Lisa interviews Karly on her journey from ‘bogan roots’ to successful entrepreneur. What success means to her might surprise you. We covering the ‘Oprah complex’ and how it can hold you back, her biggest business disaster, the deep sadness and depression she experienced and how she has recovered into the person she is today (which is a totally awesome chick). Lessons in life and business abound. A super inspiring story with actionable small steps for you to take to improve the quality of your life. Find Karly hosting the Karlosophies Podcast and learn how to podcast at Radcaster Podcasting S’cool www.radcasters.com
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Lisa: Hi everyone. I’m pretty excited about my first podcast interview, and it just happens to be with the frickin’ podcasting queen. Set my sights a little high, but luckily enough for me, she’s actually one of my closest friends. Lucky, lucky me. Welcome, Karly Nimmo.
Karly: Thank you, Lisa Corduff.
Lisa: Of Radcasters Podcasting School.
Karly: Learning from the best.
Lisa: Yes. So, today I want to talk to you about a few things. We talk a lot. We found each other when we both started, I don’t even know when we found each other, but we both did B-school, and I found you in that community. I was always a bit intimidated by you.
Karly: I find this totally fucking weird.
Lisa: Yes, it’s true. It’s like, ‘Karly Nimmo has her own voiceover artist business. That must mean she’s the real deal.’ And you have a very cool voice.
Karly: Thank you.
Lisa: Yes. And since I’ve known you, we’ve both kind of gone from not knowing what the hell we were doing, but wanting to do something genuine. Like, you’ve watched a lot of very ugly tears of mine, in this journey over the last eighteen months. And I’ve watched you just, kind of, really try and find your feet again after a pretty big biz disaster.
Lisa: And look at you now, you’re riding high.
Karly: Who would have thought?
Lisa: But you’re a person I really look to, to bring-, you often kick my arse when I need to be kicked. You have a worldliness and groundedness about you, so I, kind of, feel like I struck very lucky in the friend department with you. But today, I wanted to talk to you about success, right? Because it’s this word that, you know, both of us grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Lisa: And I think, you know, both in Melbourne. Different parts of Melbourne, but Melbourne.
Karly: Different parts. Let’s just be honest, I come from Bogan roots.
Lisa: And I am middle class suburbia all the way. So, we both were in that, like, certainly finishing high school, you can do, and be, whatever you want. You know, there were no restrictions. I didn’t understand a glass ceiling, I had not concept of it, really. I was school captain, you know, it was all happening. You know, uni was there, we both got jobs. It was like, ‘Success is yours for the taking.’ But, then shit didn’t happen, in some cases, and life isn’t all roses, and you don’t always get the jobs you want to get, and the businesses that you start don’t always take off. And life gets real. And I think when you have kids, you realise that you can’t have it all. Like, you can’t do it all, I think, is more the thing that I’ve learnt. And it’s confronting, I reckon, to have been someone who went through life, just going, ‘Yeah, it’s all gonna happen,’ and then sometimes it doesn’t. And then you have kids, and then, ‘Woah,’ you know. That’s full-on.
Lisa: So, what I wanted to talk to you about was, I would love you to tell your story. A little bit about where you’ve come from, the old OC, which everyone will hear about, and how you’ve, kind of, moved through that journey. Because I think there’s so much value for other people in hearing that, and hearing how you see it now.
Karly: Yes, okay. I mean I kind of have always been an over-achiever, but I was never like, super uber-cool, or school captain, or anything like that.
Lisa: So you weren’t as cool as me? That’s okay. It’s alright, we can still be friends.
Karly: But then, if I went to my school, and was that person, like, I think it’s survival of the fittest sometimes. You know, and for me, like, being school captain. I don’t think we even had a school captain, that’s how pov my school was.
Karly: We didn’t, actually. And even if we did, no-one would go for it, because if you did, you would be just a total loser. You know, I mean, my school was the kind of school where they had smoke detectors in the toilets, and there were teachers smoking. Anyway, like, it was just not a fantastic school, to say the least. And then I went to uni, and didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life, and I ended up doing arts. Because, you know, ‘Hello,’ what else do you do, when you don’t know what you’re going to do?
Karly: I loved photography, and I always had loved sound, but nobody ever told me I could do anything with sound, you know, in uni. Throughout my childhood, I was just, like, double tape deck girl, recording my voice, pretending to make up songs.
Karly: Oh yes. Like, I was either recording myself singing, which I don’t do any more. Or I was just recording myself pretending to do the news, or, like, having my brothers come in, and I would interview them and stuff on this double tape deck.
Lisa: Get out of town!
