Business is not “same-ole, same-ole” for me.
This is a story. An Adventure Story.
It’s my story, but I’m sure you’ll see glimpses of your own story, too.
Thanks for reading.
FEAR + SMILES THAT LEAVE YOUR FACE
When I was twenty my idea of a career and success was based on fear. Recently single, needing to provide for myself and my daughter, I felt my choices were either welfare or a job that required an education. Limiting, I know, but hey – it was all I knew – or what I heard from fear.
I chose the “getting a college education” route (and thousands of dollars of college loan debt). And to be sure I picked the exact, perfect, no fail path in college, I interviewed and job shadowed several people before I even applied for college. I sat with an accountant, I interviewed a banker, and I observed a number of teachers at a variety of age levels.
The tell-tale sign for pursuing a degree in education was that the smile left my face each time I was in a classroom. I distinctly remember this because it was such a big, embarrassing smile that I covered my mouth with my hand while I observed the teacher, the students, and the electric energy of a learning environment. (Ever feel giddy about something you love? Write that down.)
HORMONES & PARENTS, OH MY!
After teaching for almost ten years I discovered I had a love and dislike regard for teaching. Math. In public schools. Middle school. I loved the kids, many of the teachers, and I loved the art of teaching. And I loved making math fun.
I didn’t love the stress the parents shoved at kids and the blame that shifted to teachers. I didn’t love the hormones and crazy life of teenagers (probably b/c mine were approaching that age and that scared the hell out of me; if these other “well to do and put together parents couldn’t do it, how was I going to do it?”).
I didn’t love the politics in schools, popularity contests between kids (and between teachers), and didn’t love administrative practices that weren’t honoring kids or teachers or parents. And the so-called “teachers hours” were not what I was expecting – I worked every night and a lot of the weekends, creating curriculum, grading papers, and planning.
There was a tug of war inside me – I knew I was doing well and was a good teacher, but there was something else that was not a fit for me, something more for me to do. To make a different kind of difference. (Don’t get me wrong, teachers make a BIG difference, I just felt called to do something different.)
But what could I do? I chose this field (and the education and loans to go with it) and I felt stuck. (Ever feel stuck?)
It was during this time my friend Tammy (my go to girl like Gayle is to Oprah) sent me an article about a job she thought would be a good fit for me: A Coach. This was way back when we thought all coaches helped people improve their game – their sports-related game. I didn’t really “get it” and feared it would be a fad. (Ever get feedback from others about what “you’d be good at?” Listen up!)
HOW ABOUT THE CIRCUS?
After some disconnected string of events (hindsight shows me just how connected they were), I found myself climbing trees at Camp Malibu in the Princess Louisa Inlet, British Columbia, Canada and jumping off a perfectly safe platform to a trapeze bar.
I loved it. Wait – I didn’t love it – it scared the hell out of me. I was afraid of heights. Initially. And I had no dreams of joining the circus.
I loved what I was learning and applying in my life – self-trust, trust in others, courage, and genuine collaboration. It added fuel to my desire that there was something more.
And soon after I became a certified Ropes Course Facilitator at the Ropes Challenge Course in Kennewick, Washington. And what a feeling. What a visible and real-life difference I experienced watching others work through fear, communication, and trust on the course from jumping off the pamper pole, to crossing the cat-walk, and flying on the zip line. Just writing about it gives me goose-bumps. (Ever feel goosebumps when recalling a “high” in your life – the organic kind, not substance kind? Take note grasshopper).
The experience on the Ropes Course gave me the courage to pursue a new “job” but I didn’t know how or what so I did what had worked for me in the past – I went to college.
I earned a master’s degree and transition from teaching to Human Resources. And what a journey of a lifetime that was.
During my “time” in HR, I enjoyed very rewarding work when teaching leadership and workforce development skills and consulting to help organizations meet strategic objectives and grow their “talent” (also known as employees).
I also experienced the common responses from participants that ranged from appreciation and gratitude to disrespect, undervaluing, and some major “attitude.” (Ever get negative energy from working with certain people? Here’s your sign!)
Low and behold, this “coaching” thing was taking off and I got that article out and pursued coaching certification in one of the most robust programs available and found myself learning beside some of the most talented people across the globe. (Ever feel like you are way, way lacking compared to others but still inspired to “just keep swimming” even though you want to chicken out?)
Eventually I was blessed with both internal and external coaching clients and witnessed amazing results for my clients. My coaching work fanned the flames of desire for the kind of conversations and relationships I enjoyed as a coach. I wanted more! (Ever feel like you want MORE of the good stuff, but wonder if it’s too good to be true or you may not deserve it, or _______? Disregard that crap!)
LONG TERM INCUBATION: WORLDS #1 FEAR
Ever since I can remember I’ve had visions of me speaking or teaching to large groups of people. I don’t know where it came from, it’s always been there.
Although I practiced in Shelly Cooper’s bedroom singing duets with her like “I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock-n-roll,” I didn’t think it was possible in “real life.” (Ever have stinkin’ thinkin’? Turn that volume down!)
As I worked on my limited thinking – and I mean I really worked on it – more and more opportunities for speaking or presenting were offered.
Looking back I can see a pattern of speaking or teaching – from the student body candidate speeches and leading pep rallies in high school, to teaching at youth camps, training new bank tellers, teaching math, leading activities on the ropes course, and eventually teaching leadership classes. (Does hindsight show you patterns of your gift and calling? Have you taken time to ponder?)
Eventually I was invited to speak or teach at local service groups, youth conferences, a mother’s day luncheon, and eventually for businesses and leadership groups. Soon I was even paid to do some of these speaking gigs.
I was always sharing other experts material. I was doing what I thought I should do and trusting that they had more wisdom that I did. (A-hem. Limited thinking go away!)
OUT ON THE LIMB IS WHERE THE FRUIT IS
When I dared to go out on a limb and share MY material, my insight, my wisdom; when I shared from my heart – something interesting happened.
People connected to me. They were inspired.
For example: Several years ago I was scheduled to speak at a young women’s retreat in Spokane, WA. I got really sick. I was on site and had a bunch of people praying for me and I was taking some supplements and medication and practicing anything that would make me feel better. I was at the point of being taken to the hospital but I didn’t want to disappoint the people or mess up their weekend agenda so I sucked it up and gave my talk.
As soon as I gave my talk I felt immediately better. I think I was so worried about being a fake speaker (remember Tammy Fay Baker?) or a “toot your own horn” kind of speaker that I made myself sick.
You see, in my talk I was going to share some intimate stuff – not terrible; not trauma – just real stuff about me and my insecurities and trying to be “good enough” while growing up. It was relevant to the young women who were juniors and seniors in high school. Or so I thought.
I delivered my message. It was an odd experience. The euphoria or fear or hallucinations from fear created this break in time and space. Nothing was moving. I saw faces. I “heard” silence.
The next thing I knew, I was in the back kitchen area and I saw from the corners of the my eyes, many people, mostly women, approaching. I thought they must be going to take me to the hospital. They didn’t. They connected. They related to my stories of “not good enough” and the “masks I wore” to protect myself and the “efforts I did to be accepted” and whatever else my talk was about. They thanked me for being real. And for saying what so many of us were not saying.
This was one of the big signs that being real and talking from the heart made a difference. (Ever step out on the limb and taste the fruit? Yum!)
BUNGEE STEPS, BAM!, A BOOK, AND BOOKINGS LATER
After listening for years to those who told me I needed to “put in my time” to be able to do what I really loved, I built a small safety net and the cojones-of-courage to jump and left the corporate world to work for myself. This was not an overnight thing. It was years in the dreaming, a few years in planning, and fewer years hustling to make it happen. I had some great consulting gigs lined up and I was flying high.
Then I fell flat on my face. The consulting job I had so much hope and excitement in; the one I was hired to share my expertise and strategy; the one I hoped to really help others make a difference…had slowly (but surely) evolved into yet another Tall Poppy Syndrome experience.
My contract was not renewed and to pour salt into the wound, it was done in a distasteful and graceless way. I was baffled. Hello Tall Poppy. And doubts began to creep in, no FLOOD in. (Really now, have you ever felt so good and then fell? Don’t give up. Just sayin’.)
Honestly I spent a few weeks in pain and battling some old negative self-talk. In disbelief and bewilderment, I ran the experience through my mind and through ink on paper while journaling.
By managing my self-talk and focusing on what I DID WANT I quickly decided it was time. Time to birth the book. I wrote and published my first book, The Cs to Success in Life, Love, and Business in a little over 2 months.
Then, as if my *magic* I had three speaking engagements in a row where I delivered my material, my style, and from my heart – my own lessons and my suggestions for improving communication at work and at home.
I remember very distinctly the feeling I had while writing and delivering those messages: I never felt more like I fit in my own skin and in this world. I saw holes and “misses” and areas for improvement, but more importantly, I heard impact and effect that it had on others in a positive way and I felt the groove of doing work that was inspiring to me. This lit me up. (Come on baby, you’ve felt lit up by doing something that inspired others, haven’t you? Say it. Claim it.)
And I had huge support from some good friends and family. How cool is that? Perhaps it was you! You know who you are! Big Hug!
It was one thing to write and speak – that’s satisfying like no other work I know. To hear that it helped encourage, support, inspire, or even provoke someone to take a look at how they want their life and go after it…well that’s the rewarding icing on the cake.
To do art that brings us joy is enough. That it moves others – that’s a super blessing. (Deep bow.)
RABBIT TRAILS, BLACK HOLES, LEARNING CURVES, AND CURVE BALLS
After the book and the speaking gigs, I was inspired to keep moving in the direction of the work that was in my heart. To share wisdom, tools, and strategies of overcoming self-doubt, resisting your calling, and stopping the insanity of pleasing, performing, perfecting, and conforming. To get off the darn busy bus!
I wanted to get my work online, to live my own principles and not spread myself so thin but still help as many people as I could to have more joy, more peace, and more confidence. And I wanted to collaborate with other women who wanted to inspire others to do the work in their heart and support each other in not living frantic lives.
So I got serious. I spent thousands of hours learning, trying, testing, doing market research. I spent thousands of dollars on coaches, business training, online skills development, and entered the black hole of sophisticated (and not so much) technology.
I made a commitment to blogging – you got them regularly, until that month. I created social media profiles and regular posts. I took copious notes on webinar after webinar.
In the middle of my huge learning curve, comes a curve ball. I was courted by another, what I thought was “amazing opportunity.” More illusions, disappointment, what felt like betrayal, maybe a Tall Poppy moment. Probably not. I think it was really theuniverse testing my commitmentt to my path and purpose. (Ever experience DISTRACTION to your purpose?)
(To help keep me on my own “path” or “layne” I made this old poster (below) and hung it in my home office. It reminded me that I was ON a path and it reminded me how the odd little things that had happened along the way were preparing me for my work. This was a huge a-ha for me.)
WHAT’S IN A LA(Y)NE?
After I finally got clarity that the “golden opportunity” wasn’t so golden, I picked myself up back up and shook off the dust. I shook off some pain. Healed some bruises.Got back on the path. Cruising. Momentum. Maybe…I’m a slow learner.
Hello detour. You look familiar. What’s that you say? Wise advice (or a fleeting comment) by a trusted friend, adviser, coach, or guru. Sure, I’ll follow you.
Get a grip Danette. Where is your commitment? Or are you afraid?
New messages. Confusing. More sorting.
Wait. What? Blogging is not what I should be doing?
What’s sure and steady at this point are the coaching sessions and results clients are getting. They fuel me. I’m stoked after each call. I can’t wait for the next one.
What’s up with me and this path?
It’s part of the reason why I created my own last name of Layne. I’m on a path. I may get off but I always get back on. I realized all of my off and on the path is part of the process. (You’re on a path, too, aren’t you? Wink!)
The more I got on and off the path, the clearer I got about my purpose, my work. The more laser focused I became, the more “what others think” had to be shushed. (Ever worry about “what others will think” if you do what you REALLY REALLY want to do? Need some shushing training?)
Oh, it’s been a bit uncomfortable. It’s been so so worth it.
WHAT’S IN YOU?
I think you are probably a lot like me.
You have greatness within you. You have strengths, gifts, and a form of what I call “Art in your heart” and the longer you hide from your “Art” or the more you resist it, the more detours you may take.
Detours are not horrible, but they might feel painful. Look for the insight and wisdom each of your “detours” has provided. Let them help you reconnect to your heart and your art.
I know you are on your own journey and it won’t be like mine. I also know from working with hundreds of people, your calling won’t quit calling; it doesn’t go away. Do what you are here to do, taking the direct route or a few detours along the way.
Trust you are right where you are supposed to be.
(Sorry guys, I just loved that pic for standing in your own power.)
WHAT FEEDS ME (BESIDES FLATBREAD + PACKAGED SALADS)?
What’s nourished me and fed my personal and professional hunger is the experiences I’ve shared with countless women (and men) who have shared rich and meaningful conversations about life, love, and leadership. I love the dialogue, growth, connection, and expansion that comes with conversations.
And I love, love, love watching someone bloom, find their voice, take back the ownership of their time and energy, and choose to do things differently or do different things.
It’s a blessing and an honor to offer insight, wisdom, observation, and strategy and pour belief, ideas, and courage into their hearts and lives to create more harmony, honor their calling, and have a meaningful and rewarding life.
Here’s a message I just received this week that says it all:
“You inspired me and motivated me to
take a closer look at my life and
doing things I enjoy that I’m passionate about.
You have a very cool job inspiring people,
it must be very rewarding!”
Indeed. I say indeed!
For more information about what I shared with her check out this video.
APPROACHING A LA(Y)NE CHANGE
Little drum roll please…
Today I’m turning a corner in my business. I’m launching my newest program, The Elegant Life Plan,
that is designed to serve purpose-driven, heart-centered women who want to take back their time, energy, and life, and honor their calling to make a difference in their own world and in the lives of others.
I’ve synthesized and curated the best of the best of what I’ve learned about how to create a life by design instead of settling for default and packaged it into an online training and coaching program. I’ll walk these beautiful women step-by-step through a process to create an elegant life plan that will get them grounded for now and be a foundation for their lifetime.
It’s a beautiful blend for me to work with people who inspire me; people who are willing to take the reigns of their life. I get to help more women get clear about what’s important to them and get their lives aligned around that.
Demonstrating what I teach, I’m honoring my gifts of teaching, speaking, coaching, and writing to inspire, encourage, and build others up as well as walk them step by step through a process to design and live their life in a genuine, authentic way.
And I am blessed to offer women a community, a sacred place of support, to learn, heal, and grow into the woman they want to be by being the woman they are.
It is with deep humility and grace I approach this new project, as Stephen Covey says:
“Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
WHAT’S IN YOU?
Want rock solid clarity and the ability to have crystal clear focus on how to show up each day so they can feel genuine and engaged in a life they love YOU 🙂
Thank you for your comments on the posts here or on my blog, for sending me an email back after you’ve read my email or blog, (yes, YOU!), for taking surveys on the phone or online, for choosing to open my emails, for the conversations about life, love, business, growth, and purpose. You sure light up my life. (Big smile.)
Thank you for taking time today to read my latest adventure story and for your continued support as I venture into this next phase.
I don’t like to pursue people so if you’d like to find out more about my new venture please just message me here. And don’t hesitate. Because you read this adventure story I’m certain I would enjoy working with you.
If you are not interested or ready for creating your own Elegant Life Plan but you know someone who meets the following criteria -you can just forward this email or please send them this link to get more information.
I want to work with women who:
- Are ready to clear the clutter and beliefs that are no longer serving them and who want an empowered mind-set
- Have a desire to live in divine partnership and be inspired and intentional about how they live, love, and lead
- Has a bucket of tools and insights they have used in the past and just struggles to coordinate or keep them going
- Are ready to get off the busy bus and want to have more flow, grace, and ease in their day and their lives
- Truly are willing to do the things they love, with the people they love more often and want to learn how
- Are ready to embrace moving from vision posters to an elegant life-time plan that provides a plan for keeping the plan alive year after year
- Are tired of working smarter, harder, and hustling to have what they want and are ready to live in their bucket list
- Don’t want to be limited by the “when I have enough (time, money, energy, worthiness)” mantra any longer and are ready to step into their divinely gifted greatness
- Are brave enough to try on leading with “no” and being grateful at the end of the day for what did and what did not happen
- Are a bit like you; truth-seeking, heart-centered, purpose-driven and engaged in living. (No crabbies or victims please. I’m not equipped for that at this time)
If you know someone like that – please send them this link and remind them that they are not here to be a slave to the “cards they are dealt” and they don’t have to settle for what is before them. Remind them they are worth it. And that you believe in them.
Again, thanks for being part of my world and for reading my adventure story. I know you saw yourself in my story (and maybe you were wondering why it took me so long to learn my story. I’m good with that). Sharing from my heart. I’m interested in hearing your story and how you are going to write the next chapter!
Many many thanks again for your support over the years and in the last year especially.
My Best for Your Highest Good,
Here’s a link to the video to learn more about my transformation and the work of my new program.
Here’s the link to forward to a friend who wants more harmony, peace, confidence, and to honor her calling.
Wanna chat or send a “high-five” or “good luck?” Just send me a message! 🙂
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