Tuesday, August 09, 2005


A personal portfolio is a way to tell your story. Your personal portfolio is a process of answering the question, “Who am I and what do I want?” You can use your strengths and values to express your story with pictures, words, stories, letters, or music. Your portfolio may be digitally expressed on the internet, or it might look like a photo album, journal, or binder. Your story includes your past, present, and future. This is your picture of who you are right now, with your feelings from the past, and your picture of the future.

A career portfolio might ask the question, “What are your credentials?” Your career portfolio will have examples of things that you have done that you are proud of. It is a collection of work you’ve done, letters of recommendation, thank you letters, certificates, awards, and degrees. It may include things you’ve done to improve yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

When you experience life transitions, your portfolio will help you prepare for job changes, personal crisis, moves, and continuing education. If you are going through major life transitions or want to let go of some of your past to move on to future possibilities, then make a Past Portfolio. Put your past career, your past journal, letters, etc. in your Past Portfolio and start a new one. It might be the beginning of more positive thinking and seeing new possibilities for your life!

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

LifeWork Plan Assessment

Taking a LifeStyle Assessment from time to time can help you keep in touch with how you are actually living. Often I know what to do and think that I am doing it. After taking a Stress Management class and keeping a log of my actual behavior, I realized that I don't always do what I know I should do. Taking a LifeStyle Assessment helps me to be accountable to myself and practice a healthier less stressful lifestyle.

Circle the statements that you can say yes to today:
  • I eat 4-6 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
  • I do at least 20-30 minutes of exercise or an hour of activity each day.
  • I don't need sugar, chocolate, caffeine, tobacco or alcohol to get through the day.
  • I can close my eyes, relax my body, and think about nothing for several minutes.
  • I spend more time reading and communicating with others than I do watching television.
  • I take time for creative expression and appreciation of music, beauty, and humor on a regular basis.
  • I laugh everyday.

If you couldn't circle most of these statements, then you are probably a typical American. Americans tend to think that watching television is relaxing and spending money makes us happy, but comfort doesn't lead to health and money doesn't lead to happiness.

Learn to design a life of health and happiness with a personal LifeWork Success Plan. Contact Nancy Miller, LifeWork Coach.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

LifeWork Design

Comment from Anonymous on the “Welcome!” post…

I think most of us live a lifestyle of being nice to what is around us (except when behind a steering wheel). What are some methods to learn more about myself-my talents and my values? Perhaps my lifestyle is not really my own but what was handed down to me from my family.

There are many ways you can learn more about yourself and develop your talents. Career and personality assessments are one way to learn about your self, but individual assessments will only show your lifestyle, which is a combination of experience, values and talents. Individual assessments give you the opportunity to compare yourself with your own personal experience, and that of your family and close community. Having the opportunity to travel to different places, challenge your beliefs, and meet people from different backgrounds, is another way to learn more about yourself and have more to compare yourself with. Having the freedom to express yourself, develop your strengths, and share your feelings in a safe environment are the best ways to learn more about who you are. A LifeWork Coach can help you understand your own natural strengths and separate them from the values and beliefs that you have learned from your family, culture and friends. Evaluating your beliefs in a safe environment is a good way to recognize the things that are really important to you--what you want to spend your time and money on--and let go of things that are getting in the way of using your natural talents.

We may lack the background that would give us the opportunity to have diverse experiences. We may not even grow up in an environment that values our natural strengths. You didn’t plan when or where to be born, but you can plan the kind of life you want now. Planning for success is a process. A healthy happy life takes planning and preparation. An unhealthy life just happens. LifeWork Design is a process for finding opportunities to use your natural strengths while honoring the values you want in your life.

Nancy Miller is a LifeWork Coach and workshop facilitator with a passion for helping people develop their natural strengths. LifeWork Design is a wholistic approach to coaching that uses Relationship Design Principles to create a life that includes time for valuing relationships and esteeming others while using your natural strengths to develop energy, income, and motivation. Nancy uses her natural strengths of curiosity and independent thinking, along with her interest in people to help them create a vision for using their resources to find possibilities they may not have dreamed of.

