Kimberly Stewart Is The Pied Piper of Weird Businesses
Kimberly Stewart is the founder of Be Weird Make Money. She helps people design a life and make a living in a world where they feel like they don't belong. She helps creative people identify different ways to combine their passions and talents to build completely unique individualized profitable businesses.
Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Kimberly Stewart.
Passionistas: What's the one thing you're most passionate about?
Kimberly: Doing your own thing and me doing my own thing and helping others to do the same. It's the one thing I can remember throughout my entire life being a driving force is being able to be myself, be original. My rallying cry like my Superman moment is when I hear people being marginalized or, “Oh, you can't do that” or, “Oh, just be quiet.” I just really want to help people be more themselves in the world. Cause I think that's what the world needs.
Passionistas: So what is the name of your company and how do you help people do that with your topic?
Kimberly: So Being Weird Make Money came about from when I was applying to speak at a convention. And they said, what would the title of your talk be? Because at the time my company was Catalyst Kim Productions and, you know, catalyst being the chemical production that gets things moving.
And I thought, I've been to a lot of really fun, funky conventions. And if I was looking through the program to see which talks I wanted to go to, I said, Being Weird Make Money, I would go to that. It was short sweet. And to the point I've been helping people in some form or fashion for the last 17 years, create their own livelihoods. My mentor, my one mentor, Valerie Young created Changing Course and the Profit from Your Passions consulting. And so I was trained in that. And the guiding question with that is “what do you want your life to look like?” I had been trying to help people in what felt like a very normal standard mainstream way. And I wanted to break out of that because I didn't quite understand the folks from the cubicle farm people were, having regular jobs and stuff like that, which are fine, just regular things.
And you know, here I am, I'm very creative. I'm a theater person, Renaissance festivals, sci-fi conventions, I wrote a book about how to have Halloween based businesses. And so I was like, there's a whole world of people who are ignored by traditional career counselor. So all those people who want better jobs or better careers, there's plenty of people to help them. But the people who are like soft and nerfy and weird who want to do like really odd ball things, there's no one really to help guide them. And so it was like, I will be the Pied Piper of weird little businesses.
And how I help them is I kind of identify what they love and what they want their lives to look like, which again is not a traditional career question. Usually people, when they say, when they're talking about work or jobs, they know your life is going to look like most likely it's going to be nine to five or eight to late, you know, 50 weeks a year. And I don't want assume that ever once I get an idea of what people want their lives to look like and what they love and, you know, then we can start generating some ideas. And so that's kind of the basis of where I start.
Passionistas: So talk about how you work with people one-on-one. What's that process like?
Kimberly: First I have them do some homework where I have them write out all the things that they love, even if it doesn't feel like it would be part of the money-making process. And then I have them do an exercise that's called the ideal day. And some people can do the ideal day, week, month, year, whatever. So I can get a picture again, of what they want their lives to look like a funny example that, that Valerie gave that I realized it applies to my folks too, is I would often start our working together process with the question. So what time of day, you know, what time in the morning do you want to wake up? And somebody said, does it have to be morning? Nope. I guess not particularly for my tribe. A lot of really nocturnal people.
But it's kind of like if people want to work in bursts, like if they want to work for half the year, six months, a year and travel half the year, again, that's something I can accommodate. So we, have them fill out their assignment and then we have a 90 minute talk where I get a clearer picture because what they write is one thing, but it's that listening to when they talk and when they get excited or when they're really excited, usually the voice drops a little and because they're afraid because it's, it's very special. And so that's what talking to them. And then once we kind of bandy about some ideas, I'm like, okay, do you want to make a living that is connected to your passion? Or do you want to make enough money to, to have a comfortable life, you know, so that you can work on your passion?
Cause sometimes people, especially creative people sometimes there's that fine line of, I don't want to create on command because that takes the fun out of it. I just want time to work on my creative projects and I don't, I almost don't care what the work is, as long as it pays the bills. So then we, you know, once we kind of figured that out then I walked him down the nuts and bolts process of, okay, well, here's what you need to do. Here' the first steps that you're going to need, something I've learned to say is I help bridge the gap between knowing how to art and knowing how to business, because I have studied small business for so long because that's, that's a passion of mine. Even though if it's straightforward, boring business, you can apply creative fields to that.
But a lot people aren't necessarily doing that. So that's what I like to do that. And so that last part, the nuts and bolts part is that bridging the gap, like, okay, so here's where you need to go. Here's who you need to talk to. Sometimes I don't really know how to do the thing, but I know what you need to do. And so I'll say I'll tell people right out of the gate, I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to make a website, but I know you need one. You can go to help. Here's the best practices for website. I just don't know how to do it. And that's okay. For a long time I used to be really shy like, Oh, golly, I don't know how to do this. And it's like, why do I have to know how to do, I just have to know where to send people and be a resource.
Learn more about Kimberly at BeWeirdMakeMoney.com.
Hear Kimberly’s complete episode of Passionistas Project Podcast.