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    Give what you needed to get // Kristen Kalp

    Sometimes you make things because they live deep within you and you simply must.

    And sometimes, you make things because you are trying to give what at what point, you needed to get. The photographer with no images of her father who creates family portraits for others. The musician who only wants others to feel understood without the need for words, and so he channels everything he has into making dance floors pulse with life. The comedian who makes jokes about misery and suffering and depression because without bearing a torch for others, he would creep back into alcoholism or drugs or despair.

    Often — so often — we give what we needed to get.

    It’s only recently that I realized I’m giving what I needed to get a few years ago, when I wanted a true, honest-to-God-not-just-Facebook-community about as much as I wanted to breathe, and when I felt crushed by the profound loneliness of owning a business while working from home.

    I wanted someone to hear me and say, “I know.
    I know you can’t do it the way everyone says you should.
    I know how hard your heart pounds against your chest and begs to be felt.
    I know how much it hurts to be alive. Just to be breathing, some days. I know.”

    I wanted someone to answer my questions about the next step
    without just doing quick math
    and saying I should do the most profitable thing.

    I wanted someone to tell me I wasn’t broken.
    I wanted someone to tell me that losing weight wasn’t the answer.
    I wanted someone to hold me accountable for doing what I said I was going to do.

    I wanted someone to look me in the eyes and love me as I was in that moment
    without mentioning my potential or my future or my accomplishments.

    I wanted someone to listen deeply
    and ask profound questions
    without any vested interest in my answers.

    I wanted someone to help me see myself.

    I wanted to be heard.
    I wanted to be heard.
    I wanted to be heard.

    I was screaming inside and terrified,
    and all I wanted
    was someone to come and sit beside me and hold me while I cried:

    some other human to look me in the eye and understand
    without running from it or shrinking it
    or trying to make it fit into a more comfortable box of some kind.

    I needed someone to feel with me,
    and sit in the murk with me,
    and face the truth there with me, too.

    I needed someone to rub my back
    and whisper “it’s okay”
    in the way of mothers holding newborns,
    with nothing but love.

    I needed to be held, just then.

    …and all THAT is why I created Steer Your Ship.

    Yes, Steer Your Ship includes six months of working with me, and yes, there are coaching calls and two live retreats and swimming with otters and profound realizations and quite often, doubled to tripled income, but those included things are very, very small when compared with the real things you get.

    You get a sense of yourself again. (We’ll find you, wherever you went missing.)
    You get to put down all the masks and walls you carry, and show yourself to someone who won’t judge you or make you feel less than or push you in any direction except the one you find most interesting.
    You get someone who understands about shutting down and then coming to life again.
    Hell, you’ll get someone who understands. Period.

    It would be my honor and my delight to help you sort through the tangled threads of your own life, to see you fully, and to give you what I so needed to get.

    Steer Your Ship registration closes with the rest of Brand Camp on September 9th, so nab your spot here.

    Steer Your Ship // 6-month business intensive

    …but it’s expensive, Kristen.

    Here’s what I can tell you, from having spent over thirty thousand dollars on coaches of all kinds over the past five years.

    It costs more to stay where you are.
    To stay stuck or lonely, confused or telling yourself you’ll figure it out on your own costs not only dollars in lost revenue, but YEARS. You say you’ll work on that or do that or figure that shit out next month and next month and next month until you find yourself hiding, stuck, exactly where you were years ago.

    Growth takes other humans.

    As much as I don’t like to admit that — as part hermit, part empath, part highly sensitive person and supremely shy introvert — growth takes other humans.

    You need people to see you so they can reflect yourself back to you in an honest and loving way.

    I’m happy to be that human mirror and to help you find wild and lovely, deeply surprising and ultimately delightful new ways of being in the world.

    So yes, $4500 is not cheap. I don’t quibble there. But on the other side of making that investment, you’ll have seen more of yourself than ever before, and you’ll have grown in ways you can’t possibly anticipate right now, and you’ll get to know the joy that comes from being fully YOU in the world.

    No more hiding, no more wishing things would just get easier without your putting in any effort to be seen (because TERROR), no more reading and consuming endless information without actually putting any of it into practice. ::waves to fellow learning nerds::

    Growth comes from having someone hold your feet to the fire, and from that someone doing it with love and joy and in the spirit of watching you unfurl in whichever direction you choose. Often, the growth others experience with me is financial — oh hey, I doubled my income, I quit my day job, hooray! — but it’s so so so so so so much more important to me that you experience the utterly terrifying soul growth that means you’re being fully YOU in the world. Because that, my friend, has no price tag, can’t be taken away from you, and leads to roads you can’t even glimpse from where you are, let alone imagine. (But they’re gorgeous, and they’ve been waiting far too long for your footsteps already.)

