Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.
Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is being boss.
In this episode of being boss that we're talking about making the most of a photoshoot, sharing growth goals with your team, going on a trip to Guatemala for our first charitable trip together if you'd like to join our intentions for the next month, which include laundry and resurrected plants, and all things speaking, including how to get speaking gigs, what to charge and the do's and don'ts. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot v boss club.
Kathleen Shannon 0:48
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Emily Thompson 2:03
Good. I feel like we're not chatting as much as we used to.
Kathleen Shannon 2:09
I know. But you know, I have to be honest, I am loving the once a month pacing. I feel like I have so much more time and space to be creative and do the work. And not just talk about the work all the time, but actually do the work. Right? Same
Emily Thompson 2:25
I have certainly enjoyed that shift as well. And it's been something that I've been thinking about a lot how much we have been talking about doing the work and even see how much everyone else talks about doing the work. But it's nice to get back into doing the work and I don't know, just want to have a little encouragement session for everyone out there.
Unknown Speaker 2:50
Go do the work.
Kathleen Shannon 2:53
Well, it's funny because we started the podcast as business besties talking about what we're doing our struggles, our wins our victories, our mindset, habits, routines, boundaries, how we're actually doing the work. And you know, diving back into it. I'm curious to hear like, what have you been up to for the past month? How's Almanac doing? How did the mastermind launch go like what's going on?
Emily Thompson 3:16
Ah, things have just been rolling. It's funny, since we do have so much more time to do the work these days. I do feel like so many things are happening in such a short amount of time that I don't know, it's all just rolling really quickly, which is great. The mastermind is filled. We're starting actually tomorrow as of recording this. I start with my new group of mastermind years and I'm super excited about getting started. I'm also thinking about whether or not I'll do another round of it. And at the moment, I'm thinking maybe not, at least not for a while I'm enjoying doing it. I'm enjoying or I'm excited about going into my next round. But I'm also looking forward to a lot of growth at Almanac so that has been happening a lot over the past couple of months really since the holidays, we were able to come back after Christmas sort of take a little chill break and then we've gotten back up and sort of hit the ground running. We're developing new products, which is super exciting. We're gonna start bringing those out really soon. We had our first photo shoot this last weekend, which was a blast. It was a lot of fun. We call them some friend of friends of ours from Florence where we where we grew up and where we did a lot of our indie shot biography work. We called in our old photographer and stylist friends to come into Chattanooga and do a weekend long photo shoot with us. So shout out to Abraham and Susan row from Abraham row photography. We had a blast. We had a blast putting everything together it was it was a lot of fun getting back into that sort of workflow because we used to work with them on all of our indie shot biography like Large branding and website project. So we already had this really great work rapport and flow that we just fell right back into after years of not working together. It was like we, we never missed a day and we got so many fun things done. And it was so fun to be back in that space doing that work, not for a client. But for myself. So it was a lot of fun, very, like, lots of creative energy, super, super productive, I cannot wait to see the images, I cannot wait to share them with everyone else. And mostly because a lot of them are of new products that we've been developing. And I haven't even shown anyone yet. They'll be coming out soon.
Kathleen Shannon 5:44
And then whenever you did the photo shoot, was it just product or were you shooting yourselves as well, like for content?
Emily Thompson 5:50
It was some of us some of product we I like to do a good mix of just like hardcore product shots, like the things you're going to put on your product listings on your website, but then pairing that with little more like editorial content stuff. So think about you know, candle straight on and then just like a hand holding a candle. So find things like that. That way you get sort of like you're killing two birds with one stone except David read something apparently PETA funny joke guys who I saw, were a PETA released like, I don't even know like Kinder versions of sayings we all use. So instead of killing two birds with one stone, you're feeding two birds with one stone.
Kathleen Shannon 6:37
So you fed two birds with one stone. Right photoshoot?
Emily Thompson 6:41
I did I did do that. So we got really great product photos. But we have lots of editorial things as well. And we did also get some shoots have asked because some of what Almanac is releasing soon are some wearables. And I will leave it at that. So there are some shots of David Nye to which was a lot of fun. David got to play model for the day. I'll have to ask him how he liked that.
Kathleen Shannon 7:05
He's probably not as used to it as we are
Emily Thompson 7:08
definitely not, but he did a real good job.
Kathleen Shannon 7:11
Okay, one more logistical question. I knew that before we do a photo shoot, like the photo shoot that we did for our book. Or if I'm doing a photo shoot for a client, I always have a shot list. And I have like, close, medium wide environmental straight on, did you have a shot list? Or did you just wing it
Emily Thompson 7:27
totally had a shot list. You know, I'm crazy organized. And you're a little bit of a control freak. I also know how Abraham and Susan like to work again, we've worked together for so long, I know that some guidance always gets us going a lot faster. So I did I made I got a Google Doc open. And I made a list of all the products, I knew I wanted to shoot some of the shots that I know I wanted to get and around some content that I know I want to share this coming spring, I sort of made some lists. And I also went through through Instagram and just grab some photos of some shots that I like some sort of angles or, or collections that I liked. And I put them into little mood boards. So like there was like a little mini candle mood board and there's little mini crystal mood board and they printed it out and brought it with them. And while we were shooting we you know Mark things off and, and went through the list and it kept everything super succinct. I think that photoshoots they're not cheap number one. So you definitely want to use your time as wisely as you can. And to with good guidance, you can get a lot of things out of it. So I do like to leave enough room for just like creative whims and good ideas for sure. But I think having that structure, and that shot list and mood board to go back to is a good way to get you back on track if you start going off a little bit, which tends to happen whenever a bunch of creative friends get together to make something so so yes, there was a shot list. We joked around with them. We were like do you guys often get shot lists quite like this from your clients and they joked and said not usually. But it was really helpful. And we used it to really get everything I wanted out
Kathleen Shannon 9:16
of the weekend. I love it. I know for me, whenever I'm directing a photo shoot, I have a clipboard. And so that's kind of become the shorthand term for this thing, this collection of documents whenever it comes to like me and my sister who I own braid with and then our Director of photography or our you know, videographer. So the clipboard includes the shot list. So a checklist of like every shot you're getting, it includes a timeline so like where we need to be and when especially if there's multiple locations. And then finally a mood board so like a printed off mood board have the style and vibe that we're going for.
