Valerie Hausladen and Marcie Finney
I’ve written extensively about the power of friends, having support to help you stay on course and avoiding naysayers (including your mind) while you pursue your dreams.
Today the Austin American-Statesman wrote an article entitled: A coffee with… Marcie Finney and Valerie Hausladen: A friendship steeped with admiration, success about one of my incredible friendships. Marcie is a talented jewelry designer and inspiration who I’ve written about before (see an earlier blog called Seeds of Change). Today’s article in the Statesman tells of the ways we support each other.
And it also talks about Professional Destiny (of course!) and gives the first press about my upcoming book…
A key takeaway is this: the path toward doing what you love always has a few bumps along the way, but if you have good friends and strong support, you’ll find that the road seems just a bit smoother.
October 28, 2010
One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
Last night I gave a Professional Destiny talk at the Stanford Women’s Group of the East Bay. (Thanks to Christie Jordan for inviting the group to her home and being such a truly phenomenal host!)
When you’re with a group of such talented and astute women you can expect to get some great questions. And I did! One of my favorites was when I was asked about my scariest point of transition from corporate executive to consultant, coach and author.
It brought me back right to the heart of the matter.
My answer was that the first time I made the change was the hardest—by far—because I had no idea what to expect. It’s uncomfortable to step away from the known and into the unknown. It’s like a ship leaving harbor to venture out into the open sea.
So many of us are bound by golden handcuffs that make us feel secure, even if we’re not entirely happy. We don’t know exactly who we will be without our work identity and reputation. We don’t know what our future will look like, and we’re not sure how to proceed. We wonder if we will ever make money again. Or, if we’ll even recognize ourselves when we’re through. It’s a disconcerting journey—and definitely not for the faint of heart.
One of the hardest things to get used to is not knowing how long our term of transition from one point to the next will last. This applies to many life changes including a change in profession. For example, if we’re in the midst of career transition (whether voluntary or involuntary) we often have no idea how long we’ll have to be in this provisional existence. When will we cross the sea, so to speak, and get from here to there?
If we could know we would have a happy ending tomorrow, we would be fine. Yet, there’s no known date for things to get better and we wonder if our current uncertainty will be endless. But it’s all part of the journey. And that brings me to another favorite quote:
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”—William Shed
When contemplating change, sometimes we simply have to remember, that just as ships are not built to stay in the harbor, neither are we.
October 21, 2010
The path to reinvention may seem daunting in the beginning. What does it take to gain momentum?
(Note to readers: I’ve had so many questions on the following subject that I thought it was time to bring back an oldie, but goodie. This article was originally published for More.com.)
The journey to doing what you love is not for the faint of heart. The beginning can be downright tough. It takes strength, discipline and an unwavering commitment. At times, it even can feel like you’re pushing a massive boulder. In the beginning you need to clearly set your vision and become focused intensely on self-awareness: taking stock of your strengths, your interests, what you are good at and what you are not. You commit to being authentic with yourself, knowing yourself so completely that you become immune to self-deception. Then you get to the hard work…
The following is an excerpt from Professional Destiny…
“Imagine a large boulder sitting right in front of you and you need to move it to get started with your business and on your path.
In the first stage, the formulation stage, you define your vision and become self-aware saying, ‘This is who I am, this is where I am going and this is what I’m about.’ You begin the creation process.
In the second stage, the concentration stage, you need to give a concentrated amount of energy to make it happen. It is a time to prove to the Universe that you are committed and that you mean what you say. It is about discipline. If you say you are going to make ten calls today, you make ten calls. When you don’t feel like it, make the next one. You show confidence—you tell the world ‘watch out, I’m coming, don’t mess with me. I am absolutely the right person to make this happen.’
The concentration stage is no fun. It is when you start pushing the boulder and there is inertia—total resistance—at first. It hasn’t moved for a long time, but you need to push it, drive it and not give up. You may feel like you are fighting the Universe because you put a lot more energy out than you get back. You’re working hard, yet there are not a lot of results. It takes grit, determination, strength of will and persistence. You don’t see much progress in the beginning, but you keep your shoulder to the boulder and keep pushing. You refuse to become a victim and insist ‘I will make this happen. I’ve got the power. I can do it.’ Eventually the boulder will budge and begin to move. Slowly at first. But keep pushing, concentrate on pushing.
In the third stage, the momentum stage, the boulder gradually begins to move a little easier. It generates momentum and begins to take on a life of its own. Things start happening and you begin seeing the fruits of your labor. At this point the boulder moves without much effort. The forward movement is exciting and motivating. You experience the beginnings of success. The secret to continued success, however, is to keep pushing—calling, networking and managing so that the boulder doesn’t slow down and force you to overcome inertia again.”
Moving a boulder takes equal amounts of vision and discipline. Your vision must be strong enough to inspire you when the going gets tough. And you must have discipline to overcome the obstacles on your path. The moral of this story is that when you feel like there’s a massive boulder in your way—the only way to gain momentum is to power through.
October 4, 2010