Episode 84 // Little Steps to Big Change with Katie Lee

August 9, 2016

Today we’re talking to lifestyle designer and self-published author, Katie Lee, all about how to design a beautiful, simplified everyday life that helps you feel more satisfied, fulfilled, and ultimately—boss! We’re also digging into what it takes to self-publish a book and what you can learn about yourself and your business through the book writing process.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"How you live your every day is how you live your whole life."
- Katie Lee

Discussed in this Episode

  • Your daily life is your whole life philosophy (6:42)
  • Methodical approach to simplifying your life (10:52)
  • How to make the daily grind more beautiful (15:00)
  • How to continually live with gratitude and not become desensitized (20:21)
  • Creating a home and life that supports your dreams and goals (25:38)
  • How to keep from getting overwhelmed when you're embracing change (41:48)
  • Self-publishing a book (50:20)


More from Katie Lee

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Braid Creative

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Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Hello and welcome to being boss episode number 84. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting

Emily Thompson 0:12
thing, boss and work and life is being in it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:15
It's being who we are doing the work, breaking some rules.

Emily Thompson 0:20
And even though we each have to do it on our own, being boss is knowing we're in it together.

Kathleen Shannon 0:27
Katie Lee is a lifestyle designer, aka daily life expert for lady go getters, specifically the ones who can't seem to figure out why time seems to slip possum each day. Through her best selling book The effortless everyday how to design your daily life to free up time and energy for what really matters. Powerful weekly emails speaking appearances and her how to break free from busy boot camp. She teaches high achieving women how to do daily life so they get everything done while making it all feel effortless. Her adoring fans and clients have called her an insightful and gentle guide and so effing helpful. One woman said if Oprah and Stephen Covey had a baby, you'd get Katie, she's the perfect mix of wisdom and applicable knowledge. And when she's not teaching, you can find her indulging in another episode of madmen reading, planning her next trip and pretty frequently baking cakes. We are so excited to talk to Katie, get ready to tackle your daily life at Hey Katie Lee calm. So while we're talking about habits and making things effortless, I can't help but bring up fresh books cloud accounting, it is the easiest way to get your invoices on track and expenses automatically imported from your bank account. It has really shored up my business and given me so much time to work on what really matters in my business, which isn't necessarily accounting. So try your free trial of fresh books today by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? You guys, I promise it is going to save you so much time in billing and tracking your expenses and especially those indivior taxes. Alright, back to our episode.

Let's jump in and kV. We are so glad to have you on being boss. Thanks for joining us today.

Katie Lee 2:25
Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited.

Kathleen Shannon 2:28
So we met in Mexico at a little spur of the moment mastermind that Sarah Vaughn bargain put together, and it was so cool getting to know you more and more through a week. And I just knew that we had to have you on the show. There's so much that you said in your book that resonated big time that I know our listeners need to hear. So let's start here. Let's start with your journey. How did you become a coach? How did you get into your profession? Okay, so

Katie Lee 2:58
where to start? First, I just want to say that I was one of those kids who was super into organizing and processes and systems like I spent my free time rearranging my bedroom to get the optimal layout and all that stuff. And so it's a big part of just what I'm interested in who I am naturally. And then I went to business school, which was such a perfect fit for me because I got real knowledge and the real words behind many more systems and processes and all that stuff. But I actually ended up focusing on marketing, because I love psychology, which I didn't know until I got there. But I'm completely obsessed with human behavior, and why we do all the things that we do. So it was a really, really good fit to have the literal systems but then look more at human behavior. So then, after college, my then fiance now husband and I went on a backpacking trip, like the quintessential backpacking trip where we went for 30 days that we went to 16 different countries. So it was super crazy and wonderful and amazing. And of course, we learned a lot of like life lessons, we were slapped with a ton of life lessons in those 30 days. But being someone who's obsessed with human behavior, I really saw with my own eyes and got to witness how other people live their regular lives. So I grew up in Minnesota, I'm from a really, really small town that's very homogenous, we're all the same. And I had lived in Minnesota my whole life until then. So it was really eye opening to see how so many different people and different cultures and countries live every day. And I got to see that the way I was brought up or the way that I currently live isn't the only way and that many people are really successful, really happy doing their daily life in different ways. So that was a profound shift for us. And so we got back from Europe. We started our adult life. We got married and we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And so we were in a different culture. ourselves. And we kind of saw this time as a great time to experiment with different ways of living and different ways of doing our daily life. And so we started our like regular adult jobs and everything like that. And instantly got a little panicky about, like, we just went on this huge trip, and it felt so great. And now we're doing the regular nine to five, and we freaked out and we're like, oh, my gosh, it'd be so easy to just slip into this mundane routine and live our lives and never do anything that's important to us for like a decade. And so it was a real like, eye opening moment. And we decided to put a lot of intention and a lot of effort into how we live our regular life so that that didn't happen. And so we started experimenting, sort of doing a bunch of stuff. And we ended up moving in Baton Rouge, and then moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, moving again in that city, moving back to Minnesota, moving three times in Minnesota. And so we got like repeated opportunities to test out new ways of doing our daily routine of living or everyday life and started sort of a process of how we make these changes. And that's what really led to what I called my business then was a small change project. But that's what led to me starting a coaching practice, starting an online business was I wanted to teach what we had experimented with and studied for so many years. And so I started my business. A few years later, I decided to write the book on it so that people could have the whole process in their hands versus perusing my website for hours and hours and hours and trying to find the answers there. And so I put all of it into my book. And that's where we are today.

Kathleen Shannon 6:42
I think that's something that sums up your whole approach. And something that I love that you say is that your daily life is your whole life. And it's so easy to get sucked into the daily grind and forget that the little steps that you take along the way those small changes that you mentioned, are what make up your entire life. Tell us more about that philosophy.

Katie Lee 7:03
So it really came from I was sitting in Baton Rouge in our apartment and I was watching TV and I saw texting and driving commercial, where usually the texting and driving commercials are like aimed at the driver where you're they show a phone like the driver is texting and then they crash. But this one was aimed at the other car. So you're just driving along, minding your own business and someone who was texting hits you. And that's it. And I completely broke down sobbing like I'm going to be hit by a texting driver any day now and just die. And so I heard literally heard this little voice that said, this is it Katie like today is it tomorrow is it this is this is your life. And so not that everyone needs to see a texting commercial to like feel this message. But I really saw and I continue to see that I can't wait for you know, a million dollars or vacation or retirement or anything like that to be living the life that I want to live in. With that I don't need to wait for any big moment or big birthday or anything like that to make changes to get there. And so yeah, we truly believe that how you live your everyday is how you live your whole life. So if you're frustrated or tired or stressed, that's how you're going to live your whole life. Unless you do something about it, obviously,

Emily Thompson 8:26
that shit makes me happy. So happy. I like I grew up in a I don't know just like family but like community where so many people hated their jobs like in just like coming home and griping about it every day. And you know, 2025 30 years later, they're still doing the same thing griping about their jobs and they hate their daily life and all that jazz. And that is certainly one of the things that has pushed me into like where I am now where I tried to very intentionally like and I hashtag it of course like live what you love this idea that you should be consistently living what you love period and this goes right along with that and even like in a more like finite day to day process. I love that so much

Kathleen Shannon 9:11
I mean for sure thinking about my own death is something that motivates me on the daily and I know that sounds so morbid and I feel like it's something that I'm constantly talking about not only on being boss but with my one on one clients like when worse comes to worse YOLO like we're all going to die just make the

Unknown Speaker 9:29
getting sucked into a black hole anyway.

Kathleen Shannon 9:34
So Okay, so here's my question after you watch that texting and driving commercial How did that immediately change like did it just change your mindset or did it change something that you were actually doing?

Katie Lee 9:48
Um, it's hard to remember that was many many years ago it just for a while it gave me this like unnecessary panic that I eventually had to just calm down because I can't think about like being hit by a texting driver. Every But it changed how aggressively we pursue the things that we loved. So we were definitely getting used to this brand new adult lifestyle, like we were newly married newly into jobs, newly into being grown ups, all of those things. And so there was some adjustment there. But we made the conscious choice to still actively pursue taking our next trip, and meeting new friends and starting hobbies and many things that we're passionate about. And so it just gave us kind of an almost an urgency behind pursuing the things that are important to us. And it made us take them a lot more seriously, seriously, than if we would have just said, Oh, one day, we'll go on another trip or whatever. And so we attacked it a lot more aggressively.

Kathleen Shannon 10:46
It's kind of like that philosophy of use the nice China today, like don't save it. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Something else that I really love about you. And I think that makes you really stand out from a lot of other coaches out there right now is that your approach to simplifying and really being efficient is based on a methodical and I'd even say measurable approach. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Katie Lee 11:08
Yeah. So it started, like I said, with us just randomly trying things out. And after, we had been doing it for probably four years, repeatedly, like we do this every single day, I really sat down and thought about like, what is the process we do every single time is there a label to it. And so there really is, and once you're far in it, it's not like you sit down and say, Okay, I'm going to do step one. Now, it just happens more on the fly. And so the, the first step is to just figure out what you want. And I know that that is what is said everywhere. But I'm not talking about what you want in life. And the big picture, I'm literally talking about what you want in this moment. So it might be I want to be on time to work, I want to have pizza for dinner, or I want to be healthier, or I want to clean apartment. And so the first step is just identifying something you want, which can be foreign for a lot of people. So I just say to look to emotions that you're feeling. So anytime you have a strong emotion, it might be an indication that you want to make a change, or that you need to make a change. So a lot of ours came out of frustration, or like first year fighting as a married couple where we were like, Look, this isn't gonna work, let's do something different, we need to change. So once you have just an easy want for yourself, the next step is to figure out what you need to either get or do or have in order to make that want possible. So do you need to buy something? Do you need to change your habits? Do you need to, it could be leaving work or leaving for work earlier waking up earlier? Do you need to move your keys to the other side of the room? Do you need to stop watching TV, like what needs to happen in order to do that. And then the second, the third step, which I think a lot of people skip, and this is really important for us is what needs to go. So what's standing in your way of getting there? Are there obstacles, barriers, triggers that are really, really holding you back. And then again, these last two steps are things most people skip, which is why people are obsessed with self help, but don't get anywhere with it, they forget to test it. So the fourth step is to actually do it and test it and see if it works. And then the last step is to analyze and tweak it to make it work even better for you. So we do that over and over again. And many times. It's like the first three steps are very automatic. And then we just test things and tweak them until they work for us.

Emily Thompson 13:38
I love a good process for something.

Kathleen Shannon 13:41
And just to clarify, whenever you say we do you feel like um, I think that you're talking about you and your husband, but he doesn't actually work with you. But do you feel that you're testing out all of these habits and changes on yourself and on him before you try them out with your clients? Tell me more about that. Yeah,

Katie Lee 13:58
we is just an ingrained habit. Because we've been together our whole damn life like we've been together 15 years, and we're not that old. So it's just a habit to say we, for the most part, yes, in this instance, I'm talking about testing it out on our life together at home, on our marriage on our daily routine. But many things I'm just testing out on myself, because he's not an online entrepreneur, he has a completely different lifestyle than that.

