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Dilemmas Faced by Every Solopreneur (+ How to Overcome Them)

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
solopreneur

How do successful solopreneurs and entrepreneurs get through the challenges that come with pursuing their passion?

At some point in our lives, we’ve all done the 9-5 daily grind.  You know the one,  feeling like a hamster in the cage.  Work, eat, sleep, rinse, repeat. Hundreds of hours wasted on the commute. We’ve met other’s expectations and spent 1/3 of our woken hours meeting their deadlines.   All while pushing our dreams aside. 

In the end, you feel no sense of ownership and suffer from disillusionment. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  If you have any honed sense of drive and determination, you have probably already realized that the internet has opened a world of opportunity: This is an age of entrepreneurship.

solopreneur

Being a solopreneur is an exciting prospect. Who doesn’t dream of being their boss? To start with, you can come and go as you please and take vacations whenever you want.  And yet, while there’s work to be done, you’ll be sitting on a beautiful beach working from your laptop.  Right?

Maybe.  But, probably not.  At least, not for a long time.  The old saying goes, “ with great freedom comes great responsibility.”

Thank the internet that we have access to markets around the world. As a direct result, inventive minds have created products and services unthinkable just a few decades ago. For instance, eCommerce and online freelance consultancies have popped up everywhere.   Granted, there are still massive untapped markets, yet it is impossible to eliminate the challenges driven entrepreneurs and solopreneurs face.   

By that same token, the internet isn’t just an avenue to new markets: it’s also a repository of help. That’s where we come in. Just because you call yourself a solopreneur doesn’t mean you have to jump through these hoops alone.  Nor should you! 

What are the challenges Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs often face?  

#1: Confidence: Taking the plunge

Indeed the key to being a successful solopreneur is transforming possibility into reality.

At first, the sheer volume of tasks and things to learn can be overwhelming. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to experience anxiety and overwhelm.  What first seemed like a simple yet great idea now seems beyond daunting. In time, you might even lose sight of the end goal.

Or you might get stuck in a comfort zone, feeling like you’re just treading water.  For months or even years, you’ve hated your job. Nevertheless, it pays the bills, and you’re not comfortable taking the plunge and following your passion.  For instance, you’ve put up your website, and it’s been a hobby for a long, long time.  There aren’t enough hours in the day to give it more attention, and you wonder if you had the opportunity to give it everything you’ve got it you wouldn’t kick-ass!! 

You have to dive deep if you are looking for pearls. Treading water means you’re going nowhere. Eventually, you sink.

But that’s the art of solopreneurship: taking the plunge.

solopreneur

Overcoming the challenge

What’s crushing you is self-doubt.   You fear failure.   Self-limiting (damaging) beliefs have you convinced that if you fail, it’ll be catastrophic; that you’ll disappoint those you love if you don’t follow their dream for you; or that you’re just not good enough.  You can reprogram these old ideas that no longer serve your highest good.  Continuing to believe them is a choice that only you get to make. 

Similarly, there is a solution to diffusing overwhelm.  Solopreneurs start by setting SMART goals.  Consider what you’d like to accomplish in a year.   Next, think about what you have to do each month to get there.  From there, break it into weekly and then daily goals.  Next, prioritize a few tasks each day. From there, break tasks down to the smallest piece that you can accomplish in (about) an hour.

But ultimately, you need to take a chance.

‘…We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, the decisions we waited too long to make.’ Lewis Carroll.

#2 The solopreneur knows it’s lonely at the top

Going it alone gets downright lonely! Conversely, at your miserable 9-5, someone else made the tough calls and took the heat.  Now, it’s all on you to make the hard decisions, and you’re wearing all the hats.  As a solopreneur, chances are you are the admin, marketer, manager, and service provider all at once.  Once upon a time, things were delegated to others, but today, it is a thing of the past. Even if you can afford to pay others, there’s that fear that they aren’t going to do it right.   

Successful business people develop their habitats and customs. Unfortunately, this only isolates them further, exacerbating the feeling of loneliness and the crushing weight of responsibility.   It’s challenging to admit it, but there is freedom in knowing that no one knows everything or can do it alone.  Everyone needs help.

Overcoming the Challenge

If you have the means, create a dream team of people you can trust and rely on. Do the tasks that you are passionate about and do best.   These will energize you and bring you joy.   Likewise, have a dream team of passionate and good people at the tasks you are not.   It will prevent you from feeling like the life is being sucked right out of you.

At the very least, build a professional network.   Seek out groups of kindred spirits who are living their passions.    Even if they are in a different industry, the challenges are similar, and you will exchange support and ideas.  You may also consider hiring a business consultant (more on this later). They can help you flourish.

Delegation should never be a dirty word. Find the best people you can, ensure they share your mindset.  At the same time, don’t be afraid of new ideas. Everyone thought Steve Jobs was crazy and look at how he changed the world. You might be surprised to find that your collaborators do things even better.

#3 Successful solopreneurs experience growing pains

Yes, this is a beautiful problem to have but a problem, just the same.  Eventually, being able to scale your business can be the make or break of it.

When you are ready to expand, you face the challenge of who to hire. If you thought the job interview was terrifying as a candidate, please know it’s no party as an interviewer.  It starts with sifting through dozens of resumes. Then you try to weed out the unqualified.  At the same time, keep your eyes open for the overqualified.    During the interview, you’ll find several candidates over-embellished their resume and wasted your time.   Ideally,  there’s one or two you might hire.   Hopefully, one of them wants the job.  

Here lies the challenge: finding someone right for your business and the right skills and the right attitude.

Overcoming the Challenge

Be specific. When you know what you want, you’ll know it when you see it. It will also help you target the search, by homing in on critical areas where prospective candidates can be found.  Finally, be clear on the skills and characteristics that are crucial and the ones that you can sacrifice if need be.

Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions (but make sure that you do not violate any legal parameters) Pay attention to how candidates answer, what they say, and what they don’t say.   Common yet insightful questions are: Will you stay long-term? “What value can you add?”How do you like to be managed?” and “What rewards would you want?”

The answers you receive will identify what kind of candidate they are and whether they are right.

#4 Managing time without letting it manage you.

With so much to do, you can struggle to know where to start. If you work from home, distractions are rife. But you can ill-afford to waste time: there are only so many hours in the day.

Rule of thumb: most things take longer than you think they will.  They typically cost more too.   Not always but often

With so many hats to wear, and tasks to learn, how do people manage?

Overcoming the Challenge

Excellent time management requires discipline, focus, and organization. If you waste time procrastinating on social media or playing games on your phone, not only will you get nothing done, you’ll beat yourself up about it later.  

Give yourself deadlines and set clear boundaries. This is when your list of daily goals (from #1) is crucial. Ultimately, deciding what needs to get done when and prioritizing which tasks are urgent and which can get done at a later date will save your mental and emotional health while bolstering efficiency.

Remember this essential question: Am I making the best use of my time?

solopreneur

Consider having a mentor.

Forbes Magazine, Inc.com, and TheLadders.com, all tout the benefits of working with professional coaches.   Some claim it is the single most profitable investment an entrepreneur or solopreneur can make.   Yes, it is an investment, but it can save you thousands of dollars and years of the learning curve

The Benefits of a Business Coach

Business coaches have years of experience and dozens, even hundreds, of prior clients.  Think of a business coach like a doctor. They can diagnose your problem and prescribe a solution.   They have seen it all and know what works and what doesn’t.   Experience has taught them which services are worth investing in (for example: hire an accountant or DIY with Quickbooks) and which ones aren’t.

Here are some key benefits to keep in mind:

  • Make better, smarter decisions.
  • Develop confidence
  • Gain a secondary perspective
  • Learn from other people’s mistakes and lessons.
  • Discover what you don’t know

Final thoughts

Being an entrepreneur or solopreneur can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.  It can also be one of the most distressing.   None of the challenges presented are insurmountable obstacles unless you give in to them.  The benefits will always be worth it. Remember: you get out of it what you put into it.  You have to do the work all by yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone! 

You might enjoy: Why are so people content with working 9-6? and What is the importance of passion in your life?

What makes a Mindset Shift?

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library
mindset

Change your mindset, change your world: A blog by Lea McCullough, Certified Life Coach

What is in a Mindset Shift?

And why do we seek it? As a mindset and clarity coach, I’m always curious about what my clients hope to achieve from seeking a mindset shift. Is it a new skill? A new focus in life? A new direction?

For me, I’ve needed to shift gears a few times in my life – and for the longest time, I did it without my own personal life coach. But once I leaned in, focused on me, and discovered a mentor, I became unstoppable. In my process, I realized that mindset shifts come with a few components, like a recipe in a kitchen. For example, sometimes you need a dash; sometimes, you need a whole heap of an ingredient.

6 components that create a growth mindset:

I’ve identified six components that work in tandem together that assist with creating new patterns of thought. They are…

  • CLARITY
  • COURAGE
  • DISCIPLINE
  • COACHING & MENTORSHIP
  • DESIRE
  • CHALLENGE

We seek mindset shifts when something feels out of balance, and your intuition suggests something needs to change. For instance, you wake up one morning and feel you can no longer continue to remain stuck in the place you are at – and to get where you want to go – you need to break the chains that are binding you to the present.

We nearly always know WHERE we want to go – it’s the path that becomes fuzzy and unclear. Other times, the path forward is so embodied in fear that we remain paralyzed in the present, unable to walk forward to your desired future. But you know the only way forward is to take that step.

Do you often do “impressively well” for weeks, only to end up losing motivation?

So, you puff up our chest, you set a goal, and you muster the courage to march with vigor towards the desired outcome. You do impressively well for a few weeks, and then you find yourself losing motivation, falling off your routine, and veering course from your goal. You ask yourself as you sit on the couch eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream feeling defeated, “Why do I always fall short of making shit happen in my life?”

First of all, it is vital to understand and accept this truth- You are NOT alone, and there IS a way. There is a solid formula to help you through.

Our minds are the most powerful muscle we have, and it’s all ours to use whatever we choose to do with it.

The mind can plan games, it can alert our inner critic to keep us playing small, and it can also be your own superpower. But one thing is known for a fact – ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE THE POWER OF YOUR MINDSET.

You own that choice.

A mindset is a grouping of assumptions we have that has been developed and learned over time, perhaps throughout our entire life. It’s like someone stuck you in 4th gear and left you there, not telling you there was a 5th, 6th, or 7th gear. These assumptions are so deeply ingrained in us we end up adopting prior behaviors and choices without ever second-guessing what could be possible.

So, if your mindset is a muscle that you can flex, then it can also get stronger. Just like your biceps and triceps, if you exercise them often, except your mindset can be exponentially more powerful.

CLARITY:

Your first step in gaining a new mindset is finding clarity. Clarity around what you want to achieve, what your value system is, and exactly what you hope to achieve by discovering a new mindset. Is it greater health? Improved habits? A new line of income? A validating and fulfilling line of work? A personal goal you’ve been thinking about achieving for years? Whatever it is, finding clarity on the END GOAL is a top priority.

COURAGE & DISCIPLINE:

So you’ve decided to make a shift. Our first thought is to hold this “outcome” close to our chest like we are playing a mean game of Texas Hold ‘Em, and our poker face is The Dead Sea. If this is you, I’m about to rattle your cage a little bit. Staying silent about this shift will not serve you well. It gives you an “out” when motivation starts to subside, and your voice of self-doubt starts to creep in. This voice reminds you of the safe place to stay. It rekindles the old assumptions and stories that have kept you playing small all these years. You need to roll past that.

mindset

Shifting your mindset takes tremendous courage, passion, and discipline. For 95% of us, you cannot do it alone. You must share out loud with passion the shift you desire. Saying it out loud is preaching it to the Universe. And once the Universe has ahold of your desire, anything is possible. It gives you accountability to at least ONE person. That one may just be enough to keep you moving forward. It could be your spouse, a family member, or someone you trust and admire. My recommendation is to share this with a trusted friend or even a life coach who has your best interests at heart.

COACHING & MENTORSHIP:

When it comes to making a mindset shift, it’s important to have someone in your court on your team rooting for you all the way.

A certified life coach that focuses on clarity, mindset, goals, and growth is very helpful in this context.

A good coach that you connect with will reflect your own thoughts and emotions to the point that they become crystal clear and allow you to find your path – “coaching” yourself to your own vision.

“Mentorship” is the process of sharing years of experience to offer a solution that aligns with the reflection of your goals. I believe you need both… Reflection and direction go hand in hand.

DESIRE AND CHALLENGE:

Having the desire to change and create a new mindset is certainly the start. But it’s just that… a start. Desire gets you to the starting line of a mindset shift.

But you must be ready to dig in and make meaningful change, and that is a challenge. The challenge is leaning into pain. Leaning in to the process of shifting patterns. Leaning in to the process of strengthening the muscle of the mind. You’re going to feel like an athlete training for a marathon. You will feel discomfort, frustration, fear, and sometimes even isolation. The challenge is pushing through it. You are elevating to a new space where bigger dreams happen, and new realities take shape.

To create the mindset shift, your desire to change has to be greater than the frustration of being stuck.

So, are you ready for the challenge?

Are you ready to lean in and do some amazing work that will lead to mindset shifts that last a lifetime? My passion is guiding others to a better place with easy steps. You deserve the fruits of your dreams. Having a life coach in your corner to break down the steps and outline your roadmap is the key to your success.

Change your mindset, change your world. Mindset shifts are truly magical.

mindset

Performance Coach and successful entrepreneur, Lea focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business, develop strategic marketing plans, and take flight in business. https://mcculloughcoaching.as.me/Goals

You may enjoy reading: What’s the Importance of Passion in Your Life?

What are the Problems a Life-coach Can Help Solve?

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Recovery, Relationships & Family
what problems can a life coach help solve

Coaches are not therapists, but what are the problems a life-coach can help solve?  

Who do you call when you have a broken pipe at home? Where do you go when you need a haircut? What if you were looking for legal advice? Would you ask a friend? A neighbor? Your spouse? Only if they happened to be a plumber, hairdresser, or lawyer, right? So why not enlist professional help to reach your life goals? It’s not always best to rely on families or friends to support us in achieving our dreams and goals, so where are we supposed to turn?

While hiring a coach may not seem like the obvious answer in ordinary life situations, here is a list of the problems a life coach can help solve.

There are areas in your life that you struggle with things like confidence, motivation, or procrastination.  

These concerns keep some of the most talented people from reaching their potential.  

However, you don’t have anything you need to “heal,” so seeing a therapist is not the right approach. This is one of the most frequent problems a life coach can help solve. Certified life-coaches are very forward-thinking and solutions-oriented.   

Personal life-coaches help their clients overcome limiting beliefs that interfere with making progress and set powerful goals to move forward. Undoubtedly, your coach actively works to boost your esteem, motivation, and commitment until you are ready to do it on your own.

Think about it: if you have to answer to a coach every week, wouldn’t you be less likely to put things off?   As a result, you feel more confident, which gives a natural boost to your motivation. 

 Read:  Lacking Confidence is Costing You: Time, Money, and Your Love Life

You know what the problem is, but you can’t figure out the solution.

Sometimes the most rewarding problem a life coach can help solve is making it easier for YOU to identify the solution.

problems a life-coach can help solve

Have you ever thought to yourself why success looks so easy for some people?  Surely, they are just lucky, right? NO, they aren’t!  They have struggles and challenges, just like everyone else!  On the other hand, what is different is they don’t fixate on what the problem is.  Instead, they direct their focus to what the solution is.  

Granted, sometimes it is hard to “see the trees for the forest,” and that is precisely where a coach can help you.  However, they aren’t going just to give you answers. In contrast, they will skillfully ask questions that get you to dig deep within yourself.    You have the inner wisdom to make the best decisions for you, and a coach will help you discover it! 

You don’t want to leave your comfort zone because you’re afraid of failure

Equally as commonplace is the fear of failure. In fact, it is the number-one obstacle people face when contemplating change.  For instance, coaches help clients work past the shame associated with perceived failures.  Meanwhile, they help to shift your perspective and view challenges positively instead of fearfully.  With these in mind, they help you break broad goals into small and achievable ones.  In the end, regardless of the outcome, you will go further than you would have on your own.

Read: 4 Fears that Cost You Money

You hate your job,  HUGE problem!   

problems a life coach can help solve

You live for Fridays, and by Sunday evening, you are starting to feel bummed.   On top of that, you wake up on Mondays feeling grouchy and imagine every possible scenario that might excuse you.  By the same token, you’ve thought about going back to school to learn something for a more rewarding career but have no idea where to start.  Who would you ask for help?  This is one of the most frequent problems a life-coach can help solve.

A career coach will help you identify career paths that are in line with your passion and strengths.  Also, they will help you craft a resume that will get seen; prepare for the interview, and negotiate salary once hired.  

In short, life goes by too fast to spend 1/3 of it in misery. Don’t let that be you.

Read: 10 Benefits of Career Coaching

A life-coach can help solve problems like breaking bad habits and developing good ones

All of us have tried to break bad habits and start new ones at some point in our lives.   Sometimes we have permanent success while others success was fleeting.  Health and wellness life coaches help clients break through the barriers that have kept them from achieving permanent and lasting results.   For example, these are some habits clients break and/or form with their coaches:    

  • Stop eating junk food
  • Start eating healthy
  • Quit smoking
  • Establish a solid work-out schedule
  • Become more organized
  • Practice better time-management
  • Incorporate meditation into a daily routine
  • Learn to be more positive and optimistic

and many more….

In order to achieve great results, a coach will help you identify your triggers and develop healthier responses to them. 

There are relationship problems a life coach can help solve too

Without a doubt, relationships are one of the most challenging parts of human existence. 

Maybe you are single but not loving it. 

 a life coach can help solve

Alternatively, you may be committed but looking to reignite the passion in your existing relationship.

Sometimes your relationships are stellar, but you want to up your game in navigating professional relationships more effectively.

These are precisely the things a relationship coach can help! 

Final thoughts

A life-coach can help solve many problems. Hiring a life coach may not be your default answer for any of the above, but if you stop to think about it, it makes total sense to seek the same personalized support to reach your life goals as you would to fix a broken pipe or have your teeth cleaned.  Becoming happy, resilient, and living with passion and purpose are only some of the gains you can expect from working with a certified coach.

Read: 6 Times You Should Hire a Life-coach

Read: If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time to Look Inside

Find a Job in the “New Normal”

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
find a job

Every one of us is ready to breathe a sigh of relief and live life with some sense of normalcy.  Unfortunately, for those who are left having to find a  job, the crisis isn’t entirely over.  The global pandemic has taken a toll on the physical and mental health of the world population. Still, it has also has dismantled the fundamental pillars of the economy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the number of jobs slashed as a direct result of COVID-19 is between 30 and 40 million.     Things are starting to look a little brighter as the economy slowly opens back up. However, there is still uncertainty if companies will begin to recruit new employees.  A common belief is that they might release even more of their existing workforce.

However, this is not reality.  So, instead of obsessing over the scarcity of jobs, try to look on the brighter side of the picture. According to expert economists, the best way to battle the looming recession is to adapt and adapt quickly.  That is great news as long as you are openminded and can think outside of the box. 

Here are some suggestions from our career coaches that will make finding a job a little easier and improve your chances of landing one.

First and foremost, stay realistic.

If you are currently employed, but you hate your job and are looking for a new opportunity, don’t do anything abrupt until you have a solid offer.   Instead, try and find ways to make your present job livable until you secure something better.   Sometimes a shift in perspective can completely change the way you feel.

find a job

Think of something you do enjoy doing and consider what makes that fun for you.  For example, I love to solve puzzles, but I strongly dislike accounting. When I do my books, I spend a few minutes getting myself in a better mindset by looking at Quick Books as one big puzzle.  Granted, it does not make it my favorite thing to do, but it does decrease the pain tremendously.  Conversely, the more I engage in thinking about what I don’t like, the more physical angst I feel, and it becomes unbearable.  Ultimately, for most people, having a job you don’t love is better than not having one at all.  Plus, if a company is indeed letting people go, a bad attitude will put you on the shortlist.   Keep in mind that present circumstances are somewhat temporary.  A positive attitude and a dose of gratitude will make it tolerable.

You may enjoy: I Hate My Job! Maybe it’s Time for Change or Gratitude for Happiness.

You might find a job, but it may not be your dream job.

If you are amongst the unemployed, we suggest spending some time getting clear about what you need versus what you want.  We are not saying you cannot find your dream job right now, but it could take some time.   Only you know if it is practical to hold out for what you want or to accept something that meets your needs for now.  Consider putting your skills to use and try freelancing on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.   These gigs are one you can do anytime and anywhere if you have an internet connection.

 You can turn anything into a positive if you are willing to see the upside of things.  On the positive side, you’ve bought yourself some time to polish your skills and resume.  Remember too that it is easier to find a job when you have a job. It will alleviate most of the panic and fear of rejection many job-seekers face.  For this reason, you will be more confident during interviews and confidence sells.  If nothing else, your next employer will be impressed that you’ve managed to keep yourself busy amid all the chaos.   

You may enjoy:  Lacking Confidence is Costing You: Time, Money, and Your Love Life.

If you don’t find a job right away, make the most out of free online resources.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and this dark haze known as the novel Coronavirus is no exception. In light of the situation, several renowned universities and institutions have made their resources free and accessible by people from every corner of the world. Grab as many of them as you can, but stick to the ones that are relevant to your field of pursuit. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone.  Firstly, it speaks to your level of ambition and eagerness to grow.  Secondly, you’ll be able to add new knowledge and/or skill to your resume.  You increase your chances of placing yourself ahead of your competitors.

Take advantage of online networking. 

Most employers advertise less than half of the jobs they hope to fill and hire though referrals instead.  Now that we work, socialize, learn, and shop online, it is vital to make the most of building social networks.  Hence, seek professional groups from your desired industry on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.  From there, gradually build your network by actively engaging in discussions. 

Namely, leave thought out and constructive comments on posts shared by both companies and professionals you hope to connect with. This is not a good time to be funny, snarky, or engage in debate.  Instead, keep your tone casual yet professional and stay on topic.  That way, you position yourself to demonstrate understanding and expertise.  Once you establish some rapport with new connections, it is acceptable to politely ask if they would forward your resume to their management. The same goes for former colleagues.  

You may enjoy: Use Your Professional Network for Job Success.

What if you found a job, and then the Coronavirus came along?

If you’re among those who knocked it out of the park in your February interview, all is not lost.  Maybe you haven’t heard back, or you got an offer only to have the opportunity evaporate with the crisis.  We know how frustrating and disappointing this must be, but don’t give up. 

find a job

Now that the economy is reopening, it is a great time to reach out to those potential employers. A short and concise email should be enough.  You want to present yourself professionally without coming off as needy.  Acknowledge the challenges they have faced and express your continued interest in the company. Reiterate the valued skills you bring and how they will benefit the company post-pandemic.  Even if they are not hiring just yet, it keeps your name fresh and lets them know you are sincerely interested.  

Stay Positive

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it can be overwhelming to find a job.  Don’t get discouraged. Need help staying focused? You can talk with up to 3 career coaches on us!  Your coach will help you focus your job search, write a resume that’s gets found by search engines, get ready for interviews, follow up effectively, and even negotiate appropriately.

All you have to do is register and fill out a short questionnaire.  There is no fee to join or obligation to hire a coach, but we ask that you are sincere in your inquiry.  What are you waiting for?

You may also enjoy: Gain Clarity and Find Focus

6 Times You Should Hire a Life Coach

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
hire a life coach

When is the best time to hire a Life Coach?

Studies on the effectiveness of life-coaching show that 99% of people who work with a coach have a positive experience. According to a survey conducted by The International Coaching Federation, nearly that same number finds it effective and reports they will work with a coach again in the future.

So when do people hire a life coach?

We have found that every great coach has a great coach. Here are the times great coaches will work with their coaches, and we suggest you do too:

1. You’re inspired but unsure “I’m gonna make this happen, but HOW do I make it happen?

You have a dream, a vision, and/or a goal. You’ve either tried and didn’t get there; started with excitement and enthusiasm, only to peter-out halfway through; or you simply do not know where to start. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, find the love of your life, make a total career switch, or build the business of your dreams, a great coach can help you overcome obstacles, strategize next steps, keep you accountable and motivated, and support you while you create your dream. They also can see your “blind-spot” and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

2. You wake up one day feeling blah and realize “Nothing is happening”

You’re simply stuck. Things aren’t bad but they aren’t great either. Nothing really excites you, and you’re just out of ideas. A personal life coach can help you uncover why you’re stuck, form a collaborative think-tank with you, and re energize your plans to start moving forward. They will help you reignite a passion for life and find your purpose, causing a whole new perspective will cause a total paradigm shift.

3. You’re overwhelmed and wonder “What the heck is happening?”

Sometimes in life, things are beyond our control, and nothing seems to go right or make sense. There are always things we cannot control, but the one piece we can control is ourselves. Sometimes the root is our own belief systems; others it is because we have changed while others haven’t, or have we just changed differently OR beliefs that worked in the past no longer serve us anymore. This is a great time to hire a life coach. Having a skilled and objective coach can help quickly identify any beliefs running in the background and raise your conscious awareness and make moving forward virtually effortless.

4. You’re so excited “Something wonderful happened

Yay for YOU! You started a new business, got promoted, married or had a baby; suddenly, you don’t recognize your life anymore because life as you knew it no longer exists. Change, even when it is fantastic, can throw us off-center. So many unexpected things come with change, even good ones. Your life coach can help you navigate this new beginning and support you in transition.

5. You’re in a good place but “Now what happens?

You just overcame a major obstacle and are out of the weeds, so to speak, Now what? Overcoming a crisis can be exhausting and leave us feeling empty and off-center. When things go from crisis-mode to maintenance, it’s not always easy to shift gears back into production. Fortunately for you, you are closer than you think! Hire a life coach, and they will help you figure out when your next steps can be. They will help you create that amazing life you’ve been dreaming about and support you through exciting elements that may be a little scary but in the most wonderful way

6. You’re not feeling up to par “Something Terrible happened

Ultimately, any time you want to take your life to the next level is a great time to hire a life coach. The most successful people are open-minded and willing to try new things. A coach will improve your self-awareness, help you stay focused, and access your greatest talents while keeping you motivated to go the distance. You can possibly do this on your own if you are super-disciplined and ambitious. However, you can do it so much quicker with motivation and accountability behind you.

Life is not always kind. Loved ones pass away, relationships end in heartbreak, healthy people succumb to illness, and jobs are lost. It can just really stink sometimes. I am so sorry if this is you.
Having a healthy support system is so important when life takes a turn. It’s not always easy to turn to friends in these situations. A coach allows it to be “all about you” by offering you their undivided attention, and compassion will enable you to process in a confidential and safe place. There are no shortcuts through the grieving process, but a good coach can help you find the path back to living happily and lighten the sadness and despair.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

You might like: What Problems Can a Life Coach Help Solve?

You might like: How to Obliterate Limiting Beliefs and Open Your Life up to New Possibilities
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Editors note: This post was originally published in July, 2019. It has been completely revised and refreshed.

5 Things an Effective Leader Does

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
effective leader
by Robbie K. Carlson, Life and Leadership Coach

If you strive to become an effective organizational leader, start with being the master of your own life. Where ever you are right now, it reflects the decisions you have made along the way. Each day we make decisions that align with our values, mission, and purpose. Therefore, those choices directly impact our relationships, finances, career growth, and health and wellness. Life gets challenging at times, but influential leaders don’t make excuses, they hold themselves accountable and take total responsibility for both their actions and the results. After spending over 25 years in a leadership role, I have witnessed the most powerful leaders’ common behaviors.

An effective leader is laser focused

Never lose sight of your personal, professional, and organizational goals. Of course, as an effective leader, you expect you to go above and beyond. “Good enough” is never enough, your bar is high, and you must excel. In order to do that, you must take care of yourself first. Only you can define what that means. However, for most total wellness includes taking care of body, mind, and soul. Eat well, get some exercise, practice meditation, or some form of mindfulness.

Research proves that these all have a profoundly positive impact on your ability to focus. For instance, even just 5 minutes of deep breathing can reduce stress and help you find a sense of calm that allows you to concentrate better. This can easily be done at your desk, between meetings, in the car, or at night if you’re having difficulty falling asleep. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m too busy”, the truth is you’re not. After all, everyone has the same set of 24 hours. It is a matter of priority. Make this practice a non-negotiable and part of your daily routine. As a result, you will be surprised at your ability to feel more in alignment with your day.

An influential leader builds strong relationships

An Influential leader is acutely aware of the value of developing solid relationships. With attention to communicating with their boss, direct reports, and key stakeholders, they seize opportunities to cultivate relationships. Correspondingly, they devote significant time, energy, and effort to develop and build relationships. Thus, it is one of the most valuable skills an effective leader can possess. Having strong relationships builds trust and credibility and is foundational to be an effective leader. From a business perspective, building strong relationships can be referred to as social capital.

Lead by example

As a leader, you are always on stage. People watch what you do more than what you say. In fact, in the first 3 seconds of entering a room, you have been sized up. Credible leaders demonstrate a high degree of integrity when their words and actions are in alignment with their intentions. Walk your talk, so you become a leader others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they create distrust. People follow those they trust.

Invest in yourself

Pursue continuing education to remain current with industry trends, read professional journals and books, attend conferences, and find a good mentor and/or coach to help you become your professional best. If there is a gap in any management competency area, be sure to 41 address that gap with the support of a mentor and/or coach. The right coach that has walked a similar path and has enjoyed career success can change your future trajectory and make a huge difference with your career.

An effective leader cultivates balance

It is fundamental to the quality of your life. In addition to your career, include dedicated time for health and well-being, family, friends, and recreation. Take time off from work on a regular basis, even if it feels like you can’t. If you put all your time and effort into your career and neglect the other areas of your life, you could be putting your health at risk and compromise relationships with the most important people in your life. If your job is eliminated one day, you might look back and wonder what all of that work was for and regret the important parts of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Much of our internal unrest as leaders can lead back to how well we live up to our personal values, mission and purpose. The old adage is true that all the magic happens right between our two ears. Our thoughts have immense power in how we show up and how we react to our environment and stressors. Becoming a more effective leader is well within your reach by focusing on what really drives you to be your personal and professional best.

