How Stress Affects Marketing Performance and What You Can Do About It – Interview with Dr. Torrie Kalm

How Stress Affects Marketing Performance

Do you know how stress affects marketing performance? Today’s guest is going to talk to us about the mental side of business which directly affects how well we succeed as business owners. On Today’s episode, Audrey talks with Dr. Torrie Kalm, PsyD, who holds a Doctorate of Psychology in Health, Human Services, and Science and owner of The Kalm Effect. She is a military spouse of 29 years, mother, educator, and entrepreneur. Through her doctoral research, she developed a passion for understanding the area of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Understanding the difference between EI versus IQ formed an entirely different perspective on how organizations, in every field, could benefit from the use of EI.

Links Mentioned In This Episode 

The Kalm Effect

What we discussed:

  • Relieving stress with low and high prioritization
  • Not being the bottleneck in your business
  • Reset/Refocus
  • Work-Life Balance

How Stress Affects Marketing Performance

*Not ready to give this episode a listen or watch just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*

Hi, this is Audrey Kerchner, and you’re listening to, and watching
Inkyma’s Marketing Strategies. Marketing is all about business growth
but there are so many factors other than marketing tactics that
determine whether you succeed or fail. In your marketing programs and
in your business. So I’m really excited about today’s guest.
And she’s going to talk to us about the mental side of business, which
actually directly affects how well you succeed in marketing and in
business. So I would love to introduce to you Dr Torrie Kalm. And she is
the owner of The Kalm Effect. Good morning. Good morning. I had been
excited about this one all week…you can tell because I’m really messing
up my words, so let’s start out by, tell us who you are and what your
company does. Because I remember in a couple of our conversations, it
was just this whole topic. Just really fascinating. Yeah, it’s it’s one,
obviously one of my favorites. I’m Doctor Kalm with The Kalm Effect. We
do behavioral coaching.
Specifically I work with people who have stress management issues. A
lot of business owners who want to manage stress in an effective way,
because there are, there’s some stress that is positive stress. We have
an exciting stress, but then there’s the stress that can also cause turmoil,
to say the least in our minds and then our ultimately in our businesses
and how we run them.
I also focus on communication and emotional intelligence. Part of my
specialty is emotional intelligence and that’s what I focused on when I
wrote my dissertation when I was working on my doctorate. I can do all
the things.
Which I think so cool. And what’s funny is that, when I thought about
talking about this, I was like, ” Well, it’s technically not marketing”, but
when I really thought about it, it is. Because I can’t tell you how many
times I’ve been on with clients where all of a sudden I’ve turned into like
their therapist a little bit, because they don’t have balance in work life.
They’re a little stressed out. There’s other factors. We wind up talking
through all of that, so I can get them back on task and focusing on the
marketing, which is focusing on growing their business. So let’s talk,
entrepreneurs, we…me, you, everybody that’s listening…we are a unique
breed, right?

We are blazing our own path down this trail. And it’s a little lonely
sometimes. I remember like sitting at my desk by myself, ” God, am I
doing the right thing?” ” Is this good?” And then my son comes in the
room. I’m like, “Hi, honey!” Versus employees, they’re given direction.
They’re given that guidance.
They got that nice little cocoon. And of course they have their own set of
issues too. But so let’s talk a little bit about what do you think are some
big things for stress management for entrepreneurs.
What are the biggest things that I personally have had to learn was
prioritizing. Because I call myself a solo preneur, because I’m myself, I’m
doing this myself.
I’m trying to figure it out, just like everybody else. So prioritizing has
become my best friend because when you’re first starting a business or
you’re deep into it, and you’re wanting to scale up you’re grasping at so
many things at one time and you’re like, okay, And then all these things,
even though as small as they are, they compound. daily.
And it can become a big thing. And so how do we manage that? And for
me and several of the business owners that I’ve worked with, we’ve
talked about how do we manage all those little things that end up piling
up that you know have to get done. But are causing stress in running our
And so I’ve come up with a prioritization kind of checklist. So I have
looked at what do I like prioritizing what needs to be done? What takes
the bulk amount of time that I have to get done? And so that goes on my
weekly calendar. This has to get done during these times. And so setting
up that schedule in that time for those high impact, high effort items, and
then I move on to okay., what is low effort, but gonna have a high impact
on what I get done. It’s those 15 minute blocks of time that I’m like, oh,
I’m eating lunch or on, got a few minutes before my next call, those 15
minute blocks. And so that may be a low effort to make a phone call, but
having a high impact on your day.
And thus resulting in less stress because you don’t want to go to bed
thinking I should’ve made that 15 minute call. So I’m big about prioritizing
and I work a lot with clients on how to do that, what that looks like. So
that really alleviates a lot of stress when we’re talking about doing our
business and balancing our life with that because, we want to be on

24/7, and you may go to sleep thinking about your business, constant
everything. But if you don’t take that time to also stop and reflect and
spend time with your family, then you’re going to end up burning out fast.
So prioritization huge, and running a business and having that balance
with personal life. Absolutely. And it’s interesting that you bring up
burnout because before I started my own business,
I burned out in corporate. And so like I made a couple promises to resell
when I started my company, One, I was only going to take clients that
every time I got on a call with them, or I met them, I felt some joy like,
oh, I’m excited to see this person and Two, working longer and harder
doesn’t mean the work is better.
I found that the downtime is what makes the quality of work, that my
team and I produce better. And a lot of entrepreneurs, it scares them. It
scares them, like ” what if I’m not working 24/7?” then you hear Elon
Musk. I love him, but I wanted to slap him. Like I work 80 hour weeks.
I’m like, come on, dude. Don’t tell people that! You can build a very
successful company without working 80 hour weeks and having your
family hate you.
I don’t know if his family hates and they probably love it, but my point is
you can build a business without putting in 80, 90 hour work weeks. I
don’t even know if that’s possible, I’d have to do the math on that. But
you’re right, because it’s the work, not only does the work product suffer,
but I think the work life balance suffers.
And then that guilt comes in. I remember feeling that a lot myself in the
beginning years of. Not spending time with people because I felt like I
had to get something done. So what are the tips and advice you gave
are great because I actually do those types of things too. So what do
you got on the work life balance side?
I usually, okay. So I have to have a personal, like moment to reflect on
emotional intelligence. That’s my thing. I love, okay. So we can read and
work what we need to with our clients, but you also have to have that Me
Time. You also have to have that self-reflection time. If you don’t have
that, you’re going to burn out and you’re going to feel guilty and you’re
going to have all those feelings inside. And then in turn, that goes into
your work? So is your work going to be as productive because 9 out of

10 people that have stress issues, their work productivity fails, so it
decreases greatly.
So we want to make sure that we take that time for ourselves. So I make
sure, and I write it in a schedule. Sounds crazy. But if you write it down
and it’s on your schedule, chances are you’re going to do it. You’re most
likely going to do it because you’ve scheduled that time. Everybody has
24 hours in a day and know you gotta sleep for eight.
What do you do with the others? Point of note, you do need to sleep
eight hours. That’s part of that whole stress and not being stressed and
having really good work product. Yes. Sleep is not overrated. Sleep is
absolutely okay. Yeah, I could sleep. I could sleep 10 hours a day.
That’s what I loved about meeting you is because, you hear all these
people talk about, oh, I’m so busy and I’ve got so much work and I don’t
I don’t eat. And I work all the time and I’m like, I don’t want to be that
entrepreneur. And you know what? I’m not. But sometimes when you
talk to others, you don’t want to tell them that because they’re going to
look at you like you’re weird, they’re like, “Wait a minute, you can’t be
successful because you’re not, freaked out like, oh, I am not going all the
time. Yeah. It’s true. The other thing, I just like to do one thing a day
towards my business that I know I’m not going to want to do, but I need
to do. So If I do one thing a day, except on the weekends, I refuse to
work on weekends.
I just can’t do it. I need that time to reflect and be with my family, my
husband, so that’s important. That is just as important as being
successful in my business to me. I think it’s they’re equal in their value.
But yeah, so just making that one thing a day that you didn’t really want
to do, but you know need to do that as much as you’re like the don’t want
to look at another marketing strategy.
I don’t want to write another blog. I just want to sit and eat my cake.
Exactly. So maybe you do that task while you’re eating the cake.
Sometimes its like the reward needs to be mushed in with the one thing
that I don’t want to do. You’re like: a couple of sentences, a couple of
mouthfuls. Couple of sentences, a couple of mouthfuls. Which isn’t
uncommon in this house. I’m the same way too. It’s funny.

