TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:
- How Kathleen and Emily dealt with Conference during the pandemic shutdown
- How the 85/15 ownership split turned into 100/0
- How Kathleen and Emily are sharing ownership of content/services they have created together
- Where they each found their support systems
- What the future of Being Boss looks like
- What's on the horizon for Kathleen
RESOURCES DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE
- Episode #238 // PART 1: The Being Boss Partnership
- Chalkboard Method
- CEO Day Kit
- Autumn Witt Boyd
- Episode #234 // The Power of Conversation
MORE FROM Michelle Khouri
Emily Thompson 0:02
Here we are. Part two of the biggest conversation we've ever shared here at Being Boss. In the last episode I shared the first part of an interview conducted by Michelle Corrie, my friend and CEO of FRQNCY Media, as she interviewed Kathleen and me about the path that has led us to a full transition of partnership that leaves me Emily here, the sole owner of being boss. To get you caught up. We left off the last episode by sharing the moments when Kathleen came to me with the offer to transfer full ownership of Being Boss just a few months after a transition a 50/50 partnership to 85/15 took place. But before we dive in, here's a word from our sponsor.
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Kathleen Shannon 1:47
And I remember I was sitting in the parking lot of my gym whenever Emily Facetimed me which is so on brand like I'm at the gym and Emily's like making really hard decisions about the future. So she facetimes me and is like, well, we need to make a decision about what to do about this conference because of COVID. And I was a little, I will admit, resentful, not of Emily like more of like, just the whole, the whole thing, you know, like the whole world at that point. Because when we were having to make the decision, which is boss of us that we decided to shut down the conference before New Orleans decided to shut down conferences or events, like we decided to do the right thing before the government decided to do the right thing, which was
Michelle Khouri 2:33
Before it was decided for you.
Kathleen Shannon 2:35
Before it was decided for us. I kind of regret I kind of wish that we had waited an extra week because then a lot less people would have been pissed off if it wasn't us making the call but whatever. That's what being boss is about is like taking ownership, right? Except at that point. I didn't want to take ownership over these decisions. I was like I'm not being compensated to make these hard decisions anymore. And that's where it goes to talk. Emily was talking about about like, half assing something, I didn't know how to be 15%. You know, like, I was definitely sitting in the backseat, kind of, but trying not to be a backseat driver to Emily, you know, and just trying to really be supportive and hold up the roadmap for her and say, I think maybe we should turn this way. And she's like, No, I'm going off road, you know, or whatever it is. Emily never went off road. She had a map the whole time. She had a vision and a map the whole time, right.
Emily Thompson 3:27
I'm always the one who reads the maps. Like also when we're traveling, I read the maps.
Kathleen Shannon 3:32
That's truth right there. So anyway, I I remember, at that point, thinking, I've got to get out of this. Like, I've got to get out. I bet we both felt it. That's the other thing I want to say is that Emily and I feel each other. We're at the point where we can basically read each other's minds. If I've learned anything, it's that if I have a funny feeling, I need to just talk to Emily about it because she's gonna have my back and vice versa like You think Emily, we've been scared to have these conversations and then we're always on the same page. Or if we're not on the same page, we give each other so much grace and compassion to get on the same page. I even remember at one point, we were actually kind of fighting. I can't even remember about what and you were like, I'm not your sister. And now I kind of want to be like, by our, like, at this point...
Michelle Khouri 4:28
Definitely at this point, and you know what you said about, we're all we keep coming back to the fact that like, the timing of this is no coincidence. The rumblings were happening, you know, and it seems like part of the rumblings of what would end up unfolding in 2020 was this decision to buy out at least most of Being Boss from you, Kathleen, but
Kathleen Shannon 4:52
That happened in 2019. So Emily bought out most of Being Boss from me rest time last year. So July of 2019. So then what happened was...
Emily Thompson 5:07
Hold on. I need to I need to give my side of this. Because whenever I did FaceTime Kathleen in the gym parking lot, and I was like we need to make this decision. This was also me not knowing how Kathleen needed to be 15% because I'd already made the decision. Right? And I was just going to include Kathleen in on the debt decision in a way that felt like me giving her 15% say, and because I also knew that she would feel exactly the way I would or I did about it.
Kathleen Shannon 5:43
Because at that point I don't want to get on an airplane, like do I call it quits if Emily wants to go? I ended up telling Emily I remember saying, Listen, I'll be there if you want me to be there, because at that point to the world hadn't been shut down. So it was really unclear how safe or unsafe it was to even get on a plane at that point. And so I really did want to be, first and foremost supportive of whatever it was that Emily wanted to do. But I knew that either way after this conference that we were going to have a conversation that I wanted out.
Emily Thompson 6:16
Right. So whenever we did make the call Kathleen Marco Polo me or called me or something, and she was like, and that's when she was like, I think I want you to just be 100% Being Boss. And I told her, I'm not having that conversation right now.
Kathleen Shannon 6:33
Yeah, and I knew that she was in no place either. I felt terrible about it. But this is where by that point I had learned if we have a feeling we need to just get it out there. Otherwise, the feeling will fester between the two of us because we're a little bit psychic with each other. Rather than I said, let's not have the conversation now. I'm just pre paving and setting the stage that I'm thinking about this. Don't even think about it yet. So then, Emily, I remembered Emily goes, though, if everything was going well, right now, would you feel this way? And I was like, I'm not sure. But I think so because I've been feeling this way for a while. So then Emily moved the conference online. And...
Emily Thompson 7:14
Also, while I think I had COVID. I do want to slide that in there. My decision to take the conference online early was based on what I was seeing, because I was watching the news, multiple channels of the news like a hawk, so that I could stay informed enough to make this massive decision, not only for me, but for all of our conference attendees. And what I was experiencing, because I think I had it. I came back from a trip to California, and the following week was when it was all over the news, but nothing was happening yet. And that week, I got a fever. I sent David to the office together all of my stuff and I immediately started calling around for tests in there was none and not only was there none, but the people I was talking to were zero help, and I knew that this shit was about to hit the fan. So I made my personal call. I told the team, and within a few days, we told attendees and then the world shut down. So I ended up doing the entire pivot of the conference with that fever that I had every day for over three weeks.
Kathleen Shannon 8:20
I still wonder because you did have a fever for three weeks after coming back from California, you did not feel well. So this was in April that you were in California...
Emily Thompson 8:28
Early March, I was in California.
Kathleen Shannon 8:29
Oh right. Now that we know what we know about testing, I don't think you got tested until April.
Emily Thompson 8:34
Correct. And then oh, two and a half weeks to get my test back.
Kathleen Shannon 8:37
Exactly. And so now they're saying that it you to get the best test results, you want to get tested two days into your symptoms. You were three weeks into your symptoms. So for all we know, you did have COVID.
Emily Thompson 8:50
We have no idea.
Michelle Khouri 8:52
I mean, you were feverish in the middle of a global pandemic.
Kathleen Shannon 8:55
So well. Okay. So then Emily says I'm going to take it online. And at that point too I was even like maybe we just postpone again, I thought that this was gonna be over by like July I'm so glad we didn't postpone because even if it was for a year later I really don't think that I'm just putting out here this thing isn't going to be over until like 2023. But we did the online conference and I remember thinking I'm going to show up, I am going to turn on my taxi light, like I'm going to shine as bright as I can. I'm going to give it my all and I did and it felt so good. That online conference was phenomenal and I had no idea what to expect and I was so happily surprised and then after it was done I still knew that I wanted Emily to fully buy me out
Michelle Khouri 9:45
Kathleen, going into it did you feel like you know turning on that taxi light giving it your all did was a part of you like this is my swan song? Like this is my sign off. This is my goodbye?
Kathleen Shannon 9:55
No my sign off and goodbye was the book. I was giving the book my all I know. Yeah, maybe a little bit. But really, it was more just like, I'm a professional, I will show up and do my job. This is another thing that people don't know. I was sick, like real sick for probably half of our book tour. Oh my god, nobody ever knew, like, that's one of my superpowers. Is that like, I can show up and do a job no matter how I'm feeling. And I think that's going back to what we were talking about earlier, where like, my spirit or my mind or my body don't always feel like doing the thing, but I do the thing. Like I hold up my commitments. Anyway, so I knew after the conference, even after giving it my all and it being so much fine. I still knew even on a high note that I wanted to sell. And I remember someone telling me that before that whenever you're having to make a hard decision, don't make it just whenever things are bad, like make it think about the decision. Whenever Things are good too. Would it still be the same decision even though things being bad is a good catalyst for changing and making decisions, I want to make sure that this was coming from a place of like, clarity, I guess I could have also decided to buy back in. So it was in our contract that I could buy back in to be back at 50%. So the conference went bad. It was great. The online community was going well, which is another thing I was a little bit averse to. So everything was going well, I could have said Actually, I went back in this is this is pretty nice. You've done a good job with this, but I knew that I still wanted out.
Emily Thompson 11:36
Yeah, and we have like a big conversation at that point, too, because it's funny whenever she had first mentioned to me that she wanted me to be 100%. I told her I was like, I'm not having this conversation right now. I'm gonna do the conference. Let's talk about it after the conference. Like let me just can't, can't. So I
Kathleen Shannon 11:56
Emily was like, let's wait until the week of your birthday to talk about it.
Emily Thompson 12:00
Right? Because we did a conference and that was going to take a week off and then I was like, I will talk about it when I, I need to finish this thing. Do this thing which was amazing, which really blew everyone's mind. I think maybe most of all mine. I can I can say that. And then I was like I'm gonna take a week off. And then whenever I come back, we will let's have this talk and it was the week of Kathleen's birthday. Monday morning. I had I think a text even from Kathleen and we don't text each other that often is usually Markopolos, but it was like I'm ready to have this talk like you just as soon as I get in after my vacation, I was like okay good. Like and Kathleen like she's been thinking about it, obviously she's ready to have a conversation. And I remember the conversation very much so being like, you know, Kathleen was like, I don't really like I just know that I want out and not really sure like how to say this. I don't want it to come out or come off wrong, all of these things and I was like no because if For me, moving at 515 was, for me a reflection of this was not my baby, it was our baby. And if I'm going to rebuild this, I wanted Kathleen to maintain sort of that bit of compensation that like you've built this thing like you can continue to benefit from this thing, like I'll steer the ship all of these things. But definitely after the conference, if being boss felt like mine, like I facilitated the entirety of that event, both times and both planning the real life one which ended up getting canceled and then planning the entirety of the online one eye and doing the community and getting all of those things together. Like at that point, I felt like it was mine at that point, I was ready for it to be 100% mine whereas before that I didn't feel like it was mine, right?
