Sharing Dreams and Creating Connection with Karen Hoffman

In this powerful, engaging interview, I talk with Karen Hoffman, the visionary and chief possibilities officer of Gateway to Dreams – and founding publisher of Be the Change magazine. We dive into her remarkable story, real-life heroes who’ve helped her along the way, and the wildest, craziest risk she’s ever taken that paid off – and what she learned about herself in the process. Along the way, we talk about the greatest challenges she’s faced and how she’s overcome them, and the ways she celebrates successes and honors mistakes.

If you’re looking for insights and inspiration from one of the best dream makers in the biz, come join us. Simply click on the play button above, and off we’ll go.

The Backstory

While living in Saint Louis for the past eight years, I had heard Karen Hoffman’s name mentioned more times than I can count. (A conservative estimate would be close to a zillion.) I also had heard a lot about her much-loved nonprofit, Gateway to Dreams, and the extraordinary ways she has contributed to building community in the Saint Louis area.

This year, when I was considering the amazing people and stories I would love to showcase in Season 2, Karen Hoffman’s name kept playing over and over in my head. How in the world would I be able to gather the courage to reach out to her? THAT was the million-dollar question.

That’s also when the power of connection kicked in. Two of my dearest friends happened to be friends of Karen. Like any great friends, they told me more about her, encouraged and cajoled me, and logically pointed out that I had everything to gain if (a) I sucked it up, and (b) she said yes. Guess what? SHE SAID YES!!! I immediately picked myself up from the floor, started doing the happy dance, then remembered she was still on the phone. Who knew she would say yes to the earliest available recording date, and we would get to launch Season 2 together? Simply. Brilliant!

The Interview

Amazing how time flies when you’re talking with a remarkable human being, and Karen Hoffman truly fits the bill. Her incredible energy, wisdom, and passion for championing our dreams – and her dedication to the cause — stand out throughout the interview. During our short time together, we talked about a wide array of subjects, including the surprising story behind Gateway to Dreams, her three proudest accomplishments to date, and success secrets she has learned along the way.

Two of my favorite parts are when Karen talks about the dreams she would like to accomplish in the next five years (spoiler alert:  they’re BIG), and the person with whom she would most love to have lunch and why. You’ll smile out loud when you hear the topics she would love to discuss.

Fun Facts

  • Superpower: “Master connector”
  • Kryptonite: “Detail stuff”
  • Learns as she grows — and learns as she goes
  • Loves being a “dog mom”
  • Believes naysayers provide a valuable service
  • Co-authored a book called The Art of Barter

Cool Links

Gateway to Dreams

“Be the Change” Magazine

Karen’s LinkedIn Page

Karen’s Facebook Page

Quotes by Karen Hoffman

“I believe when we have a dream and share it, it gains power and energy.”

“I don’t care if your dream is a little dream. Little or big — other people embracing it for you and wanting to see you succeed, I just love that feeling of watching people do that for each other.”

“Mistakes end up with a learning experience or something better.”

“If we can change our community, we can change our world.”

“I just feel like there’s all this energy that we can create when we come together to dream.”

Deb Gaut
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