The Power of Community, How to Collaborate Effectively Through Trades of Service & Discovering Your Self Worth with @girl.creativemsp
I chatted with Girl.CreativeMSP founder (and good friend) Kylee Leonetti, video producer, confetti maker & connector of people.
We get pretty deep into struggles entrepreneurs have from collaborations & working for free, the importance of community & female friendships, the power of networking & how to utilize your time without burnout & much more!
Connect with Kylee & Girl.Creative
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Alright, Hi, everyone. I'm Jenna Redfield. And I am very excited because today we have very special guest, this is Kylie Lionetti, and we have been friends for like, many years, and she is a producer, photographer and a connector of people. So welcome, Kylie. Thank you. Yeah.
Kylee Leonetti 1:18
So Introduce yourself, I guess more because you do a lot of things. I do a lot of things. I feel like my job can best be described as confetti. It's just everything that I do kind of has that title. I do own a company company. Yeah, you do. Um, so my day job is I'm a producer and photographer, I have a creative production company with my husband, Kylie in Christian creative. I also connect creative women via girl creative. So I just found there was a lack of opportunities for women to connect without a ticket or without being somebody or knowing somebody. And so three years ago, we just opened invite happy hour to everybody we knew who was a woman in the Twin Cities, and now we have about 50 to 100 people who show up every month to connect and the
Jenna Redfield 2:00
I have to say it's one of my favorite networking groups of all of them. It's the best and it's free, which I love. And I mean, we are going to talk about this later. But for you, but like, it is great to have that and not have that be a barrier to entry for people, you know, if they can't afford it or anything if they can spend two hours a month networking, I think it's worth it. Right.
Kylee Leonetti 2:20
Well, and when it started, I agree completely. When girl creative started, I was very much in year one of my production company and we just didn't have money to buy things like a $30 ticket to the yellow conference. Is that still a thing? I don't know. But it was looked really fun. And I remember that was kind of the trigger for me to go. Okay, that looks fun. I love to go, I can't go. What can I do? Happy Hour and so happy hour is a nice way for women to connect. And also they don't have to drink which you can just get well
Jenna Redfield 2:45
yeah, I don't drink. So that makes sense. Right?
Kylee Leonetti 2:48
And the third thing I do is I have a confetti cutting company turns out hand cut. Colorful bits of paper is an untapped market. So I have Lionetti confetti and I do hand cut confetti for all kinds of celebrations, everything from weddings, baby showers, graduations, things like that. Did
Jenna Redfield 3:03
you come up with that? Because of your last name? No, no, so,
Kylee Leonetti 3:07
so dumb. I lived through my 20s cutting confetti, I would put it on the table, I would include it in my photo discs when sending photo discs was still a thing. And one of my mentors two years ago, not even two years ago, I was 30. So at least like a year and a half ago said hey, your name rhymes with confetti. That's your business title.
Jenna Redfield 3:26
Yeah, that was crazy. Okay, I got my business. I mean, that's, I mean, that's like Kismet, I guess for the naming and everything. But how did I not realize soon? Yeah, that is a little bit. I don't know anyway. But the reason I wanted to have you on this middle, I'm honored to have you on basically since the start. I don't know why this has taken so long for this to happen. But I was like, maybe we're just waiting for the right topic. But the topic this month is networking. And I feel like your group is great at that. So can you kind of talk about how running a creative networking group has like affected you and your business? Maybe or like just your life?
Kylee Leonetti 4:00
Yeah, absolutely. I think for me, it started with the basis that women don't naturally connect with one another unless we have a reason to. So why not give women a reason. And I think that it's kind of the underlying topic, every time we meet, it's like, we need a reason to connect. We live in Minnesota, people don't just open their front door and say come in for dinner. And if you're a creative professional, especially if you're just starting out, the value in making those connections early on is so huge. And so I think social networking is the main priority a girl creative. So if you're friends with someone that maybe you would otherwise compete with, or maybe jealous of, or you just scope them out on the internet and say, Yeah, they seem cool. I was never approached them. Girl creative takes down that barrier. Yeah, it says you must you must approach them. They're here. They're wearing a name tag just like a bar. And so rather than being at a BMI, which I mean, I went to a few of those when I was just starting out and I was I wanted to be involved. I wanted to pitch myself, but I just never I found the gumption to do so at 730 in the morning with a bunch of people I'd never met and so girl creative. It's not the same people every time but it is it's more or less. There's a core group. Yes. And there's a lot of people who maybe won't come for a couple events, but they'll come back a couple of months later. And so you do develop almost like a circle of people around you, who cheer for you and ask you Hey, how's that thing you told me about? Amai? going now It's September. Do you have traction on it? Have you moved the needle? Have you made that call made that connection built that website. And so the accountability of networking is so much stronger at a place like girl creative, then it'd be a night where you may only get 30 seconds to sell yourself,
Jenna Redfield 5:35
people and I feel like it's more of a salesy, then like making friends that are people similar to you like, the last one was like piling my favorite ones I've ever been to the one as a hotel because I knew so many people. And I felt like my whole time I was like, Hey, have you met this person? Because that's that's what I love doing is I love connecting people. But I'm like, it's like all my favorite people. Plus, like people I didn't know. And people like I've been friends with on Facebook for years and had never met like that kind of there. And they're here. And I'm like, everyone's here. And it was just like it felt like it was like a reunion of sorts.
Kylee Leonetti 6:06
And it is it's a sisterhood because we have women who come to the group who are like 30 years into their companies, and they're killing it. And they come because they get energized by the people who are just starting out. So one of the rules, I guess there are some rules is that we don't pass out business cards, because not everyone has a business card, somebody might be in the very beginning stages of their side hustle their new career. And they don't even have that one piece yet. And so if we started out every meeting with business cards, that would deter a lot of people from coming. And so that before anything gets, you know, it's not like we don't allow them. It's just if you're talking with someone meaningfully connecting, and you're like, Here's my card that's different than in the beginning, we had a few girls who would come and they would just like spread their business cards out on the table, and then sometimes even leave, that was your one. So we we refined the messaging a lot since then. And we made it strictly friendship so that we can collaborate and work with the people that we are naturally gravitating toward as friends.
Jenna Redfield 7:01
Yeah. And it's that's like so cool. Because I remember, I'd started going to grow creative. I think over two years ago, was the first one I went to was a holiday party. And if you remember this really yeah, it was the one that somebody apartments or something. It was amazing. And I was like, I just remember being like, I didn't know anyone that at that time I'd never met you. I think that's first time I met you. Did you come alone? I did come alone. I always come alone.
Kylee Leonetti 7:23
You were brave Betty. Women who come by the house. I mean, I you know, I
Jenna Redfield 7:27
I did. We actually talked about this on the podcast last week is like, do you come alone? Or do you bring a friend because I couldn't run a friend. But I'm like, I think when you go alone, you meet more people. Because if you're with a friend, you tend to just stick with your friend and not like venture out and meet new people. So I think for me, I like going by myself because I also don't have like, if someone cancels on me, it's like, it's annoying. I'd rather go by myself and like, I'll meet you there. If you're not there. I'm still going, I'll be there. And like, I'm very independent. So I guess for me, it's just like, I'll just go like if I want to go I'm gonna go nothing's gonna stop me. Like that's, that's always been my attitude. I'm like, I don't want somebody else like, stop me from doing something
Kylee Leonetti 8:01
I should have channeled you when you're creative first started I. So I got this idea in 2014. After a pretty disastrous breakup with my career, I was working in reality TV, which is not at all. So bad. I actually did the whole thing where you like, look in the mirror one day, and you're like, I hate my life so much. I'm cutting my hair. So I put my hair in a ponytail and I cut the whole seriously. Yes. Wow. so short. So my friend Melanie likes to say that your hair should not suffer your anxiety. That was exactly what happened to me in 2014. And I realized I had worked 18 months in an industry that sucked my soul out and I had no friends left. They were all tired of hearing about LA, they were tired of hearing about my life. And they wanted me to be real. And I did not know how I had one friend. She's a stylist and I was going out to happy hour with her about once a month to stay sane. And one day on the drive home. I thought you know what, if I invited all the girls, I knew from Instagram to this kind of thing to a happy hour. It would be amazing, right? We so cool. And I sat on it for a while but I wasn't then at the time the kind of person does things alone, I just was really afraid to do it. And so I had my friend help me and it was it was great for a little bit. And then as I learned through the process, if something is truly your idea, you are the only one who has a vision for it. And you're the only one with the mission and the only one with the heart. And so if you share that with someone else, you can't be mad at them if they don't share your enthusiasm. You just can't be mad if their passion demands you.
