Archives for derek rydall

My 2017 Plan of Attack

The Eye of the Tiger by Stuck With My Camera of Flickr

 

Attack may seem like a militaristic word, but after much consideration, it fits my current mindset. Like the eye of the tiger, I have my vision in sight and I am feeling poised and ready to take on 2017.

I have my calendar for the year broken down into micro-movements, better known as milestones, but unlike milestones, micro-movements have a bit more flexibility to shift around. I fully anticipate great opportunities arising that I cannot at this point predict, as I am expecting 2017 to be even better than I imagine.

This actually brings me to my first resources – books:

Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On  Your Own Terms, Vishen Lakhiani

I am halfway through this book and have already evaluated 12 realms (shared earlier with you) and created inspiring visions for how I want these 12 realms to be. It was promising to find that I have already made significant progress in a couple of areas. The big thing that I just got from this book, however, is the state of mind I need to be in for exponential growth to occur. Goals are great, but not when they intimidate the JOY from the process. This reaffirms the mindset that I aim to adopt in an even more prominent way, that all of these roles that I assume in my life (mom, boss, CEO, coach, writer, adjunct professor, speaker, singer, etc.) are what I GET to do. I don’t LOVE all of the tasks associated with these roles, but if I maintain this mindset, then I can find the joy in these tasks and feel appreciative that I GET to do them. In turn, this will minimize my procrastination and increase my energy, enabling me to do more in less time.

 

The Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World, Adam Grant

I feel like I should have already read this book. It was brought to my attention by a client who helped the author with the launch. Considering he is local to me, and he seems to share a mission and a philosophy with me, I sense there is potential to join forces, but first, I want to delve deeper into his teachings. I realize that some of the things that I teach particular to interviewing and negotiation are contradictory to that which my peers promote. However, it is because of my experience and perspective as a “recovering” recruiter, my empathy for my clients, and the amazing outcomes these methods produced that I am driven to share them with as many people as possible, in spite of how some of them don’t conform to the traditional practices of my industry.

 

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss changed how I look at meetings, how I delegate, how I invest resources and inspired me to take my hands OFF the things that someone else can do better and faster. As a result, I finally launched my book. Even more important, however, is how I teach my clients to manage their time, making sure they are not spending their time writing their résumés over and over again, but putting their focus where they can make the greatest impact with decision-makers. I have transformed my six-month coaching programs into three-month programs, and I am currently developing a six-week program. I am excited to learn and teach what Tim shares in this book that will help me support shorter and shorter searches for optimal jobs.

 

Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change, Derek Rydall

Derek demonstrates how wisdom pours through him, as though he just opens himself up and the truth of what really needs attention and love shows up. I love listening to his podcast, “Best Year of Your Life.” I see this quality, too, in Tony Robbins. It is because of who they are and how they are, not what they say or do, that they can be such powerful agents of transformation. I want to learn more about Derek’s journey to discover what I can emulate that will make me more effortlessly, yet powerfully, illuminate my clients’ true brilliance, and teach them to shine even brighter.

 

YOU Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, Jen Sincero

In my year as a Beachbody coach, this book was touted as the #1 go-to personal development resource. Most of the time, I do feel like a Badass, and I feel myself embodying this more and more. However, there are still those moments and thoughts that threaten to knock me off my path and out of pace. Again, I want to know if this is a resource I should be sharing with my clients, many of whom have self-limiting beliefs that tend to manifest as they form new habits, expand their comfort zones, and embody their brand.

 

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Doidge

This book may change, since it was published in 2007, and so much more has been discovered about the brain since then, but it is highly acclaimed by the neuroscientists that I follow today. Why do I study the brain? What I was taught in school about the brain has been nullified by what they have discovered in the past 10 years. We are much more capable of changing our brains, a phenomenon they call neuroplasticity, and our brain is ultimately responsible for more of our reality than we knew before. When I started learning about the Law of Attraction in 2008, I needed to understand if there was any science to how our thoughts impact our reality. I found answers in neuroscience and quantum physics, and what I have learned since then has helped me be a better coach. I can help my clients override the neural patterns that keep them from attaining the change they so desire.  I will read one book on the brain, and I promise to share with you what it is and what I learned.

