122. Her Year of Exploration with Kathy Goughenour

Ever go through a part of your life thinking everything is fine, but then experience that moment when your whole world turns upside down?

It could be a debilitating health issue.

Or maybe finding out just when you achieved what you thought were your dreams, that it wasn’t what you really wanted after all. Or it comes with baggage that you didn’t bargain for.

But what if things never were “fine” to begin with?

Kathy Goughenour was raised as the daughter of two Pentecostal preachers and seemed destined for a life with no dancing, no bowling, no movies, and never being allowed to wear anything but a dress. The only value instilled in her was “go to church” – which made her rebellious.

Then her parents divorced. Her mother remarried. And she found out an awful fact: her mother never wanted her or her brother and had actually tried to abort them. Imagine your mom telling your stepfather throughout your life to keep you away from her. When her mother was on her deathbed, she told Kathy to never have children.

So she didn’t. She married and divorced twice before she was 30, then married a third time to a man who had already had a vasectomy.

In the meantime, her career flourished. She started a business helping real estate agents market their businesses, and after the crash of 2008 pivoted to creating a company training VAs how to serve their clients and grow their practices. She’s ruled her empire wearing tiaras and PJs, because that’s how she rolls.

Kathy avoided the trauma she expected might come from becoming a mother herself. She had what appeared to be a great marriage and aside from a few bumps, has always done well professionally. Everything seemed fine.

But Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

And Kathy is discovering that NOW.

Let me repeat – Kathy is discovering that NOW.

Rather than entirely reveal the plot of this episode, listen to hear Kathy share what’s going on in her world these days. We’re joining her at the beginning – yes, the beginning – of what she calls the “third act” of her life. Does she want to continue the same business? Does she want to spend the rest of her life with her husband? Where does she want to live?

You rarely hear what happens in the messy middle, much less while it’s in progress, so this episode serves up a much different perspective!

Kathy’s hype song is “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.

Resources:

Invitation from Lori:

Like Kathy, it’s possible you have lived what has seemed, up until now, to be a charmed life. But what if you’re nearly 70, or whatever milestone you have coming up, and it suddenly hits you that the next act of your screenplay is just beginning to unfold?

But it’s scary, because even though you want to, you don’t know HOW to live differently than you’ve been living for all these years. I get that. It’s hard to break free from societal and family expectations. Which have become so ingrained in you that you think they’re your own beliefs, but your soul is telling you there’s something more.

That’s why I created the 5 Easy Ways to Start Living The Sabbatical Life guide.

Once you read it, you’ll

✅ Discover a counter-intuitive approach to making intentional changes in mindset and lifestyle.

✅ Learn how to overcome the fear of being seen as a lazy slacker.

✅ Find out how to face fears, step out of your comfort zone, and rewire your beliefs.

It’s only 7 pages, so it won’t take you long to get through. The five tactics are simple, but once you follow even ONE of them, you’ll find yourself feeling more peaceful and even courageous.

When you’re ready to say F*ck Being Fine, then this guide is the place to start. It’s time to blaze a new trail and chart a new course!

Go to https://zenrabbit.com right now to download it for free.

Transcript

Lori Saitz: Hello, and welcome to "Fine is a 4-Letter Word". My guest today is Kathy Goughenour. Welcome to the show, Kathy.

Kathy Goughenour: Hey, Lori. Great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

Lori Saitz: If you are listening to this—and you probably are listening because I haven't typically posted videos on YouTube yet of my podcasts—before we started recording, Kathy hit, like, these special effects, and it created fireworks behind her. And it was so cool.

Kathy Goughenour: Two thumbs up.

Lori Saitz: She just did it again. It's awesome. Yes, yes. Okay. Well, let's see. Where to get started? Why don't we start where I typically start, which is, tell me the values and beliefs that you were raised with? What contributed to you becoming who you are?

Kathy Goughenour: So I was raised a double preacher's kid and in a very, very strict religion, Pentecostal. So I grew up going to church every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday, and cleaning the church in between, even as a little bitty kid. But I was a really bad, just the perfect double preacher's scared. I sat in the back. I was bad all the time. And as I grew older, I continued my rebellious ways.

