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Autotelism: The Path to a Life of Joy and Fulfillment

Your quality of life is not based on standards such as time or ranking, but on finally awakening to an awareness of the fluidity within action itself. ~ Haruki Murakami ~ I learned a new word recently. I love when that happens. The word is “autotelism.” It’s defined as the belief that any action has meaning and purpose within itself and not apart from itself. Autotelism is when you sing because you like to sing. You are a vegetarian because you like being a vegetarian. You meditate because you enjoy meditating. You do it because it’s there to do. You immerse yourself in it. You challenge yourself to do it to the best of your ability. You don’t do it to “get somewhere” or to please anyone else. To illustrate, are a few of my autotelic experiences: Skydiving Camping in the mountains Writing Making a new recipe Coaching Tai Chi practice Playing Pickleball Can Any Activity be Autotelic? I believe any activity can be autotelic, but it’s challenging. I tend to procrastinate on doing things I don’t like doing or doing activities that take me out of my comfort zone. I’m practicing ways to short-circuit my procrastination tendencies by challenging myself to turn them into autotelic experiences. Take bill paying for example. Who loves doing that? I’ve taken on the gratitude practice of writing “thank you” on every bill when I pay it. I think about how much I appreciate having a roof over my head, being warm, having lights and internet, and so forth. I create the possibility that the people who provide these services will get to pay their bills because I am paying mine. I’ve transformed bill paying from being a dreaded chore into being something for which I get to experience gratitude, contribution, and appreciation. Things didn’t shift overnight, of course. It took a while to reframe bill-paying from an externally based “should-driven” chore into an internally based “want to” or “get to” experience of autotelism.  The key to transforming any activity into an autotelic experience is your willingness to become internally driven rather than externally pressured. How Do You Design a Life of Autotelism? You may be wondering how this applies to designing and building your Sexy Second Act. One way to begin is by making a list of your autotelic experiences. What have you done for the fun and joy of doing them rather than from trying to achieve something or get somewhere? Make your list as complete as you can. You may find that there are more of them than you realize. Once your list is complete, see if you can identify a theme or a get a glimpse of your core values. Keep adding to your list as you remember or have new autotelic experiences. To show you how it works, here is how my list from above links to my core values: Autotelic Experience Core Value Core Value Definition Skydiving Courage Dancing on the Edge of Uncertainty Coaching Love Connecting Heart to Heart Writing Communication Creating Synergy Tai Chi Practice Sensuality Ecstasy in the Physical Body Camping in the Mountains Exploration Savoring Life as an Adventure Paying Bills Gratitude Appreciating Life’s Perfection Visiting a Museum Joy Experiencing the world with Childlike Wonder   Do you see how you can apply this process to any activity? It takes time and dedication to work through this process of linking activities to core values to defining what they mean to you in achieving flow. But if you are patient and committed, you’ll have a reference point to return to whenever your life seems to go off track. You’ll even be able to apply your theme or core values to activities that feel mundane or distasteful to you. With diligence, you will likely experience an “aha” moment of clarity as you realize you’re onto something. You’re on your way to being in the flow of an exciting, thrilling, and fulfilling Sexy Second Act filled with autotelic experiences! And of course, I’m always here to help if you’d like assistance. Schedule your complimentary consultation here.

How to Design Sexy New Beginnings When Other Beginnings End

Every New Beginning Comes from Some Other Beginning’s End ~ Seneca ~    Endings are Challenging Even when you believe endings are signals from the Universe that it’s time for you to stretch and grow. Even when you believe it’s time for you to enter a new life stage. Especially when they are instigated by something or someone beyond your control. They Stop You in Your Tracks A few years ago, I experienced several unanticipated endings, including a business partnership, a dear-to-my-heart project, a working relationship, and the disbanding of a mastermind group that I enjoyed very much. So many significant endings within a short timeframe stopped me in my tracks. I felt as empty as a balloon that’s had the air let out of it. Mind Hell Took Over For a while, I tried to carry on, fluttering around, pretending there was no impact, and not enjoying much of anything that had to do with my coaching practice. Inside my head, the conversation went something like this: Why bother? Nobody cares Nothing I do ever works out None of this is worth the effort Maybe it’s time to quit I fell into the Mind Hell trap of negative thinking, questioning everything I had been doing. And especially because I’m a coach, I felt like I “should” know better, which just took me deeper into the downward spiral. I made myself wrong for my negative thoughts. Like I’m not human or something. The downward spiral of Mind Hell wipes out “sexy” in a heartbeat. I robbed myself of the passion and joy of doing what I love. Climbing Out of Mind Hell Takes Grit I repeatedly asked myself how long I was going to wallow in Mind Hell. Hanging out there didn’t feel like I was honoring my life purpose to “Playfully and Passionately Celebrate Life.” Eventually I remembered exactly what I teach. I acknowledged that I was going through a transition. I was experiencing grief, anger, fear, and self-doubt that signals the ending stage when you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. It feels like you are standing on shaky ground with nothing solid to hang onto. Realizing that I was experiencing a normal reaction to a transition was a relief, but I’m not going to lie. Climbing out of a career or life transition takes grit. It’s tough to keep going when it feels like there’s no solid ground to stand on. The good news is that once you realize you are in a transition, you can let go of trying to turn back time. You can stop wishing for life to be some other way than how it is. That frees you up to be curious and creative about what you would like your new future to look like. In her book “Grit,” Angela Duckworth states that grit requires two components, passion and perseverance. Of the two, passion often comes easier. While there is no set time limit for going through a transition, the timespan will likely be shorter if you practice perseverance. It's okay to take baby steps as long as you keep moving forward. I believe that I am still climbing out of my latest transition. But these days, I’m feeling energized again. I’m happy about how I see my life and coaching practice going from here. I feel my “sexy” coming back! New Beginnings Bring New Joy The last few years have brought challenging endings to all if us. In one way or another, I believe we are all in transition. The world we once knew is gone forever. But many of us are trying to go back to a “normal” that no longer exists. I get it if you feel like you’ve lost your “sexy” along the way. You may find yourself in the downward spiral of Mind Hell. Climbing out takes grit, but it can be done. Here are a few actions you can take: Don’t pretend there’s no impact to your life. Don’t make yourself wrong if you have stopped in your tracks. Forcing yourself to carry on will take you deeper into mind hell. Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel confused, unbalanced, or like you are on shaky ground. Journal your feelings, share them with a trusted friend or advisor, or create a visual of your feelings. Getting them out of your head and putting them where you can see them objectively will help you gain perspective. Change your focus. Put your attention on exploring something new, fun, and interesting to revitalize your energy. Learn a new skill, do something fun with friends, or take a course where you can meet people who share a common interest. Listen to your intuition. Trust it to guide you forward, even if what you hear it say doesn’t immediately make sense. Clarity will come with patience and persistence. Celebrate along the way. Celebrate insights. Celebrate milestones. Celebrate your perseverance. Celebrate that a new beginning is on the way, even if you can’t quite envision the shape of it yet. Endings aren’t for the faint of heart. But they happen. You can choose to fight against them, or you can choose to work with them to discover a way to begin again. You can design and build a Sexy Second Act that’s fun, exciting, and worthy of your time and energy. There is great joy to be found in creating something that matters to you.

Transitions Sometimes Mean Falling Back to Spring Forward

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet ~ I can’t help but smile at the complaining and grousing that goes on when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends. It offers a great example of how people react when they face a transition. People Don’t Like Transitions. Not Even Small Ones Big or small, transitions take you out of your comfort zone – at least temporarily. You see how people avoid dealing with transitions all the time, like those who leap out of one relationship and immediately jump into another. They don’t “fall back” to process what exactly went wrong and what they could do differently next time. Or like those who get fired from one job after another because they can’t get along with their coworkers or boss. And they blame their coworkers or boss rather than “falling back” to take a good hard look at how they contribute to their inability to play nice with others. Distractions and complaining are easy ways to avoid feelings of discomfort. It takes courage to stay with your discomfort long enough to get the lesson your transition has to teach you. Give Yourself Permission to Fall Back Regardless of whether you are experiencing a personal or professional transition, your first instinct might be to spring forward full speed ahead. You might think you have to hurry up and figure out what’s next, even before you’ve had a chance to process and complete the situation that just ended. I get it. I’ve been there. Being let go from my job after 30-plus years was downright scary. I hadn’t written a resume. Ever. I hadn’t networked. Ever. I hadn’t conducted a full-scale job search. Ever. Panic set in. I hopped around like a cat on a hot griddle, attending this networking event and that job fair hoping I would figure out something that would get me my next job. In 2002. During the hiring freeze that followed September 11th. Falling Back Sounded Like a Good Idea . . . After I Found a Job All that running around paid off. I finally got a job. It took me about two weeks to realize I hated it. And three months to leave it – by mutual consent. Friends and associates who cared about me advised me to slow down and breathe, take a step back, and take a good, solid look at what I wanted to do now. They saw my transition as an opportunity. I saw it as a nightmare I needed to escape from. Luckily, my panic about being jobless had subsided to a point where I realized I wasn’t going to end up living under a bridge any time soon. I decided to take their advice and “fall back” to think about what I really wanted to do with the next stage of my life. I didn’t want to make another big mistake by springing forward too soon. Am I going to tell you it was easy? Oh hellz no! Am I going to tell you it was worth it? Abso-dang-lutely! It’s never easy to give up a lifetime of who you “know” yourself to be. I’d spent a lifetime being “wired” to be an employee. How in the world was I “supposed” to become someone else? The lesson from my career transition was that entering a new life stage is not about becoming someone else. It’s about becoming who you are now – at this stage of your life. To Spring Forward, You’ve Gotta Identify Your “Why” Falling back to get acquainted with who you are at any given stage of your life is a valuable exercise. For me, it was a bit like embarking on a treasure hunt. The treasure is where you bring three essential components together that will lead to a fulfilling life: Something to love Something to do Possibility Something to love is associated with your heart. What would you do if you could spend all your time doing it? Be willing to play with everything you love, even if it sounds crazy, or even if your brain wants to pooh-pooh it by saying there’s no way you could make a living at it. Now is the time for dreaming. Culling comes later. Something to do is associated with your mind. What skills, talents and abilities do you have? You might love basketball but have no ability or talent for the game. Putting yourself in a place where you feel awkward and incapable isn’t going to keep you happy for long. But, what if you love basketball and have a talent for photography? What opportunities for a Sexy Second Act could that open up? Possibility is associated with your spirit and the belief that you came here to serve a purpose. How many ways could someone who loves basketball and is skilled in photography come up with to be of service? Just for fun, do some brainstorming with friends and associates. See if you can come up with at least ten. And remember, being of service doesn’t have to take the form of non-profit work. It’s okay to have a “for-profit” business or career. Your “Why” Will Lead to Your Paycheck As you start to identify the sweet spot where what you love, your talents, and possibility come together, ways to generate a paycheck are likely to occur to you. Your paycheck might be monetary, but if money isn’t an issue for you, then fulfillment might be your paycheck. Now, you can develop strategy and a plan. And voila! You are ready to spring forward and design an exciting Sexy Second Act that inspires you! Are you nearing retirement and feeling lost about what’s next for you? Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and I’ll help you brainstorm possible ways you can design your Sexy Second Act.

Be True to Your Core Values – It’s Sexy!

How do you know whether you’re serious about your values? You fight for them when they’re violated even if it costs you title, favor, friendship, and profit. ~ Assegid Habtewold ~ I’ve been reading articles about what’s been going on with Lands’ End. In case you haven’t heard about it, Lands’ End is the organization that featured Gloria Steinem in its catalog Legend Series. Shortly thereafter, it dropped her following a backlash from a certain conservative segment of its customer base. This post isn’t an indictment of Lands’ End. Instead, it offers an interesting insight into what happens when organizations, or individuals, either aren’t clear about their core values or they lose sight of them. According to the articles, Lands’ End has been struggling to reinvent itself. I’m sure they had good intentions when they chose to showcase Gloria Steinem in their spring catalog. They are probably savvy enough to recognize that customers want companies to be socially aware and engaging these days. What could be better than showcasing a legendary figure like Gloria Steinem? Nothing, if you are clear about what she stands for and how that aligns with your core values, and those of your customers. Nothing, if you are willing to stand by who you choose to showcase even if it opens you up to criticism. Would Lands’ End be in so much hot water if they had not dropped Steinem from their catalog? And then apologized for offending someone? Maybe, but probably not. Instead, their actions kicked off a tidal wave of backlash from just about everyone. There’s a grand lesson to be learned as we watch Lands’ End struggle to reinvent itself. Will it fade into the mist as a result of the backlash? Or will it come through the storm to become a stronger company with clear and sexy core values? Only time will tell. What does this have to do with you designing and building your Sexy Second Act? Everything. Going through a career or life transition can leave you feeling lost and uncertain. You may be grappling with how to leave the past behind you while figuring out what’s next for you as you face a future that seems scary and unknown. That’s when it’s most important for you to be clear about your core values. They keep you grounded in the midst of the swirl and chaos of a transition. You must be willing to own and stand by your core values, regardless of what others say or think. Some people may not like you or agree with what you stand for, but they will respect you for standing for something.  You will respect yourself, too. How do you know whether you are living in alignment with your core values? One way is to pay attention to areas of your life that are not working well. For example, if you value beauty and harmony, but you are living or working in a chaotic and messy environment, you may feel constantly anxious and exhausted and not know why. Another way is to look at areas of your life that are working okay, but you feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Figuring out what’s missing can lead you toward identifying one or more of your core values. I once worked with a client who valued having lots of interaction with others, but she was stuck behind a desk in a back room where she hardly ever saw anyone. Recognizing what she needed to feel happy and fulfilled helped her break free of that job to look for stimulating opportunities. She now leads a completely different life where she is constantly engaged with other people. If you still don’t know where to start, think about successful people you admire. Make a list of the qualities you admire about them. It’s likely that you have core values in common. How can you begin to model those core values in your own life? Living according to your core values keeps you on track and strong in the face of adversity. You are clear about your boundaries. That makes you someone who is not easily messed with. Others feel safe and certain around you. They know what to expect from you. Being true to your core values means that you no longer feel the need to convert anyone else. You live them, and that is all you need to do. Honoring and living in alignment with your core values makes you a leader. You will attract the people you are meant to influence. That’s sexy! Are you interested in getting a clear picture of your values and how you can use them to design and build your Sexy Second Act? I can help! Contact me to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” strategy session

How to Give Up Reinvention and Craft Your Career

The people’s life journey traverses from being child to being wild; the privilege is not in growing old but being able to hold the infant’s nature for as many days and as much as a person can in oneself.” ~ Anuj Somany ~ Reinvention is an “R” word that I’ve come to seriously dislike. I shudder every time I hear it. Call me picky, but to me, it sounds like there is something wrong with anything that supposedly needs “reinventing.” How do you “reinvent” something that already exists? It’s either invented or it’s not. As an example, how many times have you heard the phrase, “Stop trying to reinvent the wheel? It’s a waste of your time.” Yep, sure is. Of course the wheel has come a long way since its humble “Fred Flintstone” origins. Wheels are used in heaven-only-knows how many variations and applications. They are made of different materials, and they come in a myriad of sizes and colors. They have been adjusted and adapted, but they haven’t been reinvented. They are still wheels. This “R” word especially annoys me in the context of reinventing your job or lifestyle. To me, reinvention implies that you have to tear yourself apart and start over in a sort of back-to-the-drawing-board way. Reinventing oneself seems intimidating, de-energizing, confidence destroying and overwhelming, as if you have to “undo” something about yourself that’s not right. Why would you want to do that? You’ve worked danged hard and gone through a lot to get where you are! Where you are is a place you’ve never been. It’s a place where the world has never been. You can’t reinvent something that doesn’t exist. What you can do is become like the wheel. Adapt and adjust how you work and live to accommodate the changes. Instead of reinventing, what if you thought about what’s next for you as crafting something new? Forge ahead. Invent new ways to use your gifts, skills and abilities. Put them to use in a completely different field. Learn about something that interests and excites you. Spur your creativity to design an innovative business, product, or service. That’s not reinvention. Quite the opposite. Who you are and how you craft your life is an ongoing invention that engages you no matter how old (or young) you are. If you’ve reached a point in your life or career where the “R” word is showing up in your vocabulary, I challenge you to find a way to traverse “from being a child to being wild.” Kids don’t “re” anything! Craft your Sexy Second Act by calling forth that delicious curiosity, playfulness, and childlike wonder you may have lost or put aside. You’ve never been in this place before, so look forward with new eyes. Be curious. Have fun. And as Steve Jobs urged us to do, stay hungry and foolish.  If you do that, you’ll find a way to make this stage the best stage of your life! January Jumpstart begins two weeks from today on Thursday, January 28th at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time. Join me and learn how to recapture that childlike joy and create your Big, Juicy, Career and Life goals for the year! Register NOW!

Do You Ever Get Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert ~ Have you ever experienced that moment when you have had it with your own B.S.? And with how your life is going – or not going? I have been there. It’s not fun when you hit that rock-bottom moment and you must finally acknowledge to yourself that you are sick and tired of pretending that you’ve got your life nailed. You know something has to change even though you aren’t sure exactly what, or exactly how you can change it. You may wonder if you even have what it takes to change. You might think that if you did have what it takes, you’d have changed it by now. You might think of yourself as a complete failure. You might have fallen so far down that rabbit hole, you aren’t sure you can ever get out, or even if you want to. Giving up might seem easier. It Can Be Painful Shedding the skin of the past can be painful. You are facing the unknown. The ground feels shaky under your feet. The older you get, the more challenging it can be to change, especially if you’ve achieved pinnacles of success and you suddenly find yourself out of a job, out of a long-term relationship, facing a health crisis, or in financial difficulty. It can feel like all is lost. When I was let go from my corporate job, I’m not going to lie to you, it hurt. A lot! My knee-jerk reaction was to feel like I was being tossed out like yesterday’s garbage. It wasn’t fair. After all, I’d been a loyal employee for most of my life. I could have remained “stuck” in that mindset and ended up feeling angry and bitter. But, I came to realize that my way of thinking about being let go was B.S. Was it true that I was being tossed out like yesterday’s garbage? Maybe, but probably not. It’s true that it felt that way to me. But, I doubt that anyone in the decision-making process gave it that much thought. To them, I’m sure it was nothing more than a business decision. There’s Grace in Letting Go Bitterness and anger are not sexy! They keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from creating a deliciously Sexy Second Act. Here’s what I’ve come to realize from my own experience and the experiences of my clients. Those painful moments are sacred moments of grace. They signal that it’s time to shed the skin of your old life. It’s time to let go of the B.S. so you can design and build a sexy new life that fits who you are now. Painful experiences are blessings in that they give you the opportunity to think about what you want to do differently going forward. It takes time and reflection so you must be willing to allow yourself that gift. If you are experiencing a painful situation, the worst thing you can do is wallow in it or avoid it. Your pain comes from fear. As such, it’s worthy of your gentle and compassionate observation. See if you can name the pain you feel. Unworthy. Unwanted. Incapable. Unlovable. Unappreciated. Naming it gives you the power to transform it from the B.S. it is into something worthy of your time, energy and attention. From Sick and Tired to Re-Wired After being let go from my corporate job, I took stock of what I knew. I love people. I love projects and activities where I get to learn about who people are and what they want. I love working on projects that make things better for people. I love feeling like my contribution matters. I got excited when I realized that this new stage of my life was an opportunity to bring out those skills that had often been pooh-poohed in my old job as being too “touchy-feely.” The game to play now was to figure out how to get paid for doing what I love. I had no time for anger and bitterness. My eyes were focused on a future full of new possibilities. My excitement and newfound energy forced me to give up the B.S. notion that I was too exhausted to start over. I went from being sick and tired to feeling re-wired and inspired! If you are tired of being sick and tired, embrace it. Use it as a launching pad of discovery. Use it to take you to a new and fulfilling stage of life. Give yourself the opportunity to design and build a Sexy Second Act that leaves you feeling re-wired and inspired! Are you ready to take the first step toward being re-wired and inspired? Join me Thursday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. PST for my complimentary Introducing January Jumpstart: Nailing Goals that Matter teleclass. After you register, I’ll email you a powerful “success-ercise” you can use to help you design Big, Juicy Goals that matter to you.

How to Stay Happy on the Path from “Go” to Goal

The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication. ~ Cecil B. DeMille ~ I love to travel. Seeing new places and meeting people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures is one of my favorite things to do. At the same time, I’d like to skip the whole anxiety-ridden hassle of getting there. There’s More to Goal Setting than “Getting There” Sometimes it’s hard to remember that getting there – whether it’s a travel destination or achieving a worthy goal – is a necessary part of the process. There is a destination to reach, and of course you must keep that in mind. But focusing too much on “getting there” can be crazy-making and downright self-defeating. The journey becomes interesting and fun when you remember to also pay attention to exactly where you are and what you are experiencing right now. Failing to do so may cause you to miss joyful and meaningful moments along the path from “go” to achieving your goal. It helps when you think with two heads at the same time; one that’s focused on “getting there” and one that’s focused on being right here in the moment. You open yourself up to happiness when you allow yourself to “be here” and let the “getting there” unfold however it does. Forks in the Road Exist for a Reason Balancing between where you are and where you want to go opens the door for you to experience delightful and unexpected forks in the road. The outcome may not be exactly what you anticipated when you started out, but it may be just what you need. Quite often, in fact, one of three things (or all of them!) will happen as you travel the path to achieving Big, Juicy Goals that matter to you: Your goal will morph into something even juicier and more exciting than the one you started with. You will discover someone you didn’t know you had in you, or someone you wanted to be but couldn’t imagine becoming. You’ll have experiences you didn’t expect, but which stretch or enrich you in some way. The Journey is Spectacular For nearly five years, I’ve been writing a book that that began as a dare by my Mastermind partners. I can tell you that it’s been a spectacular journey that encompasses all three experiences. The book I started to write is quite different from the book I ended up writing. While I am excited about the book, I’m even more excited at the prospect of soon being able to call myself an “author,” which is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream I never expected to actually accomplish The support, feedback, and kick-ass accountability I’ve had from friends and colleagues has been humbling, touching, and unexpected. My journey isn’t over yet, but I can see the finish line. It feels a bit like I imagine a marathon runner must feel. There have been times when I didn’t feel up to the challenge, but as the finish line approaches, I feel a new burst of energy and excitement! I can taste victory ahead! Miracles Happen When You Accept the Challenge And so will you when you give yourself permission to go after your dreams and goals. Your path may seem daunting, insurmountable, and far away in the beginning. You may not feel like you are up to the challenge. But you are! When you have a dream that comes from your heart, you will cultivate the courage, strength and support you need to get there. Face the challenge! Get ready for a spectacular journey that includes mind-blowing miracles, side trips, and adventures that will one day make your life worth looking back on with pride, wonderment, and joy! Want to learn more great strategies for joyful goal setting? Join me Thursday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. PST for my complimentary Introducing January Jumpstart: Nailing Goals that Matter teleclass. After you register, I’ll email you a powerful “success-ercise” you can use to help you design Big, Juicy Goals that matter to you. Register today![/vc_column_text]

How to Make Goal Setting Fun and Exciting

Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that. ~ Anthon St. Maarten ~ Soon the holidays will be over and our thoughts will turn toward setting goals for the upcoming year. You may fall into one of the following groups, depending on how you feel about goal setting: You may look forward to it with eagerness, excited to start the next chapter You may look forward to it with trepidation, believing that things will probably only get worse You may approach it in a state of ho-hum apathy and boredom, figuring that it will just be the same old stuff, different year. So why bother? If you fall into the first group, hooray for you! You probably treat goal setting as a major component of designing and building a successful life. If that’s the case, you can stop reading this blog and continue hop-skip-and-jumping merrily along into next year. Unless, that is, you want to take setting goals to an even higher level. If you fall into one of the other two groups, you may have forgotten how make goal setting fun and exciting. You may be treating goal setting as a chore to be avoided at all cost, especially if you create what I call “should” goals. For example, put the word “should” in front of these Top 10 2015 New Year’s Resolutions from the Statistics Brain Research Institute: Lose Weight Get Organized Spend less, Save More Enjoy Life to the Fullest Stay Fit and Healthy Learn Something Exciting Quit Smoking Help Others in Their Dreams Fall in Love Spend More Time with Family Don’t get me wrong. These are great goals. But they each contain a “yawn” factor, don’t they? We know we “should” do them, just like we knew back when we were teenagers that we “should” clean our rooms. But we didn’t. We might have thought it was a good idea, but there wasn’t much of a “sexy” factor compelling us to do it. Okay sure – punishment might work once or twice – like if your folks took away the car keys until you cleaned your room. But even that loses its edge after a while. You find a workaround. Or more accurately, an “avoid-around.” It works the same way with “should” New Year’s Resolutions. Just because you “should” doesn’t mean you “will.” If you don’t have a big, juicy reason to follow through, you won’t. So How Do You “Nail” Sexy Goals that Matter? You start by taking the “should” out of goal setting. You make setting them fun and exciting and playful and light-hearted. For example, my personal weight/health vision is to “be fit, flexible, fabulous and flirty.” That vision reflects a lifestyle that makes me ask different questions: What would be my perfect weight for that lifestyle? What would need to change about my eating habits? What kind of exercise program would keep me fit and flexible enough so I feel fabulous and flirty? The answers give me the goals. The vision helps me get back on track when I fall off the wagon. How You Can Get Started The Top 10 resolutions above reflect the major areas of life that people are concerned about – health, finances, relationships, and personal growth and well-being. Start with one area that matters to you and playfully ponder the following questions: What do I dream about? What am I curious about? What moves and inspires me? Let’s say finances is the area that matters to you. Give yourself permission to dream about what it would feel like to have your finances exactly like you want them. One year, my financial vision was to “savor wild abundance.” Doesn’t that raise delicious, sexy questions? How much money represents wild abundance to me? What would I need to change about my financial habits? What do I need to learn that I don’t know now? Who can I learn from who already has what I want? Are there other areas of my life where I can savor wild abundance? The answers become the basis for creating your goals. Actions you can take to accomplish your goals arise naturally and effortlessly. Goal setting becomes a game to play rather than a chore. Games are fun. You don’t worry about winning or losing, you just play. Put your beautiful designer brain to work. Forget about resolutions and give yourself permission to make games of your dreams. It won’t be long before goal setting becomes something you look forward to – like a little kid looks forward to Christmas! Want to learn more great strategies for joyful goal setting? Join me on Thursday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. PST for my complimentary Introducing January Jumpstart: Nailing Goals that Matter teleclass. After you register, I’ll email you a powerful “success-ercise” you can use to get started designing goals that matter. Register today! 

How to Make Your Goals More Important than Fear

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon ~ Courage is an interesting phenomenon. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is and what triggers it. One kind of courage is triggered on the spur of the moment when facing life or death circumstances. Most of us hope we never have to face such circumstances. And I believe our hope is that if we do come up against them, we will muster up whatever it takes to do the brave thing. But we won’t know for sure we’ve got it in us until the time comes. There’s a different kind of courage we face many times in our lives – whether we have the courage to design a life that includes pursuing Big, Juicy Goals that matter.   It’s harder to pin down what triggers that level of courage, but one of my favorite parts of coaching is watching and listening for it. It often goes something like this: 1) You have an idea for a Big, Juicy Goal you’d love to turn into a reality. Maybe it’s been simmering in the back of your mind for years, whether it’s buying your first home, starting a business, changing careers at age 50-plus, getting your degree, or taking a year (or more) off to travel the world. You think about all the reasons why you can’t do it. It’s not practical, you can’t afford it, or you believe the people you love will think you are loony-bin-crazy. But you can’t stop thinking about it. 2) You do some research, read books, or follow people online who are doing what you want to do. You enjoy reading and learning about them. You think about how you could do what they are doing. You still aren’t ready to take action, but you imagine what it would be like if you could make that dream come true. 3) You attend workshops and seminars. Maybe you join a mastermind group or you decide to work with a coach or a mentor. You network. You meet others just like you who are going after their own Big, Juicy Goals. You find out they struggle with the same issues you struggle with. You see them make progress despite the obstacles. You catch a glimmer of possibility that you can actually achieve your goals. 4) You begin taking action. Most of the time it feels like you are just going through the motions. Deep down inside, you still grapple with Big, Juicy Doubts. By this time, you may see your Big, Juicy Goal as possible, but not probable – not really – but it can’t hurt to play the game just to see what happens. 5) Somewhere along the way, as you continue taking action, a switch flips. Sometimes it’s the result of an “aha” moment. More often it’s subtle. You may not be able to pinpoint the exact moment when it happens, but when the switch flips, your energy shifts. A spark ignites inside you. Your Doubter Voice quiets down. The drama disappears. Your actions get bolder and more certain. Your heart, mind, and spirit align. You no longer question whether you will achieve your goal. As far as you are concerned, it’s a done deal. You are not just imagining the goal, you see and feel yourself as having achieved it. The switch flips with a single choice. By the time you make the choice, it no longer seems momentous. But it’s one you could not have made at the beginning. With that one choice, you have crossed over a line. You know that achieving your goal is more important than whatever has been stopping you. The tricky part is staying with the process until the switch flips. That requires courage. There’s no predicting when it will happen or exactly what will trigger it. As a coach, that makes what I do challenging, fun, and exciting.  While I cannot flip the switch for you, I can help facilitate the process, and in my role as observer, I often recognize when it’s happened before my clients do. Once the switch flips, coaching becomes easier because you have taken full ownership of your goals and responsibility for achieving them. Congratulations! You are on your way to success! Is 2016 going to be your year for making your goals more important than your fear? Registration for my complimentary Introduction to January Jumpstart: Nailing Goals that Matter teleclass on January 14, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. PST is now open. Reserve your spot early!

Your Ideal Career Ain’t What It Used to Be

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. ~ Steven Pressfield ~ You’ve probably heard it before. You’ve probably heard successful people say, “If you want to learn how to live life as it was meant to be lived, hang out with a five-year old.” You might briefly nod your head in agreement before getting back to the business of “adulting.” Being an adult means being serious, being responsible, and getting real about making a living. Your “adulting” self thinks your ideal job isn’t practical. It won’t pay the bills. You can’t make money as an artist, dancer, or beachcomber. Maybe that was true once. Not so long ago, an ideal career meant finding a job with security and longevity that paid well. But now? All bets are off. These days, your ideal career ain’t what it used to be. When you ask kids why they think it would be cool to be a fireman, ballerina, or airline pilot, you might get answers like these: I wanna drive a big, red truck I love pink tutus I wanna fly like a bird Adults think it’s cute when kids say what they want to be when they grow up. But we should pay better attention. Beneath the words, there is an experience each kid wants to have. The future fireman might want to experience excitement. The budding ballerina might want to experience feeling beautiful or graceful. The emerging airline pilot might desire to experience freedom. Youngsters may not be able to define the experience that would fulfill them as adults. But the seeds are already there in what they say they want to become. If you love your job, you may already understand the connection between who you wanted to be when you grew up and your current profession. If so, you are one of the lucky few who got to follow your heart and become who you wanted to be. On the other hand, maybe you didn’t choose a career experience that aligns with what your five-year-old self wanted. Maybe “adulting” took over and you became who your parents, culture, or gender expected you to be. You may have found other ways to satisfy that experience, perhaps through a hobby or pastime you enjoy in your free time. You may have considered turning your pastime or hobby into a business one day. But what if you don’t love your job and you don’t have a fulfilling hobby or pastime? What if you are ready to make a career change and you feel stuck about what direction to take? A great place to start is by thinking back to your five-year old self. Stop “adulting” for a few minutes and pretend you are still that five-year old. Think about what you loved to do. What were your favorite activities? How did you feel while you were doing them? You might have to do some internal excavation to get in touch with that five-year old. But once you uncover the experience you want to create, you can look for ways to tie in your current talents and skills. The sweet spot is where your talents and skills intersect with the experience you want to have. Your ideal career may turn out to be something completely out of the box from anything you have done in the past. It may be out of the box from anything anyone else is doing. Perfect! Let the creativity of your five-year old self help you play with ways to make a career of it. That may leave you feeling like you are on shaky ground. But if you stay curious, you’ll discover a direction that takes you, step by “sexy” step, down the right road to a fun and fulfilling career. And you’ll be happy that your ideal career ain’t what it used to be. Did you grow up to be who you wanted to be when you were a kid? How did you know what you wanted to do? Share in the comments. If you are at a life stage where you are ready to look at options for creating your ideal career, schedule your complimentary consultation with me and let’s explore together!

What Can Pluto Teach You about Switching Careers?

The nature of life on Earth and the search for life elsewhere are two sides of the same question—the search for who we are. ~ Carl Sagan ~ In 1961, President Kennedy challenged NASA to land a man on the moon within the decade. Who could have dreamed that a mere half century later, we would have explored our entire solar system? What would President Kennedy think about this incredible achievement? Could he have imagined where his challenge would take us? The exciting thing about exploration is that you can’t imagine… How it’s going to happen Whether or not it will succeed What the final outcome will be That’s why it’s called exploration. The voyage to Pluto offers us a great example of how exploration works: When discovered in 1930, Pluto was declared to be a planet By 2006, we learned enough to downgrade Pluto to a “dwarf planet” Debates followed about whether or not to restore Pluto’s planetary status Now, with a more accurate picture of Pluto, the debate is likely to be settled once and for all Exploring Pluto is expanding our knowledge about who we are and our place in the solar system  What Can Pluto Teach You about Switching Careers? 1) Exploration Starts with an Inspired Vision The main reason President Kennedy accelerated the “space race” was to catch up with the Russians. He also envisioned that space exploration offered us the opportunity to “organize and measure the best of our energy and skills.” Switching careers gives you an opportunity to create an inspired vision for doing meaningful work that matters. It’s your chance to organize and measure the best of your energy and skills.  2) A Vision Must Include a Compelling “Why” America had fallen behind in the space race. President Kennedy felt compelled to have us catch up with, and overtake, the Russians.  Here are a few examples of compelling “whys” for switching careers: Being demoted, downgraded, or let go Wanting to retire, but financially unable to do so Health issues leading to financial hardship or the inability to continue in the same line of work Divorce Discovering that you made a mistake and hate the “practical” career you majored in Working in an industry that’s becoming obsolete A burning desire to live and work on your own terms 3) Curiosity about What Else is Out There Exploration often starts with a desire to see what else is out there. Switching careers may be the perfect way for you to explore your gifts, skills, and talents in new ways, especially if you have been in the same career for many years. 4) The Importance of Focusing on the Long View Sending a rocket into space knowing that it’s going to take years to reach its destination requires focusing on the long view. That focus is especially important during the daily grind when the work is necessary but not always exotic, exciting, or interesting. Switching careers into a new field also requires focusing on the long view. It keeps you in the game during down times when you don’t see progress, or when it seems like the gap between where you are and where you want to go feels too wide to overcome.  5) Letting Go of the Outcome What if scientists had decided not to go to Pluto because the odds against New Horizons making it through the debris field were too high? They went ahead because they understood that sometimes you have to take a chance, even when it feels like the odds are stacked against you. Switching careers requires you to take a chance. You can’t plan for, or strategize, every possible outcome. No matter how well you plan, there’s a chance that things can go awry. Plan as best you can, then let go of the outcome and enjoy the ride. Part of the fun is not knowing how it will turn out. Should you fail, you will learn and grow. Should you succeed. you will experience a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Either way, you win! What lessons do you think can be learned about switching careers from sending a spacecraft to Pluto? Share in the comments.

Want to Build an Awesome Career? Engage Your Heart

Clarity comes from engagement – not from thought. ~ Marie Forleo ~ No – this is not going to be a run of the mill article about finding your passion. Yes – I think finding your passion is a key ingredient for building a career you love. You don’t have to “find” your passion, it’s already there. You merely have to listen to your heart and engage with what you hear. People don’t generally understand how building a career they love works. They want answers. And they want them before they begin. When you stop to think about it, how many important things in life work that way? Building what matters take time and there are no guarantees about the outcome. Whether you want a long-lasting relationship, great health, a rewarding career, or financial well-being, you have to be willing to build your way into it. Training for the Olympics doesn’t guarantee you a gold medal Educating yourself to be a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you a seat on the Supreme Court Starting a business doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the Fortune 500 But if you have a passion for it, what you’ll get from the experience of giving it your best shot will be worth the effort. And you’ll never have to wonder if you could have done it. Building a Career Doesn’t Happen Overnight Engaging your heart doesn’t mean you are going to get the full picture. That’s what makes it exciting, interesting and fun. How much pleasure would you get if you knew ahead of time you were going to win the gold? A well-known photographer, Henry Diltz, shared about how he built his career during a recent news interview. (See video below) He is famous for photos of many famous rock stars of the Seventies. His story offers a great example of how building a career works. Years ago, he was on tour with his folk singing band when they stopped at a second hand store. He and a fellow band member spotted a table filled with used cameras. They each bought one on a whim, just because they thought it might be fun. He didn’t know how to use a camera. The first roll of film he bought was “slide” film. He didn’t even know what that was. But when he developed the film, he was amazed at the “little pictures.” He loved how “magical” they looked up on a screen. He was so excited that he invited friends over to view his “slide shows”. He continued to have fun shooting slides and inviting friends to view them. He shot photos of his musician friends who used some of his shots for publicity. At some point, someone wanted to buy one of his photos. And with that, the foundation for building a career as a photographer was established. A few of his photos became record album covers. He started getting hired to photo shoot concerts. Did he start out to be a photographer? No. He actually started out to become a Forest Ranger. But he said that along the way, he didn’t overthink building a career. As he put it, he let “life sweep him along.” He now has a portfolio of nearly half a million photos and he’s still going strong. He says he “accidentally” learned about licensing his images to provide another stream of income. That’s what happens when you engage your heart. Things you never dreamed of start to show up to support you in building a career. What if he had said “I’m a musician, not a photographer”? What if he had put the camera away forever? What if he had continued down the path to becoming a Forest Ranger? He might have been successful. But he might not have had as much fun or fulfillment as he gets from his photography career. All that and a paycheck, too. What could be better? He didn’t build his career by force or by thinking and strategizing. He built it by engaging his heart, letting “life sweep him along”, and finding clarity along the way. I think that’s a pretty good formula for success, don’t you? Are you ready to listen to your heart and engage it to gain clarity about building your career? Schedule Your Session a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and let’s explore![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Your Personal Key to Quality Relationships? Self-Awareness!

Self-Awareness isn’t only just betting on your strengths, it’s accepting all your shortcomings. ~ Gary Vaynerchuk ~ In today’s interconnected world, relationships are more important than ever. You hear that so much nowadays that it’s almost become a cliché.  That doesn’t make it any less accurate. Relationships support you. They help mold your career and your life. The best ones make your life rich, fulfilling, and enjoyable. What’s the Key to Building Quality Relationships? If your relationships are less than stellar in one or more areas of your life, maybe it’s time to step back and reflect on where the gap is. You are the common denominator, so what can you do differently to improve the quality of your relationships? The key to building quality relationships is to become self-aware. Self-awareness is having the ability to objectively and non-judgmentally observe your habitual way of being, thinking, and behaving. Non-judgmental observation gives you the ability to stop reacting automatically to your circumstances. Instead, you gain the freedom to choose new ways of being, thinking, or behaving that better serve your relationships. Whether you are talking about relationships with friends, children, co-workers, parents, spouse or significant other, the more self-awareness you have, the richer and deeper your relationships become. The Gift of Self-Awareness Ability to Accept Responsibility Self-aware people accept responsibility for how their relationships go. You cannot be a victim in a relationship where you take full responsibility for your actions and outcomes. Notice I did not say for everyone’s actions, just your own. This is where people sometimes get hung up when it comes to taking responsibility. When you take responsibility, people feel safe around you. You become transparent and trustworthy. You react less and self-correct easily. You take a proactive role in identifying differences and you look for solutions and areas of compromise. You give up the need to attack others or make them wrong. Ability to Build Stronger Teams and Partnerships Self-awareness includes the ability to accept both your strengths and weaknesses. That allows you to consciously partner and team with people who complement you. For example, if you’re a big picture thinker who gets frustrated with detail, you might benefit from partnering with someone who likes detail and structure. You can co-create a working relationship that suits both of you. A former client faced just such a dilemma. She loves being with people and gets her energy from lots of interaction. She also wanted organization in her office but hated doing it. She eventually hired an assistant to come in a couple of times a week to design a filing system, clear the clutter, and help her manage her schedule. My client became more productive in her business when she stopped worrying about doing what she wasn’t good at doing. Her assistant found fulfillment knowing her contribution mattered and was valued by my client. They developed a powerful and productive working relationship. Ability to Effectively Communicate Self-awareness allows you to become relaxed in your roles. You are able to take attention off yourself and focus on others. You learn to listen and communicate such that others feel heard, appreciated, and acknowledged. Your communication becomes authentic, transparent, and patient. Everyone benefits. You stay in the moment. This allows your communication to flow and become a dance of co-creation.. Increased Ability to Identify and Go After What You Want Self-awareness is a skill many clients have to develop as they design and build their Sexy Second Act careers. It helps them recognize what they want and cultivate the courage to go after it. They learn to ask for assistance and support without beating around the bush, becoming demanding, overbearing, or playing a passive/aggressive role. They begin trusting their inner guidance systems to make decisions rather than depending upon the approval of others. Increasing your self-awareness does require you to confront and let go of who you think you are to become who you are meant to be. That can be a scary and sometimes painful proposition. But if you are willing to do the work, you will be rewarded with a wonderful sense of power, peace, freedom, joy, and belonging. Do you want to design powerful relationships and alliances to help you create a career or life you love? A Personal Insights Profile is a great beginning! Let’s schedule your complimentary get acquainted coaching session and explore possibilities!

DISC Profiles are Excellent – But are they Enough?

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently. ~ Pema Chodron ~ Information without Action is Entertainment Years ago, I took the DISC Profile Assessment as part of a leadership course offered through my former company. It was a valuable course, I learned a lot, and I thought the DISC Profile Assessment was helpful. I enjoyed the course. But, like many of us do after finishing a course, I returned to my job, filed the information away in a drawer and hardly ever gave it another thought. Fast forward to 2005. I had the opportunity to take the DISC Profile Assessment again as part of a coaching program I enrolled in. I wasn’t too excited about re-taking it. By the time I enrolled in this program, I’d done a ton of personal development work. I’d grown immeasurably in self-awareness and I didn’t think I would get much from taking it again. Information within Context is Powerful I had no idea how much of an impact re-doing the DISC Profile Assessment would have on my career. If I hadn’t repeated it, I would have missed out on important, life changing insights. My results confirmed that coaching was a great “Sexy Second Act” direction to pursue. It gave me the confidence to keep going. I also learned a good lesson in how far thinking too much will take you. Not far. There’s a certain level of arrogance that accompanies thinking you “know” stuff. Engaging your brain too soon can be problematic. You are generally better off keeping an open mind and going with the flow. What I didn’t know that made the DISC Profile Assessment valuable this time around was that it was one part of a three-part profile. It was the other two parts combined with the DISC Profile Assessment that gave me a deeper personal view and a new context for designing my future. You Are More than Who You Think You Are The DISC Profile Assessment by itself is a wonderful tool to have in your tool kit to help you gain clarity on HOW you behave, which is what it measures. It shows both your “natural” and “adaptive” styles. A significant gap between the two may be an indication of stress or that you are operating in an environment that is new or uncomfortable. The second of the three parts focuses on values, which measures the WHY of your behavior style. It helps you see what compels your decision-making whether you are consciously aware of it or not. It was this part that provided my “aha” moment that changed everything. It helped me see my career in a new and empowering context and perspective that escalated my excitement about my direction and future. Part Three of the Personal Insights Profile measures the WHAT of your behavior. It takes a look at your world view – how clearly you see yourself and others. Combined, the three parts offer a well-rounded perspective. They operate like a “map” that helps you see clearly where you are now so you can choose the best direction to take to design your future. Most of us can talk all day about all the things we are “not”. It’s harder to talk about all the amazing and incredible things we are. Personal Insights Profiles are great tools for helping shift your perspective away from who you think you are “not” to focus on the gift that you are. Power plus Clarity Equals Freedom Years of using Personal Insights Profiles with my clients has demonstrated to me that they are a powerful tool for helping to “look at ourselves honestly and gently.” There’s power in that. And freedom. Especially when you take what you see and apply it to remodeling your life into something that feels “sexy”, vibrant, alive, juicy, and fun! Who the heck doesn’t want more of that? Want to learn more about Personal Insights Profiles? Download your complimentary ebook here!

Are You at a Career Crossroad? Don’t Just Stand There!

What if you were wrong? What if everything you ever believed was a lie? What if you missed your opportunity because you didn't know your worth? What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better? What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward? What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn't make sense? What if the answer wasn't to be found in words, but in action? What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life? ~ Shannon L. Alder ~ One of my favorite movies is Castaway. I particularly love the ending scene where Tom Hanks’s character is standing at a crossroads looking in all directions trying to figure out which way to go. He’s come through just about the worst experiences life could throw at one human being. After losing it all, nothing remains of his former life. But, he survived. At a Career Crossroad, Every Direction Holds Endless Possibilities Sometimes I wish for a sequel so we can find out what he does next. What will he choose? You can tell by the expression on his face is that he’s not going to turn back and he’s not going to stand at that crossroad forever. He may not have the answer about what his future holds, but it looks like he’s feeling pretty good about whatever lies ahead. The possibilities are limitless. What Will You Choose? Most of us will luckily never face a crossroad that turns our entire lives upside down. But it’s likely that we will face at least one crossroad where we know that going forward, our lives are never going to be the same. It might be a career crossroad, a health crossroad, a relationship crossroad, or a financial crossroad. When it happens, the worst thing you can do is stand still or spin in circles trying to pick a direction. To survive or thrive, you’ve got make a choice and step forward. There isn’t a Right or Wrong Direction I’ve recently spoken to three people who are each facing a career crossroad. They each think they “should” feel happy and satisfied with the route they are currently on, but they don’t. They feel a bit lost and confused. They know that they no longer want to do what they’ve been doing. But they don’t know where to go next. The challenge they face at their career crossroad is trying to figure out what is at the end of each road before they choose a direction. They are hoping I can answer that question for them. The bad news is that I don’t have an answer. The good news is that I don’t need to have one. They already have the power to choose a direction. They just need support and coaching until they can give themselves permission to do it. They wouldn’t be satisfied with my answer anyway. They’ve already been down a route chosen for them by the culture, gender, or well-meaning caregivers who focus on “practical”, based on what has worked in the past. Now they need to choose from their own inner intelligence about what's right for them. These days, you've got to think in new ways. If you are young, the idea of spending the next 10, 20, or 30 years in a cubicle, doing what you are doing now, is not only impractical, it feels like a death sentence. It’s not that much different if you are older. Baby Boomers who can't or don't want to retire tell me that spending another 10 or 15 years chained to a cubicle feels equally depressing. In this day and age, the routes that have worked in the past for creating a career are becoming less and less viable. In that sense, we are all facing a career crossroad. Embrace Your Journey You can think of that as being scary. Or you can embrace it and treat yourself to an incredible adventure of discovery, whether you are a Baby-Boomer, Gen X-er, Gen Y-er, or Millennial. No matter what generation you come from, you want the same thing. Flexibility Freedom To be appreciated and valued To do something that matters To be financially and personally rewarded If you feel like you’re a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, relax and embrace the idea that you are at a career crossroad. Embrace the idea that, like Tom Hanks’s character, you are heading into new and uncharted territory. No one has been here before. Embrace your inner intelligence and creativity and choose a new direction. You can’t get it wrong. Your road may not be straight. You may encounter switchbacks, detours, and a pothole or two. Keep going. You’ll figure it out as you go. You’ll get there. And when you do, you’ll look back on your journey with gratitude that you gave yourself the chance. Are you facing a career crossroad and you aren't sure which way to go? Contact me to schedule your complimentary "get acquainted" coaching session to help get you moving. And if you know someone who is facing a career crossroad, please do pass this article along.

Three Exercises for Finding Your Purpose in Life

Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ~ One of the most frequent questions I get asked concerns how to go about finding your purpose in life. That question drives people so crazy that they give up on finding it pretty quickly. Your life purpose is a path of discovery. You follow it – you don’t “find” it. The path to finding your purpose in life is to discover as much as you can about who you are and what you want. Not in terms of material things, but in terms of what you want to experience. It starts with learning as much as you can about who you are. When you know that, you are capable of making the best choices in every area of your life, including your relationships, career, health, and finances. Knowing you hate detail can prompt you to create systems to compensate, or hire for that attribute. Knowing you are in introvert can inspire you to create alone time for reflection and recharging your batteries. If you know you love people and variety, you won’t waste time trying to be successful and happy working alone in a back office doing the same thing every day. Understanding your values and opinions can help you find the best friends and co-workers to collaborate with. Knowing the kind of environment and culture you enjoy associating with will help you seek opportunities that are in alignment. Self-awareness is a key component to finding your purpose in life. The more self-aware you are, the happier and more supported you will feel professionally and personally. Below are some exercise “Power Tools” to get you started down the path of finding your purpose in life. These are valuable to do whether you are young and starting out or whether you are older and you want to design your Sexy Second Act career. In fact, it might be more valuable if you are an older worker. As you go through life, you sometimes form opinions about who you are and what life is. These exercises can help open your eyes to facets of yourself you’ve lost sight of or are unaware of. Exercise #1 - SWOT Analysis SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s a personal assessment you can create yourself. Create four quadrants on a piece of paper. In each quadrant, list what you see as your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A Strength might be compassion A Weakness might be procrastination An Opportunity might be a new technology that you’re interested in A Threat might be your finances or a health challenge Be honest with yourself. This is for your eyes only. If you want to be extra courageous, solicit feedback from trusted associates and friends. Ask them to give you honest and objective feedback. Sometimes others see us more clearly than we see ourselves. Don’t take feedback personally. See it as information. You can keep it or set it aside. But do at least consider it before throwing it away. Doing a SWOT analysis can help you clarify your present situation so you can make thoughtful plans for your future. It can help you begin to focus on a direction, even if you can’t yet see the final outcome. Exercise #2 - Who Do You Admire? Write down or journal about people you admire in three categories: Whose personality do you admire? Whose physicality do you admire? Whose intelligence do you admire? What do you admire about them? What attributes do you find appealing?  As an example, here are three women who I admire: Personality – Mae West Physicality – Ginger Rogers Intelligence – Maya Angelou The attributes I admire are Mae West’s sassiness and sensuality, Ginger Rogers’s toughness, grace and elegance, and Maya Angelou’s insight and intelligence. I aspire to grow those qualities in my own life. Who represents the attributes you want to develop? Once you identify them, you can ask yourself, “What would _____ do in this situation?” to help you get clarity about finding your purpose in life. Exercise #3 - What Do You Believe? Write down what you believe about everything from God to money. Where did each belief come from? Did you come to it on your own or did you inherit it from your culture or family? Give yourself permission to question every single belief. You don’t have to give any of them up. Thinking about them, however, will help you sort out those that are no longer true for you from those that truly matter and resonate with you. Doing these exercises may help you identify themes and common threads for how you want to design and live your life. As you reflect on what you’ve identified, you may discover that there is no need for finding your purpose in life. You may have been living it all along! Have you discovered your life purpose? Share in the comments. How did you discover it? Want more articles on finding your purpose in life? Check out these links: Your Life Purpose is Simple and Sexy! Successful Career Transitions Require Passion, Purpose, a Paycheck…and a Parachute! Find Your Purpose by Taking a God’s Eye View

How Can You Design a Rewarding Career if You Have Unfinished Business?

When we put things off until some future - probably mythical - Laterland, we drag the past into the future. The burden of yesterday's incompletions is a heavy load to carry. Don't carry it. ~ Peter McWilliams ~ You may not think so, but there’s something very special about starting over after years and years in the same job or company. You have a golden opportunity to step back, reflect, complete the past, and design a new and rewarding career that fits who you’ve become as you progress through each stage of your life. The first time around, you may not have had the opportunity to create a rewarding career. By rewarding, I mean a career that offers you fulfillment as well as a paycheck. You may have chosen your first career by happenstance or by some idea of doing something “practical”. The second time around, you have more information to work with. You have experience, you are older, wiser, and you have gained a better sense of who you are and what you want. What better tools than those could you have in your toolkit for designing a rewarding career? Clean Up Your Unfinished Business There’s a catch. You can’t move forward if you have unfinished business to clean up. Be willing to jump in and do the work. It’s going to help you be able to design a fresh start with a clean slate. Did you choose to leave or were you “invited” to leave? Do you harbor bad feelings toward your former employer or co-workers? Are you blaming the government, the economy, your age, or some other circumstance that you feel caused your current circumstances? If so, you have “unfinished business” to clear up before you can effectively, powerfully, and eagerly move on to design and build a new, rewarding career. Don’t Force Yourself to Just “Get on With It” Whether you left your job voluntarily to retire or whether you want to pursue new opportunities, experiencing a sense of loss is a natural part of making a career transition. Don’t avoid it. Work with it and treat it as part of the clean-up process. Don’t force yourself to just “get on with it”, and don’t listen to anyone who tries to push you. Give yourself breathing room to work through your feelings. You may feel anger if you believe you were unfairly dismissed You may experience grief, especially if you loved your job or career If you are an older worker, you may feel devalued You may feel like you’ve lost your identity You may feel like you’ve become an “outsider” – no longer part of the “team” or “community” The last thing you want to do is drag those emotions with you into the future. You can’t design a rewarding career when you are bogged down with emotional baggage. Releasing the Emotional Charge Releasing the emotional charge associated with losing your job is a valuable exercise that will free you up to enthusiastically face the future and create a rewarding career with optimism and anticipation. Journaling is a great way to begin releasing the emotional charge associated with losing your job. It’s also a safe venue for expressing yourself freely.  Keep at it until you find some objectivity. At that point, you are likely to see new possibilities for the future. Working with a coach or other trusted advisor is another way to release the emotional charge. Make sure you share with someone who is willing to listen objectively and openly. Your only outcome at this point is to “empty your tank” and free yourself of any emotional charge associated with your previous career or workplace. It may take a while, so be compassionate and patient with yourself as you go through the process. You’ll know you are getting thee when you begin to experience a sense of peace and acceptance.  You’ll know you are coming out the other side when you experience even a tiny jolt of anticipation about what’s next for you. That’s when it starts to get fun and “sexy”. When you’ve emptied your emotional “tank” of unfinished business, you are ready to begin creating a rewarding career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck!® In today’s world, the opportunities available to you are only limited by your imagination and willingness to think about your career in brand new ways, regardless of your economic status, age, or gender. What’s stopping you from creating a rewarding career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck®? Share in the comments. Please do share this article with someone you know who would love to design a “Sexy Second Act” career, if only they could “figure out” what they want to do.

How Can Journaling Help You Make Good Career Choices?

A journal is a place where we give expression to the fountain of our heart… ~ Donald S. Whitney ~ Most people don’t think about journaling as a means for discovering how to make good career choices. Journaling can be a valuable “power tool” in your toolbox for doing exactly that. Are you interested in living a life that you designed? Are you willing control your decisions and be accountable for your life? Do you want to get to know what matters to you at the deepest level? A life where you make good career choices requires you to know who you are and what you want. You need to know your preferences, your personality, and how you want to live. Journaling gives you a safe place to delve into those aspects of yourself that may be hidden from your view. A journal is a place to explore: Patterns that deepen your understanding of how you think Limiting beliefs you may not be consciously aware of Old wounds and how to let them go Values, likes and dislikes Failures so you learn from them Successes so you can repeat them Strategies for what kinds of career choices you’d like to pursue You have a unique personality and approach to your career and your life. If you’re not tuned in to who you are and what you want, it’s quite difficult to make career choices that make you happy, excited, motivated, fulfilled, and challenged. It’s not always easy to live a self-aware life. It is simple, however. Carolyn Myss says that as you become self-aware, the choices available to you become fewer, but much more powerful. What is Journaling? Journaling gets a bad rap. People sometimes equate it with being back in junior high school and keeping a diary they have to hide under the mattress. As an adult, however, you can consciously choose journaling to identify and clarify your feelings, thoughts, and plans. The path to self-awareness is challenging. Denial, fear, and other emotions can get in the way. Journaling is a habit you can develop help you find your path through the minefield to making the best career choices for you. What is the Best Approach? There are many approaches to journaling. The only “right” approach is the one you’ll use. Experiment with a variety of methods until you find one that works best. Here are some examples: The Artist’s Way method. Write three pages stream of consciousness. A great website tool for this is 750Words.com Pose specific questions to yourself about possible career choices such as: What are my strengths? What do I value? What legacy would I like to leave? What career choices would allow me to bring my strengths, values, and leaving a legacy together? What would my perfect workday, workplace, and co-workers be like? What support do I need to help me discover the best career choices for me? What education or training would I need? Journal your answers. You can journal about each question separately, or about all of them. It’s up to you. Writing down your answers helps you to gain objectivity. With objectivity, you are better able to see what career choices are best for you. How to Get Started Journaling Choose the tool that’s best for you. Think about your preferences and personality type. What type of device would you like to use for journaling? Laptop, smart device, or pen and paper? What time of day would you prefer to journal? First thing in the morning or last thing at night are the most reflective times of day for many people. What kind of environment to you prefer? Indoors or out? Meditation music or silence? Gather your materials, and start making journaling a habit. Begin asking and answering power questions that will help you learn who you are, what you want, and where you’re taking your career and life. You may find your ideas about career choices trickling out at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll soon be tapping into the “fountain of your heart”. Do you journal? What’s the most valuable part of it for you? Share in the comments. Looking for some other tools for helping you make great career choices? A Personal Insights Profile can help! Contact me for details.

How Can a Personal Insights Profile Help You Switch Careers?

Each of us is shaped by the truth of our natures. ~ Adrian Phoenix ~ Making a decision to switch careers, especially later in life, can feel extremely daunting. Luckily, there are tools you can put in your toolbox to help you determine a direction that you are excited about pursuing. Learning to activate your internal guidance system can help you make the right decision when you are ready to switch careers, and you are not yet certain about your new direction. Completing a Personal Insights Profile minimizes the guesswork required for how to choose the career, relationships, and lifestyle that fit your personality, goals, and desires. Combined with tools like journaling, hiring a coach, meditation, and researching career alternatives, you can exponentially speed up the process of switching careers. Another benefit is that a Personal Insights Profile helps you increase your self-awareness. That alone puts you way ahead of many people who want to switch careers, because you will be able to speak authentically about your strengths and weakness. A Personal Insights Profile makes you aware of how to communicate with others who have different styles, increasing your personal power of persuasion, effectiveness and productivity. This escalates your ability to get what you want, especially if you want switch careers to a completely new field. What Is a Personal Insights Profile? A Personal Insights Profile is a tool designed to reveal aspects of your behavior that you may or may not be consciously aware of. To complete one, you generally fill out a simple multiple choice questionnaire. Afterward, depending on the type of profile you select, you’ll usually be sent a report describing one or more aspects of your behavior style. Some Personal Insights Profiles are more involved than others. They offer you additional information about what motivates you and other aspects of your personal style. This information can be invaluable to help you hone in on the type of environment or culture you will best thrive in when you switch careers. How Does a Personal Insights Profile Help? Let’s say you’re an accountant and you’re feeling generally bored and unhappy. You decide to complete a Personal Insights Profile and it tells you that you value creativity. This may be something you never realized or perhaps you dismissed or denied it. You now have the ability to explore that aspect of your style. Does this mean you have to switch careers? No, absolutely not! Unless, of course, you truly hate accounting and are courageous about wanting to move to a new field. If you love accounting, the question to explore might be how to bring more creativity into your current job. Be willing to give yourself permission to play with all options, no matter how over the top you think they might seem. Would you like to start your own accounting firm? Would you like to create an online game or app that teaches financial responsibility? Would you like to write a book about accounting? Your options are wide open and depend solely on your imagination! The Choice to Switch Careers is Ultimately Up to You Personal Insights Profiles won’t answer every question for you. They do, however, shine a light on possibilities. While they can help you take the first step in dreaming about the kind of career switch you want to make, you must do the work and make your own choices about what you want your “Sexy Second Act” career or lifestyle to be. That doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own. I have seen how combining a Personal Insights Profile with coaching can help you create an inspired context for making a career switch you are grateful for and love waking up to each day.  And isn’t life too short to have it any other way? Have you got a story about how a Personal Insights Profile has helped you switch careers? Share in the comments. If you are thinking about switching careers and want clarity about your direction, let’s explore! Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more.

Can Self Awareness Help When Rebuilding Your Career?

As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around. ~ Oprah Winfrey ~  When many people think about self-awareness, they focus on personal skills. They imagine how to improve their personal skills as they relate to happiness and relationships. Self-awareness is great for that. The more self-aware you are, the better position you are in to make good decisions and take specific actions designed to improve your relationships and level of happiness. However, self-awareness can support every aspect of your life, both personal and professional. Making the Best Career Choices Knowing yourself can help you identify a great career path, make a career change, or start a business that you find satisfying and rewarding. When you know yourself you know: What you want from life Your strengths and weaknesses What motivates you How you relate to others How you see yourself fitting in Your work style How you learn Self-awareness gives you a powerful tool to put in your toolbox for designing a career or starting a business focused on what matters most to you. There are a variety of tools you can use to determine the best path for designing or rebuilding your career or life. Using more than one will give you a well-rounded picture of who you are. You can… Complete a Personal Insights Profile Conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) assessment Talk to people you trust. Ask for their objective feedback about your strengths, weaknesses and behavior style See if you can identify patterns or themes. Are you seen as a good listener? Do people find you inspiring? Are you a loyal colleague or friend? Patterns and themes are useful tools for helping you brand yourself when rebuilding your career or starting a business. Rebuilding Your Career or Starting a Business Self-awareness gives you the ability to listen with an open mind. You’re capable of receiving feedback without getting defensive, shifting blame, or feeling like you’re being attacked. Self-awareness makes you capable of taking complete responsibility for your work. You have the ability to both enjoy praise and respond positively to criticism. You’ll learn to focus on your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. You’ll allow yourself to ask for help when you need it. You’ll understand how to find the right support from people who have your weaknesses as their strengths. You work well on a team because you know who you are and what you’re good at. That gives the team confidence and increases efficiency because everyone is able to focus on the task at hand. Listening to Your Inner Voice Self-awareness give you the ability to hear your inner voice. You’ll trust yourself to know when something is right for you and when it isn’t. You’ll make better decisions for rebuilding your career or life based on what matters most to you. You’ll avoid making choices that don’t fit your strengths and interests. Self-aware people are willing to push their limits and test their boundaries. They achieve more because they’re willing to take risks and they’re not afraid of failure. They see failure as an opportunity to grow and learn. Are you in a career rut? Are you looking to rebuild your career into one that fits your goals, needs, strengths and personality? Take time to look inside. Take steps to learn more about who you are and become more self-aware. Performing self-awareness exercises, working with a coach, and tapping into your inner knowledge will give you inspired insights for rebuilding your career based on who you are and what you want. Are you ready to shorten your path to success in rebuilding your career, improving your life, or starting your business? Self-awareness is sexy! Get started by contacting me to schedule your Personal Insights Profile.

Do You Have the Resilience to Rebuild Your Career?

There's no such thing as ruining your life. Life's a pretty resilient thing, it turns out. ~ Sophie Kinsela ~ It’s been about two years since I completed a fairly significant remodel of my home. Two years later, I still make it a daily practice to look around in gratitude for the beautiful space I am blessed to live in. Remodeling was a project I put off for far too long, giving myself all sorts of seemingly “good reasons” for waiting: It wasn’t the right time It would take too long It would cost too much Instead of challenging what I told myself, I muddled along tolerating my environment. Then one day, I realized I might die without ever getting to live in the beautiful, cozy, welcoming sanctuary I dreamed of creating when I first purchased my home. I know – that’s a pretty morbid thought, right? But…it was the kick in the rear wake-up call I needed to get into action and finally make my dream come true. The Truth Can Be Ugly There’s often an ugly truth hidden underneath the reasons we put things off. Here’s the ugly truth I didn’t want to admit to. The reasons I told myself about putting off my remodel were a cover up for the “real” reason. The real reason was that I didn’t want to disrupt my life, even for something I badly wanted. Rebuilding and remodeling are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and messy. Two sentences from the movie Fight Club popped into my head when I realized the ugly truth: This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero That was an ice-cold-splash-in-the-face moment. But that’s what it took to finally boot me out of my comfort zone and into action to create my dream. It Takes Courage to Rebuild Your Career and Life I was lucky. I was able to choose to remodel. You don’t always get to choose. Sometimes you are faced with outside circumstances that force you into making a change. When circumstances force you to rebuild your career or life, it’s not easy to remain resilient, especially when rebuilding stems from outside circumstances such as retirement or a layoff. It takes courage not to lose heart. It takes courage not to focus on the unfairness or awfulness of what happened. It takes courage and resilience to look forward to new and unexplored opportunities. When circumstances arise that force you to rebuild your career or life, you might take a lesson from nature’s resilience.  In nature, forest fires burn and healthier new trees grow. Volcanoes erupt and make new islands. Floods overtake the land and deposit rich, new soil. No matter how bad it looks at first, the seeds for new life abound beneath what looks like rubble on the surface. Rebuilding is a Creative Process Nature seems to understand that rebuilding is a creative process. Using your creativity to design a “Big Why” for rebuilding your career or life is a powerful first step. There will be dust and rubble. Your Big Why will help you let go of outdated and outmoded stuff you no longer need (even if you love it) to make room for an updated career or life. There will be chaos. Things won’t always go according to plan. Your Big Why will help you embrace uncertainty and go with the flow There will be moments when you wish you could put everything back the way it was. You can’t. Your Big Why will help you recognize, accept, and delight in conquering each challenge as you rebuild. The Results Will Be Worth It Regardless of whether you choose to rebuild your career or life or whether it happens due to circumstances beyond your control, learning to be resilient will be worth it. You will come out the other side stronger, and with a deeper sense of who you are and what you are capable of. You will come to understand and appreciate the ebb and flow of your life. The best part is that you’ll expand your comfort zone and you’ll find it easier to step outside of it in the future. That’s a valuable reward or “paycheck” for learning to be resilient! Do you want help to rebuild your career or life? A Personal Insights Profile is a great tool to help you get started with designing your “Big Why”. Contact me to schedule a “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more.

Is Work Life Balance a Bad Joke?

Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls– family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. ~ Gary Keller The subject of work life balance was a hot topic at a luncheon I recently attended. We discussed whether or not there even is such a thing. The main roadblocks to creating work life balance that came up as we went around the table were these: Not setting boundaries around what matters most Difficulty saying “no” to the important people in your life Making other people’s priorities more important than yours Overcommitting Not wanting to disappoint or let others down Who’s Life are You Balancing? If any of these roadblocks resonate with you, it may be because you have fallen into the pattern of giving your precious time and energy away to other people’s agendas. You may be trying to be all things to all people rather than being true to what matters most – to you. Thanks to you, their lives may be balanced while yours is spinning out of control! Maybe It’s Time for a Reality Check As you read this, you may be thinking how selfish it would be to put your needs ahead of the people you care about. But is it really? If you are living an exhausted, resentful, overburdened life, maybe it’s time for a reality check. Work life balance isn’t about having equal amounts of time for everything. That’s ridiculous when you stop to think about it. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to divide the pie up evenly. The bad joke is that we continue to try, thinking that happiness lies in the achievement of perfect balance. We tie ourselves up in knots trying to do it. We get so busy and stressed out supporting everyone else’s needs that we end up not being much good to anyone, especially to ourselves. Where are You Dropping the Ball? Where you drop the ball is by trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. You get distracted from your own priorities. You forget to honor yourself and before long, you end up feeling overwhelmed, harassed and de-energized rather than fulfilled, loving, and generous. Without realizing it, you might be surrendering your own needs to look “good” in the eyes of others. No, you are not doing so intentionally. Of course you want to be the “good” parent, spouse, friend, son or daughter, employee, or boss.  It only becomes an issue when you find yourself getting overextended. It’s Time to Make a Different Choice Your life is sacred. Your time is sacred. Stop thinking about work life balance and start thinking about integrity.  When you live your life with integrity, work life balance becomes a non-issue. Integrity is about more than just keeping promises. It’s about getting in touch with your inner knowing and putting clear and focused attention what matters most to you, honoring it, and taking a stand for it. What choices would you make if you believed that to be true? Would you stay at a job you hate? Would you spend time in a relationship where you are not adored, or in friendships with people who drain you? Would you disrespect the body your spirit lives in? Integrity Takes Courage It takes courage to shift from making everyone else’s agenda your top priority to honoring your own. It will take time. Don’t give up if you experience a few bumps in the road. Here is an exercise you can do to begin: Take a time out and go to a quiet place – beach, park, your own back yard. Take a notebook or journal with you. Think about the most important roles in your life matter – are you a spouse, parent, career or business person, sibling, friend, son or daughter, etc.? Pretend it’s your 100th birthday and you are being honored and celebrated. Everyone you love is there, toasting and celebrating you. Ask one person from each role you chose to toast and celebrate you. What would you love to hear them say about you? Write a short paragraph of their answers. Write as if they are saying everything you always wanted to hear. Review what each person said. You will likely start to see patterns and themes. Circle them. Finding the themes will start to give you insight into what you value. From there, you will see new choices that will take you from worrying about achieving work life balance to living an authentic life of integrity.  And that’s pretty darn sexy! You can also learn more about your values by requesting a Personal Insights Profile. Learn more here or contact me for more information.

You Can’t Fly into Learning to Fly

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche This month I celebrated my birthday. Nothing remarkable about that. It’s done every day by someone, somewhere. What makes this birthday special and worth noting is a present I received. You can see it in the photo. At first glance, you may not think it’s remarkable either. But it is to me. It will be a lifetime treasure because it was given to me by a client. On the inside of the birdcage is a note that says: Dear Sue: Thank you for teaching me to fly. I will keep it in a special spot in my office as a reminder that what I do makes a difference. Sometimes I need that reminder, especially on challenging days. When I read her note, my first thought was that I did not teach my client to fly. I cannot do that. What I could do was remind her that she knew how to fly all along. She just forgot that she knew. It’s easy to forget that you already know how to fly. It’s easy to forget that flying is a gift you were born with. But if you want to have the rich and fulfilling career and life you deserve, you must task yourself with learning to fly all over again. Yes, learning to fly again can feel awkward and scary. No, you probably won’t do it with elegance and grace the very first time you try. Have you ever watched birds when they are learning to fly? They don’t just leap off a branch one day and soar off into the sky, do they? They start by testing their wings. They watch their parents. Sometimes they take the leap and flop to the ground. Hard. No matter how well things start out when you are learning to fly, you might end up hitting the rocks. That can be embarrassing. At worst, you could die. What’s most likely is that you will collect a few bumps and bruises. This is where you might stop. You tell yourself you don’t want to experience that pain or embarrassment ever again. But you were born to fly. Each time you don’t allow yourself to do it, another little piece of your aliveness dies. It’s never too late to learn how to fly. As long as you have breath in your body, you have the ability to take the leap. If now is your time to fly, will you be like the brave little bird in this video? Are you willing to be a fledgling – an awkward beginner? Are you willing to take a leap of faith? If you hit the rocks, are you willing to shake it off? Are you willing to keep at it until you master flying? Are you surrounded by people who will stand by you and support you if you hit the rocks? In the process of learning to fly, my client has begun to see who she is and what she is capable of accomplishing. She is learning to own and celebrate her accomplishments. She now has the confidence to soar even higher as she designs her “Sexy Second Act” life and career. Do you have a story about learning to fly? Share in the comments. Who in your world could benefit from reading this article? Please feel free to forward it. You could be perfect person to encourage someone to fly.

