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Color Wise: How to Use Colors in Your Data Visualization


MindSpeaking Podcast Episode 17 - Kate Strachnyi , Founder of Datacated.com





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Timestamps:

00:50 Intro

03:05 Kate's Background Story

05:40 The first steps in building a strong brand

08:24 Why is color important and relevant in the world of data?

10:14 Frequent mistakes people make when they use colors in data viz

13:15 How can we learn more about the preferences of our target audience?

15:31 Cultural differences

17:34 Tips in choosing and using appropriate brand colors

19:30 Best practices for data chart color

22:03 The 3 types of colors: sequential, diverging, and categorical

24:08 Do you choose your running clothes intentionally in terms of color?

26:42 The biggest challenges in writing the book ColorWise

29:09 Has she ever overthought something?

31:50 Kate's entrepreneurial lessons

34:15 Kate talks about her kids

36:20 Growing your personal brand - stress and worries?

37:59 How can people learn more about the book ColorWise?

39:41 One thing that surprises people about Kate

40:27 Takeaway

41:25 Kate's online community "DATAcated circle"



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Introducing Kate Strachnyi


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Data visualization colors, ads running that we'll talk about today, because today I talked to Kate Strachnyi She's the founder of Datacated and you might know her from LinkedIn. She built a career in data of working for companies like Detroit, but then started her own business and on the sides he has written five books for data professionals, and one even for kids teach relationship literacy for kids. So I really liked that perspective. One of the books he has written and recently published is called color wise, and it's a book we're talking about today, because we talk about the three different colors that you can use in your data visualization, at least three types of colors. Then we talk about the frequent mistakes that many people make, and when to use brand colors, when is it appropriate to use them. Next, we also talk about what cultural differences should we take into account when thinking colors for data visualizations, and our topic of our data visualization or presentation influences that choose the choice of our colors. So I've learned a lot today and I hope you will as well about how to be more intentional with color your data visualizations, because of course, you probably know that it matters what type of colors you pick, but how to do that. That's what we're discussing. So let's dive in with conversation of scale strategy. Guides bring to our viewers today.


Kate Strachnyi:

Hello, mindspeaking I love it. Great to be here.





Kate's Background Story


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Thank you. Let's have colors in the background. And this was something we're going to talk about today. You see some blue here and back for the people on YouTube, some colorful books here and a lot of colors in your background as well. And that's also something you have been writing about right so color wise, the book that came out recently. So I'm excited to dive in into color wise to help better professionals be more intentional with color. I really liked that tagline because I think many people are aware of that color is important, but how to be a bit more intentional is so important. And I would love to dive in there. But before we do so, let's give a little bit of background for about your story because not not right now. You live in the US. You told me it's very cold right now get straight to school with a big scarf and but it was not always the case. You know, you did not always live in us. You did not always have this successful company. So tell us a bit about first years Okay.


Kate Strachnyi:

Okay. Yeah, first year so the cold winter nights Kate was born. Actually was February so I was born in February. I was born in particular stem, and we moved to the US when I was almost nine years old. Quick, fun story. I didn't go to school there. So now my kids are a first and third grade. And when they came to America, my first time in school was in fourth grade. And I keep reminding them I didn't speak English. I didn't know that I barely read and wrote in Russian because I didn't go to school. And so we can have a complaint about sound understanding of like, well now imagine that knowing your language, right. It's always fun to bring that up.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

They respond to that. Oh,


Kate Strachnyi:

I don't know. They're like, oh, please I can learn they're learning Russian now so their lives is easier like okay, it's not that big obviously can't relate their two yards. But it was it was a fun, a fun journey for sure. Trying to get up to speed really fast. Knowing that everyone absolutely everyone is ahead of you in fourth grade. So at first I felt pretty hard. By sixth grade I was in honors English, which was pretty fun, because I didn't speak the language before and then then I was an honors I really applied myself to school, probably because I didn't have any friends. Right so it was hard. To make friends if you don't speak English. But then I'll fast forward, graduated college with a four year degree and three years because I simply could not wait to be done with school and went off into the corporate world. I've worked several jobs before that. But I started in finance went into risk management, regulatory compliance. Consulting, I finally got into data analytics is like 2013 ish timeframe about 10 years ago. And in 2020, I went off on my own with a company called dedicated.




The first steps in building a strong brand


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Awesome that's been quite a journey. You are on some books on the way as well. We talked about color wise in books that has been published you told me there's another book coming. Many people asked me where do you get the time? What I'm very interested in and because we had this conversation before, but what I'm what I'm most interested in right now is can you share with us the first step you have taken because right now you have a big following you have a big brand, but what is the first step you have taken wasn't writing a blog post? And do you remember that they?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yes, I actually do remember so I never really intended to come out as tries to become an influencer or grow a following. It actually happened. The moment when I was trying to break into a data career. I was doing a couple of things. One was reaching out to people on LinkedIn and saying, you know, hey Gilbert, urine data, can we talk and then I would just have these conversations. After a couple of calls, I realized this could be really beneficial for others. So I did a couple of things. One is I started recording these 1015 minute sessions called humans of data science where I was just interviewed people and asked how did you start your career? So that sort of took off on YouTube? And at the same time, I just, I started posting on LinkedIn I was trying to learn Tableau and data visualization and visual best practices. And anything I learned I decided to share on social media. And I think what kept me coming back all the time was the positive engagement, the data community simply awesome. I think you can relate to that as well. They're so supportive, and that positive feedback just kept drawing you back. And the more contents sort of I share some more people were interested in following me and then that also inspired me to continue it was like a snowball effect for it just kept going. Right.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

And so it's a great lesson as well because I think many people overthink it some people they do want to share more on LinkedIn or build a brand and they do have this intention, but they don't manage to because they think okay, I need to know so much you know before I have this expert before sharing anything, but if you just share what you have learned that they like you did it that makes a big difference. And if you just teach people that are one year behind you, or one day behind you, that's all you need, right?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, absolutely. They want to they want to come on the journey. They wants to just hear from the experts who have accomplished everything already and probably can't even remember what it was like to struggle in learning new concepts because they're just, they're already there. So I think it's sometimes more fun to follow somebody who's early on in the career like you said, a day behind you a year behind you. Or ahead of you. Sorry, it's easier to follow. Those.




Why is color important and relevant in the world of data?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yeah, 100% grades. I mean, eventually you started writing books. One of them is color wise. We have it here. It's great book. I was lucky enough to give a quality event for the book. And of course before doing so I read the book and what I would like to start with this is why waste color important to know why it's it's relevant in the world of data.


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, I think color can really help us talk story. So humans who are very visual creatures, we can interpret sometimes, you know, with deep thought or sometimes just out of instinct, if something is good, that dangerous, safe, fun, depressing, sometimes even from the color choice. And I think this comes back to human nature rates. We were associating green with grass and nature and sort of the red orangish yellow with maybe the sunrise and sort of excitement. And I think it's super hardwired into our physical, psychological and also cultural beings, where we're used to seeing things a certain way. And the reason all of that is important in the individualization is when we're visualizing data, we're communicating a story and color simply helps us tell this story. So that's why you mentioned that tagline in the beginning. It's being intentional with color, and I think intentional use of color is sort of my number one takeaway from the whole book. It's just simply taking a step back when you're creating a data visualization or telling you the story and thinking, is this the best color or maybe even starting in grayscale mode and start thinking where what color makes sense which color makes sense? And we could spend hours talking about this topic. That's that's sort of the the story behind why I think it's important.




Frequent mistakes people make when they use colors in data viz


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yes, I completely agree. And you touched on something interesting, starting with the gray bars or gray crafts, because I think many people start with a lot of colors and then see kind of a struggle what to what to choose what to highlight. Can you share some of the frequent mistakes that people make when they use colors or, or data visualization in general because I know this is a topic you're you're passionate about?


