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Crystal Uncorked

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Are you ready to open up about all things business!? I’m Crystal Vilkaits, a curious entrepreneur who LOVES talking about business, especially over a glass of wine. I started Crystal Uncorked to share open and honest conversations about my journey, and talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences. We pull back the curtain and talk about the highs…AND the lows. Wine isn’t required, but is recommended. This is Crystal Uncorked.🍷


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Are you ready to open up about all things business!? I’m Crystal Vilkaits, a curious entrepreneur who LOVES talking about business, especially over a glass of wine. I started Crystal Uncorked to share open and honest conversations about my journey, and talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences. We pull back the curtain and talk about the highs…AND the lows. Wine isn’t required, but is recommended. This is Crystal Uncorked.🍷






Making A Difficult Decision About Crystal Uncorked

It’s episode 100! I remember starting this podcast like it was yesterday. I was so excited. I had been wanting to do it for years and we finally did it. And then people gave me feedback and they loved it and they were tuning in and it was just so fun. And then it got challenging and I took a couple of breaks. And recently I have been thinking about where we going with this show and what are we doing. I've had a lot of people ask me what does success look like for CU and what its purpose? This show started as a passion project for me. I just wanted to do this and have fun while connecting with an audience in a different way. And I honestly feel like it was a stepping stone to help me launch Rooted in Retail. But as I reflect, journal, and plan for 2024, I needed to get really clear on my priorities as I plan to travel more, get married and continue to grow Crystal Media. And it became clear that it’s time to conclude this show, at least for now. I had a really hard time coming to this conclusion because I really felt like I am letting my listeners down because I made a promise that I was going to continue this show at least until I was 40 (which is in 2025). And I felt I was letting myself down by not keeping my commitment. And in a way there's a part of me that kind of feels like a failure by stopping the show. I talk more about why I felt like this was he right decision in today’s episode. But I want to thank you so much. It really means the world to me that you have been on this journey with me. I'm wishing you a very amazing 2024. Thank you so much. Cheers.


Molding My Mindset Using A Word of the Year

The word of the year is something that so many people do. The idea is that you pick a word and commit to it throughout the year, it's your theme. The goal is that you're going to put more of a spotlight and an effort on that word to enhance your life, create change, and build upon something that you're trying to achieve. In today’s episode, I reflect on my word of the year from 2023. And talk about how I chose my word of the year for 2024 (because I had two really good words to pick from!) But in the end my word was chosen because I want to make an effort to change how I think about my business and focusing on one word over the other would help me do just that! If you would like to spend some time planning for the next year, I invite you to join me for my three-day live transformational challenge happening January 15-17th at 8:30am MT. I have massively transformed over the past year. I’ve never felt more clear and confident with where my business is going. What I want personally. An how I show up for myself for my business. I'm in a really good place, but I had to work really hard to get here. And so I'm pulling back the curtain and sharing how I did it. Day One: We're going to be focusing on clarity and vision. I'm going to share my hacks and the tools I've used to help me get really clear on my vision. Day Two: Is about action and momentum. I'm going to talk about what we can learn by getting into action and give you some exercises to help you jump into action and help you get really clear about where you need to create action to then give you momentum. Day Three: Is about growth and visibility. We're going to talk about digital marketing, being seen and getting yourself out there. I will share some hacks that will save you a lot of time and ways to have your content seen by more. So if you want to join me on this three-day transformation challenge, go to and register.


Committing to Deadlines: Making Dreams Come True in 2024

It's the final episode of 2023 and we are talking about something that's going to help you achieve a big goal. If there's something big you want to achieve in 2024, I am going to tell you the secret to getting it done! Pick a deadline! Yup, that's it! Once you have set that deadline for yourself, you now have to work backward to accomplish it by that date. Tune in today to as I talk about:


Commit to the Journey, Not the Outcome

In this episode, I want to share a mindset that has had a significant impact on my business results and sales. It's an idea that learned from Marie Forleo to not be 'attached to the results.' I wanted to share with you what happened the first time I attempted to have a six-figure launch when my focus was only on the outcome. And then the difference it made when my team cut me off from the sales results when I hosted my first conference. This is a journey of focusing on the process and staying unattached from outcomes that ultimately result in increased sales and business growth. As you begin to plan for 2024, I want you to focus on the journey rather than the outcome.


