MF 084 : Writing a New Career Prescription of Choice and Creativity, with Kate Erickson
Updated: Jun 17
Kate Erickson is a creator, engager and implementer w/ EOFire, a 7-day a week podcast featuring today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs. Kate is also the host of the podcast, Kate’s Take: The EOFire Audio Blog and author of the book,The Fire Path: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Online Business. Today, Kate will share how to write a new prescription of choice and creativity so you can make the mindset pivot to move forward.
Successes at a glance:
Content creator, engager, implementer at EOFire:
Entrepreneur on Fire is a 7-day a week podcast, interviewing today’s most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. The show was named best in iTunes, 2013, has scaled into a 6-figure per month business that inspires millions of listeners each month.
Host of the hit podcast series, Kate’s Take: The EOFire Audio Blog.
How Kate get inspired to conquer the day:
For Kate, it all starts the night before. The first priority is getting a good night’s sleep. Kate also shares this incredible productivity hack: set out three goals that you want to accomplish the next day. To facilitate this, Kate uses Asana, a popular online project management tool, which is fantastic for goal setting, establishing deadlines and even chatting with fellow team members. The next morning, Kate kicks off her day with a vigorous workout. These priorities are key to having the right frame of mind to conquer the day. In addition, Kate adds a dose of audio inspiration by listening to podcasts or audiobooks during her morning run or insanity workouts.
Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:
During her corporate days, Kate worked in a HR department at a banker. She put in the hours, the effort and the hard work. After three years, Kate was encouraged to apply for a higher position that had recently opened and was given the impression that the application and interview were just a formality; that she was in essence the choice candidate. A week went by when Kate finally got the call she had been waiting for. However, what was expected to be a congratulations call ended up being a call informing her that she did not get the position. Kate had put all of her energy and hopes into achieving this small recognition and reward. It was at that point that Kate decided to leave her job and make the entrepreneurial leap. As Kate candidly shares, this was a scary time for her. She had been working since the age of 15 and did not have the background or experience of being an entrepreneur. In fact, Kate didn’t even realize that being an entrepreneur; working for herself and earning the rewards on her terms, was a possibility. But sitting in her office chair, completely deflated and defeated, having just been passed over for what should have been her time to shine, Kate came to the realization that there had to be something else, something more than leaving her future in someone else’s hands. Despite not having a background as an entrepreneur, what Kate did have was a passion for communicating, engaging with people and an itch to teach; to share knowledge and help others make a difference. At first Kate explored becoming a teacher but quickly learned that the process was extremely cumbersome and at the time, around 2011, the economy was such that schools were laying off teachers. As a result, the only entry point for Kate would have been to become a substitute teacher, which was neither consistent employment nor a source of dependable income. That’s when Kate started looking at another pathway, as an entrepreneur. Kate stayed with her job 6 more months to build a financial runway. She then left and launched her first business, only to see it fail. Kate went back to corporate America, this time working in advertising and marketing. However, that was not the end of Kate’s entrepreneurial journey. Fortuitously, at the time, Kate’s then boyfriend (now husband), John Lee Dumas, was at his own career crossroads. At that time, John was working in commercial real estate and had an epiphany to launch a podcast and grow a business around it. Kate humorously recalls that her first reaction was “what the heck is a podcast?” But something about John’s conviction and passion convinced Kate that there was something here. So even though Kate didn’t know what a podcast was at the time, she encouraged John to make his own entrepreneurial leap. So in September 2012, John launched EOFire, interviewing the most successful entrepreneurs today.
During this time, John was not only learning from his interviews, he was also building a business. Within a couple of months, listeners started reaching out to John, offering to hire him as a coach for podcasting and/or building a business. What started out as an ambitious idea, soon became a revenue-generating business. Soon after, Kate was faced with the proposition to make another go as an entrepreneur and become a part of EOFire. John realized that with the scope of his vision and ambition, he couldn’t do it alone. John needed a partner who could help with content creation, community engagement and building the foundation and infrastructure for the business. Flash forward to today, Kate and John are not only happily married, they are business partners in a highly successful business, built around EOFire. To that end, Kate has been able to channel her passion for teaching, engagement and knowledge sharing by creating incredible content, including her own podcast, Kate’s Take: The EOFire Audio Blog and writing the book, The Fire Path: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Online Business; all with an eye to help others take actionable steps to move forward. Moving Forward listeners, Kate’s story really encapsulates what it means to pivot towards a self-empowerment. She made two pivots into the entrepreneurial world. Although the first took her back to the corporate world, there was clearly something inside of her that led her to give it another go. Moreover, Kate’s passion for reaching others, engaging and knowledge sharing, is at the heart of what drives her everyday. Moving Forward listeners, making a pivot is not easy nor is it a one and done. Sometimes, we may face one or several setbacks that make it feel like we’re back at square one. The question isn’t whether you want change, the question is how persistent are you in pursuing that change. Moving forward requires that spark but it also requires you to be vigilant and open to the paths in those forks in the road that we never imagined possible.
Kate also shares when it’s the right time to make that pivot. The key moment Moving Forward listeners is when you start asking yourself, “is there something else out there.” That’s your internal alarm telling you that it may be time for a change. You may also find that if you ask yourself that question once, it will continue to pop up like a bad itch that needs to be scratched. And here’s the good news, Kate shares the answer to that question: yes. It took a long time for her to believe it and today, each and everyday, she answers that question with a resounding yes. Kate let go of the idea of “control” in her corporate days and replaced it with choice and creativity. Moving Forward listeners, if you have to choose a “c,” you’re better off trading in the illusion of “control” for creativity and choice. If you’re trading time for money and you’re finding that the promotion, bonus or recognition isn’t coming, even after paying your dues, then the question you’re probably asking yourself is “is there something else?” Don’t push that question aside or backburner it, face it head on and know that the answer is yes. Do what Kate did and write yourself a new prescription that adds choice and creativity in your life. That’s how we pivot from a life of stagnation to one of moving forward.
Resource or cultural experience that inspired Kate to move forward:
The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle (Kindle | Paperback): This book inspired Kate to live in the moment and not dwell on or regret the past or try to rush to the future. Our choice and our actions are in the present. If we dwell on the past or the future too much, we will miss right now.
The Fire Path: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Online Business by Kate Erickson.
How Kate stays organized and manages her time:
Google calendar: Kate lives by her calendar. This tool helps keep Kate accountable and manage her time blocks.
Favorite app / website / resource or productivity hack (Kate shares best practices):
Asana: not just great for delegating but a great tool to assign yourself tasks. Kate shares this best practice: make running task lists with comments, due dates, prioritizing sub-tasks and more. Also Moving Forward listeners, there is a free version of Asana!
Google calendar: Kate shares a great best practice of putting everything, including recurring (daily, weekly, monthly) tasks on there. For example, if you pay bills every Wednesday morning, put it on your Google calendar. Although small tasks are easy to remember, putting them on Google calendar allows you to free up your mental bandwidth to focus on more important areas such as growing your business.
Support the Podcast:
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Kate’s Advice for you to Move Forward:
Take an hour with a piece of paper and write down the things you love to do. What are you passionate about, what makes you happy? Make a list of the literal actions and the conceptual ideas that really energize you. This is where you start: the ideas that may lead to your next pivot or venture. This is also an important step because becoming an entrepreneur is filled with a lot of ups and downs, movements forward and setbacks. So make sure if you decide to make this leap, that you’re doing so with a full heart. For Kate, the biggest idea that made her happy was teaching, engagement and knowledge sharing. When a career shift as a teacher wasn’t a viable option, she still held onto that passion, finding a different and ultimately, more fulfilling and prosperous way to channel that passion driver into a vocation, a calling that truly makes Kate happy. Moving Forward listeners, if you are stuck, maybe you just got passed over for that promotion that you were hoping for or maybe you’re just on auto-pilot, that question may be inside your head right now, “is there something else?” Start answering it by writing down what makes you happy. Once you gain clarity on that question, take the next step and surround yourself with the people in that same space so you can be inspired and get ideas. These will be your first steps to incorporating choice and creativity into your life so that you can start moving forward.
Connect with Kate:
Follow Kate on Twitter