How to Avoid Being Fat, Sick and Nearly Broke

Screenshot 2016-07-01 05.05.35A few years ago I went on a 30 day juice cleanse (read: 27 days and 12 hours). It was one of the most challenging things I'd ever done. For those not familiar with a juice cleanse, for almost 1 whole month I ate no solid food and all I was allowed to drink were various home-pressed fruit and veggie juice cocktails (note this is not an article about whether juice cleansing is healthy, necessary, etc.). I'd just finished watching a documentary about the negative effects of the processed food we eat and how it affects our body, mood, health and overall emotional well being. The documentary focused on the lives of 2 men who were overweight with various chronic illnesses and showed how they were able to get healthy  and lose weight by juicing. As they rattled off the list of unhealthy symptoms they were experiencing, I couldn't help but feel like they were describing my life.

Peeking into the lives of these men was a game changer for me and as the credits rolled at the end, I was already ordering my shiny new juicer from Amazon and had planned my first juice recipes for the week.

I mean, I had the time to kill.  I had been recently laid off from my soul crushing job and had spent 3 months sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I too, was overweight, angry, depressed and unhealthy and while I know my diet had a role to play in my situation, I couldn't help but think that being stuck in a bad job was just as much the culprit of my physical, mental and emotional state as that slice of pizza (and cake and gummy bears).

Yes, I'd done well at my job over the years - got raises, promotions and various opportunities, but I wasn't happy. Each day I went in to the office, was another day of me feeling unfulfilled and misaligned. It took me 6 long years before I was able to escape from that situation (read: I was laid off) and it killed me to know that it wasn't even something I had control of. They made the decision on my behalf.

Although I can  look back now and tell you that it was the best thing that's ever happened to me professionally, I was completely devastated at the time. The one good thing though, was that I was able to take a step back and realize how much I'd let myself go over those years.

My biggest takeaway from being unemployed was the realization that having a job you hate affects every aspect of your life. Think about it, we spend so much time at work (about 1/3 of our lives), so it should be no surprise that being unhappy with an area that takes so much from us (physically, mentally, emotionally) would cause other areas to suffer as well.

Hating your job causes an extreme amount of stress. This stress manifests physically by making you feel defeated and like you have no energy. Maybe you have a cold or headache every other week, you overeat (or undereat), skip the gym and stop doing those things that used to make you feel good about yourself - like threading your eyebrows and getting a mani/ pedi.

The added stress also affects your relationships. You are more likely to snap at co-workers and family members and less likely to put yourself out there to meet new people. It's as if the more isolated you feel, the more you hide from the outside world - which makes you then feel even more isolated. It's a horrible cycle.

Another huge area of life that is affected by working at a job you hate is your wallet. The second biggest reason (hating your boss is the first) people are unhappy with work is because they feel they aren't being paid what they're worth. It's such a demoralizing feeling to put in the time and effort at a job and then look at your paycheck and see that after your bills are paid, you hardly have enough left over to go to happy hour with your girls.

So, how do you avoid falling into this trap of a miserable life? How do you avoid being fat, sick and broke? Well for me, it was a 27 day and 12 hour juice cleanse that helped snap me out of my funk. A funny thing happens when you lock yourself in your apartment and focus on how to make a kale and ginger juice taste like chicken. With all the extra time I had on my hands not working or eating, I was able to reflect and truly get to the bottom of who I was in life  and what I wanted for my career.

By the time I started my next job I was happier, clearer on my goals, aware of what I would no longer tolerate and 70 lbs lighter (30 were from the juice cleanse and the rest came off through old fashioned diet and exercise)! The good news is that you can still come to the same realizations that I did without having to go to such extreme measures.

Take the time to ask yourself these questions and have the courage to answer honestly:

1. Are the only days you're happy each week Saturday and Sunday

If the only time you come alive is on the weekends then you may need to reevaluate if you're at the right job. Of course, everyone has a bad day or week at work, but if your bad times outweigh the good ones, you should ask yourself if you're really happy there.

2. Do you turn into someone else at work?

One of the biggest signs that you aren't happy at work is that you can't be your true self there. If you find yourself talking, dressing and/ or acting differently at work, pay attention.  What is it about the environment that forces you to hide who you are?

3. When's the last time you felt inspired by your job? 

If it's been way too long ago for you to remember or if you never have, that should be a red flag for you! Everyone has an off day (or week) at work, but your off days should never outnumber the days you are on.

When it comes to work, your number one priority should be to find a situation where you can contribute to an organization that has a mission you can relate to, values what you bring to the table and allows you to be your true self. Life's too short and working hours are too long for you to be unfulfilled.

The 1 Easy Way To Get Anything You Want (A Raise Or Promotion Or Lose 70 lbs)

 The 1 Easy Way
You've got #goals. That's awesome! So do I. In fact, almost everyone does (unless you're basic and are OK being mediocre). Maybe you want to run walk a 5k this year or take that trip to Thailand or get your man to finally put a ring on it. Whatever it is, kudos for actually striving to be in a different position than you are in today.
It's so easy to make goals, but a lot more challenging to accomplish them. And if we're talking about career goals, the achievement target gets even more hard to reach.
Why is that? Why do so many people flop when it comes to getting things done - especially when it comes to work?
Well, there's actually a simple answer. Habits. Our daily habits affect every single aspect of our lives. You can give me any single circumstance (good or bad) in your life today, and I'll trace it back to the daily habit you used to create it.
Don't believe me? Ok. Let's say you're out of shape. You are several pounds overweight and can't walk up 1 flight of stairs without losing your breath (this one is a personal one for me). You didn't get this way overnight. Perhaps you chose to sit on the couch and watch Game of Thrones instead of prepping healthy meals for the week (guilty). Or you chose to hit snooze when your alarm went off in the morning instead of going for a run (guilty).
Whatever your habit of choice was, you chose it instead of the other option that would have left you with a different result.
This same principle can be applied to ANYTHING. If you're an amazing cook or pianist or excel guru, it's because you habitually practiced, learned and experimented. Do you see my point?
So, how can we apply good habits to our career? Let's say that your goal is to get a promotion within the next 3 years. It's not enough to just say your goal out loud or even just to write it down. What specific habits will you create that will actually help you accomplish your goal?
The easiest place to start is to find someone who's already where you want to be. Then you can learn all you can about what she did to get there and then turn those actions into regular, consistent habits.
Let's go back to the promotion example, you may need to get in to work an hour earlier every day to learn the ins and outs of your job so you can become the subject matter expert on your team. If you want to build your network, then you need to create a process for you to email/ call/ connect with 1 new person per week. Or what if you want to find a new job? Are you willing to set aside specific, uninterrupted time in your schedule to research new roles, strategically network, or hire a career coach?
The bottom line is that there is hardly any goal that will remain unmet if you have the right habits in place. It's not enough to focus on the end result of what you want, you have to put together an action plan that outlines every baby step.
Daily habits are what  I've used in the past to get promoted, get a raise and get a new job. Developing good habits are also what worked for me when I lost 70lbs a few years ago, bad habits are the reason I gained them all back  and new habits are what I'll have to use now that I have to do it again.
There really isn't a magical or sexy secret to becoming successful at accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.  It's as easy as creating a new habit.

Why Your Job Sucks (And What To Do About It)

Screenshot 2016-06-14 20.12.54 If you have the good fortune to love what you do for work, you are VERY rare. And I don't mean rare in the clichéd, vague kind of way. I mean you are LITERALLY a freak of nature as only 13% of humans WORLDWIDE actually love their job.

That means if you walk down the street and pass 100 people, only 13 of them will be smiling on any given Monday morning and this will be the same no matter what street you're walking down, whether it's in Barcelona, Ochos Rios, or Johannesburg.
And don't be fooled, this isn't just for people in certain industries or pay grades. Most people hate their jobs and that goes from the CEO, to the administrative assistant, to the customer service rep to your boss.
That is so crazy to me! We spend so much time at work! Most people are there between 8-9 hours per day, 5 days per week. That's 1/3 of your adult life!

With all that time spent working, it sucks to wake up on the wrong side of the bed every. single. Monday. I wouldn't wish that hopeless, anxious, depressed and demoralizing feeling on my worst enemy (actually, I would, but it's not PC to say that).
So, why do people hate their jobs so much? If you ask 5 people, you will get 5 different answers ranging from: 1) feeling bored/ unfulfilled, 2) hatred dislike for their boss and/ or coworkers, 3) being overworked, 4) office politics and 5) being underpaid.
Yes, these are all valid reasons to hate your job and are all things I've felt at some point or another in my career, but it's not the actual reason you hate your job. These are more of the symptoms rather than the cause. The reason you hate it is because you haven't figured out that WORK IS PART OF LIFE, NOT SEPARATE FROM IT.
Let's revisit the fact that we spend 1/3 of our lives at work. The other 1/3 is spent sleeping and the last third is spent eating, doing hobbies, with loved ones and scrolling through Facebook. Work is a huge part of daily life, so why do we try so hard to separate it? We have work clothes and work friends and a work spouse. We take on an entirely different persona. That doesn't make sense. Why live a double life?
The people who are happy at work have figured out the truth. They've all cracked the code on how to merge their work into their life. They don't spend their time chasing "work-life balance" or developing another personality to fit in at work.
So, how can you do this for yourself? Here are 3 ways:
1. Be real with yourself. Figure out who you are and what you really want and then go toward it full speed ahead. The key here though is that you have to be real. Stop setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or forcing yourself to go after things you don't even really want. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can move toward true fulfillment.
When it comes to professional goals, we tend to be a bit more delusional than we are with our personal goals. Wanting to get promoted to Senior Vice President is amazing, but are you willing to do what it takes to get that promotion? Better question - do you even really want that promotion?
2. Get really good at making lemonade. Ok, your boss is the worst and your coworkers are basic. You've got to push through. Find a way to focus on the positive things about your current job. Then, make a plan to get another gig or re-work your current one, ASAP.
When things in other areas of your life make you unhappy, you change it, right? You dump your bum boyfriend and get a new wardrobe when they don't work for you anymore, do the same with work! Just make sure you're doing it with your chin up and head high instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself (read: what would Beyoncé do?)
3. Accept the ebb and flow. You can't have it all at the same time, ok? You can have different parts of it all at different times, but not simultaneously. Once you get that, I mean really get it, you will be 100x happier.
If you're going to happy hour with your girls, it means you won't be able to stay late and finish that presentation. If you will be traveling to Boston for that conference, then you will miss the dance recital. Look at your work and home commitments holistically and understand that there will be give and take.
For 97% of us, having a job is a fact of life. If you look at your Instagram feed long enough, it may seem like everyone is an entrepreneur living that #bosslife and gets to sleep in and work from the beach everyday, but I challenge you to ask them to show you receipts. Trust me, most of them are living that cubicle life just like you and me. #sorrynotsorry