Kate Strachnyi:

Absolutely. Yes. So for color specifically, I think the number one rule I see being broken is just using too many colors. I think you get to the end of your data visualization journey and sort of the last Age of the data analytics process. You're done with the analysis. You're done with everything. And now you're like, Okay, let's just throw some color on there. So you throw 1015 different colors and you're like okay, this is better, right? Because the color is very attractive. This is why you have so many colors behind you and I have colors behind me it is attractive to look at versus maybe a blank wall. But there's a fine line between trying to make it look like artwork versus trying to make it communicate in the sense of message and I know I know you're passionate about communicating effect building a site. I've got I've got your book here too. So making sure that you're using communication properly to tell that story and color can absolutely help you with that. So that was that's that's one it's using too many colors. Another common thing I see and now that drives me absolutely mad. I think I prefer people using too many colors. So picture a dashboard. And let's say you have four different charts. And we're talking about four regions as an example, for geographic regions, and you use four colors for those four regions and chart one great, let's say region a loop. You go to another chart, now you're talking about sales across those regions. And then you're using different colors for those regions. And that that is the part that sort of drives me crazy because people start to associate a specific color with a region and once they're in that same dashboard, they're looking at that same region. It shouldn't be the same color. It just has to be. And I think that the greater pet peeve of mine is when I see that specific orange let's say that you use for Region eight used for something completely different. And then now you're thinking you're associating that region with this other, you know, category or item that can be very confusing. So that's two and I'll just list that one more there are more but almost that one more for our talk here is not paying attention to accessibility and not taking into effect the fact that some people in this world have trouble distinguishing between the subtypes of colors. One of the most common cases is it's when green and red start to look very similar to people. It sort of looks like this. greenish brownish not good looking color. And when we think green and red is so distinct for those with normal vision, and we use that in our data visualizations. It can be confusing and misleading to those who just simply can't tell those colors apart.




How can we learn more about the preferences of our target audience?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Right before we start designing the visualizations, the dashboard. How can we get a better understanding of our audience in terms of not just color blindness, but also their preferences? Maybe? How can we do that?


Kate Strachnyi:

Well, I think a lot of times before our data visualization is seen by someone or before it goes to an audience we generally know who this is going to so as an example if you're working at a company you know this is going to your management teams and take the time to get to know who they are get to know where they are geographically because cultural and geographical aspects must be considered. Colors are interpreted, in some cases best so you differently across different cultures and in other cases, they're they're interpreted similarly, but you just have to take that into consideration. And my logic is if you simply don't know your audience, and you can't possibly get to know your audience, like if you're creating a dashboard in Tableau Public and you're just simply posting it out there and you have no clue who's going to find it or use it. I say, just be very conservative. And again, start with that grayscale balls and start to consider maybe using blue blues, probably one of the safest colors. That's I like your mind speaking in the back of blue it's very safe, you're not offending anyone here yogurt. And I think using the that color to sort of draw attention to the key points in this in the story that you're trying to share. Could be effective. But in addition to just knowing your audience, I think keeping in mind the topics that you're covering, and the colors associated with that topic can really help you with your color scheme decisions. Like if you're talking about environmental data, wherever you are looking at co2 emissions, you can spec to sort of this orange, green brownish colors, because those are the ones associated with that, that field and getting to know the colors that are associated with this specific topic you're talking about can just help make it more appropriate to your honor.




Cultural differences


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Right. It's a good point. Thinking about the topic you're you're talking about. And when you touched upon cultural differences and taking that into account while designing your charge or your dashboards I was wondering, I am aware of any differences between the US and the g7 in terms of in terms of colors, perception.


Kate Strachnyi:

First of all, thanks for saying it, right. A lot of you people can't even say that and some have actually asked me that's a real country, so I appreciate this.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Oh, really. I really wanted to visit some time. I think the countries that like was Vegas sometimes you do some good here but I'll keep it short. So there's a friend of mine who was was in the Chico Stan recently. He was hiking there. With a with a group of friends are not really friends but acquaintances who are very adventurous so they went there just to go hiking but to set out the trail you know, they wanted to discover what type of pets they can offer to people going there. He showed me some pictures it looks fabulous. So even more apt to GST, so maybe someday we'll meet there.


Kate Strachnyi:

Nah, not allowed to go back. We ran away from the country. I don't have as fond memories as you're describing. It was not great. But there were big mountains. I remember that. In terms of color. I honestly would not know because I was so young. And I I mean, I dealt with chickens. That was my childhood. Like I played with chickens and cleaned up animal stuff. I lived on the farm but I think if you're if you're thinking geographically maybe flying colors you know if you're if you're speaking specifically about did you send I think that could be a good good place to start or even the colors of the mountains. That's that's I think what most people associated with the genius




Tips in choosing and using appropriate brand colors


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yeah, so there's some things to keep in mind. Yeah. So when we design in a business situation, we often also need to think about hey, what about brand colors, right. Can you share some some tips about you know, is it ever appropriate to use brand colors?


Kate Strachnyi:

I think in a lot of cases it can be appropriate. I think it depends on the brand colors again, if your brand colors are blue or some sort of non extravagant, hot pink, or bright red colors, I think it can be appropriate. I think you have to be careful when using brand colors as a big thing data not to use those brand colors to fix negative data. So if you're showing a dashboard and everything's crashing, and you're using brand colors and vice versa, those negative associations with the brand. In other cases before I mentioned that out there like I said, you might not want that color for comparing your company with a competitor. I have heard stories where the other and it was sort of comparison of okay, us versus them comparing two metrics. And every time this light came up, the US data was in red. And so the audience immediately assumed that this company was just failing on all accounts because they were red and the other ones were like bluish or greenish and that wasn't the case. The point I'm trying to make is how much they're better than the their competitors but it came out looking like negative because this was a Western based presentation and in effect in China, this would have worked because for them the color red is more like prosperity and happiness when in a mess. For example, it's more of like danger or you're losing money. So making sure you really think it through and using those brand colors.




Best practices for data chart color


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Right. If you talk about well, it doesn't matter what type of visualization because we have charts that we can use red does it doesn't matter what type of colors we use for which chart does only have to do with the things we have discussed like cultural differences, perception and perception of people, the industry associations, or do we is there an added component about what type of charge were using?


Kate Strachnyi:

I think the chart type also matters I think, especially when we're talking about the number of colors that we're looking at. The more colors you add, obviously the the crazier it gets. But there are different chart types that can sort of take on more colors than others. So and you can actually play around with this. So if you picture a pie chart, which I wouldn't be against using a pie chart for 15 slices to begin with. But let's say you're using the pie chart and fixing slices. If you've got 15 Different colors on there, that is just a lot of times confusing, and you can't really keep up with which license which color a lot of times we're comparing it with, like color legend going back and forth and it's sort of a nightmare. So I think things like that just being even more careful and potentially graying out all the slices except the one that you're really focusing in on color that you know pick a color that makes sense for you in that situation. And stick to that color. It just helps to bring attention and then things like scattered clouds as well. If you just start adding a lot of different colors on there that can get confusing, but something like a bar chart. I'm still against using more than five colors but if you had to pick a chart they can handle more I think it would be a bar chart just because it's sort of easier on the eyes and you can you can just make more sense of it. Even the TV you know, so we try to ignore those colors. They I know that will be my my theory and charge that's a good question Gilbert. I haven't given this much thought so that's good.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

I didn't prepare this one it popped into my mind but I think it makes sense because a bar chart is at least most the best overview and without making it too confusing. But even even there if you add too much color.


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, and I'm actually thinking tree maps too. I think it has something to do with a rectangular shape that humans are just better at looking at sizes because tree maps can also take on board. For those who don't know a tree maps is just like this big rectangle that's kind of to multiple different types of rectangles that shows the distribution of it. Sort of like a pie chart with a rectangles that could probably take on the board as well.




The 3 types of colors: sequential, diverging, and categorical


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Then one one last thing about the book and on something you you wrote there you talk he's talking about three types of colors right sequential, divergent and categorical. Of course, we don't have the visual aid right now. But is it possible to talk us through in worse?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yes, yes, sure. Let's start. We'll start with categorical. So, categorical is basically when you're trying to assign a specific color for each category and this goes back to the example of the four regions right each each of the four regions can have a specific color, and those are the colors we're going to use throughout the dashboard. In that case, this this color type would be called categorical and it's used to differentiate categories. Now it's pretty, pretty straightforward. Sequential is essentially taking a color and going from like to dark shade. So an example I like to use is if we're, we're demonstrating the growth of a tree or plant we can sort of use green and start with a very faint light green for when the plant is just seated. And then as it grows up to a bigger plant or tree, we can have a bar chart that short sort of gets darker and darker green, so you're using one sheet and it's a sequential color as the numbers grow, the colors tend to get darker. And then lastly, diverging. This is sort of going from one color to another with a cycle midpoint. And this is a type of color that I would generally see used for something like profit and loss where you can have like a light orange that sort of absorbed a darker orange that sort of gets lighter as you're in the negatives of a profit and then in the middle is sort of a grayish whitish color. And then similarly then it goes from a light blue all the way to a darker blue as the profits get higher. So you want to be darker blue areas, not in the darker orange areas. And that's a diverging color thing.




Do you choose your running clothes intentionally in terms of color?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

That's such a good explanation even without the visual aids I think people are trying. So great job. One of the things you you'd like to do outside of your job is running. And I was wondering, are you intentional with color when you put on your running, running clothes because I know some people some some friends or some people I know they're very mindful of having issues with our shirts or whatever. So people don't really care. So I'm curious which camp you're in.


Kate Strachnyi:

I'm in me don't get killed account. So I put on colors that I think will be seen. Especially if I'm running it tonight. I want to make sure that it's reflected and if there's a car, they can see me. But other than that I generally don't really care too much about the colors that I'm wearing. Although I have this monthly challenge thing going on where each month I'm doing some other physical activity and it is August this year, I'm doing something called a report where I will run and I'm going to talk about the book obviously like when I talk about these runs. For each color they're able to like read for example, I'd like to wear all red. Ready, I just went shopping all right and since read has three letters, I will run three miles, right Oh, similarly for each color of the rainbow. And I think that gets me to about 36 miles for the month. I might include white black and gray because they're so important for data visualization even though they're not officially part of a rainbow. So in my mind like that as well. So that's when I'm being intentional.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Some very intentionally, that would be fun to follow that. So I know you get up very early normally 5am You said you also do some night runs do you do also do morning rolls or only mostly?



Kate Strachnyi:

I actually prefer running in the morning but sometimes for me morning means it's going to be dark out for the majority of the run. So when I when I said night run I guessing that night out it looks like night but actually early morning. I have done some night runs where I actually would run from Sunday night all the way through sunrise. I did that a couple times. And there's a David Goggins challenge which I've done twice, something that again in March where you run for hours every four miles every four hours for 48 hours. And that obviously leads you to doing some night running because there are times when you're running in the middle of the night. But the preference is on mornings I like to see the sunrise.




The biggest challenges in writing the book ColorWise


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Right. Yeah. And when when I go for running, I get a lot of ideas and it can help certainly help I think with writing a book right. And I would love to talk a bit about you writing the last book and the previous experiences you have with writing a book. So what is the what is the biggest challenge for this book specifically commonwise. In in writing it what is what are some of the biggest challenges?


Kate Strachnyi:

I think I think my main challenge was trying to make it as good as I possibly can. And I'm so glad it worked with O'Reilly at the publisher because they sort of set the deadlines and goals for me. I think if it was just me writing I would have still been writing. Like I would still be tweaking and editing all the images because I simply wanted to get it into as good shape as possible. And I didn't want to miss anything. So I think my biggest challenge was just me personally being hard on myself and trying to make it as good as possible. I do want to ask you what your biggest challenge was in writing your book,


