Have you absolutely HAD it with “Black Friday” deals months early already? I know have! There have been more and more early sales and it’s not just Black Friday. However, I know, right down to my core, that we can do Black Friday differently, and WAY better, especially with some help from Infostack. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.

This year, I needed to pick up a Halloween item for one of my kids on October 28th (note, this is BEFORE actual Halloween!) and the store I went to had taken all the Halloween items and crammed them onto part of one shelf so they could start putting out the Christmas/Holiday items already! What in the world? After 3 stores where it was a similar situation, I gave up entirely and we did Halloween without the missing piece of the costume.

It totally felt like one more thing getting rushed through to get on to the next thing. So yeah. I get it if you’re Black Friday’ed out already since it seems to have started in October.

And here’s my other not-so-secret secret: Black Friday is an event that I normally try to avoid. I get absolutely no joy out of the idea of getting up at 3am and standing in line (in usually cold Wisconsin weather!) to get my hands on the “it” gift of the season. I don’t like large crowds or long lines or hurrying to grab things before they run out.

So what do I do then? I choose to Black Friday differently.

It’s an intentional choice that I encourage everyone to make. I’m not saying not to do the usual Black Friday things. If you enjoy them, rock on! Keep doing it. What I’m advocating for is paying attention to what you enjoy and what you don’t and then making adjustments to anything that isn’t working for you anymore.

It’s the exact process I coach my clients through when it comes to work and life. Of course, I’ve also gone through this process multiple times as I refine what feels most aligned to who I am today and who I am becoming.

And because of that process, the entire week that contains Black Friday is one of my favorite weeks of the year! I choose to stay home rather than travel out of obligation. I choose to be intentional about who I spend my time with and what we spend our time doing.

What does that look like?

At my house, it’s been renamed Family Fun Week and it’s filled with silly, made-up traditions like jersey day and watching and eating Grinches (green grape, mini marshmallow, raspberry… yum!) and putting on Love Actually for what feels like the thousandth time. We also bake (and eat!) lots of cookies.

Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

Basically, I get to spend quality time together with my immediate family before the busy-ness of the holiday season sets in. And the best part is I put on my elastic waist pants, eat my most favorite foods, and watch holiday movies from the comfort of my home.

Instead of a stress/adrenaline-filled race to snag stuff, I enjoy a restorative time for me that I look forward to all year.

Does that mean I refuse consumerism in all its forms and live a life without modern conveniences? Of course not. Again, it’s about intentionality. I approach this time of year as mindfully as I can, including keeping lists of gift ideas for everyone on my holiday shopping list.

I don’t buy stuff on Black Friday week/weekend because it’s on sale. When I choose to buy, it’s something I was already planning on getting that also happens to be a good deal. I love being able to give the perfect gift to people. There is immense joy watching someone open up a gift and for them to be truly excited and grateful to receive it.

Like I said, I Black Friday differently. I choose to make my own traditions.

And this year, I had a brand new, exciting choice to make!

For the first time ever, Infostack has assembled the biggest collection of resources for Women’s Confidence and Career and my Next Level Success Masterclass is one of the many awesome things you’ll find in it!

Women's Confidence & Career Superstack


I’ll admit, when I was first approached to be included in this incredibly awesome collection that just so happens to occur during Black Friday week, I was initially a little conflicted.

Here’s how the conversation went down in my brain:

“Well…  I’m passionate about helping women step into all levels of leadership to create more equity so this would be a fantastic bundle to be a part of.”

“But… I’m also passionate about wearing my “give-ups” (aka sweatpants) for multiple days straight.”

“Can I do both?”

And the answer is YES! It doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. It absolutely can be a both/and situation where I help more women with their careers WHILE I wear sweatpants, which is why I said yes to the opportunity to have my masterclass included in this incredible bundle from Infostack.

Of course, that doesn’t change my plan to Black Friday differently, so I needed to make sure it was still authentically me, give-ups and all. And I want YOU to do the same too!

