Kim is a seasoned Silicon Valley executive and serial entrepreneur. She’s the author of Remodel Your Reality™; Seven Steps to Rebalance Your Life and Reclaim Your Passion and the creator of the Get Your Groove Back ™ an on-demand coaching program for women. She speaks professionally about empowerment, engagement, marketing and community culture, and runs a coaching organization that specializes in helping professional women succeed in their careers.
A frequent media contributor on wellness and women’s issues, her expert advice has been featured in magazines such as Time and Seventeen, and she’s a regular blogger for Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.
Kim’s twenty-year career history includes experience in education technology, digital media, and community development. She’s a recognized expert in customer and employee engagement, social marketing and organic referral programs, and serves as a board member, advisor, and angel investor.
Her previous roles include executive marketing leadership for HotChalk; an education technology company, founding Compass; a digital coaching company, and co-founding SkillsVillage; a HCM company (acquired by Oracle). Kim combines her diverse business background with more than 12,000 hours of practical coaching experience to help women solve real problems in practical ways.
Where to Find Kim Fulcher
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Kim Fulcher_finalKim Fulcher:
I'm working on that free community of women who are looking to really build their confidence, not as a result of some magic thing that has happened, but as a result of how they're behaving, how they're thinking on a day to day.Natasha Miller:
Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How did they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit? These and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
My book RELENTLESS is now available. Everywhere books can be bought online, including Amazon and barnesnoble.com. Try your local indie bookstore too. And if they don't have it, they can order it. Just ask them. The reviews are streaming in. And I'm so thankful for the positive feedback, as well as hearing from people that my memoir has impacted them positively.
It is not enough to be resilient. You have to be RELENTLESS. You can go to therelentlessbook.com for more information. Thank you so much.
Kim culture is an award-winning author and life coach. She helps women reconnect with themselves, figure out what they want and reignite their motivation. She's been featured on Thrive Global, Oprah Radio, and more than I can count media outlets.
We talk about her coaching business; why self care is science, not selfishness; and what she's working on next. Now let's get right into it.Kim Fulcher:
So I primarily work with female founders and female executives. I have this belief that when women inform the decisions in specifically tech and in politics and in media, that our world begins to shift in a way where we start to build a community that we want our children to live in.
And so everything that I do, whether it's coaching or keynotes, and I do a ton of corporate training, especially via Zoom now that we're in the time of COVID, or even in my blogs or my books, what I'm always looking at is the empowerment of the individual woman.
And there's so much we could talk about there, but when I'm talking about the empowerment of the individual woman, I'm actually talking about the mechanics about how to manage your power so that each woman is connected with herself and fully in charge of her own energy so that she can do the work that she was born to do in the world.
Well also coexisting in this really challenging environment that we're all living in right now. So I work with female founders and executives who are looking to either get their company funded or to climb the corporate ladder. And then I work with corporations to help with employee engagement. I work with a lot of corporations around their women's groups, which have historically been these kinds of little sideline initiatives.
And I really have a belief that when you empower the women and accompany the community of the company, the culture of the company shifts. So I do a lot of work with that and the through-line for everything I do is about just really recognizing the power and magnificence of women, and then helping us to shrug off the social conditioning and stereotypes we've been given that we're supposed to behave into.
I would describe myself as a sassy pants rule-breaker so I'm always looking. What we've been taught and whether or not that actually is going to help us move forward and whether or not that's actually even good for our community.Natasha Miller:
So you have lots of tenants know lots of tronches to your business, which I expected. We're going to switch gears a little. And going to talking about self care in the science of it versus the selfishness of it. I love the way that you pose that. And how do you translate that in your own life?Kim Fulcher:
The first component around self-care is a belief system. And what women have been taught to buy into whether it's overt or covert is that taking care of ourselves is selfish.
And I think that is just a complete load of garbage. So my soap box is that self-care is not selfish. It's literally the scientific basis of performance and science shores that up. I have these four tenants of wellness that I hang my hat on, and that I encourage my clients to hang their hat on as well. And that really moves around sleep, nutrition, hydration and moving our body.
And then a bonus component is really learning how to not remove stress from our lives because that's not actually possible, but how to really cope with stress in a productive way. So the first thing I'm always dealing with this, and you and I have talked about this on phone calls before Natasha, I tend to work with these very high performing high achieving women.
When I get on my first call with a client, they want to just get to it. And I want to talk about how are you taking care of your body? What are your self-care routines? Extremely high-performing women usually look at me a little sideways. "No, I didn't hire you to help me sleep."
But what I know to be true is that the amount of sleep they're getting, the way they're feeding their body, the way they're hydrating and the way they're releasing stress, the way they're moving their body, all of these components actually impact their performance.
I knew this to be true from the very early days of my coaching practice. And I've been coaching now for 20, somewhat years, I've got more than 14,000 hours of coaching under my belt, which is giving away my age, which I love. I'm not five decade. But I had this really incredible experience about five years ago.
I met Arianna Huffington in a green room before we were both supposed to speak at a conference. Arianna is the founder of a company called Thrive Global, and Thrive global really is taking on this corporate notion that you're supposed to burn yourself out in order to succeed. And Ariana really introduced me to the science of self-care.
I started facilitating workshops for Thrive Global and really leveraging the science. And it really rocked my world because what we know to be true is that if you're not getting enough sleep each night, and I focus on this because what I know to be true is that most women, I work with just art because the sleep is the thing that we give on when we've got something else to do.
Even if there's something else to do is like unloading the dishwasher or folding a basket of laundry, but, and this stat has stuck out with me for the last few years. If you get less than five hours of sleep per night for three nights in a row, you actually perform at a level that is equal to or less than if you had just tested for a DUI.
So literally if you're not getting enough sleep, you're performing as if you're inebriated. And yet most of us, especially in the world of COVID when moms are managing more than they were ever managing and in one location, at mock speed. What I know to be true is that science proves that if we want to perform at the top of our game, we actually have to treat ourselves like we're an athlete.
Part of our job is to take care of our physical wellbeing. And then the other part of our job is to take care of our emotional wellbeing. So I talk about sleep being a survival skill, really starting to look at food, not as a good or bad thing, right? Most of us have been on more diets than years we've been alive.
I joke that if I really added up the amount of money I've spent on diets and diet potions, I could've put a kid through private college. So you have that. But food isn't actually even about weight. It's about how we feel and what I always want to help my clients accomplish or help any woman I'm connecting with accomplish is this understanding that your job is to feel good.
If you feel physically good, if you feel emotionally good, then you're literally vibing high. When you're vibing at a high frequency, you're able to do the work that you're born to do in the world. If you do not take care of your physical and emotional requirements, then you're not actually able to meet your life challenges at the highest level as your best self, and you're not actually able to live into your potential.
So I really try to turn this notion of self-care on its ear with my clients and make sure that each one understands that taking care of herself or himself is not really about being selfish or indulgent.
It's about making sure that you've got your fundamentals squared away so that you can do the work you were born to do in the.Natasha Miller:
What do you say to a potential client, a prospective client or a current client that just doesn't have time for that. And they just want to move on to the next thing, not a right fit for you?Kim Fulcher:
It depends. The notion of self-care for me is table stakes in terms of working with someone. So resistance is fine. Anytime that we're growing and especially if we're working with really type A high potential high achiever people, these are typically people who like myself and probably like yourself, we're used to being in charge. We're used to bulldozing over whatever is in our way.
And what I know to be true is that when I actually speak to not the outside self, not the ego of whoever I'm working with, but when I speak to that inner knowing, and you can call that self or soul or spirit, I call it the muse or inner muse, right?
There's this inner knowing we all have. When I connect with that part of a client, what I find is they already know they're not taking care of themselves. They already know they're getting out of bed and they're tired before they put their foot out of the bed. And that's called soul tired. There is a tire you can't sleep away. I typically can get someone to come around to looking at things from a different perspective, just by helping them give voice to what they already know. Because if you're not taking care of yourself...Natasha Miller:
So how good are you at taking care of yourself?
Because I know for sure, the lot of people in a lot of different positions, doctors... They have this great advice and it really is so empowering and important, but then it somehow gets lacking in their life. I don't know you that well, but I think that you are probably embodying what you're teaching.Kim Fulcher:
I appreciate that very much. I am a Jedi in this category. There are many things I need help with. I am outstanding in this capacity and I'm outstanding in five ways.
So first, and I think this is the most important thing. I have a set of routines and what science has shown us is that more than 80% of what we do, sometimes as much as 90% of what we do on a daily basis, whether that's from the habitual thoughts we think, or the habitual things we do, that those are in coded in our brain.
They're actually neural pathways that have been created. And so once you've created a habit, you don't have to decide you're going to practice that habit. Your brain actually helps you to move forward with that. And from a self-care routine perspective, I have situated really good habits very early on.
So I've got two decades under my belt. Making sure that I'm in bed by 10 to 11 each night, making sure I get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. My husband gives me a lot of kudos, but also a lot of grief because if he's wanting to start a movie at nine 30 on a week, I'm like "Nah, no, I'm not going to do that because I'm going to bed at 10," which is not so much fun to hang out with me right on a weeknight.
But what I know to be true is I'm going to go to bed at 10 and I'm going to get up about six. And then my first hour of the day, I'm typically doing something to connect with myself. So I've got this little hour and a half process. I get up and of course feed my dog because he's looking at me like, "Where's my food?"
But then I'm journaling. I'm looking at my day, making sure that I'm clear about what I want to accomplish. And then the next thing I do is work out. Period. End of story. I've been doing it since I was 18. I'm 51. This is such a groove in my brain. I call it a super highway. I must sweat. And that helps me be my best self.
And I don't just do it mindlessly. I'm doing it with a lot of intention and with a lot of forethought to connect to something beyond me, because I believe in this creative force beyond us. I make sure I get my workout and that's also very important. And then I just have this cadence of when I eat 80% of the time I'm eating to nourish and there's a really different come from around food.
I think as especially women we're taught that you're supposed to eat. Feel good or bad about yourself based on what you just ate. "Oh, it was good. I ate broccoli. Oh it was bad. I ate gummy bears. I like to think about how I feel as a result of what I eat. And I eat gummy bears. Like girl, I can pound a bag. There's no question.
But most of my habits, we really focus on eating food that makes me feel good. And everybody has different rules around that. So I don't follow any diets, but I'm making sure that when I'm eating, I'm looking to nourish myself and I'm looking to eat food that makes me feel good.
And then every single day, even though I consider myself a type A, which means I have a very difficult time kind of settling down, I make sure that I've got at least 10 minutes set aside to "meditate". And I say that in quotes, because what I find most of my clients think is that they're supposed to have this moment in time where nothing's going on in their mind.
And they're just in Zen, but really meditation is about a mental discipline. It's about sitting down and telling your mind for a few moments, we're not going to jump around and monkey brain. We're just going to focus on our breathing. When we start jumping around, we're going to go, "Oh yeah. Okay. We're going to come back."
And I do that as well. So those are the things that I do each day.Natasha Miller:
Okay I have to ask, you meditate for 10 minutes in a row or do you do two minutes here? Three minutes here?Kim Fulcher:
It's such a good question. Because it seems like an attorney doesn't when you sit down. So I have this thing called meditation light, which I use with my clients when we first get started.
Because again, I'm working with these type A high achievers. I'm funding my company, I'm-getting-revenue-to-the-bottom-line. They do not want to talk about sleep, eating to make themselves feel good or meditating. Yet ironically, all of these things are incredibly crucial to make sure they can perform at their highest level.
So I have this thing called the theme song ritual and the theme song ritual is just pick a song that resonates with you and my song changes every month. Right now I'm listening to, "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott. I think it is. And a theme song is somewhere between three and four minutes. And all I do is put my music on, put my headphones in.
I just sit still and breathe and listen to the music. I'm not going to nothingness. I'm just focusing on the words. Sometimes I have a cup of coffee in my hands. Sometimes I sip that coffee while I'm doing it, but I just give myself that little space. And I find that with my clients, especially with clients who are not "meditators", that is a really great way to start.Natasha Miller:
That is accessible to me.Kim Fulcher:
Yes. 'Cause you can do three minutes, right? You can listen to a song you like. You're not going to be a failure when you can't stop your mind from working. Honestly, Natasha I've been doing this for decades. I can count on one hand the number of times I've had that blank space where it feels Nirvana, where I feel like, "Oh my gosh, I am connected to somebody."
You felt that?
I have felt it. Only a few times, but I have felt it. I have felt it, but all you have to do to feel it is just to start. And honestly, for those type A achievers out there, when you're sitting down and you're honoring this theme song ritual, what you're actually doing is just taking charge of your own mind. It's really about taking control of your energy, taking control of your headspace. Just that little tiny action can actually put you in control of a lot more than a three minute meditation.Natasha Miller:
Okay. You can see that I'm placing that in places in my brain to recall after this. Okay. So next time I want you to tell everyone about the three-step power formula that you've created.Kim Fulcher:
Yes. So the thing that I have noticed in working with women for two decades is that we've got this idea somehow that empowerment is somewhere out there and that power is something that gets handed out. And my gosh, we must have missed that day in school because we didn't get that.
But power is actually a mechanical formula. There are three parts. So what you think, what's going on in your head, what you say, and this is how you use your voice. When you stop yourself from using your voice and then what you do, how you're behaving, those three things actually combine to make you powerful in the world or not.
And being powerful in the world just means you have the ability to influence your own life to influence your own circumstances. There's a term in psychology called agency and agency just means I'm in charge of myself.
And what I find is almost no woman I have ever worked with, even CEOs, badass founders, celebrities.. Not in control of your life until they take conscious control of their power. It's what you think, what you say, what you do that equals your power.
When you start working with that formula with the intention that you want agency, that you want to be in charge of yourself, all of the rules you've been working with up until this point start to.. And you're laughing. Cause you know this already,Natasha Miller:
I'm thinking with everything that you're saying, of course we're human beings. I'm applying it to my own life. There's a mirror and you can see with the meditation, I'm not quite there. With the agency, no one can stop me from... I figured that out.
I wish that I had you to figure that out prior, but maybe my journey was that I had to do it the way I did it. Yeah, I think that's wonderful. And I do see that and especially going back to taking care of yourself and sleep, I hear so many entrepreneurs bragging about how little sleep they get, how little sleep they need.
And gosh, I'm going to turn 51 next month and I'm the first to say, stop that. It's not healthy. It's scientifically not healthy. And by you bragging about it, you're influencing other people that may be looking up to you and what you have successfully achieved.
And I'm just here to say, now, if you have challenges sleeping, if there are reasons why you can't sleep, and hopefully you're getting help for that, but you're probably not bragging about that. So I am with you all the way. I'm so glad we're having this conversation.Kim Fulcher:
And just to piggyback on that. I work with so many different corporations and I work with early startup founders who are in their angel or a round, and they've got their team of 10. And then I also work with corporations where they've got a thousand employees.
What I find to be true is that there is a glorification of pushing too hard you're in burnout and not sleeping and not needing it. And I think that is just complete garbage because what we know to be true is that when you are not sleeping, not only are you not at your best, but the first thing that starts to go is your executive function, which isn't your prefrontal cortex.
It means that you're not connecting dots. You have no empathy. And here's the other thing. Whether or not, you mean to be, if you are a founder, if you are a leader, you are modeling behavior for your culture. One of the things I so admire about Arianna, so many things I admire about her and Thrive Global is that she walks her talk.
She doesn't take emails late at night. She is getting her sleep. She doesn't take her phone into her bedroom. She doesn't expect any employee to do that. You're not going to get a 10:00 PM or a 1:00 AM email from Arianna Huffington. Anyone out there listening to this. If you're sending 1:00 AM emails, stop doing that.Natasha Miller:
You know what? There is a solution to that. You can schedule the send. If you happen to be up at 1:00 AM, fine. You schedule that to be sent in the next morning after 8:00 AM, maybe.Kim Fulcher:
So yes, the schedule after, and if you're up at 1:00 AM doing email, you need to take a very hard look at your life. I have started and sold two companies. I have worked with countless entrepreneurs who are incredibly successful. My husband has led four companies, two exits. I've never seen him doing a 1:00 AM email.
The glorification of busy, the glorification of stressed out, maxed out. This is what we have to change in our culture. And you see it happening. With the millennials, because they've watched the gen X and the baby boomers and what you got. My daughter's 26.Natasha Miller:
She's, "Nope."Kim Fulcher:
No, thank you. So if you're sending an email at 1:00 AM, you need to call me.Natasha Miller:
Okay. I want to know personally, and I'm sure people listening will want to know what are you working on right now that you're excited about?Kim Fulcher:
So I'm just finishing a book right now. The working title is "Ditch the Drama" and one of the things that I've noticed with the women that I work with, and I referenced women because I focus exclusively on working with high potential women to help them do the work they're born to do in the world and to help them manage their lives while they're at it.
I'm a stepmom of four. We've got six grandkids now. Multiple homes. I'm very busy. So I'm not coming at this with life-is-so-easy kind of focus, but I'm always making sure that I'm not only managing my own energy, that I'm really trying to help my clients manage their energy as well.
What I found is that there are a lot of hooks in our environment on a daily basis that take our energy off of our goals. And so I like to think of if your goals are true north, imagine you're in a compass and what you want is that true north, which is very clear and very simple and very easy to understand.
Not only is something that people define. Many times, people focus a lot more on what they don't want, what they're unhappy with versus what they want. But let's imagine that we've gotten over that hump and that we know what we want. The trick once what you want is to begin to manage your energy so that you don't get hooked into feeding situations that don't help you get to what you want.
