Starting Over: Tips on how to Bounce Back in Difficult Times

Natural disaster. Divorce. Death of a loved one. Job loss. Career change.

There’s not one of us who has escaped major change in our lives. And whether you bring on major change yourself or circumstances beyond your control are thrust upon you, starting over is never easy.

In fact, major life change can bring with it extreme heartache, debilitating stress and despair.

But you can do it. You have the means within yourself to recuperate and grow from any life-altering situation. Truly.

If you or a loved one is facing an experience that requires “starting over,” keep the following points in mind. They’ll help you get through a very difficult time with greater peace-of-mind and grace.

Take time to let go.
Starting over often happens due to traumatic events. Even when you initiate the change that requires starting over, grief is natural. Take the necessary time to grieve your losses. Your timeframe for mourning may be different than someone else’s, so be true to your own needs.

Be gentle with yourself.
If ever there was a time to love and nurture yourself, it would be now. Go easy and be sweet with yourself. Take rest when you need it. Say no to anything but the essential, and use that extra time to sleep, walk in nature, visit with supportive friends. Just be.

One step at a time.
Starting over can feel overwhelming at first, so pay attention to one step at a time. For example, if your home has been devastated by fire or another disaster, take care of your immediate housing needs and safety first before you turn to the bigger question of where to live in the long run.

Take consistent baby steps.
You will make more progress (and it will feel easier) if you focus on accomplishing regular, small tasks rather than large ones now and then. It will also help you move through the times when you feel so overwhelmed that you can’t seem to do anything. Acknowledge each and every step as an accomplishment. Each and every one is.

Accept the change.
Whatever has happened has simply “happened.” It just is. Try to avoid “what if” scenarios or feeling guilty or creating stories to explain why it happened. Hard as it might seem, acceptance helps you embrace the process of starting over.

Make an attitude adjustment.
Starting over can be as easy as changing your mind or your attitude. Instead of being fearful of change and what lies ahead, embrace the potential that change makes possible. Try to view it as adventurous, perhaps even exhilirating. You may learn to celebrate change rather than trying to avoid it.

Set realistic deadlines.
When it comes to the tasks required of starting over, it’s helpful to set deadlines for yourself. But give yourself ample time to accomplish them. For example, you might set a date to attend a support group to help you deal with the pain of loss.

Learn new skills if necessary.
Starting over might mean having to learn some new skills. If you lost your job, you might need or want to go back to school. If you lost a longtime spouse, you might have to learn how to date again. Be open to learning. It’s a positive way to start over and have some fun at the same time.

Create a support team.
Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members for help, or attend support groups. And know when to seek help from professionals.

People who are more resilient use these strategies to build their strength and capacity to lead a resilient life. They choose to embrace the unpredictability of life, the pain and the adversity because they know that the rewards they gain are priceless. Like it or not, change is inevitable. Learn to accept, embrace and grow from the change. Starting over will feel easier, and you be able to go with the flow more gracefully. It may not feel like it at the time, but slow and steady steps will help you heal, grow and evolve into a more rounded being who can bounce back when life knocks you down.


How do you keep going when the going gets tough? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or tweet @marshallbcoach.


Goal Setting: How to Create a Clear Vision and Path for your Career

It’s a new year, time for making plans and setting goals for your health, relationships and lifestyle; but what about your career? Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve in your working life is key to achieving your goals and enjoying success. Do you know what you want your future to look like?

Why Set Goals?

Top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your career.

Here are some steps you can take to help you articulate your vision statement for your career which will help you achieve your goals.

• Set aside some time. Creating a vision for your career cannot and should not be rushed. After all, you are going to be spending the majority of your time at work, so you may as well spend some careful consideration when planning.
Review your goals and values: Write or type out what you are currently doing and what is important to you for a healthy working life.

Long Term Goals: What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at, what type of work is important to you?

Short Term Goals: What knowledge or skills do I need? What industry should I focus on?

• What would your career be like if you had the power to make it any way you wanted?

