MSC, LMHC, NCC
Restorer Of Work-Life Balance. Retired Corporate Project Manager. Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Family Law Child Specialist. Wife. Mother. CrossFit Guru. Multi-Business Entrepreneur. Key To Achieving The Life Of Your Dreams.
Career Planning at 12
Sometimes we choose our path in life and at other times it falls in our lap. I knew at the age of 12 that I wanted to be a counselor that worked with children. During my first week at overnight soccer camp, my roommate and classmate whom I barely knew handed me a note to give the counselor in the morning.
I read the note and quickly realized my roommate had no intention of waking up the next day – this was a suicide note.
I spent the entire night “talking her off the ledge” and then promptly ran to practice the next morning as if nothing ever happened. In that moment, I realized I had a gift of helping others and started to plan my career as a Child Psychologist.
Money & Lifestyle Are Sometimes Just Not Enough
Just before high school graduation, I compared the salaries of a psychologist and a software engineer. My goal to become a counselor ended with high school and I went off to college pursuing the high paying salary of Computer Science.
I began my career as a Software Engineer and Project Manager in the male-dominated semiconductor industry. I traveled to numerous countries working on all aspects of a project from the financial ROIs, project schedule, to analysis and design, implementation, quality assurance, production release, and project post mortem.
After 10 years, it appeared as though I was truly living with a supportive spouse, 2 wonderful boys, a nice home, great vacations, and the salary to support the lifestyle. However, there was still a looming sense of dissatisfaction. I soon discovered that although I was a highly skilled Project/Product Manager, I preferred working with people over the development of the technology.
My passion and gifts were out of alignment with my profession.
Going Back to The Dream
In 2005, I took a leap of faith and left corporate America to pursue my Masters of Counseling degree. During this time, I volunteered as a mobile Crisis Specialist which truly opened my eyes to the severity of the mental health issues in my own community.
Symptoms of depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and suicide abounded, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. I completed my degree and opened a community based private practice, Crossroad Counseling Journey (non-profit) in 2008 and Crossroad Counseling Services in 2010.
Super Mom Does It All..
For the next 4 years, my story looks like that of every “Super Mom” you see in the media.
I worked in the office full-time with clients, ran my boys to/from school every day, coached their soccer teams, maintained our family home, and fell in love with an intense CrossFit routine 5 days a week. It seemed as though I should be able to do it all – as that is how women are portrayed in the media.
My mom worked 40 hours as an elementary school principal while completing a doctoral dissertation on a typewriter, surely I could handle this schedule. When I compared my life to those of the friends around me, it seemed we were all juggling the same things.
So why then did I feel like I was in danger of cracking and barely hanging on to a fraying rope?
…and Then It Undoes Her!
In October 2013, after a financial crisis in my business that almost forced the doors to close – I broke.
At that time, not only was I in a financial crisis, my health was suffering as I no longer had time for my own workouts or self-care. My spouse was working out of state 3 out of 4 weeks, and I took on a “single mom” role. (My hat off to all single mothers – you are AMAZING women of strength!).
The stress of the imbalance crept up on me so slowly, to the point that I didn’t even realize I had been suffering from chronic insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, and migraines for over 3 months. Life as I knew it was severely out of balance and I did not have any idea where to begin to restore equilibrium.
There is A Way To Be Found
First thing I did was confide in my spiritual mentor and shared for the first time that I was in desperate need for help. She suggested I take some time for myself, away from the chaos of life, to spend some time understanding all that was going on in my life.
Fortunately, I was able to attend an R&R retreat in late October amongst a group of amazing women. It was there that the idea of working “smarter not harder” transformed from a mere idea I was blessed with in Dec 2010 to an actual plan of action.
In that moment I realized that I could find a way to combine my gift of helping people with a business that was not restricted by the insurance regulations of traditional counseling. I could live my purpose and create an income that supports the lifestyle I desire for my family.
More Money Lessons
Due to the help of a great mentor/coach that I invested in following the retreat, I learned how my money habits were causing a strain in my business, which resulted in less time with my family and for me.
The harder I worked the less money I made. It didn’t matter if I earned 6-figures or $1,000 (yes, there were some very low times) – the feeling of being overwhelmed never went away.
The insight about my beliefs about money, many of which had a family of origin tie, led to the ability to finally make decisions that gave me joy and pulled me one step closer to the life I imagined.
I made a number of courageous steps in my business which allowed me more time with my number one priority – my family.
Finally Balance is Achieved
After a few months of soul searching and mentoring, I was able to restore work-life balance in all areas of my life.
I eventually found time for myself again and discovered intentional personal time and exercise really do create MORE energy, not fatigue.
Drawing upon 20 years of experiences as a corporate Project Manager, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Family Law Child Specialist, I am dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs grow their business, enjoy their family, thrive in their relationships, pamper themselves, and live the life imagined.