Tag: career lessons


More Coaches’ Advice For a Successful Career

Part 2

Last week, I shared with you the first five of ten rules for a successful career. These rules were garnered from the advice of some of the world’s greatest athletic coaches, as highlighted in the recent documentary series, The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life.

This week I’m sharing the remaining five rules, one from professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho, and the final four from NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion coach, Dawn Staley.

5 More Rules for a Successful Career

1. “Understand your audience.”

Jose Mourinho – Professional Soccer Coach and Manager

I agree with Coach Mourinho. You must always know your audience. And, you must take the time to understand their challenges and needs so you can best serve them. Depending on your career goal, your audience may be the hiring manager at a new company, your current boss, your boss’s boss, or potential clients or customers of your own business.

This is important when marketing your experience. It’s so important, that I’ve created an entire exercise on how to better understand who your audience is. It’s available in my latest book on personal branding, and in the on-demand video course, The Three Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers.

If you don’t take time to understand your audience and their needs, you’ll likely be passed over for your competition. Don’t let this happen to you!

2. “Create a home court advantage.”

Dawn Staley – Head Coach for the Women’s Basketball Team at the University of South Carolina (my alma mater!)

Staley did a great job of creating a home court advantage out of nothing at the University of South Carolina. When she first started coaching for the Gamecocks, there was barely any attendance at the women’s basketball games.

But through her efforts, she created a buzz which drew in more crowds. And then she created buy-in from the crowds through the excellence of her and her team’s work, turning them into fans. Now, there are just as many fans in the stands for the women’s games as there are for the men’s games.

You can do this too with your career. You can create a buzz, and attract those who appreciate your work and who’ll cheer you on and support you. In turn, you’ll attract the attention of the people who want you on their team.

Create your home court advantage by building and growing authentic relationships with your network. You’ll also want to secure LinkedIn recommendations and skill endorsements. If you own your own business, you’ll want to secure positive Google reviews from satisfied clients or customers. By doing so, you’ll grow your audience as you continue your efforts to better understand them.

3. “The 24-hour rule.”

Dawn Staley

This is another good one from Coach Staley! She encourages her players to celebrate their wins and to mourn their losses, but tells them to give themselves only 24 hours to do so.

It’s always good to set healthy boundaries, and this includes expiration dates. Your career will have some wins and some losses. But you can’t rest on your wins, and you can’t wallow in your losses for too long.

Give yourself only 24 hours to celebrate or wallow in the way you choose to, and then get back to work. This is how you keep moving forward.

4. “Growth takes place outside your comfort zone.”

Dawn Staley

You can’t expect to grow or thrive in your career if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. This is along the same lines of much of the advice shared in last week’s Part 1 post. It’s risky to step out of your comfort zone, but without risk there is no opportunity.

Stepping out of your comfort zone in your career could mean different things for different people. For some, it may mean something as small as volunteering to chair a committee. For others, it could be as big as leaving their job to start their own business. And still for others, it could be something in between, like applying for a promotion or moving over to a different role or function.

In determining which step is right for you, the key is not to step so far out of your comfort zone you end up in the panic zone. Instead, the goal is to step out into the learning zone. It’s here where you experience a significant amount of challenge, without it being so much you become overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. It’s all about striking a balance.

5. “What is delayed is not denied.”

Dawn Staley

Coach Staley had so many good rules from the documentary, which is why four out of this week’s five rules come from her. This last one is my favorite!

Sometimes you don’t always get what you want when you want it. But just because it doesn’t come to you in your own time, doesn’t mean you’ll never get it, especially if you’re working hard and ethically for it. Your career path requires your patience. This also includes patience when you find yourself between jobs.

It can be easy to get discouraged, especially when you see others advancing in their careers faster than you. But instead, be encouraged by this truth from Coach Staley.

Grow into a successful career

It’s not just athletes who can benefit from the wisdom of a good coach. Everyone needs a wise coach for a successful career. And you not only need a career coach when you’re between jobs, but also when you’re at the peak of your career.

Do you think Serena Williams quit going to a coach once she became good at tennis? Of course not! She’s been the best in her sport for years because she hired a good coach who’s stuck with her and challenged her.

Do you need someone to help you do the same in your own career? If so, click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. paNASH will assess what you need the most help with at this stage of your career, so you can become and stay the best in your field!

paNASH was recently voted as one of the top coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the fourth year in a row!

