"Donna Kim-Brand"Meet Donna Kim-Brand, Founder~ Globalearning Network LLC

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally.

I am American, yet I lived in England over 12 years and have worked in the UK, Asia, Europe & the Middle East helping people as a trainer, coach and facilitator to develop their Intellectual Capital and apply it to business success. At this stage of my life & career, I want to be more explicit about making sure we address the need for meaning in our lives. I still empower others by teaching thinking, learning & creativity tools and strategies, but focus their power on reinventing business and cultivating their life as a Living Legacy. In addition, I do more writing and speaking, online and in person.

I refer to myself as a Creative Energizer & Legacy Strategist. I teach and apply Thinking & Creativity by Design to help people and organizations identify, articulate and then manifest what really matters to them. This then allows them to live and do business purposefully, riding the waves of change and creating ways to be Thought Leaders in their field.

What do you enjoy most about your profession and why did you choose it in the first place? What was the inspiration for your company/project?

I’m an ideas person and love working with concepts. And, I’m also a cheerleader for human potential, which requires tapping into elements of life that make someone ‘come alive’ as only they uniquely can.  So getting to work with people in sculpting their soul’s purpose and leveraging that in the workplace and wider world is the ultimate ‘high’, whether with students fresh off the academic circuit or executives who have invested a lifetime in developing skills, experiences and networks. I’ve always been a bridge to facilitate the realization of people’s dreams, recognizing that sometimes the obstacle is lack of boldness in imagination and other times it’s simply not knowing how to get clarity on stages of the dream….or trying to do it all by oneself. My scope has always been both international and universal, so Globalearning Network about covers all those facets.

I understand you have a BIG Event coming up. Tell us about it and why and how you choose to be involved.

My next Big Event is Walk for Tibet Florida (www.WalkforTibetFlorida.com ), where from Feb. 14-26 I will be with Jigme Norbu, Wangchuk Dorjee and whomever else joins us en route to trek 300 miles from St. Augustine to West Palm Beach, Florida. Jigme is following in the footsteps of his recently deceased  father, a Tibetan scholar and Rinpoche in his own right, as well as being the eldest brother of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  Jigme is picking up the mission to spread awareness to people he encounters along the way on World Peace, Human Compassion & Tibetan Independence. He wants them to know that they, too, can make a difference in the world by standing up for what matters to them.

My role is as event organizer, which includes both the walk and the finale celebratory event at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach on Feb. 26, 1-3pm. (Do come!) I am also setting up speaking engagements along the way for Jigme and myself. I will involve the audience experientially with thinking tools in ‘Creating the Future Now’ and in how to ‘Think What You Stand For’. Jigme invited me to support him both from the perspective of being a local known for getting things done, but also because he knows I honor his unique role and am uniquely qualified to help him create his own Living Legacy. Our work is really taking place on several levels, and involves the head (intellect), the heart and taking action for personal and planetary healing. This is something I teach along with the tool-based Brain Training.

How has your support impacted the organization?  You/your company?

All my life I have been energetic in gaining a wide range of life and business experiences around the world, which includes getting to work with some of the top people in the fields of thinking and creativity applied to real-life situations. I am an avid reader and by nature I am a connector of ideas, people & resources. And, I care deeply about honoring and developing people as the Masterpieces in the Making that we all are. So I bring lots of scope and unique perspectives to every situation I encounter, whether reinventing a city center, executive education initiatives, handling corporate development or downsizing or choosing a new career, for example. Then together, whether with colleagues or clients, we design optimal outcomes based on what people want and what we have to work with. This use of mental movement is high order creativity and is extremely fulfilling.

How can we learn more about the Walk for Tibet?

Please visit http://www.WalkForTibetFlorida.com , which is a site I am managing to support the Walk. Here you can find the itinerary, supporting videos and interviews, and daily blog once the Walk starts. Please feel welcome to comment as we go. You will also find a DONATE button top right, as these walks are totally self-supporting. So thank you in advance if you choose to donate in support. On the walk and at the finale event we will have wristbands available for donations too. You can also sign up to receive my free newsletter when it comes out soon, Wit & Wisdom. This will offer tips, tools & strategies to ‘learn what you need to get what you want’.

Additionally, http://www.AmbassadorsforWorldPeace.org is Jigme’s ongoing Walk site, where he blogs during each of his treks. This site also covers more of the history behind the Walks and Dr. Norbu’s work when he was alive.

Tell us about any new business projects you have coming up (or recently completed).

Right now I am nearly done writing 3 books (2 with a colleague), which allows me to share the tools and strategies I know that can help others shape their business in changing times and have optimal impact on personal resilience and professional expression. Each book contains material that deserves deeper treatment and can be taught to others for their own use. So I will be offering related interactive workshops that empower people to make the tools their own in their own situation.

What is the biggest risk you ever took professionally and/or the biggest obstacle you have overcome?

As is often the case, an advantage can also show up as an obstacle. Having moved several times to other countries (for which I am grateful), I have had to start over in business multiple times. On one had, it has required me to get and stay very sharp and attuned to local needs and practices, but without local referrals I had to start over again and again. Quite humbling and darn hard work! Now that we are in the age of the internet, and I am in the process of migrating much of my offline expertise to the online world, I hope that future transitions won’t be so drastic. But I am in the middle of reinventing myself again even now, back in the United States after so many years away. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable (dealing with uncertainty in the face of change) is something I seek mastery in as a ‘creative’. Still working on it, however I’ve also found out that what was always my calling card that had my business running mostly on referrals in the UK- namely that I had a diverse repertoire of tools and could work effectively with all levels of staff right through to CEO level- now seems to be a handicap since the internet works on narrowing and targeting your demographic and focus. I understand the dynamic, but this approach makes it hard for me to choose so narrowly. Good thing I’m adaptable!

From where do you draw inspiration? Who have been your role models, mentors, etc?

My creative antennaes are always ‘bleeping’ -spotting opportunities and making connections, as I believe anything is fair game in creativity! I do walk often in nature, especially near the sea. And whenever possible I seek out and enjoy cross-cultural experiences. My children always stimulate and challenge me, as do ideas in a variety of books old and new which are always piled around me. Since I have friends in many countries, we keep in touch by phone about philosophical, political, economic and intellectual issues,…then commiserate that we haven’t yet solved the problems of the world. I have always sought to personally meet thought leaders I respect, and have learned from all of them. While I have many I admire, some of whom I’ve worked with closely, one I wish to know better is Dr. Jean Houston. She weaves amazing tales of human depth and scope that satisfy both my mind and my heart.

What do you do to keep yourself sharp? What one thing have you done in the past year that has made a significant difference in your life/your business?

Drinking lots of water helps sharpness in a multitude of ways, physical and mental. Having reached one of those inevitable age plateaus, I have ramped up my physical activity to stave off weight-creep, and find it serves me well in fighting mental flabbiness too. I have also increased the amount of time I meditate. One of the courses I teach is called Mind Chi, and I appreciate officially adding a spiritual dimension to my mental activity.

As for professional practices that have made a significant difference of late, I would say skilling myself in the basics of online marketing will serve me well in using the medium of the day. I’m still working on this, but can recommend some great teachers to anyone interested

What one thing would you like to learn this year?

Cracking the mechanics of online video, and getting used to/comfortable with seeing myself on video will catapult my ability to reach people and share the tools, techniques and strategies that can help them shortcut their own development process.

And I want to get back to more regular dancing- latin & ballroom, as moving my body to music helps me be more expressive and escape my tendency to work mostly from the neck up! I love feeling so alive as I do when dancing. Either this summer or next I will spend some time in Buenos Aires learning Tango and other slinky moves.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Wow! I see myself as a ‘player’ on the world stage, having initiated a global movement (on the order of Peace Corps), which helps people live their life at any age or stage as a Living Legacy. I see grassroots networks that call upon the wisdom of our elders and enlightened citizens to solve problems and help channel the multitude of human talent and goodwill toward personal excellence and community development.

I also personally see myself as facilitator/host of a sort of Think Tank of great minds who want to explore new ideas, tickle at the fringe of human possibility and create positive environments for human evolution.  My view is that we far underestimate and underutilize our potential as a species, so I’d like to leverage this. One of my core values is stimulating human evolution, so there is a match here.

What do you do for fun/relaxation/entertainment?

Get a life, I know, but since Creative Living is how I attempt to live even when not teaching about it, I am grateful for a rich tapestry of life textures and colors. I do love stimulating conversations with interesting people, preferably over a nice glass of wine. I’m in extra heaven if a crackling fireplace is near.  I find that, given a chance to get beyond the surface chit-chat, most people have fascinating life stories, which I am enthralled by. I’m a sucker for movies where people transform (and I’m not talking robots), I love dancing, and my cathartic artistic expression is via collage & photography. I also enjoy cheering for my remaining child at home in his sporting events, and celebrating the achievements of my older kids too.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

In my world-view, we are born as Masterpieces in the Making. It is our birthright to be uniquely and fully ourselves. What we make of ourselves is totally up to us, given what we are given to work with (biology, geography, historic era, personal passions & aptitudes, etc.) I wish I had realized earlier in my life that I can simply claim my life purpose, rather than being busy waiting to discover it. It’s also taken me to this point in life to accept that I can have my own dreams fulfilled even while I help others fulfill theirs. (Female Pisces 3rd child- that explains it.) I want all of us to have the most incredible journey as long as we are here, with the full range and scope of human experience. That includes personal satisfaction along with contribution to others. This is what Living Legacy means to me. So I Invite and encourage you to jump with both feet into the fullest expression of life that tickles your fancy, and revel in it! Wheeee!

What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you?


http://www.DonnaKimBrand.com , facebook.com/donnakimbrand, twitter= @donnakimbrand, http://www.braintrainingwithtlc.com (being set up this week). Also www.WiseUpforLife.com will lead you to a series of targeted sites (Wise Up for Work, College, School, Teachers, Women) teaching the tools, techniques and strategies online in a membership format. These are in development right now.