By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 18, 2024 at 5:42 PM

Kimberly Joy is the Founder/CEO of The Fellowship of Extraordinary Women (FEW) – a community of Christian women who are entrepreneurs, business professionals, executives and retirees from every walk of life. Joy is also an international speaker and seven-time Amazon No. 1 best-selling author.

Born in Milwaukee, Joy grew up in Big Bend and today lives in Oconomowoc. She is mother of 11 children and the "noni" of 9 grandchildren. 

Family and faith are in the center of her life and she channels it into her work, which is aimed at nurturing and supporting women achieve success.  

"It is my great joy to help women entrepreneurs, business owners, coaches, authors and speakers build their legacies in faith, family and business," says Joy.

OnMilwaukee recently had the chance to chat with Joy, and ask her the eight questions every female in the series answers.

1. What does active listening mean to you? Do you consider yourself a good listener, and if so, how has this helped you in your personal and professional relationships? 

Kimberly Joy: As a trainer of coaches and leaders, I spend a lot of time teaching "listening." You’d think that wouldn’t be a skill to teach, just an ability we are born with —but that is not the case. I can't tell you how many women I train who discover, “Oh, wow, I am NOT a very good listener.”

Active listening to me means listening to understand, listening to learn, listening to connect. This has helped me in every relationship. It has certainly improved my relationships with my children as well as my effectiveness as a leader at work with clients and my team. I help, serve, understand and love people profoundly better simply by listening with purpose and making sure people feel heard. 

2. What was the last subject you were curious about and then pursued to learn more? How did you pursue it?

High-value skill sets and how they translate to high-ticket offers in business. This is in the “Infopreneur” space. I pursued and am receiving some coaching right now from an expert on this topic. Learning these concepts and how to teach them to others is so important to me because women rarely fully see their value or the potential they have as entrepreneurs.

As a woman in the Infopreneur space myself, I am compelled to help them identify their high-value skills sets and to believe those skills are worth a high-ticket price that someone else is willing to pay for. I love to see women break through their glass ceilings.

3. If you can’t figure something out yourself, what source or person do you turn to first? How long do you wait before you ask for help? 

What great questions! Many chapters of my life have left me not able to figure something out, whether in my faith, family or business. Such as having 11 children! I promise you, nobody is born prepared for that! When that happens to me, first and foremost, I am a woman of faith. My No. 1 source is God and He is the first one I turn to. If I know I need "human" help, too, I turn to my network. I have incredible, extraordinary women and men in my network, and if they can't help, I know they know someone who can.

There have definitely been times that I’ve waited too long to ask for help, but I think it has less to do with being a woman and more to do with growing up feeling like I was on my own. Feeling like it’s all on you can trick you into thinking it’s all on you, when it doesn't have to be. There are so many resources in this life.

4. What are your personal values? Who and/or what inspired them and how do these values affect your decision-making process?

My faith and the Bible inform my values 100 percent. Simply said, my values boil down to “loving God and serving people.” By putting God first in my life, I stay anchored in purpose, integrity and a life lived on a higher plane than I could otherwise live. By choosing to serve others, I stay focused on doing the work God created me for, and it is more fulfilling than anything I ever did outside of these values. 

5. Technology and online communication/meetings/social have definitely changed over the years. Do these things help or hinder your growth – or both?

Oh, definitely helped! Because of social media, online platforms and the ability to have meetings with people across the globe, my impact has increased, and my business has grown. All of these opportunities require new skills and have a learning curve attached to them, so it’s also fair to say that they’ve been a catalyst for my personal and professional growth as well. I’m doing things I used to think impossible or was afraid to try and it's exciting! 

6. Where is the farthest you’ve traveled and what is a thing or two you learned from the experience? And what surprised you?

The farthest I’ve traveled is to Delmas, South Africa. Oh, a thing or two is very hard to keep it to! I’ve learned that it is easier to make a difference in the life of someone else than you think. Something very small to you, such as clean water, can transform and even save the life of another.

I’ve learned that regardless of cultural differences, everyone wants to be loved and to matter to someone else. What still surprises me most is that the human spirit cannot be quenched. Entrepreneurial ideas thrive everywhere. Even in squatter camps.

7. What are your favorite art forms? How do you challenge yourself to actively engage in the arts?

I have always loved music and film. I’ve grown to appreciate dance and paintings. I challenge myself to stay open to art forms, to understand them, to keep learning about the artists and what makes them “tick.”

8. How do you/your work move Milwaukee forward?

When women grow, heal, advance and increase their income, it changes the culture. When women improve, the culture improves. One of my favorite quotes is, “Values are passed down through the channels of affection.” I have no idea who said it, but I can’t unhear it. The way values are imparted and received is through love, care, empathy and involvement. The source of these in homes, schools, businesses, etc., is predominantly women.

In fact, in his book “Unleashing the Power of the Female Brain,” Dr. Daniel G. Amen says women’s brains are wired to naturally care more about the well-being of others than the male brain. We were literally made for it. Some women may resent doing the heavy lifting as it relates to caring for others, but I don’t. It gives us greater impact. The more we love, the more we influence.

I believe there are women all over Milwaukee ready and waiting to live and leave a legacy of faith, family and business. If many, many more women were equipped and empowered to do this, the ripple effect would be immeasurable — and I’m here for it.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.