Listen, Relate, and Celebrate with Kami Guarino

In this week’s episode, our guest, Kami, shared her thoughts about how important self-care (or however you would want to call it) in our lives is. The goal is to find a job that you love and avoid the feeling of getting burned out. Each of us has different kind of self-care. Some find gym sessions fulfilling, others would prefer meditation. What works for one person, might not work for the other. Kami believes that there are many forms of self-care and that

As an educator for 30 years, Kami Guarino found her passion in helping people shift their focus to resiliency, self-care and sustainability. She noticed that many educators, healthcare professionals, and even business owners roll their eyes when they hear the word self-care. It triggers them. It’s something that they want but can’t give a portion of their time off.

Visit Kami’s website:



Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado-based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to Rocky Mountain Marketing. Today, my guest is CAMI Guarino. Now CAMI is an educational leadership coach, and the founder of the excellence team. She’s been doing this for over five years, but she has a long history and helping people Cami, thank you so much for joining us today.

Kami Guarino 0:43

Thank you so much for having me.

Katie Brinkley 0:45

Well, tell us just a little bit more about what the excellence team is and what it is that you do.

Kami Guarino 0:50

Yeah, so the excellence team really was the beginning of a journey of consulting, but kind of towards the tail end of my journey as an educator. So I was an educator for over 30 years. And I was a school counselor and also an administrator. And then I decided one of my last years as an administrator to try and broaden my impact on educators and really saw a need for focusing on resiliency and focusing on that self care, and sustainability and how people can be able to show up at their best every day and stick with a job that they love and not get burned out. So that’s kind of how that whole journey started.

Katie Brinkley 1:39

Kami. And I love it whenever I bring guests on that, that talk about the self care of, and the mindset and the importance of mental health. Because I think as entrepreneurs, we can be pretty hard on ourselves, it can be hard to continue chugging along. And sometimes the world of entrepreneurship can feel very, very lonely. And that is why self care is so important.

Kami Guarino 2:02

Yes, it really is. And what I’ve learned is why we’ve had a really up and down two years. And what I have found is people have lost that connection or have lost that wherewithal of how to take care of themselves. And and it’s funny because when I first went into this journey about self care, and reflection, and all those types of things, people were I can do it, they had confidence, and were very open and found there was a lot of things that they could do without even calling it self care. And as I kind of went in last year into groups, and whether it was groups of teachers, or small businesses, or a health care workers or entrepreneurs, I talked about self care. And I learned very quickly that it became a triggering word, kind of an eye rolling word, because the whole vote the idea of that four letter word of time, I don’t have time to do it. And what I ended up then focusing on was, well, my self care is very different from your self care. And let’s think about how we begin and end our day. And let’s think about what we do through the day during whether we’re at home working or out of the home working. And, you know, you could create self care in pretty creative ways. And self care could look very differently. It doesn’t have to be getting on a treadmill for 45 minutes. That’s great if you could do it or go into a gym and doing a class. But for some people that really stresses them out. And I totally respect that. So well inky taking five mindful breaths on your way home from work.

Katie Brinkley 3:43

Yes, no, I’m so glad you brought that up. Because I’m one of those people. I have a really hard time setting aside the time for me and one of the business coaches that I was working with, she said, Why don’t you try journaling? And I’m like, Oh, my I tried doing it. And I can’t was like I’m going to come into the office, I’m going to set aside the first 30 minutes of my day I’m going to be journaling about what I want to accomplish where I’m at with things. And I was like, this is the biggest waste of my time and I hated doing it. And so she said to me, she’s like, okay, then don’t do it. I mean, like, let’s find a different way for you to prioritize your time to for you to prioritize your me time and for me, it’s being a typical Colorado girl being outside. In nature. I love to go hiking, I love I just got a mountain bike. I love love to mountain bike I love to snowboard or ski with my family and that it for me I taking an entire day to do that is way more beneficial for me and my self care and my mindset, then 30 minutes of journaling every day. And basically it all comes down to how you have that self care and I think that it is different for everyone. Like you said it can be that those five breaths Why do you think that so many people have a hard time priority? tasting self care, do you think it mostly is just the time aspect?