Kathleen Shannon 13:51
I think the 15% was a little bit of a security blanket even.
Michelle Khouri 13:57
Yeah. It sounds like it sounds like that easing in. That like, you know, it gave you the opportunity Emily to see it as yours. And it gave you the opportunity Kathleen with with a built in safety net of if I really end up missing this I can buy back in give you the opportunity to really confirm that you wanted out for real.
Kathleen Shannon 14:18
Yeah. So then we had a have another really hard conversation that lasted another...I don't know three months. Yeah. About what does that look like? So I will say once we decided to move it over fully to Emily 100%. We had to talk a lot about what full custody looked like knowing that we had created this thing together. So in our buyout final buyout agreement, and I gave Emily the final 15% too, because at this point, being boss was not spared by the COVID situation, right.
Michelle Khouri 14:54
Emily Thompson 14:55
We lost a shit ton of money when we had to take the conference online like tens of thousands of dollars when we had to make that switch.
Kathleen Shannon 15:04
So I was also doing the math of at 15%, if we've lost all this money and we're in debt, how much of that debt is on me? Even though like our agreement was that any debts on Emily, I'm like 15% to use my name, you know or to anyway, so that's the other part that felt tricky and funny to me. I was like, I don't I don't think I want to be 15% so we really started talking about what it looks like that we've created this thing together, but Emily has 100% and we're still really good friends. We still adore and love each other. I would still love to come to like a being boss Nola in the future. I'm obviously on the podcast right now as a guest. I would love to come back time and you know, a few times as a guest. So we still wrote a book together, which is a little bit differently. That's a permanent thing. So That was our main discussion is like how are we able to use and promote and sell the book as individuals. So that's what we had to figure out. And we'll probably bridges will have to be crossed in the future in regards to that, because the book anyway is kind of like boring details. And then we also talked about, you know, things like the chalkboard method is trademarked by braid creative. So I was like, keep that up, you know, you can keep that on being boss, but don't ever sell it. Like I always want that content to be free. And we talked about the CEO day kit, which is literally real tools that we both developed and created and use in order to plan out our businesses. I was like, I wouldn't be able to use that content with my clients, or whenever I'm coaching people, but you can sell it and it's 100% you know, yours. So we really had to talk a lot about just the logistics. I mean, it literally was like, it was more complicated than the divorce I've been through whenever it came to figuring out what all of our assets were. And how we split them and and then just the handshake agreement of like, how are we treating each other? How are we able to use our content. And I'm even able to see now like as I'm doing interviews for a braid creative on other podcasts being bought as a part of the conversation, because it's a big part of my life, and it's a big part of what I've created, and that's not going anywhere. And if anything, I feel even more like I can support Emily even more outside of the 15% because I'm not having to balance how it might be a self interest. You know, like now I feel like I fully just have Emily's back. And so I'll have ideas and I'll Marco Polo her and say, Hey, have you thought about doing this for this or, you know, whatever. So I just I feel really good about it.
Michelle Khouri 17:46
What were each of your support systems? I'm really curious to see how you who you reached out to for advice if you did, who helped you through the process? Were there attorneys involved, you know, How did you approach support systems?
Emily Thompson 18:03
So anytime we ever go through a hard conversation that involves contract, we always call Autumn Witt Boyd, who is our lawyer. She's been on the podcast at least once, maybe twice. She was speaking at the big boss conference this past spring. She's a friend of mine. We had lunch recently. She's always a part of those conversations. And she's really great about asking us the questions we didn't think to ask, right? So like, well, what happens if this thing's have this thing happens or what are we doing with this asset or whatever. She's always been huge. And having any of the conversations we've had whether it was creating our operating agreement when we decided to do this thing, or doing the partial buyout or finishing the full buyout. So I think like she's like resource number one.
Michelle Khouri 18:49
So you both used her and she really stands to, to represent you both and make sure that it's a balanced agreement on both sides?
Kathleen Shannon 18:59
It's tricky. She has Being Boss's interests in mind. So and I would say that because Emily was now the majority partner at Being Boss. Really Emily was her client. So this is where I don't say I don't like the Autumn is resource number one she's actually the last person that we go to just to make the deal final. So our support system she's like the end of the end of the line you know whenever it comes to support and making it official. Now Autumn, of course has my back to like I think that she's very fair. So whenever I say this, I'm not like well, she was really just thinking about Emily, but Being Boss is her client and so if Emily's the majority in Being Boss, she's really looking out for Being Boss's best interest.
