[00:00:00] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Hello. Hello, it's time to Shine My Superstars. How are you doing today? Midweek, it's time for a podcast. I am your host, Kellee Wynne, and this is the Made Remarkable Podcast. Are we having fun yet? Is it all worth it? Are you doing anything remarkable with your week, with your life, with your creativity?

I hope so. I hope this podcast is inspiring you to reach to new heights, with your dreams, with your creativity, with your love, with your generosity, and show up as all of you to serve the people who are in front of you who need the beauty that you add into. World. That's what the purpose of Made Remarkable podcast is.

It's all about how we can show up as our complete 100% remarkable selves. Now that you have to become anything, you were made this way, you just have to tap into it. That's what this is all about. That's why I started the brand Made Remarkable. I really have a deep passion about helping people see the beauty of who they are as they are.

When I started to peel off the layers for myself and saw that I didn't have to be less, I didn't have to hide my light, I didn't have to be ashamed of who I was. I could lean in on those gifts. The things that I might have thought were challenges when I was young. I can use my best abilities now. As I've grown a little wiser, and I hope that as we meet with different voices throughout the year, you are gonna be inspired by that as well.

And I've been bringing you some really remarkable guests. Today is no exception. I'm talking to Natalie Frank. Natalie Frank and I met when she was starting the Rising Tide Society. I don't know if you've heard about it. It was. Soon absorbed into Honey Book. She's now working for Honey Book as their chief evangelist.

And what does that mean to her? That just means she's there to support over a hundred thousand. independent business owners just like you. She calls herself a mama bear for small businesses, which I think is quite perfect for her. She's also an author and her second book is coming out, which is one of the reasons she came on this podcast.

It's called Gutsy. I think you'll appreciate her point of view, and you'll probably very much relate to the book that she wrote. But I wanted to start first before we talk to her. Tell you a few statistics she has on her website that you might find interesting. Apparently, the future of work is all about independent ownership of our businesses.

Small business formation has been accelerating Year after year, 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021. more than 20% higher than in any previous year on record. That's mind blowing if you think about it. That's in the United States. So we think globally that number must be astronomical as we all shift the way we look at how we do things.

Here's another interesting fact. 46% of millennials freelanced last year and apparently 43% of Gen Z who are in the workforce. I don't know why they're not talking about us, gen X, but we are here. We are always the forgotten ones, but throw us into the loop and we're probably right on top of that.

I just think that there's a big shift in the way we see doing business, a historic number of people are going independent and starting businesses. However, as Natalie has pointed out, they're discovering that they're trading. their 9-5 for hustling 24 7, and that's because our system is not exactly billed equally, and there are a whole lot of glaring gaps in the infrastructure, resources and support that makes it harder to thrive.

When you are building your own business, but I wanna let you know there are solutions for this and we are coming up every day with new ways to connect with you, support you, whether it's me or Natalie, or any of the other amazing, remarkable creative business owners that we've had here on the podcast. You're hearing points of view from people that can. Support you and help you thrive. And so I hope that you lean into it. Take advantage of the resources that are there for you, whether they're free resources, YouTube videos, Instagram tidbits and nuggets along the way to help you, or courses or coaching mentor programs.

One thing I wanna offer you right now is remind you that I have a PDF that's really helpful, a guide, it's called 100 Ways to Make Money as an Artist. without selling your art. I really believe that there are so many different ways we can build a creative business, and so I put together this guide. I put it together a year ago, and it's been popular, thousands of people have downloaded it already, and one thing they tell me is they like to go through it and highlight.

The ones that speak to them, and then they see the similarities. And I think that the wheels start turning in your head when you realize there are so many options to take this gift of creativity you have and spread it around in. , really creative, interesting, different ways of building your business. Yes, I'm a course creator.

I also love memberships and summits and coaching and workshops and retreats, but there are still a hundred other ways to do it. Maybe a thousand if you just get creative and I'm gonna help you work through this in upcoming podcast episodes where we really dive into one of my systems called Creative Core Mapping.

This would probably be the first layer, so just go to made remarkable.com/ 1 0 0 that's made remarkable.com 100, and you'll be able to download this PDF and start getting your juices flowing as to how you're going to transform your business and make it more profitable than ever before. 2023. All right, now let's just go ahead and chat with Natalie.

You're gonna love this conversation. She's amazing. And don't forget, she's got her new book coming out this summer, gutsy. So pre-order it today. All right, here's Natalie Frank.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am because I have known you for a really long time, but we've been so busy, we haven't had a chance to connect. Look at you, look at all the things you're doing every time I see you online.

The next book that's coming out, I'm like, oh man, I gotta talk to her. She has such great advice, and also you just got the energy that everybody needs to succeed. So welcome to the podcast, Natalie.

[00:07:09] Natalie Franke: Thank you so much for having me, and the feeling is very mutual. I have loved getting to follow your journey over the last couple of years and just seeing how many people you impact and how you've evolved and it's inspiring and just amazing.

So I am honored, honored, honored to be here and just really grateful to have met you so early in my own career. We've been doing business in parallel for so long. It's a gift. It really is.

[00:07:33] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It is so exciting too. . It meant so much to me in those early years to find other, well, I would say other people because it wasn't just women.

