Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mid Life Change: Making a Choice for Job or Business

"I don't know if I should keep looking for a job or start my own business," is a comment I hear a lot. After a lot of years in career development, I no longer view it as a choice. I believe having some sort of business is a required life skill today, whether or not you have a job or are job hunting. Why?

1) You need to have more than one stream of income.
In this age of uncertainty and sudden layoffs and change, you need a little back up even if you're positioned for a getting another job. "My Mary Kay business was just enough to keep me going with my layoff package; thank Heavens I had it," says Jody, one of my clients. Having a side business gives you a little protection and security. You can't spin your wheels "worrying" about retirement; it will shut you down. But, you can proactively do something about it.

2) You can use your side business to bolster savings and retirement accounts.
Getting a pay cut is commonplace and usually cuts into the very thing you need: your savings and retirement accounts. Your second income can keep those somewhat funded while you are waiting for things to get better or looking around for something new.

3) Developing business skills makes you more marketable.
We are in an era that is not focused on "jobs," as much as "projects," 'outsourcing," and "part time." Having a business teaches you about leading, time management, marketing, and presenting - all of which are important in the marketplace today. Also, starting to look at your work life as a business comprised of "services you are offering" is more empowering and allows you to think in terms of 2 or 3 "clients" you serve as opposed to serving only one: a boss.

4) You can eventually make more money in a business than in a job.
Robert Kiyosaki, author of best selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, says that a job is the path to the least amount of money you can ever make in a lifetime. His answer is some kind of leveraged business where you are getting commissions from other people's work.

I'm not suggesting you quit a productive job today, but that you begin by taking a talent, passion or skill and start creating some income! If you're looking for work, do the same thing!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stuck: 4 Tips to Break the"Stuck" Spell

Jeez, with the dramatic levels of change going on in the Universe today, many of us are feeling disoriented, uncertain, and exhausted from trying to figure out things that are beyond our ability to figure out. I hear the stories all the time. We don't know what to do about our work, our money, and our future. We feel immobilized as if the Economy Fairy has put us under a spell.

In other words, we feel stuck. Is there any hope to break the spell? While there's no Handsome Prince waiting nearby, here's 4 tips that have worked for clients over my 20 years of coaching:

1) Don't Rush. Understand there is always a space between Endings and New Beginnings. While it feels empty, it's a critical to re-birthing. A caterpillar cocoons before it becomes a butterfly. All things in nature follow the same process. Rather than operating from panic, allow yourself to be still. Most of us have been so over-productive most of our lives that days "doing nothing," is viewed as wasteful. Then we beat ourselves up and try to move faster.But doing nothing is actually the stage when the most creativity is occurring. Creativity and new ideas need which to ferment and breathe. Allow that process to take place as it will serve you in the long run.

2) Identify with a Vision. It doesn't have to look anything like your old life...and probably won't. But you do get to choose your Vision. Let go. Get passionate. Get imaginative. A gardener puts seeds in the soil with a vision of what it will look like come Spring. No matter how fallow your life may look now, start planting things you really want to see bloom in your life later on. Go to adult school, take internet classes, blog, and hang out with people you think are really cool even if they can't help you with business.

3) Experiment and Move. Try new stuff. Visit new places, explore different activities. Transition is the ideal time of life to experiment. You'll learn new sides to yourself (which may or may not improve your marketability) and you will become more alive. That aliveness makes you powerfully attractive to all things: other humans, opportunity and money. If you stagnate when you feel stuck, you will only feel more stuck. Physical movement and activity can change your perspective very quickly...and open you to unforeseen opportunities.

4) Get Support. Of course, I am a huge believer in group support, collaboration and masterminding. One hour of masterminding can dramatically alter your outlook because you get someone else's ideas rather than constantly recycling the same limiting beliefs over and over, and wonder why things are not changing.

Try some of these, and let me know how it goes.