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98% on my Terms

December 28, 2018 | Blog | No Comments

Earlier this month Daniel and I were visiting two friends in Seattle. He’s laid back, she’s full of energy. They are a perfect compliment to each other. We all went out for pie. Amazing pie. The kind of pie you’re going to want more of later.

mmmm-pie

Whoops, got distracted. Back to our adorable couple. When ordering, he asked her if she wanted a second slice for later. No, she replied. 

As the cashier took their order, she ordered a second slice at the very last moment. “100% on your terms, I get it” he smiled down at her. Later on, with equal love, Daniel affirmed my assertion that I was a “100% on your terms” kind of gal too. 

Picky. High standards. Uncompromising. Determined. Obstinate. Resolute. Stubborn. These are all synonyms of a sort but some have negative connotations, others positive. This concept, like any other worth thinking about, has pros and cons. 

Flexibility of mind does not come naturally to me. All of the above synonyms have applied to me pretty much since I could speak. Ask my parents, they have stories….

But I can and have improved. 

There are at least two concepts that I find helpful when trying to go with the flow. 

  1. Be positive. When the human brain comes to a conclusion or plan, it’s because that’s the best one we could come up with. But what about the conclusions or plans we didn’t/couldn’t/ wouldn’t think of? 
  2. Stay curious. Is there the slightest chance that if things don’t go exactly as planned they might go slightly better??? In a world of impossibilities the answer is always yes. 

I know some people have gotten tired of these phrases and ideas. But there’s a reason they’re ubiquitous. It’s because they’re useful dammit. If they don’t work for you let me know what does. Different routes to the same destination = success. 

I am still unbending when it comes to things of great importance to me. If you pick your battles wisely, this trait can be exceptionally useful. Weight loss/maintenance. Refusal to settle for a shitty job. Determination to get it right. 

This is one place where something less than 100% is acceptable. Perhaps even ideal.

Knock, Knock

December 10, 2018 | Blog | No Comments

Several months ago I had a missed opportunity to work with a former career advisor and coach of mine. Like ships passing in the night, the timing wasn’t right then. But wanting to reach out and simply say hello, I sent her a heartfelt note of gratitude and a brief update on the forthcoming changes in my career and life. She wrote back and we became pen pals (“keyboard pals” just doesn’t have the same ring to it- even if it’s technically correct).

She and I had worked together over the phone for months in 2016. Because of her skill as a coach, we grew close despite the 500 mile distance between Bellingham, WA and Denver. She was more than a career advisor, she helped me discern the difference between career advising and coaching. More importantly, she helped me begin the journey of finding out where I fit in the advising and coaching world.

Being pen pals has brought unexpected joy to us both over the last few months. I started looking for an excuse to visit the Seattle area and perhaps meet her in person. Before too long, a happy coincidence presented itself as a work conference for Daniel.

Opportunity

As usual I was determined to make the most of that opportunity. So I’m writing this in a  Seattle coffee shop. Tomorrow my former coach, now friend, and I are having lunch. Daniel and I visited dear friends for the weekend and I get see Daniel weekday evenings after he spends his days at a Seattle-based work conference.

20181210_171838-COLLAGE

When is the last time you sent a seemingly random thank you note or email? You’ve probably heard a hundred stats about how it increases your and your receiver’s happiness so I won’t throw another one at you. But nothing would make me happier than for you to stop reading this post now to go write a nice note. Seriously.

reach-out
Are you still reading this? Stop it. Go write a thank you note, call someone, whatever. You’ll have a brighter day and you might accidentally strengthen a connection or friendship.

Blank Space

November 30, 2018 | Blog | No Comments

Wasted time and inefficiency in general drives me crazy. So I sometimes plan things within an inch of their life. When you arrange the puzzle pieces beforehand you get a puzzle that fits together without gaps, overlaps, and blank space.

However, I’ve started to learn the value of blank space. For example, I’ve been on vacations where half-way through another person suggests a hidden gem to visit but I can’t fit it in because I’ve got other things planned each day.

Calendar quoteOf course, this is nothing to cry over. In that instance I’m trading awesome for awesome. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But what if sometimes I could trade blank space for awesome?

As we approach the end of the year I’m reminded of my New Year’s resolution. “Leave rooms for the dreams you didn’t know you had.” In other words, maybe don’t plan things within an inch of their life.

When I quit my job to start a coaching business, it was a big leap into the unknown. Somehow I had faith that, even if I didn’t know exactly how things would turn out, they would turn out OK. Plenty of space for undiscovered dreams and goals.

So now not only am I building a coaching business, I’m an instructional designer. I’ve designed courses in several of my former jobs and I enjoy it. So getting paid to do it on my own schedule is pretty great.

Space quote

I’m still a big fan of planning. But taking little leaps into the unknown has taught me not to fear the bigger leaps. Like quitting your job. I had a plan for that but it wasn’t set in stone. Thank goodness.

A Paradox

October 6, 2018 | Blog | No Comments

We build confidence to take risks by having the confidence to take risks.

If we’re ever to have the guts, chutzpah, (lady)balls, or daring to take a risk, it helps to look back on a previous risk that turned out for the best. And I am of the belief that unless said risk resulted in death or dismemberment, you got something good out of the experience. If only a lesson learned. And nothing is more valuable than learning.

The only way to fail is to not show up. So it was with that attitude that I quit my job and became a consultant. Four years of hard work paid off as I left my company with the prospect of immediate consulting work I was genuinely excited about.

And so I celebrate the signing of a contract. My first.

Palmer

A toast to risks that give the confidence to take the next big leap.

Is Quitting your job an Accomplishment?

September 11, 2018 | Blog | No Comments

I don’t have a job right now and that’s OK. At least, that’s what I keep repeating to myself.

I had a job working for a wonderful nonprofit where my coworkers were smart, dedicated, and kind. Why in the hell would anyone leave such a place?!? I keep repeating that to myself too.

Despite the fact that I have no idea whatsoever how to run a business, I’m following my head and heart. helping other people achieve their dreams is my dream. So I’m becoming a carer and life coach. But first I need to make some changes. Live leaving steady income behind. You know, little stuff.

In my last week on the job, I received many heartfelt “congratulations.” Does quitting one’s job (without another job to go to) warrant such felicitations? Apparently. Though it won’t feel like an accomplishment until I actually make money with my company.

Courage

That said, I VERY MUCH appreciate the well wishes. They really do mean a lot. I know it’s a courageous move to quit your job to start your own thing. The thing about courage is that it never feels like courage to the one committing the act. It feels scary, risky, and maybe foolhardy.

But I haven’t screwed up my life too badly so far, so I’ll probably survive this venture. More to come….