Tag Archives: Kick in the Knickers

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: 5 Comments


Jan 13 2015

Dear Future Me (2015)


Dear Future Me (the 2015 edition)

New glasses (that I’m planning to wear in public often, which I’ve never really done before – and I’ve had glasses since 1987!) + new haircut + unstraightened hair (which I also haven’t done regularly since ’87 or so!) = the 2015 me!

This is the fifth time I’ve written a Dear Future Me letter. You can read the others here and here and here and here (and why I didn’t write one in 2013 here), and the idea behind the Dear Future Me letter from the amazeballs woman I stole it from (hi Jess Lively!) right here. Like past years, I decided to keep some things private…but this is about 95% of the letter below. 

Dear Future Michelle,

This has been your year.

Everything has really “clicked”, and it’s because – after 5 years of being a Woman of the World (aka full-time entrepreneur), of the things you’ve gone through, the lessons you’ve learned, as well as your successes – you feel really, truly, ready to Play Big and step into the spotlight.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 9 Comments


Dec 17 2014

What happens when you live for your retirement?


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My Dad is in his mid-60s. He and his wife recently moved out of their condo and into a retirement community an hour or two away from where they were living.

They made the move earlier than they planned, but are enjoying the “semi-retired” life that’s spent doing a bit of work and a lot of leisure.

In late October, my Dad came to visit from Florida. He was here for a family celebration, and was in my apartment with his wife, my mother-in-law, myself and the baby.

I walked into a conversation that my Dad was having with my mother-in-law, and it’s stuck with me since.

He was explaining to her how much they love their new home and lifestyle, and how devastated they were to hear that a close friend of theirs was newly diagnosed with terminal cancer.

A man in his 60s, he was given just months to live.

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
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Dec 16 2014

10 Things to Do Besides Complain About Your Job


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I know – your job sucks.

It might just be sucky enough that you’re bored, or checked out, or exasperated with your responsibilities or work environment…

…or it might be so sucky that it’s leaving you feeling ill – physically and/or emotionally…

…or it might be somewhere in between, falling on the scale between “soul-crushing” and “barely tolerating.”

If you find yourself complaining about your job, here’s 10 things to do instead:

1. Write down what you enjoy about your job. Thinking about it in your head ain’t enough – get it out on paper! What was it that made you interested in the job in the first place, and are those things still resonating? When have you felt useful or helpful at work? What is it about the culture, company mission, and/or people that you like?

2. Write down what you’ve enjoyed about past jobs. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 5 Comments


Oct 08 2014

9 Main Reasons You’re Not Discovering – or Pursuing! – Your Dream Career


9 reason you're not discovering - or achieving! - your passionate career

I have almost 1,000 coaching hours under my belt with almost 300 clients, and I’ve heard some things.

Actually, I’ve heard all the things.

A big realization I had teaching my CreativeLive course is that there was nothing I hadn’t heard before when it comes to a creative, multi-passionate woman discovering, igniting, or achieving her dream career. And you are no exception.

{I mean that in the best way possible.}

Here are the 9 main reasons you’re not discovering – or pursuing! – your dream career, in no particular order:

1. You’re feeling Resistance! The War of Art classifies everything that’s keeping you from following through on your creative pursuits as Resistance. Resistance only exists to stop us, and the longer we don’t do what we’re supposed to – what’s calling to us – the stronger Resistance gets. Our only way to fight Resistance for the day (because Resistance comes back daily, no matter what)?

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 11 Comments


Sep 10 2014

What a Creative Career Doesn’t (& Does!) Care About


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I Donut Care by Wood with Pictures

I’ve been The When I Grow Up Coach for the past 6 years, working with creative women to help them out of their soul-sucking jobs and into work that feels like play.

And in that time – and because of the type of work I do – I’ve come across all the excuses for a freelancer to not be ready to launch their business or commit to their work.

It makes me weep, especially since the things we tell ourselves that matter when it comes to having a successful creative career are usually, um, the things that don’t matter.

Click here to hop over to the Freelancers Union blog & read all about what a creative career doesn’t (& does!) care about.

This starts tomorrow! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

creativelive_home1

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Sep 09 2014

10 Reasons Your Current Career is the Wrong One


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It Is Never Too Late…by Wanderlust 25 Paper Co.

If ya clicked on this headline, it’s because something just ain’t right at work.

Maybe you’re just not feeling like you’re doing something worthwhile.

Maybe your colleagues are nobody you’d actually wanna spend time with outside the office.

Maybe the things you’re asked to do are things you hate doing.

And maybe your have a verbally abusive manager that makes you feel like you’re constantly doing a terrible job.

Whatever the feeling, it’s not good – and I gave ya 10 reasons why over on CreativeLive.

Click here to read ‘em all (and stop the excuses already!).



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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
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Aug 19 2014

Wanna Change Careers? Do These 5 Things First.


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PRINT by ThimbleTypeCo.

When you’re thinking of changing careers, you often envision a few things:

  • much greener grass than what you’re used to grazing on
  • being well-rested and glow-y
  • smiling 24/7
  • blissful happiness that never ends
  • fame and fortune
  • becoming the “After” in all those makeover shows
  • unicorns and pots of gold and magic

Yeah. It can get out of control when you’re escaping your job in your mind, especially if you’re in a situation that’s unfulfilling at best and utterly abusive at worst.

Instead of latching on to those dreams at face value, though – or doing something totally drastic like making the leap to a career you reeeeeeeally don’t know anything about – do these 5 Things First:

1. Talk to at least one person who’s doing the thing you think you wanna do. It floors me every time, but I’ve never had a client not know someone they can personally talk to about a field they’re thinking of going into.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated
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Mar 25 2014

What I Tell Myself When I Don’t Think I Can Do It


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LK I Talk To Myself by Tinker Tiles

Despite the confidence I have, there are times that my Vampire Voices (which is what’s told to us that sucks out the good stuff) take over my brain.

My Vampire says things like,

“Nobody will want this.”

“And you think you’re qualified to do this because why?”

“You must think you’re special. You’re not.”

“Why should you succeed when so many others fail?”

“You’ll never pull this off.”

“It’s a pipe dream. Be realistic for once.”

“You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.”

“You’re not (smart/pretty/good/knowledgable/talented/special) enough.”

When those voices talk to me, they’re usually very small but very powerful. I don’t necessarily hear them as much as I sense them. They’re a part of me even though they’re not here to support me.

4 years ago, I wrote that my response to these voices was:

“I know who I am.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 11 Comments


Mar 04 2014

Why You Shouldn’t Care Whether Your Dream Job is “In Demand”


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Demand Greatness print from my dear friend The Tiffany Han

11 Hot College Majors.

12 Best Jobs for 2014 That Pay Up To $60/Hour.

Here are 5 Top Jobs in Serious Demand in 2014.

Marketing. Accounting. Software developer. Occupational therapist. Web developer. Engineer. Forensic Science. Database administrator. Health care….zzzzzzzzzzzz……

Oh, sorry. Must’ve nodded off there. All these “hot”, “best”, “top” jobs I’m reading about are putting me to sleep.

And they should be doing the same for you, too.

OK sure, it’s interesting to get stats back on the fields that are hiring the most workers now, or the career tracts that are tailored to a shortage. It’s interesting information, but not important information.

There’s no such thing as stability anymore

I’m taking this strong opinion because, well, safe is a four letter word.

A friend of mine just told me that tenure and the pay bump you’d get for having your master’s degree was taken away from teachers in North Carolina.

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