Find Your Message & Superpower in the Voice of Influence Academy

Episode 29 with Linette Bumford

Do you ever feel like you just know you’re feeling a tug on your heart to offer more of yourself to the world in some way, but you’re not sure what it is? A year ago, Linette Bumford came to the first iteration of the Voice of Influence Academy (at the time called the Core Message Course) with that feeling.

She knew she wanted to write a book but she wasn’t entirely sure of the message. Through her own exploration and with a little assistance from different aspects of the course, she came to truly own the gifts of her personality and gain a clearer sense of her core message and how to use it.

It allowed me to take really difficult things captive and own them and not look at them like scars but swords. And at the end, that little spark will be an unstoppable fire. When I was done with the class, I was unstoppable.

Linette Bumford is a Jesus Follower, Wife, and Mother. She is an ambitious, focused, and determined thought leader. A veteran of the USAF, MBA graduate, trusted advisor in her profession, and author. Linette drives excellence, confidence, and high quality standards to every aspect of her personal and professional life. She is passionate about inspiring others to invite failure to seek wisdom, live with vibrant boldness, and to achieve their dreams and goals through practical and real action.
Linette’s awe-inspiring story of finding humility, unwavering perseverance, and the tenacious determination in spite of overwhelming obstacles is expected to release in 2018 in her book called Getting There: An Inspirational Guide to Navigate Life with Unstoppable Perseverance. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their dog Titan.

You can find Linette at www.linettebumford.com.

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Full Transcript

Linette Bumford: For a long time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say and there’s so much in my history that I thought “Well, do you just start with one thing and maybe do a series and whatever?” But when I was going through the Core Message class and kind of making the transition from working fulltime to part time, I was going through a couple of different things.

I had surgery on my wrist, which stopped me from writing for a little while and everyone just keeps on asking me because there were so much going on. They were like “How are you doing?” How’s your wrist? How’s this and how’s that?” And the words “I’m getting there. I’m getting there and I’m getting.” I think we say that so kind of haphazardly where I was like “Yeah, I’m getting there.” I really start to think about what that means, you know what it that means when you’re getting there.

So I thought, “OK, let me break that down a little bit.” And really I think it’s a couple of different things but for me it’s that journey of life. We all have an ultimate destination but what is getting there really look like. There are these two words, getting there means you’re getting, which is the act of doing something, right? Either obtaining it or moving through, but it’s an actionable word and that was when I think that I was passionate about with my message was having an actionable thing, you know doing something with your faith.

I was talking to my husband this morning and I was like “You know, I think as I prepare to go on a mission trip in January and preparing to do a testimony. And I think “Oh testimony of my life where you’re getting up in a puppet and sharing some crazy story.” But I do really think about what my testimony was and early on in my life, I was a believer but it was until later on in my life that I became a follower of Jesus, you know what I mean?

Andrea: Hmmm

Linette Bumford: And it was kind of breaking all of that down, so it was believing in something with no action but then later on following Jesus which was actually putting my faith and my trust in Jesus to where I can actually do something about it. So “Getting There” to me is a journey of using inspirational stories but also just some practical every day signs to help us navigate through whatever life turning us because the Bible says we’re going to go through stuff. We’re going to be faced with challenges but it’s about navigating through those with the everyday practical signs that God puts in front of us. Yeah, I’m really so excited about it. I know it took me around six to eight months to get to a certain point but it’s just flowing so easily and I’m so excited!

Andrea: Oh good! What do you think it’s taking you to get to that point where you’re in the flow?

Linette Bumford: I think for me, it was trying different things, right? Again, it was going down to a certain path like if I was inspired by something, I was saying “Alright, let me take that. Let me see how that fixed.” I think we had this conversation before; you try different things on to see how they fit. And sometimes we’re like “Huh, this looks good but it’s kind of uncomfortable.”

And so it’s jeans or that outfit where you’re like “Oh this is so cute but really not for me,” or then I would do something else and it was too simple where I was like “Well, this doesn’t really accentuate certain parts of my story.” And it was just continuing to try different things and at the end of the day, I thought you know getting back to that authenticity like “What is it about me?”

I actually started asking people. I was like “Why do you ask me? When you think of me, what goes through your mind?” And sometimes it was asking for that real honesty from people that you trusted and I really appreciate getting that feedback because it gave me things to literally, I would put sticky notes on my wall and I would look back.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and I would look and say “OK.” It would almost form by itself. You know, I pray a lot. I would pray over the words or the feelings and just putting all that out there and asking God, “OK, God, what did you make me for? Why did you make me this way?”

I think one of the key aspects was going through the Fascinate Assessment. I told you this, it was when I took that assessment and I read through that, it put it altogether and I was like “Yup, that’s me, ” and then it forced me to own it. I could no longer look at those characteristics and not completely own them and then it gave me permission. I felt like it gave me permission and then I was like “Alright, this is my outfit.”

It’s like superheroes like Captain America is not Spiderman and Wonder Woman…they are made a certain way. They all have that superhero commonality but they all were given specific gifts. And I think in any of their stories, I think they were confused about what’s happening. We are all are confused by what’s happening to us but it’s when we come into our gifts that I think is when we truly blossom and we can fully be utilized by God with confidence.

That was my biggest thing. You wouldn’t know that probably in my professional life because I had all kinds of confidence over there. But I think in my personal life, I didn’t feel like I have the confidence to own what God had done in my life that it would mean anything. When I say that it would mean anything outside of what it was doing for me, right?

Andrea: Exactly, yes!

Linette Bumford: I was like “Yeah, this is great that God has hold me through so many different things and it has been the fuel that has helped me succeed or helped maybe a couple of people here and there that I could actually be used for a greater good maybe. Because I think sometimes we take our faith and we take our struggles and we put them on a box and we put this puzzle together and we’re like “Oh great, what a beautiful picture. Now, I see what that was all about. OK, put it back on the box and maybe we want something else.”

We don’t really say that “Wait a minute, you can put that puzzle together, you can frame it and other people can be inspired by it.” So I think that just again growing in my faith and really praying about what God wanting me to do. I think I mentioned it to you before this book concept of sharing my story if you will was something I thought about 10 or 12 years ago, but it just sat there. I was like “Yeah, OK, sure.”

But I got to tell you and I’ve said this probably a hundred times, just the cover of your book alone was all it took for me to go like “OK, God, I hear you.” Like I had been frozen in that area of my life for that whole time like God said “You’re gonna do this. But I just wouldn’t let Him thaw that part of me, you know what I mean?

And it was so profound that I told someone recently at work you know and they were like “What made you want to write a book?’ And I said “The fire inside of me and the inspiration if you will of the Holy Spirit was so strong that I felt like if I didn’t that it felt like I’d be doing something wrong.” I almost felt disobedient for not following rather than fearful of not succeeding, you know what I’m saying?

Andrea: Yeah!

Linette Bumford: Don’t you think because they’re like “What if you fail?” I’m like “If I don’t do this it will be a failure.” So it’s not about how successful it will be, it’s about doing what I’ve been called to do out of obedience to what the Lord has done for me. Then it became where I was like “Well, I have to do it. No, turning back now.”

You know, it was holding myself accountable to that for once because sometimes I’ll dream big dreams but I won’t hold myself or let people hold me accountable. But this was the big dream that I said “Alright, this is super real.” I started reading books, “OK, how do I do this?” Because that’s what I do, I’ll go learn. And so one of the first books that I read was You Have to Start Talking About this and Not Shut Up, like you have to talk, talk, and talk and tell anyone who would listen and you tell them because that will keep you from just putting it back on the shelf.

Andrea: Yeah, so who did you talk about it with? Was that a significant part of your accountability then?

Linette Bumford: Yes, absolutely! Neighbors, friends, community group, church and then obviously, I had to make a huge shift at work. I mean, the moment I sit down with boss that’s when it became really real.

Andrea: At what point did you sit down with your boss and what did you tell him?

Linette Bumford: Probably the day after I saw you book cover.

Andrea: Wow!

