get your biz off the ground Archives - Page 3 of 13 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "get your biz off the ground" Category — Page 3

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.

The top 10 podcast episodes of all time

When you start any creative project or enterprise, your peeps will have favorites. They’ll write you notes or make comments about stuff and you’ll be all, “Yah? THAT was helpful? Really?”

These are the That’s What She Said podcast episodes deemed most interesting, informative, helpful, witty, and/or useful by virtue of their having garnered the most listens.

Also I’ve share my top choices, because (IT’S MY SHOW DAMMIT) and there are a few episodes that deserve a listen even if they don’t have the spiffiest, bullet-point-iest titles.

Depression and running your business

This episode is far and away the most popular episode of That’s What She Said, as it handles my ins and outs of fumbling through depression while also earning a full-time, no-backup income from my business. The Depression Chronicles include the rest of my notes, battles with, and tips about struggling through depression over the years.

Pay Me, Dammit!

When it comes to getting paid, most of us aren’t as tough and alpha and in charge as we’d like. Most of us need a few words of encouragement to get people to pay us, reimburse us, buy from us, or otherwise give us the dollars. Pay Me, Dammit! includes seven straightforward strategies for bringing money you’re owed (as well as new money) into your business.

How to give fear the finger

If creative peeps and business owners didn’t face fear, we’d all be making endless projects and launching the shit out of them all the time. Instead, we get scared. We delay the books, we don’t finish the projects, we put off making the phone call to that person who offered to promote us, we hide in our homes and pretend our houses need a deep cleaning and our hard drives need to be more organized and our books need to be sorted by color, no author, no subject…you get the idea.

When your fear isn’t trying to get you home at 4 a.m. on the subway by guiding you through the streets — when it’s just sabotaging your creative life with the fire of a thousand suns as you try to do something simple like make a poem or a painting or a photograph or a lesson or an object — it’s okay to give it the finger. Here’s how.

Input, output, and getting way more done

Have you ever felt tired in ways that sleep couldn’t touch? Not physically tired, but bone weary. Depleted. Absolutely out of fucks.

In those moments when you’re most exhausted, you’re not facing an “I need to sleep in” issue. You’re facing an input issue. This episode of That’s What She Said dives deep into what you need most when you’re functioning at something like 3% capacity.

When you feel like a fraud

…self-explanatory. 😉

Moving through fear and all the other feels

It seems that our default as humans is to shut down our emotions when they’re anything but happy skipping lalala joy and rainbows. We stuff them down, cover them with food, drown them in alcohol, smoke them away, tuck them out of sight, or otherwise do some version of OH SWEET LORD I’LL DO ANYTHING TO NOT FEEL THE FEELS.

What if we stopped doing that? One feel at a time. Starting now.

…and now, my favorites. If you’re new to me or to the podcast, this is where I recommend you start.

Stop drinking the unicorn blood (and put down that horcrux)

You guys! This is, hands down, my favorite episode of That’s What She Said. It’s Harry Potter meets podcasting meets business in a way that you’re guaranteed to enjoy. I’m not saying anymore than that — just go and listen.

Magic often feels like broken

If someone had scooped me up at age 7 and whispered, “Don’t worry, it’s just that you’re magic,” I would have saved myself the following 27 years of freaking out and feeling like no part of me was normal. I would have realized that yes, I still have a body and have to sleep and eat and be human, but the rest of me is basically pure magic.

I’ve been shamed for it, others have tried to scream it out of me, I’ve been told I’m a terrible employee and that I would never be able to work for anyone ever again. I’ve had lovers make fun of my hair and my outfits and my work. I’ve had accountants and bosses and old white men laugh in my face when I told them my ideas.

…and I’ve survived, magic intact.

This is for you, friend, because magic often feels like broken.

The 3 types of business time

When I figured this out, my daily schedule changed. I tend to put most of my daily emphasis on making. You might put your daily business emphasis on getting shit done — e-mailing, accounting, invoicing, shipping, editing — but both of us ignore moguling. Find out what it is, how it works, and why it’s so damn important in this episode.

Find Your Spirit Animal

…because why not? It would appear that in a past life I was some sort of wise woman and in this life, that means I can help you find your spirit animal in under ten minutes. My own spirit animal, Momo, has helped me to face my fears on many occasions, and makes me laugh when I least expect it. I know you think it’s weird. I don’t care. Go find it.

P.S. Here’s where you can listen to every That’s What She Said episode.

Psssst! I am not a machine. Neither are you.

productivity hacks j/k i would never.

I’m all about making stuff.

I make stuff for a living: books and classes and paintings and even a real-life meetup at Harry Potter World for entrepreneurs.

I get shit done. Writing thousands of words per day, plus creating a weekly podcast, course materials, and the occasional ghostwriting project.

But when I see headlines about ‘faster ways to create content’ or endless listicles full of hacks to be even MORE productive, my heels dig in and I want to hiss like a pissed-off goose who’s just spotted a vulnerable, food-carrying toddler across the parking lot.

I want to run at the toddler that is the Productivity Police and steal that entire loaf of bread and nip at those heels until they run away, crying because that’s what angry geese do. AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT EVERY TIME.

First: ‘content creation’ isn’t even a thing.

I make photos, I make programs, I make books.

I don’t make ‘content:’ a nameless, faceless commodity that we can trade like coins.

I’ll give you 1 photo contentitron for 2 word contentitrons, okay?


I get paid to write.
I get paid to make stuff.
I even get paid to help others make stuff.

But I never, ever try to make more stuff, faster, for the sake of hacking my productivity or boosting my content creation levels.

