About Kim

Hey fellow travelers! Ride shotgun with me on my road to self-actualization, fulfillment and financial freedom.

They say you can change your life if you change your brain. I’m gonna test the heck outta that theory!

In all honesty, I’m not really comfortable promoting myself. It’s one of the things I’m working to change.

Instead, I took two different online tests to assess my strengths both almost a year ago (Aug 2019), and today.

I’m going to share the results with you. Ready?

Click here to take the first test with me.

Your Top 5 Strengths Are:

Innovation (94%):

* Actively seek out positions where your ideas will be valued and encouraged.
* Be a designer, sales strategies, marketing guru, or customer service rep for new products and ideas.
* Search out and request ideas from others to stimulate your thinking.
* Constantly think of ideas that can improve businesses and the lives of others.
* You enjoy the power of words; punchy ideas stimulate your thinking – focus and play with this fact.
* For decisions, you need to know that everything fits together. Be aware and plan for decisions.
* If a decision seems to stand out as particularly bothersome, then check if it is an exception before worrying about it.

Curiosity (94%):

* Actively take on roles that require you to stay current in a fast moving field.
* Always stay hunting for a richer learning environment – the process keeps you energized.
* Track your learning progress and celebrate milestones along the way.
* Challenge yourself to be a resident expert or master of trade on a subject.
* Request to work beside someone who will continuously push you to learn more.
* Learn by teaching others – do discussion groups and presentations at work and in your community.
* Set aside money to support continued education, training, seminars, and e-learning.

Leadership (81%):

* You are good at getting projects moving again or persuading people to get stuff going – do it!
* Take opportunities to give evaluations of what is happening in company – your straight answers can help.
* You do not like to be supervised closely – make sure others are aware of this.
* You might empire-build, upset colleagues, get off-focus, ignore commitments – be aware and try to avoid.
* You may tend to intimidate others with up-front, aggressive style – let them know it is not personal.
* Your time may be better spent helping others understand you than trying to change you.

Communication (81%):

* Schedule some real time to develop communication strengths and skills – take a training class / read books!
* Try to attend events where prospects or customers are to be entertained.
* Seek to capture and learn company folklore and stories – be the company culture point of contact.
* Plan and take time to hear about the life and experiences of others.
* Plan to participate, organize, and encourage company social events.
* Volunteer to help others make more engaging presentations.
* Take advanced public speaking training; the novice classes will upset you.

Integrity (81%):

* You identify with your ability to keep your commitments – stick to your programs!
* Stay off teams that have slackers on board as they will sap your energy.
* Do not be forced to rush and sacrifice quality – you value quality first. Help others understand.
* You are a self-starter and require little supervision – be sure your supervisors know this.
* You excel in positions that require unimpeachable ethics – seek them out.
* Continue to ask yourself what new responsibilities you want to assume.
* Protect yourself from taking on too much – build up self-discipline and the ability to say ‘no’!
* Be careful about moving to management – you may prefer to do it yourself and be overwhelmed.

Your Remaining Results Are:

Risk Taking (75%):
Resourcefulness (75%):
Problem Solving (75%):
Adaptability (75%):
Faith (75%):
Optimism (69%):
Purpose (63%):
Determination (63%):
Strategic Thinking (63%):
Teamwork (63%):
Visionary (63%):
Salesmanship (56%):
Ambition (50%):
Focus (44%):
Self Motivation (44%):

I found this cool test too. The paid version is under $45, but I just did the free one. Click here to take the second test with me.
1 – OPTIMIST

Your objective is to bring positive spirit. If there is someone believing that the glass is half-full instead of half-empty – then it’s you. Whether it’s a work project or a daily situation – you always manage to find a way to make everything more exciting. You inject enthusiasm into people and that’s why they love to be around with you. Sure, there are people who don’t buy your positivity – but could it set you back? No way! Your optimism simply would not allow it! In a team environment, you are generous with praise, grateful for people and circumstances, and quick to find positive in every situation, which is key in motivating people and mitigating conflicts.

2 – PHILOMATH

Your objective is to learn new things. Due to your love of learning people tend to say you are a very curious person. You like to experiment with different styles of learning as well – in the end, there is something to learn from that as well, right? As it’s the processes itself that excite you, you are not necessarily interested in becoming a subject matter expert. Instead you prefer learning something fast and then shift to a new thing to learn. Thanks to this strength, you learn very fast and thrive in short projects and dynamically changing environments. Needless to say, you will always be the one to contribute with new knowledge to your team as well.

