A Detour to Success

In 2008, like millions of other people, two of my dear friends, whom we’ll call Tracey and Mitch, were unemployed. Two years ago, they each took jobs that at the time seemed “off-course” – that seemed like the proverbial “two steps back.” Tracey stayed within her area of discipline, but changed industries. The result: a relocation and $100,000 drop in salary. Mitch stayed within his industry, but changed his area of focus. The result: he could now work from home, but he gave up a six-figure salary. Tracey and Mitch took their respective jobs, in 2009, because they needed a job. I don’t believe they viewed the job they assumed back then – at the height of our economic crisis – as their “dream” job. Nonetheless, they stepped into their new jobs and did what they are known to do: They, as usual, worked hard; they were politically strategic; they were focused, disciplined, and determined; they managed using the 360 degree paradigm. These plus a plethora of other factors, like being humble, committed, and flexible, having the “right” ambassadors, and keeping their eye on the prize, to name a few, led to the wonderful news they shared with me last week. Mitch got a promotion and is now a regional director responsible for a large sales force. And, he is back to earning a six-figure salary. Tracey was promoted to executive vice president by her organization’s president and chief executive officer. She is now managing a team of nearly 3,000 and got a $100,000 raise (yes, you read that correctly!). (Continue...

Ask For Help, Not Permission

Recently, I boarded a cross-country flight with the intent of spending my six hours, sleeping, reading, and writing. Having a lengthy chat with my aisle mate was not part of my agenda. But within ten minutes of boarding the flight and getting settled, I happily let go of my “flight” plan. As serendipity would have it, I was seated next to a young woman who is the inspiration for this post. A young woman who has spent years planning what is now her dream come true: She was beginning her trip around the world! (Continue...

Every “No” is Not the Same

Before a prospect becomes a client, I take them through a series of questions. This preliminary financial coaching session is thirty-minutes, complimentary and designed to give prospects a sense of my style and what they can expect from our engagement. It also gives them (and me) a picture of their current financial state, revealing what they have, what they tend to do with what they have, and why – rather than what they think they have, tend do, or why. Finally, this in-take call provides immediate feedback regarding the next steps to take, along with a framework for how best to use our coaching time benchmarked to their goals and budget. Prospects are always amazed at what they discover about themselves from my seventeen (17) deceivingly simple, closed-ended questions and the conversation they spark. Yet, they don’t always choose to move forward. Read...

With These Words, I Hereby Rankle Your Feathers

The experience I am about to share is about me wanting to have the last word and be right. It is also about acknowledging my ego while simultaneously setting it aside; a hard discipline to practice! When it comes to two people communicating, there are actually five “parties” involved. It’s you, the other person, what actually took place, and your respective perceptions of what took place. This is true when the communication goes well, and it is true when it doesn’t. The latter really became evident recently when my feathers were rankled with just nine words said to me via email: “…as I was asking to do…we could have.” Read...

Does “What Do You Do?” feel more like “What’s Your Value?”

When most people think of identity theft, it is usually in connection with the stealing of one’s personal information (e.g., social security number, credit card number, passport). But a recent conversation with a friend about what is usually an innocent question brought to mind a different kind of identity theft, one that is perhaps even more insidious. I’m sure you are familiar with this scenario: You’re at a non-professional social gathering, you meet someone new, and after the initial pleasantries, you are asked, “So, what do you do?” How do you react to this question? Do you embrace or despise it? Is your reaction dependent upon whether you’re working; if you love the work you do; or, if you’re earning what you want to earn? Read...