We had the good fortune of connecting with Leeanne Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leeanne, every day, we hear about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Inspired by my lifelong love of horses and the realization that too many people I encountered struggled to answer the question “What lights you up?”, I left the corporate world and founded Unbridle IT, LLC in 2008 with my beloved equine partners, Sassy and Romeo.
My original mission was to help people tap into their true potential, unlock a long-lost passion and pass along the lessons I had learned through my work with horses… the importance of authenticity, the necessity of perseverance, and the value of resilience.
However, it quickly became apparent that many purpose-driven companies could also benefit from my approach in concert with my vast business experience, having spent 25 years in the luxury hospitality and tech industries.
Since then, in addition to writing my bestseller, Unbridle IT! Buck Up and Create Your Happy, I have been working with individuals, as well as businesses – big and small – on effectuating positive, holistic changes through facilitating workshops, motivational speaking, and self-care counseling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Just as the Coronavirus pandemic was beginning to take a hold on the world, I felt out of place and unhappy about my personal and professional life. I saw the pandemic as a major RESET button for anyone who could step up and embrace the changes that needed to be made so they could create their “happy.”
With so much out of our control, I knew that my happiness was 100% up to me so, I chose to transform my entire life with a focus on Self-Care, Relationships, and Alignment with Purpose. Once my friends noticed my complete transformation, they encouraged me to write a book about my journey.
I published Unbridle It! Buck Up and Create Your Happy! very intentionally on 2/14/21. I was thrilled that we hit #1 Best Seller status and top 3 in several other categories on Amazon. The book is basically a self help workbook that helps you break down what’s working, what’s not working and provides an outline to help you make the positive changes.
Was it easy? No. With new beginnings come endings and I had to end a long term relationship which caused pain. Once I get focused on something I go in 100%. The big changes only happen when you step out of your comfort zone. I had no idea where my income would come from as due to the pandemic I lost a couple of non profit clients who no longer had the budget to pay for my marketing services. However, I just knew it would all be fine and it was time to get back in alignment with my passion of helping others with horses.
What sets the book apart is how I have woven my life experiences and lessons learned from the horses into every day challenges we all face. The ability to show up authentically and living each day very intentionally were a couple of keys to my success. What you’re not changing, you’re choosing is a common theme to the book. The choice is yours to make positive changes and create a more happy, fulfilled life, or remain where you are and complain about it. I chose to Buck Up and Create My OWN Happy and invite you to do the same!
I believe that so many people look externally for happiness; in a relationship, or a new job or food or substance abuse. In reality, happiness lives inside each of us, and it’s up to you to take the reins and discover what your happiness looks like. My book is a blueprint with worksheets and steps to follow to help you discover AND achieve this goal.
For those who aren’t big book readers, the book will be coming out on Audible soon and in the meantime, it is available on Amazon.
Horses are so much more than a big, beautiful animal, they are natural healers and the best teachers of connection and authenticity. A horse doesn’t care how much you make, what you drive or how much your shoes cost, what they do care about is that you are showing up authentically, in your heart space, not your head space. I help people experience this through my events and workshops with and without the horses. In addition, I love to speak to groups of people about the importance of authenticity and self care in your daily life.
What lights you up? If you can’t answer that question and are ready to take the reins to create more happiness and fulfillment, Reach out and let’s get to it! You’ll never know your full potential until you Unbridle It!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m very fortunate to have returned to Cave Creek area which has a very different vibe than Scottsdale. Cave Creek is more of a small community surrounded by horse properties and open desert areas vs pavement. I take friends who visit up into town for a rustic experience and enjoy the live music and beautiful views that surround the town.
For a great day trip or sometimes an overnight in the haunted hotel, I love Jerome. It’s an old mining town with lots of history, (and ghosts). Great local owned restaurants and artisan shops and another bonus during the Summer is that it’s several degrees cooler than the Valley. My favorite place in Jerome is the Jerome Grand Hotel and The Asylum, their restaurant with a great outdoor patio to enjoy the views. Their infamous spicy Butternut Squash soup is by far a must!
For my wino friends we may go up through Cottonwood or Page Springs and visit some of the great tasting rooms and then head to Sedona. So many beautiful places within only a few hours so it really depends on interests of each individual. From hiking to relaxing with a glass or 2 of wine, you can find it all!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Susan F. Moody
Instagram: @leeannegk @unbridle_it
Arizona Horse Photography Merrick Miller