Thank you everyone for your input and support. It takes a network of people and ideas to make a good product or project. This website and our workshops are the result of a lot of feedback on what's working and what's not.

Next week look for the LifeWork Assessment.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The LifeWork Plan

Why a plan?
Change is constant. You are either growing or declining. A LifeWork Success Plan is a growth process for flexing your strengths and balancing your character. Character development builds strengths from weaknesses creating an appreciation for diversity. A LifeWork Success Plan will give you a sense of direction, accomplishment, and balance. Intentionally designing your life with a flexible plan also gives you resourcefulness and resilience in times of crisis and transition.

Who needs a LifeWork Plan?
Everyone needs a plan. Some personalities naturally develop and adhere to detailed plans for their lives. They may even expect their lives to always fit into their predetermined plan. Having a solid plan may feel like a fortress whose walls surround you and give you a sense of security; a fortress can also be a barrier blocking growth and new ideas. A flexible LifeWork Success Plan provides a road map or a direction to start your life journey, while leaving room for opportunities along the way. People often spend more time planning their businesses, their work lives, and even their vacations, than they do planning their personal lives. A plan gives people the opportunity to step back and take an objective look at themselves, how they are balancing their lives, and what they are doing to create a healthy lifestyle.

Where did this plan come from?
The basic elements of a business plan offer the structure for the LifeWork Success Plan. A business plan describes strengths, needs, expectations, vision, resources, organization and networking. A business begins by describing its current operation or assets, then the company creates a vision for where it wants to be in five to ten years, and finally the owners determine how they will implement the plan. In the same way a LifeWork Success Plan describes where you are now, what you want to do, and how you might do it. A LifeWork Success Plan is a design for balancing your strengths and values to create a lifestyle of health and happiness.

What is a LifeWork Plan?
A LifeWork Plan is a reflection of you. It is your story and a legacy for your family. Your LifeWork Success Plan is a roadmap for designing the life that you really want using a style that is a combination of business plan, scrapbook, journal and creative ideas. The LifeWork Success Plan is a flexible design that fosters creativity and opportunities for growth. Anyone can develop a LifeWork Success Plan and be involved in activities that promote healthy relationships and personal growth. Most people need interaction and accountability from working with another person or a group to find the motivation to take action. Participating in workshops that foster diversity, contributing to organizations that support the community, and being involved in associations that build relationships are examples of actions that you can take to grow spiritually and socially. Your LifeWork Success Plan begins with what you consider your life story and ends with re-evaluation and spiritual renewal.
If you have difficulty socializing, sharing your strengths, or building relationships, a personal coach can help.Email Nancy Miller, LifeWork Design Coach you can email: lifeworkcoach@clwd-share.org for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation by phone to learn how you can develop a LifeWork Success Plan.

More to come on the elements of the LifeWork Success Plan.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Do What You Love

Do what you love…
Work flexible hours…
Learn how to get rich in marketing at a free seminar…
Earn $2000 - $5000 a month while working from home…
Fabulous business opportunity to be your own boss…

If that got your attention, you may be like a growing number of Americans who are feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated and underpaid. We want to find success and get out of debt by winning the lottery, being discovered on American Idol or Oprah, or finding a business opportunity that requires little or no capital  or experience.

After a quick look at the job descriptions on popular career sites like “America’s Job Bank” It is easy to understand why so many people are looking in the wrong places for ways to do what they love. Employers demands are often so high that job seekers feel helpless. Examples from job descriptions such as these sound familiar to any active job seeker.

• Be flexible (ready to do anything your employer wants done)
• Pay varies with experience (we usually start at the lower end of the pay scale)
• Be willing to travel (you will be working anywhere except at home)
• Work some evenings and weekends (You are on call 24/7)
• Requires a bachelors degree and 5 years experience
• Be detail oriented and able to multi-task

The reality of the workplace is hitting hard especially for younger people, older people, and workers wanting to improve their education and skills. The backlash to the “Do What You Love” advocates seems to be gaining popularity with websites such as Despair.com whose founder uses sarcasm and realism to describe what he calls a corporate culture that requires soul-crushing robotic compliance with no room for self-fulfillment. Robert Eichinger, former executive at PepsiCo and Pillsbury, goes so far as to say that the demands of the workplace necessitate putting values and dreams aside and allowing yourself to be unhappy if necessary to gain the skills you need. Can we be prepared as entrepreneurs to take charge of our lives and careers without falling for marketing fraud, or giving up our health and values?

In a climate of global competition and a tenuous economy, is it possible to do what you love? One of my favorite books is called, Follow Your True Colors To The Work You Love. This True Colors assessment is based on the temperament theory of Carl Jung, the research of Myers-Briggs, and the work of David Keirsey. Is it really possible for most people to make a living working at something they love (using their strengths) in an environment that honors their values? Author Marsha Sinetar, in her book “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood”, bases her philosophy on the Buddhist teaching of “Right Livelihood”. But how many Buddhist Monks earn the kind of money that comes to our minds when we hear that the money will follow? Buddhist teaching stresses moral living and enlightenment, which may or may not involve making the kind of money most Americans expect.

I recently saw a wonderful example of a person doing what they love in the movie “Parrots of Telegraph Hill”. It is the story of a man who left his job to find his calling. He was homeless for many years, but he was happy doing what he loved and finding his higher calling, while earning little or no money. The story has a happy ending because it is the story of someone who was willing to do what he loved without worrying about whether the money would follow. Through his love of parrots, he eventually became famous and had a movie made about him. I really enjoyed seeing the movie, but I don’t believe I could follow such a difficult path to finding my dreams. I need to be optimistic, but also realistic. In his book, "Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman says to expect the best, but plan for the worst. Be prepared for the dips as you plan for your dreams.

If you feel the need for comforts of life, relationships, and health, you can balance your dreams and reality without sacrificing your values. You will need a LifeWork Plan to build the skills you need to do what you love, have a budget to live on while you are getting your education and skills, practice stress reducing exercises, and allow time to maintain important relationships in your life. Most of us are not like the homeless man who could live happily for years without a plan until he found his calling. I often hear people say that they are waiting for their boss to come to them with a promotion, or waiting for the “right” job to come along. It takes action, it takes a plan, and it takes supportive relationships. I believe that we can use our strengths to do what we love while honoring our values, but for most people, it doesn’t just happen. In their book, Luck Is No Accident, authors Krumboltz and Levin advocate a flexible game plan to cope with our uncertain times.

If you want to design your life with a flexible action plan that will give you the tools to use your strengths and improve your skills, you can email: success@lifeworkplan.com for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation by phone to discuss your LifeWork Plan. There is room in your life to do what you love.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Sunday, May 22, 2005


What does success look like to you? I’ve been pondering that question lately as I look at websites for Life/Career Coaches while thinking about the next transition in my life. What does the future holds? Everyone seems to be selling success. What does success mean? As I approach what feels like the middle of my life (although I can’t really be sure where the middle is), and I am enjoying my husband, grown children, and even grandchild, I find it difficult to imagine where we will be or what we will be doing five years from now.

I have a very fuzzy picture of my future. I know that I love to travel to places where I meet interesting people and see beautiful landscapes. On a recent trip to Texas to visit my youngest daughter and grandson, my oldest daughter and I went sightseeing. We decided to take a side trip to visit Canyon Lake. As I felt the breeze and looked at the lake, I could imagine my husband and I taking a boat ride on the lake. I could see my children and grandchildren visiting, and maybe even having family reunions at the pavilion. I realized that for the first time I could picture my husband and myself happily retiring or semi-retiring. I may not know what the future holds, but for the first time I have a pleasant picture of retirement.

Canyon Lake

Reflecting back on my trip to the lake, I realized that I had been making my picture of success through Vision Mapping for a couple of years. As I made maps of my values and strengths, I saw themes of reading, writing, boating, and anything by the water. When I took a colored pen that fit my mood and started making pictures and words of what I like to do, the water and some form of self-expression were always in the picture. In fact my Vision Map was so intuitive that I sometimes wondered why I had put things like writing on it. I didn’t write. I hadn’t majored in English or Journalism. But there it was. Now after years of facilitating workshops and coaching using Vision Mapping, I am finding my map coming to life.

