Do It Your Way

Herd mentality works best for the lead bull. If you base your decisions on what others are doing then at best you’ll create a poor imitation of what has worked well for them. That’s not good enough for you and you know it.

You can borrow methods, tools and processes from those who have actually made it. You can use others for inspiration. But in matters of decision-making you need to be your own man or woman.

We both know that you can do better by being more of who you are. Those in authentic pursuit of the business of their dreams are more likely to build it because that was their intention from the beginning.

Authentic business building means that you are committed to expressing your true self in service to your clients. Building authentically is an ongoing process of continually adjusting and refining your business to serve the lifestyle you most want to live.

The world conforms to original thinkers. They never conform to it. The material world rearranges itself to accommodate what a Thinker wants, and it does so as a Thinker is thinking and deciding. Why should you not expect the greatest and finest in your life? We exist in a Divine Bounty that awaits our taking, and the way of taking is a mental one that starts with desire, decision and expectancy. Raymond Charles Barker

Why not become prosperous in mind, money and fulfillment through the authentic expression of your own unique being?

You’re more than enough to enjoy life on your terms. Yet if you want to play in the arena of authentic work then you must bring your “A” game. That begins with deciding to go for it.

Sometimes we need a profound catalyst to more clearly see our calling.

Merlin Mann of 43 folders inspired this clarity for me in a poignant presentation on what I‘d call authentic blogging. This excellent rallying call is applicable to any business owner who wants to express and connect meaningfully.

Merlin inspired me to ask myself. “What or who do I care about more than anything?”

Professionally, I care the most about two groups of people.
1). Those who want to make to make the leap from the slavery of employment to the freedom of self-employment.
2). Those who have made the leap and want to be well rewarded for expressing their authenticity in their own businesses.

Delightful Work is the budding entrepreneurs Underground Railroad and a community halfway house to support small business owners who want more from life. That’s who I most want to write for and serve.

In my last post I wrote that clarity empowers progress. But what if you still aren’t quite sure of what you want? Start with desire.

Desire * Decision * Expectancy

Did you catch the steps to intended movement in Barker’s quote? I believe these to be necessary nutrients to sprout a special business in the soils of authentic entrepreneurship. They are requirements to authentic creation.

You must want to earn a livelihood from the core of who you are.

Without a burning desire to make the career change to build the life and business you most want – it’s all just so much talk. If you can’t locate that burning desire remain where you are. You may not be ready yet.

You must make the decision to go for it, in your own way.

There are no shackles keeping an unhappy employee from making the decision to seek his or her freedom. Yet emancipation does require courage. You have to be bold enough to seize the life you want to live. Jobs are handed out but freedom is seized.

You must positively expect resounding success from that decision.

Positive expectancy comes from a deep down, no-matter-what, confidence to commit and follow-through. Yet that confidence is born after the courageous decision is made.

These requirements will get you in the game. You’ll still need to play your heart out. But isn’t that what you want? Don’t you want to be thrilled and delighted as you pursue your true calling?

After sharing these requirements I’m often asked by dreamers who are considering becoming entrepreneurs, “What comes next? I’d really like to figure it all out before I begin.”

I always answer in the same way. You don’t get to see what comes next until you commit. When you meet these three requirements, you’ve earned the right to play the game. This is where you move from dreaming and planning to practical authenticity.

This point of action is the most beautiful synergy you can imagine. It’s here that your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical powers all meet as authentic expression in the marketplace. At that point you’ll see what you’ll need to see to take the next step and after that, the next.

Are you building an authentic business by doing it your way?

If you aren’t, do you want to?

How can I serve you? What part of the journey would you have me write about?

Finding Your Path to a Successful Business Startup

Budding entrepreneurs who want to discover and run the authentic business of their dreams often get bogged down in pre-startup analysis and research. Sometimes they wait for the brilliant light of epiphany along with horns of eureka to verify their business idea. But what if the trumpets never sound and the blinding light of clarity never occurs?


What does that mean? Does it mean that your idea isn’t good enough? Does it mean that you don’t have what it takes? Does it mean that you need to continue in analysis until an epiphany does strike you? No, no and no. It could only mean that you are still feeling more fear and self-doubt than determined confidence. Here’s a better question. Why are you attempting to find this path alone when you could hire a guide to show you the way?

What Coaches Do

Thomas Leonard is credited as the first to call himself a coach – but even he thought that “coach” was an incomplete description. The word coach originally comes from a small town in Hungary, Kocs, where they made carts. Three centuries later, in 1800s England, it became slang for a tutor who “carries” a student through an exam. Coaches do remain with you throughout your journey and the “carrying” we do resembles the challenging encouragement and raising-the-bar accountability typical of an athletic coach. But we also do much more.

Blogging Coaches are distinct from self-improvement bloggers, and even from non-blogging coaches, because our daily work goes beyond coaching and blogging alone. Every day we guide clients in the engagement of what we blog about as they move to where they want to be. So we get to write about processes, test them on committed clients, see the results, make adjustments, refine further and then share our realizations in writing.

Self-improvement by itself isn’t worth much if you remain stuck within the same limiting situation. If you read and don’t seem to change fast enough, perhaps it’s not the quality of the material you are reading but it is your engagement that needs to be adjusted. People hire coaches to help them improve, not themselves, but the situations where in they find themselves. The self-improvement occurs as a natural by-product of the courageous actions that clients take.

Tom’s Special Brand of Coaching

People hire me to help them make very personal discoveries, which lead to committed decisions. Those decisions lead to focus and to taking right action. That action changes your perspective and you are then able to see more opportunities to which you were once blind. My clients are investing in more of a guided journey than in an education.

In actuality, I’m a career coach who specializes in guided movement.

There are times, when I’m a pure guide, leading, showing the way and pointing out the course to be taken.

Often I’m a pathfinder, guiding you through the unexplored regions of your own authenticity. If you’ve decided to begin the journey of discovering an authentic business most likely you’re more comfortable working in the safe familiar regions conditioned by your upbringing.

My calling is to outfit you with the proper tools for your journey and guide you along the way. Ultimately, I hold your hand as you leap from the cliffs of employment out into the unknown freedom of self-employment.

Your special authentic path must be a newly found path because no one has ever walked it before. Only you can walk that path and build that business in the way you were meant to build it. Your talents and strengths have blessed you with the raw potential to walk your path.

I’m just your guide. I can’t use my machete to blaze your trail because it’s your trail. But I can show you how to sharpen your own machete. I can guide you along the path as we walk together until you need to veer off and lead the way.

But even then I have your back. I stay right with you in case you get bogged down in the quicksand of fear or lose your way in the murkiness of uncertainty and self-doubt.

Request your complimentary Making the Leap strategy session here. 



Authoring Your Own Life

You are your own best authority. You know what works best for you and what doesn’t. Even though it may appear more comforting to receive validation of a business plan or startup idea from another, your best bet is to trust yourself.

The bottom line is, no one cares about you as much as you do. Authoring ones own life is about engaging the courage to follow ones own gut. It’s about being your own man or woman in every way.

We hear it all the time. Be all of who you are. To do that, it’s necessary to take off all masks you could be hiding behind so that the real you has space to emerge. I work with many would-be entrepreneurs in my career coaching practice and so far, everyone of them, at some point, goes through a crisis of self-confidence.

Even though you may be fortunate to find sufficient encouragement on the outside, your true authority is found within. I find it fascinating that authentic, authority and author all share the same word roots. In fact, the origin of authentic is authoritative, which meant acting as ones one authority. That’s exactly the self-assigned credibility that any new entrepreneur needs to declare.

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.
George Carlin

Like many of Carlin’s best lines, he wasn’t really kidding. In the design and authoring of your own life, you have more authority than any recognized authority figure. Without recognition of your own authority you have not really accepted responsibility. Without responsibility you don’t have dominion, power, or the prerogative to call your own shots.

Outside certifications, information products and educational degrees could be exactly what you need or they could be just what someone else thinks you need. Going back to school isn’t always the answer. Permission to be fully authentic is a self-given authority. Seize it now.

