When life doesn’t go the way we think it will, it can seem like a reason to stop dreaming. Tragedy, especially, drives us into a place of acute grief, followed by days where just putting one foot in front of the other is our limit. Krista St-Germain, Life Coach for Widowed Moms, founder of Mom Goes On and host of The Widowed Mom podcast has lived this. Widowed at age 40, Krista discovered grief recovery through coaching and the ability to dream again.
In this podcast installment, Krista shares her warrior coach power and offers her viewpoints and advice regarding business, life and grief coaching. She touches on unexpected grief, unexpected growth, working with a team, the power of failure, and much more. I hope through hearing this episode, you are buoyed and strengthened in your own journey.
“‘Wait a minute, what lights me up here? What would just absolutely feel like a dream to do here? And then follow that.’ And then, boom! I solved the problem that I was so stressed out and losing sleep over. And then in an hour, it felt totally different.” – Krista St-Germain
What You’ll Learn
- Unexpected tragedy, unexpected growth
- Unplanned obligations
- The who, not the how in business
- Not minimizing grief in a society focused on happiness
- Loving what you do and who you help
- Going for the next evolution despite the fear
- The strength in making things fun
- The power of failure
Meet Krista St-Germain
Krista in her own words…
“When my husband was killed by a drunk driver, I was devastated.
Therapy helped me survive the tidal wave of grief and unfurl myself from the fetal position.
I went back to work. Everyone kept telling me how “strong” I was. I acted strong in front of my kids. But inside I felt hollow. All my dreams had included him.
I desperately wanted to believe I could still have a happy, fulfilling life but I wasn’t sure how. Then I began to research grief, trauma and healing extensively. I studied cognitive behavioral coaching and read every book I could find. I combined what I learned about Post Traumatic Growth with cognitive science-based coaching tools and figured out how to turn my loss into a strategy for growth.
I learned to see myself as stronger because of what I’d been through instead of using it as a reason to stop dreaming.
I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On.”
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
Connect with Krista St-Germain
The Widowed Mom podcast with Krista St-Germain: coachingwithkrista.com/podcast
Moms Go On program – Get a free, private training: coachingwithkrista.com/work-with-me
Connect with Kris Plachy
Work with Kris: How to CEO
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Linkedin
I love and appreciate reviews from my listeners on iTunes! Would you do me the favor and take a few moments to write one today?
Kris Plachy: Welcome to season three of the Leadership is Feminine podcast. I’m Kris Plachy, and I’m so happy that you’re here. In this season, we’re doing something different. One of the things that I believe to be true is that there is so much unsourced, beautiful wisdom in the everyday person. I really like to talk about what I call obscure wisdom. That means these are things that people know that unless we meet them at a cocktail party, or at a barbecue or sitting next to them on a train, we don’t hear about it.
And these aren’t celebrities, these aren’t people who’ve written bestselling books yet. These aren’t people that are on the circuit that everybody else is learning from. These are everyday women who are CEOs, building, dealing with, working through all the pieces and parts of running a company. And I want to bring my beautiful clients and their wisdom to your ears, because I know that you’ll find it to be validating, and insightful, and hopefully also some fun. So, without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s amazing personal client and guest on Leadership is Feminine.
Welcome to the Leadership is Feminine Podcast. I’m Kris Plachy, and I’m so excited today to be talking to a dear friend and colleague and fellow coach/warrior, Krista St-Germain. Welcome, Krista.
Krista St-Germain: Thank you. I never thought of myself as a coach/warrior, but I like it.
Kris Plachy: Like an OG.
Krista St-Germain: It is a good visual.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, with a few more wrinkles than a lot of them. I know that wasn’t very nice. Okay. So, for everyone listening who doesn’t know how amazing you are and who you are, let’s talk about that. Who are you? What do you do? What do you help, all of it?
Krista St-Germain: Yes, I’m apparently an OG warrior/coach. So, I am a master certified coach. I am a grief expert. I am a widow. And I host a podcast called The Widowed Mom Podcast. And I specifically help widowed moms figure out how to love life again, because most widows think that they’re just going to get used to their new normal, which is like code for settle for a life you don’t really want, and I can’t stand that. I can’t stand it at all. And so that’s what I do is, I help them get past that, so, they can actually live life again.
