Money is only one part of what a career can offer you. For me, it was always about finding a lifestyle that provided me the freedom to make my own schedule, travel and create positive change in the world; a lifestyle that didn’t look like anything I currently knew, something that had to be personally sculpted by putting actions behind my daydreams.

I grew up on a farm in rural Canada, near Birtle, Manitoba, a town with a population of 700. I come from an incredible community filled with warm-hearted people but building a worldwide business in conscious living wasn’t really the main booth at our career fair. I knew I had to create my own path. It was just a matter of trusting myself enough to bring it all to life.

For the past seven years, I have paved my way in the world as a facilitator for Access Consciousness. I facilitate classes around the world and am lucky enough to travel every month.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes wondering where the next paycheck will come from is almost traumatic. It has been a jagged, frustration-filled journey at times, but after seven years building this business, I have finally set up the systems, self-confidence and revenue streams to have a sustainable life.

Here are four steps to building a successful career or business that fits you.

Step 1: Follow Your Intuition

In business, you have to be able to make decisions quickly and stand behind those choices. Most of us second-guess ourselves out of quick decisions. It is much easier to find a reason why something won’t work out, rather than committing to it, even if you could fail.

You can combat indecision by using a simple exercise called “Light or Heavy.” It is a way of strengthening your intuition and listening to what you know deep down. If something makes you feel light, it will create a future of more lightness and ease. If something makes you feel heavy, it will create difficulty in the future.

This technique does have its drawbacks, because at first, we can be quite confused about what our intuition is telling us. The more you practice this technique, the stronger you will be in the choices you make, and the more you will pay attention to which choices will create something greater, and which will create difficulty. The good thing is, that each choice will create greater awareness, whether it is right or wrong.

Step 2: Realize that what you think and say creates your life and future

The words we think and speak are the mantras that create our life. So much of what we say actually creates the path ahead of us. Negative self-talk really does destroy our career and/or business.

The definitions of the words we say have changed over time. This means that we often don’t know the true meaning behind what we say. For example, the word ‘want’ has many definitions, most of which mean ‘to lack’. So, every time you say, “I want money,” you are actually saying, “I lack money.” If you pay attention to the language of people who have large amounts of money, they rarely use the word ‘want.’ They actually just go ahead and do something, or don’t. Wanting is not in their vocabulary and therefore lack does not reflect into their lives.

Pay attention to what you say and think and do your best to eliminate the words that are undermining your success.

Step 3: Realize that your negative thoughts don’t belong to you

We pick up on the vibrations of the thoughts of those around us. When you walk into a room, you can immediately sense the overall energy. I used to have days where I was very depressed. When I would leave my apartment building, I would immediately feel better. I was living in a bad area of town and the overall morale and energy was not good. If you acknowledge that so much of the negativity you are thinking is actually negativity in the people around you, you can actually choose beyond it.

Step 4: Don’t make choices in your career based on what others would choose for you.

If I would have followed the advice of those around me, I would be working on a PhD I didn’t care about, totally burnt out and unfulfilled. People give you advice based on their personal points of view, and their own life experiences and expectations of you. They always come with good intentions, but no one else is you. You have personal dreams that are not part of other people’s awareness, and often the people around you do not have the same awareness. It is important to stay true to your path, no matter what others may be thinking or whether or not they are judging you.

 

When you are building a business or career, you have to look at the practical and financial choices you are making. And looking at the energetics of your life, is actually a great place to start when jumping off the cliff into a new job, or into entrepreneurship. With these four steps you will be on the road to a bigger, brighter future.


Julia Sotas has always been interested in self-improvement, attending her first course at the tender age of 13. She has a degree in Sociology from the University of Winnipeg and now lives in South Carolina with her husband and three step kids. She’s seen personally how to change money mindsets and go on to earn more than you could ever imagine. She teaches Right Riches for You classes so others can do the same. Right Riches for You is a specialty program of Access Consciousness.


It’s easy to go through life simply going from one job to another, doing the same thing over and over again. Perhaps you don’t feel fulfilled in your career, but you don’t know what to do next. Perhaps you’ve never taken the time to step back and look at how your life and career are progressing. You’re just spinning your wheels and getting through each day as it happens, or you’re standing at the crossroads of your career and don’t know where to go from here.

So, what can you do to make changes in your life and refresh your career?