As I looked out over the lake under the cloud filled sky, I wondered why I would feel so calm and peaceful so far away from home.

I can just hear the trout...

I believe the lake has a special place in my heart and possibly in my genetic make-up. My fondest memories of childhood are of going with my family to Shasta Lake. I learned to drive a stick shift on the levy roads near my home. I knew that my father loved the water. In fact I felt that I knew my father best when we were near the water. He once told me that his grandparents moved to Minnesota from Sweden to be near the river. I learned that my grandfather also loved the water and fished whenever he could.

I’ve taken personality tests and looked at models of success, but it was the process of intuitively putting my picture of success on paper that led me to finding my true interests and values. We all have a picture or expectation of what our personal future might be, but we rarely take the time to look at what that picture really is. Is your vision of your future based on your strengths and values or is it based on expectations of others and past experiences? If you would like to learn more about your strengths, your vision, and how to balance them with your values and personal style, I would love to talk to you, you can email: success@lifeworkplan.com for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation by phone.

Questions: Where have you found success, and how did you know that you were successful?

This website is intended for informational purposes only.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Friday, May 20, 2005


As entrepreneurs we make a decision to take a risk and invest in something that we are passionate about. We start a business to have independence, flexibility, and an opportunity to do something that we really care about. As individuals, it is just as important to find our passions, express them freely, and invest in our dreams. You are your business no matter where you work, and you are worth the investment. To be successful we need to have a vision and follow our dreams, but we need to balance that with a little bit of reality. Too much reality and we would never start our own businesses. According to Stephen C. Harper, author of "Guide to Starting Your Own Business", only 20 percent of the businesses started this year will still exist in 10 years, and half of the survivors will only be making a marginal profit. The odds may be against us in finding success by following our dreams, but people succeed against those odds everyday. You can succeed by building on your personal successes, developing a strong network, and seeking out the help of other professionals. Relationships are the foundation of your business whether you work for yourself or someone else. Consider consulting a LifeWork Coach to help you plan for success. For more information on how to develop a personal or business plan to create success for you and your business, or to set up an appointment for a free consultation by phone, send me an email at: success@lifeworkplan.com.

My business is relationship building. I have made relationships my business because relationships don’t come naturally for me. I am impressed everyday with how important relationships are for accomplishing whatever project I am working on. I have a tendency to want to work harder, push myself, and be more focused rather than looking for input from others, and making it a team effort. Relationships are the key to good health, good business, and good thinking.

Do you know a business that promotes healthy relationships with their customers, their community, or their environment? I would like to share their story. Just email a brief description of how they promote relationships. Include a contact person, business name, website, and email address. Send to: success@lifeworkplan.com. Or you can describe your own business if you find success through building meaningful relationships with your clients, family, and employees.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

Monday, May 16, 2005


I've just discovered blogging. I've seen several blogs recently, but I didn't realize how easy it is to get started. After reading an article in Business Week magazine about how entrepreneurs can't afford to NOT have a blog, I realized that blogging fits so well with the concept that everyone is an entrepreneur. Whether you work for yourself or not-- you are your business. Blogging is a great opportunity to build professional skills, network, learn to communicate better, be accountable for what you say, organize your thinking, and market yourself. Yes. Market yourself.

We all have strengths and talents, probably more than we are willing to acknowledge.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be bright, brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson

I believe that each of us has the power to spread positive energy all around us-- we might even call it love. By first honoring ourselves and our own gifts, we can then share ourselves with others, without fear, and out of respect for who they are.

I enjoy asking questions. I have a natural curiosity about people, and I love to hear thoughtful questions from others. Share your thoughts and offer your own question of the day.

Question of the day: Do you think it is possible for you to create a lifestyle that uses your talents, honors your values, and respects other people, living things, and your environment?

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for referrals from professional organizations.

Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller