023: Leadership Has No Age with Kelsey Erickson

023: Leadership Has No Age with Kelsey Erickson

Coming down from her first panic attack, Kelsey Erickson knew something was wrong. She thought she’d landed her dream job, but the physical feelings of discomfort she was ignoring proved correct. Her whole body was telling her that something wasn’t right.

On the outside, she appeared to be successful. But she wasn’t finding purpose in her career and working long hours while burning the candle at both ends was quickly driving her towards burnout. Now, she’s a career and life coach for high potential millennial women. At Everme Coaching, she helps women build and lead creatively designed lives.

In this episode, Kelsey shares the story of how she walked away from work that wasn’t fulfilling, how she became a leader, launched her own business, and stayed true to herself along the way.

Overcomer Playlist Recommendation 

Pearls of Wisdom

  • Why life lessons can be found everywhere.
  • The importance of journaling, meditation, and taking time to be with yourself.
  • The power of continuously lighting your own fire.
  • Why investing in yourself is as important as investing in anything else.

Tweetables

“Life’s about giving back, making an impact, and doing purposeful work.” - Kelsey Erickson Click To Tweet “Intuition is always right.” - Kelsey Erickson Click To Tweet “We’re all leaders. You always have something to teach someone else.” - Kelsey Erickson Click To Tweet “Leadership for me doesn’t look at age.” - Kelsey Erickson Click To Tweet “I can't trust myself and if I can't trust my intuition, I'm going to have a really hard time trusting the people around me.” - Kelsey Erickson Click To Tweet

Resources

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Connect with Arwen Becker

Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

 

Arwen Becker: I can so vividly recall, I was 15 years old and I would go with my mom to the Kingdome. And that Kingdome was actually the stadium that we had in the Seattle area back at that time. And so, we would go there with my volleyball team and we would work in the food concession booth with a lot of other people on my select team. And it was the people who really needed to earn some additional money because it was expensive to play year-round volleyball and my parents really couldn't afford it. So, it was a way in which I could contribute to making some money being able to pay for it.

 

But being a total introvert, I was always really happy to just go in the back and roll up hot dogs and their little wrappers and cook the hot dogs or make the nachos and do any of the basics that were asked to me, but outside of the watchful eye of the counter and all the hustle and bustle and everything that was going on with people taking orders and beers and everything that was going on with all the adults and then just the barrage of people that would come to the Seahawks games, or the Mariners games or the monster truck rallies, all the things that we had to work at. And it was so funny because as much as I really tried to hide in the back, it was inevitable, every time I would be pulled out and I would be sent to a kiosk oftentimes, by myself or maybe with one other person, like serving ice cream or like Otis Spunkmeyer cookies or something like that, oh, gosh, they smelled so good.

 

But the funny thing is, I hated it because I knew that I was going to now have to go interact with people, I didn't have people to hide behind, but I also felt pretty honored that they trusted me enough to go and put me into this place alone, not only take care of the kiosk and all the things associated with it and the people, but that they also trusted me with the money that we were generating at this event. And I remember so vividly, at the end of the evening, I would have to take my little green zippered envelope with all the cash in it after I emptied the till. And I'd have to head down to this banking secured component of the Kingdome and reconcile all the money with a teller that works there, that was their job counting all the money at the end of the night.

 

And it just was one of those things I look back on and as much as I wanted to hide in the back of the concession stand, I was always so honored that they trusted this 15-year-old to take care of all of the things that the kiosk but also to cash in the money at the end of the night. And it taught me a couple of things. I guess one that I really looked back on is that if you have leadership qualities, no matter how much you think you can hide from it and trying to make hotdogs and think that people don't notice, you're going to be escalated, people are going to be drawn to those components within you that make you a great leader. But the other thing is that leadership isn't age driven and I think that's what I learned a lot during that time period because I was 15 and I was 16, I was 17 when I was working there and I always ended up in a kiosk a lot of times by myself, but in every situation, we have something to offer even if we're young or seemingly inexperienced.

 

And today's guest has experienced both of those many times throughout her life and her career and really has found that leadership happens everywhere. And she's going to talk about how you can really learn from people, whether they're older or younger and contribute something of value. So, who is this amazing Kelsey Erickson? Well, Kelsey is a career and life coach for high potential millennial women and the owner of Everme Coaching. She seeks to support them in their mission of building and leading a creatively designed life as she terms it because Kelsey is very creative.

 

If you don't find her working on three different books, poetry, or in her office painting, she's motivating the world around her by often sharing her own personal life lessons on her blog or social media. This stunning and dynamic woman cares about helping women around her do better in their own life. And truly succeed. Kelsey, I am so excited and happy to have you on the show with me today.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

Kelsey Erickson: Thank you, Arwen. I am so excited to be here with you.

 

Arwen Becker: I think about the first time that you and I met and I want to paint this picture because it was really significant, I'll never forget it. I had actually come to speak at a company that you were working with at the time and you came up to me as I was kind of just kind of getting a feel for the room and what it is that they wanted me to be doing and talking about everything and you came up and you introduced yourself. And I think you kind of opened with, “Hi, I'm Kelsey Erickson. I kind of have been stalking you on social media, but I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you that you've just been a real inspiration to me.”

 

And of course, it kind of made me laugh and it humbled me and I was like, Oh my gosh, somebody that knows me and I've never even met them and this kind of interesting piece of what social media is now, but what I admired most about you is the fact that when you and I actually started building a friendship, after that, I recognized how much about me you had learned through the work in which I had done.

 

And I think that this is such a key point that I just want to make right at the beginning because I think a lot of people want to be mentored and they want to be around people who are a little further along in the journey than they are, but they often think that that just means they get to pick up the phone, call them, and pick their brain, that they don't do the background work of learning a little bit more about what that person knows, reading their blogs, reading their posts, going and looking at their video content, reading their books, or whatever it might be and getting to know them intimately with the content that they've already created and then build that relationship. Do you follow me on that?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Yeah, definitely. And I think I'll add on what I said was, I'm your biggest fan because, yeah, I had been following you on social media and I was obsessed with the message you were putting out there, your energy, the way in which you look after women. I mean, once I got the chance to finally meet you, it was just like, Oh, yeah, this is cool. I need this woman in my life.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, that just means so much to me. And I think that that is such a perfect reason why you do social media and you put out content, it's because the intent is not to just, I just want to be important and get my ego stroked. It's that somebody has a mission that they're trying to communicate to the world around them on a larger scale. And it just was really amazing confirmation for me, that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. You know what I mean? And I know that you do the same thing, too. Well, I appreciate you so much. And I know you brought a couple of songs to add to our overcomer playlist, so why don't you tell me a little bit about those?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh, yeah, I love this concept. I also have a make money playlist. So, maybe we should start adding to that in future episodes, but the first song is Fight Song by Rachel Platten, I think is how you say her last name.

 

Arwen Becker: Yes.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Because of two lines, specifically, she says, like how a single word can make a heart open, I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, I love that song.

 

Kelsey Erickson: And I just got chills reading that. It's the power of your word and the power of your actions and though, we might be small or see ourselves in that way, we are so mighty. And the second song is Confident by Demi Lovato because she says, what's wrong with being confident? And yeah, that's my question, what's wrong with being confident?

 

Arwen Becker: Nothing.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Let's go. Nothing, yes, I guess.

