The biggest realization I’ve ever made was that I didn’t have to sacrifice a fulfilling life OR a fulfilling career.
There’s a way to have both.
It started as a long personal journey (nearly a decade, in fact), searching for meaningful & challenging work WITHOUT having to sacrifice attending my kid’s after school activities or worrying about mentally “checking out” on the nights and weekends (for fear of what might show up Monday morning if I did).
Almost every driven working mom I know struggles between the challenge of making an impact in her career with the responsibility and desire to be present & engaged with her family. Can you relate?
Technology has done amazing things for business & life...and yet, many of us end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted trying to DO & BE EVERYTHING to EVERYONE because the to-do list, emails, etc never seem to end.
As I got closer to hitting my 40th birthday, I realized that despite reaching every career milestone I’d set for myself, the excitement of those wins lasted for shorter and shorter periods of time before the feeling of discontentment would settle back in.
The success I had worked so hard for, honestly, felt empty & I began to crave MORE than the life I was living. I wanted to do meaningful work (instead of deal with red tape, processes and work that didn’t resonate with me) AND have my career to be part of my life, but not dictate it.
Ultimately, it took two cross country moves & years of researching, job searching and racking my brain before I finally figured out why - - why I felt unsettled & lost, why I wanted more when everyone else around me seemed to be happy when I wasn’t, and why I kept chasing the next thing to try and make it better.
For years I wondered why couldn’t I just be grateful for what I had...I felt guilty & wondered if the problem was me. I finally came to realize that the problem wasn’t me -- it was that I was looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. And honestly, what I was doing wasn’t working. I grew tired of making changes only to find that they ended up being more of the same 6, 9 or 12 months down the road.
Making the decision to stop trying to “figure it out” on my own & instead seek help to finally get clarity on the RIGHT direction for my career & life changed everything.
My journey & what I discovered has been so impactful for me, that I’ve made it my life’s mission to help other women create lives where they too can have it all.
Here are a few stories of successful business women who, just like me, decided to create a new path that would allow them to have a more fulfilling career & fulfilling life. I hope they will inspire you to create your best life as well.
Meet Kristina - FROM leading sales teams TO running a business helping others get financial freedom in their lives
Kristina spent her 15 year career in wholesale sales & business development, quickly being promoted into new roles & challenges. Building relationships with others & helping her clients grow their businesses energized her, but the rest of what comes from her work no longer fulfilled her. As a mom to a six month old baby girl, taking time off on her maternity leave made it really clear that she no longer enjoyed her job.
She dreaded returning back to the long commute, the work that didn’t have meaning & feeling like she didn’t have control over her time or the work she did.
She had known for years that she wanted something “more” than this, but struggled to know what that was & how to make it happen...but something told her that if she didn’t take action NOW, she’d end up wasting years in this career and regretting the time she’d spent away from her daughter in a job that ate away at her life & didn’t fulfill her anymore.
Kristina’s love for helping people was obvious, but figuring out how to use her skills doing something new was challenging. She had so many different talents & passions that she’d spent years trying to “figure out” where she wanted to go without much progress forward.
Then we connected. Fast forward several months, Kristina’s entire life & hope for the future has changed. Long gone is the guilt & frustration of being in a career that no longer fits. Kristina has clarity on how to use her skills to create a business that gives her joy, impact & freedom by helping others. Like most, Kristina didn’t realize that the skills, knowledge and passions she’d developed through her own personal journey could be turned into a new career path that would give her financial and personal freedom.
In some ways, it was hidden in plain sight. You see, for years she’d had friends & relatives talk about how impressed they were at the strategies she used to budget & build a financial nest egg without having to give up vacations, time with friends or sacrificing their lifestyle. It came so easy to her & without a background in finance, she assumed no one would listen to her. She was wrong. Now, she has the tools, confidence & plan to help others while creating more freedom and fulfillment for herself and her family.
The cool part is that Kristina has learned how to take control & prioritize her time so that not only does she not have to worry about burning out in her current career, but she has the time to work on her new business as well, building a bridge so she can responsibly transition for herself & her family.
The best part of all? Despite all that she has going on, the changes she’s implemented have allowed her to build a stronger relationship with her husband and daughter because she is more present & much more relaxed on a day to day basis. She’s already reaping the benefits of a life aligned with her values, without having to wait until she’s fully transitioned into her new path.
Meet Lisa - FROM burned out in her career TO thriving in a new company with balance & freedom
When Lisa and I connected, she was struggling to know what the right direction was for her career. She’d spent over 15 years at the same company and had weathered multiple rounds of layoffs and increasing pressure to do more with less. By the time we connected, she was still reeling from a layoff where she’d spent the last year dealing with a toxic boss who demanded that work come first & that she do whatever it took, despite family obligations or needing to take time off to go to the doctor.
Finding the right fit for her next position wasn’t something she took lightly as she understood the importance of finding the right fit and the impact it had on her stress levels, family life and personal motivation.
Lisa, having spent her entire career in retail, in an industry that is continuing to struggle, was debating whether to change industries or change careers entirely and wanted to make sure that wherever she landed, she would be fulfilled and also be in a culture that would support her desire to be more present in her children’s lives. She wasn’t sure on the right direction & felt stuck and overwhelmed moving forward on such an important decision.
Together, we outlined the most critical factors she needed for success & fulfillment. We then determined what pieces of her job she’d enjoyed the most and how those skills could be utilized in several different industries or careers. During the process, she gained an understanding of her natural ways of working and the specific attributes she needed to look for in her next job, including the culture of the company & leadership. Once she had that foundation, it then became really simple to determine the right companies to target, how to best position her experience to the market & how to set herself up for success in the interview process.
The best part of all? The confidence & clarity she gained - knowing exactly what she was looking for, how to showcase her value to stand out in the market and how to set herself up for success when negotiating her job offer, allowed her to be targeted in her approach saving her a lot of time & energy that would have been wasted on the wrong things.
Lisa confidently went in & got the job she wanted. Today, she works for a boss who loves her collaborative approach, she’s been able to select & build the team who works under her and she has the flexibility / support to work from home several times a month so she can attend her daughter’s school events or just enjoy a day without commuting. She learned how to define fulfillment on her terms & now is reaping the benefits.
Today, women have more choices & opportunities than we’ve ever had to create the lives we want AND make a great income, whether you want to build something of your own or stay in the corporate arena. There truly is no reason to live a life of compromise & sacrifice.