Xplore for Success is an organisation dedicated to Driving Gender Equality. They do this by delivering Career Resiliency programs for women within corporations who want to step up into leadership positions. Xplore are holding their first ever Career Retreat for Women, from Friday 31 July to Sunday 2 August. The aim of the retreat is for women to take time out of their lives and reflect on what’s important to them, so they can come back re-energised and refocused— with practical steps they can start to implement in their lives.

The retreat is focused around three key concepts: Reflect, Re-energise, Refocus. You can use these concepts to transform both your life and career, and ensure that you’re moving in a direction where you are firmly in the driver’s seat and feeling alive each day.

Ozlem from Xplore explains the basics behind each concept, and offers some practical tips you can apply in your life right now.

Reflect

On its own, reflection is a very powerful tool. It’s how we learn; how we join the dots and realise how we could have done better or done things differently, and how we integrate the key learnings we’ve gained along the way. It enables us to make changes in our habits and patterns. Without reflection, we just keep going on autopilot and doing the same thing.

Everyone has a to-do list, but no one has a stop-doing list. We can’t do everything at the same time. We need to stop doing some things in order to make room for the things we truly want to do. Reflection is crucial in working out what those important things are. If we take care of the things that are important, there will be far less ‘urgency’ in our lives, less scrambling to put out fires each day.

If we take care of the things that are important, there will be far less ‘urgency’ in our lives, less scrambling to put out fires each day.

Ask yourself: What do I need to do more of? What do I need to do less of? What do I need to do differently in order to get where I want to go?

A practical step you can implement immediately:

Give yourself some quiet time in the morning for some reflection. It might be no longer than five minutes. It might be over a cup of tea. The important thing is to have that moment of silence and think about how you want your day to go. Decide on the one thing you need to focus on that day that will make you feel proud at the end of it. Then go out and do it!

Re-Energise

We all have a limited amount of time in a day, but how much we can achieve in that time comes down to our energy level. You probably know one or two people in your life who are always on the go, who seem almost superhuman—well, it all comes down to their energy levels.

An article published by the Harvard Business Review a few years back stated that “time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story.” Energy is not finite, and it is up to us to manage our energy so we have a greater capacity to perform at our highest possible level. If we learn to manage our energy, we will get better work done, contribute more, become more innovative and creative, and most importantly, we won’t come home feeling burnt out.

If we learn to manage our energy, we will get better work done, contribute more, become more innovative and creative, and most importantly, we won’t come home feeling burnt out.

Many people talk about balancing your life, which is another way for women to feel guilty about themselves. Sometimes it’s simply not possible to balance everything. There are times when we will need to give more focus and energy on certain aspect of our work or our lives.

A practical step you can implement immediately:

Reduce the number of decisions you make for the routine stuff. Studies indicate if you have some robust procedures and processes in place, or rituals when you get up so you don’t need to make decisions in the morning, you actually have more energy and decision-making ability later in the day.

Start to cultivate routines and rituals that set you up to perform your best in the day. Ask yourself what do you need in order to achieve that. It could be getting up early to do exercise, or giving yourself 15 minutes of extra time to have a proper breakfast. It could be sitting down and looking over your diary or calendar so you know what you have coming up and what you have to do to achieve your goals. It’s about owning the time in your day, rather than being owned by it.

It’s about owning the time in your day, rather than being owned by it.

Set up the routines that work for you. Stick to them. You might be surprised at how much it helps your energy levels later in the day!

Refocus

Refocusing is about getting clear on where you’re going. It’s about knowing which direction you’re heading, and why. The ‘why’ is important because we’re all busy and our days get clogged up. The ‘why’ factor will motivate you and keep you on track. It’s a reminder of what’s meaningful to you.

Having the ‘why’ helps you to take those purposeful and deliberate steps in the direction you want to go. It allows you to consider the actions you’re taking. Just like any other roadmap, once you know where you’re headed, you also know what choices and decisions you have to make to get there. Without the ‘why’, without that final destination, it’s pretty hard to know what choices you need to make!

A practical step you can implement immediately:

Take a step back and start asking yourself the questions that will determine your destination. Where do you want to be six months from now, and what will that look like? How will you know you’ve gotten there—not just wishy-washy feelings, but definitive indicators or success factors that will tell you that you’ve arrived?

If you’re looking to develop your career, look at what projects you’re on and the level of responsibility you have. What’s your career vision? For example, if you want to move to a managerial role but have never had direct reports, what are some things you can do to learn to support someone else and be a guide to them? Are there any opportunities for you to take up mentoring?

