Kat Norton energetically teaches Microsoft Excel to individuals, businesses, and educational institutions.
Kat Norton energetically teaches Microsoft Excel to individuals, businesses, and educational institutions.
Since launching Miss Excel in June 2020, she has grown a community of over 1,000,000 people on TikTok & Instagram (@miss.excel) through viral Excel trick videos infused with creativity, music, and dance.
Kat was recently awarded the Microsoft MVP Award and has been featured in Business Insider, CNBC, and Entrepreneur Magazine as a pioneer in the "Excel Influencer" space. Kat was also named one of the Top Influencers of 2021 by Forbes.
In this episode, we talk about how Kat overcome her fear and began posting on TikTok, how she thinks about energy management, how she earned $100,000 in a single day, and why all of her progress can be attributed to taking what she calls “Messy Action.”
Since you're listening to Creative Elements, we'd like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows surrounding entrepreneurship, business, and careers like Rocketship.fm and Freelance to Founder.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kat Norton 00:00
I was in like, turmoil I remember my boyfriend coming in my room being like, what's wrong? Like, I was like in tears sitting there because my head was like, you cannot make a TikTok but my gut was like make the TikTok.
Jay Clouse 00:16
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. We are headed back to the weird and wonderful world of TikTok today, a place where you may see somebody drinking kombucha for the first time, a place where you may see somebody riding a skateboard and listening to Fleetwood Mac while drinking cranberry juice or a place where you might see somebody dancing while explaining Excel functions. I'm not sure I totally grasp TikTok. I don't know if I'm built for TikTok. But to find out, I'm bringing in one of those viral Tiktok stars. I am bringing in Kat Norton, aka Miss Excel. Today Kat has 860,000 followers on Tiktok, 632,000 followers on Instagram, and she has made more than $100,000 from her Microsoft Excel courses in a single day. Before she was Miss Excel, she was working a regular high paying job. But like a lot of us, the pandemic sort of changed everything.
Kat Norton 01:15
I was traveling every week as a consultant. At my day job, I was doing securitization reviews for banks. And all of a sudden with the start of the pandemic, I had stopped traveling. And I was really vaga my parents house at that point and had a lot of extra time on my hands. So two, so I was started diving into all different modalities and ways to become the highest version of myself. So I started meditating and like going into my limiting beliefs and reprogramming them and reading a ton and learning about the mind. I'm super into like quantum physics in the mind. That's kind of what I study for fun. And so I was diving into all these different things and all these dots started to click.
Jay Clouse 01:55
So Kat began questioning whether her day job was giving her everything she wanted out of life. She wanted to indulge her other interests, which included dancing, teaching, and yes, even Microsoft Excel.
Kat Norton 02:07
Fast forward to June of 2020 was when I was on the phone with my friends. And we were talking about different like side hustle ideas, things I could be doing. And on the side of my day job, I had been teaching Excel for fun internally for the company. So I've been doing that for four and a half years, they'd fly me around the US hosting these large scale Excel trainings. And I was like, what's a way that I could take this skill set and have a bigger impact? And my friend was like, what if you put it on TikTok and I was like, TikTok, you know, 27 with a corporate job. I can't just make a TikTok. But the second she said it, it was like a lightning bolt hit my head.
Jay Clouse 02:51
As you'll hear in the interview, it actually took Kat a while to post her first TikTok even after that bolt of inspiration. But once she began publishing, she saw results very, very quickly.
Kat Norton 03:02
A few weeks in I had my first video go viral on Tiktok and it hit 3.7 million views. I looked down at my phone and I had 100,000 followers. And I was like, whoa, I had never done anything influencer before. I like if you looked at my personal Instagram, you'd be like, this girl is not an influencer. But I was like, okay, I gotta learn how to serve this audience. I got to learn how these apps work, you know.
Jay Clouse 03:29
So in this episode, we talked about how Kat overcame her fear of posting on TikTok, how she thinks about energy management, how she earned more than $100,000 in a single day, and why she thinks the key to all of this is taking what she calls messy action. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can tag me on twitter or instagram @jayclouse or leave a comment here on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe if you have not already. But that's enough of me. Let's talk with Miss Excel. Let's talk to Kat Norton.
Kat Norton 04:13
I saw the Excel screen above my head to that Drake song, the Toosie Slide, you know like left foot up, right foot slide to the left and the right function in Excel. And when I saw it I was like how the hell would I make that like I've never video edited my life and like how does one get an Excel screen above their head? And but I was like stuck on this vision. So for the next 48 hours, I was in like turmoil. I remember my boyfriend coming in my room being like what's wrong, like, I was like in tears sitting there because my head was like you cannot make a TikTok but my gut was like make the tau TikTok and it was like a Friday afternoon and it was three o'clock my schedule just magically opens I had all these meetings it was like, cancel, cancel, cancel. I was like, oh.
Jay Clouse 05:03
I love that feeling.
Kat Norton 05:03
Yeah, like you, you know, like all that stuff starts lining up and you're like, all right, all right, I'm listening. Am I supposed to do something right now? And so I do this dry run of a video, I don't even do my hair and makeup. I'm like, I just want to record this video of me dancing and see if I can somehow get an Excel screen above my head. And I did it. Watch the YouTube video on video editing for like 40 minutes kind of got a baseline going. And I was able to edit it. And I was like, oh, this is actually pretty cool. So I get super excited do my hair makeup without 10 more videos. And I started editing them all like that night, I was super excited about it. And the next morning I think was like next morning, I wake up. It's like 6am and my boyfriend I were sleeping and I tap on the show. I'm like, babe, wake up. And he's like, what, and I'm like, Miss Excel like Miss Excel. Like that's what I'm gonna call it. I get a lot of like ideas like the second I wake up, I don't know if the idea is awake we have or what so I like to grab the handle on TikTok, and it was June 7 of 2020. I posted my first few videos. And by the fourth video, one of them reaches 100,000 views. And at that point, it starts getting shown to all these people I know because I didn't tell anybody I was doing it besides my mom, my boyfriend, I'm like this gonna be my little secret fun side project. I didn't even know how to use TikTok, I was just like posting stuff trying to learn like captions algorithms time, suppose I was just like googling things. And it was really the messy action there that helped this take off. And by the sixth video, the CEO of an IT company reaches out and is like, hey, I love your teaching style. I'm looking to create G Suite training videos. So the Google version of everything I was doing for students, parents and teachers, because this is around the time when the schools were going digital. So formed an LLC got a green screen, a ring light, and I started filming videos after work and selling them back to the sky. So I kind of like within the first week there had this ecosystem going where I was a freelancer making content selling it. I was making Miss Excel content, like 10 hours a week, so I was helping people. And then I still worked my 40, 50 hour a week day job and was just kind of like shuffle in between the three.
Kat Norton 05:57
Man, there are so many important points to that information you just shared with us. First and foremost, pretty short period of time from like, existential crisis and dread of like, how do I become the highest version of myself to actively doing something and putting something out there? So one quick clarifying question, were you actively using TikTok at the time as a user? Like, were you consuming a lot of TikTok content?
Jay Clouse 07:24
No. So I didn't even have a TikTok account. My only account is Miss Excel. So I had never even use the app before I my friends weren't really using it because it was kind of a younger generation thing at the time. I feel like now a lot of them use it. But at that time, I was like, it wasn't something I was doing at all.
Jay Clouse 08:10
So what were the narratives you were telling yourself as you had this idea that you obviously had some compulsion to try. But also I know it took a couple months to make that first video. So talk to me about like what was going on in your head when you were pre publishing on the platform?
Kat Norton 08:28
For the first like two months, or it was just me versus me, like me working on myself clearing limiting beliefs, getting myself to a spot where I can energetically hold the amount of attention that comes through from being on social media, I grew up with an anxiety disorder, I was incredibly shy hated any attention on me. So that was stuff I had to clear out before putting yourself dancing to the left function on TikTok, because let me tell ya, you gotta have your stuff together before going and doing that just from a mental health perspective, because there's a lot of dark energy on the internet, there's a lot of road comments and things. So I needed to be in a place where all of that would just roll off. And I could show up authentically as me and just do what I needed to do on the platforms. So by the time I actually got the hit for Miss Excel, it was like early June, and then a week later, I started posting so that time period was a little shorter. But you know, the time leading up to getting myself to a place where my consciousness was open enough to actually get an idea like that, that was so out of the box and have it stick and have me not like blocking out 100 reasons why I shouldn't do it, or why I should do it tomorrow or the next day, you know, and where I was actually able to be like, okay, this is a killer idea. And you can actually do it. So I remember I opened up the TikTok app when we were first talking about I downloaded it and I looked and there was no one really teaching excel at all on TikTok. And that's where I was like, oh, are they just not interested or is it just no one ever did it? You know, and that's where I'm like I'll just give it a shot.
Jay Clouse 10:01
A lot of people listening to this have the same, you know, inner trappings and propensity to put things off and not be ready to receive all the energy that's coming back from social media. How would you recommend people go down the path of clearing that and fixing it and getting to the point where you are today?
Kat Norton 10:18
There are tons of different modalities in this space. And the something I'm also incredibly passionate about is helping people get to that spot where they are living in their authentic self. And they're not having this like shell of themselves out there, where they're like, oh, I want to be like that, but I can't. And it's a process of removing all those limiting beliefs. So three things that I did. So the first thing I did was I read the book, Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So he does an incredible job of demystifying the mystical. And for my logical Excel brain, I needed some concrete proof about the law of attraction, I wanted some scientific experiments, I wanted to know how this stuff worked. And so for me, that was a really big part of getting my conscious mind on board and being like, okay, like, this isn't all like think positive, good things will happen, you know, like this is some concrete things going down. So once my conscious mind was on board, I started doing a program called To Be Magnetic by Lacy Phillips, which is a really structured way of doing inner child work, shadow work, and like really being able to identify the limiting beliefs that you have, and kind of like getting down there and figuring out what you need to clear. So for me, that was like a structured way to do it. But there's tons of different modalities there. And it's really important to just like, find one that resonates with you. And then the third thing I got into was meditation. So I personally do Kundalini Yoga. So that's a type of yoga that integrates mantra and movement. And for me, it's a lot easier than like trying to sit there and close my eyes and go like, oh, man, you know, blank out my mind and stuff, that we're I'm doing movements and saying things and I have a specific eye gaze and specific breath, like concentrating on all those things, takes me right out and gets me into a theta state, where I'm able to kind of go in and clear out different neural pathways and things going on. So for me, it was like the three of those I kind of just dove in fully for a couple months, like twice a day I was doing those reprogramming exercises, I was meditating every day, I was reading and learning about the brain and how it works to kind of like biohack myself, you know, and then the byproduct was I woke up one day, I was like, I could do anything, what do I actually want to do with my life, you know?
Jay Clouse 12:28
Yeah, it's really remarkable. Because we're talking March to June, seemingly like you at least made enough progress where you felt comfortable doing it. But that seems like a really short amount of time to like, clear out a lot of head trash, which is what I call it, not necessarily reflecting allocute A term. That's incredible. So it does sound like you are somebody who, when you commit to something, or are drawn to something, you're going really deep into it, and like you're you're committing and doing it, would you say that's true?
Kat Norton 12:56
Absolutely. It's really the messy action with that too, because I am definitely an analytical person, where I used to just sit and take a ton of time analyzing the outcomes and this and that and really learning to trust and just go for it has been huge for me. So that like it's really a great way to overcome the mental barrier to because a lot of us will sit there and just analyze like, okay, if I make an online business, like how am I going to make money like it has to be this or this, you know, that's not going to work where realistically, the way I started making money dissects on TikTok was a side hustle that came out of nowhere. That was something I could have never predicted. And the only way I got there was just like, trusting myself, knowing great what's gonna happen if I put myself out there and believe in me, and don't give up on me. And I just that's kind of how I've run the whole business. From here, I'm just like, as long as I know, I'm not going to give up until I get where I'm going. There's no risk. And I just kind of went into it with that mentality.
Jay Clouse 13:54
This may seem a little meta, but you're talking about this messy action, which I also lean into, I have a bias for and then I usually go back and like revise that thing that I messily created. Are you a ship and then revise or are you a ship and then learn and ship something better the next time person?
Kat Norton 14:13
I'd say it's kind of a combo, I ship, learn, revise. So I get something out, I get the feedback, I learn and then I revise the product because my products are all digital courses. So they're super easy to just pop in there. And oh, a new product comes out in Excel. I could just pop in the video, you know, versus having to like redo an entire version of a product.
Jay Clouse 14:34
Let's talk more about this. What bounds do you put on yourself when you see an action you want to take like how messy is too messy? Is there a too messy because I've been showing him this lately? I know there are things that I want to make. And I start to over engineer them in my head. And I've been thinking, well what if it was easy? What if I gave myself like a two hour time block to make this, how would that turn out? Would that be good enough? How would I construct that two hours to make it good enough? Tell me about the balance that you put on yourself when you're about to take action.
Kat Norton 15:02
One of the big things I really consider too is how is this choice going to implicate my lifestyle. So a big part of how I'm able to come up with creative ideas and keep building and growing is because I prioritize a lot of time on myself, I probably work maybe like 20 hours a week, like I make sure there's a lot of time for me to just be creative and flowy. And to live the life that I set out to create for myself, right? Like, I was like, I don't want to work myself into the ground, I want to maintain that balance, so that I'm able to show up and serve and whether that means you know, when things get too high, I start delegating, I finally started hiring, you know, I have a virtual assistant, now a video editor, I have my boyfriend now does all my sales. So like, that's been a great way to like, kind of take things off when it raises too much. So then I can be fluid. So for example, my whole business has pretty much been inbound leads. So things are just flying my inbox all the time, like crazy, cool opportunities, where I leave that space, I can go in and take them. So really just following things that truly light me up like something that's been on the radar that like I know, I'm going to do. But right now I know I've been off a lot. So I'm kind of like holding pattern on the messy action for it is doing more of the coaching space and talking about mindset. And I've done a few like keynote speaking opportunities on this at different companies. And I know it lights me up, I know people have been asking for it. And it's just one of those things where I'm like, I need Miss excel as like a completely well oiled machine before I jump into that so I can go full out. But the course is already coming to me. I've already mapped it out, like the downloads have been flowing. I know it's coming. But that's one thing where I'm like, okay, I know if I tried to do that right now I'm going to like, jam myself in a hole energetically and feel like a scarcity of time, where I like to live in a place of abundance. And that helps more opportunities come in and keeps me more agile.
Jay Clouse 16:55
After a quick break, Kat and I talk about her approach to creating consistently viral content on social media. And later we talk about how she generated more than $100,000 in revenue in a single day. So stick around and we'll be right back.
Jay Clouse 17:11
Welcome back to my conversation with Miss Excel, Kat Norton. Something I appreciate about Kat is not just her content itself, but how she shows up in that content. It's a weird little nuance, but there's something about her energy she brings to TikTok that attracts positive interest and support from viewers and the media. So I asked her how we can show up and have that same level of positive inbound opportunity.
Kat Norton 17:37
So the first step is clearing out the limiting beliefs. So for example, if you have limiting beliefs in your head, when you go to post something on TikTok for the first time, or like, oh, no one's gonna see it, this is the wrong day to post this the wrong time. No one's gonna like it, oh, my hair didn't look good. All these things, you are energetically blocking that video from being blasted out. Like it's essentially like putting this wall up in front of it. So my biggest tip on all of this is really just clearing out the limiting beliefs first, before going in and taking that time before diving into all the business and all the minutiae to work on you because you are your greatest asset. The business will be incredible. But for me when I want to grow Miss Excel, I work on me because I can only call in what I can hold. For example, when it was October of 2020, I think it was like 50 plus press outlets picked up my story within like a week, globally. I was getting hundreds of messages, podcasting opportunities, it was you know, Forbes, Fortune, Business Insider like all these massive CNBC, Fox, like everybody picked on my story. I was on TV, it was just like the craziest time and things are happening. Like my eyes were twitching, I started having anxiety attacks, like weird, like, I was getting shaky, because my nervous system was having trouble holding all the abundance. It was all incredible things. It was everyone, like so much love so much support so much incredible things. But like for me, I was like, okay, like this is where I get to do the work on myself. This is where I can do meditations to expand my nervous system so I can keep growing this thing. And that's what I did to get myself to a place where now bigger things have been able to come through. So it's really just having that relationship with yourself. And understanding that there's layers to this like, yeah, there's strategy. Yeah, there's quantitative metrics. Yeah, there's goals and ROIs and tracking and all those things. I ran my business for the first year and a half, like I hit seven figures without tracking a thing. I literally just now I'm having people put tracking things on my website because they're like, what, like, how, where are these leads coming from? Like, I don't know, they just come and like because I I've been running this whole thing on my intuition and just like feeling into myself and being like, okay, like, this is what I need to do. This is what feels good for me and I can show up fully and that will result in supporting tons of people and bringing in the financial aspect. So it's really just kind of having that understanding that there's more going on than just, you know, oh, I follow the steps. And you know, I did I posted at this time and did that there's just such another layer to it, that I think overall the entrepreneurship space misses sometimes when it's just that grind, grind grind mentality, where, for me, I was like, okay, I need to prioritize myself, I need to get myself to the highest version and just trust, I don't have to know how it's gonna happen. But trust that those opportunities are gonna fall, and then you build the trust muscle, right? So like, all the sudden, massive things start falling on my lap, and I'm like, what's happening, and then I do it again, again, again. And then you start to build that trust muscle with yourself. And you can start playing in these other realms, where you can go in and call in the opportunities and things that your conscious mind can't even think up. Like, half the things that happen to me, like I've never reached out for press, once. Every single press opportunity and podcasts has come to me, like I've never like sent an email like, hey, put me in Forbes, like it all just like lines up because I energetically got myself to a place where I knew I was there already. And then it matches and comes in. So it's, it's also a layer of confidence that I needed to get I had very low self worth. Before starting all this where I energetically just align myself, I'm like, I know, I'm a billionaire, and I'm riding through time to get there. And when you stay on that frequency, and act and take on behaviors that are aligned with that version of yourself, the other parts start to come into play. So it's really just holding myself accountable to that space and being like, when I wake up and I'm having a rough day or something I'm like, yo, is this where you're trying to be like, you know, like, let's let's we have all the tools for this, let's get out in nature, Let's meditate, let's do things to get myself to a place where I'm like, this is where you're supposed to be in this lifetime, you know.
Jay Clouse 21:43
That's incredible. All that has come to you so, so good. You said something really relatable a minute ago, which is like this, this narrative we have before we post something where we're, we're kind of limiting our expectations, almost of what's going to go out or we're saying like, this is the wrong time. Is this any good? But we posted anyway, speak to the logical part of my mind that says how does that actually play through to the result?
Kat Norton 22:06
Yeah, I mean, it's all the limiting beliefs attached to the content. So I view content and a piece of content, essentially, as an energy transmission. So when I'm creating something, and I'm sending it through the phone to you, I'm giving you an energy transmission, if I'm coming through that phone, and I'm like, hey, here's the Excel tip, that is a lower frequency energy that is reaching to you, right, you're not going to feel as engaged with it's not going to captivate you, where if I do things on the back end to get my frequency up to such a high place, that when you see that video, you cannot take your eyes off it, I have people who don't use Excel that just like my vibe and just follow my stuff, no, like, I don't even, like use any of these products. But it's just like having that. And that's just a part of being in your authenticity. So like, for example, if you don't like dancing, don't dance, you know, for me, like one of my favorite things is Excel and dancing and helping people. So for me, it's just such an authentic place to come from. So it's not like you know, you have to dance on TikTok or something, it's just really about having the energy that's authentic to you, which is what helps it grow. So for example, like five a bad day, I don't post because I know that my frequency is just going to like lower that down, I put so much work into the content, each one of my pieces takes like an hour. So I'm like I want it to go through and to hit and to have that correct frequency when it's going through the algorithms and like getting to people's phones.
Jay Clouse 23:28
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because as we've added video to the show, it's removed some level of shield from me. And I'm finding that there's there's some limitations to some my natural mannerisms in video because I'm not like the heightened version of myself. I don't want to be performative for performative sake. But I know that if I'm able to be like, the 11 version of myself, that's going to do well in video, and I'll follow that up with a quick story and then get your take on it. When I was researching your story, in preparing for this interview, I watched the 12 minute clip that came from the My First Million Podcasts were Shaan was talking to Sam about your business. And I'm sitting on the couch watching this clip on YouTube. I usually listen to audio, but I'm watching this on YouTube and Shaan's talking. And I keep catching myself smiling. And it's because Shaan is constantly smiling as he talks and I can't help it. And I think to myself, do I ever smile when I'm interviewing somebody? So talk to me about this, this energy transfer because this is really interesting and really important. How do I get myself to the 11 version of myself or is that even what I should be aspiring to do?
Kat Norton 24:45
It really depends on the modalities that work best for you. And a trick to kind of navigating that and figuring out your patterns with it is I'll ask myself what will make me so happy in this moment? What is a baby step I can do and I can tell you to raise my frequency, and for me like whether it's like going out in nature, go to that coffee shop and get a cup of coffee, eat a piece of chocolate, go have a dance party like it really, it's depends on like what will make you happy in that moment. And when you do that, that is going to raise your frequency up a notch. So it's really just a game of getting yourself super hyped. So especially before podcasts and stuff, like I had a great meeting before this, I was so excited to talk to you. And I just like had my frequency up in a spot where that's able to come across on the camera compared to like, if I just woke up or something and I'm out of it, or I'm having a bad day like that would come across on camera. And then always remembering to smile helps a lot too. Because that you're absolutely right, it will translate through the camera, especially in video. Sometimes even when I'm talking though people if you're listening to this could typically tell when I'm smiling because it just like comes across in my my voice.
Jay Clouse 25:52
So talk to me then about energy management, because there are all kinds of people talk about time management and how to time block and batch record and create these things. But I'm getting the vibe from you that you optimize your schedule more for energy management than time management. Is that true? And if so, how does that look?
Kat Norton 26:09
I think it's a very underrated thing is the energy management that a lot of people don't talk about as well. So one of my favorite tips for this is really separating out my activities by the energy type. So there's two different types of energy and you can view them in different ways, like left and right brain type energy, you know, the creative and the more structured, they call it masculine and feminine energy, which doesn't necessarily necessarily mean like, boy, girl, it's more so you know, like, the masculine activities, for example, are like, I wake up, I get an iced coffee, I bang through all these different tasks on my to do list and whipping out emails, you know, like that type of energy, versus the creative flow state energy where I wake up, I go for a walk in nature, I meditate, I journalize. And then those are the days where you get those creative downloads that tap in, you tap into that right side of your brain. Now the energy hack with this that I learned is not trying to switch back and forth between those energy types quickly. So for example, back when I was in corporate, it would be like, okay, you know, you have an eight hour day, most of the time in corporate I was in the masculine energy, I was just cranking through securitization reports. And let's say you're on an internal initiative, and they pop on an hour long brainstorming session, if you're coming out from that analytical left side of your brain, and you are just all jazzed up. And then you go into this creative flow state meeting. For me, it takes at least two hours to really get into that state. So I look to optimize myself and my time and my energy by having a full creative day. And then I have a full get shit done. And you know, and I kind of like balanced them back and forth. So I'm my best creative self. And I my best, you know, like left brain analytical diving and spreadsheets self and without trying to flip back and forth throughout the day. And that's just a concept I think a lot of people don't talk about, but for me from an energy management perspective has been huge. And then the other thing is, like we talked about before, where if you feel yourself dipping, like something happens, you have a road conversation, you got a weird tax, or something happens on social media, being able to flip yourself out of that state is huge. There are thousands of different tools at our fingertips, we have access to the internet, if you do, it's easy, or, you know, your friends might know different modalities and things. There are so many ways to flip yourself into a higher vibration. And for me, that's been a really helpful hack, where if you know something happens, and all sudden, I feel like a little anger something off. That's where I'm like, okay, this is good. This is what I get to work on. And then I'll jump into a meditation, there's one called like fists of anger, where I go like this and breathe a breath of fire for five minutes, I come out, I am so calm. It's like hours of therapy. I just walk out. I'm like, okay, let's restart the day. And just like knowing I have those tools in my pocket. And it really just depends what works for you, right? There's tons of tools, but just having what works for you and being able to manage your own energy because no one else can do it for you. Everyone's responsible for their own energy. So it's really understanding yourself and taking that time to get to know yourself and how you work. And then you can be able to leverage those tools to just maintain that higher version of yourself.
Jay Clouse 29:23
I love this. This is the nudge I need to go out and buy like the Tony Robbins mini trampoline.
Kat Norton 29:30
Oh, that was amazing. I love Tony Robbins, I saw him live once actually, he's very incredible, like talk about energy.
Jay Clouse 29:37
Was this pre or post launch of the business?
Kat Norton 29:40
So that was, I want to say 2019. So my boyfriend I've always been kind of into this stuff. And it was really around 2019 where I started having more of a spiritual awakening. I actually, I went to Morocco, on a Kundalini Yoga retreat, and that was when I was first introduced to a lot of these concepts for more of the quote unquote woowoo perspective. And then I also on the other side my boyfriend was always super into like Ed Mylett, Tony Robbins like that whole squad like Eric Thomas and really like having those like law of attraction, think positive money mindset type things. So that's where I kind of started first dabbling, and we went to was a conference in New Jersey where Tony Robbins had like I think it was like a four hour session and his energy when he walked in the room like I had chills all over my body like I was laughing, I was crying like it was just such an intense energy upgrade that was so cool and so inspiring to see, especially as a speaker to be able to generate that type of reaction in a room of participants is absurd.
Jay Clouse 30:45
When we come back, Kat and I talk about how she earned more than $100,000 in a single day, and accomplishment that's rare for any creator, but especially short form video. You'll want to hear this so stick around.
Jay Clouse 31:00
Hey, welcome back. If you're already aware of Kat, or if you've just listened to the first 30 minutes of this interview, you know that she has earned more than $100,000 in a single day selling Excel courses. That is a real thing that happened for her. So I asked her to connect the dots for us how does she go from publishing one TikTok to now earning over six figures in a single day?
Kat Norton 31:22
Everything was going on in the news about TikTok might get banned in the US and all this stuff. So you know, I had like the haters being like, oh, good luck with that, like, it's all about to go away. So I was like, alright, I'm gonna hedge my risk here, I'm going to add in an Instagram account. So I created the mistakes on Instagram and went viral on Instagram as well. And between the two of them, I started just going viral every like month or so on the platforms. And each time I did, my audience would grow like 50,000 people in a week. So it was that's how I made those like quantum leaps. And now by like October, I had like a couple 100,000 on both platforms, I have zero products, I'm still kinda like things are like winding down with the side hustle, still working the day job, but dreaming of like running my own calendar, working in a coffee shop, creating things, you know that the dream is being held. And I'm like, okay, what am I doing over here? And I had a business coach reach out to me, it was like, listen, you should really have a have a product. And I was like, oh, so you know, it was very obvious what the product needed to be. I've been asked hundreds of times by people being like, where's your course? Where's your course? And so I took two weeks off from my day job. And I mapped out the most fun, creative cool Excel course I possibly could I remember I sat with that outline for days, and just infusing it with as much out of the box stuff as I could to make it something where people would actually pay attention, because that's the biggest thing with online courses, you lose people's attention, because they're boring, typically. So I'm like, I want something fun and on brand for Miss Excel. It's where we make Excel fun, you know, like you can't boring course after that. So at this point as well, my boyfriend and I started the digital nomad lifestyle. So we were living in our parents houses. And one day I was meditating, and I had this ping where I was like, we don't have to be here anymore. And Mike's like what I'm like, we're sitting in like his parents child, like his childhood bedroom. We're both running our businesses out of it. Like I have all my furniture jammed in the corner of a 12 by 12 room, and I'm trying to run this shit. And I'm like, okay, why don't we go to Sedona, Arizona, I kept seeing it online, I was feeling so called to go there, I'd never been there. And I found this house that we could rent for four weeks. And meanwhile, you know, Mike's dad's an accountant, and he's like, this doesn't make financial sense, you know, to spend money on rent right now. But I was like, we need to go. So we got this house in Sedona immediately when we got there, amazing things started happening. So also, Sedona is an energy vortex. So if you're playing in these realms, it really helps speed things up. So a lot of people will physically come here when they're launching a business or launching a product, because the energy is in your favor. So we got here, all these great things are happening, opportunities are flowing, like Mike lands, the biggest deal of his career, like all this stuff's going on, because he sold his day job at the time. And I think to from an energetic perspective, switching my location really helped me get out of my current patterning. So that's like another little hack if it is available to you changing your environment, because I'd say like, I think it's like 90% of the thoughts we have every day are the same thoughts. So how would one expect to change their reality if they're having the same thoughts? Were what we did, we spent 16 months as digital nomads changing houses every month switching different states. I lived in, you know, Hawaii, Arizona, Austin, Texas, Miami, California. We just kept bouncing around. So we'd switch environments, switch ferns, switch right Shawn, switch where we're living, you know, and I just made it like portable studio that I would bring with us everywhere we went. So that October 2020 was kind of where we started that journey as well, which I think really helped, like, crack open my consciousness and make it easier to rewire neural pathways. Because I wasn't just in that same rut of like, get up at my parents house, go eat breakfast, you know, like, it was just a totally different pattern shift. But anyhow, at this point, I'm in California, I whip out that course in two weeks, and I start selling it before it is done, which is another big thing in the space. So I started selling the courses in was Black Friday of 2020. And it was my first signature Excel course. And by January, so two months later, it was bringing in more money in passive income every month from the course sales than my day job was every month, Miss Excel takes 10 hours a week day job taken 40 hours a week, I sat down with myself and was like, bro, you gotta rethink your priorities here. I was like, imagine if I apply these 40 hours Miss Excel, I would be dangerous, even if I applied like half of those hours. And so as my gift to myself from my 28th birthday, on January 15, I put in my two weeks, and my last day in corporate America was February of 2021. So at this point, hadn't even made six figures with the business yet was really taking a bet on myself. I knew this stuff was going to blow up. I knew I would figure out a way I had all these people. What do you do about health insurance is that you know, my day jobs like you can always come back like they were so supportive. And they actually hired me back now as a vendor, and I teach Excel there, which has been awesome. Yeah, they're incredible. I worked at Protiviti. Oh, amazing. So by April 2021, I did my first webinar, which was a free online Excel training, I just pack them, I still do them all the time, I pack them full of tons of free content. And then if people at the end decide to keep learning with me, I give them an incredible discounted rate. And that's how I really started scaling the business and getting the courses out there. And so I did that it was April of 2021, that's in the business first hit six figures. And then from there, I went on and scaled it to seven figures in the coming months by going through different webinars, and I created nine more courses and two months. Wow, yeah, I just got really streamlined with it. And I can build a course in about a week from start to finish from like mapping out the course takes me like two days, filming takes me two days, that's roughly about 12 hours of content. And then I edit for three days because I was back when I was editing all my own stuff, too. And so I whipped out all these courses, bundled them together started selling them in bundles, which up my price point which helped a lot from a financial perspective, because if you're selling like a $300 product versus a 997 product, it's a very different, you know, margin there. And I started scaling it. So meanwhile, now it's like October of 2021. I have my first six figure day like 24 hour period, I was like holy shit, like what's going on. And literally the next day, I was on the verge podcast with me like Patel and we were talking about all this and that got turned into an article that article got picked up by like 50 different news outlets around the world. Next thing you know, all these opportunities are flowing through things are happening. I went back through those courses was all at the same time. It was just a wild q4 is always like a crazy time.
Jay Clouse 38:25
Oh my goodness, what a journey. Incredible. You talked about virality a couple times and how that started to become more regular. I think a lot of people think of virality as like a slot machine. But I get the vibe that you also don't think of virality as like a total slot machine. So how do you think about content creation to give yourself the best shot at virality?
Kat Norton 38:47
It's definitely not a slot machine. Because it's very much you know, there's things you can do and not do to easily position yourself in a much better spot. So for example, for me things that I always look at my content. One is creativity. So having something outside the box like people have never seen an Excel screen above their head before. So that way when it starts going through the algorithm, you got people who are like nice Excel trick you got people who are like what the hell is this girl doing dancing to a left function creates comments pushes you through the algorithm. And then even the people that don't care are just like what, and they're commenting too. And that's also the element of polarity. A healthy element of polarity is something I always look for in content as well. Because if I was just showing you an Excel screen right off the bat, like people who don't use Excel just swipe on by there's nothing polarizing about it. But when people see things being combined like Excel and dancing that don't traditionally go together that creates conversation. That's what makes news headlines, that's what creates things so having that elements of polarity to it really helps and then you know things not to do obviously like you need to make sure none of the captions are being cut off on the side so that your videos clear you know like the actual production quality and things that are super important as well because your video it'd be incredible. But if it's super blurry, it's not going to blow up typically. So it's really kind of just navigating the back end of creating it. And then another big part is having that energy behind it, you know, if you're having a shit day, and then you go to record it, and you're just kind of monotone and blah, it's not going to captivate people. So it's really just getting yourself to a place. And then lastly, clearing those limiting beliefs out because no matter how great the content is, if you're energetically blocking it from going off, you know, that's where people get in those like frustrating loops. And then you start forming a pattern when I create things that does not blow up, you know, over time that forms patterns in your brain. So then it's, you know, going in it, nothing's unfixable. You know, like everything is reprogrammable. So even if you're in that spot right now, you're like, oh, Cal, like I've been posting for months. And it's just not going like, everything is reprogrammable. We can shift the beliefs around that shift the mindset around that, and then you see what opens up.
Jay Clouse 40:51
We haven't covered TikTok all that much. On the show, the first episode that we really covered it in depth was talking with Tori Dunlap back in January of 2022. And I was on board, I was like, okay, you know what, I'm going to give it a shot. And then she told me that she was posting three times a day to make the algorithm happy. And I said, just kidding, I'm going to not do that. But that's not what you do. So talk to me about what you've learned about playing nice with TikTok and how we should be thinking about content frequency?
Kat Norton 41:19
What I always say with that is energy overrides the algorithm. So for example, I, you know, I've had like my most recent posts that blew up I hadn't posted for, I think, like a week before, and then it went and still went viral. So it's really, I'll give it in the beginning, I was posting once a day for that first month, I'll give it that. But I think that was just because I was so hyped up on it. And that's what felt good for me at the time, I wasn't posting like, oh, I have to post I have to make something you know, like, if you're coming in from that frequency, then it's going to sabotage your content, where for me, I was just so excited that like, you know, my fourth video, people start watching, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna make more, you know, and I was so inspired, that it didn't feel like work. And that's where it was just flowing. Then obviously, as the business grew, my time got divided more, right. And so I didn't have as much time to make content. So I started posting, you know, once every few days, or you know, and it's still the accounts will go viral between the press or tick tock or Instagram or on something. Usually every like month or so I'll have something happen. You know, it's really I just kind of follow my intuition on it. Like, for example, I just got a killer video editor. Now I'm like, amazing, all I have to do is just film the pieces and hand it to someone. So now I'm able to bump out more content. So that's something I'm working on this week, because I have a ton of ideas. Yeah, so it really is just like flowing with your own energy. And if you're doing things that feel icky to you, and you're doing something where you're like, ah, you know, I don't want to post this, I have to make something like, that's the energy we want to avoid. So for me posting every other day felt really good, or a couple times a week felt really good. And I'll just make that content incredible. Like, that's what I ended up doing. It's not as quantifiable. You know, it's, it's AI, it's so it has, you know, things going on. It's not like you do a specific thing, and it always works.
Jay Clouse 43:04
You mentioned that a lot of your core sales come from webinars now. And I could see where your your business model would be like, tick tock virality, drive to an email list pitch a webinar, sell a course. But I think you go tick tock straight to webinar to email course, is that the pipeline and is getting people in the webinar more impactful than getting them to subscribe to an email list.
Kat Norton 43:29
Yeah, I definitely put more attention into driving the webinar signups because on the back end, I just add them to the email list. So it's really like, and then that's where, you know, they get the follow ups and things like that, the reminders and whatnot, but really just getting them straight to the webinar sign up, because that essentially accumulates an email list, but also gives them the link to join the webinar, which helps a lot.
Jay Clouse 43:50
How do you structure those for success? Like, what if someone here hasn't done a webinar before, what should they be thinking about to pull one off that is successful and drives people to take action?
Kat Norton 44:01
Give tons of free content, there is never enough free content, like really going in and providing so much value, that people's minds are blown. And they're like, Whoa, there's so much I actually didn't know about Excel, like, maybe I need to take this course. And then there's people who are like, Thank you for the free lesson. And they just leave and that's great, too. Like, it's really just coming from a place of serving, and not like come from please, oh, I have to hold this back. You know, and like stuff like that. Like I don't play games like that. I'm like, yo, you want to learn Excel, I'm going to tell you the most important stuff right now. Like come through, let's do this together. I'm going to make it clean, easy. And then typically most people are really inspired to keep learning with me too because it's also it can be viewed as an example of your teaching style. So people are able to see the level of energy and things that I bring to the training and that's without video editing, you know, once we edit and do things, of course is are way cooler. You know, but even just from the webinar, people are like, oh my gosh, she makes things make sense. It's like I want to learn with her. And that's kind of how it just grows that area of the business.
Jay Clouse 45:06
I know, webinars are typically recorded and then sent out to folks who registered or maybe even people that didn't register explicitly, but I think you put a focus on making sure people get there live, do you find that there's a difference in how likely someone is to take action if they attend live versus if they actually studiously watch the replay afterwards?
Kat Norton 45:25
I would say the more people you can get on live, the better. Typically, it's it's kind of the excitement of the moment. And the community aspect to that really comes into play there. Like we have an open chat forum, and people are just hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments are blowing through everyone saying where they're from, everyone's super hyped up there. Yeah. What are we drinking? What are we doing? You know, it's like a party, you know, and you want to be at the party, you don't just want to watch a video of the party, you know, and especially from a conversion perspective, as well, it's obviously much higher live than it is on the follow up emails, because a lot of people don't actually take the time to watch it. But it's really like you're invited to the party, like come through, you know, that's where the action is.
Jay Clouse 46:06
I love that it's this, this energy transfer flows through every aspect of your business, it seems. Yeah. You mentioned something a minute ago, in passing that you created like 10 courses in a matter of weeks. How would I as someone who literally has like three course ideas he wants to build? How do I efficiently do that? What guardrails do you put on yourself to not over engineer to not spend all of your time scripting or editing or recording? How do you structure your time to get that outcome?
Kat Norton 46:38
It's a mindset thing. It's totally all mindset, if you're going into it, and you're like, oh, my gosh, this is a mountain of work, how am I going to do this, your body's not gonna want to do it, it's gonna really, you know, I don't want to start that I have other things I can do. For me, my biggest hack with it, is I will sit there and map out the steps and I assign hours to it. So I'm like, okay, realistically, if I sat down with a cup of coffee, I can map out this thing in three hours. If I film it, it's, you know, 12 hours of content, that's 12 hours of filming six hours, six hours, add on extra hour each, you know, as a buffer. And so it's to seven hour days, and then I'm like, okay, editing, if each videos roughly five to 10 minutes, because I do many videos on like, how long is it going to take me out of each one, maybe 10 minutes max, each one, I map out the hours, and then you're sitting there and you look, you're like, Oh, it's 40 hours standing in between me. And getting out and serving my community. It's 40 hours between me and that extra income stream, it's 40 hours to me and this like, mental block, I'm having that like rides on you and back your head, we're like, Do it, do it, do it, you're like, Oh, I didn't do it. And you're like making promises to yourself that you break, which is all bad for your psyche and shit. Like, it is so empowering. When you get that done. And you feel so good on the other side. And it's a haul sometimes, like, what I do is I just those weeks, I will do 40, 50 hour weeks, and I will sit down and like just crank it all out one shot versus dragging it out. So I'm like, if it's between me and 40 hours, I can make this 40 hours last three months, I can make last one week, which 1am I gonna pick which one's more efficient, you know. So that's really it's like leveling with yourself and being like, okay, like, I'm done letting this like dangle over my head and like, have all these thoughts and judgments about it, I'm gonna pull this down, be like, yo, what's actually here, line that shit up, and then just knock it out, you know.
Jay Clouse 48:20
I love that so much because the amount of time that I waste just thinking about the thing ahead of me and like dreading it like just the waste of energy of like, I want this thing done, as opposed to just applying it to the action of doing it. It accumulates in would be such a large number. I'm not going to do the mental math, because it would be so painful. Yeah, yeah. Is there anything that feels challenging? Is there anything that you're chewing on and struggling with o0r what is the next step for Ms. Excel?
Kat Norton 48:50
Yeah, I mean, from a challenge perspective, I just view all challenges as blessings and learning opportunities. So it's really like, if something ever pops up, it usually doesn't last long. And I'll just do the research and figure it out or hire the person or do you know, for example, my more recent like challenge, I'd say it was like getting through creating the content all the time with my current schedule, where I'm still prioritizing myself and my mental health. And that's where I'm like, okay, I'm going to call in the perfect video editor for me, and I found my perfect person. And it was just like, calling in the right people in the right positions. And like when something gets to a point where I'm like, oh, I don't like this aspect of the business anymore. This stresses me out or this keeps me up at night. I get rid of it. I hire it out, figure it out, you know, and like just really clearing out mental blocks, like any mental blocks I had, like for example, my mom was like, working crazy hours and was so miserable at her job and I retired my mom because from that perspective, I'm like you being so much happier is just like going to make me so much happier knowing that you're happy and like that's a big goal I've had this year it's just like positioning my family in a place for success and like giving back to them and you know, being able to for example, I'd my parents while at our house in Sedona, we bought our dream house a couple months ago and for them to, for them to see that was just like those heartwarming moments where I'm like, okay, like, this is my why, like, I want to make their experience on the planet like the best I possibly can for the rest of their life and like anything I can do to serve them. So like treating them like Mike and I'm a community like just really figuring out like ways to serve and things that light me up, kind of just make the challenges seem like blips on the radar and things that are much easier to overcome versus like mountains and things. And I mean, future of Miss Excel, we're about to turn up. So second half of the year I've been I've been a way all of June. And I, it was a lot of fun weddings, traveling things, but not a work environment. I was back in my childhood bedroom, I was taking meetings from a little like kitty chair from my childhood that my mom used as a stepstool in her closet, and that on the floor and my computer on her bed because I was the only place with good lighting for meetings that I was like, oh, I can't outwork like this, right? So now that we're back, we're back in Sedona. We're back at our house. We're like building out studios in here. I'm just so ready to turn up from a content perspective where I've been working with an incredible team on this newsletter as a whole new offering to my community being able to provide more support. And that way, I'm working on a super cool NFT project like looking to scale the business, create more products and you know, revamp my existing courses just so much excitement and energy. And just like I'm ready to go. Like the second I got back here, Mike and I started mapping out our goals and stuff for the second half of the year. We're doing a business planning session after this today, because Mike also came on my team full time as VP of Sales CFO does all that now. So we work together out of the house. It's been so amazing. So now it's really just like we're like, let's turn up let's go. So it's a lot of excitement going into the second half of the year.
Jay Clouse 52:00
This conversation with Kat got me really fired up rethinking how I approach content creation, and specifically how it relates to the energy that I bring to this content. Am I showing up the best way that I can? Are you showing up the best way that you can? I think for me, it comes back to a lot of times. How much pressure Am I feeling? Do I feel like I'm under the gun for a deadline? Is that hurting my energy is that preventing me from really showing up the best that I can? Maybe the same is true for you. If you wanna learn more about Kat you can visit her website miss-excel.com. That's miss-excel.com or miss.excel on Tiktok and Instagram. Links to all of them are in the show notes. Thanks to Kat for being on the show. Thank you to Connor Conaboy for editing the show and Nathan Todhunter for mixing this show. Thanks to Emily Clouse for creating the artwork and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you'd like this show, I would love for you to tag me on Twitter or Instagram and say hello, you can find me @jayclouse or leave a comment here on YouTube. If you're not already subscribed, please do so. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.