Permission to Kick Ass

61: Caitlin Durning

Episode Summary

My conversation with Caitlin Durning was so spectacular, we had to do it twice. For real. After a tech snafu sent the original recording to the cyber ether, we didn’t stress (ok, maybe a little). We simply focused on our next step. And learning how to handle challenges is all part of the entrepreneurial journey. If you’ve been struggling to keep your cool when things go sideways in your biz, this episode is for you.

Episode Notes

Caitlin started her entrepreneurial journey at a young age and dove right into the deep end. She was successful (to the tune of increasing her company’s social media following from 18,000 to 500,000 in just three years), but her days were filled with the constant noise of social media and that didn’t leave much left for herself or her loved ones. But Caitlin didn’t run from her shadows… she embraced them. In the process, she learned one of the most valuable skills any entrepreneur can have — how to navigate yourself. Listen now. 

Can’t-Miss Moments From This Episode:

This one is jam-packed full of advice. Don’t miss out - listen now!

Caitlin’s Bio:

I’m Caitlin and I’m obsessed with all things Instagram. *raises hand*

Something about connecting with people (aka—potential clients) all around the world really gets me going and ever since realizing that massive potential, I knew I had to help others see the same.

I spend my days hopping between client meetings, creating content, dreaming up strategies, and training our students on Instagram lead generation. Otherwise, you can catch me hanging out with my guy hanging with Bailey (our puppy) or reading up on the latest news from the stars because, even though I know what’s coming next for me is going to be beyond great, I like a good teaser of what to expect from my favorite horoscopes (I’m a Taurus!).

Resources and links mentioned:

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Episode Transcription

Angie Colee (00:01):

Welcome to Permission to Kick Ass. A podcast about leaving self-doubt in the dust, punching fear in the face and taking bold action toward your biggest dreams. I'm Angie Colee, and let's get to it. Hey and welcome back to Permission to Kick Ass. With me today is my friend Caitlin Durning. Say hi!

Caitlin Durning (00:25):

Hey! Thanks for having me.

Angie Colee (00:26):

Yeah, my pleasure. Oh, so this is a funny story, and this is the first time that this has happened in the history of the Permission to Kick Ass podcast. This is the first time if you are listening that you're hearing this episode, this is actually the second time that we've recorded it. And in that in and of itself is gonna be an adventure, but long story short, the first time that we recorded this was back in February. We're now talking I, uh, in March mid-March and that day in February, about five minutes after Caitlin and I got off the zoom call here, my laptop crashed, and I did everything that I could working with Best Buy to salvage that episode. But that episode is just lost. It's lost on a fried laptop, and sometimes these things happen. And it's so funny because you were telling me beforehand that you had something similar happen, but with a lot more data.

Caitlin Durning (01:19):

Yes, I have. So been there. Lost so many video over, you know, time with small laptops or even old laptops. It was like my laptop from college, you know, on its last leg.

Angie Colee (01:33):

But I love that. I, I was talking to Caitlin right before the call and saying, you know, I wanna just go ahead and lead with the fact that this is the second time that we're having to do this because as lest you think as, as you're listening to this and a lot of people have touched it, right, I've got an editor helping me make this sound great. I've got you sounding great on here. As we're talking, I've got a writer helping me get everything up in and order and, and shit still goes wrong.

Caitlin Durning (02:00):

Yes, it's so funny, cuz that's exactly what we were talking about last time. So true.

Angie Colee (02:05):

I know, I know. And I, we were saying that too, like I'm not even gonna try and recapture what we said last time. Cause I don't think I even remember it well, but I know that we were talking about the fact that you work in social media and there's like a serious mental health issue that comes up when you are on social media all day, every day. So let's just jump right in.

Caitlin Durning (02:24):

Yeah. Let's get into it. Absolutely. Yeah. So, you know, like with my experience with social, at my first position, when I launched a campaign, I had to be on social media all the time cuz that's how we were driving the campaign. And I unfortunately didn't have any of my, I guess self-help practices, you know, prior to that, I hadn't been in therapy or like learned about journaling meditation, you know, the things to kind of, I guess, pull you back to the present moment. And I had no clue how much it was impacting me until I would like look up from my phone after literally eight hours of people, you know, driving the campaign at the time. And I would throw my phone at my boyfriend, like at the end of the day, like, please help me. Like someone needs to help. Cause we were just a small team of eight people, you know, I was their social person for the campaign. So it was just a wild experience. And ever since then, it's definitely, I guess been a big point of what I do with my clients, whether they're management or training and consulting. It's one of the first things we talk about cuz as business owners, we're all impacted by it.

Angie Colee (03:39):

Oh yeah. And you know, actually that brings up a good point because I know this from last time we recorded, but I just completely skipped over asking you to tell us about what you do.

Caitlin Durning (03:49):

No problem.

Angie Colee (03:49):

So let's go back a little bit. Tell me what you do.

