Meet Dr. Cynthia Barnett
Billy and I "met" Dr. Cynthia Barnett via a
teleconference call while we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she was 12 time
zones away in her Connecticut home. (Listen to our 30 minute
with Dr. Cynthia Barnett) Her enthusiasm about life and her warm heartedness
struck us right away, and over the months that followed, we have kept in
Respectful, supportive and sharp-as-a-whip,
Cynthia exudes the confidence of a woman who knows who she is and what she
wants. Please join us in this oh-too-short interview with Dr. Cynthia Barnett.
RetireEarlyLifestyle: Cynthia, from your very first email to us,
I enjoyed your enthusiasm and clarity of mind. You are the sort of person I
would love to have as a life-friend and neighbor. Could you tell us a little
about yourself, and your experience professionally and personally?
Dr. Barnett: Forty years ago I arrived in the United States
from the tiny island nation of St. Vincent in the West Indies with no money, no career guidance and no resources, but I had a BIG DREAM - to
get the best education that this country had to offer. I had no idea how that
was going to happen, however I was willing to do whatever was necessary to
achieve my DREAM.
Working in a pen factory inserting the ink in
ball point pens, cleaning houses, filing documents for an insurance company,
waiting tables in a convalescent home were just some of the jobs I took to get
Many obstacles stood in my way and I often
felt overwhelmed, but I always saw the light at the end of that tunnel - the
fulfillment of my dream. Some of the obstacles included a divorce after 12
years, very little money to support three children, being a single mother, low
self-esteem, excessive weight gain, etc.
Through persistence, hard work, and constantly
working on my personal development, I achieved my dream of earning the highest
degree in my career field and putting all three of my daughters through college.
My first daughter is an attorney, my second daughter a freelance surface design
artist, and my third daughter is a teacher.
I am still in the process of fulfilling my
destiny to reach out and help other women fulfill their DREAMS by
removing their dreams from the back burner and putting them on the front burner
of their lives so that they, too, could rediscover a life of passion, peace,
clarity and happiness.
I am confident that my experiences will prove
to be valuable resources for those who seek my advice in Re-Firement. The
strategies I implemented in my life worked for me and have been working for all
the people I come in contact with through coaching, workshops, retreats, and
REL: Cynthia, through our chats I sensed your
commitment and determination in life - two characteristics that I also value. I
can only imagine the days and nights in which you kept your dream alive for
yourself as well as your daughters, and I admire that greatly. You must feel a
remarkable satisfaction in having achieved your dreams. Can you tell us, what
motivates you in life?
Dr. Barnett: My calling in life is my great motivator. I
have been called to teach, motivate and inspire others to live their
optimum lives. I do this in various formats such as individual coaching, group
coaching, retreats, being a cruise lecturer, and my newest venture,
Life After Teaching Expo
The web site has not been built yet, but it will be up shortly.
REL: I understand what you mean. I often say
that when we retired, the only thing we put up on the coat rack were our jobs.
Having all this available time to do what we wanted to do and what was truly
motivational to us personally, simply fired us up! What made you decide this
Re-Fire, Don't Retire approach was what you wanted to do?
Dr. Barnett: This approach came from my belief that one
ought never to think of just retiring in the old fashioned sense. This time of
our lives is the great opportunity to take our dreams off the back burner and
put them on the front burner, to truly follow our dreams, to give back to
society and to find and follow our true calling, to enjoy life to the maximum,
hence my mantra Re-Fire, Don't Retire.
REL: We couldn't agree more! Tell us, what makes you different from other
lifestyle coaches? How would you describe you what do?
Dr. Barnett: What separates my service from other
retirement planners is that I specialize in the personal, non-financial aspects
of retirement such as helping my clients ignite forgotten dreams, finding their
mission and purpose for a meaningful life. My clients receive proven, specific
step-by-step information on exactly what they need to do to create the lives
they want. As a result, those who work with me create extraordinary lives
easily, effortlessly and with joy.
They learn how to:
Create action plans that suit their lives
with the support and assistance of someone who believes in them.
Focus their inner passions and desires
into valuable goals.
Convert their retirement into an enjoyable
and rewarding time of change.
REL: Having one's dreams come true requires that
we be clear about what our dream actually is. Taking action, focusing on the
inner passion of one's life and having a support system is so important. With
the people who come to you, what do you find to be the most common fears
Dr. Barnett: Most people seem to concentrate on the
numbers,-- how much money they would have, etc. They neglect to take the time to
figure out what they would do with their time. So they find themselves keeping
busy -- sometimes just being busy to be busy -- to idle the time away. Rather, I
think the focus should be on doing what they just love to do and staying
focused on what they love to do. That is what I consider to be their
REL: No doubt, being motivated by what we love
in our lives is such a powerful draw. That is why Billy and I travel so much.
Seeing the world from different windows, from different eyes, cultures and
customs make us feel ALIVE. We just don't tire of it, and we were
motivated to share our stories and photos. This is how our website was born, and
then after that, our book,
The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement.
I know you give your seminars on cruise
ships. What a FUN way to teach! What kind of people do you meet there?
Dr. Barnett: It is definitely a fun way to teach and to
inspire and motivate. The people who come to these seminars are looking for ways
to enhance their lives, to move to their next level. My Happiness Class
is the most popular. I have learned that people want to be happy but don't
realize that to be happy takes work, focus and a willingness to create space for
it to happen. The tools I teach are so simple that many people ignore them, such
as being grateful and living in the NOW.
REL: Extolling the benefits of being grateful
and living in the NOW puts you in pretty powerful company, Cynthia! Those strong
internal perceptions are life-changing, and allow the good of Life to come in.
Let me ask you. Since you are having such a
good time in your new life after teaching, would you consider yourself retired?
And what can you say about being productive while in retirement?
Dr. Barnett: Since I don't believe in the word "retire" I
am definitely not retired. In fact I think the word "retire" should be
retired! I am definitely living a "re-fired" life.
I feel that living a productive life is being
productive by doing what you most love to do -- finding and doing what brings
you joy. I have always been very focused on my intentions so for me, this second
phase of productivity is at its highest level.
My newest venture is producing the Life
After Teaching Expo which will take place in June, 2007. I left public
education three years ago and have since found that many of my colleagues,
including me, did not know of the many services and resources that the community
had to offer for this second phase of life. So I created the Life After
Teaching Expo to show them all the resources available under one roof in
one day to help them expand their horizons. There will be vendors and speakers
on various topics. It will take place at the local community college and part of
the proceeds will be given to two students who want to become teachers.
REL: Cynthia, how inspiring! And how effective
and generous of you! You are certainly a model for being Re-Fired. How can
people get in touch with you and your services?
Dr. Barnett: People can call me at 203-855-9714 or e-mail
REL: Thank you, Cynthia, for taking the time to
answer our questions, and for sharing your life and perspectives with us. The
people whose lives you have touched must be so grateful! I know we are.
To read more
interviews with Expats, Early Retirees and Interesting Characters,
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of
finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991.
They wrote the popular books,
The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and
Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
information about financial independence and travel, visit our
Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha