2016: Year in Review

Mira Vista

Snow-capped mountains ring Rancho Mirage

A lot of people were looking forward to dropkicking 2016. I have to say John Oliver’s skit had me doubled over laughing (and I watched it at least five more times over the next few weeks).

Still, there were some highlights, so here’s the recap. It’s always therapeutic to go through this exercise.

Overall, I had 19 speaking gigs and published lots of blog posts on topics related to career transition and small business. I am very proud of the content I created this year.

Major Client Wins

I might call this the year of the underdog. The clients I was able to help the most had lost their faith in themselves, or had been in an extended transition.

  • I helped a client who had been out of work for almost three years get back to work in six weeks.
  • I helped a client leverage her experience and land a great opportunity with a 70% pay boost.
  • I helped a client who had been out of work for 18 months land a project at a Fortune 50 brand in a little over a month.
  • I helped a stay-at-home dad of 15 years get back to work.  
  • I did a rush rework of a resume, positioning a client for a change of industry, and she immediately got into the interview cycle for a great job and received the job offer.
  • I helped an IT project manager who never really gelled in corporate gain enough confidence to try going out on his own as an independent consultant.
  • I helped one client go from entrepreneur to employee – and then to independent consultant.
  • I re-launched many more professionals who had lost confidence in their skills.

Winter 2016

view from tapas place

Eating tapas outside in downtown Palm Springs

I started the year in Palm Springs, one of my favorite places. That wasn’t too bad. I was there for a week, escaping the Chicago freezing weather.

Everyone was looking at me like I was nuts when I went swimming because it was only 65 degrees out, except the Canadians at the hotel – they understood.

In early February, small business advocate Carol Roth interviewed me for Entrepreneur Magazine’s blog entrepreneur.com about how to transition from entrepreneur to employee. I have had a lot of success getting professionals back to corporate after being business owners. This article is *still* generating leads, as I seem to be on the first page for this search. You can check out “How to Transition Back to Employee After Being an Entrepreneur” here.

This year was the worst birthday I have ever had. I worked 12 hours on deadline the day before and the day of my birthday. And like in the movie Sixteen Candles, my family forgot my birthday 🙁

Spring 2016

I had a blast doing a workshop at my favorite Chicago coworking space, The Shift. The topic was Marketing Your Biz on a Bootstrapper’s Budget. (A Big Bang for Small Bucks.) It was a big hit and you can read more about the tactics I covered here.

cm-at-score-event-2016It was so fun to be part of the sales strategies for small business panel at the SCORE and Sam’s Club Spring Training event on April 26. I was thrilled to be able to address the issues of solo service professionals. About 250-300 attendees joined us at the conference center in Tinley Park.

I spoke for the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) Career Day on May 7. I was asked to present the content of my Acing the Interview talk in a 45-minute session. I often teach this content as an interactive two-hour workshop, so I distilled the content down to the most important points. Here’s the ultimate cheat sheet.

I had the opportunity to work with Microsoft and Carol Roth, co-curating the eBook “80 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Small Business Growth.

80waysebookWorking with a global brand who is committed to the small business space through Microsoft Community Connections was a real honor. We curated the best ideas from small business experts and support organizations across the country. (You can download it for free.)

I also was in my first art show. That was a bit of a stretch for me. I got some nice feedback on my drawing.


Summer 2016

This was my first appearance on television. It was a local Naperville cable channel – but it was a blast. You can watch the episode below.

And I saw A LOT of music over the summer. Chicago is the most fun city you can spend a summer in. I was at a different street festival or free concert venue every weekend.

Fall 2016


Look who I met on the Ft. Lauderdale River Walk – iguanas!

This fall I had the opportunity to study with some fantastic teachers. I went to Michael and Amy Port’s Heroic Public Speaking three-day event in Ft. Lauderdale, and was part of a nine-person group at Big Vision Business coach Max Simon’s house in Ojai, CA. I learned so much that I will be integrating into my business over the next year.

During this six-week trip from Florida to California and later to New York City, I was able to connect with former and current clients. I get to work with the best people! It helped me reconnect with my “why” – the reason why I get out of bed every day.

Truly, I live to help professionals create clarity and confidence, find focus, and move forward. That’s been my tagline for years.

View from my balcony in Ojai, California

View from my balcony in Ojai, California

Like many, I found the brutal energy of election season hard to take. In many cases, I have to help people out of the black pit of despair so I can’t be there myself. I wrote this post about how I am choosing to get past the election.

The highlight of the year hands-down was reconnecting with my college boyfriend who I hadn’t had any contact with in 30 years. Reconnecting with old friends is very good for the soul.

I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2017. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

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