We were women and men who were rising together with the Rising Tide Society, which you started, and it just took off like wildfire. It was amazing. But those few early years for me were so formative because I was able to connect with other people doing what I do now. We all had different industries.

Running our own business. What kinda wild, crazy idea is that to run your own business and yet be so determined to make it happen.

[00:08:15] Natalie Franke: I know, I know. And what's interesting too is even from that moment, so if we rewind, maybe let's say a decade ago, but it wasn't quite a decade, but not far from it. About eight years ago we started rising tides.

About a decade from that point to where we are today. What's really interesting too is just how much has changed, like how much the business world has changed. I saw a stat because I'm a nerd, I've been digging into some of the, the recent research that nearly half of all millennials. had a side hustle or freelance last year, nearly half.

And I remember very vividly when I was starting my creative business a decade ago, people thought I was outta my mind. Like people couldn't believe that, I would take such a risk that I was doing this thing. It was so off the beaten path. It was so like in this fringe world being, being a small business owner, an entrepreneur in the eyes of so many folks that I grew up with, that I knew even within my own family, mom's a nurse practitioner, my dad's a nuclear engineer. Grandfather was literally a rocket scientist. Mm-hmm. , they're like these very traditional jobs. And the idea of job security being of the utmost importance. And here I was, going, I'm gonna be a photographer, that's what I'm gonna do.

And now though, it's amazing to see how the way we work is shifting. How the future of work is looking more and more independent. It's an exciting time to be around, but I'm also very grateful. That this rising generation has women like you in it and so many others who have done this now for decade plus have built the business, are educating, are empowering because it is, it's raising the tide, it's doing the very thing that you and I talked about all those years ago and sharing our values of saying, look, we don't have to be competition.

we can all support each other, right? We can, encourage and fight for one another and make this a bigger possibility for more people. Make it more accessible to become an artist, to become a creative, to be prosperous and profitable. In doing so, we can work towards that together. And here we are a decade later with a lot of work still to do.

And that's why you and I do what we do every day, right? And yet the progress made. It's, it's worth celebrating as we kick off this conversation because, it's context that matters. It really is.

[00:10:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love that you're a stats nerd, because I always follow that when you're like putting these stats out.

I'm like, save this post. This is proof in the pudding. But I think even Z Generation or Zoomers, whatever we wanna call 'em, are like, do I ever have to work a normal job? Correct. My kids say that to me now. My kids are old enough now that they're entering the workforce and they're like, it just doesn't make sense to work for other people and help them build their business.

And it's like such a huge shift in how we see the world. And I know that our lockdowns with Covid and everything accelerated that, but I am so excited for it because yeah, capitalism on this level, on the entrepreneurial level, on the individual level is magnificent. It's magnificent.

And then look at what you started. What I love. Rising Tide. The message from the very beginning was, we can all do this together. There's enough for all of us and we're gonna help each other get there. And that's why going in person to the rising tide meetings was so important because it was never a competition.

It was like, how can I help you? How can I help you? And then I continue to have these relationships with people that I met at that time that support like a really healthy mindset around it. It's abundant. When you finally realize that wealth, abundance success in business is not pie , there's enough for all of us.

Then it's like, oh, we can all do this. Look at us, thrive together.

[00:11:52] Natalie Franke: I love that I always say pizza, so I'm laughing because it's so funny, we use very similar concepts. I always say like, success isn't a pizza where the slices are 12 slices on the table, and once somebody else takes a slice, there's less for you.

No success is a pizza oven. Yeah, like success, the pizza oven, that's pumping out an infinite number of pizzas of all different kinds. You've got vegetable, you've got meat lovers, there's enough for all of us. But also the thing that makes pizza so great is that you can truly make it your own.

And the uniqueness of each pie, right? Like rights is the uniqueness of each creator, creative. Business owner idea. I look even at downtown Annapolis, how many coffee shops we have in walking distance, because I live in Eastport, right. This morning I walked over the little Eastport bridge, came down and grabbed coffee at Rise Up.

Which is a, an independently owned, although they have a couple different, locations around Maryland. Independently owned coffee shop.

[00:12:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I know. And to interrupt. I watched you do your research properly. Oh God. Testing them all out in the fall and I was like, oh, this is so awesome. Where is the best

[00:12:56] Natalie Franke: By the way? I'm gonna make that a thing. I am determined to create like a guide that anyone can use for their hometown I'm a big sucker, by the way, for folks who don't know what we're talking about. I'm a big sucker for fall lattes. I love a good fall latte. I won't get into like my feelings around pumpkin spice and how it's been villainized because when women take pleasure in something, it's villainized.

I won't go there. Okay. But what I will say is that I love fall lattes and I love supporting independent business. We share that value of wanting to support small business and independence. And, anyway, last fall, I made a mission to try as many fall lattes. At as many independent coffee shops in my hometown and around the Maryland area as I could, anytime I was anywhere, I would research like, where are the independent shops and what are their lattes and what should I try?

And I started sharing it on social media and ranking them and the rankings. The funny part is like those rankings really weren't the point of what mattered. It was the fact that that was like this vehicle, this catalyst for conversation that other people were having were like, wait, I don't just need to go to the big, coffee shop with the mermaid on the.