 

Arwen Becker: That’s right, exactly. Oh, I love it. Actually, Confident, I don't have on mine, the Fight Song, I do. So, I'm going to have to definitely add the Confident one. So, well, hey, you and I were talking a little bit and you were alluding to this fact in your past that you had been super burnt out at your first corporate job. So, why don't you take us back there and tell us a little bit what life was like for you back then?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Yeah, actually, I'll start even a little bit before that, when I was still in junior high, maybe early high school, my dad's dad passed away super suddenly, so my grandpa. And it was very traumatic. There was a ton of emotion around it. It was devastating. It was the first major loss I'd ever really experienced and going through his funeral and learning more about him beyond just the grandpa that I loved, he had made such an impact in his community and his life. I mean, there was a line out the door at his funeral and, Arwen, that just trips something in me that I think that's what life's about. I think life's about giving back and making an impact and doing purposeful work. And though I was young, it opened my eyes and just made me very curious about that, how did he do that? How can I do that?

 

So, fast forward to graduating college, starting my first full-time job, it was an awesome job, on paper, all the right things, it was a leadership development program, so essentially, being trained and connected into the company to meet with senior leadership, things like that. And yeah, on paper, it should have been amazing, I was quickly put into a people leadership position at a super young age, which that's another story for another time, leading people that are way older than you. But all of a sudden, Arwen, nothing was adding up in my career. It looked good. Everyone was like, oh, Kelsey is going places. She's doing this thing. But it was such a battle every single day. And I'll never forget it because things usually happen for me physically, when I know something's very wrong.

 

So, I finally had taken a week on a vacation because I didn't know how to use my time-off and for anyone that banks their time-off, like, please just use it. Your company gives it to you, please use it. And I'm coming off my first full week off and I must have been looking at my phone or something, I set it on my nightstand, and I turn off the light. And instantly, I had what I now have come to realize was my first panic attack. And I started to cry, I just couldn't stop crying.

 

And that was a big wake-up call of something's not right here and I had been burning the candle on both ends, working super long hours, weekends. And all the while doing work that I was good at, but I was not passionate about. I found no greater purpose in what I was doing. I felt like I wasn't making a difference. And I felt like I wasn't using my most highest self and my most highest skill set. And the result was just being super burnt out. And I wasn't happy. I wasn't giving to the company what they needed. They were trying to do their best by me, but it just wasn't a good fit. And it was hard. And all the while, I had it in the background of like what I saw my grandpa doing, I was like, this is not happening. What he did in his life is not happening in this job right now.

 

Arwen Becker: You made it sound like you had more than one panic attack. So, was the first one not enough to make you change into something else?

 

Kelsey Erickson: So, the first one, I ended up being at that company and nothing wrong with the company, this is all a misalignment of my values and what I wanted, but I ended up being at the company for a year after that. And other physical things that have happened, not necessarily related to that job, but more like in college, there was a big telling sign. Later years, things would happen, like just weird rashes or like weird stomach things and intuitively, I just know it's a sign of like, something's not jiving in my day-to-day life. And that was the big one for that.

 

Arwen Becker: I think that that is such a huge thing. I think when you said that on paper, it was perfect or it seemed like it was the greatest thing. And yet, I have to imagine probably pretty early on in that job, your intuition was saying, this isn't the right thing for you. And yet, because on paper, it seemed like the right thing and you were getting all the accolades and everybody was telling you that you were doing so great and that it kept you longer than you knew you were supposed to be there.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh yeah. And you know what? Intuition is always right. There's always something there that it's telling us and before I even actually picked this job, I was in my car on my college campus, just sobbing because I was trying to decide between two jobs, which like, what a problem to have as a college senior, but I'm trying to decide and one was the safe corporate professional development job and the other was to go out and become a financial advisor. And I thought that was the coolest thing in the world, I thought that was so entrepreneurial, it was risky, it was like just there was something about it that was drawing me to it. And intuitively, I knew that that riskier route was going to be better for me, but in that moment, I chose the safer route, the more steady route, the thing that everybody else does, route. And it came back to bite me. And I think that usually happens when we ignore that little nudge that we have.