Kris Plachy: So, beautiful. And you’re such a beautiful example of that.
Krista St-Germain: And that’s why I do it. Thank you. Because there was a point for me where I didn’t really want to admit out loud that I really was thinking my best days were behind me. I didn’t really know what to do about it, because everybody was like, “Oh, you’re so strong. You’re doing so great.” And even my therapist was telling me, I probably didn’t need her anymore. And you’re like, well, wait a minute, okay, if I’m so strong, I’m doing so great, but yet really, it just feels hollow and robotic, and meh, then this can’t be it. And so, I want to figure that out for myself. It just lights a fire in you and you want to share and you want to help other people.
Kris Plachy: So, what was that journey for you, I’m curious? Krista, full disclosure has also been a client, so you did the How to CEO program a long time ago now. And I’m so intrigued by the stories that women have, that have led them not just to the work in the world that they do, but also then to have this thriving business that has led you to lots of wonderful things also. So, I’m curious what that lily pad leapfrog thing looks like for you from when you became a widow to now you have this beautiful practice that you have?
Krista St-Germain: Yeah, it didn’t look like a lily pad leapfrog for sure. It looks like a train wreck in the beginning. Yeah, I had owned a business. So, my husband died when I was 40. I had been in business for myself when I was in my 20s, I owned a couple of fitness centers and so I’ve kind of always had like a little bit of an entrepreneurial bug. But I got to a place with that one where I almost filed bankruptcy and it was really stressful for me and I didn’t know how to manage people and I went back to work full time to try to support myself as I ran these two charity fitness centers, essentially. And I decided okay, that’s just for the birds, safety does not exist in the entrepreneurial world, safety exists in the corporate world.
And so I went back to the corporate world and fast forward, that’s where I met my husband, then he was my second husband. And he was kind of my redemption story, because my first marriage had ended not so well. And Hugo, to me, was proof that it really is possible to find someone who will treat you like you want to be treated and who is amazing and wonderful and just all the things, kind of the Renaissance man. So, when he died, I was on a real high in terms of, everything was fine. My kids were doing great and I was doing great. And I was so happy and lots of great visions for the future. And it was just all fairy tale-like, and then, poof – gone.
He was in an accident. He was trying to change the tire on my car on the side of the interstate. And somebody with meth and alcohol in his system did not see Hugo’s car and hit the back of his car and trapped him in between his car and my car. And so, top of the world to rug totally pulled out from under you. And yeah, it was just pretty awful in those early days. And I had a good therapist – thankfully – way back from when I had gotten divorced, because that took a long time for me to get through that. And so in the early days, it was just a lot of trying to get back to functioning. It was that acute grief where you know it has happened, but you, you can’t really reconcile it, and you aren’t really back to functioning yet. You’re just going through the motions of putting one foot in front of the other. And sometimes your best days are just the fact that you got to shower.
And so, a lot of talking about it, went back to work. We had worked together. So, that was actually quite a mixed blessing. Everybody knew him, so they also felt the loss, which was really comforting, because it wasn’t just me, but also reminders of him everywhere because we had worked together. And fast forward, I think about six months, I had followed, Brooke Castillo’s podcast for… I swear it was like episode 10, I found it early. And just about the time I felt like I was coming up for air, and that’s when everybody was like, “You’re doing great”. My therapist was like, “You’re doing great.” And I was trying to figure out what to do next with life. That’s when she launched Scholars. And so I joined Scholars.
Interestingly enough, at the same time, I joined Scholars, I was pretty sure and my therapists had almost convinced me of it that I should be a therapist. So, I enrolled in a marriage and family therapy program. And I was waiting on it to start, it was going to start in September. And I joined Scholars, it was started in January. And between January and September, I had such a powerful experience with coaching, which is not what I was getting from therapy – no offense to therapy – but by September, I was enrolled in life coaching certification, and quit my job…Or well, planned to quit my job but pulled out of the marriage and family therapy program and then just decided coaching is what I want to do. So that’s what we did. So, I certified, quit my job.
