Today is all that matters

My friend David Hicks and I witnessed a horrific accident yesterday on our three-hour drive into the mountains to lead a writing retreat in Salida, CO.

Across the highway median on I-70, a tractor trailer barreled down the shoulder, a cloud of dust kicked up all around it, and rammed into an overpass at full speed. The resulting fireball engulfing it and a line of cars patiently idling in rush-hour traffic. 

As we drove past from the opposite direction, David and I looked at each other and back at the scene in shock yelling, “holy shit,” over and over. 

What else is there to say while witnessing an unknown number of lives forever changing in an instant?

What else do you do? 

A day later, these words by the poet Rudy Francisco seem the best answer to me. 


Carve out joy.

Hug every human with your words, thoughts and actions.

Smile so big and laugh so loud in every mundane moment of this precious life.


Do you have to make less to do what you love?

When contemplating a leap into a new career or business, it’s hard not to start negotiating right away.

I could probably live with a small pay cut.

Maybe the hours won’t be so bad.

Yeah, it’s a lot of driving, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Because of that pre-negotiating, it can feel nearly impossible to leap. As if you have to choose between what you value, like either you’ll enjoy your work or have the financial security you crave.

How could anyone choose between those? Why should anyone have to?

You don’t have to give something up in order to be happy at work.

You can make a stable, sizable income enjoying what you do.

The first step toward that is to stop negotiating before you have to. Instead, picture what you really want. All the bells and whistles. Benefits, paid vacation, freedom and flexibility.

Yes, even if you work for yourself all of these are possible.

Once you’ve made an initial list, get more granular. Based on the number of hours you want to be working, what will you do with the rest of the time? For instance, if you’d also like to finish your novel, then specify how many hours per week you want for that too so you’re building the fullest picture.

Your list, what we call your Ideal Work Profile, can contain details about what a work day looks like, how much travel is involved, how many or few people you interact with, what your office looks like or if there is one at all, how you feel valued, how you’re compensated, and what you do when the work is done.

Normally during the second call with clients, we make this profile together. If you really want a change, we need to know what to aim for.

Don’t know yet what you’re doing to make this salary? No problem. Believe it or not, the smaller details on your profile will inform the bigger questions that may still be fuzzy.

Meaning, if you know you want to work 5 hours a day mainly from home with a couple outside meetings each week, then the industries, organizations and opportunities will sort themselves around these requirements. Or rather, you’ll start seeing opportunities coming your way through the lens of the Ideal Work Profile you’ve created.

Make your list first and let everyone else, including your customers, negotiate themselves into your ideal.

It’s pretty incredible what happens then.

I’ve watched clients achieve the income they desired, the appreciative colleagues and clients they hoped for, and the downtime with loved ones that had felt like a far-off dream.

If you want to build your Ideal Work Profile together, we can discuss that in a consultation.

If you’d like to build this list in an intimate circle with everyone doing it together, comparing notes, and supporting each other really going for it, my signature program Career Clarity & Community starts on Wednesday. The other women coming forward are building their own businesses, clarifying what they want for themselves and why so we can get there together.

Let’s make your leap a reality.