Kate Erickson Interview (John Lee Dumas Partner) | How to Work with Your Spouse / Life Partner

Show Notes

Kate Erickson of EOFire.com explains how to  successfully and sustainably work with your spouse or life partner, why moving to Puerto Rico can save you 46.3% on your taxes, how she organizes her day and why “Island Time is really a thing.” 

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing the business partner and life partner of John Lee Dumas the host of The Entrepreneurs On Fire Podcast and she is also the host of the Kate’s Take podcast. Kate, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show…how are you!?
  2. Kate Erickson, I know both you and John are now experiencing a ton of success, but I would love to ask you about the very beginning…why did you decide to transfer from the University of San Francisco to the University of San Diego as a sophomore?
    1. I didn’t know who I was yet and I went to San Francisco because I wanted to go see the world.
    2. I found that I didn’t love living there only visiting.
    3. San Diego will be my forever home.
  3. What prompted you to quit your corporate job and to go back to graduate school in 2006?
    1. I was 23 years old and I left my corporate job.
  4. My understanding is that in 2011 you quit your job to start a business and move to Maine?…what kind of business did you start?
    1. John Lee Dumas prompted me to make that move.
    2. I was all corporate and I never thought about being an Entrepreneur. 
    3. I thought I should go to school, buy a home, and work my way up the corporate ladder.
    4. I didn’t like going to my corporate job and thought that I had to continue working there.
    5. When I found out that I could live life on my own terms, I went for it.
    6. I moved into the studio apartment next door to John.
    7. When I first met John he was just starting to listen to podcasting.
    8. We were really good friends for over a year and never even thought about podcasting.
  5. What was the biggest soul-sucking part of corporate America. 
    1. The inefficiencies.
    2. I was working in banking for a long time and there was never any new or any excitement.
  6. Kate Erickson, How did you meet John Lee Dumas?
  7. What prompted you to go to work full-time with Entrepreneurs on Fire in 2013?
    1. We were living in Maine together. He was in real estate and I was in marketing and advertising. There were many great mentors.
    2. It was exciting and new but there were so many harsh deadlines and getting up at 3:00am and 4:00am in the mornings.
    3. John and I found that we have skills that complement each other very well.
    4. We set boundaries with each other and we have to keep wide open communication.
    5. We don’t tiptoe around. If we don’t agree, we just say it.
    6. We are opposites in terms of our skill sets.
    7. He is creative and an amazing extrovert.
    8. I am behind the scenes and am detail oriented. I am also paranoid.
      1. I have to give it to my parents. I was raised in an environment where I could always question things. They were very loving and very supportive while also telling me why I couldn’t do something.
      2. I have a way of turning hard conversations into positive ones.
  8. How did you and John establish your boundaries?
    1. I take direction well but I don’t like being told what to do.
    2. We pick our lanes and we go full force.
    3. I have taken many tests to help us find where we are and where to go full force.
    4. When you have a lane, you also are responsible for the failures.
    5. We are not only business partners, we’re also in a relationship. We have a “No Work Talk” card that we can pull at any time.
  9. Did your parents escape from a communist country?
  10. What was your background before teaming up with John?
  11. John has mentioned many times that you are a huge part of the Entrepreneurs on Fire community…what all do you do behind the scenes to make Entrepreneurs on Fire work so well? What do you do?
    1. I manage our team
    2. I manage our communities online
    3. I run our content and community courses
    4. I am responsible for our client management (Fusionsoft or Keep)
    5. I do our content on the website
    6. I am constantly upgrading the systems
  12. I would love for you to share about your decision to move to Puerto Rico…what did that decision making process look like?
    1. 2 big things
      1. First:
        1. John and I had been talking a long time about travel.
        2. We knew our business was not location based but we weren’t taking advantage of it.
        3. We wanted to disrupt that and fully take advantage of that.
      2. Second:
        1. A tax incentive for businesses that is provided by Puerto Rico.
        2. We follow a set of guidelines from “Act 20”
          1. You have to be there for 51% of the time
          2. Puerto Rico is a US Territory
            1. You can’t vote for the president
            2. We have our own “Government”
            3. We do “Report to the states”
            4. The natural disasters that have happened have different aid from the states.
  13. Where in Puerto Rico do you live and how would you describe what it is like to live in Puerto Rico on a full-time basis?
    1. It is beautiful. The people are great.
    2. Island time is a real thing. Efficiencies are not always there. My mind doesn’t always flow with this but it has also helped me chill out.
    3. We are 45 Minutes south of San Juan.
  14. You now have your own podcast with over 250 episodes…why did you decide to launch your podcast?
    1. I launched it in 2014.
    2. I was fresh into the entrepreneur zone and even the EO Fire zone.
    3. The second I joined on, I knew it was for me.
  15. Kate Erickson, What is your current relationship like with time management?
  16. What kinds of topics do you cover with your podcast and why?
    1. The podcast was meant to be an audio blog
    2. It started as me reading my blog post.
    3. It was more driven by my listeners.
    4. This was a behind the scenes look. We love to share what works and what doesn’t work
  17. What is something that you are absolutely obsessed with right now?
  18. How, you come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
  19. What does a typical date in your life look like?
  20. Kate Erickson, What are a few of the daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  21. What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
  22. We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their superpowers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
  23. What message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
  24. What are a couple of books that you believe that all of our listeners should read?
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Facebook Kate Erickson ThrivetimeShow

