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Everyone will tell you to fake it until you make it.

Few will admit how often they feel the need to fake it once they’ve made it.

Take Monica, a former client who pulled herself out of poverty. At times, her family was homeless, and her childhood was marked by instability and fear.

Now a lawyer and COO of a major organization, there is no doubt she’s overcome tremendous odds to “make it” in the traditional sense. She does important work, she is respected by her peers, and has the ability to financially support her family. But it has all come at a price.

A price, she realized, she never consciously made the decision to pay.

She works long hours, she pushes past her fears and insecurities, and she’s done what she felt was right for her organization, even when it wasn’t popular.

And it often leaves her utterly exhausted.

She doesn’t have time for friends. And she certainly doesn’t have time to find a man, settle down, and start the family she’s always dreamed of. In fact, the further up the corporate ladder she’s climbed, the more isolated and lonely she’s felt.

When I asked her to describe one person who epitomized success to her, this is what she told me:

My Uncle started an interior design business in the late 70s /early 80s. He grew this business while investing in the development of his children, helping me (he took me in when I had no place to live), supporting our annual family reunion, and supporting businesses he believed in. He is hard-working, generous, family-oriented, dependable, and kind. I do not believe he has what most of us would consider a large salary, but he leads a simple life.

What became clear is that although she’d come a long way, there was still a huge gap between the kind of life she desired and the one she was living.

If you’re going to work your butt off, take a little risk, and put your talents to use, shouldn’t you at least get the life you actually wanted in return?

I say absolutely.

Unfortunately, most have no idea how.

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It’s not that you particularly want to read your email, it’s more like you feel compelled. Partly out of curiosity, partly out of dread, and partly out of confusion.

What should you do now?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
–Mary Oliver

If you check your email, undoubtedly it will tell you.

At least, it will tell you what someone else would like you to do. But chances are you still haven’t answered that question yourself. Maybe you’re afraid to answer it. Maybe you don’t know how.

I have been in this place so many darn times. Trapped in the thinking, “I have to” instead of “I choose to.” Anxious because I can’t fit it all in. Worried because I don’t want to disappoint anyone, least of all my overachieving, perfectionist self.

Fortunately, I just received a book that addresses this very issue. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

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Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been acting a little strangely.

In between book proposal writing, parenting, private coaching, and getting ready to move back to the States, I’ve been working on a secret project. And now, after months of interviews, field tests, and rewrites, I’m finally ready to tell you about it.

Even better?

I’m going to give away two free prizes, worth over $300, to two lucky commenters. Read on to see what it’s all about…