Are you waiting for that dream career?
Are you waiting for that dream career to give your life meaning and purpose?
Are you frustrated that you haven’t quite figured out how to make that dream career happen?
If that little piece of advice seems overly simplistic, stay with me for a bit because those few words carry a secret clue to success.
When I was dreaming of a career as a writer I saw myself sitting in a large office with French doors that led outside to a blooming garden. My desk was mahogany set in front of bookshelves filled with some of the world’s greatest books.
A cup of tea was on one corner of my desk and scattered across the top were pages of my latest in-demand manuscript.
I could see it. I could feel it. I just couldn’t seem to actually write anything while I was waiting for it to come into being!
In case you’re wondering . . . . I am not writing to you today from that room in the vision of my dream career.
Nope. Not at all.
I am sitting outside my kitchen looking at the tops of the trees outside my window pecking away on my laptop while noticing the dust bunnies on my dining table.
But I’m writing. And, in my own way, I’m living my dream career one day at a time.
What I realized was that my dream was not about the room of my vision but about writing – the act of writing – not my idea of what it meant to be successful at writing.
So I started where I was – as an information technology director in a large global company. I started writing there. I wrote memos, speeches, and operational manuals – even a script for a video for a divisional event.
I chose to see that it was the writing that was the important part and that I was already doing that where I was. And just that little shift in my own mind allowed other opportunities to come my way. So when I was asked to write a speech for the CEO I said ‘yes.’ When I was asked to create a video for a divisional event I said ‘yes.’
‘Yes,’ as it turns out, became my new favorite word. And my ability to say ‘yes’ to opportunities brought me greater career success and moved me further along toward my writing dreams.
So, whatever your dream career, I invite you to start where you are now to begin to make those dreams a reality…
If you can remember that then you can also remember not to take your career or job so seriously. It is one expression of what you have to offer but it is not YOU! So you want to be professional, make your deadlines and commitments but do it knowing you are so much more than what it is you do for work. If you can do that then the burden of having the absolute ‘right’ career or job gets lifted and, instead, you can find ways to succeed regardless of where you find yourself. And you can trust that you will navigate your way to the best work that fulfills you, one day at a time.
But almost all successful people didn’t start out doing what they loved. Many started out in jobs, not at all fulfilling. But what they did do was take the opportunities that came their way. They said ‘yes’ and, along the way, learned more and more about what they wanted and what they had to offer. And they made connections with other people that over time created a networked tapestry that helped them make their dreams come true.
Look around you and see who in your company or even in your network of friends and associates is doing what you would like to do and ask that person to mentor you. A mentor can guide you and help you develop both personally and professionally. And that is really the journey of life – it is the opportunity to learn and grow so you can give your gifts and talents to a world much in need of them.
So start where you are.
Make that your mantra for today and every day. And in that powerful exercise of presence, you will find the path forward.
Writer, speaker, teacher, coach and intuitive.
These are some of the hats I wear and somehow they all come together in the services I offer. My goal is to help you get your writing dreams of your iPad and out into the world.
I LOVE writing – all kinds. My first works were poems published in an anthology in the 1980s. Lately, I’m working on fiction (a screenplay and novel) as that is what is calling to me now.
And that’s the creative spark, isn’t it? You get called to whatever wants you at the moment. Your writing – whether fiction, non-fiction, journaling or poetry – is your soul expression. So let’s get it out there!
My latest book, The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, is a project of the heart – a call to action to get out and read to those who might be unable to read longer pieces because of memory loss. I loved writing my flash fiction piece inspired by my niece Caitlin.
I’ve taught workshops in creative writing, the power of the first chapter for fiction, how to create a successful anthology and more. My articles have been published in Canada’s ALIVE magazine and Australia’s THE SPHERE, been featured on ABC News in Green Bay, WI and quoted in the Huffington Post.
You’ll find my books and CD here as well as updates on upcoming classes and workshops.
I can’t wait to see what is coming alive on your page!
Cathleen O’Connor is a gifted book designer and so much more. While the book’s appearance was skillfully composed, Cathleen also helped me plan out the pre-launch media blitz by
incorporating all of the poets who had submitted to the anthology. Furthermore, her notes on technical issues for setting up the book’s hard copy and Kindle versions for publication, promotional material, and other technical aspects of production were clear,
concise, and user-friendly. Her inclusive nature, her business acumen, and her good-natured personality all played together in making this project a joy to work on and complete. I highly recommend her services.
Marisa Moks-Unger, Erie County (PA) Poet Laureate (2016-2018) and author/editor of The Picture ThisAnthology: Poems from Pop Art, Fine Art, and Photography
Cathleen’s wealth of experience in the book publishing world was incredibly comforting, helpful and directive for me as I made my first steps to write and self-publish my book.
She offers very clear advice and direction and made what originally felt like a huge mountain of fear; feel like an easy step by step process. I can’t thank Cathleen enough for her help in
getting me to where I am now and couldn’t be more grateful for her seasoned experience in this complicated world of self-publishing.
Jo Jayson, Artist and Writer, Self-Love Through the Sacred Feminine (1/2017)
I offer a range of services to new and seasoned authors, in person, online and on the phone. Each service is specific to the particular needs or stage of your book project.
Fill out the CONTACT form below to request a FREE 20-minute consultation in order to assess which services can best help you realize your writing goals. The free consultation is only for determining the best fit of service.
All listed services are fee-based. If you already know the service you want, then just let me know and I’ll be happy to provide information on pricing and next steps.
I am the first time author of a children’s book who spent a great deal of time, energy and resources looking for someone to help edit, design the layout and effectively market my story about a sweet little pug who believes that he can be friends with everyone he meets.
I was completely unsuccessful in this quest for that “perfect” person until I talked with Cathleen O’Connor. I knew from our first conversation that she not only had the skills, creativity and proven track record that are critical for putting together this book
and marketing it, but also had the unbridled enthusiasm about the project and its ultimate success. Cathleen is a joy to work with and a true professional.
Virginia Giordano, Educator and Writer – Meet Duffy T. McGraw (12/2016)
What images, thoughts, and feelings come to mind when you think of or hear the word “salesperson”?
Whether you have positive thoughts and feelings about salespeople or decidedly un-positive, the purpose of this article is not to suggest or defend any of these images or thoughts. Rather, my purpose is to state an ironclad fact:
Leaders are salespeople.
And, more importantly, great leaders are great salespeople.
You may not buy my idea (after all, I am trying to sell it to you, but keep reading I plan to succeed).
If you don’t buy this premise it’s probably because you have some beliefs/images/thoughts about salespeople that contradict your beliefs/images/thoughts about leaders.
If you already buy my idea then you will love what’s to come. If you don’t, then let’s see if I can change your mind by the end of this article . . .
Salespeople can’t make you do anything; neither can leaders. Both realize they can inspire and inform, and they recognize the ultimate choice to take action belongs to the customer or follower. Great salespeople and leaders also realize that when they remember this fact they are less frustrated and more successful.
Salespeople are selling a vision and ideas; so are leaders. You may think salespeople are selling a product or service, but the truth is they are selling a vision of what that product or service will do or how it will make people feel as a result ownership. As leaders help people to see a vision of something different in the future, they are doing the same thing.
Salespeople know they are in the relationship business; so do leaders. Neither a great salesperson nor a great leader focuses on becoming friends with his/her customers/followers, but all focus on building meaningful and trusted relationships. Why? Those relationships make their work easier and far more rewarding.
Salespeople realize they are in the changing business; so do leaders. If no one buys, nothing changes. If no one follows, there isn’t much leadership. To be successful, salespeople and leaders study and understand individual and group/organizational change.
Salespeople are influencers and persuaders; so are leaders. Notice I didn’t say manipulators, but influencers and persuaders.
When you sum up the other four points above you come up with influence.
Are there manipulative, short-sighted salespeople?
Of course (The same can be said about some portion of the leader population).
But, are those the salespeople that create long-term success for themselves and their customers?
Not at all (Not in the leader population either).
The best salespeople are persuasion experts who influence through relationships, insight, great communication skills, understanding people and more.
They strive to support and improve the lives of those they sell to, knowing when they do they have created a customer for life.
Read that sentence again, and with just a couple of changes . . .
The best leaders are persuasion experts who influence through relationships, insight, great communication skills, understanding people and more. They strive to support and improve the lives of those they lead, knowing when they do they have created a follower for life.
Those are just five reasons why the best leaders are great salespeople. Regardless of what you might have been thinking at the start of this article, it is time to embrace your inner salesperson.
But only if you care about being a more effective leader.