listen to the podcast Archives - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "listen to the podcast" Category

Structure That Doesn’t Suck // Part 1

If you’re one of my people, you tend to operate in one of two categories. You’re either a big-huge-enormous fan of structure and use it to plan every last detail of your life, or you absolutely hate structure and run from it like you run from that person with a hacking cough who’s got the plague over there.

Let’s make peace with both of those extremes by going a little bit Harry Potter on you.

This is an episode of That’s What She Said!  Listen in below, or find all the episodes here.

Hermione Granger is a really smart, really Type-A individual who uses tools like TIME TRAVEL to take more classes. Her structure level is over the top. You cannot beat Hermione at planning, at doing homework, at reading lists, or at time-turning.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find Luna Lovegood. She’s a laidback, dreamy individual who notices patterns and creatures others miss, subscribes to beliefs others find bizarre, and whose report cards are never crucial to the plot of any J.K. Rowling story.

Both of these humans save Harry Potter’s life at some point in the series. Which is to say…

Structure and serendipity go hand in hand.

They’re both amazing characters. They both get shit done and save the lives of their friends. You’ve got both of them within you, but you’re probably so busy shit-talking the other that you haven’t yet harnessed both of their strengths.

Let’s make peace with your Luna and Hermione parts, starting right now.

If you’re more of a Luna at heart, you’ve said something like, “I’m great at starting a routine and then letting it go the first day I don’t feel like it.”

Because you’re usually not starting *a* routine. You are RENOVATING YOUR LIFE all at once.

You don’t simply stop consuming GMOs and eat a little more kale! You go on a rampage and throw out everything in your pantry that doesn’t fit your strict guidelines, replace your plastics with glass, buy a juicer, start meal planning, and commit to eating 100% organic foods for the rest of time. (I’ve done this many times, including the time I threw out the microwave to kick off a particularly healthy kick. And then purchased a new microwave a few weeks later.)

This Total Life Overhaul works for a few days. You’re doing it! Everything is changing all at once! …and then you find yourself in a cafe with amazing muffins. Sweet, sweet, not-part-of-your-new-life-plan muffins.

FUCK IT, you decide, and throw all that structure out the window in one fell swoop.

Attempts to implement structure in your life are inevitably abandoned when the 18 changes you’ve taken on simultaneously begin to unravel.

Lest you feel superior because you’re on the Hermione end of the spectrum, let’s dive into big changes in Hermione land.

You’ve got your schedule packed with activities. Meal planning happens from mid-afternoon until 5:47 p.m. on Sundays, as well as on Wednesdays at precisely 1:37 p.m., between lunch yoga and afternoon meetings.

You schedule yourself to within an inch of your life and feel stressed by most any change to your plans.

Being one minute late is a catastrophe. Client cancellations are major issues. You don’t understand why people haven’t responded to your Thanksgiving Brunch RSVP 17 weeks in advance. Christmas shopping is done by November first.

Rigidity keeps you uptight on your best days and downright mean on your worst.

…but are you more of a Luna or a Hermione?

Lunas tend to:

+ make amazing work but rarely spend energy selling it
+ have trouble communicating with their peeps consistently
+ freak out about the number of projects they find interesting (“It’s too many!”)
+ panic if they feel ‘locked in’ to a title, project, or way of being
+ spend a great deal of time daydreaming and imagining
+ find money and finances frustrating but uninteresting
+ consistently undervalue their gifts and time

Hermiones tend to:

+ find it difficult to deviate from structure
+ freak out if an assignment doesn’t have any rules
+ enjoy projects less if there’s no chance of getting a gold star
+ overschedule their days and lives
+ fear letting people down, and therefore accept lots of unwanted responsibility
+ push their own needs, particularly creative ones, to the back burner
+ crave freedom, expansion, and stillness, but have trouble finding time for it

The good news is, you’ve got both impulses built right into you!

If you identify with Luna, we’ll work toward creating structure that doesn’t suck in the coming weeks. Those who identify with Hermione will work on adding silence, stillness, and space to let your not-productive bits out to play.

Regardless of how much Luna and how much Hermione you’ve got going on right now, these questions will frame the Structure That Doesn’t Suck series:

What if we play with your schedule so that you aren’t trying to make too many changes to your life at once? And what if we can play with scheduling some — but not all — of your most important work? Further, what if we mark off free time, play time, and not-caregiving time, so that you actually have a break from all that intensity?

