Kathryn Trudeau is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, she understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum project, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy.
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- Trello – Kathryn’s small business resource
- Parent.co – Where Kathryn’s writing has been featured
- The 5 Love Language of Children by Gary Chapman – Kathryn’s Top Business Book
- Kathryn’s free gift for Fire Nation!
- The Mastery Journal – Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
3 Key Points:
- Momentum is the hardest thing to acquire as an entrepreneur—sometimes you need a big nudge to get to it.
- When you want to do everything at once, you’re doing nothing, or nothing well.
- Every second is golden – live it happily.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:06] – Kathryn is a homeschooling mom and her husband introduced her to EOFire
- [01:30] – Kathryn has a degree in English and got married after college. She now has 2 kids.
- [02:04] – Kathryn is an advocate of “peaceful parenting” and spreads her message through writing
- [03:49] – What was your goal for The Freedom Journal and how did you crush it? “My goal was to establish myself as a paid writer”
- [04:02] – Kathryn published her first book in 57 days!
- [04:16] – Kathryn works for a freelance writing agency and earns as much as she did in daycare
- [04:30] – Kathryn has been featured in Parent.co and Seeing Magazine
- [04:49] – Kathryn is now in the process of building a movement called Cor Domum—which is a blog and will have a podcast soon
- [05:15] – Kathryn’s first check is from an article in Parent.co
- [06:19] – The pay for an article will depend on the article, per word
- [07:00] – Average is $20 – $55 per article
- [07:30] – Kathryn also does work for other clients and magazines
- [07:57] – The Freedom Journal gave Kathryn the momentum
- [09:23] – How do you define Productivity? “For me it means that at the end of the day, everything on my to-do list has been crossed off”
- [10:00] – Kathryn struggles with productivity when it comes to working around her homeschooling schedule, homemaking duties, and life tasks
- [10:50] – How do you define Discipline? Kathryn uses the word discipline a lot in her writing and needs to teach herself to do what she needs to first – before the things she wants to do
- [11:38] – Sleep messes with Kathryn’s discipline
- [12:12] – How do you define Focus? Kathryn needs to completely cross one thing off her post-it note before moving to the next thing
- [13:07] – The Mastery Journal can help you with your focus, discipline, and productivity which are difficult to acquire
- [13:22] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Thinking I did not have enough time”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Don’t avoid something because of the time it will take. Time is going to pass anyway”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “It is taking notes”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Trello
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The 5 Love Language of Children by Gary Chapman, because you can use the principles in every relationship in life
- Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no-one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500 dollars. What would you do in the next 7 days? – “I would start the foundation for my platform to spread the message of Cor Domum, so get a website, buy podcasting equipment, and start!”
- [15:24] – Kathryn has a gift for Fire Nation, which is a mini self-guided workbook
- [15:35] – Follow Kathryn on Facebook and on her website
- [15:50] – “To live every second as if it is golden”
John: Yes. Katie’s a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, she understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She’s the founder of the Cor Domum project, a mission that guides families through life so they can parent with joy. Katie, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that info, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Katie: Well, first of all, I wanna say “Hi.” Thanks for having me. And I will say that this is a first for me. As a homeschooling mom, I thought I was pretty set in my daily routine of spit-up and diapers and – it was a happy accident that I stumbled into the Freedom Journal. And my husband introduced me to EOFire. And he got me hooked. And now we are rolling.
John: Rocking and rolling. Give us a little more background about your personal life.
Katie: I have a degree in English, and it’s kind of just been sitting there. I got married right out of college. We have two little boys, and I just jumped right into parenthood and kind of just let my degree sit there. And it was always in the back of my mind that, “I gotta do something with it.” And it kinda just sat there for six years. And now, I’m finally doing something with it.
John: Well, so, today, how would you describe your area of expertise?
Katie: I am a advocate for Peaceful Parenting, and I take my writing degree and I spread my message through my writing.
John: So, Peaceful Parenting.
John: Tell us something that we don’t know about Peaceful Parenting, that we probably should.
Katie: It actually – the principles of Peaceful Parenting can actually help anyone, whether you’re a parent or not. It’s just a way to strengthen any relationship that you have. And it’s a way to help really strengthen your interpersonal skills. It is focused on parent and child, but there’s a lot that you could use. Just boyfriend/girlfriend, with your spouse, with your own siblings. It’s just teaching people how to be happier with their relationships.
