Designing your Daily life Routine without stress

Designing your Daily life Routine without stress

Katie Lee is an author and daily life coach who helps perpetually busy women design better days for themselves, because she knows that how you live your everyday is how you life your whole life. 

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Instagram (Facebook is a close second)

What is one of your goals either personal or professional for 2017?

2017 has been full of transition. My goal has been to navigate it with intention and tune in to what matters. With the rest of this year I'm finalizing bigger changes to my life and business so that I can be more in-the-flow in 2018.

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I love Penny's and Quixotic for coffee shops and J Selby's for food.


Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.

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I'm your host Jenny Redfield, and today I have a special guest. This is Katie Lee. She is an author and a daily life coach. So welcome, Katie.

Katie Lee 0:56

Hi. It's so exciting to be here in an actual studio versus sitting at home

Jenna Redfield 1:00

with my laptop. Yes. Because you mentioned that, that you've been on a few podcast before. So how do you usually do it?

Katie Lee 1:07

So I usually sit at home, I work from home and in my home office. And I just have regular earbuds, sitting with my laptop and my dog is there. And so it's really, already quite fun and interesting to the studio. And for sure. And in the quality.

Jenna Redfield 1:23

Yeah, it's rad studio co work right now where I work during the day. And yeah, the first 15 episodes of podcasts was like that with Skype. And there was just some issues with lagging and stuff and with other guests, and I don't, I can't always trust their Wi Fi. So it's really cool to be in person. So k tell us a little bit more about yourself. And why here?

Katie Lee 1:41

Yes. So I met Jen a couple weeks ago at an event and we clicked and the event was awesome. It brought together a lot of creatives. So I have been doing some form of lifestyle design for the last five years. But I have been actively studying it and experimenting with it and researching it heavily for the last eight years. And so about five years ago, I started my business where I really started to look into what are some of the systems and processes and ways of doing daily life that are the most supportive of who I'm trying to be as a person and where I'm trying to go in life. But then also, does that translate to other people? Is this special to me? Or is that something that can translate to most people either my age or in a similar lifestyle. And so that studying continued to happen. And over the last five years, my business has really evolved. And so what I do now today is I focus solely on how you do your days, I really believe that how you live your everyday life equals how you live your entire life. And it's not about, you know, one off vacations or retirement or those special events. It's about how you live just a random Tuesday. And that all adds up to be your entire life. And so I focus on how can we make really doable, sustainable, sometimes tiny changes to how you do your days, so that they're more supportive, they're more sustainable, and they just feel really good. So that's what I do now through my book through my boot camp and through an upcoming monthly membership.

Jenna Redfield 3:25

Cool. So how did you, I guess, go back. So how did you get into this? How what Where did this come from this this whole business? Because it's so unique, and it's not, you know, it's very, very niched. I guess, yeah, how did it How did it come about, so

Katie Lee 3:39

half of it or I don't know if it's equally half, but a lot of it comes from just who I am as a person and what I am naturally drawn to. So I was that I was that kid who would prefer to like stay home and rearrange my bedroom and organize things and plan things. And so it has been a combination of my personality, my passion and obsession with human behavior and processes and logistics and stuff like that. And then over time, it just so naturally paired with what I went to school for and what I ended up doing in all sorts of different different jobs. So when my husband and I moved back to Minnesota five years ago, we decided that was a good time for me to start a business. And based on our very deep and real experiences of setting up our lifestyle over and over again, as we moved around so much. We decided and I and it felt so natural to me to start a business about lifestyle design, because it's it's part of who I am. It's what I was doing naturally, for so long. It's what I've been trained to do. It's what my jobs ended up being even if that's not what I was hired for. And so it's a very natural progression.

Jenna Redfield 4:48

Very cool. So. So I guess, when you first started your business, how did that go? Did that was it great? right away? Did you take off running? Or was this little star? How did that happen?

Katie Lee 5:01

It was a really slow start.