Related posts

The Greatest Coaches Share the Best Advice From Their Playbooks

Coaches’ advice for a successful career – Part 1

I know a lot of people have cancelled their Netflix accounts, and in many ways understandably so, especially since last week a Texas grand jury indicted Netflix for the film Cuties. But despite this controversial film, Netflix has some great documentaries highlighting the good in this world. One of my favorites has been a perfect example of pursuing your passions in your career. It’s called Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, and I highly recommend it! It’s very inspiring and encouraging.

But, in this post, I want to focus on the lessons and advice shared in another documentary series called, The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life. In this series, several well-known sports coaches lay out five to six rules they’ve developed for their athletes, which can translate to success in your own life.

Below, I’ve selected the coaches’ rules that can also translate to your career, and bring you career success.

5 rules for success in your career

1. “Risk is opportunity.”

Jill Ellis – Coach for the US Women’s Soccer Team

A lot of people come to me feeling stuck in their careers. This is usually because they’re afraid to take a risk. Sometimes it’s fear of the risk of rejection when applying for something they’re not 100% qualified for. Or, it’s fear of the risk of failure when starting their own thing.

But more frequently, they have a fear of financial risk. This includes fear of losing a job offer when negotiating a higher salary, fear of rejection when asking for a well-deserved pay raise, or fear of spending money on career coaching without knowing what’s going to transpire from it.

Coach Ellis talks about the importance of passion over paycheck. If it’s not obvious from my web site, passion is something I specialize in helping my clients discover. But I also understand the importance of earning what you’re worth. Which is why I also help my clients earn back the money they spend with me, by teaching them their worth, and how to negotiate a higher salary or pay raise.

When you take calculated risks in your career, you discover more opportunities, like jobs you’d never previously considered, better benefits, or exciting entrepreneurial endeavors. Is it time to let a career coach help you calculate the risk?

2. “Never be afraid to get fired.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

This can be a tough one to apply, especially if you’re an over-achieving rule-follower. But some rules are made to be broken. What Coach Mouratoglou means is the same thing Coach Ellis means by “risk is opportunity”. He’s basically saying, “Don’t be afraid to take risks.”

These risks could include sharing your ideas on how to do things better in your job or company, even if they might get shot down.

Also, this piece of advice could refer to the need to have a back-up plan for your career if you suddenly find yourself out of a job. In fact, I talked about this in last week’s post, “What Happens When a Pandemic Disrupts Your Career?

Having a back-up plan for your career can reduce your fear of getting fired, and give you more confidence to take more calculated risks, resulting in more career success.

3. “Emotions are the worst advisors.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

Coach Mouratoglou hit the nail on the head with this one! Emotions cloud your judgement. This is why I always tell my clients to never make big career decisions when they’re emotional.

If you find yourself making a career decision based on fear, anger, sadness, or too-good-to-be-true happiness, it’s best to at least sleep on it and make a decision once your feelings have subsided.

4. “Mistakes are inevitable, but don’t let them define you.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

Many of my clients who are on the fence about starting their own business are so worried they’ll make mistakes or experience failures. You may have similar concerns about your career, especially if you’re also thinking of starting your own business.

Let me go ahead and tell you, you will make mistakes and you will have failures. This is inevitable. And the same is true even if you continue working for someone else.

But you don’t have to let your mistakes or failures define you. Instead, learn from them and keep moving forward.

5. “Keep moving forward.”

Doc Rivers – NBA Head Coach (Boston Celtics and LA Clippers)

You’re going to experience obstacles and set-backs in your career. But, according to Doc Rivers, you must keep moving forward.

Keep in mind though, “forward” doesn’t always mean “up.” When it comes to your career, it could mean moving “over” to a company whose culture is more in line with your values. Or it could even mean moving “down” to a job that pays a little less but provides more flexibility and better fulfills your purpose or passion.

Even if your resume gets rejected, you get ghosted following your interview, you get furloughed or laid off, keep moving forward in your career.

You can do this by strengthening your networking efforts, being more proactive in your career planning, and making your job search more focused. Career coaching can help you do all of these things more effectively and efficiently. And the investment will pay off in dividends. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

Stay tuned for more coaches’ advice!

Check back next week for more coaches’ advice in Part 2. I’ll share five more rules for success in your career, including advice from professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho, and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.

paNASH was recently voted as one of the top coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the fourth year in a row!

13 Life and Career Lessons Uncovered in an Unexpected Way


The weather is finally getting warmer! For me, this means it’s the beginning of stand up paddle boarding season.

career lessons

paNASH owner Lori Bumgarner with QuickBlade owner Jim Terrell

Just last week I had the opportunity to train with former canoeing Olympian and pro paddle boarder, Jim Terrell, also owner of Quickblade Paddles.

He taught me advanced level paddle techniques so I can increase my speed and perfect my paddle stroke.

If it’s not already obvious, stand up paddling (SUP) is one of my passions.

In fact, I love it so much, I’ve found a way to incorporate it into my passion and career coaching business.


How, you might ask?

Well, every paddle season, I take my clients out for a beginner SUP lesson. This is easy to do since I have two paddle boards and have previous experience teaching beginners.

The purpose of taking clients out paddle boarding is to get them out of their regular environment which gives them a different perspective on their current situation.

It also melts away their current stresses and rejuvenates their thought process.


The session starts with about 20 minutes of basic SUP instruction for them to start feeling comfortable on a board.

At first they’re worried about falling off the board into the water. It’s all they can think about as they attempt to stand up on the board for the first time.

paNASH client

Once they start to get the hang of it, we begin our typical career coaching discussion to go over the client’s current needs as we paddle down the river.


When we head back toward the harbor, I usually ask the client,

“When was the last time you thought about falling in the water?”

They suddenly realize they haven’t thought about it all. It’s kind of like a light bulb moment where they realize they accomplished something they weren’t sure they’d be able to do.

At that moment I can see a huge boost in their confidence.

They begin noticing all the nature surrounding them and realize how much the water has calmed them from their worries and stresses about their career troubles.

That’s when they usually say to me,

“This was wonderful. It was just what I needed. And it was fun!”


I love to hear that from my clients.

What they don’t expect though are all the parallels between the beginner SUP lesson and the life and career lessons from our coaching sessions.

At the end of the paddle session, I give my clients a copy of those lessons for them to keep and to remember.

career lessons

© paNASH | not available for republication


13 Life and Career Lessons from SUP

SUP: Always be safe – use proper equipment, stay out of boat traffic, know when to return to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Prepare and plan for potential life and career bumps and crises.


SUP: Select correct fit for board size and paddle length.

Life and Career: Understand the importance of fit for career choice.


SUP: Hold the paddle correctly.

Life and Career: Use the tools you’ve been given to succeed correctly.


SUP: Place your hands on the paddle at 90 degree angles, keeping elbows/arms straight, allowing you to dig the paddle deeper into the water. (Biggest mistake for beginners: Not putting their paddle in the water deep enough.)

Life and Career: Reach further and dig deeper. You will learn more about yourself.


SUP: Keep your paddle close to the board’s rails so you can paddle straight.

Life and Career: Keep close to your core values to stay on the straight and narrow path.


SUP: A wider stance on the board makes the board more stable.

Life and Career: A wider network and a wider set of skills equals a more stable career.


SUP: Keep your head up and yours eyes straight ahead when standing up. (Don’t look down, look straight ahead.)

Life and Career: Keep your eye on the horizon. Don’t look down and don’t look back.


SUP: Once up, you will stabilize as soon as you put your paddle into the water.

Life and Career: You have to stand up and risk feeling insecure before you can feel secure again. A little fear, discomfort and unstableness can be a good thing.


SUP: If you fall, you should fall away from the board. Get back on the board in the middle from the side, never from the back of the board.

Life and Career: If you fall, get back up. There’s no need to start all over. Just pick up in the middle where you left off.


SUP: Stay on the sides of the river (10–20 yards from river bank), do not cross in front of boats or barges, and do not paddle in the middle of the river when there’s boat traffic.

Life and Career: Stay out of the middle of unnecessary drama.


SUP: Pay attention to the river’s current – when it’s stronger, go upstream first so you won’t be too fatigued coming back.

Life and Career: When feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to deal with the bigger/tougher issues first so you won’t have to exert too much energy when you’re already tired at the end of a task.


SUP: Handle wake by paddling straight into the waves or return to your knees to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Face challenges head on, and know how to pick your battles.


SUP: Pay attention to headwinds and tailwinds. Tailwinds are easier; headwinds are good training to make you a stronger paddler when done safely.

Life and Career: Struggle doesn’t always equal failure, and ease doesn’t always equal success.


One of the reasons why I love sports and recreational activities like SUP so much is because of all the life lessons they provide us.

What are your passions? What life lessons have you gained from them? Please respond and share!

Related Posts

career lessons