I’m really excited about today’s episode, because it features my first guest! And what a guest to kick off with – you’re all in for such a treat! 

Heather Thorkelson is a business consultant for incurable entrepreneurs, she’s helped hundreds of small business owners grow livelihoods that honour their strengths and feed their bank accounts. But get this: she also runs a polar expedition company – how cool is that?! To top it off, she’s just about to publish her first book (I’ve read it, and trust me: this one should go on your reading list!)

I first met Heather in 2019, when she was one of the keynote speakers at the Slow Business Adventure. Her talk and her spin on entrepreneurship made such an impression on me, that she was right there at the top of my list of dream podcast guests – and now she’s here! 

TL;DR For those who want to connect with Heather, you can find her here:

Website: https://heatherthorkelson.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherThorkelsonBusinessStrategist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherthorkelson
Her fabulous book: https://heatherthorkelson.com/noplanb

Disclaimer: The following transcript has been auto-generated and then edited by me (seriously, the raw auto transcription is top-level comedy!) and while the general flow of the conversation is there, it’s most certainly not 100% accurate.

P: Heather, welcome! Thank you for joining me today. 

H: Thanks for having me. And I’m excited to be on your podcast. 

P: I’m excited to have you here. Like I mentioned before: you were on my top podcast guest wish list. So today we’re going to be talking about owning your shit, right? And how that can actually help you build a stronger brand.

H: Ah, yeah. 

P: I feel like this is such an important topic because it literally took me years to free myself from that whole expectation that I had to behave in a certain way to be seen as professional in business. I mean, how cool would it be if this episode could help even just that one person to skip some of that self doubt and start showing up confidently as themselves?

H: Yeah, even just one person. You’re right. It’s Yeah, that’s what matters, right? We change the world one little “ah ha” at a time. Absolutely. 

P: So should we just dive straight in? Um, yeah. How can owning your shit help you grow your brand? 

H: Well, let’s talk about what owning your shit means before we get into how it helps your brand. Um I mean, when I think of owning your shit, I mean… uh, really embracing what makes you you and not trying to dumb that down to make people “happy”, right?

So, uh… you know, I mean, God, we have enough Internet businesses out there, enough websites and coaches or graphic designers or whatever that are a dime a dozen. They’re all the bloody same. And when I’m looking for somebody that I want to work with or that I want to hire, I need to see something about them that resonates, right? Like there has to be something in the way that they’re presenting themselves. That makes me go “yeah, I want to work with this person”, you know?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for a copywriter, web designer, VA… whatever. And then their web pages are just so generic, they really, really are. And they have an about page that’s like “here’s what makes me unique”. But does it really? No. 

P: I think it’s important before we get going on this, that it’s really not to place any blame here, because I think that a lot of this sameness that we see is because we’ve all been so conditioned right from a very young age to fit into this mould. And so it’s really hard to just break out of it and start being you. It’s so yeah, no shame. No, no shame. 

H: I’m glad you brought that up, because this is definitely not my intention. It’s that we… we tend to look for patterns, and we tend to copy what we perceive to work. And so, you know, I’m sure as a branding expert you get people coming to you and saying “I really kind of want this vibe of what so and so has”, you know, because we look at what works, we look at what successful versions of ourselves are doing, and we’re like, Well, do that. I’ll do that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because again, that’s kind of how we’ve been conditioned. It’s like: fit into this box. Display your credentials and yourself in this way. Make sure you have a nice colour palette, blah di blah di blah. And away you go, you know. But you’re missing a key piece of that puzzle, which is you, the whole self, the whole bit of you – and owning your shit and having opinions and sharing those and not being afraid to… I don’t know, not not being afraid to even push some people away, you know – who might not like the way that you express yourself or the things that you do, you know? I mean, I think honestly, I think that’s the clincher. And so when I say I like, “I go to the all these websites, they’re all the same”, what I’m looking for is that contentious bit. Like show me a little piece of you that helps me know that I’m your people, right? And so, more than anything rather than shaming or blaming this is like a call to action of, like, just absolutely make something so that I know that I’m burn of your clan talking about.

P: And I know I know for myself, I certainly been told by so many people over the years that doing things my way or showing too much personality in a business setting is gonna put clients off. And when you get told that so many times over and over you start to believe it. 

H: Yeah, of course you do! But what I say to that is “good”. Good. Put them off. If you’re gonna be upset because I swear or like for example, because I use the word douchebag on my website, then I don’t really want to work with you, right?

Like if you’re the type of person who is sensitive to that type of thing, then we’re probably not a good fit anyways, right? 

P: Actually, I’ve been thinking about that myself as well. It’s like, yeah, if you’re put off by the F bombs that I drop sometimes. Yeah. Okay, that’s good! Now we know you’re not my kinda client.

H: Yeah, absolutely. And like, you know, there are other branding experts out there that will be a really good match for them. Or there’s other coaches out there that will be a really good match for them, you know? So it’s so true. I also think this is one of those things of conditioning, right? Like we want everyone to like us. We’re conditioned through standardised schooling. We’re prepared to work in a standard work environment where it’s kind of tribal, you know, like you need the people around you to like you in order to get ahead, right? So you’re conditioned to be liked, you’re conditioned to not ruffle feathers, that kind of thing.

Not that swearing necessarily ruffles feathers, but it certainly does ruffle some feathers. A friend of mine was on Facebook the other day talking about political opinions and saying, you know, like if you’re a business owner at this point in time, at this point in history, with everything that’s going down in the US, if you’re a business owner that has a wide audience and you have not stated your opinion, if you’ve stayed completely neutral, then that’s problematic.

And so we’re starting to see kind of a sea change in what’s expected of people in the public sphere, including just small businesses like you and me, you know, because I think that’s a really good thing. 

P: Yeah, we need to challenge all of what has been. We need to. We need to step up on a lot of people with the whole political environment right now. It’s so polarised. Yeah, there’s so much shit going on in the world right now and it’s really scary as a business owner to showcase that and be open about where you stand in all of it.

H: Yeah, because people don’t know where you stand for, right. They want to know what you stand for. They want to know, um, if they can trust you, right? Because there’s also that “Where are your values? What are your beliefs? Can I trust you?” Like, I don’t want to find out later on that you’re dramatically opposed to things that are critical to my existence. I’m not coming from a subgroup of humans that is at risk, you know. I’m very, very fortunate; a white lady from Canada. But there are people out there that don’t have that. They don’t have my privilege. And, you know, they’re looking to people like us. They’re looking to service providers and go “Can I trust that you’re my people? Can I trust that you have my back?” I mean, it’s a very interesting time, you know, and I’m happy for it. 

P: I can absolutely see this becoming a whole other podcast episode, actually, about whether you should mix branding and politics!

H: And you know, I’m just thinking of what we what we started talking about earlier of owning your shit and the people that always come to mind that have always inspired me, cause I didn’t always own my shit, you know. There was a time in the early days where I was… I mean, I’ve always been kind of a bit salty, but I definitely was more generic in the early days, you know, like in the early 2010-11 kind of time.

And I was greatly inspired by people who were either kind of quirky or just kind of unapologetic about things that they believed in, so people to come to mind are Paul Jarvis. He’s always talked about being vegan. He, you know, he doesn’t preach, but he’s just like this is an important part of who I am. And I remember when he bought a vehicle and he got like, vegan leather seats in it because he had just, you know, done really well in business, and he was really excited that he could afford this, and I really appreciated that he was actually having that conversation.

For me, generating wealth for myself allows me to make decisions that are in line with my ethics and my values, as opposed to just settling for the cloth seats or the real leather, which is against what I’m about you know. And he’s a rat person. He talks about having pet rats and stuff and, like a lot of people, think that’s super weird. I love it. I think it’s great. It’s really sweet and lovely. And so, you know, that separates him from every other guy.

And then the other person, I think of is Fabeku. I always forget how to pronounce his last name. But if you go to Fabeku.com – he’s also a business coach, and he is super quirky. He hasn’t changed his website since as long as I’ve known he existed. It’s like orange and yellow and has a tiki face guy on the side. And he talks a lot about Batman and tattoos and like he’s all… he’s totally out there, you know, like really quirky.

