Kate most recently worked at Starbucks in Seattle as a business systems manager. She recently relocated to Atlanta. I got to interview her sitting on my front porch! It was her first week in her new role as business owner. I see in her face she has found what she loves. It’s like she has “come home” and is grounded in who she is. Read on …

Through working with me as her coach, Kate’s determined that her dream job is owning a cleaning franchise. She just started this month and is already getting into being a business owner and entrepreneur. Here’s her story:

How did you uncover your dream job?
I always knew I wanted to own a business but never felt creative or innovative enough to do so. I had the entrepreneurial spirit, however, and I learned I had everything it takes to run a business from working at my corporate jobs. Going through a visualization process with Hallie helped me decide to pursue this path. I discovered my “future self” – – the person I want to be both inside and outside of work. In doing so, I also learned that I needed a career that would fit this vision. I went in search of a business franchise that would fit my values, my purpose and my dream of owning a business. I looked at opportunities and found The Cleaning Authority.

What steps have you taken to make this happen?
Oh man—the biggest thing I had to do was find financing to get started. I got a small business loan. It takes time and persistence to do that, but I made it happen. Other steps were managing mental challenges – overcoming fears, doubts, insecurities, acknowledging my negative voices and overcoming them to make my dream a reality.

What challenges have you encountered along the way, and how have you handled them?
Handling my negative inner voices was huge for me. Through coaching, what really sunk in for me was to think about what’s true about these voices, what’s not, and how they can propel me forward or hold me back. Now when I hear those voices, I can ask myself why this is happening and what I need to do to turn it into a problem to solve. Another obstacle was that housecleaning is not an exciting or glamorous career. But for me, I look at it as a local service to the community, a growth opportunity, and it’s simple. Keeping it simple has made me a better person. Being connected in the community is also important to me, it’s one of my values.

What has helped you most in this process?
Having the coaching appointments is like going to the gym and having a trainer. I was held accountable and responsible to look at myself, take care of myself and think about my future. It also made me realize how important it is to continue this kind of personal development and growth. As life changes, you need to re-evaluate your goals and what you want from time to time. Working with Hallie enabled me to do that.

How have you managed to deal with the naysayers and stay the course?
A lot of people asked why I wanted to clean houses. They said “So many people are already doing it.” Or ”Why not do it on your own?” I would tell them why I was doing it and why I thought it was a good idea. When I told them, they’d say they hadn’t thought about it that way. Now some of my biggest naysaysers are my biggest supporters. I got through this by focusing on what was going to work best for me. People could sense my commitment to it, and my belief in it. They could hear that, and it changed their minds. I stuck with what I believed.

What lessons have you learned? What surprises have you discovered?
This is my first week with employees (Big grin). I found that I like my job! It shouldn’t be such a huge discovery but it is! It will be stressful and there will be hard times but it’s simple and it fits me and feels good. I know I can handle the challenges.

How has this experience changed you?
I’ve changed so much through coaching and this process. I’m more confident, and self-assured, it’s like I’m more myself. I can be myself and not worry about others judging me. (Smile and laughter.)

Any “words of wisdom” to share with others who are taking steps to create their own paths?
Let it happen. Throw away the machismo, the superiority complex, and just get to what you really want-whatever it is. Who cares if it’s not glamorous, and if it is and that’s what you want, then look at why you want it. If that’s one of your values and it’s important to you, great. As long as you understand your values, and do something that meets them you’ll be happy. Do something that matters to you.

Want to get clear on your direction in 2007? Check out my new teleclass in January, Unlocking Your Purpose.

We all have areas of our life where we feel “stuck.” We want to make a change, but for whatever reasons we’re like a music CD on repeat mode, playing the same song over and over. Once you define your purpose, you’ll be able to break out of those repetitive cycles and begin to lead a more fulfilling life (instead of letting your life “lead you”).