I have a great income, increasing responsibility, and am respected by my peers and my employers. So, why aren't I excited to go to work each day? Although I am good at what I do and am satisfied most days, I feel like I am miscast in others. I go to work because I "ought" to, not because I can't wait to get there. Jen has helped me realize that there is a better way to live my life. I am not ready to throw everything to the fates quite yet, because I do have young children and a mortgage to pay.
However, Jennifer has helped me start asking myself the questions that are going to help me identify my next step in life. One of the most tangible ones she's suggested to me and that I've implemented in developing my "To-be" list. The first item on that list is To Be Happy. Jennifer has been inspirational to me, not only because of her great advice and wisdom, but also because of the courage she's shown in her own life and career choices. She is true to the values she teaches and is therefore a great example from whom to learn.
Jen Gresham's Everyday Bright gives voice to the importance of living with optimism and courage. It's where Jen lets us look through her lens as she forms insights that help us deal with our own challenges. Jen has a way of touching our soft spots and then motivating us to get going. Her perfect balance of intuition and logic deliver actionable awareness. It's rare to find a life and career coach with such a rich portfolio of experiences that ensure advice that is practical and grounded. Jen's authenticity and caring are ever-present. She's helped me find clarity around my own tendencies toward introversion, inspiration from her steps to reinvent herself, and reinforcement for the importance of making a difference. What a gift!
For me, Everyday Bright is about the energy of the person behind the writing. Jen's energy comes across sharp, clear, focused and with kindness and sincerity. She delves into her topics with passion and a ton of resource and usefulness. I am big into useful and helpful and Jen meets the mark well on both. I think Everyday Bright has brought ideas and issues forth which I generally do not think much about....so more than anything, it has been about awareness for me. I enjoy how Jen shares her own struggles and triumphs openly; her transparency encourages her readers to do the same without telling them so. A powerful style for a powerful blog!
Everyday Bright has been a bright spot in my life this last year. The posts are timely, helpful, inspiring, and well written. The blog is not about Jen, yet she puts enough of herself in her posts to give personal examples that make her accessible to readers. Her message is that if she can do it, we can, too! She strikes the perfect balance between inspiring motivation and practical application. In addition to the invaluable posts, her responses to comments are so uplifting and encouraging. And full of great information. She once responded to a question I had about mentors with several specific contacts for me to check out. Another time, she considered my comment about a big life choice I was facing and offered very insightful suggestions. Jen has a great attitude about life, and tons of wisdom to share. I'm always excited when she posts something new—I know I'm going to find something that will brighten my day!
The paradox of choice is one of the scariest decisions one has to deal with; and while I don’t want to complain “in this economy” about having so many career choices, I’ve spent the last 2 years floundering as jobs have been offered left and right. I couldn’t define the reason I didn’t accept the offers; all I knew was that I was loving owning my own businesses and there was no offer that seemed to allow the entrepreneurial, innovative freedom I sought. Others and even myself thought I was crazy for continuously turning down not just the money, but more so the security of having a FT job in this economy. It came to the point where I was starting to doubt myself and my decisions.
Then I read Jen’s Career Design Series. Wow – someone else who was doing “what she wanted, when she wanted to”. She defined herself in 3 ways: writer, consultant, and scientist and stayed true to working in the 3 fields that interest her. I realized I had 3 definitive roles as well and I was doing the same thing Jen was; I was taking on projects in each area. Like Jen, I never feel like I’m wasting time commuting or at meetings, I’m very simply – working. But it never feels like work because I love what I do. As I continued reading Jen’s blog, I realized I had no reason to doubt myself or my decision. We were similar – she was doing what she loved and I was doing what I loved; and neither of us were going to let someone else dictate when, what, and how we would dictate our passions. Jen gave me back the confidence I needed.
Jen often seems to be writing her posts for me. I'm sure it helps that we have relatively similar early career paths (scientist in the military vs engineer at a defense contractor). Either way she nails it when she talks about ambition, list making, guilt, and that little nagging voice saying, "Hey! Things aren't right!"
Jen reached out across the digital sky—the ether that is the internet—just to ask me how I was doing. This singular act meant more to me than I can tell her—she really DOES read every email! Her friendship, support, and strength have been invaluable. It takes guts and courage to build the life you want to lead; and it's a heck of a lot better with a mentor like Jen. She'll ask you to be honest, to ask hard questions, and to design your life deliberately and with passion. Reading Jen's work is like really stopping to take a look in the mirror at your life. It's not whether she's ready, it's whether or not you are ready.
Everyday Bright is exactly that. Each day one can find within the words and certainly the spirit of its entries a certain kind of light that shines upon different aspects of life, and offers different perspectives within one's own mind. Far from being yet another sloppy online treatise on the supposed wonders of merely denying life's difficulties in order to live one's ideal existence, Everyday Bright offers its readers an outlook and an approach to daily living which is at times informative, inspirational, humorous, and humane.
I haven't always agreed 100% with the suggestions or perceptions in Everyday Bright. But even when my observations are not congruent with those posted here, this blog's effect on me and my online experience is unmistakable; I am always reminded that somewhere warmth, generosity and openness of spirit do make a difference in the lives of people. I have recommended it to people since its inception, and will continue so to do.
To get the inside scoop on how to land a guest post with me, watch this free webinar I did with Jon Morrow.