The Best Gift Ever

It’s Christmas…

And, I can think of no better gift to give yourself than the gift of creating meaningful work.

Last week, I read this quote in Business Insider in an article (by Jenna Goudreau) entitled: 7 brilliant leadership lessons I learned this year:  

“Laszlo Bock, the SVP of Google’s People Operations
and author of ‘Work Rules!’, said on a panel this year
that “people don’t stay for the money.” Rather they
want to go to work every day and be surrounded by
other smart, engaged people and do work that makes a difference.”

A recent Gallup Poll found that 87% of working people say they are disengaged from their work, with 70% in the United States. That means that these people are just going through the motions, putting in their time, frustrated and bored and unhappy. That’s a lot of unhappy people. (And, they are not very productive.)

Does that describe you?
Are you struggling to find meaningful work?

You need to create it. And, the first step is to determine what “meaningful work means to you.”

“What does ‘meaningful work’ mean to me?”

The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is to answer that question for yourself. Find some time during the holidays to sit down, away from the festivities, to ask yourself the following questions:

What does meaningful work mean to me?

How do I define meaningful work? Is it where I am making a contribution? Doing something that has a social impact? Using my talents to their fullest potential? Don’t use my words. Come up with your own description.

What are you doing when you think of doing work that’s meaningful? It doesn’t have to mean working at a hospital or with orphans in Africa, although if that’s what you want to do, that’s great, too. The point is: you can do something meaningful right where you are, in small or large ways. The important thing is to be able to identify what you do, or want to do, that feels meaningful.

Great! Thanks for taking the time to do this…you’ve completed the first step! You are on your way to creating work that is meaningful.

Celebrate: You Deserve It!

It’s the end of the year…

Everyone seems to be celebrating…there are parties, get-togethers, dinners, and visits with friends and family.

Are you celebrating your year of work? No? Why not?

The end of the year is a great time to process and “take stock” of how your year went. I know that some of you will want to start with looking at what went wrong and how to fix it.

I want to change that.

I want to encourage you to look at what went right this year. That’s actually the first step.

Think through these questions deeply and write down the answers:

(Let me give you more thorough instructions. First start by seeing what thoughts come to you. Write them down. Keep going. Put 1 question per page and see how much of the page you can fill up. If you get stuck, take it a month at a time. This will help you go deeper and bring more memories back. What happened in January? What are you grateful for that happened in January?)

The key is to BE SPECIFIC.

1. What are you grateful for this year?
(It could be having a job, getting a new opportunity, finding a new resource, working with a new team member, generating more revenue, gaining more knowledge, taking bigger action, coming up with new ideas, stepping out and up, getting onstage, working with a cool, new client, feeling like you made a difference…and the list goes on and on…)

2. What went well for you?

3. What are you proud of? What did you accomplish?

4. Where – and for what – did you receive compliments? Positive feedback? Accolades?

5. What decisions did you make to move yourself forward?

You might be tempted to default to what went wrong. What didn’t go right. Where you screwed up. But, that’s a conversation for another time.

Please just focus on what you did well and feel good about.

Now go back and read those pages. It was a good year, right? Did you celebrate all of these components of your year?

Now is the time to celebrate! Review these pages…put them in a folder and bring them out when you are tempted to get down on yourself. Read them.

And, celebrate! Find a way to treat yourself to something before the end of the month. You’ll have to figure out what that is. The important thing is…

Celebrate! Because you deserve it…

Create Meaningful Work: The Hidden Step

I am adding a step to my 8 Pillar System. It was always implied, but now I see that it is THE pivotal, transitional step that takes you from the Discovery Phase to the Implementation Phase …effortlessly and gracefully.

Here are the components of the Discovery Phase:

1) Understand the Job Market – and Your Place In It

2) Discover Your Talents, Gifts and Abilities

3) Leverage Your Unique Value Proposition

4) Know Your WHY

STEP 5. Determine Who Needs You (*NEW*)

Up to this point, you have figured out what you have to offer the marketplace. But, before you can figure out how to talk about and sell yourself, you need to think deeply about who needs what you have.
What problem do you solve? Who has that problem? Who has a need that you can help to fill? Can you create something new for someone?

This is where you look at where you can make the biggest impact with your value offering. It is the linchpin.

Do you have something to offer your former company? The competition? You don’t have to stay in the same industry. 

