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Empowerment Systems

"........When Change is the Challenge."

Conscious Evolution

Empowerment Systems Newsletter, #6

"A Major Life Transition"

Six months after she sold her business, Evelyn was beginning to think she had made the biggest mistake of her life. The vacation was over. The house was clean, the piles gone and she felt she had nothing to talk about with her business-owner friends. She expanded her volunteer work and started helping out at a friend's store, but couldn't settle down. Nothing felt worth while in fact, she didn't feel like she was worth while anymore. When she started thinking about starting another business, she decided to get some coaching.


When I asked why she sold her business, she told me that the price was excellent, and that she was tired of the long hours, the responsibility to her customers and the difficulty in getting and keeping good employees. Her husband was due to retire in a few months. They had planned well and had enough money to live comfortably. She didn't need a business to provide for herself and her family, and she didn't want to tie herself down. Yet she valued something she no longer had, her identity as a business owner.


It had never occurred to Evelyn that by selling the business she had the thrust herself into a major life transition. Some transitions are expected - like getting married, having children, moving to a new city, divorce, etc. She had only expected relief at being out of the daily business grind. She did not expect to need to reinvent her life.


Really reinventing meant taking time to explore - not just to do something familiar to fill the time. Evelyn agreed to explore by doing a series of activities to help her discover what was meaningful and fun. She made a list of 100 things she loved to do and also listed "someday I'm gonna's." She looked through adult education catalogs and marked courses that seemed appealing. She fantasized her ideal day. She completed a major volunteer project. She kept asking, "when will I know what's next?"


Gradually she realized that she wanted meaningful work without major responsibilities. She is temporarily teaching self-management skills and entrepreneurial skills to high school students in a local volunteer program. Since Evelyn's husband has retired, they are exploring new options together, and enjoying the process.


Coaching tip: When someone is making a major life transition, time and tools for exploration and reevaluation are critical needs. Often the trip is more important than the destination.


 Copyright 2000, Empowerment Systems. May be transmitted or reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 28 of their 39 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.


506 West Davies Way
Littleton · Colorado · 80120
303.794.5408 · Fax
303.794.5379 · Phone
800.594.4594 · Toll-Free
weiss@empowermentsystems.com · E-Mail


"Committed to helping people use all of their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling lives."