Tag: Nashville career coach


Sunday Inspiration: Be Patient

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it.” Jas 1:2-4 TLB

You’re closer than you know to becoming the person God wants you to be. By His enabling grace, you’ll make it through this trial and come out stronger and wiser.

Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Ro 8:31 NKJV).

God is for you! That means you can do the thing you are afraid you can’t do.

The prison bars you’re beating against are in your mind. And since you put them up, with God’s help you can take them down.

God wants to set you free from the fearful attitudes that have held you back for so long, to release you to live up to your full potential.

The right attitude can overcome almost any barrier. For example, the Bible says, “Love never fails” (1Co 13:8 NIV).

Why? Because love isn’t dependent on your emotions or circumstances, it’s a servant of your will. Love is a decision!

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). And if Jesus commands it, He will enable you to do it!

Beginning is usually the hard part. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; after that it gets easier.

But look out—old attitudes will try to resurface and come back stronger than ever. Don’t let them.

Radio commentator Paul Harvey says,

“You can always tell when you’re on the road to success. It’s uphill all the way.”

So be patient. It will take time to get there, but anything worthwhile is worth working for!

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/be-patient

What Are the Best Resources for Pursuing Your Passions?

When I was a little girl I discovered the savory, salty taste of sunflower seeds. I’ve always loved eating sunflower seeds, especially the ones still in the shells. When my dad first noticed how much I liked them, he decided to use that as an opportunity to teach me about growth and the importance of patience.

He showed me how to plant sunflower seeds in order to grow beautiful tall sunflowers. He taught me even though I couldn’t see any growth right away, that didn’t mean I should give up. Digging up the seeds before putting in the effort of watering them and waiting for them to take root would be a mistake. I’d have to wait a reasonable amount of time to see the fruits of my labor.

After sufficient time and watering of the sown seeds, I saw results. The sunflowers began to grow. And grow they did! They were towering over me! I don’t remember how old I was at the time. I just remember they were up to a couple feet taller than me.

Watching Seeds Grow

For the past three years I’ve focused my work on helping people discover and pursue their passions. This includes helping them find ways to incorporate those passions into their careers. And when that’s not possible, helping them find outlets for their passions in other ways and other areas of their lives.

This work has required the planting of seeds. Seeds of confidence and seeds of encouragement.

Other times it’s included watering those seeds so clients’ dreams wouldn’t dry up and they wouldn’t give up when they didn’t see their own growth happening as quickly as they’d like.

For some clients it’s been a fairly quick growth process with a direct line to their next opportunity.

For others it’s been a longer growth process that includes just helping clients get to their first (or second or third) stepping stone that will eventually lead them to a full pursuit of their passion.

There have been small successes, set backs (many of which were blessings in disguise), and big successes (harvests).

I love watching my clients grow in their passions. It’s like watching the growth process of a beautiful tall sunflower.

Resources to Help You Pursue Your Passions

Do you want to sow the seeds of your own passions so you can grow in your career and your life? Here are several resources I’ve developed over the past three years to help you get started in pursuing your passions!

best resources

How to Be Realistic About Networking (Re-Post)

Networking is a necessary part of the career development process. It helps you discover opportunities you never knew existed.

This could include a career that is just the thing that fits nicely with your passions and strengths.

Or it could include opportunities in a field you’re already passionate about.

But most importantly, it helps you build long-lasting professional relationships.


Since 80% of the workforce found their opportunities (whether working for someone else or for themselves) through networking, it makes sense to spend 80% of your career development and job search on networking.

But before you dive into networking, you need to check your expectations about networking, and make sure they’re realistic.


Unrealistic Networking Expectations

When I used to work as a college career adviser at a local university, I had several students wanting to go into the music industry. While most of those students understood the need to network, some would put it off until graduation.

This was a huge mistake!

Especially since going into the music industry where getting to know the insiders is more challenging than in other industries.


I know this from personal experience when I used to do image consulting for recording artists. It took me three times longer to develop my network with music industry professionals than it did in my previous industry. In fact, it took about three years before people started saying, “Oh, yeah, I know you!”

If one of my seniors getting ready to graduate had waited until graduation to begin his or her networking efforts, he or she was about three years behind the competition who started their networking efforts their sophomore year.

Those who had already been fostering professional relationships were more likely to land a job upon graduation.


Even if your own chosen industry takes less time to get to know the insiders, it’s true the sooner you start developing relationships with appropriate contacts, the sooner you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

In other words, expecting it to happen overnight is unrealistic.


Realistic Networking Expectations

That’s also not to say it can’t happen quickly. I have two examples of each scenario from my own career.

First, I met the vice president of a Nashville-based company while attending an event downtown at the Entrepreneur Center. After an exchange of business cards and one brief conversation, he hired me a month later to do some contract work for him.

And I’ve been working with him for several years now. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly. It just did.


This same gentleman introduced me to a wonderful small group of local business owners at the same time he had introduced another woman to the same group.

For two and a half years I got to know these business owners in a very close-knit way, including the other woman introduced to the group. In that time we shared our celebrations and concerns on a weekly basis.

