Season 1
40 Minutes

Ep. 16 | Kent Schwendy | When Your Mind Switches To WHY NOT NOW

Kent Schwendy, 53, is an Engineer, former US Air Airforce Captain, Champion for Sustainable Housing, Beekeeper and writing his first historical novel. As the CEO of a non-profit in Hartford/CT, the Corporation for Independent Living, Kent helps to create and sustain affordable, accessible and independent housing. The apiary in the back of his garden is home to half a million bees. Kent is also completing the first draft of a historical novel. And he just started teaching a course on beekeeping at Cornell University.

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Kent Schwendy  00:00

You have to be focused and in the moment with the bees, because if you’re not and you make a mistake, they will sting you. They won’t just sting you because they’re mad, they will sting you if you make a mistake. So if I’m not fully present, I get punished for that. So I learned to be fully present and that allowed me to release all the other feelings and it’s, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to put down your troubles, spend some time the bees and then pick the troubles back up.

Achim Nowak  00:34

Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the my fourth act podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your for that? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected for that. Listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started.  I am so happy to welcome Kent Schwendy to the My fourth act podcast. I think of Kent a renaissance man, Kent is an engineer and served as a captain in the US Air Force, where he was deployed as an airbase combat engineer. He was a partner and and vice president in a large engineering firm before joining the Corporation for Independent Living, or CIL. While he has served as CEO for over seven years. The Corporation for Independent Living is a nonprofit in Hartford, Connecticut, that creates and sustains affordable, accessible and independent housing. In addition, Kent is an avid beekeeper. He just started teaching a course on beekeeping at Cornell University. And he is finishing the draft of his first historical novel, I think if can as my why not guest Meaning, if I have the impetus, why not do it now. So welcome, Kent.

Kent Schwendy  02:09

Well, thank you so much for having me, Achim.

Achim Nowak  02:13

It’s great to have you. The focus of our conversation will be on what’s happening in your life right now and new developments and transitions, because that’s the focus of the fourth act. But we always start by going going back a little bit in time. So when you were a young boy or young man, did you did you know who you wanted to be when you grow up? Was there something clear in your mind?

Kent Schwendy  02:38

Well, the as with most people, there’s something very, very clear, but probably very, very wrong as well. I thought I wanted to be in the military, from very early days. And I really think that came from watching old episodes of mash. I love talk guy. He was an expert in his field. But he did just enough to not get kicked out of the military. And that just looked like a lot of fun to me. So I always wanted to do that. And very early on, I decided I want to be an engineer. That that may be a story in itself.

Achim Nowak  03:10

Well, I have to laugh at your military story because you say a military but immediately you wanted to be a renegade in the military. You want it to be the troublemaker got away with a mischief?

Kent Schwendy  03:21

Yeah, I would say I I’m not a nonconformist, but I’m kind of a contrarian. If I see everybody lining up in one place, I think there must be something being missed somewhere else. So I’ve always liked that approach of kind of being on the edge of acceptability. And that’s what I tried to do in the military.

Achim Nowak  03:42

Well, I hope we get back later on in this conversation to the edge of acceptability, because that’s actually a really beautiful place to be, and can be a place of opportunity. But the thing that struck me is that you, I think you’re the first guest I’ve had, who said I wanted to be in the military, and you ended up in the air force, you want to be an engineer, and you became an engineer. So you’ll follow it up on your childhood aspirations, which is interesting. You spent about four and a half years as a captain in the Air Force in an engineering function. As somebody who has not had that experience, what what did you learn about yourself? And what did you learn about leadership? What did you learn about people? Wow,

Kent Schwendy  04:27

so so much. I think one of the primary lessons I learned early on was we were always told to adapt, improvise and overcome that no matter how well you plan for things that we were always taught plan, plan plan. There always was something that changed. The famous quote, of course, is that no plan survives engagement with the enemy. Yeah. And so in the military, we were we were taught to prepare for things and to think and to be ready, but also to be able to adapt and move on the ground and don’t get stuck in one thing. One type of thinking. And to me, that’s been a great life lesson outside of the military. If you are so sure that you’re right about something that you’re not willing to accept, seeing things that don’t support that reality and that belief, then you’re going to continue down that path long after you should have. Yeah, so the ability to change and to accept that change is part of life was something that I really, I really took from the military.