Ask yourself when was the last time you did something ONLY for YOU? When was the last time you invested in your own GROWTH and development? When was the last time you made TIME for yourself?

If you’re like most women (or if you’re thinking about the women you know and love), it’s been a really LONG time.

This is where the Women’s Confidence and Career bundle from Infostack makes your life EASIER! You don’t have to research a whole bunch of stuff or spend hours trying to figure out what to Google. They’ve pulled together an amazing collection of experts that you can access with a single click here.

I hope you’ll choose to join me in the elastic waist pants extravaganza as we do Black Friday differently (and better!).

And feel free to check out the amazing confidence and career collection from Infostack that I’m honored to be featured in if you’ll find it valuable (and I think you will!). And while we’re at it, feel free to change up any holiday or day of the week into something that is more aligned and authentically you.

To making our own traditions! 


P.S. Here’s me enjoying my jersey & give-ups.


Please note that I’m sharing The Women’s Confidence and Career Super Stack as an affiliate, so when you use my link to buy, I will get a small percentage of the proceeds but at no extra cost to you.


Every season brings with it different joys and challenges so I thought I’d share with you what’s on my summer survival list. For most of us, work and life are busy and hard enough, so I care about stuff that is the opposite of that. These are the things that are making my life easier, better, and more fun this season.

  1. Library card – infinite access to books? Yes please! But it’s also magazines, movies, board games, yard games, child, teen, and adult programs and more. All for the low price of $0. 
  2. CSA – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is food grown by a local farmer that you get to enjoy weekly throughout the growing season. We get to try new veggies (that my kids are excited about!) and have fresh healthy food in the fridge all week. Plus, my kids have chosen to tell a new fruit or vegetable joke every week when our produce is delivered. What’s a chicken’s favorite food? Bok-bok Choy! So yeah, we’re having some fun.
  3. These amazing create your own comic books. My kids can sit for hours inventing pictures and stories and this gives them the freedom to do just that.
  4. Some kind of water fun. We’ve been to lakes at state parks, various splash pads, pools, and more this summer. We also love a good water fight and my kids adore their cooling neck towels on hot days. They don’t mind going on a hike with me if that have those, so it’s a win-win!
  5. Scheduled time off. This is a public service announcement for anyone that hasn’t planned a summer vacation yet. DO IT! Take advantage of the fact that many of your co-workers are also on vacation and enjoy some time away to unplug and recharge in whatever way restores your soul.
  6. Vintage cocktail glasses (image at top). I found a “set” of glasses (basically whatever glasses that have survived many decades of use) and have been enjoying sipping my refreshments out of them. Do drinks taste better in them? You’ll have to locate your own or stop over to find out!
  7. Fancy marshmallows. Want to elevate your s’mores experience? Get some of these. We’ve been experimenting with adding fruit, herbs, and s’more (see what I did there?) to our fire-toasted treats.
  8. Hammock. For years I’ve dreamed of being able to chill in a hammock in the shade. And l finally decided to get one. I have no idea why I waited so long, but I’m grateful to have this to relax in, even if it’s only for a few minutes (it usually is!).
  9. Picnic table. We were gifted a bench that converts to a picnic table last year and have gotten tons of use out of it. I had forgotten how fun it can be to eat outside! And parents, dining al fresco with your littles means less sweeping for you!


As the seasons change, we need to find new ways to be able to enjoy them if we want to avoid that feeling of time moving too fast or passing us by. I hope this summer survival list gave you some new ideas to try!


The above links are affiliate links, but know that I only link to products I actually like and use.


Photo of vintage glass by me.


Client Success from Work Authentically Story 1

As the bestselling author of Success Authentically, you know I love talking about success! So for the month of March, we’re going to be looking at stories of success from some of my clients.

I love getting to meet interesting people doing interesting work as part of my job, but what I love even more is to see those same folks overcome the roadblocks and challenges that are standing in between them and their dream jobs.

One such client needed my help with clarity to tell a career story for a future that was unknown. You see, this person had so many amazing skills, that there wasn’t just one job description they would be great at (nice problem to have, right?).

