Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

Tara Sophia Mohr, Playing Big. Find Your VOICE, Your MISSION, and Your MESSAGE.

Taking Time Off to Figure Out What’s Next

While I’m caring for my new baby, I’m sharing some favorite posts from the past few years. This is one of them – enjoy!   ~ Tara

Taking time off

A few years ago on my book tour, I met a woman named Lisa. After twenty years doing something that she felt was “just a job,” she’d taken a few months off from working, hoping to find her passion and figure out what kind of work she really wanted to do.

At the end of the four months, she didn’t have answers. She had even more problems, including the loss of much of her savings which she’d spent down during that time, more confusion about her next steps, and now having feelings of regret and failure about her time off.

This is pretty much what has happened to everyone I know who has taken time off to “figure out” what they want to do next, including myself. No one I have known has ever figured it out during long stretches of downtime.

Instead, during that downtime, we tend to get more confused, overwhelmed, and isolated. We end up spending way too much time in pajamas, and with reality tv and almond butter.

I’ve come to believe we don’t really ever need full days to sit around and “figure out” our next big career steps.

Instead we need a recipe of elements including:

1. Courage to be honest with ourselves about the ideas and inclinations we already have and probably have had for a long time.

2. Some daily practices for dealing with the fear and self-doubt that come up in times of transition.

3. A little time for reflection and research (but as the side dish, not the main course).

4. Support to take action from people outside our usual friends and family circle (peers on the same journey, a supportive group, a coach or a therapist).

5. Lots of opportunities to do small experiments with different possible directions, and to therefore learn by doing.

The Inner Mentor, Inner Critic, and Leaping chapters of Playing Big can help with many of the things above. And there are so many wonderful resources for finding support from others, whether a Playing Big course or another kind of circle or coaching relationship.

If you are looking to figure out your next chapter, don’t expect to go it alone or figure it out by yourself. See how you are doing with the items on this list, and fill in the gaps.



The Path of Entrepreneurship, Part 2


You may remember that this month I’m sharing a series of emails about entrepreneurship.

Here’s why I’m passionate about this topic:

Becoming an entrepreneur is a way to do work that is more meaningful and fulfilling for you, to become more bold and visionary in your work, and to have more autonomy and flexibility in your day-to-day life.

Those are some of the great parts of the entrepreneurial path.

Then there are the hard questions and challenges:

How do I get started without taking major financial risk?
How can I take a struggling business and make it more profitable?
How can I structure my business, so it’s sustainable — both in terms of work hours and in terms of the revenue it generates?
How should I choose among all the different things we could be focusing on?

What I’ve learned is that mission-driven entrepreneurs often have all the great content and passion in the world, but they can REALLY benefit from some training and guidance around these questions.

We can spend a lot of time beating ourselves up for what’s not working about our business or worrying about how it might not work, OR … we can get going with some great training that will help us create thriving businesses.

That’s where Marie Forleo’s B-School comes in – it’s there to teach you how to create a strong, profitable business that you love.

As I mentioned before, I’m a graduate of this program and it really helped me, which is why I’m choosing to be an affiliate partner in spreading the word about it.

Marie Forleo is sharing a free video training series this month with some of her core principles and helpful frameworks. She shares practical tools and skills that you’ll be able to use right away and can shift the way you think about doing business.

She released the second video today and it’s chockful of strategies for how to take your passions and create (or strengthen) your business. I especially appreciate Marie’s focus on how to create a business you love that can make a positive difference in the world. She also covers:
    • 13 keys to creating a thriving business
    • how to reach the people that most need your offerings
    • why this is such a fabulous time for conscientious creatives to build businesses
    • the big picture questions you must answer for yourself to set your business on the right track.

Click HERE to watch. If you are an entrepreneur – or want to become one in the future – this is for you!


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The Path of Entrepreneurship, Part 1


There’s something remarkable happening in our time. It’s new, it’s growing, and it’s quite amazing.

It’s the power and opportunity offered to women through the path of entrepreneurship.

In unprecedented numbers, women are starting businesses to do work they love and to make an impact in the world.

Maybe you are already on this path, or perhaps you are hoping to move on to it soon.

For the next month, I’ll be sending out a series of emails about entrepreneurship.

If you are currently running a business, OR if you are thinking about starting one in the future, this series is for you.

It’s also for you if you are hoping to start or grow a nonprofit or social venture. The skills needed there are the same.

Today, here’s what I want to tell you about — a dynamic, fun, and incredibly useful training program for entrepreneurs: Marie Forleo’s B-School.

I’m a graduate of this program and it really helped me, which is why I’m choosing to be an affiliate partner in spreading the word about it. B-School helped me to develop my work to reach lots of people, be sustainable in terms of my life and schedule, and really work well financially for me and my family.

As you’ll soon see, Marie is a dynamic, funny, fabulous teacher. Her B-School program has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and perhaps you’ve also seen her on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

Today I want to invite you to meet Marie and check out the first video in her free training series for entrepreneurs. When you sign up here, you’ll get access to the video series.

If you are looking for support to create a fulfilling, meaningful, successful entrepreneurial career, this is for you. The videos are super informative and inspiring – enjoy!

Check out the video series, and Marie’s great 6 Pillars Roadmap Funsheet here.



