Aligned action! I can’t stop talking about this for you and your business this year. 2020 is the year to really dream up what you desire to see for your business and align your actions with that vision.
Here’s the thing… it’s not enough to dream it, you also have to do it!
This is the year to merge the sacred feminine (allowing, surrender, and intuition) with the sacred masculine (planning, strategizing and taking action). When you can blend these two energies you have tapped into the sweet spot to really supercharge your business.
Do you find yourself caught on one end of the spectrum, too much dreaming or too much planning?
Well, to help you set your dream goals and make them a reality, I’ve invited Kathleen Shannon on this week’s episode of the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast.
Kathleen is an author, co-founder and creative director at Braid Creative, and the co-host of Being Boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Kathleen developed the Chalkboard Method of goal setting, and has used it to help her business grow and thrive.
Today on the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast, Kathleen is sharing how you can use this method to set and manifest your goals, by creating space for them and listening to your intuition.
In this episode, you’ll hear Kathleen and I talk about:
- Why no decisions are wrong
- The power of dreaming your dreams
- How to hear and trust your intuition
- Using your intuition to support growth on a personal level and a professional level
- The importance of making space for your desires in your life
- How to set and manifest your goals using the Chalkboard Method
Learn to dream big dreams and bring them to life with IEP036: Setting and Manifesting Goals Using the Chalkboard Method.
Brigit E.: Welcome to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. I'm your host, Brigit Esselmont, intuitive business strategist and mentor. As the founder of Biddy Tarot, I turned my love for tarot into an abundant seven-figure business. The secret to my success, making intuition and strategy my entrepreneurial superpower, and now, I'm inviting you to do the same. In this weekly podcast, I'll be sharing advice, tools, and real-life examples from some of the best intuitive entrepreneurs to show you how you can trust your intuition, align with your purpose, and create a positive impact through your work.
Brigit E.: Let's make it happen. Hello and welcome to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. Today, I'm talking with Kathleen Shannon, who is the co-founder and creative director at Braid Creative, which is a branding agency for purpose-driven entrepreneurs, small businesses, and organizations, and Kathleen has built this from the ground up with her sister, probably what, is it about seven, eight years ago, to now being a multimillion-dollar company with eight employees. Kathleen is also the co-host of Being Boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, where she and her business bestie, Emily Thompson, who's also been on this podcast, they talk about mindset, habits, routines, boundaries and tricks and tips for living and working the life that you want. Kathleen is also the author of Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Life, which was published by Running Press in 2018.
Brigit E.: Now, in today's conversation, we talk about how Kathleen is using intuition very actively in her current business, and how she is using it to support her growth both on a personal level and a professional level. We then talk about The Chalkboard Method, which Kathleen created, and this is such a good way of setting your goals, and then manifesting your goals. With its own special, little spin, you're going to hear a little bit more about that in today's conversation, but this episode is just absolute perfect timing as we come into 2020, or really, like The Chalkboard Method, you can use at any, like the start of any quarter, so whether it's the start of the year that you're listening to this podcast or you're listening to it throughout the year, then this conversation is going to be really helpful for you in terms of setting and manifesting your goals. All right. Without further ado, let's get into it. Welcome, Kathleen.
Brigit E.: It is so exciting to have you here today. How you doing?
Kathleen Shannon: Hi, Brigit. It's so good to see you.
Brigit E.: I know. It's been ages, hasn't it?
Kathleen Shannon: I know. It has. I'm doing really well. How are you?
Brigit E.: Yeah, good. Good. I'm actually, I'm just about to start a week-long planning session, so this episode and this conversation is coming at such a good time, and I can't wait to dive into all of the yumminess that we're about to dive into, but first, I'd love to hear a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey, like what got you to where you are now?
Kathleen Shannon: Yes. That's a great question. I do not come from an entrepreneurial family. I never imagined I would be an entrepreneur. I wanted to work for somebody else, collect the paycheck, have my taxes come out of that paycheck, slowly invest in a 401(k) and call it a day, like retire whenever I'm 65 and call it good, but I worked as a senior art director at an advertising agency, and about five years into it, my intuition was telling me that there was something more, there was something different, that I wasn't quite where I wanted to be, but I didn't have all of the language and resources, and there certainly wasn't the entrepreneurial resources like your podcast, like my podcast, to help people through their journey of working for themselves.
Kathleen Shannon: I just took a leap of faith and I quit, and I had a lot of emotional support from my husband, and he was like, "No decision is the wrong decision." Like, "Any decision you make is going to take you forward," and that's advice that I've taken with me every step of the way over the past decade. That was in 2010, I quit my full-time job in advertising to start my own freelancing business. I was blogging a personal blog, and I started sharing in my personal blog, which was about learning how to be an adult, like learning how to cook food and redecorate my house, I started sharing this new journey of working for myself and what that was like, accidentally positioning myself as an expert in freelance. I really didn't know what I was doing.
