*

Archive for the 'Start a business' Category

My story: how my dark nights of the soul awakened my passion and purpose

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

 

  • Do you feel trapped in a job that pays the bills but fails to give you a buzz?
  • Do you yearn for something more from your work and your life but can’t see any alternatives?
  • Have you ever been told it is unrealistic to expect job satisfaction?
  • Are you feeling uninspired, lost and uncertain about what you can offer and how you might move forward?
  • Deep down do you feel you’re too old to change, or trapped by your current circumstances?
  • Perhaps you’re a mom returning to work, or you’re like I once was—a single mom trying unsuccessfully to juggle parenting with work
  • Have you been made redundant and looking for a new job?
  • Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be ‘when you grow up.’ Or how to make a meaningful contribution as you contemplate retirement.

What if all this pain and feeling trapped could lead you to your purpose—helping others escape the career rut and create a life of meaning and fulfillment?

I truly believe that all we need to make us really happy is something to be passionate about—and helping others thrive is a passion for so many. It is for me.

If you’ve read my Mid-life Career Rescue series or any of my self-empowerment books you’ll know there was a time that I felt so unhappy at work it made me sick, but I felt I had to make that job work or I’d be fired.

I was a single mom, the only one able to support my young daughter and myself. I used to go home with a brave face, but inside I was tired and depressed. My self-esteem was so low I thought no one would hire me. I tried to go to work, grit my teeth and bear it like others did. I felt trapped, anxious and depressed.

I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. But that wasn’t what my boss wanted from me. “You could make a lot of money here,” he said. “You just need to be more selfish.”  For a while, I tried to be someone else—motivated only by money, but every day my values were compromised, and the skills I loved weren’t being used.

I was working as a consultant in one of the world’s biggest, swankiest HR and recruitment companies. Everyone thought I had it made—status, glamor, high earnings. But I hated the hours, and I hated the culture. As I shared in, Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late  my boss once threatened to smash my head in—any he had the gall to say this in an open-plan office in front of over a hundred people. No one batted an eyelid. Everyone was scared. But it was a turning point in my life and my career.

 

The Call For Change

My job started making me ill. It got so bad I got shingles, a painful virus affecting the central nervous system. My health was compremised—physcially, emotionally and mentally—and still I couldn’t leave. I felt trapped and unable to escape. My colleagues at work had similar experiences. Several people had heart attacks, and the amount of alcohol people consumed after work to numb the pain was staggering.It really was such a toxic workplace.

I needed a career rescue. In desperation, I agreed to see a career counselor. During my first session, I was asked to draw a picture. I drew a grey bird in a black cage. “The door is open, but she’s forgotten how to fly,” I told my counselor. This drawing brought tears to her eyes. Although I didn’t understand why at the time, I can see now that she felt my pain at feeling so caught and trapped by my situation.

But with her help, I found a way to fly. Through our sessions and the blend of creative and structured exercises we completed together I rebuilt my confidence and strengthened my awareness of my skills, and most importantly, I learned how to dream.

The work the career counselor did with me was so important, so vital – saving me from despair. It led me to not just finding a job I loved, but later creating one that gave me a sense of purpose.

What she taught me literally gave me my life back. Happily, I can now serve others in this way too—career counselor, life and career coach, qualified holistic energy psychologist, author and a trainer of other coaches who also aspire to make a difference in other people’s lives.

How I got started – it all begins with an idea

When I was stuck in a career trap I was inspired by the career counselor who was helping me, and I began to wonder, ‘How could I do that? How could I help empower men and women who felt like hopeless, stressed and broken as I did.’

I looked at her skills and background and asked her what it would take to be like her, and what training she would or wouldn’t recommend.

I then set out to forge my path in a similar way—training to be a counselor. I even learned the interactive drawing therapy techniques that she had used and what I’d found so liberating when she first got me to draw that bird trapped in the cage yearning to fly.

A stepping stone-role

I decided I wanted to work for myself. But I was scared. I’d never run a business before. I didn’t know if I could make it work. So, I took a role that didn’t tick all my career nirvana boxes but I knew it would give me the experience I needed. It was a Greenfield’s role starting a career counseling business for a non-for-profit Employee Assistance Program provider. They already offered personal counseling services but they wanted to expand and reach the thousands of professional men and women who were stressed by their work, or who wanted to move forward in their careers.

As I was starting this service from scratch I wanted it to be the best possible solution for people who were job stressed and desperately unhappy at work. I looked at programs which were considered ‘best practice” and interviewed a few ‘top-notch” coaches. But I felt their approach was soulless. Missing something. Too formulaic. And it wasn’t just me who felt that way. Clients of these coaches told me that they felt like sausages in a factory, they felt they were just being put through a process that cared little for their individual needs and more about the people who stood to profit.

I knew that the cookie-cutter approach just didn’t work for me. And I knew it wouldn’t work for the people I wanted to help. I knew my clients deserved better.

One glaring example of how woefully inadequate many of the other coaching systems were, was that one extremely large, extremely cash-rich, and extremely internally dysfunctional international consultancy, which specialized in providing outplacement support for people who had lost their jobs, didn’t even help them to look at their deepest interests or stop to consider what they were passionate about.

Instead, it was considered, irresponsible, setting people up for failure, a distracting focus. Yet I knew, and fervently believed, both from my professional and my personal experience, that to succeed at anything and to be truly happy it has to be something about which you care about deeply. So many of the people who had lost their jobs were naturally feel down and said they felt depressed. The organization I worked for panicked when they held the “d” work – and send these clients off for counseling to cope with their depression. But in reality, very often, they just needed someone empathetic, and skilled who could help them find hope, and provide them with practical skills to find work again.

 

Stepping-Stones to self-employment as a life and career coach

After three (not always fulfilling years) in my stepping stone job, I made the decision to quit and employ myself fulltime. But I didn’t go 1oo percent self-employed at first. I started my business on the side, working nights and weekends from my kitchen, and cafes, and some of the many rent-by-the-hour office spaces around town. That was almost 17 years ago! Things are easier now—the Internet had created so many opportunities to work when and how you want and to attract a global audience.

Are you like me? Are you like the thousands of people who have contacted me or read my books seeking help to escape a soul-sucking job and find happiness at work?

You and I are probably alike. I’m a mid-lifer who wants more from my life than to go work, grit my teeth and bear it. I want to work with joy, passion, purpose, and fulfilment—and I still want to pay the bills!

I’m grateful to say that I’ve achieved all of those desires, and more. I’ve reinvented my working life multiple times in the search for career nirvana and I’m happy to say I’ve found it.

Equally as satisfying is the fact I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned and have helped thousands of people from a myriad of diverse backgrounds and circumstances find or create work they love and enjoy their lives.

I’m the founder of an internationally successful career and life coaching business (www.worklifesolutions.nz) and the author of a vast library of personal empowerment books and programs. I enjoy what I call a career combo—coaching, counseling, training, writing, public speaking…

…and a few other creative things I do on the side. Like writing historical art-related novels, painting, and photography. And I’ve had the joy and privilege of helping thousands of people successfully reinvent their careers and lives.

I know what it’s like to feel trapped. I know what it’s like to doubt you’ll ever be able to make a change for the better. I know what it’s like to feel down, stressed and anxious. I know that in today’s world when finding work is harder than ever, finding a job you love, a job that aligns with your values and affords you a lifestyle other envy, can feel like an impossible dream.

I agree with Audrey Hepburn who once said is “impossible” is just another way to say, “I’m possible.”

Perhaps you’re like Clive who felt trapped stuck in a job that paid the bills but was low on fun, joy, challenge, and fulfillment. He was so stressed at work he burnt out and collapsed.

 

“A big draw card was the individualised approach – which just one week into training has already proved its worth! I simply wouldn’t be making the same progress if I was say, hooking into a weekly webinar with a dozen or more others and one trainer.” ~ Clive, EAP and Corporate Coach

 

He contacted me during his recovery wanting my help to become a skilled helper—a life coach able to help people experiencing what he had survived. Two years on he is thriving – well and happy in his new vocation! Clive’s passion? Helping people create lives of significance. His coaching business is inspired and inspiring—http://www.significantlives.com/

Or is your job, like Odile’s—so insecure you don’t think it will last? Her passion, empowering men, and woman to make life-affirming choices.

Do you yearn, like Sarah, for something more from your work and your life but can’t see any alternative options? Do you want something age-proof that you love so much the thought of retiring never crosses your mind?

Deep down do you feel trapped, hopeless, sick? That was me. And it has been many of my clients and the students I’ve trained and qualified as coaches. Once. But not anymore.

 

Join me in career nirvana—train to be a Rapid Transformational Coach

 

 

 

 

Are you thinking about what drives you, why you are doing what you are doing, is it making you happy, are you using your full set of skills, what can you do differently and how can you change?”

