Friends, colleagues, clients, and strangers: Its time for me to get uncomfortable and share a personal goal I’ve set for myself. If I attain my goal, I will celebrate it with all of you. If I don’t, I will celebrate the fact that I ran toward what makes me happy – and I will always encourage you to do the same.
Last month, my teacher, coach, and friend Joanne Killmeyer forwarded me an email that literally made me giddy like a child. It was an email from Marshall Goldsmith announcing a program called 15 Coaches.
For those of you who don’t know who Marshall Goldsmith is, he is ranked as the #1 Executive Coach in the world, and is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. His work has influenced me personally and professionally. And when people play that game of “if you could have dinner with any living person who would it be?” he’s at the top of my list.
So, what is 15 coaches? Marshall Goldsmith is going to teach 15 people everything he knows. For free. The only “fee” is that the 15 people he teaches need to pay it forward and teach 15 more people (for free) when the time is right.
As of today, over 8,000 people have applied.
My goal: to be accepted into the 15 coaches program. Is this lofty? Yes. But I’ll take lofty over regret any day.
I thought about applying for the program for one week before I summoned up the courage to open the simple 4-question online application. I inundated my brain with self-doubt and false statements about all the reasons why I would never be accepted. And then I snapped out of my self-limiting-belief-spiral and realized I have just as good of a chance as every other person.
Do you know what happened when I decided to run toward this opportunity? My brain was inundated with happy thoughts. The first question on the application asked for my professional background. I had the privilege of going down memory lane and thinking about each distinct chapter I have had in my career, and I’ll share my chapter titles with you here:
Chapter 1: Rejection and triumph.
Chapter 2: Diversity and inclusion.
Chapter 3: Creativity and authenticity.
Chapter 4: Joy and meaning.
Chapter 5: Transformation and pride.
Question two was about what I do now. I got to think about all of the important work I do with clients on a daily basis. How I help people transform the way they participate in their lives, so that they can create more joy, purpose, and meaning to their being.
The third question, “Why should you be considered?” brought the most joy to me of all. I have a habit of looking back on past journal entries when I’m in need of inspiration. I re-read journals dating back to 2000 to comb for reasons why I might be worthy enough of such a gift as being accepted into the 15 coaches program. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful life journey I have experienced—so many moments forgotten and to relive them made me experience the joy of those moments all over again. What a gift.
I share these three entries with you, below, as a reminder to stay true to yourself. To never stop believing in your natural born gifts. Your dreams. Your truth. We are all more capable than we give ourselves credit for. The proof is in our journals and diaries.
The final question was the most energizing for me. It asked how I would pay this gift forward if selected. My answer: I will make financial contributions to organizations who support my passion for helping women succeed (with the goal of reaching $1 million in contributions by age 50). I will launch a scholarship program for college women with high potential to make great impact on the world. And best of all, I will proudly host my own 15 coaches program when the time is right.
I have pressed submit on my application. And now I wait. Anxious, excited, nervous, and mostly proud that I dared to throw my name into the pool of applicants. Individuals will be notified on 10/28. Wish me luck.
“Every decision in the world is made by the person who has the power to make the decision. Make peace with that.” — Peter Drucker, quoted from Marshall Goldsmith’s book, Triggers.