The Intentional Career Podcast

Karen Styles

The Intentional Career Podcast shares how all kinds of people take all kinds of paths to do work they love. Get inspired to create your Intentional Career by hearing the stories of folks who have done just that. Hosted by Career and Life Coach Karen Styles of Flow + Fire Coaching. read less
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Episodes

Online Business and Growing up in a Cult with Tarzan Kay
15-02-2023
Online Business and Growing up in a Cult with Tarzan Kay
Tarzan Kay came to a pivotal moment in 2022 when she had to drastically change her email marketing business. I talked to her when she was fresh off those changes, curious about how she had the courage to get through it. We talk about unethical sales methods, my shocking discovery that we both grew up in the same cult, and how this has affected our businesses.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. My guest is Tarzan Kay. Tarzan is an email marketing expert who teaches how to sell big with truth-infused, story-based emails. She is a former copywriter-for-hire who specializes in emails that are fun to read, and more addictive than Netflix. Her online courses teach how to write story-based copy and make consistent sales from a small email list, without using fear or FOMO.  Her company’s mission is to make high-integrity marketing the new status quo for online business.Interview Highlights:Tarzan’s work in email marketingWhen I realized I grew up in the same cult as TarzanHow growing up in a coercive control group affects workThe changes Tarzan has made in her work, after being called inThe drastic changes she recently made to her businessWhy anti-racism and anti-oppression work is important for the coaching industryMore about Tarzan:Tarzan Kay - Website | InstagramSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteConnect with KarenCheck out my website at flowandfire.com to schedule a consult, join my email list or hire me as your coach. Or, follow on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Saying What You Want Out Loud and What To Do When Your Life Falls Apart with Diana Alt
05-10-2022
Saying What You Want Out Loud and What To Do When Your Life Falls Apart with Diana Alt
Diana Alt is a friend and career coach colleague. We talk about her transition from tech into coaching, her 4 Pillars of an Ideal Job, and what to do when your life falls apart. I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.My guest is Diana Alt is a no-BS executive coach and career growth strategist who helps people take charge of aligning life and livelihood. Diana uses her 20+ years of experience in corporate product development roles to help people get out of their own way by building confidence, setting boundaries, and casting a vision for an awesome career and life. She believes work should feel good, not like a long slow march towards oblivion. Diana helps individuals and organizations to make work awesome through her coaching, consulting, and training services. She helps people identify ideal work for them and execute an effective job search strategy. She also helps people identify ways to update the way they work in their current jobs and businesses to align with the life they want.Interview Highlights:Why you should say what you want out loudDiana’s transition from the tech industry to coachingThe importance of Eff You MoneyLosing her husband and becoming a widow at age 34Four Pillars of an Ideal JobMore about Diana:Connect with Diana Alt - Website | LinkedInSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteConnect with KarenCheck out my website at flowandfire.com to schedule a consult, join my email list or hire me as your coach. Or, follow on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Job Hopping as a Strength and Knowing When to Quit Your Job with Chelsea Jay
07-09-2022
Job Hopping as a Strength and Knowing When to Quit Your Job with Chelsea Jay
Interview with Chelsea Jay, Leadership Coach. I absolutely loved our conversation on job hopping, red flags at work, having courage in your career, and how to know when it’s time to quit your job.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. My guest is Chelsea Jay. Chelsea is the owner and founder of Seasoned and Growing where she helps professionals across the globe build careers they love! She is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (1 of only 60), Online Branding Expert, and podcast host of “The Chelsea Jay Experience.” She also holds certifications in career and life coaching.Chelsea is known throughout the career development industry for her bold, unapologetic, and straight shooter methods when it comes to tackling the job search, building professional brands, and climbing the ladder quickly (with less stress). She helps professionals across the globe rebuild their confidence, improve their mindsets, develop (and execute!) goals, and most importantly, break free from toxic environments in order to build a thriving career.Interview Highlights:Why job hoppers have more interesting resumes and careersThe benefits of job hoppingRed flags and intuition in the workplaceChelsea’s experience with job hopping and dealing with the reactions of people in her lifeHow Chelsea has built her career courageMore about Chelsea:Connect with Chelsea Jay - Website | LinkedInThe Chelsea Jay Experience podcast - YouTube | Apple Podcasts | SpotifySubscribe to the Intentional Career PodcastSubscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteConnect with KarenCheck out my website at flowandfire.com to schedule a consult, join my email list, or hire me as your coach. Follow on my socials too! Instagram or  LinkedIn
13 - Season 1 Review - How to Make a Career Change
10-11-2021
13 - Season 1 Review - How to Make a Career Change
Welcome to the Season 1 Review! In this season’s final episode, we’ll review how my guests went about making career changes. How do you know when it’s time to change something in your career or try something new? Listen to find out the two main reasons my guests have made career changes. You’ll get a taste of each interview from this season and if any of these clips spark your interest, go back and listen to the full episode. Links are included below. I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.Interview Highlights:[00:38] Welcome to the Season 1 Review - sharing the patterns I’ve noticed in conversations with guests. [01:55] Michelle Ward followed her dream of becoming an actress to New York City. But then things started to change. She began to doubt her career hopes and her identity. Listen to Michelle’s interview in Episode 4.[03:40] Nisha Harichandran was a successful lawyer, who had a secret dream of being a writer. Listen to Nisha’s interview in Episode 10.[04:42] Wanda Deschamps had a successful career in the charitable sector, but was struggling internally. Her Autism diagnosis at age 46 changed everything. Listen to Wanda’s interivew in Episode 11.[06:40] Kristine Miguel was growing in her career as an accountant, but she experienced some emotional turmoil that took her off the traditional accounting path. Listen to Kristine’s interview in Episode 2.[08:26] Teresa Wong is an experienced Copy Writer who wanted to publish her creative writing. Listen to Teresa’s interview in Episode 8.[11:26] Hope Mirlis is a wedding officiant who started out in the performing arts, and originally said no to officiating weddings. Listen to Hope’s interview in Episode 7.[14:21] KDC is a mindful relationship coach who has always had multiple jobs, and likes it that way! Part of her career decision making happened as a result of her choosing sobriety. Listen to KDC’s interview in  Episode 5.[18:32] Joi knew that as a multipassionate creative, she’d have to create her own roles, rather than falling into a career path. Listen to Joi’s interview in Episode 4.[20:33] I also recorded four solo episodes: Episode 1 - What is an Intentional Career Anyway?Episode 6 - Metaphors, Cars, and JobsEpisode 9 - 3 Steps to an Intentional InterviewEpisode 12 - Moving Forward with a Bridge Job ClassWhat insights did you have from Season 1? Email me at podcast@flowandfire.comSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyTo see a list of all episodes available, check out The Intentional Career Podcast website1:1 Career CoachingReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Season 1 Review: How to Make a Career ChangeKaren: I’m Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow +Fire coaching. If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button. Welcome to the Season1 Review. This is the final episode of Season 1 of the Intentional Career Podcast. Thank you so much for being here. Over the season and through these interviews, I've noticed some themes and patterns that I wanted to highlight and share with you. I'm a person who notices patterns and it helps me as a coach and just as a human when I'm learning from people. And in particular, I've noticed some patterns from the guests that I've had on this season and how they went about making changes in their careers. In sharing what I've noticed, I'm definitely going to jump around as I share clips from each of the interviews. It won't be in chronological order, but hopefully, you'll see the thematic connections. When you're considering a career change, how do you know when it's time to change something in your career or to try something new? What I heard from my guests in our conversations is that there were two things that spurred the desire for change. First, there were internal messages that told them things weren't quite right. And second, there were some external signals or invitations that they responded to. First, the desire to change can come from an internal place and inner voice, inner knowing, sometimes even from emotional turmoil. In episode 3, Broadway Dreams to Business Coach, I spoke to Michelle Ward. She had always wanted to be an actress from the time she was a little girl. She knew that this is what she wanted to be when she grew up. She followed her dreams to New York City to pursue acting in theatre. And she spent a few years there in the performing arts, but then things started to change. Michelle: Once I was in my mid to late twenties, I finally started listening to the voice that started off as very, very, very tiny in the back of my head. Very quiet that said, Michelle, you don't want to do this anymore. You don't want to do this anymore. You're not going to do this anymore. And I was just, shut up, shut up voice. What are you talking about? It was... such a huge part of my identity was being a musical theatre performer, pursuing acting that it just was so ingrained with who I was that it was like...Once I started questioning that it wasn't only, well, what do I do if I don't do this anymore?But, who am I? It was that sort of existential... It felt like an existential crisis. And it took me probably a year to take that voice seriously. And it just kept getting louder and louder and louder. Once I came to terms with that, there was a grieving period... feeling like you've lost your best friend and your right arm kind of at once. Um, and I said, okay, well, I'm not going to be pursuing acting anymore.Karen: So go back and listen to episode 3, to hear the full story about Michelle's journey from letting go of her dreams of becoming an actress to becoming a business coach for creative female entrepreneurs and the owner of the 90 Day Business Launch. Nisha Harichandran was also hearing an inner message. In episode 10, she told me about her successful career as an international lawyer, but inside, she always knew she wanted to be a writer. Nisha: I really enjoyed my legal career. It took me to many countries. I practiced in India and then thereafter, I also joined in-house and worked as a lawyer there. But there was always this writer within me. Because anytime somebody asked, what is your dream job? What do you want to do? Like where do you want to go? Like, where do you see yourself if you didn't have this law degree? And, I'm like, oh, I want to be a writer. This voice inside me was just nagging, really nagging, you know, like, are you really going to do this? Why do you keep saying these things if you're not going to do it? Karen: So, if you haven't heard it already check out episode 10, From Lawyer to Writer with Nisha Harichandran. Nisha talks about her career in law, how her skills as a lawyer connected to her new writing career and the writing projects she's been working on. . In episode 11, I spoke to Wanda Deschamps about her mid-life autism diagnosis and how that affected her life and career. Wanda mentioned that there was always something internal gnawing at her as she was growing up and throughout her career, even though she appeared to be successful. Wanda: Outwardly speaking, I guess you could say that my career was linear and it was successful in the sense that I was in the charitable sector for 25 years. I guess I say successful because I did progress and because I did enter senior roles. Now I use the word outward because inside, it was a very different story. I struggled. There was always something gnawing at me from elementary school through junior high, high school, university. It lessened. And there were ups and downs. I would say my sense of self developed around my late twenties and thirties. In fact, I say, if you ask some people who knew me around that time, they would say from the outside, looking in, Wanda and her husband had everything.Karen: Wanda's inner knowing or gnawing as she described it, is what helped her ask her family physician for an assessment and that led to her being diagnosed with autism. She called her diagnosis, the missing piece that made everything else in her life. Makes sense. She has since started a consultancy, which is focused on increasing the participation of the neuro-diverse population in the workforce. She also regularly advocates for disabled and neurodiverse communities. Check out episode 11, How Learning I'm Autistic Changed My Career to hear the full interview with Wanda Deschamps. Speaking of internal turmoil in episode 2, Kristine Miguel talks about her traditional career path in accounting and how her career progression actually led to some emotional turmoil. Kristine: I kind of fell into the accounting path, mostly due to my love for math. All accountants, somehow we just fall into this career path and then we are told what to do, what the next position is what the pay is for that position. And we just follow. So accountants are very good rule followers.So when you're in the path, like when you're in the assembly line, you basically get given, like they dangle a carrot stick in front of you, where they're like, this is the next promotion with this price tag. And you're essentially rewarded for your efforts and for showing up in terms of positions and money, which are all prestigious, they're all like things to aspire to. I'm not really talking negatively about those because it really does work. But many days I woke up and I was so unmotivated and I thought to myself, okay what am I working for here? I still remember those days very vividly where I'm just like... I've cried to my husband and I'm like I don't want to go to work anymore. And it's so weird because once I was at work literally, no one could tell.Karen: So to learn how Kristine took that turmoil in her traditional accounting career and started her own business. Listen to episode 2, Trading Traditional Accounting for Love with Christine Miguel. In episode 8, I spoke to Teresa Wong. She's an experienced copywriter who always wanted to be a creative writer as well. After having three kids, her hopes for creative writing were all but gone. But a new creative idea came around in the form of a graphic narrative. Teresa: When my youngest was one year old, so I got out of the craziness of having a baby again, a third baby. I finally sat down and thought, you know, there's a story I want to tell here, about having my first child and the depression that came with it and just all the confusion around being a new mother. And I thought, well, you know, there's a story there. I think I'd like to get it out of me. And then at the same time when I had kids, there was no time for writing, but I started to draw again. I'd always doodled as a kid but never thought that I was any good at it. And so I never pursued anything art-wise. But you have a bunch of little toddlers running around, they like to draw and they like you to draw things for them. And so, that kind of was where I restarted my interest in drawing and trying to depict things in a cartoonish way. And so those two things happened at the same time. I had a story to tell and also I liked drawing and wanted to maybe try my hand at doing a graphic narrative. And so, I sat down and did it I guess. Yeah, I had gone back to work after my maternity leave and on my lunch hours I wrote out the script or the words for Dear Scarlet, the story.And then over the next few months, I bought a sketchbook and tried to sketch out my vision for it with the full intention of hiring or partnering with an illustrator, someone who could actually draw. And when I finished my first draft, I asked a friend who was an illustrator whether he would do this project with me. And I gave him the draft and he went away and a few days later we had lunch and he pushed the book back at me and said, "No, I'm not going to do this," and said, "You have to do it because this story is so vulnerable and so personal and it has to come from your own hand.” Karen: To hear about Teresa's journey of publishing her graphic memoir, Dear Scarlet, and the creative projects she's had since then, listen to episode 8, Navigating a 9 to 5 and Publishing a Book with Teresa Wong. While some guests had an internal voice they were following, there were others who responded to external opportunities. That's what happened with Hope Mirlis. She started out in the performing arts, but now performs weddings. I interviewed her in episode 7. After leaving a theatre company, she had founded in Atlanta, Hope decided to pursue further arts education. Hope: So I started looking for MFA programs, masters of fine arts programs that were mid-career because I wasn't right out of college. And then I was brought out to the University of California Davis for their program, which was a super small program that I then got into and then decided to attend. And then one of my classmates asked me to officiate her wedding out of the blue. She's like, hey, what are you doing on December 30th? She asked me this probably about two months prior. And I was like, wait, what? No, no. And she was like, what do you mean? No. And I was like, well, why, why me? Like, why I don't understand. And she wore me down cause she, I kept like throwing all these roadblocks in her way. I was like, legally, I don't have this. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to do this.And she's like, oh, we will figure it out. And I was like, oh, oh, you totally will. So I was able to get a permit from the county to perform one ceremony on one day. And we gathered on a beach in Sausalito, California and I performed my first ceremony. I realized that I had to take my ego out of it, that it wasn't about me. I really needed to step in there and be there for my friend in whatever way she needed me.So after I performed that first ceremony, I was like, whoa, what is that? I was like, that is super freaking cool. It felt to me in a way, like this culmination of a lot of things that I've already done. I felt like I started stepping into a calling and I couldn't describe it. I don't think I would say those words at that time, but I was like, huh, that's cool. I'm good at that. And even the couple was like, we knew you were going to be good at it. We didn't know you were going to be that good at it. Karen: So Hope originally said no to performing a wedding, but now she's a wedding officiant in New York City, go figure. There were other things she said no to before she said yes. In this review of season 1, where we noticed patterns in career change, I'm pointing you to an episode where we also saw a pattern in behavior. Very meta, I know. Anyway, if you haven't heard it yet, check out episode 7, From Performing Arts to Performing Weddings with Hope Mirlis. In episode 5, I interviewed KDC. She's a mindful relationship coach. And we talked about her multiple jobs and how she handles them all. From the beginning of her work-life, she always knew she wanted to teach and work with kids and started the traditional path of an education degree and teaching in the classroom. During that time, she was also dealing with addictions and the decision to get sober. KDC: It felt normal to me to have more than one job. I don't know if it was because I'm a firstborn generation Filipino-Canadian. We're just like taught to work really hard and helping support and, you know, just living life.And I just knew that I wanted to teach, but I wasn't sure what that would look like. Traditionally? Classroom. And I thought that would be the only way to go. And once I got to school and tried it, I'm like, nope, this is not for me. And as I've been learning more about myself, like being true to myself is one of my most important things. And so I went through a lot of different jobs. But I just knew that if it didn't feel good for me, I wasn't going to do it. And so, I started finding what I loved, and there was a common thread.It always involved children in some fashion and it was always to do with, I think because it was with children, teaching them and some, some just anything. And I feel like maybe because I was the youngest in my cousin group for a long time and an only child until we started taking in foster children. I just wanted to have fun. I want to talk to kids. Maybe also because I'm a small human, so they're more my size than full-grown adults. And so I just kept looking for opportunities to do that.I went to school. I finished. I taught and had my first... I was going to say midlife, but life crisis. Well, maybe like my second life crisis, after becoming sober. That was the first one for sure. Yeah, I was realizing, okay, this isn't what I thought. This doesn't feel good. I don't want to teach what they're telling me to teach. I knew that I wasn't showing kindness to myself and it was because of my addictions for sure. And I was like, just at the beginning of my sobriety when all of this happened. So I was so confused and lost and I felt super alone. And so I started relying on mentors and outside sources because I knew that I couldn't keep going the way that I was by myself. And I knew that the people that were closest to me, yes, had my best interests at heart, but I needed more help in a way, you know? Like it wasn't just love and affection and acceptance from my family. Like I needed more than that, you know?And so I needed to talk to people that had careers, that seemed interesting, even just interesting to me. And I started finding humans that I could talk to that have lived more life than me. Because I finally realized that I didn't know everything. And so that was when I started showing more kindness to myself. Just changing my mindset in that way that I don't have to do it alone and that's okay. And I can choose again. And that just felt so relieving. And so, yeah, I just started to find people.Karen: Listen to the full interview in episode 5, Kindness Drives Career Change with KDC. So for multiple jobs, we go to multi-passionate creatives, D'Ana Joi knew that a traditional career path wasn't for her. In episode 4, Joi discusses how she started sharing her multi-passionate creative interests on her blog, Joi Knows How, she explored a variety of different subjects rather than niching down and she paid attention to how people responded to what she was putting out in the world. Joi: So as a multi-passionate, what I realized pretty early on was that there probably was not going to be a career that I could just fall into that felt super aligned and that I would need to carve out my own path and create my own way of doing things and allow that to be correct for me.Then naturally what happened was I talked about a lot of different subjects and as I started to write about more kinds of self-development I noticed that those blog posts were getting the most traction. And then when I specifically wrote a blog post called, "It's time to start celebrating multi-passionate creatives," that is when I realized this is what people want to hear from me. This is what people are resonating with. I still get emails about that blog post. People find it and feel for the first time that someone's actually acknowledging their experience. And so, that was kinda my green light to say, hmm, okay. How deep can I go into this subject? But our desires are so intelligent. And if we can make space to listen to them and be more unapologetic about that, then we start to create business models that are authentic and genuine.Karen: Listen to Joi’s story in episode4, Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creative Entrepreneurs with D'Ana Joi.There you have it. The overarching theme of Season 1, the two ways that career change comes about either prompted by an inner knowing or as a response to external events. Since this is the Season 1 Review, I also want to mention the four solo episodes I released as well. Episode 1, What is an Intentional Career Anyway? I share my definition and I do encourage you to come up with your own.Episode 6, Metaphors Cars and Jobs, thinking about your work, using the metaphor of a car. If your career was a car, which one would it be? And why Episode 9, 3 Steps to An Intentional Interview. So if you're planning, some kind of career change in the near future. This is a great one to support you in your interview preparation. And finally, episode 12, Moving Forward With a Bridge Job. It's a live class I hosted earlier this year. So that's it. Season 1 is in the bag. I'm curious, were there other patterns or themes that you noticed? If you've got insights that you want to share, feel free to send me an email at podcast@flowandfire.com. Once again, thank you for being here for Season 1. If you haven't had a chance to listen to all the episodes, I hope this season review has shown you, which ones you might want to go back and check out. Season 2 is coming soon and it's going to be quite different from Season 1, so stay tuned for Season 2 coming soon. Thank you so much for listening. It means so much that you spend part of your day with me. If you enjoyed this episode go to Apple Podcasts and leave a 5-star review. It helps other people find the podcast, and my hope is that if more people find the Intentional Career Podcast, then more people can create their Intentional Careers.If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button in the top right corner.
