Have you ever given yourself a birthday present? Most people don’t think to get themselves something. I know that I never have, but last year in September on my 44th birthday I decided to do just that. As my birthday approached, I could not shake the feeling that something was missing from my life. I have a very good life that looks just like everyone imagines the American dream should look. However, I was very unhappy and unfulfilled. I decided that I would give myself happiness for my birthday. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do this but I was determined. I began a journey of introspection that has been the best thing I could ever do for myself. This past year I feel as though I have given myself the gift I have been seeking – true happiness with a dose of peace and joy.
As I reflect on the path I have taken, it is clear I have grown more personally in the last eight months than the 44 years leading up to it. My life, just like most, has been quite a roller coaster filled with both good and bad experiences. The ups and downs have helped to shape my values and priorities in life. If you have read my previous blogs, you know that I decided to downsize. The material things in life brought me joy but quite a bit of pain as well. I was spending too much of my time maintaining this lifestyle and not enough enjoying my family. I chose to minimize the distractions preventing me from being present in the times I viewed as important. While this was a great decision, I realized that it was not enough to help me achieve the happiness I was seeking. This led to further introspection.
I spent a great deal of time articulating what I really needed in my life in order to be happy. It became obvious that my definition of success did not truly make me happy. As I redefined success, I realized I needed to honor my values. I value being a mother and wife but I was not executing as well as I wanted because I was working too much. This realization caused confusion for me because I also value having a career that is fulfilling. Another of my values is creating fun experiences that provide great memories. I was not enjoying as many of these as I would like because work was demanding. Again, confusion set in because I truly enjoy working. My definition of success included being a great mom, wife and career woman. To be happy, I knew I had to find a way to achieve all three but I was having a tough time developing a plan to make this happen.
I spent some time researching tools and methods for achieving balance in my life. My solution was to find a life coach. A life coach is a person that helps to motivate, support, and push people to set and reach goals. A life coach provides accountability within a confidential and judgement free zone. It is like a personal trainer but for life goals. I had been feeling the need to move forward and make changes, but I felt like I was stuck and did not know how to take the first step. A life coach’s job is to help people sort through their thoughts, goals, and fears to develop a plan and then to hold them accountable in enacting the plan. This was just what I needed!
As I looked for a life coach, I became frustrated because there weren’t any in my immediate geographic region. Of course, at this point my entrepreneurial bells started ringing. I began to research coaching more in depth, not just to find one but to figure out how to be one. As I did this, a familiar feeling started to bubble inside me. It was something I hadn’t felt in a few years and had missed quite a bit. It was the feeling of fulfilling my purpose in life. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart with a need to help others succeed. Although I had labeled it differently, I realized I had coached entrepreneurs for many years as both a professor and as a consultant. How could I have forgotten how much I loved it?! As I continued reading about coaching I felt excitement and the urge to start doing it again. I remembered the joy I feel when I help others achieve success. I love the glow of possibilities in entrepreneur’s eyes and the energy they exude as they chase their dreams. I understand those feelings because I’ve experienced them. For the first time in several years, I was feeling them again. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and coach again. This was perfect in that it provides me a career I love with a flexible schedule allowing me more time with my family. Now eleven months later, I have left my position as a CEO, downsized our home, and taken the leap to becoming a full-time coach… AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!
I am excited to launch Soluna Strategies, an entrepreneur and business coaching firm dedicated to helping others achieve the success they desire. Happy Birthday to me indeed! I have found the perfect solution to help achieve balance in my life while seeking my goals and honoring my values.
Are you feeling stuck? Would you like help sorting through your thoughts, feelings, and life so that you can work towards the life you desire? Email me. I’d love to help you! While I focus primarily on business related goals, I do have a vast network of coaches. We can find the perfect coach for you. I look forward to hearing from you!!
-Gina Simpson is a professional business and entrepreneurship coach and founder of Soluna Strategies. If you are interested in working with Gina to reach your full potential, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her passion is your success!