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No More Business Frappuccinos.

She pulled up to the Drive-Thru and asked for a Frappuccino.

There was a long pause.

“Ma’am, we don’t sell Frappuccinos here, that’s Starbucks.”
“Oh well. I’d like a Frappuccino.”

There was a longer pause.

“We do make Frolattes, which are similar, so would you like to try one of those?”
“Yah, whatever. Medium.”

When it comes to bringing your gifts into the world through business, there’s a Frappuccino on offer.

It’s been accepted as the standard by which all other frozen beverages are measured, and it’s consumed at alarming levels in certain circles. It seems that everyone is so busy consuming it that even those who want to offer something else are trying to justify their Frolatte options and getting “whatever”s back.

Let’s talk about the Business Frappuccino.

Currently, the Business Frappuccino includes modules and group coaching and killer marketing and endless testimonials and people who say that it changed their lives/beings/finances/income/hair color/all of the above. It costs two grand, give or take. (If you think I’m referring to one specific person or program, think again — this is the standard, not the singularity!)

Worse, and more expensive, there’s the Mastermind Frappuccino.  Each one starts with the price tag. (If it costs less than $10k, no one will take you seriously, apparently?) Once it’s priced at $20,000 to $45,000 and the creator has thrown in at least nine months’ worth of activities, peeps will automatically assume it’s good. After all, who would pay that much money for something that isn’t good????

For good measure, Mastermind Frappuccinos toss in a panel of 1-17 experts to speak to participants, throw in a few retreats in exotic locales and VOILA! Those who take the plunge assume they’ll find their ‘tribe’ and the money invested will come flowing back in no time at all.


Both these Business Frappuccinos hurt humans.

When there’s a program full of one to twenty-three THOUSAND people, it’s overwhelming and exhausting to join the conversation. So many people go quiet, opting out of the ‘community’ aspects of the offering. (Or at least, I do.)

Worse, overwhelm also takes place at the curricular level. In a recent Business Frappuccino I fell for and purchased (DAMMIT THE SUGARY ENDLESS TESTIMONIALS MARKETING WON AGAIN), over 3 hours’ worth of videos were used TO INTRODUCE THE REST OF THE LESSONS. Yes, that means that over 180 minutes’ of video were devoted to getting me ready to watch the rest of the videos.

In Business Frappuccinos, more is better. (Because more is MORE, and how could you not want More?)

More bonuses, more extras unlocked after 30 days, more treasure troves and chests and vaults full of old materials that will eat up 5-12 hours a week with endless audios and videos and case studies. More exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More e-mails. More phone calls by staff members and follow-up e-mails to ask how I’d rate those ‘helpful’ phone calls. More scalability, more profit. More, more, MOOOOOORE.

The Mastermind Frappuccino has been made scalable as well, so where 5-10 people would have fit nicely there are 20, 30, 50, or more humans vying for the attention of a guru, ‘thought leader,’ or expert in person.

If I have to take one more call from a past or present client in tears because they’ve been duped into buying a Business Frappuccino, I may start kicking things.  Past and present clients report dropping ten grand here, two grand there, seven grand for that one…and they only tell me once the money is spent. Once they’re in debt and their partners don’t know. Once they’re so tired they’re daydreaming of working at (tell me you get the irony, here) Starbucks.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s exhausting. It’s a sugary-sweet, fat-saturated blend that tastes SO good for the first few sips, but that doesn’t lead to long-term business health or sustainability.

Please. Let’s stop with the Frappuccinos.

If you can’t answer these 4 questions clearly and directly with a resounding “YES,” walk away from the buy button.

1.) Would I follow the leader of this program to hell and back?

If you’ve just stumbled across a webinar or series of articles or videos and you have no experience with the leader of the course or program, don’t buy (yet). Sit back and watch. Take in all the free content he or she has created for at least three months so you can take a true measure of their willingness to walk in the world as a model of whatever it is they’re teaching. (Also, if they’re subtly teaching workaholism via MASSIVE upsurges in PRODUCTIVITY and NEXT LEVEL shit like AUTHENTICITY and ALTERNATING ALL CAPS KEYWORDS, run away.)