Emily Thompson 9:59
Love it. That clipboard or those docks will definitely make a photoshoot all the more worth it all the more worth the money and the energy and the time that you're using it to, to create this visual content for your brand. Alright, what about you, Kathleen, because you and braid has been up to a lot lately do and because we don't talk anymore, I don't even know what's going on what's going on at braid.
Kathleen Shannon 10:26
I know. So I just for our listeners who don't know, braid is headquartered out of Oklahoma City, we have eight team members working with us, including three partners, myself included as a partner. And we have a physical location in Oklahoma City. And as of this week, we started breaking ground, on building out into two more spaces next door to our current space. So we are doubling in size. We just have a huge expansion coming up. And I'm so excited about that. So Liz, my creative director and I both happen to live in Michigan. And so she drove to my house. And then together we flew down to Oklahoma City this past week, and had a huge planning retreat at braid. In fact, I got put on blast a little bit on our Instagram account, because I was mentioning our CEO decot. And how it was the it was on March 1. And I said it's day one of q2, it's time to get your act together. And everyone is like it's not q2, you're wrong.
Unknown Speaker 11:30
legit compassion, folks.
Kathleen Shannon 11:33
I know, right. But it was a total mix up probably because we were having a big planning retreat and going over a lot of the kinds of things that we go over in the CEO day kit. So whatever. Anyway, I had a big planning retreat upgrade where, you know, at the beginning of the year, I got together with my business partners, and we went over things like finances and goals and victories and wins. And what we would like to do over the next year and you know, really just goal setting on like on a client level. But then on a personal professional level, for example, you know, if we want to attend certain conferences, or if we want to get so many speaking gigs, as well as how many clients we want to land and what kind of clients we want to land. And what was really cool about this is that I'm used to doing that now at this point with a business partner, but really articulating it to the rest of the team, I'm realizing the importance of that. So we had a big planning session where we were sharing what we found in our partners meeting with the rest of our team and inviting them to really collaborate with us on what their goals are and what their wins were. And really just giving them an opportunity to feel ownership over this company that we've created. And really just seeing the importance to and company culture. So like after this big cleaning retreat, we were watching the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Oscar performance on YouTube. And I know it's just cool to feel this growth and expansion, both, you know, literally in our space, but then also in, I feel like we're growing up a little bit as a company. And so that's really exciting. And we also entered the addys, which is like a big advertising awards ceremony that happens every year. And it happens state by state and then regionally. And I used to be the bomb at winning addys. Like early in my career, whenever I was an art director at the advertising agency that I worked out before, I you know, decided to go out on my own and freelance and then start braid with my sister. We enter the addys every year. And it's something that my sister and I haven't done because it's expensive. And we didn't really feel like we needed it right. But now that we have more local clients and work that we're really excited to showcase, we wanted to submit a lot of stuff on behalf of our clients. And we went a little bit so I went a gold night on a campaign that I worked on that I loved working on this past season over the winter. It was like kind of a holiday campaign. And so that was really exciting. And it's funny because I'm less attached to it than I was in a raise younger, but it's still really exciting. And just an opportunity to celebrate and I'm really excited for my clients like digging back into client work has been fueling my soul. In fact, I feel like maybe even on our last podcast episode, you mentioned how you can sit at your desk and just work for eight hours without getting up and I was like, Oh my gosh, it has probably been years since I've done that. Like I don't know how you do that I have to get up every 90 minutes and stretch my legs or go for a walk or grab a snack. But whenever I'm digging into design now I've learned I could sit there for hours and hours and hours and just push some pixels around and make it perfect and beautiful. And I'm just really feeling a lot of excitement around that. Good. I
Emily Thompson 14:53
think there's something to say about finding the thing in which you can flow on that level, and I think graphic design was getting back to that for you
Kathleen Shannon 15:04
100%. All right, let's take a quick break.
Emily Thompson 15:11
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Kathleen Shannon 15:55
Okay, so we've got some really exciting news to share.
Emily Thompson 15:59
Yeah, we do. We're going to Guatemala. I'm so excited about this. So whenever we started this podcast, we did sort of an internal goal we had or like this intention that we set was that being boss is going to help us travel the world and that we wanted to go places and meet bosses and see things and do and just do things outside of what our current work was allowing us to do. And granted being bosses allowed us to travel all over the country and even into Canada a couple of times as well. And now we're going to Central America.
Kathleen Shannon 16:35
I know. And along with the goal of traveling the world A few years ago, we started asking ourselves, how could we use our platform to make a bigger and more meaningful impact. And specifically, we were thinking about how we could work with a charity or a nonprofit. And we even did a pre order campaign with our book, to donate some money for every book sold to a charity. And that felt really good. But in some ways, it kind of felt like it fell flat, you know, like we're sending off a cheque and in the grand scheme of things, is that check enough. Anyway, all this to say we've always made it a goal to try and have this bigger impact. And we've asked the question how, and what I've learned is that sometimes questions don't get answered right away. But whenever they do show up, you know what the answer is? Because you've already asked,
Emily Thompson 17:27
right, so we got in contact Actually, we got contacted by Cooperative for Education, also known as co Ed. They reached out to us to see if we wanted to partner with them to help educate children out of poverty in Guatemala, and obviously, hopefully, the answer was a resounding yes, please.
Kathleen Shannon 17:49
Yeah, so the Cooperative for Education has been around since 1996. And they have been on a mission to break the cycle of poverty and Guatemala through education. And in that time, they've served over 207,000 students, helping them to learn to read, stay in school, graduate and gain critical job skills at rates far above the national average. And those outstanding results have gotten attention from Guatemala's Ministry of Education, the United Nations, the World Bank, and most recently, the Obama foundation. I'm hoping Michelle Obama comes on this trip with us,
Emily Thompson 18:27
right, we can put that one out into the universe, why not?
Kathleen Shannon 18:31
Alright, so we each are sponsoring a child in Guatemala, and it's $80 a month for like a full scholarship to do a full sponsorship. And it helps these kiddos afford school. There's a lot of pressure and things that we certainly didn't grow up with whenever it comes to attaining an education like these kids in Guatemala are coming up against. And just yesterday, I started sponsoring my student. Her name is Kimberly. And in her in the future, she dreams of becoming a lawyer. She's inspired to become a lawyer because she has seen domestic abuse in her community, and even in her own home, and she wants to become a lawyer so that she can help women who suffer from domestic violence. So I'm so excited to be sending Kimberly some money and helping her stay in school. And I hope to meet her while we're in Guatemala. And I hope that a lawyer will come with us so we can have a boss lawyer speak with him really also about what it's like to be a lawyer.
Emily Thompson 19:34
Oh my god. Yes. So we are also going to Guatemala, the Cooperative for Education has been hosting trips like this to Guatemala and has invited us to join them to visit the communities that they serve. And we want to invite all of you to come with us. So we're going this summer to meet the children we're helping as well as taking some fun adventures like sunset cruises today. A tour of a coffee farm and weaving Co Op and some other fun things as well. We hope that a few of you can join us this summer and beautiful Guatemala, also known as the land of eternal spring, which with the snow covered ground that some of us are currently seeing. I know right spring,
Kathleen Shannon 20:17
I was also like summer in Guatemala, is it super hot then, but apparently, it's always just beautiful and the land of eternal spring,
Emily Thompson 20:26
right. So if you would like to come along, please go to being boss at DOT club at slash Guatemala to learn more about the trip. And what it's like to sponsor a child in Guatemala in case you don't want to come with it this time.
Kathleen Shannon 20:42
And again, that's being boss club slash Guatemala.
Emily Thompson 20:48
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Kathleen Shannon 22:30
I know this really is like a conversation that we have behind the scenes and practicing these monthly intentions really helps us become who we want to be. And it helps us lead more intentional lives and get serious about who we want to be. So my intention for the month is trust.
Emily Thompson 22:50
Kathleen Shannon 22:52
And do you like it? Yes. So okay, here's the deal, you may or may not have noticed that I've been freaking out about like worst case scenarios.
Emily Thompson 23:03
Worst case scenario is your favorite exercise.
Kathleen Shannon 23:07
It's becoming a problem. Like the other day, I was spending the night with my best friend at her house with my family. And I, I took Fox downstairs to her finished basement. It's beautiful, it's dark, it's cool, it's a good place to sleep. And she has a guest bed down there. And some at some point in the middle of night, I convinced myself that I was going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. And that's someone I know, I know, just the anxiety through the roof. It's so dumb, and like so I just want to trust that I can sleep in my friend's finished basement without dying. And that's just one example. I mean, it really is. It's a little much and I'm ready to nip it in the bud a little bit. So I want to take any time I'm having these like catastrophic thoughts and stop and choose to think something different and to trust that it's all going to work out for the best. And then I also chose this intention because this past year has been hard, you know, like 2018 I think is where we ended up feeling the most burned out. And I want to be able to trust that I can rekindle the fire and the enthusiasm and the ambition without burning out. And I want to trust that I can work out really hard at the gym without getting shingles, for example, like I just want to trust that I can handle the stress that's being thrown my way and that it's all gonna work out for the best. Hmm,
Emily Thompson 24:45
I felt this one feels really good for you. Especially right now I definitely I hear the worst case scenarios all the time, all the time, or all the times you think you're gonna get murdered or otherwise die.
Kathleen Shannon 25:01
I know, it really became pronounced whenever I went to Oklahoma City, and I had a couple of my best friends with me who aren't really, they don't know each other very well. So it's kind of like my bestie in Oklahoma City. And then my bestie. Here, Liz, who also works for me. We were all in Oklahoma City, and we were just chatting. And the fact that both of them pointed out that I'm really freaked out about dying. I was like, okay, like if, if other people like if I were connecting some dots, and the dots being connected is that Kathleen's always freaked out about dying, like, need to like, cut it out, right? Just Just trust,
Emily Thompson 25:41
just trust. Are you meditating much these days.
Kathleen Shannon 25:45
So I'm practicing yoga nidra. So since getting the shingles and really trying to get back into parasympathetic nervous system and chill out a little bit, I've been doing a yoga nidra practice, which is essentially laying in Shavasana, which is the corpse pose and listening to a guided relaxation recording. And I have two versions. I have a short version and a long version, the long versions, 45 minutes, and I've been trying to do that, at least three times a week.
Emily Thompson 26:16
Wonderful. I think you should be doing that. Because I feel like what there's like a, there's a saying that I'm totally gonna mess up because I don't remember how it goes per usual. But it's like quiet mind. Something something smart. Can't remember what it is. But that kind of came to mind just now.
Kathleen Shannon 26:39
So what do you mean about that? Their mind? Not freaking out about dying. There you go.
Unknown Speaker 26:45
There you go.
Kathleen Shannon 26:49
One thing that I love about whenever it comes to practicing intentions, is really seeing how it shows up right and getting the opportunities to practice. And that's why I always feel challenged by intentions. I think we talked about this at the word of the year that like, be careful what you pick. Yeah, because like for example, if you pick resilience, you might have some stuff thrown your way. If you pick peace, you might have to get your roof replaced on the busiest week of your life, right. So I love like really using intentions and seeing how it shows up every day. So today, for example, I noticed that one of my favorite house plants that I thought that I had drowned is come back to life. And usually I'm not shy or like hesitant to throw away a dead plant. And I know that that sounds awful. But this one I was like, um, I'm gonna give it a few months. And I mean it. It died probably three or four months ago. And it is spring and it is blooming, it has come back and it was just this little knot of like you can trust that things will come back. At least that's the meaning I'm choosing to attach to it.
Emily Thompson 27:58
Oh, I love that. I look forward to seeing how this continues to show up for you. I'll have to keep in touch because this is one for you. I'm most excited to see how it goes.
Kathleen Shannon 28:07
Well, let's first
Emily Thompson 28:08
Kathleen Shannon 28:09
What about you? Do you have an intention?
Emily Thompson 28:12
I do. I will begin though by saying that I purposefully did not set an intention last month, which is the first time in so long that I didn't because the universe is making me tired. So I need to take a break. I need to just like live without practicing for a month. And it felt really good. Like I didn't feel like I missed out anything. So you know if anyone's feeling overwhelmed by this or whatever. Feel free to just let it go for a minute if you need to. But I am back back in the saddle. Ready to get back to my intention practices. And I have decided that my intention for the new month is going to be routed.
Kathleen Shannon 29:01
Right like that. Right and routed
Emily Thompson 29:06
for a couple of different reasons, the biggest of which the biggest of which is with all the changes that have been happening with like workload with like we're backing off of being vasan, we're really going into Almanac on this side of things. And you know, I'm my business partner at Almanac is my life partner, David. So there's just been like a huge shifting of workloads happening. And for the past several years, David has been the sole caregiver of Lily, our daughter, and we homeschool her so he's been taking care of all of our homeschool stuff, but also like doing the dishes and the laundry and making sure she's getting to her homeschool activities and all of those things. But this all of this like shifting and workloads has equated to David actually needing to work more than me for the first time in years. And so I'm becoming More of the daily caregiver and like kind of entering into that like work at home mom role, which even though I've always been a work at home mom, I've never like those two things have an overlap, like I'm working at home but not playing mom while I'm working at home. So I'm definitely going back into that work at home mom role that I haven't been in in like 678 years, doing a lot of homeschool things, a lot of like a lot of laundry and they need to go wash towels when we're done, which is not something I ever have to think about. And so for me, a large part of this is like a really getting back into that home, taking care of like the route of my life, taking care of those things. And I've been trying not to be annoyed about it. Because I'm not like I do, like, Guys, I'm a cancer. I do love my home. And I get real homey for sure. And I love to cook and make beds and all of those sorts of things. But it is like more tasks on my task list or on my to do list. So for me, I want to like lean into that a lot and really like do what I need to do with intention to feel really rooted in my life. Because part of this too is that Almanac is growing. And back to what you were saying a minute ago with last year being the year that we both really got the most into burnout, I think we ever have together or separately, I want to be able to grow Almanac from a routed place. So that I'm making decisions based on some like firm foundations, so that burnout is so much less likely to happen so that I can show up and grow and do all the things but be able to come back home and feel really good about the decisions that I've made. So for me rooted is my word for the month. And I'm also teaching my first Almanac workshop this month, which is called rooted seasonal living. So that has sort of played into it as well, where I'm going to be sharing some of the content that I've been putting together around living seasonally and creating and finding fulfillment and living mindfully. So it's all I don't know, it's all about coming, coming back to like this firm foundation, this deep understanding so that you can grow and do and be from like a really strong place.
Kathleen Shannon 32:35
I love it. I feel like we've been practicing intention setting with each other for so long that we can always seem to find overlap or relatability in each other's intentions. And I love rooted because I have gotten some signs that Michigan is where we're going to be for a while, and that it's safe to put some roots down here. And then even thinking about that plant, you know, blooming again, like its roots, I thought I had drowned it, but its roots were resilient. Um, and so one of the things that I'm thinking about doing is buying a house, which is, you know, a good way to set some foundation and lay some roots. I'm also trusting that the right house is going to show up at the right time I found my dream house, but it's a little out of my price range. So I'm trusting like before I would get like real riled up about that and just be like, ah, like, go into a bad place. But I'm actually trusting that that showed me what it is that I want and that I will find the version of that that I can afford. And then it's going to be perfect. So that's kind of like probably where my biggest challenge around my intention is coming up like I just can't trust the timing of things. Some curious to hear from you. As far as rooted goes. Do you see any sort of challenges whenever it comes to feeling rooted? Or do you have any specific ways that you're going to practice that intention or try and take note of that intention?
Emily Thompson 34:04
Yes, I think my biggest challenge, what's funny is around trust. Right, because that one of the big one of the big things that burned out or burnout brought me was a fear of like trusting my own decisions. Right? So for me part of it is definitely going to be trusting that the decisions that I make now just sort of set these new foundations for either a growing company or my new role at home are the right decisions or that they'll lead to what it is that I that I want. So that's one of like self trust for sure is the challenge. But I also do feel it expanding into some really cool opportunities. So also another you know, move that Almanac and the growth of Almanac is bringing us is that we're having to really set roots in Chattanooga and I mean, we've been here for three and a half years now. And we're, I'm always looking at property all over the country guys, like I am a little bit of a real estate junkie, like, it's just a little personal hobby that I like to do Saturday morning in bed for my phone. And, and I think I need to start putting that to bed for a little while, I need to just really invest in what it is that we're doing and growing here, so that we can be building that, you know, real physical Foundation, or a geographic, I guess, geographically centered foundation. How about that in a local community, and I've been doing some of that we had our first our I hosted my first like open studio at our new Almanac studio last week, and I want to begin doing that more often and just inviting other creatives and cool people that I know in town into my space and, and continue building and investing in that community. So there are there's definitely some challenges, mostly they're internal, are they always, but then there are some really cool opportunities to that I'm excited to, you know, commit to and dive into but there is this sort of overlying need to simply and always trust the process, my own process and the process that I can't even see yet.
Kathleen Shannon 36:22
You I think one thing that also goes with trust, and rooted is this idea of vulnerability, like really just being vulnerable enough to not keep things at an arm's distance, which I think can easily happen when a refill burned out. Like you can start to hold things at a distance because you're scared of getting too close because, man that fire burns.
Emily Thompson 36:44
We know Yes, yes, it definitely does. And that's something even that we experienced this past weekend with having friends and doing our photoshoot was like, remembering what it's like to invest in a creative project and to invest in relationships in relationships with people and and to really like, make something final for the future. Like, you know, doing something like getting photos for something is saying like, Okay, then like we're doing something with these products with these things that we're doing. And then we have to take them and share them with the world. There's definitely some, some vulnerability there. And just like an opening back up, a complete and utter opening backup burnout has been hard. I know for both of us. But I definitely know that coming back to these intention setting practices is how we continue to, to find your way out of it, obviously.
Kathleen Shannon 37:39
All right, well, I'm sure that we'll continue to check back in with each other off air, about our intentions, of course, I
Emily Thompson 37:46
get to see what happens with you trusting hope you don't trust yourself into a murderers, van.
Gogh. And cut. Oh, man,
Kathleen Shannon 38:06
I love it. It's true. Okay, Emily. So you busted out this beautiful color coded spreadsheet. And you had listed even in the spreadsheet some of our roles and duties and our marketing plans and our numbers. And it kind of looked a lot like our CEO naked.
Emily Thompson 38:28
Well, you better bet that's exactly where it came from. And it stemmed from me doing some of the exercises in CEO dekat. It really spurred me to think about what it is that we wanted to do in our business for the new year, except a little differently. This year. I use those to create some spreadsheets. But it definitely started with the exercises, the worksheets that we include in CEO day kit, a tool that we use every year to plan our year ahead. So it really gives us a chance to sit down and get really clear on all of our goals on all of our attentions. It helped me think about my word of the year and some of my words of the month coming up. So if you guys want to get aligned and in the know with the nuts and bolts of your business, check out our CEO daycare at courses dot boombox dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 39:19
Okay, I want to talk about speaking because we have some speaking gigs coming up together and separately. And we've gotten a lot of questions around speaking. You know, over the past couple of years, we've been doing more and more speaking, especially as we were on book tour over the past year. And so I really wanted to dive in and talk about why we speak how to get speaking gigs, how much to charge for speaking how to prep for your talk, and maybe cover a few do's and don'ts. So let's dig into the why. Why do we speak?
Emily Thompson 39:52
I think you should primarily speak because you have an expertise to share. But as you want to teach Or share or guide, you need this content to get out and speaking is one of the multiple ways in which to do that.
Kathleen Shannon 40:11
I know I never think about speaking as a part of my business model, like whenever it comes to exchanging my time on the stage for a paycheck, I think of it as a way to connect as a way to share my expertise. And as really just a way to show up, right. And I say this, because I've been getting asked a lot of questions about how much do I charge for speaking? And how can I build that into my business model? And just like podcasting, or blogging, or any sort of content sharing platform, I think that first and foremost, it should be about your expertise, and what it is that you want to share, versus how do I make money off of this thing?
Emily Thompson 40:51
For sure, but I think that also does lead into some other reasons why you might want to speak like it is your business model or for exposure. So for us, whenever we were doing our book tour, we definitely had some expertise we were wanting to share. But we had a book to do that. Whenever we were doing our book tour, a lot of that was about getting exposure of our content, for the purpose of introducing people to the book and the podcasts and some other things that that we have going on. So. So I think that can be sort of a secondary purpose. Or maybe primary, you can be the person who's like primary exposure all the way. But that's another option for you as well.
Kathleen Shannon 41:31
Right? So let's talk a little bit about how to get speaking gigs. Because if you're wanting to get out there and show up and be seen and get on a stage, you all should see this like Emily's practically covering her. Speaking as not her favorite thing.
Emily Thompson 41:49
No, I don't know, if you want to get speaking gigs become the business partner of someone who likes to speak and then you'll speak.
Kathleen Shannon 41:57
That's my tactics. So I love speaking. I mean, don't get me wrong the night before I have a speaking gig every single time. I'm like, why do I do this to myself, I'm never speaking again, this isn't worth it. It's too scary. It's too hard. I've thought about taking beta blockers. But then I'm scared of, you know, dying of a heart attack on a stage.