How I Found My Dream Job in 30 Days

Sign up-2It took me 12 years to realize just how all of my professional (and personal) experiences merged together to make me the career woman I am today.  For a very long time I was unable to make sense of my professional life.  I was so confused and conflicted. My career journey started in 2005 after I graduated from Spelman College with a degree in Psychology and 2 totally different career roads to choose from: 1) a full time job offer in the Operations department at  a Fortune 100 investment bank in New York and 2) an acceptance into the Clinical Psychology program at an Ivy League university.  

While many people around me told me how "lucky" I was to have so many options and how much the "world was my oyster" - it was such a confusing time for me.

After a day or 2 of soul searching (not nearly enough time as I needed), I decided to pursue the money and put grad school on the back burner so I could work full time.   From the very first week at the investment bank, I knew it was not the right fit.  The people were cut throat, mean, overworked and stressed out.  And worst of all, I was in no way utilizing my God given talents.

After years of ignoring my intuition - which was telling me that I needed a change - I got a rude awakening when I was laid off.  It's funny how life has a way of speaking to you - first in whispers and then in a loud scream at the highest decibels.  After 6 years of dedicating my time, energy and health to this place, they decided they were done with me and no longer needed my services - TWO WEEKS BEFORE MY WEDDING!

I'm not going to lie, at first I was depressed.  Very depressed.  I felt helpless and was at rock bottom.  I was so used to being a top performer and over achiever - people like that do not get laid off, I thought.  It was a very emotional adjustment period.

After months of feeling sorry for myself, binge watching TV and being glued to my couch, I finally decided that enough was enough.

I gathered all of my notes from helping people with their own careers over the years in Operations and HR (I didn't realize then how career coaching had always been apart of who I was), found myself a mentor, did some serious research and put myself through a sort of "job search bootcamp".

This bootcamp consisted of:

  • getting into a success mindset
  • setting clear and intentional career goals
  • creating a new and improved personal brand
  • putting together a top notch professional portfolio
  • perfecting my job search strategy
  • learning how to interview like a pro

After about a year of moping around and doing nothing, once I got a grip, got over myself and used my new strategies I was FINALLY able to find a job within 30 days!  And it wasn't just any old job.  This new job had a shorter commute, higher pay, better hours, great boss and I worked along side some of the most thoughtful and professional people of my career.

Although it took me some time to get to a place where I could appreciate all that I've been through in my career, I wouldn't change any of it.  Like I said, all of my experiences have made me into the career woman I am today.

If you want to learn the exact steps I took to find my dream job, sign up for my free training!

Very truly yours,






How Do You Know When It's Time to Move on to a New Career

Screenshot 2016-01-22 21.57.32Are you happy with your job?  Seems like a simple question, but every time I ask it, I don't get a straight answer.  There's a lot of hesitation, pauses, thinking, and explaining. Here's an easier question.  Do you dread Mondays?  Or - is it a daily struggle to get out of bed in the morning because you aren't thrilled with where you will have to spend the next 8-10 hours of your day?

At our very core, we all know whether the current job we are in is right for us or not.  So, why then is it so hard for us to admit we are unhappy with our work?

Listen, I know you have student loans to pay and a family to take care of.  I know you want to travel the world and live the lifestyle you have become accustomed to.  What I also know is that true career fulfillment will only come when you enjoy what you actually do. It's ok to want to try something different in your career.

It doesn't matter that you've been at the same company for 5 years or in the same industry for twice that.  By now you probably already know what you're passionate about - and even if you haven't figured it out yet, you at least are 100% sure of what you are not passionate about.  You have so much potential and should spend your time doing things that give you fulfillment AND pay your bills.  It doesn't have to be a choice between one or the other.

The first step toward finding your dream job is a complete shift in mindset.  You have to admit that it's time to move on - which is often the hardest part.