Karly: I know. And you know, the weird thing is that, you know, if I fast-forwarded to 2009 when I had, like, an emotional kind of breakdown, really deep depression, anxiety. And that was really when I started seeking my purpose, because before that, my life had just been, I don’t know, kind of career-focused. I don’t know if it was ticking the boxes, but it feels very uninspiring to that point. Like, it was a lot of partying, there was a lot of drinking, there was a lot of drugs. There were a lot of good times. And then, you know, getting close to 30, or I think I was 30, and then, ‘Bam.’ Kind of a quarter-life crisis, of sorts, when I just thought, ‘What the fuck am I doing with my life?’ And at that point, I was already running a successful business on my own, but I just felt like there wasn’t, like, any meaning to my life. I’d become really disconnected to who I was, you know, as a person, beyond the partying, and the drugs, and the alcohol, and all the other stuff. The fun stuff.
So, when I moved to this town, where I didn’t really know anyone, everything started to unravel. Because my identity was no longer what I was before. You know, it was just like, here I was, in this town, knowing no-one, with a bit of depression and a lot of anxiety, finding it very difficult to connect with people. So, during that period, I actually did a whole bunch of healing, and, like, crazy stuff. Some really cool stuff. I mean, I did therapy, and group therapy, and, I don’t know, like, angel therapy, and all kinds of woo-woo stuff. All kinds of stuff to try and get myself out of this funk. And one of the exercises was to do some inner child work, and go back into my childhood, and look for clues as to what my purpose may be.
Because I was desperately seeking a sense of purpose. And even then, I didn’t, like, think, ‘Oh yeah, I’m, kind of, already living my purpose because I’m a voiceover artist and when I was a kid, I was using the double tape deck.’ I was looking for something with meaning, you know. True meaning, that would change people’s lives, and, you know, it just had to be big. And I think I might have said this before, but it’s a phrase that I use a lot, and it’s like, ‘the Oprah complex,’ you know? Where whatever you do has to be big, it has to be, like, impactful on a global scale. And that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself when you’re really a nobody, who’s living in the middle of nowhere, really upset, and not really liking yourself very much. Like, that’s quite a hard thing.
Lisa: It’s that one big idea. Like, you hear about it a lot, ‘What’s the idea?’ or, ‘What’s the one thing I was put here for?’
Karly: Yes. And that’s dangerous, because it’s external, you know. And that, actually, was what lead me into starting The Office Collective. You know, I had moved around so much, and I had been really depressed and anxious, and found it really difficult to connect to people, because my nerves were so horrible. And also, depressed, that I was, like, you know, constantly overthinking everything. So, you know, anything that I said, it was like, ‘That person thinks I’m a dickhead,’ kind of thing. Like, I was just so horrible to myself. And then I, kind of, started to come through that, and I was seeking that real big thing, ‘What’s the next big thing for me?’
At that point in time, I had moved back to the Byron area, which was a place where I’d felt like I had belonged before. And all of a sudden, I was back to the lonely place again. You know, I’d moved from a lonely place to somewhere that had felt like home before, and it no longer felt like home. And I didn’t feel like I had anyone, and I really wanted a sense of community. I really wanted people around me who were also entrepreneurs, and got me. You know, because at this point I think I’d been working for myself for, maybe, I don’t know, five or six years. Six years, maybe. And I loved business, so I joined a whole bunch of networking groups, but I wanted something more, and I wanted to change people’s lives, you know?
So here I was, sitting on a, kind of, like, a fairly rural setting, which doesn’t suit my personality at all. And, you know, literally about twenty minutes’ drive from anyone, which was better than the four hours’ drive from anyone that I was living in before. But, you know, still just as isolated, just as lonely. And I thought to myself, ‘If I’m feeling like this, there have to be other people feeling like this.’ And so I came up with this idea, at the beginning of 2012, that I was going to start a shared office, and it was going to be this place where people could come and be really inspired. We could work alongside each other and collaborate, and I would use, like, my bossiness from my childhood.
You know, I was always bringing people together, and bossing them around, and telling them what to do, and co-ordinating stuff. You know, I’m always the person that joins a committee, and then, after day two, or the second meeting, they want me to go for the President role. Because I can bring people together, and, I don’t know, I don’t see myself in this way, but then, next thing I know, it’s like, ‘Do you want to be the President?’ And it’s like, ‘No, I don’t want to be.’ And most of the time, I end up doing it, even though I don’t want to. Yes, so that’s kind of my personality, I’m someone who brings people in, and then directs them. I do it to you on the phone.
Lisa: You are the total boss.
Karly: Yes, which can be painful, but It’s who I am. So, anyway, open this space, and I’m thinking, ‘Yes, this is going to be so rad,’ you know, ‘I’m going to open this, and people are going to have to be my friend, because it’s my business.’
Lisa: It’s my place, they’re going to call.
Karly: So they’ve got no choice, they have to be my friend. And yes, so I ended up opening it with a business partner, which was not a good choice. I love that girl, and we’re still very close friends, but in a business sense, I did it for all the wrong reasons. I thought it was going to help her, and that’s not a good reason to take on a business partner. There’s a lesson for you, never take on a business partner because you feel like it could help them. It’s just not what you do.
Lisa: Rule number one.
Karly: Number two, actually. This is number one. Never start a business to fulfil a need within you that isn’t being met. So, for me, I started this business because I felt lonely, and I needed that hole filled. So, essentially what I did was sign an iron clad commercial lease to buy myself some friends. And there were other bits and bobs to that story too. I wanted to impact people, and I wanted to change their lives, you know, blah blah blah. But the real crux of it was I wanted some friends, I wanted to belong, because I hadn’t belonged in a very long time. So, yes, so I opened the doors, and it’s crickets. And I tried everything, and it remained crickets. And then my business partner left, because she had to, she had no choice.
So that left me in a really tricky financial position, because here I am, paying about A$1,000 a week in rent, and, you know, electricity, with no-one to help me pay the bill. I think at that point, I had six members, and altogether they paid one week of rent, and that was it, per month. So I was out of pocket about A$4,500 a month, and that didn’t include all the money that I’d spent to set the place up. So I think I lasted about a year in that business, the hardest year of my life. I cried every single day. I was incredibly stressed, I was incredibly lonely, I felt rejected. I just, like, I can’t even explain to you how painful that period of my life was, because it feels like a different person to who I am now. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a really sucky, shit relationship, and it’s so painful when you’re in it, and then you procrastinate, and procrastinate, and procrastinate on leaving. And then when you leave, and six months later, you’re like, ‘Who was that person?’
Karly: That’s what it, kind of, felt like. It was like I was having a, kind of, abusive relationship with a business. All it was doing was, like, not filling the space in me that needed filling.
Lisa: And amplifying?
Karly: Oh, amplifying it. Like, it was like a personal rejection. It was like the whole town thought, you know, I don’t know. Like, it was personal. Every day that I sat in there, just waiting for the door to open. And then when the door would open, I’d just be like, ‘Oh my God, somebody’s here,’ and it would be, like, someone from Council.
Lisa: Oh, don’t.
Karly: Like, it was just horrible.
Karly: And then someone would come in, and they’d want to have a look around. And I would just be so desperate, and, you know, like that desperate guy at the bar, who desperately needs to be rooted hardcore. And he’s just a sleazy, horrible-, you know.
Lisa: And you can smell it on him.
Karly: You can smell it.
Lisa: Yes, you can.
Karly: And people could smell it on me. You know, it was, like, desperation, sheer desperation. So anyway, that went on, and on, and on. And in the end, it came down to the point where I literally-, I clearly remember the day that everything changed. So, I had come home, because I thought to myself, ‘I can sit here all day, or I can just put a sign on the door saying, “Call me if you want to come in.”’ So that’s what I did, and I went home, and I was going to have a coaching call with this wonderful person that we both know, Lisa Win.
Lisa: Oh yes, Lisa.
Karly: And she was just becoming a life coach, and so she needed someone to test out her-,
Lisa: Yes, right. I didn’t know this!
Karly: So just before our call. Our call was, like, at midday, and at about 11:45am I got a call from the ATO. Nobody likes a call from the ATO, but me, I have a phobia about the ATO. It’s that lesson that I just never learn. You know, ‘Put away your BAS, put away your BAS.’ So, they ring, and they say to me, ‘You owe us A$16,000 and we need the money.’ You know, those calls are kind of like a shakedown. Like, I can just imagine the person in the ATO, they kind of look like, I was going to say my Bogan uncle, but I hope he doesn’t listen to this.
Lisa: I don’t think he’ll be tuning in to the Lisa Corduff show.
Karly: But you know, like he could call in his mates, and shake me down for the cash, you know?
Karly: And I just completely lost it, because at that point, I had about A$400 in my account, and Micko was working on the roads at that point, but it had rained, literally, for six months. So he was getting one day a week here, one day a week there. So Killer Copy, my other voiceover agency, was paying for this business. Like, the A$4,500 a month for the other business, and then I still, outside of that, had to find the A$16,000 to pay the tax office. And, you know, a commercial lease is iron clad, so I was like, ‘I can’t get out of this, so what can I do? I can’t pay the ATO,’ and literally just lost the plot. Screaming, crying, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ Like, I literally had thought about taking my own life, that’s where it was at. Because that seemed easier than facing, you know, bankruptcy, losing my house, all that stuff. Like, that just felt like a big failure. I just felt like a big failure. So, the guy at the tax office said to me, ‘You know, I’ll put you onto hardship, I can see that you’re really struggling, so let’s get you onto hardship.’ So from that phone call, like, two seconds later, Lisa Wynn, on her first ever life coaching call.
