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Where can the people learn more about your passion project and the dope work you are putting out into the world.
What do you do for Full-time work?
Yeah, full time work. I am a senior consultant for a nonprofit consulting firm in New York City. We serve nonprofits actually throughout the country, but primarily in the tri state area, helping nonprofits with things like leadership development, strategic planning, just basically helping mission driven organizations be sustainable. Yeah.
What is your passion project and how long has it been in existence?
it's been over 20 years, like, and the passion that I have is so much around helping leaders like myself, in nonprofits be the best that they can be. Sounds a little corny, but I like to think about it like now about how often it is that folks of color in particular, are in leadership positions in organizations. And they may find themselves being maybe the first, or the only person of color in leadership in these organizations. Or find themselves like now, in this current climate, Mike, with an organization that is putting out statements about Black Lives Matter. And they are looking around the organization and say, Now we matter, you know, are they looking around and saying this is great for the organization to say this to the world externally. But internally, right, I look around, and I'm not so I'm not feeling that kind of love. So my passion is to support folks of color, who are leaders in these organizations feel centered and feel capable and feel like they can give themselves and self compassion and self care as a representative of these organizations.
What is your project’s origin story: Why did you start this project; what was the passion behind the project.
Yeah, the origin is is similar to what I was sharing around me recognizing what I needed. When I was in those positions, right when I was in an organization as a director when I was promoted to be a VP and I was promoted to be the Chief Human Resources officer for a very large nonprofit. And I was struggling feeling like that you've heard the term imposter syndrome. Right? Like, do I really belong here? Do they get me can I How can I make my voice heard? Am I going to appear seem like you know, the angry black woman, right? How do I talk about my identity as a lesbian as well? And how do people like You know, see this is not as in conflict, we're talking about my blackness as we advocate for racial equity, all that was rolling around for me. So that was my origin. When one day, I actually was graced with a black woman coach who said, I see you, you know, and I see that, you know, you're struggling. And so how can I help you? And then she asked me the magic question. Like she said, You're here in this position, and your role is to be of service to others. But what do you want? What do you want? And I was like, wow, I get that. I get to think about what I want you to think about what I need and how I can best show up for myself. And so that's the origin for me that having that moment sparks something in me that I am so passionate about, by wanting to be that support for someone else.
Is there a point where you hesitated to start it? What got you over that hump?
It goes back to goes back to me running away from being a therapist, that hesitation was I didn't know what coaching was, you know, and what I thought I knew, I connected it to kind of like therapy, right? I was like, oh, coaching is like therapy for professionals. And I don't I don't want to be a therapist. I don't want someone to like give me all that power to quote, fix them. Right, I had complete mis misunderstanding of what coaching offers. So that was my hesitation, I was not clear on what coaching could offer. And then I knew that I needed to get more information I needed to get more I need to get out of my own head. Right. So what did I do? I got a coach. And so someone that you know, as well, Deseret attaway she would help me get over the hump, Mike is that she said, you know, some of the stress that you're feeling some of the anxiety you're feeling about, you know, how to get over the hump, what to do, what not to do, has a lot to do with having an overactive mind. And an underactive body.
I wish I could find the actual author of the book but because Deseret told it to me, I'm gonna give her the credit. Right? He had a lot with me a lot to do with me again, being in my head thinking about you know what I wanted to do? Not sure I could do. Do I know enough about what I want to do? How do I do? I was thinking about to do, but I wasn't doing to do, you know, I mean, I wasn't underactive body, I wasn't putting things in motion. I wasn't taking steps. So the only way to get over the hump was to actually do the thing, do the work. She just kept telling me, Kim, you got to do the work. Right. And so slowly, but surely, I've been taking those steps. One action at a time, right, one certification at a time, one client at a time, one project at a time. One website and then another website, whatever it is, right. It's just getting out of my head and doing the do.
One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to starting passion projects is finding time in their already busy lives to do it. How did you find or make time for your project?
Yep. That's really, but it's a choice, right? It's making the time because we all get the same 24 hours in a day, right? No one gets more time than anyone else is two choices that I needed to make. So I've been inspired by Tony Morrison, you know, who said to talked about, you know, getting up at 5am. And writing? Right? So it's early morning time, Mike, it's getting up extra early. And I have to say, right. Sometimes it's my, my mind gets me up anyway. So I'm awake thinking about things. So it was about getting my body in motion and getting up out of bed early. And doing what I need to do before I start my my full time gig at night. Right. So those are my hours in the morning, sometimes, as you know, could be easily going into late night. And that's the thing, when there's something you're passionate about this, this gift of being of service with others, right to be in that space, where I'm connecting with someone, much like what I needed when I was in that position, then it's a flow, right? So I'm up late at night, and yeah, I may get tired. But it gives me It gives me that energy gives me that juice, right? To do the to do that work. Sometimes it's weekends, sometimes it's making the sacrifice of what TV show or what basketball game, I'm not gonna get to watch, because, you know, I'm working on my, I'm working in my passion.
Another big challenge faced is fatigue. You work 9-to-5, it takes up 95% of your energy. And we are not even talking about family and their needs yet. What can you share with the listeners about getting energy after all the demands of life?
So I'll start with the current right. And the current is, you know, being in this pandemic, and so, you know, quite literally one of the advantages is, yeah, I'm working from home, right. And so, I have a really different opportunity to be able to take breaks much differently than I could if I was going into the office, right? So I can kind of manage my energy between work assignments and meetings, by literally shutting down my computer, right? leaving my house going for a walk, right, coming back, then going into that meeting, you know what I mean? So, throughout the day, Mike, I'm able to conserve my energy much differently than I could when I was going into the office, quote, nine to five. So I take those kinds of breaks. Other things is that building in self care, I really I have water with me. I drink a lot of water. I play music, you know, throughout the day. I use essential oils. Again, I just tried to keep my I tried to do it this way. I think about this way. It's not about getting through the week. So I could have a weekend, you know that you know, have people say Hope you have a restorative weekend. Like I don't want to be so depleted all week that my weekend is just for me to restore. He never me. So I try to give myself little breaks and conserve my energy throughout the day.
I'll add one more if I can, because I'm pretty gangsta about this. I just had a conversation with a colleague about it. I am so particular about my calendar, like, you cannot put a meeting on my calendar right after another meeting ends. And I know that may sound very like simple like, what, but I just, I am really, really insistent on not having back to back meetings. So when you talk about energy throughout the day, Mike, if I have a meeting that ends at one, I literally put a block on my calendar so that no one can put anything on it until at least 130.
Or sometimes I will schedule meetings, 15 minutes after the hour, because I need the break. And whoever I'm meeting with, they need the break.
Oh, yes, I was added about that. And another thing maybe for your listeners, too, when we get back into you know, working in an office space. This may sound silly, but this is so real. I you know, I don't have meetings in the bathroom. You ever go into the bathroom and someone wants to like talk to you about work? It's like, no.
I have heard about passion projects providing renewed confidence and new skills when it comes to people’s day jobs. How has your passion project impacted the way you show up at your day job?
Yeah, that's juicy. It has helped me so much. Because what I learned about coaching and the particular coaching program that I went through, it's not about coaching is something you do, it's really, coaching is who you are. Right? So so so being a coach is a part of my everyday how I show up. So what does that mean? It means that, when I think about offering coaching to a client, it's about you know, being mindful, right? being supportive, being compassionate, helping them to kind of hear themselves so they hear their own wisdom. And so it's helped me to question Mike, positive, positively impact how I show up at work, because I'm finding myself having coaching like conversations with my colleagues, right? Particularly colleagues who are, who are who are new to the profession and who are junior and who are looking for guidance. So rather than like, you know, just telling them what to do, I find myself having coaching conversations. So they're learning from themselves, right, they're hearing themselves and so it's a way for me to, to to really share, you know, how I, how I am of service with, with clients, with my colleagues.
There is someone out there listening to this recording who has something they are passionate about but they are on-the-fence when it comes to starting. What bit of guidance would you provide to them?
I love that and I hear you get Accuracy is making me think about, like, what would I tell myself? You know, 20 years ago, as I started and stopped, and you know, like, you asked me before, what did I need to get over the hump? Right? So So what do I learn, um, you know, it makes me think about, I'm gonna get visual for a minute, if you think about, like, a slinky or a spiral, you know, like something that goes around and around. That, to me is, is what I've learned is like, like, the process goes around and around, and yet, you know, it slowly does go upward. As opposed to just a circle that just feels like it's going around and around and going nowhere. You know, and so all of the steps that I've that I've taken the lessons I've learned, Mike have been, keep going, you know, keep keep stay in motion. And sometimes it may feel like I'm just going around the circle, I'm not actually getting anywhere. When I look back. I'm like, wow, you know, those circles, those steps that I took really did show progress, it really did get me to the next. And the next lesson that that really sticks out for me is to look for grace, to look for grace and expect it. So look for that unexpected email that says, hey, you know, can you join me for this session, I need a facilitator to do a team building session, like, Wow, I didn't know this person, I remembered that I do that kind of work, you know, look for grace, for you know, when there may be some other opportunity, or some other supports. That, to me, it's been my biggest lesson to just keep going recognize that what may feel circular is actually going upward. And keep looking for those moments of opportunity and grace.
Lastly, are there any particular books that you have found helpful along the passion project journey? Please share 1 to 3 of them if any come to mind.
So many. one that comes to mind is project management, the project management guru, David Allen getting things done. That helped me tremendously. Pamela slim, her work where we met, not only the book body of work, but the conference that I attended, finding a thread that ties your story together. And then it's it's it's, it's the social media activism or wisdom, I'll say, by Deseret adaway, write her posts, lovey Jay Jones, who has written books as well. And yet really, it's it's following people who I see on Instagram or other social media outlets that are just so consistent, you know, and just drop so many jewels along the way that sometimes just need that snippet, when you can't actually get through a full book. So those are some of the resources.