Caitlin Durning (03:52):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I do social media management and also training and consulting for small to large businesses. I've worked with a lot of people in the holistic space over this past year just because that's an interest of my own, but I've also worked with a lot of people in the beauty based industry. I have a lot of real estate agents, but they always tend to be interested in holistic practices. So yeah, kind of like, you know, my bread and butter, I would say, but that's what I do full time now, you know, we've been in business for three years. Ever since that campaign that I launched I've really been growing since then. I was able to take that nonprofits following from 18,000 followers to 500,000 followers and.

Angie Colee (04:37):

Holy shit.

Caitlin Durning (04:40):

Wild experience. And I had no background in social prior to that at all. I had some background in campaign development. I studied PR in JMU. Um, and I graduated in 2018 and then once I moved back home, I had no clue. what I wanted to do with my life at all. And this opportunity with the nonprofit kind of fell into my lap and I really enjoyed the people that I was working with and the impact that we had. But at, after their growth, I could tell that I had learned so much and they probably also needed, you know, a different type of fundraiser or advice that was beyond me at that time. So it was I think, a good time for both of us to move on. And yeah, then I traveled across Europe with my boyfriend for a few months and Meraki was created after learning the European lifestyle. That comes along with that, you know?

Angie Colee (05:35):

Um, that's like you, you said something that I wanna highlight cuz I think it's, uh, you know, especially as your move being like freelancer to kind of consulting, there's this awkward transition there where you feel like you have to be everything to the client and you have to know everything. And just the fact that you admitted that, okay, they probably need somebody different. That's beyond my current skillset versus pretending like, Nope, I got it. I know it all. I will figure it out. And that ties into something else. Cause I was just like taking notes while you were writing this, I love that you talked about basically saying yes and figuring out like I didn't have this experience, so I'm just gonna jump in and I'm gonna make it happen. And, and like for so much of my life that has actually made more of a difference than all of the studying, all of the networking, everything else that they've, you know, quote unquote, they have told us to do to grow ourselves and grow our businesses. It's always been, say yes to what sounds like an interesting opportunity and figure it out as you go, would you agree?

Caitlin Durning (06:39):

100%, you know, it's, it's the sink or swim moments that I think have highlighted, I both of our growth after just hearing your story a few times, you know, it's like you take that leap and then you have to wait and see what happens. And it also helps you grow so much as a person learn so much out yourself. Even if you do fail maybe with that one client or that one experience that you've taken on, um, it makes you less afraid to take the lead next time cuz it's like, well, if it works out awesome, if it doesn't try the next thing, you know?

Angie Colee (07:11):

Yeah. And you know, if I had spent all of my time and energy, you know, 10, 12 years ago trying to figure out what today looks like that would've been a lot of ways. I had no concept of being a podcast host of being a coach. I had no vision beyond the copywriting that I was trying to do. And so that's, you know, I really just learned the value of taking the next step and trusting that the, the picture it gets clear, the closer you get to the thing that you're looking for.

Caitlin Durning (07:42):

Well said, I love that it's like following your feet. I said on a coaching call a few weeks ago, because when you take the leap she's early on in her journey, um, and she's trying to navigate, you know, what her next steps look like. She recently got a new job, which will give her a, some more freedom. Um, so she can put more energy towards her freelance business, but it's hard because then you're pulled, you know, by the people that you're working for and you think you're going in a hundred directions, which you and I can both, you know,

Angie Colee (08:13):

Oh yeah. I mean, I've had a lot of conversations about that lately just because of, you know, what happened with me last year when I hit the road and just something, something changed 2021, Angie wasn't having any of this workaholic. She was just done. And that's usually how I would process heavy emotions is just go to work. I've got a work identity. I am a workhorse. I provide a lot of value for people. And for some reason last year I was like, Nope, I'm gonna go do Lama yoga. Nope. I'm gonna jump into a hot air balloon and see what I can see. Um, and you know, the counterintuitive thing to that was by unintentionally building in that space, I actually got you know, more rest, I'm less stressed. I'm communicating with my clients better. My ideas are better, but it's so funny that we have kind of the opposite mentality of like, I can't take space until I've earned it until I get all this other shit done. And the space is actually what makes you better at this?

Caitlin Durning (09:17):

Totally. Oh my gosh. I could not agree more.

Angie Colee (09:20):

I think that ties back in perfectly to what you were talking about, like eight hours on the phone and you come in and just like hurl it at the boyfriend, take this away from me. Like I've, I've had people give me grief over the years because it took me a long time to build up my own email list. And it's like, you know, Hey a copywriter, this, this is what you preach to everybody. You need to be emailing your list. But so classic cobblers kids have no shoes. I spent all day writing for my clients. I don't want to sit down and write for myself at the end of the day. I imagine it was similar with social.

Caitlin Durning (09:49):

Totally. That's like a block that we're hitting right now. You know, I recently just partnered with a copywriter, so grateful for her because she was able to, you know, take some of that off my plate. And actually one of my coaches, um, said that to me, she was like, of course your creative space is being sucked, you know, by all of your wonderful clients. And as much as you wanna make them successful, how can you make yourself successful? There's no creative juices left. You know, the day I was the same way, I was like dead. You know, there's no hole left in me, but sitting on the couch, eating Cheezits, you know yep.

Angie Colee (10:27):

Getting sucked into hours of Netflix. And then you look up and realize, oh shit, it's midnight. I need to, I need to go to bed, stop it.

Caitlin Durning (10:36):

Cuz we think we're gonna get more creative juices. Like that's kind of like with social media too, a lot of my clients will come to me. They think they're getting inspiration. And then they end up spending three to six hours scrolling on real scrolling through their clients, you know, watching the influencers that have this ideal lifestyle instead of taking maybe an hour out of their day to just focus on Legion, which could implement their business, you know, increase it so much over time. If we're willing to carve out some of that time for ourselves, you know,

Angie Colee (11:09):

I love that you brought that up because, oh, I don't even think we covered this last time. So like this is new and interesting and important, I think because there's a difference between gathering inspiration, which I think happens organically. Like inspiration is something that you see out in the wild, you don't plan for it by sitting down and scrolling for three hours, looking for inspiration. You know what I mean? So if you, if you train your brain to like spot and note interesting things and then just have some sort of notebook or like make yourself a voice memo or something, then you can capture inspiration while still being functional versus like what you described, which I think is more of a paralyzing situation where it's like the deeper down this rabbit hole I go and the more cool and interesting things I see the more I'm like, how am I gonna do that? I dunno how to do that?!

Caitlin Durning (11:57):

Spiral I call the viral spiral, you know, like people fall into that hole. It's exactly why you said, and I'm a firm believer, you know, even just walking outside, like I gain so much more inspiration than sitting on social media, you know, I, I really don't find any inspiration from there. Maybe sometimes for real music I'll go on social, but I honestly limit myself to like five minutes, you know, you can find great song in five minutes, scrolling, not three hours, you know?

Angie Colee (12:29):

Yeah. And I, I think that social media and a lot of advertisement and just content in general will convince you that there's some magic thing that you're missing that will just unlock the flow to all of this. And the magic thing that's missing is that it's all inside you. If you've been studying this for any amount of time, if you've been researching this, working with clients, you've got the answers, you are just not trusting yourself and not giving yourself the space to actually let those come to the service like you are taking in so much sounds when what you really need is quiets

Caitlin Durning (13:06):

That I love that. That's perfect. Yeah. Great advice for anyone listening, if you're in that hole. Cause we all get there, you know, especially with 2020, it's like where were we gaining inspiration? Cuz we couldn't go anywhere. You just look at the same wall every day. You know? Um, I think a lot of people are still emerging from that I know for myself, I am, you know, on some level. Um, so no judgment as I say this, but it's more like the silent moment that you can go for a walk or get outside, like fresh air really helps me. Um, just kind of pivot that mindset a little bit. You know?

Angie Colee (13:42):

I think that's why we had such a strong maker movement in 2020 when everything was shut down too, because suddenly the noise like before the online marketing space caught up and was like, Hey, everybody's at home in, in front of their computer. We'll talk even louder. Um, yeah, for, for a couple weeks there, it was magic because the noise is reduced. You don't have the traffic jams, you don't have the office coworkers. You're kind of at home going all right. Well I've watched everything on Netflix that there is to watch. So what now I think I'll make some bread.

Caitlin Durning (14:17):

I love that. I love that cooking creative side of it. So fun.

Angie Colee (14:21):

Oh me too. I wanna circle back to what you were talking about at the beginning because you mentioned something interesting to me was you said before I discovered self-help before I developed my self-help practice and I wanted to unpack that a little bit because that is a learned skill.

Caitlin Durning (14:39):

Yeah, totally.

Angie Colee (14:41):

So tell me more about like how you, you found yourself on that journey and what led you to, cause I could see a situation where I'm a, I'm a social media marketing expert. I've just had this great success with, would you say like 18,000 to 500,000? What?

Caitlin Durning (14:57):


Angie Colee (14:58):

You could easily double down on that and go even deeper, but you didn't. So let's do.

Caitlin Durning (15:04):

Yeah. You know, I, I maybe at one point I did, especially cuz I strated three years ago. So this holistic journey didn't really come into play until the shutdown for me. Um, I had worked with coaches that would mention meditation. Like my doctor actually would even like mention meditation to me cuz I could be chaotic, you know, um, especially launching a business at my age. It was so scary. Like, oh yeah. Every and I was talking to, you know, I was like older and they have great advice, but then you get so much advice. There's so much noise and it's hard to make your intuitive decisions when everyone has something to say. And that for a long time, I would say definitely pulled me into entrepreneurship, which I loved, but was also hindering the growth of the business. Like within that first year, uh, cuz it was like a million different things. I needed to learn the trends I needed to be DMing, a bunch of people, appropriate messages. Like now we've been able to really define that to where it's a conversation starter. It's not a sales message, you know? Um, but as I was learning, it was really hard. And then once the shutdown came, you know, it was complete silence, all of the pulled out of contracts, you know, uh, I was also doing a course at that time and there was no one taking the course and the people that I wanted to connect with, you know, they didn't wanna talk to anybody. We were all scared. Like let's be honest. And then I had to look internally like a lot of the, my boyfriend and I had moved in together at the beginning of the pandemic. And a lot of situations started to play out that I realized that I really didn't like about myself. Like I introspectively had to look at some of my habits and I just didn't like them. You know, whether that may be my communication being off, my mood, not being at a level that was able to explain why that was happening. Um, you know, like different types of traumas, I guess that come out that can play across in relationships and I could have totally buried my head in this sand and been like, screw it. I'm done. But that's just not my personality. I went all into holistic. Like at one point I didn't even work on Meraki at all. I was just meditating. I was learning more about practices going for long walks with my puppy, like spending time with people that I loved. And then I started to see how much that was impacting them, like as I was growing and working on myself. So it was almost being reflected back to me directly and I loved it. It was like, oh, that side of myself that maybe wasn't the greatest or wasn't my a hundred percent highest self, you know, I, it's not that I have to silence that part of my emotion. It's just, I have to learn how to navigate that emotion and express myself in a way that feels aligned with who I am. You know, instead of me throwing the phone at my boyfriend when I'm like being a panic attack at the end of the day, you know, like these small situations, uh, would also play out maybe with my clients subconsciously. And then as I started to work on myself, like I said, it was mirrored back to me, the work I was doing and it just kept driving forward. You know, how much I really wanted to go all in on my holistic journey. Now it's been for, you know, two years of this, about two years, I guess to the day almost that the shutdown was in Philadelphia. So it definitely has impacted everyone in my life. You know, even my boyfriend, he recently got a new job and he had said to me, you know, you are one of the biggest reasons, like why I believed in myself for this and like, thank you so much. You know, like I had no clue I was doing that for him, but it's just was happening. You know, it was playing out without me even knowing it.

Angie Colee (18:59):

That's so interesting. I wrote down a couple of things that I think are brilliant and I wanna highlight one is this in the woo community. They talk about the idea of the shadow self. And I admit haven't done a whole lot of study on that, but that's what struck me as you were talking about like these more negative, these, these parts of myself that I'm not really thrilled with that are just kind of there. And you said I had to learn how to navigate that. And I think that is so fucking smart because so many of us focus on, I have to get rid of that. I have to suppress that I have to become something else. And it's no, you, you learn to navigate, you learn to live with the parts of yourself that you're not quite as proud of. You know, I've, I've been pretty open about not always being open and being super judgey being super mean sometimes. And in, in recent, you doing a lot of the self work like you're talking about realized something popped up. I wanna say last year, just ultra clear. It felt like somebody turned on a neon light in front of my face. And the neon light said, I never wanna be the reason someone gives up on themselves.

Caitlin Durning (20:06):

Wow. I love that.

Angie Colee (20:06):

And I, I pretty much immediately stopped giving negative feedback. Like I Don think that that's gonna work. This sucks. Like you're not that I ever told somebody that this sucks, but you know, I, I can still give negative feedback, but it's always couched in, I don't know. I, I was driving along today and I remember somebody telling me an idea for a product they had. And my first instinct was, I don't know if that's gonna work. And so I, I wound up telling this person, I don't know if that's gonna work, but I'm interested in seeing you prove me wrong. I would love to see that happen. So like, if your gut is telling you that you have to do this and I'm telling you this doesn't make sense to me go follow your gut. Don't listen to me.

Caitlin Durning (20:51):

I, and I think that that's like a self-awareness that you gain as an entrepreneur, because you also are trying to navigate like for your business purpose and you don't wanna repel people with your opinions, a podcast I was listening to, she said this perfectly, she it through, um, I, I think she has like an exercise addiction. Uh, her name's Project Me with Tiffany. She's really interesting. And she had said during herself, you know, awareness journey, they shared with her that honesty without empathy is just like mean.

Angie Colee (21:24):


Caitlin Durning (21:24):

It's really harsh, you know?

Angie Colee (21:27):

Yes, yes. That, you know, that pisses me off so much when somebody's like, I'm just being honest. I can't help it if I piss you off. Yes, you actually can help it if you piss me off you, you can think about how to deliver your honesty in a way that doesn't feel like you're slapping me in the fucking face.

Caitlin Durning (21:44):

Like exactly how you said, you know, please prove me wrong. Like, I would love to see that, like, that's what people need in today's society too. Like I see so many young kids on social. They're just constantly beating themselves up behind the screen and call them silent Watchers. And they're comparing themselves constantly. And it's like, listen, this person isn't being totally honest with you, you know, in one side of their life. And that's a side of like the empathy that I've always wanted to incorporate on my page, by sharing my journey. Like, listen, we all struggle. It's okay to struggle. And the more you share it, the less scary it becomes, you know?

Angie Colee (22:22):

Oh yeah. I love how the world has changed in the last 20 years because I remember graduating high school in, you know, there wasn't really room for, for honesty and a whole lot of authenticity. There's a lot of this is the way things are. This is how you find success. And so I did kind of internalize that message of bury, who you are, who you are is a little bit too much. But then several years back when I finally found a community that that felt like home, a whole bunch of other creative people, suddenly I'm no longer the weirdo in the corner that has the crazy ideas that nobody understands. We all have crazy ideas. It's fantastic. Yay.

Caitlin Durning (22:58):

I love it.

Angie Colee (22:59):

So I joined this community and then I'm getting more and more frustrated with that comparison. Like you say that smart per I can't say anything. Look at them. They're brilliant. They give better advice than I could. And when my mentor challenged me, me to just help people, knowing what you know, don't wait for permission. I give you permission, go ahead and do this. Uh, it just opened up a whole new world and I remember being okay, so I can be honest with these people. And then I started telling them I'm struggling. I feel stuck in this job suddenly I've got people giving me advice on how to make the transition, referring me to clients that I could potentially work with freelance. Like the vulnerability turned into a strength, that thing that I thought they were gonna judge me for, if I ever shared it or revealed it wound up being the thing that not only helped me advance in my career, but also makes me a fucking fantastic coach. Yeah. Because every, and I'm not ashamed to admit that because I've gotten so many people that, that reach out to me and tell me, like, you're the things that you do are amazing. And I tell them when they're like, how do you know all this? Cause I've fucked it up 20 million different ways. Like, and I found all the ways that didn't work so that I could share with you a way that worked for me.

Caitlin Durning (24:03):

Oh my gosh. Oh, beautifully said that's like the type of coach, like for the listeners as well. This is the type of coach that you want. You want someone that's admitting their faults admitting what went wrong. So that you can learn from it. You don't want the coach. That's saying I made 3 billion and here's my exact plan. No, that might not work for you. Like, so navigating that intuition as a coach is such a gift. You know, I think that that's the type of coaching that we need nowadays, cuz it's not a one size fits all anymore at all.

Angie Colee (24:37):

Yeah. Prescriptive coaching pisses me off. It really, really does on a number of levels. Like first of all, exactly what you said, presuming that your method works for everybody all the time. You have no idea what the circumstances are of the person on the other end of the computer. They may not have access to the resources that you have. They may have, you know, like it's hard for me sometimes to coach people who are single parents. I am not a single parent. I can empathize with their situation, but I've never lived through that myself and I will never truly understand it the way they do with their lived experience. So I try and think about things like that in advance when I'm get, cuz these people can't just like, all right, child, take care of yourself. I'm going off to a retreats and like, right. I will come back to you when I'm in a better mental space, it doesn't work that way with kids guys. Um, and so there's, there's that the presumption that this method works for everybody all the time, the other thing is on you, the figurative, you, the students giving away your fucking power by demanding that somebody with more experience tell you what to do.

Caitlin Durning (25:43):


Angie Colee (25:44):

Don't fucking do that. Like don't do that. Go to a coach because you respect them. You want some information, but do it with that goal of learning, to trust your own inner compass, your own intuition. I've told coaching students before, I want you to fire me. I'm working myself out of a job. If we're still working together in three years, it better be on a different problem than this one because I want you to trust yourself and have your own inner voice. That's telling you what to do. Not just like Angie, what should I do? What should you, what do you think? Mm, yeah.

Caitlin Durning (26:14):

Oh my gosh. That's great to hear too, because I actually learned this the hard way. You know, I worked with a coach that gave me a plan that I thought was gonna make me X amount of money by the end of the plan. And it totally flopped, you know, and I spent all this time. I spent a lot of money. I worked with this person and you know, the best to them moving forward. But for me it wasn't a good fit. And instead of being honest with myself, I just kept going, you know, I signed up for the next thing with them. And then I started to realize slowly, I'm like, this is not feeling good. Like this emotionally in my body isn't feeling good. And that was another part of my holistic journey to kind of like loop this back around. Um, once I got in tune with my body, I got in so much more in tune with my intuition and my brain. Um, cuz our body tells us so much about our environment. Like just by taking it in and I never even thought about that before. You know, being an entrepreneur, I was addicted to working out. I worked out every day, like forcing myself, forcing my body through different types of pain points. It was not healthy, which is how I went into entrepreneurship instead of just letting the noise fade. I'm really listening to what I wanted, which eventually felt so much better. And I've never been healthier, honestly either.

Angie Colee (27:41):

Oh man, I felt, I love that. First of all, you a healthy, but like healthy without the I'm falling short of these goals. Like without that, self-judgment just not healthy for, for the fact of, I want to get better and feel good in my body. Yes. Hell yes. We're here for that. Yeah. Um, and the second thing was just feeling it in your body. I think we really don't pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. Like we, we try and chalk it up or rationalize it away or something like that. But I wrote about that recently. Um, I can't even remember where I wrote about it, but was like, okay. So thinking about this project or this client does that one spot between your shoulder blades, twin up and start spasming. Are you having trouble falling asleep? You're waking up in the middle of night with your thoughts racing. Um, does the thought of completing this project or asking them for money? Like making wanna throw up your body's sending you some signals and it's kind of up to you to get into that quiet space and figure out what those signals mean. Sometimes it's just like nausea, nausea could be nervousness because you're just like, I'm excited for this thing and I don't know how it's gonna go, but we're gonna try it. But nausea could also be like, wow, I really hate working for this client or this person or this type of business. Like, yeah,

Caitlin Durning (28:56):

I love that you said that. And like definitely making the distinction between healthy because that's not, you know what I promote at all. It's more mentally healthy. Like, that I can get up and I can breathe for the first, a full breath instead of feeling anxious, like driving on my way to work. It's like the nonprofit, which I absolutely hated, you know? Like it's these small moments in life that actually build your life. And when you slow down, you can finally listen like exactly how you said, and you can navigate, is this nausea because I'm nervous or is this nausea because I wanna get as far away from this person as possible, you know?

Angie Colee (29:36):

Oh yeah. When I was working that old, the old toxic day job, uh, when I was still in house as a copywriter, I remember I can see the signs in looking back, you know, hindsight is 2020, but I remember it started with not getting great sleep, starting to wake up anxious, staying at work later, getting up earlier to go back to work, all that stuff. Then the second sign was rapid weight gain. I'm talking like I gained like 60 pounds in like stress eating because that was just my way of coping. Um, my, I was angry. I was irritable. I was just a walking ball of nerves. Feel like I could've zapped someone like static electricity if they just, they put a hand on me, I'm going to zap that because I've got so much energy in me. Um, and I can see that in retrospect that like all of those signs came on so slowly, but I was so busy that I never saw how they were stacking until I left. And I didn't have that, oh God, I'm having a hard time waking up in the morning because I'm dreading going to work. And I don't really wanna be there. Feeling like the energy is totally different now that I work for myself, getting up in the morning is not actually a problem.

Caitlin Durning (30:48):

Yes. It's actually fun

Angie Colee (30:49):


Caitlin Durning (30:51):

Yeah. And like another thing that I would like to share with this too, is like, um, recently I was getting ready for tax season, which is like so stressful for me. I don't know why it's just, well, of those things. It causes a lot of stress and I didn't sleep well the night before. And instead of like feeding into that, I was okay, it's tax season. Once I get this done, I will feel amazing. And like last night up like a baby, you know? So it's like entrepreneurship also pulls out a lot of these fears and hopefully we can just, um, almost like a magnifying glass to them and say like, okay, what is this really bringing up for me? You know, that's frequently myself.

Angie Colee (31:31):

You know, that, that just brings up another point for me, that I think is the brain is so much more powerful than we give it credit for. And it often hijacks us with feelings and thoughts, but we don't realize how much control we have over that. Like I, I gave someone a tool just this morning and was like practicing. I don't have to think this thought right now. And if it pops back up, I don't have to think this thought right now. I don't have to think this thought right now. Um, I had something similar happen several months back when I was in Florida, I, I was staying in Pompano beach, which, you know, beach towns are all party towns. And it was like, uh, several ground, like ground floor level, single story apartments. So we had adjoining walls. Um, but I had no neighbors above me. And for some reason the neighbors that were moving in next door loved to have loud, like 2:00 AM discussions in the bathroom, which was the wall that they shared with me. And it's like echoing and it's waking me up. And I just remember for a couple weeks getting so mad cuz I'm getting less and less sleep and it's just like feeding on itself. And one day I went, what's really bothering you here because you're the assholed that can go to somebody's house party, decide she's tired, sneak off to another room and sleep through a freaking house party. Why are these people talking loudly in the bathroom bothering you this much? And that night, same thing. I slept like a baby. Cause I'm like, I'm just gonna pretend I'm at somebody's house party and I have had enough and I'm gonna go sleep in the next room. They can continue their party. I'm gonna go to sleep. Cool. And I like that mindset thing. It sounds so silly just saying it out loud, but it worked. I'm just at a party. Fuck those guys. They can keep partying all night long. I'm just gonna go to sleep. And my brain was like, okay, we will. Right.

Caitlin Durning (33:20):

Wow. Just like a simple switch. That's exactly what I think started to happen to me too. Like, um, since I was so young, when I got into this, like with my boyfriend, when we moved in together at the pandemic, that's exactly the type of thing that would happen. Like he would come to bed late and then I boil like I'm like boiling next to him. Like I'm so mad. You know, you woke me up like this story that I had written about him in my brain, instead of just saying, Hey, why don't we go to bed together one night? You know? And then everything changed. Like it's sometimes the communication even within your brain, like not even externally how you explained it, which can just change everything in your environment, around you instead of like telling yourself this story, you know?

Angie Colee (34:11):

Oh yeah. And it was interesting cuz there was something that I wrote down earlier that I think ties in perfectly to what we're talking about. Because a lot of us, if we're in a relationship that we're struggling with and I'm not saying necessarily romantic, I'm talking about all friend relationships, parental relationships, client relationships, we're in a relationship where something isn't working and we're disappointed with the person that we're dealing with. The instinct is to try and change them and to try and like find script this in such a way to where like we're herding the 'em down the maze to the goal that we want, where the counterintuitive thing here is to change yourself. That's what changes the relationship dynamic to let go of trying to force them into a corner. And you mentioned that earlier with the boyfriend saying, well, you're, you're my inspiration here. You encouraged me to try this. And that was all the work that you changed yourself. Not like, get it together, go apply to jobs. I am frustrated with you.

