Over the last 2 weeks, we discussed mental and physical health as it relates to freelancing and self-employment. To round out this trilogy of overall happiness in your career, I’m talking to Kirsten Bunch, who is a reinvention coach. She helps those folks who are mid-career but need a change. She offers some fantastic advice on how to determine if you’re ready for a chance, and the steps you should talk in order to figure out what to do for your next career move.
- Kirsten Bunch | Change the World in a Hot Flash
- Kirsten’s Book: Next Act Give Back
- Gotham Writers
- Atomic Habits
- Episode 23: Scott Bolinger and AppPresser
- Profit First
- Richest Man in Babylon
Kirsten Bunch: I think the point is you don’t have to stay on the same path just because of some feeling of obligation, and also because you switch careers or because you start your own business maybe there’s– Definitely when you start your own business, there’s a period of time where you are not making a lot of money, but there’s still lots of ways to make money in this world. Switching careers doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re not making any money.
Joe Casabona: That was Kirsten Bunch. Over the last two weeks, we discussed mental and physical health as it relates to freelancing and self-employment. To round out this trilogy of overall happiness in your career, I’m talking to Kirsten, who is a reinvention coach. She helps those folks who are mid-career but need a change. She offers some fantastic advice on how to determine if you’re ready for change and then the steps you should take in order to figure out what to do for your next career move. This is advice that can come to anybody at any walk of life, and you don’t need to be 10, 15, or 20 years into a career to determine you need a career change. We’ll get into this interview in a minute, but of course, first a word from our sponsors.
Break: This episode is brought to you by our friends at Ahoy! The easiest way to increase customer engagement on your WordPress site. Install Ahoy! Create a message box, configure a way to display it, and start seeing conversions come in. You can create messages for cart abandonment, up-sales and cross-sells, custom support, and so much more. Ahoy! Has flexible conditions that let you choose exactly where and when you want your message to be displayed. I’ve recently installed it on my own WooCommerce site, and I’ve already seen increased engagement. I know this because of Ahoy! and it’s powerful analytics and reporting. You will see ROI within days of installing Ahoy! If not sooner. That’s even more true for listeners of How I Built It. You can get an exclusive 20% discount on any plan. Visit UseAhoy.com/HowIBuiltIt and use the code HOWIBUILTIT at checkout. Use those today and increase your engagement in sales on your WordPress site. Thanks to Ahoy! for their support of this show.
Joe: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today I’m excited to talk to my guest, Kirsten bunch. She is a reinvention coach and entrepreneur, and the topic we’re going to be discussing today is reinventing yourself and launching a new business if you feel stuck. Without further ado, Kirsten, how are you?
Kirsten: Hey. I’m really good, and I’m really good. I’m really happy to be here and have this conversation with you today.
Kirsten: Absolutely, thank you for joining me.
Joe: I’m excited because this is a pretty unique topic for the show, usually we’re talking about more concrete businesses ideas or services. But I think that especially in the space that my audience is in, the web development space, the WordPress space, a lot of people find their way to WordPress web development by feeling stuck. I’m excited to talk more high-level about this stuff. Why don’t we start off with who you are and what you do?
Kirsten: Yes. Like you said, I am a reinvention coach, and a strategist and entrepreneur. By the nature of that, I help people reinvent and refresh their careers. That can mean starting a business, a lot of my clients start businesses. It could also mean switching from one career to another. It also means passion projects sometimes, people who have clients who are writing books as a way to relaunch themselves or starting film festivals in their communities. Things like that. I find that most of my clients, typically my clients are around the mid-career point where they’re looking at what they’ve done and they’re looking at the next 20-25 years because that’s let’s face it, nobody is retiring at the age of 60 anymore. Thinking, “OK. What’s next for me? What am I going to do?”
Joe: Absolutely. First of all, I don’t know if I would have the ability to retire. I mean maybe I’m about halfway there, a little more than halfway there. Maybe I will want to retire. But I feel like I’d be pretty bored if I retired at 60 or 65. But you mentioned this in the pre-show discussion too, about passion projects, and I like that. Mostly because my career manifested itself out of a passion project. I was doing web development on the side, and it was a hobby, and I liked it. Then I made that my career basically from high school, I was doing that full time– Or, I was doing it while going to school, I should say. I like that too, and one other reason I like that is because I’ve heard from a lot of people in my outer circles that they don’t have a hobby. They basically work, and then they go back to work, and helping people find and pursue passion projects is important to me because I think that you should have other interests outside of your day job.
Kirsten: I think that’s true because I think– One of the things that I coach my clients on is not everybody’s ready to jump out of their career or jump out of their job, either for financial reasons or for identity purposes. I don’t recommend just quitting your job from one day to the next unless you’re prepared for what that means, and we could dig into what that means if you want. But one way to get your toes wet is to do a passion project. It’ll help you feel better about being in a job that maybe you’re not thrilled about, because you’ll have something else to think about, but it’s also a way– Like I said in the beginning, it’s a way to relaunch yourself. I’m working with a woman right now who in order to– She’s a celebrity stylist, and in order to relaunch herself and figure out where she’s headed next she felt the urge and felt the need to write her story. She’s writing a book about the vulnerability of beauty, and all this stuff. Cool stuff. It’s a way for her to take stock of where she’s been and who she is now and where she’s going.
Joe: I love that. That sounds cool. I think it flows very well into the next question that I had for you, which is “How do you know when you’re ready to make a career switch?”
Kirsten: I think if you’re uncomfortable with what you’re doing now, and that feeling of uncomfortable-ness isn’t going away, I think you need to examine that. That doesn’t mean you need a career switch necessarily, but it means that there’s something going on. I do a lot of speaking, and I always tell my audiences I have this whole story about my own reinvention, where I ignored the fact that I wasn’t happy in the career that I was in and I was moving from one job to the next and just doing the same thing. It’s like, what’s the saying– Doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. So what I say is that you can distract yourself from the truth, but the truth isn’t going to go away. If you feel like that’s what you’re doing, is you’re distracting yourself from the truth, that you’re not in the right place. Then I would suggest getting some help to figure that out, and not panicking. Please don’t panic. It’s OK. It’s all going to be OK, and you’ll figure it out.
Joe: I think that’s great. Not necessarily career switches for me, but both times I decided to leave my current job they came after a longer period of “What am I doing? I feel like I’m not growing,” in one instance. I felt like I was falling behind. I felt like I was the person who knew the most, and I didn’t want to be that. I was 26. I didn’t want to be the most knowledgeable person at my company, because there’s so much more to learn there. Then in my previous job, my wife and I had just had our first child, and I was re-evaluating based on that, and the time I was spending at work versus with my family. But I like that if you’re uncomfortable with what you’re doing, you need to examine it and don’t ignore it. Moving forward in this interview, we talked about this in the -pre-show, creating the persona of somebody who is ready for that career switch. As I ask the next set of questions, maybe we can keep that person in mind. Someone comes to you, and they say “I’m ready for a career switch, I’m not quite sure where I want to go next. What do I do?” The follow-up question I always ask in this interview is, “What kind of research do you do?” So how would we figure out where to go from here?
Kirsten: Yeah, no, definitely. It’s a great question. A metaphor I like to use, and I stole this from my branding team, but a metaphor I like to use is “What car–?” If you think about cars and you think about “If you can be any car you want, what car are you now and what car do you want to become?” And it’s not “What car you want to buy,” but “What car do you want to be?” So when you think about the cars, and you think about the car you want to become, you want to think about things like the size of the car. Because that in your career represents community. Have you been working in a big company and you want to be on your own? You want some space, you want to be a solo solopreneur, and you want to explore what that is? Or have you been working on your own in a small business and you miss that bigger crowd around you? The car analogy is, “Do you want a mini or do you want to do you want an SUV? A big SUV or a van?” Then also your values come in. Do you want the gas guzzler in your career, do you want to work for something that’s not mission-focused per se, and you want to work for a big company that does something that maybe isn’t– Like do you want to work for a tobacco company, or something like that? Or do you– Is there something within your values that is pulling you, like you feel like “I want to do something about climate change.” Or “I want to do something about animals,” I don’t know, food systems. So with the car analogy, it’s “Do you want a gas guzzler or do you want a hybrid? Do you want an E-car? What are you looking for?” I think figuring out those two things, what are the values that you’re looking for in your career, your new career and what, how– Sorry, I’ve lost my train of thought. But how do you show up with– If you think about it in the sense of car, what does your car look like and what are the elements of that car? The features is the word I’m trying to find.
