What do you do as a business owner when you want to pursue a new creative direction but aren't sure it will work out?
You will discover:
- How to find signs that show whether you're on the right track
- How to handle the fear that comes with trying something new so that it doesn't hold you back
- How to create opportunities out of "bad situations"
If you are excited for all that 2024 has in store for you, you will love this episode.
Learn more about Erica and Kristen's work with artists at TheInspirationGenerator.com.
Hear what they've learned from the Superabound Coach Certification:
Click here to learn more about joining the next cohort of the certification.
Steve Haase 0:02
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase. Were business owners like you learn tools to help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You were listening to Episode 272: Finding Confidence to Be Creative, a conversation with Kristen and Erica Williams. Welcome, everybody. Thank you for joining us today, we have a heck of an episode in store for you. It's all about creativity and self expression as it relates to running a business. We're talking to two of our favorite entrepreneurs and creators. And some of the paths that we go down include what we call nods from the universe, signs that you know you're on the right track. And that really is helpful for business owners who are looking to embrace something new, even if it's scary. We cover what to do in that case. And also, as you're looking for those signs and embracing new things, what do you do when things don't turn out as perfectly as you had thought that they might. So this is for you, if you're looking to do big things with your business. If you are excited for all that 2024 has in store for you like we are can't wait to share this episode with you. We also talk with Kristen and Erica about their experience training as Superabound coaches. They're actually in our coach certification program, you'll learn all about how that relates to people who are not necessarily looking to become professional coaches, but are just looking to use those tools to grow their business and become better leaders and managers of an organization and other team. It is not too late to join us. If you like what you hear and are moved to be part of the next cohort of Superabound coaches we are starting in mid January 2024. And you can learn more and apply at besuperabound.com/certification. Let's dive in. We're here with Erica and Kristen Williams, two of our favorite artists and makers and members of our Superabound coach certification. And we're going to talk about all things creativity, leadership, coaching, they are pioneers in their space bringing not just hand crafting, and you know, their their artists and craftsmen ship to the world, but also their abilities through social media through training others up on finding their creative spark. And we are just thrilled to have you here with us today. Welcome Kristin and Erica.
Erica Williams 2:43
Thank you. Thank you so happy to be here. Yeah.
Steve Haase 2:48
We love having you in our coach certification. We've loved getting to know you and learning more about your work in the world. So I guess to kick things off, why don't you tell everybody a little bit about where you started from and how you've kind of evolved to helping people with their creative processes.
Kristen Williams 3:08
Yeah, okay. Yeah. So I got started with textiles, fiber art, mostly macrame, right as the pandemic started. So I was one of those pandemic, people who started their artwork there. But so I that was what 2020 That Christian and fibers started. And then you have had throw ceramics for it's been about nine years now.
Erica Williams 3:36
I started in college, it was just a random course that I took to fill hours. And the first day that I walked into that class, I was like, this is where I want to be. And I was originally going for graphic design, and didn't love sitting in front of a computer all day. I enjoy it more for myself now than I did then. But being in the ceramic studio, it really gave me a space to kind of create my own world. And not just pieces. But as I grew my business, it allowed me to create my own world around my work. And so that's yeah, all of that started
Kristen Williams 4:20
well. And then last year, I guess, I guess last year, we started to realize this problem. Yes, it was going on, especially on social media, or I mean, we felt that it was a problem where and especially with we assumed so many artists starting out in their craft in the pandemic, now you have all these ceramicist and all these MacRay people and all these different types of artists that we're all making the same thing because everybody's self taught everyone's learning from the same tutorials from the same people on Instagram ready scrolling
Erica Williams 4:49
through Pinterest and Instagram and oh, this person made this I bet I can make it like this. And so you just kind of see a repeat of every Yeah,
Kristen Williams 4:55
it was like a copy and paste and so and we were both having our own struggles of you I'm still in that place of trying to find my identity like fully as an artist. Yeah, you were kind of in that season of what's next. Yeah,
Erica Williams 5:07
I'm currently in a place of pivoting, going in a different direction.
Kristen Williams 5:11
So we started the inspiration generator to help other artists go through their own inspiration and pull original artwork out, rather than saying, Oh, I don't I can't think of anything. Let me get on Pinterest and see when everyone else is making it teaches
Erica Williams 5:28
you to create from your own life experience. Yes. So you're creating original pieces. Yeah. All the time.
Kristen Williams 5:35
All the time. Yeah. So and it just makes it. Everything has a story. And stories are what sell to people.
Erica Williams 5:42
My big thing is, if you're not connected to your work, how can you expect someone else to be connected to your work? And it's Vojin. We teach people how to create connections through their work, because when you create original pieces, you're more than likely connected to your work.
Kristen Williams 5:57
Yeah. And then other people can connect to it.
Steve Haase 6:00
That's powerful stuff. Where can everybody find InspoGen? Where do they go? Yes,
Kristen Williams 6:05
you can go to theinspirationgenerator.com. We also have an Instagram for it. So theinspirationgenerator on Instagram too.