After getting to know each other for two and a half years on such a level, she also hired me to do some contract work for her business.

Again, I didn’t expect this to happen, but with time, it did.


The “Organic” Approach

In both situations, I never asked them if they had a job for me.

Instead, after taking the time to establish a rapport with them, they approached me with the opportunity to work with them.

I never entered either relationship with the expectation of getting something from them.

This is what I call the “organic approach” to networking.

Anything that’s forced feels creepy!

In fact, one time there was a guy who was starting his own business doing similar work to my own. He called me to introduce himself to me and actually said,

“I’m calling to network with you.”

Eeww! That was an immediate turn-off and I chose not to engage in his approach.


The best approach to realistic networking is an organic one. It looks like this:

  • Be genuinely curious about other people. Ask them about their own career path and passions (without using the phrase “Can I pick your brain?“).
  • Listen to what they say! Don’t be the one dominating the conversation.
  • Share with them things they’ll find helpful or interesting based on what they’ve told you about themselves.
  • Lower your expectations of what they can do for you and raise your standards of how you can benefit them.

Start now. And be realistic!


Sunday Inspiration: Is Your Identity Tied Up in Your Work?

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Tauren Wells did a good job in a recent interview explaining the difference between identity, calling, and assignment.

He says:

  • Identity comes from God and God only. He’s the only one who can tell you what your identity is. No one else can (not even you with your negative self-talk!).
  • Calling is the skills God has equipped you with and called you to use; it’s the passions He’s given you and called you to pursue.
  • Assignment is a project (often temporary) that requires the use of your skills and passions. Assignments can be a job or your job title, a role (i.e. mother, family caregiver, manager, etc.), or a relationship. Again, these are often temporary.

Wells says it’s in the area of assignment where people confuse their identity. They think their assignment is their identity, but it’s not.

I see this happening with a lot of my clients. I also see people confusing their calling with their identity. They feel if they don’t find their purpose or discover their calling they can’t know who they are.

When I look back on my own career and the different roles in my life (i.e. friend, career coach, volunteer, etc.), I’m able to see how my skills and spiritual gifts have been used in every job and every role I’ve ever had. I know these gifts, skills, and passions have been given to me by God.

My skills have been more constant than my roles. But even those change over time as God gives me new skills, improves the ones I have, and gives me new passions and desires.

The only thing that has remained constant my whole life has been my identity (i.e. who God says I am), even when I wasn’t following Him.

And who does He say I am? He says I am His child. I am loved by Him even if I never possessed any of my skills or held any of my roles.

I am still valuable to Him even when my assignments and calling or skills have been stripped away from me.

It’s important to understand what your spiritual gifts and skills are so you can know how you can best contribute to the world, society, the church and God’s kingdom. But you must first understand whose you are before trying to understand who you are.

First I am a child of God. Second I’m an encourager (my top spiritual gift I’ve used in every job and role). And finally I just currently happen to be a career coach.

Who are you? More importantly, whose are you?

Are you confusing your identity with your calling or your assignment? If so, you’re probably feeling pressure God never intended you to feel.

It’s time to be free from that pressure, free from the tyranny of self and free from the doubts and opinions of others.

 

Source: https://wayfm.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=773901d1ea6a0b12a0ca6d2fb&id=d008f6af18&e=443a9b7717

7 Best Books That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Life and Career

Last year I shared a post describing five books that will make a huge impact on your life and career. This year I want to share my latest reads guaranteed to also have a huge impact on your life and career.

I’ve read a lot books this past year. But, in an effort to save you some time, I’m only highlighting my top five (with a couple of honorable mentions) that provide tangible take-aways. These take-aways are guaranteed to produce results when you apply them to your life and career.

I’ve personally applied many of the principles from these books. And I’ve either seen immediate results, or the beginning growth of those sown seeds.

Top 5 Best Books

1. Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn

I have several clients considering starting their own business. This is a great book for them or anyone else thinking of starting their own business or side hustle. It guides readers through several litmus tests to help determine if their business idea is viable, prior to diving in with a huge time or money investment.

The first half of the book is very similar to my program on personal branding. The author Pat Flynn (who’s known for teaching people how to create passive income streams) spends a big chunk of the book discussing the importance of having a personal mission statement and personal brand prior to starting any kind of business idea. It truly is the first step to starting anything new in your life or career.

Biggest take-away:

“Make sure you’re running to something instead of away from something.”

This is so true. I see many people who come to me wanting to start their own business for the sheer desire of leaving their current job.

Will It Fly? helps you determine both the right reasons and the wrong reasons for starting your own business. Because it is so important to know these reasons, I did an entire group coaching call on this very topic with this book as the basis for the discussion.

Related Blog Post:

2. The Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business by Chris Ducker

I read The Rise of the Youpreneur on the heels of Will It Fly? It’s a good follow-up after you’ve done all the exercises from Will It Fly? and determined which of your business ideas are most viable and best support your personal mission.

Like Flynn’s book, The Rise of the Youpreneur is chock-full of exercises and online resources to help you get your business off the ground.

Biggest Take-Away

While I’ve been doing a lot of what Ducker recommends to become a successful brand in my own coaching business, I hadn’t been doing all of it because it just seemed so overwhelming. Drucker’s book helped me to organize and prioritize all those things into manageable phases and steps.

I’m currently working through those phases to improve what I’ve been doing and to add in what I haven’t been doing.

Related Blog Posts:

3. Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly About Finances, and Live a Richer Life by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

I got a copy of Breaking Money Silence from the author when I heard her speak here in Nashville. It is BY FAR the best book on finances I’ve ever read.

Kingsbury delves into the emotional side of money. She talks about the various mindsets people have about money, explaining why money often creates unnecessary conflict between people. It dispels myths both men and women have about money. And it reveals the hidden costs of staying quiet about an often uncomfortable topic.

What I love most about it is it provides tangible ways to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations about money between couples, children and aging parents, siblings, and more. It also helps readers see their worth and the importance of negotiating a fair salary with their employer, something I often teach my clients how to do.

Not only is this a great book for anyone who feels insecure about their knowledge of finances (or thinks they already know everything about finances), it’s also recommended for financial advisers so they can learn how to address the emotional side of money when working with their clients. There are exercises at the end of each chapter for both the interested reader and their financial advisers.

Breaking Money Silence is also a nice prerequisite to one of my honorable mentions listed below, Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover.

Of all the books on this list, this is the one I’d buy a copy for everyone if I could. I plan to keep my copy because I know I’ll refer back to it every time I need to.

Biggest Take-Aways

There are too many take-aways from this book to list here, but the big ones for me were:

  • Understanding my own personal money mindsets and where those came from.
  • How to broach difficult but necessary conversations about money.
  • How to best prevent or handle potential financial conflicts in the future, especially if I ever get married.
Related Blog Posts:

4. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller and his wife Kathy Keller

Speaking of marriage, I chose a book on marriage to include on this list, even though I’m not married. I initially read The Meaning of Marriage because it’s also a good read for singles. Plus, I’m always trying to best prepare myself for whatever God has in store for my future.

Keller, who is the founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, discusses the importance of purpose and vision in a marriage. Purpose is obviously important in helping my clients discover work they can be passionate about, so this concept of purpose in marriage really piqued my interest.

Biggest Take-Away:

A Christ-centered marriage can’t be merely about itself. It must be about something else, something both partners are committed to and passionate about besides one another.

A marriage based on attraction alone does not provide a common vision. Physical attraction and financial goals will bring unity for only a while. But such goals don’t create deep oneness, because eventually you reach those superficial goals (or you don’t), and then what? What is your marriage for? Where are you going?

Related Blog Posts:

5. Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control by Mark Buchanan

Last but certainly not least is Your God is Too Safe. The very first words of this book in the introduction are:

“I’m stuck.”

This is a phrase most clients say to me when they first reach out to me. Many of them feel stuck in their life or career. My job is to get them unstuck by helping them discover and pursue their passions.

But it’s also common to get and feel stuck spiritually. Buchanan’s book addresses this feeling of being stuck spiritually and how to move to new levels of spiritual passion.

He sets out to diagnose why Christians get stuck in their faith and are unable to see God at work in their lives. He calls this “living in borderland” – the barren but crowded place between a Christian’s old life and their adventurous and abundant new life. It’s a place where doubt, disappointment, guilt, and wonderlessness can keep us in mediocrity.

Then Buchanan shares how to move beyond borderland to a place of excitement, boldness, and exhilaration by not putting our own limitations on God and allowing Him to do beyond all we can imagine for our lives.

Biggest Take-Away

“Christianity without a deep longing for Christ in your heart is no Christianity at all, just a cheap imitation of the real thing.”

This quote actually comes from another reader who reviewed Your God is Too Safe. I believe it’s very well-said.

While as humans we all want to remain safe and feel secure in our own comfort zone, this book reminds us that’s not what real Christianity is. It’s not what we’re called to as Christians. We’re called to live boldly in Christ’s name, even when it’s uncomfortable. Not to do so is to live an inauthentic life and to miss out on all God has planned for us.

Related Blog Posts:

Honorable Mentions

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover is an oldie but goodie in overcoming debt and finding financial peace. It’s a good follow up to Breaking Money Silence mentioned above.

While I don’t listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, I did enjoy this book. I’ve been following the steps in it which has resulted in significant head-way in my finances this past year.

Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins

Another great read for those who need help understanding their worth. While this book is geared toward artists, the principles can be applied to anyone who’s working for themselves selling a product or service (their version of “art”).

Real Artists Don’t Starve doesn’t provide a step-by-step approach to setting your rates, but it does give you the confidence to ask for what you’re particular “art” is worth and gives you a sense of your art’s value to the world.

Many of the creative types here in Nashville will really appreciate what Goins has to say!

What I’m Reading Next

Right now I’m in the middle of reading two books:

I’m really enjoying Secrets of Six-Figure Women because it turns out it’s not just about money. And the strategies for career success can be applied to both genders.

I have several more books on hold at the library, and several I purchased during the Southern Book Festival here in Nashville.

So I have a long reading list and look forward to sharing another post next year about my best reads. Stay tuned!

Related Post:

best books