A week in San Miguel de Allende that might change your life!

If you’ve been thinking about career transition but haven’t been able to muster up the energy to take action, and you can clear November 30-December 7, 2013, please consider joining me in enchanting San Miguel de Allende Mexico for the Step Into Your Future workshop.

When I first started holding workshops in San Miguel de Allende, a colleague of mine joked that they sounded like the “perfect boondoggle.”  Imagine: paying to do a “serious” workshop in a beautiful, art and history filled town in Mexico! Three years later, I am pleased to say that many people have found that combining an opportunity to enjoy San Miguel and contemplate their life and career – works!

There is something special about stepping out of your day-to-day life and into another world.  For decades, San Miguel (www.sanmigueldeallende.com ) has been a haven for visual artists, musicians and a host of other people who seek a travel experience as opposed to just being tourists.  It is far from “undiscovered” and yet its UNESCO protected status and the fierce vigilance of its residents has kept it from becoming touristy and preserved its charm.

As part-time residents of San Miguel, my husband Stan and I revel in our Mexican neighbourhood complete with its crowing roosters, barking dogs and the occasional midnight mariachi band!  We like to watch visitors shift gears into a bit of the Mexican way of life when suddenly the only thing on your agenda is drinking coffee in the jardin (town’s central park) or finding the perfect rooftop bar from which to watch San Miguel’s legendary sunsets.

The list of things that make San Miguel special is long.  But what about the workshop part?  Since the program is the same, what makes taking the Step into Your Future workshop in San Miguel different from taking it in Vancouver, Victoria or Kingston?

Here are five things that I have observed or heard from workshop participants:

  • San Miguel is indeed magical:  several people have had this delightful Mexican town on their “must visit” list for a long time and find that the opportunity to be there – with the added purpose of examining where their career is headed – is a powerful cocktail.  Whether it is the chance to see what it would be like to live a different life, or simply the indulgence of time for contemplation, this is a good place to be.
  • Sun drenched terraces in November are good!  The workshop is held in a beautiful colonial house in the centre of town.  The house boasts several sun drenched terraces, private rooms with en-suites and lots of nooks and crannies for quiet conversation.  You can stay in this house for just over $300/week, or choose a nearby boutique hotel or apartment.
  • Unique bonding: the power of what happens in groups cannot be underestimated.  When you are with a group of people from different parts of the world and with diverse career backgrounds – in a neutral setting – you can’t help but form a unique bond.  (And for the introverts, don’t worry: lots of space to escape to your own devices!)
  • Revitalized energy:  Who knows if it is the sun, the town or the workshop – whatever it is, participants report that they come away with revitalized energy to make a change in their lives.  That change might be to bring new energy to what they are already doing, or to go in a completely different direction.
  • A virtual board of directors:  every workshop cohort has not only bonded during the workshop, but kept in touch afterwards.  Quarterly follow-up calls are scheduled not only to catch up but also to act as a virtual board of directors to support and hold each other accountable for the actions they committed to.  The San Miguel workshop has the added benefit of reuniting people who have not only shared stories and aspirations, but also margaritas and morning walks (also known as “Mexican butt lifts”, please ask!).

If this missive has piqued your interest in being at the Step into Your Future workshop in San Miguel de Allende, November 30-December 7, 2013, please check out http://www.oglov.com/step-into-your-future.html

Thank you and Happy Summer!

Promoting You! 5 ways to help you get better at asking for what you want.

I have a client who is so articulate, compelling and charismatic that she could pretty much sell you anything.  Unless it was selling her own professional services or asking to get paid to do them!

“I can sell anything but myself”, she says.  Other people have variations on the theme: “I have trouble articulating what it is I can do” or “I can ask for a raise for people who work for me but when it comes to discussing my own salary, I am at a loss.”

Why is that?  Of course some people are just plain shy.  Even the idea of talking about themselves is abhorrent, much less asking for something.  There are also people who are not shy, but still go into freeze mode when it comes to making the ask.

And yet, we know that there are times when we have to promote ourselves and ask for what we need.  Others may sing your praises but can you count on them to get your story right?  As an example, I have some wonderful colleagues who have always been generous in promoting me, but they really know me as an Olympic marketing expert – work that I no longer do.  It is my job to equip them with the tools they need to continue to promote me for the business coaching and development work that is now my passion.

I am of the belief that you need to take personal responsibility for promoting yourself in a manner that is natural and works for you.  And it starts with exhibiting self confidence, even if you do not feel it.