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

I think putting everything in a logical structure. So back when I was writing this book, I didn't I was not really frequently posting online or creating speeds of content. So I was writing to boot from from scratch which which made made it very difficult. And then while putting my thoughts on the on the paper, then eventually you will also need to organize it and have a logical flow. And my editor helped him up with that. I only involve an editor quite late in the process. Then he gave me some very some 10 pages of feedback, which was very helpful. But at that point, I also knew how there's so much work I still need to do I'm kind of done with it. But I'm happy I sat down for a few days to go through everything and and restructuring but it definitely difficult process of this my experience quite rewarding right but rewarding on the percent. One of the most rewarding things I've done I think there was a big a lot of individual work though, until the point I felt like I wanted to do more things together and more collaborations with other entrepreneurs. But it's definitely rewarding. And by putting your ideas on paper, even if it's just in a journal or wherever. We're not that no one can see it. That helps me a lot to get my ideas out and to get it's a great idea machine. And what I like about you You seem to have a mindset of you know just just doing it just do it you know you set a goal or content out and does people projects conference. Let's do it. Let's set a goal and let's try to achieve it. And then you you work towards it. Have you ever because some people, me included, tend to overthink sometimes, you know, okay, how will I do it and is it feasible and those kinds of things. So sometimes I'm overthinking it, so it's inspiring to see you just take action so I'm wondering if you have ever do you have ever had those thoughts?


Kate Strachnyi:

I have the opposite problem. I completely on there think everything I do literally everything is from every aspect of life. I simply just take action and I'm glad that comes through to people outside of just me. But I think early on I knew if I wanted to learn how to do something, I simply had to do it. And there's obviously still a fear of failure associated with it. But I noticed that once you start doing the thing, it becomes a lot less scary and you actually get so many more ideas. And I also have this thing where once you get an idea I simply can't keep it to myself. I tell the world and by the world I mean publicly announced it. So if I have like a writing challenge, I announced it if I have a book I'm writing, I post about it right away now a lot of people want to keep things to themselves and sort of decide, is this a good idea? I might put a book out there and say I want to write this book. What do you guys think? And then, two days later, I might change my mind and say nevermind, which actually happened last month. I wanted to write a book. I posted about it. I did a lot of research and that one two days. And then he decided I'm not as passionate about it as I thought it was. So he sort of pulled the plug. It was about business literacy for data professionals. I'm like, I think I still think it's a good idea, but I don't think I'm the one to write it. And I think that feedback from the audience is so helpful because then you can use more resources then they're like, oh, you should talk to this person. They're doing something similar or they might be able to help and doing that sort of like planning out loud and announcing everything you're going to do has led me to so many opportunities and even publishers would reach out and say Hey, I saw you want to write a book. Maybe we can help them like oh this is great. So I've had a very positive experience. But there were times when maybe I should have thought a little bit more. Like Like when I would announce something and then I'm like, Ah, now I have to do it. So maybe I should take a little bit of a step. Back and I think before putting out my big goals out there. But so far it's definitely been more good than that. In my my lifetime.




Has she ever overthought something?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Definitely gone through that, you know, just take action and don't overthink stuff and I think it's a it's a good trades. It's a good it's helpful if you're an entrepreneur, right? not overthink so much. And I'm wondering so so you have been an entrepreneur for quite a while. And do you have any lessons because at the beginning of your life, of course it may be quite hectic moving to the US and with a new culture and new language and so I can imagine that it's not easy, right? So do you attribute any lessons for any trades you have as an entrepreneur or working in data to depth periods or what have you? Do you see any links there?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, I think especially the the childhood experience has just taught me to work hard. And stay focused on the goals. And I think that sort of stayed with me even now where if I want to accomplish something, it made me believe that anything is possible. If you simply just start and try a lot of times people discourage themselves. Oh, I can't do this. Like I always ask why why can you do it? Why tell me? Of course you can do it. Oh, I don't have time and you know, the excuses start to pile up and I'm like, no, no, I tried to get all the people I know to get whatever thing that thing is in their head that just get them to actually do it because they know how good it feels once you've actually accomplished it. What in terms of the entrepreneurial thing, I think growing up, we obviously were not rich like by any means, right? So we just, we were quite on the other side. And I think that was very motivational for me where I wanted to be more in control of finances and I wanted to know that we were good we were financially secure and safe. And I always had that thought in my head where, you know, working for a corporation is great. And I spent probably 10 years in the corporate world and I loved it. And it was a good experience. It taught me a lot. But it also taught me that I didn't want to be in a position where I'm relying on an employer because as we're seeing these days, lots of layoffs, it's very scary. I actually I feel so bad for people because they put all their eggs in that basket and they they're depending on their employer to keep them safe and secure financially. And I think that was a big motivator. Just you know, we I lived through the financial crisis in 2008 2009. I was graduating college at that time. So that also opened up my my eyes into like I want to be able to provide for myself in case something happens. So I always wanted to have a business and now I do want to screen.




Kate talks about her kids


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yeah, you managed to. And what about your kids? You have kids now?


Kate Strachnyi:

I have two girls? Yes, their age six and eight. They're in school right now. Hopefully not cold.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Do you see them as she's trying to produce Well, what do you think? Do you see low entrepreneurs?


Kate Strachnyi:

Oh, I would love is that happened? I obviously I've just support them in anything that they choose to do right now. They are quite young, but I do hear comments from them. Like, oh, you know, why is it that you can like go to all my school things or show up all the time I get some parents can. So I explained to them the concept of working for yourself and flexible schedules and they do say that you know you're your own boss and to take a to notice that and at some point when they were even younger, they said I'm glad that you don't work and I'm like, I don't work. When I was working. Because I was working in the office. I was working for myself but I was anyway like you said I wake up at five right? You're working when they're in school but they don't really see it. So they're like I'm like my mom was gonna work


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

so people say if you if you work for yourself, you have the worst boss.


Kate Strachnyi:

No, I had the best boss. times unless there's like a big project they would they don't want to do and that's the other benefit of being your own boss or you get to pick what you're working on.




Growing your personal brand - stress and worries?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

So to me it is one of the best things. That's always the struggle that I had was responsible for doing these things. And that was working on also on this and this and these kind of side projects that people sometimes supported and saw the value. And sometimes they said no, that's not what you're supposed to do. This is what your job description says, you know, this is what we read. Even though I thought you know, we can also achieve new things, you know, and I had ideas that I wanted to develop and that's where my passion comes in. But sometimes I had some struggles there and I'm very happy with my own business that I can have more freedom and choosing one wants to do something else. I'm curious about it because you've you've you've created this big platform for yourself dedicated and big following. Has it ever led to more stress or worries?


Kate Strachnyi:

Um, no, honestly, it has not led to more stress it actually leads to to more appreciation and just happiness in general. I think I've been lucky enough to avoid any of the sort of trolls or negative experiences that some people have on social media. And I think it might be because I am not very controversial to begin with. I don't typically come out there and start talking about topics that you know, half the country or half the world might disagree with. So I think because I say in this sort of data related topics, I've been able to avoid some of that negativity that some people have faced. So I've been I've been generally pretty happy. I think the only times that are against stress is like when LinkedIn is down and I you know, it's kind of refreshing. I'm like, Whoa, what's happening? That's pretty much everything else was good.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Because of your your account is deleted for some reason or hacked and it's not good. Yeah.


Kate Strachnyi:

Or I simply can't get my work done right. A lot of my work is I work as a media partner with other data companies to help them with brand awareness. And if I can't do that, then that's you know, that's my business.




How can people learn more about the book ColorWise?


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yeah, exactly. So you rely on that. Or do you see if part of your business there? Yes. Something else. I wanted to ask you because we're kind of going to the end of the conversation is like where? How can people learn more about this book about color? Wise? Where can they buy it? Find it?


Kate Strachnyi:

if you Google Colorwise it should come up on all the platforms like Barnes and Nobles, Amazon O'Reilly, my favorite, I guess platform is Amazon just because it's so easy and they tend to ship to more locations. Some people have asked if there are books if the book is in bookstores, I have no idea I don't think so. I haven't seen it I actually went to a local Barnes and Nobles and pretended I didn't know anything and they asked for this book and they looked it up. They're like we can order it for you but it's not in our store. Alright, okay. Can you look up other stores and she's like nothing around here.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Oh, that's pretty funny. And there's no picture of you on the back cover. I wanted to see


Kate Strachnyi:

there is no picture of me no which is good because you know they saw it. Yes, you for your old buck here. So yeah.




One thing that surprises people about Kate


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

So before we go to the closing, I want to I want to do some rapid fire round questions. Okay, sure. I'm ready. Okay, cool. So the first question is, what's one thing that surprises people about you?


Kate Strachnyi:

I guess that I am from Tajikistan because they don't know that the country. Yeah, yeah.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Then the second one, what's your number one place thing or person you go for learning?


Kate Strachnyi:

Learning I LinkedIn. That's just I get all the use. I get everything from LinkedIn.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

What are some of the best decisions you have ever made?


Kate Strachnyi:

Decisions I think going off on my own was probably the best decision. I just wish I made that decision sooner. But that would have to be my favorite decision.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

What is the first order do you dream though, as it gets?


Kate Strachnyi:

I thought I wanted to be a lawyer because that's what my parents said. You did you get out of college. Like I couldn't have


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

been the last one what job would you be terrible at?


Kate Strachnyi:

I would be terrible at something that is repetitive and monotonous. And just like same thing every day moving data from point A to point B all day that will kill me.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Right? Because I see a lot of variation and a lot of meat and energy from from doing loads of different things when I when I see your work when I see you speak. So I recognize that. Yeah, it's


Kate Strachnyi:

it's definitely fun to just be all over the place.



Takeaway


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

And what is one big takeaway you want this just to get from this episode from from you or from the book or whatever you want to choose?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, you know, we talked about the book enough, I think so I think the main takeaway would be something you mentioned earlier was this just do it attitude. So whatever it is that you're thinking of doing, personally or professionally, stop overthinking and just take one small action today, even if that means writing down in descriptive language, the exact goal that you're after, and then slowly putting that into, you know, maybe a task list or an action item steps that you can take and then start taking actions such as Do it like thankee right because this is not as far as I know. It might be hopefully in the future for recovered.




Kate's online community "DATAcated circle"


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

So if you if people want more, more inspiration and how to take action, how not to overthink, they can also follow follow you of course, and there's a book coming running dedicated. Can you tell us a bit more about your community and the new book that is coming? Can you tell us a bit more about that?


Kate Strachnyi:

Yeah, absolutely. So I have an online community called the dedicated circle, which is sort of like LinkedIn but for just for data professionals. There's a discussion board there are courses you can take. Then the running beta key that is a book that I'm writing currently on SaltStack. So if you just look for reading dedicated, you'll find it but I'm writing the book publicly. So each page that's coming out, that's going to be correlated over this whole here and then hopefully at some point next year, you'll see an actual book called running dedicated. It's all about how I'm running my company, how I run my conferences, my wife shows, writing books, publishing books, creating LinkedIn courses, and running so my writing adventures are there as well. So it's been a lot of fun. It's sort of like my business slash personal diary.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

I'd love to read it and the title is good guy. He blends different activities and things that you love, so I like it. Well, great. So people can find you on LinkedIn and the other place you want to social media you want to shine shout out.


Kate Strachnyi:

Oh, yeah, I think LinkedIn is probably the main one that you can find a page on YouTube and obviously dedicated.com For everything else is on that website.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Fantastic. Thanks. So thanks for the last big takeaway is definitely a lesson I had to learn and still need to relearn because I sometimes are a bit slower in taking action and thinking about getting what should be the plan while actually what bring the results is just doing it right and learning on the go and learning while you while you do it, whether it's analyzing data or building a business so I appreciate that. That is the takeaway of today. And thank you for for your time spending on the most interesting podcast,


Kate Strachnyi:

of course, so thank you so much for having me.


Gilbert Eijkelenboom:

Yeah, thanks so much. Last. Shout out for ColorWise on Amazon. Got it and you will not regret it. Thank you guys. Thank you for everyone listening and speak soon.



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