Achim Nowak  05:27

I think the difference between an okay leader and a great leader is that the Great Leader notices faster that something isn’t working. And she or he knows how to adapt and change, right? So if you had to reflect on yourself for a moment, how, how well do you think you do as a human? When it comes to adapting, changing going with a flow? I’m using a whole bunch of different language?

Kent Schwendy  05:55

Well, I think eventually I get there, I often look back and say, I should have seen that sooner. I should have change sooner. Now. But I try not to beat myself up too much. Because it’s really unfair, I think, for anyone to look at themselves or anyone else, and judge them on what you know, today. When you’re looking at an action that they did in the past, the real question is, what did they know that? And how did they use that information? And then, you know, why didn’t they have other information? But to say that they made a wrong decision at that time is usually not true. It’s usually that they had the wrong information at the time.

Achim Nowak  06:36

So because you said at the very beginning that you want to your childhood dreams was to be in the military. You could have seen the Air Force forever, but you didn’t. How did you decide to leave the Air Force?

Kent Schwendy  06:52

Yeah, that was a very, very difficult decision. When I entered the military, I was single, and it was it was easy. only had to worry about myself traveling around coming and going didn’t matter. When I got married, it got more difficult, but I can explain that to my wife, as a combat engineer, I, you know, to disappear, could never say where I was going, couldn’t always say when I’d be back. But she understood that and, and we were fine with it. But when our first child is born, the things changed. Because when I when I got back from Saudi Arabia, and you know, our first child, our oldest daughter was was 10 months old at the time. And she didn’t recognize me, because I’ve been gone so long. And I realized that between that and other deployments, I had been gone for half of her life. And then I walked in, and my commander said, Oh, welcome back. You’re going to go to Bosnia for a year? And I said, No, I’m not. I was at a point at that. Right that in my career, when I only had a six month commitment left. So I took the option to file separation paperwork and left the military. Instead, I’m really glad that there are people because we need them, who can balance family and military commitments? Yeah, but for me, it was just too too big a sacrifice.

Achim Nowak  08:19

And you’re describing in this yoke is an Airforce dilemma. But in my experience in the corporate world, it’s a classic dilemma for very senior executives, where at some point they go, is it worth me being away so much for my children and my spouse, where I start to feel like a stranger when I come back on a Friday. So I applaud you for being nimble. If nimble is a quality, you know, that we talked about, and you’re adapted beautifully and listen to yourself. Word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast, fourth, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. It’s hard to put I think the work you did in engineering with your partnership and with ci l together because they’re very different entities but they both you both are where your engineering heading then one is a for profit, one’s a non for profit. And I want to ask you an impossible question. But let’s try. What are some moments that stand out in a really great way where you go, this is why I’m doing this. You know that this is why I do this. Work, this is why I get up in the morning. But we also have those moments where you where we question why we’re doing what we’re doing visa teams really hard. So can you give us one of each and just just take us to a moment or an event where you go, wow. Yeah, and

Kent Schwendy  10:15

I’m gonna, yes, I will do that. Let me give you one of each from fairly early in my career, because I think as you go through your career, you get to a point where you have more power over which things you’re doing. And so, you know, you’re not always in that situation of saying, oh, someone made me do this, or I can’t believe they let me do this. It’s it’s more self empowering. But early in your career, you don’t have that you do what you’re told. Yeah. And early on, I worked on a very large project that was converting old railroad right of ways into multi use trails connecting Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. So these are all abandoned overgrowing railroad lines, and I had to hike them, in order to find out where they were what needed to be done to fix them, or find out where weapons that had come into existence that need to be permitted. All these different things. And so I spent weeks being dropped off at various locations and hiking all day and being picked up somewhere else. And that’s what I used to do for fun. So I remember several days, putting my backpack out in the morning and heading out thinking I get paid to do this. This is fantastic.

