Newsletter Signup




Monthly Archives: February 2009

Trying Too Hard to Succeed? Slow Down and Breathe

I’ve been on a fascinating journey in the past few months, since winning the CT award from the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business program (from Count Me In).  While it was a major catalyst for me to step up and grow my business tactically and strategically, I see now that I’ve also been flitting around like a “hummingbird,” quickly moving from suggestion to suggestion (from outside coaches, consultants and mentors) without taking the time to deeply reflect on how they relate to my own vision and what I really want.


The bottom line of all this (thanks go to my friend and great publicist, Patti Danos, for pointing this out): “Being open to others’ thoughts, ideas, recommendations, et al. is a great thing. Yet, at the same time, it can become a slippery slope and ultimately reach a point of diminishing returns.”


What sage thinking.  In these tough times, we’re all trying to do what’s best for our businesses, careers, and our lives, but it can feel like we’re on a bit of never-ending hamster wheel ride, can’t it?


I’m going to follow my own advice (from my book Breakdown, Breakthrough).  Starting tonight, I’m going to:


  • Step Back – (and breathe) to gain my OWN empowered perspective (no more outside views for the time being!)
  • Let Go – of the fear that I’ve been messing up and need to fix it
  • Say Yes – to my internal hunches and intuition about what’s right, and what’s wrong for me and my business.

 Ah…I feel much better just committing to those three tiny steps. 


How ’bout you…feeling like a hummingbird, flitting to and fro trying desperately to fix things, or figure them out?


Please join me in a full week of Stepping Back, Letting Go, and Saying Yes.  And let us know how it goes for you, stepping off the wheel for a while.


The Overfunctioning of the American Woman

Yesterday, Penelope Trunk, who writes a very thought-provoking blog – The Brazen Careerist — on careers and life trends today, mentioned my book Breakdown, Breakthrough (click here for yesterday’s post.)


She addressed a recent comment I made about women needing to stop over-functioning domestically, as they step up to greater financial responsibility for their households and emerge more predominant on the US workforce scene. 


Penelope’s thoughts were (as I understood them), that asking men to step up their role in the arena of domestic responsibility, (and clean the toilets, for instance) was just not going to happen, and we should let it go.   In fact, she indicated she thought it was “bad” to ask men to do more at home.


I truly appreciate Penelope’s insights – always fascinating and thought-provoking. But I must add to the numerous comments that were offered on her blog that my point is women need to shift away from our deep and rigid habit of “overfunctioning” – doing more than is necessary, more than is appropriate, and more than is healthy (at home, in our parenting, at work, etc.).  My research shows that women do indeed overfunction in many arenas, and it’s making us angry, stressed, and sick…and it’s holding us back in life. 


From my view, it’s time to reverse this detrimental pattern, as well as address gross gender inequities.   Women still do the lion share of domestic work, even when they work outside the home, and even when they are the primary breadwinners.  As a women’s advocate, a mom, wife, and small business owner, I know this no longer works.


But women’s overfunctioning domestically is not irreversible.  We (both men and women, and new generations) can change.  It’s certainly not impossible, and it’s not hopeless. I know…I have a marriage in which we both work our tails off as full-time business owners, yet we share the domestic responsibilities and raising our two children (not the toilets, but almost everything else!)  


I find it so interesting that women tend to resist this notion even more than men – that there needs to be more of an equal share in domestic responsibility.  Why do women fight this? 


What do you think?  Should men step it up at home, or not? 


Can Losing a Job Save Your Life?

I’m so grateful for this review and really enjoy Anita’s work on her blog –

Thanks, Anita!

Will Women Outnumber Men in the Workforce?

Hi Friends:
Yesterday, in light of the NY Times article, “As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force” (see, I was interviewed on Fox Business Network TV, discussing this recession trend of layoffs hitting men harder than women, and women potentially outnumbering men in the workplace.

We discussed the following:
1) Will the trend continue
2) If so, what does it mean for women, and how will it affect our lives and work
3) What can families do to keep afloat financially

Briefly, my views are that this trend will very likely continue, allowing women to be more heavily represented in the nation’s payroll, for the first time in American history.  But for this trend to be beneficial for both men and women, some key things have to change.  Primarily, we need collectively to view this as a potential positive outcome – a change to be embraced for our growth and expansion (both men and women’s), not resisted as a terrible turn of events.

This trend represents great change on many levels for women. For women, access to new opportunities, new experiences of power, authority, and a majority voice in some cases that could help women eventually shape their lives differently, and the lives of other women.  For men, a shift in a power dynamic that may bring great new opportunity for growth.

A lasting trend like this will require, however, a transformation in long-standing rigid gender roles. Research has shown that women are still shouldering the majority of domestic responsibility, even when they work, and even when they are the primary breadwinners. From my view, a revision in thinking and behavior needs to occur in both men and women to allow for women to step up the new responsibilities of caring for their households financially. To do so, women have to walk away from their pattern of “overfunctioning” – doing more than is necessary, more than is appropriate, and more than is healthy. They also have to gain strength and confidence in being in a position, and having a voice, of power — in the family and at work.  Finally, women will greatly benefit from developing a stronger, deeper capability in earning and managing money – a true “money-mindset” – that will serve them well in all times and eras. 

Further, now’s the time for women to understand that women are not “men in skirts” – we will be less constrained now to lead, manage, and work in ways that are inauthentic or not appropriate for us. We need to resist the temptation to do things just as our male colleagues or counterparts have done it, if in fact there might be a different and better way.

Finally, regarding staying afloat in tough financial times, we all have to balance what needs to be done, with what we want to do. We may need to take work now that we wouldn’t have two years ago…work that helps us meet our financial obligations – work that may not compensate us as we wish, or match our skills or abilities perfectly. These are tough times, and these times call for strong measures. We have to find work where we can, and modify our spending and other aspects of our lives to meet these needs.

But the key is to remember that this too shall pass – a brighter future is waiting. My hope is that this future will allow women who want to, to take more of the lead than ever before.  Build for your future now – figure out what you want the years ahead to hold, and get on a course of planning for it (of skill-building, taking on new responsibilities and projects, shifting your roles at home to accommodate growth, learning to earn and manage your money capably, and building your network) so that when the time is right, you will be able to do the work you long to, in the way that best fits you, your priorities and needs.

I’d love your thoughts on both the article, and the views stated here. Please share them!
Thank you,

Power Up! Stepping Up to Your Power and Self-Confidence

Greetings! In the past two months, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of my clients who, as professional women, wish to “power up” in their work roles and in their family lives. They feel compelled to step up to their self-mastery, confidence, and authority – as women and as managers and leaders — and uncover exactly what holds them back from feeling 100% solid in their own strength. And most importantly, they want to overcome these power gaps.

I’ve looked at my particular coaching process in helping women, and realize that one key focus is to conduct a full, diagnostic “power scan” – exploring the client’s communication, beliefs, behaviors, body language, assumptions, patterns, and actions, etc. – to discover where they are less than powerful, less than self-reliant. Once we see these gaps together clearly, we then embark on a powering-up course – to close and heal those power gaps. What an exciting journey it is!

In conducting my power scan with individuals and groups, I look at seven key power domains:

What is the hierarchical structure in place (overt and non-overt), and where do you feel powerful (or disempowered) within that structure

What do your communication processes reveal about you, in relation to yourself, others, and your context (the organization and the world)? How can your communication processes be shifted to elicit more positive power, respect and authority?

Which relationships are central to you, in life and work? Which are generating power, and which are draining you of your power and self-esteem. Where is conflict present and how can it be resolved for increased self-power?

Core Beliefs/Assumptions
What are your core beliefs about your worth, value, contribution, skills, and talents? Which beliefs reveal a need for shifting to increase power and self-trust?

Processing of Experience
How do you “process” the negative and positive events that occur in your life? How can seemingly “negative” experiences be reframed to create room for growth and empowerment?

Utilization of Natural Talents
Are the talents and skills that you use to succeed in your role a natural fit for you? If not, what can be done to bring your natural skills and talents (those that you love to use) forward, in alignment with your current and future roles.

Personal Mission Aligned with Professional Goals
What is your life purpose and mission, and how is it aligned with your professional focus and goals? Where is the “and” between what your work demands with what you truly want?

If you feel a deep longing to increase your power and control, I’d recommend exploring the above power domains as they relate to your life and work. Where do you feel fabulously powerful? And where do you feel unsure, confused, or overwhelmed? Take the time now to discern where your power gaps lie – doing so starts you on a very enlivening power-up journey.

Career Path Self-Assessment

6 Days to a Happier Career!

Subscribe and get my:

6-Day Amazing Career Email Challenge
Career Path
Self-Assessment Survey