come alive Archives - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "come alive" Category

Stop the overwhelm.

When I talk to peeps about the most frustrating aspects of their businesses, they generally tell me that a.) they want to make more money and b.) they’re overwhelmed.

If you can’t handle what you currently have going on, adding more will only stress you out further.  Thus, being overwhelmed is the natural starting point for entering into a more meaningful and profitable business.

Let’s stop the overwhelm. This is a tiny portion of Phase One of the Steer Your Ship curriculum, to help you figure out whether it’s right for you.

You can listen to this on the podcast, or keep reading for the text version!

First, let’s talk muggling. I define muggling as ‘all those tasks that aren’t particularly magical but that keep you alive, functioning, and earning dollars as a business owner.’

Checking your email, for example, isn’t particularly sexy and doesn’t appear on the top of everyone’s OH HOLY WOW AMAZING list, but it’s an absolutely vital part of your business. Thus, it’s muggilng.

When you feel overwhelmed in your business, which is quite often for most of the peeps I talk to, muggling often comes into play. You avoid it, so it piles up, so it gets more unmanageable, so you do less of it, so it gets even more out of control, and on and on the cycle goes until you find yourself curled in the fetal position, staring at the 16,423 unread messages notice on your email app.

Stop the Overwhelm Question #1: which muggling is currently out of control?

In other words, what has you feeling buried, overwhelmed, or hopeless? I’m guessing that it’s your inbox, your voicemail box, your DMs, and/or any other way of communicating that gets a little full, and then a lot full, and then you throw up your hands and decide you’ll never get out from under it.

Now is the perfect time to schedule inbox management on your calendar, or to declare email bankruptcy and begin again. Find any peeps interested in your products or services that are hanging out, reply to them immediately with an offer (here’s how to make one), and then archive everything else. Sometimes starting fresh is the only way out of the mess.

Stop the Overwhelm Question #2: which muggling is absolutely, positively under your control, no matter how much time it takes up and how many people point out that maybe you don’t need to do that task?

Often, it isn’t absolutely necessary that you’re the person who handles a task in your business. You might be good at it, and you might even find it fun, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in charge of it forever. For me, that means building a new website with the help of another human instead of attempting to DIY that shit. (Yes, I can do it, and NO, I don’t want to, ’cause it makes me tired and uses all my juice.)

For you, it might mean hiring a VA to help you keep your inbox somewhat manageable, or having someone else handle the mundane tasks that eat hours of your week, every single week.

Maybe it’s getting passwords and logins to students, or editing photos ::cough every photographer ever needs someone else to do this cough::, or making tweaks to your online presence because you’re really not particularly techy but you keep trying to be, or insisting that you absolutely must have a social media presence on X platform when really, you don’t have to do that at all.

Which everyday tasks would give you the most time back if you gave up control of them?

Start there. Even if it’s hard, or it hurts, or you have to deep breathe and scream into pillows because you’re sure he/she/they will fuck it up. (Hint: they probably won’t.)

Stop the Overwhelm Question #3: which muggling tasks do you enjoy?

Keep it without guilt. If you actually like searching hashtags, writing captions, and choosing the perfect images for Instagram, keep doing it. If you actually like cleaning the bathroom, or making dinner, or graphic design — again, keep doing it. I’m pretty darn picky when it comes to foods, so I make my own meals and shop for groceries on my own because WHAT IF THEY PICK UP THE WRONG THING OR THEY PICK THE FAT CUCUMBER. I like the skinny ones, not the fat ones, and that level of detail passed to someone else is just too damn much. If you’re picky and you know it, and getting rid of it would take six times more time than doing the thing yourself, it’s okay to keep a thing.

If you think you *should* like something but really don’t, be honest with yourself. And then keep reading.

Stop the Overwhelm Question #4: which muggling absolutely blows?

Permission to ditch it, granted.

Maybe you can’t ditch it all at once, like OKAY COOL I JUST HIRED SOMEONE TO REWRITE AND REDESIGN MY WEBSITE FOR TEN GRAND, THANKS KRISTEN FOR THE IDEA, but you can absolutely hire someone to take care of a nagging task or two.

I’ve hired people to make custom blog headers and footers, to design PDFs, to switch up my hosting companies (DNS server hell no I’m not messing with that), and to optimize my website for loading time in the past few months. I have many interests, but optimizing the loading time of my website via image compression isn’t one of them. (I use Alison of Tiny Blue Orange, and here’s an interview with her if you also need help handling your DNS’s!)

Stop the Overwhelm Question #5: are you an every damn day worker or a batch worker?

In other words: do you prefer to batch your large tasks or to work on them steadily, day by day?

I’m a batcher by nature, so I’ll have a few moderately productive days and then one day, WHAM HOLY SHIT I GOT A WEEK’S WORTH OF STUFF DONE. My energy comes in big fits (see: if the sun is shining I have 30% more energy), and so my work gets done in big fits.

Trying to get me to work on things for 20 minutes a day, every day, instead of devoting big chunks of time to ongoing projects is okay — I’ll tap in and do the work — but my biggest changes and plot developments come all at once, in quite intense bursts.

And you? How do you work? Do you get overwhelmed by seeing the bulk of a thing, so you prefer to have one task at a time in front of you, or do you love seeing the big picture and chipping away at it from a bird’s eye view?

The way you work matters.

There’s no right or wrong here, there’s only acknowledging the ways that you work, and then building those preferences into your daily rhythm. Give a batcher 5 20-minute tasks to do and she’ll be struggling; give an every damn day worker 9 hours of free, unstructured time to accomplish a gargantuan task and they’ll run screaming for the hills.

Acknowledge your nature. Then work with it.

One of my favorite things about coaching is that I always schedule one work day without coaching calls. That leaves me free to take this show on the road and work from a coffee shop or from outside to my heart’s content. It also leaves me free to follow my batching nature to work on big projects without interruption.

You can do the same thing by scheduling a muggling day, a freedom day, a writing day, or a working-from-anywhere-you-want day — if not once a week, then at least once a month.

This really can be as simple as adding a different way of working to your calendar and then taking the appropriate steps to make sure you’ve got your regular tasks cleared to enjoy that working day as much as possible.

Here are the questions one more time:

Which muggling is currently out of control?
Which muggling is absolutely, positively under your control, no matter how much time it takes up and how many people point out that maybe you don’t need to do that task?
Which muggling tasks do you enjoy?
Which muggling absolutely blows?
Are you an every damn day worker or a batch worker?

Finally: what are three tasks you can add to or remove from your calendar in the name of stopping the overwhelm?

Write ’em down, and then actually add or remove them. I know you’re now overwhelmed by how overwhelmed you are, but I promise that getting the swirling tasks out of your brain and either onto or off of your calendar is massively helpful.

Again, this has been a tiny portion of Phase One of the Steer Your Ship curriculum!

If you’ve found this helpful, schedule a call to talk with me about Steer Your Ship, or download the Steer Your Ship brochure.  We can stop your particular overwhelm together.

P.S.  No more business frappuccinos.

Heal the Horcruxes ⚡️M-School # 3

Here’s an excerpt from today’s podcast, Heal the Horcruxes, part three of M-School.  Here are parts one and two.

The most common horcrux in the world is MORE.

…and where you can see and then learn to put down all the ways you’ve fallen for ‘More,’ you can choose to pick up ‘enough.’

When we talk about having enough, we’re talking about realizing our place in the world. If you’ve ever been on a plane, you’re among roughly the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population in all of time.

Lemme repeat: if you’ve ever been on a plane, you’re among the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population.

So when we talk about more, and we talk about enough, we’re splitting hairs about your relative wealth. By virtue of your reading this, you can count yourselves 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.

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 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 way 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.

I’m going to share the few examples that I have, and then invite you to share yours, and then maybe we can figure some shit out together about what it means to have enough and then do some good, interesting shit in the world with our enough-ness.

First: a dude named Rob Bell sells tickets to 2-day workshops. He sells them out every time, for every date he announces, and I notice over the years that the price goes from $500 to $400 to $300 without his saying a word. Clearly, demand isn’t a problem, so the price should stay steady, if not increase significantly. But he lowers the price, sells out each event, and keeps on doing his thing. On his birthday, he asks people to give to charity: water and raises over 100 grand.

Second: a dude named Bob Goff dedicates 100% of his book proceeds to the charity he founded. When it’s a NYT bestseller, he just does dances and gets excited and keeps on building schools all over the world with the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s created.

Third: a group of influential people headed by Glennon Doyle get together and ask for peeps to donate $25 or less to help with the refugee crisis in Syria. Within 30 hours, $1.3 million is raised. They dance and high-five and keep doing their work in the world.

I want to live in a world where we see peeps selling out event after event and they choose to LOWER ticket prices as a result. I want to live in a world where big checks are siphoned off to nonprofits because the entrepreneur behind the business has enough, and where books fund movements and change and nonprofits as well as letting authors eat and sleep and live.

I want to live in a world where the whole world speaks the language of kindness and of giving instead of building endless, tedious and precarious staircases to MORE.

That’s why 25% of breathwork profits are donated to Together Rising and/or Flying Kites on a monthly basis.

That’s why Steer Your Ship funds the education of a teen in Bangladesh who wants to (escape child marriage and) be a doctor through Speak Up for the Poor.

That’s why my biz has donated over $25k to Flying Kites over the years.  (You can hear my interview with founder Leila DeBruyne — episode #49 — here.)

Because more isn’t interesting, and enough allows for a world of possibilities that only open when we pay close attention to what inspires us and heals us and makes us believe hope is real and humanity is good.

Your turn to play with the possibilities:

I used to want to make ___________, but really I want to make ___________ and maybe even _________.

I don’t care about ______________anymore.

I spent ______________ years pursuing __________, and that’s done now.

When I feel like a failure, I beat myself up with ______________________’s success.

I’m tempted to abandon my work and take up _____________________ when my dementors come out.

Again, this was an excerpt!  Listen to the whole podcast episode here:

Catch up on M-School, magic school for entrepreneurs!  Episode 1 lives here and episode 2 lives here.

P.S.  This episode digs into making more space and how you want to feel — and if you want to break up with your phone and feel less like your phone is tethered to you 24/7, Space can help.  It’s a 21-day e-mail class that helps you slowly, patiently untangle your relationship with your phone.  And cut your screen time in half, which frees you up to reach your enough-y goals like donating shittons of money to charity. 😉

👩🏻‍🚀 Check out Space, then join the class.

Remember? Your aliveness, coral reefs, and your 📱

I stumbled upon some new-to-me news this week, and I wanted to share it at both a physical and metaphorical level. Across the world, coral reefs have been seemingly healthy, then they bleach, then they die forever, and the whole process can happen in just a few months.

Stick with me, ’cause this is about your own aliveness as much as it is about the ocean.

“Reefs occupy just 1% of the world’s marine environment, but they provide a home to a quarter of marine species—including a unique set of fish, turtles and algae. Many of these species could be lost permanently, but with temperatures only expected to rise in the coming decades chances are slim that reefs will be able to rebuild from scratch.

‘You can’t grow back a 500-year old coral in 15 years,; says Eakin. ‘In many cases, it’s like you’ve killed the giant redwoods.'” — A Most Beautiful Death, Time Magazine

coral reef photo (click for source article)

This faster-than-anticipated dying is happening at a physical level to coral reefs, but it’s also happening at a metaphorical level to our human interiors.

Let’s talk about your interior continent.

Home of the still, small voice within you that whispers wisdom.(See: this blog post and podcast. 1 of the 3 threads that keep you going in the direction of your own depths.)

The knowing that frees you to safely ignore the most prominent voices and ‘experts’ in any given field if they don’t resonate with you all the way to your bones.

The whisper that points to the next step. The never sexy, often-a-pain-in-the-ass next step that will advance your being. Not necessarily your career or your following or your bank account, but your very being. (*Totally* hypothetical example: taking yoga teacher training for the entire month of May even though you don’t actually want to teach yoga. At great cost, and in freaking Texas.)

The interior continent might account for only 1% of your total life, but I would argue that 25% of your good ideas, creativity, clarity, and sense of fulfillment are generated within it. And the tricky thing is…

You can’t hear that voice when you’re scrolling on Instagram. Period.

That voice doesn’t shout over the 43 marketing emails in your inbox. Ever.

It doesn’t pop up and do jazz hands when you’re clicking around on Facebook or playing games or watching Netflix. Not once.

It waits.

Quietly and patiently.

For you to pay attention.

And it’s really, really easy to stop paying attention.

There’s a whole world within you that could go the way of the coral reef population of the world. You could slowly dry up from the inside out, 📱 in hand, and most people won’t stop you and shake your shoulders to see where you’ve gone.

are you serious GIF

Except.

Once, a friend was talking about how much she needed more money and so she was going to take a job with a HUGE promotion, only it would require her to be away from home 5 out of every 7 days (she’s a homebody) and drive 4-6 hours per day (she rolls down the window and pants like a dog if cooped up in a car for more than 2 hours at a time), and yah she’d be alone all the time but DOLLARS.

I sat there, listening calmly on a bench outside the Starbucks, and kept asking about her life force. Her ikigai, her soul. Over and over and over, until she heard me and got a little pissed off and realized that I was never going to buy in and say I approved of this new-but-very-terrible plan.

Consider this your shoulder shake.

This is me, holding you gently and looking into your eyes and saying, “You don’t have to live like this.” You don’t have to resign yourself to the fate of a dying coral reef, half stilted and bleaching, with the future of your own vitality hanging in the balance.

You can bet on wonder and delight, on a deeper life and on thriving.

You can reclaim your own interiors from scrolling and never-ending busyness and one more click on the latest content.

Space is how you start.

It’s about making room to pay attention.

It’s about giving the vibrant, vital ecosystem of your own interiors a chance to regain some oxygen.

It’s gently sweeping the detritus of perfection porn, dueling voices, digital noise, and overwhelm out of your being.

It’s about remembering who you were before Steve Jobs decided to make his particular dent in the universe.

Do you remember? Do you remember who you were before you could carry a screen around and escape boredom and despair and deep thinking and empty spots in your day at all times?

Because I do.

I remember, you looked up and noticed things. Weird things and people things and everyday things. And dog things. Definitely dog things.

I remember, you took your shoes off and sat down. Outside. With the trees and the air and the sounds of birds. And snacks. 😉

I remember, you didn’t use to care about algorithms. You used to care about books and clouds and catching the eye of that person you wanted to talk to but were too shy to approach.

The way I remember, you were a little closer to whole.

Space allows you to reclaim your wholeness.

Space is absolutely necessary, today and every day, to do the hard work of knowing what you feel, how you want to live, and how best you can be of deep service to everyone and everything on the planet.

You can reclaim it whenever you’d like. You can turn off the screens, lock your phone away, and step outside with nothing but clothing between you and the great outdoors.

⚡️ If you’d like my help doing that work, Space is *also* a 21-day class designed to help you find more room to live in your own interiors.

Space will help you break up with busy and get a handle on your 📱 habit.

During the class, I’ll send you one e-mail per day for 21 days in a row, with simple-but-not-easy tasks to complete. There are even options to get gold ⭐️ extra credit on about half of those days, because overachievers are my people. 😉

By the end of those 21 days, your interior coral reefs will be 10-20% more alive.

You’ll also have cut about ***2 hours of phone use per day** from your life if you follow the prompts and play along.

What could you do or become or enjoy or create or notice with an extra two hours a day? What could you pick up or try or make or pay attention to if you weren’t tethered to your phone?

Space will help you find out.

Pick it up here.

We start on Monday, June 11th, 2018, and class rings in at $69.

👩🏻‍🚀👩🏻‍🚀 2 for 1 live-in bonus! Once you’ve checked out, send me the name and e-mail address of your partner or roommate and I’ll enroll ’em in class at no extra charge so you can take on the challenge of making Space together. This means accountability with an actual, real-life human you can make eye contact with on the daily!

tls GIF

Whether you buy the class or not, I wish you deep, wide, and expansive space to hear your heart and feel your deepest desires.

With all my love —

Kristen

TL;DR Fight back. Tune in to your own interiors. Don’t let the world and its infinite screens suck your life away, because you are a goddamned treasure and if no one else will tell you that, I will. Today, and any damn time you need to hear it.

👩🏻‍🚀 Space starts June 11th, is $69, and will help you break up with your phone already.  Join here.