Boosting Productivity and Creativity with AI and Project Briefs

In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about two tools that I use in my business. First up is DALL·E 3, a plugin with ChatGPT, that I’m a little obsessed with right now for creating really amazing graphics. I share how I recently used it to design a graphic to represent an upcoming retreat I’m hosting as well as some fun personal projects I used it for. Next up is a tool that we can not live without at Crystal Media, our project briefs. This one tool allows us to fully outline an idea or project before bringing it to the team. It helps us to stay focused and keeps the project idea in one place for everyone to review. I shared how we used it for our upcoming retreat, how I used it when creating a course, and how a retailer might use it for an upcoming promotion. Tune in to learn: [00:00] Welcome [00:58] Using DALL·E 3 to create a graphic for the Oasis of Opportunity Retreat and More! [07:04] The power of the Project Brief [19:01] Check out my amazing photographer and a special offer for you! [20:28] What's coming next week Get links to all of the tools mentioned here:


How I Delighted My Audience and Employees this Holiday

This week on Crystal Uncorked I’m feeling the Christmas spirit! I wanted to share with you about my recent experience interviewing Santa Claus on Rooted in Retail! It is by far the most effort my team and I have ever put into a podcast episode. The episode is full of amazing ideas for your business to use during the holiday season (retailer or not). But even if you aren’t you should check it out because it is one of the coolest uses of AI. Santa’s part in the episode was developed using synthesia, an AI software that focuses on creating training videos with AI avatars and voices. We then recorded following the AI and edited the whole thing together to look and sound like it happened in real time. Its truly something I’m proud to have created. Then continuing with the holiday magic I share with you what I do with my staff at Crystal Media to show my appreciation for their hard work and give them a much needed break at the end of a busy year. While this might not work for every business at this time of the year, I would encourage you to find a way to bring this practice into your business at another time of the year. Links: Get your tickets to EVOLVE at Santa’s Interview on Rooted In Retail:


How I Launched My Six-Figure Agency

So I realized that when I shared how I started my first business (Three Elements) in episode 88, I kind of left you hanging because I told you that I closed that business because I missed working with a team and I was given this amazing opportunity to work at a SaaS startup, Snap Retail. And clearly, that didn’t take either because here I am running my own successful business! So today I want to continue the story by sharing what happened at Snap Retail, how I ultimately started Crystal Media, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. If I can offer you some encouragement right now. If you have a pull towards something in your life, it might be to start a business, a hobby, a new career, travel, whatever - don’t ignore it! Journal on it and discover what it is you truly want and then go for it! You never know what might come from it. This week I share: [01:37] Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great holiday! [03:10] What happened at Snap Retail? [07:35] A huge lesson I learned in corporate - I want to be building something bigger. [08:49] The idea for Crystal Media started on a cruise [10:09] New Moon Journaling Ritual (this is really great way to vision cast your ideas!) [12:19] As with the start of all great companies - It starts by getting laid off [15:19] Launching Crystal Media [17:39] How I landed my first clients [21:59] Launching A Membership Site [25:31] How did I choose my first service offerings and how did they evolve? [26:41] Burning Out and Bringing on a Team


