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7 Secrets to Getting UNSTUCK Fast: Lessons from Fellow Travelers on the Road to Right Livelihood

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

We all know what it’s like to desperately want to make a change and at the same time be hopelessly stuck. Getting stuck is easy. Fortunately, getting unstuck is a lot easier than you think as well.

And I’m not just going to tell you how – I’m going to “show” you. Well, actually four of your fellow change seekers are going to show you.

You see, I finally got around to downloading some client testimonials. What I realized is that while each of the people you are about to meet went on camera to share their experience from my March Work at What You Love workshop – in fact each, in their own way, offered a tiny clue about how to get unstuck.

For starters, all Alison Talbert knew when she arrived on my doorstep was that she’d had enough.

Enough confusion… Enough waiting and hoping that her dream job would simply materialize before her eyes… Enough settling when what she really wanted to do was to soar – which leads me to secret #1.

Getting Unstuck Secret #1:
Turn the Thing You Love To Do Into Your Livelihood

After two years of being stuck in indecision, Alison saw her chance to get unstuck and she took it. She can tell you herself what moved her to get on a plane to spend three days brainstorming interesting ways she could work at what she loves.

As importantly, I want you to hear how out of confusion comes great clarity. Alison has an exciting plan to run women’s relaxation and renewal retreats to Ecuador. How does breathtaking scenery, a bit of spiritual wisdom from a local shaman, and all the $20 therapeutic massages you want sound?

There’s more to Alison’s story that can help you get unstuck, but let’s look first at another common sticking point.

Getting Unstuck Secret #2:
You Don’t Have to Do Pick Just One Thing

Lynn Cassidy’s school and work history reads like this: Two years doing intensive right brain work followed by a few years doing left brain work. It goes on like this for years.

If you are what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner,” then you may be stuck thinking you have to pick one thing. Nonsense. Like Lynn, you can learn how to take your dilemma and turn it into a business.

What do you see as your “problem?” Are you in the midst of a painful divorce? Have you trained for a career only to realize it’s not what you want to do? Whatever it is, I bet there is a way you can, as Suzanne Evan’s says, “make your mess your message.” Find a way to get paid to help others with the same challenge.

Getting Unstuck Secret #3
Get — and Give — Support

It’s true, misery does love company. Fortunately for you, dreams absolutely thrive on the company of enthusiastic supporters.

For one, dreams are contagious. When you hear about someone else’s dream, you can’t help but cheer them on. You remind them of how smart they are, how talented they are, how perfectly suited they are for their dream. And they believe you!

There’s another reason why it’s important for you to be a part of any small gathering of change seekers. Other people often see your gifts before you do. Where you see only obstacles, others see opportunity. Their belief in you is so unshakable that you can’t help but start believing in yourself.

There’s another benefit, too. When you are in the company of other people who are pursuing their heart’s desire it makes you more confident in your ability to go after your own. Suddenly you realize, “I really can do this!”

That’s why I intentionally keep my workshop/retreat small. It’s amazing how close you can get to people in such a short period of time. And the weekend is just the beginning. All of the people featured here are now engaged in weekly brainstorming and accountability sessions with their fellow participants. That way, they are sure to get the kind of ongoing support they (and you) need to nudge a dream along to action.

If you don’t have an accountability partner – get one. Meet once a week in person or by phone. You will be amazed how fast you get unstuck simply by getting and giving support.

Getting Unstuck Secret #4:
Stop Saying “I Don’t Know How”

We all walk around with these falsehoods in our minds: I don’t know enough. I don’t know how. No one would pay me to do that.

This kind of faulty thinking almost derailed Alison’s dream. You can get away with telling yourself you “don’t know enough” in the privacy of your own home. But that’s not going to fly in a room full of cheerleaders. In this case, a group who happened to know that Alison had made eight trips to Ecuador including once to attend an intensive import-export class and, in a previous life, had been a travel agent.

Frankly, if Alison had made only read trip, just read a book on import-export, and had zero travel industry experience, I’d still say she was qualified. Why? Because you don’t need to know everything before you begin. You just need to be resourceful enough to figure out what you don’t know and be willing to learn as you go.

Getting Unstuck Lesson #5:
Focus on the Parts You DO Know

Maybe you, too, have been stuck in a perpetual state of confusion and indecision. You don’t know what your passion is, you don’t know how to monetize it, you don’t know how to find the money or the time or the courage to change course. All these things may be true.

But what if you spent your energy focusing how much you already DO know? For instance you know…

…you want to experience the joy of doing work you truly love…

…you want to enjoy far more control over your time and your life…

…you want to do work that matters somehow…

Okay, so now what do you need to do to get more clarity? Is it read a book? Listen to an audio? Talk to someone who is doing work that intrigues you? Taking action on the things you do know will not only get you unstuck a lot faster than wallowing in what you don’t know, but action is the only thing that will give you the answers.

Get Unstuck Lesson #6:
Do What You Can – But Do SOMETHING

Before I try to convince you to grab one of the extremely limited spots in what I can honestly say is a life-changing workshop, I need to say something: I really do get that not everyone can travel to attend a live event. Maybe money is tight or there’s no one to watch the kids.

If you really can’t join me, then I totally understand. I also feel good knowing how much totally free information and advice I’ve made available to you right at to say nothing of the 228 free newsletters I’ve put out over the years.

If you can’t afford to attend this particular workshop, then promise me you will do something – ANYTHING – to honor your dream of changing course. If I can’t convince you that taking action feels great, then maybe Ashley Hain’s enthusiasm will…

Getting Unstuck Lesson #7:
Understand That Sacrifice is Not a Dirty Word

I also know that there are plenty of people who really can afford to come to this or other workshops but because they are “stuck” they do nothing. Then there are others, like Jill Scott who “think” they can’t afford to make a change:

The point is anything worth having involves a certain amount of sacrifice. No time to work on your business idea? Make the sacrifice of missing your favorite TV show once in a while. Take money you would have spent at Starbucks or a manicure and stash it away in a dream fund instead.

If you aren’t willing to give anything up in the present to get something better in the future, then you really don’t want it badly enough.

Stop Being a Spectator Of Other People’s Dreams

If you really want to get unstuck, then you have to stop watching others realize their dreams and take action on your own. You know what I’m talking about…

You follow all the gurus, but you never take their advice. You read all the books, but you skip the exercises. You watch all the cooking or gardening or travel or antiquing shows… but always as an observer.

I’ve recently spoken to three different people who have been on this journey with me for the entire 15 years Changing Course has been in business! That amazes me. It also makes me incredibly sad because while they love watching my dreams unfold – they have done relatively little to launch their own.

If any of this rings a bell, then with great love and compassion I have to tell you this: If you could have done it on your own, then you would have done it by now. So let me help you.

On June 25, 26, and 27th I will be conducting what may very well be my last Work at What You Love Workshop & Retreat here at my home in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. Even I do something like this again, it will definitely be the last one I do at this price. And I want you to be there.

Obviously, I know not all 23,000 of my readers can’t come. In fact, because the workshop portion is being held right in my home I can only accommodate around eight people. That way you get plenty of attention from me – and the chance to really connect with one another.

The Early Bird Registration price for the last Work at What You Love Workshop & Retreat ends on Tuesday May 31st – and with it, your chance to SAVE $500.

What I am charging for these 3 days is actually less than what my hourly rate is about to go to. Plus, your registration includes most meals, $159 worth of change enhancing resources, and a one-hour “Profiting From Your Passions” discovery and brainstorming session with me prior to ever arriving at the Work at What You Love Workshop & Retreat. Like Jill said, you can’t afford not to come.

Listen, I know what it’s like to be stuck. I’ve not only been there, but at times, I still get stuck myself. The difference is I know the secrets to getting unstuck. And now you do too. You’ll find all the details at

P.S. I realize you may not be 100 percent certain if this workshop/retreat is right for you. So here’s what I’m willing to do. Book editing wise, this is total crunch time for me. Which means I plan to be here working for the better part of Sunday and Monday.

If you email me at [email protected] to let me know you want to talk on either day, or anytime next week, assuming there are still spaces, then I will hold the early bird price for you until we talk.

It’s obviously important to me to have the right mix of people at the workshop. If I don’t think it’s the right workshop – or the right time for you – I will definitely tell you.

Even Cokie had a good time as you’ll see in this fun clip…

There are 19 comments. Add yours.

  1. Pingback: British Airways Talks End in Confusion | International Airport News
  2. Yvonne Finn

    Hi Valerie,
    Reading this article made me weep, not because I have not heard the content before, but because I remain so “stuck”.

    I have read Barbara Sher’s book and I am most certainly one of the “scanners”.
    Project based work suits me to a tee, and still I don’t seem
    to be able to put it all together.

    I really enjoy your newsletter and how it makes me feel that I can “do it” whatever “it” is.
    Yvonne Finn

  3. Hi Yvonne,

    I hate to make anyone cry but then that is sometimes it is in our times of pain when the greatest breakthroughs happen.

    Trying to focus on getting unstuck may feel like too big a goal (and hard to measure quickly). Instead focus on one small thing you can do differently today to move you a tiny step closer to where you want to be.

    Hope this helps!


  4. Ray

    You emailed me telling me this this was important! So tell me again HOW this is important to anyone but yourself. Instant ban!

  5. Kathy Jackson

    Hi Valerie, I enjoyed the comments from your class. When and where is the next class and what is the cost? I have been in hosice for the past 20 years and feel ready for a change. Let me know and I will consider coming to it. Sincerely, Kathy Jackson

  6. Jay Collier

    I can see from your promo that you are offering a $500 discount from your price but I can’t find the discounted total. It is probably not something I will be able to do right now, as I am currently unemployed and have two unemployment checks held up due to some mysterious issue that can’t be resolve until the next business day, at which time I will already be late on my rent.

    Today is my birthday, and I would love to be sponsored if that is something you could do.


  7. Elena Larsen

    Why are you proposing this as possibly your last retreat?

  8. Hi Ray,

    You asked why I considered it important to write today and the reason is because for those people who are interested in attending the June workshop, today is the final day to register at the Early Registration price. I try to be sensitive to people’s financial needs and thought a missed chance to save $500 would be important some people. I apologize if you were not among them.

    Hi Kathy,

    The upcoming retreat is June 25-27th and is being held in Montague Massachusetts. The workshop portion is happening here in my home. There are several motels and inns within 12-15 miles from my home. The closest airport is Hartford. I am 90 miles from Boston and about 3 hours from NYC if that helps.

    Since I am responding late to your email (sorry I got totally wrapped up in my book editing today!) I am happy to hold the Early Registration price for you.

    Hi Jay,

    First – Happy Birthday!

    The total cost for the 3 days including most meals, all materials, and an intial personal consultation with me is $1497 with the early registration discount it is $997.

    I understand this may not be the best time for you financially. Unfortunately I don’t have sponsorship spots available however I am happy to talk about how I might help you via a much more affordable private consultation and am always happy to work out payment plans for people who really need them. Give me a call at 413-367-222 EST to discuss.

    Hi Elena,

    It will probably be my last retreat at this price and in this particular format. My speaking schedule gets busy in the fall and when my book comes out next year it is going to get much busier.

    Still in the noodling stage… but I am considering working with fewer people, at a higher price point but where I offer more ongoing support from me. I hope this answers your question — if not feel free to give a shout!


  9. One more thought for Jay! Given the tight budget I may also be able to hook you up with one of my Profiting From Your Passions Career Coaches who is looking to do some practice sessions so it would be free for you. Don’t mistake practice session for inferior — these people are VERY good at what they do!

  10. Marlaine

    Hi Valerie,

    The workshop sounds like something I would love to attend but timewise and moneywise, it wouldn’t work for me right now. Could you tell me more about your private consultation sessions you mentioned in your comments to Jay? I’m feeling scattered and “rudderless” right now but I know if I knew what direction to go in, I’d be great at it. Is this something you might be able to help with?


  11. Hi Marlaine (great name!)

    Thanks your interest in a private profiting from your passions brainstorming and planning session.

    Currently it is a 90 minute session which includes a free copy of Finding Your True Calling eBook. You and I would do a brief intake by phone where I would explain what I need from you ahead of time in the way of a pre-assignment using the book and we would set a time to meet for our session.

    Sessions are 90 minutes long and the current price is $250. I say current b/c my rates are going to be going up but for now I am honoring that price.

    Feel free to call me at 413-367-0222 EST. FYI I leave late Thursday for a seminar in DC — back next Monday.


  12. Jack Andrew

    I would like to know; what about us guys. Many males would like a separation from a dead end job too. Maybe you could sell your customers on a mixed group next time.

  13. Hi Jack,

    Men are always welcome and indeed have come in the past. I can only feature the testimonials of the people who come and so far that has primarily been women.

    When I’ve done my large seminars 50-150 people I would say 30% of the attendees are male. Partly this is because men get more social pressure to suck it up and stay at a job they hate. Also men tend to gravitate to fast money making type programs are less concerned with the passion part.

    For better or worse women are given more permission to explore careers options based on satisfaction vs. salary.

    If I do another workshop I hope you’ll join us!

    Valerie Young

  14. Christine Christensen

    Hi Valerie,

    I know that I could do anything, if I only knew what it was!
    I’ve spent years reading books & newsletters, making lists, taking interest surveys, trying ideas out, brainstorming with others, taking classes, exposing myself to new people & groups, etc., but still no “passion” or “light bulb moment” for a business idea I really love.

    How would I be able to get the “hook up with one of my Profiting From Your Passions Career Coaches who is looking to do some practice sessions so it would be free for you” ?

    Thanks, Christine

  15. Hi Christine,

    For a free practice session with one of myu trained Profiting From Your Passions Career Coaches email [email protected] and let Lisa know you are interested.

    Also in a week or so you’ll find info on the home page at about a free 15 minute brainstorming session with one of my experienced coaches.

    Hope this helps!


  16. Optoisolator :

    my career coach is my father because he seems to know a lot my about career guidance ”

  17. I think it’s great that your dad offers suh great career guidance! If you want to start your own small business then hopefully he is also gifted at helping you see ways you can turn thethings you love to do into income! I find its often harder for people to think outside of the job box!

    Thanks for sharing.


  18. there are professional career coaches out there that charges a small fee *,,

  19. I feel that is one of the most significant info for me. And i’m glad studying your article. However want to observation on some basic issues, The site taste is ideal, the articles is actually nice :D. Good task, cheers.


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