Ep 21: Doing what you love and living in your zone of genius with Kate Allyson

Kate Allyson is the founder of Kate Allyson Creative where she uses her education, experience, and hands-on training to help authors create their stories.

Kate’s coming in to teach us about doing what you love and living in your zone of genius. We’re talking about
⇸ the impact of anxiety and depression on our business
⇸ the importance of not listening to the inner voices that lie
⇸ taking action on your true calling
⇸ and so much more!!!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Kate’s website: kateallysoncreative.com

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*NOTE* This episode was recorded LIVE inside my Facebook group, Brand Boldly for Service-Based Entrepreneurs. Join the group to participate LIVE and get your questions answered in real time. 

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Here’s a transcript of the episode

Brooke Logan:

Okay. So we are officially live with Kate Allyson. So first thing we always start off just kind of tell me a little bit about you and your business and why you started your business and what it means and all that good stuff. All right.

 

Kate Allyson:

So as you mentioned, I’m Kate. I started my business because I had the desire to work from home. I really found that working in a traditional office environment, it was very stressful. Um, and it, it, it caused my anxiety to kind of go crazy and then I didn’t have, like when I was at work, I didn’t have like a safe space where I could go to process those feelings and that was really difficult. Yeah. So I realized that, you know, working from home is a way for me to take a lot of that anxiety out and then to just really be able to focus on doing what I want to do and not what someone else thinks I should be.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yes. I love that. That’s like almost my exact same story. Like just being in a corporate environment. I don’t know exactly where he came from, but yeah.

 

Kate Allyson:

And also, I mean, I was living in Denver at the time and my commute to work was crazy. And you know, it’s just now my commute is from my bedroom to my office. It’s like 20 steps. Fantastic.

 

Brooke Logan:

That’s awesome. I love it. Okay, cool. So the next thing I like to ask everybody is just kind of what’s your definition of branding? What does it really mean for you and how’s it affected your business in any way?

 

Kate Allyson:

So to me, branding is, it’s a way to represent who you are and what you do. And I think some people tend to think of branding as just being logos and fonts and colors, but, but it’s so much more than that. It’s, it’s also, you know, the words that you use, you know, how you talk to your clients, how you talk to your audience. There’s so much that goes into it that really everything you do is part of your brand. Yeah, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. So that’s, you know, and, and understanding that has also helped me gain clarity on what it is. Okay. So what are my values? What is it that I want my brand to represent and how can I show that in my branding?

 

Brooke Logan:

I love it. Perfect. So have you, like, do you feel like when you started focusing on branding, did that change how you approached your business at all or how did it change it, if at all?

 

Kate Allyson:

For sure. I’ll be honest, I don’t have all of my branding like completely down right now and kind of going through a shift in my business. Yeah. So, you know, some of it is kind of up in the air, but I will say that having, having the branding down in terms of like wording and, you know, the values that I use and the way that I talk to my customers, that has really, really helped to make it. Um, and having that down really, again, it brings focus to my business. If it reminds me of why it is that I’m doing is doing this and you know, and it shows my passion for helping people. Yes. Yes. And I loved you said a second ago too, when you’re talking about clarity and just clarity for your clients, but also for you. I think that’s right.

 

Brooke Logan:

Exactly. That’s awesome. So cool. Okay. So that’s my, my intro part that I like to ask everybody. So what are you going to teach us today?

 

Kate Allyson:

So, as I mentioned that I recently went through a shift in my business, so I’d like to talk about how, how important it is that we find our zone of genius and that we live it. Um, I love it. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think that, so first of all, a little bit of backstory, um, you know, I’ve had so many situations where I was in a situation that wasn’t ideal, but I was afraid to leave for one reason or another. Uh, my first job I was afraid to leave because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know where else I could get higher.

You know, my marriage, I was scared to leave that because I didn’t know like, Paul will, anyone else ever loves me. And of course that’s of course other people will love me. That’s silly. So for me, you know, I realized that for the past, you know, 10 years or so, I’ve been living my life out of fear and I realized that that’s not really a way to live. Right? So I’ve started, so about a year ago I started making decisions that felt true to me, including leaving my marriage, moving. Um, I was living out west at the time, moving back to Pennsylvania, which is where my family is and where a lot of my friends are. And I feel like making those decisions has really opened up new avenues for me. You know, now I, so my expertise, my background’s in education and so for the past year and a half, I have been helping people create online courses and I kind of had the realization this was about two weeks ago, that this wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing.

