Katie DePaola Minisode Transcript
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight to soar to the success of our dreams in business and in life– and create and grow businesses in alignment with our passion and purpose.
On this special Mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about scaling … specifically how to “scale connection” in your business. You see, as your business grows and you hire people … new challenges arise around how to create a truly cohesive team aligned on mission. We also talk boundaries, work-life balance, and how to leverage mistakes as fail forward learning.
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …
Katie is the founder of Inner Glow Circle, an accredited training and certification company for women coaches, leaders and entrepreneurs. Katie has turned her greatest challenges into her greatest opportunities and says her business is what saved her life. She had created it while suffering from Lyme Disease … and early on she lost her brother to an accidental overdose. Yet Katie persevered to build a million dollar business.
Katie DePaola will be here with her advice in just a moment on our Mentoring Minisode and first …
And now to the inspiring Katie DePaola, founder of Inner Glow Circle, an accredited training and certification company for women coaches, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Through certification programs, memberships and online courses, Katie has taught thousands of women how to find their purpose, live it and get paid. She has been featured in TIME Magazine, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily and more. In her first book, At Least You Look Good (2020), Katie shares her vulnerable (and often funny) reflections on how to deal with the hardest parts of life — and her best advice for how to “glow through what you go through.”
Melinda Wittstock: Katie, welcome to Wings.
Katie DePaola: Hi Melinda. I’m so happy to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, I am so happy to have you and happy… actually relieved, in fact, that we’re in this whole new decade that’s so exciting, 2020, we can go into it with 20/20 vision hopefully.
Katie DePaola: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Perfect. Exactly. So what’s [inaudible] in the year ahead?
Katie DePaola: Honestly, I’m really inspired. As we grow and scale as a company, my role is changing and I’m really inspired by that. It’s always a challenge to be figuring out how to connect with our team and our clients and our students as we grow. I’m really learning how to scale connection inside of the company, and so that’s the thing that I’m most excited by and inspired by right now.
Melinda Wittstock: So Katie, how do you scale connection in a company? What do you mean by that?
Katie DePaola: To be completely transparent, it’s something that I’m still figuring out and understanding what it looks like for me inside of my business. But when I first started, I was a solopreneur, I was a service provider; I started as a coach in this current field. Back then, it was really easy to connect with people. If I was feeling disconnected, all I would do is reach out and connect with them. Now, as the company grows, we have 20 amazing women on our team, and we have more and more students every single year. So for me, my job is to figure out how to stay on the pulse of the conversation while also not jumping in and doing everything and being part of everything.
Katie DePaola: So, as you know, it’s like just that unique challenge of stepping away and trusting my team, but also at the same time finding ways to stay connected. So lately, it’s looked at popping into different classes and reengaging with our students. We’re at that point where a lot of people don’t know who I am. They know that I own the company, but they don’t know me, know me. Years ago, that was such an exciting growth period when we started to have students coming into our programs that I’d never heard their names before. Now, I’m like, “Oh my God, I don’t know anyone. This is not good.” So it’s just that interesting growth experience. For me, it’s about tapping in and really engaging and reading their surveys and understanding and getting to know certain people on a personal level.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. This is the interesting thing about scaling because at a certain point, it’s hard to know everybody personally. If you have a company with hundreds of people or thousands of-
Katie DePaola: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: … it does really almost require you to be another person. Or [inaudible] work for you when you’re in startup mode. So, I was going to ask you as [inaudible] what your challenge is, but obviously scaling connection is a challenge. Are there any other challenges going on in your business or your life right now?
Katie DePaola: I think balancing everything is always a challenge. I think that work-life balance is something people talk about and really strive for, and I feel much more balanced than I ever have. I think as my work and my life grow, it’s also a constant challenge to have those things be separate because when you do what you love, those things start to really wine together. I remember in my really early years being an entrepreneur, doing work that I loved, it was so unfamiliar to me because things that I used to do in my free time that felt like hobbies were suddenly work time.
Katie DePaola: At first, that was so amazing and expansive, and then it was like, “Wait, I have no boundaries in my life.” So I think that’s just a constant challenge. I’m really close with my business partner and I’m really close with a lot of the women in our company. I think just having boundaries and also understanding what is work and what is life and where do they play together is always a challenge.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, it really is. So along the way, as you’ve grown this business from kind of bootstrap startup into a million dollar business, and you’re in scale mode right now, what would be the top three go-to pieces of advice you would give women at any stage of their entrepreneurial journey?
Katie DePaola: That’s a great question. I think the first thing is we talk a lot about finding your glow zone. I’ve heard other people refer to a similar thing as being your zone of genius. But I think that the way to be happiest at work and the way to thrive and be the most successful at work is to find the area of your work that you enjoy the most, that’s easiest for you, that feels most natural, that’s most fun, that, again, doesn’t feel like work. So we talk about finding your glow zone a lot, and I think… My theory is if you are in your glow zone and if you can get every person in the company into their glow zone, then the company is going to operate most efficiently.
Katie DePaola: So, I think that’s a really important thing, figuring out what you love the most and then trying to focus the most of your time there. Obviously, there’s things, as entrepreneurs, especially if we’re running the show, that we’re not going to love doing every single day. But if you can see in the bigger view how they support the vision and where you’re headed, then you actually can have those hard things be more inspiring, like the equivalent of putting your shoes on and going to the gym when it’s freezing outside and you don’t feel like it. Right?
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Absolutely right.
Katie DePaola: But that’s one. And then I think… Especially being a woman, I think… not to completely genderize it, but I do think that for a lot of people, personal experiences can be really distracting. I think distraction is a really great word because typically it’s talked about in a negative way, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Distractions or just anything that take us off our game, have us lose focus. I think that the more you can eliminate distractions and realize what you’re really going for, what your values really are, where your focal point and where you’re focusing truly is… Sometimes we’ll start focusing on one thing. I did this a little bit last year. But we’ll start focusing on one thing so much so that we lose focus of something else that’s really important.
Katie DePaola: I don’t believe it’s ever too late. Of course, there’s certain situations where you don’t want to burn through all your funding or things like that. But even so, we always have opportunity to recreate ourselves, and a lot of my story has been fueled by this idea that we can turn any obstacle into an opportunity. So whatever’s going on in your life personally, I just would encourage you to use that as fuel and not let it distract you or take you out of the game.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh, important. All right. Just staying focused. It’s hard for entrepreneurs, because we tend to be the type of people who have lots of ideas, and we tend to create abundance in our lives over time and so we have an abundance of opportunity. So it makes it much harder to have those boundaries and stay focused. It’s a real ongoing challenge for sure.
Melinda Wittstock: So what would be the third piece of advice?
Katie DePaola: So the third thing is really simple, and it plays on everything else. People say this a lot, but it’s just, fail forward, just always be moving forward, always be moving in a positive direction, always be asking yourself, what can I learn from this, what’s next, and don’t let failures set you back. I really think that failures are things to collect and feel excited about because there’s always an opportunity in every failure.
Melinda Wittstock: Very true. I actually can’t think of anything in my life where I’ve really learned a lot from succeeding. All the learnings have come from failure, actually. It’s so true. So Katie, how can people find you, work with you, get their inner glow?
Katie DePaola: So you can find us at innerglowcircle.com. We have a really great assessment that’s available to people who are looking to dig deeper into their purpose and what they’re meant to be doing with their lives. It’s at innerglowcircle.com/purpose. And then you can find us on Instagram at Inner Glow Circle and at Its Katie DePaola.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Katie DePaola: Thank you. This is amazing.