Entries from November 2012

The Cost of Living

November 20, 2012



Yesterday Jeremy and I bought a house. It’s pretty much the cutest house in the world. And before I even closed on it I listed it to Instagram and Facebook to rent for $775 a month (and I’m pretty sure it will be rented before the week is over).

I immediately got the responses I always get when I list a house for rent. Which is: “OMG. Brooklyn / Chicago / Manhattan / Minneapolis / San Francisco / Portland / Seattle / San Diego is SO EXPENSIVE. You couldn’t rent a shitty little closet for $775 a month where I live.”

So here is my invitation to you guys who live in super rad (but expensive) cities, especially creative entrepreneurs, to move to Oklahoma City. If together we can create a creative revolution in the heartland we’ll have a rad place to live, a booming art scene and at the cost of pennies to the dollar of what you’re used to. There’s no beach and there are no mountains and the politics can be a little backwards. But the sunsets will leave you breathless. And the cost of living will afford you to chase your dream – whether that’s a creatively curious career or travel to the other side of the world.


If you’re interested in renting this house here are the specs:
• 2 bedroom, 1 bath – 765 sq. ft. 
• Completely updated 
• Wood and slate tile floors
• Large back yard (pets allowed with $500 pet deposit, per pet)
• W/D hookups
• Central heat & air
• $775 month / utility bills not included 

If you’re interested in learning more about our adventures as landlords read more here:
• Landlord | Matters
• Becoming Landlords

Letters for Creative Entrepreneurs

November 13, 2012


When I first started freelancing over 2 years ago I was completely freaked out. So of course, I shared that struggle with you guys. I also shared the details of how I work with my Freelance Matters series – from advice on when to quit your “real job” to how to fire a client. And then when my sister quit her job as a creative director / VP to work with me we took a big leap of faith and decided to build a business model out of giving away our advice – we call it gifts of knowledge – for free over at Braid Creative.

But I wanted something more meaningful… or more personal… So I had this idea to start a series of letters for creative entrepreneurs (and aspiring artistpreneurs too). These letters aren’t flashy or tricked out with designs and photos. They’re letters like we would send to our friends where we share our personal journey as well as the advice and insights.

Today I want to share some excerpts from a couple of our letters with you guys – and then I’m going to ask you to sign up for our mailing list so you can continue to get these nuggets of Braid Creative wisdom for creative entrepreneurs from us. Or maybe just a good laugh. Or maybe a little bit of both.


From the Creative Entrepreneur Letter | Money Is Energy:

Confession: when I first started working for myself I felt like I didn’t really deserve to make money. I had convinced myself of a few deep-seated myths that I found to be true, including:
1. If I do what I love for a living then I don’t deserve to make lots of money.
2. My work is more meaningful if money has nothing to do with it.
3. Money is bad.
4. My family doesn’t come from money. I’ve always been provided for but “being rich” is for other people.

Now two years into working for myself my mindset about money has completely changed. Economics are fascinating to me and money is one of my favorite topics of conversation. It took a little bit of work to get right with my attitude about money but one of the best tidbits I received (and boy, did I receive) was this:

Money is energy. Giving and receiving money is an exchange of energy.

When I take a look at my list above and replace the word “money” with “energy” it is clear that I am worthy of energetic transactions that result in me making money. For example, statement #2, “my work is more meaningful if money has nothing to do with it“, would now read: “my work is more meaningful if energy has nothing to do with it.” And that’s just some horseshit right there. I got right about money real fast after thinking about it in those terms. 


From the Creative Entrepreneur Letter | Everyone Else SEems to Have Their Shit Together But Me:

One of the most complicated things about working for yourself is the abundance and potential of ideas (so many world-rocking ideas!!!) immediately followed by the overwhelming feelings that:
A) you should’ve figured it out already, and then
B) not knowing where to begin, quickly followed by
C) paralysis to act

If you’re anything like me you start surfing blogs and reading interviews and watching TED talks on creatives you admire and start feeling like everyone else has their sh*t together but you. The earth begins to rotate a little faster and your heart starts thumping a little louder and you get that knot in the back of your throat and fantasize about working an “easy” job – like at a makeup counter in the mall. You start feeling really unoriginal and as if you will never be able to create anything world-rocking. Ever.

Tara and I have found from our work with creative entrepreneurs that this end-of-the-world feeling is common. We have found that everyone feels as if they’re making it up and nobody feels like they totally have their sh*t together.

My recommendation to remedy this feeling is this: start creating content immediately.

Where do you begin?
1. First, figure out which ideas have spark for your big future vision but also make sense of those ideas within the trajectory of your past victories. Pick one idea to start executing on now. Our past, present, future exercise is a great way to identify the overlap of what you should focus on right now.
2. Then sort out and organize what you can share about this idea (your expertise and gifts of knowledge) against what you actually get paid to do when implementing this idea.
3. Get specific and make it real. If you’re trying to keep your idea appealing to anyone and everyone it’s going to fall flat. If you’re using words like “unique” or “quality” to describe your product or idea … stop. Those words say nothing about who you are and what you do.
4. Get hired. Tell your customers how to hire you and then get paid – this step is what takes you from having a dream to becoming an entrepreneur.