Clay Clark: We’ve all heard of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast, more commonly known as eofire.com, hosted by John Lee Dumas, but many of you do not know. There’s really an offensive and a defensive side of the EO Fire team. There are two partners working together to make the EO Fire thing happen. And on today’s show we are interviewing the better half of the EO Fire podcast staff, miss Kate Erickson, who’s both the life partner and the business partner of John Lee Dumas. And on today’s show she shares with us how she organizes her day, how she and John Lee Dumas successfully and sustainably work together. Think about that. Life partners and business partners working together in a successful sustainable way.

Speaker 2: Get ready to enter the ThriveTime show.

Clay Clark: Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation, on today’s show we have an incredible guest. This is the business partner, life partner and maybe even the life coach of John Lee Dumas, Kate Erickson. Welcome onto the show. How are you?

Kate Erickson: I’m so good. Thank you so much for inviting me to be here. I’m so excited.

Clay Clark: Well, okay, you have had a ton of success, but I would love to go back to the very beginning if we can to, when you decided to transfer from the university of San Francisco to San Diego as a sophomore, what prompted you to make the move?

Kate Erickson: That is such a, oh man, you’re taking me back. So I just don’t feel like I knew who I was. I hadn’t really figured myself out yet. I went up to San Francisco because I had spent my whole life up to that point in San Diego, in my parents’ house. I’m like, I got to go out and I’ve got to see the world and I’m going to learn all these amazing things. I loved San Francisco, but then I found out when I moved there that I loved visiting San Francisco and that I wasn’t really sure if it was a place that I wanted to live, especially at that time. Not that I had a hard time making friends, but I had such tight friends back in San Diego that I found myself really missing that connection that I had with them. So there was a few different things at play that brought me back down to San Diego, which will be my forever home.

Clay Clark: Were you wearing a Padres, like a Padres game jacket to San Francisco Giants games. Was that the problem?

Kate Erickson: Never. No, I would never do that.

Clay Clark: Okay. Now, so what now, 2006 you quit your corporate job and went back to graduate school. How old were you at the time when you made that decision to quit corporate America and to go back to grad school?

Kate Erickson: 23.

Clay Clark: 23.

Kate Erickson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Clay Clark: And so five years later now age 28, I’m trying to give a timeline for the listeners out there. You then quit your job to start a business and to move to Maine now, because you’re moving from the left coast, right? From San Diego over to Maine. What prompted you to do that and what kind of business was that?

Kate Erickson: Well, what prompted me to make that move was this dude named John Lee Dumas and I started that business because up to that point I was all corporate. I didn’t even know what entrepreneurship was. Like I hear so many entrepreneurs get on the mic and they’re like, yeah I was born like this. When I was young, I was selling lemonade on the side of the street and doing candy bars at school and all this stuff. I never thought about any of that. I was like, no, I’m supposed to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, then go find a job that has something to do with that degree. And then I move up the corporate ladder and I buy a home and I provide for my family and yada yada yada. You know?

Clay Clark: Yeah.

Kate Erickson: That’s what I knew. And I thought that that was the only option, which is the problem. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that option, I just didn’t even know that there was an alternative. So when I found out that there was an alternative, oh my goodness, my life changed because I really did not like going into my corporate job and I just kind of like dealt with it because I’m like, well everybody else has to deal with it. Like why should I think that I’m special or any different than everybody else? Like suck it up, Kate, you got this.

Kate Erickson: And so finding out that I could actually try and start my own business and make my own rules and live life on my own terms, I was like, well, if there’s going to be an opportunity for me to do this, no better time than right now because I was already quitting my job to move to Maine with John and so yeah. What better time? Might as well try it now because I’m either going to try it now or I’m just going to go immediately get another job that I’m probably not going to like.

Clay Clark: You look pretty straight laced here. Did you meet him in a biker bar?

Kate Erickson: Close. I actually moved into the studio apartment next door to him.

Clay Clark: No way.

Kate Erickson: Yeah. That’s how we met. I mean, even to the tea, so not only did I move into the studio apartment next door to him when I went to go look at the unit to see whether or not I wanted to rent it, the person who was living there was still living there, so the landlord said, “Well, actually knock on the door next to that.” All the units are identical. So like you see one unit, you see them all type of deal. She’s like, “The guy next door, he’s totally cool with you going and looking at.” I knock on the door and John opens the door, so that’s how we met.