Lori Saitz: Hmm, okay. Were there other people in your family that were rebellious? Where did this come from?

Kathy Goughenour: I really think it came from being so—like, in the Pentecostal religion, back then at least, you could do nothing. I mean, I couldn't dance. I couldn't bowl. I couldn't go to a movie. I couldn't wear anything other than dresses. I couldn't wear shorts or pants. I couldn't cut my hair. Man, I couldn't do anything.

Lori Saitz: Wow.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. Go to church. That's what I could do. So when you are that repressed—I felt repressed—then you rebel. You do whatever you could do. I snuck out of windows. You name it, I did it.

Lori Saitz: Did you have any brothers or sisters?

Kathy Goughenour: I had one brother, and he didn't do anything.

Lori Saitz: Really?

Kathy Goughenour: No. He was very, very subdued. Yes. I was the oldest. He was the youngest. And I did it all, and he didn't do anything.

Lori Saitz: That's what I was just about to ask, was who was older? And it's unusual, I think, that the older one is the more rebellious one.

Kathy Goughenour: Well, I was definitely rebellious. And I still do. I'm still rebellious.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. Okay, so that's how you were raised. But were there values and beliefs that were useful to you moving forward, or did you just go the complete opposite direction and go, "None of that applies to me. I'm going to do it completely opposite"?

Kathy Goughenour: So not only were both of my parents ministers, but my father's side of the family, all of them are either ministers or deacons or something. So still to this day, if I go around them, they're like, "Why are you not a school teacher?" So it was drilled into me early on that this was the path I had to take. And good or bad, my father was killed in a head-on drunk driving accident when he was only 29, and I was 8.

Lori Saitz: Wow.

Kathy Goughenour: And then everything changed. So we moved. My mother became a teacher instead of a preacher. She still preached on the side for most of her life, and then actually had a church of her own after she retired from teaching. But all of those things that we were forced to do—I shouldn't say forced, agreed to do, felt like we should do as part of the religion; I am not bashing any of these religions—went by the wayside once we were no longer a member of that Pentecostal church.

So then I cut my hair. I started sneaking out and going and seeing boyfriends. My mother married another man after my father died, and so I had step-siblings. One of my step-sisters looked much older. She would buy booze and bring it in. We drank. I mean, everything we were not supposed to do, I did.

So did I learn things? Yes, I learned really high values. I mean, I still have a lot of integrity. I will tell you, I was very angry at God for a very long time. Fortunately, I'm over that now, and I do believe in God and all of that good stuff. And that does help me have that faith. But do I go to church? No. I don't feel the need. I feel like I did enough church as a child. God's everywhere, in my opinion, and right here in my heart and my life. I don't know how I got on this religious thing because I'm not normally talking about it.

Lori Saitz: I have a tendency to do that to people. I take them off on paths they haven't been down before.

Kathy Goughenour: No, I have not been down that one where I spoke about it that honestly. But there's a lot of healing that had to be done after my father died. And my mother did not want children. And she told us, me and my brother, our whole lives she didn't want us. She tried to abort us. She wished we'd never lived.

Lori Saitz: Oh, my gosh.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. So it was very difficult being raised by somebody who didn't really walk the talk after my dad died.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. And I can imagine, or I can barely imagine, first of all, how that would have felt for you and your brother to always have been reminded that you were not wanted.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: And secondly, for her, especially at that time in society to admit that she didn't want them and probably felt compelled by society to have them in the first place.

Kathy Goughenour: Well, she would have gotten rid of us if she could have. But back then, there was no abortion rights.

Lori Saitz: Right.

Kathy Goughenour: She didn't know how to go find out how to do that. She personally tried to abort us.

Lori Saitz: Wow.

Kathy Goughenour: She described how she would try.

Lori Saitz: Oh, my gosh.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. You know how you feel unworthy?

Lori Saitz: Yes.

Kathy Goughenour: You feel very unworthy when you are told for your entire life—on her deathbed, my mother said—"Never have children." And I'm like, "Mom, I got the message." She goes, "They ruin your life." And I'm like, "I got that message loud and clear."

Lori Saitz: Which, now, I have to ask this question. What have you done to heal from that? Because that's such a traumatic thing to have to live through for a large part of your life.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. So I made a decision. When I was 16, I remember very clearly saying, "I will never have children. You, Mom, will never know my children because I will never have them. I will never pass on my genes. I will never pass on how I've been treated." And I did not have children. And I also went through lots of therapies. You name a type of therapy. I've gone through it.

I got married at the age of 22. At 24, I got divorced. I got married at 28, divorced at 30. So by 30, I'd already been married and divorced twice, and I looked at myself and thought, what's the common denominator here? It's me. And I went into therapy for the next 10 years.

I really believe my therapist saved my life. I think I would have killed myself because I was very close to it.

Lori Saitz: Understandably, because you've been told you have no worth.

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: That you were unwanted, and you shouldn't be here.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. Right now, we're recording this. It's getting into the Christmastime. My mother wouldn't spend Christmas with me. She didn't give me presents. She didn't want to spend any time with me at all. If I called over to her house, my stepdad would answer the phone. And I could hear my mom in the background going, "Tell her I'm in the bathtub. I can't talk to her." I'm like, "Yeah. I heard her, Dad."

Lori Saitz: Wow.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah, it was her whole life. And she was unhappy. She was a very unhappy woman.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: The therapist really helped me understand that my mother had probably been abused by her own father. And she suggested that I go talk to my mom about it, and I did. And here's what my mom said. "Not that I remember," which to me means yes.

Lori Saitz: Right. She just didn't want to talk about it.

Kathy Goughenour: That's right. And she never got help, and I feel sorry for her in the long run.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: I will tell you, my brother had lots of psycho things, too. He is actually diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and he was in and out of mental institutions until she died. And when she died, he's gotten better. Now he's still paranoid schizophrenic. He still has to take meds and stuff. But she's been dead eight years, and he has not been hospitalized in that entire time.

Lori Saitz: That's so interesting because, obviously, he feels some kind of freedom now from that.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Have you forgiven her?

Kathy Goughenour: Yes. Because I wasted a lot of time hating and being angry. And that was just, I mean, what is that saying if you continue to hate somebody and you don't forgive them? It's like poisoning yourself or whatever.

Lori Saitz: Yeah, right.

Kathy Goughenour: I didn't say that right, but.

Lori Saitz: Right. But holding on to that anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person or something like that, too.

Kathy Goughenour: Exactly. That's it. Oh, my gosh. For a very, very, very long time. I would say until 40. And then after all that therapy, worked through a lot. I was really able to forgive her. I hope I don't sound angry because I don't feel angry. It's just a fact of what I lived.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. I'm not hearing anger. That's why I asked about the forgiveness part and what you've done to heal yourself. Because this conversation and the previous conversation we had, like, you don't come across as an angry, resentful person. And so clearly, I knew something. You had to have done something to get to where you are today.

Kathy Goughenour: I think a lot of teenagers do, but I would write really hard, "I hate my mother." But I think a lot of teenagers do that.

Lori Saitz: Yes, and the levels are a little bit different. So for the people who are listening, Cathy just had a pen in her hand, and she was gesturing, like, a stabbing motion. Which, totally, it's a little bit off-topic, but not completely. It just brought up the reminder. My brother had one of those—do you remember those—they were, like, inflatable punching bag characters?

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: He had one that was a clown, and he stabbed the crap out of that thing and left it in the basement.

Kathy Goughenour: That is a nightmare waiting for somebody.

Lori Saitz: Right. I don't think he has a fear of clowns, but whatever, this clown took it.

Kathy Goughenour: That clown was not fine.

Lori Saitz: No, it was not. Neither was my brother, I guess, at the time because he was very angry about something.

Kathy Goughenour: At least he took it out on the clown and not on you.

Lori Saitz: Right. Well, I was the older one, so I was off—yeah. There was plenty of that, I'm sure, between you and your brother, too. Just normal sibling stuff.

Kathy Goughenour: We're very close now.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: I really feel, in a lot of ways, that I was meant to mother my brother because my mother didn't. And we're very, very close.

Lori Saitz: How much older are you than he?

Kathy Goughenour: Eighteen months.

Lori Saitz: Okay. So you're pretty close in age.

Kathy Goughenour: A woman who didn't want the first child and then finds herself pregnant 18 months later?

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Wow. Yeah. Okay. It sounds like, though, you've taken that piece from the family, maybe a little bit of, like, service. The helping people, teaching, preaching. And now you are in a business where you do the same. Not preaching, but—

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: —service-based business.

Kathy Goughenour: Right, yes. I teach women how to build what I call a virtual expert business, which is a freelancer, virtual assistant business that is at a higher level so that they get paid more for their expertise.

Lori Saitz: And how did you decide you wanted to go into a business like that where you're helping others?

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. Well, I was working at a Fortune 500 corporation for a little over 18 years when I went in and asked my boss why I wasn't getting promoted anymore, and he told me that it was because I laughed and smiled too much, and until I changed that, I would never be promoted again.

Lori Saitz: What?

Kathy Goughenour: Oh, my gosh.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Like, that's a horrible thing, you're laughing and smiling too much. I can see why he would say that. Like, who wants that in corporate?

Kathy Goughenour: I know. So I went back to my cubicle. I was 40 at the time—

Lori Saitz: Your Dilbert cubicle?

Kathy Goughenour: Yes, exactly. I was working at AT&T, which is what Dilbert bases his off of, because he was at Pacific Bell.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: Oh, I loved Dilbert. Oh, my gosh. I loved Dilbert so much. He understood my pain. And I really had been doing some self-help work already—reading a lot of books, going through all that therapy I was talking about. And after I calmed down, I thought, "You know what? I think I could start my own business." And I took about six months to go through books and plan what I was going to do and all that good stuff.

And I did. I quit that corporate job and started my own business. And when I gave my resignation to my boss, he said, "You're never going to make this kind of money again anywhere. You're making a huge mistake." And I vowed right there that I would double what I made. And within three years, I had doubled it.

Lori Saitz: Awesome. Congratulations.

Kathy Goughenour: I went on to 10 times it and more. I feel very proud of myself for having done that. And I love what I do, still. And I started my own business in 2001, and I'm still here today. Yes, it has morphed, and I really feel like when I found the virtual assistant industry and could support people in a way that I wanted to support them working for myself, and then people started going, "How did you do this?" Because at that time, there weren't any trainers training virtual assistants. And I started my training program in 2008 because there was such a big request for it.

Once I started doing that, I knew that I had found what I was meant to do. I felt it in every fiber of my being. I had no doubt. It was one of those where, up until then, I'd be saying, "If only I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up." And finally, at about the age of 47, I figured it out.

Lori Saitz: You know, the point here—I have a question in the back of my head that is screaming to be asked, and I will ask it in a moment. But I want to touch on the age thing that you just said because a lot of people get into their 40s and are beating themselves up for, "I still don't know what I want to do. What's my problem?"

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: And there isn't a problem.

Kathy Goughenour: No. There isn't a problem. And, quite honestly, I am now almost 67, and I'm going to spend the next year, 2024, figuring out what I want to do for what I'm calling my third act. At first, I was working in a corporation, marrying and divorcing a bunch of times, going through therapy. My second act was starting my business, being married to the same man that I'm married to right now for the last 30 years.

And now I'm like, "Hmm, what's next?" It's not that I don't want to do my business anymore. I still love my business, but I don't—the rest of my life is just fine. Not really.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. Let's get into that in a second, but I want to go back to the question that is screaming in my head that somebody needs an answer to.

Kathy Goughenour: Okay.

Lori Saitz: Which is, when you left corporate and you started your own business, how did you get your first client?

Kathy Goughenour: And this happens a lot of times, I think. They fell in my lap. My husband was working as a contractor around the U.S. and Canada. And as he would move, I was moving with him because I could. You might notice that I'm a little opinionated. And I told one of the real estate agents that I was working with, "Your website's terrible. You need to do blah, blah, blah with it." And he goes, "Put your ambition where your mouth is. Work for me." And I'm like, "Sure." And he's the one who said, "And I want you to work for me as a virtual assistant." And I'm like, "What's that?" And he said, "It's where you can work anywhere, and I want you to do marketing for me." So I'm like, "Cool, yes." And I started doing that, and then realized ...

So here's one of the struggles that I think most people don't know from corporate to working for yourself. Much bigger difference than you realize. So I'm in corporate. I have my MBA. I think I'm hot stuff. Right? I've been at AT&T for the last 20 years. I'm going to knock this business out of the park. And I start.

I have no idea what I'm doing: pricing, how I'm getting clients. Nothing. So I started searching for a coach who did know how to build a business. And I found a really good coach who taught me how to build a business. And the very first thing she told me to do was raise my rates. She's like, "Are you really good at what you do?" And I said, "Yeah, I'm really good at what I do."

"What are you charging now?"

"Twenty-five an hour."

She's like, "I want you to raise it to $75 an hour." And I'm like, "No way I can do that. No way, no way." She was like, "All right. Then raise it to $50." So I did. I got a client right away. She goes, "Now do your research and find out what the top dollar is that your competitors are charging, and charge $10 more an hour than that." And she was right. The amount I needed to charge was $75. Once I started charging $75 and getting referrals from people—you know, building a referral network—I ended up with 70 clients.

Lori Saitz: Seventy clients?

Kathy Goughenour: Seventy real estate agents I did marketing for. And I had a team of five BA’s working with me. Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. That's one way that you know you're on the right track, is things just start showing up for you. And the other point is, this is why people in business need coaches.

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: Because you cannot see what you can't see.

Kathy Goughenour: That's right.

Lori Saitz: You can't see your blind spots.

Kathy Goughenour: That's exactly right.

Lori Saitz: And you need somebody to hold you accountable and push you—

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: —gently, not like—forcefully and gently at the same time—

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: —for your own good, for your own best interest because you don't know what it is.

Kathy Goughenour: No. And here's my tip. Ask the people who hire you why they chose to work with you because that will open your eyes. And what the real estate agents that hired me said was, "Well, you charge the most, so you're the best. Right?" And I'm like, "What? That's right."

Lori Saitz: Which is counterintuitive for people on the side that you were on in terms of looking for clients. If I'm the most expensive, nobody's going to hire me.

Kathy Goughenour: And that was the opposite.

Lori Saitz: Right.

Kathy Goughenour: Those who want the best will look for the best and hire them.

Lori Saitz: Because my background is all in marketing, too, and I freaking love talking about marketing. So we're going to go here for a second. But there's always, like, three levels. There are the people who look for the cheapest. And those are maybe the people who shop at Walmart or whatever. There's the middle ground where most people are.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: They want the middle because that's safe.

Kathy Goughenour: That's right.

Lori Saitz: And then there are people who want the highest level. They are driving the Lamborghinis and the Teslas. Well, Tesla seems more common now, but—

Kathy Goughenour: I got it.

Lori Saitz: But, like, the Mercedes, the Bentleys, the Rolls Royces. There is a market for that. There is always a market for that, and it's the same in every level, whether it's cars or services or whatever it is.

Kathy Goughenour: And the other thing I did, because you have to really understand your market, and I really learned real estate agents are very, very competitive. And I set myself up so that I only took one client in each market area, and I had a waiting list of people that wanted me when I didn't have anybody in that market area. And I let all of them know, "You're the only one here until you let me go, and then I've got a waiting list. Somebody's waiting right there." And I literally had people calling and saying, "Can I get on the waiting list?"

So it was an exciting time. Then 2008 hit. The real estate market went, and I lost 75% of my clients in one month.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. So I looked at that and went, "Okay, now what? I can stay here and work through"—because all the really good agents are going to stay. "Or this is a good time to make a pivot." And so I decided to take everything I'd learned and create this training program and use the training program for myself to come up with a new niche. And I went with professional speakers. And, oh my gosh, it was a fabulous niche, and I had a great time. And I sold the rest of my clients to other VAs. So I sold those off, and some of the VAs are still working with some of those agents.

Lori Saitz: That's so smart. Yeah, it really is. Okay. Back to the third stage. Did you say third stage?

Kathy Goughenour: Third act.