Jenna Redfield 9:20
That's why I'm a solo at SS collective because I'm like, I have more passion for this collective than I have for probably anything I've ever done. Amber. So I mean, I'm like no, well, yeah, cuz like, I don't know why, but I'm more passionate about it than when I even started. Because when I started it, it was just kind of like, oh, try this out. Now like, over time, I've realized how important it is to people. And that's what fuels me is is is the other people that are involved?
Kylee Leonetti 9:44
Well, and I think your interest leads you somewhere and your passion keeps you there. That's true, which totally happened with girl creative I no idea I gave a crap at all about connecting women. I didn't even really like women that I had worked in a male dominated industry with my husband or a men for so long that I was like, do I even get along with other women? Yeah, so girl creative ignited my passion for connecting. Yeah, for sure. Because I realized, my gosh, if we don't have each other who do we have? Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 10:11
And that was my thing is I didn't realize how much I love networking until I did it. And I never did it in college. And I talked about this again last week. But I once I started doing it realize what networking was, was oh, this is like making business friendships that are not just like getting things out of each other but actually like supporting each other and and actually hanging out and getting ideas and and just support. I loved it.
Kylee Leonetti 10:34
Well loved it. And you heard of the relationship economy. That's where we're living right now. And the world is it's not about it's not even necessarily about who you know, it's about how well you know them and how well they know you. So there's a major mega company in town. If you have worked with them, you are among many, it's very, there's a bull's eye in the logo. I'll just leave it at that. I tried to get their attention with my photography for years, I tried everything I would send my portfolio in I would you come up with the designers who I knew were working in the collections. And I just never got a call to shoot for this company. I never, they never even noticed me. It wasn't until last summer when one of my kids friends moms has my name along to shoot for this company. And I say no, its target. It's not Best Buy it started it, it changed my life because I realized that all this beating pavement was not as meaningful or effective as at all as forming and maintaining relationships with real people.
Jenna Redfield 11:33
It's not just me in them once and hauling up. It's like, again, I met you two years ago, but we still see each other once a month at least I feel like I see I've seen you more lately than I ever have. So it's like, I feel like there's people that you meet at networking events that you're like, Okay, nice to meet you. And maybe you don't know if you ever see them again, just because maybe you're so different. But then it's like you meet people are like, this is like a person. This is like someone who I connect with. And I feel like we can help each other. And it's it's like we get along and we just like are very similar in our like, passions and our like we're both very similar. Yes. Like we are very simply we both do video, we both write our own creative groups. Like we're just very similar. Yeah. And it's just like for me, I was like, I never met anyone like that, where it's like we have like very similar interests.
Kylee Leonetti 12:21
Oh, I agree completely. And your passion for what you do totally inspires me to stay on the course because it's so easy. Even especially in the world of network. Yeah. So easy to be like I'd be doing something different. Am I doing the right thing? Should I change what I'm up to? Should I change the plan? And it's like know, there are people who are going to stay true to who they are and continue and you inspire me in that way. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 12:44
I know. I know. We're very I think we're also national people love it
Kylee Leonetti 12:47
was definitely crying and my it's fine. Oh
Jenna Redfield 12:49
my gosh, it's I and we will the same church. But yeah, super weird. Totally a trip. Yeah. So I didn't realize that until after night of and it is so strange. Well,
Kylee Leonetti 12:57
and so back to the relationship point, it is so easy for you to make that connection once and then be like, Okay, that was great. I have a friend. Yeah, real and that doesn't last anymore. You have to maintain you have to be there for them. Yes. Not just in a way of asking for what you need, but providing what they need to ask them what they need. Even if you don't feel like you can offer it. You might know someone who can and so I like true whenever I asked for advice. So can I happen to Yes. Okay. My online networking do's and don'ts are pretty, pretty firm. I never ever, ever email someone and ask them to take them out for coffee to ask for advice. Here's why. Because if you need advice about something, there's a really good chance you can type it in that email, you can save them the hassle of looking in their calendar, seeing if they have time deciding if they even want to have coffee with you. If you need advice, busy professionals really appreciate it if you just ask him the email what the advice you need is, and that's something I learned just from having. Like To be fair, a lot of people in my really early career say like, I don't have time for coffee. And I was wondering why don't they have time for coffee? Doesn't everyone have time for coffee? And the reality is No, they don't time for coffee with the people they really want to have coffee with much less you for advice. So I feel like and then even always ending it with something like Feel free to ignore this if you don't have time. Because my procrastinator brain says when you tell me to ignore something, I'm going to go on it right away. So if you need it. Oh, yeah. If you send an email to me that says Feel free to ignore this, I will never
Jenna Redfield 14:19
really see I would. I would be like,
Kylee Leonetti 14:22
why do you want me to dig in right now. But the other thing is the expression that I think a lot of people use and don't realize what it does to the receiver is asking to pick someone's brain.
Jenna Redfield 14:33
Kylee Leonetti 14:34
such a rookie mistake. Because the minute I see that an email, I'm like, No, I wouldn't let you pick my nose. I won't
Jenna Redfield 14:41
do that. That's a great quote. You've never heard that. I've never heard that. Well, it
Kylee Leonetti 14:46
is you know what it is going to change your life because I'm sure you're like me. And you get a lot of really well intentioned people who you would like to help. But the reality is, I used to spend at least three hours of my day either connecting, coordinating or helping other people. Daily, I mean, daily, I think there's a good balance in that you can find a few hours, even a week, if you have the time to donate to other people doing that every day. And was what I was doing. It's a recipe for burnout. And I think that that's online networking. It's it's easier than ever to scope someone out and just follow their Instagram or look on their, you know, website and think you really know them. You don't really know what they're up to every day.
Jenna Redfield 15:24
You know, I think for me, that's why I do the podcast, because I think I can give you advice without having to meet with you. Yes. So it's like I'm giving hundreds and hundreds of people advice. And not actually having to spend more than an hour of my day doing this. Hey, listen to this episode.
Kylee Leonetti 15:39
Yeah, has literally full information. Literally,
Jenna Redfield 15:41
I send people I'm like, they're like, I have a question about this. I'm like, listen to this episode I talked about for 45 minutes. Yes, that's what I do. And it's like, it's a way it's a way for me to get them the information they need without having me spend more time on it. Right. And I do episodes that people have, like asked me specific questions about like, I'm like, okay, like, for example, somebody asked me today, like, how did how did this collective start? I'm like, I did an entire podcast episode where I talk about everything about why like how, like how the group started, and I was like, I can't send this all in a text message to you, right? And say, like, this is what happened. And then this is what happened. And then this is what happened. I'm like, I talked about it and and I and you can sit and listen to it. Like you're listening to me talk to you in person. Exactly. And like podcasts I've learned are so valuable. So last week, we had Linda and Jennifer on. And Lynette says that somebody came up to her at an event I had just listen to the podcast and knew who she was. So like that day like it the day after it came out that somebody Yeah, I know. I know. And so for me, I'm like, dang, the people that are on this podcast, I feel like they get a voice. That's why I do it. Because a lot of people I meet I'm like, dang, why doesn't everyone know about you? Like, that is why I pick the people I do are people that I feel like everyone can learn from and everyone should know.