Clay Clark: But was he podcasting way into the wee hours of the night keeping you awake at night? And were you sharing a wall or what?

Kate Erickson: No. You know, at the time that I met John, he will be the first to admit he was barely just getting introduced to podcasting.

Clay Clark: Oh, really. Okay.

Kate Erickson: As a listener. So he was still working in real estate when I met him.

Clay Clark: Wow, okay. And so when you guys were dating or conversating, or maybe he’s just a relentlessly shamelessly hitting on you, was he mentioning podcasting and kind of starting podcasting, were you kind of like the sounding board for his podcasting ambitions?

Kate Erickson: Come 2012, yes. But we met in 2010 so we were really good friends for an entire year, both of us were in corporate jobs at the time and neither of us were talking about podcasting at all.

Clay Clark: Now what was the most soul sucking part of corporate America for you? Was it … Because I know when I worked in corporate America, my biggest issue was I couldn’t handle sometimes the insincerity of the political correctness. Where you have these group exercises that no one wants to do. And we say, all right everybody bring it in the team and everyone’s like, whatever. I couldn’t handle that thing. What was the thing that made you crazy about corporate America?

Kate Erickson: The unnecessary layers, the inefficiencies. People just literally acting like robots, myself included. And this was my experience in the positions that I held. So again, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s people out there who love their jobs and are really happy with that and more power to them. But a lot of the positions that I was in did not work that way. And you know, I’m sure we’ll talk about it more, but as I got into other … I was working in banking for a really long time. So like add to all of that, just the straightness of banking and yeah, just there was never any excitement. There was never anything new.

Clay Clark: You weren’t fired up about all the variety of suckers that were available?

Kate Erickson: Well, I preferred chocolate at my desk, that’s why I got all the cool people.

Clay Clark: Okay. So now you at some point, 2013, decided to go to work full-time with John Lee Dumas. Am I getting the timeline correct?

Kate Erickson: You got it. Nailed it.

Clay Clark: So what made you make the leap? I mean, he’s a nice guy. He’s a great, he’s a beautiful American. He’s getting a lot of the Puerto Rican sunshine. I get it. He looks like he’s eating healthy. But I mean, what made you make the jump?

Kate Erickson: Well, okay, so I’m … We’re living in Maine together, he’s working commercial real estate. I was working at a marketing and advertising agency and I loved that job, to tell you the truth up to that point, that was my dream job. Other than this, what I still kind of thought might be a fantasy of being able to live the exact life you wanted to live in creating your own business and loving what you do every day. Like I was still kind of on the edge of whether or not that existed for me. So I’m at this advertising and marketing job, amazing mentors there. It was a small agency, which I loved. I was handling one of the agency’s, well, I was handling the agency’s biggest clients, so it was exciting. It was new, but it was also a lot of 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM, such harsh deadlines, so much pressure, so much stress and like a year into it I just hit a point where I’m like, I can’t do this anymore.

Kate Erickson: Like I’m still young and I feel just exhausted by this is. It’s draining me emotionally, physically. And that was right around the time that John’s like, you know, we kind of have a lot of like very harmonious skill sets that if we put them together we might be able to do some really amazing things. Like what do you think? And that process was not a fast one. It wasn’t like he asked me and the next day I went in and I quit. It actually was more like three-ish or four months of us kind of like going over what this was going to look like. I was really concerned that it was going to interfere with our personal relationship because at that time we hadn’t even been together, had we been together a year? We had barely been together a year.

Clay Clark: Got it.

Kate Erickson: So I’m like, hmm, I don’t know if going into business together is the best idea.

Clay Clark: Well, this is what I want, I want to tap into your wisdom on this because I have been married to the same incredible lady for almost 20 years and we started our first business together when I was 18 years old at Oral Roberts University and we grew djconnection.com into the nation’s largest wedding entertainment company. But I don’t know a lot of people that work well with their spouse or their partner. What tips do you have or why do you think you and John Lee Dumas work well together?

Kate Erickson: Well, that’s amazing. Congratulations. I totally agree with you that it is, I get so excited when I’m in a room with other entrepreneurs and couples who are doing business together because I find it so fascinating to kind of dig down behind the scenes of like how that works for people. I mean, the biggest thing for us and like it seems like a no brainer but it’s so hard to actually put into practice and stick to is our boundaries and complete wide open communication has been huge for us. I’m sure you can relate big time and that one, is how we work so well together is because none of us either like keep things from each other or tip toe around things. Like if something’s wrong, if we don’t agree with something, if we want something to change, like we just come out and say it.

Kate Erickson: And the other part of that, so that would kind of probably be like the tactile like emotional side of things. And then the other side of it is just, we literally are opposites in terms of what our skill sets are. He is a visionary, he sees the mission and the vision of what he wants to create. He’s very creative. He is an amazing extrovert where he just walks into these rooms and could not get more energy from the people there, building relationships and doing all that stuff. And I’m way behind the scenes. I’m so detail oriented, I love just like digging into stuff. I typically approach things with a positive mindset, but like what can go wrong with this in terms of like new ideas and stuff, so.

Clay Clark: Yes, you and my wife have been talking. That’s what’s going on right now. I want to make sure we get this because I have an attorney named West Carter, he represents the pastor TD Jakes. He’s represented Joel Osteen, big names. And I always call him my kitten puncher because you have this little cute kitten and you want to show it to the world called your baby business. And he’ll, oh Clay, let me see it and he’ll let me, Clay, tell me your idea and I’ll tell him. And even though I have a track record, between my partner and I are building 16 multimillion dollar companies that have all not declared bankruptcy, it’s public record. You can find that stuff a bit. 16 of them to do well, every time he pokes holes in it, but then I find out he’s doing it on behalf of my wife because he can deliver the message better. And then he usually …

Clay Clark: One of the things they bring up saves me. But I am always pissed the moment they punch my puppy, they kick my kitten. Can you please explain how you … I mean, you’re mentally, how do you handle the, it’s with the paradox of being optimistic as you are and my wife is as well. You’re optimistic, but you’re also paranoid and sort of suspicious. How do you handle yourself?

Kate Erickson: I feel like I’ve had a lot of practice in communicating and I just have to give it to my parents of like, I’m just so grateful that I was raised in an environment where I was never discouraged from speaking up or questioning things. And I really think over time my practice with being able to communicate from a very like loving and supportive perspective all the while, like basically saying, no, we shouldn’t do that, it’s a practice definitely. And I work on it every day, all the time. I’m constantly trying to figure out like, I actually have a lot of friends that come to me. They’re like, “I need to tell this person this. Like, what should I say?” And I don’t know what it is. I guess I’ve just practiced it a lot, but I have a way with kind of turning conversations so that they aren’t harsh and like very turned off by them.

Clay Clark: Now, your parents seemed like they were a great influence on you. I’ve read Andy Grove’s book, the founder of Intel, his book called Only the Paranoid Survive. Did your parents also escape from a communist country where there’s somehow paranoid but also optimistic? I mean, what was their background?

Kate Erickson: No, actually both my parents are from Minnesota and yeah, they’re both corporate. My mom was in retail and my dad was in IT. So yeah, they’re just amazing people.

Clay Clark: Yes. See I grew up in Oklahoma and I moved to Minnesota when I was 12 and I grew up with, everyone was named Bjorn. And your last name, Erickson, half of the state is an Erickson. I knew it. I knew you’re from Minnesota. I couldn’t find-

Kate Erickson: In San Diego, like Erickson could not be more random. And then I go back to Minnesota when I’m like 12 and I was thinking, oh my gosh, I have so many family members.

Clay Clark: Here’s the deal. If you and I did a two hour long interview, I know we’re not going to, I want to respect your time. But if we did a two hour long interview, pretty soon one of us would say, oh for cute. That’s what would happen, and then we’d say, oh, it could be worse, because all of a sudden in Minnesota it’s what you say. Oh, it could be worse. Now we have Josh Wilson here with Living Water Irrigation. He is an entrepreneur I’ve worked with and we’ve helped him grow his business from 300,000 to $1.9 million and he loves listening to the podcast and he’s a big fan of yours. John, what question would you have for Kate Erickson here?

Josh Wilson: Hey Kate, thank you so much for taking my question and what I would ask, my wife and I are actually starting to work together as of next week. So she’s done … She worked part-time in our company ever since we started, but we’re going to start working full-time. So you said earlier about establishing those boundaries between you and John, and I don’t mean to be silly here, but was that an actual physical written, hey, here’s your role, here’s my role, here’s what I do, here’s what you do. How did y’all establish that Kate and have the success that you’ve had?

Kate Erickson: Josh, I love this question. It’s such a great one. Thank you for encouraging the clarification because it could go so many different ways. So I would say one, congratulations. I’m really excited for you and your wife and two, the boundaries that we kind of, I guess I would look at it in two different ways. So boundaries in terms of, yes, we are both … I take direction really well, but I don’t necessarily want John telling me what to do.

Josh Wilson: Yes ma’am.

Kate Erickson: So part of it was, okay, this is what you’re responsible for and this is what I’m responsible for, let’s go. That’s going to depend on your personality and how you work best. And a lot of other personality traits, which a biggie for us is we took Sally Hogshead’s, How to Fascinate. It’s a personality type test that really shows you like how you show up to other people and how you work best. So there’s Myers-Briggs, there’s the enneagram, there are any number of tests that you can take to really get to the ends of how you work, how you communicate. And that was really super helpful in terms of this is the lane that I’m in, this is where we’re going to ask each other for feedback. This is where we’re giving one another full control and say, and with that, of course, full responsibility for the outcome of that. And that has worked incredibly well for us.