    I can’t wait to walk those roads with you, friend.

    All my love —

    P.S. To recap: Steer Your Ship is the best thing I’ve ever made and you’ll adore it. Registration closes on September 9th, 2016, so talk to me here if you want to join.

    P.P.S. The words in this post were originally an e-mail that I sent to my Fuck Yah club members, and it got two completely opposite and extreme reactions of note.  I break both reactions down in this episode of That’s What She Said, and even reframe hate mail as a very, very good sign that you’re on the right track.

    P.P.P.S. Idea/phrasing credit to this truthbomb by Danielle Laporte, photo credit to Lauren Guilford at Steer Your Ship 2.0, Costa Rica

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    Ultimate Word Nerd Digest // Kristen Kalp

    Have you ever had a person point out that really-obvious-to-everyone-else thing about you after years of noticing it and keeping quiet?

    It’s embarrassing, really. My best friend Doey mentioned mine right around the time that I squealed, “The next big trip will be swimming with the pigs who took over that island I saw on Buzzfeed!”

    “Of course it will be. You travel for animals and books.”

    I stared at her, open-mouthed. “NO I DON’…T…ohshitIdo,don’tI?”

    The highlight of my trip to India? Impromptu photo shoot with a beach cow.

    The highlight of Paris? The tiny shop puppies who gave me all their love. And multiple visits to Shakespeare & Company.

    The highlight of Turin? Kitty cafe.

    So um. She’s right.

    There’s nothing I can do to bring nifty animal experiences to your door. (I’m fairly certain it would cost more than one of those new VW camper vans to FedEx a beach cow to your door, anyway.)

    BUT I can share the wordnerdiness in ways that encourage you to read more and to visit more bookshops, right? It’s my civic duty as both a reader and a human.

    If you need new books to read, click here.

    If you’d like to find new bookstores to visit, click here.

    If you want to write a book, BOOM I’ve got you covered. This isn’t about making a plan for your book, or thinking about making your book, or finding an agent, or maybe someday beginning to (sort of) write — it’s about actually putting words to pages and getting the job done.

    …and if you want to get all my books and programs in one go, the Brand Camp Grand Finale is on like Donkey Kong. Over 190,000 words created over 7 years, plus classes and interviews and bonuses of all kinds, are all yours for $247.


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    The best $117.90 I

    Right around age 21, I internalized the idea that no one could make a living as a poet.

    Being ever so wise and nearly 22, I quickly broadened that sentiment to mean that no one could make a living as a writer, either.

    So, what’s a newly minted grad with an English Education degree who has cut off all hopes of being paid for the English portion of that degree to do?  Teach in the public school system, obviously!

    Within two years of taking part in that system, I became disillusioned and said, “Oh hey, you know what I’ll do? I’ll be a photographer,” like you do.  Then I started writing to photographers about the business of photography, and then to other business owners, and I started ghostwriting some projects, too, and suddenly (over the course of a number of years) I WAS MAKING A LIVING AS A WRITER.

    For seven years, that was enough. Brand Camp was lovely and vital and it kept taking interesting twists and turns and I kept making stuff and learning stuff and helping people, too. And then one day, it wasn’t big enough to hold me anymore.

    Earlier this month, my first book of poetry was published.

    I pre-sold a whopping 15 copies.

    My royalties from those book sales total one hundred seventeen dollars and ninety cents.

    Peeps, I’ve been behind the scenes for six-figure launches and even had one of my own. I have had paydays that equaled more than an entire year of my teaching salary. I have created deeper and deeper work, and I have been an agent of change in many clients’ lives, and still.

    That one hundred seventeen dollars and ninety cents is the best money I’ve ever earned.

    Not because I plan to be the world’s first billionaire poet. (Hell, I’ll be dead before I can use poetry to pay even one month’s rent, if we’re going by this 117 dollars every 17 years standard.)

    Because my heart.

    My heart is more open and alive than it’s ever been.

    Brand Camp has to go because I don’t want people to visit and think that poetry is the anomaly. As in, “Oh yah, she teaches about business, and then there’s this one weird time when she released a book of poetry…?”

    I can’t embrace that future, and I don’t want to keep crafting a world in which people think of me as a business owner first and a poet second.

    Words are the heart of me, and teaching is intertwined in there, too, and these two entities form a wild and compelling core that I can’t try to shove into a box I’ve made any longer.

    Thus, the end of Brand Camp. There’s nothing gossip-worthy. There’s no malice and there aren’t any lawsuits and there’s no drama of any kind.

    I’m not even sick of talking about business or tired of working with business owners, I’m simply coming to the point where I admit that poetry and words and writing are just as interesting to me as helping my peeps come alive through entrepreneurship.

    All the Selves I Used to Be is my great coming alive story, 17 years in the making, and it’s full of all the pieces of my soul that I’ve found worthy of keeping during my evolution.

    I hope it helps you remember your own soul.

    I hope it gives you hope.

    I hope my poetry helps you feel more alive, more human, and more willing to own up to what you find most interesting in this moment.

    …and may you, friend, someday know the joy of being paid at least $117.90 for bringing your dearest and most treasured work into the world.

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    If you’re like, “Oh Kristen, it’s great that you’ve included all your programs in the Grand Finale, but I don’t know what they are? Or where to start?” THEN BOOM THIS IS FOR YOU.

    I’ve included links to the original sales page for each program — all of which now point to the Grand Finale — where you can get a better feel for which program would make the best starting point for where you find your business at the moment.


    If you’d like practical, tangible help with saying “no,” writing a killer not-sleazy sales page, marketing more effectively, and/or generally being more open to the world, start with Introverts at Work. (Even if you’re not an introvert, I promise it can help.)


    If you’d like to listen to engaging and thought-provoking to-do’s that will help you price your work for profit, explore other revenue streams for your business, and then market like a mofo, start with Business Blitz. These 6 audio classes have done a world of good for hundreds of folks, and they’re funny and witty and engaging to boot.


    If you’re at your wit’s end or you’re dangerously close to shutting down — as either a business or a human — download the Healthy Hustle workbook and listen to the class, too! It’s short, sweet, and delightful, so you can finish the WHOLE thing in under 2 hours.


    If you’re a photographer, Sales Without Shame often has the side effect of double, tripling, even sextupling your average sale.


    The Write Like a Pro pack will help you rewrite your web copy in a way that sounds like you, that isn’t overly complex, and that more closely resembles filling in a Mad Libs book than doing hard work. If you dread writing but you know you sound like everyone else on the planet when you talk about your business, this can help.


    Calling to the Deep is the biggest, most profound work I have on offer — it’s designed to help you answer the big, important questions that undergird your whole business. If something feels ‘off’ or you feel like you’re in the shallows day in and day out — frustrated at some unnamed ‘more’ that isn’t just making more money — download the Calling to the Deep manuscript and grab a pen. It’s about to get awesome.

    If you’re like,”WHUT. What’s going on?”

    Brand Camp is no more come 9.9.16, and The Grand Finale contains 7 programs I’ve created over the past 7 years for one bundle price of $247. Get it here.

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    Have you ever had a friend make the most obvious announcement ever?

    Like, she’s been dating a guy for six years and SURPRISE! They’re getting married!!
    He’s been driving his motorcycle around (really, really fast) for a few weeks and SURPRISE! He loves it more than his car!
    She’s been throwing up every day for the last two months and SURPRISE! She’s having a baby!

    These things still make you happy for your friends, but they also make you feel a little like, “Duh.” It’s so obvious. There’s no shock to the announcement, it just seems like a natural conclusion.

    Right, so. Here’s my obvious announcement.

    After years of talking about both business and life at Brand Camp, it’s time to move on and talk about both business and life…under my own name.

    This comes as no shock to you, right? But it feels HUGE.

    Brand Camp Grand Finale

    To mark the transition, I’m selling off all Brand Camp programs in one massive, gorgeous bonfire celebration of all that I’ve created over the last 7 years.

    For the first, last, and only time ever ever, you can purchase all the program goodies I’ve made — Calling to the Deep, Change the World, Dammit!, Introverts at Work, Sales Without Shame, Write Like a Pro, Business Blitz, and Healthy Hustle — for one price. Details are here, and I think you’ll be pleased with the $2600+ value you get for $247.

    YUP, you save ninety freaking percent because no excuses. 

    Go, check it out, and see if there’s anything my past or present self can teach you about selling and marketing your work, increasing your average portrait sale, identifying your best and most valuable talents, honoring the rhythms of being in business over the long term, actively growing as a human through having a business, embarking on a world-changing adventure, or writing new and brilliant web copy that kicks serious ass and also sounds like you. (In order, I’m referring to: Introverts at Work, Sales Without Shame, Business Blitz, Healthy Hustle, Calling to the Deep, Change the World, Dammit!, and Write Like a Pro.)


    Brand Camp Grand Finale detailsAll the programs I’ve ever made are yours for $247, and when the Grand Finale ends on 9.9.16, I delete the audios and coaching calls and extras and interviews and bonuses and start fresh.

    With all my love (and deep trepidation because BURNING IT DOWN AGH, too) —

    P.S.  No seriously it’s amazing. Go get the Grand Finale.  I’ve got both an instant mega-download and a gorgeously designed, in-the-cloud version ready for you, too!

    P.P.S.  If you’re feeling kind, please share this personally with 2 people who you think could use it.  ::bats eyelashes in your general direction::

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