A little bit business journey. A little bit personal journey. A lot of bit awkward.
[00:00:00] : All right, welcome to the Love this Journey podcast which is a little bit business journey, a little bit personal journey and a lot of the awkward journey. What are we exactly going to talk about? Well, we are going to talk about journeys through business careers and personal successes and how we didn't lose our marbles along the way or did we? This podcast is brought to you by flourishing and email marketing and customer journey agency. And please don't forget to follow this podcast on your favorite podcasting plat platform and leave us a review. So I am Emily Maguire, I am going to be your host today. I am the founder of flourishing grit and along for this journey, this podcast journey is my copilot, Shelly Costello. Hi Shelly, that wasn't high, that was not a high said yeah, so we can move on. Um and then we are going to be talking about or talking with Karen Bowl today, who is the Ops manager here at flushing grit. Shelly is the marketing coordinator. So you're getting the full flourishing grit team all three of us to chat your faces off with my amazing we are right, yes, it is a cold wintry day here in michigan were all in michigan. I know what's your favorite uh, a snuggly piece of clothing to layer on when it gets really actually this sweater that isn't a sweater and Shelly is all in on michigan because she's into flannels now? Yeah, totally. Every episode. Do it. Did you ever think you'd become a flannel person, oddly enough, when in Los Angeles flannels are also very popular. It just doesn't really ever get cold enough to wear them. So you just hear them as like a fashion thing and not as like a actually useful tool to keep warm. Do you think tying flannels around your waist is going to come back in? It actually went out, I don't know what you're talking about. I think it went, oh well, I've been missing out on wearing my flannel around my waist. I don't know, I still love it. All right, well, let's uh, let's get into talking with Karen today. Like I said, Caron is our ops Manager over here at blurry vision grit. He has spent over 10 years overseeing marketing and operations in fast growing small businesses. She geeks out on, on efficiency tidy spreadsheets and helping others achieve their best pre pandemic. Karen loved to travel, but these days she gets her adventure from gardening, watching her daughter grow and trying desperately to teach your dog to talk with those buttons she saw on instagram. Welcome Karen and I have to know, I don't know what those buttons on instagram are technically from Tiktok, but I see all the Tiktok stuff on instagram. Um, there is this dog, well, one person started it. She's teaching her dog to talk with buttons basically. You know, you start with like outside or something like that. But then soon the dog starts understanding like I am a dog, you are human, we are family. Like the dog is expressing these things like asking questions around them. Like mom, are you a dog? Okay. No, you're not a dog. Yeah, I cannot get, but I have a chihuahua. So chihuahua mix and she's harder to teach. I think because the dog on instagram is like a poodle something mix. Okay. Oh, I don't know, poodles are smart dogs. Yeah, they're like the smartest and I think chihuahua, they're probably not the smartest on the other end of the spectrum. Well, keep working on it because I want to see your dog talk and ask your mom, are you a dog? Are you, are you my mom? Um well, cool. So I want to know, I mean we're talking professional here, but of course it's always infused with a little personal, Well, a lot of personal, right, can't turn off who you are once you start working. Um so, uh, since you geek out on tidy spreadsheets, I want to know where that journey started. Like way back when I was a kid. Really? Um, I always my mom, so I come from a really big family, There's nine Children in my family and my mom was a stay at home mom, sort of like the classic, classic stay at home mom. She had everything rocking and she would, of course she wasn't doing this on the computer because it was like the 80s, but she would create her own little spreadsheets for the week, her own little calendar and I remember watching her do this and then you know, mimicking it myself like trying to organize things or you know, make a plan. Um and then I even would play like school just so that I could have like a grading worksheet so that I could put like grades and then get an average for every student and it was just fun to like get averages. That was like my play. Oh my God, your mom sounds pretty hardcore to nine kids. Holy crap. That's some hard bombing right there. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, but I love that you're like, I'm gonna mom to spreadsheet, let me grade average your class. Yeah, but what I I really want to hear about is um because I know that you did the digital nomad life for a minute. How did that, how did you get, I mean how did you manage to do that first of all? Yeah, so this was in 2013. Um I had just left the marketing agency where I was working and I started working for my brother, he had a travel media company and he was in Seattle at the time, He had one employee in New York. Um another one in the Philippines and then I was the fourth employee and I was in michigan. No, I was in Chicago, sorry. And uh and then it was a remote, so it was a remote job and there weren't as many remote positions back then. So it's kind of like new and different and like can I do this? Um and immediately I was like I gotta, I gotta get out of here. So I think the first thing I did was I went to Mexico, oh no, I went to new york for like two weeks, it was the longest time. I never just like gone somewhere uh like for two whole weeks just being there not like on vacation or you know, and uh and then after that I went to Mexico for like a month and then my sister got a remote position as well and we were like let's do this, so we got rid of our apartment and we spent the money that you would normally spend on rent, you know all that, you spend it on flights and then you get really cheap housing wherever you go by just renting a room on Airbnb somewhere. And so financially it was like you know you're traveling the world but it's totally possible, it's not like you have to be, you know, right, I mean is there any other way to trouble them private jet? Um I like I hadn't thought about that before, the like, oh well you're just gonna spend your rent budget on travel and that that makes so much sense. I'm so jealous and I'm so glad that you've got that um that experience in because so many people and I'm talking about other people, not myself. You're very jealous. It was the time of my life, one of the times of my life. Yeah. So when did you make the transition from marketing to operations or were you did you just sort of do the operations and marketing and move on. So this is like the big part of my journey from the beginning has been sort of this like swapping between things. So even when I was in college I was getting a fine art degree, I started out doing fine art and then and then I was like no I'm going to do communication and I just ended up double majoring so I just like couldn't decide and I had already was already in so far with the fine art and then I immediately started working in operations right out of college and then I got an operations role within a marketing agency. And then that turned into like project management, account management and then I was a digital strategist and then I went into marketing with my brother in travel media and then back to operations because after working for my brother it was like, oh I just I can't go work for the man, I've got to find something else that's you know that I feel is about damn the man, Yeah, it's got to be something that matters and food. I've always been interested in food. So then I went and worked for the bribery and that was that's I mean, that's where you learn operations as manufacturing so complex layers and layers, pricing layers and layers of supply chain layers and layers of customer levels and mm hmm. Yeah. A lot. A lot of fun. So many spreadsheets. I would imagine. Do you dream about spreadsheets? Karen, I do. I dream in Excel. Actually I am not lying. I've had dreams where I'm inside cell cells. I love that waited tables. I used to have dreams about waiting tables. So I was just curious if it translates, you know, totally. Yeah, That's so funny. Um and it's but I didn't realize that you double majored in communication. And what was the end? Final painting? Yeah. That's so funny because I majored in communication and creative writing. Yeah. Yeah. We gotta have the both sides. So, um, if anybody else is on like a similar path as you where they're sort of, you know, um flipping between role types or trying to figure out how, what they get got on fits into their careers. What advice would you give to people who are on a similar path? I would say be careful about the talents that are showy. So art is really showy talent. Everyone sees it and it's really celebrated, especially when you're young people really are like you can draw and then it's like, oh I'm a drawer And uh and that can confuse you. And especially early on when you're trying to, you know, that's why I majored in it because I thought that was my thing. Um, a talent like being good at organizing things in a spreadsheet is way less showy, it's less visible, it's way less celebrated, its way less celebrated for women too. I think it's like, it's just not as exciting. Um, nobody's like, wow, you're really good at being a manager. It's like, you know, nobody wants to be a manager, but that is what your talent is and it is kind of where you geek out and what's fun for you, then you have to just know that inside yourself and you can't rely, you just can't rely on feedback from other people to tell you like, Yeah, and, and just watch out what are those talents that you have that are showy and that are maybe getting more attention from other people and maybe it makes you think that it's more important to you than it is, you have to just sort of separate yourself and, and think about what's really fun when you're sitting down for an eight hour day. Yeah, no, that's great advice because that's like, you know what, you know, we all have these grand visions of who we're gonna be when we grow up and of course we're gonna gravitate to the more, you know, like sexy things like I want to be an actor or a baseball player or an artist, but, you know, nobody is talking about, you know, don't you want to be a project manager when you don't, you want to be a B. I analyst, you know, like when you grow up people like accountant, you know, and it's just those are the most simple or not simple but most visible roles I think that everybody knows about, right? Yeah. It actually occurred to me recently that accounting would be a total like match for me. I haven't done it. I might in the future, but But it's told it would I would love it. But of course if you had told me 10 or 15 years ago, like you can't think about accounting, excuse me. Who do you? Have you met me? Yeah. Yeah. My sister got, she's an account, well she got her degree in accounting and a master's now. She does B. I. Um dev and analytics and it's like I thought, yeah, yeah, she really geeks out on it and I'm like, oh, I kinda like that too. But um no, that's such a good piece of advice. Like just because it's showy or or more visible or more celebrated doesn't mean that it has to be your calling. Um And I like it's, you know, I do enjoy art that also makes it confusing because it's like, I do like it, yeah. Is it what I want for a career doesn't meet, doesn't check all the boxes. Right. Well and you don't need to turn turn every passion into a career or the way you make your money, like that's a whole other level of pressure that for some people can remove or yeah, totally negate the pleasure of that work. And yeah, I hate the saying follow your passion because like, yeah, like I don't want to ruin my, my creative outlets or my passions by monetizing them. That's a whole other bala wok. So, so what would you say? Um what values guide your work in order to maximize success? It sounds kind of weird to say that about spreadsheets, but we all have sort of the primary baseline that we approach all of our works. I'm curious what's yours? Yeah, I like this question because it makes me think uh in a way that I guess I didn't like sort of illuminate something. I didn't realize that. I think I approach everything. There's a saying about giving advice um that you should approach it like a surgeon where you make the smallest cut to do the most good and I think I approach everything that way I'm trying, it's not totally the 80 20 rule. I'm trying to get like 100% of what I'm doing, but with the most efficient um cut and especially if if I'm in a role, you know, as a manager, sometimes feedback can be hard to give people or things like that. Um So I'm trying to do the most good with the least harm all the time. And, but it comes back to also just like efficiency. Like I wanted maximize what I'm getting done here and, and make the least mess. I love that. Yeah, I haven't heard that. Can you repeat that thing about the surgeon? What was the one about the surgeon again? Oh, I wish I actually knew what it was, but it was, you want to make the smallest cut, you know, in order to have the greatest impact to the patients. Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Um, yeah, that's funny because, Um, for me, I noticed, I am like an idea generator. Like I can just be like, Oh, have you tried this by that? Try this, try that. And it's not helpful, uh, to dump 10 ideas or pieces of feedback on people because that's overwhelming? That's too much. And so like keeping, thinking about the one thing that's the one thing you can focus on that will, um, that will make the biggest impact is brilliant. I'm stealing that. I want to, I want across stretch of that, whatever that surgery quotas. Um, so what has inspired you throughout, um, your professional journey? Um, and like really, it sounds like you've been through a whole process of, um, you know, just because you're passionate about it doesn't mean you need to make a living from it. And like what are my skills and how do I, how do I max or how do I make a career out of those things that I enjoy, Right. Um So what what has what has inspired you along the way? A couple of blogs that I follow? Well there's Mark Manson, he's the very familiar with him. He's the millennial Tony Robbins I would say. Yeah. Is he the guy the subtle art of not giving a work? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um He's got a really good article, I can't remember the title of it, but it has to do with making big life decisions. Um And I really liked the criteria and one of the things and it was sort of um that article that made me realize that art maybe wasn't so important to me because it was anytime you're making a decision, make sure you remember to evaluate how it affects your reputation because that is affecting how you're making decisions and you want to pretend like you're above it all and I don't care what people think, but you're a human being, we live in tribes, you know, we evolved in tribes were gonna care what people think it's okay b you know, make sure you shed light on that. So Mark Manson and then um wait, but why? It's my absolute favorite blog, I don't know how to describe it. Um He just goes, it's really