Starting Your Business – Scary Excuse #2

“Instead of making excuses, why not make something happen?” Greg Hickman ​Nothing can be scarier when you are thinking about starting a business than believing that you don’t know how to do it. That stops many people in their tracks. We live in a culture where not knowing how to do something is grounds for a smack-down – at least in the media or on social media. Who wants to intentionally set themselves up for that? Nobody I know. The thing is – if you knew how to start a business, you would already be doing it. Setting yourself up to go round and round in a circle of hell, thinking “I-want-to-but-I-don’t-know-how – but-I-want-to-but-I-don’t-know-how” is a one-way ticket into a quagmire of crazy-making head-spinning. This is where asking great questions can help you pull yourself out of the quagmire: Okay, so I don’t know everything there is to know about starting a business. So what? What do I need to learn? How can I start with what I DO know? Here are some even more basic questions: ​Did you know how to play your favorite sport when you began? Did you know how to be a parent before you became one? Did you even know how to do your job when you were first hired? ​Even if you thought you knew how, I’ll bet you faced more than one surprise along the way that you didn’t anticipate, and you had to figure it out. So you did. You probably made mistakes when you first started. Did you worry about it or did you self-correct? Did you ask for coaching or advice? It works the same way when you start a business. So what’s the use of worrying about the fact that you don’t know how to start? You’ll learn what you need to learn when you need to learn it. As of one of my personal heroes, Marie Forleo​ says…everything is figure-out-able. The bottom line question is, how bad do you want it? Think back. How badly did you want to play your favorite sport, be a parent, or do the job you were hired to do? Was there at least a minimum amount of desire that compelled you to put yourself through what you needed to put yourself through to get good? Or at least to stay in the game? What is the experience you envision for starting a business? Is it compelling, or is it just a “good idea” because starting a business is the flavor of the month? If starting a business is merely a flavor of the month “good idea” for you…then don’t do it. But if your vision is compelling to the point where you can taste, smell, see, hear, and feel it,​ your intuition will lead you to the people and resources you need to help you figure it out. You’ll love the experience of accomplishment each time you overcome a challenge along the way. And that’s where it starts to get delicious…and sexy!​ Did you overcome a scary excuse for not starting a business? I’d love to hear your story in the comments. If you are “stuck” in the quagmire and would like assistance getting yourself out, contact us for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.    

Starting Your Business – Scary Excuse #1

We can always work for less when we have more to live for. ~ S. Stephen McKenney Let’s face it. If you are in the thinking/dreaming phase of starting your business, money probably ranks at or near the top of your list of scary excuses not to do it. I get it. It certainly ranked at the top of mine when I dreamed of started my coaching practice. This concern weighs heavier if you are making a drastic change out of your corporate job into entrepreneurship, or if you are shifting into a completely different field. Here are a few questions you are probably asking yourself: Can I make enough money? How long will it take to be profitable? What happens if my idea is no good? What happens to the people I care about if I end up broke? What if I lose everything I’ve worked for until now? Those are completely valid concerns. I would worry about you if you didn’t have them. Instead of letting these questions shut down the notion of starting your business, let yourself ponder them. Write down your worst case scenario. Mine was that I would wind up as a bag lady living under a bridge broke, cold, alone, desperate, and frightened.  My mind conjured up all sorts of nightmarish outcomes. Looking at what you believe to be the worst case scenario before starting your business is a valuable exercise. After scaring your socks off, it will enable you to evaluate what contingencies to put into place. It can help you ask better questions. How can I make enough money? How quickly can I become profitable? Where can I find a sounding board for my ideas? Who can I count on to be my advocates? What is my backup plan? If you often dream of starting your business, I believe there is a fire burning within you, even if you haven’t yet taken action. Fear may have quelled your inner fire. That’s okay. Facing your fear and answering these questions will give your dream room to breathe. It will bring oxygen and life that will stoke the fires of your passion. That fire will spark tons of new ideas that will keep you excited and your excitement will generate energy which is all that money is anyway. So don’t wander around in what a friend of mine calls “mind hell”. Listen for your heart’s voice. Listen for it through the noise of your fear about money. Listen for your passion. Let passion guide your action. You’ll end up being so busy having fun you’ll put the money excuse to bed…permanently! Have you overcome an excuse you had for not starting your business? Post your story in the comments. If you like this article, please share with friends and colleagues.  

Are You Cheating on Your Inner Truth?

We spend much of our lives asking the question “What do people want me to do? Who do they want me to be? But that is a betrayal of your inner truth. We should be investing our lives in the pursuit of discovering who we are and what we were created to do. ~ Elizabeth Grace Saunders It starts early. Some stats show that we are told “no” roughly 400 times a day before we reach two years of age. The jig is up on knowing your inner truth before you are even old enough to recognize that you have one. You end up with some version of feeling inadequate as a result of all those caregiver voices shouting “No!” at you all the time. What a way to live! Trapped for life beneath a pile of crazy-making “better not, shouldn’t, and oughta” monkey-mind chatter that drowns out the cool, clear, voice of your own heart. That’s not even a little bit sexy. You end up cheating on your inner truth. How can you tell if you are cheating? By the level of boredom you are experiencing day-to-day. By the amount of inner conflict, guilt and anxiety you feel. By how much time you spend in the past or in the future rather than experiencing the joy, wonder, and miracle of the present moment. It’s not always easy to face up to the fact that you are cheating by not living in alignment with your inner truth. The road to alignment is the road less traveled and it may take you longer than you think. Because it’s the road less traveled, it may feel like a lonesome road. You may confront roadblocks. You may experience hairpin turns where you feel like you are going backwards rather than making progress. And there’s no doubt about it, going down that road will require something from you. Courage. Commitment. Faith. Honesty. Strength. But once you stop cheating and start listening to your inner truth, you’ll find yourself becoming comfortable in your own skin. You’ll feel relaxed, even when others don’t appear to be on the same page as you.You’ll feel joy, gratitude and love for your life in ways you may never have experienced. What if you could turn your life into an ecstatic, bad-ass, blow-out-the walls adventure? Would you be willing to give up cheating on your inner truth? Would you be willing to say good-bye to “better not, shouldn’t, and oughta” and hello to “I want to, I must, I will” to experience the life you deserve? Begin by going deep – below the roiling surface of your day-to-day monkey-mind chatter – to the clear, quiet, chambers of your heart. Listen for the rhythmic sound of your true inner voice. You may hear something that sounds crazy at first. But when you feel your spirit wanting to dance, shout, or laugh out loud, you’ll know you are onto something. When you feel your inner tumblers start to click into place, take action. And get ready for your life to change in miraculous ways. Is it time for you to start down the road to living in alignment with your inner truth in your career, relationships, financial well-being, or health? Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and let’s get started! And if you like this content, sign up for our newsletter and share this article with a friend or colleague.  

Where Do You Look for Greatness?

“Each person was meant to blossom into their own unique signature of greatness.” ~ Bryant McGill I’m thinking about a friend today. He’s no longer with us, having passed over awhile back, so I don’t know exactly why he popped into my head. But he did. When I first met him, he participated in a course I coached. I was a newbie at coaching and he scared the socks off me. I did whatever I could do to avoid dealing with him. Not that he was easy for even a seasoned coach to deal with. To put it mildly, he was a tough nut to crack. A pain in the tush. A curmudgeon’s curmudgeon. It seemed like the more he could get under your skin, the better he liked it. After completing the course, he came back to coach it. I was amazed that the program leader took him on. He tested even her high level of patience. He was tough on the groups he coached. He pushed them to the limit and sometimes beyond. More often than not though, over time, they ended up falling in love with him. So did the most of the coaches. He finally touched my heart while talking about someone in his group who he felt was not stepping up. At first it sounded like he was talking trash about the person, but as I listened to what he was saying, I finally got it. He was standing for the greatness of every member of his group in the only way he knew how – gruffly and with strong opinions about how they “should” be doing things. I finally understood that he was not willing to tolerate any less of them than their greatness. Yes, he demanded a lot from them. He demanded a lot from all of us. But he demanded no less of himself. He had a bulldog nose for ferreting out bullshit and no patience for putting up with it.  I told him once that I saw him that way and it made him laugh. After that I could look beyond how he was saying something to hear what he was really saying. He was totally committed to each person he coached. He was determined for them to see their greatness and step into it – like NO kidding. That’s why they fell in love with him. Despite his manner, they sensed his commitment. Not only did he make a difference for the people he coached, he was changed by them. In the process of coaching others to step into their greatness, he stepped into his own. I miss my friend. He probably never knew it, but he taught me something. He taught me that sometimes the toughest demeanor covers up the softest and biggest heart. He taught me where to look for greatness. He taught me that it can be found in our willingness to look beyond what we see on the surface. Is there someone in your life or workplace that you avoid or run away from because they are tough to deal with? I invite you to take another look and I invite you to listen to them differently. Listen for what’s underneath. Listen for their greatness. While you are at it, look and listen for your own greatness. You never know. Someday, somehow, you just might discover a friend you didn’t know you had.  Have you found greatness in an unexpected place or in a surprising way? How did you discover it? Share your story in the comments.  

How Do You Plot Your Next Career Move?

The key is to figure out what you want out of life, not what you want out of your career. ~ Goldie Hawn   People often ask me how they should go about plotting their next career move.  Sometimes they act like I “should” have some secret formula for helping them make it happen. They think it should happen as easily and quickly as snapping their fingers. Sorry – I don’t have a one-size-fits-all formula. Finding one that does fit  doesn’t usually happen just like that. Most of the time, plotting your Sexy Second Act career move is a marathon and not a sprint. And that’s good. If one solution worked for everyone, no one would need my coaching skills. Here’s what I do know based on my experience. Your dreams are big. They are important. They require you to put your energy, unique talents, experience and imagination to work to make them happen. And you won’t have to wait to love it, you’ll fall in love somewhere during the process. Why? Because plotting your next career move – the one that leads to your Sexy Second Act – is part of a bigger dream and purpose that encompasses your whole life. As such, you can’t rush, force, drag, kick, pummel or harass your fun, passionate, and rewarding Sexy Second Act into being. It’s designed to unfold in its own way and in it’s own time. I suspect a few things about you if you are here reading this… You’ve probably been on the planet awhile You’ve probably come to realize how much life energy goes into your work You might be thinking you have spent too dang much life energy doing what you are doing rather than doing the thing that floats your boat You are finally ready to give up doing what you don’t want to do and start doing what you do want to do You aren’t sure what you do want or else it scares your socks off because you don’t think it’s possible I’ve been where you are. I know you want quick answers. I wanted them too when I was plotting my post-corporate career move. I learned that it rarely works out that way. You’ve gotta live your way into the answers. Do you ever watch Property Brothers, House Hunters, Love it or List It, or any show where people set out to remodel or purchase a dream home?  At the beginning of the show, clients generally want quick and easy solutions, too. How often do you see it happen? Yeah. Almost never. What they learn while remodeling or looking for their dream homes can also apply to plotting your next career move: Big dreams take time, effort and letting go of preconceived notions and expectations You may not get all the way to your big dream in one move Sometimes you have to move to the best place you can with the resources you have Big dreams require the active participation, support, and expertise of others – you can’t get there by yourself There may be detours and surprises along the way Even though you have a vision, you won’t see the whole staircase until you get to the end It may get messy for awhile, but it works out, usually better than you could have imagined. Your inability to see the whole staircase is no reason to stop plotting your next career move. You may have some learning and growing to do before you are ready to go the distance. Like your dream home, your dream career may have “good bones”, but it may take work to bring out its  full beauty and functionality. Plotting your next career move requires you to get back to basics. What matters to you? What kind of dent do you want to make in the Universe? Or at least in your little corner of it?  How would it feel to have your career dream come true? You know – the one that becomes integrated into your bad-ass Sexy Life Plan rather than separate from it? Is that a possibility worth taking a shot at? I’ve got tools to help you start plotting your next career move or to help you take your dreams to the next level. Ask for a Personal Insights Profile, schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session, or join one of our mastermind groups. If this article was helpful, please share with a friend or colleague or leave a comment below.

Wanna Live a Sexy Life? Take Responsibility!

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”  ~ Joan Didion In my book “Nail It”, I’m writing about the power of words and how you can use them as building blocks for designing your Sexy Second Act career or life. The words and phrases I chose for the book are ones that resonate with me. Each time a favorite word or phrase shows up, I have an opportunity to look more deeply into what it means and to share with you what I discover. Lately, the word “responsibility” is frequently popping up. Here’s what I have to say about it in the book: We humans are funny. We love to take credit for good stuff in our lives and we love putting the blame elsewhere for the bad stuff, our foibles, and the mistakes we make. I’m not going to kid you. Responsibility sucks. The only thing that sucks worse than taking responsibility is not taking it. It might be easier to look outside yourself for something or someone else to blame for how your life turned out, but doing so turns you into a victim. There’s nothing sexy or fun about that.   What makes responsibility sexy? Accepting it. Totally, completely, one hundred percent – like NO KIDDING! Being responsible goes from being sexy to being bad-ass sexy on steroids when you take it to the level of loving it. That means loving it no matter how something you are up to turns out. And if it doesn’t turn out, you’ve gotta love it enough to ask the hard questions. What’s the lesson to be learned? Did you do everything you knew how to do? Did you put yourself 100% into the game? What could you do differently in the future? What, if any, is the impact on others and how can you correct it? Responsibility includes seeing perfection in the situation even if you perceive that it went badly. If you can look at yourself in the mirror knowing you did your very best, then the flip side of being responsible is accepting how it turns out. If it goes well, celebrate! Be happy and grateful with the results. If it doesn’t turn out like you wanted it to, then be grateful for the lesson. Believe in the possibility that you are in training to get ready for something even better, more exciting, and more fulfilling than you dreamed. The best part is that taking responsibility gives you power. And everybody knows how sexy powerful people are! Do you have a favorite word or phrase that gives you power? Share in the comments. And if you find this article was helpful, please share.

Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do

…there are people who try to look as if they are doing a good and thorough job, and then there are the people who actually damn well do it, for its own sake.” ~ John D. MacDonald If you haven’t figured it out by now from wandering around my website, I used to work in the Engineering and Construction industry. One time years ago, I was asked to come in on a weekend to help prepare for a Monday morning proposal presentation to a client. It needed to get done for preliminary review by the executive team. I worked all day to prepare the presentation my boss needed to deliver. Late that night, after the dry run with the executive team was complete, my boss called me at home. His voice was a bit tentative, which was unusual for him. “You’re never going to believe what happened,” he said. “The Project Manager wanted to show things in a different order and so he cut your work into pieces. Can you come in tomorrow and do it over?” I really couldn’t believe my ears. Seriously? My hard day’s work had been lost to a pair of scissors? I wasn’t happy about having to work on a Sunday to re-do the whole thing. But sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do. I didn’t want to let my boss down. With an inward heavy sigh, I agreed to go in. The worst part of that Sunday was that there was no air conditioning available. Not only was it tedious work, but it was miserable spending the entire day in that hot, stuffy building. But finally after a very long day, I finished my task for the second time. It’s worth noting – I wasn’t the only one working that day. The whole team was there finishing up last minute revisions required to prepare for the proposal meeting with the client on Monday. Monday came and went. It was quiet since the managers and executive team were at the client’s office presenting the proposal. Believe me, this was not the only weekend I worked long hours to meet a deadline. Here’s why I remember this particular weekend to this day. Tuesday, my boss called me into his office.  He not only thanked me for coming in and working both days on the weekend, he told me he appreciated that I did it without complaining. He said everyone on the team knew that my first day’s work had been destroyed. They figured I’d be upset and angry. He said that by not complaining and just doing the job I had to do, the rest of the team stopped complaining about doing their work. I was taken aback by his acknowledgement of my efforts. Making an impact was the furthest thing from my mind. I just knew that regardless of the circumstances, my job was to show up and do what needed to be done. Amazing things happen when you show up and just do what ya gotta do. It doesn’t matter if you want to or not. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are aware of the impact. It doesn’t even matter if you know exactly what to do or how to do it. What matters is that you show up to do what ya gotta do with integrity. Integrity comes from knowing your own big “why” for doing what ya gotta do. My big why was to travel, to buy my own place, and to be financially independent. Was I thinking about that “why” when I showed up to do the work? Of course not.  But that “why” was in the driver’s seat of the career choices I made for a lot of years. What’s your Big Why? Whatever it is, there is a TO BE in front of it. And when you get clarity about that, your whole life gets clean, simple and clear. You may have been told that one way to get to your big why is to write down what you love. If you stop there, you may miss identifying your big why. Take it a step further and look for a theme or themes. What is the underlying experience or feeling you get when you think about what you love? What’s compelling about that for you? Then put a “to be…” in front of that theme. When you do, you’ll be one step closer to tuning in to the thing that will have you show up to do what ya gotta do. Have you identified your Big Why? Share in the comments how you identified it. If you are struggling to find your Big Why, consider taking a Personal Insights Profile to help get you closer.  Contact me for details.  

What Do You Do When You Are Standing in the Gap?

The choices you make from this day forward will lead you, step by step, to the future you deserve.      ~ Chris Murray You face many transitions during your lifetime. You transition from childhood to adulthood. From school to work. From single to married. From parenthood to empty nester. From work life to retirement. From young to old. Those are planned transitions. You know they are coming. You have a picture of the future. You know there is going to be a period of adjustment and you prepare for it. But what do you do when something unexpected happens? What do you do when you suddenly find yourself standing in the gap between what you lost and a future you can’t envision? What do you do when you are in the middle of a life or career transition and you have no clue about what to do next? Years ago, when I was “downsized” from my job, I found myself standing in the gap between a job I’d worked at my entire life and a future I couldn’t imagine. I couldn’t get a grip on the notion that that after a lifetime of showing up every day, I now had nowhere to go when I woke up in the morning. In the beginning, it felt a little bit like I was on vacation. It felt like one morning, I would simply wake up and go back to my job. When I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I got scared and started running. I scurried around doing everything one is supposed to do during a career transition. I updated my resume, networked, and frantically job-hunted. Deep inside, I knew my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like I was running on automatic pilot. I was doing what people in career transition are expected to do. The problem was that I wasn’t doing what I needed to do for me. Eventually, with support and assistance, I found the courage to slow down. I started walking to ease my anxiety. Walking became a form of meditation. I began to see standing in the gap as a gift. Allowing myself to stand there without forcing myself to immediately climb out gave me the gift of space. I needed space to come to grips with what I had lost until I could let it go. I needed space to explore who I was and who I wanted to become.  I needed space to invent a future that excited and inspired me. So if you find yourself standing in the gap of a life or career transition, don’t panic. Do your best to embrace it. Don’t rush headlong into robotic and frantic action. Give yourself space to feel all your feelings and get complete with what has been lost. Give yourself the space to look around and explore. You are in new territory. Enter it with anticipation. Look around with new eyes. You might just be over-the-top delighted with the gifts waiting there for you to discover. Did you find this article helpful? Share it with a friend or colleague. Sign up for our newsletter. And if you have a story about how you navigated the gap of your career transition, please share in the comments.    

The Secret to Conquering Life Challenges

“Don’t let sickness, depression, and disease THUG YOU OUT. Eat healthier, think healthier, speak healthier, and more positively over your life. When you do so, you will soon begin to conquer your life and your health through new found empowerment – mind, body, and spirit.”   ~ SupaNovaSlom Are you someone who fears or hates confronting career and life challenges?  Do you dream of a place and time where everything just goes along without a hitch? If so, I’ve got some bad news and I’ve got some good news. The bad news is that living a life without challenges is probably not going to happen any time soon. Or if it does, you might be living too small of a life. The good news is that if you are reading this, you probably want to be up to something big. If so, then there are ways to conquer your career and life challenges with grace and ease. You first have to ask yourself exactly what you hate about confronting career and life challenges. Do you believe they are big, mean, scary thugs out to get you? Do you believe the thugs are always going to “win” and you are always going to “lose”? Do you duck and cover, hide in the corner, play dead – or do whatever it takes to avoid facing them? That’s not a fun world to live in. In that world, stress and anxiety are probably your best friends. What if you discovered that your career and life challenges are not the thugs you think they are? What if the real thug is fear? You can learn to out-thug your fear. Start believing that even thugs have a purpose. They stretch you and grow you and teach you about who you are and who you are capable of becoming. You’re right if you think the thug called fear is going to hang around. He’s pesky that way. But he won’t thug you out for long when you’ve got your attention on compelling goals that matter to you. Your courage and power will grow to the point where you can push fear aside and keep on truckin’. Here are a few secrets for out-thugging fear: Embrace your career and life challenges as gifts sent to expand who you know yourself to be. Name your fears. Thugs work in the shadows. Call them out into the light. Naming them gives you power over them and they will run for cover. Get out of the “mind hell” of worry, over-thinking, and what if. Put your attention on a juicy, fun, inspiring goal, activity, or outcome. Thugs are like bullies. They disappear when they can no longer get under your skin. Find allies who have your back and support your dreams. Let them help you chase down your thugs and vaporize them. Take action. Thugs can’t keep up with you when you are on the move. Have fun with your thugs. Visualize them transforming from being big, scary thugs into becoming funny little gnomes with a squeaky voices that make you laugh. They won’t be able to scare you anymore. Repeat these steps whenever fear shows up wanting to out-thug your big, juicy goals and dreams. I welcome hearing your questions and comments. Share in the comments how you have “out-thugged” fear to conquer a career and life challenge in your life. If you found this article to be helpful, please pass it on to a friend or associate.  

How Do You Put Your Love To Work?

Don’t accept the lie that work has to be miserable and dreams are for other people. They are for everyone. ~ Jon Acuff Growing up, I never imagined I’d end up working most of my life for an engineering and construction company. What I do remember dreaming about was becoming an author. I’m not sure I ever said it out loud to my parents or to anyone else. I’m not sure my parents would have nurtured that dream even if I had spoken it out loud. They probably would have thought of writing as a nice hobby, but not as a practical career. Fast forward a lifetime and here I am, finally putting my dream to be an author in motion. For me, writing a book isn’t about becoming a best-selling author. That would be nice, of course. But it’s the icing on the cake, not the cake. The cake is making a lifetime dream come true. The cake is going to my grave with no regrets, regardless of whether I sink or swim. The cake is doing my best to contribute something of value to the world with my words. Has it been an easy process so far? Oh, heck no. Some days, when I’m “in the flow”, it feels delicious and easy. But then there are those other days when it feels like I am slogging through mud – tired, discouraged, and ready to throw in the towel. Those are the days when I believe I must be nuts. If I am nuts, then that’s okay. As a friend often reminds me, sanity is highly overrated. When you think about it, love is often weird and crazy and makes no sense to anyone looking in from the outside. The important thing is whether or not doing what you love makes sense to you. No one said it was always going to be easy. And no one said it’s always going to feel like fun. Which brings me to the point. The fun comes from finding out once and for all whether or not you can do the things that matter most to you. What you find out about yourself is what makes it worthwhile. What does it mean to you to put love to work? Is it winning the World Cup? Running for President? Building a starship, inventing the cure for cancer, raising your kids to be vibrant adults, living a fulfilling married life, or starting your own business? It doesn’t matter what the thing is as long as it’s important to you. On the days when nothing seems to click, putting your love to work helps you remember that it doesn’t matter whether you actually get the result. Fulfillment, satisfaction, confidence and joy come from knowing you’ve given it everything you’ve got. That’s all we can ask of ourselves and each other. And that’s enough. So dig deeply. Get clear about what you know you will regret going to the grave without having done. Make a list. Prioritize it. Talk about what matters with the people who matter to you, the ones you trust to have your back no matter how wild and crazy you think your ideas sound. Create a support system, whether it’s a coach, friendship circle, or mastermind group.  Meet regularly for accountability and sharing. And most important of all, make a commitment to your higher self that you will put love to work in a way that honors you and serves others.  When you put love to work with faith and integrity, love will give you back blessings in ways you can’t begin to imagine. Are you ready to put love to work in your life? Begin with a Personal Insights Profile. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or complete our contact form to receive more info.

Are You Heeding the Call of Your Inner Compass?

“Your passion is your internal compass that will guide you from where you are towards where you want to go.” ~ Julie Connor It’s easy to dismiss passion as something frivolous and impractical. But your inner compass knows better. The quote above reminds me of a woman, in her 70s, who came to a seminar experiencing a fair amount of chronic pain and illness.  Like many people, she thought that by the time you reach a certain age, that’s just how it is and we should expect and accept pain and illness. She also had the idea that she had “been there, done that” in her life and there was nothing more she wanted to do. She just wanted to get over her pain. The seminar exercises helped her uncover and remember things that made her happy. When she started sharing them, the shift in her energy was dramatic. She lit up. She smiled and giggled. She went from looking old, tired, and cranky to looking playful, soft, and approachable. She dropped at least twenty years in looks. Her pain went away. Her playful, sparkly energy quickly had everyone in the room smiling and giggling with her. She stayed that way until her head jumped in and overruled her inner compass. She returned to her belief that there was nothing new to be happy about in her life. As far as she was concerned, life was boring. The pain in her body came back. She aged before our eyes. The light in her eyes dimmed as she let go of her vision about what she loves and succumbed to resignation once again. The energy in the room became somber. It was fascinating to watch all that happen within the space of an hour. The same thing happened when she attended a second session. There appeared to be a battle going on between what her head believed and what her heart knew to be true. Sadly, her head eventually won out and she stopped coming to the sessions without ever grabbing onto the things that gave her joy. What lessons can be taken from this? You are never too old to get in touch with what your heart wants The older you are, the more “reasons” you likely have for why doing what you love won’t work Uncovering your dream or vision is simple, but keeping it alive requires effort Your health and well being may depend on your level of joy You have more choice in the matter of your life than you think you do If you are looking to design your Sexy Second Act life or career and your heart says one thing but your head says another, pay close attention to your inner compass. Forget about your age or what others might say. What have you got to lose by giving joy a shot? Even if you can’t see where it will lead you, your inner compass is never going to steer you wrong. And it may actually lead you on gloriously unimagined adventures. What are your thoughts on this post? Have you made the choice to heed the call of your inner compass? What were the results? Leave a comment.

Are You a Creative Risk Taker?

Creative risk-taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity. – Gary Ryan Blair Risk-taking and I have an uneasy relationship. To me, risk-taking generally means choosing between life and death with the odds falling on the side of death. Just thinking about the word makes my belly start doing flip-flops. I’m not going there – at least not willingly. Having my own business is teaching me to see risk-taking differently. Everything in life is a “risk” if you haven’t done it before. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it if it matters to you. Here are a few risks I’ve taken that I have only recently been willing to give myself credit for doing. Moving out on my own right after high school and supporting myself without assistance. Entering a profession that was, at the time, risky and challenging for women. Going back to school to earn my degree In the middle of my career. Starting my coaching business rather than seeking another “safe” job after I was laid off. Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane You may think some things on this list aren’t especially risky. But on my personal risk tolerance scale, all of them ranked higher than a five. A couple of them spilled over the brink of ten, if that’s even possible! What I’ve learned is that creative risk-taking requires you to go beyond who you know yourself to be. Each risk you take teaches you how capable you are of achieving more than you think is possible. Yes, sometimes risky choices include a certain amount of naiveté. Ignorance can sometimes be your best friend.  You might never jump if you knew what you were getting yourself into. But when it matters, you must jump or take the bigger risk of killing your spirit. You won’t regret taking the plunge when it comes to something that matters. Failing at the goal is less risky than failing to be true to yourself. Where do you rank the quality of your life on the aliveness scale? If it falls within the ho-hum range, maybe it’s time to design a Sexy Second Act that invigorates and engages your mind, body, and spirit. You might not be someone who starts a business or a company. But when you think about it, aren’t you the entrepreneur of the enterprise called Your Life? What creative risks are you willing to take to make your life fulfilling, purposeful, and ecstatically rewarding? Having trouble getting in touch with what inspires you to become a creative risk taker? Start with a Personal Insights Profile to gain clarity about what you value and how to get into action toward the goals that are important to you.

Want to Design a Bad-Ass Destiny?

But how will I know it’s my destiny? Like love it will possess you … You Can’t Help But Know ~ Gail Tsukiyama In my last post, I shared why I believe creating a vision is so dang hard. Here are a few ideas about how to let those thoughts go so you can focus on creating your bad-ass destiny. Begin with where you put your focus.  Putting attention on where “can”, “will”, and “possible” thinking can take you. 1)  “Can” thinking gives you the power to dream again. Yield to the power of dreaming with no filters or limitations. Play freely with everything your heart wants for you – loving relationships, amazing adventures, joyful moments, fulfilling experiences, and generous contribution and acknowledgement of your gifts and talents through work that fully engages you. When you put the puzzle pieces of your unique dream together, “can” thinking helps you design a workable strategy to make it happen. You will draw resources and opportunities to you effortlessly. 2)  “Can” thinking helps you vision adventure without expectations.  Adventures are about having a destination in mind while staying flexible and having fun even when you encounter unexpected twists and turns. Focusing on the adventure keeps it lively, fun, and creative. You’re more likely to have the energy to keep going even if the going gets tough. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to close the gap between where you are now and where you are meant to go to accomplish your dream.  When you get there, you may discover a bigger dream or that what you have accomplished so far is only a piece of the puzzle. The bad news is that there will always be a gap. The good news is that the gap is designed to keep your life and your dream entertaining and fun. Keep growing! What fun would life be if you knew how it was going to turn out from the day you were born? Just because it’s uncertain doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. How many times have you started your day and had it go completely differently than you thought it would? How many times were you delightfully surprised by a much better outcome than you could have imagined? 3)  “Can” thinking helps you increase your tolerance of uncertainty one step at a time. Take a step out of your comfort zone, then another, and then another. With each step you will become more confident. You’ll discover that the path to certainty requires action. Each step you take toward your dream makes it seem more achievable. You may not be able to see the whole staircase, but luckily you only have to see the next few steps. 4) “Can” thinking says that just because you don’t know how right now doesn’t mean you won’t figure it out. Overcoming obstacles, facing and conquering challenges, and defeating limiting beliefs are all part of the fun. Step to the beat of your own drummer. Learn to walk tall and confident. Trust your inner vision and act in alignment with your destiny despite outward appearances. Surrender to your dreams. Allow them to possess you and burn you up so that at the end, you do skid in sideways, chocolate and your favorite beverage in hand, exhausted to the bone, feeling delightfully, passionately, and deliciously used up! Are you ready to get started being used up by your dreams? A  Personal Insights Profile can help give you clarity and direction. Contact Coach Sue today to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more.

Why is Visioning So Dang Hard?

“Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision” – Anonymous Visioning a sexy-cool-bad-ass-off-the-charts-amazing second act life or career seems simple enough. Why then does it end up being so dang hard? Coaching and coaxing clients to design a vision for a Sexy Second Act career or life they can’t wait to get started living is a challenge. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to pull an elephant’s tooth with a pair of tweezers. I know what you’re thinking. Tweezers are the wrong tool for pulling an elephant’s tooth. You’re right. And just for the record, I think most of us use the wrong tools for visioning. I don’t believe anyone has an absence of vision. In my experience, when you are ready to get down to the core of who you are, you have “wow-some” visions. So “wow-some” they will knock your socks off and rock the planet. I’ve yet to see it fail. I’m blown away by the beauty and magnificence of my clients’ dreams. Every. Single. Time. I do believe powerful visioning comes naturally to human beings. I see it as one of our gifts. The failure in visioning is that somewhere along the line, you and I stop doing it from an authentic and playful place. And I believe that happens for a number of reasons. You’ve been taught not to dream By the time you reach high school or college, the dreams you had at five – or thereabouts – of becoming a ballerina, astronaut, or President stop being cute to your caregivers. With good intentions, they’ve pretty well brainwashed you into believing that following any non-traditional path to success is actually the road to ruin. So off you go to do the “practical” or “realistic” thing. You put authentic visioning away for “someday-when.” It doesn’t matter what comes after “someday-when” because from then on, your life is pretty much toast. You vision an outcome Sometimes visioning an outcome works. But sometimes that outcome might be too far away. If what you want seems like it’s too far off into the future, like retirement when you are fresh out of college, it’s not going to hold your attention or your energy for long. It’s a bit like trying to be warmed by a star in a different solar system. There isn’t enough heat, light, or energy to go the distance. Your vision is going to go cold. You see your dreams as being too big for little ol’ you. You might feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the gap between where you are now and the outcome you want. You give up before you even start because closing the gap seems impossible. Uncertainty scares the hell out of you This might be the biggest cause of discouragement.. You want to figure it out and have all the pieces in place before you’ll go for it. But big dreams require you to do things you have no clue how to do. That’s scary! You might think it’s better to live with the devil you know than do battle with the devil you don’t know. You think you haven’t “got what it takes” Other people are smarter, braver, more educated, more talented, luckier, prettier, younger, older, richer, or have access to more opportunities in life than you do. Everyone else gets the breaks. So why bother? It will never work out anyway Okay, that’s the bad news. The good news is that everything you just read that stands between you and visioning the sexy-cool life you want is false evidence appearing real. Stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll share tools that make visioning a whole lot simpler. Are you having trouble visioning your sexy-cool-bad-ass-off-the-charts amazing Sexy Second Act life or career? Schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session and let’s dream together. We’ll explore tools you can use to get started moving forward.

How Small Steps Become Epic Moves

All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.~ Robert Maurer This year’s January Jumpstart course is just about over. Soon-to-be course graduates are leaving with tools they can use to continue taking small steps and giant leaps toward accomplishing their Big, Juicy Goals. As this year’s course comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned since the course first launched in 2010. I knew we were on to something when we created the course. I was pretty sure it would make a difference for people who chose to participate. When the course launched, I wanted to see big results and super transformations. And yes, that does happen sometimes. But more often it goes differently. What surprises me and touches me most is when a client makes one small, courageous move that changes everything. It’s amazing how one small step delivers gigantic results in how clients transform themselves. You don’t always see or recognize breakthroughs when they happen. It’s only looking back that you understand how taking small steps lead to a breakthrough milestone. Beforehand, the world may show up as scary or limited or lonely. Afterward, the world transforms into a place that’s safe, filled with possibility, exciting, and unlimited. There is an energy shift. There is a sense of lightness, joy, freedom, peace, and excitement. I’ve begun calling small steps that lead to BIG breakthroughs “Epic Moves”. In my experience, Epic Moves are not predictable. They are spontaneous and often serendipitous. I can only guide clients to take small steps, stay with the energy shift, and offer feedback as magic starts to happen. And wait for the best part to happen. Eyes shine. Walks become jaunty. Voices get stronger. Power overcomes victimhood. Action replaces inertia. Life becomes an adventure in discovery. Epic Moves occur when you take small steps toward the edge of your comfort zone and beyond. They happen when you give yourself permission to listen to your heart and believe that your dream – yes your dream – is even remotely possible. The Universe instantly listens to and responds to your small steps, turning them into Epic Moves. The Universe is delighted by them and can’t wait to walk with you on an epic journey that takes you farther than you can imagine. Do you have a dream you acted on? I urge you not to wait a moment more. There’s a reason your dream was given to you. Take one small step in its direction. It may just turn into the Epic Move that WOWs you into a whole new world of vitality, joy, and aliveness. Are you ready to make your Epic Move? Take one small step. Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and begin to dance with your dreams. It could be the step that leads you to a breakthrough milestone. Complete our Contact Form, give me a call at 949-212-4345, or email me at [email protected]

How Do You Make Life Work?

“I’m not telling you to make the world better… I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do…” ― Joan Didion How DO you make life work? That’s an age old question isn’t it? And if you think I’m going to give you an answer, you’re wrong. Because as far as I can tell, you have to discover for yourself that it’s not about what makes life work, it’s about what makes YOUR life work. No one can answer that question for you, no matter how hard they try, or how much they THINK they know about how you SHOULD live it. If you’re lucky or smart, you’ll figure out early in life how to listen to your own internal guidance system. If you’re like me and you’re not so lucky or not so smart, it could take a while. In my case it took a while – a long while. I like to say I was slow to catch on because of my stubborn Irish roots. The truth is that letting go of who I’d known myself to be for most of my life, to embrace who I always WANTED to be, was the scariest and most challenging leap of faith I’ve ever taken. What if I really couldn’t be who I wanted to be? What if who I wanted to be couldn’t support me or take care of me like the “old me” had done? I reached a point where I felt like I had two choices – go for it or give up. Giving up and staying small scared me more than going for it. I had to surrender to desire.  Desire pulled the pillow off my head each time I tried to go back to sleep. Desire kept me reading books and going to workshops despite my resistance to changing. Little by little my eyes opened to a different world. And as my eyes opened, I discovered a different and more satisfying way to make my life work.  Not because anything changed outwardly, but because of the changes that were happening on the inside. Bit by bit I got clear about things I believed about myself that weren’t accurate. I started to see a few of my blind spots. Shining the light on my blind spots was painful at times. But what I saw helped me let go of petty problems and concerns and replace them with quality problems. Quality problems are challenges you intentionally design. You base them on consciously asking yourself powerful questions When you ask powerful questions, you put yourself the path of creativity and the unknown – which is where the juice and joy of living reside. To me, living creatively is living consciously and living consciously is a way to make your life work.  That’s a pretty big shift in the way many of us think. Living a creative life is risky.  It’s not risky in a life threatening way although it feels like that sometimes. It’s risky because to live creatively, you have to be willing to enter unfamiliar territory. You have to learn to be okay with not knowing how it will all work out. You have to trust your desire to be, do and have more. You have to trust your own inner guidance system to carry you each step of the way on your journey to self-discovery. And make no mistake about it. It is a journey.  When you are going for the gold in life, you can’t take shortcuts any more than you can take shortcuts to a getting gold medal at the Olympics.  Living in the world versus enduring it is simple. But it’s not easy. In the end, the challenges are forgotten when you start living the life you were meant to live. That’s better than any gold medal. Is this your time to go for the gold? Start with a Personal Insights Profile to help you unleash your inner champion. Contact me to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more.