 

Arwen Becker: Yep. And I think especially of women.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Which is why I went on to start my own business because I was still drawn to all those things.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah, and I think for women, especially, I hear it over and over, we often will choose that that's the least amount of risk because we want security and we want to feel safe yet, the intuition that is so strong for women, I mean, and that's the hard part is because intuition, you oftentimes can't articulate it. You can't articulate this, why am I having this feeling? I can't explain it to the people around me, I just know it's there. And so, we disregard it until our body aligns with that disagreement and starts making us sick and we start having panic attacks and we start having random rashes and other things. And it's like your body going, this isn't what you're supposed to be doing and I can't get your attention any more than now, making you physically hurt. So, how did you end up transitioning out of that?

 

Kelsey Erickson: It was not an overnight thing, but I eventually started looking for new roles, new opportunities. I left that company, went to work for a smaller company because I thought, Oh, smaller company, I'll be able to wear different hats, maybe this will be different. And it really wasn't all that different. I mean, I still wasn't in alignment with my values and what I was looking to do in the world, though, while I was there, I ended up doing an informational interview with a woman that I knew from college who had gone on to start her own business as a life coach. And both those things, I was like, well, that sounds like two things I'm very interested in.

 

So, I jumped on the phone, called her. And I knew nothing about coaching, I knew nothing about having my own business, but before I even hung up with this woman, I was like, I'm going to do that, that's what I'm doing next. Like, that's what I'm working toward, that is where I need to be right now. And so, I started that, I started researching and then, how do you set up an LLC? What should I call it? How should I do this? Who do I market to? Should I get a coaching certification? What should this look like? And it was just that flash of inspiration that finally, it's what I needed, like, pull me out of that funk and acknowledge that I was feeling a call to do more and answer that call, essentially.

 

Arwen Becker: How did you come up with the name of your company? I've always wondered that.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh, I love every coaching so much. So, for a while leading up to it, I journal a lot. And every journal entry, I was sketching out little evergreen trees and I was like, Why am I always drawing evergreen trees? Like what is behind this? And I was like, I know why, it's because they're always growing, they're so resilient. They keep going even through the dead of winter, like they're strong and they stand tall. There were so many things about this metaphor that I really aligned with. So then, I was thinking, Okay, for a company like, is it evergreen? And that seemed like, well, I don't know, I don't want people to think I'm like a lawn company or a tree company or something like that.

 

So, like, what am I really talking about here? And like, well, I'm talking about me, I'm talking about my journey, I'm talking about self-reflection, taking care of yourself, hearing those calls, filling your own cup first. I'm like, Well, how about Everme? And then, I was like, wow, that's actually really cool. So, I stuck the two words together and added Coaching because that's what I was doing at the time.

 

Arwen Becker: I love that. That's awesome. I didn't know that. Yeah, because that was one of the things that I always wonder, like, what is that really come from? So, that's just a beautiful metaphor. I love that. So, one of the things that I of course, have been so fascinated about with you, because you're young, I mean, you’re 15 years younger than me, but just not only how much you've accomplished, but more importantly, how you have found your calling to lead other women, I'm imagining a lot of people kind of maybe insinuate you haven't lived enough life to really be able to lead people appropriately. I mean, how have you come to terms with that? And how did you have the courage to start leading people at such a young age?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Yeah, that is a great question. I have a myriad of different ways I can go with this answer. I would say a couple different things. One, that motivation from losing my grandpa and just witnessing what it looks like to live a life of purpose and a life of legacy. Again, that you just know the feeling, I knew that that was for me. In some way, shape, or form, I was going to live that out. And it just so happened that my first attempt at doing that was as the coach and as a young person and I'm sure this will evolve as I go throughout my life, but I wanted to honor that calling.

 

The second thing is that I think when you see yourself as a leader and I would argue that we're all leaders, you always have something to teach somebody else. And leadership for me doesn't look at age, though I think you do learn more as you go through your life, and you do have different experiences to look and to teach from, but my role as a leader is to teach what I can based on what I know. And a lot of what I like to do is help the women that I work with find those answers for themselves. So, I originally thought coaching was, oh, here comes Kelsey, she's going to give a bunch of advice, like I need to know everything about all the different topics so that I can give the perfect advice and really what I found is my style as a coach is, I'm helping you bring that out in yourself.

 

I don't know what the right answer is. If you're a young mom and you're balancing your work and your career and your home life, I don't have young kids, I can't tell you that, but I can help you get that out of your own heart. And that's how I battle that, but I will say yes, that is something that I feel, whether people say it or insinuate it and I think my response to that is if you think you could do it better, then I want to help you do it, too.

 

Arwen Becker: I think that's brilliant. I just had this word picture of sifting through the rubble. I guess rubble is like, where things have fallen apart. That's not what, I guess, I want to necessarily paint but I'm thinking about the mom who has young toddlers at home, maybe she's an entrepreneur, maybe she started a new career or maybe she's just working 40 hours a week trying to juggle, new kids and a spouse and a life and friends and all of these pieces. And it's just helping to provide clarity or that outside view of that person's life and then be able to say, Okay, well, let's sift through these pieces and identify what is most important to you. And then, getting back to what you really feel your calling has been, it's finding that purpose and that passion, what is the legacy that you want to leave? And then, helping them identify that and pick that out of their own life, not necessarily that you're going to go and identify that for them, is that correct?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Yes. And that is so much about what you said in the opener about this concept of leading a creatively designed life. And what that means to me and to the people I work with is I do care, but I don't care what you do with your life, I don't care if you have a corporate job, I don't care if you want to be an entrepreneur, I don't care if you want to be a stay-at-home parent as long as you've done so through reflection with intention by thinking about what it is that you're doing on this earth. That is what I want your life rooted in. And I think there's so many powerful things that can come out of that.

 

And the hardest challenge of that though, Arwen, is putting on those horse blinders and staying true to your own life versus all the stuff that goes on around you and you see these things. And it's like that keeping up with the Joneses kind of mentality and the more you can break away from that, it doesn't get easier, but the more able you are to stay true to what it is that you want and what your creatively designed life looks like versus trying to live somebody else's.

 

Arwen Becker: And I think the word that you use that is just so perfect is intentionality. And that makes me think about what you and I were talking about before we started recording was this social media sabbatical that you took and it was really to be able to kind of sift through the noise and to get really intentional for your life currently. Can you tell a little bit more about why you chose to do that? And what you found in that process?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Yeah, definitely. Well, maybe everyone has been having this experience, I'm going to go out on a limb and feel like, maybe in 2020, people have been on their phone more so than maybe past years.

 

Arwen Becker: I think that's pretty safe to say.

 

Kelsey Erickson: I don’t know why. Yes. And even before 2020, I just had been feeling this need of, I got to get off of this little device. Like, I want to make sure, again, this legacy thing, when I get to the end of my life, I want to look back and think wow, look at all these cool things I did, not like, Oh, look at how many Instagram posts I had or like how many likes I gave to people on Instagram, I don't know. I want to look back and know that I made the most of my time. And social media and these devices really were just becoming such a life suck. And there's a lot of energy out on social media. There's a lot of opinions, which I think is beautiful. I think it can be such a powerful tool for using your voice, expressing yourself, connecting with people, just like you said about how we first met like, I wouldn't have you in my life if it weren't for social media, like that would just be crazy. And I'd be so sad.

 

Anyway, I needed a break, I needed to pull the plug, so September 1, 2020, I decided buck stops here, social media is going to end. I put a message out on my Everme Coaching platform. And I just said, Hey, I'm taking the sabbatical, I will show up on my blog via email, but for the most part, I got to pull the plug on this, I got to call it quits. And usually, companies don't do that. Like, you're not going to see a target being like, Hey, we're not going to post on social media for a few months, we’re taking a sabbatical. But it's just me and Everme Coaching and I get to do that. So that's fun.

 

And it's been so refreshing, Arwen, just to get back, it's kind of like been blinders for me of getting back to myself. What is it that I'm trying to build? Who am I? How do I want to show up in this world and reconnecting to my sense of leadership under the lens of when I get back on social media because I do plan to, I think it's fun. How do I want to show up? How do I want to lead from this platform? And we've got a lot of work to do. I've got big dreams, I've got an impact that I want to make and I'm looking forward to that moment, but I needed to step back.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah, and regain a lot of that time that allows you to think and plan and understand a little bit more what you personally want and need. And I would just also say for any woman out there who maybe doesn't have the courage to do what Kelsey has done and do a complete sabbatical, one of the things that I do is I have an iPhone, I have children, we do screen time for them. So, at some point, it says you no longer can use this app. And I have that set up on my phone for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. I would say that the areas that I would find myself having time sucked out of most often would be Instagram and Facebook.

 

And so, I only have a half an hour and that's all the time I get allotted for the day to even do my posting. So, if I'm having like one where I'm really having to think through it, I might have to give myself an extra 15 minutes when it shuts me down, but that's a good way to also provide some bumpers and reminders that set yourself a time limit and then have your phone help to navigate you and keeping within those bumpers. And you might find that that helps you a little bit where you don't get into this, like an hour’s all of a sudden sucked out of your life and you're going, all I am is now more agitated, more irritated, more frustrated, realizing all the things I haven't done for Christmas time or whatever it might be, got to think the things that happened all of us when we get too deep in the rabbit hole of social media. So, that might be helpful for some of you, too.

 

So when you think back and you look back at this experience with your grandfather and really trying to navigate, where do I want to go with my career and then, it goes into coaching and trying to navigate what that looks like and all these creative pieces that you have that you're still reaching forward for, what are some of the biggest things that you have taken away for yourself personally, throughout that experience?

 

Kelsey Erickson: I always joke that I can find a life lesson and literally anything, like standing in line at the grocery store, Kelsey will find a life lesson in it. So, I definitely don't have a shortage of things that I've learned along the way. I think a major one is just spending time reflecting and in reflection. So, I mentioned earlier, I'm an avid journaler. I follow up practice from a book called The Artist’s Way, where I journal three pages minimum a day. It gives me kind of the same effect as like meditating does for many people, just get stuff out of my head, but taking time to be with myself and I know that sounds so silly because we are with ourselves all day, we can't not be in with ourselves, but just giving myself a chance to hear my own voice, hear what my heart was saying, is this Kelsey’s idea? Or is this the world around me telling me to do something? That's been a huge part for me, I would say.

 

The second thing is just like continuously lighting my own fire. So, on the flip side of that, it's like, myself, I see this a lot and I see this with the women I work with, like we delay, what we already know lights us up. And we push it back, it's not the right time, it's not perfect so I'm not going to do it, all these things, why do we do this, but it's just I have to continuously reignite that fire in myself so that I keep taking these chances and keep taking these steps forward. And that's a daily practice because if you go too long or you put wet wood on the fire, it's going to go out and it's going to fizzle.

 

And then, I would say a third thing is just investing in myself. So, this whole journey has not been just done all on my own, I've got an office full of books, we have a whole nother room in our house full of books, I have mentors like yourself, I've taken classes, I've done certifications, some of that sometimes can be free, but some of the times that comes with a price tag, and I see, oftentimes, especially women, shy away from making those investments. And I don't know, I mean, I think some of the best things that have come out of my life have been an investment, like college, for example, but that's a traditional expense. And sometimes people shy away from making those investments in themselves because it seems like a luxury or it seems, like no one else is spending money on doing a graphic design certification, why would I do that? But I mean, you know this, you see this all the time in your business and in your world, like, you make that kind of investment and it usually comes back to your life tenfold.

 

Arwen Becker: Absolutely.

 

Kelsey Erickson: And it's been a big part for me.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah, I think what a lot of people struggle with is because it's intangible, it's a conversation my husband and I have pretty regularly because he wouldn't have a problem going out and buying an expensive guitar that he can utilize in a studio hang up on his wall. And then, at some point, which he'd never, of course, would do, but he could turn around and sell, whereas for the same price, I might buy a six-month coaching program, it's intangible, I don't have anything to show for it, to hold at the conclusion of that, but that may be everything that I needed to be able to be more successful as a parent or as a business owner, as a friend, as a spouse, or many of those things because a lot of times these things that we learn, a lot of things that you're talking about, they impact you in many areas of life, not just business or something like that.

 

And so, I think a lot of people struggle with that, but I think the other piece of it is, oftentimes, if we don't have to sacrifice for it, we don't take it seriously. When you're shelling out 100 bucks a month or 500 bucks a month or whatever it is, depending on where you're at in your life, for a coach, you're much more likely to do the homework because if you have to talk and sit with that person and you know you have paid for it, you're much more likely to show up prepared than if it were free and you're not accountable to anybody.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh, yeah. And I would say a big thing for me is I've had to really lean on my husband, Dane, for encouragement to make these types of investments because even I can be gun-shy with it. Like I'm to walking around, like, professional development, personal development Queen, like I'll tell anyone and everyone about, here's something that will make your life better, whatever, but I really had to lean into him for that encouragement that, yes, this is a great investment to make, you should do this.

 

Like, for example, right now, I'm working with, I call her this, my intuition coach and Dane really had to like push me to that decision. And it's been amazing. It was a financial investment, but it has been just mind blowing to me to, again, like what I've been talking about, reconnect with myself, reconnect with the voice within me and trust what I'm hearing and follow that intuition, rather than try to avoid it or try to force it or control it in my own way.

 

Arwen Becker: And that you're very fortunate that you have a supportive spouse that way because I guarantee you, there's a woman under the sound of her voice who has the reverse at home, where she wants to invest in that and feels pulled to it, but maybe her spouse or significant other doesn't see the value in it. And so, there's this battle of trying to follow, what that draw is that intuition to go out and step out in faith and pay some money to go have some additional personal development yet, the other person doesn't see the benefit yet. And so, trying to understand that and maybe getting some outside counsel from a trusted friend or somebody that you can talk to a leader at work or something like that, who can just be kind of a voice of reason and look at some of those pieces because if it is maybe such a huge financial outlay that it puts a burden on the family, yeah, I think that their fear is valid and it definitely needs to be looked at very carefully.

 

But if it's just they don't see the value in it because you're not driving a car home or you don't have something tangible, you have to be willing to be a little bit uncomfortable and say, this matters to me and this is why I'm doing it and I apologize that you don't see it the way that I do, but I just know that I am going to be so much better on the other side of this and this just really matters to me. So, it's a tough dance to navigate at times because it is intangible and sometimes it's hard to be able to get somebody close to you to understand why you're doing it, if they don't see the value in it.

 

So, one of the things that I wanted to ask you is, because you support women, just like me, you have a real heart for helping empower women, what is women supporting women, what does that look like to you?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh, wow, a lot of different things. I think one part of it is starting with ourselves. So, if I can't trust myself and if I can't trust my intuition, I'm going to have a really hard time trusting the people around me, whether that be women or that be men. So, again, that's why I'm a huge advocate for that self-reflection and knowing where you stand, what are your values? What is your unique lens that you look through this world?

 

I would say it also goes back to looking at a lot of your different habits. I mean, when you choose to spend money, are you looking at women-owned businesses? Are you looking at businesses owned by people of color, would be another lens that at least I'm looking through currently? Where your money goes, is where your attention flows, so by paying attention to the other women around you.

 

The other thing I would say is, we all, like I said, have something to teach each other. And there are things that can happen generationally, maybe there is somebody older than you or younger than you that you can learn something from. You never know what kind of impact you're going to have on somebody. That's what I meant when I said, I feel like we're all leaders. You could say something in a meeting that might spark a light in another woman in the room, you have no idea, you might not ever know that. So, to me, women supporting women, I guess, without going a little too abstract is often intangible and you don't see it, but it's happening all the time.

 

Arwen Becker: I love that. That's just so true, so good. So, our last few rapid fire questions. So, why don't you tell me the best piece of financial wisdom that you've been given?

 

Kelsey Erickson: I didn't have words with it until I met you, but it's that a man is not a financial plan. So, what that looked like early on was just like paying attention when your employer is talking about the benefits that they offer you or you're opening your first checking savings account. Whatever stage it might be, take ownership of it because it's a part of you. Your money story is very unique to each individual. And I would say, don't be afraid of it. Like for me, it was always like, I felt like everyone else knew something about money that I didn't, but all the information is there, there's resources available, people that are there to help you. Lean into those and just make sure you know your numbers.

 

Arwen Becker: Amen, girl. That's so good. What would be a recommended book and why?

 

Kelsey Erickson: I have two. The first one is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. A mentor of mine who unfortunately passed away this year recommended it to me and it was the book that kind of started everything for me. So, it reframed how I was spending my time, how I was looking at my life, how I was leading my life. I think it's just a solid place to start if you're not sure where to start on that front.

 

And on another level, if you're not sure where to start, as in reaction to what has been going on in our world this year with all the civil unrest would be the book, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. It is a foundational look into race and racism and what are people talking about. She frames every chapter as a question. So, if you've been wanting to learn more or needing to better educate yourself on some of these topics, it's a great place to start.

 

Arwen Becker: That's awesome. Yeah, very good. And then, what is a favorite quote of yours?

 

Kelsey Erickson: I have so many, but I picked one especially for today. And it says, in this world, there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise by W.E.B. Du Bois.

 

Arwen Becker: Say it again, I want to hear it again.

 

Kelsey Erickson: In this world, there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise.

 

Arwen Becker: God, I love that. I know you're still on sabbatical from your social media, but that will lift at some point. So, why don't you tell us how we can get a hold of you?

 

Kelsey Erickson: Two main ways. So, mostly on Instagram, my handle is @evermecoaching, I hope to be back early January. And then, via my website, so www.evermecoaching.com. One of the first things that you'll find there is a self-reflection quiz. So, if any of the things that I brought up today have sparked, hey, maybe I want to start walking that path, that would be a great resource to start with. When you sign up for that, you'll automatically be added to my blog, which is where I've been sharing things during this sabbatical. Not spammy, it's usually no more than once a week. So, I would love to have you join me in that conversation over there.

 

Arwen Becker: I love that. And for any of you women out there, I'm telling you, Kelsey has been such a tremendous blessing to me in more ways than I can even say she has. We've just connected over, what has it been? A year and a half, or has it been about that amount of time or so?

 

Kelsey Erickson: I think just a little over a year.

 

Arwen Becker: I don't know what 2020 did, it was like this rabbit hole we all went down and I can't tell which way is up. Exactly. But I'm telling you the heart and the passion that she has for helping people and really being able to get you to that point where you understand what you were called to do and helping you walk that out and inspiring you and uplifting you and I'm telling you, even if you don't work with her personally, just following what it is, the content that she's putting out, it will absolutely change your life and bless you in such a big way. So, I am just so grateful, so grateful for you as a friend and as a peer and just to have been able to get to know you over this time period. And I just thank you for so much of the work that you're doing and the encouragement that you've given to me. So, I appreciate you to the ends of the world and back.

 

Kelsey Erickson: Oh, Arwen, the feeling is mutual. Like I said, I had to march up to you that first day we met because you are a light and you are a force to be reckoned with. And I, too, want to be that and I do think I am and the more we can align people like us and keep spreading what it is that we're creating, I think that's so powerful, like mountains will move because of that, Arwen, so it's very mutual. Thank you.

 

Arwen Becker: I think that is the absolute essence of women supporting women. You know what I'm saying? That's what we're all looking for. That's what we all need is to be that kind of support to one another. So, thank you so much for joining me on the show today.

 

Kelsey Erickson: You are very welcome.

[END]

 

 

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