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Give what you needed to get.

⚡️Registration is closed until the next round, in 2020! In the meantime, check out KK on Tap!

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Steer Your Ship 2020 First-to-Know List






Sometimes you make things because they live deep within you and you simply must.

And sometimes, you make things because you are trying to give what at what point, you needed to get. The photographer with no images of her father who creates family portraits for others. The musician who only wants others to feel understood without the need for words, and so he channels everything he has into making dance floors pulse with life. The comedian who makes jokes about misery and suffering and depression because without bearing a torch for others, he would creep back into alcoholism or drugs or despair.

Often — so often — we give what we needed to get.

It’s only recently that I realized I’m giving what I needed to get a few years ago, when I wanted a true, honest-to-God-not-just-Facebook-community about as much as I wanted to breathe, and when I felt crushed by the profound loneliness of owning a business while working from home.

I wanted someone to hear me and say, “I know.
I know you can’t do it the way everyone says you should.
I know how hard your heart pounds against your chest and begs to be felt.
I know how much it hurts to be alive. Just to be breathing, some days. I know.”

I wanted someone to answer my questions about the next step
without just doing quick math
and saying I should do the most profitable thing.

I wanted someone to tell me I wasn’t broken.
I wanted someone to tell me that losing weight wasn’t the answer.
I wanted someone to hold me accountable for doing what I said I was going to do.

I wanted someone to look me in the eyes and love me as I was in that moment
without mentioning my potential or my future or my accomplishments.

I wanted someone to listen deeply
and ask profound questions
without any vested interest in my answers.

I wanted someone to help me see myself.

I wanted to be heard.
I wanted to be heard.
I wanted to be heard.

I was screaming inside and terrified,
and all I wanted
was someone to come and sit beside me and hold me while I cried:

some other human to look me in the eye and understand
without running from it or shrinking it
or trying to make it fit into a more comfortable box of some kind.

Steer Your Ship at sunset
I needed someone to feel with me,
and sit in the murk with me,
and face the truth there with me, too.

I needed someone to rub my back
and whisper “it’s okay”
in the way of mothers holding newborns,
with nothing but love.

I needed to be held, just then.

…and all THAT is why I created Steer Your Ship.

Yes, Steer Your Ship includes six months of working with me, and yes, there are coaching calls and two live retreats and amaaaazing art encounters and profound realizations and quite often, doubled to tripled income for participants, but those included things are very, very small when compared with the intangible things you get.

You get a sense of yourself again. (We’ll find you, wherever you went missing.)
You get to put down all the masks and walls you carry, and show yourself to someone who won’t judge you or make you feel less than or push you in any direction except the one you find most interesting.
You get someone who understands about shutting down and then coming to life again.
Hell, you’ll get someone who understands. Period.

It would be my honor and my delight to help you sort through the tangled threads of your own life, to see you fully, and to give you what I so needed to get.  Further…

Growth takes other humans.

As much as I don’t like to admit that — as part hermit, part empath, part highly sensitive person and supremely shy introvert — growth takes other humans.

You need people to see you so they can reflect yourself back to you in an honest and loving way.

I’m happy to be that human mirror and to help you find wild and lovely, deeply surprising and ultimately delightful new ways of being in the world.

This isn’t like buying another $XXXX class and hoping for the best. On the other side of making this particular investment, you’ll have seen more of yourself than ever before.  Further  — it costs more to stay where you are. To stay stuck or lonely, confused or telling yourself you’ll figure it out on your own costs not only dollars in lost revenue, but YEARS. You say you’ll work on that or do that or figure that thing out next month and next month and next month until you find yourself hiding, stuck, exactly where you were years ago.

By the time we’ve finished working together, you’ll have grown in ways you can’t possibly anticipate right now, and you’ll get to know the joy that comes from being at least 30% more YOU in the world.

No more hiding, no more wishing things would just get easier without your putting in any effort to be seen, no more reading and consuming endless information without actually putting any of it into practice.   (Yup, I see you, and AYUP, I know how scared you are, and I also know the pain that comes of not taking action while hiding behind ever-growing barricades of worst-case scenarios and anxiety.)

Tina Heinnickel
Tina Heinnickel

I felt a huge shift within myself. I had felt really closed off and numb coming into this experience, and I just felt like I could breathe again after. And feel open. And good about myself. And hopeful.