 

My 2017 company goals include:

  • Joining the National Speakers Association
  • (Re)starting a online community that will serve as a focus group for a 30-day Law of Attraction program
  • Building a back-end for Accelerfate, my job search mobile game, and put it in the hands of users
  • Engaging and training two like-minded professionals to use the Epic approach to help me support even more job seekers in 2017
  • Wining an industry award, submitting a résumé or two for a TORI (Toast of the Résumé Industry) award. BIG on my list > this is the last year I am eligible to win the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list, or any other 40 under 40 list.
  • Landing a prestigious speaking gig

 

Events I plan on attending:

AwesomenessFest, better known as A-Fest

This happens twice a year in two exotic locations. This year’s first event is May 17-20 in Ibiza, Spain. I have never been to Europe before. I would certainly want to see more of it before coming back, but would also want my family to be with me.

 

Any Tony Robbins event

This is a bucket list item that I am feeling more and more compelled to check off. The more immersed I become in communities committed to personal and professional development, and the more I find myself quoting his videos, the more I realize that I do have a date with destiny.

 

An HR Tech conference, two of which I am examining:

HR Tech October 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV

Workhuman May 30-June 1 in Phoenix, AZ

 

A Career Development conference

National Career Development Association annual conference June 28-30 in Orlando, FL

 

I look forward to reviewing this list and what I accomplished at year’s end. In the meantime, 2017, here I come!

 

My Best Year Yet: The Top 3 People, Authors and Coaches Who Made It So

Art4theglryofGod by Sharon of Flickr

 

2016 has truly been a spectacular year for my personal and my professional life. I definitely give praise to God, especially because the family members whose health had caused grave concerns in the past all seem to have made tremendous recoveries.

As I reflect on this year, I want to give praise to the mentors, coaches, teachers, and authors who have been the most influential to my best year in business yet.

Before I do that, though, I would like to pass on the utmost gratitude to all of my clients from previous years, this year, and certainly the ones who fall in both categories and allow me to make ongoing contributions to their career. It is only because you are there to allow my gifts to help you that I can fulfill my purpose. As a fan of words, I do not feel like I could ever adequately express just how grateful I am for you.

Now that has been said, I need to acknowledge the people who have enabled me to make increasingly greater contributions to my clients through their wisdom and teachings.

 

THE PEOPLE

Firstly, thank you Ford Myers. From my first few months in business through now being considered a fellow veteran of the industry, I want to thank you for the contribution you made to me, such as letting me borrow your Ultimate Career Guide through writing the foreword to my new book. You helped me build a strong foundation from which I could build my own solid business and reputation. And, thanks to the professional that you are, the industry as a whole in our region has been able to make a greater impact in the lives of corporate professionals. I very much appreciate the times that we were able to sit down and talk philosophy and pragmatism. I hope we will be able to do more of that in 2017.

Ed Samuel, thank you for introducing me to CCI Consulting. You have changed my perception of the quality possible in outplacement programs. You put a tremendous amount of time and energy into your service to others, and as a result, thousands have been able to make their own great contributions. When it is your time to finally slow down, I hope that you will be fully satisfied, joyfully floating on the ripples that reverberate back-and-forth through the pools of professionals who have been impacted by your effort, wisdom, and passion.

Lisa DeLuca, if there is anyone out there who questions the dedication of undergrad career services, I will point them to you to see the optimal example of the positive impact that is possible when career services establishes itself as a progressive partner firmly integrated into an effective preparatory undergrad curriculum. But that’s just who you have been for academia in general, LeBow, and its students. For me, having been self-employed for nine years prior to joining the adjunct faculty, I was encouraged by your patience, compassion, and guidance as I embarked on my own new career adventure. And, I have been impressed with your trust in my experience and how much you and LeBow value that. It has given my confidence and my credibility a boost that has enabled me to reach and help so many more people in 2016.

