Today, I feel scared and brave all at the same time. In fairness, I have yet to experience a time when I didn’t feel the two in conjunction. When I think back, I know the fear of the unknown has killed so many of my dreams. As I watch the never-ending stream of news lately it’s obvious that fear in general can have some terrible consequences and rewards. But I’m learning that it’s also a voice we can silence (when appropriate). One we can and should actively speak to and acknowledge when it pops up. We can tell our fear that we don’t need them right now. That it’s time to take that leap.
The leap is in progress. I’m off to do my “own thing.” I’m currently defining that as Three Ears Media. Three Ears Media is named after my dogs and an important life lesson (read that story here). We are a recruitment marketing consultancy that helps companies lower costs and improve quality with better recruitment content. Think job ads, career site rewrites, and nurturing workflows for candidates.* Check out the website for more details and the longer explanation: ThreeEarsMedia.com.
*This is where I have to say the part about if anyone you know is looking for that help or you have an awesome idea that you think I can help you with, reach out. This isn’t thinly veiled self-marketing, this is a moment of shameless promotion. I have a wedding to pay for, after all.
You’re probably wondering what prompted this intentional chaos. Insert sick mother. See, I learned an important lesson while spending 19 days with my military accountant Mom. First of all, yes – the mental images are almost exactly what you imagine. And yes, logic was explained with spreadsheets instead of words when I was young. I looked at everything in the context of money because I was taught that money was the only way to have choices.
We lived paycheck to paycheck, or at least it felt like we did as I argued for a second pair of shoes or an extra t-shirt every year in August before school began. She always said no. For my Mom, it wasn’t that it was one more t-shirt. It was that the little things added up. Little financial choices that would eventually lead to limits for life. So instead of the extra things, she aggressively saved for her retirement. Every penny went toward the future she idolized – retirement before 50, traveling the world and experiencing all of the things she labeled frivolous in her younger years.
Seems like a great plan, right? I thought so until last month. My Mom has been retired for about 5 years and not a dollar of her retirement money has been spent on a new experience or a trip to another country because her health is falling apart – a broken hip, heart attack and advanced rheumatoid arthritis before 55. All of that money isn’t going to following her dreams – it’s paying for survival. While she might be more comfortable, she has regrets. A lot of them.
The lesson in the experience is this: All the money in the world can’t heal unhappiness or buy a new body. It can’t fix your soul when you’ve let it get to the lowest points. Simply put, without your mental and physical health – you have nothing.
So here I am. Brave but scared. Leaping.
Here we go.
Special shout out to my future wife for making this dream possible, the pep talks at my worst moments and everything you do in between.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.