Steve Haase 6:14
Brilliant. So just just one thing before I give Erin the mic, because I know she wants it, but I still have it. I gotta say, Erica, your mugs are my favorite mugs. When I when I hold your mug, I feel that you are connected to the work and that your connection has come to our home. And this is part of my life now. And it's I was talking to someone just the other day about the difference between a piece that someone has touched and put intention into, and a piece that was just kind of thrown together in a mass fashion. It's a different experience of the same thing, right, enjoying a hot beverage. It brings more spark to that moment.
Erica Williams 6:57
It matters how you start your morning. Like if you drink coffee in the morning, what you drink from matters.
Kristen Williams 7:03
It sets the pace of your day one it's so funny. Before I met Erica, I, I guess I really didn't have an appreciation for ceramics. But then. And that's also been another amazing thing about starting my business, after Erica had already had hers is because I've been able to learn so much. And when you get to watch her, in her studio just in like her own world in every glaze that she use or clay that you use. It's so intentional. And it really, it feels so intentional. It's just a really incredible thing to get to watch. It's really inspiring. So,
Erin Aquin 7:39
so good. And actually, I'm glad we're having this conversation because Erica, you mentioned an upcoming pivot for you and your business. And I actually think that this is something people don't talk about is it's really hard to pivot when you have people who are raving fans of the work you're doing right now. We had this experience over the weekend, we went back to my hometown where I taught yoga for 15 years. And I ran into like two or three of my former yoga students like one who I was very close to like spent every weekend teaching her and her family yoga. And our friend was with me, he was like people just love you. And I'm like, that's why it took me two years to change my business. Because sometimes it's not pivoting because what we're doing isn't working. It's like time for you as an entrepreneur to grow and to shift. And it's so scary to do that when what you're up to works. So how has that been for you? I don't know if you want to share a little bit about it. But I think that's a good thing for people to hear.
Erica Williams 8:41
Really funny that you say that because I think this pivot has been going on for probably the I started the conversation about a year ago, I started making some of those new pieces and kind of testing out the direction of what I want to do and where I want to go. And I have noticed that it is going to be a different clientele. And so I feel like I'm kind of starting from the ground up again. But also not, you know, there's still those people in there that just when you build relationships, like real, real true friendships with your people. I mean, anything that you create is just yeah, it turns into something wonderful. And then you have those supporters but now it's like I'm reaching a different it's a different market. It's a higher priced, like dipping into furniture design and all of these bigger pieces. You know, doing a launch now or shop update now is gonna look very different from doing a shop update with functional wares. But I know that I have to transition. I've had three months off. Yeah, since we've moved into this house and it has been so good on my brain and so good. Just trying to figure out what direction And then I want to go in, I have a desire to do to design some new functional pieces, but not to the extent that I want to do furniture. Like, every time I see something, now I'm inspired to create a piece of furniture, not turn it into a functional piece of ceramic. And so it's that season of just kind of starting over, trying to figure out what that person looks like speaking to that person, getting our space, to where I want it, so that I can like, kind of produce those pieces and bring those pieces to showcase and showcase those pieces. And so yeah, that's, that's where I'm at with it right now. But it is hard enough. And
Kristen Williams 10:45
then I think we've also had your moments of like, you know, where nerves start to get the best of you Yeah,
Erin Aquin 10:51
little thing we call static.
Erica Williams 10:55
Another sign that I've had recently, or we were having dinner with some friends, and he was talking about his business, and he had started this company when he was younger, and he did the posters, and then everybody started doing the same thing that he was doing. And that's what I'm noticing, now everybody's starting to do this thing that I'm currently doing. And he was talking about the pivot that he did. And when they made the pivot, their sales skyrocketed, and he turned this business small business that he had into an insanely massive furniture company. And so I'm just gonna like, hope for the best that that's Elmont turns out, but I know it was a son for me, that I needed to make this pivot and like hearing it from him was like, I'm sitting at the table right now, because I needed to hear that from you. Although
Kristen Williams 11:41
Thank goodness for coaching, because it's taught me how to not have an agenda, and to listen over give advice. But when I do have that moment of agenda, I think to one thing, just from our talks, it's like a really big driving force with you on making this change. Is because if you're gonna own a small business, and you're gonna put that much time into it, why would you do it and not love what you do? And the love that you used to have for functional where it's not? It's, it's there, but it's not as much as that. Yeah, it's not the kind of love that's like, I want to make 300. Mugs. Yeah, for subscriptions this month. Yeah. Whereas like that, love has transitioned over to furniture.
Steve Haase 12:29
So what I'm what I'm hearing in terms of inspiration is not kind of throwing water on that spark when it's coming, but actually fanning that flame, allowing it to live and follow where it might go, even if it kind of makes you nervous, makes it a little bit scared. And then the thing that I love about what you just shared is the we call them nods from the universe. You know, when when you put something out, you're like, I don't know if this is going to work. And then you hear someone basically say you should do it, it's going to work. This is your path, like, okay, loud and clear. Right. So that's the way we often do things is we'll, we'll kind of test something that has energy for us. And we'll keep our eyes out for nods from the universe. And if there's a response, you know, from the marketplace, from people that we're sitting with at dinner from wherever, then that adds fuel to the fire. That gives us a sense of okay, let's do this. Yeah,
Kristen Williams 13:26
yeah. And to add to the end of that, I mean, so one thing that we've just recently learned with other business endeavors, you know, sometimes things like line up so perfectly, and you're like, This has to be meant for me, it's destiny. And so we've had a recent experience where that was kind of the situation with that. And then we got to a certain point where we're like, is this right for us, but it still feels like it was right for us? Because it taught us so much. Yeah. So you know, at the end of the day, with any of our business endeavors, whether they turn out to be exactly what we planned, I, as long as we're like listening to if we should do it, and I definitely think even if it doesn't work out, we were
Erin Aquin 14:08
still supposed to do it. Yeah. So I actually love that way of thinking that this happens in the coaching world, too. But like, definitely, in the yoga world, people would just give up after one try of something and say, well, it wasn't meant to be. I'm like, try that for 15 minutes. What are you talking about? You have to you have to kind of work for things, sometimes you have to build up your resilience. And I love that outlook. That's how I think about all of this. It's like we're always just doing experiments. And even if the experiment doesn't turn out the way we want it to, which often does not. There's always some step that makes us stronger. That's towards the lantern that we're intending to light and that's something I love about watching both of you work because we kind of met on Instagram. You know, I knew Shannon and I knew and Eric and I had had Some chats. Shannon's been on the show before, we had had some some just connection. And then I started connecting a little bit more with you, Kristen, you're like the people on Instagram who I actually feel like genuinely having a good time. Like, there's so much Instagram stuff that it just feels contrived. You know, it doesn't seem like people really want to be there. But that's never how I feel when I look at something that you're like, Ah, thanks for sharing that, like, beautiful moment in your life. Thank you for showing me what you're working on. Like I I get excited when you show up in my stories. Oh, thank you. I mean, it's true. And I think that maybe it's because I work with so many other business owners who kind of feel like social media is the bane of their existence. It's so nice and refreshing to see creators having fun on a platform that is meant to help us build relationships.
Steve Haase 15:55
So I think the distinction that you're tuning into there, Erin is wanting to be there versus feeling like you have to be there. Oftentimes, when I coach people who are, you know, afraid or upset and like not wanting to be there and like, you don't have to be there, you're not you do not need to be on social. But if you want to pursue that, I'm really curious to hear from you, too. How you yourselves get over that. And I know you also work with clients on this, like how you coach people to find their fun find their authentic voice for being present in social in a powerful way. Yeah,
Kristen Williams 16:34
as this one, okay. So it's really funny, when I, after college, I had wanted to start I had like a, I made fondant decorations like handmade fondant decorations, and I sold on Etsy. And I was so terrified of social media that I would never put it on anything. I was like, I'm gonna get rejected, or what if somebody doesn't like it all the normal reasons that somebody won't put their stuff on social media. So then, when I started Chrisann fibers, and I had like, just started my Instagram. And I remember asking Erica, what am I supposed to write? And she was like, you write it anything, like, do whatever you want. And so I was like, Okay, well, I just started writing everything. It was honestly like my journal. And I realized, again, like I said earlier, people buy your story. Like, do I think people that have bought my artwork, love my artwork? Yes. But they have literally told me your story is what really sells us like, because we're not just buying this piece, like we're buying your life or buying your way of thinking. And I don't know I love I love social media. Yeah, then you're also very good at something that we've recently started doing is pristine plans, all of our content. So it gives us that opportunity to take a step back. And really enjoy the process. Like if we're not enjoying the process. That means we need to take a step back, look at what we're doing and reevaluate. What kind of content are we putting out? Well, and that's the biggest thing, everybody that you listen to, that gives you like, advice on content, I can't like, plan it out in advance plan out in advance, and I was so anti that was like, What? No, I'm gonna write on the spot. And then we had some stuff go on. And I was off of social media for like a month. And because I had nothing planned out ahead of time. I couldn't even think to write. So that is the biggest thing I will say is Yeah, even if it's just I do hours a week at a time. So just I think we're
Erica Williams 18:33
fixing to start doing lawn today. Yeah. That up and do like months at a time. Because, you know, there are moments in life where you're just so busy or something's happening and you can't write the way that you would like to write your head is just not in it. And so if you plan all of it out, and plan out all of your content, your reels, get all of it in one spot, and you're just plugging things in.
Kristen Williams 18:57
Yeah. But as far as I guess, the advice to help people, okay, a few things. Number one, it's okay to embarrass yourself in life and on social media. If you you can also hide likes. So if you're terrified of not getting enough likes, nobody even has to see how many you get to, if you write something and the next day, you're like, hey, I really liked that it was too cheesy or my post didn't do good. You can delete it. Like you can just make it disappear. So it's okay to be vulnerable. I think being vulnerable is good. I'm definitely not saying to get on there and complain or talk about how many times your kids wanted to brush their teeth today. But like just stuff that other people I don't think that anybody. We're all special in the world. But the life situations I go through are probably life situations that tons of other people go through. So when we share those live situations, it allows for people to feel connected. So yeah, I guess that's my thing. Like be okay to see To embarrass yourself or to fail, if I think that was actually something we've recently said is okay, we're gonna accept that our next because our Instagrams, we've been working on clients Instagram, so we kind of let our Instagrams fall. That's we're like, Okay, our next 20 Instagram post, they're not going to do good. Like that's go into it with like, these aren't even meant to do good. They're just meant to get back in the cycle of it. And if you take that expectation out of like, oh, this is going to be the post I go viral on then you're fine. Like, it doesn't matter.
Erica Williams 20:33
And just make sure you're having fun with it. If you're fine with it, then. Yeah, it's gonna make you resent it a little bit. Yeah, make it a conversation.
Kristen Williams 20:41
Like you're just people. People are not going to stop and read something that they don't. That feels like it's choppy. Yeah. Cold, like, just talk to people. Yeah. So hopefully, that was good. Oh, fun strategy, though. Can we share the
Erin Aquin 21:01
that please? Go grab the gold
Kristen Williams 21:03
grid. And okay. Well, as I was saying, I've already said it, so we got to share it now.
Erica Williams 21:07
So this is a first one is a genius when it comes to social media. I
Kristen Williams 21:11
just like fun little games. So we started this thing, where we do a 10 minute goal grid, everybody's already on Pinterest. So get on Pinterest, you set a 10 minute timer. And you go through and save all of your like pictures that you wish. That's what your Instagram look like. So set your 10 minute timer, it's done. You take all of those pictures? And are you familiar with like Planoly, the content calendar apps. So then you take those pictures, you plug them into your content calendar, and then you can learn so much from that you can say, Okay, this is the aesthetic that I would obviously love for my own Instagram. And then like mine, I had a bunch of front facing pictures of artists, I had a lot more detail shots. So it also told me, Oh, maybe this season, I'm really into showing my face a lot more. I'm into getting close up pictures. This is clearly the color scheme that I really like, like maybe these are the shades I should be working with. It just I think it's a super simple thing that teaches you a lot about Yeah, what you're wanting to do, and aesthetically even goes for as trying to decide what you want us your topics like yeah, you know, usually, as a content creator, we
Erica Williams 22:28
have five topics for whatever we're creating for so that we have plenty of like our pillar. Yeah, plenty of content to last. Yeah, however long.
Erin Aquin 22:37
So good. And I'm so glad you're mentioning this, because I think sometimes people, especially who maybe consider themselves creative, or they're in an art space, they do sort of have that attitude of like, well, I'm a writer, so I should just be able to write whenever I want to write, and I'm going to just do it on the fly. And I'm going to do it day by day. I actually think that if if planning is a possibility. It's so kind for your creative energy, because then you're not, you know, I mean, even thinking when we were working on our manuscript, I tended to plan so much more of the social media content that we did simply because I didn't want to like, burn myself out writing one post, and then No, I had a really important chapter that was like a pivotal tool that we have to talk about. So I actually think it's a really weird, I don't know, sort of myth that creative people can't be organized and can't plan. I think the opposite is often true. And even if it's a struggle to to get that as a habit, it's so much kinder to ourselves as business owners, it also
Kristen Williams 23:52
you know, very much believe if you will get an idea out, then you make room for more ideas to come. So if I'm in the middle of shopping at Kroger and all of a sudden I have a thought of something I want to talk about, if I will at least put it down. It doesn't have to be complete yet. But then I can build off of it. And then by the time I'm ready to post that I'm like cut that was amazing, because I've crafted it over a week's worth of time rather than being like, I've got 30 minutes before I gotta post. So let me come up with something cannibalization
Erica Williams 24:20
feeds creativity. Yeah.
Kristen Williams 24:22
100%, which we're not great at organization, but we're working on.
