PP 152: The Spiritual Plight Of An Entrepreneur with Dave Kehnast
Quick Show Notes: Dave Kehnast
Dave Kehnast shares his incredible entrepreneurial journey, including how watching The Secret changed the course of his life, his Why, what Ontology is, and his thoughts on the spiritual plight of the entrepreneur.Dave Kehnast shares his entrepreneurial journey with @thekimsutton, including how watching The Secret changed his life, what Ontology is, and his thoughts on the spiritual plight of the entrepreneur. https://thekimsutton.com/pp152 #podcastClick To Tweet
Episode Transcription – Dave Kehnast
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to the Positive Productivity podcast. I am so happy you are here to join us today.
I’m also thrilled to have Dave Kehnast. Dave is an ontological life and business coach from Kehnast Coaching. Dave, thank you for joining us today. I’m so happy to have you.
Dave Kehnast: Yeah. Thank you so much, Kim, for spending time with me today. It’s truly an honor.
Kim Sutton: Oh, you’re so welcome. Dave. I know I’m not the only one who’s wondering what ontological means. So can you share a little bit more about your background, how you became a coach, and what ontological actually means?
Dave Kehnast: Yeah, well, it’s the reason I became a coach in 2011. So, I’ve been coaching almost for almost seven years, and the the way it went down is I… I was working for a software company. I’d worked there for about two years now, up until up in, you know, but between 2005 and 2008 is an entire story in and of itself. But I landed the software sales job in 2008. I worked there for about two and a half years, and I become relatively successful.
Dave Kehnast: I’m not a… I’m not a great salesman by any stretch. I’m a… I’m just a hard working salesman, so I would always have my numbers, but I just been promoted to a senior executive regional whatever of whatever territory and… and it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.
Dave Kehnast: And I had seen… You know… Somebody introduced me to the movie, The Secret, you know, the law of attraction movie, and I watched it and I really got inspired by it and I started kind of blowing up my sales numbers and I started doing really well.
Dave Kehnast: And then I kind of asked myself started to ask myself some bigger questions like what’s what’s really possible? Do I want to wake up at six in the morning every day and take the train tp downtown Chicago and you know, take up 50 plus hours of my, of my week? I dedicate 50 plus hours of my week to work. And in early May of 2010, I just said to heck with it, and I just I just quit. I submitted a letter of resignation, didn’t look back.
Dave Kehnast: I spent the summer of 2010 in this sort of journey of spiritual and self exploration and I was led by the universe to a an ontological coach training program, and the company was called Accomplishment Aoaching. They’re actually based here in San Diego where I live, but I went through their program in Chicago, and I had never heard of ontology or what ontological means, either.
Dave Kehnast: But it’s very simply the study or exploration of being. So I coach people to the way that they are being not so much what they’re doing. Does that make sense?
Kim Sutton: It totally makes sense.
Dave Kehnast: So it’s like if you wanted to be a, you know, the most successful coach….
So I’m a surfer. So I talk about surfing surfer, basketball player, whatever in the world, or if you just wanted to be one that you know, it’s a satisfactory one. The question is, who do you need to be versus what do you need to do? Right?
Dave Kehnast: So what do you need to do is, you need to show up to practice every day. You need to get in the ocean every day. But there’s a way that I need to be that precedes what I’m doing. So you always want to coach to the way a person is being. And that’s a really confusing question.
Dave Kehnast: When I first present to people they say… Well, I ask them, how are they being and they say, “What do you mean? How am I being?”
Like, well, it’s very simple. How are you being and they’ll very often answer while I’m being called, or I’m being anxious, or I am being angry at my spouse or whatever it is. So you just kind of want to start with with engaging with the being of a person and, you know, I relate to it spiritually.
Dave Kehnast: So I really see it as the being of a person being the soul or the spirit of a person. But if a person doesn’t speak a spiritual language, and that’s perfectly fine, now we just work with there being.
Kim Sutton: So are those the two types of answers that you’re looking for, though? I am peaceful, I am angry. Is that the type of being or is there something deeper than that?