Like I’ll sit down and do something. I’m like, oh, okay. I need a cup of
coffee. And then sometimes I’m like, oh, snack. You gotta feel full or you
just not going anywhere. But really, if you don’t have those moments,
you’re going to be no good to yourself. You’re going to be no good to
your family.
You’re going to be no good to your business. So I think it’s highly
important that we take care of our physical and emotional wellbeing as
much as we take care of our business.
I agree completely. So talk to me a little bit about, because I know there
are going to be folks listening to this going that’s all well and fine, but I
got myself in this hole, right?
I don’t sleep well. I’m not sketching my eating in, which I love that you
put in there right away, right? In the beginning. You’re like, you gotta
sketch in time to eat. Like you don’t want to be hangry. So where would
you start with someone like that? They’re going to come to you and
they’re going to say, listen, I’m working too much.
My spouse is mad at me. My company’s not doing great. What do I do?
If they’re already not in a great place mentally, when they first come to
you. So how do you start with them? I start with prioritizing. Let’s look at
what you do in a day. Oftentimes not every time, but oftentimes I see
some of my business owners that are my clients, that they do things they
could have delegated.
And they want to do it all because they are perfectionist and they think
“Well, I just…I’ll just do it myself and then it’ll be perfect. And I know it’s
done”. Okay. That’s all well and fine, but it’s one more thing on your list
to do. It could have been delegated to somebody else. You could train
somebody else to do this.
That could be taken off your plate. Let’s start with what you have to do
and what others can do. So delegation is not a bad thing, but we are in
this mindset, like as a solopreneur, I don’t even have employees right
now, so I can understand a hundred percent. It’s hard to give those tasks
away, but…if you have employees that you can do that with, I strongly
suggest looking at delegating some of these low effort items that could
be done by somebody else.

And then it starts to…people start to see the layers come off and they’re
like, oh, okay. Okay. Now I have this 15 minutes of free time. Okay. Now
I have 30 minutes of free time that I can put in what I need to do. Oh,
now I have a whole weekend I can spend with my family? What? Crazy
thought, right? And you come back to work energized after something
like that.
That’s incredible. Yeah. So it’s just peeling back the layers. It doesn’t
happen in a month and it doesn’t, sometimes it takes a couple of months
for people to slowly let go of those things that they can let go of. And
then we start working from there. On what they feel and what their next
set of needs are.
But typically, business owners, we want to control everything. Oh yeah.
It’s the curse of the entrepreneur. I’m the only one that can do this the
right way. But I found over the years, it’s you know what? I don’t want to
do that anymore. I don’t have time for that. And then when it comes
back, sometimes the product is better than what I do.
I’ve got 9 million things going on. And the person I delegated to has a lot
less and they have a different perspective. So I feel like it enriches the
business, having other thoughts. And how things are done differently.
Sometimes I’ll get something back and I’m like, that’s really cool how
they did that.
So I think if you’ve got good people, you can’t be afraid to delegate and
take a little time to train, like you said, but I think it’s well worth it. I really
do. It took me a long time to learn that lesson, but I’m totally, I’ve
embraced it. Yeah, it’s worth it.
Gosh, I can’t remember how many years ago? Five or six years ago, I
did hire a coach, for me and my business and it and you know what? It
was like the best thing I ever did. So Eric, if you’re listening to this, love
you, miss you. He’s awesome. He and I still talk and everything. And it
got my business to another level.
I didn’t come in working with him at that bottom level. I had a certain
amount of success and I was trying to break through my own ceiling to
get to a next level and I was finding it difficult. So do you ever work with
clients like that? That where, they’re not this heap of mess coming to
you, but they.

They’re I need to get to that next level and I don’t know how to do it.
Yeah. Yeah, I’ve had actually a couple say, “I was told I should check
you out. I don’t know what you can do for me.”
You just get them talking. A lot of people, they need to hear…they have
fears of that movement forward. They can’t get past that fear, but it’s
more of a subconscious fear because they think, “I’m doing great at what
I’m doing.”
” How can this be better? How can I be wrong?”
” People love me.” I’m like, that’s fantastic, but you’re staying here.
How do I get you here? And so we look at different goals that they may
have that they didn’t think about before. Oh, I want to take this test to do
this position now. Or I want to learn more about a specific concept in
their business. So as we keep learning about educating ourselves,
guess what’s going to happen.
You’re going to keep growing. And so it’s getting people that point to
say, yes, I’m successful here, but what could I do to get even more here.
And so subconscious meaning the conscious basically, we’re kind of
getting deep. And you hit the nail right on the head, is that, fast forward
after the couple of years I was in coaching, that’s exactly what my issue
It was that fear of executing something that was completely different, but
the reason it wasn’t executed was I came onto something new and, I sit
there and look in the mirror and I’d be like, all right, is this a crazy pants
idea? Or is this just something that I’m forward thinking? I don’t know.
And yeah, a lot of it was that internal fear getting past it, but man, things
just rocketed right after that. It really did. Like you said it wasn’t like,
okay, I’m a month out and boom. He and I were together for a couple
years and it was extremely, extremely beneficial. It’s before I knew you.
But yeah, so I would highly recommend coaching. What I always told
people. And what I would tell people was like, you need to talk to Dr
Torrie, because she’s going to help you get out of your own damn way.
Exactly. So the people you’ve got to tell them to get out of your own
head. And as entrepreneurs, we get that oh my gosh, I’m my own worst
enemy sometimes.

And I don’t have a boss telling me stop doing that. Don’t do this exactly
right. I was watching a Ted Talk the other day and I’m like, that really
resonates because as a business owner, I’ve failed so many times of
things and that’s okay, but I’m okay with ” that’s okay.” Some people
aren’t okay with that, but what separates successful entrepreneurs from
unsuccessful and this Ted Talk was amazing.
It was about grit, your grit. It’s when you fail, you get back up and you’re
like, okay. Dang it I’m going to do it. I’ve just learned a way I’m not going
to do with this. Exactly. That’s what failure is okay, that’s not the right
way to do that. And it’s interesting you say that I am totally comfortable
with failure because in marketing, we trial and error and fail all the time.
We put it out there as: Okay. We’re going to test things, but testing
different things. It’s a methodology. It’s if this one doesn’t work, we got to
go with that one. And then when we see something not working, we’re
like, okay, let’s tweak it this way. But when it works, we’re like, awesome.
It’s a milestone moment, but they happen all week long for us in this
So I look everything that way. And you’re right. It is, it’s that grit, it’s that
determination. And I will be the first person to tell you when I get
frustrated, I throw my toys down on the ground and stomp away just like
everybody else. But that’s normal. When I come back, I’m like, okay, I’m
going to pick this up and I’m going to keep going.
You know what that is though? That’s you self reflecting on, okay. That
really pissed me off. I’m going to walk away for a second and then I’m
taking a breath, reflecting on all that went really bad and reset refocus.
Got it. All right. What’s interesting is during the downtime or when you’re
stomping away, your brain’s still working on it in the background.
That’s what I find with me. And then I come back and I think I have an
epiphany. My brain’s like, “No. That was me. You were giving me a
moment, which I needed now we’re going to go and get this right.” and I
find it really, especially in a highly creative space, like I’m in where we’re
trying to think of different concepts in different ways to do things, which a
lot of businesses are.
That’s really valuable. Yeah. That reflection is, it is absolutely.
Absolutely. So I felt like we got down a rabbit hole there and going to
come back. So let’s talk a little bit about work-life balance because I

think there’s a misconception out there that as an entrepreneur, you’re
not allowed. But ironically too, a lot of people are like I started my own
business so I can have flexibility and freedom.
So it’s they’ve got these two warring concepts in their head at the exact
same time. Do you have people that come to you with that thought
process? I actually just had a recent. Oh my God. All the time. How do I
do this? I just, I’ve got to get this done, but I need to…like, my spouse is
like on me and I don’t know what to do. And I bring it right back to
Because really it is about what needs to get done. A business…you’re
running a business. You clearly, you have things you have to do. You
have to, it’s a business you want to make money. The reality is you’re
going to have to put in hours in the day. It’s just reality. Absolutely. But
it’s that balance of, okay. It’s dinner time and just putting down your stuff
for 30 minutes for dinner, with your spouse or your children, and say,
Hey, let’s have a being present in the moment conversation and not on
our phones.
It’s about being present in that moment with your family, even if it’s 30
minutes an hour, whatever you have, that’s the valuable part of
balancing. It’s because your business is what it is. You have to build
your business if you want to be successful in it. And so there’s even
clients that have, that can get their families involved in their business.
And that’s very positive as well. If you have an opportunity to bring your
family in, bring them in, give them a little tasks. You’re spending time
together, you’re working on the family future. It’s about finding creative
ways. To include family or be present with your family while maintaining
that business piece and scheduling and prioritizing invaluable.
You have to prioritize because if you prioritize nothing but work, you’re
going to do nothing but work. So true. That’s so true. So my biggest
hangup used to be like, okay, I would say I want to do this, but then I
would feel guilty about it. Like, I wanna not work on my business. I want
to go over here and do, for me, it was the downtime.
It’s I just want to sit and do nothing. I want to be a couch potato, but then
I would feel guilty. Do your clients have that conversation with you?
Cause sometimes that’s the motivator, to not take the downtime is the
guilt associated to it. Yeah. And I tell them it’s about your mindset.

If you tell yourself it’s okay. And it really is mindset is convincing yourself
that this is good, right? So a mindset put yourself in that mindset. That
this is okay to sit for a minute. We need that your brain needs that your
body needs that. Have you ever sat at a desk and just been like, I can’t
think I’m having basically a brain blank.
I can’t, I just don’t know what to do next. And you sit there for hours. You
could have taken that hour away from your desk. Spend some time with
your family reset and refocus your mind and then come back and be like,
got it. Exactly. Oh yeah. I’ve hit that maximum overload. I hit it every day,
which is ironic. You need brain breaks.
Yeah. That is the one thing that I haven’t done is like I, when I start my
day, I get up, I take my little breaks. I eat, so that maximum overload
doesn’t come, but I get to a certain point in the day where all of a sudden
I hit that maximum saturation. I’m like, I can’t do this anymore.
And then I get up and I leave the desk for the day. But there have been
times where I’ve done that. And then I’d come back in a couple of hours
just to finish cleaning some stuff up that needed to get done that day.
But yeah, I still am a. That’s my, I guess my bad habit, we all have them.
It’s normal to have one. Especially working from home.
Working from home, It’s really hard. And it’s something I’ve had to
balance out too. Where I could sit in here all night long and work on
things and research stuff and watch videos and learn new things
constantly professionally developing myself. That’s yeah. I could
constantly be doing that, but then I get to a point where I’m watching
videos and I don’t even know what that person said.
Exactly. What does that mean? What does that mean? Yeah, you’re
looking up words in a dictionary that you should have known that you’re
like, your brain is fried. And so let me ask you that question, because
what’s interesting is I’ve been working from home ever since I started my
business, I’ve had a home office, but you’ve got a lot of new
entrepreneurs out there that, that are trying to transition from an office to
working from home. Do you, do they talk to you about that? Cause that’s
a real struggle for people. Yeah. With younger children, especially, it’s
really hard and for single parenting, it is just, it’s a balancing act.
If you’re a single parent, it really is a balancing act. And there’s, it’s, if
you don’t have daycare, cause some single parents can’t afford day

care. So what do you do? and it’s about, that’s where I would suggest
because I’m an empty nester. My kids are all out of the house. Yeah, a
new empty-nester.
So it’s really it’s about how can you get your child on a schedule, but
keeping it, your clients have to be understanding that’s, it really comes
down to compassion. Yeah, I agree. And you got to have the right…if
you pick the right clients, they’re definitely going to give you that grace.
Yeah. I understand you have babies.
You’re single parents and you’re just trying to do the best for you. And
that authenticity will show through a hundred percent. Agreed really want
what’s best for them. But they’re juggling and they’re trying to make their
way. Absolutely. I’ve got a couple of clients where we’d been on a call or
even just meetings.
And then the doggie pops up and I’m like, oh, let me see the doggie, or
let me see the baby. I don’t want them to feel like that’s inappropriate
because in reality it’s not. You’re no less smart with the baby on your lap
than you are with them off your lap. Your brain is still there. You are still
you, your knowledge level is still there.
And what I find is that, that little moment where we take together and
then the baby goes off, the kid goes off, we refocus. It’s just magical. It’s
okay. Yeah. I was able to do that. Now I can get back to this. Kind of
what you were saying, just give yourself a little room. Yeah. Yeah.
And then I try to not put in like, for me personally, in my home office, I try
to keep my outside life from in here, so it keeps it separate so that when
I come in this room, I know this is work time and my brain is trained that
way. So this is work time. This is business. And then when I walk out, I
go, okay, I can breathe out here.
And so it’s that delineation between work, life. Yeah, absolutely. And
that, you know what, that’s what I’ve done for years as well. My office is
just my office. This is not a multitasking space. And then at night the light
goes off. And I go into the rest of the space. And ironically, my workout
time is that the equivalent of the commute home, where you just the
brain switches from one to the other, cause I’ll start my workout, like
thinking about work and I’ll be, and I’ll end it and it’s all gone.

And then already. Do the rest of it. Yeah. So that’s how I’ve exercise.
That is what I couldn’t live without with all of this. Absolutely. So time is
wrapping up here. It always goes by so fast. I know. I feel like there’s 9
million things else we could talk about. So we might have to do this
The podcast and especially if we get people asking questions and that
kind of stuff. So before we wrap this up, do you have any final thoughts
or things that you want to share with folks? Yeah, just be the best you
can be. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that fear is failure, so
don’t be fearful to fail.
That’s my mantra. And yeah, live, love, laugh. Awesome. I love that
because I think if we all do this, that when they get to me with the
marketing and we do these things, they’re going to be so much more
successful, because that’s my ultimate goal is to have successful clients.
So I really appreciate you being on the show today.
Thanks so much and go to the show notes because Dr Kalm’s website is
going to be in the show notes. Do you want me to put your email
address in there too? If people want to reach out and ask questions? I
wanted to make sure first year. Okay. So website address, email
address are going to be in the show notes and all of the show notes are
like always on the website, That’s I N K Y M A . com. And
then if you have questions about marketing, like I end, all of our shows is
we like to give back. So for every business owner out there schedule a
45 minute consultation and we can talk about whatever you want. We
can talk about your website, what you are doing for marketing, what
you’re not doing for marketing.
If you have fears and doubts about marketing, that’s where I can come in
and help you with that. So go to the website in the upper right hand
corner, there’s a button that says schedule a consultation. Put your date
and time in and we are on the calendar. So hopefully you enjoyed this
episode as much as I did.
I know I learned a lot. I’ve got some reconfirmation of being as an
entrepreneur. If you did find it helpful, please share it with your other
Business owners that you know, because we, as a business community
need to stick together and help each other out. And that’s what this
podcast is all about.

So thank you for listening and watching, and I hope you have an
amazing day.

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