Describe your path up until what you’re doing now?
My path has been one of hills and valleys, but I don’t carry any regret. One major shift was when I quit my corporate job, moved to Costa Rica, and wrote my first book.
That was 3 years ago. It was such a fulfilling experience to venture off, and do all I’ve ever wanted to do: write and travel. A year later, I moved to Colombia, which was another major shift.
I had become this person I’d dreamt of being while I was back at my job, bored to tears. It wasn’t all highs. But before those moments, I was following other people’s rules. And it wasn’t productive. I wasn’t progressing or growing in the way I needed to. The first person I ever remember setting their limitations upon me was a former grade school teacher of mine. I was an artist at the time.
To draw was my thing. She’d told me, in so many words, that I’d starve as an artist. She was better off punching me in the stomach.
From then on, I gave up on trying to make a living from art or anything creative for that matter. I figured it was a child’s play.
Now, I don’t blame her for sending me on a winding path away from my purpose. But I will say this, she had no right to impose her limitations on my life. And now, fast-forward to today — this is now the foundation of much of my work. I empower other writers, creatives, and artists to get out of their heads and the heads of others. I am a writer and book writing coach — I help aspiring authors write and finish their books
Have you had any mentors or influential people in your life?
Through books and audio, I’m blessed to have mentors who have no idea they’re my mentors. Les Brown and Dr. Eric Thomas are people I listen to and takes notes from. I’ve listened to Les Brown’s, The Power of Purpose over 100 times.
Outside of those virtual mentors, my Dad is still the man. I have a deep respect for him, who he is, and who he’s become. I’ve always admired his discipline, ever since I was young. Despite having retired from the Navy, he still has a military-level focus few people have.
Have you taken any big risks to move forward?
Yes. Jumping from my corporate job into the unknown was a huge risk. But only based on who I was before that. Who I am now, I’d say that staying would’ve been an even bigger risk. Because I would’ve played it safe, knowing that it would stifle my growth.
Are your friends and family supportive of what you do?
Absolutely. My family is my cheering section. My parents are supportive. They love that I’m figuring things out so early — earlier than they were ever able to. It’s reaffirming to people who you can go your own way and still win (on your terms).
I’d do it if they weren’t supportive too, though. Because if not, there’d be a truth inside of me I’d be compromising.
Are you creatively satisfied?
Satisfaction has a few degrees. So, I would say no. My creative well flows daily. Am I fulfilled? Yes. But I have to keep work towards fulfillment. I don’t know if I ever set out to become satisfied, honestly. I need to maintain a healthy, sustainable hunger to continue creating and growing. It’s good for my soul.
Is there anything in the next five or ten years you’re interested in doing or exploring?
When I see 5-10 years from now, I see growth. I’d love to be a freer, more authentic person. Sure, I’d want to have mountains of books written by then. But what makes the most sense to me, now, is my impact and what I applied from my learning. Because what I want in 5 years may be different next year.
What type of legacy do you want to leave?
I’d love to leave a legacy of living with purpose. So many souls leave this earth without having examined why they were here in the first place. That, to me, is such a tragedy. I’d hope to, in whatever way, make it easier for others to get to where they need to be. For now, it’s helping authors, writers, and artists do their God-given mission.
Brandon B. Keith is a creative and global citizen. Once stifled by his own fear and doubt (waiting for his “real life” to start), Brandon now helps ambitious, young leaders overcome their own apprehensions through his storytelling, art, and travels. If you’d like to connect or talk, feel free to drop a line or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.