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060: Changing Careers with Kathleen Curto

Hello! Welcome to episode 60 of I’d Rather Stay In. This week, we’re joined again by our friend Kathleen Curto (@kathleencurto), this time to talk about the process of changing careers.

Quick links

Wish Upon a Shop

Episode transcript

Welcome to I’d rather stay in with your hosts Megan Myers and Stephie Predmore. This week we’re chatting with our friend Kathleen Curto about changing careers and all the challenges that come with it. Stay tuned.

Hello, hello.


what is up?


I got an order of skincare the other day. Very exciting because I’m an old and I need lots of skincare and it’s your eye cream. Well, it’s it’s technically night cream. But the funny thing was, is that then, when I was putting my order away, I realized that I had a small sample jar, like not a sample size, but slightly bigger trial size, whatever. a jar of a different brand of night cream that I had not opened yet. Well, technically, I didn’t really need any boy. It’s fine. I’m just really prepared now.

For fighting those wrinkles. Keeping your skin youthful looking like a radioactive infant is odd, I would say been moisturized as heck. I mean it it is very dry right now. It is cold. It is dry here.

It’s very much yeah. And also I’m really annoyed with like my, my nails situation. So for anyone who has ever gotten gel or shellac, nail manicure, nail manicures, manicures. Wow. For anyone who has ever gotten a gel or shellac manicures, if you get them like too many times in a row, like it really trashes your nails underneath, because they have to basically scrape it off. And I have been trying to heal my nails and let them grow back properly. But they keep breaking on the very ends. And I’m not sure how else to fix it. I I take a BIOS in every day and I have like cuticle cream that I’ve been putting in. It’s tried to do all the good things and I think maybe it’s just too dry. If that’s possible,

I don’t necessarily have suggestions because I get my nails done every like three ish weeks.

Yeah, I mean, I guess either absolutely be diggers,


to just let them die underneath But

yeah, I mean mine definitely reach a point where like, if I don’t have polish on them, they just reach a point where they don’t hold up as well. And they break like fairly naturally they just reach a length where they’re like nope. But I also have a lot of I don’t know that’s I almost said I have a lot of health issues which makes me sound more high maintenance than I am but but I do know that that can contribute to some of those things but that’s your Yeah, my nails I fucked up my nails while prepping for Eden’s birthday cake, etc. This past weekend, so I actually need to go and get them done probably probably early next week, because they’re driving me crazy.

Yeah, I

was uh, I was doing really well and then I was trying to open up my fancy new ring light box and oh, apparently opening boxes because I use my nails to help me with that was just too


This is your this is your manicures way of saying stop abusing us and start using scissors.


that would probably be smarter. my scissors or keep a little like pocket knife on your desk.

I you know, I

literally do have like a box cutter on hand. Well, it’s in my drawer now. But it was on my desk for like four months. So I really have no

zero excuses. You know, I

love my box cutter.


I you love a good box cutter. I love you for that. I feel like I just always if you’re nearby and I need a box cutter I can be like man, I need a box cutter and you have like three on your person at any given time I just associate you with

Well, I used to keep them in my purse and then like, you can’t do that when you travel.

Well no, no

then I had to stop but I guess I can do it now because I’m not traveling anywhere.

You’re just such a mom, you always have the things you just always have. I need such and such and you have the things

I at least it’s not like underwear anymore. No underwear in my purse.

Don’t worry soon it’ll switch and I’ll be the one with underwear right

And then in about 30 years, we’ll all have underwear person.

Oh, well, on that note, we are going to talk today about changing careers. You know, I think that there used to be a time when you would go into a job, and that was the career that you were gonna stay in for the rest of your life. And I don’t think that that’s the case anymore. I think it is much more normal to start in one career and then eventually start to pivot and maybe just completely do a 180 and pick a completely different career. And so we’re gonna talk about that today. Yeah, there’s

no more of that, like you finally reached the pinnacle of your career. Here’s watch, right. So in order for us to discuss this, we thought we’d bring back our friend at Kathleen curto. You remember her from the multipart Harry Potter episode? Welcome back athlete.

Hi, thanks for having me back.

Hi, Kathleen. So


let we last had you on about a year ago? Yeah. So tell us what you’ve been up to in the last year, you know, in 2020 and 2020, with a global pandemic going on? what’s

what’s new with you? Oh, you know, um, well, thankfully, I’ve gotten to see you since then. So that was fun. Oh, nice. I know with little baby Eden, who was truly a little peanut at the time. Two weeks old. I can’t believe it was it was crazy. And she was like the last baby that I truly snuggled snuggled. So other than my own, but Eden was smaller. And other than that, I don’t know. I mean, I have tried to survive the pandemic, just like everybody else, and pivot my business and do different things that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. But hadn’t I started a second business with a friend. You know, navigated preschool reopening, and

all that sort of stuff, and recently sending your youngest to preschool as well. And enjoy. Yes, I’m like, days with no children in the house. Yeah.

Yes. Yeah.

It is ultra chill.

