Katie Hornor

In this episode of The Mess in the Middle, Audra speaks with Katie, a successful entrepreneur living as an expat in Mexico. Tune in to hear how Katie has navigated the challenges of the pandemic, the importance of maintaining a people-first mentality, and her insights on the future of the coaching industry.

katie horner

About the Guest

Katie Hornor is an experienced speaker, best-selling author, and expat entrepreneur in a sleepy little seaside town in México who has inspired millions of people with her books, programs, and unique approach to business.

Taking her inspiration from the quirky pink flamingo, Katie has helped over 8,000 entrepreneurs learn to maximize the impact of their expertise by scaling their online programs without compromising their faith, their core values or their non-negotiables.

She believes “Your Message Matters.” and that by leveraging your uniqueness you can change the world.


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Episode Transcript

*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate. 


[00:00:00] Audra: Okay. All right. Welcome back to another episode of The Mess in the Middle, and today I’ve got a super fun and I’m definitely looking forward to this conversation.

[00:00:52] So welcome to the show. Please take a couple minutes to catch people up. Where are you? How does life work for you in your universe? And then we’ll dive into how we can help somebody today keep moving through the mess in the middle.

[00:01:06] Katie: thank you for having me. my name is Katie

[00:01:09] Audra: Horner.

[00:01:09] Oh, I guess I should have said your name. I’m sorry. It’s been a long weekend. That’s okay, Katie. I’m so sorry. It still feels early for a Monday. Okay.

[00:01:18] Katie: we, we serve our folks over at theflamingoadvantage.com and business deals with client experience and up-leveling people’s. Marketing, how they can leverage that in their business.

[00:01:29] but we, initially came to Mexico. We live here as expats in southern Mexico, and we initially came for a ministry opportunity, later, started a business later, [00:01:40] started a second business. have since purchased a historic home that we’ve been able to, turn into an Airbnb and another stream of income and raising our five kids here.

[00:01:50] Loving life. So that’s

[00:01:52] Audra: the short story. No, that’s awesome. Then you guys, so your partner, husband, wife, work in the same thing as you. So you guys do this together?

[00:02:02] Katie: Yes, we do this together. Awesome. He’s a lot more behind the scenes. I’m more the visionary and the teacher. Yeah. he’s more logistics and making things happen behind the scenes, but Nice.

[00:02:11] Audra: We do it together. Yeah. Nice. Do you guys homeschool your kids? Nice. Yes. Yeah. I wonder how that work once you get outside the country.

[00:02:17] Katie: different countries are different, but here we do have the freedom. Actually in Mexico, there’s no legal protection, but there’s also nothing that makes it illegal.

[00:02:26] Oh, okay. And so then being of American parents, that helps as well. And so we’ve been able to homeschool

[00:02:32] Audra: them all the way through. nice. What are the age range? Our youngest

[00:02:36] Katie: is nine and our oldest will be 18 this year.

[00:02:40] Audra: Good for you.

[00:02:41] that’s quite a accomplishment. I raised three kids by myself and it was a little challenging. they’re adults now, but, yeah, that’s a lot of. For me, thank God there were teachers because I could not have done it and worked as well. That was super

[00:02:57] Katie: challenging. Yeah. the older they get, the more independent they get.

[00:03:00] yeah. and so we’re in a really good season right now. I’m just really enjoying each other so good.

[00:03:05] Audra: Yeah. When they start developing their own brain and where they’re gonna show up and all that’s pretty magnificent for human beings. Yeah. All right. let’s dig in. So we know a little bit about you.

[00:03:16] We know you’ve got multiple businesses. Have you always been [00:03:20] an entrepreneur.

[00:03:20] Katie: no. that was never the real plan. We both had ministry on our mind. Okay. I wanted to be part of, mission work and ministry work, and, my husband actually skipped the last year of business in his degree because he knew he was coming back to Mexico to work admissions.

[00:03:35] but through a series of ministry changes, we found ourself in Mexico with young children. no savings, no credit cards, no work visa and like what are we gonna do to support ourselves kind of thing. And so we started a business, that was a Spanish business actually. We created a homeschool curriculum in the Spanish language.

[00:03:55] Nice. That didn’t exist yet, and pioneered that for 10 years. And in the process of learning all the things to run our own business online, then we started coaching other English speaking entrepreneurs to do the same. And That second business is taken off and overpowered, outdone the original one, to where that’s our main focus nowadays.

[00:04:15] Audra: Wow, where we start and where we end up never seems to be the same. I, and nobody I’ve ever talked to had a direct line or still doing the same thing, meaning I decide I’m gonna sell this widget and, even two years later, five years later, it’s completely, either it’s got more features, it’s different to a different audience or completely into something else.

[00:04:37] It’s cool to see how that evolve.

[00:04:38] Katie: my degree was in education. I have a master’s in curriculum development and school administration. So Nice. The first business being a curriculum business was in alignment with that. And in our second business, we’ve created all kinds of online education classes for adults and helping them build out their programs.

[00:04:55] Coaching programs or courses online. So it has really come in handy, the things that we have [00:05:00] learned and,my husband with construction is also still doing that as we continue to restore this old house and build out the Airbnb. So it is of cool that we still get to use what we studied.

[00:05:12] Audra: I didn’t go to college until I was 26, so I did it backwards. I got married, had kids, got divorced, then went to college. So I don’t recommend that to anybody. It’s definitely a harder path. But, I double majored in psychology and behavioral science, and I think at the time I would’ve.

[00:05:29] Pursued something then. But when you’re raising three kids by yourself, I was not gonna start at the bottom because there’s no money in teaching. They just don’t pay well, and I had to work at things that paid well. I didn’t want my kids to suffer because I chose to be a single parent. I opened up a coffee shop and did really well there.

[00:05:51] you figure out different ways to do it. And that was my first business, We also had a coffee shop before the pandemic. Nice. You did there in Mexico? Here in Mexico. You’ve been there 10 years, okay. Yep. And why do you close it? Because of the pandemic. We closed it because of

[00:06:06] Katie: the pandemic, and then as our life shifted through the last couple of years, we just, it hasn’t been the same priority

[00:06:12] Audra: to reopen.

[00:06:14] Yeah, I think it’s community. when I moved from, so my coffee shops were in California, when I moved to the East Coast one, I was a little burnout on it. once you’ve done one and then you’ve done two, you’ve done three. It’s, for me, it’s just okay, I already worked out all the details.



[00:06:29] I feel like I’ve maxed out other than, not that I couldn’t learn more stuff. But my only option really was just more stores, and that wasn’t fun for. It became a [00:06:40] management thing. I had 65 employees. and then my job, that’s what it became, was managing high school and college adults. And, yeah, long term it wasn’t for me.

[00:06:52] we did that quite some time and I, when I moved, my mom actually took them over. But it’s play to your strengths, right? Play to what you’re good at and. Evolve through it. Don’t stop, growing. If you’ve got a bigger purpose, don’t feel like you’re stuck there.

[00:07:08] Tap it out and move on.

[00:07:09] Katie: Yeah. And the things that got you here don’t always take you to the next level either. So nothing’s wasted. None of the experience is wasted. for sure. But it’s exciting to move on to the next piece as well.

[00:07:19] Audra: So where are you guys at? All the moving parts that you have, do you feel like you are, if you were to stage out your business, say you’re starting with upstarts, just I’ve got an idea or launching, launching us, growing, scaling, automating, where would you say you are in that?

[00:07:37] Katie: That growth. we are currently, with our coaching business in the midst of the automation and scaling side of things. Our team has grown quite a bit in the last year and,working at putting in those SOPs in place and, being able to scale. We also reimagine some of our programs in the last year and a half so that we would be better positioned to scale and serve folks at each level as we grow.

[00:08:01] And so we’re looking to. Four or five x business in the next 12 to 18 months. And beautiful. I think the systems are in place to totally do that. So it’s like pretty

[00:08:10] Audra: exciting. Now, you’re a business person like me, so I, I imagine you’ve have followed a not direct route cause none of us are direct, but a pretty [00:08:20] consistent route to get to that.

[00:08:22] What made you wait to make the changes that you have? To now, meaning why didn’t you try to do it six months ago, or why didn’t you try to do it a year?

[00:08:32] Katie: I think,as you grow, your vision grows, your awareness of what’s possible grows and I think that the differing needs, three years ago, I was not looking at having adult children to spend time with or having to travel internationally because of college.

[00:08:49] And things like that, And so I think as we have grown and matured and our business has grown and matured, our clientele, the people we work with have changed. the whole covid years changed everyone and how we do things online even. And so as that happened, what was the one-to-one and what we envisioned being one-to-one work forever, suddenly felt like it was more urgent for us to change that to where we could impact more people in a shorter amount of time.

[00:09:15] Okay. And or make a plan for exit eventually so that we could continue to impact people without our direct involvement every single hour of the business. And so that’s really the shift that forced us to reimagine the way that we serve our people and the way that our programs were packaged so that we could, have more impact essentially.

[00:09:38] Over the long run.

[00:09:40] Audra: So you guys do group coaching programs?

[00:09:42] Katie: Yes. Okay. In the group coaching program and a mastermind at

[00:09:46] Audra: this point. Okay, good. Now, how are you finding the industry as a whole? coaching has taken a pretty good beating over the last five years. What do you, where are you guys at with that?

[00:09:58] Katie: I think it’s interesting to [00:10:00] watch the changes industry-wide because we’re connected to a lot of folks in the marketing and knowledge, space,Yeah. And it’s interesting that. What I’m seeing, especially from a customer experience standpoint, which is one of the ways that we stand out, is I feel like we’re seeing a reversion back to people being more important.

[00:10:20] I think prior to Covid. Yes. Prior to Covid, we were seeing like it was important to, automate everything, efficiency and things like that. and I think when that happens, we lose our focus on the people. That we’re actually serving. And you can’t do business without people, period. And so I think what I have welcomed to see is this return to relationships in our marketing and in the way that we serve our people and.

[00:10:46] Obviously the more of you that you put into something, the more value there is, the more accessibility to the trainer, the more valuable that offer is too, which allows you to raise prices for those that you serve at that level while still being able to serve the masses at some level,

[00:11:01] but I think that’s a welcome change. Good. And I think that those that are able to use the advances in AI and technology, Still be able to retain the people first mentality within their business. Are the ones that are ultimately going to come out on top.

[00:11:16] Audra: I’ve interviewed quite a few coaches and all at different stages.

[00:11:19] Some just getting started. Some that started when Covid hit and then a few that had been beforehand. if you were a coach before Covid, a lot of those folks didn’t make it. Yeah. They’re burnout. they made a little bit of a pivot, but not enough for it to make a difference.

[00:11:36] So they got lost in all the noise and the [00:11:40] growth trajectory that they had been on, fizzled. So some of them have had to adjust or add in other kinds of services to stay relevant. and then the ones that kind of launched afterwards, they don’t know what this looks like because they weren’t a coach beforehand, so they don’t know what the previous normal was.

[00:11:57] And so it’s interesting just to see the different sides of it. It’s almost like a, there was a generation and then Covid launched a different generation and then now where we’re settling out is an another different generation. And coaches are. There’s so many of them, but I really wonder how many of them are able to still deliver consistently based on the direction that they were trying to go.

[00:12:26] I think if

[00:12:27] Katie: you haven’t changed something about what you do because of the last couple of years, then you know, there may be a reason that you’re stuck. we have to keep evolving and changing, bettering ourselves and what we do for people if we’re gonna continue. And I think that really is the key, is that Those who don’t quit. Those who do keep bettering that, how do we do this better? How do we serve our people better? those are the ones who are going to end up, in the future. There’s not a huge difference, I don’t think, in the winners and the losers in terms of talent or resources, not, it’s more consistency and faithfulness really.

[00:12:59] And if this is something that’s really. A calling or a passion for you, then you’re gonna wise up to the point that you put the boundaries in place so you don’t burn out and you’re going to continue to invest in yourself so that you can learn what you need to learn too. Continue to ride the trends and be able to, continue to serve people in the new world with the new advances that we’re coming into all the [00:13:20] time.

[00:13:20] when the AI stuff came out big in November a few months ago, and everyone started, ah, all the copywriters are gonna lose their job. And I’m like,no. The copywriters who learn to use the tool to do their job better and faster are gonna keep going. The ones who don’t learn to use it will lose their jobs, And yeah, it’s like that whole thing where, If you are, if it’s a passion and if you’re continuing to improve yourself as the leader, the c e o, the business owner, then you’re going to continue to be able to flex with the changes. And that flexibility, I think, really is one of the biggest, determiners of success over time in the marketplace.

[00:13:57] And the ones that are new, that gives the older ones, those of us that were coaching prior. We have a certain experience level that the new ones don’t have. Because of that, I don’t see it as a bad thing. I think it’s something that we get to leverage. That experience. we’re still in the game and so we do have a sort of authority or seniority that the others don’t have.

[00:14:19] Maybe a broader perspective That they don’t have. And I think that even more now, it’s important for us. To show that expertise and that experience and to be showing the client testimonials and the, the street cred is more important than someone’s pretty website or their, their newfangled processes, so to speak.

[00:14:40] Is that it really comes down to who’s got the knowledge and the experience. Yeah. Rather than, just the pretty perks on the front end.

[00:14:48] Audra: I feel like I’ve gone through so many generations. from a marketing perspective, so I’ve owned a agency since 2009, so I’ve been in this industry a really long time.

[00:14:59] I almost [00:15:00] feel like I’m in dog years because it’s been so many years. I’m like, no, dude. No. Okay. First we started here. it feels like my evolution has just been, I’ve gone through so many different generations and I do have to say I don’t have a lot of. What do I wanna say? Tolerance, patience, maybe for some of the new stuff that’s coming out today.

[00:15:26] And not to pick on anybody, but I think it’s a good teaching moment. So social media, we’re supposed to be able to use that from a business owner perspective to connect to people. To build real, Relationships. Yeah. Real genuine. That’s the word I was trying to find. Genuine relationships instead of LinkedIn is something different, right?

[00:15:48] I expect to be spammed by every single person that says, Hey, I’d love to connect and then here’s my, all the widgets I’m selling. You buy them. I expect, I really don’t expect anything different on LinkedIn. I find it very challenging to build genuine relationships there, which is Oxymoron.

[00:16:06] We’re doing business. We’re supposed to be able to talk business. But then Facebook, it’s actually a really good platform for me where I can connect and become real with people. I’ve met people that the relationship started on Facebook and we’ve down the road, met in person and actually built friendships out of it and do business together.

[00:16:24] It’s been great, hit or miss this morning. I get somebody that connects to me. we go back and forth of, oh, you do this, you do that. Where do you live? We talk just like humans connecting, and then he says, do you know [00:16:40] about crypto and four x? Now, mind you, I’ve set the stage. I’m a marketer. I owned an agency since 2009.

[00:16:50] I’m onto launching this new marketplace. I provided links, blah, blah, blah, and I said, yes, I know about crypto. I have investments myself, but that’s not the path I’m going down because I am vested on this new marketplace I’m launching. Then he says, if you had what or something about the stress that keeps you up at night, if you had an extra five to $10,000 a month, what would that do for.

[00:17:17] And I’m just like, you’ve gotta be kidding me. So I wrote back and I have said, I thought we were actually having a real conversation here. Yeah. And I’m like, thank you. But no thank you. Please, best of luck to you. And I’m just like, really? Really So maybe the goal is, from a sales perspective, you gotta get ’em five minutes talking before you throw your pitch out there.

[00:17:43] But dude, come up with something more original. Hey, Audra, I see you’re in the middle of all this. Is there any way I can help? Here are the services I offer. I could help you here, and here. Then the conversation may have kept going. So really you didn’t hear anything I said you probably did a copy and paste and I really wanted to be a jerk.

[00:18:05] maybe like a marketing jerk. Like dude, seriously, and call him out on it. Yeah. And I just, I’m just like, you know what? Best of luck to you buddy.