No, no hate there. They do offer fertility benefits for their employees, which is, they're one of the only ones in the country. So I have a lot of love for that Mermaid brand, but what I am saying is the fact that it sparked a conversation and so, right. Yes. Like I, there's more than enough room.

You can have 15 coffee shops and. All of them offering different things, whether that's the community, the ambiance, the actual brews of coffee, the way you feel when you walk through it. It's different in every single space. And yet they're always packed and yet they keep popping up. And I think it's like a good reminder to all of us that, once one coffee shop pops up, it doesn't mean there can't be more.

And it doesn't mean that actually when that one coffee shop is crowded, it's proof, it's market validation, right? That more can rise up

[00:14:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I agree, but why do we feel this? I have. Clients that come to me and they're like, well, I wanna make an art course, but hasn't it already been done?

I'm like, yeah, a lot of times isn't that great? Because then we know that people want art courses. But do you ever hear someone say, well, I wanna be a doctor, but hasn't it already been done? You know? Yeah. You need more and there's always a need for it. How many number one movies can there be? Actually it's unlimited.

How many can do great in the box office? It's just if you've driven the demand and you've created something amazing. People want it. Yes. Right. Absolutely. And even like you think about how many. Trainers there are for diet and physical fitness. It's still a massive industry, but people want it and need it.

So when we limit ourselves to say, it's already been done so I can't do it, then you're like really cutting yourself out of possibility.

[00:15:31] Natalie Franke: I always say it hasn't been done by you. That's it. And I think that's the gold and I'll give a little bit of a vulnerable example. So, I've always been, a mid-size girl, always have, I mean size, 10, 12, 14 throughout my life, whether I'm, yeah, given birth or like right now I'm on a downswing and a health journey, but, That's my reality is I'm like, I always say I'm like Marilyn Monroe.

The woman would own everything in two to three sizes, literally between a 12 and an eight. That was her. So I'm always somewhere 14 to eight. You never know where I'm gonna fall. And I love my body at all sizes, but I really struggled with seeing. Other people that looked like me wearing clothes and styling outfits and feeling confident in their own skin on platforms like Instagram, for example, where I felt like everything was very cookie cutter for a very long time.

And I just, I, I never saw a content creator where I would look and go, whoa, she has my body type, she's got the lower belly pooch and she's got the hips. And I never felt like I saw anybody like that. And then one day when the pandemic was really kicking my booty. I joined TikTok and I finally bit the bullet.

I jumped on TikTok, and all of a sudden I started to uncover this entire world of mid-size content creation that I had never found before. It probably did exist on Instagram, but it just never crossed my path. I had never seen it, and all of a sudden I start to uncover these creators that do. Look more like me.

They do wear the same size as I do. They're styling themselves in a way that I can look at and go, whoa, I love how that looks on her. And it would look similar on me. Where, we share some similar attributes and to tell you that I can imagine how many of those creators would say something along the lines of either one, oh, it's already been done a million times.

What's the point? right to becoming a creator and sharing what I look like in outfits and sharing what I'm doing, or even to say I don't fit the mold. I'm not enough. That's all. And that's, isn't that a big one though, that I know I've struggled with too, where you look at what other people are doing.

Yes. Even as an artist now, with all the experience you have and all the things you've done, or as an educator, somebody's doing it better. Somebody's fitting the world's definition of success a little bit better than I am. Or because again, I like putting that part out there, that's important. Like when I say that, I'm saying the world has its definitions and we're fighting oftentimes against those definitions for sure. But nonetheless, am I enough? , right?

[00:17:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And every time you take that next move, that imposter syndrome comes up. And I'm like, well, I don't look like all these other great business coaches and teachers and I'm middle aged and definitely I'm in that mid-size range, kind of pushing it.

Thank you for the last couple of years. Then you do have to stop and say like, I am drawn to someone who looks like me. Correct. And that means that if I don't put my voice out there, if I don't show up as who I am right now, then someone else is missing out on that opportunity to connect with who I am and they may relate better to my story.

Seeing that someone who raised her kids was an artist, was struggling, figured out how to make a business work, run online courses, and now coaching, I want other people to see that it is, available for all of us. Yeah, and I love that you found that. I think. I'm a little scared to go on TikTok cuz I'm afraid that it's the hole I will never come out of.

But it is rewarding when you see a bigger picture of what life really is. It's not all just like, I'm not even gonna name names, but those proper business gurus that you're like, right, this is us now in our authentic self, and that's what makes it a difference. That's why I named my business, made remarkable because we don't have to become anything.

We already are. We just need to unveil all of it and be whole who we are. .

[00:19:14] Natalie Franke: I love that so much. Yeah. And I love the word remarkable. I think there's so much power in that word and just embracing that you are remarkable. Going back to what we were talking about, right at the kickoff here about, saturated markets and, imposter syndrome and how can I do this?

And it's never been, by you and leaning into that. I also think something that's really helped me on my own journey, and maybe it will benefit somebody else out there, listening to this, is recognizing that when you make the decision not to show up because of any of the reasons that we've talked about, you're not just, holding yourself back from a career or success perspective.

You're robbing the world. Of the impact that only you can make. Mm-hmm. , you are literally robbing somebody else of the opportunity to be transformed by what you do. And it's not just about you. And for some reason, for me, I have no problem denying myself. I really don't actually, this is an issue I'm working on a lot of unlearning being done here, but, I am the hardest boss I will ever have.

I'm the meanest boss I will ever have. Right. Uh, Barbara Corcoran posted on her Instagram. She said, the work you do isn't what distinguishes, like, you know how much you enjoy it. It's who you're working. Like the toxic kind of boss mentality. And my immediate thought was, woo, small business owners independence.

Like we get to be nicer to ourselves. Yeah. And I say all that to say when we, are thinking about, oh, I can't show up because I'm worried about, what other people are gonna think. Or, I'm concerned about the fact that it's already been done or whatever it is. And I'm willing to doubt myself and I'm willing to push myself back into the shadows, and I'm willing to do all those things the minute.

For me that I flipped that mentality and I said, you know what? It's not even about me when I choose not to show up out of fear.. When I choose to hold back and to make myself smaller and to not take up space and to not bet on me, and to not believe that I am capable when I do all of those things, yeah, I'm harming myself.

There's no doubt there. I'm holding myself back. There's no doubt there. But what I'm also doing is I am robbing this world of the opportunity to know the impact that only I can make. And if you're listening to this, it is the exact same. Yeah. When you choose not to show up, you are robbing the world. of how remarkable you are inherently right now.

Inherently today, inherently correct.

[00:21:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's the part that when I really stumbled upon that exact, I don't know what it was, it was almost an outta body experience, but it was like, oh, I get it. You see predatory types of businesses out there. You have all of these big, Launches and whatnot, and you're like, is it even morally right?

Am I even worthy of doing it? Do I even know enough? And then it was that exact thing that I just had to embody and think. How many stories have I heard of people who came to me and said, taking in our course saved their life. Hmm. , how many times have I heard someone say that? I had someone literally come and write to me and said that she had a traumatic brain injury. and that finding my course at the time she did, helped her heal and relearn art again. And it's like, so had I said I'm not good enough, I don't know enough yet what would've happened, and it was somehow in the way I communicated that art to her. that it connected and each person who has that gift, whether it's photography, in your case it was wedding portraiture, like how many people needed your eye to make their day feel special.

Those moments, people walk away connected forever. So when we get stuck in the lack mindset. We're forgetting that the abundance is much greater than just what it is for you and yours. It is for what is for everybody. That message is a radical shift I think that we are starting to see come out more in the last couple of years, which makes entrepreneurship.

More wholesome. It's a huge shift in mindset. I feel a better synergy amongst the people, like when we're connecting like this, it warms my heart, needless to say. What I want to talk about is, . you're like the biggest champion of small business and I love that.

You have been from the very beginning, your work with Rising Tide Society, you ended up connecting with Honey Book and you work with them. Tell us a little bit about that and then your journey because you're not doing photography anymore, correct? No, I'm not. Cause now you're the champion of the small. business, but let's talk about transitioning with Honey Book and that journey and also your published books in the new one that's coming out. .

[00:23:57] Natalie Franke: Absolutely. a lot of the mindset stuff that we're talking about was something that I had to learn the hard way, and that's ultimately what led me to co-founding Rising Tide and Rising Tide. It is the community of independent business owners that gather and share a mindset of community over competition. We started that back in 2015 and then within a couple of months realized that. We wanted to continue supporting and growing the community. And so a little context that's pretty important is that, meetups were free, completely free to attend.

You didn't have to pay anything. And that was like a novel concept at the time because a lot of events were paid masterminds or conferences or things like that. And so it was this very grassroots, movement to make community more accessible for business. And so HoneyBook came into the picture as a partner and then ultimately through acquisition, of Rising Tide to really support and nurture the community so that we could keep growing it, and I could transition into running it because again, Co-founded it as a photographer that was lonely and now it's taking off and suddenly my little side hustle is becoming a very intensive, full-time global plus show

[00:25:07] Kellee Wynne Conrad: global phenomenon, let's just say a global phenomenon.

[00:25:11] Natalie Franke: At our peak, I think we had over 450 groups around the world that we're meeting every month. And so, yes, like it just, it grew and it really served, especially in those early days, such a need that so many of us had. Mm-hmm. for community, for finding people that would support us in our journey.

And so Honey Book acquired Rising Tide and that brought me into the tech world and into an entirely different space. I went from being the independent business owner to then seeing, what other companies HoneyBook, and then, other brands like HoneyBook were doing. To support this shift in how people are working this future of work that we've talked about this, larger change that was happening and it was almost like I got to see two sides of the coin.

I, for the past seven and a half years now, have been at Honey Book. My role, now I'm chief evangelist, which is just a fancy way of saying that I'm an advocate and a champion for our community. I have one foot in the independent business world. I am watching what's happening. I am paying attention to the needs of the community on multiple different levels.

And then I've got one foot inside of Honey Book inside of the company and informing them about like, Hey, this is what the community needs. Here's what the future's gonna look like for us. Here are the challenges with the platform. Here's what I'm hearing. To be a bridge, but ultimately help us to, support and advocate.

And so it was a really interesting shift for me again, going. Running a business, being a business owner, and I still run businesses and I still am a business owner. That hasn't changed. I still do that on the side, but taking a step into like this entirely new world of tech where when there's a problem, we can actually fix it with technology.

It was like a novel concept to me that, we can create something that's never existed before and meet needs that have never really been met before, that have just been accepted pain points, a status quo that we've just embraced as a business owner and said. That's how it's always been, right? I guess that's how it'll always have to be.

And the past seven and a half years have taught me, no, actually it doesn't have to be that way. What if, we could imagine something different. And so that's been the journey. And amidst that time, like within. , the spectrum of those seven and a half years. A lot of personal things have happened too.

I went through brain surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Six months after that, I got cleared to start fertility treatment. I, since then have gone through I V F, I've had two little babies, , I have two toddlers at home. I moved across the country to San Francisco, then moved back to Maryland.

When I found out I was pregnant with that miracle baby, I never thought I would get to have, uh, Two books. , one built a Belong that came out two years ago on the same date that your book came out? Yes. We were like twins launching our little, book, babies into the World.

[00:27:48] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Our book Babies. Yes.

[00:27:50] Natalie Franke: And then another one that is coming out in August called Gutsy.

That's all about learning to live with bold, brave, and boundless courage. And it talks a lot about, my learnings and how to live a brave life. And so a lot has unfolded in those seven and a half years and. . I'm really grateful for it. I'm really grateful that it's positioned me to continue to do the work I love every day, which is advocate for business owners.

[00:28:14] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. And working with Honey Book. Their primary customer is the small business, the entrepreneur, the solopreneur, so that they can run their business better. I love that you're still seeing both sides of the story. The one thing that we need as we run our businesses besides making it profitable, is to do it with a little more ease.

Because it isn't easy. Yes, it isn't easy to do. Most of us do it alone or with a very small support staff. And so figuring out how to do this without having to work 80 hours a week because we ditched the nine to five to only end up from wake up till sleep. It's all day, every day. So if there's a way that we can transition into doing it better and with more ease, then that makes sense.

But tell me a little bit like, built to Belong makes sense because of rising Tide and your definite message of community and support. But tell me more about gutsy. Like this is it, this is what we really need. We all are craving this. So you are on the pulse obviously of where we're at. Tell me more about it, and I can't wait to read it.

I am definitely gonna be, hopefully by the time even when this podcast comes out, I'm gonna at least have dipped my toe into this because it's what we need. We need that to nurture ourselves right now to like really pull ourselves out of the shell of the last 2, 2, 3 years. Oh my goodness. It's been three years since our big shutdown life.

[00:29:44] Natalie Franke: I know, I know. Gutsy as a concept. Came from something quite simple. Actually right prior to the pandemic in the end of 2019, beginning of 2020, my husband and I, we sold our house. We. Packed up at the time, my son, who was 10 months old into the back of a Suburban, and we started driving across the country and just meeting with business owners in our community.

We hugged, I think at that point, maybe 1200 people from January 1st through March 5th when we ended up hearing about this thing called Covid and having to fly back to Maryland. But in that, two month, two and a half month time span, we hugged over a thousand business owners talked to them, listened to their pains, just really immersed ourselves in what they were thinking, what they were feeling, and.

I realized something in all of those conversations, and that was the fact that one of the things that holds all of us back is this fear of what other people think of us. This fear of being judged, this fear of. What are people gonna think if I do the thing? What are people gonna think? If I market myself too loudly, what are people gonna think if I launch the new course?

Or if I pivot in my career? Or if I go full-time into being an artist, what are people gonna think? And I just kept hearing over and over again these little, and they're, again, the way we talk about it varies. Even the way we describe our fears varies. So you'll hear people say something like, oh gosh, I could never.

Get on camera and do Instagram reels. I could never get on TikTok and point and dance and it's funny cuz you hear that and you're like, yeah, it's not for everybody. But then if you were to ask why, and you keep asking why, you can get all the way down to the point where it's like,

I don't want to look awkward and stupid, and people are gonna judge me and they're gonna think less of me, or they're gonna, you know, it keeps boiling down to this idea of how other people view me is determining how I live my life to such a degree that I'm no longer living it. And I was hearing it over and over in coded language and in different ways.

From so many different business owners that I realized, when we think about what holds us back, or we think about why we haven't achieved a goal at the end of our life, we often associate it with failure. We'll think, well, somebody failed, right? But I realized people weren't even trying in the first place.

That it wasn't failure that was keeping them from living the life that they wanted to live. It was these fears that kept them from even getting started, from even doing the thing that they had placed on their heart that they felt called to do, that they were remarkably made and created to go out and do.

And so gutsy is a book about acknowledging that the way your brain is wired, the way that you are completely created right now as you're listening or watching this, it is such that you will always care about what other people think. you will. We're social creatures and the way people view us, it does matter.

That's how I kick off the book. The book is like, if anyone's ever told you to stop caring about what other people think, well it sounds great in theory, but that's not actually how your brain works. Let's talk about it and then let's talk about how we're gonna live with this bold courage anyway, how we're gonna move forward anyway.

And so Gutsy is a book that acknowledges it's a feature, not a bug, we're not broken because we care. That is how we're wired. So we have a choice, right where we can live our life so afraid of letting other people down, that we let ourselves down in the process, or we can live our life set up to make ourselves proud in the pursuit of how we move forward.

And. I'm so excited about this book because I do feel like, build to Belong was the book that many people expected me to write based on the work that I was doing. Gutsy is the book that I needed to write, not just for myself, because I need those words and I've needed those words. I'm 32. I've needed those words my entire life.

It's like what I've learned in the past three decades that I've been on this planet, but I wrote them for my two kids. Like I wrote Gutsy for Huey and Harlow. I wrote gutsy because I want my children to know who I want my children to know that they were created to do extraordinary things. and that they need to go out and do those things.

And that is going to be hard and it is going to require them to be brave and it is going to require them to move forward with the knowledge that some people are gonna judge them and criticize them and not understand how they think differently maybe, or, or why they show up differently. Neuro divergent, and I say this a lot, I can be really awkward when we interact.

I don't make eye contact all the time. I have a D h D, I'm quirky and shy, and sometimes I am outgoing, and then the next day I'm a wallflower. I, I don't know how I'm gonna feel any given day, but I do know that if I stop showing up because I'm afraid that people will think I'm not enough afraid that people will judge me, then I never would've done a single thing that I've gone on to do.

And I, I look at all the lives that have been impacted by the ripple effects. Of a single decision in my own life. And I can only imagine for my kids, I don't want them to spend their entire lives trying to play it safe or play by a rule book that they think society is written for them. I, I want them to go out and use their unique gifts and talents in exactly the way that they can to change the world.

And I think, for each of us, , it's learning, that whether we are, children or in our twenties or in our eighties, , like it's never too late to stop worrying about what other people think and to start caring immensely about your own opinion of yourself. Right? And stepping forward with that bold, brave, and boundless courage.

[00:35:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it so much, and, trying not to even get emotional through that, because that's really intense. Because I don't know, I'm sure everyone who's listening right now feels that so much how many times have I held myself back? How many times have I been like, you said my worst critic. Like, for me, I'm like too loud, too bossy, .

I interrupt all the time. I'm opinionated. But when I finally stopped and realized that, that's what gave me the superpowers, if you will, to do what I'm doing. Got it right. That's what gives me this vision and clarity to be able to help and serve other people. Got it. And it's not bad or wrong, the people who appreciate that show up and connect with.

I'm not gonna be for everyone. And I know you've probably heard this a million times, but it's one of my favorite quotes. You could be the most beautiful juiciest peach in the world, and some people just don't like peaches. Got it. So really, yeah. We're always gonna care what other people think and say, because we are wired that way.

But sometimes like you said, you have to be gutsy and move past it anyway. Mm-hmm. . for sure. What an amazing message is super exciting. What advice can you give somebody who's just starting out now, like ways that they can step out, making that path for themselves in business as a solopreneur, what would you say? Like where do we start? .

[00:36:46] Natalie Franke: Oof. So I think the first thing that I would say is you've gotta reframe your relationship with failure right off the bat. And I mentioned failure a lot throughout my book, but for a very tactical kind of example, for the sake of someone listening, what I would say is, stop thinking of failure as an ending and start embracing it as an inevitable part of success.

Mm. Right. You will. It fails so many times in the course of your career. And in your life, I mean, gosh, as a parent, I called my mom yesterday and I was like, I. I'm failing. I'm failing at this and I'm failing at that. And my mom's like, welcome to parenthood. You know, that's how this works.

You fail your way forward. And so I say that to say, you've gotta embrace the fact that you're gonna fail. And the moment you start to reframe that relationship with failure and you embrace it, you get excited about it. Because on the other side of failure is a learning, not an ending.

And you keep leaning into that mental. you will succeed. Because again, it's just remaining curious and remaining able to adapt and grow and innovate and change. And so that's the first thing. Really reframe your concept of failure.

[00:37:52] Kellee Wynne Conrad: My very best lessons have come from how many times I have failed. Yep. More so than my successes. Yep. But once you get used to it, it's not so painful. , you realize you can bounce back. Yes. So I love that failure first and foremost, just set out to fail. set out to fail. Bounce right back. Yes.

[00:38:14] Natalie Franke: That's a great segue. When you actually embrace the fact that you're gonna fail, what you do in, in reframing that relationship is you start to allow yourself to play. And play serves such a powerful, powerful function for us as human beings.

It's not, something that we should leave behind. In childhood, when we play, we actually change our brain chemistry. We are able to open up our mind to multiple possibilities. We're able to, improvise and dream beyond kind of the limitations that we've placed upon ourselves. If you think about how kids play, for example, Think of any animal.

Think of the lion cub, right? When a lion cub is playing with another lion. , they're taking turns, pouncing on each other. They're taking turns. One's a leader, one's a follower, one's winning, one's losing. They're experimenting with their skillsets and they're carving out an understanding of who they are.

As adults, we've reached a point where we feel like we've been pigeonholed into who we're supposed to be. At this point. We think, well, this is who I am. These are the labels I've placed upon myself, or these are the labels other people have placed upon me. Mm-hmm. and how they view me.

Play is the moment you shatter all of that because once you move into a playful mindset, you can try to be somebody else. You can't think about what actors do. If someone who goes to into improv class think of what someone who you know, that's what creatives do every single day we imagine something that doesn't exist.

