background image
/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0
16 / A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 0
Women-owned firms in the
United States contribute near-
ly $3 trillion to our national
economy, create or maintain 23
million jobs and produce em-
ployment for 16% of the U.S.
workforce, according to Center
for Women's Business Research's
economic impact study.
This information did not sur-
prise me because I see these
women in my practice on a
daily basis. As a life and busi-
ness strategist for both men and
women, I have observed more
often than not, that women are
less likely than men to sit on
the fence when it comes to tak-
ing risks, facing their fears and
re-inventing their personal and
professional lives.
This is not a criticism to men
at all. In my opinion, I feel that
this is a societal phenomenon
because men have felt such
a sense of responsibility as the
provider for so long that step-
ping out to embrace what they
really want in a career may have
felt like too much of a risk for
the family. In my opinion, the
severe change in roles for men
and women in such a short span
of time has put men in a bit of a
tailspin as to what direction they
need to go.
The difference between my
generation of women and my
mother's is simply, "choice."
In the 60's and 70's, women
forged out into the workforce
to exercise their rights to a
career. Then... as they began
feeling the pressure from the
demands of balancing career
and motherhood, many opted
to resume the role of stay-at-
home mom.
In the last decade, the shift
in thought has been, "If I am go-
ing to put myself out into the
world, I want to choose a career
that is an extension of who I am
as a person. If I am going to put
this much energy and effort into
my career, while continuing to
take care of my family, I want
to create something that I really
love to do, that I am passionate
Women want to feel a sense
of accomplishment. They want
a sense of identity separate from
their relationship and their chil-
dren. And when this happens,
they feel more of a sense of full-
ness inside, and in turn, have
more to give to those they love.
Connie Delong's son, Tom
contacted me a year
ago to coach his mom
to find a career that
would be fulfilling
to her. Connie had a
strong desire to cre-
ate a career that was
meaningful and uplift-
ing. She had been in
the mortgage business
for years for financial
reasons only.
"It is very stress-
ful work and even though I am
good at it, it's never been very
fulfilling for me." Connie's true
passion has been grief recovery
support, which she had been
doing for years on a volunteer
basis through Horizon Hospice
of Poway, California.
She wanted to start her own
business for a very long time, but
was afraid to take the leap and
leave her job. "This economy
forced me to find a new way to
pay the bills. My gut was tell-
ing me that at this point in my
life, I could no longer work at
a job that was unsatisfying. Life
is too short to not go after your
My life and business coach,
Allison Maslan, helped me to
move past my fear of becoming
an entrepreneur, and then sup-
ported me in laying out a step-
by-step strategic plan to create
my own grief counseling busi-
ness. Connie is now the proud
President of Breakthrough Grief
Recovery. (www.Breakthrough She re-
marks, "I haven't been this ex-
cited about my life in years."
Prerna O'hara, has been work-
ing with the Blast Off Program
over the past several months to
develop her dream business. She
was also employed as the Con-
cierge/Patient Liaison for a San
Diego medical and day spa.
When they let her go due to
the down economy, it was the
perfect excuse to speed up the
pace of her new business launch,
Your Company Concierge (www.
where she offers a diverse range
of personal assistance and event
planning for the busy
executive. She is tak-
ing the expertise she
offered her employer
and putting it to work
for herself.
"I may have taken
longer to get my busi-
ness up and running,
so losing my job has
actually motivated me
to open for business
now. As Allison has
said, poverty is a great motiva-
tor and failure is not an option!
I have had so much fun putting
all of this together. I am so pas-
sionate about my new business
and I am dedicated to making
it work.
Linda Webb walked into my
office feeling stuck and run
down. She was a buyer at Nor-
dstrom's, but went through a
divorce and could not travel
anymore because she needed
to be home with her young chil-
dren. She took a job for survival
purposes only. It was not her
dream career, but it paid the
Time quickly passed and be-
fore she knew it, ten years had
passed and her kids were in high
school. Linda had not created
anything in her life that she was
passionate about. She felt like
she was running on a hamster
wheel that was not going any-
I helped Linda to get in touch
with what really mattered to her.
The awareness that unfolded
through this process was that
Linda always wanted her own
fashion store. She loved the cre-
ativity of fashion and her energy
was so uplifted when she talked
about it. However, she had felt
that having her own storefront
was just not a viable option.
The other side of the story is
that Linda's mom passed away
from pancreatic cancer a few
years before and it had been a
great loss for her. She said that
her mom used to find pennies at
The Word of Choice for Women
in This New Decade Is "Re-Invention"
By Allison Maslan, HHP, CCH