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Over-functioning is the default setting for so many leaders.

They want to fix and rescue everything—and sometimes that looks like working harder than others. But is that truly leading?

Fueled by anxiety, a high sense of responsibility, and a lack of clear boundaries, over-functioning can hijack the best of us. What’s tricky in overcoming over-functioning is that part of your superpower is seeing the solution and knowing what needs to be done to fix it.

And while over-functioning might be a part of your day-to-day life as a leader, boundaries can be the balm to soothe your default over-functioning and need to fix-all-the-things to become the leader you’re meant to be.

My guest in this episode is Krystel Stacey. She’s a powerhouse serial entrepreneur who leads and works hard to make everything around her beautiful and filled with meaning and purpose.

Krystel is also the owner of six businesses and is dedicated to inspiring fellow leaders and entrepreneurs through her successes, and her struggles.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • Why Krystel is so passionate about creating experiences with vision and meaning
  • How important boundaries are in her work
  • How releasing the responsibility of over-functioning in favor of a life aligned with her purpose and vision differentiated from those she leads and supports
  • The beauty she is committed to creating out of a space of pain and loss
  • How the fruits of starting her own family supported her coming into her own

Learn more about Krystel Stacey:

Learn more about Rebecca:

Other resources mentioned in this episode:


Krystel Stacey: I also think that I did all I could to hold our family together, right? I was kind of the glue because my mom and my dad stood in separate spaces, and when they would fight, I was the one that would come in between and say, “Hey, let’s work this through,” and I wanted to impress, and I wanted to lead. And so, in that, I could also see other people who were struggling and come alongside them and help them, and I felt like I was able to lead in that way.

[Inspirational Intro Music]

Rebecca Ching: Leading is not fixing. Leading is not rescuing. Leading is not forcing an outcome and working harder than others. Over-functioning, a term coined by Murray Bowen who is the founder of Bowen Family Systems Theory, brought to light a very common response to anxiety: over-functioning. When you’re responding to stress and destress as an over-functioner, you’re quick to take charge, you work harder than anyone else in the group, and this often leads to feelings of frustration, resentment, and overwhelm because this pace and the expectations of an over-functioner are not sustainable.

Now, do not dismiss this term, since it was first used in family therapy. This is a dynamic that happens in all of the various relationships in life: work, friendship, community, in addition to parenting and romantic relationships. It is a slippery slope between leading and over-functioning. We see what needs to be done. We want to see success in the lives of those who we lead, yet we can’t want it more than those we lead and serve. When we fall into over-functioning, anxiety is now in the driver’s seat. It is tricky because part of your superpower is seeing the solution, seeing what needs to be done, and knowing what needs to be fixed.


I’m Rebecca Ching, and you’re listening to The Unburdened Leader, the show that goes deep with leaders whose burdens have inspired their life’s work. Our goal is to learn how they’ve addressed these burdens, how they rise from them and become better and more impactful leaders of themselves and others.

Over-functioning is the norm for so many leaders. Some of the most powerful and impactful leaders I know built their skills from challenging early life experiences. These hard experiences fuel a high sense of responsibility and a whole lot of initiative. Problems become just the challenge of the day to overcome and figure out, which is so foundational to the mindset of an entrepreneur. When you struggle through hard things, you get a sense of how to rise from them and get a sense of control when everything else feels out of control. Over-functioning shows up in responsibility over your own life tips into also taking responsibility for the lives and work of others too. It starts off well-intentioned or out of necessity, and then it becomes the status quo that has entwined your worth, your energy, and your safety.

Today’s guest is a powerhouse serial entrepreneur who is leading and working hard to make everything around her beautiful and filled with meaning and purpose. Krystel is the owner of six businesses. She is a creative entrepreneur and vision strategist for business leaders. She’s the founder and designer of planning companies, Couture Events, Coco & Whim, as well as  Confetti Ink: A Community for Creative Entrepreneurs.

With over a decade of experience growing three thriving businesses Krystel is dedicated to inspiring fellow leaders and entrepreneurs through her successes and her struggles. Pay attention as Krystel connects the dots between her passion for creating experiences with vision and meaning to her responsibility in her family of origin, along with the beauty she has committed to creating out of a space of pain and loss.


Notice how important boundaries are in her work and how the fruits of starting her own family supported her coming into her own. Now, I am so excited to introduce you to this powerhouse of vision and heart. Please welcome Krystel Stacey to The Unburdened Leader podcast.

Krystel, I am so honored that you are with me today! Thank you for being here.

Krystel Stacey: Thank you for having me! I’m so excited to be here.

Rebecca Ching: You know, I had heard about you — I think I was passively following you on social media. I think kind of the one degree of separation thing in the San Diego business leader community, and there was something about you and your stories that kind of kept me hanging on. Every time I did that self-select, like I want to edit, “Ugh, who am I following? I want to clean it up,” I never ever edited your stuff because there was something where I felt good about myself. I always got something valuable.

So when a friend of mine joined your recent book tour —

Krystel Stacey: Yes.

Rebecca Ching: — now on indefinite pause, I showed up at an event of yours, and I was listening to you, and I was like, “Wow.” A lot of what you’re saying is stuff that we hear. There were some pretty general concepts, but it was you saying it and how you were saying it that just had me sitting up in my seat saying, “I want to know her more.” And so, I am so thrilled that we’ve connected personally and that I get to share some of your story today.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah!

Rebecca Ching: So thank you for being here.

Krystel Stacey: Definitely and let me just tell you that I first saw you speak at Yellow Conference when it came to San Diego, and I was like, “This woman is amazing. I love everything about this,” and afterwards I remember coming up to you and talking to you.


And that’s when I started following you. I’m sure there were so many people there that day, but I started following you from that, and then you followed me back and I was so honored and excited that you followed me back and was like, “Oh, my gosh!”

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: So that was awesome! I was just on a panel that day, and you were one of the main speakers, and so, yeah, I really have enjoyed following you as well.

Rebecca Ching: Isn’t that funny? The follow love. But I think there’s also some good stuff that comes from social media, and I’ve been particularly moved by our San Diego business community. We have something really special here, and you are a really powerful leader in this community. And I’ll tell you, one of the stories that hooked me — you were prolific on stories. You are.

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Thank you.

Rebecca Ching: But in the way that’s just human, and of course, one story hooked me. As you were at your childhood home in Ramona or Julian?

Krystel Stacey: Jamul.

Rebecca Ching: Jamul, that’s my bad.

Krystel Stacey: No.

Rebecca Ching: In the general area.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, out in the mountains.

Rebecca Ching: Out in the mountains. You were giving this tour, and you started sharing some things about your story. Your family was about to put your home on the market, and you talked about these different memories, and you were showing different awards and accolades and achievements and these beautifully idyllic places that you played growing up. But some of the things you shared really captivated me, and I’m wondering if you can talk about what was below the surface of fine and of the picture-perfect childhood. You were struggling as a child of an alcoholic.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: So what was going on in your home that many could not see?

Krystel Stacey: Well, and even that you saw that in those stories, I mean, I may have just shared that it was hard to be there, but I didn’t share that much. And you still caught that there was something going on much deeper than what you see on the surface. And so, thank you, first of all, for seeing that and catching that.


Second of all, yeah, so growing up — well, first, let me start by saying I usually don’t talk a lot about my past private life. I’m an Enneagram seven, wing eight, so I run from anything uncomfortable.

Rebecca Ching: Ah! [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: I try to ignore it and push it away, and it’s not something that I usually talk about. I’m excited about fun, new things, what I’m doing in the future. Talking about past hurt, trauma is not my usual jam. But I feel like you go so deep with people and that it is a part of me, and it’s a part of my past and a part of who I am now and what I’ve come to. And so, that’s why I’m happy to share it and talk about it. But usually I stick to the positive where we’re going in the future instead of talking about this.

So, yeah, I grew up with a father who is an alcoholic, and everything on the outside looked really good, right? We lived in a beautiful home. It was a beautiful Tudor home out in the hills of Jamul. It was just me and my mom and my dad, and my mom told me when I was young, “Don’t tell anyone about your dad. It’s not anyone else’s business,” and it wasn’t anyone else’s business, but that did burden me because I felt like I have this huge secret that no one else knows about. And yeah, so that’s kind of a little bit about what was going on there.

My parents are both amazing, and what they have each done and accomplished astonishes me. And I really did have an idyllic childhood. Growing up out in the mountains, we had land, we had space. It was beautiful, but while the outside looked picture perfect, the deep secret was my father. My mom wanted what was best for me. She wanted me to have friends, and she wanted me to be able to have people over, and she felt that if other people knew, that would change their perception of me and of our family, and I think she was right.


And so, I don’t know what the answer is with that. I don’t know how my life would look different if I would have felt free to share that with other people growing up.

Rebecca Ching: Well, Krystel, yeah, I want to just jump in here too because you’re clearly the best of your parents, and when we talk about the hard — and I’m saying this to our listeners too — when we talk about the hard things from our stories, often a lot of times there’s a sense of betrayal or fear of not honoring people who gave so much, particularly for people who have stories like yours where much was given, much was offered, even though there was some emotional, relational pain in that. And there’s a disorienting tension in that, so I just want to acknowledge that, that this isn’t about blame or right or wrong. This is your story, and as I get into talking more about what you’re doing with your life, I feel like it informs so much of you.

But tell me a little bit more about that tension that you held. Just because you wanted to protect what was private, right? This was the family, and at the same time, this was a secret that burdened you. How did that impact you as a kid?

Krystel Stacey: I would say as a kid I didn’t let a lot of people in because I couldn’t, right? And so, it wasn’t until high school that I shared with a super close friend group. I had three other friends that I was very close to, and I felt like I could share with them. The other thing is that people see a lot more than what we can see, and so, I’m sure everyone saw through it. People knew who my dad was. We were at the pub hanging out. I don’t have to hide that. Growing up as a kid, I did grow up in the local bars and restaurants, and the bartenders knew me by name. I ordered the My Little Pony, which was a Shirley Temple with less grenadine in it, and it was pink, and they called it the My Little Pony.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, my goodness.


Krystel Stacey: So that was when I was younger, and my mom soon got me out of the bar scene. [Laughs] As I started to grow up, she became a Christian, but my dad stayed the same. The alcohol had such a strong hold on him, and I think that I always wanted to fix him. I always wanted to make it better, and I wanted to accomplish more to show him that he didn’t have to live that way anymore. He was an entrepreneur himself, and so, I’m not sure how he ran a business and was an alcoholic, but that was happening. [Laughs]

Yeah, so I think that growing up as a kid, it was hard but it also — I didn’t know any different either, you know?

Rebecca Ching: So you said something. “I always wanted to fix him.”

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm.

Rebecca Ching: Can you tell me more about that burden of always wanting to fix him?

Krystel Stacey: I felt like if I could just show him a better life, if I could show him a better way, if I could show him, “Look what I’m doing at school. Look how I’m accomplishing more.” I was president of my class from junior high on. So junior high through high school I was president of my class, and I wanted him to see, “Your daughter’s an amazing leader,” but nothing I did could change him, and that was a really hard realization.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, that’s the hard part. That’s the hard part. But when you’re carrying a secret and you love someone deeply and you’ve got skills, and even just so as a kid, your entrepreneur spirit — I didn’t realize your father was also an entrepreneur, so this is in your DNA.

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm.

Rebecca Ching: How else did your leadership and entrepreneurial spirit show up when you were a kid? You just mentioned you were class president in junior high and high school. What are some other things that showed up in that entrepreneur spirit, that drive? Even the parallel aspect of that drive was to show dad, “Hey, there’s another way.”


Krystel Stacey: Yep. Definitely. And I also think that I did all I could to hold our family together, right? I was kind of the glue because my mom and my dad stood in separate spaces, and when they would fight, I was the one that would come in between and say, “Hey, let’s work this through,” and I wanted to impress, and I wanted to lead. And I started a club actually in elementary school. We called it The Animal Club, and we would visit the National Cat Society, even though I’m highly allergic to cats. That’s a completely different story, but I would have to wear socks on my hands and goggles on my face and a mask, but I wanted to see these cats and I wanted to show people that we can save these cats. Insanity. But at the time, it was the best that I could do.

I enrolled my friends at school, and as I got older, I started to gravitate towards leadership. I wasn’t the most popular kid, as you can see. I was wearing goggles on my face and socks on my hands. But I also wasn’t the nerdiest kid. But I was friends with everyone. I could also see other people who were struggling and come alongside them and help them, and I felt like I was able to lead in that way.

Rebecca Ching: I think that’s powerful. So I’m sitting here, and my therapist parts of me are going, “Well, no surprise that you’re a serial entrepreneur yourself in the arena of weddings and events and corporate experiences,” the things where you are the glue, where you keep everything together. You create these beautiful experiences and give them something maybe beyond what they imagined, and that gives you a sense of pride and joy and accomplishment. So, I mean, I’m not gonna be Captain Obvious here, but wow, it’s amazing how this burden that was really hard also informed these businesses, this amazing impact that you’re having on the community and beyond. So can you talk to me more about that?


Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely. So growing up, I went to a lot of parties. We had a lot of parties at our own house. We had a lot of parties that we were going to, and I would say I noticed that there was no meaning behind them. There was no purpose, and it was just chaos. And I think at a young age I thought, “This could be so much more meaningful, and it could be so much better organized, and I could do that! I could take this on, and I can make this better.”

And so, as I grew up and was involved in student government in school but then also in college even I started to arrange people’s events and birthday parties and fun things for them that I was like, “This could be so much better. What’s your purpose of this event?” And they’re like, “It’s a birthday party.” And I’m like, “I understand it’s your birthday party. But how can we get to the purpose or the heart? It’s like to love on your or to make you feel special. And so, how can we do that? What’s the best way we can do that? And how can we do it in an organized and really well thought out way?”

You pointed that out to me, and I hadn’t thought about that before, that that’s why, and it took me some time to mull this over, and as you said you wanted to interview me I was like, “Wait a minute! That totally is a connection there!” But I had never noticed it before.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, it’s a huge connection! I mean, just the drive that you had to keep your family together, to have meaning and purpose, to have clarity, to have connection and love. That drove you and was your glue. And as a young kid, many people at least in my training, especially with trauma training, and kids who grow up where alcohol or substances are abused, trauma maybe isn’t the stereotype. It’s more of these breeches of connection and these little betrayals of trust and disappointments that add up over time, right?

Krystel Stacey: Constantly. Constantly, and it’s like how can I change this? What can I do? And there was no answer there. But I constantly tried. I constantly wanted things to be different. It’s so interesting.


Rebecca Ching: Yeah, and that drive of wanting things to be different has led you, again — how many businesses do you own right now?

Krystel Stacey: I have six businesses, which is quite a lot. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: And tell our audience how old you are.

Krystel Stacey: I’m 33.

Rebecca Ching: Yes.

Krystel Stacey: So, yes.

Rebecca Ching: Just wanted to put context in there. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, and I do think that it has led me to this place where I feel like you can design a life that you love, you can design the perfect event. There’s so much that you can do if you want it and if you want to do it. And so, I now work with people and my mission now is I can’t want it more for them than they want it for themselves.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, yes. Amen to that.

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Yeah, so I have to make sure that they want this, and they want it badly. “How badly do you want your event to be spectacular? Great, then I can help you with that.”

But also, when I wrote the book and when I started going into speaking myself and helping women design their lives and design their businesses, it’s like, “Well, how badly do you want it? What do you want to do with it?” And if they are going full all-out, then I am happy to come alongside you and help you in that, but if you don’t care about it, then I can’t care for you.

Rebecca Ching: So let me just dial back on that because I think you’re onto something really significant. Did you realize that at first, especially when you were getting into the event and wedding planning? Did you find yourself working harder than your clients and over-functioning?

Krystel Stacey: Yes. Yes.

Rebecca Ching: Talk about some of the things that happened because of that and what you found yourself in in those situations.

Krystel Stacey: Well, of course I just wanted everything to be above and beyond, and I saw what it could be. And so, I would go out of my way to make sure that things were more than what they expected, and then things would happen where they just weren’t as happy with it as I wanted them to be or they didn’t see what was being done, and I was like, “How do you not see how spectacular and great this is?”


Or they didn’t want to — you know, we designed this beautiful event, and they’re like, “Yeah, no, I think I’m just gonna go with the white linen.” That was like, “Oh, oh, ahh! Okay! Well, then why did I spend hours planning this out for you if you don’t want it?”

So it took me a while because in the beginning I did take anything and everything, right? In business, that’s what you do, especially when you’re a young entrepreneur. I took on every event that came my way, and I thought that I had to. At the time, even events that weren’t a good fit for me I would take on because it was like, “Well, we’re just gonna do this,” and now, yes, it’s taken 12 years. I can see from a mile away the red flags, and I can say, “Hey, yeah, if you don’t want it then you’re not for me.” [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: I just think I can’t help but suspect there were some powerful shifts for you internally and personally with this professional awareness, right? “If you don’t want this as bad as I do –,” I’m just thinking I keep going back to your childhood. “If you don’t want recovery, if you don’t want sobriety, if you don’t want this connection and this unit the way that I do, I’ve got to tap out or else I’ll lose myself.” Those are my words.

Krystel Stacey: Right. Yep.

Rebecca Ching: How did that playing out with your clients impact your own personal life in your relationship with your family of origin?

Krystel Stacey: I think that I was able to see more and more, looking back at my life, how much I had done and how much I had tried. My parents actually got divorced after I got married myself, and so, in that, I felt like could I have held them together if I would have shown them more or if I would have done more. Once again, it goes back to that. But I had to realize, no, this had been coming for a long, long time, and I can’t want this more for them than they want it for themselves. I think that it was healthy for me to take a step back and say, “It’s okay,” and it was healing for me to do that because that was hard. Yeah.


Rebecca Ching: I can’t help but think, though, Krystel, that people are like a moth to you (the flame) who want to be fixed and everything made perfect by you. I’m sure there are people that have come (clients, friends) — you guys can’t see this right now, but Krystel’s eyes just got really big. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Yes, I’m nodding like yes, yes!

Rebecca Ching: Yes. Yes, because you’re the one. “You can make it all better, so you are the one that can make my life better. You can make my event perfect and then make my dreams come true. You can be the best friend,” or whatever. Talk to me a little about how that’s played out in your life.

Krystel Stacey: Let me tell you.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Dating was a problem in my life because I was like, “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna fix these people. I couldn’t fix my dad, but I’m totally gonna fix him. It’s gonna happen. It’s gonna work,” right? So I dated all the wrong guys, and I did that, and I think that through that, I realized, “Hey, people do want me to fix them. They want me to –.” But once again, I can’t wait it more for them than they want it for themselves.

And so, with events and with clients now, I have to be selective because of my past and because I know what I know and what I have learned, that I can’t get myself deeply involved because I will get hurt, right? So I’m able to keep a healthy distance because of that and draw boundaries and lines. I have a lot of wedding clients who want to be friends, right? That’s what they want. They want to have a deeper friendship, and that’s not what the job is for me, and that’s not what’s gonna give them the best event. The best event’s gonna come when I am able to fully design, create, and make something really special for them. And so, I have learned to be able to draw that line and that boundary. But it came after a lot of time, right?

Rebecca Ching: And a lot of relationships —

Krystel Stacey: — of hurt.


Rebecca Ching: A lot of hurt. How did that play out in work? You talked about dating and trying to fix all these guys, and that’s not love. That’s exhaustion —

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: — and over-functioning again. I mean, because you grew up with a PhD. You left your family with a PhD in over-functioning, and over-functioning is a term that comes from Murray Bowen who founded Bowen Family Systems Therapy, so it’s just this term that’s an anxiety response where we overfunction and then other people underfunction.

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm.

Rebecca Ching: You would draw the under-functioners, right, that’re like, “Rescue me! Fix me!”

Krystel Stacey: Yes. Yes!

Rebecca Ching: “Make it better!” When you’re talking about events, particularly weddings, like, “Oh, my gosh, Krystel. You’re like my best friend. You’re my everything!” What are some of the key practices you develop? You talked about boundaries and really keeping a distance. Can you operationalize it a little bit for our listeners?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, let me see. I think that I give them guidelines and I outline exactly what I’m going to deliver from the beginning, letting them know that I can’t go to dinner every week. I’m not gonna be there at all times of the day. This is the time when I’m available. This is how I’m gonna answer you. This is how I work best. And so, I’m able to draw those lines now, but it did take time for me to do that, and I would say some of our coordinators still — so I own the company, but we have coordinators that work for us, and one of our coordinators, I hadn’t drawn those boundaries, and I let them decide on their own what’s best for them. Some of them want to be friends with the clients. I’m like, “Okay, that’s great. You just have to make sure that you know what your boundaries are.” And she met with a client every week for two years to plan her wedding, and they would just go out to dinner and have fun with it and have a good time, and 30 days before the girl’s wedding she cancels her wedding, and it was so traumatic and so upsetting for my coordinator on a business level but also on a personal level because she felt betrayed by this person in both senses, right?


So I think that I have watched it happen and watched it go down, but I feel like I am very clear about when I’m going to be available and how our relationship is going to work. I don’t know if that helps.

Rebecca Ching: And you set that tone, verbally and in writing, I suspect.

Krystel Stacey: Yes.

Rebecca Ching: That’s in contract.

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm. Exactly.

Rebecca Ching: And I suspect you have to repeat that, too —

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: — remind people. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, and I think that the way that you treat them is the way that they’re gonna treat you, right? So, for me, when I contact the client, I’m going to text them first or I’m going to email them first and let them know what time we’re setting up our appointment. I’m not just gonna call them on the fly and tell them all the things or ask them questions that I want to know. I want to make sure it’s set up so that they have expectations, and they know when that’s going to happen, and I expect the same from them. Does that make sense?

Rebecca Ching: Oh, it makes a lot of sense. And it’s those simple things, and I guess my brain is just going to, especially with events where it can be so personal and you’re working a lot with people, how easy it would be like, “You’re so cool. You’re so fun.” And to lose that and the practice it takes, but also just hearing the differentiation of you separating your worthiness and the value of the event from their opinion and also having to make sure they’re  happy 24/7 versus, “Here’s what I’m here for and here’s what I’m not here for.”

Krystel Stacey: Right, well, I think that if I didn’t, I would be doing your job and my job, right? [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]


Krystel Stacey: So I feel like I have to because otherwise we do become a family psychologist. We become the person who wants to make sure — and I tell them from the beginning, “That’s one thing I can’t control. I can’t control your family.” Let me tell you, we’ve had so many beautiful events that the client might have a sour taste in their mouth because of the family events that happened at the wedding not having anything to do with us. In the past, if I had gotten myself involved, then it tripled, right? And so, I had to take a step back and say, “All I can control is the event itself. I can’t control how your family is reacting to different situations and reacting to your marriage right now. That’s something I can’t do.”

Rebecca Ching: And you used to get in there. You used to get in the weeds, then, I’m hearing, with a lot of these family dynamics and expectations initially.

Krystel Stacey: I would feel it. I would feel it so heavily, and I wanted to help them. I wanted to make it right, right? That’s what I do. I fix things. I make it better. I wanted to make it special for them, and so, I would do all that I could to do that. And now I’ve realized that, yeah, you have to be able to separate.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, and you just said that again. “I wanted to make it right,” and that just goes back to the beginning of our interview even talking about with your family and with your father. “I wanted to fix it. I wanted to make it right.” It’s such a driving theme in you, but you have grown up and you have, again, moved away from your safety and your worthiness and your purpose being to make everyone else happy.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, well, and I realized I couldn’t. I had to learn that lesson time and time again. But I remember back to when I was probably, like, 12 years old and my dad came home drunk, and I knew when he walked in the house that he was just gonna go drink more. My mom and dad were fighting, and I went to the fridge, and I took all the alcohol bottles outside on the front pathway, and I just started smashing them one by one because I thought if he can’t have the alcohol, then this could be healed, and I’m also making a statement.


I’m saying, “I don’t want you to do this anymore, and I hope that you’ll be able to see this is hurting me, this is hurting our family, this is hurting mom.” I got through four or five smashed bottles, and they came outside, and my mom is yelling, and she’s like, “Go upstairs! You need to get upstairs now.” And my dad’s telling me, “I can’t believe you’re doing this! What’re you thinking?” You know, they were both scared for my safety, and I get that now, but I wanted to make it better, and I made things worse, right? So then it became apparent to me that while I was trying to fix it, it didn’t fix it, and it turned into more fighting and more problems, and then they were also both mad at me.

So it took me a few times to realize the same at events, right? So if I try to fix it and make it better, sometimes it makes it worse.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, I just have this image. You said you were 12 when this went down, huh?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah. Yeah, at a young age I realized that was our problem. These stinkin’ bottles. So if I get, in my 12-year-old mind, rid of this, then hopefully that’ll help the situation, and I’m telling them, “I’m drawing a line in the sand. I don’t want this in my life.” But that wasn’t the case.

Rebecca Ching: And you just reflected so many powerful nuggets there too, how you getting involved — and, again, just going from Murray Bowen’s theory, he has this term called triangulation, where you were in the middle of your parents trying to navigate this. Once you started to extricate yourself from that, they were able to really focus on them. But if you triangulated, it became about you.

Krystel Stacey: Yep.

Rebecca Ching: You even have done that with your events too. If you intervened and tried to make it better, then it became about you. And so, those boundaries and that level of differentiation, that’s, like you said, making those mistakes again and again. It takes time.

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm.


Rebecca Ching: Are there particular times or burdens that these burdens inspired, and we see how what you do today was so inspired by some really difficult things at home. Was there a time when these burdens moved from inspiring you and instead threatened to take you out?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, I mean, I think that last story that I just told, I feel like that’s a huge part of that. I feel like that is where I felt so defeated and so down, and like, “Okay, well, if I can’t help then what do I do here? How do I remove myself from this situation when I’m clearly in it?” And that’s the hard part. But I think that growing up and becoming an entrepreneur myself, I’ve realized and seen that there are so many ways that you can helpfully draw the line and say, “I can’t go there.” 

Rebecca Ching: Mm.

Krystel Stacey: So yeah.

Rebecca Ching: And how do you know when you’re starting to cross that line? What are some of the flags for you when you’re starting to get into that space of over-functioning?

Krystel Stacey: I think that when I start to emotionally feel stressed for them, when I start to have feelings where I feel things for them, once again, I’m an Enneagram 7, and so, empathy is not my greatest feature, I would say. And so, when I start to feel any empathy, I’m like, “Okay, I’ve crossed the line. This is too much.” [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: So I think that’s kind of — yeah.

Rebecca Ching: It’s almost your taking on the care and taking responsibility for the care?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, I just want to be so excited for them and be happy for them, and when I’m in that place, I know I’m in a good place because that’s my personality and that’s who I am. But the moment I start to feel like I need to make sure that mom does this and that dad says this in this way, things of that sort, then I know I’ve overstepped and that’s not my realm.


Rebecca Ching: Yeah, that’s a big one, and I think it’s a constant practice when you care so deeply and you are someone who’s so in the details of things, right? And checking in on the vision you want versus the vision they want, right?

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm. Yep.

Rebecca Ching: Just checking that. I think that’s a lifelong process, I think, especially when you have such a vision for details and for excellence and for working hard. It’s always checking in. Where is everyone on this?

Krystel Stacey: Right.

Rebecca Ching: You know, are we all on the same page?

Krystel Stacey: Right, and I think that, don’t get me wrong, I do care about the clients, and I am there for them in so many ways, but I know when I have crossed that line. I’ll write toasts. I’ve written vows before for the groom, you know, things like that. When I need to be there for them, I’ll be there for them, and I’ll make stuff happen. But I also know where the line is.

Rebecca Ching: Well, you talked about empathy, and you’re a deeply caring person, and you are a deeply feeling person. I sense that when I’m in your presence. But this is what I take from this, and these are my words, is more when you start to — empathy is when you start to connect with the emotion someone else is feeling, so if someone’s feeling rage or someone’s feeling grief, if someone’s feeling despair, and you start to connect with that in you, and then that, when you connect with it, it starts to overcome and highjack you.

Krystel Stacey: Yes, totally.

Rebecca Ching: Okay, because that’s how I interpreted that, and that’s the risk in the boldness of daring to be empathetic is because we’re connecting with the emotions in our own story.

Krystel Stacey: Right.

Rebecca Ching: But so many people want to shut that down because feeling that, that’s brave, hard work. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Yeah! You don’t wanna! And so, I feel like I’ve learned that I need to feel that for myself, and I need to figure that out for myself, and I need to heal me, but I don’t need to do that for other people. I can be there for them, but I don’t have to let that overcome me.


Or, you know, if a friend’s in a bad situation, I’m the one that’s like, “Okay, well, I’m gonna get you out of it. I’m gonna move you out today,” and they’re not making that choice. I’m making that choice for them, so it does. If it overcomes me, then it’s not healthy.

Rebecca Ching: It’s a tricky one, right? I mean, there’s such an art to that. There’s a time and a place to overfunction, and it’s very personal. But if there’s, obviously, patterns there, whether we’re the one always rescuing or in this relationship it keeps happening, it’s a tricky one because, I mean, I’m just thinking there are times in my life where, yeah, I’ve jumped in and I’m like, “This is life or death. We’re gonna just get shit done. We’re gonna do this,” and then I have to check it, though, on what — I can’t maintain that. That’s not sustainable.

Krystel Stacey: Right. Right. Yeah, and I think if they don’t want it too — I keep going back to that, but if they don’t want it too, then the next weekend they’re moving back in, in that example, you know what I mean? [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: Yeah. Totally, and I think for me sometimes I’m like, “They may not want it yet, but I don’t think I can live with myself if I don’t try this one time.”

Krystel Stacey: Yes!

Rebecca Ching: Or this is kind of where I do an internal check. Go ahead!

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, for me, it’s like I have to say something, and I have to tell them, “Hey, no, this is what I think you should do, and this is what I see to be healthy,” but I let them, then, make that choice instead of being the one that’s in there with boxes, you know what I mean? So, yeah.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, again, it’s so personal, but it requires having this sense of who you are, where you end and someone else behind, yes?

Krystel Stacey: Mm-hmm. Yeah, totally.

Rebecca Ching: We’ve touched on some, but are there any other struggles in regular challenges that still show up for you today as a leader and a prolific entrepreneur?

Krystel Stacey: You know, as we have progressed in business, I would say one thing that it took me a long time to learn is finances.


I had a really hard time with finances in the beginning because I wanted to put my head in the sand and ignore it because I was so passionate about my job. I wasn’t in it to make money. I was in it to share love and grace and to make these beautiful events with people, and so, I was like I don’t really care about the money, but at some point, you have to say, “Well, wait a minute. Then is it a business or is it a hobby?” And so, that’s something that I struggled with a lot, I would say, the first five years of business, and so, I would say, yeah, that was a struggle, and getting through that and coming through that was huge.

My dad is very financially savvy, but I didn’t want to go to him for help because I felt like, “I’m gonna do this on my own. I got this.” And so, yeah, I feel like that was hard, but I have learned through that, and I have been through that, and I didn’t — yeah, there was a lot that came from that and finances, for me, is something that I struggled with for the first five years. Now, I would say, I’ve learned what I’ve learned, and I am where I’m at, and maybe I don’t see the things that I’m currently struggling with, but there’s not a lot that I feel burdened by anymore, if that makes sense.

Rebecca Ching: Mm-hmm. That’s huge.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: What’s attributed to releasing some of those burdens?

Krystel Stacey: Taking a step back in my life and seeing where do I feel burdened, where am I still hurting, where do I need to improve in my life, and really reserve engineering my goals and my dreams for my own self in my own life. I found a coach who is able to help me do that. They were able to let me take a step back and say, “This is what I want,” and make a plan from A to B to, “This is how I’m gonna get there,” right? And so, now I help other people do that as well, but I think that was huge for me because so many times you feel like — and I watch it in other people too — that you’re settling. You’re settling because you get caught up in the whirlwind, and you think this is just life and this is how it has to go, but it doesn’t. You get to decide. You have control, and you can take a step back and say, “This is not what I want for my future. This is not what I want for my life,” and do it differently. And so, that’s what I did. I was able to do that in my life but also in all of my businesses.

Rebecca Ching: Let’s talk about your businesses. Can you list your businesses right now for our listeners?


Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely. So I have Couture Events, which is the one that’s been in business the longest. I started it my senior year of college. So Couture Events is luxury wedding and event planning. Then I have Coco & Whim, which is also an event planning company but it’s our sister company to Couture Events. And so, at one point when we raised our prices and really went into the luxury market, I still wanted to provide a product and a business for the girl who I was, right? I wanted to get married on the beach, and I wanted it kind of boho, so I wanted to provide something for that girl too. So that’s what we created for Coco & Whim.

Then we have ACE Experiences, which is our corporate side, so we planned events for Torrey Pines Bank, their Christmas party every year, or Becca Tilley, we did her vlog launch of The Bachelor Mansion. That would go under ACE Experiences more on the corporate side.

Rebecca Ching: And Becca Tilley is from the Bachelorette or Bachelor?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah. Mm-hmm, yeah, she’s from The Bachelor. Yes, yes.

Rebecca Ching: Okay. For those that are in that scene, it’s important to note.

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: I am not Bachelor savvy.

Krystel Stacey: Okay. Okay, yes. And so, that’s everything. That’s the event and wedding planning side. And then I have Confetti Inc., which is the podcast as well as the academy and the conference. So the academies are online, and then the conference is a three-day event that we do every year. So that’s Confetti, and we help women entrepreneurs design a life and a business that they love.


And then I have “She Minds Her Own Business” is another potion of that, and that’s gonna be an online program in the future. Right now it’s a book and a workbook. So that’s coming up. And then is there anything I’m forgetting? Oh, our La Dolce Vita Retreats. So those are luxury retreats for women entrepreneurs. So that’s kind of the other side. So there’s the event planning side, and then there’s the side where we’re helping other women entrepreneurs kind of take control of their life and their business.

Rebecca Ching: So you’re not bored right now.

Krystel Stacey: Ha! No. [Laughs] I’m not bored.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] Even in a global pandemic you’re not bored.

Krystel Stacey: No, I have the opposite problem where I have so many ideas and so many things I want to do, and you were talking about my — I’m wearing a sweatshirt right now that I embroidered, and my husband’s like, “Babe, you’re really gonna take on one more thing?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m gonna get this done. I’m gonna get stuff done, and I’m gonna make it happen.” And so, yeah, taking on more rather than less is kind of my jam.

Rebecca Ching: I was hypnotized — mesmerized is probably the better word, by watching you learn how to stitch your sweatshirts on stories. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Oh, my gosh.

Rebecca Ching: It was amazing. You’re like, “I’ve got an idea.” But the drive that you have, to me, means so much knowing your whole story. This isn’t some superficial anxiety. It’s connected to something so personal and even at times deeply painful. And then to see the good that you take in it and the creativity and the drive that you have and how you use it, I think is inspiring, and I hope is inspiring for others. It wasn’t a linear process for you. I mean, you’ve shared that. It took a lot of just failing and falling a lot.

You mention your husband, too, kind of saying, “Babe, what’s going on?” I’m curious, too, how has getting married and starting your own family — you have a daughter who just turned three, right?

Krystel Stacey: She just turned three, yes!

Rebecca Ching: Yeah.

Krystel Stacey: Our sweet Ever, yes.


Rebecca Ching: Aww. How has that impacted — I’m gonna ask a couple-tiered question. I want to hear how it’s impacted your work and also your healing.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely. So I did not marry my father, and I am so grateful for that. My husband is the sweetest, most amazing, awesome man, and I talked about the guys that I dated that I could have so easily fallen into that, and thank you, Lord, that I was saved from that. And so, my husband is my biggest support. He is so safe and so sound, and he is the opposite of me, so he is a police officer, and he takes things in stride, and he is like, “Okay, well, what’s the risk associated with this?” And I’m like 110 all the way, and he’s like, “Just back up. Hold on. Let’s slow down.” And so, we are a great balance in that sense. I also am all about the beautiful things and I get to see all the pretty all day long because of weddings and events, and I am the positive side, whereas he sees a lot of tough stuff, so he’s like, “Babe, you need to be cautious out there.” I’m like, “No, it’s fine. I’m gonna leave the doors open. I’m gonna leave the keys in the car. It’s totally fine.” He’s like, “Uh, maybe not. Maybe we need to be a little more cautious.” [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] What’s his Enneagram, just out of curiosity?

Krystel Stacey: He’s a 5.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, my gosh. My husband, he’s an educator, but he’s a retired ocean lifeguard, and I joke and call him Captain Safety. He’s a 6.

Krystel Stacey: Okay. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: I’m like, “Captain Safety!” [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Rebecca Ching: Which I appreciate that too. That’s awesome.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely.

Rebecca Ching: Definitely. You know, there are some challenges being with someone who sees the world so differently, but it sounds like we both really also value that it’s anchoring to have someone keep us putting our ground at times too, yes? [Laughs] 

Krystel Stacey: Yes! It’s so anchoring, and I feel like it’s also good for him for me to be like, “Okay, let’s go!”

Rebecca Ching: Totally.

Krystel Stacey: I’ll keep him kind of wild, and he keeps me safe, right? I don’t know if you saw this story. We recently went to the beach to watch the algae, the glowing bioluminescent algae, and he’s a police officer so he’s like, “Babe, we can’t go on the beach.” And I’m like, “But everyone’s going on the beach. I’m going on the beach. It’s happening. I’m doing it.”


And so, I took my daughter down on the beach, and he stayed on the sidewalk and waited for — you know, then the police start coming, and we’re running back towards him, and he’s like, “I told you!” But at the same time, I feel like it’s good that I’m pushing us to get down there and he’s pushing me like, “We’ve got to keep it safe.” So it’s both ways. I don’t know. Interesting.

Rebecca Ching: You know what’s so beautiful about that, though, is he’s like, “Okay, go to the beach. I’m staying here.” And then the cops come, and he’s like, “See?”

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: And it’s like you do you, I do me, but there’s a healthy balance there that’s something really beautiful.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: How has your marriage impacted your work and your healing?

Krystel Stacey: I think in so many ways. I think that he has helped me to also draw family boundaries, right? And my marriage, I also felt like now I have my own family unit that I’m gonna take care of and that I get to decide what our traditions are and what our life looks like, and I don’t have to base it on what was previously shown to me or what my example was. I get to decide for my future moving forward what that looks like.