Being on the Transition Team

While I’m caring for my new baby, I’m sharing some favorite posts from the past few years. This is one of them – enjoy!   ~ Tara

Transition team

Recently I wrote to all of you:

If the angels could have sat you down for a chat when you were on the way in to this life (among some other comments about love, fear, and your glory), they might have said this:

Now, my dear, a little context: you are entering into a transitional time.
The past: A world led, designed and defined by men.
The future: A world led, designed and defined by women and men.
The present: The transition. Yes, we’ve put you on the transition team.

I’ve been captivated by this notion of all of us being on the transition team.

Imagine you were hired into a company to job x – let’s say to manage the marketing team. You notice that the old way of doing things at the company doesn’t work so great. In small pockets of the business, you see a new way of doing things emerging – a way that makes a lot more sense. You keep hearing side conversation where people are talking about the business in such a wiser, healthier way than what you hear in the mainstream conversations.

But none of this is so relevant to you: your job is just to be the marketing manager.

But if you had been hired for a different kind of role? What if you’d been told, yes, your job is to manage the marketing team, but also, to be a key player on the transition team, as the company moves from the old way to the new way?

If you knew that, you’d do everything differently.

You’d communicate and coordinate with other people on the transition team.

You’d look for opportunities for everyone to taste the new way.

You’d look for opportunities for people to feel how the old way was limiting them.

You’d expect resistance from those invested in the old way, and you’d accept it as a part of the process.

On an emotional level, your experience of the two jobs would be very different. In the first scenario, you’d probably be exasperated by the push-pull between the old way and the new way. You might experience it as a kind of whiplash. But if you knew you were on the transition team, you’d see that push-pull between old and new ways as an evolutionary stage of a process that was leading somewhere. You’d breathe, smile, and keep going.

So, today I invite you to walk through your work, whatever it is, in some new shoes. Step into the idea that you are on the transition team, here to help forge the path from a world led, defined, and designed by men to a world led, defined and designed by women and men. It’s part of your role to help women’s authentic voices, women’s wisdom, women’s ways of working, become a guiding force in your corner of the world.

Or course, a major cultural transformation is different than an organizational change. The transition we are really speaking about will be less organized than an organizational change would be. It will be more distributed, more bottoms-up, and made up of thousands of strategies, not a centrally developed one. But the metaphor of a “transition team” inside an organization can help us imagine our work and our roles in this more oceanic transition.

If you step into that role as being on the transition team, how do the challenges you face at work and life look differently?

How do the things that drive you crazy feel different?

How does your role change?

How does your engagement in your work and life change?




P.S. If you are thinking of joining us for a course or training program this year, be sure to check out our recent post about what’s coming up in 2017 HERE, so you can plan ahead and sign up to get early information on programs you are interested in.

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Ridiculous. Naive. Who Does She Think She Is?

While I’m caring for my new baby, I’m sharing some favorite posts from the past few years. This is one of them – enjoy!   ~ Tara


Ridiculous. Naive. Who does she think she is?

A few years ago, while I was getting prepared for a speaking event, I found out that someone quite famous (famous in the women’s leadership world, anyway) would be attending, sitting in the room for my talk.

Let’s call that person Judith, for the sake of this post.

Here’s what I knew about Judith: she’s super smart, she’s well-known and well-connected, and she and I disagree about a LOT of things in the women’s empowerment conversation.

My inner critic took all that in and started feeling really worried about what she’d think of my talk. I started feeling unprepared, less than, not my normal self.

During the speech, from time to time, I’d get so distracted by thinking about her presence, that I’d fall out of flow and stand outside my words, listening to them and imagining how they might sound to her.

And of course, in my mind the answer to that was always that they sounded incoherent, irrational, mundane to her.

After I finished, I went over to one of the hosts of the event and said I’d love to meet Judith. After all, despite all my worries, I did also have a lot of respect for her, and wanted to say hello.

“Oh,” they casually said, “she couldn’t make it. Her child got sick and she needed to stay at home.”

It was the oddest moment.

All that worry, for nothing. I had been steeped in my fears about what she would think of the talk. I had imagined her presence in the room as I was speaking – and her judgments, her criticism, even her scoffing at some of what I had said.

But she was not in the room.

All that imagining was simply that: imagining.

I immediately thought: Ok life, I get the joke. I get the metaphor.

This was such a great metaphor for what I often do. Special guest or not, when I’m writing something particularly vulnerable or risky, or when I’m giving a talk to a group that intimidates me, I often find my mind imagining and projecting the most critical, skeptical, even mean view on my work. I imagine Judiths, people like Judith I’ve never met. I imagine some figure saying my worst fears: “That’s ridiculous, Tara. That’s naive. Who do you think you are?”

I know I’m not alone in this. Women have been trained into fearing that critic – that individual or collective critic raging or scoffing at what we have to say.

And the truth is, those imagined voices and judges are almost never really in the room in the way that we imagine them to be. They were more present for our great great grandmothers than they are for us.

And when they are still there for us, we can find an internal resourcefulness to handle it. We really can.

What I’ve learned is that sure, there will be a range of responses to my work, but most of the time, the external criticism I encounter is so easy-peasy compared to what I fear, so deal-with-able, so simply “it is what it is” – nothing like the big boogie-man my own fears make it out to be.

If you’re not doing something because you imagine the harsh criticism that could come your way, or if your joy and full expression is diminished because like me, you hold in your head what the skeptic would be saying about your work, ask yourself: how would I behave if I knew that voice was really, truly not in the room?

And then do that.



P.S. If you are thinking of joining us for a course or training program this year, be sure to check out our recent post about what’s coming up in 2017 HERE so you can plan ahead and sign up to get early information on programs you’re interested in.

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