I know. It’s actually a it’s something that I it’s funny because I don’t really talk about it to too many people. And now it’s like on a podcast, which is totally fine. But because that because and I but the reason why I don’t talk about it too much is because it is a luxury that, especially in this current time, not all parents have. And our preschool, thankfully, is under, it’s licensed as a daycare, because it goes from infants through preschool. And so that’s why they’re still open, because so many things in California are still shut down. Most schools, at least if they’re public are closed, some private schools are open, as like a hybrid sort of thing. And the daycare has been able to open in limited capacity. So they have been open since last June.

They’ve been doing a really good job.

They’ve been doing an excellent job. I’ve been so impressed with how they’ve done and Henry my five my now five year old, because when did that happen? I can’t believe he’s five. Megan, we’re gonna have to talk at some point about all the things about little boys growing up, but it’s a joy. It really is. But yeah, he’s just really thrived this year being in a smaller setting, because there are fewer people and his fewer kids in his class because of the pandemic. And so he’s really had a good experience in that environment. And, you know, I we’ve just seen his, like writing skills improve so much. And I mean, I could go on and on, but this is not why you brought me on, but it’s been good. Well, we’re

glad we’re glad that you’ve been hanging in there, as we all have been and Gary in ways so yeah, we wanted to bring you on because you actually started out as a teacher as a high school English teacher, and you’re now a photographer, which are two fairly different

careers. Just a little bit,

just a little bit. A little you have Noted multiple times, either directly or you have alluded to the fact on your social media that they’re both storytelling careers in, yes. But they’re very, very different. So can you tell us? How did you know when the time was right for you to make a career change?

This is I love this question. And this answer is really going to be different for everybody. because like you said, in your intro, you know, kind of gone are the days where people would just pick a career and stick with it for 45 50 years. And I granted, when I got into teaching, that is exactly what I thought I was going to be doing. I thought I was going to get a job in the Chicago suburbs, and eventually get a job at my old high school, and work there until I retired. And that was my plan. It was a really great plan, if I do say so myself. But it’s just not it wasn’t the actual plan that happened. For me, the reason it was kind of a multifaceted, you know, everything just kind of came to a head and I was forced to change a little bit. My husband got offered a job while he was working for the same company. But he, his company opened a new division out in Sacramento. And he was he had already been working on the project from the very beginning from Chicago. And so they said, We’d like to have you out in Sacramento. And so he came home one day in February, actually funny enough, in 2013, and it was a Friday afternoon, and he came home and said without even saying hello, basically. He was like, so what do you think about moving to Sacramento? And shock? That’s

an interesting question to have zero

context for it. Yeah. And but like shock of all shocks, truly, because you know me very well. I said, let’s think about it. And that was not the answer he was expecting. He was hoping I was just gonna say no, and then he wasn’t gonna have to make a decision.


so we came out to visit in March of 2013. And when we were out here, we were watching the news. And it just so happened that that was the week that all of the teachers in like the Sacramento Unified School District, were getting pink slipped. So they have a similar system out in Illinois, I’m sure they have systems all over the country like this, but they basically like temporarily fire a bunch of teachers until they know what budgets are like for the next upcoming year. And then once they know what the budgets are, and what the enrollment is like, then they start hiring people back. And I knew at that moment, that it was going to be a big uphill battle for me to find a teaching job here. Because we weren’t going to move until the summer because I still had to finish out my, at the time, current teaching position. And I just kind of, I was terrified. But I also said, like, I kind of just know this is going to be the case. Because I also I wasn’t gonna have a teaching license in California yet. So in the world of competing for jobs, I was going to be put last on the list. You know, I had had a few years of experience, but I didn’t have the teaching license. Which is okay for your first year of teaching here. But that’s another story. And so when we moved, I also just told myself, you know, do I want to pursue that world again, I had been working for a couple years at two different schools. I loved both of the schools. But my second year of teaching, I had had five different preps. So I was teaching five different courses, which is a lot for any teacher, usually a high school, middle school teacher, you teach two to three different courses and I was teaching five. And so I was a little burnt out and I just kind of told myself, if you’re not going to teach, you need to do something that you’re that you really love to do. And I wanted to do something that was going to be flexible for when we did have kids We were not kids were not on our horizon at the time. But I was just kind of planning ahead, I didn’t want to start something or get into another teaching position and then a year later, quit and be a stay at home mom and that sort of thing. So, because that was also in the plan was being a stay at home mom, whenever that I don’t know how being a stay at home mom and working till I was like, 65 we’re both gonna happen. But that was, that wasn’t the plan. It was fine. That’s that’s how

it really worked. Then,

you know,

for parents and whatever,

right? Yeah. So that so for me, that was kind of what happened. I, I was kind of forced to change. And I guess I just sort of told myself, this is your if you’re going to do anything different, this is your opportunity. Because you’re in a different state, you have this chance. Do it now. Or you’re going to regret it was kind of my that was kind of my what happened to me. I mean, everyone has different reasons for changing careers. But that’s that was my own personal reason.

I mean, a lot of that was that was a lot of why Alex changed careers. My husband was a personal trainer, and then switched gears pretty much one eight and is now Yeah, and, you know, we had just moved in, there were jobs available in the, you know, fitness world, but he also was sort of like, had always been curious about working in a restaurant and so had this. I mean, why not give it a try? If I don’t like it, I can always go back to what I was doing before. So you know, sometimes I think we do have those moments of, now’s the opportunity to try something that I’ve always really thought maybe I wanted to do.

