Finding Your Fire
FINDING YOUR VOICE
with Joel Boggess
“Finding Your Fire” with Kathy Brunner
Podcast #112, April 7, 2012
Transcript provided by:
Speech Text Access LLC
>> (MUSIC): I have a voice. I have a voice. I have a voice. And no one can find it, but me. Knowing my voice is understanding who I really am. What excites me. And what I stand for. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my family. I owe it to God. When you find your voice, you find a way back. You find a way back. You find a way back to yourself. (MUSIC ENDS)
>> JOEL: Hi. It’s me Joel and you’re listening to “Finding Your Voice.” And joining us on the show today is Kathy Brunner from Georgia. Kathy, thank you for coming on.
>> KATHY: You’re very welcome.
>> JOEL: Now you’ve been working on a book and you are in the final stages of this book and wow, what a title, “Finding Your Fire.” I could picture that almost. And the book is about finding out what motivates and excites you so that you can then harness what you learn about yourself and use it to give you direction. And I’m looking forward to hearing about the book but before we get into that Kathy, tell me, out of all of the topics that are available these days for you to write about, why did you choose this one, finding your fire?
>> KATHY: I think I always knew that I hadn’t found my fire. Only because my children would tell me often, mom, you don’t really know what you want to be when you grow up. And while I had different half-sight — was a real estate agent for a while. I owned my own business that was a speech language pathologist and owned my own business for over 20 years. I just somehow felt that I hadn’t really located what motivated me beyond anything else. You just aspire to it.
And as I begin to write, I realized writing was something that I could do anytime of the day or night and sometimes the entire day would pass and I wouldn’t even realize what time it was because when I got involved in it, you know, it just kind of had a self-propelling motion. And I begin to talk to people who weren’t very contented with either their jobs or even just their vocation, their lifestyle.
And I realized that a lot of people have maybe a hidden gift or a skill that they don’t even realize they have that, you know, can really be the ball of wax, so to speak. That really just gets them so motivated about life that you need to figure out what it is before you’re going to get to that point where you know what you truly do either for a career or just in your lifestyle really becomes your fire. Really becomes the thing that gets up in the morning.
>> JOEL: Indeed. Indeed. Tell me about some of those, those triggers that went off in you as you were walking through different phases in your life. You said you were in real estate, you were a speech pathologist, you did some other things in your life and for whatever reason, they weren’t where you needed to stay. What were some of those triggers that, that kind of moved you beyond, beyond where you were?
>> KATHY: Well, I think it’s sometimes typically that reaction you have whether you’re in business for yourself or working for someone else were all of a sudden it’s Sunday night and you start to think I’m not real anxious about going back to what I’m doing on Monday morning. That was definitely a trigger.
I think the other one was when you stay in a profession for so long, you may constantly be learning but if it no longer is adding a spark to your life — and I think you feel a little bit like a hamster in a wheel and so you’re just doing more of the same. You could only do an excellent job but it’s not doing anything for you anymore. So I think that might have been the other one.
And then I think it just was somehow in my heart and soul I believe that there was a different purpose for my life and that I just had to really listen intently and try to determine what it was. I always liked to write. I never thought of it as the vehicle that would become something that would motivate me even to be a career until I actually started. And then I truly understood what people meant when they said, you know, what would you do if you didn’t even get paid for it? What would you love to do? And hands down I knew right away that that was my fire.
>> JOEL: That is awesome. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing that. Would you, would you help us with a few of the points out of your book to help people find their fire because I, like you, I see that as such a need for people. They want to do something that quickens their pulse, that takes their breath away, that is part of their fire. But, you know, a lot of people don’t know where to look and they don’t know the right triggers to look for. So what are some of the points in your book that people can use today for getting in touch with their fire?
>> KATHY: I do have some checklists, some personal questions, some really in-depth, take-a-while-and-answer-them type questions.
>> JOEL: Sure.
>> KATHY: But just a couple of points and what I just mentioned about — I tell people all the time everybody probably has something that they would enjoy doing and they would do regardless of whether it was a career and they got paid for it.