In the end, it’s too easy for your destination to be about the dollars instead of about feeling fulfilled. What kind of work do you want to do where you feel you’re in your thriving zone? What kinds of things do you care about, or are passionate about?

Take a step back and refocus your life. Sheryl Sandburg recently quoted in a post about her recently deceased husband, “Let me not die while I am still alive.” Don’t let yourself go through each day without considering the path that will let you feel challenged, valued, as though you’re making a difference and most importantly, that will let you feel alive.

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If you want to spend a weekend with like-minded women and experienced mentors exploring how the mantra of “Reflect, Re-energise and Refocus” can  transform your life, consider attending the Xplore Career Retreat held from Friday 31 July to Sunday 2 August. The goal is to give women time to slow down and listen to their inner wisdom—to discover what is true for them. You’ll come away not just with a fresh view on your career and life, but also practical strategies and tools to make the changes in your life.

It’s held on a weekend so you won’t be juggling work, and you’ll be put up in an air-conditioned private cabin overlooking the Hawkesbury River. You’ll be 90 minutes out of Sydney–far enough to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, but not too far out that you’ll be even more tired when you get home.

xploreThe earlybird tickets are $1800(+GST), for all bookings by June 30. Otherwise, standard tickets are $2000(+GST). It’s tax-deductible, and it’s worth asking your employer if they will pay for this as part of your professional development. You can find the brochure here, with details on how to register.

This article was sponsored by and written in collaboration with Xplore.

photo credit: You Make Your Own Choices by Simon & His Camera (Alnwick Castle Gardens)


2015 is going to be another year of employment uncertainty, so we owe it to our careers to be on the front foot in terms of our career management.

Here are 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your career in the year ahead:

1) Find your career sweet spot

Our careers accelerate when we combine the things that we’re GOOD at; what we LOVE and the OPPORTUNITIES available. We have more control over these factors than we realise, so take some time to: 1) identify your key strengths and assets, particularly any strengths that are unique; 2) reflect on what you love to do the most [this may or may not correlate to your current role]; and 3) always have your radar on for opportunities both in and outside the business.

2) Network

Networking is not just for the extroverted, it’s an important career management activity. I work with many people experiencing redundancy and when they are tasked with ‘activating’ their professional networks, it’s difficult to start from scratch.

Don’t wait to external factors to play a role, its good technique to keep your network activated at all times and LinkedIn is making this a lot easier. Connect with people, find out what they are doing and ask lots of questions. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities arise when we take the time to stay connected.

3) Focus on career enrichment

Remember the traditional vertical career path when a team member became a team leader, then a manager, then senior manager before finally rising to the ranks of executive? These days are now behind us with a combination of flat structures, portfolio careers and flexible work arrangements dominating the career landscape. As a result, if you are just diligently working away to reach the next rung in the ladder, you may miss out.

Career enrichment is about focusing on growing your current role so that your 2015 is defined by learning, development and added responsibility. Engage your manager as well as internal resources in talent management to identify the areas where you can stretch yourself. This gives your career momentum even if you do stay at the same level.

4) Define your brand

Your brand is the combined view that the business and the market have of you. This is separate from on-the-job performance. Organisations are filled with people who perform well, yet their careers are limited by a poor brand – in order to progress your career, you need to focus on both key areas.

Think about your current brand in the business and reflect on the aspirational brand that you want to create. What do you want to be known for? What’s important to you? Who is your key audience? Once you’ve got a clear brand message to promote, you’ll be able to assess your decisions in terms of whether they support this brand or dilute the brand.

5) Dump the 5 year plan

This may be controversial, however, here’s the logic. Our experience shows that with the pace life in general, a lot happens in 5 years and most of this is not forecastable. Locking yourself into the 5 year goal may not facilitate the agility required to adapt to changing situations as they develop.

A more targeted long term plan is to define the next 2-3 steps, moves or roles that support your overall career direction and trajectory. Don’t be prescriptive about the timeline, progress, momentum and development are the important factors.

Finally, don’t wait and don’t be a passenger. It is not the organisation’s or your Managers career. It is your career so take charge and manage your career with confidence and control.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay

Christopher PatersonChristopher Paterson is the Managing Director of ALCHEMY Career Management, a firm which supports individuals to        transition their career, assists companies adapting to organisational change and delivers [email protected]™ programs for any organisation wanting to help staff to be at their best.  For more information, please see http://www.alchemycm.com.au/