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Go for the Gold in Your Goals

Inspired by this week’s featured Reflection Weeks episode of the Mom’s Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Jennifer Becker, Managing Partner of Moms Making Six Figures, who believes in the power of staying the course and finding both your passion and purpose in focused one year commitments emulating the training cycle of high performance athletes.


If you’ve ever pursued a physical goal, like training for a half-marathon, or preparing to hike the tallest summit in your state, or wrestled with improving your health, then you know the battle for success is one fought on a multitude of fronts, from your inner critic, to your daily responsibilities, down to the weather, and everything in between, setting your sights on success requires a plan, preparation, consistency, a support network, and strength in the face of adversity. Simply put, athletes do far more than entertain us, they inspire us because they were us, and they are us.  With enough sacrifice and focused commitment to our training season, we can yield similar performance results in the pursuit of our own personal and professional goals.


 Make a Plan

When I trained for a half-marathon, I had a schedule that I maintained to ensure my success.  My daily runs, down to their pace and mileage, my strength training days, and my rest days were all predetermined.  Because I had a plan, I was able to coordinate all the other moving parts of motherhood and my career around my training schedule.  It wasn’t easy by any means, but it was doable.  Without a plan, and consistent progress checks, I would not have been successful in my training.

If we apply this same approach to a simplified and specific target we have in our career, beginning with our end goal in mind and backwards planning a year’s worth of training, imagine what we could accomplish.  Taking the time to plan is essential to every athlete’s success, and our own.

Prepare

Many of us don’t realize the financial struggles athletes undergo before they achieve sponsorship or they have a signed contract in their hands; just like us, they need a day job to fund their day dream and they have to work diligently in both arenas.  This is only possible with preparation.  When we’re pursuing physical goals this may look like meal preparation, hiring a sitter for our long runs, or taking our running shoes on a vacation.

In our career, many of us are living in the day-to-day without a simplified and specific target with a set duration, and without the preparation to achieve success.  If your goal, for example, is to take on 5 additional clients each quarter, what are the necessary steps you will need to include in your quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plans to take them on?  Would you be wiling to sacrifice a year of Friday evenings if it meant 20 new clients by the end of 2021? What preparation would help you to protect those Friday evenings –childcare, saying no to social outings, etc.—in the pursuit of long-term freedom and financial stability?

Consistency is Key

Athletes don’t exist in some super human form of detachment from emotions and exhaustion; like us, they are trying to keep all the plates spinning while pursuing greatness.  Unlike us, they show up day in and day out without excuse because they have no option but to; they have skin in the game.  If you miss practice, you miss the game, and if you miss enough games, there is someone who is eagerly awaiting their chance to play in your place.

Cal Ripkin played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles.  In those 21 seasons, he also established the record for most consecutive games played, an astonishing 2,632.  When he was asked what motivated his consistency, he replied, “Any day could have been my greatest day playing the game.”

What could you accomplish in a year of consistently showing up to achieve your goals? Just 5 additional hours a week translates to 20 hours over a month, and 6 additional full-time work weeks over the course of a year.  Mamas, you spent longer growing your babies, bringing them into the world, and waking up with them in the middle of the night.  You can do this.

Build Your Support Network

Even in individual sports, athletes rely on experts like a coach, trainer, nutritionist, and physiotherapist to maintain their peak performance. And this team doesn’t even begin to account for their emotional support network of family, friends, and fellow athletes.

Choose and pursue your support network wisely as they will play a key role in your ‘training year’.  Maybe your support network looks like a grandparent taking your kids for an overnight once a month so you can review your progress on your goals, maybe your network consists of a mentor you have a weekly Zoom call with to refocus and align your priorities, maybe your network looks like your spouse taking over the grocery shopping so you can squeeze in an hour of client calls.  Find your people and return the favor or pay it forward after you’ve accomplished your goal.

Hone Your Strength

Unlike most of us, when athletes fail or experience a setback, they don’t give up and they certainly don’t spiral into self-doubt.  Instead, they lean into their confidence in themselves and their training, a confidence that is unshaken because they know they have prepared, that they have followed the plan, and that they have been consistent.  When you have that much faith in your training, you can recognize that sometimes life just happens, and that you’ll approach your next attempt with new resolve and trust in your abilities.

Many of us lack this confidence in our careers because we haven’t pursued the training necessary to be successful, or we abandon our goal well before the expiration date arrives that we said we would give it.  If we can recognize that failure and setbacks are inevitable without throwing in the towel, and instead refer back to our plan, and rely on our preparation and consistency, we will develop our confidence to face adversity.


As we watch the 2020 Summer Olympics and hear the stories of trials and triumphs, maybe we can reimagine our own training plan.  If we were to commit one year to one specific and simplified goal to grow in our career, with a clear plan, the necessary preparation, consistently showing up, and with the support of our chosen team, then perhaps we could also develop our confidence in our own strength in the face of adversity, like the competitors have with all of the challenges presented by the pandemic.  Trust in the training and stay the course.

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Dream Jobs | Do They Really Exist?

Recently when discussing some frustrations surrounding a work place indiscretion and how it was handled (or more aptly how it was not handled) by the powers-that-be, my friend and colleague remarked, “I don’t go to work to have my needs met.”  Cue my existential crisis in response.

As I’ve continued to replay the conversation, I realize that now I could care less about the indiscretion or its lack of “public relations finessing”, instead I’m left in a mixed state of cognitive dissonance facing both the impending doom of the unknown and the refreshing optimism surrounding my career path. In one well-timed quip, my entire approach to my career progression, my work history and education, and my identity were called into question: who am I if the title I chased and achieved isn’t a cornerstone to my significance? As it turns out, on the heels of the pandemic, many of us are grappling with the same question: does a dream job actually exist?  And, if it doesn’t can we free ourselves by working to live rather than living to work, and stop relying on our work to meet our soul’s needs?


According to psychologists at Stanford University and Yale-NUS College, there is a reason so many of us are shaken when we recognize that the ‘dream job’ is just as fleeting, and just as much of a well constructed rhetorical gimmick as the ‘American Dream’.   We are thrown into the depths of existential despair in large part due to the years of planning, financial investment, and time spent (all, now perceived as lost) because we have hung our soul’s hopes and dreams on the ‘fixed’ hook of our dream career.  Instead, the report’s findings espouse a ‘growth’ mentality as the key to fulfillment; this mentality, combined with our resilience, allows us to adapt to an ever-changing work force and to “think innovatively about [our] industry.” When we become “overly narrow and committed to one area, that could prevent [us] from developing interests and expertise that [we] need” to bring different fields together.

But, the silver linings in abandoning the notion of “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” (you’ll also never have healthy boundaries, or an identity beyond your work either) abound.

Instead of holding a dream that centers upon our labor for someone else’s financial gain, we should be shaping our dream life, and pursuing a job that is the right fit for our current needs in that pursuit.  In short, our job should support and fund our dream life, instead of our ‘dream job’ becoming the origination and determinant of every aspect of our life beyond the boardroom.

When we can let our idealized perceptions of ‘the one’ go, we begin to recognize that finding fulfillment beyond our career, allows us to pursue benefits we may have never thought to consider —like working remotely, a flexible schedule, a better salary, an easier commute— the list is only limited by our own ‘need’ to have a job be paramount.  If we can view ourselves, and our contribution to the world as separate from our work, we can invest our passion in our soul’s desire and let work, be well, work.

Rather than shape our life around accommodating our dream job, what would happen if we turned the tables, and instead pursued a job that allowed us to attain our dream life?  Take note from the Career Contessa, and pursue your next step in your career like you would any other physiological need in your life (e.g. a house hunt): make a list of your negotiables, non-negotiables, and everything in between.  Address your wants, and needs, and determine your required and ideal salary (do your research!); consider the day-to-day of your job and what constitutes a must-have versus a nice-to-have.  And finally, begin making your list of ideal companies and industries that feel like the right fit for your life’s dream.


Our fulfillment of our soul’s desire and our significance in the world are not reliant on our job title.  When we pursue fulfillment beyond our work, when we work to live rather than live to work, we can grow professionally, and personally toward our life’s dream.  There is freedom in knowing we are in the driver’s seat, and that we can decide to change directions at any point.  Our colleagues may be talking about us around the water cooler one day, for our audacious pursuit of happiness beyond our ‘dream job’.

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The Benefits of Believing in Something Bigger

Inspired by this week’s episode of the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast with Dr. Barbara Ryan who attributes her success, service of others, and belief in herself to her faith.


As parents, one of the first existential conversations we are asked to navigate by our children is the inevitable, “Where do babies come from?” shortly followed, or preceded by, “What (or who) is God?” ultimately leading to the teenage quandary, “What’s the point?” And, if we’re being honest, that last question drives many of our decisions as adults, the answer to why that guides our how. Without a why, a sense of purpose, or a belief in something bigger than ourselves, life can be practically unbearable.  Dr. Viktor Frankl, a famous psychiatrist, author and holocaust survivor describes the magnitude of belief as essential to enduring life’s hardships and traumas, “He who has a why can bear any how.”


Risk Tolerance

According to a scientific study conducted in the Netherlands, a belief in God, or a higher power,  “gives entrepreneurs a greater tolerance for positive risks.”  When we have faith in God, in the universe, or in humanity as a whole, we believe someone or something has our back when we struggle to believe in ourselves.

Passion and Vision

Belief in a higher power gives you confidence through the assurance of your own worth.  Being grounded in your identity and your ability to benefit others positively enables you to more clearly and passionately communicate and sell your vision to those around you.  Faith emboldens us to persevere.

The Happiness Quotient + Secret Sauce to Success

According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook founder and venture capitalist, in his commencement address to Harvard graduates, “purpose is what creates true happiness.” “Purpose is the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for.” Research supports his assertions; people who are purpose driven:

Purpose is an Assurance

When we believe in something greater than ourselves, and that we are needed, our life, our work, our daily decisions become meaningful.  Humans, by design, are meant to fulfill their basic needs, but once those needs are met, purpose is necessary to avoid debilitating depression, a perceived sense of burdensomeness, and ever more prevalent loneliness.  Frontline humanitarian, Linda Cruse, says we always have a choice to serve others and recounts her why that has served her throughout her efforts, “When I was 18, in nurse training, my Matron said to me: ‘It’s not about you. It’s about what you’re here to do…to be of service and [to] help others.’”


Our children are filled with wonder and an uncanny ability to ‘call it as they see it’.  It may be time for us to tune-out the world’s noise and tune-in to our own childlike wondering.  Without belief in something greater than ourselves, faith in God, the universe, or humanity, without purpose, we run the risk of living in a state of apathy, simply going through the motions.  What is your purpose, what is your why, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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Success Can Look Like a Number, Especially if it’s 6-Figures

As a community of women who have come together with the same common goal of enhancing our lives, we each have our own individual WHY that keeps us progressing forward toward that goal.  And, while we each have our own perspective of success that we aspire to achieve, we all agree that attaining six figures as mothers is nothing short of life changing.  As we come together to empower one another with real stories, real inspiration, and real resources, we find ourselves asking, how many women in the US have actually reached the ‘big exhale’ on the other side of earning six-figures? And, perhaps more importantly, how can we help more women experience that same success, stability, and sense of peace that comes with the ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ for themselves?

In a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, experienced financial writer and CEPF®

Ben Geier states, “Fewer than one in every eight female workers in the U.S. are six-figure earners”.  This means that throughout “the largest 100 U.S. cities, the average percentage of female workers who earn at least $100,000 is less than 12%”.  When considering the data, initially it may seem as though, as women, we’re making significant headway in achieving financial security and success, but with a closer look, it becomes obvious that we still have a long way to go in shattering those ever-elusive glass ceilings.  According to Kristin Myers, reporter for Yahoo Finance, in IRS reported figures for the tax year 2016, “of the 9% [of the population] earning at least $100,000 or more, more than twice as many men earn a six-figure salary than women”.

