Are you a small business owner, freelancer or entrepreneur looking to make a successful pivot in your business? Maybe you've been feeling stuck and overwhelmed trying to do and be all the things, or just uncertain of what the next steps should be.
In this episode, I chat with Kelsey Knutson, a successful business coach and strategist, who coaches CEOs out of the "chaos" of their business to find clarity and confidence, to create profitable businesses they love.
Kelsey shares her own journey of how she made a successful pivot in her business and the key elements needed to do so. She also shares her insight on being resilient, showing up authentically, and taking consistent action, which will be valuable for any entrepreneur or small business owner who's looking to find the right direction for their biz.
So if you're uncertain about what your next course of action should be in your business, tune in now!
Join us as we discuss:
(1) How Kelsey used her time in business school to gain knowledge and important industry connections
(2) The importance of networking and leveraging opportunities
(3) How you can overcome fear and doubt when starting something new
(4) Ways you can balance the demands of entrepreneurship and finding self-care practices to keep you grounded
(5) Strategies to reframe challenges as opportunities for growth and transformation
(6) Navigating the business coaching industry and how to successfully stand out from the crowd
(7) Why you should trust your gut instinct to make sound business decisions
(8) Hustle culture, and why it's not always productive when it comes to building a successful business
(9) Why boundaries can benefit both you and your clients
(10) Kelsey’s biggest piece of advice to new and aspiring entrepreneurs
Connect with Kelsey
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[00:00:58] Lindsay: Hello everyone and welcome back to the podcast. I am super excited to chat with Kelsey Knutson, a six-figure entrepreneur turned business coach with a big heart for small business. After building her own salon from the ground up, she decided to close that salon and pivot in her business, and now she's here to help you reach your goals
[00:01:20] Lindsay: without wasting time and money on things that don't matter. Kelsey is passionate about helping you set strong boundaries and implement new systems to give you time and financial freedom so you have more time to do the things you love, which is why we are all here. I cannot wait to dive into this conversation.
[00:01:39] Lindsay: Kelsey, welcome to the podcast.
[00:01:41] Kelsey: Lindsay, thank you so much for having me. I am super happy to be here.
[00:01:45] Lindsay: I'm so excited. All right. Tell us before we dive into your story, just a quick overview of who you are and what it is that you do, how you help your clients, and kind of who do you work with?
[00:01:56] Kelsey: Yeah. Currently I am a business coach and a podcast host.
[00:02:01] Kelsey: My podcast is called When I Grow Up Pod, and you shared your wisdom recently on it, so listeners should definitely go check out that episode. But the podcast definitely it's kind of a passion project that also feeds into my business, my business being coaching. I help small businesses with all kinds of things from just getting started to implementing systems at a high level.
[00:02:22] Kelsey: I have a mastermind where I help business owners who are launching their second or third business. So ultimately, if you were to put like a few words around that, I love to help people take the chaos of running a business, streamline it so they have more time to do the things they love to do, and also refine their offerings so that way they're offering the things they love to do, rather than doing things out of obligation.
[00:02:44] Lindsay: Hmm. I love that so much. Okay, so I know that you went to business school, correct?
[00:02:50] Kelsey: Yes.
[00:02:51] Lindsay: As did I. So tell us why you decided to go to business school. Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
[00:03:00] Kelsey: If I'm honest, absolutely. I just never had the example and it felt really, far away. I remember in high school I was very involved in high school.
[00:03:11] Kelsey: I was captain of the cheer team. I was editor of the school newspaper, working, volunteering. I was, I had a very busy schedule and I remember coming to my parents who didn't go to college and saying, hey, I'd actually love to stay and do community college because then I can get a lot of it paid for. And they came back with, absolutely not, you're going to college.
[00:03:30] Kelsey: So, it felt like I didn't have a choice. In hindsight, I appreciate them. You know, they wanted me to have the best, and I totally understand that. But in the moment, I was a little, I was a little angry. Ended up going to the state school as far away as possible, but still in the same state, eight miles from the next state
[00:03:48] Kelsey: and I'm on the west side of Washington state for those who are familiar, and I had a great time. I ended up in the business school by accident somehow. Process of elimination you know, initially I went in thinking I would be a teacher. I chatted with my favorite high school teacher and said, hey, I'd love to teach history.
[00:04:06] Kelsey: He goes, don't do it. Everyone loves teaching history. These people like myself, stay till they retire. It may be years before you even teach that, and if your heart is in teaching, you can teach in life in so many other ways, and he's so right. But I just remember entering college completely lost. I stumbled into the business school and said, at least this would give you some security, which is hilarious now with
[00:04:27] Kelsey: my life the way it is. But in the moment it felt, you know, it just felt like a good stable option. And then you and I kind of chatted it as well, but in the business school you have all these different avenues and for me it was process of elimination. I was like, I'm not that great at accounting. The economic stuff is interesting.
