This is the first in a 12-part blog series where I will share my good news
and encourage you to hopefully do the same!
People who struggle with Imposter Syndrome lack the ability to celebrate their success. If you’ve ever said, “I got lucky with XYZ.” or, “I have no business doing this.”, these are signs of Imposter Syndrome. If you’ve ever sabotaged your own success or downplayed your expertise or talents… yep, you guessed it! This is also Imposter Syndrome.
In my efforts to help others overcome Imposter Syndrome, I’m starting a monthly blog post about anything and everything I need to celebrate.
My hope is that this will help me keep track of things, help me when I’m feeling down or having a bad day, and most importantly – encourage YOU to do the same. I’d love to hear your January accomplishments and I’d love to see you share them – guilt-free and with pride.
If you decide to post them on social media, tag me! Share them in the comments below, or feel free to shoot me an email if you’re still feeling shy.
CELEBRATE YOU TODAY!
My first national placement – Matt and Dana Ziemniak (she is the author of Blue is the Color of Heaven) appeared on Dr. Phil. They traveled to LA with their daughter and were given the red-carpet treatment for their January 5 appearance. You can get more information on the show here and the book here.
I began promotion for two new powerhouse clients; authors Carrie Holzer, Building Puzzles Under Water and Heidi Parr Kerner, Step into YOUR Spotlight.
The Next-Level You Retreat sold out in FOUR days! Teaming up with Renee, Merilee, and Cori is never anything short of fantastic and I can’t wait to get to Erie and spend 2 days with over a dozen incredible, driven, next-level women! Check out what we're offering here and keep checking back for a fall event.
I am an award recipient! Each year, Cribs for Kids celebrates Women's History Month by hosting the Women of Achievement Awards, acknowledging successful and prominent women in the Pittsburgh area. Honorees are nominated and selected based on excellence in their field, making a significant contribution to the betterment of their communities, or outstanding accomplishments for the advancement of women. In March 2023, Cribs for Kids will be recognizing 20 Women of Achievement and 5 Junior Women of Achievement at the 16th Annual Women of Achievement Awards at the Omni William Penn.
I spoke on Imposter Syndrome to an international group at BNY Mellon. There were over 100 participants, in-person and virtually, and I received some of the best feedback I’ve ever had since I started speaking. Some feedback included:
“The speaker was so authentic and able to create a safe space to share and reflect. Truly enjoyed...it was refreshing and inspiring...but also inclusive for someone like me on the other side of the world with a completely different background, culture etc.” – T. C., Belgium
“I just wanted to let you know that we felt so seen (especially the women on the team) with the different imposter archetypes/personalities. It led to an open conversation where we could speak about why we resonate with what we heard and open up about how these personalities live in our individual lives. A teammate of mine even mentioned how he found it very meaningful that there wasn’t a rush to get through the slides, and that we were sent the materials so we could think about the topic after the event. It was overall just a great discussion that brought out a lot of necessary vulnerability in my team and the group as a whole. I really appreciate you coming to talk to our company and appreciate you making space for people to feel seen within this invisible syndrome!” – S.B., Pittsburgh
I bit the bullet and finally began working on creating courses in visibility and PR. I will have a course up and running before summer. Stay tuned for much more on this!
Oh… and I turned 51!
I want to know what you did, what you’re planning, and how I can help! Talk to me in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s enlighten and encourage one another!
xoxo - Kel
I joined a journaling challenge for 2023, and although I’m a few days behind (Truthfully? It’s closer to a dozen.), I open the email every morning to see what the topic is.
This hit me hard. "Being triggered is a huge opportunity for growth."
I’ve gone through some relationship changes over the past few years that have affected me both personally and professionally. I’ve had people enter my life who have made such an impact on me that it blows my mind. And my strong and steady crowd who, though very small, I know I can count on 24/7/365.
I think of the fabulous ladies from Sex and the City… and in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”
While I believe that friendships never go out of style, I believe that many friendships are outgrown. They fizzle out. I’d even go as far as to say they die.
Just like we outgrow jobs, situations, and sadly, clothing—we also outgrow people.
By now you’re wondering what being triggered, growth, and relationships have in common… “Where is she going with this post?”
I’m updating a presentation I gave in 2021 called “Building Your Village: Why a Strong Support System is Crucial When Starting and Maintaining Your Business” for the Erie, PA retreat this spring. (More info below) I’m learning, just by asking friends and acquaintances, that maintaining friendships and relationships gets harder the older you get.
I thought that shit ended in middle school.
“She was like, ‘I’m a pusher, Cady’.” *
Friendship is important, especially for women. Admit it, girlfriends fill a void the guys just can’t. I love spending time with my husband and my male best friend, but there’s something recharging about an evening with the ladies. Something that motivates me to do better and be better than I was before the night began. But what happens when you’re ‘triggered’ by a friend or colleague? Sometimes when you’re pushed over the edge it lights a fire under your ass to work harder. But at what cost?
True friends push you, in a good way. They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They ask you ‘why not now?’ when you make up excuses for not taking a chance on yourself or taking that leap with your career. They see your talents and skills and want you to do better, sometimes even better than they are doing. They care about your success and happiness. Pushing can be good.
Twenty Won Female Entrepreneurs
That gentle push paid off for me, and 20 other women. The "why not now" resulted in an Amazon bestselling anthology, Twenty Won, which I created by bringing these women together to tell their stories of business resilience during 2020. I love watching the relationships that have blossomed from this project. I see some of the authors connecting over social media and some are even doing business together. Supporting one another. Being a friend. It's a good feeling!
Have you ever had a friendship or a group of friends that fizzled out? What happens when the table that was so familiar to you doesn’t have room any longer? Or maybe they all got up and found somewhere else to sit. Congressperson Shirley Chisholm said, way back in the 70’s, “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Eh. I’m not one who believes in forcing relationships. And I won’t beg someone to be my friend, my colleague, or my client.
You shouldn’t either. If there isn't room at that table, get your own. No triggers. No fake friends. Your own table. You're worth it!
THIS IS IMPORTANT STUFF
And it’s driven me to share the Building Your Village presentation at the Next-Level You retreat in Erie, PA March 31 – April 1.
Some of what are going to talk about includes
In a safe space. With other women who are ready to level-up with their businesses, careers, and friendships.
Be honest… Do you ever daydream about what the Next-Level You will look like? Who is she? What does she wear? Who does she hang out with?
It’s because you’re ambitious. You have goals. Aspirations. Yeah, big ones. And you’ve been taking baby steps. Your time has come.
Picture this …
You escape to a beautiful bed and breakfast near the lake, just as winter tips over into spring …
You immerse yourself in learning from four fabulous facilitators who pour into you with their expertise AND have an open discussion with you about what you’re learning …
You discover your future self, master your energetic alignment with your dreams, talk and write about the transformation that got you where you are today, and intentionally nurture your new vibe with an up-leveled, high-vibe sisterhood.
On top of all that, some of your meals are provided, and you don’t have to make your bed!
Join me and my “A” team; Cori, Merilee, and Renee and get registered for the Next-Level You retreat today! We are keeping it small, just a dozen ladies will join us. Get all the info here.
“Get in loser, we’re going shopping.” *
xo ~ Kel
*Just two of the crazy-good quotes from 2004's Mean Girls. Totally fetch.
When I started K2 Creative, I wanted to
1. Do things MY way… and
2. Help people.
It sounds corny, but I spent years witnessing people making mistakes in their businesses. I really wanted to help. And I have helped people. Since I added visibility and public relations to my services, I have helped over fifty authors promote their books. They’re all great writers, with great stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading their books and promoting them.
But a few authors have truly stood out.
One of those is Dana Ziemniak. When Cori (Aurora Corialis Publishing) approached me with Dana’s story, and the opportunity to represent her, I was both heartbroken and eager to work with her. I knew her story had to be shared… everywhere. You see, Dana’s son Evan died when he was twelve. He was dared by a bully to “play” the “choking game” or “blackout challenge.” And it cost him his life.
Dana’s book, Blue is the Color of Heaven – The Story of a Boy’s Love, Strength & Beyond, is not only her way of memorializing Evan, but it’s her way of taking a stand. Dana discusses her experience getting Evan an adequate diagnosis for his invisible disabilities. Despite her medical training as a pharmacist, she felt hopeless on her journey – even after turning to his school for support. Eventually, Evan was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and high-functioning autism.
But it wasn't enough.
Dana’s mission now is to raise awareness about these dangerous “games” and challenges and to save families across the nation from suffering as her family has.
And she's done just that.
Cori and I brainstorm and collaborate on every client we work on together - and even the ones we don't. She mentioned something interesting one day - instead of emailing outlets, connect with producers of local and national shows through social media and pitch them there. Hmm, not a bad idea.
A few days later, I was sitting in a nail salon and Dr. Phil was on one of the televisions. It was muted, so I couldn’t hear what was being said, but from what was on the screen I could see it was about internet bullying.
I saw it as a sign, went home and immediately started searching LinkedIn for Dr. Phil producers. I found one and sent her a private message with information about Dana’s book and Evan’s story. I ate dinner with my husband and took a walk with my sister, nothing out of the ordinary.
When I got back home, I had this message from the producer: Hi Kelli! Please give me a call at (xxx) when you have a moment.
I called her, and what she said completely blew my mind.
When she received that LinkedIn message from me, she was on the phone with a senior producer, who was telling her that they had a family back out of an upcoming filming for an episode about social media and internet bullying. The producer called to tell her they needed another family to participate. At that moment, she received an email alerting her to my LinkedIn message, to an email address she rarely uses, if ever. She isn’t certain why she even had that email open. Her next words to the producer were, “I might have a family. I just got a message from a publicist in Pittsburgh,” and read my message to her. She said they both got choked up and had goosebumps.
Me? I went a little further and started crying.
Things moved so quickly from that minute forward. I gathered information and told her I needed to contact Dana. Cori and I three-way called Dana, and thinking back, it makes me laugh; when Dana answered the phone, she told us she was in the process of medicating her cat – and started explaining what an ordeal that was at times, like her publicist and publisher calling her to chat was part of an ordinary evening. She had no idea what we were about to tell her and how this would impact everything she’s fought for in the last six years. Her husband, Matt, and daughter, Ava, were in the background asking questions and getting excited; Dana, Cori, and I were crying.
Call it what you want – fate, serendipity, chance, coincidence, luck.
I know what Dana calls it – Evan.
Fast forward a few weeks, and the Ziemniaks were on a flight to Los Angeles to film “Shedding Light on ‘The Blackout Challenge’”. They had an incredible experience and were treated so kindly by Dr. Phil’s team. They met another family on the show who lost their son to the same “challenge” just a few months prior to the recording.
And the day is here for the show to air. On Thursday, January 5, 2023, Matt and Dana Ziemniak tell Evan’s story to a national audience, on Dr. Phil. I encourage you to tune in, and find it online or on demand if you're reading this past the original air date.
I am so proud to not only know this family, but to watch Dana’s book land in the hands of families who need to read it. She was contacted by a woman in Ohio, whose 14-year-old son has a 504 plan, like Evan. This mom told Dana she’s sure that Evan will be with her at the next meeting regarding her son and his 504 plan.
We’ve seen an outpouring on social media; people reacting, commenting, and sharing our posts regarding the book, the show, and Dana’s mission. There will be more stories of people – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends – who contact Dana after seeing the show.
Dana is convinced it’s all Evan. It’s always Evan.
And after reading Blue is the Color of Heaven and the circumstances that connected me with Dr. Phil’s people…
I believe it too.
xo - Kel
Kelli Komondor &