Building Authentic Connections with Chelsea Callicott

View Transcript

This transcript was created using AI. Please forgive any discrepencies.

[Intro] Welcome to Easy Style with Sami. I’m your host Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each episode, I invite a friend, family member or colleague or just someone I’ve met on this journey called life to come and share their personal style and approach to business, parenting, life and everything in between. You’ll hear motivational and inspirational stories that will help you refine and build your own personal style. Remember, style is easy when it comes from within.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of easy style with Sami My guest today is Chelsea Callicott. Chelsea, thank you so much for being here today.

[Chelsea Callicott] You’re welcome. Happy to happy to join you. Thanks.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]I’m embarrassed to say this. But when I was getting my thoughts together for this episode, I can’t remember how we met.

[Chelsea Callicott] I know that is kind of funny, because I’m not sure either.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]But like, we’ve just I just feel like you’ve always been like when I think of bend. Like you’re just somebody who’s been in my life there. And I’m like, I don’t even know how I met. But I think that that just speaks to who you are, and just the master connector that you are like, it’s just so natural. And you just feel like you’re somebody who’s always been in my life. So I’m glad you don’t remember, I don’t feel so bad.

[Chelsea Callicott] No, I think it was a networking. I think it was a networking event is what I think but we connected like right away. And yeah,

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I know. I know. Well, before we get into too much of your story, why don’t you tell people a little bit about yourself?

[Chelsea Callicott] Sure. It’s kind of a weird thing, post COVID. Right, we’re all kind of maybe a little different. I am a mom of twins that I had late in life. And that has made a lot of my career choices have been around wanting to make sure I had a family. I have a background in PR and marketing, I helped open art museums, which is kind of a unique niche. But after opening one of the big ones I decided to take a little break. It was kind of a life sucking, and yet exhilarating experience at the same time. And so I took a break and became a personal and business coach and did that. And then when I moved to bend, I continued doing PR and and I feel like I always am rooting for people like I have this like inner cheerleader that is like it cheers more for other people. It’s learning how to cheer for myself late in life. But I just feel like that’s part of my connection is I really want the best for people. I had a role as the director and helped open a co working space where I met so many people right before COVID Run political campaign love to be engaged in things that help forward our freedoms and our women’s rights in particular, and the rights of those who are often forgotten matter a lot to me.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and this is, oh, I’ll just say this is the thing that like I whenever I think of Chelsea I think of like master connector. But I feel like you take it to the next level. Because you’re, you know, like, we all have those people that are like, Hey, you should know this person, you should know this person. But I feel like you really make thoughtful connections. Like it’s not just hey, this is someone you should know, it’s here’s why you should know this person. And here’s like, why you are connected? Is this something like a skill set? You’ve always had? Like, have you always just loved having conversations with people that just been able to just it’s always like putting puzzle pieces together because you know so many people?

[Chelsea Callicott] Well, it’s kind of funny, because I feel like my husband’s kind of taken over that role just because well COVID, I kind of was back east helping my mom who transitioned to this year, and 22. And so I kind of have gotten out of the habit. But I do love bringing people together so much. And I think I just love people like my early aspirations. Like if you’d asked me what I wanted to do, I wanted to do what Oprah does, I wanted to talk to people about their lives and why they’re what matters to them. And I just watched something today on Instagram, a woman going up with these cards to kind of strangers in New York City in one of the parks and asking them very deep personal question and having them respond. And it was like yes, that’s I want to get to the heart of people I think is and I think people feel that. I hope they feel that.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. Oh, definitely. Well, and do you think that that is what kind of led you into the PR space because that, like PR is all about connection? It’s

[Chelsea Callicott] all about really, I mean, especially for like PR of my era, so I wouldn’t, you know, I’ve got some years on me and I wouldn’t feel necessarily confident doing PR at this moment. I do think it’s still always about relationship but so much of social media marketing is so it’s a lot about algorithms and things that you know about and your generation isn’t far better at that. So back in my day and I kept my I made a name for five years after I was married because I have relationships with reporters all over. Yeah. And knowing how knowing the right reporter for a story became kind of a thing that I loved, like, Oh, I’ve got this great thing, and this person would be great for it. It would really speak to them. So that’s an example of how I’ve used it in my work. Yeah.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So like, because one of the things that I love is like, you just have conversations with people. So it kind of translates into different stories, and it translates into different connections. And I am a big fan of like, you never know, when you enter a conversation, what that’s going to turn into if you go in with an open mind. So like, is that a muscle you’ve had to practice that now just becomes second nature? Like, how can we be better having conversation with you, even if it’s somebody in the coffee shop, you know, to, like, just build those relationships and have conversation and have connection?

