When Should You Take the Leap to Create Your Dream Life?

I was having a discussion with someone about life transitions and it really got me thinking. Most of us really want to pivot to a dream life… a life we really enjoy living. But how and when are the difficult questions that can keep us trapped.

In fact, it can be downright scary to think that you would leave your safety net behind and really go for what you want; to put it all aside to create your dream life. After all, you’ve invested quite a bit into building the comfort and security you have today.

Determining the right time to make the transition will depend on your answers to a few questions (for starters):

  1. How will you eat?  This sounds silly right? Almost common sense. But not really. The “right time” will mean you have defined a plan that will still provide for basic life needs such as those defined in Maslow’s Hierarchy. The physiological and safety tiers are of critical importance and foundational pieces for creating your dream life.
  2. What’s the end goal?  Your vision needs to be clear. It’s difficult to reach a destination you have not yet defined.
  3. What resources do you need?  In order to get from point A to point B, what resources to I need? I like to break these down into financial, human and technical resources.
  4. Do you have the family stability and support for this transition? If you have family members close to you, this will be their transition as well. It’s important to elicit their feedback and support prior to making changes that will affect everyone. A likely benefit is their ability to help raise issues you may not have considered…
  5. Are you emotionally prepared? Have a very honest conversation with yourself. Are you really ready for this? Are you willing to commit to this? This type of transition often results in multiple hurdles being thrown your way. Are you prepared to leap over them and keep on moving? Recently, the link between emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial success has gained more traction as researchers have started defining a very concrete relationship between the two.

 

So, are you ready to begin creating your dream life? Start by asking yourself these questions. Then, consider your ability to provide positive answers as your guiding light… a beacon of sorts. And while there is definitely more to the equation, this gets you into a good starting position before making the serious life-changing decisions that will help you begin your transition.

 

Remember the ultimate goal is to move from a life you live… to a life you love. And when you plan and prepare, you move one step closer.

 

All the best,

sig

Is Your Life Like A NY City Taxi Ride?

On a recent visit to NY City, I found myself happily relying on the convenient taxi service available in the city. And, thank goodness for it! Although each trip was memorable in its own right, there were a few things consistent in each ride.

 

  1. Swaying this way and that way
  2. Not so graceful starts and stops
  3. The friendly blaring of horns

 

It struck me that as I help professionals transition to living a life they love… a true dream life, there are definite parallels to my NY City taxi rides. On the surface, this may sound a bit crazy but indulge me for a minute as I explain.

 

The first step in our journey is to understand the current state of things. And here is where the similarities can be seen. You’ve worked so hard to get to a certain point in your career only to feel like you are spinning a bit trying to maintain control of all that’s happening around you.

Trying desperately to reach a balance where you can feel a sense of happiness; a state of inner peace. You’ve been trying to tackle this beast one obstacle at a time:

Running from task to task trying to stay on top of things                                               

>>>    Swaying this way and that way

Constantly reacting to events to by making adjustments that seem necessary           

>>>    Not so graceful starts and stops

The occasional meltdown caused by frustration at the lack of progress                        

>>>   The friendly blaring of horns

 

Instead, I want you to take a step back and take a deep breath.

Then, make a conscious decision to get out of the taxi and get off the merry-go-round. How? By creating a well-defined vision of where you want to be and what you want your life to look like.

 

Then take the tactical approach of outlining a series of steps that will help you get there. Only when you are able to create the big picture and commit to taking the tough but necessarily actions will you ever truly achieve the life you want… a life you love living.

 

I believe you can do it!

 

Until next time…all the best!

sig

What Service Recovery and Your Dream Life Have in Common

Service recovery and your dream life have more in common than you might think…

As I sit here in a restaurant, the waiter has taken 13 minutes to take my order. So long that I finally requested he come to my table. He finally made it over to my table and failed to acknowledge his error. Just casually proceeds on which caused me to be just a bit annoyed.

However, as I go through this experience, it dawns on me how much service recovery and achieving your dream life have in common.

Let me draw a few parallels for you:

  1. Acknowledge shortcomings – These are not necessarily failures but simply an acknowledgment that we are all human. We are not perfect and therefore we make mistakes. The key is to fess up. Owning it can be a very freeing experience allowing you to move forward without all the baggage.
  2. Turn things around –  There is a famous quote (by author unknown) that says no matter how far you travel down the wrong road it’s never too late to turn around and go back. The beautiful thing about life is each new day is an opportunity to begin reshaping the future. The same can be said for each interaction we have with each other.
  3. Define the path forward – Don’t leave the results you are hoping for to chance. You are much more likely to get your desired results if you consciously plot the course and then strategically move ahead. 