Dreams, Regrets, and Taking Your Shot

In this episode of Crystal Uncorked, I’m sharing a recent experience I had on stage at Build Your Brand - Live! Out of the 300 super connector mastermind members, I was one of 10 who was asked to be on stage to share my experience in the program. And while I shared about how much my life has changed since I made the decision to invest in myself through the program, I also seized the moment and shared with a room of 600+ people that my biggest dream was to host my own studio talk show. The response to my testimonial was intense with conference attendees coming up to me asking to take pictures with me so they could say “I knew her when.” Their belief in me and my dreams (even when they didn’t know me) helped me to remember that one of the most powerful things we can do is share our ideas, dreams and hopes openly with the world. It's through sharing that amazing things can happen because you never know who's listening and how they can help get you closer to that dream. If you aren’t sure what your big dream is yet, then take a minute and think about this. At the end of your life - what will you regret not having tried? What dreams would you regret not chasing? Then how do you get started? I know it's uncomfortable and I know you don't have it all figured out, but you're not going to figure it out until you do it. Journal on it. If you are up for it, feel free to share with me your thoughts! This week we talked about [01:07] The ultimate game to play at Epcot and riding Guardians of the Galaxy at Disney World. [04:23] Why I invest in attending in-person conferences [06:40] Being asked to speak on stage at Build Your Brand Live! [08:00] What has contributed to my transformation over the last 18 - months? [10:24] I took my shot while I was on stage and shared my ultimate goal with 600+ people. [13:21] The impact of sharing my dreams on stage (hint: I felt like a rockstar!) [15:46] Are you clear about what it is you truly want? [18:40] What would you regret if you didn’t go after your dreams? Resources: Build Your Brand Live Super Connectors Oasis (retreat) Evolve (Conference) Connect with me: Instagram: Crystal Vilkaitis


Five Questions That Can Really Change Your Perspective

In this episode of Crystal Uncorked, I’m sharing with you five questions that can give you insights into the things that are really meaningful to you. Your answers will give you a different perspective on what it is you really want to do and give you an opportunity to look at those things and measure them against your current life. Hopefully, this exercise will help you to make some changes in your life by adding in some goals that are more aligned with where you want to be and what you want to do. You are going to want to set aside 30 - 60 minutes (maybe more) so that you can fully answer these questions. I’m so excited to talk about these five questions. And not only am I going to give you these five questions, but I'm going to share some of my answers as well. And to be honest, that feels a little scary and a little vulnerable because I’ll be sharing things with you today that rarely anyone in my life knows that I have desires to do. So I'm going to be very open and honest and uncorked on CU today. Let’s Jump to it! [02:27] First things first, wedding updates! We have the most amazing wedding favors for our guests from today’s episode sponsor Christina Gressianu. [06:07] A little background on these questions. They aren’t mine, I got them from Lindsay Schwartz's podcast, Powerhouse Women. [07:46] Question 1: If nothing were bad or wrong, and no one would be upset with you, what would you want? [16:20] Question 2: If you knew you had one year left, what would you want to do, experience, or accomplish? [20:28] Question 3: What would you do if, with 100 percent certainty, you would not fail? [21:43] Question 4: What is something, when you see others doing it, that it triggers envy or jealousy? [24:33] Question 5: Unicorn Brainstorming. This is your chance to finish the statement “Wouldn’t it be cool if….” Don’t limit your responses, we now live in a world where everything is possible and unicorns exist. So what would be cool for you then? Episode Sponsor: Be sure to check out Christina Gressianu. She is a Northern Colorado photographer that I’ve worked with for over 15 years! She does headshots, lifestyle shots, family portraits, solo portraits, and pets. She’s also willing to travel to businesses to create your amazing branding kits. Special offer! If you work with her she’s going to give you a free wall art upgrade! So check her out! Resources: Photographer Christina Gressianu Lindsay Schwartz podcast-Powerhouse Women Super Connectors Ep52 of CU: Don't Even Worry About It with Janel Dickin Evolve


