Kathy Brown of Kathy Brown TLC is a Transformation and Leadership Catalyst. She is a Keynote Speaker and leads workshops on Leadership, Relationships, Spirit*Energy, and Dance. She also holds individual coaching sessions focused on business, personal and inter-personal-growth, and development in a variety of industries.
As a faculty member of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, she has been a frequent speaker on creating authentic and powerful relationships within the Trust Administration arena.
Kathy works with doctors and nurses on individual challenges as well as, business and inter-personal relationships in medical settings.
She also works with small businesses and partnerships, helping to bring clients to the next level in their careers and lives.
Kathy has delivered programs for senior banking executives and officers from over 200 banks on the art of developing and cultivating business relations and improving productivity through time management and team building.
Kathy Brown is the author of four books:
- The Secret to the Zone, Book 1
- The Secret to the Zone, Book 2 – Intellectual Energy
- A Different Perspective – A Passionate Journey
- The Ebb & Flow of Life – Reflections
Kathy Brown has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago. Kathy was voted as “Chicago’s Best Dance Instructor by Chicago Magazine. In the past many years, she has been a regular on NBC, ABC, CBS, Nightly News and been a regular guest on many radio shows.
I started unraveling the mysteries of my life when I began to understand the power of energy. There is so much more to energy than most people are aware. Because of my knowledge of energy, I am able to experience magnificent relationships and create a career I absolutely love for over thirty-five years. Though in those 35+ years, I’ve had to make the choice to leap many times. Allow me to explain.
My First Job / Restaurants
As a young fourteen-year-old, I started working in restaurants. I did everything from bus girl, dishwasher, waitress, cook, bartender, accountant, to management. I knew the business inside and out. Everything was great and at one point a restaurant owner offered me the opportunity to own one-third of his restaurant. All I had to do was say yes to running it. I was 22 years old. Now you would think that would be an easy decision to make but it wasn’t.
I had been taking Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dance lessons for several years at Fred Astaire Studios. At the same time as the restaurant offer, I was asked by Fred Astaire Studios to become a dance teacher. What do I do? Do I run the restaurant creating financial security for my adult life? Or, do I become a dance instructor, which had no security and is a complete unknown? Yet, dancing was something I loved and had a passion for?
This was not my only source of information to consider. As I pondered the restaurant possibility I saw a tunnel of light. It very quickly became a grayish shade as it continued down the tunnel. Then I proceeded to look at the possibility of becoming a dance instructor. The light in the tunnel changed from grey to a brighter white light as it continued down the tunnel. (I started seeing the tunnel when I first started dating. It was uncanny how the tunnel could allow me to see how long the relationship would probably last. I did not realize what it meant at first until I looked back on my past experiences. I am thankful it is not that black and white anymore.) So, with my past experience with this tunnel, I knew that the personal growth possibilities for owning a restaurant would pale in comparison to the personal growth I would experience in the dance business.
Now, I had to be brave enough to choose an unknown as opposed to a sure thing. This was always the hard part. Whenever I had experienced the tunnel in the past, I knew I would be challenged in some way, yet it always opened-up a fuller opportunity. I knew I had to take the leap. I packed up my people skills I developed in the restaurant business and put on my dancing shoes.
1st Leap / Dance
I went on to create a career I absolutely loved. Most days were exciting, challenging, thought-provoking, and just, plain fun. I competed professionally and with my students. I performed across the United States, on cruises around the world, and on TV. I was even voted Chicago’s Best Dance Instructor in “Chicago Magazine”. What an honor! But the part I loved the most was being able to express, through movement, life’s emotions, and sharing that experience with thousands of students. This is what has kept me in it for over thirty-five years.
My students and I have created a social community together. I have been to 98 weddings where each of the wedding couples had met in my dance classes!
Through the years of teaching dance, I realized the tremendous opportunity I had to develop and utilize my ability to see, hear and feel energy. I began to develop my skill to see when a student was going to have a problem before they even realized it themselves. I could see the emotional fear rising-up through the beginner student. This made it possible to address it before it became an issue. I set up a class with a certain growth strategy, yet I was ready and flexible to change depending on if the energies were aligned sufficiently for optimum growth. I could run a class of 20 to 400 just by directing the energy of the room. It was fascinating watching how the energies merged. I had to be 150% focused all the time, but it was worth it!
2nd Leap / Business
But, as was my pattern, once I developed one facet of my life, I would begin to feel lacking in other areas. While I loved teaching dance, I felt I needed to expand my intellectual side to a greater extent. A friend and I had an idea to create an advertising insert in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times newspapers. After several months, my friend was more interested in other endeavors, so I continued with the advertising venture myself. Brown Advertising Associates was born.
I built a small company with my assistant Linda. We created co-op advertising inserts before they were popular. I titled the insert Value Savers. We guaranteed exclusivity for our clients in designated areas. I shared the advertising knowledge with the owner of the center where I was teaching dance classes at night. This brought in more students allowing me to share my passion for dance with even more people.
3rd Leap / Motivational Speaking & Workshops
One day I was leading a meeting with my Brown Advertising sales staff. And one of my clients, Bill, walked in the door. I told him I would be with him in a moment, but that he could sit in the meeting if he would like. He did, and after I finished the sales meeting, Bill asked me to present the same seminar to his company. I said, “What seminar? I was just talking to my sales staff about being genuine with the customer.” (I was sharing the energy perspective where when a person is genuine the potential client’s energetic wall automatically relaxes. When someone is not genuine, the client’s wall rises. It is a natural reaction. It’s subconscious and everyone does it.) But Bill insisted, saying that he saw value in the information and wanted it delivered to his company. I finally accepted, although I felt very uneasy about how to turn what I thought was just common sense into an entire seminar for a Fortune 500 company.
Once again, I leaped. It turned out to be the beginning of a new adventure where I added Motivational Speaking, Sales, Strategy, Team and Leadership workshops to my repertoire. Having the added perspective of energy allowed me to create a unique way of getting through to each of the participants, not only for the benefit of the company but also the individual. Many of these new clients also found their way into my dance classes. Now I had the opportunity to express my intellectual side in the workshops during the day and the physical side at night through dance.
4th Leap / Relationships
Little did I know another leap was around the bend. A gentleman who I had met earlier through a business associate asked me to teach a relationship class. He said to me “You’re a good flirt. How about teaching a class on how to flirt?” I laughed and said, “I don’t flirt, I’m just friendly. And I have no desire to teach a flirting class.” Without my knowledge, he then proceeded to write me up in 150,000 brochures stating; “Kathy Brown, owner of Brown Advertising Associates and a Chicago dance teacher is teaching a class on How to Flirt.” I was absolutely flabbergasted and furious. I could not believe he had done this. I immediately began receiving phone calls from my clients, friends, and dance students teasing me that they were going to show up at the flirting seminar. I told them don’t bother, I won’t be there. And then I thought, “I can’t have someone else teaching a class with my name on it.” So, I figured I would teach this class once and that would be the end of it.
I spent many hours researching the subject, but there was absolutely nothing out there at the time. I did not know what to do. So, I decided I would go to the seminar, answer some questions, give them my opinion and I would never teach the seminar again. Well, I walked into the seminar and to my surprise there were eighty people in attendance! I immediately walked out thinking I had to be in the wrong room. Once I realized it was the right room, I went directly to the washroom and had a little talk with the guy upstairs. “Okay God, I realize you want me to do this but I am scared to death. Please give me the information they need to hear.” I took a deep breath and took the leap.
I was amazed how many women did not understand men and vice versa. These were well rounded, educated individuals who were asking fundamental questions about the opposite sex. So, I shared the knowledge I had honed from being in a family of ten, five of whom were brothers, and a healthy history of dating. I conveniently had an even split between men and women, so I used the students to answer their own questions. It was one thing hearing it from me but hearing it from the actual men and women made a huge impact. When I was stuck, the answer came rolling off my tongue. It was as if I was not the one speaking, yet once it was said, it felt like I had known it my whole life. “Thank you, God.” It did not take too many seminars before I was comfortable with all the questions and had heard all the answers. It actually, was fun, when someone came up with something new.
Little did I know, in the first seminar, there were reporters from the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. The next day I was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune and on the front page of the living section of the Sun-Times! And it snowballed from there — from talk shows such as Phil Donahue and Sally Jesse Rafael to the Nightly News. Over the years, I was written up in newspapers all over the country, from a front-page center article in the Wall Street Journal, to Crain’s Chicago Business, the New Yorker and The Star, to neighborhood newspapers like the Lerner and the Reader. I could not answer the phone without it being a live radio talk show calling.
Once I saw how much it helped people, I accepted my fate and spent the next 25 years delivering these workshops all over the country. Before every event, I always held my private meeting in the washroom with the guy upstairs. But I knew tapping into the energy was only the beginning. I had a responsibility to impart information in such a way that it would forward others. I created step-by-step processes that the students could follow. I researched bars and social functions for all the pertinent information I could gather. It was great because I would go out dancing with my students as I was doing my research. I even created a how-to video. I loved hearing about the results my students experienced after taking the seminar. I was now teaching dance in the physical realm, the business seminars using my intellectual, and the relationship seminars in the psychological.
5th Leap/ Integration
After 25+ years of teaching dance, flirting, motivational speaking, workshops, and sales seminars, I needed yet another challenge. I needed to take another leap. But this time I chose the leap.
RHYTHM TLC / Teaching & Learning Center
I had been training other teachers for many years, but now it was time to create a place where everyone could grow and enjoy the same opportunities I had experienced throughout my career. I took the accumulated knowledge I received from the restaurant business, the advertising business, the dance world, and relationship classes and created a teaching and learning center called Rhythm TLC. This new home was going to be built on the foundation of energy through fun, passion, and implementation.
I wanted this center to be a place where just by walking in the front door students would feel the fun, warmth, and friendliness…where teachers could mentor other teachers… where we could pass on the knowledge we had learned from life, be it dance, art, communication, business or relationships. Soon after I opened the doors of Rhythm TLC, I was honored by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Women of Chicago”.
But guess what! Another leap was in the works. While the center was growing, my good friend Jennifer was challenging me to come fully out into the open about my personal gift of seeing, hearing, and feeling energy. She wanted me to share it openly, not within another context. I always slipped it in within the dance, relationship, and business seminars. I was discreet because I did not want people to feel uncomfortable or awkward because they did not understand or did not believe. But it was always a strong part of what I did.
6th Leap / SPIRIT*ENERGY
Jennifer convinced me to hold one Spirit*Energy seminar and see how it went. It was similar-to the flirting scenario in that I was very reluctant to do it. But once I took the leap, the people came in droves and they continue to fill my Spirit*Energy classes to this day. It is wonderful being able to be open about the energy I see, hear, and feel and how it relates to Spirit.
Power of Energy…
After the first few years of teaching Spirit*Energy seminars in my teaching and learning center, I began to see that my dance classes were missing a key element. I needed my students to have a basic understanding of energy. I saw that some students were caught up in the technical details and took longer to truly, enjoy dancing. I realized I needed a new approach. I wanted my students to experience the ecstasy that I had experienced, where you ride the energy moving effortlessly within the physical realm. You do this by merging with the energy.
So, I created ‘Zone Dancing’ which is Ballroom, Latin, and Swing taught from an energy perspective. (I now have similar classes titled Dance Fusion and Spirit Movement.) What I developed was a means of teaching just one or two steps and then tapping into the energy — the flow… the power… the passion, the joy…with the control…where the moment is timeless and the feeling is freedom. Where students could feel like they are flying as they are learning-with their emotional energy fully engaged. It is really, about tapping into one’s own Spirit and going for the most amazing ride. I love bringing Dance and Energy together openly.
Now with adding the spiritual and emotional realms to the mix of physical, intellectual, and psychological, all the aspects of Energy were engaged.
As time passed, I was able to see what the Center was really, all about. It was about connecting to one’s own unique personal energy and sharing with others. Throughout my career, I had created a dance family of about 400 students. I had created another family through the relationship seminars, and yet another family of spirit/energy, clients. There was a family of peers within the business community who I also enjoyed. I realized each group had a primary energy that brought us together. If more people understood the power of their own personal energy it would be so much easier for them to create and enjoy their life. But how do I explain energy?
I decided to create a character to represent each of the energy types. Intellectual Energy was the primary energy when it was about strategy and structure.
Physical Energy when we shared the dancing and creating the center through implementation.
Psychological Energy as we formed relationships with others as well as creating a better understanding of ourselves.
Spiritual Energy was the primary energy when we explored our life’s purpose through inspiration and imagination to uncover clarity of vision.
And last, but not least Emotional Energy is the response to energy being able to freely flow or when it is stuck and stagnant.
As much as I realize one of these may be the primary energy in the moment, all the others come to support. The Center was really, about creating a place where all five energies could have a safe environment to express and expand for each, individual. The Center was a place to generate health, happiness, and passion. We were in a wonderful building and created a beautiful Center.
However, after maintaining the Center for many years, I looked back at my progress. I always shared with so many by continually growing and expanding. I understood that if I were to stay in the Center I would be maintaining not creating. I could see there was a cap on my energy flow within the Center. My passion is to create and share. I needed to do more. I realized the best way to do that was to share all five energies – Spiritual / Visionary, Intellectual / Strategist, Physical / Implementer, Psychological / Cultivator, and Emotional / Celebrator in an even bigger arena. I wanted to share the power I discovered when all five energies work in harmony. I took another leap.
I recognized that to have the Center I could at best, touch four to five thousand people. But if I wrote books, I could touch millions. So, to have the time to write I had to close the Center. Once I was clear and could see what could be, I had no choice but to go where the flow of energy was taking me.
I thought closing the Center was a huge leap, but I had no idea the leap I was about to take. For most of my adult life, I have enjoyed sharing with hundreds of people. Now I was about to embark on the most difficult process of my career, writing alone, by myself, without the pleasure of sharing while creating in the moment. Through the process of writing – and being alone – spirit and nature were my closest allies.
7th Leap / Author
Over the past several years, I published my first three books. The first book called “A Different Perspective – A Passionate Journey” was not the book I had envisioned. I had sat down to write books on energy. But my personal stories kept flowing out of me. As much as I felt uncomfortable sharing all aspects of my inner world, I know the energy had never steered me wrong. So again, I followed the energy and published this book.
Once I published the first book, the energy information began to flow onto paper. I had decided I would do an overview of the five energies and then go into each one in detail. I published the overview which is called “The Secret to the Zone.” The next book was “Intellectual Energy.”
I decided to write the Emotional book through poetry. The poetry book is called “The Ebb & Flow of Life – Reflections.” I will continue to write additional books on the remaining three separate energies: Spiritual, Physical, and Psychological.
I had to go within, to see clearly where I had been and the amazing lessons I have learned about life. Now my life is vibrant with the joy of sharing in the moment again, across the United States and internationally through Leadership, Relationship, Spirit*Energy, Dance, and prose.
This is what this website/blog is all about, the ability for us all to connect around the world and share these amazing insights and energies with each other through Our Wisdom, Our Power, and Our Love. This website and blog has five energy categories from my Power of Five:
- Spiritual – Spirit*Energy
- Intellectual – Leadership
- Physical – Dance & Health
- Psychological – Relationships
- Emotional – Emotional underlies all four with passion
I hope you take the time to read some of these articles, experience the classes and share your thoughts and comments with the community. As well as subscribe to this blog via email or RSS. Thanks for taking the time to read this. It was great sharing with you!