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In High Alignment Ep. 3 – How To Hack Your Productivity and Work Less!

Listen on Apple Podcast | Spotify

Are you hindering your own productivity throughout the day?

This episode’s guest is Kelsey Gochis. Kelsey is a worldwide acclaimed elopement photographer, business coach, and success hype girl to trailblazing entrepreneurs. 

She came into this world kickin’ and climbing (just ask her mom). When she wasn’t climbing rocks and making mud pies, she was making sandcastles of her empire. Kelsey has taken her love of photography, business, and belief in the power of nature and turned that into multiple six figure businesses. 

She wakes up in the morning every damn day to empower others and remind them that they are worthy of a self-loving life FULL of adventure! 

During this episode, Kerry and Kelsey speak about: 

We talk about how grief, and grief in women especially, can look different than we might expect. Grief isn’t linear and sometimes it does not get better with time, it just changes. We also talk about how exercise and getting outside can turn around your day. You need to give yourself the time within your day to move your body. Test it out by adjusting your schedule to fit in 20 minutes of moment (walking counts!) and watch your productivity grow!

We get into how Kelsey systematizes her days and how she makes hard things simple! She explains how to build out your schedule so it works best for you and for your productivity. She gets into how she teaches habit stacking and how it helps create a more positive environment for you and allows you to be more productive. 

Books Kelsey mentions: 

Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pant – 

Atomic Habits by James Clear – 

Connect with Kelsey:

Instagram: @honeybeeweddingsmt


Episode Transcript:

Kerry: So today on the podcast, we have Kelsey, my friend who is an amazing at lots of things. I’m gonna give you let you, you know, you, Kelsey, be the person to describe exactly what you do and who you are. But Kelsey is just such a powerful business owner and systematizer and cheerleader and support and encourager.
I am just so grateful to have met her over the last year and just be able to call her a friend. So, Kelsey, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Kelsey : Oh, Kerry, thank you so much. I know we’re talking before we hit record. Like, I’ve been so excited to talk to you because, you know, you’re just so easy to talk to and you make me just so excited about, you know, changing things in everyone’s lives and living more sustainably, internally, sustainably. I mean, all the ways, but mostly just you know, facing life that is not just about the business, it’s about the business owner. So thank you so much for having me on the show. 

I’ll give you a little laundry list of what I do and who I am, and then, let’s get into the cool stuff. Yeah. So, hi. I am Kelsey. I have an elopement, an adventure elopement photography videography and planning company called Honeybee Weddings, and I work alongside my sweet husband. So it is like goals for me that I get to do, like, literally the coolest things of, like, hike around on wedding days and catch in these, like, beautiful moments and I get to do it alongside my best friend. So that’s kind of the short of it. I’m also a coach for creatives who want to learn more about sustainable business practices as well as how to get into their perfect habits and goals to get them where they need to be. And I’m a big believer that, wedding day should be whatever you want it to be. So I’m really trying to focus some energy in telling photographers you don’t have to be stuck with these, like, societally imposed large weddings, you can be, doing more of what you love, getting outside and getting paid for it.
So that’s kind of the short.

Kerry: I mean, you own the adventures elopement space so so well. The people that you connect with are just such dream clients for you and the ones who come into your atmosphere are like, we want Honeybee Wedding summit to be our people, and that’s it. And just all of the creative things that you get to do with them, you were just telling us about a helicopter elopement that you’re doing. Come on. It does not get more adventurous than that.

Kelsey : I mean, yeah, I will be the first to, like, brag about our couples and how they are, like, better then, like, every other couple out there. They’re, like, they’re so adventurous they just wanna have, really intentional, meaningful wedding days. We took a couple to Iceland last year. We went to Spain last year. We got Italy coming up this year and like helicopter I mean, I’m just like mind blow. How is this my job. It just doesn’t sometimes it just doesn’t feel like a job. It’s like I’m just hiking around with a double date or just cruising around making memories . It’s so fun and just really meaningful work. So I’m lucky there. Yeah.

Kerry: Yeah. And you just honor them so well too. So it’s a match made in heaven on all accounts for sure. So thinking about just how you got into this, give us your backstory like, what led you to wanting to be an elopement, an adventurous elopement photographer. Why do you get outside every day? That’s such a big part of your life and your brand. So give us your backstory, Kels.

Kelsey : The stick. Okay. This is that Ace Ventura moment. We are like, (BIG BREATH IN), you talk really fast as you exhale  you take your entire thing, like, you know, your entire life story and one breath, that’s kind of what it’s gonna feel like for a second. 

But basically, I grew up in the mountains in Montana. We had these huge boulders and, forest behind our house. We did not have neighbors that I could really see. We had to walk to get to neighbors and my brother and I, we spent time, climbing on rocks, like picking raspberries, in the creek, camping with our parents, fishing with my dad and my grandpa and, you know, a lot of my upbringing was just making mud pies outside and they’re climbing on the roof. And my mom was like “get down here right now”. She’s just like my poor mother with all my  tree climbing and roof climbing. I bet she’s just like, about to spontaneously combust at any moment. 