Lisa: Just a practice.
Karly: Yes. Best practice ever, because I’m just, like, bawling my eyes out crying.
Lisa: And she’s no longer a life coach, can we just say.
Karly: Yes, she’s no longer. She’s now doing trademarks. So, sorry Lisa. But I’m one of her customers, as a trademark person. You know, I’ve kind of made it up to her. So, she, in this call, shows me this image. You know, we talk about what’s going on, and I tell her how fucked up I am. And she shows me this image, and it’s above and below the line. And basically, there’s a line, and then above the line is, like, love, and below the line is fear. And above the line is abundance, and below the line is lack. And above the line is hero, and below the line is victim, and so on, and so on. And she goes, ‘Tell me where you are on line.’ And every single one, I was below the line. Yes, I’m below, below, below, below. And I’m thinking to myself, you know. She was like, ‘What would it take you, to get you above the line?’ And I was kind of, like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know if I can get above the line.’
And then, something just switched in me, because I could see that below the line was fear, and above the line was love. But the line was choice. So, I can choose the lack, or I can choose abundance. I can choose the fear, I can choose love. I can choose victim, or I can choose hero. And it was just so powerful, for me. Looking at that image was like, ‘Oh my God. I have choice.’ So, and that was the lifeline. Literally, the lifeline that I needed was the line, and I just went back into my office after that call, and I got a piece of chalk, and I wrote on one entire wall, I did the diagram of above and below the line. And then, every day, when I sat in that office, I would have a thought, and I would look at that wall. And I would say, ‘Is this above, or below? Is it above, or below? What’s this action, is it above or below? Okay, so I’m feeling like this. How can I feel like this?’ And so, it was, like, immediate.
When it came to lack and abundance, I was like, ‘Okay, how can I feel abundant?’ Well, I could track all the money that’s coming in. You know, I know, like, I’m haemorrhaging money, but what if I just switched my focus to the stuff that was coming in, not the stuff that was going out? And so I got a whiteboard, and I started to track the money coming in, and when I started doing that, it was like, ‘Oh, there is money coming in,’ and then more money started, kind of, coming in. I don’t think it was necessarily more, it was more just more that I was tracking it, so I could see it, you know. And so that afternoon, I had a call with another friend who was also practicing to be a life coach. And she said to me, ‘Close your eyes, imagine this place in all its glory. So, it is, like, pumping. It’s full, you’re, like, there, you’re surrounded by people. You’re making money from it, you’re there every day, and life’s good there. Is that worth this?’ And the answer was immediately, ‘No.’
Karly: Yes. So, then she was like, ‘Well, now you have a choice,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah I do. Yeah, I do, because I’ve got a choice.’ And so, I remember after that call, I went to the beach, because that’s my spiritual home, and it’s the place that I go to any time I have a question. And I walked on the beach, and I said to the universe, because that’s what I do. If you listen to my podcast, you know I talk to the universe a lot.
Lisa: Oh yes.
Karly: On the beach.
Lisa: Direct download.
Karly: Yes, and I said, ‘Hey, mate, like, seriously. I’m going to close the space, and I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this lease thing. So, I’m going to take a step towards making this happen, but I need you to come and meet me.’ And then I went back, and I was thinking, ‘Okay, how can I get out of this?’ You know. It was like, ‘Okay, well you can’t get out of a lease,’ because I made a few calls then. It was like, ‘How can I get out of this?’ ‘You can’t. It’s a commercial lease,’ like, you do have to, kind of, die to get out of them, and then they probably get handed down as a legacy to your children. So then I was like, ‘Okay, how else could I get out of this?’ Well, maybe I could sublet. And so, I put it out there. What actually happened was, I actually didn’t put that out there, I put something else out there. I said, ‘Look, I’ve got a space here. Drop the co-working stuff, I just need to get some people in here. I’ll split up the offices, and I’ll hire them out.’
Instead, a guy who was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce that I had been working on, because that’s, you know, what I do, get sucked into doing community roles. He contacted me and said, ‘You know, Karly, I love your space. It’s the best. I want to move us in.’ And, you know, his business, and he’ll take over the majority of the space, and I would just keep mine. And he would pay all the rent, and all the outgoings, and I would just pay A$100 a week, which was the difference between what he was paying at his current space, and this space. So, it was, like, perfect.
Lisa: Wow. Done.