Lori Saitz: Third act. Okay. Yes. I like it because it’s something like a drama. A play.

Kathy Goughenour: Yes. And I love movies.

Lori Saitz: Okay.

Kathy Goughenour: Like more than marketing as movies.

Lori Saitz: All right. All right. I've got a question to ask you at the end, too, aside from your hype song now.

When we talked before in the pre-show interview, this is like a new thing. And this may actually become a new segment on the show. I was thinking about this before we hopped on today. Everything is fine today. Right now, for you, everything is fine. A lot of my guests, in the past, they had been in a place where they said everything was fine, but they're not there anymore. The story is about how they moved from there to where they are now. But your situation is: that's where you are right now.

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: What tools, techniques, what are you thinking about doing to move yourself to where you would like to be? Because you recognize that where you are now is not where you would like to stay.

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: And before you answer that, one thing is that it's important to recognize that this is where I am. I'm not beating myself up for being here. This is where I am. It's a starting point. And now, what's next?

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. And I purposely chose this life I have right here. I mean, I have been very proud—yeah, and that's the right word—of how I really decided what I wanted and got what I wanted. I mean, I had the man I wanted mapped out. Exactly what I wanted. I wanted somebody that had a vasectomy because I'd already married two other guys that, after I married them, said, "I think I do want to have kids." And I'm like, "What? You know I don't want to have kids."

So a man who had a vasectomy, and on and on. I married that man. I wanted to live in a tiny house. We live in a tiny house. I wanted to live in the middle of nowhere. We live in the middle of nowhere.

Three years later, I'm like, "This isn't what I want anymore." I don't know what I want now. I'm not like I was back then. I thought I had it all figured out. I don't know what I want. So that's why I decided to have this year where I explore. Kind of like you're doing, Lori.

Lori Saitz: Yes.

Kathy Goughenour: You're exploring. Right?

Lori Saitz: Yeah, absolutely.

Kathy Goughenour: Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you really want? I don't know.

Lori Saitz: What is the first step you're going to take or that you have already taken to move in the direction of figuring that out?

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. So the first thing I need to do is have a conversation with my husband about it because—I think you asked me, "Have you told anybody about this?" I'm like, "I've told everyone except my husband."

Lori Saitz: Yeah. And this is typically how it goes, too. That's not unusual. And that's a sign, to me. That's a sign that that relationship—I'm not telling you anything you don't know—that relationship is not as strong as it could be.

Kathy Goughenour: Absolutely. I'm then, off and on, do I get a divorce? Do I not? And it actually feels good to not try to make that decision because that's what I was trying to decide. I'm like, that's not what I want to decide. I want to decide what I want my life to be like. What I want MY life to be like.

And I have to have that conversation with him today because tomorrow, I already have something that I'm going to do. Because one of the things I've realized is I really love being around people. And living here in the middle of nowhere, I'm isolated. I'm not around anybody.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: So I've got something going on Thursday, Friday, Saturday that he doesn't know about. And then I've got the whole month of January where I'm going to go stay with my girlfriend. So I have to talk with him today and fill him in on all of this. So it's going to be a difficult conversation, but we've had a lot of difficult conversations in 30 years.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. So it's good that you have the ability to have this conversation.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: I'm sure that you've run this through your mind a hundred times. Like, "What do I say? How do I broach this topic? How do I start it?" Yeah?

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. I'm just going to say—men, you know. My husband—

Lori Saitz: Some of them are listening.

Kathy Goughenour: Men, don't be clueless. My husband is so clueless that I am unhappy. I mean, he shouldn't be clueless that I'm unhappy, but I am.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: So that's what I decided I was going to do. "I am not happy. I'm not sure what's going to make me happy, but I would like to spend some time over the next year figuring that out. Here's what that's going to look like. This is what I'm going to do. You get to choose what you're going to do."

Lori Saitz: Right. Because both of you have a choice here. It's not just you. I mean, you're— yeah. What's the word I'm looking for? It's not "instigate." It starts with an "i."

Kathy Goughenour: Irritate?

Lori Saitz: Initiate. You're initiating—

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: —this conversation and this change.

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: And both of you still have the ability to then respond and decide, "How do I want to move forward in this?"

Kathy Goughenour: Right, absolutely. Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. So you just shared that you have January planned out. But beyond that—and I'm not going to ask you, "What about the rest of the year" because I don't think you know. And there's no reason for you to know yet.

Kathy Goughenour: No. Part of me is, I'm just open to what comes, what opportunities arise. And then, of course, I can create my own opportunities. So I have a couple of other ideas. Like, for example, I have members in my program that live all over the U.S. And I've already done the research on my database to see if there's groups of them. And there are. And one of the thoughts I have is: where do I want to go that I can gather people? And instead of having them always come to me, which is usually what happens, I will go to them. That's one of the things I'm thinking of.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. And that would be so much fun because it would help with what you're talking about in terms of being isolated. A lot of times when we're working in our own businesses, we're isolated. We talk to a lot of people virtually, but that is not the same as gathering a group of people together in a physical environment.

Kathy Goughenour: Absolutely right.

Lori Saitz: Or going into, when you were talking earlier about the transition between working in an office, working in a corporate setting. And, yes, since the pandemic, people even in corporate have worked more virtually. But traditionally, when you're working in corporate, you're working with a team. You're working around other people. And once you leave and you do your own thing, you're off on your own.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: And it can be very isolating and lonely.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. That's one of the reasons that I've set my program up the way I have, to try to create community. And we do a good job of it, but it's still, just like you said, not the same as being in person. It's simply not.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: It is a substitute. It's not the real thing.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. Very cool. Well, I am on your cheering team. I'm over here. I'm going to be in your cheering section and interested to hear and follow. Just like people are really interested about my nomad life right now and are following along on social and signing up to be on the newsletter. If you haven't done that already, sign up to get the newsletter that comes out every week. I have different stuff in there that I put on social. But following along.

And kudos to you for the courage to do this because there are a lot of people who are going to be watching you say, "I wish I had the courage to do that."

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. And believe me, late at night when I'm tired—the other night I thought, "Why am I doing this? I'm making my life more difficult. I'm stirring things up again, which I tend to do. I could just relax and, honestly, do what my husband wants me to do, which is retire and sit in a recliner alongside his recliner and watch television and grow old, old, old together. But that is not what I want. I know. I think I told you, Lori. I know what I don't want. What I'm trying to discover is what I do want now.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. And that is, for a lot of people—I would say most people—you start from what you don't want and figure out what you do want. Not necessarily a process of elimination, but you have to start somewhere. And when the world is wide open, like unlimited—

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: —that can be overwhelming to figure out, "What do I want?" So starting from what you don't want is the logical and smart place to start.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. Somebody yesterday said to me, "Oh, have you really thought this through? Because you're going to have to pack and go, and then come back and unpack." And I'm like, "Yeah, but we have to do that in life no matter what." Or you could do like you did, Lori, and pack everything up in a car and go. You know?

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: And then you don't have to pack and unpack so much. Just a little bit. And I've always liked minimalism, so just become more minimal, and there's not so much to pack and unpack.

Lori Saitz: Right. You're unburdening yourself physically and emotionally.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. And that's another thing I'm going to do this year, is a lot of that. Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. Awesome. This is—

Kathy Goughenour: Because then… 10 years from now looking back going, "I just wasted the last 10 years doing nothing because I didn't know what to do."

Lori Saitz: Right. Because the whole— right, exactly. Well, the whole objective, I think, for most people, really deep down in your soul, is to live a life that feels fulfilling.

Kathy Goughenour: Exactly.

Lori Saitz: Not to just exist—

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: —because you were afraid or because you think you didn't have the courage.

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: Everybody has it somewhere. It's a matter of finding it and finding the right people to help support you in it. Like I just said, I'm on your fan club and cheering team. That's an important thing.

Kathy Goughenour: It is. In fact, I'm hoping we can meet up sometime next year.

Lori Saitz: Oh, my gosh. I would love that.

Kathy Goughenour: That would be awesome. Yeah.

