What’s your purpose? For Kate Strong, purpose is what makes your heart sing. What you seek out to do every day. It starts with your morning alarm. Kate joined us for an interactive Q&A at our group-wide online meetup this afternoon.
World Champion Triathlete. Entrepreneur. TEDx Speaker. Coach. It all started with a ‘cliff-edge’ moment that defined her future.
Kate spoke about that moment that motivated her to realise her potential, the importance of sustainability within business, and her World’s First Challenge.
What are you most proud of?
Sounds really simple, but the first run after breaking up with fiancée! In 9 years with him I’d done nothing for myself. That changed my future.
What was the moment of change for you?
It was quite dramatic. Unfortunately, most people wait for cliff edge moment that we need to change something. Mine was 6 days before my wedding. My 9-year fiancée left me with debt. Living in enormous debt I realised that hadn’t put myself first. I needed to start loving myself.
Ever since then I’ve made a commitment to never wait for a moment like that again. Using that as motivation to make positive change.
What was your inspiration behind moving to Australia, starting your own business and becoming a Triathlete alongside that?
I became an engineer to satisfy the society ‘tick list’. Parents pressured me somewhat to go uni and please them. It wasn’t my calling.
Moved to Australia to experience new life and culture. Setting up hospitality eased me In to becoming own boss. I started triathlon when I stopped making excuses. If we spend less time explaining why we can’t do something and actually did it, you probably would’ve done it.
I was determined to make it happen. I started to run and aimed to become a world champion. To be my best I had to aim to be the best. Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time to do something.
Time management was big for me. I stopped talking about doing something and did it immediately.
When the first alarm clock goes off in the morning, who puts it on snooze? Set time you’re actually going to wake up. That’s training integrity. Doing what said we’d do. That’s the first step. If you say you’re going to do something, do it!
How would you define purpose?
Purpose is what makes your heart sing. What you seek out to do every day. Not just work, but outside also. My purpose is more me than my name. Service – to serve others – is my purpose. Have a purpose that you can spirals out into the wider community to leave a legacy.
How do you set goals for yourself and the businesses you work with?
The goal has to be in alignment with your purpose. Money is a drive to a certain point.
In this Q&A, people won’t remember what I said, but how I left them feeling. How do we want to feel when we accomplish something? We want to feel something at the end of it.
Ensure you have a big goal, but also have micro-goals. If something like a lockdown happens, the micro-goals can be repositioned and know my longer term vision is set in stone.
You’re passionate about sustainability and have the slogan ‘For-people, For-planet and For-profit’. What is your mission with making the business world more sustainable?
It comes from within. For me it’s a level of thinking. If I’m making sure that I’m looking after myself, then I can support others. Spirals out further. It’s a similar model for businesses, if a company is profitable it can leave a better legacy. They’ll then be able to have a positive impact on the environment.
What sort of businesses have you been involved in and are working with?
Quite a spectrum! Start-ups offline/online. For example, I’m working with a dance teacher who’s grown 3 times in COVID. I also work with organisations that supply into ministry of defence. I love my job as its diverse, fortuitous I can choose who I work with. It’s about people with core values.
You’re doing a World’s First Challenge in 2 years. Why?
At the beginning of the year I decided to go nomadic. Then lockdown happened. But I wanted to realise dream.
In June 2022 I’m cycling in worlds toughest road race RAM (Race Across America) which covers 3,000 miles and 12 states.
Two months later, I’m swimming the toughest channel swim: English Channel. 21 miles.
Few months after that I’ll be slow travelling (any other travel rather than fly) to Nepal where I’ll attempt to summit Everest. No one has done all 3 before.
What’s your inspiration to do it?
I want to demonstrate that everyone is living below their potential. Society has created a glass ceiling of how we should be operating. Also, an equality aspect, only 18% of Everest summiteers and RAM finishers are female.