Episode 16. Self-Talk, Social Media + Finding our Way [Guest Episode w/ Katie Horwitch]
Self-talk plays a huge role in our lives, especially for anyone who’s putting themselves out on the wire in a public forum like social media. Today, we’re talking with Katie Horwitch, a New York City-based writer, speaker, mindset coach, and the founder of WANT (Women Against Negative Talk), a platform and podcast that offers tips, tools, motivation, and inspiration to help people move forward in life by shifting their negative self-talk. We talk about how you can improve your own self-talk, how it impacts your life as an entrepreneur and on social media, and her career journey to the point where she’s ended up today.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- 05:43 – How Katie incorporates acting into her current work
- 14:42 – How Katie’s self-talk practice began
- 32:55 – The ways social media affects self-talk
- 49:28 – Ways that Katie builds resilience online
- 55:27 – How to improve your own self-talk
What is self-talk?
Most of us are aware of what self-talk feels like in our day-to-day life even if we’re not familiar with the term “self-talk”. It’s the way your internal monologue talks about yourself, both positively and negatively. Driven by your subconscious, self-talk can impact the flow of your days, the actions you take, and the feelings you feel. Being better in tune with your self-talk, and even being able to manage and mitigate the harmful effects of negative self-talk, can play a huge role in your life.
How does social media affect our self-talk and how can we manage it?
It seems like the debate around social media and its effects on us, positive and negative, is never ending. Katie shares that so much of how social media affects you comes down to how you engage with it.
First, define how you are using social media purposefully so that you are concerned with the right metrics and not bothering with the rest. Set boundaries and respect those boundaries. Second, if even within those boundaries you’re noticing that it is having a detrimental effect on your mental health, you have to ask yourself if what you get from those particular platforms is worth what they are doing to you.
We often believe the myth that social media is the only game in town when it comes to running your online business, but that’s not the case. When growing a brand or practice on your own terms, you can’t follow advice that doesn’t work for you.
How do you improve your own self-talk?
Many entrepreneurs struggle with feelings of self-worth. You’re putting yourself out there in a big way by saying that your business can change your clients and customers’ lives. But Katie mentions that change isn’t necessarily going to come from another certificate on your wall. Do you really need another certification, or are you just looking for something external to make you feel like you know more?
Negative self-talk is ultimately under our control, because it’s all happening internally. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to correct, but it does mean we can take simple steps to improve it over time. Listen to Katie’s podcast or join her newsletter at womenagainstnegativetalk.com to learn more. Find out how to work with her at katiehorwitch.com to go even deeper on these subjects.
Listen to On Your Terms on your favorite podcast platform
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- Visit womenagainstnegativetalk.com to listen to the podcast and join Katie’s newsletter!
- Find out how to work with Katie at katiejoyhorwitch.com
- Follow Katie on Instagram: @katiehorwitch
- Listen to Episode 2. Scope of Practice for Coaches (What You’re Legally Allowed to Do)
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:09] Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. And I’m so excited to share this guest episode with you today. Today, we’re talking to my friend and my colleague, Katie Horwitch. Katie is a New York City-based writer, speaker, mindset coach, and the founder of WANT, Women Against Negative Talk. It’s a platform and a podcast by the same name that gives you tips, tools, motivation, and inspiration to move forward in your life by shifting your negative self-talk. It’s so, so important that Katie is doing this work.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:42] And her work has appeared on CNN, The Cut, Mindbodygreen, and so much more. You might have even worked out with her on the app Aptiv. Katie is super cool. I’ve spoken with her at conferences before. We’ve met in real life. And I’m just really excited to bring this conversation to you today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:59] I’m so curious about self-talk myself. I personally don’t know a ton about it other than just knowing, maybe, a basic definition or something like that. So, I was really curious to get to talk to somebody who talks about self-talk for a living. And I also want to know how we could get better at it. And, particularly, you know, to just talk with Katie about how self-talk issues or little things that we’ve got to navigate come up for us as entrepreneurs.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:27] I don’t know about you, but a lot of this kind of stuff comes up for me in social media and using social media being, you know, more visible sometimes, and things like that. And you’ll hear me talk with Katie a lot in today’s episode about what is going on, on social media, and how people are, you know, kind of announcing their departure, people are leaving. People are sharing a lot more about how it’s affecting their mental health and their wellbeing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:54] And I was just so curious from somebody’s perspective who studies self-talk, what she thought about all of that. Because I know for me, when I see people announcing that they’re leaving Instagram or that they’re making some major shift in their business and kind of going more inwards and more private, I’m always curious about what that brings up for me so I will take something away from that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:18] Like, should I be leaving social media? Should I not be on here as much? I started judging myself, talking to myself, or I start saying like, "Oh, I wish that I had the courage to do something like that." You know, it’s like something only they can do, but I can’t do. And then, I always am curious as to what’s coming up for them, what’s going on for them that led them to this decision. So, we talk a lot about social media in general, people wanting to be on it less, but also trying to build their business there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:41] I think another cool thing you’re going to get out of my episode with Katie is talking through her career journey and how she got to where she is today. So, I’ll let her tell the story to you here in a few minutes. But if anybody out there is wondering how this windy path ends up, I think you’ll enjoy this episode. So, with that, let’s get into it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:06] Hey, Katie. How are you doing?
Katie Horwitch: [00:03:07] I am doing fantastically, mostly because I just spent the last hour with you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:14] And we’re doing a little pod swap here, so we’ll put a link below so that we make sure that we link to Katie’s podcast, WANTcast. We’ll talk about that too. But we just did an episode together and it was so fun.
Katie Horwitch: [00:03:26] It’s so good. It’s so good, everyone. I can’t wait for people to hear it. I can’t wait to listen back to it. Like everyone is there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:34] Do you ever listen to your own podcast episode? Someone asked me this the other day.
Katie Horwitch: [00:03:38] I do. I do. I listen to every single episode. I edit most of them myself. I have someone that I call on if I’m just super, super overwhelmed that I need help. So, I listen from different perspectives. And I think that part of that is from my acting and performer background, is that, my first pass around when I’m first listening to the episode from editing, I listen from the guest if it’s an interview, the guest’s perspective and the listener’s perspective, the audience’s perspective.
Katie Horwitch: [00:04:16] Because I want to get my ego out of the way so that I can serve them and give the listener the best listening experience possible. And I want the person who’s been on the podcast, if they listen to their interview, which hopefully they will, I want it to be something that they’re proud of. And so, that’s my first pass or my second pass.
Katie Horwitch: [00:04:38] And then, when I listen back when it’s published, I listen from a sort of self-mentoring perspective. So, listening for, "Okay. Well, when did I feel like myself? What did I like? What did I not like?" And really listening proactively, because – I don’t know if you feel the same way – it can be very, very easy to get into that self-critical mindset when you’re hearing yourself. Especially because as humans, the way we hear ourselves in our head is very different from the way we hear ourselves out loud. So, I really, over the years, have practiced putting that part of myself aside in service of the greater scope of work, if that makes sense.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:27] Yeah. That totally makes sense. I think that’s a really good tip for people to know, too, and to do a little self-auditing as they’re listening back to their own content or if they are going to start a podcast. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about starting a podcast, and we will loop this into the tips as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:43] But you mentioned your acting background. I know a bit about it, but I would love for you to share with everybody a little bit about what you did before what you’re doing today.
Katie Horwitch: [00:05:54] Yeah. So, I went to school for drama, specifically for musical theater. I started acting when I was, probably, in fifth grade. Like, I did the yearly school shows and holiday shows since I was in kindergarten. But I started doing plays and musicals when I was in fifth grade, I believe, and I loved it so much. And something that I found was really interesting is, as I started to get more immersed in the theater world, was total theater kid in high school, president of Theater Arts Club, director of the Acapella Group. I was that person.
Katie Horwitch: [00:06:38] And I realized that being on stage for me was less about getting lost in a character and more about becoming more of myself. I always felt like the fullest version of myself when I was on a stage. And I went to school, like I said, for drama, for musical theater. I acted professionally in TV shows, and movies, and commercials, and theater for my late teens. Early 20s, I still do some of that work. Now, because I was so entrenched with it, and it was so a part of my life, I developed the relationships where I get to do certain things at certain times. I get to do a reading of a musical or I get to do a spot for a fitness company. It’s super cool.
Katie Horwitch: [00:07:36] And I know that your podcast is called On Your Terms, when I started to move away from being on an acting stage, on a theater stage, and I got more interested in fitness and being on a fitness stage, I always said to myself, "Well, I don’t want to put behind performing. I just want to do it on my terms." And I realized that a lot of the world that I was being surrounded by in that theater performing world, especially as a 20 something and an early 20 something year old, it was a world that involved a lot of games that I didn’t want to play. And not only do I not want to play it, but they didn’t feel within integrity to be playing.
Katie Horwitch: [00:08:29] And I define integrity as when the intent that you have matches the impact that you have. And I found a lot of times that those weren’t matching up. And, moreover, that was affecting how I was able to basically be myself on a stage. And so, when I found fitness, which came after struggling with eating and body related disorders, and, really, if I look back throughout my teens and it came to a head in college, I found that fitness and being a group fitness instructor, specifically, was a place where I was able to be on a stage and be fully and completely myself. And it was the stage that felt the most natural to me.
Katie Horwitch: [00:09:23] And what’s really cool now is that, beyond just doing an acting gig or a performance gig here or there, I feel like my work now is taking so much of what I loved from so many different aspects of my life into the different facets of my career up until now as a 35 year old. It’s taken the stuff that I have loved the most, that I’ve excelled the most at, and that I have been willing to play the game with, and I’m able to be my fullest self here now using all of that stuff.
Katie Horwitch: [00:10:02] So, it’s interesting. My life doesn’t look the way that I thought it was going to look. But in so many ways it feels the way that I hoped it would feel.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:11] Like, all the elements are there, that’s for sure. I think there is a certain element of acting and theater that goes on in what we do anyway, right? And I know you and I will talk a lot about social media today, but when I look at social media, as a theater kid myself growing up – not any good, but I enjoyed it – I feel like I can see a lot of that of just putting on the space sometimes or having to show up in ways because it’s also our job.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:47] So, it’s like a weird intersection of you have to be here in a way in the sense that I know we all choose to be here and choose to be on social media. But we choose to run our businesses there. And then, in order to run our business there, you have to show up in a certain way. And so, sometimes I feel like there can be certain acting elements even that come into what we do.
Katie Horwitch: [00:11:06] A hundred percent. And where it can get dicey, I think, for some people is when you feel like you are playing a character online and you are losing yourself in that character. And so, a question that I always ask, even just my friends, when we’re talking about social media, whether they use it for business reasons or for personal reasons, a question that I ask is, "Do you feel like you’re playing a character when you’re on social media? And how are you intending to show up?"
Katie Horwitch: [00:11:44] Something that always kind of weirds me out is when I meet someone – whether it’s over the Zooms or if it’s in real life – and they are not at all the way that they project themselves to be online. And I’m like, "Well, that’s interesting." And this isn’t even like they face-tuned themselves or they’re super made up all the time in their pictures, whatever. It’s more who are you projecting yourself to be? Who are you convincing people you are? And how okay are you with the ramifications that that will have?
Katie Horwitch: [00:12:32] Because social media and the internet is a huge part of our lives now that it will have ramifications and implications in your real life, how okay are you with that either level of connection that people have to you or that level of disconnect that people may feel from you? Because it can go in either way. There are some people who feel as if they need to share, and I’ve been this person for sure. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum where I felt like I need to share every single little piece of my life and I have zero boundaries in place.
Katie Horwitch: [00:13:10] And what that ended up doing was it opened up conversations with people that I actually didn’t want to have. It felt too intimate. That felt too close to the heart. But I felt like in order to be "authentic", I needed to give all my goods on the internet. And so, now, what I put into place is that I share what feels personal, not what feels intimate. And that boundary, that line, is always changing. And that’s something that has been a helpful, useful guiding force for me.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:47] I really like that, it feels personal but not intimate. That’s really a good way to put it. I feel like I say this every other episode, but my friend, Naomi, from the Lifestyle Edit, she always says people are entitled to parts of you, but not all of you. And I always think that’s a helpful way for me to think of it as like, I don’t share all parts of my life or even all parts of something that’s going on.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:08] Like, I’ve shared openly that my dad is dying of cancer. And I’ve shared openly about this, but I don’t share hardly anything about what’s actually happening. Not any like lie-y kind of way. To me, you just need to know the basics of what’s happening. You don’t need to know all the intimate details. So, I think, like you’re saying, it’s such a hard line to draw, but also it’s a fluid line. These things keep changing as our lives keep changing, as the apps themselves keep changing and how people use them as well. But we’ll get into it because I have so much to ask you about it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:42] But I’m so curious, so from Katie doing commercials, and acting, and being on stage, and then starting to do fitness and group classes, how did self-talk first come into your life? Where did that enter the picture on a professional level?
Katie Horwitch: [00:14:59] Oh, goodness. That’s a great distinction, on a professional level. Because if you go back into my journals, there are homes that I wrote myself when I was 12, 13. And I look back now and I’m like, "This is not very far from the stuff that I’m writing about now." And I think that I was always highly, highly aware and attuned to what was going on around me, and what was going on within me, and how those two intersected.
Katie Horwitch: [00:15:37] And I think that as you’re growing up, if you’re someone who grows up with hyper awareness, with really big feelings, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what actually is something that you want to stand behind, what’s going on. You’re figuring out like, "Okay. Well, who’s in charge here, almost? Because you’re feeling strongly about certain things. You’re forming your own opinions and your observations. And then, you have a whole world around you that is telling you what to think, how to act, how to look, and who to be.
Katie Horwitch: [00:16:16] And I’m not just talking about the people who are in your household. I’m talking about these strangers that you see on the street, their body language, the media that you’re consuming. This all comes in on a conscious and a subconscious level 24/7. And we’re so receptive when we’re younger. Like, we’re sponges. We’re sponging it all up because we’re trying to make sense of the world.
Katie Horwitch: [00:16:42] And the way that that entered my life in a professional sense is, really, when I started to get interested in fitness as a career. And to be completely honest with you, it intersected with my acting life. Because as an actor, by necessity, you need to get another job because it’s a gig career for the majority of people who don’t know when the next gig is going to come, and you need to have a way to make money. And so, I was someone who I had worked retail. I had done restaurant work. And I was like, I don’t want to do that. I need to do something that is at least a little bit related.
Katie Horwitch: [00:17:35] And talking about the game, I didn’t want to play the game of working as a receptionist in an agency and then working my way up or networking. Which, there are many people who have done that and that’s perfect for them. For the person that I am and the way that I take in the world, that was not the right path for me. And I was like, "Well, cool." And this is before it was a cool thing to do. I could be a group fitness instructor, get to be on a stage, get to move with music. You know, it’s very much like dancing.
Katie Horwitch: [00:18:10] My specialty is that I teach indoor cycling. I teach spinning. And so, I get to curate playlists. I get to curate a mood. I get to craft and experience. And this is something that I can, basically, have job security no matter where my acting world takes me, because there will always be gyms and community centers, there will never not be a time where there are not people who want to make movement a part of their lives.
Katie Horwitch: [00:18:41] And what I started to realize is that the way that people talk to an audience, and the way that people talk to themselves, and the way that those intersect in a group fitness environment is really, really powerful. And I was noticing the ways that, not just my inner dialogue/monologue was being affected by the different classes that I would take, and the different instructors that I would take, and the way that the music affected me, but I would see how that would affect other people in class or friends or family members, and the way that they would not only talk about themselves or their bodies being good, being bad, the narrative of working off stuff.
Katie Horwitch: [00:19:37] But I also noticed how that would work its way into people’s conversations outside of a fitness realm, with myself included. And it was really during the time where I struggled with multiple different eating and body related disorders. Orthorexia was the big one, to flirting with anorexia, flirting with exercise bulimia, laxatives, all the different things.
Katie Horwitch: [00:20:07] And a lot of the conversation around those types of mental illnesses in the early 2000s, first of all, they know eating disorders were widely mainstream-ly referred to as mental illnesses. It’s about food and it’s about your body. Which, eating disorders and body related disorders, they are mental illness. And because of that, there weren’t a lot of resources for me to tap into to address exactly what was going on with me. Because I was like, "Well, but I’m not doing this. I’m not doing this, but I am doing these other things." So, it’s like, "Where do I even go? Where do I even fit in?"
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:54] And because I had that hyper awareness, that hypersensitivity, I realized that I really needed to use that as my biggest ally in the moment. And I was like, I need to understand what is going on around me, and what’s going on inside me, and how those intersect, and how that is triggering me in certain instances. And so, I’m kind of backtracking a little bit from where we just were in the fitness industry, but I realized that a lot of the conversations that I would hear, again, not just from family or friends, but just from the world around me, were a lot of people bonding over negativity and self-deprecation as emotionless as saying, "Oh. The sky is blue," or, "Oh. I think I’m going to wear a dress today," talking about their body, their capability, their worth.
Katie Horwitch: [00:21:53] And I realized that it was this language that we were using to bond and to gain acceptance, really. And there’s been studies now that have been done that actually have proved that bonding over negativity, whether you’re talking negatively about yourself or gossiping about other people, it is a way to build trust with other people. It doesn’t have the best ramifications, but it’s a way to build trust. And so, I realized that was happening.
Katie Horwitch: [00:22:30] And then, once I became a fitness instructor, I realized that that was actually a really powerful avenue to help start an internal conversation with people that maybe they wouldn’t be receptive to in another environment. Because when you’re working out, when you’re moving your body, whether it’s doing yoga or you’re going on a run or whatever you’re doing, you’re putting your body through a state of stress. And not all stress is bad stress. But you’re putting your body through a state of stress and so you get into a vulnerable state. And when you’re vulnerable, you are more receptive to what is being handed to you, what is being fed to you.
Katie Horwitch: [00:23:13] And so, I realized that fitness was a really powerful way to get that across. And at that same time, this all, literally, happened within a matter of maybe five months. At that same time, that was when the Dove Real Body’s commercial started to come out. Do you remember those first commercials, where it was, like, a line of women, they’re all different ages, stages of life, races, body types, and they’re all wearing basically white underwear or a tank top bra.
Katie Horwitch: [00:23:53] And the commercial, at the time, it was incredibly revolutionary because that was the first commercial of its kind. A major commercial that was about body acceptance, and loving yourself, and loving your body, and using that. They didn’t even show the product. It wasn’t like, "I love my body. I’m putting on this lotion." It was like, "Here’s what we stand for as a business."
Katie Horwitch: [00:24:19] And I remember seeing that when I was on vacation with my family. I’m working through this eating disorder, body related disorder, mental illness stuff. I am getting interested in the way that fitness can be used to help people and not harm people. And I see this commercial and I was like, "This is the most amazing thing that I’ve ever seen." This should be a larger conversation, because, also, you can’t just look in the mirror all the time and say, "I love myself. I’m beautiful."
Katie Horwitch: [00:24:56] So, there should be something that helps people when they can’t look at themselves and say, "I love myself. I’m beautiful." I’m going to start something that helps people when they can’t just look at themselves in the mirror and say, "I love myself. I’m beautiful." And I’m going to call it WANT, it’s going to be called Women Against Negative Talk. Like, all of that happened at the same time. I thought of the name. I thought of the acronym. I thought of the thing.
Katie Horwitch: [00:25:26] And I know that that you’ve talked about this when you started your health coaching business, and you talked about this on your podcast, about people starting things from a very personal place and a personal need. And that’s a great thing. That’s a great why. That’s a great origin story of your business.
Katie Horwitch: [00:25:51] At the time, that was 2007, 2008, I had no idea about starting a business. I thought it meant putting up a website and selling t-shirts, and I wasn’t trying to start a t-shirt business. So, I did those things. But I realized later on – because it fizzled out the first time, sort of went into the background – that I had thought of the thing that I so deeply needed in that moment, 2007-2008 Katie, need and want so badly. However, I didn’t know how to deliver on that. I just knew that this was this thing that I wanted to see.
Katie Horwitch: [00:26:35] And so, even though that sort of faded into the background from a business perspective, that led me to exploring what is it about self-talk that I actually believe in, stand behind, want to learn more about, what do I know, what do I not know, where do I see the gaps, what do I get angry about when I see it talked about in other places. And that led to whether it was through fitness or through – I was an editor for a wellness lifestyle magazine for a while -wherever my career took me.
Katie Horwitch: [00:27:16] I always had in the back of my mind this idea of, "Well, what’s really the most important is the story that we’re telling ourselves all of the time about ourselves. And not just from a feel good place, but from a very urgent place." Like, I really, from early on, started to believe and see evidence of the way that we talk to ourselves about ourselves isn’t just about us. That also informs how we view other people, how we relate to other people, how we take ourselves out into the world.
Katie Horwitch: [00:27:57] And so, everything that I did had that in the background. And sort of streamlining ahead now to 2013, 2014, I had this feeling of I’m supposed to be doing more. I was sitting behind a desk for most of the day. I was commuting a ridiculous amount of hours. And I was teaching fitness early in the morning, late at night, because I felt so passionate about being able to be on a stage in community with people, and helping to spark this dialogue in people, and getting feedback on what actually was working for people.
Katie Horwitch: [00:28:36] And I started to feel like I’m supposed to be doing something more. I’m supposed to be doing something more. And what I realized is that as I was doing more work in the wellness realm, the way that people were talking about self-talk or your inner voice, there were still so much that was so problematic about it and continues to be problematic about it, where you’re villainizing part of yourself, calling it your inner mean girl, your inner critic, all of these names. Like, calling your inner voice jerk face or something. And that works for some people, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
Katie Horwitch: [00:29:19] And, also, a lot of people were talking about it as only relating to your body and to your body image. And what I was seeing was that the way that people talk to themselves, that affected their, like I said, relationships, their career, the way that they spoke out about things that they felt passionately about, or injustices they were seeing in either their neighborhood or the world at large.
Katie Horwitch: [00:29:49] And I realized that this idea that I had had seven years before, that I was actually on the right track, and that from what I could tell and what I could gather, no one had created it yet. And I was like, "This is what you’re supposed to be doing." And I had the technical expertise and the professional know-how to be able to start something up at that point. I knew more of what I wanted to create. And I also knew that I had separated myself.
Katie Horwitch: [00:30:26] I had enough separation from the me that needed that so much, and the person who was able to support and, hopefully, help that person that I was actually able to, hopefully, be the person that I needed when I was younger without taking things to heart so personally, especially when so much of the business lives in the online space. I was able to create the separation for myself because I had gotten to a point where, if I got a nasty comment, that wasn’t going to send me back into restriction and bingeing mode. It wasn’t going to send me back into self-deprecation, self-doubting mode.
Katie Horwitch: [00:31:19] So, really being aware of what I wanted to create and where I was mentally, that is something that I have credited in huge part – in the grand scheme of things, it’s a blip in time – to the longevity of my business now as someone who is an advocate for really, truly positive, proactive self-talk and rewriting that internal narrative.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:55] I love seeing how your journey unfolded. And I can really relate to wanting to build a business that you felt like would have been supportive to you, but didn’t exist. And I think it’ll be so helpful for people to hear too. Like, I talk a lot about how sometimes when we’re on the journey, we don’t exactly know where we’re headed, but that it all ends up being so valuable. And so, it just sounds to me like every piece of your story in every direction that you went was for a reason, and it ended up helping.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:28] It’s like market research without you even thinking of it that way at the time. Sometimes we try to force this so bad, like, "I need to have ten calls with people to understand what issues are with self-talk." And it’s like you were just kind of doing this in real time, but you didn’t even know it. And you saw a need for this, both because of your own experience and from others and the real feedback you were getting on the ground, too. So, I love that. I think it’s so interesting.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:54] But I was curious what you think, too, about you’ve been in the game long enough to know what changes have happened or what changes have you seen since the use of social media has just gotten so much bigger. When you started and you were dipping your toes into this, Instagram wasn’t even really a thing. And then, definitely Story wasn’t at all. And then, Facebook was hardly a thing. And then, you know, there was no such thing as stories and now reels. And everything feels like this giant competition and the goals are to go viral, or I don’t know what other goals people have.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:33:30] But I’m just curious what you think about how social media now affects – I feel like it’s such a big question and we’ll break it down – our self-talk? Let me count the ways.
Katie Horwitch: [00:33:41] That’s such a big question and it could be like a three part podcast series. I mean, social media, you’re right, when I first had that seed of an idea, all there was, was Facebook. And it’s actually kind of cool, like Facebook will show you "On this day." I have that post just when I launched WANT back in however long. I still have in my desk drawers my old business cards. I have my old t-shirts. I have a tote bag that I made. I’ve got all this stuff. But, yeah, social media was a blip.
Katie Horwitch: [00:34:28] And I think that there’s two directions that your question can go, and you can tell me which one you’d like me to explore. The first one is how social media has affected our self-talk personally just as a whole and as humans. And then, the other side is how social media has affected – which I think was maybe a little subtext in your question – our self-talk around whatever we are creating professionally.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:35:05] I like both ideas. But I’m thinking that so many people in the audience are feeling – because I get these messages and I’m sure you do too – when they get on social media – because my audiences are all business owners or soon to be business owners – and then they’re like, "Shoot. Everybody is already doing what I want to do." or "Shoot. She’s pretty or she’s thinner and she’s successful." Therefore, they also make attachment to that like a meaning attachment of she’s successful because she’s pretty and thin. "I don’t find myself to be those things. Therefore, I won’t be successful." We get a lot of those kinds of things. As well as, obviously, comparison, and imposter, and all of the standard things.
Katie Horwitch: [00:35:52] But to the person listening who has her own business, and goes on social media, and probably feels like crap from time to time, if not every time, they’re using social media, I’m just so curious what you would say to them about how we work with self-talk, and how we improve this, and flex this muscle more if we want to. While, also, as I said when I was just on your podcast, it’s a choice for us to be on social media. And so, they are choosing to be on social media. How can we do this in a healthier way?
Katie Horwitch: [00:36:25] A hundred percent. So, I believe that, just like in life with any relationship, boundaries are important. And I said it earlier, I share what is personal, not what is intimate. That’s one of my core boundaries. And, also, I think that it’s really important to decide, "Okay. Well, what do I want to get out of this experience. How do I want to feel? And what is contributing to the feelings that I’m actually feeling?"
Katie Horwitch: [00:37:01] So, before even the acting and everything, I thought I was going to be an animator for Disney. I am a visual artist. I draw. I paint. I craft. I do all of those things. I do a lot of artsy things. And I like to view social media as one big art project, or scrapbook, or journal. And, to me, that’s something that allows a little bit of separation for me. And what is really interesting about that is, once I’ve defined how I want social media to be for me, then I can start to look at what are the things or what are the actions that I’m taking or the stuff that I’m seeing that’s actually making me feel the way that I don’t want to feel that is preventing me from feeling that way.
Katie Horwitch: [00:38:06] And I think for a lot of people, myself included at times, the numbers can really mess with your head, how many likes you get on a certain post, or how many likes you see someone else got on a post, and how many followers you have, or how many followers they have. And there are certain advantages. I’m a realist, I recognize that with a certain amount of followers or engagement, that does allow you certain opportunities with brands, with partnerships, if that’s what you’re after.
Katie Horwitch: [00:38:43] And if that’s what you’re after, I believe that you can’t really get mad at that game. And if it’s affecting your mental health so much, you have to ask yourself, "Is that the game that I want to keep playing?" For example, I do not – and have not for a while now – have sponsors on the WANTcast. And I used to. And I’ve worked with some fantastic sponsors and some amazing brands. Like, some of the brands that I’ve worked with, I developed relationships with the founders and I’m so grateful for them.
Katie Horwitch: [00:39:23] And I also realized that if I wanted to get deeper into that game – I don’t know if people realize this – there are agencies that work with brands on getting ad placements. And what ends up happening is that you work with this agency or you work with the brand, and you basically need to give them the number that they can expect as far as how many people you think will listen to the episode in a given amount of time. Like, there’s a lot of metrics involved – and it’s business – because they want to know that they’re making a worthwhile investment.
Katie Horwitch: [00:40:07] And for me and for the way that I want to run the WANTcast, the Women Against Negative Talk podcast, I am someone who I want to be able to be fluid with it. Because I started the podcast when I was still working that full-time job, commuting ridiculous hours, teaching morning and night. I published once every three weeks, because that was the schedule that worked for me. I’ve also published every single week. I’ve also published every other week. I’ve been going through just some mental health struggles with anxiety and feeling depressed over the last few months, which I think many people have. Sometimes I have a once a month schedule.
Katie Horwitch: [00:40:56] And I realized that that was more important to me. For me, consistency with the podcast meant doing it. Period. And that was what was most important to me. And because of that, I was not willing to force it to happen and start to resent it for ad placement and for being able to report those numbers.
Katie Horwitch: [00:41:20] And so, I was like, "I’m going to let go of the numbers for the podcast and I’m going to let go of the sponsorships because that is not something that is going to get me to keep doing this in the long run." And so, relating it back to social media, whether it’s the amount of times that you post or the amount of followers you have versus someone else versus the amount of likes you have versus someone else, if that’s something that is holding you back and wearing you down on, not just a mental health level, but a business level of actually doing the thing that you want to do and achieving goals that you want to achieve, then start to look at what actually matters.
Katie Horwitch: [00:42:10] And as far as metrics goes, which of these are what many people would call vanity metrics. Metrics that just make me feel really good but they’re not actually moving the needle. And which of these actually do matter are moving the needle.
Katie Horwitch: [00:42:26] As far as looking at other people and seeing what other people are doing or making assumptions about their business and how good they are, how bad you are, whatever’s going on with the self-talk there, what I would say is, first of all, getting clear, again, on why you are there and who you are showing up to be, who you want to show up to be, that is so important.
Katie Horwitch: [00:42:53] A lot of times I will work with my one-on-one clients. I’ll work with them at the very get-go, no matter what they come to me with. Because I have people who want to leave their corporate job and start their own business. I have people who are going on interviews and they want to do really well on their interviews. I have people who want to more just shift their mindset around the way that they relate to certain aspects of their life.
Katie Horwitch: [00:43:25] Usually, I have them start out with what I call defining your through line. Which is, some people would say defining your purpose or your mission. I like to think of it as a little more simple and at the same time all encompassing the common theme in everything you love and the common goal in everything you do. And it’s a little statement, a few words, it doesn’t have to be in your LinkedIn profile or your Instagram bio or on your resume. It’s just a way for you to come back to who you are and what you stand for.
Katie Horwitch: [00:44:04] And what I have found, both with myself and with others, friends, colleagues, clients, is that, when we’re not solid in our through line, then we start to look for that from other people. Because we think like, "Oh, well. I don’t know the answer. So, maybe they have the answer." And it comes from a great place. I believe that self-talk inherently isn’t good or bad. It’s information. And what’s really interesting going back to, like, calling your negative self-talk, your inner critic, or your inner bully is that that part of you actually wants to help you out. It has a motivation and a reason for being there that is for your greater good. It’s just it’s tactics are not the best. They’re either outdated or they’re just not working.
Katie Horwitch: [00:45:05] So, what would be interesting, I wonder if someone is listening to this podcast and is that person who’s looking to other people and comparing themselves to other people or making up a story about the other people and how they relate to that other person, I wonder what would happen if you asked yourself what that part of you is trying to accomplish by making those comparisons or telling those stories? Is it that that part of you is looking for a sense of certainty, or a sense of safety, or a sense of validation?
Katie Horwitch: [00:45:49] Maybe that part of you is looking to other people and actually picking apart the other people and saying, "Well, that person isn’t doing that the way that I would do it," but you’re actually not really sure about the way that you would do it. But it’s much easier if that part of you is like, "Well, I want to lift you up. I want to make you feel better about yourself. So, let’s go and let’s look for ways that other people are not doing things the way that you agree with."
Katie Horwitch: [00:46:19] And so, trying to find out what that motive is and then figuring out how can I get it in a different way is a nuanced, and intricate, and effective way to actually start to shift that self-talk for the long run. Because, while affirmations and mantras can work for some people, and they can take a phrase like, "I am strong" or "I am worthy," and leave it at that, for many of us, we need a lot more proof to actually be able to believe I am strong, I am worthy, I am talented.
Katie Horwitch: [00:47:07] And so, being able to look at what you’re doing and looking at your methods, look at your past, look at different aspects of your life, and starting to either gather proof or figure out how can I create a proof point for myself, that is what will actually start to make those affirmations – which, I don’t even really use the word affirmations – those reminders to yourself actually believable and anchor you in who you are.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:47:46] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble or your business is growing and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:09] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business, but you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated Wild Wild West online, that is very much not the case.
Katie Horwitch: [00:48:26] As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today. I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water, but you do need to dot your legal I’s and cross your T’s in a few key areas that can’t be skipped.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:57] That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:11] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business, so head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow your Online Business now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:28] Especially when it comes to social media, I often think of myself as sort of a plant that has to have pretty strong roots. And I think sometimes I’m like a plant in the middle of a field and I have these roots, and social media is kind of like the wind, and the rain, and the snow, and all the stuff that comes around that. If you don’t have roots or very strong roots and a strong foundation, it would be very easy for the plant to fall over, for a branch to break off, all these kinds of things.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:58] And so, when I go on social media and I start doing that and I start having these feelings come up, I just think like this is an opportunity for me to not look to this outside of myself. To look at strengthening my own root system so that I’m not so malleable, so that when the strong wind blows, I don’t just blow over. Like, having that strong core, for lack of a better term.
Katie Horwitch: [00:50:20] Yeah. A hundred percent. And, you know, I think that also when it comes to social media and your interactions with social media, I love a mute button. If unfollowing feels weird, then there is no harm in muting someone, even if you love them in real life, maybe they’re your best friend, but the way that you interact with them on social media – and by interact, I mean holding up your phone and scrolling and seeing their posts, and reading and looking at the pictures – if that is triggering self-doubt, or self-deprecation, or it’s making you be mean to yourself, or feel down over and over and over again, I think that it’s really valuable for us to start to reframe the act of muting someone, unfollowing someone, never following someone in the first place, as a way to preserve the relationship that you actually want to have.
Katie Horwitch: [00:51:37] You do not owe anyone a follow on social media. If that’s the thing that’s going to make or break your relationship that you’re following the person or not following the person, then it’s like, how strong is the relationship to begin with? So, I know that I have people in my life, whether they’re colleagues or friends or family members, there’s people who I have followed and then muted and then followed. And I have that relationship with social media in place because I value the actual relationship that I want to have with the person.
Katie Horwitch: [00:52:23] Everybody, also, it’s really important to recognize – and I’m kind of going off on a tangent right now because I’m getting really, really pumped up and fired up about this. We also have to realize that everybody is using social media for different reasons. And someone who is hosting all of their wins, and all of their celebrations, and all of this amazing stuff that they’re doing on social media, if you are starting to feel triggered by that, there’s so much there. First of all, that’s not a them thing. That’s a you thing.
Katie Horwitch: [00:52:57] And that also begs the question of why don’t we think it’s okay to celebrate our wins or to celebrate other people’s wins. And what if they are struggling through a deep, dark time in their lives, and the way that they’re using social media is a tool to remind themselves of the good that actually exists in their lives. We never know what is going on and what the reasoning is behind why someone is using social media.
Katie Horwitch: [00:53:32] And so, I think allowing the person grace and allowing ourselves to put whatever boundaries in place we need is really, really important to not develop resentment of someone else or resentment of yourself.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:53:52] I always encourage people during those moments to be introspective and be like, "Do you share every single moment that’s going on in your life? Well, why is it any different for them?" Just because they have a big platform or something like this, you don’t share that either. So, sometimes like a "Oh, yeah. That’s right" moment. It’s a little disorienting. But you’re right, I mean, everybody comes to social with different goals and objectives.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:54:20] But also to your point, too, like some people might have different pressures on themselves if they have sponsors. I know someone in particular who has a very large platform and can’t talk about certain things because of sponsorship opportunities, different business opportunities, their business partner, all this kind of stuff. There’s just so many things.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:54:37] And to your point earlier about how you’ve met people in real life who turned out to not maybe be like it was like they were acting on social media, I feel like I’ve had the same experience where I’ve judged someone negatively because of what I’ve seen. And then, I meet them in real life and find out they’re really a normal person who has all these other interesting things about them or difficult things they’ve been going through. Or I’ll share with them what’s going on with my dad and they’re like, "Oh, my parent actually had cancer too." And like, "Wow. I thought your life was totally perfect because of whatever I see." But those are always wake up calls to remember.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:10] And I really do want people to take more responsibility for how we take this information in, because people are just putting stuff out there, but it’s up to you. So, what do you want to do with this? And how strong are your roots that you’re not taking this in and letting it knock you over?
Katie Horwitch: [00:55:27] A hundred percent.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:27] And to the people who are listening who are business owners, and they they do feel these pangs of comparison or imposter – I hear a lot especially in my audience because of what I do – I feel like a lot of people feel like they need another certification or they’re not smart enough. Especially in our space where maybe if someone’s becoming a health coach and then they think, "But there are RDs and physicians and nurses, there are all these rungs above me of people who are going to be trying to do things like me." What would you say to this person who’s trying to work on their self-talk? How do they get started in improving this?
Katie Horwitch: [00:56:03] Yeah. I think that just like with the numbers and the metrics and the game to play, there are certain things where you do need a certification. And there are certain things where you really can’t be giving certain counsel. Like, I don’t want a surgeon operating on me who watch a lot of YouTube videos and just read a lot of books and it’s like, "I’m self-taught." No, I want someone who went to school and has a degree and has checkpoints in place.
Katie Horwitch: [00:56:39] Beyond that, especially when you get into the more nuanced and more sometimes obtuse industries of health coaching or wellness coaching, and what does health mean, what does wellness mean, I think that a question to ask yourself is, do I think that I need this certification because I actually need it? What is the payoff of this going to be? Or am I just looking for something to make me feel like I know more?
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:57:21] I deserve to be here. A lot of people feel like they don’t deserve to be in the room. Or a lot of people have similar situations that I did where they left corporate and then they’re going into something that is not as accepted or understood by society. It’s really easy to walk into a room and say, "Hi. I’m a lawyer" than to explain, "I’m a coach who helps people do this, this, and this." It’s much more complicated. People aren’t aware of it. And so, I feel like a lot of people struggle with feeling like they’ve got to continue to do this, to prove it to somebody that they’re worthy of being there and being part of the conversation.
Katie Horwitch: [00:57:55] A hundred percent. And there are ways to develop expertise or thought leadership, for lack of a better term. There’s ways to do that without being like, "Okay. I need to be the most certified person in the world." And if you’re going to do that, then you have to ask yourself, how am I going to be responsible with the information that I am giving out?
Katie Horwitch: [00:58:28] Like, I have all over my websites, my products, everything, what is on here is not substitute for therapy, or a psychiatric help, or a doctor. And, you know, being really mindful and very self-aware about what you’re speaking about that is just your experience and what actually can or does apply to people other than yourself. Because something that can happen – I’ve seen it happen a lot in our space online – is that people will take their one experience and then say, "I did this. And so, here’s how you can do it, too." And that can be really dangerous, not just from a mental-emotional level, but depending on your area of work.
Katie Horwitch: [00:59:27] Like, from a very small perspective – and this is a trendy thing that happens online. And so, I do not mean to call anyone out who does this. I just may be asking people to be a little more mindful around this and how they put little disclaimers around it – what I eat in a day posts. This happens a lot in the fitness world of like, "Here’s the exercises that I do for my arms," whatever it is.
Katie Horwitch: [00:59:59] It’s like you have a very specific physiological, biological makeup that is going to make you respond to food, and nutrients, and movement, and exercise in a way that is unique to you. And so, if you are telling people, "Oh, just eat these things and you’ll get this way." At the very base level, you’re making false promises or you’re making promises that you can’t stand behind. And that’s the low level, not even close to worst case scenario in that example.
Katie Horwitch: [01:00:42] And so, for someone who is thinking I need more certifications or more training, get the amount of training that makes you feel solid and also allows you to see what is yours alone and what can be more universal. And, also, maybe look at the information that you’re handing out, and are doling out, or suggesting to people, or the coaching that you’re giving to people and ask yourself, "How curious am I getting about the other person versus how much am I concerned with being the expert here?"
Katie Horwitch: [01:01:36] This definitely happens. We’ve seen it especially in the last few years, like the sort of guru mentality of people on the internet wanting to be the person who has the answers. And that is really dangerous. And, honestly, as a business owner, I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to put myself in that position on a base level for my own personal, mental, and emotional health. I don’t want to be that person. And I also know from an accountability standpoint, I don’t want to be that person.
Katie Horwitch: [01:02:13] And that’s not actually what is the most helpful and useful end of service thing for other people if that’s what I’m after. And I have decided that that is what I am after. And so, if that’s what I’m after versus being famous, being a guru, being this high up exalted expert, it drives me bananas when people will go to a life coach, or a health coach, or they’ll go to even a personal trainer. They’ll go to someone and then they are reliant on that person. And once they stop working with that person, they fall back into old habits. Because that person has created a system where the people who buy into what they’re selling can’t do what they want to do without them. I don’t want to be that person.
Katie Horwitch: [01:03:19] I want to be able to get curious and help you along your journey, and then go off into the world and know that I am in your corner and I am cheering you on. But you are your own end all, be all. I am nowhere near your end all, be all. I am a stop along the way. And I hope that I can make a positive and proactive impact on someone. But that is a very long answer to your short question.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:03:49] It’s so interesting.
Katie Horwitch: [01:03:51] If people are saying, "But I need this certification. I need to do this. I need to do that," look at the base level of what you want to accomplish and who you want to be and the methods that you’re taking to get there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:04:07] There’s so many fascinating elements to what you shared, but what came up for me when you were saying this, in the coaching industry, I tend to see the creation of co-dependency patterns. Like you were saying, it was just keeping people looped in. But it also goes back to something we talked about on your podcast, which I’ll link to.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:04:28] So, by looking at other people, when you mentioned the what I eat in a day, what I work out for today, even people doing this small business sharing, "I did this." Therefore, one plus one equal to for you. That is not true. There are just so many factors that are dependent on that. And I hope to be one of those voices that’s constantly saying that I’m being really honest with you about how I did this. That does not necessarily mean that that’s what’s going to happen for you. Not in a disclaimer way. Literally, if you copied everything I did, I don’t necessarily think you would have the same outcome. It’s dependent on so many different factors.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:04:59] But in doing that, too, in our industry, people are taking what they see in the what I eat in a day post and all that as the way to eat in a day. Let alone the fact that that is not what a coach is meant to do.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:15] And this is something I talked a lot about in a scope of practice episode, which I’ll share here. But I had a scope of practice episode about only doing what you’re actually qualified to do, but also how your personal experience is actually not a launch pad for a business. Because sometimes people will be like, "I dealt with fibromyalgia. Therefore, now, I teach other people how to not have it," or something like that. That alone, in it of itself, that can motivate you to learn more about it. But that, in it of itself, that experience is not enough to teach other people how to navigate disease or whatever else. So, it’s just so fascinating to me.
Katie Horwitch: [01:05:49] And you can be – what’s the word? – an aggregation of resources. Like, let’s say fibromyalgia. Let’s say, you had fibromyalgia and you conquered it or you manage it now in a way that you’re like, "This is amazing. I feel empowered. I feel strong." You can totally start a podcast about fibromyalgia and interview doctors and experts. You can be the person.
Katie Horwitch: [01:06:25] I mean, look at some of the greatest talk show hosts of our time. Look at Oprah. Oprah, to my knowledge – people can correct me if I’m wrong – she didn’t go to medical school. She’s not a doctor. She’s not a psychologist. But she has her own take on certain things and calls in experts, and then aggregates that and gives her take on certain things in a way that is digestible. But in no way, shape, or form does she say, "Here’s what you do." She says I’m going to interview this person or here’s what this person says, giving credit where credit is due.
Katie Horwitch: [01:07:15] And I also think back to the what I eat in a day and what that sort of represents to me, which is, trends and virality. I think that as business owners, it’s really important to not confuse trending content and viral content as actually making strides in your business. Because what’s also really important to remember is that trends will come and go. And, also, the internet is kind of forever. So, if you post something and don’t actively take it down – I mean, maybe someone screenshot it or something – if you have something up there, what you are creating could hit it big in years.
Katie Horwitch: [01:08:00] This is a silly example, but every single May or maybe end of April, there is a meme that goes around. It is Justin Timberlake. And at the very bottom it says, "It’s going to be May. Like, it’s going to be May, if you’re an NSYNC fan. I hope that you are.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:08:26] Huge NSYNC fan.
Katie Horwitch: [01:08:28] Fantastic. That meme has been going around for years. And now it’s at the point where I feel like it’s sort of a part of pop culture, like the pop culture Rolodex, Lexicon, whatever you want to call it. That meme started, if not more than a decade ago, at least a decade ago. Like, you never know when what you create is going to make the impact that you want it to have.
Katie Horwitch: [01:09:03] And so, staying within integrity in yourself, creating the work that you believe is the work that is the right work for you to be creating, and letting go of the timeline of that, especially with the way that social media is, the way that the internet is in our lives. I believe it’s a survival tactic letting go of that timing because of the nature of the internet and the way that people can find things from years and years and years ago.
Katie Horwitch: [01:09:39] So, you have to ask yourself, "Am I in this for the quick hit of validation or success or whatever? Or am I in this for the long haul?" [Inaudible] question to grapple with.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:53] Yeah, for sure. Because it’s tempting. I’m a very long haul person, but I can see how people get distracted by the temporary quick hits. Especially when you feel like the long haul takes time. It took years and years to get any traction. I felt like no one was listening for a long time. So, I could see why that would be tempting. And I have a lot of compassion for that, but it’s also not, in my opinion, the best business move.
Katie Horwitch: [01:10:18] No. And do the things in the short term that can feed that part of your brain and your ego. Your ego isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:31] It’s just there.
Katie Horwitch: [01:10:32] Yeah. Exactly. Like, we talk about it like it’s this evil ego, and we’re all like the ego wants you to climb the ladder and do these smarmy things. No. It’s really good to have a healthy ego. And to be able to celebrate yourself. And to be able to have your own back. And so, explore what are the things that I can do to feel the way I want to feel? What are the small things that I can do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to feel like I’m making traction, to feel like what I do matters? And what can I do that’s also in my control? Because there’s going to be so much that isn’t in your control.
Katie Horwitch: [01:11:22] And that’s something that’s a big conversation about Instagram right now in the algorithm – the ALGORITHM – and how much that will show you or not show you other people’s content based on whatever’s going on, on the back end. You can’t control that, but what can you control? And just from a social media standpoint, there have been posts of mine that have gotten reach beyond what I ever thought I could get.
Katie Horwitch: [01:11:53] And they’ve been posts that I told a story about bagels, and self-love, and traditions, or whatever. It got to different bagel companies in New York. I got invited to a freaking bagel fest.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:12:10] I know. That was my dream. I was so excited for you.
Katie Horwitch: [01:12:13] It was so amazing. But I was talking about how bagels and self-talk and self-esteem, actually, they all go together and here’s the way. And then, there’s other posts that I’ve created that are more educational posts where I’m like, "I feel so strongly about this and I really want to help people internalize this. And I hope that people save this and they’re going to be able to get it." And I look on the back end, forget about the likes or the comments, the amount of accounts that it actually reached is minuscule, like maybe one percent of the total people who follow me. And that’s not in my control.
Katie Horwitch: [01:12:56] Yes, there are certain things and certain ways to strategize. And for that, I would say hire a social media strategist so that you don’t get in your head and so that you have someone who is actually an expert and who can actually say, "This is what matters. This is what doesn’t matter. And here are the things that you should and shouldn’t care about."
Katie Horwitch: [01:13:15] But the main thing that I can control is my through line, what I feel the strongest about, and what I want my legacy to be as far as when it comes to my relationships with other people and my time on this earth. That is what I can control, and so I can just do the very best that I can in that realm. If I let that go, then what else do I have?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:13:49] Yeah. I’m so with you. And I’m so damn sick of hearing about the algorithm. So, not only can we not control it, they don’t owe it to us anyway. And I’m like, you can only do what you could do. It just seems so silly. I just saw somebody say the other day she was quitting because of the algorithm. I was like, "This has always been the algorithm. Welcome to the party." But it’s just so funny to me. I’m like, "I don’t know what the big deal is."
Katie Horwitch: [01:14:10] And there’s so many more interesting conversations, I believe, that we can be having about social media, and the dynamics on social media, and our relationship with it, and the self-talk around that. There’s so many more interesting conversations, I believe, than the conversation about the freaking algorithm.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:14:29] And not to mention the fact that I am telling everyone, "I built my business up pretty good when I had a small audience. Hardly anyone was seeing my post then. It hasn’t really gotten that much better." So, I think there’s all this false pressure, too. And exactly how many people do need to see your content? And if you’re there to run a business, you can do a lot with a lot less than you think. But, anyhoo, I could talk to you all day. Go ahead.
Katie Horwitch: [01:14:53] I have a little story about that – a teeny, teeny, teeny little story. So, I did an Instagram Live a while ago. And it was like an interview, someone else was on it. And it didn’t get nearly as many. I thought that it was awesome, I was like, "This is so great and people are going to love this." And it got – in relationship to the other Instagram Lives I’ve done – small for me. It didn’t really move the needle at all with anything.
Katie Horwitch: [01:15:31] Except there was one woman who saw it. She reached out to me and she was like, "Hey. I saw your Instagram Live with so-and-so. I love it." Very long story short, she has now become a close friend of mine. She has her own group coaching practice. I’ve gone in and been a guest speaker in her coaching practice. And there’s a business level of that, but there’s also a personal level of that.
Katie Horwitch: [01:16:05] One person could see what you put out, or read the words that you write, or hear the podcast, and whether you know it or not – in this case, I really benefited from this situation because I got a cool new friend by it – it could change everything for them. It could change everything for them. And from a business level, that one person also could be a client who is your star client, who makes so many incredible strides, who refers you to a bunch of people.
Katie Horwitch: [01:16:41] And so, just really celebrating whoever is there and realizing that no one is beholden to whatever you are creating in your business, whether it’s content-based, service-based, or product-based. No one is beholden to that and they’re choosing to be there. That is something, whether it’s three people or 3,000 people, I always feel so honored that people are trusting me with their time, and their energy, and their inbox, and their brain space. It’s really incredible. And that’s my story.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:17:14] Yeah, it is. I love it. I’m so glad you shared that because I talk a lot about how we all focus so much on the monetary, like the revenue and the goals and all of this. But there are so many other things, like connecting and making friends. I’m so glad that you said that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:17:28] And by the way, speaking of newsletters – because I know that you have to go to voice class – I want you to tell everybody how they can get your newsletter. Because I’m on it and I love it, so I would love for you to tell the people.
Katie Horwitch: [01:17:38] You’re awesome. Thank you. They can sign up at womenagainstnegativetalk.com, and that’s the place that has all of the tips, tools, motivation, inspiration that people can just dive in and binge read or binge listen to the WANTcast. All of that stuff when it comes to moving forward in their lives by shifting their self-talk patterns, so they can go there.
Katie Horwitch: [01:18:03] If they want to learn more about the ways that they can work with me, personally, they can go to katiehorwitch.com, that’s H-O-R-W-I-T-C-H. I have everything on there from my speaking and workshops, to my mindset coaching, to the private community that I host called the WANT Community. It’s small. It’s intimate. It’s personal. It’s beautiful. And they can find me on the internet, on Instagram @katiehorwitch, just my name.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:18:36] And they can listen to your podcast, the WANTcast.
Katie Horwitch: [01:18:37] And they can listen the WANTcast and they can listen to you on the WANTcast.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:18:44] This is true. I can’t wait. Well, before you go, I have to ask you quick, quick fire questions. So, would you rather have coffee or tea?
Katie Horwitch: [01:18:53] Coffee.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:18:54] Me, too. Would you rather read fiction or nonfiction?
Katie Horwitch: [01:18:57] Oh, I would rather alternate. I don’t want to read too much fiction, and I want to read too much nonfiction. I want to read a nonfiction book and then read a fiction book so I can apply what I’ve learned.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:19:11] That’s a good one. I like that.
Katie Horwitch: [01:19:12] It’s a good Libra answer.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:19:13] Yeah. Exactly. This is a very controversial question, do you like to clean up as you go or clean up at the end when cooking? People have very passionate answers.
Katie Horwitch: [01:19:23] Well, my husband would prefer that I clean up as I go, because that’s his style. I like to clean up at the very end, so I do it all at once. Because I want to cook the thing and then have that moment. You know, I’m a crafter. I do art. It’s like I want to make the art project and then put away the tools. That’s how I view it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:19:51] Yeah. I’m with you. Okay. Would you rather hit up a fancy restaurant or the best food trucks in New York?
Katie Horwitch: [01:19:56] Fancy restaurant, but not necessarily for the food. I just really love a sit down experience. It’s the introvert in me. The sensitive person in me. Like, I want a table to sit at. And, also, I just love the restaurant experience. I think that it’s like, yes, you get food, but it’s a full sensory cultural experience. So is the food truck, but I like sitting down.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:20:23] I hear you. Okay. And then, because it’s you, I just have to ask you what your favorite bagel order is.
Katie Horwitch: [01:20:29] My favorite bagel order, I will give you the general order and then I’ll give you the specific for anyone who is in New York or visits New York. My bagel order is pumpernickel bagel. If they don’t have a pumpernickel bagel, I will get a poppy seed bagel, but it has to have a lot of poppy seeds on it because I don’t want it to just taste like a plain bagel with some seeds on it.
Katie Horwitch: [01:20:51] Take the bagel, you scoop it out – there’s a reason for that – you toast it. Inside on both sides, you put cream cheese, just plain cream cheese. And then, you put tomatoes on top, you put cucumbers on top, and sometimes you put lox on top. You scoop it out, not for stupid diet culture reasons. And I can’t stand the diet culture has ruined scooped up bagels. The reason you scoop out the bagels is it becomes a little moat for the cream cheese and you get the proper ratios of bagel to schmear.
Katie Horwitch: [01:21:27] If you are in New York, there’s actually a place called Bagels and Schmear, that I do love. It’s in Gramercy area. But one of the best bagels that I have ever had and one of the most unique bagels, it’s from a place called Bagel Pub. And there’s a few locations in Brooklyn. They’re about to open one in Manhattan. They have a pumpernickel everything bagel. So, you get all of the best things about everything bagel.
Katie Horwitch: [01:21:55] What I don’t like about the everything bagel is it just tastes like a lot of things. And then, you put the pumpernickel in the mix and you’re like, "Are you freaking kidding me?" And then, you add all of this stuff on and it’s fantastic.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:22:09] That sounds amazing.
Katie Horwitch: [01:22:10] And if you want bagel recommendations –
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:22:12] Hit Katie up.
Katie Horwitch: [01:22:12] – just hit me up on Instagram or email me, it’s [email protected] I will give you bagel suggestions for whatever part of the city you’re in.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:22:24] That’s amazing. Look at that, always providing service.
Katie Horwitch: [01:22:27] I just aim to be helpful.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:22:29] Exactly. Well, I say our next podcast is all about bagels if you’re up for it. I’m up for it. I can talk about bagels all day long. Well, thank you so much, Katie, for being here. I really appreciate it. And I hope you have fun at your voice class. And, everybody, make sure you reach out to Katie and say hi, get on her newsletter, listen to her podcast, do all of the things.
Katie Horwitch: [01:22:50] Awesome. Thank you so much. This was such an honor. And I loved this conversation and getting to spend my afternoon with you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:22:56] Thank you. You, too. I’ll see you later.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:23:03] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
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