⚡️Kristen Kalp - Soul care for you. And your business.

Ahoy there!

I’m a teacher, healer, and business coach who provides soul-level guidance for you and your business.  That means tactics, strategies, and marketing techniques are on the table — but so are feelings, intuition, and the practical considerations required for building a better world.

Biz coaching spots are FULL, join the waitlist for Summer 2021 👇🏼

If you’re new, please start here so I can properly introduce myself.  Should 🐌 💌 be delightful to you, join my snail mail list and prepare your mailbox for greatness!

Katherine North is a Holy Heathen.

Holy Heathen

Her book of the same name is the focus of today’s That What She Said podcast interview!

Katherine North is a masterful life coach, stellar author, and fellow enneagram 4-rocking human. Her memoir, Holy Heathen, is ultimately a book about growing up displaced from American society — and herself. She writes of her time growing up in Japan with her missionary parents and all the complications that living for ‘God’s Will’ brings with it. (Spoiler alert: God’s Will kinda sucks.)

If you’ve ever been a member of organized religion and then found a way to leave it behind, WE GOT YOU AND YOU’LL LOVE THIS.

In this interview, we talk about:

  • Being ‘good’ versus being connected to yourself
  • The facades we hold up at great cost in the name of being ‘good’
  • Indoctrination and its many effects on the psyche from a young age
  • The process of bringing the book to life, what it took from Katherine, and what it gave
  • Her parents’ long-anticipated reaction to the book (DO THEY HATE HER NOW??)
  • Learning through joy versus learning through pain (and why joy is better, obviously)

…and a bunch more stuff!  We laughed, we cried, and we connected.  Enjoy!

Visit Katherine’s website, Instagram, or Patreon community and secret blog for more magic.

P.S. Have you listened to the 1st LIVE episode of That’s What She Said yet?

Live podcast magic is here!

The very first LIVE podcast episode of That’s What She Said is here!  This is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, and it was SOFRIGGINFUN to see faces and talk to peeps while recording!

In this episode of That’s What She Said, we talk about…

+ how to find meaning when everything feels meaningless
+ how to re-enter society as pandemic comes to some sort of end
+ why much of the modern marketing scene feels like Very Pretty Garbage
+ and how to say true to your self and your instincts in the face of what seems like the whole world shouting, “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

[technical note] This was recorded LIVE and the first 2 minutes are a bit static-y. The issue is resolved by minute 3.

Like what you hear?  Shoot me an email and tell me what you’d like to discuss on the next live episode, okay?

If you’d like to come to a live recording of That’s What She Said, hop on my mailing list and you’ll be the first to know when the next one happens!

Also: I won't spam you because I'm not a butthead. Powered by ConvertKit

P.S. If you’d like to receive snail mail from me, hop on my SNAIL mailing list! <– For real: SNAIL MAIL.

Simple + helpful ways to defeat asshole brain

After more than a decade of biz coaching work, I’ve noticed that solopreneurs struggle with asshole brain in VERY specific ways that often end in self sabotage.  So!

Let’s walk through six really friggin common ways asshole brain will mess with you and your work.

I’ve been living with depression and its kissing cousin, asshole brain, for more than 2 decades now. PLEASE let yourself learn from this work without shame or guilt! Each subset links to a podcast episode or article of mine that will help you explore each aspect of overcoming asshole brain a bit further.

Asshole Brain will tell you to give up.

It will tell you to abandon…everything. Absolutely everything.

The specifics may include: your career, your work, your marriage, your internal goals, your boundaries, your hopes, your friends, and your fiercest talents.

Asshole brain always has a word about what you’re doing, why it absolutely sucks, and why you should give up. ALWAYS.

What if you go all in instead?  <– This is the tale of losing many thousands of dollars on a business event, and why that was not the worst thing that ever happened to me.

More subtly, asshole brain will try to get you to walk away from the work you’re doing at this moment.

You sat down to work on that project or painting or piece of writing.

You’re finally answering those emails and DMs and voicemails and messages and texts.

You’re all set to begin tackling that organization project or those systems you need to set up or to create an email list to connect with your peeps.

But suddenly! The laundry! The phone! The need to doomscroll! The kids’ needs that aren’t at all urgent but WOW IT’S BETTER THAN DOING THIS!

Also you’re hungry! You’re tired! You need to ‘just check in on’ social media before you can begin! The toilet needs to be cleaned URGENTLY! And on and on it goes.

