“I’m grateful for those hard challenges, because I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to have thought big without them. If my life had been good, and perfect, and wonderful, and there was nothing that I needed to alter, then I wouldn’t have done any of the things that I am so happy to have had the chance to accomplish.” – Ann Louden

If you’re a listener of this podcast, there’s a good chance you have big dreams for your life. Today’s Finding Brave expert guest is a walking example of someone who is bringing her own BIG dreams to life, and thinking “when,” not “if,” they will happen.

Ann Louden is CEO and Founder of the Ann Louden Company, and consults for non-profits in higher education, the arts, social services, and healthcare.

With thirty years in higher education administration, Ann is recognized in the world of philanthropy as a seasoned fundraising expert, a strategic and innovative thinker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate representative for the causes she serves.

A new resident of New York City in the last year, Ann relocated from Texas to claim her second chapter of life. Even before her move, two CEO’s in the fields of higher education and adoption retained her to help them “think big” as their full-time consultant.

Among Ann’s proudest achievements is the creation of a national cancer advocacy program for which she built the brand and was the spokesperson for twelve years. The stories she shares reveal her extremely innovative approach to dreaming up a brand that has the power to raise visibility, funds, and support, and at the same time, offers a unique way to honor the courage of cancer survivors and their families.

As you’ll hear, Ann’s life hasn’t been without its share of struggles on her journey, but these challenges are what she feels have brought her to the new exciting place where she finds herself today. Her story will be an inspiration to  others by showing that dreams don’t just “come” to us. We have to actually do the work and attend to all the details along the way to will — and birth — them into existence.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • How Ann got started with turning her dreams into reality and some of the personal challenges she has faced along the way [3:47]
  • The way she has been able to “turn her mess into a message” [5:18]
  • Where your big dreams will come from and the importance of visualizing, while not getting too attached to the outcome [7:28]
  • How Ann built her confidence and what doing this showed her daughter [12:48]
  • Her inspiring story of how she gets celebrity endorsements for her cause [15:26]
  • What having good help will do for you on your own journey [24:07]
  • Why visualization isn’t enough and the role that hard work will have to play [28:13]
  • Ann’s tips for someone not feeling worthy enough to pursue their dreams [31:54]

For More Information:






Resources Mentioned:

Frogs for the Cure on Facebook

Josh Groban’s, Brave (Official Video)

28: The Epidemic of Loneliness In the Workplace and How To Cure It, with Mike Stallard

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne


“Big dreams don’t come to us until we’re a little more seasoned.” [3:54]

“I had choices to make, in a moment of great vulnerability, and the choice was either to stay and accept what was status quo, or to imagine what could be the biggest and scariest thing I could do.” [10:23]

“In a challenging situation, you don’t have to choose what’s familiar. You can choose what’s difficult and then on the other side of the decision, you can be a different person.” [15:21]

“The answer is building a group around you that can help you.” [24:07]

“I just needed to hear somebody say ‘you can do this.’ I thought I could, but it was so critical for me to have the cheerleaders.” [26:54]

“Showing up means attending to the details in the plan and working many hours to get big dreams to happen.” [29:12]

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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