Achim Nowak  11:34

But what as you were on these hikes, though, was there things you had to record things you had to keep track of? Or will you just had, you’d have to look at the conditions of the railroad tracks.

Kent Schwendy  11:44

Yeah, it was work, you know, there were things to do, I had to I had to document things, I had to map things as I went along. Because we’re, we didn’t have good mapping, I had to think through and in some cases come up with sketches for how to fix things. So I remember how to draw it when I got back to the office. So it wasn’t all fun and games, but just the fact that I was getting paid to hike in the woods was an amazing thing to me. And then on the other end of the spectrum, you know, I’m, I’m a member of the Congress for new urbanism, I’m an anti sprawl person, a sustainability specialist. So I believe in sustainable development, and most of the development in America is unsustainable, unlike a lot of the things that you see, like, like in Germany, for example. So, early on, in my career, I got assigned to several projects, including some, you know, big box retail, which are things that I don’t, I don’t really support doing, especially on a Greenfield site, you know, taking what used to be a farm and converting it into a big box retail store, is not my idea of sustainable development. You know, if we need the big box retail, there are other places to put it that can minimize the impact. And so I remember being assigned those and, and complaining to my bosses and my bosses just looking at me and saying, Do you want the job or not? And, you know, so I decided two things in that moment. One was that I was going to, I was going to climb through the corporate ladder, so that I wouldn’t have to do those things. And I was never going to force someone to do something that they didn’t feel was the right thing to be designing. And, and hopefully I’ve been able to, to do that then through my career. But those are, you know, both the good and the bad of, of looking back.

Achim Nowak  13:38

Since you are passionate about sustainable development, and somebody may have listened to you and go, I have a vague idea of what he’s talking about. And I get the idea of not converting farmland into shopping malls. But we do have to build places for more stores, we need more stores. So what would be the solution in your mind, given the scenario you just painted for us.

Kent Schwendy  14:03

And to me, there are really two major aspects. One is to recognize that we need a finite amount of development, even though it is a growing amount. So we shouldn’t just let it spread to anywhere we should define finite limits within which will occur. And then the second thing is that we should look at it in terms of how we can meet our needs without impacting the ability of future generations to meet their needs. And if you can do those two things, and if you’re going to look at life, kind of in that way. You see different potentials, you see the reuse of an existing facility or reconstruction of an area or change the design that don’t follow the prototype that the national chain stores created that offer them an alternative that gives them exactly what they need, but fits into an existing structure that already is there.

Achim Nowak  14:55

That’s the way I look at and this is not a perfect analogy, but When you were talking about railroad tracks, and I’m a former Manhattan Knight, I think of the Highline in Manhattan, you know, these old railroad tracks that were repurposed into a park down elevated park that has become beautiful, both as tourist attraction, but also a source of wellness for people, you know, so the ability of repurposing something that seemed worthless when I lived in New York has become something that adds value to a city, right?

Kent Schwendy  15:32

Yeah, a good friend of mine actually worked on the design of that. And he took me for a walking tour afterwards and explained some of the decisions they had to make and how they had to look at things. And you’re absolutely right. I mean, it came out beautiful. But when you think about the amount of thought that went into making it seem natural, it really was quite an amazing project. Yeah.

Achim Nowak  15:55

I want to do a little leap right now. Because we could easily have an engineering conversation because you’re an engineer. And that’s really, really cool. And the world needs engineers like you who believe in sustainable development. But then there are these facets of you that might surprise somebody who thinks what he’s the engineer guy. And one of the things I’ve known you for a little bit now is when I heard that you are an avid and passionate beekeeper, talk about how your interest in beekeeping started. And follow up then is you know, most people go God bees Sting, you know, I want to be away from bees. And this guy is what taking care of bees. So walk us into that world if you would.

