LIFT Speaks 27 with Betty Mutai: Preparing in Life Today to Create Change in Lives Tomorrow

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Betty Mutai is a woman on a mission.  She is a forward thinker, looking for ways to impact people groups in positive ways.  She works for TEAM and she’s getting her master’s in political science.  Betty not only thinks about big ideas, but she’s active in making her dreams come true. 

In my current position I am responsible for…. making sure our constituents’ donors’ issues and questions are resolved.

The thing I enjoy most about my work is…. when I finally get to the bottom of a complicated issue and deliver a satisfactory solution.

The biggest surprise for me as a businesswoman is … the level of patience required when your intuition tells you one thing, but there isn’t enough data to justify.

One question people should ask me is… how to overcome the fear of public speaking.

My older self would coach my younger self….to not take life too seriously.

One thing I wish I knew when I was younger is… that sometimes life doesn’t always go in the direction you plan but nevertheless, persistence is key! 

Introduction 

Catherine Miller: Hello. Welcome to LIFT, stories of what people do and their impact on the world. Today I’m visiting with Betty Mutai with TEAM. Betty, take a second and just tell us what TEAM is and what you do at TEAM.

Betty Mutai: Absolutely. So, TEAM stands for The Evangelical Alliance Missions basically our vision, our passion is to partner up with the global church in sending missionaries. My job is I’m a donor relations coordinator. So, I’m in charge of talking with the missionaries, talking with the donors. Just being a liaison for them and communicating them, helping them in any way that I can.

Catherine Miller: Good. I also know that Betty is getting her master’s degree in political science. What are you hoping to do with that, Betty?

Betty Mutai: Change the world like everyone else in class. But really have an impact in the issues that I’m really concerned with. I have a huge passion for women’s rights and in children advocacy.  I’m learning now what I can and then just hoping to implement that in the future.

Catherine Miller: Cool. I love your vision. Are you ready for rapid-fire questions?

Betty Mutai: I am.

Catherine Miller: OK, good. All right. Betty, describe your best day.

Betty Mutai: Best day, a day where I accomplished all my tasks, which is – it doesn’t happen very often. Best day probably we – there’s no feeling of being overwhelmed, a day whereby I can actually be productive and not be distracted as I usually am.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. Yeah, I understand that. What is your key to productivity?

Betty Mutai: Key to productivity. First and foremost is planning out the day and what you want to accomplish and knowing that you’re not going to be able to accomplish everything. I think that’s what usually holds me back. In my mind, I think I’m going to have to finish all these things and it’s not realistic.

So as a result of that and your psyche becomes discouraged and then you just – you lose productivity. So, I’m learning, slowly learning, that the key is to plan out what you want to accomplish that day. Be realistic of the goals that you’re setting out and then hope that you achieve them. Don’t get distracted.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. Yeah. That’s good! All right. What is one foundational business principle that you are committed to executing?

Betty Mutai: Absolutely. This is something that we talked about previously in our diversity and hospitality and that’s a key hospitality, learning that – seeing your clients or your constituents, in my political term, as more than just a way to get more votes, but really having the heart to serve them and creating just that unity and community.

Catherine Miller: Oh, that’s good. That’s really good. All right. Rapid question number four. Do you have a personal or business mission statement or just even an overall philosophy in life?

Betty Mutai: Absolutely. I derive mine from Plato and he says that “A life unexamined is not worth living.” It’s something that I’ve had to – I constantly have to remind myself in each and every season. The things that I’m doing, does it have a purpose? I don’t want to live aimlessly because I have maybe 60 more years left and I want to know that every action that I take has an impact towards my future.

Catherine Miller: Oh, wow.

Betty Mutai: Being very intentional about why I do the things I do, who I communicate with and the actions that I’m putting forward in the world.

Catherine Miller: Wow, that’s good. Where do you find the greatest joy and what energizes you at work?

Betty Mutai: The greatest joy, I’m going to find it in actually talking to people or reading stories about people who are nothing like me because I mean I’m in America. It’s so easy to get consumed with what’s happening here and we forget that I’m so privileged compared to what’s happening out there.

So, whenever I read stories of families or women going through different struggles, I know it’s kind of dark, but just hearing what they’re going through and knowing, it gives me a sense of purpose. Like this is why I’m going to school. This is why I’m studying, and it keeps me motivated to accomplish what I need to do, so I can go out there and have an impact in their lives, whether it’s direct or indirectly.

Catherine Miller: What energizes you? What helps you focus?

Betty Mutai: Well, one, getting those emails answered. It doesn’t happen all the time. But just being able to accomplish – because with each email, it’s more than just clearing my inbox, but it’s knowing that I’m helping a missionary answer a question that they have and they’re so far away and so whether it’s a financial question, which it’s a big deal to them, or helping a donor solve out some key issues that they’re having with their finances, it really gives me a sense of relief knowing that I’m making a difference in their end of the deal.

Catherine Miller: Cool. That’s good. All right. You may have probably already touched on this a little bit. But what impact do you hope your work has beyond your salary or making money?

Betty Mutai: So, for donor relations, really being the coordinator for donor relations, it’s all about creating a smooth atmosphere for the missionaries. They’re out there doing face to face with the people they hope to serve.

So, for me, I would hope that being diligent in the work that I have, being timely in my responses helps them ease – just gives them a sense of ease, so that they can go out and focus and do what they need to do. It’s more than just getting that paycheck later on in the future. But I mean being a political scientist – I don’t desire to be a politician by any means. But I would hope that in every policy that I’m studying, in every conversation that I’m having, I can create some – just an idea of how I can make a real impact because it goes beyond just what I’m reading with textbooks. These are real-life principles that I hope has an impact.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, that’s good. All right. Last question. Favorite thing about working at the LIFT Office and how working here benefits you either on a business or personal level?

Betty Mutai: Absolutely. So, you have to be one of my favorite things and actually you didn’t pay me. It’s just the atmosphere of knowing that we’re all coming together. We all have different purposes. We all have different visions but we’re using this collaborative workspace to be able to just focus in on what we have to do.

The LIFT, the big idea probably has to be one of my favorite things so far. Just hearing different nuggets from different people. How do I implement this in my own practice? I mean we all have such different things that we’re doing. But knowing that I can take the lessons that they’re using, implement them in my own work even though it’s so different. I love that. I like the space. It’s really cool. Very hipster. So, I’m not a hipster. I love it.

Catherine Miller: I’m so glad. I love having you here. I’m so thankful that you’re a part of our community here. I think it’s better because you’re here. I’m glad that you’re a part of it.

Betty Mutai: Thank you for having us.

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