Kylee Leonetti 16:57
Yeah. Well, and in that way, you're spreading your network networking, because you're introducing people to someone they have to know and you never know by hearing your voice who's listening at home and saying, Okay, I know someone she needs to meet. Yeah. And it's authentic.
Jenna Redfield 17:08
And you can reach out to these people. They're local, they're people that you can, again, network with. And so I think, I guess one of my questions is, so if you're not like, if you're too busy for meeting with people, how do you network that like? Do you still like, do you go to events versus meeting one on one? Like, what are your opinions on networking?
Kylee Leonetti 17:26
My values for it are I can take one to two cold call networking meetings a month. So I have one actually this afternoon. And I'm really excited to meet with this woman because I know she's my only one this month. I know I'm not drained on a routine basis. Yeah. And I can give everything I have to one or two coffee dates a month. I also do a lot of calls. A lot of the time if somebody asks me for coffee, I'll just say you know if it's something that we you feel comfortable talking about on the phone would you might hopping on a call and then you save yourself the time of driving getting ready. I mean, for in reality when you work at home, or work in a co working studio, not like coffee ready, you know, yeah, wearing yoga pants all the time, right? Maybe just me, but it's, it's getting ready. It's driving there. It's having the coffee, it's spending the money on the coffee at home from the coffee and the next thing, you know, two hours and 10 bucks short in life.
Jenna Redfield 18:11
Yeah, I've kind of stopped doing coffee chats, and just going to networking events, because I know I can reach out to way more people within that two hour time span and sitting one on one with someone.
Kylee Leonetti 18:21
Exactly. And I think for me, I'm a very social person. And so sometimes those networking coffees end up being like so like, what is your philosophy on religion, and you're like, I don't need to know everything about you. I just need to and I'm very, I like having fun. You know, that's being an entrepreneur, you love people. And so you, you do want to talk about all the things, but it needs to stay focused. And that's hard if you you know, are doing this all the time. So I would like to talk to you.
Jenna Redfield 18:46
I love you. I you know, the people I do coffee chats with our people I know,
Kylee Leonetti 18:49
like their friends. It's like friend catch ups versus meeting new people. And in 2016, I realized I wasn't saying yes to my real friends, because I was saying yes to anyone who reached on Instagram. Anyone who emailed me, anyone who filled out my website contact from I'm like, yeah, let's get coffee. Let's meet up. Let's do this. And so I just I sit on those texts when they get them a lot longer, because I'm like, I don't even know how to reply, I don't know if you'll understand. So I have I have a little template. But I do want to say if you do know someone online, who you're just dying to reach out to do it. I mean, first do your homework, I would say spend 45% of the time, you're going to write the email to them, researching them first. And then 25% of the time figuring out like how you can serve them. And then the rest of the time, whatever that math is writing your email. So in your email, research them know what they're up to know how you could serve them. Even if you don't think you have anything to offer them. Invite them to an event, invite them to some Yeah, you're doing it, and then say and then I would also love to know if you have any time if you don't, that's okay. I just want to let you know I admire you. I think what you're doing is really great. We found our I call it my business daddy. I won't name drop him. But he he knows what he's done for us. But he he owns a huge agency in town and I in that same time that girl creative was starting I was really building Kylie and Christian creative. And I needed to talk to entrepreneurs who are further along than I was. And so I researched everything this guy has ever written on LinkedIn. He's a thought leader, I looked up everything he and his daughter have done. They have an amazing nonprofit, I did all of my research. So when I wrote him this email to ask him if we could come in, and he could talk to us about our business plan. I knew already what he could offer us and what we could offer him. And so the meeting was great. It was he looked at our business plan. And then he talked about Netflix docs with us for a while. And then he said we need video. And so it worked out really well because we were able to offer him video in exchange for his mentorship. And he also was our first and only investor in our company. So it's it's been a relationship that's four years in, and we're still finding new ways that we can serve Him and help in his growth. Yeah, helping ours.
Jenna Redfield 20:52
Yeah. And I think that's the power of those good collaborations I did want to talk about this is how to collaborate when most people starting out like they only can get free stuff or like they like that I was talking. We're having our corking day today. And I was talking to Rachel on here. And we talked about how Minnesota has a potluck culture. Have you ever heard of this? Yeah. Where people just kind of like assume people will just bring things for free. Because that's how we've always worked. It's a very Scandinavian thing. It's a very Midwest thing, where everyone just kind of like, assumes people do things for free. Yeah. And I think that with small businesses, and there's so many launching nowadays, like because of the internet, I feel like people are, like, willing to do things for free. But then it's like, at what point do you stop doing things for free? At what point? Do you like have to pay for things? At what point? Do you actually start making money? Yeah, because for me, I'm launching consulting services. And I'm like, well, I've never done them before. I've done them like in person just as like networking, helping people out. But I'm like, I've never charged for them. So I'm actually taking on some free clients just gonna like I want to get feedback. So exchange instead of money, you're going to give me free back, and you're going to maybe give me a testimonial that I'll put on my website, what I think is important about doing things for free is that it is mutually beneficial. So I think as a as a young business owner, or even someone who's just starting over, it can be really easy to say like, I have to collect all of the opportunities. And it doesn't matter if I get paid, I just need to do it all so that people know, hey, I can work really hard and be worth what I'm going to charge eventually. But what happens then is that that eventual date never comes and you unless you set it for yourself, you will end up working for free for a really long time. Yeah. And that's you have to set a parameter. So if I were you, I would maybe set like one or two case studies. That's what you're doing. You're doing exactly i am i'm doing and I know exactly who I'm going to pick this up. Because I know these are friends of mine who I'm like, they will give me good feedback, because I know both of them have given me good feedback before and
Kylee Leonetti 22:45
there's only two,
Jenna Redfield 22:46
right? Yeah, I think at this point, there's only one right now because I'm in another Yeah,
Kylee Leonetti 22:51
that seems like I say, Yeah, you're not opening it up to 10 clients, and no, I would never,
Unknown Speaker 22:55
I would never know,
Kylee Leonetti 22:56
there is the whole industry term paying your dues, which I don't know if that it's like everywhere if it's just in TV. But when my husband first graduated film school, and when I started, I had a production company before I started Kylie and Christian creative. We did so much work for spec, we did so much work for free in the hopes that we would gain the attention the following the attraction to our companies, and all that ended up really happening is burnout. And it's like, Who decides when you paid your dues? Who decides when? And the answer is you you decide when you've had enough you decide when you've collected enough work for your portfolio that makes you feel good about charging real numbers? Yeah. And so for everyone, it's different, but it needs to be mutually beneficial.
Unknown Speaker 23:31
Yeah, for sure.
Jenna Redfield 23:33
So we're gonna take a really quick break, and we'll be right back with Kylie. Some of you guys know, we record the podcast at Studio Americana. So I want to tell you guys a little bit more about studio America because they're awesome. And they make this podcast sound amazing. So they're actually a recording studio that is designed to help businesses and organizations create high quality podcasts, live streams, webinars, and more. I have been a witness to this. And it's awesome. The way that they set it up. They make it super easy, because they do all the consulting, editing and publishing services, you don't have to worry about the techie side of creating a podcast, they have access to voiceover talent. So if you don't want to be on on anything, you can just do it, have somebody else do it. It's also ready for any level of project. So it's something super basic or something really complicated. They have all the capabilities. So if you are doing a lot of podcasts with people in a different state or a different country, they have a full phone system dedicated to that with integration with online services like Skype so that you won't lose connection, which is super awesome. Thanks so much for NFZ America for producing the podcast and I hope that you guys learn more about them. This episode, the podcast is brought to you by Studio co work a co working space in Golden Valley. This studio opened in summer of 2017. It was previously a radio station for many years, and now has become a co working space as well as private offices for small businesses and entrepreneurs. So if you're interested in not spending your day on the couch and actually getting work done, you should definitely check out studio co work because they have desks you can work at as well as just like free coffee and all this stuff. You can also meet with clients and private offices spaces which so you don't have to sit in a noisy coffee shop. If you're interested in learning more about studio cork and all the different pricing and availabilities for memberships. Make sure to go to studio cork calm and let us know you found out through the podcast. So we do all of our Twin Cities collective events there as well as I work there. So that's really fun. So I hope you guys enjoyed that. Make sure to go to see a cork calm. Alright guys, we are back with Kylie. So you're talking about so working for spec? What can you explain what that is? Because I didn't know what that was? I
Unknown Speaker 25:44
don't know. So what will happen a lot as an
Kylee Leonetti 25:46
agency will send out a topic or theme or even like leak who the client could be back in 2010 2010 is genius rocket still think it was a company that would do sort of like, crowdsourcing for video production, okay, and so people would submit first round would be you submit your concept. And self like 100 people submit a concept, they would narrow it down to the 20. They like best those 20 people will be allowed, they use words like allowed as if they're letting you allowed to submit a treatment. Okay, and so from those 20 treatments for the concept, then they would say, All right, we're gonna pick five that we think are the best treatments, produce a video. And the way they make it seem is like you should be so lucky to do this, because you have no experience clearly, but yet enough experience for them to pick you I it's so weird, because it's like, good enough for us to pick you. But you're not good enough for us to pay you. And that is a dangerous trap into. And so that's what spec means it means that you're going to submit this video, but you've already done all the work yes,
Jenna Redfield 26:44
and might not even get anything out of it. And
Kylee Leonetti 26:46
you might not get anything out of it. And then even worse, they a lot of the time will own the rights to that video. So you can even use it in your portfolio.
Unknown Speaker 26:53
Kylee Leonetti 26:54
is awful. But it was so the way of when video production when the de SLR cameras first came out with their capable ability to shoot video, it was like every Tom Dick and Harry was a filmmaker and a video producer. So this was their way I say there is like waiting, yes, to weed out bad talent, but also to kind of explain good talent. And so we did this for a while. And I gotta be honest, we want a lot of them. And we Yeah, and it was great. And then the budgets would be like, you know, five grand, it'd be great. We want a few of those. But the work that went into last week didn't win. So there is if you can find an opportunity, if it doesn't take you much time, let's say you're a graphic designer, and it's a logo. That's the most common one their sites like Fiverr, there's all kinds of sites on the internet where you can basically buy very cheap designs anyway. So if it doesn't cost you much to submit work for spec, and you're comfortable with it know that they do eventually. I mean, a lot of the time, if you're good, you will get something out of it. But is the time commitment? Is it valuable enough? Is it and we just realized it wasn't worth spending, you know, 70% of our time was crazy for a 30%.
Jenna Redfield 27:54
But at that point where you then getting your name out, there are no it was just
Kylee Leonetti 27:58
a bit always on the cost. That's that's the other hard part is so the other thing is, whenever you're working for something in a trade or free capacity, it has to be mutually beneficial, and that you own the work as well. If they own the work, and they're going to cut your name of it. And they're never going to tell anyone who did it, then why did you do that for free? And we've had some people who have done that or who have like, trim the last couple of seconds off of the video because it has our logo and we're like, well, we'll never work with you again. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 28:24
that's burning bridges. Yes. And I think like I used to do custom stock photos. Yeah. And so for me, it was like trying to figure out, like, what, at what point do I just do a few for free? And then it was like, over time it was like, I don't know. So it's Yeah, I this is a topic that has come up a lot in today's collective is like working with collaborations like working with influencers, which is like, I give them my free product. And it's like, I don't know if I get anything back from it. And it's just like, there's so many things right now that people are just like trading, and then also just getting for free because they're like, I want experience I want exposure. But at the same time the word exposure these days is like a negative. Well, like for me, I'm like, okay, I was I was just talking about earlier. So we have almost 10,000 followers on Instagram, you guys have like, What 11 12,000? So like, we don't need the exposure, right? We need like money to pay for the things that like we don't need more exposure, like literally like, right, I feel like for me, it's like, Okay, I have the exposure I made that myself, it wasn't like I used anyone I built that myself. And I'm like, now I need to actually pay my bills and like exactly run this business
Kylee Leonetti 29:41
utilize that exposure. And so I want to talk for a second just about what those good trade or cloud opportunities are. So there comes a point also in your career, where you are good enough to charge, you have a collection of work you're really proud of, and you will find people who offer a service that yet just can't afford. And I find that is my favorite time to pull up the opportunity for trade. So there's a couple of different services that are just luxury services, I would never buy myself, you know, like laser hair removal, things like that things that I just don't can't afford. I'm not a rich lady. Yeah. And so when it comes to trade, I'm able to email and offer people who I've met at networking events, mostly girl creative. Yeah. Be like, Hey, I love what you do. I think it's great. And do you need video? Do you need photos, and I'm able to offer my services, and then they get something out of it. And so I'm starting a conversation. That is where I think trade is a beautiful tool. I've traded everything I trade with my dentist, I trade with my laser lady, I trade with my yoga studio, I trade with the studio that I shoot photography out of I trade with anyone who also is in the same in the same boat as me who would love what I do but can't afford it. Or anyone like my dentist. I just emailed him and was like, Listen, I need a root canal. You're up the block. You're an awesome dentist, you have great reviews, you have no videos, no photos, what can we do about that? And he actually said that media had been on his radar for a long time. And he had never met anyone who would be able to do it this way. So yes, so we're trading and it's working out great. So when it's on your terms, trade can be a beautiful thing. Yeah, when you instigate it, it can be really awesome. And you're in the driver's seat. And in that way, you try harder for the work to because your
Jenna Redfield 31:11
name is attached to it. Yes, I want to talk about that. Because I've had I think, I don't know if I talked about this on purpose. I just feel like I've told everyone this story that people I think I did on the story. That's what I did I damn Instagram story. And I've heard two stories in the last like month where people got stuff for free, but it was awful. And it was like that is worse for you than like because your reputation has gone down instead of up like you're doing it for free. And if you do a bad job, that's going to be worse for you. Because people are going to say, Oh, yeah, they did that for free. But it was awful. So it's like if well, I wonder what their paid version is like, it's, it's like that just, I I've got all mentioned I'm not gonna mention it Well, I've gotten things for free. And they've been amazing. Like people have offered to do stuff for me. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is insane. And I promote and refer them like crazy. So like, I do think that there is as you said before, a right way to do a trade. There's room for trade, because it has to be done right? And it can be mismanaged. It has to be mutually beneficial. You have to get something out of it. I think the influencer economy is a crazy machine and I think a lot of people are really benefiting from it. I know we work with a few bloggers who are their entire lives are funded by influencer opportunities, which is really cool. For everyday people though that's just not usually an option especially since most of us don't have the kinds of followings these influencers are the people who want to hire influencers are looking
Kylee Leonetti 32:34
for. So if you have a normal following, and you're like I just want to collaborate with people set the terms so I do styled shoots. I'm doing one on Saturday with a group of women who we use the hashtag NpLS creative shoot, and it's a stylist. It's me as the photographer, it's a hair and makeup artist. The cookie creative is a part of a Corey, hi, there's all kinds of women involved who see the value in promoting the the living daylights out of each other. So they're never going to post one of the photo shoot unless we all use the same credentials. We all use hair and makeup by this person photography by this person styling by this person jewelry by this person, Minneapolis create a photo shoot. And the reason why is because we all realize we've given our time to this. We've given our you know, Saturdays or Sundays are hours after work. And so if we're not getting something out of it, then like why do it?
Jenna Redfield 33:24
Because a lot of the times people get a lot out of being a guest on the podcast. And it's like, what do I get? Yep. Because like they're getting a free opportunity to talk about themselves in front of hundreds of people that they might not know. But it's like for me, what they do is they share with their audience. That's what I get. Yeah, so then I might get a new audience that they have that I don't so it's like there's like trade offs for everything. And I think with social media, it's such a weird concept for people that aren't in social media because they're like, Oh, it's a free platform like Facebook's free, Twitter's free, Instagram is free
Kylee Leonetti 33:53
time is not free.
Jenna Redfield 33:54
Exactly. And so I read this article on BuzzFeed the other day it literally like boiled my blood the cuz it was like people that expected things for free. I don't know if you out to share this in the Facebook group, because it was so infuriating, because these people just expected people to do things for free, like expected it and they're like, upset that they wouldn't because they're like, Oh, no, like, I'm an artist, I need to pay my bills. It's like people just expect people because they're making things on a free platform that it's free. But it's just it's time and the talent,
Kylee Leonetti 34:23
you know, did some homework to become the person that you are on the internet, you didn't just stumble on to Instagram. Yeah, I think I'm amazing. It's, it takes time you invest so much of your time and making sure that what you're putting out in the world is good. And if you do value that by not being paid for it, you just it starts to suffer. It's not great. Yes.
Jenna Redfield 34:40
And I think that but I think that, especially women and I know you work with a lot of women and go creative. I think women tend to undervalue ourselves. And I think it's way higher in that way. I'm, I haven't read the book, but I just bought it and it's the How to be a badass and making money by Jensen, Sarah, cool, which she just was here. And I found this out like two days ago, she was doing a book signing in St. Paul last week, and I didn't know about it. And then all of these things on Instagram, I keep seeing people meeting her and I'm like, Are you kidding me? I just bought this book. And I haven't read it yet. But I'm like, that kind of thing where it's we just have this sense of, we're used to getting paid less. So it's like, why not accept that. And I think that we need to like figure out as a society. And I think there are steps that are happening until like how to get paid more and getting paid what you're worth
Kylee Leonetti 35:23
well, and a lot of the time we are or if our if our mothers were lucky, they were the first pioneers in their industries or industries like I am. I want a production company, I own a couple of other ideas that are busy. And I I think I am charting new territory, I don't see that I don't have that example. at home. I don't have the example around me of women who come before me who are like me, you can do all of this. So how do you even price that I think women when they get overwhelmed, they don't know how to price something. It's like, you know what, I'll just do it. Why not? Yeah. And it's it, it takes a minute of thinking, how would I approach this if the gender gap did not exist? How would I approach this? If I were the third generation business owner? How would I have approach this? If I wasn't just
Jenna Redfield 36:01
Yeah, yeah, well, it's funny because my dad has as well, he has had his own businesses in the past. So it's like, I do have that, but he's the guy. It's different. I have a grandparent who is similar to me, where he gives a lot for free. And he's just very giving. And I feel like I inherited that from him. But he also is at a point in his life where he can't afford a lot of things because he's hasn't asked for money. And that's really affected him financially. And I feel like I don't want that to happen to me, I don't want to be retired and have no money because I've just given away all of my talent, right? And so I think for me, I'm scared that I'm under bailing myself right now. And I need to change the habits that I have.
Kylee Leonetti 36:41
Yes. And I think that setting up a pillar of setting up an infrastructure with one of the pillars being free and donated things. So like, when I was younger, and I did way more slash everything for free, I would grow so resentful when someone from my church or when someone from my really close network would ask me for something for free. Like if my best friend asked me to shoot something for her, I'd be like, you're just another person asking me to do something for free. But that was because it was undervaluing myself every other place. Yeah, so I always I set up 10% of my time. It's kind of a biblical, yeah, right. I said, 10% of my time is for nonprofits I choose to work with for my church, when my church asks me to shoot a baptism. I don't like flip a table. Like, why is everyone asking me for free, because it's not the case. They, they just don't know your lane. And if they don't, if they don't know that you have only a certain amount of time every month for free shoots, then they're just going to walk all over you.
Jenna Redfield 37:31
Yeah, that makes sense. Because I do think that in Christian culture, you are supposed to be a giver of things. And I think that that is another hang up for people. Oh, yeah. Because I feel like you're like, oh, like I need to be a good person and like, I sacrifice my time.
Unknown Speaker 37:46
And you can, you just have to have a box
Kylee Leonetti 37:48
around it so that people don't walk all over you. And that's not I dealt with that a lot too, especially as someone who like completely left the faith in my 20s and came back to my late 20s. I was like overcompensating like trying everything like please just know I'm a good person. I'm a good person, you know, and it's like, it doesn't mean you have to work for free, you can still be a good person and say yes to two opportunities a month to give back. You don't have to give back all the time. Yeah, unless your mother teresa or you own a soup kitchen.
Jenna Redfield 38:14
Yeah, and I'm an empath, too, which I've talked about on the podcast a little bit. But for me, it's like, I feel like I have to give myself away. Because I feel like that's my mission in life is to, like, be a giver. And and it's hard for me to take and I but I'm like, at the same time, I'm like, I will literally literally burn myself out. Because that's easier for me to happen. I will also have no money and nothing to show for him. What good are you? Exactly? Exactly. And I've talked to so many people over the last few months with about this specific topic. And it's starting to like it's starting to resonate, it's starting to sink in. And I think it my attitude is shifting. So I feel and I actually talked to someone recently, and they're like, yeah, I can see it in you. Like I see the difference, like I talked to two months ago. And I can see a difference in like, the way that I look at my value in my money and my self worth because people it's like you people can tell you something, but until you accept it yourself. It's just going to go in one ear and out the other. And that's what it was doing for a long time. How like, what what, what age, I guess or what time of your life did you start to value like your self worth? Was it like recently or was it within the last like couple years? Yes
Kylee Leonetti 39:22
and No, I think it's been an over the last five years process for me, I so I'll go back to how I started out in reality TV, I did not go to film school. So I already felt like I was an imposter. I felt like everywhere I went, everyone knew more than me. So I tried very hard to be the one at the table who knew like all the thing. Yeah. And so the thing about reality TV is that unless your show gets any TV, really, unless you're a show or concept gets picked up, you don't make money. And so for 18 months of my life, my husband had a day job and made money and I went and like played reality TV. And what that did to my psyche in my late 20s was make me think that I had to work a lot. I mean, I'm telling you 12 to 18 hour days, I had to work a ton and I wasn't going to get paid until someone in a bigger city than Minneapolis thought I was worth it. We did get an agent we had a lawyer we were represented by the best agency in LA we got optioned by Bravo EMVH one and it was the worst 18 months of my entire life. It was terrible. I one of my job descriptions get ready for this
Unknown Speaker 40:19
is going to blow your mind.
Kylee Leonetti 40:21
I carried a dog named Gucci.
Jenna Redfield 40:25
You know Louie Vuitton bag. Okay, that was your job. It was well, you know,
Kylee Leonetti 40:30
we're all in this together. To start the start of my show had already been on Bravo, okay, twice as kind of antagonist and so she was good TV. She was great TV. She's very dramatic. And cause hell for me everywhere I went. And so I devalued myself that entire year and a half. I told myself work harder, they'll notice you. If they don't like this show concept. I have three more. If this one doesn't get greenlit I have I have other ones I have spin offs. And we're going to be famous. And I realized that like a you never ever want to be famous. You just want to be successful. And if people notice you for it, great, yes. But you don't want famous to be the goal. That's a joke, because we would be we would be recognized in public at the worst opportunities. This talent was acting at her most heinous self. And I would just be like, I can't believe I'm here, you know, so you don't want to be famous. You want to be successful. Um, when I walked from that show, I feel like she'd never paid me. So I called my lawyer and I was like, What do I do with this show that I never got paid for that I'm just walking away from right now. And he said, You own all the intellectual property. So what you do with that show is up to you. And I have never felt more satisfaction and joy in deleting two terabytes of footage from my hard drive. I think that was the beginning of me starting to value myself because I decided that the 18 months I had put into this for free were not worth the mental havoc that I had wreaked on myself, by not standing up for myself and being paid for my time. I mean, it was crazy. Anyway, I feel like the year after that. When I started girl creative, I started out doing a lot of free photo shoots and a lot of things like that. And I started falling into those old habits, I noticed and it was able to recognize you're trying to define your value in what you can do for other people
Jenna Redfield 42:05
again, that's that's a really good point he lit in Yeah, you know, I think I do find my value in how others see me are very much a I've always been a people pleaser. And I think for me, it's hard because I've had issues in the past where I haven't had a lot of friends and I see the value in them now. And I feel like I fear losing them.
Kylee Leonetti 42:25
But did you work really hard when you were younger?
Unknown Speaker 42:28
To keep those friends by the things you could do?
Jenna Redfield 42:30
Well, I feel like now it's it's it's how I can help them. And that's how I keep them. Versus back then it was more just like I just want to like impress them and be like, cool.
Kylee Leonetti 42:40
I don't know, for me, it would be like if somebody like the person I started real creative with loved photoshoot, she loved being in front of the camera. And so for me, I would that was my gift to her was like we're going to do photo shoots, and we're going to bond over this. But really, what that ended up with is one person who got to have all the fun and the other person who did all the work. And so I've often in my friendships been the one like even in college and group projects, I was always always the one doing the most working and everyone got the greatest, it's like fine, this is college, whatever. But that also sets you up for a lifestyle of doing the most work for the least recognition. And again, this the religious culture, sometimes can tell you like you're not in it for the credit anyway. But that can be damaging when you have worked hard for something, to not accept the credit that you
Jenna Redfield 43:20
deserve. Being an artist or being a creative person is kind of contradictory almost to what a lot of people have been taught their whole life. Like, I never thought I was going to be an entrepreneur until the moment I graduated college, which is weird. Like I thought in my entire time in college, I was like, I'm gonna have a job, all that stuff. The moment I graduated, I'm like, Why do I have to work for someone else? Like, I mean, I did. I still do. But it's just like, eventually, like, it would be great to you know, I technically like own my own business and like still and a lot of people I work with our clients. So it's like for me, I didn't want to have to have a corporate job. And I know a lot of people do that right away and then eventually get out of it. But for me I'm like I don't want to ever have to do that. Because I'd like it soul sucking in my opinion. And I had a deja vu there. Yeah, and it's I've just had very weird jobs since graduating. Like I've had ones where I work at home. Like nothing has been like very uniform to like how jobs are supposed to work, right? I once had four jobs at once. So like awesome. Yeah. And it was all like part time. So it was like, Okay, I'm like peace, peace feeling my way into like the work field. And so I have all these like different experiences. Like I had a very random life. At one point, this was like three years ago,
Kylee Leonetti 44:29
but isn't being an entrepreneur like wearing for it is
Unknown Speaker 44:31
part time jobs. And I love that
Jenna Redfield 44:32
because that my favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is every day is different. And like you get, you get to pick what you want to do. And like you get to be creative and like and you get to have fun. Like, I feel like I could never work at a job where I don't enjoy it. There are times when I don't enjoy certain parts of my job, but I'm like, it's every single day and I've had it I had a terrible job where I literally hated it so much. I was almost suicidal, like, I was, like not really suicidal, but I was like, I cannot do this one more day. I was very depressed. Yes. And I just I just hated that it was all phones. I hate talking on the phone. So like, like, especially when it's like a sales role where I had to call people and like try to convince them to do something. It was the worst job I've ever had ever forget it. And this was like the first job I had at a college. I know, it wasn't even full time. And that's like, they literally wouldn't let you work full time because they knew it was such an awful job that they could only work in like five hour shifts. It was like that was like how much I knew like people just didn't like locks at all the window so you can jump out Yeah. And it was like, I was just it was sorry, it was nothing was on computers. It was all like, gosh, long trains, it was a print and I was like, like I'm a very tech person. So that drove me nuts. Um, but I'm sorry, that was kind of like a random tangent. But oh, funny. But like, for me, like being an entrepreneur is something that I just kind of stumbled into. But then like when like why didn't I ever like I wish in college my one of my biggest regrets in college is I wish I had also had a business major just because I would know more about the business side, always much creative side always because I think a lot of times you have struggled with the business part of it so daunting. It is because I like we're we just want to have fun and we want to be like, like inspired and be creative. And then it's like, oh yeah, we gotta pay our bills and like, do business gotta get down to the nitty gritty. But yeah, so I think I think the best businesses work when there's like two people like you and your husband, because it's like you each like maybe have a role. Or if you like have that business savvy side as well. So if you're like creative and business savvy well,
Kylee Leonetti 46:24
and I think even his limited in film school, they do make you take film production and business classes because they want you to understand the numbers. huge part of it helps you become a better director when you know what kind of financial obligations are you know, you have to pay all the people who are in office, it's easy as a director, I think to get in your own head and be like, my ideas are what's going to carry this along. But it really is like the production support staff. And we do have you know, my husband hates answering emails he hates even like his own client emails. He's like, I can't even I usually either read them for him or help him phrase them so that he feels more confident. And then I specifically I'm not a numbers person.
Me too. So I hate math. I love him for that.
Yeah. But I think you know, you did something right after college that I didn't do. I didn't get a day job. But I freelanced. I didn't become an entrepreneur until 2013. I was freelancing like a mother,
Jenna Redfield 47:11
I was freelancing and being an entrepreneur. So I
Kylee Leonetti 47:14
was freelancing for several different production companies doing anything every day from like getting coffee to picking someone's kid up to rapping cables to at one point, someone had me putting together electric cables, like with the green, the red and the wire and wrapping it like I'm going to get electrocuted. Okay, this is my job. So it's just like every day was different. But I was working for a few different production companies doing more or less the same type of work production support, but not owning it. Like my name was never attached to it like at the end of the production of the event or whatever it will be whatever company I was working for. That was their name in lights, you know, me, I guess I realized, first of all, my husband and I also freelanced for the company, he worked for full time, so he was there full time editor, director, guy, and then he would hire me as his producer. So I'm like, I'm freelancing for you at this company that pays you like, okay, but it's a full time job. That's not like, I mean, there's benefits, but it's not ever going to be as much as if you went on on your own. Yeah. And so I convinced him on an anniversary trip to California and a hot tub. You want to convince someone to do something and get him in a hot tub. I was like, quit your day job. This is not even enough money. It's not every month, we're still living paycheck to paycheck. So it's not even paying you enough. Let's go completely crazy and go broke for a couple of years to do something now that we will think ourselves so much more later. And I didn't take him a ton of convincing. I think it was just really hard because the company he worked for didn't want to let him go. So then they contracted us to continue basically doing what he had done for his day job. And that was just really messy, because then it was like the communication issues. They still active. He worked there. Yeah. So I will say like, freelancing is very similar to entrepreneurship, but you own it when you're an entrepreneur. That's true.
Jenna Redfield 48:49
And you're the boss. Yes. I think that's the difference between being like an employee and I am like an maybe like a consultant or something is like, you get the same they're hiring you versus employing you and you get to follow what they say. And I think that's like the part that I like, the best is like you get to have the like, call the shots, I guess. Okay, so Jenna, I'm
Kylee Leonetti 49:11
going to call the shots on your show for a minute. Okay,
who's your dream client to consultant.
Jenna Redfield 49:15
So I have to actually just was asked to see the day. So for people that are, like, brand new, that's like my number one, because I well, because I like helping people set up their website or set up their social media, if they've never done it before, and really teaching them the basics and like the psychology behind it, and then also the actual technical parts of it. Because I'm a very technical person, I used to work in it, like in college, and like, I love helping people like learn the life skills. I'm like, my family's it go to person, like if somebody, if both my parents have an issue with their phones, if like my grandpa, aunt and uncle have a computer issue, I'm literally the person everyone in my family calls for help with it. And so for me, I love it. It's not like super difficult things. It's like easy things. Like I love fixing the easy things that I'm like, Oh, this is really easy, but
Unknown Speaker 50:03
it's not easy. It's not easy.
Jenna Redfield 50:06
I'm not like a coder like, right, you know, like that kind of person. But I can fix almost anything. That's pretty basic, if that makes sense. So I've had I've had, you know, years of just me tinkering around on my computer. And I'm like, I just love helping people be like, Oh, man, I didn't know I could do that on my website. I'm like, yeah, and like, and like I just love, like helping people, not waste their time spending hours learning it themselves when they're just so confused, because I've had that too. And I've ended up like watching videos, and just like learning it. And so then it's like my brain, I can just help people and then they just like pay me to teach them and that's what I want to do. I don't want to I don't want to like have like a full strategy and like all this stuff. I just want to help them set up their set up their set their lives and set it up so that it saves them time. You know, like, I think we've talked about this before, like you don't really like doing newsletters because it now it's like,
Kylee Leonetti 50:59
it's time I have an angel. So the other part of owning your ideas by yourself is that you often have to include other people who love your idea so much. They want to donate their talents, right? Yeah. So I have a couple of angels, which are all creative. Now I call them angels because they save me there's one who will format the entire newsletter and then write things like this is where Kylie writes, copy Kylie. Kylie put the photo here that she likes Kylie, and then it's, it's a call to action for me, because my wheels spin in a completely different direction than MailChimp newsletters, and so I can get there a lot quicker when she sets it up. For me, I think that what you offer is so much more valuable. I've seen. There's a couple different people in town who put together major consulting packages for clients where you know, they would like be looking five years out in their company. And I feel like that's more of a creative forecaster that you're not even really consulting. Because consultant is like, what do you need right now? Yeah, how can I help you right now? I see you as loving those light bulb moments where you can look at someone and go, what you're beating your head against the table for is not that hard. I can
Jenna Redfield 51:58
Yes. And I and I my my whole thing is I don't want to do it for you. I want to teach you how to do it. So you feel empowered to do it yourself and know how to do it. Like for example, I have a few people that I would love to work with that. Don't. They're not great at WordPress. And I've used WordPress for years. And I've also use Squarespace. So like for me, I'm like, I can teach you like the plugins you should use I should I teach you like, like, what which of the five themes that I've seen a lot of like web designers use that I think would be easy for you to figure out. Like, I just want to like give them all of my secrets. But then in exchange, I get paid. Like what money please? Well, yeah, like I've spent, okay. When I first started law, I started blogging the month I graduated from college. So that was 2014. And then in 2015, I quit that job I hated the one that I told you about that was awful call center. I quit it in January ended up working for me for my dad about six months. And it was like super part time, but he just needed like an admin person. And so I was living at home, my dad works at home, I would spend the rest of my day literally just like learning how to use WordPress and learning how to blog and learning how to use my YouTube channel and everything. So I had literally six months of hardcore, like learning things. Yeah. And I think that that time, most people don't get that. And I was very fortunate, like looking back on all of the times that I've had opportunities to like learn, I've taken them and I've, I've actually like gotten things out of it. You know, I'm saying like, like, at the time, I was like, Oh, this sucks, like I'm under under employed and like, I don't have a job. But that was like the time when I learned about networking groups. So the first time I'd ever been to a blogging group, or social media breakfast was one of the first networking events I ever went to. That was like the time where I like felt like I finally started to open up and be like, Oh my gosh, there's so many opportunities
Kylee Leonetti 53:44
those times in your life where you feel like you're just why am I here? This is such a transitional period. Like I'm not living my best life. Like, I wish more people instead of flailing during that time would lean into it and say like, what am I here? Yeah, what am I here in this? Because there was a season. So I in the freelance world, you don't get laid off. You just get like stuck.
Jenna Redfield 54:05
So they stopped clean, just like under contract. Yep. So I was
Kylee Leonetti 54:09
also working for my dad. One of the first jobs I had in production was for my dad. He had me started as a teleprompter operator, which is like the lowest of the totem pole positions. And I worked my way up to directing. And so I worked for him for four years and learned so much. And it was so great because I he's a 30 year veteran producer. And so he's just he taught me almost everything I knew about TV, and I did get laid off. He He told me in advance it would be happening. So he was like either, you know, it was at a church was at a mega church. He's like the church is actually emulating a ton of people off and slashing contract budgets left and right. And you are one of the budgets that's going to go away. And I was making a lot of money. And so I was like what it was right before Christmas. And my kid was three. And I'm like, What am I going to do? You know, and there were five months after that, that I was also under employed, I was sending Christian out cold calling businesses in the lake Harriet area where we live, and asking if they could do like $400 videos like super cheap things and getting a lot of no's and wondering why was here and that's when I really started playing around and light room. And it was like this golden five month period where we weren't that busy. It was winter production in Minnesota in the winter is super slow, even if you're an established business, but try just starting out. So I wasn't getting callbacks for freelance opportunities. But I was Dorking around in light room. And I was teaching myself things that now I mean, my editing process is
Unknown Speaker 55:30
so slick, because I had all of those months
Kylee Leonetti 55:33
Exactly. To the discomfort of being like all I have to do today is light room, and I'm editing photos of my child's toy.
Jenna Redfield 55:40
And I think that everyone should learn themselves how to do things. And that's what I'm saying. So you become an expert at it by spending time. And I don't know if you read like Malcolm Gladwell, but he talks about like, 10,000 hours, like that's, he wrote a book about it, like how like habits and all that stuff. I read the whole book I've read like all of his books, he's great. But he talks about 10,000 hours is what it takes for you to become an expert at something, which is a lot. It's about 10 years. That's like what the if it adds up to like, which so that's why that's why you like when you hire someone who's been in the business for 10 to 20 years, they're worth more because they have so much experience and they know it like the back of their hand. For me. I started editing videos when I was 15. And I'm 26 now totally. So like yeah, so like, I'm like, I didn't just start this in college. Like I started this when I was in high school. And I started doing actually I was middle school because I think I was maybe 14 and I learned what YouTube was and I was like, Oh my gosh, I want to do this for a living. And that's when I decided high school. I decided that Okay, so I went to school for video. And that was like, and I did video after college like I really loved it. And some time in LA to I did I lived there for about five or six months in college and I learned about I learned it want to be in LA.
Kylee Leonetti 56:47
definitely be there. I was like last year, I went out for a week in Santa Ana for a shoot. And I was like even just the culture difference in like an hour and a half away from LA so much more kosher, then
Jenna Redfield 56:58
yeah, in LA itself. And I think get it, I could have a whole podcast episode just about LA. But just it was a very dark place. I don't know, I don't if you sense that, but it's just very like lost. There's a lot of people that are there that it's a hard business, we get a lot of no's, it's very much I was talking about this earlier, like I was doing a video or we did a entire project like a film project over the semester. And all the actors were there for free. Because they were like brand new. And they just wanted some real stuff. And like we like our budget was $2,000 for the whole film. And most of that went to location because I've had to pay for location always. And Mark like and and close the other one food. Yep. And like that was it and like everyone was working for free because it was a student film. All of the actors were working for free. Like for us, it was just learning. It was a really interesting experience. I liked doing that. But it was like I would never do is for a job.
Kylee Leonetti 57:50
Student Film, culture, people are just not paid. But the saddest part of LA is that you see people who are like eight to 10 years into their years still catering and then doing free opportunities, just because so I think the reason it's so dark, one of the reasons is that everyone's out there following a dream. And what happens with that is if you get a ton of people in one place, we're all looking for something to believe in. They're going to try everything. So you see all kinds of all kinds of witnesses. Oh, yeah, but anyway,
Jenna Redfield 58:15
yeah, I mean, that's a whole nother you should totally do a podcast. Yeah. Well, cuz I, I learned so much. I'm glad I did it. Because I learned well, the biggest thing I learned is I don't want to live in LA and do film, which I think was a good thing for me. I
Kylee Leonetti 58:26
don't think you will have to like I think the bonus about being from the Midwest and I married a guy who's just in no hurry to leave is he wants to bring filmmaking back. Yeah. And yeah, reinstate a lot of an odd thing here. No. And it used to be I mean, there's so many movies the good son, on if you go to syndicate, they have all the posters up in the lobby of like all the films that have been shot here. So there are actually a lot but it's really not as much anymore. And I think that Hollywood is seeing a demise, which is a really welcome change. There's a lot of cultural shifts happening out there that will make it possible for a film to be done anywhere. I think also,
Jenna Redfield 59:00
the affordability of equipment has changed the game for everyone. Like I don't know if you've heard of the movie tangerine. It was shot in an iPhone. Yeah, like that's crazy to me. I never seen it but I kept reading articles about it. I'm like, dang,
Kylee Leonetti 59:12
well, we'll really like my husband always says that will really succeed at making filmmaking accessible. He said this since before iPhones, and now he sees it. It's actually happening when a little girl from Iowa can make a short film by herself if she wants to. Like that will be because it should be an accessible tool. It should be something I just totally messed up that quote.
Jenna Redfield 59:28
But, like YouTube, I think well sorry. This is like a whole nother thing about but like YouTube has made it so that people from anywhere can be like yeah, successful
Kylee Leonetti 59:37
and most of the time they're in remote weird
Jenna Redfield 59:38
place. Yeah, that's why they're Yeah, like I always think of like Shane Dawson or someone who's like been doing it for 10 years and like they were just like the weird kid in high school and now they're like, super successful in high school is I was I would say I was not the weird kid. But I was just kind of the like, kid that didn't really knows.
Unknown Speaker 59:56
Okay, when you up I was homeschooled. So I was the weird kid. I still am the weird kid. I didn't know that.
Kylee Leonetti 1:00:03
Were homeschooled. went to college at 16 got my two year before 18. And I was like, Great. Now all my friends are graduated. And I don't know what to do with my life. So I took a year off. That's cool.
Jenna Redfield 1:00:13
Cool. Well, I think we should probably progress up. Yeah, any last minute things before we know
Kylee Leonetti 1:00:20
that all being said, if you do need advice, Jenna and I both are going to get better at just giving you some time. So reach out.
Jenna Redfield 1:00:29
And I think come to our events. I mean, both of us. Yeah. Like, I want to promote you like we have, like people are always like, how are you friends with someone who does like the same thing as you Like what? Like, I think it hurts for
Kylee Leonetti 1:00:41
people in photography, say that, oh, I have a friend to a meeting with tomorrow to work on our portfolios. And she was wanting to start a photo business for years and was worried about telling me because she thought I'd be mad at her. And I was like, there's so much room for all way more people to photograph than I want to photograph in the world. No, I think that the community aspect, what you do is so needed in the world. And that's like, what I'm trying to do, what we are doing with creative is making it cooler to collaborate than it is to compete. And I mean, I share an office with someone who is a very woke feminist who will tell you to compete until the live long day all day long compete, because that's how you succeed. And I agree with her to a degree I think in sports and when you're going out for a job, absolutely compete, right? Do your best. play your best give your best work, when it comes to making connections. You can't compete with people, you have to invite them in your world, hopefully. And that also allows you to draw a line with there's people that you just legit don't want to have in your life. You don't have to happen. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 1:01:35
I've met people in evergreen events where I see them a lot. And I wouldn't consider them friends of mine. Yeah, just because the way that they treat, maybe people I see. Yep. Like I don't agree with their philosophies maybe about how they see networking or how they see just treatment of all people and I okay, and I'm like, I still see you events in wave. But I'm not going to be like your best friend, like yellow. Well, it's just like, hey, like, I know who you are. We know each other. But we're not like best friends. And that's okay, right? Well, well, I'll still tolerate tolerate you and just see around. But it's like the ones who are have the same vision and like, passion as me for the things that I love. Those are the ones who I'm going to like be friends with if that makes sense.
Kylee Leonetti 1:02:18
And being being friends is the key there. I think the you've probably heard the expression, you know, alone, you'll go faster, but you'll go further together. And that's so true. You can see a lot of people who shoot their way to the top and then they realize they don't have any friends.
Jenna Redfield 1:02:30
Yeah. And I think I've learned in the last like three years how important friends are because I I've had a time where I didn't have them. And now that I've had them, I'm like, I was so miserable.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:41
Yep. You're like, what's missing from my
Jenna Redfield 1:02:44
vitamins? Like when I became a YouTube addict, because I just watched people that was like, they're my friends. Like, I know it's awful, though. But like they like saved me because I was like, they're like, they seem awesome. And like I want to like meet them. Okay, like the office? Yeah, of course. They're my friends. Okay. Yeah. Christian will be like, what do you want to watch tonight? I'm like, I'm just gonna go visit my friends. Yeah, it's a go. And I have a lot of friends who watch the office, but like, Yeah, and it's like, I felt like comforted by them. Yes. Like, I was like, Oh my gosh, like, I feel like I have human interaction.
Kylee Leonetti 1:03:12
I feel like you're that resource. For a lot of people though. I think that you are a human element behind what could be just like the Twin Cities collective. Collective could totally just be like this machine where automated and people don't feel like they're talking to a real human whenever you're on TC. CPCTCTCL that's Wednesdays, whenever you're on anything TCZ posts or engages with you feel like you're talking to you.
Jenna Redfield 1:03:33
Yeah, and I the stories have helped so much. And the podcast because I can actually show my face and like talk to people as a like a collective. That's why I like calling it the collective because I'm like, it's a collective of people. And when it was Instagram, it was just me posting random pictures. And it wasn't until the stories that I actually got to like, see show my face and that's when it likes
Unknown Speaker 1:03:52
through more. Yes, people want to face behind they do.
Jenna Redfield 1:03:55
That's why pictures with faces have like goes like 62% more likes. just crazy, you know, so. Alright, well thanks, guys for watching. Thanks, Kylie for being here. How do we find you online? Like,
Kylee Leonetti 1:04:07
okay, you can find me at Kylie and Christian creative. That's KYOE and Christian like the religion creative. It's a person's name. Yeah. Or at girl creative MSP.
Jenna Redfield 1:04:19
definitely follow Kylie. Alright, well, thanks, guys for listening, and we'll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for EN at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nicole I had less for the use of the song in the intro outros. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.