We worked together to hone in on those pieces of their story that would be true regardless of the type of work it was and then continued to build from there. And because this was a unique career story, I coached them on how to activate their network so they could share openly about why they were looking for different types of work.

This client did the hard work of applying and reaching out to many people in their network and the result was 3 job offers before our 6-week engagement was finished!

They had their choice of 3 very different jobs because they were willing to do the extra work and reach out to activate their network. It’s an amazing payoff for the time invested!


Image by me

As part of Women’s History Month, I want to celebrate the progress we’ve made, while acknowledging we have not achieved equity yet. This month, I’ll be sharing stories of the challenges women face in the workplace. Check out Challenge #1, Challenge #2, and Challenge #3.


Women’s Workplace Challenges: Challenge #4: Sporadic Sponsorship

I worked at one company where they offered a year-long leadership development course that was intended for high potential people ready to move to the next level. It was not only an honor to be part of the training, it was also the fast track that made you more likely to be promoted sooner.

Or so I hear. I can’t say for sure since I wasn’t ever selected for it.

You see, there were limits on how many people could be a part of the program. So for multiple years, my name was on the short list, but never in the top spot.

When I asked why not, I was told I didn’t “need” as much training as some of the others on the list. On the face, it was a compliment. I was growing my leadership skills on my own without a fancy class. 

However, it was one of many ways that women like myself struggle when they hit middle management. 

I didn’t have the implicit and explicit endorsement of senior leadership that comes from being selected for an emerging leader group. And without that endorsement, there wasn’t a lot of room for growth, since the first place they looked for new manager candidates was the leadership development class. 

Sure seems like I DID need it.   

I ended up leaving so I could try to win over a new group of people in the hopes of finally receiving that endorsement to get to a senior leadership role someday. 

My clients share lots of similar stories with me on not having support at a high enough level to continue to progress in their careers. As one who has been there, I can assure you, the view from the plateau is not great!

If you want to be part of the solution, consider how you can use the various leadership development programs and opportunities as means to support and sponsor more women.


Image by me.

As part of Women’s History Month, I want to celebrate the progress we’ve made, while acknowledging we have not achieved equity yet. This month, I’m sharing stories of the challenges women face in the workplace. Go back and read Challenge #1 and Challenge #2.


Women’s Workplace Challenges: Challenge #3: Unwritten Rules

As a child and young adult, I loved school. And I was good at it. So naturally, when I entered the work world (for which I’d been studying and preparing for roughly 20 years), I assumed that it would be a similar path to success.

Wow was I wrong!

The behaviors that are valued in school like doing the work, knowing all the facts, and getting the right answer are not the behaviors that are valued in our modern workplace. In fact, some of the many skills you need to be successful include prioritizing work (aka not doing all of it), delegating, knowing who to contact to find out more information, and being open to the fact that there are lots of right answers and that the current direction you’re heading can change overnight. 

I wish I had known this sooner in my career. It would have saved me lots of time and challenges! 

When you’re successful in school, you make the assumption that you need to keep leveraging the same skillset to stay successful. And that’s simply not the case.

I talk with lots of clients who lament the fact that they work really hard and it seems like no one notices. Or that they stayed up late making sure they knew everything about the topic they were presenting on, only to have no one ask a question or need to dive deeper. 

If this sounds like you, I want to share that the rules are NOT the same. One of the most important things you can do in any organization is to find out what the unwritten rules are because they’re different from school and from the last place you worked.

If you want to be part of the solution, make sure you’re setting clear expectations with your team on what behaviors are needed to be promoted.


Image by me.

As part of Women’s History Month, I want to celebrate the progress we’ve made, while acknowledging we have not achieved equity yet. This month, I’ll be sharing stories of the challenges women face in the workplace. Want more? See Challenge #1 here.


Challenge #2: The Burden of Proof

“Oh yeah? Prove it!”

This is the implied question that women face, often on a daily basis in the workplace. 

Our skills and experience are called into question regularly. People want to see one more thing from us before they can be absolutely sure we deserve the promotion. There are often lateral moves required to demonstrate our success last time wasn’t a fluke. We see our male counterparts rise to the next (and next) level of leadership while we are told we’re not quite ready. 

My clients tell me all the time about being deemed not “enough” of something.  Not technical enough. Don’t know the business well enough. You haven’t been here long enough yet. 

And sometimes it’s a more subtle questioning of your qualifications.

The below are actual things past co-workers have said to me.

Co-worker: “I know some of the other people that applied for the job. How’d YOU get it?” Me: My hypothesis (based on what the hiring manager told me) is that I was the most qualified candidate and they were excited to have me join the team. 

Co-worker: “Wow, that’s actually a good idea!” Me: You don’t need to sound so completely surprised that I might have a good idea every once in a while. Sidebar: I do wish I had a nickel for every time I heard this one. Now THAT would actually be a good idea! 

Co-worker: “I had no idea you could do this.” Me: Really? Because the basic requirement of the job included having this skill set. How would I have managed to get the job without some level of capability? 

Being asked to prove it, both explicitly and implicitly, is exhausting. It’s also one of the reasons many women choose to leave male-dominated industries like technology. 

If you want to be part of the solution, find one person you can advocate for at work this week so they don’t have to “prove it” one more time. Ask what would be most helpful to them in telling their career story.


Image by me.

As part of Women’s History Month, I want to celebrate the progress we’ve made, while acknowledging we have not achieved equity yet. This month, I’ll be sharing stories of the challenges women face in the workplace.


Challenge #1: Being heard. 

I once worked on a team with a parrot. 

Well, it was a male colleague, but he had a very bad habit of parroting everything I said. In meetings, he repeated my ideas, my comments, even my jokes. 

You know the worst part? Everyone else in the group seemed to only hear him say it. Never me. It was frustrating and annoying and disrespectful. 

And my experience is incredibly common. 

Many of my women friends, co-workers, and clients have experienced this exact same phenomenon. In fact, repeating and amplifying was even required by women working in the White House to ensure they were being heard in discussions. 

Some of the other ways that women aren’t fully heard include being interrupted, being dismissed, or being labeled as too “something” (shrill, emotional, etc.). 

For my parrot problem, the strategy I used was to feed him lines that I knew the group would be more receptive to hearing from him. This worked reasonably well, but it took lots of extra effort and energy on my part to plan out in advance. 

I would have preferred to simply say what was on my mind and know that the group was going to hear me and acknowledge it as part of our discussion.

If you want to be part of the solution, what can you do? Take some time to check in with everyone on your team to see if they feel heard. And if they don’t, commit to take action to change it. 


Image by me.

Drop of water with impact rippling out

I made the deliberate choice to leave my leadership role in the corporate world to start my own coaching business. I love coaching and developing others! Interestingly, one of the compliments I got regularly from my co-workers in corporate was what a good accountability partner I was. I’m wired to help people make the changes in their work and lives that matter most to them.

I also have a wealth of experience around navigating the corporate ladder and what it takes to get where you want to go. I’ve been stuck on a career plateau where I was working super hard to get to the next level but couldn’t seem to break through. I learned what to do and what not to do. And now I help others avoid those pitfalls.

It’s a part of my story, but it isn’t the whole story. The choice to leave corporate absolutely changed my trajectory, but not necessarily in the ways I expected when it first happened. And that’s ok. Sometimes, there are way better things out there than what we can dream up for ourselves. It’s true for me, and it’s been true for most of my clients.

When I started, I knew I wanted to impact people’s lives for the better, to help people solve problems they couldn’t solve on their own, and to turn unintentional careers into authentic works of art. I never could have guessed that as part of my impact, I’d write 4 books, speak at large conferences nationwide, or guest lecture at a top university. And I’m just getting started! 🙂 

My impact has expanded as I keep creating new opportunities for myself and saying yes to opportunities that cross my path. Playing small at work or in life will shrink your impact. Stepping into your leadership and going for what you really want will expand it.