3 – STORYTELLER

Your objective is to communicate a message. You are a natural storyteller and it’s not only your natural talent but also a strength that you are constantly working on. You are always in search for a perfect phrase and powerful word combination to attract and to capture the attention of the audience. That’s why people love listening to you. In your mind – the presentation and communication are everything. You might have the best idea or concept but in the end the way you present it is what makes a real difference. Strong communication skills make you a great addition to any team – be it for inspiring team members to act or for presenting the output of your work to external stakeholders.

4 – THINKER

Your objective is to think. Some get excited by exercising their biceps or triceps, you – by stretching your ‘brain muscles’ through deep thinking. It does not necessarily mean you are a very focused person. It just means you enjoy the mental activity and meaningful conversations. For your mind journeys, you perceive yourself as the best companion. This introspection allows you to digest complex information and ideas before communicating about it with the surrounding world. Who wouldn’t like to have a team member who can simplify even most sophisticated concepts in a way that a 3-year-old would understand?

5 – COACH

Your objective is to develop people’s potential. Contrary to what others might think, you believe that every person has the potential for development. None of the people have achieved the ultimate level of excellence – there is always space to grow. You perceive it as a personal mission to help others utilize their potential and to experience success. As the result, you look for ways to facilitate their learning process – from challenging their thoughts in a discussion to creating environments which would facilitate learning process. You are one of those leaders that really care about the development of team members and they really appreciate it.

Now, some of these results were a surprise to me. I feel like the past year has been full of personal growth and mindset shifts. If I were to take the test again today, I’m not sure I would get the same results.

So, I took the tests AGAIN today, and here are my results now:

Your Top 5 Strengths Are:

Innovation (100%):

Actively seek out positions where your ideas will be valued and encouraged.
Be a designer, sales strategies, marketing guru, or customer service rep for new products and ideas.
Search out and request ideas from others to stimulate your thinking.
Constantly think of ideas that can improve businesses and the lives of others.
You enjoy the power of words; punchy ideas stimulate your thinking – focus and play with this fact.
For decisions, you need to know that everything fits together. Be aware and plan for decisions.
If a decision seems to stand out as particularly bothersome, then check if it is an exception before worrying about it.

Risk Taking (94%):

Learn to recognize, act on, and leverage risks based on your own abilities.
Look at risks that are uncomfortable and find ways to overcome them.
Stay alert to all opportunities but focus on those currently available to you.
Try something new each day without worrying about the journey or outcomes.
Learn to overcome the instinctive responses to fear.

Optimism (94%):

Look for positions where you can be as close to customers as possible.
Actively help plan events – like new product launches and user groups.
Do use your humor and good attitude to excite people.
Being positive does not mean you’ll be in good mood – be aware and let others know, as needed.
Cynics quickly sap your energy and you dislike cheering negative people – minimize these instances.
You enjoy celebrating and should actively find ways to recognize achievements.

Curiosity (94%):

Actively take on roles that require you to stay current in a fast moving field.
Always stay hunting for a richer learning environment – the process keeps you energized.
Track your learning progress and celebrate milestones along the way.
Challenge yourself to be a resident expert or master of trade on a subject.
Request to work beside someone who will continuously push you to learn more.
Learn by teaching others – do discussion groups and presentations at work and in your community.
Set aside money to support continued education, training, seminars, and e-learning.

Adaptability (88%):

Your success depends on ability to accommodate the unforeseen.
You find planning work very boring – find ways to minimize this chore while still achieving.
Get on teams that need to make progress – you won’t sit around and sulk.
Focus on many quick jobs/tasks rather than long, drawn-out assignments.
Foster others’ desire to learn and experiment by giving them room and tools.
Goal-setting meetings and career-counseling are boring to you – minimize it.

Here’s the second test, 1 year later.

1 – PHILOMATH

Your objective is to learn new things. Due to your love of learning people tend to say you are a very curious person. You like to experiment with different styles of learning as well – in the end, there is something to learn from that as well, right? As it’s the processes itself that excite you, you are not necessarily interested in becoming a subject matter expert. Instead you prefer learning something fast and then shift to a new thing to learn. Thanks to this strength, you learn very fast and thrive in short projects and dynamically changing environments. Needless to say, you will always be the one to contribute with new knowledge to your team as well.

2 – OPTIMIST

Your objective is to bring positive spirit. If there is someone believing that the glass is half-full instead of half-empty – then it’s you. Whether it’s a work project or a daily situation – you always manage to find a way to make everything more exciting. You inject enthusiasm into people and that’s why they love to be around with you. Sure, there are people who don’t buy your positivity – but could it set you back? No way! Your optimism simply would not allow it! In a team environment, you are generous with praise, grateful for people and circumstances, and quick to find positive in every situation, which is key in motivating people and mitigating conflicts.

