We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristina McInnis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristina, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
In business, things are constantly evolving. Especially when you’re building a personal brand, what you envision for the empire you’re building may change over time, because you as a person change over time, too. I found this to be so true for myself and personally I never think that giving up is the right answer when things get tough. To be an entrepreneur requires resiliency. It’s interesting because they say resiliency is the ability to “bounce back”, and that movement reminds me of another word that’s been big with anyone who loves FRIENDS: Pivot.
I don’t believe in giving up. I believe in pivoting. At the moment, I’m trying to rebrand my podcast a little bit. So my tip for other entrepreneurs out there that feel stuck: You may not need to start a whole new brand or close your existing one, but what you can do is rebrand an existing creative venture and go in a new direction. Your true and loyal brand fans will support you no matter what, and most of the time, people are excited to come along for the evolution.
One tip that I would suggest: Take a look at where you’re at financially and take a hard look at how you want to meet your ideal metrics and strategy for things like marketing. This is not only SMART, but integral to do so you’re kept on track about how you’re going about your business and making sure you’re hitting your projected outcomes. See where you need to reformulate things or where you might be finding a disconnect. When that’s identified, work to build something that you’re proud to present your audience that will connect with what they want!
What should our readers know about your business?
In terms of what I’m proud of… Recently, I won an award for “Most Influential Female Entrepreneur” and I thought that was so awesome and so meaningful to be recognized for my influence on everyday women. I’m also very proud of my podcast and blog and where it’s going in terms of its growth and evolution. I’ve been very thoughtful about the direction I want it to go in, and my re-brand is very exciting.
I did think my business journey was “easy” in the sense that I am a formidable and adaptable person and it was not hard to think “I need to keep going/pivot” instead of giving up, which helped me overcome mental barriers. In the very beginning, the biggest challenge was just that I really needed to hunt for information because when I started, blog education and tips weren’t as readily accessible as they are today.
Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is that persistence is key. Just because someone says no to you, doesn’t mean that it’s a no forever, it just means it’s not a fit at the moment. I read this impactful book (honestly, one of the best books I’ve read to date) called “Go for No”, and it talks about the strategy of counting your nos versus your yeses which is a pivotal thing for your mindset. It essentially encourages people to look at things logically instead of emotionally. The more you put yourself out there, yes, there is a higher risk of rejection, but more opportunities for the right brands to say yes or for opportunities in the back pocket. Another big lesson I’d love to pass on: Use your connections. Those connections in the back pocket are so important and useful, you never know — maybe the person you sit next to at a friends’ dinner ends up being the person who helps you later on in business. It’s not about using people but knowing who might be willing to help (after all, people have the right to say no, and that’s okay) and of course, consider how you’ll credit or thank them. Be open to opportunities and treat everything as a next opportunity. You really could be one meeting or one phone call away from having everything you want.
No matter what challenges you come along with, keep going and be creative about ways that you can achieve what you want. Personally, I’m dyslexic and while it’s been a challenge creating content that is relatively text-heavy (emails & blogging), something that has been helpful for me is using tools like speech to text transcription or hiring talented writers. It’s still 100% your voice and vision even if it takes help and tools to achieve and execute your plans. Don’t be afraid of outsourcing or asking for help where you need it, because it’s support that will give you space and the capacity to grow your brand. Stick to your strengths and flourish in your zone of genius. Just because you have a challenge doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with solutions!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh so many… In LA, there are a lot of cool things to research like exhibits (for instance, Van Gogh and Pink Floyd), outdoor drive-in movies, events/concerts, and cool pop ups. Using resources like LA Bucketlist or LA Things to Do, you’ll find promotions of cool events and themed things. Some pop ups I’ve been to and have booked include a wizards bar, a Bridgerton themed activation downtown and a drive-through for Stranger Things.
There’s so much to do in LA. If my best friend was with me, the first thing we’d do would definitely be dinner someplace near me, with a walkable downtown scene. A classy hotel to get drinks is always a great option and nightlife places like entertainment dance clubs can be fun too. Bar hopping is so fun. If there’s anything cool in the city at the time, maybe watching a show. During the daytime, going to the beach or setting up a picnic with a company (like The Picnic Co) can be super cute and picturesque. You can wade in the waves and get a good tan in too. The local boutiques can be great to shop at, and of course, going out to eat is an option! (Brunch is always a good idea… I love what it represents — starting the day right). LA has some great pizza and taco spots, from casual to classy, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Just read up on the reviews and make table reservations if you need to.
If you’re in the downtown area, I love Little Tokyo. I love rooftop bars as well!
LA Itinerary Suggestions
Coffee – Blue Bottle
Walk from Santa Monica to Venice
Hollywood sign, run/walk
Do a ClassPass with a friend
Brunch at Perch or The Ivy
The Picnic Co – Picnic in Santa Monica
Poolside lounge at a hotel
Shopping on Melrose
Farmers Market on Sunday
Melrose Trading Post
Beauty & Essex
Wood & Vine
EP & LP
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ahhh, so many. Throughout my life, I would say that my partner, mentors, friends and family throughout high school, college and my working professional life have all played a role (and they know who they are because I make sure to thank them) in encouraging me and supporting me in my entrepreneurial dreams. But in the podcast arena, The Him/Her Podcast by The Skinny Confidential really influenced me in a big way. Another podcast I love is MAX OUT, I feel so empowered and educated listening to Ed talk. His ability to connect with people and draw them in, is something I’d love to have with my guests. He’s phenomenal as a human and I listen to his podcast every day, he performs at such a high level and yet he’s so relatable as a person because he’ll talk about things like mental health or dealing with insecurity.