And obviously now I'm five years in so hindsight is 2020. And I can see so many, you know, micro mistakes that I made. But it was it was a slow start, but the entire time, it just felt like I know I'm on the right path. Even if this is hard, I still want to do this, I don't want to do something else. I know, this is what I meant to do. And so over the years as different pieces have clicked into place to bring me to where I am now where it feels so much in alignment. And it's been, you know, not an easy path. Not definitely not like an overnight success or anything like that. But I wouldn't trade all of that hard. All of those hard points for where I am now. Because I think I wouldn't have landed here. If I didn't go through those points. Yeah. So yeah, definitely not a quick start. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield 5:54

So I think that's so true for me to looking back being like, Well, that was a bad point, or that was a slow or something. But I've learned from that. And that's kind of how you grow moving forward. So well, I mentioned when I met you that I'd heard you on the being boss podcast. So you were talking about your book that you wrote, so. So tell us about that. Well, how did you decide to start a book or write a book? And how long did that taken the whole process of writing a book?

Katie Lee 6:20

Yes. So when I first started my business, I called it the small change project. And that was modeled after a process that my husband and I would put ourselves through over and over again, to make really small but very impactful changes in their life. And so that process evolved over time. And I think, deep down, I always knew I would write a book. And it just, I didn't rush it. And I was just waiting for the idea to happen in the right time. And so a few years back, I felt like I had a book in me. And I fought over a lot of chats in our backyard talking with my husband about, you know, what is it that we're doing here? Why does our life works so well, and we landed on the word effortless. That's what how we really described our life is that it feels effortless, not because we don't have struggles, not because it isn't sometimes hard. But because the the routine, the mundane, the the everyday stuff is really so systematized that it feels effortless, and it frees us up to do so much more. So that's where the idea came from. And then I have the freedom because I work for myself to just run with my ideas. So I wrote the book and published it in probably 10 months, which I don't recommend. fast growing, okay. But it's been really wonderful to watch it spread to people's lives, even if I can't be there in person, and to hear from them and hear how it's it's changing their days. So that was two years ago now.

Jenna Redfield 7:58

Yeah, so. So it's called the effortless every day. Correct? And so what do you kind of talk about in the book, and I know, it's kind of goes along with what you do and your business at which is lifestyle design and figuring out like routines and all that. So can you talk a little bit about like the synopsis of the book?

Katie Lee 8:14

Yeah. So it looks at not necessarily that there is a perfect routine or that, you know, however I do my life is the right way it looks at key questions, you can ask yourself to figure out, what is the right way for you? And how can you make small, incremental changes without being completely exhausted, or having to like, give up your entire life? or sell everything and move abroad or some of those more extreme life changes? So how can you make it more effortless, free up some time, more importantly, free up some energy and mental bandwidth, so that you do have that to give to your kids or your passion project or your hobbies or just so you're not stressed out all the time. And so it really looks at what are some of the key factors is that make for an effortless every day, and some of them are health. Some of them are how you literally set up your physical environment. Some of them are how you move through your day, how you interact with other people in your life, what are some of those triggers for stress, and so it just walks through all of those different points that can make your day is harder than they have to be, and make it much harder for you to be the most awesome version of whatever you're trying to do and be. And so just walks through those different points and gives you a new lens for how to look at them. And really easy ways to shift once you figure out those answers.

Jenna Redfield 9:40

Oh, that's awesome. Because I really need help with that. I need to read those. But um, so how did you come up with your systems? Was it just trial and error? Or was it you'd like, read some other books or learned yourself? or How did you get to where you are down.

Katie Lee 9:56

So it's definitely part research, I love to read I I prefer to read about psychology and systems and business and all those things. That's just what I like to read for fun. But it all really started with my husband and I, we got out of college, and we moved from Minnesota to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we started our adult life in a completely new culture away from family and friends. And we only knew each other. And so we were we felt very thrust into this time in our life. And so because we weren't around family and friends, we didn't have that outside influence of like, this is how you do your days, this is how you set up a home, this is how you do life. So we, you know, kind of had that blessing of being able to experiment and do things without anyone really weighing in on it or offering their their two cents. And so right away, because it was a challenging time in our life to to move away and be somewhere new. We decided and through a bunch of different experiments and life experiences, we realized that our life is pretty much up to us. There's no one else here to say do it this way, or do it that way. And so we started experimenting, and pretty much daily and weekly, we would try things and then we come back and say, did that work? That kind of sucked? Maybe we should do it this way. And over a few years developed the process of making small changes. And then, you know, we continue to do that same thing. We continue to tweak adapt

Jenna Redfield 11:25

as we go. So how involved is your husband in this business? Is he like it's kind of like a just like a person there?

