I need mental help: ENTER LIFECOACH

Posted by Jane Paradis on

I left my corporate job for a few reasons…

  1. FLEXIBILITY. During 11 years at Lilly Pulitzer I made so many choices that put the company first and not my family. I couldn’t make those trade-offs anymore.
  2. BURN OUT.  The fashion industry is fast paced and requires a high level of collaboration; it can be all encompassing. Working intensely AND wanting to keep the optimism that I am known for was unsustainable. I put so much pressure on MYSELF and I take responsibility for letting it get out of control.
  3. PASSION TO CREATE MY OWN THING. I got the bug to start a company and knew that I had it in me to create something new. I have been obsessed with jewelry since birth; I have designed jewelry for years and I wanted to create something special to be a force of positivity!

It took lots of work to be able to articulate WHY I wanted to leave a fabulous well-paying job, and it took tons more work to set a vision on what to do next. During my day-to-day I was reeling with trying to figure out what made me happy, feeling worn-down by my current schedule, and depressed by the feeling that I couldn’t put my family first. Being unsatisfied or torn by what you do everyday is exhausting. I know that I was able to love what I did for so long until I hit a tipping point. How do we understand the tipping points and think through future options?

I needed help to find the next steps in my path but I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t want to see a full-on psychiatrist and I didn’t want to talk to friends and family. I have been lucky to receive really good executive training through my job and knew that ‘coaching’ would work with my personality. You can check out a blog that explains a bit more here.

“Coaches have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘helicopter vision’ — and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate.”  -CFO Magazine

So…what happened? I got 3-4 names of potential coaches and met with them for about 30 minutes so we could get to know each other’s style (I would highly recommend this process!).

I found a gentleman named Dr. David Weiman who is a spectacular fit for what I needed, here’s a peek into what he does:


We started by talking about my current situation and quickly moved on to my future goals. We worked on painting a picture of what I’d like my life to look like in 10 years. Here are the questions I answered:

  • What would you like your Health/Fitness to look like in 10 years?
  • What would you like your Family/Relationships to look like in 10 years?
  • What would you like your Finances/Wealth to look like in 10 years?
  • What would you like your Business/Professional life to look like in 10 years?
  • What do you want your ‘Leisure’ to look like in 10 years?:
  • What would you like to ‘own’ on 10 years – things?

I then worked back from 10 years, what would I need to do in 5 years, three years, and the next year to make my 10 year goal a reality.

After completing my goals I narrowed down an a couple reasonable paths to get there:

  1. My current path: work 24/7 for a company and give them everything – in exchange I would be very well paid and have the opportunity to receive additional compensation if the company met plan. My individual work had lots to do with the company success, but we needed so much to go right for the company to meet financial goals. One scary option: I could work my ass off and just get my base salary when we didn’t achieve goal. While that’s ok – it’s not a retirement plan. The current path meant traveling frequently, working in an office and not having the ability to be with my kids in afternoon. This scenario didn’t have to be Lilly Pulitzer  – I met with other companies and the picture looked the same. They wanted all my time and would pay for it, as long as the company was growing (and aggressively).
  2. Build something that could be flexible. Build something that would not pay me NOW, but that could be a functioning business over the coming 3 years. This is putting all the risk on me to make it happen. And there are a million things that could go right and a million things that could go wrong that could lead to success or failure.

I saw quickly that I needed more flexibility. Flexibility to work differently (family time) and flexibility to make more money if I kick ass. So I chose option 2…and I am here now blogging about it. WOW! I still feel really good about taking this step and am loving the work/life balance – but I’m not making any money. I also miss my co-workers! The plan is in place to develop the product and business so I have to stay calm about the no money part.

This blog might be more about my journey than the benefits of a life coach – but take away this: Working with someone who can help you see things objectively is a rare gift and incredibly insightful. I could answer my own questions but needed someone to make sure I was asking the right things of myself and setting a path to get to the answers.

If you have any questions on finding a life coach I am happy to share my experience further, contact me HERE.

Tons of love and xx, Janie


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