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Episode 3

Make Your Strategy Fit Who You Are

Make Your Strategy Fit Who You Are with Christine Kane

Christine Kane bootstrapped her music career by becoming her own agent and starting a music label. Thousands of shows, 7 CDs and an award-winning DVD later, she took the business and entrepreneurial skills she’d learned through ‘trial by fire’ and built a crazy successful, million-dollar coaching business.

In this episode, learn how she helps other highly creative, secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Which is, by the way, also in the title of her new book!

As you know, this quarter’s theme is all about strategy. What I love about having Christine Kane as our first guest on this topic is that you will hear how someone who is all about following your intuition and fostering your creativity has set up her business to both make money and give her the freedom to create. Instead of making her business fit a traditional business strategy, she tweaked her strategy to suit who she is and what she needs from her business.

What’s in This Episode

  • Why sitting in discomfort is the reason Christine has a million-dollar business
  • How to look inward to fix your business
  • Tools to figure out who you are and how you work
  • How your sensitivity can help you build a team
  • Advice on how to make money and feed your soul
  • Tips on how to use your creativity and intuition in business

What To Do Next

  1. Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
  2. Connect on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.
  3. Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.

Up Next

Resources & Links From the Show


  1. Get to know yourself and how you work a little better! Check out this free version of the Enneagram test
  2. Want to get a little more in-depth? There is the Kolbe assessment (which Christine uses and we mention in this episode) and my personal favourite, the one I use to build my team, the Clifton Strengths Finder test

Books Mentioned in This Episode

Where to Find Christine Kane

Episode Transcript

Download The PDF Transcript




Lisa Larter (00:01):

Welcome to, She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.

Lisa Larter (00:25):Hello, and welcome to She Talks Business. This is Lisa Larter, and I can’t wait to get into today’s show with you. You are going to experience one of my all time favorite people, Christine Kane. Christine Kane is the author of The Sole-Sourced Entrepreneur, an unconventional success plan for the highly creative secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious. This woman, this dear friend and colleague of mine is a singer- songwriter who has built a million dollar coaching business around going deep inside to really understand who you are.

Lisa Larter (01:07):
She is beyond brilliant. She’s kind, and she is present, but don’t let that fool you. She’s firm and she can spot the fear that’s holding someone back and call them on it in a nanosecond. She may be deeply sensitive, but she’s also fiercely generous, an avid learner, and willing to go to places of discomfort most people avoid on this path called life. Brene Brown says the birthplace of creativity is vulnerability.

Lisa Larter (01:38):
I gotta tell you, Christine is willing to sit in that space of vulnerability over and over and over again in the work she does with her clients, and even in the work that she does on her own self and business. I have tremendous respect for Christine. She walks her talk and she brings so much value to so many people. In this episode, we talk about what to do when you can’t access your brain function to do something. I’m sure you know what I mean.

Lisa Larter (02:10):
There’s that thing you got to do, but your brain just can’t quite wrap its head around how to do it. We’re going to talk about false starts, and what do they really mean? Why understanding personality types and preferences can be a secret weapon, not only in building your business, but in helping people move forward. And we’re going to talk about money and we’re going to talk about two different approaches to money and investing in yourself and your business.

Lisa Larter (02:37):
One grounded in spreadsheets and the other in trust and intuition. All right. If you enjoy the show, please leave a review and tell somebody about it. Thanks for being here. Let’s get to the show. Christine Kane, welcome to She Talks Business.

Christine Kane (02:58):
Thank you.

Lisa Larter (02:58):
I’m so happy to do this with you.

Christine Kane (03:00):
I’m so excited. Thank you for having me here.

Lisa Larter (03:03):
It is my pleasure. I was thinking, before we jumped on today, how many years have we known each other now? Was it 2008?

Christine Kane (03:12):
I want to say 2008 was when I first went to … We were at an event together, and I was still playing music, full on performing, and you and I were sitting with each other. I remember just being really excited to be at a place where people were talking business because I’d only ever gone to showcases and been at big music functions. It was such a relief to talk to somebody about the backstage of a business, because as an artist, you don’t tend to talk about that stuff. Early on, as an artist, I realized, if I wanted to do this thing, if I wanted to be successful as a musician, I had to get out of that just magical thinking.

Christine Kane (03:55):
It was just, I loved sitting there talking …I just remember leaning in and being like, oh my God, this girl’s awesome.

Lisa Larter (04:02):
Well, I think we were in Loral Langemeier’s session. I think you were shocked because she was like, put your hand up if you have a cleaning lady, if you have this, if you have … Don’t leave your hand up, and you were sitting there looking at me, and you were like, are you serious?

Christine Kane (04:16):
Yeah, because I did not, at that point, do those sorts, like invest in myself. I was still very, very connected to … I think I would call it just being super lean in terms of finances and that kind of thing. I had done a lot of investing in myself, but the cleaning lady stuff, I just remember being very impressed with all the ways that you had set your life up to be the one who succeeded, and that’s just … It’s a paradigm shift for a lot of people. That was a big game changer for me.

Lisa Larter (04:52):
Yeah. I still remember us being in the expo area, where of course, everybody looks over your shoulder to see who the most important person in the room is. You were so focused and so present. I remember you looking me in the eyes that day, and you probably don’t remember this, but I remember clear as day, I had never met anyone who was so present when they were speaking to me and you looked me in the eyes and you said, “You are so much more than a social media person.” I was just [crosstalk 00:05:28].

Christine Kane (05:27):
I remember thinking that, I don’t remember saying it.

Lisa Larter (05:30):
Yeah. It was a one of those memory moments that I will always remember from when we first met.