• Imagine yourself in the future at a point in which you have achieved great career success. What is it that you have accomplished? What does your life look like?

• Where would you like to be in your career in 5 years? In 10 years? In 15 years?

These are just a few simple questions to get your creative juices going. Once you start to express your feelings and thoughts about your career, you will start to see a plan form. Keep your statement nearby where you can read it regularly to inspire you. Revisit it often to make sure you are staying on track and to reinforce the image of you in our ideal career which will help you both consciously and subconsciously develop goals and action steps that will lead you to success.
Have you created a Vision for your Career? Leave a comment here or head on over to our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or tweet @marshallbcoach and share your experience!


Top Ten Ways to Start and Maintain a Good Year

The best way to have a good year is by living life on a daily basis, letting the good days accumulate, one by one. And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to resolve to have a good year. Start anytime. Today, for instance.

  1. Take time, slow down. Be present in your life and mindful of the present.
  2. Care for your body, eat well, exercise, treat yourself to loving, nurturing self-care.
  3. Spend quality time with family and friends. Communicate, keep in touch. Say I love you. Tell people you appreciate them.
  4. Take time throughout the day to renew yourself. Take a walk, read a poem or a good book, listen to music (really listen); bring beauty into your life. On a monthly basis, take a whole day for yourself — play, treat yourself to something you want to do; retreat from your daily life. Mark these special days on your calendar (in ink) so you’ll be certain to take them.
  5. Clean up what needs to be cleaned up. Make amends, fix what’s broken, clear away clutter, forgive what needs to be forgiven and let go.
  6. Commit to a project you really want to do or to learning something new or attaining something you want. Commitment is the first step. Then set achievable goals and work toward them on a daily basis.
  7. Give yourself to a cause, volunteer at a nonprofit organization, a community group, your church or lend a hand to an individual or family who could use your help.
  8. Practice your spirituality in whatever form you express it, on a daily basis.
  9. Laugh every day.
  10. Take time to dream.

It is tempting to make grand New Year’s resolutions, but as we all know, many of these fall by the wayside too quickly leading to disappointment. The key to maintaining promises you make to yourself is to take one step at a time. When you create achievable goals, they are easier to reach and each success builds momentum to spur you on. So don’t berate yourself if you fall at the first hurdle; gather your thoughts, take a deep breath and start again. You will soon realize you have made great progress and are living life to the fullest.

Share your favorite tip with us on Twitter and be sure to tag @marshallbcoach.

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New Beginnings – A Partnership with TMC

It is with great pleasure that I fill you blog readers in on the latest goings-on in my world, an exciting strategic partnership with Transition Management Consulting, Inc. (TMC). My team as well as myself will be traveling across the country to support TMC with trainings, executive talent recruitment, organizational assessments and so much more!

How do I feel about all this? Well, I am delighted to partner with TMC and to expand the services offered by Marshall Brown & Associates, LLC. This partnership expands our reach into the association and nonprofit communities. Simply put, it is a win-win for all of us and our clients. And we’re fortunate that TMC is happy to have us as part of their team. TMC president Jackie Eder-Van Hook, PhD said, “I have long admired Marshall Brown for his relationship building skills, clarity of purpose, and tenacity in getting to the core of any situation. TMC is honored to have Marshall join our talented network of consultants.”



TMC serves as a trusted advisor to associations and nonprofits. The organization provides high quality transition services to address executive leadership successions throughout the country and we’re very excited for this strategic partnership and what it means for us all.

Thanks so much for staying up to date on our behind-the-scenes action! If you’d like more (and there’s always just a bit more), feel free to sign up to receive our newsletter or connect with us on social media. We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and would love to connect with you there.


Can You Really “Have it All”?

Recently, I sent out a newsletter to my subscribers that detailed how to establish that elusive balance between your work and your personal life. It was met with a positive response but you’re still wondering if you really can “have it all” in this time of economic uncertainty within most industries.

