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Outsmart the Hustle

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It’s been a while since I’ve felt inspired to write something. In fact, it’s been months!

I could use the pandemic as an excuse but it’s deeper than that. 

A fellow coach asked me an important question a few months ago. She said, “Michael, how come you’re not owning your story?”

My first thought was, “What is she talking about?”

My next thought was, “Great question! What am I not seeing?”

My coach friend pointed out that there were some key things she knew about my story that I wasn’t telling.

This keen observation had me pause for a bit and then revisit my coaching work through a slightly different lens.

Before I became a full time coach, at the height of my software sales executive career, I felt “successful” but empty.

I had all the exterior markers of thriving but I was not at all fulfilled.

I secretly dreamed of a different life, but I felt trapped by golden handcuffs.

I felt a much deeper calling yet I was afraid to do something else.

But… I did muster enough curiosity to start a side hustle experiment where I began coaching two or three people while I was working full time.

This gave me a sense of purpose but I still didn’t have the courage to trade my “successful” career for more soulful work.

And then I got a call from my boss that quickly brought me down to earth to face the reality of feeling numb on the inside, even though I seemed to be doing great from the outside.

That was nearly 8 years ago when I was laid off from a career that I had spent 14 years building.

I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. My boss said that our entire team was being laid off because the company was rebalancing their priorities. I felt hopeful but also scared and uncertain.

I knew in my soul that this was just the nudge I needed to make the leap and pursue the kind of work that felt more aligned.

And at the same time, my identity was wrapped up in being a high-achieving software sales executive, having a good salary, matching 401k, expense account, vacation, etc.

Who would I be without these things… the title, the predictable high-level income, the benefits?

Up until this point, I was too scared to find out.

If you’ve ever felt like this, then you know it can be maddening to feel your soul dying on the inside, unable to express it because everyone expects you to be in love with your “successful” life.

I once described this feeling like software sales being a bad marriage of convenience, and then after launching my coaching business, feeling like I had just met my soulmate.

Leaning Into My Story

As it turns out, the past several months have offered up a perfect opportunity for me to lean into my story. Not just the part about being a coach or pursuing a life with more meaning.

But also the parts about…

  • Letting go of a “successful” career to pursue something far less certain.
  • Leaving behind a high salary job to spend more time with my wife and dogs.
  • Wondering if I could replace my high-level income doing work I love.
  • The identity crisis of switching from a career I knew to one that was ambiguous.
  • Reconciling my desire for more meaningful work and pursuing it unapologetically.
  • Navigating risk, change and the desire to make an impact.
  • Going from unhappy in my work to happy in my work.

Is This The Moment That’s Been Waiting For You?

The past few months have offered up a unique combination of events for many of us including working from home, no longer being tied to a specific city or geography for work, flexible work weeks, and kids at home.

People are waking up to other ways of working and taking a closer look at what they will no longer tolerate.

A recent New York Times article called ‘Welcome To the YOLO Economy’, featured executives and professionals that are seriously questioning how they want to live and work.

A quote from the article sums up what so many are thinking… “One executive at a major tech company said she and her husband had both been discussing quitting their jobs in recent weeks. The pandemic, she said, had taught them that they’d been playing it too safe with their life choices, and missing out on valuable family time.”

So my question for you is…

Is this the moment that’s been waiting for you?

Is this the perfect moment for you to:

  • Reimagine your career & life?
  • Lean into the work that’s calling you to make a greater contribution?
  • Use your “career capital” as a springboard to do even greater things?
  • Redefine what it looks like to be a leader?
  • Have a huge impact on your own terms?
  • Let go of burnout forever?
  • Put your soul back into your work?

You may already have a thriving career or business, yet still have a calling in your soul to do something different. If you have a desire to start or grow a business in alignment with your soul calling, then I want to help you. Not just because I love the process of supporting high-achievers with finding more joy in their work.  But because I know how deadening & depressing it can be to wonder what it would be like if you really went for it.

As I approach my 8 year mark as a coach, I realize that the most important work I can be doing right now is to share ALL of my story and support those who are ready to embrace their life’s work and do what makes them come alive.

You already know there’s something inside you that you were born to do.

And the one thing I know for sure is when you start shining your light and sharing your gifts in a purposeful way, you will be in awe of the impact and abundance you create.

Which of the following do you resonate with the most?

A) You’re dreaming of launching something new, and want CLARITY around what your “Gift” is, who you can help, and how to create an income by sharing your Gift with them.

B) You already have a side-hustle as a coach, consultant or advisor and you want to replace your high-level income with the work you love.

C) You have clarity around who you help and how you help them, you already have clients, and you’re looking to have even more impact.
Which best describes you? A, B, or C?

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