This week on A Voice and Beyond, we have a most delightful conversation with our special guest — Link Forester. In this interview, Link shares his rare blend of humility, faith, and a good sense of humor, all of which have enabled him to grow and move through the trials of becoming a parent much earlier than planned, a risky career change, and the tragic death of his son. He is currently working in the financial services industry, leading a thriving financial planning and wealth management business.

During COVID, Link decided to write his autobiography called The Side Road, which takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and finding purpose amidst life’s unexpected twists and turns. As a seasoned traveler and adventurer, he tells us that he draws from his own experiences navigating the ups and downs of life to offer practical insights and wisdom to his readers. Through personal anecdotes and reflections, Link inspires us to embrace the unexpected detours and challenges life presents to find joy and meaning in the journey. He encourages us to step off the beaten path, explore new avenues and possibilities, and trust our inner compass to guide us toward our true purpose.

Whether you’re at a crossroads in your life or simply seeking inspiration and guidance, Link offers a fresh perspective on the transformative power of embracing all that life has to offer. This is a beautiful and candid discussion with Link Forester as he takes us on a journey with his many personal experiences, stories, and reflections.

In this Episode
2:35 – Introduction
14:03 – Qualities for success
18:12 – Life’s Curveball & How Link dealt with it
26:23 – Importance of humility, faith, and a good sense of humor
33:07 – For those people who haven’t found their purpose in life
35:04 – Importance of having a small group of friends
41:47 – Was there any regrets?
50:01 – Link’s book: The Side Road

Find Link Online
His book:


Putting yourself first is important because it allows you to prioritize your own needs and well-being, which in turn can help you be more productive, creative, and fulfilled in all areas of your life. By taking care of yourself first, you are better equipped to care for others and contribute positively to the world around you.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:01

It’s Marisa Lee here and I have some really exciting news to share with you. Just recently, I launched my performance mastery coaching program, which has been designed to help a forming artists and other creatives just like you to take center stage in their lives. Whether you’re mid career and simply feeling stuck, or you’re someone who is just about to embark on your career journey, and need help getting started, my unique coaching program is for you. To celebrate the launch. I’m currently offering a free 30 minute discovery session, so you can learn more about the program and how I can help you go to the next level in your life. My first intake is already seeing incredible results. So don’t miss out, go visit Dr Marisa Lee forward slash coaching, or just send me a direct message and let’s get chassis. Remember, there’s no time like now to take center stage in your life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:25

It’s Marisa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include healthcare practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized field to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  02:36

This week on a voice and beyond, we have a most delightful conversation with our special guest Link Forester. In this interview, Link shares his rare blend of humility, faith and a good sense of humor, all of which have enabled him to grow and move through the trials of becoming a parent much earlier than planned. A risky career change and the tragic death of his son. Link currently works in the financial services industry, where he continues to lead a thriving financial planning and wealth management business. During COVID, he decided to write his autobiography called The Side Road, which takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and finding purpose amidst life’s unexpected twists and turns. As a seasoned traveler and adventurer Link tells us that he draws from his own experiences navigating the ups and downs of life to offer practical insights and wisdom to readers. Through personal anecdotes and reflections. Link inspires us to embrace the unexpected detours and challenges that life presents and to find joy and meaning in the journey. He encourages us to step off the beaten path to explore new avenues and possibilities and to trust in our own inner compass to guide us towards our true purpose. Whether you’re at a crossroads in your own life, or simply seeking inspiration and guidance, Leake offers a fresh perspective on the transformative power of embracing all that life has to offer. This is a beautiful and candid discussion with Link Forester as he takes us on a journey with his many personal experiences, stories, and reflections. So, without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:15

Welcome to A Voice and Beyond, we have Link Forester all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. How are you Link?

Link Forester  05:25

I’m doing great Marisa. How are you doing?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:27

Yes, I’m doing good. It’s eight o’clock in the morning here. And I’m, I’m actually wide awake and raring to go and excited to talk to you. We have some interesting things to cover off on. But we’re going to start a little bit with you, you are at the moment you work in the financial services industry, where you continue to lead a thriving financial planning and wealth management business. And just recently, you published this beautiful, I’d call it an autobiography. It’s called the side road, finding joy and purpose through the twists and turns of life. And it truly is a delightful book to read. I’ve read it. And we’re going to be talking about this. But let’s just start with where you’re at right now. And then we’re going to talk about some of the ideas and life stories that you share within your book. So you started out, you graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor in building construction. But you started your career in sales at IBM. So what happened there?

Link Forester  06:47

I did spend a little short one year in the construction business before starting at IBM, but IBM was my first real job, if you will, and it gave me an opportunity to learn about myself and learn about dealing with other people. And the difference between a quoted territory job versus a contract sales job, which ultimately led me to my current business that I met. So yeah, so it was IBM was a great start, a person who knew me when I was young, gave me a chance to go to work for IBM, and it worked out to be a great sort of a great start to my career.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:33

Yes. But then you reached a point in that job, where you decided that you weren’t going to stay there anymore. And it’s an interesting story, because you actually decided, in your mind that there was a certain criteria of job that you wanted to go into next. So tell us about that.

Link Forester  07:56

Yeah, I think the first thing I realized is when you’re in a job, like I had at IBM, sort of a quota territory job, that everyone was managing your earnings managing your time. And I wanted something different than that I wanted to get to a business where if I sold something, it was based on a contract, it’d be kind of a contract sale where I would, you know, earn what I deserved. And I wasn’t super passionate about technology, I wanted to get into something a little bit different. And of course, when I started way back in the day, my our business was a little bit different. We did primarily life insurance and disability insurance planning, estate planning. And through the years, we migrated into the wealth management and financial planning side of the business, but it was a good change for me to do something different. Another person introduced me to this business and invested in my life made a big, made a big difference for me.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:05

So at that time, you were married. I still am. You still are 35 years later plus,

Link Forester  09:13


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:14

So there was a lot at stake there. Because you said that potentially you could have lost your home and you still went and you took that leap of faith. So was there fear around that? Or what did you have some kind of gut feeling that everything was going to be okay.

Link Forester  09:36

I believe that I would do well in that business. That business is really a business built on activity and how hard you worked. And I was committed to that. To say I was a little nervous. Sure. I mean, I had a great job at IBM. Everybody thought I lost my mind to leave that job and go into this store. would have commissioned only work for yourself career. But I knew it was I was better suited for that. And, and it worked out and very thankful for I wouldn’t I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:15

Yeah. And probably it’s just as well that it did work out because you are still with your wife at the time she thought you’d lost your mind as

Link Forester  10:25

she did. My parents did. Her parents did. But we we did it. It worked.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:33

Thank goodness. So was there any lessons that you learned through that process? Through that experience? Was there Did it teach you anything personally?

Link Forester  10:45

Sure. Well, initially, the process I went through to make the changes, I knew I wanted to do something different. I just wasn’t so sure what it was. So I, I made a list, one of all the things I wanted in a different job and a new job. And then I made a list of everyone who I thought had pretty cool jobs. And so I spent a couple of months having lunch with all my friends and people I knew and trying to learn about their career and their business and see if it kind of matched my list. And it was during that time that I met this person, Bill Goodwin, who really changed my life and convinced me that I was built for for this business, it matched my list. And it was true. And I learned that I could do it, you know, I learned that hard work and stick to itiveness, if you will, and stay on with it. You know, I was built for that. And most people don’t like the kind of job we’re in, we’re getting referrals, or we’re calling people we don’t know, we’re introducing them to ideas they don’t really want to talk about. And it’s what we call sort of a no demand product. No one’s calling us for what we do. Or a call like, yes, but I see. I seem to be built for it. And it’s it worked out.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:04

Yes. You talk about in your book, passive risk versus active risk. Can you explain what that is? Yeah,

Link Forester  12:15

I mean, passive risk would be staying at IBM, I was comfortable there, no one was asking me to leave. But I knew I wasn’t really happy. If I waited 10 more years, and all my problems would be bigger. And I would just be delaying something that was going to happen. Active Risk was taking this commission only job, I call it kind of being nekkid into the wind, you know, you just sort of got to go for it. And so that was that’s my sort of analogy between passive risk and active risk.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:49

I love that. Because most people probably are in a situation where it’s passive risk. They’re in a job, they don’t enjoy. But it’s easy. And it’s what they know. And taking that big leap forward is a big deal. And especially for you you had, you know, you had your wife, by that time, you had some kids, like, that was a big thing. And you said that your house was at risk, you could have potentially lost your home, but you did it. But what I love is that you had the list of what you actually were looking for. So you kind of had identified clear goals. And I think that’s sort of mitigate some of that risk, doesn’t it if you know what you’re actually looking for, if you have clarity around what you want,

Link Forester  13:42

I agree. And, and failure was not an option, I was gonna make it work, I was gonna work harder than everyone else around me and do what was necessary to, for it to work. And it has worked. And this created a lot of freedom for us. And most of my clients now are friends and great relationships. So I really have enjoyed it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:03

So you talk about the success that you’re experiencing, and you have experienced, what do you believe is the secret to that success? Now, you’re not allowed to say hard work? Because you’ve already said that, that you work hard. But what other qualities do you bring to the table that make you successful?

Link Forester  14:25

I mean, in our business, he needs to be trustworthy, you need to, they’ve got to believe in what you do. And you know, that’s important, but it’s truly a relationship. I mean, we journey along with our clients through their lives, and we help them through the good and the bad and all the tough decisions and you know, a lot of the things that we help people with there. They’re not super challenging things to figure out but they need someone to encourage them to do the right thing to ask the right question to all of those things. So I think being there being President with a client, being interested, being helpful, you help enough people, you’ll get what you want out of life, too.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:08

That is so cool. And that applies to a lot of industries. Even the industry I’m in, I’m a singing voice, teacher by trade. And everything that you’ve said actually applies to what we do that we’re there, we have to be present, we have to be trustworthy, we have to build relationships with our students. We have to be there to help them to guide them, help them make the right decisions. So much of that applies in life as well, doesn’t it? It’s all about connections and building relationships in life as well.

Link Forester  15:48

It is that’s what I described as the main thing. I’m all about relationship.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:53

Yeah, they talking about relationships. You’ve been married to your wife, or just over 35 years now.

Link Forester  16:01

Approaching 37? Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:04

congratulations, my 30th wedding anniversary is in September.

Link Forester  16:10

So the big one, I have big plans.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:13

Not at this stage, because I keep suggesting to my husband that we do something. And he doesn’t seem to get as excited as me. And it’s sort of dampening my spirits a little bit.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:28

But we’ll see. We’ll see. We had big plans to start with. And those plans seem to be diminishing at the moments. But anyway, at least I will expect a nice gift.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:43

There you go. So what do you believe is the secret to longevity in a relationship? Because you to married really young? You’re a college?

Link Forester  16:53

That’s right. I think we decided to have absolutes. And in our marriage pretty early, we absolutely decided we were never going to consider divorce. So if that’s off the table, then let’s figure it out. Right. So no problem so big that we can’t figure it out. We were in love when we started. If we’re having a problem, we can be in love again. And it’s been a good approach. We’ve no marriage is without a lot of struggle and stress and compromise and arguments and all that sort of stuff. And we have plenty of that. But our relationship is one that we cherish. It’s one that we value, and we want to do we want it to be more than we’re not a couple that just wants to live together. And, you know, we want it to be more than that. We want it to still be, you know, full life full of fun. And so far, so good. She hasn’t rung me out yet. Always tell her us and baby, if you’re leaving me, I’m going with you.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:00

So it’s no point going anywhere. That’s right. And that ain’t a threat. It’s a promise. I love that. That’s so cool. I love the idea that the two of you sat down very early on, and decided that divorce was not going to be a thing. But it’s really easy to say that. And then life throws you challenges, things that you wouldn’t expect to happen. And I know at the moment you have three children, you have two daughters in law, you have three grandchildren, but very, very sadly, very tragically. You lost your son about 12 years ago.

Link Forester  18:42

Right? Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:44

And that was, you know, under very tragic circumstances. How did that change your life at that time? And how did that impact your relationship at the time?

Link Forester  18:56

I think our my whole life is marked by that, that I mean, my whole life changed. And I mean, you question everything in your life you question your faith, you question your just happiness and just everything about life. And I committed and we committed that we weren’t gonna let Tyler’s loss take us down to we weren’t gonna let it take our marriage. Now most marriages don’t survive that kind of tragedy. And it’s, it’s hard and we all we both grieve very differently and we both just, you know, dealt with that situation differently and, and being able to be patient with each other, being able to forgive each other, be able to forgive yourself. I mean, all those things are just necessary to deal with that kind of loss and that kind of trauma. So yeah, we, you know, we continue to be happy and life’s gone and it’s true grandchildren have sorted have been something new and it made life a little easier. But there was a real tough, tough road there for a while, thankfully, we still had one child living with us. Our youngest was still in the house. I think if we were empty nesters and then lost Tyler, it probably would have been that much harder. But we still had to get up and be parents for Caroline and love her and, you know, help her, you know, through her, you know, high school years. And I think that obviously, helps them as well.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:33

Yes, because she would have been grieving as well. I mean, if that would something like that would impact the whole family. And you’re so right in saying that, quite often. A loss like that can tear not only a relationship apart, but a whole family. And just talking about something that happened to me, I lost my first husband over 30 years ago. And it tore the whole family apart. And not only you dealing with the grief, of the loss, but then all these other people start walking away because there’s anger that’s which is part of that grieving process is the anger, and wanting to blame, and your own guilt that you’re feeling. It can really tear you apart, but tear everyone apart that’s around you. So that’s an incredible thing that the two of you survived that. And the fact I can imagine men think and feel differently to women, and your grieving process absolutely would have been very different to Carla. So how did you grieve? Do you mind sharing your grieving process? What that was like for you?

Link Forester  22:01

Yeah, so for me, I like to be around other people. Talk about Tyler, you know, celebrate the things that we enjoy doing with him and just who he was. And I’m always open to that my wife a little more would prefer to be by ourselves sort of be alone thinking about Tyler or thinking about, you know, she just is we’re both social, but she’s just more introspective. just wants to, you know, have some more alone time. So I think that’s one main difference in the way we handle stress and grief. I’m sure there are other little nuances of that. But that’s the main the main difference. Our family we we celebrate Tyler’s continue to celebrate his birthday in his death day. We get the family together at the grave site go to eat at one of his favorite places we get a chance to remember and think about him. We have two things still in our life that we’ll spend any amount of money to keep going on is his dog. His dog is we still have Bailey she’s she’s 13 Wow, and little black lab. Great dog and, and then we still have his car is Tayo. So we’ll keep keep both those things going at any cost.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  23:39

Well, I’m glad you’re keeping the dog going. Because very early in your book, you talk about another dog and your wife saying I’m glad I’m not that dog. Yeah, I’m gonna get my parents to tell us that story quickly. Yeah, dog.

Link Forester  23:59

Yeah, we we actually had a black lab and she got sick. And I came home from work and she was you know, couldn’t move her back legs in the driveway. So we decided to my wife and I called the vet that’s you really need to take her to the Veterinary Hospital. George’s we went, took her out there and after about 10 minutes again and gave us the news and look, she’s looks pretty sick, but we’re willing to operate on her but it’s $5,000 and we’ll give her less than a 50% chance of making it off the table or we’ll put her down for you. And you know, I just started in this business. We didn’t have two nickels to rub together hardly. There was no way I could afford $5,000 For you know this experimental surgery on our dog so I took all the kids got them all together. We loved on Jordan before we sent her the dog heaven and I Uh, you know, we’re all pretty torn up about it. And so now we’re driving home. And we’re about halfway home and my wife looks at me and says, hey, when we get home, I want you off my medical power of attorney. My mom will spend $5,000 make sure I’m okay. I guess I’ve, I guess I’ve softened up through the years. And we have a little bit more money now. So as far as like our dog recently did get sick. And we had she just had surgery, Bailey, and had her spleen removed, removed to blood transfusions later, but she’s, she’s still going.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:42

Okay, so was that $5,000?

Link Forester  25:45

That was more than 5000? Oh, yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:47

Oh, my gosh. So that other dog. It was just the timing. Just the timing. That’s right, wasn’t meant to be. So talking about you Link, it’s been said that you possess a rare blend of humility, faith and a good sense of humor, which we can clearly hear that all of which have enabled you to grow through the trials of becoming a parent, at a very young age, make a risky career change, and navigate the tragic death of a son. So that humility, faith and good sense of humor? How important do you believe those qualities are?

