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Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! I’m thrilled to welcome Lela of Selway Studios here. You’ll quickly learn why she’s just an amazing human and one of my favoritest of people. This one for all the Professional Moms out there!

Why did you decide to work with me, a creative career coach?

A little over two years ago my marriage unexpectedly ended. Because of many moves and mothering I had never established a career. As with any trauma, I was trying to figure out how to deal with the pain. I had the added stress of knowing I needed to find a way to support myself financially. For a long time, I had been searching for something more — for what I wanted to be when I grew up (not kidding, that’s how I worded it). When I came across the “When I Grow Up Coach” website, I knew I had to contact you. To be honest, I was scared. I didn’t know what I could possibly do and had so many insecurities. The unknown can be so frightening until we face it head-on. After our consultation call, I still had doubts, but you were so encouraging and enthusiastic. You had a sense of who I was and my potential. Your confidence in me helped boost my own confidence.

What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?

I was working as a professional mom, but unfortunately, that doesn’t pay the bills. And, while it is incredibly fulfilling, there was an empty space that needed to be filled with something for me. And, as the kids grow older they need me less and in different ways. I have more time and energy to discover and fulfill my needs and dreams.

What was your biggest takeaway from our time together?

I’ve learned to give myself grace and celebrate my victories, no matter how small. Yes, you work as a creative career coach, but you are so much more! You’ve helped me to find and believe in my dreams again. You’ve helped me believe in myself again.

Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current business?

No, I knew that if I wanted this to work I needed to really go for it.

What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?

Take that step, no matter how daunting it seems, take it! No matter how small and insignificant it seems, take it! Small steps lead to bigger steps and more confidence. You can do this!

What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!

My current goals are to continue to build a body of work to share and sell, get a shop up and running on my website, and to consistently blog about my journey. Working on my art and blogging are more than just about a business, they also nourish my soul, and hopefully touch others.

I also have a feeling in my gut that there is more to all of this… a way that I may be able to support other women who find themselves in a situation similar to mine. (And, gulp, I don’t think I’ve said that out loud before!) Whether or not this happens is ok. I’m open to growing with this adventure wherever it takes me.

Want to work with me one-on-one like Lela? I have just 3 spots for an April start, but applications are only open to those on my waitlist. Get the details and sign on up right here.

The post Client Case Study: Lela Rohrer Stech appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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My collaborations are kaput.

In the spring of 2015, branding coach Tiffany Han, graphic designer Erin Cassidy and I launched It’s Business Time, a 6-month program that walked its participants through the discovery and launch phase of their business. We ran it once a year for three years, and it was a solid money-making offer, as well as one I had lots of fun running with my friends.

In the summer of 2016, career coach Laura Simms and I launched 90 Day Business Launch, a program that took the jumbled What and How of the participant’s dream business, found the intersection of what they wanted to offer and what was marketable, and gave them a detailed business plan. It included a 3-month Launch League to offer guided help, coaching, and support through launch day. It was my biggest money-making program for 2017, and Laura and I were killing it when it came to writing really detailed, on-the-nose plans. We didn’t have 1 participant ever tell us we missed the mark in 46 plans. 

And yet: Tiff, Erin and I decided that the last round of It’s Business Time that ended last September would be our last.

And then: Laura said this round of 90 Day Business Launch needed to be her last.

And here’s the thing: It’s all amicable. It’s all okay. It’s all exactly right.

On the surface, this makes no sense. The participants were showing up, and we loved working with them all. Seeing their ideas go from a tiny seed to real, tangible businesses was – and is! – extremely satisfying.

These offers were making real money, with the potential to grow.

The programs were aligned with our business missions and made sense under our individual and collective umbrellas.

But something had felt off.

With It’s Business Time, we were poised in 2017 to take it up to 3x as many participants (and money) as we had previously. Now that we had the experience and data from 2 years of running the program, we re-jigged the structure so we could drop the price and welcome more people while being confident they’d get the same results. Our launch for this program was intense, and left us totally depleted and exhausted – the opposite of the energy we want to feel around our business. 

In addition to the launch prep, the 6-month timeline of the program meant we couldn’t put energy towards other offers and products that had started coming into focus for each of us individually since we’d started the program.  We were all craving a different path for ourselves,  and agreed that it was best to put It’s Business Time to bed.

I learned so much from Laura’s decision with 90 Day Business Launch, which I agreed with but wouldn’t necessarily have been brave enough to pull the trigger on. She’s making big changes to her business, and the work we were doing here would take her away from her own business goals. I could say the same, and yet I prioritized the safety blanket the program provided instead of going all in on the new direction my business is going.

But Laura’s decision made me look at a hard truth: Because we wanted to do all we could to lead all 10 of our clients to a 90 day business launch, we added more and more value to each round. While we loved raising the success rates of our participants, we realized that we added dozens of hours to this program that we didn’t account for. Although this was a financially successful program overall, we were losing money on our time, and couldn’t find the grey area without putting in dozens of planning and execution hours that we don’t have.

Initially, we were planning to close up shop after our current participants launch on April 4th. But because Laura told me I could run this on my own, I started wondering how I could make this work for me. What would need to change so I can still deliver these results to my clients, but in a framework that works for my preferences, mission and goals?

I came up with something totally dynamic and next-level for me, and I ran it by Laura. She gave me her blessing, and I’ll move forward to pick up 90 Day Business Launch on my own starting this spring.

And now, as Tiffany said to me the other day: “This is the beginning of the birth of THE MICHELLE SHOW! I can feel it!”

I can, too. My Dear Future Me letter is coming true, and I just keep breathing through the fear and the excitement.

Things here are evolving, and I’m ready. I’m standing on my own two feet as a business owner, focusing on an abundance mindset and all the proven results I have behind me as a creative career coach since 2008.

And now, I proudly announce my new solo program, Discover Your Dream Biz.

This is where I know I can help multi-passionate, creative women who want to be business owners clarify what the heck they’d actually offer. I’m (finally!) able to do it now in the space between a $99 on-demand class and a $4k+ one-on-one coaching program.

Click here to learn more, and quick. Applications will be open through Friday, but as I’ll be accepting them on a rolling basis and spots are super limited, it might not last that long. I can also confidently say that the price won’t be this low again.

With a deep breath, I can stand here and say that there is nobody like me doing this work in this way. I’m insanely thrilled to add a program like this to my business offerings.

Honestly, it’s about damn time.

The post On voluntarily giving up $67k, and what’s next appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! I can’t believe I haven’t profiled Kate here! A full-time project manager, she’s now queen of the side hustle at The Efficient/Creative. If you’re busy telling yourself that you can’t figure out the What and How of your dream business and work with your ideal clients in a year’s time, Kate’s here to prove you wrong.

Why did you decide to work with me, a creative career coach?

I wanted to work with a career coach because I knew that I wasn’t happy at my job but I wasn’t sure where I might be happy long-term and I wanted some professional guidance. I’ve held a LOT of jobs since my first job at 16 in a lot of different industries. I’m definitely one of those “multi-passionate” people, but I was tired of bouncing around and I wanted to find what felt like a legitimately good fit. My only real “must-have” was the need to work with creative people or in a creative industry. 

When I was researching career coaches, I was concerned that a “traditional” coach [that is, a coach who didn’t target creative people and industries] wouldn’t really understand or honor that creative need. When I found you, though, I could definitely see myself in your niche. It was clear that honoring multi-passionate, creative women is SO important to you.

What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?

When we started working together, I was a full-time Project Manager for a small company. I’m thankful for my time there because it gave me a good base for growing my skills (and honing in on what I wanted and didn’t want for my own business).

What was your biggest takeaway from our time together?

It’s amazing to think about it, but less than one year after our first session, I’m running my own freelance Virtual Assistance and Project Management business (The Efficient/Creative). I’ve got a fantastic, growing client base that’s full of people I LOVE working with. I’ve been so grateful for your guidance and enthusiasm. There’s no way that I would be where I am now if I hadn’t worked with you.

Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current business?

The business itself went through a couple of brief iterations where I was trying to find a workable business model. I think a year ago, those sorts of bumps would have felt like failures and they might have set me back emotionally more than they do now. Now, I really see those as part of the process of building your own business. Working with other women in similar stages of business development through your former client groups has helped that growth. We work together to keep each other accountable, but also to remind each other when we need to show ourselves grace and compassion.

What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?

There is room for everybody at this giant table of opportunity. It doesn’t matter that there are a gazillion other virtual assistants on the planet; I’m not targeting the same people as all those other VAs. And keeping that ideal client in mind impacts every other aspect of the job. When I know that I really want to work with women who are artists, crafters, or creative entrepreneurs, I can speak directly to them with my website, my marketing materials, etc., and we will find each other. So that’s my tip: don’t be afraid of how “saturated” your market might be; figure out who YOU are speaking to and speak directly to them.

What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!

I’m crazy excited about what 2018 is going to hold for my business! I’ll have new openings for ongoing clients in the next few weeks, PLUS I’m aiming to launch my first training program, “Project Management 101 for Creatives” in late Q2! I’m really excited about that; I think there are a lot of creative people out there who feel like they can never finish what they start. They get overwhelmed by planning or just think that developing a process inhibits their creativity. I want to show people how legitimately fun, creative, and simple it can be to map out a process and ALWAYS be able to reach your goals.

Are you interested in working one-on-one with me? Those on the waitlist will get an email TODAY that gives you first dibs on those spots AND my brand new Discover Your Dream Business program. Sign up here – you got nothing to lose & your dream biz to gain!

The post Client Case Study: Kate Hutcheson appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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I get crazy when I hear “Leap & the net will appear” when it comes to quitting your job and working on your biz full-time.

You’re a grown-up. You have a roof to keep over your head, insurance to think about, a lifestyle to maintain (no, I do NOT want to live with 5 roommates or eat Ramen every night thankyouverymuch), and possibly kids to feed and clothe and entertain (how do they grow so fast?!).

Grown-ups don’t need to jump off cliffs, literal or proverbial. Grown-ups can clarify what’s needed for them to feel as confident and comfortable as possible when it comes to giving their notice and becoming an entrepreneur – and then make a plan to get there.

If you want to find your Quitting & Launching dates in just 2 hours – along with exactly what you need to get there based on my experience & 9 years of coaching – then grab my on-demand workshop before it goes in the vault tomorrow.

And if you’re one of those grown-ups that don’t ask for help? Stop it. Make a hard thing easy for once, ‘k?

The post Leave Your Job & Launch Your Biz in 2018 – available through 2/1 only! appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! Becky is a multi-passionate to a tee, with 18 years in corporate America, 10 years as a yoga teacher and going on 3 years as a certified coach! Originally from Kentucky, she now lives in multiple locations and has a business that travels with her. I can’t wait for you to get insight into her journey!

Why did you decide to work with me, a creative career coach?

I’ve been creeping on you… I mean following and admiring your work from afar for years. I’ve taken your online classes and gained so much insight from your teaching that it lead me to want to work with you 1 on 1. Last year, for your own birthday, you offered a birthday deal (which I just loved the idea) which I applied for. I quickly got a response that you wanted to connect. The timing was perfect as I was getting ready to end my 18 years corporate America “gig” as a result of the division of the company shutting down. I’ve always had a side hustle which involved teaching yoga and coaching. It was time for me to start bridging the gap from side hustle to full-time Coaching and Consulting. So, we got to work! 

What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?

As I mentioned, I was just in the midst of transitioning from my 18-year financial services career. During my career, I worked on the front lines, management, HR, and most recently, project management. The organization I was a part of had spent the last 3 years winding down the business in preparation to close down the division. Luckily, it wasn’t a surprise to me, so I spent the last few years preparing to transition from my career and towards my passion. 

What was your biggest takeaway from our time together?

I’m excited to say that we’re still working together, so I’m sure I’ll continue to gain insight. But, so far, my biggest takeaway is that we have to achieve measurable results – not just dollars. People will seek our services because they relate to us, but they will return as clients and sing our praises when we can ensure they gain measurable results. This totally resonates with me because, in my past life, I can attribute my success to identifying goals that led to measurable and sustained results.

Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current business?

Nope – I went straight from my corporate role and into Executive Coaching as a contractor and now I’m starting my own Coaching & Consulting company. I’m really enjoying seeing first-hand how I’m making a difference in my clients’ lives. I’m also excited to be able to bring my experience and skills to expand my coaching services to include consulting. I thrive on having a variety of projects going on as it keeps me challenged and engaged. 

What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?

Trust the process and focus on progress over perfection. I’ve still had some growth to do on both of these, but we all have to remember that we are all works in progress…some of us are further along than others.

What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!

There is so much on the horizon for my business! I’ve just now launched my website and will soon launch a blog and podcast where I’ll be inviting my husband to partner with me. My husband is an executive with one of the top financial institutions in the country and comes with 20 years of leadership experience. I’m excited to offer our clients insights from two different perspectives. I’m trying to have him come over full-time, but we’ll keep you posted on the progress. In the meantime, I’ll have to use his services part-time until he’s ready to retire. I’ll continue to offer Coaching sessions and be adding Consulting services as we grow. As part of my initial website launch, I’ll be offering a 30% discount to the first 5 clients which sign up for any of my services.

The post Client Case Study: Becky Arce appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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Want to invent a job that’s just for you? Listen up.

Every day I wake up and I think three things: 1. I have to pee. 2. What do I have to get done today? 3. How lucky am I that I get to do what I love? 

Then, usually, I think about my incredible clients who took the brave and awesome steps towards finding or creating the business of their dreams. 

Through my work as The When I Grow Up Coach, I’ve had the unique opportunity to watch careers form where there was never once a career before. I’ve seen clients design their own perfect, beautiful nichés in industries that are meaningful to them, and that made me think of these truly inspiring women. 

Andi took her background in theater and killer interpersonal skills and became a Creative Communications Consultant.

Molly took her passion for writing and her quirk of enjoying online dating (for real) and became an Online Dating Profile Writer.

Inge took her dream (and gift!) of helping people find exactly what they’re looking for and became a Shopping Sleuth.

And they’re here to tell you that not only can you do it too, you can do it totally different and have it work better for YOU.

Here is epic career inventing advice from women who have done it themselves. Seriously.

Andi Fairbanks Creative Communications Consultant – Idea Champ

On her “a-ha” moment:
I can’t say that there was a specific “a-ha” moment, as Oprah says – it was more of an evolution. I was volunteering as an ambassador for a running program while I finished my master’s degree (I thought I was going to be a corporate trainer – SNORE), and the woman who runs it asked me to help with an adult education project, and then with some social media outreach. It was fun and I used all the skills I love to use. I started finding more opportunities, sometimes paid a bit, sometimes volunteer because I liked doing it. A little voice quietly began asking me “how come I can’t just do this?”. That voice started screaming when I got laid off from my corporate job.

On some of the unexpected challenges:
I think everyone expects that it’s hard work to find clients and stay motivated, but what you might not realize is how hard it is to explain what you do to others…and sometimes it’s hard to explain it to yourself! I recommend getting an elevator pitch down solid ASAP, and revisit it weekly. Michelle has a great formula for this, it saved me from throwing in the towel over and over.

It’s also a constant internal struggle to not say, you know what – I can make so much more money doing x, y, or z, even though I hate x, y bores me, and z would require 2 more years of school and loans. You gotta fight it every day.

