Actress turned Author of The Ins and Outs of My Vagina Karin Freeland | Ep #44

December 13, 2022

In her 20’s, Karin Freeland traded in her dreams of being an actress for life working in corporate America. After years of living paycheck-to-paycheck as a starving artist, the luxury of working in sales for telecom and pharmaceutical industries drew her in.  After realizing that her creative soul was being stifled and facing toxic situations […]

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Karin Freeland, Author of The Ins and Outs of My Vagina


In her 20’s, Karin Freeland traded in her dreams of being an actress for life working in corporate America. After years of living paycheck-to-paycheck as a starving artist, the luxury of working in sales for telecom and pharmaceutical industries drew her in.  After realizing that her creative soul was being stifled and facing toxic situations at the office, Karin found herself quitting to write her memoir, The Ins and Outs of My Vagina. This funny, cathartic adventure taught her to value freedom and flexibility over life on the fast track. Now Karin helps women reinvent themselves in her life coaching practice. Listen to Karin Freeland tell her story on this episode of the Second Act Success Podcast.


CONNECT with Karin Freeland:

Website – https://www.karinfreeland.com/

Books – The Ins and Outs of My Vagina:A Penetrating Memoir 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/karinfreeland/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KarinFreelandLifeCoaching/



0:00 – Intro 

02:15 – Acting Career

04:14 – Start of corporate career

07:37 – Switching to pharma industry

08:19 – Entering telecom industry 

08:15 – Overworked and turning to executive coach

12:15 – Getting passed over as a woman

13:19 – Moving to energy company

15:25 – Writing her memoir

16:20 – Getting laid off 

18:25 – Process of writing her book

23:54 – Coaching women

26:36 –  True test – turning down her former dream job

29:03 –  TV Pitch

29:57 – Whats Next

31:19 – 5 Fast Qs of the Week

32:59 – Shannon’s takeaways


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Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 - ​​Actress turned Author of The Ins and Outs of My Vagina | Ep #44
Guest: Karin Freeland
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Karin Freeland: I remember going to the HR woman and I was like, seriously, It feels like I am being hazed. And I am working 24 7. I have no idea how I'm supposed to be a mom. How? You guys tell me you want women in these roles and you want us to be successful. Then you have to do something to help me be successful because I'm drowning right now.

Are you at a crossroads in your career? Ready for a change, but you're not sure how to get there. Don't worry. We are about to produce your best life together. Welcome to the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host. Shannon Russell. I am a former Television Producer turned boy mom. I left my dream job to find family balance and in doing so, I produced my dream life. Now I am a Business Owner, Podcaster, and Career Coach. My mission is to help other women, like you, find what they are truly meant to be doing. If you are ready to start over in your career or pivot to a new purpose, then get ready to be inspired by stories of [00:01:00] women who have done just that. We will share advice and actionable tips to motivate you as you move along on your path. It is time to shine. So let's start producing your balanced life of abundance today. This is Second Act Success.

[00:01:19] Shannon Russell: Today's guest is actress turned sales, executive turned author, and life coach Karen Freeland. Karen has taken many different paths throughout her career. She began acting on soap operas in New York City. Then she transitioned to find success as a sales executive in corporate America. She loved the stability and the money, but missed being. So Karen left it all to write her award-winning memoir titled, get This, the In and Outs of My Vagina. Karen is incredible and so much fun. We totally bonded over making crazy life moves on our way to find happiness. I know you are going to love her humor and get so much out of her story. [00:02:00] So let's dive into my conversation with Karen Freeland.

hi Karen. It's so great to see you. I'm excited to have you on the podcast.

[00:02:08] Karin Freeland: Thanks Shannon. It's great to be here.

[00:02:10] Shannon Russell: You started your career off as an actress after college, so tell us about that journey.

