The Full-Time Woman’s Blog has Moved!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to let you  know that my blog has moved to my own website:

http://fulltimewoman.com/blog

Click here to go there now! Thank you for being a loyal reader!

Karen

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Do You Believe In Coincidences? Divine Orchestrations, Part II

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 Previously I wrote a post (Do you Believe God Orchestrates Events In Your Life?) on this topic which generated a lot of feedback. Are there such things as coincidences, or is everything divinely orchestrated? Or, as my daughter says, “We … Continue reading

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M-O-N-E-Y Money!

How do you feel about money?

Is money “good” or is it “bad”?

Money itself is inherently neutral. As Counselor Deanna Troi famously says to Data in Star Trek TNG:  “Feelings aren’t positive or negative. They simply exist. It’s what you do with those feelings that becomes good or bad.” The same applies to money.

Are the following ideas true?

Money is not more important than people.

You can always lose and make more money.

Money is necessary in life – you need it to live. It is what it is. You can choose to worry about it or not and it won’t change anything.

At different times in your life you may have more money than at others, which is why it can be precious.

Although I have been coaching informally for years, I am relatively new to the field professionally. As in any profession, I am learning about coaching; not only techniques, but also that there are different “levels” of coaching. Different coaches have different specialties, while some coaches coach people, others coach only other coaches, etc.

One thing I have noticed is that some of the top coaches in the profession are very blatant about their wealth (the money they have made as a coach). I have mixed feelings about this.

While money is necessary to live and most people do need an income, I personally am not in coaching “for the money.” In contrast, I knew that as a prior business owner for 12 years, that my experience could help others, and also I was at a place in my life where I needed a career change.

For some reason, society tends to view rich people as “evil” – think about the expression “dirty money” or “filthy rich” for example. Now the origins of those two phrases come from money that was originally ill-gotten (ie. through illegal activity for example), but over time the meaning has changed into an association that people who have money are somehow dirty/filthy/bad or immoral.

Like I said, money is not inherently bad. In fact it is necessary in order to survive. You must have it. So how could it be bad?

Money is associated with those who are “bad” for the way people behave once they have it. I have said in my award-winning book Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career, that “People are funny about money,” and it’s still true! Some people change once they have money.

So back to my observations about the top coaches in my new profession. Some of them really “flaunt” their wealth, while superficially (in my opinion) pretending to care about others. I find this distasteful. I have seen this in the emails, newsletters, and tele-seminars of some of these people when they talk about their lifestyles – having a personal chef, a full-time nanny, a million dollar house, etc. Where does that money come from? Answer:  their clients! Think about that! They are making a nice living from the people who support them, all the while flaunting their upscale lifestyle in the very face of their customers/clients, the ones who are paying them! Is this in poor taste?

I would say yes! What other answer could there be? Well, aside from the obvious, in actuality they are using an envy-based sales and marketing technique. In other words, if everyone else can see what they have, then they will want it too, and ultimately these same people will buy what they are selling so they too can have it!

This is in complete contrast to the background in GIS where I came from, where most people who enter the GIS profession genuinely want to use the tool to help others make better decisions (see my previous post “For the Greater Good”). Shouldn’t this be what coaching is too? A tool used to help other people make better decisions?

Yes, money is important, but what is far more important is how you treat other people, especially once you are in a position of wealth and/or power. Do you look down on others (or perhaps just consider them potential customers or buying units), or do you still treat people fairly, decently, kindly?

What would you rather be known for?

How much money you have, or how you treat other people?

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What exactly is a “Full-Time Woman”?

In response to some feedback I received as a result of January’s “Ultimate Blog Challenge,” I thought I would go ahead and define the concept of a “Full-Time Woman.” When I use that term, most women immediately “get it.” It resonates with them. A few (mostly men), have asked me, “What does that mean?”

Women today lead busy active lives. Women are multi-faceted and have many aspects of their lives, including being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, or even grandmother, etc. Having a family has always played an important role in a woman’s life.

