|BossWoman eNews – June 2005
Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
Welcome to the June 2005 edition of Susan Robison's free
e-mail newsletter for women business owners, executives, and
Our goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about
leading a balanced and prosperous life while making a
difference. If you are on this list you have been a client, an
advocate, or attended a workshop. Pass this newsletter on to
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at the end.
In this issue, you'll find:
- Midcourse Correction
- BossWoman coaching
- Up and coming workshops
1. Midcourse Correction
We are halfway through your best year ever. You haven’t
forgotten to have your best year, have you? Well, I haven’t.
And just in case you weren’t a reader in January, send for my
newsletter that told readers how to have the best year ever
Here’s the truth you never read in those fun goal books – it
doesn’t work exactly like they tell you. It’s the same as with
cookbooks. You buy the ingredients, follow the directions
exactly as they appear and what comes out of the oven looks
nothing like the picture in the cookbook. Not that the books
and the motivational speakers and the workshops on “being all
you can be” lie to you. They just don’t tell the whole truth.
They fail to take into account how new information can impact
a good plan. It may be that Your Best Year Ever plan isn’t
working because you have new information that you didn’t have
available in January. Maybe:
So this is why you need the Midcourse Correction. You are off
course from where you started in January. You might even be on
a better course.
- You made more money than you expected.
- You made less money than you expected.
- Somebody you were dating and wanted as your life partner/soul
mate broke up with you.*A fabulous new job came along when you
- The fabulous new job you had just started isn’t so great.
- You forgot you were supposed to have you best year ever.
- You didn’t even read the January BossWoman newsletter.
Where Was I?
In his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
gives the example that even though jet pilots fly with a flight
plan to get from Point A to Point B they actually fly off
course 90% of the time. They and their technical equipment are
always measuring location on and off the path. Aren’t you glad
that they don’t tell us that information when we’re flying? Can
you imagine the announcements on a flight from New York to Los
“Well, folks we were doing ok for the first 10 minutes after
leaving the airport and now we’re headed to Manitoba. But don’t
worry, we’ll get back on … there we are, folks… straight
towards Los Angeles.”
“This is your pilot speaking again. Sorry, I dosed off ever so
slightly. I flew the red eye from Los Angeles this morning and
my eyes are still a little red but I feel better now. The bad
news is we missed Cleveland so I can’t point it out but Chicago
is coming up soon so we are back on our flight plan.”
“This is the co-pilot. Just in case some of you noticed the
buildings didn’t look as tall as they usually do in Chicago, it
was because that wasn’t Chicago, it was Columbus, Ohio. In
order to not go to Canada, the captain leaned a little too far
south and we flew over Columbus but we are heading over
Cincinnati which turns out to be a good thing because it isn’t
as crowded and polluted over southern Ohio than over South
Bend-Gary-Chicago so we can actually see where we are going
instead of flying on instruments.”
“This is your pilot again. You may have noticed we hung a hard
right over the Gateway to the West in St. Louis. We’re not lost.
We are trying to avoid weather in Nebraska to give you a more
comfortable trip. Don’t worry; we may even get to L.A. a little
early. We’ll keep you posted.”
Please don’t. One of the things I like about flying is that I
don’t have to pay attention to the map, drive, cook, or answer
the phone. It is sometimes the only break I get from those
activities all at once. I don’t want to worry about whether or
not the plane is on course.
When it comes to your flight plan, you are the pilot. You can
get help from co-pilots and navigators but you are directing
the plane. Where did you flight plan start from in January?
What new information has arrived that makes you know that the
original plan is no longer valid? What rough weather patterns
need to be avoided? And is your destination still someplace
you want to arrive at?
Your plan might not get you to the place you need to go. You
might be like the woman who was climbing the ladder of success
only to find out that the ladder was leaning up against the
wrong building. Instead the midcourse correction allows you to
redesign your plan to take you to a different destination, one
that will be so much better for you.
Get out your January plan and see where you have veered off
track. Do not compulsively drive yourself to get back on the
plan. Evaluate first if it represents a plan for the rest of
In the AM part, they imagine three things they are looking
forward to during the day and three things they have to face
that they are dreading.
- Some apparent distractions give new information about you
and/or the world changing. One of my clients returned to
teaching after her children were in school and found out that
when it came to kids, she could either raise them or teach
them but not both. What has happened in the first half of the
year that will prompt you to change your course? For example,
an unexpected opportunity to partner with a good friend with
whom I used to do faculty development workshops rekindled an
old interest. As a result I am expanding my work on
“Managing Diverse Faculty Responsibilities: Saving Time,
Staying Sane, Doing Well" and looking for new venues at
colleges and universities to work with faculty in their
quest for work/life balance and effective teaching.
- What feedback have you gotten about your work and personal
life? If you listen carefully, feedback can give you a
confirmation of being on track. One of my coaching clients
worried she had wasted her time when she attended a
pre-conference professional workshop that she realized she
could have presented. At our next session, she realized that
the experience confirmed her sense of expertise in the field
and wanted to work on how to position herself to conduct the
workshop she knows she was born to do.
- What new people have come into your life? What are they
teaching you about the kind of direction you might have? They
may tell you that you are good at something. They might tell
you to not do something, like my tennis coach told me to
stick with dancing. Think of all the time and money I might
have wasted on tennis lessons and memberships instead of
using the same resources on a fun, aerobic, artistic, and
social hobby, ballroom dancing.
- What does your gut tell you about the direction of your
life especially in the hazy moments just as you fall asleep
and wake up. I ask clients to do an “AM/PM exercise” every
morning and night.
In the PM part of the exercise, they review the day by
asking what three things were particularly satisfying and
what three things did not go as well.
If you write down the results of the AM/PM exercise, you
will see patterns emerge in less than two weeks. Your new
flight plan will become very clear: Do more of the things
that make your feel successful and loving and less of the
things that don’t go well. (Some of my readers already
know that I give credit for this exercise to my Jesuit
college education where we studied the spiritual exercises
of St. Ignatius of Loyola. His purpose was spiritual: to
help spiritual advisees use their pleasure and pain to
focus on their spiritual path.)
- What gets you excited? For example, what books, movies,
and activities suggest new interests that are developing?
- What goals have you accomplished since January that feel
absolutely right? What are ones feel like not much return
on investment? What goals are you procrastinating? Here
is an exercise, called “Creative Procrastination” from my
time management workshop. List the things you are currently
procrastinating on. Categorize them into groups.
- Right but too big. Solution: divide into teeny tiny steps
the first of which takes five minutes and the second of
which takes fifteen.
- Right but don’t know how. Who can help you? What book or
website could teach you? Is there a class that can help?
Could a coach or a mentor with expertise in this area
- Not-so-right. Procrastinate doing these items while you
work on the sure things, the first two categories. Come
back in a month to see if they seem right. If they don’t,
drop them or move them into a “someday” category and get
on, guilt free, to doing something else.
- Not-right-at-all. Get rid of these energy drainers.
Delegate them, hire someone to do them if you really need
them done, or eliminate from any consideration at all. One
of my clients reported feeling freer than she had in years.
She had carried around the same to-do list for years
feeling guilty but never reexamining whether the goals
were worthy of doing.
Theme for the Year
In the January BossWoman you set a theme for the year –
something to organize your activities and a focus. For
example, my theme is “the year of the house” the year we
take our much neglected house and spruce it up. Setting
that theme has helped organize my activities to visit
kitchen design places and to look through brochures,
books, magazines and websites.
Now we are have plan to follow for the actual remodeling
project, drawings on graph paper, and lists of small
details that will add the finishing touches. While I am
not good at this stuff and hate every minute of it, I
want the results badly enough to do the research and
shopping. I handled the overwhelming nature of the
project by doing a little at a time, working with my
husband to clarify our needs, and consulting with
helpful professionals who are experts in these matters.
How are you coming on your theme for the year? Is your
theme for the year still right for the second half of
the year or do you need a new one? Perhaps, you have
been so successful that you have completed
everything around your theme. If so, how about repeating
the process to find a theme for the last half of the
year? Or you could hang out with no theme just reacting
to what comes your way – as long as you play fair and
promise not to feel guilty and unproductive at the end
of the year.
Sometimes while you have one big theme, a second one runs
in the background. My secondary theme this year is
gratitude. Aware of the many gifts and opportunities that
have come my way I want to act on that gratitude by:
Several of my clients have accomplished much already this
year by establishing a theme and breaking the theme into
small goals. Here are a few examples:
- Offering a month of complementary coaching to new clients
that commit to two months of additional coaching by the
- Offering a month of complementary coaching to returning
clients with whom I have worked in the past – with no
commitment to go beyond the first month.
Do you have s secondary theme that has appeared during the
year? What action do you need to take to move forward this
theme? What do you still need to add in to your best year
- A consultant tripled her income.
- A scientist published a definitive work in her field.
- A sales professional designed an effective marketing plan
that did not include making any cold calls.
- A trainer defined her niche and her fee structure and
received immediate confirmation by booking two workshops
in the week after she put these structures into place.
It is not too late to have your best year ever.
A Happy summer to readers in the northern hemisphere - keep
cool. And happy winter to readers in the southern
hemisphere – keep warm.
See the January issue of BossWoman: How to Have Your
Best Year Ever.
2. BossWoman coaching
About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a
professional coach, speaker, author and seminar
leader. She loves to coach women who want
If you are feeling stuck on the way to your ideal
life, give Susan a call for a complementary
half-hour coaching session.
- work-life balance,
- career transitions,
- building your business or practice,
- time management,
- increasing productivity.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business
and organizations on the topics of:
She offers her audiences a follow-up coaching
session because she knows that workshops don’t
- leadership strategies for women,
- work-life balance,
Contact Susan for your coaching, speaking, or
seminar needs at Susan@BossWoman.org or at
3. Up and coming workshops
I am currently booking workshops for the fall and
winter. Contact me if your group needs a speaker on
the topics listed above.
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© Copyright 2005 Susan Robison. All rights reserved.
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