12 - Moving Forward with a Bridge Job Class with host Karen Styles
20-10-2021
12 - Moving Forward with a Bridge Job Class with host Karen Styles
This episode is the audio access to my class, Moving Forward With a Bridge Job.I taught this virtual class live in the spring of 2021; I’m sharing it here because a bridge job can be a great step in building an intentional career, and we can all benefit from a perspective shift on bridge jobs. It has been edited from the original for audio context.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.Interview Highlights:[01:25] Welcome, introduction, and overview of the class.[04:00] What is a bridge job? My definition.[05:43] Why would someone take a bridge job? Possible reasons.[09:22] What should you look for in a bridge job? 2 important aspects. If you don’t have them, you’re not in a bridge job, you’re in a hamster wheel job.[12:46] What could a bridge job give you (beyond time and money)?[16:08] How long should a person stay in a bridge job?[20:43] Reasons NOT to take a bridge job.[22:33] How I ended up in a bridge job at Starbucks.[27:25] My most recent full-time job - which ended up being a bridge job.[31:34] Consider the specifics that will be important in defining your bridge job.[32:56] Question & Response: What motivated you to do your bridge job? What advice do you usually give to job seekers? How do I tone down my resume when I may be overqualified?[38:10] ConclusionResourcesFlow + Fire Coaching - Website | InstagramSubscribeSubscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Moving Forward with a Bridge Job Class with host Karen StylesKaren: I’m Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow +Fire coaching. If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button.In today's episode, I'm doing something a little bit different and I'm sharing the audio of a class that I gave earlier this spring. And the class was titled, "Moving Forward With a Bridge Job." Sometimes we all need a job that is not our ideal job, but it actually can move us forward in our careers. And I believe that a bridge job can be a part of creating your intentional career. So it's time to remove some of the shame around it and start to explore just what might be available to us if we look a little bit closer at this bridge job option. I do hope you enjoy listening to this class. And if you have any comments, feel free to send me an email podcast@flowandfire.com Now here's the class, "Moving Forward With a Bridge Job." Welcome, everyone. Thank you so much for being here today for this talk, this small class on moving forward with a bridge job.I'm really excited that you are here. I think this is a really important topic because there's a lot of people right now that have bridge jobs. There's a lot of people right now that need bridge jobs. And, I think it's really time to be done with the shame of it. And I think shifting our thinking around bridge jobs can really help us move forward in a more productive way.So, let's talk about it. Let's normalize it and learn about how we can use bridge jobs in a really intentional way to build our careers. First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Karen Styles. If you haven't met me before, I think most of you I've met. Maybe you found me on social media, some folks are here from LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram and my email newsletter, but I'm so glad you're here. I am a career and life coach. In case you're wondering why I'm not just a career coach, part of that is because sometimes career coach titles get really narrowed to job search. And I really see career coaching as a much bigger look at, what do you want your career to look like within your life? And when people are making changes in their careers, some of the things they encounter, it's not only challenges with the application process or interviewing, but it's also about mindset. Coming up against things in your mind that say, I can't do that. I can't make that change. And that's where life coaching and career coaching really overlap for me. I help folks discover and do work that lights them up. And my website is flowandfire.com. You were probably there to register for this class. So thank you for being here today. So what we're going to cover today are these main things. First of all, what is a bridge job? Why take a bridge job? What to look for in a bridge job? Also, I'm going to share with you a couple of the bridge jobs that I've had and how those have been important steps in my career, even though some of them weren't the things that I wanted at the beginning.Let's look at this first, what is a bridge job? Now, if you've been following around some of my social media posts, maybe you've seen my definition, but, I would like to hear from you, what do you think is a bridge job? From my chat here: a role that helps you move from one to another. Yep. What else? Transition. Something to tide you over. Hmm. Yep. Great example. A lesser job than your previous job. Yeah, it might be. Right. It might be. A job that transitions. Great. These are excellent. Backup job. Here's my definition: A bridge job is a position that you take, even though it's not your dream job, maybe it's not exactly perfect for your career, but you choose to take it anyways and it's usually temporary in some way. And the key is that it moves you from one place to another. And I think that metaphor of a bridge is really important because some folks, some career coaches, even, advise survival jobs.And I just, to be honest, I don't like that term. I hope that you will do more than survive in your job. Right? And not every role is maybe going to be the perfect thing, but it should move you from one place to another. The idea of a bridge is that you go across it. You're not staying there forever and we're aiming higher than just surviving, right? We need to do more than that. Let me ask you this, and maybe you can add this in the chat. Why would somebody take a bridge job? What are some reasons someone might need a bridge job?  Bills, bills, bills. Yup. That's a good way to put it. Financial support. Training for the next one. Avoid boredom and despair. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think what we're kind of seeing here too, is that we might all have different reasons, right? So here are some possible reasons that I've identified. You might need to escape a toxic job or a draining job.  It might be like, I don't know... I need the next position. I don't know exactly what that is, but I have to get away from where I am now. So if that's something extremely toxic, maybe it's an escape. But you still need it to take you somewhere. And it could be that a job is maybe a role that was okay in the past, but now feels draining. It seems to take all of your energy and you want to have your energy for other things in your life versus just that role. Maybe that's a good reason to look for a bridge job. Second one. Oh, I don't know - maybe there was a global pandemic and you lost your job. You were laid off through no fault of your own. You were at a company you were planning to have a career with, and now you don't. Maybe you just need some things to bridge a gap. Totally legitimate. There's a lot of people in 2021 who are in that situation. Sometimes it might even be to take a break from job hunting. I've had friends and clients who were trying so hard and were getting so exhausted by trying to find a similar role, after getting laid off and just weren't able to find a job that was similar in their same career path. And a bridge job allowed them to take a break because it does take a lot of energy to sell yourself, to apply, to interview, to tailor your resumes. All of those things take a ton of energy and maybe if there's a job that you know you can get, it might give you a break from job hunting. Another reason is that maybe you can't do your dream job right now. For whatever reason that might be. You need some training, I'm trying to think of an example. Maybe you want to be a bookkeeper, but you need to take some courses. So you can't do that right now and you need some other work in the meantime while you're taking that training for example. Or again maybe in one year from now, maybe the economy will be a little bit different and the roles that you want might be more available to you. So, for whatever reason you can't do it right now, maybe you need a bridge. And then the last one, which is perhaps the most obvious, like you need money right now. We have to do what we have to do. You have to pay your bills. You have to feed your family, you have to pay your rent. And you might have been unemployed long enough that you just need something now. And that's totally fine. And I want you to know that there's no shame in needing a bridge job, okay? Probably, most of us, if not all of us have been in a situation where we have needed a bridge job, that's okay. That's totally okay. We all need to do what we need to do to cover our expenses and get where we need to go.Moving on to the next question here, what do you think someone should look for in a bridge job? Now I've identified two main things. If you're thinking about a bridge job, knowing that it's gonna move you somewhere, tell me in the chat if you have some ideas what might a person want to look for if they're considering a bridge job.A job where you can gain transferable skills. Oh yeah. Yup. Learning opportunities. Yep. These are great. Somewhere with a good team and culture. Especially if you've escaped a toxic place, right? Or a draining place, you might need a place where just like people are nice. There might be something about that place that could be really helpful for you. These are the two very simple things that I've identified what to look for in a bridge job, two things, decent money, number one, and that it leaves you time and energy to do whatever else you need to do. So your bridge job, ideally, needs to give you enough money so that you can keep moving forward.Perhaps if you have been in a pandemic layoff situation, maybe you can't make quite the same salary, but hopefully, enough that you can keep moving forward and the time and energy to do what you need to do, again, to cross that bridge. So you might need time and energy to keep applying.You might need time and energy to continue coursework or training that you're doing. You might need time and energy to relax and have fun and hang out with your family. Those are things that are important as well. So if you don't have those two things, I would say that's not really a bridge job.And I used to say, if you don't have those two things, you're in a dead end job but I thought of the perfect metaphor last night. I was really excited about this. If you don't have those two things, I think it's like you'll be in a hamster wheel job where you're running and running and running and running and running and running and not getting anywhere. So hamsters are cute and everything, but we don't want you to be a hamster running and not going anywhere. So it's something to think about. If you discover that maybe you are considering what might be a hamster wheel job or you're in a hamster wheel job, then think about, okay, what's the next little step that's going to be a bridge job that's actually going to take me somewhere, right? Again, the bridge is all about movement and moving you closer to where you need to go. Has anyone been in a hamster wheel job?I think one of my jobs actually, now that I think about it, became a bridge job, but maybe it was originally a hamster wheel job.A bridge job also can lead to a bridge job and that's also okay. Like some of you said, if you're gaining skills, if you have a great culture and environment, those things might get you closer to where you want to go, to the ideal workplace that you're looking for, as long as it's still moving you closer.When thinking about a bridge job and those basics of decent money and a bit of time, what could a bridge job give you other than time and money? Any ideas on that? I'd like to hear your answers in the chat and it might, that might even be related to what some of you already said.Someone said they had a hamster wheel job. Inspiration to pursue a career you hadn't considered. Ooh, I love that. Right. Maybe a bridge job can give you inspiration. Right? And that's also part of if you're able to escape a draining workplace and you're in a place where that's just a better culture for you, you might be able to nourish and cultivate your dreams. New industry knowledge. Absolutely. These are great answers. Here are a couple of the ones that I've identified. A bridge job could give you a break from something difficult. Like I mentioned earlier, escaping a toxic workplace could give you something to focus on for now.I've known clients who had gone through layoffs and accepted a role with a much lower salary. However, that was the right choice for them because of the weight of being unemployed. One particular client I have in mind, who was thinking, "I don't have a job. I don't have a job." That was so heavy for him, but for him, it was better to just start out in a bridge job. And then he's at least I'm going somewhere. At least I have momentum. And this may depend on your financial situation, right? If you're the sole income earner in your family, if you have small children, maybe it helps you most to keep moving. Notice that this is not like one rule for everyone. This is figuring out what are the specifics that are going to be right for you in choosing and taking on bridge jobs.  New skills. Somebody mentioned this, so getting some new skills. And new skills in a new environment, a new industry.I had a client recently who landed a role in a new industry. She actually went from the private sector to the public sector. And it was a huge salary dip for her. And however, she knew that she probably wouldn't be able to make what she was before, but she decided through our conversations.Yeah. She decided to look at it as education. This was education about a new industry that she was getting paid for. So she could go learn something by taking a class and paying a university, but she was actually learning a lot. So that helped her sort of shift her thinking to be able to say, oh, I'm learning here. I'm learning about a new industry and that's why I'm here. Another thing a bridge job could give you is, it could be an investor for your business. So if you're someone who has the business or maybe a side hustle idea, and you're thinking about how can I make this happen? Maybe you need a bit of money to pay your bills so that you can keep working on this idea and growing the business on the side before you're full fledged and ready to be in it full-time. Those were a few things a bridge job could give you. Any ideas, I would love to hear this from you in the chat as well, you know, how long should a person stay in a bridge job? At least a year. Okay. And there's one idea, what else? Yeah, it could be a year. Could be a good time. Max two years? Okay. Yep.I'm going to give you the annoying answer, which is true for a lot of things is, it depends, right? It really depends on you and your needs. It might depend on how toxic your last workplace was. Getting PTSD from a job is a real thing. It happens, right? So sometimes people need a calm and quiet workplace as it's just really different from their last workplace to start to realize that maybe work is not such a terrible thing.It might also depend on how much money you need to earn, right? If you need to earn some money again, as an investor for your business, do you need three years? Do you need five years? What does that look like for you? It also might depend on how much time you need to rest or prepare for your next thing.You might start in a bridge job and just kind of sigh with relief at the end of the day. And you might need to take a few months to just only focus on getting the job done and that's it. And then you might have the energy to start applying for the career roles that you really want. So these are all going to depend on you and what you need.Oh, when you're not being challenged anymore. That's a great question. I think it depends. It depends. Having challenges in your work is great, but if it's a bridge job, it may actually be okay if you're not challenged, because then you can use your mental energy towards whatever the other things you're working towards. Right?Your bridge job specifics are going to be specific to you. And I've kind of hinted at this a few times where the bridge job that you have is not going to be the same as the bridge job I have. It's not all the same thing. Whereas sometimes when people talk about survival jobs, everyone thinks about working at Tim Horton's or Walmart or something that kind of goes to the lowest common denominator, but, maybe a bridge job for me might be, teaching an English as a second language class online, because I have that skill, I've done it in the past.It's not really looking where I'm looking to go in the future, but you know, it's kind of like a past skill I could use. You have different skills than me, and there might be things that you can do that are pretty easy that you could do in a bridge job, but I won't be able to do those things in a bridge job. So don't think that you know, we all have to be like a Starbucks barista or anything. Think about what are the specifics that might be right for you. And this would be a great time to just brainstorm in the chat as well. What are some specifics that you are going to need? What's a requirement that's to be really specific to you?For example, it might be something like the location. Maybe you want to walk to work, or you at the very least don't want to commute for an hour. Maybe you want to make sure that you work virtually. These are really important things to think about if you have control over them. What's going to make a job work for me?I'm curious if you have ideas for your bridge job. What would that look like for you? Let's get some brainstorming going in the chat.When there's a vertical, horizontal growth in the organization. Okay. So, Lorraine, it looks like you want to make sure that there's, you're not necessarily just stuck somewhere, right? Maybe that it's that idea of a hamster wheel. So if you go somewhere, you can at least keep moving, even if it's a bridge job. Okay. That's great. All right. Keep thinking about that. If you're not ready to share that kind of brainstorm in the chat, that's also okay. I'm going to move forward. Shorter commute says Evelyn, open, transparent corporate culture. Yep. I'm guessing, Aggie that you have some experience with maybe challenges and culture in the past, and that's might be what you want to look for that in the future. Like to work virtually, but the most important thing is to have a change.Focus from the world. Okay. Interesting. Aggie says, yes. Okay. So, biggest reasons not to take a bridge job, any ideas on this? Why would somebody not take a bridge job?Now, maybe you've thought of this already. Oh, salary doesn't cover your expenses. Yep. That's true. Toxic culture, micromanager. Okay. So yeah, if you're looking at a potential job and you're like hmm, this is not going to help me. This is not going to put me further forward. Yeah. That would be a great reason not to take a position.I would say one of the biggest reasons people don't want to take bridge jobs is because they fear what other people think. A lot of times we internalize or we might internalize what we think other people think. , but hopefully this language of calling it a bridge job can help you shift the language, shift the thinking about it really because it's not like, oh yeah, I'm doing this job. It's like, okay, I decided to take this role for these reasons, and I think I will be here. Maybe you have an idea of the time or not, or this is the best choice for me right now. Right? So hopefully even using that terminology of, yeah, this is a bridge job for me, right now, and it's going to help me figure out what my next step is. Lorraine says as a recent graduate, you can resonate with a fear of what other people would think. Yeah, here's a tip: Most people aren't really judging your work choices that much anyway. But if you think of it as a bridge job and are able to explain it, that might also help you.I'm going to share a bit about my bridge jobs, a couple of my bridge jobs. These were two very different jobs actually. But in 2009, my role ended unexpectedly. I had some drama in my personal life combined with the global economic decline at that time. And it led to me being in a job search and it was a tough time. I was an ESL teacher at the time. So I was looking for ESL teacher jobs and admin jobs. And, financially I was not in a good situation and I wasn't finding what I wanted. so I was applying, applying, applying. I got a few interviews, but it wasn't happening for me. And I was pretty desperate, to be honest. So I ended up at Starbucks. And a couple of things led me there. Number one, it was really close to my house. So I knew it wasn't a big commute, wasn't a big deal. I had worked at a Starbucks during one summer in university, I worked at one of the ones at the airport, so I knew all the drinks. I was pretty sure I could get that job at Starbucks, the training of how to make all those drinks and memorizing all of the recipes and that kind of thing is a big part of training. So I was like, okay, I know all that stuff already. And I loved Starbucks coffee. So that led me there. So I ended up at Starbucks and that was January of 2010.So I landed there and I had a job, but it was tough. And I think at the very beginning, it was kind of, it was a hamster wheel in the sense that I was not doing well financially. So those tiny paychecks that came in went to pay for, you know, whatever credit card bill was coming up and those types of things.And it was tough. Like, it was embarrassing, to be honest. Partly because I had gone from a role where I had my degree. I had certification, I needed these professional requirements. And I went to an entry-level minimum wage job where I was making $9 an hour at the time. So, that was really, it was hard on my pride.It was hard on my bank account. However, it was also a fun environment and I kind of enjoyed it, there's the social aspect? There's the physical aspect of having 10 drinks come up and making them all really fast and leaving your work at work. When you go home, I didn't have any prep or anything to do after I left, unlike teaching. And very quickly, things started to look up for me at Starbucks. Within a couple of months, I became a supervisor and I hadn't applied or anything. I think it was just like a manager was like, yeah, we think this is the right step for you. Everybody thinks this makes sense. So why don't you become a supervisor?And so, I became a supervisor. I was probably a little bit older than a lot of the kids at Starbucks at the time. But, I became a supervisor and enjoyed that tiny little pay raise. And, and then following that, I became an assistant manager. And at that point, by the time I got to the assistant manager role, I was really owning it. I wasn't embarrassed to be there anymore. I had worked through some of the shame of that transition. And I was like, no, this is for me now. And now I'm proud of myself and I'm going to make this happen. And so I was really proud when I got the assistant manager role. And through that assistant manager role, we did training in hiring and recruitment.And I learned about things like phone screening and interview skills and the star method. And so that was my first insight into hiring, which interestingly enough, led me to my next job, which was in recruitment. I was at a couple of places in recruitment for a few years, which led me to career services, which led me to where I am now. So it's kind of strange to think that the Starbucks job, which at the beginning was desperate and embarrassing, has led me to where I am now. And I actually didn't think about this. Yeah. I don't know if it was a week or two ago when I found this old resume that I was using to apply for in 2009 and realized, oh my goodness, like this bridge job, which maybe was even a desperation hamster wheel job at the beginning has taken me full circle. So it was nice to realize that things can work out even if they start in a challenging way like they can and do get better. The other role I had was my most recent full-time job and I ended up there. I had been in recruitment and it wasn't feeling quite right anymore. And I landed in this position, and it was kind of cool because it combined teaching English as a second language and a career center for French speakers. So it combined my past ESL teaching skills and then I knew I could use my former recruitment skills to help job seekers. So I was really excited about that, about moving from helping the company's hiring, to helping the people who are job seeking. And so I was super excited to find this role because I was trying to escape the job I was in and so super excited to make this move.And it was great. It felt really awesome to be working directly with job seekers and using my ESL teaching skills again. And I had great colleagues and it was a really good environment. And then about six months in, I realized I was bored. And this was really irritating too, because, I thought I had thought previously, this was THE job.This was like, finally I found somebody that used all of my previous skills together. Like there's not a lot of jobs out there like this so it was really annoying to realize that, once I was six months in, I knew what the role was and it really wasn't gonna change too much. There wasn't going to be room for me to grow and progress in that particular group. And eventually, I did find ways to challenge myself and to take on new things, but what that role really allowed me to do was to build my dream of starting a business. Because I had actually been thinking about starting a business since 2013. And I landed in this position In 2015. But it took me a long time to make it happen. And so, my teacher role really gave me the stability to nourish those dreams. I think somebody else mentioned this earlier, how you might need it to just kind of take care of yourself so that you can be inspired to think about something new.And it really did that for me. Now that role at the beginning, I didn't think it was a bridge job and there were some times where I really wanted to be, you know, working in my business. And I was thinking about like, I need a bridge job. I gotta, I gotta get out of here. I need a bridge job. And then I thought about it.This IS the bridge job. This is the bridge job. Cause I know that going to a new position really takes a lot of energy in, you know, applying, interviewing, adjusting to a new workplace, making sure you're meeting all the requirements, all of those things. So, it was just helpful because there wasn't a lot of stress.The salary was good. I should say there's almost no stress. I didn't take work home with me right? On my mind. I had great vacation time. I could do this job without putting a ton of mental energy into it, and it allowed me to pay off some debt and it allowed me to hire a business coach and pay for my life coaching certification program.So in that way, that job became my investor for the business that I eventually started in 2019. So I had these two bridge jobs and they serve very different purposes for me. I think they both caused me irritation because I knew neither of them were the places I was gonna stay forever.But they helped me get to where I needed to be. So that's the long story of my bridge jobs. I just want you to know that a bridge job can be a really important step in creating your intentional career. Even if at the beginning it might feel frustrating.It might feel irritating. Maybe it doesn't make sense to people around you, but it can really be an important step. Maybe you're going to see the steps later. If you can, as much as possible, think about what those steps mean for you, that's going to be really helpful in choosing the right bridge job for you versus getting on a hamster wheel. So a couple of questions to consider, if you're looking for a bridge job, think about what are the specifics that are going to be important to you, right? Is it going to be virtual work? Is it the location and commuting and those types of things? Is it the work culture? Is it a specific salary that you need to make, a certain amount per hour or per year and you can't go below that, right? And if you're unhappy in your job right now, does it help you to think of it as a bridge job? I know for me, it did. To say, okay, even if sometimes, it feels uncomfortable or this role isn't quite the right thing for me, I know that it's serving a purpose and it's temporary and it's taking me somewhere. If this is bringing up a lot, questions in your mind, and you would like to have a further conversation, you can always reach out to me. My website is flowing fire.com. there's a big blue button in the top right corner. And you can schedule a call to have a conversation about that. If that's something you would be interested in exploring. Now, let's go to questions. I would love to hear your questions about bridge jobs or how they fit into your career. What motivated me to do my bridge job? Deepak asks.The first one, Starbucks, was mainly needing money. Now that was the main one I needed money. And then it became a path, in the most recent teaching job, which I was in for almost five years. That one was, that was also to escape a previous job, like a previous job. It just, it was good. It was like, there were so many good things about it, but it just wasn't feeling quite right. And I needed to do something else. Actually, I wanted to work more one-on-one directly and help job seekers. And so that was my motivation, for the second one.Yeah. Other questions. What is one piece of advice that I always give to job seekers? Oh gosh, I don't know if there is one piece of advice that I always get to job seekers.Here's one that I almost always give is this: when you are applying for a position, think about the problem that the employer has and how you can solve the problem as a job seeker. Because anytime there's an open position, it basically means there's a business problem. And they need someone, they needed to hire someone to come in and solve the problem. So as you were applying, don't think of it as just, I need a job, but think of it as you are coming to help this organization solve a particular problem. And if you look at their job posting, the language, it'll give you an idea of what the problems are. Even if we go back to the Starbucks example, if you were to like, be a barista at Starbucks, customers that have to wait and really long lines and are not being served- that's a problem. Right? So giving great customer service, working fast, that's solving problems, right? Taking care of customer needs. Those are problems that can be solved by having a great employee there. So that's a piece of advice that I pretty much always give to people. It's a little bit of a shift in thinking and being proactive when you were applying. So it's not just about, can you please hire me, but what can I do to help this company be successful. Any other questions? Oh, how do I tone down my resume application for a bridge job where I may be overqualified so I still look competent enough to do the bridge job? Oh, that's a great question, Sean. Tone down? Now… There's part of me that wants to say, you don't have to turn yourself down if you don't have to hide. I think it's less about toning down, but more about highlighting that you understand what needs to happen in this role and that you can do it right. I like to, at the top of a resume, put a value proposition and something that directly states how you're going to help that company.So again, I'm just using the Starbucks example. If you were applying for a job at Starbucks, you would talk about customer service, about being fast, about learning quickly. Showing them that you have the qualities that will help you succeed in that job. So you might talk about skills and abilities that relate to what is needed in that position because ultimately that's what they need to know.So you're looking at the job posting and going, okay, what they need is someone who does these three things, and I can do those three things and I'm going to tell them so in the resume or in the cover letter. And, I would highlight those things in your cover letter or in the top half of your resume, does that make sense?So you can still show that you have previous experience that might make you overqualified, but show them that you understand what they're looking for, right? Again, you're solving that problem. Because really somebody who gets what the job is about is really a relief to an employer.Evelyn says, reframe from overqualified to fully qualified. Yeah. Or it might be that like, are you overqualified for that job or is that you actually have different skills and qualifications. If you're looking at a different area, are you really overqualified or is it that you need different skills? You probably need to highlight different skills in order to do that role successfully. If that makes sense. Well, I'm glad it was useful and helpful. I hope that you all found this useful. Thank you for being here today. I'm really grateful that you could be here.I hope this helps you shift your thinking. Even if your next step is small, that's okay. If it's going in the right direction, that's what's important for you. And If other people are questioning what you're doing, saying, Hey, this is a bridge. This is a bridge job and it's going to get me where I need to go. And this is what I need right now. So, I'm going to send you all a thank you email and a very small questionnaire. and if you need to find me, I am at flowandfire.com.I do welcome you to schedule a one-on-one conversation with me. If you think the support of a career coach would be helpful to you. Thank you so much everyone for being here today. I really, really appreciate it. Have a wonderful afternoon and have a great weekend. Thank you so much for listening. It means so much that you spend part of your day with me. If you enjoyed this episode go to Apple Podcasts and leave a 5-star review. It helps other people find the podcast, and my hope is that if more people find the Intentional Career Podcast, then more people can create their Intentional Careers.If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button in the top right corner. Episodes are released every 2nd Wednesday, so I’ll see you in 2 weeks for more of the Intentional Career Podcast!
