Faith McKinney – Personal Brander

Act on your deepest desire

My dream was to overcome my shyness, be famous and meet and be seen with celebrities. I’ve interviewed dozens of celebrities and lead Successful Thinkers of Indianapolis, a very popular networking organization.

I was always very shy. When I was in first grade, the teacher asked my mother if I had a disability because I was afraid to talk and never said anything. When I was eight, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a name for it. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if everywhere I went, everyone knew me? It’s almost like having a welcoming committee.’

What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?

When I turned 30, nobody was handing me things, telling me what to do or how to do it. I knew I wanted to be a speaker but I wasn’t an expert at anything. I decided to act and sing to build up my confidence. I wanted to find some things I could do. When I put it out there, it came to me.

What were the specific obstacles that you faced?

I’m my biggest obstacle. I’m overweight, not tall and blonde, but I was still put in one of the lead roles. My weight was not an issue. I also have a close cut hairstyle. This was also not an issue. I don’t have a college degree…that also bothered me.

I also couldn’t figure out how to monetize what I’m doing. I had to get a coach to help me do it. The business coach I hired said I was a ‘personal brander.’ So that’s what I do, I get people visibility. I can get your name out there.

I still live in ‘the hood,’ I have a special needs child, and I’m a janitor. If I can do it, anyone can. It’s part of being authentic.

What helped you get through them?

I kept it moving. I didn’t acknowledge that I do janitorial work, sweeping and mopping the floor. I always dress like I’m running the place.

Were there people that tried to discourage you?

Yes. My parents didn’t want me to donate my kidney, but I wanted to do something to make a monumental difference. I wanted to know what it means to be truly committed. I never stuck to anything…really. When my cousin’s wife asked if anyone wanted to donate a kidney, I immediately said yes. They thought I had a daredevil-type problem.

How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?

It felt surreal. If you take control and act like you’re in control, people will follow you. When I interviewed Dan Rather, I felt I was horrible, because I didn’t know how to ask questions. I didn’t know what to ask, and I didn’t know about interviewing him.

What advice would you give to others that are contemplating finally living their dream?

Find that inner child wish and act on it. The world opens up for you when you act on your deepest desires. Everything aligns perfectly.

You have to have a plan for your dream. Ask people who know how to do it. Ask them how to do your dream.


Click here to learn more about Faith and her book: Schmingling, The Art of Being Well-Connected Through Blatant Self-Promotion.

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