Kate Erickson: The other side of it is just like straight up boundaries of okay, we are not business partners right now. We are a couple, we are in love. We’re going out on a date night, we’re having dinner together, we’re watching a movie, we’re jogging, we’re doing something fun. We’re on vacation. And so we gave each other this 110% like card that we can pull any time to say, you know what? No work right now. Don’t want to talk about it, don’t want to brainstorm. Don’t want your feedback. Like this is our time to be in our personal relationship together. So we also set those kind of boundaries.

Clay Clark: I have a tough question for … And Kate, I’m not trying to paint you into the corner. It’s a podcast. So we know I could edit it out if I have to here. But what is your official relationship? Because you guys are life partners, is he a little ring shy right now? Do we need to give him some encouragement? Do we need to buy some more advertisement to get him the money for the ring? What’s going on? What’s his deal?

Kate Erickson: I think he needs to be re-targeted.

Clay Clark: Okay.

Kate Erickson: No. Yeah, we are very happily and mutually in agreement that we are boyfriend and girlfriend right now and yeah, we’re not married.

Clay Clark: If listening out there, Kate’s going to need about a $400,000 ring. So all you want to do is go to eofire.com buy some ads and it just goes into the ring fund here. And that way whenever they get to that next level, then we have the fund available. It’s prudent budgeting, prudent budgeting. Now I always hear JLD on his podcasts and then when we’ve interviewed him on ours, he’s always praising you and I’ve done a poor job of either listening for it or understanding all of it. But it seems like you’re doing a lot more things behind the scenes than I am aware of. It seems like you’re doing a lot. So tell us what are all the things you do to make the Entrepreneurs on Fire community work.

Kate Erickson: Wow. Okay. So I would say like from a big categorical perspective, I manage our team, I manage our communities in terms of like face, we have multiple communities on Facebook. So I’m kind of the engager and the leader there. I run all of our content and community courses. So like we have online courses like Podcasters’ paradise and we also have a bunch of free courses. So I’m in charge of that content, how it shows up, how people interact and engage with that content, so our membership sites. I’m also responsible for our client relationship management system. We use Infusionsoft or Keap and so I’m doing … I’m responsible for all the email campaigns in there, the broadcast that we send out, most of them. John is actually a great writer and he sends out some great emails so he’ll jump in there every now and then get in on that as well.

Kate Erickson: And I also do our content on the website. So any blog posts that you see come out, that is me. I love writing and yeah, I’m really just about consistently upgrading the systems that we have in place. John’s mind is magical when it comes to his drive and his motivation and he is a very systematic person and I’m really just behind the scenes always making sure that those systems are up to date and running efficiently.

Clay Clark: Wow. And I understand that, so you’re doing a lot of the administrative, a lot of the marketing systems. You’ve got a … And you’re doing all this from Puerto Rico if I’m correct.

Kate Erickson: Yes.

Clay Clark: Now you love San Diego. My wife is originally from San Diego. At some point you two have to meet. You sound like you have very, very similar brains. My mind might explode when I’m around that much wisdom. But so you moved over Puerto Rico, or from San Diego to Puerto Rico. What prompted this move for the listeners out there that don’t know that story?

Kate Erickson: Yeah, two big things prompted us to come to Puerto Rico. One was that John and I had been talking a long time about travel and the fact that our business was location independent, but we weren’t treating it as such. I mean, we were both so comfortable in San Diego. We loved it there. We had an amazing apartment. My family was there, so we kept talking about all these trips that we wanted to take and how, oh yeah, we can work from anywhere yet there we were pretty much 365 days a year, absolutely loving our life in San Diego. So we kind of wanted to disrupt that so that we would actually leverage and fully take advantage of the fact that we can literally work from anywhere. And putting us way out in the ocean on an Island makes it real easy for us to pretty much get anywhere. I mean go to Europe, go to the States, go to Canada, you name it.

Kate Erickson: Number two is a tax incentive that Puerto Rico provides to businesses who will move down here and it is economic related. Of course, you know they want to infuse Puerto Rico with new businesses and new opportunities and so there are of course things that have to fall into line for that to happen. We follow a set of guidelines for what’s called Act 20 and that allowed us to move our business down here and take advantage of a great tax incentive.

Clay Clark: Now, when you moved down there due to the Act 20, you have to, I understand don’t you have to be there 51% of the year for this to work.

Kate Erickson: That’s correct.

Clay Clark: And you know, Puerto Rico is a US territory for those who are not super aware of what that means. How does a territory differ from a state from a maybe a layman’s perspective?

