Archive for July, 2008

Are you challenging yourself?

I’m a fan of Penelope Trunk’s blog. I don’t always agree with what she says, but I respect and admire her honesty and openness (and her sharp style). Her latest post talks about the signs you’re not challenging yourself enough at work. I love that she says if you’re not scared, you’re not trying hard to do something difficult.

Read the post here.


July 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

How Will I Make Money Doing That?

How will I make money doing that?

This is the most frequent fear I hear from clients who are contemplating a career change. Worrying about how you will make money while dreaming about your ideal career is like being doused with cold water while sleeping—disruptive at best, completely unnerving at worst. Here are some tips for how to allow yourself to dream about your ideal career AND figure out how you’re going to make money.

Create a Dreaming Sandbox
(The kind kids play in, not the one the cat uses.)
In the Internet world, web developers have what they call a “sandbox.” This is a web-based environment solely for the developer where she can play with new code and see how it works on a pseudo-version of the website, without messing up anything on the real site.

Create your own Dreaming Sandbox where you allow yourself to play with new ideas. Don’t worry if the ideas you’re playing with can make it in the real world or not, just allow them to form and evolve. Have fun with it, let yourself have silly, impractical ideas. Letting yourself have those ideas will lead you down paths you’ve never before explored.

Put Your Fears in the Parking Lot
As you allow yourself to start dreaming, fears will inevitably come up. Write down your fears and put them aside—I call it the “Parking Lot”—to deal with later. This way you aren’t resisting the fears, but you also aren’t letting them get in the way of the creative process.

Solve for Career and Money as Two Separate Problems
Note how you feel when you say the below statements to yourself:

Statement 1
I really want to be a <insert career idea here> but I also need to make <insert amount of money>.

Statement 2
I really want to be a <insert career idea>; what’s the next step to move toward it?
I would like to make <insert amount of money>, how can I do that?

I’m guessing Statement 2 feels better. Perhaps it even blew your mind a bit with new possibilities you hadn’t considered before. When you join the questions “What will I do?” and “How will I make money?” you are requiring your dream to deliver the financial goods right away. This often feels like an insurmountable problem, so we stop dreaming. When you separate these questions, new possibilities unfold. Suddenly there are many ways to move toward your heart’s desire and make money along the way.

The next time someone asks you how you’ll make money pursuing your dream, tell them you’ll do it the same way you always have—with style, creativity, and a little elbow grease.


If you live in Seattle, check out my upcoming Mastering Money workshop.

July 21, 2008 at 10:25 am 2 comments

More Joy

I was working with a client who was very focused on work and unhappy. So I gave her what seemed to be a simple homework assignment, add more joy to her life. When we talked the next week, she confessed that this assignment stressed her out—at first. She spent a bunch of time wracking her brain for things that might bring her joy: a new class she might enjoy, a hobby she could take up, an enriching experience she could seek out. Then all of the sudden it hit her as she was driving to the Office Depot in the city she was visiting—she felt joyful in that moment. Why? Because one of the things that brings her joy is discovering familiar things in an unfamiliar place.

My client hit on the crux of finding joy. So often we think finding more joy in our lives is about creating some kind of big-deal new experience. “Adding” joy to your life is a misnomer, it’s really about noticing when you feel joyful in your life right now. It could be as simple as driving to Office Depot, snuggling with your pet/child/significant other, laughing with a friend, walking along a familiar stretch and noticing the truly beautiful scenery, your favorite song coming on the radio at just the right moment, or colored pens (a personal favorite). When my client noticed how this simple activity brought her joy, she started noticing more and more things that caused her to feel joyful and by the time we talked, she was just about giddy with all this newfound joy. No classes, brain-wracking or bungee jumping required.

What brings you joy? Comment and share.

July 7, 2008 at 11:08 am 3 comments

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