Kris Plachy: Became certifiable?
Krista St-Germain: Became certifiable. And interestingly, at that time, I didn’t really want to coach widows, I didn’t think that was what I wanted to do. I thought that would be too sad. But I just hadn’t done enough of my own work yet. So, I just knew coaching was amazing and I wanted to help people. And I didn’t really know how I was going to use that. And then it unfolded. And then at a certain point, I was just kind of, why would I do anything else besides help widows? That doesn’t make any sense.
Kris Plachy: Interesting. One of the things that a lot of women who work in the healer world – which is what I consider the work that we do most – there’s a challenge to marry that and also running a profitable business. That, here I am, serving and healing, how can I also make seven figures? I’m curious to how you’ve married that in your brain or if that was never an issue?
Krista St-Germain: Like, then you should give it away for free because you’re helping people. So, how are you charging?
Kris Plachy: Yeah, I was just talking to somebody the other day about how a lot of people who work in the healing space, think you need to be poor to be worthy of your gift.
Krista St-Germain: That was less an issue for me. I think I also recognized pretty early on that when I look back over what I have taken seriously, the more… when I’ve had skin in the game, that’s when I’ve grown the most, because I took that work seriously. Even scholars for me at the time, because I had never spent money on coaching, was a huge deal. And that’s why I think I created such a powerful experience for myself is because I showed up. I did every page in the workbooks, I did the work. And I did that because the money had me invested. And so, I wanted that same experience for other people and it I knew that they would value what they paid for.
Kris Plachy: So, good. So, what do you think you’ve learned most by running a business that supports widows?
Krista St-Germain: What have I learned most?
Kris Plachy: That is a great question and I appreciate that, but I’m curious. Because you started with one intention, and that evolves, right? The more we grow, the more we help people, the more we know.
Krista St-Germain: I think personally, I didn’t expect the growth to keep coming, which I don’t know why because I’ve always thought about growth as being a lifelong thing. I’m still surprised sometimes, which surprises me, at how I go through something, I get good at it, I coach myself through all of the fear and the drama. And I expect my life to be somewhat better. And I get there, I realize it’s actually not. And then it’s like the next level of that same belief, shows up to greet me again, when I’m ready to go to the next level. So, it’s like this constant evolution of my capacity to have and my capacity to let it be good and the limits of what I believe I’m allowed to have, and worth having. And that just keeps coming.
Kris Plachy: I would imagine that’s huge word, especially for widows. That word like, somehow that you weren’t worthy of… I would imagine, I see that huge leap in leadership. In general, women who really struggled with worthiness, struggle to lead others.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. And I think widows struggle in somewhat different ways, in that they make their own success or their own happiness means something about themselves or their relationships. So, if I’m too happy, I didn’t love them enough, or all this drama, or I don’t deserve happiness because of what happened or because of my role in it. And yeah, there can be a lot to work through there.
Kris Plachy: We recently had a client who husband passed away unexpectedly, and so leads me to ask you, I’m curious, I would imagine that many of the women you coach or several anyway, are also entrepreneurs, they have their own unique challenge for this woman, right? So, she’s lost her partner, her husband, and also still has this million-dollar operation that she’s responsible for. And I’m just curious if you’ve had other women like that in your program and how you help them navigate that,
Krista St-Germain: You know, more than female business owners, what I have had a lot of are women whose husbands owned businesses, and then they found themselves in the position of trying to run that business. And that has happened a lot. And then there’s definitely a lot of, “The wrong person is in the role, it should be him and not me. I don’t have the ability.” And also, interestingly enough, a lot of obligation, where women will try to make themselves do something that they don’t really ever want to do, and live out someone else’s dream instead of focusing on their own dream and deciding that it wasn’t for them. And sometimes they’ll end up staying with it and loving it and turning it into something that’s their own. But it’s not an easy journey.
Kris Plachy: Mm-hmm. No, I think when you have a job-job, where you don’t have a work commitment, it’s different, but to that immediate obligation of a business and employees and team members plus your own grief, I would imagine is just a little more compounding, right?
