Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

How to reinvent your career and your life: Pivot—change careers and live again

Creating Your Past and Your Future: Celebrate Your Audacity

What amazing feedback one of my client’s Lisa Conroy received! Incredible! So proud of her – living and working as she does with passion and purpose! Her success story is just one of many that have enriched my life this year – I’m thankful that having trained her to become a life coach that I have been able to play a small part in her success. Lisa proves that when you follow your bliss, life really can be a wonderful Box of Chocolates. Check out the feedback below.

As we near year end, it’s a great time to celebrate your wins, lick a few wounds, and resolve to create an extra-ordinary future.

The chances are high that you’re a lot like me—I didn’t inherit a fortune, I’ve had more than my share of challenges, and like waves in a storm, there’s always more hurdles to surf. But successful people, like Coco Chanel and Leonardo da Vinci, and the guy on the street corner praying he can make his mortgage, we keep swimming against the tide of mediocrity.

So take a moment, recollect, note and recall all the things you’ve achieved, all the dreams you’ve dared to dream, all the trials you’ve weathered—and most of all celebrate just how fabulous you are.

Like the lady who wrote to me (below) and reminded herself she already was successful—she has a wonderful husband, beautiful children….and a kind and generous heart.

Fortune favors the kind…and the audacious!

Are you looking for more inspiration or the ultimate Christmas gift?

if you still need a career rescue, or know someone that does, you’ll love my new books – plenty of inspiration for young and older

Career Rescue: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here:

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel)

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here:

I just received the most amazing feedback re The Art of Success – brought tears of joy to my blue eyes

“Hi Cassandra, I just had to tell you how much your Coco Chanel book means to me. I can’t even express all the emotions I am feeling right now. First of all, I never realized how much I have in common with her. Abandoned by my father, daughter of a narcissistic mother (which is like not having a mother at all). I’m also a Leo. Second, I relate to so many of her characteristics, as well. I’m fiercely independent and strong-willed, but riddled with doubts. Reading this book was like looking into a mirror for me; one that reflects both my past and my future. Your book is an answer to the prayer I’ve had in my heart recently. I will be referencing it often. I have so much to work on concerning myself, and I see this book as a much-needed tool to help me move past the limiting beliefs I can’t seem to let go of. The quote about living a life with a husband and children and people you love? That helped me to realize that I am already a success in Coco Chanel’s eyes. SO EMPOWERING!!!!! Thank you so much for the gift of this book.”

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Monday, December 19th, 2016

Success Story: Turning Her Dream into a Reality – Reinventing Joy Again

Joy spent 10 years as a Legal Conveyancer—but wanted to do something more creative. “I looked around one day and thought to myself, ‘Joy do you realize that shortly you are going to be the eldest one around here?’ I didn’t feel enamored with that thought.”

One day she was driving to work, stuck in traffic, thinking, “What am I doing? This just isn’t me.”

She was passionate about interiors and fabrics, and all her life she had dreamed of owning her own store. A simple quote, and her desire for change helped her decide to leave the security of her steady wage.

“I had read the quote, ‘Don’t make a permanent decision for a temporary feeling’ but I knew my feeling would not be temporary. I was determined it would not be, and I would not let it be.”

Her long-range vision was always to start up a successful interior design business. However, before branching completely on her own she brought into a franchise operation called Biggie Best.

“Buying the franchise was a great way for me to learn the skills required to be in business on my own. Because of all the backing of head office, and the fantastic systems and support I received, I was able to build my confidence as well as gain some experience, which all helped me to know with certainty that going out on my own in this industry was something I really wanted to do.”

Reinventing Joy Again

Joy’s desire to bring in more diverse stock clashed with the franchisers strict control forbidding diversion from their theme. It became clear it was in both their interests for her to gradually transition out of the franchise.

Joy was excited to finally be able to step into her own independence and opened her own interior design store, Maypole Interiors.

“I had no idea whether it would be successful or not but I was following a passion, and I knew I could pass that passion on to other people who did not have the same exposure to things beautiful.

I found the right product for the right market by finding the wholesale distributors who imported the things I loved.”

Maintaining Balance

Joy says hard work supplies energy if you love the work you are doing. She believes it is virtually impossible to run a good business if you have other things to concentrate on.

“A business takes full concentration. There is no room for anything else if you are to be successful. It cannot be played with.”

Maintaining some balance came naturally, she says. “My family was independent of me, and my husband was fully supportive. He loved the business. Cobwebs did appear—and stay—in the house.

Natural Talent and Good Management

Her beautiful window dressing, natural talent, great fabrics, products and success with clients meant finding clients came easily.

Joy never trained formerly as an interior designer, but had a natural talent for interior design and a passion for creating beauty. Something another astoundingly successful interior American-based designer Barbara Barry also shares.

Joy says her secret to success, managing cash flow, and generating regular income lies in keeping good records of sales every month and through the year.

Other strategies that contributed to her success, she says were: “Having budgets set for both staff and myself of daily sales, knowing how much has to go through the till every week, and if not reaching that target working harder on shop displays and advertising.

Always presenting yourself well, being honest, truly honest with people when they were looking for something, even putting them off and losing a sale if you knew the product wasn’t right for them and having a smile to greet them no matter what you were feeling”, were also effective she says.

Be Brave and Fully Passionate

Joy’s advice to others thinking of starting a business is:

  • Be brave, but don’t start a business without being fully passionate about what you are trying to achieve.
  • Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you feel you can make a difference and make a happy experience for your customers.

And her steps to self-employment?

“They say you should have a business plan. My plan was only to make my shop irresistible.”

If she could have done anything differently Joy says she might have moved to a different location where there was more foot traffic. “Location is perhaps the most important when you have a physical store.”

Following the death of her husband, Joy, now in her 70’s, decided to change the way she ran her business and works from her beautiful home, consulting for wealthy clients. She has also designed and had a self-contained cottage built on her inner-city Wellington property. In addition, she also runs a business through Airbnb where she shares her uniquely beautiful home with appreciative guests from New Zealand and overseas.

What You’ve Learned So Far

  • Not everyone is suited to being self-employed; but don’t prematurely discount it as a viable option
  • Starting small and starting something on the side may wet your appetite, give you confidence and intensify your desire
  • Start smart before you travel too far toward self-employment. Be sure to assess the pluses and minuses, learn from other people’s mistakes, and plan for success
  • Don’t assume you need to go into debt to begin—take the pressure off and look for more affordable ways to get started. You can always invest more capital when your profits begin to soar
  • Keep an eye on cash-flow, and ensure you have access to a line of credit for emergencies
  • Commit to ongoing growth—personally and professionally
  • Determine which of the six ways to employ yourself suit you best
  • Be courageous, brave and passionate. It’s worth it!

What’s Next

Lack of money doesn’t have to hold you back. Let’s look at how financing your career can be more affordable than you think.

This was an excerpt from Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself

Start a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self-employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence. This handy resource will show you how.

#1 Amazon Best-Seller. Available in print and eBook—

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Thursday, December 15th, 2016

How a chance encounter lead one unhappy employee to confidently leave a job she hated, and start living a life she loved, before it was too late


I received this lovely newsletter today from my beautiful, courageous mid-life career changer, Cate Walker. I’ve included it below.

Her story is such an amazingly inspirational tale of transformational career change and the power of following your passion – as well as the power of acting on a chance encounter.

Chance is also something Coco Chanel followed to her great success – this and other secrets, including how she used tarot cards to inspire the creation of her mega successful perfume Chanel no. 5, – are highlighted in my new book, The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel) available from Amazon here –

Below is what Cate shared  in her newsletter. See if you can spot the steps Cate has taken to leave a job she hated and find a job she loved. Reply to this email with your comments and go in the drawer to win a signed copy of my new book!


“It has been my pleasure over the last twelve months to step sideways into another form of decluttering. Editing and proof-reading!

Ten years ago, my (now late) father, asked me if I’d like to help him ‘pull his book into line’. Without hesitation, I agreed and, what began as an exciting journey with my father’s involvement in World War 2, has now turned into a full-on love of ‘working with a red pen’.

From an early age, spelling and grammar were my favourite ‘subjects’ at school. I think it came from my mother, who was always a stickler for correct spelling, sentence structure and pronunciation. And, unlike Maths or Science, I was always good at it. School wasn’t always a happy place for me, so maybe this was my niche – without me knowing it!

For many years now I have been reading newspapers and magazines with ‘a red pen in hand’, finding mistakes, and wondering what editors actually do all day. I know, I know – it’s not the Editor’s job to correct spelling and grammar issues. But there used to be people employed on a newspaper or magazine to correct such mistakes. Now it seems to be a case of write a story quickly, cut and paste, add a photo with a correct-ish caption, and send. With centralised printing presses now the norm, nobody seems to be taking responsibility for the quality of writing – with the basic spelling and grammar requirements seemingly totally ignored.

In fact, come to that, teachers used to correct our work with a red pen. We learned from that correction – none of us took to our beds because of a red line through a word or sentence. Now it’s politically incorrect. Teachers are not allowed to use red pens anymore in case little Johnny gets upset.

Consequently, most people cannot spell or write a proper sentence and most don’t even bother to read their work before handing it in or ‘publishing’ to a website or various forms of social media. And do they even care? Thus, we are all having to put up with peeps being lazy – R u with me? Gr8! Gd to have u on bord! BRB! (My son tells me that means ‘Be Right Back’!)

Laziness in writing, in publications, in web content, and especially in social media is RIFE. And it’s ACCEPTABLE. But why should we accept it? There is nothing better than losing ourselves in an interesting article which challenges our thoughts and opinions, in a beautiful novel which transports us to another place, or a fascinating travel blog which helps us book our next holiday. But throw in a few ‘slepping errours , or punctation blooppers” and the magic suddenly disappears.