[00:18:16] Katie: Yeah, sometimes I feel like I want us turn the [00:18:20] conversation around and be like, no, but I teach marketing, so if there’s any way I can help you, would I have to schedule a call with my team?

[00:18:25] Audra: if there’s any way I can get you to be able to close more conversations, I just told you I owned an agency. And I don’t mean it to be, it’s not like I’m tainted or I’m bitter. I love what I do. But Why would you even try that on me?

[00:18:40] Katie: Yeah. I don’t know who it is that’s out there teaching that kind of a tactic.

[00:18:44] It’s terrible. But, it’s, and Facebook’s not the all new place that we see it, like you mentioned LinkedIn and other places. and I think that’s why it’s. So important that we leverage who we are, right? and how we’re different in the marketplace. I’m not one of those that’s gonna jump into your dms and spam you about crypto or about my next course even, We, wanna create those relationships that really cares about the best next step for the people that we’re talking to, whether or not that step is with me, right? Because when I can show that I care about them as a person more than I care about my next dollar, then even if they don’t buy in with me right now, I’m gonna stay top of mind.

[00:19:26] And whenever something comes up again, they’re gonna remember me and come back, or they’re gonna refer me to somebody. And you can’t buy that kind of referral anywhere. No.

[00:19:36] Audra: So let me ask you, just starting out, if somebody that’s listening to this that is at the beginning of their journey, which means their focus more on money because they’re at the beginning of this,

[00:19:49] How would you say they stay more genuine when they’re trying to approach. I think you

[00:19:57] Katie: have to look at it as the [00:20:00] transformation. if this is something that you’ve been given to do in the world. If this is your gift to the world, this is how the world will be better because you were in it, then you would do that whether or not you got paid.

[00:20:11] And I think there’s a mindset switch there. It’s hard when you need the money, but it’s super important. Comes through if people know that you’re just in this for the next dollar that comes through and they feel that. But when they can also feel, when you’re genuinely interested in their success, and so being more concerned about their transformation and helping them to that next right step for them, this is the gift I was given to give the world.

[00:20:36] and let me show you what a difference it can make for you in your life. I don’t know if you know who Pat Flynn is, of course. but he always says if. In order to make someone’s life better, you have to make their day better, right? And so starting with that first little thing, like, how can I serve you today?

[00:20:52] How can I help you today? And when you go in it with that, it totally puts people off their guard. Because now they don’t feel like you’re one of the next spammers out there and you can go in with that genuine concern for them, that’s got us all kinds of clients because Nice. We do go through it, from that different perspective that you’re a person and we wanna see you as a person succeed.

[00:21:14] And take that next step. And if we can be a part of that process, we’d love to. and we know that, the clients will come as a result when the time.

[00:21:22] Audra: That is probably one of the hardest waiting games though for new people especially. we’ve got such a culture of hustle.

[00:21:30] Hustle, work hard. It’s a numbers game. Just ask, somebody’ll fall through and say they’re ready to go. what’s the flip side of that?

[00:21:37] Katie: it is a numbers game, but you have to look at the numbers. You are [00:21:40] in control. I am not in control of who says yes. I am not in control of who sends me money.

[00:21:45] I am in control of how many times I make the invitation. That’s my job. And so I often equate it to a, someone at serving at a restaurant. Their job is to offer you dessert. It’s no personal reflection on them. If you say no, they don’t lose their job or make less money necessarily if you say no, right?

[00:22:03] But it’s their job to offer. They can’t control whether you say. and so I look at it as it’s my job to make the invitation. This is my job. This is what I do, this is how I serve people, and I can control how many people I ask if they want dessert, right? I can control how many offers or invitations that I make, how many relationships I start, how many people I reach out to try to help today, to take that next step.

[00:22:26] And so we set our number of goals around the things that we can do in terms of outreach. How many places can I be a guest speaker and reach new audiences? How many places can I guest post? How many posts are we putting out on social media? How many videos are we creating to put out into the YouTube world?

[00:22:43] like good. Those kinds of things with the calls to action to come back to us, or how many people can we follow up with today and have a conversation with today? Because those are things we can control and we can control when we make that invitation. And then we just have to let the results be what the results.

[00:23:00] Once you’ve got a track record and you know the numbers, when we did this many outreaches, we got this many results, right? Next time we did this many outreaches, got this many results. Tracking those numbers in helps you to create better goals for the future around the things you can control, because you know what the expected return will

[00:23:17] Audra: That’s awesome. So if you are [00:23:20] new and you’re listening to this, remember at the beginning here, you’re not gonna have any kind of solid data to grab a hold of and make decisions from, and that’s okay. That’s part of the process of you learning and evolving into whatever this new role for you is gonna be.

[00:23:38] Don’t focus so much on that, that you lose sight. Talking to more people, being genuine in that conversation and really coming from a place to serve first. I used to volunteer quite a bit with a organization in the US called score. score.org. They are funded by the sba, so small business administration funds this group, it, they’re nationwide.

[00:24:01] They’re a group of volunteers that people that just step up and. Business support. So it could be sales, it could be marketing, it could be, operations or infrastructure management. There’s lots and lots of different experts. But when I volunteered, my only goal was just to help somebody, help them move to the next place.

[00:24:22] Now one, you cannot take business from people that you mentor through score, which was fine cuz I wasn’t there for that. I was there just to. Improve somebody else’s life or help push them to the next stage of their business that they were in. So typically people that came to me already had a product, already had a service, maybe was making a few bucks, but they just of didn’t know where to go next.

[00:24:48] And that was fine. I could point them in the direction,no. Come over here. We gotta go down this road. don’t waste your time over there yet. You’re not ready for it. Let’s focus on this. And that was great. And I have to tell you, so much [00:25:00] business came from that because that person told a cousin that told a brother, that told a friend.

[00:25:06] And you can take that kind of business. Again, my intention was not doing it to make money. My intention was to serve right the universe. God, your higher power takes care of you on the backside of that when you’re serving and helping others and really mindset and faith becomes such a huge component of moving that forward for people.

[00:25:29] And Yes, and it goes back to, sorry, just to wrap that, it goes back to what you said about. If the control’s way outta balance where you’re trying to control every conversation, every outcome and the faith in the mindset are not as big, you’re gonna be super disappointed with the results. Okay. Sorry, go ahead.

[00:25:46] Katie: No, I was just going to say that in all of that too, it does help for you to know what the industry standard numbers are. Yeah. And this is another place where I feel like a lot of times beginners don’t know what they don’t know. Because if you don’t have anyone, a coach, a mentor, a group like that sba, mentor group or something like that, you don’t know where to get the information and so you may be doing things that are getting totally normal average numbers for where you are and not know it.

[00:26:16] And you feel like you’re a failure because you put this out there and got two or three sales. Yeah. when really if you knew the numbers and the percentages. Then that could be really good. It could be above average, right? And so surrounding yourself with people who do have knowledge and experience and can speak into, you can ground, you can let you know where you are on that success level makes a ton of sense.

[00:26:38] Because like for [00:26:40] instance, if you have an opt-in out there that you’re putting out to cold traffic, people who’ve never heard about you, come sign, do you have this problem? Here’s the answer. Give me your name and email, I’ll give you this free download, whatever. The industry average for opt-ins for that is somewhere between 25 to 50% if you’re landing the language, right?

[00:26:58] And so if you put it out there to a hundred people and 25 opt-in, like that’s good. And then go back and see what you can do to improve it. If you offer them a something for sale on the back end of that, they’ve never heard from you before. They’ve just offered, they’ve just got your free thing. And on the next page they’re saying, do you wanna buy this?

[00:27:16] It’s the next step, the industry average. Point five to two. So you’re talking about two people for every one of those hundred. And so if you don’t know that, you could be thinking, I’m doing it all wrong. What’s wrong with me? And all of those failure kinds of thoughts and just give up on yourself instead of saying, no, this is working, this is what is average.

[00:27:36] This are good numbers. I just now need to get more numbers behind it. I need to turn up the volume so that I get 500 people in 10 sales. And, that’s super important when you’re starting out. If you don’t have. That naturally around you go and find somewhere where you can be surrounded by the knowledge and information of even just what your industry standards are.

[00:27:58] Audra: That’s a great point. Without data, it’s you’re floating out there pretty bowless or anchor less and just trying to figure it out. Emotion be brutal without the data. Lord, that is too much. It’s definitely too much. That’s a great point. the takeaway from that is if you are just getting started and you don’t have your own numbers, find out what your [00:28:20] industry.

[00:28:20] Typical numbers look like. So you have something to set your goals against. Yeah. Instead of just going out there and posting, saying, okay, that got three likes and I got somebody to pick up the call. Or, have some data behind those decisions that you’re making. And it will definitely support you moving faster through that middle.

[00:28:37] Absolutely. So let’s pivot a little bit and talk about your clients, not specifically your clients, but your folks that you interact with. What do you find where they get stuck? I think

[00:28:52] Katie: a lot of the folks that we work with get stuck because they are overthinking. Okay. Or they are getting bogged down in the faithful consistency.

[00:29:05] You know, you’ve heard people say it takes 10 years to be an overnight success story, right? there’s a lot of faithfulness and consistency that has to happen for anything that is worth committing to. if you’re talking about a relationship or a business, it doesn’t matter.

[00:29:18] Like kids. And

[00:29:21] Audra: anything is, yeah. Then we don’t have a choice. Faithfulness and consistency,

[00:29:25] Katie: right? And so to make it something where you don’t have a choice. Again, surround yourself with those, build your own boundaries if you know it’s necessary with people who can keep you in it, when it gets to that messy middle and you feel like giving up.

[00:29:39] Because consistency, like we talked before, is gonna turn out to be the winner. one of my coaches says commitment over convenience, right? Yeah. if this is worth doing, it’s worth doing on the hard days. And I have people in my life who remind me of that when I get down. And bogged down in that middle, right?

[00:29:55] Just keep being consistent. Keep being faithful. Have a sunshine file of the good things and [00:30:00] the good comments and the praise that you get so you can go back and remember why you’re doing this on the hard days. And I think that is one of the hardest things to get people through the middle.

[00:30:08] The overthinking part is that as humans and creative humans, because most of us in business are creative in some way. We want to complicate things like, Ooh, if that worked, this’ll work better. If that worked, we could add this. and we get all excited about the new and improved when a lot of times we just need to tweak and improve what we’ve got.

[00:30:32] Keep it simple and make it better. Don’t make it complex. And a lot of us, with that overthinking then, like the more complex it is, the more support I have to have or the more team I have to have or the more, and it just grows to this be this big thing when it could be just very simple and streamlined.

[00:30:49] And so I think those are the two biggest things is keep it simple. And have that support to help you stay consistent and stay in the game when things get hard, because there’s always a

[00:30:59] Audra: messy middle. Yeah, years and years into this, I would say out of 20 podcasts that I’ve done, every single one of ’em has touched on commitment and consistency, and that seems to be something that we can all control.

[00:31:17] But the same time, It’s a wild card, meaning sometimes it is so challenging. You know what I do? If I get overwhelmed or I’m so too far in my head that I can’t move forward, I’ve paralyzed myself from movement. one, I gotta break my environment, right? Go on to a different part of the project.

[00:31:38] Go on, talk to somebody else. Get [00:31:40] outside. I gotta do something else to, pattern interrupt. and then once I do, I also will take a few minutes to flip back through my phone on some of the progress I’ve made and some of the announcements I’ve made and some of the things that I have gotten done.

[00:31:54] Regardless if anybody else recognizes them or not, or I got approval or, that a girl or pat on the back, just something for me. It’s wait a second, sis, you’ve done this, and this. Okay, so today’s not a great day. That’s. Tomorrow’s gonna be a better day and now, or from now is gonna be a better time.

[00:32:12] We’re just, we’re in a moment. being a psychology major and behavioral science, I’m also master practitioner and N L P, so I don’t get stuck there a lot. very rarely do I get stuck there, I know I’m gonna give myself like 10 minutes to have a pity party, and then sister, it’s back to work and I’m good.

[00:32:30] I’ve had to train myself to do. it’s not a skill that we’re born with. It’s something that I’ve had to learn over year, and compartmentalize things. My commitment doesn’t change. The situation sucks or is challenging or is sad or whatever, but my commitment, there’s no, I don’t ever question what that looks.

[00:32:53] But it’s taken a long time to learn that.

[00:32:56] Katie: I had a coach once who looked at me on one of my down days and said, so what are you gonna do? You gonna quit? And I was like, I can’t quit. Like there, there is no quitting here. He is okay. I get back in it, complaining and I think That’s important that we give ourselves the grace to be able to do that.

[00:33:10] I say I, I tell my people I quit every few weeks, but then I do some chocolate therapy and go sleep it off, and the next day we’re back at it and we’re asking questions like, why am I [00:33:20] overwhelmed? What could be different? What would it look like if this was easy? What would it look like if I enjoyed this again?

[00:33:25] and that has, what has spurred on some of our re-imagining of our programs in the last few years as well, is just looking at if I want it to look like this in three years and this feels overwhelming right now, how can we change that? What would it look

[00:33:39] Audra: like? and how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?

[00:33:42] Or try to. Forecast it. we can’t control the outcomes. Of course, COVID, nobody expected that per se. But, just understanding that we are in control of how we react to situations. and if we’re not, it’s almost like you need to come outside of yourself and say, okay, Audra, is this really happening?

[00:34:01] Or am I just tired, I’m a little burnout. I’ve worked too many hours behind a screen. what is it really that is stirring up these emotions that are preventing me from making progress? And really, once you get to the center of what that challenge is, this is You’re right. I didn’t sleep very well or it was too hot, or it was too cold, or, I had a challenge come up.

[00:34:22] But does that really have anything to do with what you’re focused on and what you’re trying to grow or change or evolve? Most times they’re not connected. It’s just a feeling that we’ve got. Yeah. But unless you work through it, that’s super challenging.

[00:34:36] Katie: And here again is the value of having a community or someone around you that you can go to.

[00:34:41] And be honest like that. none of us are gonna grow a business all by ourselves in isolation, And our brand is a Flamingo brand, and I pull them in as examples a lot all the time. But a flamingo can’t survive by themselves and neither can you in business. And it’s been so important for us in the trajectory of our business growth to [00:35:00] have that mastermind group or that coach, or.

[00:35:02] group of peers even that would meet on a regular basis to be able to go to them and have a safe place to say, I need you to speak life to me today. to have a place where you, it’s okay for you to be vulnerable when things are not going well, cuz they’re not always gonna go well.

[00:35:17] And if you can’t be that way with your family or your team, you need someone on the outside that you do have a safe place to go to and be willing to do that and say, Guys, I’m struggling. I need your perspective today. I need you to remind me of what in me, cuz I’m having a hard time seeing it, And that support system is a huge piece, I think of long-term success.

[00:35:38] Audra: I couldn’t agree more without it. It’s challenging. So a lot of times people will go to their spouse or significant other, but if they’re not in business, they’re not self-employed, they’re gonna try to help you. But you gotta remember their fear of you failing or you suffering is going to influence the advice that they give you to go forward or not go.

[00:36:00] Same. So you wanna make sure that the person that you pick can connect with you at a place where they’re not gonna push their fear on you because they have a job, right? Because security is one of their big,needs that they’ve got. But somebody that can say, you know what? I get where you’re at because I’ve done it, or, I’m there now, or I’ve been there before and I can help.

[00:36:26] Help you ground whatever’s got you uprooted in your business so you can stay the. Yeah,

[00:36:33] Katie: I think a lot of times we try to, it’s like taking your car, your transmission issue to your music teacher, right? Like we try to [00:36:40] do that in business thinking, oh, they love me. Yeah, I’ll just take my problems to them.

[00:36:43] yes, they do love you, but if they’re not the right person with the right experience and the right knowledge to help you solve this problem, then they’re gonna love you down the wrong path. and so it’s so important that you treat the relationships in your life as the relationships they are, and that if you need coaching, you go get it from someone who has the credibility and the appropriate experience to be able to help in that

[00:37:04] Audra: area.

