Moving Into Your Fear: The Key to Your Career Evolution

June 15, 2012

A common inquiry I receive is how to move towards doing things (at work) that truly get your juices flowing and adrenaline rushing (like, say when you first started a new school, or job, etc.)  I find that the secret to staying inspired and on top of my game, is by always moving into new and unique opportunities that appeal to *me* and that are flanked with a side of *healthy discomfort*.  Once I recognize both of these elements, I know this is an opportunity for me to evolve but to do so I am going to have to endure some growing pain(s).

It is human nature for all of us to get entrenched in executing competencies in which we feel safe and comfortable and very, very familiar.  Of course, there are obvious reasons for this practice: it’s what we become known for and people around us simply expect the same ‘output’ from us day in and day out.

So, what happens when you find yourself yearning for a fresh experience or role in the ‘ol daily grind:

  • Perhaps you are curious to put on a sales hat for your company or your own business and experiment with a totally radical way of attracting your customers
  •  Or maybe you watch others roll out a show stopping presentation and you think to yourself—‘Hey, I’d love to be a dynamo public speaker like them’
  •  Or maybe instead of managing the client side of your business, you want to jump over to the creative, production department

Here are some simple ways to begin to move into the discomfort of possibly being seen as not totally perfect as your try on new skills:

1)      Identify a few people in your network who seem to be masters of this new skill/experience you are looking to try on yourself.

2) Propose lunch or a drink after work with these folks so that you can find out more information and tips on how you can move into this new realm yourself.

3) Compile a simple list of steps you need to take to move you towards your new end goal

4) Figure out ways that you can begin to practice this new skill(s).

5) Ask for feedback and be prepared for the fact that it is going to take time to feel comfortable and proficient again in this new practice.

 *If you take nothing else away from this blog, remember this:

Healthy fear will always be a by-product of moving into the unknown. It will never go away. The key is to move into the fear with the knowledge that it will lead you to the sweet reward of inspired and gratifying work.  Being on top of your game is not easy work, and it is a path taken by few. So, what’s next on YOUR radar champ?

My Miraculous Week: Thanks to a Tweet

June 8, 2012

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s really your own skin that you are embodying?  I am just wrapping one of those weeks and I am so filled with gratitude and wonder about it all—I decided I would let you all into this wonderful place that has been my work life this week.

I believe in sharing both my victories and my setbacks because it helps break down any assumptions or false ideas we have about how certain events come about.  What a lot of my clients tell me that they most appreciate about me is that I am working right alongside them trying to make progress in my career and that no one person has the right formula for what is going to work for either of us.  It’s all about sharing our experiences and figuring out where and how to make that next best step forward for our own selves.

For me, this past week was forever altered in the most delightful way, with a simple Tweet.

So as some of you may know, alongside my work with my clients, I am developing my ‘on air’ media personality with a hope of eventually having my own television show where I get to share my work with a global audience.  Over the last year, I have served as a Leadership Expert on a morning television talk show on a monthly basis.  This incredible opportunity helped me find my media voice and has allowed me to practice and continue to hone my ‘on air/live’ presentation skills.  Not so easy!

As is my personality, I am now hungry for the next rung in the ladder if you will to help me push my big crazy dream of my show down the road. So, I simply asked my network to help me (take note: build, nurture and call on a network and amazing things happen).  In a matter of an hour after tweeting a request for connections in #BroadcastMedia—two of my colleagues contacted me and put me in touch with these two GIANTS in their industry and this is what came of my connection with them:

1)  An Executive Producer of 20/20 and Good Morning America in NYC: Once I finally got to speak to this generous man live—he said to me, “Katie, as you can imagine, I see a lot of tapes, I mean a lot and I don’t usually think much of what I see, but I have to say with your TV segments—I think you have some……. potential.”  Don’t you just love that line? I will never forget it.  He put me in touch with an agent who has directed me to pursue a local radio show that will then get syndicated and go from there.

2)  A NPR Producer: She and I met this morning, immediately following the information above and she is now guiding me through how to create my own content on a YouTube Channel so that I can submit those clips to a Clear Channel, etc. She thinks I should be the next “Frasier Crane”. How awesome is that?

My end goal in sharing this with you all is to prove to you that small miracles truly do happen every day. By simply sharing your story and asking your community if they, ‘know someone’—doors fly open and in no time at all-a dream becomes your reality.

I would love to know if my story resonates with you and if you have had any similar experiences in everyday miracle making.  Do tell!

