Deb Gaut

From leaders in government + business to creatives, innovators + difference makers at all levels, people become Deb's clients because they want to craft bold visions for themselves, overcome obstacles with courage and determination + move confidently toward the future.

Defy Limits and Tap In with Eneazer Layne

Every now and then, someone touches your life with the incredible power of their story. Such is the case with Eneazer Layne, the beloved life and leadership coach, visionary founder of IMAGERY International “I Am” Movement, and the gifted speaker, writer, and gospel recording artist. Known by those who love her as “Lady E,” Eneazer is my guest on today’s podcast. In this deeply personal interview, we talk about her journey, including her tragedies and triumphs; her superpower and kryptonite; and what gets her up and excited every morning. We also talk about the personal identity crisis that ignited her passion for empowering women and girls, the things she loves most and least about her work, and her sage advice for anyone who wants to follow a passion or dream. At times touching and poignant, at other times light-hearted and joyful, Eneazer’s message of love will stay with you long after the interview wraps up.

Simply click the <play> button above and off you’ll go. You’re going to love this interview.

The Backstory

Much like Marty Casey in an earlier interview, Eneazer Layne came into my orbit in a most surprising way. Out of the blue earlier this year, I received a direct message (DM) on LinkedIn from a stranger who offered several suggestions for podcast guests. At first, I was unsure about what to think so I simply thanked her and moved on—or so I thought. Over the course of the next few weeks, she continued to share leads, including the names of two people whom I would love to interview. One of those amazing people was Eneazer Layne, whose reputation as a powerful speaker and coach preceded her.

Now, recommendations are one thing, introductions another. So, I decided to put my new mystery friend to the test and see if she was willing to make an introduction. Remarkably, she said, “Yes.” Within minutes, she had DM’d Eneazer and me on LinkedIn. And because my new friend is so well known and loved in the community, Eneazer graciously agreed to chat and to join me for an interview. Thank you so much, beautiful ladies, for the kindness you shared with a stranger. Truly a gift!

The Interview

In addition to the captivating subjects mentioned earlier, Eneazer talks about the driving force behind her passion for empowering girls and women, the strengths that she leverages and challenges she seeks to overcome, and the essential role that faith plays as her anchor. She also shares the powerful story behind her brand tagline, “Defy Limits,” and the interesting plans she has for the next five years.

You’ll love hearing about the wildest, craziest risk that Eneazer has taken to date that paid off and what she learned about herself in the process. And you’ll be moved when she talks about the advice that she would share with her 18-year-old self—and the person with whom she would love to attend a three-day women and girls’ retreat.

Fun Facts

  • Loves to go out in the snow and make snow angels
  • Butterflies make her all warm and fuzzy and she can’t keep from smiling
  • Loves the ocean and she can’t swim
  • When inspired, she jumps in and thinks later – She Defies Limits
  • Places she loves to go: Los Angeles, Bahamas, any Ocean
  • Favorite books:
    • The Holy Bible
    • Surface Deep – The Evolution of YOU (self-authored)
    • All John Maxwell books – top picks: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, 16 Undeniable Laws of Leadership

Cool Links

Eneazer’s LinkedIn
Eneazer’s Defy Limits Website
Eneazer’s Podcast w/ Lisa Nichols and Something Extra
Eneazer’s Interview w/ Kat Carter and Friday Night LIVE

Quotes by Eneazer

“As a coach, I know if you really want something, the power is in you to do it.”

“Faith has always been my anchor, and the name of my brand … is Defy Limits. See, for every ‘no’ for me, I’m going to try and figure out how to get a ‘yes’ from a ‘no’.”

“When you get up in the morning and you hit the floor running towards your purpose, then you know you’re in your sweet spot. And I think that’s the meaning of life is to live not only to tap into your untapped potential, but know what your purpose is, what you’re here for and go for it.”

“If you have a fire in your belly, even if it’s just an ember, you can ignite that flame by replacing impossible with I’m possible.”

Strength in Humility w/ Artist Mark Witzling

In this engaging masterclass in leadership and art, I talk with contemporary abstract oil painter, Mark Witzling. We talk about his unconventional journey from corporate America to leadership of a beloved, nonprofit arts organization and his work as an artist. In the process, we chat about three powerful words that drive his life and work, his intriguing perspective on finding one’s voice as an artist, and his honest take on the upsides and downsides of following an artistic passion. With candor and grace, Mark draws back the curtain on the fulfilling life and art he is creating, including the gifted artists who have influenced him most and the beautiful places from which he derives inspiration.

Do you love hearing captivating stories from creatives who are following their artistic passions? Click the <play> button above and enjoy!

The Backstory

If you’re an art lover like my husband and me, you cannot live in Saint Louis, MO, for long without hearing about Craft Alliance, a much-loved arts organization. And you cannot attend one of their beautifully curated art openings without meeting the talented and quietly charismatic Executive Director, Mark Witzling—who is an award-winning, abstract art painter himself. Before 2022, I had known Mark’s name for years and had said hello to him on several occasions at the Alliance. An interview with him had been at the top of my list since the inception of TSBF.

Fast forward to late 2022 and a chance encounter with Mark at Craft Alliance. That day, I was standing in for a friend who was scheduled to host a walking tour, but who had fallen ill at the last minute. As I waited in “The Commons” to greet latecomers, Mark walked up and shared a warm hello, and we struck up a lovely conversation. (“The Commons” is a long, wide corridor in the center of the CA building, adjacent to the Main Gallery).

Now, it’s amazing what can happen the moment the stars and moon align. As we chatted, I knew this was an unexpected chance to invite Mark to be my podcast guest. With my heart racing madly, I summoned the courage to extend the invitation. And like magic, he said, “Yes.” I literally danced to my car after the event and called my friend to check on her and thank her for this surprising turn of events. She had known that interviewing Mark was something I had wanted to do for more than a year. It was as if she knew this would be my opportunity.

The Interview

During this delightful interview, Mark talks about so many intriguing topics: the branding and marketing leadership roles he held in some of the biggest companies in the world; the calculated risk he took moving to a small, entrepreneurial craft organization to serve as Executive Director (one of his favorite jobs); the trip to Italy where he viewed some of the most treasured art in the world, which changed the trajectory of his life and career; and the unexpected moment that his work as an artist morphed from hobby to serious creative endeavor. And these are only the contours of the interview.

From there we take a deep dive into his perspective about art as a discipline, the three powerful words that drive Mark’s approach to leadership and art, the lessons he has learned about finding his voice as an artist, and the artistic heroes that have inspired and informed his work. You’ll be touched when he speaks candidly about the upsides and downsides of following an artistic passion, and how he dials back the fear of stepping into the unknown, particularly as an artist. You’ll also enjoy getting the inside scoop on what he’s reading right now; the artists with whom he would most love to spend a working weekend; and the two special places he loves to go for fun, inspiration, and play.

Fun Facts

  • Began exploring art in the late 1990s
  • His art is in collections across the U.S. and internationally from Paris to Mumbai, and his work is included in the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe, NM
  • Currently transitioning from full-time Executive Director of Craft Alliance to full-time artist
  • Past work experience includes branding and marketing leadership roles in companies such as Gillette, M&M Mars, and Purina, and 8+ years as Senior VP Marketing with Citibank

Married for 40 years with two adult children living on the East Coast

Cool Links

Mark’s Art Website
Mark’s Facebook Page
Mark’s Instagram Page
Craft Alliance’s Website

Quotes by Mark

“My rule is to be in my studio every day, and I’m working full time and then some. But I still go into my studio every day. I may not paint every day, but I’m physically in that space to inspire myself. I do that daily.”

“You don’t have to be outrageous. You don’t have to be braggadocious, all of that. Strength can come out of humility. I believe in leadership that there are more ways to get things done. There’s not just my way, and as a leader you need to set the parameters, and people can find ways to get it done that you may not have thought of. And it allows them to be creative. If I switch that over to painting and the artistic endeavor, it’s the same thing. I don’t walk around thinking every painting I did is a masterpiece. I think most painters, if they’re honest, will tell you that they do plenty of pieces that they don’t put out in public. But, again, you learn what and why and how, and you learn your voice and you keep pursuing that. So, strength in humility is the phrase that drives me.”

“I love color. I love making marks in my work and building up layers. So, color, marks, layers: that’s part of my voice. My painting is how I express myself using those tools and techniques. And the visual that you see—that is my voice.”

“When you’re doing what you truly are meant to be and you’re in that space, it’s fantastic. There’s nothing like being in the studio…. You’re just on your own doing what you’re meant to do.”

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