Kent Schwendy  16:44

Well, a little bit of it starts with me being a contrarian. When I was a child, I was deathly afraid of being stung by bees. And so my very contrary nature was that I have to learn that about these creatures. So when I was when I was young, I was fascinated by bees. And I really wanted to be a beekeeper. But that was back before the internet. And I couldn’t figure out how to become a beekeeper.

Achim Nowak  17:10

But I’m going to challenge you a little bit, I get the story. But there are lots of other young boys and girls who are afraid of bees and they don’t go I want to be a beekeeper. To me, that’s not a natural leap. So help me understand how that happened. This is pre internet, pre pre easy research. It just just helped me understand that a little more.

Kent Schwendy  17:32

I guess it’s just part of my personality. If If I anytime something externally kind of pushes against me and makes me makes me feel like I can’t do something or I shouldn’t do something. Yeah, that I just want all the more to be able to do that to show that. I’m the one that gets to choose my fate. So I didn’t like the fact that there’s these little insects could make me decide that I was going to stay inside when I wanted to go outdoors. Okay, so I kind of pushed back but then I started watching them and seeing them first because you know, know your enemy and know yourself, right? I was I was scared of them. So I was watching them. But then I realized that they have really interesting lives. So that was when I started getting books about them and reading and that was when I thought beekeeping would be fun. But I couldn’t figure out how to actually do it. So I just put it out for many years. And then my older daughter was home from college one time and she said I was I was taking a class on sustainability. And we were talking about pollinators and the plight of the pollinators and how, you know, wild bees are suffering and in decline, and there’s so many problems. And we were also talking about, you know, honey bees and how people are keeping honey bees, and that’s helping to fill some of the gaps or maybe it’s causing the problem. What do you think about that? And I said, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned that I always wanted to be a beekeeper, and I just never was. And she said, Well, why don’t you start now? So I said, Yeah, I guess why don’t I start now. So I jumped back into the research and I joined the Connecticut Beekeepers Association, and I learned to be a beekeeper and I got my first piece and I’ve never looked back since.

Achim Nowak  19:18

As a child, I have a very vivid memory of it was 12 years old. We were living in Ankara, Turkey, an exotic place and we went we drove an hour in a very arid dry part of the state the steps to the area there and visiting a bee farm. So I have a memory of that. But to me that was in a faraway exotic place. I’m trying to visualize Hartford Connecticut. Do you have a garden? Do you have like a home where you keep them? Where are they just make it specific for us.

Kent Schwendy  19:51

So I have a what’s called an apiary, which is a yard and it’s in my backyard and it’s a an area that I enclosed with electric To keep the virus from attacking maybes. And I actually have two locations, one is almost at the extreme end of the property because when I first got them, I was thinking, Oh, I have to keep them away from people. And then once I started beekeeping and learned how gentle and wonderful they can be, and how disinterested they are in people, I thought, well, why am I walking that far to get to them, and I kept moving them closer and closer to the house. And so now they’re, they’re about as close as I can get them to the house without them being in the way. And I keep asking my wife if I can bring some indoors for the winter? And she says no. Which is probably the right idea.

Achim Nowak  20:38

yeah. I’m glad you’re listening in the spirit of having a good marriage. So I want to ask some stupid questions, because I really don’t know that. So where my mind is going. First, I want to know how many bees you have? how rapidly do the appropriate and do you have to go feed your beats?

Kent Schwendy  20:59

Well, those are complicated questions, but I’ll give you the fairly simple answers. So right now I have about a half a million bees.

Achim Nowak  21:06

You said half a million, right?

Kent Schwendy  21:08

Yes. Yep. Which is really it’s only about 10 colonies of bees.

Achim Nowak  21:14

Well, let me just say that that’s, that’s probably equivalent to the larger Hartford area residents, right? In bnb, for in the form living in your garden.

