I'm Steph! I help stressed out service providers shift to confident CEO's who attract high ticket clients and scale to 6+ figures while working <20 hours/week!
Workaholism is a numbing mechanism to avoid pain from trauma. Working solely on a business strategy will not make you successful.
You also need to heal past traumas and in this episode of the Behind Their Business podcast, you’ll hear stories from Steph and Kristen Kacinski about how healing past traumas led them to success in their own businesses.
Kristen started her business while working in a full-time job as a public manager in media. However, she decided to quit even before making a single sale.
For about a month she was doing the things that all new online entrepreneurs do, such as building relationships and marketing their business, but still no sales came in.
To move things forward, Kristen decided to get support with her sales process. Hiring a sales coach led to her initial success.
She was able to hit her first $10k month, which she says is the first major hurdle to reach as an online business coach, besides making your first sale.
According to Kristen, if you’re not making at least $10k per month, it’s very hard to stay in business because of taxes, personal expenses, and hiring a support team.
Surprising ways past trauma can affect your success in business (06:36)
The up and downtrend in her income was a challenging experience that led Kristen to hire a business strategy coach to help her make a consistent income. However, despite her income cycle becoming consistent, she still felt the urge to work more and more every month due to the fear of crashing down again.
Kristen says that she came to realize that there was an upper limit to strategy. She didn’t feel worthy of making a consistent income because she had some unhealed traumas from past relationships.
This was slowly and unconsciously sabotaging her success.
How Kristen turned her trauma to success (09:14)
Kristen started to see noticeable changes and progress in her life and business when she started healing her traumas. She was in an emotionally abusive relationship in college, and she had suppressed the trauma for almost a decade.
The stress at the beginning of the pandemic and the fact that she was engaged led her to realize this profound trauma response that she kept experiencing. She was too attached to her business, and she couldn’t be a safe coach for her clients.
She developed a workaholic pattern and would feel unsafe whenever she stopped working; this was her trauma response.
When Kristen met with a new mindset coach and they started healing her past traumas, she started making more money. She was able to close her laptop at 4 pm and detach from work, which is what she wanted from the beginning.
What it means to be in trauma response and impacts that it has in your life (11:05)
All humans and animals go through trauma. This is a nervous system reaction to stress that includes fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.
Kristen says that she was mostly in a ‘flight response’. She was trying to numb her trauma experiences with work.
She had no slow down or stop button.
Initially, before quitting her corporate job, she was a fitness instructor while starting her business simultaneously.
Kristen says that she was doing all of these things to avoid the feeling that came with slowing down. Her unconscious mind was trying to protect her, but this pushed the feelings down further until they exploded out of her.
She had a short fuse, and at times she would blow up on the tiniest things. According to her, trauma response is like a nervous system overwhelm.
Even a small thing can set you off. When you’re in a trauma response, you don’t have access to empathy, and it’s tough to make human connections. This makes it hard to build a business because you can never get to the point of safety.
The difference between trauma responses in workaholism and having a healthy passion for the work you’re doing (15:55)
Healthy passion is when you love your business, and you’re happy to work for hours, but you have boundaries around your time and energy; unplugging doesn’t feel unsafe. Workaholism is where you think you have a passion, but you have a compulsive urge to work that feels unconscious.
In workaholism, you rarely have time for yourself or your loved ones.
Business is 80+% of your life. According to Kristen, society has ingrained in us that it’s good to work and rest on vacation or retirement. Being busier makes us better than others, and we earn a badge of honor when we work more than other people.
This is a big part of our culture, especially in the online business space but it’s not healthy or sustainable for the longterm.
How to shift from workaholism to healthy passion (19:44)
Identifying whether you’re in workaholism or healthy passion and being honest with yourself is important to healing. If you’re in a mode of workaholism, start by meditating and journaling about what you’re avoiding.
According to Kristen, workaholism is like a numbing mechanism to avoid pain. Just like people drink a lot of alcohol to numb their feelings.
From there, identify and feel the pain. You cannot get rid of the pain unless you go through it.
You cannot bypass this or pretend you’re over it, no matter how long you suppress it. It’s scary to go through pain, but avoiding the pain prolongs the agony.
Feeling the pain will help you release it and become a happier human. For her, feeling the pain of her relationship traumas was painful, but she felt 100 times better after than she ever felt in the past decade.
How Healing from trauma led Kristen to her six-figure business (25:03)
In 2020 alone, Kristen says that most of her income came from Q4. She didn’t change the strategies that she was using in Q1, Q2, and Q3.
Healing from her trauma responses was the reason Kristen had a surge in his business revenue.
She became more detached from her business and more focused on feeling better. She kept doing what her strategy coach suggested, and on Nov 1st in 2020, she received a large sum of cash from a high-ticket client.
She felt satisfied, and her healing was evident.
Before, she was money-focused, and she embraced all the business strategies more than anything else. Her heart and mind were not in the business and it showed in the results that she was getting in her business.
From her experience, Kristen realized she didn’t use the strategies as much as she did before, and she was making more money.
This led her to pivoting her coaching business and she is now using her healing skills and expertise as a master-level practitioner in hypnotherapy, clinical therapy, EFT, and time techniques. From her perspective, business strategy is not the only thing you need to succeed.
You also need mindset work and to heal past traumas.
The importance of finding your why in business (33:22)
Finding your ‘Why’ in business will help you find fulfillment even after achieving your target cash goal for the month. You have to find something that transcends money to keep you going to get to your ultimate goal.
Something that will keep your business relevant and exciting to you, even if you become a billionaire today.
How to work with business coaches, without giving your power away (35: 52)
Are you looking for a mindset coach to help you heal your trauma? Kristen says that one of the most toxic things that most entrepreneurs do is disempower themselves by putting their mentors on a pedestal.
There are so many dynamics that can get messed up by putting your coach on a pedestal or the coach putting themselves up on a pedestal.
Your relationship with your coach should be an equal level relationship. If you feel they are above you or better than you, you should take them off and get a new mentor.
On the other hand, as a coach, you should see your client as equals. This makes you a better coach and helps in getting better results for your own clients.
The true definition of CEO and basics of team building that you should focus on (39:46)
Kristen and Steph also talk about the basics of team building, and they emphasize that as a CEO, you should see your team members as equals. Good leaders also take responsibility for their team.
If your team makes a mistake, work together with them to find the best solution to fix the problem.
From Kristen’s definition, a CEO is not someone who makes a lot of money, but someone who has a bigger vision, someone who empowers their team and prioritizes business longevity over short-term gains. True leadership is about lifting others with you and taking radical responsibilities for your action and your team’s actions.
Steps to resolve workaholism and identify what you truly want (44:07)
Sometimes we’re too close to our business, and workaholism draws us even deeper. According to Kristen, to see the big picture, you’ve to step away and get some space.
The next step is asking yourself what you truly want.
According to Kristen, doing somatic awareness can help you get the answers faster. From her experience, she believes that the unconscious mind is often crowded by the conscious mind, preventing us from getting to the truth.
To learn your truth, you can work with your body using the steps below. This will help you find your internal compass and make the right decisions for yourself and your business.
Step 1: Take five deep breaths
Step 2: Close your eyes
Step 3: Identify where your awareness is located in your body (you’ll usually start to feel this in your chest or stomach)
Step 4: Once you find yourself, drop your awareness to your heart space
Step 5: Then ask your heart space your truth; ask it to support you with whatever you’re looking for help with
Step 6: Listen to your heart’s response
Connect With Kristen Kacinski