Which is to say: what if you commit to doing one thing at a time?

I know you can multitask with the best of them, Hermiones, and that you can daydream while doing any activity at all, Lunas. But what if you only did one thing at a time, all day long?

Both Lunas and Hermiones struggle with overwhelm because both are living in the modern world.

We have more toothpaste options than our ancestors did career choices.

My email list — MY email list — contains more people than Jesus reached in the whole of his time on earth.

To be overwhelmed is the tip of the iceberg and is understating the truth by a long shot.

We’re drowning in choices, in voices, in distractions.

That’s why doing one thing at a time is important, at both the day-to-day level and the career level. You can’t make a movie and an album and a Broadway show simultaneously unless you’re 40 years into your career like Bruce Springsteen, so please don’t try.

Can you commit to doing one task at a time for the coming week?

That won’t change your whole calendar, but it will begin to beat back the overwhelm that threatens to take you under.

P.S.  Your whole year, planned with one question.

Finding Your Enough Number

Over the years, I’ve found that most business owners don’t know their enough number.  You know, your enough number: the precise amount of money it takes to cover your business and personal expenses, as well as account for taxes so you don’t suddenly owe ALL THE DOLLARS on April 15th.

In this special edition of the podcast, I’ll show you how to figure out precisely how much money you need your business to make each month, then break down exactly how much of your work you’ve got to sell to make that number happen. We’ll even account for taxes, and of course I’ll make you laugh the whole time.

Finding your enough number will help you prioritize your marketing activities, stop overwhelm in its tracks, and generally stop your asshole brain from going on and on about needing the vague and ominous “MORE” money.

Listen in below.

HEAR YE HEAR YE THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT.  This could be a paid class with a bunch of videos and bonuses and blah blah blah, but then you’d never actually do it because it would be one more thing you mean to do but never get around to completing.  (When asked to take a long-ass class about finances, 100% of humans suddenly have something much better to do.)

Please treat this like a no big deal, just-hanging-out-on-an-average-Tuesday sort of podcast, but grab a notebook and do the work.

If you’d like my help to go a step further and get yourself a rad workbook that will walk you through all of this, because diving into your financial health is intimidating AF, I’d be happy to help!

You can purchase this class in workbook form so that you actually complete the tasks instead of just listening.  Grab it for $10.

Buy Enough workbook

If $10 isn’t something you’ve got right now, we can also exchange value when you write a review, leave a rating, or send the podcast along to others.

Again, this is an experiment.  The trend right now is not just to give away simple things, but to make free courses and programs and challenges and audio and video and send 4,233 sales emails with timers and LIMITED OFFERS and tripwires and webinars and MY GOD IT’S EXHAUSTING.

This is me modeling more of what I would like to see in the world: fewer people doing things for exposure dollars.  Less content marketing, more making things that are truly useful and not simply a ploy to build an email list.  (I’m not giving this to you to build my email list because most freebies end up in your downloads folder, only to be found and deleted in roughly 2027.  And that does neither of us any good.)

P.S. This experiment is anti-capitalist in nature, as you get access to the goods first and pay second.  Translation: there’s TRUST here.

If this type of experiment is interesting to you, check out my anti-capitalist, pro-abundance-without-any-manifesting interview with Bear Hebert.

How to overcome perfectionism and just keep shipping.

At its most simplified, you overcome perfectionism like this:

Make something up.
Get the word out about it.
Accept dollars for the thing you’ve made up.

(Of course that doesn’t always work, because have you seen the photo to the left and WOW do I suck at being posed sometimes.  But you keep going.)

This is an episode of That’s What She Said, my weekly podcast!  Listen in below, or read along for the transcript(ish).

This thing you’re sharing may or may not require: a website, an e-mail list, a social media presence, and/or a change of job.

It will most definitely involve: risk, leaving your comfort zone, asking for help, and failing. Lots.

We hide behind plans and structures, strategies and investors, sure things and experts, but there’s no real way to know how a thing you’ve made up will do until you introduce it to the world.

So go on, make the thing.

And then introduce it to the world.

