Browsing Tag

passion

article Career Dream Big From the MMSF Podcast Success

When Saying Yes Is the Next Best Step

Inspired by this week’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast featuring Tisha Parker who believes in the power of saying yes when opportunity knocks, rather than letting your fear or the unknown keep you confined within your comfort zone.   Sometimes saying yes is just the push and motivation we need to answer the door and walk through it.


Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and English business mogul, is revered for his limitless vision, which he attributes to his boldness and his willingness to say yes.  “Even if I have no idea where I’m going or how to get there, I prefer to say yes, instead of no…opportunity favors the bold.”  Imagine if we approached our own lives and business endeavors with that same unshakable belief, if we saw in ourselves what other already recognize.  The reality is, the opportunity wouldn’t have been offered, or presented itself, if there was any doubt about whether you were the right person for the role, or if you lacked the skill set necessary to follow through.  The only thing limiting us is our paralyzing over-analyzing and our fear of the unknown.


Opportunities Are There, If We Take Them

Countless professionals and entrepreneurs have regrets over opportunities come and gone, but rarely have any ever taken the leap and experienced disastrous failure.  If anything ,those setbacks become setups for another opportunity more aligned with your vision and your skill set.  Mark Perna—speaker, author, and CEO, finally began to experience growth in his life and career by adopting a simple philosophy: “Say yes…and then figure out how.”   Your capabilities will be stretched, and your comfort zone redrawn.

You Were Already Chosen

If an employer asks us to complete a task that we don’t know how to do, we don’t say no, instead we learn how to do it and develop a new skill in the process.  We feel safe taking on these risks because we feel known by our employers—they wouldn’t ask us to do something they didn’t think we were capable of.  But, when it comes to clients, or acquaintances, those very same asks, elicit a gut reaction of self-doubt and the words, “I’m flattered, but…” tumbling out of our mouths.  If we are being sought out or referred, our skill set and our capabilities speak for themselves.  We need only to silence our inner critic, and step into what others see in us. According to Tamara Kulish, personal development author, “If we can see ourselves through the other person’s eyes, we can see they already see us as being capable of learning the needed skills, because we’ve done it before. By taking a step back from our fears, from our anxieties, we can look more objectively at ourselves, and gain the self-confidence we need to move forward!”

Get Fanatical

In order to say yes, without knowing the how, you’ve got to be a bit fanatical.  Your passion, your fandom, for your vision or your calling has to overshadow your inner critic and your self doubt and it has to put imposter syndrome in its place.  When you are wildly passionate about something, you live in a beautiful state of naïve and zealous possibility.  If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, no amount of losses will ever cause you to walk away from your team.  Similarly, if you become fanatical about your calling, your comfort zone will no longer exist because you’ll want to say yes, even if your logical side is telling you to say no.  This is the exact phenomenon Carole Fossey describes when she was asked to write a chapter for the wildly successful book, The Law of Brand Attraction, a collaboration of over 20 entrepreneurs to inspire and encourage other entrepreneurs during these difficult times.  Her love of writing and helping others superseded her to-do list, her “yes” became the catalyst for action.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” –Richard Branson


When was the last time you said yes, without hesitation or reservation in the pursuit of your dream?  What if we changed our mindset to one of invitation?  What if we showed up to the party, established connections, and found community with other fanatical visionaries?  The secret to success is motivated innovation; it starts with a yes.

article Career college life Debt Free Education Finance From the MMSF Podcast Goals Success

The Greater the Education, The Greater the Reward (and Risk)

Inspired by this week’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Whitney Bator, Doctor of Dental Surgery, who began her pursuit of a profession in medicine beginning in high school and ultimately found success after years of education and training.


I ask my son often what he wants to be when he grows up because I am genuinely interested in and delighted by what ideas are driving his unique mind, and what lights his soul on fire. Without fail his response is always along the lines of paleontologist, conservationist, or zoologist –he loves animals and facts and research and the list goes on. Do you remember your own unwavering conviction when adults would ask you, with earnest (or perhaps they were just making child appropriate small talk) what you wanted to be when you grew up? Your response likely changed any number of times, but whatever that dream career was in the given moment that the question was asked, you were unshakeable in your response…that is until you had your first encounter with doubt and uncertainty.

Despite our ever-evolving interests and passions, there are certain career paths that necessitate certainty (even if only temporary) in their pursuit due to the financial, personal, and educational sacrifices required.


Physician Shortage

According to data recently published by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) the United States will see a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032 due to demand increasing at rates faster than supply can meet.

  • The shortage will include both primary care and specialty care providers.
  • The major factor driving demand for physicians continues to be a growing, aging population.
  • The supply of physician assistants (Pas) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) is projected to continue to increase ultimately leading to an over saturation of providers in these fields.
  • The shortage will most drastically affect historically underserved and rural areas, but will be felt (and already is) by patients everywhere.

The Risk | Our nation is facing a dire shortage of medical providers.

The Reward | For those interested in pursuing a career in medicine, there is job security, opportunity, and a 6-figure salary on the other side of all the sacrifices made.

 

Increased Interest

Health-care and medical pathways have always been at the forefront of interest for high school career education programs, but the pandemic has only further accelerated this demand according to EducationWeek.

  • Students see a need and want to be a part of the solution.
  • “Health care, like most career fields, took a massive hit in the immediate wake of the coronavirus, with 1.5 million health-care jobs lost from February to April of last year. But as the virus spread, health care lost fewer jobs and bounced back more quickly than the U.S. labor market as a whole.”

The Risk | Hands-on training is a challenge, both for high school students in work-study and job-shadowing positions and in residency programs and placements for medical students.

The Reward | The predicted physician shortage will be met with a supply of adaptable, innovative, and compassionate providers who received their education in the midst of a global pandemic.  Students are not being scared away from the profession, in fact, one of the educators surveyed by EducationWeek noted that of her “18 seniors in the medical pathway last spring, a dozen were put on the state’s nurse aide registry after graduation.”

 

Is There a Doctor in the House?

The truth is, if you, or someone in your life wants to pursue a career in medicine, it is never too late to do so, and there are many ways to climb the rungs on the ladder to achieve a successful career filled with rewards after taking calculated risks along the way.

  • Explore Your Options | If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in medicine, investigate the profession as much as possible before you begin climbing the ladder. Interview local doctors and specialists, seek out clinical experience and job shadowing, and ensure the rigorous coursework is worth the rigor.
  • Experience Other Things | In our interview with Whitney Bator, DDS, she offered this advice to her younger self and those interested in pursuing a career that requires financial, personal and educational sacrifices like medicine and law; she advised listeners to take time to explore other interests and pursuits to ensure the sacrifices to be made won’t be made in vain.

  • Do Your Homework | Know the academic prerequisites for admission, find an academic advisor who will help guide you in your endeavors, and take advantage of secondary and post-secondary opportunities like concurrent credit courses and medical certifications. Pursue extracurricular activities that will set you apart while also providing practical experience and a front row seat to the impact of your future profession; consider scholarly research positions, working as a medical scribe, or volunteering at a local clinic.
  • Fund Your Future | While debt is an inevitable risk for the reward of a career in medicine, you can mitigate how much of that risk you take on by being proactive in finding funding. Here is an incredible resource compiled by Kevin Keith, a third-year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina on getting started.
  • Set Your Course & Your Boundaries | Once you’ve determined your educational and career path, it’s important that you know what to say NO to so that you can preserve your YESES for the ones that are the best. You will likely have years of saying NO to things you would like to do in order to say YES to the things you have to do in the pursuit of your goal.  Find the people you can turn to who will understand your current sacrifices, who will support you, and who will love you through this season.

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” –Nelson Mandela


With every career path there are risks and rewards, and sacrifices made in the pursuit of becoming a paleontologist or a pathologist.  If it sets your soul on fire, the sacrifices are never made in vain.

article Career Corporate Dream Big Freedom Goals happiness Success Work Work-Life Balance

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’.

article Career communication skills Corporate emotional expression Goal Setting happiness Mental Health and Wellness problem-solving Success Teamwork Work Work-Life Balance Working Mom

Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient is Key to Your Success Equation

Inspired by this week’s episode of the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast with Brenda Lee, Emotional Intelligence Expert, who believes in the power of identifying our perspective and pushing through our conditional gaps to tap into our mind’s subconscious.


Part of the human experience is suffering.  And sadly many of us have experienced that suffering at the hands of another person in our lives, whether it’s the negative comments made by our father-in-law brushed off as ‘just his personality’, a boss who always asks us to stay late making our work-life balance that much harder to attain, or a poorly timed “friendly reminder” from the HOA about the state of our lawn, all of this suffering is imposed by and met with an Emotional Intelligence Quotient (or in the case of suffering’s worst offenders, the lack thereof).  And while we all know the old adage rings uncomfortably true, that we can’t control others, only ourselves, by improving our own EI (Emotional Intelligence) we will change our own perceptions of, and approaches to suffering, and model, for the less emotionally intelligent, the common denominator in the happiness and success equation.


The theory of EI was brought to the forefront of American psychology by Daniel Goleman in the 1990s.  While the concept was widely accepted in the field of psychology, employers were reluctant to embrace EI in the workplace.  Now, however, research has found that emotional intelligence is not only foundational to achieving personal happiness and success, but that it is also the strongest predictor of workplace effectiveness.

Here are the five key components of Emotional Intelligence, how to improve your skill set in each, and how each component, when put into practice, can benefit your personal and professional life.

Self-awareness

Individuals who are self-aware can identify their emotions and the impact of those emotions on their thoughts and behavior; they know their strengths and weaknesses and have self-confidence.

  • Keep a journal— Journals help to improve your self-awareness. Spending just a few minutes each day recording your thoughts can begin to move you toward greater self-awareness.
  • + The pay-off: Your mental health. Uncontrolled and unaddressed emotions and stress can take a toll on your mental health.  Learning to understand, identify and get comfortable with your emotions in order to manage them will help you to improve both your relationship with yourself and others, thereby leaving you feeling less lonely and isolated.

Self-regulation

Individuals who are able to self-regulate can manage their emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments and adapt to changing circumstances; they can control impulsive feelings and behaviors.

  • Hold yourself accountable— Easier said than done, but if you have a tendency to blame shift, it’s time to take some ownership. Make a commitment to, and a habit of, admitting your mistakes, and accepting the consequences.  You will have more respect for yourself, and quickly earn the respect of those around you.
  • + The pay-off: When you understand your emotions and you are capable of controlling them, you’re better able to express how you feel and to understand how others are feeling. This improves your communication and will allow you to establish stronger relationships both at work and at home.

Motivation

Individuals who are self-motivated work consistently toward their goals and have extremely high standards for the quality of their work.

Empathy

Individuals who have a strong capacity for empathy understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of others; they pick up on emotional cues.

  • Pay attention to your body language— An often underrated, but hugely important facet of how others perceive us, perceiving them, is our body language. Learn to control your own body language to prove you are someone who is truly empathetic and open, and learn to read others’ body language to get an accurate read of how someone truly feels.
  • + The pay-off: By investing time and effort to really pay attention to others, you’ll actually gain insight into your own emotional state as well as your values and beliefs. When we pay attention to others, their needs, and their overall well-being, we foster safety and establish trust in our relationship.

Social Skills

Individuals who possess strong social skills can maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team and manage conflict; they recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.

  • Learn conflict resolution— No one likes conflict, but it is inevitable. Knowing how to manage conflict and to successfully resolve it is essential to honing your social skills and finding success in both your personal and professional endeavors.
  • + The pay-off: When you are in tune with your emotions you are better able to connect to other people and the world around you. Your emotional intelligence directly correlates to your social intelligence; the greater your social intelligence the more your stress will be reduced and the more balanced your nervous system will be through social communication leaving you feeling loved and happy.