Kami Guarino 5:04

Well, it’s that typical, you know, statement of self care is not selfish, but we to kind of think it’s selfish, right? Those of us who might have children, right, or those of us that have other business commitments, it doesn’t matter what your role is. But there’s always somebody else to take care of, or there’s always something else that seems a little bit more important to do, instead of just taking that time to take care of ourselves. There’s a guilt factor there. And the thing is, though, is when we finally do take that step back, just like you said, going outside, really thinking about the things that bring you joy, are the things that make you relax, five minutes makes a difference. And guess what happens, right, you go out for that hike, you go mountain biking, and nine to 10 times when you get back to work, you’re more productive, you’re in a better headspace, you’re way more patient, right? All those little the parents out there, right, you’re a better mom or dad, you’re a better teacher, you’re a better leader. And it’s just because you have finally taken a moment to do something that brings you joy, that’s not overwhelming, and then go back into a better frame of mind. But I do think it is so hard for people because we were like, the hamster wheel, right? We get sucked into gotta produce got to produce, especially on printers, right? The gotta make that goal have to do that. I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for this. But yet, we probably spend a lot of time agonizing over not having time where we could be taking care of ourselves.

Katie Brinkley 6:40

Yeah, that is very, very true. And I think that when you’re an entrepreneur, when you’re a business owner, it can seem like there’s so many things, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be a good friend, be a good partner, be a good parent, and still grow your business. And I love that you talk about self care so openly. And I think that with what we saw in now, I’m curious what you think on this, too, with what we saw in 2020. And all of us being shut down from the outside world 2021 Things opening up again, 2022. Maybe life is back to normal a little bit. But I mean, do you think that people are more receptive to their time, their mental health and their self care routine? Now, after having I guess that time away from the outside world?

Kami Guarino 7:34

Yeah, I think in the beginning, right, when we thought, Oh, it was gonna be two weeks, we actually took advantage of that time. Yes, right. We were, wow, this is great. Like, I could take care of myself, I have more time. And then as it got, you know, kept on going. It’s sort of weighing very heavily on us, right? People were worried about their businesses too worried about their families. And so it kind of took a dip. Whereas now we are, we’re starting to come out of it. But again, we’re very skeptical. And that’s what I would say is is self care is the best thing that that I’ve learned is going into groups. Last year, I learned that I thought, oh, what better thing to talk about self care. And I really had us back and listen to why it was so hard for people. But within the during the two years, I had worked on a course that I created, it was called Creating calm. And it was taking 28 Really basic practices. And yes, they’re called self care. They could be called Wellness, they could be called whatever you want to call it. But I mean, even as easy as hydrating. How well do you hydrate during the day? And that’s a form of self care? How well do I do the mindful breathing doesn’t have to be again, you don’t have to have a 40 minute meditation. So I just took some of these really basic practices mixed with some that were a little bit more letting go? How do you let go of things? And that’s a little bit harder and more vulnerable, and started integrating it to how it looks? What are the benefits? What are the tips, and how you really could integrate it throughout the day and not call it self care, call itself everyone or you don’t have to. And I think now that we might be coming out a little bit more, there’s probably more that is accessible to us now to take care of ourselves. Now that we’re coming out a little bit.

Katie Brinkley 9:31

So if people who are listening right now say okay, I prioritize self care, but I feel like now that I’m going back to work, people are more tense people are not as doesn’t feel the way it did before 2020. It just doesn’t have that same kind of climate at the office anymore. How are some ways that people can shift that sort of uncomfortable space now that they might be going back to working with other people again, they’re no longer working at home by themselves.

