Move your body daily. I think this is the most important thing you can do. Your body is a chemical factory that produces emotional states. Emotional states are the fuel to the choices we make, and the actions we take. When you move your body you influence positive chemicals of emotions. When you move your body, you become more resilient. Period.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kit Volcano.
Kit Volcano, International Miracle Coach and CEO of The Little Volcano, creates radical healing experiences for Entrepreneurs, Celebrities, and CEOs so they can do their soul’s work on this planet.
With over 10 years of business experience, 5 years as a Transformational Coach, Kit has dedicated his life to helping others build unshakable self-belief, communicate courageously, and even create miracles.
Kit has worked with A list celebrities, producers, and directors and become one of the few transgender entrepreneurs to reach over a million dollars in revenue through their business. He has spoken on stage at The Dolby Theatre and named ’40 under 40 LGBTQ Leaders’ in Business Equality Magazine.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
From a very young age, I struggled with depression and ADHD. I am an incredibly sensitive person, and because of this, I have a unique view of life. At the core of my being, I know nothing in life is worth sacrificing for my mental health, and happiness. This has been my driving factor in creating a life that I love. I have been a fully self-supported entrepreneur since the age of 20.
I’ve owned a DJ and dance party company, owned art galleries, hair salons, a yoga studio, a yoga fashion company, and a million-dollar coaching company. I have had wild success, and total failure, through all of that I’ve learned what creates success and what creates failure, and have committed to helping people overcome the things I’ve overcome.
I’ve been married to my wife for almost 10 years. She is the love of my life. She married me when I was a woman, and now I’m a man, so that gave us a lot of resilience as a couple.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
I had a hair salon that I sold in 2015. After selling it my wife and I moved to Asheville North Carolina to open a yoga studio. It seemed like the practical and safe thing to do. Our real dream was to travel the world and teach yoga, and we opened a yoga studio out of fear we couldn’t make our real dreams happen. We thought we had to settle down to be financially stable.
What you create out of fear, creates more of what you’re afraid of. We were broke, we had a money pit for a yoga studio. We were sharing Trader Joes’ microwave meals for dinner.
We were 2000 dollars short on rent for our yoga studio, and full of worry, fear, and panic. Then something incredible happened. An intuitive voice told both of us, while we were in separate rooms, to listen to Abraham Hicks.
Abraham Hicks is the law of attraction on steroids.
I had a revelation that creating what you want wasn’t just about making vision boards and dreaming of what you wanted. You had to stop putting fear, worry, doubt, and panic on your path, or it would block you from what you wanted, and even worse, you’d create something you didn’t want.
Here we were owning a yoga studio when our real dream was to travel and teach yoga. We committed ourselves to not giving fear an inch and focused 100% on faith, worthiness, and positivity. In 1 week we turned the studio around and had our first month in the black.
And opportunities started coming out of nowhere. We got contacted to collaborate on training that brought us 13,000 dollars. We also got an offer from our yoga Instagram hero to move to Scotland and teach for him at his studio while he was on the road for 6 months. Which of course we took, and it changed our lives.
The biggest takeaway from that experience was seeing how practicality is fear and self-sabotage blocking you from having the life you want. You have one life, it’s better to spend all your energy in faith, and go after what you deeply desire.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We create miracles. We actually do that.
Lynne McTaggart was an investigative journalist who infiltrated spiritual communities with the intent to prove that their miracles were hogwash. She ended up turning into a believer, and she wrote a book scientifically breaking down how miracles happen. On a routine business trip to Disneyland, my wife read to me from McTaggart’s book “The Power of 8”.
An excerpt from the book says that when you separate someone from reality with pageantry, music, lights, sounds, smoke, mirrors, and pair it with the powerful expectation in something bigger than you, the chances of a miracle occurring is much more likely. We decided to experiment with this knowledge at Disneyland because it is the Magic Kingdom, after all.
We asked ourselves this one question. When you lose yourself in the joy, exhilaration, and magic of a ride, do you have access to higher consciousness, and the ability to create miracles?
The answer was yes. We started creating miracles on rollercoasters for ourselves and other people. It started small. We got clients, small sums of money, jobs for people, relationships healed, loved, and babies.
And then it went bigger. We organized big group rides and started healing things like brain tumors, stage-4 pancreatic cancer, spinal cord injuries, and my most recent favorite, a 4-year-old boy receiving a heart transplant in just 6 days.
When people create these miracles with us, they realize the power of their minds, and they go and create wild things in their life. The coaching we do with people goes so much deeper because they have emotionally anchored experiences of what is possible.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
During one of the darkest times of my life, I got a tarot card reading that changed my life. She said, “If you commit to doing the work of healing and loving yourself, there is an incredible life and gift on the other side, but if you don’t do the work, your life will continue to be the same until you heal what’s inside you.”
At that moment I decided to commit to the hardest self-work I’d ever done, loving myself without the need for others’ approval. In 6 months my life had turned inside out for the better. That gift showed up in the form of my soul mate. We have been happily married for almost 10 years. Sometimes it just takes that one person who gets you to wake up. That person was Amara Sophia at Spirit Dreamer Healing Studio.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience comes down to your ability to fully believe everything is working out for you. So many people let themselves get destroyed when things don’t turn out exactly as planned in their heads. It is the people that believe even the “bad” stuff will lead to the good that can stay on a forward-moving path, and turn “bad” stuff into extraordinary results.
Resilience comes down to faith, and a willingness to believe in yourself and the goodness of life no matter what. It happens in the choices you make every day. Do I choose to do the things that nurture me, and help me grow? Things like meditation, working out, eating healthy, becoming bigger than your circumstances, taking inspired action, taking disciplined action, and choosing faith.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
One of the most courageous things you can do in the face of adversity is to have faith, believe in a better future, and allow yourself to feel good despite circumstances. When you allow yourself to feel good, you access more resourceful resilient states.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
I can think of none other than Oprah Winfrey. An obvious choice, this woman had all the odds stacked against, had the unthinkable happen to her, and she has come out victorious in so many obvious and wonderful ways.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
In 2002 I went to beauty school. I struggled to know where I would fit in in the hair industry because I wasn’t the “standard” hairstylist. When I went to beauty school I was the black sheep. I’m transgender, I currently present to the world as a male, but at the time I presented as a butch lesbian. I had no references for how to be authentic in my expression, and style. The only lesbian icon was Rosie O’Donnell.
Beauty School was a very superficial, catty environment. I was in an industry that profited off of people’s insecurities and homogenized everyone to look the same. I was barely getting by in this toxic environment.
One day we had a guest speaker come to our beauty school. He was a gay man who owned a successful hair salon, and he came to do a talk about being successful in the hair industry. I felt so excited to have “family” telling me I could be successful. And then he said something that almost destroyed my future.
He presented to the class and said, “Gay men will make the most money in the industry. Followed by straight men. Followed by women.
Last on the list are lesbians.”
He looked me directly in the eyes and said “Lesbians won’t make money in hair. No one wants to get their hair cut by a lesbian. Lesbians will never be successful….quit now.”
When you believe you can’t be successful…you’ll make the road to success hard on yourself. I did just that. It took me 2.5 years to complete a 10-month program, but with about 6 months left something crazy happened.
I started to build a following of clients and make money as a hairstylist. After all, I was different, because I was a lesbian.
There was an entire untapped market of lesbians who previously had terrible hair and didn’t trust anyone to cut their hair — trusted me. I created a blue ocean with the thing that was supposed to be my downfall.
When I opened my hair salon, I hired an accountant the week before I opened the salon. I walked in and told her, “We’re gonna be busy from DAY ONE. And we will never have an empty chair.”
A year later she said, “I questioned if you would make it past your first month…most hair salons don’t make it, and here you are a year later doing everything you said you would do. You were successful right out the gates.”
When you start leading by example and loving yourself despite being different, you will create a home for people to feel loved, seen, heard, and understood with your business, and you will have clients for life. I sold the hair salon in 2015, but it still stands as a huge success 11 years later and gets some of the best hair salon awards in Chicago.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
When my wife and I got the opportunity to travel and teach yoga, we knew it was time for us to sell our yoga studio. It was a dream for one of our teachers to own a yoga studio, so we set her up to buy it. We agreed on a price and then proceeded to teach her the ins and outs of the business, sharing everything with her, the client list, how to run the accounts, the connections we had made, and an introduction to the landlord.
We threw her a party at the studio celebrating her taking over with all the students present.
At the party, something felt off. She kept pushing off the signing of the documents. It got to the point where we were two weeks past our chosen sign date. I hopped on a previously planned flight to California to see my family before our move to Scotland, praying everything would be ok. When I landed we got an email offering us 1/8 of the price we had been planning on for the past 2 months.
My wife and I felt blindsided and betrayed. Our tickets to Scotland were scheduled for 5 days. At the time we had very little money, so flying back to Rosie in Asheville at the last minute would have cost us an arm and a leg. Rosie liquidated the studio on her own, selling everything while grieving the loss and the betrayal. The teacher signed the lease with the landlord the minute we were out, and she set up shop with everything we had been teaching her for the past 2 months without paying us a dime.
We were saddled with the debt that the sale would have paid off. When we got to America from our teaching adventure, we were so broke that we were feeding ourselves with credit cards, and living out of a rented minivan. I was dumbfounded. I had experienced phenomenal business success with my hair salon, and a total dumpster fire with my yoga studio.
Even though I was dirt poor I invested in a business coach. I didn’t want to let that failure be the thing that made me quit my entrepreneurial dream. I committed to learning from my mistake, and also finding out what I needed to do differently, and passing on this knowledge so nobody ever had to go through what I went through.
We went from homeless to making 6 figures in 1 year, and since then have become one of the first self-made trans people in the world to reach a million dollars in revenue in business. Two years after the betrayal happened my wife and I had plans to return to Asheville for the first time since our traumatic exit.
A psychic healer I was working with instructed me to go to the ocean and gather a bag of sand to take with me to Asheville. I resisted it because I didn’t know what I would be doing with the sand. I finally convinced myself to drive to the beach and gather the sand at 10 pm the night before our flight left. When I got to the ocean, I stuck my feet in the sand and immediately dropped to my knees in surrender. The past two years I carried so much resentment and anger toward this woman who betrayed us. Up until that moment I stepped into that sand, I had envisioned throwing a brick through her window when I saw the studio again, but when I got to the ocean that vision dramatically changed.
As I stuck my fingers in the sand scooping large fistfuls into a gigantic freezer zip lock bag I realized every single grain of sand that passed through my fingers represented the blessings I received because she played her divine part. It couldn’t have happened any other way. My life was filled with so many blessings because of the way things turned out with the yoga studio. After a long redeye flight to Asheville, the first thing I did was go to her studio and lovingly spread every grain of sand all over her outdoor patio recycling the blessings I had received back from her.
Anytime I experience hurt, anger, or resentment towards anyone, if I connect with this lesson I feel peace and healing in my heart.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very resilient growing up. I think that’s very important for the readers to know because you see people who “make it” in life, and you think, oh they were just born with something special. Not me, I was so incredibly sensitive with a tough exterior, and it almost destroyed me. I was depressed and anxious, and often suicidal. I was always searching for meaning, and it always seemed as if things were meaningless, and I was all alone.
Everything started to shift in my 20’s when I started to seek out a deeper spiritual meaning for life. I started to understand that I created my reality, and everything was working out for a deeper purpose. That is when the innate resilience I had inside me started to come through.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Accept the worst possible outcome. Most people make decisions to avoid terrible outcomes. When you can accept any outcome you are truly resilient, but also you are not chained by fear. You actually can make much clearer, more aligned decisions when you accept all realities as possible.
- Believe in the best possible outcome.
Even if you can accept the worst possible outcome, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t point towards where you want to go. Keeping the best, most delightful, happy, and joyful outcome in your heart is sometimes the only thing that will keep you going. When you believe in that outcome, you will make decisions that move you towards that vision.
- Question your reality daily by asking yourself this question: Does this have to be true for me? One of the hardest things to overcome is the dictates of society, your family, the people you’re surrounded by. If you are ever told something that is limiting or degrading to you, simply questioning the truth of it allows you to write your truth.
- Take full responsibility for what you want, and give to yourself shamelessly as a radical act of self-love. My life-long battle with depression ended when I fully accepted that I was in full control over what I wanted in life, and the best way to love myself was to give myself what I wanted on a soul level. This means doing simple things like getting massages, taking a walk along the beach, enjoying the sunset while drinking a glass of wine, taking a vacation, and bigger things like saying yes to a scary dream that feels so right inside you, investing in support that would get you there easier and faster.
The hardest and most powerful way to do this is when our desires may not look like everyone else. When you take responsibility for your unique needs, wants and desires and make yourself right for them by allowing yourself to have what you want, resilience is not needed as much because you’ve accessed flow with your divine nature.
- Move your body daily. I think this is the most important thing you can do. Your body is a chemical factory that produces emotional states. Emotional states are the fuel to the choices we make, and the actions we take. When you move your body you influence positive chemicals of emotions. When you move your body, you become more resilient. Period.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would inspire a radical, whole, vulnerable, transparent, wild, reverent self-love movement. If we all loved ourselves in the ways we deserve to be loved, peace and healing would wash over this planet.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Oprah Winfrey, Esther Hicks, Tony Robbins, Elon Musk, their impact on me and the world is unparalleled. I want to compare miracle stories that leave us both in awe of the life we get to live.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
thelittlevolcano.com @thelittlevolcano @kitvolcano
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!