Kent Schwendy  21:25

Yes, that’s true. Okay. So as far as you know, like how quickly they they procreate, they really only in the spring will swarm and only in certain conditions. So I can largely control that. I only have about half as many as they did last year, because it was a very difficult winter this year for for honey bees and Connecticut and their massive losses across the state, which is part of the ongoing problem that we’re dealing with. But it’s you know, it is a constant effort to help them keep them alive. And sometimes Yes, I have to feed them. Last year, we had a drought. And there weren’t any flowers for them to collect nectar from so if I hadn’t fed them, they would starve to death. In the normal summer. They collect everything they need, and I just have to keep an eye on them.

Achim Nowak  22:09

Yeah. What interests me about everything that we all do as humans is? Why the heck we do it. So they’re probably a lot of listeners are going nothing in me wants to be a beekeeper helped me understand can’t what inside of you like what? What joy? Do you get out of it? What satisfaction? What motivates you to keep half a million bees? Could you explain that to our listeners?

Kent Schwendy  22:39

I think in its simplest form, it’s two things that the thing that attracted me to them was kind of the science of it that they are very, very different than we are, you know, the insect, the eusocial, they can’t survive individually, they can only survive as a colony. All of these things are very different than humans, they communicate through smell more than anything else. So I was interested in that, because I’ve always thought that understanding other perspectives, and seeing things from a different point of view, is a way for me to grow. So that was what attracted me to them. And then once I started beekeeping, I realized that they also provide an escape for me, it’s one of the few times in places that I can not think about the day to day worries or about things that are going on in my job where other problems, you have to be focused, and in the moment with the bees. Because if you’re not, and you make a mistake, they will sting you. They won’t just sting you because they’re mad, they will sting you if you make a mistake. So if I’m not fully present, I get punished for that. So I learned to be fully present. And that allowed me to release all the other feelings. And it’s, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to put down your troubles, spend some time the bees, and then pick the troubles back up as you walk out. And invariably, they look a little different and a little less scary. When I pick those problems back up.

Achim Nowak  24:20

As I’m listening to you, it makes total sense to me. And I’m thinking that for you being a contrarian has opened the door doors to some wonderful worlds, right, which is a beautiful thing. So you’ve been doing this for a while and since I’ve known you and I want to be transparent you and I met last fall in the middle of the COVID scenario. There are two new passions that have emerged. One is an extension of the beekeeping is that you had the chance to apply to be a teacher and instruct people on beekeeping at Cornell University, you went for it, and you got the gig. And at the same time, you sort of came out of the closet about saying, you know, I want to write historical novels. What What did it take for you mentally to say? Yeah, I think I can do these things now.

Kent Schwendy  25:23

Well, so yeah, there were things that I always wanted to do. And, in fact, they were things that I had always thought, This is what I’ll do in retirement. It was actually one of our first conversations, when you asked me about kind of where I was going, and what I think I wanted to do in the future. And I told you, and you said, two very simple words that completely changed my perspective. You said, Why wait. And I started wondering, Why wait. So I was very fortunate you had invited me to be part of your first fourth act mastermind group. And in talking to some of the other people in that mastermind group, they all gave me another little piece, one told me to look for and accept the opportunities that the universe was giving me. One help me to work through some of my head trash that was keeping me from actually moving forward and trying to do these things, because I didn’t think I was good enough or worthy of it. And once said, Why are you so worried about setting deadlines and goals for yourself? Why don’t you just approach this as how much of this can I do while still having fun? And if it takes you 10 years, who cares? Yeah. And those all came together into, okay, yeah, let’s try this. And it turns out that I found that I, I did have more time available than I thought I did. I had more opportunities available than I thought I did. And I was able to do things that prior to that I thought I couldn’t do. So it was really listening to other people and seeing those other perspectives. And realizing that I was limiting myself.