Joe: Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. Again thinking back to my own journey, I worked at a big university which is essentially like a Fortune 500 company without the bankroll. Then I went to a small team, and now I’m solo. I made those choices at various stages. Then I like the idea of “Do you want a gas guzzler versus an electric car?” Or “Do you want to work for a company maybe where you do a specific job, and you like doing that job, or do you want to work for someone that has a very clear mission that aligns with your views?” If you dig on what Ben and Jerry’s is doing, they have a very clear mission. Maybe that’s something that you would consider as well. I like that a lot.
Kirsten: Yeah. I think that the idea of being an entrepreneur or working for somebody else, do you want an automatic car do you want a stick shift or a standard car? Because if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s all on you. You’ve got to drive that, and you’ve got to pay attention to how you’re shifting and all of that. That’s not to say in automatic if you’re working for somebody else you don’t have to do it, but it’s a little bit more that somebody else is driving the ship and you’re steering your part of the job.
Break: This episode is brought to you by Pantheon. Starting a new project? Looking for a better hosting platform? Pantheon is an integrated set of tools to build, launch, and run websites. Get high-performance hosting for your WordPress sites, plus a comprehensive toolkit to supercharge your team and help you launch faster. On Pantheon, you get expert support from real developers, best in class security, and the most innovative technology to host and manage your websites. You can sign up a new site in minutes with a free account, and you only pay when it goes live. That is my second favorite feature to Pantheon, only to the easy ability to create dev staging and live servers and push to GitHub. It’s very easy to set those things up on Pantheon, so you can head over to Pantheon.io today. Again, set up a free account and pay only when it goes live. Thanks so much to Pantheon for their support of this episode and this season of How I Built It.
Joe: The next question that I would have is, what am I going to do? I’ve been a web developer for 15 years, I’ve worked at– My old man worked at Verizon and before that Bell Atlantic or Ninex and Ma Bell, or whatever. He worked at the same company for his entire career. How do you figure out what to do next, as far as the actual doing the job?
Kirsten: The question I get a lot is, “How do I figure out my passion?” I’m not– Actually, I don’t know. I’m not a passion person. I’ve never really figured out my passion, and my passion has been trying new things if anything, that’s what my passion is. What I say to people is, instead of– “Forget about your passion. If you know what that is, awesome. Follow that. But don’t freak out if you’re just like, ‘I have no idea what that is.’ Follow your curiosity instead and follow the things that are catching your attention, and talk to people about them and read up and talk to people who are working in that space.” For me, my reinvention story was about becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own business. I had never done that, I didn’t– I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs, my parents were school teachers, and I don’t know a lot of people who had their own business. I do now, and I know tons of people. But my curiosity was about “What would it be like to run my own business? What is that even about?” I think back of how naive I was a couple of years ago compared to where I am now, I’m still incredibly naive, but it can be a curiosity around a specific function, or it can be a curiosity around an issue, or something else.
Joe: I like that point a lot, follow your curiosity. It’s almost like your freshman year of college, taking a bunch of gen-ed classes to see which one you like the best before you determine your major, is what I thought there. I like that answer too, and it resonates with me in an interesting way because I knew from the age of 12 that I wanted to work with computers in some capacity. I was very lucky in knowing exactly what I wanted to do from a pretty early age. Before that, this is a little known fact, and I wanted to be a Catholic priest because I was an altar boy and that seemed like the next logical career move to an 11-year-old or a 12-year-old. But then I discovered computers and I felt like that was a lot more lucrative.
Kirsten: Yes, probably.
Joe: Follow your curiosity and figure out what’s catching your attention. I think that’s a nice takeaway.