Well, I hear you asking and so I’m answering! The truth is this: Yes, you can have it all but you might not be able to have it all, all at the same time.



Undoubtedly, you’re aware that it takes sacrifice to get to the top of your game, whether that be personally or professionally. When you’re creating a family, your career might need to be put on hold and, as you nurture your career, you may find yourself with less time to invest in your personal life. This is the inevitable balance of progress in our world. There is give and there is take and you have to accept the ebbs and flows in order to move forward with grace and focus.


Now, not being able to have it all, all at the same time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being aware that not every aspect of your life will flourish simultaneously is actually quite liberating.

With the knowledge that you will need to maintain balance in order to keep your work and personal lives alive even when needing to more heavily invest in one or the other, you will make better choices with both your time and resources. You’ll be aware of your tendency to let one side or the other slip and can stay on top of your basic needs to keep yourself balanced enough to remain grounded and successful in all areas.

If you missed the newsletter on achieving and maintaining that delicate balance, you can view it in my news section now but be sure to sign up to receive future emails so you don’t miss the next one!


How to Use the Law of Attraction in Your Career

You may already know that I had the honor of being interviewed by for an article on using the Law of Attraction in your job search. I happen to love using the Law of Attraction in many areas of my life but I find it especially useful when working with my executive and leadership coaching clients in their respective careers. From climbing the corporate ladder to complete changes in direction, the tools in the Law of Attraction aid progression and promotion incredibly. Here are a few ways to use to the Law of Attraction in your career to get clear, get focused, and get ahead! by Pong by Pong

1. Decide What it is You Want. It’s an unfortunate truth that many people get stuck serving the same organization unhappily for most, if not all, of their careers. Imagine the nightmare of working somewhere you don’t love, doing a job that doesn’t satisfy you, until retirement. Investing the time to examine yourself, your skills, and your priorities will help you to decide exactly what it is that you want from your career.

2. Renew Your Level of Commitment. Once you’re clear on what you want, fully commit to that cause. Every action you take in your career should be a step in the direction of your goals, whatever they may be. Stay focused and dedicated to your dreams and you’ll get there.

3. Know that Something Better is Coming. Part of the Law of Attraction is having faith that your proactive choices and everyday commitment to your goals will bring about the changes you want to see. Sometimes it may seem that the process is taking too long or that you’ll never reach your “final” destination. Know that it’s coming and that you’re learning valuable lessons along the way; lessons that will serve you greatly when you finally get wherever it is that you’re going.

4. Focus on Your Goals. Use some quiet time every day to imagine your life when you’ve achieved your dreams. Picture yourself behind your executive desk in your big corner office or soaking up the sun during a well-deserved vacation once that bonus check clears. Using your mind, each and every day, to envision the life you’re preparing yourself to live will foster the development of that new reality for you.

These are just a few actionable tools you can implement today to use the Law of Attraction in your career. I have a variety of career coaching tools available on my website, but if you feel as though you could use some personalized support to create your own game plan for success, contact me today for a complimentary consultation!

Have you used the Law of Attraction to achieve your goals? Leave a comment here or head on over to our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or tweet @marshallbcoach and share your experience!



Virtual Access to the National Career Summit



Did you miss the 2013 National Career Summit? It was packed with information, knowledge, and wisdom from 30 experts in business, communication, and networking! While the live event has passed, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that there is still time to subscribe to the National Career Summit and when you do, you’ll get access to the Virtual Summit!

This is particularly exciting for those who struggle to travel and couldn’t take time away to attend a conference this year. The Virtual Summit access includes recorded lectures from the professionals, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who spoke in November and offers exceptional information on:

* How to handle challenging interview questions.

* Create a jaw-dropping, attention-grabbing, job-securing resume.

* Branding yourself and your business.

* Using social media to land a great job, or create one for yourself.

and so much more!

