Focus on Making It Work Instead of Trying to Do It All
Phew! 2015 was a helluva ride, amirite? But a good, solid, game-changer of a ride. Like, a really exciting ride. I feel like I really got a lot out of 2015 and am headed in the right direction.
And I. AM. PUMPED for 2016. Anyone else?
In that spirit--and in the spirit of helping you get jazzed for all that's coming to YOU this year--today I'm sharing a conversation I had with someone who embodies the amazing growth and learning and potential and all good things that came from last year and has set us up for a ridic successful 2016: Katie Corcoran.
Katie Corcoran is someone you should know.
I mean, hi, just look at that smile. She radiates. Tell me you're not drawn to that.
And it's a good thing because this almost-28-year-old Brooklynite helps people like you and me figure out what makes them smile just as big and bring more of that into their own life, thrive and even build a business around it.
I LOVED this interview. There's so much real and helpful goodness in this. And I personally resonated HARD with Katie's story. So hard I feel as if I felt I was talking to myself. Like, whoa.
I know you'll gain valuable tidbits too.
Your background is kick-ass. You went from a career in tech-startup ad sales and side hustling (which included producing a music video, attending the world's largest nutrition school, and growing an online wellness business) to becoming an author -- all in an amazingly short period of time. Is there a common theme among all that you've done?
Wow, first of all, thank you so much for the kind words. I think overall, the biggest thing I’ve realized about myself is that I don’t take any of these “accomplishments” too seriously before heading into them. I’ve had my internal “list” of things I’d like to accomplish in my life and then I just go for it! My “younger” years were spent just basically saying “yes" to everything. I am now in a place where I am trying to discover how I can deepen the skills acquired from the incredible projects I was lucky to participate in, and hone in on these things to continue to craft my business in a way that highlights the tasks and work I love instead of taking on more. I'd say, this is a process of refining the faves instead of pressuring myself to "do it all.”
Honestly, I love and am proud of all of my accomplishments, and it was a pleasure spending those years exploring and testing various avenues of work, but always thinking about the next thing became a challenge to appreciate the present. Being “proud” of myself is something I am working on.
My wakeup call to pursue my passion full-time was hair loss (yikes, I know!). How did you know it was time to change your course from your "traditional" job?
Oh my goodness! Hair loss was one of my "I can't be here for much longer" triggers for me as well... Lucky us! I work really well at night, and I'm totally going to contradict myself here, but I went through periods of time, coaching people to find more balance and, yet, I was suffering from lack of sleep, subpar eating habits, less-than-ideal exercise, and a steady flow of the "let's grab a drink tonight" trap.
In all reality, it took me leaving my advertising job, and moving to the beach for six weeks to realize how much the “hustle” had taken a toll on my emotional health. I definitely have to attribute, though, the tremendous pressure I put on myself to try and maintain to working full-time in sales and managing a side business at the same time.
In addition, I tried to the best of my ability to keep my side hustle a secret at work while sneaking off to take calls and answering emails during the workday. So I realized that 2 to 3-ish month break from being in the trenches of the hustle really allowed me to reset, refocus and instead focus on the pieces of my personal business that are truly serving my soul. So, now I only work on things that I love doing.
You're also the author of She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle. It includes "non-negotiables" that "ensure productivity, wellness, relationships and boundaries are on point." Can you share with us an example of one of those non-negotiables?
Honestly, the non-negotiables for all Lady Hustlers are that she's really committed to taking care of herself. "Team no sleep" is not in her routine, she incorporates moment and exercise into her everyday, and establishes boundaries around removing negative or toxic energies that are not serving her. It’s a daily practice, but she enjoys this “routine” as it best helps her thrive in her hustle.
For me? I need a good spin, yoga class and a long walk every day to clear my mind. I need healthy foods, healthy conversation and time spent sitting at a coffee shop people watching, chatting with a friend, listening to a podcast or hopping onto the wifi to check some tasks off the to do list. Then I am best able to focus during working hours.
What has been your biggest win in your career so far?
The book, without a doubt. But I've found that I actually get more excited about the mini wins, like the photo shoot for the book cover, or confirming a time for a big interview, or getting asked to speak on a panel. It means my message is resonating and, therefore, I suppose it's working!
Since going out on your own, what setbacks have you encountered and how did you turn them into a positive that propelled you forward?
I experience setbacks often, but I do my best to embrace that this is all a part of the process. For now, and for the beginning of most businesses, it’s getting the financials in order to ensure we can still do the work we love.
The biggest setback I experienced recently was realizing that the foundational beginnings of my business were driven by financials instead of by passion. I thought I had to “sell this thing” and create the fun around it. But, to be honest, I didn’t feel authentic “selling the thing” (of which was vitamins), so coming to terms with the fact that **years** of preparation to sell the vitamins as the backbone of my business became an emotional reality I needed to face.
That said, I’ve done a great deal of work around when I feel most inspired and that’s helping others discover a brand or personal identity around their desires.
How was your 2015?
2015 was one of the best and most emotionally transformational years of my life, without a doubt.
I quit my job. Traveled to Vietnam. Left NYC and moved to the beach for six weeks. Published a book. Started the inner workings and shifted my business model. Became a huge SoulCycle’er. And, lastly, my mom was re-diagnosed with breast cancer.
That said, with all of the change, I have never felt so secure in my core amidst the uncertainty around me. For that, I am grateful.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?
Wow! 2016 is going to be an incredible year. I truly am looking forward to it. I have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, one of which leverages the Lady Hustler interviews conducted for the book and re-interviews them in the form of a podcast and audio series.
Then I am launching a more formal podcast called Badass & Bare with my incredible co-host and friend Andrea Hood. She and I will be sharing resources, inspiring conversation, and the listener can expect to free herself from that overwhelming hustle, regain the confidence to do whatever you want in life, and gain clarity by getting your mind right and thriving. Badass & Bare will launch in February.
Lastly, I am going to continue work with clients to build brand and personal identity content and strategy.
Coffee, tea or green juice?
All three! I claim to be a bit of a health freak, but this lady spends way too much time enjoying coffee, tea and juicing of all varieties. I suppose it’s because coffee and juice shops end up becoming my office space so I tend to dabble. Current kick is a basic green juice and an iced espresso with a splash of almond milk (and yes, I am an iced-all-winter kind of gal).
Reveling in a relationship, single and loving it, or Tindering?
Single and ready to mingle let's say :) I dabble in the apps, but it's never really been my thing, but certainly open to it.
The book I'm currently reading is…