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. And then especially if it’s not going well, if the business isn’t all that profitable, or there’s some sort of trauma in there, invariably does seem to be that. And then COVID, of course, has thrown up so many business challenges that are just out of the ordinary. And so add that to the mix. And yeah, it’s a heaping amount of fun, but that’s the way of the world.
Kris Plachy: Those things in there. Okay, let’s ask you a couple of Krista questions. Let’s just talk about the business and the team. How big is your team? You have a few people on your team, right?
Krista St-Germain: I have a few people on my team, everyone is contracts at this point. So, I have a Becky she’s like my right-hand person. I think I feel like VA is a completely underrated name for her.
Kris Plachy: How about you promote her to Operations Director?
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. And sometimes we call her Client Care Specialist because she does all of those things. So she handles all the onboarding and off-boarding and she actually has her own team of VAs that report to her that I don’t even have anything to do with, so she delegates a lot of the lower level tasks to them. But she’s been my right-hand person since 2019. So, we’re still going strong.
And then I have Jamie, who is a former member/client, interestingly enough, a cousin of Becky, just how it all works. But Jamie came into the program after her husband, Eric, died. And it was really powerful for her. And she did a couple of rounds a master’s and then decided not to go back to her civil engineering job and just came to work for me. So, she’s been doing that in a couple of capacities. She’s been doing mentoring within the group, and she’s learning to coach and she’s done selling. Now she’s doing a social selling role, in addition to all of those things, and she does coaching and Slack. Sshe’s a pro at the tools that we use. And then everyone else is really very specialized. So, I have somebody who edits my podcast, I have a social media group, I have a public relations group, graphic designer, those kinds of individual positions.
Kris Plachy: So, what do you think is the easiest part about all that, corralling all that talent to deliver on your vision?
Krista St-Germain: When you can hire the right “who” and you’re not at all invested in the “how”, because they’re the experts on the “how”, that, for me is a big deal. So that’s what I love about the contractors that I work with. And even though Becky and Jamie are technically contractors, we’re communicating on a regular basis, and I’m giving them guidance. And it’s not as though I have hired a “who” and just completely say, you know… But with the other people, I trust that they are the expert in what they do. And so it’s easier for me because I can articulate the outcome that I want and by when I want it and how we measure success, but then not be micromanaging and into the how they do it and just let them do it in their own way and bring it back to me. I love that.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, so fun, it makes it a lot easier. What do you find to be difficult about corralling the talents of others to deliver on your vision?
Krista St-Germain: I find that some people accept feedback easier than others. So, if everybody could see themselves as amazing as I see them on my team, that would be nice. But that’s not always everyone’s self-concept. So, I can intend something to be very constructive and, in my mind, it’s not a problem even, it’s just something we’re going to solve, but I’m not upset or even really worried about it, I’m not thinking about it. And then I’ll find out that one of them has stood on something for days, and were pretty certain they were going to get fired, and it’s been a big deal in their brain when it was never a big deal in my brain. And just kind of continuing to navigate, how do we check in on their confidence? And make sure that they’re getting the feedback that they need and hearing things from me in the way that I intend. So, it’s the communication, which interestingly enough, my degree is in communication.
Kris Plachy: Well, I think the truth is that we can all be exceptional, we can all be recognized as exceptional, and think we’re exceptional, and we can also still miss the mark. We’re never going to get—because we all have our own independent minds and we all have our own little thoughts. There’s no amount of me trying to curate this message, that I can ensure that it lands with the intention that I had, because it’s still supposed to go through the filter of someone else’s brain.
Krista St-Germain: And you can’t control their thoughts, so yeah, that’s it. But it’s learning to check in to see what their thoughts are and to spot the problems before they grow.
Kris Plachy: Frequency is very important. The big gaps in communication are where a lot of that festers and grows, too.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. And that’s one things I’ve started doing is, every Monday, when I have the little weekly team meeting that we have is just check in on, you know, where’s your confidence level in your ability to do your job? And where’s your job satisfaction? And what is that? Because I don’t want to assume that I know. And I think both of those two things really need to be high in order for people to be effective on your team and make it a relationship that works over the long haul.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, that’s good. I mean, we coachy-types, we like to give feedback and talk about things, but not everybody is familiar with that.
Krista St-Germain: And I understand.
Kris Plachy: I don’t want to embarrass you, I’m not interested, just tell me what you want. It’s fine.
Krista St-Germain: Well, and interestingly, too—and I guess that’s maybe why it’s been so much fun for me with the two people that are currently on my team and have been for some time, because Becky started as a coach, so she already valued coaching, but she didn’t actually want to coach, she just wanted to support coaches. Beautiful fit. And then Jamie is so in love with what we do.
Kris Plachy: Yeah. But she’s lived it.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.
Kris Plachy: That’s kind of team members, because they’re so connected to the vision.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah, for sure.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, absolutely. What is your vision?
Krista St-Germain: What is my vision? If I could…Here’s my dream vision, is like any time a woman’s partner died, they find out what actually [inaudible 20:03] it’s handed to her.
Kris Plachy: Oh, it’s immediate. Well, that’s what I said to my client, right? I was like, “Immediately, you need to talk to Krista.” Because I agree, it’s like, “No, no, no, no, you need like the 24 or 48 hour triage kit.”
Krista St-Germain: Totally. Even if they don’t ever work with me, I just want them to know… I just don’t want them to struggle with some of the basic stuff that they don’t need to struggle with. Because we live in a culture that really does not understand grief, and we have a lot of misinformation out there. And so, when you are not prepared, it really shows. And so I would love to just get the information on people [inaudible 20:41].
Kris Plachy: This is totally random, but do you have…? I feel badly if you’re going to say, “Yeah, duh, “but I’m going to ask anyway. Do you have anything that you put in the world to help other people help people? There have been a few people that I’ve known in my community, whose husbands have been unexpectedly ill or had an accident, and have passed away. And I don’t know what to do.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.
Kris Plachy: Do you have something like that?
Krista St-Germain: I do. I did a podcast episode that I send people to a lot, called “For Those Who Love Us.” And so, it’s really designed for someone who is in a support role to listen to. And unfortunately, it’s not as easy as, you know, it’s not prescriptive, because everyone’s experience is so different, but it does give you some things to think about, and some definite do’s and don’ts that a lot of us don’t know. And I find that to be pretty helpful.
And then I recently just created a course, and it’s with widows in mind, but I think I’m going to give it to everyone who wants it, because it’s really just about Grief 101. You know, like, here’s how it goes. And even though it’s designed for widows, I think anybody watching it would have a much better appreciation for what that person that they care so deeply about is going through, and what it’s like for them.
Kris Plachy: Well, it makes me think, like I’m a big BBC [inaudible 22:08] Britbox kind of person. So, I watch all the shows. And a hundred plus years ago, maybe even as early as 60 or 70 years ago, we had more rituals around death, right? Even if we go back, back, the grieving, and that you would wear your band, and then you would wear black, I mean, not that I would endorse that. But there was a process that recognized a widow and you would honor her. You would see her, and say, “You’re a widow. We identify that you’re a widow.”
Rather than now, you’re in the grocery store, and no one knows that three weeks ago your husband died. And so there’s not that sense of supporting community around grieving. And I think we’ve really lost that.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah, when you think about it, it just make almost no sense, because we’re more connected, or we have the potential to be more connected than we’ve ever had in the history of ever. And yet, it is, I think, almost more isolated than it has ever been.
Kris Plachy: And nobody wants to be reminded of their mortality, and of course, COVID, I would imagine has only just made that worse, right? And even in the ceremonial process of death, we haven’t even been able to memorialize people like we did before.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.And I think, what I noticed too a lot is that because we are so sold on happiness as the goal now, as a culture, that shows up in grief, in a huge way, because if you think the goal is to be happy all the time, and you think emotions are problems, then when you don’t have the capacity to handle your own negative emotion, then you definitely don’t have the capacity to be with someone else as they have theirs. And so, we have this kind of fix it culture, and that’s where all of those clichés and platitudes that are well-meaning, but that’s the root cause.
“Oh, there’s more fish in the sea. You’re young. It’s a blessing. They’re in a better place.” All those things that are s— they’re received as minimizing by the griever, come from this, “I don’t know what to do with your negative emotions, so I’ll just say something.” Or conversely, “I don’t know what to do with your negative emotions, so I’ll say nothing, and pretend it didn’t happen.”
Kris Plachy: Yeah, it’s like or, because otherwise, I don’t want to say the wrong thing, and yeah.
Krista St-Germain: Right. And really, there’s nothing that’s going to fix it, so can we just go with, “I’m so sorry, and I love you.”
Kris Plachy: Yes.
Krista St-Germain: And we just acknowledge that it sucks. But we don’t try to make it better.
Kris Plachy: No.
Krista St-Germain: We have no way.
Kris Plachy: Where they are. Okay, two more questions, what’s next? What’s happening in this beautiful business of yours that you’re growing? And where’s it going?
Krista St-Germain: I actually don’t have a lot of change in mind, in terms of the way the business runs. I love the program. I love the format, I love all of it…
Kris Plachy: I love that. Can we just take a minute?
Krista St-Germain: Sure.
Kris Plachy: I just love that. I love that you love i., I love that you want it to stay the way that it is, I love that. There’s just something, I just relaxed when I listened to you, [inaudible 25:30] pay attention to that, that’s interesting. But that’s lovely. Okay, and…I interrupted you. And…
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. It’s funny, I mean, when you look back and you look at the trajectory of my business, I really am not one to make a lot of change. I did one-on-one, and I did it until I sold it out. Not only did I sell it out, but I started seeing, well, I could be more effective if I could help these women in groups. And then I created a group, and I’ve really just stuck with it.
And I just keep figuring out how to sell it better, and how to deliver it better, but you step back, and you don’t really see that much change. So, what I want to do now, and what I’m working on now, is just changing, honestly, the sales process. So, I’ve relied on consult calls, I’ve relied on a limited amount of spots. And I don’t want to rely on a limited amount of spots, and I don’t want to have consult calls. And I would like to figure out a way to help women more quickly.
Not more quickly in that they need to…I don’t want to help them earlier in their grief. I want to wait until they’re at the appropriate time, based on their cognitive state, and there wellbeing. Because in order to be successful in the program that I run, we don’t want to be in the early widow fog, crazy acute days, we need to be a little bit past that. But when they’re ready, I want them to be able to go, as opposed to waiting, and that’s the way that it’s been. Is they’ve had to wait to get on the phone with us, and they’ve had to wait for the next group to start, and so I’d like to speed that up for them, and not have to do the calls anymore.
Kris Plachy: That’s fixable, you know that, yeah?
Krista St-Germain: It is fixable. No, I know it’s fixable. Yeah, it is absolutely fixable. And then just turn it up, right? But not turn it up to the point of… I really like the relationships that I have with my clients, and I like the community that I’ve created, and so I want to turn it up, but I don’t want to sacrifice what makes the community such a great experience for people.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, I think you and I actually share some of that. I call it intimacy. I have a real goal to maintain that in my business with my clients, that isn’t to say that other people don’t have that, but I’m just not interested in a massive program. I want to know everybody that’s in there. We just rolled out a new program called the Sage CEO, which will be a much more personal experience with me, and I love that, but I’m still very invade involved in my “How to CEO” program and the Lab, and that’s a goal. So, there are some limitations that we naturally are putting on ourselves by doing that, when we build it around or availability, or personal interest of what we want
Krista St-Germain: Yeah, and it’s not to say that I couldn’t love it, if I did it another way, but I really love being able to get on a call and coach someone, and remember the last coaching session with them. Or remember three sessions ago, how that thing that they need to hear now is totally related to that thing we’ve already talked about, and this is just the next progression, and I don’t know what that capacity is, where I wouldn’t be able to do that, but I don’t want to go past that capacity. If I do go past that capacity, then what I would probably want to do is do something that’s a lower cost, higher volume, you know, help a lot more women. But I’m not in a rush for that.
Kris Plachy: No, because you love your business. Okay, so what’s one thing you’re super-duper afraid of, but you’re going to do it anyway?
Krista St-Germain: I struggle with this question.
Kris Plachy: Are you afraid of anything?
Krista St-Germain: Intellectually, I’m really not that afraid of things. I still feel the fear though, whenever I decide I’m going to do something new or different, and it’s not about one thing, it’s just about whatever the next evolution is, right? It’s the constant, whatever I’m going to do next, watching my brain try to leave my body, and go into intellectual logical problem solving, and then pulling myself back into my body, and what lights me up. And that’s the cycle I just keep seeing over and over.
Kris Plachy: So, what you’re saying is, you know that you’re going to feel uncomfortable and afraid about something…
Krista St-Germain: Every time, every time.
Kris Plachy: … every time, but you still move yourself through it to do it.
Krista St-Germain: Every time.
Kris Plachy: You don’t let that be the reason that stops you.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah. So it’s not a particular thing that I feel like is out there in the future that I have to get to, it’s just like every single next thing, that feels…It’s outside of my current self-concept, right? Not every little thing, but whatever the next big goal is that I set, for sure, there’s going to be a part of me that has fear, and I’m going to notice my old patterns come up, and I get better and faster at coming back to myself, and to what lights me up, and getting back in that flow. Which is not where my logical brain wants me to go. My logical brain wants to go to problem solving. And then things aren’t fun, and they don’t flow, and they don’t work, and their effortful.
Kris Plachy: Effortful.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.
Kris Plachy: Is that a word?
Krista St-Germain: I don’t know, is it?
Kris Plachy: I don’t know, but I really like it. I like that.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah, it’s become a slog. That’s one of the things I learned from you actually, I don’t know if you intended to teach me that. But that it could be fun. I have a tendency to take things really seriously, and one of the things I think you do so well, is you have so much fun, like you’re lighthearted, you get it done, but you have fun.
Kris Plachy: I have to have fun.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.
Kris Plachy: I have to think about things as like being a playground. Otherwise, if I start to think of myself as an adult, and things really matter, I can’t do it.
Krista St-Germain: And I have to go, “Oh wait, we can have fun, remember? Hey fun, remember that thing called fun?”
Kris Plachy: What would be the most fun way to attract lots of women and not have to do sub council.
Krista St-Germain: Yeah.
Kris Plachy: If we do it, that could be fun. I bet you could come up with a way.
Krista St-Germain: Well, that’s exactly how I worked myself out of the last iteration of this, right? Is going, wait a minute. What lights me up here? What would just absolutely feel like a dream to do here, and then follow that? And then boom! I solved the problem that I was so stressed out and losing sleep over, and then in an hour, it felt totally different.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, last year, I created a wisdom card deck for my clients who joined the lab. But in advance of before that, I was just wanting to rip my face off, because I wanted it done, but the work of it was awful. I’m like, “This is going to be a nightmare.” And so my coach said to me, “How could this be fun?” I said, “well, it could be fun if I could just get on the phone with someone, and tell them what I want them to all say. And they write it down, and then somebody designs them, and then it’s done,” and she said, “go ahead, do that.” And so I did that, and I just planned an hour-long calls for a few months sporadically, and then they were done.
Krista St-Germain: Love it.
Kris Plachy: And that is, you know, I think it’s a very overlooked option, so thank you for pointing it out, because I do think a lot of us get way too bogged down, and also very serious. Okay, last question. What’s the bit that you just wish, you know, you have your coaching wisdom, which is brilliant and lovely, and for anyone of you that are listening, who think that working with Krista would make sense for you? I can’t recommend that enough. I would also love to know, you obviously had your, as you put it, charity life fitness businesses. And you’ve also started this business. So, what is that piece of wisdom that you think is great to share with other women who are running businesses of their own? Something to remember.
Krista St-Germain: Huge lesson that I had to learn was just to get good at failure. I think we talk about this a lot now, or at least my friends and I do, because maybe I’m surrounded by coaches. But I really was…I remember back when I worked at [Leader Jet 33:55]. How many times I would read an email to make sure it sounded good, had a perfect punctuation, so far past the point of diminishing return, it was insane. But in that culture, mistakes weren’t okay, at all. You were not supposed to fail. It was all about flawless execution.
