Founded in 2010, Classy Career Girl® is now one of Forbes 35 Most Influential Career Sites and a leading destination for ambitious women,.
Meaningful content at the intersection of work, dreams and everyday life. Classy Career Girl helps women find jobs and start businesses. Forbes Top 35 Most Influential Career Site and E-Learning Platform for ambitious women.
Your vision journal expresses your WHY – why is your goal important to you, why are you making a change in your life? On difficult days it’s important to remember your why. When you are feeling uninspired or unmotivated, remember your why. Just take a look at your vision journal and you’ll remember why.
Why do you want to reach this goal?
We can set goals all day long. This was a big thing missing for me in the past. I had no idea WHY I wanted my goals.
Lesson 2: Create a Vision Board
Decide on the type of vision board you want to create and make it. There is more than one type of vision board. Most people think about cutting out pictures and putting them on a board, which is totally one type of vision board. Get a bunch of magazines and cut out words and images that represent where you want to be. You can also create a journal-notebook and cut things out index cards. Or you can use a secret Pinterest board.
Look at it morning and night and all the time. Carry it with you.
Make it a habit to look at your vision board. It’s important when you are out there pursuing opportunities and when you are talking to people about who you are and what you want to create in your life. The clearer you are about this, the easier it’s going to be for the right people to find you.
Use it to get clear about your intention. Use your vision board to make decisions.
Ask yourself, does this job, this opportunity, this client, or whatever it looks like, fit on my vision board? Because if it doesn’t, then that’s probably a good indication that it’s going to take you in a direction other than the direction you want to go. This will help you decide what activities you need to say no to in your life.
The one rule of creating a vision board is that everything you put on your board is positive. The purpose of the board is that whatever you focus on increases your chances that it will happen in your life.
Lesson 3: The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is the name given to the belief that “like attracts like” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. If you have ever seen the movie The Secret you have heard of this. I think vision boards are so powerful because you are putting your goals on paper, and when you write down your goals, you are 80% more likely to achieve them.
Vision boards add clarity to your goals because instead of just writing them down, you are looking at the image of it every day. Hey, your vision board could even help you land your dream career!
If you have failed before, it’s OK! It’s not your fault!
If you don’t believe it is possible, I am here to show you how to make it happen!
If others tell you not to follow your passion, they are WRONG!
Ever thought this?
Goals are overwhelming – Nope! Knowing what you are going to do each week actually reduces stress and overwhelm.
It will be so hard! – Planning is easy and effortless when you are finally working toward doing what you love and your vision.
I don’t have the motivation. – When you are planning the work you were born to do, you don’t need motivation.
No one is born productive. Being more productive is a skill you can develop.
Ever thought this?
I’ll never reach my goals – It is possible to achieve your goals! Nothing is impossible.
My goals haven’t worked – You have to set the right goals.
I don’t know how to reach goals – You are 42% more likely to achieve goals just by writing them down.
Working in your passion doesn’t require much discipline when you love what you do.
Secret #1: 15 Minutes: How to Change Your Career in 15 Minutes a Day Without Spending Any Money
Ever thought this?
I need a ton of money – Nope! You can start a business with $0.
It will be so hard! – It’s easy and effortless when you are finally working toward doing what you love.
I don’t have the motivation – When you are doing work you were born to do, you don’t need motivation.
I’ve shown you how you can start a business or change careers with just 15 minutes per day.
Secret #2: Why Not You?: How to Launch Your Dream Career or Business Even If You Have No Experience or Skills
How To Get Experience
Take online courses
Create a blog or side hustle
Work with a mentor
Ever thought this?
I don’t have the experience – Volunteering and internships are available right now.
I don’t have the education – Create your own educational program online right now!
I’ll never get hired – When you are working in your ideal career, your passion shines through and your confidence skyrockets. Hiring Managers see this and want passionate employees!
I’ve shown you how you can launch your dream career or business even if you don’t have the education, skills, or experience.
Secret #3: My #1 Fear Hack: How to Get Over Your Fears….So You Can Achieve Success
My #1 Fear Hack
What’s the worst that can happen if I go after my goal?
What’s the best that can happen if I go after my goal?
Is it worth it to go all-in?
Ever thought this?
There is too much competition – No one is like you!
No one will think of you as an expert – Passion attracts attention.
People will think I’m crazy – People will be jealous. Not everyone steps outside of their comfort zone and goes for their dreams. You just might start inspiring everyone around you!
I’ve shown you how you can get over your fears, so you can achieve success.
If you followed what I showed you, do you think you could be successful?
If today’s podcast helps you, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Instagram! I love chatting and sharing your successes.
So, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to talk about imposter syndrome, so that is what I’m going to do today. If you have ever felt like you are not qualified or not good enough to do the job or to do something scary, maybe you’re a little uncomfortable, and you feel like, who am I to actually do that job? No one is going to think I’m smart enough. No one is going to think I’m good enough. Who am I?
If this sounds familiar, then you may have had imposter syndrome.
CCG Success 02: Hard Work and Impostor Syndrome
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We’ve all had imposter syndrome. I’m going to tell you when I had it years ago, back in 2014 when I got invited for my first international speaking event in Brazil. I was scared out of my mind, and I was talking to one of my coaches at the time, and I said, I do not believe I’m qualified for this.
Like who am I to be flown to Brazil to be wined and dined? They’re going to do my hair and do my makeup, and I’m going to speak to thousands of women. They’re going to know I’m an imposter and they’re going to know I’m a fake. They’re going to know. They’re going to be able to tell. I will never forget what my coach told me.
She told me that you will always have that in the back of your head. You will always have imposter syndrome. You’ll always feel like you’re not good enough. It’s never going to go away. You just have to march on and get through it. And I did a couple of weeks later, I flew to Brazil with my family, got onstage, delivered that presentation, and it was an incredible experience. They didn’t think I was an imposter. I spoke to 800 women who were so inspired by my talk, and if I had not pushed passed imposter syndrome, I would have never been able to help those women.
Even though I was so nervous and had those negative thoughts, I got up there; I did it. And it was an amazing experience for me. So what I also want to tell you is if you can push past feeling like an imposter, and get over that hump and that fear and feeling like a fake, the feeling afterward is incredible.
The feeling afterward will motivate you and push you to your next uncomfortable level. I will tell you from my experience in Brazil that it ultimately launched our business because I developed so much more confidence from getting over that scary thing I didn’t think I was qualified for.
I was able to leap past and everything just changed after that. I just knew if I could speak on stage to thousands of women in Brazil, they were all wearing headphones, they couldn’t even understand me, it had to be translated in their language. If I can do that, what else can I do? I can do anything. Right? It really builds your confidence.
That is what I want to motivate you and inspire you to do today. If there’s something you feel like you’re not qualified for, you’re not good enough to do, just try to do it. Go for it, because you will experience such a fantastic feeling afterward and then you will be unstoppable.
If I Can Do It, So Can You
I hope my story will inspire you. So go out there, do big things. If you’ve ever felt like a fake if you’ve ever felt like you’re not qualified for something, if you’ve had any experiences with imposter syndrome, I’d love for you to share how you got past it below. Your comments will inspire and motivate others!
I recently joined a new mastermind group, and I wonder if I belong there. When you surround yourself with people doing the things you want to do, it’s scary. My mentor has been trying to get me in there for two years, and I always said no I have kids, but part of me also had impostor syndrome. I’m not good enough to be around those people and in the same room. I may not necessarily be at their level, but I will work my butt off and learn, and being around that group of people will inspire and push me to the next level.
Imposter Syndrome Never Goes Away
Even today, I am dealing with imposter syndrome. We are launching a rebrand and a new membership site. Who am I to rebrand and bring my mission to a higher level? Who am I to work with this super amazing high-end designer? Spend a ton of money to get a really great logo and website, instead of DIY my logo like I have always done? That is still going on in my head, but if I don’t push past, I am never going to have the impact that I want to have.
Tips to remember when you feel like an impostor:
Through hard work, you can push past imposter syndrome. Often when you see someone successful online, you are not seeing all the late nights and early mornings that go into making it work.
Imposter syndrome never goes away; you will always question whether you are good enough.
No one is like you and has your strengths and experiences.
Everyone who has ever had success has faced imposter syndrome.
I received so much great feedback about last month’s mini-series. As you may recall, we went back to the basics of how this all started and what it means to be a Classy Career Girl. If you haven’t listened to last month’s episodes, make sure you listen to those!
So, one of the things we covered were the six components of becoming a Classy Career Girl, which include:
Over the next six months, we are going to be diving into each of these key components. Today, we are diving into one part of becoming a Classy Career Girl!
Component 1 of a Classy Career Girl: Striving for Success
A Classy Career Girl makes goals and a plan that inspires her in her mindset, money, life, and career dreams. She strives for living her best life.
Success – Taking the stress out of sticking to goals and making a plan that inspires you.
CCG Success 01: How to Live Your Best Life
Your best life is the process of achieving your dream. Testing and trying things. It’s a journey. Upgrade that I’m going through. Being proud of what I’m doing. It is easy to get caught up in reaching for success, so today I want to give you three ways to live your best life right now.
As you search for your dream job or build your dream business, it is easy to get caught up in the chase, in the next step, in always looking forward. You might even get so caught up that you don’t recognize success when it is right in front of you.
If you don’t know what success looks like, how will you know when you reach it? You might be surprised to learn that you are succeeding – right now! What were your goals a few years? Did you accomplish them and then set new, higher goals? Did you take the time to celebrate those successes?
Today is a Success
Sometimes, we are so consumed with our next career goals we forget to celebrate when we reach our current goals. That can lead to burn out or feeling overwhelmed.
So before you start making next year’s goals, stop. Figure out what success means to you. When you can answer that question, you will be better prepared to outline your goals.
Here is what success looks like to me:
Helping women change their lives
Providing for my family
Being a great mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend
Being happy while accomplishing the above
What Does Success Look Like to You?
Does success mean running your own business? Does it mean being able to spend more time with family? Working less and earning more? Finally setting up your website? Getting your first freelance client?
Take the time to celebrate every milestone, no matter how small. It will give you the motivation you need to keep pushing forward.
2) Making a Vision That Inspires You
Your vision journal expresses your WHY- why is your goal important to you, why are you making a change in your life? On difficult days it’s important to remember your why. When you are feeling uninspired or unmotivated, remember your why. Just take a look at your vision journal, and you’ll remember why.
What do you want to create in the future? When you imagine completing your goal, what does your life look like?
What words or phrases represent your life when you complete your goal?
Why do you want to reach this goal?
Decide on the type of vision board you want to create and make it.
There is more than one type of vision board. Most people think about cutting out pictures and putting them on a board, which is totally one type of vision board. Get a bunch of magazines and cut out words and images that represent where you want to be. You can also create a journal-notebook and cut things out for index cards. Or you can use a secret Pinterest board.
Look at it morning and night and all the time. Carry it with you.
Make it a habit. It’s essential to have it when you are out there pursuing opportunities and talking to people about who you are and what you want to create in your life. The clearer you are about this, the easier it’s going to be for the right people to find you. Use your vision board to make decisions.
3) Move Past What is Holding You Back from Success. Be Aware of Success Roadblocks
In order to have this trait, you have to move past the problems and excuses to success so you don’t stay stuck. What are they?
In today’s episode, I am giving you some career lessons! Today, women are empowered. There are so many incredible opportunities for women right now. Women can have incredible careers and be working mothers and impact the world. There is nothing stopping us.
Except knowing the right direction and the ability to stop and self-assess. I believe women are overworked and burning out because they are not stopping before diving in and doing. There is way too much doing and not enough thought going into the careers we are picking, the personal brands we are creating, and the directions we are heading.
There is no step-by-step guidebook for women to help us in the working world after we graduate college. How do you deal with difficult people? How do you ask for a raise? What should you wear to work? How do I deal with a difficult co-worker? What should I post on social media?
You graduate with a degree you may or may not like and are off to a career. You might not be able to find a job after graduation and have to settle for a job you aren’t excited about. Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones who actually gets a job out of school only to figure out you hate it and then you get stuck in a rut. It’s leading to burnout, stress and overworked and stressed out women and moms.
Knowing Yourself Matters
With the female empowerment movement, there is a need to know ourselves so much better and find out what will make us truly happy. All of us are designed for a purpose and have a calling, but will we find it? If we aren’t happy and dread going to work, what type of example are we setting for our kids about living a fulfilling life?
And with the growth of the digital world and the ability to use social media to grow a career, it might seem like so many women are having so much success online! It’s easy to see what everyone else is doing and try to model that. It’s easy to pick a network marketing company and start selling your heart out to your friends on Instagram stories.
But, that ultimately might not make you happy or successful. Modeling others can be trouble because the people you see online might not actually be successful or happy with what they are doing.
You Aren’t Other People
Also, your values may be different from the people you might be modeling online. Balance for me is different from you, because we value different things and are motivated differently. We also have different skills, strengths, and interests which is why there is really big need for self-assessment right now to become 100% you and make plans and goals that are based off where you want to go.
Stepping back to determine the ideal career fit for me was how I found my dream career. Universities and career programs are not prepared to handle the new careers that are available or the new ways to job search or find a career. They are teaching outdated methods if they are teaching anything at all.
There are so many coaches and influencers influencing online, so this is about stepping back and finding the true you.
What truly is important to you and where do you want to end up? That is going to make you happy, because no one else can do that for you.
How Do You Want to be Seen?
It’s busy these days and I know what it’s like feel like life is passing you by and you aren’t where you want to be. You feel stuck and don’t know what step to take. Now, more than ever, it’s also important to evaluate where you stand and how you want to be seen online and offline.
Just because other people are posting about things online, doesn’t mean you have to. It’s about identifying and creating your own personal brand and rising above the noise to be who you truly are. That is how you will stand out and find your dream career.
Your Education is In Your Hands
We also live in a time where education is in your hands. You can create your own educational program with all the articles, courses and opportunities you have available to you right now. I have an MBA, but most of what I know running and growing a business is all self-taught. My MBA got me started, but my education didn’t end the day I graduated. I did internships, volunteered, did informational interviews, read books and interviewed over 50 authors and experts on my way to my dream career.
When I started as a career coach, I didn’t have the experience, but I made my own growth plan to identify what I needed to know. I checked out every single book about job searching at my local library and read all of them. Then I blogged about them.
Then I interviewed the authors and wrote what I was learning about them on the blog. Soon, I became the expert. Once you figure out what you love and enjoy and where you see yourself in the future, you can get the knowledge and experience you need to make it happen.
There is no career that is impossible for you.
What You Wear Matters
When I graduated from college, I was clueless about what to wear to my first interview. I vowed to create the space to help women present their best selves in the future and have always had a dream to simplify the work wardrobe to avoid the embarrassment that I had on that first interview. I was so uncomfortable and HOT wearing nylon socks, uncomfortable heels, and a tight black suit only to show up and realize that no one else was dressed like me.
Not only that but I had a hard time being myself in the interview because I was not dressed like myself. This is the guidebook that I wish I had when I graduated from college and got into the working world so I knew what to wear.
Building a Personal Brand
Now more than ever, first impressions count. How you show up online and offline matters. You can quickly ruin your reputation with one post, one Instagram story, and one video. Have you ever unfollowed a friend for something they posted? I have.
But I have also made the same mistake. I was also clueless when it comes to building up my personal brand to start selling my products. I made the mistake of posting on Facebook to tell my friends to follow my blog and my products. Problem was, my friends and family weren’t interested and it now became spam to them.
They never signed up to hear my sales pitch because they weren’t my ideal clients. It took me time to figure out how to use my personal brand in a way that successfully grew my business and reputation leading to be featured on the Wall Street Journal and People Stylewatch magazine.
Put Yourself Out There
I also learned that I had to show up myself and put myself out there. I had always dreamed of being in San Diego magazine’s woman of the year. Like years and years, it was on my vision board as I dreamed of the woman I needed to become to make the list. In 2016, I said this was the year. I’m making it happen. I asked my husband and COO of our company to nominate me. I made the list.
I could have just thought about it for years and years and waited for some magical person to nominate me. Or I could have done something about it and asked for help so it actually happens. Our dreams can happen but we have to be open to them and ask for help.