 

THE BOOKS

These are some books that created a shift in the momentum of my business this year.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Not only did I read more this year because of the practices that I adopted from this book, but I also grew at an exponential pace. This book and the Facebook community are directly attributable to my growth. I urge you to join a community and read this book, but especially without hesitation because the author is currently fighting cancer. I fully expect that he will recover and come back stronger than ever, but don’t miss your chance to get to know him.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Though I listened to the free audiobook available on YouTube, I recommend that you get the printed copy. I struggled to take notes at the pace that I could listen, and that is about the pace that he delivers the goods. Because of this book not only do I focus more of my time on the things that I enjoy and do best, but I also have been able to help my clients do more in less time. Both are critical when you are working and you begin to transition as well as when you are not working and need income.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I learned and teach a lot from this book and because of it I can be more accountable as a coach. In turn, I help my clients achieve better results. I can better understand their tendencies around forming good habits, and help them create an environment that is more conducive to long-lasting positive change that will help them achieve professional as well as personal goals now and in the future.

 

THE COURSES

Since reading The Millionaire Mindset in 2012, I have allocated 10% of my revenue toward education and training, and because of The Miracle Morning, have been more regimented than ever about investing 10% of my time to these pursuits. With more revenue than any other year that I’ve been in the business, I have made a record investment in my own professional development. Here are the courses and coaches that made 2016 my best year yet.

Winning the Game of Money, John Assaraf

It was actually years ago that I invested in this program, and I did go fully through it, and it did make an impact, but I had two babies at home. Unless you’ve been there, it is challenging to describe how the needs of two little humans can fracture your focus. I will never regret my decision to work from home with my kids, but if I could change anything about that time in my life it would have been to be more at peace with that life decision and not feel as pressured to keep a certain pace with my business. Feeling ready to refocus with my oldest attending a full day of school, I repeated this course in the spring this year, which was exactly when the shift occurred.

I enjoyed a very steady pipeline of great clients, was invited to participate in or speak at great events, and was offered unprecedented opportunities to partner with organizations I respected. In the past 10 years of being in business, especially when my children were babies, revenue was so unpredictable it was very challenging to make plans, like committing to family vacations. This is the first year we were able to do that, and my husband and I even went on a romantic getaway of our own. While self employment offers freedom to manage your own schedule and choose who you work with, it is not really freedom unless you have the resources, time, and money to do what you wish. I got my first taste of that freedom this year, and I thank John Assaraf and this program for that. If you are on my mailing list, then you have been informed of this program before. If you are not on my mailing list, please join to stay informed of influential resources like this as I discover them.

Consciousness Engineering, Vishen Lakhiani

I have been a member of MindValley for many years now, and have had it to thank for new spiritual awakenings and awareness. In 2016 the founder, Vishen Lakhiani, a curator of consciousness courses, started his own series. He interviews thought leaders covering a variety of different realms of life, learning, and spirituality. Each interview is like a system upgrade download, intended to level up your systems for living that enable you to progress and grow at an exponential pace. This means that the 10% of my time that I have been dedicating to my own professional development has actually produced exponential results.

However, what I see is being the most beneficial components of this course to my clientele have been the inspiration that he and his coaching cohorts are to me, helping me to find a vision of my own future in which I am making a contribution to millions, and some of the stories are just every day people who either experienced extraordinary events, or who experienced ordinary events and created something extraordinary from the experience. The more I expose myself to these real-life stories, the greater the gravitational pull of my hope is, which makes me more excited to get out of bed in the morning, and pushes me to complete a milestone before I rest my head for the night. Anytime I have a commute of 45 minutes or more, I listen to this program. I do not think I can count on both of my hands and toes how many times I have cited this course to my clients, especially when they start to doubt if their dreams are possible. I have come to see belief as a critical ingredient to epic success, but it does not always come easily. Consistent reinforcement is necessary sometimes to generate the kind of belief that turns what is possible into what is probable. That is the major contribution that this course has had on me and my clients in 2016.

Journaling Mastery, Derek Rydall

Because of The Miracle Morning, journaling, aka scribing, has been a part of my routine. I have always been a fan of journaling. Many of the books that I read have journaling components, and, though it takes that much longer to complete these books, they tend to have the greatest impact on my self-awareness and, therefore, the actions that I take toward my vision. I do not know if this 30-day course is still available for individual purchase, but I can tell you that it inspired me to create my own 30-day journaling guide, which is available as of this Wednesday: Laser-sharp Career Focus: Discover your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days.

It wasn’t just the format that was inspired by Derek, however. As the world’s leading expert on the Law of Emergence, based on his teachings I changed my paradigm and the model that I used to help my clients discover their purpose and passion from one that is less about receiving input and more about guiding them further inward to help them acknowledge what is already within them and wanting to emerge. It changed the whole process from one of pushing to allowing oneself to be pulled, which requires a lot less motivation, a force that most of us cannot sustain long enough to overcome challenges and create our dreams.

 

Next week I will share with you what is on deck for 2017. I have a full library of books, courses and events that will help me continue my personal and professional growth sprint and enable me to assist you even better in yours.

 

Have a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!

 

Your Heroic Job Search

Simply-become-who-you-are

David is a programmer at a small company. One day he received a promotion to management. He used to love programming, but lately it feels like everything is going wrong at work. He’s learning a tremendous amount about the business side and loves to interface with the C-level: but, at the end of the day he is exhausted from all of the people-problems he has to deal with on the job. Drama between co-workers, scheduling issues when people call out sick, confronting his staff about missed deadlines, and their failure to meet performance expectations are just a few of the issues he has to resolve.

This affects his usually-pleasant disposition and he becomes a grumpy person at work and home. David is now irritable and impatient with his family. His relationships with his wife and kids suffer. His son’s teacher now recommends that David and his family see a therapist weekly. His problems begin to extend beyond work and his immediate family. Even though David knows that he only has so much time with his ailing parents, he resents how they depend on him. He has no energy to take care of his health, and now his doctor wants him to start taking cholesterol and blood pressure medication. David also didn’t take care of his car. He forgot to get it serviced and inspected, so he was pulled over and fined for driving with expired inspection stickers, and the mechanic identified major engine problems due to his failure to get regular oil changes.

As David’s expenses grow, he has to cancel plans for vacations, which further disappoints his family. He starts to feel like there is no reprieve from his life. David is getting a month older with every day that passes in his life. He feels hopeless. Nothing is going the way he wants. It is as if he’s walking toward the abyss and nothing can correct his course. He knows he has to do more to save his health and to reignite the passion in his career. The desire to search for a new job, and to leave the stresses of his current job behind are calling to him. David has to answer the call.

David wants new adventures and excitement in his life. He wants to feel as if his work matters, instead of feeling like a cog in a giant machine. Each night after work, he applies for new jobs on various job boards and on company websites. Most of the time, he submits his résumé and never hears back from potential employers. Other times, David’s interviews are torturous, as he tries to explain why he would be a good manager. He then tries to go back to programming, but receives even fewer responses, and is told he is over-qualified, and addressing his failure to be an effective manager continues to make him feel inadequate and embarrassed. He knows he’s not making a great impression with employers.

A year passed and David is still miserable at his job as a manager, unable to find anything new. He needs change NOW. David asks a few of his friends for advice and one of them suggests reassessing his job search. The manager knows he wants more from his job search. He doesn’t want to waste any more time and energy at his unfulfilling job. He begins the reassessment by attempting to identify his strengths, assess his skills, and tries to assume a new professional identity while carving out his own personal niche in the job market. David has a difficult time trying to achieve the vision he set forward. He reaches out to a career coach who can help him relay those findings into a vision of his new professional identity.

With the advice of a career coach, he is able to learn how to apply his strengths as a business analyst, has a new résumé written, and even learns how to connect with others in his desired industry. The career coach helps him develop a three-month plan to close the skills gap he needs to be considered a Business Analyst, and helps him enroll in online courses that he can take while he searches and works full-time. David learns how to demonstrate his value and passion to others. He also revamps his LinkedIn profile, and it is rewritten to promote the transferrable skills and innate talents he has been using all along. He is able to show how he will apply his skills in a new way, in a new role. The the results are almost immediate. Within three months of hiring a career coach, David receives job offers from multiple companies and discovers his negotiating power. David lands a job as a Business Analyst at a company he loves, while earning a higher salary than he did at his previous job as a manager.

David’s journey from a job he hated to a job he loved is not unlike the journey of a hero– a term used in fiction-writing. The call to adventure is often ignored or refused by the hero in his or her journey. The refusal might be because of a sense of fear, insecurity, or obligation. Refusing the call means feeling stuck in a place of hopelessness and being a victim to circumstances. Joseph Campbell, an American writer, helped summarize the concept of the Hero’s Journey in his 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In his concept of the hero’s journey, the hero’s tale only takes a turn for the positive when he answers the call of adventure:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are encountered and a decisive victory is won. The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

 

Think of it this way: the decision to search for a new job, whether you’re unemployed or seeking a better job, is a journey. In your job search, YOU are the hero: but thankfully, you are also the AUTHOR of your own epic journey. Like the hero in many stories, your journey never really goes anywhere until you heed a higher calling. In the case of a job seeker, this would be the call to leave the job you’re dissatisfied with, or avoiding taking just any job if you’re unemployed. Heeding the call means you’ll be victorious in your journey. But many of us (at first) choose to ignore the call. What does this look like? More importantly, how can we get our heroic journey started?

