But EVERYONE is doing it…

Something I often hear from first-time entrepreneurs is “I can’t do the thing I want to do because everyone is doing it.”

Often what behind this generalization is fear:

  • Fear of competing with people they know or admire
  • fear that they won’t stand out
  • fear that there aren’t enough people out there willing to buy their service

Each of these is ultimately a fear of rejection, failure and not being good enough.

And like many fears, it’s based on assumptions rather than tested reality.

When you are super specific about who you serve, authentic in the way you do it, and take action every day to expand your reach, the idea of competition becomes irrelevant.

Instead of being afraid of competing with people you know or admire, look at them as mentors to emulate.

If you’re afraid of not standing out, niche down even further and then announce it publicly.

And, if you’re afraid there isn’t enough business to go around, get into action. Reach out to your network to ask for referrals, partner with people who can expose you to their audiences, offer up sample sessions and free assessments.

Stop thinking and start doing.

The quickest antidote to fear is taking action despite it.

You Don’t Have to Quit Your Job to Start a Business

I had just been certified as a life coach and was anxious to learn what I could do to build my business, so I reached out to a more experienced coach for advice.

“Quit your job,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I responded. (I’d quit a job to start a business once before and landed on my ass.)

“If you’re not willing to risk everything for your business, you likely don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”

I was stunned.

This was not what I had expected when we’d set up the call.

Months later, I took a sales course where the instructor mentioned a form of hard sell where you tell the person they aren’t good enough and then imply that the only way to get good enough is to work with them.


(Oddly, this is the same thing narcissists do to get you hooked into relationships with them.)

Needless to say, I never contacted that coach again.

But I share this story for two reasons.

One, as you search for your own mentors, you be subjected to some sleazy high-pressure sales tactics (something I encourage my clients in The Runway Program NOT to use) and

Two, to reassure you that don’t have to quit your job to start a service-based business like coaching, counselling or consulting.

You can absolutely build it part-time to the point where you are ready to take the leap.

If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, set up a (low pressure) discovery call

Get Your First Clients: Describe Problems Not Processess

If you’re anything like me, you started your business (or are thinking of starting your business) because you’re passionate about a certain subject and want to turn your passion into an income so you can leave your job and do what you love.

But people don’t buy your deep knowledge of a subject, your passion, or even your process. They come to you for something else altogether and when you nail that you start attracting clients eager to work with you.

Check out this week’s video for first-time service-based entrepreneurs to learn: 

Get Your First Clients: Build Relationships Before Technology

Want to quit your job to become a full-time coach, consultant, or another service-based entrepreneur?

Follow the 10 commandments for first-time service-based entrepreneurs to build a part-time practice that is both purpose-driven and profitable so you can quit your 9 to 5 and do what you love.

The first commandment is to build relationships before technology. 

Watch this video to learn:

Are You Hiding Behind Your Screen

In my first year in business, I spent countless hours building my website, designing my logo, and getting my branding just right.

I thought “If I build it, they will come.”

Spoiler alert – they didn’t.

That’s not how most service-based start-ups work.

The handful of clients I did get came through people I already knew.

Yet, part of me still felt like I needed to get these things right before I could approach more people as a bonafide coach.

In my mind, a well-designed website would legitimize my business.

Without one, I was afraid people would see me as a fraud.

It was a classic case of imposter syndrome…

And procrastination.

Because the longer I spent on all the behind-the-scene details, the less I had to go out and risk rejection and failure and all the other ugly feelings that come up when you step out of your comfort zone.

Websites, branding, and logos are great to have but in your first year of business, they aren’t the primary driver of your income.

Relationships with people are.

And you don’t need a website, branding, or a beautiful logo to build relationships.

You are good enough to connect exactly as you are.

Every Business Has a Genesis Story

Four years ago, I was standing behind a video camera at a large employee meeting taping a senior bureaucrat drone on about debt, deficit, and fiscal allocations.

Did your eyes just glaze over?

Mine did. Repeatedly.

At the time, I was working in corporate communications for the Ontario government.

My job had recently shifted to supporting the Treasury Board in their communications and while government finances are important, they didn’t exactly set my heart ablaze.

On the contrary. I was bored to death.

In that moment, standing behind that video camera, I made a decision.

In three years, come hell or high water I would leave the government and do something meaningful to me.

I would become a full-time coach.

I didn’t know how. I only knew that I would make it happen.

And so, I started learning, and earning, and saving.  My goal was to save enough to see me through one year of self-employment.

By 2019, I was well on track to that goal when the Universe gave me a boost.

My organization announced voluntary layoffs.

I stuck up my hand and at the end of last year, became fully self-employed.  

Entrepreneurship has been a journey (to say the least).

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be learning more as I roll out a new video series called the 10 Commandments for New Entrepreneurs.

It’s based on everything I’ve learned about what to do and especially what not to do since coaching my first clients in 2017.

In the meantime, I’d love to know more about your journey.

When did you decide to start your business? Or, if you’re still deciding, what’s keeping you from moving forward?

Message me and let me know.

2 Magic Words to Get Out of Your Head and into Action

“Is this the right direction for me?”

As a callings coach, I hear this question more than any other.

Taking a step can be terrifying, especially when the stakes seem high.

I get it.

Three years ago, I was working a full-time, unionized job in government. I had a pension, benefits, seniority, and a great salary.

But I was miserable.

So, I explored my options: find a similar job in the private sector, become a corporate trainer, find a different job in government, or go out on my own and become a full-time coach.

Each had pluses and minuses.

