Dawn Nicole Baldwin, is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist, for AspireOne. For nearly 25 years, she has focused on helping organizations reach people more effectively. She’s considered one of the leading experts in brand and growth strategies for nonprofits and has championed the brand development and consulted on marketing strategies for ministries across the country, including the Willow Creek Association, The Salvation Army, and Wheaton College. She’s guest-lectured at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business as well as conferences nationwide, and in 1995 co-founded AspireOne, a strategy and communications firm that is a catalyst for helping organizations grow. Recently she and her team at AspireOne designed and developed the first-ever audio Bible app for Courage for Life, voiced entirely by women in partnership with Cooke Media Group. Feel free to check it out at CourageForLife.org. (https://courageforlife.org/app/ ). She’s always on the go as a coach, consultant, occasional blogger, (http://dawnnicole.me) and sought-after speaker. Fun facts: She was on the advertising team for Big Idea Productions, (creators of VeggieTales) is an avid fan of Silly Songs, and a frequent dog-petter.  Follower her: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DNicoleBaldwin/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawnnicole Blog: http://dawnnicole.me/

Kathleen Cooke: We live in a culture of endless change. What’s the one thing that God’s taught you recently about keeping your footing in a constantly changing world?

Dawn Baldwin: “Trust me.” God continues to teach me so much, but this was something I needed to be reminded of. The ironic part is that my spiritual gift is faith, but I’m a Type A/planner/control freak by nature, so sometimes it feels like oil and water mixing. Last year we moved out-of-state, our grown kids went their separate ways for the first time, (at the same time) and my work schedule was bordering on insanity. But God aligned things in ways I never could have anticipated. I still shake my head in amazement.

Kathleen: The work/family teeter totter challenged me when I was raising kids and also imbedded into a highly competitive Hollywood industry and it continues to challenge career women today. Now that your kids have flown the nest, what wisdom can you share about this never ending battle women still struggle with today?

Dawn: Work isn’t the end goal. Or another way to look at it is, ‘Your kids will grow up whether you’re there or not.” I think a lie Satan loves to tell women, especially younger women, is that they need to trade their families for a career. That they’ll be left behind if they’re not all-in at work, and that’s simply not true. There is always a place for talented people and one doesn’t have to be sacrificed for the other. I spent most of my 20’s & 30’s building the business, working ridiculous hours, and missing out on my family. Work was put on a pedestal. But work doesn’t miss you when you’re gone. Your family does.

Kathleen: This is also true about balancing self-care and what I call “me time.”. What have you learned about the importance of rest?

Dawn: This really came out as a learning from the previous question. I was burned out and making terrible choices. But the truth is… this is a marathon not a sprint. It’s critical to set personal boundaries to refuel. If you don’t refuel, you’ll have nothing to offer anyone. This is especially important for high achievers to hear.

Kathleen: I have observed you as a role model and influencer of many women entering business because of the importance you place not only on professional knowledge but on wisdom and integrity. Why are these leadership qualities more important than ever in our age of digital connection? 

Dawn: I think influence has to do with our actions as well as our words. And both can have a positive (or negative) effect. As Christians, we need to remember the world is watching and we may be inadvertently keeping them from knowing Christ. Especially in today’s culture. The snarky comments and negativity I’ve seen online from Christian leaders recently is something we should be ashamed of. Is it necessary to argue with our brother or sister on Facebook about a divisive topic? Will that comment bring someone in or push them away from Christ? How we treat each other matters.