While suffering is a part of the human experience, it doesn’t have to define it.  When we take the time to invest in our own emotional intelligence, we benefit not only our own happiness and success, but we also become a multiplier in the lives of those around us.  By taking ownership over our own progress at home and in the workplace, we can reduce our own suffering and the suffering experienced and imposed by others.  The work is worth putting in for the reward, as psychologist Travis Bradberry notes, when M.B.A. students received emotional intelligence training (not a usual part of the M.B.A. program), “even after graduating from the program [they] had raised their [emotional intelligence] scores 40 percent.  They had trained their brains.  Practice doesn’t make perfect, but practice make things habitual.”

article Career Children Dream Big emotional expression Goals happiness Life Hack Personal Success Vision Board

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?

Spotlight

Tonya Stout’s Story: How “Moms” allowed me to balance work and family life, pursue my passion.

My story isn’t your ‘typical corporate career’ path.

It all began with a seed that God placed in my heart when I was in elementary school. I never had the desire to climb to the top of a ‘corporate ladder’ or break through the proverbial glass ceiling; my dream was to move to Nashville, TN, to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter in country music – way before ‘country was cool.’

Growing up in a blue-collar town, with mostly farms & factories, the seed of working hard for a living was deeply planted in my Indiana hometown. I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Business Education. The reasons I chose an Education degree was so I could have the summers off to play in my band (that was my young, wrong way of thinking) and a degree in business could open a lot of doors in any field, including music. Eight years after graduating from college, my husband, my daughters and I uprooted from Indiana and headed south to Nashville, Tennessee.

Although I knew the odds were against me of ever getting a song recorded by a country artist, I still grabbed my guitar, played around town at songwriter venues such as the famous Bluebird Cafe, and began writing songs on music row. I had heard it was a “ten-year town” and, sure enough, after ten years of writing songs, yes, TEN YEARS, things began to blossom.

I’ve had songs recorded by Grammy Award winner, Billy Dean, along with country duo, Joey + Rory, and other independent artists. One of my songs I co-wrote has been played nationally on The Today Show with Hoda & Kathie Lee, and on The Andy Cohen Radio Show. I also recorded a singer/songwriter EP that is available on I-Tunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc. and created a company called “Nashville Comes to Town – songwriters playing it forward,” where we perform in different cities and give back to the community.

Although I’m grateful for all of my musical accomplishments, the music industry has evolved from pressing a needle against the vinyl to listen to an old 45-record and songwriters being able to making a living writing songs, to low CD sales because listeners now download or stream songs illegally and a single doesn’t pay the creator much for their work of art. So, along with pursuing a passion like mine, I’ve always had to figure out a way to generate an income to contribute to my family and not be the stereotypical ‘starving artist.’

I’ve held many part-time jobs alongside of my music career, and before working with Moms Making Six Figures, I had a tiny taste of that ‘corporate’ career and knew, without a doubt, that wasn’t my gig. Funny how a corporate part-time job is really full-time hours, but part-time pay, while not having a quality of life or time to spend with the ones you love.

My childhood friend introduced me to Moms Making Six Figures and I was a little skeptical about it, but trusted her. My friend did not work for them, but she knew one of the executives who did, and she thought it might be a good fit for me. She was right.

My husband and I researched the business model and loved the part of the ‘residual income’ piece which is much like a songwriter who receives ‘mailbox money’ when their song is played. Not only has this part-time job allowed me to still be fully involved in the lives of my husband, and three daughters, I also have the time and flexibility to still write songs and play at songwriter events.

It was pretty refreshing to receive a nice check after my first month of working with “Moms”, and not having to wait ten years! The support that all of us women/men, give to one another, is how the ‘corporate’ world should be. Not only do we water our own seed, we love watering each other’s seeds & what a beautiful garden we have.

Tonya Stout
About the author: Tonya Stout is a successful singer/songwriter, wife, and mother of three daughters. She has a degree in Business Education from Ball State University and grew up in Indiana.