Kathleen Shannon 14:28
I think it's so cool after we hung out in Mexico together, just that you guys have been together for so long. And starting at such a young age. I feel like I spent an entire day talking to you about that, and that you're completely self aware that you guys got together really young and that this is an anomaly. But it's interesting to think that having been with someone so long in that way, would really kind of and this is just the side tangent shift your identity from like an eye to a wee place I think is really interesting. All right. I didn't mean to point that out, though. Um, okay, so let's go back to making the daily grind a little bit more beautiful. I would love to hear some more tangibles and tactics around making the daily grind of like what you want specifically in your day. So like whether that's a more organized department, or really not having to think about what it is that you want for dinner every day. And let's talk about that. And not just kind of knowing what you want, and getting the barriers out of the way, but really literally making it more beautiful.

Katie Lee 15:30
So the first thing that I will say, and this really helped me years ago was I just have this mantra that I'm changing the daily grind to daily gratitude. Because even just using the word grind, it sets my mindset up to be like, it's gonna be a grind, it's gonna be a slog, it's gonna suck. And so, and especially, I'm coming from, like, a privileged, I live in America, I have all the privileges that come with that. And so it's really not as bad as any complaint I could possibly have. And so I really try to reframe whatever I'm working on into being really grateful for that opportunity grateful for, you know, internet connection, and all those things. But that's like a whole nother tangent I could get into, um, you kind of touched touched on it already. But one of the best ways to make your daily life easier and not so stressful is to try to remove or solve as many daily decisions as possible. So we only have so much decision fuel, we do run out by 2pm, or whatever it is. And so if you can make as much of your regular life routine, so that you don't have to make choices every single day, all day, you're gonna have so much more decision, power and energy and positive emotions left to give to real important decisions or the work that you're trying to do. So for most people, that means like eating the same breakfast every day, having the same morning routine, knowing what you're going to wear or having it be pretty simple, and knowing what your hours are going to be. And for the most part, creating a structure and a routine that works for you. But it's basically consistent. So you can have the freedom within that to make really important decisions to be creative to do your work. And you're not completely exhausted by the things that happen every single day.

Emily Thompson 17:25
decision fatigue is legit, is in Kavli, and I've talked about it a couple of times, like the only real arguments that David and I get into are after work whenever he asked me what's for dinner. Because if I have to make another decision, I can't. And so definitely part of part of like running a successful business or being a successful entrepreneur. And really like up leveling, like time and time again, has been automating some of those like daily processes, in terms of like having a solid morning routine, paring down my wardrobe. So that like I have less decisions to make in the morning. And those sorts of doing some really solid meal planning so that there is no decisions to be made, except for once a week, like those sorts of things certainly make, make the daily, I don't know just the daily to dues seem so much easier to tackle. And it also allows you to be so much more intentional. Like if you're planning out what your day is going to look at look like, you can make it look as beautiful as you want it to look,

Katie Lee 18:34
I was just gonna say we always try to make our decisions away from the actual decision point. So we make our decision about what's to dinner for dinner on Thursday, like Sunday morning when we're not in the in the mode of it.

Unknown Speaker 18:47
But hangry

Katie Lee 18:49
Yeah, exactly. I get real hangry real fast. But it's, we're gonna be talking a lot about and we already have about like, things outside of business. But you guys talk about this all the time. You can't compartmentalize, you're a human who has a physical body and a brain with emotions. So everything outside of work impacts what you're trying to do during your work time. And so a lot of what I help people to see is that you can't just assume you can turn all of that off or that your breakfast doesn't impact your meeting at two or that the fight you had with your spouse the night before. It doesn't make your morning meeting more difficult. So it's important to not try to turn those things off or separate all of that stuff. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 19:33
So Emily, her recent point of contention was the what's for dinner question and she recently handed that off to David. So now he's in charge of that so she can spend more of her brain power on her business and I recently actually noticed something that I'm trying to get over the guilt of I guess which is one of my I don't know if it's a barrier or a trigger or what it is but the bedtime routine, like trying to get my son to sleep takes so much mental energy for me, and is so emotionally exhausting, that I recently handed that off to my husband, and trying not to feel guilt around handing that off. And that one little thing, I didn't realize how much it was impacting my entire evening, in the happiness round my entire evening, when we have questions about daily gratitude and making the daily grind a little bit more beautiful, something that I've run into. And Emily, I wonder if you've had this or even you, Katie, is once you start working for yourself, and you've raised the bar on kind of your level of personal freedom and living the dream, like for someone working a corporate job living the dream, might be able to, it might just be waking up whenever you want to wake up making yourself a nice, leisurely breakfast and really just easing into your day, instead of rushing out the door to get to a place on time. Once you've leveled up, and that is your standard for living, it's easy to it's easy to just get used to it right and not feel that same amount of gratitude. So how do you keep bringing gratitude or kind of maybe even new experiences or routines or habits that that really resurface that gratitude into your life?

Katie Lee 21:20
I totally get what you're saying. I mean, you can it's just like any story here where you start with a crappy car and you get a nicer one and then you're desensitized to it within like two weeks or something like this.

Kathleen Shannon 21:30

Katie Lee 21:31
Any move into the big fancy house. And then like a month later, you're already on Pinterest, looking at bigger houses and all of that stuff. And it's, it's hard, I usually try to pay attention to how much I'm complaining. Because that's a good indicator that I'm out of touch with everything because complaining is for for me complaining is just laziness. It's like I am bored. I have nothing else to talk about. And so that's when I really need to check into my gratitude. But oh, I

Emily Thompson 22:01
will hold up. I love that. You're complaining You're too bored and have nothing else to talk about. I've just listened to that for a second everyone and soak it in me to me Do

Kathleen Shannon 22:14
I feel like I feel like that's something that you would say Emily, what was it that you said the other day? That was like a truth bomb? That something is just an excuse?

Emily Thompson 22:23
Oh, what we were talking about comparison in v one of our like clubhouse secret episodes in. If you're comparing yourself to someone else, or just talking about how envious you are, you're just procrastinating you're not actually doing the work. You're just finding another way to keep from doing the work.

Kathleen Shannon 22:39
And so what you just said, Katie about that? Truth bomb? Yep. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 22:43
wow. Okay,

Katie Lee 22:44
I'm gonna check myself on like comparison, itis and envy. Now,

Unknown Speaker 22:48
let's get back to work, just get to work.

Katie Lee 22:51
So I guess the two things I do because it's not, there's not always just the easy solution to make yourself feel immense gratitude. So I try to force it a little bit. So one thing that always works for me is just going outside, because I can't help but feel I'm in a better mood. And that usually translates into what a great day, oh my gosh, I have legs that can carry me and this is so awesome. And it's just, it's hard to fight it. I can't fight the gratitude when I go outside and do something. And then the other thing that I do, which is really like a last resort, if I'm struggling to find the gratitude is I get up from my desk and I walk around my house and I forced myself to smile with my teeth. Like literally smile. No one's here about my dog, but I like smile outwardly. And I just like find the most ridiculous thing in my house that I like and and I just like smile at it. And I'm like, oh cow picture. I love you. You're so great. And it feels so ridiculous. But it kind of gets me out of whatever Funk I was in or self importance I was feeling about some issue. And it it's always a physical thing. I always have to do something physical to bring me back to what's real. So I either go for a walk, or I force myself to smile, like an idiot by myself.

Kathleen Shannon 24:10
We just interviewed artists, Brenda, Mangalore and she said something along these lines that really stuck out to me, which is when gratitude feels like a burden, you know that something needs to change. So in that context, we were talking about this idea that sometimes you can feel even worse about something whenever everything looks good on paper and you still feel bad. And whenever you feel stuck in resentment. So I love the idea of getting outside planting your feet in the earth, or just getting out of your head. And so for you, Katie it's smiling at an object for me. It's actually listening to comedy and listening to specifically interviews with comedians, so not even their show, but like an interview with my favorite comedian. It usually always makes me realize that the world is a bigger place and that it's not so serious.

Katie Lee 25:00
Do you watch comedians in cars getting coffee?

Kathleen Shannon 25:03
Yes, I love it.

Katie Lee 25:05
I love that it's one of my favorite things. Yes. Yeah, I think it doesn't have to be a walk or anything. It's just changing where you are and what you're doing. So if it's not working to be sitting at your desk, fuming over whatever you're fuming over, then get up and walk around and go do something else for five minutes. But you can't just magically change what you're thinking, I don't think you can just magically change what you're thinking, by not really tweaking anything else around you, it's hard to do that. I'm not very good at it at least,

Kathleen Shannon 25:37
I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about simplifying our homes and creating a home and a life that supports our dreams and goals. I feel like this is something that you really point out in your book, and even talking about being a kid and rearranging your room. I feel like you put a lot of focus and emphasis on creating a life in home that support you tell us more about that.

Katie Lee 26:00
So one of the

I guess sayings that I say to myself and other people is don't make it hard on yourself to be awesome. And so that usually applies with your physical environment. And so if you are trying to be eat really healthy, like don't buy a big pack of Oreos, which would be my kryptonite, so we don't buy the neighbor anymore.

Kathleen Shannon 26:24
I was just on vacation and literally ate no less than one full box of Oreos by myself.

Emily Thompson 26:28
she messaged me one day, it was like I need to hold 30 when I get home because I have a bag of Oreos for breakfast.

Katie Lee 26:35
Yeah, I would just eat the entire pack like all four rows of them, and maybe leave one so that I can eat the whole thing. But I did. Or let's see what else what other ways. If you are trying to get to work on time, it's going to be real hard if your house is super cluttered, and you can never find your keys or you don't have like a closet that at least allows you to find the clothes you're trying to put on. And so I focus a lot on that because it's so such an easy fix. There's not a lot of like emotions behind it, it's physical, its visible, there are a lot of things that you can easily tweak. And so you can see the results and you feel like you're making progress on them. But just don't make it hard on yourself. Put the tools that you need front and center. If you want to do more yoga, unroll your yoga mat and lay it on the living room floor. If you want to stay focused, then remove all distractions from your office and turn off any notifications, there's a lot of things where it's very cause and effect. And so you can sort of backtrack and just do a 360 spin wherever you are and see what is supporting you and what is inhibiting your growth, your progress or what you're trying to accomplish.

Kathleen Shannon 27:47
I think it takes a lot of awareness to see what your own problems are. And I think that's why it's really great to have a coach to help point this out to really identify those wants and desires and the barriers and action steps that come after that. So based on your practice and all the people that you've coached? What kind of universal systems or small steps would you recommend to any creative entrepreneur who might be listening to this episode? So like an example I can think of was exactly what you just said, turning off your phone notifications. I would have never thought of that. But I heard someone else mentioned it on a podcast. So I tried it and it has made my life better. So like what, what small steps, might we be overlooking that you would recommend to anybody.