John: Let’s talk about your Freedom Journal journey. So, how did you first hear about the Freedom Journal? What was the goal that you set? And how did you crush it?
Katie: I first heard about the Freedom Journal from my husband. He always listens to podcasts while he drives his truck for work. And he always tells me about them. And he came home. He’s like, “You have to listen to this one. You will want this Freedom Journal.” And he was right. He told me about it, and I said, “I need that right now.” So, Amazon Prime, two days later, I had it. And I just – I took it.
And at the time, we were living with my parents, waiting to – we were looking for houses. So, it was at a very crossroads point in my life. And I decided that my goal would be to just establish myself as a paid writer. It’s not just enough to just write; I wanted to be paid. And I crushed it so much; I didn’t even know all of these things that were gonna come from it.
The first thing that came out of it was I published my first book, An Open Letter to…, in 57 days. The second thing was I applied to a freelance writing agency, and I’ve got a few clients. And I actually make the same amount of income that I did when I used to work at a daycare – just by writing. And I have been featured at parent.co and Seton magazine.
And then, the third gem from my Freedom Journal is that I finished my book on day 57, and I thought, “Alright. I’ve got some days left. Now what?” So, I am in the process of building a village – a movement – called Cor Domum. And it’s a blog, and it will be a podcast – that’s launching –
Katie: – in 2017, aimed at guiding families to find joy in family life.
John: Let’s talk about revenue for a second. How, specifically, did you start to bring revenue in, first off, when you first started writing? What was that first check that you got?
Katie: My very first check was for an article I wrote for parent.co. And it was for an article about timeouts and why there are a lot better alternatives to timeouts. And just a personal experience about how timeouts don’t work for my family. And when I got the email that they were gonna publish it, it just really reaffirmed to me that I was doing something that, not only someone wanted to read, but they wanted to pay me for it. And that just really gave me the push to, “Alright, you got this. Keep going. This is what you’re supposed to do. This is where you’re supposed to be. Just go, go, go.”
John: So, how do they pay? Do they pay by the word? Do they pay by the article? And kind of give us a range. You don’t have to give us the specific number that you got if you don’t want to. But what’s the range that first-time writers can expect as they’re kind of ramping up their business?
Katie: The answer to that is, it depends. Parent Co. – they will pay per article. But a lot of freelance agencies will pay per word, so you can expect anywhere – for someone just starting out – around $0.04 to $0.10 per word. And then, obviously, as you gain experience and you prove your worth, you can definitely make a lot more than that. But you know, if you’re writing a couple hundred words, a thousand words, it definitely adds up quite nicely.
John: And so, what’s the range of the total dollar amounts, if you’re getting paid that amount and a little bit more?
Katie: Anywhere between $25.00-$50.00 per article. And it really breaks it down – if you’re speedy, you can make about $20.00 an hour. If you take longer to write, obviously, that will lower that rate. But if you’re experienced writing, that will really help.
John: Are there any other ways that you generate revenue, besides actually submitting articles to sites like that?
Katie: I do client work. I have a little threefold thing going on. I submit pitches to magazines, I do the client work for a freelance agency, and then I have a little bit from the books that I have on creating space.
John: What were the results of accomplishing your goal with the Freedom Journal?
Katie: The biggest thing is that it gave me momentum. So, I realized that I have the potential to not only make this income, which definitely helps. But also the ability that I can spread a powerful message, so I don’t have to just – it gives meaning to my work. People get tired of going to work, sitting at a cubicle, and feeling that they’re not really contributing to society. And I feel that, even though I’m just writing on my laptop, that I can help someone somewhere with what I’m writing.
John: Momentum is the hardest thing to acquire as an entrepreneur, Fire Nation. Literally picture yourself at the top of this hill with this boulder that hasn’t moved for centuries and is not gonna move without great force. And you’re there, pushing it, pushing it, pushing it. And it’s so tough. But once you get that first little nudge, and then gravity takes over, and it starts rolling down that hill, then you can maximize that momentum that you’ve been acquiring because of that initial push that you had. So, it’s so tough, but you just need that thing to just get going. And that first dollar – wow. It is the toughest.
John: But, Katie, you’ll never forget that first dollar. I’ll never forget my first dollar because once you get it, you’re like, “This is real. What’s next?” So, Katie, let’s talk about productivity. I mean, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, you have these things going on. How do you stay productive? How do you define that word?
Katie: For me, it means that, at the end of the day, everything on my to-do list is crossed off. And if you know me, you know I have a lot of lists going on.
John: Do you use any online lists – like, I love WorkFlowy. That’s what I go to. Do you have a go-to, or is it just pen and paper?
Katie: My absolute favorite is the good old post-it. But I have recently gotten into Evernote. But I’m not sure anything will ever replace a post-it for me.
John: How do you struggle with productivity?
Katie: The hardest thing is working around the schedule of homeschooling and just homemaking duties and just life tasks. And I’m juggling a lot. So, where I struggle is that, if I lose track, if I slip, if I don’t keep a note or a list, then my time starts slipping away. And I end up thinking at the end of the day, “What did I do all day?” So, I really have to stick to my lists; otherwise, my day just slips away because there’s just so much vying for my attention.
John: Let’s talk about the word “discipline,” the roots of that word being “disciple.” What does that word mean to you? How do you define discipline?
Katie: Well, that’s funny because that word, I use a lot when I write about parenting. A lot of people will say discipline and punishment are the same thing. And I’m always quick to say, “No. Discipline/disciple literally means ‘to teach.’” So, that word has a lot to do with what I do. Anyway, so, in regards to staying on track of what I’m doing, I have to do what I need to do before what I want to do. So, I have to teach myself to do what I need to do before what I want to do. And that’s key.
John: And again, kind of going back to ways that you struggle with discipline. What’s something that comes up on a day-to-day basis, that really kind of messes with that word?
Katie: Sleep. That is my biggest temptation. So, when I work, I work when my kids go to sleep. So, I work from 7:00 until midnight, usually, most nights. And the part that’s really the struggle is my one-year-old alarm clock wakes up at 5:00. So, that is my biggest struggle staying disciplined.
John: Let’s move into focus. For me, it’s all about following just one course until success. What does focus mean to you?
Katie: I have to completely cross off one thing on my post-it note before I move onto the next thing. And I have that – that’s a really big struggle for me because I have all these ideas. And I wanna write ten articles, so I have to write them down. Then I go back to my list and I finish one, cross it off. Then I can go to the next one. Because otherwise, I get excited, and I wanna do everything all at once because I get so pumped up about it.
John: And when you wanna do everything at once, Fire Nation, you end up doing nothing, or at least nothing well. That’s why it’s critical – one task at a time. Stop the myth of multi-tasking and just focus. Now, of course, productivity, discipline, and focus are three skills that are not easy to acquire. That’s why I’ve created the step-by-step guide, your tool, your resource, so you can master these three skills in 100 days: themasteryjournal.com.
Katie, don’t you go anywhere because we’re about to crush the lightning rounds after we thank our sponsors. Katie, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Katie: Thinking I did not have enough time. I changed my kids’ bedtimes, and I made myself time.
John: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Katie: Don’t avoid something because of the time it’ll take. The time’s gonna pass anyway, so just do it.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Katie: If you haven’t guessed by now, it is taking notes.
John: Can you share an internet resource like Evernotes, but not Evernotes, with Fire Nation?
Katie: I do like Evernote, and I’ve started to try out Trello.
John: If you could recommend just one book, Katie, what would it be, and why?
Katie: Love Language for Kids, by Gary Chapman. And, as I talked about earlier, it applies to kids. But also, you could use those principles in every relationship in your life.
John: Katie, this is the last question of the lightning round, but it is a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand-new world, identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge that you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of. But all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Katie: I would start the foundation for my platform to spread the message of Cor Domum, so website, podcasting equipment. And that is how I would get that started.
John: Katie, let’s end today on Fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can hang out with you. And then, we’ll say goodbye.
Katie: Well, in keeping with what I learned from my own Freedom Journal experience, I wanted to share with the Fire Nation what I learned about writing and having a joyful life. So, I have a gift. You can grab it at katietrudeau.com/fire. It’s a mini, self-guided workbook so you can bring joy into your life. And you can follow me at Facebook.com/trudeaubooks, or my site, katietrudeau.com. And I do have a podcast launching in 2017, so stay tuned.
John: Stay tuned. And what’s that parting piece of guidance?
Katie: To live every second as if it’s golden, and that’s all we get are seconds. And if you do that, you will find so much more joy in your life.
John: Wow. Golden seconds. And Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with KT and JLD today. So, keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type “Katie” – that’s k-a-t-i-e – in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz, with time stamps, with links, everything that we’ve been talking about.
And, of course, head over to katietrudeau.com/fire for your gift, Fire Nation. Katie, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, girl, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Katie: Thank you so much.
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