Mindie Kniss: Welcome, my friends, to another episode of The Lucrative Society. We are joined today by not one but two amazing people. We are so excited to introduce our friends to you. We have with us today, Kate Northrup and Mike Watts. Welcome guys.
Kate Northrup: Thanks.
Mike Watts: Thank you for having us.
Mindie Kniss: Absolutely. I’m so excited to talk to you both because you two are rockstar entrepreneurs. You’re married, you work together, and we…
Sean Stephenson: We have nothing in common.
Mindie Kniss: We have nothing in common with that. So I don’t know what we’ll talk about, but I know it’s going to be pretty fun. One of the things that we start out with every guest is to ask you, what is your definition of wealth? And I’d love to hear from each of you. Kate, you wrote a book on this, so I can’t wait to hear what your definition is, but how would you define wealth?
Kate Northrup: That is a great question. Well, wealth to me is… Wealth always to me has to do with having choices. So it really comes down to feeling like we have the freedom of directing our own experience. Yeah.
Mindie Kniss: And Mike, what about you?
Mike Watts: Fast cars, big houses, lots of ladies.
Sean Stephenson: That’s what I was waiting for!
Mike Watts: I mean, come on, let’s get serious. What’s happening here?
Sean Stephenson: Prestige worldwide.
Mike Watts: That’s right. Correct. That’s what it’s all for.
Mindie Kniss: I got a better idea. Kate, you and I should just do this interview.
Kate Northrup: [Laughing]
Sean Stephenson: Mike, I have the feeling that we’re going to make it fun and they’re going to make it valuable.
Mike Watts: Yeah, the value. That’s why we’re with them, Sean. You know, it’s like they add the value.
Kate Northrup: I’m fun! [Laughing]
Mike Watts: You are fun. Honestly, that was my definition if you would’ve asked me like 10 years ago, it was 100%. We just were in Kennebunkport Maine this past weekend and it’s very… It’s a lot of money. It’s like Maine’s version of the Hamptons in New York for instance. And it’s like, I look around that place and I’m just like, wow, I want to accumulate this one day and now it’s changed. Number one, I got sick pretty hardcore in 2018 and my health is definitely wealth. Like within my own personal health is for sure has shifted that a lot is like valuing what I am bringing from like how I feel physically and then it’s just, and then having kids has changed that aspect as well. And like the time, as Kate said, is freedom for sure because it’s like as a business, that’s the core that I wanted was freedom and it’s the freedom to make the choices. So it’s like the same answer as Kate. I just added more, you know, the big house to it, but
Sean Stephenson: More words. Same thing, more words.
Mike Watts: A lot of words. Yeah, that’s right. But it’s the ability for me to have choices to do things that I desire to do.
Mindie Kniss: Mike, I want to jump in and ask you about that. I had “illness” written down on my notes. If you could talk a little bit about what your experience was like. I remember seeing your photos on Instagram and showing them to Sean and he was just like, “Oh my God. What?!” And the fact that you guys, I’m guessing, have persevered through that. Been strengthened by that. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I think that we, a lot of times, take our health and our situation for granted and then when we’re trying to run a business, raise kids, do all these things and then you have a physical challenge like you did. That to me was just an extraordinary showcasing and the fact that you showcased it publicly online through that journey. Amazing.
Sean Stephenson: [Whispering] Was there a question here?
Mindie Kniss: Yeah, I love for him to speak about that a little bit more, about that experience.
Mike Watts: [Laughing] If you couldn’t hear Sean, he just whispered, was there a question there? I thought that was beautiful. Yeah, I mean I’ll start. What came to me, the very first thing, it was my, I’ve never said this, but it was like there was an element of when Kate was pregnant with our two daughters, is it like took her out in some ways, like she had to sleep a lot. She was growing a human and experiencing that and this was my version of being taken out, but through physical skin. Basically I had like really bad… To sum it up for people listening, if you could think of really bad sunburn and your skin’s peeling, like maybe it’s on your head or hand or something. This was my entire body all over and it went on for a long time and it energetically knocked me out into a chair for about eight days.
And I had to connect with myself in a way that I’ve never done this before. And some people… Basically it’s like I kind of found God and then God in my version was reaching inside of myself to ask for help, but also from the greater universe, right? So I’m a recovering Catholic, so God is different inside my recovering Catholic experience. So, it was a lesson to slow down, to take one day at a time. It was literally one moment at a time for me. And I was so driven for so long by accomplishment that I like found value in what I was doing through accomplishment. And I would go to bed and think about what I accomplished that day and I’d be like, okay, tomorrow I want to take a couple more steps. And it’s not like I was rehabbing from an injury, you know, in some ways I was, but not like a broken leg where it’s just like I can take a little bit more steps here and there, move a little bit farther.
And then Kate, we’re going to bed and I’m talking to her about it. She goes, why don’t you go to bed asking yourself how you feel instead of like how much you get done? And I know for some people listening it’s like, Oh yeah, that makes sense. But to me, this was like a major shift revolutionary in my system to be like, wait, how I feel? What?! Instead of being so valued in accomplishment. So this was, to make a very long story short, there was a lot of lessons for our family, like being parents, being married, being partners in business and how we go navigate these waters when a partner is, like in our situation, Kate and myself, is down and out and then how do we have to adjust through this?
There’s a lot of people that I was seeking for help cause I was going to a lot of doctors to try to see if there was anything majorly wrong. And the reality was there was nothing actually wrong with me from a blood standpoint, blood work standpoint. It was me taking responsibility and ownership for myself. And this was a physical reaction that I experienced. It was like my spiritual, what do they call it? Like a spiritual experience?
Kate Northrup: Awakening or…
Mike Watts: It was like that was kind of what I ended up going through. So, Kate, you can share your perspective.
Kate Northrup: Yeah, it was very difficult. I mean, basically Mike broke out in this full-body rash, literally within hours of me giving birth to Ruby, our second daughter. And so…
Sean Stephenson: A little dramatic Mike.
Kate Northrup: It was really dramatic. [Laughing]. It was really dramatic.
Mike Watts: I needed the attention on me in the hospital.
Mindie Kniss: Yeah, not on the new baby, not on the mama…
Sean Stephenson: You grow a human and I’m gonna have a sunburn.
Kate Northrup: So he was basically in deep discomfort for nine months after Ruby was born. And that is really terrible timing. Having a newborn and a sick husband and I had some birth complications, and then we also had a toddler.
Mindie Kniss: A toddler and a business!
Kate Northrup: And a business. Not to mention our business. So it was very challenging, but it was a great… Like it brought us closer together. I think circumstances like this, they either bring you closer together or split you up. And luckily in our case, it brought us closer together. It was also a great experience for me to really walk my walk in terms of, I have this thing that I talk about of women who are taking care of people, how to do less. And I was there with these kids and with a sick husband and we had this event happening and we were having people fly in from as far away as South Africa. And Mike was supposed to be the producer of that whole event and basically two weeks before, he had dropped 40 pounds and couldn’t even get out of a chair. I mean, in retrospect we should’ve canceled the event. But I don’t know if you two have ever had this circumstance where I just don’t think I even knew… I don’t think I really realized how bad things were, honestly, until a couple of months ago. [Laughing] Looking back was just like, Oh my God, that was awful. But I think we can be so resilient as human beings, which is a beautiful evolutionary adaptation, where we’re just like, okay, so also this and all right, and here we are. We’re just showing up, making the donuts.
Sean Stephenson: But Kate, here’s my thought and that is as humble as you’re being right now spreading the love onto the human race, it’s also a testament of the two of you.
Mindie Kniss: Totally.
Sean Stephenson: Because a lot of people would have folded, a lot of people would have turned to negative gratifiers that would have never allowed them to heal and recover. It would have ruined your marriage. It would’ve ruined your business. It would have ruined your friendships. I mean you, you chose to heal through it. You chose to grow through it. So yes, we as a race are resilient. The two of you made choices and that’s what we are fascinated with here is the choices we make have so much to do with what we have and what we don’t have. And one of the things that Mindie and I love to find out about our guests, and I’m curious to hear both of you share. We found that there is this one concept that when people start thinking about even, just thinking about it, they feel better. And it’s also fascinating because it instantly allows us to bond with the people on our program. And that is what are the two of you curious about? What are your curiosities? If you could list like five to 10 individually, what are you so curious about that you can’t stop studying and you just, the more you know, the more you want to know?
Kate Northrup: Do you want to go first, honey, or do you want me to go first?
Mike Watts: Go ahead.
Kate Northrup: Okay. I don’t know if I can list 5 to 10, but I can list the ones I can list. [Laughing] I mean, I am a very enthusiastic person and it’s very easy to get me excited about something.
Mindie Kniss: Kate, me too!
Kate Northrup: I am endlessly fascinated by the human body and by all the intricacies, how our biology works, the hormonal system, all of the things that we as humans couldn’t possibly engineer that are happening at all times. I just think our bodies are miracles and I’m fascinated. I’m fascinated, as a subsection of that, by the way our chemistry works to create emotional experiences and also the way our brains function in relationship to our biology and like, especially the way our thoughts think, you know, the whole book, The Biology of Belief, for example, by Bruce Lipton, like that work, I mean just or all the Joe Dispenza stuff. Fascinating, fascinating, fascinating. I’m really interested in learning about relationships and sex and intimacy and how people work together in a romantic setting. I think coming from being a child of divorce, like I am extra fascinated by how to make things work given that I witnessed things not working in the end. And really wanting to be committed to that in our marriage. And then I’m pretty endlessly fascinated by reading nutrition books. I just can’t get enough. I just love them. I love learning about food and how it impacts our biochemistry. I would say… Oh, and then efficiency. I love like anything about getting more done in less time. It’s just time management, efficiency, you know…
Sean Stephenson: Are you guys twins? I’m just curious.
Mindie Kniss: Yes! Yes, we are.
Kate Northrup: [Laughing] Anything about planning and timing. I’m just, I’m all about it. So I would say those are my biggest ones. And then just in general, like course catalogs. We just got our Yarmouth community services book which comes, you know, like once a season, which is literally our tiny town. Like the things they offer, like Zumba in the intermediate school, you know, in the elementary school gym. I just freaking love those things. Or the Kripalu catalog or Esalen or any of it. I just, I go nuts for it.
Sean Stephenson: Mike, step in with something very shallow, please.
Kate Northrup: Okay, Mike. Go for it.
Mike Watts: I’m going to keep it…
Sean Stephenson: Bros and hoes.
Mike Watts: I have never seen anybody that…
Kate Northrup: Oh, also office supplies!
Mike Watts: Ok, honey.
Mindie Kniss: [Laughing] Yes!
Kate Northrup: Like pens, journals, paper, stationery.
Mindie Kniss: We are right there with you, Kate.
Mike Watts: So I wrote mine down like right when Kate started talking. So I made sure I’m not somewhat influenced by what she’s saying, the interests, it’s like systems. How are things running? How do things work? How can we make them much more efficient? So it is the… We should tell the story about Do Less if we have time for it cause it’s kind of funny.
Mindie Kniss: Yes, please.
Mike Watts: Just the efficiency of how things get done. Right? It’s just like I’m obsessed. I went to college for engineering in organizational leadership and supervision. So my brain just literally thinks in structures and one, two, three. Health. Why some people are sick. Why people are not sick. And just like taking care of our own bodies, what that looks like. When I eat certain foods, why I have this reaction when other people, you know, like what happens when I don’t eat this food, et cetera.
You know, things like that. Just noticing the emotional, it’s like when it comes to the health piece, it’s also the physical part, but also the emotional part. Connections. It’s like I stopped drinking alcohol because I started noticing how alcohol was making my mind operate in a way that was not healthy and I was like, okay, well I’m just going to cut that out. Stuff like that. Women, I’ve always been curious about women. It’s just like now that I have three women in my house with two daughters and Kate, it’s just like, how am I going to remain somewhat sane in this environment? And just like the difference because as our business has grown because it mainly focuses on women entrepreneurs, it’s how do they think, how do they work? How do they structure? How do they think about business differently than what the current organizations have been set up? You know, the environment, et cetera. Just human behavior. If I was to redo school all over again, I’d study human psychology. What makes people tick, all that stuff. Death, fascinated by death and conspiracies. Love it all. Like the dark side of things. Our friend Cheryl Richardson told me… We did the Enneagram. She really knows the Enneagram. I’m an eight. So like the dark…
Sean Stephenson: Woohoo! I knew I liked you!
Mindie Kniss: You guys are twins.
Mike Watts: So like the dark side of an eight is like Donald Trump. He’s an 8 and that’s how dark eights can get is like going in that avenue. Whatever your beliefs are, there’s still a lot of darkness there. But like that whole thing with death and conspiracies and then just music and instruments and dancing. I’m fascinated by it because I have no musical ability. I’m always offbeat all the time. And so when I listen to like Snoop Dog the other day, I listened to his new album and I’m like, how does he come up with these things and how people can like hear a song?
Sean Stephenson: Marijuana. It’s a lot of marijuana.
Mike Watts: It’s all marijuana, right? And so it’s like how they can like memorize… Where I had a buddy in high school that would listen to a song one time and know every single word and I’m just like, how does your brain work like that, that mine does not?
Sean Stephenson: Kate, I just had to show you what I take with me every morning to plan my day out.
Kate Northrup: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.
Sean Stephenson: Yeah, so highlighters, pens, pencils, Apple pencil, an entire eraser that’s on its own. Anyway…
Mindie Kniss: For those of you who are listening to this and can’t see what he is displaying, it’s an old CD case.
Sean Stephenson: It is not a CD case. This is a Bluetooth keyboard case.
Mindie Kniss: Oh.
Sean Stephenson: Thank you.
Mike Watts: It’s also known as the thing we used to get in elementary school like giant…
Sean Stephenson: The pocket protector.
Mike Watts: The pad of pencils to take to school. Sean just kept that going through life.
Kate Northrup: I love it. I love it so much.
Mike Watts: That’s awesome.
Mindie Kniss: Now Kate, what Enneagram type are you?
Kate Northrup: I’m a seven.
Sean Stephenson: Of course!
Mindie Kniss: Me too!
Kate Northrup: You’re a 7? [Laughing]
Mindie Kniss: Perfect! I love this!
Sean Stephenson: Mike, I personally think it’s not about sanity you need to watch out for. I think it’s going to be safety. You got three women and when they all get to that certain age, your safety is [unclear]. So you always have a place here if you need a safe house.
Mindie Kniss: But you know what? It will be an adventure with a 7.
Mike Watts: That’s right.
Sean Stephenson: So you cool with me going on to the next thing?
Mindie Kniss: Sure.
Sean Stephenson: So we have a process here that we like to run through every guest because it really helps us create a blueprint for why you are the way you are and why you have what you have. And I feel like once we reverse engineer your process, it’s really going to help our listener. And we like to use an acronym called HERB and I’ll take you through each of the letters and I need your reactions. And you guys, you don’t have to go one at a time, you guys can just kind of rapid-fire them together. But the H stands for habits. What are some of the habits that you have that really helped to develop your business, your life, your health, any habits that would really stick out that maybe other people don’t even know exist?
Kate Northrup: We go to bed really early.
Mindie Kniss: What time?
Kate Northrup: Like by nine.
Mindie Kniss: Nice!
Kate Northrup: Yep. So sleeping and then also, well working out, which a lot of people do. And then I would say we’re really good about having planning meetings and structured check-in about money, about our schedule, about what’s going on with the business. Like we have a lot of standing dates for communication.
Mike Watts: Yep. I would say that’s helped our parenting life as well as our business life. Just our personal life I should say, including kids. But we have scheduling meetings, we have a meeting on money, so like talking about what’s the income, expenses, etc. Like what bills we have due, all that stuff. I tape my mouth shut at night to sleep with my mouth closed. I wish everybody could see Sean’s face right now. So I nose breathe instead of mouth breathe when I’m sleeping.
Kate Northrup: So that he doesn’t snore and keep me up.
Mindie Kniss: Do you literally use tape?
Mike Watts: I do. Yeah.
Mindie & Kate: [Laughing]
Sean Stephenson: What? Are you duct-taping this shit? What are you talking about?
Mike Watts: No, so there’s this thing called… Like as humans we have developed over time, mouth breathing. I don’t know all the science behind this. Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton have done a lot of work with this on their XPTlife.com is their website and there’s a lot of other people. Just breathing through your nose. Kate probably knows more about it than I do, but all I know is it’s like something with the nervous system is that as we are breathing through our mouth, it is….
Kate Northrup: So you want to be in the parasympathetic nervous system which is rest and restore as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, which is fight or flight. And so breathing through your nose puts you in parasympathetic and activates rest and restore.
Sean Stephenson: Got it.