Michelle Khouri 19:45
Yeah, that's what I was curious about. Because you know, I think fundamentally also Kathleen, how you perceive that dynamic is really important in those conversations and to make sure that you feel as supported and seen and that's a that's a tricky, dynamic. Right there, right and so I think the good news is that you all have many years you know, like over half a decade of relationship building and trust building between you two, right so and obviously autumn has been on your side both for both of you for a long time as well. So okay, so you've got your your lawyer in tow, but when this first went down, because you know, I start thinking pragmatically it's funny you were like, Oh, the boring details. I was like, Oh my god, no, I love those details. But pragmatically when that decision was first made, like okay, well we know this full bio is gonna happen. Who did you each turn to you do have like advisors that you turn to that you knew had gone through this before? Did you do some Google searching like what did that look like?
Kathleen Shannon 20:49
For me? It was definitely running it by my husband like for him for me processing my feelings about being boss and like why why does this not feel right? Pain of processing happened on that emotional level with my husband for sure. Right? He was definitely like why don't you take your feelings out of it and just take your 15% be good like he was definitely pro stay in. Stay 15% you know, just chill like don't overthink it. Right? And then here's where it gets really tricky and I could almost makes me sad saying it is that my sister is my other person. But I can't talk to her about it because I own a business with her so it is of her one it was selfish of me to start being boss kind of as a without talking to my sister. I talked to my sister about it. This is so tricky. I don't even know how to talk about it right now. I own braid creative with my sister. We now have a third partner. Being boss and braid and indie shop agraphia whenever that was still a thing. It was so we were also in bed together. Like it was so incestuous. Like how all of our businesses work together that it was hard to draw a line and that was by design, until there was a time to draw a line. Until it if I had talked to my sister about like, I think I'm gonna fully leave being boss, then she's thinking, Okay, how is that going to affect the being boss to braid pipeline because it is still the lead generator, and or, Oh, great, that means I get you 100% of the time now. So she of course she's going it. She's gonna have her own opinions and feelings and I need to not I needed to one not burden my sister with some of that stuff. And then to make the decision more clean for myself. And just our confident like, I didn't want to show some of that like insecurity or indecision to my sister because it was kind of like you've made your bed. You need to lie in it or make your own decisions. Like it was one of those things I had to be kind of more autonomous about. So that was really tricky. In fact, that was was probably one of the hardest dynamics, not between me and Emily but between me and my business partners at braid and just making sure that I was being confident or like Cognizant be like everybody little sister who needs someone else to make my decisions for me like at this point I had to put on my big girl panties and figure it out for myself and that was really, really hard. So then beyond that, my support system whenever it came to this whole thing was Emily like which is also weird because we were each other's support systems through a being boss buyout and I think that's what makes this situation so incredibly unique and so incredibly boss is that for me, emotionally Yeah, I was talking to my husband about it, but more I was talking to Emily about it on the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, logistical friendship part of it like it was Emily the whole time.
Emily Thompson 23:59
Yes. Same. I mean, accountants as well. Tax implications and things like that. But same, like when it came to the ins and outs of things, the only person I talked to about it was Kathleen. I mean, I also talked to my partner David, like, just Hey, this is the thing, you know, but I mean, he's also in bed with me at Almanac. Also literally, so like, again, like those things are sort of tied in so but and he does our books and things so he was like, well how is this gonna affect my workload if I have to work out Kathleen's buy out. Those sorts of things, right?
Michelle Khouri 24:32
Wow. Which is kind of what Kathleen was saying about her sister's like, you know, you guys do have very interconnected like business and personal relationship networks. And so this is one of those implications. And yet, you know how to handle them so well that you guys were each other support systems for each other which is, it is unique and it is powerful. That is amazing that you all were able to do that and it's frankly, why we're able to have that This conversation today so openly and transparently is because you y'all have been processing with each other for months.
Kathleen Shannon 25:09
I mean the whole time the whole time. And that's one thing that I want to make clear is that we've had hard conversations every step of the way. And that hasn't been without differences in creative opinion. It hasn't been without a little bit of tension that maybe never even got fully fleshed out. But we just let time resolve. It hasn't been without its hard times and it struggles but for the most part, whenever I think about being Boss, I think about I think about our book tour, I think about how grateful I am that we got to hike through the redwoods together. One of the best meals of my life was in Toronto with Emily. I mean, we've had so many good times and that's what I will leave all of this thinking about. I won't really be thinking about the hard stuff because we've become so much More treats other than just business partners, which is also so funny because whenever we started being boss, you'd be like, Oh, you started, you start a podcast with your best friend. And I was like, No, we actually weren't super tight. But now I mean, Emily's like my one of my writer dies, you know, and so I'm just so grateful that I could come out of it with that person. And that Emily can continue to grow and develop being boss into something new and probably something a little bit different and that she has the freedom and flexibility to make it meet her needs and to meet our community's needs. Because that's the other part of being boss that we haven't even really talked about yet is like what it turned into even beyond us, which is really cool too. And making sure that we're, we've got you know, our listeners backs and making sure that we're they factored into this decision as well.
Michelle Khouri 26:53
You read my mind because that's actually what I'd love to shift into now is we've talked about the process and the emotion and business implications and approaches and what led you to this point and now I really want to hear from both of you, obviously, particularly from Emily about what the future of Being Boss looks like what is the vision for the future? Also understanding we're in the middle of COVID and it's really hard to have future visions but it's you so I know there's one. And then the other side of it is you know, Kathleen, what are your hopes for Being Boss's future and how you fit into it and you've touched into that just a bit. But Emily, tell us about the the future of Being Boss.