Kate Erickson: Well, we can’t vote for the president and we aren’t one of the stars on the flag. I mean, there’s also a whole bunch that you could get into politically. Like we have our own political chapter, if you will, here. Our own government, I don’t want to say government, but a governor and all of that kind of stuff. And the way that the politics interacts with one another. Technically we do “Report to the States,” but there’s also a whole governing body down here as well. Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes and everything that have been happening down here, absolutely devastating. How that aid gets appropriated is different from, say the same type of disaster happened in the actual United States, so that’s a little bit different.

Kate Erickson: So I mean there’s things like that, but we are US citizens still. Didn’t have to give up our passport. We don’t even need to, it’s considered domestic travel. You don’t have to have a US passport from the States to come down to Puerto Rico.

Clay Clark: Now didn’t the epicenter of the earthquake hit on the Southwest portion of Puerto Rico and you guys live on the Southeast portion? Am I correct, were you affected by this?

Kate Erickson: By the earthquakes, we did lose power. So the earthquakes hit just pretty much middle South and we are Southeast. So we weren’t directly impacted in terms of the devastation that happened with actual buildings and structures and houses. We did lose power for about three days after the big ones happen.

Clay Clark: And do you guys have a generator, because you guys … Do you have a lot of tropical storms? I mean, were you kind of prepared for that kind of thing? Is this somewhat normal or is this totally abnormal?

Kate Erickson: Earthquakes are not super abnormal. This magnitude and the amount of them was a little bit off-putting. We do have a generator. I mean we are prepared, especially after hurricane Maria. I mean, we’ve really stepped it up. We’re actually in the process of doing solar for our entire house. So we’re getting more and more prepared for autonomy.

Clay Clark: What’s it like to live there? Does it feel like living in San Diego? Is it … If somebody is thinking about going there, to move there, to live there, what’s it like?

Kate Erickson: Puerto Rico is beautiful. The culture is amazing, the people are amazing. The Island itself, I mean it really is. Have you spent any time here?

Clay Clark: I came out there one time per the recommendation of John Lee Dumas and I wanted to get ahold of you guys to come by and harass you guys. But I could not, because I have five kids and it’s like moving to a small country to visit. But we went out there and had a great time and the avocados are huge. The weather was great, but I told John Lee Dumas, next time I come out there, I would love to come visit you guys.

Kate Erickson: Yeah, let’s do it. For sure. So I mean, you know how beautiful this place is.

Clay Clark: Oh, it’s gorgeous.

Kate Erickson: There’s absolutely no denying that. There are day to day Island time is a real thing, which for somebody that, whose mind works the way mine does, sometimes that isn’t very congruent. The efficiencies are not always there. But there’s always different ways to appreciate that too. I mean, it’s me way more chill out and appreciate when things do get done and you’re giving up some niceties. I mean, where we live in Puerto Rico, I mean, if you’re in San Juan, you probably are going to pretty much feel like you live in any city in the United States. We’re a little bit removed from San Juan about 45 minutes South. We don’t have Uber’s, the restaurant selection is not super great, which isn’t a huge deal for us because we cook meals at home all the time. But John and I decided to go vegan to try that after our last trip.

Clay Clark: Really? I’m vegan.

Kate Erickson: Yeah, and that’s insanely hard here.

Clay Clark: Wow, you’ve seen avocados and then avocados.

Kate Erickson: Basically.

Clay Clark: Okay. Now, you had decided to step back from behind the mic to get on the mic and to launch your own podcast called Kate’s Take, which has well over 250 episodes and you get into a lot of practical topics there. Why did you decide to launch your own podcast?

Kate Erickson: My podcast was really a huge personal achievement and goal for myself. I launched the podcast in 2014, I was very fresh into the entrepreneurial scene, pretty fresh into the Entrepreneurs on Fire world as well. And I had so many limiting beliefs around my knowledge and sharing that with people and especially coming into the business as somebody behind the scenes, putting myself out there was really, really difficult for me. But the second I joined Entrepreneurs on Fire and started surrounding myself with these incredible people that are doing these amazing things and have these huge goals, I knew that it was time for me to start pushing outside my comfort zone and really start challenging some of the limiting beliefs that I had let hold me back for 20 whatever years at that point. So launching the podcast for me, it was really overcoming one of my biggest fears.

Clay Clark: I heard your show where you talked about kind of overcoming your fears and your podcast is kind of fun to listen to, because it’s almost like your audio journaling the improvements that you have made recently enough where it doesn’t seem like you can’t relate to the listener, if that makes sense. It seems like, it’s almost like you’re sharing the things that were holding you back, two years ago that are now not, it doesn’t seem like you’re talking about things that happened 20 years ago. You know what I’m saying? It feels fresh.

Kate Erickson: Absolutely.

Clay Clark: It feels like you can relate to it. What topics do you typically cover on your podcast and why?

Kate Erickson: Well, the podcast is always originally meant to be an audio blog. So I was literally writing a blog post that I knew would help our audience in some area of entrepreneurship, up-level their business. And so that’s how it started, as me just reading my blog posts. And then as I got to know my audience more and I got into creating content more, it was more driven by my listeners. I started putting out surveys and literally asking people what they wanted me to talk about. And people were, lucky for me pretty obsessed with one, goal setting and two, systems. So those became kind of two of my guiding topics, but always with a thought in mind that like this is a behind the scenes look. John and I are very transparent in our business-

Clay Clark: Yeah, you are.

Kate Erickson: And we love sharing what we’re up to, we love sharing what’s working, we love sharing what’s not working. And my podcast really was a way to be able to do that in bite-sized manner.

Clay Clark: Josh, you have a question here for Kate Erickson, the better half of the EO Fire podcast.

Josh Wilson: Yeah, Kate. So my next question for you would be, you said you weren’t born an entrepreneur, like I know Clay started a company when he was a teenager. I was in my thirties when I started my own company. What advice would you give for those people out there who are stuck in the corporate world or who are miserable doing what they’re doing and want to step out and do that thing on their own, but they just don’t have the courage or the energy or the fear or whatever the case may be? What advice would you give those people that are listening?

Kate Erickson: Josh, I love it because I was so there. I mean I felt all of that. I mean, the biggest roadblock for me is that I didn’t know it existed, so that’s kind of tough to get over that hump. Right?

Josh Wilson: Right.

Kate Erickson: But when you’re talking about being exhausted or just not knowing if it’s going to work, having that fear of course like we have that imposter syndrome and who am I to do this and what if I fail and all these questions. My best piece of advice would be to just start consuming entrepreneurial content, whether it’s a podcast, is video, like we have such incredible access and I think that it’s gotten to a point where we almost take advantage of how quickly we can consume knowledge for free on so many different mediums and platforms. And for me kind of getting over that, that initial hump of like, okay, wait a second, I just found out that entrepreneurship was a thing that’s a huge, like my mind is blown right now. Now, going from like this huge thing of entrepreneurship, how do I actually get started? And I just found a couple of people that I resonated with, that what they were talking about, like really hit a button for me and I started consuming everything that they put out.

Kate Erickson: And slowly but surely, I think that, that really starts to challenge your mindset of the fears that you’re feeling. Or I just have no idea how I would ever do this, or what do I do first? When you find the right people to be sort of like your virtual mentors, that can make such a huge difference in starting to shift that mindset.

Clay Clark: Kate, years ago, one of my employees at the time, one of our teammates, he told me, he says, “Hey, you got to listen to the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast.” And I said, “Okay, I’ll Google it.” So I went eofire.com, I looked at it, and I got a routine. I block out my schedule and I listened to TD Jakes every morning and if I’m going to listen to something else, I’m going to have to move something around. So I look at it and I’m looking at it with another guy in my office and he goes, “What is that at the top right of the website?” And I say, “What?” He goes, “It looks like they’re tracking how much money they earn every month at the top right of their website. What?” And it was unsettling I think for people that didn’t understand your heart or your motive for doing this. Was this your idea or John Lee Dumas’s idea, whose idea was it to start tracking your income, monthly income at the top right of your website?

Kate Erickson: That was John’s idea. I got to give him the credit for that and it was largely inspired by Pat Flynn.

Clay Clark: Pat Flynn?

Kate Erickson: We used to read all of Pat Flynn’s income reports and thought, wow, what an incredible way to just literally open up to your audience and really show them what it’s like to run a business.

Clay Clark: Kate, what are you right now super obsessed with? Is it avocados? Is it going vegetarian? Is it Puerto …. I mean, what’s the … Is there a book right now? Is there a certain topic? What is the thing that you are just absolutely obsessed with?

Kate Erickson: Time management. That has been like so top of mind for me. I actually just launched a new podcast called Ditch Busy, and it’s all about helping people recognize that they are fully capable of taking full control back of their time. And that’s something I’m just, I’m super passionate about it right now. I’m trying to up-level it in my own life and I’m really excited to be sharing that mindset, that vision, and a couple of tactical steps with people in that regard.

Clay Clark: Now on today’s show, we also have Dr. Robert Zoellner, my partner in crime. He’s a guy who started off as an optometrist, but he’s really an entrepreneur at heart.

Dr. Robert Z.: Trapped in an optometrist body’s.

Clay Clark: This is … And he [crosstalk 00:34:38]

Dr. Robert Z.: I just snuck in the man-cave. Hi Katie.

Kate Erickson: Hi, how are you?

Dr. Robert Z.: I am fantastic. I tell people if I was any better, I’d be twins, so.

Clay Clark: She’s the princess from Puerto Rico. Dr. Z owns a bank.

Dr. Robert Z.: This princess from Puerto Rico, wow.

Clay Clark: She is the better half of the eofire.com podcast.

Dr. Robert Z.: Oh yeah, cool.