Mike Watts: So when you watch babies sleep, they’re breathing through their nose. So that’s one thing I do. And then yeah, as Kate said, like working out makes me feel really good.
Sean Stephenson: What about your businesses? What are the habits?
Mike Watts: We have two team meetings.
Kate Northrup: [Laughing] I’m like I don’t know.
Mike Watts: Well there’s consistent content that goes out, right? So we have a podcast that we’ve set up that goes out on a weekly basis. We also have a blog that happens to our list through KateNorthrup.com on a weekly basis. So that has been consistent over time. It is a constant. There is nothing… The only thing that I can say that we’re doing today that we did maybe five years ago is that piece is like this consistent, especially with the blog cause the podcast is newer.
Kate Northrup: Consistent weekly free content.
Mike Watts: Yes. And it’s constant evaluation, honestly. Like we’re figuring out what works, what doesn’t work and it’s a lot, it’s feel for Kate like what feels good, what doesn’t feel good? Like I want to do this, I don’t want to do this. If people aren’t working out from an employee standpoint, we have to move them through. We have to like move it along quicker.
Kate Northrup: Not when they’re not exercising, but if it’s not, just in case you were hearing that wrong.
Mindie Kniss: I got you.
Sean Stephenson: Yeah, I didn’t get you. I was like, are we going to Zumba with her?
Mike Watts: Yeah, going to Zumba. But from a company standpoint, it’s like looking at our systems is a habit that happens on a monthly basis. What are we spending money on? Like are we spending money on like proof.com and we don’t need to be, are our paying webinar software when we don’t need to be paying webinar software?
Kate Northrup: But our scorecard that we’ve been doing has been a new habit that’s been amazing. Our weekly metrics filling in. We look at different list growth and social media engagement and different things because we used to do a lot of throwing spaghetti at the wall and then we would forget to check to see if it was working and we would know it was working if we had money and then if we didn’t have money we figured it wasn’t working, but it’s too late once you get to like revenue to figure out if the thing you did was working or not. And so we’ve implemented this scorecard, which has been really great and that was inspired by the book Traction.
Mindie Kniss: Nice. Kate, on your scorecard, is there anything emotional on it or is it all KPI stuff?
Kate Northrup: It’s just KPI stuff for this particular one, but that’s an interesting idea.
Mindie Kniss: Just because you’ve talked a lot about the feel of it and if you want to do it or not. I think that’d be interesting.
Kate Northrup: All the things that we do, like if something doesn’t feel good, we just stop doing it whether it’s working or not. It doesn’t even end up on the scorecard.
Mindie Kniss: Well good.
Mike Watts: Well also you took something off the scorecard like two weeks ago because you’re like, I don’t need to track this right now.
Kate Northrup: Well I did cause it was dumb. We were tracking comments on the blog and it was just like, this isn’t leading to an end goal that we have. Why are we even tracking this? So that was like an efficiency thing.
Sean Stephenson: Sure. So from Habits, we’re going to move to the E, which is Environment. And this is actually what you allow in and what you do not allow into your life. Your home, your mind, your space, what do you allow in and what do you not allow into your environment?
Kate Northrup: Okay, that’s great. I have a very… When we went through our hard time last year there were also oddly at the same time like between Mike being sick, the newborn, my weird birth stuff. There were also some weird things going on socially with some of our friends. And so I just like had this series of events one after another where I was like, I need to literally make a list of who my real people are, like who are my true inner circle. So I wrote a list of my real friends and I have that list. These are the people that are like my people. And so for me it’s really helpful because you know, being in business and being somebody who’s out there, we get, and I’m sure you get also, a lot of requests for various things. From dinner to like whatever, just a lot of stuff coming in. And so it’s really helpful for me because I do really love people, and I have a tendency to want to say yes to everybody, to have my list. So I know like these are the people I would do anything for at any time and if you’re not on this list I need to be more discerning and that’s been incredibly helpful to know, especially in terms of how rapid my communication will be back.
Mike Watts: That seconds as well for our company too. Like that is like personal life.
Kate Northrup: Yeah. There’s a lot of melding there.
Mike Watts: And we have clear boundaries around family because like a lot of my, with me getting sick and I had to deal with like family issues that I had going on. I had parenting, like me being a dad. What that was like in itself. And you being a husband, working with Kate because in the business I look at it like she’s the number one person of the company. I was number two, but I wanted to be number one so I had to deal with all of that. Like where do I show up in this? So it’s like how we set boundaries when it comes to our family as well. Like when we go on trips too with our kids, what works really well for us at this time is four days, three nights. That’s it. We’re gone for four days. We’ll stay away for three nights. We noticed that if we stayed any longer… So it’s like the environment for there, it’s like sticking with our boundaries. We also, when it comes to the parenting piece, we have really good boundaries with our kids. We want them to go to bed early as they’re tired at seven o’clock and that’s like what we’ve worked for them. Like we’ve tried to push it, doesn’t work. So we will change our life to make sure that our kids get down at seven because if they’re not down at seven, it makes our life so much harder.
Sean Stephenson: A lot of cough syrup, is that what I’m hearing?
Mike Watts: Yeah. Whiskey. I think that was the secret. It’s what I was told when I was a kid, is like you give him whiskey.
Sean Stephenson: That’s why you had to stop drinking. I get it.
Mike Watts: Yeah. But a big one for us as our life is in Maine, it’s like we live, you don’t move to Maine. Like there are very few people that are moving to Maine for careers. Right? There’s not like massive companies and corporations here. There’s a million people in the entire state. So it’s like there’s 1.3 or something, but it’s like living here, we’re choosing to, at this time, for lifestyle and ourselves.
Kate Northrup: Yeah, there’s no traffic. Everything we need to do is within about a 15-minute drive. We live on a cul de sac with all these wonderful families so we don’t even have to leave our neighborhood to socialize. We’ve created a lot of ease in terms of that.
Mindie Kniss: And that is so nice.
Kate Northrup: It’s awesome.
Mindie Kniss: I remember when we met you guys. You guys showed up in our kitchen here in Arizona. We didn’t know you previous to that. And suddenly we’re having… I don’t know what we were having hor d’oeuvres or something, years ago and you were like, yeah, like we all just got here and maybe we’re moving to Arizona, maybe we’re going to stay in Maine. I just love that you chose that because most entrepreneurs are not there and you know, doing the San Diego thing or Austin, Texas or wherever. And it’s great that you guys have just chosen that so distinctly to be out there and away.
Sean Stephenson: So moving from the E to the R, which is resources. And the resources, I think you guys are going to geek out on this, which I hope you do. What are the books, courses, audios, trainings, programs that really developed who you are?
Kate Northrup: The first one that comes to mind for me is Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. Regina Thomashauer’s work. She’s a friend of mine and I took her course. I mean now she’s like just, you know, teaching for 5,000 women at a time. But I took her course when it was in her living room in her brownstone apartment in New York City.
Mindie Kniss: Wow!
Kate Northrup: And she taught me how to choose fun and choose pleasure and I come back to it almost every day. And I think one of the primary reasons I made it through when Mike was sick is I was just like, well, where’s the pleasure today? Like, how can I make this a party? Just this five minute breath, you know? And her work has just impacted me tremendously. I’m also super into right now, Adrienne Maree Brown, she wrote a beautiful book called Emergent Strategy. It’s really about social justice work. But her second book is called Pleasure Activism. So we’re noticing a theme. [Laughing] And how we can really use our sense of fun and feeling good to change the world. I just think it’s so revolutionary in a world that thinks we have to buy our right to live through suffering, to choose fun and pleasure. It’s so revolutionary.
Sean Stephenson: Pleasure!!!
Mike Watts: There was a book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, was a big one for me. That was recommended by this guy, Jonathan Budd, when I first started the online business space a long time ago. And he recommended that and he was like, he read this and made more money. So I was always driven by like just money. It was like, how do I make more money? Okay. He went to yoga and he’s like, I built a $10 million company. And I was like, okay, I’ll go to yoga because I want $10 million. Right? Like that was my thought process for a long time.
Sean Stephenson: That sounds so normal… I went to yoga to make $10 million.
Mike Watts: [Laughing] But now I think after this time, I understand, you know, a little bit about what he’s talking about after years later. And I’ll explain that here in a second. But I mean we’ve been having a lot of fascinating people on our podcast and a lot of fascinating people that are not white bald men, right? That look like me. And so what I’ve known. I know Sean, I’m on your podcast though, Sean.
Sean Stephenson: What do have against white bald men?
Mike Watts: There’s nothing, but it’s just like…
Sean Stephenson: I’m going to put together a whole new…
Mindie Kniss: Of white bald men?
Mike Watts: It’s just like hearing people’s life experience that don’t look like me and it’s fulfillment with a lot more empathy of what people go through in the world and what they’re experiencing and what they have. Like you were just talking about coming to Maine and the first thing that popped in my head where you were like… Mindie, when you were talking about coming to our house, I’m like, well, okay, how am I gonna get Sean in the house in the wheelchair? It’s like the first thing that popped my head, I was like, okay, we’ve got to build a ramp. So it’s like I got to know when Sean’s coming, you know? And it was like, okay, I’ve never thought about that before.
Sean Stephenson: I will be there in 17 months. Start building.
Mike Watts: Great, no problem. So it’s like retraining kind of my thought process from hearing people’s other experiences and then huge influences have been my daughters, hands down. It’s taught me about, I don’t look at parenting like I’m here to teach them anything. They’re here to teach me everything that I need to learn. And it’s a lot different than a lot of people that I’ve heard talk about it. But it’s 100% true.
Mindie Kniss: Yeah. Like Mike said on Instagram the other day, “so annoying,” you know, like these kids that are here to teach us. I loved that.
Mike Watts: It’s true. And I mean it’s even with Kate, our marriage would not be here if I was not open to receiving feedback for how I am. It’s like we are a team in our relationship and that’s something that as a partner with Kate, that has been the receptiveness for me to experience that. It’s like just for her to give me feedback and for me not to get all bent out of shape about it or a comeback or like she’s just like, I’m not happy with that. Like you can’t talk to me like that, and it’s me being like hearing it, what her experience is and then me explaining that. Even with my kids, that has been a huge influence on to just slow down. It’s just kind of being in the moment piece. Right? Everybody strives for through all the stuff.
Sean Stephenson: Got it. So that rounds us out to the final letter and that’s the B. And that stands for Beliefs. What are some of your core beliefs about life, yourself, marriage? Just share with us some of your beliefs.
Mike Watts: I can go. Truth for me, like it’s everything that I’m going to put into the world. Every single product that we are going to sell or bring to the market has to be something that is not about like just making a quick buck because especially now with the internet world, we can see it’s like, Oh so fancy. But behind the scenes it’s really messed up, right? And so we have a friend that has worked with a number of online entrepreneurs and she was just like, you guys are the real deal. And I was like, what? And she’s never worked with us. She just knows us personally. And she’s like, who you put online is who you actually are. I’m like, wait, that’s not, and she’s like, no. Like it’s a whole different ballgame back there. So for me it’s just like, my belief is like I have to make sure I’m not going to just put out content to put out content because it’s like the 5:00 PM algorithm kick, right? It’s like if I sit down to write an Instagram post and it’s like, I’m not into this, I just delete it. I’ve recorded so many Instagram stories that I just delete. I’m just like, you know what, that’s like forcing it. This is not like, and it’s okay. Like that’s what I’m uncomfortable with. That’s the first one that popped in my head when you asked the question.
Kate Northrup: Another one is for me, and I think this was part of your health journey, Mike, is also that the truth, like what we need is not outside of us. What we need is inside of us. And, honestly, my work comes back to teaching women how to source their direction, their decisions from inside instead of outside. And if we can just do that, it just saves so much time and energy. And so, yeah, that the truth is inside of us, not outside. I really also do believe that we, you know, it’s tricky to say this cause it’s not 100% across the board, but I really do believe that we attract what the energy, the energy that we’re putting out there. Now that is not to say that I think like Mike attracted his illness or people attract assault. And so I don’t want to have that taken to a far extent, but I do think that we even to some degree… Another way to phrase this would be that situations arise in our lives as teachers. I was having a conversation with my mom the other night about a difficult situation going on in her life and I was like, mom, I’m so sorry that that’s happening right now. And she goes, well, that’s my curriculum right now. And I loved that so much. And it’s very much also my belief system that we all have our curriculum and we can either take the assignment or we cannot. And I think if we don’t take the assignment, it’s going to come back around in another way, so we might as well take the assignment the first or maybe second or third time it comes around so that we don’t have to have the anvil to the head later on.
Sean Stephenson: Kate, you brought up your mom, so this is a perfect segue. You were a child when she became a guru, correct?
