Meet a Nasty Woman: 5 Questions with Kirsten Bunch

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Meet Kirsten Bunch. Kirsten is a Nasty Woman and the author of the international bestselling book, Next Act, Give Back: Discover Your Personal Path to Go From Being Charitable to Being a Changemaker and the creator of the Women's Changemaker Mentorship™. She is inspiring a generation of mid-career women to use their experience, ideas and networks to address some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. Her clients, which range from a neuroscientist to a celebrity stylist, start new careers and businesses that create better communities.
Kirsten spent 25 years traveling to over 50 countries for game-changing organizations like the Rainforest Alliance and VisionSpring. She helped fundraise over $20 million and designed and managed social change programs in 10 countries. During this time, many women told her that SOMEDAY they were going to give back by starting an organization or a business that did good in the world. When Kirsten sat down to design her own reinvention in 2016, she decided that it was time for women to stop saying someday and create powerful next acts TODAY! Learn more about Kirsten in our interview here.

What makes you a Nasty Woman?

I’ve deprioritized being nice and prioritized putting my ideas and voice out there. I’m naturally a direct and loud person and spent 30 years censoring myself in order to fit in and be liked. Three years ago, I started to change. I launched my own coaching practice and joined a roller derby team. Both required me to be more aggressive in different ways. I find that my clients, who are mostly mid-career women reinventing themselves, need help finding their inner confidence.  

Share an experience that shaped your views or helped get you involved in activism.

I spent 25 years starting and managing social change programs in some of the poorest communities in the world. At the same time, I fundraised over $20 million and worked with some of the richest people in the world. I’ve experienced intense poverty and intense wealth. I’ve also seen what happens when you take the idea you have for a business, organization or new career and put action behind it. You have the power to change things. Unfortunately, a lot of women sit on their ideas because they don’t know how to get started or are afraid. My activism is helping women take their world-changing ideas and do something with them.

What advice do you have for people who want to help enact change and push progress but don’t know how to get involved?

Be honest with yourself whether you are a starter or a joiner. If you are a starter, START SOMETHING! Don’t join someone else’s initiative and then wonder why you aren’t satisfied. Do your homework, get help from a coach and get going.

If you could look into the future, 10 years from now, and see that real progress has been made, what does that look like to you?

Work and the idea of retirement is changing. People in their 40s and 50s are looking at their careers and wondering what the heck they are going to do for the next 20+ years until they are ready to retire. In 10 years, I want to host a reunion of all of my clients who have taken their skills, ideas and networks and helped create positive change in the world and be in AWE of what we have accomplished.

Share with us a favorite wine moment, memory or pairing.

One day, after a trying day at work in Manhattan, I sat on my front porch in the mountains of New Jersey with a glass of chardonnay and looked out over the mountains. It was in that moment that I knew I was going to start my own business. I also knew that if I didn’t try I would regret it.

Tell us more about your work.

I work with mid-career women who want to use their experience, ideas and networks to address some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. Most of my clients start for-profit businesses. My focus is helping people through the ideation and launch phase. I offer a free discovery call if you want to talk to someone about the community changing idea that is floating around in your brain. Learn more about Kirsten’s work here or follow her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Emily Davis