On self-motivation:
I always ask myself, what do I have to lose? If you have a good escape plan and your finances are solid, there is no reason to not do this. I always go back to when I was 17 and wanted to go to theatre school. Sure, I could have made a different, safer decision – but I would never have known if I could have been successful, and I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I also often give myself what I call the “year out” – if, in a year, I hate this and I’m miserable, I’ll stop and do something else. But – if I don’t try it, in a year, I’ll still be wondering if I should have tried it.  

On the surprisingly easy stuff:
The technical stuff, like getting a domain name, creating a website, and deciding how to track your time and money is pretty easy. Perfecting them and keeping up with it is harder.

On the change of responsibilities since job inception:
I tested out several job titles before settling on Creative Communications Consultant, but to be honest, I don’t even remember them anymore! Once I settled on that one, it felt so right that I never thought twice about it again. It’s open-ended but sounds official and makes people lean in and ask, “Oh, what’s that?”

My responsibilities change with my clients’ needs and what I decide I’m willing to do! That’s the best part. I do a lot of social media posts that combine text and simple graphics, I write emails, I moderate Facebook pages, and as often as possible I plan outreach events and celebrations. Everything I do is based on my education in theatre and adult education – I feel that combination is what gives me my flair for effective creative communications. I’m still early in this journey, so I will still take on some menial tasks like data entry if they are in a pinch, but I know as my business grows I won’t do that anymore.

On what she would change if she could:
Always, always, I’d be more organized and less of a procrastinator – but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m enjoying nurturing my own interests and learning more every day.

Molly Quigley Online Dating Profile Writer

On her “a-ha” moment:
Working with Michele, she drew it out of me.  I wanted to write for a living and get paid, but having come from a life in retail management, I had no writing portfolio or experience.  But I could sell. So, why not try to sell others and promote them? This way I got paid to write while I chased other writing jobs. And Michelle was the best cheerleader.

On some of the unexpected challanges:
In some ways, it’s fun to think outside the box and certainly, your idea becomes a novelty as people introduce you at parties, etc.  You can have a great idea, but your greatest challenge will probably be getting people to know about you and your services. The marketing never ends in this role.

On self-motivation:
What do I have to lose? I was not afraid to fail. But people are, and it keeps them stagnant.

On the surprisingly easy stuff:
Owning what I did.  I thought I needed credentials to market myself as a dating profile writer, but, as Michelle coached me, I realized, all of this was in my head.  I was an English major, I could write and I could sell. No one expected me to be anything other than what I said I was.

On the change of responsibilities since job inception:
I work full time now for a corporation handling all their corporate gifting.  It is the best job I have ever had.  But I would not be half as good at it if I had never started this business because I know how to market my services.  I still write profiles and taught a private class just the other night for 6 ladies.  I love helping others find love.

On what she would change if she could:
My biggest piece of advice would be to have a job while doing the other job.  I was lucky that I had a husband to support me quitting a job and working on this one.  But then, I was constantly waiting to see when I would get a client, when this, when that. I know this much about myself now, I would have worked twice as hard if I was working, even part-time.   The years I hustled through building this business were the most character and confidence building of my life.

Inge Geleyn Shopping Sleuth – Thoughtful Gesture

On her “a-ha” moment:
I started thinking about a gift idea service ten years ago. My initial idea was providing people and businesses with book gift ideas, completely tailored to their family and friends’ or their customers’ reading tastes. And while I did work on a few book gift related projects, I quickly realized that the revenue model for that initial business concept wasn’t realistic. I put everything aside for some time, while continuing to work as a freelance translator and editor, but never stopped thinking and dreaming about starting a business that would allow me to do what I love (and do) best: helping people find things.

With the help of Michelle and Laura, I expanded on my original idea last year, and decided that I could create a niche for myself specializing in gift ideas for people who want to show their love or appreciation through thoughtful gifts but don’t have the time or talent to find them themselves. And that’s how Thoughtful Gesture came about!

On some of the unexpected challenges:
The biggest one for me: The enormous freedom that comes with literally being able to start from scratch. It’s a huge advantage for sure (and I’m over the moon that I get to to this), but it can also feel overwhelming. My “sleuthing skills” are my main talent, and I have lots of extra ideas that I want to explore in the future (e.g. help clients shop for decor, planning memorable experiences and events, organize shopping tours…). I want to do it all!-) But to get the business up and running, I realized I needed to narrow things down and focus on one aspect at a time. With a new business concept especially, telling people I can do all those things, would have muddied the water, and made explaining how the business works extra complicated.

On self-motivation:
For me, the turning point came in 2016 when my Papa passed away. The death of a loved one really does put things in perspective, and it made me ask myself some hard questions. I was 45 years old, and yes, circumstances were not ideal, but what exactly was I waiting for?! So I said to myself: “Alright, you’ve had this idea in your head for 10 years now, high time to give it your all and see if you can make it work.”

It’s funny, by the way: Just before I started writing to you this morning, I came across this Doris Lessing quote on Twitter that sums it up nicely: “Whatever you are meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

On the change of responsibilities since job inception:
I only just launched Thoughtful Gesture in November 2017, so not yet, no. I’m sure things will evolve, but at the moment I’m a one-woman show, and pretty much do everything myself, except for the bookkeeping because I was already working with an accountant for my translation business.

On what she would change if she could:
I would have started looking around for a business coach or some kind of business launch programme with built-in accountability much, much sooner. And I’m not just saying that because I participated in Michelle and Laura’s 90 Day Business Launch programme!-) For me, the objective input of an “expert outsider” was invaluable. When you’ve been working intensively on your business for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in the same old thought patterns and just no longer see that there might be other options, or a different way to do certain things.”A second pair of eyes” got me unstuck and gave me loads of extra motivation. It also helped me tremendously with better communicating exactly what it is that I do (especially important because I was creating a new service that people weren’t yet familiar with), with coming up with a solid first offer, getting a better idea of how to market the business etc.

If I had done this sooner, it wouldn’t have taken me 10 years to go from dream to reality!-)

Last day to save 40% on my Leave Your Job & Launch Your Biz in 2018 workshop in celebration of my 40th birthday!

The post Tips On Inventing A Job From Women Who Have Done It appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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I’m 40 today.

You’ll find none of a mid-life crisis here, or a freak-out when it comes to getting older.

Instead, I immensely feel one thing: Gratitude.

I’ve made it. I should be so lucky to be in mid-life right now. I’m glad I’m alive, cancer-free, and on the cusp of a breakthrough year.

I can feel it.

There’s part of me that feels like I’ve lived many lives up until now. There was my Performer Life, my NYC Life, my Coaching Life, my Mama Life, my Cancer Patient & Survivor (& Patient & Survivor) Life.

In all those lives wrapped up in 40 years, I figured I had some lessons to jot down.

Here are a neat 40, one for each year:

1. A gay man will not change for you. (This is a lesson my Mom and I learned together from a silly TV movie we watched years ago. It always comes to mind when I think of lessons I’ve learned.)

2. Going after your dreams is always worth it.

3. Your dreams are allowed to change, and you are allowed to change with them.

4. Nobody will be disappointed in you. You are loved and supported unconditionally.

5. You are a fighter, stronger than you can even imagine.

6. There is life after cheese.

7. Green smoothies are not disgusting.

8. Playing with Ramona solves everything.

9. Everything makes sense in hindsight.

10. You are always of choice.

11. You will fuck up. The important stuff happens afterwards.

12. There is no failure, only learning.

13. Coming at things with a sense of play and experimentation is always a good idea. Always.

14. You can be a million-dollar business owner and TED speaker and best-selling author, if you want. If you don’t, that’s OK, too.

15. Compassion is key.

16. The things you do are not who you are.

17. Once you’ve found the What, you can always find the How.

18. Baby steps build the strongest foundation.

19. Your career can be an And instead of an Or.

20. Owning a business can be more stable than having a traditional job.

21. Making things ease-y and fun and simple is not a shortcut.

21. Busy does not equal productive does not equal successful.

22. You don’t need to work harder, but smarter.

23. Yes, it really can be as simple as not doing what you don’t want to.

24. A “no” can be kind, and doesn’t need a made-up excuse.

25. For the love of all that’s holy, put your phone away.

26. You make a difference.

27. You are enough, although you’ll have to remind yourself of it, often.

28. No matter how many scars you have and how much of your body has been removed or replaced (I mean, really), you are not broken.