If this is you – not feeling confident but you still want/need to promote yourself – here are some tips that may help get you rolling:

  1. Get your story right – at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it really does all start with having a personal career story that reflects the “why” you do what you do, not just the what, how and when.  Get it so you believe it first, then crisp it up and get ready to take it out into the world!
  2. Develop a list of the people in your network – think beyond the obvious and be strategic according to what you are currently looking to do (get a new job, start a business, etc).  Then prioritize that list and keep it as a living document that you revisit and update on a regular basis.  And START NETWORKING – begin with the people that are easiest for you to approach and use them as a training ground.
  3. Pick a friendly venue – if it is easier for you to start promoting yourself to someone whom you are comfortable with inviting to your home or meeting in a coffee shop, do that.  If it is intimidating meeting someone in an office setting, you can build up to that.
  4. Dress the role you want – if you are looking for an office job, dress in business attire even if you are just meeting a friend.  This is true for both men and women – you don’t want the person you are meeting to sit there the whole time thinking “really?  Dressed like that he thinks he is ready to work in X?”
  5. Act the role you want – we all know the old adage “fake it till you make it”.  Maybe faking it is not in your definition of a natural approach, but use those first test grounds to act the role you want, in whatever way you can.  Want to start a consultancy?  What would it take for you to look and sound like a consultant?

ASK!  A belief in fundraising is that one of the biggest reasons people don’t donate is because they are not asked.  I believe the same is true of asking your friends and colleagues – your network – for what you need.  Set the stage, relax and just ASK.  The person may say no or it may not be something they can do, but you will not know until you ASK!

Your immediate network of friends and colleagues is a great place to get started.  Practice may not make you perfect but it will move you along the continuum towards being able to promote yourself and ask for what you need.

Linda Oglov

How spending a few days in a beautiful setting can give you a new perspective on your life and career!

The jury is in!  Verdict: taking a few precious days to focus on what is important to you, what you are meant to be doing, and how you can make that happen, works!  And if you do it in a peaceful, beautiful setting that is even better!

We started our Step into Your Future workshops in 2011.  Since then several dozen people have signed up to be part of a small group looking for a facilitated, safe and supportive opportunity to pull the seams out of their career, examine the fabric and decide what they wanted to make out of it.  Some people have started to sew a whole new existence, and others have decided to put the career back together again in a similar fashion but with perhaps a new lining or different trim.

The premise is simple:  bring smart, reflective people together in a gorgeous place and good things will happen.  And it doesn’t matter what field you are in, how old you are or how accomplished you think you are or are not.  In fact, here are a few of the common myths that have been shattered:

  • Everyone else will be smarter, or more senior, or more accomplished than me – wrong!  We have watched senior executives take advice and reflect on the words of someone in mid career, and that person in turn realize she is on the wrong track and it is time to make a change herself.  Get over it!  If you are ready to let the seams out of your career, even a bit, this is the right place for you.
  • Everyone else will be further along than me in thinking about a career change – wrong again!  Most people who come to the workshop have simply an idea that they want to make a change but they often don’t know what they want it to be.  If they do know, this is the place to try out a few patterns and see how it all fits together.  If it doesn’t work, you can start again.
  • I don’t need another workshop that is all talk and no action – right you are!  In this workshop, you emerge with an Action Plan.  Some people will just have a few first steps down on paper, others will have it flushed out and ready to roll.  But an action plan is guaranteed.

The workshops have been held in a range of lovely places over the past couple of years but we have now landed on just two workshops per year, in two fabulous venues:  Pender Island, BC and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The value of these two beautiful places is not inconsequential.  Neither are the fun times that are built in (and optional!) to each workshop.  There is time to reflect, be challenged and make new friends and new connections.

So if you are ready – or think you might be ready –  to take a look at the fabric of your life and career, please check out and register at Step Into Your Future online.

Linda Oglov

OGLOV BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT INC.

12 Things I learned (or re-learned) about life and careers this year

‘Tis the season for lists and reflection on the year that is nearly ended – and far be it from me to break that tradition!  

I set a personal goal for myself to learn something new every month in 2012.  Not sure how that list stacks up but I do know that the wonderful coaching clients and workshop participants whom I have had the pleasure of working with this year have taught me a lot, or caused me to “re-learn” many things about life and careers:

1. Resilience – it never ceases to amaze me how truly resilient people are.  In the face of an endless array of adversity, people keep going.  I saw unbelievable resilience at the London Olympics in both athletes and the people who work in the business of the Olympics, but I see it every day in the people I work with in all walks of life.  Humbling.

2. Hold yourself – and others – capable – this is a lesson from the Royal Roads University executive coaching program I took a few years ago but I continue to learn and re-learn it.  The number of times I have been on the verge of offering an unsolicited opinion to a coaching client – only to have him/her come up with their own better solution…  I am constantly reminding myself to not only hold myself capable but hold others capable of their own decisions as well.  Try it!

3. You are not alone – like many people, my worst time for fears and doubts is the middle of the night.  Waking up and realizing that there are people around you who can truly help is a lesson we all need to refresh frequently.

4. Accept help – once we recognize that we are not alone, the next step is to actually accept help.  I think I signed up for  “I can do this myself” martyrdom at birth.  Constant reminder that I do indeed get by with a little help (or a lot of help) from my friends.

5. When it’s over, it’s over – some of you will recall that I made this statement after finishing work at the London 2012 Olympics.  It has been a very liberating experience to recognize, declare and move on from this statement.  Whatever it is that may be over in your life/career, I recommend calling it!

6. There is life beyond  I was connected in some way to the Olympic movement for nearly 15 years and longer than that to the world of major events.  It was a great run but so is what has unfolded outside of that world.  I am LOVING my career in business and career transition coaching!

7. Still searching for a cure for being a workaholic – nobody but me really sets how much work I take on or what I turn out in the space of a day, week, etc.  My new motto is: “just because I can, does not mean I should”.  I am a work in progress on this one.

8. Sometimes where you are is where you are meant to be  in my work with people in career transition, it is interesting to watch how sometimes people go full circle and realize the change they need to make, is to stay where they are.  I have learned that this realization is as big a change as any.

9. Story works – I have learned to be guided by the fact that “sometimes the turning point in our lives and careers is more obvious in the telling than in the living”.  Get your real story down on paper and you may be surprised by what it tells you.

10. Networking works  apropos of the point above about not having to do things alone and accepting help, I have decided that the care and feeding of your personal and professional network is as important as anything else you may do in your career.  Stands you in excellent stead when you are ready to make a change.

11. Action works – take a step, any step!  Action is the key.  At least make a plan to make a plan!

12. Life is truly short  having recently lost yet another dear friend who was too young to leave us, I am again reminded of this sad truth.  Don’t waste any time – make the best of life!

I wish all of you the opportunity to reflect on what you have learned in 2012, along with the health and wisdom to make 2013 a year that truly counts!  Very best wishes,

Linda Oglov

Promoting You! 5 ways to help you get better at asking for what you want.

I have a client who is so articulate, compelling and charismatic that she could pretty much sell you anything.  Unless it was selling her own professional services or asking to get paid to do them!

“I can sell anything but myself”, she says.  Other people have variations on the theme: “I have trouble articulating what it is I can do” or “I can ask for a raise for people who work for me but when it comes to discussing my own salary, I am at a loss.”

Why is that?  Of course some people are just plain shy.  Even the idea of talking about themselves is abhorrent, much less asking for something.  There are also people who are not shy, but still go into freeze mode when it comes to making the ask.

And yet, we know that there are times when we have to promote ourselves and ask for what we need.  Others may sing your praises but can you count on them to get your story right?  As an example, I have some wonderful colleagues who have always been generous in promoting me, but they really know me as an Olympic marketing expert – work that I no longer do.  It is my job to equip them with the tools they need to continue to promote me for the business coaching and development work that is now my passion.

I am of the belief that you need to take personal responsibility for promoting yourself in a manner that is natural and works for you.  And it starts with exhibiting self confidence, even if you do not feel it.

If this is you – not feeling confident but you still want/need to promote yourself – here are some tips that may help get you rolling:

  1. Get your story right – at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it really does all start with having a personal career story that reflects the “why” you do what you do, not just the what, how and when.  Get it so you believe it first, then crisp it up and get ready to take it out into the world!
  2. Develop a list of the people in your network – think beyond the obvious and be strategic according to what you are currently looking to do (get a new job, start a business, etc).  Then prioritize that list and keep it as a living document that you revisit and update on a regular basis.  And START NETWORKING – begin with the people that are easiest for you to approach and use them as a training ground.
  3. Pick a friendly venue – if it is easier for you to start promoting yourself to someone whom you are comfortable with inviting to your home or meeting in a coffee shop, do that.  If it is intimidating meeting someone in an office setting, you can build up to that.
  4. Dress the role you want – if you are looking for an office job, dress in business attire even if you are just meeting a friend.  This is true for both men and women – you don’t want the person you are meeting to sit there the whole time thinking “really?  Dressed like that he thinks he is ready to work in X?”
  5. Act the role you want – we all know the old adage “fake it till you make it”.  Maybe faking it is not in your definition of a natural approach, but use those first test grounds to act the role you want, in whatever way you can.  Want to start a consultancy?  What would it take for you to look and sound like a consultant?

ASK!  A belief in fundraising is that one of the biggest reasons people don’t donate is because they are not asked.  I believe the same is true of asking your friends and colleagues – your network – for what you need.  Set the stage, relax and just ASK.  The person may say no or it may not be something they can do, but you will not know until you ASK!

Your immediate network of friends and colleagues is a great place to get started.  Practice may not make you perfect but it will move you along the continuum towards being able to promote yourself and ask for what you need.

Linda Oglov