Katie Lee 11:34

He's not involved at all in the actual business.

He's just content. Okay, yeah.

life lessons and content. He's there to bounce ideas off of just offer emotional support in hard times. But yeah, he doesn't have a role in the business.

Jenna Redfield 11:54

Yeah. So can I ask how your business is structured? Like, how are you like an individual coach? Or do you do like, you know, online sales? Or how does that work?

Katie Lee 12:04

Yeah. So it's interesting, you ask that right now, because I'm literally changing my entire business model. So for the first five years, I did one on one coaching. And then over time, partnered with a book and partnered with, with my passive income with my new group. And while I really loved coaching, I tend to over invest in each each person. And so I was getting really exhausted by it. It was fulfilling, and it felt good, but it was just too tired or now Yep. And so I had to look for a new way. And I just, over the last two years really spent a lot of time interviewing my clients and my readers and asking them what they wanted. And so now, this isn't finalized. But going forward, it'll be the book that anyone can basically dig into. anytime they want to, I have a program that helps people break free from business, get over some of the guilt and the overwhelm, and restructure their days. And that is self study. And it's a lot like listening to a podcast so you can absorb it, you know, on a walk or in the car, and it's very, very impactful. And then I'm going to be starting a monthly membership, that's going to feel a lot like an accountability group, okay, because I noticed over the years that almost all of my clients and readers struggle with doing the things that matter to them, they are so good at delivering and deadlines, they're so good at supporting and providing for everyone in their life. They exceed all expectations. But when it comes to the things that they want to do for themselves, they fall short, they kind of break that promise of themselves of you know, I'm going to write a book or I'm in a run more, or I'm going to do X, Y, or Z. And so for all of those people who really struggle with meeting those expectations, sins for themselves, will have a monthly accountability group for that. Oh,

Jenna Redfield 14:04

that's awesome. How did you tell you said that you spend time talking to them? And then that was just your decision to? Is it all going to change to that? Are you going to still do coaching?

Katie Lee 14:13

Nope, it's all going to change. So I no longer coach one on one. So there's a little bit of a gap between starting that monthly program and ending my one on one coaching practice. Which is fine, because it's around the holidays. And it January Yes. Start to build this.

Jenna Redfield 14:31

These Yeah. fresher ease. So how do you market yourself?

Katie Lee 14:36

I would say, um, it's still even though I run an online business, it's it's completely online. It still is a lot of word of mouth. It's a lot of people who read my book, or we work together or they watch something that I do online and they tell their friends. So that is still a very huge part of it. Otherwise, my biggest marketing factors are anything that feels live. So a podcast interview, a Facebook Live, okay. an Instagram story, anything like that, versus email blog posts. Gotcha. Just a regular post on Instagram. So anything where people can hear me or see me and I can actually myself?

Jenna Redfield 15:24

I've never heard that answer before. Because that's really interesting, because I think that social media has changed to become more like a live with video and audio and stuff. And that's gonna be our topic next month is video and in podcasting, but so has that changed? Because I know like Instagram Stories is only been around for like a year. Like, how did you realize that? That's like the best marketing tool?

Katie Lee 15:44

So it started with podcasts? I with anything, you just have to pay attention? Yeah, okay. Sure. Yeah. And so with podcasts, I started to notice, you know, how quickly people subscribed more started following, and then how quickly they turned into buying something versus the people who'd maybe been on my list before podcasts existed, or before I was on any. And then with Facebook Live, I could watch the same things. But in the last year, I just started asking everyone I encountered How did you find me? Or what made you decide to click or what made you decide to buy? and not with any, like big formal survey or anything like that I just straight up ask them. And everyone said, podcast, Facebook Live or instant story. And so. And I just also noticed engagement dropping on some of the mediums

Jenna Redfield 16:39

blog, we always talk about influences collective blog comments, are they a thing? Yeah. Because it used to be the forums were in the comments. And that has changed so much since the rise of social media. And now like, nobody really comments on blogs anymore. It's like they go to your, like, Instagram and comment, you know,

Katie Lee 16:54

yeah. And I mean, we obviously know what we like to engage. Yeah, what we like to doom and what we, I've been paying a lot of attention to what I click past, like, what I keep swiping past and what I land on and stick around for. So it's just paying attention and measuring and asking those questions.

Jenna Redfield 17:14

That's really, really good advice. Because I always get, I always get surprised when somebody tells me something that I was thinking the total opposite, you know, because for the longest time, I never posted on our Instagram story for Twin Cities collective ever, like, like, I guess it also didn't exist, I think, right when I first started, but when it did, I was like, maybe I should use this, you know, because I never post pictures of myself on the account ever. Like I never post a picture of me on our curated feed. So now that I do the stories I tell people to actually like know, and are more invested in the group because they see someone talking to them, I don't know.

Katie Lee 17:50

me see your passion for it and your investment in its success. And that is valuable to see.

Jenna Redfield 17:57

Yeah, it's crazy. So what is your advice for anyone getting started in an online business or anything? Or what would you advise your old self cuz I know, you said you don't regret anything in the past. But if you were to tell your past self, like, Oh, you probably should skip this, just, you know, don't do this or do this or something.

Katie Lee 18:15

So I would say one of my bigger mistakes early on, and it's still something that I struggled with. And I think a lot of people struggle with this because of the internet. I kept just in taking more information and consuming so much and reading so much and signing up for courses. That it literally took too much of my time when I'm that I could have been doing the work of creating my own stuff and putting myself out there and, and doing that. But it also just kind of muddied my and clouded up my own thoughts. And so it was hard for me to stay in my lane, it was hard for me to even stay consistent with the message because I'd be going down one path. And then I would read a new book or watch a new video of someone who says go down this path. So it started to just get kind of messy. And I think if I would have picked one thing to read or one course to take and did that, and then just did the work for a year or two or six months, even without taking anything more. Yeah, I would have gotten more momentum. Yeah, instead of spending so much time true reading and consuming and testing out different things

Jenna Redfield 19:21

that I understand where you're coming from, do you think that that helped you though, because then you knew all the information, you know, because otherwise you might not have known it. And then when you're trying to output stuff, you're like, I don't know what I'm doing. But maybe you knew when you're doing it, then

Katie Lee 19:34

I think it didn't need to be it doesn't need to be so black and white. So I, I probably didn't need to completely quit it. But I just needed to swing the scale back the other way a little bit. And maybe instead of giving 50% to learning and 50% of doing it'd be like 10% or 90% you're doing because now I've seen that. When you do something when you take action, you get so much information, you get feedback, you get data. Yeah. About you know what people like, but also did you like creating it? Did it feel natural to you? Are you good at it? Of those different things? And you're building up skills as you do it? aren't doing while you're construe? And

Jenna Redfield 20:14

yeah, cuz a lot of people learn differently. And I think one of the reasons I like doing things as it helps me learn it, you know, and it's, it's a, you know, there's like, one of the different ones is like site based, and then there's like, you know, audio base, and yes, like physical base. So it's like, doing all that helps you learn. So, so how do you tell your clients? What do they do that, I guess now that you're not really doing individual clients anymore? But what did you tell? Did you kind of walk along with them? And then tell them what to do? Or did you help them figure it out?

Katie Lee 20:45

The second one, so I very much coach them. One time, I had some clients who would come back. But the point of it was we do this once, maybe once a year, or something like that, but it wasn't like we monthly gotcha. And so we just got pretty deep, real quick. And almost all of them, if not all of them already knew what they wanted, and already knew what they needed to do. There was just so many other stories coming in and so much, again, kind of clouding their perspective and their knowledge of themselves. And so I would just help them to clear that away, and get back to the truth that they already knew for themselves. Because they're strangers, I don't know their life, I don't know their preferences. And so I can't tell them how to live their life. And I can help and guide them to what they already know for themselves.