For a limited time, you can gain lifetime access to 32 audio recordings from the National Career Summit at an 80% discount. With the Gold level membership, you’ll receive:

1) Immediate downloads of 32 audios from our Job and Career Summit Experts on multiple topics: resume writing, interview skills, networking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, negotiating, and so much more!
2) A Print Copy of “101 Great Ways to Compete in Today’s Job Market”

3) “Break all the Rules and Get that Dream Job!” E-book – by Liz Ryan
4) “Five Critical Mistakes You Are Making in Your Career” E-book – by Felicia Gopaul
5) “101 Great Ways to Skyrocket Your Career” E-book – Created by Michelle Riklan in conjunction with members of Career Director’s International
6) “101 Job-Seeking Tips for Recent College Grads!” E-book – by Michelle Riklan
7) “MORE on the Art of Cultivating Professional References” audio program from Wendy L. Yost
8) The Success Principles Downloadable Workbook from Jack Canfield
9) “How to Survive and Thrive During Our Economic Crisis” E-book – by the Community
10) “7 Steps to the Job You Want” from Hero School
11) “7 Secrets to Financial Freedom” audio program created by Savannah Ross, aka Rich Mom
12) “Success Tweets” E-book – by Bud Bilanich
13) “From Impossible To Possible Is A Quest” Audio Program with Paul Lawrence Vann
14) “Mastering the Job Interview” E-book – by Career Coach Sean Cook

To get all the details and enjoy the benefits of the National Career Summit today, visit the website here!





Secrets from Great Networkers

We all know that to succeed in business, one must have (and use) a network. We work hard to create a web of like-minded individuals that support us, defend us, and are there when we need a favor. Likewise, as we create and nurture these relationships, we need to be prepared to offer the same in return. Unfortunately, making contacts and turning business cards into a dependable rolodex of steadfast colleagues is easier said than done. For those that may struggle, here are some secrets from great networkers.

Leave the office. That’s right, out with you! You’ll never make lasting, meaningful connections with people if you stay behind your desk all day, every day, so get out! Whether you are most suited for conferences, luncheons, or charitable events (or all three), sign up, show up, and make a great first impression.

Look for kindred spirits. Many introverted individuals struggle with networking because it’s often thought of as moving through a room collecting as many business cards as possible. This is often unhealthy and unproductive for a more quiet, shy person so reframe your thinking about networking. Instead of having a goal of obtaining a fistful of new contacts, look for just one or two kindred spirits. Focus and connect with those people who “get” you and your work and you’ll look forward to maintaining that rapport for years to come.

Remember quality trumps quantity. It’s perfectly acceptable to be picky about your own personal and professional network. You may not be able to choose your family but you most definitely can hand-pick the people you want to be supported by and support in return. While you may be able to work a room and speak with many individuals who are eager to connect with you more later; take a moment to think about who they are, what they have to offer, and how you could work together in the future. If you’re struggling to come up with answers, it’s not a quality connection and will not serve you well.

Do not be afraid. Put yourself and your business out there! Be a bit vulnerable, honest, and forthright with who you are, what you do, and where you’re going in the future. Those who reject you wouldn’t have helped you anyway, even if you had made an initial contact. You will never be sorry for authenticity.

With a bit of reframing, courage, and positivity, creating a grand network isn’t quite as daunting as it once seemed. Despite so much of business becoming virtual, it appears as though the socialization that precedes creating a slew of supporters will remain a necessity for professionals indefinitely. The power of the network is here to stay.

Tell me, what’s your best networking secret? Visit our Facebook page and join in on the conversation as we share how to get and keep a great network!


Job and Career Advice from 30 Leading Experts







Please join me and 29 other leading job and career experts for the National Career Summit, a virtual training event that can be accessed from your computer or phone…beginning Monday, November 4th.

You’ll receive expert Job and Career Advice – All for FREE!

For your FREE ticket, please click here.

You’ll learn step by step how to compete from over 30 Leading Job & Career Experts For FREE!