Christine Kane (05:37):
You know what’s so funny about that? I know you just interviewed Dan Sullivan, and I was a Dan Sullivan client for five or six years. I did one of his unique ability sessions with several of his coaches. The thing that became out as my unique ability was being a catalyst to take people to their greatness from their “seemingly” imperfect starting point. One of the things that you have to do for that unique ability session is have people tell you, reflect back to you what they see as your unique ability, and the thing that kept coming to me from people, whether it was clients or friends, or even what you’re saying right now, was you have this ability to see into who I really am as opposed to who I’m sort of like playing at being.

Christine Kane (06:32):
I’ll sort of link up to your talk with Dan Sullivan because that was something that I just never knew, but I’ve always kind of done that and seen that in other people, and you had this big, huge, shiny, brilliant light that I could tell you didn’t know about yourself at that point.

Lisa Larter (06:51):
Yeah. I don’t think I did know. I appreciate you saying that and I think it does absolutely reflect who you are, which is an interesting segue into something I wanted to ask you about. I listen to your podcast and I listened to the episode about the pull-ups, the one that got cut from the book.

Christine Kane (07:12):

Lisa Larter (07:13):
One of the things that you talked about in doing these pull-ups, and I will just tell you, I’m wearing a little thingy on my elbow right now or my arm, because I have tennis elbow so I couldn’t do a pull up if I tried right now. I think I would be hanging … I don’t even know that I could hang like laundry. I think I’d be on the ground, but you talked about not being able to access the brain function to do what you wanted to do. I think that happens to so many of us in business. The metaphor that I would use is, it’s kind of like the window and the mirror.

Lisa Larter (07:55):
When you’re looking in the mirror, you don’t always see your potential, but when somebody else is looking in the window at you and you are that somebody else, you see the potential in other people. Can you talk to me a little bit about how entrepreneurs can learn how to do their pull-ups? Like, how can they learn to access that part of the brain that they don’t know is there?

Christine Kane (08:22):
Well, I mean, it’s a great question, and that’s what that whole episode was about. It’s the thing that most of us don’t want to deal with. If we harken back to the moment where you and I were sitting in that room and I was watching you hold your hand up, every time Loral Langemeier was saying, who has a cleaning woman? Who has this? And I’m watching you, inside of me I was like ashamed because I wasn’t behaving the way somebody who has a successful business behaves.

Christine Kane (08:54):
We all avoid those kinds of moments where we’re looking clearly at ourselves. The idea of, just to tell people what that pull-up episode was about, it’s that I learned how to do pull-ups by hoisting myself up to the bar using a bench, and then lowering myself and finding the muscles by lowering that’s called the eccentric motion. And I think a lot of becoming really great at business is that eccentric motion is that you get knocked on your butt, or you see what you’re doing wrong, or it’s, when you get to the end of a year and you realize I made $3 million and I had zero profit.

Christine Kane (09:29):
And you want to just sink into shame. Like you just said, I couldn’t do a pull up. I couldn’t even hang there. That’s where we tend to go. It’s like it’s not possible, I’m not good at business, I can’t do this. The way I’ve built that entrepreneurial muscle is by sitting in rooms with people like you, and looking at you and saying, tell me more about that, and being willing to face that awful feeling of “wow I didn’t do that very well”. Or, “ooh I got that wrong”, or “oh, I hired the wrong person”.

Christine Kane (10:02):
I think a lot of us, we become good business owners by doing it badly. It’s not because we went and got the MBA and all the nice books taught us exactly how it’s supposed to work. It’s what Dan Kennedy, another Dan, he would call it TBF, which is Trial By Fire versus MBA. That eccentric motion, that backward motion, I think we learned by getting knocked on our ass and getting stronger, and then, in that podcast episode, what I talk about is being able to go back and review what didn’t work here, and not just review it from the fault of somebody else, but what was my contribution to this thing not working?

Christine Kane (10:50):
For those of us who are more sensitive, or we are playing a little small, it’s usually a choice we made somewhere that was playing a little small, or not paying attention to our intuition, or cutting a corner, or whatever it might be, or avoiding something. Did that answer your question?

Lisa Larter (11:05):
Yeah. How do you encourage people to sit with the discomfort, especially when you are the sensitive type? I mean, Christine, you know there are business coaches and life coaches and mindset coaches that are a dime a dozen. Everybody and their dog is a coach online today. So many people are like, oh, focus on your strengths. Oh, hire somebody to do what you’re not good at. You’re actually saying the opposite. You’re saying, sit in the discomfort.

Lisa Larter (11:39):
If you are secretly sensitive and maybe you don’t have high self-esteem, so you’re shaming yourself for something, maybe than you should. How do you balance being curious enough to sit in the discomfort without using that sitting as nothing more than self-sabotage?

Christine Kane (12:07):
Well, this is ultimately what my whole book is about. I mean, it’s really the inward path, because what you just described of people spouting off advice like, hire out your weaknesses and all that kind of stuff, there is nothing wrong with that advice, but then we have to look at the clarity of what you’re going to hire first and the, how are you going to hire, and where are you going to sell yourself short, and where are you going to cut a corner, or where are you going to behave from an old pattern? Those kinds of things are what we learn.

Christine Kane (12:39):
We learn by doing some of that, but the discomfort, I think comes first. It’s, we all want somebody to give us the neat, clean, funnel, hire, delegate, do everything that all the coaches and marketers online say without really looking at who we are as business owners, what we need next. Are we bringing in enough revenue to support that? If not, are we going to take that risk? All this sort of deep thinking that I think most of us don’t do in an effort to just grab that answer that someone has. That’s the appeal of the many, many coaches, is that everybody makes it seem like, oh, it’s just …

Lisa Larter (13:24):
It’s the button.

Christine Kane (13:25):
Easy. Yeah, and there are some things that work out easy, and that’s great when they do, when you nail it, but that does not make you a good business owner. We all know people who have had the big, huge launch and then could not sustain the business. One launch, doth not a business make.

Lisa Larter (13:43):
No. Oh my gosh, no.

Christine Kane (13:45):
I’ve had people show up at my door and they’re on their hands and knees, because they thought they had a great launch and that made them great business people. And then all hell broke loose or their main person left or whatever it might … Or Facebook changed its algorithm, whatever it might be, and you have to then adjust, and that’s where the discomfort comes in, because what people tend to do is say, “and something’s wrong with me”, or they will collapse and stop taking the next steps.

Lisa Larter (14:18):
Or they’re like me, and they just say, “I’ve had enough, I’m just going to shut this thing down”.

Christine Kane (14:20):
Don’t do that.

Lisa Larter (14:23):
[crosstalk 00:14:23] It’s everybody else’s fault, not me.

Christine Kane (14:25):
Oh, I call that the barista dreams like, I’m just going to go to Starbucks and work behind the counter and make everybody happy.

Lisa Larter (14:31):
Yes. Yeah, no, no. I’m just going to start a coffee shop.

Christine Kane (14:33):
That would be you.

Lisa Larter (14:34):
[crosstalk 00:14:34].

Christine Kane (14:35):
Mine is just, I’m just going to sit back and hand people their coffees and watch them smile. Then, I don’t have to have clients, I just hand people their coffee and that’ll be the extent of it. Everyone has those barista moments. Yeah.

Lisa Larter (14:49):
Yes. Which leads me to my point, which is the Enneagram. You have had like a fascination with the Enneagram for years. I regularly get these text messages, yes, that you’re an eight. I know what that means [crosstalk 00:15:05].

Christine Kane (15:05):
I know. I am so annoying. I get it.

Lisa Larter (15:09):
But that speaks to kind of what I just said in terms of, I’m going to throw my hands up in the air and I’m going to pull the cord on my business and I’m going to go do something else because you guys are all crazy and I’m going to go do something sane versus somebody sitting in the discomfort of, how am I contributing to this situation, which I think speaks a lot to different personalities and personality types. One of the things that I’m trying to recognize and learn and appreciate in my own business is the role I play in things, understanding myself better, understanding my clients better, understanding my reaction to people who are different from me.

Lisa Larter (15:49):
I know that you have used the Enneagram. You’ve talked about it for years. You’ve used the Kolbe for years, and I just would love for you to talk to us a little bit about why it’s so important, especially in business, to understand yourself, but to also understand and recognize, I guess, patterns, characteristics, tendencies, preferences in others? Why is that, and I know I’ve asked you a million questions here, but I want you to talk about why it’s important to you and how understanding all of that has helped you in your business, because you have served and supported thousands of people on this journey, Christine.

Lisa Larter (16:37):
People are messy and complicated and can trigger you. Sometimes I just want to cut the cord and let people fly away like a balloon. How do you do that?

Christine Kane (16:47):
It’s a great question. You’ve asked both why and how, and I think for me, the why is, this is how I’m wired. I think from the start, I’ve always paid attention to my own integrity levels, my own … Where did I hedge there? Where did I not show up? Maybe not always because it was after college that I really started getting a sense of the awareness of my own role in everything. I think that’s because I started to surround myself with teachers and healers and practitioners, and then eventually coaches.

Christine Kane (17:34):
It became a passion of mine because I started to see these things, to put it in the way I look at the Enneagram, these things as patterns that we each do. Once I saw where I stand in the Enneagram, it made sense to me that, okay, no wonder this typical sort of business advice isn’t going to land with me because I’m not wired in that way. I think one of the things that we see in most business books and in most, and even personal growth books, it’s sort of often somebody saying, this is what worked for me and therefore you should do it too.

Christine Kane (18:11):
Then we all run around trying to do a paste-up job on ourselves, and we cannot in the long-term sustain that. It’s one of the things that I’ve really started to appreciate is that each and every one of us, there are business principles and strategies that do work for sure, but not everyone is going to lead the same way, manage the same way, run a business the same way. Therefore, I think it’s really worth seeing the being, the whole picture of what’s in front of you. You mentioned the Kolbes and you mentioned the Enneagram, those are the two things we use at Up-level with our clients across the board.

Christine Kane (18:53):
If I know somebody is for instance, they’re not a big fact-finder person and they’re a really high, quick start person, and I know Kathy Kolbe doesn’t like to use high and low, because it can be very shame producing, but I will coach them in a way where that’s where we do look at delegating some things as opposed to you should just go in and get into your spreadsheets. You have to love a spreadsheet. You’ve got to know all the data, and that person can’t because they’re a two-fact finder. It’s not how they’re going to work.

Christine Kane (19:23):
I am going to set them up to have a business that they hate, and then they’re going to feel ashamed their whole lives. My journey with clients has really been to say, how do we make this thing work being who you are, but you have to be with me in a relationship as a coach, as your coach to take responsibility for that as well, because it’s not just like, well, I’m a four on the Enneagram, that makes me really emotional and so therefore, I can’t have a business, or I get to bleed all over you.

Christine Kane (19:54):
The responsibility that comes with it is ultimately the power that comes with it, because you can start to see it as, like the Enneagram is where you’re spotting your patterns and you’re, like you said, like just screw it, I’m going to go away. The Kolbe is like looking at how you work in your work style, which is, who do I delegate to? What should I not be doing? When you’re less likely to just say, I’m leaving, or I’m going to crumble in a ball now and be emotional because you can start to spot the patterns and then support yourself in the patterns.

