Katie Bone

katie bone

We really enjoyed speaking with Katie Bone, she is such an inspirational leader focussed on continuously developing herself, having recently completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training course, and impacting positively the people around her. A can-do attitude saw her start from scratch a hospitality related festival called PXplus which she ran for 2 years, investing her heart, soul and money into. The personal and professional growth she has gained from this experience is astonishing and she now puts that to good use as the Head of Brand Experience at Beavertown.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

I read a lot. 

The body keeps the score by Bessell van der Kolk.

Braiding sweet grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Anatomy of the spirit by Caroline Myss.


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?)

I use Dr. Nelson’s Steam inhaler first thing in the morning and before meditating every day.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

I created a festival from scratch for the hospitality industry called PXplus. It was something I worked very hard to create and invested a lot of personal money and time. After 2 years it failed. Not succeeding was difficult, but also overcoming my shame and my failure of grief. We experience grief all the time, not just in death. This failure took me two years to overcome. It was extremely humbling. I learnt that I can’t know everything. Looking back my business was never going to work. There were bits that were very successful. And bits that were not. I believe in the balance between courage and determination. I’m now humbled enough to listen to advice. But back then I wasn’t open enough to take that on board. Moving forward I realise I need a support network that I can trust. People who will tell me the truth, honestly and openly.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

Ski your own ski. 

I learned to ski later in my life when my husband was already skilled. My first time on the snow he would tell me – do your own thing. Get in your own lane and focus on yourself. Stop looking at how everyone else is doing.

I like the quote by Najwa Zebian “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” This resonates with me, it’s about being brave, being honest. Then when you’ve learnt the lesson let it go and move on. 


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

I invested in a 300 hour Radical Darshan course. It made me take a fundamental look at myself, what my beliefs were, what my desires were, what my expectations were and it changed the way that I viewed myself and the people around me. It was a nine-month course, and it’s changed my life. I’ll never go back. 


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

When I get into a swimming pool, I have to swim 50 lengths. Never less, never more. When I’m swimming there’s no distractions. I’m just with myself and my thoughts. I think there’s something about having the consistency of the front crawl motion which helps me process what’s going on. Being in water is highly meditative.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life? 

More consistent meditation practice 0ver the last two years. On a daily basis and without using any apps I’ve created a ritual that has really grounded me and improved my self awareness.


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?” 

Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Be humble. You’re human and you’ll make mistakes, Strive for balance to succeed.

Ignore any advice that doesn’t resonate with your heart. If it doesn’t feel right, ignore it. 


What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

There is a belief in the hospitality industry that in order to be successful you just need to work hard and have dedication. However, I believe other things are important too. Life is full of richness and there’s more to life than dedication and hard work, which tends in my experience to lead to burnout. So many lives have changed negatively because of this. Why do we have the same work mindset as we did during the industrial revolution which is all about increasing productivity?


What frustrates you the most about your industry and the way companies are run in it?

A lack of balance and treating people as products. The industry has so much creativity, is vibrant and fun. I’m interested to see what happens in the next five to ten years. As an industry we should be in service to others and it should be a rewarding experience. 


In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realisations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

Everything. Through yoga and meditation I’ve cultivated a deeper awareness of myself. This becomes a funnel for my decision making.


What does a balanced life look like to you? Has a work or a project you have been focused on caused you to neglect other areas of your life?

Having freedom in all areas of my life, to choose what I do.

Having time each day that isn’t productive to reflect and recharge. 


When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

Conscious breathing, sitting on the floor grounds me. I feel connected with the Earth. And before that, I ask myself, what do I need? Is it a walk, is it a dance, is it a swim? I try and take a moment to tune into myself, 


What does leadership mean to you? 

The responsibility of being part of a team to drive and embrace change. Can’t do it alone. Team respects what the aim is.


What do the words principles and values mean to you?

Principles are guided by my values. I have a core set of values.

It’s how I interact with myself and other people. And as I get my experience, those values change.


If you had a forum to speak to 50 leaders, what question would you pose to them, to get them thinking about and being better leaders?

How can you impact the communities you work with to drive positive change for everyone? 

Leaders need to be better at trying to include all stakeholders.


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

Cooking. I have a love-hate relationship with cooking. My husband’s a chef and I don’t have a lot of patience and I need a mindset change. If I put some love into my cooking, it’ll only transfer to my own well-being. My dog has some health issues and I have changed its diet from processed food to home cooked food and this has improved the dogs well-being and experience of life. I now need to do that for myself. 

At work more feedback from my bosses and to my colleagues from myself will result in more growth. I value lifelong learning.


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

Yes, the yoga teacher training has grounded me in spirituality and self-awareness. I have had a coach before which I found really useful And I find myself being a mentor really rewarding. I have weekly therapy sessions which have been life-changing and something I think culturally we could all do a lot more of.

Topic: 50 in 50