And that’s, and that’s tough because you know, you spend so much time building this business and then you realize that something just isn’t clicking. And I realized that the missing piece was that I wasn’t actually interacting with the people taking the course. I was just creating the course as a men, putting them out there. And so it was lacking that, that feeling of, you know, seeing that Aha moment when a student gets it, you know, or seeing the transformation that they go through. And I really felt like missing that just, I just wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing. Yeah. And I’ve also noticed that when I start paying attention, you know, um, I noticed that there were a lot of things happening that were kind of pointing me in one direction and I didn’t really put it all together until recently.

So I have always been an avid reader. I could read when I was like three years old and I read all the time and I realized that what I really want to do is be a book editor because that’s what I really love to do. And I think that finding that, you know, I, um, you know, so I met someone who was, what precipitated this was I met someone who was an author and I started working with him on helping him improve his book. It’s, it’s actually pretty low. It’s, it’s well written. But you know, every author has, you know, little inconsistencies or little things that they think are perfectly clear, but that are really to the rest of the world. And he said, oh, you’re really good at this. I may thought, I’m really good at this. Why am I not doing this? This is what I want to do. Awesome. And so ever since making that shift, I just feel a lot lighter. I feel like I’m much more excited to start my day. Um, you know, I, I’m more excited to help people and I think that, you know, I mean, I still have a fondness for teaching. I will probably at some point create a course on how to, how to write a book and how to self-publish because that seems to be very popular these days.

So, um, yeah. So I think that when you’re, when you’re living in your zone of genius and that doesn’t just mean like doing what you love, it also means like being very intentional about how you spend your free time. You know, making sure that, you know, for example, that I’m taking my dog for a walk every day. You know, that’s so important. And I think that sometimes we lose sight of of that. We Think, oh, I’m so tired. I just want to relax. But we don’t realize that how we use our time is, is crucial to our happiness and, and we need to make things happen that make us happy. We need to make an effort to go out and do those things, find what they are, you know, if that’s like, I really love hiking. So I’ve been trying to get out more. Especially with my dog. She loves it too because she can go off leash and run and she’s a dog in the world when she can do that. And especially if there’s a stream nearby where he then of course I’d always, right, yes, yes, of course. Yeah. No, that’s fine that they always figure that, you know, the more muddy she is, the better of a time she had.

That’s funny. So yeah, so it’s just about, you know, making this realization and making these shifts, thinking also about like who it is that I want to spend my time with. I think that’s also something that we don’t realize is that, you know, when we’re surrounded by, by people who are very negative, that affects us and that can bring us down. Yes. That was one of the problems I was having in my marriage was my ex was very, he was a very angry person and, and he never took it out on me. He was very careful not to take it out on me, but it’s still the fact that he was always angry. It meant that there’s always this huge ball of tension in our house and it just never felt like I never felt comfortable and safe there and I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me until I left. Um, so yeah, it really is amazing how, how much things can change when we make the decision to change them and when we realize, you know what it is that we need in order to be fulfilled.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. I love your story. There’s so many similarities between us, if you don’t mind, can I ask a personal question. So, and feel free to like say no, I’m not comfortable sharing. That’s fine. But I know for me to like go from sitting in my cube to making that huge, drastic change like you’re talking about, it took something happening. So I’m just wondering like was there just like one day where you’re like, f this, I’m done. Or was it kind of like a slow, gradual or like how did, how did that happen for you? Like, how did you make that decision?

 

Kate Allyson:

So what happened was that I was, I was at a job and you know, like I said, I wasn’t really happy there, but I didn’t actually make the decision to leave. Okay. Since I was, I was married at the time and my father in law was very sick. And so, uh, my then husband and I had made the decision to move closer to his father and because of that I didn’t have the job. And so I was looking for other jobs, you know, and I found a one job where I was teaching online. So the other thing that I do is I teach English online to kids in China. Quite found that job and I really, really enjoy it. It’s really fun and you know, I feel like I get to do the teaching that I want to do without having to deal with all of the bureaucracy that’s part of our public school system here.

I really like that, but I found that due to the time differences between here and China, I couldn’t really make a full living at it. And so I needed something else to supplement that. And so it was because of that, because I realized, you know, after I started doing that, you know, I thought was, well this will, this will serve as a bridge until I can get another full time job. But I realized once I started doing it, I don’t want to go back to, this is fun. I like were picked from home so it wasn’t actually, that wasn’t intentional. Um, I’m very happy the way that it ultimately worked out.

 

Brooke Logan:

Awesome. That’s so cool. I love, I love hearing how like different people get to the same place. You know, just like different circumstances can lead you where you want to be. But I think like what you’re talking about is so important because it’s so easy to just stay there even though you’re not happy. And sometimes like you said, it happens for you, you don’t make, but a lot of the times like you’ll just stay there if you don’t make that decision. I feel like it’s so important to not wait for something to happen.