That should not sit well with us, particularly when we consider that leading non-profit organizations like Heifer International, know and practice what we already know intuitively as successful women and mothers: “when women have control over their assets and incomes, they reinvest in their families”.  That is wildly powerful.  The ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ is more than a number, and it is more than a goal we set for ourselves; achieving six-figures means modeling for our community and our children that financial security is a pathway to ending significant global issues like hunger and poverty.  And when empowered women, particularly mothers, have both financial and social capital, “Everyone eats more nutritious food. Kids go to school. Families get better access to health care” and, as further affirmed by UN Women, they begin to have “control over their own time, lives, and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions”

We have work to do: for ourselves, for women, for our children and for our communities.  Attaining a higher salary provides us with financial independence in the short term, but also allows us to pursue long-term financial goals and to make significant strides forward for humanity and equity.  On the heels of a particularly devastating year, it is more important than ever that we enable and empower women to chase after, and to achieve a six-figure salary.  Over “thirty-one percent of both millennials and Gen X-ers [don’t] believe they [will] ever achieve a six-figure salary”.  Let’s change that narrative starting within our own homes.

 

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I just have always believed in entrepreneurship!

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Miriam! She owns a successful vacation rental business in Victoria, B.C. Victoria is a capital city located on Vancouver Island. Miriam has always had a love for working with people, along with being an entrepreneur. Read on to learn why Moms Making Six Figures was the perfect fit for her!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career background?

I’ve always considered myself a transformation coach. I love anything to do with helping others be their best selves and seeing change for the better! In my corporate career, I worked as an Account Executive with Franklin Covey enjoying 3 tenures over 20 years. In this position, I would help senior-level executives, directors, and business/organization unit leaders to increase productivity, help with business execution, leadership and employee performance improvement. Alongside my amazing corporate career, I have always had a “side-gig.” It’s always been important for me to have multiple streams of income and I love being an entrepreneur. From the time I was a little girl, I had a newspaper route and sold Regal gifts. I just have always believed in entrepreneurship.

After I retired from the corporate world, I started a vacation rental business. I own four properties and manage another for a client, as well. For a long time, I had a dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast, so this business is the perfect way to fulfill my dream and welcome guests to our beautiful city of Victoria, B.C. I see guests from all over the world and feel very blessed!

How did you first learn about Moms Making Six Figures?

About a year and a half ago, one of my friends reached out to me and introduced me to the Moms Making Six Figures Team. After learning about the company and their mission to help others lives healthier lives, I was very intrigued.

With my vacation rental business, I always ensure guests visiting my properties have everything they need. From seasonings to cookware, laundry soap and much more, all my guests need to pack is their clothing. Making sure that my properties had safe products was a top priority, so partnering with Moms Making Six Figures just made sense.

Although partnering with Moms seemed to make sense, did you have any initial reservations?

At first, I was hesitant to join the Moms Making Six Figures team because I had been pouring so much energy into my vacation rental business. After I spent some time getting familiar with the company, everything truly seemed to fall into place. My business was doing extremely well, I felt financially secure, but I started to miss some aspects of having a side-gig. I also missed being able to work with people like I did in my corporate career…

I woke up one day and it kind of dawned on me that working with Moms Making Six Figures would add so much to my life. I would be helping people, goal setting and continuing to nurture my entrepreneurial side! I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take the plunge and work with this amazing team of women.

 

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There are opportunities out there that let you have it all!

We are so excited to share the interview we had with Stacy Fiske recently. Stacy has been working with Moms Making Six Figures for a total of 11 years, two years part-time and the last nine years full-time. In the time she has spent working with the team, her “why” has shifted. Stacy took the time to share what life is like for her now and how Moms Making Six Figures has played such an intricate role in her journey!

Can you tell us a little bit about why you started working with Moms Making Six Figures?

When I very first started with Moms Making Six Figures, I was a single mom working in the corporate world and I felt like my daughter was being raised by her nanny. I was working so much and felt like I just needed to do something different. I really wanted a job where I could control my schedule and have flexibility. Fast forward to now, life looks very different. I am re-married; we blended our families and had a son together, for a grand total of five amazing kids. It’s crazy to reflect and think about where my life is and all I have been able to do by making this career switch. For example, having two of our kids in private school, being able to drop them off and pick them up each day, along with pay for the schooling itself.

When our youngest, Colin, was diagnosed with dyslexia, we didn’t have to worry for a second about how much it would cost to get him the help and tools he needs. We hired a specialized tutor, along with therapy and evaluations. With these evaluations, it requires me to take him out of school and be with him about 10 hours per week to get those services done. Again, I didn’t even have to think twice about doing this for him. I didn’t have to talk to my employer and find some flexibility in my schedule – I already have that freedom being my own boss with Moms Making Six Figures. I felt such a sense of gratitude knowing that I can do what I need to do for my son without a single worry about the financial and time obligations. My business didn’t suffer, either. The amazing team we work with jumped in to help me with anything I needed. In the corporate world, this would have been a huge hit for the business.

What were your first thoughts when you found out about your son’s special need?

When you find out your child has a special need, the first thing you want to do is take it away for them. I remember thinking “I wish I had a magic wand to wave, and he would not have to deal with this…”  But that is not life or reality, our kids must go through struggles. The second thought I had was “what resources can I provide to help him be as successful as he can be, despite this special need?”

My heart breaks for others who might not have the same opportunities I do when it comes to helping my son. I constantly think about all the mothers who do not have financial stability or job flexibility to lean on in this situation.

There is a ton of worry and stress that comes along with having a child with a special need. The situation is emotional enough — I could not imagine having got the news while worrying about the financial aspects or losing my job by needing extra time off. To be able to deal with the issue without those added stressors is a true gift.

Do you ever just sit back and reflect on how different your life is because of joining Moms Making Six Figures?

Oh, absolutely. When you think about taking the leap out of the corporate world, you question “am I giving something up to get this flexible schedule? Am I giving up the career I have built and the name I have established for myself?”  The answer is no, you’re not. And in time, you realize you’ve gained so much more than you could have ever lost in the first place. With Moms Making Six Figures, you’re gaining the ability to have a profession and a business of your own… All while having the resources and time to be the parent you want to be. Honestly, I don’t really know if I could have done both as successfully had I stayed in the corporate world. I remember the days I had no control over my schedule and there was so much demand on my time from my employer. They weren’t terribly understanding about family life, either. They didn’t really care if you have a sick kid or an emergency. They want you to be clocked in and present at work.

When I talk to people about my business, I see the self-doubt turning in their heads. The thoughts of “you did it, but could I?” Or, “Is this really a profession that could provide me the financial security I need in the long-term?” I wish I could just shout “YES!” from the rooftops. Here I am, nine years of full-time into the business, I have earned 1.8 million dollars over those nine years and have always prioritized my family. I can drop off and pick up my kids at school, take them to sports activities and so much more. These are the things I never thought were doable when I worked in the corporate world. I thought my kids would have to miss out on fun things, like sports, because how would I ever get them from point A to point B with such a rigorous schedule? Now, it’s my reality.

Sometimes, I think about what life would be like if I hadn’t started working with Moms Making Six Figures. My kids would have had to be a part of the after-school programs, have nanny’s or babysitter’s, and someone else would be driving them around. Someone else would be hearing about what went on at school that day. I wouldn’t have the chance to get to know their friends or volunteer in their classroom. It’s such a different view when you get to be the involved parent.

What is your best piece of advice for anyone questioning whether they should reach out and learn about Moms Making Six Figures?

My best piece of advice: what’s the worst that could happen? You get some information and find out it’s not a good fit. Now, what’s the best that could happen? What could your life look like 10 years from now? I made a small change. I wasn’t giving up myself, I was just changing my career. I started doing things a different way, was still able to produce a significant income and have a secure life. I think a lot of people have given up hope. We have been beaten down in life and told we can’t do it all. Something always has to give… I am here to tell you, there is no need to give up hope. There are opportunities out there that let you have it all. So, why not dig in and explore all your options? Why not try?