Working for myself was by far the riskiest:  it was also the direction that felt the most expansive.

How did I decide to go for it rather than something financially safer?

Two little words: for now.

I told myself I could do coaching for now and if I found that it wasn’t for me or I couldn’t support myself with it, I could do something else.

Three years later, I haven’t regretted this decision one bit.

If you’re on the cusp of doing something that excites you but are holding back because of the stakes, lower those stakes.

Allow yourself to do it for now.

You never know where that might take you tomorrow.

When pursuing your calling, clarity is the first step.

Congruency, courage, connections, and consistency are the next.

If you are struggling with any of these 5Cs, connect with me for a complimentary 30-minute kickstart session.

You got this,


How to tell a calling from a passion project

Have you ever felt so excited by a new idea you dropped everything and worked on it non-stop only to lose interest three weeks later?

It can be so disheartening – especially, if you were certain that this time, you’d finally found your thing. 

A common misconception about callings is that they strike like lightning.

When it’s right for you, you should just know. Right?


Finding your calling is a lot like finding the right partner.

Sometimes it’s love at first sight. More often, it’s curiosity, then interest, then slowly mounting feelings as you spend more and more time together.

And like romance, the ideas that take over your life in the beginning can sometimes burn out just as fast.  

If you’re struggling with wanting to drop your current goals in favour of an exciting new idea, try this instead.

Date the new idea before marrying it.

Spend an hour or two with your new obsession once a week to see if it’s a genuine calling or just a passing passion project.

Feelings aren’t facts, so it’s a good idea to see if they pass the test of time.

Like the right mate, the ones that are meant for you will stick around.

5 things I’ve learned about callings in 50 years

Today, I turn 50!  And what an incredible first half it’s been!

To date, I’ve been a playwright, actor, stand-up comic, DJ, exotic dancer, fitness instructor, journalist, videographer, web designer, author, communications consultant, callings coach, entrepreneur, and more.

I’ve been at crossroads many times not knowing what comes next and terrified of a future I couldn’t predict. I’ve made choices I regret and choices I’ve relished.

And in 50 years, this is what I’ve learned:

1. Most people don’t get just one calling. They get many.

I was taught as a child to choose one career for life. Yet, we don’t live in a one-career world. Expect and welcome change. Be agile. Instead of asking, what should I do with my life. Ask instead, what should I do next?

2. You know the answers. Fear prevents you from seeing it.

A sneaky question I use when coaching people who don’t know what they want is “If you did know, what would you say?” Then I wait. Inevitably, they answer. 

What’s stopping them isn’t not knowing, it’s fear, which is awesome because without fear there can be no courage. 

3. When you take the steps, the path reveals itself.

The only way out of analysis paralysis is to act. Go with one of your hunches. Follow it and see where it leads you. Life is like a big scavenger hunt. When you find one clue, the next will be provided. Trust this. Ask for and follow the clues. 

4. Those things you can’t help but do? That’s your calling.

I told myself I’d take today off, but here I am stringing ideas together because it feels so freakin’ good. I can’t help but write.

What do you do on your day off? Don’t let not making money with it right now, stop you from doing it. You were put on this planet to express who you are.

5. Those ideas that come back to you again and again? That’s also your calling.

In 1995, I saw Tony Robbins speak and thought, “That’s what I want to do!” Twenty-five years later, my soul is once again whispering “You need to be on stage.”

My dreams may be bigger than my circumstances but I’m not letting that stop me. The other day, I gave a talk to a group of trees in the park. It was awesome!

What’s your soul whispering for you to do? Do that thing… and if you can’t do it now because of COVID-19 or other circumstances, start preparing for when you can.

You were put on this planet for a purpose.

I believe that purpose is to feel joy and to use your gifts to make this world a better place.

At 50, I know that one of my gifts is to inspire. 

What’s yours?

What are you waiting for?

I was secretly disappointed.  

In August, I’d given a speech with 10 other people at an inspirational speaking night in Toronto.

The organizers video-taped the talks, shared them with online distribution companies, several of the speeches had gone viral.

But not mine.

I felt like a kid whose parents had just given all her friends a cookie and then turned around and said, “None for you.”   

I contacted the organizers to see if they’d submitted my video. They had. “Not all videos get picked up,” they said, “And those that do, sometimes take a while.”

Part of me wondered the talk was too adult. (I’d spoken about how I’d gone from being a stripper to journalist by continually doing what I loved.) Another part wondered if I simply wasn’t good enough.

My inner critic whispered, “No one likes you.”

But I ignored her as I’ve learned to and let it go.

I stopped hoping, I stopped waiting, and, I focused on the things I could control in my business and got to work.

I got clearer on who I serve and what I help them with. I updated my website and my Facebook group. I stopped comparing myself to my friends and stayed in my lane.

Then, in March – nine months after giving the speech – Inner Light Media released an edited version of it.

In two weeks, it received over 180,000 views.

It was a strange victory. Although I was delighted that my message was being seen by so many people, I had few expectations beyond that.

I had detached myself from whatever need, nine months earlier, I had thought this event would fulfill.

And so, the timing was perfect.

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos or linear time and kairos for divine timing.

Your job is not to control the outcome of your efforts.  Your job is to take steps in the direction of your dreams and then, once you’ve taken all the steps you can, trust.

Patience is faith in action.

If you’re waiting for something, it might be that God, the Universe, Source (whatever you call it) is also waiting for you.

Stuck on the path to your calling? Book a complimentary 30-minute kickstart session and discover what you can do today.