long form blog posts where he goes really deep on a topic and it will be like some obscure thing that you're like, do I really understand that? I don't think I do I hear about it in the news all the time. I know it's important. But do I get it? And he will make you get it with stick figure drawings. Yeah, that's my favorite blog. And then, and he's got a really good article about choosing a career and he's got a little picture of like an octopus and each of the different legs has different values on it and it helps you realize like, okay, these are the things that matter to me when I'm making decisions or or just choosing my life path. These little different different legs are important to different people, different things. I love that. That's cool. And then of course dolly Parton always inspires me in every way. Of course, I've got a little sign right on my wall above my computer that I'm looking at right now. Let's just pour yourself a couple of ambition, just a dolly Parton quote. Um She is really cool. Uh well we will definitely uh grab those, we'll go find those links to those two inspiring um articles and put those in the show notes. Uh so now is the best part of the segment which is a rapid fire questions and I'm going to hand that over to Shelly um to put Karen on the spot, Just are fun questions so we get to know her a little bit more. Don't be afraid, Karen, I'm afraid. Okay, here we go. Question number one, what is your go to karaoke song? Noah's son. A novella by munchy and Alexandra. But it's because I only sing karaoke at christmas in the Dominican republic with my husband's family. Very specific requirements for karaoke. Yeah. I think the last time I sing it here was like 20 years ago. But if I sang here in the states, I'd probably choose a database or in sync Backstreet boys. Yeah, yeah. We have to get a bowling alley for some karaoke. Oh yeah. When we can go to, whenever you're gone, is it hard to sing through a mask? I don't really know. I love that you have, this is my Dominican republic. Uh, karaoke song and then everywhere else will choose space. Okay, what are you binging right now? Show podcast, book, music. Oh well, I just watched um, Crew L. A. And I didn't binge style because I've got a six month old baby. So I can't watch anything for very long. So I had to like come back to it. So I felt like I was binging it. How was it was a good, I haven't seen it yet. You know, I heard it got bad reviews, but I really liked it. Mm hmm Karen gave it the thumbs up. Go watch it. Um, okay. If you win the lottery, what is the most frivolous thing that you are buying frivolous. Yeah. I can't be like generous. Not giving tulip bulbs? I'm sorry. What you look bulbs to lip. I thought you meant. I thought you were saying to lip bulbs. I was like, what's the lip bulb? No, the flowers. I'm gonna get a bunch of bulbs and get them in the ground. That's what you would do. I mean frivolous. No, that's not frivolous. Here and try again. No, that's not comfortable, uncomfortable. Yeah. Extravagant like. Yeah. Yeah. I would I would take a cruise. I've never been on a cruise. I would do is just like from California to Alaska or something. That would be cool. All vote for yourself. There you go. Yes. The cruise. Is that a thing? Sure. Probably. I think it is a thing. Okay. If you're on a desert island and you have the option to bring three things with you. What are they? The first thing that came to mind was my dog. That's a good one. Okay. Oh, so now I'm like, well I only have three family members. So my husband, my dog and my baby. Does that count? Okay. Okay. Three things that I bring on a desert island. I need my phone, my phone charger and my earphone. There you go. You got it. You got it. I hope there's an outlet. I hope there's an electrical outlet. But like some sort of Yeah, like a mill, whatever this thing. Yeah. Like you have solar power or you? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. On that desert. Um okay. You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. Blueberries. Blueberries, that was quick. You don't want to think about it. Blueberries, they're the best there, like, tasty. They taste good there. Like super healthy. They're amazing. I don't know what blueberries would never a little rocky there for a second class. Yeah. I make a lot of tulips though. I'm talking like, like unreasonable amount of tulips. Okay, that's the whole yard is tulips. Yeah, that would be kind of cool. I love that tulips. Alright, now it's time. That's the end of our interview portion. Some for us to wrap up. Thanks again for Karen for coming on the podcast. Even though you didn't really have a choice because I made you how um how can if you want people to connect with you online. This is totally an option. Where can people find you. Okay, go find Karen on linkedin. I mean that might be I know people might be into it for more episodes like this. Don't forget to hit subscribe please like and review on any of your favorite podcasting platforms and you can find the three of us at flourish script dot com because we work together. There's these two are stuck with me. Come find us at dot com and thank you so much for joining us. Bye bye