11 - How Learning I'm Autistic Changed My Career with Wanda Deschamps
06-10-2021
11 - How Learning I'm Autistic Changed My Career with Wanda Deschamps
Wanda Deschamps’s career was successful from the outside, but her mid-life autism diagnosis was the missing piece that helped her make sense of her work and life. In this conversation, we discuss the years leading up to her diagnosis, and how Wanda has become an advocate for the inclusion of disabled peoples in her speaking, writing and consulting work.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Wanda Deschamps. She is the founder and principal of Liberty Co – a consultancy focused on increasing the participation level of the neurodiverse population in the workforce with a special emphasis on autism due to Wanda’s own diagnosis at midlife.A champion for inclusion, she enjoys writing and speaking under the banner of the #InclusionRevolution, a worldwide movement launched in 2018 to spearhead broader thinking about disability – especially disability employment. Wanda is also the catalyst behind the #Women4Women collective focused on gender equality through supporting other women. Combining these two goals provides an avenue for Wanda to be an advocate for women with autism, including as a participant in research into autistic women’s experiences in the workplace.Interview Highlights:[01:30] Wanda’s life and career before her autism diagnosis.[05:00] Fall 2016, Wanda’s mental health hits a crisis point and it becomes a pivotal moment.[09:16]  Wanda realizes not many autistic women in Canada are sharing their stories, and decides to share hers.[12:10]  Wanda’s diagnosis leads to clarity, wholeness and self knowledge. [15:24] What is different for Wanda now.[18:34] How Wanda is managing all the changes that have happened in the last few years.[23:55] What Wanda would tell the past version of herself.[28:32]  How the Covid-19 pandemic put a spotlight on ableism in the workplace, and why Wanda still has a positive outlook about the future.[35:00] Wanda’s company is called Liberty Co because confronting the facts brings freedom.[37:54] Wanda’s shares her career crushes.ResourcesWanda’s Consultancy, Liberty Co - Website | Instagram“I Was 46 When I Discovered I Was Autistic. Suddenly My Life Made Sense” by Wanda Deschamps - Reader’s Digest CanadaAutism in Heels by Jennifer Cook O’Toole - Amazon | IndigoCaroline Casey and Paul Polman, The Valueable 500 - Website | Instagram“I learned I had autism at 46. I now understand myself.” by Wanda Deschamp - Broadview#WeThe15 - Website | Instagram | TwitterThe Honourable Carla Qualtrough - Website | InstagramAnita Hill - Wikipedia | Book | TwitterThe Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin - Wikipedia | Book (Amazon) | Book (Indigo)Dr. Wendy Cukier, Founder Ryerson University Diversity Institute - Website |  Twitter | LinkedInSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
10 - From Lawyer to Writer with Nisha Harichandran
18-08-2021
10 - From Lawyer to Writer with Nisha Harichandran
Nisha Harichandran was a commercial and corporate lawyer before she followed her dream to become a writer. She recognized her transferable skills, moved countries for love, and listened to the nagging of her inner voice to make big life changes in 2020.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Nisha Harichandran. Nisha is a business story teller, caption and content writer. She has 15 years’ experience as a lawyer. Simplifying complex material in a clear and easy to understand way is her superpower. Writing is her passion and she loves to write a variety of pieces for diverse businesses.  She got a fresh start in 2020 when she moved to Cardiff, Wales and decided to pursue writing full time. Her blog, Bohemian Crossing is a book club for her readers, and she set up Bohem Notes with a vision to empower businesses to share their stories.*Note to Listeners*: We will be taking a short break from our usual biweekly schedule to enjoy the rest of the summer. The Intentional Career Podcast will be back in the fall of 2021.Interview Highlights:[01:42] Nisha looks back on how she started as a lawyer.[04:07] Law isn’t like the legal dramas on TV. Nisha works in commercial and corporate law in Malaysia, India and Thailand. But being a writer was always her dream job.[07:05] Nisha decides to explore blogging. She later moves to Wales to be with her husband, instead of continuing her marriage long-distance.[11:08] The mission of her blog, Bohem Notes and the Growing in Lockdown Series[14:48] How her career as a writer is different than before[18:50] The biggest resistance she encountered was the voice in her head.[27:00] What helped Nisha in making this career change[34:10] Nisha’s career crushes and what she would tell her past self. Resources:Bohemian Crossing Blog - Website | InstagramGrowing in Lockdown Blog Series - WebsiteEverything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo - Amazon | IndigoSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - From Lawyer to Writer with Nisha HarichandranNisha Harichandran was a commercial and corporate lawyer before she followed her dream to become a writer. She recognized her transferable skills, moved countries for love, and listened to the nagging of her inner voice to make big life changes in 2020.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.Karen: Today, my guest is Nisha Hari Chandran. Nisha is a business storyteller, caption and content writer. She has 15 years of experience as a lawyer and simplifying complex material in a clear and easy way to understand is her superpower. Writing is her passion and she loves to write a variety of pieces for diverse businesses.She got a fresh start in 2020 when she moved to Cardiff, Wales and decided to pursue writing full-time. Her blog, Bohemian Crossing, is a book club for her readers and Bohem Notes has a vision to empower businesses, to share their stories. Welcome, Nisha. I'm so glad to have you here.Nisha: Hi, Karen, thank you so much for having me. Karen: Yeah, it's great to have you, we met on Instagram, right? That was fun. Yeah.Nisha: I mean, it's a celebration of connections, isn't it. Like attracts, like, you know, you send out this message to the universe. Like I've got the story to tell at somebody, please hear me out. And there you are just opened your doors and welcomed me. So thank you so much. Karen: I got a DM and I thought this is really interesting. So, your story really intrigued me because you mentioned you were a lawyer for 15 years. And then you moved your whole life, to Wales and started writing full time. So let's go back to your career as a lawyer. Maybe tell us what life was like there. And how was it that you started to get the sense that things needed to change?Nisha: You know, Karen, it all started in Wales actually 15, 18 years ago. So inspired by all the enlightened books that I read as a child. I always craved this adventure and living in boarding school. I know it's just exploration. And I had applied for my university education to do my undergraduate studies and there was a position offered at Cardiff University. So I had come here and pursued my undergraduate degree. So it all started in Wales.Karen: And where were you before that? Nisha: In Malaysia. I'm born and brought up in Malaysia. So this tropical child, sunshine, loving angel, who doesn't really stay much in the sun in Malaysia because it's so humid. And I wanted this adventure. My parents said, Okay. And my dad, a little bit of tough love. He said, Okay on one condition you are going, but you're completing your studies. And then coming back, there's no running back and forth for every summer vacation or winter holidays. Like you don't make the most of it. And I was like, Yeah thank you. I'm just going to go all out, explore, learn.And Cardiff was such a welcoming city, a bit more relaxed in terms of pace-wise, compared to some of the bigger cities. It's a university city in a way and it was so welcoming. So this is where I spent my three years as an undergraduate. I went on to London and completed my bar vocational course and got called to Lincoln's Inn, which is one of the oldest inns in the UK.And I went back to Malaysia after that and completed my pupilage, which is your 12-month training, sort of like an articleship and got my stages, as a practicing lawyer. Law was fun. I would say you don't really get those interesting, exciting clients or the trauma that you see in the legal dramas, I would say don't be disillusioned by Ally McBeal, there's no Robert Downey Junior.Karen: And what kind of law did you practice? Nisha: I did more commercial law. So during my internship, I tried a variety of things. And then I realized commercial was more my space because it was always a discussion between two companies and trying to resolve that.I really enjoyed my legal career. It took me to many countries. I practiced in India and then thereafter, I also joined in-house and worked as a lawyer there. So from the opposite side from one sort of litigating matters to one advising on the business side of things. And my last posting was in Bangkok for Telenor a Norwegian telecommunications company. I was overseeing their governance matters. So, yeah, a lawyer, but there was always this writer within me because anytime somebody asked, what is your dream job? What do you want to do? Like, where do you want to go? Like, where do you see yourself? If you didn't have this law degree? And I'm like, oh, I want to be a writer. Karen: Wait. So were people asking you that? If you're a lawyer, a corporate lawyer in various countries, who was asking you that? Were people asking you what your dream is? Nisha: It was in conversations, with friends, when you do these like, little icebreakers and, or you tend to do little tests online or just chats about it. And as a lawyer writing is part of your daily job. You're all writing. And I also furthered this area by authoring publications for organizations. So you do like little how-to guide trainings. I was involved in a lot of training presentations and preparation, and all of that is writing. It's just positioning different pieces of communication. And when you work with a diverse platform or across borders and countries, you're always communicating in a way that people need to understand. And sometimes it's saying the same message in 10 or 12 different ways because you've got to translate it in a way that suits your audience, or even in a corporate job. When you speak to a director you're adopting a very different tone of voice, as opposed to an employee you're doing customer service matters. So writing communication was always just kind of interwoven, but. And the writer in me always woke up every now and then and said, yes writing is a dream job. Karen: And what did you want to write?Nisha: I didn't know at that time, what I wanted to write, I just knew I wanted to write. So it was always this little voice inside me, urging me about writing. And I can't remember who, but somebody suggested. Why don't you explore it in a safe space, like in a try blogging or something? Like put it out there then it's like, yeah, that's a pretty good idea.And really sensible because it could be just something that I enjoyed, but whether I could do it full time. And then secondly, whether people enjoyed reading what I wrote, so that's how Bohemian Crossing the blog was born. And I took it as my journey from a caterpillar to a butterfly. As part of my own transformation and Bohemian was inspired by a personality of my, of me actually just sort of free-spirited and just kind of enjoying, going with the flow of meeting people.So that's how I took the journey. And he like, let me write about my own growth and the people and experiences that I encounter and take that from there. So that's how blogging started as a safe space. Karen: Amazing. At that point, you knew you wanted to be a writer kind of taking these little steps, to actually start to do the thing that you wanted to do. And then how did that come about as a full-on career change?Nisha: Full-on career change was because of love. So I married a guy from Wales from Cardiff, and we've been doing long distance for a couple of years. And, literally just reporting for duty as husband and wife, because Malaysia or Bangkok was like six, seven hours ahead. So it'll be yes. Hello husband, hello wife. And then we will talk again later. So it just made sense for both of us to be in the same space and the adventure streak in me said, yeah. Why not? I'll move then. So, it was literally just after months of trying or years of trying saying that, okay, I will move and relocate it. And I think coming back, just starting and maybe turning 40 last year was just a lot of, awakening reflections.You know, how long are you going to bury this voice inside of you? That keeps calling out to be a writer. So I started doing my blogging a little bit more seriously. So that's how it started. And I joined the Cardiff writer's circle, which is a little network in Cardiff and they were so supportive because everybody just listened when you read out a piece. They gave you feedback and it was another sanctuary, I would say, that I found, I worked with another friend on a freelance basis where we trialled out a project. She was doing a project about interviewing people in Cardiff. So we went around doing stories and I immersed myself into that role to seize it as something that I was going to grow.And COVID happened. So the job market wasn't steady either. I'd just seen the headhunter before the lockdown was announced. So there was no chance of any jobs coming through.Karen: So, okay, what point in time is this like you had moved back to Cardiff?Nisha: I moved in February, February of 2020, Karen: And with plans to get a lawyer job in Cardiff? Nisha: Sort of exploring. I was looking into training more than doing full-time commercial laws. I was looking at your training as an option and then lockdown happened in March. So it was, okay, let's just trial a couple of things in between. And then I think my birthday's in October, so I had set a deadline. I was like, I got to make up my mind and a 15 September, just a month before my birthday, I said, okay, Bohem Notes is launched. That's how I just made my decision to go on as a sole trader and offer this content writing support business. Karen: Okay. And so you kind of drew a line in the sand and said, like, this is my new career now. Nisha: Yes. Karen: So tell us about Bohem Notes.Nisha: Bohem Notes is really a vision. I feel it's such a fulfilling mission or my soul's calling, I would say that's just come about. And, the whole vision behind it is to empower people to share their stories. Because stories are just all around us. It's in our day to day, but a lot of it gets buried in to-do lists or tasks and then forgotten.And if you could have another pair of hands with you to help you author that story, it just lives forever in any medium. And it can reach so many people. So that was my inspiration behind setting up Bohem Notes. Okay Karen: And can you explain, for our listeners, what are the stories? Cause you've focused on, is it 12 stories? Nisha: Yes. Yes. That's my latest project. It's called Growing in Lockdown Real Stories by Real Women. And lockdown has taken, what 18 months of our life, we woke up one day and it was just a whole new world and so much has happened. And as the world was also opening up. I started seeing photographs of people just racing everywhere, catching up for the lost time.And on the one hand, I was excited that we were moving to a new normal or to life as we now know it to be. But on the other hand, it was like so much happened. During these 18 months, we looked at life so very differently. Are we just going to just lose all of that magic while we run through and my brother, Harry, he said, you've got to write something about it. If you feel so strongly about it, you could write something about it. I was like, okay, I'm just gonna do it. And that's how this whole project started about having a compendium of stories that people can relate to and refer to. And why I chose 12 is because you have 12 months in your calendar and also 12 faces on your clock dial.So each time you turn in. If you lose yourself somewhere, you always have this place to refer to. And a Growing in Lockdown was born out of that. So reaching out to women across the world who had grown so soulfully and sensationally during this period, anchored me also in my own self growth, because they are just disconnected by borders.Most of them didn't know each other, but they were bonded through their own self-belief and spirit and confidence and just how they nurtured themselves and reconnected with themselves during this period and kind of taking it to another turn. So just anchoring all those stories in a Bohemian Crossing blog was just a brilliant project. Karen: Mm. And how did these women find you? Or how did you find them?Nisha: I found them. So some of whom were already in my network and some I reached out like the way I reached out to you, Karen, knocked on doors. Karen: Yes. Nisha: And said, do you want to do this? I think this is going to be great. I sent them a form and I was so thrilled with the response that I received and how they just opened up to another person and just shared this personal story in the hope that it's going to reach many other people and inspire and engage them towards their own growth. Karen: Amazing. That's really beautiful.So tell me about what it's like for you now that you are into this new career a year, I guess 16, 17 months into a new career saying, I've left law behind, I'm now a writer. How is your life different now?Nisha: Life is different in the sense that I'm authoring my own script. I feel I'm rewriting my story. You know earlier. Yes. I really enjoyed it. I mean, I've made an excellent set of friends. It was a wonderful experience. And that I've grown. But I feel all of it was like preparation leading me towards this journey. Because in terms of a lawyer, your skillset to distill, to analyze, to be so observant, they are so interwoven with the qualities of a writer, in fact, but just looking at it from different lenses, you know, approaching people and just knocking on doors or even taking rejections in some of your submissions you just build up that stamina. And it was just an amazing platform. And now as a writer, I just feel there's more independence, I would say because I am doing the projects that I want to do. I choose clients and I invest my time accordingly in that.So it's that different ones, you know? And I would say the biggest change is juggling all the many hats. I'm CEO or CMO, CFO, everything all in one. There's no steady paycheck that comes month on month. That's more, you know, okay, have we got a client? Have we not? What are we going to do? And it's also balancing your own internal priorities, but say it's fun. It's engaging. And it's great being a student again because there are so many different skill sets that you need in setting up your own business and different people that you're also connected with as part of this journey. So for example, with this whole Growing in Lockdown project, we conceived it sitting in a car while I was about to go cut my COVID bracelet off. So I got COVID exposure just before returning to the UK. Karen: Wow.Nisha: And then we are debating this whole idea about you've got to connect with people. You've got to write the story. I come back and put it all down. And we're like, how are we going to take photographs? People are sitting in Mexico and the US and Denmark and how are we going to do this?And my brother, he's a portrait and a lifestyle photographer. So he said, okay we'll do a remote photo shoot. Let's do this. Let's explore FaceTime. Let's explore Google Duo and let's make this work. So I returned and you know, it's your competing priorities, but you also just have the sense of fulfillment.Yeah. I bet that's come across very strongly. Now, you wake up, you know, you're doing this with purpose. And at times, yes, when things beat you down, but you still wake up and you wake up stronger, you'll make the next word matter even more. So, when I was authoring these stories for these women and when my brother sent me these photographs, it was like, yes, visual storytelling.Just the power of it and putting it across to people. Yeah. Fulfillment is the word. Karen: It's so interesting. I wouldn't have made the obvious connection between, what we in career development called transferable skills, which kind of sounds like a boring term, to be honest. But when you talked about it, like you're like, oh yeah, I observe people like distill information and, , and it's so clear to you how the connection is made, between those two careers. I'm curious. Did you have any, pushback? Was there anyone in your life that was like, you can't be a writer or did you have any of that resistance from people around you?Nisha: It would just be the voice in my own head. Karen: Right. Which is the biggest one to deal with. Nisha: Which is the voice, you know, you don't really need another person outside of you because this radio is playing 24 7. Karen: Oh, I know it. Nisha: This self-talk, I mean, Karen, you'll know loads about it. This self-talk is so powerful what you want to and not listen.And when I wasn't getting clients in the beginning or, no responses from any submissions, you're like, really are you really meant to, are you really cut out for this? And then there's one nod. There's one like there's one heart that comes in. You're like, yes, of course, they liked my work. I like my work, but irrespective of all of this, it's fine tuning the self-talk in your head because you got to believe yourself first before somebody else believes in you.So if you start doubting yourself and if other people continue to add to that sentiment, it's kind of like a downward hill slope, but there will be days you just have to pick yourself up. Karen: Yeah.  It's something that, as a coach, I work on coaching myself it's definitely something I work with my clients. You have to do that thought work. Do you have any example of, you said that radio was playing, do you have an example of, one of those limiting beliefs may be that you struggled with and how you dealt with it?Nisha: In terms of do people like my work? Karen: Mm. Nisha: Do they like what I'm putting out there? Do they like my stories? So, taking on this and Growing in Lockdown, series, for example, when you send out these questionnaires, it's like, are people gonna respond to it? Connect with it? Are people even going to read this? This is something that we just started and where does it take?And especially when you're like, okay, I'm I need to clock my 12 stories and my 12 stories are not coming together. How am I going to do this? And then you're like, no, it is going to turn up. You just got to take these little breaks in between. And I think in one of my stories Nurul who is a decorated member in both the Malaysian civil service and abroad, she talks about positivity pauses or positivity breaks where this kind of disconnect with what you're doing so that you rebalance yourself with your ecosystem. And then Marissa brings this beautiful theory about not following anybody's timeline, just go at your own pace. So when I read back these stories to myself, I'm like, yes, this is the kind of thing that you embed back into your body, your own thought programming and saying, yeah, there's really no timetable yourself, imposing a lot of things on yourself without realizing all the other achievements that you've made along the way. So it's just taking stock, maybe readjusting and seeing that you're on a different path and acknowledging all these other achievements.So Angelina talks about the power of truly being present, like right here in the now we're so used to running. I'm a to-do list. I love going checking on this doctor the next so much. So you forget what you've done before or what you've done after, and you tend to wrestle with that process of maybe I didn't achieve enough. And she said with all of this happening in lockdown, she said, it just reminded you to always come back to the, now the power of the now was just so important and that's what loved down taught us as well. Karen: So it sounds like as you were telling the stories of these women, their messages were very important to you as well. Yeah. Nisha: Because reconnecting with themselves was one of the biggest lessons that I took out as the biggest takeaway from the whole Growing in Lockdown. Because you've got to reconnect with yourself first before you start with another person. Same thing with the airlines, right? Strap yourself first before you strap the next person. Everything, you first, me first. It may sound selfish, but it isn't. Because if you are in the best space only, then you can give out your best. So when I do fall short of myself, or if there's any self-talk playing that doesn't serve me, I tune back into these messages or I just disconnect with whatever it is that I'm doing at that moment. Even if it's a sip of water or just a walk to the garden, just to break state so that I don't do well or engage or prolong that discussion for a longer time. So just a change of scene to reset myself in my patterns. How do you go about it, Karen? Karen: When I'm dealing with negativity? Nisha: Yeah, all this radio that's in your head. Karen: The biggest thing I do is writing. Writing it down, and getting it out of my head and onto a page. And there's something about... Because sometimes the thoughts swirl really fast. So it slows your brain down a little bit. And this is definitely writing by hand. And sometimes knowing what the thought is that's bugging me is really helpful. And then it's a self-coaching practice, oh, this is the thought that's making me feel bad. So this is the negative thoughts. That's giving me a negative emotion and then, sometimes I'll use different coaching tools, but looking for different options, looking for what's another thought that I could think.Nisha: Exactly reframing. Isn't it? Karen: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe there's another option that will be more helpful. And you're building those neural pathways so you're thinking in a different way. And even this week I've been doing it a lot. I think I go through phases. I don't know. Probably other people are like this too, where I'm writing more every day, this week. And it's really helping me get out of a funk. Nisha: It's a great process to empty out. Because when you write and like you said, putting pen to paper, you're kind of just filtering it out of your system. So even physically, or just when you look at it, you're kind of just emptying, you're getting it out and you're not carrying that with you through the day. So even a couple of lines a day really helps. Karen: Yeah, I have found it really helpful even when you start out by going, like, I don't know what I'm writing. It's still something helpful. And I find that I always go to a journal when I'm feeling stuck or whatever, and it always helps. There's always something.Nisha: And likewise, just to top yourself back up with the good stuff is just making a note of all the little significant achievements that you do during the day. Even if it's like walking at like a quarter speed faster than what you did yesterday, or baking a cake, for example. All of these are little achievements. So at least when you have something to it, something for you to reflect on, it's like little juice. You fueling yourself up with all the good stuff because on the one side you're emptying, but then you're also refuelling up and it's really powerful this practice. Karen: Yeah, I've been doing that too, because it's really easy to look at the to-do list of all the things I didn't do yet. So I've tried to pay more attention to, okay. I did do that thing. I did schedule some social media. I made a phone call I needed to make or whatever, and you're right. I think it's really powerful too, to just say, oh yeah, I'm going to recognize myself for the things that I did. Nisha: Yes. Karen: Not just the things that I need to do. Nisha: Exactly. Karen: So I'm curious, is there anything in particular that helped you make that change or transition in your career? It sounds like you're a pretty positive thinker or you've built up those habits to mitigate when the negative radio is playing. What are the things that helped you on your journey with this transition? Whether that's, I don't know, books or mentors or coaches or advice.Nisha: I think, I would say, start with yourself first to know whether you're really ready because I've been dipping my toes in the water for quite some time. Sort of starting, pulling back, starting, pulling back, maybe just going a little bit further. But this voice inside me was just nagging, really nagging, you know, like, are you really going to do with this? Why do you keep saying these things if you're not going to do it? So I think the move helped because it was like, okay, it's a fresh page. I have to start everything from scratch, from even opening a bank account. So why not a career?Karen: Why not?Nisha: Why not? You know? It's like going into the shop and trying on a new dress. You got to try. You got to see, explore, you're making new friends, new connections. So just take this opportunity. Relax a little bit. Things may not work as for the schedule that you wanted. But kind of just go with the flow. So that's how I developed a program, which essentially was for myself, but it was called Flow in Five. Karen: Okay. Tell me more. Cause it sounds so much like my business name, Flow and Fire. Nisha: Exactly. Karen: So Nisha: It was. So... Karen: I know I'm so I'm perking up right now. Okay. Nisha: It was cool. It was called Flow in Five because it's overwhelming with the amount of information that's available out there then you don't really know where to start. So the best place to start is here with yourself. So I call it the Soul Searching, where you really go in and dig deep and find out what is it that you want to do, why you want to do certain things.So for example, with writing, what kind of material that I want to write? What's my vision? So the Five was essentially taking either five minutes, or breaking down a thought into five so that you don't just stop with one or three, but you have options basically. That was the whole idea that you create yourself options. And when you have something and you have broken it down to five maybe you see if you can break it down a little bit more. Because the whole idea is we work smart. So we don't have to write the same content five times, but maybe just think of five different users for the same content. So that's how it started. So it goes with searching a soul so that you know where you're starting. And then it goes to ideation, which is like a playground. Cause you've got so many ideas, kind of just throw it all out there. And when you get overwhelmed, move to stage three, which is prioritize. So I designed a sort of pyramid concept so that you can put from important to least important, you know what task to schedule. You know what you can delegate, what you can seek support and what you can do to work with other artists in your area or other creatives. So you can even collaborate and work with the community. And then the last two steps were about self care. One was for your work because it's not that you just write something and you press publish. There's a lot of editing that needs to go on, and you've got to invest a little bit of time in that too, and care for yourself because you've got to sustain this thing day in, day out. How are you going to manage a balanced relationship? Both with yourself personally and also professionally. So that was the whole Flow in Five concept.And that started my mom is my biggest cheerleader. So she's always encouraging. Both my parents are positive thinking, always is inspiring. They said, okay if you feel this is it and go with your gut too, you know? And we are here. We support you. My husband was very understanding, and he said, okay if this is something you really want to do, go all out and give it a go. So I had a lot of fun. Supporters around me cheering me on in this journey. But what I want to come back to is as much support that you get outside, it is great because you have this wall around you, but if your internal support system is crumbling, it's not a good sign. So you've got to always make sure that you fill-up. You keep believing in this journey as much as they are as well. And connect with the community, just find supportive networks around you, where you can reach out and learn from others. You don't really have to reinvent the wheel. There's just so much out there already. So learn from people, read up, read books.And I liked this book by Marie Forleo, where she says everything is figureoutable. You're not going to come crash landing. It's not the end of the world. The earth is not going to open up and swallow you. There is going to be a solution. So don't freak out. Or if you need to freak out, freak out for that little moment, but just come back and figure it out.So it's these kinds of things that kind of help. And finding a tribe in that you can lean on too. So there is the small business huddle in the UK, which is organized by Shannon of Mockingbird Makes, and she brings together women, small businesses in the UK on a weekly basis. Where they discuss, share ideas, check-in, and if they have something that they want to promote or talk about in their sales offer, they do that too. So it's kind of just finding these people along the way and building that anchor and that support so that you can journey on.Karen: So the internal and the external, sources of support, inspiration, all of those things. Nisha: It's so important. I think this nurture, nature, everything kind of coming together and just keep going. You fall, never mind. Pick yourself up. Dust it down. Take a break, even. Take a break. You don't have to rush to get everything done today or tomorrow. It can be next week or next month or next year.And sometimes maybe you launch a product or a course, and it doesn't get the uptake that you think it deserves. But maybe it's not the right time, or maybe you have assumed too many things that, you know, people may want to hear. So just kind of reflect back and, take back and restart again.It's tough, but it's fun. Karen: I'm curious about your career crush or crushes, who is it that's Nisha: Oh, yeah. So Marie Forleo is one. I think the moment she said, everything is figureoutable. I'm like, why didn't I think of that? Why do we keep stressing so much about all these things when you can figure stuff out. So she's been a huge inspiration in terms of how she talks on social media or just how empowering she is as a leader, as a writer in her words. And of course the iconic Oprah. She can just talk about anything and just swinging it with so much confidence that you just want to go out and talk too. So even now, before joining your podcast, I was like, okay, I need some inspiration here so let's watch some Oprah. Just putting that in the background, just kind of absolving her energy, her vibes, and just how confident she is and how relaxed she is as she talks to everyone and how socially aware she is. So it was just tuning into that. I just played it in the background and I said, okay, Oprah, bless me. Karen: Sending up a prayer to Saint Oprah.Nisha: Yeah, exactly. Because the next phase is I want to do more speaking engagements and I want to talk, I want to communicate more about my project. So you got to tune in to different people to see how they go about it. You've got to find these role models and see. So yeah, these do definitely come up to mind very quickly. Karen: What would you tell your past self, the past self who wanted to be a writer, what would you say to that person who was maybe concerned or not quite ready?Nisha: I'll tell her you did it girl and keep going. I mean, just look at the voices, look at the messages and the people that have inspired through these stories. Look at the connections that you have built and the stories that you've shared and the power in those stories. And a purpose. You found a purpose because Bohemian Crossing blog was a journey, was my own little journey, caterpillar to butterfly growing. People whom I met’s experiences. But with producing this whole Growing in Lockdown series, 12 stories, real stories by real women has just given me another set of inspiration on taking the series longer. So I'm extending it to a new series in September called Entrepreneurial Life. Because from Growing in Lockdown, you're now an entrepreneur in your life into the set of new normal. So I'll be doing another set of 12 stories starting September one.So I'll tell my younger self that it's an exciting journey. And thank you. Thank you all for having the faith in me. Thank you for continuously putting these voices in my head because you pushed me in a way to come out of my comfort zone.You really pushed me into the ocean. Karen: Hmm. Oh, I love that. So you don't need to give your former self advice. You're just saying thank you to her for making it.Nisha: Thank you. Karen: Taking the steps. Nisha: Nagged me so much. You really nagged me.Karen: Yeah.Nisha: For not being able to take this leap of faith. And as a result, I see a new me, a newer version of me. And I love the old me too, but there's just so much of that and the new that has just evolved. So it's exciting. Karen: So speaking is in your future, another writing series is in your future. What else is on the horizon for you?Nisha: Oh, I would love to do a book at some point. There are so many little bits and bobs that have been written. But it's one little project at a time, so that's definitely something I would
09 - 3 Steps to an Intentional Interview with Host Karen Styles
04-08-2021
09 - 3 Steps to an Intentional Interview with Host Karen Styles
In light of the “Great Resignation,” interviewing is a skill that matters more than ever. Host Karen Styles discusses this recent trend of quitting and shares her 3 steps to Intentional Interviews.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.Interview Highlights:[01:10]  The “Great Resignation” and how it relates to interviewing.[05:20]  Step 1 - Know what you want.[08:12]  Step 2 - Gather and prepare stories.[13:10]  Step 3 - Say it out loud (ideally to another human).[19:05]  Looking for interview help? I’d love to support you. Check out my Intentional Interview 1 Day, 1:1 Training. Resources:Intentional Interview :1 Day Training - Website“The Great Resignation: How Employers Drove Workers to Quit” - ArticleSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to hire a coach and create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career and Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - 3 Steps to Intentional InterviewI’m Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow +Fire coaching. If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button. Karen (2): Hello and welcome to episode nine of the intentional career podcast. I'm so excited you are here with me because I wanted to chat about something that is really important. In my humble opinion, that is interviewing and in particular, making sure that when you interview, you have an intentional interview. So I wanted to share my three steps for an intentional interview, and I bring this up because I've been thinking a lot about and reading about and chatting with people about the great resignation.And I'm not sure if you've heard this term. We've definitely been talking about it since the spring, in career development, HR, talent management circles. And it is this ongoing trend of folks choosing to leave their positions. And, at first glance, it might seem kind of strange.Considering there have been mass layoffs around the world, during the pandemic, and whatnot. And now we're also seeing, for the folks who have kept their job. Are looking to leave. And I remember thinking, and even chatting with a couple of friends about it early on in the pandemic, maybe, you know, May of 2020, thinking, there must be a lot of people who are evaluating their work right now.Right? Who are thinking, hmm, if I was putting off life or putting off things and saying, well, it's okay, I'm going to deal with it later. Looking at the results of a pandemic, the whole world shifted. Bunch of ways. And people are really thinking about what they want and maybe they don't want to put off their careers or maybe they've had enough. Right? Maybe they have had enough of having a job. That's good enough. That's good enough on paper. Or, you know, really evaluating, how was I treated during the pandemic? Did my employer, did they care about my safety? Was I supported if I had kids and needed to homeschool?There are so many ways that this affected us and we realize how much our work affects us and how work and lives are intertwined. And so I think the folks who were maybe putting off a decision to leave are now potentially fed up and leaving. In April 2021 alone, the US labor department stated that 4 million people left their jobs.That's only in the US and that's only in April. And there are many more stats out there. I believe that Microsoft did a global survey of their employees worldwide and found that 40, I believe it's 40% of employees were planning to leave their role in the next six months. So that's a lot.So there are a lot of people leaving and there are a lot of people thinking about leaving and when you're looking to land a new role, the interview is a big part of that because let's be honest, people hire you or make an offer after they have met you. I have worked with many, many people. I have done interview training for the last six years. Honestly, it's one of my favorite things to do. And, over those years, I've worked with hundreds of people literally. And what I love about training for an interview is that I start to see people get more clear on who they are and what they're good at when they are forced to talk about it. Maybe forced is the wrong word, but kind of, you know, a lot of times you, maybe don't have to talk about your work or communicate what you're good at, or get into the details of how you do what you do, but when you're in an interview, you do. And the interesting thing is that it can be a real confidence builder, and it can really help you identify the work you're good at, the work you love. And really, I do think that interview training and going through the interview process can lead you to work you love. All that to say, coming back to my three steps for an intentional interview. So step number one is to know what you want.This might go to before you're actually interviewed. It might even be before you start your job search, if you're going into a job search, but think about what it is you want from your next role from your next position? What do you want it to look like?What do you want it to feel like? And this takes some time. And if you don't know right now, there are some things that you can think about or ask yourself things like, what size of a company might be great to work for? What kind of team dynamics do I want? Do you want to be on a large team or a smaller team?Do you want to be more of a solo contributor? Do you want to lead other people? You know, the relationship aspect of it. What kind of elements of company culture are you looking for? What are the activities that you want to be doing in your day to day? So that might relate to your skills and the things that you enjoy doing.It's worth reflecting on your past experiences, sometimes just take some time to, but it's so valuable to go back and think through the times in the past, or you felt really great at work, right? Where are the, what were the things that you were doing? What were the relationships that you had? What were the things that made you proud? So identify those pieces from the past to say, there are these elements that I would like to experience again. And on the other hand, there might be things that you don't want to experience again. You might know that there are certain things you don't want to do, people you don't want to work with, or companies that you're not interested in, and both sides of those things are important. There might also be things that you don't know about yet, things that you want to experience that you haven't, that might be question marks. Those might be things that you try to learn about through the interview process or through your networking.You can get a lot of clues from your past experience about what you want in the future. So, that's step number one, know what you want before you even get into a job search. Know what you're looking for, right? Take a proactive approach. And this means that you're not just going out and looking for job postings and applying that's really reactive, but thinking in advance.You know: What are the companies? What are the types of work? What are the roles? What are the people? Those kinds of things have that goal in mind for yourself before you begin step number two. After what you want, step number two is you will want to prepare and gather stories from your past work experience because these are the things that you're going to talk about in the interview. So think about the things that you are proud of. And maybe I should take a step back for a second and mention that a lot of job search is remembering. Sometimes we don't remember all of the many, many things that we've done over our work life so we need to take the time to remember and write it down.It's really helpful to keep this in one place, start a Google document or something like that so that you can start gathering your stories, putting them all together in one place, and you don't have to start from scratch every time you go to an interview. So, start gathering stories and you might start just by brainstorming.What are the things you're proud of? Where were times that you felt proud or felt really alive or felt good in your work? Think of the things that you've achieved. Those might be things that you personally feel proud of. They might be things that your colleagues have complimented you for, maybe things that were noticed in an annual review. Try to remember all that stuff. The stuff does take time, but as you get into kind of digging through your memories, you will start to discover and remember those things. And if you are having a hard time, remember it's worth connecting and having a conversation with maybe current or past colleagues and ask them, what am I good at? What am I known for? What do you come to me for help with or advice on those types of things? I find that very often, and this was something I learned early in my career from my former district manager and now good friend, Dani — shout out to Dani. She mentioned to me that many times when a person is good at something, they discount it. They think, oh, well, everybody does that. That's normal. Anyone would do this, but that's often not true. So, people who are good at their work discount the quality of their work, and that's why we need other people to remind us of it, right? They might say, oh, you're you are so good at remembering the names and the details of everyone you meet and you might think, well, that's normal. That's what everyone should do. But no, if that's something that you do and it could have a really big impact on your role, on your company, on how people feel around you. And so this is why it's so important to have that feedback from other people in our lives who tell us that we're good at something.And have them maybe explain why, if you're like, well, that's not a big deal, ask more questions and see what they say, and you'll get an insight. The things that are obvious to you, they're normal. Those things that you are really great at, and that are really easy for you. They're often not easy for other people. And that's how you make a difference in your work. Other stories to gather would be challenges that you overcame, right? And as I'm saying this, you might have things come to mind immediately, maybe really crappy days or crappy periods in your work life where, you know, something happened that you weren't happy about or that you couldn't control, and you didn't know what to do about. Pay attention to those.Write them down, start to think about how did I get through that? How did my team get through that? What did we do? What did I learn? You're going to get a lot of really helpful information from those stories. You might even think of things that you did wrong or areas where you made mistakes. Even though those are not fun to look back at.We often find, I do anyways, sometimes we learn a lot from mistakes. Right? We learn to maybe change our course of action for the future. So all of those areas can be helpful to look at, you know, another side of that too, there might not be big mistakes, but there might be things where you reflect on a situation and looking back a few years after, hindsight is 2020, you might go back and do things differently.So reflecting on past experiences, that can be really helpful in terms of gathering the stories that you're going to talk about during that interview. So once you know what you want, and you've started to gather your stories. The third step is to say it out loud. And what I mean is, say your interview answers out loud.So you might have a list of interview questions. If you're a few years into your career, you have a good idea of what interview questions are going to be asked. You may have an idea of the questions that are asked in your industry. Make sure that you practice giving your answers out loud, preferably to another human being.Maybe this is obvious, but I'm mentioning it anyway because I know that for a lot of folks, the interview. Preparation is maybe writing down their stories, writing down notes, writing down points or details, and thinking about how they would answer it, but they don't actually get to the step of saying that answer out loud.And it's really important because speaking and writing are different communication mediums. And often when we go to talk about something. It comes out differently than we would have written it down. And actually, that's okay. But it's the spoken part that needs to be practiced. It's not a document that needs to be edited.For those folks who might try to write down an exact script, I guess if that works for you, that's okay. I wouldn't necessarily, that wouldn't be my advice. I think the problem that can come with memorization is that if you've written a script and you're kind of halfway through your story, you might hit a point where you're like, oh no, I forgot. I forgot a point. And you're trying to remember your script and that can stress you out and that won't help you in the interview. What we want to do is practice speaking those stories out loud, getting comfortable, sharing those stories in those answers, and making sure we're clear on the verbal delivery of those stories.So the reason I suggest saying it out loud to another person is when we tell a story, we often have a lot of background information in our minds that seems obvious to us. And so we don't actually fill in all the details that are necessary for the listener to hear. And so that might mean that the story or the answer doesn't have the impact that it could have because we've left out details.And when I'm working with clients I'll have this happen a lot, to be honest. So I'll hear an interview answer and the biggest thing that comes up when I know that an answer isn't having the impact that it could, is that I listen and I kind of think, I don't get it. Either I don't get it, or so what? Like, okay, you've answered the question, but so what? However, I have learned that if you've chosen a story and you want to tell that story as an answer for an interview question, usually there's a reason there is an important story to be told there. And when I ask a few more questions, I usually discover more details that really give more impact. So it's so helpful to tell a story to someone and give an interview answer.And if they're not a coach, they might just go straight to giving you advice, but ask them, does this story make sense, right? And if there's anything that you're like, well, I don't get it. Well, why did you do this? Or why did this? Or I, you know, how long did this happen over? What was the time period? Those were a lot of the questions that I ask when I'm listening to an interview answer.When you say it out loud to another person, you're going to find out what the impact is. And that's the whole point of this interview conversation, right? That you're communicating something and it has to land somewhere. And you don't know if it lands, if someone else doesn't hear it. So this is where the hypothetical story that we think is working in our mind.Sometimes it falls flat when we say it out loud because we haven't had the practice doing that. And if you don't have another person that you can talk to. Here's one of the tricks that I offer to a lot of my clients: use your phone, grab your phone, turn on your video or use a voice recorder and answer an interview question, take something like, tell me about yourself, answer that question into your phone and listen back too. And I can guarantee that once you listen back, there's a certain amount of objectivity that comes from listening to it. You'll think, oh, that doesn't make sense. Oh, I need to add a detail. Oh, I could remove this. And it's so, so, so helpful the saying it out loud. This is the biggest thing I'm always telling people, trying to beat it into people's heads.You've got to say the words out loud in your preparation. Actually, that's where I separate preparation from practice. So preparation might be this brainstorming, detailing the stories, getting the notes, getting them down, thinking about what you want to say. The practice is the part where you say it out loud.The practice part is as important as the preparation. And I think a lot of folks miss that step because it's that final delivery that's really gonna make an impact in that conversation. So say it out loud, preferably to another human being. And of course, I'm going to bring this back to my practice because it is my podcast after all, but, If you're looking for help on interviewing, I would love to support you if you need the person to say it out loud too, or to pull the details out.If you're not having success, if you feel like you're struggling, trying to do this on your own, I would love to be the person to help you. And in my intentional interview, one day training, you can work with me one-on-one and what we do is get you completely ready for an interview all with one day. That's right. We can do it all in one day.So, if you are feeling like your interview preparation is all over the place, you want to feel in control. If you're not sure what impression that you're leaving in an interview, you want to be sure. If you haven't interviewed in a while and you really want to brush up, that's great for that.As well, if you keep interviewing, but finding you're not getting offers, it might be somewhere in that delivery. So working with me as your interviewer really could help. And as a former recruiter and as someone who's trained hundreds of people, I really want to help you with your interview as well.And I want your interview to feel better. I want you to know what impression you're leaving and know that you're leaving a really positive lasting impression. I want you to feel confident that you are speaking clearly about why you're a great candidate. And to know that you've got compelling work stories to share in that interview.So what happens? What's included in intentional interview training? What we do in one day is we brainstorm and review your experience, your skills, and really what that's going to do is remind you why you're an excellent candidate for the role. Interviewing four. I will introduce some simple frameworks that are going to help you speak clearly and confidently and communicate the message that you want to communicate.I'm also going to listen really closely to your answers and identify where you need to tweak communication. Like I talked about before, if you tell me a story and it gives me a "so what" feeling I'm going to ask some questions. This is a big part of what I do. I listen. I usually slow down people where they're blowing past the details that are really important.And I pull those things out so that we can add the evidence and add the impact to that story. You'll also complete your very own interview guidebook, where you'll keep all of your notes and you'll have that for your current and future interviews. We'll also finish with a mock interview where you get to put that all together and practice delivering what you've learned.I do this virtually. We do meet over zoom and it's one-on-one. So it's just you and me for one day, roughly five hours, including breaks. And we just get you ready. So whether you have an interview coming up soon, or whether you want to just get this practice and start feeling more confident about your job search and your interviewing, this is for you. I want to help you feel clear and confident in your interviews. So to recap, the three steps to an intentional interview. Number one, know what you want from your next position. Step two, prepare and gather stories about your achievements, challenges, things you've learned. Number three, say it out loud -- your interview answers, your interview stories. Practice, practice, practice, speaking that out loud. And if you want to have the confidence of knowing that your next interview will be a great interview, apply now for my intentional interview, one day training, I will put the links in the show notes.Let's make it happen.I want to make sure that your next interview is an intentional interview, that you feel authentic and confident about sharing your work stories and knowing that you make an impact in what you do. Links to the intentional interview one day training are in the show notes. And I'll be back in two weeks with the next episode. Thanks for joining me.Thank you so much for listening. It means so much that you spend part of your day with me. If you enjoyed this episode go to Apple Podcasts and leave a 5 star review. It helps other people find the podcast, and my hope is that if more people find the Intentional Career Podcast, then more people can create their Intentional Careers.If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button in the top right corner. Episodes are released every second Wednesday, so I’ll see you in two weeks for more of the Intentional Career Podcast!
08 - Navigating a 9 to 5 and Publishing a Book with Teresa Wong
21-07-2021
08 - Navigating a 9 to 5 and Publishing a Book with Teresa Wong
Teresa Wong is the author of the graphic memoir Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression. I’ve known her for over 20 years and was thrilled to interview her about her copywriting career, the process of creating her first book while working at her day job, why graphic narrative is her medium of choice, and why THIS was the story she wanted to tell.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.Teresa Wong is the author of the graphic memoir Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression, a finalist for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2020. Her comics have appeared in The Believer, The Rumpus and Event Magazine. She teaches memoir and comics at Gotham Writers Workshop.Interview Highlights:[01:30]  How Teresa’s day job in copywriting is different than creative writing.[04:40]  Where did the idea for Dear Scarlet come from? How did having 3 kids impact / inspire the way it was written? How did that impact the writing of a graphic narrative?[8:20] Teresa asks an illustrator to help her with this project, and his reasons for saying “No, you have to do this.” She Googles “how to make a graphic novel” which actually helps a lot. [14:00] Karen asks, why tell THIS story, even though you’ve experienced other intense life things (like a house that burnt down and your husband’s stroke) among other major life challenges you’ve had?17:00 Karen shares how Dear Scarlet made her feel seen and understood, despite not being a mom or dealing with post-partum depression.[18:11] How the support and belief of other people helped in the bumpy road to getting published, how long publishing takes, and how sharing a manuscript feels like exposing yourself.[24:00] What encouragement Teresa would give her past self.[27:20] Why graphic narrative is NOT easier to write than prose.[30:28] What is Closet Dispatch? Why Teresa decided to write a Substack newsletter during the pandemic, why she wanted to talk about clothes and her relationship to clothes. Teresa & Karen share past and present thoughts about Celine Dion.[41:43] Teresa’s career crushes.[46:20] How becoming an author has (and hasn’t) changed Teresa’s career. Why she’s kept her day job and has more jobs than ever before. An upcoming job that will be a big change - Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary.People and Resources Mentioned:Teresa Wong - Website | Instagram | TwitterCloset Dispatch (Teresa’s Substack Newsletter) - WebsiteRaina Telgemeier - Website | Instagram | Facebook | TwitterKate Beaton “Hark a Vagrant” comic strip - Website | Instagram | TwitterBook Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton - Amazon | GoodreadsVivek Shreya - Website | Instagram | TwitterRoxanne Gay - Website | Facebook | TwitterNicole Georges - Website | Instagram | Facebook | TwitterBook - “Scratch” by Manjula Martin - WebsiteSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn
07 - From Performing Arts to Performing Weddings with Hope Mirlis
07-07-2021
07 - From Performing Arts to Performing Weddings with Hope Mirlis
Hope Mirlis started out in performing arts but now performs weddings. Her big career moves  coincided with big geographical moves, too. Originally from NYC, she moved to Atlanta to pursue performing arts, and then went to California to get a Master’s of Fine Arts. A friend asked Hope to officiate their wedding, and that changed everything. Hope and Karen discuss the path to an intentional career, and the many twists and turns that happen along the way.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Hope Mirlis. She is a registered New York City Wedding Officiant, an Ordained Interfaith Minister,  and a Certified Yoga Instructor. She founded her business “A More Perfect Union” and created a premarital counseling program. She has been guiding couples around the world from the “Yes!” to the “I Do.” since 2009.Interview Highlights:[01:13]  Being an officiant wasn’t Hope’s original plan. She was a performer from childhood, and started her career in the performing arts.[03:48] Hope and her friends created a theatre company.[07:02] Hope realizes her place isn’t in Atlanta anymore.[10:55] A classmate asks Hope to officiate her wedding. Hope says No.[14:23] How the one-time wedding turned into her calling as a wedding officiant. [18:05] Hope asks herself, “What happens if I release performing arts?”[23:33] What people in Hope’s life thought about her career change. [30:12] How releasing and letting go along the way helped Hope’s career.[43:45] What advice Hope would give to her past self.[47:38] Hope’s career crush, Jenny Levison.Resources:Hope’s Website - A More Perfect Union - Website | Instagram | Facebook“Souper Jenny” Levison - Website | InstagramThe Souper Jenny Kindness Tour - WebsiteSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast website Schedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen. FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - From Performing Arts to Performing Weddings with Hope MirlisKaren: I’m Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love.I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow + Fire coaching. If you’re ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There’s a link in the show notes or go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “schedule a call” button.Today my guest is Hope Mirlis. Hope is a registered New York City wedding officiant, an ordained interfaith minister and a certified yoga instructor. She founded her business A More Perfect Union and created a premarital counseling program. She's been guiding couples around the world from the "Yes" to the "I do" since 2009.Welcome Hope, I'm so glad to have you here.Hope: I'm super excited to be here and I'm super excited to know who that person is that you introduced!Karen: She sounds pretty impressive, I must admit.Hope: I know!Karen: So you are a wedding officiant and apparently that was not always your plan, correct?Hope: Oh, it was so never my plan!Karen: It was so never your plan? So let's talk about how you ended up here. What was the plan or what were you doing when this  came up in your life?Hope: So as a child, I was very outgoing. I was a little performer from the very, very beginning, so I always thought, and I think my family always thought that I would definitely go down that path. So I performed as a child. I danced as a child and then I started choreographing. I wound up going to college  eventually getting a performing  arts degree and that's really where I was headed. I founded a theater company out of college as well.Karen: Oh, no big deal. Just founded a theater company.Hope: Yeah, so I was definitely down that path and I was making inroads. The company was doing very, very well. I was very satisfied as an artist and as an administrator. so it really truly made sense to continue down that path.Karen: And so what was the dream at that point? You were going to create a theater company or be an actress - did you have a big goal?Hope: I mean, I think early on, I thought I was going to be a big, famous actor, but that never seemed to be where things went. I remember speaking to a casting director years ago or one of my managers or agents that I was working with and I was like, Hey, what's going on?Like, what kind of work is happening? What are you submitting me for? And she's like, well, I'm looking at submitting you for Lebanese roles. And I was like, oh, that's great. [I’m] not Lebanese. Is there a lot of work that you see for Lebanese actors? If you think that I can be in that path? And she's like, no, not really. And I was just like, okay, I can see myself not working as much as I wanted to.And was really the impetus for the theater company that I founded with a few colleagues of mine that we said, you know what? We're not getting the work that we want. So why don't we create it?And at that time I was living in Atlanta and there wasn't really a theater company doing the work that we wanted to do. There was, some very, very small companies and there were large institutions. We said, you know what, there's gotta be a middle ground. So we basically said... it's like that Mickey Rooney movie that was like, we got a barn, like let's put on a show.So we did that, and then the business side caught up.Karen: Oh, what do you mean by that? Like you had this idea and people were interested in it?Hope: I mean, I always had a business acumen, so that was kind of an easy thing for me, but I'd never run a theater company that was a not-for-profit arts organization. So, I mean, did we pay taxes? No. Did we know we were supposed to pay taxes? No. So eventually we realized, ah, great. By this time we did have a board of directors that were able to help us pay the taxes back to that. We owed the state and to the local municipality. But Yeah, it's like, Hey, let's do it. And then and then everything else will follow.Karen: Right.Hope: Thankfully, it kind of did.Karen: For how long?Hope: I was with the company for 10 years. The company is still going strong, which is pretty amazing. I mean, I'm not in that world anymore, so I'm not really in touch with what's happening, but yeah, it's kind of exciting to see the foundation that we started 24 years ago is still in play.Karen: Wow. That's exciting.So, something changed. You're not part of that world. You were in that world, creating, making the thing happen that didn't exist. And what changed? Something happened that you're now, in New York city living life as a wedding officiant.Hope: So I kind of plateaued.  It got to a point, I wasn't getting the work that I wanted to. People saw me as more of an administrator for a theater company and not as a performer anymore. And I really wasn't sure what to do during that time. I did leave Atlanta to take a training program.We got some grants as an organization for personal growth, for organizational growth, but it really wasn't enough. So I realize, and it took a lot of soul searching. It took a lot of, crying with friends and colleagues to say, you know what? I don't think my place is in Atlanta anymore. If I looked at the potential of leaving Atlanta, what would that look like? If I left the company that I helped start 10 years ago is that doable?So, really, truly weighing where my career could go versus what I was having now and the dissatisfaction that I was having in my career at that time.Karen: So signs were pointing to dissatisfaction. This isn't quite what I want anymore.Hope: Correct. Yeah, absolutely. So I kind of looked to see what was out there. And it's really funny before I even knew, or maybe as I was knowing, I interviewed about, oh gosh, I want to say at least…  So I was an artistic director or a producing artistic director for a theater company and I did this with three other women. So we were all co-producing artistic directors, but I interviewed either 8 or 10 other artistic directors in Atlanta and recorded the interviews. Just to get a better idea about what they do, where they're satisfied, where they feel dissatisfied. And I basically said, I may be looking to make a change. I don't know what that looks like. Please don't tell everybody.Karen: Oh, so this was like an informational interview. You're kind of networking with people and putting out feelers.Hope: A little bit. To say, hey, what's out there, what's possible? I think that landed me  an interview with a theater company to potentially partner on a grant that would allow me to join their company and they would get funding for that collaboration of me joining with them, but that didn't work.So it was really looking to say, okay, what's next? It turned out, at that time, at that 10 year mark, there were three of us running the company. And then two of us wound up leaving the company at the same time.And then I still didn't know what my next steps would be, but I knew because of the way that my world interacted in Atlanta, that I couldn't stay if I really wanted to pursue the work that I wanted to pursue. And there was something that was a little...I guess it was hard for me to see the work of a theater company that I helped found. If I couldn't be a part of it, so I was finally able to leave, I was able to break that tether. And it felt okay.So I started looking for MFA programs, Masters of Fine Arts programs that were mid-career because I wasn't right out of college. I had at least 20 years of experience in the business. So, there were a few that were out there. I had informational interviews, and then I was brought out to the University of California Davis for their program, which was a super small program that I then got into and then decided to attend.Karen: Okay, so you go from Atlanta to California.Hope: And then one of my classmates asked me to officiate her wedding.Karen: Oh, just out of blue?Hope: Out of the blue! She's like, hey, what are you doing on December 30th, 2009? And I was like, nothing, what are you doing? And I was thinking that she was going to say we're having an engagement party,Karen: Right. And what point of the year did she ask you this?Hope: She asked me this probably about two months prior.Karen: Okay. Okay.Hope: And I was like, wait, what? No, no.Karen: No.Hope: And she was like, what do you mean, no? And I was like, well, why? Why me? Like, why? I don't understand.Karen: Yeah.Hope: And she wore me down cause, I kept like throwing all these roadblocks in her way. I was like, legally, I don't have this. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to do this. And she's like, oh, we will figure it out. And I was like, oh, you totally will. So I was able to get a permit from the county to perform one ceremony on one day. And we gathered on a beach in Sausalito, California on December 30th 2009. And I performed my first ceremony.Karen: And so you originally said no. And then you went for it. What made you change your mind?Hope: I realized that I had to take my ego out of it, that it wasn't about...that I really needed to step in there and be there for my friend in whatever way she needed me.Karen: And she couldn't find an officiant that she liked or wanted?  Or you were going to bring something to her wedding that she needed?Hope: She wanted me to be there on behalf of her friends. So it was a very small gathering. It was just her family. Basically it was each of the bride and the groom's children. And a pair of adult witnesses and that was it. So they said on behalf of our friends, would you do this for us? And I'm like, no. And then I'm like, yeah, you know what? I have to do this for her and we'll figure it out.Karen: Yeah.Hope: And we did. I mean, she figured out the legal portion of it. I figured out what a ceremony needs to have legally and then what would be nice to add to it? Incorporating their kids in it, knowing that we're standing on a beach, and what does that mean to the couple? What does that mean to relationships and being able to incorporate that piece into a very, very simple wedding ceremony.Karen: And that's so beautiful that you could symbolically represent all the friends that were joining them together.Hope: Yeah, I think they wanted to make it as simple as possible. And they wound up having a gathering -  a party-  later, but they really just wanted to keep it very small and special. And I was very humbled as I continue to be humbled when couples invite me into that world, into that celebration of their union, of their relationship.Karen: So, how did that go from being a one-off thing to now, this IS my thing.Hope: It took about two years.Karen: Okay.Hope: So, I mean, after I performed that first ceremony, I was like, WHOAH, what is that? I was like, that is super freaking cool.Karen: Yeah. Tell me more about that. What did that feel like? Or what was that experience like for you?Hope: Well, it's like, it felt to me in a way, this culmination of a lot of things that I've already done.  I felt like I started stepping into a calling and I couldn't describe it. I mean, I don't think I would say those words at that time, but I was like, huh, that's cool. I'm good at that.And even the couple were like, we knew you were going to be good at it. We didn't know you were going to be THAT good at it. So I was like, great. I'm now going to make myself available. And I was involved in the catering community as well. And that's a job that I've had since I was a teenager. So I started letting the catering community know, hey,  if you need an officiant,  if you're catering a wedding and you need, or you know of a couple that may need...  so I kind of just started sprinkling it out there.Karen: Yeah.Hope: But kind of  like more, as a joke or like, yeah, I can add this to what I'm already doing.Karen: Kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks I'm like, maybe I'll try this thing?Hope: Well, yeah. I had my MFA at that time, I was performing, I was teaching, I was working administratively for a number of dance companies. So I was working. Was I satisfied in that world? Not really, but again, like I picked myself up for now the third time and started fresh.I left New York as a teenager and went to Atlanta. And then I left Atlanta. I went to Northern California for grad school, and then I left grad school and went further west to the Berkeley / Oakland / Bay Area and started my professional career all over again. So it was like,  I can make this all work.And then I think when I was sitting on my bed in Oakland, California, I was like, what if I don't have to make it all work? Like what happens if I can start releasing some things that no longer resonate? That no longer work for me? And I think I kind of sat there and I remember that feeling.But, Facebook became really popular, right when I got to grad school, which was hilarious because I mean, I was at that time 36 years old and I'm getting on Facebook with all the kids and I'm like, what the heck is this? I felt like all of a sudden cool, because at that time you could only get a Facebook invite if you were a university student. So I was like, I got one of those. I mean, very, very shortly after that,  I'm saying like a few weeks after that, they opened it up to the general population. So it wasn't all that exciting for that for the very, very beginning, but you know, that's how I started.I think I wrote on Facebook, that revelation, like what happens if I release the performing arts piece? What does that look like in my life? And I felt like a weight coming off of my shoulders in a way that I would never have expected. And it felt like, you know what? I feel like I'm finally on the correct path.Karen: Hmm. And so were you on the path of focusing on your business at that point? Or was it just mainly about letting go of performing?Hope: It was a little bit of both just becauseI was still working in the field. I was still working for a theater, for a dance company. I still had things going on that I couldn't fully release. But I was like, okay,I have this business.  I think at the time that I started it I was personal cheffing and doing yoga.And then I was like, okay, how can I add the officiant piece to that? And then I think a friend of mine was like, you let it go Hope. Let the catering piece go. You have this beautiful yoga practice and officiating practice, that makes much more sense. And at this point, because the first couple, unfortunately, we're having issues that I didn't find out about until the day of their wedding.Karen: Oh!Hope: Oh, yes. So I realized after I performed that first ceremony and I was going to check into what this officiant position could look like I said, if I go down this path, I need to be a better advocate for my couples. So I then created a premarital counseling program.So that two years between that first ceremony and my second ceremony - which was also a pair of friends - that allowed me to really step into this role as an officiant and a premarital counselor. And moved back to New York, which is, I'm from here. This is my home.Karen: Interesting. So then it became more about, I guess like the marriage and the relationship and not just the officiating the wedding part.Hope: Yes. It made much more sense to me to be able to look at it holistically and then be able to give you know, couples that guidance. From the yes to the I do. Some couples do that with me fully, but some couples don't need it. So I really give them that option. I really truly thought that couples would do that full continuum with me. That I would guide them through premarital counseling, we would do a yoga practice, either leading up to or on the day of the wedding, and then I would officiate their ceremony sometime that day. But it's very separate, couples that come to me just for yoga just want me for yoga. There is more of an overlap between the counseling and the officiating, but I see a lot of couples who are like, no, we're having a friend officiate or we're having a priest officiate, or we're getting married out of the country. So we really just want only the premarital counseling section or I have couples that are like, we don't need premarital counseling, thanks, but would you officiate?So for me, it's always yes, yes and yes. I don't require anything. I don't require couples do premarital counseling if I'm officiating for them. I want to make sure to make it available to them and make sure that they know the importance of the engagement period. And making sure to ask anything that they need to ask or share anything, or make sure that they know the expectations of their relationship before they get married. And I'm happy to guide that if they want that, but if they don't need it, more power to them, let them do that on their own.But it's like, let's hope that they just do it.Karen: Yeah. And so what role did moving back to New York play? Because it seems like you're making big shifts coincided with geographical moves as well.Hope: I think that the idea of moving back to New York was really due to the fact that I'm an east coaster. I loved California, it's gorgeous. But it really didn't feel like home to me. And if I'm stepping into what I truly felt like was a calling that I really needed to be a place in a place where I could settle and be here for the long term.By this point, my family had  written off that I would ever come back to New York, so they stopped asking. And so then I kind of threw them for a little loop by going, hey guys, guess what? I'm coming back. And they're like, wait, what? You're what? And I was like, Yeah, I think it's time. It's time to come home.Karen: And what did the people in your life think about you becoming a wedding officiant? Or seeing this big change? Sounds like to some of your close friends it totally made sense, but did other people have things to say about it?Hope: I think that my friends got it. I think that they understood what it was and if they didn't, they asked me. My parents are hugely supportive of me, but they didn't get it and they didn't get it for a very long period of time. Especially the premarital counseling piece just because I'm not a therapist, I'm not trained as a counselor.I created a program that made the most sense for me. So they basically were like, well, why do you feel like you can do that? Do your couples know that you have no training? Or do you think that if a couple is struggling, that you should send them to a professional? And it took me a while to go hold on a second, no, no, I'm a professional. I created this program. It took me two years to do it, it's not like I rushed into it. I looked to see what was out there, nothing resonated with me. So I said, how can I be the best advocate and the best guide for my couple? Both from the officiating side and from the counseling side. And if I didn't understand something or if I didn't know something, I took the time to research it because I knew that I'd get called out.And I also want to make sure that, because if I want to be a really strong advocate and a strong guide, I have to have a lot of information and I have to have value for a couple in order to strengthen their relationship, strengthen their marriage to be, or celebrate their union. My uncle was a rabbi and ran a seminary here in New York city. He was one of the  founders of the interfaith movement here in New York City. So even as a rabbi, he worked with leaders from all faiths and even his seminary trained rabbis and trained officiants in a way that was very open.Like I remember speaking to him, even as a child and, and, either singing in Hebrew with him, but he was also speaking more about spirituality and connectedness in, in a way that I appreciated, but didn't truly understand. I didn't realize this and I completely forgot about it, but my parents, I think once they came around to the fact that yes, I was doing this and yes, I was good at it and should be doing it and shouldn't be questioned for doing it.They said, do you remember that your uncle asked you to join seminary out of high school? And I was like, what? No, I don't remember that at all. They're like, yeah. He asked you to be a Cantor, which is a singer in the synagogue. And then he said, you should join my seminary. And I said, no, and I completely forgot about it.But it said to me that I wasn't ready at that time, I needed to experience a whole bunch of other stuff before I really truly stepped into that place.Karen: And you're now an ordained interfaith minister.Hope: Yeah.Karen: And is that part of being an officiant or is that actually separate?Hope: So it's kind of part of it. It's the legal piece, but that was the piece that I struggled with the most, especially because when I started. I was like, I can't do this because I don't have the authority to perform a legal wedding ceremony. So in California, you're able to get a permit.You're not able to do that in most other states, especially New York. So when I got here, I reached out to the officiant community and I'm like, How do you do it? What's going on? So they sent me along the ordination path. Actually, I think as soon as I did that first ceremony, I went online and got ordained by the universal life church, which is what most friend officiants or family officiants do because it's legal. And it's crazy that you can get ordained in five minutes online. But does that make you a good, officiant? No.Karen: Right.Hope: Thouth some friend officiants may disagree with me or may not understand what it really means to be an officiant. So, I mean, I'm glad that I had that ordination immediately. And then I started on that two year path. Once I got here to New York another friend who lived in Virginia asked me to officiate and I had to apply to the Commonwealth of Virginia and I was denied with my ordination. So I said, okay, what's next? So I reached out to another few friends and said, Okay, I need to do something that's a little bit more vibrant than these online churches. So, I wound up getting ordained, for a third time with a church that I had to actually apply for. I had to have an in-person ordination. And I have to also pay annual dues. So that is the legal piece. So I am an ordained minister, but I am Jewish by faith. So don't usually come out and say that I'm a reverend, even though that's what legally is my title.Karen: So interesting how all those pieces go together. It sounds like you, you followed a lot of little, I don't know, steps or breadcrumbs along the way to get where you needed to go. Can you identify, what were some of the specific, whether it was advice or resources or people, what were the things that helped you in creating this intentional career?Hope: I think it was the releasing, the letting go along the way. I mean, I think the biggest one was the leaving of Atlanta and it was sitting down and crying with two really close friends of mine. And I hadn't thought of the leaving at that point.And it was, in a quiet voice, one of my really close friends said, what do you think about leaving the company? What do you think about leaving Atlanta? And it was like, oh, no! That's not possible! What are you talking about? But it put a seed in there to go, wait, is it? Like, what's holding me here? I complain about being landlocked in Atlanta, even though I loved Atlanta. And it was really such an amazing community, a supportive arts community, and it still is. But I felt like I reached the end of that.And then I sat down with a second friend, I think, like in the middle of crying. And it was really late at night. I was in my pajamas and a friend of mine was just like, come over, just come over. And I don't think she was trying to be harsh, but she said, Hope you're good at these things that you're trying to hold on to. Like, you're a good actor. You're a really good theater administrator, but there are people that do it better than you. And I was like… (gasp).Karen: Ouch.Hope: it was a complete ouch moment, but it was also a real big eye-opener to say, you know what? I think you're right. That's what got me on the path of going to get my MFA to say, okay, fine. If I'm not the best at it, what do I need to do to get there?And what do I need to do to , you know, save my ass and have a terminal degree that I can teach at the college level? Because I was already teaching and I enjoyeded teaching. Hey, if I can't perform, that's okay. I have a lot of skills. I have a lot of stuff that I've learned, and I have a lot of things that I can share and support and guide. So I can still do that. And that felt to me very...there was a possibility.Karen: It's interesting how that insult kind of gave you permission also to explore something else.Hope: Yeah. And it did make me say, well, yeah, that's okay. I may not be the best at that. So what can I be the best at? I mean, especially, I think we were even looking at the logistics of it.  That there were some actors that were willing to do anything and everything in order to work. And I wasn't.There were things that I was like, I'm not working for no pay. Or I'm not working in the middle of the night, or I'm not trying to do that. So that particular fire in me, didn't make as much sense. So I said, okay, I get that. So I need to find what truly lights me up, or I need to find where I am the best.Karen: I like that you mentioned too how your reaction was, no. First for leaving Atlanta, and then becoming an officiant, like your first reaction was no.  And I try to tell people that when they're trying to make changes with people around them,  I try to remind myself of that when I'm talking to clients, right?To say, what about this? And to not take offense when someone says no, because that can be very often a first response. It's okay. It's okay if someone says no, because that's your lizard brain going, no, we can't change something! We're going to die!I like that, yeah, you can say no. And then the answer might be yes in the end Which is funny, thinking about how this is related to marriage.[both laugh]Hope: You know, I started getting there in my head. To say, hey, when have I offered something to a couple, or a suggestion in counseling? And they come back with no. So, yeah, I actually just wrote that down by the way.Karen: [laughs] Great.Hope: But yeah, I'm a Taurus. I do not like change. It's like, no, no, no. I'm going to hang back here and make it work and I'm going to make it work and I'm going to make it work. And so I was like, I can't make it work. Or I have friends that say, maybe you can't make it work.Karen: Right. And I think it can be tricky when you have a dream and you're going for it. And sometimes we get these messages too, about how you just have to hold on and you just have to keep going. And sometimes there's a lot of value in quitting. When the thing is not right for you anymore.What about advice that you ignored to your benefit? Was there anything, people told you things you should do and you said, no, that's not for me.Hope: I'm trying to think if there was something during grad school. The program that I was in at UC Davis was very, very small. And I think because we were mid-career artists, they didn't really keep a huge, tight hold on us. SoI had a little bit of latitude to be able to kind of do what I wanted.During my interview, one of the faculty said you're going to have to do a thesis. To grow to  graduate. You know, if you had to do anything you wanted, what, what would that be? And then I think I said something and she was like, no, no, make it bigger. No, no, no, no. Make it bigger. Make it bigger. And then when we got to when classes started that fall, they gave us a very tight parameter of what our thesis was going to look. And I'm like, wait, no, no, no. You've been yelling at me to be bigger, think bigger, dream bigger. And now you're putting us in a box.So I said, fine, I'll do your little box thing. And I'm also going to do my dream big thing. And let's just see what happens. And it was a pretty amazing thing. I mean, I'm okay. By having let go of my artistic paths, but there's also some things that I'm super proud of from that past as well.And especially during that period of time, which was a very interesting transition from running a theater company to fully just being an artist. It was very funny. Cause one of my closest friends was in the program and he was a lighting designer. And he's like, what did you guys do in class today? And I was like, we crawled around the floor and we made funny noises and he was like, you what? And I was like, I know! And yeah, so it was, it was kind of exciting to be able to have released a lot of them. The outside elements to be able to play and explore because it was a muscle that I had released.I hadn't practiced that way for a while.So, I mean, now I, as I'm writing wedding ceremonies or as couples reach out to me and they're like, Hey, we're not getting married in a church, so we don't have to follow those rules. We want to make sure our ceremony is very us. How do we do that?It allows me to think in a very creative way.  I had a meeting with a couple the other day and I said you know, at the end of the ceremony I will be proclaiming you married, it's called the proclamation or the declaration of marriage. And the groom was like, doot-do-do doo! And I was like, yes. And he's like, we should do that. And then all of a sudden, we got in this whole conversation about like, do we get like horns? Do we get kazoos? And it got to be this beautiful conversation about how we can really honor this couple and how creative we could get, knowing that maybe kazoos isn't the right choice, but it allows us to open our brains in a completely different way.Karen: That's so perfect. I was going to ask you, how does your performing or your theater past fit in and we can see it right there. Where you can bring that creativity,  it sounds like openness. Like, whatever ideas your couple are bringing, sounds like you have a way to incorporate it or make it happen. And because of that experience, you can execute that type of plan.Hope: It’s also about storytelling. I mean, that's also what I did as a performer. I mean, there was a transitional step in there as well. In the fact that I went from teaching into life coaching.Karen: Oh, did you?Hope: I did Cause I said, you know what? I've trained. And we look at, what does a character want in a certain scene and the tactics do they use to get there? So I was like, huh, that's fascinating. What happens if we remove that layer and say, Hey, you as an individual, what do you want?And then what can we do together? How can I help guide you? So you can get there. So that's kind of how I started. And then I was like, okay, that's not as interesting to me. Let's stay in this wedding world, and then how can I better guide couples into making sure that they're living in the relationship and living in the marriage that they really want?Karen: It all comes together.Hope: It does. I mean, it's so funny, man. I mentioned the catering piece earlier. That always wound up weaving its way, in terms of hospitality, making sure that my couples feel nurtured. All of the administrative stuff that I had done in the theater world. And even as an actor working as a temp, or working as an administrative assistant really allowed me to be able to run a business and communicate very well with other people in the wedding industry, as well as couples.So basically every single person. And every single job that I've had, surprisingly enough, I've been able to grab the things that work and add it into my current practice.Karen: I love that. Yeah. Because some folks might look at some things and think it was disjointed, but it actually sounds like there are important pieces that all come together for what you do now.Hope: Absolutely. I mean, especially because usually the weddings that I do are in either catering halls where there's a catering element for it. I can speak their language. If there's a band or a DJ,I know that world just from the performance element of it and I can speak their language. So it has helped me a lot in the work that I do. Just saying, I know that world, I can use the vernacular.Karen: Yeah. So valuable. I'm curious, knowing what you know now, what would  you say to your past self? The one who was crying in her pajamas at her friend's house in the middle of the night, like what words would you want to give to her?Hope: I mean, the first thing that came to me is: it's okay to let go.Karen: Hmm.Hope: And I think that's kind of been a theme of our conversation today that it's not necessarily that you're bad at what you do, but there are people that do it better. And there are things that you can do that you haven't found yet that you can do better than anybody else. Stay the course. And that course of course was circular. I mean, it definitely was not a straight path.Karen: Yeah, but it's okay to let go. That's beautiful. I think there's probably a lot of people that need to hear that.Hope: Yeah. And the funny thing about that is, I have ankle injuries. I've had multiple sprains and breaks in my left ankle and left foot, including one, right at the end of grad school. And then I had one recently and I mentioned it to a colleague of mine and she's like, well, you know about the ankle, right? And I was like, what? So there are people that believe that there are, if there are certain injuries in the body, It symbolizes something. And the ankle is about you know, holding fast and not wanting to change a direction where you may need to go.Karen: Interesting.Hope: Yeah. And I did the math on it and my big injury on my ankle happened three months before I performed that first wedding ceremony.Karen: Wow. And then your
05 - Kindness Drives Career Change with KDC
09-06-2021
05 - Kindness Drives Career Change with KDC
KDC joins Karen to discuss how kindness drives change in her career and in her life. KDC started out dreaming of becoming a teacher but discovered that the traditional classroom was not for her. However, she’s found other ways to be involved in education. She shares her story of getting sober, learning to treat herself with kindness and following the Universe’s breadcrumbs to her intentional career. I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest Kristina (aka KDC) has been a mindfulness mentor for over a decade teaching children and adults the power of our thoughts, feelings and actions. She is facilitating transformation for those looking for change in their lives and crews through mindful hacks, tips, techniques and habits. Kindness Drives Change and she is gonna show you how.Interview Highlights:[00:33]  Introducing KDC![01:15] How Karen & KDC bonded over carrot cake just before pandemic lockdown in 2020. KDC talks about the multiple roles she has, and the common threads in all the things she loves to do.[05:00] KDC pursued a degree in education, but had a life crisis when she realized teaching wasn’t what she thought. So now what?[08:15] How deciding to get sober affected KDC’s career by showing kindness to herself and how relying on mentors helped.[13:30 ] KDC applies for a supervisor position that comes up. She eventually gets what she wants.[20:15] How KDC decided she needed to make a change in her career in the bar and restaurant industry, getting sober, and starting by showing kindness to herself. [23:33] Karen & KDC discuss their shared love of Informational Interviews as a resource to learn about career paths.[35:10] KDC’s career crush, Melanie Levenberg.[42:28] The work KDC does in her business now at kdccoaching.comResources:KDC Coaching - Website | Instagram | ClubhouseKDC’s Podcast - Emotional Investigations - Website | Apple | SpotifyKaren’s 2020 Interview on KDC’s Podcast - Website | Apple | SpotifyThe Four Tendencies by Gretchen RubinMelanie Levenberg - Website | Instagram YogaPl3y - Website | Instagram  Subscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
04 - Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creative Entrepreneurs with D'Ana Joi
27-05-2021
04 - Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creative Entrepreneurs with D'Ana Joi
D’ana Joi is a Multi-Passionate Creative entrepreneur who carved her own path to her intentional career through blogging and building communities for multi-passionates. We discuss how discovering her Human Design was instrumental in her career, and how multi-passionates can learn to fall in love with focus.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is D'Ana Joi. She goes by her middle name “Joi,”  and is a multi-passionate, educator, community builder, and content creator. She believes having many passions is a gift, not a burden and she’s on a mission to rewrite the narrative around “choosing one thing” being the only path to success. Through her content, live workshops, and online community, Joi teaches creatives how to make friends with focus, overcome overwhelm, and step into their Multi-Passionate Mastery. Interview Highlights:[01:48] Joi begins entrepreneurship journey with her blog, Joi Knows How, to explore and allow herself the freedom to explore.[03:15] Joi writes a blog that changes her world, “It’s Time to Start Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creatives.” This leads to a new mission to create someone else’s lightbulb moment. She also begins coaching.[05:05] Joi decides, nope, 1:1 coaching is not for her. She prefers teaching groups because it is a more aligned use of her energy.[11:17] How important is the desire of simply wanting to do something in your work?[16:30] Learning her Human Design type (Manifestor) was instrumental for Joi. She shares her definition of Human Design and how it works, and why it’s different from other personality tests.[23:50] Joi discusses why her 90-minute à la carte session may be as powerful as a coach’s three-month one-on-one package.[27:53] The advice that Joi ignored - about coaching and quitting her day job.[29:30] Why Joi called her day job, her “support job” and how it actually helped her be dedicated to her business.[33:33] A favourite topic of Joi’s: focus for multi-passionate people, and her three-part focus framework.[41:30]  Different types of focus can empower, help with burnout and shiny object syndrome and imposter syndrome; how Joi’s Falling in Love with Focus workshop helped Karen see focus as a tool and use it in different ways.[43:07] - The multi-passionate experience and burnout.[43:43] Joi’s definition of a multi-passionate creative, how it’s different than a hobbyist.[49:45] The strengths of multi-passionates in traditional careers.[51:17] Why Joi’s future self is her career crush, along with a few other folks.[58:38] Where to find Joi (Psst - her multi-passionate community opens this summer!)[59:43] Karen loves Joi’s newsletter, Joi shares the secret to newsletter success.Resources:Joi Knows How -  website | InstagramJoi’s Article - “It’s time to start celebrating multi-passionate creatives”Joi’s e-book - Finally Focused (coming soon!)Joi’s workshop - Falling in Love with FocusSarah Morgan - Website | InstagramSubscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.Follow KarenFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creative Entrepreneurs with D'ana Joi[00:00:00] Karen: I'm Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow and Fire coaching. If you're ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me.There's a link in the show notes, or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue "Schedule a Call button".Karen: Today on the show, my guest is D’Ana Joi. She goes by her middle name, Joi, and is a multi-passionate educator, community builder and content creator. She believes having many passions is a gift, not a burden. And she's on a mission to rewrite the narrative around choosing one thing, being the only path to success through her content, live workshops and online community, Joi teaches creatives, how to make friends with focus, overcome overwhelm and step into their multi-passionate mastery.A quick heads up that in this episode is our very first pet appearance. You can listen for that little Easter egg when Joi's dog, Chai, comes in with a growl in support of a very important statement that Joi makes. It happens after the 20-minute mark.  And now. On with the show.  Karen:[1:24]Welcome, Joi. Thank you so much for joining me today.Joi: Thank you so much, Karen, I'm very excited to be here.Karen: [00:54] All right. I'm excited to talk to you about multi-passionates and career paths, and, well, your career path obviously. And I know for myself as a multi-passionate, a lot of us tend to have a lot of different jobs, so, I'm curious, what that was like for you?D’Ana Joi: [01:17] Yes. As a multi-passionate, what I realized pretty early on was that there probably was not going to be a career that I could just fall into that felt super aligned and that I would need to carve out my own path and create my own way of doing things and allow that to be correct for me.So, I started figuring myself out [01:48] in the form of a blog. I started writing blog posts and I started my blog and I named it, Joi Knows How because I wanted to keep it very [02:00] open-ended. Joi Knows How actually came out of my desire to say, I know how to do plant care, I know how to do recipes, I know how to do home decor. And so, the name Joi Knows How was this open-ended sentence that then I could complete in any way that I wanted through any content that I wanted to create and put on my blog.Where most people say, you know, choose one thing and choose one niche [02:22], I chose to choose one platform to focus on. And then, I allowed myself a lot of creative freedom on that platform. Then, naturally, what happened was I talked about a lot of different subjects and as I started to write about more kinds of self-development, I noticed that those blog posts were getting the most traction.And then when I specifically wrote a blog post called, "It's Time to Start Celebrating Multi-Passionate Creatives," that is when I realized this is what people want to hear from me. [03:00] This is what people are resonating with. I still get emails about that blog posts. People find it and feel for the first time that someone is actually acknowledging their experience.[03:10] And so, that was kind of my green light to say, hmm, okay, how deep can I go into this subject? Because it's something that is so near and close to me because it's my life experience that I had so much to say. So from there, it's just kind of been a snowball of organic figuring things out. I went into coaching after I started my blog.[03:37] After I wrote that blog post, I started going into coaching simply because I wanted to help people. And I wanted to, I like to say that, you know, writing that blog post and really creating a space for myself to show up in my fullness and in my, what I would now say my multi-passionate mastery. It was like a light bulb moment for me when I made that choice.And there came a point [04:00] where that was no longer satisfying, and I wanted to help create someone else's light bulb moment. And that became my new mission. So, then I went into coaching because I just kind of thought, okay, well, I'm going to help people. I'll just do coaching that's the next logical step.[04:16] I found it to be really challenging because I'm still, and I still feel this way, I'm working on myself so much and I'm just in such a deep state of getting to know myself and learning to experience and them teaching what I know, that for me to hold space for these long, you know, three-month one-on-one containers, it really doesn't suit my energetic output. I just find it really, really draining. So, I had to put coaching down because it didn't feel aligned for me.Karen: [04:52] Interesting. I'm so curious about this because it makes sense, right? Like you have this lightbulb, like, oh, being multi-passionate is something I can accept about myself. And then other people hear that, and are like, oh my gosh, you know, I'm learning this from you. So, do you think it was, was it coaching itself? It sounded like the time, you didn't like the time commitment or it felt restrictive. What was it about the coaching?Joi: [05:17] It's truly an energetic output conversation. I enjoy teaching to groups. I enjoy teaching classes. I enjoy knowing that something that I create once can then go and outlive that one moment and it can continue to serve people over and over and over and reach more and more and more people. [05:42] That for me, feels like a more aligned way to use my energy than giving someone all my attention in a one-hour conversation that no one else ever gets to see or hear.I think that there's absolutely a time and a space and there may be a time in my life where one-on-one containers feel more aligned, but for where I am now, and just kind of what I'm moving through on a personal note, it just feels like it's not a way for me to use my energy.[06:20] I do really, really well with educating in a group setting. And I do really well with holding space for community containers. And that's where I feel the most empowered and where I feel the most aligned. So, I’m definitely not scared, of actually wanting to do high-touch, ongoing one-on-one containers as their high-ticket offer, but I'm just not here to do business the way that everyone says that I should.[00:06:50] I'm here to do business in a way where I feel really good about how I'm showing up and I'm able to serve and create from that really aligned energetic space. And so for me, teaching in groups, teaching masterclasses, having digital products, all of that is just a better use of my, my energetic output than being in a one-on-one container. It doesn't mean I'll never do it. It's just where I am now.Joi: [00:07:15] What I learned about coaching one-on-one, is that really powerful coaches who are coaching one-on-one, they have the ability to hold space for that person who's in that, inside of that container with them. And I find that I don't have the bandwidth to hold space for people on a one-on-one sort of basis.[00:07:44] What I enjoy more and what lights me up and what feels more energetically aligned for me is holding spaces for communities. That's why I call myself a community builder. I like to teach classes to groups. I like to create recorded content that I know can be looked at over and over and over by more than one person.[00:08:05] If someone reaches out to me to work with me, one-on-one these days, I do offer à la carte one-on-one strategy sessions, where I will drop in and I'll connect with you, uninterrupted, for 90 minutes and give you everything I have. But what I'm not promising is that I'm going to offer a one-on-one three-month container. [00:08:28] Because for me, it's extremely energetically draining for me to be giving one person all of that attention for that long. I can do it on a session-by-session basis. But after that, it just becomes an energy drink for me, has a lot to do with my Human Design type and just how I show up in that and how I'm committed to living by my design.[00:08:50] And I'm a Human Design Manifestor. So, and I'm an Emotional Authority Manifestor so my emotions fluctuate. There are days where I can barely show up for myself, let alone show up for someone else. And so, I'm just okay with that. And I've accepted that. There's more than one way to do business and that I don't have to have a high-touch ongoing one-on-one container.[00:09:17] In order to have a successful business model, I spend my energy thinking about resources that I can create for the collective. I spend my energy thinking about a masterclass that I can host a digital product that I can create that can then go on to create passive revenue. Because my value in life is to have space in my life for rest and creativity.[00:09:43] And if I'm showing up over and over again, the worst weeks for me are weeks where I have a ton of calls because I just I'm like, I cannot function like this. I need white space. I need quiet. I need time to create because I'm actually creating content that's going to help [00:10:00] shift part of the collective awareness around what it means to be multi-passionate. And that takes a lot of energy to pioneer an entirely new framework and help shift the way that people are thinking about multi-passionates, that takes a lot of energy to create. And so, the last thing I would want to do is show up on a call with someone who's paid to be in a one-on-one container and be exhausted and show up and give them a depleted version of myself.Karen: Yeah.Joi: [00:10:34] I want to make sure what I'm always doing is creating time to rest so that then I can show up and powerfully serve my entire community. And that's the path I've chosen.Karen: [00:10:48] How much of it is about like, and I'm taking this and drastically simplifying it down, but I've had this inkling, sometimes, where like, I get a feeling of, I just don't want to do this. Or I do want to do this, you know? And like, how important is that feeling of, of just wanting or not wanting and, you know, is that, is that like the voice that, that you're following? Or would you call it something else?Joi: [00:11:17] I would call it, I'm not available for that. You know? So, someone says, hey, I'm really looking for an ongoing one-on-one coaching container. There are people I can refer you to. I'm not available for that. I do à la carte, 90-minute sessions. If you want to drop in, I'll give you my undivided attention, but I do not do ongoing one-on-one containers.[00:11:44] So, and it is very much like I don't want to do it. And you know what? Here's how, you know. You do it and you feel resentful after. Or you book that client and then you're angry. So, you have to show up for the call, right? Instead of like, oh my gosh, I'm so excited.  When I host a workshop for, for my community, [00:12:05] for the collective, I cannot wait. I am excited. I'm like, let's go at workshop day is a big deal for me. Like it's an event. I'm excited. I can't wait to be there. And even if I show up to host a workshop and only one person is there live, I know I have plans for the replay. So I'm still excited if I have, you know, a one-on-one 90-minute session.[00:12:30] I also get excited for that because I know I'm going to drop in, give that client what they need and then I'm going to, you know, exit. But when I used to have ongoing weekly calls with someone week after week, I would be like, oh my gosh, I do not want to show up for this call. I don't want to do this.So yeah, it is that feeling and it's being okay with that. And especially when it's a feeling that goes against the grain, then we make ourselves wrong for not wanting it, [00:13:00] but our desires are so intelligent. And if we can make space to listen to them and be more unapologetic about that, then we start to create business models that are authentic and genuine instead of everyone just, you know, being on a hamster wheel and doing things the way that they feel that they need to.[00:13:19] And to be totally honest, there are so many people who are the polar opposite, who are like, I love work. I have 12 one-on-one clients that brings me so much happiness. And I honor that, and I respect that, and that's just simply not my path. I'm here to build community. I'm here to create digital products. [00:13:40] I'm here to use my voice to really create a paradigm shift in the multi-passionate experience. And that's where I am.Later in life, you never know. So, I like to say I changed my mind a lot. This is another thing I would love to talk about because this is becoming a part of my business model. It's just getting everyone on board that this [00:14:00] might change and I cannot commit to this long term.[00:14:02]  But you know, I changed my mind a lot. So, there could be a point in the future where I say, wow, I have really reached a new threshold where maybe I have the digital product funnel and it's working really well. Right? Maybe my community is sort of sustaining itself and I have other educators who are coming in and teaching. And then maybe I have more bandwidth, more space in my life to drop in and be with someone in a one-on-one intimate container for a longer period of time.Karen: [00:14:30] With the desire to do so, right?Joi: [00:14:33] Right. From a desire-driven place. Exactly, exactly. And if that happens, that's great. And if it doesn't, that's also perfect.Karen: [00:14:42] Did you have a point where, I'd like to ask this question to people because it happened to me and it happens to a lot of people where you kind of look around at your work or your life and all of it, cause it goes together and kind of go, okay, this [00:15:00] has got to change. I can't do this like this anymore. [00:15:03]  Did you have a moment or an experience like that? And if so, what was going on?Joi: [00:15:14] I have this experience often. [laughs]Karen: [00:15:20] [laughs] Actually, that's kind of a relief to hear.Joi: [00:15:24] Like, yeah, so I've had this experience many times in many ways and big ways. That means, okay, time to totally pivot my entire business model, and in smaller ways, meaning actually I'm not going to launch this this month any more time, you know? Right? So, there's like so many layers to that.I will say though, for the most pivotal version of looking around and realizing, oh no, no, this isn't going to work, was me learning my human [00:16:00] learning that I'm a Human Design Manifestor, and I do not have any activations in my Sacred Role. So that means that the part of my body graph, you know, for anyone listening, who's just like, I don't know Human Design.  Karen: [00:16:15] Yeah. Can you give us, can you define, I think I'm just barely tipping my toes into it, so I don't think you, can super sum it up? But can you kind of explain what Human Design is for people who don't know and then yeah, go into what that means for you?Joi: [00:16:30] Yes. And I'm so excited that you're in my community because we're going to get to learn so much about this and it's going to be amazing.  Oh, it's so cute. Design in my personal definition is the blueprint with which you come into the world that helps you navigate what your energetic exchange with the work you put out in the world and how you interact with other people, [00:16:57] What that's going to look like.[00:17:00] And it's information about yourself. It's information about things like staying consistent, like, you know, what your energy cycles are around work. What's your energetic output? How much rest do you require? How much quiet time? Should you be going out and networking? Or are you, you know, are you here to more so just respond to people's needs?[00:17:24] Or are you here to initiate? There is a lot of different layers to it, but Human Design basically is not a personality test because it's not based on quiz answers. So, this isn't the Enneagram and it isn't, you know, these different personality tests, because those can change depending on your state of mind, when you're answering the questions.  Human Design comes from ancient wisdom. [00:17:49] It comes from Chinese medicine and also comes from some of the Tree of Life. So, it comes from these ancient methodologies. And [00:18:00] uses your birth time, date and location to then pull up information about your body graph, that energy, your energetic body. I hope I'm not butchering this. I'm not a Human Design practitioner, but I am a Human Design enthusiast.[00:18:16] So hopefully I'm not butchering this, but that's basically the gist of it. It's sort of like a way to get to know yourself and it's sort of like, you know, if you're into, oh, I'm a Sagittarius, so I'm a Pisces and that kind of thing. It's like that, but on steroids a little bit. So, you're just getting a ton of information about yourself.[00:18:36] What tends to happen with Human Design is it's going to confirm a lot of things that you already knew, but maybe you felt confused or ashamed about because it's maybe not just like the status quo or things like that.So, in my experience, learning my Human Design was like, oh, okay, so this is why I am this way. And I no longer need to apologize for that because I [00:19:00] actually came into this body to live my life with this set of not rules, but like I have this roadmap for how I intended to live my life, which is like for the Manifestor I'm here to initiate powerful movements. And after I initiate something, I need long, deep periods of rest to then gather up energy so that I can receive my next urge and initiate the next thing.Someone who is a Generator or a Manifesting Generator, they're here to respond to initiations and needs. So, they're here to say, hey, you know, hey, I have these ideas. [00:19:49] What do you guys think is best? And then their audience responds and then they go and they respond. And then it's like this back and forth and Generator and Manifesting Generator [00:20:00] on periods of rest in between. They can keep going and keep going and creating and building and working and then when they feel tired, they can rest.[00:20:09] But as long as they're doing things that light them up, they have a lot of energy to work and create. So that's why for me, I hired a Generator as my Virtual Assistant because she will be able to respond to my initiations and she has the energy to go and work and complete that for me. And it's perfect for her. It's aligned for her. It's her design.So it's a rabbit hole, but learning that I'm really here to initiate and that I need periods of rest, that specific element really brought me out of feeling like I'm lazy and I have no work ethic because that's what I was believing before. How come I build this thing [00:20:56] and then I don't have any interests [00:21:00] next week? What's wrong with me? I'm lazy. I don't have any work ethic. I don't know how to work hard, but I'm actually not here to work hard. I'm here to create and initiate, pull movements and gather around me people who are responsive. Carry that mission out.Joi: [00:21:23] So in learning all of this, about my Human Design, the biggest shift that it brought into my world was realizing that I'm not lazy and I don't have a shitty work ethic, which is what I was carrying with me before. It was this feeling of what is wrong with me?[00:21:44] I get an idea. I'm so excited in the beginning. And then I launch it and I put it out into the world and I put all this energy into build building it, and then it's done, or it's almost done, and now I have zero interest and I'm exhausted. What's wrong? Me? I thought, oh, this is self-sabotage, I'm lazy. I have a poor work ethic, but after learning why Human Design, that as a Manifestor, I'm not actually here to work hard.Karen: [00:22:13] Hmm.Joi: [00:22:14] I'm here to initiate. I'm here to create impactful movements. And I'm here to inform about what I am creating so that the other Human Design types, especially Generators and Manifesting Generators can respond and say, oh my goodness, I love that idea. What do you think about this? Or I know someone who would love that, let me reach out to them.[00:22:39] And we're here to work in this beautiful co-creative ecosystem of different Human Design types. I have a really good friend who's a Generator and we have conversations all the time and she was like, oh my gosh, I love talking to you because you really helped me get started. You give me so many ideas you initiate for me, and then [00:23:00] I can just go and respond.[00:23:01] And now I know what to do. This is why when I do lead a 90-minute one-on-one à la carte session, that's really all you need from me. I'm here to help initiate. I'm here to get you started. I'm here to help people get started. I'm here to initiate. What I'm not here to do is then be an ongoing source of support because I eventually am going to run out of energy and I needed time in my calendar and white space to relax, to recuperate, to rejuvenate so that then I can come back and make that next initiation and that next impactful movement.[00:23:50] So a 90-minute one-on-one session with me could potentially be the equivalent of someone else's three-month program because my energy, my initiation energy is really powerful.But if I was trying to take that energy and turn it into, okay, we're going to meet once a week, it's going to be this consistent thing. [00:24:10] That's actually not how my energy is the most powerful. So, there's a lot of beauty and learning in our Human Design. And this is why I have begun to weave this into my work with multi-passionates because it really helps us too. I have this deep self-acceptance, but I can also teach us how to work with other people.[00:24:31] So for example, my Virtual Assistant, that I've hired, she's a Generator. And so she'll be able to respond to what I want to create, and she'll be able to help me be consistent. Like she's going to plan all my social media content for me. Right? And she's going to schedule it out and post it. I will be able to say, here are the themes I want to post about. [00:24:51] Here are the offerings I have here at my initiations. And here's the content I created because I love creating content but scheduling it and posting it [00:25:00] consistently, not so much. So just really like, I mean, we can go on forever about Human Design, but it is a way to know more about yourself.[00:25:12] So when you asked, you know, was there a time that I looked around and said, oh, none of this is going to work, like I just gotta pivot, learning my Human Design was the number one thing. And I'm going to be honest with you, Karen, I'm still in this because there is so much pressure to have a high ticket offer that requires you to show up.Karen: [00:25:35] Yeah.Joi: [00:25:35] So every day in my intensive focus sessions, which we can talk about perhaps later, but Intensive Focus is part of the three-part focus framework that I've developed and, and sense of focus allows you time to look at a high level at your commitments, your vision for your life at your desired outcomes.[00:25:59] And then ask [00:26:00] yourself if your current commitments and, you know, the things you put in time and energy to, do they align? Is there anything that needs to shift? Right? Every time I come out of an insensitive focus session, I'm like, I need to focus on digital products. I need to create passive revenue. I need to be okay with that. I do not have to create a one-on-one long-term offer in order to be a successful entrepreneur. And I need to accept that. That's okay. Okay. So, it's like an ongoing acceptance in an ongoing remembering that it's okay to do things in a way that's going to honor my energetic output.Karen: [00:26:44] Right. And like the right path for you? Not, I don't know, a system that a business coach created and said, here's the path to seven figures or whatever.Joi: [00:26:57] Right.Karen: [00:27:00] Yeah. So, it sounds like Human Design was huge in helping you kind of intentionally go where you need to go in, in the way that's right for you. I'm curious if you had any advice out there that you like ignored to your benefit.Joi: [00:27:17] Yeah. I mean, everyone's like, well, you're sitting on so much money. You should just be a one that you should just do coaching, should do one-on-one coaching. Like it just makes so much sense. You're multi-passionate and they'll come to you and they want coaching. And people ask me all the time if I do one-on-one coaching and I literally have to turn people away because I don't,Karen: [00:27:36] Interesting.Joi: [00:27:39] I don't. And so what I ended up saying, in the way, I have ignored that advice. I'll say to someone I don't do long-term one-on-one coaching, but whoever you work with, you know, as a coach, if they are not familiar with the multi-passionate experience, and I encourage you to book a session with me [00:28:00] once a quarter, so that I can provide that contrast and I can provide that context and we can go deep into that part of it.[00:28:07] So, you know, it's just kind of an unconventional thing to say. Most people would say, well, people are asking you for one-on-one coaching, you should just do that. But I'm not here to respond, I'm here to initiate and do what I know is right for me to do. So that's been advice that I've definitely had to ignore and not to like, you know, continue with the same topic if you were hoping for a different answer, but that's definitely, then some advice that I had to ignore.[00:28:34] Also, some advice that I ignored earlier on is, you know, you got to just quit your job and go all in. I think I didn't quit my job till I was good and ready to quit my job. And the reason being was I wanted to enter into a state of appreciation for my job before I left. I [00:29:00] wanted to transition out of that experience, feeling empowered and like, you know, there was a world of possibility, not I'm just going to quit because I just have to, you know. I got to go cold Turkey and I just got to do this, isn't the experience my nervous system wanted. And it wasn't the experience that I wanted. So, I chose to start to focus on all the skills I was gaining from my nine to five. I stopped calling it my full-time job and I started calling it my support job.[00:29:32] I created a workday manifesto that I hung up next to my desk and read every morning. I took real deep responsibility over my ownership of that situation. And I alchemized it into something so beautiful and so powerful that by the time I left, they threw a party for me. Everyone wanted to know more about my business. Everyone was excited for me and it was this beautiful transition.Karen: Amazing. [00:30:00] I'm so with you on that. And I feel like it's a big, it's a mythology around like, you know, be brave, be bold, take the leap. Right? And to say that like, that's the way to be successful is to take the leap. And I think maybe some people can do this, but not, not all of us can. Or it's not right for all of us to, you know, and I had a similar experience where, you know, I knew that the job I was in was something I was not going to be in long-term and I wasn't quite ready to leave it either.[00:30:34] And, I think also for me, it was about making little changes and little shifts and knowing that those actually add up to a lot in the end, and it doesn't have to be a giant leap off the cliff. So, I want to spread that message too, that it is not the only way to do it.Joi: [00:30:54] Absolutely. It's not the only way. And I mean, I did quit [00:31:00] before I felt completely ready because being ready is another myth.Karen: [00:31:04] oh, for sure. A hundred percent. Yep.Joi: [00:31:06]  But you know, I just, I considered all the options, right? Like, okay, what's, you know, how much am I going to need each month to bring in? Do I have a solid business model that I can really get behind?[00:31:21] And those are questions that were more important to me than, like, I knew. And I think another thing too, is people confuse like your level of dedication for like, oh, do you have a nine to five? I've been completely dedicated to my business energetically for a very long time, but I hadn't quite settled on a business model.[00:31:41] And I just wasn't sure about a lot of the things and I wanted to have support financially while I figured all that out. And so, me keeping my support job was my way of being dedicated to my business. It was my way of making sure that I gave myself time and space to figure out exactly who I am as a business owner, without financial stress.[00:32:07] I didn't have to think about, well, I got to bring money. So, I just, okay, screw it. I'm going to go do one-on-one for example. Right? I never had to make that sacrifice. And so, it's actually one of the most powerful choices I've made as a business owner was to support myself through a different channel.Karen: [00:32:23] Yeah. I had a friend who, when I was going through the angst of like knowing my job was coming to an end, but feeling like I still had to stay a little bit longer. She was like, some people call it an investor. This is my investor, you know, and it's a nice way to look at it. And I agree. I think sometimes it's nice to not have to put pressure on your business too much, too early. [00:32:43] And then you can nourish it or let it grow and become what it wants to be without, you know, forcing this thing to have to make you a full salary yet.[00:32:53] So you were talking about focus and, and I want to hear a little bit more about that because sometimes something that goes along with being multi-passionate and being interested in a lot of things, it can feel like it's hard to focus. And now you're educating about focus. So tell us more about what that means, for multi-passionates and, and you know, how we can make that work for us?Joi: [00:33:23] So this is one of my favorite topics. This is something that I truly feel I was put on this planet to teach and to develop. And basically, what it is, is beginning to realize that focus is not this binary, very big, vague concept that we have kind of been conditioned to believe that it is.So when you're in school, sit down and focus, [00:33:55] I mean, something very specific. It's like either you are quiet and you're [00:34:00] watching the teacher and you're taking your notes, or your head is down and you're doing your work or you're taking a test. Focus. Right? We've heard it so much in the education space. Okay. Everybody focus. Here's what we're doing.[00:34:11] Right? It's like, okay, all hands on deck, eliminate all distractions and just think about whatever's right in front of you. And so for someone who struggles with just that version of focus, all of a sudden, now they're a person who doesn't know how to focus and they've gone all the way to that extreme. Multi-passionates because we by nature are inclusive thinkers, we would love to listen to the teacher, but we're also going to doodle. And we're also going to be thinking about a few other things and we're going to be making connections and we're going to be taking notes. And we're going to be remembering this idea that we have here and over there. [00:34:47] And for some people that is the most natural way to focus.And so, what I have developed is what I call my three-part focus framework. And what that [00:35:00] does is it takes focus out of the abstract and it breaks it down into a more nuanced holistic framework where focus then becomes an energy that you can actually work with.[00:35:14] So for example, Intensive Focus, which can also be called things like Intuitive Focus or Big Picture Focus, right? As we've explored together in other containers. So we can use whatever name we want, but the idea for that type of focus is you're zooming out. And you're thinking about your values. You're thinking about your ideal life. [00:35:42] You're thinking about what really lights you up. You're thinking about what your vision is. Maybe it's just for your vision for the next month or the next three months, or it could be the next year. It just depends on how far you want to zoom out, but you're looking at who you [00:36:00] are, what you want.And then you're asking yourself really important questions about the current commitments that you have, and do they align? And the current priorities that you have, and do they align? Now, the reason this is so important for multi-passionate is because our priorities tend to shift.[00:36:18] It's like a tectonic plate under the earth moving ever so slightly. So all of a sudden, even though your priority, what is like for my example, digital products, all of a sudden I'm gearing up to launch a small group program. Wait a second. What happened to the digital products? Right? So if. We start to get excited about a new idea that isn't aligned with that big picture vision.[00:36:51] When we have that Intensive Focus session, that gives us the time and the space that we need as multi-passionate to course correct [00:37:00] to say, oh, wait a minute. That's right. I'm in a 90-day season of focus where I'm just focusing on digital products. I actually don't need to start planning my group program yet.[00:37:11] I just, I'm not there yet. It will come. And it's this feeling of like, oh, okay, perfect. I'll just continue building up my digital product funnel because that's what I plan to do. I simply needed to remind myself. And not only that, but why am I doing this? Why am I building out a digital product funnel?[00:37:33] Well, my core values are rest and creativity. Having digital products that can run without my presence are going to support my deep life values. That's why I'm doing this. Passive income is not passive at first. It's fricking hard work. So remembering why is so important. Why, why, why? And sense of focus does that now, intensively, this is wonderful and great and dreamy and fun and [00:38:00] expansive, but guess what else we need to execute. We're going to have to create to do this. Okay. We're going to have to do that stuff or we're going to, to get support to do it or whatever. Otherwise, there's no momentum and we're just sort of floating in the clouds and just dreaming about our business, but we're not actually executing.And so that's where Active
03 - Broadway Dreams to Business Coach with Michelle Ward
27-05-2021
03 - Broadway Dreams to Business Coach with Michelle Ward
Michelle Ward was an actress who gave up her Broadway dreams to become a business coach. How did that happen? We discuss the many ups and downs, how she created her intentional career as the CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch and how she helps creative women launch businesses.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Michelle Ward is CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch. She is a business coach who guides creative, multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs. Since 2008, she’s helped hundreds of these women launch their dream businesses.Interview Highlights:[3:00] Michelle talks about a few of the 20 jobs she had in 7 years of being an actor in New York City.[7:13] Michelle starts to realize she doesn’t want this kind of work anymore, and that she needs to be an entrepreneur.[14:04] Michelle’s breaking point. An embarrassing moment on a busy subway platform that proved to her she really HAD to make a change in her career. [19:40] The problem with jobs that are good “on paper,” why you shouldn’t talk yourself into those jobs, and how to listen to that little voice that tells you you need something different. We discuss how we’re getting better at listening to intuition.[34:07] The advice Michelle ignored - to her benefit - both as an actor and as a coach, and how she knew she was doing the right thing. Why it’s good to be a gatekeeper in your business.[43:35]  Michelle discusses her business-launching clients, how making big shifts is equal parts scary and exciting, and how the emotional shit is holds people back.[45:27] We discuss the mythology that successful people “Leap and the net will appear,” why baby steps actually work, and how to define your own safety net.[48:52] Michelle’s Career Crushes:VP Wright - Website | InstagramTrudi Lebron - Website | InstagramRebekah Boruki - InstagramRowHouse Publishing - Patreon | InstagramAustin Channing Brown - Website | InstagramNicole Cordoza - Website | InstagramAnti-Racism Daily - Website | InstagramResources:Michelle’s 90 Day Business Launch - Website [affiliate link] | InstagramFollow Karen on InstagramWayfinder Life Coach Training - WebsiteKristine Miguel of Caritas Company - Website | Instagram Subscribe Today!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Broadway Dreams to Business Coach with Michelle Ward[00:00:00] Karen: I'm Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow and Fire coaching. If you're ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me.There's a link in the show notes, or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue "Schedule a Call button".Today on the show, my guest is Michelle Ward, CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch. Michelle is a business coach who guides creative multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs since 2008. She's helped hundreds of women to launch their dream businesses so they can get the freedom, authenticity, and fulfillment they're seeking in their day-to-day lives.Michelle is also my first business coach and she [00:01:00] is one of the biggest, maybe main reasons that I even have a business today. So welcome Michelle. I'm so thrilled to have you here today.Michelle: You know, right before we started, I was , where am I at tissues? I'm going to need them. I'm already gonna need them. Thank you, that was beautiful and I love that. I get the distinction of being your first coach. First business coach.Karen: It's exciting. You're.. Were you my first coach? Probably. Probably my first.coach too. Um, yeah, it's funny to think back. And I'm , could I have done this without you? Maybe? But I don't know, you have the way to just , get it done, get the thing done.Michelle: Yay!  Yes, totally, and there's definitely a way...  We all have capability of doing this, but it's this blessing and a curse of wanting to be a business owner in 2021 or  2019, when we worked together that , Oh my gosh, there's so many different [00:02:00] ways I could go about this. And there's so many free resources and whatever, and , yay! And also, Oh my God, because where do I start? And what do I do? And it's so overwhelming. What's actually going to get me there.Karen:  Right? Yeah, absolutely. And I think, there are  all of these paths that we could take to get to our intentional career. And for me, a big part of it was working with you, um, to get to a place where I'm , Oh, I know I'm now in the right place, because for many, many years before that I was questioning things all the time.And so I wanted to talk to you about, you know, how you create it, your intentional career. And then, and then of course, how you help creative women do that as well in the form of creating a business.Michelle: Yes!Karen: So I know that  you've mentioned in a number of places that you had a bunch of jobs before a bunch of different jobs before you became a business coach. Can you  off the top of your head , what are some of the different things that you've done kind of before you got [00:03:00] to where you are?Michelle: Yeah. I mean, well, I counted Karen, right?  I counted at one point. Yeah and because I was pursuing acting as career, I was definitely a stereotypical actor of, let's have a million different day jobs to, you know, pay my New York City rent and, and try to have a life when I was in my early to mid twenties. Um, and so yeah, we could say, I  dressed up as a 1-800-FLOWERS gift box during the holidays. And went to stand on the Today Show, Plaza. And  Good Morning America...Karen: Wait, you were dressed as a gift box?Michelle: Oh yeah, I was.  I'm so glad...Karen: Do you have a picture?Michelle: No, I do not. No one's ever going to see it, amen and hallelujah. There was no YouTube. There was no nothing back then. The Today Show we didn't get on camera, there were so many people there. I was very thankful, but then we went to Good Morning America and there was nobody there. So they saw me and the two, um, and the two people I was with from 1-800-FLOWERS [00:04:00] and immediately came up to us and they were , we're going to put you on after the next segment.And they gave me a bunch of talking points. They were , no, we want to talk to you instead of the people from marketing that were with me from 1-800-FLOWERS so I was definitely on camera, Good Morning America dressed as a 1-800-FLOWERS gift box,  spewing talking points for their holiday promotion or whatever  that. That's definitely something I did.Karen: And it was kind of a good acting moment also?  Almost? Or improv...?Michelle:  All those was all those things. Um, and it paid. And I remember this distinctly a paid $50 an hour, which back in probably, you know, 1999 or you know 2000 was  a million dollars an hour to me. So I was , yeah, you want me to get up at 5:00 AM in the,  the freezing December cold of New York city and stand outside for six hours with  a, you [00:05:00] know, 20 pound fabricated box with flowers in my face? , sure, sign me up, whatever. So I did stuff  that. I,  ushered at movie premieres, I was a hostess. I was an office manager. I helped a big casting director um, not only  be an assistant during the audition, but somehow I got hired to take all of their expenses,  from the, from the week and  bill them to the correct projects.So I had, uh, I had to take all the receipts and put them together for every show that they needed to put an expense report to, to get reimbursed. And , even though I did the math wrong 47 different times they never fired me, basically.Karen: So you were a bookkeeper, basically.Michelle:  It was not bookkeeping. It was , it was , if you spend $2 on a cup of coffee while you're [00:06:00] going to an audition,  you could bill that show that you're auditioning for your cup of coffee sort of thing. It was , I had to take the receipt from, from, you know, the big deli that said $2 for coffee and tape it on a piece of paper and then  add it with a calculator to  the food and drinks tab or the thing I did it wrong all the time.Karen: I'm getting the sense maybe it was a little mind numbing?Michelle:  Pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. But it was still , it was great because they let me.  They were , we just care that it's done. You could come when you want and leave. When you want however many hours it takes, we don't care. We just need to get it done and submit it.Anyway, I did real estate. I've D I D  so many. I had 20 jobs in seven years. From the time I  graduated with my BFA in acting to becoming a coach and starting my business.Karen: So then what happened? , because obviously there's the BFA and the dream you're in New York city [00:07:00] and the dream is probably the bright lights of Broadway. And so, and then you became a business coach. So how does that happen?Michelle: So what kind of happened was that once I was in my mid to late twenties, I finally started listening to the voice that started off as very, very, very tiny in the back of my heads. Very quiet said, Michelle, you don't want to do this anymore.You don't want to do this anymore. You're not going to do this anymore. And I was just , shut up, shut voice. What are you talking about? , it was such a huge part of my identity was being a musical theater, performer, pursuing acting. that it just was so ingrained with who I was, that it was , once I started questioning that it wasn't only, well, what do I do if I don't do this anymore?But , who am I? It was that sort of existential felt  an existential crisis. And it took me probably a year to take that voice seriously. And it just kept getting louder and louder and [00:08:00] louder. And I finally, you know, looked in the mirror one day and said, You're not going on auditions. You're not doing that.You want these different things acting life would make you have, and in terms of my lifestyle and. Um, how I wanted to spend my time and where I wanted to spend my time. Um, and once I came to terms with that, there was a grieving period as , feeling  you've lost your best friend and your right arm kind of at once.Um, and I said, okay, well, I'm not going to be pursuing acting anymore. I want to be  a grownup and have grown up things that I didn't have with all these day jobs. I'm , I want a steady salary. That's gonna be direct deposited into my bank account every two weeks and I know how much money is going to be in there.I want insurance, I want a 401k. Um, but also I think because I was pursuing my passion since I was six years old, it was [00:09:00] not acceptable for me to just go find a job that was just , well, it'll give me everything I need on paper. I wanted to feel fulfilled. I wanted to feel on purpose. I wanted to have it be an intentional work. I love the name of this podcast. Um, and so I. Set out to figure out, , what would that be for me? And the very first thing that I realized before I even knew what exactly I wanted to transition to, it was very clear that I needed to be an entrepreneur. So that was the first light bulb moment of , I am not going to be happy unless I'm working for myself because I never had a good working environment.Um, there was always something that ruins, if not multiple somethings and. You know, even though I could place a lot of blame on, um, people that I worked with, there's a common denominator. When you keep going from job to job, to job, to job and things don't feel  a good fit and, you know, two thumbs pointing at myself, so...Karen: It's such an annoying [00:10:00] realization.Michelle: Right? Isn't it , Oh, I'm the problem, I guess, problem. And so then it became, well, what, well, what business do I want? What, what's my, what's this role as an entrepreneur and. I knew that I wanted it to focus on my relationship building skills. That's what I knew I was good at. That's what was super important to me.I wanted to help people. Um, I wanted to focus on my communication skills and I considered therapy.. Being a therapist. I considered being , uh,  a matchmaker,  having  a dating,  doing that sort of stuff. And what became apparent was life coaching was going to be the best fit for me.I checked out a lot of boxes and I should've known right at the start that I was going to turn it into career coaching. Um, but it took me a little while to go from, okay, well, life coaching. How, , what's my niche within life coaching? [00:11:00] It's getting to be the career coach that I needed at the time that I couldn't find, I could not find someone who worked with creative people and who  got it.Um, I bought, "What color is your parachute?"  when I was going through all of this along with,  one of my best friends at the time who, she did the whole book and found this very, very specific subset of marketing. And she's , there are these three companies in New York City that do this kind of marketing and that, and she  got a job within a few months and was on her way.I did three exercises of the book and then I threw it across the room.  This does not speak to me. This does not make sense to me. This is not. And so even though I kind of had no experience, no nothing other than being a creative person. And I've gone through this myself. Um, I said, this is what I want to do.I want to be career coach for creative people. Um, I got my certification. I launched my business and probably [00:12:00] within a year or so I realized, I thought it was going to work with the actors, helping them when they realize it's time to leave the profession. What else could they do?You?Me? But I couldn't reach actors at that moment in time, or they're questioning leaving so really hard to do. Um, and I wound up attracting people who are actually stuck in very traditional left brain jobs who wanted to do something more creative. So I kind of wound up coaching,  the opposite thing than I thought I would. And I loved it. And then I realized, I think I'm a career coach for women, for creative women, not just creative people, because I had worked with so many at that point in time.Um, and then I realized every woman who comes to me either is a business owner or wants to be one. And so that's kind of the evolution. This is a long story, but it's  this sped up evolution of the 13 years that I've been in business and how I became a business [00:13:00] coach for creative women over on this side of the table.Karen: Yeah. It's cool to hear that the different steps. And I think, um, there's, I don't know. I think a lot of us business owners, we, we are kind of  trying to heal something in our own past by helping people. Um and maybe, maybe that's just what maybe partly that's just what coaches do. But you know, a lot of it it's  if I only had somebody to tell me this thing, it would have made all the difference.Michelle: Yes! Yes! And I tell my clients all the time, your personal experience counts, and you really only need to be one step ahead of your client in order to be able to help that person. And so we trick ourselves into thinking, oh, I need these degrees. I need this professional experience in it. No, you just need to be passionate about what you're doing and who you're helping, and you need to be at least one step ahead that's [00:14:00] it, the end.Karen: Okay. I want to ask you this question too. Did you have a moment where you kind of looked around? I know I've had these moments. I think they're, they're pretty common when people kind of decide they want to change, but they need to change their path. There's usually something that happens where you kind of look around and go, okay, this isn't working, I have got to do something different and have a moment  that?Michelle: Yes. I call it my breaking point moment. Um, when I did. You know, finally make that decision of, I am not pursuing acting anymore. I need to, I want to find a grownup job that I could enjoy. And I found this job that on paper checked out all the boxes.Um, it was utilizing those relationship building skills, my communication skills, um, the money was right. I was getting health insurance for the first time ever. It was, you [00:15:00] know, in, in NoHo, which is this great neighborhood in New York city. Um, it was a lot of young people. It wasn't necessarily a startup, but it had that feel.Some people wore pajamas to work. It was just  an, in my, you know, mid to late twenties.  That was where I wanted to, to be. Um, and you know, the company was cool and doing, doing cool things and, um, It turned out that the manager - who  I really connected with during the interview - turned out to feel very threatened by his subordinates who were doing good jobs and he became verbally abusive. A huge bully and that's the point where I made myself psychosomatic. So much so that about a year into the job, maybe a little less -  cause I think I was only there a little bit more than a year or so -  I was on the subway coming from my apartment uptown, going downtown to work and I had to run off the subway at Union [00:16:00] Square station, which I since learned is the fourth busiest subway station in all of New York City, to give some kind of context as to  how many people were around,I left in the middle of rush hour with thousands of people around me to dry heave, into a garbage can on the subway platform and then there was such a psychological hold that I didn't say, okay, I need to just go home and take a sick day. I said, I need to get to the office. So I went above ground, I walked the 20 ish blocks to the office.I got my laptop. I got my Blackberry because that's how long ago this was. And it said to my colleagues, because my stupid manager wasn't even in the office yet. Um, and I said to my colleagues,  "spread the word I'm working from home." I just threw up in Union Square,  I gotta get myself home, but I have all my stuff I'll be working from home.And the second I left, I felt absolutely fine. And that was, that was my breaking point of , Oh! So this isn't the job for you. This isn't the [00:17:00] place for you. This is, this job is making you sick to get out of here. Um, and that that's when I knew that things needed to change for sure.Karen: It's funny. I've had those moments too. I'm thinking back to probably within the last five years, even in a job that was  a bridge job and good enough. And didn't stress me out, and I still had days where, , I had days where I threw up on the way to work. You know?Michelle: And I think,  when you're just not... When you're the type of person who cares about doing a good job and the work that you're doing and how you spend, what do they say?  You spend a third of your life at work or something insane  that. Right? And you care about that. It's so, it's so hard.  When it's not... even if it's not toxic, right?  It's, it's not benign. You know what I mean? So I think, and I work with clients who they've been telling themselves and they sometimes still are [00:18:00] telling themselves this while they sign up to work with me that , "No, no, no. I should be really grateful. No, no, no. I should just be really thankful."Karen: I SHOULD be grateful.Michelle: I have it really good. , why am I sick? , just because it's not bad, doesn't mean that it's what you should be doing for the rest of your career.Karen: Yeah. I literally have an Instagram post, half written and  the first line of it is," I should be grateful."Michelle: Yes! Especially now. I mean, I. I started my business full time in the middle of the recession back in 2010. And, um, you know, I heard it then, and I hear it even more now, especially, you know, with COVID and, um, it's been awful how many industries have just been decimated and how many people have lost their jobs?And, um, they're, they're, it's hard for them to even go back to the industry that they were working in, never the less  the particular job that they had. And so that lends [00:19:00] itself to anyone who has some sort of stability, or they go, "But I  my colleagues, but I'm making good money." But, uh, but  there's a reason why you're looking at my website or your website, or, you know, filling out an application or jumping on a consultation call.And , you are allowed to have that job that gives you the grownup things that you need. And still know it's not enough for you.Karen: Yeah. Yeah. I think it was really helpful for me to hear that from  friends from my partner. Um, when I was, you know, in a position where I felt  I'm in, I'm making the best money, I have the best people.  This is the best job I've had and it's still not good enough,you know?Michelle:  And yet, and yet, that's when you know, you're the common denominator, I think. Um, and that's why it gets so upsetting when, on paper,  everything should fit. You [00:20:00] know, it's almost, everyone's had a, really, a romantic relationship  this somewhere where you go, this guy or this girl on paper is  the everything I'm looking for, but there's just a, not a spark. There's just not a thing. , and you try to make it, you go out on the fifth date and you  go and meet and then, you know, the whole time, , you know, this isn't who I want, isn't what I want.Karen: Totally. Okay. I wanted to come back to the little voice you mentioned. The little voice that got louder and louder and louder because it's something that, you know, I had that too, and that just took a long time to listen to that. And I'd wanted to bring this up to you because you had that voice come back to you again more recently and make a big change in your business.And, um, I know, I think, I don't know. Back last year I realized I was , okay, I'm just a turtle and that's okay. Right.  Maybe I move slowly because there's a couple of things going on. Right? There's this mythology, I think that says you have to do the big, [00:21:00] bold, brave, huge thing. And I started to realize that,Michelle: [sound] Thumbs down raspberry.Karen: Taking the small steps, doing the little things, following that voice little by little does actually make a big difference in the end. But one question I'm asking myself now is, do you think we're supposed to get faster at listening to that?Michelle: Ohhh.Karen: Or get better at listening? Because faster is also dives into this  hustle culture, capitalist... In a way I kind of think, I don't know. Does it benefit us to get better at listening to our intution?Michelle: Yes. Yes. This is such an interesting question. I have, my intuition has been loud and quick and dead on probably over the last year where I just go, okay, I know what my intuition is telling me. And even if something else pops [00:22:00] up, I know - that's not a thing. That's not a thing , um, but it's, you know, I've been in business for 13 years. It took me six years to become a six figure, you know, business owner.I think that, you know, it still makes me feel  I should have done it faster. I should, you know, I still look around and say, Oh, this person came up at the same time I did. And yet, she has a million dollar business, you know, a hundred thousand subscribers in her newsletter and how come I only have this many and it's so easy to do that.So easy to do that. Um, but I think that. If you and this again, it's hard because in 2021, there is so much noise. There are so many sheds, there's so many different ways of doing things. And there are so many people who will tell you, this is the only way to do the thing, which makes me crazy. Um, I think the more you could say, this is what is true for me, but this is what, [00:23:00] um, is grounding me.This is the message I'm receiving from myself. The more it's going to serve you. And, um, I think, you know, really listening to that voice, I always say there's no shortcuts to feeling  a confident business owner. Um, the only way it happens is with time and experience. And I think that that is true for listening to your intuition as well.Um, and for me, You know, if I was  maybe a little more I'm pretty hippy-dippy right now, but I was not when I started this journey, if I was a little bit more... if I was  doing the meditation and stuff that I've been doing for the last few years earlier in my business, I might've heard, I might've heard that, that voice more often and quicker and louder, and I would have trusted that voice and followed that voice the way I do now.But it's just taken me this long. Um, but yeah, the more you could. Tap into that, but I don't think it's about the speed of [00:24:00] it. I think it's just giving it space to , what do I need to know today? What do I need to know right now? What do I need to know about this offer? What do I need to know about this question?And , I  to say I'm letting things simmer.  I have a real, amazing mastermind group that I go to and I'll say to them, I don't need solutions. I don't need answers. I don't need opinions. I'm just telling you what I had on the stove right now. And , if you want to tell me, you know, anything that comes up for you with what I have on a stove right now, , please...Karen: Put a little seasoning in there.Michelle: Yes. Tell me, well, what you, what you think that maybe will help my simmering. And then my writing simmer, and then usually there's something that I go, okay, that soup. It's done now taking it off the pot and eating it. Did this analogy work?Karen: Totally does. No. And I think you're right. , it's not about the speed, but there was  some part of me that just wanted to ask that question, because you mentioned the voice and , you know, I had that too.And I'm , what is, I think it, maybe it's just more about being [00:25:00] more connected to it? And I've had, I've had a similar experience too, where I think in the last year or two, I have a sense of, usually it's saying no to things,  saying no to something that I use to say yes to, I had a sense on this one evebt and I was , Hmm, I don't know, I think this year it's just not for me. And that was the beginning of 2020. And then,and it's funny though, cause you don't know logically why. Yeah. And then months later, the logic makes sense and you see some things and you go, Oh! So it's almost  a, maybe pre-cognition, that might be a bit of a stretch... There's some knowledge, something in me that knew something.And I was , is this fear? And I was realizing , as I was thinking about it this week, it's different. There's a, , I want to do something I'm scared. That's a certain kind of feeling, but this was a. Um, I'm not sure. I'm just not sure that's right for me. And, um, it's interesting to see how that it's useful to listen to [00:26:00] that, even if I don't know why, because the logical reasons seem to become clear later on.Michelle: Well, thankfully my parents, when I was growing up in the eighties during stranger danger, my parents taught me about what they call the Uh-Oh feeling, which I thought all 80s children grew up with. But I found out as a teenager and a young adult, , no, this was just something that was spoken about in my house, I guess.And they taught me, you know, about the feeling. And they said, when you just have that feeling in your body, that's something's wrong. You might not be able to have your brain tell you what is wrong. You just have that feeling in your body. That's something is wrong. You need to get yourself out of that situation and go find a grownup right away.Karen: So good!Michelle: And it was so instrumental for me because as an adult, you know, it applies in so many situations, but it applies a lot in my business too, of just , this feels a little off. I don't know why [00:27:00] something about it isn't sitting well with me. And the more I listened to that and then say no to that thing. Um, the more it's worked out for me, whenever I try to talk myself into that thing and I tell my clients, this is where,  you say, Oh, this potential client came to me and , it'll be good to have a challenge.Never fucking take that client! You know, you're trying to talk yourself into why this is a good thing or, you know, um, You might not know why it's not a good thing you might say. Okay. But I could help this person, but I could, ooh but I should do this thing. But, um, it doesn't matter. And you're right, usually something will be revealed later on saying that's why that didn't feel right. So, the Uh-Oh, feeling,Karen: I love that. And I kind of got chills when you were talking about it. I'm , man, I wish I knew about the, Uh-Oh. Feeling and it's so helpful to know. Yeah, your brain might not know why, but your body does. That's , that was a huge part of my Wayfinder Life Coach Training. It's all about connected to your body and letting your body speak to you because [00:28:00] your body does know before your brain does.Michelle: So true, it's so true. So true.Karen: Um, I wanted to talk about. You know, what are the steps that you, maybe not all the steps, but maybe some of the important steps, whether big or small that you took kind of to get to the career you wanted, what were the important things that stood out that you needed to do?Michelle: Oh my gosh. Um, you know, the things that I mentioned before, , It's about building relationships more than anything for me, this is selfishly why I do the work that I do and how I do the work that I do.You know, there's a reason why you don't see any  on demand, passive income, take my thing and do it yourself. Or  you don't see, just hire me for a session or two where , that's enough. That could be helpful for others.  It's not very fulfilling for me. And I actually don't think it's as helpful.As it is for those longer term things. So, you know, [00:29:00] even though 90 Day Business Launch is primarily a group program, I will do it one-on-one. But the groups are  20 women. I don't plan on blowing up these groups in the future. The way I'm scaling my business. I'm going to have a group ... NO., cause I want to know that 20 women in here and there will probably be 17, 18 of these women that show up consistently that I really get to know.And that is what gets me up in the morning, what I'm excited about, so there's that relationship building piece. There's the, um, communication skills piece? I just always knew that I was a good communicator. That probably was my acting background. Um, wasn't shy about public speaking. I always felt that I was a good writer.I was just able to, um, have those relationships with people in that way. You know, I think that...  I'm a competitive person. Okay. Let's say that. Right. I'm a competitive, so [00:30:00] there's something that entrepreneurship too. You know, I've been in sales before for better or for worse. And  that stuff didn't scare me., I'm definitely not a, yay let's go market my business and try it. But, um, especially now, I don't know, maybe I'm maybe I have a selective memory,  back then, I was still nervous to approach people and tell them what I was doing, but I was  felt okay, writing my blog and going on Twitter and, you know, writing the newsletter and  telling people about what I was doing.And I think it was just that helping piece. Um, and it's funny because you know, the other job I could have had was in real estate for sure. If I wanted to do real estate, I would not be talking to you right now.  I would be million dollar real estate,  real estate. Um, I did New York city rentals for a year in.Oh, I guess it was  2002, 2003. And then, [00:31:00] and I was the number one agent in my office, I think five or six times in my first full year there. And I made more money than I've ever seen in my life, but I worked. All the time. And then I said, I can't keep up this hustle. I want to do, um, I want to do sales instead of rentals and New York city, that was just my death for a lot of reasons that we don't need to get into. But I  dug myself in a $20,000 credit card hole. It was , Real bad. Um, but there's something between  the real estate. And even me looking at  opening up a matchmaker service and  the career coaching, their business coaching, where it's , you're matching  people with ,  their homes or their partners or the careers that they want to.There was ...Karen: a thread.Michelle:  something, something, there was a thread there. Um, that felt really good for me. And even, even when I was doing real estate, I think what. I hated so much part of what I hated so much [00:32:00] was  the stereotype that came along with specifically New York city, real estate agents that , Oh, everyone's going to suck you dry and they're slimy and they're going to lie to youand, um, and I was just , no, I'm, I'm here to be, you know, truthful and honest and help people. And, um, so those were kind of. The important pieces, I think. And then, you know, just the freedom piece that comes with being a business owner that I think is the driving force for the vast majority of my clients.. Especially being women. And mostly I work with women in their thirties and forties. Um, they want freedom over their time and their commitments and who they're working with and when and on what, and, um, the financial freedom, um, whether they're the breadwinners or they're, you know, stay at home moms who want to contribute financially, or they are somewhere in between.It's , They want to make a certain amount of money, [00:33:00] um, in order to support the lifestyle that, that they want. Um, so that, that was all connected to, I just felt  I had better, even, even though it felt very risky and scary. And what am I doing? Quitting my "stable job." and I'll put stable in quotes, um, stable job in the middle of the recession to go be, you know, my other business was called the When I Grow Up Coach, to be the When I Grow Up Coach of all , stupid things to do. It just felt so silly, but, you know, I just knew this is how I help people. I already have a foundation, I'm getting good results and, um, I got my, I chose to get my certification. Because I didn't even work with a coach before I decided to be one, but I knew I was a good coach right off the bat because of the communication piece, because of the relationship building piece, because I was a creative person talking to a creative person.Um, so I think that had to be key too, in terms of, you [00:34:00] know, who do I want to work with? Who do I want to help? Who do I want to talk to really key.Karen: Is there any advice you ignored,  to your benefit?  Other than, uh, what is it, what color is your parachute?Michelle: Yes! I mean, I couldn't even ignore that advice was I couldn't even get to the part where there was any advice to ignore.I  couldn't even, but you know what I mean? Um, you know, I ignored, I ignored the advice that I got for a long time as an actor that I feel  once I ignored that advice as an actor, my acting career, um, started growing, but it was  a little too. It was  a little too late, too little, too late.Um, I was taught as an actor. To really  blend in and  don't wear, don't wear clothes that distract from your face and  go in and, you know, sing the song that's just right for the part in the show. And , I was a girl in my [00:35:00] twenties and you go to an audition and there are 400 girls in their twenties.And, um, I was taught these specific marketing things that did not serve me with the type of roles that I was always cast as, and how I sang and performed. And once I made the intentional decision, I'm going to take all of that and throw it in the garbage and what I'm going to do is that I know I'm cast as the comedic sidekick character role.And I am going to take my headshots with a polka dotted dress, which is always  a, no-no  a bright blue background.  Just distract the shit out of them, but show my personality and show up in a, I had a dress that  , looked  candy dots with a matching headband. And I wore this dress everywhere and I just saw the room change when I walked in., here I fucking am,  time to  listen to me. And I was getting more [00:36:00] callbacks, I was getting more parts,  and I was getting remembered more where , I would get a phone call saying, you want this in for us eight months ago. You weren't right for that, but we're remembering you for this. Could you come in? And I thought I'd be really stupid if I didn't take that advice and bring it into my business when I started my business.So even though it was very tempted to be very professional in business, right. Um, I resisted that I was , I need to show my potential clients who I am before they even necessarily walk in the room. Um, quote unquote, and I want them to know what they're getting into. I want them to know who I am and what it's  to work with me.And so I'm not shying away from, you know, wearing similar clothes and
02 - Trading Traditional Accounting for Love with Kristine Miguel
27-05-2021
02 - Trading Traditional Accounting for Love with Kristine Miguel
Kristine Miguel shares her story of trading a traditional accounting career for love - but not the way you think! I was curious about her transition from her linear CPA career path to starting her own business based on love, financial education, and empowerment. We discuss the challenges she faced and the lessons she learned while creating her intentional career; and some thoughts on spirituality and the coaching industry.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Kristine Miguel, owner of Caritas Company. She’s a Chartered Professional Accountant, mom, small business owner and all-around financial hype woman. She offers startups, entrepreneurs and side-hustlers an approachable way to face their fear around money and combat overwhelm so they can build and grow a financially sustainable business. Interview Highlights:[2:00] Kristine falls into an accounting career because of her love for math.[3:30] Accounting as a linear path, and Karen’s wish for an “easy” path when experiencing career angst.[8:11] 10 years into her career, Kristine starts to question if she wants to do something else, and gets frustrated with things like IFRS standards.[14:00] Kristine gets jealous of (and inspired by) a CPA who carved her own path.[15:46] What’s the meaning behind Caritas Company?[17:00] Surrendering to a greater power, love as a number one value and, oh my goodness are we still talking about accounting careers right now?[22:00] The people who inspired Kristine on her path.[26:58] The advice Kristine ignored (to her benefit).[30:00] The advice or support Kristine would give to her past self.[35: 28] Why feelings about work matter, why we suppress those feelings - especially as women, and speculate on how it might be different for men. [37:27] When having a coach can help, why a coach was the first person Kristine hired. Kristine ponders coaching and we discuss whether coaching should be regulated.[43:43] Karen goes on a tangent about the difference between coaching, consulting, and mentoring.[48:32] Kristine’s talks about her career crush, Lisa Zamparo[52:09] Kristine’s business offerings.Resources:Kristine Miguel - Caritas Company : Website | InstagramSlay the Mic / Jam Gamble - Website | InstagramTrudi Lebron - Website | InstagramTrudi Lebron’s podcast - Business Remix - Should Coaching Require Certification?Rising Tide - WebsiteLisa Zamparo | Website | Instagram Subscribe!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast website Schedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.Follow KarenFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Trading Traditional Accounting for Love with Kristine MiguelKaren: I'm Karen Styles. And this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow + Fire coaching. If you're ready to create your Intentional Career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me.There's a link in the show notes, or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue “Schedule a Call” button.Today on the show. My guest is Kristine Miguel, owner of Carita's Company. She's a chartered professional accountant, mom, small business owner and all around financial hype woman. She offers startups, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers and approachable way to face their fear around money and combat overwhelm so they can build and grow a financially sustainable business.Welcome, and thank you so much for being here, Kristine.Kristine: Hello, hello!Karen: So excited to have you here.Kristine: I'm so pumped. Yeah. Thank you for having me.Karen: Yeah. I wanna start with, “how it started, how it's going,” or that's the overview of what we're going to have today. So you're an accountant, a CPA. Take us back to how that started for you or what made you pursue accounting as a career path?Kristine: Oooh.  I kind of fell into the accounting path, mostly due to my love for math. Okay. So growing up math was my favorite subject in school. I did so well in math. Like it's ridiculous when I think about it. And so I wanted a career. In math or something to do with numbers. Yeah. And I also being the oldest child of four kids, I was always like the leader, the leaders slash I was always, my parents left me to teach my siblings, whatever it is they wanted me to teach.I was very comfortable teaching. And being bossy and I love math. And so I actually wanted to be a math teacher coming out of high school. I'm not sure if you remember that feeling where you're like, oh, okay. High school kids are. Or not the best. So I don't want to be around with people. Like I don't want to teach people like me, not me necessarily, because I was such a good kid.I'm saying that was sarcasm obviously, but I was just like, I don't know if I want to work in a school, necessarily. So when I was applying for university, I exited out of the education portal and I was like, Ooh, people say you should get a business degree because it's so versatile.So I went into the business degree portal instead, and I found I was like, what has something to do with math? And so it was like finance and accounting. And I was like, oh, I don't really want to do finance. Oh, let's just do accounting. So I just applied for it. I got accepted and yeah, that's where I started and how I fell into this.Karen: That's interesting because... accounting wasn't obvious for you.Kristine: No, I didn't even know what it was really.Karen: Yeah. Yeah. And that kind of makes sense. Like when we're young, you're really only exposed to at least for me, I wasn't exposed to that many career paths. Like doctors and teachers and whoever's in your life, but, sometimes you don't know what's available to you. The thing about accounting is that it's pretty linear. Like when I think of linear, always talk about accountants and make broad generalizations. And, back when I was an executive recruiter,when I was recruiting accountants, I remember cause I was going through my own career angst and I remember being jealous of that linear path.Kristine: I see.Karen: I was like, wouldn't it be nice to be an accountant? You go work in a firm in audit and then you work your way up, maybe go to corporate and you become a manager and then a , controller and a director or VP of finance, like I was like, wouldn't that be... oh, that'd be so nice if I just do where to go. If someone just told me what the path was, and also knowing that you make a ton of money.Kristine: Yes!Karen: And then, but then I also knew that wasn't for me. Like maybe I could improve my math skills, but I was pretty damn sure that I couldn't be an accountant. So it's interesting. But I had this kind of longing for - wouldn't it be nice if it was so easy?Kristine: Oh, I have so much to say about that.Karen: Yes, please tell me what you have to say about that.Kristine: Okay. So you mentioned a few things were linear paths are usually accountant paths and being envious of people, telling you where to go and what to do.[05:00] I am going to say you are not incorrect about that. Everything about that statement is correct in that. All accountants, somehow we just fall into this career path and then we are told what to do what the next position is what the pay is for that position. And we just follow. So accountants are very good for rule followers.First of all, because obviously we have to follow all these freaking rulesKaren: Yeah, they need to be.Kristine: I need to be able to read the rules and then apply it to my life or not my life, but my clients books or my company's books. So we are super rule followers. And I want to - we'll probably talk more about this later - but that was my downfall and that's what I hated the most about it.And so I think at first it's great because you're young, impressionable, and then you ha you don't really know okay. One, one other thing that you said was you was like, when you're growing up, nobody tells you what, here are all the career paths.It's more like who, what careers have been in place in your family? Who do you aspire to be within your family? So you choose a career path based on if your mom was a nurse or dad was a doctor, et cetera. My parents never did that actually contrary to the usual, like Asian culture. They never told me like, you need to be a nurse or you need to be this or that, which I am so grateful for.They never told me what to be.But then I felt like, I didn't know what to do. As a young person, and so being in an accounting career path was so comfortable. Because once you get into school, you told, they told you what to take, what, what courses to take. And then in third year you get to apply for summer jobs.And these, the summer jobs are a set number of positions, or, it's like a set position that everybody does. So  think of an assembly line, but for human careers. Like a human  professional assembly line. And that's what accountants did. And they produce the same exact result every single time.And thinking back, that's good for the public, obviously, because we need to be consistent. We need to be reliable. But you couldn't just do whatever the frick you wanted. And that bothered me a lot.Karen: Interesting. So like you said, it's comfortable. I could see how it's also comforting where, like I know what's in the next step.I know what there's a structure, there's a path. You can just keep doing the next thing. You don't have to like, worry about it.Kristine: Exactly.Karen: But then, there comes in your life where you're like, wait a second...Kristine: 10 years in. You're like, what? Wait, what? You wake up one day. And you're like this was nice oh, so nice. I have a paycheck. I have a job to go to. I'm constantly busy. Like it's so comfortable. It's so predictable. And then you're like, but what if I want to do this other thing? And it's no, you can't do that. Cause that's not in the plan. It's like, but why?Karen: Okay. So let's talk about that because now you're a business owner and, I think there are a lot of accountants that might open a bookkeeping firm, or they do tax services. And what you do is a bit different.Kristine: So different.Karen: What happened for you? You said you woke up one day and what was that moment for you or was what led to the change? Was there a moment where you were like, okay, this has got to change. I think I want to step out of this, this path  that's been given to me.Kristine: Yes, yes. Oh my gosh. Okay. So when you're in the path, like when you're in the assembly line, You basically get given, like they dangle a carrot sticks in front of you where they're like, this is the next promotion with this price tag. And you're essentially like, you are rewarded for your efforts and for showing up in terms of positions and money, which are all prestigious, they're all like things to aspire to.I'm not really talking negatively about those because it really does work. But one day the reward. So one day I didn't, I can't say I woke up one day. It was a lot of many days that I woke up that I was so unmotivated and I thought to myself, okay , what am I working for here? So I got all the way to you described that career path.I got all the way to manager or financial reporting for a public construction company, which is it was such a good position leadership position. I was so good at my job. Everybody loved me, but then. All these new rules would come up for, IFRS. So IFRS is international financial reporting standards. And one day I just remember thinking I don't care about these rules and nobody else does.Karen: And I'm the one who's supposed to care!Kristine: Exactly. And I'm like, what? This is weird. And at that time, like usually I would. Fall back to, oh, here's a reward. It'll be fine. But the rewards never amounted to how much I hated it anymore.[10:00] Like the diminishing returns concept where no amount of reward, no amount of like title you could give me would make me happy anymore. And I knew that, looking ahead, because we knew where we were going to be in like 10 years time, 20 years time, I looked at the lives of my leaders -  and they were great leaders by the way -  but I just, I didn't see myself in it anymore.And so many days, the waking up being unmotivated and I was in charge of this big, huge, conversion. So a conversion to a new IFRS standard where you had to lead the company to adopt the standards by changing process, changing people's ways of doing things and doing that.I realized nobody gives a shit about these rules. It got to a point where those rules that were being made, didn't even make sense to me anymore where it's, is this just a rule for compliance so that we can have 60 pages of documentation versus one page?And if that's the case, you're just making us do busy work and everybody in the company hated it. And being a natural people pleaser. I hated it too. Because nobody liked what I was doing anymore. And that's when I wasn't getting any rewards out of it. So ...Karen: In terms of emotional rewards, right? Or like, how you were feeling? Like you didn't feel proud of it or connected to it or..?Kristine: Yeah, I didn't feel connected to it. I didn't feel proud of it. Yeah. So long story short, there's so much to unpack there, but it was like, I wasn't, I love being like the helper, the leader that people. They agreed with what I was doing and I got support. I love having support again, like I said, people pleaser, but it was just, that was the beginning when I wouldn't, nobody cared about it. I didn't care about it. So I'm like, okay time to do something elseKaren: Yeah and  it sounds like you went from following that external path and the people pleasing to really listening to yourself more.Kristine: Exactly where it's kinda, it started with okay, I'm not pleasing people anymore and I'm not pleased myself. Like what the hell is happening?Karen: So now what do I do? So when did you decide to start your own business?Kristine: Yeah, so I was, so I've been doing accounting, like the traditional accounting path since 2007. And then finally in 2015, I think it was the year of change. Like I got married that year and then I also got this promotion to manager.So in 2015, I was reading this magazine and this girl, this lady was on the cover and she was talking about paving her own career path as a CPA. And I was like, I am so jealous of this lady. And so I contacted her. Yeah, I totally fan girled. I contacted her and I asked her like, what, how the hell did you do this?And so that was the beginning. And then, so the fall of 2015 was when I started Caritas Company as a side hustle and then went into it full-time in 2018. No 2019, because I was on mat leave. So I've been doing this full-time for, almost for two years now, actually this month was the time I went full time in 2019.Karen: Oh, it's your business birthday!Kristine: It is my business birthday! I just don't know what date. Like, I don't evenknow...Karen: But that gives you an excuse to go get a cake or a cupcake or something and celebrate. Woohoo!Kristine: Oh, So true. Yeah, exactly. It's like one of those things that, because I started it a long time ago. As a side hustle I don't have a birthday because it wasn't, one day I woke up kind of thing. It was like many days of waking up being like, I want something else.Karen: Yeah. Yeah. And unless… the only reason I know my date is I went through a business program where my business coach was like, your launch date is this. And I'm actually really glad I have that. Because otherwise. You're doing the work in the background and maybe you're taking on clients here, but you're not sure you don't fall into it, you don't plan it that way... maybe some people can do it on their own. But for me anyway,I had help.Kristine: I have a launch date for Bookkeeping Bootcamp. So that's one of my signature programs. I know exactly when I started that. But Caritas Company in general, I think I can't even tell you a date, right?Karen: Yeah. And what does Caritas mean? Why did you name your company Caritas?Kristine: Okay, so Caritas is actually a Latin word for,direct translation is charity.But when we think about charity, we think of giving to a charity or an organization that helps people do X, Y, Z. But the real meaning, the original meaning of charity is actually love, which is it's the virtue of charity in a religious standpoint. And I'm going to give you like five meetings because it's very deep.[15:00] Charity, which has also a love, which is also translates to God's love for his people. So it's like that, that Christian Love, unconditional love that I'm going to be here for you. Love that you surrender to me. I'm going to be here for you. Love. So I love that you pulled that card because...Karen: For our listeners, I pulled a card before we started. And it said “I surrender to a power greater than me.”Kristine: And my entire life has been about surrendering to a greater power because, man, if it was all up to me, like the world is screwed seriously. If it was all up to just us. Yeah. The world is totally screwed. So anyway, Caritas, it just goes back to my roots. I didn't want my company as something like, oh, Kristine Miguel Consulting or something like that. Cause obviously that's it's predictable and I'm over that. And I wanted my company to grow with me. Even if I didn't want to do financial stuff anymore, I can still be Caritas Company because it is super true to my values. My number one value is love. So that's the background story.Karen: It's so cool. Cause I think people wouldn't necessarily... I certainly wouldn't put love and accounting together. And obviously your goal is bigger and deeper than that. And you have these spiritual elements of surrender and also the elements of I'm here for you, which is yes, totally what you do in your business. And I've experienced it because I've been through Bookkeeping Bootcamp. And it's one of those things that we really need.Cause I think for those of us who do have fear around our financial background or we're starting a business. There's always this fear of, yo