3 – BRAINSTORMER

Your objective is to come up with new concepts and ideas. It’s not even your objective – it’s your way of life. You are constantly on the lookout to connect unconnectable things and to find new perspectives on familiar challenges. Whenever a new idea comes into your mind, you literally lit up like a light bulb. New angles, approaches and perspectives no matter how contrary or bizarre give you an endless source of energy. As the result, the others might see you as an innovative person willing to turn the world around and resort to you if they need some ‘out of the box’ ideas. You are a clear source of creative juices in any team.

4 – STORYTELLER

Your objective is to communicate a message. You are a natural storyteller and it’s not only your natural talent but also a strength that you are constantly working on. You are always in search for a perfect phrase and powerful word combination to attract and to capture the attention of the audience. That’s why people love listening to you. In your mind – the presentation and communication are everything. You might have the best idea or concept but in the end the way you present it is what makes a real difference. Strong communication skills make you a great addition to any team – be it for inspiring team members to act or for presenting the output of your work to external stakeholders.

5 – CHAMELEON

Your objective is to adapt to chaotic environments. As the result, you see the world as a permanently changing place where nothing is fixed and you shape it with choices made right now. Instead of predetermining future, you prefer to go with the flow and discover it one day at a time. While some can interpret it as your inability to make plans and disorganization, you clearly know that you are very successful in constantly changing environments, where the work might be pulling you in many directions at once. It’s difficult to make you upset by a sudden change in plans because you understand they are inevitable. You are a valuable asset in any team helping to unfreeze from a sudden change of plans and make progress in chaotic environments.

Changes in Me

I think it’s fair to say that most traits have remained fairly consistent. I do agree that I’ve become more adaptable as I learn to embrace uncertainty and change. I’m a little disappointed that the coaching and leadership traits fell away, but I think that’s because I’ve been more focused on my own growth for the last while.

Guess it’s time I get teaching again!

How were your results? Any surprises?

August 3, 2020

Thought I’d take the opportunity of time in a long weekend to connect a little more personally. I’m still finding my voice on here. Despite posting daily, it’s been mainly notes and knowledge.

But people don’t connect with knowledge. People connect with people.

Hi, I’m Kim. I read constantly: the sides of cereal boxes and shampoo bottles, whatever you got. I love learning, and I always have. Nice to meet you!

I became a reiki master as a teenager, so you’d be right to guess that I grew up with the belief that energy permeates the universe, connecting all things, and that this energy can be directed for a purpose I intend. I was fascinated with complimentary medicine, and the possibilities in merging various healing and helping disciplines.

I’ve probably forgotten a lot of it, but I also studied ear candling, reflexology, massage, meditation, tarot, crystal healing, magic & the occult, astrology, numerology, colour therapy, aromatherapy, angelic healing and prayer, and other shamanic and spiritual things.

But then I stopped. Not all at once, but by inches as my world unraveled.

My brother, Mark, died. He had been 19 for almost 2 months. I had turned 17 the month before.

My dad had his first heart attack a month after Mark died. Momz, well she was heartbroken, and mad with grief. I kept it together for a couple of years.

Looking back, I see the decisions I made. It didn’t feel like a decision at the time though.

I believed it would be easier to break than to keep it together anymore. In some ways, it was easier, a sort of crutch for the daily grind when I just didn’t give a damn anymore.

Dark days. I felt broken and powerless.

In that time I learned people would go easier on you if they felt you were broken in some way. People would give you more slack, more understanding. I could be lazier and get away with it, and I did.

It didn’t make me happy. In fact, it made me miserable.

I got into an unhealthy relationship. I met this guy in the psychiatric day program, so that should have been my first clue.

At first, it was kinda sweet. Here I am feeling broken and lost, and I meet this guy who’s as broken and lost as I am. He tells me it’s okay to cry. I feel supported, and beautiful.

But he got into a worse downward spiral: booze, drugs, combinations of booze and drugs. He was pulling me down with him. In hindsight, it took way longer than it should have for me to end it because I kept seeing potential instead of reality, and because I didn’t feel my own value.

I was lost in a dark, downward spiral of my own. I had to decide to turn it around.

I can remember making the decision, but I couldn’t tell you anymore what triggered it, or what day it was, or where it was, or what I was doing. I just remember deciding that I didn’t want to win the “Whose Life Sucks More” contest. I decided that I would stop using my mental health issues as a crutch, and take responsibility for the decisions I made.

I think I was sick of feeling broken, of acting broken, of being broken. That’s probably when I decided to really participate in life again after my brother died. Only took me 5 years to get there.

Respect my process. LOL…Anyway, I was 22, turning 23.

I made a series of good decisions around that time. I ended the relationship with the guy, and moved back home. I gave up sugar, so I lost a pile of weight. I was still working, and I went back to school.

I learned that high school is the BS you go through so you can go to university. I was old enough to know better, and young enough to do it anyway. It was a good time. I met good people. I had amazing experiences. My life was a concert – a riot of music and motion and good times.

I got an honors major in Humanities, and i specialized in myths, legends and folklore. It was fascinating, and I loved it because I have a passion for stories and storytelling.

I want to know things. I believe that the more perspectives I can take on, the better. I like looking at something from different angles.

Given all that, it won’t surprise you that I came at my subject from every angle: literature, religion, anthropology, archaeology, sociology, psychology and on and on. I resisted the sort of specialization careers in the 21st century demand.

I had a vision for my future. I was going to get a PhD. in the Humanities, and teach at the university. I’d have so much time off in the summers to pursue research and my secret desire to write something as powerful as my favourite author, Guy Gavriel Kay.

It felt like a flowering time, possibilities unfolding around me and buzzing like cicadas with energy. I knew what I wanted, and where I was going. I was in the best shape of my adult life. I was smart enough, and good enough, and there was a bright future ahead.

I felt secure in my student identity, and in my vision of the future. Go to school, get a good job, and live a good life. I was well on my way.

I graduated with highest honors, and then I went on to grad school. I’d heard that it was better to get credentials from more than one university, so I did my MA at the University of Victoria. I was moving to BC!

Academically, I did well. I had a creative, multidisciplinary approach, and I was still loving learning. Theory and jargon came easily to me.

However, I started being too isolated. I had more and more anxiety, and started having trouble getting out and doing things. These periods of heightened anxiety would be intermingled with bouts of partying and excess. It was a strange and unhealthy combination.

I had trouble second year while writing my thesis. Academic writing is bullshit.

I felt it was elitist, and excluded people that didn’t have a $50 vocabulary. Academic writing seemed more intent on using jargon and being smart, than in actually communicating. Since I was collecting and analyzing indigenous stories from New Zealand, this was a big problem for me because I felt the way I was being forced to write excluded the people I was writing about.

Momz flew out for a visit, and to light a fire under my ass. I was having a hard time focusing, and getting my thesis done.

We had a good time, and it helped having her there. For one thing, she pointed out that I was allergic to my laundry soap, so that eliminated loads of irritation from my life right there!

I finished my thesis. It was well-received.

However, I no longer wanted to teach at the university because I didn’t want to teach in a school system that cared more about sounding smart than in communicating knowledge. I was so disappointed in academic writing and academia in general. I felt a doctoral dissertation would probably be more of the same.

So now what? My plan was derailed. At this point, I am 29, coming up on 30 in less than 6 months.

The disillusionment was crushing, and it got worse when I started looking for a job. Go to school, get a good job? What a joke! I quickly found out that no one care a bit about my Master’s degree.

Job-hunting felt kind of like prostitution. I can be good…I can be whatever you want…I would have benefited from some solid job-hunting, interviewing and sales skills.

I spiraled down into a bit of a depression. I lost friends because I’d get drunk and out of hand when we’d go out. Soon the only people I did hang around were drunks themselves, so we just reinforced each other’s bad behaviour.

I wanted to get away, get out of Canada, and away from the disappointment in my life. Friends in grad school had taught English overseas. I do love to travel. I still loved learning and teaching. I decided teaching English overseas was a good idea.

I went to South Korea for just over a year. My problem-drinking went Olympic-level. I mean, I aimed for drunk like it was a vacation destination I desperately wanted to get to, at an all-inclusive resort, at which I was gonna to get my money’s worth.

My social anxiety went through the roof because now I was ashamed of how I had acted while drunk. I would drink to calm my anxiety and then wind up feeling anxiety because of problem drinking.

I came back to Canada for a friend’s wedding in Victoria between contracts. Then, I flew home to see momz and dad. Dad was turning 65 that year.

Couple days before his birthday, Dad took momz to the hospital because she’d been passing out and having problems, maybe mini-strokes. So dad takes momz to the hospital, but he doesn’t want to pay for parking, so he parks at a store and takes a 20 minute walk back to the hospital in the baking July heat.