[00:04:45] Kelsey: I like the theory more and ultimately, I picked entrepreneurship out of process of elimination. And it ended up being the perfect fit for me. And at that point then it was like, oh my gosh, this is my people. This is my tribe. This is the type of work I love to do. And then I graduate and I'm like, how do I do that?
[00:05:03] Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. So you kind of like accidentally ended up exactly where you're supposed to be.
[00:05:08] Kelsey: For sure. Yeah.
[00:05:10] Lindsay: I love that. So also I wanna ask you, do you feel like going to business school, and especially cuz you were in entrepreneurship, which I wouldn't say that my business school was necessarily focused on entrepreneurship, but do you feel like business school prepared you for being an entrepreneur?
[00:05:30] Kelsey: I do in the sense that you get out of it what you put into it. What do I mean by that? So they teach a lot of theory, which if you're gonna go consult for some, you know, some Microsofts and some really big companies like that, that's great. But for me, the example of Southwest Airlines doesn't apply to Main Street, which is who I'm working with.
[00:05:49] Kelsey: And so I just leveraged every connection I made, and that is the real value I got. But if I'm honest with myself, I'm kind of just that type of person that even if I didn't go to business school, I think I would've found mentors and people to absorb their knowledge somewhere, even if it wasn't through school.
[00:06:06] Kelsey: So I think for me it was really taking advantage of opportunities, really networking and connecting with people who had walked the path and learning as much as I could from them. And I think part of that is just who I am as a person, but if someone were to go to business school or just college in general, I think
[00:06:22] Kelsey: that part is highly, highly important. It's not so much just the class stuff, it's what you do beyond that.
[00:06:27] Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. I definitely agree. Okay, so after you graduated, what was that next step for you?
[00:06:35] Kelsey: Oh my gosh. I totally blocked myself from a great job. I interviewed with Target Corporate. They have kind of like a fast track program where they promised you a store in five years, which would be a, you know, a six figure job.
[00:06:50] Kelsey: And I remember interviewing and I think I was like, that's second or third round. I'd already done a couple. And literally they'd asked me, you know, you kind of mentioned a few times your degree's, entrepreneurship. You've mentioned wanting to have your own business. Would you really be okay with not having your own business 5, 10 years down the road?
[00:07:07] Kelsey: And I was like, no, I would not be okay with that. And they were like, okay, we really like you, but we don't think this is the job for you. And that rejection it's almost like I needed them to reject me because I ballsy enough to do it myself or like navigate all of that. And again, not having quite that example, I was so lost.
[00:07:26] Kelsey: So I ended up staying in my college town. Target didn't work out. I'm teaching dance. I'm making coffee at a coffee shop. I am just lost staying in this adorable college town knowing I wanted to do this entrepreneurial thing, having no clue how to do it. And by chance I made a latte for someone that turned into a job in Seattle.
[00:07:45] Kelsey: I was able to do some business consulting through the university, which I didn't even know existed. And that just propelled me into all the other things that I've been able to do in my career.
[00:07:54] Lindsay: Wow, that's, universe works in ways like -
[00:07:58] Kelsey: I know. I, when I say it out loud, I'm just like, I can't believe that's what it was.
[00:08:05] Kelsey: And I remember the latte, I remember the person, and it's just wild that it just took that one opportunity, you know?
[00:08:11] Lindsay: It's always, I feel like how it is. You know, like you never know what opportunities are gonna come up. So what was the timeline of, you know, at some point you opened a hair salon, correct?
[00:08:22] Kelsey: Yeah.
[00:08:22] Kelsey: Let's connect those dots real quick cuz it's what it's doing. So, I leave Eastern Washington, I moved to Seattle. I'm working this awesome job. I love the work I'm doing, but I have two bosses and ultimately we're trying to pitch the university to get more funding to pay me full-time to do what I love doing.
[00:08:41] Kelsey: The other part-time job was admin assisting, you know, scheduling flights. And so, and that boss was great, but that work was like, I didn't go to college to do this and I am not a detailed person. You don't want me doing that. And the money just they couldn't get the money. And so I, at that time actually was doing hair and makeup for fun on the side and my team had no idea, so I'd be working nine to five Monday through Friday and then going and doing fashion shows and photo shoots.
[00:09:06] Kelsey: They had no idea I had this creative outlet. And I remember when one weekend went by, I come into my boss's office and I'm like, hey, I quit. I'm going to beauty school. And he was like, what? You're director of a program. And I'm like, yeah, well, we couldn't get the money, so that's what I'm gonna do. And it just happened quick.
[00:09:22] Kelsey: I knew that, that that dream job wasn't going to fully fulfill me. And honestly, the funding piece was huge. I was living at my parents' house, commuting an hour and a half every day, back and forth each way. And it was like no, I'm not. I was miserable. So the beauty school thing felt like the easiest way for me to start a business with a skillset
[00:09:40] Kelsey: I was already nurturing. I was terrified to just start business consulting, but I love what I'm doing now. I feel like I'm living out my purpose now. That's what I wanted to do. I just didn't know how to do it. So I was like, well, if I go to hair school, I'm already doing hair, I can turn that into a business quickly.
[00:09:55] Kelsey: And that's kind of what got me into that world.
[00:09:58] Lindsay: So when you went into business school, you had that idea in your head, right, that you were gonna start your own salon? Or was it just I know that I...
[00:10:06] Kelsey: Just a business of some kind. I wanted to, I totally dreamed of like the shark tank. The like tech startup world.
[00:10:15] Kelsey: But my thing was like, I don't, I'm not like, I didn't invent something. I felt like I needed to invent something and that's kind of to knock business school a little bit. That's kind of the angle they come from, especially when you think of how they make money. If you invent something while you're in college, they can get some of that money back.
[00:10:31] Kelsey: So they're wired that way for you to create something, whether it's an algorithm or a physical product, not so much a service. And so I felt like well, I'm not an engineer. I don't have an idea like that. I know I want to have a business. I just, I didn't know what, what shape it would take until later.
[00:10:47] Kelsey: And then it was just like, well, why not here? I'm already doing it. I can just legitimize this and that's the, to me, it seemed like the easiest pathway.
[00:10:54] Lindsay: Yeah. So how did you go about actually starting your salon? Like what, I'd be really interested, cuz like most people I talk to haven't had like a brick and mortar type of business, you know?
[00:11:06] Kelsey: I knew once I decided to go to hair school, I always knew the end point was a salon and I just soaked up as much as I could for mentors. I reached out to people who owned salons before I even went to hair school and was like, what can I do to be valuable? And they were like, graduate.
[00:11:22] Kelsey: Because hair school is like high school. It's no matter where you go, no matter how much money you throw in. Really, the benefit of it is the piece of paper where you really refine your skillset is that apprenticeship, that training afterwards. So for me it was laser focus of do a good job in school, get out as quickly as possible, and find a great mentor, which I did in the Seattle area.
[00:11:43] Kelsey: And they were a small, I think at the most, she had about 10 to 12 employees at one time. I was there for three years and I hustled, I learned as much as I could. I really built up my clientele and when I was seeing six figures come in the door for me to come see me as a stylist, that's when I knew, okay, let me crunch some numbers.
[00:12:04] Kelsey: And I figured I can make, I can make the transition. So after three years, I found a studio space and made the move over.
[00:12:11] Lindsay: That's awesome. So how long did you have your own salon?
[00:12:15] Kelsey: I had my own salon for three years. I had, there's a pattern in my life here. Unintentionally. I had it for three years.
[00:12:23] Kelsey: What happened was, my initial plan was, okay, I'm gonna go build this little salon just by myself. I also was a wedding stylist, so in the hair world, a lot of people cut in color extensions, all of that, and some people do hair and makeup for weddigns. Not many people do both and I did both and really enjoyed that.
[00:12:41] Kelsey: And I had a contract team of people who would help me during wedding season, and then I had my own private studio, which was the best of both worlds. My goal initially in doing that, build this up, buy a salon, have a bunch of employees. Year one happens, I hit six figures in 11 months and I'm like, I don't wanna do that.
[00:12:59] Kelsey: And I, it's like I had summited this mountain I'd set for myself. The six figure mark was something I really wanted to achieve. And once I got there, I was like, this isn't my dream anymore. And I felt kind of like stuck. And year two goes by and it's better than year one. And I just kind of coasted.
[00:13:16] Kelsey: I was working this dreamy schedule. I'd found like the perfect kind of algorithm for my business where I had great work-life balance. And I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to get out, but I didn't know how to do it. And then the pandemic hit and I was like, well, I can't do hair because Jay Ensley says I can't do hair.
[00:13:35] Kelsey: Our governor.
[00:13:35] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:13:37] Kelsey: Therefore, why not work on business? Why not work on your branding? Why not, you know, dump out the puzzle pieces of all the things you've been neglecting. This is a great time to improve your business systems. And I loved it. To the point where I was allowed to open my salon again.
[00:13:52] Kelsey: And I remember the day before I was dreading going back. I like hoped we would shut down again. And that's when I knew, okay, this it's time. I can't, yeah, I can't stay anymore. And I always had that tickle. Year two and three, I had that tickle, but it wasn't until exact, pretty much exactly three years, almost to the month that I closed fully to do what I do now.
[00:14:15] Lindsay: Yeah. So did you have an idea that you wanted to go into business coaching? Or were you like, all right, I'm kind of not feeling this hair thing anymore, but I don't really know what I would do instead, so I'm just gonna ignore it and keep coasting.
[00:14:28] Kelsey: Yeah.You know, looking back, there's a lot of ways where I tried to do it kind of on the side.
[00:14:35] Kelsey: It would happen organically. My clients would sit in my chair and I would always talk business. I would talk marketing. I'd have real estate agents and we'd talk about different ideas of connecting with people. I'd have programmers who'd come in, cause I did men's cuts too, and I would always just talk about business.
[00:14:50] Kelsey: It's something I was passionate about and initially, we were told to shut down. It was like, let me design your logo, let me help you with your website. I did everything, anything business I would help people with. And eventually in time I kind of paid attention to what I really loved to do. And to me it was that aha moment seeing someone come to me with an idea or a stress
[00:15:10] Kelsey: that they're experiencing and see them walk away more confident, more sure of themselves, having the tools to make tough decisions in business and essentially teaching them to fish. That's when I just kind of paid attention to the stuff I love to do and kind of honed in. As far as how to make money and stuff, I was terrified.
[00:15:27] Kelsey: I had no idea. I knew exactly how many haircuts I had to do to pay the bills. You know, I really had that whole system figured out and this was, I felt like I was a baby in this new world. And there's a bazillion million different business coaches out there. I spent a ton of time YouTubing and researching all the different things.
[00:15:45] Kelsey: I built a course that totally flopped. That's something else I'm very transparent about. And I hired a coach ultimately that helped me really make the jump. And she was like, if you don't set a deadline to go all in, you're never going to, it's never gonna feel like the perfect time. You're never gonna feel like you have enough dollars in the bank.
[00:16:01] Kelsey: You just gotta do it. And so with her support, I was like, you're right. Picked a deadline and haven't looked back since.
[00:16:07] Lindsay: I love that. I feel like we're so similar, like as you know, cause we had this conversation on your podcast, but like I reached a point in fitness, like for you it's always the three year mark. For me,
[00:16:21] Lindsay: it's usually like the one year mark of me doing something and then I'm over it and I'm like onto the next thing. But it was so, it was such a scary few months. I think for you, like you said, it was year two and three for me. It was like a couple months. The last few months that I was doing fitness coaching where I was like, there's something within me that's saying this is not what I wanna be doing anymore.
[00:16:43] Lindsay: But like I'm terrified to do anything else cuz I feel like I'd be starting over from zero.
[00:16:49] Kelsey: Yeah.
[00:16:50] Lindsay: So do you still have those moments of fear whenever you wanna pivot in your business or like how are you able to navigate those pivots?
[00:17:01] Kelsey: Oh my gosh. I love that you asked that question. Cause I think a lot of people don't talk about it.
[00:17:05] Kelsey: Well, first of all, let's add the added pressure of I'm paying rent. I'm supporting myself and my boyfriend through engineering school. So I am the solo breadwinner. Every choice I'm making has that pressure wrapped around it too. We ended up moving in with his parents while he was finishing school. I feel like I always know in my gut and sometimes I'm afraid to trust my gut.
[00:17:29] Kelsey: And I've just learned even recently to just trust it. And there's times where I feel like I'm entering an unknown right now to be totally transparent is that's this right now.
[00:17:41] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:17:41] Kelsey: Because my coaching is evolving. I'm now speaking on stage. I was asked to host another podcast that I'm being paid for, like this whole other world is opening up that I did not plan for.
[00:17:52] Kelsey: And I've learned the more I am really strong in my why and my values and why the heck I'm doing this thing in the first place and stop obsessing over how I'm gonna do it, then the opportunities just stack up. Anytime I try to shove a solution into a problem, it never works. And that's the perfect example is that course that flopped.
[00:18:12] Lindsay: Yeah. Can you tell us more about that?
[00:18:14] Kelsey: Yeah. Oh my God. I went down this crazy rabbit hole and I was like, Brendan Bruchard. He is the expert on online courses cause he sells a bazillion of them. He coaches Oprah, like he knows this stuff to the point where I built these three courses. Meanwhile, social media, I'm kind of posting sometimes about this coaching stuff, mostly about her stuff because that's what I'm comfortable doing. And
[00:18:37] Kelsey: I download Kajabi, which if you don't know, is an online e-learning platform. It's amazing, but it's very expensive. We're talking like just shy of $2,000 a year when you don't have revenue coming in your business. Do not start there.
[00:18:49] Lindsay: I'm an affiliate for Kajabi, so the listeners know.
[00:18:51] Kelsey: Me too!
[00:18:52] Lindsay: But I literally say every time I'm like y'all, it's not for every business.
[00:18:56] Lindsay: Like it's only for those of you who are gonna be creating courses and digital products. Cuz otherwise it's really not worth that price.
[00:19:04] Kelsey: No. And what happens when you build? Oh my gosh, you're about to get me on a Ted Talk. I'm sorry. But what happens if you build a course and you realize you actually hate that and you would rather do one-on-one coaching and then you just invested all this time and money? Anyways
[00:19:16] Kelsey: spent so much time designing the thing. Cause I felt like it had to be quote unquote perfect before I launched it. It goes live and then I literally hop on Instagram and I'm like, you guys, my course is live. And no one, very minimal traffic. No one buys anything cause I didn't tell them about the thing.
[00:19:31] Kelsey: And that's when I was like, oh crap. I really hyper-focused on the how. I like created this perfect solution. I didn't even stop to listen to what the problem was people had. And the funny thing is I launched it back then, this would've been two years ago, springtime two years ago I launched it. No one bought, haven't launched it since, but I haven't hooked up to a funnel.
[00:19:52] Kelsey: I've had people buy and I've literally never live-talked about it.
[00:19:56] Lindsay: I love that.
[00:19:59] Kelsey: Okay, so let's talk about that. Let's dissect that. People buy people. And people need to resonate with your message and you need to humanize it. And just because you open the doors or turn the lights on, it doesn't mean that people know to buy.
[00:20:11] Kelsey: They have to know why you. Why your offer is the best solution to their problem. And that's something that takes time. And if I were to give any nugget of advice to anyone wanting to enter the education space is start with one-on-one. Soak up and learn from the needs of people who you already know, who may pay you a little bit of money to cover the bills, and literally just be a sponge.
[00:20:34] Kelsey: Support them and serve the hell out of them, but also pay attention to what they're saying. Have them have check-ins, have them write testimonials, and then build an offer that speaks to that person because you're gonna have a lot more success when you do that.
[00:20:47] Lindsay: Mm. So what does that funnel look like? That finally started bringing in course students.
[00:20:55] Kelsey: That's funny because it's literally called the Pivot Workshop. It's just, it's an honest tool that I used when I was in like the, what the hell am I doing phase of business. And the analogy I use is my salon was doing good. My best month was my last month, so it's not like covid happened and I was failing, like I was doing great.
[00:21:16] Kelsey: I was actively choosing to leave a good thing for another good thing that was not alive yet. And so this workshop is something I birthed basically out of that time period. It's a workshop to really help people figure out what the heck they wanna do and start to map out the steps to do it, because I think a lot of people know
[00:21:35] Kelsey: big, big picture where they want to land. They just don't know what they need to do next week to actually get there. And so it helps to spell all of that out. And then there's some emails, and I'm a very casual copy. I would not call myself a copywriter. But I love speaking in a way that I feel like you and I are right now.
[00:21:52] Kelsey: Like that's how I type. And so I have a bunch of emails that kind of help support them and then my course helps them do it. If they wanna just take the workshop and just get some free support and just get some ideas churning. Awesome. Do that. If they want a little bit more of a deep dive with accountability that's built in, do that.
[00:22:08] Kelsey: And that's the system just for that little piece of my business.
[00:22:13] Lindsay: Yeah. Well that's really good to know. For those of you who are thinking about creating courses, hope you took notes. That was really good. Okay, so I also wanna ask you, what are your thoughts on hustle culture?
[00:22:27] Kelsey: Oh my God, yes.
[00:22:28] Lindsay: This idea that we need to be hustling 24/7 in order to build a successful business.
[00:22:35] Kelsey: It's bullshit. I don't know if I'm allowed to cuss, but sorry, just fell out. Okay, great. I, you know, I think that it has good intention and I think really what people are trying to say when they say hustle is what they're really saying is like, don't give up. Keep trying. And there's definitely something to that, right?
[00:22:52] Kelsey: If you are avoiding something, whether it's the laundry or a piece in your business, you really have to ask yourself why. And part of it could be you're intimidated, you don't know where to start, you're overwhelmed, and part of it could be you just don't wanna do it. Food. We gotta eat our vegetables too.
[00:23:08] Kelsey: That's, I use that analogy when I speak with my coaching clients. So I do think sometimes we avoid things because of those reasons, but if we're avoiding it because it doesn't align with our gut, that why, that purpose that you have, then that's really worth giving attention to. And I don't think anyone starts a business because they're like, gee, I would love to work 24/7, 365.
[00:23:28] Kelsey: I don't think anyone hops in for that reason. I do think there's seasons where you're gonna be sprinting a little bit more, but I think the best thing you can do is have that super clear why and purpose, so that way you're able to take a step back when things feel off and really say, does this line up with that,
[00:23:44] Kelsey: yes or no? And if the answer's no, then why are you doing it? I use the hair example because it's what I know. Well, I have a lot of people in that space that offer a ton of services, a ton of different cuts, colors, extensions, perms, da da, da, da, da. And I always start with, what do you love to do? What are your favorite services to do?
[00:24:02] Kelsey: What are your least favorite services to do? Okay, why are you offering those? What if your entire day could be stacked up of your absolute favorite services? And you have to start there. And then from there, you also have to ask the question. When's your next vacation? When's your next plan time off?
[00:24:18] Kelsey: Because there is zero way that last client end of the day, if you're working a 10 hour hair day, you're on your feet. You're lying. If you think you're giving your best self to that last client, there's no way. And so we have to apply that to everything that we do. I think that we're just programmed to think hard work equals more money.
[00:24:33] Kelsey: And I just don't think that that's true. And I, that's something I've had to rewire for myself and a way I do that and a way I know that's true. To take better care of myself, prioritize me. The way I know that that works is because I pay attention to that. So at the end of every month, today, I'm gonna sit down, I look at my numbers and I have a note section, and I reflect.
[00:24:52] Kelsey: And part of that is how many days off did I take? And usually when I take more time off, when I put myself first and I'm still doing the sales activities, I'm still doing the things that that lead to ROI in my business. But when I take care of me first, I always make more money. And that's just the numbers don't lie.
[00:25:08] Kelsey: So there you go people.
[00:25:11] Lindsay: I love that mic drop. Okay, so what does, what does a typical week for you in your business now look like? Like how is it structured?
[00:25:21] Kelsey: My business is literally pivoting again right now in real time. I love teaching and educating and bringing people together. One of my core values is authenticity.
[00:25:32] Kelsey: Another one is growth. And I always thought courses and coaching were the only way to get there. And this whole podcasting opportunity that has come up, public speaking has come up. I started a networking group with women and we have over 35 women that have joined this amazing group. I'm realizing now that that what I thought existed in this kind of tight, small space is expanding and I'm just open to, I'm just freaking open to it.
[00:25:55] Kelsey: I don't even remember the question was, but, oh, what does my week look like? But because of that, I'm juggling multiple balls in the air, and that is why that core knowing of what is most important to you, your values, where you're going, What drives you? I'm constantly checking in with those to make sure the projects I'm bringing on align with that.
[00:26:14] Kelsey: And then the how, like, how to actually plug that in. I'm very intentional with my time. I sit down every week. I plan out the week, and I first start off with, this is silly, but like what meals am I cooking this week? When am I working out? I'm doing something currently called 75 hard, which if you're not familiar is, it's a fitness challenge, but it's mostly a mindset challenge and that involves 2, 45-minute workouts
[00:26:35] Kelsey: every single day for 75 days. So I have to be really intentional about when I'm gonna fit those activities. And I plug that life stuff in first, and then I tackle the business stuff. And then I also, for me, what works, since again, I have multiple projects going on, is I have, every day has a certain intention and it's the same week after week.
[00:26:54] Kelsey: So Mondays are always big picture, CEO days. Tuesdays I always take meetings. Wednesdays for the most part are podcast days. Anything podcast related. Thursdays are client meeting days, and then Fridays are content creation days slash now this networking group that's emerged. But building out my schedule, it means I can just wear one hat for the full day and for me that works best.
[00:27:17] Lindsay: Yeah, I, that's something that I've been wanting to play around with. I mean, sometimes it's tough because, you know, my clients are all on different schedules and some days work better for them to have calls versus a different client or like whatever. But I at least try to set up to block off my time throughout the day, like, all right. I don't take calls in the mornings. I just don't, cuz I don't like getting ready before noon. So like I just do all my calls in the afternoon and morning is for like creative work. But I think it's really about finding the flow that works for you, that's gonna allow you to work your best, to not feel stressed out, to not feel like you're running in 10 different directions every single day.
[00:27:58] Lindsay: And it really does make such a huge difference. Like when you can just put that one hat on and be focusing on one type of like activity, you'll notice how much more productive your day is versus like one hour you're doing a podcast and the next hour you're creating content and the next hour you're on a coaching call with a client.
[00:28:16] Lindsay: So it's definitely something to keep in mind, and I think when you're creating. It's not just about when you're creating your ideal schedule, like how many hours you're working. I think it's also important to think about like, how are you using those hours most effectively to create this lifestyle that you wanna create?
[00:28:33] Kelsey: Yeah. And to add here that perfect Instagram post isn't gonna save your business. And so yes, content creation is important, but if you have that as priority number one, but when you do that monthly audit of what's working, what's not working, and you're getting zero clients from Instagram, but you're spending most of your time on Instagram, then what are you doing?
[00:28:52] Lindsay: Yeah. So do you do those monthly audits every month? Like what do you look at every single month when you look back?
[00:28:59] Kelsey: You know, that's also something that needs to change because my business is changing. I look at how much money comes in the door, I look at what I spent. I loosely follow a Profit First model for those who have read Mike Michalowicz's Profit First.
[00:29:12] Kelsey: But I made a Kelsey version that I teach my clients to do too. And essentially it just boils down to that when you know how much money is going out the door every month, it helps you make good decisions for your business. And sometimes you'll find like the Kajabi conversation. You know, for me it's been great now, but I probably could have held off probably a year before buying it.
[00:29:32] Kelsey: And I love them. I mean, I rock the T-shirt. I have an affiliate link also. I'm big, big fan of the company. But when you come down to that, why, what you're doing and why, the answer could be a less pretty version. The first version, and you'll learn so much more. And quite honestly, you're probably gonna wanna change everything anyways.
[00:29:50] Kelsey: So why not at least get something out there, get some feedback, and then build the prettier version down the road. So I look at the money stuff, I look at how many calls I've made, because for me, if I'm on discovery calls that leads to business, I look at how many days off I took. I look at my emails and stuff, and I loosely pay attention to followers, but I don't obsess over that.
[00:30:10] Kelsey: Essentially, I'm looking for quality over quantity. I'm looking for where did most of my energy and time go, and did that lead to success in my business?
[00:30:18] Lindsay: Hmm. I love that. Where did most of my time and energy go, and did that lead to success in my business? That's so good. I'm quoting you.
[00:30:26] Kelsey: Yeah, thanks.
[00:30:28] Lindsay: Okay. I also wanna ask you, cuz I know your thing is kind of helping entrepreneurs develop those operational systems that are gonna help us to thrive.
[00:30:38] Lindsay: So what are some of those key systems that we should all be focusing on, kind of on the back end of our business to really create that true work-life balance? And maybe we've already covered some of them right now.
[00:30:52] Kelsey: For sure. I think the biggest one I hear from people is social media. I just need to hire someone to do my social media and that'll answer all of my problems.
[00:30:59] Kelsey: And to that person, I wanna tell you, no. I mean obviously that's your, your expertise, but ultimately, I think what I'm really hearing from people is they don't quite know where to put time and money. They know how to do the thing, right? They know how to cut hair. They know how to take photos. They know how to create earrings.
[00:31:16] Kelsey: They know how to sell them. But aside from that activity, they're totally overwhelmed with the other world. They see people doing stuff on Instagram that feels like the next natural place to go. And I think the bigger question is dumping out all the things. So a big brain dump. What's everything that you have to, you have to do in your business?
[00:31:34] Kelsey: Because I think we also put stuff on our plate that actually doesn't have to be there. Does it make sense to go on TikTok if you were a hair salon, a local hair salon? Maybe not. Maybe if you are trying to get more physical clients into your physical space, maybe a better use of your time would be joining a networking group,
[00:31:48] Kelsey: EmpowerPNW. Or something like that you know? If I'm in New Jersey and you're here in Seattle and you're trying to get more clients in Seattle, a New Jersey follower likely won't help as much as building some connection in your community. So I think starting with what are all the things we think we need to do, kind of
[00:32:06] Kelsey: shaking that out to really come up with a strong list of things that we actually do need to do. And then from there, what could a system or outsourcing do in making that easier? And what do I mean by that? Social media, a lot of times people don't know what to say or what to post. So how do we make that easier?
[00:32:21] Kelsey: How do we set you up for success where that's not an excuse for email? Maybe you get a lot of the same questions over and over again. So what are some templates we could have just kind of ready to go when those questions come up? Or adding an FAQ section to your website so that way when people ask questions, you just have a, a templatized direct message set up.
[00:32:39] Kelsey: Like, hey, great question. We actually have that and so many more answered on our website. You can check it out right here. And that way you are allowing those resources that you create to answer for you. And then I think the other thing that really shows up for people's boundaries. So yes, the systems, but also standing strong in that those systems exist for a reason and removing yourself from being
[00:33:01] Kelsey: at the mercy of clients and potential clients because they should not be texting you. They should not be DMing you on a Sunday evening. I have clients that message me on the weekends, and I have really strict boundaries, and if I hop in, I always call it extra credit. You know, if I have a little bit of downtime or maybe I was less available during the week, I'll hop in.
[00:33:18] Kelsey: But I always have that expectation of this is when I'll respond. And I think when you work for yourself or you're online especially, it's very hard to have that boundary because if you're, say a barista, you clock in and you clock out, you leave. So that's your boundary. But if you're online or you work for yourself, you have to create that for yourself and stick to it.
[00:33:35] Lindsay: Hmm. Yeah. I think it's a really important one that a lot of us realize I'm, I don't wanna say too late, cuz you can always implement the boundaries, but like you're gonna quickly feel if you are not implementing those boundaries from day one, you're gonna feel that very quickly once you start working with
[00:33:52] Lindsay: clients, right? So I think setting those clear boundaries is huge, and that's such a big one that can suck up so much of our time and energy if we're not clear around our boundaries or we feel like we can't set those clear boundaries with clients. But I promise you, if your clients aren't gonna respect the boundaries, you're set.
[00:34:09] Lindsay: You don't wanna work with that client anyways.
[00:34:11] Kelsey: Yeah, the respect piece, but also you can't get mad at them if you don't have 'em. That's not on them that's on you .Because you've trained them that that's okay. I had a client who does custom clothing. People were DMing her, calling her, emailing her, kind of using the website, but not really to make these requests for custom work.
[00:34:30] Kelsey: Ultimately, I was like, you gotta stop doing that. You're allowing them to communicate that way because you've, you've said it's okay. And so we've taken that business and the simple system we implemented was, there's one form on her website. If you call her, if you text her, if you meet her in person everywhere, she directs people to that one form and it emails her, the answers, they can correspond via email and everything's right there.
[00:34:50] Kelsey: It keeps her on track, keeps them on track. And that was a really simple system that just needed to be plugged in.
[00:34:57] Lindsay: Yeah. I think also kind of reframing boundaries as like, it's not just something that benefits you, it also benefits your clients because for sure it helps them to stay organized. It helps you to be able to do your best work for them.
[00:35:09] Lindsay: Whether that means, okay, here's a form with all the information I need, rather than us going back and forth for a week over email, right. Or whether it's just, hey, I shut off after 5:00 PM and on weekends, but I'll get, I'll respond to your email on Monday. You having that time where you're not thinking about work and it's not taking up your energy does benefit your clients and your business, so it's not just for you.
[00:35:36] Lindsay: I think when you can see boundaries as something that also benefits your clients, it can, it can be a little bit easier to put those in place.
[00:35:44] Kelsey: For sure. I totally agree.
[00:35:45] Lindsay: Yes. All right, Kelsey, what is the biggest piece of advice that you have for the woman listening who is about to take the leap into entrepreneurship?
[00:35:55] Kelsey: Do it sooner. There's no such thing as the perfect time. You're never gonna have all of the answers and what lies on the other side until you go for it. In worst case scenario, you could Uber or you could walk a dog. You can find a way to pay the bills. There's always gonna be a way to hustle.
[00:36:13] Kelsey: Hustle, not hustle, not in an entrepreneurial sense. But just if you had to, you know, bootstrap a little bit. If you had to have a side job for a little bit, there's always going to be options to help support you in your dreams and your business. The best thing you can do is just go for it. Don't overcomplicate.
[00:36:30] Kelsey: Just do it. Pay attention to what's working, what's not, and refine as you go. That will save you time and money. And get something out there, because again, even if you think it's perfect, you're gonna wanna change it anyway. So why not at least pay some bills and learn along the way from actual clients than just guessing what they need?
[00:36:46] Lindsay: Hmm. So good. All right, Kelsey, where can the listeners find you if they wanna connect with you? And also if you have any resources you wanna share, feel free to let us know.
[00:36:57] Kelsey: Yeah. I am probably most active on Instagram @KelseyMarieKnutson. That's spelled K N U T S O N, and I actually do have a great resource.
[00:37:08] Kelsey: We kind of touched on it, but that pivot workshop I think would be a good fit. It's really designed for anyone who's at that point where they want to change, whether that's change their business, start a business, add a second business, but they just don't quite know what that looks like yet. It's a great resource to help you figure that out for yourself.
[00:37:24] Kelsey: And it's KelseyMarie Knutson.com/pivot.
[00:37:28] Lindsay: All right, awesome. I'll link all that in the show notes for you guys. Kelsey, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your journey and all of your tips. I can just relate to your story so much, and I know everyone listening will be inspired by it. So thank you.
[00:37:44] Kelsey: Of course, Lindsay, thank you so much for having me on an audience. Thanks for listening. If I could just add something here. If you like this podcast and you like what Lindsay's doing, please take some time to leave her a review, give her some stars, because that helps us so much in that podcast space, and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her more, and I, I know that you do too, so please let us know.
[00:38:05] Lindsay: Yes. So thank you for saying that. And also go check out your podcast. Where can they find your podcast?
[00:38:11] Kelsey: When I Grow Up Pod on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, all the podcast places.
[00:38:16] Lindsay: All right. Thank you again, Kelsey.