A cautionary tale about AI: The most important episode of the year

In this episode of Crystal Uncorked, we’re talking about AI, and in my opinion, this is one of the most important episodes that you might listen to on CU all year, if not ever, because it's going to help you understand the ever-expanding capabilities of AI. There's so much we don't know about what's coming in the future, but when you understand what it can do today, it's going to help you when you see content online that could be fake. It's going to help you ask questions to determine if what you're seeing, hearing, or reading is actually real or not. To demonstrate this I’m going to share with you a story about marketing legend Seth Godin and how he was able to create a podcast episode using AI and even his wife couldn’t tell the difference! Beware - this episode may shock you! Episode Sponsor: Be sure to check out Christina Gressianu. She is a Northern Colorado photographer that I’ve worked with for over 15 years! She does headshots, lifestyle shots, family portraits, solo portraits, and pets. She's also willing to travel to businesses to create your amazing branding kits. Special offer! If you work with her she's going to give you a free wall art upgrade! So check her out! Get all of the resources for this episode here:


Having An Alter Ego to Overcome Resistance

I’m not going to lie to you, I have been fighting feelings of resistance lately. And I think there have been a few reasons for that and I want to share with you how I pushed through it and the amazing benefits that I am seeing on the other side. (Plus a crazy story of synchronicity that made my procrastination worth it!) [01:17] My recent photoshoot with the amazing photographer Christina Gressianu [03:29] Why I needed a badass outfit to bring in that badass energy [05:09] What I have found myself resisting and how changing my environment helped me to overcome it. Steal this trick from me if you need to change your energy…flip the script! [09:51] When I start to get into my head about things, I tell myself to do things through love and kindness (and here’s what that looks like) [12:13] The incredible synchronicity that happened when I stepped out of my comfort zone. [13:50] Is there something you have been resisting and procrastinating on because the work felt hard, overwhelming or just had a lot of moving parts? Me too…here’s how I set myself up for success. Get all of the resources on our website at: Be sure to check out Christina Gressianu. She is a Northern Colorado photographer that I have worked with for over 15 years! She does headshots, lifestyle shots, family portraits, solo portraits, and pets. She's also willing to travel to businesses to create your amazing branding kits. Special offer! If you work with her she's going to give you a free wall art upgrade! So check her out!


My Drake Story - A Story of Perseverance

This is a story that I bet so many people can relate to because so many times over the past 11 years of owning Crystal Media, there have been meetings, partnerships, and clients that have initially created this feeling of, "Oh, this is it. We made it. This is the tipping point. This is big!" And then things don't happen. This is a story about perseverance because even though it doesn't happen you just keep going and you keep going and you keep going until you find your success. This is my Drake story. [01:36] Here is how I got the meeting with Drake’s team and Virginia Black Whiskey. Can we talk about the imposter syndrome? [02:51] Do clothes really make the woman? And why is it so hard to find the right thing to wear!?! [04:50] When faced with imposter syndrome, instead of focusing on the nerves, focus on being of service in that moment, maybe teach them something and remind yourself how wonderful you really are. [05:37] The meeting with Drake’s people. I was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable…what did I get myself into? [09:58] The results of the meeting and how it made me feel and the lessons we learned. [13:11] How I look at opportunities that don’t always work out the way that we wanted them to.


Realizing That No One Has It Figured Out: My Origin Story

In 2008 when I was 23 years old, I started a company called 3 Elements. Today I'm going to dive into why I started it, how I started it, and some really great lessons that I think we can all apply, whether you're starting a business or not. Let’s dive in: [01:41] How I got into the social media industry. [04:38] Let’s take a moment to talk about my love of Kevin Rose from Diggnation. Who may or may not have inspired Crystal Uncorked? [09:10] The writing was on the wall with my job so I decided it was time to start my own business. With my dad’s support and encouragement, I started to get clients and learned a few things along the way. [20:52] After a move to San Diego, I was lonely in my business and in a new city so I put out to the universe that I needed a team to work with. And the universe answered in the most unexpected way. [25:36] These are the lessons I want you to know. Mentioned in this Episode: Wine: The Pessimist by Daou Show: Diggnation with Kevin Rose Book: Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo Get all the resources on the website:


What does the future hold? Taking You Behind the Scenes of Crystal Uncorked

I have a confession to make. I love it when podcasters show us behind the curtain. I think it's very relatable when we can hear what businesses are going through, their thought process and what led them to make certain decisions. And so that's what we're going to be doing in today’s episode. So let's cheers and dive in! [2:49] What is happening with Crystal Uncorked - hint we are going to be sharing more stories! [5:12] At Crystal Media we are looking at our operations through the lens of “10X is easier than 2X”. This way of thinking will encourage you to look at your business differently and help you scale faster and free up time for you as an owner to focus on the things that you want to do.It will also challenge you to create a new schedule, structure and habits in order to meet these new goals! [14:24] What have I learned from having more speaking gigs this year than I have any other year in business? [21:19] Celebrating the team at Crystal Media - how I am doing it and why it is so meaningful to me. [26:08] We will be exploring new revenue streams inside of our businesses - including sponsorship opportunities for the podcasts. So if you would like to promote your business to our audience, reach out! [27:57] In Rooted in Retail we want to develop a connection with our audience so we’ll be starting a live “After the Show” event online every week so that you will have the opportunity to dive in deeper with us and ask those burning questions that you have after each episode! Should we do it for Crystal Uncorked?? Let me know what you think! [31:16] Wedding updates!!! Mentioned in this Episode: Wine: The Pessimist by Daou Book: 10X is easier than 2X by Dan Sullivan Event: EVOLVE 2024 Resource: Learn more about ERC


My Speaking “Aha!” Moment - The Mindset Shift that Conquered My Nerves

I've got a juicy story to share. Despite being an experienced speaker, I always got nervous before events. But this summer, I had an “Aha!” moment. I had a mindset shift that made me a more confident speaker, and I'll spill the beans on how it happened and what it is. Plus, I've got a nifty tip from Donald Miller on being entertaining when all else fails in content creation. Enjoy this week’s CU! Mentioned in this episode:


Motivation Magic: The 2-Question Trick and My Personal Drive

Hey there from Lake Tahoe! I just woke up from one of my energizing power naps. Today, I share a neat motivation trick I found on Instagram. It's a game-changer! I'm thinking of using this in my talks, especially for encouraging folks to dive into short-form video content like Reels and TikTok. Remember, motivation is great, but it's all about doing the hard work and setting up your environment for success. So, let's get motivated and chase those goals! See you on the next CU! Mentioned in this Episode:


Peek Into My Writing Journey: Unpacking the Don Miller Workshop Experience

You know they say, “Don’t meet your heroes?” Well, the day before I recorded this, I met mine, and it’s better than I could’ve imagined! So, I'm spilling the beans on my whirlwind adventure at a two-day writer's workshop with none other than Don Miller. Get ready for some creative nuggets, the secret sauce to staying disciplined in writing, and a sneak peek into my upcoming book titled "15 Mile Famous: From Best Kept Secret to Local Celebrity." Cheers to the writer's life! Mentioned in this episode: EVOLVE 2024


Social Media Judgement: Change Your Mindset, Stay in Business

Social media is scary. There, I said it. And with what we’re seeing online about how people react so easily because they’re behind a keyboard, it can be scary not only for personal profiles but also for business accounts to post. And some hide behind the excuse, “I don’t have time to post”. Whether it’s fear of judgment or a lack of time, erase that. Move forward and show up. Mentioned in this episode: EVOLVE 2024 Crystal on Instagram


How is Your Relationship with Money?

At a recent conference on the topic of finances, an AI generated video depicted the “Faces of Wealth” as 100% male. In today’s episode, I’m sharing ideas, tips, and advice to develop a positive relationship with money, especially for my female listeners! Whether you’re looking for ways to invest and grow your portfolio or you just need some seeds to plant for your money mindset, you’ll walk away with value after listening.


Momentum Magic: 3 Things That Helped Me Level Up

Are you feeling stuck personally or professionally? ....or both? I’ve been there! Success is a unique journey for EVERY individual, but I have three tips for building momentum that have done wonders for me and can work for anyone! Tune in to see how I've utilized therapy, put pressure on my goals, and developed a solid routine for even more momentum! Mentioned In This Episode: EVOLVE 2024 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media Crystal Media Crystal on Instagram