Jackie Woodside: Raise Your Money Vibe

I first crossed paths with Jackie Woodside when I discovered her book, Calming the Chaos, A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather Than Your Time. 

This was during a time when I was juggling kids, jobs, travel, and my dad battling cancer. I found calm through meditation, and by eliminating stuff off my daily plate. Yet, even today, the ever-overflowing plate is a sign that I need to pick up the book again.

Instead, I’ve picked up Jackie’s brand new book, The Money Vibe.

Her book has appeared in my life at just the right time! Joe and I sold our five-bedroom house and downsized to a townhouse near his work. Abundance is the theme this year–both with a content heart and a growing bank account–so The Money Vibe has showed up right on time.

If you’ve struggled with money, this book is for you. If you want to attract a positive money vibe into your life no matter where you are on your journey, you’ll appreciate what Jackie shares in her book.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Jackie and talk about her books and her life–it was a fun, casual, unscripted conversation!


For more information about Jackie’s courses and coaching: Jackie Woodside


Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. She specializes in helping people unwrap their passion at any age. She’s the author of Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want


*Posts in this website contain affiliate links, which means I earn a few pennies if you purchase things from the links.

Life’s a Gift, Unwrap the Message

The email came out of the blue.

“I wanted to let you know that we are using quotes and messages from your book in our Winter Play on December 21st to fit the theme ‘Life’s a gift, unwrap the message. I know you live out in Chicago, but wanted to share the invitation with you, just in case you were able to attend. If you can’t attend, maybe you could VP with us in the near future just so that the students can put a face to your amazing work. Lastly, we wanted to thank you for the courage it took for you to write this book (Unwrapping Your Passion) and for sharing it with us. We were inspired!”

The email came from Heather Hapke, a transition teacher at the Rocky Mountain Deaf School. Heather came to a book signing for Unwrapping Your Passion at the Barnes & Noble in Golden, Colorado back in September.  She shared bits and pieces from the book with her students.

December 21. It was so close to Christmas. It would be crazy to go…

But…I’m a big believer in synchronicity. I believe things happen for a reason. It’s a lesson I learned from the many mentors I learned from when I wrote Unwrapping Your Passion.  Opportunities show up in our life and when they are meant to be, they fall into place.

So I reached out to Southwest Airlines and explained the opportunity. Go, they said. We’ll make it happen for you. 

It was a beautiful morning when we arrived at Midway to board our flight. My oldest son David was flying from Washington D.C. and meeting us out there. At the last minute, the hubby had to stay home–he was recovering from surgery and still not quite steady enough on his feet to attend.

The Rocky Mountain Deaf School was the brainchild of Cliff Moers, the Director of the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The school began in 1997 with just 11 students. The current school was built in 2014 and today, it is home to nearly 70 students, providing instruction in American Sign Language and English.

Our first stop was in the high school to meet up with Heather and talk to the students about #Passion. The students eagerly gave us a tour of the building and it was easy to see that they took a lot of pride in their school. Every inch of the space was designed specifically for deaf students, by a deaf architect working with a design firm. For example, the floor in a social area is designed so that students can stomp their feet to get the attention of another student, even from a distance. The classrooms are arranged in a semi-circle so that students can communicate easily. The hallways are wide and open–so that signs can be seen from several areas.

Rocky Mountain Deaf School is not a residential school–students are bused to and from home each day. All of the staff are fluent in American Sign Language and the majority of staff are deaf.

The play featured students from preschool to fifth grade. My co-worker from Hands & Voices, Jeannene, introduced me to a young girl who played a Lion. As I watched the student on stage, she confidently advocated to have one of the lights moved as it was blinding her and her classmates during their performance. The ability to advocate for oneself is a coveted skill and this student owned it.


Afterwards, I signed a few books and donated the rest to RMDS to use as a fundraiser. The next day, we took a tour of Flagstaff mountain before heading home to celebrate Christmas.


Choosing Passion Over Fear

“Are there any alligators in this lake?”

I was down in Florida, about to take a barefoot water ski lesson from a two-time World Barefoot Champion. The thought of alligators didn’t cross my mind until that moment. I was about to get into a lake that averaged 600 alligators per square mile…

And I was scared.

“Alligators don’t come near the boat because the engine scares them away,” my instructor reassured me.

My passion for the sport of barefoot water skiing was about to outweigh fear. I put my feet on the water, stood up, and felt a joy that had been buried for too many years.

When you do something you’re passionate about, you are willing to challenge yourself to do more than you ever thought you could do — you step way, way, way out of your comfort zone when you live on the edge.

I was hooked, but there was just one problem — the more lessons I took, the more the fear escalated. When I floated in the water while waiting for the boat to pick me up, I imagined hungry 13-foot alligators slithering underneath.

Then the nightmares began.

At three in the morning, I was jolted awake by the image of an alligator with a wide-open mouth about to snap down on me.

I contemplated giving up the lessons and skiing in lakes that were alligator free — but that would mean giving up passion over fear.

“You need to face your fears,” the World Barefoot Champion told me. “You need to see them for the magnificent creatures they are.”

“Are you crazy! I can’t do that!”

I shuddered at the very thought.

All fear stems from the imagined and the unknown. The human mind is very powerful in dreaming up scenarios that feed on fear. Yet, the only way around fear is smack dab through it.

And here’s the thing: You attract what you fear. How do I know this? Because alligators started showing up in my life left and right.

A few years later, I started barefooting with Ken Cowles — who is known as The Gator Guy. He’s a state licensed alligator trapping agent. He’s the guy you call when a wayward gator gets stuck in your pool.

“We need to conquer that fear you harbor,” he told me one day. Then he hauled out a ten-foot gator and made me sit on it.

I was shaking for a long, long time afterwards.

The act of getting upfront close to the very thing that I feared most was cathartic. I discovered I had the courage to do the very thing I was extremely frightened of.

There’s a part of you that comes alive when you do something that you think you cannot do and you get to the other side of it.

If you’re holding back in life because of fears that you harbor within you, it’s time to get clear on what you WANT in your life, not what you fear.

Choose passion over fear.


Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. For a daily dose of passion, follow her on Instagram at The Passion Academy.  To unwrap your own passion, grab the book, Unwrapping Your Passion.

50 States for My 50’s: Minnesota

“I’m heading to Minneapolis for work and I’m looking for a pull.”

My friend, Paul Oman, a competitive barefoot water skier, responded quickly to my Facebook request. I was on a quest to barefoot water ski in all 50 states for my 50th decade. Minnesota would be my twelfth state on my 50 States for my 50’s tour.

Paul and I met at my first barefoot tournament up in Wisconsin several years ago.  I was immediately impressed by his performance on the water.  Paul learned to barefoot water ski when he was 40. He shared some of his memories with me:

As a youth, I was fascinated by barefoot skiers at ski shows and dreamed about doing that some day.  When I finally got a boat fast enough to pull me footing, I tried a few ski step offs and took hard falls that made me put that dream on hold. 
Later in life, at the age of 40, I learned about new tools (the barefoot boom) that make learning much easier and found a local ski school that let me try it.  I made a tumble around start on my first try  and was hooked.   Ending that first run wasn’t as pretty.  The instructor told me to let go and I immediately caught a toe and took a hard fall.  The instructor asked “That hurt didn’t it?” When I replied “darn right it did” he said “now I’m going to show you how to stop.” 
I got a boom for my boat and used it often but the boat didn’t go fast enough for me to do very much. I looked into getting a better barefoot boat and heard about local tournaments.  I went to my first tournament just to check out the boat and did my trick run (a single wave) in front of a big crowd.  Everyone had gathered to watch Jon Kretchman, who followed me in the running order.  We were both in classes of our own – me as a raw novice and he as a top pro. 
I continued going to tournaments to watch all the skiing and get tips and enjoy hanging around with all the great skiers.  I’ve always been impressed with how helpful other skiers are – even with their competitors.


At 64 years of age, Paul tackles the sport like a 20-year-old. He continually learns new things and pushes himself to reach new levels of skill. He is one of the few seniors who jump competitively in tournaments.

“I started taking lessons from pros to ensure I wouldn’t develop bad habits,” Paul said.  “Ron Scarpa, the four-time World Barefoot Champion, talked me into trying jumping.  I thought it was silly, because I didn’t expect to ever jump in a tournament, but I trusted his judgement.  Ron had incredible patience and taught me to jump in very gradual stages–and that ultimately led to setting a national record. My first tournament jump was in 2002.  It was unremarkable except that, until just recently when I set the national Men 6 jump record in 2015, it was the longest jump of my career–maybe it was beginner’s luck?”

The weather was absolutely wonderful when Paul and I stepped outside on a Friday morning and headed down to the dock. There was a light wind, just enough to create a ripple on the water, and it was getting a little rough in the middle of the lake.

“I’ve got a spot where we can always find calm water,” Paul reassured me.

I had not barefooted much over the summer so I was truly out of shape, but I enjoyed the runs. It was just the two of us in the boat, so we took turns driving and barefooting.

Paul decided to go backwards behind the boat. I was a little nervous at first, as I had only driven that kind of pull once before, but Paul was a pro and got up with ease.

Before I left, I gave Paul a copy of Unwrapping Your Passion and he looked at the book with hesitation.

“I don’t really read books,” he said.

“That’s okay, just skim through it and you can give it to someone else,” I said.

A few days later, I was delighted to learn that Paul enjoyed the book!


A special thank you to Phonak for making it possible to barefoot water ski around the country!

The One Question to Guide You

There’s one simple question that will provide the answers you need to many of life’s questions: 

“How do you want to live?”

We only have a short amount of time on the planet, yet we gamble through each day like we’re going to be around forever. 

Create a whole new way to live by honoring your answers. 

Do you dread the years ahead of you because you fear growing older? Let this “Old Lady” show you a whole new way to live:

Outside the Wake

Embrace Your Weirdness

Lori Moreno of Ambassadors VIP posted a question:

If you could go back and tell your young self something, what would it be?

I was pondering this question during a 3:45 a.m. ride to the airport.

My response was simple: Stand out. Embrace your weirdness. Share your gifts.

Stand Out

I grew up hard of hearing. Every single day I struggled in school to appear as “normal” as possible. As the only kid with a hearing aid, I measured myself against people with normal hearing and I couldn’t do the things that they could do (group conversations, music, talk in the dark) with ease. 

As a result, I always felt “less than.”

It wasn’t until I became deaf that I learned to step comfortably into my authentic self. I was no longer afraid to show my hearing aids (yes, I added a second one.) 

In fact, they’re now beautiful pieces of art,

Yeah, I wish my younger self knew that place of authenticity that says, “This is who I am.”

There’s a line in the movie, What a Girl Wants, that says:

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”

The worse thing you can do is blend in with everyone else. When you do that, you squelch your own passion. You diminish your unique touch in the world.

The world doesn’t need carbon copies. The world needs you. 

Embrace Your Weirdness

We all have habits, quirks, and unusual stuff that we are passionate about. In a world of mass conformity, this might seem…weird. 

What if, instead of trying to stuff your square (or hexagon) self into a round hole, what if you embraced your weirdness instead? 

When you conform to other people’s expectations or judgments of you, you’re swinging like an untethered sail in the wind. What’s more, a sailboat moves forward against the wind. So tether your weirdness and move forward. 

My ultimate favorite shoes are Vibram Five Fingers. I wear them everyday. One morning I showed up at a breakfast meeting with a friend who is a business coach. The shoes clearly made her uncomfortable. 

“Never wear those in public with me again,” she said. 

At first, I felt ashamed. I silently berated myself for not appearing more businesslike in public. 

Fortunately for me, the feeling didn’t last long. Those weird shoes have climbed to a peak in Colorado, perched the edge of a cliff in Nebraska, walked through a waterfall in Oregon, water skied on the Fox River, and endured a triathlon in Naperville. 

Weird has brought me a wonderful life. 

Share Your Gifts

I wish my younger self would have recognized the unique talents, skills, and abilities within me. I would have tapped into them right away instead of putting them off for years. 

You are as unique as your fingerprint. That means there’s no one in the whole wide world who can be you. 

So stop hiding your talent. Don’t let fear cloud your growth. If you’ve become dull and stagnant from repetitive routine–shake things up. Dust off your creativity. Approach life with a whole new wonder and a beginner’s mind. Do the stuff that your younger self is screaming for. 

Become a kid again

The Greatest Relationship-Building Tool


dad dying


When my father died, I received a card that changed my life. You see, just a few days before he passed, I posted a picture of our hands clasped together. A friend saw the picture, put it on the front of a card, and sent it to me with heartfelt words of condolences inside.

I received many beautiful cards from friends, but this one had me in tears. No store-bought card could hold a candle to the card that held a precious picture capturing my father’s last days.

“How did you do that?” I asked.

Turns out, she used a revolutionary company that is changing the whole greeting card and gift industry. I immediately became a distributor. (And yes, if you click on that link, it will take you to my distributor page.)

But the real reason I’m sharing this here is to explain how this simple act of sending cards can change your life and lead you to some awesome relationships. Because you see, when you send a card or gift to someone, you’re probably going to brighten up their day– and perhaps even change THEIR life, too. Most of our trips to the mailbox often involve junk mail or bills, so receiving a heartfelt card will bring some awesome energy to someone’s day.


Think back to the last time you INTENDED to send someone a card. Perhaps you wanted to say thank you, or celebrate a special occasion, or reach out in support…but the moment passed and then you just became too dang busy to run to the store, sit down and write, and then drop it off at the post office.

Or maybe you didn’t have any stamps…

Now, imagine this instead:

You’ve met someone new and you want to stay in touch. You’ve got this great selfie you took together. No problem–you whip out your card app on your phone, slap the selfie on the top of the card, write a cool paragraph with heartfelt words (in your own handwriting font, imagine that!!), click on their address, and send the card.

A few days later, this person gives you a call, texts you, or reaches out through Facebook and you’ve connected again.

Yup, you now have the greatest relationship-building app right on your phone!

And you can get it here:  Cards Anywhere



Soulotravel, Travel that Feeds the Soul

Last year, I took a personality test and the results surprised me. 