And also just like the sports, I was just so privileged that my parents just enrolled me in all these activities. So from ballet, competitive swimming, basketball, volleyball, track, cross country. I mean, activity has always been like, coping mechanism for me. And it just really came into play when, you know, my dad died when I was nineteen, when I was just starting college, and that was just if I didn’t get outside or exercise, I was just in the depths, just not. You know, they’re just not feeling great. And being outside and exercising, that’s my safe place. Like, that’s my sanctuary. It’s my home. And being outside that’s where I feel most centered. And I just, if I don’t have that exercise and be able to physically work through that stress. It, you know, it just it just sits there. And I do remember I was in my mid-twenties. I was in, quarter life crisis, I was in  the depths of the grief. I mean, it was  dark. And I remember, I had a membership at the YMCA, and I would just swim laps and laps and laps and I literally tuned out everything. But me and the water and that line, it was just like running down the bottom of the pool. And it was really just my time to process. 

You know there’s a societal  idea of what grief was and specifically about what women look like when we grieve? And that was never me. I wasn’t the open sober. I wasn’t the talker. I wasn’t  leaning on a shoulder to cry up. And this is, I mean, this is also a PSA real quick about therapy. If you think there’s a stigma, that, like, you shouldn’t be in therapy or, like, therapies for weak people. I want you to do what you can to take that shit out of your mind. Because therapy really is the thing that brought me back to the surface. But anyway, it was really with that physical activity, specifically in that point, but really my entire life. I’ve just been active, and it’s been my way to alleviate stress. 

Kerry: Wow 

Kelsey: That’s kind of the I mean, that’s a lot. It’s a lot to unpack.

Kerry: Thank you for sharing all of that. And it’s so interesting how we’re involved in a million different sports from the time that we’re young. Right? And then as soon as we get to college, unless you’re on a collegiate team, then all of that just goes away. And it’s on you to kind of keep that practice going. Or get into something else that isn’t always useful. I mean the college party scene is just like so available all the time, which can be useful in some ways and really not useful if you’re experiencing grief. Right. 

The other piece about grief, how you were saying it was kind of like in your mid-twenties, after your dad passed when you were nineteen, and then in your mid-twenties is when you were really having this processing crisis, the fact that grief isn’t linear, and it also doesn’t happen in a specific timeline. It doesn’t have a specific window. Like, it’s one year or it’s six months or it’s however long, like, it is, it comes and goes in waves. All the time, probably even until now. 

Kelsey: Yeah. I mean, there’s certainly I mean yeah. Like, you kind of think, you hear the thing all the time that it gets better with time, which to a certain extent it gets different with time. 

Right. I mean do I feel better now? What? Thirteen years later? Yes. Right?  I am much more able and happier to cope with that. But we kinda at least for me, I got the sense that it was, worse, better, time. Right? And that’s why I was that linear motion that you just kind of think is gonna happen, but really, it’s like this. And even just coping mechanisms.

When he first, between nineteen and twenty five, I just worked. I put my head down and I aced every college course I took and I was an RA, and I swam. And, I mean, I didn’t give myself any time. By the time twenty five hit, I couldn’t go on my photoshoots without breaking down and sobbing in my car. That was the progression of that. It wasn’t that I wasn’t grieving the whole time. I was. It just kinda took that whole time for me to really sit with it. And that’s I think what being active really helps with is that at least for me, it can quiet everything else. And it just gives me the brain space to think about the tough stuff that I need to or to give it a break. Both of those things can happen. You know, with exercise. And I just think it’s just such a powerful thing. And, today, I mean, daily, I put in my schedule a daily exercise time, and I carve that out as part of my daily system. And so not only is it good for my stress and my mental health, but it’s better for productivity too. I mean, I come back after that daily rest and that active rest. I’m feeling so ready to just take on the day and that preventing burnout is the number one, that’s the number one way I know to prevent burnout is to have active rest. In your daily schedule every day. 

So that’s I mean, between those two things, it just made me so powerful and just so under looked. 

Kerry: Absolutely. Well, yeah. Because it’s something that seems so simple. Right? It’s like, I’ll go for a twenty minute walk every day. It’s like, sure. But also, what if I don’t,  well, if you don’t, then it’s just not useful because it’s allowing so much to sit on your body in one place, whereas if you invite that movement into yourself every day, your giving your emotion somewhere to go or your brain somewhere to go or not think about things and just the equilibrium of walking is so good for your central nervous systems like rhythm. So many different things.

Kelsey : So true. I mean, it’s just if I and again, it seems like that’s the first thing to go with our sweet busy people, who give so much of themselves to everyone but themselves. That active time, they’re like, oh, no. I’ll just get some emails down or no, I’ll feel better if I spend more time. I promise you, give me two weeks to work in that schedule, and I promise you, you will feel more productive. So if you can’t do it for you at first, do it for your business because it will want a hundred percent change your life. It might mean that you should be getting up earlier, to get that time in, and that’s okay. But, yeah, it’s gonna change things for sure. Highly recommend it.

Kerry: Part of it also it might not even be getting up earlier as much as just shifting things a little bit. So you have that twenty, thirty, forty, eventually sixty minute time carved out. And then you’re that much more productive and you don’t have the afternoon slumps that you would usually have without that. 

Kelsey: Excellent point. Yes. Like, we’ve all noticed that point where you’re just staring at the screen just kinda like dinking around and like nothing is happening. That sort of stuff stops when you have some time to just reset. Yeah. Great point. 

Kerry: I also when I get to that point in general, I’m like, okay, this is my cue to get up and move my body. It’s like, that’s the very in my face time. It’s like, go take a walk. Like, go take a ten, fifteen minute walk, like, go get yourself a coffee, just get outside, go do something. Go look at the funny dogs at the park. Or if this isn’t helping you right now, you’re gonna get what you need out of it. Because so often, we have to be productive. I have to force this, I have to do that. And I was like,

Kelsey : do you though? Like, do you?

Kerry: So work with it instead of trying to rush through something.

Kelsey : So much with your body. I mean, that’s a thing. Right? It’s we’re working in this patriarchal system that, you know, it’s a twenty four hour work day. Right?

The cycle is in a day and men that is how they roll. They have systems, testosterone based that their levels go up and down in a twenty four hour period. So, of course, our workdays and our productivity expectations and norms are based on that. 

Women, as we know, one week out of the month, Sorry, you’re cute. We’re not as productive during that time. We can kick ass on either end, but like kind of recognizing THAT is so powerful in and of itself, I think, because women reach that week and they just, they feel like they’re not enough. I think they feel like they’re not doing enough when in reality that twenty four hour cycle, it’s just a societal norm. And societal norms don’t have to apply to you, especially those of us like you and me who are lucky enough and privileged enough to make our own schedules. You know, we gotta do what our body is asking for. It’s exactly what you said.

Kerry: And so much of even that twenty four hour cycle, is, the eight day work schedule and all of that is an industrial revolution thing. It’s not even fully based. And it’s based on a man’s circadian rhythm, but it’s also or not, you know, a hormonal cycle, but it’s also based on, like, what was most productive for the industrial revolution.

Kelsey: So a hundred plus years ago. 

Kerry: And who’s to say that everyone’s even, you know, men included are as productive for the entirety of those four weeks of a women’s twenty eight day cycle, let’s say. I’m sure that there’s time where their energy dips as much as a woman’s would during our downtime of our period week. But it’s just if you’re able to forgive yourself and adjust your expectations, and work with your rhythms, it’s just a nicer place to be. It allows you to release so much of the shame or a lot of the pressure or any of that that piles on that impact stress, that impacts potential burnout. And doesn’t have to exist. 

Kelsey : I mean, societal norms. That’s so I have a sociology, criminology, photography background. So the sociology piece of this and the psychological piece of this are just so interesting to me because, as a society, we have these norms about what life should look like, what productivity should look like, and all these things. And it’s this, you know, it’s a made up construct. That has become real with these you know, corporate jobs or, you know, any employee based job. But it’s not something that you have to prescribe to if you’re a creative.
Right? And I would encourage you to really take a peek at your anxiety level and your stress levels when it comes to productivity, and really where it’s coming from. Because at least for me, it’s coming from expectations that I put on myself because of what I think society or my family or my friends expect of me. And it’s just not I mean, that’s just not the case.

Kerry: It’s not the case. And that’s the thing too is, like, we get to set expectations for our clients. And so often, we’re like, oh, well, this is the “norm”. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the norm is. It’s like, what works for you and your business, and then you set that expectation for your clients. If you, whatever your own expectation is for your clients from the beginning, they’re gonna be satisfied. But if you try to work with other expectations based on somebody else’s business or the industry businesses, than it’s not it’s not gonna work out for anybody. And I’ve been there and my business too. It’s like, you know, you think that you need to have a turnaround time of whatever and it’s just not realistic for you and your pace and your systems that you have set up until a later time. And so it’s just that’s right.

Kelsey : Well, I mean, and for you specifically I mean, I think I kinda know what you’re talking about a little bit as far as you know, clients that book us and you for sure, they trust you and your art. And I think as creatives, we need to own that process. So when I say, hey, it takes me eight to twelve weeks to make an elopement video and the reason why it takes so much time is because I wanted to be perfect and meaningful and beautiful and not a cookie cutter thing. I have never had a couple be like, “What? Eight to twelve weeks? Are you kidding?” I have never. I’ve actually had people say take your time, girlfriend. I respect it. Take your time. I mean, when we’re able to empower ourselves because, I mean, that’s really what it is. Right? Like, We have these turnaround times because we want it beautifully perfect for our people. That’s all every wedding photographer wants, is for our couples to just fall in love with their work. And, you know, if we can give them the reason why we do it, it’ll help us too. Because every time I’m like, Oh my gosh. I’ve got the ten week level, like, oh my gosh, when I sit back and I’m like, I’m creating art for them. I’m creating a once in a lifetime. Thing for them and it cannot be rushed because they deserve that.

Kerry: Exactly.

Kelsey : It always makes me feel better.

Kerry: And they know that, and they’re waiting for it, and they’re happy to wait for it. Like, you’ve already —

Kelsey : Yeah.

Kerry: — already communicated that with them. And they’ve agreed to it. So it’s good. Like, you’re fine.

Kelsey : Yeah. Yeah. I mean, setting boundaries. I mean, we can have a whole other, chitty chat about that because setting those boundaries are just so important. But I mean, back to the expectations and what we set and what, where those come from.

That’s really why I got into adventure elopement photography in the first place. My first wedding was back in two thousand eight. Yes. I’m a dinosaur. Mhmm. And I’m like, I love weddings. Like, I thought they were super fun. I thought they were really meaningful. Early on, I have some, like, you know, kinda nightmare clients. But, you know, like, we all do when we first start. I think all of us are, like, just kinda, like, waiting in the water and, like, seeing what works and what doesn’t, but I will never forget my first elopement that I ever shot. And just how low stress and low production it was, there was no performativeness that there was in weddings. Like, and there was no I mean, society just looks at, you know, what a wedding should be, And I just think that  the day that the most important day for you and your spouse that you will look back on and will be like the start of your life together. That society is telling you what that should look like. I just find that dramatically unfair.

I just, I don’t agree. I just, I honestly think that you should be able to get married in the way that you want to. With the intention and meaning. And if that looks like taking that helicopter ride up the mountain in Iceland, if that means like two days in a country that you’ve never been, that’s what we’re gonna do. And that’s I think why I have so much passion about it is that I just really believe that people should get married how they want, not how society is telling them they should be, and certainly not you know, how their family is pressuring them to be. Right? It needs to be about them.

Kerry: Yeah. I think part of that is so many people don’t know what their options even are. And you do such a beautiful job of writing these really awesome, very educational long form blogs explaining so many different things that people could potentially do in ways they can put things together and how to put it together. And if they wanna book with you, here’s how, but I’ll So if they aren’t going to then, you still give them the how, which is like so generous and so great. And just to the point that you are so passionate about how people should be able to design their own wedding days as it is for them, you know, whatever their dream looks like. So you absolutely walk walk, and I love that about you Kels.

Kelsey : Oh, that that’s sweet of you. Yeah. Thank you. I mean, so much of what every photographer does and I see you doing it too is, like, educating. We’re not I mean, I mean, talk about, we’re not just photographers, we’re educators, we’re marketing gurus, we’re branding babes. It’s like we are everything from start to finish. And, I mean, it just, keeps going back to, you need to have a daily sustainable schedule that, like, keeps in mind, you’re going through, like, really creative parts of your day that I mean, it’s sometimes hard to get that spark of creativity. When you need to. But, you know, with what I do, it’s like crafting a schedule that gives you the time to be that creative. And then when that energy in your body is kind of waning in the afternoon, you do are meaning are meaningless. Sorry. Menial tasks, menial tasks like emails, consult calls, like, that sort of stuff so that we can really move the needle and create when we need to. Because we’re just everything to everybody and it’s hard it’s hard to manage. 

Kerry: It’s absolutely hard to manage. I mean, partly those managing expectations and partly creating systems to support what your unique system and way of of your brain processing is. And so how do you do that with people? Like, how do you figure out what’s right for them? What works for them? What works best because you are a pro at just systematizing things and time blocking and creating something that feels good to each unique individual, and that is such a gift that you have. I love that about you. So tell us what tell us, like, oh, a little bit of how you can do that.

Kelsey : I mean, this is my, like, nerd alert moment because, like, making really hard difficult things and making them simple. One of my friends I actually, it might have been you Kerry who I was like, girl, I am struggling with figuring out, like, where my angle is and what I’m good at, and you’re like, girl, you were good at making hard things simple. Yeah. As that has been in the back of my mind the whole time because that’s really what it is. Right?

It’s like, we have these really holistic life problems that we need solved. And I’m a firm believer, like, any habit you try to make or break, any goal that you’re working toward, cannot happen without systems in place. Like, if you don’t have a plan on how you’re gonna execute these things, you’re cute and you can be as motivated as you want, but without that backup it’s so hard to do. You can’t just, like, manifest it into happening.

Like, there’s a lot of, like, positive manifestation work. Like, I love it and Right. I mean, like, I love manifesting, but sometimes it just won’t get you for me to be. So you ask, like, what I do with the schedule stuff. 

So the first thing, you gotta inject the science in there. Right? Like, I’m not, like, I’m not reinventing the wheel. There’s really great books out there. We’ll link them in the in the show notes. Rest is a great one. Atomic habits is a great one. And those are two methods that I coach on. So it’s like, usually, what it looks like when people, like, tell me my schedule, tell me what it needs to look like because I’m dying here. Like, it’s usually because people are burnt out and they’re just like at the point of spontaneously combusting. Before you do that and before you quit your job, Come see me. I can help you with that. But I usually ask them what their non-negotiables are in their schedule. 

So for sweet mama’s out there, it’s like, Well, I have to pick up my little darlings at three o’clock, and I have to bring them to school at eight o’clock. So I’m like, Great. Okay. This is a solid work schedule that, you know, we can work with. And so I work from the basis of our creative time scientifically most little humans, it’s the best in the morning. So a solid like three to four hours preferably, we’re not doing emails. We’re not doing small tasks. We’re doing editing. Or we’re really working on the big projects in our business. The stuff that requires a lot of brainpower, we’re doing that in the morning. So my schedule I’m in the office at, like, five thirty in the morning. And I’m just a natural, shameless morning person. Don’t know why, it’s annoying. We all know. But I start at five thirty. And then by eight thirty, I take a break. I feed the animals. Get myself some lunch, my hungry animal and the dog animals feeding them. And then And that’s when I get so much of the, like, needle moving time in the business. That’s really it. If I were to say, of all the things I do that’s the most important that has got me to this stage. It’s three hours a day. And when you think that, like, that’s till eight thirty, So eight thirty.

I’ve done the most important work and it’s only eight thirty. That blows a lot of people’s minds just that. But I take their non-negotiables and then I work around it. So for this week gal, she dropped her sweet children at eight o’clock. And so it’s like, well, why don’t you go for a walk? You have this little bit of time, like, go outside,  get some little exercise in because she was going from I think she can walk from her kid’s school to home or something. There was some, like, built in. And anytime we can build things in, that is the best, that is the best way to do it. Stack it. So it’s like, if you struggle with working out, but you love your coffee, you can’t have that cup of coffee until you go for your walk. I guarantee you, you will go on more walks. I swear, because mama wants that cup of coffee. 

And then so for me, work till eight thirty. And then I do some smaller stuff and it’s just kind of flexible time. Like, if I’m feeling, like, still creative, I’ll still go to work. If I’m not and I need some rest, I’ll take that. Right? I’ll go on a hike. I’ll go over for a walk. I’ll do my exercising whenever it is. And then in the afternoon, I come back and do the emails, the consult calls, the podcast episodes, the Instagram things, you know, all that sort of stuff in that chunk when I’m just really not as active. And, no one is. Right? You can’t expect yourself to be on all day. And that’s kind of another thing. If you think you can, then you’re the only alien human in history that can just be go, go, go all the time. So that’s a very long winded. Help me out if I need to fill in the gaps there. But that’s just kind of the basis of what that looks like.

Kerry: No. That’s so helpful. Just to have a a general, like, this is kinda how you chunk things out. And then people can realize, like, okay, I don’t need to be editing all day long or emails all day long or only one thing on one day, and that’s it. You really take more power hours, let’s say, is, like, that three thirty Yes. Five thirty to eight thirty three three hours time. If you’re just, like, dedicated power hour times, that you’re gonna be able to really be your most creative. And I know there’s, like, lots of different tasks out there of, like, are you a bear or a dolphin? I can’t remember what that..

Kelsey : I do. Yeah. It’s just kids. I don’t remember that either.

Kerry: Yeah. But which helps you just with kind of what your creative cycle is like. But a great way to figure that out too is to try it, to test it, and then track it. Test, track, tweak, adjust. Like, doesn’t have to be that. Too crazy. There’s lots of free apps — Yes. — or something called toggled, T-O-G-G-L, that I love to use for tracking. I work with my clients a lot. It’s like, Alright. How are you spending your time? Like, let’s just do a quick one week audit, track everything you can, and then we’ll readjust from there. But so Okay. Don’t worry. Just starting point is!

Kelsey : Yes. Yes. No. That is an excellent point of, like, even the casual interruptions that I used to call them, the phone dings and I just look at my phone or, like, I’m stuck on a project and then I look at my phone. I mean, that’s again, the habit that I work on. So it’s like, for things like that, for instance, like, I’m notorious. If my phone is within breach or, like, site. I get stuck. I check the Insta-shits. Instagram.

And I will always call it the Insta-shits. I’m so sorry. The Instagrams. And then I’m just like losing my time. So on these sorts of habits that we want to eliminate, we need to make it difficult to do and painful to do. So my workday, the phones in the kitchen. I’m gonna have to be hella motivated to get out of my chair and go get the phone. Usually, I’m not that motivated. I’m not. So I don’t do it. And I’ve cut that habit simply because of the environment. Mhmm. Those little, you know, little things like that.

Kerry: Yeah. It says little, like, life hacks almost that you do too. Habit stack in and stuff like that you’re talking about that you coach on to make this system that you create for people actually implementable. It’s not just like, here’s a schedule. There you go. It’s like, Now we’re gonna work together to actually implement this so that you talk, as things come up, you, like, say how it’s doing? How you’re doing? How it’s feeling? Do what do we need to adjust? Like, is it realistic that this is happening or not where you’re finding the the time blocks coming up or the road blocks coming up, is it? As your grabbing your phone okay? We need to put your phone in the kitchen or stuff like that. It’s hard to reach. And if you need, like, an SOS availability, say, you have kids or you’d have somebody who needs to be able to get ahold of you, there’s of ways you can still do that on your phone. Like, you can still get notifications or messages that are, like, need to, and you have those people urgent or approved people. But it’s not necessary to keep your phone next to you. It’s just it’s just not.

Kelsey : Right. It’s just not. Yeah. It’s just not. I mean, even that I think that it can be just so powerful too. I mean, one of the most powerful things that I chat with my people about is that habit stacking. Like, if we I mean, we are base level  puppies. Like, if we get rewarded give me the treat. You know, like, whatever the treat is, I wanna try to get it. So if there’s any, I mean, so the coffee is a great one. Mama loves your coffee in the morning, and I’m not gonna get it until I work out. And then sometimes, by the time I work out, I have the endorphins, I don’t even need the coffee. Mhmm. And that, that’s great. But there’s so I mean, there’s just, like, stack on stack on stack, like emails. Don’t like doing emails. And I tell every, like, all my clients, we are not checking emails every day. You’re so cute. I understand the draw to do it because you think you need to? You don’t put a little disclaimer at the bottom of your, every email that’s sent that’s like, hey, I check emails Mondays and Wednesdays. That’s when you can expect your back for me. Type urgent in the subject line if it is urgent. And I’ll get back to you. But that is, I mean, just the boundaries there. But after I get done with my emails, then I can step out of the office. Then I’m done. On those days. And that feels so good. Because it’s like the only thing between me and getting our of the office. These quick emails, great. I got it. And that’s the stack. Yeah. And

Kerry: That came from the Atomic Habits book. Right?