That also sounds very simple. But I've never worked with a client who didn't have her energy all over the place with this little irritant about the Slack comment that just got made, the in-law requirement. She has to go to the she doesn't want to. There are so many places that we start to give our energy to.
And when your energy is allocated to all of this garbage, that has nothing to do with what you want at the end of the day, you find that you're exhausted and you're making no progress, even though you've been busy all day long. So I liken it to walking on a treadmill where you're moving, but you're getting 100% of nowhere, but tired.
So what I found, especially in the world of COVID where now any drama that was there that we could ignore by leaving our homes and sending all our people to like school and work like we're all home together. And so it's just really exacerbated. So Ditch The Drama is a 10-step process to take your energy back from all the places that you're giving it away and really focus like a Jedi. And I'm just thrilled about it.Natasha Miller:
I love it. Approximately. When will it be published in your hopes and dreams?Kim Fulcher:
It's 2023. I'm hoping early. It may be fall, so we're a little ways away, but I'm in it and working on it. And with your book, we birth these puppies in the next couple of years for the world to see.Natasha Miller:
Yeah. I just want to say out loud. I love it when I see, "It's so simple. Write your book in 90 days." This is one of the hardest things, the most challenging things, the most enjoyable thing I have ever done, but by no means, and I've got an incredible team behind me.
A lot of authors don't have that. It's still a tremendous amount of work. So I don't know if you see something like in three easy steps, just run for the border.Kim Fulcher:
It's a soapbox issue for me. And I really do think just as a little side note, there is a cottage industry that has sprung up of book coaches.
I have a book coach who I love, who's amazing. I have worked with several book coaches who have helped me greatly. I have also wasted a lot of money on book coaches who have not helped me. And I do think that there is a cottage industry that has sprung up around publishing as the publishing industry moves through the disruption that it's in right now. I think it's one of the last undisturbed industry.Natasha Miller:
Oh boy. It is in serious dire straits, but that's okay. That's great because there is that reinvention that's happening, but in the interim, sure. You can create a book in three easy steps in the 90 days, but what is the value? What is the excellence of that work? Maybe it can be excellent, but probably not.Kim Fulcher:
And what I've found is at least for me, I've been working on this book for five years, which is horrifying to even say out loud.
One of the things I know to be true is that when I started writing it, I wasn't actually the woman I needed to be to share it. And I have become that through my own growth as a result of the journey of writing and rewriting.
And now I know I'm there as you are there. And yet I had to be willing to grow and be the person who could share this message because I'm only one step either ahead or in parallel to anyone I'm helping, I'm teaching what I need to know.
I'm doing the best I can. And I'm messing up on a daily basis. I'm growing and evolving. And I think that quick fix, no matter what we're dealing with, whether we're dealing with lose weight, publish your book, the quick fix is a lie. There is no shortcut.Natasha Miller:
You have to do the work.Kim Fulcher:
Yeah, exactly in stereo.Natasha Miller:
Okay. The last thing I want to talk to you about is, so you are working on the book and so that is a strategy for growth, but is there another strategy for growth that you're focusing on for this year, specifically?Kim Fulcher:
So right now we're focusing on building audience, of course, which every author is looking to do. I have a free program, which I'm thrilled to offer, which really helps women to take control of their confidence. And confidence is another challenge or bucket list issue that I've got because every woman I've ever worked with, even again, A-list actresses, A-list executives have this challenge with confidence.
And what we know to be true in the world of psychology is that confidence is not this thing that you either have or don't. Confidence is 100% of result of your behavior. It is a result of you believing you can count on yourself to follow through for yourself. You can count on yourself to speak up for yourself.
So confidence is about your own belief in your ability to be there for yourself. And that is a behavior. So I have this free 22-day program. I used to charge $500 for it. In 2022, it's all free. And I'm really doing a ton of work on that now with the audience and the recipients who are there. Because I like to learn from real women about what's actually in our way and what actually helps move us out of our way.
So that's the thing I'm doing in the interim until "Ditch The Drama" is released. I'm working on that free community of women who are looking to really build their confidence, not as a result of some magic thing that has happened, but as a result of how they're behaving, how they're thinking on a day-to-day.Natasha Miller:
Kim talked to us about the importance of caring for yourself first, the challenges she's working through, and her focus for growth. For more information, go to the show notes for your listening to this podcast.
Want to know more about me? Go to my website, officialnatashamiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe. Also, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a review where you're listening to this podcast now. I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.