This week Ravi Supaul, the founder of TOinitiatve, asked me about the development of Careergasm and my own journey as an entrepreneur. Our conversation made me realize how much I love my job. Read on to learn about the book that changed my life, my best advice for pursuing a dream, and making the switch from soul sucking work to a career I love. Here is our conversation:
In five bullet points or less, describe your typical day and/or routine.
- Fart around on Facebook for a little while (just trying to keep it real).
- Write something I’ll publish at Careergasm or Huff Post or Forbes.
- Help my clients work on their own career path.
- Chat with other entrepreneurs.
- Kitty snuggles.
When did you realize and want to pursue your dream(s)?
I had a breakdown in the middle of a big-time professional research conference in the summer of 2012. I was working in academia and completing my PhD, and I just couldn’t fake enthusiasm for a career I didn’t love anymore. I knew I had to make a change and so I started building Careergasm, my career and business coaching company. Having been through a career identity crisis myself, I knew I could help others make massive shifts in their own careers and create work that feels good.
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
I love when I’m coaching someone and I can see that moment where they make a huge breakthrough. You can see the light in their eyes change. Oprah calls in an “aha” moment. I call it a “holy shit!” moment. Sometimes you just need someone to ask you the right questions and then you can connect the dots all on your own. It’s inspiring to witness that shift. My clients inspire me every day by laying their hearts on the line and really going for it. That takes guts.
What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered and how did you overcome it?
Hands down, the biggest obstacle in my career and my life has been myself. I care waaaaay too much about what other people think. At times it’s kept me from pursuing my dreams (my coaching practice) because I was pursuing things I thought I should want (like a PhD and a career in academia). I think I still care too much about what others think, but I’ve stopped letting it direct my actions. That’s a major shift for me, and I’m much happier for it.
What are some of your career highlights?
I had a major happy dance freak-out when I found out that my first article was going to be published at Forbes. I was by myself at the corner of King and Yonge in downtown Toronto when I found out and I couldn’t even HANDLE it! I literally did a little dance on the sidewalk. I now write regularly for Forbes and Huffington Post, which feels like such an honour. I’ve done some other cool things like teach a blogging course, design and teach university courses, and some high profile public speaking gigs, too.
What is your favourite book and/or quote?
Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck. She helps you confront your own bullshit so you can get out of your own way, and she does it in the most loving and non-threatening way. She’s also hilarious. I love a gal who can wear her neuroses on her sleeve and still be incredibly wise.
What advice would you give to those chasing a dream?
Make sure you’re chasing it for the right reasons. There’s a big difference between striving for something to prove yourself or impress others and working towards something you genuinely love. As a recovering perfectionist and approval-seeker, I know this all too well. If the pursuit feels forced, don’t do it. If it feels like love, go for it. Notice the difference between push and pull.
What are your hobbies? What do you do to relax?
I’m a big reader. I also like to colour (yes, you read that correctly). I’m a nature lover, so I like to walk and hike. Oh, and brunch! I love brunch. Have you ever been stressed or grouchy at brunch? Yeah. Me neither.