Kami Guarino 10:02

Yeah, I know. And I’m finding it too, right, the more and more we’re getting out, it’s almost forgot how to connect, right? Or it does bring a little bit of tension and nerves and and I think the answer to that is just really doing it by baby steps not jumping in, but gradually shifting that mindset. And so it could be as easy as, how do I set my day up for success, no, really putting out their intentions of what they want their data look like, almost as a reminder of Remember, it’s time to take care of myself too. Or I’d like to be a little bit more patience when we lose our patients during the day. And we will, it’s just like, ah, what did I put out there in the morning as to what I do want my day to look like. And I think starting and ending your day, with intention. And reflection, could really be that first step to shifting the mindset of easing our way back into that routine that we didn’t have for so long. And gradually getting into this is feeling a little bit better each day. But the other thing too is we have to drop the perfection, we can’t say back to the office is going to be perfect. Because when we do that we’re setting ourselves up for failure. So it’s really taking that look at the day and what it looks like what we want it to look like adding in those little pieces of self care, and then ending our day saying, yeah, it might not have been perfect. But how can I tweak it tomorrow, or maybe it was great. And guess what we don’t do, we don’t celebrate when we have a good day. Right? We usually focus on we hit when they have those bad days.

Katie Brinkley 11:41

It’s so true. And I’ve learned over the past five years of being an entrepreneur, that believing in yourself is essential and your mindset as a business owner, it can change how successful your business really is. And I want to live by and Kimmy, you said it a few times in that last sentence, the power of reflection, just taking that time at the end of the day to say, to reflect on how things went where you want them to go. And really just focusing in on you talk to us about the power of reflection a little

Kami Guarino 12:17

bit. So this really started when I was in schools and where we, I worked at a few schools that were pretty diverse and impactful and lots of problem solving and doing things on the fly. And you got so caught up in the day just like anybody else that you forgot to think about how your day went. And when you even take five minutes to reflect, to reflect on what went well, which I think is super important. Because there’s a lot of things that go well in our day that we just don’t take time to celebrate. Think about the different connections we made, and how we connected with others, or maybe maybe connected with ourselves like did we listen to our needs? And then the last thing is, you know, what was challenging today? What was really hard, what was something that maybe could have done a better job, or I did the best I could, but it may not have been the outcome I wanted, and just really taking the time to think about that and say, Alright, this is how it went, what could I tweak tomorrow, in order for it to be better? Because the whole idea of just focusing in on maybe what went wrong,

Katie Brinkley 13:34

which is so easy to do? It is and I mean, I have my business bestie Kendra, she gets it. And I think it’s great to have those people in your life, those supporters as accountability partners, the peers that are going down the same path as you maybe it’s a little different, but they understand when you’re kind of showing up as your own obstacle, or when there’s something to celebrate, like I’ve talked about this before, you know, in 2021 I took my first laptop free vacation, the first one since I became an entrepreneur and it was so exciting to hit that milestone and yeah, my husband was like, Oh, I’m glad you’re not bringing your laptop. But for me, it was huge. Like, it’s like I’ve done it, I’ve made it to where everything’s still gonna happen without me being there. I don’t need to check anything. And my other business owner friends like, yes, Katie, and they’re, you know, supporting me and cheering for me. And it’s so important to have those people in your life. It absolutely is.

Kami Guarino 14:31

And the thing is to what you said is to have somebody by you to celebrate with you to when things go well. It can be a very lonely road, right? You feel alone sometimes. And to have that one person, two people, maybe it’s a group to not only celebrate with you, but to say, All right, yeah, you might have had a bad day. But this is what went right or you problem solving with them. They say, just hear me out. I want you to listen, this is what I’m thinking. And then you know what you could go home that day. Day, and actually either do self care whether it’s self care, or be present for what it is, whether it’s family, friends, or just to end the evening in a much better mind state. So my reflection piece is really just really reflecting how the day went, or in the moment, or just taking that’s two minutes instead of reacting to reflect, because a reaction is usually a lot better.

Katie Brinkley 15:25

Yes, taking that time to reflect on how to best handle some situations, it makes a world of difference. Because, again, I am one of those people who like, well, the world. Yeah, it’s it’s crumbling down. That’s right, you know, and then you don’t sleep. And then you wake up the next day, and it’s still on your mind. Just take you think that self care that reflection time, so important, no matter where you are in your business journey, right?

Kami Guarino 15:50

Talk about sleep, I mean, that that’s another practice that I talk about, because as we all know, right, sleep is everything. When we don’t get a good night’s sleep, right? We’re not as productive or metabolism is off. I mean, we’re distracted. There’s everything. So if you’re ending your day, on that hamster wheel, and don’t shut it off at any point, yeah, it’s gonna keep on running during the night. So I believe, and I’m not, I was laughing about the journal, because I do love journaling, alright, but there are people that don’t I mean, they really don’t, exactly. So I had, I had created journals for educators and working on a journal now to put out to others to small businesses or entrepreneurs. But what I believe about journaling is because I knew the background of educators, and I know now the background of entrepreneurs, I’m not making it where it’s a guided journal. And what I say about journaling is, you don’t have to answer every single thing I’m putting in there. If you don’t like to journal, just pick one, pick one area that might not come naturally to you. But you could journal about it, and two minutes, right, and then build up or don’t build up. Or if you love journaling, then do the whole thing. You know,

Katie Brinkley 17:04

and I mean, Kimmy, like, I’m not to say that I’m the norm, I definitely feel like more people benefit from journaling than those who don’t. I, as I get it, though, I think that is there’s a lot of people where when you see and like, I’ve used to have a diary or a journal as a kid, and I enjoy going back and seeing kind of like, where I was at, and like, brings back memories. And I Yeah, that’s one of the powers of journaling, too, is like, this is what I was working on a year ago, look at how far I’ve come. How it makes, I’m sure reflection a lot easier. Because it’s like me, I was just trying to worry about how I was going to do XYZ and and now I’ve got all that and more I’ve gotten so far in a year.

Kami Guarino 17:45

Look, well, it’s milestones that you celebrate, in some data, right? Who, you know, entrepreneurs have data, so you could track it. And it the whole idea of reflection, and reflection and writing is the whole idea of writing is engraving, right? Engraving it into your brain, which then fires up those positive neurons. And, and you know, it’s a whole science to it. But the power of reflection is to notice patterns and trends, right? I mean, if we’re repeating every day of things going wrong, that are happening day after day after day, oops, maybe there’s something to shift. Or if we’re noticing that we are celebrating something or something’s gone well, but we’re not celebrating it, you know, it’s time to pause and celebrate it. So it really does relieve stress. And it really puts things in perspective. And like you said, it tracks milestones to celebrate.

Katie Brinkley 18:37

Oh, for sure. Yeah, you know, we’ve talked a lot about self care a lot about reflection, going back to the office and how you can still have that time to made in your day for reflection and self care. What do you think that a lot of business owners make mistake that they might be making, as they grow their business? As they go back to the office as they are doing all the things that come with being a business owner? What do you think that one of the biggest mistakes is that they make?

Kami Guarino 19:05

I think, because I could relate to this too, we start checking off a list of what we need to do. Right? And we have a list of aha, right? We got to live

Katie Brinkley 19:15

like something like this, right? So

Kami Guarino 19:18

Right? And so we’re in this this mode of I have to do this, I have to do this. And yet on that list, there is nothing about, again, taking time to reflect or taking time to gauge how it’s going or taking. I have three words that I really have used for my entire career. And I was trying to figure out like what, to me is so impactful for business owners or leaders and their Listen, relate and celebrate. And the whole idea of listening is so powerful, right? I’m sure you can think of really good listen nerves in my life, I know I can to the best listener in my life was my father hands down the best listener because that man could go into a room and not say a word of 20 people but to know they would have felt they were so loved, so heard. And he would have known every single thing about those 20 people. And that’s what he was known for. It’s such a kind, sweet soul who had so much to offer. But yet, a lot of times he chose to listen, he chose to listen. And I think about being on the other side of a good listener. And I think about him businesses, right? When you listen, boy do you learn. And that person that you’re listening to feels heard feels respected, feels trusted. And guess what if they’re part of your team, they’re going to be all for you. They’re going to be with you. They’re going to say I am team Katie, right? Because she hears me, she knows what I need. And she is willing to listen, I often say, as a challenge is to go to not turn away from the person that you are least likely to listen to, because even taking five minutes to listen to that person diffuses so much, and you could move on. So listening to me is part of building a business is building a business. The word relate is about connection, which we’re all starting to do that too. We’re all starting to reconnect, whether we’re relating to ourselves, willing to get to know ourselves a little bit better now back into a semi normal world, or it’s relating to others. It’s a skill. Again, listening is a skill that even adults don’t do well in, and so is connecting. And so we, the power of connection is almost the same as the power of listening, that human connection, and someone knowing, just like you said that they have somebody on their side, or somebody that has their back. It’s that accountability. It’s that friendship, it’s the that mentor, it’s that coach, that you know, you have somebody else with you. And so that’s that relate piece and then celebrate, you know, we mentioned that, but when we’re building businesses or a backdoor, our 20 checklists to do, we’ve got to make some room to celebrate the small moments of what’s going well, whether we’re building back up, whether we’re starting from the beginning, or even towards the end, we can’t not celebrate Yes. So that listening with compassion, and relating and connecting to others. And that celebration, to me is the core of businesses. And it sounds like a soft sell. But it’s it is truly to me, and I know in my heart that it is the backbone to successful businesses

Katie Brinkley 23:04

1,000% equity with all of that, and I think that, as we’ve learned over the past few years, people want to do business with people and how you can show up, listen, relate, celebrate how you can find those support. So that support system around your business is essential and how you can be a better business owner by actually listening to what your employees what your peers are saying to you that is going to help you grow and succeed. Cami I cannot thank you enough for coming on to the show today. Before we finish up, is there anything I didn’t ask about during today’s discussion that you think is important for the listeners to know? Now, I

Kami Guarino 23:43

mean, I just you know, my role is to help businesses help schools help healthcare workers, whatever it is, families, create that calm, really understand the power of reflection and the things needed to move forward and not get stuck in our tracks and just live a fulfilled life or whatever that means for you. And so that’s really it.

Katie Brinkley 24:09

And I in Kimmy, I think that it’s, it’s so important for self care and as entrepreneurs, as business owners, we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list, but make that time in your day to for that for yourself because you matter and you do need to have that self care. Thank you again so much for coming. On the show today. This has been an awesome conversation where can we find out more about you and your business online? So I am

Kami Guarino 24:38

www the excellence Not that And on there you have links to my creating comm course you have links to the journals that I’ve published, and you have links to the services that I lend myself to to your organizations. And so also the journals are available on Amazon But the core information that you get about my services and my products are on my website.

Katie Brinkley 25:06

Well, we will be sure to add those into the show notes, the excellence And again, thank you again so much for coming on the show today. Thank you, Katie. Cami shared so many great tips about the importance of self care, and reflection, I know that for me, my mindset used to be a mess. And it can be hard as a business owner to get your mind in the right spot. And that’s why I love that she’s shared the importance of self care, reflection, I know that for me, the best way for me to have that self care is by getting out and being active. And whether it’s snowboarding and hiking or, or mountain biking. Being outside and being active, really clears my mind and gets me back on track. I come back to the office ready to go. I know what tasks need to be prioritized. And sometimes that is the most important thing I know it can seem hard to step away, especially if you have so much to do. But I promise you, you when you come back, you’re going to come back and feel recharged, refreshed and ready to go. I know that I said journaling is not for me, but I think I am in the minority. And I know that when you journal, it’s a great way to track those milestones to see how far you’ve come. When I look back to where I was five years ago, I wish I would have journaled to see what was it that I was working on what was I struggling with, just to see the growth along the way just to see like she said, as entrepreneurs, we love the data. And you can see where you were to where you are now. And it makes you proud. It makes you have that sense that what you are doing is worth it. And that you should just keep on going. Listen, relate, celebrate find those people in your life that can help take you to that next milestone that can help take you through the solopreneur or the entrepreneur journey so that you can grow what you are most passionate about. There’s a reason you decided to start your own business. There’s a reason why you are on this path. Don’t give up. Prioritize yourself and find those around you. Surround yourself with people who are ready to listen, relate and celebrate along with you. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.