Kelsey : Yes. Yep. Yep. So I used those you know, like, principles in order to create a schedule for creatives. So Rest is another that book by Soojung-Kim Pant, I mean, excellent author. And so I just use those principles of the science of rest and how really when we can rest our brains with physical activity, we’re coming at it so much more rested and more productive. So between those two things as well as my own goal getting systems and, you know, the, nerd alert system stuff, it really ends up, I mean, I hate, I hate the selling things. But  I really believe that, like, every single person creative or not can learn from this. And we’ll, like, absolutely feel so much better and, like, avoid burnout. So that’s my passion on this. This is, like, I know it will help you. Like, you don’t have to feel burnt out. Society tells you you have to work all the time. You dont! Like, you can spend more time doing what you love. I promise, like, here’s the way to do it. So — Exactly. —

Kerry: That’s what we’re all chasing. When we leave the nine to five is, like, my gosh. I want this freedom. I want this dream life. I want this whatever. And then that whole I think there’s a trend or whatever going around that was like, you quit your nine to five to work twenty four seven. I’m like, that’s not how it should be. That’s not real. I stop glorifying. No. You can still be a very high achieving person, a very high achieving entrepreneur, and have so much, you know, “balance” that changes every day. Right? But these workers in place to allow you to be more rested, more fulfilled, better for your business, better for your clients, all while, like, not hitting that burnout all the time because you are also moving your body, which allows all that energy to come through, which is a really, really big piece of avoiding or recovering from burnout.

Kelsey : Yep. Yep. I mean, and that’s the number like, how I know, you know, alignment to me feels like freedom. Mhmm. And it feels like I’m getting meaningful things done while also being able to go outside every day, have some me time, have some exercise time, and then at the end of the day I literally shut that door turn the computer off, put the phone in the cabinet, and I’m hanging out with my husband for the rest of the night.

I’m cooking delicious dinners. I’m, I don’t know, having a glass of wine, watching some TV. I mean, I have the freedom to just turn my mind off to the work. And just literally, shutting the door. And that’s what just feels so good to me is that I can, you know, contribute to my family financially, do what I love, travel with sweet husband, and then like I get to turn it off. And that’s allowed. It’s when I feel this like pressure. So for me, like, stress sits right here. And it is like a physical and Kerry, you taught me this. But like right here, like just some like hand to heart pressure, you should just explain it because there’s like so much better than me. But whenever I feel it, I’m just like, “Oh, hello, Kerry. I hope you feel this right now because I’m doing my hand to heart testing right now.” Because it is, like, it’s so you know, like, this is exactly where it sits. And I feel stressed.

I feel like I’m not doing enough. I just, I feel like there’s this pressure that I’m not living up to. And it’s a shitty feeling. I hate it. And my quickest way to get out of that hole is the activity.
Like, usually, it’s because I’m not working out enough and I’m not spending enough time out of the office. That’s usually when it happens.

Kerry: Yeah. It’s so interesting. Right? Like, we’re such very very basic creatures as complex as we are. We’re also exceptionally basic. We’re like, if you are getting outside and eating and sleeping and walking or resting some way every day, then the world looks a lot brighter. If you’re not doing one or two or three of those things, then shit can go downhill fast. And so 

Kelsey: Yeah. It goes so fast. So fast. Yeah. Rest assured me. Fast then. 

Kerry: It’s also really helpful. But yeah. I mean, just that hand to heart just, like, a hand literally on your chest and then putting your other hand on top of it and letting your arms hang. Is such an immediate, vagal, like, vagus nervous system response that just allows you to shift down. Like, to down ship. Like, if anyone knows how to drive a stick shift car or learn not a stick shift because that’s what we’re not available. Yep. Downward thing into just your lower gear. It’s like, okay. Let’s take it down. Let’s figure out what’s happening next, and then you’re able to read things so much more clearly. Instead of working from that high pressure, like, really stressed, really fight or flighty space that your brain isn’t your your brain isn’t fully online.

It’s not supposed to be. So your body’s doing what it’s supposed to do, but your whole brain isn’t available for you to think through things as, you know, the person, the business owner that you need to be. So as you feel kind of, like, stress come on, you know that that still happens, you don’t expect it not to. Right? And, that’s one of the major ways that you deal with it. I’m just kinda recapping what you’re saying. One of the is removing your body through doing that hand to heart, through just reinforcing boundaries for yourself and kind of self talk. Right? Mhmm. 

Kelsey : Also, you said it so beautifully. That’s like, there’s four things. Hit me with them one more time. We need to eat, sleep, rest, physical activity.

Kerry: Yep. 

Kelsey: Am I missing any? Right? Like, those four little nuggets. Like, if you could just say, I feel like I need to write those down in an artsy ass font and, like, put it on my wall. Because it’s as ease, I mean, it’s not easy. There’s life things, like, you know, I’m fully aware of, like, you know, emotional things happen, life things happen. But, like, keep that in mind because it could be as easy as, like, oh, hey, I didn’t eat today. I mean, for me, like, what world I’m always eating, but, like, I didn’t rest. Like, I’m like the hungry hippo just like to eat all the time. But, like, for instance, I didn’t rest for instance. Like, Maybe instead of that five thirty to eight thirty creative time, maybe you should sleep in. Mhmm.

And that’s okay. Like, I think when we have the expectation that we have to be go go go all the time, that’s when we get in trouble. Yeah. That’s when we get stuck. And just really like honoring your body and that you’re a human. You’re not an alien. You’re not the supercharged like power alien. You’re a very powerful business owner, but you are a human. And it’s okay to be human. That’s one of the most beautiful things about us as we go through these ebbs and flows and just being able to respect that, and honor that is really powerful.

