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Do Less and Say No with Kate Northrup

As an entrepreneur, bestselling author, speaker, and mother, Kate Northrup has built a multimedia educational platform that reaches hundreds of thousands globally. She’s committed to supporting ambitious women to light up the world without burning themselves out. Kate teaches data and soul-driven time and energy management practices that result in saving time, making more money, and experiencing less stress through her Do Less Planner, her programs, and her books, Do Less and Money: A Love Story. Do Less was named one of the 100 Best Time Management Books of All Time. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Women’s Health, Glamour, and more. Kate lives with her husband and their daughters in Florida. 


For all of you high-achieving, ambitious and uber productive folk out there, this is going to feel very uncomfy. As a recovering overachiever myself, i.e. workaholic, I know firsthand what it’s like to measure feelings of worthiness, productivity and what seems like happiness based on your amount of ‘doing’. We’re here to tell you that this is NOT the route to inner peace, joy or success. Kate talked all about how she was smack in the face with this question during the hardest year of her life when her first baby needed a lot of her attention and all she had was enough energy to feed herself, and her daughter. Interestingly enough, during this time of being less productive was also her most successful year financially. She started to ask herself, ‘Who am I if I’m not productive?’. This question changed her life as she started to unpack the myth about needing to be super duper productive to be successful. She started to focus on the 20% of her business that was most important that gets 80% of the results. This is called the Pareto principle, where 80% of the results typically come from 20% of your efforts. She started to see how obsessed our culture is with being busy and that we’re immersed in a programming that doesn’t value rest. Kate decided to create values that are not based on her productivity, and this is much of what she teaches today.


As mentioned above, a big ah-ha for Kate, was realizing that her worthiness (and yours as well) is not based on productivity or doing. As girls, many of us were taught that our worthiness was dependent on being pleasing to others. We would please others to prove we exist and are worthy. Until recent, women have been valued for more beyond giving pleasure, having a home and raising a family. Growing up with this kind of belief system left many of us women feeling the need to be people pleasers, have zero boundaries and work at all costs to be seen and successful. In my life, this leads to a total mental, physical and spiritual breakdown. Kate shared about her breakdown story as well. I loved Kate’s definition of how she values herself and her time, she said that ‘her life is in service of the Divine, of something greater. You can’t be of service and there for everyone, we have to start by saying no.’ 


For those of us recovering people pleaser (hello!), creating boundaries and saying no to others can feel like poking your eye out with your dinner fork. It’s not fun and it takes practice. The problem is that we don’t have unlimited hours and we need to start following our own inner navigation system. Kate discussed how she uses her menstrual cycle and the moon in a very beautiful and powerful way to track and create personal policies that help create boundaries around her time and energy. Kate has created a daily energy tracker to see what has worked well, what didn’t and focus on her learnings. For example, she realized that one of her favorite ways to spend time off was to go to the beach with her daughters. Today she has Fridays off for beach time with her children. She has created these policies for her business and personal life, and they have allowed her to expand, reach more people and only say yes to what really moves her. Side note, I am grateful to the moon and back that she said yes to this podcast, as this was an absolutely enlightening and delish convo.

To take Kate’s 8-day free THE NO CHALLENGE, go to  (I’ll certainly be doing this one!)  


When I asked Kate what moved her most and what she felt was her legacy, she said without missing a beat, ‘to get women into their bodies to trust themself. Our bodies are wired to give birth and protect life.’ It’s time to trust ourselves and see that you are the embodiment of the Divine. This is all that truly matters. What we do in the day to day has nothing to do with a life well lived, it’s about full embodiment of your sacred gifts, heart and inner calling. Love it, Kate! 


Connect with Kate Northrup



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Join host Julie Reisler, author and multi-time TEDx speaker, each week to learn how you can tap into your best self and become your You-est You to achieve inner peace, happiness and success at a deeper level! Tune in to hear powerful, inspirational stories and expert insights from entrepreneurs, industry thought leaders, and extraordinary human beings that will help to transform your life. Julie also shares a-ha moments that have shaped her life and career, and discusses key concepts from her book Get a PhD in YOU

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