Totally. And he’s a very good chef.

He’s a great chef. I’m

not gonna lie. Very, very good.

He was a great personal trainer. Yeah. Although, not for me, because we’re married. So it’s just fun the whole time.


he’s an excellent chef.

So when you had this opportunity moved cross country, did you know that being a photographer was the thing you wanted to do?

Yeah, I Well, it’s funny, because, like, when I was thinking, Okay, what what are the things I really love to do? You know, I was only a couple years out of college at that point. And we had just gotten married, we’ve been married for less than a year when he got when we got the job offer. And teaching doesn’t really allow for a lot of time for hobbies, at least in your first few years. So I didn’t, there weren’t like a lot of things on my list of like, what could I turn into a career. And my parents had actually given me my first you know, nice digital SLR camera, for college graduation, that’s what I wanted, I did photography was always something that I had been very interested in, and that I had been pursuing as a very amateur hobbyist for her a while. And so that, you know, I thought to myself, like, that’s something that I could do. And my husband’s uncle is actually a professional photographer as well, and was a photography professor in in the Chicago area, which was really convenient, because, you know, I knew that when I started, I was gonna have to learn more, you know, I couldn’t just pick up my camera, I didn’t even I didn’t know how to use my camera in manual mode, basically, when I kind of decided I was going to change careers. So I ended up going back to school to take classes at the local community college here. And I got an you know, a certificate in portrait and wedding photography.

I did not know that that was a thing you could get a certificate in.

It is there were several different certificates that you could choose from, you know, you had to it was kind of like in any college where you pick you know, a major and minor and that sort of thing. You under the umbrella of photography at this community college, you took the general photography courses, and then you sort of picked your lane when it came to your specialty. And you took more classes focused on those and so I took I I wanted my specialty to be portraits and weddings, but you could do commercial or photojournalism and there were a few other options.

That’s awesome. We went from a what we would say like a regular


Yes. We can’t really say that teaching is a nine to five job because we know it’s like it’s a 24 seven It’s pretty much a 24 seven job, but a, you know, a, quote, regular job to a creative, you know, freelance, you’re owning your own business kind of job. Yeah. Talk to us about those the struggle of transitioning from one to the other.

It was, it was tough to be honest. And it sort of happened slowly. Again, part of it was being in a completely different state with no friends here yet, you know, we were we it took a while to make friends. And I was, it was kind of lonely at first because my husband was working, you know, Monday through Friday, we didn’t have kids. And we didn’t know too many people. So it was a lot of me, figuring things out on my own, I was still tutoring, I stuck with that for a while, and I would go to classes. And classes really helped to get me to have some social interaction, because that was something that I really missed with teaching was having that social time with humans. And so as I started my business, about a year after removed, that’s when I applied for my first actual business license was it was in 2014, I believe, and that that kind of it took off from there. But it was, it was tough, it was lonely, it was there, you know, I had been used to a structure like teaching is very structured, you have a certain amount of time with each class. And you have to get things done in that amount of time. And then you move on to the next class. And with photography, you know, especially when I was first starting out, and I didn’t have like a huge client base, you know, it’s a lot of trying to figure out how to fill your time. And so I struggled with that, I struggled with kind of thinking about how, you know, my parents had spent so much money on this private liberal arts education for me, and I wasn’t using it, at least, at least I had to, I had to really convince myself and like, write out, you know, how I was truly using my degree because I have a degree in English literature in secondary education. And I thought, like, was this a waste? You know, if I’m going to be changing careers, it was not a waste. For the record, I would not be able to run my business now had it not been for that education. But and the people I met there. But yeah, it was it was tough. And, you know, for those first couple falls, after he moved, and I would see all these all my teacher friends that I had gone to college with, and they were all posting their first day of school pictures. You know, I missed teaching and I wondered if that was if I had made the right decision. Because when you start any new profession and change careers, I think there’s a huge sense of imposter syndrome, where you just, you know, you’re like, what am I doing here? Do I belong here? Am I good enough for this? And it took a while for me to realize that I was good at my job, you know, as I learned more, and I got better. Although, man, do I look back at those first photo sessions, and I’m so glad I did them for free. And didn’t mean Whoa, cuz that’s a, those are some tough photos to look at. I mean, they’re like, they’re fine.

Fine. Well, it’s

like, I’ve been updating my, my blog posts, and it’s like, looking back at some pictures. I’m like, oh, man, I was, I was so proud of these photos in 2015, or even

some of the posts that we wrote like on blogs back then you’re like, yo, okay,

what am I even talking about?

Yeah, totally. And, and like, and I had to, you know, get this whole new set of skills from scratch. Like, I was trained to read and write, I was not trained to, like, build a website and a brand and like, all that sort of stuff. So it’s been fun. But it was a lot of sort of trial and error and a lot of, you know, self reflection, I guess.

So now that you feel I mean, I assume you’ve been you probably feel established. You’ve been doing this for a few years now.

Yes, six, it’s crazy.

How is your day to day difference now that you’ve been established? And you know, you’re moving forward, even though I’m sure the pandemic has changed things a little bit, but in pre times?