Dave Kehnast: I think it really comes down to is your spirit aligned? How is your spirit aligned with the universe and you want to really bring your your spirit into communion with what I did very simply call God and have that lead you… Connect that that deepest part of yourself with something greater.
You get access to inspiration and your inspirations are just going to lead you in the direction of your dreams.
Kim Sutton: I love this and I’m so intrigued. I… I’m going to have to go study more. So any resources that you can possibly give would be incredible.
Dave Kehnast: Oh, absolutely happy to take the conversation offline as well.
Kim Sutton: Listeners have heard that I’ve actually just been reading — And in full disclosure, I’ve been reading it for months because I often read multiple books at the same time — I’ve been reading The Power of I am by Joel Osteen. And while it’s a very, it’s, it’s coming in from the Christian angle. It’s really talking about who we are, and telling ourselves and reminding ourselves that we are an amazing being. Right?
Kim Sutton: So even from the Christian perspective, it sounds like it’s very in line with ontologically How did you say it? Ontological?
Dave Kehnast: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: But you said, what was that ontology? tautology?
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Dave Kehnast: Well the beautiful thing about ontology and ontological explorations is it actually will fit into any type of religious and or spiritual paradigm, but it also works completely outside of it. Right?
Dave Kehnast: That’s the beauty of it. Because if you know for me if I… if I… If a client speaks a spiritual language, it makes it a heck of a lot easier for me to really tune into their being, you know? Because you can start to ask them questions like, what does God want for you here? How does who does God want you to be in this particular situation? Right? And it kind of… It’s almost like the, it can just it’s it’s like the trump card I guess, because it just really can dumbed down the entire conversation really quickly, and then get them into action from a really inspired place.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. I want to back up a little bit when you were introduced to The Secret what was going on in your life right then?
Dave Kehnast: I was a… I was an inside account inside sales account executive for a, you know, relatively successful software company that was based in Chicago. And I was I was just kind of working the grind, you know? And… And, you know, one of the I have, you know, you’re not going to talk to me for more than five minutes without me bringing up surfing but I was actually a lake michigan surfer.
I didn’t even know that was possible.
Yeah, we surf on late we learned how to surf on Lake Michigan in the wintertime. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. When I started surfing crazy, crazy cold. But, but that’s what was really going on. There was this sort of inner struggle between what I wanted to be doing with my time how I wanted to be spending my time Which was in the lake, and what I had to be spending my time doing, which was making money for the software company and I really got kind of toward. And ultimately, I mean, that’s what I what I’ve done now is created my life around doing the thing that I love to do the most, which is to get into the ocean and essentially play around like a little kid. But that that’s sort of what was going on. There was this sort of tug of war between what I wanted to be doing and what I had to be doing. And that was sort of like that internal struggle that conflict was, you know, what inevitably fueled my fire to fuel fuel the fire for me to walk away from the unsatisfying existence that I was living?
If you could go back to early 2000s and introduce yourself to the secret. I don’t even know if it had been out at that time. I’ll have to research that earlier. Would you? Or do you think your life went how it was supposed to happen?
My life has been divinity unfolding. For the past, since 2007, my life has really just been this really fascinating process of self and spiritual discovery. And I can’t see the bulk of my life having been written any other way. So yeah, it’s a really, it’s it’s almost like a chicken or the egg, kind of a conversation. It’s not exactly the perfect way to articulate it, but it’s almost as if it’s so perfect the way it is. Now, I can’t imagine going back and changing it.
So what does your life look like now? What does it do you have a typical day or does it just flow how it goes and
yeah, no, you it’s um, it’s, it’s got some routine to it. I typically wake up, you know, seven 715-640-5777 15, something like that and have my coffee do my morning prayers and meditation and then I grabbed my surfboard and I walk across the street and I serve usually from eight until 10 maybe 730 930 usually spent try to spend about two hours in the ocean every day. And I get back and I go to my favorite coffee shop and I have my so I have my pre my pre surfing coffee and my post surfing coffee. So I go and have my like post surfing coffee after that and just, you know, hang out with particular with hang out with people in the community here in Encinitas, California. And then I’ll typically have anywhere between one and three clients in the afternoon. So usually start working with my clients around noon, and just try to get a solid chunk of, of work done in the afternoons. I don’t like to work in the mornings. And then yeah, and then just kind of go where the day takes me from there. So I tried to get out at night and see people and go to social events and do some business networking and and things like that. But I live I live a relatively laid back existence by a lot of people’s standards, which is why I can’t send any of
my kids out to you.