[00:02:15] Karin Freeland: Yeah, it was so much fun. And I, I think I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grow up. I mean, who really does? Right? I had always dreamed about acting and I was already dancing, and it just seemed like a perfect fit. I don't have kids right now. I'm young. Like, let's just go. Moved to Miami, which was sort of random. Cause it's not really where you think of when you think of acting. But that's kind of where I landed. And it was a great place cuz you were kind of like a big fish in a little sea. And so I was there for maybe two years and then, my boyfriend at the time, now husband was from Queens, and he was like, Okay. I don't think Miami's for me, let's go back to the city. So [00:03:00] Obviously. I was like, That's perfect. New York City. Great. We lived in Queens. I could go to auditions all the time. But you know, it's like you get a call and you get so excited you're meeting the producers, you're meeting the casting directors and you think like, this is it. This is my big. And then they're like, Hey, do you wanna do under five work or be a background extra? And I had a great time. I mean, I did All My Children, I did Guiding Light, I did As the World Turns, I did dating shows, you Rock, Let's Roll.. I was on Million Dollar Password with Betty White and Susie Eson. And like, I got to meet amazing people. And the hardest thing for me, I think was. on All My Children, and you get to see Susan Lucci and like all these amazing, talented actors and actresses and they were so kind to me, you know, they were so friendly, but it was like being so close to your dream, but still feeling like you're on the outside of it.

And there just [00:04:00] came a point where I was like, I don't know if I can continue to do this. I like 24 years old. At the time I had about $24 in the bank and I was like, I mean, I'm not great at math, but this is not good

[00:04:13] Shannon Russell: Yeah,

[00:04:14] Karin Freeland: This doesn't look like a lot to show for my life. So I got this like hair bearing scheme idea to go into corporate for one year, and I was like, That's it. I'm gonna work my butt off for one year and then I'm gonna quit and I'm just gonna follow my acting dreams. So I got hired at T-Mobile and I was gonna sell blackberries and I, I remember, yes, I called.

[00:04:41] Shannon Russell: Blackberry.

[00:04:42] Karin Freeland: Oh my gosh. Well, me too. Those were the. But I called my dad laughing and I'm like, I can't believe a real company wants to hire me. They're crazy I don't even know what the freak of Blackberry is. And so, turns out though, I was really, really good at sales cuz I could [00:05:00] just talk, you know, my acting background came in very handy. It was kind of like, I'm gonna put on this character and I'm gonna go be a salesperson now. Probably my third or fourth month in, I got my first commission. And it was over a thousand dollars, and I had never seen a check with four numbers on it. Suddenly it was like, I have all this money. So what do you think? I did , Did I put it in the bank? No. I went to a Coach store and I bought like an iPod holder and like a scarf and a purse, and I was like, I've made it. I've arrived and, uh, got addicted to the money drug. So yeah, the, the acting one was, you know, short lived.

[00:05:40] Shannon Russell: Don't sell yourself short. You got to experience something that a lot of people only wish that they could. To even be in the background of All My Children is amazing and you know, just to be in that world. And I know from being in LA for so many years, there's a lot of heartbreak in it as well.

So for you to be self aware and know [00:06:00] that maybe you couldn't handle this much longer if something big didn't happen. I think You saved yourself a lot of emotional scarring over the years that a lot of my actor friends have. you know?

[00:06:12] Karin Freeland: I see my friends and, I, I mean, I envy them in a way because I'm like, Oh, the fact that you can stay so true to your dream is such a beautiful thing. And at the same time I'm like, I can't imagine still living that lifestyle. You know? It's, it's tough.

[00:06:25] Shannon Russell: Oh yeah, it really is. I saw a lot of that when I was in Los Angeles and New York City as well. It's, it's a tough career path to maintain for the long haul. So then after acting, you go into sales and you realize that you're actually good at it. And so that first paycheck comes and then you decide, okay, I'm gonna stay here at T-Mobile.

[00:06:46] Karin Freeland: After the first year, I mean, and it was grueling, It was pounding pavement, and I remember getting kicked out of a building. So I pulled this stunt, I mean, this is post nine 11, right? So you have to be creative to get into [00:07:00] buildings in New York City. And so I go into this building for an actual appointment, and when the appointment's over.

I start casing the building, I'm like, Hi, I'm working with so and so on floor 12. You know, I'm just coming around. Well, somebody got mad and they called building security and they literally like threw me out. Like you would see like somebody getting chucked out of a bar in a. And I called my dad bawling. This should have been the first clue that corporate wasn't for me. It should have been. But I was like, I got kicked down. My dad was like, Suck it up buttercup. Like this is sales. Like, that's the life.

[00:07:35] Shannon Russell: in New York City. Yep. Yep.

[00:07:37] Karin Freeland: So I wrestled with it and I just kept going, you know, for the rest of the year. And then I moved into pharmaceutical sales because someone I had worked with there at T-Mobile went over to a different company in pharma and he's like, Hey, my counterpart got fired, so you should come work with me. I was like, Okay, cool. That sounds good. Got a car, got a free cell phone, like there were all these perks. [00:08:00] So living in New York City, I was like making bank, know?

And I was so caught up in that lifestyle and like keeping up with everyone,

[00:08:08] Shannon Russell: Yeah, so easy to get caught up.

[00:08:10] Karin Freeland: We were just living the life every night, how could anyone not like, wanna do this job? Why would I ever go back to acting?

[00:08:17] Shannon Russell: How long were you doing pharmaceutical sales?

[00:08:19] Karin Freeland: Three years there, and then I made the move to Verizon and I spent nine years there and that was like the bulk of my career in telecom and I really thought I'm gonna work my way all the way up. I'm gonna make it to the C-suite. I'm the one who's gonna do it, right? And then I, I realized, eight or so years in , it's not gonna happen, Karen. like, you know, and I had an amazing role as Chief of Staff, so I mean, I made it to the C-Suite kinda

you know?

[00:08:45] Shannon Russell: an amazing role. You weren't knocking on doors selling at that point, you were in charge. Okay,

[00:08:50] Karin Freeland: Yeah, I was supporting the president and his leadership team and so that had its own challenges. There was a lot of imposter syndrome, especially in the beginning.[00:09:00] And that was where I had my first experience with executive coaching, because I remember going to the HR woman and I was like, I am being hazed. Seriously, It feels like I am being hazed. And I am working 24 7. I have no idea how I'm supposed to be a mom. How? You guys tell me you want women in these roles and you want us to be successful. Then you have to do something to help me be successful because I'm drowning right now. And they were so gracious and amazing and they hooked me up with an executive coach, which was expensive. You know, they're not, But that was such a game changer for me because it gave me all the tools and techniques that I needed to actually show up differently to be the person that the business needed me to be. So it was really, really instrumental in my success.

[00:09:48] Shannon Russell: What did she kind of offer you on how to balance it all?

[00:09:51] Karin Freeland: Yeah, so he was actually a man. So he worked a lot more on diffusing conflict and helping me, have more executive [00:10:00] presence. So the things that I say, the questions that I ask, he's really had to get me out of thinking tactics and like the day to day nitty gritty of how and the strategy and the why and like the who, who do we need to pull together to make this happen? Cause I was so used to being the one doing the work. Maybe having like a team of two or three people, you know, who I could execute through. But I always had to roll up my hands and do the work myself. Where this was one of those first roles where it was like I couldn't do the work myself because I wasn't even in that department. I'm just like overseeing all these people coming together. So that was a really big shift for me. he did say, You have to pick and choose your battles. Like what is really worth fighting for? Is this a hill you wanna die on, or are you just venting right now? Or is there actually an issue that you really feel like needs to be addressed? And so many times I was just venting. I just wanted [00:11:00] someone to see how incredibly screwed up things were or how backwards things were, or just be like, I feel your pain, but it's gonna be okay. You know? and just empathize with me for a second. So that was helpful because then I could go to my coach and be like, I'm not looking for a solution. This isn't something we need to fix, but I just need to get this out. Or, Hey, I think this is something that actually needs to be addressed. And how do you take some of the emotion out of it and make it more fact based? Because as soon as there's emotion involved, guys are just like, Ah, okay. She's being emotional.

[00:11:34] Shannon Russell: You're this young girl coming into this role that you hadn't had an executive kind of role like this before. Like you said, you felt like you were being hazed. Maybe people weren't listening to you in that role, and now you're also a new mom and there's just a lot. I can just feel the emotion. just. So the executive coach helped, so that's good.

[00:11:54] Karin Freeland: Yes, I love coaches. Coaches are my friends. It's so ironic that I went into that field [00:12:00] now, but looking back again, it was like all these little things, these seeds that got planted that were a part of the journey that I needed to go on, I that needed to be part of my story to get me where I am today.

[00:12:11] Shannon Russell: How long were you with Verizon and how did you decide to leave?

[00:12:15] Karin Freeland: Yeah, so I was there for nine years and you know, the episodes of crying in the bathroom started to get a little bit more, The carrot kept being moved. It was like, Hey, go do this chief of staff job, and then you'll be getting a director role like the other men that had the role before you. And then it wasn't there. And I remember actually getting messages from other women. I can't believe they didn't promote you. I can't believe you didn't make director. I felt like I'd not only failed myself, but every single woman in the enterprise department and it, it was just a burden that I probably didn't need to carry, but I did.

And it felt really heavy for a long time. So, but I was like, What am I gonna do? I'm a parent. I can't cut my nose off to spite my face. Change was scary for [00:13:00] me. I, I didn't know. If I was just successful because I knew the Verizon way for so many years and I'd been there and I knew all the people and who to pull the strings with or if I was actually any good at what I did, because you know, that's what women do. We don't, We discredit all of our successes.

[00:13:17] Shannon Russell: of course, always.

[00:13:19] Karin Freeland: So I knew something had to change, but the easiest change for me was to just do more of the same, but do it somewhere else. So I got a job at an energy company for another three years before we finally, finally were like, Okay, and we're done and seen like corporate life is. Over. But I think I needed that stepping stone just to see Karen, it's not the company, it's you. You don't fit. You're trying to put a square peg in a round hole stop. You're never gonna fit that mold. You're just too creative, too direct, too passionate, this just isn't your,

[00:13:57] Shannon Russell: And so what was that moment like? So you're at [00:14:00] the energy company and you just finally say like, This is it. I'm out.

[00:14:05] Karin Freeland: I wish, I've always wanted to have a mic drop moment, you know, where you actually like, walk into the office and like, F you, F you, F you, you're cool. I'm out. Like, you know, but Right. But I just, I never could bring myself to that. So I. The first thing I did was bought a Benz because I wanted to trap myself. I'm not even joking, like I wanted to trap myself financially so that I wouldn't walk in one day and be like, Screw you all. I'm going home. I'm done. And I thought, Well, if I have this big car payment, then like I'm obviously not gonna leave. And my husband kept saying, Karen, this is gonna make you happy for like 30 minutes and then you're gonna be right back where you are.

And sure. shine wore off. And I was like, Oh crap. Okay. So I have to get serious. Now I have to figure out like, what do I really wanna do with my life? And this guy I was complaining to at work said, If you died [00:15:00] tomorrow, what would you regret not doing? And that question just haunted me because I couldn't answer. I'm like, I can tell you everything that's wrong with my life, but I have absolutely zero clue about what to plug in and replace it with. I don't know what I want. So he said, Go home and watch The Secret. So I

[00:15:23] Shannon Russell: I love The Secret. Oh,

[00:15:25] Karin Freeland: I and I'm watching The Secret, and all of a sudden this lightning bolt from the back of my head like shoots up and it's like your memoir. You have to write your memoir. So I didn't tell you this, but back in 2009 I started writing a memoir.

At the time it was called, I Don't Know My Vagina. It was actually my husband's idea and I write all about it in chapter 30. All looped up with nowhere to go and, uh, tell you like the whole story of how this comes about. But I'd forgotten about it. Like I had started writing this book.

This is now [00:16:00] 2019, 10 years earlier in 2009, and I'm like, Okay, I have to get serious about this. Now my job became a way to fund my dreams, cuz now it was my way to pay for my editor. So I started trying to multitask during the day. It's like, okay, I'll just edit this one chapter and then I'll get on some conference calls and I could juggle it for a little while. And then the universe was like, We're done here. Karen and I got the call my position was being eliminated, and so it was over. , and it was the happiest moment of my life. And also completely terrifying because the reality, the gravity of losing a six figure paycheck was like, Oh, snap. Can I do this? Can we do this? Can we afford this? Oh, okay, But here we go. You know? And it was like this train was already moving, and I was like, No, I have to follow through. There's a reason I'm writing this book right now. There's a reason I'm getting laid off right now. I can't see the big picture. I don't know what's coming, [00:17:00] but this is the right path for me to be on.

And so that was it. I was done with work. I turned in all my devices, donated all my suits and stuff to Goodwill, and I was like, We're done. I don't want any bridges so I can go back because I know I'm gonna get. Because change is scary.

[00:17:16] Shannon: Hey, it's Shannon. If you are enjoying this podcast, then you will love my weekly newsletter. It's full of career advice, productivity tips, and of course inspiring stories of women who have launched a new career that they. Just go to second act success.co to sign up. Plus you'll get the My Success Vision Board to help you with your 2023 planning as well. Now it's back to the episode.

[00:17:41] Shannon Russell: change is so scary, but that is what you needed. You had that sign, Karen, that is so amazing cuz when I was debating, I was on maternity leave with my second son and my show got canceled. And I said, Okay, I didn't wanna go back into the city. I don't think I wanna produce [00:18:00] anymore. And that was what I needed to figure it out and this is what you needed to figure it out. I'm sure you felt pressure as I did now two kids, and again leaving like a six figure salary in the city. And my husband's like, What are you thinking? You have this Mercedes in the driveway and your husband's probably thinking, What are you gonna do? And it's just that. Sense of knowing yourself and knowing what you're meant to do, that carried you through, right?

[00:18:25] Karin Freeland: Oh, totally. Totally. And I was like, Look, my mental health is worth more than a paycheck. I was so toxic by the end. I mean, I was just angry all the time. I was bitter. It was spilling over into my life with my husband, with my kids, and I was just like, This isn't me. This wasn't what I was made for. But there has to be a bigger purpose.

[00:18:48] Shannon Russell: Right, And you knew it wasn't what you were made for when you got into that world, but

[00:18:53] Karin Freeland: know

[00:18:54] Shannon Russell: what you needed to do for these years, for whatever reason, to get you the money that you could now take some [00:19:00] time off and figure it out. So it's kind of like it was bringing you back to the acting days of the freelance craziness going all over, and now you're like, Okay, I'm working on this book, let me just keep working on it and see where it goes.

[00:19:14] Karin Freeland: Yeah, so I was so lucky it got published, September 14th, 2021. It's been doing really well for a self-published author with no big backing of a publishing house. It's in a lot of the local Barnes and Nobles and some of the indie bookstores here in South Carolina. Everyone's been really supportive, so it's been, so gratifying in that way.

[00:19:36] Shannon Russell: So tell me about the process.

[00:19:37] Karin Freeland: Yeah, so I ended up hiring an editor because I knew that I needed some support. I found wonderful editor up in Connecticut, Gary Krebs. and I was nervous at first about hiring a man because of the sensitivity of the book, like the topic, the Ins and Outs of My Vagina like, okay, is this guy gonna get it? But he really grasped humor so well, and I felt like, well, it doesn't matter what [00:20:00] his gender is. I mean, if he gets the book, it might actually be nice to have a perspective from a guy or to say, Hey, I don't actually know what this means. You have to explain this more. Or you know, just to see if what I was saying resonated with. We just took it one chapter at a time. The book is broken down into eight parts, and it starts from when I'm about five years old, just even discovering, oh, hello, you have a vagina to like all the way up through 40. And When we got to part two. We realized maybe it would be really creative if we actually turned my vagina into a character. Named V. So a lot of the book, not all of it, but a decent chunk of the book was already written. So then I had the task of going back from part two all the way through part eight, and figuring out how do I weave V back into the story and in a creative way that doesn't feel forced. So that was really a fun and exciting challenge because I got to relive all these moments going like, what would V have said to me? How was [00:21:00] she feeling in those?

[00:21:01] Shannon Russell: That's so creative. You knew you were going to be self-publishing. What was that process like?

[00:21:06] Karin Freeland: well, I always had wanted to traditionally publish, but the problem with a memoir is nobody knows who Karen Freeland is. It was almost by default that I knew I'm gonna have to self-publish cuz I don't have a hundred thousand followers on my social channels. I'm just an everyday woman. I went to Ingram Spark because they allow you to publish and get distribution into stores, and it was really important for me not to just to be on Amazon, but I really wanted to be in physical stores. That to me, was important.

And Ingram Spark is. Print on demand solution that allows you to do that. So I downloaded their 48 or some page PDF about how to self-publish. I read the first two pages, had a panic attack, and I was like, I can't format my own book. I was like, forget this. And I actually put it on the shelf for almost three months . finally after some guidance from my [00:22:00] business coach, she was like, When you talk about it, you light up. What do you want this book to be? And I started telling her, and I wanna do a TV show, and we actually have a treatment written. And there were like all these things that I was like, Okay, this can be big, , I can do this. Like stop second guessing myself and just stick with the. So I called my editor and I was like, I'm really stuck. I don't know how to do this. He's like, um, you know, I can do that for you, right? I was like, how much does it cost? And I'll write you a check

[00:22:26] Shannon Russell: Do

[00:22:26] Karin Freeland: because I like to pay for speed sometimes, you know, so he and his. Assembled. They proofread it, they copyedit it. They helped me design an amazing cover. Oh my gosh. Libby Kingsbury is so fantastically talented. And I just really loved it because this book obviously could go very sideways, very quickly, and that for me was really important cuz I was like, I will do whatever it takes to make it be a really good and tasteful.

[00:22:53] Shannon Russell: when the book was ready and you had it in some stores, you had it online, [00:23:00] what was the feeling.

[00:23:01] Karin Freeland: Amazing. I mean it is, it's really indescribable and it's exhilaration and it's also like very nerve-wracking cuz you're like, okay now. How are people gonna receive it? What is the feedback going to be? And it's been all four and five star reviews so far, which has been such a blessing and such a testament to the fact that it is so well produced and put together. It's even more beautiful than I imagined.

[00:23:28] Shannon Russell: Right? You're just so proud of yourself and I'm proud of you. I'm so glad that the reception has been great and that it's something that you were able to put your creative energy in, get your stories out there, and now build a business around it and hopefully write more books down the road. So in addition to publishing the book, I know you've also started a coaching.

[00:23:54] Karin Freeland: Sure. So I call my coaching program Edit Your Life. Because much [00:24:00] like when I was working with my editor on the book, you know, he never threw out a whole chapter and was like, Well that's crap. You know? He is like, Uh, let's put this up here up front. Hold this line, let's make this the punchline. And like he would just make these little tweaks that suddenly took it from good to great. Coaching is so much the same way of like me asking you a couple of key questions or just giving you the space to fully think something out and going like, Is that really what you think about yourself? Oh wait, no it's not. You know? And then they go, Oh wow, okay, well let's do a couple of these little exercises, or let's remap your calendar or do something differently. And you go, Oh yeah, wow, that made things so much easier for me. Or, Yeah, I figured out now this is really what I wanna do. I am gonna submit my resignation, or whatever it is, and just those little edits. So that's why I call it Edit Your Life. And it's totally custom. So I don't believe in cookie cutter programs. They can be great for group programs, but everything I do for right now is one-on-one coaching. So I try to meet the client exactly where they are and then take them through a methodology and a process, but not be [00:25:00] too rigid. So like if somebody's already got a certain area, it's like, okay, we'll just skip over that. We, we don't need to spend time there.

[00:25:05] Shannon Russell: What is your goal for yourself now that you're in this whole new role as an author and coach

[00:25:13] Karin Freeland: My goal is really just to help other women see the possibilities and to stop feeling stuck and frustrated and overwhelmed. Cuz if you stay there, you're just wasting more time to get on with your second act. Right? You're waste. Time that you could be putting towards your dreams. It wasn't until I started doing a lot of that soul searching and journaling and going like, Okay, I'm gonna let whatever emotions and feelings come up right now, just be present. And I started seeing all the trends and all the things saying, Karen, in this corporate life, it's not for you. It's not for you. And it was like, Okay, then what is like, let's look at the possibilities. And I just wanna give and hold space for other women so that they can come to those realizations for themselves as well.

[00:25:57] Shannon Russell: Absolutely, and that's, that's what I [00:26:00] work on with my clients too, of just knowing that if you're not in a good space, this is a time to change that because you get one life. And it really does have to be what you want it to be at the end of the day because you could have stayed in that corporate job. And that actually brings up a good question of like, what if your role wasn't eliminated?

[00:26:22] Karin Freeland: Oh, oh my gosh. You know what? That's such a good question because I know me and I know I would've been like, Well, I'll figure a way to juggle. I'll figure a way to just do it. But, it's a good question because. A couple of months actually, after I left I got a call from an old person I used to work with in telecom and they were like, Hey, we need a chief marketing officer for a startup out in Cali. And I was like, No, you didn't. I was like, Are? I'm like the dream title, the title I have been aiming for my entire career. Chief marketing officer is now being dangled in front of me, [00:27:00] and I really think it was a test from the universe that was like, Are you serious? Are you really gonna commit to this new life? Is it lip service? What do you really want? And I turned it down because every time I had a conversation about it, I would end up with heart palpitations because I knew what it meant. It meant working 24 7. Again, it meant, early morning conference calls. It meant not being present for my children anymore. And it was all this stuff that I'd had a little taste of for a couple of months and I was like, No, I can never give up this freedom and flexibility.

[00:27:32] Shannon Russell: And you know what, if you do go back and I'm a big proponent of knowing I was a television producer. Well, I still am a television producer. I'm just not doing that now. So if you did go back, You would still have no regrets because you were able to check this other thing off of your list, you're making those decisions and it's not being made for you,

[00:27:52] Karin Freeland: Yes. And I'm sure you tell your clients this too. It's like no decision is really final. We're not talking about like [00:28:00] ending people's lives here, we're just talking about career changes, you know? So it's like, okay, even if in six months, a year or three years from now, I go, You know what? I feel like doing something different. That's okay. This was all still time well spent, I can do something different. But These are the things that we just need to have that permission to figure out like what really is in our heart? What is our purpose?

[00:28:23] Shannon Russell: And don't you feel just so much more confident and you've always been a confident person, I can tell. But don't you feel like this is just lit something up in you that you wouldn't have discovered?

[00:28:34] Karin Freeland: Yeah. And so much of my confidence was shattered in the corporate world because I was never good enough. You know, I was like, I'd get on an operations review and they would tell me all the things I did wrong and I'm like, Have I done anything right? Like at all? Cause my team loves working for me, but it seems like no one is happy with me here. So yeah. Now it's like so exciting. Every day it's like, Oh, what are we gonna do today?

[00:28:57] Shannon Russell: And it's all in your hands. Tell me [00:29:00] about the a pitch for a television show.

[00:29:03] Karin Freeland: So we kind of wrote this like Wonder Years meets Sex In The City.. It goes from flashbacks of like present day. Karen, who of course is this big corporate executive, her husband's doing the whole taking care of the family thing. And then she's got, her young kids now, but then you flash back to like her old days, right? Where she has all these different experiences based on the book. And it's just really funny to see old Karen and then new Karen and everybody gets to kind of learn something about themselves in the process. Which is why I think the book is so relatable and a TV show like this would be so relatable because it takes you back to the first time you got your period on the playground and didn't know what to do and we just have to make these things more normal because if we normalize them, then these embarrassing situations won't happen to other young girls, you know? .

[00:29:52] Shannon Russell: Absolutely. Will you be writing more books that we can look forward to?

[00:29:57] Karin Freeland: I've started a second one. It's like [00:30:00] very early in. I wrote the introduction in the first chapter. I've got an outline for what I think I wanna say. It'll be much more aligned with coaching and sort of reinventing yourself. But I don't know, cause I don't have this. Same drive right at this very moment that I had with writing the first one. So I'm kind of waiting to see what signs the universe sends to me. And right now I'm focusing on the coaching practice and on volunteering more and just. Helping the community but be a better place. I just feel like. I want my life to have more purpose and meaning than it's had in the past, and so, One of the reasons that I have portion of the proceeds of the book going to Alliance for Period Supplies because I wanted to help other women in need and young women who, you know, have to stay home from school or can't go to the office for their job because they literally cannot afford tampons and pads. It shouldn't happen anywhere, but like in the US in 2022. Like, it's [00:31:00] mind blowing. So, you know, I was really passionate about everything that the Alliance for Period Supplies was doing, and just thought, you know what? Like, let me let this book have a bigger purpose also, and not just be about me, you know, telling my story or making money.

[00:31:14] Shannon Russell: What a wonderful contribution. That's so great that you partnered with them.

[00:31:19] Shannon: Alright. It's time for our Five Fast Qs of the Week. Here we go!

[00:31:25] Shannon Russell: Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you.

[00:31:29] Karin Freeland: Oh, resiliency.

[00:31:31] Shannon Russell: Would you recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best friend?

[00:31:36] Karin Freeland: Oh, absolutely. I do it all the time, and sometimes my friends are like, Stop coaching me,

[00:31:40] Shannon Russell: Yeah, right.

[00:31:41] Karin Freeland: I'm sorry. Can't help it.

[00:31:44] Shannon Russell: what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who's trying to start their second act?

[00:31:49] Karin Freeland: Yeah, don't try to be like other people because it's so exhausting and it's been something that I've definitely seen in the coaching industry and I've, I've tried to mimic other people sometimes and I'm like, What am I doing? This isn't [00:32:00] me. This isn't how I wanna run my business. I don't need to post this many times a day on social, just cause Coach X is doing it. And so really just be true to yourself and don't do what everyone else is.

[00:32:11] Shannon Russell: what does the next chapter look like for you?

[00:32:13] Karin Freeland: Service to others really. Yeah,

[00:32:15] Shannon Russell: And where can our audience connect with you?

[00:32:18] Karin Freeland: sure. So the best place is my website, karenfreeland.com cause that'll give you all of my social links. And also I have a private Facebook group called Successful Working Women Rocking Reinvention. So you can always find me in there. I'm super active and there's always like exclusive content.

[00:32:33] Shannon Russell: wonderful. And where can we get the book?

[00:32:36] Karin Freeland: Yes, Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and really anywhere that books are sold online and for people who are local to South Carolina, you can get it in Barnes and Noble Stores.

[00:32:46] Shannon Russell: Karen, thank you so much. This was a wonderful conversation and just such a fun story. I feel like you've really had several acts over the years and I can't wait to see what your next one is.

[00:32:57] Karin Freeland: Thank you. Me too. This was fun.

[00:32:59] Shannon Russell: [00:33:00] Okay. How fun is Karen? She is definitely not afraid to shake things up and keep life interesting. I hope hearing her story has given you a little hope that there can be something new and exciting around the corner. If you just dare to look, don't forget. If you'd like to get a copy of her book or learn more about Karen Freeland, go to karen freeland.com and I'll link to everything in the show notes as well. Have an amazing day, and I'll meet you back here next time for more career advice and second act inspiration on the second Act Success podcast.

[00:33:34] Shannon: Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon Russell, [00:34:00] and this is Second Act Success.

[00:34:02] Shannon:


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