Caitlin Durning (35:09):

Exactly. That was the biggest shift for me was letting go of the control. You know, I can't control anyone else, but myself. And like that took me months of just one thing that I had to focus on. Like that was so hard for me. Even when I shared the story, I'm like come to bed earlier. Like, no, he doesn't want to, you know, and that was the whole thing. It didn't even bug me once I let go of it, I take a little bit of melatonin. I'm fine. I fall right back to sleep. Like it doesn't matter, but it was the control for me that I would hold like white knuckle, you know, everything. And I was like, what is my deal? Like I've never, I never noticed that about myself until I really took an introspective, like sit back, and became my own observer. You know, of like my habits.

Angie Colee (36:00):

I love that became my own observer because I think that makes it a hell of a lot. Easier to be like, all right, I'm gonna start putting this into columns. Here are the things that I can control here are the things that I absolutely cannot control. You know, timely thing right now. I know that a lot of folks, yeah. As I said, it's, mid-March that we're recording couple weeks ago, Russia invaded Ukraine that has, you know, it's horrible humanitarian crisis. Uh, let's not go into how I feel about Putin. Um, I'm sure a lot of people share my sentiments, but I know a lot of folks who are super stressed out and they're feeling very helpless and you know, to sound perfectly crass, you can't control any of that. You can't control Putin. You can't control how the Ukrainian folks get out. You can't deal with any of that. But what you can control is your own mindset. So there are some things that you can do if you're feeling wildly out of control and frustrated with a situation like that, I'm not gonna listen to the news. Cuz the news stresses me out. I'm going to seek out charities that I can volunteer with. I'm gonna send resources. You know, I'm gonna take some sort of action and control what I can control because I can't control the world and trying to control the world. And other people is gonna drive you nuts.

Caitlin Durning (37:17):

Yes. Oh my gosh. You'll lose it. And it's so funny because the control aspect, which I wanna share, because I think a lot of the listeners may resonate with this was like, honestly, why I went into entrepreneurship because I wanted to control my, my daily routine. Like it had all come down to control. And as I was going through that journey, I thought that if I let go of the control that my life would spiral, like I thought that that was the whole reason why I did this. You know, I'm this perfectionist controlling woman. Like what? And it's so opposite of who I actually identify as, um, and once I let go, it just became so much easier. And I think the news, you know, anything that you find triggering social media, like this is a big part of this, um, walk away from it. You know, you don't have to force yourself to sit in that instead working on yourself. Exactly. Like we shared earlier impacts all of the people around you and it has this over your cup, overfills onto them. And that would probably have a bigger impact than you stirring. Trying to think about how you can control it, you know?

Angie Colee (38:30):

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I think one of my favorite parts about this whole being on the road journey is that especially if you listen to the news and apparently it's gonna be Angie dumped on the news day today, but that's, that's where we're going here. Like if you listen to the news, you can't trust anybody. You can't talk to strangers. You can't breathe on anybody. Um, everybody's gonna rob you. This is dangerous. Like there are a hundred, a thousand reasons for a single woman to not be traveling by herself to big cities. And I think that that's kind of obvious just the fact that I am saying that out loud and yet I've been on the road for 18 months. Nothing horrible has happened to me. I've had a few interesting setbacks, you know, about this time last year, somebody hit side I'd mirror and knocked it off my car that pissed me off. But like all things considered that's about the worst thing that's happened to me. Oh, oh, now there was the time that somebody stole my credit card information, but my bank called me within like five minutes. So again, like in the scheme of things, not nearly as horrible as what Putin is doing to people right now. Um, and the best part was, you know, I hit my limit. Wasn't doing the workaholic thing. I'm getting out and I'm talking to people. Yeah. And meeting strangers and sharing this story about why I'm on the road and hearing them talk about their lives. Then I wound up. So new Orleans was my first stop last year. And I did the, the, you know, anal retentive type a here are all of the things that I'm going to do and we're gonna plan out the agenda and blah, blah, blah. About halfway through New Orleans. I just gave up on that shit. Cuz I started talking to people and they were like, have you been to this place? Oh my gosh, add that to your list. And then I'd go there and I'd meet somebody else. And they'd be like, have you been to that place? And then I'd go there and meet someone else who would point me to the next place. Like now my entire trip sounds a lot like that. Like I get to a place. I start talking to local people. I don't know, where should I go? What should I do? What do you recommend? Yeah.

Caitlin Durning (40:26):

Oh my gosh. I love it.

Angie Colee (40:28):

It's it's helped me in a time where it's really easy to get in your head and think other people just suck. I hate all people. It's really helped me to that. Most people out there are good, decent kind people that give a damn. They're interesting to talk to whether it's for 30 seconds or you create a lifelong friendship out of that encounter. Like yeah.

Caitlin Durning (40:49):

It's so that's how my boyfriend and I travel. Um, and that was the first time that like, you know, my mom, she's kind of a traveler. Like when she was young, she used to travel a lot as she's gotten older, not very much. And I'm kind of the traveler of the family. And when we travel like that, it's so much more fulfilling, you know, following this itinerary, like having to be here right then for like snorkeling or whatever, you know, Just going with the flow. And then like you said, you meet so many great people. Like I'm so happy that you shared that cuz people are great and people can be more inspiring than anything that you're gonna find on the internet, you know? Cause you actually get to talk to them.

Angie Colee (41:31):

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I remember. So it was when I was still a student, you know, ages ago, almost 20 years ago studying French and I went and studied abroad for a little bit. And I remember one day I was trying to get to a certain place. I don't even remember what the place was, but I'm on the Metro by myself in Paris and there's like three different Marie Kiry stops on different lines. And so I, I picked the wrong one of course and wound up way the fuck out in the country with my garbled French. And this is before smart phones. So I couldn't just like look things up and figure out where to go next. Um, so I had to take me and my garbled, French to talk to people, find a place to sit like reorient myself, figure out how to get back into the city. Um, and actually wound up speaking to two young gentlemen who were my pen pals for like two years.

Caitlin Durning (42:19):

That's so fun.

Angie Colee (42:20):

Yeah. And that's what like when people used to tell me, cuz I, I, you know, I think now with the internet and smartphones and stuff like that, it's a much more global society. But back then I used to hear the standard stereotypes. Like the, no, you can't go to France. French people are rude. Tell that to the people that helped the poor, lost American with her, very garbled, French, find her way back into the city and then kept in touch for two years. Like, no, there are a lot of kind people out there and you just have to give them a chance and you know, there's um, something interesting else that I wrote wrote down, boo, we're just gonna stumble all over our words for a second. Um, what you said about, you know, your mental health and the control and stuff reminded me of this story that I read. Have you ever heard of Dan Harris?

Caitlin Durning (43:05):


Angie Colee (43:06):

I mean he wrote this really interesting book called, um, actually he's got a couple of different books, but the one that I first read was called Meditation for the Fidgety Skeptic.

Caitlin Durning (43:17):

That's me.

Angie Colee (43:17):

That's such a great, that's such a great title, but he was, I believe it was NBC, but he was a news anchor and like literally melted down, live on the air one day and then realized like something had to change and then went on this meditation journey. And the reason that that book called to me and I started studying it like once, once I started reading it, I realized that I had this idea of what meditation was and I was judging it before I ever even tried it. And the further I got into his book, like he wrote about his own journey, but he also brought in some meditation experts to teach in there and I was like, oh shit, I've been doing that. Wait, are you telling me that? I've been like, like my instinct was to go into some meditative practices and like, wait let's so like judging meditation or, or self-help self-development um, self-improvement before you try it, like no resist that urge, try it out, see what happens.

Caitlin Durning (44:16):

Oh yeah. Given, you know, like my podcast is all about personal development. Um, I'm very passionate about it. I think that there's an awakening that we're all going through. Like, and if we don't do lean into self-help, we could lean into something else that might not be that great for us, you know?

Angie Colee (44:35):


Caitlin Durning (44:36):


Angie Colee (44:37):

Oh my goodness. Like this has been just like, I, I know that we set out before the recording to like, let's not recapture this, but I think we actually did recapture a lot of what we talked about and then we made it even better. This is so great.

Caitlin Durning (44:50):

Even better. I like I'm so happy. This was so meant to be thank you so much for having me on.

Angie Colee (44:56):

Oh yeah. So see, it was a good thing that my, uh, computer torpedoed itself in the middle of a snowstorm and I had the ground hoggiest of Groundhog Days.

Caitlin Durning (45:05):

Totally, totally. I love it. Absolutely.

Angie Colee (45:08):

Awesome. Well, Hey, tell us a little bit more of about, uh, where to find you, how to learn more about your business.

Caitlin Durning (45:14):

Yeah, absolutely. So you guys can find me on Instagram at Meraki M E R A KI, underscore media underscore management. I also have a website, And then I do also have my own podcast. If you like our conversation on personal development, please check it out.

Angie Colee (45:32):


Caitlin Durning (45:32):

It's called The End in mind, colon personal development for entrepreneurs and we're on all of the major platforms. Um, if you have any issues, just send me a DM and I can always send you the link too.

Angie Colee (45:43):

Awesome. I'm gonna make sure that they have clickable links to everything in the show notes. Thank you so much for agreeing to rerecord this with me. It's been brilliant.

Caitlin Durning (45:52):

Oh my gosh. I had so much fun. It's always such a blast talking with you. Thank you.

Angie Colee (46:00):

So that is it. Another awesome episode of Permission to Kick Ass on the books. If you want to know more about the show or if you want to know more about me, Angie Colee and the mission I'm on to help entrepreneurs punch fear in the face and do big bold things, then head on over to That is all one word together, Make sure to sign up for my email list so that you know whenever there's a hot, fresh and ready podcast episode out for you. And also on Mondays, I like to send out a little newsletter called Kick Monday's Ass. I'm sure you're totally, totally surprised by that. So thank you for being here with me today. I'm Angie Colee. Make sure that you share this with a friend that needs to hear this message today. Like it, share it. Comment wherever you're listening to this today and let's go kick some ass.