Kirsten: You bring up a really good point about this idea of– This happens to a lot of people who are mid-career, that you’ve been on a path and I hear all the time “I’m just going to continue this because this is the way I’ve been going, and this is what I’ve worked so hard to get to.” We take time, we pay attention to our education, we build our skills, and we build our networks, and it’s a little disconcerting, or it’s a lot disconcerting if you get to a point where you’re just– It’s back to owning your truth, and you’re like “I don’t know if this is right for me anymore.” Something in your gut is telling you that it’s not right, but you’ve invested so much, so why not just continue on that path? The difference is now in this day and age, and we’re really the first generation– It’s true for men and women but particularly women, this is the first generation of those of us who are in our 40s and 50s where we have the luxury of time, and we have the luxury of technology and the way cultural norms around work– How they’ve shifted. We have the luxury to ask that question, “What else can I do?” And have a long enough runway to figure that out. Because we’re not, God-willing, we’re not dying at the age of– In our late 50s or early 60s anymore. A lot of us are living much longer. Like I said in the beginning, a lot of us want to be productive and engaged. The idea of retirement is just completely changing.
Joe: Right. The retirement age was determined based on the average lifespan. You retire, and then a few years later you’re probably not going to be alive anymore, and that’s not the case anymore. You retire at 65, and you could live another 25 years or 30 years. All of my wife’s grandparents are in their late 80s, which is not what it was like when they entered the workforce. I like that a lot. Then people who are mid-career and on a path generally want to stay on that path, and I think that’s absolutely true. Especially with the increasing cost of college, I spent over $100,000 dollars or whatever on a college degree, and now I’m not going to use that degree. That weighs on your mind a little bit.
Kirsten: Hopefully by the time you’re mid-career you’ve–
Joe: Yeah, that’s true.
Kirsten: But I know for people who are in school now, that might not be the case. They may be carrying that debt through for years and years and years. I think the point is you don’t have to stay on the same path just because of some feeling of obligation, and also because you switch careers or because you start your own business maybe there’s– Definitely when you start your own business, there’s a period of time where you are not making a lot of money, but there’s still lots of ways to make money in this world. Switching careers doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re not making any money.
Joe: I think that’s– To drive that point home, before we get on to the title question, I read an article that I like that basically said “If you’re not willing to do something for three years, you shouldn’t think about it.” That falls in line with the idea that if you start your own business, you’re probably not going to make good money or replace your previous salary for about three years as you get up and running. You’re not immediately going to make what you are making at your old established job, so I like that. That’s stuck with me. I’m about to enter year three of my business, and things are going pretty well, not as well as I want them to be, but I’m also– I’m a millennial, so I don’t have any patience. I really like that, that change can be hard, but you shouldn’t stay on the same path because you have a feeling of obligation towards it. Or towards what you’re currently doing, I should say. Let’s get into the title question, and I have followed my curiosity. Let’s pick an example that you’ve mentioned before, let’s say I want to write a book. I’ll say a fiction book because I’ve written technical books. I want to write a work of fiction. How do I build my reinvented career or my reinvented passion project?
Kirsten: If it’s about writing a book, writing a fiction book, I don’t work with people who write fiction, so it’s a little bit of a difficult scenario. But let me talk it through. With writing a book, there are a lot of book coaches out there that can help you write your book. If you have no experience writing at all, I would say start with taking some courses where you’re writing within a group, and people are giving you feedback. I know Gotham– I forget what it’s called, but it’s like Gotham Writers or something like that in New York that has a lot of online courses, and they’re always really great. But I think the thing is that if you want to write you’ve got to write, and that’s like with anything. If you want to start a business, you’ve got to start a business. You’ve got to take action. That’s true– You could give me any scenario, and I would say, “Take action.” If you want to write, start writing. Stop talking about it, and I think there is a big– Don’t stop talking about it, but put action behind the talk. I think there’s a lot of people that are always like, talk talk talk. “I’m going to do this,” and 10 years later, you see the person and you’re like “Are you still talking about this, and you haven’t yet done it?” I think whatever it is that you want to do, follow your curiosity, and take action.
