What if you learned how to use your fears to your advantage?
Today’s guest, Kemy Joseph, is a long time PARKer, international speaker and founder of FEARS Advantage, where he helps entrepreneurs harness their FEARS to generate Infinite Wealth™ in life and business.
Kemy joins us to share a bit of his inspirational story and enlighten us all on how we can use our FEARS as fuel to be kinder to ourselves, each other and be the spark of change we wish to see in the world.
Follow Kemy Joseph on Instagram @KemyAwesome
Hi PARKer, I'm Marly Q and welcome to Episode 18 with Kemy Joseph. Kemy is a long time PARKer, international speaker and founder of F.E.A.R.S Advantage, where he helps entrepreneurs harness their fears to generate infinite wealth in life and business.
He was one of the very first people I asked to make time to be kind as I was launching this podcast and learned that he was starting his own weekly live show on Facebook the same day! I thought it was so awesome that we were both starting something new, facing our fears and stepping into the virtual space in order to continue our service-driven missions.
Kemy joins us today to share a bit of his inspirational story and enlighten us on how we can learn to use our fears to our advantage and be kinder to ourselves, each other and to be the spark of change that we wish to see in the world. Sit back, relax and get ready for this super inspiring interview. Let's listen!
I am so excited to have my dear friend and PARKer, Kemy Joseph, making the time to be kind with me and everyone listening today. Welcome to the show, Kemy.
[01:20] Kemy: Yes, thank you so much for having me, Marly. And again, just congratulations on launching it, I love the first episodes, episode zero where you talk about pursuing your dream is super inspirational. So, thanks for having me on as well.
[01:32] Malry Q: Thank you, you know, not everybody takes the time to listen to Episode 0. So, I really appreciate that you did … and I kept it to five minutes!
[01:40] Kemy: Yeah, you know, we're talkers, we're excited; we get so caught up in our message. And so, that was also inspirational that, "Alright, she kept it under there five minutes, I can come on your show and keep it tight.". So, thanks for the challenge as well.
[01:54] Marly Q: I love it. I love it. So, I'd like to start with just our story of how we connected because it was nine years ago and I think it's just so awesome and it just shows the power of kindness, to really just spark not just a, you know, a virtual relationship but a friendship and a PARKnership that's lasted, like I said, now about nine years.
[02:15] Kemy: Yeah.
[02:16] Marly Q: So, we were planning our very first large-scale event, PARK Project and our small little team of volunteers, and my brother in law said, "Hey, have you heard of Mr. U R Awesome?". I'm like, "Mr. U R Awesome? Who is that?". Like, "Yeah, I saw this video on Facebook and he goes to the University of Miami and he wears these signs around his neck and all he does is like high five and hug people and give positive messages and I mean, like I think he's like your brother. You need to reach out and find this person.". I'm like, "But what's his name? I can't just look up Mr. U R Awesome, can I?". So, I went on this mission, I'm like, "Okay.", I just put out a notice to my PARK action team, and on my Facebook I'm like, "Alright, somebody find me this person.". And within like, less than a day, they're like, "His name is Kemy Joseph. He goes to UM, and here you go, and he has an organization, and you guys need to connect.".
And I reached out and immediately you were open to connect with me, and not only just have a conversation with me, but you PARKticipated in my very first 5K, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And not only did you PARKticipate, you brought in so many awesome volunteers with your red "U R Awesome" shirts, you were my cheer squad, and I mean, I don't want to tell the whole story, I think I just did!
[03:40] Kemy: Yeah, it's beautiful. Yeah, I mean, I love it. I mean, it's been interesting to just go down memory lane and to think about our first phone call and even though we didn't know each other, it felt like this already where it was, "Oh, my, you know, another kindred spirit.", and I was actually hearing a call today where somebody was asking about, "Oh, is it okay to have a lot of energy?", which is pretty much the question. They asked it differently, you know, and I just think about people like yourself, people who say, "You know what? I'm doing it, like, I'm going to be me, and people who love it will instantly be attracted to it.", and that's exactly how I felt on the other side of that email when we were messaging. And then, when we got on the phone, I was like, "Yes, this is my kindred spirit. Let's go for it.". And being able to just jump into the event and see, not only, I think you were one of the first people that I had met, who was turning kindness into service, into an ability to also give back to other people formally, like, you know, we understand random acts of kindness and doing things and that's something I really love to do. But this point of saying, "Okay, I want to give back to veterans, I want to actually put together an event that supports other organizations.", and all with a framework of kindness. You're the first person I saw doing that, especially doing it successfully and bringing people together. So, I was all in!
[05:01] Marly Q: And I love it, and from that event, I love being able to, like you said go down memory lane and think back on, you know, good times, and that was then, and this is now and so much has happened between then and now in both of our individual and collective journeys in this mission to spread kindness in the world.
[05:21] Kemy: Just thinking about starting a new venture, as you are right now differently than our first venture. I don't know if that was your first big venture like that, I know you were running your event management company before that. But it's interesting to, just for me to think, "Oh wow, I'm talking to Marly.", right before we both launched something at the same time, and in a similar spirit, like almost as we were doing about a decade ago, and so, what are your thoughts about that? Like, sharing these lessons that we've learned along the way?
[05:51] Marly Q: Well, that's where I think is the big gift right? Of taking that initial step of reaching out and wanting to connect with a stranger in kindness, and seeing how, and staying connected after this one event and just being a part of each other's journeys and having our little spark chats along the way where you to hear my frustrations with, just starting a non-profit and all of the challenges, you know, that come along with non-profit business. Because we both learned that, as much as we're philanthropists, running a non-profit is a business and you need to think about it that way or it is going to eat you alive.
[06:34] Kemy: I think we could easily talk about kindness and business. I will say something I wish I would have learned back then that one of my mentors told me maybe two years ago was, you know that you can have a mission and have a mission driven business without it being a non-profit. So, some things to consider people, if you're listening to this, like you could also have an incredible business that's for profit, that actually gives you a chance to make an incredible impact. You're welcome to reach out to me if you want to hear the thoughts on that, because I definitely believe in service and kindness in business, and there's ways to do that without necessarily having to have a non-profit. So, that's one of the first share one lesson I learned that's, so...
[07:14] Marly Q: Yes. And I honor your transition from you know, running a non-profit into running your own, in essence, personal brand. And we both went through this journey, which I resisted for many, many years. I'm like, "This is not about me. I don't want to be Marly Q. LLC. You know, the “Queen of Kindness."
I've always thought to, you know, create events to shine the spotlight on other people, have always tried to help other organizations and other philanthropists that are trying to raise money, do so for their cause, and what I realized and I think we both realized in the journey of doing so much in service of others, is, we need to be willing to also shine that light on ourselves and the work that we're doing in order to help ourselves grow. And the more that we're willing to pour that self-love and kindness into ourselves, into our own heart's desire, to be of service to people, to help others, from that energy, it flows, and it allows you to, what I now you know, call the currency of kindness; be able to give that to other people in abundance.
So, you are 100% absolutely right, I had to take a big break from focusing on my non-profit work, but I never took a break from focusing on the non-profit mission, right? And really had to shift gears and I know you had to shift gears and really focus on our for-profit business, so that we were okay, you know, financially, in order to be able to give more than we were able to from kind of an empty cup, wouldn't you agree?
[08:47] Kemy: Yeah, and I think it's like even the difference between a non-profit mindset and a for profit mindset. And, you know, I love what you just said there about, we're still on mission. And I was hearing from John Gordon and John Maxwell talking about, that our purpose is bigger than our goals. And I would say our mission is bigger than our delivery system, right? So, our mission is like, for me, I'm on the same mission, I wear different shirts now, people don't know when I used to have "U R Awesome" shirts, I'm wearing one right now. But it's like, you know, I change the out-- the external, but the internal actually has become incredibly strong. So, I think for those who are listening, and again, considering how kindness looks like in the world, it will continue to change.
I mean, I'm talking about things like, fear, vulnerability, prejudice now, but that's the same thing I was doing in a different way when I was giving people free hugs, you know, just for me to be out there being vulnerable, dealing with things like rejection, but then setting the stage as you described, and giving people an invitation to be a part of it and say, "Hey, you can get a hug or a high five or a peaceful pound, which is like a fist bump and/or smile.", in a way like that was learning differentiation, that was learning how to serve people in a way that they needed to be-- that they want it to be served and felt comfortable being served.
And the more that I started to learn what I was really doing was serving others, I gave myself more permission to change what that look like. And as you were describing the sense of personal brand and the sense of self kindness, it was saying, "Okay, I can step away from the organization, I can step away from a project, and that project could not have been enough that, the thing I was doing, maybe I could have done better but I am enough, I am growing stronger, I am getting better, regardless of what the physical or tangible thing I'm producing in the world.".
[10:35] Marly Q: Ah, that's so wonderfully said, and I hope that it's just as enriching and valuable to those listening because a big thing that held me back from you know, I see this podcast as just another avenue, another way, another event, so to speak, for me to be able to channel my energy and share my message of kindness, but it's the same exact way mission, just in a way that no longer drains me of energy, right? And being able to be honest, and be real and grateful, while at the same time vulnerable and sharing how scary that is, right?
I mean, I let fear you know, I was dancing, slow dancing with fear for a few years before I gave myself permission to call myself an inspirational speaker, gave myself permission to step on that little red rug and become a TEDx speaker, gave myself permission to sit behind you know this microphone to no live audience and feel my voice, you know, my throat shaking and being like, "No.", but you know what?
The mission and the purpose is greater than my fear.
[11:42] Kemy: Yeah, it's like, it's so funny because I have my headset in and like I mute my voice so, I don't hear my voice as I'm airing it. So, like, I've had to figure out still how to work with my own fear of hearing myself as I'm doing this and I think it was, Trent Sheldon that said, you know, because he's talking about live streaming, he does one every week, and multiple videos as well. He was saying, you know, thinking about who's on the other side of the computer in this case, or who's on the other side of the screen, who needs to hear that, he was saying to think about that more than my hair and whatever I'm wearing and I'm like, "Alright, I'll balance it out. I'm still going to you know, think about my hair.", because I still do it even for an interview that's over the microphone. I'm like, "I still got to look good, I still want to like, feel like I take care of myself.", and at the same time I love that focus on doing the things that are scary. And I guess that transitions us into what I'm launching on Wednesday is called the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, and I know you love acronyms, I actually texted you, like I got to text the queen of acronyms and see what her thoughts are. But really, as we're in this world where there's so much fear, what if we could use our fears to our advantage? Especially given, I want to give people a framework because I think you and I have danced in the space where we understand, when we talk about things like kindness, some people are saying, "Okay, okay, this is what kindness looks like.". And we can tell people to go out and be kind, but the more specific we can be, the more people actually embrace it and do something.
And so, for me the F.E.A.R.S, they are Fuel for Extraordinary Action, Relationships and Systems. I'll say that again, fuels extraordinary action, relationships and systems. And I just get fired up every time I think about this because in business, for example, we're experiencing a non-profit with this conversation of trying to create wealth or just trying to create prosperity for people. And I was thinking, what if we can use fears to create infinite wealth? And I do this whole math equation. So, you have to come and see the show to understand this.
But if we just break down the words, F.E.A.R.S., F for Fuel is saying that all these emotions that we're feeling, whether it's when we get excited, we get the same burst of energy as when we're getting anxious. It's just our minds have now chosen that anxiety is not good, and excitement is good. It's like, 'Wait, what if I use that same anxious energy to do something I would do if I was excited?". And so, if we tap into these emotions and say every emotion is fuel for something, we can use it to-- I've used it in the past, you didn't meet me at this time. But, you know, by the time you and I met, I'd been on a journey of really transforming how I was treating people, I'd been in such a negative place for most of my adolescent life that I then responded in such difficult ways and hurt people. And then, I felt like in a lot of ways I was atoning for that, around the time that I was meeting you and I feel like I've tipped the scale. I've seen the karma come around in such beautiful ways. I'm like, "I think I tipped the scale, finally, I think I'm on the--".
[14:45] Marly Q: Oh, your karma bank is full, my friend.
[14:49] Kemy: You know, I think, and also part of that, I stopped that fear that I was feeling of like how much I'd hurt people and the regret, I was starting to use that to go even more so towards helping people and being of service. And I think that brings us to the E which is Extraordinary. And I would find so many like, people like yourselves who were reflections of the light in the world and saying, "Wow, there's all these amazing people and they're looking at me and assuming that I'm amazing. So, what are they seeing in me that I'm seeing in them? What is this idea that yes, we can all choose to be ordinary?". We're the only creatures on the planet who can choose to be ordinary, by the way, like, you know, on a sunny day, the flowers or plants, they reach for the sun, the birds will fly, we can look at a sunny day, and be like, "Oh, it's too hot. I don't want to do that.". Like, what are you talking about? So, this idea that we can tap into being extraordinary, especially in a time like this with this virus is that, we're no longer in an ordinary world. So, we need to do things that are extraordinary in order to cope and also thrive, which brings me to Action. I mean, it's in the word, taking, you know, most fear will inspire us to maybe run away or do action that's self-destructive. I want to do action that's again, affirmative action, that's building action, that's creating.
And with the Relationships part of the acronym, especially in business, because this is mostly targeted to entrepreneurs and business folks, and because I think those folks are wanting to take more responsibility and tying their purpose to their income and that's a huge thing.
It’s a huge thing to say, "My purpose is also tied to my income. So, the greater I serve my purpose, the greater my income, the greater I can give back.".
It's like, at least when I made that decision, it changed every way that I think about it. And so, now I'm focused on relationships in a way to make sure I honor people, even in time where people were being laid off, I just loved the organizations who were the leaders who are willing to make their own sacrifices to keep their teams on, to communicate beautifully to connect with their families to say, "Hey, if we're going to be home, let's make sure our time at home is actually enjoyable, like actually build quality relationships.".
And finally, Systems. I think it's on the far end of emotions, right? When we're emotional, we don't necessarily think long-term, we don't necessarily think in logic, where systems can be almost too logical and dry. If we balance them out, we can actually build systems like, I have a budget in place that allows me to stretch my money until August so, I basically paid myself during this time to do what I'm doing right now, which is being of service, I don't even have to worry about it. So, I just, I feel that I set up systems, I have life insurance, car insurance, you know, phone insurance, I have all the things in my business and in my life that says, "Okay, the systems are taking care of me. So, even if I get irrational with my emotions, I have systems in place.", including, like, I'm dieting right now. I just lost 30 pounds. Yeah. So, it's like, I had systems in place and now I actually get to save money because I'm still keeping my diet of intermittent fasting and all that stuff. So, it's this-- it's saying like personal and business systems allow us to thrive even in uncertain times.
And so, that's the F.E.A.R.S in a very short term, I can talk about this for days. But this sense of, you know, FEARS as Fuel for Extraordinary Action, Relationships and Systems.
[18:07] Marly Q: Ah and turning that into your advantage. I absolutely love your acronym! Can I add it to my favorite list of top acronyms?
[18:16] Kemy: Please, please.
[18:19] Marly Q: I love it! Alright. So, tell me about your show and your live stream that you're doing on Wednesdays, how can people see it? How can we connect?
[18:28] Kemy: It's beautiful to be again, inspired by you and the fact that we're launching it at the same time. So, it's like, are you kidding me? It's awesome. So, you know, one month ago, I was traveling at home and that was going to be my last trip. I mean, it basically became my last trip, and it's interesting to know that that was March 15th, and without even thinking about it, on April 15th, I'm launching the show and so just, I've only been in quarantine for a month and I'm just like, "Wow, this has been a crazy month.", and so tomorrow and moving forward, people can join us, there's a Facebook group called F.E.A.R.S advantage. They can go to www.fearsadvantage.com, just as it's spelled F-E-A-R-S, at fearsadvantage.com or find us on Facebook F.E.A.R.S Advantage is the group name. And so, every Wednesday at 3pm we'll be doing a live show so, there's going to be music, you already know I love music and I'm so grateful that Bert has made music for you, I love music to change people's state. So, it'll be motivational hip hop, it'll be-- I don't want to give it away, there's a lot of remixes, found a great remix to Let it Be and there's-- you got to come and check this out. And then, the content, the bulk of it is around, what can we do to one, manage our own emotions but use our fears in our business to actually grow our business, grow or impact and grow it towards infinite wealth. And that's, and then we end with more music. And it is, I'm getting excited talking about, it's tomorrow so, I'm also stressed about it so, I'm using that stress to kind of fuel me for it.
[19:54] Marly Q: Fuel Extraordinary Action Relationships and Systems, go Kemy!
[20:00] Kemy: Yeah, it is. Anybody who comes, I believe we'll get, I guess that I get to be very real than this like you're describing here in this podcast, and I get to un-censor myself and be vulnerable but at the same time be very practical, and I think that balance is what is serving me right now to grow faster than I've ever grown anything. And I believe it will also serve others to see and receive permission to do the same.
[20:23] QUICK AD
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[21:00] Marly Q: As a witness, as an observer, and a fellow, you know, PARKer in this journey, I am so, so proud of you. And I am just in awe of your awesomeness all the time and how you've been able to use this time of uncertainty that's fueled with anxiety, right? How you're able to like, "Okay, that anxiety can either paralyze me into a state of worry, or stress, or I can ground myself by kind of fueling myself with the love, the kindness, the self-care that I need, in order to be able to tap into that extraordinary ability that you have to be of service, that extraordinary ability that we all have to be of service if we're able to kind of turn that attention inward and really, really connect with that love and action.". Because I know we both agree that kindness is love in action.
[21:59] Kemy: Yes, it's interesting, some people ask me, "Kemy, do you get nervous?”, I’m like, "Yeah, I get nervous when I go on stage.". I mean, to me it just lets me know that what I'm about to do is important and if I wasn't nervous then I would be like, "Why am I even doing this? It doesn't matter to me.". Again, this is why I think it's-- those are the Genesis, those kinds of questions where people are like, "Aren't you afraid to give hugs?", well, right now is a different like, fear of hugs. Because of you know, the quarantine which is a whole other story but the point before was, it's about, I was focusing more on connection, I was focusing more on what I wanted to say yes to than what I wanted to say no to, and even in this, it's here. We've been literally like, testing equipment, I don't know if you had to do the same process, but it's nuts to prepare for something like this, and I think that the stress, when I'm more proud of myself reflecting from 10 years ago is, I used to then power through it more, and I would say-- I would kind of get more agitated. And now, "Let me just go take a walk real quick. Let me call a friend like, phone or friend, get a lifeline and somebody to help pull me out.", and it's interesting to give myself the permission to rest or get good food, like things that I wasn't doing before. So, I feel most proud of how the quality of my stress or the amount of time that I have been in stress has decreased. And so, when somebody sees this, whenever time they're watching this later on, they may catch me in a moment of stress, and I'm more willing to deal with it, to love it and to use it.
