Good Hustlers: Kate Cashman || The Breath Between
Kate Cashman. I kind of want to stop there as i'm not sure words do her justice. The Breath Between is kind of my fantasy of what business can be - innovative, agile, compassionate, people focussed, sassy, family friendly and changing behaviour and lives. Naaaaaaaw. What I love is that Kate embodies courage and bravery in pushing her own boundaries outside academia into being an entrepreneur and challenges herself regularly to grow, to be, and to embody the values her brand represents, all while wrangling small humans and contributing to the wider community. Interactions with Kate are like a tonic, as is her response to her Good Hustler questions below. I'm absolutely thrilled Kate asked me to be part of her WorkLifeX conference this year (see link below) as she is one of those good hustlers that you say yes to first and ask questions later as you just know whatever it is, its going to be awesome!
1. Describe your business in one powerful sentence.
The Breath Between is a unique coaching and events business that helps professionals and entrepreneurs feel more rested, renewed and re-energised by their lives outside of work.
2. How do you integrate service to others in your business model?
Everything that I do with clients is led by their own experience and thus our coaching journey is always of service to their highest good, at that time - whatever that looks like. I'm not so attached to 'structure' that it means I will pull my clients back to what I feel is best for them. They lead me to where is best for them at that time. I offer pro bono coaching series to at least two clients per year, for three months each, and it's someone who is really wanting to move forward and create change in their life but doesn't have the money to pay for that service at that time. That is always extraordinarily special and the magic that these clients create has been really awe inspiring.
3. What were some of the highlights and lowlights of your journey to where you are now?
Highlights so often come from client experiences - people getting the confidence to ask for pay rises (and getting them!), being sent boudoir photos from clients who feel sexy in themselves for the first time, or creating new connections with loved ones and even crafting inspiring spiritual practices. The goals I work on with people are so incredibly diverse - it's a blessing. I won a couple of awards this year, so that was pretty special (and unexpected - but it's taught me to apply for anything that you might be eligible for, because you often understate your own abilities!!) and creating a brand spanking new conference with a work-life coach colleague and friend in Melbourne (check out www.worklifex.com if you like to talk about work-life balance, flow, design - whatever word suits you best) has been a major highlight.
It's been tough doing something completely different to what I've always done and spent 10 years and a PhD focusing on - definitely one of the more challenging aspects to starting a business alongside academia in a different area. There's been a lot of self doubt and having to feel the fear and just do it anyway - and in a lot of ways it gets easier, but then it's always tough too. I often get the imposter syndrome rearing it's head but now I experience it and I reframe it to mean that I'm on the right track towards doing something scary, important and aligned in my business and it's much more bearable from there. Finding my own work-life flow with my business, small kids, an academic contract and my own life outside of work was tricky. I don't lie about that - it's a lived experience that I think helps my clients too. But the juggle still has to be re-organised as things change - even still - but I'm learning how to do that with much more grace and a whole lot less swearing.
4. Do you have a spiritual practice?
I would be lost without my own personal practice. I meditate most days (it used to be every day, but in the last couple of months it's been most days) and spend time each day on a beautiful morning practice that grounds me for the day. Affirmations, visualisations, some light movement (usually stretching or some light yoga) to connect with my body for the day help kick me off. If there's sunlight at a reasonable time I'll try and do a bit of a walk around outside with no shoes on on the small patch of lawn at my house (the rest is bush) and I write for half an hour on a book I want to publish before the end of 2018 and to me that is spiritual - having the practice every day of doing this uninterrupted by small people (husband takes them on until I'm done) has been a form of meditation. But honestly I'll try and use anything I'm doing to connect me spiritually - and it can happen in the most incredible of places. I was marking uni exams today and consistently drawing myself back from my wandering thoughts to the words on the page - to me that seems to be an evolving practice, but one that helps still the monkey (marking) mind!
5. Advice for others who want to start their own good hustle?
Two major things come to mind. The first - you have to feel the fear and do it anyway... whether that's starting your own good hustle or starting a new project within an already established one. There will always be fear and if there is, GREAT! It means you're doing something potentially marvellous and important and that means you have to lean into that fear and forge ahead regardless. Secondly - not one single business owner or entrepreneur has it all figured out.