jen spencer coaches

Professional Destiny + Valerie Hausladen Interview

Valerie Hausladen is not new to leadership in the creative world.  As part of the original executive team for WPP’s Global Agency, Enfatico, Valerie built their largest office from scratch to 200+ people in 6 months!

Valerie is a nationally-recognized author, speaker and consultant for both Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial companies. Her paradigm-shifting book, Professional Destiny, been an inspirational but practical guide that has helped countless others “discover the career they were born for.”

How do you define professional destiny?

A job is something we do to earn a living. Oftentimes it is too small for our spirit.

Our Professional Destiny is a mighty undertaking that challenges us, taps into our creative energy and reawakens our spirit. It is our work with a capital W. Once we start on the path, our passion and creativity are ignited. Best of all, we feel like our work is meaningful and that we are making a difference.

You’ve worked for and consulted with Fortune 500 companies.  What key pieces of Professional Destiny would you highlight for large organizations that are managing many talent pools?

Recognize people’s natural talents and that they may have “spiky” skills (i.e. they are remarkable at 1-2 things). Don’t try to “homogenize” them and make them well-rounded. Great leaders are like conductors of an orchestra. It’s not about how they look behind the podium; it’s how they bring out the unique brilliance of each of their players. For more information I write a blog series on this very subject called “Why Most Corporations Homogenize Remarkable People.”

What are your tips for successful self-publishing?

The self-publishing industry is changing so rapidly that it’s turning the traditional publishing industry on its ear. It’s a very exciting time to be an author! Now that I’m a self-published “veteran,” I can share with you the top three things I’ve learned:

  • You need a great editor and cover designer. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that a common downfall for self-published books according to big publishers is, that “most disappear, in part because they may be poorly edited [and designed] and are almost never reviewed.” Yet, many online self-publishing companies like CreateSpace are now offering full publishing services, or you can hire a great freelance editor and designer for yourself.
  • It’s all about building communities and getting the word out. Once you have a great book, you can build a dialog with your readers through blogging and social media (FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube). It’s such an amazing and rewarding change from just a few years ago. If you’re not comfortable with marketing, you can hire your own publicist and online marketing specialist—and in my opinion, this is one of the most important places to invest.
  • The distribution channel challenge is rapidly changing. Getting your book stocked in bookstores across the country can be an enormous and discouraging feat if you’re representing yourself. But Amazon, other online bookstores and the rapidly-growing e-book options are quickly leveling the distribution channel playing field.

Overall, the book publishing ground is shifting as we speak. If you have a great idea and story to tell (that is… if it’s your Professional Destiny!) now more than ever, you are incredibly empowered to share it with others.

What tips would you give to someone that is currently working in a 6 figure job that doesn’t match their professional destiny.  Tips for redirecting, especially when you have financial obligations?

I have two pieces of advice. The first is to start dedicating a portion of your time (in the evenings/weekends) toward the pursuit of your professional passion. Your time could be spent networking, building a website, writing, painting, doing research… whatever. This enables you to build a foundation and make interesting contacts that will open new doors and opportunities. The second piece of advice is to make a financial plan that allows you to pare down to the bare essentials so that you can invest in yourself to make your dream happen. I call this “The Freedom Plan.” It’s a plan that buys your freedom to do what you love.

What sources of inspiration do you use/read/watch? Any role models that guide you?

I find inspiration all around me in books, music and audio CD’s (my current favorites: Lynne Grabhorn, Caroline Myss, and Jerry and Esther Hicks – they’re great to listen to in the car!). I’m also a great observer of people — I find JK Rowling and Elizabeth Gilbert’s talks inspiring). I’ve had many coaches and I surround myself with supportive friends.  I feel like I’m learning everywhere I turn!

Valerie Hausladen frequently blogs about her favorite subjects at:

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