Joe: Nice. Don’t just talk about it, actually do something. If you want to write, you’ve got to write. I love that. I had a track coach– I was on the field part, I didn’t do much track, but I did the field part. Our track and field coach [Mr. Diebold], on the first day of practice, said to the runners, “If you want to run fast, you got to run fast.” Then to the shot putters, “If you want to throw far, you got to throw far.” I remember that, and I’m like, “I want to throw far.” I think that’s a great piece of advice, something that I’ve heard a lot, and going back to your initial point, start talking to people. Take some courses to set you on that path. Let’s speak a little bit more generally now, as far as reinventing goes. Take some courses, and is the first step figuring out your first step? Is the first step in reinventing your career, figuring out exactly what you need to do?
Kirsten: Yeah, no. Not necessarily, because some people don’t know. A lot of– Some people say “I know this doesn’t feel right, what I’m doing now, and I want to figure out what else I’m doing.” If I say to them, “Just start taking action or figure out your first step.” They’ll be like, “I don’t know what that is.” Then they’ll run around in a circle, and that’s– You get dizzy. I think that one of those– As I said in the beginning, it’s like owning your truth. What is it that you’re experiencing now that doesn’t feel right to you? Looking at that, and it does help a lot to get some help by maybe there’s an HR person in your company that also has coaching skills that could help you talk that through. I think there’s a sense of vulnerability there, you have to be willing to own your truth and– I keep saying that, but in talking to people about it I wouldn’t go and announce it in the company newsletter that you’re seeking your next career necessarily, but if you have trusted people where you are, have a conversation about what it is you’re trying to figure out. Get some help thinking that through, what is it that doesn’t feel right? What is it that–? In some ways, it’s simple. A lot of us know what we want to do, we’re just afraid to admit it to ourselves because we think we’ll fail or we think it won’t work, or we think we don’t have what it takes. Or my favorite is we think we need to spend two years gathering every single piece of information and listening to every podcast and reading every book until we make any steps towards that direction at all. You’re not going to know if it’s right or not unless you at least start taking a little bit of action.
Break: This episode is brought to you by Creator Courses. Do you feel confused and overwhelmed by the amount of tools to help you build websites? Are you worried that you are not using the best tools for the job? Do you feel like you ought to spend more time building and less time researching? Like you, I thought I needed to learn every tool, language, and platform under the sun to be a good web professional. As somebody who’s been doing this for 17 years, I can now tell you, you don’t. Creator Courses offer short focused courses, tutorials, and webinars to help you learn the right tools quickly. Then you don’t have to waste any more time researching, and you can get back to producing billable work, confident that you’ve made the right choice. Now you can access all of those resources by becoming a Creator Courses member. You’ll be able to take any course we offer, including member-exclusive mini-courses on how to use specific tools. You’ll also join a great community, and listeners can get 15% off the already low price by going to CreatorCourses.com/Build. Spend less time researching and more time building. Visit CreatorCourses.com/Build today.
Joe: In the context of doing things online as a software developer, “Iterate quickly” is “Do something, see if it works out, you can always adjust it later.” Right? This is not like building a skyscraper where we need to make sure all the plans are exactly right before we start building. This is more malleable than that. I’ll link to a previous guest, Scott Bollinger, that basically talked about that. “Launch as soon as you can, because you don’t want to spend two years throwing yourself into this thing and realizing that it’s not the right thing to do once you start doing it.”
Kirsten: Absolutely. I talk to people about having– People have college funds for their kids, they have retirement funds. I talk to people about having reinvention funds. The reality is because of the way, as we talked about because people are retiring later and because of the way we’re working now, the reality is that you’re probably going to reach a point in your career where you’re going to look to reinvent yourself. Whether that means starting a business or switching careers, isn’t it wonderful to have a fund that you can pull on so that you don’t have to be so stressed out about your reinvention? Because a lot of the times– You probably know this as an entrepreneur, it’s hard to know what to spend money on. That fear of, “I only have– I have no money because I didn’t plan for this. I don’t want to hire this web developer to help me,” or “I don’t want to hire this coach,” or “I don’t want to hire this bargaining person because I’m going to go into debt.” But if you have that reinvention fund, it makes it a little bit easier, and it makes it a little bit more– It takes the fear away a little bit.
