Love the Life You Lead. Spring 2014. DAY TWO: Dana Maher

What would happen if you were to just “be”?

I recently made a huge career change, it was a giant leap. I dramatically changed roles in a family business from employee (and probable future owner) to consultant. I had been coaching part time for a while but it was time to move forward and make it full time, many signs were there but I was too busy to see them until last year.  I am so grateful to know and have been coached by some really great coaches who helped me pause and figure this out. In many ways this was a difficult decision. In other ways it was so easy and so right. To become a full time coach was a dream come true. On January 1, 2014, I officially transitioned from a job that once fit me to being a full time personal coach, a job that I love. In January, I was adjusting to a new schedule, new responsibilities, less income and more freedom. I had decided to build my business very mindfully. I wanted to just “be” in my business for a while.

We all probably have different ideas about being. What are yours? For me, being is a calm, a mindfulness, a thoughtfulness. I am talking about being quiet enough to listen to what is and what is possible. It is not about inactivity. It is about choice and choosing what to focus on and do. It is about doing what resonates for me, doing things that are aligned with my values and what is important to me. It is about doing things that I truly want to do, things that motivate me and energize me.  I have been doing this more and more in my life but now it was time to do it with my career and business.

I wanted to be proactive and make good choices. I did not want to get wrapped up in doing as I had so often done in the past. So busy that I didn’t have time to think, much less be. Who do I want to be? What do I enjoy doing? What do I really want to do? Who do I enjoy working with?  What opportunities do I want to take? What opportunities do I want to create?  I was just going to be and figure it out.

During this time of being,  I received a text from my husband about our car situation. We needed to either invest a lot of money in an 8 year old car, with very low mileage or get a new one, not what either of us had expected or planned for. Well forget mindfulness, we needed cash. A large car expense was not in the now much thinner budget. The swirling thought frenzy began. How could I get more clients? How could I earn more? What if I had to go back to my old job? I should go back to my old job, I would have steady income, that is the responsible thing to do. Blah, blah, blah. About an eighth of the thoughts in my head, made it into text form back to my husband. My husband has been amazingly supportive, and is so often the voice of calm and reason said “No, you won’t have to go back to your old job, we will figure this out.” Ah calm in the frenzy that was my spinning, crazy, eight hundred thoughts a minute, ADD brain. A few minutes passed and I observed. In the course of a minute and one text message, my peaceful, mindful brain whipped itself into a swirling mess of shoulds, what ifs, back to a job that was not good for me and crazy marketing plans. A few (ok, many) deep breaths later, I could think again. A little while later, a coaching call helped get me back to just being. I was reminded that being is perfect.  The incident was quite a wake-up call. I am always amazed when old thoughts and habits come creeping back in, even after I had worked so hard to change them.  I went back to being.

I had not had a new client coaching inquiry in quite a while, but within a week of the car frenzy,   I had four inquiries in two days. I had three new clients within a week after that. I had already had plans to be a conference vendor at the end of March. Thanks to an email newsletter and a sponsored post in my Facebook feed, I became aware of two other local conferences in an area that I specialize in. Surprisingly, all three conferences were the same week but not conflicting.  I now had the opportunity to share what coaching is and what I do with three different groups of conference attendees.  I enjoy attending conferences and also being a vendor and exhibitor. Conferences allow me to learn new information and give me the opportunity to meet a lot of great and interesting people. Since they were all within a week, I could have a table at all three conferences and prepare for all of them at the same time.  Once I had decided to have an exhibit table at all three upcoming conferences, I then began to think about opportunities and possibilities. By just being, I decided I wanted to move forward and create two coaching groups I had been considering for a while.  The three conferences would allow me to offer and fill these groups with the right people, which is important to me. Also, if I was attending three conferences, it would be a great time to launch a new entity. After months of indecision about a name for my new business entity, I decided and formed my LLC (well my wonderful husband did the actual filing and forming. It helps to be married to a great lawyer). These were all choices, things I wanted to do and decided to do because I was able to just be.

A little while later I was asked to do this guest blog and be a workshop presenter at a breakout session for a conference in the fall.  Being is just perfect.

For me, being is building my business thoughtfully. Being is helping me create my dream life and business. And being is enabling me to Love the Life I Lead.

What does being mean to you? What do you need to do to pause, breathe, listen and be? How can being help you Love the Life You Lead?

*I want to thank Melinda for this wonderful opportunity to do a guest blog for Love the Life You Lead 2014. I also want to thank her for her advice and support, not only when I began this journey but continuing to support me on this path that I am on. I never imagined being a personal coach would enable me to truly Love the Life I Lead.  I have met the most inspiring people, made some amazing friends and have some of the best clients anyone could ask for. I love my life, including my career. While I have grown, learned and evolved so much, I am and will continue to be a work in progress.*  Dana

Dana D. Maher, J.D., A.A.C.C., A.C.G. is a certified personal coach who specializes in working with professionals in STEM careers, and adults and adolescents diagnosed with or who have traits of ADHD and/or Asperger’s Syndrome.  Dana is launching her new business entity Dana Maher Coaching LLC on the first day of spring which is also the International Day of Happiness, March 20, 2014. She can be reached at,  or 908-377-8427.

About melindarabrams

Melinda Abrams, CPCC, MSA is a champion of the shared experience. She consistently moves individuals and groups to deeper levels of connection and support, and models ‘being moved’ by what is present in the space. She believes that in this creative combustion, capacity expands ….simply, naturally, magnificently. In addition to coaching corporate executives, Melinda takes great pleasure collecting and sharing messages about Loving the Life you Lead on facebook and her blog Moving Leaders. She loves coaching, delivering experiential programs at outdoor education centers, teaching teleclasses, holding weekend retreats, and guiding leaders to MOVE. Melinda brings over 20 years of teaching and leadership development to Moving Leaders. Her work spans experiences with youth, corporate clients, and both business and medical graduate students at Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest Universities. Her commitment is to serve emerging leaders as they move towards shared enthusiastic leadership. And YES! Melinda is also an artist. She creates unique handpainted scarves. In my art, my coaching, and my spiritual practice I consistently return to wonder and awe. As I turn to wonder and create from there I experience a profound connection with source. This movement brings me to this latest series of scarves. I love the idea of wrapping oneself in an idea–an intention– a possibility, and creating beauty with that intention. My hope is that when one chooses this scarf to wear, they turn from disconnected bland to soulful brilliant. Of course when the scarf is open and hung you can read the message, yet when it is draped and worn, the message is simply seen as a design. My promise is that the wearer is reminded to turn towards the message and that the message is shared through the wearers actions and interactions with others. Melinda Abrams Melinda loves living in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and three children.
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