Christine Kane (20:29):
Yeah, it’s a fine line though because I don’t want to make it be like, oh, and we all just sit around and explore ourselves, but I think knowing yourself is the biggest gift you can bring to a business because you’re leading so many people.

Lisa Larter (20:42):
Yeah. It’s interesting. When I took the Kolbe years ago and then I had someone else on my team take the Kolbe, and I also was using the StrengthFinder assessment. One of the things that I recognized is I’m a high quick start. I’m lower on fact-finding. I’m not really low. I’m probably a four or five on fact finding.

Christine Kane (21:07):
That’s pretty good.

Lisa Larter (21:08):
But I’m also a high follow-through. This person that I had on my team at the time was a high quick start, and they were a high fact-finder and they were a low follow-through. When I did the StrengthsFinder, I realized that one of their top strengths was strategy? All of their other strengths fell into the relational pillar and they had zero strengths in the top 10 on executing.

Lisa Larter (21:39):
But the role they were in was 100% executing. They were supposed to take the ball for me and execute. When I recognized that that person was not the right person for what I needed them to do in the business, they’re not a bad person, they just, to your point, they didn’t have what it took to do what I needed them to do. They need you to be in a different role, and I switched things up. My business started to grow by like 50% per year, just by recognizing that, that was … It wasn’t necessarily me that was tripping us up.

Lisa Larter (22:16):
I guess it was because I was hiring people, but it was understanding how those things contribute to your ability to get things done. It’s not only difficult, I think for the business owner, but it’s difficult for the person, because they’re not being set up to win.

Christine Kane (22:35):
Yeah. What you just described there is what goes back to that first question that you asked me of like, that was probably a bit uncomfortable for you to realize, someone’s in the wrong position. It’s tempting to be like, fire them, because that’s what a lot of people would say, get them out of there, get another one in. You saw, you were able to then sit there and do some critical thinking. This person’s great. They could be in a different role. That is so important. This is like looking at … Seeing the awareness and seeing that, oh, something’s not working here. What am I going to do about it? How am I going to work with it? That’s the skillset that I think most of us have to learn as we’re growing a business.

Lisa Larter (23:21):
Yeah. I think, we all … From my experience, a lot of entrepreneurs are creative. They have a lot of ideas. They have a lot of starts. I posted on Facebook before the interview with you today that I have had false starts on this podcast since 2014. In 2014, I bought Podcasters’ Paradise. I was all in, I was starting a podcast. Well, it’s 2021, and guess who still doesn’t have a podcast published as of the time of recording? I will, but I think sometimes the false starts are a result of not having the person on the team.

Lisa Larter (24:07):
It’s like, you can’t be a quarterback if you don’t have somebody who can catch the ball. As an entrepreneur, if you are that quarterback and you’re not going to be the one who runs it into the end zone, you have to find somebody who can catch a ball. If the person on your team is dropping the ball all the time, then they’re not in the right role on the team. They might not be the right person for the team, but they’re definitely not in the right role.

Christine Kane (24:33):
I’m going to say two things about both of the things we just talked about. One is that, the Kolbe StrengthsFinder thing that you went through is so key. That speaks to the self-awareness thing, my first director of operations. On the Kolbe’s, I am a two, two, ten, four. I’m the exact same as Dan Sullivan, which is actually why I went to work with him. Because when I first got that result back, I stared at these bars, two really short ones, one big, huge tall one, and then another short one.

Christine Kane (25:00):
I thought to myself, that is not a very balanced person. I don’t think this speaks to health. Then I realized that … My theory about Kathy Kolbe is that her mission is to end shame in the world because you’re supposed to really embody your strengths. But I had a director of operations who was a high … She was a higher fact-finder, no follow-through, and quick-start. She was an entrepreneur, and I kept wondering why nothing was getting systematized in my business and it was just a very, very hard thing to go through. It was my very first hire. My very first full-time hire.

Lisa Larter (25:35):
I think I helped you hire her.

Christine Kane (25:36):
You did help me hire her. In fact, there is actually, I’ll tell you, when we’re off there, as a scene in the book, that you were actually a part of, but I didn’t include you in there. It was a conversation I was having, interviewing somebody, and you were actually at that scene, but you weren’t there because he was talking at me, but you were sitting next to me because you were in town visiting, but she ended up getting the job that I was interviewing him for, and we loved her, but it was just, like you said, it wasn’t personal.

Christine Kane (26:06):
It took me a long time. It took me about six months to finally go through the drama and my own emotional self. Let her go, hire the right person who was a higher, who was capable of doing the systems in that job. I went through that same thing. I continue to use those pieces and I start … I honor how I am and how I am wired as an entrepreneur. Then, what was the second thing I was going to say? You were just talking about, oh, getting your podcast done. I also do believe in timing. I don’t think it’s bad that you didn’t jump right in, in 2014, because I think each of us has our timing for things. You and I have texted back and forth about this stuff.

Christine Kane (26:52):
There is this thing in the entrepreneurial world, in this social media driven world that you’ve got to be ubiquitous. You got to be everywhere. You got to be doing everything. And if you’re not doing everything, then you’re just not keeping up. I work with so many entrepreneurs who just feel like, oh, and they just keep throwing stuff out there and then it doesn’t really sustain itself. It took me a long time to get a podcast going too. It took me five years to write my book. I think timing has a lot to do with it, and each of us does have a natural timing. That’s the other thing I would add is that I don’t think we all have to be in a rush to jump into every new thing. I think some people are wired to do that, and some people are not.

Lisa Larter (27:31):
Yeah, no, I would completely agree. I do think though, on the hiring side, one of the benefits of understanding these different personality types and assessments and all of that is we have a tendency to hire people like us. When you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t need people like you. You need people that are different from you that can do the things that you don’t like to do, and so it’s interesting that the person that you needed to get things done for you and the person that I needed to get things done for me were both high on fact-finding … No, both high on the quick-start and low on execution. That person no longer works on my team either. They have their own business.