Kerry: Yeah. And I think recognizing that your clients don’t expect you to not be a human your humanity is what they connect most with. And so leaning into that and just saying, like, here’s what’s happening in my life right now. Or this is why I create my schedule this way. This is why you’re gonna get your video eight to ten or eight to twelve weeks out instead of right away. Because I want to live a human life too, and they’re like, yeah, that’s why we’re here with you. That’s what we love about you. You know, they don’t…

Kelsey : Yes. Like, I will post the cute little Instagram stories. It’s like, be sure to on your body or be you know, like, just these affirmative things and they’re like, yeah, girl, get it. I mean, like, our clients get us, like, they don’t, they don’t require us to be this superhuman. And I say that because I need to remind myself of that sometimes, you know, but the other side of that is creating systems that make it possible for me to turn around a wedding video in eight to twelve weeks. I mean, there’s, you know, as part of your CEO training. And that’s, you know, the other thing I addressed in Trailhead is that you are a CEO. You’re not an employee. You are ownership. So what does that look like? And how can we off board some of the tasks that you know, to be quite honest, like anybody can do. So that’s, you know,  the other side of that coin.

Kerry: Yeah. So tell us about Trailhead. Let’s dig into it. Tell us about just like what exactly your program is, this beginning part of it, where it can go to an after Trailhead, but give us a little window. Trailhead is…and people can expect it because I am just so pumped about this, and it is so needed. So so needed. It’s all things talking about, but it’s like in one beautiful package. 

Kelsey : Oh, Girl. Whoa. I mean, I’ve been so excited for this because it really is what every creative needs. I mean, I’m a photographer first and foremost, so of course some of that is kinda specific, but honestly, every creative is going through these things where they’re burnt out. They’re feeling overwhelmed. They feel like they have to be the superwoman working all the time. And I’m just here to break that norm. One hundred percent. 

So we talk a lot about habits and our reschedule and how we compare those to really powerful science based, tangible things into your schedule. So I create a schedule for them because, nerd alert. And then a lot of that it’s so it’s four weeks. So we talk a lot about that. There’s a lot of, like, you know, emails that are super helpful that come out in between our three different calls. It’s a group coaching program, so you’re held accountable to your sweet people and I’m really big into creating community. Hello sociology major. So that is a white huge interest to me. 

We’re also talking about our CEO mindset and how us as women I think we’ve been in this role of the secretary, and we need to go above that. And I teach, you know, I teach people how to do that. And then my last part is the goal my goal getter system that will,completely change the way we make goals. Goals shouldn’t be  a task to check off your list. And I believe that because people end up not being happy until that check mark happens. And then it’s like, oh, what’s next though? And so they’re just kind of living in this constant, like, not enough thing. And I don’t subscribe to that. So it’s more about who you want to become, not what you want to do. So it’s not about making circus figures. It’s about becoming a CEO. And every behavior you do, you’re casting a vote for that powerful woman that you wanted to come. 

You probably already are. Right? Like, you are powerful just by showing up to your creative genius. Like, you are already there, girlfriend. But if you wanna really move the needle, that’s, you know, like, that’s the kind of work that we’re doing. So it’s a lot of, like, system, nerd alert things, but also, like, a lot of mindshift. A lot of that is just, like, you know, coming at me and I’m gonna just kinda tell you, what kinda kinda what you need to hear along with the accountability. So it’s pretty powerful. 

And I’m hoping to launch it in mid March. So it is, like, coming soon. After that, so that’s Trailhead. We’re very, like, mountain themed around here because be that’s my home. Like, obviously, like mountains. So Trailhead, Base Camp is gonna be, again, a group coaching eight week program for wedding photographers who wanna pivot to a elopement photography. So we’re very systemized on that one. So every two weeks, we’re gonna be crossing something off. If not, like, these other group coaching programs were like, you feel like you have to take another eight weeks to learn the eight week that you just went through. So it’s very like, regimented, accountability is huge. Your group pods are huge, but just really cross you know, crossing things off. So that’s the that’s the scope, as of right now. That one is currently waitlist status. I’m hoping in the fall. I really I really wanna get that one right. So that one’s gonna take a minute, but I think it’s gonna be really powerful.

Kerry: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, both are absolutely gonna be powerful. I love how they also will feed into the other. It’s not necessary to do Trailhead prior to Base Camp, but it would be a great thing to do prior. And — Yeah. — I love how you cultivate such a strong community. So within those groups, what’s kind of the vision cast number? About for how many you think are gonna be involved in each of these groups?

Kelsey : I’m just so humbled at this point. We’re just like, hey, if I could get, like, twelve in a year, I would if I could oh, Kerry, if I could help twelve people in their business, I would lose my shit. I mean, like, that would just be absolutely amazing and I haven’t even thought about that number if I’m on. Can you tell? I’m just like, I don’t know. I’m just like, I just think everyone needs it. And I just I believe in it.

And I just I love helping people in their business. It just that is kinda the thing that sets my soul on fire with coaching. Yeah. I’d be I’d just be so happy. Like, if I had double digits, I think I would just, like, lose it. Just I really got everybody’s getting champagne. Like champagne views, champagne views, and we’re just often bottled everywhere.

Kerry: All of them. I mean, it’s absolutely gonna happen. Even just on here, like, you have helped so many people just from the very basics that you’re sharing today. I know that you’re gonna have, like, so so many sign ups for Trailhead and  for Base Camp when it comes time. And that pivot into elopement photography is such a specific transition, and you have mastered it with having your systems down and knowing exactly the right steps to do so. I am just thrilled for all the people who get to take part in that too and cut off so much headache time to just do it right — Yeah. — the first time, not overthink things, know what they’re doing. And then be able to actually in their life, their business, and start booking more of these international/national elopement destination weddings that are just like a dream. Every time you post them like, Kelsey, what is your life?

