Deborah Kevin, launched her business, Our Tales Untold, after working for over 20 as problem solver. Wherever she worked, people loved to tell her their stories — and she loved to listen. A lifelong learner, Debby’s can-do attitude resulted in her amassing an impressive array of skills: website design, auditor, treasurer, communication planning, writing, editing, change management, project management. These skills came in handy when her son was diagnosed with autism and she stopped working outside the home in 2010. She set about researching and designing a holistic program to meet him where he was and help him succeed, all while setting the tone that he was perfect just as he was. During this time, Deborah went back to school, determined to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a novel. She graduated from Stanford in 2014, and her novel, Finding Grace, is under revision. But it wasn’t until a mentor asked her what she would do for free that she realized all her life she’d loved writing, editing, and interviewing. That’s how Our Tales Untold, her personal historian business, came to be.
Key Reinvention Take-Aways from Deborah’s Interview:
- Sometimes reinvention feels like you’re “building the plane as you’re flying” — so find your WHY before your HOW
- Deborah believes that since we’re in this life for such a short period of time, slogging to a job that you don’t enjoy isn’t purposeful
- Take Sally Hogshead’s “How to Fascinate” profile quiz
- The keys are what you believe in — your values — for yourself, and passion with intention: You need to do the things you tell yourself you’ll do, so be very clear about defining this! You have to hold yourself accountable
- Have a plan…but be prepared to deviate from the plan If you wait to learn everything you need to move forward, you’ll never move forward — “You can’t steer a parked car,” said one of her mentors. The important thing is that you just try.
- Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses
- Don’t worry about what other people tell you or think about what you want to do; this is YOUR own journey, not theirs
- Reinvention takes a village; you have to have a community to support you and you have to ask for help. It’s critical and more fun!
- Find people who are smarter and more experienced than you; work with people who are the opposite of you (if you can’t pay them, barter with them)
- Reach out to people during hard times — seek joy and laughter to offset your challenges
- Reinvention IS for everyone, but just to varying degrees. It’s our job to support and encourage people through the process.