We had the good fortune of connecting with Ken Blackman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ken, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’m in my 20th year as a full-time sex and relationship coach and workshop leader. I got my start working for a couple different coaching consortia and transformational training facilities. As an employee, all I had to do was be good at what I do and let the company handle getting clients and students for me. In 2013 I was facing burnout and didn’t know why. I took a month off of deep contemplation and realized my employment had come to feel like golden handcuffs. Even though it was scary to think about taking all aspects of business into my own hands, the desire to teach and coach my own topics and areas of passion in my own way, not through the lens of anyone else’s vision, demanded I do so. I left immediately without much of a runway or plan—NOT something I would recommend to others. Fortunately, I’d developed something of a following, and quite a few people immediately reached out to work with me. I decided to start with a blank slate and create my own curriculum from scratch. I gave lectures, offered workshops and coached, testing everything I thought I knew about relationships. I kept what worked, what actually got results for people. Gradually I came to have new, unique, highly effective gestalt of understanding of intimacy and coupledom and what makes relationships thrive.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My passion topic these days is how women’s empowerment intersects with intimate coupledom. What I’ve found is that many couples love each other but wonder if they’re compatible. Whatever problems they’re facing seem to be impossible to resolve. They’re not aware that they’re unconsciously playing out relationship tropes that don’t actually fit them as people. Even the most enlightened of us have ideas about what’s “supposed to” happen in relationships that we don’t think about or question. As we work together, they start to see that that there’s nothing wrong with either one of them. The problem wasn’t ever going to be solved by learning non-violent communication or studying Divine Masculinity / Femininity. The real relationship they’re meant to have is one in which they’re more themselves, it feels less effortful, more organic and authentic. And to their surprise it ends up being even better than the one they’ve been trying and failing to enact. They’re perfect for each other beyond what they’d imagined. And again and again, what I see especially is women who are in the process of upleveling in their lives, claiming their space and stepping into their fullness as people… and everything that stirs up in their relationship. And my message to them is to keep going in this direction, that it can lead to a relationship that’s better not just for her but for her partner. I help them understand this and co-create their unique template.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow this is obviously a tough one to answer at the moment. But truthfully I never get tired of walking along the beach in Santa Monica, either with my feet in the water, or on the grassy path along Ocean Avenue. When things are open I often like to breakfast with friends at Kreation or Superba. And I can’t wait for the observatory to re-open.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I had domain expertise but knew almost nothing about turning my skill into a successful business. I took business classes but something just wasn’t clicking. It became obvious pretty quickly that mindset was an issue that I needed to shift if I was going to be successful at anything. I’ve had several great mindset mentors along the way, whether it was through direct coaching, books, or courses. My favorite at the moment, and also perhaps the least “woo” of anyone I’ve learned from — is David Bayer. His approach to business mindset has revamped my whole approach to business in the last six months.
Other: My Medium publication: https://medium.com/straight-talkers