Kelly Radi is a real-life Wonder Woman.
She has grit and passion. She is a wife and mother. A woman of faith. She believes in lifting others and pushing people to become even better versions of themselves.
She leverages 20+ years of diverse career experiences as an award-winning author, professional speaker, corporate spokesperson, PR executive, at-home mom, and entrepreneur to equip and empower her audiences to find—and use—their unique inner superpowers.
Some of Kelly’s clients include: Delta Air Lines, Women in Aviation, MN Department of Human Services, Spirit Sisters, Tri-CAP, Women in Trucking, Big Brothers Big Sisters, several high schools and universities, AND she is a past Women of Influence Speaker.
Her recently-released book called Wonder-Full: Activate Your Inner Superpowers (No Cape Required) is a must-read for women who want to grow personally, professionally, and relationally—and live life to the fullest.
We caught up with Kelly to chat about life, her Women of Influence Summit experiences and what pushes her to think BEYOND self-imposed perceptions and limitations.
Will you tell us about your Women of Influence Summit speaking experience?
I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2017 Women of Influence Summit , which was also where I premiered my “Wonder Woman” presentation. Yes, it was the Summit platform that inspired this theme—and ultimately my second book.
I remember standing up on the stage and looking around the room. I saw women from all ages, industries and backgrounds. I saw women eager to grow and overcome fears. I saw authentic, vulnerable, courageous women open to possibilities and ready to take action.
Ladies, I firmly believe the Summit itself has superpowers! It is a place for women to gather, connect and form lasting relationships. It is where we get to reshape our thinking and honor our voices. We celebrate possibilities and empower one another.
What have you been doing since that Summit?
I am living out my dream of being a professional keynote speaker. Yes, dreams do come true! Since then, I have launched a second book and earned the 2018 National Speaker Association Minnesota Academy Award. I am working harder than I have ever worked (this entrepreneur thing is a LOT of work!) but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I get to connect with amazing people, encourage them, and inspire them to live their fullest, most-productive lives—personally and professionally.
What motivated you to write your second book, Wonder-Full: Activate Your Inner Superpowers (No Cape Required)?
After the 2017 Summit, I was doing a lot of speaking on college campuses to help prepare parents for the college years (the topic of my first book, Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage), but I kept getting this internal nudge to expand my body of work to include a book that shared my Summit theme of unleashing your inner Wonder Woman.
As I began to share that message and met women on college campuses, conference centers and in boardrooms, I noticed that women often questioned their value. I heard it from baggage handlers and computer programmers, from students and CEOs. I saw women -- daughters, mothers, sisters, colleagues, and friends—struggle to find perspective on an unattainable quest for perfection:
- Tweens and teens comparing themselves to unrealistic images.
- Young women crumbling under the pressure of career aspirations and expectations.
- Moms exhausting themselves by trying to create a Pinterest-worthy lifestyle for their children.
- Professional women striving to attain the perfect work-life balance (as if there were such a thing!?!) and second-guessing themselves every step of the way.
- Retired women desperately seeking meaning and validation in this new season of life and feeling unfulfilled or less-than.
Wonder Woman…Wonder-Full. Clever! How does she play into the book?
I do want to clarify something right away: this isn’t a book about Wonder Woman. It’s a book about you, me, and all the other real-life Wonder Women out there. It’s a book about us, for us.
We are complex, just like Wonder Woman. Like her, we must balance the dichotomies of softness and toughness, compassion and grit, intelligence and instinct. She brings these powers to the Justice League. You bring them to the boardroom, dinner table, committee meeting, soccer game, blind date, and parent-teacher conference.
Just like you, this book has serious parts, silly parts, raw parts, and reflective parts. It contains heartfelt stories about real women, thought-provoking quotes, inspiration from Wonder Woman, and ample space to journal or doodle as you think about the Seven Pillars of Power and how they relate to your life.
How has your development as an author and speaker pushed you beyond what you thought possible?
First, it has taught me to get out of my own way! I had to push the negative voices out of my head. You know, the ones that told me I was “too this” and “not enough that.” They were preventing me from going after my dreams of speaking and writing professionally. I had to rewrite my internal narrative and choose to focus on what I might be capable of instead of letting those voices (and my fears) take over.
I’ve also had to learn to “do less better” which is something I dig into in chapter 3. As a solopreneur, I wear many hats and can get caught up in the busy-ness of my business. Can you relate? Doing less better is about reducing pressure and gaining margin. It means putting your precious energy into fewer areas so you can do them well. It means not taking on too many projects and doing them poorly—and feeling bad about it the entire time. It’s about learning to say no to the excessive or unnecessary commitments that drain your tank so you can say yes to those that fill it.
On a deeper level, though, it may mean letting go of the preconceived notion that you’re not a “good mom” if you don’t attend every school fundraiser or that you’re not a “good employee” if you decline a networking event.
Do you think Wonder Woman ever needs to reevaluate her to-do list? I do. She is, after all, a woman. Like all of us, she plays many roles and carries many responsibilities. In fact, her alter ego is Diana Prince, a working woman who has worn many hats over the years, including nurse, businesswoman and astronaut. Like us, she has to continually evaluate her commitments to make sure her priorities align with her values. And it doesn’t make her any less Wonder-Full.
Can you tell us about The Seven Pillars of Power?
Wonder Woman’s colorful history is undeniably intertwined with the stories of Greek mythology, so it seemed only fitting that we use pillars as a metaphor in the book. In ancient Greek architecture, pillars provide structure, order, and beauty. In Wonder-Full, you will learn about the Seven Pillars of Power that uphold and support you. These pillars will help you grow personally, professionally, and relationally and will empower you to live your life to the fullest.
- The Power of Resilience
- The Power of Authenticity
- The Power of Priority
- The Power of Tribe
- The Power of Grace
- The Power of Voice
- The Power of Perspective
Imagine our world if we change how we look at each other. At ourselves. Instead of judging or comparing, what if we identify our superpowers and celebrate them? What if we give grace and use our voices to build and empower? Imagine what could happen if we block the negative voices in our heads and give power to perspective and possibility. This, ladies, is how we begin to activate our inner superpowers! Super powers that push us beyond.
If your organization or association is looking for a dynamic and inspiring speaker, please share Kelly’s information with your meeting planner. You can learn more about Kelly at raditowrite.com.