Engage - Claremont Lincoln University

Have Fun, Do Good with Adam Kunes

Adam Kunes

Volunteering can be accessible, it can be a lot of fun, and it feels good to do good. Adam Kunes helps us connect being part of social good with choosing experiences that can be joyful. His organization, Have Fun Do Good lets individuals and groups come together to help local organizations bring about positive social change— all while making friendships, exploring locations, and having fun. There’s no better time to be part of something good— whether in our National Parks, in international settings, with local non-profits, or in your own backyard. When was the last time you planned a vacation that would create social good? It’s time—have fun, and do good.

Ways to listen to this episode:

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to start a new idea without too much of a rigid plan in place
  • How to trust innovation and experience and get started
  • Why we’re looking for meaning and purpose in all of our experiences
  • What to do if you get trapped playing the comparison game
  • Why putting yourself into the unknown can be life-changing

Stephanie:          Adam, can you hear me?

Adam Kunes:     All right. Can you hear me?

Stephanie:          I can hear you. I hear you very well. Can you hear me?

Adam Kunes:     Awesome. Yeah.

Stephanie:          Good. Great. Thank you so much. I’m glad this finally worked out.

Adam Kunes:     I’m really sorry it took so long. I’m actually visiting family in Pennsylvania right now. That’s why I don’t have my video on because I’m sitting in a bedroom, so …

Stephanie:          That’s okay. I don’t need the video. I just need the audio.

Adam Kunes:     Cool.

Stephanie:          And I do the first take at time stamping, so if a dog barks, your phone rings, or you sneeze we’ll just edit that out.

Adam Kunes:     Okay. Cool.

Stephanie:          Do you have any questions? I don’t know how much you know about what I’m doing, or the University. Is there anything I can answer for you?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing, and the goal of the podcast, and the mission behind it.

Stephanie:          Sure. So, Claremont Lincoln is a graduate university. We have three master’s degrees, one of which is in social impact. And so, those students are doing the sorts of things that you’re doing. One of the other master’s degrees is in interfaith action, and one of the others is in leadership. All of our students do a Capstone Action Project instead of a thesis. So, they’re doing amazing work all over the world. And so, one of the goals of the podcast is to create resources that are robust, and inspiring, and compelling for people who don’t need or want a master’s degree. The University mission is socially-conscious degrees, positive social change, but there are people out there who are union organizers, and nurses, and bus drivers, and rangers, and we want to create content that is radically accessible.

Adam Kunes:     Awesome.

Stephanie:          So, really good, compelling … And so, my background is in K-12 education but also I do a lot of interfaith work, so, community work around religious difference. And so, I do a lot of story-telling projects. And so, when the idea for a podcast came up, they said, “Stephanie, you know a lot of really cool people, so you should enter this field.” And so, that’s what I did.

Adam Kunes:     That’s awesome.

Stephanie:          I’m relatively new, it’s sort of … It’s my dream job. I get to teach. I’m faculty here, I’m teaching mindfulness right now, which is amazing, and I get to meet people that I’ve known for a long time and people like you who I don’t know but are doing really fascinating work.

Adam Kunes:     That’s awesome. I dig it.

Stephanie:          Yeah. It’s a smorgasbord of riches. I love it. I love it. So, we’ll probably talk for about 25 to 30 minutes. I’m looking for about 20, 25 minutes of content, and I’m basically like a really interested guest at a dinner party. I want to ask what you’re doing and how you got into it. I’m thinking a lot right now about engagements, and how people, especially people our age, are finding engagement outside of traditional organizations or settings. That’s what I’ve been curious about for the last couple of months, so I’m hoping you can talk a little bit about that.

Adam Kunes:     Awesome. Real quick, how did you stumble upon Have Fun Do Good?

Stephanie:          I have a colleague named Jake Casper, and I only know so many people. And so, he started to look for socially responsible organizations, and he … I don’t know how he found you. I don’t know if Google, or he reached out to people, but he sent me a link to the website. He was like, “Stephanie, I think they have an affinity for what we’re doing, for what you’re doing.” So, I’ll have to ask him how he found you all, but he recommended you and I was like, first of all, just personally in my network, but I think our students are absolutely going to be on fire for what you’re doing, but then sharing your story on the podcast made sense.

Adam Kunes:     Great. Cool. I’m excited.

Stephanie:          Good. Let me just mark the time. Thank you again.

Adam Kunes:     Sure. Sorry it took so long to connect.

Stephanie:          That’s okay. We’re all … We’re doing lots and lots of things. Right?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah.

Stephanie:          Lots and lots of good things. Adam, I read somewhere that you do CrossFit, and I do CrossFit. And so, I wanted to tell you a story about myself and then ask you to help me think about how we find community in places that our grandparents didn’t. How does that sound?

Adam Kunes:     That sounds great.

Stephanie:          So, I have never been sporty or athletic. I twirled a baton in high school but I never ever … I didn’t go to PE, I didn’t do those things. But when I was in graduate school one of my PhD classmates got into CrossFit, and she’s Korean-American and she does a lot of feminist work and womanness work. And what she told me about CrossFit was, she said, “Stephanie, in my culture women are meant to be small, and to be little, and to take up very little space both physically and with their voice and ideas.” But for her the CrossFit gym became a place where she was encouraged to take that space, and it was about strength, and fitness, and the ability to do things. And she was like, “Stephanie, you have to come to do this.” And I was like, “Ah, Sue, I’m, like. 265 pounds and I’ve never … I think I should go, like, Curves for a while first before I go to CrossFit.”

Stephanie:          And she’s like, “No, no, no, no. You don’t understand. That’s what this is. They’re going to scale it. It’s completely scalable.” And so, I’m like, “Okay.” Well, I love Sue. We’re doing our PhD together, like, I’m adventurous, I guess. And I went and I was blown away, because I have a K-12 teaching background, and so in education we talk all the time about differentiation. Every student should be met where they are, the zone of proximal development. And this is the first time I’ve ever experienced it actually happening. And it was completely scalable and they were completely there for me. And I squatted on the box, and used the PVC pipe, and three years later I’m training to hike Half Dome at Yosemite.

Adam Kunes:     Oh, wow! Nice.

Stephanie:          So, it’s crazy. That’s not any … That’s not how I see myself, that’s not my identity, but something is happening there in that community. And people hear that I studied theology, and like, “Oh, well, I don’t really go to church anymore.” And no one goes to church anymore. It’s a new thing. And I’m so struck by the fact that people are making meaningful relationships in a space that is life-affirming, that allows for flourishing, that embodies transformation. And meanwhile, in my theological area I hear people older than me saying, “Stephanie, why aren’t people coming to church? How do we reach out to, like, young families?” And I just feel this contrast between the places where I’m experiencing life-affirming change that I want to people about. And I do go to church, but it isn’t necessarily where I go on Sunday that really engages me and I want to tell people about it. So, is that resonant with your experience at all, and what do you think is going on there?

Adam Kunes:     Sure. Just to speak to your … I was pretty heavily involved with the CrossFit for … I’d say about four years, and just the community and sense of community that came from that was awesome. I’ve made some of my best friends from that community. And just really stepping outside of your comfort zone, like you said, like, “This place isn’t for me,” and whatever it took you to get to that place obviously led to an awesome experience. You’ve been doing it for three years now, you’re going to hike Half Dome. So, I think those experiences … If you can get yourself to do it you’re golden, and I think a lot of people have a hard time getting to that point where they’re ready to jump off the cliff, so to say.

Stephanie:          And so, now you’re talking about a willingness to be courageous. And I think the same sort of thing is happening for people who are willing to go on your trips. Right? So, tell me about Have Fun Do Good, and this happened initially because of your own personal experience and spirit. You thought like, “Let’s do this. We can do this.” And how did it come about?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Absolutely. Sure. I graduated college from the University of Pittsburgh and followed the path that many follow. I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I had a communications degree. What does that even mean? I got a corporate job right out of college, I did that for about 11 months, and I just wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t for me. I felt like I needed to do something with a little bit more purpose. So, my best friend and I, we took a road trip. I quit my job, we took a road trip across the country in an RV. It changed my life. It was a 30-day trip. We filmed a pseudo … Kind of a jinked documentary, and yeah, had it not been for that experience I definitely never would have never fallen into Have Fun Do Good, and volunteering, and traveling. So, that’s kind of how Have Fun Do Good came about.

Stephanie:          And I imagine that on a road trip like that, there are the mountain top experiences, but there’s also stress. You’re putting yourself into the unknown.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. For sure. I took a big leap. I was 23 years old, and had a pretty decent-paying job and I just said, “Hey, this isn’t for me. I’m going to quit and I’m going to take … I’m going to fundraise for an RV and take a 30-day trip across the country.” And I had no plans after that. Not that I didn’t put much thought into that trip, but to speak to your … To stressing out a little bit, yeah, I was definitely stressed. Like, “Okay, once we’re back from this amazing experience, then what?” But we put this documentary together, started showing it at colleges, and universities, churches, anywhere that would let us show this 45-minute way too long documentary. We had students coming up to us afterwards saying, “Hey, how do I sign up for this? This is really cool.” And that was our light-bulb moment in figuring out, “Hey, maybe we can do something with this.” And that ultimately led to a nonprofit, and yada, yada. I don’t want to bore you with my full story.

Stephanie:          And that’s … There are lots of people having this experience. I watched … On the website right now there’s a short kind of behind-the-scenes where you talk about saying, “Hey, we need to …” Where were you going? To Texas? “Let’s all go down to Texas and Mississippi.”

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. That was me actually talking to my partner in crime, Ben, who helps out with all the trips. And we were talking about putting on a trip to Houston and just seeing, would people be interested in this? Let’s put it out there. And that was it.

Stephanie:          I love the clip that you show, because … I’ve got goosebumps because you said, “Okay, I just was thinking of this. Let’s go down to Houston, they need help.” Emailed back, “Heck, yes.” And then you show the screenshot of your email inbox and it’s dozens, and dozens, and dozens of people.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. That was pretty cool.

Stephanie:          So, a lot of us are having this impulse to both do something for another community, but also take a little bit of a leap because these people don’t know you. They don’t know you personally. They’re trusting you to help make something happen.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah, for sure. I’ve been in the entrepreneurial space for quite awhile, and I did learn and I think the title of that blog post is something along the lines of executing ideas. I think the differentiator for me has been if I have an idea I want to see it come to fruition. And I think a lot of people, they get stuck. They have the idea but they don’t know where to go next. That was just really us trying to show the process of how it works, and that was a simple phone call like, “Hey, man. Let’s go to Houston. They need help there. Let’s put this out to our email list and then see if people would be interested in this.” We’re actually in the planning stages, the early planning stages of a Houston trip in October.

Stephanie:          I appreciate that you’ve identified, because this is also a leadership skill. Lots of us have ideas, we get stuck, and so, folks like you who are able to be in that leadership space, you’re creating avenues for us to get unstuck a little bit, enough to move onto action.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. I think a lot of people look at what we’re doing and think, “Oh, I could never do something like that.” And I guess my plan, and then just being transparent with people is … Yes, you can. It’s not that hard. It’s really just believing in what you’re doing, and taking the leap, and stepping out of your comfort zone a little bit and just going for it.

Stephanie:          And you wrote in that same blog post about doing some planning but not getting too caught up in the planning. Is that right? And what is that about?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Sure. When I started my first business … The first business was a nonprofit, and we didn’t do a lot of planning. A lot of people would have said, “Hey, put a business plan together.” And we were so passionate about what we were doing that it was just, go, go, go, go, go. So, I definitely think there needs to be a plan in place, and I’ve learned that over the years the more ventures I’ve gotten into. But I think a lot of people get caught up on that and then they don’t take action because they start putting things on paper and it’s like, “Oh, my gosh, this is so overwhelming.” So, I think it’s important to have a loose plan. And this might not work for everyone, but for me it’s worked real well just to have a loose plan, and then just start making things happen. Crossing off action items and seeing that idea come to fruition.