At first, the letters meant nothing. Despite two college degrees in counseling, I hadn’t paid attention to psychological tests in my training. After reading the description of this personality type, so many parts of my life suddenly clicked into place.

Growing up hard of hearing, I struggled to fit in and be like everyone else with normal hearing. I felt like I was weird. I spent hours at the library alone, devouring books instead of going to parties. Parties were both energizing and exhausting at times. I wanted to be liked by everyone, yet sometimes I was quiet and withdrawn. I always blamed my hearing loss. 

If only I could hear I would be more _____.

I’ve been told I’m too sensitive. “You need to toughen up,” a friend once told me. 

When I saw the explanation of the INFJ results after taking the personality test, everything clicked into place. All of a sudden I understood why I was “weird.”

Only one percent of the population has an INFJ personality. Here’s a blog post that explains more: Secrets of the INFJ Personality Type.

I love people, yet I get my energy from being alone. 

In the last several years, I’ve traveled alone often–speaking at schools, corporations, and conferences. I love travel. I’m so thankful for my husband who completely gets me and is supportive of what I call “Soulotravel.”

Yes, travel revives my soul. I need the mountains, the sun, and water–any type of water I can get. 

Right now I’m in Florida, housesitting for a friend and working on another book. My soul is completely content and I feel my reserves filling up nicely. My head is clear and I’m able to focus on my writing. 

If you love to travel but you keep putting it off because you have no one to go with–wait no more. Plan a trip. Be open to what the universe delivers to you in the process. You will meet people. You will see things you’ve never seen before. You will return with a mind so expanded that you will yearn for more. 

Soulotravel may not be for everyone, but if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and take a trip alone, you may find that you discover a whole new side of you that you’ve never experienced before. 

You Can’t Plan Adventure

I’ve entered a new season on the parenting journey: I’m now a mom of three young adults. This phase has required a shift in my parenting experience, one that requires a new skill set. It requires letting go and stepping back versus the heavy guidance of earlier years. 

And it’s hard. 

I keep wishing I could step back in time, to hold them once again as toddlers and revel in the innocence. 

In this season of parenthood, it takes a lot of coordination, plane tickets, and divine timing to gather us all under one roof. We were fortunate to spend Christmas together this year followed by a vacation in the Caribbean. 

I love to travel. I especially love being in new places that feed my soul, especially with nature. To travel with my family is always the ultimate trip for me. 

This year, we joined a cruise with my son’s girlfriend’s family and their friends. It was a magical blend of different ages, generations, deaf, hearing, and backgrounds. 

Memories are not made of things, they are made of experiences: the way you feel, the people you meet, the knowledge you acquire, and the discoveries that appear on your path.

Before we left, I posted the Instapic below on my Instagram feed.

“You can’t plan adventure,” my daughter said. “Adventure is spontaneous.”

I get what she means. Adventure is often associated with the unknown and unplanned that unfolds in life. 

But without vision and dreams, one blithely goes about the daily routine without much spark, passion, and yes, adventure. 

Adventure requires taking action and there’s some planning that goes into it. This means clarity is required–by beginning with the idea that you will invite adventure into your life and stay open to new opportunities for adventure. 

Some of the best adventures come from spontaneous moments–of embracing an opportunity and choosing to experience it. 

Here’s to an adventurous year! 

The Best Podcasts With Transcripts

There’s nothing more frustrating to a deaf person than seeing what looks like an awesome podcast–and no way to access it. As a deaf person, I obviously can’t listen to podcasts, but because podcasts are one of the best ways to learn new things and meet new people, I truly appreciate those that come with complete transcripts.

I have found that people with normal hearing also appreciate transcripts, for if they are short on time, they will look through a transcript before committing their time to listen to the full podcast.

Another big advantage for podcasts that have transcripts: transcripts show up in web searches.

Over the last several years, I’ve been “listening” to podcasts via transcripts. Here are some of the best:


Jaime Masters, The Eventual Millionaire 

Jaime Masters interviews millionaires to discover their secrets and how they rose to the top.


Luis Congdon and Kamala Chambers, Thriving Launch

Luis and Kamala feature interviews from well-known individuals in the self-help field, such as Jack Canfield, Gretchen Rubin, and more.


Michael Hyatt, Lead to Win

Michael Hyatt provides tips on how you can live your best life as well as leadership strategies for those in the corporate world.


Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income

Pat was one of the earliest podcasters to add transcripts. Pat covers a variety of topics related to earning money from the internet to interviews with well-known web personalities.


Tim Ferriss Show

Tim is known as the “Four Hour Work Week” guy. To get the transcripts, you do have to trade in your email address to access them.



Anything and everything is discussed in this daily podcast.


Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. She specializes in helping others unwrap their passion at ANY age. She is the author of Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want.