164 Make Everything Fun: Kathryn Kemp Guylay on Why Innovation In Business Springs From Joy and Creative Fun
Kathryn Kemp Guylay is on a mission to make business fun. Entrepreneur, CEO of the learning platform MakeEverythingFun.com, and CEO of the Ketchum Innovation Center, Kathryn shares her insights on why fun in business boosts the bottom line, the recipe for innovation, and why when we’re creating in fun we attract the best team members, serve our customers better, and enjoy our lives.
Melinda Wittstock: Kathryn, welcome to Wings.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I’m so excited to be here. I know we’re going to have a lot of fun.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, me too. Well, fun, it should be your middle name. You’re all about fun, and I want to know what was it that made you so inspired to go and make the world a more fun place.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: You know, it’s interesting because people have asked how I came up with this brand, Make Everything Fun, and it wasn’t something that happened overnight. I actually think that great ideas usually do not come from when you’re sitting at the desk. They come from when you’re moving your body out in nature. I’m a big fan of walk and talk meetings, and a lot of people get their ideas in the shower. I get mine out on mountain tops. I had been through a career in management consulting, and then I was in non-profit management, and I was also doing some work at the local incubator. This is incubator for entrepreneurs in Sun Valley, Idaho, so very small mountain town, but full of really, really neat people.
I was noticing, and just also doing some interviews with entrepreneurs, and finding out how difficult it is. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what you do. You do need to work hard and work smart to get ahead, and you need a lot of energy to do that. I was really interested in what was driving this energy source, and where people would continue to get energy, and just listening to stories … I mean, there’s so many out there of people that have failed again and again, and lost millions, and regained millions, and lost again, and how do you go through all that, and there has to be this passion and purpose. For me, I insert fun into where a lot of people might say passion or might say purpose.
What fun also allows me to do when I was talking about this brand not coming out of anything overnight was it allows me to zoom out at the bigger picture of what I’m interested in doing. After being in management consulting, and after being in that non-profit world for over a decade, I really got into working with clients around wellness, and around nutrition, and then I was thinking wow, what does wellness and nutrition have to do with publishing? What does it have to do with entrepreneurship? What does it have to do with podcasting? It was like the Steve Jobs … He calls it Associative Fluency, and it’s really interesting.
If you’re interested in what Associative Fluency is more deeply, you can listen to his commencement speech at Stanford. You can find it anywhere online, on YouTube. He talks about how he had this incredible ability to create relationship between things that seemed unrelated. In his example, he was talking about how he took this course in college, actually after he dropped out of college, and it was auditing courses that he was interested in. He was taking a course in calligraphy, and it was that course that he took because of passion, or I would say because of fun, he took that course, and then later in his life, when he was developing the Mac, it was all of that beauty of the interface, and the fonts, and that whole, what makes a Mac so cool. That all came from that audited course that he took up after he had dropped out of college, and was just doing things for the fun of it.
Melinda Wittstock: I love this. This is so true. I think the companies that are the most innovative, and the entrepreneurs that are the most innovative are really good at, yeah, combining disciplines, or seemingly unrelated things. It’s funny, you get old enough like I am now, and you look back on your life, at these seeming things that have no obvious connection, but then they do start to converge, and they’re meant to be. It’s like the chocolate-peanut butter moment, right, where you don’t know that things go together until you put them together in a really unique way, and so many really cool companies and endeavors happen for exactly that reason, so I love that commencement speech, and, yeah, everybody go look that up and listen to it because everybody has that in their lives if they’re in touch with it.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: It’s amazing too, and I don’t know if I can just veer off a little bit into the woo-woo world, but I-
Melinda Wittstock: The woo-woo world, I like that.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I was actually just at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, and it was so amazing. There were different speakers, and there was somebody speaking about an after-life experience. This is really cool about that whole associative fluency, and being able to look at how seemingly unrelated things are very much connected. This person described an after-life experience as being like if you’re in a beautiful, complex, oriental carpet, but you’re in the threads like you’re literally in the mock, you can’t see the pattern, you can’t see the beauty, but then when you zoom out in this after-life experience, you look down at all these threads and those are all the experiences, and the life lessons, and yes, those terrible things that happened, and those things that, at that time, seems awful and struggles, and walking through the fire to get to the other side, those all create this beautiful, complex pattern like an oriental carpet that is your life.
I just thought it was so beautiful, and for those people that don’t want to even think about woo-woo, the very practical thing is that I could be talking to a client who has young children, she spent a lot of time within motherhood, and maybe she took time off her job, and she’s saying, “Well, Kathryn, what does being a mom have to do with my next stage of my career?” I will say, “Absolutely everything.” We’ll go back and we’ll talk about all of the experiences that being a mother and being leaders in different circles whether it’s the girl scouts, or the PTA, or running a huge fundraiser for their school, and raising six figures, which, you know, are real stories from my clients. Yes, you can apply that to your next life. It’s just being able to zoom out a little bit, and say, “Oh, these skills actually are related.”
That’s what that whole brand process was about. It’s about zooming out and looking it all, what puts it all together. For me, it’s fun. For you, it might be something else. For everyone listening, it might be their own thing. I really encourage people to find some commonality, some hook in their life experiences because it helps us even while we’re here in this humble classroom, earth, to realize that we’re part of this beautiful, intricate, gorgeous pattern in a Persian carpet.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that you called it, you know, earth is basically this classroom, and we’re all here in our earth suits learning stuff. I’m curious though what you think about women’s brands when it comes to entrepreneurship whether we’re a little bit better at connecting those dots. I mean, we do tend to be able to multitask a little bit easier, or to be able to connect dots a little bit easier. It’s like, okay, I’m doing this, I’m doing that, and honey, your socks are over there, and this and that, and whatever, and do that with ease. I think, sometimes men will look at that and say oh, my God, like can you focus on one thing, and the woman will say I AM focused.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Yes. I actually think it’s interesting, I know you work with a lot of female entrepreneurs, and a lot of female entrepreneurs listen to this podcast, it’s so perfect for that audience, I think what women, I think some of the things that women do best are they do build that connection between events but also people. So they are the best community builders around. They are also some of the best mentors because they’re so nurturing. We are so nurturing as females, so I think those are some really great skills that we bring that might really trump the men in the room.
I can say where we need to be careful, and I’ve heard this on some of your other podcast interviews and some of the guests have brought this up and you’ve talked about this with them, is that we can fall into perfectionism a little.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, God. Oh, my God [crosstalk 00:19:07]
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: There should be like an AA for perfectionists.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean really.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Melinda, we can start that. Okay? Because there’s a lot of us. We’d have a huge following. We could be the Pied Piper, just play the tune and all the female entrepreneurs would be running after us.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh. this comes up over and over again on the podcast, you’re right, I mean why is it that we all have this perfectionist gene? What’s your theory of how we end up there?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Gosh. I was just talking to my Associate Director at the Ketchum Innovation Center about this, because she is a complete perfectionist too, and we’re both kind of pleasers, and you know I think it might come from our culture, and the way that we’re brought up as girls. We’re certainly brought up to, at least I was, I wanted to please my parents, in particular my dad. I mean my dad was my hero, and so I was very much trying to please him, and I think that pleasing and making things right, and making things harmonious, that’s kind of a role that we take on as girls, and that becomes part of the culture, and then we forget that we have adopted that as bad … I won’t say a bad word on a podcast, but you know what I mean, real incredible women that can really make things happen in the world, but we forget that we’re just little girls that have grown up. We carry the same paradigms.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so true. You observe any classroom, even now, little kids, like my kids were in Montessori school when they were younger, and you know the boys were all running around and like tussling with each other, and they even like just play fighting, but when that’s over it’s like they’re all friends. The girls were very organized, very collaborative, taking turns, making everything look pretty, everything look really neat. I don’t know whether this was actually taught or what. It’s that nurture-nature argument, in a way, but boys and girls learn differently.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Yeah, and my kids too were in Montessori. I love the Montessori style, and you are supposed to put your things away, but you’re absolutely right, Melinda, I would observe, and I would see that the boys sometimes would knock things over and the girls would go and put them back in the trays [crosstalk 00:21:32]
Melinda Wittstock: And the girl would do it, yeah, exactly. I know.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: That’s just and then I think other girls see that and then they model that. I’m not saying anything is wrong or bad or good. I’m just saying it is what it is, and it’s a pattern you’ve seen, it’s a pattern I’ve seen. As women today we just need to be aware of that and say, you know what, I’m not responsible for cleaning up after everybody’s mess today, and I’m not responsible for fixing everything. I’m going to be responsible for the things I’m good at, and that I have time to do, and really keep our boundaries. I think that’s what we need to do.
