figure out what you want Archives - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "figure out what you want" Category

How do I know if X program is for me?

When it comes to hiring a coach, bettering your business, or joining a community — you’ve got roughly one biiilllion options.  ::insert Dr. Evil laugh here::

There are plenty of opportunities you’re interested in, but immediately pass up because they seem to be expensive.  Only they’re actually investments, and the best investments double or triple or quintuple in value over time.

We often make the mistake of seeing investment in an experience as the risk, when the far greater risk is being stuck exactly where we are.

With simple math, we can see that if you are trying to make triple your money back and invest $2,000, you’re likely to make close to six grand — but if you invest $39 in some ready-made solution or template, you’re likely to make…NEARLY $120 when your investment triples.

As humans, we get so much life, aliveness, vitality, and soul juice from growth — from growing into who we are — but our brains keep us stuck because of things being “too expensive” for years, if not decades.  (Then we buy stopgap solutions, self-study courses that linger on hard drives, and/or self-help books we never finish.  I mean, not that *I’ve* ever done *any* of those things…)

The very biggest investment I ever made in my business topped what seemed like a bajiliion dollars to me at the time — twenty thousand dollars. When I was teaching in the inner city, that was the entirety of my salary for a freaking YEAR. I currently drive a car that’s worth less than $4,000. It was freaking scary to invest so much into myself. BUT I made back five times my investment within three months. And I grew like crazy. I understood so much more about my business, myself, other people, and my place in the world than I did when I started…and I learned so much about my own attitudes toward money that never could have happened if my brain had won out with the ‘that’s too expensive’ logic.

Logic says you only have $200 or $2,000 or $X in the bank. (That number will never be enough to overcome the logical argument, by the way. You can have $2,000,000 in the bank, but it will all be mentally dogeared for something else.) Logic says you really should be saving for your kids’ education or something nice and “stable.”

From a logical place — and you can ask my accountant, Karl, about this — my business is just plain HOSED. I release projects all the time. I make stuff up and some of it works.  Some of it most definitely doesn’t.  I defy logic and enjoy doing so. That’s because my business is based in numbers, but I’m not tied to doing things just to make the numbers sing.

My true currency isn’t money, it’s freedom. I’m interested in going where I feel free-est.

Where are you most interested in going? To safety and security? To time away from your work? To a new job or new business? To a place where people envy you and want to BE you? To time in the spotlight?

Where are you most interested in going?

And will this thing you’re considering investing in help you get there?

If it will, find a way to get it. If you keep ending up at the sales page, particularly if your eyes are leaking when you get there. If you keep being drawn to something about it, or you can’t get it out of your mind.  Buy it.  You don’t have to know exactly why, but your body will know whether or not you want to take part. 

If it feels heavy, run away.  If it feels light, breezy, quiet, soft, or soulful — generally GOOD in your body — pick it up.  Easy.  If it feels scary but right, get it.  If you feel like you SHOULD want it, leave it right now.

If it doesn’t sparkle for you, don’t buy it. Even if everyone else is buying it, or says it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, or says you should get it RIGHT NOW.  (More on sensing the sparkle here.)

Holy Dear Jesus Rollerskating in Heaven Above, the e-mails about new programs never stop.  The videos, the advertising, the upgrades and bonuses and extra things and kickbacks and fist bumps and CRUSH IT NOW offers…yah, I know.

The question of cost isn’t nearly as important as whether you find this work compelling and necessary after you’ve taken a look.

Do you feel called to do this particular work?

That’s it.  That’s the beginning and end of what you need to worry about when deciding to join a program or hire a coach. 

I dive deeper into this and get really super-ultra-vulnerable in this episode of That’s What She Said, called Tell on Yourself Part II: The even more terrifying edition.  I talk about why coaching matters and the way my business works at a deeper financial level while making myself cry with both terror and love.  (Yay?)

Steer Your Ship is for you if you’re willing to do the work of aligning your source of income with your truest self — what some would call your soul.  It’s a six month intensive that comes with two live retreats, one-on-one coaching, group calls, and unfettered access to me for the duration.  It’s for examining those parts of your life that aren’t working — together — then tweaking them to see what happens.  It’s for stepping away from ‘should’ and ‘can’t’ and toward your most courageous self, time after time.  ::insert Phil Collins joke here::

Typically, peeps with businesses boost their income by 20 to 50% after finishing the program.  But that’s not the best part!  The best part is that you’re free to experiment and plan and struggle and strive and succeed while held in my support, as well as the support of your fellow sea(wo)men.

Read more about Steer Your Ship, or book a (quick, painless) call with me to talk about whether it’s right for you.

P.S.  Steer Your Ship info is here, take a look.