Asshole brain fights for control of your thoughts by letting you get to the knife’s edge of doing your work in the world — and then it pipes up about THE URGENT NEED TO BE DOING ANYTHING ELSE.

But. What if you get fierce about your priorities and identify the actions that actually move the needle of YOUR business forward?  Lemme show you how to get started.

Should you find ways to do your work consistently, asshole brain does NOT want you to be seen.

When you enter into doing work that’s public in some way — say, for example, you’re a business owner who puts anything at all on the internet 😉 — asshole brain will curl into the mental equivalent of an armadillo under threat.

All armor.

Nothing goes in or out.

Remain still and hope for the best.

You’re basically in vulnerability bunker mode.

This armadillo phase results in hiding, freaking out, procrastinating, and possibly buying other people’s tools/prompts/done-for-you kits so you can have something to say. It might also end with repeating what ‘works’ even if it doesn’t enrich your soul in any capacity.

::cough aggressive sales funnels and tripwires cough::

Unfortunately, being truly seen is the only sustainable way to feel as if we belong anywhere.

If vulnerability gives you the heebie jeebies, listen to or read Vulnerability 101.  I’ll walk you through ways to begin to be vulnerable online. (It’s something I’ve been doing for 11 years now!)

If your particular fear of being seen involves having an email list and sending zero communications per year, check out How to F*#*ing Communicate! This short class and workbook combo will help you figure out what to send, and when, with less stress and fewer freakouts.  Promise.

Oooh another one! Asshole brain remembers every bit of training that you’re veering from when you decide to try something new. It wants you to do everything ‘right.’

Those college classes that weren’t helpful but were ‘official’ in some way? It remembers.

The courses and coaches and teachers and mentors who have had an opinion about your work over the years? It remembers.

Asshole brain will beat you up about all the ways you’re veering from the path, even as it also declares the VERY SAME PATH stupid and useless and then concludes that you should just give up anyway. (SEE HOW SNEAKY THIS MOTHERFUCKER IS????)

You don’t have to do anything the way everyone else is doing it. You don’t have to whip up business offerings that look like what everyone else is making.

You don’t even give a fuck about what your past mentors have said. <– I once paid $20,000 to take part in a mastermind and, over the course of the years following, to UNlearn everything I had learned in that space. Unlearning has been a deeply difficult and ultimately satisfying pursuit, ’cause now I can help you Go Your Own Way in business.

Should you succeed in making a thing! Asshole brain will try to negate the work you’re doing because it isn’t ‘official’ in some way.

Maybe you’re trying something new.

Maybe you’ve recently taken up a hobby.

Maybe you finished creating your next business product and it’s ready for launch.

Maybe you have written nonfiction all your life and you’d just like to write a single poem.

This is when asshole brain will remind you that you’re a [JOB TITLE HERE], not a [MAKER OF THE THING YOU JUST MADE].

It will also get really hung up on titles and certifications and degrees and ways that you can’t possibly be qualified to do the thing you just friggin did.

What if you let your deep knowing drive the bus? What if you didn’t listen to the voices that say you’re not qualified or certified or capable of doing the things you’ve already done? We can work around being ‘official’ when we’re in touch with our intuition.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in which you are basically frozen in place! Asshole brain wants you to THINK about your work more than it wants you to DO your work.

When you think about writing the book or painting the painting or building the website or helping the clients or opening the studio or renting the office, you’re fine. Pin 3,000 photos of your dream office to Pinterest and your brain is SO FUCKING HAPPY. You’re SAFE. You’re in Imagination Land, flitting from flatlay inspiration to new website template idea to paint colors to furniture choices to planning your perfect bookshelf.

But!

Action makes asshole brain freak out.

When you call to make an appointment for touring the office or write another 1,000 words for your novel or investigate website hosting or send out the invitations to the open house, asshole brain goes into full blown freakout mode.

Making and sharing your truest work is vulnerable. And asshole brain doesn’t want to be vulnerable. (See: vulnerability 101 — you can do this!)

If you’re the thinking-about-it-thinking-about-it-thinking-about-it type, what’s the smallest bit of action that needs to happen in order to move your work forward? You’re capable of taking those steps.

If overthinking is a HUGE problem for you… The M-School podcast series will help you place some structure around your daily work, as well as help you reframe your weekly schedule in a way that’s both enduring and flexible.  (M stands for Magic, and I’m fairly certin you’ll love everything about M-School!)