Link Forester  26:32

Yeah, I think they’re, I mean, I think faith is the most important thing. I mean, you’ve got to believe in something bigger than yourself. So you’ve got to figure out what you believe is true, and what you’re going to believe that. And I think that’s some, obviously super important. And then that gives you a sense of humility, who you are in light of bigger things and makes you seem a little smaller, which is probably okay. You know, having a sense of humor makes life a lot easier. So I try to take myself not too seriously and like to, you know, have a little fun.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  27:15

So, yes, yes. And I think a lot of what you’re talking about, too, is putting things into perspective. I think you have perspective, when you talk about something bigger than what is just happening in front of you. It’s just like, let’s put this in perspective here. Yeah, yeah. Would you say you’re a visionary man? Because you have you take this long view? At life, you don’t just sit in the present, you kind of look forward. You’re a forward thinker. So would you call yourself a visionary?

Link Forester  27:53

I mean, visionary seems like a really important word for someone to describe someone. I’m not so sure. I’m a visionary. But I don’t think any of my ideas are super original. I’ve borrowed them from somebody, I’m sure through the years, but you know, I do. I don’t know what the right word is visionary, I don’t think is the right one. I just think.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:19

Yeah, I actually like the word visionary because it means someone who has, who can sort of do big picture, thinking. It’s not necessarily about being Bill Gates, or Elon Musk. It’s just someone who has takes the long view, like then can see big picture.

Link Forester  28:40

All right. If that’s where you want to describe it, then I’ll I’ll accept it. As I’ll accept being a visionary.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:46

Okay, you can add that to all your things, the qualities you possess.

Link Forester  28:52

All right,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:53

I give you permission. And if anyone argues with them, you say you go and talk to this woman in Australia called Marisa Lee Naismith. Right, now, we’re going to talk about this beautiful book, the side road, you have written this, it’s it’s an auto biography. Why is the title why the side road? What’s all that about?

Link Forester  29:21

Yeah, I just think it’s different choosing a different path, you know, not necessarily going with the flow, finding your own way. You doing something that not everyone else is doing because you think it’s the right thing to do? Or, you know, I like the side road, the road less traveled, you know, any of those would would would affect for sure,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  29:45

yes. Okay. So in other words, maybe it’s not about conforming and finding your path in life.

Link Forester  29:54

Yeah. I like that. The path that fits

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  29:57

you the best

Link Forester  29:59

finding your way A

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  30:01

so what’s the message that you want to share with people? Why the book?


Well, you know, the book wasn’t my idea, the book, one of my sons really wanted me to write the book Cole. And he, he went so far as to line up five interviews with me what like with Ghost Rider, a writing coach company called scripts. And after all that, I said, Alright, cool. I don’t know. But let me I don’t even journal that well, let me just, I’ll give it a try. So I started writing a bunch of life stories. And out after writing all those life stories, I said, I will if I was gonna organize these and put them in a book, but with the chapter title supply can I came up with chapter titles, I take a story, put it in a Chapter write about it. And what I realize is, I really enjoyed it. I liked writing this book, I think Cole thought my book might be more business centered when he was encouraging me to do it. But I liked the story of life. There are a few chapters about business and word. There’s some chapters about faith and what we think is important. There’s some chapters about just our family life and fun things we do. And so it’s just, it’s a fun book. I think it’s an easy read, you know, it’s a short book that publisher has on the back of the book. It’s an 82 minute read. So it’s not no one is going to invest too much time in this thing if they don’t like it, but hopefully, they’ll find it entertaining.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:38

Yes. Do you feel there’s some kind of legacy around the book? For your family? Yeah,

Link Forester  31:45

I think in the future grandchildren, great grandchildren can read this and learn a little bit about their Poppy and their CC and what they are really about. So I think that’d be good.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:58

Yeah. And in the book, you talk about finding joy and purpose through life’s twists and turns. So is that actually what happened to you through those dark times in your life that you’ve found your purpose? And what you’re meant to be doing?

Link Forester  32:19

Yeah, I think we, you know, one of the lessons in the in the book is just finding truth. Do you believe there’s truth somewhere absolute truth? Do you believe in that? And if you do believe that, can you find that? What is that for you? And I think if you can believe something so wholeheartedly that you’ll put your faith in that and your trust in that, that it makes all these events in life seem a little less stressful. If you believe there’s life after this place on Earth, and then that’s even better than this is just sort of the prelude or the warm up to what’s coming, you know?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:05

Yeah, yeah. What about for those people who haven’t found their purpose in life? Is there anything that you can say to those people to help them discover that purpose? Or what does purpose? I mean, that I think you just explained what it means for you. So how can people find their purpose in life?

Link Forester  33:31

Oh, man, I think you expose yourself to different ideas is, is what you believe? Does it stand up to scrutiny? Are you willing to be vulnerable? And I mean, I’m, I’m a Christian, I’m a Jesus follower, I believe those things that I don’t believe them, because it’s popular. I believe it because I really believe it’s true. And if I believe it’s true, then there’s no way I can’t put my faith in that and appreciate that the relationship I have with a God now, you know, all of that is just so important to us. And I’m willing to put that up against other ideas and, and tested and all of that, because I’m comfortable with that. And I guess me a lot of security and hope and what’s ahead, and all the challenges in the world and life and my own health or my own struggles. I’m not too worried about stuff. temporary thing.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:36

Yeah. So it’s like having trust, isn’t it? And do you talk about you encourage your readers to trust in their own inner compass to guide them towards their true purpose? How can people cultivate this trust? It doesn’t mean to follow your gut feelings, what your instincts that telling you? What does that mean? What does that look like?

Link Forester  35:04

I think one thing that’s really important is to have a small group of friends, people you respect people you trust to help you along the way. You know, I’ve got a handful of guys that I’ve met with for the last 30 years, and they’re my go to people if I have a struggling with something, they’re the outside of Carla, the first people I go to to say, hey, what do you think I’m dealing with this, I just learned this. And I think being vulnerable with I mean, let’s face it, this life can be lonely. And just a marriage or relationship with your spouse isn’t enough. You need you need other people in your life, that care about you that can help you down that journey we call life. And I think that’s one secret to finding out who you are. And that is being vulnerable, with a group of other people to help you figure all that out.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  36:14

I heard a really lovely way of describing friendships. Mel Robbins, has a beautiful podcast. And she was talking about there’s three types of friendships, one of friends for a reason. And they’re people, like, for example that you work with, they’re, they’re your friends for that reason, because you work with them, or you might train with them in the gym, or they may go to the same coffee shop is what you do, then there’s friends for a season, that there are only meant to be there for a part of your life. And then there are what most people call your best friends forever. But she says it should be best friends flexible, because you shouldn’t put demands on a friendship. And they’re the friends that you can call at 4am in the morning and say, I have a problem, or I just need to talk and they’ll always be there for you. I thought that was so lovely.

Link Forester  37:18

Yeah, I agree. I just think that’s I mean, this is a lonely place. And loneliness is a tough thing. And so just having people that care about you, there’s no purpose other than just friendship. And that’s the in a relationship. And there might be a common thread as you if you develop these friends over time, and that’s that’s likely going to happen. But it’ll help you be a better you, right? Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  37:50

yes. Now this book includes many of you like it’s full of your personal anecdotes and reflections. Was it difficult for you to share any of these? Was there anything that you were writing about that you thought, Oh, this is just so hard to relive this?

Link Forester  38:10

Not for me? I didn’t mind I was I don’t mind talking about Tyler obviously. That’s the hardest part of the book is just talking about that loss. And you know, that was the hardest thing to write about a lot of other life stories in there, but I was happy to share happy to be vulnerable and happy to be silly, happy happy to have people laughs I’m at my expense. I certainly don’t mind that. It’s we have a lot of funny family and life stories in there. So I think I didn’t mind at all. No.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  38:45

So when you are writing was there a story that brought you the greatest joy when you were reflecting on it? And would you like to share that with us?

Link Forester  38:55

Well, there are a lot of funny stories but one is my I’m a big golfer I play a lot of golf and I have this one story that my son and I always had this agreement that if one of us made a whole lot wine, he had to rip your shirt off and run to the hole and there I was in the middle of a tournament NATO hola one. I rip my shirt off. I ran to the whole manboobs gone and everything was fine. I didn’t hurt myself.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:24

Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. Was that healing for you to write the book and and for your family as well to read it the mean Did it bring them joy and healing for you at the same time?

Link Forester  39:40

I thought it was therapeutic to write it. I enjoyed writing it. I thought it was fun. I wish I had more to write about. I think most of my family likes it. They don’t all like all of it, I guess.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:53

Especially the in laws.

Link Forester  39:57

I think they’re okay with it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:59

Yeah. cuz you guys didn’t start off to great.


No, that’s the first line. My father-in-law told me was Link, time can heal a lot of wounds. So he

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:11

was wounded just by meeting you. Yeah,

Link Forester  40:15

well, his daughter was pregnant is first time we met was kind of a rough, rough introduction. But yeah, I think they found a way to forgive me through the years, we’ve we’ve had a pretty good relationship, and we still have all four parents are still with us. That’s incredible. So we’re in that sort of sandwich years right now. And we have grandchildren and we’re busy helping with all the babies. And then we have aging parents that need our help. And so that’s keeping my wife especially busy.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:48

So that’s at the moment, you’re going through a new season, again, a new journey in life.

Link Forester  40:55

We are Yep, all of our parents are struggling with some kind of health issue. But they’re still together, they’re still happy, they’re still living in their home, or a new home together. But they’re in a they’re in their home. And, yeah, it’s kind of a cute phase in life, because they pretty much just have each other now and it’s kind of fun to see. See them still in love after, you know, however many years is 60 years? Like

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:29

why don’t you get less for murder?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:38

So reading your book, and you being in that writing process, and going back and reading through it. Was there anything you regretted or something that you would have said to the young Link at the time? Who was going through whatever it was that was was happening?

Link Forester  42:01

Oh, I don’t have to go to the Young Link. I do stupid things all the time, even now that I read you kidding me? But I mean, look, I have this thing. I’m quick to forgive other people when they do something. And I like to, I’m quick to forgive myself. I don’t I make mistakes. All the time. I tell people if you know me long enough, I will disappoint you. So let’s don’t let’s get over that. You know, let’s just let’s just find a way to care about each other and not sweat the not sweat the small stuff. I don’t I don’t know that if I really regret anything in the book. I mean, obviously, I would do things differently. I mean, Carla, and I got off to a tough start. Yes. I mean, at least it looks that way from the outside. I didn’t mind so much. I mean, I got a pretty good upgrade. I went for the hard clothes. She had to say yes. You know. I feel like I want him to deal. I married my trophy wife first. And now she’s stuck with me.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  43:05

That’s so cool. That’s beautiful to hear, after all those years to to have that love. That’s incredible. And you’re also seasoned traveler and an adventurer. What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?

Link Forester  43:21

I mean, we go we still go to some regular places. Every year we go to the keys every year down to Ala Murata. My friend has a beautiful house, he lets us rent from him. And that’s beautiful. I mean, we’ve been, you know, some great, some great trips. My wife would probably say something like Greece or Italy or Spain. We’ve been all those places, Mediterranean. Yeah, I’m more of a margarita and a beach person.

Link Forester  43:53

Ah, so Caribbean. We like like, we like Cabo.

Link Forester  43:58

We’ve been there a good bit. We. I mean, my wife’s a beach person. So anyway, we’re saying she’s pretty happy.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  44:07

Yeah, I have to agree with you. I’m a traveler as well. I love traveling. And I try and go overseas, when it’s not COVID times, like once or twice a year if I can. I never did any travel till my kids grew up. I never went overseas. And I feel like I’m making up for all that last time now. And people say to me, you’re never here. You’re always at an airport. And I’m thinking, Well, you know what, I’ve never went anywhere. I didn’t go anywhere. I raise my girls. And now it’s my time. So you kind of have to make the most of it. I couldn’t afford to travel when the kids were growing up.

Link Forester  44:53

Well, we can relate to that. We’ve done a lot more traveling as we’ve gotten a little older. And Montana we go out there mountains, some and hike and we like that too. So I guess if I could, if I could name a lot of places that we like.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:07

Yes, yes. I love that you say you, are you still 55? Because you are 55 Here

Link Forester  45:17

55. Okay, now that

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:19

you’re 21 and just getting started, what is it for you that gives you that drive and that energy and that enthusiasm for life,

Link Forester  45:32

you know it and all the different phases like work now I’ve formed a new partnership with a friend of mine, we’re doing something new, it’s fun we’ve got, we’re both committed now working a little bit longer than we thought we would we’re energized by that. I still pretty healthy, still playing golf, still doing these different things. So I, I guess it’s probably the social part of all of it. I mean, the work part relationship with our clients on race of our business partner, one of my sons now in business with me, we’re enjoying that. So I think that everything that we do involves some kind of social and some kind of relationship piece to it. I guess that’s probably what I that’s probably what energizes me more than anything, I guess.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:20

And that gives you your sense of purpose, it gives me

Link Forester  46:23

my sense of enjoyment relationship to me is, is really important. And whether it’s my relationship with my wife, with God, friends with whoever it may be, those are the things that I value the most.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:44

So do you think there’s another book in you?

Link Forester  46:48

I don’t know. Probably not. I would, I would, I wouldn’t mind it. But my wife would probably say one was enough.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:58

Did it take you a long time? Or was it just stressful?

Link Forester  47:02

It did not take that long. And it was pretty it was it was really easy to do. I wrote it sort of during COVID. I had some time. It was it was pretty, pretty easy. I enjoyed it. And I would encourage anyone to give it a try. Yes, I did. I didn’t hire a writing coach about three quarters of the way. And she really helped me kind of organize my thoughts and introduced me to a publisher publisher ticket first tries to all that was exciting and and went pretty smoothly.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:39

Amazing. I think the thing for me would be trying to remember everything. How do you do that?

Link Forester  47:48

It can’t aspire, you know, use or organize your thoughts and get these stories figured out. He’s sort of kind of figure it out. And you I solicit a little bit of help from you know, the family on things I had forgotten they were ever willing helpers? I guess.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:07

So is there any piece of advice you’d like to share with our listeners who may be feeling stuck or lacking purpose in their lives at the moment or unsure of their path? Or how to move forward? Is there anything you’d like to say to those people based on your experiences?

Link Forester  48:29

Well, I mean, I think we’re all prone to being seasons like that. I mean, I wake up every morning, I have this in the book, I tell him, there’s there’s four I am statements, I tried to tell myself every morning, I try to tell myself that I am loved. I am free. I am secure. And I am happy. And it just allows me to kind of reset my thinking, you know, I think about who loves me, the relationships that I have, I think about how secure I am and those relationships, I value the fact that I’m relatively healthy and free to do some things I can do you right now, that may not always be true for me. And for right now, we’re pretty happy. But we might go through another season of life or our happiness factor could be a little bit less. But I think having a moment to talk to yourself and say, Hey, it’s okay. This is what’s important. Let’s let’s make today a good day. You know, new start and call someone you like, try to think trying to find a relationship that’s important to you and lean in that direction I think was always helpful. Hmm.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:50

Sounds that like there’s a lot of gratitude around that as well.

Link Forester  49:54

Yeah. Life would be thankful for Yeah,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:57

yep. So we’re wrapping this Up Now Link, where can people find the book,

Link Forester  50:04

you can find that book anywhere you buy books, if you buy them online, you can just put in the side road or put in my name and you should be able to pull it right up. It’s on our, you know, if you buy books at Barnes and Noble online, you can get it there anywhere.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  50:22

Okay. And we will share your links in the show notes too. Perhaps we can put a link to the book as well. That sounds great. Okay, awesome. Well, look, thank you so much for your time. And reading. This did bring me a lot of joy. And I could feel the love coming through every page. Every word on every page through the contents of the book. I felt like I was there beside you. There’s so many lovely stories, and I just wish you all the very best to you and your family. Your wife, Carla. She sounds like an amazing woman putting up with you know? Yeah. Tough Senate’s

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:09

Yeah, but no, please take care. And thank you so much for being on the show and best wishes with your book sales and with life and your journey, and all your travels.

Link Forester  51:23

Well, thank you, Marissa. Thanks so much. Great to be on the show.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:27

Thank you. Take care. Bye. Bye bye.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:33

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth, and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you’d like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.