Yeah. I Well, it’s funny because I did sort of pursue the, you know, stay at home work from home mom route. And so I have my kids at home. And now Henry is in school five days a week. And Charlie’s in school two days a week, but she’s still home three days a week. And it’s so there’s a lot of childcare involved in my day to day life. And so I have to work around nap times and bedtimes and that sort of thing. So part of it’s just still trial and error, trying to find time and setting boundaries so that I don’t work until midnight every day. But I do work weekends. That is something that’s not that different than teaching to be honest. And actually, I work less than weekends now, because my weekend work primarily is actually doing the photographing, I don’t do a ton of photo sessions during the week, currently, unless they’re newborns, because most people have weekends off. And that’s when they want to get family photos taken. So I do work weekends. And then I just I try and set certain days to do different tasks, because I also am running the second business now as well with a friend of mine, which is like an entirely different genre of business. And so I have set certain days when I work on that, and certain days when I work on my photography, business, so sort of making it more manageable for my brain to keep everything straight. And so I’m not trying to do all the things every day, you know, I have certain days where I create content and try to write blog posts or social media posts and get those scheduled out. And there are other days when I try and do a whole lot of editing. And you know, and then everyday has the typical email and that sort of thing. But, you know, my day to day is a lot different than when I was teaching, you know, pre pandemic, I was able to go see friends and meet with them and their kids or go for walks. And I would meet will for lunch we’d like go to a restaurant for lunch in the middle of the day, which sounds so foreign right now. Because Will’s been working from home for almost a year and and restaurants, you know, aren’t really open in California for Sit down. But yeah, so it’s been a lot of it’s been very different. And I honest to goodness, don’t feel like I have it all figured out. yet. I think that things are just constantly changing. And I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace. Because the kids need my attention. And I need to be there for them. While they’re little. I mean, I need to be there for them when they’re older too. But this, you know, this time when they’re little is just so fleeting. And I want to make sure that I’m present for them. I mean, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t days that Charlie just like watches frozen a lot in the day. I work, because there are plenty of those. But I try to be mindful of balancing. And I would say I achieved that. Sometimes

I feel like that’s the best most of us can


Sometimes we balance things. I feel like no one is no one is perfect about if you are perfect at life balance, then please email us and let us know because

we want to get right.

are perfect at it.

Yeah. So

we’re gonna ask you set for you know, your advice to folks that are considering a career change in a second. But you mentioned the second business that you started, did and so I want to talk about that talk to us about this, this new venture that you’ve started what led you to that decision and again, like you just said, it’s also in a completely different sort of vertical from So here Yeah, really, like spread your wings and fly all over the place. Talk to us about that.

I know, it’s, it’s crazy because even within the photography world, I’ve you know, expanded to making online courses for people to like take their own pictures and learn how to the one I’m working on now is how to start a photography business. Which is crazy that like, I actually have enough knowledge to make an entire course about that. But this, this new business with a friend of mine, is called wish upon a shop, and it’s a jewelry business. And again, I never thought I would like if you told me like, you’re gonna be a jewelry designer, I feel like what that’s, that’s funny. But it’s been great, we both have our own separate businesses that we have been running for years and years. And when the pandemic hits, we both were out of some work for a while and decided that now was the time to start a new business together. So we have this jewelry business, and we make primarily bracelets and mass chains. We’re kind of venturing into necklaces. But it’s a lot of, you know, fun things, we try and combine like the fun with the good quality and use good quality materials. So it’s been a very fun venture. And it’s one that has been easier actually having my own business as well. Because all of the paperwork involved in starting the business. And kind of like the tech stuff is like all the website building and uploading. And that sort of thing is all stuff that I do for my photography business. And now I do it for the jewelry business as well. I’m the one working on. I mean, we both do, do designing, but my partner Kristin does more of like the social media management and responding to everyone’s questions and DMS and that sort of thing. And then I do more of the like tech stuff. So we both you know, play to our own strengths when it comes to that as well.

It’s almost like you’re able to scale because you’ve already learned all of it. So

yeah, and that’s that’s been the easier part. But it’s it’s funny, because I still have trouble calling calling myself a jewelry designer. It just I mean, I know that’s what it that’s, that’s the name of what I am, but it doesn’t sound it doesn’t sound right. But then again, I it took me years before I was actually comfortable saying I’m a photographer, you know, I used to say I’m a former teacher, you know, turned photographer, I you know, I? I would say oh yeah, I’m a photographer. Like it was very. I was very timid about it. And now I’m like, nope, y’all. I’m a photographer. That’s it. Like, oh, yeah, I used I used to teach back then. But like, now I’m a photographer. I’ve done that for three times as long as I was teaching. So yeah, that’s what I do. Yeah,

I think it’s interesting that you went into the second business, like, knowing that you wanted it to be a business and it wasn’t going to be just like a hobby side situation, like you knew right away. This is what you wanted, you guys wanted to do and move forward with.

Yeah, and I think it was important for us, especially working with someone else. I don’t know if it would have been the same if I was just doing it on my own. But we made everything very legit, I guess is the best is, is the best word to use for that because we set up the joint bank account, the business bank account, and we got the business license and home occupation permit and all the things that we had to do, because I also just did not want to be in a situation where we were selling physical products and didn’t have things set up in a legitimate way. But in addition to that Shopify also will basically not let you run a business unless you have it legal in all aspects because they require you to put in your, you know, tax ID number and that sort of thing.