Kelsey : Yeah. I’m just I mean, that I think I mean, that’s the first thing I think. Well, first, thank you for your sweet kind words. That is just so sweet of you to say. With photographers transitioning into elopements. I think there’s a lot of fear there. I think they’re like, oh, there isn’t enough money out there in elopements. Like, how am I gonna make money on this? And, like, I’m here to tell you that, like, you totally can. Like, elopements are smaller. Not shorter. And, you know, your elopement couples deserve more from you, if I’m honest, than any wedding photographer. Because you do have to educate them so much more. And you really have to, like, know your stuff. So that’s, like, you know, part of Base Camp is finding your niche and finding, like, what you are good at, and so you can solve those problems that every eloping couple has. So it’s Yeah. It’s big stuff. I just, I just think more people should be doing it. Yeah. So that’s that’s where it stems from

Kerry: There absolutely is a need for it. There’s absolutely a need for it. So I’m so pumped that you’re doing this just to, like, give people the right the right pathway and just the easier pathway because they don’t think it’s out there. So Thank you for doing that. And just to recap one more time, tell us what alignment feels like for you, what it feels like in your body. I know you talked about the freedom and ability to do what you want, when you want, but how does it really feel and and feel your body? Yeah.

Kelsey : So for me, for me, alignment is the lack of that chest pressure.

Kerry: Mhmm.

Kelsey : And I am just like, I mean, physically, like, I’m loose. Yeah. I’m just, I’m energized. I’m centered. I really, I mean, there really are moments for me that I hold that pressure right here. And that’s my, like, alignment, misalignment metric. It’s, like, right there. So when that isn’t happening, which is normal. Right? Like, I feel, in alignment more than out, but it’s, like, it’s right there. So yeah. Like, feelings. Let’s see. Feel like I should be answering that more, like, more succinctly.

Kerry: It doesn’t have to be, it can be the absence of something is such a good metric too. Is to like, if you’re not feeling that, then you’re doing what, you what you really wanna be doing, but you’re feeling is an alignment for you. And you know, it’s there. So that’s a really good indicator of like, okay. I need to shift something. And Yeah. 

Kelsey : Well and I think focus is another one. When I am like so I have this, and I think I don’t I don’t know if everyone has the same capacity probably, like, even in different ways, but, like, I love honing it on a project and working on it for hours. And that’s what I know. It’s alright. 

I think a big indicator for me is focus. Like, I love, like, sitting down to a really big project. And just chewing on it for hours. And when I have that ability to sit down and do that and have that excitement and, like, crush through that stuff, that’s when I know I am aligned. Because when I’m not, that focus isn’t there. Like, how about what we were talking about earlier when you feel like just have to step away. You have to go for your walk. Same thing with me. Like, that’s totally when I know that my body needs something else. When I’m, like, not focused and I’m just, like, not getting any work done. Like, you can just be at a place and not doing anything. That’s, that’s another big indicator. That focus is a big one. That excitement. Yeah. Like, I remember our pod was on the call, and I was just, like, doing everyone’s, like, launch systems, like, launch tasks. I love that shit. And we were, like, on it for, like, three hours and I was just, like, writing it all out. It was so much fun. After that, I was done for the day, like, my emotional capacity was done. But it was so fun to, like, get into that sort of stuff. So that’s another indicator for me.

Kerry: It was so fun to watch you that way too and just be able to witness, like, how much you really light up and just are whizzing. When you’re doing your thing. So I’ve seen the bit sbefore, but really seeing you doing the work versus, like, talking about the work was so awesome. Like, really fun to witness. So and

Kelsey : — Yeah. —

Kerry: We’re spot on with it. Like, here’s what you need to do for this this this and this. And I was like, oh, thanks for thanks for making that so easy because I was like, I don’t know where to start. I was like, alright. Here’s what we do. And I was like, Great.

Kelsey : It was so fun. I mean, and I felt like I had had three cups of coffee and I had not a single cup of coffee. Right? I mean, like, that’s the high, like, energy level. Like, you can just forgot, you can just feel it when you were when you’re just, like, cued in and in on it.
So yeah. Very very much a feeling for me, but it’s so fun.

Kerry: Love that. Love that. Totally. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that.
And just for everything that you do and bring to the world, and I, like I said, I can’t wait for everyone to know about Trailhead, for know to know about Base Camp from the time comes, get on the waitlist for that. I’m gonna have all of Kelsey’s information in the show notes from today as well as those books that she mentioned, atomic habits and rest, and how to get in touch with her, Kelsey, can you just tell us again how people can find you, follow you, make sure they’re in your orbit.

Kelsey : Yes. So we are Honeybee weddings. You can search that on the Googles. We will probably come up. You were on Instagram’s aka the Insta Shits? Honeybee Weddings MT as in Montana, so you can follow us there. We’re posting a lot about, like, really cool location stuff, how to get inspired about being outside and resting and all the cool things. You reach out via email too! It’s honeymoon weddings, MT at gmail, all the ways. I do not text. And I also recommend for your boundaries for your own sanity. Do not text your clients. You don’t let your clients text you. Turn it off. Yeah.
That’s where you can find me.

Kerry: Amazing. Amazing. Thank you so so much. Thanks so much.
Thanks. Bye.

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