I want to encourage all of you to stand in your leadership and claim your authentic voice. And when you do, also be open to the fact that it might take you down a completely different path than you were planning.

One of my clients sent me this message: “I am forever grateful for working with you!!! Know that you are changing lives for the better every day!!!”

If that’s not impact, I don’t know what is.

#PositiveAction Take a few minutes to assess the impact that you’re having. Does it align with your vision? What changes do you need to make?


Image by rony michaud from  Pixabay

Kids pretending to talk on a banana like a phone

This is part two of a 3-part series where we get real about what people most want from their work: money, meaning, and impact.

What is meaning? Merriam-Webster defines it as: significant quality especially implication of a hidden or special significance

Is meaning this big, grandiose, mystical thing that I eventually find or discover? Or is it right here in front of me and I am overthinking it like I do most things? Sidebar: if overthinker describes you or anyone else in your life, you’ll love this book !

It’s been my experience that meaning comes from living a life in alignment with my values. Meaning comes from doing stuff I care about with people I care about. Meaning comes from choosing to be a decent human when I can and encouraging others to do the same. As one of my former managers liked to say, “This ain’t rocket surgery.”

For me, there is meaning in the little things. Like talking on bananas like they’re phones at breakfast with my kids. Or wearing a funny t-shirt or socks that make me smile. Or greeting a stranger at the grocery store and chatting for a few minutes.

Maybe those things don’t seem meaningful to you, but they are to me. Quality time with my family and friends. Remembering not to take life or myself too seriously. Extending kindness to another human because we all need more of it.

It’s the special significance in each day that makes life meaningful. I could just as easily bury my face in my phone and check emails at breakfast, but why in the world would I give up a chance to talk on a banana phone?

So what about at work? Does my work have meaning?

Yes. I love teaching, coaching, and helping others get unstuck. I love sharing my enthusiasm and inspiring others to take positive action. I am using my strengths in service of others daily, and more importantly, it helps them get where they want to go. I transform careers so others can work authentically and experience joy on the regular.

The meaning I get from work is the same as the meaning I find in life: quality relationships and laughter and kindness.

We don’t accident into one giant meaning-filled existence. We intentionally choose to create it one tiny piece of special significance at a time.

#PositiveAction Not everyone has meaning in their work today, so please don’t feel like a failure if that’s you. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about what is the smallest thing you could change to create a small piece of meaning. And then add on another one. And another.


Want to dive deeper? Here’s a few of my recommended books on meaning (affiliate links):

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

The Art of Living by Epictetus (Sharon Lebell translation)


Photo by me, banana phone conversation not included.

Money Growing

This is part one of a 3-part series where we get real about what people most want from their work: money, meaning, and impact.

Most of us don’t want more money just to HAVE more money. We want to DO something with it. Buying a house, investing, getting the couch of your dreams, shopping local, helping a friend or family member, giving generously to a cause you care about. Those are the things we do with money.

And it’s a whole lot easier to do those things when we have more of it!

We go to work to get money in exchange for our time and expertise, but we use that money at home and out in the community, as well as in the broader global economy.

And even though money is a primary driver in us going to work (along with meaning and impact), we rarely talk about it in productive ways. Entire libraries of books have been written on money, how to manage it, how to use it, how to create more of it, how to change your thoughts and behaviors around it. The list goes on.

The place you work isn’t giving you money because they are generous. They are giving you money because you create value for them.

But if we try to talk about money (and most women don’t when it comes to negotiating or asking for more) we’re focused on the wrong part. We’re thinking about the money. NOT the value. So the conversation doesn’t go the way we’d hoped.

Instead, when you approach the conversation from a place a value it shifts the focus to what the organization is getting, rather than what they are giving. When you frame it from a value perspective, it’s a lot easier to see why you’re worth so much.

#PositiveAction Start or add on to a list of all the value you create for your workplace. You’ll be ready for the next conversation you have on money.




Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay