Mentee Spotlight: Heather Parady

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EDGE mentees are young adults who are passionate about pursuing whole person development through intentional relationships. Our mentees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, career industries, and walks of life, but they all share a passion for growing in community. Meet EDGE mentee Heather Parady!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I live in Augusta, Georgia. I am a wife and mom of two little girls (a one year old and five year old). I am originally from Arkansas, but we relocated to Georgia recently. My husband is a reservist in the Navy and owns his own fitness business. I am a podcast host and work with several other podcasts doing a variety of things from production to marketing. For fun, I love to be with my family. My husband and I enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, working out and chasing our little girls around.

What brought you to EDGE?

I have been looking for a mentor for years. Every personal development book that I read (and I read a lot of them) talk about the importance of a mentor. However, one thing that the books do not mention is how difficult it is to find one! I ended up turning to Google (what we all do when we have questions!). I literally typed into the search bar, “Where can I find a mentor?” and EDGE’s website popped up. The rest is history.

How has your experience shaped your personal, professional or spiritual growth?

My mentor, Christin Nevins, has done an incredible job of helping me break down my “big picture” vision and think more strategically about the systems that need to be in place for my vision to be sustainable. I also appreciate how she is able to attend to and listen to the needs of our group. I have so much to learn in the area of being fully present, and Christin provides a wonderful example on how to do this in an authentic way.  My EDGE group itself has exposed me to different ways of thinking about leadership. Each of the women are leading in different capacities and have so much wisdom to share. I am amazed and challenged by them all.

Can you share more about your podcast and the story behind it?

The intention behind The Weekly Parady is to empower “unconventional” leaders. I believe some of the most powerful leaders are those who come from difficult backgrounds or have faced struggles in their lives. My hope is to provide listeners with examples of those who have overcome adversity in order to empower them to “step out” and follow their calling.

What has your podcast taught you about leadership?

That anyone can lead. There is nothing fundamentally different between two people. Obviously personalities and gifts vary, but anyone can make an impact. Normally, people have a very narrow view of “leadership” or “making an impact” and think that it has to look a certain way. I hope the show can provide examples of how everyday people can step into leadership and make an impact in their own unique way.

Are there any guests that you’ve had on your podcast that have really stood out?

All of the guests have been incredible. It would be difficult to pick one. I think the thing that has surprised me the most with all of them is how many common themes there are among them. No matter who they are or what they have done, everyone has struggled with fear, self doubt and criticism. The only difference is how they moved forward despite setbacks or difficulties. They attached a bigger “why” and a vision to their calling and used that as a driving force to move past their internal and external barriers.

What’s one thing you wish you had known when starting out in your career?

I wish I would have started sooner. I think there is definitely a time and place for planning and researching – but for me, I used that as a way to hide. I was afraid to put myself out there, and to be honest, I still get scared at times. 

Pushing past that fear has resulted in one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is A LOT of work, but it is meaningful. It is authentic and I feel like I am giving part of my heart with every show. That’s all you can really ask for in your work. Instead of worrying about how I was perceived, I wish I would have focused more on giving myself away and just showing up. Because ultimately that’s what I believe the world needs – more people who show up.

Check out Heather’s podcast here.

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