We push the bounce, so play allows our brain to reduce the stress hormones, it reduce things. Cortisol levels, and adrenaline and actually increase things like endocannabinoids, endo, opioids, like those innate, opioids and cannabinoids that allow us to open our mind and make us more, able to be plastic in our brain, which is enabling our brain to change all of that to say.

When you're starting a business, you have to incorporate play. You have to find places where you can reduce pressure, reduce that feeling of it's make or break. And if I don't make it, the world is over. You gotta get rid of that mentality as often as you can and instead cultivate spaces where you can fail and it's okay.

Right. Cuz there will be parts of a business. You know, failing has a bigger consequence here than, than it does over here, right? And so if you can cultivate that playful mindset of being willing to make those mistakes in safe spaces, to have personal projects and personal work to do things that light your soul on fire, that bring you joy, it is going to benefit you.

Over and over and over again and again, help you combat those kind of learned behaviors around failure. The third and final thing I'll say here is you're getting started in terms of advice. You know you're gonna reframe how you think about failure. You're gonna incorporate play every opportunity that you get, and you're gonna evaluate the voices that you allow into your life.

Yeah. Okay. This is a big one. I've worked in community spaces now for almost a decade, and I can tell you one of the biggest catalysts. For, for success is who you surround yourself with truly. Yeah. Actually I'll go as far as to say, I am willing to bet that I could figure out, whew, this is, this is a hot take.

Do it. I'm willing to bet all in that I could figure out whether a business owner is going to succeed or fail by the 10 people that they allow to speak into their life and their business. Mm-hmm. by what those people are telling. by how those people are either building them up or tearing them down.

Mm-hmm. those voices that surround them, that determines so much because the voices that we hear around us often become the voices we absorb and then use within us. If we are hearing things like, you're never gonna make anything of yourself, you're not capable, who do you think you are? Why could you possibly believe that this is gonna be success?

I even saying those sentences is so deeply painful. I, I, I, I recoil a little bit. Yeah. And yet I know that a lot of us have heard that from people in our circles at one point or another, versus the complete reverse of that. I am so proud of you for never giving up. I can't wait to see you publish that book you've talked about.

I know you're gonna do it. I'm, I know you're gonna do it. I'm so glad you're taking the leap and trying out creating your first course, because I've loved watching you create art, and honestly, I've never been able to admit it, but I would love to know how you do what you do, right? Those two extremes on either end of the spectrum.

Will steer your path forward, whether you realize it or not, we listen to the voices that surround us. We base our own opinions on the opinions that are around. . I, I share so much neuroscience and psychology on this inside of gutsy, and I did so much research going in and some of it came from like political studies that have been done where, basically you think your political opinion is your own.

It's not, it's an amalgamation of the political opinions that surround you, and or have influenced you at one state or another in life, either to bring you closer and draw you in or repel you further in a way. But none. Like you, you move based on where other people are surrounding you and the voices you're hearing and what you're consuming.

So I say all of that to say audit. Audit, the content you're consuming, audit the voices in your circle. Audit you know what you're allowing into your life as you're becoming a business owner, as you're becoming a a parent, as you're becoming a grandparent, as you're becoming whatever it is, whatever season you're entering because, What surrounds you, it infiltrates and you have to be willing to care enough about yourself to carve out a support system and a content ecosystem, and an educational ecosystem as well that is conducive of the life you wanna.

and that means finding people that will root for you, that will empower you, that will cheer for you. That means filling your feed with content that fuels you instead of tears you down. That means being open to new voices and new ideas and trying to, to find out, how you can grow and improve and welcoming that improvement, into your world.

And so it's not easy to do, but I do think that it's one of the key factors for success.

[00:44:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I agree completely. And to even further that it's finding other people who are doing what you're doing. really helped lift you up a lot. Which that brings us full circle back to rising tide. Yeah, but it's even more than that.

As I've wanted to grow, the people that I surround myself that are like, oh, I just want this little thing. I just wanna like just enough money to pay for the supplies. And I'm like, no, no, no. Let's think bigger, bigger possibility. How many people can we affect? H how big can I grow my business? No, not everyone has a determination to be a millionaire.

Entrepreneur. I personally do. I have nothing against the extra money that comes through me to help support my family, my friends, other small businesses. I'm like, more money make it rain. The more people I can support and help. So I try to find myself surrounded by other people who see the possibility rather than demonizing success or.

Just even the whole entrepreneur journey or the safety and the fear that they feel around that. They're like, why not do a safer job? Why not take a safer bet? Those kinds of things hold you back. So then when you find your group, your people who have similar goals, that energy actually feeds you to do more and be better, and also keep you from feeling so lonely while you're doing it , right?

That's been a really big key to me and that's why I sought out rising Tide from the beginning is I knew I needed to be around people who were ambitious to do what I wanted to do, and now I continue to fuel that by finding those people. And for the most part, I feel very fortunate that my family has given me the kind of support and encouragement.

That I want. Even my father, I remember one day I'm like, my goal is to just make six figures. He goes, why not a million? And I'm like, because that's scary. Then I'll have more responsibilities. He is like, you gotta stop thinking that way, , ] it was like a real good encouragement. I come from an entrepreneurial, a artist father, so he already saw that potential and I just, I love that idea.

But definitely just be prepared to fail. play, curiosity, experimentation, that's when the business becomes fun. Yes. And also you're gonna probably stumble on something magical that you didn't even know existed. Oftentimes true. and then surround yourself by good voices because man, you're right.

We internalize that so much. I love those points are so important. All right. I love to wrap up my podcast interviews with my favorite question to ask, and we can go as big or as little as you want. But what, Natalie is your big audacious dream? Ooh,

[00:47:12] Natalie Franke: My big audacious. is to fundamentally transform the way that the United States serves business owners.

Hmm. And oh, it, it's a scary big dream. ,

[00:47:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: it's a scary big one,

[00:47:27] Natalie Franke: but I'm doing everything in my power to be an agent for change. I just believe so fiercely that the more human beings that have the ability to start business, To have the opportunity to explore their unique potential in that way. The more the world will be changed for the better, the more that local communities will be changed for the better.

And I see entrepreneurship as an engine and vehicle for wealth and wealth generation in really incredible ways. And I know it could do so much good. I see it doing so much good. So. Over the next couple years you will start to see me talk a little bit more on things like parental leave, healthcare, reforming taxes, so it's easier for independence to do their taxes, like these things, right?

Not necessarily partisan, but yes. Political and I don't have the. answers, but I do know that I'm no longer accepting the status quo and remaining silent when things are frustrating. Wow. I want to see a world where all of us with our unique ideas on how to solve these problems can come to the table and start to figure out a new way forward.

Because the system and the infrastructure that we have here in the US is good. It works for some people, but it can be so much better. Right. And it was built for W2 and corporate work. Yeah. You get everything when you go work for your corpor. . It was, yeah, absolutely.

Built for the big corporations and built for you follow a path and a trajectory. or encouraged to, to go and get some sort of job that then covers all of the lifestyle aspects that you need. Everything from retirement to your healthcare to your parental leave is provided, not, by your business or an opportunity you could, you're not even trained in how to.

Save for your own retirement. I never took a course in investing or retirements in high school or college, right? But those are the types of things that you just assume will be done for you through an employer. And I just wanna see some changes. I wanna see some differences made there where.

People have this opportunity to create businesses and be equipped to succeed in those businesses. And I think it, it looks like, a lot of advocating on the public sector side and a lot of innovating on the private sector side and seeing different startups, emerge that are taking on the healthcare challenges that independent face Oh yeah.

That are taking on the retirement challenge. And think of ocho, which was, co-founded by two folks. I really love, Jess and Anchor. , both of them came from Teachable. So we're seeing like people who served the creator economy and education economy at Teachable have now left, and now they are creating ocho, which is a company that's, helping you to create a single member 4 0 1

Like if you're an independent business owner, now you can have a 401k. So there's innovations happening, is what I'm trying to say. Right. And my big audacious goal is I wanna fuel them, I wanna find them, I wanna amplify them for my community so they have access so they know and I want. , one day march down to DC and, and demand more for, for our community and for independence, and ensure that our voices are heard and that the system also takes care of us in the same way that it has been built to take care of W2 workers.

And that's a wild dream, but I'm doing what I can to fight for.

[00:50:27] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh my goodness. Well, even W2 workers aren't always taken care of, and We know that, and I'm gonna see Natalie Frank on the Senate floor talking to Congress one of these days saying, dang it, it's time. We can't let the big corporations get away with not paying taxes.

While we are settled with this.

[00:50:49] Natalie Franke: Right. Don't even get me started on that one. Don't even get me started on that one. I could go for days. For days, but yes, that's the dream. One day, right? One day either I will be there or I will be helping to fuel the future leaders that are, that is my goal. It doesn't have to be me, but it, I'm gonna fight to ensure that those conversations are had because it's just not fair.

It's not fair for the little guy. We got a lot of work to do.

[00:51:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You're our biggest advocate right now, and that just, it's so important. So for everyone who is listening right now, obviously you're gonna go and follow Natalie Frank on Instagram. That's a given, but I'm really excited because I am gonna be, Your very first listener of your own podcast.

It's coming soon. Right. Tell us about your new podcast and then also where to get the book.

[00:51:34] Natalie Franke: It is. Yeah. So I'm launching a podcast in April called The Independent Business Podcast, and it is all about the science of self-made success.

And so we're digging into just such a wide range of conversations and if you run a business of any kind, you're gonna want to check it out. So the Independent Business podcast, and then my book Gutsy, it comes out in August, and you can pre-order it now. It is available for pre-order. So please, please, please pre-order gutsy join me as we launch this book, baby in the, at the end of the summer, which is just wild to think about now as I'm still wearing my winter coat,

But, uh, be a part of the journey and let's truly transform the way that you approach your life. Let's change the way that you're looking forward into your future with bold, brave, and boundless courage. Kelly, thank you so much for having me on the podcast.

[00:52:18] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Thank you. And we will link every single one.

Things in the podcast show notes so you can find Natalie Frank and you can be her new biggest fan and getthe support that you need. Thank you so much, Natalie.

[00:52:32] Natalie Franke: Thank you so much for having me.

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