So, what is the answer? TIME. If you are taking the time and effort to write an article, a blog post or a romance novel, why would you not want to present your work in the best possible light? It’s the time taken to research, proof-read, edit, make changes, edit again – and again if necessary – which can turn an average piece of writing into a great read.

I find the best way to pick up mistakes is to read it to yourself – aloud! You may feel a little awkward at first, but it works. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, punctuation placement, or clumsy dialogue, all reveal themselves when read aloud. Trust me, I often lose my voice after a long editing session!

A Chance Encounter

A little over twelve months ago, while scrolling through Facebook, I chanced upon a request from a writer in New Zealand asking for anyone who could help launch her new book. The book was the first in a series she was publishing called Mid-Life Career Rescue. This was right up my alley – timely, in fact. Maybe she was a mind reader and knew my situation? Whatever it was, she was writing about ME – and so many others in similar situations.

I jumped at the chance to help her proof-read the book, replying to her request immediately. So, with no formal arrangements, she entrusted me with her book. Consequently, two things happened. First, she was over the moon with my help and we bounced ideas around with each other. Second, I realised I was keen to do more of this. Lots more.

Subsequently, my (now) friend, Cassandra Gaisford, has given me the task of proof-reading and editing the remaining 3 best-selling books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series, and others. And in January 2016 I took the advice in these books and jumped ship from my unhappy job. I am now working from home, building my decluttering and organising business, and have a part-time job in a clothing shop nearby. An exciting addition to my new-found happy-at-home situation, is that I am now receiving editing and proof-reading jobs which I am really loving – in fact I am passionate about it!

Cassandra has since branched out into romance novels – something she’s been wanting to do for years. I was privileged to be asked to help her with these great reads. Her novels are written under the name of Mollie Mathews, and they are set in beautiful places, and her descriptive narrative transports the reader to paradise. I thoroughly recommend these novels in the Gemstone Billionaire series, which are available through her website

I am really excited to be able to announce that very soon I will be officially launching another string to the bow of Your Clutter Coach, to be called The Uncluttered Word. I will be offering a proof-reading and editing service which will be aimed at, but not limited to, romance writers. For details of the services offered, please keep your eyes peeled on our website. However, the best way to keep informed is to subscribe to the Your Clutter Coach newsletter and you will be notified by email of our new products and services.

If you wish to contact me regarding your writing projects, please don’t hesitate to email me (just reply to this email) and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Even though I am not ‘officially’ up and running yet I am still able to help you out now. If you know of anyone who needs help with their writing projects, please share my details.

I trust that through my passion for uncluttered words, I can help you with your passion for writing!”

I hope you enjoyed this wonderful story or reinvention – and that Cate’s story will inspire you to embark on your own career rescue.

Passionately yours


p.s here are some helpful links to the books Cate has edited

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book One: Leonardo da Vinci) –

Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself

Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late –

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous


Monday, December 5th, 2016

How to dream big and make it happen today


“I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like “~ Coco Chanel, businesswoman

In the movie, ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness,’ Will Smith, who plays the role of a homeless man, says to his son, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Period.”

As a child Coco dreamed big. The flames of her desires were in part fueled by reading romance novels full of dashing heroes and heroines living absurdly, audaciously opulent and liberated lives. 

I’m sure plenty of people tried to sabotage Coco’s dreams of success—but she dreamed big dreams anyway. She once said that she would pretend she didn’t hear people who criticized her, and could not see people with whom she disagreed. Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit are an inspiration to young and old.

People, impatient to see the realization of your dreams may say, “Show me the money” or “You’ve left it too late,” or some other downer message. 

Ignore them.

“It’s already been done,” people said to Tim Ferris when he first mentioned his idea of starting a podcast. Instead of letting others talk him out of starting his show he did it anyway. His podcast is now ranked #1 business podcast on all of iTunes, and it’s been ranked #1 (of all podcasts) on many occasions. It is the first business/interview podcast to pass 100,000,000 downloads. It was also selected as iTunes’ “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2015.” He’s been called the Oprah of radio.

Your Challenge

Dream big. Everything starts as someone’s daydream

Fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles

Become audaciously obsessed

Dream big but plan small. Baby steps will lead to bigger success

Anchor your dreams within your heart and feel as though they are already achieved

Create a soundtrack to feed your dreams. I still love Miley Cyrus’s The Climb, particularly the encouraging lyrics to persist and persevere, “Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side—It’s the climb.”

“Remember, you go where your vision is. Think Big, feel big, and know in your heart that you are one with God, and you will project a radiance, a glow, a confidence, a joy, and a healing vibration which bless all who come within your orbit now and forevermore”

~ Joseph Murphy, PhD, author and New Thought minister



This has been an excerpt from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel).  You can learn more from Coco, find your point of brilliance and read motivational musings from really big dreamers like Tim Ferris, Leonardo da Vinci, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, Igor Stravinsky and other inspirational stories of success.  Available in print and eBook on Amazon. Navigate to here:


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