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Success is like an orchestra- and you are the conductor, by Dr. Ely Weinschneider and Kimberly Spencer

Holistic harmony. I think of success like an orchestra and you’re the conductor. Sometimes your “horns” section, or your business, has got to blow like Gabriel. Sometimes you’ve got to let the strings section, or your relationship, have it’s romantic melody. And sometimes the percussion section, or your kids, have got to dance to their […]



Holistic harmony. I think of success like an orchestra and you’re the conductor. Sometimes your “horns” section, or your business, has got to blow like Gabriel. Sometimes you’ve got to let the strings section, or your relationship, have it’s romantic melody. And sometimes the percussion section, or your kids, have got to dance to their own beat and you’ve got to race to keep them in tempo.


As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Kimberly Spencer. Kimberly is an award-winning high performance coach, Amazon bestselling author, international motivational speaker, and the founder of CrownYourself.com, helping female entrepreneurs achieve holistic success and alignment in their bodies, businesses, and relationships. From her entrepreneurial beginnings at five selling bags of glitter-water to her neighbors, to becoming an award-winning screenwriter, certified Pilates instructor, Miss Congeniality, and six-time WEGO Health Activist Award nominee, Kimberly is proof that it’s better to make your own mold than to conform to someone else’s. She’s also the former executive of a national e-commerce startup and was the owner of private Pilates studio, Fitness with Kim in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been featured on The CW, ESPN, and NPR, and in Heavy, Oxygen Magazine, and Girls Life Magazine. Her premiere solo book, Mindful Meals: How to Dethrone Food Fears and Build Your Empire in a Body that Rules, debuts in 2019.

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

Growing up was rather chaotic for me. My parents started growing their arborist business when I was born to a multi-million dollar company over thirty years. Yet, at the same time, despite their business’ growing success my dad was also a highly-functional addict. So it made for an unstable environment, because I never knew which dad was coming home — the cool sober dad or the mean drunk. This created an immense desire for control. Being an entrepreneur is already unpredictable, especially when you’re first starting out. Sometimes money was rolling in, sometimes it was slim. Sometimes my dad was sober, a lot of the time, he was not.

It made me crave stability, control, and freedom all at the same time. I found that in directing my own show.

So, as a kid I would rally all the neighborhood kids into doing plays that I, of course, wrote, directed, costumed, and starred in. I also would rope them into my various entrepreneurial ventures, from selling painted rocks to split testing price points for bags of glitter water for five cents or fifty dollars…when I was five.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

When I was a teenager I had the belief that the only way I could have the level of influence, income, and impact I wanted to make in this world was by becoming a famous actress — then I would have the control I wanted. So I got dropped out of college with two scholarships two weeks before I was supposed to start to go to this prestigious acting school in North Hollywood, Playhouse West, which really was one of the best decisions of my life. Because that was where I learned to listen on a deeper level — not just to the words a person was saying, but their tonality, and their body language. I was also interested in so many other areas of the entertainment industry…again, the control thing…so I also gave myself permission to explore those — screenwriting, directing, choreographing, producing. Then, when I was 21, I was offered the opportunity to co-write my first fully-funded feature film. This was a dream!

All the while, in order to support myself, I became a certified pilates instructor. It was in teaching Pilates that I learned how our bodies are living, breathing, physical metaphors of our unconscious programming. I learned how to observe on a deeper level the micro-movements of the muscles, which only enhanced my sensory acuity as a coach.

It was also through teaching that I learned the power of congruence and alignment in your identity. Not just physical alignment, but alignment in ALL that you do — body, business, relationships. I was able to successfully heal myself of a 10 year battle with bulimia with no psychological or medical intervention, just by practicing congruence and shifting my identity about who I was and who I wanted to be.

So when we got word that our film, Bro’, was going to have a US release and was going to be distributed by Lionsgate, I was surprised when I still felt like there was something missing.

That’s when I met two boys whose lives were changed by this film. And that’s when I realized what I wanted to do — change lives! I also realized the power of stories, both the stories we hear, watch, read, and see, and the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. It all goes back to identity.