[Chelsea Callicott] Right? I think at the height of when I was doing this, I’m just a little rusty from COVID. I mean, it’s just it’s different, unfortunately, but we need to bring it back because we all are starved. I feel like that is a common thing that we may now be out and about, but we still miss kind of knowing people more deeply. So I it’s, it’s a good question. I’m not sure how to work that muscle except us to be brave, and to know that they’re probably just as scared about connecting or just as whatever tapes you have in your head. Other people have as well. You know, I? I don’t really have a good answer for that. Because it is. My literally people have said like, I’ll literally I’ll be at the grocery store line. And I’ll definitely make a friend like I. But I’ve changed a little as I’ve aged to be a little more of an introvert introverted extrovert. So I am a little more thoughtful about who I reach out to. Yeah. But yeah, I don’t have a great minister other than just be curious. I actually think my husband is Preston is way better at this now. And it’s, he has like endless curiosity for people. And he has unfortunately taken over the reign of our space of like the ultimate connector, because he’s still very engaged. Even though he’s haha, retired, he is

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] well connected. You are both entrepreneurs at heart. And entrepreneurs, I feel never fully retire, right? You’re always working on something. And I think even though your projects might be different than what they were, you’re always, you know, your brain is always still like thinking about, okay, how can I impact here? How can I do stuff here? And that’s the entrepreneur brain. So I guess, like, you know, is there an experience that you’ve had in your life, that you’re just you still look back and go like, Wow, I can’t believe I got to do that, that you can kind of attribute back to maybe just the fact that you had a conversation with somebody that took you down a path that maybe you hadn’t foreseen on your

[Chelsea Callicott] own? Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a really good question. So um, it may have done some big things that are like career professionally exciting, but, but I actually think some of the things that were just be following my heart, were like, when I lived in New Haven, Connecticut, I worked for a number of cities, I was kind of an Urban Studies major and worked in different cities. And I met the former mayor of New Haven, New Haven was a city at the time in the 80s, dating myself. That’s right. That a lot of problems and still does probably different kinds of problems. And I met the former mayor, and he was creating a program program called youth at risk. And it was to really identify and support those kids who had all the checks against them. And I loved partnering with him. And I was able to get a New York Times story about the program with him. And my interest in kids kind of continued on throughout my life. And it took me till I was in my 40s to have my own, so I was always engaged with other ones. And I was engaged with kids at Glide Memorial in San Francisco and ran a children’s art program there for a while, but I want to fast forward to the future to what I’m working on right now, as I’m on a board member for an organization called Friends of the Children. It’s a national organization, but there’s a central Oregon chapter. And again, it’s the same thing. They identify kids with the most challenges at age five, and then give them a mentor who’s called a friend for 12 years. If you can just imagine kind of the depth of transformation that’s possible. So I’d say like, even though I’ve had personal career successes, I think that kind of arc of my life is more about transformation, personal and other and how we can make our world Old, safer, saner, more supportive place.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I think those are fantastic. Yeah.

[Chelsea Callicott] Those are the things that speak to me.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so talking about kids, so you have twins who are in their 20s in college.

[Chelsea Callicott] Easy, they’re like one is graduating this spring. And he’s so he’s a filmmaker, and I’m so like rooting for him. He loves documentaries. And I’m like, You were born on old soul and you helping tell these stories? Like you’re doing what I always wanted to do. And like, I just am so excited about that. And I don’t want him to settle. He doesn’t want to do Hollywood, and I don’t I don’t want him to settle. Like our feeling is like, take the

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] game. Yeah. And what you are so good at and what Preston is so good at is like, and what will support him in his career is that skill of how do I network? How do I listen? How do I have conversation? How do I see and just build true relationships? Because I think that’s something that a lot of people when they’re networking aren’t being authentic. And then you can smell that a mile away. So how are you teaching those skills to him so that he can kind of have everything he wants? Even though it might take them a little bit longer to get there? Maybe not?

[Chelsea Callicott] Right? Well, we we have a little thing going on right now it’s really funny, because he came home and did some filming while it was home over break, because he had to learn process, because in a doc documentary processes everything. And you have to make sure that if it’s a really good conversation, you’ve got all the angles you want of that, but you don’t know in advance if it’s gonna be good. So he came in practice with some friends, and I’m a little bit on top of him to do the proper thank you because he went and then flew back to Savannah and filmed a doc right after he did these two experiences, but he hasn’t yet thank those people. And I’m like, this is so important. It can’t just be a text, it needs to be ideally to be a letter, but an email is fine. You need to acknowledge the people who help and let them know like how meaningful it was for you to have that experience. Because then you’re your future work got that much better, because it did like that his his practice got him so much better. But also Dakota happens to actually teach us a lot because he’s kind of an old soul. And he has this man or that’s like water, and people just really enjoy being around him. So like, I really don’t worry about his, like everybody wants a piece of him and wants him to work on their films. And I think that will continue for life. And I think it’s because he’s really a kind human like.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] But that’s a testament to you and Preston because I have gone through this whole journey in my own personal life thinking about like, where I’ve come from, and my skill set and what comes naturally to me. And it wasn’t until I got into the entrepreneurial space that things kind of started coming, reflecting back at me that I was like, Oh, this isn’t a skill set that everybody has, like, because I grew up with a dad who was very successful in business. And it was just I was just around it, like soaking it in as a kid. So I think that yes, there is some parts that are just inherently who he is. But I think it’s also like the things that we teach our kids that we don’t realize we’re teaching them just by the way we model our own behavior. So I think that is still a strong testament to the two of you. Oh, thank

[Chelsea Callicott] you. i Yeah. And Jana, our daughter, I think she’ll hopefully be her own boss just like her dad. She’s a lot like her dad in so many ways. I think she asked to build her, you know, no legs there. But when she just recently applied for a job as a tour guide, and Preston, I were going to have this talk with her ever break. And we never did. And it’s like it seeped in without us even having a conversation. It’s like holding, you kind of hold an intention for people. And I think sometimes they ride Sweden and like, you’re gonna be a tour guide. That’s perfect. Like you have so much personality. And that’s a great thing for event planning for you to have that skill. It didn’t work out because she would have had to drive a 14 passenger bus and she was like, Wow. She’s like our soul and can cheat. She’d be like, yeah, no, I don’t see that happening. And she she didn’t. But I just love that she stretched herself. Yeah, like that’s what my husband does. amazingly well, he has actually call him Mr. Fabulous, but that’s not very nice. But he has the confidence of about three people. Yeah, and I think if you can do anything to build your own sense of who you are, then you put other people at ease. And then in those conversations, when you’re meeting people, it’ll the focus will be more on them and they will get to show themselves. So when you people feel comfortable with you, they want to be around you. So the best thing you can do is take care of yourself and get your own stuff out of the way so that you can then be present to people because people know when you are, yeah, so 100% and then follow up after you meet them? Of course, it can do it. Yeah,

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I think that is the missing piece in most conversations or like you do all the work to get out there and get to know somebody, but then if you don’t, the simple act of following up is the difference between how they’re going to continue to connect you to other people, or, or not. Because not a lot of people do it and just makes you stand apart. So I love that you said that. Um, okay, so now that you’ve been empty nesters for a while your kids are on the West Coast. You know, Preston sold his company, a year on the West Coast. Until this company, you guys are both, quote unquote, retired, like, what is it fun now to be in this space of being able to kind of dream again, and just follow your passion? Or is it terrifying and scary?

[Chelsea Callicott] No, that’s such a good question. I miss being part. And that’s part of why I’m so excited. It took me a long time, it was quite a process to join this board. But I’m really happy because I love collaboration is the thing that’s been missing for three years. So I collaborated with my mom, I helped her for a year and a half. It was, I mean, with all the caregivers and the nurses. And it was like this little magic bubble. And, and when it ended, I was kind of I’ve been a little lost. And so but I also didn’t want to just jump into anything because I think grief is under, under experienced, and then you carry it. So if you can experience it and allow yourself to be in the place you’re Are you can move through it. Anyway. So being part of this team of the sport is really exciting to me. Preston has tons of things, he’s probably busier than he was when he worked so not worried. I have personal projects, most of them relate to writing. So I’m actually doing more saying no right now to other opportunities, and really just going to try to focus on one. I do have ideas. I have people coming to me all the time. And I’m like, how about this, we’ll do a strategy session. But I’m not going to help implement. Yeah, so I can collaborate. But I don’t have to follow. Like, I’m not going to be that person who’s going to talk to you every week I that’s not where I’m at. We’re also building a house. And we’re in the final stages of that. And that’s unbelievably, it’s stressful and fun at the same time. But there’s a lot of decisions we’re in I’m in very much decision fatigue. So we’re getting away this weekend. And when I leave bend, I don’t think about it. And it’s really important right now in this process, because yeah, like I’m putting tile down and tiles not cheap. And you just want to make sure it’s the right yeah, that you’re gonna really like it for a long time. So but it’s super fun, because we agree on everything about the house. It’s amazing. He gets he’s there he rains in the kitchen. The design, everyone that’s worked on the House says it’s really cool. And I see it as being kind of the net evolution of the two of us as a couple is a place where we can host groups help fundraise have political events, and have fun. Like, it’ll be a great gathering place.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love it. And I’ve always been so in awe of you in just You’re so good at that balance of like, nope, not right now. And that’s okay. And I think, correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like you come from such an abundant mindset that you don’t it’s it comes across to me as if you don’t feel like if I say no to this right now, it doesn’t mean that something like this isn’t going to come back to me when the timing is right. Right. Like I do feel?

[Chelsea Callicott] Yeah, yeah, I especially feel that right now. Because being creative. I’ve done some personal work recently to kind of open up to my creativity. I’ve always been super creative. I do not have the organizing brain of you. Or our mutual friend me. Yes, who like me on track and gets my systems all working. That’s just not the way I think. But I haven’t really had the time or resource to just give myself time to explore. I particularly love telling stories to children. So I have, I’ve been told I don’t need an illustrator to go forward with them. So like my personal goal this year is to at least finish at least I actually have about three that I’d like to finish and get towards either an illustrator or a publishing house or self publish. Like I said, my next Christmas, I’ll have a book to give to some kids in my life. That’s like a personal goal. And the only way I can do that is to really commit to a daily process. So and I haven’t gotten there yet.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So I love that. Well, I hope that if you’re listening to this, you’re just getting inspired by the ability to show up, have conversation be real, and just do what feels good to you. I think like that’s really the mess Six years, trust, trust yourself. And trust through your assessment.

[Chelsea Callicott] Yeah, the time like, there’s been times in my life where I’ve worked 16 hours a day and helped be part of it be part of a team that launched something or someone, the museum’s the candidates, the co working space, the nonprofits, tons of nonprofits. And then there’s times where you don’t need to give everything away. And I swear the message I’m getting this year for 23. And I don’t know if we’re collectively exhausted, especially parents with kids during COVID. Like I had such an easy skate through because my kids really went off to college, it wasn’t easy for them, and I worry about their generation. But there’s like a way we’ve been programmed that more is always better. And I don’t think that’s true. And I feel like we’re learning to embrace rest. And what it gives us when we don’t always go for the next like, shiny object, and hone our time with each other. And our pets and being in nature and our kids. That’s the next phase two, of course, is just, I love being a mom of 20 something year olds and the same age. It’s so awesome. Because they’re young adults, and they’re just anyway, super fun gathering the family. At that age. We’ve got all these cousins, so

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] that’s amazing. Okay, well,

[Chelsea Callicott] you have to have time to do those things, right? Yes, yes,

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] yes, yes, yes, yes. Well, we’re gonna wrap this up with five questions that I ask every guest on our podcast, but where’s your go to place for personal development or learning? Where do you find inspiration?

[Chelsea Callicott] I cannot say enough about Conan Doyle. And we can do hard things for a podcast is just the meat you just interviewed the vice president. So I think she’s the new sorry, Oprah move over London and Abby and sister. They’re just, it seems like their podcasts hit me right where I’m, I need to be like, right what I need to learn about so and she recently has done a lot of very deep and more emotional podcasts on therapy and boundary setting and very powerful. Highly. That’s awesome.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, no, it is great podcast. You kind of alluded to this already. But are you an introvert or extrovert? Now an introverted extrovert? Yeah. Yeah. You know, what’s interesting is, like, literally every episode I’ve recorded, I think people have said almost the exact same thing like nobody’s identifying on either scale yet, anymore. Yeah. Okay. What is one goal that’s on your list for this year, either personally, or professionally? I’ve

[Chelsea Callicott] already shared that. So yeah, definitely. Getting those books done. Not just muddling around in the Yeah.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Love that. But what is one of your most favorite pieces of advice you’ve gotten from someone that stuck with you

[Chelsea Callicott] it’s about habits, daily habits, and I’m such a habit breaker. I just don’t stick with them. But when when I do so right now, I want to learn a language master my French to this year. And the only way I’m going to do that is to practice it. Like you just have to have I have a cousin who is very successful in a business and and she has the best healthy habits. So I right now I do meditate every morning. And it is essential to my well being that I do that stop the monkey mind get in touch with my heart healthy habit every day.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love it. So that might lead into the next one, which is what’s your non negotiable in your life? Right now?

[Chelsea Callicott] Yeah. And I think that non negotiables kindness, and compassion. And it really has to, I’m learning personally that the more compassion I have for myself, the bigger more room I have for others. And I’ve always that’s always been important to me, but also knowing when the boundary has to happen because me being kind to you is hurting me because maybe you’re not as healthiest. So I’m just like working that edge a little bit of always been there and yet also really always being there for myself.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I think that’s such a great point like kindness and compassion for another person doesn’t equal always saying yes to whatever they need and or agreeing with everything that they that they believe, right, like, but we can still show kindness and compassion for people and respecting your own boundaries. I think that’s a beautiful, a beautiful message.

[Chelsea Callicott] I think when we go out in the world, the more we can do to be an uplifting presence. And that kind of comes from deep within. It makes it can make a difference in everyone’s day. If you come from that place. And even in the moments of frustration, you remember, Oh, I was gonna do this thing today. I was gonna be you know, whatever.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and that was the inspiration She in kind of the reason why I wanted to start this podcast was because I know so many wonderful humans like yourself and all the other guests that have terrible stories. And I think when we hear from other people like, Yes, I could interview the vice president. Now, I mean that really, but like, those are also very great and inspirational stories. But I think there’s just something about the I don’t want to say average in a negative way. But just the the normal human who’s living day to day and still has amazing things to say and is inspiring people. So I thank you for coming on and sharing your story with everyone. And if people want to connect with you more or see more about what you’re up to make sure they get your children’s book when it launches. How do they?

[Chelsea Callicott] Mostly, I’m active on Instagram. And gosh, what is my handle? I don’t know. Chelsea,

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] will link it up in the show notes.

[Chelsea Callicott] That’d be great. Thank you.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. Awesome. Well, any final words? Otherwise, Chelsey, thank you so much for being here?

[Chelsea Callicott] No, I just thank you for doing this I during that during COVID, I actually started my own show called Hey, neighbor. And I was interviewing people. And then unfortunately, for me, I allowed the changing conversation around race and equity and justice to derail me because I didn’t know if I was the right person to be having a voice even though I was giving a voice to others. So I just say, Don’t let your dreams be derailed go after them because they’re there for a reason. So I am so inspired by the way you keep like getting bigger in what you do in the world, Sammy, and I just, I love I love the person you are and the you have so many healthy habits. That’s how you’ve gotten to be able to do what you do today. So it’s an honor to hang out with you. Thanks.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I appreciate those kind words. And Chelsea, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Absolutely. Isn’t Chelsea just incredible. She always just makes me feel joy and peace and has such incredible things to share with us. So I hope that you enjoyed this episode. And here’s my challenge to you. We talked about follow up, we talked about building relationships and authenticity. So reach out to five people this week that you have either been wanting to connect with have thought about connecting with have had a great connection with in the past, but maybe just have lost track of each other. And this doesn’t have to be business relationships, this could be personal as well. But five people that you haven’t chatted with in a while just reach out to them and say hey, check in and see how they’re doing and see where that conversation takes you. Just check in, let them know what you’re doing. Ask about what they’re up to, and go from there. Will you take that challenge with me? I hope so. So if you want to grab the show notes for this episode, with all of the information and links to the resources that Chelsea mentioned, you can grab those at . And that’s S A M I, I thank you so much for listening to these episodes. So make sure you subscribe, wherever you listen, new episodes are coming out every Thursday. We also have episodes on our YouTube channel. So you can grab that link as well in the show notes or just watch the video there. However you want to consume this podcast, we are here for you. But we’d really appreciate it if you would also leave us a review just so that the algorithms can pick us up and show us and put us in front of more amazing people. I thank you so much for listening, and I hope you have a great week. We’ll see you in the next one.


Chelsea Callicott has a background in PR and marketing and has always naturally been great at connecting people. She is excellent at chatting with people, getting to know them, and understanding the right people in her network that would make great collaborations.

While she’d admit she’s a little rusty because of COVID, it’s all about starting conversations anywhere and everywhere and listening. It’s also about following up after conversations out of respect and professionalism. This is something she works hard to instill into her twins. Here how her career has evolved and what she’s doing now as an empty nester in this next phase of her life and career.

In this episode we discuss

  • Having an entrepreneur spirit and approach to conversations.
  • Why the fortune is in the followup.
  • Listening to yourself throughout your life to find the right work/life balance and opportunities.

Want to skip ahead?

[3:29] Building the life you want.
[5:58] How to have better conversations.
[11:15] Following up, and why its so important.
[16:03] Collaboration can like a lot of different things.
[20:07] Finding time for rest.
[21:13] Where Chelsea goes for personal development
[22:15] Is Chelsea and introvert or extrovert?
[22:44] One goal for the upcoming year.
[23:28] Piece of advice that has stuck with Chelsea.
[24:57] What’s a non-negotiable?

Chelsea Callicott

Chelsea Callicott