Great people are not so different from the rest of us. In fact, we’re more alike than anyone would like to admit. The only thing that keeps them moving forward is commitment. This episode’s guest, Cynthia Kersey, knows this to be true. Cynthia is the Founder and CEO of the Unstoppable Foundation, whose focus is to ensure that every child on the planet has access to the lifelong gift of education. She is a respected leader in the transformational industry, a bestselling author of two books, Unstoppable and Unstoppable Women, and an international speaker. In this conversation, she joins Adam Markel to talk about what makes people unstoppable and why giving is a core part of becoming the powerful version of yourself. Cynthia then shares her work and mission at her foundation and how being of service to others shows her a life that is unstoppable and meaningful. Join her and Adam as they further discuss the ways they are transforming their communities and their lives.
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Giving Your Way To Becoming The Unstoppable Version Of Yourself With Cynthia Kersey – REPLAY
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey all share one common thread as highly successful leaders, commitment. They chose to be committed to their passion and beliefs, and every person who chooses commitment can be part of the unstoppable mission at the Unstoppable Foundation. Its Chief Humanitarian Officer, Cynthia Kersey, inspires entrepreneurs to become powerful versions of themselves by transforming into people of generosity and gratitude. Join Cynthia and me as we discuss how we can solve seemingly impossible challenges around the world by using simple, individual actions of generosity and gratitude. This replay of my episode with Cynthia Kersey is truly a gem. I hope you enjoy it and that you share it with others around you.
I cannot remind myself or be reminded enough that it is a blessing just to be alive and breathing. The news is tough to watch. It’s tough to see what is going on in some ways and yet I remained so undeterred in my optimism and my knowing that what is going on in the world is powerfully beautiful. Even the change, even the stuff that feels icky because it’s disruptive, that there are amazingly good things that are happening. I also feel so blessed at this moment to take a deep breath and relax because I have this child-like excitement inside of me.
I have a dear friend that is joining us on the show who is speaking of powerful beings and forces of nature that are creating amazingly good things in the world. This woman is a force of nature and by no means does she do it alone. It takes a catalyst often and we need powerful leaders because it helps us all step up and be more powerful ourselves, leaders in our own lives and leaders for good in the world. This woman is a very clear example of what that looks like. I am so profoundly enthusiastic and feel blessed and happy to welcome Cynthia Kersey to the show.
Cynthia Kersey is the Founder and CEO of the Unstoppable Foundation, whose focus is to ensure that every child on the planet has access to the lifelong gift of education. She is a respected leader in the transformational industry, a bestselling author of two books, Unstoppable and Unstoppable Women, and an international speaker. Cynthia knows firsthand that giving is not only good for business, it’s good for the soul. Cynthia inspires people to give and provides business professionals with a practical action plan on how they can expand their businesses, create customer evangelists, and become completely invigorated about their life and business by integrating generosity as a fundamental part of their business model. Cynthia embodies her message and has integrated giving contribution into her life in business for well over two decades. The Unstoppable Foundation has provided a daily education to over 30,000 children and provides access to life-saving services such as clean water, healthcare, and nutritious food through organic gardens to over 75,000 men, women, and children in Kenya alone. Cynthia, welcome to the show.
Adam, it’s so good to see you.
I hope that you also can feel just how blessed is to be able to share what I read with you and with all the people. I know what a humble person you are and yet I still want you to receive it and let it land because what you’re doing is making such a big difference in the world, so thank you.
It’s interesting when you were reading that because I was just thinking of how amazing is it that my life’s purpose is to ensure every child gets access to education. How fabulous and how blessed am I to be able to do that. To hear it from you, it’s an honor and it’s a blessing.Being unstoppable is creating one and stackable moment after another. Click To Tweet
What’s not in that bio that you would love people to know about you?
Even with unstoppable people that I’ve interviewed, people think that unstoppable or successful people have something different about them. They’re super quality. What I know to be true is that unstoppable people are just like you and me. There’s nothing different about us like there’s nothing different about Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey, whomever you want to pick. It is a commitment. I always say being unstoppable is creating one unstoppable moment after another. There’ve been many times when I felt like quitting and it’s like, “What’s that next step? What’s that next unstoppable moment?” If you create enough of those, you then create an unstoppable life. The key thing is anybody can do what their heartfelt desire calls them to do if they’re willing to take that next step.