Katie Lee 28:35
So I'll get into a few small steps. But I just want to say that I coach a lot of people and I see the same patterns show up over and over again. So I asked them to list out like if if they had just been the best life, what would be some of the things in it, like what would be just some sentences that would describe it. And most people who are super high achieving and super successful, they list the most basic things like I want, I would take my dog for a walk every day and I would go to yoga twice a week. And it's not I would have a bigger house or a luxury car or anything like that. It's the most simple things. And most every coaching session, we talk through it and they realize that they can already have those things, that it's not really that far away, they are just mentally blocking themselves from from taking that they're very much in their life already. And so I think there is this level of permission that for some reason needs to be granted because high achieving entrepreneurs think we need to like make it to a certain level before we claim the life that we truly want which is so simple as taking your dog for a walk every day or going to yoga. And so I just wanted to put that out there that for many people listening they probably already either have what they want and haven't enjoyed it fully or fully claimed it or they're very, very close to getting it

Emily Thompson 30:01
So with that,

Katie Lee 30:02
I would say the next thing and I think you guys even talk about this you really believe in it is to make room for what you want and what you want to do. So you guys use the chalkboard method. I hadn't heard that phrasing before. And now I have, well, mine's a whiteboard, because I never chalkboard but I put one up after listening to that episode. And

Kathleen Shannon 30:22
a method applies to anything, it can be a whiteboard, it can be markers on your window, not permanent, probably

Emily Thompson 30:29
don't use a sharpie guys post it notes, someone posted some awesome chalkboard magic with post it notes reasonably, like yes,

Katie Lee 30:38
it's so powerful. And for the most part, many people who feel like they can be in control of their life and are into self help and self improvement, forget to actually make room for it in their life. And room usually equals time in their schedule or time in their calendar. So if you want to be more fit, you need to actually make time in your schedule to move your body. If you want to spend time with your family, you have to actually make time for it in your life and make room but it can be the same with decluttering, it can be the same with making time for romance. If you want more clients, you can't be scheduled within an inch of your life, there's no room for more clients to come into your world. And so that is an it's an overarching thing. But it really gets down to the nitty gritty of how you structure your

Kathleen Shannon 31:26
time and layout your life. You know, one thing that you said was making time for romance and this stuck out I was listening to Jessie and Gerard their podcast, which is called marriage is funny. And they were talking with a sex therapist about all things relationships and sex and, and they were talking about scheduling time to get it on. And it feels like just so I think that most people think it feels stuffy and that it should be spontaneous to count and to matter. And none of us approach our creative life or, you know, maybe we do approach our creative life like it. But whenever it comes to business, we know that we have to schedule things down to a tee to get it done. I mean, you should see me and Emily in Asana, we are scheduling out every single detail of every single project and everything that goes into it. And that's how we get stuff done. So why can't we kind of schedule space for creativity or passion projects? Or even not even vacations, but taking the dog for a walk? And why do things have to be spontaneous to count as like a life well lived?

Emily Thompson 32:33
I can spontaneously put them on my calendar. Does that count?

Katie Lee 32:39
Yeah, that's so true. I think there's so much freedom within structure, there's when you have it all scheduled out, you can fully relax into it when you are in that a lot of times versus wondering if you should be doing something else if you are forgetting something. So there's a lot of relax, relaxation and freedom within being super scheduled.

Kathleen Shannon 33:02
So I want to talk about this for a second. Because I know behind the scenes having talked to you that you are maybe a bit of a chronic planner, and that you were you can plan out like your entire year in your calendar. Do you find that that is? And I think that you told me that you'll even do it based on like hypotheticals right, like things that aren't even real yet just to see how it might fit into your life. So an example of this might be planning out a vacation. That isn't really in the cards yet. Tell us more. Did you mind sharing more about that?

Katie Lee 33:35
Yeah, so it is, I would say it's a blessing and a curse. And I definitely recognize that my go to procrastination is planning out hypothetical situations. So I tried to check myself to make sure that it is not it like at the expense of truly getting my work done or making progress. But it came from my belief that if I can schedule it and make I mean, I agree, and I believe that you need to make room for it. But as far as in the distant future, like 18 months out, I have always worked under attacking my goals by starting to plan them by like making the steps to make them happen. And so the first step in that is to put it into my calendar. And we take a lot of trips traveling is really important to us. And so I look you know, a year out and I plan, tentative trips that we want to take and then I start watching airfare sales, and I start, you know, just paying attention to different signs and different ways that we can make that happen. And then I am always open to just being completely flexible. So if that trip doesn't pan out, or if we have friends that invite us to visit them in a certain country, then we move that country up the list and we go that way. So I plan everything very, very structured. I leave a ton of whitespace so I'm not stressed out. And then I just know that I can fall back on that routine, I

Kathleen Shannon 35:05
can fall back on that plan, but I have the option and the freedom to just change it on the fly if I want to. And I think that one thing you were telling me about this is that it kind of stresses your husband out to plan a trip 18 months in advance. So like, even as you're planning it out, kind of more hypothetically, you might not let him know about it until, what, three months out?

Katie Lee 35:26

Kathleen Shannon 35:27
So I've been thinking about this, I've actually been thinking a lot about you lately, because I really want to move and I've been talking about it for a while it's becoming a thing now. But I kind of want to move but it the idea of it is a little bit stressful, and I don't know where to begin. So I kind of want to try your method of planning it out, like let's hypothetically plan that I want to move in 18 months, do I just work backwards from there and say, okay, in 18 months, then I'm loading up the packing truck. So what happens before that I will have needed to decide where I'm moving to what happens before that, like kind of working backwards? From my goal? Do you work backwards from your goals? Or how does that work? What should I do?

Katie Lee 36:10
Um, yes, I work backwards from my goals. But before I would even start this process, I make sure that I really want them. So if I were coaching you, I would pause before you got started. And we would evaluate what you're truly seeking by wanting to move, because it's very easy to nature and liberals. So that you might be able to find nature's nature and liberals without moving I don't know. And we don't need to go through your whole personal life on this. But I do know, I'm just kidding. That's something that a lot of my clients, they get an idea in their head that that's how they should solve their problems when it can be solved in an easier way and a simpler way without spending so much money in a less risky way. And sometimes it can't. But I would probably tell you to slow down and really evaluate what you're truly seeking, why you really want to move or if it was just, and this happens to me all the time. So it's becoming something I remind myself if it was an idea that turned to fact a little too quickly. So that's something that I try to be really careful, especially since I'm an over planner, if I get an I an idea in my head about painting my office or going on a trip, and I put that in my calendar, it has become fact because I put in my calendar. And so it can add stress, it can add to tight deadlines when it was really arbitrary in the first place. And so I would just sort of caution you before you jump to your calendar to make sure that it's something you want travel for us, it's easy, we've already committed to that. So it's not as hard of a choice,

Kathleen Shannon 37:47
there really is this balance between planning and committing to action and committing to making things happen versus kind of letting go and let God I put that in quotes. But you know, just really giving the universe space to work its magic, and to not stress about something. And I feel like that's a challenge I really struggle with in my business and in my life is like making things happen, but also chilling out about it.

Katie Lee 38:15
Yeah, we I am a little burnt out on self help. And I'm in the self help world. So I'm recognizing that I also need to take a step back from a lot of these things. So we have sort of a filter before we're making changes right now. Where if we feel like life is really shitty, or we're in a bad mood, or it's just been crappy, we pay attention to what's going on around us. And if that's just a legitimate feeling to have, or if this has been something going on for a long time. And we need to make a change. Because sometimes it is just hard and there's not much you should have done differently or that you can do now, you can just be a human and feel feel bad or sad for a little bit. And sometimes there is something you need to do. So usually it's a if it's a repetitive emotion we have for a longer period of time, we'll make a change. But we are now very careful not to jump to change something when it's legit that we feel tired or exhausted or frustrated or something by a normal human emotion.

Kathleen Shannon 39:15
I love that I think it's so easy to jump into the idea that just because something doesn't feel good 100% of the time that it's not good. And I think this happens for me with parenting. It happens for sure in our businesses. So let's transition here and talk a little bit about your business. We've been really getting into getting like behind the scenes sneak peeks into the creatives that we interview so we would love to know more about your business.

Emily Thompson 39:43
So I think to begin, we want to hear about how it is that you bring your like beautiful daily routine mindset into your business.

Katie Lee 39:55
Specifically for myself or for my clients for yourself. Oh, okay. So I work from home, which is also a blessing and a curse. And so I am really careful to recognize all the triggers in my external environment. So when I am walking to the kitchen to get my lunch, and it's a complete disaster, I do have feelings about that I feel like I should stop and clean it up, or if it gives me all these emotions. And so a big part of the changes I've been making in the last two years since we moved into this house is paying attention to what I am leaving within my line of sight or in my path as I move throughout my day working from home. And then I honestly one of the biggest things that I think creative entrepreneurs can do and what I do is pay attention to my health, I can't get a lot done. And I'm not nearly as focused or as clear when I have eaten terrible things, or I'm not sleeping very well, or I haven't moved my body in a long time. And so I view an investment in time and money and energy in my house as one of the biggest things I can do for my business. And right now I'm really focusing on my diet and all the different all the different changes I want to make to that. Because I know for my body alone, this is different for everyone. But I know that I can get really tired easily. I know that stress greatly impacts how my physical body feels. And then I need more sleep. I know that eating certain foods makes me crash or get like wildly hyper. They're all sorts of things. And so I'm right now really focused on what I'm eating or how I'm taking care of my body, and then what is physically around me as I work so that it's not distracting or triggering.

Emily Thompson 41:48
I think you are officially the like best grasper of change then that anyone I've probably ever met. So like change is a super overwhelming thing to most people. So for someone to like, go at it with gusto. And with such purpose, how do you want? How do you deal with change, like in such a happy way. But how do you keep from being overwhelmed, especially in your business, when you are like embracing change as messy as much as you are?

Katie Lee 42:19
I will say I'm not perfect at it. And I definitely recognize that in the past, like the very recent past, I have struggled with doing too much, at one time doing too much change, doing too many things, improving too much of my life, you know, being obsessed with self improvement. And so I am extra conscious of that now, how I approach change is

Unknown Speaker 42:43
I just I don't

Katie Lee 42:44
take it personally. And I just feel that research is non committal. So everything that I think I might want to change, I can just read a book about I can read some articles about I can start the research process. And that doesn't mean I'm committing to making that huge, that big or small change. And that's such a helpful way for me to get through it. Because by the time I finish a book, or I do the research, I'm usually truly committed to actually making the change, or halfway through, I can say No way, not for me and just quit reading about it and move on to the next thing. So that's how I approach it.

Kathleen Shannon 43:19
What's an example of something that you've ditched that you've said, not for me, and what's an example of something that you've totally embraced in the in the process of researching, um,

Katie Lee 43:29
I have ditched the idea that I should wake up earlier.

Unknown Speaker 43:35

Katie Lee 43:36
a Fannie Mae, you. So many entrepreneurs talk about, like the 5am Club, and just getting less sleep or waking up early, and it just doesn't work for my body, it wreaks havoc on all my systems, and it's terrible. And so I have completely like all of that, and I have no guilt over how much sleep I get. And that's just what's going to happen. Um, I have quit coffee, which I was really like against and didn't want to do. And now it was one of the two best physical changes I've ever made.

Kathleen Shannon 44:11
Can you tell me more about that yesterday, I was literally having a cup of coffee and I could feel I almost felt like I was injecting like shooting up anxiety into my veins. And I thought, hmm, like,

Unknown Speaker 44:25
I wonder if this

Kathleen Shannon 44:25
is related to the coffee. So I've had a hunch about it. Can you tell me more about that, like what changes you felt giving up coffee? Because it's definitely something I don't want to give up? Yeah,

Katie Lee 44:36
with so many changes, especially physical, you can't imagine feeling better. You can't if you're already pretty healthy. You can imagine that there's another level to go to until you get there. And so my husband quit coffee and he's one of those people where you tell them like the science behind something and he's just fully committed the next day and he has no problems like he doesn't waver ever. Which is sometimes super annoying. And so he just quit coffee like on a random Tuesday and he was just fine. And he actually he quit coffee on a business trip. And I said, Don't do it, like, Don't quit coffee when you need to, like perform extra, you know, this is bad. So he, he did it. And for about a week, he just couldn't stop raving about how he feels. And he's a super healthy person. So I really believed him. And so I was on vacation, I think the next week, and I decided to be a good time to quit, because I can sleep in or I can be groggy, and it doesn't really affect my work or anything like that. And so I quit, and I haven't had any coffee since then, because it was, I think, probably a day and a half or two days of withdrawals from it. And then I have just significantly increased energy. And I feel so alert. It's hard to describe because again, it just is a feeling that you have when you get there. But I felt like and vibrant and energized. And I used to be a zombie before my cup of coffee. And now I wake up just ready to go. And so there are a lot of subtle ways. And we have said this, it's probably been, I don't know, eight months since we could quit coffee, we randomly will say, oh, if we would have been drinking coffee now we would have felt like shit, because we only recognize it now that we are past it. But before it seemed like no big deal to have coffee. So now we feel amazing.

Emily Thompson 46:31
Oh, I love that I have not been a coffee drinker for a really long time. And David has recently picked back up the habit and I don't want my printer pretending This is crap, guys. But um, I know

Kathleen Shannon 46:45
whenever I go on business trips with you, Emily, like you're you're awake and ready to go and my coffee.

Emily Thompson 46:51
Right and you're pounding a couple getting shakes. It's key, it's fun to watch. Um, yeah, I think I think caffeine is kind of a crazy one. I'm glad that I'm glad that you're sharing that two bosses don't need coffee to function, and only some of us. Alright, so I want to talk then about some like challenges you face in your business? Because online, actually, how long have you like run an online business? So I

Katie Lee 47:16
started my business in 2012.

Emily Thompson 47:20
So four years, four years. Awesome. So four years into it, what are some of the biggest challenges you face. Um,

Katie Lee 47:29
I think working from home alone, where my human connection is, whenever I have a Skype meeting, my biggest challenge is getting out of my own head and seeking true like counsel from other people. So I'm obviously into solving my own problems and making changes. And so I can very often just internalize an issue for far too long when I could have seek some help and gotten it figured out much sooner. And so it's very tempting to just like, read a bunch of articles and take courses and read books and try to figure it out when I could have emailed a friend gotten some coaching hired someone to fix it for me. And so that has been a lesson I am learning now as I'm a few years in. And then I would say another challenge that I have is the balance between being in it versus working on it. And I have really pinpointed lately that it is what makes me happy. That's what that's where I feel like I'm doing the work I love working on my business is a tricky slope that I often get trapped into where I will spend way too much time working on my business. And I will forget how great it is to actually do the work and be in it. So I'm just paying attention to that allocation of time and energy right now.

Emily Thompson 49:01
That's good. It makes me think about that. Like because sometimes I think I like working on it more than I like working in it like I can all right, Kathleen and I will write email funnels all day long and love that shit.

Kathleen Shannon 49:17
I think it's both but you know, I've always even whenever braid creative was my primary focus, and it's still one of my focuses. But braid creative. Like we still take clients, for example. But my number one client is actually braid creative and being boss. So my number one clients are my own businesses. And whenever I can really adopt that mindset, working on my business is being in my business. So for me, it's more of a mindset shift. Whereas before it kind of would have been really alternating between working on my own branding versus working on a client's branding. But now that really my number one client is myself. It's just given me the mindset shift to really be In my business, and detach all resentment and just be grateful that this is what I get to do for a living.

Katie Lee 50:07
Yeah, and I don't think it's necessarily an in versus on debate, it's just paying attention to what isn't working for you, and what you can do to alleviate it.

Emily Thompson 50:20
Alright, so now I want to talk about the book. And this is totally like selfish chatter now. So you self published Tell us about that?

Katie Lee 50:30
Yeah, um, it was, it's so hard, because when I think about reflecting on the book process, I don't know how much of it is like tips I should share for future authors. And how much of it is just that was my personality or my personal experience. I like self publishing. But I also didn't really consider traditional publishing, I liked the freedom to set my own schedule with self publishing and go as fast as I wanted to, I didn't really have to wait for a certain timetable or release date or anything like that, I could just plan it all out and execute on my own schedule. The hard part is, there isn't some master person to guide you through the process, you don't have an I mean, I did hire an editor. But I just handed the book over. And she added it, I didn't have like a manager, an agent or a publishing house to guide me through how to do it. So there was a steep learning curve in figuring out that publishing process. But since I usually seek out my own information, I was willing to, to do that. So it was a big learning experience. But I think more so for just my life and personality than for actual book writing. I just learned a lot about myself and what I do and don't like,

Emily Thompson 51:50
and were you writing a book and doing client work at the same time?

Katie Lee 51:55
No, I took a break from client work to like do the hard writing part, like the actual writing?

Kathleen Shannon 52:03
Do you feel like writing a book at all helps you gather your expertise all in one place? Or do you think it helped give your methodology a lot of structure like, tell me more about what you learned during the book writing process?

Katie Lee 52:17
Yeah, and that was one of the reasons I decided to write a book is that I had so many blog posts, I had so many articles and emails, but because I always prided myself on writing really tangible ideas that people could take and use right away, there was no place that they could actually find the process. And so it was getting repeated questions from readers and clients. And it just felt personally and professionally, like a time that I should gather all of my work together and put it into one thing that people could actually use. So that was a big reason that I decided to do it. And so my process for doing it was taking all the questions that people ask and answering them. So each chapter in the book is literally a question that people repeatedly asked me. And so I just organized it and put all of my information that I for the most part had there was a lot of I had to write it, rewrite it because it just didn't. I couldn't just let my blog posts into the book. It just didn't match that way. And so it was more organizing the ideas and answering those questions. All right,

Kathleen Shannon 53:27
Katie, tell our listeners where they can find more of you.

Katie Lee 53:32
They can find more of me on my website. Hey, Katie lee.com. Right now I am doing Facebook, live q&a is every single day

Kathleen Shannon 53:42
that you're doing that, how's that going? A lot of our listeners are really interested in Periscope and Facebook Live. Tell us how that's working out for you.

Katie Lee 53:51
So I set the goal for myself in June to do Facebook, live, Instagram, and Snapchat every single day for 90 days. Because I just wanted to see both what I liked best as a person and what my audience liked best. And so I'm in the middle of that test right now. I like Facebook live the best because it's a great long form video that I can really do some free coaching on so I do a daily q&a, where it's the questions, I get an email or on Instagram or in the comments. And I just answer them and I do it every single day. And it's been a good challenge and a good reminder to show up and do the work and to stay consistent. So it's been it's been really fun. I don't know if I'm gonna keep Snapchat or not. I'm still on the fence with that. But right now Facebook Live is my favorite. And I think it's also my audience's favorite.

Kathleen Shannon 54:45
Has it converted yet? Like Has anyone hired you from it? You know,

Katie Lee 54:48
I haven't asked if that's where they got me from. So I'm not sure it's still pretty new. But that's a really good question. I'm gonna I'm gonna Figure out how to get some metrics on that.

Kathleen Shannon 55:01
But I think that committing to 90 days and really looking at those three platforms, I love the way that you've given yourself some boundaries and structures around creating a habit, showing up and doing the work in a way that isn't overwhelming. I think that this is a perfect example of the small changes that you're coaching on, but also living in your own life and in your own business.

Katie Lee 55:24
Yeah, it's, it's, it's really important to actually leave time to truly practice it, whatever you're trying to do, especially if you are like a self help junkie like I am, you can't just keep reading more books and reading more articles, you actually have to practice it and figure out if it even works for you. And I think that's where a lot of people feel stuck, is they feel like they are doing a lot, but really, they are just absorbing the information. And not necessarily practicing it full time and giving it a fair shot to see if it really works for them. And so it's important to actually actually practice it.

Kathleen Shannon 55:58
And that kind of comes back to the working on your business versus working in your business. And I think the same can be said, for self help. And all of that. I think even in Mexico, I told you like I'm so sick of reading self help, like, when can I stop reading about how to live my life and actually just live my life. And I think that right now just cycles and waves of, of working on it, and then working in it and, and reading about it and researching and then implementing and doing,

Katie Lee 56:29
I will completely agree. I've been telling myself and we've been working into our calendar to leave time to actually live and not be making any improvements or working on anything. And it's it's very freeing, but it also gives you a lot more data that's true on what you should be doing versus some skewed information based on half trying things have not. And so we're really focused right now, in fact, I took a big break on over the summer on not doing any projects not doing any improvements and just existing for a while. And it's been really, really good.

Unknown Speaker 57:04
And where can our listeners find your book?

Katie Lee 57:07
The book is on Amazon. And they can go to the effortless, everyday calm and get an outline and a few extra exercises that will help them with that. And then funny, funnily enough, after writing the book I like had more that I needed to put into it because I experienced so much in the book writing process. So I believe it'll be Yep, on Friday, August 12. I'm teaching my new class how to break free from busy without losing your hustle. Because that was what I needed when I was writing the book and afterwards. And so that is I've tried it a few times already. And it's been getting a really great response because it's something that is so so needed right now.

Kathleen Shannon 57:51
Well, thank you for joining us, Katie. It's been so nice getting to catch up and hear your voice and I appreciate you and thanks for showing up for our listeners.

Katie Lee 58:01
Thank you so much for having me. This is really fun.

Emily Thompson 58:05
Hey there web design bosses, Emily here and in case you're unaware my main hustle for the past six years has been as a web designer for creatives who want to start an online business. It's been a fun ride. And I've grown my web design business and HR Bob Murphy from scratch from a one woman show trying to make ends meet to a small online agency with a small team making a big impact for our dream clients. I know what you struggle with managing clients making deadlines scope creep. I've worked hard to build a business that is easy to run and that lets me focus on what I'm best at. So if you dream of having systems in place to help you better manage your projects, your clients and your time I am here to help check out my free training videos for web designers at being boss club slash indie for some insights to help you better manage your web design business so you can get back to doing the work you love. That's being boss club slash Andy I in the IE, I hope to see you there.

Kathleen Shannon 59:04
Thank you for listening to being boss. Please be sure to visit our website at being boss club where you can find Show Notes for this episode. Listen to past episodes and discover more of our content that will help you be boss in work and life. Did you like this episode,

Emily Thompson 59:18

Kathleen Shannon 59:18
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Emily Thompson 59:22
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