And he’s also mega smart, and he has a mega loyal following and he makes bank and I’m like, Yeah, we need more Fabekus you know? I mean this dude, he is just letting his freak flag fly, and he’s doing it brilliantly. And he has called in his loyal people, you know? So, like, I look at examples like those, like Paul is a little more neutral Fabeku is a little bit more out there, but they’re owning it. They’re just like, here’s who I am and if you don’t like it, you’re not my people. It’s totally cool. 

P: Yeah, that’s what I like about Paul Jarvis as well. I love his book. It was a game changer for my view on my own business, basically because everybody keeps telling you that you need to grow, grow, grow, grow. Growth is everything. And then along comes Paul and tells us that, you know, a company of one is fine. Good.

(This is the part where my dog went mental and I had to apologise on air…)

And speaking of amazing books, I’ve had the pleasure of reading your book. And I said about Paul Jarvis, that his book was a game changer for me. And do you know what… yours is going to be for a lot of people as well, I think. You touch on so many things that are really important, you know, like owning your shit and just showing up as you. Not being apologetic and owning it. I love it. 

H: Yeah, yeah. I think in this day and age, especially, like we’re only going to see more and more people go online, right? Like the pandemic has changed everything for people in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of people who aren’t going to go back to a traditional working environment. There’s a lot of people who are going to start working for themselves. Um, you know, we were on the sort of earlier wave of that. I kind of think of 2008 onwards as being when people really started to say, “Hey, I could make a living online!” So it’s relatively recent history, and this first wave of people is now mature in their businesses, and the second wave of people are coming along.

And when the market gets even more flooded than it already is with branding experts and coaches, how do we let people know that we’re the right person for them? Right? Because at the end of the day, and this is something I talk about a lot in the book. People hire people, you know, we hire people, we hire people that we connect with. We want to work with people that we think we would want to go have a beer with, you know. I think about this a lot because, you know, I’ve done a lot of hiring in my life when I worked in more traditional environments. And my strong view about hiring is that you don’t hire for a skill set you hire for personal orientation, assuming the skills are the same, like between one resume to the next. I want to have a conversation with you, the person, and figure out what your personal orientation is towards the work… towards our company… towards me. You know, in these days I’m hiring people to work directly with me, and that matters so much. And when I’m looking at someone’s website to work with them, it’s kind of the same thing.

I’m not like a manager going through the hiring process, but I’m trying to select from amongst the multitudes you know, who is going to be the best person that I can hire or who can support my brand or whatever. And even if you’re a freelancer, I mean, don’t get this wrong. You still have a brand of some sort. You’re still branded your personal brand. You’re selling yourself as a service provider.

Whether you’ve ever done branding or not. It doesn’t matter. You are a brand, you’re representing your brand. 

P: Yeah. You cannot not have a brand. By just being you have a brand, and it’s whether you actually take control over it and try to steer it in the direction that you want it. That’s when you talk about branding. Yeah, so, like in in another episode I’m actually touching onto these points; what is a brand and what is branding? And they’re two completely different things. Because a brand is not something that you’re 100% in control of. It’s what other people think of you. It’s what other people think of your business. And branding is the act of trying to steer your brand in the right direction and trying to influence people’s opinions about you. And that, I think, is something that a lot of people are going to find really beneficial as they grow their brands is to know the distinction there – and to know that yeah, your brand is out of your control. Sorry. But it’s just how it is. 

H: Yeah, for sure. And going into branding, knowing these elements of what you bring to the table that are uniquely you is really important. Because when someone has a conversation with you before you start to develop their brand voice, you’ve gotta know what needs to be in there, right? Like you’ve gotta know what is the quirkiness? What are the non-negotiables, you know, and stuff like that? You’ve got to know what kind of language they want to use to speak to their people.

And yeah, it’s really important to think this through and think if you’re trying to copy someone else. You know, nobody’s ever been inspired by a carbon copy of someone else’s business, right? 

P: Yeah. And branding is all about making you stand out, because there’s a whole sea of sameness and you really want to stand out. And how are you going to do it? 

H: Yep. Totally. Go and find something that sets you apart. 

P: And that something can be your own quirks. Or it could be your own personality, your political views. It could be just like, you know, you’re really into cats or whatever is just something that will stick in people’s minds and, oh, make them say “oh, that person seems kind of cool.”

H: Yeah, do you know what I do when I’m looking to bring someone or helping a client hire someone or whatever, is I go to their website and I check it out and, you know, nine times out of 10 it’s pretty OK, but I’m not like that. I’m not like this is the person you know. It’s not often that I find the perfect person based on their website. What I usually do is I go to their website, and if I’m significantly impressed that they’re probably the right person I go and look on their Facebook or on their Instagram. And not business page. I look for the personal pieces. I want to know “what’s this person like? What makes them tick?”

I’m looking for points of resonance. I actually take the time to go and look someone up in their personal space. And in my case, I’m a pretty open book on my website, but also, I keep my privacy level quite low on my personal Facebook page because I want people who are creeping on me the way I creep on them to see the kind of stuff that I post to my personal network so that they know that I have a really weird sense of humour, for example, you know. And that I have a polar expedition company and that I’m really well travelled and stuff like that.

So, these little things again. I keep going back to those points of resonance that make you you. I want to give people that opportunity to see what makes me tick so that they know that I’m right. I don’t want to convince people to work with me. I want them to figure it out for themselves because I’ve given them all of the evidence that they need. And that’s what I think of when I think of the connection of owning your shit and branding.

It’s like give people all the evidence they need through your branding that you’re the right person. 

P: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that it’s the same whether you’re hiring someone or whether you’re gonna just outsource work to someone. It doesn’t matter. If the person at the other end… unless you get that personal connection, you’re never gonna get a good result that’s gonna last a while. Because you can go and get any designer to do you a quick logo, but if they don’t take the time to get to know you and those quirks that we’ve just been talking about, how are they going to translate that into a visual brand that’s going to speak to their ideal clients? And not just ideal clients on paper. But you know, those clients that really make them happy, you know? Yeah, you want to work with someone that, every time you book a meeting with them you look forward to talking to them because not only are they your client, they also give you energy.

And you’ve got good vibes going on there. And those… like those are the kind of clients that you really want, right? 

H: 100%. And the ones that you really get on well with that you’d probably go for a beer with you’re in the same town… Those are the people that are also going to become evangelists for your work because they like you so much. They also get energy from working with you. They feel seen by you, and then they go out and tell their friends “Oh my gosh, are you looking for branding? You have to talk to Petchy!”

It’s not just a feel good. It’s not just like “oh, but I’d prefer to work with people I like versus people that I don’t like so much”. It’s not that – it’s that one person that is an ideal client for you can create a ripple effect of future ideal clients coming through the door. That is a direct line to future income that you don’t have to market directly to get right. You just have to do a really good job of attracting those right people, and those right people bring more of the right people.

And I’m living proof because I’ve been doing coaching for 10 years and my business has been running exclusively on referrals for the last four. 

P: Yeah, mine as well. I’m more than 90% referral based, and that is such a great way of getting new business because you know then, that the people are coming to you. They already have some sense of who you are, and they’re coming to you because of it. And because someone else has spoken well of you.

H: It’s powerful stuff. It’s money, you know. It’s money. It’s growth. It’s fulfilment. It’s the key to the freedom that we’re all chasing by working for ourselves, right? 

P: So, in your experience, is there such a thing as owning a bit too much shit? I feel like there’s always a sweet spot there. You know where you’ve got personal, and then you got private – and how do people know when they’re crossing that line? Because I think that’s a tricky one for a lot of people. 

H: Yeah, it is. I mean, a good rule of thumb is never have a public breakdown. Or, you’re in the shit pile. Don’t share the shit. Yeah. Share it later if you still feel like it’s worth it. But I think you’re right. There’s personal. And then there’s private, and I would say that generally speaking, the differential line lies in what will be valuable to you, to anyone outside of your head. What will be valuable to your audience? Are you sharing something just for the sake of sharing it, or you sharing something?

Because if there’s a valuable lesson in there, or a valuable point to make that’s going to help other people, or help them connect to you more.

P: It’s like… if you went on a holiday, a really nice holiday with your family, right. And okay, so maybe you share some nice pictures or a little video of things, and you show a little bit of your family or something in the stories, and that’s just that’s just gonna make people connect with you and see that you’re a real person. But if when you get back to your hotel room that evening, you have the biggest, baddest argument with your other half. You don’t share about that, right? 

H: Yeah. And I think of it as kind of like peeling back the curtain a little bit, but not too much, you know? And to be honest, like, you know, you asked the question when do we know the difference? I think people generally intuitively know the difference. You know, they know when this feels a little bit too exposed. And there will always be people who love to overshare. But, you know, just try not to be one of those people because it actually erodes your… you know, it erodes your reputation. If you’re oversharing without reason, right? We want to see you. We want to see that you’re human. We want to see that you have good taste in holiday destinations.

Yeah, that’s you know, that’s probably enough. And again, like, if it’s if it’s hot and raw, don’t share it, do not share meltdowns. Do not share arguments, do not share things that put anybody else in a compromising position. You know, like references to the things that your children are going through. Whatever. Put it on your personal feed. Knock yourself out. But in your business, you know, it should just be us showing who you are, and then that that’s good.

P: Yeah, I totally agree. I only ask because I’ve seen a lot of people who take it a little bit too far. And I’m kind of thinking “I really didn’t want to know that about you.”

H: Yeah, yeah, for sure I’ve seen. I mean, I’m in the coaching business, right? So I have seen some coaches who think that being super vulnerable is the best way to go. And they’re crying on their YouTube videos and stuff. And I’m like, honey, you’re not making me feel confident that you could help me, you know. That’s not working.

But what does work is to just own your quirks and not try to hide the parts of you that come naturally to you is what I would say. Because nobody is served by you hiding your true self. Like I’m a really big knitter. I love knitting, but I don’t think that knitting goes easily with a sort of younger woman who’s a jet setting entrepreneur. You know, you don’t put the two together, but I like seeing it from the rooftops. 

P: Yeah, but then again, I might be biased here because I’m kind of one of those people as well. Where you’ve got knitting. I’ve got sewing. And sourdough baking. And yeah, absolutely I’ll share snippets of that. Even though it’s got in essence nothing really to do with branding whatsoever. It’s just me being me

H: For the longest time I’ve wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread. So I’m kind of living vicariously through you. I’m like “she’s my people”. I mean, this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about, right? Like, just be a human on the Internet. That’s what we’re essentially saying right when we say own your shit. It’s like be a human. It’s not “show us your ugly stuff”, but just show us what lights you up, how do you speak in real life… like use real human language that you normally use!

Don’t dial it down, you know. Don’t hide your hobbies. Don’t try to look like something that you aren’t. I mean, I’ll tell you this. There was this one woman that I knew once online who had I mean, we all get glamour shots for our websites. Let’s face it. But you know, there’s glamour. And then there’s glamour. And I met this woman in real life once who I had only seen on the Internet prior, and her pictures of herself were really nice.

And when I met her in real life, I kid you not. I had no idea that it was her. And this goes to being real on the Internet and owning your shit. What was further disappointing is that she actually was nothing like the way that she represented herself. So she represented herself as being this beautiful international jet setting, super confident amazing powerhouse of a business owner.

And this chick was the biggest hot mess I have met in years. Even her posture when I first met her… Her shoulders were sort of slumped, slouched over, you know, and I really just, more than anything felt kind of pity for her, I guess which is really terrible. But I did, because I work really hard to put on that show all the time and, like, not feel like you, like, you’re you’re faking it. And then in real life, you’re not. That’s really hard.

And I felt bad for her because I thought, you know, you could just actually represent a truer version of yourself and not feel like you’re trying to live up to something that you’re not all the time. And also like, How do you maintain that? If online you’re like that. And in real life, you’re like this. Then every time you meet someone like me and they’re like “what?!” you’re the same. 

P: Yeah and I actually recognise myself in the lady that you’re talking about, because that used to be me back when I was employed. I would, because I’m a real introvert and actually I don’t need to see another person for like, weeks on end. I’d be perfectly happy, like in a cave in the forest, OK, maybe with a comfortable bed. But well, that would be fine. Perfectly fine. And for the longest time when I was employed and also when I ran a design agency along with with my co founder, it was expected of me to take part in social gatherings, conferences, those kind of things. You were just expected to be there and to mingle until the bitter end, because towards the end of the night, that’s when you make all the good business deals. 

That just wasn’t me, and so I would… Okay, I would go there because I felt like I had to. But I would shy away in the corner because these were not my people. Usually at the end I was really just mentally exhausted, just like from taking everything in. And so when it was frowned upon that I left early, say it like nine PM to go to my room and then rest and recuperate for the next day, it was just It was exhausting to me because I felt like I was letting people down. Does that make sense? 

H: Yes. 

P: I think it’s only in recent years that I’ve started to really embrace being an introvert. And just say, “look, this is how I am”. Most likely you’re not gonna find me at midnight at the after party from a conference. That’s just how it is. 

H: Yeah, it’s so true. I’ve gone through a similar process because I’m also a massive introvert. I mean, I’m a really social introvert. I can go to a party and talk to people till I’m blue in the face. But then I just want to go away and be alone for a week, you know? Yeah, I totally don’t believe so. I’ve been through a similar process of even just coming understanding that there are introverts and extroverts because before that was sort of part of the public discourse, I didn’t even realise. Like I didn’t know how to categorise myself. I just thought that I was weird in a way.

I just thought I didn’t fit in. Actually, that’s a lie. I lied. I didn’t think I was weird. I truly thought everyone else was weird. I like what is with these people. Why do they wanna hang around until one in the morning and get really drunk? So they’re gonna feel like garbage tomorrow and like, talk about nothing, you know, because again, like, I’m one of those people who and maybe it’s part of the mantra. I just want to have really high quality conversations with really interesting people, than the small talk and the schmoozing.

I am so over that. Oh my God, that’s what everyone else was. Weird. I’m like, Why does everybody love existing, like, in this way? And I don’t like it. So, you know, it’s so strange. But then when I started to understand like, oh, right, it’s because of this. And it’s because most people are extroverted and I’m introverted and that’s completely okay, it’s completely okay. 

P: I want to ask, because this is something I’ve wondered about myself and sort of had a little argument with myself in my head: Do you think that all of the people that appear extroverted are really extroverted? Or are some of them introverts who are just trying to fit in the mould? 

H: I absolutely think that there are people who are introverts and trying to fit in the mould. I think there’s a lot of them, and I also think that it’s a spectrum. So I think that there’s a lot of people that don’t identify highly with one or the other. They’re just somewhere in the middle and their energies are different. And they’re also kind of struggling with what’s accepted or what’s expected of them, you know?

And maybe that changes over time as well, right? I mean, I definitely think some people are more extroverted and then become more introverted. Over time. 

P: And I think that depending on where you are in your life, as well. I know that I need to conserve my energy more now that I’ve got small kids that also demand my presence. Yeah, it was easier when I was younger because there was no one depending on me and I could actually go and recharge when I needed to. And now I can’t.

So it may become more apparent to other people as well that I’m an introvert because I say no to things I would maybe 20 years ago have said yes to.

H: Yeah, absolutely. And people listening might be like “why are you guys talking about introversion and extraversion? I thought it was supposed to be own your shit?” But actually this is completely relevant to owning your shit. Because me, for example, now I don’t take more than two client calls a day. After two calls are scheduled in my system, the system will block anyone else from scheduling on the same day. And it’s not because I’m like this delicate flower who gets depleted easily, but I need to be able to give it all to my clients. So if I have a client call and then I have an hour break or whatever and then another client call, I’m not gonna be able to serve someone. Well, on a third hour, I’m just not, you know… I can go do lots of other things, but I don’t have energy for that kind of focused attention, specifically talking about business strategy.

And nobody has ever asked me. But if someone were to ask me like, Hey, how come you don’t have any availability until a month from now or something? Then I would say, because I don’t take more than two client calls a day. And here’s why. You know that is part of me being completely transparent and who I am and saying this is how I work and this is how available I am. And here’s why. 

10 years ago, I might have just packed my schedule because I was scared to, like, lose business or something. And now I’m like, No, no. 

P: Yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve only just recently started to actually say to my clients “look, I block my time, and so if you call me on my phone, I might not get back to you until I’m done with that block of time because I need to focus fully on that one client so I could do a good job for them, and then I need to recuperate and then I can move on to you.”

I was scared that that was going to put some people off or that they were gonna be pissed off that they weren’t always on the top of my list. It’s been the opposite. They actually appreciate it because they know now that when I set aside time for their project that is set aside for them. 

H: Yep. Yeah, you’re focusing on them. Yeah, focus on them. And so I think owning your shit can really show up in a lot of different ways. The more fundamental stuff. Like introvert versus extrovert and really owning that and not being apologetic about whichever one. But also the the little things.

I just posted, I think was yesterday, a video on LinkedIn where I talked about, if people think you’re too loud or too this or too that – or they think you’re not, you know, professional enough or whatever, like whatever judgements come at you don’t worry about it.

Because if that’s the kind of feedback you’re getting, then they’re the wrong audience. They’re not your people, you know? And just putting that video out there is me owning that. That’s where I stand, you know, and some people won’t like it, but that’s where I stand and that I don’t think it’s a contentious opinion, but it certainly will feel contentious to some people. They’ll think that maybe I’m a bit rude, you know. I’m totally cool with that, right? I’m okay owning that. 

And you know, if videos like that and comments like what we’ve been talking about today, or even just the fact that you and I are a bit on the sweary side in our copy and whatnot, if that inspires other people to go “You know what? I’m not gonna worry so much. And I’m just gonna be more me!” 

Then as we said in the beginning, if one person feels a little bit more brave to show up fully as themselves. That’s a win. That’s awesome, you know, because how do you lead you? Lead by example! 

P: Yes! And l like I said in the beginning, it took me years to actually start to allow myself to own my quirks and put them forward. So to anyone listening now who is kind of thinking “but it’s awkward, where do I start?” – what would be some actionable advice that they could literally take away with them today and easily implement so they could start to maybe take that step towards owning their shit? 

H: Do one small act of owning your shit that scares you. Baby steps, micro steps, something tiny. I mean, I could even send a challenge to your listenership and say, Post something on social media and just say “I’m gonna actually start showing up more fully like myself” – and then tag us so we can cheer you on.

Do a little tiny little thing. Put a little tiny flag in the sand. It doesn’t need to be a big one if you’re really nervous, just a little flag in the sand and go “that’s me.” And then keep going from there because that’s how we change. We don’t suddenly just show up with our peacock feathers. We do these little tiny baby steps that makes it feel more comfortable. That gives us more confidence. I’m @heatherthorkelson – tag me wherever you want on any social channel and I will be so excited for you! 

P: Wouldn’t be really great if we could see our Instagram feeds flood with #ownyourshit?!

H: Own your shit, honey. 

P: All right. Well, I think we’re gonna round off because there’s probably enough for people to take in from today’s episode – I mean, we’ve touched on a lot of things! But like Heather said, if anyone’s listening now and you know that you want to take a little step out of the sameness… Then just do what Heather said, pick one thing and then post it on Instagram or whatever social media account and tag us and we will cheer you on!

H: Absolutely. I’m excited to see what people have to share. 

P: Heather, I want to thank you again for being here today and sharing your genius with us. I know I’ve already mentioned your book, and I think that it could really make a difference to my listeners as well. So, would you mind telling us a little bit more about your book? When does it come out? Where can they get it? 

H: Sure. Yeah. So it’s called No Plan B, a handbook for incurable entrepreneurs and other rebellious souls.

And it is not a “how to build a business” book. It’s a “how to be the entrepreneur that you need to be in order to ship work that matters” book. So it’s really more personal development and mindset related, and it’s based on my 10 years of running my primary coaching business and running a polar expedition company, so I’m really excited about it. It will be launched on October 20th. You can find out more information by going to my website heatherthorkelson.com/noplanb. It will be available for purchase, at least in the beginning, on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format.

And then eventually, hopefully before Christmas we’ll have an audio book version as well, which I’m really excited about. And then you could just listen to me yapping at you and your ears if you prefer audiobooks. 

P: *laughs* Uh, yeah, I’m one of those. I don’t do audio books because I prefer to read myself.

So for anyone interested in connecting with you, I know you mentioned a couple of your links already and social media handles. But for anyone who wants to learn a bit more from you and just connect with you; where can they find you? 

H: The best place is Instagram. So @heatherthorkelson, nice and easy. Just my name. And these days I’m hanging out a lot more on Linkedin, so you can search for me on LinkedIn and make a connection request. Of course my website, heatherthorkelson.com. And I am on Facebook, but I don’t really hang out on my business page very much there. 


That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, any ratings and shares are much appreciated. See ya next time!

Petchy xx