So women are women 100% of the time. We have health and other issues with our bodies that men don’t have to deal with. However, in today’s society, women have virtually unparalleled access to higher education, employment and career opportunities. This means we are busy! At one time, career and business opportunities were available almost exclusively to men. Work opportunities provide a means for women to be self-assured,  independent, and to build self-esteem. In today’s high-tech world, an increasing number of women are computer literate, and more women have college degrees than ever before. Women who have spent time and money achieving a college education don’t want to risk losing their skills, knowledge, or potential if they quit work to be a stay-at-home-mom. Women are seeking more flexible careers that allow them to keep one foot in the work world while allowing them to start a family (and spend more time with that family!). Due to computers , the Internet, and more constant methods of communication, including email and (fairly new) Social Media,  work from home opportunities have become more abundant and popular.

Some facts that corroborate these findings:

  • According to a 2007 survey from Careerbuilder.com, 52% of women would take a pay cut in order to be able to have more time with their children. (As my Dad puts it:  “Time with your children is worth far more than a few more dollars in the bank!”)
  • According to another 2007 Pew Research center study, fully 60% of working women with children under 17 say that part-time work is better than full-time work. This is up from 48% when the same study was done in 1997.   http://pewresearch.org/pubs/536/working-women
  • Today, 72% of part-time workers are women.
  • More women are starting businesses today than men. Between 1997 and 2004, the number of women-owned firms increased by 17% nationwide, twice the rate of all firms (17% vs. 9%).
  • One in every 11 adult women in the U.S. owns a business. Female entrepreneurship has been growing at twice the national average since 1997.

Now you can see why women are busy (!), and I hope that you may have a better idea of what a “Full-Time Woman” is!

Do you?

Are you a Full-Time Woman?

Are you married to one? If so, I would love to hear your stories!

Or, are you a “Full-Time Man” or SAHD?

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9 Lessons I Learned from Participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge

The last day of the January “Blog Challenge” has arrived. Here are my takeaways:

1)      First off I have met and connected with some incredible people!

2)       If you write on a regularly basis your content will get better. If your content is better, you will shine and your blog will attract more people. Use your best stuff – it will separate you from everything else because you have better content!

3)      You must post on a lot of different topics in order to see which ones people will respond to the most.  My top 5 were:  Parenting Predicaments, Generation Gap, Change (New Year, New You), 3 Things You May Not Know About Facebook, and 5 Reasons Now is the Time to Start a Business!  BTW – Recipes get zilch!

4)      By blogging more regularly (unfortunately I can’t say daily), I now write better.

5)      The Ultimate Blog Challenge – is just that – a challenge! I never knew I had it in me. It wasn’t until I decided to accept this challenge (although I did fall behind), that I knew I could write in abundance and that all of these creative ideas would literally flow through me.

6)      There are some really good blogs out there!

7)      Blogging daily is not easy to do with two small kids and managing a household, along with a coaching practice/business. But I am pleased that I made as much progress as I did. Thanks to everyone who read my blog. I will keep writing.

8)      The more you blog, the more you learn. Knowledge comes from reading other people’s blogs, and doing research for your own blogs. It may even force you to learn a new technology (like using Facebook)!

9)      That I am sorry to see it end!

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Do you believe that God orchestrates events in your life? Then I have a tale for you . . .

Do you believe that God is at work in your life?

I am not an overtly religious person, but I do believe in a higher power, an all-loving omniscient being (called God) who has a hand in orchestrating events from above. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.”  How appropriate for this blog post!

I have recently gone through an example that I want to share. (Note:  what does it say that I have gotten to the point with those of you reading my blog* – who have given me such support with your feedback- that  in such a short time that I can talk about this? WOW!)

Timeline:  Flashback to 2007

My family and I (one child, my daughter) were living in Austin, Texas. We owned a home and had our house on the market. We listed it August of 2007, right before the subprime meltdown. Fortunately there was a lag between when the time the crisis occurred nationally vs. in Texas and in Austin in particular.

My husband, who had worked for 20 years for the State of Texas, was at the pinnacle of his career with the State. He was at a very high level in the agency he worked for but could go no further. Because it was a government job, his pay was capped. At that point, I had owned my own training company (in my former career in GIS) for about 12 years. Like “The Perfect Storm,” in 2007 several events came together that caused me to reevaluate my business model. Two of the companies that I was “certified” to teach for simultaneously changed their training programs. These changes made it much more difficult for me, and one I had to drop. On top of that, my key contact – the Training Coordinator at the State – an icon, who had been my client for 10 years, announced his retirement. All of these things combined led to a sharp decrease in my business, and thus my income. Time to leave.

After waiting for 3 months, we finally received the much-awaited for offer on our house, and things lined up for us to move to Houston. We sold at the peak of the housing market in Austin, right before housing prices crashed. On top of that, I had secured a full-time job  earlier that summer, my husband received an offer in the fall. Boom! Everything lined up. We sold our house, his job offer paid for our move, and my new employer gave me a significant signing bonus that would tide us over and that we could use to pay for deposits and such in our new temporary living quarters.  We buy a much larger, nicer, house in Houston for the same amount we sold our smaller house for in Austin. Life was good.

Timeline:  Flash Forward 2008 One year later.

Both of our jobs in Houston fell through. The company I went to work for decided not to pursue the GIS consulting that they had brought me in for, and moved my group under another company. Everybody they had hired in our group quit and left. My husband’s company had been awarded a large contract from the State. It was cancelled and he was laid off because he had been hired to manage that contract. On top of that, Hurricane Ike hit Houston hard in September. It wasn’t on the news very much, but most people were without electricity for at least 2 weeks. The City of Houston and all businesses basically shut down for 2 solid weeks, causing a virtual “hiccup” in the economy. My husband was without work and all of his warm job leads he had gathered during his job hunt went cold after the Hurricane. We regretted moving to Houston and felt we should’ve stayed in Austin.

Timeline:  Flash Forward 2009

My husband is offered a great position with the company ranked number #1 to work for in Houston. He is challenged, valued and appreciated, works with some fine people, and they need his skills and abilities. I went to work part-time for a GIS Training firm, a firm that I had contracted for sometimes when I lived in Austin.  I had a baby – a beautiful boy this time – YEA!

Timeline:  2011

Today, as I am writing this, Texas is facing a severe budget shortfall, although we are better off than most states overall. The Legislature is considering deep cuts in the budgets, and may actually lay off state workers. This is the first time this has happened since the 1980s, except for one time in 2003 (at TEA). If we had stayed in Austin, my husband would’ve been impacted (probably laid off or offered early retirement), because of his tenure and salary level, etc. We would’ve had a slim chance to move to Houston at this point. At the time, the move from Austin was a difficult decision for us, but now looking back, it seems that everything fell into place for a reason. I have now officially launched my coaching business and the response has been incredible. Thank you so much to everyone for that. We are glad we live in Houston!  A “feeling of calm*” has come over me so I know we made the right decisions, although it wasn’t easy at the time. I have met so many awesome people in this town, including Michele Scism (who ironically, doesn’t even live in Houston), and now here I am participating in this Blog Challenge! I have been truly blessed and I am grateful for everything in my life.

There are several lessons here so take what you will from this. Obviously we personally have been through a lot of changes and ups-and-downs. Change can be good. If opportunities come your way, take them! Don’t hesitate! It may be too late down the line after they pass you by, because nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. At the same time, it can take some practice to learn to recognize and respond to opportunities. God has a plan for your life. You can either embrace it or let fear hold you back. If things are not going well for you now, you must believe that your life will get better!

Do you believe that God was at work in my life? I do.

How about you?

What challenges or struggles are you facing right now? (Coaching can help with that, BTW)

Is God involved in your life?

Think about what could happen to you if he were . . . .

(*A special thank you to Joel Osteen’s book “It’s Your Time” as the inspiration for this post! It took a lot of courage for me to share this story, and I would like to thank my regular blog readers and commentators for their incredible support and feedback:  Leslie, Denielle, Stacy Ryan, Martha Giffen, Carol Hess, Melanie Kissel, Roberta, Leona, Linda Carmichael, Hannah Montana – no Hannah Roi – sorry bad joke, Robert Young, Laura Townshend, and Steve O’Sullivan, who was the very first person to comment on my blog. Without your support, encouragement, and blog comments I would not still be writing. Thank you.)

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5 Signs It’s Time For a Career Change

5 Signs You Need a Change:

1) You have become stale, stagnated, and burned out, and you don’t have anything left to give. Every assignment is a mountain, not something you gleefully do quickly.

2) You’re too comfortable in a job. You know how to do it, you like the people, the money’s good. What’s wrong with that, you say? Well it’s fine except it doesn’t stretch you because you are comfortable where you are.

3) Boredom.

4) You’re not challenged. You know how to do every project you’re assigned, there’s no fear of the unknown, you’re not looking forward to “what’s next.”

5) You’re not learning anything new!

 

 

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