Achim Nowak  27:09

In my own life, having people where it is safe enough for them to call me out on my things, my limiting things are, it is so helpful. I’ll share this. It’s a quick anecdote I because this is a moment that changed my life. I was at a social function in Brooklyn, back in the days, and I was speaking to somebody who had a temporary staffing agency with an office in, in Brooklyn, an office in Tampa. And he was describing to me what he was doing. And out of my mouth came completely unfiltered. I could never do that. And he looked at me and he said, Of course you could. And I went Holy shit. What did you just say? I mean, I really had this belief that I could never have a business. And a year later, when I had a chance to start a business, his he calling me out, allows me to move forward with something I believed I couldn’t do. So I’m glad you had those voices. Feeding your brain in a in a helpful manner. Because these are classic, classic, what are called expansive things you’re doing that are adding to an already really good life that you have explained the notion of teaching, applying for teaching beekeeping. What kind of credentials did you have? Like how do they How did they figure out there Ken Schwinn de is qualified to be to teach beekeeping. I’m sure people are curious, you know, how did that come about?

Kent Schwendy  28:44

Yeah, luckily, one of the things that I had done in the past was I had gone through a master beekeeping course, curriculum through Cornell. So I actually am a certified master beekeeper. So I’ve taken classes in beekeeping. I’ve had to pass practical exams, as well as written and oral exams, I had to be able to do presentations when this job opportunity came along. It just happened that some of my instructors from when I took those classes were involved in these new courses and helping to find the new instructors. So that was how I both found out about the opportunity, and how I was able to demonstrate my qualifications.

Achim Nowak  29:32

Nice. Now talking about historical novels, you know, what I love is we joked in the group that we’re in about, you know, playing life in a whole bunch of different lanes at the same time, which is what you’re clearly doing. Now, that’s a whole other lane. I’ve already had a lot of authors, really well known authors on the podcast, but the idea of writing a book or whatever it is, it’s many people’s people I have that dream, but many people never do it. So you’re in the middle of doing it. Could you explain to us why historical novels? And? And how do you find time to write it? And what’s that process like for you to sit down and write his Oracle novel?

Kent Schwendy  30:20

So, So to start with, there are several different genres that I really enjoy reading. And one of those is is historical fiction. I’ve always been kind of a student of military history. So to think about how people live during that time, it’s kind of a natural offshoot of that. And that’s why I was really attracted to that, in the particular period I picked was the Georgian period, the Napoleonic Wars, because it was just before a major disrupter in technology, the steam engine, so it was a point where for hundreds of years, they’ve been perfecting the same technology. And then when the steam engine came along, all of that stopped, so it may be it could have progressed, but it had gotten as far as it was gonna go. So to me, that’s a very interesting point in time, because no one living then knew that they were about to approach this disruption. Yeah. And, and I think that’s it’s kind of a lesson for all of us is that we’re caught in this moment that we’re born in. And we don’t necessarily know what’s coming. But when you’re writing historical fiction, you know, what’s, what was going to come for them. So you’re able to explore both how they were feeling and what they knew and didn’t know, versus the reality that they were going to face. And so to me, that’s the exciting thing, why I chose that genre. My method of writing pretty much follows what I just described, I, I study history, I think about the actual events, and then I think about what an unknown person that history didn’t bother recording would have been experiencing in those times, and how would they perceive them at that time, versus how we look back on them? Yeah. And then I try to think of a story that explores that. And I do that mostly, when I’m out hiking, or when I’m with my bees, and my mind is flowing. And I’m thinking about how this can come together. And then when I have the time, and I feel the moment is right, I sit down and I write it. And sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. And the nice thing about the delete button is always right there.

Achim Nowak  32:37

The way in my mind, I’m connecting the BS and the writing is, especially as you talk about it. But there’s a there’s a part of you, that does like to step into danger. And by danger, I don’t say mean, you’re going to be bitten by the bees, and the unknown, you know, and that there is something that excites you about it. And as a fellow writer now, no matter how well we outline a book, you know, we discover what the book is, in the act of writing the book, we can only know so much in advance. And that discovery is really powerful. Last question, back to the teaching. So did you did you have to come up with a curriculum? Or do you use what you were taught before? Or did they give you a curriculum as a as a novice teacher beekeeping?

Kent Schwendy  33:31

Yeah, for this class, it was an established structure that had already been prepared, or it’s actually they’re just finishing it now. I just will be instructing that class. I’m hoping that now that my foot is in the door, that I can continue, and I can be part of the process of actually developing future lessons. We’ll see where it takes me but so far, I’m enjoying it. And I’m learning and as you very aptly pointed out, I’m seeking new challenges. I’m trying to grow it you know, it’s not. It’s the danger of the unknown, right? What’s, what’s scary about the dark is not the dark, but what might be in the dark that you can’t see. And what I think is that I always need to be looking for something to be growing. If I feel like I’ve just stagnant and doing the same thing. Yeah, that’s when it’s time for me to move on to something else.

Achim Nowak  34:31

So other besides beekeeping? And besides running historical novels, are there any other secret yearnings or desires that are percolating that I’m not suggesting you have to act on them this year, but anything else where you go if, if time permitted, or circumstances did it might be fun to explore this?

Kent Schwendy  34:52

It’s funny you asked that I just the other day, I was talking to my wife and my younger daughter and saying how you know these two things. have been on my, my bucket list, if you will, for so long. And now I’m actually moving forward on them and doing, you know, one of them and working on the other one and, and I said, you know, I’ve got to find some new goals. And and, you know, they both looked at me and said, you know, you could just kind of like take a break and enjoy it for a while. But they also know that that’s not the way I do things. So right now, I would say, No, but I don’t know yet what they are, I’m sure that there is something out there. And I think, you know, the universe will present you with something. Yeah. And I’m going to be there to take it,

Achim Nowak  35:43

as you were advised by your mastermind friends, right, the universe will tell you exactly. Be open to the opportunity with the open to the opportunity, as you think back on younger Kent, who wanted to be in the army and engineer and those things manifested. And you’re slightly older can now and you’ve had experiences in both and other areas like beekeeping and writing. If you were to share some wisdom with him, what would you say to him based on what you know, now?

Kent Schwendy  36:21

I wouldn’t talk to him. I actually, I would be afraid that I would change something. And I’m so happy with where I am. And what’s going on in my life that I wouldn’t want to risk losing it by changing something, you know, it’s called the butterfly effect if you go back in time, and you change something. So that’s probably overthinking it, because I’m an engineer. But I, you know, I would be concerned about changing things. I think I just probably watch from afar and shake my head and sigh and wonder how I got from there to here.

Achim Nowak  37:01

Nice. So let me extend this question to if you think of our listeners, who might also be thinking about, they all have their their own version of beekeeping or their own version of writing historical novel. And as you said, so aptly, I was going to add table that for until I retired and then some, some people, people said no, do it now. And you are what kind of wisdom would you share with fellow fourth actors who have things that I may be speaking to them and might want to be actualized?

Kent Schwendy  37:38

I would say, start by being honest with yourself about what you want what’s really important to you. A lot of times we get trapped in thinking that we want certain things because it’s what society has told us we should want. Yeah. So first, you have to really know what you want. But then once you do know, then figure out how to go get it and look for those opportunities. Listen to the universe found, find that towel, find the path that leads you discover it’s already there. But you have to know what you want before you can see it.

Achim Nowak  38:14

I thank you for this wonderful journey we’ve been on in this conversation if our listeners want to learn more about what you’re doing either at CIA owl or beekeeping or historical novels, where would people find out more about you can’t

Kent Schwendy  38:28

Yeah, so I mean the best place for most of my life is centered on the thing we talked least about which is the Corporation for independent living. So the best places there which the website is their links to me and to what the company does and everything else. You know, if if people are interested in beekeeping, there’s, you know, any number of places that you can find, I would just say look for something scientific and credible. Don’t don’t go to just the internet and punch in and start you know, listening to anybody that you find there because most of them probably don’t know what they’re doing. But find credible sources and seek that out. Hopefully someday people will hear more about me because of the book and and if not, that’s okay too.

Achim Nowak  39:17

Thank you so much for the compensation Kent. Bye bye for now.

Kent Schwendy  39:22

Well, thank you so much for having me. It’s been wonderful. I came it’s always fun to talk to you.

Achim Nowak  39:28

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