10,150 for sales for a total of almost $655,000 in revenue. We don't know a boss who isn't currently thinking about scaling their business online. And if you were to ask us about creating online courses, digital downloads and memberships, well, we'd send you to podia. podia is an all in one hassle free platform for online courses, digital downloads and memberships. we've researched all the platforms and hands down podia is the best podia has a 14 day free trial with no credit card required. Try it out for free and get 15% off for life by signing up@podio.com slash bosses. Again, that's podia comm slash bosses. Okay, so we were just in Guatemala, because we teamed up with the nonprofit Cooperative for Education, whose mission is to use education, you know, to really just educate kids out of poverty and to break the cycle of poverty through education. And what's interesting about this is, I don't know how many years ago, Emily, your soon after we saw that being boss was gaining popularity and gaining a platform. We couldn't help but ask how can this platform make a difference? How can we make a greater impact, really specifically around the nonprofit space? And we had tried a couple of things, including doing a pre order incentive with our book new and says sending someone more swag. How about we donate $1 to a nonprofit of our choice? Yes, it's great to support nonprofits with your dollar bills and with your treasure. But you know, we're not like Bill Gates over here. We don't have enough money to make the kind of impact that we desire,

Emily Thompson 23:16
for sure. And does they do we've also done we've written checks many times behind the scenes to nonprofits that we care about. And I will also say to your Cooperative for Education, they're often called co Ed for short. So if you hear us saying co Ed, you know, they were talking about the same thing. But we did we were talking about how we can make a greater impact, how could we use the platform that we've built to mean something bigger than just telling some graders how to do email marketing, or whatever it may be. And that is important because your ability to grow? what it is that you do only adds to all of our ability to give to causes that we deem important. So we did, we've always said out loud, well, what can we do? How can we get involved? What does that look like? And we just sort of put that out into the world and kind of waited to see what happened, and it's a good thing we did because something happened?

Kathleen Shannon 24:10
Yeah, so co Ed reached out to us. They have a couple of people on staff that listen to the podcast, and they thought that we would be a good fit to team up with them. You know, they know that we go to New Orleans every year and have a vacation. Hashtag being boss Nola. And they said, What if there was a hashtag being boss, Guatemala? What if you all were able to travel the world and make an impact and use your platform to do some good, and we check them out? I don't have a huge history with working with nonprofits, but I do know that some of them their intentions are good, but their sustainability models might do more harm than help. Right? And this is a serious problem. And you know, trying to save the world is hard work and not everyone gets it right and everyone's just doing their best. I hope that everyone's doing their best. But it was really important to us that we worked with someone who had been properly vetted, and who was doing sustainable, good work in Guatemala, or, you know, wherever. And so we checked them out. Like that was the first part of working with them as we got on Skype. And we had a conversation about, okay, who are you? What is it that you're doing? Do your values align with our values? Have you been vetted by organized organizations like Charity Navigator, and they have been, they've been, they've given, you know, a stamp of approval from the Obama Foundation, Charity Navigator, some other like watchdog groups, which is really reassuring, but then even just talking to them and hearing about their model of sustainability, from getting computers into classrooms, to having schools invest in their own textbook programs. It really creates this model where it's going to keep working for itself.

Emily Thompson 25:59
For sure, and I will say to that it was multiple conversations, we had many conversations with them about what this what they were doing, how they were doing it, what the impact look like, how we could be involved, how bosses could be involved, what happens whenever this happens, or have you guys considered this thing, and they've been around for so long, that they've figured it out. Like they're not some, you know, a newbie organization that only has it half figured out. They've been doing this for over 20 years. So for us, it was a really great fit. And I will also say, because they had a conversation with about or had a conversation with a boss about this a while in Guatemala. Another thing that was very interesting to us, and important for us is that they are not religious based. So they really are about going into these communities, and educating them on just education, teaching them how to read.

Kathleen Shannon 26:55
Yeah, and you know, actually, I have to say that I think that a lot of faith based organizations are doing so much good in the world. I did not grow up religious. And that's part of the reason why I probably haven't gotten as involved in some philanthropic efforts as I would like to is because that just wasn't a part of my culture growing up

Emily Thompson 27:16
well, and it was a part of mine, which is why I didn't want to be a part of it now. So both sides of that coin,

Kathleen Shannon 27:22
exactly. But you know, I don't identify with any sort of specific faith or religion. And so for me, it just wouldn't feel authentic to team up with a faith based organization, though, I know that a lot of them are doing good work. But that was another big pro for working with CO Ed. And in one of our earlier conversations with the Cooperative for Education, one of the things that they said was, yeah, you could talk about us on your podcast, that's great and all but we want you to come to Guatemala, we want you to see it and experience it. And we think it'd be cool if you invited your community to tag along just like you do for New Orleans. So that's how we ended up going to Guatemala. And we invited some bosses to come with us. And we had no idea what the turnout would be, you know, on a busy year, going to New Orleans will have 75 up to 100 people wanting to come there's been years where we've had a waitlist that. So we had no idea what to expect. For being boss, Guatemala, it was about 10 bosses that signed up to go,

Emily Thompson 28:27
I think so 1012 I think yes, including us. I think there were 12. So 12,

Kathleen Shannon 28:31
and then a few other people that co Ed opened up the tour to came along as well. And by the end of it, they felt like bosses, so probably about half a dozen or so other people joined along.

Emily Thompson 28:45
Yes, yes. So teachers, we had some, some Rotary Club members, we had some a couple really great ladies who were retired and just going to Guatemala to do as much good work as they could. It was a really fab group of people.

Kathleen Shannon 29:03
So we ended up going to Guatemala, and it was incredible. And again, there it is one thing just to support these efforts from afar, and it is another to see it and even makes talking about this trip a little bit difficult to a audience. You know, that hasn't been so we might keep it brief. But I just want to share a little bit more about our experience in Guatemala with CO Ed and what that was like.

Emily Thompson 29:28
So first of all, co Ed does a couple of different kinds of trips to Guatemala. And the one that we went on was called their snapshot Tour, which was a mix of some touristy things along with doing some school visits to actually be a part of some of the programs that they put on and they have multiple programs that they do from early education. So sending just story books to kids in first second, third grade. They have some middle school, some middle school programs. Where they're sending in textbooks or putting computer labs into schools. And then they also have a high school program, where they are teaching youth development and, and career skills to kids in high school. And program for the high schoolers isn't just about career development. It's really about getting these kids through school because the graduation rate in Guatemala is really low, less than 20%, according to co Ed, which consider that for a moment, think of you hanging out with nine of your friends, and only two of you have a high school diploma. That is what Guatemala is like in terms of education. So their plan is to get lots more people. And whenever kids are going through their programs, there's an 80% graduation rate, as opposed to the usual 20%, which is a huge shift from what is happening, and places where their program isn't taking place.

Kathleen Shannon 31:02
Yeah, and part of the burden for high schoolers is that one they're of working age. And then two, high school, public education does cost money in Guatemala. So it's kind of a double hit for them to one not be available to work for their family, and then to be paying for school. So that's actually what we participate in Emily, each of us sponsor, a seventh grader, my kiddo is a seventh grader is yours as well? Yes, yes. So we are both sponsoring a seventh grader through school this year, I plan on sponsoring my kid through school all the way until she graduates which I'm hoping that she'll do in five years.

Emily Thompson 31:43
Absolutely. And so doing that is one way that we're showing up in a way that feels very tangible. Again, oftentimes, we're just, you know, throwing money at charities not really knowing where it's going to. But the fun thing about this, and there are lots of lots of nonprofits in the world that do things like this. But it feels very tangible for us to, you know, pick out a student or they will randomly pick a student for us to know that the money that we're paying directly goes to their education. And one of the great things about this Guatemala job was that we actually got to meet the kid that we are sponsoring, which was such a special thing to show up at this school, to have you know, someone call our name. And then as I go up and meet the kid that we're sponsoring that we've that we've been sponsoring for a couple of months now, for me, I also unexpectedly met her dad, which was quite a magical moment. And it was also kind of by chance, though, I'm sure I would have met him later, we ended up getting separated into into a group together. And he came up to me it was like, I'm her dad. And I was like, wait, what did you just say to me? It was amazing. And he was so kind and so grateful. And even shared a little bit in the group later about how you know how he only has a sixth grade education. This program allows him to put his daughter through school in a way that he never had the opportunity to do. And me being there was really special for both of them, but was ridiculously special for me as well.

Kathleen Shannon 33:20
Yeah, I got to meet my girl's mom. And it was funny, because at one point, her mom wanted to take more photos of us and she was like, No mom, all embarrassed. I was like, whatever, we can take more photos.

Emily Thompson 33:32
Fine. Right. I also think that another fun thing about this, so I think I can't remember if we specifically chose ours co Ed sent us a list of kids that were available for sponsoring, or if we were just like, just choose this one, we had them choose for us. Yeah, that would be okay. So we had them choose for us. And then by magical chance, mining Kathleen's kids are friends, which relies in a frenzy. So it just goes to show that I don't know what that goes to show except that it was an amazing experience for all of us, and really special and is one of those things that makes for me coming home. And getting back to work had significant more meaning because I now know that I'm not only working for my family. And you know, for those of you listening to the podcast podcast, who are supporting your families, but it's also directly affecting and supporting a family in Guatemala that would not otherwise have the opportunity to get basic education that here we all take for granted. I came home and my kid was griping about some school stuff. And I was like, Oh my god, I don't even want to hear it. Don't even go there. You are so wonderfully privileged say? Yes, ma'am. Thank you. Ever maybe because the opportunities like that just don't exist. And in Guatemala Wow, yeah, it

Kathleen Shannon 35:01
was really interesting getting to read storybooks to kids that were my son's age. So getting to read books to kindergarteners and seeing how much they had in common, and then also how different it was, you know, I feel like Fox goes to a Montessori School and he hasn't really good. Oh, and this is another thing, the amount that it cost for me to put my child Kimberly through school for a year is what it costs for me to put Fox through his preschool for one month. So really, I'm just thinking five months of a preschool budget, spreading it out over five years, and I'm getting a kid through high school. It just feels doable. It feels manageable, and being there in person and seeing the need has made it definitely a priority.

Emily Thompson 35:51
For sure. For me now, it's no question like, of course, of course, we're going to be continued being involved in that capacity. But we were also immediately brainstorming ways that we can be more involved as being boss, what can it look like for us to do this, because I will say to even to back up and talk a little bit more about the mission that really drew us into it was, what co ed is trying to do is they're trying to break a cycle of poverty that is present in, especially rural Guatemala, but really most of Guatemala. And so it's this idea that if you teach a kid how to read, they can get a job that is better than their parents jobs, they'll have kids who will never feel the kind of poverty that they had to as children. So at that point, you're breaking a cycle of poverty that has been in place for ever basically, just by teaching someone how to read because the illiteracy rate in Guatemala is very high. And the biggest difference in a place like that is one just teaching kids how to read and to actually getting them through high school.

Kathleen Shannon 37:04
I want to take a little volcano break.

Emily Thompson 37:07
Let's do it.

Kathleen Shannon 37:08
So at one point we were sitting on our balcony at this beautiful hotel overlooking Lake Atty. land at a time at I'm sure. Okay, so we were overlooking this beautiful lake. And there's a couple of volcanoes and Emily and I were like, what would happen if that volcano erupted? Right?

Emily Thompson 37:29
So let's also precede this with it with a conversation had around how this volcano erupts every 50 years. And oh, wait, it last erupted 45 years ago.

Kathleen Shannon 37:41
So we're do any minute now. So of course me going to worst case scenario and we're all gonna die. I was just thinking about how this volcano is gonna kill us.

Emily Thompson 37:49
Right? So we're sitting there on our balcony chilling after a multi hour bus ride. Looking at this beautiful view, and it's like, what if this thing blows right now what would happen? And of course I go through scenarios of I would love to see it. But can I please have a helicopter waiting right here to like airlift me out? That would be great.

Kathleen Shannon 38:10
And then I'm like, the ashes are gonna burn the helicopter blades.

Emily Thompson 38:14
Oh, right. Yeah, that case, your lungs as well?

Kathleen Shannon 38:18
Oh, for sure. Right. So then I thought, well, we're on a lake. So I bet that the vault like the volcano, the lava is going to come down the mountain and go into the lake and just cool off before it gets to us. But then I thought no, no, because we've all seen the movie, Dante's peak is going to turn that lake into boiling acid. When seen I forgot about as we were sitting then I'm glad I forgot about it is that the grandma is getting the grandkids across the way.

Emily Thompson 38:49
I forgot about that

Kathleen Shannon 38:50
too. And she gets out to pull the boat out in this acid lava lake. She's saving her baby. She's saving her grandkids and boils her legs off.

Emily Thompson 39:01
Yeah. Right. So that was also the moment that Kathleen and I realized that we both at some point in the 90s watch Dante speak, we hope that you have to.

Kathleen Shannon 39:11
And then I thought what if the volcano creates a tsunami of sorts, and then this hot boiling lava water just splashes up on us?

Emily Thompson 39:21
Right that could have happened. That could have happened all that to say nothing happened.

Unknown Speaker 39:26
Nothing at all.

Emily Thompson 39:27
The next day, we wrote a boat across that beautiful lake and nothing burned, which was wonderful. But it was let me think about pretty consistently. Oh, I'll also point out the first night that we were there we felt an earthquake. Like we both thought it was Yeah, we thought it was a bus like driving down the road next to our hotel or something. And then woke up the next morning you had a text from your husband saying that Oh, did you guys feel the earthquake? And we're like, Well, yes, we did feel that earthquake. So that was kind of crazy. But apparently they have earthquakes like every other day, so it's not really That crazy, right?

Kathleen Shannon 40:04
So yeah, we alternated some touristy stuff like chocolate making and visiting a weaving cooperative. Checking out the volcano zip lining I went zip lining while you went on a coffee Tour, which I think sums up who we are as people agreed to completely agreed.

Emily Thompson 40:21
I will say too though, let's go back to that weaving Co Op because that was the piece that I was most excited about was going to this place where it was a cooperative of women in their community or in this community that got together to build this cooperative, where they are doing full process of like taking the cotton and turning it into a thread and then dyeing the thread and then weaving it into beautiful things like hammocks and scarves and bags and ponchos, I may have gotten a couple of those, and all kinds of things and turning it into finished product. It was this really amazing one, let's also talk about the woman who was giving the presentation with her with her grandchild just like by her side. Yeah, causing a bit of a ruckus, but like the most adorable ruckus on the face of the planet. And it was one of those moments where I thought if that was an American boss, that baby would not be there. And that baby would be like hidden somewhere.

Kathleen Shannon 41:17
So I kind of had the opposite feeling because I thought that the world that we're creating, as bosses right now, with these flexible work in life, I mean, it made me think about how you're homeschooling your child, and she's showing up at the market with you and helping you and that's kind of a part of her education. I think that for me, it reminded me of these family values that we have as creative entrepreneurs, and really getting our kids in the fold.

Emily Thompson 41:48
Yes, I do agree with that. I do agree with that. But I do think that's only in our circles outside of our circles that would not have happened but I love seeing at a time. And I will say to you once she told us that they had created this cooperative to you know, help supplement family income and all of these things. And it was all women hold the bosses were just like, take all of my money. Yeah, we will buy everything in the store. No need to ask wise weed people who would go buy a whole bunch of things and then find more things and go buy that do it was amazing. And it felt amazingly supportive to show up in that way to support the women of this community who were in crafting beautiful things. And it was a beautiful mix of like, passion for a process and creating beautiful things, but also sharing with others, they, you know, did these really great presentations. It was wonderful it was that was definitely ended up being one of the highlights of my trip, as I knew it would be.

Kathleen Shannon 42:45
So I think overall, we are you know, as a organization here at being boss, pretty committed to continuing to work with Cooperative for Education. 100%. I mean, we will keep sponsoring our children, and we hope that some of you all will be inspired to go on future trips with us to Guatemala. We see one of those happening again. Yeah, um, so yeah, and big shout out because on the final night of our time in Guatemala, we were having kind of a team dinner. And we were talking about ways that you can get involved and participate. And even if you didn't go to Guatemala with us, you can participate. You can go in with your business bestie and sponsor a child through high school, it's $80 a month, if you went in with a business bestie it would be $40 each. But then we found out that the bosses attending with us, were going in to sponsor a computer lab.

Emily Thompson 43:49
And I'll say two, they didn't warn us. We had no idea they had like all cleaned up and done this, I'd gotten together. And so we're Kathleen and I are staying in front of everyone's sort of giving like final final goodbyes, like Final notes, final takeaways, all these things and balls to raise their hand and she was like, well, we just want you to know that you guys have inspired us. This has been such a great trip. And we're all getting together to sponsor a computer lab. And my waterworks almost turned on, like I had to turn around and fan my face a bit. Because that's amazing. To have or to bring some bosses to Guatemala. For us, it was just like, let's see what this thing looks like. What does it look like? And what would it be like to be involved to be the catalyst that brought this group of bosses to being a to Guatemala to have them show up and be so moved, that they are going to get together and support a computer lab in a rural community that might not otherwise have access to that kind of resources that can change the you know, the whole trajectory of what it is that they're going to do with their lives. was sort of a culmination of many years work that definitely will have an impact so far beyond you listening to this podcast or things that we can do, you know, either publicly or behind the scenes. That for me was everything.

Kathleen Shannon 45:18
So the bosses that are sponsoring that computer station include kita Roberts

Emily Thompson 45:25
Ferran to brizzi,

Kathleen Shannon 45:27
Jessica Blackstock,

Emily Thompson 45:29
Rochelle Magadan, and her daughter, Alexis,

Kathleen Shannon 45:32
Mary Beth Merrick who's been on every single boss trip with us,

Emily Thompson 45:36
which makes her total boss but actually, that doesn't even make her total while she's just total boss. Anyway, next,

Unknown Speaker 45:43
Linda gyns and Amy Henry, thank you all so much.

Emily Thompson 45:50
Now, if we've inspired you to look into how you can help more, we encourage you to go to cooperative for education's website, and see all the amazing things they're doing. You can find them@coeduc.org that co Ed you see.org to find out more about all the things that they're up to. We would love for you to consider getting your mastermind group involved to sponsor a high school student, or think about getting together a group of your boss friends to sponsor a computer lab. Anything helps and it's such a great way for you to get involved with giving back in your business and one that we've scoped out for you so we know that it's a good use of your time, energy and money. Also, if you have any questions for us, or want to brainstorm ways that you can be more involved, we invite you to send us an email, you're going to find us at Hello at being boss club. Shipping and mailing from your desk has never been simpler than with sin pro online from Pitney Bowes. With send pro online from Pitney Bowes. It's just a click Send and save for as low as $4.99 a month. Send envelopes, flats and packages right from your desk and you are back to business in no time. And for being a being boss listener you'll receive a free 30 day trial to get started and a free 10 pound scale to ensure that you never overpay save time and money on mailing and shipping with send pro online starting at $4.99. You also can qualify for special USPS rates for letters and Priority Mail shipping, calculate exact postage online and print from your PC. Go to pb.com slash beam boss to access this special offer for a free 30 day trial plus a free 10 pound scale to get started. That's p b.com. Slash being boss. Experience shipping Made Simple with a free trial of sem pro online from Pitney Bowes.

Kathleen Shannon 48:03
Alright, so I went to just share a few of our key takeaways from Guatemala. And this is the cool thing. I mean, we're probably going to continue to have reflections and insights upon our time in Guatemala. That's what travel does. It evolves with you as you come home and contrast your experience with your current circumstances. I know for me, I'm constantly learning more about myself and my experiences as time progresses. But for now, some of our key takeaways from Guatemala. So my first one is that travel is expensive and it is worth it. It's worth the anxiety that comes with prepping and planning. It's worth the money. And truly nothing makes you richer than travel.

Emily Thompson 48:54
Yes, it is worth it. I completely agree with that and expansive in ways that you will never anticipate until you've done it. One of the big things that came up for me during this trip and you know our fellow boss Rochelle, I know mentioned this multiple times especially is that or backup, the guy who led our trip His name is Howard Grand aguar hogwash. That's right. That's inside joke guys. This is what fun happens whenever we go on trips. He told us a little bit, actually every day he or Abby who was also on the trip would tell us things about what's going on in the country, what's going on with the organization, how it's all working. And one day he was telling us that the important thing about literacy and learning how to read is that it is very difficult for you to have dreams or thoughts if you don't have words to represent them. So if you are not growing your vocabulary if you are not learning to read if you're not expanding your your ideas of the world through reading then You can't have big dreams. And for me that blew my mind. And it did for most of the bosses on the trip. So we all know how to read, I think pretty much anyone who's listening this podcast high five. But that doesn't mean that we get to stop. I think for us, it's bigger, we have to read more, listen more, explore more never stopped doing those things. Because it is our It is our expansive vocabulary and exposure to other ideas that gives us the capacity to dream big dreams, to have amazing thoughts. And then to take the action to make the difference that we want to make.

Kathleen Shannon 50:45
Kind of along those lines. One of the big key takeaways for me was that creativity, which is one of my core values, it's one of the words that comes up over and over and over again, creativity, creativity, creativity, it doesn't happen on its own, and that it requires safety, you have to have your basic needs met, you have to not be under the kind of stress that these kids that we met, and the stress that their parents are under, in order to be creative. You know, and so, I know that a lot of times, there's this attitude that if you just work hard enough, you can rise above you know, especially in America, like you just need to work harder. And, and you know, even in the creative entrepreneurs circles, you know, the hustle is glamorized often. And I do think it's important, like working hard in the hustle, it's good for getting somewhere. But if you want to be truly creative and truly innovative, you have to feel safe, and you have to feel secure. And I don't know where to go from there. But it's something that I'll be chewing on for a while.

Emily Thompson 51:59
And I think from that one of another one of my big takeaways is that we take so much shit for granted. And I know we all say that, like you don't even understand your privilege, run all the things we hear you. But when is the last time you actually put yourself in a place where you truly recognize how great you have it like when was the last time you left your home, left your city left your country and went somewhere truly uncomfortable and not uncomfortable, because maybe they just speak another language, but uncomfortable because people are living in a way that you cannot imagine living. I definitely came back. So happy that my streets aren't filled with potholes. Or that or it's simple. It can be simple things like that, or, you know, being able to flush my toilet paper was a big one for me. But also just the fact that being able to read as a standard that we don't question, or having access to great health care, even if we're paying out our ask for it is available. I think that I know that we all take an immense amount of things for granted. And before you start, you know, pointing fingers at someone who's taking things for granted, make sure that you're putting yourself in places where you truly understand what you're taking for granted to

Kathleen Shannon 53:22
Yeah, the perspective that this trip offered. It just goes so far, you know, and it's one of those things where you come home and after visiting a home that was literally made from cinder blocks and corrugated tin. And that's about it, or has a dirt floor? You know, we we saw this with our eyeballs, it makes you a little less jealous of that Moroccan rug that so and so has on Instagram.

Emily Thompson 53:53

Unknown Speaker 53:55
absolutely, I

Emily Thompson 53:56
definitely am having less jealousy feelings and more grateful feelings. For sure or, and also, like you were talking about with safety like, I definitely take for granted how many structures are in place that keep me safe and happy and full of good food and you know, whatever whatever it may be. We even were joking around at one point like definitely less tolerance for bosses who are going to show up and cry about you know, whatever, whatever whatever it is because there are people in the world who are in harder situations than you are listening to us here on your smartphone, who are showing up and doing work in ways that would blow your mind would blow your mind. So I definitely came home feeling significantly more grateful feeling significantly more taken care of and secure and safe. And even that recognized recognition that leaves me in a place where I feel more capable of being created. Have, and I feel more capable of being grateful. And I feel more capable of showing up and doing the work without worrying about really anything. You know, I

Kathleen Shannon 55:09
came home more inspired to get involved locally. You know, and I know that there can be a little bit of kickback whenever you go and travel abroad on nonprofit tribes like, Well, what about here? Well, I came back realizing that you can really have big impact by starting small and it's not lost on me that there were two back to back shootings not far from either of our homes, you know, in the grand scheme of things. And we can do something about it, you know, and so I came back inspired, I'm going to go to more local meetings and know that I don't have to save the world to get involved because the idea of saving the world, it will paralyze you, you know, you can just start one action at a time. But that's the key is action. This is what this has made me realize that whenever you put your body in a place that matters, you can have so much more impact than just retweeting something.

Emily Thompson 56:06
Amen to that.

Unknown Speaker 56:08
Amen to that.

Emily Thompson 56:09
So all that to say, this trip changed our lives, for sure. And it will definitely affect how it is that we show up and work as well. And whether that be you know, just feeling more secure and being able to create create more, you know, prolifically? Or if it's literally the things that we're offering and how it is that those revenue models turn into benefit for causes that we believe in. And we'll do it again. We'll definitely do it again. I can I definitely feel a little fire lit under my ass around showing up just like you said in the places that are important to me to be a hand to push things forward. Because the world is crazy, guys.

Unknown Speaker 56:55
It is crazy.

Kathleen Shannon 56:57
Big shout out and thank you to co Ed the Cooperative for Education for seeing the potential and being boss and for inviting us to Guatemala.

Emily Thompson 57:05
Yes, you guys are a blast. You know that?

Kathleen Shannon 57:14
Okay, I want to do a real quick quick fire on travel tips. So first, how do you budget for travel?

Emily Thompson 57:22
I asked David How much money do we have?

Kathleen Shannon 57:27
Do you feel like you sacrifice things in other places in order to afford travel for sure.

Emily Thompson 57:32
And I say that I know how David does it we use wine AB we've talked about this before we actually have an interview a podcast interview with the with was it Jesse? Meachem meeturneed Jessie Meachem from ynab but we'll include a link to that in our show notes. Why NAB is a really handy tool that we use to degree budget. So as soon as we started or as soon as we knew that we were going on this trip David started putting aside money every month for this like little little Guatemala bucket. And then whenever it came time to do it, we took out some cash we transferred it to Guatemalan currency at the airport and we just had cash to walk around and and buy what we wanted to buy. Do I feel like I do less or do I feel like I sacrifice for travel? Yes and no because we do it so strategically month after month and as soon as we know we're doing something we start saving, I don't really feel it. However, I do feel like the last month to address them always like okay, I'm not going to buy this I don't know new pair of shoes because I might want to buy a new pair of shoes in Guatemala or Greece or whatever it may be so I do always find myself just before a trip feeling a little more.

Kathleen Shannon 58:50
Okay, how do you personally prep for a trip

Emily Thompson 58:53
snacks I always go snack shopping you know me I always have like a bucket of nuts which always gets checked for bomb residue at the airport every single time I've just gotten used to that. I'm also putting it on my calendar or telling everyone not scheduling meetings immediately before or immediately after making sure all of my tasks or even two either taking care of or delegated and packing at the last minute What about you

Kathleen Shannon 59:21
I've gotten really good at packing at the last minute but for this trip I did try on my outfits and I took pictures of them so I made sure that I was packing my very favorite most comfortable outfits that I knew I would look good and feel good in. I also did some meal prepping before I left for this trip so I made sure that my family had snacks and meals ready to go. I also made sure that I had food for myself the night that I got back in. I was looking into some of this subscription boxes but decided that it ultimately wasn't for me. So I went to the grocery store I went to Trader Joe's Joe's they have so much good frozen stuff and had a few things just Ready to go? That's

Emily Thompson 1:00:00
genius. I didn't do that. noted, I'll do that

Kathleen Shannon 1:00:05
it saved me this time.

Emily Thompson 1:00:07
What about professionals of how do you like workwise get ready for travel?

Kathleen Shannon 1:00:12
Well, I'm really fortunate that I have a team of people helping with things. So I really do like you make sure that I don't have any super tight deadlines before or after. That's not true before. I'm always rushing to get a lot of stuff done right before I leave. But then after I usually have a little bit of wiggle room, but I do have a team to help I put on my Gmail autoresponder I delegate tasks that would need to be done. So I emailed my sister who's my partner at braid, and I said, Hey, I need to make sure that you respond to any inquiries that come in. We had an RFP that needed to go out, you know, so I prepped the doc as much as possible but then delegated it someone else to send out so really just delegating and systemising.

