#STYLE YOUR BIZ with Artist and CEO of Kristi Kohut Studio, Kristi Kohut


WHAT DOES YOUR MORNING ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?

- Before I even get out of bed, I meditate. I so need this and just feel off without it! It gets my head straight. ;)

- Check email, respond to new requests from collectors and designers.

- Head into my studio. I love getting in here right away, when I am most fresh and full of energy.


WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? Getting to define my business on my terms..there’s no road map and no one else to answer to, so I can design it the way I envision it. This means that I can put my focus on the areas I feel most passionate about and I can do so on my own terms. I can travel with my family without having to take vacation days, I can be at my son’s hockey practice every day at 3 pm, I don’t have to make the sacrifices that I did when I was working in Advertising. This provides an incredible balance that I am so grateful for.


WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? It takes a ton of hard work, hustle, persistence and juggling of all kinds of roles to make it happen. You have to be super passionate because it ain’t easy, BUT if you love what you are doing there is nothing better!

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU DO FOR YOURSELF EVERYDAY? My morning meditation is seriously the best thing I can do for myself (and I’m told this by others...they know when I haven’t meditated... ha!). I started about 6 years ago and it really changes everything. It clears through all of the mental gunk that swirls around in our heads and helps give me clarity. As a creative, I think so much of my inspiration and ideas comes from this divine, universal source. Not to sound cooky, but I really think there’s something to this! Sometimes when I’m working, I’ll step back and be like woah, where did that come from? It’s such a gift when inspiration comes, so I try to keep a clear head and to be so open and not take it for granted.


WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO INVEST IN WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS? I started my business with $1. I didn’t want any of my actions or decisions to be dependent on pleasing someone or something else, so this was really important to me. From this, as I gained income, I have always reinvested it right back into growing my business. I’m constantly looking for new ways to grow my practice and better my studio. My first big investment milestone was to hire a finance manager...the thing I least enjoy doing. As an entrepreneur, the more you can allocate the things that are not your strong suit so you can focus on the things you are good at, the better.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION? I am driven by this incredible need to create. I don’t know where it comes from, but it is feisty and not quiet. I feel like it is just something I have to do and when I do it, it feels me with such joy and contentment that I’ve never experienced in anything I’ve ever done before. It feels like it’s what I’m supposed to do, a calling. And now that I’ve gotten to a place beyond the initial fear and self-doubt, I want to share what I’ve learned and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Imagine how amazing the world would be if we all listened to that fire inside and made our dreams a reality?!


HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED/PRODUCTIVE AND MAKE THE BEST OF THE SAME 24 HOURS THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS? I’m a bit nutty, constantly juggling so many things at once, but I’m incredibly driven. I try to prioritize my day by focusing on what the most important thing is that will have the biggest impact on my work at that moment. It’s a very intuitive process, not very formulaic, but it works for me and allows me to put my intention and energy into the projects or communications that need my attention at that moment. I think being a parent has also made me incredibly efficient. My time is so limited and so precious, I don’t like to waste it and I like to just get stuff done rather than contemplating it. I have so many ideas and things I want to do, I like to keep moving and keep that focus when I’m working.


WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO/FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA/USE AS A MENTOR?

Tory Burch

Ashley Longshore

Marie Forleo

Oprah

Reese Witherspoon

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN? "Everything is figureoutable”. I heard this for the first time on a Mario Forleo Marie TV episode and it really stuck with me. I think this is such a terrific mindset in life and in business...no matter what issues you face - and they certainly will come up when you are running your own business! - I always try to remind myself that there’s a solution to everything no matter how tricky it may seem. This holds true when you are dreaming and envisioning the next step or addition to your business....if you desire it enough and work hard enough, you can make anything happen. You just have to have the gumption to figure it out and keep trying when it doesn’t work the first time. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. ;)


WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GIVEN? This is a tough one! I think the one thing I find my self passionately saying over and over is the importance of just starting...just taking that first step in doing what it is you are dreaming about. I think this is the hardest part and the part that people really get stuck because there is so much fear and doubt and so much that is just unknown, it is so easy to let that inner voice take over. There’s never going to be the perfect time, it’s never going to be easy, there are no guarantees BUT there is nothing better than doing what you are supposed to do. So just take that leap and things will start to connect, there will be plenty of time to refine and improve along the way, but if you never start you are missing out on something that is better than you ever could have imagined.

*BONUS* WHAT DOES NO ONE TELL YOU ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? Believe it or not, I feel like when I was starting the words artist and entrepreneur where never uttered together. There was so much doubt and pessimism I encountered. I was always told that you can’t make money as an artist. That this was a hobby at best. I could never make a career out of it. Thank God the voice inside me was feisty and a little crazy and incredibly bold because I just ignored this and soldiered forward. I think you have to be so careful in the beginning. It is human nature to doubt and you just have to keep things a bit quiet and to yourself and just do it. Be so good they will have no choice but to believe you. Now that I’ve come out on the other side, I just want to shout it out that you CAN make it happen if you want it bad enough and work hard enough, it is there waiting for you


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WANT TO WIN KRISTI'S "FIND YOUR BLISS" PRINT?! JUST SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER (HERE) AND ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN IT IN A 22"X30" SIZE! SHE WILL DRAW ONE RANDOM WINNER ON FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH.


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