...it really is crazy amazing and beautiful how close you can feel to a group of women after only knowing them for 72 hours. How in some ways I can feel closer to them than some of my friends I’ve known for years. But we were all open, real, and vulnerable with each other – which can be an extremely magical thing. We were all in a puddle of tears when we had to leave each other at the end of the workshop.

Jackie Hutchinson
Jackie Hutchinson

Before the workshop, I looked at business as this thing that I HAVE to do so we can survive. Now I look at business as this thing that helps us live our lives to the fullest in order for us to enjoy our lives.

Indriana Irawan Bravo
Indriana Irawan Bravo

I've never felt more powerful than I do now. And I don't think I've ever accepted myself the way I do now.

You will grow in ways you cannot imagine.

Nicole A. Hershey
Nicole A. Hershey

I went from feeling like I sort of kinda of a project thing I'm working on, but it lives in the ether and someday maybe it will come to fruition... to carving out time each day to work on my deepest work, to managing my time and energy in order to make sure that work happens, to finding stillness instead of numbing it, and making a plan so that my business will definitely be a real thing with a real date of starting. When people ask me what I do, I don't feel the need to shift my feet back and forth and look sideways and raise my voice to a question mark at the end of each sentence.

It's nice to feel like my truest work is always right under the surface, rather than like I need to go hunting for it because it's been so long since I've been connected to it.

Meera Mohan-Graham
Meera Mohan-Graham

In just over four weeks since Steer Your Ship, I've more than doubled my wedding bookings for next year.

On the personal end, for the first time in my life I'm making active decisions about when to rest, and using my "off season" to rejuvenate and reflect. For years, I've planned to do that, but always failed - feeling like there was "too much to get done" and never actually resting.

I feel the disjointed parts of me, my life and my business have all finally locked into alignment to become unified and whole and strong.

(as shown, with crazy-ass otter accosting swimsuit)

Alicia Bruce
Alicia Bruce

I was surprised at how much we were able to dive into both personal and business issues and really get some problems solved. As much as each of us struggle with problems in our business and personal lives, we feel like solving them is going to have to be a long, drawn-out experience. But really, all it takes is a person who gets us, who will listen, and who will ask the questions that need to be asked.

Meera Mohan-Graham
Meera Mohan-Graham

I have literally never felt so open and safe with a group of people in my entire life. Not a "group of strangers." Literally ANY GROUP OF PEOPLE.

Crystal Colon
Crystal Colon

…one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve ever had.  I came away with an amazing sense of clarity, a new sense of direction to seek in my business, and friendships, not too mention a fantastic marketing roadmap and a spirit animal.  Kristen Kalp, you are a genius who lights up the world of those who know you.  So thank you for finding your talent, being you, and sharing with others who you are.

Nicki Behm
Nicki Behm

I’ve had more fun in the past 4 days than I have in the past 4 years.

Lauren Guilford
Lauren Guilford

With tears in my eyes I say this (happy tears of course), I WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM WITHOUT THE ADVICE, LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME. I am amazed that in a few months time I have gone from being lost, confused and unhappy with my business to confident, excited, and joyful!! I truly am forever grateful! 

Growth comes from having someone hold your feet to the fire, and from that someone doing it with love and joy and in the spirit of watching you unfurl in whichever direction you choose.

Often, the growth others experience with me is financial — oh hey, I doubled my income, I quit my day job, hooray! — but it’s so so so so so so much more important to me that you experience the utterly terrifying soul growth that means you’re being fully YOU in the world. Because that, my friend, has no price tag, can’t be taken away from you, and leads to roads you can’t even glimpse from where you are, let alone imagine. (But they’re gorgeous, and they’ve been waiting far too long for your footsteps already.)

I can’t wait to walk those roads with you, friend.

Steer Your Ship means you’ll have six months in which to unfurl — in business and in life, personally and spiritually and financially and emotionally — and I’ll be with you the whole freaking way.

All my love —
Kristen

⚡️Again: this program doesn’t happen again until 2020!  In the meantime, let’s do the KK on Tap thing.  You and me and your business, together for a whole year. 

P.S. Got a question, need to clarify, or want to know if Steer Your Ship is for you?  I’m on it. Just fill out the form below and let ‘er rip.

Idea/phrasing credit to this truthbomb by Danielle Laporte, photo credit to Love Knot Photo, Steer Your Ship San Diego.

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.

Only.

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 —
Kristen

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.

Enough-ness

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.