>> JOEL: Right.
>> KATHY: So that’s, that’s obviously a big one. Because I think that when you find something that really moves you, that can certainly develop into a, you know, a fire, into a location, into a career, whatever. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you’re the kind of person that says well, you know, what motivates me is sitting on the beach all day. You can maybe build a fire on that. That doesn’t mean that just because you enjoy doing that’s going to be the actual fire you have. But that tells you a little bit about your style and the kind of things you enjoy and how you might be able to create a career or, you know, some type of a vocation around that.
Another thing that I encourage people to do is to look and see what kinds of compliments they get from other people about what they are good at. I have a friend who is always told that she can whip up a party in an instant, that she’s a fantastic hostess. That at the drop of the hat, she can pull it all together.
And about two years ago, she went into event planning. She never even thought how is something that she would like but she realized that she really did have a knack for that kind of thing. And, you know, as she kind of looked to see where other people were often complementing her, that’s where it was at.
So I, you know, encourage them besides looking at what you think you’re good at or what you’re gifted for, what do people compliment you on? What do they say you’re good at? What do they tell you, you know, gee, you really have a knack for that? So that’s another one.
>> JOEL: I think that’s a very great idea to look to other people because often times people are the best judges — judge is probably not the right word, but they are the best. They can give off – give you back the best clues as to what are some of your best gifts and your enduring features.
>> KATHY: I think that’s very true. I think often when we hear people complement us, we don’t maybe realize how difficult or how unusual it would be for another person to be able to do that skill.
>> JOEL: Right.
>> KATHY: And if it’s second nature to us, we might not even observe those compliments. But when you really start to think about what have people told me I have done well over the years, usually everyone can find some things that people point out, hey, you’re really good at this. Even if it sometimes them saying, you know, you’re just really good at putting everybody at ease or, you know, you have a way with words and you can do this or, you know, you’re the person who just seems to be such a great organizer. I think knowing that can also be part of that skill group that you look at when you’re looking to figure out okay, what really does get me very motivated?
The other thing that I suggest is that people look to see who inspires them. You know if you look at people and you say wow, I’d like to be able to do that or I’m so inspired by what they do or how they use their life for a purpose. Often that type of inspiration can be a good foundation for you to kind of look at where you want to go with your life.
And frequently I think you can build on that by just taking apart pieces of what other people do and saying, you know, well what do I really like about this? What inspires me? Is it because they’re generous or because they’re confident? Am I inspired because, you know, they seem to be the kind of person who is capable of functioning regardless of what their situation is?
So when you really look at people who inspire you and you kind of put down the qualities that inspire you, that often too will lead you to determining how you want to build your fire with this quality.
>> JOEL: I think you’re right. You know, when I am taking people through the disc career assessment which is a tool that I use for all of my coaching clients, one of the powerful pieces of that report – it’s a 30 – 32 page report — is the historical character matches where it pulls out some of historical characters like Martin — Martin Luther King, Beethoven, Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln — pulls out some historical characters that match your particular style or whomever has taken that assessment. And that’s a very powerful piece because we can then look at, well gosh, what about that person’s work is what really motivates or inspires you?
>> KATHY: And I think when you know that, then you have a little bit better understanding about why some things that you might be excellent at don’t motivate you. And why other things that you just might have a small skill for really do motivate you.
>> JOEL: Right.
>> KATHY: Because when you look at how your personality ties into it, it’s easy to see why you may be actually better in a profession that you might not even have been trained for.
>> JOEL: Absolutely. What’s another point? Sounds like it’s going to be a fascinating book. Please tell us more.
>> KATHY: One of the things I guess I look at a lot when I was writing this book is –
>> JOEL: Sure.
>> KATHY: — that people — it’s not just a matter of in today’s economy — I think people do have to have an ability to multitask and to wear many hats. But I think that especially for women they reach a stage where it’s difficult for them to see their career outside of a nurturing role. And, I think, what happens to a lot of people and at least a lot of people that I have talked with is, they get to a point where they are happy with what they have done with their job but they no longer feel challenged by it or else they just feel like it’s a means to an end.