2.) Would I take this course or mastermind if it cost twice as much?

Your willingness to pay double your money means that you’ll probably get tremendous value out of whatever it is you’ll be learning during the duration of the experience.

3.) Do other people who’ve had experience with this person say great things when that leader is not around?

The more in-person (note: not online, in large Facebook groups full of strangers) advice about buying you can get from people you trust, the easier it is to sign up.

…and when you find threads of ‘OH GOD THE HORROR,’ ask more questions. Are peeps objecting to small things (the hotel where we stayed for the retreat wasn’t my favorite) or huge things (he/she was unavailable at the times stated)? Are they complaining about details (the graphics could use improvement) or major issues (there’s a lottery involved to be able to ask a question during the coaching time)?

You can always find people who love and who hate a leader who’s been around for more than a year, so hone in on the specific objections your beloved and trusted peeps have to this person. Decide from there.

4.) Does every fiber of my being want this course or mastermind/group thing?

Take a class because it speaks to you deeply, not because you want others to go “OOOOH” when you tell them about it later. If your primary concern in taking a class is to make others jealous or to say you’ve spent $X,000 on it, walk away. You can do better.

If every part of you wants to go for it AND you would pay double to take part AND your colleagues trust the shit out of it AND you can accept the negatives others have addressed, give that class or mastermind your money.

If not, save it, ’cause it’s only a Frappuccino trying to seduce you into sucking it down.

Even as I tell you to avoid the Frappuccinos, please know that we’ve all consumed them. We’ve all gone, “THIS IS GONNA BE AMAZING,” only to be disappointed at the absolute lack of content, of original ideas, or of actionable advice that was on the other side of hitting the ‘buy’ button. We’ve all gotten to the paid side of a thing and gone, “Shit. Whoops.”

Try not to be bitter. It’s taken 7 years in business for me to even give this phenomenon a name, and sometimes I still want Frappuccinos. They’re simple and quick and that cash flow is such a nice hit for my ego and also they come in s’mores flavor.

But lentils and vegetables and green smoothies and hydration and rest are what you need for long term health in your body. (Imagine trying to live solely on Caramel Waffle Cone beverages for the next week, let alone the rest of your life…)

In business, you need people who get you, and questions that help you grow, and deep support when you’re in the thick of working through your hardest moments, which are all things Frappuccinos can’t give. You need trust, and time, and finding your way through tough bits, which is rarely as simple or straightforward as the bullet points outlining the AMAZING changes headed your way RIGHT NOW if you’ll only SIGN HERE would have you believe.

Business health is hard work, but it’s worth it.

Further: you might be in a season in which nothing is wrong or broken, in which business is flowing along and you’ve got no gnawing anxieties about your future. Treasure those moments, as they’re fleeting and your ambition or desire to learn more or need for _______ will flare up soon enough.

If you’re enjoying your business, just enjoy it.

And if you’re seeking…

I hope you find what you’re looking for, and I hope that what you receive is deeply nourishing, fulfilling, and meaningful.

With all my love —

P.S. Since I’m not one to rail against shit without offering an alternative, Steer Your Ship is my answer to the Frappuccino Mastermind.

It’s the most potent and transformative thing I offer, so if you’ve been following me for at least three months and you dig what I do, now’s the time to find the dollars and put down your deposit.

If you’d like for me to hook you up with peeps who have taken Steer Your Ship so you can talk to ’em and ask about the good and the horrible bits (they’ll probably tell you about the crabs that were NOT advertised as part of the Costa Rican scenery), I’m happy to share contact details.

How to stop an idea tornado

If you’ve ever been caught in an idea tornado, you can identify the symptoms:

You have endless ideas.

And cute notebook sketches of said ideas.

And you have daydreams about your ideas while driving, showering, and otherwise going about your day that result in…

…even MORE brilliant ideas. (No really, we’re talking multi-million dollar ideas!)

These ideas are languishing in notebooks, on scraps of paper, in your iPhone, on your hard drive, and in your mental daydream files, but they aren’t actually coming to life.

