Kary Oberbrunner
Kary Oberbrunner

The term "living the dream" can mean different things. To some people, it means travelling the world. For others, it looks like making piles of money. But for a few brave souls, living the dream means pursuing a dream job and doing what you love full-time. This minority takes extraordinary risks to build the lives they've always imagined. One such outlier is Kary Oberbrunner.

This 42-year-old author, coach, and speaker embraced his lifelong passion for writing and successfully made a career out of it. Today, Kary leads a multi-million dollar global business, Author Academy Elite, which nurtures and supports authors and their writing talents. In addition to this, by leveraging his own content, he helps individuals and organizations discover who they are, why they are here, and where they should go to achieve personal and professional success. Within Kary's journey, you'll observe 7 important lessons that provide inspiration and instruction for business and life.

1. Rock the Boat

Born in West Allis, Wisconsin, Kary began his career out of graduate school as a pastor. Though his day job was stable, he felt a pull to impact the world, not just the four walls of the church. After struggling several years as a traditionally published author, Kary created a new publishing model and went on to launch Author Academy Elite—an international company that focuses on helping authors with the writing, publishing, and marketing process. The lesson is this: Dare to be different.

2. Pursue your Pain—It Leads to your Potential

In his writings, podcasts, and videos, Kary often addresses the dangers of a disengaged human workforce and energy-draining corporate cultures. Kary understands pain firsthand. As a child, he suffered from a speech disorder and an addiction to self-injury. He shares his own journey and proven steps to transformation in his books Your Secret Name, The Deeper Path, and Day Job To Dream Job, among others. The lesson is this: By pushing through your pain, you'll often encounter your true potential.

3. Never Stop Learning and Growing

Kary earned a doctorate in transformational leadership from Ashland Theological Seminary back in 2006. Although this year ended his formal education, he never stopped learning and growing. He understands the power of personal and professional growth, evidenced by his regular discipline to study, read, and journal. He tells his audiences that if they're not growing, they're dying. The lesson is this: Learning should never end.

4. Identify your Goal and Give it a Deadline

In the past 20 years, Kary has trained over 250,000 entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, and coaches. And he isn't done. He regularly communicates his goal of igniting 10 million souls by 2020. He believes every goal needs a deadline. In his book Elixir Project, he shows how deadlines create an urgency that in turn produce energy and action. The lesson is this: Give your dream a deadline.

5. Become a Master in the Art of Living

Besides serving as the CEO of Redeem the Day, Igniting Souls, and Author Academy Elite, Kary is also a husband and father to three young kids. He understands the desire for work/life balance, but rather than make balance the goal, he emphasizes becoming a master in the art of living. Throughout history, it has always been the unbalanced people who changed the world. He believes the greatest gift a person can give to others is to become a soul on fire. His programs and events equip his clients to do just that. The lesson is this: Don't make balance the goal.

6. Show Up Filled Up

So many people are living on empty. Because of this, they come off as needy. They're takers, not givers, and as a result, they struggle in business. After all, nobody wants to work with someone stuck in scarcity. Kary shows his readers, listeners, and followers how to show up filled up. By working on themselves, his clients start tapping into their resourcefulness. They become aware of their abundance and focus on adding value to others. By becoming givers, these people increase their influence, impact, and income. The lesson is this: Show up filled up.

7. Clarity Attracts, Confusion Repels

In our digital age, every person is a brand. If you're online (even if only on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram), then you're a content creator. And your content might be sending out mixed messages or be foggy at best. Most people have no social media strategy. Instead, their channels are just a summary of their latest reactions. No business succeeds with a haphazard marketing strategy. Because nearly half the population has or will soon have a side hustle, people need to rethink the way they use social media. They are a business, and their future success or lack of success is dependent on how they represent themselves. The lesson is this: Clarity attracts and confusion repels.

By applying these 7 lessons, you'll be well on your way to achieving personal and professional success and becoming what Kary refers to as a "soul on fire." Based on his past twenty years of research and work in, Kary believes the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. His clients prove that premise every single day.