for knowing what you want Archives - Kristen Kalp

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A Note From Your Future Self.

When you narrow yourself and your work to solving one specific problem or creating just one product or offering just one service, you naturally sell more because you have clarity.

Clarity is vital to your mission and helps people make easy assumptions about what you do.

You’re a carpenter and you make benches.

You’re a photographer and you photograph weddings.

You’re a real estate agent and you sell homes.

The whole ‘what do you do?’ question gets complicated (and far more interesting!) when you decide to use the word “and” followed by something we wouldn’t expect.

You’re a carpenter and you sing songs.

You’re a photographer and you rebuild motorcycle engines from scratch.

You’re a real estate agent and you go offline to work with a nonprofit agency for months at a time.

Most people tamp down their most interesting ‘and’ bits in the name of being clear, direct, and not-confusing.

‘Most people’ includes me. For lots of years, I didn’t find it interesting or relevant to share my poetry because I was writing about business. For lots of years, I didn’t find it relevant to share my thoughts about life because I was writing about business.

Only of COURSE I’m allowed to be a poet and a business coach and a lover of all things Harry Potter and a part-time traveler and part-time hermit.

Of COURSE you’re allowed to embrace your contradictions and your seemingly irrelevant but wildly fascinating bits instead of trying to box them out of your business and pretend that all you think about is your wood for benches or your brides for weddings or those homes you’re selling.

Of COURSE it gets more messy when you do this, since you don’t have a nifty tagline that instantly hits people’s pain points and solves their problems. In theory, poets don’t have advice that helps your business grow, and carpenters don’t show up at open mic nights to share their new songs, and artists don’t take on new mediums when they’re already achieving commercial success in their chosen field.

Only OF COURSE THEY DO.

The less you try to ignore, cut off, kill, deaden, or nullify your varied interests, the more likely you are to grow as a human.

The more you grow as a human, the more likely you are to bring your voice and your work into the world, and to…in the ultimate universal checkmate…sell more of the work you were sure belonged in a small, safe box that was clear, specific, and that was easy to sell with bullet points.

Your worth to the world doesn’t lie in bullet points.

Your life is not so easily fenced or caged.

Your soul is not rooting for your tightest and clearest Unique Sales Proposition.

Your best, highest, and most alive self is waiting for you to bring all of you to the table.

Give what you needed to get.

Steer Your Ship registration opens in April 2017, be sure you’re a part of the Fuck Yah Club so you’ve got dibs on the 6 spots available!

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.

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

kangaroo encounter
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.

…but it’s not cheap, Kristen.

Here’s what I can tell you, from having spent over thirty thousand dollars on coaches of all kinds over the past five years.

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 shit out next month and next month and next month until you find yourself hiding, stuck, exactly where you were years ago.

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.

excited Kristen
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 $199 program and hoping for the best. I don’t quibble there. But on the other side of making an investment in coaching, you’ll have seen more of yourself than ever before, and 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 fully YOU in the world.

No more hiding, no more wishing things would just get easier without your putting in any effort to be seen (because TERROR), no more reading and consuming endless information without actually putting any of it into practice. ::waves to fellow learning nerds::

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.

Steer Your Ship house
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 registration opens in April 2017, be sure you’re a part of the Fuck Yah Club so you’ve got dibs on the 6 spots available!

All my love —
Kristen

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.

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.

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.

Nicki Behm
Nicki Behm

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

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.

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! 

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 road map 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.

Feeling all OOH I MUST HAVE A SPOT!!!  Send me an e-mail and I’ll personally give you dibs.

Idea/phrasing credit to this truthbomb by Danielle Laporte, photo credit to Love Knot Photo, Steer Your Ship San Diego.  (That’s the whole crew!)

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.