What Holds You Back Can Propel You Forward: An Interview With Tim Lawrence

What Holds You Back Can Propel You Forward: An Interview With Tim Lawrence

There’s something that’s holding you back, isn’t there?

Maybe your parents weren’t kind or supportive, and you’re still trying to prove you’re worthy of their affection. Maybe you were bullied or abused, and a part of you still believes the taunts. Maybe you made some poor decisions in life and you worry you always will.

You don’t dwell on it much. After all, we all have our hurts and you’re just trying to move on. But the more you try to bury the pain and shame, the heavier the load you have to carry becomes.

Tim Lawrence understands your pain. He’s been experiencing it most of his life.

Tim was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, essentially a massive stroke, at birth and nearly died. As is common for those with the condition, he also suffers from epilepsy. Given up for adoption, he went through years of intensive therapy followed by occasional and massive setbacks.

Tim’s life could have easily been a typical tough luck story–a guy who just never catches a break. Instead, he is living one of the most inspiring and authentic lives I know. (more…)

5 Unexpected Challenges of Financial Freedom

5 Unexpected Challenges of Financial Freedom

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Tara Schiller.

Although most of us aren’t anywhere close to financial freedom, I think you’ll find these suggestions make sense no matter how much money you currently have in the bank.
We all want to be financially free, right?

I mean, who wants to be told what to do, where to go, when to wake up, and who to be? In fact, we value freedom so much it’s considered an essential human need.

So how could there be a downside to something as wonderful as being free?

Well these 5 challenges may surprise you.

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The Simple Secret to Getting Ahead

The Simple Secret to Getting Ahead

I ‘ve been trying to decide who to give $7.5 million to.

The money is for a new synthetic biology project I’m managing as part of my Air Force reserve work. There are a lot of things that drive me crazy about continuing to work in the government, but I still love awarding big sums of money to innovative scientists trying to push the edge of our knowledge.

Programs like this attract the very best scientists in the country. Most grants are on the order of $1 million. Getting $7.5 million completely transforms your career and reputation.

As you might imagine, it’s not an easy decision. The chances of ultimately getting selected for funding are roughly 2.5%. In an extremely competitive field like this, the difference between success and failure often comes down to something small.

Leading this effort gave me a big picture view of competition and an objectivity I don’t always enjoy. All of a sudden I realized my own approach to getting help and getting ahead was less than stellar. I bet yours is too.

These lessons learned will be useful for anyone who thinks they have to tackle every big challenge alone (ummm, overachievers, I mean you).

But if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting your own business, either on the side or as a full-time replacement for a job you’re eager to escape, for goodness sake, don’t skip this post (or the webinar announcement at the end of it). (more…)

Simple Career Planning (Even If You Don’t Know What You Want To Do With Your Life)

Simple Career Planning (Even If You Don’t Know What You Want To Do With Your Life)

C areer planning used to be a pretty depressing exercise for me.

I found it nearly impossible to see into my future. I  wasn’t excited about any of the executive level jobs I knew about, and frankly, the people in them didn’t seem to enjoy them that much either.

I’d reach out to a mentor for advice and invariably they would ask to look at my 5 and 10-year career plan. I would stare at them blankly.

“How can I make a 5-year career plan, or even a 1-year plan, when I have no idea what I really want to do” I would ask them.

They were used to people who could pinpoint the pinnacle of the career they wanted, down to the exact job title and organization. Career planning for them was merely a process of walking backwards.

I just didn’t fit the mold.

I worried about pinning my hopes on just one job.  Too many unknowns! The world (or my heart) might change! I might get locked into something I don’t want!

So I became an opportunist. I waited for interesting or prestigious-sounding jobs, then jumped on them.

And that largely worked for me, unless you consider that I was advancing myself in a career I didn’t particularly care about.

For all these reasons, I thought long-term career planning was a waste of time.

I’m here to say I was wrong.

I recently discovered a surprising tool for making sense of the big picture of your career, even if you can’t fill in the details. And it turns out to be critical if you want to combine the growth that you’re hoping for with a lifestyle you’ll love. (more…)

Do You Need to Go Back to School for Your Dream Career?

Do You Need to Go Back to School for Your Dream Career?

S o many career changers come to me feeling completely helpless.

They think they have an either/or decision to make: “Either I stay in my current career or go back to school to retrain for something better.”

When neither option is appealing, the tendency is to just give up.

But what if I told you that not only are there many jobs that don’t require a degree, but it’s completely possible to get hired without one, even in those that do?

Today I’m sharing an inspirational story from one of my No Regrets clients.  She shares how she landed a job as a librarian (definitely a job that normally does require a degree) and thrived in that career without one for 22 years.

These are her own words.  I’ve only edited them for length and clarity.

Her lessons apply to nearly every profession outside of becoming a doctor or lawyer.  It’s a good reminder that all you really need is passion, the right mind-set, and a belief that your value doesn’t depend on a piece of paper. (more…)

Webinar: Simple Solutions to Accelerate Your Dream Career

Recently I found myself nearly defeated by a small box of Parmesan.

There was nothing particularly unusual about the box, but for the life of me, I could not figure out how to open it.  I tried every mechanism I could think of and was just about to take a long, sharp knife to the thing when I saw it.

It was a small, clear tab on top of the box, no larger than a pea.  I hadn’t noticed it because the design was unfamiliar.

One quick pull, and what previously had me at wit’s end now happened effortlessly.

And it struck me how often we see some problem in our lives as exasperatingly difficult when in fact the answer is not nearly as complicated as we imagine.

In fact, the answer is often right in front of us, but we can’t see it because it’s outside our normal models of how we view the world.

This is particularly true with career change.

I see a lot of people pushing, straining, contorting, trying to make a career work.  Frustrated and often emotionally exhausted, they either do something drastic (like taking a knife to it) or give-up and settle for less.

We can’t let that happen to you. (more…)