Small Business Educational Resouces for Portlanders

February 7, 2012

Not a day goes by where I don’t engage with an entrepreneur in various stages of development who is hungry for the various resources that will help take their business to the next level.  Sometimes we are a great fit as coach and coachee, and sometimes they need some extra oompha/structure/guidance to get them where they want to be tomorrow.  Here is a fabulous list from Neighborhood Notes of the various educational opportunities that are available in Portland for entrepreneurs:

SEMpdx Although there are plenty of laggards out there, search engine marketing(SEM) is hardly some obscure industry; in reality, it’s easily the largest segment of online advertising. Google raked in $36.5 billion in advertising revenues last year, a 29 percent growth over the previous year, and SEMpdx is your local industry resource with a mission “to inform and educate area businesses on the benefits of SEM to bottom line revenue.” Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland offers monthly events where professional talent comes together to learn and share ideas. Most monthly events are open to anyone who wants to attend and prices range from $20-55, with discounts for members and registering early, plus SEMpdx’s big search marketing and social media conference, the annual SearchFest now in its sixth year, is coming up on Feb. 24.


Consulting And Knowledge Exchange has a simple goal: “We believe everyone should follow their dreams and if that dream is to own a business, we want to help.” A fresh (now in its sixth week) organization, CAKE helps by organizing “a weekly series of Portland-based, donation-driven, down-and-dirty small business workshops and parties” where guest speakers serve up recipes on brainstorming, branding, market research and more in a casual environment—cake is actually served at every “party.” Feel free to donate to the cause, ask tough questions you want answered, or even workshop your own project while picking up “scrappy business hacks for each topic” on Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m.

I Heart Art: Portland

A collaborative project between PNCA, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and Etsy and its Portland team, I Heart Art PDX provides “advocacy, education and support for Portland’s vibrant community of makers.” Outreach and education programs hope to stimulate growth through professional development workshops (developing business skills) while encouraging collaboration and community with salon discussions (informative conversations on varied topics) and mixer match speed-networking (“the intersection of speed dating and sales networking” where artists practice pitching while networking). Currently confirming its 2012 lineup of events, I Heart Art PDX will announce a new schedule of events, which are often free or cost as little at $10, later this month.

Voice for Oregon Innovation & Sustainability (VOIS)

An organization with a slight political learning, VOIS “envisions a prosperous economy driven by innovation, environmental stewardship and social justice.” Believing “there is no better vehicle for social change than a healthy business,” VOIS is a vocal advocate of local business and sustainability and brings together like minds at monthly happy hour networking events while its calendar (provided by Sustainable Business Oregon) promotes many green gatherings and educational opportunities, often free or with recommended donation, in Portland and the surrounding areas.

Mercy Corps Northwest

Offering a wide swath of classes and events, Mercy Corps teaches everything from standard six-week, business foundation courses to one-to-three hour business seminars and counseling sessions, where experts to teach topics like technology, marketing, finance, law, and business strategy. Six-week courses fill up fast and cost $150, while seminars allow you the flexibility of paying per course ($20) or saving with multi-seminar packages ($60 for four seminars or $100 for an unlimited annual pass).

Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN)

OEN is the largest entrepreneur assistance organization in the state of Oregon offering “access to valuable information and responsive assistance from experienced mentors.” With a calendar of networking events, seminars and webinars, and workshops, OEN offers opportunities like CEO roundtables or casual PubTalks to a series of startup workshops, online resources, and opportunities to get in front of angel and investment networks. With considerable discounts for members, PubTalks cost $15 and $30 while workshops or seminars are $32 and $70, for members and non-members respectively.

Free Consultation Services and Multi-Week Courses

 Portland offers many interesting and affordable education opportunities for small business owners.

Government-run or supported organizations offer plenty of free resources and affordable education opportunities.

Portland Development Commission (PDC)

Created by Portland voters in 1958, PDC strives to make Portland a livable city, providing small business support in the form online resources, like handbooks and checklists, as well as information on finance, improvement, and development programs. Related to PDC is the Bureau of Development Services Small Business Assistance Team that can help you determine “a property’s legal use and what would be required to use it or remodel it for your business.” And another supportive arm of the city is the Small Business Advisory Council, an advocate for the “formation, growth and prosperity” of small businesses, plus publishes the Small Business Bill of Rights.

Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The national SBA has a Portland office offering “information on small business loans, grants, bonds and other financial assistance” as well as a calendar of workshops and events and other resources. Some single-day seminars are free while others cost $30-55 depending on duration while three- and four-week course in QuickBooks cost $95 and $120 respectively. Connected to this is the Oregon SBDC, a partnership between the national government and colleges throughout Oregon, that offers free, confidential consulting services, “including analyzing cash flow, marketing, international trade, valuing a business, and intellectual property concerns,” plus low-cost training opportunities (from free, single day events to multi-sessions courses that cost $195 or more) at community colleges in the Portland metro area via webinars. Portland Community College’s CLIMB (Continuous Learning for Individuals, Management and Business) SBDC is part of this network featuring an Entrepreneur Development Series in 10 intensive workshops.


Resource partners with the U.S. SBA, Portland’s SCORE chapter—there’s also a Vancouver, Wash., location—is an independent nonprofit offering free counseling and resources for business professionals, plus a wide variety of half- and full-day workshops for affordable prices, which range from $55-85.

Contents: My Big Dream Job & how I am getting started….

September 21, 2011

Greetings friends and fans,

Today is the day I have decided to share with you all the grand plans I have for myself professionally for two glaring reasons. First, I think it will be helpful for those of you who have similar ambitions and are curious as to the process and methods by which I am going about reaching this overarching, awesome and universal goal.  And, secondly, because I need your support, humor and overall feedback on how I am doing and what you think I should do differently, etc. If it takes me 30 years to reach this goal, so be it, but in the mean time, let’s begin….

Drum roll please, I feel deep in the core of who I am that I will eventually end up with my own television show.  Yes, that’s right, and I am talking, move to Los Angeles, syndicated, cable type of show.  This is just something that seems like a logical evolution for myself given my drive, the messages I want to share with the world and frankly the type of lifetime goal that I feel up to taking on.  Now, when I share this LOFTY goal, people either go silent or smile, rather glibly, I might add. I can see their mind working, they are thinking to themselves, “Oh, good Lord, listen to the ego on this one??” or the ones I choose to embrace as friends are those who say things like, “I’d watch ya” or “You rock on with your bad self Katie”, or my FAVORITE is my own father, whose best response to all of this is, “Katie, you have never been short on dreams”.

I figure, the best I can do is shooting to make this dream a reality and in the short-term have fun and continue to expand my business and who knows where I”ll actually land. However, for those of you who are curious as to how one goes from where I currently stand in the world, both professionally and personally, to joining the ranks of Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper of the Goddess of all that is, Oprah, this is what I am beginning to work on based on the amazing professionals I have consulted with in the last few days:

1) Developing my online presence by branding myself as a media personality via my personal Facebook Page and Twitter account and dedicating my Legacy Builder Coaching website, FB Page and Twitter Account to just my corporate work. Basically, beginning to distinguish myself between these two identities. (Thanks to Maggie Palmer of MKP Creative & Jill Daniel of Pasta Queen Public Relations for that advice)

2) Begin to blog on a weekly basis (here I am!)

3) Hire a Writing Coach (@BrookeWarner in San Francisco) to hold me accountable to completing an e-book by years end to begin to establish my platform.

Okay, that’s it for now….let me know what you think this sounds, etc. I need your help!

Test Your Entrepreneurial Readiness

May 24, 2011

40% of small businesses fail in the first year and of those that survive, 80% fail within 5 years.  Based on my experience of working alongside early entrepreneurs, I have created the following questions to consider when determining your own entrepreneurial readiness.  As a result you will begin to understand the long-term commitment that you are getting involved with by starting your own business.  Please begin by considering these questions and then sending your responses (at least 5 sentences each) to me at, prior to your complimentary consultation:

1)    Please provide three specific examples that prove that you are a highly motivated person who has pursued and attained your goals independently in the past.

2)    Please explain how you are you going to set and manage your own goals and projects for your business.

3)    Please explain the process that you will use to hold yourself accountable to reaching your goals.

4)    Part of running a small business means having to work with unreasonable and unlikable clients, vendors and partners. Please explain how you effectively work with people who have very different personalities and styles than you?

5)    Please explain your decision-making process.

6)    Please explain how you will maintain the physical and emotional stamina to run your own business, in addition to maintaining your family and other responsibilities.

7)    Please provide examples of how you are an excellent planner, organizer and doer.

8)    Please explain how your business is going to impact your family, in both positive and negative ways and how you plan to deal with these changes.

9)    Please explain how you have overcome failures, rejection and chronic adversity in your previous personal and professional ventures.

10) Please explain how will avoid taking on too much yourself, thus avoiding burn out?