I was still searching for mine. I didn’t know how to combine all these passions of mine — health, writing, directing, entertainment, pageants, service, fitness, into one holistic business that would transform lives. So I became the president and partner of a startup e-commerce company to rid the world of back pain for a couple of years. I used my Pilates background to design the stretching and strengthening routines for the product. But, a year or so into that business, I was constantly stressed out still felt unfulfilled, like I wasn’t able to fully express all of me in that business.

Three weeks before I walked down the aisle to marry my husband, I was bought out by my partner. So again, I was back wondering, “How the heck to I combine all these passions into one holistic business?”

It was on my 6-week honeymoon in Italy that I came up with the idea. Total side note, but I highly recommend everyone take a six week honeymoon as an entrepreneur. The clarity you get is amazing! Because that’s when, in a cozy AirBnB on the Ligurian coast, I came up with the idea for “Crown Yourself.”

I had no idea what it was, but I just knew that it was a way to help women stop living in fear and to instead rise to their highest level of performance, achievement, and success in all areas of their life — their bodies, their businesses, and all their relationships. And what higher level is there than Queen, right?

I got to work right away on this idea, but for two years I didn’t realize how deeply my belief in myself had been impacted by being bought out of my first company. My confidence had taken a nose dive while I was with that company. So for two years I was telling myself this old story, and for those same two years I was barely making any money in that business.

I’d reopened my private Pilates studio to continue supporting myself, and even took a side job teaching at a chiropractic studio, because, truthfully, I didn’t believe in myself as an entrepreneur.

But then a little line on a stick turned blue, and I had a decision ahead of me. Use my pregnancy as yet another excuse as to why my Crown Yourself idea hadn’t yet succeeded. Or use my son as my greatest inspiration to turn pro, forge forward, go big, and create the dream virtual coaching business I’d desired. 

I chose the later. That’s why it’s no surprise to me that in the same year that I gave birth to my son, I had my best year yet as an entrepreneur. And the best is yet to come, always.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

I wake up at 5AM, before my son or my husband is up. Immediately I thank God for giving me another day, and then I throw on a podcast to set my mind up for success while I smash cold water on my face and brush my teeth. Then I workout — either Pilates on my reformer at home or I go for a run, or sometimes I do both. This workout is sacred ME time.

After that it varies. Working from home with a toddler there is some flexibility in my routine — there has to be. If my hubby, Spike sleeps with the kiddo a little longer, then I write for an hour on my book. Then when he wakes up, we trade. He does his morning routine, and I have breakfast and one-on-one breakfast time with my son. No phone. No computer. Since my husband and I are both entrepreneurs and coaches who work from home, we coordinate our calendars in advance so we know if there are any important appointments, like with clients, meetings, or interviews, like this one. That way whoever doesn’t have the appointment can take the baby. We really try to not overlap with dual client sessions for that reason.

I’m also super supported by my family, so a couple days a week, my mom will watch our son for a solid four hours. We don’t have a nanny, nor do I want one at this point. So I take advantage of this sacred grandma babysitting time. This is when I work on the projects that require 100% focus tasks done on projects that require my complete attention or coaching clients. I usually begin the “work time” with a 5–10 minute meditation.

If it’s a day when it’s just my hubby and I, our son is pretty good at playing by himself while we work for an hour. Every hour we take a break to stretch, play, and move our bodies as a family. Then, back to it for another couple hours until lunch time.

At lunch, it’s one-on-one time with Declan, eating, listening to music, practicing the alphabet. We will either do a nap after lunch — sometimes this means one of us naps with Declan while the other works. We’ll usually take a break in the middle of the day to go for a walk as a family or play at the park, or to take Declan to his gymnastics class.

Then we work for a couple more hours until dinner on tasks that require 20–50% of my focus, catching up with my team, tracking projects, email, prospecting.

Evenings are pretty home centered until after we get the little one to bed. Normally as I’m nursing him, that’s when I’m doing any emails, social media, or other easy tasks. Or sometimes I just use that time for mind-feeding and reading. After he’s a sleep my husband and I have an hour or so together, we call that our “Date Night Dinner.” And, yes, that’s in the calendar. If we have any extra work to be done before bed, we’ll do it until about 10:30PM. Sometimes it’s earlier. Sometimes it’s later.

Growing a business while raising a baby, you just make it work.

Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

I think there is a big difference between spending time with your children with your head buried in your phone or your laptop, and actually spending quality time with your children when you show them that they are your number one priority. And this is a very crucial distinction that must be made.

Because if you’re always doing something else while you’re with them, you are unconsciously telling them that those things — your phone, your computer, your work — is more important than them. You might as well have them with a nanny or a babysitter if you’re always going to be preoccupied with something else.

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is important to make time to spend with your children?

Oh, it is especially important between the ages of birth and seven, this is the imprint period. Your child is essentially one giant unconscious mind. By about eight years old your child has about 90% of their programming and conditioning.

Within this age range, they are absorbing everything you do, every habit, what you say, how you say it. They are seeing how you see the world, how you think about it. And how you survive in order to see how they can survive. Whether you know it or not, they are watching everything you do, and everything you don’t do. You are their example of how to live.

Children model and mirror the person that they spend the most time with. This is why we don’t have a nanny, because I want my kids to model me, or my husband, or my mom, someone that I know, like, and trust.

Plus also, as your children become your own little mirrors, you will also be able to see where you can improve. My son has already shown me how I deal with shame or rejection, because he’s modeled it right back to me. Now that I’m aware of it, I have been able to heal and grow, and have also been able to help him shift his behavior as well.

This can only be done, if you spend time with them and have awareness of where that behavior comes from, whether it’s from you, your spouse, or anyone else you know who is spending chunks of time with your kids.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

As an entrepreneur, we schedule all our important meetings — dinner dates, client sessions, partnership meetings — for all the significant events in our business. So often I see entrepreneurs have this habit with their business, but not with their children? For me, I schedule my one-on-one time with Declan. My “lunch meetings” with him are as much of a priority appointments my sessions with my clients.

When I’m in a session with my clients, my attention is 100% on them. I’m not checking my email or scrolling through my phone, or answering any other phone calls. They invested a lot of money to work with me, and I take that investment seriously. And vice versa. When they’re in a session with, they’re not scrolling through their phone or checking their email. They are 100% present. My time with my son is the same way. While it’s not about the money, you could look at it the same way. You’ve invested a lot of money into just having your kids, let alone the money it takes to raise them. Why wouldn’t you want to give them the 100% attention that you would to any other investment on a daily basis?

A lot of our quality time revolves around movement. There is a generation of a lot of sedentary kids thanks to technology. So while our son is a baby, we are regularly teaching and showing the importance of movement on a daily basis, whether that’s dance breaks in between work hours, tussling on the bed, going for a walk outside or to gymnastics class, or just running around the playground. It’s also beneficial for both my husband and I because if we’re feeling “stuck” in a project or in an area of our life, we will go play with Declan and move our bodies, which immediately pumps more oxygen via blood flow to the brain, strengthening our own neurological connections as well as those of our son. It’s a win-win-win for everyone!

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?

(1) Schedule appointments with your children and keep your commitments, just as you do in your business.

(2) Watch your language…and, no, not in that way. There are times when work deadlines and demands will take precedence. I do believe in teaching the power of choice and of ownership. Sometimes, a different part of your life is going to take priority. But, by being specific with your language, you can teach your children about ownership and time management, which will help them thrive as adults. So, for example, I don’t say, “I have to do something.” “Have to” implies that I don’t have a choice. I do. I choose to prioritize the project over playing with my son in that moment. So, instead, I say to my toddler, “It’s a priority that mommy gets this project done right now. And in thirty minutes I will come and play with you.” By saying “It’s a priority” it shows that you have a choice, and sometimes you are choosing to prioritize. I’m sure when my son gets to the glorious age of asking “Why” with every answer to a question, I will explain that “It’s a priority that mommy get this project done, so that I can make X amount of money, so that I can pay for his music classes.” That way, he know’s he is my driving motivation, and he then has a choice to accept that reason, or to reject it.

(3) Take a day off. I get it, when you have your own business and you absolutely love what you do, you could work everyday, day and night, on project after project. Steven Covey calls it “sharpening the saw.” And I have to say if God took a day to rest after creating the Universe, so can you…once a week. Even before we had Declan my husband and I made a pact that Sundays were for us. We go for hikes. We go to some restaurant or someplace we haven’t been. We watch movies. We brunch like pros. We take long walks and just spend the day enjoying each other’s company. Now those days are for family. The only time our laptops come out on Sundays are after Declan is asleep and we’re planning for our week ahead. Though, really, I prefer getting that done on Saturdays.