Everyone needs to question outside authority, because rarely do they have your best interests at heart. But when it comes to your own authority, self-questioning of your inherent ability only leads to greater doubt. Many who question their own authority are really afraid of how their life may change once they are wildly successful.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Marianne Williamson

If you’ve never read this entire Williamson passage go here and prepared to be inspired.

Some hopeful entrepreneurs fall into the double trap of comparing themselves to others while at the same time caring too much about what others think. That’s a slippery pit to climb out of because looking without abdicates self-authority.

What’s fascinating is that those same folks think that their success is dependent on the government, the economy or some other outside authority. It’s not. Your success is up to you and that’s a good thing. Along with that responsibility comes your ability and authority to write the script for your own life.

You’re writing it anyway, whether you’re aware of it or not. Might as well add some intentionality to your script and author the life that you most want to live.

Before I came to this realization, in movie genres, my life was mostly a drama. Since I’ve had script control, I’ve decided to make it an inspirational feel-good story.

How about you? What has the movie of your life been so far, a tragedy, a comedy or perhaps even a thriller?

What would you like it to be? Begin intentionally writing today because you’re living it right now.

Authentic Business Discovery

The absolute sweet spot of your business is that place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. But how do we find a need so deep that fulfilling it would also make us feel so good?

There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to discovering the right business to launch. One school seems to be more spiritually based – focused on finding work that you love, following your passion and living a purposeful life.

The second school appears to be more practical; focused on finding a need and filling it and about designing a business to alleviate your customer’s pain.

Which school of thought would serve you best right now? Most likely, it’s the opposite of the one you believe in the most.

Vocation is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Frederich Buechner

That’s right, following Buechner’s formula, to build a profitable and fulfilling business we need to develop our businesses guided by the wisdom of both schools.

So how do you identify a potentially profitable business that is deeply fulfilling to you and deeply gratifying in service to your clients or customers?

One effective way is to put yourself in an environment that honors your creativity while at the same time insisting on your productivity.  You could attend a Big Link Rally event. You can visit my coaching website and request an exploratory conversation. Without accountability and commitment to action, even the best original ideas die on the vine.

What else could you do to get to the point of a confident new business launch?

1.) Get very clear on one end of the spectrum by identifying a deep gladness or a deep need.

2.) Then persistently observe, brainstorm ideas, consider approaches and seek openings until you have a matching need or gladness that feels strong enough to develop.

3.) Then imagine the fulfillment of that gladness and need working together seamlessly in a profitable business that you own. Do this by answering these questions as if you have already succeeded.

  • How have you changed the world for you and your clients?
  • What can they do now that they couldn’t before purchasing your product/service?
  • What can you do or be now which you were reluctant to experience before developing this wonderful business?

4.) Write down all of your answers and continue to make adjustments until you can withstand the sharpest of challenges when questioned about your projected business.

5.) Then once you’ve decided and committed, continue to identify the next best step that you can complete to move you further each week and take that action.

Personally I like to get so fired up that my business feels like I’m starting a revolution. My mission needs to inspire me to that degree.

How about you, how can you tell that you’re on the right track?

What’s the best combination of personal gladness and customer gratification that you can imagine and believe in?

If you’re already in business what deep need are you now fulfilling?

If you have yet to start your own business what deep need would give you deep gladness to provide?

Spirit and Business

Yesterday I was leading a coaching group, via phone, on developing the confidence to be your own boss. During class we discussed the concept of burning desire and its origination from Spirit or God. Have you ever considered where your new business ideas come from?

Interestingly this talk about desire surfaced when we were addressing how so many budding entrepreneurs fear that their business ideas won’t create enough income for their family’s needs. Fear around the lack of money is the number one obstacle that stops new business owners from ever getting started.

Many in this phone class were emboldened by this idea of being blessed with Divine desire. We agreed, that it’s spiritually meaningful that we’ve all been gifted with unique talents and strengths. There must be some practical reason for this Divine differentiation and that is this: we are already equipped to build the business that we want to build. Laurie from class said, “I don’t think God would send us on a wild goose chase.” I agree. I believe in a loving Spirit that wants only good for us.

Read this powerfully inspiring sentence from Emilie Cady’s classic, Lessons In Truth. Then read it again and really let it sink in.

Desire is the thing you want in incipiency; that is, the thing you desire is not only for you, but has already been started toward you out of the heart of God; and it is the first approach of the thing itself striking you that makes you desire it, or even think of it at all. Emilie Cady

This means that from the initial moment that a faint flicker of the idea flashed into your mind, your new business has already launched. Your burning desire for a new business has already formed in the universal ethers and it is just waiting for your commitment to bring it into being.

Please consider this: if you’re business idea did come directly from the heart of God, aren’t you showing tremendous disrespect by not making your move to the freedom of self-employment?

If you don’t believe that desires are Divinely sent, then what do you believe in, randomness? I’m not endorsing predetermination in any way. Certainly you’re uniquely equipped to build the business you were meant to build. But that’s as far as it goes. Our free will takes over then and what we ultimately develop is based on the choices we make.

In my coaching practice, I’ve always taken a holistic approach because it seems silly not to use everything that we have. We have four realms of power why use less? I find it surprising, that many fear using their spiritual strengths in their businesses. It’s one reason I enjoy working more with solopreneurs than with corporations. With the self-employed there is less emphasis on what’s appropriate and greater emphasis on what’s effective.

What about you? Have you had a business hunch you haven’t acted on?

Where do you think it came from?

Do you routinely engage Spirit in your business?


Business Startup Success

Business startup success is possible for everyone.  But how can you make business startup success more than possible.

Lately I’ve been fascinated with the short, but sometimes challenging, journey between possibility and probability.

Possibility holds the energy of hope. Possible means it could happen.

Probability holds the energy of optimism and a more confident expectation. Probable means it’s likely to happen.

How do you move from possibility to probability?

Planning for business startup success is more about taking a choice when you see it.  Often we aren’t even aware of where we are – so really we are lost. When lost, we fall prey to states of delay, doubt and confusion.  Action always improves clarity because it changes perspective.

Here’s a simple way to locate where you are in any meaningful pursuit.  I’ve dubbed it the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

We can’t claim we’re lost when we know where we are. Identifying where you are on this cycle will allow you to remove excuses and focus all of your energy on the next obvious step.

We forget that any movement works.  Too often we put our lives on pause because we seek the magical, and elusive, state of certainty.  By staking your claim on this map of probability, you’ll tilt the odds of completion in your favor.

  1. Discovery is going within to explore and unearth your ideal business.  Claim your free Choosing Your Ideal Business guide.
  2. Decision is a bold declaration of intent on a clear and meaningful objective.
  3. Focus is laser-like concentration on that objective.
  4. Massive Inspired Action is engaging a variety of fierce and creative actions to manifest your objective.
  5. Momentum is energy gained by the movement of following through.
  6. Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow.
  7. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step.
  8. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery.

At completion we can honor ourselves by pausing in fulfillment, gratitude and celebration – as long as we feel really good about it. We only need rest and relief when we are toiling in some unaligned, meaningless realm. If we are shooting for the right moon and hitting it, then the energy of completion organically causes us to discover our next mark.

For a different look at deciding where you are read: Are You Sure You’re on the Right Path?

So, at what stage on the cycle of probability do you find yourself today?

Are you consciously working on an intentionally chosen and meaningful objective? Or are you toiling in struggle making someone else rich?

If the latter, what are you going to do about it?

If you are really ready to do something about it you can begin here in Career Change and Discovery or here for Business Start Up Success Coaching.

Many in your shoes have found this free resource of the Nine Elements of Authentic Career Discovery a very useful visual aid.

You’ll more surely hit the mark by identifying where you are.  In your comments, please stake your claim on greater work life fulfillment, happiness, abundance and freedom by letting us know you where you are.

Schedule a Confidently Make the Leap  – Free Strategy Session.

In this strategy session you will: 

  • Get really clear about the business you want to have.
  • Discover the number one thing stopping you from moving forward.
  • Plot out the right timing for you to make your move.
  • Identify the one thing that will give you the confidence to take the leap.
  • End the session inspired and knowing exactly what you need to do next to make your move.