Joe: Absolutely. Even as somebody who does run their own business, you should– I got some great advice from a friend Jen Bourne who said that you should have a rainy day fund. Take some part of the money you make every month and put it into a separate fund because you’ll probably have that feast and famine. There’ll be good times where money is coming in, and there’ll be slow times, so you need to manage that a little bit. So, “Have a reinvention fund.” I think it’s The Richest Man in Babylon, have you read that book?
Joe: It’s about investing, but the lesson is really good. You take 10% of your income no matter what, and you put it somewhere. You take that, and you invest it in whatever you think you should. This was written a long time ago, so it talks about investing in a farm or whatever, but reinvention fund means you’re investing in yourself. You’re taking that 10% for your future self to help reinvent yourself.
Kirsten: Absolutely. Investing in yourself as one of– It’s a big thing. We’ll invest in our kids, and we’ll invest in our homes. But when it comes to investing in ourselves, a lot of people give a pause around that. They feel like, especially people in mid-career who are just like “I spent my money on my education,” right?
Kirsten: But the reality is that it doesn’t stop, the idea of– Sorry. Investing in yourself is lifelong. You’ve got to keep doing that.
Joe: Absolutely. As we wrap up, I will point to one more book that I think drives this home, especially for entrepreneurs. That’s Profit First, which talks about taking 5% of the money that you make there and just put it in a– That’s your bonus, otherwise you’re not getting anything out of the business. You’re working harder than you would in a full-time job, and you’re not getting anything from it, so as we record this I just used my Profit First money to buy this beautiful fountain pen that I wanted for a long time. It’s the Sailor Pro Gear, I don’t know if you’re into fountain pens, but it’s a very nice pen. I had the support of my wife to buy it, of course, but I feel like I’ve gotten something out of the business this quarter because it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.
Kirsten: I love that. I think especially as new entrepreneurs we are– Gosh, the money thing is so hard. I love the fact of just buying yourself something nice even if it’s– go and have a spa day or buy yourself a nice pen, or whatever.
Joe: Yeah, exactly. Get something out of your business that you maybe wouldn’t get out of the full-time job, and along with that proper money management is important. I think your point about the reinvention fund and reading Profit First, manage your money, and that gives you freedom. I think that those are very good points to take away. Let’s– I usually like to ask you what your plans for the future are here, but we haven’t talked specifically about you that much. Why don’t we get an idea of what you would do for somebody, for our persona that we’ve created as far as guiding them, and what your plans for the future are?
Kirsten: Sure. I think I understand your question.
Joe: I threw like two or three in there.
Joe: It’s– What do you do currently and what do you hope to do in the near future?
Kirsten: Got it, yeah. Like I said, I’m a reinvention coach and strategist, and I help people figure out their next act. My book is called– I have a book that came out last year, it’s called Next Act: Give Back and it’s not about volunteering, it’s not about giving money. It’s really about how you give back to yourself, how you give back to the dreams that you had in college to do something that you wanted to do, and you got carried away on a career track that has been good or bad depending on your situation. But now it’s time to reassess what you’re doing, and for me, I continue to work with people who are at that point of their careers where they’re asking “What am I doing here and what else could I be doing, and what’s next?” That work isn’t going to change, because I absolutely love that work. This is what lights me up, and I get up excited, and I’m excited every day to work with my clients and see what they can do. For me, what I’m doing now is focusing on how to be a better business person, and how to learn how to be a better entrepreneur. “What do I need to learn?” Which is tons of stuff. I’m working with a branding agency right now to make my brand a little more polished, and I guess more official-looking. One of the things that I found when I started was that I was talking to too small of an audience. So I’ve expanded, and I’m working with a branding agent to expand who I’m talking to with my messaging. The future really is “How do I help more people, and how do I make more money helping more people?” Basically. That has to do with group programs, retreats, things like that. For me, everything has to be fun, otherwise, I don’t want to do it. I can’t force myself to do things that aren’t fun. So, that’s where I’m headed.
