Feb 25 2015

Stop looking for a savior.


Stop looking for a savior.

Spoiler alert: The secret of your success and the foundation of a passionate and lucrative business lies within YOU.

You might want it to be the online business guru. Or the marketing guru. Or the PR guru. The one who touts a six or seven-figure business and holds retreats throughout the globe.

You might hope it lies in the Virtual Assistant, the copywriter, and/or the designer that’s bound to make you an organized, professional, jealousy-inducing brand.

You might wish it’s in your next offering or product, the “perfect” combination of what you think your target client might need, want, and be willing to spend.

You might seek it in a popular online course, or high-cost mastermind, or expensive life coach.

But really? If you get on the train before you’re sure that you really wanna be on it when it leaves the station, you’re wasting your time and money.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 1 Comment


Feb 18 2015

The only thing that matters right now…


The only thing that matters right now...

The only thing that matters right now is that we’re finalizing our daughter’s adoption today.

I thought about the different posts I could write, but none of them were met with any kind of enthusiasm or focus. So, I’m pushing them out a week to tell you the things that’re in my head.

I have to tell you that you can find yourself saying aloud, “I really think that Insert-Dream-Here is never going to happen”, and the next day you could get a phone call that changes your life.

I have to let you know that having a career you love is important, but a life you love filled with people you love is what matters most.

I have to say that the ache you have in your heart right now for whatever is missing in your life can be filled.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 30 Comments


Feb 16 2015

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Michelle’s Story


The Recession is Bullhonkey: Michelle's  Story

This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. Michelle Fifis post is not only amazeballs for its inspiration factor (can we say she went from in-house textile designer to freelancer, blogger, teacher and community leader?), but for giving us the biggest secret of her success – and ways to apply it to your career.

I’ve found the secret to growth in just about any economy – recession or not. This secret is easy to understand, but oh so difficult to master. Are you listening? Good, because…

The best way to grow is to really listen….and it’s harder than you think.

Listening is the most important skill I’ve ever learned, and it’s also the one I struggle with most on a daily basis.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Feb 11 2015

Dream Careers Made Tangible


Dream careers made tangible

It’s hard to think of anything that excites me as much as seeing my clients take all the puzzle pieces of their dream careers and turn them into something tangible.

Whether it’s while we’re working together or years later (do you know I’ve been The When I Grow Up Coach since ’08, and full-time since ’10?!), it doesn’t matter: I do the biggest of happy dances.

Two recent former clients in particular made me wanna shout their new businesses and recent offers from the rooftops, and I realized I should reach out to all my former clients to ask what I can put in the spotlight for ‘em.

Now, I have a few hundred former clients, so I’m glad they didn’t all respond (can you imagine the length of that post?!), but here’s the excitement from those who did:

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 10.33.39 AM (1)Lauren Caselli started coaching with me in the spring of 2011, when she was an event planner for a corporate law firm.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated
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Feb 04 2015

How to Regain Control of Your Career (in 3 easy steps!)


How to Regain Control of Your Career - in 3 easy steps!

In the (re)branding work that I’ve been doing, I’ve been able to articulate something that I haven’t been able to before.

It turns out that, no matter who I’m working with and where they are in their career transition, their underlying WANT is to get back into the driver’s seat of their career.

Somewhere along the way, they’ve lost control.

They’re in a job where they feel like a cog in the wheel instead of the person who makes a difference.

They’ve built a business based on what others told them to do, and it doesn’t feel as authentic/fulfilling/successful as they want.

They know their potential, but feel that they’re not allowed to shine.

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, here’s how to regain control of your career:

Create something that brings you personal fulfillment – and then put yourself in charge of executing it. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge
COMMENTS: 4 Comments


Feb 02 2015

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Nikki’s Story


The Recession is Bullhonkey: Nikki's Story

This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. I think what I love most about Nikki’s story today is that she joined forces with her family to create the business that compliments all their strengths, skills and passions. You don’t have to do this alone, people!

First of all, let me just say that not only do I believe this recession is bullhonky, but in general I believe the idea that making money is hard, jobs are scarce and people occasionally have to “settle” instead of pursuing their passions are all equally in the bullhonky basket. Some people call me oblivious. I call me optimistic.

I also believe that my sheer stubbornness to acknowledge difficult times is why I’m doing what I’m doing now, which is starting a business.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
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Jan 27 2015

Should You Take That Job?


Should you take that job?

I was recently introduced to a project TheLadders is doing where they are asking for advice for recent college grads.  As I thought about it and started drafting the article in my head, I realized that what I wanted to say applied to a broader question:

Should I take that job?

We can ask our parents and friends, but we’re just not sure if they can take their own biases out of the equation.

We can make a Pro + Con list and make a decision based on which column is longer, but that won’t tell the whole story.

We can make a decision based on fear or desperation, but that’s usually when we end up exactly where we don’t wanna be.

I think you should take the job if…

…it’s for a company you believe in. I find that where my clients work is just as (or more!) important than what they do. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 12 Comments


Jan 21 2015

It’s your choice.


On Friday, December 26th, I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon.

I’m not sure what was in the air that made me do it.

I’ve only ever run a 5K, and did it barely and slowly. And that was 8 months ago! Since then I’ve walked tons (for the Avon 2 Day Walk I now do annually), but have only gone on runs super sporadically.

Wish me luck! #1st5K #dontdie #gorgeousday

A photo posted by Michelle Ward (@whenigrowupcoach) on

On the day I signed up, I knew I could only run 2 miles without stopping. I also knew that, without being a member of a gym (or wanting to be), I’d have to train in the cold NYC winters (which I’m a total wimp about).

But I also knew that, without something to train for, my exercising had gone by the wayside – and the best way to hold myself accountable and get my butt moving was to have an external commitment.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 8 Comments


Jan 20 2015

Wanna help me with my rebranding in 5 minutes flat?


design (17)

Wanna help me with my rebranding in 5 minutes flat?

If you’ve never worked with me personally before, then take the short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RX2B8R2.

If you’ve been coached by me or joined one of my online programs, then take the short survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RRZCRRP.

You’d have my forever appreciation, especially if it’s done before Thursday!

Thank you times infinity squared.

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POSTED IN: Happy Hooplah
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Jan 19 2015

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Harper’s Story


The Recession is Bullhonkey: Harper's Story

This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. Harper Spero sent me an introductory email and, after reading her About page, I asked if she’d share her story here. The goodness is below!

Fast-paced. High stress. Nonstop. Urgent. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is urgent.

Everything must get done right this second, not a minute later. There’s no time to wait. If the editor doesn’t get her lipstick before she goes on vacation, she’ll never think about our brand again. If we don’t respond to this customer in the next 20-minutes, we’ll lose their business. If we don’t send that tweet during the MTV Video Music Awards, our client is going to be devastated.

I lived this life for many years until my body shut down and told me “enough already!”

It was 2012 and I was working in (clearly) a very toxic work environment.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
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