To reach the success that you want, you have to be prepared and you need a mentor. Learning from others and investing in myself has turned my hobby blog into a real business.
Where I Am Today
For the past 10 years, I have turned a hobby blog into an international online training company serving thousands of women by giving them crystal clear content that makes taking action and finding career fulfillment easy. My dream is to create a school called The School of Fulfillment to help us reach our mission of helping all women find career fulfillment.
Today, women need a cheerleader and that’s who we are at Classy Career Girl. We believe in you and support you in reaching your dreams. Our mission is career fulfillment for all women and this guide will walk women through the process to become who they are meant to be and uncover what truly makes them happy inside and out.
Women need to support each other. When I graduated college I worked at a big consulting firm. I was shy and quiet and barely spoke but I was really good at my job. I was the one who was always trying to be perfect and it was really stressful. I could do no wrong. It was during that first year that one of my first female clients tried to fire me. Why? Who knows! She had absolutely no good reason except she just didn’t like me.
I was doing the job of four people (who had all quit because of her) and never did anything to earn her lack of support, but she told my boss she wanted me gone. I could have yelled at her and made a fool of myself for her being a major brat. But instead, I put a smile on my face and showed up with class and grace. My boss didn’t fire me. He knew I had done nothing to earn her lack of respect. He knew I was good at my job. And I had to rise above.
We Lift Each Other Up
I think this is why I am so in the fire to support other women. I have no patience for women who don’t support other women. We worked in a male-dominated environment and we were the only two women left on our team. We needed to rally together.
You and I need to rally together. We need to help other women who need it, we need to be each other’s cheerleaders. Last week I just attended a mastermind day with a friend and we both helped each other with our businesses for an entire day. We both left with a much better-focused way forward with each other’s support than trying to do it by yourself.
You might feel like other women can’t help you. They can. And you can help others. That’s what being a Classy Career Girl is. Lifting others. Supporting them and knowing your values and ethics and treating others with respect no matter what.
These days with our social media and digital life, these lessons are crucial.
To summarize, here are the career lessons I have learned.
Stop and self-assess.
Find your purpose. No one else can do that for you.
Do it your way. Put the blinders on.
Create your personal brand. Rise above the noise.
Your education is in your hands. Take advantage of it.
Create your own opportunities. Create your future.
Simplify your wardrobe. Create your own signature style.
Create a beautiful workspace that makes going to work inspiring.
Find a mentor and take action with everything they say.
Be honest. Keep your ethics and values and support other women.
Welcome to the third installment of the Classy Career Girl Foundations podcast series! Today, we are talking about career fulfillment. What does it feel like? How do you know when you’ve reached it? This is what our mission is here at Classy Career Girl, so this is super important to us.
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend listening to episodes 1 and episode 2 of our foundations series!
This is a question I was recently asked on Instagram, and it really gets to the core of what we do here at Classy Career Girl.
It feels like you are doing what you were born to do.
Relief of stress.
Inspired and happy.
Doesn’t feel like work.
You’d do it without getting paid.
A better, more peaceful life.
Feeling of completeness.
It’s not easy to get there, but it is easy when you find it. (blogging and teaching)
You can do it for hours and hours and not get bored.
Your brain can’t stop thinking about work because it’s so you. You think about it when you are not working. It keeps you up at night (in a good way), and you want to do it on the weekends and in your spare time. Like instead of watching Netflix, you want to work.
Career Fulfillment is For Everyone
Yes, everyone can find this! Not just entrepreneurs. Not only employees. Not just “certain” people. You can find this too!
You HAVE permission to love your job!! You have permission to find your calling and your passion. You don’t have to work for just a paycheck. You don’t have to do something just because others want you to do it. You don’t have to be bored at work. You have permission to find your dream career and be 100% you in your role.
I also didn’t always know what my path was. When I graduated from college, I took the first job. And then I got stuck. I took the major that my counselor said I should take. Even as a business owner, my path has changed a lot. Am I happy? I am constantly asking myself that.
I want to be the person to lead you to your ideal career. I firmly believe there is a purpose and calling for every single person listening. I’ve found my ideal career multiple times, and you can, too.
You have a purpose. You have a calling. You have an ideal career path. There was something you were born to do.
You can get your dream job.
You can love Mondays. You can love your work.
You can launch your dream career.
There’s more to life than a paycheck. There’s more to a career than a paycheck.
I want to encourage you to find fulfillment and start the path of finding your dream career. Your dream career is waiting for you.
What About Failure?
If you have failed before trying to find career fulfillment and happiness, it’s ok!! I failed so many times on my way to get here. I’ve tried the wrong jobs. I’ve tried the wrong business models. I’ve interviewed and been turned away while on the interview.
I once wanted a job and thought it was my dream job, and I was so disappointed when I didn’t get it. I thought my life was over. I’ve been rejected from business schools and colleges. I’ve not gotten the promotion and raise that I thought I should get. I’ve gotten bad feedback on my speaking events. I’ve had to close many courses and membership sites. One of my first entrepreneurial failures was when I pitched a startup idea and didn’t even make the first round. I was gutted. Guess I couldn’t be an entrepreneur.
Wrong! Failure is part of this journey. You will fail!
Maybe you didn’t get your needs met with prior career coaches or online courses you have taken. It’s ok. Blame me! Don’t blame yourself. Take that weight off your shoulders of blaming yourself for being too far behind and not doing anything about your stupid job earlier. It’s not too late. The career coaching industry is changing a lot. It’s not just about resumes and interviews. It goes far deeper than that. Most career coaches aren’t starting at the beginning and helping you figure out the career you were born to do. That’s what I want you to begin with. Forget the resume and forget that online job search. Who loves those yucky applications anyway!
There’s hope for you friend!! I want you to know that. There’s a world of possibility waiting for you and so many jobs open. You might think there are no openings but I am here to tell you there are so many jobs out there just not where you are looking and doing what you are currently doing.
Same with clients. If you are trying to get a biz off the ground, there are so many clients out there waiting for you. Your dream business is waiting for you, your dream clients are waiting for you. People are there to serve you. Hundreds of clients need what you have.
I know you are suspicious that you can find your dream job. I know you are suspicious that you might be able to make your dream career happen. I was suspicious, too, because I needed a paycheck to pay my bills. I never thought I would be able to make as much money as I was making in a corporate job doing something I love. But I realized that I didn’t need to make that much. I worked hard to pay off debt so that I could go part-time and devote my other part-time to learning and growing and chasing a side passion. Now, this was over a span of a few years. It doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s a domino effect of many, many baby steps to get to your dream career. But you can get there just like I did. My dream career has evolved. Initially, it was a professor, and I got there. And then my dream career grew again, and I changed to reach that next growth area. Instead of helping 10 people in my class, I wanted to help 10,000 in my class.
I care. This is the work I am passionate about. And that’s why I am doing this miniseries to go back the beginning. Our mission is helping all women to find career fulfillment. We are not factory workers that show up and do the boring work and go home. We deserve to be paid well and learn at work. We deserve to be respected and encouraged to pursue our strengths and goals at work. We deserve to be challenged and not given stupid jobs.
Now don’t get me wrong. You have to start somewhere! You might have to do stupid jobs to prove that you are an incredible person that should be promoted. We all start somewhere. But there is a dream that you are working for. Don’t stay stuck — at my old job, people had retirement clocks and countdown calculators at their desk. I don’t want to work just to countdown to retirement! Yuck! I want to enjoy my work and life NOW!
I genuinely believe that work and life aren’t separate. Bad job. Bad life. Great job. Great life. Work effects so much of your day to day and personal life. I was miserable in life when I was miserable at work.
Did this episode help you? Do you have questions about career fulfillment or any other topic we’ve covered? I would love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions! Reach out on Instagram!
When I first started my blog, ClassyCareerGirl.com, in 2010, I wanted to create a place to share what I wish I would have known when I graduated from college. I was a few years out of college and feeling stuck at work and stressed out. It didn’t help that I was also in debt, overweight, and I was kind of miserable. I needed a change badly.
I remember what it was like when I was stuck in a job I hated. I wasn’t happy and fulfilled in my career and it was really keeping me up at night. I was so stuck and I would apply to jobs over and over again online with no luck. Monster.com and it was my best friend at that time even though I hated online job searching. I just didn’t fit my job.
I would come home crying to my husband, and some weekends I just couldn’t relax because all I could think of was work and how I needed to get out of there and how much I dreaded Monday and didn’t want to face what was on my plate on Monday morning. I knew I had more potential than my day job.
After a marketing project researching blogs in business school and a week-long break from school, I decided to write my first blog post and do my best to learn how I could become happier.
I Started Writing
I started sharing what I was inspired by and created a blog series called “Ask Classy Career Girl” that spoke to professionalism and having class in the workplace. My goal was to create content that motivated and inspired women to find happiness, balance, and success at work.
I was searching for something better. One of the things I tried was teaching a class called “How To Navigate Your Career” as an Adjunct Instructor at my company. And all of a sudden, I found my passion.
It was in my own time, and I didn’t get paid for it. I had to put a lot of extra hours in, but it didn’t matter. It was work that fit me. And then I realized, I wasn’t in a full-time role that fit my interests, strengths, personality, and motivations.
It was such a lightbulb because I finally was learning more about myself. I realized then that I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny and have my dream business. But I had no idea how to make that happen.
When people want to figure out what they should do with their careers, and they want their lightbulb to happen immediately, I love sharing how long it took me. Nothing happens overnight, and the only way I could have made that first step into a career and business I love is by taking action and trying new things. By learning, and taking chances, and being very, very uncomfortable.
It Was Time to Take a Major Leap Forward
There was this whole other side door opening that I wasn’t aware of. There was this door of happiness by working on my blog. The door to work I loved and complete personal fulfillment. But, I didn’t know that then, just like you don’t know what is through that door for you right now. There was a step or a major leap that I needed to take. But, I almost didn’t take that step until my life took a turn, and I learned what was truly important in my life.
Through 2011 and 2012, when I was working and struggling to turn my blog into a business, I suffered the loss of two babies in early miscarriages. Our precious little ones devastatingly forced us each time to hope more, grow more, trust more, and love more; I remember each of them by the impact they had on my life. Each of them causing a drastic change. Sparks to awaken us. They each were activators that reversed the direction we were headed. They live on now in everything John and I do, how we live our lives and in every decision we make.
My rock bottom was sitting in an emergency room after a wedding in Seattle at midnight hearing the doctor telling me that I had miscarried. What did this have to do with my career? Nothing. Except for the first words out of my mouth were, “I hate my job. I need to quit.”
I realized my life was headed in the wrong direction and it was a huge wake-up call. I needed to turn my life around.
There was my life before this moment and after this moment.
Before this moment, I worked for a paycheck and was just going to stay miserable in my work for the rest of my life always stressed and who knows where I would have ended up.
I Knew I Needed a Change
After this moment, everything changed. I vowed not to be the same again. How could I with this personal tragedy and struggle? It hit me hard. My blog saved me. I threw everything into my blog. I dove in head first. It was the only thing that saved me from the tears. Supporting other women who thought I was helping them. They were actually helping me. With every “thank you” I realized that my life had a purpose even though my personal life was falling apart.
My personal life felt like a bad TV movie. I said that night in the hospital that I felt like I was on a TV show and this wasn’t my real life. This couldn’t happen to me. Truly I grew up that night. I felt loss. I’ve had uncles and grandmas that I’ve lost and I knew loss, but this was a loss that shouldn’t happen. I had dreams for my baby and my family, plus I’d been trying to get pregnant for a year!
This is a big reason that I believe personal life and work life are so intertwined. I would not be here today doing what I do if I hadn’t had my personal life pregnancy and infertility struggles. We had two miscarriages and even did IVF. No babies survived. I was literally at a loss. Like, I am not meant to be a mom. Why was God shutting this door for me over and over? It was hard to see at that time, but I can look back now, 8 years later and see this whole journey. Oh, it’s so much bigger than I ever could have known then.
I was Determined to Build Something
I learned finally in my journey to my dream career not to care what people thought, and I suddenly had this mad determination and fierceness to change my life and the world, so there were some reason and purpose for my pregnancy losses. Trust me, everyone thought we were crazy when we both quit our jobs to work on our business full-time, but we didn’t care!
The only reason I can talk about this dark time in my life now is I have a beautiful, miracle daughter, Mila. My miracle happened when I wasn’t expecting it, and all happened as I was pursuing my purpose and path and let go of what was holding back in my life. Let me tell you; she was worth the wait.
But my devastating moments didn’t stop. On my journey to continue growing my business, I was not balanced or happy. And it was in that time that even though my husband and I were working our butts off and trying to grow our business and live out our dream, we suffered a third miscarriage trying for a sibling for Mila in 2016.
Another devastating loss threw me back into a very depressed state suddenly grieving all three losses again and feeling alone. I was suddenly in this 1% club, only 1% of women suffer three miscarriages. This made me wake up and realize that I was once again not living the life that I wanted to live. Even though from the outside it looked like I was successful, I wasn’t happy or balanced. I was burnt out, miserable, and barely scraping by financially supporting my family with my business. So I went on another journey to decrease my stress, improve my health, change my business model, and improve my life.
And Then, Our Second Miracle
Long story short, a year after working through my grief journey and working hard on myself to become more fulfilled and happy with my life no matter what the future held, we were shocked to find out we were pregnant while working abroad in New Zealand! Sienna Grace Runyan arrived nine months later, and I now feel like I can share and write to you about what being a Classy Career Girl really means to me.
Writing my blog and helping women around the world helped me through my grief. If you have ever read a blog post or supported Classy Career Girl in any way, know that you helped me through those tough times. And I want to help you through your tough times too.
Ever since that first moment in the hospital, I have had this fire in me. I have had a purpose. And I beg you not to let as much time go by stuck in a job that isn’t the right fit for you as I did. If you are feeling discontent in your current role, it is time. You don’t need to hit rock bottom and have a major life tragedy like mine to give yourself a jolt to make a change. I am here to tell you, your time is now. That is why you are reading this book today. This is not a chance. There is a reason.
I Found My Calling:
Sharing what I was learning: I started with a blog. I started writing about what I was learning at my day job.
Trying new things: I started taking new opportunities at my day job. I volunteered to be on the training team. I volunteered to become an Adjunct Professor and teach a course.
Commitment: I started to see that I could make this my living. And I committed.
My blog tagline originally was a Consultant by day, MBA Student by Night. Journey with me in my final year of business school. I stole a picture off the internet and put it on my header. I didn’t know you couldn’t do that. I started on blogger. I didn’t even own classycareergirl.com, and it took me a few months to purchase it.
But I started somewhere, and my mom read it. Haha.
Then, we graduated a few months later to another re-brand. I wanted it to be more professional, and I decided to move over to WordPress and invest in my blog. So I hired a designer and we made a new look to match my professional corporate look. Then, I had the legs and I was a girl on a search for success, happiness, and balance.
No pinks. Can you believe it? I was in a male-dominated environment, and at the time, I thought classy was strictly manly. I dressed in suits and very professional at all times. It was my brand at the time. But things can change, and nothing needs to be perfect when you start. You just have to get started!!
Today is the day! We are relaunching the Classy Career Girl podcast with a focus on what it means to be a Classy Career Girl. We are going back to the core, back to what it means to be a Classy Career Girl, back to finding career fulfillment. I am so excited about today’s episode and I can’t wait to share it with you. Let’s dive into what it means to be a Classy Career Girl.
She searches for clarity and strives to build up her confidence so that she can create a fulfilling career and life. Being happy involves putting herself out there more and more to find out what makes her happy. She strives to identify her dream job and launch the career she was born to do.
Is starting a business right For You? Not for everyone.
Evaluates if it is time for a career change or a business model change
Component 3: Balanced
She Maintains her plan while making time for what is most important to her. She is not a workaholic but makes time for things that give her joy. She wants less stress in her life and is constantly trying to remove stress to go after your dreams and be happy and healthy. She knows that with less stress she will be happier and more successful too (components 1 & 2)
Moving Past The Problem
How stressed are you?
The biggest time management Mistakes That Cause Stress and Burnout
Find more time for your dreams, making herself a priority. Put on your oxygen mask before others.
What I Wish I Would Have Known – Learn from others. Women supporting women. How did she do it? Balance is not a bad word. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask other moms how they do it! What secrets do they know?
Component 4: Class
She Sets her standard for professionalism and creates your personal brand with class. She stands out and is different. She is a leader. Well respected. Confident.
Moving Past the Problem
Ask: What is Your Current Professional Reputation?
Understand the reasons you aren’t getting promoted to leadership
Component 5: Skill
She builds her personal development plan to create new opportunities for herself. She is obsessed with improving herself and growing and learning as much as she can. She invests in herself. She builds her skills, maybe starts a business or becomes a leader in her field and in her company or organization.
Moving Past the Problem
Are you growing?
Understand why you need a personal development plan
She establishes an elegant and easy wardrobe and inspiring office. She creates a work environment she loves!!! She has her own signature style that makes her happy and creates a great first impression. Her office is not a mess and it’s a place that others love hanging out in. She is respected just by her style.
Moving Past The Problem
What is your signature style
First impressions matter, for both your office and your wardrobe
Classy Career Girls are leaders and influencers. They are making a difference whether it is working for a company OR owning their own business. OR DOING BOTH! They can be ANY age and live anywhere in the world.
Not doing what other people say we should do.
Not just doing what we are good at. Doing what we are good at and we love doing.
Doing things other people think is impossible. We know all things are possible.
Some people think we are crazy.
We care less about money and more about happiness.
Fulfillment beats money every day. We also believe you can be happy, impact the world and make a lot of money.
But it’s never just about the money.
We put thought into what we put out into the world, online and offline. We have class in the words we speak, and what we post online. We are different. We stand out.
We aren’t just posting whatever online or speaking negatively behind others backs. We are professionals. We don’t put others down. We support other women. We believe in other women. Even if we are in the same fields, we know we are better together.
We know sometimes the boss isn’t right. We know that our time will come and patience and effort always wins. We are so grateful for every workday that is leading us to our goals and dreams. We know we are getting there so we don’t ever complain. Life isn’t easy. Bad things are happening to us. But we don’t give up. If we don’t like our lives, we change it. We aren’t ok with the status quo or working just for a paycheck.
I’m a Classy Career Girl. I love Mondays. I love my work.
Ready to learn more about what it means to be a Class Career Girl? Join us in one of our two online communities today. If you are ready to step into your full potential, this is your next step. I can’t wait to see you there!
A good business plan is one of the first steps in breaking free from your day job. It will help you clarify your purpose and give you a cohesive vision of the future of your business. What are your goals? Who will you serve? Why should those people want to work with you? Why is your business different? These are all questions your business plan should address.
Building a Better Business Plan
I have written about building a business plan before. It is a step that I see many people get hung up on, and I don’t want to see this hold you back! I highly suggest checking out our Business Plan Template, which will give you everything you need to get started creating a plan.
Today, I am sharing seven tips for building a better business plan. These are questions or points you should be sure to include in your business plan.
1)Make sure you include your personal story in your purpose plan.
The internet is a noisy place, and getting personal will help you break through that noise. What are some of your struggles? Why are you doing this now? Why do you want to start this business? Share who you are, which will attract the right types of clients to your business.
2) Determine the cost of people not working with you.
Potential clients may think they can figure it out on their own. You are going to have to dive in and show them the cost of not working with you or not buying your product. What is the cost of your client continuing to live like they are now? Are they going to actually lose something by not taking action and moving forward? Are they going to lose money? Are they going to miss out on their family? That’s priceless.
What is the true cost of not taking advantage of your product? This approach will help you be more passionate about what you are selling and help your clients see they really need what you have to offer.
3) Focus on one product to start.
There is so much stuff online and it’s easy to get distracted. I would recommend focusing in on one thing. You have a lot of things you can help people with, but it is important to become an expert at one thing. The market saturation is caused by people selling broad offerings.
What kind of expert do you want to be? You can always expand later on and sell additional items or services.
4) Pick one social media platform and engage.
If you pick Instagram first, you have to be commenting and networking like crazy. Spend at least an hour a day commenting and liking other people’s Instagram accounts and creating 4 posts per day. It takes a lot of work to build up your connections on Instagram.
If you are focusing on Facebook, do consistent Facebook Lives and connect with your listeners based off sharing your own stories. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once. Focus on quality, not quantity.
5) Don’t just post on social media and wait for people to come to you.
Just by putting a blog up, they aren’t automatically going to come. YOU have to be the one to actually go get them. You have to be out there engaging with others. Don’t blog and hope they come. Aim to build a connection. Ask questions and engage with your audience.
6) If you are providing a service, individual coaching is a great place to start in the beginning.
In the beginning, individual coaching is important because you can charge a higher fee, so it’s a quicker pathway to quitting your day job. You will learn so much, including how to create your systems and how to identify what your client’s frustrations are. If you have more time to earn a higher income, you can start selling a low priced course or membership site. It’s going to take a lot longer and you’ll have to sell a lot more products if you have a lower ticket item.
7) If you get on the phone with someone, your conversion rate will increase.
Try to simplify your revenue targets and put a target together for next month. What is doable to get you to the $6,000 per month? How can you make that happen as quickly as possible? Do the math. If you want to make $5,000 per month, you just need 12 people to pay you $500 per month or 24 people paying you $250 per month. It’s up to you and how quickly you want to grow this.
If these tips help you, I would love to hear about it! Share your success on Instagram and be sure to tag @classycareergirl!