Emily Thompson 27:35
I mean, one of the cool things about these decisions taking so long to navigate, or at least how we've done it is that you're already seeing it. I've been putting it in place for almost a year. I will say though, that when COVID hit I was like, what the fuck did I just do? Because then when I saved Being Boss, I wanted to use this brand to throw in real life events and host my high touch six month Make It Do mastermind groups, both of which I can't do now.
Michelle Khouri 28:04
Not as they were initially envisioned, right?
Emily Thompson 28:06
Right. Not as they were initially envisioned. But when we made our first transition, I made a promise to myself that I would commit myself to this company for the next several years. And I'm not going to voice this specifics out loud because I've learned not to do that. But I'm here figuring it out. I am an entrepreneur. I'm here to solve the puzzle. And I will say that I maintain so much gratitude for that conference, because during a time of immense upheaval, it gave me something to focus on, and not just me, but for hundreds of bosses that I was serving with that event and that content. It kept me from having really any extra time to wonder or fret or consider all the options or how all the options had been taken away. I even realized it then I remember thinking that this event and the task that I had in front of me was a gift. It was giving me purpose and keeping me focused. At a time when no one else knew what to do, I had something to do. And as for my vision, at the core of it Being Boss remains the same. I'm here to support creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs and taking control of their work and living life on their own terms. That mission is still so aligned with me and who I am, that it's not changing. And how that's accomplished is honestly not at the moment, much different from the ways that we've been doing it in the past, podcasts will continue. I love creating this content. I love the conversations that I get to have here and I'm excited to bring in more of my business besties into this space to share those relationships with you, those bosses with you, and all of their nuggets of experience and expertise. I've even committed myself to staying more on top of the podcasting industry, because Kathleen was always my podcast listener. Now I've got to keep my finger on that pulse in a way that I've never had. Before, and you've even been seeing me trying some things out to see how you guys how the listeners react. But also to see what my podcast looks like to see what it feels or to see what feels right. For me, it's been a lot of fun to dive in and try different things. And then of course, there's the being boss community, which is a piece of my vision that you've already seen, brought to fruition, though, it will continue to shift and change, I think to support its members as everyone grows, and as the members grow, but also as we grow with it, and the bosses in that community, keep my fire lit. I love that I get to be a part of their journey and create a space for them that will help them along on their journey. I know so many of them by name. Now we check in every week in our Monday meetups, and I know who's going through rebrands and who's pivoting their business and who's sending their kids off to college. They They've really become my people. And it's a place for all kinds of bosses. We have side hustlers in there who still have day jobs and are trying to start their businesses and get it off the ground. And so they can quit their jobs. We also have six figure bosses to multiple six figure bosses. I've intentionally built that space to serve as different sort of stages of bosses. There's the community at the base level, the clubhouse, which is a place where you can opt in for a bit more content. And then there's the C suite, which is the level that I recently launched and it's an application only pure mastermind group for bosses that are at that six figure level. And this is the place where I really get to get in there with the kind of work that I most like to do. Getting in there with processes and brainstorming, scaling opportunities and overcoming obstacles with their teams and, and just those navigating major growing pains. And someday I do hope to bring back my make it do masters Mind group, which is the place where I've always helped bosses may get into and find footing in that six figure level one day one day, and they'll continue to host events, only virtual ones until it makes sense to shift that at which point I cannot wait to hang out with everyone in New Orleans. Trust, that'll happen someday. But and Kathleen, I don't even think I've told you this, but I was recently going through some old Evernote documents, which is where we used to do all of our meeting notes in our show notes in our plans. In the early years of being boss and I found this plan that we created we're in it all highlighted in bold it as a plan. It was a plan for hosting twice a year virtual conferences back in like 2016.
Michelle Khouri 32:46
Well, your wish is 2020's command.
Emily Thompson 32:49
Right? I did the thing. And this spring conference was such a hit despite the pivot that I'm doing it at least until we can travel again and even then I could see doing twice a year virtual conferences, in addition to our reinstated annual vacations, and as we laid out all those years ago, it has always been a part of the Being Boss vision. And now I just get to bring it to fruition. And as we're recording this, I am planning our next virtual event for October of this year. I'll probably be sharing more about it in about the same time this episode goes live. So if you're not on the mailing list, you can go to the show notes and sign up. But I am super excited about it. It's a bit different from the events that we've done in the past. It has a slightly different direction. It's definitely more niche than we have done things in the past, but I'm starting to get some confirmations from speakers. And I am so stoked about sharing more.
Michelle Khouri 33:49
Ah, that's amazing.
Emily Thompson 33:50
And each of these things, every piece of it will continue to support what is the core of Being Boss. And if you go back and listen a couple of episodes ago, Kathleen and I did an a Live podcast recording at the Being Boss conferences spring episode is called the Power of Conversation. And you'll hear in that episode how after the first transition, I got really serious about sitting down and making sure that I knew the path that Being Boss would take what really made the work that we have done here impactful and really special. Because you have to realize for about a year and a half Kathleen and I stopped thinking about the future of Being Boss because Being Boss had no future. We were shutting it down. So we lost about a year and a half of visioning, imagining of building so when I took it over, and I remember it feeling really shocking to me like waking up when you didn't know you were asleep. And actually, the weekend that I met you, Michelle at that podcasting conference, it was the weekend that it really hit me that it's not that I wasted a year and a half, but I kind of wasted a year and a half and in online business, that's basically a decade.