Robbie Carlson
Life and Leadership Coach
www.RobbieKCarlson.com
Robbie@robbiekcarlson.com

Find a Job in the New Normal
Why Leaders Must Prioritize Health and Wellness

Editors note: Originally published September, 2019

Use Your Professional Network for Job Success

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
professional networking

In uncertain times like these, it is wise to maximize the use of your social and professional network to aid in a  job search.  A recent survey conducted on LinkedIn reveals that more than 80% of people found their job using networking effectively.

Whether it is your father, who helps you set up a connection with a top-rated company in the city or your friend, who opens the door to land a high-profile job in his uncle’s company, the best jobs are seldom listed in the classifieds. Sometimes we have vast professional networks through social platforms like LinkedIn,  yet other times we enlist the resources of specialized recruiters or career coaches to help us get a great job.  

Whether you’re unemployed and seeking a job or looking to make a total career change, your social interactions can pay dividends in these endeavors. 

The value of professional networking

Most people are aware of the importance of having a strong network in a job search, but very few people know how to do it well.

As per a recent survey, 50% of respondents agreed that they heard about new jobs via their connections, whereas only 37% learned about the new opportunities from advertisements.  

The key is to develop multiple contacts – family, alumni, neighbors, friends, colleagues in your industry, and other sectors, and then build solid relationships with them.

Before the pandemic, attending in-person professional networking events was vital.  The value of human interaction has not changed; only the modality we use to create it.  Events are still taking place, but they’re online.  If there’s an upside to staying home, it should be more convenient to attend as they’re happening wherever you and your computer are 😉.  Try to participate in a variety of events whenever you have time. 

Find groups and events

professional networking

If you don’t belong to any groups or you don’t know where these events are, try an online search for organizations related to your industry.   Also, you can browse apps like Meetup to broaden both your social and professional networks.  A popular group among professionals in various industries and worth checking out is Toast Masters.  

In the future, when social distancing regulations relax some, there will (hopefully) be live events that you can attend.  If you happen to be the reserved type, a great way to break the ice is to volunteer to get involved.   Why not offer to sit at the registration table? Then you get the opportunity to meet and greet all the participants and may find smart ways to start a healthy conversation and bump up your communication skills.

Have a networking plan

Get the best return for your investment of time in attending networking events.  Have a specific goal in mind when you attend.   Are you there just to gather information and learn?  If so, write down a list of questions before hand so you can get them answered.   If your goal is to talk to people in a chosen industry, decide on the number of people you are setting out to connect.  Let’s say you decide on five.  Set your intention to get the names and contact information for a minimum of five people; it’s always okay to get more.   You could also set a goal to give your contact information to at least five different people too. It is amazing to learn that many other participants share common goals with you. Try engaging with them by sharing your business cards or email details.

Be prepared

 Plan your “elevator speech” in advance so that you can make a great first impression and get your point across quickly.  Time is money, and everyone is there for a reason.  When it comes to anything business related, best practice is concise and to the point. In short, don’t attend an event aimlessly, have a strategy in place from the start.

Real professional networking happens after the event

Too often, job seekers do not “work” their network proactively. They get names and numbers, but they don’t follow up, or they don’t follow up enough. These relationships take time and consistency.  It’s hard to reach out to someone you haven’t connected with for months or years.  Commit to making monthly contact.  Contact doesn’t have to be extensive; a short and sweet email or message on social media is enough.   If you don’t know what to say, offer your help to them. No one gets offended by a no-strings-attached shout out.  Reach out to all of your contacts about your job search.  Of course, if you need to be discreet about it, choose wisely; the point is to be polite yet assertive.   Your will impress your contacts with your energy, and you might be delighted to know how each one of them can give some valuable input.

Consider every social gathering an opportunity.  There certainly are fewer face-to-face gatherings now, so take advantage of online meetings and get-togethers. Opportunities can exist anywhere; it’s you who needs to stay active enough to identify them.

You may like: 100 Best Jobs
professional networking

Professional networking will help your boat to sail in the right direction.  Make sure you create an inventory of accomplishments and work history that you can share with relevant contacts when the opportunities present themselves.  

Stay aware, stay active, and position yourself strategically to land that dream job.  

If you’re looking for new ways to be proactive about your career, we invite you to talk to up to 3 experienced career coaches on us!   Our coaches are experts at helping people like you plan smart careers that are rewarding and fulfilling.  It’s free to register, and there is no obligation.  

I Hate My Job!

Best Tips for Working from Home

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
tips for working from home

Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, working from home has become a necessity.  What are the best tips for working from home during the coronavirus outbreak?

For most of us, working from home translates crawling out of bed in our “business PJs,” making our way to the coffeepot, then either to the home office or just the kitchen table to fire up the laptop!  Voila! We are at work.

No commute, no dressing up, and no formalities of the workplace. It sounds too good to be true! However, what seemed like a dream come true for many has quickly turned into a nightmare.

tips for working from home

Turns out, working from home every day, week after week, is not as wonderful as we thought.   We envisioned the freedom of being able to work and attend to personal matters as a luxury.  However, in reality, we discover the constant distractions;  kids, pets, household chores, social media, tv, are tough to balance.  Then there’s the added layer of learning “how” to work from home, manage zoom calls, new cybersecurity protocols, the forfeiture of face-to-face support, and guidance;  it can quickly become overwhelming for the best of us. Becoming stressed is understandable.

But, staying stressed is optional.  You don’t have to worry! We researched what the experts have to say and have some great work from home strategies that can help you perform your best and stay sane while you cope with the pressures of maintaining a “new normal” work-life balance.

Here are the best tips for working from home during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond

Read: Isn’t It Time to Get Off the Hamster Wheel?

Create the right mental space.

Stay informed but don’t get obsessed.

This is a crazy time for everyone right now.  However, it does not mean you have to lose your sanity. Do not focus on the tabloid news or get coronavirus updates 24/7, and for the love of God, do not focus on the political circus going on.  No leader or citizen in the world was ready for this, and the truth is we are ALL doing the best we can.   It may appear some are doing better than others, but at the end of the day judging others, comparing ourselves to them, and wallowing in the negativity of “could have” “should have” and “would have”  only robs you of any sense of peace.

This tip for working from home will help you have a happier and more useful experience. Surround yourself with your loved ones, and focus on what is positive.    Cultivate a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be with them.  It’s all a matter of perspective.   If you have kids or other dependents in the house,  stay positive for them so that they feel hopeful. A friendly, loving atmosphere in your home will pave the way for a peaceful workspace.

You need to have a foundation. 

So, the first thing is to build a solid routine that helps you optimize your life, not only your work. Just because the world is closed, it doesn’t mean life stops.  If you have children, the same goes for them.   They are facing their own set of challenges right now and depend on you for a sense of stability and consistency in their lives. 

Keep a sense of normalcy and stability.

Another powerful tip for working from home is to keep some semblance of life as you knew it before the pandemic.

It is too easy to get into bad sleep habits right now.   How easily we can rationalize staying up late knowing we can sleep late.  It’s a slippery slope and one that only sets you up for misery later.  Go to bed at the same time you would on a routine workday. Wake up just as early as you would on any weekday. 

Find a way to create that same sense of urgency you had before the world closed.   Eat breakfast or get a bit of coffee in your system to nudge those brain cells out of sleep.  Get dressed.   It doesn’t have to be a business suit but put on real clothes.   Get ready for a video call with your boss!  Even if you don’t have one, suiting up is part of showing up, and you’ll feel prepared to take it on if you are not in your “business PJ’s.”   

The first two hours of your morning will impact how you work for the rest of the day.  Make them count.

Create the right physical space

The modern work environment consists of cubicles.  They are set up to get you to focus on the tasks at hand automatically.   If you can, create a small ‘office’ space in the house. You don’t need anything fancy.  All you need is a quiet but well-lit room with a desk or table and comfortable cushioned chair keeping in mind the long hours of video conferences ahead.  

A smart work from home strategy is to make this place as “off-limits” to others as you can.   This may feel selfish to some, and in some ways, it is. If it is, then barring emergencies, permit yourself to be selfish.  The most creative and successful people often seclude themselves and allow no interruptions.   Selfish or not, that’s how they get it done!   If you were actually at work, you would not be available to others anyways, so minimize how much you allow others to enter your space.

Preparation is the key to success.

Now that you have started to treat this whole situation like a real job, the next skill to home in on is those remote-communication skills. Thankfully, with tons of options such as zoom, SKYPE, or Slack, staying connected is a matter of a couple of left-clicks and boom, the face-to-face meeting is on.

best tips for working from home

 If these are new to you, do not fret.  Most programs are relatively simple to learn.  The key to success here is simply to take the time to get familiar with the features of whatever program you’re using before the meeting.   You do not want to be the one stuck trying to fix your screen or how to mute/unmute as the meeting continues. These are your tools, and you need to master them.

Make sure your bedroom or even worse, your bathroom, is not view or an earshot.  You don’t want to be the one with the toilet flushing in the background during a strategy meeting. Be aware of what’s in the background.  Find a neutral setting and make sure your mic and headphones work perfectly.   Sometimes there are delays in the connection, so be patient if responses are slow or if you are asked to repeat yourself.   Everyone is in the same boat, so mutual respect and courtesy are key.

Stay Organized.

It can be hard to create a system that works as well at home as it did in the office, but you want to set yourself up for success.  The trick is to learn to work smarter, not harder. Studies have shown a neat and organized work environment has a significant impact on our productivity.   It also impacts confidence and motivation.  

Productivity at home depends on staying organized.  Otherwise, it can take you all day to complete what you would typically hammer out in a few hours.  

Get your thoughts in order before beginning to work and take a few minutes sorting things out when you are done.  The extra 10-20 minutes of preparation will save you hours of “winging it”. Try to keep your workspace tidy.

Time Management

One of the hardest things to achieve, but a critical component of working from home, is time management.  This can easily be the #1 key to successfully working from home.

best tips for working from home

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Work for 45 minutes then check your social media.
  • Finish a meeting then raid the kitchen
  • Lunchtime comes, you turn on the TV and end up watching 4 episodes of Ozark.
  • You go to get the mail, the next thing you know you’re watering plants and pulling weeds.
  • You realize its 4:00, and you’ve got little accomplished, so you either put it off until tomorrow or end up working until 10:00 pm instead?  
  • ANY other distraction that interferes with your productivity or gives some lame excuse to procrastinate comes up and oops, there you go again?

The good news is you’re not alone.   The bad news is, your boss doesn’t care if you’re alone or not, they want the work done, done right, and done on time.    

Don’t get me wrong; we all get carried away at times! We indulge in checking our Facebook Feeds or watching that funny cat video our cousin sent. Heck, most of us do that AT WORK.  However, the goal is to manage your time like you would at work.

Make a schedule for yourself

Start by writing down everything you need to get done for the day.   Estimate how long it should take you.    If you’re like me, everything takes longer than you think it will.   That may not be the case with you; just be honest with yourself when planning it out. Decide which tasks are the most urgent and get them on the schedule.  It doesn’t mean they have to be done first thing, just get them planned so that you don’t get carried away with things that can wait.   Plan breaks, lunch, and give yourself a quit time.  

tips for working from home
Plan your day and stick to your plan!

If you’re in a slump, do things that you can finish quickly first.   Being able to cross things off the “to do” list is a great motivator as you’ll feel successful, which will boost your energy.   

Turn your phone off unless you are actively using it for work.  At the very least, let personal calls go to voice mail.   You are “at work.”

Stay healthy and safe

This may not sound like a tip for working at home, but it is.  First and foremost, your immune system depends on it.   In addition to that, your mental health does too.   Lack of exercise, dehydration, and insulin spikes created by excessive sugars and simple carbohydrates will negatively affect your concentration and energy.  Translation, you can’t do your best work if you slack off on basic health practices.  

Move

Don’t let yourself sit all day just because the gyms are all closed, and you’re not even walking to the copy machine anymore.   Outdoors is still open, and you can still go for a walk.  If that’s not your thing,  throw on a YouTube video.  Thousands of them will guide you through 2 to 200 minute exercise program.  At the very least, get up and walk around your home for 2 minutes once every hour. 

tips for working from home
Stretch

Leaning over a computer all day (regardless of where) isn’t the best posture and can quickly lead to severe neck and back pains or headaches.   What fun is any of those?

Hydrate

Drink water, 6-8 glasses of it.  More if you like to drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.   It will balance your mood, improve your cognitive functions, and increase your memory. 

Eat Well

It is easy to get into all of the comfort foods.  When the stay at home orders first hit, it felt like there was a storm coming, and we were all just hunkering down for a few days. For many, that food festival.   Coronavirus is indeed like a storm that we are all waiting for to pass, but going into week 8, it’s a bit long to be indulging in what I call comfort food.   Just remember: junk food doesn’t fix anything; it’s not entertainment; it doesn’t really relieve stress, and it certainly won’t make you head clearer or give you lasting energy.     

Read: 12 Tips to Stay Healthy While Working from Home

Socially distance but do not emotionally distance

Stay connected with loved ones

Humans are social animals, and self-isolation does not come naturally to most of us. After work hours, take time to call your friends, family, or other loved ones.  If you live with a big family, make sure that everyone in the house has dinner together and can enjoy movie nights over the weekends.  The idea is to stay as connected as possible. The benefit?  When you start working tomorrow, you’ll feel recharged and fresh.  A little bit of digital socializing can go a long way.

Read: How NOT to practice emotional distancing while social distancing.

Final thoughts

Working from home may well be the new normal, even beyond recovery from the pandemic.    There are pros and cons for both companies and employees when the workforce is remote.  With a little self-discipline and proper planning, you can be efficient and productive professionally while enjoying a free and balanced life-style.   If managing the change is too challenging for you, don’t beat yourself up over it.  No one expects you to know how to navigate this intuitively.  It takes a plan, some practice, and a learning curve.  Reading dozens of articles offering tips on working from home may not be enough. Don’t go it alone! Reach out to colleagues or managers at work for guidance.   If you’d like more personal support, a coach can help you get up and running so that you meet your goals in all areas of your life.

How People Who Don’t Stress Cope with Worrying

5 Essential Steps to Success

Career & Business, Personal Growth
essential steps to success

First, lets define success. It is getting rich?  Finding the love of your life?  Reaching a goal? There are many definitions of the word. However, there is one common theme and that is clearly defining what it is you want and then being proactive to get it. So, what are the steps to success?

Here are  5 essential steps to find success:

 

Be True to Yourself

No matter what your definition of the word is, the first step to achieving success is to make sure your goals are in line with your values and not someone else’s.    Ask yourself what do you truly want? Then, pay attention to your inner self and notice if you start telling yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” want something.   That’s a red flag that it’s someone else’s goal and not yours. 

As long as you are clear on what you really want, notice your self-talk.   Are you telling yourself you can’t do it or it’s not possible?   Question the validity of those  beliefs.   Are they true and do they serve you? Or are the self-limiting beliefs based on fear or lack of confidence that are getting in the way of pursuing your own happiness.

Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm.   Someone had to assemble the first rock-band.  If they didn’t, we’d still be listening to classical music.  People thought Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both crazy and they have revolutionized how the world lives.  You may be nervous about your ideas but meet your fear with confidence and courage and you’ll be amazed at what unfolds once you start. 

Create a vision 

The next step towards success is to think about all areas of your life.   For most people, the list includes things such as family, career, health, personal growth, spirituality, and finances.  Think about where you’d like to be in all areas of life a year from today.

how to create a vision

Having a vision is only the start.  A vision means nothing if not followed by action.  Too many people focus on the end-goal without giving serious thought about what they need to do and who they need to be to get there.   

For each part of your life, set one meaningful goal that will have the greatest impact.  Prioritize which goals are most important to you.    If your goals are set for one year, think about what needs to happen in one month to get there.  Then break down what needs to happen in one week to achieve your monthly goals.  The words best goal setting modal is  the SMART goal strategy.   The more specific your goals and strategy are the greater your chances of success are. 

Exercise self-discipline  

One of the most critical parts of staying motivated through the ups and downs of everyday life is remembering WHY you want something.   Reaching the goal itself is not what you’re really after, it’s the impact that it will have on your life that is what you are really chasing.    

As you plan your day (s), make goal oriented decisions.   There is no single action that will have a profound effect finding success.   Success comes from hundreds of tiny actions, repeated consistently over time.    Learn how to be selfish with your time.    Figure out how to eliminate distractions and accept that there will be times when you just have to say “no” to others so that you can stay focused.  Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to actualize your dream and learn how to ask for help and delegate tasks when needed.

Focus on your strengths.  In many cases, the biggest mistake people make is spending too much time trying to improve on their weaknesses.  Instead, find someone who is strong where you are weak and get better at what you are naturally good at.   It’s far sweeter to be great at one thing than mediocre at five. 

Be ready to deal with change

how to deal with change

The road to success is not lined with unicorns and cotton-candy.  Therefore, things are not always going to go according to your plan.   One of the most important steps to success is to be adaptable and resilient. Don’t let the unexpected knock you down or deflate your enthusiasm, just deal with it.  As we are all acutely aware, the world is in constant flux and there is so little we can do about it.   With this in mind, remember the only part we can control is our responses to each circumstance.   Persevere and be resilient and adaptive.   Whenever there is a problem, a solution exists somewhere.  Learn how to find solutions.  Turn problems into games and you’ll relieve yourself of unnecessary stress and angst.   Believe that some of the best things come from some of the worst things and look for the positives. 

If it feels like failure, remember that these are life’s learning opportunities.  No one is wildly successful on their first attempt at anything.  Therefore, even the best can only hope to learn, adjust, and carry on.  If you can’t figure out what went wrong or what the next step is, ask someone who has been successful.  

Stay open-minded

Finally, don’t feel like you have to go it alone! Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stick with a plan or to change your strategy and try something else.   The key is to be deeply honest with yourself and ask yourself empowering questions.  

Here are a few examples:

                        Is there another way to look at this?

                        Is there a better way to do this?

                        Am I afraid?  If so, what of?   How can I overcome it?

                        What did I learn?  How will I adjust?    

As a result of answering these questions, you will deepen your understanding of what is happening so that you can invest your energy in what is working avoid burnout. 

Ask for help!

Have a support system. No one gets a gold medal for doing things all by themselves and most people who are successful have teams of people that have helped them get there.  With this in mind, try to surround yourself with positive minded people.   Look for people who have what you want and find out how they got there.  Sometimes friends and family mean well, but even if they are well-intentioned, they aren’t always the best allies for us to move forward.  They love you and don’t won’t to hurt your feelings, and as a result, may not give you honest feedback that is needed.

8 Mindsets That Will Set You on the Path to Success

You’ll go much further when you collaborate with others. You’ll likely have different strengths and weaknesses and can help each other.  Someone who is objective is better able to see your “blind spots” and help you gain a fresh perspective on things.   They’ll help you brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles and they are able to hold you accountable.  Because of that, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes or excuses along the way.  These are the things that life-coaches are professionals at doing.

What is your top goal right now?    What is your plan?   Can you get there on your own? Time and repetition are the key.   In the long run, all of the small steps today eventually become something massive in the future.   

6 Steps to Achieve Financial Security

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Take Control of Your Life: Think Positive & Overcome Your Fears

Career & Business, Health & Wellness
overcome fear

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

FEAR: F#@% Everything And Run

We all have fears.   Each and every one of us.  Some fears are good and healthy to have.   It is wise not to put your hand in a fire because you’re afraid of getting burned.  It’s a little much to avoid lighting candles at dinner because they are a fire hazard.  The difference is the level at which fear dictates how one lives.

What separates those who seem to have bulletproof confidence, and are those who over-react?   The thoughts behind the fear and the meaning that is attached to them.

Take, for example, someone who hates their job but won’t change.  

The underlying fears might be:  being too old, not being good enough to do something else, disappointing someone else, giving up the illusion of security for the unknown. 

Underneath those fears are still more fears and lies.

“ My friend was 50 and changed jobs, and she was the talk for months.   No one expected her to succeed.   She almost lost her marriage; her husband was furious.”

And so on.

A confident person also has anxious feelings about a change.  Their thinking is more like:

“OK, I’m 50, but I could be working for a minimum of 15 more years.  

If I love it, I might do it till I’m 80

They either don’t care what other people think, or they consider what others will say but know that those worthy of their friendship will support them, and those who don’t aren’t.  They understand there will be an adjustment with their relationship, but they work it out with their spouse and find a way to prioritize tasks and get it done.

One person spends another 15 years surviving, and the other creates a life they love.

That is what separates the two scenarios above.   

Check it out: Crush Self-Doubt and build Super-Confidence, a workbook.

The core of fear

At the core of fears that do not serve us and yet have control in ones, life is a negative thought pattern. That negativity is likely not even conscious, making it harder to manage and move past.

Thinking positive will take some commitment and practice, but you can turn irrational fears around if you are willing to make a conscious effort to be better.  When you get better at focusing on your strengths more than your shortcomings you gain confidence; when you expect the best outcome more than the worst, you gain motivation; and when you chose to act in the face of fear instead of allowing it to dictate your life, you gain courage.   All of these lead to a life of greater peace and happiness. 

The tips below are not necessarily easy, but they are simple, practical suggestions that you can use to develop more positive thinking patterns.  When you change the way you think, you will be able to take control during times of fear and be more productive and successful in reaching your goals.

Take care of yourself first.  

Taking control of your life requires a strong baseline.  Make sure your basic needs are met. It’s hard to have clarity and focus when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.   Eat well, get enough exercise, make sure you have healthy social interaction, and get enough sleep.

Look at the fears behind the fears; they tell you more about yourself than the “surface layer” thoughts.  To gain this insight, you’ll have to slow yourself down and find a way to dig below the surface or conscious thoughts.   If you’re not sure how to do this, here are a couple of suggestions.

Identify what you are really afraid of.

  • Talk it out with a trusted friend or mentor.   Try and uncover your “why’s”.   Why are you afraid to (for ex:) change jobs?   Why do you believe you’re too old to?   Why does that matter?   And so on.   If you can do this 3-5 times, you should be able to uncover a more deep-seated, core level fear.  
  • Try quiet mindfulness or meditation.   Sometimes when we try and sit quietly, the thoughts come racing fast and furious.    Notice those thoughts.    Think of what your heart’s desire genuinely is and pretend you already have it.   Chances are your knee jerk reaction will be all of the reasons that it is not possible.   PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE THOUGHTS, they are clues to your core fears. 
  • Grab a pen and paper and start writing.  Don’t try and censor your thoughts; no one is going to read this.  Just start writing about what you want and what stops you from getting it.   Similar to meditation, the underlying blockages are likely to present themselves.   Write anything that comes to mind, regardless of what it is.   After about 15-20 minutes, go back and read it.   You’ve probably got some new self-awareness on the paper. 

Crush your Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s)

Famous author and mental health expert Dr. Daniel Amen describes ANTs as the unconscious thoughts that bring you down.

Ask yourself: Is this really true? Maybe it was true in the past, but is it still true today?  Do you know someone who defies this?    What do you really have to lose if you try and things don’t go exactly as planned?    Has catastrophe ever really entered your life because you took a chance on your goals?

Everyone has fear, but successful people feel the fear and do it anyway.   A great book by that title, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers offers excellent ideas to overcome crippling fears. 

Remember, negative thoughts only have as much power that you give them.  When you recognize them, don’t give them credence.   Try to detach from them and replace them with something empowering.     One way to diffuse their strength is to laugh them off.   If you notice yourself thinking “I’m not smart enough to be a _________ (dream job)”  instead of believing that lie, laugh at the fact that some small, childish part of you is silly even to think that, but there is a stronger, healthier part of you that is wise enough to know the truth and simply dismiss it.   Move on to something else so that you don’t continue the story in your head.

Thwart fear with an attitude of gratitude.  

When you focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t, stress and fear are deflated.   Take a few moments throughout the day to notice the things you do have, the things you’re doing great, the people who you support, and support you.   The positive feelings that come from gratitude will crush the negativity that fear generates. 

 Create a new story.    

Don’t get analysis paralysis, but consider different outcomes.  Sometimes fears take over, and we start practicing terror, imagining all kinds of unlikely events.  Thinking about the “worst-case scenario”  is helps some people muster the courage to take the plunge, but we find two flaws in this strategy.   First of all, it often cripples action, and it rarely comes to pass.  Second, it is based in negativity, and negative thoughts lead to more negative thoughts.   Try thinking about the best-case scenario.   The ultimate may not come to pass either, but positive thoughts lead to more positive thoughts, and you’ll still go farther than you would otherwise go.  Think about what it means to be successful.  Who do you need to be to get there?  What do you need to do to make it happen?   What supports do you have in place?  

Take Action!   

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.    Nothing great will ever come from a comfort zone.   Reading books, watching videos, writing journals are all great ways to learn about yourself and what to do, but they mean absolutely NOTHING if you don’t take action.    Changing your thoughts and behaviors is a process, and miracles won’t happen overnight. However, if you start now, and push yourself just a little bit every day, in a month, you’ll see a difference, and in 6 months you’ll be amazed.  A year from now, you might just have a brand new life!! 

Now, try this on for size     FEAR: FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE

If you ready to take control of your life and believe you’ll go further with support than on your own, why not try working with a professional Life-Coach?   Life Coach Library makes it convenient to find the best coach for you, and the process is risk-free!

Ring Ring Your Life is Calling: find your true calling in life

Career & Business, Personal Growth
stop procrastination

Realize it or not, we all experience a sense of passion and purpose at some time in our lives. Think back to when you were a child and had an unfiltered interest in a game or toy.  Maybe you played a musical instrument or lost yourself in arts and crafts.  

Finding a passionate purpose in your adult life is not so different from this.  We resonate with a vision of possibility.  It may start seemingly ordinary, but as we lean into it, the possibilities seem endless, and it takes on a life of its own. The clearer we can see the vision, the more doors to new opportunities appear, and our vision becomes deeply meaningful. 

Living authentically frees you to turn possibility into reality. 

Are you living in line with your authentic self?  Do you do what is meaningful and inspiring to you? Are you achieving the results you want in your life? Do you feel fully alive? How much do you wholeheartedly engage and enjoy each moment, no matter where you are or what you are doing?   How you live one day is how you live your life. The answers to these probing questions define it.

You’ll have more confidence and self-respect; you’ll feel better knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a true and accurate measure; you’ll be more optimistic and be ready to forward, even if you’ve felt stuck in the past.

When you ignite your passion, you procrastinate less and have more drive; your relationships will improve because you being the best version of you. 

Uncover your true passion and purpose

It starts with a vision.

Allow yourself some time to quiet the mind and slow down the chaos of everyday life.  Ask yourself: What do I want? What makes me happy? What am I passionate about? Don’t filter your answers.  The answers you seek exist inside of you if you’re willing to listen.  It can take time, so don’t try and hurry the process.

Pay attention to shifts in your thought process.


You’ll start to notice your mental energy flowing towards unraveling what it is that you truly are meant to be or do.  You’ll be amazed as you begin to attract the elements that resonate with your calling.  It will be as if life is calling you on your own personal telephone, you just need to answer the phone. 

As ideas come to you, imagine that you are already living your ideal life.   Close your eyes and as if you are watching a movie starring yourself, fill in all the details with vibrant color; hear the sounds of success; feel the satisfaction and joy that comes with it.
 

It takes consistent vigilance

To manifest situations that provide the opportunities you desire, you must maintain focus on the end-goal.  Spend time each day doing even the smallest thing that is consistent with someone who already has or is what they desire.   Be selfish with your time and not get distracted, even if only for 15 minutes. Make this time yours without negotiation and be willing to repeat it again and again.

Ask for Help

You will always have to do “it” yourself, but you never have to do it alone.  Find a trusted confidante to run your ideas by.  Try to find someone who will support you without judgment.  That someone should also be living in line with their true passion and purpose.  Inner vision can take time to activate, and it’s essential to know where, how, when, and who to ask for help. 

These suggestions will help you get in touch with your core values and deepest desires.   They will stimulate your imagination to identify what your life’s purpose, vision, and mission are.

Consider that as you discover your passions that life is calling you.  Are you going to answer the phone?   Or are you going to wait for the voice mail (procrastinate)?   Will you respond with a text because you don’t have the “perfect” response? Or will you put a post on social media asking for permission from others to do what you desire most?

When you feel a strong pull that something is your calling, the best thing to do is get busy!   The sooner you start, the quicker you feel better and build momentum.  When you decide to live your purpose and go for what you really want, amazing things start to occur.  

Start today!  A year from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jobs and Careers: Why are so many people content with just earning a salary and working 9-6 their entire adult life?

Career & Business, Life Coach Library
i hate my job

Ahh, the American dream: finish high school, continue to get a degree or specialized training, and live out the rest of your life for an organization the provides fringe benefits and opportunities for promotion. 

For some, attending college may be about enrichment and personal fulfillment. Still, for most people, the primary motivation to go to college is the hope of securing gainful employment when finishing.   Statistics validate that the average income of someone who has earned a bachelor’s degree is 80% higher than their peers with a high school diploma or less. 

So, assuming having a decent salary is the big win for investing four years of one’s life and tens of thousands of dollars, it is no surprise that so many are motivated and encouraged, if not pushed, to pursue this pre-mapped route.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this and by no means discredit what a precious resource knowledge can be.  There is nothing wrong with taking the traditional route! But let’s look at this a little closer.  Over 70% of college grads are in debt with a whopping collective total of about $1.5 TRILLION. If you were to place 1.5 trillion one-dollar bills end-to-end, that would stretch for about 210,000 miles, or around the earth about 8.5 times.  It’s no wonder the average age children move out of their parent’s house has crept up to nearly 30! 

With such responsibilities, having a 9-6 job is not only attractive but convenient. A safe and secure job will help pay those pesky student loans, make the monthly payment on dependable transportation, take a vacation occasionally, and maybe even save towards a down payment on a home.  All good stuff and part of livin’ the dream!  

Whose dream?

Maybe dreams are for kids?

Hence, most people prefer to work for someone else all their adult lives. They get periodic promotions, pay into their retirement fund, and live a life that is risk-averse and without complications.  They are content.  Many of them at least.   According to Forbes, 58% of them are.   Which means 42% aren’t.    Over 2/3’s of them are merely surviving.  Miserable at work.  They hate their job; they hate their boss; they just go through the motions to collect a paycheck and get health insurance.  Sound familiar?

Compare this to the life of someone self-employed or an entrepreneur. Venture capitalist and internet entrepreneur. Reid Hoffman, eloquently said ‘An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.’

This accurately describes the life of someone who wants to take a different approach to life. Someone who must live passionately and is driven by some higher purpose.  They are willing to forgo the security of a steady income in exchange for the opportunity for unlimited income.  Despite the extreme discipline and dedication, they will tell you they do not work at all.  Why?  They love what they do!  It makes them feel alive.  

Entrepreneurs take risks, make sacrifices, and endure hardship. The ultimate reward is freedom, a sense of accomplishment, and a flexible lifestyle that is entirely different from the mainstream lifestyle. 

Interestingly,  out of 185 million working-age Americans, 14% or 27 million are entrepreneurs today. They are either starting a new business or already have their own established companies.  This is the highest number of entrepreneurs ever recorded in the US and goes to show how millennials and Generation Z have a different approach to life than their parents. 

Why? Maybe technology has created more opportunities to niche out. Perhaps the allure of work-from-home in your sweats has winningly surpassed the “suit up and show up” mentality of the baby boomers.  Or maybe, just maybe, that despite all the benefits of formal education, we are learning to value the independence and satisfaction of creating our own livelihoods.  No longer are they willing to conform to the corporate culture and jump through the hierarchical hoops to get ahead.   They are living authentic lives.  

Use Your Professional Network for Job Success

We have total respect for any hardworking human being who supports themselves in any ethical fashion, in whatever professional lifestyle they choose.   For those who know that they are cut out to use their God-given talents to do something fantastic on their own, we wish you success as you pursue your passion. 

If you hate your job and are merely enduring the days and weeks, living for a paycheck and a few benefits, you can make a change.  It’s not too late, you are not too old, and there is something better for you.   You owe it to yourself to live in line with your values, interests, and fulfilling work if you’re unsure where to start, with a career coach to find out how!

A NEW YEAR – A NEW BEGINNING

Career & Business, Personal Growth
new years resolution

Happy New Year and cheers to a new beginning!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, time to be with your loved ones, and a time for laughter and cheer. But it is also a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not simply a commemorative Christian holiday. It is not simply celebrating with family and friends. It is not simply a time to give gifts and to be a giving person for a few days out of the year. The Christmas holiday can certainly be all these things, but it can be so much more. No matter what your religious beliefs, this time of year can be a time to reflect on our lives. Every year, I am particularly moved by the song “Happy Christmas” by Celine Dion.

So, this is Christmas and what have you done

Another year over, a new one just begun . . . .

Every year when I hear this song, it touches my soul in a very personal way, and it always gets me thinking about my life. What meaningful things have I done over the last year? Certainly, my accomplishments and goal achievements come to mind, but it is actually much more than that. It is about who I’ve become and what I have done for others. Each year it is my goal to become a better person. Health and wellness is something I always need to work on but, equally important, is my goal of becoming the person I want to be. I want to demonstrate my love for my family in many different ways. I want to create beautiful memories for my children and grandchildren that will live on for a lifetime. I want to deepen the relationships I have with my spouse, my family, my friends, and others. I want to step into the shoes of others, so I can see and feel things from their perspective, experience their world, understand and help them work through challenges, and join them as they celebrate their successes. As a life and leadership coach, I want to support my clients to reach their goals, achieve their dreams, and, in the process, become their personal and professional best.

There have been a number of self-improvement efforts I’ve made over the years. One that I would like to share because it has had a very positive impact on my life and may on yours too is learning to be present, to live in the present moment, the here and now. Most of us spend the majority of our time focused on either the past or the future. We have 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts entering our minds every day, and as many as 80% of these thoughts are negative.  While some past thoughts may be pleasant, many aren’t, and those are the ones we tend to focus on. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness are all emotions that can come from focusing on our past. We hold grudges and, as such, compromise our relationships. Thoughts about the future are also a source of negative emotions.  We worry about things that may never happen. Anxiety, tension, stress, and worry come from focusing on too much future. To make matters worse, we play these same negative thought patterns over and over and over again in our minds.  When we do this, we are escaping the present moment that is our life now. We may be eating a delicious meal or spending time with friends, yet our minds are “miles away,” stressing over a problem at work or replaying for the thousandth time an argument we had with our spouse a few days ago.   We don’t fully enjoy the food we’re eating. We don’t really hear what our friends are saying, and we don’t enjoy our time together as much as we could. We’ve lost connection. Our relationships and joy can be seriously compromised. Just think about how much we are missing out on life by not being present. To become present, ask yourself from time to time what you are thinking about, and instantly, you will become present. Note where your mind was. Were you dwelling on something from your past or possibly worried about something in your future?

Have I achieved being the best version of myself? No, I have not, but that is the point. It is something we need to work on continually. As I approach the New Year, I think about how I can become a better person to make more of a difference in the world. Change takes time. The New Year is the perfect opportunity for a new start, a new beginning.

Use Your Professional Network for Job Success

So, I invite you to search your soul to see if you are becoming the person you want to be and making the difference you want to make in this world. As the song goes, what have you done? Another year over, a new one has just begun. When the Christmas holiday returns in December, and we hear the lyrics to “Happy Christmas” again, let’s have something to say about how we’ve been a giving person all year long and how we’ve made a significant difference for others by who we’ve become. The people that mean the most to us, our families, our friends, and others may not remember all our accomplishments, but they will remember who we are, how we’ve treated them, and the impact we’ve made in their lives.

We wish you a year of love, laughter, connection, success, joy, and fulfillment!

While no one can create your happiness but you, reaching our goals can be tough to do alone.  If you’re ready for better results than you’ve achieved in previous years, consider reaching out to a professional life-coach.  You will go further and do it faster than you will on your own!  Life Coach Library makes it convenient and RISK FREE to experience the impact working with a coach can have. 

Submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com/

You’re PROBABLY NOT Going to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
new years resolutions

It’s nothing personal; research shows that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken and forgotten by February 15th.  Why are resolutions so hard to keep? There are a lot of reasons for this ranging from lack of clarity of goals, unrealistic expectations, or, according to some psychologists, the word itself does not program the brain for commitment and motivation, which are vital for success.

It’s true that at the end of December, most of us reflect on the year behind us and look at the new year as a fresh beginning, a chance to make changes.  The reality is that May 5th, August 30th, or November 19th are equally as good to create a new beginning and make changes.  ANY day you decide to improve something about yourself or your life is a GREAT day to start.  

The real question to ponder is not WHEN is a good time to start?  But WHY haven’t you done it already?  Why haven’t you done what you wanted to?  Are you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship?  Did you lose 20 pounds and then just give up?  WHAT has gotten in-between you and achieving your goals? And, what will be different in this New Year’s resolution?

The usual culprits are:
  • Absence of clearly defined and realistic goals
  • Unsustainable motivation and commitment
  • Limiting-beliefs that lead to procrastination or sabotage success
  • Making costly mistakes that deplete time and resources
  • Using the SAME thinking to solve a problem that created them 

“Problems cannot be solved by the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”  If any of this sounds like you, you’re not alone.   Hundreds of thousands of people go through the same cyclical process several times a year, every year.    If you’ve been afraid to try or have made New Year’s resolutions year after year and failed repeatedly, it can be so discouraging, but the worst thing you can do is allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. 

Nothing changes until something changes

It takes courage, and it takes energy, but you have the chance to begin again.  You can change and overcome challenges.  You have the power to break through self-limiting beliefs.  Nothing can stop you from becoming the person you want to be and creating the life you want to live accept for you.

The difference is:    If you want a different result, you have to do something different.  Something inside you must change before anything outside of you can change.  You can make New Year’s resolutions all you want, but until something is different, you will keep getting the same results.

Whatever it is you do today, you are creating your future.   If you do nothing today, you are creating your future.  If you  “go for it” today, you are creating your future.   The second you decide to act and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you win.

So, with 2020 right around the corner, what are your goals? 

Here are 6 common areas of life and goals.  These are very general, but we recommend that yours be as specific and detailed as possible.

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Career

  • Reduce stress and create life-work balance
  • Plan a better career path or transition 
  • Improve professional skills (presentation, leadership, time-management, etc.)
  • Start or grow a business
Finances:
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Establish a nest egg
  • Save for large purchases
  • Invest
  • Plan retirement
Health and Wellness

  • Establish daily self-care routines
  • Nutritional goals,
  • Exercise and physical goals
  • Wellness goals (for ex: stress management)
  • Lifestyle changes.
Relationships: family; romantic; social

  • Meeting the love of your life
  • Improving your current relationship with the love of your life
  • Getting along better with your parents or colleagues
  • Communication with your teenage children
  • Broadening your social circle
Personal growth;
  • Build confidence; end procrastination; become proactive
  • Develop a happier attitude; learn to think positively
  • Overcome limiting beliefs; find one’s purpose and passion
  • Break bad habits, create good ones
Spirituality:
  1. Deepen commitment to spiritual practices
  2. Broaden your understanding of religious philosophies
  3. Learn to practice The Law of Attraction
  4. Seek answers to questions you ponder or don’t understand
  5. Grow along spiritual lines and principles

Any of these goals are possible.  If any of them (or others) appeal to you, know that YOU CAN.  It may feel like moving a mountain right now, but one step at a time, they can be achieved.

If you decide to “go for it,” it does not matter what you call it, be it New Year’s resolution or just a commitment to change.   

You must:
  • see it clearly and believe you can do it.
  • become the person you need to be to achieve it.
  • develop the dicipline and character to make your goal reality
  • don’t be the person who wants success, be the person willing to fight for it.

One thing you DON” T have to do is go it alone.   No one is coming to do it for you, so you do have to get your a## in gear and get busy.  But you don’t have to fly solo.   DO get support.  DO find someone who can help you clarify your goals.  DO find someone who will hold you accountable and help you remember your why.  DO get an outside perspective that is objective.    Who is that person?   If you don’t have an answer already, we suggest working with a professional coach. 

A coach is skilled in helping you:
  • Clarify your goals and create a robust and actionable plan
  • Identify blocks that have gotten in the way of success in the past & help you overcome them.
  • Help you stay motivated, committed, and hold you accountable.
  • Collaborate with you to form a “think-tank” and come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have had on your own.
  • Save you time and money because you are less likely to make mistakes and get off track.

Life coaching works!  Life Coach Library makes finding a coach you love convenient and RISK-FREE.   When you register and complete a short survey, we’ll match you with up to three coaches who will offer you a complimentary coaching consolation.  From there, you choose the best coach for you and start reaching your goals!  The best part?  Our service is FREE. 

You haven’t lived your best year yet!  Will 2020 be it?

Why Career Coaching is a Must for Developers and Freelancers

Career & Business
developers need career coaches

This article was initially published by JetCake.

The benefits of career coaching have shown to be invaluable in almost every industry and are a must-have for developers.  Forbes, Inc., recently published statistics reporting that over 70% of those who receive coaching see improvements in their work performance, communication skills, relationships, and more often than not, recoup their investment.

Many of the worlds most famous CEOs, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,  have worked with career coaches.   They had the personal insight to know that having object feedback and accountability could be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.  They worked with coaches to develop communication skills, business concepts and clalrify their vision.  While coaching was once considered a luxury service for the elite, mainstream professionals frequently advance their careers and personal goals by working with a coach.    Today, professionals in every industry, including developers and programmers work with coaches to sharpen their resume,  gain feedback on their “blind spots”, advance in supporting skill sets, and clearly define their career trajectory.

Coaching takes many forms, from collaborating with trusted peers, having a mentor, and formally hiring a professional coach to get the most personalized attention and expertise one can.   In today’s uber busy and digital world, most of the coaching takes place right on your smartphone or tablet.

Being a successful freelancer takes so much more than being an excellent developer.   You need a strategy to market yourself and juggle the many tasks of going out on your own.  You might be a fantastic coder, but do you have all the skills needed to stand out?  If you’re ready to be proactive to stay ahead of the competion,  the impact of coaching is  invaluable. Here’s why every developer needs career coaching along the way. 

A Coach will help you develop your soft skills

When it comes to skills that employers seek most, tech and coding skills dominate LinkedIn’s 2019 list of skills sought after by employers’. That’s great news for developers.   Finding work will be relatively easy for you as your skillset is in high demand.   Scarce are developers who cannot get by.  However, do you want to get by, or do you want to be wildly successful?  Do you want to pick up a few gigs here and there, or do you want to thrive and have a constant stream of business?   What’s your vision for tomorrow, next year, and five years from now?    How are you going to make yourself stand out from the crowd?  

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, having the right soft skills are in equal demand to honed professional talent.  This is what separates the good from the great.  Many developers and programmers focus on their hard skills but ignore this area of professional development.     

Read: Best Tips for Working From Home

According to Linkedin, the most in-demand soft skills are collaboration with team members and management, being able to think outside of the box, an eye for detail and accuracy, time management & organizational skills, and being adaptive and responsive. When a recruiter interviews dozens of candidates for one highly sought-after position, guess who stands out?   They one who delivers “all that AND the bag of chips.” In other words, the total package.

Certified Business and Career Coaches are experts at helping clients by preparing them for nuanced, real-world situations that will hone communication skills and develop them to measure up in multiple skill areas.  The jobs are out there and you can gain a competitive advantage in the job market by becoming a seasoned candidate with various skillsets. 

A Coach will save you time and money in developing your career

There’s no shortage of demand for developers which makes it very easy to let yourself rest in a comfort zone.  You might be lucky enough that opportunities seem to find you more than you actively seek them.   If that’s you, kudos, but don’t take it for granted.   Inevitably competition will grow, the “fit” will survive, but only the “fittest” will excel!   A career coach can help freelance developers, and tech professionals connect to more extensive networks, navigate career changes, win proposals on more significant projects, and discern what types of companies are most suited to your talents and preferences.    

A Coach will help you “future-proof” your skillset 

What worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.  The tech industry is continuously growing and changing, and if you want to stay in the race, your skills must too.   Easier said than done when  you’re focused on work projects of the day, so how can you be proactive and sharpen your skills to be ready for tomorrow?

“Coaches can use assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of personality and skillsets. They can also help job seekers understand how a skill can be applied in a different way to a new job,” writes TechRepublic

Business and Career Coaches stay current on what recruiters and industry leaders are looking for and can help you see where your skills might be outdated.  They will help you sharpen your presentation skills for the interview.    Some coaches will also take it a step further and place a developer in a job.

In short, the longevity of your professional status comes down to staying ahead of the curve in both technological and professional skills.    Savvy developers take advantage of coaching to stay in high demand!

Ready to be proactive in your career?  Try coaching RISK-FREE.

