The Eyes of Texas

Careers are funny things.

Just when you think you are on track to becoming a ‘gazillionaire’ and you are happy in your chosen field or company/organization – something happens.

I first met Phil (an alias) in January 2009. Over the next year, I coached him through a life-changing career transformation. Last week, I asked him to think back and identify the steps he took in this amazing journey.

When we first met, your company was providing you incentives to stay, but you were searching for something. Tell me about your career and what was going on with you.

Phil – I have been blessed with a life filled with many unique experiences. In January 2009 I was an Officer in a Fortune 250 company, I had a great job, but I felt unrest and complacency and I wanted to make a change. I was getting bored and losing my edge. I think the lack of change in the company may have been a factor in my decision to leave.

I thought if I am going to do something entirely different, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I wanted a coach to help “navigate me”. When we met, I was unsettled and I was beginning to feel the uncertainty and a great deal of discomfort. I still had peace about the decision but I was struggling.

What stands out for you during the first six months of our work together?

Phil – I was not prepared for the degree of unrest I felt. This was a completely different life – although I was married to the same wife and I had the same kids, but everything changed. My corporate life was in the rear view mirror.Through the assessments and assignments you gave me, I found I had a little bit of an entrepreneur in me.

When you leave a successful career, there are phases and sub phases that you go through that I did not expect. Phase One – was Transition and Setting the Foundation. Phase Two – The Lost Phase, you gave me a lot of assignments. Also during this time, I created a lot of models and charts to live by. Phase 3 – was the Found Phase and I became an entrepreneur.

How did we incorporate your values, motives and needs in crafting ‘what’s next’ for you?

One of the Apartment Complex Buildings

Phil –  Christine, just measuring those elements was the first step. In my new entrepreneurial project, I made sure that the values that were important to me were interwoven in the role. I also learned something entirely new – real estate construction. My partner and I built a 304 unit apartment complex from the ground up. The best thing was knowing we provided people with jobs.

Planning and completing this project was like playing Texas Hold ‘em, all in, 24/7. You’re in a constant state where you are risking everything. We broke ground on January 20, 2010. Construction was completed on March 24, 2011 a month ahead of schedule.

Did you ever think you might fail?

Phil – I thought there would be failures, but I didn’t think we would fail. I always, always believed we would succeed.

After you made the decision to become an entrepreneur, how did you know that you were on the right track?

Phil – Having the navigation framework, principles, the direction, the models, the assignments, the foundation you and I worked on and measuring where I was first – those things set the navigation and let me know I was on course.

Describe all the phases you went through during the year.

Phil – Phase 1 – the Transition and Foundation; Phase 2 – Wandering and Lost; Phase 3 – Found; Phase 4 – Entrepreneurial Endeavors ramped up; Phase 5 –The Deployment of Entrepreneurial Leadership; Phase 6 – The Quantum Growth Phase – Execution and What’s Next?; Phase 7 – is Another Transition for Crafting What’s Next.

How did you turn your dream into reality?

Phil – Some days I am still startled that it happened. Understanding who I am, what I wanted, where I wanted to be and getting it down on paper. Having a coach to challenge me; being willing to NOT know how things would turn out. You have to put yourself in a place where miracles can happen.

A question for you to consider:

  • What’s next for you?

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Christine M. Glasco consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on strategic leadership and career management/career transformation solutions. For a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career to help you be more effective in your career, go to

Email: Phone: 1.940.367.0837

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