How I Created My Dream Business (and Life!)

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Dream Business

This has been a month of reflection — on my life, my intentions, my mission, and my future. Some huge changes have been happening… getting pregnant, moving cross-country to Southern California.

And all of it has gotten me thinking about the choices I’ve made along the way that have led me here: with a dream business that allows me to help hundreds of women to love themselves and their bodies, and live a vibrant, healthy life; and a flexible schedule with plenty of time for my own self-care, fun, and travel.

The name of the game has really come down to one word: clarity.

When I first thought about leaving the performance world, I got super clear on what frustrated me most about that lifestyle: being poor, relying on my parents for financial support, needing to cater, wait tables, or babysit as a “day job” (which at times could feel so demeaning and uninspiring), constantly being subject to the criticism and scrutiny of the people I was auditioning for, and above all, feeling powerless.  My future felt totally in the hands of others.  This was my specific set of circumstances, but I know a lot of you can relate to feeling underpaid, undervalued, and uninspired.

Continue Reading…

Do You Hate Your Job?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

We spend more time at work than we do with our families, with our friends, relaxing, and traveling.  So it stands to reason that if you are spending the majority of your week, and therefore, the majority of your life doing something that stresses you out, something that you hate, your health and happiness are bound to be effected.  Negative emotions, stress, and anxiety have measurable impacts on your waistline, mental health, blood pressure,  your immunity and your ability to heal.  So if your happiness and peace of mind aren’t a good enough motivator to rethink your work situation, maybe wrinkles, longevity, and disease prevention will do the trick.

Doing something you love and making good money doing it isn’t a luxury, it is your right as a brilliant, vibrant human being.  {Tweet it!}  If you are talking yourself out of that fact, you are doing yourself a major disservice.  We all have a million reasons for why we can’t change something negative in our lives.  We convince ourselves that our responsibilities outweigh our need for fulfillment.  We tell ourselves that no one loves their job, and we just have to do what we have to do.  We tell ourselves that now just isn’t a good time.  This kind of negative, limiting self-talk is exactly what keeps you stuck, and what keeps you going back to that bottle of wine, that slice of pizza, or that pint of ice cream after a long day of uninspiring work that you hate.

So for just one minute, let yourself move past all the reasons why you can’t, and think about why you must.  What are you sacrificing in your life to stay at that job?  How would your life be different if you were actually excited about going to work every day, and felt satisfied and fulfilled at the end of a long day.  This reality is a lot closer than you think.

But where to start?  Getting clear on exactly what makes you miserable about your job, as well as what you need from your career are a vital first step.  Whip out a notebook and follow the six steps below to start on the path towards finding a career you really love.

Step 1:  What’s not working?

Write down the five things about your job that drive you the craziest.  Maybe it’s your boss, or the hours, or just the reality of what you’re doing all day long.  This will help you to understand what exactly it is about your circumstances that isn’t working for you.  Maybe you’ll find that it’s not really your job that you hate, but the culture of your workplace.  In that case, finding a similar position in a different company, perhaps one that is more aligned with your ethos, is all you need!

Step 2:  What are your must-have’s?

So now that you know what isn’t working, get super clear on what you absolutely need.  Perhaps your salary is non-negotiable.  Health insurance, vacation days, etc.  But think about what you need on a deeper level as well!  A creative outlet, a self-directed work style, a flexible schedule.  Write down all of these must-have’s, and if you’d like, you can even expand your wish list to include aspects of a job you would really like to have realized, but aren’t deal-breakers.

Step 3:  What are you passionate about?

It totally breaks my heart that so many of us separate our passions from our careers.  Let me reiterate:  You will spend more of your life working than doing anything else.  So why would you settle for a career that doesn’t speak to your passions?  Write down the three things you are most passionate about.  Travel, health, beauty, art, child welfare, human rights, photography, film, writing… If you’re having trouble, think back to your high school and college years.  What electives did you take, what extracurricular activities were you most excited about, what were your obsessions (other than that guy in history class)?  Thinking back to a time when you allowed yourself to pursue your passions can provide wonderful insights into your calling or your life’s work.

Step 4:  What are you really good at?

Sometimes this is in line with your passions, and sometimes it isn’t.  But if you are amazing at something, it comes easy to you, and that makes for a much smoother work experience than the uphill struggle of fitting yourself into a mold that just isn’t you.  Maybe you’re awesome with numbers, or you’re amazing at inspiring people.  Perhaps you have great powers of persuasion, or are an amazing listener.  Think about what your friends come to you for.  Are you the person people call when they need help solving a problem, dealing with a difficult person in their life, or when they need the benefit of your wisdom and support?  Finding a job that plays to your strengths will be more enjoyable, easier, and you’ll be just plain better at it

Step 5:  What type of person are you?

Often times, the biggest culprit for being in jobs that we hate is that we’re doing the completely wrong thing for our personality.  A shy introverted person is going to miserable in a sales position, where they have to present to others and be outgoing.  A born leader is going to be miserable in a position that positions them as just one of the crowd, forced to take orders from a long chain of superiors.  What characteristics define you?  Your creativity? Enthusiasm?  Calm?  Write down what you come up with. Sometimes we need a little guidance figuring out these aspects of our character, and luckily there are tons of super enlightening tools out there to help you.  Start with Oprah’s self-assessment quiz, Who Are You Meant to Be?  Or jump into something more compressive, like the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment, and do some reading about your type.  Many profiles will list the types of careers that are best suited for your type, which is an awesome place to start.

Step 6:  Put it all together.

Objectively look at all the information you wrote down… What picture is starting to emerge?  If you wrote down that what you hate about your job is the tedious computer work, one of your must-have’s is an active workday, you’re passionate about travel, you’re good at problem-solving, and you’re the type of person who needs freedom and creativity to feel fulfilled, what kind of career could fit that profile?  Perhaps something with travel and a self-directed work style like a consultant position where companies fly you in to solve some specific issue that you’re amazing with.  If nothing is coming out at you, hand your list over to a trusted friend or loved one, and ask them what career they think your list describes.

Simply taking the first step of allowing yourself to dream of a different career is huge.  Really accept and sit with the idea that you deserve to do something you love, and that it is totally possible!!

{Image: CareerBuilder}