[23:35] Marly Q: Yeah, to not let it control you. I absolutely love that. I've learned quite a bit of that myself in my own self-care journey, as well. And I think that you know, when people ask, you know, how do you make time, right? To be kind to yourself, when you have so many competing priorities, how do you make time to be kind to others in such a big way and to the world? I love your answer to that. It was very simple. It was like, you know, how you make time for anything, right?
But specifically, how you make time to be kind because I asked that when I was, you know, becoming a new mom, I'm expecting a second baby. I'm like, "How am I going to start this podcast and commit so much time to this? Like, how can I create large scale events when, you know, my focus is on having a baby and raising a baby?". Like, and I was going through all of this, you know, just stress and not knowing, right? That uncertainty and you're like, "You know what? I think you need to go back and revisit your purpose and get crystal clear on the purpose and the consequence of not spreading kindness, the consequence of not sharing your voice.". It's more of a how my dear friend, Luly B, who will also be on the show very soon, told me one day, she's like, "How dare you not?".
How dare you not, you know, be fearful and do it anyway?
Because the consequences of not making time to be kind to yourself and the world is devastating, to your life, to your health, to our culture and to our world. And to an extent, we're experiencing that, to another extent we're experiencing, I think, an immense amount of kindness that's coming to the forefront, that this uncertainty and the situation is tapping into people's hearts and people's callings, and if they would just kind of reconnect with that and get really clear on their purpose and ask themselves ...
"What's the consequence of you not making time to be kind?".
[25:33] Kemy: Yeah, that's beautiful. I mean, that just allows--
[25:36] Marly Q: That was your answer, yeah, but I agree; it's beautiful.
[25:39] Kemy: You know, it's funny, because I've just stopped taking so much ownership for what, like, I take ownership for what I say like, you know, I'm going to make sure I only say things that are true, but the idea that, that's not my idea, I just, it's awesome. I love it. I mean, because folks were sharing that same type of message today on this call I was on, and just reminding us to take that time for ourselves. And for me, I've had the physical journey, we've talked about this like being able, almost temporarily handicapped for about a year and that was so difficult. And so, to me that consequence answer is definitely true. And somebody said it in a similar way as you were just reflecting, we were getting off the call yesterday at midnight as we've been doing all these things and I texted you or like emailed you at 1 like, "Can we reschedule?". So, you know, small things, at least asking for what I want so, we're getting off this call at midnight and Reiko, who's a co-host of the F.E.A.R.S Advantage live he said, "Kemy, get rest. You're too important right now man, get rest."
And what if we told ourselves that, right, like more often, you know that we are more important than this kind of task, like I'm not necessarily putting myself above anybody else, I'm saying I'm more important than the stress of getting this one thing right now.
Like, I personally-- because I can get more things right later on if I take some rest right now, like it's not worth it. I am more important than the actual task that I'm trying to do, and just that moment, I just give that back that reflection there too, of just saying that, you know, we're more important than our stresses and we are definitely more important than our fears. And if we can remind ourselves that, it allows us to feel that sense of being extraordinary. So, we give ourselves permission to be kind to ourselves, to take a rest because we know we're going to do something greater with that energy and that renewal.
[27:38] Marly Q: Yes, a thousand times, YES! And with that, Kemy, thank you so much for making the time in your super-duper busy schedule as you're getting ready to launch this awesome, awesome F.E.A.R.S Advantage live, you know, I really appreciate you making the time to prioritize this and being of service to those listening, thank you Kemy.
[28:02] Kemy: Absolutely. Thank you again for the opportunity and for pursuing your dreams. I'm so excited. Yes, congratulations again.
[28:08] Marly Q: Thank you.
[28:10] Outro: I was so inspired by this conversation with Kemy that I invited him back two months later for an update after I witnessed him having to face his fears again, and tap into his courage in order to rise and be an even greater service during these difficult times. If you enjoyed making time to be kind for today's episode, then don't miss next Wednesday's first-ever back to back interview to inspire you to use your fears to your advantage.
[28:44] Outro: Thank you for listening. If you're inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who would appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time. [28:55]