Beth Kempton is an entrepreneur and writer who is committed to helping women achieve their full potential. Her work has seen her work with UN agencies, global brands and NGOs in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, advising on corporate social responsibility, raised over $10 million for charity and earned a Master’s degree in Japanese. Beth Kempton founded her own company, entitled Do What You Love, and the mission of said company is to help as many people as possible find personal, professional and financial freedom via transformational online courses and retreats. This year, Beth Kempton released her first book, Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love. Her book is a perfect companion for her company, and her general mission in life. Recently, Beth Kempton was selected by Marie Claire magazine as one of the UK’s 16 most exciting young female entrepreneurs, and was recently selected as a finalist for the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the Education Entrepreneur category in recognition of the company’s outstanding online courses. Please enjoy my interview with Beth Kempton…
When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?
I help people find personal, professional and financial freedom doing what they love. I’m an author, a speaker, a Freedom Seeker, and a guide on this journey of life.
What’s your earliest memory of reading?
Having readathon sleepovers with my best friend when I was about six. We’d have a midnight feast of strawberry flavoured Punch & Judy toothpaste (I know!) and read for hours side by side.
If you could encourage young people to read one book in particular, what would it be?
Going Solo by Roald Dahl. The sweet shop story is one of the most memorable tales I have ever read, and the man was a genius.
Can you remember the first non-fiction book you read and loved?
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. It changed my life. It opened my mind to a whole new world of possibility.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
In a greengrocer’s aged 15, hauling sacks of potatoes up stairs. We got discounted fruit and veg though, and I was proud to earn my own money, so it wasn’t all bad!
What two pieces of advice would you give a young aspiring non-fiction writer?
(1) Read a lot, and widely. (2) Get out there and experience life as much as you can.
Do you read as much as you’d like to?
My reading goes in waves. There are times I feel compelled to read a lot, and times when I don’t want to read anything, because I am trying to form my own ideas. I have a ‘want to read’ shelf in my house, which currently has about 30 books on it.
What books do you feel are important reading for people on your career path?
I’m a self help author, and an online teacher who aims to inspire people to follow their hearts and make the most of their time here on earth. If you want to follow this path, I’d advise you read books which fascinate you, not just other people’s books in this field. The world needs your take on how to live a good life, and that only comes from being out there, living it. Follow your curiosity and see where it leads you, because that’s where you’ll find your unique take on life.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. It’s an incredible book with a brilliant take on philosophy, but there was a section of it where I got lost the first time round. I revisited it about ten years later to see if it made more sense. It did, but I still think I need to read it again in another ten years!
What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?
Who would you say are the three non-fiction writers that continue to inspire you?
Malcolm Gladwell, Sir Ken Robinson and Elizabeth Gilbert (also fiction).
What’s your favourite genre of book?
It varies depending on my mood and life stage, but I do love a good adventure travelogue.
What do you think a world without books would be like?
It doesn’t bear thinking about! I remember once when I was young I went to visit a friend’s house, and had a really strange experience. Her parents were much wealthier than mine, and her house was amazing, but there was something disconcerting about it – it actually made me feel sad. I couldn’t work out why I felt so uncomfortable there, until a few days later I realised that there wasn’t a single book in the house. I grew up with bookshelves in every room, and they are like a comfort blanket to me – an endless source of questions, answers, magic and adventures at your fingertips.
Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?
Brene Brown, Beth Kephart and Glennon Doyle Melton.
Do you think digital books will ever completely replace real books?
No way. There’s definitely a place for digital books, but I cannot see them taking over. As we spend more and more time in front of screens, the paper in a book will continue to be a welcome relief.
My own book, Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love – that’s why I wrote it! Millions of people are trapped in lives they have built based on other people’s rules, opinions and ideas about what success is. Freedom Seeker is a giant permission slip to let go of all that, and discover the life that will actually make you happy. And what the world really needs right now is a lot more people out there fulfilling their potential, living full lives and inspiring others.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?
Writing my own book Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love has been an incredible journey for me. I literally wrote myself free, and the response from readers has been deeply moving.
Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
More about nature and the wild, human energy, astrology and some good old adventure books.
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?
My book Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love is actually part memoir, part self-help, so I’ll stick with that!