Erin Aquin 24:28
Good. And, you know, it doesn't have to necessarily always be like, rigid or hyper scheduled. It can just be like, I know that my most creative time of the day happens in these hours. So those are the hours that I am going to plan that time. I'm going to do my admin at a low point. I'm not going to try and stack you know, creating something out of thin air. When I would rather be taking a nap. I would rather just take a nap and yeah, I've that done Yes, your nap. Berg. Tell us tell us about the napping. Eric has loves napping
Erica Williams 25:05
every day. So I have a whole process to this. So I take a shot of espresso First, take seven minutes to fall asleep, takes about 20 minutes for that coffee to kick in. By the time I wake up for my 27 minute nap, last brush, those kicked in and I'm out the door, doing all the things
Kristen Williams 25:24
the 27 minute nap is like that's a household rule now, like it is it is a 27. And we each have 27 minute timers on our phone. She's so dedicated to it. And honestly, it does work. So
Erica Williams 25:37
going over 20 minutes. I'm just like, Yeah, ready to go back to sleep. Yeah, just doesn't work. I too
Steve Haase 25:43
am a big fan of the power nap. Usually sometime after lunch. And for me, I'll set my phone for like 1213 minutes, there's just enough time for me to kind of touch, touch the touch the the best, you know, and then return on just saying okay, ready to go.
Erica Williams 26:03
Really cool space of like, not completely asleep. And that's when good ideas.
Erin Aquin 26:09
Totally Yes, best ideas.
Erica Williams 26:13
And I thought of a whole table the other day how to build this thing because I had this one table that I was trying to figure out how to build. And during my nap the other day, I woke up and I was like, I got it. I know I can make this. It'll just change the whole thing.
Kristen Williams 26:28
We love naps and nap thanking you
Steve Haase 26:31
you're reminding me of an anecdote of it was Einstein or Edison or some great thinker, who would, who would hold the marble in his hand and sit in his chair, let himself doze off. And then when the marble fell to the floor that would wake him up and he you know, have all kinds of ideas and continue
Kristen Williams 26:49
to marble in your hand and
Erin Aquin 26:50
you fall asleep or spoon. I think a spoon is also like another someone else used spoon. It's like, won't break a marble could break. For us. I also would love to hear a little bit because whenever we have a chance to speak with another entrepreneurial couple, we always love to just like find out their secrets. I know Erica, you were an entrepreneur for a really long time. Chris, didn't you came into you know, this particular business during your during your relationship? How has it been working together working sort of in parallel? And you know, the ups and downs and rollercoaster ride of a business and a relationship? How's that been?
Kristen Williams 27:31
For? You guys? I can't tell you how many times in the past week. We have both and like we have a coaching call coming up soon I could really jumped really jumped to Erin or Steve right now about some things. Um, community. Yep. Community. Yes. It was posted in the community. So the community? Um, yes. Okay. Um, okay, well, before we get into fully working together, I will say is probably the greatest privilege I've ever had, again, to work to start my business and get to watch yours. Because there are so many things I've learned, like Erica has always been so big on. You know, if you want to grow your business on Instagram, and do it for free, with no ads, then you take the time to connect with people. And so that's a huge thing. Like, we've always tried to make sure like, we connect with everybody that you know, is engaging with us. So I've learned an insane amount. It is also amazing to I've been in relationships before and tons of people are in relationships where one person is, has their business, and then one person works for somebody else. And it's like two completely different brains. You know, like, trying to make this person understand. I don't work like yeah, I don't work from eight to four. I work from eight to eight, like eight till again. Yeah, eight to eight. Yeah, and just because it's Christmas doesn't mean we're not working. It's a lot. We're on the same page. Yeah. Within Spurgeon, when we started inspect, and we were like, we work amazing together, this is gonna be a breeze and it's gonna be perfect. And we're never versioni simpatico all the time. And we are not some protocols. That's lobby
Erica Williams 29:12
have disagreements in certain places, but we always end up so what's really cool about how me and Kristen work together is I love that Kristen thinks about things that I don't think about. You have really good logistics in the process.
Kristen Williams 29:30
I need like a tangible copy. I need like, a plan. Like I'm like, Oh, we're going to do pictures today will tell me exactly what shoot and where's Eric is like, Well, no, we'll get there and it'll come to me. Yeah.
Erica Williams 29:42
So when we go on a trip somewhere. Kristen has the whole thing, man. Yeah, I'm like have hikes. She's found in every hike in the area that we're going on and they're all planned out on if we do it this day, then we can do this one this evening. But I'm just like, we'll just do it. We'll
Kristen Williams 29:57
just do it. But we'll get we'll figure it out. Get this honestly, it's been really cold because it's pushed us in a different way, as a couple, it's made us have to realize like, your way of doing it is great. And my way of doing it is great. But if we're going to work together, we've got to kind of find a middle ground. So when we used to collaborate on art pieces, and this is kind of also another thing that we're finding is working for us here. When we used to do an art piece together, Erica would take it first. And she would make her ceramics out of it, and then she would pass it off to me, and I would do my textile side of it. So rather than us being like, okay, let's both come up with this one plan. And we're probably going to compromise on a little bit of me and compromise a little bit of you, and mesh our ideas together, it was fully her idea. And then it was fully my idea. And it made for a truly, two people have made this piece from their own creativities. And so that's one thing we're seeing with inspo. Jen is there are areas that Erica loves, and she's great at, and there are areas that I love, and I'm great at. And sometimes we don't have to work on every inch of it together. And like our main goal for inspo Jen is
Erica Williams 31:10
to have a passive semi passive is a
Kristen Williams 31:14
semi passive income. That gives us freedom of choice. Yeah, like when you you know, when we talk about that side of it. That's the big goal with it. And I think what was so important about putting that part, like the passive income is because I'm so bad about being like, oh, Eric, I had this genius idea, we can now start hosting like seminars, but that doesn't make it as passive, you know, like, we want to not be insanely hands on. So when those ideas come up, I can say, Wait, but does that actually get me to a path? So putting it out like that, you know, it has that goal. And then it's inspiration. And then it's website, business social. And so it has each of our, and we're not taking it down for Christmas, because we're just saying, like, comes over this weekend. Yeah. Or like, this
Erin Aquin 32:00
is what you want their brains to also just be percolating on all of it.
