Need to get Unstuck? Ask yourself this one EASY Question

Donald Miller, marketing guru and author of Building a Story Brand says plainly, “If you confuse, you lose”. I seriously LOVE everything about this message. In his podcasts, and his Business Made Simple videos, his message is consistent, clear and makes for good life lessons.

In a recent Business Made Simple video, Miller suggests you use the following approach to clear up confusion, and simplify your business making decisions… 

Complete the following two sentences:

The unfortunate truth about this situation is ________________________.

Therefore, the right action to take is _____________________________.

Years ago, I got myself UNSTUCK, by making changes towards a more fulfilling career. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was my own first coaching client! Had I followed Miller’s approach, and asked myself those two questions, here’s what I would have said:

The unfortunate truth about working here is…

This company has no corporate culture. Every decision that gets made is only to the short-term benefit of senior leadership, and not the rest of the employees.

Therefore, the right action to take is…

Resign from this job, that conflicts with my morals and ethics. Instead, I will devote all of my talent, and energy, to my jewelry business, full-time.

In the end, everything worked out the way it was supposed to. I left that company. Eventually, I did go full-time in my jewelry business. This year, I opened my second business, a career coaching practice. Both businesses bring me so much joy and fulfillment. It takes courage, encouragement and some planning to ask and answer Donald Miller’s two questions, but imagine your life’s possibilities if you can.

I am here to be your guide, and to help you get UNSTUCK. Together we can make the changes you desire. Call me today at 708-R U STUCK (708-787-8825) or email [email protected].

4-Key Steps to a Productive Coaching Session

Have you ever wondered…

How does one-on-one coaching work?

How do I come away with actionable steps after a single session?

Would it work for me?

Coaching helps you move towards change, more quickly than you  might have on your own, with accountability and specific action steps.

Below is the framework of a typical coaching session:

  1. Each time we meet, you decide what you want out of the meeting and I keep you on track to make sure you get what you want. Your agenda is the only agenda that matters. If your agenda changes during another session, that’s perfectly ok too.
  1. You talk, and I listen, intently. If I don’t understand, I’ll ask for clarification. Think about how often someone truly listens to you, with your agenda in mind, to determine actionable steps that move you towards your desired outcome. It’s very powerful, and it feels really good to be heard.
  1. Together, we come up with at least one action step you’re going to take, to move you towards your goal. Sometimes, it’s something quick and easy. This can feel super motivating. Sometimes, it’s one step, of a multi-step plan. It’s not necessary to have the whole plan in place before taking action. Often, you  can’t even make the plan until you get started.
  1. Lastly, you decide on a deadline to complete the action step, and you commit to letting me know once you’ve completed it. I make a note and hold you accountable for getting it done.

Imagine your life’s possibilities, when, each time we meet, you take another step toward achieving that thing, that has eluded you thus far. It’ll feel pretty amazing! At the conclusion of each meeting, I ask “what value did you get out of our meeting today?” because it’s important to recognize progress, even the smallest things.

Below is an example of a typical meeting:

Barb: What do you want out of our meeting today?

Client: I’d love to find new work. I don’t even know where to start.

You talk for a bit and tell me about your current situation, things that interest you, when you might want to make a move, things you know about making a change and things you don’t know. You also tell me you have an idea about the kind of work you might want to do.

Barb: Do you know anyone who does this kind of work?

Client: Yes, I do. 

Barb: Would it be helpful to talk to this person and learn more about working at this place?

Client: Yes, I trust this person and think talking to them in depth would be helpful.

Action/Accountability: You decide you will set up a meeting with this person who does the work you think you want to do. We agree that you will let me know when the meeting will be held, so that I can follow up with you. 

We don’t know what the outcome will be, and that’s ok. But we do know that you will have more information than before, moving you closer to your ultimate goal. 

To learn more about how coaching can work for you, and schedule your complimentary sample session, give me a call today at 708-R U STUCK (708-787-8825) or email me at [email protected]!

The 2020 Holidays. Best Ever? Total Bust?

The 2020 Holidays. Total bust, or refreshing new opportunity? Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And these are only the Jewish and Christian holidays I know from memory. I know I’m not covering the main holidays of other religions but the point applies to all holidays this year, and how we aren’t gathering as normal.  So, were they a bust, or did you pivot and make new special memories? It all depends on how you choose to look at things.

In our home, virtual Passover was one of the best ever. For as many years as I can remember, my sister and I  gathered at my childhood friend’s apartment in the city. As the years went on, the matriarch would continue to cook, until she hung up her apron, and her daughter took over. Our patriarch always led the Seder, for as long as he could, and then he passed the Haggadah down to the next generation.

2020 would have been the first Seder together after our Patriarch died. My sister used to be at the table each year, until she moved to Santa Fe with her husband. Then 2020 happened, and the nation was in lock down during Passover. We couldn’t have gathered together even if we wanted to. We held a virtual Seder. Such a solution to gather altogether would never have occurred to us before COVID even though this technology existed long before the pandemic kept us apart. Everyone was there!  The entire family who we have always been with and those who have moved far away and haven’t been with us for years. It was the last time I spent time with our Matriarch before she died this year. Without our virtual Seder, I wouldn’t have seen her at all.

The Jewish High Holy days presented another magical opportunity for our family. We knew in advance that our services were going to be held virtually so it didn’t matter where we were physically. We could still be present. We decided to rent a VRBO in Door County and we invited our best friends to join us. The home, overlooking Lake Michigan was spectacular, with a view so vast it looked like the ocean. We cooked a traditional holiday dinner and participated in Rosh Hashanah services in our pajamas. We took long walks together and cooked delicious meals. Surprised by how much I loved the virtual services, I hope to never go back to in-person services. And if I didn’t like our virtual services, which I did, I could have participated in another congregation’s services. For Yom Kippur, we gathered back at home within our bubble, once again, to participate virtually.

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  If you stayed home as advised, did you spend time with family and friends you usually don’t see? Did you start any new traditions you like so much you might incorporate them into a hybrid celebration next year? 

I bet if you chose to travel over Thanksgiving it was fraught with a mixture of joy, guilt and anxiety not to mention the sheer aggravation of travel on a holiday. 

There is a lot of conversation now, across our country, about how to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. We all have a choice to make. Do we choose a new way of celebrating safely this year, to ensure we can all be together next year? Are we willing to be open-minded and embrace the opportunity to change things up?  Who knows what good can come from it?  Maybe you get to include folks in your Thanksgiving meal who you haven’t seen for years. Maybe Christmas becomes a time of storytelling instead of excessive gift giving.  Oh and New Year’s eve? Don’t even get me started. I’m usually in bed by 8. 

Were it not for my socially-distanced Jewish Holidays, I would never have experienced how great virtual services were. Because if I’m being honest, I had already begun to dread in-person, services, and I kinda quit going long ago. But this year, I felt a spiritual rejuvenation, and connection, because I was totally present. From my couch. In my jammies. How great might your COVID holidays be?  You get to decide. They will be as great as you make them.