All three of these are common factors in both effective service recovery and in building the dream life you want and deserve.

While no one can turn back the clock, you can change the future. I can almost promise it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Until next time!

All the best,

sig

Live Management vs The Accidental Life

Are you living an accidental life? Do you ever feel like you are being swept away? Like life events are happening so quickly that you have very little control and no choice but to just roll with it?

While clearly…as the saying goes “life happens”, effective life management is a common denominator seen in many people who are happy and successful. I find it fascinating to talk with them and listen as they describe how they approach life.

It is not luck or coincidence that gets them through the challenges and back on track. It is a very deliberate and effective action and re-action that takes place. On a very simplified scale, it is as simple as 1) what is the challenge I’m facing and 2) what is the best course of action that deals with the problem while allowing me to stay focused on my big picture goals. They don’t drag it out or ignore it and hope it goes away.

For many of us, the process of getting swept away by life throws us a bit off balance. As life events continue to happen, it keeps us in this state of imbalance and before we realize it this becomes the norm.

But you can change this by developing and sharpening your action and re-action skills. Begin by making a list of the challenges you are facing. Apply a little tough love and come up with solutions to help you begin to move past these obstacles. For each new problem that emerges, come up with a plan to move past it. It may not be easy or quick, but baby steps is much better than stagnation. If you need assistance, there are many wonderful and qualified coaches or counselors that can help you achieve your goals.

The importance of life management cannot be understated. Don’t live your life by accident. It is the surest way to kill the dreams you desire and you deserve.

All the best,

sig

Using Fears for Success

I like to think of fear as a catalyst. What it is a catalyst to, however, depends. It depends on you and how you react in the face of fear. I like to coach clients on using fears for success. It’s not always the obvious way to deal with fears but can be very useful.

When fear presents, there are a variety of outcomes that could result.

  1. Fear could compel you to action
  2. Fear could lead you to failure
  3. Fear could contribute to your success

Let’s briefly discuss each of these.

Action – at times the status quo seems comfortable. You don’t see the need to change things because all is going well. Then a triggering event happens and you become fearful of the potential outcomes of inaction. A basic example here might be you have received a final warning at work. The tone of the last meeting with your manager suggests your employment here is coming to an end. You consider an immediate job search because not doing so risks becoming unemployed and impacting family finances.

Failure – there are times when fear can be crushing to the point where it immobilizes you or prevents you from processing and executing in the best possible manner. If you are not able to execute, there is a real danger that failure may result. For instance, a new opportunity is available at work. You consider applying but you hesitate. You are not sure if you have the right education, experience and qualifications. What will others think if you apply? Will you get the support you need? While you continue your internal battle, a co-worker applies and is awarded the position.

Success – another possibility when facing fears is for the flight-or-fight response to kick in. Instead of running away, you can choose to stand firm. Dealing with the fear forces you to focus and tap into new skills in order to move past it. Every new skill you add to your toolbox helps you make progress that can contribute to your success. Let’s say for example you have a goal of becoming a public speaker. Yet, you have difficult speaking in front of large crowds. You have received an offer to speak in front of a large group. Instead of declining the offer, you decide to take on this challenge. It scares you to death. But, you spend the next 4 months doing everything in your power to prepare. At the event, you start off a little nervous but soon start to settle down drawing a sense of comfort from all of your preparation. The event is a hit!

As you can see fear is a powerful emotion. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Make the choice to embrace your fears, overcome them and apply your new skills to your arsenal to help propel you to success. Make using fears for success a habit that becomes second nature.
Let’s move from the life you live, to the life you love!

All the best,

sig

What is Your Life Vision?

I work with executives and professionals every day who create powerful mission and vision statements.

Often using a variety of strategies and methods to create a well-rounded and impactful message that motivates the organization. These mission and vision statements are posted in prominent places and may even be operationalized by playing a role in meetings.

But when it comes to creating a life vision, sometimes we stumble. Many I talk do simply do not think of their life in terms of needing a defining vision. It’s just something you do on a regular basis.

Well, I want to help you achieve the life that you absolutely love! In order to do that, I want you to approach your life in the way that you run your business. I want you to define a life vision.