Jenna Redfield 21:42

Okay, that's awesome. Because I, I find there's so many different ways to do coaching. We had a man on last week, and she does life coaching, she just she asked the questions to and tries to figure out what people want for their lives. And so I guess I'm moving forward, what do you see yourself doing in like five years? Like, what's what's the what's the future look like for you?

Katie Lee 22:06

I have no idea.

I really don't look that far ahead. Okay, um, my husband and I have moved around so much that we, we never bank done anything being the same. Okay, yeah. And even now, we've been in the same place for a while. And it feels kind of strange. And sure, like how to do this level of stability. And so I don't look that far ahead. I, I changed my mind all the time. And I get new information all the time. So I have no idea. I don't know what I'm going to want at the end of next year. And so I try to just stay open to what comes my way and keep moving forward in the direction of the things that do feel good. And I do feel in alignment with who I am and and what I want now. And then as I get more information, I'll change it.

Jenna Redfield 22:54

Cool. So this month's topic is self care. And I'm sure that you probably helped me clients fit that into their schedule. So how do you what do you how do you define self care? And why is that important?

Katie Lee 23:06

So I have been talking about and studying, and just thinking about the word alignment lately. And so I see self care as getting into alignment. And how I define alignment is any Well, it's basically just means feeling good. That's what it sounds to me. But how you get there is doing anything and thinking thoughts and eating foods and moving in certain ways. Anything that either makes you happy, makes keeps you healthy, or moves you forward in the direction that you want to go in. So the direction towards being the person you want to be going where you want to go in life. And if the activity or the task or whatever, doesn't fall into those three things, that it's just noise, it's just business, it's just extra. And so I think a lot of people, when they look at self care, they look at adding in new things, and they look at doing things that sometimes take a lot of scheduling, they take a lot of commute time and effort, and it doesn't work out for them. And instead, I would say just look towards the things that make you happy, sustainably keep you healthy, or moving you forward and just forget all the rest of it, and you're gonna feel really good. Do those things.

Jenna Redfield 24:25

So you basically are saying subtract things and not add them. That's, that's good advice. Because I think for me, I just want to add new things because that's just my personality. I like to like, get new things and but then I get so stressed. So it's like, I'm doing it to myself on purpose on accident. But um, so anyways, so I wanted to ask you so you said that you have kind of stopped consuming things for the most part and are trying to work more on output. But what are the things that you do consume? When you do consume things? Do you like podcast, you know, blogs? What like, what do you what do you like to read and listen to?

Katie Lee 24:57

So it depends on what I'm in the process of creating. So if I'm creating a program, I try not to take in any anyone else's programs or any any other content that's leading to a program just so not getting their message out uses mine. I always love books. I live in St. Paul, the library public libraries amazing, close to my house. So I love books. I love TV, TV and movies. And I love podcasts because I can listen in the car or on a walk or run. But I pretty much always come back to

books, podcasts and Instagram, because that's just fun.

Jenna Redfield 25:38

Do you have any favorite accounts or any favorite podcasts? Or what are you listening to right now?

Katie Lee 25:42

It just varies. I used to when I first encountered podcasts I listened to like to I listened to the lively show and Smart Passive income. Okay. Because I didn't understand that there are millions of podcast. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield 25:55

One that I find. Yeah, I like that

Katie Lee 25:58

answer. So I just listened to two. Now it really varies. I, I don't like regularly listen to one over another, I just kind of, if a friend recommends one, I'll listen to it. And then I check in with how I'm feeling that day and what i what i want to consume or what I want to maybe stay away from depending on how I'm going. For sure. Because

Jenna Redfield 26:16

I think that there's I'm that kind of person to where I kind of switch off between ones it's like, you know, this podcast episode is great. You know, like, I want to kind of spend my time wisely. But yeah, that's, that's really good to know that you you kind of separate that. So what is your favorite thing about living Minnesota? And why did you move back?

