Courtney Parks, MA, CPCC is a Women’s Success Coach and mindset expert dedicated to helping women create success professionally without exhausting themselves personally. Through private coaching, group programs, workshops and speaking, Courtney has taught hundreds of women how to love their work and their lives by combining solid business and career development strategies with intuition, inspiration and personal growth. With a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and certification from the Coaches Training Institute, she supports women in creating lasting success both inside and out.
Courtney’ Parks signature 5-Step Passion Success & Balance Coaching Method helps high-achieving women to transform their work so they can make more and be more while still living a fabulous life. Her clients span from top notch coaches, consultants and creatives to c-suite executives and women on the rise in law, finance and journalism. Courtney Parks has been fortunate to work with clients to double, triple and even quadruple their incomes while working less so they have time for themselves and their families. To learn more about Courtney get her free audio gift, visit www.courtneyparks.com.
In this article I would like to share Courtney Parks Top 10 Career Lessons. Find out more and get inspired!
Courtney Parks: Top 10 Career Lessons
# 1 – Do what you love
Being passionate about work is everything to me. Before I knew coaching even existed, I created a vision of how I wanted to serve women using my natural talents. Later I found out that coaching matched that vision exactly. I literally made this idea up and often say that I would PAY people to coach them I love it so much. I’m really fortunate that I get paid well to do it. You’ve got one life, you are here for a reason and you were born with unique gifts that you can share in the form of your work. You can make money doing lots of things but when you do what you love, work doesn’t look like work.
# 2 – Share your vison
Everything opened up when I started talking about what I really wanted. While I was careful not to talk to doubters, telling people my ideas and sharing my passion helped me know that coaching existed, find the right training program, get time off from my job so I could attend that training, find a space to coach in and get my first clients. When you know where you’re going, use your network and those you trust to get ideas, resources, feedback and meetings with people that can help you get there. Your vision will help you craft your ultimate business or career when you let others in on it.
# 3 – Let the naysayers fuel you
When I first got the courage to start my business, I set up a meeting with the owner of a high-end spa to pitch my idea. When I got there, I could see her in her office – through the glass – but she wasn’t ready for me. After about 30 minutes, her assistant told me she couldn’t see me and we’d have to talk by phone. I left disappointed and feeling small…and very quickly I got pissed!! She told me later that others had tried to build a business there and it didn’t work. So instead of believing her, I got mad and said (in my head) “oh yeah, WATCH me!!” Soon after, I found a better place and launched my business. And yes, it worked.
# 4 – Take big leaps
It took me about 10 years to make an idea I had to help women love their work and their lives into an actual business. I lived through every fear and doubt and inner and outer obstacle that got in the way of my dream. And while I know it all happened as it was meant to, I wish I’d gotten used to taking bigger leaps sooner. If you want to write a book, get a publisher. If you want to own a retreat center, find the location. Start working NOW on getting to your dream destination, taking the biggest steps you can handle as quickly as you can.
# 5 – Keep your eye on the prize
When I was working in the wrong field but pursuing the right one, I had to stay focused. I remember a co-worker at my ‘day job’ saying “isn’t it sad that you have a Master’s degree and you’re still working here”. Your vision needs to be bigger than your doubts, your fears and your current reality. Use every opportunity you have NOW to support where you want to be. Appreciate your job (because it feeds you) AND schedule time to work on your future. Talk to people who are doing what you want to do. When you get off track or get discouraged, be loving to yourself, get support, then take your next step forward.
# 6 – Invest wisely
I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on grad school, coaching certification, high-end business training programs and some of the best therapists, coaches and mentors available. I also keep my day-to-day business expenses as low as possible because I love profit. It’s important to take risks on investments that feel right AND keep tabs on your money and your ROI. Be thoughtful, especially at first, about overspending on a super fancy website, a pricey biz wardrobe or yet another degree or certification to validate your expertise. Spend big on the important stuff that you know will help you grow.
# 7 – Learn to say “NO”
Discerning what to say yes and no to is a big key to success. I teach my clients to “say no gracefully” which means being appreciative of the request and keeping your NO direct, short and sweet. That might look like…”thanks so much for reaching out, your project sounds really interesting. While it doesn’t fit with my focus right now, wishing you much success with it”. One of my clients who used to struggle with saying no at work has become a master at it! She has literally reshaped her career and risen up in her industry by saying no to what doesn’t fit her and saying yes to what does.
# 8 – Reputation is everything
It didn’t take me long to realize that how I treated everyone had everything to do with my business success. While I certainly make mistakes, I’m amazed at how many professionals are not so professional. How you interact, how you follow up (or not), how you keep your word (or not), the energy you share (online or in person) matters. I’ve had colleagues admit that the only emails they respond to quickly are from clients, prospects or their boss. The rest could wait for weeks, if they respond at all. Unfortunately, the people waiting weeks might not want to send you referrals because you’re showing them how you operate. We’re all busy but be aware that everyone you interact with has the potential to impact your career.
# 9 – Don’t exhaust yourself
My tagline is “success without exhaustion for women” and, of course, there’s a reason for that. My mom was a really successful graphic designer and, while she was happy, she was usually tapped out. I learned a ton about career and business from her and also learned to connect success with sacrifice and struggle. I know now that there’s a fine line between commitment and OVERwork – and that narrowing your focus, making things easy and making things fun are the fastest routes to success. I do my best to practice what I preach and, yes, I exhaust myself sometimes too.
# 10 – Use your intuition
Your intuition is THE greatest gift you have when it comes to creating success. Every pivotal decision in my work and my life has been made with my gut. Your intuition is an amazing tool that will help you guide your career, make better decisions, know what opportunities to pursue and even know what to say in a negotiation. Checking in and getting clear inside – then matching that with a powerful plan outside – is what makes success take OFF and results seem like magic.
What was your biggest takeaway today from Courtney Parks career lessons? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and/or vote for the article. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You will be helping them out and me too! Thanks!
Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.