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What does your ideal future look and feel like?

It is a very nuanced question when you begin to explore it further. It requires thought around what you want to be doing, how much income you need to earn, and how you want to achieve a work-life balance. It is easy to describe what the dream or ideal looks like at a high level. The devil is in the details.

Most of us run into a challenge when we fail to see how all the pieces come together. Sure we all want to have a successful life with a fulfilling career or a successful business doing something we are passionate about. We want time perhaps to raise a family, travel the world, serve the community. The trick is to create a path that gives you time and flexibility to achieve your goals while fully being able to enjoy what you are doing.

I know several people so connected to their careers that they find it incredibly stressful to take time off and relax.  

Here is a little quiz.

If you are on a  trip to the national parks and are more preoccupied with cell phone connectivity vs. enjoying the view, you may need to think about shifting your priorities. 

How about another. If you book a hotel room for the trip of a lifetime based upon the quality of the wifi network rather than the location and view, why are you even going away?

I smile about these examples now, but at the time was focused on making sure I could work while I was away; I never really left the building.

So I ask you again. What does your ideal future look and feel like?

My ideal life was always to have a challenging and financially rewarding job, travel with my family, and have the resources available to provide everyone with experiences to learn and grow. Unfortunately, stress entered through my working so hard to build that ideal life, leaving me frustrated and, most of the time, not present.  I willfully let my career take over my ideal life.

So for me, the key learning in hindsight is that I spent far too much time doing my job to achieve my other objectives. As a result, I had locked myself into a way of life that prevented me from fully embracing the opportunities available to me that I worked so hard to create. I had made my ideal life less than ideal.

How did I let this happen?

A fair question. I have written before that I have benefitted from having great coaches and mentors in my life. I will give them credit for pointing out my out-of-balance life along the way. Now, there were periods where I made changes. But situations and circumstances change too, and I often slipped back into my old routines and patterns. I suppose I viewed these as temporary and short-term at the time — and they were. But as I look back throughout my career, they were far too many, and the time added up far too quickly.

Recently I read “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber. The subtitle reads, “Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” One of the core themes Gerber discusses is the idea that entrepreneurs and small business owners can at times be spending too much time IN  their business and not enough time ON their business. In essence, not enough time on strategy and structure.

I paused and spent time thinking about the idea in terms of my own career and how the information translates into my coaching practice. When I was in Corporate America, I worked hard and enjoyed my career, but I worked IN it most of the time and not ON it. I paid some steep prices for that and, in hindsight, can see how that experience relates to what many of my clients are going through. My key learning, to give ourselves the best chance to achieve our ideal life we need to be focused ON how our lives and careers interconnect.

Lesson learned!! I give myself a healthy dose of empathy, and I move on. 

Applying the learning.

My passion for coaching comes from my desire to help others achieve personal and professional success.  I work with individuals as a Thinking Partner to explore the possible. A big part of what I do is help my clients build balanced plans focused on their ideal outcomes.

As an example, I recently began working with two new clients. They are both at inflection points in their lives. One is an entrepreneur, and the other is exploring a pivot within the corporate world or starting a business. I suggested that before we even begin talking about what they do next that they consider exploring their ideal life. How they want to live, work, and share their talents with others. From there, we will unwrap their abilities, interests, and the resources available to them to begin to think about their next business venture or role. 

Next, we will explore what the options might look like. How to make changes happen and, most importantly, make decisions that will allow them the balance and flexibility to live their ideal life.

When they began to think about their ideal futures, deciding what job to do next began to be a bit less stressful.

What’s next for you?
  • Are you working ON your career to achieve the outcomes you desire?
  • Are you deep IN the work and unable to see how your current activities are causing you to veer, of course?
  • Are you at an inflection point and ready to explore a new direction? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, I am confident that I can be of help. Please send me an email at  alec@aronscoaching.com and lets start a 

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