come alive Archives - Page 2 of 17 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "come alive" Category — Page 2

Kiwi of Craft Boner talks letting your freak flag fly.

Craftboner headshot

Kiwi Schloffel founded Craft Boner when her left brain got too tired of being a genius — an Apple genius — and the rest is history. Her cards, postcards, totes, and home goods will soon grace your home with the perfect mixture of raunchy beauty and wit.

Why will you love her, exactly?  When I asked Kiwi how she got such a fantastic sense of humor, she said:

“When you’re chubby and awkward with braces and glasses, you have to develop a personality.”

In this interview, we talk about:

opening and closing her dream retail space within the course of two years
the ‘overnight’ success fallacy and other creative myths
culling half the products in her store at one fell swoop
how to actually make money selling products (hint: it’s not as easy as Etsy says!)
growing up indoorsy with extremely outdoorsy parents
hating but learning to cope with the business-y aspects of business
staying inspired to create regularly, even when you do it for a living
the particular magic of thrift stores
shocking revelations of all kids (like followers don’t always translate to dollars)
her top 3 time machine destinations
the books that have shaped her life over the years
why Kiwi’s hometown librarians were annoyed with her as a kid
the Craft Boner process, from idea to printed item

Listen in if you sell products, want to own a retail shop, enjoy a laugh, or just want to meet one of my favorite peeps.

Go follow Craft Boner on Instagram, then pop into the shop at to buy all the delightful things, including the ‘your penis is my favorite’ card.  (Kiwi’s favorite customer bought three at once. 😉

Her official bio is as follows: Kiwi Schloffel is the brains & brawn behind Craft Boner, a stationery and gift brand with the sole focus of making people chuckle. When she’s not laughing at people’s reactions to realizing that the word boner is in her business name – she’s rifling through thrift stores, reading books in a hammock or working on a DIY project. A self-taught hand letterer and designer, she can’t get enough of pastels, curse words and really good dad jokes. 

P.S. Relevant! How to work from home without losing your mind.

This might take a while. (The podcast I’m most proud of!)

Have you ever made a thing you’re really proud of?

Like, you can tell it’s good even though you’re your own worst critic and of course there are things that could be improved but DAMN, you did a good job?

That would be this episode of the That’s What She Said podcast.

Finally — at episode 190 — I’m pulling out the YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS card.

This episode took weeks of percolating and hours of discussion (with actual other humans!) before it ever got written down, edited, or recorded.

Let’s talk about craft, the rise of the instant, and the death of meaning.

Let’s talk about how to avoid buying the ‘perfect’ solution that always, always falls flat.

Let’s talk about why pro athletes get so much attention and praise, that time I absolutely fell flat at a speaking gig and never recovered, the jaguar that lives in your chest, and how to be truly happy in an economy that sells your own unhappiness back to you again and again.  And again.

Let’s talk about all the ways you’ve tried to paper over or speed up life’s hard parts, when the goodness is often stuck somewhere in the mess like a Double Dare flag buried in whipped cream and slime.

If you only listen to one of my podcasts, make it this one.

If you dig it, leave a review and a tip, then let me know what you think!  Send your comments to and we’ll talk about all of it.

With so much love —


P.S. I hate having a coach.

Pamela Bates on Making Art and Tooting Your Own Horn.

Pamela Bates work

Have you ever had art jump off the page, screen, or wall to talk with you?  That’s what Pamela Bates‘ work did when I first encountered it, and she was gracious enough to agree to my interview for the That’s What She Said podcast.  This graphic designer turned painter is making a career of her art after a long career working behind screens, and she’s so damn inspiring that you’ve just gotta listen in.

Pamela and I talk quite a bit about the important of consistency in creating, marketing and showing your work, and how to get over the lurking self doubt and fear that can mess with even the most talented of humans.  She also discusses her latest collections, including the 100 day project-based Head Over Heart.

“Get over the fear of tooting your own horn. Toot it as loud as you can!”

During our talk, we cover:

‘the ugly stage’ and life metaphors of painting
walking away from 23+ years of graphic design, branding, and advertising to become a painter
how a single painting changed *everything*
the painted rock business that started it all. At age 7.
how to treat art as a business — every day
the benefits of the #100dayproject
patience in marketing i.e. why it took 2 years to sell one of her favorite paintings
using grief as fuel for art & Inertial Guidance, her first solo art show
why ‘trusting the process’ is cliche and also exactly right
how she made up a retail pop-up for the holidays
simple advice for starting your own painting project
how to not be precious about paint and all the other art supplies

To see (and buy!) Pamela Bates’ work, check out her website or Instagram.

P.S. Want to meet another rad human who is wise and paints?  Meet Tara Leaver.

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.