Katie Corcoran is a work life balance expert, Lady Hustler, and brand identity advisor who believes in being multi-passionate and desire-driven. She is the author of “She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle” and works with businesses and personal brands to build platforms with desire, helping them get to the root of their “why” and assisting them with the “hows.” Katie is also co-host of the podcast Badass and Bare. She is a 2012 graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has a five year background in brand strategy, digital marketing, and advertising. I met Katie after I went to her reading at a Six Degrees Society event. After hearing her speak and reading her book, I knew I had to feature her in a Career Profile right away.
Katie Corcoran, Lifestyle Coach and Author
After years of working in advertising and marketing for Fortune 500 companies and startups, you left to freelance, coach, and write your book. Can you tell me more about your decision making process and advice for other people who want to make a similar decision?
Well, first and foremost, the decision to leave my job was calculated and well planned. I had been preparing to make the jump for four years — including my coaching training —but more specifically for two years while working on my blog and writing the book.
I had to get real with myself, generate savings, and also develop professional skills before feeling “ready” to pursue my own career. But, like many of us “passion seekers” I put myself through the emotional roller coaster of constantly questioning whether I was making the right decision or not.
The important thing to remember is we are never going to feel “ready” — at any time in life — so I would advise just being mindful of “what it takes” for you and if it feels right, go for it!
What inspired you to become a career and health coach. How did you make it happen?
I am someone who is emotionally driven by my work. Without a doubt anytime I have felt in question of a particular project or career path, it was generally because my heart wasn’t fully invested in it in the first place. When in previous jobs, I made a commitment to exploring various avenues and career “paths” to test the waters before hopping into anything on my own full time.
In 2012, I found a health coach training program called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The program opened my eyes to the world of coaching people to live more balanced and fulfilling lives. I coached. I blogged. I became involved in the NYC female entrepreneurial community and this involvement birthed the idea for my book.
Again, this did not happen over night. I made many connections, attended a number of events, adjusted my website a gazillion and one times, and pivoted my business model more times that I’d like to admit.
I still am in the process of “making it happen.”
Congratulations on your first book! I read it and loved it, as you know! For people who haven’t read it yet, what is a Lady Hustler?
Thank you so much Elana! For not only finishing the book so quickly, but for your supportive comments as well.
The Lady Hustler is a busy, on-the-go type who has learned what balance means for her and is committed to thriving in her hustle while remaining curious, driven, and exploratory. I like to think there’s a Lady Hustler inside of all of us!
You write about being the CEO of you — what do you mean by that?
Being the CEO of your own life is just basically a reminder that we’re all in control of the decisions we make. I want to continue to empower people to take control of their own lives. No boss, relationship, living situation, etc. are holding us back from living up to our full potential. We have the power to keep ourselves healthy and happy.
You also write a lot about balance, which is something I sometimes struggle with. How do you create some semblance of balance?
I have become a great listener to my own body’s needs, and I take action to take care of myself. Self-care is a huge topic of conversation in my space, but it really is the key to thriving in your hustle. I make sure I exercise, journal when I feel like it, meditate when I feel like it, eat clean foods, drink lots of water, sleep when my body needs it, and spend time with remarkable people who make me smile.
What are the three main takeaways you want someone to get after they finish the book?
- We are all on a journey, so embrace where you are today.
- No one is perfect, some Lady Hustler’s just know how to make it work strategically for them.
- Really challenge yourself to think about the DIY tips and complete them! Going through this flow will get you one step closer to thriving in your own hustle.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start her own business?
Oh my goodness, so much advice! But, simply, just know that as difficult as you think it will be, it’s going to challenge you beyond your expectations. Know that, like any job, not every day is a good day, but hard work and trusting the process will get you to tomorrow.
What is a typical day like for you? Walk me through a day please!
If I’m lucky, I wake up when my body is ready, but typically life happens and I will follow an alarm clock. I check social media and email just to get a pulse check on news, friend updates, and the day to come. I schedule sweat time in the morning before breakfast and before working on anything — I am hugely into SoulCycle and Y7 Yoga right now. I’ll usually bring my computer into the city (I live in Brooklyn) and will pop from coffee shop to coffee shop between lunches and meetings. I’ll send emails in between or work on any deliverables for upcoming guest blog posts, marketing, events, planning meetings, etc. I plan chunks of time to work on specific projects: podcast editing, client branding or identity assignments, etc. so I can remain focused and stay out of social media and my inbox. They are a time suck! I’m usually exhausted at this point so I’ll go home to Brooklyn or prep for an event or time with friends if that’s on the agenda. It’s exciting to plan my own schedule, but the “planning and scheduling” takes time and a great deal of preparation to ensure you leave enough transit time, bring food, etc. so I do look forward to a day when I have an office space.
What have been some of the best things, and on the flip side the most challenging things, about starting a business?
Gaining control of integrating a business into my lifestyle has been rewarding and I sometimes kick myself when I realize I really don’t have to “do anything I don’t want to do.” But, with that, it is difficult to be in control of your own finances and also remain motivated every day. It’s certainly a challenge, but one I am always working on.
What has been your proudest moment from your career so far?
The book, without a doubt. But I’ve found that I actually get more excited about the mini wins, like the photo shoot for the book cover, or confirming a time for a big interview, or getting asked to speak on a panel. It means my message is resonating and, therefore, I suppose it’s working!
What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
I am still learning and feel like I am new every day, but I think I was prepared for the “hardships.” What I was not prepared for was shifting the backend of the business, so I do wish I had thought through what my desires were ahead of time. I do believe with desire and value comes success.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
The first thing I do is actually try to “turn everything off” when I am feeling a lack of inspiration. Then, I find the inspiration comes as soon as I relieve some of the pressure to “feel inspired.” Generally all my ideas develop in the shower, in a workout class, walking down the street listening to music, or right before bed. But I also love podcasts, personal development books and some bumpin’ music.
What has been the biggest mistake that you’ve made during your career, and what did you learn from it?
I don’t have one specific “big mistake,” but rather a number of missteps that I’ve had to put out fires for. However, I’ve been in a process of building the backed of my business right now — I thought I had it “figured out”— so that’s been a bit of a recent struggle. But it’s in the struggles that we tend to learn the most about our true needs and desires.
What have you learned about yourself since starting your business and writing a book?
Whoa! Oh my goodness. So much. I have actually changed quite a bit since writing “She Makes it Work”, but now that I’m on the “other side” of the stressed, unbalanced lifestyle, I feel as if I am better able to sympathize and encourage my readers to find their own form of balance.
What was the process of writing a book like?
Like many of the goals I set for myself, it was far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. But it overall took about two years from start to finish including the interviewing, research, cover design, photo shoots, website, editing, etc.
I was also working full-time in advertising sales at the time, so I certainly went through spells where writing was harder to come by and I would avoid the book at all costs. I also kept a great deal of the process to myself and, with the exception of my incredible, skilled editors, put all of the pieces together on my own.
Let’s pretend to be five years in the future — where do you hope to see yourself and your business?
Girl! For the first time in my life, I don’t know what March of this year will look like! Five years from now, though, I would love to be thinking about or have some kiddos. I am single now, so it seems like a lot needs to happen before then, but that’s where I see my lifestyle headed.
What is on your desk right now?
A water bottle, another water bottle, framed inspiring quotes, chapstick, a latte, my gold headphones, and a microphone for podcast recording.
What advice do you have for other young professional women?
Always keep your mind open to new possibilities and remain curious. Every new person or opportunity you have is a step in a direction toward your growth — whether it’s career-related or not!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Trust yourself and know you are exactly where you need to be today. I have a racing mind, so it’s important for me to remember I have to be patient and persistent and take care of myself during the process.
Thank you, Katie! Want more advice from Katie (of course you do!) read She Makes It Work.
Images via Katie Corcoran.