 

Kate Allyson:

Yeah. And I agree. I, you know, I, I feel like I waited too long. Especially, especially to get out of the marriage, I feel like, you know, I knew, I knew that I wasn’t happy in it for quite a while, but, you know, I didn’t want to give up on it, you know, and I was scared. I was scared that, you know, you know, this is kind of personal, but I do live with anxiety and depression and I was scared that like, well, you know, I’m so messed up, why would anyone else ever want to be with me? But you know, but that’s just the depression talking in it lies. So, you know, not to listen to like depression lies for anyone in here who’s is struggling with that. Just remember, you know, whenever your brain tells you those things, it’s the depression and it’s a lying bitch.

So don’t listen to it. And, you know, after getting the divorce, you know, I waited a little while but then I did start dating again and you know, it, it took and I realized that, you know, there, there were plenty of men who, who wanted to go on dates with me and I eventually found the guy that I’m dating now and you know, he seen me, he seen me have a full blown anxiety attack and he was totally there for me. You know, he wasn’t like, oh my God, what’s wrong with you? Which I was really scared of, but you know, so it’s just that, you know, no matter how messed up we think we are, you know, other people can still love us and can still accept us for who we are.

 

Brooke Logan:

That’s awesome. It is. It is. And like you said, it’s depression and anxiety. They’re both liars. I have anxiety also. And my natural tendency of course is just worst-case scenario. Like, the worst possible thing that could possibly happen. That’s where my brain goes. So important to just recognize that that’s what it is. And do something anyway. And it’s so easy to just say that of course.

 

Kate Allyson:

Not only that, but also, you know sometimes when you think about the worst case scenario, like you think about it and if you actually play the whole thing through in your head, it’s actually not as bad as you think it is. Right. So, you know, so you know, so there’s two sides to that, you know, one is that yeah, that worst case scenario probably won’t happen, but even if it does, you’ll survive.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yeah. That’s so true. Absolutely. I love it. This has been like this has been so fun cause it, we’d totally switched last minute because the course like I love hearing how that happened then and why that’s I think that’s so important and I’m so excited for you that you’re just like, dude, I’m done. You have to know what I want to do. I love it.

 

Kate Allyson:

Yeah. I love, love it. If anyone in here is looking for a book editor or you know, someone who is, I would be more than happy to help out because I’m just starting out. My rates are pretty low right now. So now it would be a good time.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yeah. Do you do like all kinds of editing or just like fiction or nonfiction or does it matter?

 

Kate Allyson:

My focus is on fiction. But you know, I can do other types of editing as well. So with fiction, you know, there’s, I can help people with, um, you know, outlining the story, developing the characters, you know, planning out the plot, you know, filling in the details and then, you know, once the story’s written, I can also help with copy editing, you know, looking for spelling and grammar errors along with making sure that, you know, the story is consistent, the characters are consistent. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, all of that stuff. That’s all part of what I do.

 

Brooke Logan:

That’s awesome. That’s so fun. So let me ask like which part is, which part of that is your favorite? Like do you like doing all three and kind of start to finish with a book or do you, what’d you prefer to only do one or?

 

Kate Allyson:

I like working start to finish with a book because I like seeing, I like watching it take shape, you know, because a lot of times, you know when people start writing, you know they have one idea of what their book is going to be and then they keep writing and, and, and it kind of goes in its own direction sometimes. And it’s really fascinating to watch that, to see that story evolved and how that process works. So I really like starting from the beginning and then going to see the finished and then being able to see the finished product.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yeah, I love it. That’s so exciting. I’m excited to see kind of how like you’re talking about how yours kind of takes shape. Cause I, you know, I looked at your website and everything when we first, when we first talked, but now it’s totally different. So I’m excited to see what you do with it. Yeah. Yeah, I am too. Yeah. Do you have any ideas so far about like, um, like freebies or marketing strategies or what you’re going to do to kind of get your new message out there?

 

Kate Allyson:

Yeah, I’m working on developing a freebie. It’s a character development worksheet so that, you know, as you’re creating your story and know you can fill this out for each of your main characters to really round them out as a person so that you don’t just think of them as, you know, as a character, but actually think of them as a person. And what I found is that, you know, a lot of times people say, well, those details aren’t on the story so it doesn’t matter. But the more you know about your character, the more, the more you understand his or her perspective, the more they become a real person with their own voice. And I think that that’s so important when writing is that each character needs to have their own voice because we are all different and you know, we don’t all speak the same. And it’s important to make sure that, you know, your characters are consistent in their voice and that, you know, and that there’s some nice contrast to between the characters. Yeah.

 

Brooke Logan:

That makes perfect sense. Yeah. That’s so cool. So that’s all the questions that I have lined up. Um, unless there’s anything else specific that you want to talk about. I mean, we could talk all day about, like I said, there’s, there’s a lot of similarities here. Loving it.

 

Kate Allyson:

So one other thing I’m going to be doing, I’m on my blog is I’m going to be doing book reviews. So if someone is interested in having a book reviewed or if they want to know like, Hey, it’s this book any good. Um, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, so that’s kind of my focus area. So yeah, keep an eye on my website and I’ll be posting those and sharing my favorite books and,

 

Brooke Logan:

awesome. Okay, well, I know we have the link over in the events tab. I’ll go ahead and make sure that it’s it in the video.

 

Kate Allyson:

my website is still geared towards course creation, but it will change over the next couple of weeks.

 

Brooke Logan:

Cool. I’m excited to kind of check back and see how it’s going. Awesome. Well this has been so much fun. I’m so excited. Like when you messaged me and you’re like, I don’t want to do course creation anymore. I was like, okay, cool. I’ve been like super excited to see what you’re going to talk about. Cause I love it when people just say I’m done. Like I said before and our whole thing, like it’s inspiring to me because like I said that I have that same kind of journey where I just stayed stuck forever and I love hearing about those points where you just go for it.

 

Kate Allyson:

So how did you find that branding was your thing?

 

Brooke Logan:

So when I first started, I was just, I did freelance graphic design and that’s what I went to school for originally. Like that’s what I got my degree in, even though I changed my major like six times before that. But I ended up with a graphic design degree and I was like, I’m going to have a design agency. It’s going to be so awesome and just freelance and work from home. And it just didn’t turn out that way. And looking back, it was totally my fault. I didn’t brand myself and set up those expectations so I was attracting the wrong type of clients and getting a lot of the, you know, the typical freelancers story, you know, they want the cheapest and they want all that stuff. So I worked with a few that I kind of felt like did value the design process and like understand, you know, designing for your audience and understand all of the strategy and the messaging that goes behind it.

And I got, I did get to work with a couple in that capacity, just, I didn’t charge for it at a time cause it was kind of more like a, they came to me for, you know, a logo or a website and they were, they were like, but if you have, you know, if you have an opinion, I would love to hear. And of course I did it just kind of off from there. I realized that I liked doing it that way. It took a long, like I’m saying that in a short story, but this is like a five year period where in between I like got really pissed and I was like, okay, I hate freelancing. And I ended up in a corporate job for five years sitting in my cube doing graphic design, but not creative design at all, following corporate guidelines like down to the millimeter and nothing fun.

 

Kate Allyson:

So kind of just a slow evolution. But another thing that I don’t like about working in an office as it seems like there are always these weird rules that you have to follow and that don’t make any sense.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yeah, I don’t miss that at all. I was worried like when I first quit, I was like, am I going to miss some of this? No. Another thing about me, I’m a super introvert. I remember dreading getting up to walk to the bathroom because somebody was going to like, stop me and talk to me. I don’t want to talk to you. I really, I don’t miss the rules just for the sake of rules drive me insane. So like I couldn’t wear, like I had to dress fancy, not fancy, but business casual. I want to wear my converse.

 

Kate Allyson:

Yeah. And Yeah, if you’re not even client facing. Yeah. It was the same for me. It’s like they’re not seeing us. Why? Why can’t we just wear t shirts and shorts? Like, exactly. Exactly.

 

Brooke Logan:

But yeah.  I’m loving your message because it’s very similar to mine in that. And it’s just like, once you figure out why you want to do, just freaking do it.

 

Kate Allyson:

Yeah. Just go for it. And, and have faith that it’ll work. Yes. I mean, you have to put in the work. It’s not, you know, it doesn’t happen easily, but if you put in the work and it’s what you’re meant to do, then it’ll work out.

 

Brooke Logan:

Yes. That’s so true. I love it. Awesome. Well, it’s been so much fun talking to you and I’m like, stay in touch. All right, well we’ll hop off here. Thank you so much for coming in.

 

Kate Allyson:

You’re welcome.

 

Brooke Logan:

All right, bye everyone.

 

Other things you might’ve searched for: online business branding, brand coach, branding coach, brand strategist, branding coach, brand archetypes, brand archetype, brand archetype quiz, anxiety in business, depression in business, how to stay in your zone of genius
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Hey, I’m Brooke!

I’m a Creator archetype, INTJ, and music snob. I will fight you if you try to convince me that a MacBook is an instrument. It’s not.

But as far as this whole business thang goes… I’m basically a weird mix of creative-big-picture-thinker and analytical strategery all rolled into one.

I can help you use your unique personality to stand out BOLDLY online and attract your ideal clients like a freakin’ magnet – just by being YOU.


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