And so, we just spent so much time trying not to fail, and it took me a while to really get good at switching that mindset for myself, and seeing that, you know what I really want to do? Is not just throw spaghetti at a wall and see what sticks. It’s not like shotgun failing. But purposeful, try something, and if it doesn’t work, you have new data, we learn by doing, it’s okay, just keep going, that kind of massive action type of failure, and that took a long time for me. Because I just didn’t have any positive self-talk after failure.
Kris Plachy: Well, yeah, I think it’s a little more compounded, even when you have your own business, and you are the business, it’s your coaching, it’s your service, right? Like, okay, if they don’t buy this, or they don’t like this, not to over personalize that, would really learn to make that distinction between, there’s me, and I’m lovely and amazing. And then there’s this business, and that is outside of me, and I’m going to play with this business, to fight and make it as successful as it can be.
Krista St-Germain: And I also see the similarities, in terms of the prior career, where I was in a manufacturing engineering role, the goal was, designed something, but don’t spend a lot of time in design. Design, build, test, repeat, over and over, as fast as you can get that cycle to go, because that’s the only way you get information to determine whether your design is actually worth anything. And so, when I could make that switch into my own business, and just decide, okay, iteration truly is the goal, just iterate as fast as you can. Still, you want to wait long enough to gather data, so that you’re not just iterating for the sake of iteration, but you’re moving at a speed that doesn’t have you ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim forever, which was the way that I used to be.
Kris Plachy: Just like the email, right?
Krista St-Germain: Oh, dear.
Kris Plachy: Yeah.
Krista St-Germain: And just over perfecting, like, “Well, should I charge this? Or should I charge that? Or should it be 6 weeks? Or should it be 12 weeks?” It’s all those things that don’t even matter at all. You just got to do them, you just got to try them and see what happens. And then don’t be mean to yourself. Congratulate yourself for trying something, you got an idea.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, that’s critical. And I think that’s true. I was just talking in my How to CEO group, just this morning, and we were talking about like that’s also true for building a team. We have this belief that, “Oh, I’m going to hire someone’s, it’s going to be perfect, everything’s going to be great.” No, it’s not, you’re going to hire someone, and they’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to make mistakes, they won’t stay, you might want to fire them. They may never come back. They may call you the day they’re supposed to start, and not show up. There’s lots of things that are going to happen, but that’s not a signal to stop.
Krista St-Germain: No, that’s more data.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, exactly.
Krista St-Germain: Then take with you.
Kris Plachy: Exactly, keep going. Well, thank you, my friend, for spending some time with me today. It was delightful to see you.
Krista St-Germain: My pleasure, I look forward to seeing you in person at some point again…
Kris Plachy: A couple of months.
Krista St-Germain: … when the world stops being weird.
Kris Plachy: I’ll be tan, because I will [inaudible 37:34].
Krista St-Germain: Well, I will just have come from Puerto Rico, so I will…
Kris Plachy: Okay, good.
Krista St-Germain: … be somewhat tan.
Kris Plachy: Going to see Sonny?
Krista St-Germain: I don’t think so, I’m staying in a different part of the island than where she is, but it seems like the place to go, everybody’s apparently moving to Puerto Rico, and I am.
Kris Plachy: I was born… I wasn’t born there, but I moved there when I was one.
Krista St-Germain: Oh, I didn’t know that.
Kris Plachy: We lived in Puerto Rico for six years, yeah.
Krista St-Germain: Oh, maybe I need to get travel tips from you.
Kris Plachy: No…
Krista St-Germain: You don’t know, it’s too long.
Kris Plachy: … plan of a seven-year-old.
Krista St-Germain: Fair, that’s fair.
Kris Plachy: Here’s what you should do, go to the beach, take off all your clothes, get sunburned. I think that’s about the extent of my life that I can share with you, but it’s a beautiful…
Krista St-Germain: I love it,
Kris Plachy: Oh, you probably would.
Krista St-Germain: I’m looking forward to it.
Kris Plachy: All right.
Krista St-Germain: All right, thank you.
Kris Plachy: Thanks for spending time with us today.
Krista St-Germain: You bet.Download Transcript