Melinda Wittstock: Where it’s interesting, and you must have seen this in your role as a management consultant and that part of your life, where men will show up at a company, say in a corporation, and the first question they’re going to ask is who do I need to know to make things happen, who do I delegate to, who’s going to help me do my job well. Whereas women will show up and say okay, I’m going to get my head down, I’m going to work really hard, I’m going to be the best here, and I’m going to be noticed because of the work. And like which one works? It’s the relationship one. It’s the kind of who am I going to leverage, which is more the masculine approach, which I think is fascinating given the fact that we are the ones who are natural nurturers and relationship builders, and it’s this irony that I struggle with, like why is that?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Well, I think that we, again going back to that nurturing role, we don’t want to create these relationships and then dump anything on anyone, if you know what I mean. Like we don’t want to say like develop this wonderful cohort, a relationship with a coworker, and then say I’m leaving and you need to finish it by tomorrow. Like that is not part of this nurturing paradigm that we’ve developed as girls and as women.
I think with men, because they were the ones that left the blocks lying on the floor, they can leave at five.
Melinda Wittstock: They can, and without any guilt or without any of that. But you see when it comes to entrepreneurship, though, that’s deadly for women, and that’s why only three percent of women scale their businesses beyond a million dollars. Most people cannot, most women cannot get to a million dollars in revenue. And a million dollars is really where the game starts. In fact, in business, hopefully we’re not just building small businesses or creating jobs for ourselves, but we’re actually building scalable businesses, and without being able to delegate that’s pretty hard to do, and it explains that three percent number.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I don’t know any seven-figure businesses that are run by one person, or even two. I mean that really needs to be a team.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s impossible.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: You need a team.
Melinda Wittstock: You need a team, and you need to ask for help, get good at asking for help, and I think it’s difficult often for women to ask for help, and so this is one of the things, it’s a big mission of mine, is catalyze this ecosystem where we just start helping each other, and just start doing it, and make it easier for people to ask, like actually reward women who show up and ask for help. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I want to see that happen because it is going to be the game changer in many ways that allows us to kind of really, really see these big ideas and big dreams and different approaches that frankly our society needs from us right now. Right? I wanna see that happen, so what are all the roadblocks and how can we get around them, over them, through them, find a way or make one?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Yeah. I would say the biggest roadblock by far is that four letter word, fear.
Melinda Wittstock: Hmm.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: And I think that women, again it might go back to this whole wanting to please, wanting to make people proud of us, so we try to do a great job, we try to be very smart, and really I try to remind people of this all the time is that if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that saying because it’s really life, actually, and entrepreneurship certainly is about constant learning, because you’re testing hypotheses at every step of the way. So if you really wanna figure out how to get something done, figure out who’s mastered it and hang out with them. Ask them questions.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Absolutely. If you go back to that obstacle, I think I can get this acronym right. So fear actually can stand for something really interesting. It is fantasized events appearing real. So what that means is that we … So let’s think about going into that room where you’re let’s just say the least smart person in the room, right? So what are you fantasizing? I’m just saying, okay, I’m just making this up, okay, maybe people will think I’m stupid. Maybe people will make fun of me. Maybe this will happen, I’ll be judged. Right? This is what … This is the obstacle, right, is that we have got to get past this fear, and start getting comfortable with discomfort. And you’ve heard this before, that no growth happens in the comfort zone. If you stay comfortable for too long, you get stagnant, and nothing great happens in your life.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]No growth happens in the comfort zone. If you stay comfortable for too long, you get stagnant, and nothing great happens in your life. #WINGSofInspiredBusiness #WomeninBusiness @kathrynguylay[/tweet_box]
If you’re in the discomfort zone for too long, then you can burn out, but it’s really this balance between pushing the limit, getting into that discomfort zone, really, really growing, being with super smart people that are going to challenge with you, and then backing off and absorbing it. But you can’t get into that discomfort zone unless you can get past that fear. And again fear is just fantasized events that are appearing real, but it’s just that your mind is going places that maybe probably won’t happen.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. This is so true, but it’s all in our unconscious. It’s all the stuff that we learned and absorbed as babies, toddlers, kids. I mean God knows, probably from a television show that maybe our parents were watching. I mean we have millions of these beliefs, and we don’t even know often what’s driving us or what’s driving that fear. So getting past that is critical, and if you want a course in mastering or overcoming your fear, become an entrepreneur. Because the only way you can succeed is to really deal with that. Like you really at a certain point it will confront you, for sure, and maybe over and over again in different ways.