One Fun Secret for Pushing Through Obstacles

“Where is the electric socket for possibility, the access to the energy of transformation? It’s just there over the bar line, where the bird soars. We can join it by finding the tempo and lean our bodies to the music; dare to let go of the edge of ourselves…participate! ~ Benjamin Zander I doubt if it’s a surprise that one of the most daunting challenges we face on the path to achieving goals that matter is pushing through obstacles.   Pushing through any obstacle is tough.  But pushing through “inner” obstacles is way harder than pushing through exterior ones. The exterior ones are easier to see. I love this story from the book “The Art of Possibility” co-authored by Benjamin Zander. He tells about a music student he coached to prepare him for an audition. Zander said the student was technically proficient with his instrument but lacked “flair”. With coaching, the student finally pushed through that obstacle and gave a passionate performance. Mr. Zander told the student that if he performed like that, he would ace the audition. The student called later to inform Mr. Zander that he had not aced the audition. He admitted he played the piece with technical proficiency rather than with emotion. When Mr. Zander tried to console him, the student interrupted to say there was more to the story. He’d been so angry about being turned down that he said to himself, “Fuck it, I’m going to Madrid to play the audition for the principle cellist in the orchestra there!” He won that position at twice salary of the first job. And guess what? For the second audition, he played the piece with passion. That story led Mr. Zander to design a distinction for pushing through obstacles. He calls it going BTFI – “Beyond the Fuck It!” I love that story and I love that distinction! I love it because it’s simple – and simple is elegant. You and I know what it means to go BTFI. No additional words are necessary. I’ll bet you can name the times in your life when you’ve done it. And you can remember how you felt afterward. Victorious. Alive. Confident. Like Tim Robbins’ character, Andy Dufresne in the Shawshank Redemption when he emerged from the tunnel, raised his arms and embraced the sky! But how often do we give up too quickly? How often do give up after the first try or first failure? We aren’t willing to go BTFI. Pushing through obstacles requires your inner warrior to show up and take on your arch enemy whose name is Stinkin’ Thinkin’. Whether you are facing a career transition, a relationship challenge, a health crisis, or financial setback, ask yourself what’s possible. What do you see for yourself “beyond the fuck it?” What obstacles would you have to push through to get there? What would it feel like to stand over there – daring to go past the edge of yourself? ******************************************************************************************************************** Where are you facing obstacles in the important areas of your life? Are you ready to go BTFI and stand victorious on the other side? Join me for January Jumpstart 2014: Creating Goals that Matter starting Tuesday, January 28, 2014. Six sessions could take you past the edge of yourself – beyond the place where you stop – to soar on the wings of ecstasy.  

How High are You Willing to Raise the Bar?

“If you want to take your mission in life to the next level, if you’re stuck and you don’t know how to rise, don’t look outside yourself. Look inside. Don’t let your fears keep you mired in the crowd. Abolish your fears and raise your commitment level to the point of no return, and I guarantee you that the Champion Within will burst forth to propel you toward victory.” ~ Bruce Jenner Does it make you cringe when someone asks you what you are doing to raise the bar in your career or your life? If you are anything like me, it probably does. That question puts my mind to work listing everything in my life that isn’t living up to some “expectation.” And that includes my expectations of myself. A business associate got me thinking differently about what it means to raise the bar when she shared a short presentation given by Business Networking International (BNI) founderDr. Ivan Misner. He talked about what you can make from an iron bar. From a simple iron bar, you can make horseshoes or needles or kitchen knives or balance springs for watches or any number of things limited only by your imagination. Do you ever get an idea you think might raise the bar on your career, health, finances or some other area of your life that you wish worked better? When you get that idea do you act on it or do you dismiss it before ever giving it a voice? I get it if you said “Dismiss It”. That dang committee in our heads is really good at shutting our ideas down. I recently had that experience. An idea for a new product popped into my head out of the blue. I got so excited it was almost all I could think about for days. When I shared it with mymastermind group, my idea was met with mild enthusiasm. Their reaction surprised me because they are usually ready to jump in and brainstorm. When they didn’t, I was disappointed and almost dismissed my idea as being silly or off the mark. My inner critic started telling me it must not be a good idea or my mastermind partners would have jumped on it like ducks on a June Bug. But I still couldn’t get the idea out of my head. So I brought it up again at our next meeting. I wanted to find out why they felt lukewarm about it so I could let it go and stop thinking about it. I don’t know if it was because our earlier meeting took place right before the holidays or if the stars were aligned differently or if I articulated my idea better the second time around. Whatever the deal was, I got a completely different reaction. They DID jump on my idea like ducks on a June Bug! They gave me lots to think about in term of how to create and offer this product and I got even MORE excited! Is it a good idea? Will it be whatMark Victor Hansencalls a “million dollar” idea? Hellz Bellz, I don’t know! But the incident reminds me that I cannot trust the committee in my head when the time comes to venture out of my comfort zone and do something new. I suspect that might be true for you too if you cringe when the question comes up. The committee hates risk and doesn’t like it when you want to raise the bar. I’m a long way from knowing for sure if my idea is going to work. But I’m having fun with it and I believe that’s the point. Instead of thinking about raising the bar as being hard work or sacrifice, what if it’s really about using your gifts, skills and abilities in a variety of fulfilling and fun ways? What if it’s about letting go of expectations and following your own inner compass just for the fun of seeing where it leads?    Even if it leads nowhere, you will learn something about yourself. And you might land in some exotic destination where you feel sexy, vibrant and alive. How willing would you be to raise the bar that high? Are you ready to raise the bar on some area of your life this year and finally pursue you dream job or life? Join me for January Jumpstart 2014 starting January 28th.

Quit Making New Year’s Resolutions and Do This Instead

Context is the freedom to be.  Context is space.  It has no form, no place in time; it allows form and time…Once you create a context, that context then generates a process in which the content – the forces and circumstances – reorder and align themselves with the context. ~ Werner Erhard I love this time of year, not just because of the holidays, but because it’s a wonderful time to pause and reflect about how the past year has gone – what worked, what didn’t work, and what you would like to do differently. No, you don’t need to wait until December. The opportunity to create a fresh start is available whenever you want it. But the end of the year provides a reminder for you if you don’t take time any other time. It’s not unusual for clients to resist making New Year’s Resolutions, especially if they haven’t been effective at achieving them in the past. They don’t see much hope of doing better in the future. If you don’t believe it, listen to how many people say they don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Some laugh at the idea. Some scoff. Some get defensive and come up with justifications for why setting goals or making New Year’s Resolutions is a bad idea. I agree with them. The way most of us have been taught to create New Year’s Resolutions doesn’t work because it feels like drudgery. Where’s the fun in that? I’m not against making New Year’s Resolutions. They can be useful “power tools” for setting up your year. But like learning to use any power tool, one must learn to use it properly. Too many people make New Year’s Resolutions based on an unworkable structure. Resolving to lose weight provides a good example. People know what to do. Join a gym Track down the latest quick weight loss fad diet Begin How long does it take before they give up? A month? Six weeks? Two months tops? I’ve set goals this way and perhaps you have too. It’s a recipe for disaster. If you are like me, you probably vowed never to put yourself through that kind of failure, pain, or humiliation again. Why doesn’t it work? I believe what’s missing is a larger framework or context for an EXPERIENCE you want to have. So what do I mean by framework or context?  Here are some examples: Living Vibrantly Embracing Life with Exhilaration Ecstasy in the Physical Body Context opens a door to new possibilities for action. You might see mental pictures or a “vision” for what these examples mean to you.   What would you be doing if you chose “Living Vibrantly”? Where would you be doing it? Who would be with you? How would you “measure” that you are living a vibrant life? You will start to notice that what previously seemed yucky or like hard work – like losing weight – now becomes a pathway to the experience you really want – such as embracing life with exhilaration. It may even lead you to love exercise because you will choose activities that are in alignment with the context you created. Creating a framework or context for an experience you want to have gives you power. And that’s the key to fulfilling on setting goals or following through on your New Year’s Resolutions.   The framework or context you create makes taking action effortless. You may not like doing what needs to be done any better than you did before, but it doesn’t matter. You’ll do it because you are inspired by the possibilities. And the best part is, there’s no waiting for an outcome. When you create a framework or context for your life that inspires you, you can start living it right now – not someday. How sexy is that? Want to learn more about how to design a sexy context instead of making New Year’s Resolutions? Join me on January 14th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time for my complimentary “Introduction to January Jumpstart: Creating Goals that Matter” teleclass. Register now. Call-in information will be emailed to you.

Dancing with Your Dreams is Downright Sexy!

Someone with their feet planted firmly on the ground has no hope of reaching the stars.” ~ Kelsey Dun Humans have the gift of being able to gaze into the future with wonder, delight, excitement and curiosity. We have the ability to dance with all manner of dreams and possibilities. It’s too bad this gift is often “de-geniused” early in our lives. A friend says that dancing with your dreams is like going “shoe shopping in the Catalog of the Universe.” What a fun analogy for what dreaming is all about. Trying things on. Looking to see what fits and what doesn’t. Discovering the perfect fit dream-shoes that make you feel like a million bucks. Have you been told to stop dancing with your dreams and get practical? Is that something you tell yourself? If so, it’s time to stop listening! Get those cherished and tarnished dream-shoes out of your closet and polish them up. Try them on. Start dancing. How do they feel? Okay. Some of your dreams may have gone out of style or they no longer fit. Don’t worry if you discover it’s time to shop for new dream-shoes. Just let yourself have fun! Somewhere in your “Catalog of the Universe” you’ll locate the dream-shoes specifically meant for you to dance in. Dreams meant for you to manifest fit like wearing designer shoes. They feel so comfortable that dancing in them feels effortless – like dancing on a cloud. Authentic dreams aren’t “pipedreams” or “hopes” or “wishes”. When they are truly yours, you will feel like Cinderella or the Handsome Prince at the ball. You’ll be dancing with your dreams happily all night long! You’ll want to invite your friends to party with you. You’ll be excited to help them put on their dream-shoes too! Here’s the Bad News and Good News The bad news is that dreams come with an expiration date. If you decide to sit on the sidelines and be a wallflower instead of dancing with your dreams, someone else will be invited to dance. The good news is that there are limitless numbers of dreams in the Catalog of the Universe. If you lose out on dancing with a dream, keep shopping. Bring yourself back to delight and curiosity. You’ll discover more exciting ideas and dreams to dance with than you can fulfill in a single lifetime. I love experiencing what happens when my clients start dancing with even one dream. It doesn’t matter how they dance. It doesn’t even matter if they start doing a waltz and end up doing a cha-cha. Teeny steps and giant leaps lead to awe inspiring results. I haven’t seen it fail yet. One client started dancing with a dream to travel across country with her dog. Some daunting family circumstances interrupted her dream. So she kept shopping until she came up with a second dream she could complete at home. As her new dream took shape, fresh ideas and dreams started popping up in her personal Catalog of the Universe. She now has two or three fun projects going on that she’s excited about, all of which have money making potential. Even though she has to stick pretty close to home for now, she’s living a bigger life than she thought she could live! And she’s happy! Rather than complaining about what’s keeping her home, she’s taking it a day at a time and dancing, dancing, dancing with her dreams. Dancing with your dreams is like any other practice. It may feel awkward at first. You may not look especially polished or elegant in the beginning. So what? Looking good is not the point. Feeling good is the point!  What did you ever learn that you were good at – or looked good doing – when you started? The only thing that matters is that you keep trying on dream-shoes, dancing, and having a great time.   Who knows? You may find yourself dancing among the stars, or at the very least you’ll be dancing with stars in your eyes. And that’s downright sexy! ****************************************************************************************** Are you tired of being “practical”? Are you ready to start dancing with your dreams? Coach Sue wants to help you try on dream-shoes and get your “sexy” on. Contact Sue to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or give her a call at 949-212-4345.  

Twelve Thanksgiving Reflections on Gratitude

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~ W. T. Purkiser Thanksgiving is upon us. There is so much to be grateful for this year I thought I’d list a few things using the word Thanksgiving as my inspiration. T – Trust I’m thankful for a seminar where I learned that we can trust everyone to be exactly how they are and exactly how they are not. What that means to me is that if there is someone in your life who has demonstrated they are not trustworthy with their word or their actions, you can trust them to operate that way…until they choose to operate differently. That knowledge gives me the freedom to eliminate expectations for how they “should” operate and just be with how they do operate. I can avoid setting myself up to be disappointed or hurt by counting on them to be some other way than how they are. H – Health I am thankful to be healthy.  I was born prematurely and started out with a propensity for getting sick. Measles, mumps, chicken pox – you name it, I got it. I’ve had a few minor operations along the way. But for the most part, I navigate the world with a body that works. Being healthy is a gift that keeps on giving. A – Abundance. I once lived in “Scare City” believing others had so much more than I did. Now I see that I am surrounded by an abundance of friends, ideas, love, support, and opportunities. That brings me an abundance of joy. What could be better than seeing abundance all around and dancing in gratitude for that? N – Never Never give up. Never let anyone stand between you and your visions, goals and dreams.  Never say never. Never believe your doubts. Never hold back. Sometimes I think of Scarlett O’Hara standing on that hill in Gone with the Wind when she vowed to never go hungry again. I am grateful for powerful words that move us to action. K – Killer Ideas. I am grateful for those moments when I get a Killer Idea. I believe Killer Ideas are given to us by whatever Higher Power we believe in.  Many people have given up paying attention to Killer Ideas and they coast. I don’t want to coast. I want to go out sliding into home base shouting “Whoo-Hoo! What a ride!” I may not manifest all of my Killer Ideas, but I love that I still have them. S – Simplicity. I am grateful to have eliminated a LOT of clutter that was weighing me down this year. I am grateful for the increase in clarity and focus that resulted from jettisoning clutter. G – Growth I spent many years making my life smaller. I am grateful to have turned that around. The future looks limitless, exciting, and vibrant. I am grateful to have my eyes turned forward toward future growth rather than backward to the past. It feels like there is more Future ahead of me than I will have time to fulfill. I am grateful to have it be that way rather than see no future whatsoever. I – Intrepid I am so grateful for intrepid clients, friends, and associates who inspire me with their courage and fearlessness as they go after their dreams and goals. I am beyond blessed to get to do what I do! V – Vistas A vista is a large number of things that may be possible in the future. As this year ends, it’s time to review how this year has gone and to paint new vistas for next year. I am grateful for the blessings of this amazing year and for all the wonderful possibilities next year has in store. I – Invention I am grateful that just when we think everything has been invented, something new and wonderful comes along. I can’t help but wonder what the next thing will be that changes the way we see our world. N – Nothing Nothing is not always appreciated for the gift it is. Nothing can be challenging at times, especially when we think there “should” be something there – like Money, Ideas, Time, Relationships, or a Job. Nothing creates an open space where Magic, Wonder, and Sweet Surprise can show up. Nothing is a place for possibility and miracles to occur that will delight and surprise. G – Gratitude It’s true what they say – that the more you put your attention on what you are thankful for, the more you notice how much there is to be thankful for. Escalating my attitude of gratitude has made this year one of the best ever. I am thankful for expanding the practice of gratitude in my life. That’s my list. I invite you to say thanks as many times a day as you can…to loved ones, to life, to yourself for being alive, and to whatever Higher Power you believe in. And if you feel like it, I’d love to read what you are grateful for in the comments. Wishing you and the people you love a Thanksgiving filled with limitless gratitude, love, and joy with friends and family.  

How to Embrace Your Leadership Qualities

Instead of looking for a great leader, we are in an era where each of us needs to find the great leader in ourselves. ~ Werner Erhard How often do you stop to think about great leadership qualities? You may think about it in terms of leaders you admire. But do you think about your own leadership qualities? I recently attended an excellent leadership course. It took us in a different direction when it comes to examining outstanding leadership qualities. Rather than talking about the doing of leadership, we spent two days inquiring about what it takes to be a leader. For most of my life, I didn’t think of myself as a leader. Something inside me always wanted to be a leader, but I didn’t see myself as having leadership qualities. I thought people were either born to be leaders or they weren’t. In my mind, I wasn’t. That’s what I get for trusting my mind over my heart. I thought leadership belonged somewhere “outside” of me to people who were bigger than life, like Gandhi or Mother Teresa. Or at the very least in my worldview, leaders were “given” that responsibility through hard work, promotions, elections or some other “appointment”. It’s taken me awhile to embrace my inner leader and yes, there are still times when I doubt myself. But I don’t have to let my doubts stop me and neither do you. Here’s what I wrote in my journal after completing the course: “I went to an amazing Leadership Course…there were interesting people in attendance. Very international, or should I say global. Big dreams…they are all about transforming something. Education. Poverty. The environment. My dream seems little. But this is one arena where size doesn’t matter. My dream is my dream and it matters to me. When I shared it from my heart, people got my dream and they got me and who I am…I may not always land where I expect to land, but I will land safely. And if I am true to myself and true to my vision it’s possible that I will land in an even better place than I could have imagined. ” Whether you believe it or not, inside you lives a leader with the leadership qualities you need to accomplish whatever inspires you. When you are inspired, your leadership qualities will show up effortlessly, especially when you take a stand to create your Sexy Second Act – the authentic life you are designed to live. Inspired leaders can’t help but break away from same-old, same-old to live large and honor what matters to them. And don’t you know it? Authentic leadership qualities are downright SEXY! They have an aura about them that comes from commitment and passion for doing something that matters. For no other reason than it does. How do you discover your unique leadership qualities? Get clear about what you want and what’s important to you Stop waiting – for someone to give you permission, or for the right time or right circumstances. Take ownership of your dreams NOW. Stop worrying about whether or not you know how. If you know how, your dream isn’t big enough. You’ll figure it out as you go. That’s what great leaders do. Find the support of people who believe in you and believe in your dreams even when you are in doubt. Commit yourself like your life depends on it. Living your best life DOES depend on it. Before you know it, you’ll attract amazing people and opportunities and the quality of your life will expand exponentially. You will be a leader! How sexy is that? ************************************************************************************************************************************* Are you ready to embrace your inner leader? Putting yourself in a Mastermind Group is a great way to get started. Contact us for more information. New groups are now forming.  

Authentic Conversations Make a Difference

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.  ~ Mother Theresa Having authentic conversations can be tough. Not only is it challenging, it requires you to be vulnerable and transparent. Showing your vulnerable side may seem scarier than any Halloween Monster could ever be. But if you truly want to make a difference in your life and the lives of the people who matter to you, you have to be willing to open yourself up to having them. What is an authentic conversation? It’s not necessarily what you think it is. Rather than having authentic conversations, here’s what we are trained to do: Defend, justify, and protect our opinions and positions at all costs Be nice – at least on the surface Compartmentalize and keep our deepest feelings suppressed because expressing them is “inappropriate” Judge and label each other’s feelings and opinions as “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong” Believe that telling the truth will hurt others when we are really afraid of backlash Many of us have held back our feelings and our truth for so long, even from ourselves, that we have to dig deep to uncover what we are truly feeling. Doing the work to dig deep may feel yucky and messy. So what? Your payoff for doing it is that it will make a huge and permanent difference in your ability to have authentic conversations that lead to living a bad-ass sexy life. How do you dig? Begin by noticing your thoughts and reactions. Objectively noticing how you feel about what happens in your life starts the process of dealing authentically with what you are feeling. Something happens and you feel some way about it. You might feel hurt, angry, or resentful. You may feel slighted, invalidated, or made wrong.  Accept that you feel what you feel. Accept that what you feel is real and okay, even if it’s not what the other person intended you to feel. Accept that whoever you are in conversation with feels what they feel. Accept that it’s real and okay for them, even if it’s not how you intended them to feel. Acknowledging the truth of your experience is a huge relief. To share your experience without fear of judgment gives you clarity and helps you let go of pain, free yourself from the past, and remodel your life in that area. Authentic conversations become possible when each of you can be vulnerable and share your experiences knowing that you both are listening from a desire to understand the experience of the other. When we truly “see” each other, love and affinity are restored. How ready are you to start having authentic conversations with the people in your life? Are you willing to start by getting real with yourself about what’s working in your life and what isn’t? Are you willing to look at places where you are being true to yourself and where you are not? Are you willing to take actions consistent with your own inner knowing about what’s true for you? When you are, you will find it hard to tolerate anything other than authentic conversations, no matter how tough or challenging they may be. You will see a definite shift in the quality of your life. What price are you willing to pay for that? ****************************************************************************************************************** Have you been avoiding getting real with yourself or someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

I’m Too Old to Change Careers

Modern man was not meant to do his best work before forty but is by nature, and is becoming more and more so, an afternoon and evening worker. ~ G. Stanley Hall If you’re thinking you are a tired old dog and it’s too late for you to change careers, I get it. I used to think that way too. Whether you choose to change careers or a career change chooses you due to a layoff or some other craziness going on in today’s roller coaster world, demo-ing your life and rebuilding it is never easy. You may wonder, like I did, about how the heck you’ll ever have the energy, much less the time, to start all over again to build a completely new career. Prior to being laid off, I envied people who had gone through the experience of making a career transition. I admired their moxie. I was awed by their willingness to change careers to completely different fields. How did they figure it out? I was especially impressed by those who said losing their jobs or leaving them was the best thing that that ever happened. They looked happy and energized. I thought that was very well for them, but how would I ever change careers? What would I do? I had no clue, which was what got me into the job I was doing in the first place. The longer I stayed, the harder it became to consider a career change and the less likely it became that I’d ever leave before retirement. Then kismet stepped in. It was my turn to be the one who was unceremoniously let go. I was about to learn first-hand how to tread the murky waters of making a career transition. Yes, I wondered if I was too old to change careers. Yes, it was scary as hell. Yes, I was unsure about whether I had the time or energy to start over. Uncertainty is not one of my favorite emotional states. But at a deeper level I was ready to change careers and I knew it. I had known it for a couple of years but I was afraid to act on it. Now I had no choice. Looking back, I believe three factors helped me get past the notion that I might be too old to change careers. An idea – I had an inkling that coaching was something I would enjoy doing. I’d been volunteering and I loved it when someone told me I’d helped them create a breakthrough to accomplish something they really wanted. Coaching was something I believed I could do for a long time and something I felt would fulfill me and give me the flexibility and freedom I craved. A support system – I had a support system of friends and associates who wouldn’t let me listen to the nay-saying committee in my head. They helped me push through my limited ideas about what was possible. They encouraged me to listen to my heart and follow my dreams.  A commitment – This might be the most important factor of all. A good friend consistently reminded me that “desire drives the human being.” I had a big desire – a vision – for what it would feel like to live my life doing something that mattered to me. I wanted it badly enough to take the risk. The result is that I am now the person on the other side who can say that you are never too old to change careers. I am the person who feels grateful and who says that being laid off was one of the best things that ever happened. Doing what I love and living to a schedule I create energizes me. I believe it now – that when one door closes, another one opens. You have to be willing to let go of the door knob behind you and turn the knob on the door in front of you. Who knows? You may be opening the door to a magical kingdom you never could have imagined. That’s sexy! Are you ready?  

How Your Sexy Second Act Makes a Difference

 Turning up our light in the presence of those whose light is dim becomes the difference that makes the difference.  ~ Eric Allenbauth This isn’t what you think. It’s not an article about making a difference by running off and joining the Peace Corps or volunteering, or working at a non-profit. Those are great things to do if you are wired that way. But if you’re not, it won’t work. Instead of turning up your light, it will dim your light. How Do You Turn Up Your Light? Gaining clarity about what you love doing is what makes a difference for you and for others. Doing what you love turns up your light. The joy you experience while doing what you love turns up your light. Doing something fulfilling that gives your life meaning turns up your light. And you won’t be able to help shining that light on others. It’s an inevitable outcome. My clients wonder how doing what they love makes a difference.  They don’t understand that when they work doing something they love, no matter what they are doing, it has value. Instead, they trivialize their gifts. Through my own experience I’ve come to believe that we are not supposed to judge our gifts as being more or less valuable than anyone else’s. Your gifts are uniquely your gifts. Your job is to surrender to joy and learn to use your gifts in a way that invites or attracts people who may benefit from them. Some clients think they can’t design a career that includes a variety of things they love. They think they must focus on one thing. I believe that with imagination and current technology, we can design a one of a kind career that lights us up and attracts the perfect people to our light. When that light shines, the pathway for making a difference opens up. Ways to make money while making a difference will open up too. If you want to design a career that makes a difference, stop looking at what has been done in the past. Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and comparing it to what you are doing. Hit the pause button on your brain’s incessant nagging about what you “should” be doing and listen for the inner spark that ignites your love light. And then let it shine. The rest of us will be glad you did. We need you to make a difference in your own unique, delicious, and sexy way so we can shine more brightly too. If you want a little inspiration to start turning up your light, we invite you to listen to our favorite version of “Turn on Your Love Light” by our friend Pattie Spadaro and the Patti Spadaro Band. She’s a role model for what we are talking about. She’s a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and musician who can wail it on the guitar!  Like this post? Share with a friend. If you are ready to shine your love light in a way that makes a difference and you don’t know how to get started, contact us to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” session.

Starting Over Doesn’t Feel Sexy – Start Over Anyway

“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”  ― Nick Hornby Starting over, or starting anything new, is a lot like launching a rocket into space. Most of the energy is spent just getting off the ground.  You have to pull yourself out of the gravitational force of doing things the way they’ve always been done. You have to leave the “solid ground” of what you know and be willing to launch yourself into uncharted and unexplored territory. Starting over may feel scary rather than sexy. When you think about it, sex probably didn’t feel sexy the first time around.  But you kept at it because you had the desire to get good at it. You believed that it would be a lot more fun when you did. Like first time sex, launching your second act may feel awkward, confusing, and downright embarrassing. But if you keep at it, you will eventually feel sexy as you start to understand where “all the important bits are supposed to go”. President Kennedy challenged us to go to the Moon a few decades ago. He didn’t know how we were going to do it. He didn’t worry about why we should do it. I love this quote from his Moon speech at Rice Stadium in 1962. “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade…because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…” This is what starting over is about. Choosing to do it. Choosing to do something that requires the best of your energies and skills. Choosing it with the intention to win – to design and build the life that’s worthy of you and the contribution you have to make to this world. I invite you to read and listen to President Kennedy’s entire speech, especially if you haven’t heard it before now. And if you are ready for the next adventure of your lifetime, don’t wait. Choose to start over and choose to be ecstatic about your choice. ******************************************************************************************** Did you find this article about starting over helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.  

Designing Your Sexy Second Act Means Saying “I Can! I Will!”

Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.–Jackie Joyner-Kersee There are so many thoughts running around in my head after watching Diana Nyad achieve her lifelong dream – on her FIFTH try – to be the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida outside of a shark tank. I love that every time she failed she checked in with herself to ask “Do I want this? Can I do this?” And I love that her heart said “I Can! I Will!” It would seem that the last question on her mind was whether or not she was getting too old to follow her passion. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Being present to fact that life is short compels her to “live large” so she never looks back with regret. I believe it’s about time for more people as determined and passionate as Diana to step up. I believe it’s time to dispel the notion that adults become feeble at fifty! It’s time for people to get that every age is a stage and you can do anything you put your mind to. It may not be easy. It may not always be fun. Goals worthy of you will be challenging. You will have to overcome the challenges. But you will learn about who you are and what you are capable of accomplishing. You will learn what it’s like to live a rich, rewarding and satisfying life. Whether you are aware of it or not, I believe you will be living your life purpose. So…How Do You Start? Create a SEXY dream or go after a SEXY dream you’ve given up on. How do you know if it’s sexy? Like seriously? You’ll KNOW. You’ll feel a tingle in every fiber of your being when you think about it. No, it’s not about creating a bucket list and checking things off. That’s just something to do. It’s about living the rest of your life doing the best WITH your life – feeling vibrant and totally alive! It’s about being able to look back at the end of your life and know that while you may not have been able to do it all, you got to do enough. I hope you’ll watch this beautiful (and yeah…SEXY!) TED talk given by Diana Nyad before her victorious swim.  And then I hope you’ll get inspired to take another look at your dreams. I hope you’ll say – starting today – “I Can! I Will! – design my Sexy Second Act!” ****************************************************************************************************************** Have you designed your Sexy Second Act? Tell us about it in the comments. If you haven’t and you are ready to “Nail It” fill out the contact form and schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.

Listen with Your Heart to Design Your Sexy Second Act

“Let your heart be your compass, your mind your map, your soul your guide… and you will never get lost.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey It’s said that if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear a message in every experience. I pondered that the other day while waiting for my mechanic to figure out why my car’s check engine light came on. Luckily, it turned out to be no big deal, but I couldn’t help wondering what the message might be. I’ve been feeling pressure about completing my book by a certain deadline. As a result, the fun went out of my writing. The whole idea of writing a book did a one-eighty from being exciting to feeling like a “chore”. I decided that the message was to check my own “inner engine” and figure out what was causing me to feel pressured.  I realized I had fallen into the trap of meeting what I perceived to be the expectations of others who are holding me accountable for finishing the book by a certain deadline. “Perceived” is the key word. They really don’t have any “expectations” other than wanting me to succeed at a goal I set for myself. They are holding me to account for that. But I found myself trying to meet those “perceived” expectations rather than focusing on my goal to write the book and why it matters to me. Soon after this realization, I came across a You Tube interview with Marianne Williamson who was discussing one of her books. When asked about her book’s goal, she said her responsibility was to “create something beautiful for God”, not to worry about achieving a particular outcome. When I heard that I felt my heart expand. I felt the “pressure” melt away. I realized I had stopped listening with my heart about my purpose for writing my book. I had succumbed to the pressure of “getting it done” and forgotten that my job is to be of service by creating something beautiful to the best of my ability. Leo Buscaglia says it so eloquently in this quote: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” What Does This Have To Do with Designing Your “Sexy Second Act”? It’s all too easy to allow yourself to be lulled away from creating a life and career you love because of perceived “expectations”, opinions and judgments of people who mean well. No matter how much they love you they don’t know your heart as well as you know it. Listen with your heart and allow it to speak its truth. If your heart knows it’s time for a change or time to take on a challenge, embrace it. Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses for why you can’t do what you love. Focus on what you CAN do to make it happen.  Give yourself permission to be held accountable, but don’t allow that to overwhelm your own inner truth and sense of timing. Keep moving forward one action at a time, trusting that you are not lost and everything will work out as it’s meant to. When you are designing and building your yummy Sexy Second Act, isn’t it delicious to think you are part of a Grander Design that is meant to make the whole world beautiful? *********************************************************************************************************** What are your best talents and how are you using them to create something beautiful for God? Share in the comments. If you aren’t sure and you’d like to find out how to use your gifts joyfully, contact us to schedule your “get acquainted” coaching session.

Your Purpose is Greater Aliveness!

Pain is the clarion of aliveness trumpeting that you are living in the marvelous tender cause of life! ~ Bryant McGill Do you ever wonder about what your purpose is? Does it give you a headache when you think about it? It used to be that way for me too. What if discovering your purpose isn’t as hard as you think. I love this quote from the teachings of Werner Erhard:  “When you get rid of the blocks, what you have is aliveness, and when the blocks are gone, purpose emerges. There is no use searching externally for purpose, or trying to “pull it in.” It is already there. Just focus on clearing out what is between you and aliveness, so every time we create greater aliveness, the purpose is being served. Aliveness and purpose are practically the same thing. The purpose is greater aliveness, so every time we create greater aliveness, the purpose is being served.  As more and more of us get to see that the purpose is greater aliveness, it happens that all of us start to do the same thing – we start serving the purpose. Life comes on to us in our own terms, and so does the opportunity to serve. That everyone is serving the purpose in a different way does not mean that everyone is doing something different. That’s the illusion. We do the same thing in different ways. As each of us makes our part of the whole really work, the purpose is being served.” ~ Werner Erhard What worked for me was to let go of taking my career transition seriously. I needed a little coaching and some help from my friends to do that. I started putting building blocks together that made me FEEL alive – like laughing, dancing, playing with my friends, creating adventures, and designing work I love doing. I stopped looking for an answer and began living my way into the answer. And guess what? I’m STILL at it. It’s an ongoing “construction project” that allows me to daily live my purpose which is “to playfully celebrate life”. My clients struggle with this in much the same way I used to. It’s hard to act on inner promptings before you know where they will lead you on the path to your purpose. It’s doubly hard when your life didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to or if you are in the midst of a career transition. But every step you take toward aliveness, the more clarity you gain about how to design and build your “Sexy Second Act”. Because you know what? Each step is a building block setting the foundation for a happy ending as the man in this article discovered during his career transition. What could be better than designing and building your own unique “happily ever after” career and life? Is this post helpful? Pass it along to your friends and associates. I’d love to hear your feedback about your career transition experience in the comments. And if you’re ready to put play and purpose back into your life, schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” session!

Making Your Sexy Second Act Career Choice

Finding the work that you love is not complicated or difficult; there are no mysteries: it just requires clarity, choice and commitment. ~ Lance Secretan Making your Sexy Second Act career choice sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. People sometimes come to me looking for instant answers about how to build a new career.  But just like remodeling your house, a life or career remodel takes time. Designing and building anything is an act of creation. Can you think of anything beautiful, exciting or interesting that was built overnight? Your first time around career choice may not have been designed by you. You may have “moved in” to a life that someone else planned and built for you. Or you may have made a “should” career choice that seemed practical even though you weren’t in love with it. One of my clients made a practical career choice the first time around. He is now aware that this isn’t the career he really wants for the rest of his life.  But he feels like he would be dishonoring the financial sacrifice his parents made to provide him with a good education. That’s partially what’s holding him back from making a different career choice now. He recently got married. He and his wife are looking forward to starting a family so there are new considerations that need to be handled before he can remodel his life. There are steps he can take now to get clarity about what his next career choice might be.   Focusing on possible career options makes him feel less “trapped” in his current job. He can create a blue print for how to get to a brighter future doing something he loves. He can begin putting resources in place for when he’s ready to make his move.  Dreaming of building your Sexy Second Act career is a lot like dreaming of building your future dream house. You think about where you’d build it, how many rooms it will contain, what each room will be used for, and how you will decorate it.  Dreaming is a big part of the fun. It works the same way for designing your dream life and career. Have a little fun dreaming about what your Sexy Second Act career choice might be, even if it doesn’t seem possible to achieve right now.   Just like you know what it would FEEL like to live in your dream home, keep dreaming until you know how it would feel to be doing something you love so much, you can’t wait to get started creating it. Your excitement will keep you in action and will attract opportunities you can’t even imagine! Have you designed your Sexy Second Act? Tell us about it in the comments. If you haven’t designed yours yet, you can take the first step toward clarity by contacting us to find out about doing a Behavior Style Profile as part of your blueprint design.

Remodeling Your Life After Divorce

One of the hardest things to do is figure out how to remodel your life after divorce.  Life as you know it has been demolished. You lost a relationship, a way of life, and perhaps a “happily ever after” dream. You’re hurting and healing. Or maybe you haven’t even begun healing yet. Your self esteem may have taken a pretty big hit. You need time to get your feet under you and find your bearings. But there will come a time when you stop sorting through the rubble and destruction to determine what you are going to do next with your life after divorce. That’s when you know you are ready to explore. Putting your attention on something new is a great way to start moving your life forward after your divorce. It gets your eyes focused on the future rather than continuing to dredge up the past. Your future may include a new job or a career change if you have been out of the work force for awhile. Looking great and feeling confident can feel challenging if you are still reeling from the after effects of your divorce. A Behavior Style Profile Discovery Process can help you conquer self doubt and get you moving forward with anticipation. I recently worked with a client who is looking at what he wants to do with his life after divorce. The first time we talked, he looked old, tired, and painfully sad.  It was a different story the second time we met to go through his results in greater detail. He had begun exploring things he was passionate about. He had ideas percolating and he saw where he could use his strengths to begin redesigning his life. Our debriefing showed him how he could bring his passion and his strengths together to begin rebuilding and creating his Sexy Second Act life and career. He left our meeting with a little bit more zest and spring in his step. His eyes showed a bit more light and curiosity. It’s going to be fun to see what trails he will blaze over the next few months as he continues to gain clarity about his vision and direction. ***************************************************************************************************************** If you want additional tips about how to remodel your life after divorce, listen in on this interview Coach Sue did with California Family Law Attorney Liz Camaur on Blog Talk Radio. Find out more about the Behavior Style Profile Discovery Process here. Listen to internet radio with CA Divorce HelpX Ask Attorney Liz on BlogTalkRadio

Looking for a New Career? Think Like a 9-Year Old!