Emily Thompson 1:00:57
I have a little email autoresponder tab, I always put my autoresponder on for like an extra day or two, so that whenever I come back, I can ease back into my inbox instead of having people think that I'm going to get back with them on the day that I returned. So I always add a couple extra days to my autoresponder.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:17
Yeah, I also don't respond to unnecessary emails. Right? Like whenever I get back, same time,

Emily Thompson 1:01:24
same time, that standard guys don't do that.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:27
Okay, what about Do you have any fun packing trips? I mean, packing trips. Do you have any fun packing tips?

Emily Thompson 1:01:34
I feel like I'm always so bad at this, I always get there and I have like articles of clothing that I'm not going to wear. Or I actually, here's one, I always plan on leaving my toothbrush. So like, you know, you have to change your toothbrush out every couple of weeks. Anyway, I always change my toothbrush out after traveling. So like that's always one thing I can just leave and not worry about. So that's kind of one. Also compression bags. We like to pack compression bags in our luggage and then use it as a laundry bag. So imagine taking all of your laundry and then compressing it as it gets used into a compression bag. It usually makes plenty of room for bringing back souvenirs.

Kathleen Shannon 1:02:14
My packing tip is to always pack more underwear than you think you'll need.

Emily Thompson 1:02:19
Oh, yeah, that's a given. Right? You actually can we talk about this for a second? I feel like you your bag is always smaller than mine. But you're taller. So are your clothes bigger? And how are you getting more clothes in a smaller bag than I am?

Kathleen Shannon 1:02:35
I know good question. My clothes are bigger than yours because I am taller. Yes.

Emily Thompson 1:02:40
I you also you were way more layers than I do. And I

Kathleen Shannon 1:02:43
wear a lot of layers. So again, it's just knowing what I'm going to be wearing and what combination so it's kind of like a capsule wardrobe where I'm mixing and matching certain items and re wearing some of them. I also kind of took a Marie Kondo approach to packing especially returning so we both had to buy an extra bag in Guatemala to bring home all of the souvenirs and textiles that we ended up buying.

Emily Thompson 1:03:08
Yeah, that textile Co Op was real guys. We all had to buy bags for ourselves for sure.

Kathleen Shannon 1:03:14
Yeah, but I am. As I was repacking I was Marie Kondo doing everything in a way that in the way that I was folding it, and just really being appreciative of all of my clothes and folding them with respect, and asking them to fit

Emily Thompson 1:03:30
in the bag. Because guys, we weren't that desperate. We were both packing and unpacking our luggage the night before the night where we had to get up at like 3:45am or something like that. And yeah, we were praying to our clothing to please fit in this bag. Because we really want to take it all home.

Kathleen Shannon 1:03:52
You know, and I think in conclusion, one thing is is that I love traveling with you. Emily is funny because on this trip, they actually had us in separate rooms and I asked them to put us together

Emily Thompson 1:04:02
right we could have gotten so low like private rooms and really but we don't want to be by ourselves. I completely agree.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:09
I also

Emily Thompson 1:04:10
have a blast traveling with you. I came home and that first night I was like about Where's Can I tell Kathleen Good

Unknown Speaker 1:04:15

Emily Thompson 1:04:17
I felt weird. I couldn't go to sleep until I told you Good night.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:21

Emily Thompson 1:04:22
agreed and i and i think that special too. And we would not have the relationship that we have if we didn't do things like this if we didn't go through the anxiety of having the fun together or to have the fun together. If we didn't put ourselves out of our comfort zone side by side, there's something amazing that happens whenever you get together with people, business besties or sisters or friends or whatever it may be and go do things together. shits gonna happen weird things are going to be experienced. Something is going to get left somewhere or that time I left my stuff at the hotel. Syracuse that was a thing we had to get to get my wallet Uber to the airport. Like things happen,

Kathleen Shannon 1:05:08
and you might even get on each other's nerves a little. It's fine on your nerves. No, not at all. Yes, Emily,

Emily Thompson 1:05:15
actually, could you not tell? No. I mean, whatever happens you definitely end up being stronger for or you never talk again. Right

Kathleen Shannon 1:05:28
either or, and on that note, I'll see you in the next place. We No, I can't wait to see where it is.

Emily Thompson 1:05:38
Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more, go to our website@www.de vos dot club.

Kathleen Shannon 1:05:51
Do the word debus