If I’m scheduled for every minute of every day (i.e. following all the productivity hacks), I’m awake and showering with fucking butter in my coffee (BUTTER. IN MY COFFEE.) with the sunrise (no alarms allowed), working out within the hour, sipping warm lemon juice to make my kidneys happy even though the concoction tastes like ass, and getting to my computer to commence content creation at precisely the same time every single day.

Which means that when I’m not showered and buttered by 7:02 a.m., as I scheduled so fastidiously only yesterday, I DEEM MYSELF A FAILURE FOR THE WHOLE DAY. Useless. Horrible. Why even be alive.

Aside from the failure-if-you’re-not-on-schedule issue, the Productivity Police go off the rails when they pretend we can shove more and more and more and more into a day with no consequences.

The ideal for human functioning, particularly of the creative variety, is to do less and less.

We sit, we move, we read. We ponder, we think, we shower, we make.  We see the ocean.  The spaces and gaps are the most treasured, most valuable, and most significant parts of my life. I don’t write because I’m a machine who needs to produce fifteen hundred to two thousand words a day.

I write because I’m NOT a machine and I need to process my life with those fifteen hundred daily words.

Further: I don’t want to hire someone to clean my house and make my meals and walk my dog and answer my e-mail and source my blog photos and update my Instagram for me.

I want to do all those things because I want to have the full human experience. My sitting at the computer to write for 12 hours because I am suddenly free of adult responsibilities that can be outsourced doesn’t mean I’ll have 12 hours’ worth of things to say. If anything, I’ll say less, because I haven’t had the down time our very-human, not-machine-like brains require to process the many things I’ve read, seen, witnessed, listened to, interacted with, or overheard on any given day.

I can’t scale my writing efforts to produce 6,000 daily words simply because I give myself four times as much calendar space. I have a rhythm, I have a daily word count that’s been fairly consistent for the past 17 years and that has failed most every single time I’ve tried pushing past it with the guidance of the ‘wise’ productivity counsel.

I’m not a machine.

I do not pump out blog posts for the sake of blog posts, podcasts for the sake of podcasts, or classes for the sake of classes.

I do not spill my most boring, productive-ly productive work onto the internet just for the sake of hitting a word count, an image count, a post count, or an episode count.

I bring my best to the table.

My best cannot be hacked. It cannot be commodified.

And it most definitely doesn’t require butter in my coffee.

P.S.  Don’t let the Adultopus win.

Let’s start a whole new game.

I did a dumb thing.  I did the thing where you go looking at old acquaintances and see that, from all online indicators and based on external factors, they are kicking your ass in every way possible. Oh, your program has X graduates, meaning you’ve raked in millions of dollars since last we spoke? NEAT.

Your empire gets larger and larger at every moment, while my own influence seems to be the same as it was a few years ago? AWESOME. I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU.

The thing is…it’s my own freaking fault.  One: I decided to go looking.  And two: when I decided that I was going to go my own way, I also decided that I wasn’t going to measure success by the typical standard. That means I’m not tracking likes, views, shares, or follows as a measure of my business’ influence.

I’ve tracked the numbers and the dollars, then thrown myself into the game of making more dollars, whatever the cost, and found the whole thing to be a giant rat race of my own making.

So guys? Gals, ladies, peeps, friends, and the occasional teen who stumbles onto my blog when you’re reading about beating depression (::waves::)?


Let’s see how much we can give away.

Let’s stop taking classes based on doubling your motherfucking Instagram following and start looking to our own hearts to mine its depths.

Let’s ask a new set of questions, ones without definitive answers or 6-pillar blueprints.

Questions like:

How much joy can you bring to your life through your business?
How many awesome things can you make?
How much time and money can you give away because you want to, not because you’re addicted to people pleasing?
How much can you help people grow, or change, or see themselves in a new light?
How much fun can you possibly have while also earning a remarkable living?

Those are the FIRST questions to be silenced in the race to more, bigger, and better, (which is often disguised as specific, direct, and concrete).

It’s easy to fork over a bunch of money and follow a set of guidelines. You do the worksheets, you watch the videos, you work and work and work and work and WORK and you make all those people who want more followers and likes and comments insanely jealous. But.

What of your heart?

What about the small, deep bits of your soul that get left behind or ignored when you round off your own corners in the name of “going pro” or taking your business to the “next level”…?

What are you bringing to the table that only you can make?

Because it hasn’t all been done.

Really. It hasn’t.

No other Kristen Kalp with pink hair and a killer sock collection has had a business program called Dominatrixing and used it to help clients show more of their true selves to others in business while increasing both business profits and satisfaction.

No other [your name] with [neat attribute] and [other, killer attribute] has made a [thing] and used it to [awesome action verb].

Maybe you’ll end up jealous of those making millions, and maybe you’ll become one of the ones making millions, but me? Kristen Kalp, of the pink hair and otterly adorable socks? THEY HAVE OTTERS ON THEM SHUT UP I LOVE THOSE SOCKS.

I intend to give away a million dollars before my time on Earth is up.

It’s the biggest, highest most fun goal I can dream up, and it might take a lifetime to achieve. I’m okay with that.

For serious. That’s my goal. It’s huge and fun and lovely and light and it means more to me than a million [insert social media platform here] followers ever could. By my calculations, I’m 2.6% of the way there.

So um…YES! I am crushing it(ish)!

Here’s to your finding a goal worth giving your life to; and to your heart opening so wide that only dreams bigger than you ever imagined possible can find their way in.

P.S.  This was an episode of That’s What She Said!  Binge-listen to the whole podcast right here.