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. ~ Heraclitus Looking for a new career can seem daunting. But what if it’s simpler than you realize? Maybe all it takes is thinking like a 9-year old. Consider Caine’s Arcade.  His story can inspire anyone who is looking for a new career. You start by “playing” with what you love.  When you do, something magical happens. Things start to evolve and take on a life of their own as people become inspired to step up and offer support. Everyone wants to play. We learn best through “play”. Here are the 5 Lessons Caine learned: 1 – Be Nice to Customers When looking for a new career, everyone is your customer. You are “selling” your ideas, skills, and experience. You could start your Sexy Second Act from a fun idea. Sharing your idea may win you support from a potential “customer” who gets excited about what you are doing.  You never know who might show up to help you. Be nice to your “customers”. 2 – Do a business that is fun Do you know an adult who would even dream of creating an arcade out of cardboard boxes? Our so-called “responsible” inner adult gets busy pooh-poohing the idea that anyone would ever play with something that wasn’t state of the art “cool”. It’s already been done, our inner adult says. It’s crazy, it will never work. And if we aren’t saying it to ourselves, our colleagues, friends and family say it. Maybe it’s time to think more like a 9-year old, ignore that stodgy inner “adult” and do a business that is fun. 3 – Do not give up Omigosh! What amazing wisdom from a 9-year old! It’s so easy to give up when you are looking for a new career.  When you can’t see the outcome and your five senses tell you nothing you are doing is working, you want to bail. Don’t! Magic happens outside the realm of your five senses and in the realm of faith. Give faith a chance. 4 – Start with what you have Take stock. Abundance surrounds you in the form of skills, talent, intelligence, your network, and your imagination. How can you put them to work to assist you in looking for a new career? 5 – Use recycled stuff Recycling feels good.  Design ways to build your new career by recycling your skills in a fresh way that fits who you are and who you want to become.   We think that’s pretty darn sexy! How can you apply these lessons to looking for a new career that allows you to be yourself? ************************************************************************************************************* Have you forgotten how to think like a 9-year old? Get started today by scheduling your complimentary get acquainted coaching session. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345, email [email protected], or complete the contact form.    

Think You Don’t Have Career Choices? Think Again!

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: it is not to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. ~ William Jennings Bryan A common thread among people who come to me for coaching is they think they no longer have any career choices. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the number of career choices available to you nowadays is only limited by your desire and your imagination. I get it if you don’t think that’s true. That was a tough sell for me when I left my corporate job. I’d been there my whole life and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. Not only that, it was 2002. We were still in the impact of September 11th and no one was hiring. I was terrified. Luckily, I was surrounded by people who assured me that my career choices were almost unlimited. Yes, I said almost. There ARE limitations. As much as I would love to be a rock star, I can’t carry a note from my desk to my office door in a bucket. So that’s pretty much out. Setting those considerations aside, the only other limitation in my way was me. Limited thinking and limiting beliefs kept me from exploring appealing new career choices. I had to let go of trying to fit back into rapidly diminishing “traditional” work to embrace something outside my comfort zone.  Connecting the dots wasn’t easy. Here’s what it took to even get started: Time Research Introspection Experimentation Tons of Support and Feedback That’s the perfect foundation for designing innovative career choices that marry what you love with your unique life experience and skills. I love what what Marci Alboher says about career choices in her book “The Encore Career Handbook”: “The key is to know what you want to make room for and try to set up your life to make sure that it happens.” Yes, it’s going to take persistence and “intestinal fortitude”. So what? You may have to start over. So what? You may have to find a support system. So what? If you’ve ever built or remodeled a space, you needed all those things, but in the end, your reward was a space you felt good in. So don’t wait.  If you need or want to remodel your life, start now. You can begin is by reading “The Encore Career Handbook”. It will help open you up to new ideas about how you’d like to work going forward. From there, it’s just a matter of giving yourself permission to start. ***************************************************************************************************************** Want help identifying your future career choices? A Behavior Style Profile can provide a jumpstart to creating your Sexy Second Act Career and Life. Contact  Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for more info. And if you find this information helpful, we’d appreciate it if you passed it along to friends or colleagues.

Are You Ready to Declare Your Independence Day?

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ~Rumi, Essential Rumi This week in the U.S. we celebrate Independence Day. The holiday was created to celebrate and honor our country’s liberation from Great Britain. Perhaps we need to create a new version of Independence Day. This one is a personal Declaration of Independence, especially if you are a Baby Boomer. I believe that today there is a different kind of revolution going on. And it appears to be happening all around the world. The Baby Boomer generation has an opportunity to lead the way.  It’s a revolution to free our spirits and to follow our heart’s calling. It’s an opportunity to work in a fulfilling and inspiring way. Like most revolutions, it started quietly. But there is a ton of evidence to suggest it is gaining momentum as more and more people declare their independence. Are you ready for what’s coming? Here is how the new Independence Day looks: A friend with a lifelong illness created his Independence Day when he declared he was no longer going to allow his illness to drive or define his life. He declared that he’s taking the reins from now on. He’s started a foundation that donates grants to survivors of devastating illnesses. A client who is the primary care giver for her mom declared her Independence Day by making sure she makes time to pursue her dreams. She intends to learn to para-motor with the ultimate goal of flying through the Grand Canyon. She’s envisioning writing a book and making a living with photography. Another client is going back to school to get her Master’s Degree so she can declare her independence from working for others. She wants to be free to work for herself and create the flexibility to travel and live her life on her own terms. It took courage for our forefathers to declare their independence. It wasn’t clear how it would turn out. They put their lives on the line for what they believed in. They saw a vision of what would be possible by breaking the chains of tyranny. It still takes courage to declare your Independence Day. You have to be willing to put your life on the line in a different and exciting way. We live in the 21st century. It’s time to end the tyranny of working like we did in the 20th century. In a revolution there are no rules. Creating 21st century work is a do-it-yourself project.  Take your stand. Do the work you love your way. One by one, you will create ripples like raindrops in a puddle. Enough raindrops will generate a tide of possibility for a future where people do inspiring work that is engaging and inspires and serves others. That seems to be a revolution worth joyfully and courageously jumping into. I’m ready. Are you? *********************************************************************************** Did you find this post helpful? Please share. Have you declared your independence and remodeled your career? Share in the comments. We’d love to hear your story!

Change Your Perspective to Remodel Your Career

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  ― Alan Wilson Watts How willing are you to change your perspective about how you work? From now on, your willingness to look at the way you work from a variety of perspectives will determine your level of success, joy, and fulfillment. In fact, I believe that one day we may cease to call what we do to earn a livelihood “work”. Perhaps we will one day say “I’m off to contribution” or “I’m heading to service”. It seems Utopian. But maybe it’s simpler than you think if you are willing to change your perspective and entertain the idea that anything is possible. One way to do that is to let go of what you think “work” looks like. You now get to become an artist of sorts. There is a blank canvas in front of you called the future. You can paint anything you desire on it. What would you do if you could contribute or serve your way? Based on the book “The Encore Career Handbook” by Marci Alboher, here are a few ways you can change your perspective and begin designing your “Sexy Second Act” career: Think project rather than career Think about what you want to work on for a year or two Think about a series of engaging commitments with a few gaps or breaks for retraining or travel Think about a combination of self-employment, entrepreneurship, and/or activism Think creatively about how you can put several of your talents and gifts together in an interesting way, even if they seem disconnected. My change of perspective came when I discovered that things evolve as you go along, just like they do when you remodel a house. You’ll see things you thought you wanted that won’t work. You’ll get new ideas that will change your perspective even more and may even lead you in directions you can’t see from the perspective you have now. No matter where you are in your career right now, it’s never too early or too late to change your perspective about how you will serve or contribute in the future. Start dreaming, researching and taking small steps. That will help you build confidence for when opportunity comes knocking. The bonus is that you will discover, recover, and free up parts of yourself that have been dormant or hidden. That’s when life gets really sexy! And who doesn’t want more of that? ************************************************************************************* Was this post helpful? Pass it along to a friend or associate. If you are thinking about making a career transition, one great way to get started is through masterminding. New groups are forming. Fill out the interest form on our website or email [email protected] for details.

How to Pick a Career

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. ~ H. L. Mencken What I often find interesting when someone contacts me about how to pick a career is that they expect the answer to pop out of the air as easily as a sexy girl or guy pops out of a cake. Yeah right. It generally doesn’t work that way. If it did, they wouldn’t need me. When someone contacts me about how to pick a career from the perspective of getting an immediate answer, the conversation generally goes one of two ways: They don’t need to pick a career, they already know what they want and they are looking for confirmation that they are going in the right direction They don’t have a clue about how to pick a career, they want the answer right now, and they don’t want to dig for it. Guess who is more likely to succeed? It would seem like picking a career the second or third time around would be easier than it was the first time. You’ve got knowledge, life experience and a clearer perspective about your preferences. Those are extremely valuable and worth keeping. What makes it hard to pick a career the second time around is you also have beliefs and ideas about who you are and how life is that may get in your way. Not all of them are valuable. Some are well worn and long past their expiration date. Only you can decide how to pick a career that brings you Passion, Purpose AND a Paycheck®. Only you can decide if the risk of questioning everything you think you know is worth the reward of living a life that’s worth getting up for every day. The process really is that simple. And it will take some work. And you might want the assistance of a coach. Michael Phelps didn’t just jump into the pool one day, start swimming, and win a gold medal. He had to train for it. Hard. And long. On days when he didn’t feel like it. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. And you may get it wrong sometimes on the way to getting it right.  You’ll find it to be much more enjoyable and rewarding the second time around if you treat picking a career more like a journey than a destination. ******************************************************************************************************* Are you wondering how to pick your next career? There are some great tools, like our Behavior Style Profiles, that can help you look in the right direction. Contact us at 949-212-4345 for info or email  [email protected]

Does Your Sexy Second Act Include Ways to Make a Difference?

“Your thoughts, words and deeds are painting the world around you.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor I used to think lofty thoughts about ways to make a difference. It started at a young age when I went to Mexico with my parents and saw children begging. It hurt me in a way I didn’t know how to explain. I felt helpless to change anything. It was too big a problem and I was too little. These days, with life moving so fast and with so many responsibilities and obligations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed thinking about ways to make a difference in a world changing manner and how to find time to do it. It still feels like too big a problem and I still feel too little. It’s Simpler than You Think I learned a valuable lesson in my corporate days. I was called in on a weekend to work on an upcoming proposal presentation to be delivered on Monday morning. It didn’t particularly thrill me to work on a Saturday in an office without weekend air conditioning. Needless to say, it was an uncomfortable day. But without saying anything negative, I went to work and completed my assignment. My boss called the next morning with news that put the frosting on the cake. When he and the team rehearsed the presentation, they decided to change a few things and they literally cut the presentation to pieces and reconfigured it. That meant rework for me. It meant another weekend day shot and another hot and miserable experience. But without further ado, I reworked the presentation and completed it in time for Monday morning. Afterward, my boss called me into his office and thanked me, not only for coming in, but for keeping a good attitude under duress. He said that by staying cheerful and not complaining, the attitude of the entire team got better. That was the last thing on my mind. I had no idea anyone even noticed. I had a job to do and I did it. It was a delightful surprise to learn that without even knowing it, I had made a difference. Begin Where You Are It’s wonderful to want to make a big “change the world” difference. But “change the world” projects are too big for most of us. If you feel too little to tackle the big ones, make a difference in YOUR world. In your world, you are big enough. The essence of how you can make a difference is already within you. It starts when you consistently operate in alignment with what matters to you. Aligned action ripples outward from you to impact others. Starting where you are to make a difference will lead you to your Sexy Second Act. And your Sexy Second Act will open up magical opportunities, synchronicities and ways to make a difference in bigger and better ways that light you up, align with your purpose, and bring you a paycheck as you paint the world around you in bright, happy colors! ********************************************************************************************************** Did this post make a difference for you? Share it with a friend! And if you are looking for ways to make a difference with your life or career, contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session.  

Trust Your Inner Compass When Pursuing New Career Opportunities

These are the opening words to the theme from the movie Mahogany: Do you know where you’re going to?  Do you like the things that life is showing you?  Where are you going to?  Do you know? Do you get what you’re hoping for? When you look behind you There’s no open door What are you hoping for? Do you know? Diana Ross (M. Masser/G. Goffin) Consider this tale of two coaching clients: One is hung up on seeing herself as a victim – depressed, financially challenged (an understatement) and despite having wonderful gifts, skills and abilities, un-WILL-ing to commit to pursuing new career opportunities because she is attached to fear. The second is the opposite. She committed to pursuing career opportunities that will lead her to her dream life. She planned her move from her corporate job into a network marketing position congruent with who she is and where she ultimately wants to go. Her dilemma was to trust her inner compass to know when the time was right to cut her corporate apron strings and fly.   Client Number One remains stuck in the past, continuously sorting through perceived failures looking for “evidence” that nothing will (or can) ever change for the better. She believes this is how she is and how life is. Getting her to even peek at pursuing new career opportunities felt so scary that she immediately retreated into the “certainty” of fear and lack. Client Number Two felt nervous about stepping into the unknown future of entrepreneurship. Despite her nervousness, she believed she would be okay no matter what happened. Unlike Client Number One, she is certain about what she wants to accomplish. She believes that pursuing new career opportunities in network marketing offered a “bridge” to something bigger. Even though she isn’t fully clear about what the bigger picture looks like, she now trusts her inner compass to direct her path. Both clients are equally smart and talented. The difference is that one is afraid to trust her inner compass while the other client is not. If you don’t know where you are going when thinking about pursuing new career opportunities, then you will never get there. And the bigger question is – if you don’t know where you’re going, what are you willing to do to gain clarity? Are you ready to pursue new career opportunities, but you don’t know how to get started? A Behavior Style Profile is a great first step! Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email  [email protected] to find out more  

Making a Career Change Takes Practice

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” ~ Aristotle Making a career change to a “Sexy Second Act” isn’t something most of us can just wake up one morning and do. We aren’t eighteen anymore. We have responsibilities and obligations and other people to consider. The good news is that while it may take time and creative maneuvering, making a career change IS possible. Not only that, it can be an exciting adventure! If you’ve been following the blog, you know we’ve talked about these steps … Step 1 – Giving yourself permission to play, visualize and dream Step 2 – Designing a plan Step 3 – Preparation – committing to doing what you must do to make a career change Lastly, Step 4 – Practicing as you hone in on how you want to use your gifts to make a career change that excites and delights you. The biggest hurdle to overcome when making a career change is to practice thinking like a beginner.  As a beginner in your first career, you probably weren’t all that good at your craft. Perhaps you had some education, but it likely didn’t take you long to see the difference between book learning and “real” life experience. It may have been a long and winding road, but you kept at it until you mastered your craft. Thinking like a beginner opens you up to sweet surprise. If making a career change to create your “Sexy Second Act” goes like mine has gone, you’ll discover things about yourself you never knew. You’ll feel alive like you may not have felt since you were young. But you may also at times feel awkward, silly, and uncomfortable. Just like with your first career, making a career change takes time, dedication, and practice. It’s an evolutionary process. What you end up doing may look nothing like what you start out doing. What matters is that you keep at it until you create something that is uniquely you. Once you do, you will attract serendipitous opportunities, support, and people. When you create your Sexy Second Act, you are creating art. Seth Godin says: “By my definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint or marble. Art is what we’re doing when we do our best work.” And we do our best work when we’re doing what we love. So start creating! And practice, practice, practice! ******************************************************************************************************************* Are you stuck on any of the steps to making a career change? Completing a Behavior Style profile may be just the thing to help you begin building a bridge to your Sexy Second Act Career. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to get your questions answered.

Preparing for Your Career Change

The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work: then the faith and belief that it can work: then hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one thought of doubt or disbelief. ~ Eileen Caddy, Writer ~ Preparing for your career change is a journey as much as it is a destination. Step 1 on the journey is about giving yourself permission to play. Step 2 on the journey is about designing a plan. Step 3 – Preparing for your career change is where the rubber meets the road. It’s where you get to choose how willing you are to do what it takes to have what you want. Step 3 is where your mettle will be tested. For me, the game of Survivor, however you feel about how “real” it is, offers an example of what people are willing to do when they put something big, like winning a million dollars, at stake.  What are you willing to do to put having a career that lights you up and excites you at stake? Are you willing to… Risk putting something big at stake to design an exciting and fulfilling life? Take a few steps backwards before you go forward? Become a “beginner”? Live a life of integrity, congruency and meaning? Die used up rather than burned out? Designing a career change to a truly Sexy Second Act may require all of this from you and more. It may require a combination of financial planning, education, overcoming whatever limiting beliefs you have about yourself and your ability to invent something new, developing muscles you didn’t know you possessed, and digging deep within to discover who you really are, what you are all about, and what your gifts are and how to use them to serve others in a way that fulfills you. Part of preparing for your career change includes a willingness to allow your transition to take however long it takes. For some, it happens fairly quickly. For others, it takes years to prepare. It likely took years, or even decades, for you to get where you are. It may take years, or even decades, to get where you want to go. So what? You will live those years anyway. Do you want to live a compelling life or a complacent life? Ultimately, no one can choose but you. Planning for your career change may include figuring out how to create a career aligned with something that matters to you. A Behavior Style Profile is one way to get clarity about that. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected]  for details. Know someone who’s ready for a career change? Please feel free to forward this post to friends and colleagues.  

Plan Your Career Transition

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln Many resources say that between 50% and 70% of Americans wish they could make a career transition giving them the freedom to work for themselves. Are you one of them? If you are, part of your strategy from now on must be to plan your career transition. The unfortunate thing is that whether or not you are aware of it, you ultimately do work for yourself. You may be employed by a company or organization, but ultimately, you work for yourself. You must begin to recognize and take responsibility for the quality of your working life. If it is making you miserable, who else is going to change it? Step 1 of how to make a career transition was about playing with new ways to work that align with the direction the world is moving and with creating fulfilling and inspiring work. Step 2 – Planning – may be the lengthiest and most challenging part of your career transition. You have to test your ideas. You may have to tap new resources to help you gain awareness and knowledge you don’t yet have about possible career choices. You may need support to help you think in ways you are not used to thinking to create a career that fits you and makes each day worth living. Just like a house isn’t built overnight, building your Sexy Second Act may take more time than you think. And just like building a house, you may have to make modifications. The point is to make it fun. Now is not the time to quit. Keep sharpening your axe. Or your pencil. Or your crayons. Or your focus. You’ll eventually discover a career direction that inspires you to live the great life you are meant to live. ***************************************************************************************************************************** Are you ready to start the planning phase of your career transition? A Behavior Style Profile can help. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to learn more or email her at [email protected]

How Do You Begin Making a Career Transition?

The readiness is all. – William Shakespeare Successfully navigating your career transition as a Baby Boomer isn’t easy. I’ve been there and I had to learn a few things the hard way. Saying I was scared when I got laid off would be an understatement. I had never been “out of a job” before. Fear admonished me to hurry up and get on with finding my next job. So off I scurried to find resources to help me figure out how in the heck I was going to find “new cheese”. I was filled with dread and anxiety. I had been with my company for practically my whole life. I never learned how to write a resume, conduct a job search, network or do anything that everyone told me was necessary to successfully navigate my career transition in “this day and age”. Not only that, there was this conflicting and insistent little whisper inside urging me to do something different at this stage of my life. I wanted independence, flexibility and freedom. But since I had no idea what kind of “job” would give me that, I resigned myself to finding something in my field. And then I wondered why I kept resisting doing what I needed to do to get a new job. Luckily, trusted friends and associates encouraged me to slow down and regroup. They encouraged me to “play” which sounded crazy and counter-intuitive to me. I didn’t know then that crazy is good! If “playing” sounds as crazy to you as it did to me, I invite you to consider that “crazy” may be a signal that you are on the right track. Dance with your crazy dreams and be curious about where they might lead you. Step 1 in navigating your career transition is to PLAY. Here are a few things I learned the hard way that may help you get started: Play and dream as if you were a child. Don’t lock yourself into “same old” thinking. Let your creativity soar without censoring it. You aren’t obligating yourself to anything. Let go of “should” and “ought” and “that’s not practical” and just BE with whatever new ideas come up. Play with every possibility. Seek assistance from trusted advisors if you feel “stuck”. Don’t continue trying to figure out what’s next on your own. Your own limited view will keep you feeling “stuck”. Remember that navigating a career transition (or any transition for that matter) is a process. Relax and surrender to the process. Play with creating a vision for a future that inspires you and ignites a fire within you.   Don’t worry at this point about whether your “sexy second act” career transition dream isn’t practical or doesn’t make sense. I promise you that with playful persistence, the appropriate support, and commitment to discovering the answer that’s right for you, you’ll discover your next career and you’ll be excited to get going creating it! ******************************************************************************************************************************* Is it time for you to take prepare for successfully navigating your career transition? Are you looking for a trusted adviser to share your wild and crazy career transition ideas with? Contact Coach Sue and schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” session and begin to explore new possibilities for finding your sexy second act career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck!

Successful Career Transitions Require Passion, Purpose, a Paycheck®…and a Parachute!

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Louise E. Boone A comment posted by a friend on a Facebook photo of my skydiving experience made me chuckle. He posted “Passion, Purpose, a Paycheck…and a Parachute!” That made me think! It’s a no-brainer that most successful career transtions require Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck®. In addition, wouldn’t you just LOVE to have a parachute? Just like skydiving, making a big career change feels risky. It would be INSANE to throw yourself out of a perfectly good airplane without a parachute. It would also be insane to throw yourself out of a perfectly good job, even if you hate it, into designing a Sexy Second Act Career without a different kind of parachute.  The difference is that you don’t know how to pack your own chute to design successful career transitions. Unlike skydiving, no one can pack your “chute” for you or jump out of the “plane” with you. There is a place you can turn to for help and support. Career Transition Coaching provides a way to help you pack your parachute BEFORE you either voluntarily jump or are pushed out of your job. What does packing your own parachute to successfully jump into your Sexy Second Act career look like? Here are Five “P” Steps that can help get you ready to jump with confidence: Step 1 – PLAY Step 2 – PLAN  Step 3 – PREPARE Step 4 – PRACTICE Step 5 – PERFORM Sounds simple, right? But not easy. Stay tuned for future blogs as we talk about each step in greater detail for how successful career transitions are possible. ************************************************************************** Want to begin packing your own parachute so you can jump into a successful career transition? Don’t live with “could have, might have, and should have”. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session and begin!

How Can Thanksgiving Help You Design a Sexy Second Act Career Transition?

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude ~ Cynthia Ozick You’d be surprised how many people I talk to who are miserable in their jobs. Or maybe, if you are working in Corporate America, you wouldn’t be surprised. You likely understand why many people are unhappy these days and wishing they could make a career transition. If you are one of them and you would love to make a career transition but think you can’t, I get it. You have responsibilities – older parents who need your assistance, kids to put through college, a mortgage to pay, and so forth. But you’ve got the urge – or more accurately a BURNING DESIRE – to make a career transition that allows you to sleep in, travel more, and escape from the stress you’ve been under for so long you don’t remember a time when you weren’t consumed by it. And because you don’t know where to start, you sigh, shrug your shoulders and drag yourself off to another day of same old, same old. The good news is there is a place where you can start – even if you don’t see a possibility for ever making your career transition happen! Ready? Give thanks for the job you already have! Be grateful for the job that keeps you fed, clothed, and sheltered. Be grateful for good people you work with Be grateful for clients or customers you’ve left satisfied Be grateful that you are physically and emotionally capable of earning a living Be grateful for people who benefit indirectly from your labor. Think how far your contributions of labor go in terms of purchasing power and who benefits. Be grateful for your ability to contribute to keep the flow of life and energy moving. Are you wondering how gratitude can help you find the Sexy Second Act Career of your dreams? It helps because get what you put your attention on. By putting attention on gratitude, you’ll see more to be grateful for. That will start to affect your attitude and may lead to a promotion or a job offer that leads you to your dream job. Tricks to success? Be grateful for your job for a few minutes every day. FEEL gratitude – don’t just THINK it For extra credit, write down ten things daily you are grateful for about your job At the very least, your attitude toward your job will lighten up. At best, a totally cool and unexpected opportunity may show up. When it does or if you’ve had that experience, we’d like to hear about it in the comments! ************************************************************************************************************************************** Want more direct help designing your Sexy Second Act Career transition that includes Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck®? Give Coach Sue a call or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session for additional ways to get started.

Want a Sexy Second Act Career? Try Putting Your HEART into It!

“I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in the work–the chance to find yourself. Your own reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.” ~ Joseph Conrad I’ve been reading articles about how to survive unemployment, how to reinvent your career, how to present yourself during a job interview to keep from appearing “too old” and on and on. They are the same, tired, old articles I read ten years ago when I was laid off my job.  I find it fascinating that as fast as changes are happening everywhere, there isn’t much out there about new – and yes – “sexy” ways for how to reinvent your career to design flexible, fun, fabulous and purposeful ways to work. I’m not saying the techniques don’t work for getting a J-O-B.  They probably do.  But the question is  – are the same old methods going to help you stand out in today’s sea of over one million layoffs, according to the Labor Department’s Mass Layoff Summary? Are they going to help you see how to re-invent your career into the kind of Sexy Second Act that inspires you and makes you happy? I doubt it. If you’re a Baby Boomer looking to work differently, I think there’s some of what I call right-brain “fun work” to do BEFORE you put any left-brain strategies into place. Before engaging your HEAD to figure out how to re-invent your career, put your HEART into it! Your heart’s magnetic field is 5000 times stronger than the magnetic field surrounding your head. There’s more communication going on from our hearts to our heads than there is the other way around. Below is a video that will give you more information about your heart’s role in contributing to your well-being and the process of good decision-making. If you are struggling how to reinvent your career into a Sexy Second Act, give your poor left brain a rest. Play with ideas you would normally think are impractical or things you love that you think can’t possibly become a career. Listening from your heart just may bring you the answer you’ve been hoping for! ***************************************************************************************************** If you’ve tried everything you “know” to do to make your “Big Shift” to a Sexy Second Act Career and nothing has worked, call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session.

Take Your Career from “What If? to “Hell Yeah!”

The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.  ~ Napoleon Bonaparte I used to worry. A LOT! Worrying is anything BUT sexy. It drags you down and it drags everyone around you down. What-ifs keep you from doing anything the least bit risky…or the least bit exciting or FUN!  That’s not sexy either. What-ifs stop you if you don’t look beyond whatever yucky outcome your brain comes up with – like… I’ll die I’ll fail I’ll look bad I’ll feel rejected I’ll feel humiliated That’s where I used to go with my what-ifs. And then I’d hold myself back from doing things my heart called me to do, including creating my Sexy Second Act Career. “What if” you looked at what-ifs from the perspective of using them to identify problems that need solving or ways to turn road blocks to bridges? Preparation is sexy. One way to change your perspective is to ask “So-what instead of “What if”? So what if I die? So what if I fail? So what if I look bad? So what if I’m rejected? So what if I’m humiliated? And then ask yourself, “How likely is it that one or more of those things will happen?” Then consider the ULTIMATE what-if? What if at the end of your life, you are left only with regret when you realize you coulda-shoulda-woulda? Next, replace “what-if” and “so-what” with “hell yeah” when you think about your dream career or life! Could it be that a “hell yeah!” life looks a bit like this? You get clear about what matters! You commit to living your life from MEMORABLE rather than AVERAGE! You get support from people who want you to win! Last, ask yourself these FUN-damental questions from the book “Above All Else” by Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld…which I HIGHLY recommend: Do the circumstances make it even remotely possible to succeed? Do you want it badly enough Do you realize what it’s going to take to succeed and are you willing to do it? If the answer is YES!… persist…like NO KIDDING…until it happens! You just might find yourself saying “HELL YEAH!” when you celebrate that you DID it! How sexy do you think you’ll feel then? ************************************************************************************************************* Start creating your ultimate Sexy Second Act career that combines Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck®! Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session. Start exploring the possibilities.  

Finishing Average vs. Finishing Memorable

Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it. ~ Unknown I pinned a cartoon to one of my Pinterest Boards that got me thinking. If you are a Baby Boomer, your career is going to end in one of three ways: You are going to retire You are going to be laid off or quit Your job will become obsolete and you’ll need to find something else to do. Have you asked yourself…what then? If you retire at 65 and you have 20 or 30 (or more) years of good health, what are you going to do with your life? If you quit or you are laid off and it takes 18 months to two years to find another job, what resources do you have to bridge the gap? If your job becomes obsolete, what new work will you do? What education or training will be required? What would shift the rest of your life from finishing average to finishing memorable or what I call “sexy” in any of these scenarios?  You are the only person who can determine that. Finishing average will age you quicker. Finishing memorable (sexy) will keep you feeling young, happy and fulfilled. Shifting from average to memorable starts with making one simple choice to do what you love. Follow up with another exciting choice, and another, and another with no agenda other than to explore what you are passionate about or want to be passionate about. Along the way, you just might discover the path to a Sexy Second Act career or you may be inspired to build a Sexy Second Act business that adds a sparkle to your eye and a spring to your step. My friend Teri calls that process following the “golden thread”. I call it sexy. And memorable. So…how do you want to finish? ***************************************************************************************************************** Not sure about how to shift your career or life from finishing average to finishing memorable? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and get started creating your Sexy Second Act

Lazy Baby Boomers? Beware the Rush to Judgment

Even God doesn’t plan to judge a man until the end of his days, why should you and I? ~ Unknown I’m seriously annoyed. That may be an understatement. During a recent business brainstorming conference call a colleague said that when it came to coaching Baby Boomers, he didn’t want to do it. His experience is that Baby Boomers are lazy and won’t leverage themselves or commit to anything. I think he’s wrong. Dead wrong. Are Baby Boomers tired? Yeah Are they discouraged about their futures? Like NO KIDDING Do they feel misunderstood? Totally! But lazy? I don’t think so! Yes, Baby Boomers want to work DIFFERENTLY and have greater flexibility. And here’s a secret. I don’t think they are the only ones! However, here’s what a recent survey said about what Baby Boomers want from their work: Work that helps others Careers  about people, purpose, and community Don’t think it will be easy to find second careers doing important work Public policy changes to remove obstacles in the way Baby Boomers may want a career and lifestyle that clashes significantly with today’s environment where leaving work on time and taking vacations are frowned upon or discouraged outright. But that doesn’t mean they are lazy. They want what they want, just like they’ve always done. And I suspect that sooner or later, they are going to get it. Because when the passion fuse of a Baby Boomer gets lit, you’d better jump on the bandwagon or get out of the way! Maybe they are just not annoyed enough yet to take massive action, even though they are already the hottest group of new Entrepreneurs according to Forbes. But I have faith that the steam is building. And I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch what happens. I think it just might turn out to be a downright bad-ass crazy, sexy ride to the finish! ************************************************************************************* Are you a ticked off Baby Boomer who is ready to take control of this stage of your life and create a Sexy Second Act Career YOUR way? Give Coach Sue a call at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session.

Is Your Career Transition to a Sexy Second Act Just a Silly Millimeter Away?

When it seems impossible, when it seems like nothing is going to work, you are usually just a few millimeters away from making it happen. ~ Tony Robbins I talk to Baby Boomers all the time who say it’s too hard to make a mid-life career transition They believe they’d better “guts it out” until retirement. But then they get laid off or they lose their savings and can’t retire. They end up feeling resentful, cheated, and defeated. But what if…just what if…the difference between living a defeated life and creating a stimulating, passionate, exciting Sexy Second Act career transition is one silly millimeter? Not an earthshaking revamp of your entire life, but merely… One new choice One different action One shift in belief That’s it. That’s enough to put you on a completely different trajectory to a successful career transition. Tony Robbins confirms it can be done in this short video. After watching the video, ask yourself, “What silly millimeter change can I make that will set my life on a fun and inspired new trajectory?” Who knew that one silly millimeter to your new dream job could be deliciously sexy?   http://youtu.be/bH89Eka_MCM ********************************************************************************************************************* A one silly millimeter change could begin with scheduling your complimentary  “get acquainted” Coaching session. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] and take that first step toward making your successful career transition to a “Sexy Second Act”.  How delicious is that?

What Stands Between You and Your Sexy Second Act?

Nothing is against you other than your perspective. Michael Beckwith Isn’t it amazing how one statement can be so profound, simple and elegantly stated? And yet, so challenging to believe! Do you think you can’t start over in this economy? People ARE starting over. Do you think you’re too old to design a Sexy Second Act life or career? Older people ARE designing them. Do you think it’s too late to have a career that fulfills you? People ARE starting satisfying businesses. People ARE finding jobs they love that combine Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck!® What’s the difference between you and them? Possibly the only difference is your perspective. As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” How willing are you to give up being “right” about how you see the future? If your perspective hasn’t been working to help you get the life or career you want, a simple change in perspective may open up pathways to opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise notice. You may think changing your perspective requires a radical shift. But it doesn’t. You can change your entire future by shifting your perspective only one degree. A one degree shift will bring unrecognizable results. Don’t think so? Take three minutes to watch this video. Who knows? Maybe three minutes is all it takes to make a one degree shift that changes your world view forever. http://youtu.be/EHSeIiuvKt8 ********************************************************************************************************************** Are you willing to explore new options from a different perspective? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session!

Why Celebrate Your Breakdowns?

Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis.   ~ Martha Beck How would you think about your life and world events differently if you saw breakdowns as worthy of celebration rather than something to be feared, distrusted or avoided? Okay, it’s true. It’s hard to celebrate something that doesn’t FEEL good. If they did they wouldn’t be called “breakdowns”.  And when you’re in the middle of one it’s hard to see beyond it to the gift it has in store for you. That takes faith. You may be experiencing a significant breakdown right now – a job loss, divorce, serious medical diagnosis, fire or flood taking your home away, loss of a loved one, or financial crisis. Those are tough breakdowns for sure and they are not to be wished upon anyone. But they happen.  How Do You Get Through It? Make your breakdown be the catalyst that leads you to your golden moment. Make your breakdown matter.  Find a meaning that gives you power and the momentum to move forward. Find your purpose. Let your breakdown use you to build your Encore or Sexy Second Act Career. Create a life that enriches you, fulfills you, and rewards you – like NO KIDDING – for the courage it took for you to stay the course. You can let your breakdown break you, or you can grit your teeth, hang tough, and come shining through your personal dark night of the soul. You have overcome. Celebrate your emergence into the light. Celebrate growing your wings. Celebrate flying higher than you ever thought you could. ********************************************************************************* Are you experiencing a breakdown in your life? Would you like assistance to generate a breakthrough? Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session. Contact Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected]

The Long and Winding Road

 There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way. ~ Christopher Morley When I was unexpectedly laid off my corporate job, the route to my future was FAR from planned out. I had to start where I was with what I had… A LOT of uncertainty A passion for coaching An idea that I wanted to make a living helping people like me who were going through an unanticipated career transition. Beyond that, I didn’t have a clue how to get started. It’s been a long and winding road. I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of the journey, primiarily the benefit of learning…and learning…and learning about who I am and what I am capable of achieving.  Here are a few things I learned from traveling that long and winding road that may help you on your journey: In the beginning, I wasn’t prepared to do my work at the level I dreamed of doing it. I needed time to grow. My passion runs deeper than I originally thought. I needed time and patience to get to it. I LOVE having the flexibility and freedom to work how I want to, where I want to, when I want to with people I enjoy. Not only have I survived without a corporate job, I have thrived in ways I never could have imagined. The long and winding road doesn’t end. When you are doing something you love, you want to keep going wherever the road takes you. Like any journey, it takes time to settle in – to look around – to appreciate the view and to value the experience. The saying that comes to mind is that no one ever promised you it would be easy. They only promised you it would be worth it. You may be thinking that’s easy for me to say. It is now. It wasn’t then. Ask anyone who knows me. But looking back, I wouldn’t trade this life for that one. If you are facing something similar and you choose to give yourself to it – like no kidding – it will lead you to the door of your authentic self, your true purpose, and your true and deepest fulfillment. I believe that’s a pretty fair trade.    ************************************************************************************** Do you hear that long and winding road calling to you? Take the first step with a Behavior Style Profile. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for more information.