Hundreds of people, many of them mid-lifers, like you, have been rescued from unfulfilling work, changed careers and found their dream jobs by implementing the tips and strategies found in my certified coaching programs. Following the bespoke system that I designed to fast-track results worked for me—and it will work for you.

‘I dream I’m on vacation, it’s the perfect career for me.’ These lyrics from a song by the Eagles was a theme around which manifesting my perfect career centered. Clarifying my skills, values, and interests provided further focus as did confirming my life purpose and the longer-term goals I have for myself, my partner and my family.

We now live in a lifestyle property in The Bay of Islands, in New Zealand—a popular holiday destination, working from home with clients all over the world. Sometimes when I’m coaching a client over the phone I walk around the garden. It’s so much fun—work always feels like a vacation.

Here are a few of the many other benefits I’ve experienced since changing careers and working as a life coach, I can:

• Earn as much or as little as I like. There is no glass ceiling, and no mean boss telling me I didn’t make bonus this year or I don’t deserve a pay rise. I love having unlimited earning potential

• Learn and update my skills and follow my enthusiasms. Goodbye boredom and hello growth and knowledge

• Work anywhere in the world – I said goodbye to a soulless cubicle, toxic air conditioning and the daily grind of a tortuous commute

• Balance my life. When I started I was a single mom. Being able to work from home and take time off during school holidays meant everything to me

• Make a difference. I love encouraging others, I love helping people overcome obstacles, I love seeing people thrive as they follow their passion to prosperity

• Create an asset that I can grow and sell – whether that’s my business, my services or the more books and other products that I’ve added to my range of passion and purpose driven-offerings?

• Unlimited creative expression. I unleash the power of creativity and manifestation in each and every one of my sessions. Plus, I can express myself through art, writing books, photography, marketing activities and branding. So many people tell me that their jobs like creativity. Not mine! Not coaching!

Are you nodding your head? Is your heart skipping? Are you feeling excited and saying I love to have a career and life like that too?

 

My Training Is Powerful
My training is powerful. I know it is. The life I have created using this awareness is amazing. The strategies are ones I have successfully used—professionally with clients and personally during numerous self-determined or sometimes forced reinventions.

I stand by every one of the strategies you will learn here, not just because they are grounded in strong theoretical principles, but also because I have used them to create successful turnaround, after successful turnaround in nearly every area of my client’s lives and my life too.

Rapid Transformational Coaching is the culmination of all that I have experienced and all that I have learned, applied and successfully taught others for over two decades. I don’t practice what I preach; I preach what I have practiced because it gets results—FAST!

Like Nicola, who has always wanted her own business and would love to meet her soul mate. She had read my book Mid-Life Career Rescue 18 months ago while on holiday in Thailand and said it changed her life. She moved to Italy, left, what was once a dream career (Interior design), and started teaching. She’s ready for a career change again – and another move. Blending her passion for photography and décor.

In 20 minutes, I helped intensify her desire and showed her how to begin manifesting her heart’s desire in a passion journal. “I completely forgot about that,” she said. “And because I am so creative, it will work perfectly.”

It does! I should know. Everything I dreamed – including meeting my soul mate, and living in an idyllic location began in my passion journal – something I shared with Nicole and you’ll learn to facilitate as a result of completing my training.

One thing I know for certain is that your life is too important to stay in a job you hate. You have treasures buried within you—extraordinary treasures—and so do I, and so do others. And bringing those treasures to light takes faith and focus and courage and effort. It takes a willingness to answer the call for change, and people to help and support you along the way. People like me.

 

Is training with me to become a coach right for you?

 

 

Do you:

  • Love personal development and get a kick out of helping people
  • Feel excited about the idea of being your own boss
  • Want to boost your income doing something you love—with no glass ceiling and cap on salary
  • Love the idea of being able to tap into a global client base, and work anywhere at any time in the world?
  • Want an age-proof career?
  • Feel bubbling joy at the idea of receiving positive feedback from clients you have helped and knowing you’ve made a practical, inspiring difference?
  • Want expert help building a beautiful passion and purpose inspired business from someone who’s been there first?

 

Why I Developed This Course
Someone once asked me, “What was the catalyst for creating my Rapid Transformational Coaching certification courses?” In part, it was my experience with clients, but also the emails I received from people who I knew would never be able to see me professionally, and their depth of hopelessness and despair—despair that reached beyond the individual, but affected those who loved them.

Like the lady who emailed me, “No one will employ my husband because he was 55 and had been in the same job for 25 years until he was made redundant. He keeps being told that he has no skills employers would want.”

It broke my heart every time I had to reply to emails like this with, “I’m sorry we are not taking new clients at this time.” Because I knew from experience it didn’t have to be that way. I knew what he needed to learn was how to find his passion and clarify what gave him a sense of meaning and purpose, and how to sell his age and experience as an asset.

It was the experience of this man and many others like him, and the practical knowledge that on my own I could never reach all the people that needed help. It was this, and my passion to help people who wanted to be fantastic, skilled helper and who believed in the beauty of helping people live and work with passion and purpose, that lead me to share my proven, results-focused training program and systems.

As a recruitment consultant, I’ve seen first-hand how employers and recruiters can be ageist when it comes to hiring decisions. As a coach, I’ve helped people overcome this and get hired. As a trainer, I’ve helped people like you start age-proof passion and purpose inspired businesses

I’ve also seen people put self-imposed limits on what they believe is possible at their age. “Don’t you do what you love when you retire,” one 28-year-old once said to me! “I’m too old to change,” said another man in his early thirties. I’ve helped people successfully challenge those limits—and I’m proud to say that the coaches I’ve trained have too. Like Lynnie, who in her sixties has rebirthed a new career by training with me to become a certified career and life coach.

 

 

Even though I have been a midwife for 26 years, it is what I have known.  I have worked in NZ and overseas and in many challenging situations.  Stepping into a new situation and the unknown and training as a coach is both exciting and challenging as I am moving outside of my comfort zones…While looking at other education providers for coaching, I had also downloaded Cassandra’s free booklet on finding your passions (available to people who subscribe to the newsletter here www.cassandragaisford.com).  I worked through the workbook and the light dawned when I realised that none of my passions were in midwifery now.  That was ‘a light bulb moment’ or what I would call ‘a God moment’ as I had had the sense for a few years that I was been led out of midwifery.  I was filled with such a sense of peace about it that I knew it was right to contact Cassandra again.”

” You can read more of Lynnie’s story, including how she felt the fear and did it anyway, here 

 

As a career coach and counsellor helping mid-lifers reclaim their lives after redundancy, rebuild self-esteem after workplace bullying, and bounce back from the depression that staying in the wrong job can create, I felt strongly that people needed both practical and inspirational ways to reclaim their lives—and I wanted to share this passion with like-minded people from all around the world that felt the same. I’ve trained people from Brazil, America, Australia, and New Zealand…to name just a few exotic locales:)

I also believe that people need fewer check boxes and career assessment inventories and more creative, out-of-the-box thinking to help them succeed. My views resonated with many—and I was interviewed on television and on the radio about this very thing. You can check these out on my media page here >> (include link)

I have also presented my unique Passion Driven Model of career design at conferences around the world. I’m not saying these things to boast—but to reassure you that if you’re considering training with me that you’re in expert hands.

When I attended an international symposium of career practitioners in Venice, Italy, we were warned of the crisis an aging workforce presented and were told that the greatest skill career coaches needed was…

wait for it…

to help people have an imagination!

As an artist and creative soul myself, that was like candy to a child. And since then, I’ve proven over and over again, with the successes the people who have trained with me have gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, as well as rationally, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works.

In my Rapid Transformational Coaching Training Programs, I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy of life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As Oprah Winfrey said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing. You have to let desire, not fear, propel you forward. Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that is why there is so much unhappiness at work.

Setting you up for success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach (who trained with someone else) once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Twenty-five-years cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counselor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in this course, it will happen. I promise.

 

Your life Is waiting

“I’ve spent 40 years looking out of the window wishing I was somewhere else,” one of my clients told me. That’s not only depressing but also such a huge waste of talent and precious time. Life’s too short to spend days, weeks and years in a job that robs you of energy, zest, and enthusiasm.

Are you ready to make an inspired change?

We spend over 3,000 hours a year at work, and when we’re not at work we’re thinking about it. Work-related issues are major sources of stress and career unhappiness. Left unresolved they can spill over into other areas of your life, infecting your relationships with colleagues, family and loved ones.

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

You can wake up to wonderful feedback in your inbox like I do:

“A coaching session with Cassandra is like a light switch to a light bulb. My ideas were there but without that light switch I wasn’t able to see them and manifest my dream of running a holistic business from home. Straight away, Cassandra was able to get to the heart of my core values and how to put them into a dream business. I now have the sense of purpose and drive to achieve my business goals. Cassandra’s warm personality and positive approach make her a joy to work with. I recommend her to anyone who wants to unlock their personal and professional potential.” ~ Shelley Sweeney.

It was lovely feedback to have received from Shelley who I am helping build and market her Reiki business to clients—http://www.lanternreiki.co

Your legacy can be like the one I created for Mandy (and many other men and women I’ve had the privilege to help like her), who in her 50’s, after reading the book I wrote as a result of my experience as a life and career coach, wrote to me and told me how the book had changed her life:

“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down—it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months.  It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.”

And what a new life it was. Mandy packed up her old life as a disillusioned consultant and unhappy wife in New Zealand and moved to outback Australia after successfully applying for a new role. She landed a three-year contract as an Infrastructure and Assets Manager, overseeing the construction of the Art Centre and new houses, as well as the commercialization of the airport and the development of major roads.

“I wanted a new adventure and I’ve found one!” she wrote to me. “I’m excited and terrified.” Others saw Mandy as an inspiration, paving the way for other mid-lifers to make courageous life and career changes.

My clients, and readers like Mandy, tell me they value the fact that my advice is gained from both my personal and professional experiences and is both practical and inspirational.

Keith was 55 when his position was made redundant after 38 years of loyal service. “The biggest thing I am dealing with is a hit to my self-worth,” he wrote to me.

“I am a proponent of the law of attraction and have proved this law many times but that does not stop me having serious doubts about my ability to pull above the ‘mind chatter’. Your book is a great resource for boosting my energy and confidence. Honestly, your book is a treasure. I have found it very useful in terms of the information provided and tools available for self-awareness and future planning.  This is an awesome book and one I would recommend to anyone looking to change their career, not just mid-lifers.I feel energized every time I pick it up and I go back and re-read sections I have already read. I thank you for your foresight in writing this book and the energy and enthusiasm you pass on through the book.”

 

Reach for your dreams

Passion, happiness, joy, fulfillment, love—call it what you will but my deepest desire is that this book encourages you to reach for your dreams, to never settle, to believe in the highest aspirations you have for yourself. You have so many gifts, so many talents that the world so desperately needs. We need people like you who care about what they do, who want to live and work with passion and purpose.

My Promise
I promise that if you follow the steps in my training you’ll discover what you really want to do, clarify what you can do, and create powerful but simple strategies to make your dream a reality.

And I promise you’ll either create or find, a job you love, one that adds more joy to your life and gives you a sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

And what I can promise you is this—whatever your circumstances, it’s never too late to re-create yourself and your life. So, what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and you simply do not have time anymore to waste. It’s time to start living a life you love before it’s too late.

The practical and inspirational tips and strategies in my Rapid Transformational Coaching Program been proven to create positive results for students—personally and professionally, and provide knowledge that you can use again and again.

Be empowered. Answer the call for change, take control of your career and your life right now. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited.” Make your life count, and enjoy the new future you’re creating.

 

P.S.

If training to be a coach doesn’t feel right for you, but you’d like someone to work with you to light up your life and support you to find your best-fit career, achieve your dreams, or know someone who does, I’d love to hear how I can be of service.

Can’t get a job, or don’t want one? Employ yourself the fun way…

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

“Business is not financial science, it’s about trading … buying and selling. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it.”

Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop

It’s hard to believe that I was ever an employee, feeling trapped and miserable in a job that gave me zero flexibility, capped my income and shackled my independence.

I know what it’s like to yearn for something better but to wonder if you have what it takes to make it on your own. I was a single parent, with no one else to pay my mortgage. I wanted more time and freedom to balance child-care with my own desire to have control over my own destiny. And I wanted my income to be determined by my own efforts, not by the mood or whims or dictates of a boss. I wanted to be in control, riding the winds of fortune and navigating the fluctuating economic landscape.

More than that I wanted to rekindle my passion and creativity in both the workplace and home. And I wanted to make a living doing the work I felt born to do.

Are these things you yearn for too?

I was uncertain about how I could employ myself and create a business I’d love with such a passion, that one day I would say, “This isn’t working; this is fun.”

I’m not a risk-taker. Not a reckless, foolishly optimistic one anyway. I was afraid like you might be. I doubted anyone would hire me, or that I could convince others to buy my products and services. I worried that if I severed the safety chord of a regular wage I may not be able to pay my mortgage.

I’d lost my confidence, and worse, I’d lost my self-esteem, trading in my health and happiness for the ‘security’ of a regular pay cheque. I had a mortgage to feed, and a daughter to support on my own, and so I boxed on. But I never gave up on my dream.

I started feeding my soul, like you are, by reading books like this one—by, and about, inspired entrepreneurs.

If you feel like I once did, wondering if being happy at work will ever happen for you, help is at hand. If you fear that if you leave a job you hate, you won’t be able to pay the bills, this book will help you start smart.

If you’ve bought into the mistaken belief that owning your own business will cost a bomb, or wreak havoc with your work-life balance, this book will set you straight. If worrying about the taxman or legal stuff is putting you off starting a business, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Self-employment is an excellent option for Mid-lifers. While some employers may consider your age or wealth of experience to be a liability, that same experience is an asset when you are running your own show.

Prospective clients and customers care more about the value you can provide than they do about your age. And running your own business can also offer you the freedom, flexibility, purpose, and autonomy you crave. Plus, if you structure things right from the outset you’ll end up with more money in your wallet.

You could do anything if you only knew what it was

I created this book for people like you who yearn for more autonomy and have ever thought, ‘I want to start my own business, but I don’t know what to do.’

This isn’t a quick-tips-start-your-business-tomorrow, follow-these-steps-in-this-exact-order kind of book. Simply put it’s based on my real-world experiences starting and growing many successful businesses, and the experiences of other people like you. Woman and men in their mid-life who want to be their own boss; to live and work with passion—and still pay the bills!

‘To create meaningful music,’ Neil Diamond sings, ‘You have to look into your own life experiences.’ The same wisdom applies to employing yourself—to create a meaningful business, if you turn to your life experiences and leverage off the things that have shaped you, you will find your passion and purpose.

Like Barry, whose bad boy behavior and close shave with divorce led him to create a business helping others save their marriage. And Joy who had no idea whether her business would be successful but followed her heart, and pursued her passion and natural talent for creating beauty in other people’s lives.

In this book, you’ll read about Dame Wendy Pye, who was dumped from her job and, vowing to prove her former boss had made a huge mistake, went on to create her own multi-millionaire dollar publishing business.

Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur, or a businessperson looking for a fresh start Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself will help you make the right moves to choose and grow your business with confidence.

I read a book once—it changed my life: The Work We Were Born To Do, by Nick Williams. My hope is that my book will change yours.

 

Introduction

“Jobs are a centuries-old concept created during the Industrial Revolution. Despite the reality that we’re now deep in the Information Age, many people are studying for, or working at, or clinging to the Industrial Age idea of a safe secure job.”

Robert Kiyosaki, Entrepreneur and Author

 

Being self-employed was common until the industrial revolution. Then people began to pour into factories and industries and quickly relied on others to create their employment and provide the security of a steady paycheck.

But now it seems as though careers have come full circle.

In these days of limited job security and continual restructuring, increasing numbers of people are considering starting their own business. As the author of We Are All Self-Employed, Cliff Hakim notes; the only security you have nowadays is that you have a saleable skill.

 

The reasons increasing numbers of people are opting for self-employment include: greater control over their own destinies, freedom from the politics of the corporate office environment, and increased flexibility and autonomy. Others see self-employment as the only way to create a job they love, find a niche for their passions or pay the bills in their twilight years.

Research also highlights the fact that many people in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond also opt for self-employment as a way to counteract organizations that under-value the significant contributions mid-lifers can still offer. Ageism and the reluctance of some recruiters and hiring managers to hire older workers is sadly still a reality.

Sobering research suggests that many businesses fail within the first few years. With sound planning, robust research, passion, and perseverance you can build your business with confidence.

Employ Yourself will help you learn:

  • Why successful people work with passion and purpose
  • How to identify your REAL priorities
  • How to decide what to do and find an idea that will be successful
  • How to find the right product for the right market
  • How to create a passion-driven business and still pay your mortgage
  • How to identify ways to beat any skills gaps
  • How to start a business with zero start-up capital and finance your career
  • How to start your business with a ‘career-combo’
  • How to maintain cash flow and create a healthy profit
  • How to create and enjoy freedom of lifestyle
  • How to maintain balance and avoid burnout
  • How to overcome the fear of failure, boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change
  • How to replicate proven marketing systems and sales strategies that Amazon bestselling authors and other successful business people use every day to find customers and increase sales
  • How to create a Lovemark and Loyalty Beyond Reason
  • How to escape the 9-5 drudge, live and work anywhere and join the new rich

For convenience, I use the terms ‘business’, ‘self-employed’ and ‘employ yourself’ to refer to any activity that means you are your own boss—whether as a freelancer, contractor, business owner or self-employed person etc.

