013: Kate O'Reilly - On Vulnerability

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Today on the show I have with me Kate O’Reilly - or as you may know her, Clever Kate.  I’m not even sure how to describe Kate to you because she literally does it all - she is a content strategist - writer, coach, blogger, vlogger, podcaster - and she consults with people to bring their messages out into the world. But the defining characteristic of Kate is her vulnerability. The sheer ballsy,  clear, and kind way in which she moves through the world is truly inspiring - and not just by me, but so many others.

I was in the audience as she spoke at an event at CoCo (a co-working collaborative here in the Twin Cities), and it became very clear that there’s so much that we as speakers and performers can learn from her.

Kate O'Reilly

On Vulnerability:

(Even in the chit-chat, Kate lays down her wisdom and thoughtfulness, like:

"I really like to highlight the ordinary; and I'm not saying it's not signifiant, but I really want them to know how to spend their time."

Warning: There are about a billion of these in the next 30 minutes.)  

On the Necessity of Vulnerability:

After the birth of her first child, she felt so isolated and depressed; but sharing helped.

"It was my job to keep telling that story [about her ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression]. It's how I became an open book, and how I became vulnerable. Whenever I would tell my story, someone else would tell theirs."


Her success is based solely on how she and her kids are doing; not about what she does to bring in an income.

Kate chooses her projects based on what energizes her - and says no to the projects that drain her.

Kate being who she is, is what has built her work and life.

What do you do to make an emotional connection to your audience?

"Be prepared."

When you're prepared, you can be present, feel less stressed - and plan for the secondary or tertiary ideas that might come your way.

Then they see you; they see that you've done your work and that you care enough to have done it.

Schedule and Ritual:

These are the things that allow for us to do and be our best in the big moments.

Kate's secret weapon:


 Helps you look more rested, and feel more confident, be more thoughtful, helps with mental acuity. (And, helps her keep her temper in check as a parent.)

Every other year the AA of Psychiatrists(?) - focuses on the topic of sleep every other year, automatically.

Routines - make flexibility possible, rather than things being rigid.

(This is where we talk about my awesome husband, Andy.)

TMM Moments:


- Shares her experience of attending therapy with her partner Kyle - and was struck in realizing how much work she had to do in learning how to navigate his Asperger's, and to be the best partner she can be.


- I go really frivolous with my This Moved Me Moment - and share this nugget of time-wasting-awesomeness: The Top 30 Dances from So You Think You Can Dance:


Love this show - and the emotive stories they tell with their dances...


Learn more about Kate at:


And you can follow her on Twitter at: