What Makes This a Good Life for You?

Recently, I noticed something that might seem obvious.

When we get to be ourselves, we tend to be happy.

This struck me after I coached two clients back-to-back. The first client is doing work she loves that really engage all of her strengths doing work she is passionate about. The second client is doing too much of the back office work in his business instead of the creative work he loves.

Both at work and at home, the more all of our strengths and interests are engaged, the more life feels good to us. When our strengths are frustrated, overused or underused, well, we just aren’t very happy.

What Makes this a Good Life for You?

The simple act of taking this photo makes my own top strengths super happy.  Maximizer loves the symmetry I captured.  Empathy feels the artist.  Connectedness feels the connection of art, artist, nature and art appreciator.  Activator just had to take the picture.  Individualization chose to photograph only two pieces and this was one of them.

What about you? If you know your StrengthsFinder strengths, please do share your ideas and insights below.

If you’d like more direction for your good life, take the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment. And, if you’d like some strengths coaching, I’d be happy to help!

Join the conversation – comment below.

Is It Time for Your Powerful Contribution?

I’m so excited about contribution right now. In a few months, I will finally be finished writing my second book, Strong from Within! I just completed mentoring a client to coach his clients more deeply. I’m also supporting two clients right now in employing more people locally.

More people living strong from within. More people receiving deeper coaching so they can make their contributions. More people doing work they love right in their own communities. I feel deeply honored to facilitate these contributions.

What about you? What do you know is your powerful contribution? Or next powerful contribution?

  • Would you love support in getting your book written?
  • Do you have a gift to give your community?
  • Might I help you coach more deeply?
  • Are you soul-searching to discern your next contribution?
  • How could coaching support you in making your powerful contribution?

With so many aspects of life seeming unstable right now, the world needs your specific gifts, your irreplaceable contribution.

Is It Time for Your Powerful Contribution?

If you’d like to talk with me about coaching you, let’s use the wonderful energy of the new season to plant your seeds and bring your contribution to reality!

Our coaching conversation would be my gift to you. If we both sense it would be a good fit, we can talk about how we could work together.

If we’re not a good fit, that’s okay too. At the very least, we’ll have had a great conversation about your important contribution!

I begin work with only 2 or 3 new clients each season. If you sense one of them might be you, schedule your coaching conversation and apply here.

To making the world a better place, one powerful contribution at a time!

Join the conversation ~ post your insights, feedback and experiences below.

What If You Didn’t Hate to Sell?

Right now, several of my clients are looking at how to sign up more clients.  They all feel challenged because they either hate to sell, wish they didn’t have to sell or both.  Maybe you can relate?

So, we’re looking at their love of deep meaningful conversation.  We’re coaching around how they love to know what’s really going on for potential clients.  We’re diving deep into how those people’s lives and businesses would change, even transform, if they hired my client.

So what about you?  If you reconsidered selling as a deep, meaningful conversation, what might shift for you?  If you realized that finding out what’s really going on for someone might be an opportunity to offer your help, how would that feel to you?

What If You Didn’t Hate to Sell?

Photo credit: Harli Marten on Unsplash.com

If you had these wonderful conversations with your whole focus on the other person and her world, might that help take your self-conscious focus off your feelings about “selling”?

As always, post your comments, experiences and insights below . . .

What Do Your Clients Really Want?

As professionals, we have a tendency to talk about our services in terms of our tools and processes. Our clients don’t care about how we do what we do. They want to know that we can help them get to what they desire. And to the deeper desire under that desire.

The more you deeply listen to what your potential clients and clients tell you, the more clearly and accurately you will understand their desires and their deepest desires under those desires.

If you’re a business coach, your clients might talk about making more money, doing more fulfilling work or getting more focused. For each client, what is beneath those desires? There are as many answers as there are clients.

Maybe one client wants to make more money to ensure her daughter can go to the college of her choice. Why is that important to her? Maybe she feels it’s her job to do all she can to set her daughter up for success.

Maybe another client wants to make more money to retire sooner. Why is that important to him? Maybe he would love to devote more time to his passion of restoring old trucks.

Maybe another client wants to make more money because she’s single and she wants to take good care of herself.

What Do Your Clients Really Want?

I have a deep desire to make more money so that I can spend even more time with my family and friends in beautiful, spacious natural environments.  (Taken Jan 18, 2017 from the top of Beaver Creek ski area on my 25th annual ski trip with my 3 sisters.)

If you’re a chiropractor or massage therapist, your clients might talk about feeling better or paying more attention to their bodies. What’s underneath that desire right now? Maybe they’ve had a health scare, maybe they want a health partner rather than trying to figure things out on their own or maybe they want to be more pro-active and self-sufficient by learning more about their health.

The more you ask potential clients and clients something like, “Tell me more about why that’s important to you,” the more you can understand their deepest desire and the more you can help them fulfill them.

What’s your sense of how you might go deeper with learning what your clients desire? I’d love your comments and insights below.

How Do Your Strengths Influence What You Value about Coaching?

Coaching since 1997, I have noticed that we all hire coaches to help us create more fulfilling lives. The wonderful and fascinating thing about consciously creating our lives: there are as many ways to do it as there are people on the planet.

Perhaps that’s why we have so many types of coaching – from business to intimacy, from spiritual to success, from health to grief. Over the years, I myself have worked with 14 different coaches. Each for different reasons.

And I have noticed patterns about why people hire coaches based on their strengths.

Strategic Thinkers hire me as a thinking partner and for accountability.

Executing folks either hire me to help them get even more stuff done or to improve their relationships. People who have the Executing strength of Responsibility in their top 5 usually hire me to learn how to (finally) be responsible to themselves first or to deepen their spiritual practice.

Relationship Builders hire me to create a connection and learn more about themselves through our relationship. They love it when I help them see their blind spots.

Influencers hire me to leverage their reach with people. They are often interested in how to move even more people or how to influence them more deeply.

train tracks
What makes your life fulfilling and meaningful?

So, what about you? Do you know your top 5 strengths? What have you noticed has brought you the greatest value from coaching?

(If you don’t know your StrengthsFinder strengths, I highly recommend that you invest $19.99 and 30 – 40 minutes to learn what makes you one-of-a-kind! That’s me at my Influencing best.)

I would love your thoughts and responses. Post comments and insights below . . .

Evoking the Best of You: Activated by Martin Luther King, Jr

Today is Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. Almost every year at this time I write about how he has influenced me.

While taking my Strengths Strategy Coaching certification course last year, my trainer and mentor DeAnna used him as a shining example of the best of the StrengthsFinder Activator strength. With Activator as my #4 strength, I felt a renewed sense of our kinship and a renewed commitment to Activate people in a way that makes this world a better place.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr for activating us to greater love for all people.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr for activating
us to greater love for all people.

His dream involved nonviolence, justice and equality, social and political reform.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr

My dream involves each of us as individuals dissolving the old patterns and habits that bind us. Deeply connecting with and honoring ourselves so that we can fully express ourselves. For me, Martin Luther King Jr serves as a brilliant example of fully expressing himself.

“I fiercely hold the vision of this person in front of me loving and valuing themselves no matter what, so that they may offer the world the one-of-a-kind gift of their self-expression.”
– Ann Strong

What about you? What is your dream? How can I Activate you to take your next step in the direction of that dream that only you can fulfill?

Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr.

Post your comments and insights below.


My book, “Thriving Work” is now available
on Kindle at Amazon for just $3.99:
Click here to order

Discovering Your Way: Strong Me, Strong You, for Heaven’s Sake!


I need your help!

Since 1989, I have been publishing a newsletter.  That was back in the day when it was printed, stamped and mailed – through the post office!

Human evolution must be speeding up.  The first three newsletters, Taplight, Success Notebook and Sacred Space Notebook, all had good runs for many years.  Similar content about being the Light that we are, with slightly different focuses.  Then, Sacred Space Notebook morphed into G Notes last year. Yet the “G” never settled down: Genius, Godness, Goddess, Grace . . .

Last week, Born-for-This Notes wanted a turn.  The idea is accurate, yet it does not roll off the tongue.  G Notes rolls off the tongue, but which G?  I’m both amused and a little bit embarrassed that I’m doing my marketing testing right before your very eyes!

pink flower

May the name of the newsletter/ezine be as
clear and radiant as this flower I encountered
on my walk yesterday!

People have been asking me for two decades why my business isn’t named Strong Coaching.  And, this was before I had started working with StrengthsFinder.™  The coaching isn’t about me and it seemed too corny.  Thus, I created a community, Thriving Coaches, and wrote a book, “Thriving Work.” My blog has been “Strong You, Strong Biz” since February 2009.

This week, the newsletter/ezine is “Strong-You Notes.”  I would love to settle into a name for this ezine.  And, I’m holding that desire lightly!

Has something jumped out for you?  I would love your help!

Post your comments and your vote below.

StrengthsFinder™: Doesn’t Everybody Do That?

After six years of coaching clients around their strengths, I am still tickled and surprised when I acknowledge them for some amazing thing that they do and they say, “What do you mean?  Doesn’t everybody do that?”

Last week I was with my friend Gina walking a lovely neighborhood retail area with shops and restaurants.  We were hanging flyers for my upcoming StrengthsFinder™ workshop.  And, I got the pure joy of seeing all of her strengths come into play.

shining in our strengths

Each of our unique combinations of strengths causes each of us to shine, to be strong in the way that only we can!

In the first three restaurants she told me about something on the menu that she knew I specifically would love.  At the bookstore she held the door open for the shopkeeper carrying in boxes of books.  Then she offered to help her unload the car.  At the next restaurant, they didn’t have a place for flyers and she said in her gracious, sing-songy voice, “No is a perfectly acceptable answer.”  At the next bar, she told and the bartender that we were coming back for one of their specialty tequilas.  At the paper store she told the owner how the workshop could help her and her employees.  In the mobile fashion truck, she talked to the girl about bringing the truck to her birthday party.

And so Gina went for 5 or 6 more shops.  When we were walking to our cars, I said, “That was amazing.  I have hung many flyers in my life and never like that.  It was like you gave everyone we talked to a gift, or several gifts.  And, you knew exactly what to give each one of them.”  She looked at me so quizzically and then said, “doesn’t everybody do that?”

Ah . . .

We are so strong in our strengths that we don’t even know they are strengths.  They’re “just what I do.”

When I told Gina she could make very good money with her strengths she couldn’t understand why anyone would pay her to just hang some flyers!

Feel free to post your comments, insights and experiences with your strengths below.

My book, “Thriving Work” is now available
on Kindle at Amazon for just $3.99:
Click here to order

StrengthsFinder™: What Do Your Strengths Need?

One of my clients has the strengths of Input, Intellection and Ideation in her top 5 StrengthsFinder™ strengths.  If she doesn’t have an hour or two of alone time every day to think, reflect and mediate, she gets super cranky.  Another has Empathy as her top strength.  If she doesn’t have alone time every day without naturally feeling what others feel, then she gets cranky.  Different strengths.  Same need.  For different reasons.

My Empathy/Connectedness/Relator needs to have an authentic, deep, one-on-one connection with one or two people every day or I become disconnected.  My Competition/Achiever/Command niece needs to be challenged, provoked and have clear rules of engagement or she’s not interested.  While my Harmony/Empathy assistant needs us all to play nice or she’ll find nicer playmates.  Different strengths.  Different needs.  For different reasons.

All of us have strengths.  All of our strengths have needs.  Yet we rarely talk about the needs, lest we seem needy.



All of our strengths have needs.  And, it’s individual for each of us.  Same strength, different need.  Different strength, same need.  Different day, same strength different need.  Two of our own strengths, competing needs.  The trick: allowing all the needs, attending to all of the needs to receive the greatest value of the strengths.

To complicate matters, while each of our strengths have needs, the needs of one strength may conflict with the needs of another. Yikes, a bit of an internal battle.

If we acknowledge that we all have needs, does it make it a bit easier to talk about them?  If we acknowledge we sometimes have conflicting needs – both with those around us and within ourselves, does it help us work together and within ourselves to meet all of those needs?

Feel free to post your comments, insights and experiences below.