Lori Saitz: I mean, that's part of the reason why I chose to go out and do nomad life, was to have the opportunity to meet people that have been on my podcast that I've never met in person and to meet people that I've been a guest on their podcast, and we've never met in person.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. It's so much fun. So, yes, we are definitely going to do that. This has been such a good conversation. I'm so excited for what you're stepping into, and I hope that people who are listening are hearing what we're saying about taking the next step. There's that Martin Luther King quote about taking the next step. That even if you can't see the whole staircase, just take that first step.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: Yes.

Kathy Goughenour: Take the step. What? Leap and the net will appear.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: That's one that I've always—

Lori Saitz: We could go on with the quotes all afternoon.

Kathy Goughenour: Well, and I just answered a survey that Oprah herself sent me. I was so excited to get an email from Oprah.

Lori Saitz: I would be, too.

Kathy Goughenour: One of the questions she asked was, "What would you tell your 16-year-old self?" And mine was, "Take bigger risks sooner.”

Lori Saitz: Yeah, I love it.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. Because I waited until I was 40 to really start living, I feel like.

Lori Saitz: And give yourself grace—

Kathy Goughenour: Yes.

Lori Saitz: —and be proud of the fact that you did. It doesn't matter the age.

Kathy Goughenour: Right.

Lori Saitz: It's the fact that you did. Because we all get to the place we're supposed to be at whatever time.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. True. And if I hadn't gone through those previous years, I wouldn't have had the courage to do anything.

Lori Saitz: Yeah.

Kathy Goughenour: Yes, good point.

Lori Saitz: Awesome. All right. So the question that you know is coming—

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: —is what's your hype song? What's that song you're going to put on in the car as you're driving away and turn it up to 10?

Kathy Goughenour: "Shake It Up," Taylor Swift. "Shake It Up." I just love the energy of it. I love the energy of that song.

Lori Saitz: Very cool. And then since you mentioned movies of being a movie buff, I feel compelled to ask you what movie is the one that you've seen many times and will watch again many times.

Kathy Goughenour: So right now, I am totally in a "Fargo" mood. I love that movie. I just watched it again this week, and I probably watched it 50 times. And the new season of "Fargo" the series is out, which I'm loving also.

Lori Saitz: Okay.

Kathy Goughenour: Do you know what "Fargo" is? It's kind of one of those dramas with humor. Like, bizarre kind of humor stuck in. And I love that.

Lori Saitz: I actually have never seen that movie, but I know about the one scene with the wood chipper.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah.

Lori Saitz: But I haven't seen it.

Kathy Goughenour: It's funny. That's a funny scene.

Lori Saitz: Right, right.

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. It is such a good movie.

Lori Saitz: All right. Well, maybe you've inspired me to go watch it, finally.

Kathy Goughenour: It's Minnesota.

Lori Saitz: Yes.

Kathy Goughenour: I love the accent.

Lori Saitz: Right.

Kathy Goughenour: I love that humor. I love everything about it. So that would be not a Christmas movie. But if you're thinking about Christmas, my favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street." Yes. The original. I love that movie.

Lori Saitz: Yeah. Awesome.

Kathy Goughenour: "I believe. I believe." In the car getting ready to go. That last bit. "I believe. I believe."

Lori Saitz: That is such a great way to end this show, with "I believe ..." and whatever you put after that. You don't even have to put anything after it. It's a sentence on its own. I believe.

Kathy Goughenour: Absolutely, it is.

Lori Saitz: Kathy, thank you so much for joining me. How can people find you if they want to continue a conversation with you or follow you on your journey?

Kathy Goughenour: Yeah. So go to virtualexperttraining.com. All the links to all of my stuff and all about me and my training program, and more about how I got started and my journey.

Lori Saitz: Sweet. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

Kathy Goughenour: Thank you so much, Lori.

Lori Saitz: And we're going to check back in with you, perhaps, throughout your journey. I will certainly be checking back in and maybe do a follow-up show with you.

Kathy Goughenour: Oh, I would love that, maybe when we're together in person.

Lori Saitz: Hmm, good idea. All right. Well, thank you, Kathy, for joining me today on "Fine is a 4-Letter Word".

Kathy Goughenour: Thank you so much, Lori. I really appreciate it.

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