Why Should I Work with Amy Kemp

If you’re pondering an engagement with me but you just aren’t sure, this story is for you!

The Inca Trail is by far the most famous hiking trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. It’s 27 miles long and is filled with beautiful mountain scenery and Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. At the end of the Inca Trail is Machu Picchu – an Incan fortress.  Less than 100 years ago, an American by the name of Hiram Bingham discovered the almost perfectly preserved ruins and since then, hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to Peru to hike the trail and to see these ruins.

Machu Picchu – The magnificent Incan fortress 

A few years ago, I was thinking about what I wanted to do to celebrate my 40th birthday.  I wanted it to be a mile marker, a statement of “this is who Amy Kemp is at the age of 40.” 

At the same time, I was reading Pastor Mark Batterson’s newest book called Chase the Lion during my quiet time in the morning.  I got to a passage about a man named Joel Malm who leads a ministry called Summit Leaders.  Mark Batterson has co-lead three trips to different locations around the world with Joel, and he says, “Joel doesn’t just lead hiking or rafting trips.  Our carefully orchestrated adventures create a field of dreams where people can get a vision from God, not unlike a Native American vision quest.” 

I read this and my heart started RACING.  I IMMEDIATELY googled Summit Leaders and started looking around the website.  The first link I clicked on was “Upcoming Trips” and guess what trip was coming up for this summer?  Hiking the Inca Trails at Machu Picchu.  There were only 7 spots still left for the trip and a deposit was needed to reserve your spot.

It took me about two weeks to warm my husband Ryan up to the idea.  I remember calling him and saying, “Take a deep breath and don’t answer right away because NOTHING about what I’m about to ask you makes ANY sense at all!  We have a million other things we should send the money on, the timing is brutal and I have no idea who will watch our kids, but I think we should do something.”  His initial reaction was skeptical but I’m persistent and I am good at sales, and I kept at it until I finally got a text from him with just three words – Let’s do it. 

So on June 18, with zero experience hiking anything much less a 27 mile trek through one of world’s most famous mountain ranges, we boarded a plane heading to South America, our bags packed with gear we never even knew existed much less had USED!  We were nervously excited about what was ahead.

Upon arrival, Joel picked us up at the tiny airport in Cusco and took us to our hotel.  We spent the next two days letting our bodies adjust to the altitude before heading up to the head of the trail to start our hiking.  Joel calmly and patiently guided us through the entire ten day experience.  He did the planning ahead of time, hiring the best trail guide company, he helped navigate logistics and language barriers, he gave us guidance on hiking and answered our many questions.  He also created a safe space over those ten days where we had life-changing conversations about ourselves and our lives.  He was our guide on a life-changing adventure not just through the mountains but through a personal and leadership development journey that shifted the trajectory of our lives forever.  

Could we have done it all without Joel?  Yes. 

Could we have navigated multiple flights across continents?  Could we have figured out how to avoid altitude sickness and what gear to pack and wear and which hotel to stay at and how to get onto the trail and how to purchase the trail passes?  Yes.  We were capable of doing all those things.  But would we have?  No.  No way. 

We did pause frequently to take in the breathtaking scenery along the way.

There were too many barriers, too many distractions, too many fears, and just not enough time to even know what we needed to make the journey.  

In addition, would we have enjoyed the journey as much or learned as much as we did along the way?  Without question, no.  

Quite simply, we hired someone who had traveled the journey before.  He had lived in Cusco for three years where he established relationships with tour guides and local people and learned about the culture and history of the place.  He had also taken eight groups before us on this same journey. 

Joel’s role on this lifetime trip as a guide is similar to how I describe the work I do with my clients.  I’ve taken the journey you are thinking of taking myself and I’ve taken groups and individuals through the experience many many times.  I am simply a guide traveling the journey of personal and professional growth with you.  

If you are contemplating this kind of work, I’ll challenge you. 

Could you take a journey of personal and professional growth without a guide?  Could you get the promotion or raise, increase your sales or impact, heal the relationship, experience the peace of living completely and confidently within your unique gifts and abilities?  Can you learn to lead people who are not like you and how to connect more authentically with people?  Can you increase your sales or grow your company to the next level?  Yes.  You are fully capable.    

But will you do it without a guide?  It’s unlikely.  

And if you do try, won’t it take you WAY longer to get where you want to go and won’t it be so much more difficult than walking beside someone who has already traveled the path you are on?  Someone who knows the pitfalls and can equip you with the tools and gear you need to get through the tough spots?  Won’t you be much more likely to give up when the going gets tough?  And won’t the journey be much more stressful and at times, even dangerous without an experienced guide?  Without question.

There were times when the next step was truly the only thing to focus on if we wanted to get through the journey.  

The four-day, 27-mile hike to that Incan fortress was one of the most physically and emotionally demanding journeys of my life.  It was also one of the most exhilarating, life-changing, best experiences of my life.  It changed me forever.    

I invite you to take a journey with me like we did with Joel. The Habit Finder assessment and curriculum will be the “gear” we take with us on the journey.  I’ll provide the structure for you and plan the trip, and I will be there when you are tired and not sure you can continue and when you are scared and feel like one misstep could have dire consequences, and I’ll also be there cheering when you’ve reached the summit with your arms raised. 

There are few things better than experiencing life-change in a community.  

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