When you’re setting it up, so we had to get we had to cover all our bases.


I think that’s so, you know, I think that’s great. I think that Just your ability to say, like, this is something that is interesting. And I am going to try it. And we’re going to do it and figuring out what that balance is going to look like for you figuring out what that partnership is going to look like for you. And then having having the, I guess, having the the hutzpah to say, I am, like, this is a thing I write. I am a business owner. I’m a jewelry maker. I’m a photographer, like, you know, you and I, and then me and Megan, separately, have been talking a little bit offline this week about just imposter syndrome. And you mentioned that earlier and just battling that. And I think when you’re changing careers, that’s a big, like, especially if you have attached your identity to your career in any way previous Yes, to this change your career feels a lot like you’re changing your identity. And that battling that imposter syndrome to say like, No, I am a badass, and I’m going to be a badass at this other job, too. And, you know, I think that those are things that sometimes take some, some guts to do.

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And you’re 100%, right. And it doesn’t even have to be totally changing careers that can be, you know, getting a different job in the same field. It can be, you know, switching schools, if you’re teaching and starting at someplace new, it’s, it’s because I had some imposter syndrome when I started at the second school as well. And it’s really hard to kind of get that out of your head and to, to just say, this is what I do. And I’m making money. I’m proud of it. And I mean, even now, I mean, my I technically working like a part time salary. I don’t consider it a part time job, even though I know it is a part time job. It’s, it’s, I mean, it’s probably more than a part time job, but it is who I am. And for the longest time, teaching is who I was. I was a teacher, I had trained to be a teacher for four years of college. I knew from a young age, I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t really even think about like exploring other options. I was also kind of lazy in that aspect. Like I just, I was like, this sounds good. I just want to do it. Like when I was thinking about what I wanted to teach, like the how I came up with English was like, I’m not that great at math. I absolutely don’t want to teach science. English sounds good. Like that’s kind of where that’s like how that happens. Great. Okay. Right. Like, literally, that’s it. That was the thought process that went through my head. And I mean, but I was like, 17. So there’s that. But yeah, it took it took a long time. And I’m, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in the photography world. I remember, when I, I did a guest speaking. I was a guest speaker. I don’t know what the right word is. But I was a guest speaker at the community college where I got my certificate. And the first time I did it, I’ve done it a handful of times now. But the first time, I actually did like a, you know, I ran through my presentation for Stephie and Ade and at the end, Ade was like crying. And I was so funny. And I was like what is what’s wrong, like what I do? And she was like, you just know so much. I’m so impressed. And, and it was funny, because I didn’t I hadn’t even really thought about all the things that I like all the knowledge that I had gathered over the last at the time, five ish years. And giving that presentation for the two of you really made me think to myself, it kind of even though I was confident in who I was, as a photographer, hearing you say like, you don’t real, you don’t realize how much you know, like just gave me this extra boost to kind of and that like really? I mean, looking back I think that was a moment that really sort of kicked the imposter syndrome to the curb. And I mean don’t get me wrong, there are still moments where I am trying something new or I get nervous. I still get nervous before like almost every single session because I just wonder like, Am I gonna get the photos I need? Is this gonna turn out? Okay. It always does. But, you know, it’s, it’s still terrifying.

One thing that I wanted to say about imposter syndrome is that, especially when you’re thinking about changing careers, I think for women especially, we place a lot of importance on the friendships that we make in our jobs.


And the thought of leaving a career for, you know, even if it’s a great opportunity, and you know, that you’re leaving all those friendships behind, can make you feel even more of an imposter. Because you’re like, well, I’m, I’m here at this place. And that’s my thing. I’m not good enough to go anywhere else, and I won’t have my people. But the fact that you had people that are not, they weren’t other teachers, and not in your career as teachers are photographers to lift you up? And like, bring you Yeah, to that level that you need to be at to be confident in yourself. And it gets super important.

Yeah. And that I know, that we’re going to talk you mentioned about, you know, what advice would you give people starting a new career, or even a new job, and that was one of the things that has been the most important and the most beneficial for me, as I’ve transitioned, and as I’ve grown within the photography world, you know, from taking pictures for free, or like, you know, five cents to now. And it’s been so important to have people that not only lift you up, and that, you know, cry when you give great presentations, but which was I mean, it was the sweetest thing in the entire world. But it’s also I mean, those people, you know, Stephie and Ade, and very, very few other people I have in this world that will, that will say all of those great things, but will also, you know, keep my head from floating to high in the clouds, they keep my feet on the ground, they, you know, proofread stuff for me. They will tell me when something isn’t working, or, you know, they’ll help me refine ideas when I my dreams are too vague. I guess they’ll help me. Which sounds weird to say like, your dream is too vague, but like, really dreams can be kind of vague. Yeah. And, you know, to have those people that will keep me in check, is what has, it’s in a weird way, it’s helped give me the confidence to keep going. Because I know that they take me seriously. It’s not just that they’re encouraging me and that they’re proud or that they think it’s great that I’m doing this whole entrepreneur thing. It’s that they take me seriously enough to help when they know I need it, if that makes sense. Yeah,

I don’t think that’s silly at all. No.

Obviously, I don’t think it is because I’m one of those people is gonna be like

you are.

So okay,

so let’s, let’s continue on the advice. What advice would you give somebody is thinking about changing careers, then they’re not sure they think they’re feeling a little stagnant, and they just need a boost? What would you say to them?

Or they’re crying in their car before they go into the office every day?

That maybe you need to change? So

yeah, well, I think my first advice is that, you know, life is too short to stick with something that you don’t like, if you have the opportunity and the means to change. So if you aren’t happy, like for me, I mean, I love teaching and it was kind of a forced change for me. And so I had to my transition to changing careers was different. But, you know, my dad has gone from being a lawyer. He’s mostly retired now, but he was a lawyer, and then he was a pastor, like a pastor in an assisted living facility. And our chaplains excuse me as a chaplain in assisted living facility and then he was like, an actor slash candlemaker. And like, now he’s doing you know, the retirement slash acting thing. Anyway, and an actor slash candlemaker that Yeah, you did hear that, right? Yeah, yeah, that’s, yeah, that that wasn’t a Yeah, you heard it right. And he’s someone who really just follows his passions, you know, he did law for a long time and kind of came to the realization that he really didn’t like it anymore. And so he got out. And so that’s kind of given me the confidence to do the same thing. And so when I, and so my advice to people is just, you know, make sure, well, first of all, take a night to sleep on it, make sure that before you like quit a job, make sure that you sleep on it and really think about moving forward and how you’re going to move forward. Because there are several ways to do it. And if you’re someone like me, who is forced into a change for whatever reason, whether it be you know, a move, or the loss of a job or something else, it’s your, your way of going about researching is going to be a little bit different. If you are already in a job and looking to change, you can think about if you can side hustle, whatever you want to do for a while, if you’re going to go the entrepreneur route. I know of people that have side hustles until they could fully replace their salary where they were working previously. And that’s when they decided to quit. So that’s one option. But in general, I would just say, research, research research, find out all the information you can about changing careers, what that would look like. And I mean, ultimately Follow, follow what you’re passionate about, and you’re going to make mistakes along the way. Learning is going to be tough, they’re going to be a lot of growing pains involved with any career change. I mean, you know, small business ownership has its own set of woes, I guess we all have to deal with. But, you know, surround yourself with people that I talked about earlier that can lift you up, but also keep you in check. Because the learning is is great when you’re changing careers, because even if you are going from one type of corporate job to a different type of nine to five experience, but it’s in a totally different field, even something like Alex did, where he were personal training and being a chef have both have strange hours, but they’re both you know, jobs where you’re working for someone else versus working for yourself. And, you know, make sure that you just talk to people in that industry, and see what their schedules are, like, see what they like about the job, what they don’t like about the job. Because also sometimes, you know, with with things like being an entrepreneur or even being a photographer, it sounds fun. A lot of times, you know, you’re like, Oh, you get to take pictures and you get to, like you do art for a living. And there are so many other aspects to it than just taking fun pictures. You know, there’s website design, there’s editing, there’s calling, there’s emails back and forth, and all the equipment that you have to buy. And so I think it’s just important to kind of do some research, whether it be online or talking to people and make sure that you have an idea of what you’re getting into, I guess, and not in a bad way, just for expectations sake.

I think it’s also important to remember that like every job has its things. Yes, like not super fun.

Yeah, yeah,

literally no job. That is fun. 100% of the time.

Exactly. Because everyone

has to pay taxes, y’all like you have to do your taxes at some point. Even if the rest of the year is fun. At some point you have to do taxes and there’s no way unless you’re an accountant. That is fun for you. It’s

so like, right,

there’s right or something to every career that Yeah, to find something where you’re like, Okay, I gotta do the paperwork or I have to do the I have to like clean out my inbox. Kathleen, I know how much you love clean out your email inbox.

I hate cleaning out my inbox so much and I had some stumbles i i Megan Are you a first of all Megan? Are you someone who has zero emails in your inbox? Are you someone who has like a lot?

I don’t have zero but I also don’t have a lot. So I get I get kind of mad at people who like brag. about their unread emails, where they have like 1000s of unread emails, and they’re like, deleted them all and start over. And I’m like, just No, no.

Okay, so I don’t think I don’t think you like me anymore.

How do you live like that? That’s my question.

Okay. It’s just it’s, I have a lot of other redeeming qualities, I promise you. But I and I, it’s something that I’ve tried to do so many times. And I just have it I have a problem, apparently, I just

have a lot of questions now.

Well, I mean, we can get into that another time. But like, it’s just it, you know, it’s one of my flaws. It’s a flaw. And also, when you have so many junk emails coming in, like, I still check my email all the time, I just don’t go through and like delete every single one. Although being friends with Stephie, for like, 13 years has fine, I’m fine. She’s finally rubbing off on me. And I’m like, trying to get better at that. So it’s getting better. There’s just one day I will have zero, I wanted to have zero by January 31. And that didn’t happen. But, you know, I am getting much closer. So I’m trying. But I want I kind of forget where what Megan said right before this. But, uh, I Stephie when you said the thing about the being an accountant, like I’ve had, every job is going to have something that you don’t like. And that’s so true. And I think that the important part of talking to people or like researching is finding out if those things that you’re going to have to do that aren’t so fun, if those are going to be your deal breakers or not. Like that’s the thing that I think people need to understand, like when they get into any career, because you’re 100% right. And I feel like that’s why, you know, most photographers get out of the business within five years, because there are so many other aspects to it, that you don’t realize other than taking fun pictures. And so as long as those things aren’t deal breakers, then you’re good to go.

I think the bonus now these days is that there are so many people who are willing to take on those things that you hate.

Yeah. It sounds Yes, outsource. Amen. So much. I Well, I mean, I, I don’t outsource as much with my own business as but through listening to another podcast for years and years that’s focused on business and female entrepreneurs. One of the things that she says is that time is your most valuable resource. And if it’s not in your business, but you can outsource something else, do it. So like we get cleaners that come in every other week, and clean the house. And that’s something that would take my head because my husband, I have tried to do it ourselves. But it takes us like all day, on a weekend to do it. And it can take the cleaners two hours to clean the whole house. And they’re done. And that leaves us time to spend with the kids and spend working on our own things. So I’m a huge fan of outsourcing. Anything that you can outsource, outsource that’s I did today. I finally I’m outsourcing taking pictures of me, which sounds like something I should have outsourced A long time ago. But I have made my husband, my personal photographer for the last six years and

for that one time I visited Sacramento and you’re like you’re gonna take some pictures.

I did. I took some pictures of you too, though. Did we trade we did. We traded and and now we both use those pictures on our websites.

And honest to goodness, Stephie was way better than my husband. Because I know how to use a camera.

But I ever asked my husband to take pictures of me he has like 12 feet above my head. And the rest of my body is cut off. So

yeah, I feel that deep. But I feel that deep in my soul I learned will has learned at this point to show me after he takes a couple and I can give him more direction and say like you need to zoom out. You know, I’ve taught him like the rule of thirds. So like you need to have my head along the line of the top third of the you know, viewfinder and so he’s getting he’s getting a little bit better but Stephie was it was much easier with Stephie I will say that but but yeah, now I’m finally hiring a brand photographer to take pictures of me and outsourcing and that’s you know She’s like, Oh, I’m gonna think of all the ideas and tell you what props we need and this and that. And I’m like, this is hours of my life that I am not going to need to spend thinking about this anymore. So worth every penny.

Yeah, I love that I am a big believer in that. And like I said, it doesn’t have to be related to your business, it can be


something else that’s taking up space in your calendar or your brain. Mm hmm. Fine, if you have the resources to outsource that. Absolutely. Do it.

Yeah, for sure.

Kathleen, thank you for coming on. And You’re so welcome. I mean to us about, you know, your big, the way that you’ve handled changing careers and the way that you’ve handled adding new ventures to the perpetual juggling that you’re doing. And it was great to talk to you about, you know, something a little bit different than we talked to you about last time. So

yeah, this It was so fun. This is a topic that I, I really love talking about it because it’s not a position I thought I would ever find myself in. And it’s, it’s been really fun to talk about it and to encourage other friends to, you know, start their side hustles and pursue their passions and all that sort of stuff. So thank you so much for having me on. I really, really appreciate it.

What’s bringing us joy?

It is it’s been our pleasure. So let’s talk about joy. What is bringing us joy this week, Kathleen? what’s what’s making you happy?

So from last time, I remember that you were going to ask this question, so I’m not quite caught off guard. And but you guys are gonna hate me so much. When I say what’s bringing me joy. Oh, no. What is it? It’s the weather.

Yes, I hate you and continue.

It’s the weather is so it. And, you know, granted, we should be getting a lot of rain right now we’re not so like, that’s going to be problematic later on. But we’ve had a couple of weekends that have just been really beautiful. And we’ve been able to, you know, play outside with the kids. And like, run around and I’ve gone for a couple runs. And I’m so sorry to be talking about this when it’s like four degrees in Illinois. But, but it has it’s it’s you know, the first time it gets warm again or like warmer, you know, whether it’s like, I mean for us like Sacramento does get cold in the wind quote unquote, winter. You know, it gets into like the 30s and my blood has really thin so that’s cold for me now. But um, you know, it’s like that first time it’s like 5060 degrees and you’re like, it’s shorts weather. So it’s been really also

say that it is actually five degrees.

And I was literally gonna say

feels like negative nine.


like stepping I was like, we’re gonna see exactly what temperature it is right?

Okay, I need I need to just see what the actual temperature is here. Oh, it’s raining. Apparently. I’m in the closet. So I can’t tell. I can’t tell weirdly, but it’s but it’s 61 right now.

Yes. Screw you.

It’s okay. I’m used to that after living here for so long. But But yeah, I brought

you come to I made you come to Illinois in the middle of February last year. And you were very cold. And it was funny anyway.

Yeah, that is that is very true. I did I I’m such a wimp. Now when it comes to cold what like after Christmas before Christmas. I can handle it. But like I’ve gone back to Chicago a few times in January, February in the last few years. And it’s rough.