Idea tornadoes exist to get you all fired up about dreaming, but they don’t stop without your active control. When you stop an idea tornado, you get to bring something to life. Something only you can produce. Maybe it’s something fun, maybe it’s something profitable, but hopefully it’s both.

In today’s episode of That’s What She Said, I talk about how to get yourself out of an idea tornado and into action.

You’ll answer some simple questions, you’ll make some schedule changes, and baddabing baddaboom, no more tornado.

P.S. If you’re like, “SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW NOT SIMPLE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS, I’VE BEEN STUCK IN AN IDEA TORNADO FOR MONTHS NOW,” I can help. Dominatrixing — my version of 1-on-1 biz coaching — is my jam. Let’s get out of the tornado together.

What if you already know?

You think there are languages you don’t yet know, languages that will help move your work forward, and that thought is alluring. You can always learn Greek or Italian, SEO or marketing lingo. But.

You already speak the language.
Of feeling, and of knowing.

The languages of dedication and of craft, of kindness and of steady perseverance speak loudest of all, and these, you already have at your disposal.

You already know that the hardest work is letting yourself be seen. Letting your truest self be known, letting your feelings come to light and owning them as only a creator or artist or maker can; letting all that is you and your truest talent in the world come forward instead of hoping a plan, a formula, a class or a course will close the gap between your reality and your desires.

You already speak the language.
Of feeling, and of knowing.

When you stop pretending you don’t know;
when you stop acting like someone else has the answer;
when you’re brave enough to go in, and in, and in,
down and down and down.

Then everything will change —
and by everything, I mean nothing at all.

The world will be exactly as it was, dirty and messy,
boring and endless, small and tedious,
but you will have grasped somewhere,
all the way down, the tiniest kernel
of your own knowing.

You still won’t speak Greek or Italian or SEO.
But you’ll know those aren’t the most important words,
nor are they your hardest work.

When you’re ready — you’ll stop distracting yourself.
And that will make all the difference.

P.S. Magic often feels like broken.


By virtue of your reading this, you can count yourself as one of the wealthiest humans ever to have lived on the planet, even if you don’t have a collection of $7,000 handbags or seventeen cars or a squadron of hired help to dress you, bathe you, feed you, and transport you.

Of course, knowledge of this particular status doesn’t mean you feel wealthy: I certainly don’t, particularly when I’m strolling the streets of Paris and see bags in shop windows that cost more than my car. (And, let’s be honest, the total value of every car I’ve ever owned.)

Nor am I saying you should feel guilty about all you have: again, I don’t. I’m simply pointing out that in the whole great, vast and wide world that is your life, your ability to have traveled on a plane puts you in a class of people who are the cleanest, healthiest, and wealthiest the world has ever known.

You already have immense privilege, whether you acknowledge it or not. So, what will you do with it?

Most people will choose to pursue more money. Indefinitely.
More money, more money, more money, more money, more money.
It’s not particularly interesting, and it means your house will be filled with things and stuff, but it’s what the world offers. Shiny objects, writ larger and larger until the whole world is encrusted with crystals and diamonds.

From this perspective, there will never be enough money. Not ever, even for a minute, even if you’re a multi-billionaire, because you will never have ALL THE MONEY in the whole world.

But you can choose to find your way to a place of enough. From that place — in which your bills are paid, your heat is on, your food is relatively healthy and your safety is not at risk — you’re free to pursue more meaning, more time to yourself, more travel, and more creative projects.

More unplugged time.
More mornings in Paris.
More donations to charity.
More time with kangaroos. (As seen here, at Steer Your Ship.)
More time with the people you love most.
More freedom, more spacious living, more adventuring that could go horribly wrong and leave you with malaria in a country where you speak none of the language.
More risk. More croissants. More Italian cookies.

More isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that pursuing more money and only more money precludes your pursuit of other things that are much, much more interesting.

Like more connection.
More time to read.
More minutes in bookstores, wandering around with no particular place to be.
More mornings to sleep in and get dressed when you feel like it.