(4) Play. Take time out of your day to practice your imagination with your child. Not only is this fabulous for your child, but it also trains the creative forward thinking part of your brain. If you really want to create a win-win, you can make believe with your child that you’re doing all the things you want to do on your vision board — traveling on that jet, sailing the Mediterranean, climbing Everest. Allow your children to bring out the forward-thinking visionary in you. This is how you manifest, after all.

(5) Set up playdates with other entrepreneur parents with kids of the same age. That way your kids can connect and you can mastermind ideas with someone who is in the same boat. Another win-win.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

A good parent means sitting with them through the struggle, validating their feelings without shame, cheering their children on, and holding fast to your boundaries.

For example, my son really wanted a “boobie” instead of his lunch. We had just nursed an hour prior and he’s going through this really attached phase right now. Plus, he was already pretty tired and ready for a nap — a recipe for testing boundaries. So, I told him, if he had one small piece of chicken, then he could get a boobie before his nap.

Well, he was having none of that. So after ten minutes of him trying to negotiate with a toddler, I said, “Let’s have a cuddle and a rest.” He smiled, thinking that this meant I gave in. I laid down with him in his bed, and he kept asking “Boobie, boobie.” I validated his feelings, and I reminded him that since he didn’t have a piece of chicken, he didn’t get a boobie.

That was when he flipped. He sat straight up and started wailing. It was painful for me and hard to watch. But I sat with him through it, offering words of comfort. I offered him other options like a cuddle or a foot rub to try to soothe him, to which he would reply “Boobie, boobie.” I reminded him again that he didn’t eat his piece of chicken, so it was a no. I held my boundary. He worked himself up into such hysterics that he started coughing from screaming so loud. But, I didn’t give in. I kept my voice calm and kept reassuring I loved him and I was there for him.

It was tough, but I was there for him through the struggle and I knew that he would be able to get through this, knowing the rules, and knowing that it’s okay to be upset too.

Eventually I blew a puff of air in his face for a pattern interrupt. It worked. He started to catch his breath from all the screaming. We started doing some deep breathing, as I just repeated the words, “Calm, calm my love.” After he calmed down, I opened my arms and he climbed right in for a cuddle and he quickly fell asleep after that. When he woke up, he was all smiles and cuddles.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

Even before my son was born, I have been cheering him on. I spent 24 hours in labor. The first 16 were hard, I was really focused on the pain, fearing the next contraction, which only made each contraction worse. What you focus on expands, after all.

I had had my heart set on giving birth to Declan naturally. After I was admitted to the birthing center, I was still having trouble dilating and I could feel myself fighting each contraction. That’s when my doula said the most magical words to me, “Kim, just know every contraction is just Declan shimmying down the birth canal.”

That was when it hit me. “Oh my god,” I thought, “Declan is working just as hard to get out as I am to get him out.” And all I could imagine was this little newborn having his first real experience with hard work. It was in that moment that everything shifted for me. I’ve worked hard for thirty years. I know how to do work. But my little son, has never had struggle until this moment. This was his first challenge.

I started rooting him on, talking to him, cheering on every contraction, “Come on Declan, we got this. We’re doing this together, baby! I got you. You can do it.” My focus shifted from my own pain to being of service to my son. And like magic labor started to speed up and the pain eased. Eight hours later, he was in my arms.

Dreams can only be achieved through struggle and work, because growth and equilibrium cannot exist simultaneously. It can be as hard or as easy as you allow your mind to make it. So I encourage the growth. I cheer on the struggle. I celebrate the search for the solution.

Right now he’s in the toddler phase where he is learning to turn his stumbly, drunken-looking walk into a run. So if he takes a tumble on the playground, if he doesn’t appear to be hurt, my husband and I will let him get himself back up, saying, “It’s okay. It’s about how quickly you get back up. You can do it, buddy! You got this.” If he needs help, of course we’re there for him. But, we want to start training resilience at an early age, that’s how they will achieve those big dreams, after all.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

Holistic harmony. I think of success like an orchestra and you’re the conductor. Sometimes your “horns” section, or your business, has got to blow like Gabriel. Sometimes you’ve got to let the strings section, or your relationship, have it’s romantic melody. And sometimes the percussion section, or your kids, have got to dance to their own beat and you’ve got to race to keep them in tempo.

The concept of achieving work-life balance is complete crap — especially as a parent. Because if you think of a scale, something has to be taken away from the good side, in order to balance out the bad, leaving everything mediocre. No thank you! The goodness of one thing — be it your business, or your body, or your relationships with your kids, or your relationships with your spouse — has got to be sacrificed in order to achieve it. But, if you strive for harmony instead, if you’ve ever been to a good orchestra, it can sound like bliss when all the instruments are working together.

I’ll take bliss over balance any day!

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

I believe your business growth is directly a reflection of your own personal growth. Owning a business is like personal development on steroids because a business can only go as far as the psychology of it’s leader. The same is true for a family. How you do anything is how you do everything, after all. I am constantly listening to podcasts on mindset to help me grow as parent and as a business owner. NPR’S “How I Built This,” Tony Robbins, Kathrin Zenkina of Manifestation Babe, James Wedmore of the Mind Your Business Podcast, Brendon Burchard, Marie Forleo, Chris Harder, Summer Scolaro’s She Lives Wholly, The Hyper Conscious Podcast, and Luci Lampe’s Sexy Mama Podcast are regularly in my ear, or on in the car.

However, my main go-to, by far, is Ed Mylett’s podcast, I think of him like my “Business Dad”…even if he is slightly younger than my husband.

I’m an avid reader and will read almost any book on neuroscience, positive psychology, health, personal development, because all of them help me understand myself and my son so much better. As you work on yourself, just like with your business, your relationships with your kids will improve as well. “As a Man Thinketh,” Wallace T. Wattle’s “The Science of Getting Rich, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl are some of my favorites. I read a lot of money mindset books simply because being rich is not just about having financial wealth. It’s also about having rich relationships, and money and having more money can help enhance those relationships. It can pay for gymnastics classes, and flights to new countries, and dance classes, and all the things that allow me to spend more time with my son.

And one of my personal favorites that Declan and I read together is the children’s book “What Do You Do with a Problem,” which is all about how problems are really just opportunities in disguise.

I’m also a huge fan of the app Blinkist. It’s like the Cliff Notes for personal and business development books. These are what I read while I’m putting my son down at night. I can get through two or three books, grasp the concepts, and easily implement. It’s my top recommendation to my mompreneur clients who don’t believe they have the time to dive into a whole book.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Until your desire is met with the decision to achieve it, you’re left wandering in a delusion. When your desire meets your decision, that’s when you have your direction and your destination within reach.

For the two years before I got pregnant, I was living in the delusion of being a business owner. I was doing all the things — building a website, doing research, writing copy, designing a logo — all the things, except radically promoting myself as a coach, asking for the sale, and delivering massive results. I was actually researching a certification program for NLP the week prior to finding out I was pregnant. After I found out I was pregnant, that’s when I had to decide. Was I going to continue wandering in a delusion? Or was I going to step it up and meet my desire with a decision to become the business owner and the coach I knew I could be? I chose the latter, and got my first clients a month later. Crown Yourself Coaching was in business, for real. Destination found.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Crown Yourself. You can either have Fear ruling on the throne of your life, or you can be. Your body is your palace. Keep her clean and sparkling. A Queen surrounds herself with wise counsel. Find them. Your business is your kingdom. Make it thriving. Your empire is your legacy. Make it last.

A Queen makes decisions on a daily basis that require immense courage, influence, and energy. That’s the only way you can expand your empire, serve more people, and have the legacy you deserve.

Yet, it’s not by your works that you deserve this. You are worthy of your empire simply because you were born. Like the monarchs of old used to believe, you were chosen by the Divine to fulfill the mission that was placed in your heart. For you are an extension of the ultimate Creator of the Universe.

All you must do is take the aligned action to become the Queen you were born to be.

It is now up to you to choose to follow that Divine mission, to take the action, conquer Fear, to slay the plagiarized beliefs of the people who have not yet realized this truth within their own hearts. The only truth that is…

YOU ARE WORTHY OF YOUR RULE. NOW, RISE TO YOUR THRONE AND REIGN.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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