Can you make the biggest impact working at a start up? A mature start up? A large corporation? A midsize company? Do you need to approach an individual, a team, a founder of a new company? Who needs what you have and where can you go?

The reason this step is so important is that it informs everything else that follows. It will help you decide how you position yourself in the marketplace. What language do you use? How can you talk about yourself in a way that others will understand how you can help them? It gives you a FOCUS to help you with the implementation stage that follows.

Here are the components of the Implementation Phase:

6) Tell Your Story

7) Choose Your Work: Role, Project or Venture

8) Create Financial Anchors

9) Educate Your Market / Enroll Others In Your Vision

So, you see the importance of Step #5? It ushers you into the implementation stage. Get this right and the rest will follow. Step #5 will make it so easy for you to tell your story (to the right people and companies), to choose your work, and to get out there in a BIG way so that you won’t be a best-kept secret.

Need help? Just reach out to me for a STRATEGY SESSION to explore how I can help you create the work of your dreams.

Get Clear on Your Destination

It’s hard to know how to plan if you don’t know what you want.

That’s why it’s important to be clear on your destination.

So many people lead reactive lives, particularly at work. They get a job, work for a company, get promoted (or don’t get promoted), and stay at the company. Years go by, and they discover that their job has become a career…even if they didn’t plan it that way. Somehow they just stayed the course in their job and this course determined their ultimate destination. They didn’t chart their own course.

That’s great if they end their working career happy and fulfilled. But, so many people just “fell into” their work and their career “just happened to them.” This leaves many people feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. They had more potential, but never used it.

You don’t have to follow that pattern.

You can be proactive in managing your career, your job, your work opportunities. You can shape your course at work.

But how? You need to have your destination in mind. What do you want?

The first thing you need to do is to determine what is important to you. What matters to you? What do you believe in? What do you stand for? What gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction? This is your WHY.

What kinds of things do you enjoy doing? Helping people? Solving problems? Communicating through writing? Connecting people? Connecting the dots? Building businesses, processes, systems? Creating art, design, blog posts? What are you good at doing? This is where you take a look at your TALENTS and SKILLS.

Your vision is that picture in your mind of your ultimate destination. What does it look like? What are you doing? Can you see yourself at that level? Get quiet and try to picture it in your mind’s eye. Creating vision boards seem to be popular today. You can try this manually or digitally. Manually, you’ll want to cut out pictures that support your end goal. Digitally you can create a board on Pinterest that includes images of what you’d like to have at your ultimate destination. This step involves using your TALENT and SKILLS to support your VISION.

What is your destination? How can you combine what you believe in, Your WHY, with your TALENTS and SKILLS, to create a vision of your ultimate destination? That is the goal.

Spend some time thinking about and writing down the answers to some of the questions I have posed today. Go deep. Spend some time on this. Journal your answers. A picture will emerge. And, if you need some help, reach out to me at info at and we’ll set up a STRATEGY SESSION together. Enjoy~

Uplevel Your Mindset: What You Think About Work Matters

What you think about work determines what type of work you will have.

It also forms the foundation for the relationship you will have with your work.
Let me explain…

Recently, I had a conversation with a former client of mine. It was a check-in call. I wanted to know how she was doing as she continued to refine her business model and get closer to the business she wanted to do.

She said to me: “Yesterday, I had a bad day. At the end of the day, I said to myself, 'You did no work today'.”

“And, then I realized…

I spent the entire day working. It just didn’t look like work.

In the morning, I went to the barn and rode my horse. Since part of what I do these days is teach horseback riding at a very high competitive level, I need to stay connected to that work. Riding is how I keep it real.

Then for lunch, I met with the owner of the riding program where I have been teaching. She and I discussed the goals of the program for next year and my involvement in it.

Finally, I took a walk with my dog on the beach. While walking, I strategized about how I could get the training I need to move to the next level of my profession. I also thought of who I knew and how I could leverage my connections to contribute to my industry.

I didn’t think it was work because it didn’t feel like work. This is who I am and what I do and I’m so passionate that it just feels like it’s what I’m meant to do.”

What about you?

What do you think about work? Do you think it has to happen between 9 to 5, five days a week, with weekends off? Or is it more like 60 hour weeks with catch up over the weekend?

Do you need to be working at a place, like an office? If you are not working at an office, but at home or at Starbucks, does it mean you are not working? Does it mean you are not serious?

I want you to think deeply about work. What do you think about work?

Here’s an exercise. Write down the answers to the following questions:
What does work look like to you?
What were you told work needs to look like in order to be work?
Now, what do you want your work to look like in the future?

The clearer about what you want the faster you’ll be able to create it in your life.

And, as always, if you need help, please reach out to me and we’ll set up a strategy session.

Are You Afraid of “Interim” or Project-Based Work?

Are you afraid of “interim” or project-based work? If so, you are not alone.

The other day I was speaking to a participant in one of my speaking engagements. She confided to me that she had been laid off from her job and was looking for a new job. Then she told me how difficult it was for her to find a full-time position.

She had gotten interviews but was having difficulty making it through the final cut. There was no job offer.

She was starting to get scared, coming to the end of her unemployment benefits and dipping into her savings.

When I asked her whether she had considered looking for “interim,” “temporary,” or “project-based assignments,” she told me, “No. Security is important to me. I want a job.”

I understand. It’s nice to have a steady paycheck.

But, here’s the thing: there are fewer jobs being created these days. Why? Because it’s very expensive for companies to create jobs. Typically a company will pay between 35 – 50% over and above an employee’s baseline salary just to cover benefits. That means companies are slower to bring people onto the books on a full-time basis, which translates into a longer hiring process.

It’s much quicker, easier and cheaper for companies to create shorter-term assignments. In fact, much of the work that is available in the job market today is packaged up in terms of projects. Some say upwards of 50%. (This is happening in companies too, where project-based work is more prevalent than job descriptions.)

If you are like this participant, and can’t find a “job,” you might want to entertain the idea of working on a short-term project or interim assignment. Especially if you  need immediate cash.

It doesn’t mean that you have to spend the rest of your life in a 40 hour a week assignment, with no benefits. You don’t.

But, interim and project-based work is the fastest path to cash.

Consider looking for and accepting a project for 90 days. It’s better than not working at all, and in many cases, these shorter-term projects lead to full-time employment.

The key is to take control of your search for paid work. Don’t look at taking an interim position as needing to compromise. See this option as a wonderful alternative to generating quick cash while you continue your efforts to find, and even create, work you will enjoy, and if it’s important to you, a regular job.

Bottom-line: Don’t be afraid of interim assignments or project-based work. These alternatives can actually create security by guaranteeing an income stream. Use them to create a financial anchor to cover your expenses.

The most important part of any search for work is to ensure that your financial needs are met. Use this strategy to meet your needs.

And, if you need help with this, please reach out to me (click here) and let me know. We’ll set up a strategy session to see how I might be able to help you.

Get Unstuck: Know Your Destination

I’m writing this aboard a flight to Hawaii…

And, I’m very sure of my destination (Kapalua, Hawaii) and why I’m going. My stepson is getting married!

Are you clear about your destination…at work? Where do you want to go next?

You may be unhappy, feeling stuck, overworked, stressed, and just plain bored. You want out. Maybe you want to bring your creativity to the world. Or use your talent differently. With different people. In a different place. On your own terms.

You know you want to do something different but are not sure what that is.

Here’s the thing: it’s hard to create a plan to leave and go somewhere else if you don’t know where you are going.

Pick a destination.

Don’t worry about getting it right the first time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can always shift it, change it, tweak it, or refine it.

The question is: what does your ideal next step look like? What is your destination?
Here are some questions designed to help:

Who do you want to work with?
Doing what?
For whom? With whom?
In what kind of environment?
For what purpose?

Can you describe your destination? If you don’t know, here’s a little exercise. Write down your answers.

Think about what you do in your current job/work.
What do you like? (and would like to do more of?)
What do you hate? (and what would you like to let go of?)
What do you do that could be delegated to someone else?
What would you like to be doing, but don’t do now?
What would you like to learn?
What skills would you like to develop?
What would you like to build, create, bring to life?

Are you getting clearer?

Think of your destination as your “prize” work. If you could do this work, it would be like receiving a “prize.” Now synthesize what you have written to construct a profile of your ideal “prize work.”

Still struggling? Think of it this way: you are planning a trip. In the beginning, you don’t have to know exactly what your destination will be. But, you do need to know generally what you are looking for.

For example, you need to know whether you want to go to the beach, the mountains, the desert, or the city. Or whether it is a deserted, remote place or densely populated, full of glitz and glamour, or “without frills” (as in “roughing it.”) Or anywhere in-between. Hot climate? Cold climate?

What are the characteristics you are looking for? What does the destination look like generally? What is it filled with? Can you describe it? What kind of activities will you want to do when there?

Similarly, what kind of work destination are you looking for? Size of company (solopreneur or multinational?), types of people, state of company (start-up or fully mature?)? What do you want to be doing? How do you want to contribute?

The clearer you are about your destination or your “prize” work, even if you can’t be specific, the faster you will be able to find it. Have fun searching!

PS. And, if you need help moving forward, you might want to pre-order my book TAKE THIS JOB AND S.H.O.V.E. It – 5 Steps to Go From SHOVE It to LOVE It on Amazon. Click here:  (In it, you’ll find more exercises to help you become even more specific about crafting your “prize work” and destination.)

Stuck in a Job You Hate?: Stop Waiting…

At a networking event this week, I met Marina, who talked to me about the last job she had before she started her own business.

"I was SO unhappy at work. I kept thinking...
I am working 9-5 for survival. My life began 
after 5 pm."

Life is too short for that, she said. That’s when she decided to make a BIG change and launched her own health insurance business, which is thriving.

How about you?
What are you waiting for?
What is your spouse waiting for?
What are your colleagues waiting for?
What is your son/daughter waiting for?
What is your friend waiting for?

It’s time to stop waiting and start living fully. Create work you love.

You were not born to get a job to pay the bills until you die.

You were born with a unique set of gifts, talents and abilities. YOUR JOB is to develop and leverage those gifts and to use them to make your individual contribution to today’s world…and to be richly rewarded for it. (HINT: leveraging your gifts will enable you to make more money!) This is the basis of creating work with meaning, work you will love.

So, it’s time. No more waiting…

It’s time to get off the fence and to move towards what you want, what will make you happy, what you were put here to do. It’s time to take steps to find, and even, create, work you love.

It’s time to make a decision to do things differently. It’s time to make a decision to leave the place that makes you stressed out, burned out and unhappy. You don’t have to leave right away, but you do need to make a decision now.

It’s time to leave the comfort of what you know so that you can reach towards something new, and more rewarding.

It’s time to take a calculated risk. Notice that I didn’t say take “a chance.” I said, take a “calculated risk.”

So, that’s THE KEY: Create a strategy to bridge you from where you are now to where you want to go. You will want to put in place a structured plan to help you maintain the financial security you now enjoy so that you won’t be financially-challenged or in trouble later. (HINT: And, you don’t have to wait until you have two years of savings to make a move.)

You can make a change and stay financially responsible…to yourself, your family and your creditors. It just takes putting a plan in place during the transition. Try it!

THE MARKET: How to “Niche” Yourself

Recently when I was in New York, I met with a friend who is a branding expert.

I know, that label might sound too broad, too vague, and even a little too corporate. So, how does she brand herself successfully?

She has lots of choices…because…

Today, all the rules have changed.

It’s not good enough to have a fancy title, like Managing Director, or even a descriptive one like Career Coach or even Branding Expert.

In today’s world of disintermediation, where the Internet is creating micro-markets of people around the world, it’s time for “niche-ing.” You have to know your niche and fill it. Who is your target market? Who do you serve?

How do you find your niche?  I’ll give you three ways to think about and find it.

First of all, be counterintuitive.

What that means is think about going against your initial instincts here. You probably think that you want to brand yourself broadly so that you will appeal to the widest group of people out there. More people, bigger market, right?


The best way to craft your niche is to be as narrow as possible. You know, as in, “I serve women who make raw food to feed their three-legged dog.” OK, I’m being a little silly here, but it makes my point. You cannot be too narrow in today’s world. So, I want you to think about getting more specific about your target market or niche.

Here are three ways you can think about creating your niche:

1) Niche around a skill. (I can’t believe that I turned a noun into a verb! Sorry English majors…)
Here’s an example: let’s say you are a great writer, a copywriter. You could create a niche around providing your clients with your expertise based on your skillset. You could help them with writing websites, sales pages and email letters.

2) Niche around your gift.
My friend who inspired this story has an uncanny ability to laser in on her client’s message. She could create a niche around helping her clients to see and articulate their unique message and branding. It’s intuitive, her gift.

3) Niche around your story.
One of my mentors, Suzanne Evans, has a program she calls “Make Your Mess Your Message.” The idea is that you can build a business out of your own personal journey. In this case, my friend could help mid-career women leaving corporate American to find their message and build their business. Why? Because that’s what she’s done.

It’s all about the niche. Use today’s world of social media and free publishing platforms to get your message out into the world and watch who is attracted to you. That’s how it works! 

Millennials: How to Get Off the Sofa and Into the Job Market

Millennials got gypped. They did what they were told.

They played by the rules, went to school, did well, accumulated lots of student debt with the assumption that their educational investment would pay off in terms of a good job.

Only there are no jobs. It’s so unfair.

Well, there are jobs, but if you look at the job creation statistics, you’ll see that the majority of jobs being created are in retail, health care (and we’re not talking doctors) and food service. Pretty much low-paying jobs.

Is it any wonder that lots of millennials are sleeping on their parents’ sofa?

There is a solution. You see, the problem is that the millennials are playing the job game by the old rules.

Millennials – these rules don’t work anymore…

So, make up some new ones. Here are some suggestions:

1. Stop waiting for the job market to get better.

It’s not going to get better. It’s breaking apart into little pieces. Jobs are disappearing…as a form of work. Jobs are turning into projects. When you think about work, I want you to think in terms of “projects.” Go look for those.

2. Stop waiting for someone to notice you and offer you a job.

Unlike other generations who, as they were about to graduate, had companies come onto campus to recruit for jobs, they didn't. Companies don’t recruit for jobs, and the ones that do, offer jobs you don’t really want…unless you want to work 100 hour workweeks for the next two years.

Create your own work. Figure out who is doing something cool and find a way to help them. Create value in the marketplace. Know what you are good at doing.

3. Get some help.

And, if you don’t know what you have to offer the marketplace, get your parents to pay for you to work with a psychologist who can help you find your talents quickly by administering assessments and feedback. (I did this years after I graduated and it was SO useful in helping me to chart my course.)

Then, hire a coach like me to help you create the strategy to get you where you want to go. (I am always working with a coach!) Sure, it’s investment, but it will yield a better return than your education. And, you’ll get to where you want to go much faster…isn’t that what you want?

BOTTOM-LINE: You are going to have to make your own way in today’s fluid marketplace, and if you do, you’ll find that the rewards are great.

Video Letters: How to Rock the Video Letter

Did you know that some hiring companies only want to see…video letters?

What is a video letter? It’s a video of you, talking to the company about why you are applying to them for the job.

If you approach the video like a traditional cover letter, you will not be successful. Why? Because there is more to the video letter.  You need to showcase who you are. Showcase your personality. They want to see YOU, not just hear about what you can do for them professionally. Make it entertaining, while appropriate.

Here are some guidelines to use when shooting your video letter:
(HINT: It’s easier if you script out what you want to say.)

1. Introduction - Start by sharing your name and the job/role for which you are applying. Make it easy for the viewer. Be pleasant and make it fun to watch.

2. Get personal - The whole purpose of a video letter is to get an idea of what kind of person you are. Who are you? The hiring company – and team – wants to know who you are and whether you are the kind of person they want to spend 8 – 10 hours a day with. So include some details outside your professional world. Think about your Twitter profile. It isn’t just about business. Be real and authentic.

3. Make the case for why the viewer should care and why they would want you to be a part of their team.

4. Tell them what you love about the company.

5. Explain why you are excited by this job/role/project opportunity, and specifically state what they will get if they hire you.

6. Attach your resume. Let them know they can find more details about your background in your resume. Make sure it includes proof of your professed “value add.”

7. CALL TO ACTION: Make sure you close with something like: “Oh and don’t forget to pick up the phone to call. I would love to have the chance to meet you and talk about how I can contribute. Bye, bye.”


Pick up your iPhone, Android and start filming! Have fun with this…the more you practice now, the better you will be when it counts.

Find Your Passion and Nourish It

Always feed your passion.

If you like to make art, then work on your art.
If you like to write, sit down and write.
If you like to ice skate, then make time for the ice.
If you like to dance…dance!
If you have passion for helping people, help them.
If you have passion for baseball, play it, watch it, read about it.

Speaking of which…
If you have a passion for the Boston Red Sox, get season tickets, even if you don’t live in Boston. (That’s what Beth, my best friend from kindergarten, does. She lives in Washington, DC…but she never gave up her Sox season’s tickets. Now, that is passion!)

Never neglect your passion.

What exactly is passion?

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines passion as:
“a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

Some people are afraid of the word “passion.” They tell me that they don’t have it, or they don’t know what it is, or they have never felt it. I get the feeling that these people think that passion has to be a grand, all-encompassing desire or force.

You can define passion for yourself.

Ask yourself: what does passion mean to me?

To me, passion is that thing (or those things) that I love intensely. It is what drives me, an ardent desire, something I love to do, something I believe in. When I’m aligned with my passion, I feel very alive, lit up, in the zone, filled with energy, excited, motivated, jazzed up.

Why do people have trouble finding their passion, or worse, think that they don’t have any? Because they either think it has to be a life-changing, transformational force, or that they have to compress their passion into one thing.

I am giving you permission to define “passion” for yourself. What does it mean to you? And, now that you’ve defined it, what is your “passion” / “passions?”

Here’s my list:
Helping people out of jobs they hate and into work they love
Helping people see more possibilities or bigger possibilities for themselves than they can see on their own
Ice skating
Writing/speaking about what’s happening in today’s job market
The Blues
Being able to see things differently, to find anomalies and make sense of them
Dancing the waltz & polka
Training my dog and my husband…no, I mean spending time with my husband! (Just checking to see whether he will read to the end of this article. :o) )

So, what is your passion – and are you spending time nourishing it? Spend time with your passion. Feed it. Doing so will bring you joy…

You Can Do Anything...Especially Today

I had a client, who I'll refer to as Lynn, who had been let go in a downsizing. She was trained as a lawyer and worked as a compliance officer in a bank.

Losing a job is an emotional experience -- it can involve a real sense of loss -- but it also offers the chance to take stock and look at one's life. In my first meeting with a client, I usually say: "You've lost your job, and we'll deal with the emotions associated with that. But, it's also an opportunity to look at the life you want to create. What kind of life do you want?" I watch the eyes of my clients flicker as they glimpse possibilities.

That's exactly what I said to Lynn in our first meeting. She answered: "I want to be a compliance officer in a bank." I thought, really? Because Lynn came across as a very dynamic, high energy woman, the kind of person who walks into a room and makes an impact. Lynn, a compliance officer? I couldn't see it.

So, I answered: "OK Lynn, that's fine. But, you can do anything. You don't have to be a compliance officer any more."

She assured me that being a compliance officer is exactly what she wanted to do. Every week we met and talked about her positioning, wrote her resume, created her networking strategy, compiled her list of targets, and did all those things one normally does in a traditional job search. And, every week, I would say to her: "You know, Lynn, you don't have to be a compliance officer any more. You can do anything."

Finally, in our tenth week, she came into my office with a HUGE smile on her face and something in her lap. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "What's up?"
Lynn: "I know what I want to do."
Me: "Great...what is it?"
And, at that point, she lifted a book off her lap and said "DOGS. I want to work with dogs." (DOGS was the title of the book.)

I was surprised. She had never said anything about dogs before.

It turns out that she had five dogs, and had always harbored the dream that she would start a pet care company for dogs. So, that's what she did.

She started out small -- creating steady income streams one at a time. She began by walking her friends' dogs and then expanded her dog walking services. Then she began to sharpen groomers' scissors in her kitchen. The next step was to add a breeder referral service. She had three diverse income streams. Then she began to get some media attention and started her own branded column on pet care for a local media channel. Her business has evolved to where she designs the care of pets -- mostly dogs -- for celebrities and high profile working professionals who want pets but don't really have the time to care for them. She provides a kind of "nanny service" for dogs. She loves her work and her clients love her service.

What does this mean for you?


I want you to pretend that you are my client. You are sitting in my office with me, and I say to you: "You don't need to do __________________ any more. You can do anything."

What would you say to me? I'm listening...

1) Write down what you would do if you could do anything (and if money was no obstacle).

2) Pretend that you are going to commit to doing this work. What's the first step you would take? How could you create a small, but steady income stream to begin? Are there other income streams you could add?

Know When It’s Time to Work with a Mentor/Coach

You are struggling.

You have been unhappy in your job for a while. You want to leave, but you are not sure it’s the right time.

You think you want to do something entirely new, but you don’t want to start over again. You don’t want to lose financial security.

You want to move forward, even if it’s only one step a day, but you are not sure where to start.

You’ve tried to take steps forward on your own, but they didn’t really work, and you are afraid to make a mistake. So you don’t even try.

You want to do this on your own but know that you’re probably going to move ahead through trial and error, which can eat up time. 

So, you stay put and spin and spin, going nowhere. You are wasting time, not moving forward. What can you do?

You are considering working with a mentor or coach. What can you do to evaluate whether this is the right option for you? And, the right time? And the right mentor/coach?

The right time to work with a coach is…

…when you want to partner with someone who has a roadmap for you so that you can avoid going down dead-end paths on your own.

…when you want the accountability and support to inspire you to move more quickly than you would on your own.

…when you want to work with someone who has a proven track record of success with others. If it worked for them it can work for you…if you do the work.

…when you want someone to help you sift through your conflicting priorities, such as your desire to change jobs versus your desire to stay put and keep your financial security.

…when you’ve made the commitment to take action and know that you can take massive action more quickly…with someone who has been there before.

…when you want to generate momentum by working through a system based on building blocks.

It’s not always appropriate to work with a mentor/coach, and sometimes it’s not the right time. But, if you answered YES to 4 out of the 6 statements above, it might be time for you to consider working with a mentor/coach.

You’ll want to make sure that you choose the right mentor/coach for you…but that’s a subject for another time.

If you think you might be ready to work with a mentor/coach, send me an email to: info at you are free dot com and we'll setup a strategy session.

Sell Your Value, Not Just Skills

If you are like most people, your job search - or project search - centers around selling your skills. You spend lots of time talking about what you know how to do, what you have done, what you can do. It's all skill-based.

Selling just skills misses the main point. Sure, prospective employers, hiring managers, and joint venture and strategic partners want to know what you CAN do. But, more importantly, they want to know what VALUE you can provide to them. What kind of contribution can you make? Where can you add value? How can you make a difference? And, where did you make a difference in the past? By selling your value, you are answering the following questions for the hiring manager: what can you do for me? Why should I hire you and what do I get in return? What will be the return on my investment in you?

Companies always hire value. And, you don't need to be a PhD psychologist, an ingenue, a genius or a master innovator. Most everyone can provide value.

Providing value is not dependent on your level of job position. It can happen anywhere. For example, I gave workshops to a group of people in South Carolina who had been working in a manufacturing plant that closed down and moved to Mexico. One of the class participants, a warehouse worker, told me the following story: when he was first hired, he approached his senior supervisor to ask about the number of customer complaints he had received and the nature of the complaint. It turns out that the packaging used to transport the product was flimsy, causing the product to become damaged in transit and leading to lots of recalls, which cost the company money. 

This warehouse worker took the initiative to pull together a group of people to figure out how to change the packaging process. They came up with a new, cost-effective procedure that reduced the number of complaints by 65%, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sometimes the contributions are small. It could be, for example, the time you took to help a struggling co-worker get up to speed on a project. Or the time you came up with a better process for serving customers. Or, you discovered a more effective software program. Or,...  

The key lies in looking at your past accomplishments. Where did you make a difference in the past? What did it take to accomplishment it? What comes naturally to you? 


Look back on what you've done in past work assignments. Where did you make a difference? Remember, it can be something small, as long as it is meaningful to you. It can even be an idea you had that no one would listen to. What things are you proud of? Where were you recognized? Make a list. Then think about and list out what it took to get the accomplishment done. These will give you the puzzle pieces you need to begin to figure out your "Value Story." 

If you can figure out how to sell your value, you'll be more attractive to people looking to hire you, whether in a job or project. You'll make it much easier for them to understand why they should hire you. You'll set yourself apart from the competition, people who are still selling just skills. Try this approach and let me know how you do.

Welcome Message

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For those of you who don't know me, I am Founder of, a company dedicated to helping you create meaningful work, boost your impact and your income. Read more at

This blog is based on my deep conviction that you were born with a unique set of gifts, talents, and abilities, and your JOB is to leverage these innate abilities so that you can make your unique contribution to the world, and be well-paid.

That's the WHAT. This blog is dedicated to helping you figure out the HOW. How can you actually make this happen in your worklife? Look for regular posts designed to help you figure it out.

My passion is to help you think differently about work so that you can discover what meaningful work means to you, and then go out and create it.

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Thanks for being here - and I look forward to seeing you more often. Here's to being free!