Michelle Khouri 35:00
Why do you feel like it was what makes it feel like a waste versus not a waste?
Emily Thompson 35:05
Because I hadn't been planning. I hadn't been strategizing. I hadn't been building or executing, and to be at a podcasting conference and see how much the industry had changed in the past year and the tactics that people were employing, and how so many of them were things that I'd never even considered, in a field where we almost helped build this platform. Not really, but kinda. We were some OG podcasters. I felt behind. I felt behind in a way that I've never felt behind. I pride myself on always being ahead. My reputation as an online business expert kind of depends on it. So I dove in and I recommitted myself, I needed to put my entrepreneur hat back on and needed to be the CEO of this company with an understanding of the vision and of the path that it was on. The things that I had kind of put to bed in order to take care of myself through burnout and no regrets by any means. But I realized that I needed to buckle down, pick this business up and do the work. And part of that was getting really clear on our positioning, knowing what we're here to do, and why anyone listening to this should be here and not somewhere else. And that core is conversations. It's a foundation that we put into place over five years ago of talking about business with Kathleen here on the podcast, and has grown from those roots into everything that we do with bosses from our CEO day kit, which I actually plan on giving a bit of a makeover to in the future, which helps bosses have some important conversations with themselves about business, to the community where bosses come together to talk about business with each other, and our events, which includes the vacations when day again, maybe where we want to talk shop over cocktails or the virtual events, which are, which I like to make into highly curated sort of sets of conversations meant for a specific purpose for our bosses. So together, Kathleen and I planted that seed of growth through conversation for years, and we planted it years ago. And we've sunk those roots really deep in the work that we've done here. Our conversations over the years have sparked an entire brand. We have an international following. And it really has become a movement of creatives who are dedicated to taking control of their work and living life on their own terms. And they're doing it through those basic pillars that we set out before we ever even recorded our first podcast, through mindset, boundaries, habits and routines, through their relationships, through achieving their definition of work life flow and through the practical steps and business that help you reach your goals. And now I get to continue to do that. I get to continue to nurture that into a more mature version of the thing that we did start together which I've realized during this transition It's not about us anymore. It may be never really was about us, though we certainly fought really hard to make it about us. It's about our listeners, it's about our followers, and it's about the bosses who make up our community. So, basically, My vision is to continue doing the work that we started. But with decidedly more focus and dedication, than we've done it at least for the past year and a half, or at least for that year and a half, though, I've been at it for the past year, because I'm back. And it is my mission to lift this brand to being better than it ever has been. And I will say, I don't know if it's because of the final transition of ownership or some other timing, probably both. But for the first time in three years, I felt like being boss is a business that is moving forward. The structure is built, the framework is here. I did it, it feels great. Now I can just deliver and run and optimize and that feels amazing.
Michelle Khouri 39:02
Well, and the first of all, that's so exciting. I love the idea of sinking into the core, which is conversation. And that is a business practice and strategy in and of itself. Like, rather than splitting your attention a million which ways really figuring out what is the core, what is the pillar and foundation of this business? So I, I commend you on doing that. That's super exciting. And then also, I know that the concept of the business bestie has evolved for you too.
Emily Thompson 39:30
Yeah, for sure. Kathleen is OG business bestie. For sure. But I also have lots of relationships with lots of business owners. One of the great things that's come out of, of doing this work is that I know so many cool bosses. And so this gives me the opportunity to have more business bestie conversations that I'm already having, but I get to have them for everyone. So on the podcast and we've already started interviewing or doing some of the I actually can I tell you guys, that's gonna be a hard habit to break. I keep saying we. I keep having these conversation I'm like, we decided we want to do this and we're excited about doing this and But no, it's me and that's gonna be the hardest thing for me to break. 100%. I keep having to catch myself. It's a scene every time. But I'm already having interviews and conversations for the podcast that are just as great but in a completely different way. But what I am able to do is continue what Being Boss is but bringing, bringing different points of view into it and for you know, better or worse and I think it it's going to be different, but it will all be there. I'm excited about it.
Michelle Khouri 40:58
Kathleen, is time for you to bring us home with your thoughts.
Kathleen Shannon 41:03
Oh. I don't know if I can bring us home, I might end up derailing us, you know, so I've been getting asked like, Hey, what's next? And I'm really sinking back into my expertise and what has always been my mission, which is helping people be more of who they are and blending that into the work that they do. That's been a backbone of our conversations at Being Boss. And it's the entire mission of what I do at braid creative. So I am 100% at Braid Creative, I love working one on one with my clients again, and really getting to dig into what their business vision is and then making it real with branding. And so, for me, it's really just settling back into my expertise. And so I'm having a lot of the same feelings that Emily's having where I built the thing and it almost feels weird. Does it feel weird to you Emily, to not be building any more but to just be working?
