Start Here - Kristen Kalp

Start Here

Oh, hi!  If you’re new to these parts, lemme introduce myself.  I’m Kristen Kalp, and I kick ass at everything, all the time.

HA!  Kidding.  Mostly I’ve made mistakes and can’t pretend I’m perfect for more than 14 seconds at a time.  For the full rundown of how I got to here, take a gander at this.  To hit the high points with me, keep reading!

I spent the vast majority of my life thinking I was broken.

CHILDHOOD

I was too quiet in public and too prone to disappearing into blanket forts at home. “You can’t spend your whole life reading, Kristen.”

In the confessional at age 7, I rattled off my usual sins to the priest and wrapped them up with the biggest one of all: “I just didn’t get into the Christmas spirit this year.” (Repeat: I was seven.)

I felt too much and distinctly remember crying because life could never, ever get better than being in the sixth grade.

ADOLESCENCE
I hid my irretrievably broken bits by going silent and overachieving in academic pursuits. Also band and yearbook and newspaper and quiz team and BIBLE quiz team and drama club.

COLLEGE
See: adolescence. Subtract the Bible.  Add Zima.

 

THE REAL WORLD
I went on a mission to find other people’s flaws before they could find mine. I spent a whole decade preemptively judging every person I saw before they could judge me. Lazy, fat, weird-looking, vain, selfish, snooty…I was ready for the day when judgement would come! Only no one approached me to say ‘flawed, fat, covered in zits, tired, and working at the wrong job.’ This judge-first strategy failed, making me more and more miserable, until I gave it up entirely through a series of awakenings, self-discipline, and (YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME SAY IT, AREN’T YOU) learning to be nicer to myself first.

In the meantime, I started a photography business and worked really, desperately hard to be as perfect as everyone else in the industry. (HA!) I founded the Brand Camp blog and wrote helpful business articles galore, then got a book deal and gave up the photography to write full-time.

I was still deeply, profoundly hidden. From myself first — giving energy to the wrong projects, married to the wrong man — and also from the world at large.

THE GOOD BITS
I decided to stop hiding.

I started by telling the tale of my depression, which has been a companion since 2001. When that didn’t result in anyone burning my house down or the world ending or my suddenly being loveless and penniless, I started sharing what I perceived to be my biggest, deepest flaws and not-so-savory bits.

What could be worse than depression, you ask? BEING AN INTROVERT.

I shared 100 ways I’m broken and further outed my quiet, hermit-y nature in Introverts at Work: marketing and selling alternatives for quiet entrepreneurs. I ventured into even more terrifying territory and shared all the spiritual, deeply magical, counterintuitive things I’ve learned about bringing a business to life in Calling to the DeepM-School outed my Harry Potter fandom and will help you make peace with your magical nature in business.

I held Steer Your Ship workshops for entrepreneurs and found that whole lives changed after working with me. (I say this in awe — deep, joyful awe — because I can only make the space for change. People have to show up with their whole hearts and be braver than they thought possible for any real magic to happen.)

Then, I went all the way into my own fear and came out the other side with 69 poems in hand. All the Selves I Used to Be contains my best poetry, written from 1999 to 2016.

Again and again, I’ve been vulnerable and then even more OH-SWEET-JESUS-I’M-GONNA-DIE vulnerable.

Instead of people running in the opposite direction, grabbing pitchforks and squealing that I ought to be shot for my flaws, they’ve moved closer and whispered, “Me too.”

My life’s best conversations and breakthroughs and moments happen when someone, somewhere, leans in and whispers, “Me, too.”

Whether you want to label me a poet, an author, or a business coach — whether you’re here to remember that you’re not alone or get brave or get quiet or align your business with your truest, deepest, and most tender bits, I’m so freaking glad you’re here.

My wish for you is to find and then listen to the smallest voices within you — the ones whispering that you can go deeper into the heart of yourself and your broken bits and come out the other side more alive and vital and whole than ever before.

Whether you’re here for a more meaningful business or a freer life or poetry and the proud wearing of daytime sequins: welcome.

Your next chance to work with me is at the Brave workshop in Laguna Beach, where we’ll be eight kinds of brave together.  Read all about it here.

I send articles and Fuck Yah magazine and a digital copy of Go Your Own Way: free yourself from business as usual to members of the Fuck Yah Club, which you can join right here or by popping your e-mail in the box below.

P.S. I send e-mails when the mood strikes, which means sometimes you’ll get a few missives a month and sometimes you’ll hear nothing at all. #hermitsgonnahermit