Kathleen Shannon: I was just sharing along the way. About a year later, my sister, who was also in advertising was working with an executive coach, and this executive coach, Jay Pryor is their name, was very intuitive and very, used a lot of kind of more esoteric tools that I feel like we're so familiar with them now that it's almost a language that we're fluent in whenever it comes to manifesting, and visioning, and meditating and all of that, but that was all new to us about 10 years ago. They were working with my sister and said, "If you could do anything, what would it be?" Like, "If you just dropped into that space where you could get real dreamy, what would it be?" My sister said, "I would start a branding agency with my sister."
Kathleen Shannon: "I would work with my sister," and a week later, we had a plan, and she quit her job, and we started Braid Creative together. That's Braid Creative. We've been doing that for, since 2011, so it was September of 2011. We've grown our team from the two of us to now eight full-time people. We have a beautiful headquarters that's designed the way that we want it to be designed with a lot of textiles, and wicker furniture, and plants, and brass, just it's a beautiful space.
Kathleen Shannon: We work with creative entrepreneurs from all over the world with our branding. We also work with smaller organizations and larger organizations now too. We've taken on a third business partner, so we've grown quite a bit quite significantly. Then, the other thing that I've done in all of that time is starting a podcast with my business bestie, Emily Thompson. That podcast is called Being Boss.
Kathleen Shannon: You've been on a few times, and so we started Being Boss in January of 2015 as a place to really talk about what it's like to be a creative entrepreneur and what it's like to work for yourself, and the tools, and mindset, and habits, and routines, and boundaries, and all the things that you need to know in order to work for yourself.
Brigit E.: Yep. Beautiful. At what point did you start to realize that intuition was going to play a really essential role in the way that you went about your business?
Kathleen Shannon: I would say almost instantly. I mean, without having the language for it at the time, just really trusting my gut that the advertising agency was no longer for me, and at the time, I didn't even necessarily know the difference between advertising, marketing, and branding. Like I didn't know that those are all three separate things. I just knew that there was probably something more creative or more on my own terms that I could be doing, so really, going with that gut decision to quit my day job in the first place was pretty huge. I feel like I've always been pretty tuned in to gut feelings, and that's the best way I can describe it.
Kathleen Shannon: It is something that whenever I tune into my body, it seems to happen from my gut, and around the time ... Okay. This is ... I'm about to say this is weird, but for you, it's not. I was doing a lot of meditating around my solar plexus at the time, and I've always thought of my ego as living there, and I've never read this necessarily, but I've always thought of like, it's where I became friends with my ego.
Kathleen Shannon: It's where I was able to say, "Okay. I can use this to steer me in the right direction." I almost thought of it as like my little jet pack that I put on, and it would take me where I wanted to go. I did a lot of meditating around my solar plexus in those early years of business, and I really think that that helped me make a lot of decisions, and that happens to be right in my gut. Now, I'm probably doing a lot more meditation around my root chakra and my heart chakra. Like I feel like I'm good whenever it comes to my solar plexus because I meditated on it for years, which is taking me in a whole new directions.
Brigit E.: Then, how is that supporting you in your business, like when you're focusing on your root chakra for example? How does that show up in your business?
Kathleen Shannon: It's just a reminder to stay grounded, for sure. I mean, the success of Being Boss, it had kind of instant marketability and instant success on iTunes, and we had a lot of eyes on us, and I would start to feel almost floaty or fraughty, and if I could focus on my root chakra, I would be reminded I'm a human being in a human body, I'm supported by the earth. I always think of, whenever I think of my root chakra, I think about grounding into the earth and almost, I imagine I have a hook around my tailbone, going all the way into the center of the earth, and like hooking into the earth and creating this like strong tension that grounds me to the earth. Then, it also allows me to then open up to the larger universe and see what can come in that way.
Brigit E.: I love it. I love it, because I think what can happen sometimes with online businesses in particular, growth can be very rapid and very fast, and if you're not grounded, that can go to your head, it can start to feed the ego in ways that are not healthy and supportive to you, and you can kind of get into that place of overnight success, but then also overnight failure
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah. Absolutely, and so then, what that means is not being defined by the work that you do, and I'm very much ... I mean, if you look at my planets, all the planets are in the right spots for really charging my identity with the work that I do. I feel very strongly about the work I do, which is great. It means that I love what I do and I put my heart and soul into it, but it also means that whenever there are failures and there are failures, it can be devastating, it can be crushing, so just always having that reminder that you're a human in a body here to learn things and here to just do your best is something I definitely carry into my business.
Brigit E.: Yeah. Yeah. Something with intuition that I think many people experience is this funny kind of push-pull. We think that intuition should be like, "Oh, I was sitting there and meditating, and I received this massive downloads that I should do X, Y, Z, and then I did it, and then everything was fabulous after that." Really, what we experience is we might feel that sort of intuition coming through, but there's always another part.