If you miss Freelance Matters and want more of those insights sign up here (if this sign-up box doesn’t show up in your RSS feed visit my blog page and sign up in the right hand side bar – or at www.braidcreative.com):

These letters will also keep you updated with our Braid ECourse offerings – including exclusive discounts for our creative entrepreneur letter recipients. (Pssst… one is going out Thursday for our newest ECourse on Dream Customer Catching). 

Durham and My People

November 12, 2012






There’s something I love about liberal cities smack dab in the middle of red states. My own little neighborhood of Oklahoma City is a pocket of unexpected culture – much like a scaled down version of Austin, TX. Durham, North Carolina is the same way. It’s a city where you can’t avoid eating locally sourced dairy and meat (if meat is your thing… Durham will also have a vegan and grain-free menu option for your health-conscious liberal heart as well). If you live in a rad place don’t take for granted the certain amount of osmosis that takes place by proximity – where the good stuff starts to soak into your skin, bones and heart.

I like the vibe in Durham but Jeremy and I visit for the people. Liz, in particular, along with her man and our weekly dinner guest, Micah (before he moved across the country to be with his lady).

The long weekend filled with carbs, wine, a little work, a lot of chill and a bit of whiskey started with Liz picking us up from the airport. We had hardly made it to the car before the deep conversation, paired with intermissions filled with deep belly laughs, began. We jumped right in to talking about what we really want – the big stuff like month long trips to India and building beach cabins and babies and what it all means. Then we got down to articulating the little details… like an appreciation for oversized ice cubes and dark grainy photographs.

We talked about friendship, love, creative entrepreneurship, uncertainty, yoga, kitty cats, travel and creating a life worth living. We both came to the conclusion that every experience either energizes you or depletes you. Durham, and it’s people – my people – send me home energized. And maybe a little hungover.

All shots taken on my iPhone5 with Instagram. Follow me here: @andkathleen

Day 13: Cold Lakes and Busted Bodies

November 9, 2012

In July, Jeremy and I traveled through Eastern Europe. This leg of our trip took us on a trek through the High Tatras in Slovakia and Poland. 

Jeremy woke me up at some point between 4AM and 5AM in a room full of bunks and strangers. He whispered at me to look out the window where we were greeted with one of the most beautiful sunrises ever. We slept in adjacent bunks at a 90 degree angle – head-to-head.

We officially woke up at 6:30AM, packed up our bags and met up for breakfast before heading out for what would turn out to be a really long day.


SlovakiaB copy




One of the reasons we chose Poland (and here we’re actually trekking through Slovakia – the country just south of Poland) is because Jeremy knew that he wanted to see Eastern Europe and I knew I wanted to go on another trekking adventure. When I was looking into guided trekking options lots of them included transfers – meaning we would be walking all day, then transferred by bus to another location to another national park. But I liked the idea of traveling via my own two feet. Taking my own body from Point A to Point B to Point C and so on.

When we chose our adventure we were looking at the difficulty of the trek in relation to the Everest Base Camp trek. This hiked through the Tatras, though not nearly as high in altitude, was rated a little more difficult.  I remember thinking “yeah right… the altitude is 9,500ft. max. how hard can it really be?” Oooh… silly Kathleen from June 2012. If only I could go back and tell you how hard it would be you’d A) train a little harder B) drink a little less and C) check your ego.

Because you guys… this trek was hard. The trails were never flat. My  boots quickly started to wear holes into my heels and bruise my ankles. There were lots of ups and downs – and lots of weight on our back.






At one point it got really cloud and the view both looking up and down was identical – it was incredibly disorienting and surreal. But also really beautiful. But by this point I knew I was in pain. Putting one foot in front of the other didn’t require a steady breath but mental focus that left me exhausted – physically and mentally.



We stopped at an observatory for a lunch of bread and cheese and carbonated water that tasted a little bit like sulphur. From there we trekked to a small lodge and dropped off our bags to trek up to the cold lakes. And you guys… it was cold. I feel like maybe because it was so hot in Oklahoma this summer we forgot cold was a thing. And maybe I was underestimating how cold it would get even at 6,000 ft.






I have exactly ONE photo of the very beautiful, but very cold lake. Because by this point the pain I was in was very clearly manifesting itself in my body and it was very very cold. We ordered hot chocolates and beers and the lodge was decorated with posters of the Himalayas and Tibetan flags (for whatever reason) – and it made it very apparent to me that I wasn’t there… and that’s where I wanted to be.

We made our way back to our lodge and had dinner, beers and vodka. We were trekking with a super sweet English doctor named Georgia who hooked me up with some anti-inflammatories. It didn’t quite take the pain away but it gave me hope.

Get Shit Done

November 6, 2012


Today I’m sharing how I Get Shit Done (GSD) with Meg Biram over at her newly rebranded and launched blog The Edit.

I first met Meg by chance at a dinner get together at Alt Summit a couple years ago. Then I got to hang out with her again at Mighty Summit and let me tell you – Meg is a force to be reckoned with. She’s insanely smart and talented and is working hard to create the kind of curiously creative and cultivated life she wants to live. So I was thrilled to be invited to share with her readers how I stay organized and productive. Go take a look and share with me how you Get Shit Done.

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