29. It’s important to be your own best friend.

30. Do your best to operate from abundance.

31. Good health is everything. Everything.

32. Dream and plan and scheme – and then offer it up to the Universe.

33. There’s something to all the woo stuff.

34. The more vulnerable you are, the more you’ll feel connected.

35. Raise money and fight for a cause you care about. It’s a pride unlike any other.

36. It all comes back to boundaries.

37. Being a business owner is the biggest self-development tool ever.

38. You know your shit. You belong here.

39. Get quiet and ask your intuition. It knows what to do.

40. Ask for help. It’s all around you.

To celebrate my 40th, I’m offering 40% off Leave Your Job & Launch Your Biz in 2018: A 2-hour Planning Session through Tuesday. I’d love it if you learned all the lessons first-hand that come from being a business owner. Go grab it now.

The post 40 Lessons at 40 appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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Wanna check out my other YEAR by the numbers post? Follow the links in last years post for 2011-2016!

I love this exercise because it makes the visual learner in me so happy. Here’s what a coaching biz can look like almost 8 years into being full-time. Hope it helps, teaches and inspires you (but seriously, if you’re comparing & despairing your aspiring/baby biz to mine, stop it!)!

The post 2017 By the Numbers appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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This is the seventh time I’ve written a Dear Future Me letter. You can read the others from the links back on last year’s letter, and the idea behind the Dear Future Me letter from the amazeballs woman I stole it from (hi Jess Lively!) right here. While I usually keep part of my letter private, this year I’m publishing it all. (Gulp)

January 1, 2019

Dear Future Me,

The fear and excitement you root for your clients to feel and encourage to follow? I know you’ve been feeling it recently – equal parts confidence and trust alongside terror and insecurity.

There’s a simple explanation for this, Michelle: it’s the year of your Big Dreams. I know that you suspect this, but you’ve been hiding from it, denying it, shying away from your Shine.

No more.

It’s time to own and step into your legacy work. It’s time to step into your own spotlight, solo, and reach those big goals.

Your own continually sold out program – and the book deal that’ll come from it? You’ve queued it up this year real good, selling out your discovery group* each time you ran it, getting the results you had hoped for while not compromising the relationships you seek from all your work and projects. The money it brought in this year can be doubled in 2019.

Honing your message and making the subsequent changes to your brand, copy and offers was a huge game changer. The fear you had of who and what you’d lose was inconsequential compared to those who did find you and became more confident more quickly that you were the right person to help them.

It boils down to this: The fulfillment you feel at work is directly related to how much money you make.

Don’t be afraid to hire more help.

Don’t be afraid to keep working with consultants.

Don’t be afraid to invest in a full-on photo shoot.

Don’t be afraid to limit – or totally stop – blogging.

Don’t be afraid to say No to anything outside your zone of genius.

Teaching + Speaking + Writing (programs and books) + Coaching alongside Compassion + Abundance + Vulnerability + Shine are the pillars of your 2018 success, both personally and professionally.

Being cognizant and shifting to this mindset changes your whole life, because it changes how you feel, act, and respond each day.

You know how to be still, sans guilt or shame.

Most days feel peaceful and calm.

Your body’s fuel and strength has become a priority.

Your mortality doesn’t shake you to your core.

You’re more present and, therefore, grateful (or is it vice versa?).

You’re kinder and gentler to your family.

You treat yourself as your own best friend.

You know, feel, trust and follow that you do and are enough.

You hear your intuition clearly now, and allow it to be your biggest guide.

You are now 40. The cancer has not returned. Your hair is exactly how you like it. Your loves remain your loves. Your relationships have strengthened. You’re easier to forgive others and yourself.