I also was able to discover my purpose at a young age, which I believe we’re all here to serve other people, right? We’re all here for a purpose and for a reason, and for me, the way that I do that is to inspire and to create. And so, if I’m able to do that every day, what a huge blessing, and I am able to do that with him and with our family, right? I’m able to incorporate that into our family and also figuring out what drives him and what’s gonna drive our daughter in the future. You know, she’s three now and I’m already looking for what are her things, why is she here, what’s her purpose, and who is she gonna become? I also don’t want to mess her up, oh, goodness. [Laughs] So I’m figuring all of that out. But I think that it has been healing for me.


We got married at a young age. I was 21 when we got married. And so, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, but I think he’s also so stable, and my family was so unstable, my dad was so unstable. So I think that that’s been huge.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, definitely. That can have an impact as you are continuing to create and iterate. This is, again, my observation, so tweak that, but just as you are continuing to grow and dream with work, the anchor of your marriage and your family, though, helps ground you in those boundaries we talked about earlier too because you care so deeply about your family and your marriage. So it’s neat to see how that helps contain you or ground you. You can run on the beach, but you eventually run back. [Laughs] “Here’s the law.” [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: “Oh, okay! Got it. Got it. Check.” Yeah, he puts me into check sometimes.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] So I want to talk a little about your book you mentioned, She Minds Her Own Business, and I don’t know if I shared this with you when we met in person. But I remember going, “Okay, here’s another person.” I had a cynical part come up; I’m embarrassed to say because I’m not a very cynical person. I think I was a little tired, and I was like, “Here’s another person just talking about, ‘You do you,’ and ‘Change the world,’” and I’m like, “Okay.”

Krystel Stacey: Over it. Yep. I hear you.

Rebecca Ching: And so I’m like, “But, you know, I’m cheering you on, and yes, let’s cheer on leaders,” but I could hear that voice kind of start to blend a little bit with me. But then you stood out, and I will say one thing that I’m pretty good at is I have a very high BS detector. I mean, my first job out of college was working in politics, so I just swam in the deep end of bullshit all the time. And so, I sat up in my chair, and I was like, “She’s authentic. She’s sincere. Oh, wait. She genuinely cares about every woman in this room. I can feel it in me.”

Krystel Stacey: Yeah. Yeah.


Rebecca Ching: And then I was like, “Oh!” And I think I probably only heard half of what you said because I was like, “When’s the last time I’ve been in a room with someone talking about purpose where I didn’t feel like it was a bunch of bunk?”

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: And then I was kind of doing my own navigating of the voices and the parts of me internally that were just having a hard time trusting that you were a real deal, and I could just feel the authenticity.

And also, too, this event — for our listeners — I walk in — it’s a book launch — and I got a bouquet of flowers that lasted for two weeks. I had a bookmark. I had a goodie bag. I had photos from a photobooth. I mean, and I love to put on good experiences too, so I was in experience heaven there.

Krystel Stacey: Yes!

Rebecca Ching: But again, I know that can be just a surface. People can have everything look pretty, and then I’ve learned in my line of work, I know there’s a lot underneath that. But I just appreciated the genuine care. You said something at that talk. You said, “Okay, well, write this down. Don’t put it off ‘til later because later won’t happen. So take a moment to write it down.” I went, “Okay, where’s my pen! All right! Where’s my pen!” [Laughs] And I wrote that down.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah!

Rebecca Ching: So talk to our listeners a little bit about She Minds Her Own Business. It’s this beautiful guide to help people discover meaning and purpose in their work. Talk about the book and also what led to the shift of creating this part of your business.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely. So I think that I saw what I was doing with the weddings, right? I was able to create these beautiful, wonderful, spectacular events and experiences, and as I transformed my own life and my own business to being something that I really loved and I loved doing, I was like, “Other people can do this too!” I felt like I was selling myself short if I just focus on designing weddings. What if we design lives and businesses? How can I do that, and how can I go so much deeper and have so much greater impact?


And so, that’s what the book is about. It’s all the lessons I’ve learned in the last ten years of business all rolled into one, and as I continue to learn, I’m like, “Okay, well, now I want to share this with them, and I want to do this.” But I feel like it’s the first ten years, and it’s everything that I felt like I needed to grow my business and to really, once again, take that step back and see, “What do I want for my future? What do I want for my life? And how am I gonna get there?”

So we go through and we talk about values, which you’re right. I feel like it is a topic that comes up a lot, and it is cliché. Values, passions, purpose, all of that, but there’s so much goodness and deepness there, and so, if you’re able to really wrestle with it and sit down and go through it, I think it’s life changing.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, and when you sit in front of somebody who genuinely believes this stuff, that is contagious on you, and that was my experience when I was sitting in front of you talking at your book launch here in San Diego. Values and mission and purpose, those are things I visit a lot, but I ended up writing some things down that night that actually were fresh and tweaked, and I’m realizing this process always needs to be revisited because I’m changing. We all as humans are changing, but when you have someone (a guide, a leader) who genuinely sees you not as a number or a statistic but just genuinely believes this, and you’re living out your mission, that is contagious. That is healing.

And so, that, I was just so grateful to connect with for you. So thank you for showing up in this area!

Krystel Stacey: I love that. Thank you so much, and I really do feel like, as I said, I do care so deeply because I know that you can change your life. I know that’s true, and it is coming from an authentic place because I’ve done it, right?


So I feel like that’s where that comes from, and so, I do have empathy for people in that way, in saying, “Hey, I want to help take you to the next level, and what does that look like?”

Rebecca Ching: And I think, too, in a world that can be cynical and hard, and people can then have the beautiful Instagram life but behind the scenes they’re not consistent, I guess this is my bullshit detector is, no, you’re living every day in and out. Shoot, watch your dang stories. You’re up at two in the morning trying to figure out how to cross stitch.

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s real.

Rebecca Ching: It’s real, yeah.

Krystel Stacey: You have to create that for yourself, though, because there could be a lot more going on, but for me, I’ve learned how to cut out the noise, right? And so, I focus on what I know to be true and what I can control, and there’s a lot there. There’s a lot you can control in your life, and when you focus on those things, oh, how much better it can become.

Rebecca Ching: Okay, so you talk about cutting out the noise. And so, the way that I see that, though, is often that noise doesn’t go away. It can get pushed aside. It can get exiled.

Krystel Stacey: You’ve gotta deal with your stuff. You’ve gotta deal with your stuff, totally. But, I mean, noise from the outside, you can’t let that in.

Rebecca Ching: Ah, yes.

Krystel Stacey: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, my gosh. Now more than ever. Oh Krystel, now more than ever. I had one of those mornings, the morning of recording this, where I walked to my husband and said, “It’s looney tunes out in the world. I don’t think I can help any — I think it’s past the point of redemption.” He’s like, “This is a moment. It will pass.” I’m like, “Okay!” He’s like, “Were you on Facebook?” I’m like, “Yes. Yes, I was.” [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: Oh, gosh! No! Can’t do it! Can’t do it! Don’t watch the news, goodness, yeah.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] Turning off social media for a while, particularly Facebook.


Krystel, what are you working on now, in addition to cross stitching and designing some new sweatshirts? What are you working on right now, and where can people find you?

Krystel Stacey: Yeah, definitely! So right now I am working on online programs, and actually, I’m creating a certificate program for coaches, so that they can help other people through this process of discovering, designing, and creating their own life and business.

And then as far as where you can find me. On Instagram you can follow my wild stories of learning how to sew and embroider at 2:00 AM at @krystelstacey, and then as far as the website, you can find me at www.coutureeventsca.com or www.krystelstacey.com. There are lots of businesses, so hopefully you can link them somewhere. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, we’ll get them all linked in, absolutely, in the show notes.

Krystel Stacey: If you go to my personal, you’ll find the others if there’s anything else you’re interested in.

Rebecca Ching: Krystel, thank you so much for taking the time away from your newly beloved sewing machine to do this interview. [Laughs]

Krystel Stacey: [Laughs] Yeah, a lot of sewing machine and the work. Yeah, definitely, of course. It’s my honor.

Rebecca Ching: I’m so grateful for your leadership, and thank you for your trust in sharing a bit of the private and personal with me and with our listeners. I know many people are gonna get a lot out of this and are gonna experience some help and be inspired to get some clarity on their purpose and increase boundaries in their life because of listening to this interview, so thank you so much.

Krystel Stacey: Thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate it!

Rebecca Ching: Leaders who over-function care big and can also crash big. Good intentions and a desire to succeed and have those around them succeed can quickly morph into an exhausting way of doing work and life. Fueled by anxiety, a high sense of responsibility, and lack of clear boundaries, over-functioning can hijack the best of us.


As an adult child of an alcoholic who she deeply loves, over-functioning was the status quo for Krystel in childhood and when she started launching her businesses. Her attention to detail and desire to create experiences that are more than just beautiful shifted to a more sustainable and boundaried life. Embracing the inspiration of her attention to detail and releasing the responsibility of over-functioning in favor of a life aligned with her purpose and vision differentiated from those she leads and supports, Krystel models finding more power and clarity in her work and life. In a world that celebrates the tyranny of the urgent and over-delivering, unburdened leaders take the inspiration from their story that fuels their life’s work while being crystal clear on where their responsibilities end. They are rooted in the fact that their worthiness never expires, and their safety is not contingent on everything being held together by their effort.

Unburdened leaders are not afraid of being all in and giving their all. They’re just not willing to sacrifice their well-being or alignment for meaningful work in the process. Where are you over-functioning in your life? Where are you working harder than others in life and work? And where do your boundaries need to be more clarified and fortified? If you’re ready to stop over-functioning and want to deepen your capacity to set and maintain powerful boundaries, book a connection call with me at www.rebeccaching.com.

[Inspirational Outro Music]

Thank you so much for joining this episode of The Unburdened Leader! Make sure you follow Krystel on Instagram for a source of nutrient-dense inspiration and authentic leadership, which is such a breath of fresh air these days. You can find this episode, show notes, and free Unburdened Leader resources, along with ways to work with me, at www.rebeccaching.com.

[Inspirational Outro Music]

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meet the founder

I’m Rebecca Ching, LMFT.

I help change-making leaders get to the root of recurring struggles and get confidently back on track with your values, your vision, and your bottom line. 

I combine psychotherapeutic principles, future-forward coaching, and healthy business practices to meet the unique needs and challenges of highly-committed leaders in a high-stakes world.

This is unburdened leadership

EP 29: Frank Anderson, MD – Challenging the Fear of Rejection and Leading with Vulnerability – Part 2

Everybody’s carrying a burden that’s weighing them down. If you dare to care, it is inevitable you will end up carrying the burdens from grief, betrayal, and rejection. And these burdens are often unseen. These invisible struggles fuel loneliness, shame, and despair. Eventually, the unaddressed burdens we carry start to impact our ability to live […]


EP 27: Frank Anderson, MD – Challenging the Fear of Rejection and Leading with Vulnerability – Part 1

We watch leaders crash & burn all the time. We watch with morbid fascination as leaders fall out of grace because their unaddressed pain led them on an unsustainable path of poor choices–even dangerous and deadly choices–to avoid feeling the vulnerability of rejection. Those times when you experienced the pain of rejection leave their mark […]


EP 21: Leading With Body Resilience with Co-Author of More Than A Body, Lindsay Kite, PhD

Caring about those you lead means caring about the harm you may unknowingly be doing. Many of us who fit western standards of beauty and live in conventionally abled bodies don’t understand how our choices can cause pain. We’ve internalized ableism and fat-phobia to the point where we can’t even grasp how our words & […]

Mental Well-being

EP 19: Defining Your Own Version Success with Natalie Borton, Founder of Natalie Borton Designs

The quickest way to crash and burn your business and life is to place your worthiness and safety with the opinions of others. This may sound like a captain-obvious statement but the pull to care what others think is something fierce. And it is sneaky. The competitive drive is no stranger to many of you. […]

Work-life Integration

EP 17: Community Over Competition with Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society Natalie Franke

Community over competition is indeed a well-worn hashtag. The cynical can dismiss it. Those beat up by year after year of injustice understandably call BS. But in practice, leading with the lens of community over competition is subversive and culture-shifting. Community over competition requires deep life-long work to unburden the load we carry of scarcity […]

Leading Teams

EP 02: How Self-Leadership Saves You From The Relentless Drive To Succeed with Dr. Richard Schwartz

My body was telling me to take a step back and reevaluate. Five years ago I had pneumonia and I couldn’t really do anything other than prop myself up on the couch and breathe… …breathe and think about how I ended up in this mess I’d run myself into the ground. My schedule was full-to-overflowing. […]


And clearing the way for a more innovative, inclusive future.

Unburdened Leaders are breaking
cycles of workplace burnout…

Are you about this, too? Let’s meet and see if I’m your coach – no expectations. Just connection.