B R A V E L Y - A new book, and more!

Good morning! I am writing this over iced coffee, of course, except that it's black iced coffee because I'm doing Whole 30 this month. (Yuck face. To the coffee, not the Whole 30. More on that later.) I'm very excited to tell you about what I've been working on lately! My self-development workbook has been years in the making and is coming along, and all of this stems from what I've been developing and wanting to share with you! 

First of all, I'm planning to release it as a book with a workbook companion. If you're like me, most of the time I really love to read people's stories - where they come from, what's been hard, what's been good, what's been wild, and what they've learned - but I also love guided ways to apply new ideas to my own life. So I'll be creating both for you, with expected release dates in 2017!

In addition, I'm creating a planner. I love planners and still use a good ole paper one myself. Over the last several years I've picked up things I've liked from several I've tried as well as things I wish were different based on the way I use it. The planner will also come out next year for the 2018 year. 

That's not all, starting this month (!!!) I'll have a store with related products launching right here. Think mugs and tumblers and muscle tanks and all those things that make your day just a little sweeter. New content is coming too, with fresh posts going up regularly and emails so you don't miss anything important. 

And, because I wanted to give it all a name that summarizes the inspiration behind it... meet "Bravely." 

I can't wait to share more with you! Let's live bravely together. 


What an incredible experience it was to go visit my hometown of Meadville, PA, stop by Hank's Frozen Custard and the house that built me, walk the halls of my high school, and have the honor of giving the commencement address at graduation.

Here are two versions of the video, and the full speech text:

"Never in a Million Years"
Commencement Address
by Kimberly Novosel
Meadville Area Senior High School
June 10, 2016

Thank you Principal Higgins. Hello Class of 2016, teachers and faculty, proud parents, family and friends. 

You’ll have to pardon the southern accent I’ve picked up. I’ve been gone a long time now.

Fifteen years ago I sat in one of those chairs, in this room, ready and so eager for what was to come outside the walls of this high school and beyond the roads of my hometown. Never in a million years could I have imagined I'd stand on the red carpet at the Grammy awards alongside Beyonce, ride four wheelers across the desert in Arizona, take a trip to Paris by myself on a whim, or double stick tape Miley Cyrus into a Roberto Cavalli gown (back when she wore gowns). Never in a million years would I have imagined I'd live in LA, New York, Portland Oregon, and Nashville. Officiate a wedding on a beach in Mexico. Run a half marathon. Publish a book. Survive hurricane sandy and several broken hearts. Start my own artist management firm where I get to do what I love every single day. And truly, never in a million years, would I have imagined I'd be invited to come back to give this speech here today. 

Hellen Keller wisely said, "Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all." It really is. I am living proof. As you set out into what lies ahead, you are in for the adventure, literally, of a lifetime. Trust me when I tell you that as you sit here today, never in a million years can you imagine the amazing things that lie ahead for you. 

There are a few lessons I've learned in the fifteen years since I sat where you are that you may take with you as you set off on your incredible journey. I won't tell you WHO to be, I'll tell you HOW to be. These are my five BEs. 

FIRST, Be really freaking patient. 

Not everything you want will happen immediately.  Or this year. Or in your twenties. At twenty-one when I graduated college, I thought I would get "the job” and work my way to the top into my own well decorated corner office in a matter of months or a few very short years. I would buy "the home” and have a family and then turn, like, twenty-seven. (The parents laughed at that but you students will just have to trust me, students, that life actually gets better after twenty-seven.) I was frustrated and full of impatience when just out of college “the dream job” I landed was in an office without any windows. I hadn’t earned the windows yet! No one was going to magically appoint me head of a record label or manager of a major artist just because I thought I was ready. But that job led to working on the TV show Nashville Star, and music videos for Blake Shelton and Josh Turner. That work led me to start an artist development company at which I was my only employee, which evolved into the management company I have now with a business partner and a team where I get to shape the careers of some really talented musicians. 

Instead of “having it all” by twenty-seven, I was still discovering - I was figuring out what I was good at, what I may become exceptional at, about how the music industry was changing because of streaming and social media and what that meant for my career, and I was meeting more people who would provide valuable support to me as time went on. I was moving to New York to try something different and brought some outside perspective and a bit of a thicker skin back to Nashville. I was starting a business so that instead of a well-decorated corner office I’d have a shot at a whole empire. I was becoming a stronger decision maker and a better leader. And I was having a lot of fun while doing it. I didn’t know it at the time, especially in the earlier moments I was buying groceries with spare change, but I was living my daring adventure. 

Those are two very different pictures, aren't they? Know which one I like better? The real one. If I had the first life, I am pretty sure that I would have woken up on my twenty-seventh birthday and thought, "but what now?" instead of, "what's next!?"  I'm not saying you can't or won’t have a family, home, or dream job in your twenties.  I AM saying, don't force it or expect it. Don’t declare yourself a failure for not having achieved a certain level of success by some arbitrary deadline. Keep working hard. Keep exploring and discovering. Learn to love living in the “meantime.” I promise you, life is not that short.

SECOND, Be your own best friend.

My last semester of college I spent in a not-actually-abroad abroad program in LA, interning in MGM's music supervision department where I got to help research and select music for movies. "Maybe I'll stay in LA," I remember thinking. "Maybe I'll work where music and movies come together, and live in Venice beach, and surf on the weekends." When MGM didn't offer me a job at the end of the semester, I was disappointed. But I shouldn't have been. My supervisors could see what I couldn't. I did the work fine, but I didn't love it. It didn't drive me. I wouldn't have spent my days wanting to be there rather than anywhere else. I didn't really love to surf, either. I wasn't asking myself the right questions. I wasn't hearing my own voice loud and clear. Now, even on the really hard days when nothing is going right, I still love what I do. 

Somewhere along the line, I got to know myself. I started asking myself the right questions. I learned to pinpoint my north on my compass, even if it was different from everyone else’s. And I learned to use that compass to make my own decisions, move forward, and not look back.

People will come and go in your life. You are your greatest constant. You can't abandon you. You can't move away from you. You can't break up with you. You can't grow apart from you. Nourish the relationship you have with yourself. Get to know yourself well. Celebrate your strengths. Be honest and kind to yourself about your weaknesses. Love yourself unconditionally. Try new things all the time. Treat yourself with great care. Trust your own gravity to lead you. 

Author Augusten Burroughs wrote, "You will feel a pendulum swing within you, favoring one direction or another. And that is your answer. The answer is always inside your chest. The right choice weighs more." 

Find north on your compass and follow it. Be your own best friend and even in the moments you’re alone, you will not be lost. 

THIRD, Be limitless. 

When I moved to New York, I wanted to find a workout I could afford on a more limited budget. (It’s true that New York is super expensive, y’all.) Prior to then I’d taken the occasional yoga class with friends or maybe ran-slash-walked a 5K for a good cause. Fitness was never my thing. I didn’t grow up an athlete. I wasn’t built for it, physically or mentally. Or so I thought. In New York I discovered that there was a track down the street in a public park – Lucky me! Free fitness! Unluckily, running had always been one of my least favorite activities. “I’m not a runner,” I had said over and over throughout my life. Yet I was determined.

Starting at a slow pace, I jogged around the track a lap or two before my lungs hurt and I had to walk. I might have been wearing my nearly ten year old Meadville cheerleading shoes. Every day I did this again. My agreement with myself was that I could go as slow as I needed to, so long as I ran further than the day before. I was kind to myself and patient with my improvement. There were tricks I invented to distract my doubting mind, for example I would picture clones of myself cheering me on, or each lap I would think of a new goal for myself, or another person I was grateful to have in my life. And wouldn’t you know, in less than three months I was able to run three miles - a 5K - in 27 minutes. And I actually kinda liked it! I went ahead and bought new running shoes. 

This blew me away. It still does. I believed I wasn’t a runner. I thought it wasn’t in me. I thought I wasn’t capable. But none of that was ever true. After I broke that first huge barrier, there wasn’t much to stop me from breaking more in other aspects of my life. That simple shift in perspective changed me entirely. I no longer look at things as “can’t” and “can” or “able to” and “unable to.” Instead, I see things as “I haven’t tried it yet” or “I haven’t yet learned how.” But everything is possible.

You are capable of more than you can imagine. When I sat where you are now, I wasn’t the star athlete. I wasn’t the valedictorian or even a straight A student. I wasn’t the best dancer in my ballet classes or the best performer in my theatre productions or the best singer in chorus. I actually wasn’t a very good singer which is why I now make musicians and not music. I was - to be honest - average. And that’s because I believed I was average. Nothing has been decided for you. There are no limits placed on you aside from the ones you place on yourself, and it’s entirely up to you to remove them. “You haven’t tried it yet” and “you haven’t yet learned how,” but if you believe you can, you will. You are limitless. 

FOURTH, Be absolutely fearless.

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, said: "fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It's the mastery of fear."

You won’t be able to avoid the storms in life, and you shouldn’t. Instead, you can determine how to approach them. When a buffalo senses an oncoming storm, he runs into it, knowing that moving toward the storm rather than away from it will lessen the time he has to endure it. His courage reduces his suffering. 

I have vowed to live like the buffalo. If something scares me in its greatness, like living in New York City or running a half-marathon or starting a business, I move in its direction. I Whether you fail or succeed isn’t the point. When I wrote my book, a novel called Loved, there were pieces in the story that were parts of my own life. My own secrets. My own mistakes. If I had been too fearful of putting those things out into the world, I wouldn’t have inspired my readers to learn from my mistakes and live stronger, bolder lives themselves. Here’s another example: I’m really quite nervous to be standing up here speaking to you. You’re all looking at me, and listening to what I think are interesting stories and smart lessons and maybe a few funny jokes. Or you may not even be listening which would be worse. But if I had said no, I wouldn’t have the chance to do something that never in a million years would I have thought I’d be invited to do. And honestly, let me just take this in for a second, because this is really pretty awesome. This is a moment I’ll never forget. And hopefully in attempting to master fear today I’ve been able to inspire you a little bit. 

So, whether it means speaking in front of hundreds of people or climbing a mountain or even dedicating the next few years of your life to doing well in college, run toward what scares you. Face the challenges. Savor them. It is surviving the storms that makes life worth living. 

Those are the first four BEs. Be really freaking patient. Be your own best friend. Be limitless. And be absolutely fearless. 

But, most importantly, if you only remember one thing from what I've said to you today, let it be the fifth BE. 

The future you, who could be standing up here in fifteen years. Who could be changing the world by giving shoes to children in need or sharing important news via your own media company or publishing New York Times best selling books, or a thousand other really incredible things, you are already becoming that person. Starting today, the choices you make shape who you’ll become. Not once you are wiser or richer or older, but right now. So I’m challenging you to do your best every day with what you have. Beginning today, you get to decide who you are becoming. 

That's the fifth "be" - no matter where life takes you from here, be your very best self. 

G I R L B O S S - The Girl with the Clipboard Who Didn't Do Anything

 Me and my clipboard on a nationwide tour I planned and managed for a client, several years later.

Me and my clipboard on a nationwide tour I planned and managed for a client, several years later.

Back in my styling days when jobs would come and go, I took on additional work to fill the extra time I had when I wasn't on set. One of such jobs was assisting at weddings. I'd coordinated a few by then for friends, and I found a wedding planning company who hired girls to help out on weekends. It was flexible and mostly pretty fun. There was one wedding in particular where I got to be the lead on the big day. 

I worked with the bride on the decisions, the venue on the details, and the team at the planning company to schedule and prepare. I put more of myself into this wedding than was contractually required of me, because it mattered to me that it went well and I had the time and energy to give. 

The wedding turned out beautifully. Some things went wrong, which happens at every wedding, but the guests were never the wiser and those things were all made right to the best of my ability. I won't go into detail because at this point the relevancy of who said or did what has long expired, but suffice to say that at the end of the day, my feet were sore, my teammates and I were tired, and the bride was happy. Her mother was not. 

She called my boss and described me as "the girl with the clipboard who didn't do anything." I was devastated. After all the hard work I'd done, after how much this event mattered to me, to feel wrongfully and so rudely criticized stung hard. So hard that still, half a decade and several dozen events under my belt later, I still feel disbelief when I think of her words.

Just because I didn't appear to her to be frazzled (a strength, actually - a client later called me "swanlike under pressure") didn't mean I wasn't making things happen. Standing there with my clipboard, I could have just given the DJ a cue, or sent a teammate to check on meals with the caterer, or probably both of those and five other things. There's an art to being an orchestrator and it's being aware of every person and every task all at once. She couldn't know. But she made an assumption that became her reality, and her words were carved on my little perfectionist heart. 

The trouble with words like hers is that now, as I sit at my desk late in the evening after working several long all-day days, and turn the page in my notebook to see a tentative schedule I created for my second business' upcoming first promotional event, I hear those words echo. It doesn't matter that I run two businesses. It doesn't matter that I love what I do or that I work extraordinarily hard at it. It doesn't matter how much I have grown as a leader and a communicator. Because I still have to pause to ask myself, am I going to be seen as the girl with the clipboard who doesn't do anything? 

But do you know why I'm grateful for those terrible words? Because in every moment that they falsely make me doubt myself, they challenge me to remember why they are wrong. I know what I'm good at. I know how to delegate what I'm not. I know how to imagine something and then make it a tangible thing that affects people in a positive way. I know what I'm capable of. And even if that one woman never knows how wrong she was about me, I prove it to myself every single day.

The girl with the clipboard who doesn't do anything? I've never met her. 


The first morning I got on a bike it was 8 am in TriBeCa. I went as part of a group outing with some women I was newly working with, and to say I went hesitantly is to put it mildly. To be more precise, I had already figured I would hate every one of the 45 minutes, plus the hour of dread beforehand and probably also the lasting pain afterward. And I kind of wasn't wrong. 

It was hard. Really, really hard. I couldn't keep up. I didn't know what was happening a lot of the time. My legs tired very early in the class. I was nervous and embarassed and beyond physically uncomfortable. What I watched other riders do seemed impossible for me. 

So I did what I do when facing anything that challenges me: I ran toward it. Five classes, I promised myself. I would take five classes and if I disliked it still I wouldn't have to go back. At least then I would know it wasn't because I "couldn't."

I sat on the right side of the room near the wall, where in the moments I needed it most I could literally reach out and touch the word "warrior" on the wall next to me. I sweat more than I've ever sweat in my life. My body grew stronger. My legs could endure longer. I often cried onto my handlebars. In those days I was buying groceries with spare change. I was lonely in my relationship. I didn't know what my next steps were in life. It was on a bike that I decided to leave New York, even though I loved the city so much. It was on a new bike that I found a community at my next stop in Portland. It was on a bike that I decided what I wanted most, that I could take care of myself, and what I would stand for in life. It was on a bike that I found my best self.

When I moved back to Nashville to start PMG, there wasn't a bike for me here, but I needed one. I needed to be consistently reminded of what I'm capable. I needed to remind others that they are warriors too. I needed something to challenge me every day to live my best life as my most amazing self. I needed a community of people who see life the way I do, with the volume up all the way and sweat running into their eyes. I needed to do my part to inspire this city I love so much. I needed something to fuel the power of turning in my life. 

So along with my friend and business partner LB, we began planning and planning and searching and building. And now, more than a year after we gave it a name, we are finally able to share this news with you.

Let me introduce you to our cycling studio, coming to East Nashville in 2016. It's called Verticity, which means the power of turning.

Consider this your invitation, and your challenge. 

Follow us:


S U N D A Y P A P E R | Vol. 43

Happy 2016, lovely readers! If you've been missing my posts then hop on over to 12th & Broad where I've been writing a weekly column titled Bring Your Brave, all about exploring the entrepreneur life as it applies to anyone who wants to live their best life. But even having spent more of my time there lately, I've missed my Sunday Papers. So here's a fresh one for you to start out the year. Enjoy, and cheers to an amazing 2016! 


This. Is. Incredible. If 2016 looks anything like this, we're in for an empowering year yet. Keep spreading the messages. Ask her more. Tell her she's smart before you tell her she's pretty. Use "like a girl" as a compliment. Raise 'em up. This is real life, and the last one, well, oldest is wisest. 


Do you recall the author Augusten Burroughs? He wrote a few over the last decade plus that I'm sure you've heard of: Holidays on Ice and Running with Scissors to name a few. Well, he's back this Spring (March 29th) with a new memoir that will surely be full of his darkly hilarious and deeply true observations. There is no website with more drool-worthy pictures then The Coveteur, and no closet more decadent than Rosie Huntington Whiteley's. The Isabel Marant booties! The vintage robe! THE BALMAIN JACKETS! The Story // Behind the Scenes


I celebrated New Year's Eve on my own, and no, I did not drink the entire bottle of champagne. Most of it is slowly going flat in my refrigerator, but thanks to Food52 I can use it up in any - or all, resolutions be damned - of these delicious recipes. How about bottles of wine you were gifted over the holidays? Here are 5 ways to put cheap wine to use



P A R I S | a few words

The Paris attacks earlier this month have had an impact on the world. I didn't plan to write about it because, well, a few reasons. One being, I don't have to say something about everything. Also, so many of us have a special love for the City of Light, so I'm not unique in my passion for Paris. And of course, Paris isn't the only city hurting right now in the world. It's not only about Paris. There are plenty of words out there about this.

So I'll give you the other reason that this tragedy has had such an impact on me, especially what happened at the Bataclan. This is my life. I manage artists. I plan and organize and go to concerts for a living. It could have been one of my artists. It could have been any or many of my friends. It could have been me. The music industry, we're family. Music fans are the reason I get to do what I do, and I'm one of them too. 

In this interview, the band Eagles of Death Metal say it perfectly. I'll be thinking of their words especially this week as I spend thanksgiving with people I love and am so grateful for. 

"I have a house that is paid for because rock and roll has blessed me and has been very good to me. I have been blessed with beautiful friends. I feel like I have a life of blessings... I want to spend my life smiling with my friends and entertaining them... "

"I cannot wait to get back to Paris... I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up, because I was there when it went silent for a minute. Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died. I'm going to go back there and live."

You can, and should, watch the whole interview right here: