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Stop Procrastinating NOW!

June 22, 2011

Today I was interviewed on the popular Blog Talk Show, For Powerful Women Only.  I talked about something a lot of women struggle with — Procrastination Paralysis and how to get past it.

The host, Author & Speaker Teisha Shelby-Houston (Lady T), helps women go from mom to mompreneur! Known as The Business Coach for Moms, Lady T empowers and coaches women to change the world through entrepreneurship. Let her new book, Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire inspire you.

Ready to learn strategies you can use today to get past procrastination and start creating the life you were meant to live? Click on the link and listen in to learn how to conquer Procrastination Paralysis.

Bonnie Pond is the founder of ReLaunch Your Life. A career change expert for women over 40 who want to be their own boss, she can help YOU find ways to make money doing what you love. 

Call 931-438-8343 for a complimentary 15-minute Discovery Session. You really can love your work, love your money, and love your life again! Let me help you get started.

Visit my website for F*R*E*E resources you can use today. Tune in to ReLaunch Your Life every Monday at 10 AM for more tips, tools, strategies and interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

The Re-invention Connection

June 13, 2011

I’m thrilled to be the featured entrepreneur in this week’s My Boomer2Boomer magazine.

                      The Re-Invention Connection

                             Story of Bonnie Pond

                                  Founder of

                             ReLaunch Your Life

My work history is what some might call “checkered.” It reflects a wide

variety of interests as well as the necessity of earning my daily bread. In

the last forty-plus years I’ve waited tables, been a secretary, run a

battered women’s shelter, and teamed up with my husband to be

caretakers on a ranch. We had an old-time photography studio in the

California Gold Country for a year.  Along the way, I also started a

housekeeping service and, with two other women, had a company that

provided continuing education units for nurses through travel

opportunities. For several years I managed a furniture and gift store. I

was an outreach worker, did a stint in the reference section of a college

library, and got my elementary teaching credential. For many years I

taught at a science and math magnet school before “retiring” to rural

Tennessee.

 

Within a few months, two things happened:  Traditional retirement turned

out to be a real bore AND our savings pretty much disappeared with the

downturn in the economy. We needed more income and I needed a way

to tap into all my interests and passions. In 2009, I started ReLaunch

Your Life out of necessity.  By combining specialized training with my own

life experiences, I began helping women 40 + find ways to be their own

boss by tapping into their passions.

 

It breaks my heart to see those who’ve worked hard all their lives

struggling to make ends meet when they retire. So many are searching

for work that gives meaning, purpose, and joy to their lives too. They

want to spend their time doing what feeds their spirits as well as their

wallets. No one should have to spend their lives stuck in “job misery.” To

be able to spend your days working at what you love has a positive ripple

effect on your entire life. To be able to spend your days earning income

while doing work you love is something that I want for everyone.

Some clients want a new full-time career where they call the shots with

their own small businesses. Others want to supplement their income with

a sideline.

 

My husband, Jack, helps me with the technical side of the business and

is a constant source of encouragement and ideas. Occasionally I partner

with other women for special projects like the women’s retreat we have

coming up in fall, 2011.

 

My business combines the best of my previous jobs with new challenges

every day. Each woman I work with has a unique set of gifts and talents.

Each one has a different way of answering my question, “What do you

want your life to look like?”  Because I know what it’s like to work in a wide

variety of settings, from retail to non-profits to teaching and running small

businesses, I can tap into those experiences to help clients move toward

the life they really want.

 

It took a lot of searching to develop this business idea – searching myself

to figure out what I really wanted to be “when I grew up” and searching

the Internet for ideas and for what people needed. I realized that so many

people are looking for someone to help them rediscover their dreams

and passions — before it’s too late. So many are stuck in jobs that make

them miserable. And there are an increasing number of Boomers who

need to create their own work because of layoffs, a major change like

divorce or the death of a spouse, or let’s be honest here, because of age

discrimination.

 

The Boomer Generation still has so much to give, so much vitality, so

many options. We’re ready to explore and take on new challenges.

Midlife isn’t over the hill. What I’ve found is that many people just need

help figuring out what their options are. Reinventing yourself after 40

gives you a whole new perspective on your potential and what it means

to live a full life.

 

My husband has been my biggest cheerleader, but there have been so

many others who said, “Go for it, Bonnie!” Connecting with other women

who are running their own businesses is  always source of

encouragement, fresh ideas, and resources. No one succeeds alone and

that’s why I’ve also worked with coaches to help me learn how to grow my

business. I’m in a Mastermind group and have an accountability partner.

We meet by telephone weekly to help each other set goals and stay on

track. And I’m always taking classes, which has the added benefit of

keeping me around the “doers” of the world.

 

Were there naysayers? Of course! There are always those who find

reasons you can’t succeed – the economy is bad, you’re too old, it takes

too much money to start your own business. The naysayers can really

get to you if you let them. I think that’s what stops so many people from

going after their dreams. That, and the self-doubts and fears that anyone

charting a new course for their lives has to deal with.

 

There are three main ways that I’ve created confidence.  The first is to

hang around successful people. The second is to keep learning and

growing. When you’re just starting out, it’s crucial to build a network of

support. You need people who believe in you and who are willing to give

advice as you build your business. It’s been said that you are the

average of the five people you hang around with the most. I make it a

point to spend plenty of time with people who love what they do and are

very successful in their businesses. They inspire me because each one

has overcome their own obstacles and naysayers along the way.

 

The third piece of creating confidence is building competence. That’s

why I got specialized training in career change coaching before I set up

ReLaunch Your Life.  Understanding what people need is important and I

do “get it.” But understanding is only a part of the equation. Training

means I also know HOW to help women find ways to turn their interests

into income so they can do what they love. I’m constantly in learning

mode, taking classes and doing independent research, so that I continue

to build my competence.

 

Lessons learned? Oh, there are so many! The biggest lesson is that you

need tons of patience and persistence. No business ever builds as

quickly as you want. No business is ever as profitable as soon as you’d

like. It takes quite a while to build a following and professional reputation.

That’s the most important thing I wish I’d realized in advance.

 

There will be obstacles and when you come up against them, you have a

choice. Give up or find a way around them. Instead of saying, “I can’t”

you have to say, “How can I make this happen?” Then, you have to take

action every single day to do what needs to be done. No excuses.

 

I started out with a rudimentary business plan that has evolved over the

last couple of years. It’s actually still evolving as I add more pieces to my

business. For example, hosting an Internet radio show was not on my

radar screen in the beginning, but now I’m on the air every week and love

it.

 

Because I work from a home office and do much of my coaching by

telephone, I didn’t have to get outside funding to start up. My expenses

have been mainly for training, working with my own coaches, and the

normal office expenses like telephone and Internet service.

 

Life is short, too short to settle for a beige existence. Reinventing and

ReLaunching are all about moving out of your comfort zone. That can be

scary, but to me it’s worse to stay in a “box” or in a life that’s really too

small for your spirit. There are no guarantees in life. Taking the leap to

realize your full potential is worth the risk. The saddest thing I can

imagine is to look back at the end of your life and say, “If only . . .”

 

Marie Beyon Ray has a quote that I love and try to live by: “Begin doing

what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this

moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”

 

My biggest regret is thinking too small at first and staying in my comfort

zone too long. If I could change one thing, it would be to think bigger and

bolder right from the start.

Bonnie Pond is a career change coach and founder of ReLaunch Your 

Life. She helps women 40+ who want to be their own boss find ways to 

turn their interests into income. It’s never too late to love your work, love 

your money, and love your life again. Her website is

www.relaunchyourlifecoach.com.

I Wish I’d Had the Courage. . .

June 9, 2011

 A few days ago I read a post written by a nurse who cares for  the dying. She said the number one regret that people had  was this: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to  myself, not the life others expected of me.”

What are your unfulfilled dreams? Are you putting off living your life the way YOU want to live it because of what other people think you should do? Pressure from family and friends can keep us feeling boxed in — if we allow that to happen. The choices we make — or don’t make — are important.

Are you living a life true to yourself? Are you working at what you love or just going to a job every day?

If the work you’re doing doesn’t satisfy your spirit and allow you to have more of the life you dream of, you have a choice. You can ignore your dreams and continue on your current path. Or you can begin exploring ways to live true to yourself. For many that means making money doing what you love, instead of just putting in time at a job that sucks the life right out of you.

What do you really want to be doing with your life? Yes, you have to earn a living and pay your bills so I’m not suggesting that you quit your job tomorrow morning.

• What you CAN do immediately is start looking at your options.

• Know what you want. Do some soul-searching. If you don’t put what you want on your radar screen and start looking for ways to get it, you’ll never life a life true to yourself.

• Pay attention to all the ways people are taking charge of their work life by turning their interests into income. What kinds of businesses are they running?

• Read magazines like Entrepreneur to spark ideas.

• Work with a coach to develop ways to make money doing what you love. You can start small with a sideline business and when you’re ready, transition to making it your full-time career.

Whatever your dreams are, NOW is the time to go after them. Summon up the courage to create the life you were meant to live. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Bonnie Pond is the founder of ReLaunch Your Life. A career change expert for women over 40 who want to be their own boss, she helps them find ways to make money doing what they love. 

Call 931-438-8343 for a complimentary 30-minute Discovery Session. You really can love your work, love your money, and love your life again! Let me help you get started.

Visit my website for F*R*E*E resources you can use today. Tune in to ReLaunch Your Life every Monday at 10 AM for more tips, tools, strategies and interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

Seven Ways to Get Past S-T-U-C-K

June 4, 2011

Midlife is a great time to re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go. Do you want a career change? Learn to speak French? Kayak the Danube River? What’s your dream?

Why aren’t you doing the things you want to do? Maybe it’s because you don’t quite know how to move ahead. If S-T-U-C-K is where you’re living right now, following these 7 steps will give you the nudge you need to get moving again.

A part of us resists change — even when we know we want more from our lives. Our egos want to keep us in our old familiar comfort zones. That’s normal. Change can be unsettling, even anxiety-producing at times. But staying stuck means settling for less than you deserve in life.

You can’t change course unless you’re willing to put up with being uncomfortable, with challenging your old beliefs, with being afraid sometimes because you’re trying out new ideas and new activities. Keep in mind that people who do great things do so in spite of being uncomfortable or afraid. They push beyond S-T-U-C-K and so can you.

Here’s my 7-step plan to get Unstuck. Try it. Stick with it. It works.

1)  Know your “why.” How will making changes benefit you? How will you feel when you reach your goals? How will your life change for the better?  Write a positive statement about what you’ll gain by moving ahead. Post your “why” where you see it several times every day — on your mirror, your computer, your kitchen cabinets.

2) Ask, “What’s holding me back?” In order to get unstuck, you need to know what’s holding you in place. Are you putting up with a job that doesn’t feed your spirit because changing just seems too hard? Are you afraid of what people might say? Are you afraid to fail or look foolish? What’s the underlying benefit that you’re getting by letting it stand it your way? Yeah, I know that’s a tough one, but it gets to the heart of your stuck place.

3) Start small. You know why you want things to change. You’ve identified your obstacle. Now, list three things you can do right away to start removing your roadblock.

4) Give yourself realistic deadlines for completing those three steps. Deadlines focus you on what needs to be done and force you to get into action. Motion Trumps Meditation!

5) Get support. Tell people you trust what you’re going to do and by when. Ask for help holding you accountable for doing what you say you’ll do.

6) Let go of perfectionism. You have to try new things in order to grow and guess what? Sometimes you’ll mess up. That’s part of the process. Mistakes allow you to learn what you didn’t know before.

7) Keep a record of your achievements. Start a Success Journal and record even the smallest of successes. Make it your goal to enter at least one success every day. Your Success Journal can be a great motivator, especially when you look back at the end of a month and see how far you’ve come.

This system is what I call Rinse & Repeat. In other words, keep doing all the steps. Consistently. Commit to getting unstuck by doing what you need to do. Your dreams are waiting. . .

Bonnie Pond is the founder of ReLaunch Your Life. A career change expert for women over 40 who want to be their own boss, she helps them find ways to make money doing what they love. 

Call 931-438-8343 for a complimentary 30-minute Discovery Session. You really can love your work, love your money, and love your life again! Let me help you get started.

Visit my website for F*R*E*E resources you can use today. Tune in to ReLaunch Your Life every Monday at 10 AM for more tips, tools, strategies and interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

Reinvent Yourself!

May 31, 2011

Maybe you’re a lot like I was just a few years ago . . . You’ve reached the midpoint in your life.

And you’re restless. Unhappy. Maybe even bored. Or too stressed out to think clearly.    

You want more from your life. . .  You want a career you love. . .  You want to find your purpose before it’s too late.

In other words, you want to reinvent yourself and create the life you were meant to live instead of just drifting along. And you wonder, is it really possible?

Absolutely! Positively! Yes, really! Honest! BUT — here’s the catch. You have to work at it. (Sorry, no Easy Button) You have to know what you really want and then be willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Are you ready to get started?