Brigit E.: Most often, there's another part of ourselves that's going, "What? Are you crazy? No, no. If you do that, no, it's going to be terrible." I'm curious for you, Kathleen, have you had that push-pull experience when it comes to intuition where your gut is telling you, or guiding you rather to go one way, but maybe your head is suggesting something else?
Kathleen Shannon: I'm trying to think of an instant. I'm pretty good at following those gut feelings and not necessarily second-guessing myself. I found that whenever I do second-guess myself, I start spinning out, and that's whenever I don't know what's right, what's wrong, what's up, what's down. For the most part though, I try and just follow the things that I'm curious about. Like if you just continually follow the things that you're interested in, that you genuinely enjoy doing even whenever it's hard, you know that you're probably on the right track. One of the things that I did early in my freelance career was I trekked to Mount Everest base camp, and I just quit my day job, I was trekking to Mount Everest, and I remember just taking step-by-step, and breathing step-by-step, and counting my steps even.
Kathleen Shannon: I mean, it really was step-by-step to get up to Mount Everest base camp. I can't even imagine actually climbing a mountain like that. What it really taught me was to be present with every single step, and that it doesn't feel good. It doesn't necessarily feel enjoyable in the moment, but afterward, it's so rewarding. I also experienced something very similar giving birth.
Kathleen Shannon: I recommend to anyone if you have a hard time trusting your intuition, go on a long hike, or go try rock climbing at a rock climbing gym. Try and do something that is challenging, that is really challenging and not necessarily fun in the moment, but incredibly rewarding later.
Brigit E.: Yes. Yes, because I think that is true of intuition. Oftentimes, when you're in the midst of it, it can feel like, "Oh, this is super hard." It's super challenging, but long term, it comes out right in the end. Can you think of-
Kathleen Shannon: Here's what else I've noticed. I've noticed that if you put off your intuition, if you say, "Not now. Thank you. Suggestion noted. I'm going to keep going this way," it will find a way to get you back on the right track, and I think that's for me, is just really trusting that my intuition is going to get me on the right track one way or another, and sometimes it's not always pretty. Well, here's one, and this is kind of fresh and new and hard to talk about, but I'm going to share.
Kathleen Shannon: Recently, I decided to sell a big portion of my business with Emily, Being Boss to Emily, and it's something where I was having a lot of anxiety and fear, and so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't selling because I was scared of the success that came with Being Boss, but really selling because I've made a priority, that I've been able to like reshift my priorities and focus on the right things, so it really was sitting with my intuition and taking clues and noticing patterns. Like I have noticed that your intuition can sometimes leave you clues or signals along the way. One example is after we launched our book, we were on book tour, and the night after our book launch, we were in New York City. That next morning, I got so ill. I mean, I was just run down, and then we went to San Francisco from there, and I ended up having to go to a minor emergency and get like a quick antibiotic or steroid or something like that, because I was having like an inner ear situation.
Kathleen Shannon: Anyway, so I've found that for me, my body will tell me a lot of times whenever I need to slow down and if I can tune in to what my body is telling me, it will lead on the right path. All of these clues were clues that, "Okay, you need to slow down," so then we slowed down. We started podcasting just once a month. We pulled back on a lot of our team, so a lot of our team went on and found other jobs and we just really pulled back in that business. At the same time, Emily's intuition was telling her that she needed to continue to grow it, so she had a flash of an idea, which was to buy me out.
Kathleen Shannon: I can't believe it's something that we hadn't discussed before because when she presented me with the idea, I was like, "Yes, of course," just like I had said, "Yes, of course" whenever she presented the idea of even starting a podcast together. For me, it's in those moments whenever I'm presented with an opportunity that it just feels like a, "Yes, of course." Like that's where my intuition really shows up a lot of times.
Brigit E.: Yeah. Do you think that when you're on tour and you could feel it in your body that perhaps things weren't in alignment, were you just trying to push that away because you can't really be in the midst of the big book tour and go, "Yeah, actually, I don't think this Being Boss thing is for me anymore"?
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah, right. I don't think that would've made my publishers too happy if I was like, "And now I quit." Then honestly, I'm so proud of our book and I'm so proud that Emily's going to keep the brand going because I love the brand.
Brigit E.: Yes.
Kathleen Shannon: That hasn't changed at all. It's just that my involvement with it, I felt like even writing the book had closed the chapter. I had put everything I needed to put into the Being Boss book, and I almost had nothing left to say about it in so many ways, so yeah, I think it was my body saying like, "Hey, is this the right thing?" I think that we've talked about this before. I would pull some tarot cards that I didn't like, and I'd be like, "You know what? I think what you really mean is ..."
Brigit E.: I know that feeling.