But I mean, even with all my kids, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Here. Although it its listeners in the pre chat, they’ve got to hear a little mini meltdown from a sixth grader. How would you say you? I’m going to try to use your own lingo on you? And I could fail. But how are you being like right now?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m being a little bit nervous because I’m here on here on this, this call with you, you know, so I’m, it’s kind of like right now I’m right on the edge of my comfort zone. Right. So I’m being you might say, I’m being a little bit of being a little bit adventurous hero engaging with you in this podcast conversation and I’m being a stand for other people’s possibility. I hope to be an inspiration to others. And I hope to be a person who can who can take a stand. You know, for some of your listeners at some point.
In our pre chat you were talking about how you if I’m reading this properly, you’re like a Yoda. Coach, yeah, up till now people have had to find you. Because you haven’t done much marketing. Do you try? Or do you just do
whenever I’m caught up in trying something, it tends to not work, you know, but yeah, do or do not. I mean, those are those are fascinating Words To Live By. No Do or do not do. Yeah. So yeah, I like to relate to myself as as much more of a doer than a Trier, a lot of the success I’ve had in business as a coach, and there’s still plenty of room for me to grow in and I’m not gonna you know, lie about that but has been based on just very fundamental decisions that I made like I’m going to I am going to make this work. I am going to be successful at coaching. I am going to give my gift. Now I’m going to try I’m going to try my hardest to be the best Coach I can be, I am going to be the best coach I can be. And that’s just that’s a message to the universe. You’re telling God. And then God says, Okay, I see that you’re serious, you know, and probably throw a little bit of Kurt and throw it throw a few curveballs at you here and, and test you a little bit to see what you’re made of. But it’s in that making that decision to do to making the decision to do not try that it makes people successful or not.
Oh, I can completely relate. In sometimes it feels like the closer we are to the top of this mountain, the harder it gets.
Yeah, I hear you on that.
Yeah. It’s a fun journey.
It’s been a challenging week here, but I am and and I have to admit to you and to listeners. I’m surprised that even through this this week, because my upsets are still down, that I’m still smiling and laughing because I know Everything for a reason. So I’m being calm because I know that there is a purpose. Yeah. What is the common struggle that you see new clients facing
by absolute perfect clients or people who want to leave, like leave corporate america those are those are fun clients to work with. But it’s, you know, it, it’s the typical scenario is I work 50 or 60 hours per week, and yes, I make good money, but I don’t ever have the time to enjoy it. And they’re very often, you know, time management issues that are happening in their lives. And it’s almost as if life has happened to them. Versus they are there. They’re not really creating, they haven’t really created their lives. They certainly manifested plenty, but it’s almost as if it’s happened to them. So a lot of people you know, I I’m 42 years old. So there’s and and a lot of the people who I went to high school with, I’m still friends with, or at least on social media I’m friends with so a lot of them see what I’m up to. And, you know, my job, like my only marketing is to get people scratching their heads as to what it is that I’ve figured out about the nature of life and the nature of reality. That’s my only that’s, that’s all my marketing is just look at my life. Look at my life. Don’t you wonder how I figured this out. And I just tried to sort of half intentionally half unintentionally plant the seeds into their heads over social media, just with pictures and just being my truly authentic self, as Wayne Dyer would say. And people will come to me very often, you know, in their late 30s to mid 40s, and maybe even early 50s. And all of a sudden they’re in these you know, they they’re all of a sudden they’ve been in these marriages for 10 or 20 years and they’ve got a couple of kids and they never stopped taking ask themselves at an earlier age what it is that they really wanted. And so they’re just kind of fundamentally confused about the nature of life and the nature of existence in general. It’s kind of like they come to me in existential crises, and we just kind of start where they are and help them to sort it out. You know, the the the blanket term for it would be midlife crisis, life happened to me, I’m 40 something and life happened and I’ve got these kids and it didn’t really work out how I planned, you know, Can Can you help me and that’s kind of like a typical client. I don’t really market to a specific niche. But that’s a you know, that’s a relatively frequent scenario.
I can see that. I’ve known quite a few high level corporate executives who fell into the the pattern of spending because it made them feel better and then having to work harder to make the money and then spending more and got caught up in Not necessarily caught up in family life, but sort of lost in it and wound up where the heck am I? And what am I actually doing? And then my happy and wait, hold on a second. No, I’m not. But where do I
go? Can I even go there?
holy cow I am now 5055 60 Yeah.
Yeah. And there’s, you know, there’s, there’s there are plenty of places to go from there people often. You know, one of the fascinating aspects about ontology is that it provides a level of self awareness that results in people gaining access to choices they didn’t realize they had. And it really just starts with meeting a person where they’re at and sort of unpacking all of the stuff that’s been going on, and knowing my initial calls with people, we just sort of unpack their life. Their romances, their finances what’s going on in their work what’s going on in their businesses and we it’s almost as if we’ve taken the their stuff out of a closet, we’ve like pulled it out of the closet. And now we’ve put it on a table in front of us. And in putting the stuff on a table in front of us, we now we now have access to sorting through it and moving it around versus just kind of keeping it locked up, resume in resignation and sort of pretending that it’s not there.
Dave, I was introduced to Abraham Hicks before I was introduced to the secret. And it was a huge aha to be because I had never thought about the fact that I have the power and the right and the ability to determine my own happiness. Like when I was unhappy, I thought it was the world around me causing it. And it didn’t occur to me until that day. I wish I wish I knew the actual day. I know The year it was 2009. And it was like, huge fireworks went off in my brain. Yeah, just wow, I have the right and the power and the ability to make myself happy. And all I have to do is think it. Yeah, I’m happy. And then I’d have to say that the second was that it doesn’t take money to be happy. I always thought that, okay, maybe if I have a million dollars in my bank account, I’ll be happy. But I realized it’s totally possible to be completely happy with 34 cents in your bank account. Yeah, I know. I’ve been there. Yeah, but I mean, we’d all like more money. It will definitely be more comfortable but you can’t tell yourself that you’re not happy. I am being happy, despite not even despite, would no matter how much I happen in there. Yeah. Dave, and I Pre chat you brought up the spiritual plight of the entrepreneur. Can you discuss a little bit further?
Yeah for me entrepreneurship it’s it’s really about freedom. The entrepreneurs are people who do not want to work for other people. And when you can discover for yourself how to be successful in a, you know, the pursuit of something that’s truly meaningful for you, there is something to be discovered regarding the nature of existence in that process. And becoming a successful entrepreneur. It’s just it’s not easy it’s got these trials and tribulations and and challenges and pitfalls and you’re gonna want to quit and you’re gonna want to stop and but but that you know, those that job that no I had a my boss actually I mentioned at the software company, he would always reach out to me and offer me Sales jobs. And I could I did not have the heart to take them. I couldn’t do it, I could not. I got to a point where I couldn’t live my life for anyone but myself. And I don’t mean that in you know, the selfish way that it may sound. But what I was really after was discovering something about the nature of me, the nature of God and the nature of this universe. Now because I haven’t missed a day of surfing and I don’t know how long and that it that’s the reward for for accepting the challenge to become an entrepreneur and everybody’s got their version. That’s just my version. You know, every person who’s seeking out to do something that is an expression of their own heart, their own spirit, their own soul, there’s there’s an in tangible and priceless reward to that.
And that’s how I view entrepreneurship.
I would have to say that my biggest struggle as an entrepreneur came when I was trying to follow the path of other entrepreneurs. So he would ask me then what I was being? If I had been honest, I would have said, I am being a copycat. Got it? Do you see it as a common obstacle for entrepreneurs?
I don’t know. It’s a fine line between a person emulating someone who is successful and and taking bits and pieces. Like we could all learn a thing or two from Steve Jobs, but none of us can be Steve Jobs. So it’s kind of a fine line between taking what we can and leaving the rest. If that makes sense.
That makes absolute sense. And I wish I had talked to you when I was going through that
day, what is your why
I just believe that human beings are the most magical, mystical, creative, loving spiritual masterpieces. And there’s nothing more satisfying to me than to introduce a person to his or her gifts. And to have that person go out and live their life as an expression of the reason God put them here. So it’s my Why has it’s all about waking people up to their essential nature and then supporting them and supporting them going out and living from that place in, in very practical Planet Earth based ways. So I say that I like to introduce people to their own divine nature. But if You were introduced to who you truly are, what type of a career would you have? Would you keep working in that job? Would you quit that job and create that business that you always have been taught? Or that you’ve been talking about? Why would you write that book? Would you start that blog? Right? So if I were to introduce you to your divine nature, what would I see in in very practical ways? No one would be practical about that. And it’s just a really, I mean, more than anything, it’s truly an honor to introduce people to that side of themselves that they might not be aware is even there. And then to walk them through that process of transformation and, and self discovery. It’s just, I don’t know, there’s there’s really no, I don’t think that there could be a greater job in the history of the entire universe than what it is I do.
I hope that answers your question.
Yeah, I can’t think of anything to say. But Wow. Because you’ve just left me speechless. That’s incredible. And I know that listeners are feeling the same right now. So I’m just going to hurry up to what they’re wondering. Where can they find you online and learn more about you?
Yeah, please just um, you know, my website is Dave keenest.com. So it’s da ve ke h. n a s is in SAM t isn’t Tom calm. I love just you know, individually email. So you could just email me at Dave at Dave keenest calm, or David Kaye firstname.lastname@example.org. And it’s interesting. I just have such a unique last name. I think I’m literally the only Dave Keenan so if you just Google my name, you can find all kinds of stuff out about me. But yeah, I just I love when people get in touch with me and now I have plenty of room for consultations. You know, poke them a little ways out but love to just really connect with people and having an additional conversation and if they see something for themselves, you know, we can go from there. But yeah, it’s really just about meeting people exactly where they are finding, you know, what they’re up to where they’d like to get. And the really fun stuff about the coaching is, you know, getting getting into the what’s in the way, you know, what’s in the way of where you are and what you want to be. And that’s kind of my My specialty is really dug digging into that stuff. So, yeah, I’d also just like to plug my podcast, I just started it, but it’s called addiction and redemption, awakening to your hero’s journey. And it looks like my my intro podcast, I’m really just, I’m really just telling the story of how I ended up you know, to be where I am today, and the obstacles that I overcame, and I just it the intention of it is really just to have people look at what their obstacles are, so that they can realize that anything’s possible so you can go on iTunes and find it there as well. It’s called addiction and redemption.
Well, listeners, you’ll be able to find all the links just in case you weren’t able to catch the spelling or if you’re doing If you can find all the links on my website at KIM SUTTON comm forward slash pp. 152. This was amazing.
Yeah. Thanks, Kim. Can I acknowledge you?
Oh, yeah, absolutely.
I really want to acknowledge your authenticity in what you’re doing with your podcast. I love your podcasts, you have the most infectious episodes. I love listening to them. I want to acknowledge your powerful authenticity. As a mother I heard you mothering before our call. So thanks for that. And I really want to acknowledge the way that you have created your life as an expression of who you truly are and who got and for who God wants you to be. So thank you for being you. It’s been truly an honor.
Wow. Thank you. That was amazing. Dave, it’s been an honor having you on the positive productivity podcast today. Do you have any parting words of advice or inspiration that you can offer to listeners
Dave Kehnast: Yeah, just it’s really about getting yourself present enough to pay attention to the inspirations that will effortlessly appear inside your, your experiences of consciousness.
Dave Kehnast: And if you start to honor your inspirations, honor those little ideas that God he she at the universe implants into your head into your being I guess for (?), you’ll start to have a transform experience of what it means to be human. And it doesn’t need to be hard.