Kristen Williams 32:07
They're gonna look at it, they're gonna be like, Y'all are going places. And we're like, yeah, we are.
Steve Haase 32:12
I love your process. I love your sense of humor that and also just the, you know, it takes a certain something to bring your life and your business together in the way that you do. And I love the way that you're doing it. I can definitely relate to the, the the joy and the challenge of it. For me, it was writing our book, where, you know, we we set out and we said, okay, Erin writes her chapters deep writes his chapter, and it's fully each person's expression. And then when you sit down to do the editing, you know, then it gets personal. Like it's not personal, but Oh, God.
Erin Aquin 32:49
Gently he's lovingly saying how I'm very mean. She's,
Steve Haase 32:52
she's a real editor, man. Yeah, red pen, red pen is all over the place. There was, it was.
Erin Aquin 32:58
I was I was it was not mean. Don't actually mean it was.
Speaker 3 33:02
It was loving, loving, loving, loving to the
Erin Aquin 33:05
vision. Yes. Not necessarily loving for the ego to
Steve Haase 33:09
my ego, and care about my ego at all
Kristen Williams 33:12
just annihilated that,
Erin Aquin 33:13
yes, we need lots of timeouts, lots of take a breath, walk away, it actually, I think it took us longer to edit the book than it did to write it. Because that's the moment where everything's coming together. And I think it's amazing when you're in a, in a relationship where someone's good at something and someone's good at something else. The problem is when both people love one thing and have different, slightly different directions. I actually think this is where being coaches kind of helps. Because you can, you can say I can, I can coach you on this, and I'm going to just step back and hold space for you to feel through it. And, and communicate like we often stress over communication is a very good tool. I think that's something that makes your relationship work really well, from everything we've seen, but it is like adventures in marriage, that not a lot of couples get to experience or would choose to. So just congratulations on creating that as part of your relationship. I think it's really, really special. Thank you. Thank
Kristen Williams 34:16
No, I mean, to that. Yeah, it definitely. And yeah, we're, I'm really grateful we have you guys to look up to while we're going through all of this because we very much. That's super helpful, because it has been challenging, especially when you kind of in your mind, you're like, we work together perfectly. And you have that first moment, which is this is something I'm learning I do, and I'm working on it. But I kind of set this expectation in my head of what something's going to look like, this is a recent thing we've experienced, where I'm like, in my head, I was like, Okay, we're gonna sit down to work together on one thing, and we're both going to be like so in it, and we're going to be brainstorming and just so happy and it's gonna be incredible. And then that's not, you know, Eric is like, in her thing doing her one little thing. And I'm like, Well, you're not doing what I want you to do right now. And so it's, you know, there's been a lot of things that we've learned. And Erica had to explain like, Oh, that's not like, what is this expectation? Like, we can just both. And I was like, Okay, well, I
Erin Aquin 35:23
guess that works, Oliver something to you. Because this also, this is something we've we've shared with other couples who especially who worked together is it has been really helpful in our business to give each other like roles, like titles. So in our company, I'm the CEO. That's only kind of because I started the company, before soon became a coach and all of that. But it's really helpful when a final decision needs to be made. I am the person that has to sometimes be like, the main one. But then there's things like Steve is in is in charge of our operations. So he's doing all of the relationships with everybody in our world that we work with. And I sometimes sit there and I'm like, Oh, you can email that person back. Thank you so much, like so glad you have that role. It's really hard roll. When we have a meeting, one of us isn't, is in charge of leading the meeting. It's never, like, we're not always trying to come to an agreement on everything. It's like this is this is where I defer to you, because you're in charge of sales. So the way you want to do it, I will collaborate, I'll have input. But at the end of the day, you're the boss of that. And that has actually been helpful to us. It's been it's been essential to me learning about leadership from a week from within our own my own business, but it's also any couples for you. But for anyone who works with their spouse, it is helpful to just know who's in charge of what. Yeah, let's do that and let them do that job. Yeah,
Kristen Williams 37:03
I like that a lot. Actually. Yeah, that's, that sounds really helpful.
Erin Aquin 37:07
Every week. Every week we sit down with founders, meaning we sit and we talk about the high level things that we're working on and tracking, we talk about just the immediate things that are going on. Next week, we're going away for our yearly planning, or we go away, we stay in a nice hotel, we do our whole year long planning, which I always I always joke I'm like as as a business owner, some of it is an exercise in futility, because in a smaller business, things don't often happen and unfold the way that you expect them to. But because we have a book coming out in summer, it's essential that we have our gear sorted. Yeah.
Kristen Williams 37:46
That's awesome. No, I really love that. That's
Erica Williams 37:48
a really great idea.
Kristen Williams 37:49
I need y'all to just be our, our, our couples who work together coach so that we can learn everything y'all have done. We
Erin Aquin 37:57
just start we just start a start a club
Steve Haase 38:00
Kristen Williams 38:04
Steve Haase 38:06
So I'm, I'm curious, because we've been talking a lot about your entrepreneurial journey, your creative journey. And yet you're in our coach training program. How have the tools of coaching helped you so far? What do you see yourself using it for as you build out these ideas that you have? Oh,
Erica Williams 38:28
my gosh, well, first of all, it has taught me to be a much better listener.
Kristen Williams 38:33
I thank you, I think,
Erica Williams 38:36
because I'm usually
Erin Aquin 38:38
when Kristen tells me something.
Erica Williams 38:40
I'm like, okay, and then it's like squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, all over the place. But so now I'm really learning how to hone in that that listening skill, which I was never really super great at, because I'm, I've created my own world. And up until about
Kristen Williams 38:58
that to say, however, for years, I've created
Erica Williams 39:01
my own world. And so I just kind of do whatever I want all the time. And it becomes a problem when there's another person.
Kristen Williams 39:08
Yeah. And then four years ago, I mosey down and said, it's not just your world. So
Erica Williams 39:13
it's been really, really helpful there. As well as communication skills.
Kristen Williams 39:19
My god, yeah, yeah. Yeah, my biggest thing, I think would be, I mean, I'm telling you, when we got into the coaching, it wasn't like we went in and said, Okay, this is because we want to become coaches. We were just, we were kind of given the opportunity. And we were like, what can't we learn from this? You know, we really felt like there's just there's going to be good in here. I just felt like I'll become a better human if nothing else. Yeah. And honestly, not at all that the coaching was, you know, to help your relationship, but especially if you're going to work together, it did help tremendously, because when I would give if Erica would come to me with problem. And I would be like, Oh, well, you know, this isn't, this is the only logical thing to do. And then I would always notice that like, she would just kind of glaze over and tune out. And then I would get irritated. I was like, Well, why are you coming to me for advice. And then through coaching, I realized, people aren't really coming to you for advice, they just want to kind of talk themselves through it, and you're just kind of there to, to guide them and to help kind of, you know, keep that that track flowing of figuring it out. And me, when we get off of a coaching goal, we will sit for like 30 minutes, and just practice it on each other. And just because we're so comfortable, I mean, it also helps because we're all comfortable with each other. But it really is a huge difference just in how you talk to people, and also how you respond to people. Yeah, and realizing that probably one of the biggest things that I've learned too, is my idea is not necessarily the right idea, you know, so, but just because I think that like, oh, yeah, you'd be so much happier making furniture, it doesn't actually mean that that's the answer. Like, you know, there's just, it's definitely made us a lot more open minded. Yep. have way better communicators. But as far as what do I know, one thing that's come up for me that I would like to do with it is with in Spurgeon, a thought on and this is kind of one of those ones where I feel like, okay, this can't be immediate, because we're still trying to be a little more passive and hands off with it. But I think it would just be super helpful to do kind of smaller coaching consultations, where people that are so stuck on social media, especially if they're artists. Yeah,
Erica Williams 41:42
I think that's my big thing with it, too. Because just thinking back to like, the early days of me, starting my ceramics business, putting my work out there was really, really hard. Because there were just so many days where I was like, Oh, my God, this, nobody's gonna, like, this is gonna be awful.
Kristen Williams 42:01
I'm gonna get my feelings hurt. And no matter whether you're a good writer or a bad writer, yeah, you still a lot of times will be like, I have no idea what to write. Yeah,
Erica Williams 42:09
Erin Aquin 42:10
you're both familiar with this term. But for anybody who who's listening that may not be for creative, folks, I think that most of the time, it isn't the challenge of figuring out what to do and how to do it. It's usually the inner static, you know, it's, it's like, well, my fourth grade teacher said, I was a terrible painter. So I'm really scared of, you know, putting my art on my Instagram, or, you know, I gotta, I gotta be in English in high school. So I could never really write this book. So much of the time, it isn't that the platform is hard. It isn't that the world is mean, the world can be mean sometimes. But you know, like, that's not usually what you're encountering. When you're first starting out, the world doesn't get me and until you've got like, hundreds of 1000s of fall. By then you're already resilient enough that like, you have a different capacity to to handle that. But it's that early stage where you're not even at that first lantern. It's like I'm standing at the bottom of this very big mountain, looking up wondering if I have what it takes to even take that first step. And I think that's something that would be amazing. I don't know how you would do it in a passive way. But you probably will. I bet you're creative enough to figure it out. Supporting people to actually see that it isn't truth. It is just static. Yeah,
Kristen Williams 43:37
well, and actually, okay, there's two things I want to say. So first off, with, especially with the coaching, one thing that we're realizing well, because I do the copywriting for social media, I have a very specific client that I want to write for, like it's got to be that is one thing that recent lessons have taught me like, I love to write, but I like to write a specific way. And I'm not I don't like to. I don't like to go out of what I want to do. But so I say that because I would rather coach unless it's like my ideal client, I'm going to be talking about something I truly can be passionate about. I would rather teach people to be or coach people to help them be self sufficient. So if I get on a call with you, because you don't know how to do your Instagram, I don't want to tell you, this is what you should do for your next 12 post. I want to now being able to use the tools that we've learned from you first be able to address Okay, what's your static even going on here? And then let me ask more questions so that we can figure out what's even the right thing for you to talk about. To add to that. I know a big hesitation for me previously with the idea of coaching as I was like, I'm not cut out to coach people like what if they have an issue that I don't know how to deal with and then I realized again from Superabound I don't have to be an expert. I don't need to. They're probably the expert. Like, if I'm coaching somebody who's a painter, I don't need to know anything about painting, that person knows enough. I just need to dig in to them.
Erica Williams 45:14
Most of the time, it's just being their thinking partner. Yeah, it's as creatives you just kind of like we were the other day, we were both kind of stuck on that. That one little part where we were coming up with avatar, and I was like, let's be thinking partners in this. Yeah. And then we kind of went back and forth with all the things that we were trying to do. And that to me, I think would be if I had that, if I had a thinking partner in the beginning of my business, yeah. Yeah, with someone that I could just shoot ideas back and forth with on this piece that I was trying to create, or, you know, this show or this exhibition that I'm trying to pull off in such short amount of time, like, yeah, that would have been amazing. Yeah,
Kristen Williams 45:54
because I don't we don't want to people that are dependent on us. That's not gonna help us get to our our passiveness. And that's also not going to help them as Yeah, as business owners.
Erica Williams 46:05
It's not going to teach them to create or to think creatively. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Steve Haase 46:11
Amazing. Thank you for sharing all that. It's, it's wonderful to hear that it's having an impact on your business on the people that you're working with the way that you work with each other and create your your own materials. It's fantastic.
Kristen Williams 46:24
You had said, I'm sure you'll figure out how to do it passively. And it made me think of another thing that it is teaching me. So one thing we realized with our social media, we were actually having a really hard time figuring out how do we want to do the inspiration generator, social media, because it's not either one of our artwork, we're trying to teach people inspiration. So we're like, how do we do that the right way? Well, we've kind of come up with our own idea of it. But we've decided rather than making because, again, we're the type who will be like, we'll learn something about creating an avatar for our business. And we're like, Oh, my God, we should teach a course on creating avatar for your business. And so then we have this insane list of courses that we're like, we're never gonna do all this. But so what we've decided is all of those like light bulb moments that we have an idea on, it can almost be a form of written coaching, where we want to lay it out in like, say, like a carousel post that has questions. You know, like one question on each carousel slide that helps them dig into that answer for themselves. So then, because I like the written code, I think I'm more comfortable with written code. Yeah. But so yeah, it's insane how much these past few months of coaching with y'all has. I feel like made us better humans. A better couple better business owners, leaders? It's,
Erica Williams 47:49
I mean, yeah, it's even helped like relationship with my dad and mom. Yeah. And just all around relationships. Yeah, pretty solid. Thank
Erin Aquin 47:59
you so much. Like that, just, that's why we do what we do. And, you know, thank you both for bringing your full selves to the training as well, like you were I think the two people who had never coached before. And, you know, I think that that can be a little bit intimidating. But I'm just so excited for you to get certified next one. And for all the ways that you can use it in your business, I think that's, that's the thing like, it is,
Erica Williams 48:30
it is a life skill.
Erin Aquin 48:32
It's really good for all relationships, business and personal. And thank you for just being incredible entrepreneurs and leading the way for folks in your industry. I didn't say this earlier. But I think one of the things that it's so exciting to watch is how successful you both are. Because I think that it's debunking the myth that if you're an artist, you're gonna be broke. Yeah. He's reading an amazing, several several amazing businesses. And I love seeing that. I think that's like the like, former yoga teacher and me, I'm like, we don't have to live in a basement apartments and where we can have beautiful homes and take incredible vacations and just like, let money be another sacred resource in our world and the reflection of our impact. So I just love seeing I love seeing your success as well. You.
Steve Haase 49:33
Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your wisdom with everyone who's listening.
Kristen Williams 49:38
Hey, thank you all so much for having us. This was wonderful, wonderful.