Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Michelle Stimpson
“Have you ever seen the movie, ‘Yes Man’ with Jim Carrey? Well, previously that was me,” said Lisa Schmidtke, owner of Able Deluxe and Able Deluxe Technologies. “In my business, I was feeling scattered and jumping on any opportunities that would come my way. I always said ‘yes’ to my customers and colleagues, out of fear—fear of the well running dry, fear of others not liking me, fear of another opportunity not showing up.”
As a Professional Coach, I work with women in business who are eager to invest in themselves and want to live a more balanced, joyful life. Lisa couldn’t have been in a more perfect spot for coaching! Thankfully, Lisa made a courageous move and sought out coaching, in service of being happier at work.
After our initial Discovery Session to get clear on the low-down of her life and her business, I realized that while Lisa enjoyed her role as a business owner and was passionate about the work she was doing, the bottom-line was that she was not happy. Lisa sensed that she needed a change when her self-proclaimed “crazy business practices” began to affect her family life.
Number One Priority
Once we dove in to our important work together, Lisa realized that her unhappiness at work was now leading to, and directly impacting, her number-one priority: The happiness of her family.
First item on the agenda: Address the “Yes Man” syndrome! We worked on the idea that when you say “no” to one thing, you’re actually saying a bigger, resounding “YES!” to something more important.
When I asked Lisa what she thought might be at the crux of her knee-jerk reaction to always say “yes,” she eloquently stated that she didn’t really understand what she wanted to do and what fulfilled her; she felt like she lacked direction. So when we started discussing her vision for her life and what fueled her, that’s when she began to light up. And what a thrill for me to see!
One thing I know for sure. When you’re caught up in the busy-ness of life, the answers don’t come. They can’t. It’s only in that stillness—when we pause and connect with ourselves—that things begin to reveal themselves and become clear. Wanna know how to get to that stillness? Check out Karl’s post with his tips for 10 Ways to Unclutter Your Mind, along with his guest post by Tess Marshall: 9 Bold Tips to Work Place Happiness.
A homework assignment I gave Lisa involved writing down and highlighting business wins and challenges. “Any time I wrote down a win,” Lisa said, “it somehow related to helping people.” She continued, “Surprisingly it wasn’t about the big sale or the financial gain.”
Quieting down and getting to that ‘aha’ moment for Lisa encouraged her to shift her efforts toward helping people, particularly the senior market. And (I smile as I type this), the finances rightfully followed.
Define Your Happiness at Work
Lisa defines happiness at work as that “feeling of peace” that comes from knowing she’s focusing her time and energy on what fuels her, what makes her come alive.
It’s funny, in my years of coaching and leading workshops on time management and life purpose, one common thread always shows up. It’s the deep need people seem to have in identifying what it is that brings them joy…and how they can get more of that in their life. There’s a huge need out there for people to tap into what makes them come alive. Which is precisely why I write a blog called “Following Your Joy.” It’s also the reason I fully support and endorse Karl’s mission of helping people to Work Happy Now. It’s essential to our well-being, to our spirits.
Lisa and I have worked together on helping her achieve a very clear-cut schedule, which is mega-focused on priorities and what’s most important. “I’m being more realistic with my time. I know that if I start signing-up for a volunteer event at my child’s school, something will have to ‘give’ with my work—and vice versa. That’s okay,” she said, “As long as I’m clear on what the priority is.” Lisa has a whiteboard posted in her office with her daily schedule listed, including all of her projects. She plans for interruptions and builds in extra time, knowing that interruptions are an everyday part of life.
“At the end of the day, I now leave with a bigger sense of accomplishment. I’m able to leave my ‘work’ in the afternoon and then go home and spend that time with my husband and my kids, and it feels great,” Lisa said. She is definitely working “happy” now, especially knowing that there are wins at both work and home that are worth celebrating.
How has coaching helped her to be happier at work? “I couldn’t have done it without coaching. I wouldn’t have even realized there was a problem…and you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know there is one!”
Michelle Stimpson is a Professional Coach at LifeShine, working with women in business who are eager to invest in themselves and want to live a more balanced, joyful life. She’s also Blogger and Chief Joy-Follower at Following Your Joy: Watch the magic unfold when you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy!
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* Havi of the Fluent Self wrote a delightful piece about The Myths of Biggification. If you are curious to what biggification is you'll just have to go check out the article.
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