“I’ve had many many many products, the vast majority of the things I’ve written, or created, the organizations I built fail, but the reason I’ve managed a modicum of success is because I just keep shipping.” — Seth Godin

We’re tempted to hide, to give up, or to go back to the old way of doing something once we’ve perceived something as a failure, but Seth tells us to just keep shipping.

That idea you’ve got? Ship it.

That thing you’re sitting on? Ship it.

The movement you want to start? Ship it.

Ship 10 things, and 2 will succeed.

That’s better than shipping 1 thing and having it fail, right?  It feels too big, too important, or too grand. It’s not ready, it needs more of this and less of that.

IT WILL NEVER FEEL READY. SHIP IT.

What are you perfecting, tweaking, or planning?

What’s been an idea lurking in your brain for the past few weeks, months, years, or decades?

What is it you want to do but you feel like you just freaking CAN’T because you’re too scared, because you don’t know enough, or because someone else has a slightly similar version and you’re afraid you’ll end up copying him or her, even though you know that’s a lame excuse and really, yours is completely different?

What do you need to set a deadline for, NOW?

I dare you to set it.

And then JUST FUCKING SHIP IT.

When we give one idea, concept, or blueprint too much attention, it can suck away our momentum, tank our mojo, and keep us from shipping.

Your brain will tell you that shipping and shipping and shipping does your clients a disservice. It will say that you should tweak and twerk, that your clients deserve only perfection, that they couldn’t possibly embrace the state of your creation as it is right now.

Only what if it launches and it’s missed the mark? Three months of work into it, that’s devastating.

Three years, or three decades into it? You’ll never recover.

That’s the part where you let your people have at it — whatever it is — and then you tweak.

You listen. You add features or streamline the whole venture. You let the dead bits fall to the wayside. You add life to the parts your peeps embrace. You let your clients inform your work, and your work inform your clients, in a glorious cycle that goes up and up and up and up into something way better than you could ever have created without their input.

When you’re holding tight to perfectionism, you’re not holding tight to your clients.

They deserve to see your work, not to be teased with it until it’s been beaten and battered to within an inch of its life.

When you’re striving for perfection, you can erode the fundamental spirit of a thing.

You lose an edge here, a corner there. You keep chipping away, and suddenly the life is gone.

Sometimes the spirit is in the flaws. Sometimes the charm is in letting us see your humanity. Sometimes the most sacred bits are the parts your detractors might call mistakes. Sometimes the best parts of a program are found in the outtakes.

The world makes a big fuss about perfection, but the act of iterating is infinitely more sexy. When you find yourself in the ‘make it perfect, make it perfect, make it perfect’ loop…ask yourself whether what you’re making hums with life.

Ask a friend who loves you where it sings and where it falls flat. Ask if the whole thing reflects who you are and where you are in the world, or if you’ve accidentally picked up someone’s else’s voice. (Or worse, someone else’s aspirations.) Ask them if it feels like you.

Does it feel like kids covered in mud, or dogs digging in the sand, or those moments when you first picked up the instruments of your profession and thought ‘This is what I want to do with my life…’? If it does, no further polishing is required.

Let us see the work. Let your slightly-wibbly bits sing out to ours and make new off-key-but-lovely music together.

We’d rather have a spirited something than a lifeless lump of perfection.

What have you been sitting on, waiting for, or polishing for way too long?

Where are you dragging your feet?

What can you get to market in the next 6 weeks?

No, really…if you give it your all, what can you get to market in the next 6 weeks? The next 8 weeks?

Pablo Picasso painted his masterpiece, Guernica, in under a month. New York Times bestselling author Jane Green writes her novels in six months. Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in less than thirty days. My favorite poems always fall out in twenty minutes or less.

Don’t discount something just because you haven’t wallowed in it for a decade or more.

P.S.  If you need help to overcome perfectionism and bring your work to the world, I’ve got three pay-what-you-can books to help!  Go Your Own Way: free yourself from business as usual is ideal if you’ve got no idea where to begin with owning a business.

Introverts at Work will help you explore selling and marketing techniques that make the most of your Quiet-with-a-capital-Q nature.

Calling to the Deep: business as a spiritual practice will help you figure out why your money issues affect your business, and your marital issues affect your bookings, and your own personal failings somehow seem to be far more pronounced the minute you opened your doors.  That’s normal.  Let’s talk about it.