Let’s look briefly at what each section in this book will cover:

Step One, “Choose Your business” will help you generate business ideas, and tap into your passions and life experience to work with purpose and find the right product for the right market. This will make it easier to decide what you want to do. What you’ll discover may be a complete surprise and open up a realm of opportunities you’ve never considered. Take The Entrepreneurial Quiz and determine if self-employment is the right step for you, and learn how to boost your chances of success.

Step Two, “Mind Your Business,” take a realistic preview of entrepreneurial life. Discover why many businesses fail and plan a winning strategy. Lack of relevant experience and cash flow challenges cause many derailments. Empower your fear before you make the leap into self-employment—isolate the knowledge you need to acquire and the savvy experts you’ll need on your side. This section will help you master how to get your business off to a sound start. Start small but aim high.

Step Three, “Grow Your Business,” is where the fun begins. You’ll learn how to create a ‘lovemark’—an authentic, values-driven brand that sets you apart in a crowded market, and attracts clients to you. You’ll explore ways to steal like an artist; leverage off others successful strategies; and develop your business in light of your passions, enthusiasms and life purpose. Are you ready to start your business and be your own wonderful boss? Try the Ready To Start Your Business Quiz and find out.

Step Four, “Thrive Like A Pro,” explores some of the steps needed to develop a professional mindset. You’ll learn how to minimise obstacles, challenge your fears, overcome resistance, blitz stress and avoid burnout by achieving greater balance, joy and fulfillment.

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself concludes with showing you how to identify your point of brilliance. I’ve also included a link to three free workbooks:

  • The Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal Workbook, will help you plan an inspired vision for your business and life and tap into law of attraction and intention principles to manifest business success
  • The Powerful Goal Setting Workbook will help you break your goal of self-employment into manageable steps
  • You’ll also improve your decision-making and take the stress out of changing jobs with my Making Decisions and Choosing Your Best-Fit Career

All these workbooks are resources from Passion Driven Work and Free To Be Me—my career and life coaching programmes. Yours for free! You can find out more about these programmes here: http://bit.ly/1Sb5GUx

 

Choose and Grow Your Own Business with Confidence

You don’t always need buckets of money, or the courage of a lion, to start your own business. Plenty of successful entrepreneurs have started their businesses on a shoe-string budget and launched new careers while combining salaried employment. Many have felt the fear and launched their business anyway.

I was in my mid-30’s, a single parent, holding down a steady job when I started my first business, Worklife Solutions. I was worried and fearful that I’d fail, but I did it anyway. It’s one of the most creative, joyful endeavors I’ve ever done. Since then I’ve created many more businesses and helped people all over the globe become successfully self-employed.

Like Lisa, who shares her story in this book, and other budding entrepreneurs who’ve taken a strategic route to finance their businesses.

When I first started out in business over a decade ago, I thought about all the people I knew or had read about, that were successful in their own business. What I found applies now, as it did then. The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

They were doing something they loved; their passion drove them.

Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.

  1. They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  2. They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  3. They shared. They communicated their vision, goals, and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  4. They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  5. They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment, and recognition to do their job well.
  6. They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leaped, but they leaped nonetheless. Courage and confidence were something they built as they went.
  7. They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves—but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’—and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. But to double check, try the following Entrepreneurial Personality Quiz.


The Entrepreneurial Personality Quiz

Do you have the right personality to be an entrepreneur? Or are you better suited to being a Franchisee? Would contracting suit you better? Or is paid employment really the best option after all?

Before committing yourself to starting your own business of any type, you need to ask yourself whether you have what it takes.

The following quiz is written as though you are still in a salaried role.

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

Employ yourself. Create a Passion-Driven Business The Easy Way

Friday, August 4th, 2017

 

Employ yourself. Create a Passion-Driven Business The Easy Way

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.”
Richard Branson

  • Would you love the freedom of working for yourself?
  • Could you do anything—if you only knew what it was?
  • Does the idea of more time-freedom and an unlimited earning potential make your soul sing?

 

Start From Your Heart

Are you thinking of starting a business? Would you love to employ yourself but have no idea what to do or how to begin? Or do you have an existing business but yearn for a fresh start? First things first: start from your heart.

Creating a successful business is impossible without passion, enthusiasm, zest, inspiration and the deep satisfaction that comes from doing something that delivers you some kind of buzz.

The first and most important step to choosing and growing your business is to follow your passion. Passion is a source of energy from the soul, and when you combine it with a product or service that benefits others, that’s where you’ll find your magic.

Kevin Roberts, former CEO Worldwide of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, passionately believes that love is the way forward for business. Meeting peoples’ needs, hopes, dreams, and desires; or offering something which helps them solve problems for which they’d love a cure, is good for people and its good for business.

“For great brands to survive, they must create Loyalty Beyond Reason, he writes in his book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands. Roberts argues, with a ton of facts, and emotionally evocative images to support his premise, that traditional branding practices have become stultified. What’s needed are customer Love affairs. “The secret,” he maintains is the use of Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy.”

I agree! Your passion-driven business planning journal is the perfect place to begin your love affair.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success in business and with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company. As media giant Oprah Winfrey once said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that’s why there is so much unhappiness in the world.


Why Create a Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal

Do you know what you’re passionate about? Do you know how to create a passion-driven business? Do you need to boost your self-belief and confidence? Or do you need a motivational push to overcome procrastination and commit to action?

Creating a passion-driven business planning journal will help. It’s a simple but powerful technique to help manifest your goals.

Your virtual coach and source of guidance

To really benefit from this activity think of your journal as your ‘virtual’ coach – inspiring and motivating you to achieve your goals.The purpose is to encourage you to create, and stay focused on your preferred future, and to build greater awareness of your unique passion criteria, and how these can be gainfully employed in a business.

Your passion-driven business planning journal acts as a central, easily retrievable place to collect and store sources of inspiration, insights, and clues related to your passion, business goals and preferred future.

It is also a motivational, focusing tool to be updated regularly and looked at frequently – ideally daily.

Why It Works

The passion-driven business planning journal taps into the principles of The Law of Attraction and Law of Intention to help you manifest your dreams.
According to mind-mapping and creativity expert Tony Buzan, we think in images not words. Surrounding yourself with images that symbolise or reflect the things you want to create empowers your goals. Allowing these picture to inspire and excite you, and adding a dose of colour and engaging all your senses, fuels your dreams and builds excitement.

Journalling is a powerful, creative and practical tool to facilitate greater insight and to help you integrate new learnings. Resist the urge to just process ideas and thoughts in your head. Research has repeatedly proven that the act of writing deepens your knowledge.

For example, a study conducted by Dr. David K. Pugalee, a mathematics lecturer, found that journal writing was an effective instructional tool and aided learning. His research found that writing helped people organise and describe internal thoughts and thus improve their problem-solving skills.
Henriette Klauser, Ph.D., also provides compelling evidence in her book Write It Down And Make It Happen, that writing helps you clarify what you want and enables you to make it happen.

Free Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal. Click Here For Access

Are you ready to quit a job you hate? How to stop overthinking and take the leap

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

 

Are you ready to quit? Read this inspiring post by a woman I am training to be a Worklife Solutions Coach—Lucy O’Connor from Monday Hustle.

The day I did what people tell you not to

Monday Hustle’s Diary

Today, I resigned.

It’s fine. I’ll be fine. We’ll survive this. Me AND my bank account. I’ll have to suffer through a few ‘better not’ moments at the dairy counter, dissuade my friends out of a coffee catch up in favour of a ‘lovely walk’ (I hate walking),  and take the T out of TopShop for a while. But it ain’t all about the money honey. It’s about the flippin’ Dream. And I’ve always been a firm advocate for The Dream (spelt with capital letters cause that’s how important it is). I buy into all those clichés (not literally, cause I can’t afford any more) – life’s too short, the world is your oyster, you can be anything you want to be. Because sister, what else is the point??!! I’m 25 now and I gotta give the dream some room to move. I’ve spooned The Dream while it slept for too long. It’s time to gently shake it awake, welcome it into the real world, and let it get on with what it needs to do to not only survive but thrive (first Bridesmaids reference).

Right now, I have a great job in sales, which any beginner would kill for – I am working for a great company, around great people, doing something that society says ‘I should be grateful for’ because someone would kill to have my job. But therein lies the problem. Someone else would love to have my job. Overall, I’m not happy with my situation. I have been working in the role for a year which isn’t that long in the scheme of life, but you know what? That’s a year of not being 100% happy, a year of waiting for something else to happen, a year of my where I have been distracted from putting my dreams into action.

So many people get ‘stuck’ on a path because they keep getting opportunities, they are good at something, they don’t back themselves to do something else. But I’m determined to give The Dream a chance. We each have a certain uniqueness to offer and no two of us are exactly alike. So we have an opportunity – to be the best possible version of ourselves and try to crack whatever it is we actually want to do with our lives. We can’t be the best possible version of someone else’s Dream. But we are the masters of our own. For most of us, we aren’t going to get that golden ticket lying down and waiting for it.

IMG_0865

So today, I decided to practice what I preach. I’m going out into the real world with my passion, my drive and the small amount of money I have in my bank account. I’m starting the chase right bloody now. If I commit myself to being the best possible version of me, and direct my energy towards The Dream, that surely is the recipe for a fulfilling life with very few regrets. It’s not going to always be easy, and it won’t always be fun, but it will always be alive – and hopefully, eventually, something’s gotta give. Will you join me in the hustle to be your best self? Cause girl, you gotta hustle. Even on the most uninspiring day of the week. #MondayHustle

#MondayHustle

“Stop overthinking and take the leap.”

Read more about Lucy’s inspiring career change here >>http://worklifesolutions.nz/lucys-reinvention-story-hustling-her-way-into-a-new-career/

23 ways to turn up the volume on your success

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Would you like to remove the psychological blocks keeping you from succeeding in your business?

Would you like to learn practical steps to make more money as an entrepreneur, that you can apply right away?

 

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Be, Do, Succeed Global Online Conference. 

My friend Ande Anderson, MS, RD, Co-Founder of AVAIYA (AVAIYA is the creator of transformational films and courses such as The Truth About Prosperity, MPower: Empowering Women in Business & Beyond, Leap!, The Gratitude Effect, and more) – is hosting this FREE, business-changing event from June 21st – July 1st.

Ande will be interviewing me and 22 other success leaders that will share:

•       Cutting-edge tools and techniques to help you reveal and remove limiting beliefs standing in your way of entrepreneurial success

•       Practical, applicable steps that you can apply right away, to help you increase revenue in your business

•       And so much more!

There are 23 speakers in all including: Lynne McTaggart, Hale Dwoskin, Jeanna Gabellini, Debra Poneman, Morry Zelcovitch, Kristen Howe, Mark Waldman, Cheryl Wood, David Perdew, Ken Stone, Val Silidker, Arianne Traverso, Dr. Andrea Pennington, Cassandra Gaisford, Wendi Blum, Burge Smith Lyons, Bernadette Logue, Kelly McNelis, Jacquie Somerville, Morgana Rae, Dr. Kim D’Eramo, Michelle Villalobos, & David Cameron Gikandi.

And of course, yours truly! You can watch my interview on June 30.

Mark your calendar and go get registered right here. 

After you register, keep an eye out for Ande’s email for specific details on accessing the interviews.

And no matter what your current situation is…

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level…

Whether you’re just starting out in your business and need support and How To’s…

Or whether you have a job and you’d like to make additional income in your side business…

You’re not going to want to miss a minute of the Be, Do, Succeed Global Online Conference. This 11-day event is completely free to you!

Watch the inspiring video and go here right now to register. 

P.S. These video & audio interviews will be recorded and will be available at no charge after each show for a limited time so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up right now, while it’s fresh on your mind…

 

Did you enjoy this post?

Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

 

 

Ditch the 9-to-5

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

 

“She works hard for the money
so hard for it honey
she works hard for the money
So you better treat her right”
~ Donna Summer

Hannah quit her 9-to-5 the other day. She was working hard for her money—but they weren’t treating her right. Piling on extra work, but no extra pay. Piling on extra responsibilities, but no extra pay. Piling on their stress, but no extra pay.

But Hannah’s dissatisfaction wasn’t about pay—it was the lack of integrity and respect they showed her, including reneging on training they offered so that she could advance her career. But more than that, slaving away in a thankless 9-to-5 soaked up all the time she would rather be spending building her passion and purpose driven business.

Check out Donna Summer Live at Nobel Peace Prize Concert – yes, business-owners, treating people right does lead to a more peaceful and prosperous world!

But if you can’t find the love at work, ditch your 9-5 and treat yourself right.

Learn how in Missy Strayner’s Ditch The 9 To 5 Series

First up (today!) is yours truly sharing practical and inspirational strategies to help you work with passion and purpose.

Enrol for this amazing FREE series and check out my interview here

Missy has curated an amazing series to include TOP OF THEIR INDUSTRY EXPERTS!  21 extremely successful entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, writers, coaches, trainers and thought leaders influencers, marketing, social media and PR gurus will inspire you to see what is possible and how to overcome what is holding you back.

I’m honored and excited to be a guest speaker as part of The “Ditch The 9 To 5 Summit” and I can’t wait for you to join me!

This is a FREE 21-day online video series event and begins on May 3, 2017.  Yes, FREE! And kicks off with me.

Together with the other speakers we’ll provide practical steps to help you leave an uninspired job and pursue your passion and purpose—and make great money doing it!

Taking a risk to go after what you love is sometimes scary. But when you are ready to feel passion and purpose it’s great to know what’s possible and be encouraged by others that you also can do this.

Missy has found 21 inspiring entrepreneurs, experts, authors, speakers, trainers, coaches and thought leaders around the world to share their tips on what has worked, best practices, and practical tools to guide you and help you plan for transformational change in your life.

Get fired up to live with passion purpose and learn how to make money doing what you love.

Register now! Click here to reserve your seat to see me and the other amazing speakers on this series! I look forward to seeing you there!

Get a head start on ditching your 9-to-5 with the Career Rescue box-set. Mid-Life Career Rescue-Three Book Bundle-Box Set (Books 1-3): The Call For Change, What Makes You Happy, Employ Yourself

To read a free excerpt or purchase your copy navigate to here: getBook.at/CareerRescueBox

David Loves Lilly

Monday, February 13th, 2017

David Styles is nuts about water lilies. It’s such a passion that he’s nearly run out of room for them all—so now he has bathtubs overflowing with all his loves. What’s not to love about this fabulous ‘bathhouse’ of water lilies lovingly nurtured by him. I’ve driven past this spot in Te Horo so many times and always thought it was a junk yard.

Happily my new passion for photography has opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounds us, helping me see more clearly the things so many of us pass by. I literally screeched to a stop when to my delight I took a second look at these old ‘forlorn’ bathtubs and saw the beauty floating inside.

Luck, David told me, was on my side as usually at this hour (4:30ish) the lilies would have closed (11-2 is their waking hour) and some of the lilies are so rare that many people have never seen them at all (the white one especially). And there are the lilies that Money painted when he lived at Giverney in France. Oh I do so love people with healthy obsessions – passionate people are vitamins for the soul.

This from a book on Monet:

“The water lily, a flower which flourishes only in warm swampy waters symbolized – not just in Marrarme’s poem The White Lily (1895) – the mysterious sources of life and the undividedness of being.”

The symbolism is perfect and holds a lesson for all of us. We too can be at our most radiant, our most magnicient, our most divinely beautiful—even if we are surrounded by a swamp (this may be the negativity of others, a toxic work environment, or some other muddy circumstance.

And as Vincent van Gogh so sagely advises, you can silence the swamp of your doubting mind by blossoming in the truth of your divine essence and flowering with certainty.

Follow your passion to health and prosperity

David, who loves water lilies, has created a beautiful business from his backyard bathtubs. He grows and supplies lillies for garden centres and enthusiasts all over the world. But more importantly, he credits his obsession with restoring his health following a heart attack.

Following my own obsession for passion and passionate people let me to do a ‘Van Gogh” and write books to help others believe in the beauty of their dreams. As I share in Find Your Passion and Purpose:

“The vision was simple: a few short, easy to digest tips for time-challenged people who were looking for inspiration and practical strategies to encourage positive change.

From my own experience, I knew that people didn’t need a large wad of words to feel inspired, gain clarity and be stimulated to take action.

In coaching and counselling sessions I’d encourage my clients to ask a question they would like answered. The questions could be specific, such as, ‘How can I make a living from my passion?’ Or vague, for example,  ‘What do I most need to know?’

Then I’d ask them to pick a card at random. Without fail, they were astounded by the card’s potent relevance. Disbelieving eyes widened in astonishment as they read either the quote or the main message they received. Many would say, “These cards are magic.”

Orders flooded in from global recruitment consultancies, primary schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organisations, financial institutions and other multi-national commercial entities. I was asked to speak at conferences around the world about the power of passion. It was amazing to see how popular and successful The Passion Pack became, transcending age, gender, and socio-economic differences.

In this era of information obesity the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, this guide is for you.

Similarly, if you are a grazer, or someone more methodical, this guide will also work for you. Pick a page at random, or work through the steps sequentially. I encourage you to experiment, be open-minded and try new things. I promise you will achieve outstanding results.

Clive, a 62-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, did! He thought that creating a passion journal, Tip 10 in this guide, was childish – something other stressed executives in his men’s support group would balk at. But once he’d taken up the challenge he told me enthusiastically,

“They loved it!” They are using their passion journals to visualise, gain clarity, and create their preferred futures. Clive is using it to help manifest his new purpose-driven coaching business.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’, and embrace how you feel, or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. She was guided to Tip 14: Who Inspires You? Following that, her motivation to live and work like those she looked up to sparked a determination to start her own business.  It was that simple.

At the time of writing I’ve just turned to Tip 31: Fear Of Success. It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion has taken me – the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen. The quote is as apt for me as I feel it may be for you:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

Here’s to living with passion and purpose!

 

Introduction

“Mary Oliver says in one of her poems, ‘Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ Me, I intend to live passionately.”
Isabelle Allende, Novelist

Finding a job you want and living a life you love is impossible without passion, enthusiasm, zest, inspiration and the deep satisfaction that comes from doing something that delivers you some kind of buzz.

Yet, it’s staggeringly, and dishearteningly, true that many people don’t know what they are passionate about, or how they can turn it into a rewarding career. Some research suggests that only 10% of people are living and working with passion. Hence my passion for passion, and helping create more positive change in the world.

If you’re like many people who don’t know what they are passionate about or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this book will help provide the answers.

If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with passion, this book will help change your mindset.

Together we’ll help you get your mojo back, challenge your current beliefs and increase your sense of possibility. By tapping into a combination of practical career strategies, Law of Attraction principles, and the spiritual powers of manifestation, you’ll reawaken dreams, boost your self-awareness, empower your life and challenge what you thought was possible.

 

This is an edited extract from Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn  how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

 

 

Check out my Flickr page, David Loves Lilly for more sumptuous photos >> https://flic.kr/s/aHsjSRc4Q1

How to start a business on the side while holding down your job

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Start a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence.

A big shout out to my client who has started her business today—while holding down her current job. Catherine’s started smart by taking over an existing business – check it out here http://www.lifeconsulting.co.nz/

Learn from other inspired and inspiring entrepreneurs and make a calculated leap to self-employed freedom and fulfilment. Fourteen individuals tell you their stories in  Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late. Their backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment. Here’s an excerpt:

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK

They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.

The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.

  • They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  • They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  • They shared. They communicated their vision, goals and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  • They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  • They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment and recognition to do their job well.
  • They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leapt, but they leapt nonetheless. Courage and confidence was something they built as they went.
  • They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.

Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates

Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.

Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organisation for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organisation to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.

It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.

I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification programme. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me.

I realised becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed.

I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills and goals.

My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching programme and haven’t looked back since…

Do something you love

I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilise my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.

I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing and aromatherapy pamper parties.

Deciding what to do

My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realised it would take time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.

I went into this with a realistic view that it would take two-three years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.

I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led onto me becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.

This year I will be focusing on increasing my impact/marketing reach strategies by striving to increase my coaching capacity to offer Skype sessions/coaching packages globally online as well as within New Zealand.

Finding an idea that would be successful

A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful.

When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.

I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence.

When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need.

However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.

I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my programme offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.

Finding the right product for the right market

I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally.

I read lots of industry related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.

Keeping your energy levels high

I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.

Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realise you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition.When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…

To read more of Lisa’s story, be inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of  Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself TODAY!

Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.

The astrology of success

Friday, January 27th, 2017

FAITH IN YOUR STARS

“Arrogance is in everything I do. It is in my gestures, the harshness of my voice, in the glow of my gaze, in my sinewy, tormented face.”~ Coco Chanel (Leo)

Much of Coco Chanel’s success can be attributed to her faith in the stars. Chanel believed in astrology. She was a Leo, symbolized by the lion, queen of the beasts, Leo is the sign of royalty. Proud and arrogant, yet loyal and brave, this sign if ablaze with warmth and fire.

Creative entrepreneurship is the true stamp of a Leo—and Chanel manifested this in buckets. Driven by passion, purpose, determination, a desire to lead not follow, the courage and fearlessness of a lion, and a serious need to be noticed. Making an impression is Priority One for many Leo’s—think Mick Jagger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Child and other flamboyant people who share Coco Chanel’s sun.

Chanel’s moon was in Pisces, making her intuitive to the point of being psychic, writes Karen Karbo in The Gospel According to Coco Chanel. This may explain her uncanny knack for predicting where best to place her energy to amass a great following and fortune.

Leo is also the fifth sign of the zodiac—a number Coco used to astounding success when she named her perfume, Chanel No. 5. She also leveraged off her faith in her stars and other spiritual tools to empower her mind, and sustain her during periods of darkness.

Most clients come with financial problems or relationship problems,” my friend and astrologer Marianne O’Hagan says. “They come looking for the hope of happiness in the future.”

Marianne knows personally and professionally. You can read more of her story in Mid-Life Career Rescue: What Makes You Happy—including how she started her own business by using her faith in the stars.

I’m a Libra in Western astrology and a Snake in Chinese astrology. It’s true when they say that Libran’s love harmony, balance and beauty. I love it when I receive feedback from readers, saying my book is “beautifully written.” Or, as a person who read my first Art of Success book, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, posted in their review, “This beautiful book wraps art around business and life and makes each hum with energy and creativity and brings the reader new vitality.

Google ‘best careers’ for Snakes and I’m told to avoid careers where I have to work too hard. ‘Working hard’ to me is doing something I dislike, working with people I don’t respect. Working hard is not marching to my own beat. But when I’m working in the passion zone, fulfilling my purpose, now that’s a different story.

Whether you’re a believer in the notion that whatever planets align at your time and place of birth can determine your intrinsic strengths, shape your character, relationships and fortunes, there’s plenty of helpful data to aid you in your quest for success. Keep an open mind and don’t take everything as total gospel.

Your Challenge

Go cosmic—gain additional insight about your astrological sign from any of the plethora of books, online resources and personal astrologers. Focus on identifying your strengths, Achilles heel, and best-fit-factors career-wise and in your personal life.

“I liked the idea that astrology believes we all are special and have unique gifts. It was at that moment that my love of astrology was born. “~ Marianne O’Hagan, astrologer

This is an edited extract from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel) by Cassandra Gaisford. To order a copy for less than the price of coffee and cake click here to go to your online bookshop.

 

How to reinvent your career and your life: Pivot—change careers and live again

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Creating Your Past and Your Future: Celebrate Your Audacity

What amazing feedback one of my client’s Lisa Conroy received! Incredible! So proud of her – living and working as she does with passion and purpose! Her success story is just one of many that have enriched my life this year – I’m thankful that having trained her to become a life coach that I have been able to play a small part in her success. Lisa proves that when you follow your bliss, life really can be a wonderful Box of Chocolates. Check out the feedback below.

As we near year end, it’s a great time to celebrate your wins, lick a few wounds, and resolve to create an extra-ordinary future.

The chances are high that you’re a lot like me—I didn’t inherit a fortune, I’ve had more than my share of challenges, and like waves in a storm, there’s always more hurdles to surf. But successful people, like Coco Chanel and Leonardo da Vinci, and the guy on the street corner praying he can make his mortgage, we keep swimming against the tide of mediocrity.

So take a moment, recollect, note and recall all the things you’ve achieved, all the dreams you’ve dared to dream, all the trials you’ve weathered—and most of all celebrate just how fabulous you are.

Like the lady who wrote to me (below) and reminded herself she already was successful—she has a wonderful husband, beautiful children….and a kind and generous heart.

Fortune favors the kind…and the audacious!


Are you looking for more inspiration or the ultimate Christmas gift?

if you still need a career rescue, or know someone that does, you’ll love my new books – plenty of inspiration for young and older


Career Rescue: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here:
getBook.at/CareerRescue

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel)

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here: getBook.at/CocoChanel

I just received the most amazing feedback re The Art of Success – brought tears of joy to my blue eyes

“Hi Cassandra, I just had to tell you how much your Coco Chanel book means to me. I can’t even express all the emotions I am feeling right now. First of all, I never realized how much I have in common with her. Abandoned by my father, daughter of a narcissistic mother (which is like not having a mother at all). I’m also a Leo. Second, I relate to so many of her characteristics, as well. I’m fiercely independent and strong-willed, but riddled with doubts. Reading this book was like looking into a mirror for me; one that reflects both my past and my future. Your book is an answer to the prayer I’ve had in my heart recently. I will be referencing it often. I have so much to work on concerning myself, and I see this book as a much-needed tool to help me move past the limiting beliefs I can’t seem to let go of. The quote about living a life with a husband and children and people you love? That helped me to realize that I am already a success in Coco Chanel’s eyes. SO EMPOWERING!!!!! Thank you so much for the gift of this book.”

Success Story: Turning Her Dream into a Reality – Reinventing Joy Again

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Joy spent 10 years as a Legal Conveyancer—but wanted to do something more creative. “I looked around one day and thought to myself, ‘Joy do you realize that shortly you are going to be the eldest one around here?’ I didn’t feel enamored with that thought.”

One day she was driving to work, stuck in traffic, thinking, “What am I doing? This just isn’t me.”

She was passionate about interiors and fabrics, and all her life she had dreamed of owning her own store. A simple quote, and her desire for change helped her decide to leave the security of her steady wage.

“I had read the quote, ‘Don’t make a permanent decision for a temporary feeling’ but I knew my feeling would not be temporary. I was determined it would not be, and I would not let it be.”

Her long-range vision was always to start up a successful interior design business. However, before branching completely on her own she brought into a franchise operation called Biggie Best.

“Buying the franchise was a great way for me to learn the skills required to be in business on my own. Because of all the backing of head office, and the fantastic systems and support I received, I was able to build my confidence as well as gain some experience, which all helped me to know with certainty that going out on my own in this industry was something I really wanted to do.”

Reinventing Joy Again

Joy’s desire to bring in more diverse stock clashed with the franchisers strict control forbidding diversion from their theme. It became clear it was in both their interests for her to gradually transition out of the franchise.

Joy was excited to finally be able to step into her own independence and opened her own interior design store, Maypole Interiors.

“I had no idea whether it would be successful or not but I was following a passion, and I knew I could pass that passion on to other people who did not have the same exposure to things beautiful.

I found the right product for the right market by finding the wholesale distributors who imported the things I loved.”

Maintaining Balance

Joy says hard work supplies energy if you love the work you are doing. She believes it is virtually impossible to run a good business if you have other things to concentrate on.

“A business takes full concentration. There is no room for anything else if you are to be successful. It cannot be played with.”

Maintaining some balance came naturally, she says. “My family was independent of me, and my husband was fully supportive. He loved the business. Cobwebs did appear—and stay—in the house.

Natural Talent and Good Management

Her beautiful window dressing, natural talent, great fabrics, products and success with clients meant finding clients came easily.

Joy never trained formerly as an interior designer, but had a natural talent for interior design and a passion for creating beauty. Something another astoundingly successful interior American-based designer Barbara Barry also shares.

Joy says her secret to success, managing cash flow, and generating regular income lies in keeping good records of sales every month and through the year.

Other strategies that contributed to her success, she says were: “Having budgets set for both staff and myself of daily sales, knowing how much has to go through the till every week, and if not reaching that target working harder on shop displays and advertising.

Always presenting yourself well, being honest, truly honest with people when they were looking for something, even putting them off and losing a sale if you knew the product wasn’t right for them and having a smile to greet them no matter what you were feeling”, were also effective she says.

Be Brave and Fully Passionate

Joy’s advice to others thinking of starting a business is:

  • Be brave, but don’t start a business without being fully passionate about what you are trying to achieve.
  • Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you feel you can make a difference and make a happy experience for your customers.

And her steps to self-employment?

“They say you should have a business plan. My plan was only to make my shop irresistible.”

If she could have done anything differently Joy says she might have moved to a different location where there was more foot traffic. “Location is perhaps the most important when you have a physical store.”

Following the death of her husband, Joy, now in her 70’s, decided to change the way she ran her business and works from her beautiful home, consulting for wealthy clients. She has also designed and had a self-contained cottage built on her inner-city Wellington property. In addition, she also runs a business through Airbnb where she shares her uniquely beautiful home with appreciative guests from New Zealand and overseas.

What You’ve Learned So Far

  • Not everyone is suited to being self-employed; but don’t prematurely discount it as a viable option
  • Starting small and starting something on the side may wet your appetite, give you confidence and intensify your desire
  • Start smart before you travel too far toward self-employment. Be sure to assess the pluses and minuses, learn from other people’s mistakes, and plan for success
  • Don’t assume you need to go into debt to begin—take the pressure off and look for more affordable ways to get started. You can always invest more capital when your profits begin to soar
  • Keep an eye on cash-flow, and ensure you have access to a line of credit for emergencies
  • Commit to ongoing growth—personally and professionally
  • Determine which of the six ways to employ yourself suit you best
  • Be courageous, brave and passionate. It’s worth it!

What’s Next

Lack of money doesn’t have to hold you back. Let’s look at how financing your career can be more affordable than you think.

This was an excerpt from Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself

Start a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self-employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence. This handy resource will show you how.

#1 Amazon Best-Seller. Available in print and eBook—getBook.at/EmployYourself

How to dream big and make it happen today

Monday, December 5th, 2016

images-2“I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like,” ~ Coco Chanel, businesswoman

In the movie, ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness,’ Will Smith, who plays the role of a homeless man, says to his son, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Period.”

As a child Coco dreamed big. The flames of her desires were in part fueled by reading romance novels full of dashing heroes and heroines living absurdly, audaciously opulent and liberated lives. 

I’m sure plenty of people tried to sabotage Coco’s dreams of success—but she dreamed big dreams anyway. She once said that she would pretend she didn’t hear people who criticized her, and could not see people with whom she disagreed. Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit are an inspiration to young and old.

People, impatient to see the realization of your dreams may say, “Show me the money” or “You’ve left it too late,” or some other downer message. 

Ignore them.

“It’s already been done,” people said to Tim Ferris when he first mentioned his idea of starting a podcast. Instead of letting others talk him out of starting his show he did it anyway. His podcast is now ranked #1 business podcast on all of iTunes, and it’s been ranked #1 (of all podcasts) on many occasions. It is the first business/interview podcast to pass 100,000,000 downloads. It was also selected as iTunes’ “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2015.” He’s been called the Oprah of radio.

Your Challenge

Dream big. Everything starts as someone’s daydream

Fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles

Become audaciously obsessed

Dream big but plan small. Baby steps will lead to bigger success

Anchor your dreams within your heart and feel as though they are already achieved

Create a soundtrack to feed your dreams. I still love Miley Cyrus’s The Climb, particularly the encouraging lyrics to persist and persevere, “Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side—It’s the climb.”

“Remember, you go where your vision is. Think Big, feel big, and know in your heart that you are one with God, and you will project a radiance, a glow, a confidence, a joy, and a healing vibration which bless all who come within your orbit now and forevermore”

~ Joseph Murphy, PhD, author and New Thought minister

 

WANT  MORE HELP TO MANIFEST YOUR DREAMS?

This has been an excerpt from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel).  You can learn more from Coco, find your point of brilliance and read motivational musings from really big dreamers like Tim Ferris, Leonardo da Vinci, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, Igor Stravinsky and other inspirational stories of success.  Available in print and eBook on Amazon. Navigate to here: getBook.at/CocoChanel

 

Business ideas for how to start a business

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Leigh Johnson

Creating a business and making decisions that are in line with your core beliefs and values is more likely to be a lasting and positive choice.

It allows you to be who you really are, and do what you really need, in order to achieve what you want. And it will draw like-minded and loyal clients to you.

Benefits of your values-driven business

Creating a values-driven business:

  • Allows you to be yourself
  • Differentiates you from others
  • Plays a key part in creating a professional brand
  • Guides your decisions and interactions with others
  • Communicates with, and attracts, loyal customers
  • Fast-tracks meaningful relationships
  • Can inspire loyalty beyond reason.

So where then to begin? Inside out. First determine your own personal values and build your business or self-employment opportunity from this core.

This is the approach Leigh Johnson, then aged 46, took when she established her recruitment business.

Following her childhood dream

Having my own business was a childhood aspiration. I love being my own boss – the freedom, flexibility, taking responsibility, and creating something of value that helps others. Deciding what to do was easy. I was working as a recruitment consultant for a large international firm and found recruitment suited my skills and talents.

I decided to go out on my own, and was able to turn that into a successful business and get others to share my goals and values. I was up and running with very little start-up capital, just some cash from my own resources.

Creating her niche

I established the company values and defined the behaviours that went with those values from the outset. Finding the right market and level of service centred on:

  • Providing a professional and personal service
  • Employing the right people
  • Doing business with the right clients
  • Innovating to meet their needs.

I developed a brand strategy, created a simple business plan, leased premises and a CRM system, and bought 2nd hand furniture! I hired my first employee, kept focused on our specialisation, then got out there and told people about it.

It’s important for me to be trying new things. I was driven to be successful and this, along with continually learning and sharing, kept my energy levels high. Doing the ‘same old’ and/or repetitive work de-energises me. Going into business or being self-employed creates a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and also learn about yourself.

Taking a leap of faith

I knew my enterprise could be successful. Initially I worked 60 hours per week. I used specialists for advice and outsourced the things I wasn’t good at. Spending time doing the stuff that creates revenue, and starting to build systems from day one helped maximise the likelihood of success.

The advice I would give to someone who has never started a business is to surround yourself with people who have done it before, or are self-employed. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Get a mentor or coach!

Millions of people around the world create small enterprises so that they can feed their families. Start small, part-time and try out some of your ideas.

Finding customers

Business development (face-to-face meetings), networking, marketing and building brand awareness helped me grow my client base. Being socially responsible and creating our Skilled Migrant Programme, in partnership with Victoria University and the Rotary Club of Wellington, has also given the brand a very positive image.

Getting professional advice, (business advisor), using specialists (i.e. finance) focusing on business development and building market awareness have been the secret to success, managing cash flow, and generating regular income.

Best and worst moves

Hiring migrants who brought great skills, excellent motivation and surprised me with their ability to keep growing has been one of the best moves I’ve made.

Knowing what I now know, I would always ensure I hired the best people. They don’t have to be the highest paid.

Worst move? Taking too much responsibility on myself when things weren’t going well which led to burnout.

Maintaining Balance

While I had a lot of technical skills, I’ve had to learn to let go, and trust others. Mistakes happen and we learn from them together.

To maintain balance and find time for my family I avoid being a perfectionist. I look for the 80/20. Sometimes good enough is just fine. And done is better than perfect.

To succeed in business you must be prepared to take responsibility and make decisions, some of which won’t be right but that’s okay. Just keep making them. I also take time out every quarter. You must trust your people and disconnect so that they can make decisions while you are away.

Action and Innovation

Lately, I’ve been using the word ‘enterprise’ instead of business or self-employment. Personally it has connotations involving action and innovation. Also it can be about being socially responsible while being economically sustainable.

Establishing her company values and ensuring her behaviours reflected those values from the outset helped Leigh create a strong brand—one she is proud of.

Her deep belief in equality and being socially responsible, and her passion for helping others is also reflected in her successful Skilled Migrant Programme, giving her brand a very positive image.

It was an inspired move. My own experience working as a recruitment consultant confirmed that many employers discriminate against people from other cultures. I was once moved so much by their plight I wrote a magazine article entitled, What Colour Are Your Skills, to focus attention on the fact that it is what people can do, not their place of origin that defines a person’s ability to do a job well.

Leigh now works less in the business and more on the business to maintain better balance. She is passionate about helping women who suffer as she has, from depression and anxiety, and shares her story of recovery on her personal blog: www.leighjohnsonnz.com/blogging.

At the time of writing, Leigh has also made a decision to retrain as a Well-being and Transition Coach, and I am honoured to have been her business coach and mentor through this journey. She’s also excited about a new online project that is in the planning phase.

I’m calling it: ‘Fabulous at 50—The Professional Woman’s Guide to Being Anxiety Free.’ This web-based programme will provide tools to help women avoid the negative experiences of burnout and anxiety, that can get in the way of enjoying what should be an exciting time of life.

Find out more about Leigh Johnson, and the wonderful work she does here: www.leighjohnsonnz.com and on her blog.

Action Task! Start Smart

Identify and record any lessons you can learn from Leigh’s experience that you could apply to starting, or redefining, your own business. Summarise some possible action steps.

Book_transparentbg copyBe inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of  Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself  TODAY!

Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.

Employ yourself feedback at 2.33.02 pm

Work With Higher Purpose: how to find your life purpose

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 2.54.19 pm“Many entrepreneurs ask me, ‘Where is the market opportunity – where can I make lots of money?’ I tell them to think this way instead: “What are you so passionate about doing that you’d be happy doing it for ten years, even if you never made a dime? That’s the business you should start, and be in. Ironically, you will end up making money. So chase the vision and the higher purpose, not the money.”

Tony Hsieh Zappos, Former CEO Zappos.com

The truth is nothing great in the world has been achieved without purpose. Purpose gives people an edge, firing the flames of passion, enthusiasm, drive and initiative needed to succeed.

Working with purpose stokes the embers of flagging motivation, and procrastination and helps fuel latent dreams.

Pursuing your purpose can lead you to the work you were born to create.

Purposeful Entrepreneurs

Many people have turned things that made them angry, like injustice, hatred or dishonesty, into their life’s work and brought about meaningful and powerful change as a result. Others have transcended personal setbacks to help others create meaningful change.

Former fashion model Elle McPherson discovered her purpose and found her niche following a cancer scare and post suffering burn out. Her flagship product, THE SUPER ELIXIR™ Alkalising Greens showcases her deepest conviction that what you feed your body nurtures your mind, body and soul.

Others have turned their favourite skills and obsessions into wonderful products and services for others to enjoy. Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson has used his entrepreneurial skills and love of fun to create businesses that others get a buzz from too.

“Business can be a creative enterprise in itself. You’re trying to create something that is original, which stands out in the crowd that will last and hopefully serve some useful purpose. Above all you want to create something you can be proud of,” Branson says.

Make Yourself Proud

Barry Watson wanted to make himself proud. He turned his life around, saving his marriage in the process. Now he finds meaning and purpose helping others save their relationships too. While still holding down a salaried position he’s started a business on the side.

My business is called A Great Couple. I help couples have an amazing relationship together. I chose the name because it ideally described what I wanted to do: help couples have a great relationship. I chose to enter this space because my wife and I have had several major marriage hurdles to overcome, and I wanted to help others avoid, and get through them.

I love helping others! There’s nothing yet like knowing that the painful experiences you have gone through have helped someone in their moment of need. Life can be tough at times and knowing someone is there to help can mean the world.

To make sure I was offering the right service for the right market I talked to my audience. I don’t try to assume I think I know what they want. I spend time asking them, and then base my business offerings off what they specifically want to meet their needs.

Keeping his energy levels high

I work 40+ hours in another job, so balance is critical. I try to live a focused life that puts emphasis on the things that matter, and eliminate time wasting activities as much as possible. I also try to have set goals for each day so I don’t become stagnant and stuck in the same spot.

I’m a passionate person so I need to be careful I don’t do too much. I get up before 5am, pray, go to the gym (some mornings) and start writing before I have to leave for work around 7am. I look at the board I created with my 2016 goals on it, and connect with many like-minded people who inspire me to keep reaching higher. I also try not to take for granted what I’ve been given. In a moments notice it could be be gone, so seizing the precious moments that life blesses us with is crucial.

Finding customers

Networking is key, as is trying to give more to others than you get back. If you do this, people will tell others about you and it helps to grow your “following.” Some of my most successful marketing, especially for the books I have written, has included: building friends on Facebook, various book promotions sites; and networking with others to help promote my books.

Passion, great plans, committed team, perseverance and making lots of profit, contribute to being a successful self-employed person. Some of the best advice I’ve received is, if you can dream it, it’s because you are supposed to achieve it.

You can find Barry Watson and learn more about his business, including his wonderful books via his website here: www.agreatcouple.com

Getting Clear About Your Purpose

As Barry’s story illustrates, gaining greater clarity about life’s purpose begins with gaining greater self-awareness of the life experiences that have shaped you, your passions and the legacy you want to leave in the world.

It means getting clear about the work you were born to do, creating a clear and compelling vision about your preferred future and ensuring everything you do from this point on takes you closer to your life purpose.

Book_transparentbg copyThis has been an excerpt from Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself.  Find your purpose and point of brilliance and read other inspirational stories of success inMid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself available in print and eBook on Amazon.

How to start a business on the side while holding down your job

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Young woman laying on dry leaves and enjoying lifeStart a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence.

A big shout out to my client who has started her business while holding down her current job. Catherine’s started smart by taking over an existing business – check it out here http://www.lifeconsulting.co.nz/

Learn from other inspired and inspiring entrepreneurs and make a calculated leap to self-employed freedom and fulfilment. Fourteen individuals tell you their stories in  Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too lateTheir backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment. Here’s an excerpt:

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK

They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.

The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.

  • They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  • They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  • They shared. They communicated their vision, goals and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  • They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  • They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment and recognition to do their job well.
  • They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leapt, but they leapt nonetheless. Courage and confidence was something they built as they went.
  • They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.

Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates

Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.

Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organisation for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organisation to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.

It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.

I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification programme. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me.

I realised becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed.

I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills and goals.

My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching programme and haven’t looked back since…

Do something you love

I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilise my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.

I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing and aromatherapy pamper parties.

Deciding what to do

My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realised it would take time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.

I went into this with a realistic view that it would take twothree years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.

I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led onto me becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.

This year I will be focusing on increasing my impact/marketing reach strategies by striving to increase my coaching capacity to offer Skype sessions/coaching packages globally online as well as within New Zealand.

Finding an idea that would be successful

A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful.

When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.

I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence.

When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need.

However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.

I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my programme offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.

Finding the right product for the right market

I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally.

I read lots of industry related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.

Keeping your energy levels high

I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.

Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realise you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition.When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…

Book_transparentbg copyTo read more of Lisa’s story, be inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of  Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself TODAY!

Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.

Brilliant Career Inspiration

*