What does the life look like that will make you happy? What does it mean to live the life you love!

I want you to take 30 minutes to ponder this question. Then I want you to write it down and set a reminder on your calendar so you can see it in front of you several times a week.

When you define it, you can start to live it. And when you start to live it, you will be one step closer to creating the life you love!

All the best,

Signature2

Why You Need a Success Coach

What do football teams, actors and singers all have in common? They have coaches. To put it a different way, they have success coaches!

These groups understand that you don’t become your best by accident. Artfully crafting and executing a master plan is how you can achieve becoming your best you, whether personally or professionally.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong. The coaching industry is growing at a rapid rate as more people start to connect the dots between coaching and successful outcomes. For instance, a football team with a substandard coach is not likely to achieve the desired results which are 1) a winning record and 2) a championship.

Now consider your life and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have clear goals for the next 3 months, 1 year and 3 years? Are these in writing?
  2. Do I have a practical plan for achieving these goals?
  3. Have I identified obstacles I may face and how remove them?

If you answered no to any of these questions, having a success coach could be the missing ingredient to help you get over the hump and start achieving your goals.

How do I choose a success coach?

There are a few key areas to consider that can help you choose the right success coach for you:

  1. Coaching experience
  2. Defined methodology
  3. Likeability
  4. Ability to connect
  5. Ability to understand that you are the leader and the expert of your life

A good success coach will be a comfortable fit allowing to you work together as a team to achieve your objectives.

Would you drive around in circles hoping to reach the right destination? Of course not! Don’t leave your success in life to chance. Take control and drive towards your desired outcomes.

Let’s move from the life you live, to the life you love!

All the best,

 

Signature2

Choosing a Career

While in the airport, I had a discussion with a young lady who was struggling with choosing a career. The difficulty was she was young (under 30) with 1 child and wanted to make the absolute best decision for her and her child.

Like many others, she feels the burden of this decision and didn’t want to take it lightly. I shared a couple of thoughts on choosing a career or a career change with her.

Take the options on the table and do a plus/delta:

  • What are the positives and negatives of each one?
  • What are the salary, income potential, lifestyle implications, etc.
  • What are the educational investments (time and money)?
  • What is the market demand forecast?
  • If you have friends or family who are involved in any of these careers, take a few minutes to get their perspective. You are listening not to be told what to do, but to take away nuggets that may help to form your decision.

But the most important thing I shared was not to look at this selection as “the end”. This is something many of us fall victim to. It’s just another decision. One of many you will make in your life. If it’s not the right one, you’ll figure this out in time and it’s never too late to change course.

Building your dream life requires a certain amount of flexibility in order to continue evolving to the point where you are comfortable and happy with your direction.

Many decisions will not be perfect the first time so no need to put too much pressure on yourself. There are plenty of others who will do that for you!

All the best,

Signature2

Women: Are Your Work Clothes Hindering Your Career?

It is difficult to get people to trust your abilities if they do not respect your appearance.

During career coaching sessions, I coach clients on the importance of dressing for the role you want…not the role you have.

So I want to explore the topic here. Are your work clothes hindering your career?

Fair or unfair, the reality is your appearance speaks loudly about who you are. When entering a room full of professionals who do not know you, the first thing they see is your appearance. The old adage that it is difficult to make a first impression twice is certainly applicable here. It is difficult to get people to trust your abilities if they do not respect your appearance.

I had a personal experience with a co-worker who was extremely talented and effective. However, her appearance did not convey this. I can only wonder if her appearance contributed to being passed over for promotions on several occasion.

Wearing clothes that fit properly speaks to confidence in your abilities and in yourself. Overly baggy or poor fitting clothes may cause people to wonder about your attention to detail and your commitment to your own success and the success of the organization. Clothes that are too clingy or provocative may have everyone talking, but not about your professional abilities. And don’t forget that outdated clothing can negatively affect your professional image too.

Now, I’m going to be a bit sexist just for a minute and right or wrong is irrelevant here. The fact is there is a societal expectation for women to keep themselves well-groomed and looking their best that is not the same with men. Feel free to respond and debate this point, but this is simply my opinion supported that the experiences we see and hear on a daily basis.

So, before you select your outfits for your business meeting or workday…consider this. What is the message you want to convey without ever uttering a single word? Then, dress accordingly.

No one should ever question your ability to represent the company on the basis of how you dress.

All the best,

 

Signature2