Linette Bumford: I’m telling you, if I didn’t take action immediately then I don’t know if I would be where I am today. Like it was one of those things that God said “OK, you’ve already gone down these paths where you’ve worked for me and not done anything. You already know what’s gonna happen if you don’t take action immediately.”

So I knew that I had to verbalize it immediately. If it wasn’t the next day, it was definitely within a couple of days that I sat down and I said…I didn’t say I’m going to quit my job but I went to my boss and said “I had such a disturbing, like it was a positive disturbing feeling in my soul.” I was like “I don’t know what this looks like, I will get back to you but I just need to tell you that something is going to change very soon.”

He was receptive and he completely understood and I said “I’ll get back to you in a couple of days but I just wanna let you know that I’m strongly concentrating a change in what I’m doing right now.” After I kind of wrapped my mind around things, you know, I had some good conversation with my husband then we realized that this book and me writing was definitely something God was putting in my heart. It was just too strong to ignore. I think it was a week later when I said “Hey, I can’t do this, what I’m doing fulltime, anymore.”

He was fully prepared I think emotionally to be like “OK, good luck with that.” But God immediately showed up so quickly to be able to work part time. You don’t have to know the whole journey to know what it looks like, you just have to take the next step.

And I think what I try to tell people is you don’t have to know what the whole journey is going to look like; you just have to take the next step. You just have to put one out there. I think I’ve mentioned this once before. There was a scene in a very old movie that I used to watch as a kid called the Labyrinth and they have to get across this really disgusting moat or something and these rocks come up from underneath just as they’re staying, right?

But they had to have faith as they kept moving that those rocks are going continue, otherwise, they could be stuck out there in the middle, right? Or how are they going to do that and I think that’s how we feel, right? I’m going to be stuck out there in the middle with no way out but that’s just how God is. He’s like “Get out of the boat. Don’t worry about the storm. Don’t worry about the waves, just step out of the boat.”

And in those moments, it’s still really hard for me to explain people I’m like “It’s inexplicable.” It literally feels like God is right there. This massive force is just in you and in the moment and I think that’s all the things that we see that’s what inspires us that’s what get us excited.

Andrea: Oh yeah, it’s so empowering. I mean, I that weird vulnerable sense. It’s in your weakness, this is when I’m strong and it’s like that when you are totally vulnerable and you’re totally putting yourself in that place where you’re about ready to fall but you’re stepping out in faith that’s when all of a sudden, you feel so strong. But you know that that power doesn’t come from you which makes it even more reliable.

Linette Bumford: It’s ridiculous. Again, it’s so hard to explain but you did a very good job there. I think our minds and the world and things around us tell us like it’s about finding that self fuel if you will. But I’m like “You don’t have to do that because then you’re relying solely on yourself and that is the limited resource or anything. There’s not enough of you.” And I think it’s in that sense when God shows up and says “You don’t have to do any of this by yourself.”

Andrea: Have you seen Wonder Woman yet?

Linette Bumford: I haven’t.

Andrea: OK, you totally should. You’re going to love it.

Linette Bumford: I know.

Andrea: What I love about it is that it’s not teaching me anything, it’s just giving me imagery for things that I already know to be true. One of those things is that like she knows inside from a very early age. You’ll see it in her eyes when she was a little girl. She knows that she’s meant to do something really big. She’s got it in her.

Linette Bumford: Oh yes!

Andrea: But as she grows up every battle that she fights, she kind of like owns herself a little bit more and realizes her own power a little bit more. And every time and every battle was bigger and it was more intense too as she gets older. I just think of that it’s so incredible. If we don’t get into the fight if we don’t go into battle, we won’t know the kind of power that we have.

Linette Bumford: Right. Again, going through like I bring up the Fascinate Assessment because it really helped me. When I did the assessment and I was the maestro, it talked about this confidence. And I thought “Where does confidence come from? Where do people just know that they can do a thing?” Sometimes it’s practice, something as simple as riding a bike, right? How do kids get that confidence of riding a bike with those training gears? Well, it’s because they’ve done it over and over and over and then they just know. Well, I’ve been there. I’ve done that.

I thought about that, even in that sense this like of kind of conductor, this maestro; more times than not, they’ve been in those seats. They know what those folks are looking for. They know the different parts of the orchestra or they already know how to play multiple instruments themselves or things like that. They’ve experienced what they people who are looking to them for leadership, they’ve been there. They’ve been in their shoes and that confidence comes from, like you said, being in the battle, being a part of those experiences so that you speak form a place of truth.

I’ve seen people, I’ve listened to different speakers, and even some pastors like they speak truth but not from place of experience. And there’s a difference when you can speak to someone with truth and the experience because it brings so much more power. Like I’m not just telling you what the Bible says, I’m not just telling you what these folks said, I’m not just telling you what you already know from the truth, I’m telling you because I have been in that battle, I have done that thing.

When I’m at work and someone asks me to do something like give this speech or presentation and I don’t know the content, I am funky mess out there. You know, I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m shaking. I’m stumbling and I don’t know what I’m trying to say because I don’t understand the content you know what I mean? I’m like “I don’t know what I’m saying up here. I can’t speak to you confidently about something I know nothing about nor should I be,” you know what I mean?

Andrea: Yeah!

Linette Bumford: About a year ago, I’ve done a presentation and I knew every detail. I knew what the people in the audience were going to think. I knew what they were going through. I knew they were going to think I was crazy. I knew how much work it was, but I was so confident because I was like “We’ve been there. We did that. We went down the wrong roads. We tried everything. This is wherever we came up with.”

After that session, I remember just kind of like walking away and finding a quiet space and I just kind of smile you know like “Did I just do that?” It was that place that said “yes” because you were speaking from a place of confidence. And so again when everything came together after I took the Fascinate Assessment, I realized that God was just asking me to speak from a place of my experience not talk to people about things I could not relate to, you know, maybe that’s for another day. He probably asks more experiences lined up for me and at that time I can speak from that place, but it’s about just owning the battles I’ve already been through and sharing the truth and love, right?

Like in sharing truth and I do have ways sometimes of being a little too forward or direct with people, but at the same time, you know I think that’s why my girlfriend who I asked I said “You know, why do you come to me?” And she said “Because if I really want the real truth, I know you’ll give it to me.” And I was like “OK,” it was a common theme with anyone I spoke to.

Andrea: Oh yeah. The whole point of the Core Message course, the one you took and the academy that I’m trying to make now that I’m excited about, I mean, the whole point is to get down to that, like to get down to that work and say it. Don’t try to talk in generalities, number one. And number two, don’t try to say something…again, we care about a lot of different things. How do you decide what you’re going to actually end up focusing on? I’m so convinced that it has to do with our experience.

Linette Bumford: It does. I absolutely 200% agree with you and I think for me, it was mapping out my experiences. Even that, I told you that it was one of the hardest things I had and I was like “Oh gosh where to start,” you know. And it doesn’t mean like “Oh, if I don’t have dozens and dozens of experiences that I still can speak from that place, you might have one thing that is very important to you that’s OK. You own that one thing and go with it that’s it. You don’t have to have many obstacles. You can have just one.” Like you were saying, you might believe in the broader sense.

Again, going back to the kind of superhero like they all believe in good but how they achieve and support and defines good is in different ways and always that you got to be everything for everybody. And again, it’s going back to what are you? I’ve got good friends, they are the heart. They are the encouragers and sometimes I get jealous because I’m like “I’m so not made that way. I wish I could be like that.”

But then I have to remind myself that they aren’t like me you know what I mean? And they probably in these certain characters speak about me and I tell them I’m like “I wanna do that.” They would probably see the things in reverse so I can admire what God is doing in them and in those gifts and somehow encourage that to them and in turn, it’s kind of like this reciprocation. Their encouragement or their gifts helps me continue to be the way God made me. Once you get that, it’s such a freeing feeling.

There’s no more comparison because I don’t compare myself to that encourager, that heart, or that person who’s always serving. I’m like “God, made me this way so that I can serve in my capacity.” And that’s kind of hard sometimes, we try to do everything and be everything. But even at work, I was realizing that I was only giving about 10% to things and I didn’t feel like I was really doing a very good job even though they were saying I was doing a really good job, I was like “I don’t really feel that way though.”

I know I’m doing a good job when I can really give at least half of myself to something. But to really pour yourself into something that you absolutely passionately believe in, I think is when we really feel what success looks like. You know what does success looks like? Success is a feeling and it’s when you know you really poured your heart and soul into something and then it’s realized.

Andrea: I like that definition of success. Going back to your superhero comparison, the other thing about those superheroes with their suits and stuff, if you see Captain America’s suit and his shield and you know you can rely on him in battle. You see the Black Widow and you know what she’s going to be able to do in battle and what you should, you know how to rely on her in battle. That’s what I see in personal branding.

We throw on that superhero, those suits, anything that’s going to magnify, those characteristics about ourselves that make us you know, “This is what you can come to me for. This is who I am so that you know.” When I first started about hearing branding, immediately my mind went to the mask that we put on trying to be for other people or whatever and I’m like “I’m sure that it can be that, of course it can.” But just like life, I mean if you’re going to be authentic, I mean you can either throw on a mask or you can throw on your superhero suit but it’s an actual magnification of who you are.

Linette Bumford: That’s very true. I think it kind of goes back to what I was saying before, like when you put your mask on, if it’s not your suit, because you can just imagine putting the Hulk in the Captain America, it’s going to be uncomfortable and it’s going to look awkward.

Andrea: And nobody believes you.

Linette Bumford: And nobody believes you. Imagine seeing this you’d be like “Something is just not right here.” You know what I mean? You’re going to feel that. That’s what uncomfortable is for? That’s what those feelings are for. They are a gauge, right? They are a radar for you to be like “Something about this is not right so I’m gonna just not pay attention.” You’re not going to listen what they have to say and so that’s what happens when people are not authentic with you, your heart and your soul know that.

I could see that in other people and then I begin to think “Wow, the reality is I do that too.” I am not authentic with people. I either act the same way or I would say certain things because I thought that’s what they wanted to hear. It’s exhausting. I was tired. I was like “Yeah, I’m not just gonna do this anymore.” It’s just too exhausting. I think of what this saying is but it’s like you know people who lie, they have to keep up with the lie.

Andrea: Yeah. Right, right!

Linette Bumford: You have to keep up with, “What did I tell so and so? Who was I for them? And who was I for…” This is what you get, you know what I mean? I am a work in progress. I did this and I have done this. We all see this but I think we just don’t show it. And I started doing this to other folks at work and saying, “You know what I really don’t like to be angry like that. I’m really sorry, I’m just making it known that that was struggle for me.”

It invited other people to run kind of examine themselves and if they were contributing to my struggle or also hold me accountable. Again, once I started verbalizing those things, it gave me room to grow. It gave me permission to be authentic.

Andrea: Yeah, you didn’t have to be perfect. You weren’t holding yourself to this perfection standard.

Linette Bumford: Exactly! It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a message. You know it doesn’t mean that I can’t still be used. It so easy to just get down on yourself and I’m like “Yeah, actually that’s exactly who I am because if you want to follow perfection, follow Jesus, don’t follow me. I am not perfection. If you wanna see what transformation looks like, if you wanna know what change looks like, if you wanna know what struggle looks like, you can follow me all day.”

Andrea: That is awesome!

Linette Bumford: “If you want to know what it looks like for real give me a call,” you know what I mean? I talked about this a little bit in my book but you know there’s this point in my life in which I really made a significant change. I just said “OK, I’m going to follow, I’m gonna take actions to follow Jesus.” Shortly thereafter, the next chapter is called “Road Work” ahead because there’s a lot of stuff in my life and it is dirty. It’s is ugly. It is bumpy. It is inconvenient, all of that.

But as He does that, He was also laying down new road that’s smoother and easier, you know like He says “My yoke is easy and it’s beautiful and it’s new.” I read a quote not too long ago and it said something like a success and whatever comes from hard work, no excuses. It’s work and if you think it’s not then what you’re after is probably not sustainable and what you’re going to get is not sustainable. I refinished the table recently and I used a lot of analogies, I apologized. But I can’t say, I really refinished it, I just painted over it.

Everyone kind of asked me “Did you strip it? Did you send it and did you do this?” I was like “No, I slashed a page on it.” “Why would I go through all that trouble?” But then I thought about it because the reality is that’s only going to last so long. Eventually, the pain doesn’t have anything to really hold on to you. And then I thought “Well, when I get that point, I’ll just throw it away.” But it did keep me thinking about, sometimes you have to strip it. You have to save it down in order for what you’re going to lay down for it to last and then you have to pull away the olds in order to lay down the new for it to really last the long haul.

Andrea: Totally true. Oh that’s great! I love the picture. I don’t know where you at now and where you headed and what do you need?

Linette Bumford: I need another five hours in the clock, right? Right now, I am in full transition or post-transition. I’m working part time and it’s been an amazing experience. So many people come alongside and just supported and it’s one of those decisions that it was a little scary at first. But the way God showed up through opportunities and connecting me with other people and other writers, I have a coach who is helping me right now. She’s amazing. Her name is Renee Fisher, she’s amazing.

Again, everyone needs kind of guidance like I’m going down this path and it’s something I’ve never done. So she has really helped to keep me motivated. Sometimes we want to do things by ourselves because we’re like “OK, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it alone.” And I read something from, again another great blog, Jeff Goins had put article out and it was about doing this in community. We’re not called to do this alone.

And again, it goes back to the superhero thing. Sometimes, they gather together to fight that battle, right? You got a combined forces and that was a little bit difficult for me. You know, I had my reservations but I trust it that God has been showing up in the process. Anyway, so I’m working on the book actively. We are looking for early spring of 2018, which would be awesome. And I’m probably going to be going into maybe more of like a pre-marketing phase of things. It’s weird but it’s so real because you know it takes time.

Sometimes I think some things happen for people very quickly. You know, I am still at work and it’s interesting. I think you said something the other day or it was only message that you said in the academy you know. Early on in the process, I thought “OK, well, I’m gonna have to completely give up my career in order to do this thing.” And then I thought “Well, maybe I’m doing this for now to help me be better in what I do as a career, or it doesn’t mean you have to always give up one thing to do something else. It maybe you need to slow down in one area in order to build the authenticity of where God is taking you.”

And I see that in a sense of, you know, I was struggling out to really be a leader. I felt like in different ways, I was a manager and I was a leader. I was like hitting the ceiling like almost like an emotional or like a growth ceiling. I met with my mentor and he said to me, “You have to do this. You have to go part time; you have to go follow this dream, this feeling inside of you.” And I was like “What? You’re the same one who mentors to like keep growing.”

And he said “Doing that will make you a better leader if you decide to comeback.” And I thought “Wow, OK.” So I table that and I thought “Well, that’s pretty powerful.” Sometimes you have to step to decide. You have to go and dig up an area in order for all of you to move forward and then he said “And when you get there, you just turnaround and help someone else do things.”

And I thought “OK,” and it was after that conversation that I’d really, really like I made the decisions anyway. I hope that that make sense. But yeah, I think I was excited and open. I think at this point, I don’t have it all figured out but I’m open and initially, I was like “Oh my gosh, I got to learn about social media. I got to learn about this and God said “No, you don’t. Nope, you just need to tell your story and I will help you when the time is right to get to those other points.” I was like “I’m just gonna focus on what God has put on my heart and tell the story that He has done in my life.”

Andrea: Yeah, it’s like that. Going back to your analogy about taking the step like you can’t take all the steps at once.

Linette Bumford: I’m not just the next-step kind of person. I mean, sometimes I do those huge leaps of faith, right? And those are exciting too but you can’t leave that everywhere. You have to say “Just take a step,” and I think this was another thing I heard early on and I was like just the torch bearer, right? We talked about this early on.

When you’re in a dark cave and you have a torch, it doesn’t light up the entire cave or all the ways out, it just gives you enough light to get a few feet ahead. And we just have to trust that that God is that light for us our relationship with Jesus is to have just enough faith to take the next step and not fear the failure.

I think of it like a maze, right? We try to figure out this maze and we go a certain direction and it’s a dead end. Well, things happen along the way, right? So it’s about what you experience along the path and to me that makes the light brighter, like in video games, you go down this level and you gather up you know whether it’s trinkets or whether it’s coin. And then you go down a certain path and you gather things for the rest of your trip.

And then you’ll come across another obstacle where you’re going to another path and you go “OK, I need a hammer for that, you know, I need this little trinket.” I just kind of think about things in that way like that’s what our life is about. We go down certain paths to obtain certain experiences and certain nuggets of wisdom so that it can be used later on in the journey. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be there forever, it’s just now you have it, you’re going to need it, right?

I think that’s why they exist; you’re going to need it for something, just hold on to it. And when the time is right, you’ll know when to reach into your little wisdom pouch, pull it out whether it’s for someone else or for you to sustain you through a hard time. That’s really what it’s all about, right?

Andrea: So when you took the Core Message course, it was basically a three-month period. I thought that it would be a 5-week deal but I realized very quickly that you guys were like “Woo, wait a second this is a lot more to process than I have time for in one week at a time and it made total sense as we kept going.”

So I tried to take all of what you guys were saying then I also listened to some other people who know a lot of people say they want to make changes or they want to figure stuff out for themselves. They want to find their things. They want to find their passion but they need accountability and that sort of thing.

I thought all this together seems to me like what people really need is they need bite size things to chew on for a period of time and over a period of time. That’s the reason why I went with 6-month program because I thought what would be the most transformational thing I think would be a coaching program for six months.

And if I could just disseminate the information a month at a time with a module at a time, something for people to focus on for one month and then move on to the next thing that maybe would make more sense. So that’s the reason why you guys and your feedback was so helpful to me in deciding what to do here.

Linette Bumford: Again, it has taken me all this time, but life had to happen. I had to let things call today or culture. I had to let those things happen in order for God to show up like when we want to do the fast diet. Oh well, it’s going to happen but it’s not going to sustain you, you know what I mean? So yeah, I think it’s progress and I think that’s really a good observation on your part.

Andrea: So who do you think should consider doing this program?

Linette Bumford: You know, I don’t want to speak for everybody but what I’ll do is I’ll speak for myself. I knew I had something inside of me. I knew that I was being called to something. The question was what was the thing? What made me me? Not made me different, didn’t make me special, right? I mean, I am different and I am special. We are all different and especial. We are who we are, right? But what was it about me that I needed to own but what was it that made Linette Linette, and it was my experience. It came down to figuring out what it was about my experience and then what was it that I had to say, I guess.

It’s great to just tell people “Yeah, I’ve been through a lot of stuff. You wanna hear about it? Here it goes.” But what was the purpose in all of that and then finding a way to own it? So being creative is sometimes an agonizing process. You taught me about the six stages of creativity, like there’s a very agonizing stuff in there where you’re like “Huh, this is just too hard.” You know, I want to go to the easy thing, the thing that I know how to do right.

But if you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re like “I’m ignoring something. I’m ignoring the gut feeling. I’m ignoring my heart. I’m pushing something aside,” and you are getting frustrated by that and you know that there’s that thing inside of you, take the class. Don’t try to figure out what it is before the class because the course is going to pull it out of you. I’m just saying. It will pull out of you. It pulled it out of me in a way that I just never imagined but don’t try to figure it out.

Again, I’ll plan this out, I’ll figure it out, or I’ll go into the class. I’ll be the superstar. I’ll be the teacher’s pet like that’s all we do, right? We try to over analyze it and I did it. I said “No, I’m just sure; I’ll sign up for that. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.” I said it from the very beginning. I was like “I haven’t had any clue, but I’m open and that’s all you have to do.”

So if you’re feeling it and your heart flutters when you think about whatever it is and you just have no idea how to wrap your mind around it, take the class. It’s going to help you bring structures to the chaos. It’s going to bring clarity where there’s fog. It will help you own you. I think sometimes we let the story or our experiences own us and take us captive but it allows us to take those things captive.

Andrea: Amen! Oh my gosh that’s the perfect way to put that. Yes, yes, I just got goose bumps all over my body and I’m even crying because that is so what I want for people. That is so what I want for people.

Linette Bumford: I’m telling you that as a student and I love that at the academy, yes, it did that for me.

Andrea: Oh so cool!

Linette Bumford: It allowed me to take really difficult things captive and own them and not look at them like scars but sword and at the end like just that little spark, it will be an unstoppable fire when you’re done. When I was done with the class, I was unstoppable.

Andrea: Yes!

Linette Bumford: I still don’t have any idea what I was doing but I was unstoppable.

Andrea: Exactly! It’s like the internal positioning like that “OK, there are still stuffs to be done but I’m ready to go.”

Linette Bumford: I’m determined and I’m energized and I’m going to keep going. And having that fuel, I want to get there and that is my story. We’re all getting there, right? So yeah, I want to get there. I’m going to do it. You know, people come to me and they’re like “You’re so audacious.” And I’m like “Why not? How do you live with yourself going what if?” I’m like “No, I’m not a what if-er, I’m a why not-ter, because I have a hard time with the what ifs.”

I have more regrets, not with what I did but it’s what I didn’t do. I’ve learned that failure, I almost chase it now. I’m like “Bring it on.” And something that may seem small for us could be huge for someone else. We never know when that’s going to inspire greatness to someone else, right?

Andrea:   Totally!

Linette Bumford: So yeah, if you’re feeling the thing, if you’re feeling anything, if you’re hearing this and you are like “Yes, yes” then take a class, just take it. I had a hard time believing that words are not going to show up and really help you own and take your personality and take whatever your name is and whoever you are, take that captive. And sometimes that’s all you need. You just need to have permission to take your life captive and sort of your life taking you captive.

Andrea: Awesome! Thank you so much for your generous endorsement and for sharing your own story and feedback along the way. And yeah, I’m excited for you and where you’re headed. I have another friend who said to me before “You know, it just seems like we’re not supposed to know where we’re getting to because it could just overwhelm us like we just don’t know and maybe we can’t handle that right now and I think of that with you for sure like who knows. I just don’t know but it’s some place, I’m pretty sure. Some place special.

Linette Bumford: Yeah. I hope I’m going somewhere. I know I am.

Andrea: Yeah, absolutely!

Linette Bumford: And again I write about the goal, the goal, the goal but even through the process, I’ve had to learn to appreciate the journey and pulling over and taking it all in because it’s so easy to get somewhere. I still do this when I’m driving around, like “I gotta go, I gotta go. I’m late, I’m late.” But I was just missing it and I’m still learning. I’m a work in progress but you know I’m learning to just slow down and just enjoy the little things because God is everywhere and He’s everything and He wants us to like the arrival, right? The arrival, the steps along the way, or the “Mile Markers” you want to call them. He wants us to get there but He also wants us to get there happily, does that make sense?

Once you get there gradually, like “God, I finally arrived. What a trip!” How many people have come home like “Oh it was traffic. There was this.” “I’m so sorry that your trip here was so exhausting.” We want to arrive like that. He wants us to arrive happily like “I’m so excited to be here. Let me tell you all these things we didn’t plan but it happened along the way?”

How difference that would make when we interact with people? I thought these amazing things that I just didn’t plan but happens along the way and how awesome it were. Even things like getting a flat tire or bad weather or whatever. If we can just look at them as God’s way of slowing us down and just appreciating those things.

Andrea: Well, thank you, Linette!

Linette Bumford: Welcome! Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to help with the academy. I mean just watching you of what it was about a year now, right? It was last August that I began to see you progressing and succeeding and the fire that you continue to have to help people. I’m excited to see how God continues to move in your abilities to help us find our voice.

 

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