2018 Michelle has been cracked wide open. 

2018 Michelle has decided to leave the nest.

2018 Michelle has flew.

Love, Current Michelle

*Psst, reader! Want to be the first to know about this discovery group? Sign up for my one-on-one waitlist and you’ll get first crack at it next month!

The post Dear Future Me (2018) appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! At 57, Colleen is a newly-launched Forgiveness Coach that already has a TEDx talk & a self-published memoir under her belt! This Client Case Study is especially for those of you who have told yourself that it’s too late to have a grown-up business you love. Colleen is doing it, and you can, too!

Why did you decide to work with me, a creative career coach?

I am an independent person, so when I realized I wasn’t launching my coaching business as I wanted, I had to get real with myself. I was giving a lot of thought to being a coach, but I wasn’t really doing the work. I couldn’t land on a niche. I tried to talk myself out of needing a niche. But without a niche, it was a challenge do design my website without anyone to target it to. Marketing was difficult because I didn’t have anyone specific to market to. Also, I was filled with doubt about this path. I was really having trouble owning the validity of myself as a coach as the viability of coaching.

I approached another coach to work with me and, after telling her about myself, she said, “My strengths lie elsewhere. You need to work with Michelle. She’s the one who can help you launch.”

So I took one of your free webinars about how to set myself up to leave my old job for a new one. I liked how you broke down the steps; I liked your supportive nature—and I liked your spunky personality. I knew you would bring joy to the process!

What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?

I was, and still am, a part-time executive director of a tiny non-profit that supports children and families who are grieving a death. I’ve been in the non-profit field for 30 years now and it’s in my blood.

What was your biggest takeaway from our time together?

What? You want me to pick only one? Impossible, Michelle!

First, you brought into the light what I had trouble seeing for years: my niche. I’ve written about this niche, I did a TEDx talk about this niche, but I’ve tiptoed around it, unable to own it as mine. It has been huge that you’ve helped me to embrace being a Forgiveness Coach.

Second, I felt seen. Owning that I’m a Forgiveness Coach is huge for me, but to you, it was a no-brainer. You didn’t bring in the judgements that I did. You saw me for who I am. I remember trying to put on the brakes—“No, no, wait. I can’t do that!” and you just kept me going. Thank you for helping me to accept that I have this important work to share.

Third, you gently yet firmly held my toes to the fire which made me get sh*t done! Holy Moly! In just six sessions I claimed my niche, I revamped my website, I created an offer and I started working with my first client. In our initial consultation call, that’s what you said would happen in those first six weeks. I’ll admit now, I was skeptical–but I did it.

And fourth, I don’t think you ever explicitly said this, but a Titanic Take Away has been:  this is all on me. Hearing your story about being in a job that made you physically ill and how you planned and plotted on getting out is inspirational. But nobody did that but you. So you’ve been a mentor as well as a coach. Yes, we all have community and people who support us, but now I truly know that when I do the work, results happen.

Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current business?

No

What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?

Honestly? I’d tell them to invest in themselves and work with you!

But if that’s not in the cards right now, I’d suggest that they make a plan and plot out their exit strategy.

But mostly, I’d tell them to tell their Inner Critic to shut the hell up and just get on living the life they want. I’m 57 years old and I wish that I’d stopped giving my Inner Critic so much power for so long. Life is short. Do what you love.

What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!

I have a Vision Board Workshop coming up January 14th here in my small little hamlet in the farthest northwest corner of the US. I love facilitating workshops and supporting people to go inward. And, now that I’ve worked with you, I’ll be bold and proud to tell them that I am a Forgiveness Coach and let them know how they can work with me.

I’d like to offer The Forgiveness Sessions—a 10-week program that walks people through the steps of acceptance and forgiveness—to your peeps at a 33% discount. They can go to my website and put Michelle Rocks in the comments.

The post Client Case Study: Colleen Haggerty appeared first on When I Grow Up - Creative Career Coach.

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