Emily Thompson 42:22
Worst case scenario, worst
Kathleen Shannon 42:23
case scenario. But the you know, that's part of the process. And I think it helps that my brother is a performer for a living and watching him go through the pre stage jitter that happens like before you have a show has helped normalize those feelings for me. But I'll get more into that later. First, let's talk about how to get speaking gigs. So I think that getting speaking gigs is a lot like pitching yourself to speak on a podcast, for example, you'll want to pitch conferences, a lot of conferences, have open calls for speakers where you can submit an application, there are always I think that starting local and starting small is always a really great way to get speaking gigs. So you can speak at local clubs, like a IGA, I think is probably some of the first speaking that I ever did. Or AIG is like a graphic design club. And I think I remember also one of my first speaking gigs was for a Marketing Association locally. And then I you know, even my very first speaking gig, I think it was that somebody cancelled at the last minute, and they asked if I could do it. And I just said, Yes, I had never given a talk before. But it's kind of one of those things where you say yes, before you're ready, I put together my slide deck the night before, I practice it a few times, and I just went for it. And from that you start to really build a reputation. And you start getting invited. But at first you kind of have to ask for introductions from friends, you have to get involved. And you have to ask, you have to ask for it.
Emily Thompson 43:54
For sure. Most of mine ended up getting handed to me because of Kathleen. So I think, again, become friends with people who want to do these things. No, one of my best recommendations is these days online people especially like everyone's throwing an event. So it's not even like shooting for the biggest conference you can think of but really connecting with people who are doing smaller events, where you can show up and do a workshop even, or where you can just be the guest expert for some sort of event that they're doing. And you don't have to start big and scary, you can start small and then those things do always snowball into other things were similar to Kathleen, I have local friends who have invited me to speak at their like women's groups, or who recently spoke at a garden club. And that was something that came from another local thing that I had done before where people see you at things especially locally and it ends up snowballing into other things Same thing happens on like a larger circuit as well, where if you're invited to a smaller group, one of those people could Many conference, someone at that many conference is a part of a larger conference like it stair steps up to those big gigs, you just have to start really small.
Kathleen Shannon 45:10
Yeah. And speaking of different kinds of speaking gigs, I know that for me, I went out the gate wanting a TED talk. And that is just ridiculous. I mean, that takes, I feel to have a good TED Talk, years of experience of really knowing what it is that you have to say. And like anything, you have to use your voice to find your voice and podcasting and blogging, and it's certainly in speaking. And so I would recommend, you know, not shooting for a TED talk out the gate, or even a keynote, there are different kinds of speaking gigs. So you could be on a panel, where it's you and three to four other people talking about one subject, and you're just kind of piping in, you could do a q&a, which is our next speaking gig is in Syracuse, New York. And we'll share more information about that on our Instagram or on our newsletter. So be sure to sign up for that if you're interested in attending. But we're doing a q&a, like a facilitated where there's a host, and they're asking me and Emily questions. And then there's keynoting, where you have your slides, you have your talk, you know exactly what you're saying, and you can deliver on points. And keynote usually means that you're opening the conference or closing the conference with your talk. And then there's also like you mentioned, Emily breakout sessions and workshops. So even if you're not a keynote speaker, or even on a panel, you might be able to host a breakout session at a conference where you can really dig into your expertise,
Emily Thompson 46:38
right. And at this point, we've done all of these, but we also have found the ones that we enjoy doing the most. So together Kathleen, and I love doing Q and A's. There's something really fun and very podcast like for us for someone to be on a stage asking us questions or us taking questions from the crowd that allows us to really show up as best we can together. But I do know I also love doing panels panels are probably one of my very favorite kinds. We again, part of a larger conversation, or workshops, where I would rather be teaching a whole bunch of people having a sort of group conversation, as opposed to keynotes where I always feel like I am just talking at a whole room of people. And I've done those two, and they're fine. But you can find which ones you like best. And you can even request those whenever you are invited to do a speaking gig. So Kathleen and I will always lead with we would love to speak can we do a q&a. And more often than not, people are totally open to you showing up in the capacity that we're you know, you can best deliver your content. I will also throw out here actually couples that, like throwing myself under the bus here. I hate speaking. Um,
Kathleen Shannon 47:56
but I just I'm so good at it. I feel like you definitely don't love doing it. But I feel like once you're in it, you're great at it. You are totally poised and confident. I know I'm always just really proud of you after speaking game.
Emily Thompson 48:11
You and for me, it's like I don't get jitters like you're talking about pre showed like, I don't get that
Kathleen Shannon 48:17
full on diarrhea
Emily Thompson 48:19
was involved. And I'm just like, waiting. Can we have a snack? Right, I don't get jitters I don't get nervous. Like, I'm the exact opposite of nervous. I'm rather indifferent about the whole thing usually and partly because it's just it's not my most favorite thing to do, though. You're right. Usually I get up there and completely enjoy it. My thing is I don't want to do the speaker circuit. Like I don't want to be a speaker. I don't mind speaking. I don't want to be a speaker. Like whenever I'm traveling. I think that's it traveling is very sacred to me like it's a sacred act and just like fly into a place, get on a stage and fly out Phil's blasphemous to me.
Kathleen Shannon 49:02
Well, and that's where I would be willing to do that. If that was my business model. Like if that is how I'm getting paid, you know, in and out. But we aren't on any sort of speaker circuit. We don't have representation. We don't have people pitching us for speaking gigs. So that's not even what we're talking about here. I think that we're talking about the kind of organic opportunities that have come out of being experts in our field that have come out of writing a book, and the opportunities that tend to show up that we're invited to
Emily Thompson 49:30
Yes, and this is also to say if you start getting into this, those opportunities do arise and they do lead to other things amazing. You're saying doing all these things. Don't want to be a speaker. I did reasonably get asked to apply to do a TED talk.
Kathleen Shannon 49:46
Did you do it? We did do it?
Emily Thompson 49:49
I did. Right. So so you may not love you may not want to do the whole speaking thing. But when you have something to say and the opportunity to say it, go you take it.
Kathleen Shannon 50:06
Alright, let's talk about pricing. Because this is I think that speaking is where there's most variables and where the conversation can get kind of awkward. The my thoughts around money are just be open and transparent and talk about it. So whenever it comes to speaking, some gigs can pay a really good fee. Others might be able to pay for travel and accommodations and maybe a small honorarium. I did not know what the word honorarium is, it's basically like a goodwill fee. It's not maybe like a full, like a donation. Yeah, it's kind of more like a donation. I will say that if you were speaking locally, local events are mostly unpaid, but they're a great opportunity just to connect with your local community and to raise awareness and to gain exposure and to really just position and anchor yourself within your community as you know, an expert in what you do. Um, but I will say whenever it comes to pricing, I am not at all shy whenever someone asks us if we can speak to start the conversation with Do you have a budget for speakers and just go from there? So for example, you know, Emily, we have gotten paid well, we've also gotten paid just for travel. We've gotten small honorariums, you know, and it really just depends, like, if we have a book to promote, we might be more inclined to go and speak and to do it practically for free, or just to cover our flights. Because one, we get to hang out with each other. And two, we get to promote our book in the meantime, like if we get an add on a book signing on top of the speaking gig, and whenever you aren't getting paid, there is a little bit more leverage whenever it comes to how you can ultimately be compensated. And so for us, it might be well, can we have a book signing afterward? And then finally, I just want to mention, like, I've always gotten clients from speaking not because I'm hard selling myself during a speaking gig, which
Emily Thompson 52:03
is usually a No, no,
Kathleen Shannon 52:05
a big No, no. And we'll get to the do's and don'ts here in a second. But I have gotten clients from speaking and it, you know, fits right in that philosophy of being a farmer, not a hunter. You're speaking as farmer, being a farmer, it's planting seeds. It's nurturing relationships. So even if it doesn't pay, I still think it's a really great thing to do if you want to do it.
Emily Thompson 52:27
I agree, I think the biggest thing is just go into it, knowing what you want out of it. And if it is just straight up money, then do that. For me, I wait every single opportunity differently. So if it's something local and unpaid, who am I going to meet? Or who am I talking to? If it's a larger conference, who else is speaking? Or who's putting it on? Are those people that I want to connect with? Or are the attendees my crowd of people that I want exposure to, from what we're exposed to? When I don't know?
Kathleen Shannon 53:02
I don't know what this is how we Kashi right, in real life, people you're saying it behind the scenes, right?
Emily Thompson 53:07
I put all the prepositions and we just choose one. Um, or are you traveling to a cool place like that one's always pretty up there on my list as well, where you know, I will sort of weight those things differently so that I'm getting out of it, what I most want to get out of it. Again, we're not it's not part of our business model, we're not only going into it for money, so we have the ability to sort of play with some of those other factors. And we always get what we want out of it, whether it's you know, meeting a, a plus speaker that is on the roster, and we're gonna meet at that speaker, that speaker cocktail party beforehand, or if it's, if it's traveling somewhere cool together and getting the opportunity to talk about a topic that we want to talk about, or whatever it may be. Just go into it, knowing what it is that you want. But don't be afraid to have that money conversation, no matter what your priorities are, because it's always great when you get to travel somewhere cool. meet someone cool, and get paid to do it.
Kathleen Shannon 54:03
Yes. So we are speaking at what is it the wise symposium in Syracuse, New York. Yeah. And that's coming up in April. I'm also going to be speaking at Camp climb in August, which is hosted by Emma Hicks. I'm super stoked about that one. Emily, what do you have coming up?
Emily Thompson 54:26
the y's symposium? Syracuse, I also I'm hosting a local workshop. So that's one of the ways that I super like to speak is doing workshops. And sometimes the best way to speak in the way you want to speak is to host it yourself. So I partnered with a local tea shop to do an almanac workshop, where I'll be speaking at that. So I'm doing I plan on doing a couple of those this year. And then I also applied for that TEDx talk. So we'll see if that happens. That will happen in August if they choose me. If they choose me. That makes me nervous
Kathleen Shannon 55:02
and excited. Get the shits right now. Yeah. Okay, let's talk about the do's and don'ts. So my first one is do communicate with the event coordinator about the stage setup, timing, like what time you need to be there when you need to be miked up, what kind of microphones they have asked them details on the stage setup, or their, you know, stools to sit on, because that might affect what you're wearing. I know, for me, even before a speaking gig once I was like, Hey, what's the stage setup like, and I had been wearing like a short skirt, I needed to put on some leggings for that setup. Um, knowing if you're going to be hand holding a mic, if you're going to have a clicker for your audio visuals, if you even have the capacity for audio visual. So just be really clear and ask as many questions as possible about all that.
Emily Thompson 55:52
I say, do Pete, whoa, don't pay that one out. I say do be a part of the event. I think there is something extra that happens whenever you not only go speak and you walk in speak, leave, but you walk in you are you show up to a session or two, you interact with people, you are adding value to the experience that your conference put her honor is putting on if you are there being a part of that conference on a deeper level, and Kathleen and I always find that we have a much more fulfilling experience. Whenever we give just a bit of extra time to either show up at those extra speaking events, like the cocktail party the night before or whatever, or attend some of the extra sessions or show up to lunch and interact with the attendees. It do does some really great things not only for you and your brand and what it is that you're doing. But it does some good things for the relationship between you and the person who hired you to do it as well.
Kathleen Shannon 56:55
Yes, I cannot agree with this more. So we did this at blog delicious. And I did it at the whole 30 coaches conference that I was speaking on, I stayed for the whole weekend. I did it whenever I spoke up Rene Browns courage camp for her facilitators. I mean, it just makes such a difference to speak and then connect with people. Because I think that the thing that makes us feel the most awkward around speaking, especially keynoting is whenever you feel like you're standing up there, we're so used to having conversations that it feels awkward to be speaking at people, but then you can continue the conversation before and after. whenever it comes to being a part of the event. And you can really connect with people and see how they respond to your talk and what further questions that they have. And that can even inform how you tweak and refine your talk moving forward.
Emily Thompson 57:47
Kathleen Shannon 57:48
Okay, I say do practice your talk. And we both do this a little bit differently,
Emily Thompson 57:54
right? Because I don't that's a lie, I totally do. But we do very differently, where you are very structured, you know, all the points you want to hit at, you're like you're practicing word for word for days, I'll type it out, read it a time or two. But I go in there knowing that I'm going to riff off myself the entire time. And that's where my magic happens.
Kathleen Shannon 58:21
Yeah, I think that this is actually a really good point. Because what I do is I type, I type out my talk, I design my slides, I insert my slides into my Google Doc, where my talk is written, I read my talk three times, then I record it, then I listened to the recording, I know it's a lot. But then I know that if I do that 12 times,
Emily Thompson 58:45
that makes me nervous.
Kathleen Shannon 58:47
I do if I do it 12 times, then I can just kind of forget it. And it's not like I'm going off of a script at that point, I can start to riff it's like, I almost have to memorize it and commit it to muscle memory in order to be able to riff and feel really natural. And there is something to practicing a talk over and over again, knowing what it is that you have to say. So whenever you're on stage, you're not freaked out about your next line. But where you can really start to go with the flow and maybe throw a joke in here or there and say riff.
Emily Thompson 59:19
So over preparation, like you just explained, is what would make me so nervous. Like there is definitely a place where if I'm practicing too much, then I get nervous, but if I can, and I heard someone say this once, it might have been Danielle Laporte, take it or leave it, that whenever going into a talk, know how you're going to begin and know how you're going to end and just let them it'll happen. Like that's how I go at my talks right now how I'm gonna begin. I kind of know the middle, but we'll we'll just let that play. And I know exactly how I'm going to end and it gives me the ability to not over prepare and stress me out because that Like that would give me sincere anxiety. And I can just go in there and say what needs to be said in the moment. And that also feels very podcast II to me like, we do a bit of agendas. We don't do really any scripting or anything like, I definitely find my flow when I can just let inspiration dropped into my head and it come immediately out of my mouth. It doesn't always dub that great as we can all attest to, but I think I'm better at it in front of people that I am just talking to you, Kathleen.
Kathleen Shannon 1:00:31
I think my thing is, sometimes I feel like a jumbly mess. If I don't know what it is that I'm going to say, which is also have short podcast. I will also say don't read your talk from your phone at the time. So I totally get not, you know, over preparing, but don't trust your brother, you just wing it. Yeah, trust yourself. Yes, or practice enough that you don't need to read your talk off of your phone?
Emily Thompson 1:01:01
Yes, um, do pause. And we'll begin that with an arm, you should not put arms as your pauses when you're talking. But do pause if you need it. I think there's nothing wrong with giving the room a bit of breathing space.
Kathleen Shannon 1:01:16
This is something that I've noticed from Bernie Brown, who's hands down the best speaker I've ever seen. And I've had the privilege of seeing her speak a few times. And she will just pause. And I don't know if it's for perfect timing or dramatic effect, or if because she just needs to gather her thoughts because she forgot what she was going to say next. But pauses always feel probably longer to you as the speaker than they do to the audience.
Emily Thompson 1:01:41
For sure. Don't sell period,
Kathleen Shannon 1:01:47
I went saw a talk where this guy was literally selling, it was like one long pitch the whole thing and it was real bad.
Emily Thompson 1:01:55
Yeah, that's not what you're there for. That is not what you Unless Unless you're doing an event where you are selling from the stage. And that's a whole other marketing tactic in itself. But especially if you're getting paid or you've been invited to someone else's event, don't you dare sell,
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:11
but to to do tell people where to find you, you know, let them know where they can find you online so that they can connect with you afterward.
Emily Thompson 1:02:18
Mm hmm. Do mixin stories with practical and actionable, actionable actionable advice. I love it when people are super personable when they are sharing themselves when they are being a good bit vulnerable. But they also turn that into action that you can leave and take. There's this whole thing about, you know, how do you keep the inspiration and excitement of conferences going after you go home? The speakers are really good about telling you what to do whenever you go home.
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:49
Yeah, I would say even whenever you're writing your talk, think about the one thing that you want people to take home and do next, and put that in your talk. Alright, finally, I'm going to say don't drink beforehand. And I know that this is a little silly and a little I don't know, whatever to throw in here. But I have found that whenever you go to conferences, even if you're speaking at it, it's really easy to want to use some social lubricant and to drink beforehand. But I have stopped drinking at conferences, especially if I'm speaking at them. Even at the last being Boston, New Orleans. I didn't drink at all the whole time until maybe the very last night. And it's because I knew that I needed to be on point I needed to be sharp, I needed to be witty, I needed to remember what I was going to say and I needed to not be hung over. So this is kind of my new rule is don't drink beforehand.
Emily Thompson 1:03:40
Yes, is especially especially especially if you're getting paid. Like if someone has hired you to do the thing. Don't be the person that shows up with last night's boost on your breath.
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:56
All right, you all I hope that you will take the time and really intention if you want to speak to put yourself out there to show up to be seen to get on a stage and share what you know.
Emily Thompson 1:04:13
Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org vos dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 1:04:26
Do the work to be boss.