Kathleen Shannon: Like they say, hindsight is 20/20 and you kind of learn these lessons along the way.
Brigit E.: Yeah. Now that you've made that decision, any like little pangs of regret or, "Oh, I want to change things," or does it feel all in alignment?
Kathleen Shannon: As of recording this, we've signed the paperwork four days ago, and I feel a little bit just that feeling of FOMO a little bit and just almost probably of letting go. My child is only five, but I imagine whenever he moves out of the house, I'll probably feel very similar to how I feel right now, but most of all, I will say once I make a decision, I trust that it's the right decision because that's all you can do. That's all you can do. If you live in regret and if you question yourself, what does that accomplish? You just create some unnecessary suffering, so I will say once I make a decision, I'm pretty good at following through and letting the past live in the past. That said, I definitely spin out about the future.
Kathleen Shannon: Like, "Okay. Well, what's next and when am I going to get the next big idea, and what is it going to be, and should I write another book?", and that's where I start to spin out a little bit.
Brigit E.: Yes. Yes. Isn't it funny because where we create space, we think that we have to fill that space immediately, and what we actually need to do is sit in that like pregnant pause for a little while, so the right things fill the space because if you jump into action too quickly, it can start to put things in that, maybe weren't meant to be in there.
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah, absolutely, and I've always been very driven by starting the next thing before I'm ready. That's always motivated me, but I'm a different person now. Just like we were saying, I'm a different person than I was a year or two ago even, and I think that the person I am now is okay with not always being in the spotlight, or not wanting to be the biggest, best thing ever. Like in some ways, I'm kind of okay with just being average, so that's a new thing for me.
Brigit E.: I can't ever imagine you just being average. Come on.
Kathleen Shannon: Do you know what I mean, like just kind of accepting where I am and accepting what is, and celebrating what I've accomplished, and just like you said, giving it space.
Brigit E.: Yes.
Kathleen Shannon: Giving it space. Okay. Here's another thing. I've always been really good at being given opportunities, having doors opened for me and just having to walk through. I don't know, maybe five years ago, maybe around the time of starting Being Boss, I started to think, "Oh, no."
Kathleen Shannon: "I kind of need to be more aggressive. I need to determine what doors I open. I need to just open those doors myself," but I didn't really know how to do that, so I tried on a different way of being, a different way of being boss, and then have come full circle to, "No, I like the doors being open." For example, my sister coming to me and saying, "Hey, let's start a branding agency together." "Yes, of course. Let's do it, and it's scary, but I'm excited," or Emily is saying, "Hey, let's start a podcast together."
Kathleen Shannon: "Yes, of course. Let's do it. I'm excited." Maybe a little scared, and I've noticed that anytime I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to be a serial entrepreneur, I'm going to launch this other business, and I'm going to do these things and kind of more aggressively tackle it, instead of waiting for the opportunity," it just doesn't seem to work as well, so I'm trying to lean into that way of being a little bit more and just trying to visualize, "Okay. What door do I want open?"
Kathleen Shannon: It's like, "What opportunity do I want?", and making that very clear so that whenever that door is open, I know, "Okay. Yes, this is the one."
Brigit E.: Yes.
Kathleen Shannon: Yes, of course.
Brigit E.: Yes, and what a perfect segue into The Chalkboard Method because from what I understand of it, that is one of the core essences of how it works. Kathleen, tell us a little bit more about how The Chalkboard Method works and what it is.
Kathleen Shannon: Yes. I have to give a plug again to Jay Pryor, who was my executive coach whenever I first started Braid Creative, and I was working with them and I remember my sister and I, I mean, we're experts in branding, so we have the website up, the messaging, the positioning, the look, the feel, we had a few blog posts in the can, it was beautiful, and we launched, and it was amazing and exciting. Then, once the confetti settles a little bit and you can start hearing the crickets chirping, you're like, "Okay, now what? How are we going to get clients?" He's freaking out a little bit because we didn't have any clients yet, and my sister was, at the time, kind of like the breadwinner for her family, so there was a lot of pressure, and my executive coach said, "You need to make space for your clients."
Kathleen Shannon: I kind of looked around, I was like, "There's space. There's plenty of space. I'm just sitting here in my little office waiting," and they said, "No. Make physical, literal space," so at the time, I had a big chalkboard painted onto my wall in my home office, and I would take my outfit photos for my blog in front of it, and I went up to that big chalkboard with a piece of chalk, and I drew 10, big, empty spaces, and above it, I wrote clients, so I made physical, literal space for these clients, for 10 of them. That's how the method began.
Kathleen Shannon: It's become much more intricate, but after that first time that I drew that line for those 10 clients, I will say it's incredibly vulnerable. It's vulnerable to say, "Here's what I want, and I don't have it yet, but I'm making space for it." It was almost scarier than not having clients, this idea of admitting that you don't have clients yet, so I drew these spaces, and a week later, they were filled with clients.
