Hold yourself accountable because no one is going to give you your dreams, but don’t live for those few monumental moments either.
Cait Pearson moved from Pennsylvania to Portland, Oregon in 2016 with only two bags, and a dream to be a food photographer. Without knowing a single person she dove into networking groups to try and connect with local entrepreneurs but found herself wanting more than transactional relationships. She wanted to help, grow, and learn together. There began She’s Hungry, originally only a podcasting community founded on interviews sharing the “impossible” stories of herself and her guests for the greater purpose of employing others with the tools to get through whatever their impossible dream was.
Now it’s evolved into community empowerment events, and soon to be a digital app community where people are empowered to inspire, create, and boldly share their passion for the purpose of collective growth, collaboration, and unity. She strives to shift the perspective on networking to giving to grow in life and business because she never wants anyone to feel like they aren’t or don’t have enough to sit and contribute at her table.
Where did the idea for She’s Hungry come from?
It stemmed from my need for authenticity in business which quickly carried itself over to connecting with people more authentically in life as well. When I moved here I didn’t fit in at traditional networking events or their communities because I didn’t have a lot of money to invest at the time and I also didn’t know anyone to refer anyone else to. This made me question my worth and the value that I brought to the table. I don’t think your worth should ever be in question in life or in business just because you’re new or you don’t have a lot of financial clout at any moment in time. We have a story, we have our humanity, and that support and connection is enough to start.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have the same morning routine every day. I make coffee, feed my dog, sit down and write three things I’m grateful for that happened in the last 24 hours. I get really specific because it helps me stay present in the practice. I then write down three very kind statements to myself because in the entrepreneurial world especially we are so critical and judgemental of ourselves that I take this time to work intentionally to break that up. It really helps carry me through my day too when I catch myself being hard on myself. The I write down ten goals as if they are already done and the first one I am going to take one massive action step closer to accomplishing within that day. I find this practice helps to take some immediate, “I should have had this done yesterday” pressure off, and allows me to think more tactically about the steps to get there rather than from a place of angst. The rest of my day is filled with emails, social media planning, meetings, photo edits, but I always take time to move my body to clear my head and reset myself. It helps me to stay productive because I remind myself that my productivity is not attached to my worth or my success, so I just keep an open conversation with myself throughout the day with how I’m feeling and my expectations around my tasks for the day. Where do these expectations come from, why, and how am I feeling about where I’m at.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Haha, this is always an interesting question for me because I get inspired every other 5 minutes about something. Whether it’s from someone on the street, or a podcast, or a book I’m reading. It’s like my brain is constantly thinking in possibility. It can get a bit daunting at times because there are so many things I want to make happen and to some, that probably sounds like a manic nightmare, but for me, ever since I discovered that entrepreneurship doesn’t mean “do it all and do it alone.” It’s become so much fun for me to get inspired by something and then see if I know anyone in my community that would also get excited about collaborating and bringing this idea to life with me. This process isn’t over night and a lot of things get tabled for better timing but the magic is the moment they don’t live just inside me anymore and it becomes a community effort. That outer accountability not only with the person you told but spiritually giving the idea wings outside of you, in my opinion, lets it know you take it seriously, you hear the calling and you feel the energy and it’s important to realize it. So I have a whole slew of ideas that are living on my dry erase board, on my computer, in my journal, then I pick the one I’m currently focusing on based on which idea will help facilitate the others coming to fruition with more ease, community, and fun.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I don’t know if I would call it a trend but these buzzwords of “empowerment” and “collective” and “community.” It’s really on the rise in many aspects of society these days and I get excited because it is the wind I fly my sail on. Educating yourself and standing with where your heart lies is more important than ever and as Grace Hopper said, “the most dangerous phrase that anyone could use in the world today is that dreadful one: ‘but we’ve always done it that way.” I think we are finally seeing that not just as entrepreneurs where we’ve been conditioned to think every step of this journey has to look a certain way, Almost painful in my opinion, but in life, that we are not meant to always do it one way and we are certainly not meant to do it alone. The bigger sense of love that is vibrating through things these days, that trend, I’m here for it.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
When I’m not in it. Like, invested in a task or my brain is not invested in solving a problem or really working on something. I just leave it. Literally sometimes I just leave everything as it is and walk away. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I think it’s really helped me to realize that nothing I’m doing is curing cancer, but it is important work, so it deserves the best of me and if she ain’t showing up then I’m not doing it. It won’t be as honest, or authentic or as good if I muscle through it because I feel like I “have to” or “should.” It’s the greatest lesson I’m always learning, as Gary Vee says, “hold yourself accountable, but don’t beat yourself up.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
“Hard” is not a badge of honor. You don’t have to live your whole life like you’re in the last minute of the 4th OT when the Portland Trailblazers are playing the Warriors. Being happy does not mean you’re getting complacent, and for goodness sake woman, dance a little more.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That this country can find it’s purple. That we don’t have to pick sides, we just have to have really productive conversations about our humanity.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Intentionally and relentlessly commit to your gratitude. Catch yourself in your negative thoughts as often as you can and when you do, choose again. Choose unapologetic positivity and gratitude. Do it when it’s unpopular, do it when you’re judged, do it when you don’t want to (especially then,) and don’t allow yourself to make excuses for why you “can’t” in any given moment because negativity and worrying is, in my opinion and my experience, like cancer, there is absolutely nothing good that comes from it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Asking for a lot of help. I ask so many questions. I have zero shame in not knowing things and I am only one person. If I try to know more things to the degree I know the things I love and I’m good at, I would spend so much wasted time driven by ego (if I’m super honest) rather than asking for some insight and help.
One time I spent, honestly, days trying to figure out how to do this specific thing on a website I was building and I just couldn’t figure out why it seemed to be so hard. Finally I caved and reached out to a random soul on Instagram and she gave me the “How to” in less than 5 minutes and the problem was solved and looking great in a matter of 2 hours. The most informative part is that it wasn’t about me not knowing how to get the end result, it was about knowing the most efficient way to get the end result and that is a matter of perspective that my life experience just doesn’t have. That’s why collaboration is key and asking for help is absolutely VITAL.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started a blog. Like back when it was cool and hot on the rise. I wrote a lot and then someone read it and tore it to shreds. The grammer, the ideas, the thought trains I had, all of it. I write like I talk, clearly. At the time it was just not a thing and not how “writers” wrote. So I stopped writing in it. I write in my journal everyday that someday I’ll be a New York Times best selling author. The book is partially written but every time I either sit down to write more or even think about this book I feel a little shame still. I’m acknowledging and working through it but that criticism stopped me from writing. What I did to overcome it was take the words I struggled to write because of my run on sentences and grammatical errors and started a podcast. Talking was something I knew I could do really well, so I used that fire to propel me into a new and exciting opportunity. Writing and I are on the mend and the book will come out someday, so when you see my name after the title. Pre-Order it for me. Haha
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I was and still am pretty passionate about human trafficking and other global atrocities and I have been super inspired lately by urban farms, and the creative ways we are learning to advance agriculture, and clean water among many other things.
I think someone should get the shipping containers that are taking up space by sitting in ports so they can be less of them used for illegal trafficking and turn them into sustainable farm and agriculture for under served communities and also for rebuilding communities for people who have lost their homes due to natural disaster or war. I know this feels like a lot, and I clearly haven’t fleshed out the whole idea but I think there is a lot of possibility in these areas and if we get creative we can really make a beautiful difference in a lot of diverse aspects. It would take hefty investment but I’ve seen bigger miracles happen for much less noble of causes. Humanity will show up, someone get this done.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
This is a pretty left field answer but I recently bought a really amazing fish eye lens for my phone camera, and it’s been awesome because I can’t speak for everyone but when you do something for a living (I’m also a professional photographer), or use photos to market on social media for your business you think a lot about pictures and the angles and the “right” kinds of photos it’s really helped me to shift my perspective (literally and figuratively) and have a little but more fun with something that I do professionally and I think sometimes we miss the fun.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’ve recently really got into email marketing, like it’s a game or something. Haha so I’m super into MailChimp and it’s made my life a lot easier since I’m selling tickets for workshops or events, or the membership for my app that’s coming out. I can set it up one time when I’m super in flow and then I don’t have to worry about all the email follow up. Secondly I would also say Calendly has totally changed my life since it’s a scheduling software and it has totally helped scheduling podcast interviews and meetings and dinner dates without having to spend an hour in my inbox figure out the best time to schedule something. Send them the link and it’s done. I love the smell of efficiency in the morning. Haha
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. There is a whole series but start with the red covered one and then give it to everyone you know. I didn’t even know about this book until I started my journey with She’s Hungry but the foundation that I am building this community on is all very profoundly discussed in this book. I have a goal that every time someone gets a She’s Hungry Squad Membership that they are mailed a copy of this book. It’s about living from abundance and gratitude and giving from that place to find and create real, lasting, and wild success. I can’t say enough great things about it.
What is your favorite quote?
“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” – Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
- Success at astronomic proportion starts in gratitude and giving from abundance
- Ask for help, life is not meant to be learned about alone and from only your perspective
- Play full out, find joy, and fun, and dance because life is lived in the in between, make the whole thing a party
- Show up courageously, authentically, and vulnerably in every opportunity you have because humanity is watching and we need each other
- Hold yourself accountable because no one is going to give you your dreams, but don’t live for those few monumental moments either.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.