Penny Locaso, co-founder and chief collaborator of BKindred

When you let go of fear you will be surprised at what presents itself ...

There’s no way to sugar-coat it, Australia is facing an employee engagement crisis with over 70 per cent of Australians either ambivalent or completely disengaged in their jobs, which ends up costing our economy an estimated $54.8 billion per annum (Gallup 2013). Rather than sit back and wait for someone else to do something about it, Penny Locaso has taken it upon herself to empower and elevate women to make positive career changes through her company BKindred. We caught up with Penny to chat motivation and ditching the daily grind.

You’re on a mission to empower 10,000 women by 2020. How are you doing that?
One step at a time, testing, listening and refining. Through a national workshop series, one-to-one coaching and an online e-Course. Next, a technology platform that allows simple steps to change for a global community of women who want more.

What inspired you to take on such a massive challenge?
Every day I’m inspired by smart, skilled women with brilliant career and business ideas that light them up from the inside out but saddened that they choose fear over happiness. I want to empower women to take one step at a time and build careers that make them happy. Think of the on flow on effects for our economy and society if we make women happier in their work. BOOM.

Current figures indicate 70 percent of Australians are either ambivalent or completely disengaged with their jobs. What do you think is the most common reason for people to stay?
Fear, is the only reason they stay. Fear of the unknown, of what others will say, of not earning the same money and of not knowing which steps to take to make a change. I recently read FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. It is so true. Whilst change is hard and uncomfortable it is hugely rewarding and door opening. When you let go of fear you will be surprised at what presents itself.

Lucky for us, we are part of the 30 percent that love what we do, but what advice would you have for someone who doesn’t leap out of bed every day excited to go to work?
Love to hear someone is happy in their work! You spend roughly 70 percent of your time at work (if you work full-time). Consider the impact on your personal life in terms of your mindset if you don’t enjoy that 70 percent. My advice would be to consider one step, just one, that you can take today or tomorrow that will help you make a change and do it. Then the next week consider one more step and do that. Repeat and watch the momentum grow. If you don’t know what sort of work would make you happy, surround yourself with people who’s work does and who are making things happen. Go and spend a day in a co-working space and talk to people. Most co-working spaces offer free days or weeks to try their space. The cost is nothing other than your time. The other advice is to sign up to General Assemblys free mailing list and attend some of their free events or search on Eventbrite. There are so many free or cheap events that can inspire ideas. Lastly, read Carolyn Tate’s book Conscious Marketing. There is a brilliant model in it to help you think through your purpose and gain clarity. I warn though finding what you love to do is an evolution most of us have never created the headspace to think about it.

What has you leaping out of bed every day?
The fact that I have created a job out of helping women find happiness in their work, it’s so damn rewarding! The fact that I choose what my day looks like and who I get to work with and the unbelievable women I get to surround myself with. There are so many putting themselves out there doing what they love, supporting each other, sharing their learnings and pushing boundaries.

Have you always enjoyed what you do?
I have always enjoyed my work I am one of those people that makes the most of every moment in life. It’s in my DNA. However, I am happier now than I have ever been because what I do has such a positive impact on the lives of others, what could be better than that?

How has that impacted other areas of your life?
Interesting question. In the last two years I have relocated a family from Perth back to Melbourne, started BKindred, left an 18 year relationship and become a single parent. Finding my purpose was the catalyst for tipping my life on its head and choosing happiness in every aspect of my life.

You’re coming to the Gold Coast for Ditch The Daily Grind & Leap Into A Career You Love at Warehouse No.5. What do you hope people will take away from the evening?
I believe we have enough inspiration in the world what women need is help in taking action. I want women to feel empowered, from the DDDG event, to take one step, one step forward towards a career they love. I want them to have clarity on what that step is, based on the tactical tips and tools presented by the brilliant panellists we have who have lived the same challenge as them and come out the other side.


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