Let’s say you want to start your reinvention by working at what you love. But you’re thinking, “Yeah, right. I’m stuck in my job. The economy is bad. I can’t afford to go back to school. My age is against me.” Or any number of other reasons you Can’t?

“I Can’t” thinking will slam the brakes on your reinvention quicker than anything I know. This kind of thinking stems from fear, past experiences that didn’t turn out like you wanted, and probably lots of subtle messages you’ve been sending yourself for years. It’s the Big Fat Bully in Your Brain telling you to just forget the whole thing.

At this point, you don’t even know what you want to do next, so how can you know whether or not it’s possible?

Take a deep breath. Relax. Tell the Bully in Your Brain to hush. It’s OK. You’re in Discovery Mode, so you can’t fail and you can’t lose.

Start by answering these questions:

• What makes you feel fabulous?

• What do you love, love, love to do?

• What do you get so involved in that you simply lose track of time?

• What gives you a sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment?

• What inspires you?

• What do you want to accomplish before your epitaph is written?

Your answers contain the seeds of your midlife career change. Your new career may very well be one you create for yourself. It may be outside the traditional Job Box.  It could be a combination of several Love To Do items from your list. Why not? There are endless ways to turn your interests into income. Thousands of people profit from their passions. So can you.

What’s your next step? Move into Research Mode. Start looking for all the ways you can do what you love and get paid for it. Think multiple income streams instead of just one paycheck from an employer. If you need some help coming up with ideas, I’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary 30-minute Discovery Session to help you explore your options.

Making a major life transition — whether it’s a career change, divorce, death of a spouse, moving across the country, whatever it is — doesn’t happen in one quick step. Transitions take time. Have patience with yourself. Take small steps every day and you’ll get there.

Bonnie Pond is the founder of ReLaunch Your Life. A career change expert for women over 40 who want to be their own boss, she helps them find ways to turn their interests into income. You can love your work, love your money, and love your life again!

Visit her website for F*R*E*E resources you can use today. Tune in to ReLaunch Your Life every Monday at 10 AM for more tips, tools, strategies and interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

Are Your Dreams Out of Focus?

May 30, 2011

Life throws us a curve ball every now and then — usually when we least expect it.

Maybe you’ve started researching interesting new careers, gathering information, talking to people who are doing what you want to do. Things are starting to move in the right direction and you’re feeling pretty good. Then — BAM! All sorts of stuff happens.

The car breaks down.

The dog has to go to the vet.

Unexpected dental bills.

Someone in your family gets sick.

You’re trying to do too much all by yourself.

The To Do list is 9 pages long.

Little distractions happen.

Big emergencies happen.

That’s the way life is. Sometimes we get so caught up in the “stuff” going on in our lives that dreams and goals get thrown out of focus. It’s easy to start feeling fragmented and overwhelmed. It’s tough to stay on track. Ever had that happen to you? I have. Plenty of times.

Following your dreams, making a life transition, finding ways to turn your interests into income — whatever your Big Dream — takes focus and determination. If your dreams have gotten a little fuzzy lately, it’s probably because you’re trying to focus on too many things at once.

I learned a great tip in my Mastermind group this week that I want to share with you. It will help you sort out where you need to focus your time and energy.

For example, if you’re unhappy at work and want to start working at what you love, you’ll need to set  priorities to make that happen. Yes, there are lots of steps on the journey to your Big Dream, but you’re going to take it one step at at time.

Here’s a great way to whittle down that enormous To Do list.

1) Make a list of everything that MUST get done. This is your A List.

2) Everything that SHOULD get done goes on your B LIst.

3) Everything that MAYBE you could do or that would be NICE TO DO is your C List.

4) Now, take a good, hard look at your B List. Your goal is to turn every single item into an A or a C. Either it’s a MUST DO or a NICE TO DO.

5) OK, take a deep breath. Toss out your C list! These aren’t real priorities so don’t worry about them.

6) Now there are no B’s or C’s, so you’ve cleared the space to just do the things on your A List. These are your priorities because they are what will move you closer to your goals. Working only on what’s really important will help you bring your dreams back into crystal clear focus.

If you’re serious about ReLaunching Your Life, snapping your dreams and goals into sharp focus is essential. Without a clear vision of what you want, you can’t get it. And unless you clear space in your life to work on what you need to do to realize your dreams, they won’t happen.

Create your A, B, and C lists. Then get them down to only what you MUST do.

Your A List is your ACTION List — so get up and get moving. If you don’t take action, you’ll stay exactly where you are right now.

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