Stephanie:          Do you think there’s something going on right now either culturally or generationally? I feel like there are so many entrepreneurial spirits coming into the space. So, people instead of just saying, “I’m going to give money to charity, I’m going to give money to my church or synagogue, and I’m going to separate that out from my private life, or I’m going to expect the government to take care of these things and I’m going to take care of these things.” There seems to be lots of hybrid models for both personal vacation plus social good, or [inaudible 00:14:50] bottom line in businesses. What’s going on right now that you think people are so interested in engaging in these ways?

Adam Kunes:     I think technology obviously plays a huge role in that. Everything is so accessible, but I read an article recently about the millennial generation saying, “Hey, we want to do things with more purpose.” That’s more important to me than a company that’s willing to maybe pay me an extra 10 grand per year, versus the company that might give me five paid volunteer days. So, I think it’s cool to see the shift, and hey, we’re trying to be a little bit more socially responsible. And there’s no better time than now, I feel, in the United States to start a business. Everything is just so accessible. Whether you’re doing that as a side, a hustle, a passion project, whatever it may be, the world is at your fingertips if you have an internet connection, and I think that’s such a powerful, awesome opportunity in front of us.

Stephanie:          Can you tell us about an obstacle that you faced and what ingredients it took to circumvent that, or overcome that, or rebound from that?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. When I started my first nonprofit, and this is before we had our 501C, 3, or anything like that. When we were planning for this trip there were a lot of people that were saying, “Why do you need to do this? Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?” And, “Why don’t you just join another service organization?” And I never even looked at that as an obstacle. I was so confident in what we were doing, and just what we were creating spoke to our personalities and who we were as people. That was a pretty easy obstacle to overcome for me, but it was just crazy how many people … While there was a lot of support, there were also a lot of people saying, “This is … Why would you do something like this?” I would say that was the first big obstacle in getting to this volunteer travel space.

Stephanie:          I appreciate that you’re identifying now a couple of times in a row this idea of doubt or maybe just discomfort that some of us have with the unknown. And then, in contrast a sense of self but also a sense of identity tied to the mission. Like you know yourself, you’re self-reflective and you’re able to say, “No, my personal strengths are aligned with what this organization can do. And that’s as an antidote to doubt, or paralysis, or discomfort.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Absolutely. And that comes back to just stepping out of your comfort zone. And what that means to different people is going to vary. But ultimately … I don’t know. I think when you hit 23, 24 years old you have a good sense as to who you are. We’re constantly growing, but I think it’s really important to follow your intuition and if you have an idea, we live in a time now that encourages that. Go for it. I think you need to take calculated risks for sure. I’m not saying your job … If you have a good-paying job drop everything you’re doing and follow that. It needs to make sense financially, but I think it just takes trusting yourself and like I said, follow your intuition.

Stephanie:          Do you think this ability to take a calculated risk, to be brave for long enough to shake through any kind of dissonance, do you think that’s something that we get better at with practice?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Absolutely. I ran a nonprofit for four years. I wasn’t making any money with that. I was just surviving, but I found myself in a place where I was able to live, and I was the most content I had ever been doing what we were doing. I just felt very aligned with our mission, and I wasn’t saying to myself, “Well, maybe my other 25-year-old friend, he might be making 60, 70 grand a year right now,” but I didn’t care about that. I was just so consumed with what we were doing and I felt like that was where I needed to be at that exact moment, and that’s a pretty cool feeling to have, to be honest with you.

Stephanie:          To know that you’re in the right place for you and for your work at a particular time?

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. And we hit upon this. We started doing a podcast a couple of months ago, but we talked about just playing the comparison game. It just is so pointless to do that, and with technology being where it is, it’s very easy to play the comparison game based on people’s Instagram stories and what they’re doing on Facebook. I don’t know. I have this love/hate relationship with social media for sure just for that reason.

Stephanie:          Right. And there’s the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Adam Kunes:     Right.

Stephanie:          And we always … With social media I’m comparing your front porch, like the best part of what you’re presenting with my basement. I know the reality of my life and I’m comparing … It’s not apples to apples.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah, and it’s all smoke and mirrors. Whatever you want to put out on your social media. You can be a transparent as you want-

Stephanie:          Right. Or as curated.

Adam Kunes:     … but some people put out their … Yeah, like they’re living this crazy adventurous lifestyle. At the end of the day it’s like … People even say to me, “Oh, you’re so lucky. You get to go to so many different locations.” And what they don’t see is me staying up till two or three in the morning emailing, just handling the business. It’s interesting.

Stephanie:          I’m going to point the community towards your website. I think it’s a really important resource for those of us thinking about positive social engagement. But tell us, what does it look like? So, if someone signs up, I or my community we want to jump on board, we want to do a trip with you. What does that look like and what will I experience?

Adam Kunes:     We’re at a crossroads because we’ve been doing this for three years now, and that’s been a ton of work, getting to the point where our trips are selling out. And now if you go to our website you see that the experiences we’re offering are all sold out. So, I do get a lot of emails from people saying, “Well, I want to go on a trip but they’re all sold out.” So, we’re definitely trying to grow, we’re trying to have more people get on board with us as trip leaders so we can offer more trips. And then we also started doing more local events. It’s actually called, “Drink Beer Do Good,” where people can come out for just an evening, give of their time and talents and hang out with us for a couple of hours. So, that’s been our way to help people get involved without necessarily having to go on a trip.

Stephanie:          And so, what does a trip entail?

Adam Kunes:     We like to say it’s 50% fun, 50% good. We are not this immersive … We don’t put on this immersive volunteer experience. We typically do two volunteer projects with two different nonprofits, and then the rest of the time we’re having fun. So, on our upcoming national park tour we go to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Lake Tahoe, Antelope Canyon. We volunteer with the National Park Service, and then we’re volunteering with a homeless shelter in Las Vegas. There’s a lot of sightseeing, it’s a jam-packed trip. We jump off cliffs, we hike, we do a little bit of everything, but it’s nonstop for sure.

Stephanie:          And who comes? Who are the people who are really on fire for this?

Adam Kunes:     It’s varied. When we first started out it was just us asking our friends, “Hey, do you want to come to New York City? We’re going to go for the weekend, we’ll volunteer, we’ll hang out at night.” I was actually telling someone this to someone this the other day. We put that our trips were 21 to 35. We thought that was just going to be our ideal age range. And then we started having people say, “You know, I’m 45 and I want to come on this trip. This looks awesome.” So, we talked about it and said, “Who cares? Yeah. You just have to be 21 or older to come on a trip and our …” We just had someone sign up, I think they are 68 years old-

Stephanie:          Wow!

Adam Kunes:     … and will be on the upcoming national park tour. So, for us that’s great. The more people … We attract a very similar person and they’re all there for the right reasons, which makes our jobs in leading the trips very easy. So, we have no age requirements other than 21-plus.

Stephanie:          That’s so cool, and I can see that. And I imagine that the relationships people are forging on these trips are going to be profound. Like, you’re going to meet new friends, you’re going to meet people that you’re really in line with.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. It’s awesome. I still talk to a ton of our participants. We’ve done … I don’t even know how many trips now at this point, but a lot of these people are in my regular tex threads or we’re talking on Instagram. So, for me I feel like I get to leave each trip with 10 to 12 new friends, which is pretty incredible.

Stephanie:          That’s amazing. I don’t want to belittle it by comparing it to something like summer camp, but I feel like a lot of us as adults, we miss those liminal spaces. We check in and out of work, we have one vacation a year. We miss out on those formative experiences, and what you’re creating is a chance for formation, even though we’re grown up.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah, that’s-

Stephanie:          To try to meet new people, to be brave, to grow.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Absolutely. That’s been an extension of who I am as a person and wanting to … I don’t know. I’m young at heart. I’m 33 years old now, but I like doing this kind of stuff, I like to be adventurous, and you can create whatever your mind can think of, and that’s really what we’re trying to do with Have Fun do Good.

Stephanie:          And so, you’re growing. What do you think you’ll be doing in two years?

Adam Kunes:     Our plan is to scale up pretty massively with our trips, so I’d like to get to the point where we’re running anywhere from four to six trips per month, a lot more local than … So, we’re in the process of building out a new application, which is going to make volunteering in your own city a little bit easier, so that will be a great way to get people into the funnel and get them out and volunteering in their cities. At the end of the day that’s our goal. We want to show people that volunteering can be accessible and it can be a ton of fun. And it just makes you feel better about yourself and it feels good to do good. That’s what we say.

Stephanie:          It feels good to do good. And how do you find the local organizations that you work with? Do you just reach out, introduce yourself, and say, “This is what I’d like to do. What do you think?”

Adam Kunes:     Yes. Our volunteer coordinator, Anna, we call her our Good-Getter. We reach out to … We try to source out some pretty unique opportunities, but typically it’s just an email that goes out and telling them we want to come in, and we’re typically a pretty high-energy group, and they’re all about it. So, that’s a pretty easy part of the process.

Stephanie:          I’m so amazed, because what you’re doing … I imagine for the people on the trip it’s really profound. They come away, they’re talking to all their networks about it, “You’ll never believe what I just did.” And yet it’s really simple, it’s relational. It’s like you’re reaching across a neighborhood and saying, “Hey, these people over here could use some help. Let’s go. And then afterwards we’re going to have a dinner party.” It’s very relational at its core, and so it’s not complicated. But the multiplier effect means that the after-effect of it is really profound.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah, for sure. I took a very impactful trip to New Orleans post Katrina right after college, and this was at a time where I was like, “What am I supposed to do?” I felt so much clarity on that trip, and when people ask, “Well, what’s the why behind this? Why are you doing this?” And my why is that I want to be able to provide that same experience I had in New Orleans to other people. If you come as a stranger on this trip, if you step out of your comfort zone you’re going to meet people and it’s going to change you. And that’s the cool thing for us is because we don’t have to do anything other than get those people together and in a room, and it just naturally happens. And we have people on the trips with good attitudes. So, if you’re coming on this trip with just a terrible attitude, you’re probably not going to get much out of it, but that’s not been the case at all.

Stephanie:          Great. So, you’re the host, you’re the facilitator, you’re the convener. Sure, sure, and …

Adam Kunes:     You broke up there. Are you there?

Stephanie:          Yeah. I’m sorry. I was saying, so, you’re the host, you’re the convener, you’re the facilitator, and once the people are together they’re bringing their own energies and hopes, and doubts, and moments of clarity, and that’s where the magic happens.

Adam Kunes:     Yeah. Absolutely. And we do … Each night, and we’re always together. That’s what we’re really trying to build, a community within a small group. It’s an intimate setting. We stay under the same roof, which I think is pretty unique. A lot of places would have you staying in separate hotel rooms. And we eat dinner together, we go around the table each night and say something each of us are thankful for. We really just give people an opportunity to take a step back from their every-day life and really reflect on that.

Adam Kunes:     We’re not a religious organization by any means, but we have found that it’s really cool to practice gratitude, and I don’t think that in this busy day and age that the people aren’t taking a step back each evening and saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m actually, like, really thankful for this experience, or for the amazing views I got to see.” And that’s been very impactful on the trips, which again, it’s a very simple thing, but we’ve had some really cool moments sharing thankfuls over dinner.

Stephanie:          I see it as you’re identifying what are the ingredients for personal growth. Relationship, time for reflection, time for gratitude. Doing something hard or doing something new, taking a little bit of risk, and being in community while doing it. Those are all essential ingredients for growth, and you’re facilitating that again, and again, and again.

Speaker 3:           Yeah, you nailed it. That’s it.

Stephanie:          Thank you so much. Thank you for your work, and thank you for this conversation. And I so look forward to sharing all of this. It’s like a mini class in how to … One way to reach out and make connection and experience transformation. Thank you, Adam.

Adam Kunes:     For sure. It was great chatting with you, and if you need anything else from me, definitely let me know. I’m always happy to tell people what we’re doing, and we’re just very transparent about how we got started, and I’m excited to talk about it.

Stephanie:          Great. Thank you. That was really great. I’m so excited. I want to come on one. I want to tell my mindfulness class that we all need to come online. And I love that you’re growing. I think that there is something in the air right now, that this is really resonant with a need that a lot of people are experiencing.