The part in pivot that we get a lot of feedback on has to do with this idea that the pivot process is about your willingness to take that next step. If you’re willing to take that next step, you will stay in momentum even in the hardest of times when you most need it.
I’ve experienced challenges with certain things and what I know to be true is that our external world is a reflection of our internal world. It’s not like what’s happening out there is what’s happening in here. It’s like, “How can I shift my energy?” One way of shifting the energy is number one, to get into the spirit of what we’re doing. Blaine and I read that into Entering Into the Spirit Of It, which is pretty deep and profound. Getting into the spirit of things instead of feeling it’s drudgery. I do very big events and it’s a very heavy lift to go to a gala every year. It’s not always fun for me. It wouldn’t be something I would just do on my own. I don’t know that people would know that about me, but I do kicking and screaming almost every year. I have to get into the spirit of it and then look at how do I shift the energy? You take one step and then it builds momentum, and then all of a sudden, you got the energy going. You’re shifting your vibration. Getting into action is an important way of entering into the spirit of something and shifting your own energy to be able to attract more of what you want.
I was introduced to a series of books by Og Mandino. I’m reading The Greatest Salesman in the World, which I absolutely adore. There’s one section in there that talks about becoming a master of your emotions. “Today I will master my emotions,” is one of the scrolls, and then this other little piece of it says, “Weak is the person who allows his thoughts to control his actions and strong is she who forces her actions to control her thoughts.” Not getting too dogmatic about the word, but the principle being that our actions, often people are trying to cultivate the right-thinking because that’s pretty much standard first page in the book of personal development, control your thoughts which will control your feelings and your actions and your results. We’ve all been taught that process, but it’s interesting when you reverse engineer it with your actions.
To me a lot of it has to do with action, going and working out. How can I raise my vibration? What I’m eating, what I’m drinking? The things that are healthy, moving my body, getting on the phone, you feel so much better, knowing the belief that it’s all well. Mary Morrissey’s a dear friend and she always says, “This is what it looks like when it’s all coming together.” Every time somebody would tell me no, I almost felt like those things where you knock them down and they come back up. It’s like, “No. This is what it looks like truly and I believe it when it’s all coming together.”
“Your external world mirrors your internal world.” I don’t remember you said mirrors, but is that the concept?
It’s a reflection. Blaine and I are both very big students of novel. I read with my team members the Power of Assumption every single day. The first paragraph talks about it is a mistake to think our external world is happening anywhere outside of us. When you own that what’s happening around you is a reflection of inside, you actually have control. If you think you’re a victim of what’s happening outside, what can you do? Be a victim, which is not very inspired.
When you catch yourself and the things that come out of your mouth or I catch myself and the things come out of my mouth, if I look at something as chaotic, if I look at some aspect of the world is being in chaos, it is a mirror or it is a reflection of what’s going on in the inside. We’re like projection machines.
All we do is project.
Why can’t we see harmony? There is a lot of crap out there for sure. If we’re projecting something on a screen and you have the choice to project it, why wouldn’t you project harmony? If I’m going to project harmony at this moment, I would think about the work you’re doing in Kenya. I would think about my wife, Randi. People absolutely love that woman and with good reason. She is a good human. Her instincts are impeccable. How she fell in love with your foundation, with you, and what you’re doing, that had such an impact on me to see her so committed to that work. If I think at this moment about how I would project harmony, I project harmony in thinking about the love that she has for what you do, the love that you have and put into what you do, and all these children that are the beneficiary of all that love and all that heavy lifting.
It brings harmony inside of me. It feels like peace. It feels like love. It feels like the foundation is committed to that peace through education. It was the perfect partner like it was a perfect alignment for us to be working with you on that. We can talk about any number of pivots. It could be a relationship, it could be personal or outside relationships or health, and it can be business. I would love to track back to the pivot seeds that were planted for Unstoppable Foundation. If you wouldn’t mind sharing the darkest moment in that process because that didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen without the pain of giving birth.
The first critical pivot in my life was when I left corporate America to write my first book, Unstoppable. I had no experience in the publishing industry. I never wrote a book. The only thing I’d ever written was a college term paper my entire life but I wasn’t inspired by the work I was doing. I was selling telecommunications. I was a national account manager. I’m making a strong six-figure income, but I’m not inspired. I’d always loved these stories of unstoppable people. Back in 1996, I quit my job, cashed in my entire life savings. We downsized our life and I wrote the first book. There are many opportunities to be unstoppable. I was rejected by publishers. I’m rejected by agents. I’m rejected by people I’m trying to interview for the book.
It’s not easy when you’re new to something. When you’re an unpublished author, people don’t take it seriously. You have to take yourself seriously enough to keep asking, to have the courage to persevere. The book gets written eighteen months after the book comes out. I’m living my purpose. My purpose is to inspire people to believe in themselves more deeply and to achieve their heart’s desire. That was my purpose. Eighteen months after my book came out, my twenty-year marriage ended. I was devastated. I talked about dark moments. I remember my husband was a police officer, a CHP officer. We had a gun in the house. We don’t have guns now but he did, and I literally remember laying in bed, separated, and my life is over, and just the deepest of despair. I couldn’t see what was possible, a lot of grief.
I called my dear mentor, Millard Fuller, who is the Founder of Habitat for Humanity. I told him what had happened and he said, “When you have a great pain in your life, you need a greater purpose.” I was living my purpose, but that purpose was not bigger than my pain. He said, “Why don’t you build a house for a family in need?” He had just gotten back from Nepal, and while it’s so beautiful, he told me it’s one of the most impoverished nations in the world. As I thought about it, I thought how many houses I would need to build that would offset this pain in my life. I’m a single mom living on a $14.95 book. I don’t have a big community. I don’t know people who are rich. I’ve never raised money to build one house before.
As I thought about it, I thought, “I know five.” He’s like, “No.” “Ten?” “No.” It wasn’t until I got to the number 100 houses that were $2,000 a house, that inspired me. That will get me out of bed literally because there are times I enjoyed getting out of bed. Here I am and I’m speaking. I just wrote a book about being unstoppable and there were times when my eyes were so swollen from crying. I could barely even open them. I thought about my project. I’m going to do these 100 houses.It is a mistake to think our external world is happening anywhere outside of us. Click To Tweet
It was a crazy goal. Who do I know? I said, “I’m going to do it.” I called Bob Proctor, he was one of my first mentors. I met him when my book was brand new. It came out in 1998. I told him what has happened and I said, “I need to raise $200,000.” He said, “That’s simple. You find ten people to contribute $20,000 and you’re done.” I’m thinking, “I don’t know anybody who got $20,000.” I thought about it. I looked at him and I’m thinking. I said, “Do you have $20,000?” Later he told me he took a big job because what was he going to say? He just told me what to do and he had never contributed $20,000on anything at that point. What was he going to say? He said, “Yes, I will be the first one.” I’m like, “Awesome.” When I’m out there speaking, I invited people to donate money to this. I called it the Unstoppable Nepal Build. I was not attached to people saying yes, it was really an invitation.
That year, I ended up raising $200,000 and I took eighteen people to Nepal within one year. I took them to Nepal. We worked on the first three of the 100 homes that were built that next year. That experience totally changed my life. The key thing I got from that is when you’re giving, it feels like you’re just being so great, so magnanimous. You’re helping other people and feeling all great about that. What I hadn’t anticipated was how my life would change. I thought it was about them and then I realized it was really more about me. It connected me with it at the deepest level. It gave me such purpose and such joy. What was interesting is that year, I made more money than I did earning a six-figure income in Sprint Communications and as a brand new author, single mom, selling $14.95 a book and that wasn’t what my focus was. That’s the first time I experienced the Law of Giving and Receiving. I didn’t call it that back then, but I know it’s a law.
I was on with Ken Honda a couple of days ago. He invested well. He was in the financial space, did well, retire. He’s a young man, late twenties and he and his wife have a baby, Hannah. When she was two years old day, he was retired for three or four years. At a certain point, he decides he wants to write a book. It’s actually pretty cool. He sees a woman that’s dragging her kid off who’s crying who wants to stay in the park. She keeps telling her, “No, I have to go to work,” and he’s free at that point. He’s financially free and so his child could stay in the park. He said, “I got to write something about what it would take to be happy with money and to be free.” He does. He starts to write. He writes like 29 pages or something and gives it out to his friends and people love it. He prints more and eventually, he goes to a printing place. He said, “I’ve got to print 3,000 copies.” He started out with like 500 and the guy was a really good salesman.
