Twelve. That is the number of times I have rewritten this article.
It was easy to get the facts straight each time, but sharing with you the true essence of the woman behind the mic seemed elusive until now. Getting you to feel her spirit, her devotion to her listeners, and to her craft was important to me. How does one, in an article of this length, share a spirit like Kim Komando’s?
I’ve been a fan of Kim’s since the first time I ever read something she wrote. Hearing her on the air for the first time, I thought, “She’s got something no one else has—passion for technology aligned with a dedication to serving her readers and listeners at a personal level.” As time went by, that devotion has only gotten stronger. She even tried to walk away from the industry once, but had to come back, because she realized she had more to do. More to share. And more people to serve.
In these days of Covid-19 and a work-from-home culture, the wisdom provided over the decades on The Kim Komando Show has proven that “The Digital Life” is real and even more relevant today. Kim currently hosts two podcasts in addition to her syndicated three-hour call-in radio show and syndicated newspaper and magazine columns. Her nickname? You guessed it: “America’s Digital Goddess.”
The backbone of Kim’s media empire includes The Kim Komando Show and companion website, 500,000 subscribers-strong newsletter, and the app where you can find all her content. Her Tech You Should Know and the Daily Tech Update podcasts introduce you to gadgets you didn’t know you really, really, really needed and enlighten you on a side of tech the other shows are not talking about.
One of my favorites episodes is a recent show about Blackstone’s (a multinational private equity firm) purchase of Ancestry.com. Where others talked about the buyout and how good it was, Kim talked about the realities of your DNA data being in the hands of Blackstone.
Think about it: will your DNA data be used differently than originally intended by Ancestry.com? Kim thinks it will be and, as always, she aims to alert you to critical information you need to keep yourself safe in the digital world. That is where Kim diverges from all the other podcast hosts. She digs deep to give you a perspective that will leave you saying, “How come no one else saw that?” Listening to her show will have you looking below the surface of all the news you hear in the world of tech.
Kim has always had a sense of purpose and has never been afraid of thinking counter to the roles society has deemed ‘appropriate’ for a woman or, in many cases, even a man to take on. While in college, she was often the only woman in her computer science classes. In her career, she has been one of the only consistent voices, male or female, to provide straightforward information about technology and how to use it to enhance your life and business.
Faith, God, and prayer are a big part of Kim’s daily life. She prays before every show that she serves her audience and God. She prays for guidance and for those who reach out to her for help. To say that she lives her faith is something that she would be proud to acknowledge. For Kim, all she does is in honor of serving others.
Remember how I mentioned she once tried to walk away? A few years ago, she stopped everything to simply take a break. She thought, “I have everything my family and I could ever need, so maybe I should just stop.” She took a trip to Machu Pichu with her son to reflect, pray, and clear her head, and that’s when she realized she wasn’t done yet. The urge to continue to help others came over her, and her reign as “America’s Digital Goddess” exploded even bigger than before her hiatus.
Believing you have a purpose bigger than the average person’s takes a lot of faith and commitment. Especially when the “powers that be” in your chosen professions of technology and journalism tell you “no one will listen to a show answering questions about tech, because ‘The Internet is a fad.’” Her faith guided her to start her own network, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment, Inc. with her husband, and they have not looked back.
Kim is quick to explain that along with faith, drive, purpose, and ideas that work, having a team that cares about helping others and works together smoothly and seamlessly, like you wish all your devices would, is critical to her success. The look that came over Kim’s face during our interview when talking about her team is the dream all entrepreneurs share when they create their business.
To keep her media empire running, Kim has become a master of attention management. She “doesn’t have the luxury of time” in her day for activities that do not improve people lives. She makes exercise a priority for 45 minutes a day, every day, and practices additional self-care to keep her body and mind functioning at their best. And that includes daily prayer.
She reads every email that comes to her, because she feels that often, there is more to the story than what is written. Sometimes she responds on the show, other times via email, and she is even prone to picking up the phone and calling the writer to dig deeper. She deeply cares about her listeners problems and concerns and strives to provide them solutions—real solutions that can improve their lives even if technology is not the final answer.
Reinvention is another key to her success. Every 18-24 months, Kim reviews her life, her relationships, her thoughts, and her business and lets go of what is no longer needed while expanding on what is. She consistently tries new things and always uses prayer to guide her in knowing which path to take. As a parent, she understands that as your child grows, you have to grow, too. The same goes for serving the world—you need to grow with the times to stay relevant and needed, or you risk becoming obsolete, like the TV repairman. (If you ever get the opportunity, ask her about the TV repairman story. You won’t be disappointed.)
What did I learn from spending time interviewing Kim Komando? That love for others, dedication to craft, digging below the surface of an idea or story even when others are not, and trusting in yourself and someone bigger than you are the keys to success I want to embrace… just as Kim has.
October 2020 Issue