If procrastination, the need to go back to school or be ‘official,’ the constant critique of ‘you’re doing it wrong,’ amped up distractions, and the ever-present ‘just give up’ chant don’t take you out of the game, asshole brain gets more subtle.

In some cases, you’ll prioritize others’ work over your own. You’ll find no time for your ‘real’ work and let other people’s needs take over your schedule.

This is easy to do if you’ve got kids! You could take 30 minutes to work on that thing, or you could cut out early and go back to the ever-present needs of tiny beings. This becomes a habit, et voila! You’ve never got time to do YOUR work again.

Similarly, you might prioritize grant seeking or fundraising for your clients or beloved organizations, not yourself. You might convince yourself that you’re not that big a deal, and anyway the deadline for that grant is close at hand. You’ve got no time. You’ve got no chance. (AND there we are, back at ‘you should probably give up.’ Asshole brain is predictable that way!)

I used to spend HOURS ghostwriting for clients each day before I would work on my own blog or podcast or books or classes. It was only by consciously shifting my schedule to be mine first, others second that I shifted out of this mode of asshole brain.

In other cases, asshole brain might convince you that your career doesn’t allow for this — whether this is a promotion, a demotion, starting a business, stepping away from your business, or shifting gears into a new realm. Also it will say you should probably go back to school, thus delaying this shift for a number of years. It might even go on about how you should be at the next level (which doesn’t exist), and how your failure to be at the ‘next level’ means you should give up.

OH MY GOD IT’S SO CYCLICAL, ISN’T IT? WE’RE RIGHT BACK AT THE BEGINNING, WITH YOU GIVING UP.  ::facepalm::

Asshole brain’s ultimate goal is to keep you safe. This often means saying whatever it takes to keep you small, stuck, taking no risks, spinning in overwhelm (here’s how to stop the overwhelm), overthinking your every move, and generally freaking out.

This should be the part where I have an AMAZING OFFER that will SOLVE YOUR LIFE. Alas!  Asshole brain isn’t one of those things you can outrun or outmaneuver in a single move.

The work of overcoming your particular flavor of asshole brain is a lifelong endeavor. (Read: it’s a real pain in the ass.)

You can do this.

You can refuse to believe the worst things your brain says about you.

You can make shifts that help you get your work done with less static from your thoughts.

You can learn to be vulnerable with your work.

You can begin to communicate regularly about your business with your clients.

You can allow yourself to dream, to grow, and to expand without losing months to procrastination or overwhelm.

You. Can. Do. This.

If you’d like my help doing it, please check out KK on Tap. We’ll tackle your particular flavor of asshole brain while making strides toward creating your most profitable and meaningful business.

::high fives::

P.S. I love you, keep going.

Bear Hebert talks capitalism, anti-capitalism, and space for imagination

Welcome to a surprisingly joyful talk about how to run a business that both meets your needs and subverts capitalism at every turn.

Bear Hebert is a life coach for liberation, radical business consultant, and social justice educator. They’re also brilliant and wise, which is why I invited them to the That’s What She Said podcast for a second time!  (First interview with Bear lives here!)

In this conversation, we’ll explore ways to:

+ Use imagination as an anti-capitalist tool (with a shoutout to adrienne maree brown)
+ Reframe business advice to determine whether it applies to YOU
+ Commit to both accessibility AND getting what you need within the confines of capitalism
+ Introduce anti-capitalist practices into your business in simple ways
+ Push back against ‘that’s just the way it is’ portions of capitalism
+ Be UNprofessional and enjoy the hell of it within your business
+ Show up generously — for yourself, and for those you serve

“A business is a world. We get to make the world we want to make.” — Bear Hebert

As we make our own business worlds, may this conversation help you find simple and clear ways to tame and subvert capitalism. May you hear words that speak to your soul, affirm your life experience, and give you a clear-eyed glimpse of hope on the horizon.

If you’d like to work with Bear Hebert, they can help you include more anti-capitalist practices in your business; undo patriarchy; or sort through thorny places in your existence with life coaching. You can also follow Bear on Insta for regularly mind-blowing insights. 😉

Two quotes that Bear mentioned but wanted to share for the sake of accuracy!

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” -Ursula K LeGuin

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” -Karl Marx

P.S. The roots of being able to subvert capitalism lie in defining what is ‘enough’ for you and your business at this moment.  Find your enough number with the help of this podcast episode!

Secret Tool Alert! Meet…Scope of Work.

In this episode of That’s What She Said, let’s walk through how feelings of overwhelm (and dealing with all things ‘unprecedented!’) can be tamed for your business by managing one simple concept: your scope of work. 

Listen in below or keep reading for a transcript(ish) version!

Your scope of work allows you to determine exactly how much capacity you have to work in the coming months.

It also means you don’t have to despair when you notice person after person roll out their ‘this is exactly what I’m doing this year’ emails full of compelling copy and amazing offers.

You don’t have to know what your work year will look like eleven to fifteen months into the future.

The most brilliant and amazing things I’ve ever made weren’t plotted out like points on a graph years in advance. They were simply the next right thing that wanted to be made, so I made them. If you’re beating yourself up for your inability to know what 2021 and 2022 and even 2023 will look like, you’re not alone. Also! If there’s anything the past year has taught us, it’s that your plans may be interrupted or eliminated by forces beyond your control. (Like how the thing I love MOST IN THE WORLD about my job is teaching in person, and that’s gone until vaccinations are widely distributed at herd immunity saturation levels across the globe.)

There’s a number at the heart of your business that will help you move through overwhelm and whatever the year holds with greater ease.

It’s your scope of work: your current capacity to take care of your business without losing your sanity.

It’s okay if:

Your scope of work today is not the same as it was in 2019. (Mine is way smaller in scope.)

You have less capacity for work today than you did at some point in the past. (Post Covid, my brain takes about twice as long to write and to shape teaching materials as it did in 2019.)

Today’s version of you is overwhelmed more easily by thinking about your scope of work than you would have been at age 19, or 24, or whatever you’ve mentally tabbed as your glory days.

The pandemic has shaped and is shaping each of us as it moves through.

You might find diminished capacity in some areas.

That’s okay. You’re a human.

I’m here to help you stop throwing your hands up in angst when you try to look to the future of your business and instead you sink into the pit of despair. We’re trying to get to that spot where we’re not judging ourselves for our capacity, nor are we beating ourselves up for having failed to predict a global pandemic.

Okay? Okay.

Your scope of work is a function of time, money, and energy. It’s about working toward a place where you’ve hit ‘enough’ with all three.

Let’s start with time.

For the purposes of keeping this scope from being overwhelming, let’s imagine the next three months.

How much time do you have to work in and on your business on a weekly basis?

Multiply that number by 12, and voila! You’ve got precisely the amount of time on your plate for tackling the next question.

______ hours per week x 12 weeks = _________ (exactly how much time you’ve got to work in the next 3 months)

Next up: energy.

This is an overlooked aspect of business planning! Everything your make or offer takes not only time, but energy. You may be dragging yourself from day to day, or your may have FANTASTICALLY WOW WOW levels of energy. You’ll need to be honest about your energy level patterns in order to create a scope of work that doesn’t completely suck you dry.

Which programs, products, or services are you actively offering at the moment?

How much energy/capacity do you have to fulfill those active programs, products, or services?

HINT: THE ANSWER IS NOT INFINITE.

Marketing gurus the world over will talk about evergreen products, passive income, and making bajillions of dollars in 3.7 seconds using only click funnels and Facebook ads. But the answer to how much you can sell in the coming months is NOT infinite.

There’s a cap on how much follow-up, customer service, tech help, and individual attention you (and your employees/subcontractors) can provide at any one time.

What’s your capacity for fulfilling your services in 2021?

If, for example, you’re a wedding photographer, you can’t suddenly book and fulfill 317 weddings this calendar year. Your body, mind, and spirit can only support X clients. What is X? ‘Cause that’s your scope of work.

Likewise, how many sales can your business handle before overwhelm wins or the wheels come off? How much energy do you have for your business in THIS moment of 2021?

Selling evergreen products isn’t without its headaches and energy drains, so nope, you can’t sell 34,000 of that item without any hiccups this year. What’s your capacity for marketing and selling products and programs in the coming months?

Compare that against how much time you’ve got, and you’re closer to defining your scope of work in a way that’s actually doable. It’s easy to say you’ll write 4 books and 2 programs and take on 45 new clients! That looks fucking MAGNIFICENT written as a goal on your wall, doesn’t it?

But when you figure out that you’ve got 20 hours per week to work, times 12 weeks…meaning you’ve got 240 hours to work in the next three months…you can see how utterly unrealistic it is to ask yourself to write 4 books and 2 programs and take on 45 new clients.

This is NOTHING to feel bad about or beat yourself up for, okay? Capitalism skews toward goals being simple and MORE-based. I’ve seen this play out for clients who are looking for ‘more’ clients or ‘more’ sales. When they fail to define what ‘more’ is, it quickly becomes infinite and unreachable. You will NEVER feel like you’ve successfully gotten ‘more’ clients, ’cause the answer to getting more clients is…getting MORE clients.

Based on your physical, mental, and emotional energy — as well as the time you’ve got — what can you realistically handle creating, offering, and marketing in 2021?

Finally: money.

I’ve covered determining your enough number in this podcast episode in detail, so you can determine your ‘enough’ number and then come back here if your finances aren’t crystal clear at the moment!

A clearly defined scope of work helps you turn your current time and energy levels into what you deem ‘enough’ money.

How does your time and energy measure up to the earnings you’d like to bring in for the next three months?

When you’ve got the capacity to market and fulfill X products/services/programs, how does that alter your pricing?

Maybe nothing has to happen and your capacity matches your offerings.

Maybe your work is underpriced and so you need to raise some prices.

Maybe earnings aren’t the issue and acknowledging your current capacity instead of getting (more) burned out could help you feel less overwhelmed right now.

Maybe you’re totally burned out and need to take a break, so your usual numbers or estimates no longer apply.

I don’t know what your specific circumstances happen to be! I only know that nailing down your scope of work is helpful and stress-reducing.

Nailing down your scope of work leads to radical clarity.

Let’s say you need 6 clients per month. You talk with potential clients on calls before they purchase your services and about half of inquiries book. Fantastic! Then your scope of work is to have 6 clients, which means hosting 12 discovery calls per month.

I’ve seen KK on Tap clients go from swimming in ‘I JUST NEED MORE CLIENTS!!!!’ to ‘I need to book X discovery calls in order to get Y new clients.’ Can you feel the CALM that comes with that sentence? It’s finite. It’s not MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE. It’s a clear and precise number that’s actually doable.

Suddenly, most marketing efforts are reduced to one clear goal.

In this example, it’s getting discovery calls booked. I’ll talk about my clear goals ’cause that’s easier than making up hypotheticals about yours.

My scope of work this year includes the capacity to take good care of 20 year-long KK on Tap coaching clients, to create twice monthly That’s What She Said podcasts, and to host ongoing live breathwork meetups and a secret podcast for Together.

That means all my marketing efforts are geared toward one of two options. Instead of being like, ‘WHAT DO I SAY OH GOD WHAT DO I SAY…?’ I know that I’ve got to talk about either KK on Tap or Together, since those are my active programs at the moment.  (There are *3* spots left in KK on Tap, so reach out and talk to me if you’d like business coaching for the next year!)

What is it that you need to talk about, focus on, or spread the word about in order to fulfill your scope of work this year?

What’s a reasonable amount of work that takes into account all of 2021’s nonsense while keeping you active and challenged in your business?

Where can you let go of services, products, or programs that you resent, are no longer excited about, or actively hate — so that your scope of work is more fulfilling?

Where can you forgive yourself for your inability to perform, make, or market at pre-pandemic levels?

Where can you give yourself room to make, market, and enjoy your work without falling into the infinite ‘I NEED MOOOOOOOORE’ pit of capitalism?

When you’ve got a clear sense of what you’re capable of doing, as well as a hold on the ways asshole brain will try to trip you up (like yelling “You need mooooore!!!!” no matter what), you’re closer to defining your scope of work. Because your scope of work is grounded in the present moment and keeps an eye toward having enough time, money, AND energy, you’re free to do your truest work in the world without making outrageously impossible goals! (Oh, you’re going to write 14 books and singlehandedly stop the pandemic — while losing 34 pounds and eating only organic greens?  TOTALLY DOABLE, says asshole brain.)

I’d love to hear about your scope of work for the next three months!

What are you doing, making, dreaming up, marketing, or bringing to the world right now? Email me via k@kristenkalp.com, or shoot me a DM on Insta via @kkalp — FOR REAL FOR REAL.

P.S. How to overcome perfectionism and just keep shipping.