Kate Northrup: Yes. Yeah, I was. Let’s see, I was 11 when my mom’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom came out.
Mike Watts: Do you want to say who your mom is maybe?
Kate Northrup: Oh yeah, her name is Christiane Northrup, MD.
Sean Stephenson: MD! So growing up, 11 years old, your mom becomes this global sensation guru and do you roll your eyes like, Oh my God guys, you have no idea… My mom’s just regular person. Or do you have admiration? Like, Oh my gosh, this is so cool. My mom’s a guru, she should be there. And I want to be a guru some day. Like, take me through what your childhood was like around Mama being guru.
Kate Northrup: Oh my gosh. It’s so complicated. And it’s all of those things you just said.
Mike Watts: [Laughing] A regular person… That’s funny.
Kate Northrup: What was that?
Mike Watts: Your mom’s a regular person. That’s funny.
Kate Northrup: My mom definitely is a regular person. I could talk to you for hours about this and I’m sure perhaps we will over dinner at some point. The short version is I’m so grateful that I know that nobody is special because of the people I grew up around. There is nobody who knows what they are doing. I can tell you that. And it’s been great coming into this career, which I still… I wasn’t like, Oh, I’m going to go be a public figure. I’m going to go write books. I mean, even when my first book came out, I was just like, what the F? Like what is even going on? I mean, that was not my plan. Obviously, I did it. So I did it on purpose sort of, but I kinda was just like, I don’t even know why this has happened, you know? So that being said, I’m grateful being in this career that I know that no one else who’s a teacher really knows what they’re doing either. And so I think I am able to give myself more grace and have less of an imposter complex because so many… Behind the scenes, everyone’s a mess in at least one area of their life. And that’s great because we can all just learn from each other. And yeah, it was a total pain in the ass to have my mom… People come up to me and be like, Oh my God, it must be so… This still happens. Oh my God, it must be so incredible to have Christiane Northrup as your mother. And I’m just like, Well, I mean she’s just like other… She’s not like other mothers, but there’s…
Mindie Kniss: But she’s your mom.
Kate Northrup: People’s projections are annoying in general. Let’s just say about my mother or about anything they project on the two of you. The assumptions we make about other people are largely wrong.
Sean Stephenson: Mindie loves… It’s one of her favorite activities.
Mindie Kniss: Oh, isn’t Sean so inspiring?
Sean Stephenson: And I’m like, yeah, I really am.
Kate Northrup: [Laughing].
Sean Stephenson: People will be like, Mindie, it’s gotta be such a gift to be married to such a wise man.
Mindie Kniss: Oh, you’re just so lucky.
Sean Stephenson: I’m all like, you know it.
Mike Watts: [Laughing]
Kate Northrup: It’s just so annoying thing to say. So instead, I really like to ask…. I love it when people say a question like yours, what is that like? Because none of us know. And it makes a much better conversation if somebody were to come up to you, Mindie, and say, what is it like to be married to Sean? And also, what is it like to be married to Sean today? It’s a totally different all the time.
Sean Stephenson: I’m the same man I was when you met me, 10 years ago.
Mindie Kniss: Thank goodness you’re not.
Sean Stephenson: No, I’m not at all.
Kate & Mike: [Laughing]
Sean Stephenson: I wouldn’t hang out with that asshole.
Mike Watts: I feel you on that one.
Mindie Kniss: Oh my goodness.
Kate Northrup: Seriously.
Mindie Kniss: Well you two, this has been absolutely lovely. We could hang out with you and talk for many, many, many more hours. But one thing I want to ask before we wrap this up is if our listeners are interested in learning more about you two and your work, where is the best place for them to go?
Kate Northrup: Well, they should definitely come over and listen to The Kate & Mike Show because if you like husband and wife podcasts, that’s another one. So The Kate & Mike Show is our podcast on life, love, and business, and then KateNorthrup.com is the best place to come find all of our business doings.
Mindie Kniss: Perfect. Thank you both so much. It is always a delight to hang out with you and to chat with you and get to know you better. Didn’t realize we had so many things in common.
Sean Stephenson: 8’s! Go 8’s!
Mindie Kniss: 7’s. Way better. This has been amazing so thank you so much.
Mike Watts: Thank you.
Kate Northrup: Thank you for having us.
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