He said, “If we print 500, it’s almost the same to print 1,000.” He goes for 1,000. Then he says, “1,000 is very close in price to 2,000, but if you’re going to be at 2,000 you should go 3,000.” He orders a print for 3,000 and he gives them all away. As soon as he gives them all away, more people want them, so he gives out another 3,000. Ultimately, he gives away 100,000 copies of this book which cost him a few million bucks. He was worried. This is pretty remarkable. He thought maybe he’d go bankrupt to fulfill the orders and there was no chance he wasn’t going to fulfill everybody’s request to have it. Of course, he didn’t. He was speaking very much about the same thing you just brought up, which was that giving is very much receiving at the same time. I know people think, “I’m not that giving. I’m not that selfless. I’m actually pretty selfish.” I don’t want to speak for you here, but there’s definitely a benefit that you’re not going in saying, “I’m looking to get,” but the tangible benefit to your heart, to your soul, even to your finances.
I’ll give you some statistics about this. Spiritual teachers have been talking about “give and it shall be given” and the benefits of giving for centuries. Dr. Stephen Post wrote a book about Why Good Things Happen to Good People. He did 50 university studies on giving and generosity. What he found out was that giving is the most potent force on the planet. There’s nothing more powerful than giving. It impacts your health, it impacts your friends, it impacts your mental state, even your pocketbook. I’ve done lots of research around giving and I continue to expand my awareness around it as well. What I’ve learned is that giving activates receiving. It’s not the other way around. Many people think, “I don’t have enough.” They have the illusion of scarcity, and so they don’t give and they continue to not have enough. I’m not just talking about money. I could be talking time. I could be talking listening. It could be a prayer. Giving activates the law of receiving.
Blaine and I read the Spirit of Opulence of it and that’s the whole thing. It’s a prescription to create wealth and it’s all about giving. Knowing that, “Money’s coming in. I’m not holding onto it and I’m looking for ways to give.” Let me give you an example. We’re doing a big remodel on our house and we now have this thing, we’ve actually got it from Mary. Our question is always when we’re making a decision, what would we love? We have this home on Whidbey Island. Blaine and I got married. He had the existing home. It was with him and his former wife who had passed. I didn’t feel attached to that property. It’s beautiful, but we’re looking at what do we want to do. We think we’ll do a little remodel and what we would love. We started getting into the spirit of what we would love and then just doing this big room addition and this whole thing. It’s completely out of our paradigm. We talk to our financial planner.
He comes over for lunch and we’re showing him the plans. We were telling him what the budget is and she’s like, “That’s nice.” She sends this whole email the next day, “I love how inspired you guys are about your dream home. Is there any way you might consider backing off and doing something? I’m a little concerned.” Then Blaine and I, we’re like, “Maybe she’s right.” It reflected that part of us that we were concerned about. For like a week or two, I’m redoing it in my mind and maybe we don’t need to go up another story. I’m redoing it. I’m thinking, “I’m not loving this. This is not what I would love.” We decided we are living what we’re preaching or what we’re practicing. It’s like the spirit of opulence is about distribution. We’re looking for a builder. In the past, I would always try to negotiate the best deal and get the best price. Bob Proctor told me and said that I never negotiate. He said, “I don’t negotiate on my fees as well,” so he’s not trying to get people down to the cheapest price.
We ended up finding a contractor. He was one of the more high-priced contractors, but he could get it done in time. We felt good about it. Of course, we want him to make money. We want this to be an equal exchange. Literally, out of abundance comes more abundance. We’ve got this money that’s come in and I’m looking at, “How I can give more money away?” It’s the weirdest thing. It wouldn’t be what the financial planner would say, “I’m making more money. Good, I can give this away and that away.” We’re living exactly what I’m talking about and that’s the power of me building my foundation because I’m not just up there asking people to give. I live this. I live it. When you live it, you can speak with more authenticity.
Your vibration is a congruent thing. People get that.
I love giving. There’s nothing that makes me happier. We live in an apartment in Los Angeles and just out of the blue, we have the guy, the maintenance person, and giving him $100. Little things like that mean a lot and they make me feel so good. We experienced more and more abundance. It’s the most fascinating thing.
Money is an energy. How cool is it? What I’m having now is one of these moments where I’m realizing how the dots connect in so many interesting ways. The show for a couple of weeks for me, was all about relationships. I had Arielle on and that was obvious because she’s a relationship person and Alan Cohen. Everything was tracking to relationships. Even when your husband Blaine was on, we got into this whole discussion about relationships. I’m like, “Where did that come from?” It’s business consulting, but we got into relationships. This is so interesting that it’s been about the energy of money. Money is something that we can be grateful for. We can be grateful for it as it comes in and as it leaves. It’s this whole idea of working on your receiving muscle.
They said my receiver was broken and I had not heard it put that way before, and I thought, “That’s really cool.” Becoming a better receiver of it, welcoming it, being grateful for it and celebrating it. In a conversation with Ken, I also realized how cool is it to be grateful for it when it leaves, thankful for it when it leaves. Thank you. If we have a relationship with money, imagine that person shows up, you say, “Thank you for being here. I’m so happy to see you and I’m grateful you’re here.” Then when that person leaves, you’re also saying the same thing. It’s, “Thank you and I’m so happy that you were here. I’m grateful for you,” as the person leaves.
The relationship comes, “I’m grateful.” The relationship goes, “I’m grateful.” The money comes, “I’m grateful.” Even to the point where I’m thinking and I said to this Randi, “When we pay our bills, we always have this little bit of resentment.” When we bought our house here in San Diego, for whatever reason, it didn’t include the taxes. It’s probably one of those things where go, “It’s too much. I can’t even deal with that. Twice a year, we pay it.” Every time that tax bill comes around, we get like wiggly. It’s a big number. Taxes are insane here. Now, I want to be thankful for not just all the rationalization of it where I know the money’s going into schools and it’s going into places it ought to be. They don’t manage the money great. A lot of it gets wasted or whatever. It’s a good thing, it goes to an important place. I want to be grateful and thankful for the money going out.
It’s all distribution. One thing Bob Proctor says is when he gives, he doesn’t care if somebody would take it in the backyard and bury it. It doesn’t matter. He gives to where he’s inspired. Even with the taxes, we got a big tax bill. Spirit of opulence, the money’s coming. It’s in distribution. It’s inflow and more to come. Thanking God that we have the opportunity to be able to give, to be able to whatever, be in the economy. I don’t know, but it’s that energetic that it’s all about distribution. If you see money as which the Spirit of Opulence talks about is it’s all about to give a 100%. If I ever moved into a scarcity, I just get back out of it. My mom had a stroke over Christmas. She’s fine now. She’s better. I was raised in scarcity, which most people are.
It’s just the opposite but I wasn’t there, two days of listening to them, talk about no money and can’t spend it on this and that whole consciousness. I went outside. I called Mary. I’m starting to be concerned maybe I give away too much money. I’m like, “Maybe I’m giving too much of my money away.” It was weird because I give to my parents, I give to my brother. I’m so happy to be able to do that. It makes me happy. I started reading Spirit of Opulence again. The pool of our programming and the collective consciousness is around scarcity, “If I give to you, there is not enough for me,” and it’s the opposite.
Emmet Fox talks about the mental equivalent and Abraham talks about vibrational alignment. He talks mental equivalent of what it is that you want. On some level, what you’re describing is providing that mental equivalent of abundance. What does abundance look like when you said, what would we love. Who wouldn’t love to be so generous that their heart was overflowing all the time because of their generosity? Who wouldn’t want to live in that state?Giving activates receiving. Click To Tweet
There is no better way to live. When people don’t know how to give, it’s sad. Believe me, I’ve been there in my life, so I know. The people I know, Mary Morrissey, Bob Proctor, Sandy Gallagher, when they’re giving, it’s not even given to me, although they’re happy to support me. They’re generating more to be able to give. That’s another thing that I’ve learned when I invite people to give. I understand I’m giving people an opportunity to transform their life. It’s not BS. It’s not like a sales strategy to get people to donate more money. It’s the truth. What you can ask from that place as an invitation, “Give, because you’re opening yourself up to more abundance.”
Find something, someone or some organization.
Find something and do it every day. Make it a way of life. My daughter wants to get a new palm reading. I have a palm reader who saw her and it’s like $1,500. I said, “I’ll contribute $500 to the puppy thing.” How fabulous to be able to do that. It’s little but it meant so much to her. I’m always looking for how I can give.
I would love for you to take us into a bit of the part that was icky or dark along the way. I also want to have you share what’s happening in these communities. I know last year, we felt so blessed that a school was being built. I know the ribbon cutting is coming up in fact on a school that we’re able to support. I want you to paint that picture and share with us what that looks like and whose lives are being changed. I want it to come from your mouth what it is that happens and where the money goes. You took us to the beginning. This was a way as was said to you by Millard Fuller, “When you have a great pain in your life, you need an even greater purpose.” You’ve got purposeful as part of your own healing process and you build those hundred houses and then you’re on your way.
I’m looking for that next project since I started to implement giving into all of my projects. I got an invitation out of the blue to attend this conference in rural Kenya. The only thing I knew about this conference was that women were coming to share their stories. I felt like I should say yes, so I flew over there and for five days, I heard stories I’d never heard before. Their children dying of malaria and for the price of a cup of coffee, they could’ve been cured. They’re spending hours fetching water on their backs and it’s contaminated water. The number one thing they said is, “How do we get our kids an education?” Without it, nothing will change for them. There was this part of me where I’m hearing this and this voice who says, “You should do something about this.”
This immediate, much louder voice said, “Are you kidding me? This problem has been going on for too long. You’re not nearly smart enough to deal with this. Millions of dollars, billions of dollars have gone into this and there’s still an issue.” I was like, “You’re right.” I finished the conference, we were getting on the bus, we’re saying goodbye to all these women, and they started pleading with me. They said, “Please don’t forget us.” I’m thinking, “What can I do?” They’re looking to me. I said, “I’ll do something.” I got home and I was at Debbie Ford’s house. She was a very good friend of mine and she was talking to me about how Beau, for his birthday, his Bar Mitzvah, instead of getting gifts, he asked people to donate money to build the school in Uganda.
I literally sat up on the couch and I thought that’s what I want to do for my 50th birthday. I am going to build a school in response to this commitment I made to these women. On my 50th birthday, I had a big birthday party. A hundred people came and I charged them $100 of a contribution and then I asked them to give more that night. We raised $80,000, which helped fund two schools. What was interesting about it is, people were coming up to me and thanking me for the opportunity to give. People are like, “This is so great. We’re in Los Angeles and we’re all coming together for something really important.” That was another pivotal moment where I thought, “If I could do that in one night, what if I really put my heart and soul into this?”
I started doing some research to look at what we could do to move the needle. What I got is it’s not enough in a developing country to build a school. Many organizations are doing one thing and it’s not solving the problem. There are schools that are sitting empty, three to five years. Why are they empty? Because if you don’t provide access to clean water, children are sick. The girls are fetching water. They’re not in school if you do not provide access to healthcare. When they’re sick, they’re not in school. If you’re not providing nutritious food, they’re malnourished, they can’t concentrate. If you’re not providing an opportunity for parents to be able to earn an income, it can never be self-sustaining. You can’t just build a school. There got to be clean water, healthcare, nutritious food and training for the parents. It’s all five of those things.
I started looking for a partner and I’ve found a partner, a charity who was actually new to doing this five pillar model. We started partnering a few years ago and it’s just been growing. We’re now in seventeen communities and we’ve now educated like it’s over 30,000 children. We’re expecting 75,000 community members. We’ve helped launch a college. Kids in this area of the world, only one half of 1% of students ever get to go to college, which is a travesty. We helped fund the high school, so they’re going from nursery school through high school, but then what? In partnership with our partners on the ground, we launched an Unstoppable Scholars program where they’ve launched the WE College. We’re funding all of the scholarships within a leadership and empowerment program. Nursing launched in November. Tourism Management launched in June. Clinical Medicine launches next year, School of Agriculture launches next year, School of Business and the School of Education, the year after.
You keep it simple and that’s not even everything.