[00:37:05] Yeah, in my first couple of businesses, I would hit some dark times, meaning I just felt anchor less and just floating around and not sure exactly what to do, and I would reach out to family, but my family had jobs. And they’re like, oh, Audra, I don’t know how you’re doing that.

[00:37:22] you should probably get a job. You gotta think about other things. And I’m like, that’s not what I wanna hear. I wanna hear, girl, you got this. Go out there and fight. Yeah. You’ve worked too hard. I needed to hear that. Not the, oh, I’m scared for you. You should probably go get a job.

[00:37:36] you need the security. You’re a single parent and. You know what? I’m glad I didn’t listen. Yeah.

[00:37:42] Katie: and that’s the like-minded piece too. Yeah. the people who really get it, who really understand, the other birds will love you, but only the flamingos understand you from a flamingo perspective.

[00:37:52] That’s good. So I’m muddling through the middle. I’ve got a direction. I’m pretty committed to my path, but I’m not sure what to do next. What would you say for somebody that has gotten a little bit of momentum but has stalled out?

[00:38:08] we have a seven step process that we teach for making decisions like that.

[00:38:14] And I, I don’t have time to go into them all here, but I would say the two most important things is [00:38:20] to get advice, like we were just saying, from people who have been there, done that have the experience. you don’t wanna just be asking anyone. You need to talk to the people who’ve done it or are where you wanna be and get advice and then trust that you are in this position for a reason.

[00:38:38] And you have what you need to take that next step. And so a lot of my folks are like, I could do this or I could do this. And they’re both good options and I’m just not doing anything because I don’t know what to do. And I’m just like, get over it and make a choice, right? Like if it’s good and good, then what do you want to do?

[00:38:54] make a step because right, the longer you stay immobile, the longer you stay stuck, and that’s not serving anyone. And so take the knowledge. Take the information in, get, seek the advice, balance the pros and cons, But at some point you have to give yourself a deadline and make this decision and move forward.

[00:39:13] And if it’s not the right one, it’ll make itself clear within a fairly short amount of time, in most cases. And then you can pivot and go to the other one, right? But if you don’t do anything a year from now, you’re still gonna be stuck here wondering, what am I supposed to do? And that is not serving you and.

[00:39:28] I think those are the two most important things, take the time. To get the knowledge and the information that you need. Balance the pros and cons, but then you’ve got to make a decision at some point, and that’s the only thing that’s gonna move you forward. And it’s the one thing that only you can control.

[00:39:42] Audra: Sure. Nobody else can make that decision for you. Do you find that coaches or even your clients in general try to deflect or place their decisions or their fear or their self-doubt on? As a coach, I

[00:39:58] Katie: don’t let them Oh,

[00:39:59] Audra: good. [00:40:00] Doesn’t mean they don’t try, but it doesn’t mean they

[00:40:02] Katie: don’t try. Yeah. Because I think a lot of us.

[00:40:05] Especially in the culture in which we live in today, we’ve grown up accustomed to so much blame. It’s always somebody else’s fault. It’s always somebody else’s problem. There’s very little personal accountability. and to be honest, those people are not my right fit clients. the people I work best with are the ones that say, okay, I’m gonna do it.

[00:40:24] I’m gonna take responsibility for that. I’m gonna take action, and if it goes wrong, then I’ll figure it out, There are a lot of people that don’t end up working with us because, in the onboarding process, we can tell that they’re not at the place where they’re ready to take accountability for what they need.

[00:40:38] Accountability is not me calling Audra up every Friday and saying, did you do that? You know that’s nagging, that’s mothering. They don’t need a mother. They need a coach. And a coach says, you said you were gonna do. So you get to show up next week and tell us if you did it or not. And if you need help, you get to come to us and ask for help, And so I think that’s a super big piece of it, is that you have to be willing to take personal accountability for the people in your business if you have a team and for yourself as you run the business, if you’re going to be able to continue to grow. And.

[00:41:12] Audra: I can’t tell you how many businesses I’ve worked with over the years from an agency perspective.

[00:41:17] Now, mind you, I’m not their coach. I’m not their consultant, but that I’ve had to go in and say, I can’t make this decision for you. You have to make it. I’m here to implement the goals that you’ve established for your company. I’m not here to decide the direction of where you should go or not go, and one of the worst things that I see happen is[00:41:40] a lot of these businesses will get some momentum.

[00:41:42] And man, they’re doing well. They’re, 250, 500,000, a million. And then the momentum, they get to a place where they need to make a pivot, add another product, change out what they’re doing. They’re ready to move to that growth stage because they’ve had the revenue is, it’s coming.

[00:42:01] And that decision is so challenging for them that they make. And little by little of that, what if I make the wrong one or what if I, what I, they start losing the momentum. And then, Trying to regain that place in the market or regain that direction they were going very few or find it.

[00:42:22] Or if they do find it, it takes a month to get it back. And if they would’ve just made the decision right or wrong, they would’ve been able, like you said, to ride that momentum that they had built up. And if it wasn’t right, they could still pivot before they lost the momentum. or talk to somebody before they just, cuz no decision is a decision, right?

[00:42:43] Good or bad. Yes. And you gotta live with it. You can’t just say, oh,I’m like, that’s why you’re still at 1 million and you haven’t gotten to 5 million because you’ve gotta drive.

[00:42:54] Katie: Yeah. Yeah. Ag Mandino wrote a little tiny historical fiction book about business called The Greatest Salesman in the World.

[00:43:01] Oh yeah. And there’s a quote in there that says it is better to act and fail than not to act and flounder. And I think that is the key of what you’re saying here, is that at some point we’ve got to take action and then take whatever consequences come from that. Because if we didn’t, then we’re just floundering and we’re [00:43:20] staying in the same place, wasting all the energy without getting.

[00:43:23] Audra: And you’re still gonna deal with the consequences, so you didn’t avoid anything.

[00:43:28] Katie: We can’t expect to blame it on someone else if you’re gonna grow and win. No, you’re gonna have to take accountability for yourself.

[00:43:34] Audra: that’s why I didn’t become a psychologist, because I cannot do whiners..

[00:43:41] I can’t do blame. I know that sounds harsh, but if you are. We’re gonna run into challenges. It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed, you have a job, you’re a parent, you’re just a human on this planet breathing, you’re gonna run into things. It’s up to us how we decide to deal with that.

[00:43:58] I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people that just wanna complain that aren’t actually focused on finding solutions, Like I said, we all go through it. I can share stories all day long of challenges I’ve had. The difference is I have a challenge, I deal with it, then I find a solution.

[00:44:15] I don’t always find the right ones, and that problem could resurface again. The fact is I just don’t sit and dwell in it and allow it to become my identity. and people that do, yeah, I’m just not congruent with that. And

[00:44:31] Katie: if it doesn’t work, you’re not starting over from nothing. You’re starting from experience.

[00:44:35] That didn’t work. Let’s learn from it and let’s go again. but I think too that, it’s okay to not be okay with whiners. And I think that we all get to creating the culture that we want within our business and our companies. whether that’s client culture or team culture, it’s totally fine to.

[00:44:52] To expect that your people will rise to a certain level. And we tell people, whether it’s in our free Facebook group or our client group, [00:45:00] this is not the place for whining. People like us do things like this. And so we’re gonna speak kindness, we’re gonna speak edification, we’re gonna pour into one another, Good. And, we may have differing opinions, but we’re certainly gonna state it. That’s okay with respect, and we’re gonna not whine while we try to find the answer to that. And that’s

[00:45:16] Audra: good. I love. That’s good. I used to have in one of my coffee shops, like I said, I had 65 employees, and when you’re dealing with teenagers and college students, you hear it all.

[00:45:28] I had a big, like a circle with a line through it that said, no winers. I would have kids that were supposed to show up for a shift had their parents call. And I’m like, why are you calling me? Courtney has a class tomorrow and she didn’t do her homework. And I’m like, Courtney works for me.

[00:45:43] I don’t wanna hear from you. Have Courtney call me. We can talk about it. Yeah. And I’m just like, guys, you gotta set some expectations here. Raise bar a little bit. yeah. Expectations are big. All right, so we’re coming close to the end of our session. What would be a piece of advice that you would tell people that are pushing through this middle and maybe they’re looking to grab a hold of something to get them to evolve to tomorrow?

[00:46:14] Katie: I think it’s important for us to take stock. why we’re doing this anyway. Okay. Go back and connect to your motivation because again, if it is your passion, if it is what you were created to do in the world, that doesn’t change the way we do it may change the implementation of how we do what we do can change as our people change and our culture changes and our world changes.

[00:46:35] If the motivation that you had at the beginning is still the motivation that you [00:46:40] have now, that’s what’s gonna keep you going because that is what is important to you. So I think it’s important to keep that front and center. I think tied in with your motivation is often your, core values or the things that you most hold dear.

[00:46:53] And if the way that you are trying to accomplish your mission. Is in misalignment with those core values that can often create a mess of its own and can keep us stuck. And so a lot of times going back to my why and remembering that renews that motivation. That gives me the ability to look at things from a big picture again and make sure that everything’s in alignment so that I can move forward and hold it loosely.

[00:47:20] like we mentioned earlier, the things that got you here may not take you to the next level. That is just a natural growth process. Ev even the reptiles shed their skin as they grow into the next phase of their life, right? And so be willing to shed the things that no longer serve you without guilt and without shame.

[00:47:37] Mm-hmm.And be open to embracing the new things that will take you to the next growth level. Be all in, don’t quit. Be consistent. you’re the only one that control that. Yeah. And, you’re the only one to blame if you are not. And so do what you need to do to be all in, to stay in the game and to be consistent.

[00:47:59] you’re gonna cross the finish line if you do that.

[00:48:01] Audra: Awesome. Well, Katie, thank you so much for being here. I’ve truly enjoyed our conversation. So much valuable stuff there. I can’t wait to go back through this and pull out some snippets of things people need to focus on. It sounds simple, and we [00:48:20] definitely overcomplicate this process.

[00:48:23] You guys, if you’re listening to this, go back and pull out simple consistency, commitment. Have grace for yourself as you’re going through this messy middle. And remember, we’re all doing it. Take the rest of the crap out of it. Remove that and just say, you know what? I can feel sorry for myself later.

[00:48:42] Right now I’m gonna focus on making these two phone calls or sending these two emails or posting my social media. And then if I wanna feel sad later, then I can go dwell on whatever was hanging me up at that. But you can decide to be present and to make the necessary changes to wake up tomorrow and be excited about where you’re headed.

[00:49:04] It’s so worth it. It’s so worth it. Stay the course, guys.

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