 

The Journey and ignoring the call:

If you’re failing to find purpose in your job and your job-search journey is stalled, these are symptoms of a much greater problem– you are out of sync and out of alignment with your purpose and passion. Living against this grain causes splinters and calluses, much like how you can go into numbness and resignation. Until you surrender to the calling, EVERYTHING goes wrong.

If you’re dissatisfied with your job and you feel your life has a lack of passion, it’s not too late to start on a new journey. Bill Walsh, America’s Small Business Coach, said it best: “If your why is strong enough, the how will come.” Consider your own “why.” That is, what are the things that give you passion, drive and purpose in both your professional and personal life? Why have you chosen your particular career? Did you do it just to draw a paycheck? Or do you want to help others succeed: give back to your community: and enjoy your life to the fullest? Your “why” is something only you can answer. I created my own “why” video as one of my first assignments from Bill’s Rainmaker Summit.

Landing a job that helps fuel passion and purpose is a critical part of the hero’s journey. Remember, ignoring the call-to-adventure means being stuck in a place of stagnation and unhappiness.

 

Heeding the call:

At this point, you may feel like our hero who is on the cusp of embarking on the adventure. Right now, you may feel stuck, but you’ve found your reason for wanting to achieve greatness. Perhaps you were meant to read this very post, at this very time. It may be your time to STOP and listen to the call-to-adventure, start your hero’s journey, and accept the call to adventure. Don’t navigate it alone. Every hero has allies he or she can depend on. Those allies may be family, friends, alumni, co-workers and even acquaintances.  They are your network and they are willing to aid you in your journey.

There’s also the option to seek out professional help, if you feel your network can only take your journey so far. A career coach can help you discover the direction you need to take in your journey. Our own book, “Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint Your Purpose and Passion in 30 days” is a journal guide that can help you discover your passion. Whether the future is completely open or you know you need to make some major shifts, but keep a few things in place, our services will help you formulate a clearer vision of your future, so that you can build a strong foundation for a brand and campaign that manifest your ideal future.  We also recommend Derek Rydall’s programs to help you see what is in you already and to help bring it OUT, so that you can become who you are.  We suggest starting with Rydall’s “Best Year of Your Life Podcast” and then considering his Emergineering Program.

 

Decide that NOW is the time to answer the call-to-adventure. This will mean no longer being stuck in a mediocre job, and having the to power to change a career path. Discover what your “why” looks like and how it can help guide your job-search journey. As I said earlier, it could be finding a job you’re passionate about, finding your own financial freedom, earning a better salary, or even helping others in your community.

In your hero’s journey, once you find your “why” you can draw your sword and attack your job search with a renewed sense of purpose. No more job boards. No more torturous interviews. You’re going to be intentional about your future. You may decide that you want to enlist the help of a mentor, a career coach, or you may read about ways to discover and apply proactive methods to your job search. Creating a plan, choosing and targeting employers, networking, building your personal brand, hiring a résumé writer, and crafting a new cover letter are just a few of the many proactive methods you can use in your job search. Remember “why” you want to change your current circumstances and the “how” will come.

Epic adventures ahead!

 

What the hell made me think I could do a triathlon? (Part 1)

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I’m pretty sure I shocked and surprised many Facebook friends and family when I shared my friend’s picture of us from the Marshman sprint triathlon last weekend. (She’s the one who looks like a triathlete.)

When she asked me the day before why I wanted to do this*, I said, “It’s a new way to challenge myself. I don’t really want to compete against other people; I just want to see what I can do. I never fancied myself a triathlete before.” Perhaps, I thought, there was a triathlete inside me. Something inside me was really excited to do this, even though I didn’t think I had prepared or trained enough.

* (Note: This is a special preview to a full-length article that will be included in the Epic Careering Fall Newsletter next week.  I will include: people who created the desire by inspiring me, the event chronicle, and more about why you would have NEVER thought that I would be a triathlete if you knew me in my youth) To subscribe, please fill out the form in the right column.

I didn’t even commit to doing it until the day before. I had a lot of reasons to NOT do it.

  • My bike was not a road bike. It was a “Charlie Brown” mountain bike, put together by my husband just so I had something to ride. Only 3 of the 22 speeds worked and the tires were cracking.
  • While I had been pulling about 80 lbs of kids and toys in a trailer with this bike 10 miles, it was 10 FLAT miles. Rarely did I get out on my bike alone on the road to ride the bigger hills.
  • NOT ONCE had I done a lap all summer. I swam – with my kids in the shallow end, leisurely.
  • Though I did complete my first 5K in June, and had resolved to train all summer to drop time and do another one in the fall, I had not dropped any time and went a couple weeks without running at all.
  • We were warned that triathlons were somewhat of a “contact sport,” and while I played rugby in college, I did not like the idea of full contact going 20 MPH on my bike.
  • Our health insurance coverage has been much poorer with our newer plan, and sometimes claims would get rejected for obscure reasons; if something happened to me, it could mean financial disaster.
  • It was an expense that came at an inopportune time, at the end of my husband’s “dry” work season and when pre-school tuition was due for both girls.
  • It was REALLY early in the morning. I am a night owl, NOT a morning person. Not only did I have to be there by 7 AM, but so did my family.
  • I have never combined swimming, biking or running.

I had been thinking a lot about it, in spite of these reasons NOT to do it. I trained anyway and had my husband reserve off of work for that Saturday, so that I could go to the 1st-timer orientation and do the swim clinic, and for the event on Sunday.

Last week I asked my husband if he did, indeed, have off work. He shook his head no, and I said, “Oh, well.” Then, he asked why. He remembered that the triathlon was why I was asking. Suddenly, he who would usually put work as top priority during this financial “catch up” time and resist any extraneous expenses, especially after learning that he had to replace his work truck by the end of the month, was trying to help me make it happen.

“But, I’d have to take my bikes in and see if they can get them race-ready. I may even need a new bike.”

“You deserve a new bike,” he said. I almost cried. He wanted this for me.

Then, I started to think about reasons I should believe I can do it:

  • I can run a 5K, even if it takes me 36 minutes, and the last event was only a 2 mile run.
  • I can bike 10 miles pulling a trailer with about 80 lbs.
  • I used to play RUBGY!
  • I was the MIP of my varsity softball team.
  • I am not averse to swimming in cold water, and often swim in the ocean in May and October when everyone else stays cozy and bundled up.
  • The #1 reason I should believe I can do it – I birthed 2 babies naturally (and Daisy gave me back labor for 4.5 days before making her arrival!)

So, I got a new bike. I tested it, and it actually didn’t seem to perform as well as my old bike, but I was now pulling the trailer up hills. That night I called my friend, who I had not committed to, and told her that I was IN. She said, “Wait. Back up. Before you go any further, I had actually decided this week NOT do it.” She told me about all of these “signs.” In spite of a foot infection, she had gone with some other participants to test out the bike course (12.5 miles) and thought it was crazy hard. She was most afraid of the swim portion (.25 miles.) However, when I told her I was in, she was back in. Though, because we were both very uncertain about the swim, we decided that we would do the swim clinic, where we had the opportunity to swim in the very same COLD lake water. (It was 70 degrees on race day.)

After the clinic, with the encouragement of the staff who insisted that even the experienced triathletes will be less trained for the swim, and with the reassurance that lifeguards and buoys would be available if we needed rest, we committed. And, we agreed that no negative influences or thoughts were going to enter our heads from that point forward. We were totally focused on mentally practicing the optimal performance, the knowledge that we are very powerful, strong women with a lot of resolve, and the exhilaration of crossing the finish line able to proclaim, “We are triathletes!”  We also made the agreement to stick together, for better or worse.

From the picture above, you know that we got that moment. We did it, but it was a challenge, mentally and physically. I had issues shifting gears, and “we” did not perform well comparative to the other athletes. In a way, I feel like I never really did anticipate a strong performance, and I wonder, even in spite of bike issues, if I could have resolved earlier on to keep going, even if I had to stay in a higher gear, we both would have done so much better. I wonder in general – if I had higher expectations, would we have finished sooner? Perhaps I/we will find out next year.

In the meantime, my experience reinforced for me that I need look no further than deep down inside me to know if I can do something or not. More importantly, I feel like I can better reinforce for my daughters a few very important life lessons that I hope inspire them to challenge themselves to reach their greatest potential:

  • “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “We’ve been taught that if we want something, we have to go out and get it; when, in truth, we have to go within and let it out.” – Derek Rydall
  • There is NO can’t; only “I don’t know how yet.” – ME


(P.S. – Bonus pic! Here’s me singing with the above singer/songwriter, Jeffrey Gaines – another highlight of my life.)

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What Sesame Street taught us about discrimination (Thanks, Tina Fey!)

Beyond the Wall by Guiseppe Bognanni

Beyond the Wall by Guiseppe Bognanni

So, I’m in this coaching program* (I’m ALWAYS in some kind of program) that asks me to identify 3-5 people I really admire and want to emulate in some way. The point being that the qualities that you admire about these people are imprinted in you already, which is why you admire them in the first place, and by going through some exercises, you can embody these qualities with greater power and be the person who achieves your ultimate purpose.

 

* If anyone wants to know, it’s Derek Rydall’s Soul Purpose Blueprint program. I am not far enough in it to recommend it, though I am finding it to be very inspiring and it is providing me with new ways to guide clients in career discovery.

 

My people are:

 

Oprah – for overcoming economical and psychological conditioning, working her way up, and using her celebrity presence to make a positive impact on MILLIONS of people’s lives.

 

Daylin Leach (PA State Senator running for Congress) – for the same reason, all though he’s not yet reached a million.

 

Steve Jobs – for approaching the tradition of technology from an artistic and creative perspective and creating something completely new and more usable, hence revolutionizing our every day lives.

 

Howard Stern – for being loyal to the people who stood by him as he raised hell on the corporate stiffs that threatened to suppress his individuality. I can’t say I’m a fan of his particular brand of humor, but as someone who once pursued radio as a career, I admire his professional bravado. No one has achieved as much success in that industry as he has. He is the king of all media, and I thought maybe one day I would be the queen, but not HIS queen – ew.

 

Jimmy Fallon (speaking of ew: http://youtu.be/HOK4aBYNh3s)- for how he uses humor, games AND music to engage with an audience like he is their buddy and for the PURE joy he has in his work, making his own rules and keeping it EAST coast (I’m not against the west coast; I could’ve been west coast. I’m just very proud to be East coast and feel the Tonight Show’s presence here will enable greater opportunity for the entertainment industry here.)

 

Tina Fey – for pursuing what felt right as an individual and letting it lead her all the way to breaking through gender barriers to transform a culture, which opened doors for other female writers/comediennes. I am finding the world of mobile app game development to be predominantly male dominated, as are almost all of the investors.

 

 

In a previous coaching program, I was advised to read more biographies of people who have achieved the kind of success I envision for myself. Tina’s book, Bossypants,  is full of advice based on her journey, some of which would only be relevant should you find yourself to be a famous female television writer and talent, which I suppose is possible. All of which is hilarious.

 

One particular piece of advice, however, resonated strongly with me as applicable to anyone seeking to elevate their corporate success at the mercy of a hiring manager who appears to have a cultural advantage to success within an organization. I hear so many job seekers voice concerns over potential ageism (most common), sexism, or what Tina refers to as “lookism.”

 

“… or any -isms for that matter. -Isms in my opinion are not good.” (Can anyone tell me what movie this is from?)

 

“So my unsolicited advice to women [though I feel this applies to ANYONE] in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.

 

‘If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece ‘Over! Under! Through!’ (If you’re under forty you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of “over,” “under,” and “through” by filming toddlers around an abandoned construction site. They don’t show it anymore because someone has since realized that’s nuts.)

 

[I didn’t find that film on YouTube, but I personally recall this one: http://youtu.be/6mzRy-OWyvE]

 

 

‘If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk. If you’re lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground, like the rifle range or the car sales total board or the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that.

‘Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go ‘Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares?

 

‘Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”

 

Well said, Tina Fey! ‘Nuff said on that.