Staying True to the Power of a Dream

Being on a tightrope is living; everything else is waiting. ~ Karl Wallenda Did you watch? Were you transfixed as Nik Wallenda walked across Niagra Falls on a tightrope with almost nothing between him and catastrophe but his faith in the power of a dream? Everything I believe in when it comes to staying true to the power of a dream was right there. He had a vision that came from his heart He had a purpose and a passion He was WILLING to take risks and overcome whatever obstacles got in his way His vision kept him strong and focused to do what he needed to do to prepare for, plan, and execute his dream There will be a paycheck – money yes, but more important, there will be the excitement and fulfillment of knowing that he did it! How many people do you think were inspired by his dream? Are you? Sure, there were probably naysayers who thought he would fail, maybe even a few who hoped he would. But for the most part, I believe people wanted him to win. Some people think dreams like these are crazy. I believe they are INSPIRED. I believe they give the rest of us hope that our dreams can come true too. The power of a dream is that we are reminded that worthy dreams must be big enough to scare us. Okay, there are no guarantees. But my own experience has shown me that giving up on dreams is allowing yourself to die just a little bit. The good news is that you can recover any time you choose the power of a dream over safety. Are you ready to believe in the power of YOUR dream? If the answer is yes, begin today. Start visioning your dream daily. As Wallenda suggests, keep your “focus on the other side”. Picture yourself running to victory! Picture the world celebrating with you! Imagine how the fulfillment of your dream might inspire others. Imagine what THAT feels like! (Watch the story of Wallenda’s Niagra Falls Walk.) ******************************************************************************************************************* Does your dream include a career that includes Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck? ® Are you “stuck” about how you can make your dream a reality? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session and start creating your Encore Career vision before another day passes you by.

Yes! You Can Be an Entrepreneur!

Regardless of who you are or what you have been, you can be what you want to be. – W. Clement Stone Have you been thinking about, dreaming about, or speculating about what it would be like to be an entrepreneur? Have you put the thought aside because you aren’t sure you can do it? Me too…once upon a time. However, after spending most of my life in corporate and after going through a career transition, I’m living proof that – as self made billionaire entrepreneur Reid Hoffman says in this article – ANYONE can be an entrepreneur. And everyone must begin to think like one, whether you have a J-O-B or whether you are currently unemployed (believing you are unemployable) and wondering how the heck you are going to make a living now. A woman who attended one of my recent speaking engagements shared how she has started thinking like an entrepreneur. She works part time at healthy, upscale grocery – doing a job she really enjoys. She has a passion for health. She spends much of her spare time learning and researching and reading about all things relating to health. But she hadn’t considered that she could do something to generate an income with what she’s learning. After the presentation, she realized it COULD be possible to take her passion and what she’s learning about health and do something unique that will keep her excited and might generate another stream of income.  All she needs to get started is her imagination, inspiration, and a dash of daring. The best part was watching her light up with curiosity. Her eyes started to sparkle as she considers new possibilities. It will be great fun to see what inspired ideas she comes up with and where her imagination goes from here. I believe she has the dash of daring required to make it work. I see an entrepreneur in the making! ********************************************************************************************************************* Ready to explore how you might use your passion to fulfill a yet to be discovered purpose that might include a paycheck? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected]

You Are Never Too Old for One More Adventure!

“When I dream, I am ageless” ~ Elizabeth Coatsworth My heart sings whenever I see a video or hear a story like the one about a woman 104 years old who reclaimed her record for being the oldest female to tandem paraglide. You just have to love her spunk! It takes spunk to create an Encore Career or Lifestyle! It’s so easy to get caught up in one or more of the following ways of thinking: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks It’s too late for me to go back to school Technology is just too hard to learn They’ll never hire someone my age I can’t change fields (or start a business) at my age All those things are true if you believe them! What if you instead followed Peggy’s example and believed that you are never too old to have one more adventure? What if you believed in the definition of “encore” as described in Webster’s as being “a second achievement, especially one that surpasses the first”? A former client raised her hand at a recent event where I was speaking to remind me of a coaching session we had a few years ago. She didn’t see herself ever texting or using a smart phone. I could see this becoming a huge obstacle to growing her fledgling “encore” business but she resisted the idea of embracing technology. She told us that she eventually saw the impact resisting technology had on her business. And then she proudly displayed her smart phone and talked about how she is now texting and even teaching others how to use certain applications! She was smiling from ear to ear and her eyes were twinkling with delight! She sparkled with youthful vitality! Is it a surprise that her “Encore” beauty consulting business is thriving beyond her wildest dreams? If you have a little voice within you telling you that you are too old to start something new, but you feel a whisper of “wow” watching Peggy soar, then I invite you to pay attention to your “Wow” voice and send your “I Can’t” voice scrambling for cover.  Take a ride with your dreams of adventure. Remind yourself that you are never too old to let the wind take you to new heights of joy and wonder that makes your eyes twinkle with delight. ********************************************************************************************************************** Are you caught in the trap of “too old” thinking? Coach Sue can help you escape the trap tojoyfully embrace your Encore Career or Lifestyle. Call 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]

Learning the Encore Career Lingo

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Something fascinating happens in language when a new paradigm arises. Think about the lingo that’s cropped up with the advent of social media. A whole new lingo was created so that we had a way to talk about it. Now a whole new lingo appears to be surfacing to give us a way to talk about activities associated with designing Encore Careers, such as these…  Gig Economy or Gigonomics – where no one has “jobs”. Everyone has “gigs” and everyone hustles. Slasher, Slash Career or Career with Slashes – One person cobbling together multiple careers-  as in – Construction Worker / Hair Stylist or Police Officer / Landscaper. Pro-tirement – Seeing retirement as the opportunity to stay active, engaged and pursue a new or different career that includes Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck!tm Are you considering designing an Encore Career? Are you in a field where you may be working or dealing with someone designing an Encore Career? If so, you might want to brush up on your Encore Career lingo. ********************************************************************************************************************************* Are you a woman ready to explore creating a hobby? Or becoming a “Retirepreneur”? Join Coach Sue at 9:00 a.m. on SATURDAY, MAY 19,2012 at the Wine Artist in Lake Forest California to learn more about creating an Encore Career. Email [email protected] or call 949-212-4345 for details or to RSVP.  

Enchantment Really IS What It’s All About

Life is short and opportunities are rare. And we have to be vigilant in protecting them and not only the opportunities to succeed, but the opportunity to laugh, to see the enchantment and to live. Because life doesn’t owe us anything, in fact, I think we owe something to the world. ~ Haley James Scott. I haven’t yet read Guy Kawasaki’s latest book “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions”. It’s definitely going on my list after finding this infographic (based on the book) about how to increase your likability factor. I’ve always loved the word “enchantment”. The definition I love best is “to delight or captivate utterly, fascinate, or charm”. In my former corporate life, I once worked with a Project Manager who challenged us to go beyond just doing our jobs to find ways to leave our clients and co-workers “delighted”. That was YEARS before it became popular to talk about customer engagement and creating raving fans. Would it surprise you to learn that he was quite charismatic and well loved by the people in his world? Enchantment is tricky though. You can’t fake it. To enchant others, you must be genuinely enchanted with yourself and them, with what you are doing, and with life itself. That requires a willingness to be open, interested, transparent and vulnerable. Who and what enchants you? By identifying the people, ideas, and activities that enchant you, you begin to tap into parts of yourself that may have become lost or buried by the circumstances of your life. You begin to inspiring people and magical opportunities to you rather than having to pursue them. Make a promise to yourself to rediscover things that enchant you. Before long you may find yourself on the path to a magical land where you will dwell happily ever after doing inspiring work you love and living an enchanted, inspired, and inspiring life. Would that be a holy grail worth going after? ******************************************************************************************************************** Have you become disenchanted with your career or your life? Begin finding your way back to enchanted living by scheduling a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or inquiring about our Behavior Style Profile Program. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or submit your inquiry on our contact page.

Dancing with Crazy

A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis I think the the most challenging lesson on the journey to creating an Encore Career is learning to “dance with crazy”. I was on a marketing class conference call recently where a participant requested feedback about what to do with responses from interviews she’d conducted with several clients. She wanted clarity about how she could use the feedback to differentiate herself in her business. One of her customers remarked that she’s a “goddess” in her field and that totally threw her for a loop. Rather than dancing with ways to incorporate the feedback, here’s what her head said: That’s too touchy-feely, my target market will think it’s weird It’s not practical in my business to call myself a “goddess” I feel uncomfortable saying something like that – I’m too serious My friend Willy says going into your head is like going behind enemy lines unarmed. At best you’ll be taken prisoner by your thinking and at worst your dreams will be killed off. So what to do…what to do?  After a bit of coaching, this woman relaxed a little and allowed herself to dance with what she first thought was crazy. Her entire demeanor shifted when she allowed her natural creativity out to play. Fun showed up as she caught a glimpse of how to uniquely market her business. She’s still dancing. Her “goddess” may become a “ninja” or something else that fits her business better.  And that’s okay. The important thing is that she’s now open to having the kind of joy she wants in her business! Does your head get in way of what your heart wants to pursue? Dare to cut the rope. Dare to dance with your personal version of “crazy”. Play with ideas. Dream about what might be possible for you if you let your heart roam free. What shows up just might set your soul on fire and set you on your path to an inspired and ecstatic encore career! **************************************************************************************************** What would it be like to cut the rope and let your wild and crazy heart run free to create an Encore Career that fulfills your passion, gives you purpose and earns you a paycheck? Ready to explore the possibilities? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for a get acquainted coaching session!  

Let’s Get Real – What’s Your Excuse?

If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place. – Orison Swett Marden A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about how excuses act as a crutch that gets in the way of going after dreams that matter. Now I’ve come across a video that made me take another look at the high cost of excuses. The video offers a rather harsh “GET REAL” look at excuses people make up to avoid going after GREAT CAREERS they truly love and feel passionate about. Looking at excuses squarely in the eye isn’t always pretty or fun, but nothing can change for you until you are ready to do exactly that. And whether you agree with what this gentleman has to say or not isn’t important. What IS important is that you look at YOUR life and get real about where you are, where you are going, and where you may be selling out on going for the career of your dreams. I have three wishes for you as an outcome of watching the video: 1)      That watching it makes you a little bit uncomfortable. 2)      That you are uncomfortable enough to get real about whatever excuses stand between you and your dream career or encore career and that you commit to giving them up. 3)      That your discomfort propels you into action to do what it takes to identify and follow your passion and purpose to an exciting and vital career that, in addition to giving you a paycheck, brings you nothing but joy – and makes you feel like you have at long last found your place. ******************************************************************************************************* Are you ready to turn your discomfort into action? Contact Coach Sue at 949212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session today or email [email protected]    

How Do You “Entrepreneur” the Future?

The secret to a resilient life in our kind of world is in knowing how to recycle yourself, over and over, letting go of what is no longer you, taking on new strengths, and shaping new chapters for your life, guided by your own emerging vision. ~ from the book “Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life” We picked up a new phrase from reading a book called Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life. The phrase is “Entrepreneuring the Future”. It seems to be the PERFECT phrase for what Protiring is about – shaping NEW chapters in your life, being resilient, letting go of the way it’s “always been done” and forging your own new trails, heeding your personal call to adventure! Being resilient sometimes means that you just have to take a chance and go for it…like NO KIDDING! Entrepreneuring YOUR future is definitely a trail-blazing, do-it-yourself, sometimes daunting task that starts on the inside with what we call the five steps to “Ez Into Your Transition”TM”: 1) Embrace It! Accept that change is part of life and you will probably have more than one Encore Career because you are likely to live a longer and healthier life than past generations 2) Envision It! What’s your dream? What’s in your heart that you know you will regret if you don’t get to have that experience? Write everything down – no matter how crazy you think it is 3) Energize it! Dream with PASSION! FEEL the outcome you want with every fiber of your being! LOVE your dream! Imagine it in rich and specific detail – not as a “someday” idea, but as something you are creating in the moment. 4) Explore It! Play with POSSIBLE actions you can take. Who’s doing something similar? Research. Brainstorm.  At this point, you aren’t committing – you’re on a treasure hunt! 5) Engage It! By this point, you’ll be ready to design a plan of action to make your dream a reality. Reach out to people you trust. Get support. Create a blueprint. Be accountable. It doesn’t mean you’ll have all the answers or that you’ve overcome all the obstacles. It just means you’re now strong enough to be ready to tackle your Encore Career head-on. You’ll start to SEE and TASTE and FEEL that your dream is do-able. And somewhere along the way, you’ll discover that your life turned from scary to exciting and includes a LOT of ENTHUSIASM…our favorite “E” word! ******************************************************************************************************************** Is now your moment to Entrepreneur your Future and begin E-zing into your Encore Career? Start with a Three Squares Behavior Style Profile to help you get clarity about what’s happening on the inside so you can embrace change your way! Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your “get acquainted” coaching session.

PROTIREMENT! Where the FUN is!

As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open. ~ Clint Eastwood Recently I read something about PRO-tirement as an alternative to RE-tirement. Isn’t that a delicious change of perspective? The idea is that instead of retreating and disengaging from the world of work which puts you on the road to illness and despair, you jump forward into spending the amount of time you want doing something new, interesting and fulfilling that permeates your life with fun and adventure. I have been pondering that word ever since, kind of rolling it around on my tongue. PRO-tirement! Doggone it! Doesn’t PROTIREMENT sound juicier and more flavorful than RE-tirement? Apparently, the term has been around for awhile even though this is the first I’ve heard of it. The MacMillan Buzzword Dictionary defines it like this: To leave your current job so that you can pursue work or hobbies that you are more interested in That’s ALMOST it – but it doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter  – which is to design and build a Sexy Second Act that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck.® It’s much more engaging and exciting, isn’t it, to think about planning for and creating an exciting PROTIREMENT? And the best part is that unlike re-tirement, PROTIREMENT isn’t age specific. You can PROTIRE at any age! As of today, I’m taking the term RE-tirement out of my vocabulary and replacing it with the zesty flavor of PRO-tirement. How about you? ******************************************************************************************************************** Does the idea of PROTIREMENT appeal to you? Don’t know what your PROTIREMENT career options are? Schedule a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session with Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 and start exploring how to create a PROTIREMENT that combines Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck®!

Rainy Day Reflections

“I like rain, actually.” ~ Bill Rodgers  Earlier this week we experienced a rare rainy day here in the OC. I used to intensely dislike rainy days. Or at least that’s what I thought. This week I realized I don’t really dislike rainy days. Here’s what I dislike… Getting up too early to go out in the rain and drive an hour or more on a commute that normally takes about twenty minutes. Sloshing through the parking lot in “professional” clothes not designed to be worn in the rain and ending up feeling soggy, grumpy and generally out of sorts all day Doing it all over again in reverse to get home after a long day at work. On this rainy day, I commuted a few steps from my bedroom to my kitchen for a cup of tea, and then I commuted a few more steps to my office where I could work productively instead of sitting on the freeway in gridlocked frustration. I dressed comfortably and appropriately for what my day had in store. And I happily watched and listened to the rain falling outside my window while staying warm, cozy, and dry. As I sipped my morning tea, I couldn’t help but smile and feel grateful as I reflected on the events that led me from my old life to this one. I smiled because I found myself ENJOYING this rainy day. Who knew? What I do know is that there’s a lot to be said for designing and building a Sexy Second Act career that dramatically and deliciously improves your quality of life – because doing anything else is a waste of your precious and valuable time. ****************************************************************************************************************************** Do you dream of a career change that gives you an opportunity to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it, and who you want to do it with?  Are you ready for a career that combines Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck? ® Get started with a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345.

Are You Ready for a Vacation? Don’t Let Yourself Take NO for an Answer!

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci It may seem funny or weird but we coaches don’t always take our own coaching. For example, I often tell my clients that it’s mandatory to occasionally escape the rat race and relax, rest, and recharge. But when a friend invited me to take a week long road trip vacation to Utah, my first thought was – take a whole week away from my business? Seriously? She MUST be kidding, right? She wasn’t kidding. And she wasn’t about to take NO for an answer. Then it dawned on me – I have been so busy building my business that I haven’t I taken an “away-cation” since leaving my corporate job nine years ago. I was LONG overdue for a “time out”! That change of pace turned out to be the best treat I’ve given myself in a long time. Here are some takeaways from my “away-cation” to think about if you are denying yourself an opportunity to escape the rat race for a little while: Has the pizzazz gone out of the job or business you love? Taking time to relax, play and do something new can restore your enthusiasm. Do you find yourself saying “Same stuff, different day?” Maybe it’s time for a different job that includes Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck®…but in the short term, a vacation that offers experiences and a change of scenery will significantly improve your short term outlook. Lost touch with who you are? Taking time out to journal and meditate on your vacation can help you reconnect to your dreams. Burned out and exhausted? Working without a break is like over-exercising your muscles. A change in routine evenly exercises your whole being for better performance. Lost perspective? Time away to view your life from a different and more objective angle can help you see new solutions, directions, and possibilities I returned from my “away-cation” refreshed, energized and ready to tackle my business with renewed vigor and joy. Clients and colleagues are noticing. So do yourself a big favor. Schedule a vacation while there is still some summer left. Start with a short one if you must. And if your brain starts to protest like mine did, invite someone along who will hold you accountable for following through. My guess is you’ll be happy you did. ******************************************************************************************************* Have you lost the pizzazz, enthusiasm and joy that you once had? It may be time for a change to an Encore Career that gives you Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck! ® Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to learn how.

Designing Your Encore Career – Locating the SA-WEET Spot!

I think we each have a personal sweet spot as well. It’s the state of mind in which we experience the most joy and satisfaction in being ourselves. And from that place of pleasure and joy in being ourselves, energy arises to flow out into our day bringing with it the depth and resonance of our own beingness, bringing with it blessing. ~ David Spangler I love sweets. I’ve had an incurable sweet tooth since I was a kid. And so when I find something I love I’m likely to say…SA-WEET!!! Like NO KIDDING! I’ve been saying it a lot the last few weeks since reading The Big Shift by Marc Freedman. Here’s why… I found out that what I’ve been coaching about for the past 10 years has a name. Who knew? It’s called an Encore Career.  SA-WEET! Like NO KIDDING! Even the video I created last year alludes to it – I just didn’t know about the terminology used in the book. (You can watch the video to the left of this post.) I found out that the components of an Encore Career are what I’ve been talking about all along! Finding your joy in work that lights you up and gives you a reason to jump happily out of bed every day. (Passion) Doing work based on what you love fulfills you and serves and blesses others. It gives you and them a GREAT experience. (Purpose) Getting paid to do what you love is the gravy. (A Paycheck) SA-WEET! Like NO KIDDING! I found out that when Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck® come together, it’s called convergence. I call it the SA-WEET spot. And now you can too! Like NO KIDDING!       ******************************************************************************************************************** Are you a single mom looking to create an Encore Career following a divorce? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session to begin designing an exciting new future!

Designing Your Encore Career – Embrace the Zigzags

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. ~ Don Williams Jr. A friend reminded me recently that the beginnings of big shifts in our lives are hardly ever momentous. They most often begin with one small action step. My one small action step this month was to read a book called “The Big Shift” by Marc Freedman. Little did I know that reading it would rekindle the spark that had gone out of my coaching practice and make it burn more brightly than ever. Reading the book helped me to get clear about some things my clients and I are experiencing. A growing number of people, especially baby boomers, want to create  an Encore Career that combine purpose, passion, and a paycheck. They often get stopped because they don’t have access to support and resources to help them bridge the gap from where they are to where they want to go. The path is often murky and filled with twists and turns and requires the willingness to be a trail blazer. The book offered me an opportunity to clearly trace the zigzag path my own life has taken since leaving the corporate rat race nine years ago. Like many of us, I am not comfortable with zigzags. But the gift I found from following a zigzag path is that nothing much worth doing goes in a straight line. Navigating the twists and turns on the path are part of the process of growing into your Encore Career. Do you sense that it’s time for you to move on from what you’ve been doing? Do you feel like you are on a lonely path? Does it seem like you’re off course most of the time? If so, I invite you to take one small action step and read “The Big Shift”. It might provide the EXACT impetus you need to act on your dream to design an Encore Career filled with purpose, passion…and yes…a paycheck! ********************************************************************************************* Searching for the answer to creating your Encore Career can be daunting when you are attempting it on your own. Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary coaching session to help you begin to powerfully navigate the twists and turns to your next destination   

Want an Encore Career? Tap Into Your Core Genius!

In most cases, your core genius is directly tied to your passions and life purpose. ~Jack Canfield Many people come into career and life coaching thinking that coaching will “fix” something they feel is “broken” in their lives or about them. At the same time, they feel anxious that whatever it is they’ve decided is “broken” may not be “fixable”. What I love best about career and life coaching is helping clients give up the notion that anything about them is “broken”. Instead, they get breathing room to absorb and appreciate their uniqueness. Seeing clients relax into accepting and falling in love with who they are is one of my favorite things to watch. With breathing room comes space to create. When people relax, their natural curiosity comes out to play and their minds and hearts open up to new possibilities. They invent new actions that align with what author Jack Canfield calls their “core genius” – skills that come easily and effortlessly and are fun. Yes, there is sometimes work required to sweep away remnants of whatever limiting beliefs remain to tap into your core genius. But resistance is replaced by willingness, eagerness and excitement. With resistance out of the way, they can focus the majority of their efforts on designing a strategy and executing actions for creating a life that inspires and delights them. And BINGO! Just like that, they pop themselves out of the maze of their hum-drum rat race to use their core genius in ways it was meant to be used… – to fulfill on their life purpose! – to contribute to JOY! – to live life fully! – to experience PASSION! – to play BIGGER than they ever thought they could! Is there a secret part of you who worries you are somehow “broken” and in need of repair? If there is, I invite you to give it up and get curious. What kind of juicy, succulent life would you live if you assumed you are perfect, whole and complete exactly the way you are…and the way you aren’t? If you feel even one little quiver of excitement about what pops up in answer to that question, give yourself permission to take a teeny step (or a giant leap!) in the direction of your dream. And then another…and another. Before you know it, you’ll realize that tapping into your core genius to design your Encore Career was so simple you’ll wonder why you waited so long! *********************************************************************************************************************************************** Take the first step on your journey to design your Encore Career! Call Coach Sue or email [email protected] to schedule your “get acquainted coaching session. Ask about our Behavior Style Profile Assessment Process that will help you quickly start mining the gold of your “core genius”!

Designing an Encore Career is a Call to Adventure!

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. ~Ragindranath Tagore Are you experiencing that signal – you know the one – that feeling of dissatisfaction, discontent or restlessness regarding your job, your relationship, your future, or some other aspect of your life? If so, then listen carefully!  You might be hearing the call to adventure! A friend recently posted an article link on Facebook that defines the steps one takes when one embarks on the Hero’s Journey. I think my clients will find it amusing that I’m sharing it. They’ve heard me tell them often enough that I believe when they choose to break through the barriers of their self imposed limits they embark on the Hero’s Journey. I recommend that you print out the steps and write down examples from your own life and journey. As you read the steps and write your examples, ask yourself how the Hero’s Journey applies to your life, especially if you are experiencing a major challenge such as a career transition and you don’t have any idea of what’s next for you. Doing this exercise will help you identify specific times when you have been the hero of your own life journey without realizing it. It can also help you identify patterns where you get bogged down or stop yourself. Imagine how it would feel to heed your personal call to adventure and come “home” to yourself…your true, authentic self…in a way that makes YOU the hero of your own adventure story. What would give you courage, will and desire to finally escape the rat race to design your Encore Career? What would it take for you to give yourself permission to create a life of adventure, passion, and purpose? **************************************************************************************************************************************** What would it be like to become the “hero” of your own life and heed your personal call to adventure? Take the first step today by contacting Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or emailing [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” consultation. Our January Jumpstart course is scheduled to begin on January 30th. Register and learn how you can set great goals that really matter!

Mastering the Art of Letting Go

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life. ~ Anonymous One extremely challenging part of creating a Fresh Start is mastering the art of letting go.The challenge is to recognize or understand what we are hanging onto and most people don’t take time to get clarity about it. It SEEMS easier to hang onto the familiar than facing the uncertainty of letting go. And so we stay “stuck” in unworkable careers, relationships, and bad habits. In our experience, what people generally hang onto is a dream or an ideal that either never existed or which has gone out of existence. Or else they are reluctant to give up being comfortable to take a risk that might lead to failure. A friend recently found herself caught in such a maze at work. Perhaps you’ve heard similar stories – or lived them. After years of glowing reviews and positive feedback from customers, she suddenly started getting feedback that her work wasn’t up to par. She spent months doing everything she could to make changes to get her “groove” back at work. Nothing she did helped. This was a frustrating, sad, and confusing time for her. She loves the company and she loves her work. She loved the people she worked with and the people she served. She learned a lot and grew in her career.  She loved that. So she kept trying tp win her boss’s – and nothing she did worked. Through coaching she realized that what’s happening isn’t about her and that no matter how hard she tries to twist herself around to fit her boss’s expectations, it is never going to be enough. She realizes she has to let go and move on. Working through the process of letting go won’t necessarily feel good – unless or until you create a new compelling new vision and bring it to life. That’s what my friend is doing. She is inventing the possibility of a fresh start – visualizing her perfect NEW career. She is visualizing how it will FEEL to make the salary she wants in a career where she has an opportunity to take her skills to an even higher level and be APPRECIATED for her contribution. That excites her. And delights her. And inspires her into taking action. She KNOWS in her heart that a great new career is coming toward her as she takes action to move toward it. And with each action, her grip loosens on the past as she reaches toward her new vision of the future. How long do you think it will take her to design an inspired Encore Career? ********************************************************************************************************************************** Are you facing a situation in your job where you see the end is coming? Schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session! Get started exploring ideas for your Encore Career today by calling Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 today!

Get FIERCE with Reality!

You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality. ~ Flonda Scott Maxwell Do you ever read words that stop you in your tracks? The words “fierce with reality” in this quote stopped me in mine the first time I read them. What does it mean to be “fierce with reality”? My friend Teri gave me this definition she learned from one of her teachers, Martin Sage: “Fierceness” is an actualized state in the world of being awake and playing a life game of win-win as opposed to playing a fear based game of win-lose or lose-lose. It’s about taking responsibility and owning all of your life. How can you take responsibility for your  circumstances and learn to apply being “fierce with reality” to your own life? Here are some ways my clients do it: They accept and take responsibility for being wherever they are in their lives as a result of the choices they make from moment to moment, whether or not they are conscious of making those choices. They take responsibility and forgive themselves for choices that didn’t work out. They see failure as an “event” rather than as something they “are”. They take responsibility and forgive others who have caused them pain. They accept that they are not “victims” who have been “done to”.  They recognize that others do what they do as a result of their own views about themselves and life. They take responsibility to learn from their mistakes and they apply what they’ve learned to design a life based on better choices. They see life as an adventure. They are willing to take responsibility for embracing the unknown with courage, commitment, curiosity and a sense of play. They take responsibility for becoming so clear about who they are and what they want that it becomes effortless to establish clear boundaries around their priorities, time and energy. They stop going it alone and take responsibility for surrounding themselves with like-minded people who support them and who they support in return. It actually takes being Fierce with Reality to take responsibility for living a life of bliss, joy and abundance. Life is not fun for the faint of heart. This is a great time of year to view your life from a higher ground perspective. What life events would you have to claim to be “fierce with reality”? What would you have get authentic about, let go of, accept, and take responsibility for to live life at the level you’ve always dreamed about? **************************************************************************************************************************** Are you willing to get “fierce with reality” and design the life you were meant to live? Contact Sue “Coach” Koch at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected] for more information.

How Do You Know When to Walk Down a New Street?

Below is one of my favorite writings. It’s such a perfect way to look at areas in life where you may be doing things in a way that is ineffective, unworkable, and not bringing you the result you want. It’s a great model for looking at how transition works, whether it’s your career transition or a transition in any area of your life, and how you can evolve and transform your situation. The challenge isn’t to judge or assess how you managed to fall into the hole. You’re human. You will. When you accept that, the challenge, or game, is to recognize when you’ve fallen into a hole and then to shorten the amount of time it takes you to get out and learn how to walk down a different street.    An Autobiography in Five Chapters Portia Nelson Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost . . . I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. Chapter 2 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. Chapter 3 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I fall in . . . it’s a habit . . . but my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. Chapter 4 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Chapter 5 I walk down a different street ************************************************************************************************************************************** Coaching can help you shorten the time it takes to go from falling into that deep hole until you walk down a different street. If you keep falling into the same hole, call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.

Throw Away the Crutches of Reasons, Excuses and Explanations!

There aren’t nearly enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses. ~ Marcus Stroup Reason! Excuses! Explanations! We all make them or give them. They sound good (at least to us) and other people accept them (or they seem to). But lately I’ve been present to how lame and useless reasons, excuses and explanations are, especially the ones that justify not taking action on something that matters. And If I’m BRUTALLY honest about my own reasons, excuses and explanations for not taking action, I have to admit they are mostly a cover-up for being lazy. Or scared. Or both. That’s not pretty to admit. But as Dr. Phil would say, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Are you in the habit of using excuses, reasons and explanations to avoid going after what matters to you? If so, I invite you to take a look at what’s REALLY standing between you and your biggest dreams – the ones that would really make a difference in the quality of your life. What are your favorite reasons, excuses and explanations? Here are a just a few examples I’ve recently heard (or used): I’m too busy – or – I can’t find time I’m too old I don’t know enough I’ve got too many things on my plate I don’t feel like it One way to escape the rat race of excuses, reasons and explanations and create a fresh start is to take yourself off of automatic pilot long enough to indentify and question your usual pattern of thinking and justifying. Ask yourself one or more of the following questions instead: How can I fit this into my schedule? What if I’m at the perfect place in my life to do this? What do I need to learn and who can support me? What would it take to clear away what’s already on my plate? Who must I become to make achieving my dreams more important than how I feel? Asking quality questions will generate an energy shift into curiosity, which is a more playful, powerful and productive space from which to operate. And I’ll bet you’ll start taking action on your biggest and most meaningful dreams. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Are you ready to take action on your BIG, JUICY DREAMS and GOALS? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.

How to Break Out of the Rut of Same Old Thinking!

“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”  ~Tina Turner It’s challenging to create a Fresh Start when you are bogged down by the same old ways of thinking. Did you know that, depending on the source, research indicates that humans think somewhere between 60,000 and 90,000 thoughts each day? That’s a LOT of thinking! The problem with that much thinking is that we think the same old thoughts every day. And then we wonder why our lives feel mundane and turn a dreary shade of grey. It’s sad that we often tend to hang onto those tired and tedious thoughts like our survival depends on them. But they make us feel safe. Safety is a high price to pay for our aliveness and vitality. What would be possible if you stepped out of the safety zone of your same old thinking to embrace different ways of thinking? What new and inspiring ideas do you think would show up for ways you can invent an exciting and vibrant Encore Career or life? I recently held a phone consultation with a young man who is grappling with choosing a lifetime career. Three or four things are calling to him at once and he has no idea which one to pursue. He has consulted with several career counselors. He tells me they are completely frustrated by his inability to narrow his focus. And it seems to him that they are unwilling to work with him until he does. I invited him to let go of what he’s been told he SHOULD do, at least for the moment. I think it’s PERFECT for him to be exploring his career options at this point in his life. He was STUNNED! He said that’s the first time anyone has said that to him. It was fun to listen to his curiosity build as gave up his same old thinking to think differently about the array of possibilities before him. I’m curious too. I can’t wait to discover what excites him about each option. I believe his excitement contains the golden thread that will lead him to what he is meant to do with his life. From there, designing the career that expresses and fulfills on what matters to him will start to naturally arise. And he’ll attract an abundance of opportunities and people to support him. What could be better than that? ************************************************************************************************************************************ What new ways of thinking would it be essential for YOU to embrace to design the life or Encore Career of YOUR dreams? To explore, contact Sue “Coach” Koch at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for your complimentary “get acquainted” Coaching Session.

Change is Inevitable – Embrace It!

‎“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.” ~ Henry David Thoreau Anyone who knows me can tell you – I don’t embrace change all that easily. Somebody had better give me a darned good reason to embrace something new. I’m not someone who runs after the latest fad or gadget just because it’s out there. In today’s world, it’s challenging for someone like me because change is happening faster than ever. I’m not comfortable with that. But I’m also running a business. And because I spent so many years in the corporate rat race, I have SO much to learn about entrepreneurship! I can’t afford to go at a comfortable pace. The most effective way I’ve found to accelerate my learning curve is to engage in Social Media. I got into it back in 2003 when it was recommended in a marketing course I was taking. I had no idea how much engaging in Social Media would change my world. I was terrified of it in the beginning! It probably took me three months to post my first message, which wasn’t an original post – it was a reply to someone else’s post. But it was a start, and from there, a whole new world opened up to me. Social Media gave me the opportunity to “meet” people from all over the world, some of whom have become friends who mean a lot to me even though we’ve never met face to face. And oh, what I learned from engaging in Social Media! Almost every time I went online, I had at least one epiphany! I felt like I was getting an MBA in all aspects of business, including technology, online marketing, entrepreneurship, and more. If it weren’t for Social Media, I’m not sure I’d have a business today. The best part for me is that even though I have to move at a quicker pace than I am comfortable with, I feel like I have the support of friends who offer encouragement, support and feedback that helps me grow. I’ve reached a point where I leap more quickly into embracing change. I’m still scared sometimes, but it doesn’t stop me as often. My commitment to growing my business to the place I want it to be is stronger than my fear. The most important thing I’ve learned is that waiting until I’m comfortable with something before I leap is the absolute worst thing to do. You can only get so much feedback and so much education, and then at some point you must trust yourself and just DO it! Jarrett Gucci, owner of Dynasty Web Solutions, is a business associate and friend. We had a conversation about technology and embracing change recently. As a result of our conversation, he invited me to talk a little bit more about my journey into technology on his “Wassup Wednesday” Q&A video with the intention of helping others of you who may be wondering how to overcome your own internet fears and embrace change too. ************************************************************************************************************************************* Don’t let fear stop you from going for your biggest and juiciest dreams and goals. Get the support you need to embrace change! Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary Discovery Coaching Session today!

Living a Full Life is a Discovery Process!

“After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”   ~ Sophia Loren How does one begin the discovery process for creating a full life – whether that means… Leaving a job that drains you to create a career that inspires you? Finding your life partner? Buying the home you always wanted? Creating health and vitality? Doing rather than dreaming the experiences you’ve put on your bucket list? I believe the most important first step anyone can take is to be WILLING to embark on a journey of self discovery. When you are willing to do that, not only does the world become interesting and fascinating, but you become enlivened and inspired as you develop a fresh perspective and a different experience of yourself and who you truly are. A business associate treated himself to that experience recently. He is facing a career crossroads. While he enjoys his business and knows that what he does makes a difference for the people he serves, he feels there is something missing in terms of fulfillment in his work that he hasn’t been able to put his finger on. By the time we met to talk, he had already begun his journey of self discovery. He had taken a set of DISC and Values Behavior Assessments, but the reports he received left him unclear about what to do with the information. Knowing that I am a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst (CPBA), he asked me if I would review his assessments and give him feedback. My favorite thing about the behavior style discovery process is that it allows you to cut through the chatter and doubt that goes on in your head to get to the heart of what matters to you. My ability to put the assessment information into the context of my associate’s business goals helped my client to develop a new perspective about how to engage his unique gifts, talents and values. He’s now looking at his future with brand new eyes that sparkle and dance with curiosity, playfulness and possibility. I foresee happening that he will soon create a Big Juicy Dream for his business that lights him up and inspires him. He has the tools to identify and focus on his personal “true north” with certainty and joyful anticipation of how rich and rewarding it is to invent a vibrant and fulfilling life as opposed to living one in which he feels bored and trapped. **************************************************************************************************************************** Is your career less than fulfilling? Are you ready to make a change but you need clarity about your future direction? The Three Squares Behavior Style Profile analysis and discovery process can help! Contact Coach Sue or email [email protected] for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” Coaching Session to help you get started creating a future that will allow YOU to escape the rat race once and for all!

Jump Start Your Goals – Step 5 – Let the Wind Take You!

