2 special treats for you today

A couple of years ago, I felt ‘stuck’ in my ‘career’.

I was always asking myself: What’s that ONE thing I’m supposed to do? What am I here for? What’s my one thing?

Until one day, I had an epiphany: There is no ‘one thing’.

To be honest, it was scary to think about. No one thing? What if that means there’s something wrong? That I don’t have direction?

But the problem is this: We’ve been taught from the time we’re tots to focus on finding our ‘one thing’.

Just think about it: What’s the #1 question you got asked as a 5 year old? (Aside from, would you like an Oreo?)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

But I realized that this thinking is backward.

Because I don’t just have one passion. I have a lot! And there are so many different ways for me to ‘do’ those passions.

For example, I love writing. But I used to think that because I loved writing that meant I had to pursue a career as a novelist or a screenwriter. After I did that for a few years, I realized I hated it. I wanted to be around people. Not in a room by myself all day. And while I loved storytelling, I wanted to have control over how they were written and I wanted people to see them and benefit them.

Another example, I love talking to people. In fact, when people used to ask me what I ‘really’ wanted to do, I said: “Honestly, I just want to talk to people all day.” But I used to think that meant I should be an actress. And guess what? I suck at acting and I’m not passionate about it. A much better ‘manifestation’ of that passion is what I do now, which is talking to people all day and helping them transform their lives.

But there’s an undercurrent here that we haven’t talked about yet.

Because it’s not as simple as finding all the different ways you can ‘do’  your passions. Because I realized that as I keep changing, my passions keep changing. What I like to do today, I may not like to do in 5 years…or 10 years.

Which is why I started to become fascinated by people who were making these interesting and off-the-beaten-path career changes.

In fact, what sparked it all was a conversation at an engagement party. This older woman was telling me about her daughter who was a horse trainer for 25 years and then decided to…you guessed it!…become a personal chef.

I was so intrigued. “What a huge jump,” I said. “What inspired her to do that?”

And the answer was so simple: “Because she loved her clients.”

Notice that she didn’t say because she loved food!

That’s what hit me. And it meant that there’s something deeper beyond what we think our passions are that drive us towards paths and opportunities that we could have never thought of in a 5 year plan.

More than that, I was in awe at how full of mystery we all are, how we’re like oceans that have so much left to be discovered. That we’ve hardly scratched the surface!

Which brings me to the treat I have for you today

I decided to start looking for these people who have made these career shifts that SEEM out of left field…but actually make a lot of sense once you dig into their stories.

Interview #1: Celine Arsac, who went from real-estate investment to dating coaching for women. One of my favorite parts of her story was how her husband played such a big role in helping her make this new (and scary!) career shift. Take a listen here. (~32min)

Interview #2: Wendy Brandes, who went from journalist for top publications like The Wall Street Journal and People Magazine to award-winning jewelry entrepreneur. I was amazed by how resilient she had to be when her business partner died and she had to run the business by herself–without ever having been an entrepreneur before. Take a listen here. (~37min)

Take a listen and see what gems you can find in their stories for yourself. I know that I was inspired by how they gave themselves permission to search for what drove them, have a ‘challenge accepted!’ attitude for whatever obstacles ‘seemed’ to be in their way, and how much MORE successful they’ve been in their second and third acts.

And even more than that, I’m sharing this with you because I believe even though we get so focused on what’s right in front of us and think “this will be how it always will be”, we are so  much more intriguing and exciting than we give ourselves credit for.

Plus, I believe in looking at ourselves as an entire living, breathing system–the more you have in it what gives  you ‘life’, the  more you can surprise yourself and do what you never thought you were capable of.

Listen on your walk, commute, while you’re making dinner, and enjoy!

PS: On another note, I’m interested in talking with women who currently find themselves leading a team or organization. I’m looking to work with more teams, and right now am interested in understanding how my expertise can best help them solve what challenges they currently have. If this is you, reply back and tell me about what kind of team you lead and what you want to accomplish and do better with them.

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