Brigit E.: Oh, so good.
Kathleen Shannon: I do believe in the magic of The Chalkboard Method, but I will also say it's a way to make your goals visual and it's a way to state what it is that you want, and if you see those lines every single day, those blank spaces to manifest what it is that you want, you will take action to fill those spaces. What I want to be clear about The Chalkboard Method is that it's not a vision board. It's not writing down what you want. It's making space for what you want, and it's a reminder of what you want, so you're going to take action on it. I'm sure that after we had those 10 spots, we've probably wrote more blog posts.
Kathleen Shannon: We've probably reached out to people personally and said, "Hey, if you know anyone that needs our services, we hit the pavement and started asking people if they needed our help." That's how we filled the spaces. After that, I learned a few things because we had a few nightmare clients that filled those spaces, so then at that point, we also learned that we needed to write a mantra, a mantra for the kinds of clients that we wanted to attract. I remember we drew a little magnet with like a little electricity magnet. Magnets aren't electricity, are they? Anyway, you know what I mean.
Kathleen Shannon: A big magnet attracting, magnetizing dream clients, so we drew like a little heart with a cupid's arrow through it to signify that we're attracting dream clients only, and then we also learned that we needed to make space for extra. There are some things that don't fit within what it is that we necessarily offer, but that would be amazing opportunities, so maybe things like speaking gigs or special one-off projects that we normally wouldn't consider, so we started making space for extra things, and then we started even tracking things like areas and opportunities for growth, like our newsletter lists, social media, and again, it just brings attention to those places that you want to grow and attract more people to. What else did we do with our chalkboard? I remember there was one season where I was really trying to get more speaking gigs, so I opened up four spaces for speaking gigs, and so now, we do our chalkboard quarterly and we still do it, and our company has grown to like a multimillion-dollar branding agency, and we still have our little chalkboard where we're filling in spaces with our clients' names and it still works.
Brigit E.: Do you know what I love, is the concept of the space and whatever will fill that space will fill the space, because I think sometimes we can go a little bit too far with how we envision things, so we think, "Okay. Well, it's got to be like this. It's got to have this, that, and this," and we get a bit too far down the line, and there is no spaciousness for the universe, your intuition to kind of flow into that and deliver you something that maybe you weren't aware of, but is in a lot more alignment than what you thought would be in alignment. Does that all make sense?
Kathleen Shannon: Yes, absolutely. The way that I've experienced that actually is whenever we haven't filled space. We've been pretty good with filling the space with exactly what we want, which are ... That's pretty broad to be honest whenever it comes to the kinds of clients that we work with. We say that we work with creative entrepreneurs, and small businesses, and even larger organizations like universities, and credit unions, and just random stuff like that, right?
Kathleen Shannon: It's more that whenever we don't fill the space, then we have to see, "Okay. Why didn't we fill that space? What came up that needed our intention instead?" Sometimes planning for ourselves, like updating our own website, and then we become our own client, so maybe we fill that space with ourselves, and that's an opportunity to launch a new project, or write a few more blog posts, or to chill for a minute. That's what I've really learned about The Chalkboard, is whenever we don't fill space, it's usually for a reason.
Brigit E.: Then, that really eliminates the whole idea of failure.
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah. Truly, truly. I will say too, I get a lot of questions about, "Okay, but once I do The Chalkboard," and I bet a lot of your listeners are thinking this, "Okay, once I do the Chalkboard, how do I actually fill this space?" To that, I always respond, "Have you done your chalkboard yet?," because I've even encountered this, like, "Ah, why things feel so quiet? Like what's wrong? Oh, I haven't done my chalkboard," and so I think it gets you clear on what it is that you want, it breaks down big goals into smaller actions.
Kathleen Shannon: This is another thing I should mention, as I do my chalkboard quarterly, I think that that gives you enough time to let the magic work, and it also is a short enough amount of time that you don't forget about it. Like you know that part of your house that you haven't remodeled yet, and then you stopped seeing that it hasn't been remodeled and you're like, "That concrete floor is fine. I don't need to put down wood floors. It's fine," like you just stopped seeing it. That's what happens if you do a year-long chalkboard, so I really do think that breaking it down into a quarterly chalkboard, and then I break it down monthly from there really helps you break down your bigger goals and see what you need.
Kathleen Shannon: I know with my chalkboard, let's say I need four clients a month, which is 12 a quarter ... Trying to do some really hard math over here. It just keeps me on track. It keeps it visual, and again, like I said, if we don't fill it, it is a reminder that we need to either work on ourselves or do a little bit more hustle to find more clients.
Brigit E.: Have you ever been tempted once you have filled all those spaces to go, "Oh, look at us. We can add more to add more"? Do you ever add more?
Kathleen Shannon: We do add more into the next month.
Brigit E.: Right.
Kathleen Shannon: Then, that's whenever we have a wait list. There have been times whenever we've been booked out three months or four months in advance and had to like move into another chalkboard, like future chalkboard at the bottom of our chalkboard, and that's whenever we know to raise our prices.
Brigit E.: Yup.
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah, so it really helps you make some pretty, I mean serious business decisions, but it feels a little archaic that we're writing with chalk on our wall to keep track of our clients, and we also have the spreadsheets and all of those other things too, but I do think that it's real important to have a physical chalkboard.
Brigit E.: Yeah.
Kathleen Shannon: That can look like a lot of different things for ... I'm going to talk a little bit about the materialism of it, like the material aspect of it because I think that is important. I think it should be hanging in your office where you're sitting down to work. I think it should be visually appealing to you, so whether it's on a corkboard and a bunch of note cards on a corkboard, or maybe a whiteboard, or is a chalkboard, I think it's important for it to be really visuals so that you can see what you're doing. You can also like turn it into a map.
Kathleen Shannon: Let's say you want to get four new clients from a specific area of the world, you can have a map nearby. We also have a map that we put little pins in, and I think that that helps too. I think the physicality of it is a really big part. You can do it even if you don't have clients. Let's say you're a jewelry maker, for example, and you want to sell 10 pieces of jewelry.
Kathleen Shannon: Maybe you have your collection pinned up on a corkboard, and then underneath each piece of jewelry, you have a little note card with blank spaces for however many items you have. Even if you're pushing a lot of product, if you're a newer entrepreneur, I would write down every single name of order that comes through, because it means a lot to see your customers as real human beings that are purchasing your stuff, so we write in names of people. We're not just referring to them as like one client, two client, three client. They're names. They're people who are engaging with you and engaging with your product. That's another way to do it.
Kathleen Shannon: We had one person share ... If you just look up #chalkboardmethod on Instagram, you'll find a lot of examples, but one person even, with selling online courses and took a canvas and drew 100 polka dots, and then for each course she sold, she would fill in one of the polka dots, so it became a piece of artwork. I thought that that was really creative and a fun way to do The Chalkboard Method too.
Brigit E.: Yup. Actually, we sometimes do where we'll do it on Sticky Notes, but I think the difference is we would have someone join the program and I'd write their name on the Sticky Note and I'll put it up on the wall, but what I'm hearing through The Chalkboard Method is actually, let's say our goal was 250 students, I should have the 250 Sticky Notes already on the wall, and then write the names in, right?
Kathleen Shannon: Yes. That's exactly right. Yup.
Brigit E.: Yes. Yup. Awesome. What about ... Okay. Sometimes I get a little bit detailed and tactical.
Brigit E.: What if you wanted to attract an extra 10,000 subscribers to your list? How do you do that on The Chalkboard?
Kathleen Shannon: That's a really good question. 10,000. Okay. Probably, what I would do is write newsletter subscribers and just draw, let's say one tick is 1,000, so you need 10 ticks to equal 10,000, and so basically make 10 little spots, and maybe even put times 1,000 under each spot so that you can just check it off whenever you hit that new goal.
Brigit E.: Oh, okay. Yeah. Yes. Smart. I like it. Is there a limit to the types of, well, to the number of goals or objectives that you'd have on one board?
Kathleen Shannon: I mean, we're all only human, right, so I would just limit it to what you're actually physically capable of doing. One thing that I really like doing, in conjunction with my Chalkboard is to look at my Google Calendar and to imagine, "Okay. If I need ..." I mean, coming to even the number of four clients a month was tricky for us, and it takes a lot of trial and error, but part of it was mapping it out on our calendar and saying, "Okay. If this is three months, even better yet, print out a physical calendar," and say, "Okay. If we started one client this week, and then we're in this phase with them the next week, then we can start a new client," and you start to stagger your work to see when you could take on more people and like what that would actually look like in your physical life, so time blocking it out I think is a good supplemental activity to do alongside The Chalkboard Method, but if it's something like selling a course, no.
Kathleen Shannon: I don't think that there is any limit to how much you could do or what goals you could set, and again, sometimes it's just making space. Whenever I was still selling e-courses, I remember I just wrote e-course, and I had a goal in my mind of maybe selling 10 a month, and so I would do ticks of one per course and have space for it, but it wasn't necessarily defined.
Brigit E.: Then, are you setting the goals or are you also having your team as part of setting the goals?
Kathleen Shannon: That's a great question. Because my sister and I have been doing this from the beginning, it's us setting the goals, and since we've brought on a third partner, we've let her in on our method, but we kind of consult with her like, "Okay. How many organizational clients do you think we need, and how many creative entrepreneurs do you think we need?" We have a good sense of our workflow and work capacity, and so we're just filling it in that way, but it can certainly be a wonderful team activity, and I love the idea of doing it with a team during a planning session, for example, saying, "Okay. How many clients do we need, or how many courses do we want to sell?"
Kathleen Shannon: Especially in that unexpected extra, like, "What do you all imagine this unexpected extra could be?" Like, "What kinds of opportunities can you dream up?", and so you just start brainstorming, and I do think that your word is your wand, and so let's say they're like, "Okay. We want for this month, we want Brigit to have a huge opportunity, something like a call from Oprah, or to be invited to do a TED Talk," or something just a wildly crazy idea. Sometimes it doesn't happen immediately, but in two or three years, it might show up, and you'll be like, "Oh my gosh, that was an idea for our Chalkboard years ago," so I've also found that The Chalkboard has alerted me to timing in my goals. Sometimes I set goals for myself before I'm really ready, and then they show up years later.
Brigit E.: Yeah. I'm going to say like a little bubble on the board for magic.
Kathleen Shannon: Yes.
Brigit E.: Because who knows what might go in that bubble, but whatever it is, it's going to be magical and surprise me, Universe. Surprise me.
Kathleen Shannon: Yeah. For me, it's always helpful ... I'm what Emily calls a more specific manifester, like the more specific I can get about what it is I want to accomplish. For example, before our book launch, I had this vision of being on a stage, and I could see lights shining in my eyes. That's all I could see, right?
Kathleen Shannon: I thought, "Oh my gosh, we're going to be on a TV show or something incredible. Something incredible is going to happen." We weren't on a TV show, but we did get invited to ABC Studios to record with Rebecca Jarvis on her podcast, and as we were sitting in her beautiful studio, where sound engineers were coming in and setting up the mic for you, it's just very, it felt so cool, and as we were recording, I looked up and there were lights in every corner of the room shining down, and I looked up at one of them and it was the exact light that I saw in my vision. I was like, "Okay, so it wasn't our own TV show like I wanted, but it was what I saw in my vision," and then I was like, "Okay. Next up is Netflix."
Kathleen Shannon: "I want to be on Netflix. Like, "We're going to get on Netflix." So very specific, and that was at the beginning ...
Brigit E.: Yeah.
Kathleen Shannon: That was, I guess last year, and then at the beginning of this year, I got a call from one of my clients who happens to be Dr. Brené Brown, who is filming a Netflix Special and wanted me and my sister to come out and be in the audience. Whenever we watched the special, there was a cut like a pan, and you can see us in the audience laughing or whatever, and so my drag messages were flooded, "Did I just see you on Brené Brown's Netflix special?"
Brigit E.: Yeah.
Kathleen Shannon: I was like, "Yes." Yeah. I was like, "Yes, you did," and it was just funny. That was definitely a wink from the universe of like, "Okay. You didn't get your own Netflix show, but you just said Netflix, and we got you there so you're on the right path," and that's sometimes also how my intuition works, for example, and that was a big trip on a very last minute notice, had I not had this vision in my mind. Like had I not been saying, "I want to be on Netflix," I may not have gone.
Kathleen Shannon: I may have said, "Yeah, I would love to, but we just can't make it. We haven't have a clear space in our calendar, we had no appointments. Why not do it?" That's another thing too, is like if an opportunity is presented and there's no barriers in your way, even if it's scary, or inconvenient, or a hassle, just do it. Just say yes.
Brigit E.: Yup. I love it. Oh, I can't wait to start creating. I can't really make it look pretty and fancy, The Chalkboard, but I'm sure I can find someone who can.
Kathleen Shannon: Okay. Here's the deal, it's not a prettier, fancy thing. Like it's very, like I said, mine was just a wall painted with chalkboard paint and chalkboard wines. It's very utilitarian.
Brigit E.: Okay.
Kathleen Shannon: It's not meant to be super pretty by any means.
Brigit E.: I did see some online and I thought, "Oh, gosh, that's very good."
Kathleen Shannon: Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure like there's like some beautiful hand typography and chalk, but don't let the actual materials be a barrier to getting started because you could literally tear out a piece of notebook paper and hang it on your wall, and I think that this is important to you.
Brigit E.: Yes.
Kathleen Shannon: A lot of people like to keep their chalkboard on their computer or in a notebook. I do think that there's some magic to really putting it on the wall, where you can see it. It's that vulnerability, like I said. If it's in your notebook, I do love a good bullet journal, but if it's in your notebook, you can just close your notebook and stick it in your desk drawer, and just ignore that you set these big goals and you've made space for them, whereas if it's on your wall, you're committed, you're in it, and you got to do what you got to do to make it happen.
Brigit E.: Excellent. I love it. I love it. Kathleen, now that you've kind of created a bit more space in your world, like what's coming up? What's next for you over the next six to 12 months, do you think?
Kathleen Shannon: I've been really enjoying working really hard at Braid Creative and getting my hands back in the dirt, so to speak, so I've been really hands-on with designing out brand platforms for our clients, which I just, I love doing that. I also bought my dream house here in Michigan, talk about manifesting. Like I saw, it was probably very similar to how you manifested your dream house, but I saw wood ceilings, I saw very specific things, and then some things that I didn't even know that I would love, and I walked into this house and it was well under my price range, beautiful, and the previous owners are in their 80's and became like a soul sister to me, and anyway, just this beautiful house that I'm working on remodeling, and so that's been a lot of fun. That's taking a lot of my energy. I have a five-year old who's in kindergarten, so just putting a lot of focus on him, but really, between Braid Creative, and I'm still doing ...
Kathleen Shannon: Being Boss is having a conference, so I'm doing the Being Boss conference, doing other little bit speaking gigs and travel, and then just try and enjoy my time that I'm not, really more than anything is just like a trying to enjoy that mental white space, because it's one thing if you ... Like we put a pause on Being Boss where it's not even any more or less than I'm already doing, but just having that weight lifted of like the responsibility for it is huge, so really just trying to enjoy that a little bit.
Brigit E.: Excellent.
Kathleen Shannon: I wish my what-next was like I'm going to have a Netflix show, and I'm going to start doing stand-up on the weekends, and I'm going to launch another podcast that's spin off on true crime. Like I wish I was doing like all these amazing things, but that was me three years ago. Me today just wants to chill for a minute.
Brigit E.: I know. Well, I think when you've been working pretty hard for a long time, it can seem very [great 00:42:29].
Kathleen Shannon: I know, and I say chill like I'm still working full-time at Braid Creative. Like I'm still doing a lot.
Brigit E.: Yeah, but just not pushing yourself over the edge, for sure.
Kathleen Shannon: Not. Not pushing over the edge.
Brigit E.: Yeah. Then, what part of yourself do you think you'll be expressing as you come into 2020?
Kathleen Shannon: Oh, that's a great question. I mean, I live out loud very much. Like I'm always expressing myself, but I'm hoping that ... I've been really focusing on art again lately, so I actually have a degree in fine arts, and I have started ... The phrase, "True artist" has been coming out a lot around my house.
Kathleen Shannon: I'm trying to instill that in my kiddo, that he's a true artist and I frame his artwork, and I remember that whenever I was a little kid, I introduced myself to my great aunt as an artist. I was like, "Hey, I'm Kathleen. I'm an artist," and she goes, "Well, honey, we all are," and so it was always just very obvious in my family that we are creatives and we are artists, but that's a side of me that's probably gone dormant. Even though I have a very creative job and I work in a creative field, I love the idea of expressing myself through painting, and textile art, and even travel, and even in the way that I dress and my style, so I see a lot of that coming out in 2020.
Brigit E.: I like it. Oh, so yummy. Fabulous. Kathleen, where can people find out more about you?
Kathleen Shannon: Sure. Braidcreative.com is my website, and then beingboss.club is where you can listen to Being Boss. You can also listen to it anywhere you listen to a podcast. If you want to learn more about The Chalkboard Method, we've written about it in our book, which is also called Being Boss. You can also look up beingboss.club/chalkboard, and it will take you to all of our Chalkboard Method resources.
Kathleen Shannon: I'm giving you a lot of like places you can find me, but there's a lot. Then, my personal Instagram is @andkathleen, so A-N-D-Kathleen.
Brigit E.: Fabulous. We'll put all of that into the show notes as well. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Kathleen. I'm super inspired and I can't wait to start like just making at least a notebook, piece of paper with some lines and numbers, and yeah, so thank you very much for today. I really appreciate it.
Kathleen Shannon: Thank you so much for having me, Brigit. It's been so fun getting to hang out with you and perfect timing because my kiddo needs some dinner.
Brigit E.: Awesome. I really appreciate your time. Thank you, Kathleen.
Kathleen Shannon: Thanks, Brigit.
Brigit E.: Now, before we wrap things up completely for this episode, I just wanted to clarify that Kathleen is still being part of the Being Boss Podcast, and she just wanted me to make sure that that was super, super clear because I know how much she absolutely loves being part of that podcast. The great news is that she is continuing on, even though Emily, her co-host is taking on a little bit more inside of the Being Boss website and members' area and so on. All right. That is it for now.
Brigit Esselmont: Thank you for joining me for today's episode of the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast. If you love this episode, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. It really helps to get the word out, and of course, I read every single comment. And if you want weekly inspiration to help you trust your intuition, align with your purpose and create huge business success, then head on over to Brigit.Me and sign up for my free weekly emails. That's B-R-I-G-I-T dot me. See you there.
Links and Resources Mentioned:
Kathleen on Instagram
Being Boss on Instagram
Braid Creative on Instagram