The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be…because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!    ~Mary Anne Radmacher The best part about going after a big juicy goal lies in what you learn about who you are and how capable you are beyond what you think. My friend Karen reminded me of this during a conversation we had about my achieving my Big Juicy Goal. She has known me since the days when I was still afraid to be me and she was there to support me the day I leaped. She said, “Who knew back then that one day you would jump and let the wind take you?” She’s right. Back then, who knew? It’s been quite a journey from there to here! There is SO much more to be gained from leaping than from standing still in fear. I believe you and I know this at some level. And I think that is where the real source of conflict comes from when facing a choice that doesn’t have a clearly defined outcome. And in today’s uncertain world, it’s challenging to find a choice that does! The good news is that most of the time a big leap can begin with a series of small hops. There is usually time to prepare and to practice for the big leaps. You can practice hopping and preparing by using the steps talked about in earlier blog posts: Step 1 – Create an Inspiring Intention Step 2 – Take Awesome Actions Step 3 – Get a Little Help from Your Friends Step 4 – Raise Your Commitment Level And last but not least: Step 5 – Go for It – Let the Wind Take You As you start to hop, you may encounter obstacles – some practical ones and some that you place in your own way. Preparation and practice will help you move beyond most of them. But you can only prepare so much and then you have to choose whether you are going to “fly” or “die”. What I mean my dying is that when you suppress your dreams, you kill off your aliveness, vitality and joie de vivre. And that just might be sadder and more painful than facing a literal death. In the video below, you’ll get to share with me what it’s like when you choose to “fly”. My experience taught me that something gets killed off when you fly too – apathy, boredom, and the sense that you are bound by any limitations. I hope that will serve as an inspiration for you to jumpstart your goals – the Big, Juicy, really important ones you carry inside you that will give you wings to lift you to your highest and best experience of living. ************************************************************************************************************************************ What is holding you back from LEAPING into an Encore Career that inspires you or a life that makes your heart sing? If you are ready to find out, contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] for a complimentary discovery session today!

Jump Start Your Goals – Step 4 – Be Committed

If you want to take your mission in life to the Next Level, look inside. Abolish your fears and raise your commitment level to the point of no return, and I guarantee you that the champion within will propel you toward victory. — Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist       ~Bruce Jenner Jump starting my own big, juicy goal this year and completing it taught me something about commitment that shifted my relationship to it from being conceptual to having an amazing experience of it at a WAY higher level.  The Bruce Jenner quote included here captures my experience perfectly. When committing to a big juicy goal at a level where there is no going back, fear subsides. It’s replaced by an incredible level of acceptance and peace. It allows you to surrender completely to the moment. And in that moment, there is such JOY in being able to LET GO of everything you think you know about yourself and about life and about whatever you think is holding you back – and just BE! Raising your commitment level to a point where there is no back door is where the JUICE is.  The JUICE truly lies more in the journey than it does in reaching a particular destination. Focusing on something you are passionate about and that lights you up turns off the voices of doubt – or at least it turns the volume down to a point where you hear them more like a whisper than a shout. The volume gets turned UP on PLAY and CREATIVITY and CURIOUSITY and WONDER. And that’s a JUICY place to live! See what else I have to say about commitment in the following short video: ************************************************************************************************************************************ Sometimes staying committed requires a partner to help keep you focused and accountable! Have you reached a point where there’s no way out because you are ready to re-invent your life or your career? Call Coach Sue or email [email protected] to schedule an exploratory complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session!

Jump Start Your Goals – Step 3 – Let Friends Help!

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun. – Charles R. Swindoll Do you have close-to-your-heart dreams that you’ve been afraid to share because they seem impossible to achieve? Dreams that make life the most exciting are the ones that are too big to accomplish on your own. I believe that’s why most of our most treasured dreams stay locked up in the closets of our hearts. Taking them out and confronting their size is scary. There is a way to bring them down to a manageable size. Something magical happens when you take your dreams and Big Juicy Goals out of the closet and share them with people who care about your success. They can help you put things in perspective. It’s important to share with people who are excited to support you in having your big juicy dreams and goals come true. Even though your dreams may seem huge and overwhelming, at the same time they can also feel very tender. And your most cherished and unripened dreams can be killed off pretty quickly – by the frost of your own limited thinking or by the chill of skeptical opinions and judgments coming from those who mean well but who are operating on a different wavelength. Who could you invite to join your support team to champion your dreams? Think about trusted friends, a coach, a mastermind group, an accountability buddy or anyone in your world who truly and authentically is rooting for you to accomplish whatever you say matters to you. Having a support team will move things along more easily and quickly than you can do on your own.  Each person on your team brings different ideas and fresh points of view to help you think bigger and see more clearly than you can on your own.  They can help you see ways to get back on track when you veer off course. They have access to resources that you may not. Most of all, a strong support team can help you stay committed and focused when the going get tough! And they can celebrate with you when your dream or goal is accomplished. See more about sharing your dreams with a team on the following video: ************************************************************************************************************************************* Need support and encouragement to go after your big, juicy dream? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary exploratory coaching session today!

Jump Start Your Goals – Step 2 – Take Action!

The future depends on what you do today. ― Mahatma Gandhi It’s interesting to notice what happens naturally once you set an Inspired Intention, whether it’s to create a career you are passionate about, a loving relationship, a prosperous lifestyle or anything else that you really want. Pictures start to form in your mind about what that would look like – you start to experience in your body what it would FEEL like to actualize your Inspired Intention. Allowing yourself to FEEL your Inspired Intention becoming actualized and seeing the pictures causes your brain to go to work on creating possible actions or activities that align with your unique expression. Write down what actions occurs to you. You’ll notice that some activities or actions have more “juice” for you than do others. Taking action on the juiciest ideas that occur to you can lead to AWESOME and unpredictable results. We like to call these AWESOME ACTIONS because the unpredictable results are almost always better than anything YOU imagined. Serendipity happens when you take AWESOME ACTIONS that spring from INSPIRED INTENTIONS. As I was writing this post, this quote from The Secret Scrolls serendipitously found its way to me:  “Be aware of the big difference between inspired action and activity. Activity comes from the brain-mind and is rooted in disbelief and lack of faith – you are taking action to “make” your desire happen. Inspired action is allowing the law to work through you and to move you. Activity feels hard. Inspired action feels wonderful.” Rhonda Byrne, Creator of The Secret Watch today’s video for more information about how to begin designing and taking AWESOME ACTIONS: ********************************************************************************************************************************** Ready to take AWESOME ACTION toward creating Inspired Intentions that lead to juicy goals and a juicy life? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.

Jump Start Your Goals – Step 1 – Set Inspired Intentions

Although actions may speak louder than words, it is our intentions that reveal our soul. ~ Hal Elrod How often do you create a goal by “should-ing” all over yourself? I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that goals crafted from “shoulds” don’t feel very inspiring. I invite you to think back over the goals you’ve created for your business or your life this year. How have you done so far in accomplishing them? You might find yourself in one of these places: Your goal is complete Your goal is in progress You’ve given up on your goal or forgotten about it Good job if you accomplished your goal or your goal is moving forward powerfully! If you haven’t achieved your goals – if you’ve given up, or even if you avoid setting goals at all – what would be possible if you renounced your “shoulds” once and for all in favor of designing a fresh start! What would be possible if you created goals from inspires intentions? Inspired intentions are not aligned with “should” goals. Inspired intentions arise from experiences you’d like to have. Are you ready to “play” with creating YOUR goals from inspired intentions? If so, I invite you to watch the short video and begin speculating on your own inspired intentions  that cause you to feel energized and excited about a living into a  future that fulfills and delights you! **************************************************************************************************************************** Stuck on how to create YOUR Big, Juicy Goals or how to create an INSPIRING INTENTION? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session today!

Open the Door to a New Future!

Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives. ~ Viktor Frankl In my coaching practice, one of the most challenging questions my clients face is coming up with answers to these questions: “What are your biggest goals?” “What do you want?” “What matters most to you?” Such questions are often followed by blank stares or long silences or a very sheepish “I don’t know”. Like some of my clients, you may be challenged by answering these questions too. Most of us are used to being driven by what’s urgent rather than “pulled” by what matters. We rarely stop to check in to see if we are living the best life we can. Or maybe you DO have a BIG, JUICY GOAL that’s been running around in the back of your mind for a long time. Maybe you’ve given up on it or you’ve come up with a variety of REASONS why it’s not practical or why the timing is all wrong or why it’s “impossible” for you to pursue your biggest and most treasured dreams and goals No matter where you are in regards to accomplishing your goals, it’s not too late to get a jump start. If you are ready to uncover the goals that really matter to you, or if you’re ready to dust off the goals you’ve put aside for whatever reason, I invite you to come along with me on my video  journey as I pursue one of MY big juicy goals. Along the way, I’ll give you some tips for getting started or re-started on YOUR journey. And please feel free to send me your questions or share a BIG JUICY GOAL you are pursuing or dreaming about. Below is the first video in the “Jump Start Your Goals series. Follow along in the succeeding blogs or go to the video blog and view them all at once. ************************************************************************************************************************************** What would it be like to get a fresh start and go after those goals that make life exciting and downright juicy? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session and jump start YOUR goals today!

Find Your Purpose by Taking a God’s Eye View

“Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.”  ~Anonymous Ringo Starr was interviewed on TV awhile back about a book he’d assembled from postcards he’d received from the other Beatles.  While discussing the book, he talked about his life during and after the Beatles. The reporter asked Ringo why he still plays in a band after all these years since the breakup of the Beatles.  He said “Because I’m a drummer.  That’s the gift God gave me.”  When he said it, there was no bravado or arrogance in his voice, only a quiet certainty, clarity and stillness. What he said sounded elegant and beautiful in its simplicity. I’ve seen that same quiet certainty show up with clients who connect to their life purpose, principles, or mission.  They stop fidgeting.  Their bodies relax.  Everything about them calms down and they become present.  A sense of wonderment comes over their faces when their purpose begins to emerge and they FEEL it and start to form a picture of what life might be like should they allow themselves to live congruently with their Life Purpose. Take the example of a man I coach who makes a portion of his living as a drummer. Like Ringo, he is clear about his Life Purpose – a piece of which is “To tune in to the rhythm of the Universe” – also beautiful, simple, elegant, and something that almost anyone can connect to. My client is experiencing life challenges that are compelling him to look at all the places where he’s operating incongruently with his Life Purpose. The bad news is that what he sees isn’t a pretty picture. The good news is that he’s waking up to the cost and he’s becoming less tolerant of distractions that take him away from the rich and rewarding experiences that indicate to him that he’s fulfilling his Life Purpose. It takes courage and commitment to stand back from the everyday rat race to look at what’s happening in your life from a higher viewpoint – or what a friend calls looking from a “God’s-eye view”. But if you are willing to stick to it, your life challenges seem to morph into blessings sent to remind you of who you TRULY are and what you are passionate about. Observing how far you have strayed from following your Life Purpose can serve as the perfect wakeup call to help you identify corrective actions that set you back on course. You start intentionally attracting rich and rewarding experiences that make life juicy and well worth living – even in the face of your uncertainties and trials. When you live in alignment with a bigger Life Purpose or Mission, it doesn’t matter so much what happens on the OUTSIDE, because on the INSIDE, you are tuning in to your own unique and wonderful dance that aligns with the rhythm of the Universe and you are opening yourself up to allowing the Universe to dance with you. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Have you strayed from the path of your Life Purpose? Find out how you can tune back in and create a Fresh Start! Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session.

Ten “Worth It” Reasons to Pursue Your Encore Career

Choose to use your gifts and live the adventure of this lifetime. Step into the larger scheme of following your dream. Let’s deluge the world with the ultimate dancers, people who feed their souls with work and feed their work with soul. ~ Tama Kieves I recently read a newsletter written by one of my favorite authors, Tama J. Kieves. She wrote a wonderful book called “This Time I Dance” about her career transition from being a lawyer to becoming a writer and coach. She invited her readers to write a letter to themselves from a place of either looking ahead to what they want or looking back to acknowledge what they’ve accomplished. Her article reminded me of how I felt after leaving my corporate job. I thought about what I would say to my former terrified and fearful Self to give her reassurance. Below are ten things I would tell her: You’ve come a LONG WAY, Baby! From where you sit, feeling scared and alone, you have NO IDEA of how grateful your Future Self is that you chose to follow your heart and your dreams rather than following what you now believe to be true about security and safety.  Even though you feel too anxious about your future to see it clearly from where you are, the journey will be worth it. It will be worth every long walk you will take to ease the burning anxiety of not having a solid and dependable paycheck coming in. It will be worth enduring sleepless nights, wondering if you will survive your career transition until you figure out how to create a ”life-lihood” that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck! ® It will be worth pushing through your fear of failing, of disappointing yourself and everyone you think might be watching and waiting to see if you will “make it”. You will learn that they aren’t watching as closely as you think. And you will learn that what they think doesn’t matter nearly as much as what YOU think about who you are becoming and what you are doing. It will be worth learning to have faith and to trust that you will be okay. It will be worth opening yourself up to giving and receiving support from people and learning that they really do care. You will learn who your true friends are and that you have more of them than you think. It will be worth learning that allowing others to contribute to you is sometimes the biggest gift you can give. It will be worth giving up everything you’ll learn to give up – like beating yourself up over past mistakes, indulging in negative self talk, and your pre-conceived notions about what you can and cannot do. You’ll learn to give up needing to have everything figured out before you take action. It will be worth discovering the incredible and indescribable joy and fulfillment that comes from giving your time, talent, knowledge and energy to help people who are going to face a career transition just like you are facing. It will be worth it to stand tall in your shoes years from now, feeling comfortable in your own skin, being proud of your inner hero’s courage and feeling excited and delighted to be in charge of creating how you want your journey to go. I’m glad I accepted Tama’s invitation to write to my Former Self. Maybe I’ll write to my FUTURE Self next! I’d like to pay Tama’s invitation forward. If you’ve gone through a career transition and created an Encore Career, what would you say to YOUR Former Self? How would you honor your journey toward creating the life you always wanted? If you are in the beginning stages of your career transition or life transition, what NEW future would you create if you BELIEVED you could design it to go exactly like you want it? ********************************************************************************************************************************* Curious about designing your own Encore Career? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session.

Is It Time for YOU to Escape the Rat Race?

“The world will never be happy until all men have the souls of artists – I mean when they take pleasure in their jobs.” ~ August Rodin Depending on the source, statistics indicate that somewhere between 50% and 80% of Americans hate their jobs for one of the following reasons: They hate where they are doing it They hate what they are doing They hate who they are doing it with Do you fit into one or more of these categories or do you know someone who does? I recently read a book called “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future” by Daniel Pink who also wrote “Free Agent Nation”. I highly recommend either of these books, especially if you find yourself in one of the following spots: In a Career Transition Currently employed but looking for ways to take your career to the next level An employee who is considering becoming a part-time or full time entrepreneur There’s a story in “A Whole New Mind” about a former Hallmark employee who used to visit schools and talk about design and creativity. He asked students who were artists to raise their hands. In kindergarten, all the students raised their hands. By sixth grade, none of the students raised their hands, afraid that showing their inner artist would label them as being not cool or weird. If you were to be asked that question, would you raise your hand? My guess is that many of you would not. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have raised my hand either. I can raise it now because I’ve learned that right-brain thinking (the part of your brain that’s associated with being creative or artistic) doesn’t necessarily mean pulling out a paint brush or a camera. Your “inner artist” can be called upon to assist you in creatively doing things you do every day. What Does Right-Brain Thinking Have to Do With Designing Escaping the Rat Race? “Business people don’t need to understand designers better. They need to BE designers.” -Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management If you think of yourself as not being creative or artistic, then the quote above may seem scary. The following attributes of right-brain thinking described by Daniel Pink may help you see that you are already creative in ways you may not have considered: Inventiveness Empathy Joyfulness Big-Picture Thinking Spontaneity As you look at this list, which of these attributes do you already apply to your career or business? Which ones could you add? If you think your work or your business is poorly designed and if you could re-design it, what would you change? What stands between you and creating a beautifully designed career or business that helps you escape the rat race to fulfill your inner artist? ************************************************************************************************************************************ What would it be like to escape the rat race and remodel your life and career YOUR way? Learn more about creating a Fresh Start by calling Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session.

Ask Power Questions to Jump Start Your Year!

To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions ~Sam Keen I’ve developed a habit you might think is weird. Thanks to my coach, I started collecting power questions. I save them into a folder and as I’m creating my vision for the year, I pull them out and use them to reflect on the past year, where I am in my life right now, and how to get a jump start on what I want to create for the future.  It’s making a HUGE difference in how I approach my life and how I approach creating goals for the year. The latest questions I’ve collected come from Michael Beckwith who was featured in the movie “The Secret”. If you ask no others this year, these three questions are a great place to start for getting a jump start on your goals: How can I grow? How can I give? What can I celebrate? A friend of mine calls our brains “biological onboard computers”. Aside from running our biological systems, its job, as motivational speaker Tony Robbins suggests, is to store data and solve problems. And just like any other computer, if you feed it junk questions, it will spit out junk answers. One way to start cleaning out your junk drawer questions is to exchange them for power questions that jump start you toward new ways of thinking. My coaching colleague, Practical Prosperity Coach Caroll Michel Schwartz, and I created a set of power questions we’re calling Fresh Start Reflections to help you complete the past year to jump start and DESIGN your new year powerfully and passionately. I invite you to take a look at the Tony Robbins video below and jot down the Power Questions he asks. Consider that January is “jump start” month for designing how your year is likely to go and then reflect on whether you are asking junk questions or Power Questions. Are the questions you are currently asking likely to take you down the same old road or down the highway to a brand new adventure? Something interesting happens when you start asking power questions and digging deep for the answers: You’ll discover gold you may have buried underneath the daily doings of life Sharing power questions and answers with people who are important in your life leads to power conversations Power conversations lead to unpredictable and exciting new directions and destinations Sometimes it takes courage to ask power questions. Sometimes you must ask others for information and feedback about you. It may require you to open yourself up and be vulnerable. What if you were to consider asking your spouse, friends or co-workers questions like this? What is it like to live/work with me? What’s one thing I could do this year to enhance our marriage, friendship or working relationship? What’s one thing I could STOP doing this year to enhance our marriage, friendship or relationship? I know several couples who annually sit down and ask these types of questions. This is a way for them to gather fuel to re-ignite and jump start passion and purpose in their relationships. Your stomach might do flip-flops just thinking about asking power questions.  You may be putting yourself on a wild ride for awhile. The good news is that you will end up feeling alive and energized, and excited about the new possibilities you discover.   Career and Life Design Coaching is all about helping you ask power questions – and answering them powerfully too. If you are struggling to find the answers that will lead you to your “Sexy Second Act” life or career, contact me to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session. Let’s explore together!

How to Make Your New Year “Trippy”

Just when Christmas is over and all you want to do is kick back and relax, how many of you are experiencing pressure to create New Year’s Resolutions?  How many of you are resisting the idea altogether? Either way, the process (as we usually go through it) doesn’t seem very appealing or creative, does it? At best, it seems like work and at worst, it seems like a sure path to failure. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in deliberately setting myself up to fail. According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s Resolution is “a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.” YUCK! Even the term “resolution” seems really heavy, hard and energy draining, don’t you think? Maybe you’ve given up making New Year’s Resolutions for the same reasons I gave them up: They don’t work! You didn’t KEEP them and you ended up feeling guilty. Rather than feeling excited to get started, your New Year’s Resolutions had you “should-ing” all over yourself. How much fun is THAT? Isn’t it time for a Fresh Start? A few years ago I tried something different. It worked so well that I’m making it an annual tradition. Maybe you’d like to give it a try. Make It Trippy What if you planned your journey through the year just like you’d plan a trip? Where would you like to be by December 31st? You might begin by asking yourself some questions: What kind of journey would excite or inspire you? What would you like to experience? Who would you like to meet? What memories would you like to create? What fun would you like to have? Who would you invite along? How much money will it take to create a fantastic and FUN-tastic trip? What do you need to do physically to be in shape for your journey? What things must you learn or would you like to learn? Some trips are going to be ambitious and some are going to be more like weekend getaways. It doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun creating your trip. The exciting part is that when you envision your trip, your actions (goals) fall out naturally. And they no longer feel like “shoulds” even if they don’t always feel like fun. You’ll find that you are willing to take action because doing so gets you more excited about your trip. Make It Visionary The following paragraph is an exerpt of my vision for my New Year “trip”. You can design your own process, whether it’s a vision board or a bullet list. I’m including this example to help get you started. This paragraph is written as if my vision has already come true. “I’ve been excited and ecstatic to watch my business expand exponentially again this year. I’ve met and exceeded my financial goal and it happened effortlessly. My clients are excited about the new programs we’ve implemented to serve them. They’ve been telling their friends and colleagues about the results they are getting and our Facebook Fan Page is growing by leaps and bounds. We easily surpassed our original fan goal. The feedback we are getting is so positive that I can’t wait to create even more “FUN-tastic” products and services. My heart is full of gratitude for the good things that have come my way this year.” What goals can you identify? What actions must happen for your vision to come true? There is work to be done but rewards will be built in along the way to help keep everything in balance. I’ve created similar “visions” for other aspects of my journey, including health, finances, relationship, spirituality, and recreation. I post my vision in a spot where I can read it daily. My anticipation builds as I dream my trip and I experience joy as I dream of accomplishing each step along the way. Make Room for the Unexpected What makes a trip an adventure is that no matter how well you plan, you will encounter unexpected surprises. Parts of your itinerary may not work out exactly like you planned. Other parts may turn out even better than you expected. You never quite know how it will go. Someone or something may rain on your parade. The best you can do is immerse yourself in the “experience” of your trip no matter how it goes and allow yourself to escape the rat race of your everyday world. Isn’t that the best part? When you think about your most challenging trips, didn’t you learn a lot about yourself along the way? How often have you later looked back upon your biggest challenges with fondness for the gifts you were given as a result of the experience? When unanticipated interruptions or detours get in the way of allowing you to complete everything on your “itinerary”, consider re-scheduling them. Or you may choose to skip something or change your “itinerary” and do something else. Intentionally dealing with incomplete items will keep you from beating yourself up or feeling bad about what you didn’t accomplish. Make Your Journey Rewarding Most of all, make your trip through 2010 be about escaping the rat race and creating a Fresh Start full of joyful experiences that are important to you. Make your journey a rewarding one that’s worthy of your time and energy. Create a vision so compelling that you can’t wait to stand on the mountaintop on December 31st 2010 and view your year with a sense of accomplishment, joy, and fulfillment. *********************************************************************************************************************************** How about tossing out those tired old New Year’s Resolutions to create a Fresh Start? Call Coach Sue or email [email protected] to find out about our upcoming January Jumpstart Program.

Embrace Your Inner Hero

“A hero is simply someone who rises above his own human weaknesses, for an hour, a day, a year, to do something stirring.”– Betty Deramus One of the best parts of Thanksgiving weekend is the CNN Hero Awards. I get excited for it to come around. It’s a breath of fresh air from the daily bombardment of mayhem and negativity generally shown on the news. The CNN Hero Awards show is about everyday people who are using their lives to make a difference in the lives of others. Each year, ten people are selected from thousands (or maybe millions) of nominees. The top ten honorees receive monetary awards to continue their work. Of the top ten, one honoree is selected to be hero of the year. What Makes Heroes Different? A consistent theme this year is that we all have a hero inside us. All we need to do is look inside ourselves to locate and embrace our inner heroes. It seems to me that the only difference between a hero and us is that a spark got ignited in them that compelled them into action. That spark might be ignited by a personal tragedy, an unforgettable experience, or a sense of mission or purpose. Not a single honoree mentioned the necessity to be superhuman or perfect. They merely felt called to respond to a need, and they committed to doing whatever they could to make a difference. What About the “Tiger” in the Room? We seem to want our heroes to be superhuman, squeaky clean and completely without flaws. We seem to be willing to rip our heroes to shreds when their humanity and weaknesses are exposed. How did we lose sight of the fact that as hard as people try to get it right, they sometimes make mistakes, go off-track, and get it wrong. How is it that we’ve allowed mistakes to become more newsworthy than the good our heroes do? The media frenzy about Tiger Woods’s supposed “fall from grace” is indicative of how willing we are to knock the very heroes we’ve created off their pedestals. We seem to do so vindictively and with glee. And when did it become okay to invade every corner of a person’s private life? Avoiding the Trap of Gossip and Innuendo Years ago, a friend sent me the following Bill of Rights for Winners. I was inspired by it and you might find it valuable too. Bill of Rights for Winners (From How to Make Winning Your Life Style by David S. Viscott, M.D.) You have the right to be you – the way you are, the way you want to be. You have the right to grow, to change, to become, to strive, to reach out for any goal, to be limited only by your degree of talent and amount of effort. You have the right to privacy – in marriage, family, or any relationship or group – the right to keep part of your life secret, no matter how trivial or important, merely because you want it to be that way. You have the right to be alone part of each day, each week, and each year, to spend time with and on yourself. You have the right to be loved and to love, to be accepted, cared for, and adored, and you have the right to fulfill that right. You have the right to ask questions of anyone at any time about a matter that affects your life, so long as it is your business to do so; and to be listened to and taken seriously. You have the right to self-respect and to do everything you need to do to increase your self-esteem, so long as you hurt no one in doing so. You have the right to be happy, to find something in the world that is meaningful and rewarding to you and that gives you a sense of completeness. You have the right to be trusted, and to trust and to be taken at your word. If you are wrong, you have the right to be given a chance to make good, if possible. You have the right to be free as long as you act responsibly and are mindful of the rights of others and of those obligations that you entered into freely. You have the right to win, to succeed, to make plans, to see those plans fulfilled, to become the best person that you can possibly become. You can avoid the trap of gossip and innuendo by remembering that you have a choice about whether to take the high road and offer compassion and respect when your heroes stumble, or whether to take the low road by listening to or participating in gossip and innuendo. You can create a fresh start by committing to ALWAYS taking the high road. View people in your life as heroes, even when they mess up. Stop speculating or talking about mistakes behind a person’s back. If you have a concern, be courageous and talk directly to the person about it. Consider how you can use your inner hero’s gifts, experiences, passion and purpose to be a hero for others. If you do, you won’t have the time, energy, or desire to judge or assess the actions of others. Embrace your inner hero. Forgive yourself when you stumble. Refer to the Bill of Rights for Winners often. Look for places you aren’t honoring yourself and your right to win. Resolve to take heroic action to fulfill on each of them to the best of your ability. **************************************************************************************************************************************** Ready to embrace your inner hero and design a career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck?® Call Coach Sue for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]

How Can I Create New Possibilities?

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin Do you have particular You Tube videos you like to watch over and over like I do? I pick humorous or inspirational favorites to watch on days when my energy is flagging and I need an emotional or spiritual lift. I recently noticed a new link on a favorite video. When I clicked on the link, I became intrigued by a challenge posed there. The challenge is to notice when you say to yourself “I Can’t!”, and instead ask yourself “How Can I?” I love that! In these challenging times, it can be especially easy to fall into the trap of “I Can’t!” thinking when so many people are facing job losses, bankruptcies, home foreclosures, and speculation in the media about other potentially bad news looming on the horizon. Here are a few examples of “I can’t” thinking I’ve been hearing lately… I can’t find a good job in this economy I can’t afford to change careers I can’t put one more thing on my plate! I can’t start (or expand) a business now I can’t pursue my passion or purpose – I can’t even pay my mortgage! I’ve found that asking “Why not?” isn’t generally very helpful either. That question tends to put the focus on defending positions with reasons and excuses. Focusing on reasons and excuses keeps people stuck and shuts down possibility. One way to avoid the trap of “I Can’t!” thinking to create a Fresh Start is to intentionally turn “I Can’t!” into “How Can I?” questions. How can I find a good job in this economy? How can I afford to change careers? How can I make room on my plate for what matters? How can I start (or expand) my business now? How can I start to pursue my passion and purpose right now – AND pay my mortgage? Our brains are amazing! When we ask a question, the brain immediately goes to work on finding an answer. The trick is to train yourself to ask questions that are worthy of your brain’s incredible powers of creativity and broad scope of capability. A friend of mine calls the brain our “onboard biological computer”. Its job, other than keeping our bodies functioning, is to solve problems. If you don’t give it worthwhile problems to solve, then it tends to make up problems and the problems it invents might end up creating mischief in your life. Just like improperly trained kids (and dogs), it takes a bit of discipline, practice, and focus to avoid the trap of “I Can’t!” thinking to stay on track about what matters. Since it’s Thanksgiving, you have likely read and heard all kinds of things about gratitude. If you are facing particularly challenging circumstances, you may be thinking “I can’t feel grateful about my current situation.” What do you think might be different if you instead asked, “How can I feel grateful about my current situation?” Asking this question gives you an opportunity to avoid falling into the trap of “I Can’t!” thinking and instead draw upon your internal genius and creativity to find an answer. Wouldn’t it be a Fresh Start  to feel grateful for having the courage to even ask that question of yourself? Don’t force an answer if one isn’t immediately forthcoming. Take your attention off the question and focus on something else. Allow your subconscious brain to continue working on the problem. Your job is to pay attention to whatever ideas you get or whatever impulses for action that pop up. Take the question of “How Can I?” with you throughout your Thanksgiving holiday. Ask it whenever a challenging situation comes up and you want to say “I can’t deal with this!” Before you know it, you may find that you experience a greater sense of power, peace, freedom and joy – and yes, even gratitude. You’ll love the video! ************************************************************************************************************************************ Ready to escape the trap of “I Can’t” thinking? Call Coach Sue for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]

How Can One Small Flutter Kick Off a Vision?

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.~Vincent Van Gogh A couple of weeks ago, I attended the annual Business Networking International Conference in Long Beach, California. Founder Dr. Ivan Misner gave one of the keynote talks. At one point, he talked about the Butterfly Effect – how small actions in one place can lead to larger actions (or unpredictable results) in another place. He used an example from his own life to describe how a series of seemingly random events, starting with doing a favor for a friend, led him to be sitting in a hotel lobby on Necker Island where he was about to participate in a seminar with Sir Richard Branson. He asked us to trace successes in our own lives back to that first flutter of butterfly wings.  I remembered when I lived and worked on a project in a major west coast city. One of my co-workers attended a weekend seminar. She came to work on Monday morning with a completely different attitude than she had left with on Friday afternoon. The shift was so dramatic that I couldn’t help but ask her about the seminar and what happened that affected her outlook so profoundly. She told me about it and then she invited me to attend a guest event with her. I wasn’t much interested in attending seminars back then, but the changes she experienced intrigued me and so I agreed to go. My own life wasn’t going so well at the time and I was curious to see if these seminars could help me. I was so impressed with what I learned that I ended up registering in the course. That led me to other courses that  led me into coaching as a volunteer. That in turn helped me realize I’d found work I loved, and from there I got curious about how to make a career transition to coaching. Now here I am several years later, doing something I didn’t know then was called an Encore Career. I just knew I was doing something fun and exciting with my life that may never have occurred had I not accepted my co-worker’s invitation. Follow the Ripples Dr. Misner’ s suggestion to follow the ripples of your own personal butterfly effect can take you on an interesting journey. It’s a way to either acknowledge your journey, or you can use it to help you identify your vision or mission. Here are a couple of things you can do to get started: 1)  Where has the Butterfly Effect worked for you? Look back at your life’s most rewarding achievements. Can you follow the ripples back to an originating event or action that started the butterfly wings fluttering? Can you see how seemingly random events don’t seem so random in retrospect? 2)  Pay attention to times you have felt a nudge inside or when your gut told you to go in a particular direction, meet or contact a particular person, or try something you’ve never before attempted.  Did following those urges lead you to a new job, new relationship or some other unanticipated but rewarding result? Create Your Own Ripples I have observed the Butterfly Effect at work in the lives of my clients. They don’t always see it themselves until it’s pointed out, but they are quite often astonished and delighted when they discover how the Butterfly Effect has operated for them.  Seeing the Butterfly Effect at work gives them clues about how to move forward to create a new vision. They begin to understand that they already have the power and freedom to intentionally create their own ripples and generate their own Butterfly Effect in ways they never could have imagined. Complacency and resignation give way to passion, excitement and creativity. Rather than waiting for life to happen, they begin to design it and act with intention and purpose. The result for them is a richer experience of living that fulfills them and blesses others.   Are you curious about how you can use the Butterfly Effect to design your Sexy Second Act life or career? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session

Doh! A Lesson in Situational Awareness!

What we hear while we are asleep continues to resonate with us upon awakening. ~ Henry Reed By now you’ve likely seen or heard the flack about the Northwest Airline pilots who overshot their landing destination due to “loss of situational awareness”. According to news reports, a series of mundane activities distracted them and led them to miss their destination. How often does something like that happen to you? Getting caught up in the daily rat race makes it easy to become distracted and you may end up going through the motions of everyday life like a robot. Then before you know it, you lose situational awareness and miss your landing destination, whether that means the promotion you wanted, the life partner of your dreams, the business or Encore Career you wanted to start, the money you imagined earning, or the lifestyle you dreamed of for your retirement. Loss of situational awareness usually ends up being no more than an embarrassing inconvenience. You miss your freeway off ramp and have to retrace your route. You don’t notice where you put your car keys and by the time you find them, you end up arriving late to your meeting. You promise to run an errand for a loved one on your way home and then forget to do it. So how do you know when you’ve lost situational awareness? Somewhere along the way, you WILL get a wake-up call. It may come as a whisper, a tap on your shoulder, or a knock upside your head, depending on how long you’ve been ignoring the signals. If the pilots had been more aware, they would have gotten the message that they were off track much sooner and avoided a lot of embarrassment. What does it take to stay awake and learn to avoid losing situational awareness? 1. Be aware of your destination (goal) and where you are in relationship to it.  Like Yogi Berra says, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.” 2. Check your instruments. Like the pilots, if you don’t regularly check your instruments, you are likely to fly off course.  What are your most valuable instruments? Your Intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Pay attention and trust your inner guidance system when you get signals that something is amiss. Stay alert until you understand more about what is going on. Your Satisfaction Meter. On a scale of one to ten, how much joy and satisfaction do you experience in your career, relationships, spirituality, health, personal development, finances, or other areas that are important to you? A low number is an indication that something is missing. Rather than putting the blame “out there” take a look inside to see what needs to change, what’s missing and how you can bring it into your life. Then take action. Your Creativity. Many people say they aren’t creative, meaning they think they can’t draw or paint or sculpt or write or sing. Those are very narrow definitions of creativity.  The amazing thing about creativity is that it’s limitless and boundless. How do you know when you are being creative? Perhaps this quote by Frank Capra says it best; “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something”. Follow your hunches – even when it seems crazy or impractical. 3. Surround yourself with a trusted team. Wasn’t it interesting to see how judgmental everyone became when the Northwest plane flew off course? Hardly anyone focused on the fact that a whole team of people sprang into action to get the pilots’ attention. A well trained team can help by alerting you when you don’t notice that you’ve flown off course or lost situational awareness. 4. Look for lessons learned.  Certainly in the case of the Northwest airline pilots, an investigation is warranted, especially if it focuses less on punishment than on looking for what’s missing and how to fix it. Where are the holes and what must be done to plug them up? 5. Ignore the hoopla. It’s easy to get distracted when it seems like a tide of disapproval is washing over you after you’ve lost situational awareness. Learn to sort through the criticism to find nuggets of real feedback that will help you get back on course and stay there. Losing situational awareness is part of being human. The quickest way to wake up, acknowledge it when it happens, apologize when it’s necessary, forgive yourself, clean up any messes that result and move forward.  Doing so requires an act of courage.  But isn’t it worth it to be able to look into your own eyes in the mirror and give yourself a nice high five at the end of the day because you like who you see? ************************************************************************************************************************************ Have you been blind-sided by a “loss of situational awareness” in your life or career? Discover ways to wake yourself up and get back on course. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]

Five Ways Behavior Assessments Help You Find Your Desire!

Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge  ~ Plato ~ I recently read an article in an old issue of “O” magazine called “Getting Unstuck” by Suzy Welch. One particular statement had me nodding my head like a bobbin head doll. Suzy and her husband were doing a survey for a book and one question they asked concerned the biggest challenges people face in their work. She said they were surprised to discover how many people wanted “passionately to know whether or not they were in the right place in the first place”. Gotta tell ya…my first reaction when I read this was…DUH! It seems to me that these days, more and more people are looking for an answer to that question. I recently spoke with a man who is right in the middle of that exact dilemma and wondering how he can escape the rat race he feels like he’s in. He’s been at his current job about six years. He’s overworked, he’s working too many hours and wearing too many hats, he feels like he has too many bosses, he’s not making much money, and he’s rapidly heading towards burnout. He’s not sure how much longer he can keep doing what he’s doing. He’s even questioning whether he actually likes what he’s doing or whether he just doesn’t like the current environment.  Sound familiar? He’s considering various options, including going back to school to get a different degree. He isn’t sure he really wants the degree but he feels it might open up more career options. I recommended that he complete a Personal Insights Profile before making such a big commitment with significant financial implications. Why did I make that recommendation? Because he’s not sure this new career direction is right for him and I believe that a set of Personal Insights Profile will help him make the best choice for designing his “Sexy Second Act” career. Five Ways Behavior Assessments Can Help You Find Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck(tm) 1. Clarity A few years ago, I invited a young lady to participate in a special project I was working on involving Personal Insights Profiles. She had earned a teaching degree but was unsuccessful finding a job in her chosen field. Instead, she was working in a call center, hating every minute of it and unsure of how to break into the career she felt passionate about. Her Personal Insights Profile (which included both a DISC Profile and a Personal Interests Attitudes and Values (PIAV) Assessment) validated she had chosen a career path that was perfectly suited to her. Her strongest value indicated that she wants to make a difference and her second strongest value indicated a passion for learning. These top values, combined with a patient and steady behavior style, indicated high probability of success as a teacher. 2. Confidence The confirmation provided by her Behavior Assessments propelled my client back into the job hunt with renewed energy and zeal. She felt confident about how to present herself to prospective employers. Within a couple of months, she was successfully hired for a teaching position. Several years later, she is still happily teaching and loving every minute of it. She has escaped the burnout of a job she despised. 3. Committed Action Another client worked in a family business she felt obligated to support. She loved the creative parts of the business but other parts were problematic for her. To have what she really wanted meant leaving the family business and striking out on her own. She couldn’t quite compel herself to take that step. Her DISC and PIAV Behavior Assessments indicated that she would likely do best in a career where she has lots of interaction with people, lots of freedom to create, and a product or company she believes in. When she saw what she needed to be happy, she jumped off the fence and took massive action. She ended up creating two businesses – one involving interior design and a second one in a multi-level marketing organization whose values and commitment to helping women align with her personal belief system. 4. Contagious Excitement With clarity, confidence, and committed action comes contagious excitement. When you get clear about what you want, you become unstoppable. Suddenly other people can’t wait to work with you or offer support, ideas and resources because your excitement and passion are contagious. 5.  Conscious Choices I once heard author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss say that when you become conscious, the choices you have available to you become fewer, but they become much more powerful. When you see clearly what you want, life becomes simpler. You start to make choices based on what’s important rather than on what’s urgent. Because you are happier and excited about the direction you are moving in, burnout disappears even though you might be working just as many hours. A Personal Insights Profile, especially when combined with coaching, is a great way to start down the path toward discovering whether or not you are in the right place, where the right place is for you, or possibly ways to turn the place where you currently are into the right place. Want to find out if you are in the right place? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 and schedule a “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more about how a Personal Insights Profile can help put you on the road to Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck!®

A FUN-damental Necessity for Success? Friends!

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. – Sandra Day O’Connor I recently met with a delightful guy from a different chapter of a business networking organization I belong to. We met to get acquainted and learn about each other’s businesses. We discussed the level of success each of our business networking chapters has achieved. His is a newer chapter – about two years old compared to ours, which is about four years old.  Our chapter is has grown from fifteen members to sixty members. We are considered to be one of the more successful chapters in our area. FUN-damental Ingredients for Success His business networking chapter is on track and committed to growing to an equivalent size as ours. He asked me what ingredients I thought contributed to making our chapter successful. I think these things contribute to our success: Strong leadership Adhering to the structure provided by the organization for running small business networking meetings Holding ourselves and each other accountable for achieving our business and chapter goals There’s one more ingredient I believe is a FUN-damental necessity for having our business networking chapter be successful – ya got to have friends! From the beginning, our chapter members intentionally committed to maintaining a small business networking chapter feeling of intimacy and friendship. We periodically gather together for social events outside our scheduled business networking meetings and we include spouses and friends. We’ve attended barbeques, pampering and make-up parties, photo parties, Christmas parties and Fantasy Football parties. We have become more than a business networking chapter. We’ve gotten to know each other on a personal level. We care about each other and the success of each other’s businesses. An unexpected plus is that whenever members experience personal challenges, other members jump eagerly in to offer aid and support. We never forget that our primary reason for meeting each week is for business networking and growing our individual businesses. Our chapter goal is to bring in over a million dollars in revenue this year and I believe we will achieve it. And even though we conduct our business networking meetings in a professional manner, we remember to have fun! Best of all, when I refer a friend or colleague to someone in our chapter, I feel like I’m referring one friend to another. Isn’t that business networking at its best? FUN-damental Lessons Learned One lesson I’ve learned is that business networking is less about what you get and more about about what you give. It’s about finding ways to do business with people you already know, care about, and trust. A friend in my business networking chapter referred me to the book “The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know” by Bob Beaudine. He suggests regularly phoning people in your personal sphere to see what’s going on in their lives and businesses. Throughout the conversation, he suggests actively listening for something you can offer. There are several potentially great outcomes that can result from such conversations: Actively staying in touch with people who mean the most to you deepens your relationship with them Contributing to them causes you to feel great no matter what challenges you may be facing in your life You develop a community of support to reach out to when you are faced with a career transition, personal difficulty, or business challenge. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give to someone who cares about you is giving them the opportunity to contribute to you. Deep down, most people want to help and support people they care about. That’s easy to forget. I once took a course that focused on creating inspiring projects. The catch was that the project had to be too big for people to do on their own. The idea was to engage friends, co-workers, church groups or other communities to participate in the project. I was daunted by having to tell people about my project and ASK for support. That was terribly uncomfortable for me. I learned how much people do want to help if you ask for what you want or need. Not only did I complete my project, it was a lot more fun than it would have been had I tried to do it all on my own. Isn’t setting goal more inspiring when you think about involving friends to assist you? I believe it’s FUN-damental! *************************************************************************************************************************************** Are you ready to learn the FUN-damentals of networking ? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected].

Think Like a Hippie – Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out!

My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.  ~ Timothy Leary This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love and Woodstock. I missed out on becoming a “hippie”.  I’m still not sure if that’s good news or bad news. But I believe it’s not too late to THINK like a hippie. Finding Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck® may just be a matter of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out. Tune In One of my favorite books is “Friendship with God” by Neale Donald Walsch. According to the author, God tells him that our minds know the past, our bodies know the present and our spirits know the future. Tune in and notice which part of you is speaking when you think about leaving your job to design an Encore Career that includes Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck®. Is your mind running the show most of the time? Depending solely on your mind for making choices limits possibility. How can you make great choices for your future when the past is running the show? What physical sensations do you notice? Where in your body do you notice them? A friend once told me that the same chemicals are released in our bodies when we’re excited and when we’re afraid. The difference is in how our brains interpret the messages.  Tuning in helps you create ways to shift your interpretation away from fear and towards excitement. What happens when you tune in to your spirit? Allow your curiosity and imagination to take flight. What can you imagine yourself doing? Who can you imagine becoming? According to Timothy Leary, tuning in meant to interact in harmony with the world around you. To do that, you must first create harmony within you. Tune in to your mind, body and spirit. Listen for your unique internal melody. Alignment of your mind, body and spirit will start you on the path to discovering creative and joyful ways for designing your Encore Career! Turn On Leary’s definition of “turning on” meant to activate and become sensitive to various levels of consciousness and specific triggers that engage them.  Turning on is about noticing what ignites your passion fuse. It’s a little bit like playing a kid’s game where you hide something and tell seekers when they are getting warmer (closer) or colder (further away) as they hunt for the object. A former client had a great job working for a well-known company. She enjoyed particular aspects of her job, but she had been at it for several years and had gotten bored. She wanted to find something exciting but she didn’t know what that might be. She was hesitant to leave her job because of the economy. It seemed best to play it safe. Our conversations opened up the possibility that she could follow two of her passions – her love of the Latin American culture and a desire to live in a warmer climate. We didn’t talk specifically about her leaving her job. We focused on finding projects outside her job that aligned with her passions. With each project, she got “warmer” or closer to what she wanted. Eventually, she was led to an opportunity to live and work in Chile where she is now teaching English as a Second Language which aligns with her most important value – to eliminate pain and suffering in the world. She’s taken several trips around South America and is planning more. She is having a great time making new friends which is also important to her. She’s taking salsa lessons and is planning on taking tango lessons. Needless to say, she’s having the time of her life. Drop Out According to Leary, “dropping out” is about self-reliance, discovery of one’s uniqueness, and a commitment to choice and change. It’s not about leaving society behind; it’s about believing in yourself, your gifts and the value of what only you can offer. My client “dropped out” of her hum-drum job to get a fresh start and pursue something important that makes a difference for people she serves. Wherever she goes from here, what matters is who she is becoming as she continues to pursue her dreams. I believe she’s beginning to understand that her ability to earn an income isn’t dependent upon what’s going on in the economy, it’s dependent upon her growing belief that her “life-lihood” comes from trusting the value of her uniqueness and from her commitment to adventure over playing it safe. It’s less about “dropping out” than it is about “standing out” and being true to yourself. Hippies may have had some of it right but with a misplaced focus. Maybe we now have a second chance to get a fresh start and think like a hippie by combining tuning in, turning on and dropping out with the wisdom of our life experience to create an Encore Career. *********************************************************************************************************************************** Are you ready to think like a hippie? Get a Fresh Start today by tuning in, turning on and dropping out! Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]. Start exploring what your Encore Career might look like!

Declare Your Independence

It’s July! I don’t know about you but for me, July is a joyful month. Summer gets into full swing in July starting with America’s Independence Day holiday celebration. Summer is my favorite time of year. Although the year is more than half gone, July is not too late to check in and assess how you are doing with the goals you set in January. Are you on track with your goals? Congratulations!! You have a double reason to celebrate! Have you gotten off track? Then July is the PERFECT time to get a fresh start and re-energize. Declare your independence from whatever stands between you and accomplishing your goals and dreams. Immediate Steps You Can Take to Prepare Your Personal Declaration of Independence Acknowledge what isn’t working. What’s inconsistent with your fullest expression of joy, celebration of life, and career fulfillment? Declare a truce with those areas of your life that are unresolved. Stop making yourself or anyone else wrong. Stop making your circumstances wrong. Commit to laying down arms. Find a way to be at peace with your situation. Declare a fresh start! Declare that you’ll free yourself from unworkable activities like these: – Spirit-killing relationships – Mind-numbing career or work activities – Addictive habits, behaviors and outmoded beliefs Write Your Personal Declaration of Independence Ask yourself the following questions and write down whatever feelings, ideas or thoughts arise: Where am I experiencing a lack of freedom and joy in my life? What am I willing to let go of so I can set myself free? What commitments am I willing to make to set myself free? What actions am I willing to take to set myself free? Who can I ask for support and accountability to help me set myself free? Asking powerful questions and listening to your heart or Higher Power for answers is the first step to creating a fresh start. Declare that you are WILLING to let go, WILLING to commit, and WILLING to take action. You will FEEL things begin to change on the inside. You’ll FEEL power and energy surge through your body. To amp up that energy surge, say your Declaration of Independence out loud… To yourself in front of the mirror. To trusted friends, family members or advisors who want to support you At least twice daily – more often if possible. Listen to yourself as you speak. Speak with ATTITUDE and GRATITUDE! How Does a Personal Declaration of Independence Help You Set Yourself on the Road to a Fresh Start? Here’s one way a declaration can  help you create a fresh start. A few years ago, I was listening to a CD I purchased from motivational speaker and author T. Harv Eker. He invites listeners to stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and make a personal declaration about money. One declaration was, “My parents’ beliefs about money are not me and not mine.” When I placed my hand over my heart and repeated the declaration, I unexpectedly burst into tears. Digging inside to see what was going on, I had the following realizations: Although my parents had passed on, I was still trying to gain their approval regarding my ability to save, invest, and take care of myself financially. I never stopped to consider what mattered to ME in terms of financial security and success! No matter how much money I invested or saved, it could never be enough because I never defined what “enough” was for me! That awareness began the process of setting myself FREE from my unworkable money beliefs! There’s No Way to Escape if You Don’t Define Your Exit Strategy! That awareness allows me to create specific and measurable financial goals. I now work with my Financial Adviser to see how it’s going and make adjustments as needed. I create MEASURABLE financial goals rather than pursuing a fuzzy non-goal that left me feeling trapped in an unclear and muddy maze. I now know what winning the money game looks like for me. At last I have breathing room and freedom in my relationship with money! You can design a fresh start by creating YOUR personal Declaration of Independence. It’s a powerful exercise that will help you break free of inertia and move your life forward in ways that appear to be miraculous. If you take this practice to heart and actually do it, please share your experience here or send me an email. I’d love to hear your Personal Declaration of Independence and how it makes a difference  in your life. *************************************************************************************************************************************** Get ready to create YOUR personal Declaration of Independence in the areas that matter most to you! Want assistance? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your personal and confidential complimentary GET ACQUAINTED coaching session or email [email protected]

Vision Board Your Way to a New Career or Life!

This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Have you ever created a Vision or Dream Board? If you are in a career transition or considering designing your Encore Career and you don’t know what to do or how to get started, a vision board is an excellent way to begin. When I was let go from my corporate job of many years, I felt completely adrift. I didn’t have a clear vision of what to do with the rest of my life. I was too young to retire but I wanted to try something else closer to my heart and purpose. I just wasn’t sure what else I could do. A friend told me that creating a Vision or Dream Board might be a way to gain clarity about the future. Making a Vision Board seemed daunting at first because I didn’t consider myself to be creative. My friend told me to never mind all that and just go for it. She told me that however I chose to create my Dream Board would be perfect. “Okay” I sighed skeptically. I dutifully marched off to the craft store and bought foam board and glue in preparation for creating my Vision Board. I spent days going through magazines and cutting out pictures and inspirational phrases that spoke to me. One evening I finally spread everything out on the floor and assembled my Dream Board. Vision Boards Bring Clarity to What’s Happening on the Inside I was surprised at what I saw when my Vision Board was complete. Who I felt I was on the inside – but didn’t often allow to show on the outside – appeared on my Vision Board. I wanted abundance, friendship, joy, play, fun, travel, an intimate and loving relationship, a cozy and inviting home, a healthy lifestyle, deeper spiritual connection and inspiring work. What I didn’t see was the answer to what my Encore Career should be. I was disappointed and I told my friend that creating a Vision Board didn’t work. She asked if she and another friend could come over and take a look. Reluctantly, I said okay. I wasn’t sure I wanted to let anyone else see my inner world that clearly. Over they came and after a couple of glasses of wine, I shyly brought out my Dream Board for their inspection. They looked at it silently for a couple of minutes. After what seemed like years, I couldn’t stand it. “Well, what do you see on my Dream Board?” I demanded. “FUN!” they shouted in unison. Great, I thought. “How is THAT going to turn into an Encore Career that keeps me out of the rat race?” I asked. “Keep looking!” suggested my friends. They aren’t too big on giving answers. They instead recommended that I spend a few minutes looking at my Vision Board each day and play with ideas of how to bring FUN into my encore career. I followed their suggestions and kept looking at my Dream Board. My skepticism eventually melted away as I began to see what mattered. Out of the fog of what seemed like a hodge-podge of disconnected images and phrases came my Life Purposewhich is “To Playfully Celebrate Life”. It’s been several years since I created my first Vision Board. I’ve since created Dream Boards specific to particular areas of my life such as my business vision and my health vision. But this first Dream Board holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first stepping stones on a path of discovery that led me to the work I am meant to do – the one that gives me PASSION, PURPOSE and a PAYCHECK ™. I LOVE looking at Vision Boards created by others. Some Dream Boards are elaborate works of art and others are basic. Either way they work. They don’t even have to be of the cut-and-paste variety. Create a slide show or a video. (Try http://www.mindmovies.com/ if you want to purchase a reasonably priced software for creating your video Vision Board.) The important thing is that it speaks LOUDLY to your heart and spirit about what you want to create for your life. Having trouble picturing what YOUR Encore Career or life looks like? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 for a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]  

How Do You Turn Roadblocks into Bridges?

“It’s the constant and determined effort that breaks down all resistance and sweeps away all obstacles.” — Claude M. Bristol Sometimes the notion of designing an Encore Career or pursuing a business opportunity can make you feel pretty hopeless. What you hear on the news these days doesn’t help to encourage bringing a fresh business idea or opportunity to fruition. Feelings of fear and hopelessness can keep you feeling blocked far longer than is necessary. Fear and hopelessness create roadblocks that stand between you and the opportunity to create a whole new exciting and productive Encore Career no matter what your past circumstances may have been. Three Primary Roadblocks Impact Capitalizing on a New Business Idea or Career Opportunity Lack of a clear strategy about what you want or where you want to go after leaving your current job. Non-existent or ineffective systems for holding yourself accountable for creating a new career or turning your business idea into reality Unworkable beliefs that prevent you from taking appropriate action regarding a new business idea or career opportunity. Here are examples of poor strategies that could block your path: Not knowing what you want Avoiding doing the work to find out Doing things the way you’ve always done them while hoping for a different result Unwillingness to try something new that requires you to move out of your comfort zone when a new business idea or career opportunity shows up. It’s challenging to be accountable for designing what’s next without support. Here are some possible ways to generate support: Develop a buddy system Form a mastermind group Hire a coach or business advisor. Your progress speeds up when you find successful ways to be held accountable for your results. The most important thing to examine is your level of commitment. You are not committed unless you are taking specific, measurable and consistent action to implement your new business idea or career transition strategy. Unworkable belief systems are generally the result of poor quality thinking. Do you tend to think in terms of extremes like always/never? Should or shouldn’t? Do you find yourself thinking you are in some way defective or deficient? If you feel stuck, listen to your self-talk and test your beliefs. You may need support to do so. Poor strategy and lack of accountability may be easier to overcome than changing your belief systems. Unworkable belief systems often operate below the surface of your awareness. Others may see your blinds spots more clearly than you do, which is a good reason to open yourself up to constructive feedback from trusted advisors and friends. The first step for tackling whatever road blocks are preventing you from pursuing a new business idea or the career opportunity of your dreams is to acknowledge where you are stuck or stopped. The less likely you are to open up about what’s stopping you, the more likely it is to become the elephant in the room. It takes energy, persistence and commitment to turn your roadblocks into bridges. The good news is that the journey of discovery will be well worth your effort. ************************************************************************************************************************************* Want support getting past the roadblocks standing between you and your Encore Career? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary Get Acquainted coaching session or email [email protected]

How Do You Know if Your Career is a Good Fit?

“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: They must not do too much of it: And they must have a sense of success in it.” ~ Jim Ruskin Does your job contain these three elements? If you are in a career transition  – or even if your job is still intact – these questions provide food for thought for helping you evaluate whether you are in a good fit career.    How Do You Know Whether You are in a Good Fit Career? Yes, a good fit career includes your skills, but don’t limit yourself to thinking only about your skills. Would you limit yourself to thinking that exercising one muscle means your body is fit? Then why would you limit yourself to thinking great skills are all you need for a good fit career? Sounds silly when it’s put that way, doesn’t it? Here’s another way to think about it. Have you ever bought an outfit you thought you’d wear even though it didn’t feel quite right when you tried it on? Maybe you bought it because you needed something in a hurry, or maybe a store clerk told you it looked great on you. So you settled. What happened later on? Did you try it on at home later only to wonder what the bloody heck you were thinking when you bought it? Did you feel annoyed and out of sorts every time you put it on? Did you feel like you had to wear it because you spent your hard earned money on it? Consider the difference when you try something on that fits perfectly. You just KNOW you look your best. You feel great! Isn’t it likely you’ll be noticed? Isn’t it likely you’ll stand a little taller, walk with confidence and generally feel like you’ve got the world by the tail? Isn’t it likely you’ll think your money was well spent no matter what it cost? A good fit career works that way too. You know it’s a good fit by how you feel when you’re in it. You’ll feel comfortable, energized, valuable, and happy. And I like to say … SEXY! How Do You Know When You are Doing “Too Much”? Here are three questions you can ask to tell whether you or not you are overdoing it: What’s your stress level? What’s your energy level? What’s your joy level? If your stress level is high and your energy and joy levels are low, you might be overdoing it. Of course there low energy days, times when we experience undue stress, and days when what we are doing doesn’t have us dancing in the aisles. But if you spend the majority of your time feeling tired, stressed, and miserable, it’s time to take stock. Even when you sense you are overdoing it, you may not stop to consider whether you truly have a different choice. A friend of mine had this experience. When she started her business, she was excited and energized.   A few years later, she felt overwhelmed and energetically drained. She complained about it to her business partner. After some brainstorming, her partner suggested they take every Friday off. My friend’s amazed reaction was, “Can we DO that?”. She hadn’t considered that she could control her own agenda rather than being at the effect of everyone else’s agenda. Sound familiar? How Do You Know When You are Successful? My friend’s feelings of overwhelm didn’t allow her to feel successful even though her clients loved the results she produced. Success is about more than money. It’s about how well your life is going. Ask yourself some questions: Are you getting what you want? Are you spending time on what you value most? Do you feel like your career has meaning, value, and purpose? How much joy you are experiencing? When you can clearly answer what success means to you on your own terms, you’ll have a good idea about what to go after and how recognize it when you get it. Your life will take on a richness that reaches far beyond the money you make.  A good fit career doesn’t happen by chance. And it’s not necessarily true that what was a good fit career for you when you started out is still a good fit for you today. Give yourself a gift. Spend quality time with yourself. Evaluate where you’ve been, where you are now, and what might be an exciting and fulfilling direction for you in the future. Let yourself dream a little. Dreaming, in conjunction with your experience and skills, can lead you to new discoveries about yourself. Who knows? You may end up headed in a brand new and exciting direction.  You may discover that a Sexy Second Act Career that fits you perfectly is waiting for you right around the corner! ************************************************************************************************************************************ Looking for a Sexy Second Act career that fits you like a glove? Get started today with a Career Assessment and complimentary consultation. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to set up your “get acquainted” coaching session to learn more, or email [email protected]    

Are You Living in Black and White or in Bold, Beautiful Color?

“At the center of Bold Moves are the choices people make every day about how to live their lives – that’s what drives the action.” ~ Cisco Codina A client who has been out of touch for several weeks called me recently. He’s been experiencing a number of trials in his life, one of which is a significant health challenge. He told me he’s been doing some deep soul searching and he needed time on his own to think and reflect. He told me this health challenge is his wake-up call to take stock of where he is in his life and where he wants to go from here in the areas of health, career, relationships and how he spends his free time. That’s what happens with coaching. Once you get present to what’s working and not working in your life, it becomes much more of a challenge to “tolerate” anything that’s not working. Rather than giving up in the face of his health challenge, my client sees it as an opportunity to make bold moves rather than putting them off for “someday”. He realizes that by the time “someday” gets here, he could be dead. He’s ready to implement several bold moves over the next few months. They won’t be easy moves to make, but for the first time since I’ve been working with him, I hear excitement and curiosity in his voice, I see a sparkle in his eyes and color in his cheeks where there has been a gray sort of monotone and dullness. Living a “tolerable” life or working at a “tolerable” job or in a “tolerable” work environment can be like living in a monotone or living in black and white.  We may not recognize that the color has gone out of our lives because it generally occurs slowly over time. Sometimes it takes a jolt such as a career transition or life transition such as the unexpected end of a long-term relationship or a health crisis to snap us out of black and white living and open us up to once again living life in bold and beautiful color. Check into your energy. Do you feel drained and devoid of the spark that you used to have? If your answer is yes, think about what choices and bold moves you can make NOW to put the color back into your life. Don’t wait for a life or career crisis to shock you out of your comfort zone. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Tired of living life in black and white? Ready for a “Fresh Start”? Make one of your bold moves to Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session to learn how you can get back on track to living life in BOLD color!

Five Steps for Handling Negative Circumstances

“Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business; why not find a better job.” ~ Hafiz Nowadays it seems like a lot of people are telling us that no matter what is going on in our lives, we “should” see it in a positive manner. I don’t agree. Sometimes negative circumstances are just negative circumstances. Resisting “what’s so”, regardless of whether it’s negative or positive, is futile and will keep you stuck. A friend who is experiencing relationship challenges gave me a call. She’s been making herself crazy thinking she should be able to “handle” her feelings of anger and resentment. Her situation consumed her to the point where every part of her life was impacted, including her work. By the time she called, she had just about reached the end of her rope. There’s a difference between acknowledging what’s so about a situation that feels bad – like unexpectedly losing your job or hearing a difficult medical diagnosis or finding out your spouse or life partner is leaving you – and wallowing in it. Speaking as a recovering “wallow-er” I’ve learned that wallowing is as useless for solving problems as is being eternally and excessively cheerful. Both extremes let you off the hook for proactively dealing with whatever knocked you off track. How DO you deal with negative circumstances, such as career transitions, economic impacts and other life changing experiences? 1. Dr. Phil often says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Acknowledge the facts of your situation, including your feelings about it. You feel what you feel and your feelings are valid and true for you. Verbally acknowledge or write down everything you are feeling. Focus on keeping your language simple and personal. State each feeling with a sentence that starts with “I feel…”. Then name the emotion you are present to, such as “I feel angry” or “I feel sad”, or “I feel alone”. Keep going until you have named each and every emotion you are experiencing. 2. Don’t embellish on your feelings. Leave out “because” and your list of reasons for feeling what you feel. Reasons take you away from being in the moment as you process feelings and they aren’t effective for this exercise. 3. “Save the drama for your mama”. Let go of judgments or opinions about whatever emotions you are experiencing. Give up that it’s not fair or someone else is at fault or you or others “should” feel or do something differently. The fact is that they did or felt whatever they did and so did you. 4. Imagine alternatives. By this time, you may start gaining objectivity and clarity about your negative circumstances. Play with possible alternatives that might bring your situation to a viable resolution. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Don’t censor yourself. Jot down whatever new ideas or actions you identify. 5. Take action. Pay attention to what feels right to you in the moment. If you feel like calling someone or taking a walk, then take action. If you get an idea to attend a networking event, job fair or party, then take action. You never know who you might meet who can help you move your situation forward, whether it’s a contact for a great job, a new idea you hadn’t considered, or support you hadn’t anticipated. When I took my friend through this process, she got clear about the conversation she intends to have with her partner. She sees which needs are not being met and she feels confident about her ability to state what she wants in a straightforward manner. I could feel the shift in her energy as she went from feeling victimized to feeling confident, strong and in charge. There’s no guarantee my friend will get the result she wants. What seems certain, however, is that by taking responsibility for her feelings and her life, she’ll feel great about herself no matter how her situation turns out. ************************************************************************************************************************************ Are you facing a challenging career transition or life situation? Call Coach Sue today to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or send an email to [email protected] to start the process of turning negative circumstances into positive outcomes!

Follow Your Dreams – Fulfill Your Life Purpose

“There is a fire inside. Sit down beside it. Watch the flames, the ancient, flickering dance of yourself.” —John MacEnulty A friend and I went to see the movie “The Soloist” over the weekend. It’s the story of an L.A. Times reporter who befriends a mentally ill homeless man who has a gift for classical music. The reporter embarks on a quest to learn about this man who went from being a musical prodigy to ending up on the streets of L.A. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book or if you ever wonder about your own life purpose or how to express or fulfill it, then this movie just might inspire you or lead you in the direction of your answer. In the meantime, consider that your journey may not be about FINDING your life purpose but more about living your way into it. Consider that your life purpose has been right there all along and it’s rooted in what you are naturally gifted at and passionate about. It’s a funny thing about your life purpose. Even when you don’t consciously know what it is, it can be present in your speaking. For example, what I hear in the way Mr. Ayers talks about his music is that his life purpose could be something like “To Schizophrenically fill the Skies of L.A. with Symphony”. Who’s to say? Thinking about his possible life purpose that way delights me, makes me laugh and inspires me. What is clear is his passion for music. He played his music no matter what was going on inside, and a reporter heard something that compelled him to find the man who made the music and reach out to him. A synergy emerged between the player of the music and the ears that heard and responded. That synergy turned out to be bigger and reach further than either of them could possibly have known. A lost musician found a friend and later, he found a community. A lost reporter found a cause. Could either of them have imagined how far and wide the ripples would flow from a single chance encounter? What does this have to do with you and finding the Encore Career that lights you up? Here’s what I think. Just as the mental confusion felt by Mr. Ayers disappears when he’s playing his music, your own mental confusion disappears when you are engaged in doing what you are meant to be doing. How does that happen for you? What brings you into the moment where you stop thinking about the economy, pandemics, global warming, the rent, or anything other than what you are doing? What makes you feel energized and vital? Is it gardening, cooking, flying an ultralight airplane, sky diving, playing with your kids, or is it a combination of things? Believe it or not, your life purpose and your encore career will be found in those things that make you feel fully alive and awake. You may or may not find your primary income. What you may find is fulfilling volunteer work, part time work, fun weekend or summer gigs or other seasonal work, or an internet business. At the very least, you will be led to a fuller and richer experience of who you truly are. And you never know. Inspiring work that emerges from your passion and pays you delightfully well is always a possibility. If you are reading this, then I believe you are at least curious about what could be possible for you. Being curious is a great way to start down the road to discovering your encore career. Allow yourself to dwell in curiosity without trying to force an answer. You might surprise yourself with what shows up. Below is a video about the real Mr Lopez and Mr Ayers portrayed in The Soloist. As you watch it and think about what you are seeing, consider that no matter where you are in your life or whatever circumstances you are facing, anything is possible as long as you don’t give up and you stay true to yourself. With a little bit of curiosity, you may even find yourself living into your life purpose.   ************************************************************************************************************************************** Ready to discover how you can create an encore career that aligns with your life purpose? Contact Coach Sue today at 949-212-4345 or [email protected] and learn about our Fresh Start Coaching Program.

How Do You Find or Create Your Self Expressed Work?

“Of all the questions I have asked my readers this is the most important: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? When you finally give wings to that answer then you have found your life’s purpose.”   ~  Shannon L. Alder I believe the path to self expressed work that aligns with your life purpose is rooted in what you love.  Here is an example from a story I read recently about a female executive who took a sabbatical from her high powered, high pressure job to create a pergola garden. She wasn’t very far into her sabbatical before she realized she no longer wanted to return to the high stress of her job. So she took a bunch of sticky notes and began designing a different future for herself that would allow her to escape the rat race. Her family and friends thought she was crazy, which might actually be a good indicator that she was on the right track. She learned to hybrid the daylilies she loves. In addition to starting a farm called Springwood Gardens, she’s a speaker who travels around the country talking about her life and her career transition from corporate into her “encore” career. Do you think she started out knowing she was on her way to creating a fresh start toward an “encore” career? Probably not. But by giving herself permission to do something she loved, she discovered who she is and what she is meant to do in the second act of her life. Have you been stopped by the idea that you must have all the answers before allowing yourself to create a fresh start? If you have, then maybe it’s time to take another  look. Do you ever dream about doing something other than what you are now doing? Have you put away your dreams because they aren’t “practical”? Do you feel resigned that “this is all there is”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider dusting off the dreams you’ve given up on and taking a fresh look at them. It’s not only possible, but it’s quite probable that your true calling, life purpose and destiny are hiding in there somewhere, just waiting for you seek them out. You’ll know when you’ve found them, because your passion fuse will ignite and you will be inspired to set your course to design and get started living your encore lifestyle. Who knows? You may just discover that your Fresh Start is closer than you think! ********************************************************************************************************************************** Dreaming about what a Fresh Start looks like for you? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” Coaching session.

The Two Primary Challenges of Life

“THE TWO PRIMARY challenges of life are to support yourself and to express yourself. When you support yourself you become an adult. When you express yourself you become a person. The ideal, of course, is to combine vocation and avocation, to derive your income from work that you love. In fact, most people seldom try to do this. They get sucked into unsatisfying jobs in order to appease their parents or pay the bills. Once trapped, they never escape—and never become what they might have been. This is why a job promotion can be a curse, and getting fired a blessing. A promotion will usually increase your responsibility and income but carry you along the same career path, which in many cases is not what you want. A firing, on the other hand, often reflects a deep unconscious desire to quit your job and start living your own life in a truly satisfying role.” – John Wareham, from The New Secrets of a Corporate Headhunter Wow! Does that resonate with you as much as it does with me? If you’ve been thrust smack-dab into a “forced” career transition, it’s not unusual if you feel “cursed” and wish you’d gotten the promotion “blessing” instead. Especially if you are looking into a future that seems to hold nothing but “Scare City” thoughts about how the heck you are going to pay the bills, keep a roof over your head, and hang onto your retirement funds. But I invite you to shift your focus and consider how getting laid off or fired might truly be a stroke of luck.  If you don’t love what you’ve been doing, where you’ve been doing it, or who you’ve been doing it with, your career transition is exactly what the Doctor (or Universe) ordered to help you escape the rat race. What if you thought of this as your opportunity to transform your career from one that supports you to survive into one that allows you to express yourself creatively? What if you thought of designing a “second act” or “encore” career that calls you to finally follow your heartsong and live a life of passion and purpose? What might be possible for you from that perspective? What if you considered that this is the grandest time in history to pursue the Encore Career you dream of…one that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck ™? Get started exploring by scheduling a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session. Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or fill out the Contact Form.

What the Heck is a Corporate Rat Anyway?

  “It’s not natural; it’s not right. We weren’t made to be in the rat race. Not even rats were made to be in the rat race.” ~ Tal Ben-Shahar Not too long ago, something funny happened as it often does when one makes an assumption. Someone challenged my assumption about what it is to be a Corporate Rat. He said that no one really understands what a Corporate Rat is. That’s crazy, I thought. Everyone knows what a Corporate Rat is. So I went on a quest to find a definition. To my surprise, it’s not in the dictionary. And my online inquiries led me to a now defunct blog. That got me to wondering – do people THINK they know what a Corporate Rat is or do they really not have a clue? Or worse, am I living in some sort of weird bubble? To find out, I spent a couple of weeks asking my current and former corporate friends and associates the question, “What the heck is a Corporate Rat anyway?” And much to my relief…they knew…they ALL knew! So if you haven’t got a clue, you probably aren’t a Corporate Rat. And if you DO know what one is, then you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re not sure, hang around. I think you’ll figure it out. **************************************************************************************************************************************** Being caught like a rat in a maze isn’t much fun. Maybe it’s time to consider creating an inspired Encore Career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck(tm)! Start exploring BEFORE you retire or get laid off and create an ENTRANCE strategy for your Second Act! Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]

Take the First Step to Escape the Rat Race

A rat race is a term used for an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit. … The rat race is a term often used to describe work, particularly excessive work; in general terms, if one works too much, one is in the rat race. This terminology contains implications that many people see work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose.” ~ Wikipedia Okay, so you have finally poked your nose out of your cubicle and sniffed the winds of change.  And now you stand on the Threshold of a Dream (paws up, Moody Blues fans). A wise-acre – okay, wise man – named Confucius once noted that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  What he forgot to mention was the preparation that goes on BEFORE taking that first step to escaping the rat race – the agonizing, the planning, and dealing with the FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts). This blog is designed to assist you in the process of escaping the rat race to create a fulfilling Encore Career. It is meant to help you focus on the journey and to prepare you for the road ahead. The intention is to transform your FUDs into something exciting and fun. So fasten your seatbelts and join us as we caravan together to our various destinations.  Learn about the obstacles others have faced on their journeys to an exciting Second Act!.  Draw encouragement from their experiences, setbacks and triumphs, feel the excitement that pervades our expedition, and of course, feel free to share your own thoughts with your fellow travelers. Along the way, I’ll share what I’ve learned on my own journey of escaping the rat race to design my Encore Career and a lifestyle. You are encouraged to share your journey with your fellow travelers from wherever you are on the path toward finding fulfilling and playful work that serves your highest and best calling and life purpose…and oh yeah…earns you a paycheck! I look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. I want to learn about your career transitions and/or what you are thinking about in terms of creating what’s termed as an Encore Career. *************************************************************************************************************************************** Welcome to a future without limits! Now’s YOUR time! Begin exploring your options and opportunities for a future that lights you up! Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 for a complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session or email [email protected]