When changes happen in your life, it’s natural to feel a certain degree of difficulty and emotional turmoil. To work through those kinds of changes, you need to allow yourself the space to absorb, process, and even grieve, if you must. Otherwise, you risk burnout. Katie Krimitsos is a mom, wife, adventurer, podcaster, business coach and strategist, seeker, and change maker. She joins Amber Hawley to discuss how to carry yourself when big changes happen in your life. If this is a process you have difficulty grappling with, know that you are not alone, and Katie has a lot of rich, actionable advice to help you through it.
When The Other Shoe Drops: What To Do When Changes Happen With Katie Krimitsos
We have a super special guest, one of our favorite ladies in the world, the fabulous and wonderful, Katie Krimitsos.
You’re the first repeat guest we’ve had.
I feel honored. Thanks, that’s awesome.
Welcome. We’re excited. I feel like even this episode might be a little bittersweet. We’ll be getting into that, but this is our last episode of the season, that’s always a little sad and we want to always end on the highest note possible. We’re excited for you to share your story with us. We could title this one “Changes,” like big changes are happening. I was going to sing it and it was in my head and I’m like, “I’ll spare people.”
Do it. Share your voice with the world.
I’ll be like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
We would still love you.
I will karaoke but it’s for fun because I like to perform.
That’s ironic. I get terrified by karaoke and I’m a decent singer. We grew up singing together.
You seem like you would be a super fun karaoke person.
I would get into it eventually, but my throat closes up, so I don’t feel like I’m as good of a singer as I should be. It’s all about perfectionism and expectation. I feel like I should be this diva singer up there because alone, I’m decent and with my family, I’m singing it all out and then I get all nervous and I can’t sing as well. I don’t think I’m that good. I don’t do it.
You go up on stage and you think you should be Mariah Carey, but instead, you’re Roseanne Barr.
Probably not to that extreme. I’m like, “I want to wow people.” This isn’t the wowing that I feel like I could do. This isn’t the vibrato, “You are my sunshine.” It’s not that. It never turns out that way in front of people.
It’s all about managing expectations because I go up there knowing that is not going to happen. There’s not going to be any wowing. I’m going to sing a fun song that will get people excited.
It’s managing expectations for yourself. That is important.
It is all about that. Other than our karaoke styles, the reason that we wanted to have you on is you are going through a huge transition in your business. We were talking before that this is something both Maelisa and I have been going through a lot of changes in our businesses and our lives. A lot of the people or women that I’m talking to that have been in business for a while are talking about the same things. I thought this would resonate with people and also hopefully inspire them and give them the courage to take the leap. Why don’t you share a little bit maybe about your story then we’ll go into that?
I’ll give an overview of the story is that in 2014, I launched the Biz Women Rock Podcast. Over the course of the years, it has developed into an entire business of fun and amazing business that has allowed me to step into a life that I have loved, which is being able to be a coach, a business strategist for women entrepreneurs. I have run masterminds. I’ve done live events, retreats, done a lot of online education, and was in the juice of that business model of being you would call it an influencer. Somebody who had something to say and wanted to be able to share knowledge, wisdom and strategy with this group of women who were seeking that.
I had been doing that for many years and there are a gazillion stories there of the evolution of that. I had my first daughter somewhere amidst all of that and that shook things up. In every single way, it forced me to dig deep into what I wanted that business to be and got clear. Because of that, I had a couple of stellar years. I had a great, prosperous business that was set up for being even more prosperous and the beginning of 2018. In April of 2018, we found out we were pregnant with baby number two. That moment changed everything because of all of a sudden, this giant year that I had planned that business-wise was set up to triple and not in a real way. I was already at that point a quarter into the year and things were already falling in line.
Masterminds were starting to fill up. Applications were starting to come in for one-on-one coaching clients. I was about to press the go button on a live event that I was going to have here that was going to lend itself to a signature course that I was going to offer to those ladies. The real thing was happening until all of a sudden, we got pregnant and it made me face like, “This baby’s coming in December. This changes what I had planned.” The struggle is that I am conscious enough of a human being to understand that mindset is everything and I am the one who gets to create what it is that I want. I didn’t want, “You’re pregnant and now you’re going to have two kids. You need to slow things down.” I didn’t want to buy into that but that’s what I was feeling.
I was feeling like, “I’m going to have two kids.” Let’s deal with the fact that this entire year of energy that I thought that I would have is a little changed. Trimester one of yucky nausea was not leaving me feeling motivated, inspired or energetic to do a lot of the things that this business plan that was in the middle of acting required. Timing-wise it was getting a little tricky because the live event that I was planning was going to happen in June and here we are in April and I needed to do the marketing for it and I had no energy to do it, none. My third annual retreat was going to be in November and I have a baby coming in early December. That’s probably not smart. When can I move that? Do I have the energy to market a retreat?
All those logistics of like, “If I launch a six-month mastermind that starts in July, it’s going to be ending in December. I’m not going to be ending a mastermind while I’m in labor and have a couple-of-weeks-old baby.” I was starting to put together my first high-end mastermind for women who were in the $1 million-plus of revenue and was probably had about five of those women confirmed to have our first live event in May. That would then kick off an annual program with each other. Here I was thinking like, “These women are going to be paying me good money. I can’t not be there for there are a couple of months of that program.” I can’t in a good conscious start that program if I know I’m not going to be there mentally or physically for them during a portion of that program.
It got me into this space of rethinking like, “What am I doing? None of this feels right anymore.” I’m battling that mindset of, “I can do this. I don’t know if this is right anymore.” I spent about 6 or 7 weeks in silence, pulled back and let go of any expectation of myself to show up on social media, do that Facebook Live and promote that thing. I showed up for what I have to show up for, what I was committed to showing up for, my clients, the masterminds I had running at the time, my podcast, and keeping that going but that was it. I had no more energy to give anywhere else and I went on a lot of walks with my husband and I was talking stuff out.
One day I would show up for a walk and be like, “I could do this. This is how I could restructure it. This is how I could work.” The next day would be like, “I’m done. I’m pulling the plug. I don’t want to show up for anything anymore. Screw it. I don’t even want to announce.” That is a good representation of those highs and the lows. Walk after a walk, it was painful because of all this questioning. Something that I was ridiculously excited to do a week before, for example, show up to a Facebook Live, to my Facebook group to share X, Y, and Z, I couldn’t even fathom. I was like, “I don’t want to do that.” That’s too much energy. I didn’t care, which was weird. I was unambitious, which I’ve never felt that in my life.
Amidst this time of quiet and walking with my husband, he says to me one day, “What about that meditation idea?” I was like, “What about the meditation idea?” What had happened is a few months before I was up at our mutual friend, Racheal Cook’s CEO Retreat, which is phenomenal. In this business plan for 2018 that I had created, creating Women’s Meditation Podcast was on the list. I had come up with a bunch of other ideas of different types of podcasts that would all then filter into Biz Women Rock, but I love the idea of having a meditation podcast for women. I can’t believe it didn’t exist out there. I was like, “Yeah.” I came home all motivated, tell my husband about it. He was like, “That is the idea. Please do it.” This meant that I did nothing with it for all those months. Not in direct opposition to him, but because it didn’t fit like the main plan. I had done nothing with it.
Now, here we were months later and he is saying, “What about that meditation idea?” That question allowed us space to start thinking about, “What could this thing be?” It felt good to think and brainstorm about something different that was not trying to fix the problems of what I was dealing with at that moment. Over the course of weeks that solidified into what is now the Women’s Meditation Network, I then launched that podcast. With Biz Women Rock, it’s worth mentioning that I made little decisions along the way. There wasn’t any given moment where I was like, “I’m done.” Even though I might’ve said that on a walk but I allowed myself to sit with everything unknown and make little decisions along the way that I was like, “I know that’s the right thing to do.”
The first phase of that was while I was preparing for Women’s Meditation Network to go, the first phase of that for Biz Women Rock looked like I’m pulling back on everything that I was launching new and I’m going to focus on my coaching. That’s it. That’s all I felt I could energetically and mentally handle. That’s what I did for the rest of the year was focused on maintaining Biz Women Rock and the clients that I had and any creative marketing for Biz Women Rock went into continuing to fill in the one-on-one pipeline. Most of my then creative energy and future thinking energy went to Women’s Meditation Network and putting my mind towards that. This entire time I’ve been sitting in that transition.
That’s amazing because you’re doing all of this while you’re still running everything. That’s part of what I like about the story is that you did do a launch of the Women’s Meditation Network, but you didn’t do this major huge thing. You created it knowing that it was something you wanted to do and you felt like it was a smart business decision too. You knew there was a need and there weren’t other resources out there, but you were like, “I’m going to do it and I’m not going to make it this huge thing.” I remember when you announced it and when you told us, it was still like, “Here, this is.”
I remember sitting down with you in Philadelphia for Podcast Movement at the Italian restaurant. I used that event to like, “I need that deadline date to launch this podcast.” When I had launched it, two days before I arrived there, I don’t think I even started marketing it yet.
You did have a cute T-shirt or a tank top printed.
I did have printed merchandise and a nice little bag. I didn’t even have a website. I knew I needed to get it up and that it would improve from there. I knew I needed to get it out there and at least start. It didn’t take me that long to start it. It was probably by mid-May is when I finally was like, “I’ve got this idea, solidified enough walks with my husband to know exactly what it is.” I didn’t do it as a hobby. It’s worth mentioning. I knew that it was two things to me. I knew it was the next evolution of my way of impacting women. It was my next vehicle to impact women on a wider scale. I knew that it could be a business model that was a different business model than Biz Women Rock. It was a business model that was more product-based. It’s providing me more time freedom, which is what I wanted.
The number of times that I have had to cancel appointments because of sick kids or last minute, “Her school is closing earlier than expected.” That was okay and that worked for a little while, but I knew with two, it was going to be a little bit more intense of that. I knew I need time freedom. I want to be able to work when I can and when I want to and if things change at the last minute, that’s okay. I was intentional about why I was launching it. Intentional about the vision I had and still have for it as far as it being a prosperous brand and tool out there for women. I knew it couldn’t be perfect when I started it. I knew to get it started and put it out there.
I’m like, “That was only last year.” That blows my mind.
It seemed like a long time ago.
It was July and that’s why a lot of people feel connected to the story but for us as well, because since July, so much has changed for us, both Maelisa and I in our businesses and in our lives. There are those things where you have your plan and I’m a strong believer in having plans and goals, but then things happen in life that give you a shift and say, “I need something different.” You had this date, you launched it, which is always good too to have, even if it’s arbitrary, it’s like, “I’m going to launch by that event so I can talk about it.”
When people ask me where that shirt is from and what’s it for, I need to be able to tell them about it.
I appreciate the prioritization of good swag.
That’s how we first ran into you at the first Podcast Movement was you were standing off to the side and I could barely see you, but I saw your bag that said “Biz Women Rock.” I was like, “Is that Katie Krimitsos?” I looked at Amber and I was like, “That’s Katie Krimitsos. Let’s go see.”
At a podcasting event, you have to have, I shouldn’t say this because I don’t always do it now. If you’re showing up to your podcasting event for the 1st or 2nd time, having your podcast brand on you somewhere is great because people don’t see your face.
You launch it in July. What happened from there?
Strategically businesswise after I launched it, I got clear that for Biz Women Rock, I’m going to focus on one-on-one clients. I used the official launch of the Women’s Meditation Network to help drive one-on-one clients. The way that I did that was I’m grateful that I have such an amazing and wide community under the Biz Women Rock banner. I said, “I’m grateful and I’m proud of this podcast. I would love for you to listen and I’m doing a contest.” I did a contest and I said, “If you do A, I’ll put you into a drawing to win free months of coaching with me. If you do A and B, I’ll put you into a contest to win a free 90-minute session. I said, “You’ll get all these things.” They were all coaching gifts from me. The one thing I did is I gave every single person who entered or did anything, I gave them a free 25-minute strategy session with me. I love contests for this reason. As long as what they win feeds what it is you do because, for me, it’s a triple win. They benefited because they got some free time with me to strategize on their business. You might not think 25 minutes is a big deal, but if you show up with one particular issue or idea or challenge, it’s amazing what can transpire and what you can see at that time.
Especially with you because you have a brilliant strategic mind.
They’ve got that time with me and then B, I got that time with them. I got a chance to show them what I can do and a chance to taste a little bit of my coaching and what that’s like. C, I also got a chance to have another wave of touching my community and hearing what those common things are. It was a beautiful win-win. At the end of all of that, seeing all those people who came in through that, I ended up with 8 or 9 clients that all came in at the same time. The timing of those clients ended right before my baby was born. That’s what I was working on. That’s what I was doing. I wasn’t thinking of much past baby being born. I was like, “What can I do past that?” I’m not going to have a lot of energy to start the momentum of filling in one-on-one clients. I hadn’t yet thought about what Biz Women Rock was evolving into.
I ended up creating and launching a one-year coaching program. I did it because one of my clients said, “I need more time with you. Do you do any longer-term things with each other?” At the moment I made it up. I was like, “I’m going to be doing a one-year coaching program.” It made perfect sense as it came out. It forced me to go and create a one-year coaching program and I marketed the hell out of it. I had all ten of those spots were “interested in.” People were like, “I’m on board.” One-by-one it was bad timing. I can’t line up the finances, and they have nothing to do with my issues.
I ended up with two one-on-one clients that I had set the expectation that we wouldn’t start until February, which would have been about three months after Savannah was born. Businesswise, that’s what I was constructing on a Biz Women Rock end and trying to also figure out on a Women’s Meditation Network end, “What am I doing here?” My only number one goal at that time was more listeners. What I finally got with this podcast that I didn’t understand until way too far in with Biz Women Rock was that everything that I want to create stems from the podcast. That is my golden goose. Feed it. I could go off with all of these other ideas about what I could do with Women’s Meditation Network, but if I don’t have an audience, none of that stuff gets fed. I was 100% focused on getting more and more listeners and then keeping up with the content. Still, I’m not wonderful.
My lifestyle lends itself once a week, I’m doing a meditation versus batching out 5 or 6 of them, which would be the smart thing to do. I can do 1 or 2 meditations at a time. That’s what I was doing back then as well. That time period from July to when I gave birth to Savannah was trying to hurry to put all these things together to prepare. Trying my best to let go of the expectation that Women’s Meditation Network would immediately take over financially Biz Women Rock stuff, so that I could ease quite nicely into baby, maternity leave and then come out and be fine. Needing to let go of that expectation and trying to keep all those pieces organized and then I had my baby.
There’s so much stuff here that I want to go into because of one, when people think about, “If I can only focus in one area to create this income before I have my baby,” or whatever that thing is that you’re going towards, that’s going to reduce your bandwidth. The idea that you would do one-on-one, it’s smart. I’m sure this varies by person, but when I think about it, I can do one-on-one work in my sleep and I don’t want to call it low-hanging fruit, but it is. A lot of people would think, “How can I leverage my time?” They would go for the bigger thing where the mastermind is or they would look at other stuff.
It’s smart sometimes to do the easiest thing, don’t make it this big thing because you think, “Leverage my time is the best way to make money.” The reality is that’s not always the easiest way. With my third child, when we found out we were pregnant, I was like, “We’re never going to make it.” When I had my maternity leave for my son, financially it was hard because as business owners, as most people know, you don’t get paid for maternity leave. You had to make your own pay and I paid half the bills. I wasn’t prepared for my son. He was my second. As with my third, I was like, “That’s not happening.” I was busting my ass during that pregnancy to make sure that we were set up.
This tells you the power of focus and I like calling it an inch wide and a mile deep. Number one, out of all the things that I did, I shouldn’t say like, “I love masterminds, the live events, the retreats, I love that work,” but I knew numbers-wise, I only needed X amount of women for the finances to make sense versus, “I need triple times that.” Granted I could have a little bit more revenue, but the equation made perfect sense. For example, my mindset behind launching the one-year program was that it was in total a $20,000 program. It was $2,500 down, $1,500 a month. I was like, “If I get ten women in this, not only am I only doing the one thing, but I am going to have a better year than before.” It would give me a breather to not have to launch anything for another year. That’s why I wanted to do it. I wanted to have an annual impact with somebody, the women coming. I ended up with two women in that program. I have loved every second of this long-term relationship with them. It is amazing what they have gone through and what they are experiencing now as we are three-quarters of the way done with that program.
I talked about how in 2017, I had hit my first six-figure year. At the beginning of 2018, I planned to triple business. It was doable. My 2018, while I did not triple the business, it was bigger than 2017. Most of it was in that latter half of the year, doubling down on what I love to do. Intentionally knowing I only need X amount of people. This is the thing that a lot of business owners don’t necessarily do, “How many people do I need in that one offering to get X amount of dollars?” It’s not that many people. It’s a matter of like, “How do I find those X amounts of people?”
This is why I love listening to you talk about anything business because I feel like every time you mention something, you are intuitive and listening to that part of yourself, but you are also strategic. You’re not on the woo side of like, “This is how I feel and my energy is going to be different.” You are acknowledging that part and placing value on it but then you’re also like, “I need to make this much money in this much time. How am I going to do that? What is the easiest way?” It’s such a beautiful combination.
That’s not to say that fear doesn’t come up. You’re talking about this time period from July to December, it was prosperous. It was great and there’s also this giant unknown ahead of me. I hadn’t solidified the annual program at that point. I still marketed in January and February, but it was this giant like, “Financially, I’m a massive contributor to my family. What does that mean for us?” Now, I am not going to fulfill what I felt like I could fulfill. We need to have some conversations. What is that going to look like? It’s being fearful of that.
Women’s Meditation Network has a different business model thus far. It is not a $20,000 program. It is not an even $495 course. It is a $7 product, Meditation Challenge and a $10 Sleep Bundle. I have since had the challenge myself and thankfully I have some a couple of biz besties too who will challenge me to be like, “There are a couple of up-leveled evergreen products that you can do that can be a couple $100 that can help you get to what that goal is. That doesn’t have just to be the $7 thing.” It has been a complete shift of money mindset and how I show up to the money and fear that comes along with that transition.
Whenever you’re changing your business model, that’s normal for that anxiety to come up. I struggled for this for a long time because I grew a group practice, so I hired other therapists. Relying on them to make my income gave me much anxiety because I know how I show up. I know how I am with clients and my longevity but there are only many hours in the day. That was always a process. It was a huge mental shift to be able to trust that. Even then I kept going, “I’m going to start cutting back on clients.” I did a little bit, and then anytime I felt the anxiety I would take on more clients. That was my saving grace. We decided to move across the country and I was like, “That can’t happen.” I can no longer take on those clients as my buffer. I didn’t have it in me either. I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much to have such a full caseload and run a couple of businesses.” I know for me it was such a blessing to be able to get the space of letting go of the clients. I still have a couple of clients that I see, but it’s different than the caseload I was managing before.
I don’t know that I could have made that leap when I was still staying in California. There was a lot more financial pressure, but also because it felt scary. My hope is I would have gotten there, but we decided to make the shift. I switch and by the end of May, for the most part, stopped seeing clients. I see a couple a month. This has been my highest revenue year ever. It’s one of those things of like, “Wow.” It’s terrifying because you’re switching. I still have that business, but with Couples Fix where I’m going to be trying to do more of the courses, things and still in-person stuff, still coaching but trying to focus more of that true passive income.
It is a limiting belief that I am continually hitting up against, which is I did not show up for that $7 to come in. I did not show up live. I did not show up for that $10 to come in. I didn’t show up in a live way for the advertising dollars that I have coming in. I’m not doing anything extra for those advertising dollars. I’m just doing my show. To me, that’s “passive” because the advertisers are paying me because of my show. I do not need to do anything extra for that. I do my show and they get added on there. For me, it’s having to face and walk through that door of money can come easily to me and what I do and what I put out are valuable. Look at how many people that they’re helping and it is great that I am making money “when I’m sleeping,” which is true. The shift to passive income because what I was doing in Biz Women Rock is not passive income. It is regulated income and I knew where it was coming from. It’s a reliable income. I could make it as reliable as I wanted to, but it was not passive. It required me to show up for me to make money. Women’s Meditation Network has no element of that. It has everything passive. I have to address those limiting beliefs in me so that I can be more open to receiving that.
Maelisa always loves to share with me. She’d be like, “I made some money.” It’s inspiring. I love it. It makes me happy.
I still a few years later get little Stripe notifications on my phone. There’s one then money comes in. For me, I had the flip side. I had to start with a more passive income model because when I started my business, I was working full-time and commuting three hours a day. I had little time and scheduling was nearly impossible. That’s what I did. For me, it’s funny with the adjustment with My Digital Maven is realizing, “I only need a few clients because they’re paying a few $1,000.” This is a completely different thing and figuring that out. It’s been realizing that I have to schedule certain things then and create a little bit more structure around that. That’s been my struggle. Why don’t you let us know what happened in the end because now you have these two businesses going? Your time is going to be divided. What did you do about that?
To continue on the timeline, December comes, I have my baby who’s beautiful and adorable. If you want to hear that birth story, it’s amazing, at another time. I had prepared for 2, 3 months of not needing to do anything. I had prepared both podcasts enough to do that. January starts coming around and I start feeling the itch to fill that one-year program. I did a ton of marketing from January to February to fill that program, talking to a lot of people, doing Facebook Lives, and in that juice again as much as I can be. At the end of February, it’s obvious like, “This is going to be two people.” I was disappointed and it’s ended up being this massive blessing that it was those two people. From February until July, it has been me trying to keep my head above water. The transition from one to multiple is cray-cray. It doesn’t happen all at once, it happens in little pieces.
You mean kids, not businesses because you did both of those.
The transition from 1 to 2 kids is intense because there’s little downtime. There were many things that I could say here, but my body has not been as healthy after this pregnancy so there have been a lot of physical challenges. Thankfully, I’m super, amazingly healthy and awesome. For that first 6 to 9 months, it was challenging. I didn’t have solid childcare for the baby until July. From February until July, I was piecemealing time together. If I could find the time to meet with my clients, do whatever interviews I need to do for Biz Women Rock. There was a lot of repurposed content happening on the show at that time or do everything that I have committed to afloat, and then get out the meditation every week.
That’s about all I was doing and having an immense amount of breakdowns during that time. We were in Arizona in May and my husband and I, my mom had gifted us with a weekend away in Sedona, Arizona. They were watching the kids. I was pumping at the time, I was breastfeeding. That was new too because this kid I could breastfeed, my first baby never latched. There’s a whole time commitment thing there with breastfeeding that I didn’t know about until this go-round. I’m pumping and we get up to the hotel in Sedona, Arizona. I put my pump on because by that point my boobs are full. My kid’s five months old at that time. Boobs are massive. It hurt and need to be pumped.
I put the pump on and one of them is broken. I lost it. I meltdown. My husband stops what he’s doing and is like, “Let’s talk.” I ended up fixing it, but we go to the jacuzzi for three hours. I’m bawling and I’m like, “This is the low moment.” That was when I wrote the meditation called Figure It Out Fatigue because I kept saying that to him like, “I am tired of figuring it out. I’m tired.” That’s how that season felt to me. I’m trying to figure it out every single day. Nothing is automated in my life. Nothing is regulated. Every single morning is me figuring out and making 1,000 decisions that I have to make of this and this and all that stuff.
Personally, it was exhausting and then I could barely show up for whatever my new business thing. I needed to keep that going. Starting in July, I found an in-home daycare down the street with Dina who’s amazing and who watches a couple of kids in the neighborhood. Savannah goes there about three times a week. Sedona is in her preschool that she goes to full-time, which is amazing. It’s only been since July that I have had any sense of normal breathing room or cadence to my life. I am challenged even saying that word because I still don’t feel like I’m in the good cadence yet. What that means is that timing-wise, I finally got some headspace to be cleared up to say, “What am I doing?” Now that I’m beyond I can think about more than keeping everything going and keeping everything above the surface like breathing, “What am I doing here?”
When I was sitting in that space that I was like, “I am choosing at this moment to have a lot of time as a mommy. I’m choosing for 80% of my time to be mommy and CEO of our household.” Another thing happening in the background is pertinent to the story but I’m not saying is that in the meantime, my husband’s business, Podfest Multimedia Expo, he’s the creator of that. That has started to boom and therefore take up a lot of time. Different than life with one kid, all of a sudden I have taken over 99.9% of our household management. Like any woman out there, that does matter like, “I’m the bill payer. I am managing the rental. I am managing doctor’s appointments, his doctor’s appointments. I am managing all of the things.” I used to pooh-pooh all that stuff, but at the end of the day, somebody needs to do it. I’m organized and can do it happily and it’s another job. That’s been happening in the background.
It’s been all of this stuff going, “If I’m choosing to have stepped into this role of mom and CEO of our house, how much time do I have for business? How much time do I want to give to business? Which is an important part of my life and my identity and I don’t ever want to let go of it? What does that look like?” That looks like about twenty hours a week, maybe 25. What am I doing with those 20 to 25 hours a week? It became logistical, became much like, “How many hours of those weeks am I spending organizing and creating content for the Biz Women Rock Podcast, showing up to the Biz Women Rock community, spending time with clients, trying maybe to get more clients? How much of that time is being spent there?”
By that point, I knew and with sitting with, “I don’t think I want to do any more of this.” I had started saying no to clients not because I didn’t love doing the work, but because I found myself getting frustrated and angry because I had to interrupt my day to show up for our client call. I would show up to the client call and be reinvigorated because every single one of my clients is freaking amazing, they’re beautiful and wonderful. I would be like, “Yes.” It would respark everything but then I would get back into the cadence of being able to have the time freedom and all that stuff. It wasn’t them per se. It was the time of it. I look logistically at like, “What is my time commitment for Biz Women Rock? What time commitment do I want to create for Women’s Meditation Network? What does that mean? I need to let something go.” I know it’s not what I created. I know it’s not what I see my future. That thing needs to stay. There’s much potential I haven’t tapped into here, “It’s time to let go of Biz Women Rock.”
I could recreate when I found out what I did, but I haven’t sworn on this show. I’ll keep it that way of this episode.
Your face in the crowd when I made that announcement was like, “I’m going to beat you, Katie.”
It was the abandonment, the shock, the dismay, all of it, and then happiness for you. I wanted to highlight that it is classic burnout signs of when you’re in that space and people who’ve been in this can understand that it has nothing to do with that client. I would do the same thing where I didn’t recognize my burnout because I love being with my clients and I could show up for them at that moment when they were there in front of me. It took a long time before I started to dread the sessions because I had everything. It was no choice. It’s Tuesday, it’s Wednesday, you’re spending nine hours and you’re going back-to-back clients is what you do. You don’t even get to think about anything else, which is why I did it back-to-back then I also couldn’t think about anything else. Breaks were always bad for me.
It’s true because I even got to the point with my staff and I loved them and they were great. It was never a big deal. I would be like, “I’ve got to meet with them or I’ve got to stop what I’m doing.” I was in a particular cadence and I was doing stuff and I’m like, “You’re making me shift and I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to do anything.” When you’re in it you’re like, “That wasn’t bad. Why did I dread that all day?” To put it out there for people, that’s a sign to yourself when you start to dread things that you do love. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s about that person or about that thing but you might be saying in the bigger picture you need to shift how you’re doing things.
Even social media, I would be on Facebook and look at my group and I’m like, “I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to show up.” It would feel like it would take much emotional energy to show up and I was like, “Whatever,” or, “I don’t even want to deal with it.” For months, I didn’t post in there at all. There would be the weekly posts that are the automated posts that would go out about the episode and about promote your business, but there was nothing like creative content from me. That was another indicator. I don’t want to be there.
I’m blanking on where this came from but leave on a high note, it was from Gretchen Rubin. I first heard about it on Gretchen Rubin’s podcast where she and her sister were talking about in the context of you go to a party or whatever. You know how you’re having a great time and then you keep staying because you’re still having a good time. In the end, you’re all like, “Who’s going to leave first? Why haven’t I left yet?” that thing. She and her spouse have been like, “We’re going to always leave on a high note.” They leave right before they’re ready or before they know they’re ready to leave because then they leave and that’s great. I feel like that’s also what you’re doing with Biz Women Rock. It’s been amazing, it’s been great, you’ve loved it, many other people have loved it, and now you’re leaving on a high note.
It’s worth mentioning that I knew that this was the right move and the aftermath still has been challenging in the best and worst of ways. I’ve never wavered on whether this is the right move. I know it is and I know everything in me made that decision and it’s been like, “That means that these logistical things need to happen.” I need to create the finales, the last couple of 1 and 1.5 months’ worth of shows. What does that mean? I am going to check this off the list to do, make sure you show up for that Facebook Live when the announcement goes out and make the announcement. I got into the mindset of the logistical stuff to end the show and the brand and then it hit me in the face because I recorded the solo podcast episode where I made the announcement and it was cool.
I got to freehand tell the story and that was emotional, but no one was there. It’s me recording the show. I inboxed to a friend afterward. “That was intense, cool. I feel good but sad.” The episode went live and I had planned to go live in the Facebook group at that time. What I did not plan was how I would smack right into the realness of that fucking decision. It was like, “This is real.” I got faced with that because when I started the live, it was, “Yeah, check that off the list. I got to do that. That’s the right thing to do and that’d be great. It’d be great to connect with everyone again.” It was divine stuff that came through me because I had an idea of what I wanted to say, but I didn’t know what I was saying.
It came through an immense amount of people watched that. An amazing amount of people commented on it. I still haven’t been able to rack up the nerve to go back and say, personal comment, “Thank you,” because it’s intense. As soon as I was done with the live, I cried. I lost it because it was real. Not only was it real as a decision, but it was now made real because of the interaction with everyone. Their responses were real. How it sat for them was real and the outpouring of love was real. It’s not that I ever diverted from whether this is the right decision, but all of a sudden it was like, “There is no going back now.” I can’t pretend like, “I’m just kidding. I’m open for business.” I will keep using the language that Biz Women Rock is going on sabbatical because I do want to leave it open because I am still ridiculously a businesswoman through and through and I love this topic and I love this conversation. I don’t know what I might want to do with it. Who knows? That’s why I won’t ever say like, “I’m done. Scratch that off the list,” but it’s real.
Although somebody who did watch the live heard you say, I am a person who cares about words, “I’m calling it a sabbatical because I can’t call it what it is.” I was like, “I know what that means.”
It felt final. It did feel that way.
I do think it’s true. I like that you’re leaving space for yourself to say, “It’s okay to come back to this.” I love the sabbatical thing for more than one reason, but I like it. Even if you didn’t, my mind for some reason is going to Michael Jordan and twice now and then also Brett Favre. There are people who retire and they come back.
Before we started, I was telling you about this crazy, one of my many iterations of business was I wanted to be a blogger and I had this blog idea called Year of The Wedding, which would then go to Year of The Marriage to Year of The Baby. It was a blog that I started when my husband proposed to me and I was like, “Let me catalog what happens until we get married. What is this all about?” For me, it’s similar to that where it wasn’t like I closed that down and said, “This has to be shut down. I can never pay attention to it again.” I let myself believe like, “It’s there, but I cannot write about that stuff anymore because I’m not in that space.” That’s how I feel about this transition, which is I am living in the Women’s Meditation Network and the immense impact and who I need to evolve into to step into that. I don’t feel like I would do myself any service by living into any possibility with Biz Women Rock. There’s no need for me to say, “It’s done. See you. Bye. Close it down.”
There’s a finality to it like you’re saying sabbatical in perpetuity. There is something that you could always come back to it but not unless the energy was there for that unless that became the thing.
The episodes are all still there. People can still listen. It’s helpful and valuable. I will say it as somebody who was watching the live, I also felt like that because I already knew. I was not surprised. I knew what you were going to announce. I knew what you were going to say, but I still watch it. It was still making me think about listening to Biz Women Rock when I was driving to and from my commute and how I was learning these little business lessons back when I was starting all this stuff. It made me nostalgic. It was emotional. It was interesting because I had announced that I was closing a program that I run and switching over to a different model that allows for more flexibility and everything. It had gotten some similar responses from people of being a little disappointed. They’re happy and appreciative and it’s because they love it but it brings you back to all these feelings.
As we talk about all these changes, it is important to note that you need to give space and you’ve got to allow yourself that process to grieve it. Even if it’s the right decision, it’s still a loss. It’s a huge transition and that we’re not always good about that. I know me in particular, I’m the worst. I got letters from my clients that I refused to read until we got here. I did not read them, which in a way I felt shitty because I was like, “I should have read their letter and gave it a response or something.” I gave them letters too, but it was supposed to be this ending. I did not do it until we moved. We left May 23rd until we moved into our house. That’s when I sat down and I was like, “I feel mentally prepared to read this letter from somebody or a few of my clients.”
It was one of those things where I knew it was such a big transition and a big thing and I could tell myself, “I still own the business, it’s still the same.” Even though it wasn’t, we all know that, but I was like, “No.” I had my last day of clients and moved two days later because I was going to leave no space. I always tell people don’t do what I do because it’s not smart. You can be conscious about it as long as you’re being honest with yourself but it’s important to note that you’re going to have a flurry of feelings and that doesn’t mean you’re making the wrong decision.
To give space within the transition. When I got done making the announcement and we’re in the throes of the finale. I have one more episode coming out and then the final episode. We have two more episodes. I’m not done yet and I am finding myself into those high expectations of what should I be doing with Women’s Meditation Network? I should be done with this. I’ve emotionally and logistically finished it. I should be ready to rock it 1,000 miles a minute over here. I have had to allow myself to say, “Katie, slow down. There’s much emotion happening and even though your brain may have known this decision for X amount of months now, you’re living it. Be present in it.”
The emotion takes up much mental and real-time. I can’t expect that now I’ve “freed up time” because I don’t have those interviews to do anymore or I don’t have to accept new clients to meet with anymore. I can’t expect that time is immediately transitioned into productive time for Women’s Meditation Network. There’s this emotional piece that’s visceral and real that I need to make time for it and I need to show up too. That has meant a lot of extra walks, some more meditation for me, some more alone time that I’ve needed that I’m fighting for. I was supposed to have sushi with a girlfriend and she canceled on me. I’m like, “I’m still going to go out by myself.” There’s still that.
I am needing to and reminding myself, and as an ambitious woman I want to get right onto the next thing but I don’t want to dishonor everything that I have done. The person that I have evolved into and those women that I have had such a privilege to connect, impact, and touch through this brand, I don’t want to dishonor that by running to the next thing. That doesn’t do me any good. It is a weird space to be in, which is immense excitement for the next phase that I’m into already, a nostalgic and sad goodbye. Also, the present beauty of, “I haven’t heard from that woman in years,” or, “I’m finally hearing from some people who have never reached out to me and listened to me for five years. That’s amazing.” It’s honoring all of that together. It’s been a weird time for all of that happening.
If anyone could have a takeaway, I would emphasize to give yourself that space. I like what you said about not filling it up because I had that same experience over the summer and I felt this pressure to, “Now, I have all this free time. Why can’t I get these things done that I couldn’t get done before?” What my body did was a few and I could not stay awake. It got so bad, I went to the acupuncturist. I was like, “There’s something wrong with me because I can’t stay awake.” I keep taking naps. All I could manage was a walk and a nap. We would pick up stuff and then we’d have dinner and family time. I couldn’t do anything else. Giving yourself that space is important and it makes your life much better when you do that rather than fighting it and then having your body say like, “No, lady. I’m going to make you have that space.” Don’t be like me.
I want to make sure I’m clear on this, all of this in transition. The before, the middle, there is no after but it is messy and imperfect. It is filled with an immense amount of new fears or limiting beliefs that I have to face in living into what Women’s Meditation Network is and can be. It is redefining almost every single day. What equation of mothering and business works for me? It is me having to be okay with surrendering that flow that exists when I want to organize, get a schedule and that doesn’t always work. I’m still in the midst of this. I feel like we’re always in this, but it’s not always pretty.
The biggest question that I’m getting from a lot of people is like, “How do you deal with all the fear that’s coming along? How did you know that this is the right thing to do?” This is why I’m doing what I’m doing with Women’s Meditation Network. I believe in meditation so much as a tool to get quiet with yourself and to hear your true voice so that you can distinguish it from all the other should, expectations and everyone else’s voice. Even your voice isn’t your voice, that’s impacted by other people so that you can get face-to-face with those fears and still walk bravely into them.
People have used the word, brave, to describe who I am, what I’m doing and I appreciate that. I take it on. I don’t consider it bravery. I consider it an unwillingness to not live a compromised life and unwillingness to live somebody else’s life for me. That takes an immense amount of determination, time, and energy to make sure I know what my life is supposed to be. Doing those things to make sure my voice is mine and I’m making the decision from that every single day.
Your story is amazing. It’s inspiring and it is because it’s real and you’re still in it. It speaks to many things. We’re all in these different places. Things are constantly changing, adjusting and it’s like you plan and you’re strategic and yet things still happen. Do you have any final words of wisdom or thoughts to end this out?
My final thought is that if you find yourself in this position of being like, “I know what I’m doing, it’s not it anymore and I don’t know what that means.” The best thing that you could do to save a lot of pain is to get quiet and honest with yourself about what is possible for you ahead. Don’t worry about what that means and what the skin that you might need to shed to move on to that next phase of your life. Don’t worry about that. All that stuff will get taken care of. The work and the energy to expend are in whom you are and what’s right for you. If Amber would have listened to all of our clients who don’t want her to go, as much as that fills the ego, then she’s living her life for other people. At the end of the day, you only have X amount of days here in this particular life. I have always had a low tolerance for unhappiness and that shows in the work that I do to move me on to my next space of happiness. I’m intolerant of being miserable. That doesn’t work.
What do I need to do to be happy? That’s going to require some hard decisions. Let’s do it. I have stretched that muscle a lot of hard decisions. That would be my piece of advice is do whatever it is you need to do. I saw this Instagram post one time and it was like, “We only get one life.” I don’t know if I’m a believer in that. I believe in multiple lives but like, “In this life, we only get this one life. Why are we not running like we are on fire towards our dreams every single day?” All those other things that we worry about, the money, others’ expectations of us, disappointment, most of them are unfounded and the rest of them are workable.
If people want to make a New Year’s resolution now that they’ve heard all of this awesome stuff and think, “I do need to get in touch with myself. Maybe I do need to start meditating.”
I was going to say, “Meditation is the best way to get in touch with yourself.”
Where do they go to find this?
On the blog that you’re reading, you can search Women’s Meditation Network and/or you can go to WomensMeditationNetwork.com. There are a lot of resources there for you in addition to the podcast. There’s a seven-day Meditation Challenge. There’s s Sleep Bundle. There is a cool little free download for how to start your own regular meditation practice. There is a lot of cool stuff there. Go serve it up.
Thank you so much. We’ll have finished the transition part at least, maybe not the emotional work. Biz Women Rock will be out there in perpetuity to listen. There are several 100 episodes. I can’t do the math. I was like, “Do the math, Amber.”
I didn’t even know for sure. There are almost 500 episodes there.
That’s 500 hours.
Both of these magical ladies are featured on there in some way throughout all the years. You can listen to more of them and their wisdom on that show. There’s still all that stuff available.
I love you, ladies. Thank you.