Christine Kane (28:20):
Well, and that’s the other thing, is that as a business grows and moves and scales and changes, people move on. It’s that whole what got you here won’t get you there phenomenon. That’s another whole piece of having a business is completions, and what Dr. Henry Cloud calls necessary endings, but yeah. To your point, I have done that thing where I’ve hired people just like me, and I realized that, when I did find the director of operations who stayed with me for eight years, I worked with a recruiter and she wrote me before his interview and said, “I think you’re going to like him. He did a dry run and found your office before he came for the interview.”

Christine Kane (29:08):
Inside of myself, I just thought, okay, as long as I don’t have to marry him. He sounds like the boringest guy in the whole world, but he was perfect. That’s what I needed because I am somebody who … I’m a 10 quick-start. I don’t do dry runs. I just do it.

Lisa Larter (29:21):
You do it. Yeah.

Christine Kane (29:24):
But I needed someone who did a dry run, and he was excellent, and he thought through everything, and he was a really good person for me.

Lisa Larter (29:30):
Yeah. Let’s shift gears and talk a little bit about money and numbers, because one of the things, like I highlighted so much in your book, but one of the things that I … You know me. I like the numbers [crosstalk 00:29:46], right?

Christine Kane (29:46):

Lisa Larter (29:47):
Guideline number six, money is only one measure in your business. Yes, I could opt for higher profits by having fewer people on my team and doing more myself, but I value freedom and my sanity over numbers. A lot of people get tripped up over numbers and money. A lot of people make money decisions based on gut instinct instead of lack of knowledge. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t even make enough money to pay themselves because they don’t actually understand how the money works.

Lisa Larter (30:24):
Talk to me a little bit about how you got stronger at the numbers, because I’m going to tell you, highly creative, secretly sensitive, and wildly ambitious people are not always super interested in the data and the numbers. If you are someone who is creative and values things like freedom and sanity more than money, how do you … Because you need both. You can’t run a business without understanding the numbers.

Christine Kane (31:01):
To be quite really open about that, I was making enough to pay people, to people on my team, but-

Lisa Larter (31:10):
You were.

Christine Kane (31:10):
To come back and answer the question of how I’ve learned how to face numbers.

Lisa Larter (31:16):
Yeah. Or, and how you would help other people to do it. I know that you have had a successful business for a number of years. I know you didn’t, when you started, you didn’t have the team that you grew into, and I know from conversations that you and I’ve had about numbers, that numbers didn’t judge you as much as creativity. I’m more looking for-

Christine Kane (31:42):
Still don’t.

Lisa Larter (31:44):
Yeah. But I’m more … Because like I’m the opposite. I’m the one who looks at my P&L every month. There’s got to be a certain amount of profit, and if we don’t have that profit this month, it needs to be there next month, and what’s my year to date look like, and what is it compared to last year? And what line items are outliers? I’m a numbers nut. I am that person that would be talking to, I don’t know what you call them, a two or a four in the Enneagram that would be going, I can’t get all of this number stuff. Where’s the balance? How do you help people with both?

Christine Kane (32:19):
Well, first off, I think that there are coaches who are good at helping people at different things. What I’m very good at is helping people make money. Part of what, I mean, my strength has been, is helping people get better in their marketing and their sales, and helping them to generate more money so they can hire people. I mean, that’s the big focus, but then also manage themselves. I don’t, as a coach, I don’t sit around with people and their spreadsheets. I don’t sit around saying, let’s look at your numbers here. I ask and we go into, but I don’t sit down and roll up my sleeves. I have people make sure that the first thing they do is have a great bookkeeper and a great accountant.

Christine Kane (33:00):
That’s where I started in, was realizing, and this is where the Kolbes came in, is realizing that, as a two fact-finder, as a two follow through and a ten quick-start, I was going to need people who were able to hold my hand and walk me through and sit me, sit me down and say, we’re going to do this. This is going to be a recurring thing, and we’re going to look at this and you’re going to walk through it with me. I have a brilliant bookkeeper who’s been on my team since, I think since 2010. She is amazing.

Christine Kane (33:33):
I surround myself with people who go there and like to go there and love the numbers and dialogue with me through that. That’s how I’ve learned how to do it, but what I’ve really, really gotten good at is being able to make the money, and yeah, create the flow and set up the team so that the team is working around my unique ability. I don’t know if that answers your question, but I’m not she, who coaches people on their P&L sheets. That’s not where we go. Even though we discuss it some, but I don’t get in there and get granular with people simply because I would rather teach them how to make money and how to have a business and market well.

Lisa Larter (34:18):
Right, but in your business, you could not hire people, you could not have an office, you could not host an event. You could not do all the rockstar things that Christine Kane does unless you had the cashflow to fund it. I don’t believe that you arbitrarily decide to do things without knowing how much money’s in the bank, or I don’t believe that you closed your eyes and hoped that there’s a profit at the end of the year. Where’s the balance between … Because really there’s an equation. It’s sales minus expenses equals profit. That’s the equation. You can sell, sell, sell, but if you spend more than you sell, you’re in the hole.

Christine Kane (35:02):
Yeah. I’m silent because I want to make sure that I answer this as clearly and honestly as I know to do, because when I look back at some of the things I did early on, like, okay, even as a musician, when I decided to make a DVD for instance, and I was my own record label. I did not have a spreadsheet in front of me when I did that. I did not sit down looking at the numbers. I said, this is what we’re going to do, and I didn’t have a big team. I had an accountant and a bookkeeper. It was me and I don’t even remember.

Christine Kane (35:47):
I had an assistant, I think. I kind of did. I invested and I took a huge chance and it ended up paying off, but I did it a lot on the fact that I could trust myself, and trust that I had a list and I had fans and that it would sell, but it wasn’t … I didn’t do it by the numbers. Then, when I look at some of the big challenges that I took, I remember the first event we did, and I was paying for an event space, and I was banking on people coming, and the marketing, I did not know if we could do it. There was a lot of risk I took at that.

Christine Kane (36:27):
It wasn’t like risk that I was going to go into bankruptcy or anything like that, but I did a lot of leaping in the net, will appear at the beginning there. If you’ve never done an event, how are you going to look at a spreadsheet and say, this is exactly how this is going to work? I’ve never put butts in seats before.

Lisa Larter (36:47):
If you’re an eight like me, you have a spreadsheet that says the venue cost this, the meals cost this. Therefore, you need X number of seats and …

Christine Kane (36:53):
I had all that. Yes, I knew all that, but I could not … You cannot tell me that even as an eight, you can sit there and say, okay, we have to have 90 people in this room to pay for it, that you could sit there and say, oh, no problem, I’ll get that. Maybe you could, but there is no way to know. Anytime you do something like that. What had happened for me was, and this is why sole sourced was so important for me to write. I’m going to sound woo to you, the queen of the spreadsheet.

Lisa Larter (37:27):
I love this conversation because we are so different.

Christine Kane (37:30):
Yeah, I know. I want everyone to know that when Lisa and I were first talking about, I don’t know if you remember this, Lisa, we were going to do a podcast called mole skin and legal pads.

Lisa Larter (37:41):
Yeah, exactly. I remember that.

Christine Kane (37:42):
Legal pad mole skin. Because whenever we saw each other, I had these mole skin journals and I was always writing, and she always had legal pads. It was like, how are we both doing the same thing?

Lisa Larter (37:52):
How are we like each other? We’re so different.

Christine Kane (37:56):
I know. It’s true. It’s fine, but for me, a lot of what I stood on was the foundation I had built of trusting myself, trusting my message, getting the feedback I was getting, and people saying to me, “You changed my life. You’ve changed my life. This thing you did, this song you wrote, this thing. I hung my hat on that more than anything at the beginning. Of course, as a business scales, your director of operations isn’t going to be real thrilled to say, we’re going to hang it on the trust that I’ve changed lives. At some point, you have to lean heavily on both things.

Christine Kane (38:42):
But a lot of what I’ve put out there has been taking big risks. I remember, and just to give you an example, I have a program called Vision Board Pro. I have taught vision boards since back when I was a musician doing retreats for fans of mine. I did a program, gosh, I guess it was three, four years ago based on an intuition because so many people kept asking me about vision boards, that I did a thing of how to host your own vision board workshops. My director of operations, same guy I hired, he’s eight years in or six years in at this point, he brought me the spreadsheets, sat me down with all the numbers. Three days before I was going to do the webinar.

Christine Kane (39:30):
He said, “The team thinks that you shouldn’t do this. My data says you shouldn’t do this. Let’s take this and make it about just hosting workshops. Let’s not do this.” At that moment, it was like this stark, I felt betrayed. I felt like my team didn’t like me anymore. I felt like the numbers didn’t like me anymore. I had to really … It was like a real come to Jesus kind of moment for me. I said, I’m going to try this anyway. We hit it out of the park. That one program made a million dollars in its first year out.

Christine Kane (40:09):
It wasn’t because of hardcore marketing. It wasn’t because … We did very well. So, those sorts of things, I’m very good at, in spite of what the left brain spreadsheet thing has told me. I don’t know that it’s always … That thing has worked out. I’ve had things where I’ve landed on my ass, but I know marketing and launches and business enough that I haven’t thrown everything in and then died. We’ve had times where it hasn’t worked, but I know how to get back up and do things again. I hope I’ve answered at least a little bit, but there’s a lot for me around intuition and trust and knowing how I’m serving people, and knowing my audience really, really well.

Lisa Larter (40:53):
Yeah. I think that’s really important. I think that my approach is different in the sense that I am usually always assessing risk financially first. I will look at, how much cashflow do I have in the bank? What is my monthly burn rate? Can I afford to hire this additional person? If it’s going to take X number of months to ramp them up, then I’m not going to see the return until Y. I’m very analytical in how approach it. It has worked for me in my business and your way has worked for you. Part of what I wanted to get across is that there are two ways of doing it, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to look at the bottom line. You got to make money.

Christine Kane (41:44):
Yeah, you’ve got to make money. That’s been, like for me, looking at and being in so many different coaching scenarios and having … I’ve had a lot of different consultants in my life and in my business. I’ve definitely had years where … I remember we had … One year we topped out, we just had the best year ever from a revenue standpoint, but then when I looked at the actual profits, we had our worst year ever from a profit standpoint.

Christine Kane (42:21):
That was a big wake up call that year. Then I realized, oh, I looked at my own like risk-taking stuff. I had to sit down and look at every last expense. I think that’s been some of the gift that everybody, I’ve seen my clients go through is, in this last year, everyone’s been looking at every last little overspend. Do we really need that? We adjust each and every year. I’ve gotten way more Lisa Lartery in how I do things now. But what I will say though, is that if I didn’t get to take risks, if I didn’t get to try a new program, if I didn’t get to see how something worked, I would die.

Christine Kane (43:07):
I would hate my business if I didn’t get to do that. There has to be some space given for me to be able to be that quick-start, to be able to take those risks. Because if I don’t, if I … When my director of operations had gotten everything to where we were down to that whole system and it was like, all right, here’s what we do this month, here’s what we do this month. I don’t know if you remember the commercial that was really big. I think it was in the ’80s or ’90s, of the guy coming into work every day, going, “Time to make the donuts.”

Christine Kane (43:40):
That’s how I felt. I started to feel like that. I said to him, if this is what business is, then I can’t do it. I don’t want it. If I don’t get to take risks, and this is ultimately what made me say I’m going to go for the launch of that program he said not to do, because if I can’t have some of that, then I don’t want to do it. I’d rather go work at Starbucks and be a barista, because it will … I get that businesses systems, and that a lot of people say, once a business runs, well, it’s actually pretty boring, but I can’t … That will kill me if it gets to that point.

Christine Kane (44:18):
Even in my investments, I have a really amazing financial person who used to be my client and now I’m her client. We have a thing we call my quick-start fund because she knows Kolbe’s really well. I have a certain amount of money that I get to go, I’m putting my money in this. Luckily, I put it in Bitcoin seven, eight years ago, and now it’s huge. I get to have those. I’ve also had some that I’ve just dived on, but we have set aside a certain amount. She’s brilliant in that way because she saw, if I just came to our little meetings every time and just followed the standard, typical thing, everyone does, I wouldn’t give shit.

Christine Kane (44:55):
I’m sorry. You can edit that out. I just wouldn’t care, and so we set it up that I get to have a little bit of play with everything that I do, and so I have to allow for my creativity to be there.

Lisa Larter (45:10):
Yeah, that’s really powerful. Can we talk about “new level new devil”? Because your business has grown and to different levels of success over the years. What advice do you have for people in terms of, as you get … Because everyone wants to make six figures and then everybody wants to make seven figures. Everybody thinks their life is going to change when they hit these miraculous milestones. I don’t know, but my life hasn’t really changed. I have more money, but my life hasn’t changed. What I have noticed though, is that, at different levels, there are different obstacles.

Lisa Larter (45:49):
The challenges that I had when my business was doing $160,000 a year were very different at 500 and very different at a million and beyond. What has your experience been?

Christine Kane (46:05):
The hardest thing for me, and I always tell my clients this because the new buzz word, not new, but the buzz word on the internet is this whole thing of scale. You’ve got to scale, you’ve got to scale, you’ve got to scale. For me, and this is where Enneagram comes in, and we’ve actually, we got very … Well, I mean very big, and I mean, everyone’s version of big is very different. For me, some of what scaling looked like when we were doing big events for 350, 400 people, I lost what is very important to me, which is the real relational aspect of coaching.

Christine Kane (46:45):
We’re still scaled to some degree, whereas I’m not doing like one-on-one, but the new devil for me at that point, there were several things. One is that feeling of this is what I’m supposed to do because it’s what everybody else is doing. It’s because there’s this like driven side of it. My event planner’s working with everyone from T. R. Becker’s group to Tony Robbins, or whatever. You can get sucked into that. The of this is just how it goes, nothing against any of that, but if you don’t look within, and I remember driving back from one Atlanta event and sitting back down with my team afterwards, and I just said, “I don’t think I want to go back to Atlanta and do an event at another cold hotel room again, or a big, huge conference room again.”

Christine Kane (47:41):
It was so hard to admit this because I felt like, wow, you just can’t hang with the big guys. But what I realized was it wasn’t making me happy. It wasn’t making me any happier. The big scale wasn’t making me any more joyous about my business. It just felt bigger and it was kind of cooler on the outside, so there’s the ego bling of that. The other piece, the other thing that I wasn’t prepared for was how my life became more about meetings and team and running teams of coaches than it was about serving that … I mean, we were serving the client, but I liked …

Lisa Larter (48:16):
You were removed from it.

Christine Kane (48:17):
I was removed from it. There was such-

Lisa Larter (48:19):
And you were the magic.

Christine Kane (48:20):
Yeah, and everyone tells you in the scale thing that you should stop believing that, that you need to systematize your magic in some way or another, and that’s fine. I think some people can do it. I’m not going to name names because I do think some people have done it brilliantly. I didn’t enjoy it as much. I can do programs, and I think I’ve really learned how to serve people in programs. But what I started to realize was that I had a team of coaches, I had a team of team, and then I had clients. All of it involved a certain amount of removal and a certain way of operating that I had to be separate in a way that me, as a soul wasn’t enjoying as much.

Christine Kane (49:03):
So, we brought everything back to Asheville. We did smaller events. I was much more, like I could walk around and go to people’s tables and sit down, and I liked it better, and it wasn’t scaled. It didn’t have a scale vibe to it. I could hear various strategists saying, oh, you’re not scaling, and I didn’t give a shit … Sorry, I didn’t care.

Lisa Larter (49:27):
I hear that about the launches. Oh, you’re not launching. Oh, well.

Christine Kane (49:30):
Yeah. But I think that’s the thing is, it’s sort of a little bit like in music, learning how to do it by the metronome, learning how to do it the way you’re supposed to do it, and then being able to really improv it. I learned all the rules, I learned how to do scaling, but I’ve since gone a little bit more into improv. I know, when I’m straying from a strategy, that’s really proven, I know it. It’s not just, I wing it anymore. I know when I’ve strayed, I know when the metronome’s going and I’m not in beat with the metronome. That’s how I do it now, but I really use my insides as a guide and my intuition as a guide. I also completely honor the ego bling that’s out there.

Christine Kane (50:19):
I get when someone’s being really pulled into, oh, but this looks so good. If they love that part of it and they love all that stuff, and usually that’s a certain Enneagram type by the way, that’s great. I love that they can do it that way, but just, if it’s not, for me, it’s not going to be for me. Again, I’m at that point now where I’ve done this long enough, I’ve made money by my own lights for so long that now it’s got to feel good and it has to be [crosstalk 00:50:46]. I got to like the people I work with and I have to love my coaches as well. That’s how I do it.

Lisa Larter (50:52):
It’s funny. Sally Hogshead who wrote the book, Fascinate, says different is better than better.

Christine Kane (50:58):
I love that.

Lisa Larter (51:00):
Yeah, I love that too. It always, it is a reminder for me that it’s okay to be different, that I don’t need a better funnel, I don’t need a better sales page, I don’t need better copy. Better isn’t always the answer. Sometimes different is the answer. When you are drawn to different, which I think is what you’re saying when it comes to creativity, you have to trust your ability to make your own magic. You need to understand the mechanics of what goes into running a business, but you also have to be able to style flex and do it in a way that feels good for you.

Christine Kane (51:41):
That is so hard. That is so hard, because we have so many things that we cling to that are safe, because if it worked for this guy, then it’ll work for me. We paint by numbers because that feels so safe, but you get that little sense that something’s not right. What we tend to do is not trust that little sense, because it can’t … Well look, they seem … They like me better and my accountant says this is working or whatever, but what we tend to do is we wait until rock bottom hits and that’s our cultural norm, is we wait until we can’t stand the person anymore who’s working for us.

Christine Kane (52:24):
Or we wait until like, oh my God, if I have to launch this program one more time, I’m going to just shoot myself. We wait until we are … Or we’re sick. We wait until we have some hideous disease, until we’re like, I can’t work anymore. To trust that moment that says this just isn’t right anymore. Like I said, when I was about to launch Vision Board Pro and my team didn’t agree with it, and I realized they were all talking about me behind my back. That is a huge trigger for me. I was so embarrassed and ashamed to really trust myself, that this is something people would want. My offer was so like, it seemed lame in the internet marketing world because it was, you could make $750 hosting your own vision board workshop.

Christine Kane (53:13):
It just seemed very small potatoes compared to make millions overnight with your funnel, whatever it might be. Then it just took off. My view of that, like I had a little backdoor thing with that program, which was, if I can get someone in this, I can teach them how to be a better leader in everything. I’m not just doing vision board workshops because I had a whole other way I taught that program and still teach that program. It was a passion thing for me. But to trust that, I realized this is why so few people take these kinds of steps because the pressure is huge to follow the route that’s proven and safe and comfortable, and everybody thinks you’re fine and nods along with you.

Lisa Larter (54:03):
There’s the big fragile ego part of it too. What if it doesn’t work. A lot of times, that gets in the way of doing something too.

Christine Kane (54:13):
Yeah. For you, how do you, with the Sally Hogshead thing, how do you feel like you’re different in terms of all of this? What makes you ask that question? I’m like becoming the interviewer now.

Lisa Larter (54:32):
I guess, two things. Well, I asked the question because I’m always curious about your way of thinking, because your way of thinking is not always the same as mine, and what do I think makes me different? Well, I’ve built-
Christine Kane (54:45):
Well, how do you feel different? Let’s put it that way.

Lisa Larter (54:47):
How do I feel different?

Christine Kane (54:48):
Because I think people, if I was your people, and the way I look at you is that you’ve got it made and you’re looking at all the right numbers, and you’re doing everything right. And I’m wondering, where does that little … Because each of us has that little inside thing, and one of my clients who’s an eight calls herself a Mack Truck full of marshmallows. I guess I’m trying to find your marshmallows.

Lisa Larter (55:08):
Yeah. I totally would say I’m a Mack Truck full of marshmallows for sure. I don’t know. I think sometimes I am afraid to put things out there because I’m afraid they won’t work. So, I will drip a little something, something out there to see if it works, but then, if I don’t get a big, oh, I didn’t make a million dollars off that program the first year. Then I might not go back and try again, and so if you are more driven by a cause, a creative cause, I am more driven by result. If I feel like I have to push too hard to get the result, then I may back off because it’s not coming as easily as it could, and there are other things that do come easily. I think it’s just a different approach.

Christine Kane (56:11):
Okay, well, let me also confess, I have that same thing. I don’t like it when I don’t get good results. I don’t sit around and go, well, at least I helped three people, but I think for me …

Lisa Larter (56:19):
But I don’t think you ever get bad results.

Christine Kane (56:21):
Well, I will say what I learned to do, one of the great things about playing music for a living, I mean, I was on the road for 15 years, and some years I was doing 250, 300 dates a year. You have some nights where you’re in front of audiences that are giving you standing ovations. There’s hundreds of people, and you’re like, “Yay, thank you very much.” Then you have another night where you go to McCook, Nebraska, and there’s three people sitting there, and you’re going, oh my God, or wherever. McCook actually did have a big crowd because they were great people.

Christine Kane (56:55):
Anyone in McCook who remembers me, I went there several times. They were great. But other places you would go that nobody knew you, you had to live through the ego in your head, yammering on and on during that entire two hours you were on stage saying, you suck, you should never do this. You start to realize that there’s so little truth in that.

Lisa Larter (57:16):
Right. It’s the person that’s giving you the ugly look that comes up after and says, “You’ve changed my life.” On that note, we need to wrap up.

Christine Kane (57:26):
Oh my God, yes. I’m sorry. Did I go on many, many rabbit holes that we shouldn’t have gone down?

Lisa Larter (57:30):
I know, it’s great. I think you may have to come back because I feel like there’s like a hundred things we didn’t get to talk about and I want to be respectful of time. Thank you so much, Christine.

Christine Kane (57:40):
Thank you.

Lisa Larter (57:40):
I really appreciate your time. It’s always, always, always a pleasure, and we are going to have tons of show notes with a link to your book, We’re going to link to your podcast and all the great stuff that you put out into the world, and I hope you’ll come back and we can talk some more.



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Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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