Emily Thompson 42:03
To not be pushing? Yeah, absolutely. Like again I said I feel like I woke up about two or three weeks ago and I was like, things are different. Like there's like this very different energy that comes when you're not pushing or you're not building, it's just built and I can just show up and do the work.
Michelle Khouri 42:20
It's the flow state. Yeah, it's fluidity.
Kathleen Shannon 42:25
So I'm showing up and I'm designing brand platforms and a meeting one on one with my clients and then as that relates to Being Boss, it's more of me like you know that how people say like get out of your own way it was me getting out of Being Boss's way because Emily you know, going back to our mission and our purpose at Being Boss having conversations about creative business, through Being Boss and during Being Boss, I was also building braid into a now multi seven figure business and that is just not relatable to our audience and I rarely even talk about it because, one, I can't reverse engineer how we did it. And there are a lot of seven figure businesses that will try and trick you into thinking that they can teach you how to do it. And that's just not true. Like it's or it's very rarely true. And it's only going to happen through things like the C suite and I'm not trying to like you cannot blatant Emily promotion but I was thinking like maybe I should be in there because a lot of my challenges just are not relatable and that's why I got sick of talking about business because the only thing that I've continued to focus on whenever building that business is just focusing on my craft and hiring really good people and is like, simple and complicated as that right. So one thing that I'm going to miss the most though about being boss are the conference Are the conversations about creativity and for me, especially where I'm starting to see a through line into my own life and interest is in the habits and routines, like that's the part that I kept talking about at being boss, the habits and routines that support the creativity. And so I don't know where I might go from here and, and I don't know how I fit into the being boss universe, part of me thinks like, maybe Emily needs some space for me for a year. Like we'll still probably FaceTime every weekend like we are. I want you all to understand like we are facetiming more than ever we Marco Polo all the time. We are very close. But whenever it comes to showing up professionally, like I would love to be able to say oh, I want to emcee the next conference, or I want to emcee at New Orleans like I want to be hired to help be the glue between the transitions of bringing in one speaker and taking off one speaker and show up and be funny and be your business bestie and whatever. But then part of me thinks Would that be confusing? Or would it be diffusing? Like, maybe Emily needs some time to make this thing her own, knowing that I'm still around, and I'm still 100% supporting Emily, whenever it comes to sharing ideas, and I know that she supports me, like, even recently, we had a business bestie conversation where I was like, Can you help me understand how to organize my website? You know, and so, for where I fit in? I don't know, I don't know. And I think that we're probably just gonna have to take it as it goes and have a lot of like, openness like even me saying, like, maybe you need some space for me, but also, if you want me to come hang out, I am more than willing and happy to come hang out. And I also know that if I said, You know what, actually, I'm not going to come hang out at that thing that Emily wouldn't take it personal or that she would understand and the decisions here's what I realized the decisions that we make together are usually the best decisions, you know, are the decisions But we're supporting each other in our the best decisions. So, yeah, that's where it is for me, I suppose, or you don't even know. So this is one thing behind the scenes. I even thought about starting my own podcast. And I thought what if it could live in the Being Boss universe because I'm comfortable with Corey, like Corey knows me so well, like if he was the producer and editor and a lot of our sponsor relationships know me, so maybe they would be willing to sponsor my podcast, like maybe I could create a podcast that lives in the Being Boss universe. And then ultimately, I was like, No, we need some space, but I could see the potential for that, or at least the opportunity to know that if I had an idea, I could come to Emily and say, Okay, I've got this idea. Do you want to bring it on?
Michelle Khouri 46:45
Yeah, it's so question for you. First of all, how exciting that you get to now like really flow with your business and your creation, Braid, your business partners. Question for you is is when you finally did tell your sister and your other business partner about this. What are they feeling about it?
Kathleen Shannon 47:07
Well, they were like, I feel like this has been happening for two years. You know? So I have definitely peppered in our conversations what was going on and they're always so they always ask about Emily like How's Emily doing through COVID? Or how's Being Boss or how's Almanac doing. They're always more concerned with Almanac more than anything. So you know, and my sister is literally my family but my sister is also close with Emily like she knows Emily and cares about her like an in law basically, so I've definitely had conversations with them about Being Boss and how he's feeling and I would go to them for a little bit of like I am thinking about doing it like just peppering it in so that wasn't a surprise because I also hate doing that, like that's irresponsible too is to just like drop things on people. So they were they were not surprised and they were like, I feel like this already happened. Like they feel like the buyouts been happening for two years. Because basically it has.
Michelle Khouri 48:09
Is there a sense of excitement that now they get your full attention?
Kathleen Shannon 48:13
For sure. Yeah. And there's definitely been a boost in growth at Braid Creative in a kind of magical way. Because I will say, I don't know how much I believe in, like, capital M manifesting anymore, but I'm really good at wherever my attention goes, things grow. And my attention has been at Braid. I just wrote a blog post for the first time in 10 months. And Emily like literally the day after Emily made the announcement that the buyout was real. I wrote a blog post for the first time so I can definitely feel that something was unlocked that I didn't even know I didn't even know that there was blockage there until I felt the weight being released. So yeah, sorry, Michelle, I can't remember what your original question was.
