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  • mcauliffeemily

One of the best ways to enable change in work and life? Get physical. Four women tell us how.


“I had not ridden a bike in 15 years, and wanted to get back on one. But I was afraid of starting alone, going solo to a bike shop, riding by myself. All that freaked me out. So I was depending on someone to help me through it. And they were procrastinating. So I stopped waiting. I went to the store last weekend, and bought my bike and all my gear. And then went out and rode 21 miles. By. My. Self.” -- RSP Happy Hour attendee, July 19, 2021

BOOM.


Talk about overcoming fear. Taking a bold step toward change. And proving to herself that she can do something she didn’t think possible.


We all know physical exercise is good for body and brain. But how often do any of us think about -- really consider -- how effective a change enabler physical challenge can be? Members and guests at July’s RSP Happy Hour challenged us to do just that.


We heard from StudioME founder Megan Cooper about how building fitness into her life -- and aggressively protecting it as “me” time -- first gave her the strength, calm, and energy to support a close family member through a terminal illness, and then led her to a career pivot she never imagined as a trainer and owner of her own fitness studio. She now helps others take care of themselves while challenging themselves to achieve their own goals.


Repeat marathoner Sarah Whitcomb is no stranger to physical challenge. But she gave herself a new and scary way to tackle 26 miles not by running, but by hiking rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon in a single day. That’s 26 miles of distance, PLUS one mile up and one mile down in elevation. Her tips: COMMIT. Then research and prepare. And know that no matter how long it takes you, you’ll feel great about the accomplishment. (Great advice for driving toward change, too.)

For RSP friend Teri Cannon, physical challenge meant loss. More than 80 pounds of it. Scheduling, building a routine, goal setting and tracking, finding an accountability community, and learning the science of healthy nutrition first motivated her to take the first step on her journey. Later, when she lost her job, an extended family member moved in, and other pandemic-fueled disappointments came home to roost, “it could have been chaos," she said. "But it wasn’t thanks to the routine I had established. It made me a new person.”


Finally, Glynne Barber Bassi challenged all of us all to tell our stories. “You never know who you’ll inspire.” And as a financial planner and adviser, she of course had a smart take on the SMART framework for goal setting about physical challenge:

  • S: Put a Stake in the ground. Commit to it.

  • M: Map it out. Create your plan, then work the plan.

  • A: Find Accountability partners.

  • R: Practice Resilience. There are days you’re going to fall down.

  • T: Take Time to celebrate. We don’t do this enough.

Clearly, pushing your body helps you push in all areas of your life. Whether your challenge is to walk around the block every day, to try something new (say … paddleboarding!

Come get wobbly and possibly wet with some fellow RSP women at our July 29th Pop-up Event!), or push yourself in a big way with a big climb, hike, or run, it will open new pathways to things you never expected you could do. And as you move, you'll bake fundamentals of successful change into every area of your life:

  • Goal setting

  • Training & preparation

  • New-skill mastery

  • Backup & contingency planning

As for me? I’m still on a confidence high from punching through a damn board with my BARE HAND at last month’s RSP Pop-up event at StudioME. Next -- and I haven’t told anyone this, until this very moment -- I’m training for my first-ever half marathon.


So now I’ve put it out there. Hold me accountable. And share your own challenge on the private Ready.Set.Pivoters member page on LinkedIn. Not a member yet? Join us. Then connect with another fellow RSPer and get moving together.


And hit me up for an early run, OK? I guarantee it will send us into the day with clear eyes, a feeling of achievement, and readiness to take one more step to our next best thing.


Get Moving


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  • mcauliffeemily

I wondered what she meant when she said, “Well aren’t you just living your best life ever?”


Honestly, I was like — WHO is she talking to?


Surely not me. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing, or where I was headed.

Color image of RSP Founder Wendy Wiesman
RSP Founder and CEO, Wendy Wiesman

And while I was comforted by the confidence she afforded me in the moment, I also knew it was horseshit. What she saw vs. the reality that was currently my life were two different things entirely.


Less than a month prior, I left my corporate job. A job that others looked at from the outside and envied. I was the leader of a big team, the top dog, the boss lady, the doer of all the things and the marketing voice of a formidable brand. As a professional, I was climbing the ladder in the way that everyone expected, myself included.


If I’m being honest, I also felt like a square peg in a round hole. My voice was always a little louder than others. Sometimes people took that the wrong way, while other times it got me ahead. Not because of force, but because of courage. And yet that bold only got me so far, and didn’t make me all that happy. I was out of whack after giving all I had and not yet seeing the return that I felt was supposed to show up as some form of bliss that I hadn’t yet realized.


And yet, the type A rule follower in me had found solace in the order and goal setting world that is Fortune 500 organizations. In my 20+ years in that world, I’d achieved formidable success, been promoted (again and again), became a go-to for the C-Suite, earned awards and rewards, and made great (but not equitable, btw) compensation and bonuses. The corporate dog and pony show served me well – until it didn’t.


And so I quit.


My brilliant plan? To open a cheese store. After all, cheese was an enormous passion. Combined with my growing expertise in the space and marketplace talents it all seemed to make perfect sense. Turns out, I was wrong. Opening a retail cheese store would be more about food law than cheese. And I wanted nothing to do with that. And so I pivoted.


I did some consulting gigs. I read. I watched. I networked. Heavily. I uncovered answers to questions I was curious about and created new ones. All along, I kept running into women whose stories sounded eerily familiar to mine. They too were done. Their restlessness was getting to them. They wanted more, but didn’t know what more looked like or where the hell to start. Welcome to the family, I thought.


So I did what comes naturally to me. I fired up my superpower and put us all in a room together (o.k., we went to happy hour!) to talk about this problem. I knew in my heart they were so very much alike. Overachievers. GenXers. Doer of all the things. Contributors to their communities. Successful leaders. Women of crazy high expectations. Go-getters thru and thru. I knew we should all be connected - I just didn’t yet know why.


As we talked, all of the common frustrations poured out. We liked our “big” jobs for a really, really long time. In fact, we loved them. It made us feel valuable, special, worthy. Our identities were wrapped up in our work. But it came at the sacrifice of honest happiness. We always had a dirty little secret: If I knew how to get off this gerbil wheel, I’d do it in an instant. There were other things we wanted to do. But we felt stuck with the lane we’d picked, and the life -- and to be honest, the income -- built around it. And so we kept going. And kept going. Always achieving; always doing the “right” thing.


But now we were done: Ready to exercise the right to leave that path behind. To change. To question. To redirect. To say goodbye and forget that shit.



Fast forward to March 11th, 2020. On that day, these powerhouse personas convened along with 40 other like women in our lives. If you were in the room with us, you found energy, spirit, and bad-assery in the form of Directors, VPs, CHROs and CMOs, all annoyed by the walls others kept putting up that were blocking change. Not to mention shared frustration with the pre-imposed, ladder-climbing expectations --upwards only! -- and the societal markers of success we were all very simply tired of dealing with. Why after all of this time, energy and effort, won’t others let us -- help us! -- do what WE wanted to do? We had had enough. And we were bound and determined to do something about it.


Since that first time meetup, we’ve kicked things up a bit. We’ve held formal classes, pop-up events, and more than 18 virtual happy hours where we pair wine with work -- the work of identifying what truly lights us up, and sussing out how to use that knowledge to drive change. We have worked with more than 180 women in over 10 different states and formed an organization, Ready. Set. Pivot., to put the world on notice: the best talent is restless. It’s the sort of restless some naively identify as mid-life crisis-ish. No we say, it’s more than that. It’s the need for urgency fueled by the desire to get to doing what we want to do for the first time in our lives. On our terms.


RSP guides bold, unapologetic women to their next best thing through experiences designed to get them there – faster.


Why faster? Because honestly, we’re already out of time. We’ve wasted a lot of it doing what we were supposed to. Waiting until retirement is for other generations. And quite honestly, the idea of waiting to get on with what really matters to us just seems stupid.


We’re moving the timeline up.


That’s why RSP exists. To propel you forward faster so you can get from point A to point B in the very same efficient, expedient, meaningful and challenging way you’ve been leading others to achieve their goals all of your damn life. We’ll remind you of your innate loves and talents so you can leverage the ones that made you amazing in the chapter you’re ready to shut the door on–and be happier in your new one.


This square peg has found her mission. To ensure the planet sees your brilliance. Brilliance that was created as a result of the world we were raised in, sure, but that no longer demands that it only pays off by moving up a predetermined ladder. To that we say bullshit.


So to that friend those many months ago who said I was living my best life? Today I am. By helping others get there, too. I’m welcoming and inviting all of the square-peg-round-hole, kick-ass, overachieving, GenX women to a new table. One that’s been set just for you by your peers. One designed to move YOUR list forward FIRST. sitting among others who applaud your decision to create your own rules, your own scorecard.


And we’re not going to wait patiently for the perfect time any longer. The time for change is now. We’re not just moving forward, we’re having the time of our lives. We’re finding our next best thing. We’re RSP.



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  • mcauliffeemily

Updated: Jun 24

By Lead Voice, Emily McAuliffe (originally posted on 6.10.21 via LinkedIn)


But at RSP, we reframe them into truths that move us. No excuses.

Black and white image of a girl covering her mouth

We are all liars.


You probably told one today. Maybe it was a white lie to get out of an awkward situation. Or maybe it was a bigger fib, told to protect yourself or someone else from embarrassment or punishment. Or was it really the biggest kind: the kind you tell yourself *about* yourself? The kind that creates roadblocks and barriers to movement or change; that helps you avoid hard decisions; that lets your fears win by pretending to be reason, safety, rationality.


Those are really guarded or disguised excuses. So at the RSP “Three Lies and a Truth” Happy Hour this week, we forced our badass-yet-vulnerable, and kinda squirmy selves to get honest about them.


We started small: What is a lie you told today? “I’m definitely going for a run before work...” “I am totally sticking with my diet today…” “I don’t mind that my A/C is broken, and I won’t complain about it...” Yeah. Right.


But then it got real: Two more breakouts where we went deep. What’s the biggest lie you tell others? And what’s the whopper you tell yourself? That’s where the fear -- the excuses -- bubbled up.

“I tell people I haven’t changed careers because I have such a good thing going right now. But the reality is, I’m scared.” “I’m too old to move into that field.” “I always have it all under control.”

Oooooof. Head nods all around.


Time to reframe that junk.

Start here: “What do you believe to be true about your future?” You'll soon see that every one of those monster lies that hold us back can be made into a truth that we love. That inspires us. That moves us.

  • Lie: “I need more.” Truth: I am enough. I have enough.

  • Lie: “I can’t afford it.” Truth: I can prioritize differently.

  • Lie: “I’m too old for that.” Truth: I have great judgment and wisdom.

  • Lie: “I just got lucky.” Truth: I am damn good at what I do.

And the biggest truth? The real risk is staying exactly where you are.

Of course, that’s why RSP exists: To help you find your next best thing. Then crush any lies in your way of getting there, and turn them into actionable truths. All alongside other successful women asking the same questions, challenging the same status quo, and drafting new scorecards of success.

So over the next month, challenge yourself to reframe one of the lies you tell yourself. Then shout it out at our next Happy Hour on July 20th.







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