Sunday, February 23, 2014


If you have still been reading the blog on this site, PLEASE come over to my website and see it there! 

ALL my new posts are there and  I think you will LOVE the look. Please sign up to never miss a Post on Feedly and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me what you think of the new blog on my site.

While you are there sign up for the FREE NEWSLETTER it's custom made with things my readers tell me they want to hear.

I miss not hearing from you here but all the action is OVER HERE...

So come on by and visit, sit awhile and enjoy and come back often and CHAT. That's what I'm here for.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Art of The Pitch

The first pitch of the game, Vargas' first pit...
The first pitch of the game, Vargas' first pitch for the Nationals, and... it was socked for a home run. Not a great start to Vargas' first appearence, where he gave up six runs in the top two innings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yes, it is important to know how to pitch a product or service, but it is just as important to know how to pitch something that has outlived its usefulness in your life.

Sometimes we need to pitch the vast memorablia we collect over the years; the ones we no longer enjoy or even continue to add to. Maybe its an old collection of dolls, stamps, baseball cards, magazines, maps etc. Sometimes you can earn a pretty penny by selling the things which no longer bring you joy to someone else whose goal is to start or add to a collection.

Sometimes we need to pitch the excess stuff we accumulate over the years which seldom gets used and often isn't even remembered until we realize we now have three tents, 70 VCR tapes but no VCR player, more Christmas lights than we will ever be able to use,  11 paint trays or 6 TV's but only 2 which are hooked up and working. Maybe it's time to make a trip and a donation to a second hand store with some of the excess loaded for delivery.

Sometimes we need to pitch the things we are  never going to use again; the pressure cooker with the missing top, the 3 folding chairs with broken seats, the old radio that barely gets good static, the flatware set with 4 knives, 1 fork and a ladle but no spoons, the old Atari game console and the hideous orange scarf with grasshoppers Aunt Lois knitted over a decade ago.

Sometimes it's time to pitch the relationships that go nowhere or those that just keep adding more negatives in our lives. Maybe it's time to pitch the friends who take advantage of you but really don't add anything to your growth, character or even purpose. Is it time to rid yourself of the people who keep you from being your best or sabbotage every effort you make to rise above your circumstances and get further than where they want you to be?

Pitching is not potluck. Ask any pitcher who knows how to read signals and recognizes the one pitch which could change the outcome of the game. Pitching is deliberate and done to create an effect and it is in that light that it is also time for me to PITCH THIS BLOG.

OH...Don't panic! It's only getting pitched from its parent host site. I have been meaning to transfer this blog to a site that allows me to connect better with readers, add more useful elements and define clarity and scope with less busyness and flash.  I love the blog but I no longer love how it works for me HERE.

Say Good-bye to and Hello to and by the way, ALL the posts of Finding Your Fire have already navigated over there. Come see. 

Maybe you won't see all the followers and it won't be as "splashy" but I think you will find it is really the best of me minus the stuff that no longer works.

I LOVE my readers. I APPRECIATE everyone of you who received the blog on your phone or in your email, through your feeds or any other way you enjoyed getting it and I just hope you will believe in me enough to join me at my new PLACE which is not so much new as just expanded.

I hope you will continue to read and comment and feel inspired and most of all I hope you will not be afraid to perfect your ART OF THE PITCH in this New Year.

Come welcome the New Year with me. Say "HI" and tell me: 


How can I help you make it a HOMERUN year?

HOME PLATE PAPERWEIGHT (Photo credit: Wickerfurnitur

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Really Know How Much You Weigh

Hoarding might be the new American past time.

All types of hoarding. While I truly do think everyone has a personal responsibility to take inventory and determine whether what they are holding on to has real value or has become meaningless or even  burdensome when it comes to possessions, I feel even more strongly about letting more than a box of old magazines and the program from your 8th grade band recital go.