You know that you’re so right. It is like before Christmas is fine. And then it’s you hit January and February and it gets bitterly cold and also Yeah, just over it. And it’s stupid. I hate it.


what’s bringing you joy?

Well, in an effort to bring spring early, I ordered a bunch of seeds and seed starting pods and things like that and my little grow light and I’m very excited to get all that started.

That’s fine. I,

I don’t know how to garden here. So I have to relearn how to do all of that. But I have a book to teach me about the seasons better than, you know, because I could grow anything whenever I wanted in Texas, basically, right. But I have my little guide book. Can I have all my little seeds? I probably bought too many seeds, to be honest. But

I mean, Oh darn delicious.

It is so surprising.

I know. Well, now we’re like arguing about how we’re going to divide up the yard because we have a dog now. So I can’t have a garden wherever I want it. In the yard, because it’s a corner lot. It’s kind of weirdly shaped and there’s all these other things you have to worry about. So

so your husband wants to put the garden like, smack in the middle of the front yard like a weirdo. So

why he’s

really into the idea of a front yard garden.

Okay, I I’ve never met Bob. So I feel not

really like in keeping with his, like, normal added, like attitude about things like he’s not a super weird hippie who wants to like grow vegetables for the whole city or anything like that,

right? He hanging out too much and they’re weird, or like bouncing off of each other and eating just because they just will come up with things where we’re both like No,

absolutely not

think it’s really it’s more of an effort that he doesn’t want to have to mow the lawn. Just make a whole garden. And that way there will be no lawn to mow

will will is having similar thoughts about mowing he has tried he’s trying to think because our neighbors are like in the process of turning their front yard into a more, you know, water sustainable garden or you know, area because we do so because we might have warm weather but we have no water here. So you know there’s there are trade offs. And But yeah, I guess I guess I’m just afraid that someone would steal all my vegetables. If I had the garden in the front.

It’s possible. I think that’s maybe part of his goal. He’s like, well, we can give them to people. But I mean, that’s a lot of work. So like, yeah, maybe eventually. I don’t know like it probably for the first spring that we’ve lived here. It’s not a good idea to rip up the whole yard and plant everything.

Bless it.

stuffy, what about you?

So yesterday as we’re recording this yesterday, it was Eden’s first birthday. Yay. And this weekend, we had like a little tiny little tiny pandemic party. And with her birth family, and you guys begging you and your family came over and three of the grandparents were there. And so even sister Avery, who is who will be to later this week. She was there and after Ed had gone to bed. She like finished eating dinner and she hopped down off of Taylor’s lap and she walked over to max Meghan’s youngest, her seven year old and was like, Come on, let’s go play and Max played tea party with her for the longest time and it was honestly like it has warmed my heart for Oh, he’s so sweet. Like he sat and poured her 3000 cups of tea so sweetly and legitimately made her day like this child. When Taylor had her you know, tell everybody good night when she was getting ready to go to bed. She like hugged max Good night, and she had stars in her eyes. Like oh, literally just in love with Max. It was so cute. So that is that’s what’s still bringing me joy. That was a few days. But it’s just that just made my week honestly.

That’s very sweet boy,

your your kids are you very good kids. And I know that sometimes. You want to like smack them. But they are very, very good kids. And he was he was so so sweet and kind to play with the two year old and basically just do whatever she wanted to do. And you know, play tea party with her. It was it was just really wonderful. So I think

they’re all so yeah, it’s like they’re kind of butt heads. A lot of times But in general, whenever they’re around like kids that are littler than them, especially like really little kids like Ed and Avery they’re very sweet and kind and it’s, it’s really nice. And also I was watching them and Avery and Max are about the same age difference as Max and Reese. So it was kind of like a little like, flashback back when Max was little and, and race would play with him. So I’m so happy that they’re nice to each other.

That’s so sweet. I yeah, Stephie told me about that. And it just like, totally melted my heart.

I sent her the video of Avery double fisting tea.

Yeah, how much?

She drinks so much imaginary tea. It

was Yeah. It’s

also Max was wearing one of his button downs because he’s so fancy,

buttoned down shirt with his like hair gel.

I was like, Oh my god, you’re

such a little old man. It’s

just wonderful. That’s so precious. I know. It like made me think about like, I hope that when because my kids have never met eaten before. And cuz you know, thanks. COVID but it just makes me think like, when they do meet, like I hope Henry’s that sweet with her with Aiden.

Yeah, play and do whatever. It’s so cute.

Yeah, like, come

on eatin.

Let’s go play so great. But then if we get like Charlie and Avery together, it’s gonna be like, they’d be like, what mischief we get into today. House may not be standing afterwards

like those. I’m Tanya. Toes to girl. Yeah. Some shenanigans? Yeah,

there’s so many shenanigans. Yeah, so and then but they’ll have smiles on their faces. be so happy they’ll just be could be a whole it’ll be a whole thing. Yeah.

Next week’s episode

So next week, we are going to talk about saying I’m sorry.

So join us back here next week as we discuss the art of apologizing or not apologizing. Until then, be sure to leave us a review on Apple podcast and listen to us on your favorite platform. You can also follow us on social media at irsipodcast, or send us an email at We’d love to hear from our listeners. Talk to you soon.

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