Clay Clark: I’ll give you the second to last question. Anything you want to cover here, because she’s a big deal. You’re a big deal. Feel free to ask her anything you want here. We can always edit it out if it’s too crazy.

Dr. Robert Z.: If it’s too crazy or she could just hang up. [crosstalk 00:35:06] So that’s how she can do it. Well, I just kind of stepped there on the tail end of this, so I know you’ve been asked a lot and I know Clay likes to really dig deep and pour in there and really make it uncomfortable for most of our guests. I mean, it’s kind of crazy, but one of the questions I always like to ask is if you could go back in time, 20 years and talk to yourself and say, “Hey, self, do this, do that. Don’t do this.”

Clay Clark: Don’t do this.

Dr. Robert Z.: “Oh, by the way, here’s some warning, lottery numbers. I mean, I just want you to know that that one guy, he’s not good. But the other one that you said no to, it’s okay.” Anyway. What advice would you give yourself?

Kate Erickson: Those are all great ones. I would love to have known all that stuff 20 years ago, but then I would’ve missed out on all the amazing lessons. Right?

Clay Clark: There you go.

Dr. Robert Z.: Well true.

Kate Erickson: I love this question though. So one of my biggest things, and I often refer to this as the best piece of advice I’ve ever received and what I would go back and tell myself is, Kate, trust your gut. I’ve had so many decision making fatigue moments in my life where I exhaust myself because I just can’t stop obsessing over whether or not I’m making the “Right or wrong decision.”

Clay Clark: Interesting.

Kate Erickson: And in so many of those instances, and when I look back at some of the biggest life changing decisions that I’ve made, these huge leaps that I’ve taken that have literally changed the direction of my life and my path, those were a trust your gut moment, they weren’t some analytical like, let me make a list of pros and cons or anything like that. It was literally like, this feels so right that I have to do it.

Dr. Robert Z.: Does taking a lot of probiotics help that, you know?

Kate Erickson: Definitely.

Dr. Robert Z.: Does it? Okay, that’s good to know.

Clay Clark: Kate, I want to ask you this, my final question I have for you is you’re a very proactive person. You are now obsessed with time management and how do you organize the first four hours of your average day? Like how do you do it?

Kate Erickson: So the first four hours of my day, probably the first like hour and a half is very regimented. What some might refer to as my morning routine and that would be like literally the first thing I do every single morning is I work out, whether it’s a walk or run, I play tennis, I get on Peloton, I do a virtual training session, whatever it is. I work out first thing in the morning, then I go through kind of like a, let me get ready, do coffee, that sort of thing. Settling into my office would probably be next on that list where I’m just kind of releasing anything from my mind that is weighing me down, getting ready for a super productive next couple of hours, which is set up and locked and loaded things to my preparation from the day before.

Kate Erickson: I always end every single one of my work evenings by writing out the one thing I’m going to focus on first in the morning. That has been so huge for me in terms of focus and discipline because we can all relate to getting to our computers in the morning and then being like, hmm, what should I work on? And then we shuffle some papers around and maybe we jump into Facebook, we open our email, we look at our calendar and then like an hour later we still haven’t really accomplished anything and that’s our best work.

Clay Clark: True.

Kate Erickson: Like that’s when our creativity and all of that is at its highest. So I love starting out with that one task I told myself I was going to get through and then I rely on Asana very heavily. I use Asana as my task management system.

Clay Clark: Oh wow.

Kate Erickson: Yeah, love it. Love it, love it, love it, and I assign myself tasks in there. I put due dates to them, so really when I get to a point where I’m like, okay, what’s next? I just store Asana by due date and I’ve got my list to tackle.

Clay Clark: Z, this interview has blown my mind. I might have to just get off here and start crying.

Dr. Robert Z.: I’ve made two life changing decisions in my life on this. The 10 minutes I’ve been on this podcast/radio show-

Kate Erickson: I love that.

Dr. Robert Z.: That is, I’m taking more probiotics.

Clay Clark: Yes, there we go.

Dr. Robert Z.: And I’m going to spend more time in Asana. I mean, that’s it. These are two takeaways that I have, they’re life changing, life changing.

Clay Clark: Oh, beautiful. Kate, thank you so much for being on the show, we know you have to go, but thank you for fitting in time for us today.

Kate Erickson: I really appreciate you inviting me on. Thank you so much.

Clay Clark: And if you’re out there and you have not discovered Kate’s Take, the podcast, check it out. Kate’s Take, the podcast and Kate, what’s the name of your new podcast one more time?

Kate Erickson: It is called Ditch Busy.

Clay Clark: Ditch Busy, check it out. It’s D-I-T-C-H, Ditch Busy. Again Kate Erickson, hope you have a great rest of your Puerto Rican evening.

Kate Erickson: Awesome. That was great. Thank you so much for an amazing chat.

Clay Clark: And now without any further ado, three, two, one, boom!

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