There’s a wealth of time and energy available to you that isn’t visible when you’re exclusively pursuing more money.

One afternoon, you might find yourself in Paris, sipping coffee and watching the world go by, and you might let your gaze wander from one person to another with Notre Dame in the background, and you might lose your breath in the wonder of being so very lucky to have chosen to pursue all the mores that are inherently risky, and you might breathe deeply in the knowledge that you, lucky human, already have everything you need.

I tell you this not to lecture you or to point out that OH DEAR GOD YOU LUCKY BASTARD HOW DARE YOU MAKE MORE MONEY, but to share that on the other side of enough, we don’t really have a blueprint for how things are done.

When it comes to modeling generosity in business, we have a whole lot of fluff: peeps who give less than 1% of their net profits to charity and call themselves philanthropists. Peeps who give to charity as absolutely nothing more than a strategic move to get press. Peeps who align with nonprofits to make themselves look good/prestigious/caring, but who don’t give a damn about the organizations themselves.

When we want to figure out how to give money away through our businesses without using it as the crucial key to our respective strategic plans, we have very few role models.  That’s the subject of today’s episode of That’s What She Said, Enough-ness.

P.S. I talk about the tipping point from four years ago in Magic Often Feels Like Broken.

You’re not the boss of me.

Sometimes I find myself obeying rules no one ever told me or that don’t make sense anymore.  For example: blazers.  I gave up on blazers as corporate apparel and threw all mine away when I got my own business.  But then Amazon had this killer blazer and I was all, “Why can’t I wear blazers, again?”.  Oh, BECAUSE I’M AWESOME AND MADE UP A RULE THAT I’VE ARBITRARILY FOLLOWED FOR YEARS.  In big things and in little things, we follow rules.  We forget that big rules (like not murdering people) matter, but often small rules (like how and when to e-mail people) are self-imposed and entirely optional.

Here are a few helpful reminders to help you rid your life of self-imposed rules (and embrace your inner blazer-wearer).

You don’t have to watch the news.  The news hurts me physically, as I’m an empath, and so watching people suffer or respond to suffering or talk about others’ responses to suffering causes ME suffering. It’s a waste of feels. I’ve chosen my causes, I’m helping them as much as I possibly can, and my watching a reporter outline the details of another shooting in Philadelphia does absolutely no one any good.  Doesn’t mean you can’t stay informed with a print newspaper, a few select websites, and a magazine or seven!  Just means sitting down to watch another THE THINGS IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR THAT WILL PROBABLY KILL YOU BY MIDNIGHT alert won’t help your mental health.

You don’t have to respond to every e-mail you receive. An answered e-mail typically leads to another answered e-mail, and back and forth and back and forth until OH DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP. If a vendor has clearly copied and pasted my name into a form e-mail that’s of no interest to me and/or refers to me as ‘Kristin,’ ‘Business owner,’ or ‘Valued customer,’ I delete the e-mail. No awkward response required. Same goes if a client sends a bunch of e-mails in a row: I answer once every 24 hours. Because boundaries. Most emergencies either work themselves out or really aren’t emergencies in the first place.

You don’t have to be on any social media platform you don’t enjoy. I quit Twitter years ago. I quit Pinterest a few months ago. I quit Facebook and left over 9,000 followers behind.

It was sucking me into the perfection porn hole, in which I wish for a better or brighter or shinier life instead of living the one I have right now. Go on, quit a platform. Quit two, quit three, quit ’em all if you want. You’ll have to find other ways to feed your business if it currently relies on them, so you might want to make the transition slowly, but there’s no need to take part in a platform you despise.

You don’t have to join Periscope or the latest, greatest social platform that promises untold riches with only a few minutes’ investment per day. HOLY SHIT, you don’t. It’s all the buzz right now, and people are trying to sell you courses and webinars and classes about how to use it, but when I sat down with both a past and a present client to honestly assess a time in which we would use or open Periscope as consumers, we couldn’t think of one. I’m not on Periscope. I despise video. DESPISE. Why in the fuck would I want to join a platform based on live video?

You don’t have to go to that event. Really, you don’t. That networking thing or that party you’re invited to or that open house you’re dreading? Don’t fucking go. Use that time to fill your own well however you see fit (read: Netflix and chill), but don’t let obligation drag you to shit you hate.

You don’t have to follow a formula for your business or your life — though you’ll probably need the three threadsMy Mom shakes her head every time she sees me, begging me to go back to ‘normal’ hair. When she does this, I threaten to make it rainbow — a variation she hates even more than pink — and she sighs quietly. She doesn’t understand why I don’t go to Mass every Sunday, why I swear, why people pay me for services when CLEARLY I DON’T OWN ENOUGH PROFESSIONAL CLOTHING, or how I can sell books on the internet. Or how I can sell anything on the internet, truth be told. My life is a mystery to her. But it’s my life.

Your life requires explanation to absolutely no one.

So your Mom disapproves of your child-rearing techniques or sighs every time you mention your job. So what? It’s your freaking life. Same goes for those old ladies at the diner who can’t stand your glittery choices and your partner who doesn’t understand why you aren’t just doing X to make more money instead of doing the thing you’re doing, or the colleagues who look at you funny when you tell them you deleted fucking Periscope from your fucking phone and no, you won’t download it right now just to see this one funny video they watched this morning.

Your life. Is your life.

You don’t have to listen to any one individual’s voices, opinions, thoughts, or convictions. This thing you’re doing — where you listen to me? — it’s optional. If my words make you want to stab your eyes out or poke kittens with knives or murder baby seals, stop listening.



It’s your job to curate your life.

You choose what you let in.

You choose your influences.

You choose your mentors, your icons, and your gurus.

You don’t have to trust people simply because they seem to be more successful than you. Success is a moving target that we all define differently.

You don’t have to listen to her just because she’s made millions.

You don’t have to listen to him just because he seems smart.

You don’t have to listen to them because they couch their message in vague spiritual terms that you feel bad calling ‘bullshit’ on.



Choose the voices you let into your life consciously, and with great care.

You don’t have to stay in the Facebook groups. They’re full of strangers who are throwing energy around like so much gloppy, wet sand. It’s messy, it gets everywhere, and you have no real control of it. You don’t have to stay in any group, even if you paid to be a part of it. (KonMari that shit.) You don’t have to subject yourself to people who make your stomach turn or who make you roll your eyes.



Hold steady boundaries that keep the people you don’t like, enjoy, or value out of your life.

You don’t have to hold onto clients you can’t stand. You’re well within your rights to fire clients. To treat some better than others because frankly, you like them better. To lavish some with gifts and to treat others with a level of service that’s nice but not extravagant. You’re human. You connect more with some humans than others. This is normal. You can let go of the clients who drive you crazy. It makes room for clients who aren’t nutjobs to make their way into your life.

You don’t have to put cash in the driver’s seat. I know, you own a business, so the default is to put cash front and center, only cash makes a piss-poor navigator. Cash doesn’t care about what your heart wants, or how your soul aches, or how making that thing involves no joy and maaaaybe a few grand? Cash drives you to allegedly safe, stable choices that provide no fuel for your soul.

When you let your business unfold as an expression of your talents, as a measure of faith in the future, and as an exclamation point to show off what you stand for, shit changes. You go all in.

You find ways to make magic happen. You meet clients you adore, instead of clients who simply exchange money for services. You make connections with your fellow humans that simply aren’t possible when you view them as a transaction on the way to your 6 or 7-figure earnings goals.

You don’t have to give cash the final say. That tiny voice within you that whispers about what you love, what you want, and how you want your life to unfold deserves a listen. Spend some time with that voice. Ask it what to get rid of, and who to get rid of, and how to get rid of it. Ask that voice to show you the next thing, to lead you to the next person, and to help you see the next step.

Now go: unfollow. Unsubscribe. Quit. Ignore.

Make space for more good in your life.

Make space.

P.S.  This was a podcast episode called ‘You’re Not the Boss of Me.’  Here are more podcast episodes.  (Or you can also Fuck the Plan.)