I’m curious what you think about this, the difference between perfectionism and mastery. How do you know? Right? Because we wanna be good at what we do.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Yeah, and I’ll go to that Malcolm Gladwell idea of ten thousand hours is mastery. I do believe that you need to put in the foundation, the groundwork, the time, in order to really master something. I say back in … And it’s about 2000 hours a year, by the way, that a full time job is. So if you count for vacations, and weekends, things like that, it’s about 2000 hours that we spend on a full-time job. So it’s about five years that we need to dedicate to any job in order to master it.
Now, we used to tease each other in management consulting, and my husband was in investment banking in Wall Street, that they were trying to cram the ten thousand hours into like two years, just by making them work that many hours. But I do believe that that kind of time investment and just seeing the same type of problems and going through the same processes … And I’ve heard you say this on another podcast episode, too, to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. I like to fall in love with the process. Right? Because what I’ve found in management consulting is that the companies all had different but similar problems, and we often had no idea what the solution was. I’m talking about working with AT&T and IBM, and Motorola, and huge corporations that would bring us in, and I was in my twenties when I was a senior manager. I was thirty when I became a principle, so I was very young, but I trusted the process.
I trusted the process in order to get to the solution. And so that to me is mastery, is going through the process enough that even if you’re in the dark … I used to say to my boss I feel like I’m treading water in tar in the dark, and he goes welcome to my life. Right? But we never … We sometimes didn’t see the next step on the staircase, the whole Martin Luther King analogy, but we knew if we trusted the process, because we’d been through the process enough, that we would lead, we would be led to the right solution. So that’s mastery.
Perfection is a totally different animal. It’s like has no value. We could take the word perfect out of our vocabulary, and we would all be a whole lot happier. Perfect is I just very much dislike that word. I think it causes a lot of unnecessary anxiety, and it has absolutely nothing to do with mastery.
Melinda Wittstock: Hmm. So, Kathryn, you’ve done some extraordinary things in your career. I mean when you have clients that include a list of all the blue chips, you know, we’re talking IBM, GE, Motorola, 3M, all these Fortune 100 … Fortune 50 companies, I mean what’s it like advising those companies?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Well, there are some really great things about it, and then there are some really funny things about it. I’ll tell one story, it’s really great, about female entrepreneurs, and sometimes how we can be viewed in our … I was probably in my late to mid twenties when I was working on a project with one of those companies. I won’t say what it was. I was a senior manager, that was my title at the time, and I walked into the meeting to present our findings. We were doing an assessment design implementation project, and this was the assessment presentation, and we plopped down our presentation on the table, it was a big board room, and then we started to introduce ourselves, and somebody looked at my name and they figured out that that was me, Kathryn, was the senior manager, and this old guy looked at me and said neither senior nor manager should be in your job description, and I just said …
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my God.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: And I just said let’s talk at the end of the meeting, and then I proceeded to go through what was a rocking awesome analysis that we did, where there was major problems. We were looking at their sales and marketing functions, and they were all siloed, and they were confusing the customer, and we had all this customer data, because that’s as you know as an entrepreneur you go to the customer when you’re trying to get any answers, you go to the customer, and we did a great job, and everybody was very pleased with our work, and at the end he said all right, you know, great job. So don’t get too caught up in titles.
But I guess what I would say to those listeners is that the people in the C-suites of these companies are just people, and businesses are just made up of people, of everyday flawed people that make mistakes, that have emotions, and actually my husband is in mergers and acquisitions, and he always comes to me and says Kathryn there’s this problem when you know the buyer’s getting all hung up on this, and blah blah blah, and he tells me the story more from a business standpoint, and where I go to, Melinda, is I say okay tell me about that … Tell me about Suzy and Dave on the buyers, and what’s going on with them, and what’s driving them, and what’s their personal agenda, what do they have to gain, what do they have to lose. And then we talk a lot about that. And then, this is usually on a walk and talk, and then he comes to the point, the realization, that a lot of these things really are just are personal agendas.
And so we have to be aware in business whether it’s a one-person startup in a garage or if it’s a Fortune 100 in a huge glass building, is that it really just comes down to people, and that all people have emotions and agendas, and we all have those basic needs, to be wanted, to be needed, to be loved, and yes, even in business. I can go ahead and use the word love in business. I can do that today because I’m older now.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, me too. And but it’s true. I mean it’s interesting on the M&A space, just even entrepreneurs selling their businesses, you know, at that last phase just before exit, I mean I think most entrepreneurs go little nuts at that place, right, because not only is it really like you get very attached to your company. So you’ve been building it and you want to sell it, but then it’s like, “Oh my God. What am I going to do next?”
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Oh, it’s so emotional.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s so emotional. Or it’s just, I don’t know, this sense of losing control. You’ve been in control of it and now you’re not. There’s all these kinds of big emotions going on, and a lot of fear, and a lot of stuff. I think this is so true, all of it’s personal, always. And actually getting to that, getting to what those unconscious drivers are is so interesting.
So on the corporate side, I’m fascinated by this, because you see a lot of fortune 500 companies, big, big companies don’t exist anymore because they can’t necessarily move as fast as change and disruption, disruptive innovation. Wait, I’m just going to ask this question again, sorry, ’cause it’s too long winded. Just a minute.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: By the way, I love disruptive innovation. Love it. Love it. Love it.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. So I’m so interested in your perspective of what’s going on in corporate America right now. Because change is happening so fast, disruptive innovation, that a lot of these companies can’t move fast enough to change. The culture, there’s so many different aspects of this. Just not having the nimbleness that entrepreneurs have to have. What’s your take on that? Do you think many fortune 500s will actually survive and prosper?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Well they’re going to have to look to the next generation, just like I was saying with the customer being the most important point to go for information. In these larger corporations, going to the next generation of leaders and finding out what their value systems are, that’s going to be what is going to make or break their survival.
You talked about disruptive innovation, and I love that idea, and I think that definitely will put, and it is putting some big companies out of business in healthcare, and technology and communications. The corporation is just blindsided by something that comes in and disrupts the industry. It can put the business completely out of business right away. However, a more chronic, slow death will happen to those corporations that are not keeping their eyes open to the value systems of the Millenials and of the generations that are going to come behind the Millenials.
My husband was just telling me the other day about a hiring process. When we were going in, I’m almost 50, I’m 48. I’ll tell listeners how old I am. Well when I was going into my different careers, my 20s and 30s and 40s, yes, I wanted salary was important and learning and upside. But the idea of working hard and what we call the risk, reward, so incentives plans and things like that, and bonuses, those were huge topics.
Today, people are like, “Eh, I kind of like my PTO, my paid time off. I like flexibility. I like freedom.” If you actually look at the value systems, even of Millenials, they’re almost reversed from what we saw with the baby boomers. The huge emphasis on financial and home ownership and large assets and things like that, with happiness and freedom at the bottom, that’s all been flipped.
I guess what I’m trying to say about corporations, if they don’t recognize that that value system has been flipped and start to adapt now, they will die a slow death of just turnover and absenteeism. Even with people on the job. We’ve heard that 70 to 80% of people show up disengaged at work. So corporations need to figure out how to change those statistics. I think that has to do with looking at the value systems of the upcoming generations.
Melinda Wittstock: This is really true. Well this neatly brings it back to fun and culture, company culture. But also something near and dear to my heart, which you’ve been talking about, it’s triple bottom line. It’s the fact that Millenials don’t buy from companies that don’t have, say for instance, a clean supply chain, or a diverse board of directors or hiring policy, a great culture. Or more to the point that are actually doing something, something mission, something good for the world.
So this, I think, is such an interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs. Because the best talent now, gravitates to companies that are fun to work for or with, and people who are doing really big things. So not only is that good for the world, but it’s great for any entrepreneur, particularly, I think women who come at this with an idea to really improve things, to make change, improve our education, improve our healthcare, improve all these different things. So the opportunity for entrepreneurs is amazing. It’s such an exciting time.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I mean, I really think, and especially being part of the economic development solution here in Sun Valley, in a mountain town. There is, by the way, this collection of innovative centers across the mountain towns, so Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, Whistler, Mammoth. Out in the east coast there’s in Vermont, we have this collaboration called the Mountain Venture Summit. We talk about economic development in our towns, because as small resort communities it’s very different from D.C. We’re very dependent on tourism and the seasons and things like that, and snowfall, for skiing and things like that.
But what we’re learning and needing part of the economic development solution of this area, but also in a broader sense is that small business, and in particular, entrepreneurship is the largest lever of economic development into the future. That’s what’s going to make our economy grow into the future.
Yeah, I believe like Warren Buffet does and the great American economy, the SNP 500. But I also believe that we really need to take stock of this incredible opportunity that entrepreneurship and the small businesses give us, because that’s where the growth is going to happen.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Do women think big enough? Should we be going for bigger moon shots?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I think anyone that listens to this podcast is thinking big.
Melinda Wittstock: Good. I’m trying to encourage everyone to think big.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Yes, yes. So just keep listening to podcasts like this and get inspired and connect with other women. I think it’s so important to have mentors that are other women. I love the fact that you’re also a mom and you’re so successful in all these areas of life. I think for other women to find that and find role models. This is just a little silly. I have such a bad voice, I’m going to embarrass myself. But one of the things that really messed me up as a kid was, “I can bring home the bacon.”
Melinda Wittstock: Right, right, right. [crosstalk 00:43:43]
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: But who was that lady? Right? Who was that lady with the in that dress?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh God. I don’t know who fantasized her on Madison Avenue, right? But that-
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: She’s never really shown up in my life, only to haunt me to make me feel inadequate. So what we need to do in shooting big is to find real people that are really doing this, gather together. I love your vision of creating this cohesive community where we can call on each other and support each other.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, that’s exactly right, because nobody has it all. This whole sense of having it all. I don’t know. You can have tremendous abundance and tremendous success and happiness. I think that’s possible, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. There’s a difference between having it all and doing it all. I think that subtlety and that difference is lost. You can manifest all these things.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Exactly, that’s why frying it up in a pan, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, you can have it all. You just don’t have to do it all.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: So you do the things that make your heart sing that you’re really good at, and that align with your true purpose and passion. When you get into alignment with that, this is such a magical thing. When you do, it’s so interesting, the serendipities or synchronicities that start showing up in your life, where when you’re living really intentionally like that, and the right people show up at the right time.
It’s the most curious thing. I started to see this, even with the podcast, where whatever issue I was working on in my business, either Verifeed, or with the Wings brand, or anything that I was doing, the right woman would show up at the exact right time on the podcast, even though the guest system, it’s automated, you pick the date that I’m going to interview you from my calendar.
But this kept happening more and more and more. And I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to take this as a sign, as a sign from the universe, that really, I’m in alignment.” Do you notice that too? That when you are truly aligned, things are just have a flow and an ease? And when you’re not, they don’t. I mean it feels like a grind. It feels like hard work when you’re not in alignment.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Completely, with one caveat. I will say that when we are making major, major shifts in our life, that there are sometimes, I do believe that the universe puts things in our path and helps us and that the universe is very benevolent. However, I think that when we make major shifts often, and this is great for anybody that might be going through this right now and is listening.
I do think that the universe will test us just to be sure that we are completely committed to this new major path or shift. So sometimes when you’re making that shift, if you’re feeling like, “What? Why am I bumping up against this thing? Why isn’t this super duper easy? Why isn’t this happening by tomorrow?” If you’re feeling tested, I think that’s actually part of the process of the universe just making sure that you’re totally committed.
And then once you pass those tests, then it’s just like, “Okay, we know Melinda’s on board. Listeners on board. We know whoever this applies to.” And things just start showing up, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I think that really is a sign that you’re on the right path for yourself, but also for the higher good.
Melinda Wittstock: What you said is so profound and there’s so much more to share. I wish we could just keep talking for hours. So I think you’re probably going to have to come back on the podcast another time, because I want to hear all about what you’re doing at the Ketchum Innovation Center. I want to hear more about what your plans are for Make Everything Fun. Why don’t we start to wind up by telling me a little bit about what’s next? What are your big goals? Where are you going with Make Everything Fun?
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Sure. And I will tell you that you have a friend in Sun Valley, so check out visitsunvalley.com and just see if you’re a winter person and you like snowboarding or skiing or all that.
Melinda Wittstock: I love to ski. I’m a big skier.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Okay, alright. Now you know. I can see the ski slopes from my window right here.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my God.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: It’s summer. It’s mountains and alpine lakes and all that stuff. So I’m actually going to be trying … You talked about the Ketchum Innovation Center, I want to do some retreats there. So let’s just put that out there. We were talking about the universe putting things into flow. So I’m going to just put that out there, maybe some retreats will happen but-
Melinda Wittstock: Well yes, because I am planning a Wings Epic Experience, a really immersive gathering for high-performing female entrepreneurs. So maybe we should do that in Sun Valley.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: I would love that. Oh my gosh, don’t edit that out. Let’s keep it in.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m not going to edit that out. This is why we’re talking tonight. No, seriously, that would be amazing.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Okay, so after I’ll send you an article, which shows the new building that we just opened that is gorgeous. It used to be retreat center. It faces the Bald Mountain and the ski slopes. It’s just absolutely gorgeous. But I’m very excited about that. I’m excited about some courses that I have coming up at Make Publishing Fun. I’ve got a course with a #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Carol Kline. Just some other courses there.
But I guess if we’re getting toward wrapping up, I was trying to think of some fun gift that I could offer to your listeners. Since I made a total fool of myself by singing that song about bringing up the bacon and frying up the pan, I’m going to offer everybody, I wrote one of my recent books is called Make Nutrition Fun. I am a certified nutritional counselor and the whole book, it has lots of recipes in it.
There’s a whole calendar that you can get through it. I basically give advice of this whole process of self-deprecation and all of the mistakes that I made with my own kids and how they would hide their omega-3 fish pills under their rug, and all this stuff. But it’s a silly fun book and I would love to offer the whole book to your listeners for free.
So I will put that at makeeverythingfun.com/wingsgift and that will be there for your listeners. It’ll be the whole book, and it’s called Make Nutrition Fun, and it’s just a 30 day journey of recipes and tips, and laughing at Kathryn and all the mistakes that she made with her kids and her hubby and all that. But how you can come through the other side with a smile on your face, and let go of perfectionism. I definitely talk about that. Even the people with the chef coats and the nutrition degrees, we eat chocolate chip cookies. I eat chocolate every morning. We’re not … I don’t want to talk about perfectionism.
Melinda Wittstock: No. We mustn’t. And you know what, when you have a sense of humor and you can laugh at all the things that go wrong and really just be in the moment and enjoy, life becomes fun. Happiness is not a destination, it’s a choice in the here and now. I just love this whole concept of fun. I think if we can be playful, we innovate better, we just have happier lives. I mean why not? It’s a choice.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Well and thank you. I think you make people happier and you inspire them with this podcast. I think the work that you’re doing, keep it up. I’m glad the universe is showing you that you’re going down the right path, because I, as a listener and as a participant and a very honored guest, know that you’re on the right path.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my goodness, thank you so much. That’s so kind. I love everything that you’re doing, and I can’t wait to talk to you again, and get that immersive experience going. We are going to do that. We definitely are going to do that.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Consider it done. Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Kathryn, what a joy to interview you. Thank you so much for putting on your Wings and flying with us.
Kathyrn Kemp Guylay: Thank you.