It’s been almost one year since I quit my corporate public relations job, said goodbye to a guaranteed salary and began working as a consultant for a book publicity firm, Smith Publicity. I wanted to do meaningful work and help individuals reach their goals- not big companies focused on the bottom line. And I wanted to do it from home, so I could have a flexible schedule that would allow me to take my daughter to and from pre-school school, spend my “lunch breaks” with my son, or go to the gym anytime I wanted during the day and not have to worry about using vacation time.
Was it risky? Yes.
Was it scary at first and hard to adjust to not having a regular paycheck? Terrifying.
Did I make the best move for myself and my family? According to my new clients, yes!
I’ve had the pleasure of leading public relations campaigns for numerous self-help experts, professional leaders and coaches in support of their books. Each client and every book confirms that I’m on the right path and inspires me to help others reach their full potential and achieve their dreams too.
Here are 3 things I’ve learned being a publicist for self-help experts:
1. I’m in Consonance. Never heard of that before? Me either, until I started working with confidence catalyst, speaker and author Laura Gassner Otting in support of book, Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life (now a Washington Post Best-Seller).
Consonance is how you align what you do with who you are. “That comes from understanding how much importance you place on, and from where you derive, the four elements of consonance: calling, connection, contribution, and control,” explains Gassner Otting. “Once you know that, you will be able to decide whether you need to change your career, workplace, or yourself to truly achieve your own success on a one-of-a-kind path. Consonance is easy to recognize, but it takes intention to achieve.”
Here’s a little more on the 4 C’s:
- Calling: a gravitational pull towards a goal larger than yourself—a business you want to build, a leader who inspires you, a societal ill you wish to remedy, a cause you wish to serve.
- Connection: gives you sightlines into how your everyday work serves that calling by solving the problem at hand, growing the company’s bottom line, or reaching that goal.
- Contribution: means that you understand how this job, this brand, this paycheck contributes to the community to which you want to belong, the person you want to be, or the lifestyle you’d like to live.
- Control: reflects how you are able to influence your connection to that calling in order to have some say in the assignment of projects, deadlines, colleagues, and clients; offer input into shared goals; and do work that contributes to your career trajectory and earnings.
I took Laura Gassner Otting’s Limitless Life Assessment quiz and my results showed I am in consonance! If I took this quiz a year prior, when I was at my old job- or any job before that- I would not have gotten that result. Making a career change that allowed me to focus more on my personal goals was just what the expert would have ordered!
2. You can accomplish anything if you put it in your calendar. Lisa Canning is a parenting expert, mom of 7children under age 10, and former lead designer for “Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers.” Her book, The Possibility Mom: How to be a Great Mom and Pursue Your Dreams at the Same Time (available NOW for pre-order now on Amazon) really kicked my butt into gear with starting THIS website.
Lisa is the reason I finally started blogging again after years of saying I need to get back to writing. As a mom of 7, she figured out how to make time for herself, her husband and her dreams…so of course I was inspired to start making changes and making room for things that are important to me. Now, my goal is to spend the last half-hour of my work day creating content for my blog. That might be writing a post or crafting questions for someone I want to interview.
Whatever I do, I’m keeping things in motion and ensuring this site doesn’t fall to the wayside, because it’s important for me to do things that I enjoy outside of being a mom and professional.
And you know what else Lisa does that I don’t? Make time for weekly dates with her husband! If she can do that with 7 kids, I can do it with two. My husband and I aren’t quite there yet, but I have made an effort to at least try to schedule working coffee dates with him since we both have flexible work schedules. Baby steps! The Possibility Mom provides readers solutions to trim the to-do list, clarify their priorities, get more done in less time, and ensure they are living a life they love―one that they design. I consider it the “mom bible.”
3. I’m playing my own game and winning. My whole life, I mostly took jobs that gave me paychecks and flexibility to chase my dreams. But I never took management roles or strived to be a leader at these jobs because I didn’t want to gain more responsibility, feel pressure to work overtime and lose more precious personal time, especially after I became a mom. And a lot of times, that made me feel like a loser. It’s hard to sit back and watch people younger or with less experience than you become your boss or get paid more. But I got by knowing that they were the ones working until all hours of the night or being glued to their phones on the weekends and I was unplugged and enjoying time with my loved ones. My new client Robin Moriarty, Ph.D. showed me that all these years, I’ve just been playing my own game—and winning!
“From the moment we’re born, others’ expectations shape our behaviors, choices, and definitions of success,” says Dr. Moriarty. “Conditioning is a part of every society, and it’s not necessarily bad. It just means that someone else is defining your bigger game of life for you. When you play your own game, you write the rules, you decide what winning looks like, you control the choices, you make the moves, and you can design the game to be what you want it to be. So, no matter what game others are playing, you’re playing your own game, and you’re winning.” Through a series of vivid personal examples and fun exercises designed as a game, her book, What Game Are You Playing?: A Framework for Redefining Success and Achieving What Matters Most [Greenleaf Book Group, September 10, 2019], enables readers to gain awareness of the way they want to live their lives, redefine success on their own terms and map out what they will need to do to get there. Basically, I know what I want and I’m doing what I need to get that, so I’m successful on MY terms and that’s OK if it’s not what society views as being a success. It’s not all about the title and the money, at least for me.
I’ve worked with so many inspiring clients and I’ll be sure to feature them on this blog. If I can help even just one person enhance their life or motivate them to follow their dreams, then it’s time well spent typing!
Lesson learned from this post: Making a career change can bring you rewarding work that will continue to enrich your life—if you’re courageous enough to make the first move.