Michelle Khouri 49:03
That was it. And it's, and it is. I mean, I think the point of that blockage is, you know, I don't know about capital M manifesting either, but I do know that we're all magnetic, and we all really do magnetize. And I've never seen magnetizing like in 2020. And that's actually a point that I wanted to make earlier is that 2020 is stripping us of anything that isn't serving our, like, our highest and best selves. You know, I know that sounds very woowoo but the just the raw truth of it is, whatever doesn't serve your best life and something that's aligned for you is falling away or, or is the catalysts are happening to make you finally make those calls. And so I'm just really excited for both of you and I'm sort of embodying all bosses, hopefully right now in saying that, like, of course, change is always it's changed, right? It's it's something different than what we've grown. Love and know from you all. But we also have grown to love and know each of you. And so the fact that you're each about two and already embodying your truths and your authentic creative visions for yourselves can't be anything but exciting, and can't be anything but a proliferation of even more inspiration and joy, because now we get to go to Braid, creative to experience you and your sense of wholeness, Kathleen, and we get to see being boss unfold into this greater vision from Emily. And that is, I mean, like you said earlier, Emily, if you're disappointed, you're missing the point. I love that because that is that is the core of this conversation. So thank you both so much for having me for having this conversation for all of us. And for keeping in mind, all of the for living, the tenets that you've preached for so many years and being such great examples of those things.
Emily Thompson 50:59
Thank you Michelle for coming to facilitate this. I knew that this was I knew this was important. This was an important conversation to have and to share. And I think it went off well, however, I do have to wonder, Kathleen, do you want to have beef about my microphone yet?
Kathleen Shannon 51:16
Okay, well, two things. One, now I'm feeling a little bit sad like, oh, wow, this is the last conversation scheduled for like, I remember what I missed out on. I love I love podcasting. I love talking.
Emily Thompson 51:29
You can come back anytime, anytime.
Kathleen Shannon 51:32
Okay, and speaking of podcasting, so for the past, probably year, maybe two. I've been like, Hey, we need new microphones like ours are janky they're falling, they're buzzing. They have these pop screens that fall off. They're just they've served their purpose. But man, I'd really like a new microphone. And so then today we turn on zoom and Emily has this swanky, professional looking studio microphone on an arm. It's like probably, I don't know. 11 inches long. Probably about two inches in circumference.
Emily Thompson 52:15
What are you describing, Kathleen?
Kathleen Shannon 52:16
I'm describing your very masculine microphone.
Michelle Khouri 52:22
It's a Shure SM7B. It's a gold standard.
Kathleen Shannon 52:29
So it's just like in your face. You're not having to really lean in to talk. I bet that your audio recording I bet it's not popping on the P's and the S's. I bet it sounds beautiful.
Michelle Khouri 52:43
And here's the real drama, you guys.
Kathleen Shannon 52:46
I'm just really annoyed. I'm really like this is some bullshit.
Emily Thompson 52:51
This is first thing she said when we got on today, guys, the first thing. So let me tell you what had happened was, okay?
Emily Thompson 53:01
And the story's really not that great. Basically, I treated myself to 100% owner High Five gift. And now I finally have the ability to record both at home where I've recorded for years, and the Being Boss office, which I rented pre-COVID to host meetups and workshops, and will probably just now become a production studio. And with that, the next era of Being Boss is born, one that grew from a seed of friendship and hard work, and transitioned in a time when the whole world is changing. And I have to believe that this is one piece that's definitely changing for the better, because it means that we or should I say, I can stay here to help you be boss. But also, we is still relevant because Being Boss has almost never been just me and Kathleen, but a team of us have been here working hard together to create this content and our experiences for you. I do want to express a very special thank you to Michelle Khouri for helping make this conversation happen. And if you find yourself wanting to hear more from her don't fret. Michelle is joining me on an episode very soon where we'll be diving deep into what it means to own who you are. And lastly, but certainly not least, thank you for being a boss, for being here supporting us all these years through hundreds of episodes, that were hundreds of conversations that were impactful for us too. Thank you for listening, for subscribing for following and, most importantly, for doing the work. I often say that bosses are the coolest people on the planet. And it's because of that because of you that I wanted to stay. I'm here to help you. Each and every weird, funny, unsure, super talented, creative, and building a business that makes you money, leaves you feeling creatively fulfilled and allows you to live the life that you really want to live. Because that is the Being Boss way. And as I have navigated this transition, I've kept coming back to that core mantra of Being Boss that being boss is being in it together. And it made me realize that that sentence isn't quite complete. Being boss is being in it together, but it's also staying committed even when you're doing it alone. But no melodrama here because Kathleen and I are still business besties. I still have my whole community of boss friends. And I'm honored to continue this work with all of you, and everyone else we bring into the fold. And I can't wait to see what happens next. And if you want to be a part of the future of Being Boss to claim your position as a boss, now's as good a time as ever to join in. In the Being Boss Community. Not only do you get to jump in and talk shop whenever you want, but you get the warm fuzzies of knowing that you're continuing the support of this podcast, all the creatives, business owners, and entrepreneurs in the world who need some guidance and taking control of their work and living life on their own terms. You can join us now at beingboss.club/community. And until next time, do the work. Be boss.