If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time To Look Inside

Career & Business, Personal Growth
achieve your goals

Can you believe there are only a few weeks left before the New Year is upon us?  Is your life today as you hoped it would be this time last year? Have you kept your New Year’s promises and made the changes you were so enthusiastic about?  Or, are you among the many who wanted change, wanted results,  had powerful intentions, but once again, you didn’t go the distance and achieve your goals?

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein.  The truth is, if you want change, it’s you that needs to change.   No one is saying this is easy; old habits and old beliefs die hard.  The key to powerful, lasting change is having a clear vision and setting compelling goals.

Even though most people understand goal setting on a rational level, a whopping 80% of people never set clearly defined goals.  If that’s not bad enough, of the 20% who do set goals, nearly 70% of them never reach them.  Why not?  There are several possible reasons.   Sometimes there are outside circumstances that they genuinely have no control over. Still, the reality of it is the biggest obstacle to reaching the personal and professional growth we aspire to lives between your ears.  The typical culprits are lack of commitment, inactivity, or perhaps having too many goals. But even if these things are in perfect order, you could still miss the mark.

Here’s why:

  1. You need a change in attitude and to address self-limiting beliefs: Using the same thinking that got you “here” isn’t going to get out.  When you want something new on the outside, you need to create something new on the inside.  Most of our thought process runs in the unconscious, and that’s is where many damaging thoughts camp out.   Think of these limiting beliefs as pesky weeds which, until pulled out from their root, keep coming back and airing their ugly head. Typical examples are believing you’re someone you’re not; you’re not good enough, not smart enough, too young/too old, or some such disempowering label. Until that limiting belief is discovered and replaced with something positive and empowering, you are set up for failure.
  2. You fear failure, or even worse, you fear success: Some people are afraid they will fail, but the fear of success undermines even more people.  If they fail, they anticipate people labeling them a failure or a loser. If they succeed, they think people may be envious and treat them differently, perhaps negatively or that they can’t keep up the pace and will humiliate themselves.  As cliché as it may be, deep down, they might believe they’re unworthy of attaining the goal and, consciously or unconsciously sabotage themselves.   Either way, if you lack faith yourself and your potential, why would you even invest your energy and make the kind of non-negotiable commitment needed for success?   If you can’t give everything you’ve got, what can you expect to get back?
  3. You’re not being true to yourself, and there is a conflict with your core values and/or life purpose. Are you doing what you are passionate about or what you think you should be doing?   Are you trying to please yourself or someone else?   Get clear about your core values and life purpose because they will serve as a compass, pointing out what it means to be true to yourself.  If you are living in conflict with your core values, you create stress, like running against the wind or trying to swim against the current.  It leads to frustration and disenchantment.  When you live “on purpose,” you will be amazed how easily things can fall into place.  You still have to work hard and very hard at that.  However, your motivation will be stronger and last longer because you are doing what you love to do, what you are good at, and accomplishing what is important to you. You are making a difference in the world.   These are the key ingredients to finding success, joy, and fulfillment. 

The most common characteristic amongst successful people is the ability to take 100% responsibility for their lives, including their achievements, the results they produce, the quality of their relationships, their health and well- being, their income, and everything else. They are goal-oriented and take action.  When stuck, they don’t blame people, places or circumstances, they reassess and readjust and keep going.  Even if things do not go as they hoped, they do not feed themselves the lies ‘I am a loser, I am a failure, or I can’t achieve anything.’ They redefine their failure as a success by looking at the reality of the situation, learning from it, and pressing on. 

While no one can create your success but you, you’d don’t have to do it alone.  If you’re ready to go all the way and move past your fears, consider reaching out to a professional coach. Overcoming the limiting beliefs that interfere with success is what life coaches specialize in. 

Reach out and receive a free consultation to experience the impact a coach can have!

Written and submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com

6 Steps to Achieving Financial Security

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Career & Business, Health & Wellness
how to achieve goals

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Hollywood superstar Denzel Washington recently gave a commencement speech where he famously said 

‘…You have these dreams. Dreams without goals remain dreams and fuel disappointment’

We all love to dream, think about the house we want to buy, that cool car we want to own or that high-paying job we are working towards. Unfortunately, a lot of people are never able to live their dreams and are stuck in an unhappy place.

While some people like to call themselves lazy or even unlucky, the biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is setting goals.

The idea of setting goals is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago Aristotle explained this as final causality.

According to him, the only reason why people do something because they have a basic purpose and a need to achieve it.  

This simple factor drives the world and takes us forward.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke researched this idea and conducted tests that culminated in the ‘Goal-Setting Theory’.

His research work has been celebrated for years, especially in the business world, with corporations following many of his conclusions.

Interestingly though, most of his research has even better applications in our private lives. To get more out of your life and turn your dreams into reality, you will need to:

Use Your Professional Network for Job Success



1. Make specific goals:

Having a big house or making that career move are great goals to have. However, uncertain or ambiguous goals might not take you anywhere. The idea is to be very specific about the goals you have and build upon them.

For example, to say that you want to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year is not a specific goal. Humans are emotional and such vague aspirations do not motivate us.

A better way is to set a goal of e.g. losing 2 lbs every month or cutting out on sugar and carbs. Such specific goals help us to act immediately and work on our dreams.

  • Turning dreams into reality takes effort:

If you want to change your life, make your marriage work, earn more or buy that house, you will have to work hard for it. There are no short-cuts, no lottery tickets to be won and no one is going to help you.

The good thing about setting small, quantitative goals is that it automatically pushes people to work that harder.

For example, if you are looking to buy your dream car, your goal should be earning an extra income. This way you will push yourself to work overtime and get closer to your objective.

  • Goals make us more persistent:

Read How to Get and Stay Motivated

Setbacks are a part of life and usually throws a lot of people off. You might have had a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse.

A bad day at work can be emotionally challenging and a bad marriage can be life-altering.

However, research has shown that the aim of achieving well-articulated goals make us more persistent against setbacks and generally makes us more resilient in life.

  • Goals can change our behavior:

Research has shown that having well-defined goals can gradually alter our behaviour and make us improve ourselves. E.g. if you are trying to lose weight you might have a goal of reducing your calorie or sugar intake. With such small, specific goals, you might not only shed away the pounds but alter your eating habits for the long-term.

How to Develop effective goals

Make sure the goals you set for yourself really make you work towards your dreams. For effective goal-setting make sure:

Your goals are clear – Goals should be SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure your goals are simple, clear and have a certain milestone or deadline. Without setting deadlines your goals will take you nowhere.

Also, complex goals are not easy to implement, thus be practical and realistic about them. You should also be able to keep track of your progress and measure your success.

Challenge yourself – While your goals need to be realistic, that does mean they should be easy. Only by challenging ourselves can we break free from our comfort zones and do something beyond the ordinary.

Commit to it – You need to commit to your goals and set up some kind of a feedback system so you can understand how close you are to your goal. E.g. if you are aiming to lose some pounds, record your weight every week and keep on measuring it. A feedback system helps us to stay committed to what you are doing.

Most people never achieve their dreams because they are never fully committed to it. A lack of quick results demotivates most people. Hence, stay focused and committed!

Have an Action Pan – You need to have a complete action plan to turn your dream into a reality. Your action plan should consist of key milestones you want to achieve and when e.g. you dream of becoming a TV producer, you need to start with small internships, take relevant college courses and work your way up. There should be a complete strategy for whatever you want to achieve in life.

In all this, we should never forget the importance of our present. Currently, you might be a young professional or even a fresh graduate. However, 5 years ago, you dreamed of being where you are right now.

On an unconscious level, you did have a plan and goals in mind and you worked hard for it. We usually don’t enjoy the situations we are in and are always looking for a ‘better’ future. While this is human nature, we need to appreciate our present and where we are in life to fully realize our potential and prepare for tomorrow.

Hence, if you need to change something in your life, make a plan and start following it. If you believe saying sorry to someone right now can save your relationship, do it now! If you believe applying for a new job might help you increase your income, don’t think and do it now!

Having someone to help you set powerful goals and stay focused on them can be the difference between success and failure for many.  Professional life-coaches are trained to help their clients gain clarity on their values and set goals that are in line with their authentic selves.  They help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.   Bring on the new year ready for success and try life-coaching risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us at Life Coach Library.com!

If You Can Learn, You Can Lead

Career & Business, Relationships & Family
what problems can a life coach help solve

One thing that all leaders know is that they are never finished developing their leadership skills.  They are continually looking for ways to grow both professionally and personally.  Evolving in one’s leadership skill set is vital to the success of their organization, team, and themselves. 

Are you that leader who thinks that your subordinates suck? Guess what, if this is you, it might be you who sucks. A good leader believes there are no “bad teams.’   only ‘bad managers’ and they look within to find solutions before pointing the finger to others.

If you are currently in a leadership role, you know this is true.  If you’re not, but aspire to be, you can cultivate skills you already have to become one.   Leadership does not have to be a professional title.   You can be a leader in a marriage, your family, and even social acquaintances.   To be a leader, you only need to be someone who modals ideal behaviors and inspires others to follow. 

Characteristics of the best leaders are the ability to infuse passion, make strong-connections, infectious energy, and commitment to the mission of the organization.   Business mogul  Richard Branson says the ability to inspire is one of the most crucial skills every leader should have.  The greatest leaders encourage you to learn more, become better, dream bigger, and accomplish what seemed almost impossible. 

Lead by example

Expect from your team what you expect from yourself

Never ask your team members to do something that you would never do yourself.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll be resented and viewed as a hypocrite.  You can’t have such high expectations of others if you do not have them for yourself too.  If you’re ok with mediocrity from them, be mediocre.   If you demand excellence, make sure you deliver excellence. 

The only person you can change is yourself.  Be the person you want others to be, and ideally, you will inspire them to change themselves for the better.

When things go amok, stay calm and carry on

Remember, life is unpredictable. Thus, it is possible to run into challenges at any given moment.

It is vital to stay calm and set aside some of your time to think things through when they come up.  It’s not wise to rush and make decisions during the most challenging situations.  You want to keep your team calm, too, as mass hysteria will not solve anything.  Don’t dwell on the problem but focus on the solution.  Communicate clearly with everyone involved and encourage input.  Most issues arise when there is isolation, and the (proverbial) right-hand doesn’t know what the left-hand is doing.  Stay openminded to new ideas and collaboratively come up with a solid strategy to remedy the situation.

Everyone screws up sometimes.  If it’s you, own it!

Don’t be afraid to let your team see the fallible and human side of you.   When you admit you made a mistake and take responsibility for it, they will respect you and be able to come to you for guidance when they are in need.  Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and move on.  You will create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in.   You want your team to be challenged by the tasks that they do, not the environment they do them in. 

Be clear about boundaries

A good leader is the one who has clearly conveyed what is expected and what is not tolerated.    Their primary objective is to gain the respect and devotion of their team but not to be buddies.    As a manager, you need to ensure that all the team members take you seriously.  Make sure you follow your own rules too.   This models strong communication skills to your team and shows them that you are fair and consistent.  

Listen

 Sometimes it’s better to talk less and listen more.  Let yourself be approachable and available for your team to come and speak freely.  When you allow others to share their ideas, you empower them, and incorporating some of them will keep them motivated.   

When you are doing the talking, make sure that you offer praise and gratitude to your team.  It’s easy to say, “good job!” and your sincere appreciation will make them feel incredible.

collaborate in leadership

  Inspire

Frontrunners know they have something great to offer this world.   They are talented at teaching others to access their own greatness to support that mission.  They do so with heartfelt support and guidance and provide the resources necessary for success.  They do not take advantage of their position and dole out rules and demands.   

 Inspiring leadership is the one that starts with passion. Passion leads to purpose. Purpose plus direction leads to accomplishing great things!

It starts with you! 

A leader is not a person who is born overnight. Leadership is a journey that starts with a single step. 

These tips offer general guidance to be a progressive leader.  Put them into practice and continue to take a personal inventory to hone your unique leadership skills.  

If you’re ready to up your game with a professional leadership coach, you can speak with up to 3 risk-free at Life Coach Library when you register and complete a simple survey.   If not you, who?  If not now, when?

Read: Why is Leadership Development Important

 

8 Tips for Better Time Management

Career & Business
stop wasting time

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows (proverb)

Sometimes life is defined by either time or money: we either have plenty of time, but don’t seem to have the money to do what we want.  Or, we have enough money, but simply can’t muster the time.

Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. You cannot buy it or produce more of it, and once time goes by, you can never get it back or makeup “lost-time.” While we have all slacked at some point in our lives, the biggest regret of most isn’t that they were active and made mistakes but did doing nothing and wasted time.

In our professional lives, time is money; In our personal lives, (enjoying) time is happiness. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a senior manager, or just someone trying to build their career, better time management can make the difference between reaching your dreams and being able to enjoy them when you get there.  

Ideally, you want to be productive at work, have a healthy social life, and still be able to spend quality time with your family. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; what differs is how we utilize them. We have come up with the top 8 tips that can help you better manage your time and achieve more in life!

1. Make a to-do list

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the simplest to follow. Prepare a to-do list to better understand what you need to do and when. It can be an hourly, daily, or weekly task list.

The idea is to be very clear of the tasks that need to be completed. As you complete each task, check it off the list and move on to the next. If you’re a procrastinator or just feeling completely overwhelmed, add things that you can complete in the next 10 minutes.  

Start with ones that are quick and easy to complete then progress to the bigger, challenging ones. There is a certain satisfaction you get as you move down the list, and it will keep you more motivated throughout the day.

2. Prioritize your tasks

Remember to prioritize your work. For effective time management, it is better to compartmentalize and complete the more urgent tasks first.  What’s urgent may not always seem essential.  If you have a big report to write, it’s probably more important than responding to an email your boss sent, but I assure you answering your boss is more urgent at that moment.

Know yourself and what keeps you pumped.  Is it better for you to tackle difficult tasks first? Or do you prefer to start with the more manageable tasks and knock them off your list?    Once you’ve decided what the most urgent and important things are, do whatever works best for you.

3. Remove distractions

Multi-tasking is a buzz word from the ’90s that has caused more harm than good.  We’re so technologically advanced that we think we can have a meeting on Skype while writing a report and texting friends to make plans for the weekend – This does not work!  Nothing gets done correctly, and the long-term results can be harsh when it’s time for performance reviews.  

For better time management, you need to concentrate on one task before moving to something else.  You get out of it what you put into it, so give tasks 100% of you, this is even more important if you have a short attention span or suffer from ADHD.

Learn the art of saying “NO”.  If someone asks you to take on extra work, politely decline when possible.  Saying yes to others is often saying no to yourself.    You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and only you know your limits.

It takes confidence to say no, but it will your life easier and help you better manage your life!

Don’t be afraid to close your door; turn your cell phone off; not answer every email in your inbox; and hunker down on an important task.  It’s ok to be selfish with your time, and you must be when you want to be most productive and efficient.  

4. Eat better and exercise

Eating healthy and exercising regularly can have a massive impact on your physical and mental well-being. It can keep you feeling fresher and active, giving you more energy to keep you going throughout the day.

One of the primary reasons many people miss deadlines is because they feel sick, tired, or stressed all day long.   Having chronic caffeine or sugar withdrawals wreaks havoc on one’s concentration and stamina to see tasks through to completion. 