Photo // Lauren Guilford, Steer Your Ship Costa Rica

Silence, stillness, and space.


As the holiday season gathers steam, you’ll find more offers, deals, promos, and sales in your inbox than ever before.  A reminder or twelve: you don’t have to click on ’em.

You don’t have to buy anything just because there’s 30% off on bacon-pancake-toast-maker combinations.

You don’t have to participate in the gears of capitalism on any given day of the year, even if you’re a small business owner and some days come with hashtags.

You have the right to create silence, stillness, and space on your terms.

That might mean you unfollow or unsubscribe.  It might mean you spend no money during the biggest, most furious spending days of the year.  It could mean you quit the organizations you don’t enjoy, turn down offers that aren’t interesting, or unfetter yourself from obligations that make you want to poke your eyes out with the shards of old Christmas ornaments.

You deserve to be connected to your own inner knowing.  And the world needs more people who listen to that inner knowing when it’s not the slightest bit interested in coupons, deals, or discounts.

Related: all the podcast episodes of That’s What She Said.

With all my love —


P.S. What are you making space for?

Do you have a moment to talk about your groceries.

You know how sometimes, in the midst of a profound and deep conversation, you’ll stumble upon some simple thing that ruins every human’s day-to-day existence and be like, “THAT????” THAT’S the thing that trips us up?


Found it.

And it’s friggin *groceries.*

In this episode of That’s What She Said, we talk groceries and the people who buy them (and when and how and for which meals and all that jazz).

This isn’t the most exciting podcast episode ever, but it *is* capable of catapulting you into an alternate universe where grocery shopping is not the bane of your existence.

P.S. Related: everything I know about time management.

Let’s talk about goals, baby…

I was interviewed on a major podcast and this morning they announced some big goals. My thoughts went like this: ‘Yay for you guys! I don’t give a damn about being #1 in any iTunes category with my podcast.’  Then I tried to make the women wrong for having a goal, and that didn’t feel right, so I tried to make myself wrong for not caring about being number one, and that didn’t feel right, either.

They’re just sharing an external goal, and right now I’m focused on internal goals.

Internal goals are those marks you want to hit within yourself that cannot be noted or measured by any obvious external standard or by any observers.

Internal goals aren’t something that I’ve seen talked about, since we assume that every internal goal has an external result (i.e. ‘Do 10 minutes of meditation every day’ is the external goal for ‘breathe more deeply.’)

Internal goals might come with external aims, like reading more books, writing more poems, and eating more vegetables, but they might not.

Lemme give you some examples of my present goals so this concept makes a little more sense.

I want to expand my ability to be in my body. That means that I’m drawing my attention to my body and my breath over and over again throughout the day. Since no one else is in my body with me, no one else will know when I’m in tune with my own physicality and when I’ve drifted off into my head.

I want to expand my capacity for pleasure. That means more expensive lotion, more orgasms, more clean sheets, and more noticing of all those things as they’re happening. It’s not the having of clean sheets, it’s the taking note of and reveling in the clean sheets that’s the internal, impossible-to-measure-outwardly goal.

I want to increase my capacity to hold space for people who are feeling big feelings, whether at work or at home. That means that I don’t cry simply because other people are crying or get angry because other people are angry. Instead, I’m working on breathing through big feelings and figuring out where to draw energetic boundaries that allow me to support the person I’m listening to in real time.

I want to learn to control my energy more easily so that I don’t dump all my magic out on the person I’m talking with and leave nothing for myself. Basically, I wake up with X amount of magic each day, and if I have 3 coaching calls, then each call gets 1/3 of my magic. If I have 2 calls, they get 1/2, and if I have 1 call, that lucky soul gets all of it. All my magic for the day. I’ve only recently noticed this ‘dump it all out’ tendency and don’t yet know how to hold some of it back for myself while still giving my best. (Because in past iterations of Kristen, ‘best’ meant ‘everything you have without holding anything at all back for yourself.’)

There’s no 8-part system for making those internal things happen, nor are there any big flashing external indicators that I’ve achieved them. Tim Ferriss and other productivity hackers could not remodel my life with a revolutionary holding-space-and-feeling-big-feels-while-better-controlling-your-magic program.

Internal goals are only marked by your own presence and awareness, like noticing, ‘hey, that worked,’ and ‘nope, that didn’t work.’ They might have a daily practice associated with them, and they might not.

These goals are every bit as valid as the usual ‘make X dollars’ or ‘have 5 servings of vegetables each day’ type goals. I’m not knocking the other kind, I’m only saying that these goals count, too.

Internal goals count, too.

They’re quieter, and they’re not as splashy or sexy or likely to be turned into a bestselling program of some sort, but they make us better humans.

Possible internal goals might be:

– Feeling intense emotions without shutting down, whether those emotions are in yourself or in those present with you
– Feeling emotions in real time fully instead of turning to screens, food, or alcohol to shut ’em down
– Sitting with not-knowing or uncertainty for a few more seconds at a time
– Acknowledging your bodily sensations when faced with a decision, a new situation, or an emotion
– Noticing asshole brain thoughts and choosing not to listen to them
– Stopping asshole brain loops or spirals at shorter and shorter intervals (i.e. you used to have six spiraled thoughts that started with fear and then boop-boop-boop-boop you end up homeless, but now you can catch the spiral by thought number three and you’re only living in your parents’ basement)
– Dancing or moving with less uncertainty and fear (i.e. the cliched ‘dance like no one is watching.’ I still dance to Qoya with my eyes closed most of the time, in my room, with the door closed. ‘Dance each day’ is an external goal, but ‘dance more freely’ is an internal goal that no one else on earth is capable of assessing.)
– Feeling more deeply connected with your self: your breath, your mind, your body, your thoughts, your feelings, your presence. (Again, there’s no external machine to pop you into and get a reading. There are only your own measurements against your past selves. Does 3% less of your body feel like it’s been dipped in concrete today? Then you’re making progress.)
– Less judging or criticizing of other people and their actions internally (you know, where no one else can see you or knows what you’re doing and you make people wrong all the time ::cough I never do that cough::)
– Expressing more gratitude daily (YUP it counts even if you don’t write it down in a pretty journal!)
– Feel more connected to your partner and/or the most important people in your life (I have a secret e-mail address with my partner — as suggested by the brilliant Kim Anami — and we only send inspiring or uplifting articles, things we want the other to read, and notes on our thoughts, experiences, and the relationship to that shared address. No marketing, no opt-ins, no other communications. It’s like having a back door channel to another person’s heart.)

These are the sorts of goals that make you a more connected, attuned, and wise human, but they certainly don’t get much press and they get less than zero air time in the media.

Will they have external consequences of some kind? Most definitely.

Do you get to control how those results show up? Not really.

You’ll just be softer in your soul, more rooted in your body, and more capable of being grateful for whatever happens.

This is an episode of the That’s What She Said podcast!  I’ll read this whole thing to you below, or you can listen in on the other 100+ episodes here.

P.S. How to claim freedom from all kinds of bullshit.

A Note From Your Future Self.

When you narrow yourself and your work to solving one specific problem or creating just one product or offering just one service, you naturally sell more because you have clarity.

Clarity is vital to your mission and helps people make easy assumptions about what you do.

You’re a carpenter and you make benches.

You’re a photographer and you photograph weddings.

You’re a real estate agent and you sell homes.

The whole ‘what do you do?’ question gets complicated (and far more interesting!) when you decide to use the word “and” followed by something we wouldn’t expect.

You’re a carpenter and you sing songs.

You’re a photographer and you rebuild motorcycle engines from scratch.

You’re a real estate agent and you go offline to work with a nonprofit agency for months at a time.

Most people tamp down their most interesting ‘and’ bits in the name of being clear, direct, and not-confusing.

‘Most people’ includes me. For lots of years, I didn’t find it interesting or relevant to share my poetry because I was writing about business. For lots of years, I didn’t find it relevant to share my thoughts about life because I was writing about business.

Only of COURSE I’m allowed to be a poet and a business coach and a lover of all things Harry Potter and a part-time traveler and part-time hermit.

Of COURSE you’re allowed to embrace your contradictions and your seemingly irrelevant but wildly fascinating bits instead of trying to box them out of your business and pretend that all you think about is your wood for benches or your brides for weddings or those homes you’re selling.

Of COURSE it gets more messy when you do this, since you don’t have a nifty tagline that instantly hits people’s pain points and solves their problems. In theory, poets don’t have advice that helps your business grow, and carpenters don’t show up at open mic nights to share their new songs, and artists don’t take on new mediums when they’re already achieving commercial success in their chosen field.


The less you try to ignore, cut off, kill, deaden, or nullify your varied interests, the more likely you are to grow as a human.

The more you grow as a human, the more likely you are to bring your voice and your work into the world, and to…in the ultimate universal checkmate…sell more of the work you were sure belonged in a small, safe box that was clear, specific, and that was easy to sell with bullet points.

Your worth to the world doesn’t lie in bullet points.

Your life is not so easily fenced or caged.

Your soul is not rooting for your tightest and clearest Unique Sales Proposition.

Your best, highest, and most alive self is waiting for you to bring all of you to the table.