Sizzling Strategic Thinking Tips for Your Business

March 25, 2011

Ever get the feeling you have seen and heard it all when it comes to ‘Business 101’? It all just starts to sounds the same?  Me too! Here’s the great news, I attended a seminar last week as part of The Link’s ‘A Seat At The Table’ Executive Development Program around ‘Strategic Thinking’ and the facilitator, Doug Mendenhall of Get Spark!, knocked it out of the park for me.

Here’s what I walked away thinking more deeply about:

1)      People hate to be sold to, but they love to buy ….a compelling story about your particular service or product. What’s compelling about your offerings? The more compelling you are to be bought; the easier it is to sell.


2)      To be compelling means that people believe that you are trusting. Thus, the key is establishing authority in their minds. Find something that is compelling that you can become an authority on.


3)      The key to thinking strategically about your business, is to begin the start of each day with no agenda other than thinking through what you have learned to date and applying those lessons to creating your next iteration.


4)      An iteration is a plan for an intended outcome, whether that means getting the buy in from your executive team or moving product off a shelf.  Your goal should be to identify the key variables that determine your sales effectiveness and continually experiment with refining an iteration that can be measured and result in you reaching your sales goals.


5)      The key is to ditch the experimented iteration as soon as you have given it sufficient time to be tested and find that the results are not sufficient and move on to your next more disciplined and evolved iteration.


6)      If I were to ask you what 1 thing you could do each day that makes the largest impact in your business, what would it be? If you don’t know, send me an email at and we will arrange a complimentary consultation to uncover your one thing.


7)      Are people running to you or from you in your business? If they are running, you should focus on your presence because you can create who you want to be in a minute by simply deciding who you want to be, creating that presence, committing to it and practicing it.


8)      In order to create momentum for your strategic focus, keep in mind this simple and universal formula.  Build 5 positives, i.e. things that are happening today that are contributing to your forward momentum, with 1 critique, i.e. a driving variable that could shift your progress ahead.


9)      Rather than being your business’s ‘Chief Doing Officer’, work on becoming your own ‘Chief Thinking Officer’


10)   Don’t focus on CHANGING, think about CREATING a new way of achieving your intended outcomes. It’s so much easier that way!


Thank you Doug Mendenhall of Get Spark! and Cindy Tortorici of The Link’s ‘A Seat At The Table’ Executive Development Program.


Your 2011 Recipe For Your Best Year Yet

January 4, 2011


  • VISION: “the specific ultimate destination that is ‘YOUR BEST YEAR YET’  that will serve as your torch along your journey when in need of inspiration/re-grouping etc.
  • DRIVE: “burning desires yet unmet & the knowledge that there is more you could be doing and being for yourself, others and the world”
  • SWAGGER: “the ability to pull off feats that at first glance might seem insurmountable, willing to take the risk of faking it until you really make it, an innate belief in yourself that you can and will achieve _______”
  • DILIGENCE: “the hard work, patience and humility that will be required along the way to achieving _______”
  • COMMUNITY: “accountability partners, a coach, girlfriends, boyfriends-whomever will provide consistent feedback, encouragement and honest ‘truth telling’ for you along your journey.”


1) Kindly write down who you want to become in 2011. Be sure to understand why this is so important to you (critical piece).  Also, when I say ‘become’, I am asking you to tell yourself what it is you want to achieve, attain, transform in yourself, in your work/personal life, in your relationships, etc.

2) Next, write down a list of what being that person will mean as far as what you want to accomplish.  Meaning: how will you know when you have become that person?

3) Begin to sketch out a route from where you stand TODAY to where you will be on DECEMBER 31st, 2011. Thoughtfully include plans for the guaranteed potholes, dead-ends, etc (remember: if it was easy, you’d be there already).

4) Assess what type of tools, knowledge, resources you will need for this journey from the very practical and concrete to the very abstract and ubiquitous.

5) Identify which 10 key people in your life might best be able to help you attain/find/master the items you listed in #9. Give some forethought into how you might be of service to them (personally or professionally) and set up a mutually rewarding partnership.

6) Plug all of Steps 1-5 into a written form that works for you (business plan, detailed calendar, narrative, journal).

7) Chunk #6 down to monthly, weekly (and possibly even daily) goals/steps that you record in the calendar form that you use daily.

8) Identify an accountability partner who has similarly ambitious plans for their 2011 and schedule consistent but brief phone calls to report your progress.

9) Do not forget to *CELEBRATE/REWARD* yourself along the way for all of your outstanding achievements.


Chef’s Note: Please keep me in the loop along your journey to completing this recipe of your lessons learned, etc.