And so one of the points that I try to have people work to in the book is to determine whether or not what you really do is a means to an end or is simply a vehicle where you’re stalling. And a lot of people I think stall because they’re afraid to get beyond where they are and try some new things. And again, I think that’s particularly an issue for women where they might just feel it’s just better for me to stay where I’m at then to jump off the deep end and go into something terribly new and try my hands at that.
>> JOEL: And how to help people through that, Kathy? Because you are, you are absolutely right. People, women especially, struggle.
>> KATHY: And I think, too, one of the things that as a woman you tend to probably see your role — especially if you are married and have children — it’s a wife and mother first. So you don’t really see your career or even your hobby is something that you really should put yourself wholeheartedly into if you enjoy them.
And so frequently I think what happens with women is that they look at a situation and they might say, you know, I’d like to do this someday. Or someday I am going to write a book. Or someday I’m, you know, I’m going to own this type of store. But what happens is I think that someday doesn’t ever really come because you get in your situation and you keep telling yourself well, you know, I’ll do it whenever the kids get older. Or I’ll do it whenever the last one graduates from college. Or I’ll do it whenever I’m closer to retirement.
And what really happens is you just use all the excuses up until there isn’t really too much time left to go about making that change. And I think a lot of time you do it because it’s just safer. It’s more comfortable. It’s — you may very much have a feeling that you want to do something else but that can be really scary, particularly, if you’ve been out of the work force. Or even out of putting yourself first and deciding what you really want to do for a while. It’s difficult to get back out there and say, you know, now I’m going to roll up my sleeves and do that.
>> JOEL: It really is but what I’ve also found is it helps women — because that’s kind of who we are talking about – it helps women become a more powerful version of themselves once they’re able to go against what they have done for a majority of their life. And they start to focus in on what is it about themselves that brings passion, that brings fire. And that is amazing when they do that.
And it’s completely opposite of how they’ve lived a certain period of their life. And that’s not picking on anyone, that’s just kind of — for a lot of people the way it has been in their life. What do you think?
>> KATHY: I think that’s so very true. I talked with a woman not too long ago who told me that she had spent maybe the last 10 to 12 years of her life knowing that she wanted to open up an art studio. And she said but I really didn’t think at the time that I wanted to open it up it was a good time for us to invest in that. And I had children in college and I couldn’t see taking the money and spending it that way. So I decided that, you know, maybe I really didn’t want to do that.
But after her children were gone and she was an empty nester, she continued to think, I really would like to do that. She was approached by a friend one day who said to her, why would you choose to do that now in your life? I mean, you know, she said you should just be worrying about retiring, going off and taking cruises or something somewhere.
And that comment — she told me that comment had really just was kind of a stop sign in her journey. And at that point, apparently other people didn’t think that this was a really good thing for her to do and she was not going to do it. But it still kind of gnawed at her and it really bothered her.
And then she started to convince herself well, maybe I will just do a few things out of my basement. And she really didn’t share with anybody what she was doing except, you know, her husband. She really didn’t tell her friends this is what she was doing.
But after about two years of doing this in her basement, she was shopping one day and went past an art gallery and mentioned to someone that she had some pieces. And they said, why don’t you bring them in?
And she did. And she began to sell some which boosted her confidence and, you know, lo and behold, a couple of years later, she did open her art studio. And she opened it up when she was 58 years old.
>> JOEL: Really?
>> KATHY: And she said it was the best thing she ever did herself. And just to hear that made me think, I’m sure there are a lot of other people besides her. But, you know, I think something that we see a lot in society is we look at what other opinions, people’s opinions are of what we want to do or what we can do.
And especially, women again, judge whether or not that’s an appropriate image for them to have. Because, obviously, if my friends don’t think this is a great time or, you know, my family’s not supportive, then it’s probably not a great time. And so immediately they shelve those ideas again. Sometimes on the back burner forever but sometimes for far longer than they need to have them shelved simply because, you know, the consensus was, why would you want to do this? Or, you know, what’s the point of that?
And she said I really wasn’t looking to make it a career and make money out of it. I just wanted to have a past time where I could maybe encourage others to enjoy art as much as I had when I was younger. And she said that had been a goal of hers since she was probably about 25 years old.
>> JOEL: That’s an amazing story. And it happens.
>> KATHY: It happens.
>> JOEL: It absolutely happens. You know, when women, men get in touch with who they are their best features and their enduring qualities as well. But in my experience, and I’m a guy saying this, women are able to connect with themselves at a deeper level for the most part. And what I found is that there’s not only a need for them to do that but there’s also a hunger within them. Have you found that out as well?
>> KATHY: I think that’s very true. I think it’s extremely true of women who have possibly even been, you know, the generation of women who were college-degreed and went on and made a career out of, you know, something they were trained to do and enjoyed it. And again, but never really found that it was their fire.
>> JOEL: Right.
>> KATHY: And they were for the longest time, and maybe — you know, your fire can be different at different times of your life.
>> JOEL: No question.
>> KATHY: Obviously, when I was in the midst of raising young children, my fire was my young children and my family. And, you know, they were number one and I — I didn’t care if I didn’t have time to do some things just for me because to be very honest with you, I was much happier doing things with them.
>> JOEL: Sure.
>> KATHY: And for them. But I think what happens is maybe you get into a stage where after you have done it, you have two pictures or two views of yourself. You are either somebody’s mother and wife or you are a teacher or a nurse or an engineer or, you know, whatever it is that you did with your career. And somewhere between that, you think, hmm, I should have something that really, you know, charges me up and really gets me fired up.
But I can’t find it because this portion of my life is in some ways completed and this portion of my life I’ve just been doing for 25 or 30 years. And it’s all I know how to do. So I think that there’s also that, you know, aspect were you just kind of wonder when you’re going through those motions all these years. Was I supposed to have another fire or was there something that I missed? And that’s the kind of stuff that I’m trying to get people to go back and look at.
A lot of times I think what people want isn’t even necessary another career. They want something that fulfills them and they enjoy doing just because they love doing it.
>> JOEL: Right.
>> KATHY: You know, and sometimes it’s just going out and there may be a cause they really want to support and they want to throw themselves into volunteering. Or, you know, connecting with people so that they can really be motivated to aspire to a certain cause and, you know, get people more aware of those things so it really might be a grassroots movement that they just want to go after.
Sometimes it is a vocation. Sometimes it can turn into a career where you make money but I think for a lot of people, it’s just one of those things were they get to a point and they say wow, you know, I have so many years in so this is all there is. And it’s not about the money, and it’s not about the experience. It’s more about how much satisfaction did I derive from it and how much am I giving back because of it?
>> JOEL: You’re right. You are absolutely right. Real excited about your book and I know it’s almost to the printing stages. And then right after that, you are putting together a workshop — a “Finding Your Fire” workshop to help women do exactly what it is that we’ve been talking about. Helping them find their fire. So if you would, Kathy — and we’ll kind of come in for a landing on this — talk about the vision that you have for the workshop. And how it’s going to help women get in touch with their fire so that they can then use it as they’re moving forward in their life.
>> KATHY: Well, the workshop will actually be held on March 24th.
>> JOEL: Okay.
>> KATHY: In Marietta Georgia. And one of the points in our workshop is to ask people, you know — one of the things we hope to ask them is, do you feel you are in a rut? Do you feel you are stuck where you are? Do you want more in your life? And do you think you have more to offer? And, you know, let’s see how we can get you to the point where you feel like yes, yes this is my reason.
>> JOEL: This is my reason. I love that.
>> KATHY: This is my reason.
>> JOEL: This is my reason.
>> KATHY: The workshop will be — there will be three speakers in the workshop. And one of the speakers is going to be talking about the disc personality and how personalities do — or aspects of a personality — do have a lot to do with the way we handle the things we want to do in life. Or the things we don’t want to do in life. And why some of them are for us and why some of them are probably not good things for us to be doing. So she’s going to be dealing with that as well as just kind of getting women to soul search the fuel they need, so to speak, to get them going.
We are also going to help them develop a mission statement for what they want to do. So they can use whatever fire they hope to ignite in a way that they really feel is purposeful. And, you know, we’re going to talk about that and share that with them. We are going to talk about leadership qualities with them and talk about how to maybe take the stage in the age that you’re at and look at what kind of options you have available.
And another thing that we’re going to try to do is make sure that we introduce them to people. We will have some speakers coming in as part of the conference, people that actually did that who changed entire careers or changed an entire direction of where their life was going.
>> JOEL: Any speakers that I know?
>> KATHY: Actually, we have Kent is going to be there for part of our afternoon.
>> JOEL: You talking about Kent Julian?
>> KATHY: Kent Julian. And he’s going to be talking about, you know, moving from the direction of a school counselor into what he is doing now which is, you know, basically a great entrepreneur for other people to access and build their speaking and their writing careers on.
>> JOEL: Kent Julian is a good friend. Kent Julian is live it forward.com. And he is a – he is an action-packed guy.
>> KATHY: He really is. And I think he got us very motivated as we attempted his —
>> JOEL: Oh, he can’t motivate anyone.
>> KATHY: When we attended his speaker’s boot camp, I think one of the things we realized is there are a lot of hidden talents in people that you don’t even think about putting out until somebody really asks you to, you know, kind of do a diagnosis of yourself.
>> JOEL: You’re right.
>> KATHY: And if you critique yourself, you realize, hmm, okay, I really do have that. But that was very motivating. So, you know, also having an opportunity to hear from several speakers. We have a couple people who just basically did 360s in their entire career. Some by choice, some by need.
And we thought it would just be a good thing to hear how they did it and why they did it. So that people could, you know, just hear from ordinary people who are in a far different place in their life. Our conference is called “A Called Woman.”
>> JOEL: A called woman?
>> KATHY: A called woman.
>> JOEL: Okay.
>> KATHY: Because we believe that everybody has a calling. And biblically, you know, as God created woman he said and I will call her woman. So part of the aspect of the conference is just to help women find their best self.
>> JOEL: Okay.
>> KATHY: And it’s going to be a very fun day. We have a lot of things lined up for them. A lot of hands-on activity.
>> JOEL: It sounds like it.
>> KATHY: They’re going away with having a lot of fun. There really are.
>> JOEL: A called woman.
>> KATHY: A called woman.
>> JOEL: Okay. And Kathy, that is so exciting. I’m excited for you to come back on the show and tell us all about the event and some of the things that you saw because you will see miracles happen that day.
>> KATHY: I hope so. I think we will. I agree.
>> JOEL: Absolutely. What’s the best way to get in touch with you and to learn more about your book and your upcoming workshop?
>> KATHY: Right now, I’m in the process of developing the website for the book and the easiest way to probably reach me is to reach me at my BlogSpot which is findingyourfire.blogspot.com.
>> JOEL: Okay.
>> KATHY: And we’re just kind of counting down on that blog until the book is out.
>> JOEL: Okay. Gotcha.
>> KATHY: The website on that. They can also if they’re interested in the conference, it’s “A called woman.com.”
>> JOEL: A called woman.com?
>> KATHY: Right. And they can go on there and they will be able to make reservations on there. They can take a look at what the schedule is for the day. They will be able to look at some of the speakers that are going to be there and what we will be talking about. So, you know — access there’s a telephone number on there as well where they can come directly talk to someone as well if they have any questions about the conference.
>> JOEL: Very good. A lot of things going on for you, Kathy. Thank you so much for sharing. And look forward to our next, our next visit.
>> KATHY: Oh that sounds great. I’m so glad. I appreciated the time that you gave me and we’ll be delighted to tell people to check back in and see where we’re going with this. We’re thrilled.
>> JOEL: Exciting time in your life, Kathy. Thanks so much for your time. Have a wonderful rest of your day and may God bless you in a powerful, powerful way.
>> KATHY: Thank you so much, Joel.