I’m just getting out of Wal-mart when I get a call from Momz saying dad took her to the hospital, and then he collapsed in the ER while waiting with her. I rushed to the hospital, and then became a human ping-pong ball.

Dad was in one end of the ER. I’d check on him, get an update, and then head over to the other end of the ER to see momz. I’d tell her how dad was doing and get an update on her, then go back over to see dad and give him the update on mom. Back and forth. Back and forth.

I decided my travelling days were done.

Momz and dad were having increasingly serious health issues. The house was falling apart. Either they didn’t have the money to fix it, or knowing dad, he didn’t want to spend the money to fix it. Dad refused to downsize, but he also wasn’t up to doing all the maintenance himself. I should live with momz and dad and help them stay in their house. They were getting older, and obviously they had some serious health issues.

So, at this point I decided to be planted at home again. It sucked.

I was used to having my own space and privacy. Being at home again was weird, and I felt like people would judge me. Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when you think of a 32 year-old living with their parents?

I met a guy, the guy I marry 2 years later. I got a job. Again, job-hunting was a soul-crushing experience. I wound up falling into the first job I could get in retail, and I stayed there for a time, feeling increasingly like a failure.

Here I am with all my education and experience, and I’m working shitty hours for minimum wage in retail. It was at this time, I started becoming interested in entrepreneurship and in making money.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that was my gateway drug. As you might imagine, I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole.

I started a business. It was almost like a dare that went too far.

It all began as an erotic fiction series that I wanted to monetize with condom carriers and sex toys. Good idea, but poorly executed because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I can think of a few places in my life where I should have made the investment in a mentor because it would have saved me piles of money later. This is one of those times.

Anyway, by the time I recognized that I wasn’t succeeding with this business, I’d lost heaps of money, and some self respect. People say it’s good to fail quickly. I understand what that means now.

I got promoted to manager, but then I got out of retail, and into a steady office job. However, I didn’t consider myself a great success because was no growth potential in my office job. I wasn’t treated very well, and I knew I was never going to get ahead, and live the life of my dreams working in a career that gave me no joy or fulfillment. I felt a crushing disappointment in myself, like I was wasting my potential.

The moment I decided to look for some sort of entrepreneurship opportunity beyond my 9-5 grind, I felt lighter. I felt the expansiveness of possibilities again.

However, I still didn’t have a mentor, so I wound up jumping on the first exciting and creative opportunity I could find. I knew from my previous failed business that my marketing skills were weak, so I took a course. I built my business, and when it wasn’t working, I ended it quickly.

Now, I’m working full-time, I’m still taking courses online. I’m developing my skills, and I still have a passion for learning. This course leads to that course. Entrepreneurship to marketing to personal development.

I come upon the law of attraction, and suddenly, it’s like I’ve come full circle. I remember the learnings of my youth, and my interest in universal energies and complimentary medicine.

I see how the quantum flapdoodle in the law of attraction dovetails with the quantum flapdoodle in What the Bleep Do We Know. I feel like I’m 22 again, but I’m so much older.

I wish I knew then what I know now, but I guess that’s what getting older is. The only sight of mine that’s improving is my hindsight.

I geek out on the brain. I learn strategies to get my subconscious mind onside with my conscious goals.

I reinvent my last failed business into this blog. This blog is devoted to sharing my learnings and the strategies that helped me make real, positive changes in my life.

I ended my problem-drinking. I got active. I got mentors, and I now everyday, I take focused action towards my goals, and the life of my dreams.

I’m 38, coming up on 39. I’ll be 40 in a minute. I feel like so many things happened a million years ago and yesterday. I have so many plans for tomorrow.

I got married a blink ago, and it’s our 5-year anniversary this year. I know this experience of time will continue. The older I get, the faster time goes.

Time is a funny thing. We say there’s 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour, and we think of time as this stable thing.

However the experience of time is quite different. It stretches out before us and seems long, but looking back, time is contracted and short and fleeting.

It is like every year in school. Sitting in class in September, the year seemed long. Come May though, it had passed in a blink.

I will waste no more time going round and round. Time is too fleeting and precious.

I commit to a direction, and I stay the course because I’ve taken the time to get clarity. I’ve learned the hard way that I don’t perform well when I don’t have a clear, focused vision of the life I want to create. Again the world is buzzing with possibilities.

Now, I’m remaking my life as a masterpiece, and it’s a heck of a journey! I’m grateful you’ve decided to share in it with me.