Staying fit and healthy is a great way to combat this and can help you get more out of your day. This is even more important as you get older. For better time management and to stay active, work on a healthy lifestyle.

5. Get some sleep and start your day early

Speaking of healthy lifestyles, never skip on a good night’s sleep.  Many young professionals do not get enough sleep, making them feel tired and irritable throughout the day without realizing that sleep deprivation is the culprit.  This has a direct impact on efficiency, forcing you to be under-productive.

The most successful people in the world start their day early and for a good reason!

Waking up early gives you enough time to start your day casually. You can have a good breakfast, read the news, exercise or answer emails, and avoid that daily race to work.  Science proves that the first 20 minutes of your day have a lasting effect (Entrepreneur).  Use yours wisely, and you will set the tone for the rest of the morning and afternoon.

Be disciplined, get rest, wake with a lot of energy, and crush the day!

6. Take breaks

Don’t try and be a superhero and work non-stop all-day everyday. Taking short 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day helps to revitalize, relax, and keep you calm.  Every 2-3 hours, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the office or building, drink some water, and just let yourself regroup.  

7. Outsource or delegate whenever possible

We all want to believe we are amazing and can do everything ourselves, that we are in complete control. We would rather do things ourselves than ask someone else, possibly because we don’t trust people to do it right and believe we can do it better, or we simply don’t know how to ask for help.  Try and view “problem tasks” as “challenges” and make a game out of them.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Successful people know how to decide what to do themselves and what to delegate responsibility, whenever and wherever possible.  Chances are if it’s making you miserable, someone else is better for the task or can at least help you get through rough spots.   The ability to trust your team is a bit difficult but is essential for improving time management and your lifestyle.

8. Establish routines

With practice, you can discipline yourself to have a routine that makes your day work like a well-oiled machine

When you are consistent about the time you go to sleep, wake up, exercise, get to work, have lunch, and everything else you do routinely during the week, you will have successfully managed your time instead of allowing your tasks to manage you.

Expect hiccups now and then, but working on this type of discipline will go a long way in meeting key milestones and achieving daily goals.

What to Do When Your Boss Is a Jerk

Career & Business

A dream job could turn into a nightmare when you have a boss who seems to go out of their way to be a jerk to you. Sometimes, they seem to get some twisted pleasure in making you miserable. Some environments have such a toxic culture; the employees have come to think it’s normal for their bosses to behave this way. Worse still, they believe it’s a rite of passage.

Dreading Monday

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a beautiful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is incredibly depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day or the whole week. You even get the feeling your boss hates being at work almost as much as you do.

My boss is a jerk

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of complaints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in; jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then there’s the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could quickly have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade! 

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected, and demeaned. 

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills, consider these career tips to make it bearable.

 

Take it in Stride and kill them with kindness.

Usually, when people treat others poorly, it stems from deep insecurity and fear they have of their leading potential.  They somehow confuse intimidation with leadership.   Meeting them with anger and resentment only makes things fester and get worse, especially when they have the power to make your life miserable.  According to Sutton, in such a situation, treat them with respect, kindness, and give them genuine compliments.  At the very least, you’ll confuse them, but chances are, you will gradually soften their brashness and create a better space for yourself. 

This move may not work in all instances if your boss is a power-hungry and derives joy in treating people like dirt. In that case, it’s a defensive move—think of them as the miserable person they are, feel sorry for them,  smile, and move on!  Or, in your mind, see them as a comical figure. By doing this, you create an emotional distance.  It’s not worth getting upset or angry at The Joker so just laugh (to yourself)  at their irrational behavior. 

Limit interaction to the minimum needed to do your job.

You tried. Remember, you only have control of how you act and react, not how other people receive you.   Their attitude is not going to change, and there isn’t a thing you can do except take care of yourself.

You have to figure out a way to survive, and we recommend space and distance.  Create as much of it as you can so that their negativity does not pollute your psyche.

Give yourself kudos for not stooping to their level. Be graceful about the situation and act like their hurtful words little spit-balls that a 6-year-old would spew out.  In time, you’ll develop a thick skin, and it won’t affect you as much.

Consult with other colleagues or managers when you need help as the first line of defense.  When there is no way around dealing with them, be polite and respectful but get straight to the point so that your meeting is as brief and professional as possible.   

Take advantage of modern technology.

Here’s another easy way to create space and distance: instead of having face-to-face interactions, try to communicate electronically whenever it is useful and appropriate.   It’s much easier to brush off sarcastic comments when they’re online, and if you get heated, you have time to pull yourself together before engaging in any drama.    

If they send several unpleasant emails—don’t reply to them immediately. Get yourself together, compose a short and polite reply to that email. Try not to get into the vicious cycle where you keep getting angry and offended by everything they say.   

Know the situation and the jerk you’re dealing with.

Take a moment, sit down and do a thorough analysis, ask yourself;

  1. How much power or control do I have over the situation?
  2. How much am I suffering?  How can I look at this differently for my sanity?   

If you have a boss who is insulting you, dumping on you, and being disrespectful, try not to retaliate or fuel their anger.  Sometimes, when you look closely at the situation you find yourself in,  you realize your boss is criticizing you because the job is beyond anyone’s control, or it’s entirely a broken system.  Instead, approach them when they’re calm and express your irritation as polite as you can.

If you believe that won’t work, bypass him and go to their superior or directly to Human Resources to file a complaint.   It may be better to bond together with your coworkers experiencing the same problem, form a coalition, and try expressing how toxic and hostile the workplace has become a group. This way, it would become difficult to push people around or single out one person.

When you document and complain as a collective group, you’re more likely to get the problem sorted out than when you try to do it alone. Don’t rush, get your facts right, get concrete proof, and make sure there’s no dissent among you. Then present your evidence to an impartial person in authority.

Don’t quit in rage

Don’t hesitate to resign if you no longer feel safe at your workplace, or you’re being demeaned and insulted constantly. But don’t make any decisions in rage. Plan a departure so that you can leave the company on the best terms possible, you never know when you may need to use them as a reference, and if you storm out, you’ve burned that bridge.  

Consider your options and make a plan.   If you’re unsure how to come up with a sound strategy, consider working with a career coach.   They are skilled at helping you clarify your goals and putting into action a plan that brings results.   One of the most grueling experiences in life is the job-search, and having the extra support of a professional will help you stay focused and sane through this tedious process.

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a wonderful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is extremely depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day, or the whole week. You even get the feeling, your boss hates being at work just as much as you do.

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of compalints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in, jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then theres the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could easily have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade!

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who  leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected and demeaned.

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills consider these career tips to make it bearable.

How To Be a Better Communicator

Career & Business, Relationships & Family

 Seven ways to help you express yourself and be a better communicator

The Importance of Communication Skills

1. Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.    

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express.  It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.  

How can you be a proactive listener? 

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally.  It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.   

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak.   What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds. 

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest.  Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them. 

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for.  Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent.  If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.    

2. Build trust by showing empathy 

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy, people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying. 

How to be more empathetic 

First, here’s what you DON’T do.  The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)  

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value).  When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication. 

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language  

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills?  Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal.  Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion.  They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously.  Verbal and non-verbal communication work together.  While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust.     If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock.   If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.  

Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express. It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.

How can you be a proactive listener?

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally. It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak. What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds.

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest. Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them.

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for. Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent. If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.

2. Build trust by showing empathy

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy,

people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying.

How to be more empathetic

First, here’s what you DON’T do. The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value). When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication.

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills? Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion. They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously. Verbal and non-verbal communication work together. While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust. If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock. If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.

You can talk extensively about something, but if your non-verbal cues don’t match what you’re saying, you will not convince your audience to believe in you. Physical gestures should be consistent with the message we are trying to convey.

4. Be clear and concise

To be clear and concise is an essential communication skill. Whether it be written or oral, it’s best to get straight to the point without a lot of flowery and unnecessary words that are just meaningless. What you may think is an introduction to a topic may be thought of as a waste of time in getting to the point if it’s not directly connected to it.

How can you give value in an introduction to a topic?

First, make it informative and drop anything irrelevant. Avoid wordy sentences so that the point is not watered down with unimportant detail. Don’t be repetitive. It’s one thing to assert a position, but repeating the same point, again and again, is just overkill. If your point is not clear, try to illustrate or explain in different ways. An analogy is an excellent tool for this if the analogy is truly relevant. Check for understanding before offering more prolonged and more in-depth explanations. Maintain focus on your topic and make sure not to use too many words when you can say it with just a few.

Whether you’re speaking to a crowd or captivating an audience with your writing, it is best to be clear and concise to keep your audience’s attention.

5. Ask “good” questions

The manner you ask the questions says a lot about your communication skills. You ask questions to get information; to be fully committed and engaged; to understand what the speaker is trying to say; to affirm your interest.

To get good answers, you must ask good questions. As easy as it may seem, asking questions can be a bit tricky. Some pointed questions may be offensive. The tone of your voice and your body language are vital when asking questions in most settings.

  • Keep questions focused on what you really need to know. The questions asked should be based on the topic. Structure the questions based on the information you already have.
  • Discern if your question is best asked as open (an explanation) or closed (yes/no) ended. Is it rhetorical? If it is personal, can it be asked in a way that one can decline to answer comfortably?
  • Know the reason you’re asking. Do you need clarification? Are you looking for a different perspective? Are you looking for help with something?
  • Consider your intent: Are you looking for help? To start a discussion? An argument? What will you do with the information you get?

These awareness’ will help ease the flow of communication so that no one feels like they are being interrogated or put in an embarrassing situation.

6. Improve written communication

Written communication is a communication skill that not all people will take time to master. While some people are naturally gifted at putting their thoughts into written words, others do struggle.

How can you improve your written communication?

After you’ve done your research (if needed), try brainstorming. Brainstorming is nothing more than writing down all thoughts randomly, without any censorship, judgment, or concern for accuracy or cohesiveness. Then, go back and circle the main points you want to get across. From there, put them in some logical sequence. Maybe organize them by time or level of importance. Then construct your writing. If you are writing a letter, find a template online, there are thousands. If it is an essay, start with a basic 5 paragraph format (Introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion). Use a free tool like Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling. Have a fresh set of eyes read your writing before you submit it whomever.

7. Learn to resolve conflict

Agree to disagree:

Agreeing to disagree means accepting other peoples’ opinions even if it is different from what you think. When two people have opposing viewpoints, it doesn’t always have to be that one person is right and the other one is wrong. Part of being emotionally and socially mature is the ability to accept the fact that other people may think differently and have different values. Some people who cannot allow other people’s opinions find themselves threatened that they might be wrong. This negative feeling hinders effective communication. Being open-minded or at least having a higher level of acceptance will allow you to feel comfortable in most situations. As a result, your thinking will stay clear and not clouded by the need to be right. Resolving conflict starts with accepting differences in opinions, views, and sentiments. Instead of getting angry, try to take it constructively as a different perspective you could learn from.

Strong communication skills are essential for success in both your social and professional life. Being adept at discussing and resolving problems, asking for and giving information, and interacting with other people with respect and dignity will pave the road to growth and happiness.

How to Negotiate Salary Or Ask for a Raise

Career & Business
abundance

Learn how to negotiate your salary or ask for more money and be more content in the workplace.

Scenario #1: You’ve aced the interview and got offered the position, now it’s time to work out the money, but how?   Sometimes candidates are so eager to accept an opportunity they are afraid to rock the boat and take whatever salary the employer offers.       

Scenario #2: You’ve been crushing it at work and you’re mustering up the courage to ask for more money…but when and how does one go about asking for a pay raise?  How will it go down, especially if they say no?   

Whichever scenario describes where you are right now, you are certainly are not alone.   There are very few people who like talking about salary at all, and this phase of employment is often intimidating.  Some people never ask because they don’t want to be perceived as pushy while others are just too uncomfortable with the process.   

One thing that is worse than confronting the money situation is getting up every day to go to a job where you are believe you are underpaid.  When you add value, you should be compensated appropriately, and it’s up to you to know and ask for. what you deserve.  

In most cases you will not get it unless you ask for it and if you don’t you may be costing yourself thousands!  

If it’s a new job, you must negotiate before accepting the position.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer and remember most the hiring managers expect you to negotiate salary. 

When you’ve been at the company for a while and you become of greater value to them. It may be that you’ve taken on more responsibility, your role has expanded or changed,  or you’ve just become the best at what you do, whichever the case,  it may be time to ask for a raise.  

 So, how does one go about asking for more?  

Be prepared 

In either case, it is essential to prepare well before going into any type of salary negotiation.  

Do some research and know your value 

Your success will depend on the strategies you use to show how you contribute to the company.  A smart way to sell yourself and be convincing of your added value is to focus on the mission of the organization and how you going to help them.  Negotiations tend to go south when candidates become overconfident and focus on what the company should do for them.      

It is critical to know what your minimum and ideal compensation will be.    There are several websites you can easily access current salary trends.  To name a few, try glassdoor.comcareerbliss.com, or indeed.com.   There will always be a range which is based on many factors, such as: geography, education & credentials; experience; and detailed job descriptions.   Spend some time to get the most detailed information possible. These numbers can serve as both your starting and jumping-off points when negotiating.  

If youre a new hire, be ready to emphasize the unique skills and attributes that you bring and be ready to justify how they will benefit the company.    

Negotiation time 

You’ve convinced your manager you are a great asset and they want to you happy.  

New Hire:  

Let the hiring managers make the first offer. Don’t make the mistake of going first.  It is possible you ask for too little and you can’t negotiate when you set the bar.  It is the first offer that establishes a baseline from which you will work from. There’s generally about 10% wiggle room in an opening offer.  

One strategy candidates and managers may use is known as “the flinch”.  This means you listen to the first offer suggested by your employer, repeat it, and then go silent.  In that silence, it is  possible for hiring managers to suggest a higher offer on their own, or “flinch”.    Even if they do not, you cannot lose anything by doing this. 

Take your time before responding.   A moment of pause will help you gather your thoughts and stay focused on your research and talking points.  Speaking too soon can send the message that you’re anxious.    

Begin your counteroffer by emphasizing how you understand your role in the organization and what makes you uniquely qualified for more than their offer. This is where your research and preparation will pay in dividends.  Be confident yet humble.  Not all compensation has to me money.  If the company cannot pay you more, explore what benefits they offer and consider their value. For example, they may not be able to increase your wage, but will allow you to work from home once you’ve established yourself.  Maybe they can offer extra vacation days, or a company paid vehicle.  These perks can be worth thousands.   

Remember, things cannot always go as per your ideal, which is why you have to be clear on what your minimum is.    If you don’t get everything you want, make sure you are not walking away feeling bitter or you will start on the wrong foot and things never get better from there.  It is ok to ask your employer for a 3- or 6-month review and if they are then happy with you, to reconsider a bitter salary.  

If you do decide to accept, show appreciation for the opportunity and your commitment to giving your all to the position.   

Asking for a raise 

When asking for a raise, have both general and specific examples of how you have     contributed to the growth of the company.   Management will want to know about your performance and how you have contributed to making their department run better and the company’s goals a reality. Thus, you need to prepare the right answers to these questions. Be ready to confidently discuss projects you’ve competed successfully and how they contributed to the overall success of the department or company.   

Remember, being on time and doing your job is what you are getting paid to do in the first place.  If you’re looking for more money, don’t focus on the things that are expected of you anyway.    Show them how you work faster and save them time, (and money) or that you’ve helped to increase others productivity or revenue.   

If you need to, make a list of your accomplishments and talking points.  It will make it easier for you when you have this conversation with management.  

All companies have goals and it is safe to assume that somewhere there is a board of directors mainly concerned with the bottom (profit) line.   Thus, it is possible to come out with a raise if you can show how much you have contributed to the company’s growth. 

Do not demand or give ultimatums  

Never make the mistake of approaching the hiring managers with this attitude when asking for a salary increase.  You will invariably lose.  Even if you get more money that day, you will likely taint the relationship with management and end up on the short list should the company have to make changes.  There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you will not be perceived as a team player if you approach your employer with an attitude of entitlement.    

You win when you anticipate the interests of your boss and make them understand what you can do to make the goals of the company a reality. 

Final thoughts:  

 Don’t be surprised if your boss seems to have more trust and respect for you after your negotiations.  You are amongst the 53% who dare to ask for what you are worth.  Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking but having the fortitude to withstand them sends a very positive message about who you are as an employee and what you bring to the organization.    

Learn how a Career Coach can help you boost your career!

I Hate My Job! Maybe it’s Time for Change…

Career & Business

I hate my job!  

I’m going nowhere in this job! 

I’m overworked; underpaid; unfulfilled; bored; miserable; etc. etc. 

 If any of these sounds like you, it might be time to consider a career change.  

Certified career coaches suggest having a transition strategy before making any changes. Making this type of change won’t happen overnight and takes a lot of energy. To make sure you put your enthusiasm in the right direction, career coaches offer these tips to help you achieve success.  

Tips for planning a career change 

Have a plan… 

Before you embark on a job transition, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want. Zeroing in on this can be the hardest part, especially if you usually make decisions based on what you believe you should do instead of what you want to do. A great way to start is to get in touch with what you are passionate about. Passion alone is not enough. When making a career choice, you need to know what makes you tick, but then you must evaluate where your talents are. Look for the overlap between what you love doing and where your abilities are.  

Do some research… 

Do your homework to find out what job opportunities align with your passions and talents. A great resource is The Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outreach Handbook. It will provide you with valuable information such as what fields are projected to grow and the current salary trends. Reach out to people who are working in your dream job and find out how they got there. Linked In is a great networking tool to find professionals in your chosen career track. Social networking could open doors that you haven’t even considered yet. At the very least, professionals in your field will be able to offer you valuable insights into breaking into a new career.   

Know your value… 

Everything you have done in your previous and current workplaces has some value to your next employer and maybe what makes you uniquely qualified. You probably already have skills that transfer to many different job descriptions, but you may need some education or training. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, so later you can present yourself in the best light. Find out what you need to get your foot in the door and build your skills.  

If you are unsure about what skills you have to offer or how to present them on your resume, investing in a career coach will pay dividends. They are skilled at homing in on your strengths and stay up to date in keyword trends to get your resume noticed. A coach or any mentor will bring a new perspective to your search and to help structure your plans. Building a network will help keep you focused on your goal when challenges arise and offer feedback that may be beneficial.  

Don’t be afraid to enlist professional guidance… 

Sometimes the notion of a career change can be overwhelming, and we don’t even know where or how to start. Online career coaches specialize in industry research and mastering job search skills. If you’re not getting interviews, have someone look over your resume. If you’re getting interviews but not offers, troubleshoot your interviewing skills with your mentor or career coach. It’s helpful to have someone supportive to vent to at times. Job-searching can be frustrating, and rejection is inevitable. It can be very stressful and discouraging. Having someone outside your social network will support you and give you unbiased advice.  

Be patient, persistent, and realistic… 

Remember, this is a process that takes time, energy, and patience, so you must have sensible expectations. Everyone has strengths and limitations. Everyone encounters challenges and setbacks in this pursuit. Letting the stress of job searching get out of control will only hurt your efforts and possibly affect your health and personal life. You, your family, and your next employer want the best version of you. Don’t let self-care lose priority. Be sure to keep up with decent diet and exercise habits and last but not least, get adequate sleep!  

Your next job may not be “the” job, but if it is a stepping stone to your dream job, consider it a success! Some people start volunteering or create a goal-oriented “side hustle” to get started. Either can be an excellent way to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go, especially when finances are a priority. A change of this magnitude will take a lot of time, energy, commitment, persistence, and guidance. Investing even a full year or two will indeed pay off for decades to come.  

ACT… 

When you areready to take control of your future and embark on the journey to a more profitable and satisfying career path, why not see what a career coach can offer you RISK-FREE?.   Life Coach Library will match you with up to 3 certified coaches who will all offer you a complimentary discovery session. Experience the impact of working with a coach can have today!  

How a Life Coach Helped Me Get “Unstuck” (and why I became one myself)

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Recovery, Relationships & Family
how I got unstuck with a life coach

Anyone can get stuck in life.

This is my personal story of getting “unstuck” so that I could take my life from “good” to “great”.

I was a rebellious teenager. Very rebellious. To say my childhood was not idyllic is understated, but seriously, who’s really was? No long or dramatic stories here, but by the age of 20, I couldn’t stand myself or my life and ended up in a recovery group for alcoholism and drug addiction. Trust me when I say I didn’t get there a minute too soon. Getting sober saved my life: physically; mentally; emotionally; and spiritually.

To paint a picture:

I was 20, working in a bar (underage with fake identification) , my best “friend” was a 45 year old junkie with a criminal record as long as my arm. I weighed 205 pounds, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and couldn’t make a sentence without using “F — -“as the noun, verb, AND adjective. Lovely right? (not).

That was over 30 years ago.

I have been a personal-growth zealot ever since. The first several years were rough. I had much soul searching to do. The only thing I had to change was everything. Pain motived me to become feverous about turning a troubled life into a sane and purposeful one. I worked (several) 12-step programs. I went to therapy for years. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I helped others. I prayed. I meditated. I did yoga. I ate veggies…I did whatever I could grasp. Life got so much better. Unbelievably better in every way.

The new picture:

I lost over 40lbs, quit smoking, and upgraded my circle of friends, I could even get through a whole day without dropping an F-bomb (most days 😉). I am the first and only female in my family to get a 4 year college degree (and then go beyond), I’ve traveled much of the world, married the man of my dreams, (better still, the man of my dreams married me) and in my early 40’s, had practically checked off every box on my bucket list!! (I do have a new one though 😊) All gifts of grace.

That list is mostly “outside” stuff that came as a result of the “inside” work I had done. I had worked hard to gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect; I had healed old wounds from the past; I had successfully turned around what could have been a total disaster of a life.

Life was good. But something was missing….

Part of the problem was that life was good. I didn’t want “good”. I wanted “great”. I had come too far to settle and rest at good, but I had no idea how to move forward and I had no I idea why I couldn’t figure it out.

I went back to therapy because that was in my comfort zone. I had been doing it off and on for years. I have nothing but respect for the mental health profession but creature of habit that I am, I went even when it just wasn’t working anymore because it was what I knew, and it was safe.

Why wasn’t it working? Because I wasn’t trying to heal anymore; I was done being pissed at my parents and not a stone from childhood left unturned; I was in touch with my feelings. I just wasn’t getting much out of it anymore. I had done so much therapy that there were times I felt like I was coaching the therapist and they should give me the co-pay. Seriously.

Therapy was good when I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t even get my head above water. However, I felt like I’ve been floating for years and I wanted to learn how to swim. Intuitively I knew how, I just needed someone to (gently) push me off the float.

I had a lot of practice going bad to good, but I simply sucked at going from good to great. Damn it! I had to try something different because I didn’t want to just “exist”, and I was determined to breakthrough this invisible barrier and thrive.

Fortunately, I found a way out.

Life Coaching picks up where therapy leaves off…

I had considered working with a life-coach years prior but to be completely honest, I could not justify spending money on something that in my mind, may not work. Therapy wasn’t exactly working anymore, but insurance paid for it. Now, let’s be clear, I would easily drop a few hundred bucks on a shopping spree for things that I didn’t really need but would bring me about 48 seconds of glee. I did have a problem investing in myself. Ironically, that thought process itself was part of the problem.

So, I was skeptical and even cynical, but I convinced myself was if it didn’t help, the worst case was I got a few less massages or ridiculous shopping sprees. That is what it took for me to take the first steps and what has become one of the most positive and life-changing experiences I have ever had. I consulted with two coaches and I found one I intuitively knew was the right one for me.

I learned at the core of my “stuck-ness” was old faulty and limiting beliefs. Ones that I had no clue I even had. So deeply embedded in my thinking they weren’t even conscious. Until, with my coach, I slowed down. Way down. None of these ran in my “conscious” but like peeling layers off an onion, when we explored what was behind the conscious thinking, there were some pretty damning beliefs about myself and the world running behind the scenes.

I’ll share a few of them with you here:

Old Beliefs about my self-worth:

I’m a good wife/daughter/sister/friend when I DO things for people.

I need to excel at something simply to measure up. If I was the same, I was less than, if I was better, I was ok. I never believed (really believed) like I was good enough at anything.

Confident people are so cocky and arrogant. Having true self-confidence will mean I am conceited.

Old Beliefs about money:

People who are rich are selfish and greedy. Translation: If I have a lot of money, it will mean I’m selfish and greedy.

Spiritually and money cannot exist together.

Spending money on my well-being was a waste because there was no instant or tangible return. (cliché as it is, the old “I’m not worth it” belief)

Old Beliefs about taking risks to fulfill my dreams:

What I dreamed of was not rational but lofty and whimsical, therefore childish.

I don’t have a Ph.D. so no one will take me seriously.

It’s better to have the security of a job that I’m barely content with than be vulnerable to try what I truly am passionate about. * * (even in a situation where I do have a safety-net to catch me if I fall).

These are just a few, the list was much, much longer and deeper than this.

Coaching offered a practical, solutions-oriented approach to overcoming them. Were there moments that related back to my past? Yes. Where there new self-awareness’s that brought on painful moments? Yup.

The difference was that I quickly learned how to weed-out these thoughts without dwelling in them or their roots all over again. There was just old programming that needed to shift but it did not involve reliving it. Simply observing experiences with adult eyes and deciding the message was either never true, or true once but no longer serves.

In 12 weeks, the change was profound. Like, 5 years of therapy profound. It was almost like being lost in the forest, wandering in circles for hours but not realizing, a quarter mile in the right direction will take you straight to a road.

Worth every cent. Exponentially worth every cent.

Finally, really happy and really unstuck. Finally living my dreams. Life just keeps getting better every day. It’s not all rainbows and roses but I have found a true sense of wholeness and happiness. I know what I am truly passionate about and have a deep sense of purpose.

Instead of reacting to the world doing what I believe it expects of me, I consciously and deliberately create the life I want; doing what is true to me and as a result I feel energized. I feel enthused. I feel grateful and I truly look forward to whatever adventure or challenge life has for me.

I continue to use those same strategies in my daily life and to help others to find what works for them.

Sadly, I think many people live their whole lives, cradle to grave, never knowing their true calling and purpose. Afraid or simply “content”. Content is good but when you know great exists and you can create it, why settle?

If any of this resonates with you and you think you’d like to work with a life-coach to reach any of your goals, it’s simple to find one here at Life Coach Library. By registering and filling out a short questionnaire you will be matched with up to 3 coaches and then can see for yourself how amazing working with a coach is. Give it a try, it’s risk-free.

If you’re still sure if coaching is for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Author | WENDY COPE, Personal Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net

About:

My story is told above. The profound transformation I experienced triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walks of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about.

Education: I completed my coaching certification at Coach Training Alliance. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning.

ENGAGE AND RETAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES

Career & Business
keep employees engaged

Organizations today need to rely on the commitment and engagement of their employees in order to thrive.

Sadly, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs according to a Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report. Equally concerning is the high cost of turnover. In a 2018 Retention Report: Truth and Trends in Turnover revealed that U.S. employers were expected to pay $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018 predicted to increase to $680 billion by 2020 according to the study. (Tarallo, M., 2018).

If this trend continues, organizations will struggle to survive. With the way our economy is today, more jobs available than people to fill them, organizations will find themselves struggling if they cannot retain their employees. I wholeheartedly believe that engaged employees are a company’s most important asset. Leaders need to make employee engagement a core responsibility knowing that it is an investment in the organization.

Here are five tips to consider for engaging and retaining your employees:

1. Be the leader employees want to follow.

Numerous studies show that the number one reason employees leave their jobs is because of their supervisor. Leadership matters. We need to continually invest in our own professional development so we can be the leader our employees want to follow. We all have areas for improvement.

Employees often complain that their supervisor does not listen to them. Effective communication is a critical leadership skill and this doesn’t just equate to speaking. Active listening is incredibly important. Take time from your busy schedule to listen to your employees. They want to be heard and know that their thoughts and opinions matter. To keep employees engaged, leaders must show their employees they can be trusted. They must be approachable and show their employees that they genuinely care about them.

2. Start early. Employee engagement and retention starts upon hire.

Retention efforts should start on day one. Create a robust onboarding and training process so new employees can acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to become engaged members of the team. Effective onboarding also reduces employee ramp-up time. New employees should know exactly what is expected of them, and have the appropriate resources and training to help them be successful. Consider assigning a new employee a buddy, someone who can show them around, introduce them to others and make them feel welcome.

3. Mentor and coach your employees.

Don’t wait for the annual performance review to provide performance feedback to your employees. Meet often especially in the first year. Take the opportunity to coach for performance improvement. Nurture the strengths and talents of your staff. Help your employees create a career plan and give them opportunities to grow. Make it part of your mission as a leader to help your employees attain their career aspirations. If career advancement is part of their career plan, mentor and prepare them for the next level. When appropriate, give your employees new experiences by having them accompany you to meetings and appointments.

Mentoring builds loyalty, helps employees feel valued, and is engaging.

4. Recognize accomplishments.

Everyone needs to feel valued. Recognizing accomplishments and showing appreciation goes a long way towards driving employee engagement. Employees will want to stay with you for the long haul. Recognition also helps reinforce what you’d like to see the employee do more of. Recognizing accomplishments could be a simple thank you or a nice handwritten note. It’s also important to know what kind of recognition means the most to your employees. Some may like to be publicly recognized while others may simply prefer one-on-one recognition.

5. Inspire, demonstrate your passion and commitment.

Be able to communicate a powerful vision for the company. Show your commitment and enthusiasm for the mission and vision of the company. What really matters is when leaders can create enthusiasm and empower their employees. Your enthusiasm can be contagious!

Are you ready to advance with a coach?

Life Coach Library was designed by coaches who have been clients and know how to work with busy professionals. Now you can conveniently experience the impact a coach can make and without risk. Simply register, fill out a questionnaire so that our coaches can get a snapshot of you and your goals, and receive up to three coaching consultations from certified coaches who specialize in your area of need.

Submitted by Robbie K. Carlson – Life & Leadership Coach http://robbiekcarlson.com/

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