About a month ago, I met Phyllis via Twitter (don't you love social media!). I had been reading her posts for awhile and thought that she might have something of value to offer to my readers. I was right! Phyllis has offered something called "Your Personal Retreat." It includes an article and audio exercises to help you take some time out for yourself and look at your life. You can also do these exercises with friends.
Here's my interview with Phyllis about how she lets her Spirit drive in her professional life.
Hi Phyllis. Thanks so much for offering a bonus gift to my readers. Could you tell everyone more about yourself and your business.
I’m both a career / business consultant and certified life coach with an international clientele of creative and enterprising people. My overall aim is to help individuals develop fulfilling work while growing personally and professionally. I’ve coached and consulted in the career field for more than twenty-three years. I trained as a coach and was awarded certification through the Coach Training Institute and have also completed further training in Co-Active Leadership and Somatic Coaching. I’m qualified in the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), which is a highly validated instrument that identifies individual preferences, and helps clients understand themselves and others better.
I’ve been interviewed in over seventy newspapers including the New York Times and Washington Post and have spoken on career topics on radio and television. Currently I write about Boomer careers for Job-Hunt.org (http://www.job-hunt.org/boomer-job-search/boomer-job-search.shtml) and on personal development for the international women’s service organization Soroptimist: (http://www.soroptimist.org/LiveYourDream/LifeCoach.html).
It sounds like you're busy doing a lot of fun and creative ventures. I'm sure all of this didn't happen overnight. What has your professional journey looked like so far?
In the past I served as director of Career Services at Moore College of Art and Design, and as a marketing and public relations writer. I’ve served on the U. S. board of the Association of Career Professionals International (ACP) as well as the boards of the ACP’s Philadelphia chapter and Business Women’s Network.
A benefit to my clients from my level of experience is that, having worked with so many people, I can usually see into what they are telling me and quickly get to the nub of what is bothering them.
Before beginning my career as a life coach and consultant, I was an artist working in textile design, creating wall pieces, one-of-a-kind fashion, and custom textiles for interior designers. My work sold nationally through retailers from New York: Bergdorf Goodman and Julie’s Artisan Gallery to San Francisco: the “Obiko” art wear boutique, and is held in individual and corporate collections. With my partner Richard Valentino, I founded the San Francisco School and Gallery of Textile Arts, and wrote the book “Fabric Printing: Screen Method.” I was a winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in crafts.
I am fortunate that in addition to being a creative person, I’m good at business and I have the ability to think strategically. Since early in my career I have earned part of my living helping other artists and designers earn a livelihood.
Very nice pieces! That's wonderful to have that creative outlet. Since you've had several professional experiences (both paid and volunteer), how did you you decide on the next path to take to get you where you are today?
At a time when I was looking for a new career direction, a light bulb came on when I saw Stand and Deliver, a movie about a dedicated math teacher who works with drop-out students. I cried throughout the movie. Fortunately, rather than comforting me and trying to get me to stop crying, my partner asked me questions about what moved me so much. I responded that I was moved by the way the Edward James Olmos character inspired his students. I realized I wanted to focus my work on this quality of inspiration.
That discovery led me to approach Barbara Sher, a personal growth author and one of the pre-cursors to the field of coaching. Her book “Wishcraft” fascinated me, and I asked her permission to design a workshop based on it. Not only did she give her permission, but to encourage me, she generously introduced me to the audience and had me talk about the workshop the next time she spoke in Philadelphia.
Soon after, I was hired by an international career management firm to lead workshops to help laid-off executives choose a new direction and learn and practice job search skills. Although I was new to the field, they chose me over candidates with training and experience. I discovered later that I was hired because they saw me clearly as ‘a natural,’ and they trained me in their methods. It was an inspired time for me and I felt encouraged by the help and mentoring I received.
I have been given a great gift that has made my life much happier. My work is so well suited to me that it’s a pleasure and I’m always interested in learning and developing more. This is what I want for my clients as well.
Wow, that's beautiful. Talk about everything falling into place! Now that you're doing such great work, what do you use as an indicator of your continued success?
My success is my client’s success, and success for my clients is clearly visible. If they are looking for a new direction; they find out what they want to do and make the transition. If they are looking to grow their business, it is very clear that our work together is productive because their business is growing. If they want a better job, they get hired.
As a result my practice grows almost entirely as a result of referrals. What I am most proud of is there are families where I have worked with everyone, including cousins. First the parents, then the children as they graduated from school, and then again as they matured and grew in their careers.
Thanks so much for your time and sharing your story!
Jennifer reached out to me via my e-book launch blog post. She was nice enough to vote for me in The Next Top Spiritual Author competition. We share a similar philosophy about education and its role in the journey of life.
Jennifer has written a book about her journey that also has a driving theme, literally. Her book is called An American in Oz: Discovering the Island Continent of Australia. Those of you that enjoyed reading Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia should check it out. Jennifer is including the introduction to her book as one of the 8 bonus gifts if you purchase Driving to Success today.
Here's my interview with Jennifer on how she lets her Spirit drive in her professional life.
Jennifer, how would you summarize your professional life?
I am a writer and speaker, and I have come a long way from selling stamps for the US Postal Service.
Definitely! Do you remember what you said you wanted to be when you grew up?
A writer. I was 40 when I remembered that tidbit!
Ha! It's funny how it can take awhile to remember those childhood dreams. What has your professional journey been like so far?
Courageous, crazy, and the only thing worth doing.
It's great how you were able to take a courageous trip to Australia and turn it into something that made your childhood dream come true. What was your process of deciding on the next path to take?
I had heard often enough from family and friends, "You should write a book." I decided to listen to those who knew me better than I knew myself at the time. Once I started writing, it was as if I came home to myself and knew it was the only path to take.
That's wonderful. What do you use as an indicator of your success?
How many doors open in the most surprising of places.
Yes, doors do seem to open even when you're not expecting it. You seem like an ambitious person, so how do you decide which door to walk through?
I listen to the voice within, and when I hear the same idea over and over again, I make a commitment to follow through. Right now, it's to put all things aside and make my book into an ebook. Crazy as this sounds, it was my first goal to make an ebook before the pbook (printed version), but the pbook insisted on coming out first. I'm glad it's here, and now it's time for the ebook.
It's great to hear about another author's process. Jennifer, before you go, do you have any words of advice to share with my readers?
Following your heart, taking the road less traveled, takes a tremendous amount of faith, courage, and perseverance. The good news is, it's worth every worry, tear, and angst to get to the other side into freedom. Everyone who has taken this path experiences the same struggle, and everyone experiences the same reward of freedom.
Thank you. Again, Jennifer's book is An American in Oz: Discovering the Island Continent of Australia.
I had the pleasure of working with Rebecca while serving on a nonprofit board in Albuquerque. Rebecca is passionate about helping local businesses and her current entrepreneurial efforts support that passion. During that time, we had many chances to discuss our spiritual approaches to life. I was pleased to have Rebecca provide an endorsement of my book.
Here's my interview with Rebecca about how she lets her Spirit drive in her professional life.
Rebecca, tell my readers a little more about your business.
I own Visions Video Productions, an independent production company focused on what connects us to each other and the earth. Along with documentaries on social justice and environmental issues, I use my skills to help local business owners have a better video presence on their Web sites.
That an important part of Web sites nowadays. I'm curious how close your current profession is to what you said you wanted to be when you grew up.
I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic magazine.
Not too far off since National Geographic's tagline is "Inspiring people to care about the planet"! How would you describe your professional journey so far?
A weave of creative/entrepreneurial and community leadership.
As you created your professional tapestry, how did you decide on the next step in your path?
Inner guidance, outer changes, patience and perseverance! I quit a part-time job that was taking too much away from this passion of making videos and movies that matter. After making that decision and taking that leap, a different part-time job fell into my lap and I now have more energy for doing the creative work of movie-making.
How wonderful to have things fall into place like that. When you do make a change like you did, what do you use as an indicator of your success?
Whether I feel peaceful.
Very nice. And I'm sure you continue to set goals for yourself even if you already feel successful. Do you have any special tips for my readers on knowing which goals to drive toward?
I pick those things that have what I call "sparkles" around them -- whether big or small, the things that pull me and energize me become my goals.
Thanks so much for your time, Rebecca. Any other comments or things you would like my readers to know?
I can be reached! My phone # is (505) 858-1868.