Episode 6

Staying Motivated and Happy

February 10, 2015

In today’s episode of Being Boss Emily and Kathleen share ways you can stay happy and motivated to do the work through a cold winter (or during a summer slump).

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"Happiness is a byproduct of doing the things that generate energy."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • How to get in the right mindset to get your way out of a creative funk
  • How to set some goals to look (and work) forward to warmer weather
  • Why moving your body and working out is important for stressed out creative entrepreneurs
  • Habits for taking care of yourself when you’re low on energy
  • How morning routines and deadlines keep us on track for doing the work
  • Establish boundaries and make new rules to get out of your house (and your funk)
  • How to “to-do” in a way that will make you feel accomplished every single day
  • Tapping your creative community to find your way out of a funk
  • Ways to cultivate your creative pack and grow your community


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do, and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:10
Because being boss is hard plumbing work, and life is messy. Making your dream job of your own isn't easy. But getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable.

If you do the work, being boss, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs, for Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, welcome to episode six. staying motivated, and happy. Alright, Hello,

Kathleen Shannon 0:39
good morning, or good afternoon or good evening. So my client Stephanie and podcast listener recently sent me this email. She said, Hey there, Kathleen, Happy Sunday, she sent it on a Sunday. I have a quick question for you. I've been totally taken out by the Chicago winter, short gray days and never leaving the house because of the snow compounded by not having any close friends nearby. I'm tired all the time. And my motivation and energy are at like negative 50. Do you have any quick coaching tips for not crawling into a hole and staying there until April? I imagine I'm not the only creative entrepreneur whose life and business are being affected by winter depression right now. So I figured you might have some insight.

Emily Thompson 1:31
Oh, boy, do we have some insight. At this very moment. I'm recording this podcast from bed. Because it's a great winter. So we totally get it. Stephanie, you are definitely not alone. I have been I know I've been seeing stuff on Instagram. A lot lately. People just like working from bed or shots of people like outside their window like dreaming of sunnier days. So there are lots of creative entrepreneurs who are currently being affected by the super blue winter that we're having. And complete lack of sunshine. I'm in the south and it's great here today. But as creatives it can be super easy to fall into a funk any time of year. Any time of year. Yeah, like here it gets really hot. And

Kathleen Shannon 2:23
Yep, exactly. I hit the summer slump.

Emily Thompson 2:25
Yeah, big time.

Yeah, I get I get really slow. There's there's actually like this book out there somewhere like one of those really old book that talks about like southerners, and how people always like, I guess, but like 100 years ago, thought we were all stupid, because we're so slow. And really, we're just really hot.

Unknown Speaker 2:41
We're just

Emily Thompson 2:44
we're hot, and we go real slow, and we drink lots of sweet tea. But today we're going to talk about how to stay motivated, and happy like a boss, whether you're enduring a gray winter, or super hot summer slump, because it seems torturous,

Kathleen Shannon 2:59
any sort of, or just any sort of creative funk happened yet,

Emily Thompson 3:04
regardless of whether sometimes it's just

Unknown Speaker 3:05
teen cordless of weather. Alright,

Kathleen Shannon 3:08
so let's jump in. I feel like the first thing you have to do to really stay motivated and get out of a funk is to just get in the right mindset. So one of the first things that I would recommend is just let yourself feel the funk. I found that whenever I really resist my sadness, it just fights back and it just sinks its claws into me. So here's what I like to do. And I'm not saying it always works, but you can try it, which is to set a timer for five minutes. And just fully let yourself feel whatever it is that you want to feel. And during that five minutes, you can cry. You can scream, you can stare at a wall, you can punch a pillow, whatever you got to do. And but you only get five minutes and then you got to get back to work.

Emily Thompson 4:02
I love that I do that I have days where I come home from work. And I'm like why the hell am I doing this? And not that I don't love what I do because I completely do. But I'll tell I'll tell David and Lily like I just have to go upstairs for a minute. And I'll like come upstairs in the bedroom and I'll sit in bed and I'll just stare I think it freaks Lily out a little bit because she'll come upstairs and mom are you ready? But sometimes you just have to like you do you just have to let yourself feel it and don't feel guilty about it. Like you're allowed to have negative emotions sometimes. But it is only five minutes you have to snap out of it.

Kathleen Shannon 4:37
All right, but like I'm that person that you know I'll go to the bathroom and cry and Do you ever do that thing where like you look at yourself cry in the mirror. Maybe this is just me.

Emily Thompson 4:48
I don't usually

Kathleen Shannon 4:52
I you know, I look at myself crying and I'm like you're pathetic. No, but really set a timer and let yourself really feel it and my Thing is, though I just can't stop. Like even with that even my five minutes are up, so that I find myself resisting it. And I'm still not in my right mind. So another thing that I like to do is to pretend like I'm an old lady, you know, 90 years in the future reminiscing on this time when I was in my 30s, and a badass creative entrepreneur. And I remind myself that, like, I get to choose the story that I want to tell about my life. So like, what's the story that you want to tell that you were sad and cold, or that you had this adventure in a new city, you get to choose your story. More recently, I was in a funk, mostly because I was sleep deprived, but also because it's winter. And I was crying to my sister about it. And she was like, Kathleen, you just got to pretend like you're in a movie of your own life, pretend like you are Drew Barrymore with a one year old baby, and you're not getting enough sleep. But you're still this fabulous working creative. So that was kind of a fun way to get objective to, or objectivity to is to pretend like I'm in a movie of my own life. And every good movie has a little bit of a, you know, plot struggle in it, the main character is not always happy. So that's a good way to just feel fabulous.

Emily Thompson 6:26
Yeah, just pretend like you're a movie star and your own genius, I need to do that. I should dress the part to

Kathleen Shannon 6:36
make a soundtrack. Just listen to it all day.

Emily Thompson 6:38
Perfect. Good. So yeah, just pretend like you're in a movie, I think well, and I think along those lines, like, winter is a really, really great time, in general, what really any time is, but I'd like Wenders the time of year when it is really gray outside. And like, it just causes like things to happen in your brain like you become tired or, or, and that can cause you to become a little more negative. I've relatively recently learned the power of like thought work, and like training your brain to be positive. I know that's totally woowoo sounding. But it's totally legit. And I'm not going to get really into it today. But it is just the idea of like, noticing when negative thoughts start going through your head, or just like nonsense, like gloomy thoughts. Whether it be you know, I just don't want to get out of bed today, or whatever that may be. But sort of capturing those and turning them into positive thoughts. It's not a hard thing to do. But you do have to learn to do it. And my favorite resource for like, beginning thought work is it's a little book called self coaching one on one, and it's by Brooke Castillo, she also has a great podcast as well, if you want to go check out her podcast as well. But it's just a really good book for like laying the framework for like turning just gloomy thoughts into happier thoughts that make you a little more productive. Check it out. We'll probably definitely get into that work in a later podcast,

Kathleen Shannon 8:10
but such a good point. And I so I did my life coaching training under Martha Beck. And she has a lot of really great books to on self coaching. One is finding your own North Star or your True North Star. And we'll be sure to include these in the show notes. So go to our website. And we'll include links to Brookes book, as well as Martha Beck's book. I also I have you checked out invisible? Yeah, yet I haven't. I have a new MP. It's the new NPR podcasts. And it's all about how thoughts shape our behavior. And so if you're interested in that sort of thing, listen to a podcast to get you out of your funk. I mean, that's a good way to get in your right mind is to listen to new things and learn new things. And but one thing one other thing I want to say about thought work and I do think that we should do a future podcast on it is that you're literally carving out neural pathways in your brain. And so if you think the same negative thought over and over again, it's easier to go to that place. So it does take work just like digging a new ditch to replace that negative thought with a positive thought. And so definitely check out some of those resources so that you can start to do that work.

Emily Thompson 9:26
I think another thing that you can do is, is just set some goals for yourself to sort of get you out of the funk. I think thongs usually come when you don't know what to do next, or you're really unclear on what comes next. And so you just find yourself sort of spinning your wheels in one place. So I think that doing some good goal setting I know for me right now, you know, for the past month, I've probably worked out less than I have in the past like year, and most of it's just like being super busy and my schedule is a hot mess and it's cold outside and I don't want to put on Like little pants, and like, even run to my car. As I say, in Alabama, I think it's like 40 degrees out today, but my skin is thin. Um, so one of the things that I'm doing right now is, I'm like, about to start, like really knocking out some workouts with the idea that I just recently planned a trip to New York, in May. And I like I have goals that I want to reach, by the time it's warm outside. So like using this cold downtime, to sort of do the work. So that I can have I guess, more fun or like accomplish things by the time it's like warm and sunny outside. So it can be business or it can be personal, it could have to do with, you know, maybe you're wanting to plant a new product and launch that. Or maybe you do want to get in shape or whatever that may be like use this down winter time, as the time to really hunker down and do the work so that you can reach whatever goals you have for after the sun comes out.

Unknown Speaker 11:02
I love that.

Kathleen Shannon 11:03
I think another way to set some goals is to make a list of what's been going well for you. And write down everything that is good right now, or maybe even recapping the previous year, what's been going well, and then also make a list of shitless. Make a list of what sucks and assess where you're at, like so look at where you're at right now. And where you want to go where you want to be. and brainstorm one action or commitment that will get you closer to where you want to go. So like Emily for you. You want to be able to rock some shorts in May in New York. And so, you know, what's one thing that you can do to get there now? And is probably like, maybe not putting on your Lululemon pants and running to your car and going to the gym, but maybe it's doing some squats in your house?

Emily Thompson 12:03
Yeah, yeah, I've totally gotten the habit of like doing squats while I brush my teeth. It is something that I'm totally doing and helping a lot. But yeah, it's just like little steps. And like, you know, in the bathroom, it's cold, like my feet are cold on the floor, brushing my teeth and do squats warm up getting shower. It is it's little steps like that. And I like the idea of making the shortlist will.

Unknown Speaker 12:28
aplex Yeah. And so then.

Kathleen Shannon 12:30
So then on the shortlist, it's like, what what is one action? Or what is something that you can let go of? That will make things less shitty for you. It's not that hard, like, so if what sucks is you have a friend who's constantly calling you and they're super negative, and it's making you feel more negative. Stop picking up the phone. Yeah, you know, it could be as simple as that. Or it could be you don't have any clients right now. Okay, what is one action that will get you a client that you can do? Is it sending out a newsletter? Is it writing a blog post?

Emily Thompson 13:10
Yeah, I also like the idea of using that like good list and your shot list as a way to probably put things in perspective a little bit. Because whenever you whenever it's gray outside, and you're feeling kind of gloomy, you think that everything sucks.

Kathleen Shannon 13:23
Like gets, I get there sometimes and it's totally a thing. But whenever you and that goes back to the thought work is like having that list. It's like okay, acknowledge what sucks, but also writing that list of things to be grateful for right or just seeing

Unknown Speaker 13:40
is not as big as you thought it was.

Unknown Speaker 13:42
And a lot of cases like, I mean, it's probably first world problems,

Emily Thompson 13:46
you are right, almost definitely is some serious first world problems, which is fine. And not to say that those aren't problems because they are they are for you. But maybe it will help just want to put things into perspective, do pros and cons list of your life and see how pro it actually is. Alright,

Kathleen Shannon 14:03
so some other things that you can do to get out of your winter funk or any sort of creative funk. You were talking about this a little bit earlier, Emily, but is to just move your body and work out. And this isn't just that you can look good whenever bikini weather comes around, because I believe that every body is a bikini body. You just have to have a body and put on a bikini. It doesn't matter if you have six pack abs or not. But I'm moving your body and working out is really important especially for the creative entrepreneur who really takes their work personal because emotions live in your body. They're not just in your mind, they are in your body. And so you can release those emotions with a good yoga session or by running on the treadmill and sweating it out. And you will feel so much better after your after you move your body and release those emotions. Right

Emily Thompson 15:00
or go get a massage, which isn't exactly moving your body. But that one for that one's been on my list lately, David was great enough to like, massage some shit out of my shoulders the other day, because I hold all of my tension like in my neck and shoulders. And I know I do it. And I can always tell when I'm really stressed because my shoulders hurt from like, keeping all the tension there. So I like I've even thought like, as my business grows, and as my schedule gets a little more nuts, and like I'm managing more things, like putting in like a monthly massage into my budget. Like, I feel like, it's definitely one of those pampering things, but it's one of the things that I deserve.

Kathleen Shannon 15:39
So yeah, we're like going and sitting in a sauna or a steam room is a really great way to warm up in the winter. but to also just sweat it out. Just sweat those emotions out. Another big one is to get lots of sleep. And I can attest to this. With that one year old baby of mine who he just learned this week, so he's finally sleeping through the night. I've Ty Thank you. I really, I mean, I was pretty bummed out by the not sleeping thing. But now that I'm actually getting more sleep. I'm realizing Wow, like what an effective Welcome back to you, right? It is no joke. So get lots of sleep. And I think especially in the winter, like use the season to hibernate a little is what it's what all animals it is. And I have

Emily Thompson 16:35
I think that's important is like humans are animals of the earth. Like if I can get really hippy for a second, like we're meant to slow down in the winter. And like, you know, current culture like we can't really do that as much. I cut studio hours like after the new year, I cut studio hours by an hour every day. Because the day should be shorter. The sun is telling us that they should be shorter, and we should be going home and resting up and doing some sleeping. So Stephanie, maybe you should call

Kathleen Shannon 17:05
into your cave until April not feel guilty

Emily Thompson 17:08
about Yeah, like I would not judge you for that whatsoever. I would actually super high five you. But yeah, I've been going to bed at like 830 every night and still able to get up at like I usually wake up pretty naturally at 530 or six which is really old woman of me. But I mean, I'm not feeling guilty about putting Lily to bed at eight o'clock in the going right behind her at about 839 in the sleep is important and winters a great time to do it. Because there's tons of darkness.

Kathleen Shannon 17:37
So enjoy it. To get lots of sleep. Yeah, I think also establishing a morning routine.

Emily Thompson 17:44
Yeah, that one is huge for me. Kathleen and I were brainstorming this the other day. And I told her I was like, I don't even give myself a chance to think about not going to work anymore. Because my morning routine has become such a thing that I don't I don't even think about it. Like I simply get up and go to work. It's not something and it's

Kathleen Shannon 18:04
not just our morning routine. But it's also we have deadlines to me. Yeah. And so and that's because of the day routine I Emily. Like I know you and I Emily like our workload, even though it is winter, we're still slammed, we have a lot of client work. We have deadlines, we have obligations. But even if your work has slowed down a little like for most of us it does in the winter, hold yourself accountable to your own deadline. Yeah. So whether that's writing a blog post, or launching a podcast, whatever it is, you know, it starts in the morning with that solid routine. And I'm sure that we'll do an entire episode on morning routines. If that interests you guys, we can share more on exactly what it is that Emily and I do every morning to stay successful and on top of our game. But for now just start to explore doing the same thing every morning so that you can at least not be fatigued with decisions first thing in your

Emily Thompson 19:06
day is it so that you can like start your day on autopilot so that you're not faced with those questions of what do I do next? And so getting back in bed is not even an option. Like I you know, I'm getting up and it doesn't matter what the weather is like, I don't even you know, sit here and think well, it's raining outside. Maybe I should just stay at home in bed. I don't even give myself time to think those thoughts because it's simply on autopilot. Like I get up and I start getting ready and I do my things and I don't even consider consider staying in bed.

Kathleen Shannon 19:37
I think another way that you can escape a creative funk is to give yourself some boundaries and limitations. And I know that that's that might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes it's creating boundaries that allows us to be more creative. And so for you Stephanie it might be giving yourself like making a rule for yourself and saying Okay, I'm going to get out of my house at least three times a week to work from a coffee shop. So this is especially good for creative entrepreneurs who are working alone and, you know, might feel lonely or just kind of disconnected from the world and get out of your house a few times a week, right? From a coffee shop.

Emily Thompson 20:20
Yeah, whenever, whenever I lived in the mountains, I lived in North Carolina for about two and a half years. And that's where I really sort of like built the foundation of my business, I was working completely alone in my basement, like building my business. And it was definitely no Chicago cuz I lived in a town of like, 2000 people, and that was seasonally, I'm pretty sure super small town, but it snowed a lot. And it was really windy, and it was really cold. And I hate being cold. Like, it's my least favorite thing. But I would make myself go to the grocery store once a week, like that was sort of my thing was, I could very easily send David to the grocery store. But that was that was like that was my one rule that I like put on myself, and getting through this winter is that I had like a weekly grocery store date, that was my thing, like I made myself get out of the house at least once a week. And like, you know, skate my car to the grocery store on the icy road. I got really good at it. But yeah, it's just it is it's setting boundaries and saying, you know, I will not allow myself to become a total and complete hermit, I will have some semblance of like life and responsibility. And I'll please go to the grocery store,

Kathleen Shannon 21:40
be a part of this world, it might also be getting out of your house to go to the gym or to go to a yoga studio. Um, some of the things that we mentioned before can be ways to shape your boundaries. And I think also, in most of us type A creatives have a mile long to do list. I mean, we're never at a lack of to dues. And so one thing that I would recommend is to narrow down your daily to do list to just one thing, like what is the one thing you can do today and do well and so, for me today, it is recording this podcast, I have a lot of other stuff I need to do and can do. But I'm starting with recording a podcast. So Emily and I are recording this first thing in the morning, we're going to finish it up and I'm instantly going to feel really accomplished like everything else is gravy. So I don't have the pressure of doing everything else on my to do list because I already accomplish my one thing. And it actually makes me more productive.

Emily Thompson 22:46
Yeah, all the other things are just like high five extras like you did the one thing and now everything else is just cherries on top. Lots of cherries on top.

Kathleen Shannon 22:55
Exactly. And I feel more motivated to get them done because I'm not feeling the need to procrastinate.

Emily Thompson 23:02
Yeah, oh, that's a good I need to do that I'm taking Kathleen's advice and doing that my to do list today is frightening. But this is the most important thing definitely. And all the other things are just just extra things that I get to accomplish now that I'm like motivated and doing things

Kathleen Shannon 23:18
we should do an entire podcast on how to do lists because I've also experimented with not having a to do list that scares me which Yeah, and it kind of freaked out my it kind of freaked out my business partner and our employees because we rely very much on our to do list to know what everyone else is doing. And mine was always just filled out we share it to do list in Google Docs. Anyway, it's always just like to be determined. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 23:45
your to do list simply like is exist.

Kathleen Shannon 23:50
exist. pretend like you're the star in your own movie. Yeah, that's

Emily Thompson 23:54
my I love how happy you are. Sometimes it's my favorite thing about you. Sometimes Kathleen just throws all the rules out the window and does her own thing.

Kathleen Shannon 24:05
I mean, yeah, sometimes you have to Anyway, we'll have to do a future podcast.

Emily Thompson 24:10
We totally could. I'm a master of to do list. Alright, I think I think another thing that's super important for for like keeping you out of the funk or getting you out of the funk is is to tap into the people that you consider your tribe. For me if I'm having just a really funky day. That's those are the days that I will like just sit down with David and vent. And like he is like my number one tribe member. Definitely He's my biggest fan. And so like I'll just tell him like okay, we're gonna go upstairs. Let's just just talk this out and listen to me. Or I'll schedule a Skype call with you.

Kathleen Shannon 24:50
My mom and coach Rebecca Egbert, and I'll include her in the show notes. She gave me great advice when time or I think it was on her newsletter. She sends out a really great newsletter every week, but she recommends if you are going event to your partner like we actually spend a lot of time venting to our spouses or partner, or whoever in our lives. But you don't want that to, like you don't want your relationship to be built on all these negative conversations. So she actually recommended limiting that to 10 minutes. So just like you set a timer for five minutes to feel your funk, and, like maybe event for 10 minutes and tell them like how you want them to react, like to just not necessarily solve your problem and

Emily Thompson 25:36
your opinions. I just need you to listen

Kathleen Shannon 25:39
to listen. Um, but yes, like venting to a tribe member. But then also like, for me, calling you, for example, Emily is sometimes even better than venting to the people closest to me, because you'll offer a new perspective, or you won't even entertain it, you'll be like, snap

Emily Thompson 26:00
kathlyn Get your shit together. No, I know, I think we Yes, David has definitely like a special kind of venting. But whenever it comes to, like, yeah, just having someone that helped me really put it into perspective, like someone really out of my box. Like having someone on call that you can just be like, you know, I recently I had this weird email from someone that I sort of need some feedback on. And the fact that I could just like, hop on Skype and be like, hey, Kathleen, like it was just let's just like chat this out. Because I don't know how to respond like having people in your life like that, that you can, you can just talk to to help you get past a funk or, or put things put things into perspective or know that you can be there for them too, because everyone is in during winter right now. You're not the only one who's feeling gloomy by any means.

Kathleen Shannon 26:48
And on the flip side of that, I sometimes like to give myself boundaries, and not talk about what it is it's bumming me out. So, you know, more recently, I talked about it all the time, I still can't help it. But more. More recently, I've mentioned the sleep thing. And I mean, Emily, you probably heard it for a year, every time we got on Skype, I was like, Oh my god, I'm not sleeping. I don't know what to do. I mean in tears about it. And so there is a week where I gave myself the rule that I could not talk about knots, right. Like I just wasn't even going to acknowledge it and see how that worked. And actually worked for a while, if any still weren't me. So I still wasn't sleeping well, and but not focusing on it and not talking about it took the attention away from it. And so that really helped. And so maybe don't focus on your winter blues, don't talk about it. And I'm not saying to bottle it up. It's just whenever you get on these Skype conversations. It's like what is the kind of conversation that you want to be having? Yeah. Is it about how sad you are? And yet maybe sometimes that is the conversation that you need to be having? Or is it? Do you want to be having an inspired and creative conversation about creativity or life? Yeah, no. So talk about the things that are going well with your skype date. Yeah. And

Emily Thompson 28:10
that's one of the great things about having a tribe too is like Kathleen, I'm never going to call you and just like and just vent. Like, like we do a little bit like we'll call and like talk about, you know how cold it is, or our tornado season, or you know, or that baby's not sleeping or Lily is like doing ridiculous things that are freaking me out. But it always turns into really energizing, like creative talk. And I

Kathleen Shannon 28:40
yeah, it's like what can we create? What can we make? What kinds of things like what's interesting right now, what kinds of conversations are you having?

Emily Thompson 28:48
Like, what books have you read, like, like having people in your tribe like that allows you to vent a little like enough to like, enough to get it out, get it out. But then like, it always turns into really energizing conversations that will get me past whatever sort of negativity I'm feeling and into a place where I'm over it. And now I'm going to be like taking action because I'm really excited about something. Which you know, for me, like having those conversations with David don't always end up the same as whenever I'm having them with you. And so it's about like, yeah, building this tribe of these people that you go to in certain situations that will give you the the energy that you need to get past them. Okay, so

Kathleen Shannon 29:32
how do you cultivate your creative pack and we received another email from someone who is like having a really hard time around networking and just feeling kind of shy. So how do you cultivate that creative pack if you're in a new city or if you're more of an introvert? What What do you think? They're Emily like, how can you grow your tribe

Emily Thompson 29:55
um, since we emails, those are my very, very favorite things. And it's funny the girl, the other person who emailed us about it was doing it. So in the perfect kind of email for doing the exact thing, it's just sending a nice email and to someone that you admire or that you want to be in your pack. And just saying, hey, like, I love what you do, I want you to know that, like, what you're doing is like being seen by other people. And I appreciate you. I recently got an email just before Christmas, we're wrapping up and trying to launch like five websites in like three weeks, so that we could just get everything done. By the end of the year. It was like the stupidest three weeks of my life. It was ridiculous. But we did it and we were rocking it out. But I was so stressed out. And one day I sit down at my at my computer and have this email from a guy that I had been like conversing with on social media a little bit. His name is doc Waller. He's really, really nice guy. But it was the nicest email I swear I've ever gotten in my life. And it was him simply saying, like, I love what you do, I totally admire like the the focus that you have in this brand that you're building. And I just want you to know that like high five, pretty much. And it was a really short, like concise, sweet email. And it was exactly what I needed. During that time of the year, just having someone say like, you're working your ass off, and it's not going unnoticed. And doing things like that is perfect, we ended up having a Skype call now we're buddies and like, you know, get a planning stuff for the future. But it just starts with a very genuine, nice, short email to people that you admire.

Kathleen Shannon 31:40
I love getting those emails, but I love even more sending those emails. So I sent one to wenbo. And I'll include her in the show notes. But she's always doing something really radical and different. And I feel like she just pushes the envelope whenever it comes to how we share content on the internet, and how we write. And so she sent a newsletter one day about us shutting down her newsletter. And I replied, and I said, Hey, I just want you to know that I see your work, and I appreciate what you're doing. And I don't always understand it, but I like it. And since then we've had multiple conversations, I've written a few blog posts about our interactions, and I'll be able to, I'll be sure to include those in the show notes as well. But I've made friends with a really big deal just by putting myself out there. And it can be a vulnerable thing to email someone and say, Hey, I like what you're doing. And because there's that fear of rejection, or what if they don't respond or whatever they think you're a big dork or a stalker, which is not the case, they never think that you're a dork or a stalker. So I love that. And if you're not receiving those kinds of emails, send them, send them out. I also think that taking some online interactions offline is a really great way to grow your tribe. So I see a lot of people doing on Instagram with Instagram meetups, but Stephanie is a food blogger. And I forgot to mention that in the beginning. So Stephanie is a food blogger. And she's in Chicago because she's in culinary school, expanding her training. And I could even imagine Stephanie writing a blog post and saying, Hey, I'm in the Chicago area, I'm new to the city. And let's have a get together. And maybe she could host her own little cooking party where she's sharing her gifts of knowledge with her tribe that she's already cultivated with her online readers. So finding creative ways to take your online community offline is a really great way to get out of your house and to feel a part of the

Emily Thompson 33:50
world it is I actually did that exact anything about that. Look at you. I did the exact same thing last night. As a matter of fact, like, again, winter, gloomy, cold, and I've been hibernating, like in the studio, I go from the house and studio, which is two blocks apart. And that's where I live in two blocks. So, about two weeks ago, I sent an email to like some local entrepreneurs and I was like, you know, I want to just have this thing at the studio like everyone come BYOB. We call that like very, I guess at this point officially bizen booze, like just bring some booze, sit down and let's just talk business and at four o'clock yesterday we had a couple of local entrepreneurs just come in like brought a bottle of wine and we sat up front for like two and a half hours and just talked and laughed and had a good time. And it was not fussy, like I bought nothing we get I did not prepare at all. I got some like plastic cups of the back room. In case people wanted to share wine like that is all we did. So it was not this big fuzzy thing. It cost me no money to do it. I just sent an email to a couple of local like creative entrepreneurial friends and we met up and had a really great time. I think that's a

Kathleen Shannon 35:01
permission, the amount of energy that it took for you to send out that email was the hardest part,

Emily Thompson 35:09
I had actually been planning on doing that for two months, like it was, something has been on my to do list, but actually doing it exactly what it was it took finding the energy to actually sit down and just draft that email. But once it was done, it was done. I didn't have to think about it again.

Kathleen Shannon 35:25
And so this is a good point whenever you're wanting to connect with someone offline. And this might be a whole separate topic, but I just want to throw it out here is don't say, hey, let's get together for coffee. Yeah, sure, we'll do that some time. Throw out a date and a time, say, Hey, would you like to grab coffee or have wine on Friday at 5pm? I'll meet you at our favorite coffee shop, you know, so get really specific about dates and times so that it actually happens. So for you, Emily was probably like, hey, I want to have this boozy business get together, I'm gonna do that sometime in the next couple months. And then it never happens. It was sitting down, looking at your calendar and saying, Okay, I'm gonna have a busy business get together. On Friday at 5pm. I'm sending out that email,

Emily Thompson 36:17
I send it out, like as an invitation like, Hi guys, I want to do this thing, it's gonna be here on this day, at this time, here's what you bring, see you there. Like I'm, it's kind

Kathleen Shannon 36:26
of like, I'm gonna be there. Either way, having a glass of wine, you're welcome to join. It's exactly

Emily Thompson 36:30
what it was because I didn't want to be fussy. And I did not want it to be this conversation that went on forever, like seeing when everyone's available. And in doing it like that also sets you up to make it a recurring thing. So that so that you can do it every month. And if someone can't make the first one, because it is a set day and time they'll give you can be around for the next one, or at least put it in their calendar for the next one. But yeah, offline. And meetups are such a cool way to connect with people. And remember that like you're not alone in your apartment, in this big old world.

Kathleen Shannon 37:06
I want to throw out one more that I just thought of, because I think it's pretty genius. But my friend, Allison Bailey, she will sometimes work from a coffee shop. And she'll just send out a tweet saying, Hey, guys, I'm at a coffee shop right now, if you want to join me, I'm going to be working. But I would love to share a cup of coffee with you, which is just a really great spontaneous way to connect with your tribe offline. So Stephanie, we want you to live the boss life and to be a thriving creative. And one of the ways to do that is just to follow the energy. This is something I'm constantly telling my clients that I'm coaching is to do the things that give you energy. And again, Stephanie is a food writer, so maybe some recipe testing, you know, and whenever it comes to getting out of your funk, and being happy, remember that like happiness is not a thing on its own. Like happiness is a byproduct of doing the things that generate energy. You have to make it you have to create it. And it's not just going to fall on your lap.

Emily Thompson 38:16
I agree. I think you're never going to be happy like laying in bed watching Netflix actually, maybe that would make me happy someday. may not be the best example. But But going out and doing things. You know, you live in Chicago, which is kind of blowing my mind. I visited for the first time this summer and like I think I'm gonna have like a second home there someday or something. Only for the summer. Definitely not for the winter. But you know, you have lots of opportunities to be a tourist in your own city you can if you want to go check out like new restaurant openings or walk to the park, or what do you have the opportunity to opportunities to do that? Or there's some

Kathleen Shannon 39:01
amazing museums and architecture in Chicago some things that you can do inside, but in any city and any things to do in any city and if you're bored it's because you're not being creative.

Emily Thompson 39:13
Oh snap. Isn't that the truth? Just that no, we did that recently. Like we homeschool our kid which is nuts. I know but we love it. And like David recently did that with Lily just is actually the one day it was snowing here, which is a rare and beautiful thing. But um, so we have a Frank Frank Lloyd Wright house in town, which is super cool. And we had never been don't judge me. And David took Lily is like a little like homeschool field trip and they loved it like even separate from homeschooling and Lily David loved doing that. And I was really pissed off that I couldn't go with them.

Kathleen Shannon 39:52
But so we live in Oklahoma City and Florence, Alabama and if we can find things to do in our city you can find things to do in Chicago or wherever you're listening from right now. Alright, so those are just a few ideas. Actually, that was a lot of ideas of how to get out of a creative funk and to beat the winter blues or Yeah,

Emily Thompson 40:18
be boss, regardless of the clouds and get your shit done.

Kathleen Shannon 40:24
Thank you for listening to being boss from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on our website at iTunes and on SoundCloud. If you like our podcast, show us some love by reviewing being boss on iTunes and share it with a friend. Do the work be boss and we'll see you next week.

I actually like wearing my boots in the winter I'm going to say I love like winter fashion. That's where I feel the most post apocalypse

Emily Thompson 41:04
I do but zombie slaying badass is wear boots in the summer too.

Unknown Speaker 41:08
That's true year round. So beat the heat.