Karly: Done. So, he would keep all the furniture and use it while he was in there, and he was building a place, so that, kind of, dragged on a bit longer than it should have, in the end. But we got there in the end, and actually, just recently, last November, I think it was, I officially cut all ties. I sold all the last bits of furniture, my name is no longer on the lease, and I’m a free woman. And that was like a four-and-a-half year journey. But, the interesting thing was, when I left the co-working space, and, you know, got the people to sub-let it, that weekend, I went to celebrate with Micko and I fell pregnant with Mabel. So, it was like I’d let go of something really big, and something even bigger, and probably even more fucked up.
Lisa: (Laughter.) How old is she right now?
Karly: You know, she came into my life, so that was a blessing. So that’s, kind of, the story of The Office Collective, I guess.
Lisa: It’s a massive story, and I have only known you after that, but it has reverberated through your life, and rears its ugly head all the time. And it’s this idea that, you know, we try something, and it doesn’t work, and then you have to get the confidence up to try again. And the desire for you to do something that helps people has not faded, I don’t think. I’ve always known you as someone who believes in purpose, and service, and showing up genuinely in the world, in a way that impacts other people positively. You know, we had the Mums Who Get Shit Done thing for a while there, who knows what will happen with that. But, it’s this shakiness, sometimes, that can bring you down, but hasn’t.
So for you, how do you think that you have, in your mind, let go of that experience? In terms of, it’s a big, massive, defining thing that happened in your life, but you’re still running Killer Copy successfully. You’ve started Radcasters. You’re getting a shitload of entrepreneurs into iTunes, which is massively filling your cup, I can see, and you’re using all your strengths. So, what is the process that you have gone through? Like, for people out there who are listening, who just think, you know, ‘How do I recover from where I’m at?’ Even if that is feeling beaten down by toddlers, or whatever. And, you know, this podcast is also about small steps to big changes. So, what are some of the things that you’ve done? You know, all that woo stuff you did, and the things that you’ve worked on yourself. What do you reckon has made the biggest difference?
Karly: Okay, so since then, you know, I think the choice thing has been huge. Because for a while there, I really did let that failure define me, and I became quite scared of getting back on the horse, because it hurt so much. You know, it really hurt. But, it also brought some of the best, and biggest, lessons. Sure, it cost me A$100,000 for them, I probably could have done it cheaper than that.
Lisa: I’ve learnt lessons just after a big, boozy night. It cost me A$100.
Karly: Well, so have I. Maybe just as big. Like, use a condom. No, I’m only kidding. Just kidding! I love my daughter, so I wouldn’t do that. But, yes, okay, so what changed? Well, really, I decided that, you know, the purpose thing just kept on at me, you know? And I just kept on following that, really. It’s interesting, because I think what really changed for me were two key things. One was expectation. And this is a really recent one. I seek so much external validation, it’s just out of control.
Lisa: I don’t think you’re alone there.
Karly: Yes, I think we all do. I think it’s human nature for us to seek external validation.
Karly: You know, and it goes back to, just, our childhood. We’re constantly seeking validation of our parents, so then we go through life, and we’re just constantly seeking validation. Teachers, and blah blah blah. Eventually, peers, and, you know, whatever. Anyone who’ll listen, really. So, yes. I allowed external factors to define who I felt I was, and to be honest, I hadn’t really defined any of that stuff for myself. So, I hadn’t defined what failure meant, so it defined me, you know? And then I figured out, for me, ‘What is failure?’ And that’s why I started Karlosophies, because I wanted to really find out what failure meant to other people, because I was still recovering from that failure then. And what I realised is, most people don’t even really consider failure. The people who have success generally know that failure just is hand-in-hand with success. It’s like the yin to the yang. Where there’s success, there’s failure. Where there’s dark, there’s light. Where there’s fear, there’s love. And so, I just totally lost where I was.
Lisa: It was about failure, and expectation, and stuff. And, you know, I totally hear you on that. Now that I’ve started to, you know, help and mentor a few people in their businesses, I’m like, ‘Dude, your first webinar’s probably going to suck.’ Or, ‘Why don’t you just try this, and if it doesn’t work, try something else.’ And there is this expectation that every way in which we show up in the world has to be perfect. You know, motherhood, our households, and especially in business, I think, there’s so much comparisonitis that can happen. And you think, ‘Well if this isn’t perfect, I’m just not going to do it.’ But the fact of the matter is, I’ve done stuff that’s been awesome. I’ve done other stuff, lukewarm, and everything is an experiment. We talk a lot, you and I, about attachment to the outcome, and the less attached you can be to how other people perceive you, how well a launch goes, all of that stuff.
Karly: Yes, because that stuff doesn’t define who we are.
Lisa: Yes. We have a choice about how we see ourselves.
Karly: And that is what has shifted in me. It’s that I don’t allow my success or failure to define my worth.