Unknown Speaker 26:39


Katie Lee 26:42

we lived in Louisiana and New Mexico, okay, I'm loved living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. But we missed seasons, real seasons. We missed that. That just the

the great mix in the Twin Cities, it feels like you can get nature, you can get culture, you can get art, you can get restaurants. And we didn't find that in other areas of the country. Obviously, we missed our families, and we wanted to just be closer to them and make sure we were around we had at the time we had ailing grandparents and we wanted to be there for their last years. But we love living in the Twin Cities. It is growing its booming and has great food. Yeah, it has so much nature. And I've I'm from Minnesota and I have lived here most of my life and it took leaving for me to finally appreciate him winter first and foremost. I love winter now. Okay, and just how how much the Twin Cities has to offer. And then obviously, like Greater Minnesota as far as nature and all the things you can do. We don't have the oceans and we don't have the mountains. But we have a really awesome airport. So yeah, you

Jenna Redfield 28:00

can travel. Yeah. And we have a lot of lakes which so ocean like you know, there's always that debate. I prefer lakes because they don't have salt water and lazy, scary animals their killer whale. That's so cool. Well, we're kind of wrapping up here. So what are some like last minute tips or advice you want to give to the people listening about either lifestyle or any of that stuff are starting a business? Because I mean, it was this your first business that you started yourself so hot, like maybe just some tips about anything that you want to leave for our audience?

Katie Lee 28:36

Yeah, so I have been, like I said, I've been doing research and experimentation, and obviously for my job, but also just in my own life of lifestyle design for eight years now. And in the beginning, I thought that there was a perfect morning routine, and there was a perfect way to do your day. And now I see that it all works. And sometimes none of it works. And it really comes down to who you are your personality, your tendencies, your family, your work life, your biology, we all have different bodies and illnesses and things we're dealing with. And so it's I would encourage people to maybe take advice with a grain of salt. But just know that it doesn't matter what you do, it only matters that it works for you. So it doesn't matter if you need to pay a trainer to yell at you to stay healthy. Or if you love to just run by yourself in the mornings, it doesn't matter there is no right way, it only matters that it works for you that it continues to work for you. And when it doesn't, that you stop and adjust and tweak it. And so the only through lines that I've seen through all of this pretty consistently and all of my clients and my readers is that, regardless of how you do it, that's the three things that really make up good days, good weeks, good months. And of course, they add up to make a really good life. Or that you have habits that are really sustainable and supportive for you, that you on a pretty regular basis, maybe daily are making some form of progress. And that you have a good relationship with time. Okay. And those three things when one of them is off. That's when people come to me and say things like, I feel like I'm wasting my life or I feel like I'm just going through the motions, or I feel like time is getting away from me or I'm not doing anything that matters. And so having those three things, and you can check in with them daily, you can check in weekly, but having supportive habits, making progress on something real to you, something that matters to you, and then having a pretty healthy relationship with time. Those three things add up to make really, really good days, but really, really good advice.

Jenna Redfield 30:51

So thank you so much for coming in today. Katie can how do we find you online? And how do we find your book and all that stuff? What are all the links

Katie Lee 31:01

so I am Hey, Katie Lee, everywhere. So it's a Katie Lee calm. I'm Hey, Katie Lee, all social Well, I'm really on Facebook and Instagram. Yeah.

And the book is called the effortless every day. You can get it on Amazon or it's obviously linked on my website.

Jenna Redfield 31:18

Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, and we'll talk to you next week. Thanks again for listening to the 20th collective podcast conversations with creatives with your host Jenna Redfield. Make sure to head on over to iTunes to subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss a single episode. New episodes come out every Monday. Make sure to also leave us a review let us know how we're doing as well as helping us grow our subscriber count. We also want to let you know that we have a website Twin Cities collective calm where you can learn more about us join our online directory learn more about events as well as join our Facebook community. Shout out again to Allison burns, who created all of our artwork as well as our logo, as well as Nicola whitelist. For the use of the song and the intro. I also want to say thanks to studio cork for letting us use the podcast studio that they have on site. Make sure to go to studio co worker calm to learn more about how you can start podcasting too. Thanks again for listening and I'll talk to you guys next week.