Most of us are carrying around at least a few pieces of baggage far too heavy and holding nothing but weighed down emotions. You know what I mean; the guilt about missing your child's play or not being a "room mommy", the constant nagging voice about not being as competent or successful as the other people in the room, the regrets for not taking another direction with your life, the persistent notions that if you never were something, you can never be it now and the huge trunk of low self esteem or poor self image we permitted everyone else to add to on our life's journey.

One of the most incapacitating bits of "stuff" we carry around with us is worrying what other people might think if we don't live up to their expectations or worse what they might discover if we actually become transparent. But, living behind a film of cover up and fear is like trying to put make up on in the dark. You might think you have pulled it off well, but in the daylight it's quite flawed and far from appealing. It doesn't work for you because it's really not you.

I remember several years ago, announcing to one of my friends that while her opinion was heard, I was not going to change my plans because she felt less than supportive. In a surprise comment, she retorted, "Well it's about time you finally stopped trying to make everyone else content!"
It was a refreshing wake-up call.

Too many people want everyone to be happy before they move on with their own plans and dreams. Too many people believe their dreams are secondary to other people feeling content.

I don't think we need to step over people to go the direction we want to go, but I do think we need to ask them to get out of our way and sometimes not even tactfully if we have tried to in the past and it doesn't work.

If you are running out of a burning building, I hardly think it's time to graciously ask someone it they mind moving aside, but many times we have accumulated so much advice from everyone we hardly can save ourselves.

How light would your life be if next year you stopped carrying around any regrets you had and bundled them up for removal? How much less anxiety would you feel if you cared less about what everyone else thought and more about what you know you need to do to get your best life going?

How much less aggravation would you have to deal with if you minimized your contact with those who only add to your frustrations and bring you down? And how much easier would it be to get through all your day if you could just be the real you and not who everyone else expects you to be?

Living up to our own expectations is often quite difficult enough, when you add in the expectations of everyone else it becomes insurmountable.

I am not advocating being callous and cruel or even self-serving; just being better able to take care of you by not having to make sure everyone else is okay with it before you start.

Want to make your life better? Clean out your closets, your drawers, your garage, your office and then clean out the negatives in your emotional baggage. Stuff the regrets, poor self image, years of self doubts, low self esteem and replays of how you don't deserve the best and finally say, "GOOD RIDDANCE". 

Whether it takes professional help or a good friend to help you rid your life of the debris that weighs you down and drags you through another year of less than what you really want, get it out of your life once and for all.

With every year of carting around the regrets from the past, the opinions of others, the poor self esteem someone gave you to hang on to, the belief you can make everyone happy and the unfair expectations you permit to weigh on your shoulders, you live  life more disabled.

Baggage stuffed with all the wrong things is useless and the price you pay to haul it around becomes prohibitive. 
Minimize the emotional clothing you drag on everyday. Your life will move more smoothly, you will have less "stuff" to take care of and you will lose pounds of  unhealthy emotions you have been wanting to lose forever.

Is it time to "weigh" in and get rid of the rest of you to finally move on with the best of you? 

What type of "baggage" do you want to send on a permanent vacation? 
Is it time to take the NO Baggage Challenge?
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Monday, December 9, 2013


In the next few posts, I will discuss why getting "rid" of excess will improve your new year. Today, we will look at getting rid of non-essential "stuff"

Mary Chapin Carpenter understands the need to purge. In her song, "Almost Home", she comments, "I saw my life this morning ,lying at the bottom of a drawer
All this stuff I'm saving God knows what this junk is for..."

Well it's certainly the season for excess. 
Cluttered shed
Cluttered shed (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

Sometimes it's easy to believe the more we do and the more we have, the more successful we will be. That's often a lie we discover too late. 

I certainly believed it was critical to capture every memory of my children for posterity by keeping a photo album and a scrapbook for each of them (three children) every year. Everything from classroom awards, essays, drawings, spelling tests and college acceptance letters went into those scrapbooks. 

Each of my children was given several boxes of scrapbooks and photo albums and while they truly enjoyed looking at all I had saved they did not care to keep their first grade hand prints, 6th grade President's Physical Fitness Award or even the pressed flowers from the senior prom. They took a few things that mattered and I am sure pitched the rest. 

They were far wiser than I.

While I am not a hoarder, I found it difficult to get rid of "things". You know things like, the cork from champagne bottle popped on the date I closed on my first house or the papers identifying a dog long gone as "pedigreed". Things like an old sorority pledge book, the script to a high school play I had the lead in and the license plate off of my first car.

Things are different from true memorablia. Things are what we hold on to because they mattered at one time. Now they are just taking up space and collecting dust.

Sometimes we hold on to things because they remind us of what once was and somehow by hanging on to it, we believe it will once again be. There is no better example than keeping that pair of jeans I love but haven't worn since three inch heels were part of my regular wardrobe. Never gonna get into those again and have known that for decades. 

Last month I pitched the jeans.

Sometimes we hold on to things because we know going through stuff is not going to be an expedient task. We make excuses we need a whole day or week to begin such a time consuming task, even though we know we can just get a box, open a drawer and start with a few minutes daily to clean out the stuff that just continues to accumulate regularly.

Purging time is now part of my weekly schedule.

Sometimes we hold on to things because we feel guilty purging the once "important" items of our life. It might be easier to let someone else find them and let them go or to hope the hot water tank leaks into the box of age old "stuff" giving us no choice but to set it out with the trash on collection day.

A box of countless remotes and chargers which never sold at flea markets or on Craig's list went off to a thrift store a few days ago.

Sometimes we hold onto things because we think we will need them someday. I was never going to need the program from my senior prom, the sign from my first business or the wristband from an amazing BillyJoel/Elton John concert.

Last week they visit the trash collector.

I've started to go through my "stuff" bit by bit, drawer by drawer, closet by closet and discovered I have way too many "things" taking up space. So I am purging box by box, week by week until I can see beyond the past and into the future with more clarity. The more I clean out, the easier I find what I truly need and the better organized I am to reduce my stuff more periodically.

Do you need to start purging your things; your items which have no major significance in your life or anyone's anymore? Is it time to go through your home from top to bottom and really determine what is critical to keep and what is just taking up your space?

If you start removing non-essentials from your life, you will discover your whole life feels lighter. You will hesitate to add more stuff to your life and be wiser about what to really hang on to and you will probably be able to find things far more quickly and be considerably better organized.

Is your space taken up by things that serve little purpose in your life? Then you need to make purging part of your new year's routine as well.

You can't make room for what matters when what doesn't is taking up the space?  TWEET THIS 

Girl Scout Sashes
Girl Scout Sashes (Photo credit: keishkakeishka)

Now, anyone have any need for an old girl scout sash with many badges?

Kathy Brunner is an author, speaker and branding specialist who helps people make their passion happen.CLICK HERE to learn how she can help you re-invent your life
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Monday, November 25, 2013

What Do Bathrooms Have to Do With Thanksgiving?

An American bathroom of a freshly renovated ho...
An American bathroom of a freshly renovated house, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have 2.5. Bathrooms that is. Pretty typical if not a bit on the modest side. How about you?  How many bathrooms do you have or how many total rooms, how many clothes in your closet, cars in your garage, flowers in your garden or social events on your calendar?

This week America will celebrate Thanksgiving. A holiday for us to come together and count our blessings. So what do our bathrooms, flowers or even ideas have to do with Thanksgiving?

We truly are very blessed even if we don't feel rich. When almost half the world lives on less than $2.50/daily, it's not hard to admit our wealth. And even though wealth can be justifiably earned through hard work and sacrifice, having more often just complicates things.

If you move to a home with a bigger yard you will most likely have more yardwork to do or pay someone to do for you. Yes, you will have more flowers, just like you will have much more space in a larger home but then you have more rooms to clean; more bathroom, well you get the idea.  A lot of our time, energy and money is spent on taking care of the "more" we have.

Sometimes we have little time to enjoy the things that are free: ideas, companionship, nature, silence, smiles, hugs, belly laughs, forgiveness, unexpected surprises, a good cry, acceptance, seasons changing, promises kept and countless other things we take for granted daily because we are too busy tending to our "more".

It's not really about the yard, the social commitments, the clothes or even the bathrooms. It's about the things we accumulate and add to our stash that often just end up taking up more commitment than we want them to because of course the more we have, the more we have to take care of.

I do it and maybe you do it too. I add to my "collection" of things only to discover there is now one more thing I need to give attention. More clothes=more laundry, more cars= more repairs and maintenance and yes, more bathrooms= more places to clean.

Thanksgiving Turkey
Thanksgiving Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bit by bit, I realize I need to begin to minimize things in order to have time and energy to do what really matters, whether in my family, my career or my personal life.

So, when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this year, there will be plenty of food and all of my closest family to enjoy but I will set aside the blogging, the writing, the speaking, the coaching, the marketing and even the cleanest of bathrooms to not miss a minute of time to make memories and be grateful for every blessing that ever came my way...many so undeserved.

Do you ever think your "stuff" takes up way more of your time than you want it to?

What's your holiday going to be like and by the way, I AM very grateful for my reader who bless me by giving me their time and thoughts.

Now...Go Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving and we'll talk about what to do with all that "stuff" we added to our lives next week.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Is Your NOW Really Your NO?

It's amazing to be so inspired and encouraged to find your fire and begin growing your passion but it's just as important to recognize whether it's to be NOW or NO for getting that dream off the ground.

Here are a couple of things to consider when thinking it might be NOW.

1. You have more time available to pursue your passion because of changes in your current career or life circumstances.
2. You have put a "little something" away to get you through the tough times which you anticipate as you begin to start something on your own.
3. You can't stop thinking about things you need to complete to make your passion happen; you make "to-do" lists and go over every detail to make sure you have everything ready to launch your new idea.
4. You are renewed and fulfilled whenever you are working at your passion.
5.Your friends, family and significant loves ones are encouraging and supportive.

But here are some other red flags that might mean what you thought was your "NOW" is actually your "NO".

1. You are frustrated by your career situation and believe you should quit your job to do "something","anything" else.
2. You are anxious about what starting your passion might cost you in terms of time, energy and financial resources.
3. You need to give yourself a constant pep talk that you can make things work out well.
4. You are uncomfortable talking about what you are passionate about to your friends and family and feel isolated and unsure of their support.
5. You are confused about what you really want to do but know you need to change some things.

Developing  a career around your passion can be daunting but if you are truly excited and not extremely stressed about where your resources will come from and if you feel like the circumstances are truly working in your favor, you can overcome a lot of barriers and will  still be enthusiastic about the direction you are heading. If you have already learned to handle difficult situations and have a resilient spirit when things get unpredictable, you might be at the perfect time and place to let your dreams fly high.

On the other hand, if you need change but don't have any idea what your passion or purpose is, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Pretending you can be passionate about anything as long as it is not your current situation is a huge mistake. Once you discover you have no interest  in whatever you think you might like to pursue, you will hardly be able to get anyone else excited about it. Worrying about how you will live while trying to feed money and time into your passion can easily kill your enthusiasm and if everything does change, including things you were hoping to keep status quo you might find yourself down a road you never wanted to go.

And while many times people only gain approval of family and friends after they have demonstrated a productive aspect when getting their passion off the ground, it does help to have some significant others on board to encourage you when you hit an obstacle.

Although you need not have every one of the points for or against your favor to know if it is your NOW or your NO, one thing is certain.

If you are wanting it to be NOW, but your heart, mind and soul are thinking NO...It's NOT GO TIME.

On the other hand if you are anxious about some things but your mind, heart and soul are saying, "No time like the present." and you are looking for some sign, maybe you just realized your NOW.

What are some other things that helped you decide  whether it was NOW or NO ?

Kathy Brunner is an author, speaker and branding specialist who helps people make their passion happen.Contact her if you want her to help you make your moment or more happen.

Want to discover if it's really your NOW or your NO? register for CALLED WOMAN

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Do you know someone who is ecstatic about the work they do?

 If you do, ask them exactly WHY they are so excited to go out and earn a living everyday.

In a 2013 Gallup Poll, nearly 52% of Americans reported they were not particularly excited about their job. They are present. They are earning a living, but they have a perpetual case of the "Mondays".  

How would you feel knowing the surgeon who is scheduled to operate on you is less than enthusiastic about his career, or the lawyer who is handling your case often takes mental vacations instead of focusing on your needs? Could your dinner be served by a chef with little interest in his presentation anymore or maybe you are sitting in a classroom taught by a teacher who really wishes (s)he were anywhere else.

It's pathetic. But what's more pathetic is the choice to stay in that position because it is all you know or even because the money is good. Face it, many people begin a profession with enthusiasm and a sense of purpose, but over time, everything from feeling undervalued, overworked and expendable while tackling more paperwork and red tape just to do what you know is best erodes the spirit and the same joy you may have once felt is now just another day in a JOB.

Sometimes it does not even take much time to realize the field that you chose, perhaps because the money looked enticing or the challenges looked inviting was anything but that once you began to work in it. 

The grass is always greener syndrome is often the component of many careers. 

So, if you stay because this is all you know, you are shortchanging the amazing opportunities we have as human beings to re-invent, re-create and re-imagine ourselves. A dog is a dog is a dog, but a human being can be many things in his or her lifetime.

Staying in a job because it is all you know is an excuse for not wanting to be responsible for your own future CLICK HERE TO TWEET THIS

Staying in a job that has lost it's ability to help you thrive or inspire you is just an excuse for not wanting to work harder for something you really love.

So what do you do if you are one of those people who counts the hours to the weekend as soon as you shut of your alarm on Monday morning?

GET ENGAGED...Yes, ENGAGED. No, not the diamond ring kind of engagment, but definitely the "I DO" kind of engagement. 

"I do want to enjoy how I earn my living."
"I do want to feel appreciated and valued."
"I do want to change to direction I am headed."
"I do want to make this year the one where everything changes."

It's not going to happen overnight, BUT, It's not going to happen at all if all you are doing is complaining, commiserating and retreating back into your box to start all over again the next week.

In a few short weeks, people will begin making resolutions for the new year. Were you one of those people who promised themselves by this time last year you would be doing something different but then LIFE got in the way and well, here you are...still digging yourself out of what seems like a big career hole that is sucking you down more each day.


Decide today to make some plans about what you want for the future.

Move toward picking up the phone or emailing someone who can mentor you or help you get your ducks in line to make some changes. This might be a support group, a coach, a teacher, a mentor but start to connect with those people who can help you move ahead.

Change direction. Get a 2014 Calendar and on it mark the date when YOU will send that letter that says you are no longer going to work at something that you have stopped loving long ago. Maybe that date will be later than sooner, but if you don't know when you want that date to be, you are hardly going to start working to plan your big event.

So let's start planning your next move. Got a date in mind and some ideas you are courting that you might want to commit to which will change your life? 

I'd love to help you plan your ENGAGEMENT party, the party where you will make a commitment to changing your life by the choices and actions you take to get you to the BIG DAY.

and What's your BIG DAY...the day when you tell others why YOU love to do the work you do everyday.

You can, you know. You can leave that  JOB behind for a LIFE and a CAREER with PURPOSE. I can show you how, but YOU have to make the commitment and
you have to get engaged. 

Kathy is a speaker and coach who is dedicated to helping burned out individuals find their "encore" preneur spirit and get fired up doing what they love to do.
CONTACT KATHY if you want her to help you GET ENGAGED.

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