Joe: I like that a lot. “For me, everything has to be fun.” In both of our situations, we’re probably not just happy with the paycheck, I need to be fulfilled by my work, I want to be able to do things that I enjoy doing, and everything has to be fun. So, cool. As we wrap up here, I do like to ask my favorite question, which is, do you have any trade secrets for us? You’ve given us a lot of really great information so far, is there–? What’s maybe the one big takeaway that you want listeners to have?
Kirsten: I think the one thing, and I don’t know if it’s a trade secret, but the one thing that I have learned is that you can’t do everything by yourself and you’ve got to invest in your business. That may mean taking on debt, and if you’re a solopreneur that could mean borrowing money from people or having credit card debt, or there’s other ways to take on debt. But you are not going to grow unless you’re investing in yourself, and in what you’re trying to do. For a long time, I sat and didn’t want to spend any money, didn’t want to invest in myself. I tried to do it myself and what you were saying– There’s a lot of things that I’m good at, and there’s a lot of things I’m not good at. Like marketing, forget it. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. But you have to figure that out and own that. What are you good at, what are you not good at? Get help and stop trying to do it yourself, stop trying to bootstrap it as a badge of honor and invest in yourself. You can either– Money and time have an interesting relationship. You can either spend a lot of time, or you can spend some money and spend less time.
Joe: “Money and time have an interesting relationship.” I love that. When I was younger, I had so much time, and I would do everything. I had all the time and no money. Now that I am older and I have a family, time is the most valuable thing to me. I will happily spend $200 dollars if it saves me several hours, or whatever.
Kirsten: Yes, absolutely.
Joe: Yeah. I love that, “Invest in yourself. You can’t do everything by yourself, and you may need to take on a little bit of debt. That’s perfectly fine.” People who start brick and mortar businesses before the age of the internet had to go to the bank to get a loan to buy property. The idea is that they were investing in their future self to be able to pay off that debt and be in a better place, so I think that there’s an interesting look at debt today with the whole Total Money Makeover movement and no debt ever. Sometimes you need to invest in yourself, and that future investment will hopefully pay off if you do your due diligence. So Kirsten Bunch, thank you so much for joining me today. Where can people find you?
Kirsten: Thank you. This has been great. They can find me at my website, and it’s KirstenBunch.com. I’m also pretty active on LinkedIn, more than any of the other socials, although I am on all the others. You can find me with my name, pretty– Somewhat unusual name, although there are other Kirsten Bunch’s in the world. I have a blog that comes out weekly that’s called Changed the World In a Hot Flash that people seem to like. That’s something you could sign up for if you’re interested in connecting with me.
Joe: Awesome. I will link to all of those things and everything, especially the books, we talked about a lot of books today– That we talked about in the show notes over at HowIBuilt.it. Kirsten, thanks so much for joining me today. I appreciate it.
Kirsten: Thank you. This has been great. Thanks a lot, Joe.
Joe: Thanks so much to Kirsten for joining us today. Lots of takeaways. There are a lot of takeaways from her interview. She also gives a ton of advice in her trade secrets, and you can’t do everything by yourself. “There is a lot of things that I’m good at,” she said, “And a lot of things I’m not good at, and “That money and time have an interesting relationship.” I liked that one. She said you may need to take on debt, which we may differ on the philosophy of that. I try not to take on any debt if I possibly can, but the overall message here is invest in yourself. This is incredibly important. You need to invest in yourself and the tools that will help you become what you want to be. I think that part is incredibly important, and if you do need to take on a little bit of debt to get that education you need or the certification that you want, then so be it. The idea is that you should believe that that debt is an investment and you’ll be able to pay it back in a short amount of time. So definitely check out Kirsten and all of her fantastic resources, which will be linked in the show notes over at HowIBuilt.it/130. Thanks so much to our sponsors, Ahoy! Creator Courses and Pantheon. We would not be able to do the show without them. My question of the week for you is, “Have you ever felt like you needed to make a career change, and what did you do to mitigate that change?” Let me know on Twitter @jcasabona or via email at Joe@HowIBuilt.it. Thanks so much for listening. If you liked this episode, then please share it with somebody who you think will benefit from it, I would appreciate that. Until next time, get out there and build something.