It started with this little idea and now it’s full circle. It’s transforming an entire region of the world. One thing I wanted to say is, I remember maybe four years into it, when you’re starting something new, you’re doing almost everything. There are so many things that I didn’t know. I didn’t know finances. There were so many things when you’re growing and running a business. I remember I was talking to Lynne Twist and I’m crying and like feeling like quitting, “I cannot do this. I am not capable. I am not smart enough. Surely, there are people smarter than me that can figure this out.” She’s like, “You spend the holidays and cry your heart out.” Just feel what you need to do. I binge watched Grey’s Anatomy or something and literally, was totally depressed. I then came up with an idea and I thought, “I need to get a good chairman of the board. I need some help.”
At that point, all of the people on the board were friends. They are just helping. I need a real chairman of the board. I go to TLC. Me and Rinaldo Brutoco had lunch and I’m like, “Rinaldo, I need you.” I may have been half begging, half way. He had so many things on his plate, but he found the place in his heart and his wife. They’re like looking at me like, “We want to help you.” He came in. He hired a CFO. Everything was integrous with their reports but it wasn’t like the chart of accounts. There’s a whole thing in nonprofit where everything has to be a certain way. He came and he got it all together. I started attracting other board members and it shifted and this is interesting. I used to feel shame about inviting other people to see what I was doing because I thought they would think, “She doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
I had this thing that they would judge me or they would see I don’t really know what I’m doing. What happened was the exact opposite. It’s that fear, like with Lynne Twist, she’s like, “You’re doing great. You’re doing this. You’re doing that.” Rinaldo is like, “Cynthia, this is awesome.” With that support, I started believing in myself more. It started shifting and the other thing that happened was around being the CEO. I didn’t want to be the CEO. I don’t like managing people, the whole thing around that. I’m a visionary. I love inspiring. I remember talking to Mary Morrissey about it and she’s like, “One day you’ll hire a CEO, but not now and you need to be that person. If you don’t step up and do it, you will lose everything you’ve built.” I’m thinking, “She’s right.” Something shifted in my thought because at that point, I had friends who are working for me. When you have friends working for you, they don’t like you telling them what to do. I felt like I have to enroll more and I didn’t want to be bossy.
You have to deal with yourself because it’s not about them. It’s about us. That’s what’s showing up externally for you. It’s just a reflection of what’s going on inside.
Doing anything is a spiritual practice. It is constantly looking at where we think we fall short or whatever. It’s constantly looking at where my consciousness is around and being willing to let people go that you love. That was not easy. On the one hand, it’s been a joy. It’s been amazing. It’s been painful. It’s been frustrating. I remember when I was getting engaged to Blaine, Bob Proctor’s like, “Cynthia, don’t you forget you attracted that man. You did that.” Somehow, we’re diffused but what I realize is I have attracted all of these incredible people, all of these amazing people who are supporting.
I would attract you if you know the opportunity to live a life of great service. People like to be a part like Randi. She loves being a part of what we’re doing. Some people don’t want to have to go to Kenya and do it, you partner. That’s the power of a partnership. We attracted people like you. It’s a blessing. Honestly, I’ve never felt special ever but what I have done is I’ve been passionate, I’ve been willing, I’ve had the courage to say yes. I could not say yes and humble enough and just continuing to move forward and invite people to be a part of it.When you live it, you can speak with more authenticity. Click To Tweet
You will have a gala. You have a yearly gala and people will consume this content for years and years ahead. It’s not about the date or the year, but there’s a gala that typically happens every March. Randi and I got a couple of cards in the mail last year. We got these cards from the girls at this school with their thank yous and the photo of them. It sits upstairs and we see it every day, and it’s freaking amazing. It’s so beautiful. I can’t even put into words. I would love it if you’d share this ritual or a practice that you have that you use daily. You’ve already shared you and Blaine read the Spirit of Opulence. He had mentioned to me, you guys read that at night. You read it before you go to bed. That’s one of your rituals.
I read the Spirit of Opulence with Blaine every night. Then I’ll read the Power of Assumption every morning with the team member. I made a PowerPoint, so I have my practice. I’ll read something and actually it’s interesting, I got this from Bob Proctor as well. He and Sandy will read the same thing. They’ll read Entering into the Spirit Of It or they’ll read other things. They have read it every single. The way that you change behavior is through repetition, or the way you change your consciousness or your awareness is through repetition. Every time you read it, it’ll land differently for you. Instead of trying to devour books like I used to, I go back to the same thing and I’m reading it over and over again. I’ll then get inspired with something else, but that’s really my practice.
I don’t remember things well and I was like, “I got to reread them over or over.” Actually, it sinks into my thick skull, but I like the way you said that much better. This is a book that I get an opportunity to say this again and again and that’s Bob Burg’s book, The Go-Giver. Lovely book. Cynthia, thank you so much for taking the time and being with our community.
Thank you. It’s a joy. You and Randi are an inspiration and I so appreciate your heart and your authenticity and the work that you’re bringing to the world. Thank you for letting me be a part and share about the Unstoppable Foundation and what we’re doing. If people feel inspired, they can just go to our site and call us and learn more about how they can connect. One thing I want to say is, I know people are dying to make a difference and they want to know where their money’s going but it’s doing something important in the world. I feel honored to be able to be that vehicle for so many amazing people like you.
Thank you so much. I want you to say the URL, the website, where people can go.
We started with gratitude and we will now transition with gratitude, yet again. I am so grateful to be here and to be with all of you, to be a part of this community, which is a part of how we give is that we created this beautiful community. What shows up in it is remarkable and unpredictable and lovely. It is such a blessing to be in service to that. Cynthia Kersey, thank you for being with us. I feel so honored that you were able to share some of the stories you did, and for you and I to have so much fun discussing important things. That was a blessing. I love that I get the power to wave a magic wand. I’m going to use my word as a magic wand and that is to send out the prayer and the intention that tomorrow we all get to wake up.
Cynthia, you and I and our families and friends and everybody well beyond that, that we all get to wake up again tomorrow. This day was a blessing that we got to wake up. When we wake ourselves, when we are awakened tomorrow in the morning, it’s important that we realize that’s not guaranteed. The opportunity to wake up metaphorically and physically, that we get to wake up our consciousness means that our lives are not only better if we’re just a little more conscious tomorrow than we were now.
Our lives are better and everybody we impact is better for it in our world as a consequence is better for that. In that moment that we take that first conscious breath of the day, no matter what the challenges may be that we face, that any of us in all of us have at that moment where we’re breathing and we’re aware of it, realize that there are people who are taking their very last breath at that moment and that makes that moment special. It makes it sacred. There are also babies that will be born and there’ll be taking their very first breath of the day in that moment, just as we’re taking a breath now. That same thing is happening and it is sacred. Tomorrow, my prayer, my hope, my wish for all of us is that we wake up.
That as we take that breathe, that we’re grateful for it, that we allow ourselves those few seconds lying in bed to be grateful. Thereafter in that moment, when we feel that gratitude that we do something that we get into action, as Cynthia said, that we act in that moment. The action that I take, I’m going to recommend to you has become my ritual and maybe it will become yours. It’s to state out loud, either laying in bed or when your feet hit the floor, these words, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” I wish for all of your heart’s desires and that you are in fact a blessing to everyone that you think of tomorrow and every one that you think of, even at this moment and everyone that you see. I wish again that our community continues to grow and that you’re a part of that.
If you’re enjoying these podcasts, please feel free to leave a review on iTunes or subscribe. You can do that at AdamMarkel.com and the community on Facebook is really powerful. We’d love to have you join us if you haven’t done that yet, you can get there by going to PivotFB.com. That’s a special place for all of us to be together in community, to be vulnerable, to support each other and to receive support as well. Cynthia said it’s such a beautiful blend of giving and receiving and they really are two sides of the same coin so powerful to realize. We’re not saying that one is better than the other. In fact, those words, I love my life, are very much a receiving. It’s an energy of receiving because when we can receive love, we were even that much more able to give it. It’s very difficult to give that which we don’t possess. Let’s possess more self-love so we can give more of it in the world. Thank you so much for your time. Ciao for now.
- Unstoppable Foundation
- Unstoppable Women
- Entering Into the Spirit Of It
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
- Power of Assumption
- Habitat for Humanity
- Ken Honda – Previous episode
- Why Good Things Happen to Good People
- Spirit of Opulence
- Arielle Ford – Previous episode
- Alan Cohen – Previous episode
- Blaine Bartlett – Previous episode
- Unstoppable Scholars
- The Go-Giver
- iTunes – The Conscious PIVOT Podcast
About Cynthia Kersey
Cynthia Kersey is the CEO & Founder of the Unstoppable Foundation whose mission is to ensure that every child on the planet receives access to the life-long gift of education.