Kali Hawlk is a content marketer who helps business owners find their focus and share their unique value through compelling content.
She teaches entrepreneurs how to tell their story in a way that resonates with the right people. She’s also writer who shares ideas and stories on business, finance, entrepreneurship, and living mindfully and with intention.
She’s been featured as a financial expert for Millennials in many online publications including Forbes, Fast Company, US News, and Mashable.
Hi! I’m Kali Hawlk, and I’m a writer and a content marketer. I help business owners tell their story in a way that resonates with the right people, by using compelling content. I work with people to create marketing strategies and funnels, to manage their business and get important projects and tasks done, and to write great copy that converts. I also work as a freelance writer on personal finance and love sharing ideas with readers that will help them do more with their money, their work, and their lives.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but moved up to Boston, Mass in my mid-20s. I live in the city and I absolutely love it — this is definitely home and I’m grateful every day I made the move. When I’m not writing or working, I love exploring my own neighborhood and all the others in Boston. Specifically, you can find me scouting out new restaurants and bars to try! I’m an avid traveler and thoroughly enjoy finding new places and experiences to take in.
I’m also a runner who loves to lift, and I take every chance I can get to head to the woods for a hike or a camping weekend. I live with my boyfriend, Eric, who runs his own financial planning firm to help professionals in their 30s do more with their money at BeyondYourHammock.com. We share our place with our two always entertaining cats with big personalities, Scout and Stormy.
What type of products of services does your business offer?
I offer three main services for businesses:
- Content marketing (which includes everything from creating strategies and building marketing funnels, to managing a company’s marketing efforts, to creating the actual content itself to be marketed on blogs, social media, email, and more)
- Project management (for business owners who are running small operations and need help turning ideas into actionable to-dos that get done)
- Freelance writing (I usually work with larger corporations to create posts and articles for their brand’s blog or website, but also work with small companies to write ebooks, articles, lead magnets, and more)
What’s been the hardest part about starting your own business?
I feel like I’m facing the hardest challenge now — and that’s transitioning from freelancer to true entrepreneur. I believe you don’t have an actual, sustainable business unless it’s capable of running without you. I love my freelance career and I’m so happy with the work I do, but I’m currently trying to figure out how to scale up, hire a team, and run a real business.
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to unwind and refocus?
First, I try to meditate. Even taking 60 seconds to breathe deeply and practice a minute of mindfulness is such an effective way for me to check my stress and refocus.
Working out and running are both big stress-relievers, too. Anything I can do to get out of my body and into my head helps me get present — and that’s the best way I’ve found to deal with feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
I know I have a huge “thing” around time. I feel like I never have enough, like I’m always running out. It’s a huge source of anxiety. So whenever that feeling creeps up on me, I work to remind myself of what Gay Hendricks talks about in his book, The Big Leap, with “Einstein time.” I remind myself of this idea and consciously, deliberately tell myself (sometimes even saying it out loud), that “I have time. There is time for what I want to do. I have enough time because I am the source of my time.”
That helps me stop the freak out and get focused on what I can do to take action. If this sounds a little weird, I highly recommend giving The Big Leap a read!
Finally, I practice something my business coach taught me, called “tapping” or ETF. This is something I definitely found weird, but it’s actually really calming and helpful to do when you’re in stressful, anxiety-inducing situations — because it’s just another way of getting out of your head and into your body. My coach shared this YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzVd6Ww0as4) with me when she first introduced the idea, so you may find it helpful as well if you’re curious.
What resources have you found helpful in blazing your own trail?
There are so many excellent resources out there! I’ll list out some of my favorites for you below:
- Headspace (for meditation)
- Pocket (for saving articles to read later)
- Asana (for task management)
- Google Drive (for.. well, everything) and Google Calendar
- Slack (for communication)
- Wunderlist (for keeping track of bits and pieces of information)
- The Four Agreements
- On Writing
- The War of Art
- The Artist’s Way
- Big Magic
- The Big Leap
- The Gifts of Imperfection
- Paddle Your Own Canoe
- All Marketers Are Liars Tell Stories
- Why Now Is the Time to Crush It
- The $100 Startup
- The Millionaire Next Door
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Blogs & Podcasts
- Seth Godin
- Zen Habits
- HubSpot’s Marketing Blog
- Content Marketing Institute
- Convince and Convert
- Planet Money
- TED Radio Hour
- The Growth Show
- The #AskGaryVee Podcast
- This Is Your Life Podcast
- On Being
- Shannon McNay Insler (http://www.shannonmcnay.com)
- Anna Tsui (http://annatsui.com)
- Eric Roberge (http://beyondyourhammock.com)
If you could spend one day with any famous person, who would it be and why?
After reading Paddle Your Own Canoe, I would want to spend a day with Nick Offerman. I’m fascinated by anyone who, at an early age, knew they were creative, different, maybe a little weird — and freakin’ owned it.
I find Nick hilarious, intelligent, thoughtful, and wholly authentic, and I really love how he knew who he was from an early age and lived into that despite the fact that it broke social norms or made him stand out from the crowd.
What’s currently on your radar? Tell us about your latest project.
I’m working hard on writing more new content for my blog and creating valuable resources to provide for my audience there. I want my website to be a really valuable resource for everyone, regardless of whether or not they use my services.
I’m also putting together a series of events in Boston for other professionals and businesswomen who aren’t originally from the area. Boston is like an enormous small town — everyone knows everyone else, and it can be hard to break into existing social circles when you’re new (and already graduated from university). I’m originally from Atlanta and experienced that struggle myself, so I want to take a “solve your own problem” approach to this opportunity. I’m hosting small get-togethers where other newcomers can meet each other and start forming their own friend groups, without the pressure and anxiety that can come with being in a new place and not having many connections yet.
What advice do you have for today’s millennial professional?
Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission to do the work you want to do. Create what you want to see in the world — especially if someone tells you not to, or that you can’t. If you can’t get a job doing what you want, freelance or start your own business. Volunteer in your free time and gain the experience you need if you don’t have any. Take initiative and don’t wait for someone else to tell you it’s okay or you can.
No matter what line of work you’re in or what you want to do, you need to be proactive and chase down your goals and what you want to accomplish. If you don’t, I guarantee you someone else will.