April 14, 2022
I am excited to have Kelly for an interview today😃
Kelly is a Leadership & Well-being Coach who works with individuals that want to live more confidently & intentionally, alongside guiding post-seed stage startups who wish to invest in creating a motivating & supportive Employee Experience.
- Personal website👉https://www.kelly-snodgrass.com/
What does Kelly do as a Coach?
To start off, can you elaborate a bit about what you do? What type of problem do you solve for your clients? I have never heard of something like this before.
I have 2 types of services I offer, one for individuals and one for businesses. For individuals, I’m solving a few problems that many young people want to overcome… these being the societal pressure / individual addiction to productivity, feeling lost or off a purposeful life path, and a general lack of community for those who have chosen to live a purposeful, balanced & intentional life (aka for those who do not want to work 24/7!) For businesses, I offer solutions that allow for more authenticity in the workplace, address loneliness at the manager level or provide support for small companies / HR teams who want to make their employees feel truly supported (rather than tick a box & offer traditional benefits) I do this through quite a few services! I offer 1:1 coaching, I founded a community called Hustlers Anonymous that meets monthly, I run a new manager experience called The Strategic Feminine & I offer bespoke consulting services (like workshops, advising, well-being program creation) to name a few.
Why does she love her work?
Why do you love being a Leadership and Well-being Coach?
I am a jack of many trades 🙂 & an easily bored person who loves variety in my work. So, I love this type of work because it’s dynamic! And it’s important. Being a coach means I get to guide people when they feel stuck. Stuck in the hustle, stuck in a pattern of loneliness, stuck in inauthenticity (which tends to lead to feelings of imposter syndrome) As a coach my superpower is being an expert listener - it’s a very subtle and refined skill & it’s so much fun for me. I hear not only what my clients say, but how they say it - and even what they are not saying. This allows me to get to the root of what they are truly feeling quite quickly and empower them to make bold change in their lives. I’m someone who has always had a high bias to action and I bring that aspect of myself to client relationships.
How did she eventually transition to Coaching after years of experience at top Silicon Valley companies?
Were you doing something before this and how did you transition to coaching?
Before this, I lived many lives. And I learned something from all of them! I studied industrial engineering at university, and that taught me how to solve problems efficiently (something I still use today, just not in a manufacturing setting haha). Then I worked in jobs like supply chain analytics at Groupon, growth hacking at Uber, customer experience at Snapchat, & product management at Pollen Across all of these I became very interested in human behavior- what made the customers of these platforms tick / behave in certain ways. Once I started managing teams of people, I applied that curiosity to my direct reports in how to motivate them to succeed in life. From there it was a small-ish jump to invest in coach training (which is one aspect of being a manager). I loved it so much I knew it was the path I needed to go down. I don’t think it’s the “final” path for me, as I am a true lover of efficiency— and 1:1 coaching is not efficient (though super impactful). It would require 1 hour of my time for 1 session in perpetuity. So, a lot of my long term dreams are in the realms of creating in-person community experiences that focus on well being (think communes but not solely spiritual!) alongside lean-in circle style programs where I guide people to help each other; rather than having to guide everyone myself.
What does a typical week of work looks like?
I think I now get what your work is about on a broad level. Can you tell us what a typical day/week of work looks like for you? Given the nature of your work I guess you must be talking with clients most of the time.
My typical week includes
- maximum 10-15 hours of 1:1 sessions or group facilitation (any more and I burn out of holding space quickly)
- up to 1 hour a day of connecting (networking, showing up in community spaces, etc.)
- 1 or 2 hours of strategic & creative heads down work (writing, program creation, road mapping)
- 1 hour admin a day (emails, invoicing, etc.)
- reading or course work as and when I am enrolled (just finished an intuition building course and about to start a creative writing course)
- self care (journaling, napping, meditation, walking)
I have never met someone who works so less! This must free up time for so many other things that a hustler can only do post-retirement. I will never have to “retire” if I live like this.
That’s exactly my vibe - I used to want to retire asap and now I’m happy to “work” forever because it doesn’t feel like work and it’s very sustainable.
Top resources to get started with coaching
Can you point our readers to some awesome beginner level resources in case they want to pursue coaching or something similar?
Some good books to get you started are
- The 100-Year Life
- Atomic Habits
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
Amazon.in - Buy The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity book online at best prices in India on Amazon.in. Read The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. Free delivery on qualified orders.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Atomic Habits is the most comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. I do not believe you will find a more actionable book on the subject of habits and improvement. If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace - Nedra Tawwab
"Relationships take work, but they do not have to be hard and challenging. Even in healthy relationships, people have to practice healthy communication and establish expectations. Before you throw in the towel, try communicating your needs and being open about what matters to you in a healthy relationship."
I also have the hustlers anonymous community which people are welcome to join - a low cost option that supports well-being.
Hustlers Anonymous - Kelly Snodgrass
I started Hustlers Anonymous because after leaving the corporate world to explore an entrepreneurial life, I felt a lot more lonely. Everyone around me was still addicted to the hustler lifestyle, and I struggled for over a year to find my tribe of fellow slower, balanced & intentional living enthusiasts.
How does it feel to have left the hustle culture behind?
Quitting the hustle lifestyle after so many years must have taken a lot of courage. What difference do you feel now that you are not working so much?
Quitting did take a lot of courage - my parents were skeptical at best! I had to be my own biggest cheerleader, but slowly lots of people are joining the movement to not work from 9-5 (aka 9-9!) I now feel I don’t have to do things asap, or in a way that maximizes short term payback. I can allow passions & ideas to grow with time and bloom when they are ready. I also invest in things that I know won’t bloom for many months, years - or potentially ever! And then sometimes things bloom that I never expected to, and this is in part because I have the time / energy to notice opportunities that may have slipped right past me when I was super tired / busy. I take a lot of wisdom from nature. Not every plant is meant to live for more than one summer. Some summer, the tomatoes don’t ever really come through & some them come through with such abundance! And the some year some perennials you didn’t even know were there poke through and make an appearance. Tend to your garden (your environment / your body / your energy) and nature takes care of the rest!
How to avoid getting trapped in the hustle culture
Being a recovering hustler, why do think people get trapped in the hustle culture in the first place? Can young people do something to avoid being defined by their work? Or as a young person one has no other option but to hustle their way in and think about a work-life balance once they are more experienced?
You highlighted the reason people get caught in hustle culture … likely without realizing it🙃 We all have this inherent belief that in order to be successful, we must work hard. That hard work = success. It’s not that the opposite of hard work, laziness = success, but I truly believe (this is because I now have a lot of examples of it!) that following your energy leads to more success. Because if you are energized, you are more likely to show up because you want to rather than because you have to. I never knew coaching was an option when I was 18! And I spent a lot of time having to force myself to work hard (which does tend to lead to some level of financial success) but at the expense of my health. So, I would suggest to young people to think long and hard about what success might mean to you. Have a definition for every decade of your life. In my 20’s, it was to explore, adventure, be carefree. In my 30’s it seems to be having lots of time & space to move intentionally & live a balanced life, and in my 40’s I could imagine it being community oriented and feeling grounded in a place that feels like an outward reflection of who I am. The main thing I’ve learned is that you need to know yourself to be able to live the way you want- instead of living as society, your parents, or your friends might expect you to. You may want to be defined by your work and that’s fine, but what I wish for is that at some point everyone is aware enough to make that decision consciously, rather than it being made for them!
You are right, I did not realise it. This is an eye opener💯
What motivates you to action when you are feeling stuck on a problem
I think we should wrap this up with a couple of questions:
- What motivates you to action when you are feeling stuck on a problem?
- If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you would give to the 20-yr old version of yourself?
Hm, good first question. I think what motivates me to action is curiosity. I know I get to learn something by taking an action, and I’m curious what it will be (it usually is not what you expect). I’d tell my 20 year old self that her wildest dreams will come true, just give it time & never give up.
Thank you so much for your time today Kelly🙏
Powerful advice. I hope that we can meet in person one day🙂