Today, we have an exciting episode! If you haven’t already, follow the #mystartupstory online. It is a movement where women share how they started their business. I love this movement, I usually share mine every year. If you are looking for a way to build brand awareness, this is a fantastic place to start.
Because of online noise today, it is essential we start communicating our brand story online. We want to make sure our content is true to us, and it is meaningful and authentic. To do this, we create startup stories online.
The #MyStartupStory Challenge will help you get clear on your mission, attract the right clients, and stand out in your industry. This is all about connection because people want to connect with you because they can clearly see your “why” behind what you are doing.
Keep in mind, the messaging here is not about champagne on the beach, but the real-life reasons why you do what you do and why it matters so much. Share your goals, your dreams, and what life looks like for you.
This will give you seven days of material to post on your social media accounts to raise brand awareness.
Day 1: Where do you create? Where do you work? What do you love about where you work right now?
Day 2: What made you want to start your business? What inspired you to start your business? What was that moment you decided to commit to your business no matter what?
Day 3: What is your vision for your business? This will get people excited about where you are going. What does life look like when you reach that goal? What impact do you want to make in the world? What legacy do you want to leave?
Day 4: What roadblocks have you faced? What has been the toughest day so far as an entrepreneur? When did you want to give up and what did you do instead? Did anyone help you get past that roadblock?
Day 5: What is a typical day in the life for you? What are some rituals and habits of your day? How do you make time for your dreams?
Day 6: What do you want to accomplish in the next 3-5 years? What impact do you want to make in your market? How many lives do you want to change?
Day 7: Why do you want to work? What motivates you to start your business? Why do you want freedom and flexibility?
So, here is the challenge! Share your #MyStartupStory on social media! Let people connect with you and learn about YOU! Share who you are and let people get to know you better.
Don’t forget! June 3rd marks the relaunch of Classy Career Girl podcast. I am excited to give you a bit of a behind the scenes look at what makes a Classy Career Girl. I really hope you will download and listen to that episode, I am so excited about it!
Today, I want to share my process for launching a new product, course, or business. Over the years, I have used this business launch plan dozens of times to keep myself, and our team organized and actually make it to launch!
The two people I have learned a TON from on launching are Stu McLaren and Jeff Walker. Check them out if you want a deeper dive!
How to Create a Business Launch Plan in Just 3 Hours
Ready to get started? Here is how I created my 90-day launch plan! It is just three steps and generally takes me around three hours to do. It is short and sweet, which makes it easy to implement.
Step 1: Create a NEW Google Calendar
Pick a 3-month timeframe for your launch, then create a calendar only for your launch. This took me 30-45 minutes.
First, plan out your Phase 5, which is the fulfillment of your product. Set dates for calls and for fulfilling your product. Focus on WOWing your members. Host a welcome week or new member orientation. Also, set aside times for any Fast Action bonus dates you’ll provide.
Then, set dates for Phase 4, which is your actual launch when the cart opens. I suggest choosing a launch week that is slow in your personal life. Set your Phase 4-7 launch dates first, then set other dates for launch week like live streams, webinars, FB lives, etc.
Phase 3: This is stage is about building a relationship by giving away great free content. Pick the 1-2 weeks before your pre-launch. This is your free stuff which is valuable, but also sets the need for your product.
Show them that you know their frustrations and goals, and you have a solution. Tell them the date your cart will open. I do a 4-part video series, but it could be a series of webinars or FB Lives. Whatever it is, you are seeding your product and service and making your audience really want it so they will jump on it when it finally becomes available.
Phase 2: This is four weeks pre-pre-launch. During this time, I work on list building, and building relationships through FB Lives by doing how-to training and answering questions. This is when you’ll want to showcase studies of people getting the success your market wants. Make sure to email your list every week.
Phase 1: This is beginning when people really get to know YOU! You’ll share your values and beliefs. You’ll also share what you feel passionate about. You can be yourself here! YAY! This phase is also for four weeks. Share what you stand for. Connect. Be vulnerable. Build relationships. Do weekly videos being yourself and email your list once per week.
Step 2: Set Up Tasks Associated with Your Launch Calendar in Asana
This part took me 1 hour.
Create a new project for this launch in Asana. Inside the project, make a task for every single thing you need to do in your launch over the next three months. Details matter here. Get it out of your head and into Asana.
What videos do you need to record? What blog articles or emails do you need to write? What lead magnets do you need to create? What FB Lives do you need to do? What pictures do you need to be designed? What sales pages do you need to create?
You can worry about the topics of FB Lives and lead magnets later. This is really getting the big picture project plan done as quickly as you can.
Step 3: Delegate All tasks in Asana to the Appropriate Person and Assign a Deadline
This took me 1 hour.
Delegate all tasks to people and give real deadlines.
Give yourself the time and space to provide quality stuff. Give yourself early deadlines while looking at your Google calendar, so you have wiggle room if you need to delay things. For instance, if you plan to launch your list build on May 1st, get it done a week ahead of time.
That’s it!! Now it’s time to execute.
Every Sunday when I plan out my week, all I do is check out my calendar in my launch project in Asana and see what I need to get done that week. I check things off as I go, and this is how I stay on top of what needs to get done in prep for launch time.
I really want to thank everyone who has been joining us over in the Classy Career Girl Network! It is so incredible to see how many of you jump in to help members who have questions. Thank you for all you do. If this plan helps you, I would love to hear about it! Share your thoughts and experiences on Instagram and let me know what works for you. Make sure you tag me @classycareergirl and share your biggest takeaways!