Jill’s Blog

The How ARE You Head Tilt

When you start a business, its super easy to get overwhelmed and stressed. Believe me, I live a good portion of my days lately heading up and down the rolling hills of the human psyche. There are times when I have a great conversation with a colleague or potential client where I feel like nothing can stop me. I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve, and I have full confidence that I have the tools to do so. Alternatively, there are moments of crippling self-doubt that could send me straight to my bed for a full day of self -sabotage in the form of binge watching the Golden Girls. Fortunately, I don’t give in to the desire to hide under the covers and I usually head upstairs to my Peloton bike and sweat it out. It doesn’t always completely solve the problem but it’s a way healthier solution than gorging on cookie dough and a crisp Rose’ with Dorothy Sbornak (although that could be fun too!)

Let’s face it, for many of us, work is our identity, it’s who we are to the outside world. For me, my career has always been such a huge part of who I am. My current career transition is bound to be trying. Not necessarily just for me, but for others who know me and love me. I spend a lot of my time these days trying to explain what I am doing to the important people in my life. It’s natural when going through a career transition to have to explain yourself to everyone. My friends, my colleagues, my contractor and of course my mother all want to know what the hell I am doing with myself. This is where the “How are you head tilt” comes in.

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I don't know the person in this photograph, but I have seen that look on so many people’s face in the past three weeks. You meet up with someone and they wait the customary and appropriate five minutes before digging in to find out what’s going on. People assume you must be DEVASTATED and they want to let you know they care. Bring on the “how are you?” head tilt. It's a true phenomenon. Of course, no matter what you answer even when it indicates that you are great, wonderful, excited, ready to take on the world it is usually met with some skepticism. There’s a second follow up “how are you?” head tilt” this time with feeling and several nods of the head to imply desire to REALLY know what’s going on. Sometimes this if followed up with unintentionally obtuse questions like “are you bored?” or “how’s retirement treating you?” OY! Calgon take me away! While I appreciate the empathy, I usually try at this point to steer the conversation to my new venture and the excitement that lies within all of that. Here it gets even stickier.

When you have worked for institutions like I have for 25 years and you’ve had big jobs with clear goals, it was always easy to articulate your work mission to others. In my former life circa March of 2019, it went like this:

Question: “What do you do Jill?”

Answer: “I lead the call center operation for a large healthcare IT company. I have a team of over 250 agents who support clients in 2 locations, Belfast Maine and Manila Philippines.”

That was always followed up with the expected responses like WOW! What a big job. Do you travel a lot? Easy to articulate, easy to understand. In my old life, the elevator pitch was a piece of cake.

Fast forward to now.

Question: “Jill, what are you doing now?”

Answer: Deep breath and let it fly….

“I am starting my own company providing leadership coaching, team building, culture creation and meeting facilitation to small businesses in Maine. I provide consulting services for companies that need help getting and keeping employees engaged and excited about the company’s mission and vision. I work with business owners to identify gaps in their approach to managing human capital to increase employee satisfaction and engagement and reduce attrition.”


What I really want to say is…

“I teach leaders how to lead more effectively”

Probably a bit too vague but awfully freaking accurate. Of course, if I said that to my mother, I don’t think that would provide her the clarity that she desires. Sit tight mom and everyone else, branding is in the works and I promise within a few weeks I will have a crisp, concise message about what I do, how I do it and what you can expect to pay me to do it. All this is coming soon to a theater near you. In the meantime, I am using this blog to share little nuggets of intel to my adoring public, all 27 of you.

But here’s one thing that I am crystal clear on for my company and for me. I am focusing on an approach in my organization called inspireal90/10. I intend to spend 90% of my practice working with business and business leaders, doing that leadership thing that I am so passionate about. But I am just as passionate about the other 10% of my practice that I will spend working with women on their personal and professional goals. I refuse to use the term “life coach” because I have no damn idea what that even means, nor do I really want to know. My plan is a bit more straightforward. I am going to use the gifts I was given to help women get intentional about their goals whether they are personal, professional, academic, wellness oriented or whatever. There are times in my life that I wish I had someone to inspire me and help me find the tools to achieve what I wanted to achieve. I want to use this 10% of my time, talent and treasure to help women get out of their own way when trying to achieve their goals.

Some of you may have heard about my women’s event coming up on June 5th in Rockport. The response to this event has been great and I am so excited that so many badass women have decided to attend. I think there are others who are pondering the invitation but wondering about the catch. Guess what girls, there is no catch. No MLM, no pitch to get you to hire me to call you every day at 5 AM and kick your ass. No ground floor or unique investment opportunity. Nope nope nope. Just good, old fashioned grassroots girl power. Part inspirational talk, part workshop and part discussion group, the event is designed as a way for local women to connect, talk about goals, hopes and dreams and get tips on how to move from dream to execution. And maybe some wine after. Win!

The goal is simple

Get Real, Get a Plan, Get Inspired

Hey, I like that, think I will make it part of my brand. In the meantime, think about it and let me know if you have questions. Better yet, if you know someone who might benefit from either my 90% or my 10%, give them my name and email.

Finally, here is today’s addition to the inspireal playlist. A personal favorite":

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Jill Parker