SheVentures: Podcasts by, for, and About Women in Leadership
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Episode 48: Sara Thurman

When God Spoke, She Pivoted

god called she listened sara thurman

What would you do if divine intervention careened your career in a wildly different direction? In the midst of retirement after a 24-year stint in teaching, school administration, and graduate and doctorate studies, that’s exactly what happened to Sara Thurman.

Thurman never picked up a paintbrush or easel, or took an art class before her faith spoke to her and she became an artist. Since 2014, she has sold more than 750 paintings and written a book about her experience. The proceeds from sales of the paintings go to missionary workers around the globe. 

Now, Thurman has come full circle and is a speaker and mentor once more, hosting e-courses and retreats, all to spread the message she received from God. Curious? Listen to her speak authentically about her life-changing pivot. 

Key Moments

3:47 — Thurman reveals why a decision she made in sixth grade led her to attend a total of nine different colleges between ages 18 and 28.

8:48 — What role did religion play in her eventual career choice?

13:34 — After her husband lost his job, Thurman became the primary breadwinner in the household.  Listen to how this life situation was a catalyst for good. 

16:00 — Thurman was working full-time, raising two small kids, and going to graduate school at night — she decided to get her doctorate in education, and then switch careers. Find out how Thurman did it all.

19:02 — Through divine intervention, Thurman’s career path took a drastic turn, and led her down a road she had never considered: art. 

23:46 — Thurman describes how it felt to sell her first painting — an image of an angel — and how 100 days of Christian-themed painting inspired her. 

27:55 — How do you put a monetary value on your work? Thurman discusses and elaborates on how she refines her creative process.

36:41 — Collaboration vs. Competition: Thurman extols the benefits of working collectively with your peers.

42:07 — Thurman’s book, Small Beginnings: A Journey to the Impossible, conveys lessons for all small business owners.

49:59 — If Thurman could paint any woman in history, living or dead, who would it be and why? 

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