Friday, February 1, 2008

Live a Life by Design

I was quite flattered when Kathy asked me to be the guest blogger this month. Sharing my journey to find, and live my passion is truly a privilege. I hope my story inspires you to take the actions necessary to live your dreams. Ok, so a little bit of background about me… I grew up in Metro-Detroit and attended the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). After graduation, I went to work for Procter and Gamble Distributing Company in Sales and had a wonderful career. About 10 years in (right around the time the stock price at P&G went from $150 to $50 per share) I decided to enter the full time MBA program at Southern Methodist University. While there, I expanded my world by studying abroad in both Asia and Australia. After graduation, I embarked on a new career in Human Resources working for both Raytheon Company and General Mills… that is where the story takes an interesting turn.

Ever wanted to live a life by design and spend your day your way?

Well in 2006 I decided to do just that. I was working for General Mills as the HR lead for one of the manufacturing facilities. I liked the work, but was not thrilled about the location; living as a single woman in Albuquerque, NM was not my idea of fun. I was far from family and friends and found this part of the Southwest to be a wonderful place to raise a family, there was just one problem I didn’t have a family. In June, my father had a stroke on the heals of my mother healing from breast cancer. I decided I had been away from Detroit long enough. So I left the “dream job” moved home and became a partner in a coaching and consulting firm.

Clients consistently ask me why my coaching mantra is to live a life by design, not by accident. Well, I realized while working at P&G that I “fell” into the opportunity. I did not even know who P&G was until 2 weeks before I was selected to interview at age 18. When I got ready to leave the company in 2000, I realized that I had taken assignments in locations and divisions I was not overly excited about or committed to. That realization was the beginning of my journey to living a life by design. While in grad school, I decided to step outside my “box” and spent six months living and traveling thru Australia. No one could believe I made the decision to go… much less go by myself. It was the BEST time of my life and set me on the path to becoming the woman I am today. The experience taught me to take risks and to be open to the gifts life has in store. I realized that the world can be both a generous and loving place, all we have to do is be open to receive.

For most of my life I coached other people, you know the type – the person everyone comes to for advice and perspective. I thought that coaching others only happened in the world of HR so off I went. I was so excited in early 2006 to discover there was another option … coaching was an actual profession. After training with CoachU, I joined a coaching collaborative where I work in the most creative, innovative and supportive environment. There are days we ask ourselves do we really get paid to do this?? As a Human Capital Management and Sales Leadership Expert most of my clients work in HR, Sales, Executive Leadership or are Entrepreneurs; although recently I have been attracting all types to my practice. Working with leaders and their teams to improve their business results and personal performance is truly an honor.

I am so blessed to be living a life of contribution, one in which my values, priorities and work are fully integrated. A friend recently asked me how I do it all: volunteer for a social organization and at my church, take care of my parents, work as a partner in the firm and make time for friends and family. I had to tell her that I live the life I designed, creating space for all I deem important. Most of my clients call me fortunate when we meet. At the end of the coaching experience, my clients realize how fortunate they are and are even more excited about the life and success they have created for themselves.

One of the distinct features of my coaching program is shadow coaching. This is a unique opportunity to have a coach “shadow” your every move in a typical day, and help you understand how you show up in your world. Clients find they glean amazing insights and are able to transform who, and how they are in the world at an exponential rate. I worked with the CEO of an organization who during our shadow coaching discovered a recent change he made in delivering information (trying to respond positively to 360 feedback) was simply making the situation worse. We had an opportunity to discuss several instances where he did not get the response he was intending. By the end of the day, he made amends with a direct report (they had been having problems for months) and was well on his way to becoming the transformational leader he has always wanted to be. Shadow coaching is my most requested service and in many ways my most rewarding.

The biggest life lesson I have learned is that you do not know what people go home to, if they have a home at all. You never know what someone is dealing with so in all that I do I try to let my light shine on others in a way that is healing, loving, and nurturing.

The best part of my work you ask… having the opportunity to help people define their dreams, create a plan, and manifest their destiny.

If you are ready to live your life by design visit us on the web at or email me at