Adam Kunes:     For sure. We definitely want to get … We just don’t have the bandwidth right now, but we talk … We’ve done some volunteer fairs at universities, and our booth … And I don’t mean this to sound arrogant at all, but our booth is always the one where we have a crowd at. Not that I could [crosstalk 00:30:14]. We’ve created something pretty cool, and I’ll totally own that.

Stephanie:          Yes. Yes.

Adam Kunes:     But we want people, we want-

Stephanie:          It’s the right thing at the right time, that idea of [inaudible 00:30:24]. The right time.

Adam Kunes:     For sure. It’s just getting more people involved. If you have students that are interested in reaching out to me directly, or just telling them a little bit about what we’re doing, definitely let me know.

Stephanie:          Thank you. And they’re all grad students, and most of them are professionals in some sort of field. So, I love it. All right. Well, get back to your family. Thank you so much for making time. And I’ll let you know. I have a consent and release form and I’ll let you know when it’s going up and we’ll make a blog post and everything. So, I’ll be in touch with you [crosstalk 00:30:54].

Adam Kunes:     Okay. Awesome. Thanks a lot. Have a good day.

Stephanie:          Thank you, Adam. Have a good afternoon. Bye, bye.

Adam Kunes:     You too. Bye, bye.

Top 3 takeaways from this week’s episode:

  1. “There’s no better time than now in the US to start a business.”

Right now is a great time to be a social entrepreneur in the US. We have access to unprecedented resources—news, media, training programs, connections. Whether you’re doing something meaningful as a side hustle or a passion project—the world is at your fingertips if you have an internet connection.

There’s no better time than now in the US to start a business. Listen now: Click To Tweet

       2. “Follow your intuition. We live in a time that encourages that. If you have an idea, go for it.”

Lots of us get caught up in planning. We don’t want to start a project until we have a fool-proof plan. A lot of people have a great idea, but get stuck: they don’t know where to go next. Have a loose plan, and then start making things happen. If you have an idea, be confident in what you’re doing and get started. A little doubt is healthy, and we will all feel a some discomfort with the unknown, but we can’t let that keep us from doing good work.

Follow your intuition. We live in a time that encourages that. If you have an idea, go for it. Listen now: Click To Tweet

     3. “Playing the comparison game is so pointless.”

Social media can be a great tool, and bring us a lot of joy, and it can also make us feel like we’re failing while everyone else is succeeding. Take what you see about other projects with a grain of salt—everything that is growing has ups, downs, failures, messes, and places of success. Don’t compare your basement with someone else’s front porch. And don’t let comparison make you feel paralyzed in your sense of being called to do something new.

Playing the comparison game is so pointless. Listen now: Click To Tweet


Mentioned on the episode:

How to connect with us:

Instagram: @havefundogood
Twitter: @havefun_dogood
LinkedIn: @Adam Kunes

You can connect with me on Twitter here: @SVarnonHughes.

And you can always connect with us at CLU on our FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn accounts linked here.

Like the show? Help us spread the word by giving us a rating and review on iTunes!


About the Podcast

In Times Like These explores the difficult spaces we humans navigate in culture and religion, in dialogue and doubt. We talk to voices from the field, in law, activism, civil rights, and from places of struggle and places of deep learning. In Times Like These, we unpack the most troubling issues of politics and faith we face, together.

In Times Like These is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes and is a CLU Live production by Claremont Lincoln University.

Claremont Lincoln University offers the following graduate degree programs:

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D., is the Director of the Claremont Core at Claremont Lincoln University, and an award winning teacher and interfaith leader. She is the host of the religion & culture podcast In Times Like These and author of Interfaith Grit: How Uncertainty Will Save Us. Varnon-Hughes was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. She holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Lincoln University, an M.A. and S.T.M. from Union Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University.

Claremont Core

Claremont Lincoln University

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Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D., is the Director of the Claremont Core at Claremont Lincoln University, and an award winning teacher and interfaith leader. She is the host of the religion & culture podcast In Times Like These and author of Interfaith Grit: How Uncertainty Will Save Us. Varnon-Hughes was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. She holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Lincoln University, an M.A. and S.T.M. from Union Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University.

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