Karly: It’s a totally separate thing. So where I used to define my success as a human being as to whether or not I hit Oprah status, that is no longer. Like, what I’ve come to realise, even just in the last week, is that it really doesn’t matter whether Radcasters gets 10,000 podcasters in iTunes, or two. The fact of the matter is, I’ve impacted two people’s lives in a positive way. You know, and when it comes to my podcast, I put it out, and I have no idea what happens from there. And sometimes, like, old me would be like, ‘I need people to tell me they’re listening. I need to know that they’re listening.’ But now, I’m like, ‘No, I need to put this out there, because, you know, I’m being called to put this out there.’ So I’ve just got to trust that this needs to go out there, because there’s somebody who needs to hear this. And even today, I just got an email from someone who was like, ‘I just have to contact you because I listen to your podcast, every single episode, and it’s like you’re in my head.’ And that’s why I do it. And if she’s contacting me, there are other people, also, who are being impacted. But now it doesn’t really matter to me. If she had sent that email or not, I’m still going to do it.
Lisa: Yes. It’s a nice to have, and it feels good.
Karly: It’s lovely.
Lisa: But it’s not like you’re hanging for that, to prove that this is a good thing for you to be doing.
Karly: Because it feels like a good thing to be doing, so the rest doesn’t really matter so much, you know, when it feels good. I don’t know, like, before, everyone was telling me, ‘Just follow your bliss, follow your bliss,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, fuck. Yeah, whatever.’ Like, I didn’t even know what my bliss is. What is bliss?
Lisa: Yes. Or, in Year Twelve, ‘Follow your passion.’ Oh, I followed my passion straight into arts. What the hell, what does that actually mean to people? But, on my journey, I think that every time I make a decision that can be a bit impromptu-, I remember I woke up one day, I was in the middle of launching Small Steps, and I sort of had a plan. I’m getting better at planning, but I never was. I just woke up, it was Mother’s Day, and I felt like I just needed to say something to the mums. That they needed to be told that no matter how well they’re eating, or not, they’re doing an amazing job.
It wasn’t for any reason. It wasn’t to get sales, it wasn’t to do anything like that. I woke up and thought, ‘I’m just setting up a webinar. I’ll put it on my Facebook page. You know, it’s Mother’s Day. I want to connect with the mums.’ I felt like I needed to say it. And unbeknown to me, a woman who I had been admiring so much from afar, Alisa Latto, she’s from 123 Nourish Me, was watching that night. And she contacted me the next day, or it might have even been that night, and went, ‘You just nailed that. You’re amazing.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, she’s saying that.’ Because I think I might have reached out to her at one point, to see if she wanted to be an affiliate for Small Steps. Yes, that’s right, I had, and she said, ‘Look, I do, sort of, need to see these things before I endorse them.’ She’s got a very particular line on food and health, and I really, deeply, respect and admire it. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’
But anyway, she jumped on this webinar, and she just saw me talk, not about food, but just to the mums. Like, from my heart to the mums, and she just said, ‘I’m happy to be an affiliate for Small Steps. I love your message, I love everything you’re about. Let’s do this.’ And from that, she announced it to her community, and all of these people came over, and it was just this whirlwind of amazingness. And I could not have predicted that. I didn’t do that webinar for that, it was just a really nice outcome from something that has come from my heart. And from that moment, I looked back on some of the decisions I’d made, and from now, I absolutely know that when you do make decisions that feel really good in you, like, there’s no push and pull. There’s no second guessing, it’s like, ‘This has to happen, and that’s it. It might not make financial sense, it might not push my business forward, but I just have to do this,’ good shit happens, every single time. Even if it’s just feeling good, and giving yourself a buzz. And I just love that. Like, I love that we can do what we want, but I think, you know, from your story about the OC. That would have felt really good, at the time, but it was coming from a place of, like, that under the line stuff.
Karly: Yes, absolutely.
Lisa: And when you choose the above the line stuff, and to sit in that space, and you make decisions from there, then you create more of that.
Karly: Yes, for sure. And I think, you know, we make so many decisions from underneath that line. Even when it is starting a business. It’s not my story, but it’s a story that I hear all the time, and that’s one of, you know, someone has a child, and then they have this window where they need to make a business start, otherwise they have to go back to work.
Lisa: That was me.
Karly: And often, that comes from fear.
Karly: And it’s just not a good place to be starting anything from.
Lisa: No. But do you know what, I think, also, that below the line, it also stops us making decisions. Like, I can see 100% there are so many aspects of my life in which I sit below the line, and it just stumps me. I don’t move, there’s no action. And it’s only, you know, if I’m sitting in that above the line, that momentum is created. Yes, I think fear is a big one, and you must hear about that a lot, in Karlosophies, when you’re speaking to other female entrepreneurs.
Karly: Yes, and let’s be real, I feel it a lot, you know? I think sometimes people see, you know, here’s a weird example. I remember when we were at ProBlogger, and someone came up and asked if they could have a photo with the two of us.
Lisa: Yes, I know!
Karly: And we’re like, ‘Oh, us?’
Lisa: ‘Why? We’re not, like, do you know who else is here?’
Karly: ‘Why?’ Yes. But we never see ourselves in the same light that other people see us, you know?
Karly: And we never feel as intelligent, or as funny. Sometimes I feel as funny, but, you know. We don’t really have a lot of-, particularly as Australians, we don’t have a lot of-, self-respect isn’t the right word, but a lot of self-love going on.
Lisa: Yes, we don’t. We’re terrible at it, and as you know, I had, like, a business coach last year, and went to a little retreat thing in New York. And was surrounded by all these amazing women really kicking arse in business. And I was so intimidated, I didn’t feel like I belonged there. I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m just a wholefoods blogger, mum of three kids.’
Karly: From Australia.
Lisa: Yes, and then I started to say what had happened in my business, and they were like, ‘Oh my God, you’re amazing. Like, everything is just happening for you. Like, you’ve just got to pull the trigger, get some support at home, and, “Wow,”’. They were unapologetic about how amazing they were. They’re like, ‘I’m really good at this, so I’m doing it, and I’m getting the support I need in my life to make it happen.’ And that felt so odd, because we just do not do that, ourselves.
Karly: Well, we just wait for permission from other people to do it, you know?
Karly: And that sometimes comes in the way of external validation, and sometimes it literally comes down to somebody saying to you, ‘It’s okay for you to do this.’
Lisa: Yes. ‘Did you actually realise you’re actually quite good at that?’ ‘Um, no, I hadn’t.’ It’s weird, I was just in a private Facebook group of, I guess, it’s women creating their own businesses, or whatever. I’m not active in it a lot, but this woman had written something, and I wrote back to her, and she wrote back to me, and I wrote back to her. And she said, ‘I’m going to have to stop right here and say, “This feels a bit weird that you’re talking to me,” because I know someone who’s done Small Steps to Wholefoods has raved about you, so I’ve liked your Facebook page, and seen you, and it sort of feels like I’m talking to a celebrity.’
Karly: It’s a weird feeling, isn’t it? Like, I get emails all the time that say, ‘I just want you to know that I’m not a stalker.’ Like, pretty much every email opens with that. ‘I just want you to know that I’m not a stalker, but, you know, I love your podcast,’ and whatever the rest of the message is. But it’s like, we go into it apologising first, don’t we? Even when we’re trying to tell someone something good, it’s like, ‘Look I’m sorry, I’m not a stalker, but I really think you’re pretty cool.’
Lisa: ‘I’m sorry.’ Yes.
Karly: You know, like, why can’t we just go, ‘I fucking love you.’ I mean, you’d probably need five beers to do that.
Lisa: I was just going to say the same thing. I’m pretty sure I’ve done that, like, to people who maybe didn’t deserve it, at the end of a night. ‘Love you. Love you, Karly.’
Karly: Yes. I’ve done it to you though, you deserved it.
Lisa: Yes, it is. It’s an odd thing, and this is what we were originally talking about, was that idea of success, and defining it for ourselves. Because as a friend pointed out to me today, her family were talking about me. Or she, sort of, said, ‘Hey, if you’re into wholefoods, you should check out Lisa Corduff.’ And they’re, like, ‘Yes, Lisa, love Lisa.’ And she was like, ‘Oh really? Well, I know her. Like, she’s a friend.’ And they were like, ‘You are friends with Lisa Corduff? OMG.’ And this friend was like, ‘And here we are, just doing our thing, and other people think that’s really cool.’ And that is so awesome, but I haven’t tripped over in my mind, yet, to that that means that I’m anything different to this mum who just cannot go to the toilet by herself. And is just, like, you know, forgetting the day that you need to bring your library books to school, kind of thing. You know, it’s an odd thing, and I think your story of-, I think that to other people you would have looked cool, and amazing, and people would have thought you had it all together that whole time.
Karly: Well, not really, because I did cry to anyone who would listen.
Karly: But, that was actually something really amazing in itself, because what actually happened when I did that was I gave people permission to feel their own emotions, and feel shit about their own lives. You know, just gave them permission to be honest about where they were at.
Lisa: Oh, there’s so much honesty fucking missing in the world. We’ve all got it up, like, we’ve all got barriers up.
Karly: I know. But it’s like, I was just speaking to a friend today, and she was saying that, you know, she posts pictures of a green smoothie, and then beats herself up because she’s hoffing down a pack of Tim Tams. And for me, like, this is the thing. If we’re talking about success, what does success mean to me? It means being in integrity. So, for me, when what you see online is what you see from me at the shops, is what you see from me if we’re at ProBlogger, or what you see from me, you know, when I’m drunk, then I’m in integrity. And that is success for me. Because there’s no pretence, there’s no fakeness. That, while that is a vulnerable space to be in, it came from being very vulnerable, through having something really big, and shit, happen. And me being forced to ask for help, which I’d never been able to do before. I’m still not very good at it, but I’m learning. You know, and so, all of that shit, and being real, and being raw, and being honest, like, it has done nothing but make my life better.
Lisa: Yes, and you do make other people’s lives better by sharing it. You do, because I feel better for it. You get people commenting all the time, like, ‘Thank you Karly for saying that.’ And, you know, when you mentioned Oprah before. That’s Oprah too. She came with pain. She started talking to the world, and she was a broken-, she’s not perfect, and we all saw her imperfections, and rode that with her. And I think that she has brought what you bring. So, you know, while it might not be to the Oprah mega-scale, it is, like-,
Karly: Still creating change.
Lisa: From a place of honesty, and service, and integrity.
Karly: Yes. And you know, like, I think the world needs more honesty. When we do that, when we do come from that place of honesty, we really do give permission to other people to just feel like they’re just a normal human being. Here’s the thing about Oprah, right. For us, it’s like there’s this big gap between where we are, and where Oprah is. You know, she’s, like, way above us. But she’s actually just a human like you and I, there’s absolutely nothing different. We’ve both had struggle, we’ve both had fear, we’ve both had failure. We’ve both been hurt, we’ve both loved. You know, it’s like-,
Lisa: You both take a shit on the toilet.
Karly: That’s it, and our shit stinks.
Lisa: (Laughter.) I’m pretty sure every shit does stink.
Karly: Yes. Unless she’s had some kind of crazy, you know, rose poo surgery.
Lisa: She could have.
Karly: I mean, she could shit $100 bills for all I know, but I’m pretty sure her shit stinks, just like mine.
Lisa: I’ve smelt your farts (laughter). Yes, and I think what you’re talking about today, and what Oprah probably learnt, you know, years and years ago, is about that choice, and living in which space we want to live in. And letting fear rule, or letting love rule. And you’re a beautiful example of someone who, you’re like a little fighter, because, you know, you might feel like giving up sometimes, but you don’t. And you always come back with a new insight into yourself, that you actually generously share with the rest of the world, via social media. And now you’re collecting more and more stories in your podcast. You get people to go deep, you know, and you reveal things about people who we don’t often see that vulnerable side of them, and we can see them through your podcast. And now, you’re helping all these other people with their messages.
Karly: Yes. Because, dude, at the end of the day, storytelling is the shit.
Lisa: It’s life.
Karly: It dates back to, like, us sitting around frickin’ rocks with fire, or something, burning the meat that we caught.
Lisa: ‘Guess what I caught today?’
Karly: Yes. You know, and storytelling comes from that. Like, it’s within us, you know, it’s who we are. So, like, my whole thing now is just, like, unleash that on the world. To keep that story locked in, it’s doing the world a huge disservice. I think about, like, my grandparents, and the things that I remember about them are the stories that they told. And the stories that I now tell, from my experience with them. Story lives on, you know? Your story is your legacy. So, for me, like, there’s no greater honour than what I’m doing right now. And to be honest, like, yes it is a certain level of success, but for me, I’ve just been following my nose. I’ve just been trying stuff, and seeing what sticks. There’s been no, like, ‘This has to do this for me, this has to be the thing.’
Lisa: How many domain names, Karly?
Karly: At last count, and that was active domains, 63.
Lisa: 63 domain names. 63 business ideas.
Karly: Yes, in the last twelve months.
Lisa: Yes. That’s what you call an entrepreneur, people. ‘I can’t turn it off!’
Karly: Well, I think I would have been locked up, in the old days. I would have been committed to a facility, for sure.
Lisa: I would have been there with you.
Karly: I mean, you know, I talk on the beach to myself, and record it. Like, I would be in a facility.
Lisa: That’s fucking rockstar, alright. That’s living the frickin’ dream.
Karly: In the old days, it was a mental problem. These days, I have my own mental problems, but, you know, it’s all part of who I am.
Lisa: There are so many things that I would like to talk to you about, and so we’re going to have to schedule all of this in. Or just get drunk one weekend, very soon.
Karly: Yes, let’s just do that.
Lisa: Yes, alright. And then just record some random stuff. Thank you Karly for talking to us about your story.
Karly: No problem. Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Thank you for giving me a platform, to share my story.
Lisa: I think you’re one of the coolest chicks I know, and the more the world has of Karly Nimmo, the better.
Lisa: Alright, love fest over. Bye.