During this event, we’ll show you:

  • How you can ensure your résumé lands on the top of the pile.
  • How you can effectively handle challenging interviews and win the job.
  • How to find the hidden jobs that aren’t listed on the job boards.
  • How you can brand yourself and recession-proof your career.
  • How you can develop skills that will rapidly improve your marketability.
  • How you can land a job using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Plus a whole lot more…

To register today for your FREE ticket, please click here.

We are looking forward to helping you compete in Today’s Job Market.


Developing the Next Set of Leaders for Your Organization

Many baby boomers will retire in the next five or ten years, and yet; most organizations don’t even have a solid plan for developing their next leaders.

When asked, current senior leaders said they learned mostly from experience, especially when they were just starting out. Others said their previous bosses and training programs helped as well.

And yet, despite knowing this, leaders currently in position don’t take the time to find and develop their successors. In most cases, it’s an organizational trend: the current boss learned on-the-job, they rarely received help from current or retired leaders of the organization, and so they don’t feel responsible to do the same for the person next in line.

Why is this important?

If the next leaders of your organization won’t be able to sustain or improve upon what is left to their charge, then what use are your plans, budgets, and strategies for the coming years?

The expectations for future leaders are also higher compared to what it was before. It’s no longer enough to have extensive experience on a specific department because diversity and a broader knowledge of an organization’s operations are now essential for a leader to be successful.

It’s also not enough to choose a leader based on performanceas many organizations have proven thatsuperstar employees aren’t always superstar leaders.

Take a Minute to Answer these Questions

  • What am I doing to find a worthy successor for my position?
  • Am I providing enough time and mentoring for the organization’s next set of leaders?
  • Do we have enough candidates to fill leadership positions that may open up in the future? Remember, not everyone with the potential to lead can actually rise up to the challenge.
  • Do we have a step-by-step method for selecting and preparing employees for leadership positions?

Don’t just pick someone and then hang him or her out to dry; make sure your organizations next set of leaders will be prepared to continue the legacy.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Take responsibility for developing the next set of leaders for your organization. It’s not enough to say that you support the cause. Spend time with potential leaders, so you can assess their potential and answer questions they may have about the company and the position’s responsibility.
  • Work with other leaders in the organization to define the competencies, experience and behaviors that a new leader would need to do the work required of him. You should also review the current market and competitors to get a better understanding of what it would take the next leader to succeed, once he takes over the role.If you skip this step, you run the risk of hiring the same type of leaders repeatedly, which means the company will likely be stagnant- if not left behind by competitors who have evolved to meet the demands of the market.
  • Assign people to do different tasks. Potential leaders must be exposed to different jobs in the company, because this is the only way they will learn how the business works from different points of view.

Don’t forget about the people issues! After selecting potential leaders, mentoring them, and exposing them to other parts of the organization, the next step is to train them to handle the human side of the business.

Leaders don’t deal on numbers alone; they also face issues – tons of employee issues! Teach them how to help struggling employees, how to provide feedback, how to inspire others, and more importantly, how to instill accountability. Without this skill, they won’t be half as effective as they could be.

Share how you prepare your employees for leadership positions  #prepareleaders or on our Facebook page.


Interested in a proven leadership development program for your staff or your members?

“Take the Leadership Challenge” focuses on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, developed by authors and researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. In a highly interactive, experience-based approach, your staff, your members and you learn an:

  • Understanding of your own leadership style
  • An appreciation of other leadership styles
  • An increase in credibility and courage as a leader
  • More capability and willingness to provide leadership for their organization
  • Essential skills to improve and achieve better results for their own staff
  • An ongoing action plan and a commitment to do things differently

The goal of the program is to provide participants with the necessary skills and tools to master the essential areas of leadership and to become a truly effective leader. The target audience for the program is those individuals that are already involved with leading a team or are just beginning the process in their organization.

Some of my clients have also offered it to their membership as part of their professional development and leadership programing. It can be an additional source of revenue!

I am confident that this will be of value to you and your association. Contact me to discuss questions, next steps, pricing etc.



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