life coach Archives - Stratejoy


I Believe in the Transformational Power
of Adoring Ourselves.

And the gorgeous women who contributed to this guide do to!  As you probably know, I spent two weeks in February hosting a Fierce Love Blog Crawl to start a lively conversation across the internet about the meaning and practice of self-love. This is the aftermath of the experiment…

A 74 page guide with 26 inspiring essays written by 26 inspiring women exploring self-love in its many iterations, sharing personal stories, and empowering *YOU* to practice Fierce Self-Love in your own world.

DOWNLOAD the ABC’s of Self-Love Guide HERE


Fierce Love is the first step to an authentically joyful life.

Your journey to live life on your own terms demands a lot from you, dear one. You’ve got to be courageous. You need to stand up for your own desires in the face of others’ expectations. You must be dedicated to sharing your gifts and finding your voice in the world. Sometimes, you’ve got to cut your losses and move on, to leave outgrown friendships, demand more from your work, and realize you’re deserving of true love. You may need to recommit to your health, your dreams, your creativity, or your own happiness.

All of this? It starts with Fierce Love.

You are the voice, the heart, and the one who brings this conversation to life. Without *YOU* this guide languishes in the recesses of the internet, a lonely PDF experiment without life, without spark, without consideration.  Thank you for reading and using the wisdom within as juicy fuel to spark Fierce Love in your world, on your terms!

DOWNLOAD the ABC’s of Self-Love Guide HERE

Prefer to surf around the internet to read the essays?
You can do that to!

A is for Acceptance by Molly Mahar “Acceptance isn’t handing the reigns of your live over to fate, but relishing the present moment.

B is for Beauty by Rebecca Bass-Ching “I now revel in the awe-inspiring beauty of courage, generosity, gentleness, kindness, sacrificial love, compassion, vulnerability, motherhood and respect.”

C is for Celebration by Dani “Stand in front of the mirror and point out all the things you love about yourself. Instant self-love!”

D is for Determination by Ash Ambirge “Want success? Make more decisions, choose more often, gain more control, and then take responsibility over your success. Period.”

E is for Enough by Amy Kessel “The resistance to loving ourselves disappears when we know, really know, that we are enough.”

F is for Freedom by Jenny Blake “A fallacy of freedom is that we must not allow ourselves to be tied-down, lest we lock the cage on our ability to fly.”

G is for Growth by Justine Musk
“It’s how you grow through and out of it – the meaning you make of it – that can not only shape yourself and your creative work (and your life) — but inspire others.”

H is for Honoring by Randi Buckley
: “The deepest honor in the name of self-love shines light onto the whispers in the heart.”

I is for Integrity by Sarah Peck “Integrity is a consistency of action, over time, that builds in what you say, believe, and do.”

J is for Joy by Hannah Marcotti “Joy can live inside of you, at all times. It is your option.”

K is for Kindness by Erin Haslag “Celebrate you. Love you. Be kind to you.”

L is for Lucky by Susan Hyatt “You ARE the shiny. YOU are the honey. The sooner you align with that basic truth, the luckier you are going to get. Romantically and otherwise.”

M is for Moxie by Alexia Vernon  “The more we recognize and embrace our moxie, the more we shift into seeing fear as a reminder to listen to our inner voices.”

N is for Natural by Michelle Ward:  “Equally scared and excited? It means you’re guaranteed to learn, to grow, to take away – and that is always The Right Track.”

O is for Ownership by Tiffany Moore “Taking ownership of your life is the ultimate step in self-care.”

P is for Pleasure by Rachel Cole “With pleasure as my carrot I don’t need a stick. And neither do you.”

Q is for Questioning by Tara Sophia Mohr “It’s sometimes said that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our questions.”

R is for Release by Julie Daley “You are beautiful because the core of who you is beauty itself.”

S is for Strength by Pam Slim“We are all capable of so many things. We can endure challenge, tragedy and heartbreak and come out clearer, stronger and more loving on the other end. Trust yourself.”

T is for Truth by Amber Rae “With honesty, there is unlimited potential for growth.”

U is for Understanding by Andrea Owen “This is a place where no one is broken. We are human and messy.”

V is for Values by Tanya Geisler“See, as juicy as values are, they are so foundational to self-love that it’s almost impossible for me to uncollapse the two.”

W is for Worth by Tara Gentile “Your self-worth isn’t a number. Your earning potential doesn’t indicate your living potential.”

X is for X-Rated by Kelly Diels“Being an X-rated woman means deliberately choosing who you will please.”

Y is for Yes by Sarah Von Bargen “Yes to monthly pedicures with my BFF.  Even in the winter.  Even when my toes are inside boots all day long.”

Z is for Zen by Amanda Oaks “Zen is the gateway into showing you what it is to fiercely yet gently love yourself.”

Inspired? Electrified?  Ready to practice Fierce Love in your own world?

I can’t wait to witness the flames of your love.

It’s all about *YOU* and that’s a damn good thing.


p.s.  Dig this Guide?  Find out more about the Fierce Love Course!

Molly Mahar is a life coach, speaker, writer, fierce love advocate and joy enthusiast. She is the founder of Stratejoy, this positive corner of the Internet that provides thousands of women the tools, strategies and camaraderie to lead authentically joyful lives.  Molly’s work is delivered through several live and digital group programs, focused on creating *YOUR* joyful world. She works one-on-one with clients who are ready for soul-level personal alignment and big transitions.

Molly also laughs loudly, swims naked, and wears a lot of costumes. And she’s expecting a tiny boy person on June 2, which will her give her loads of opportunity to practice fierce lovin’.

She’d love to hear from you on Twitter or Facebook. Connect away!

I felt the support immediately after Molly posted the video me winning the Life Coaching Scholarship – messages and tweets immediately were sent my way with kind words of congratulations from the tribe – and that was only the beginning…

Hello tribe, I’m Ashley, and I am proud to say that I am the first ever Stratejoy Scholarship recipient.  Now that my coaching from Molly is complete, she wanted me to share a bit of the experience with the tribe (and I, of course, jumped at the chance).

When I filled out the application, I was probably the most authentic version of myself I had been up to that point.  Sure, I had started (and re-started) the Joy Equation several times and I had in my head that there were things I needed to work on but I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.  I had tried to talk to my boyfriend and Mom about things I wanted to change, but didn’t always feel I was getting the most objective advice because they are so close to me and ultimately affected by my life.

I thought I would give the Scholarship a shot, and I have been thankful every day since that I did.

My shift during my time with Molly may not be as eventful as the Season 4 bloggers – I didn’t get married or plan a wedding or have a baby or travel the world – and before, I probably would have described myself as ‘boring.’  My shift was similar, though, in that I learned to face things head on, own my feelings and make big plans. 

In order to do that I had some cleaning up I had to do…

One of the scariest things I have ever done was the hurdle that I tackled with Molly in dealing with men from my past: moving on from deceptiveness of my adoptive father and releasing the anger toward my ex-boyfriend I moved for.  Once I got rid of those cobwebs from my mind I finally had the clear heart to focus on everything else.  I spent years moving on without really dealing with the past; I always told myself I wasn’t running away from things but was running toward things.  Either way, I was running instead of confronting and coping and healing, and it is the latter that has made all of the difference.

The running doesn’t stop there, though, as I do in fact identify myself as a runner.  I started my career as a freelance fitness writer about a year-and-a-half ago after an internship I had in college turned into a Regional Editor position.  It all kind of happened by accident, but then again, that is how most of the best things in life come about.  I was researching and writing about all of these amazing fitness activities but had yet to truly embrace the lifestyle.  I have gotten to try things like women’s boxing, a boot camp, barre classes and much more for articles I have written, but it is running that has stolen my heart.

I consider my running group – Rogue Running – my second home in Austin.

I discovered Rogue while writing an article about them and signed up shortly thereafter to train for a half marathon (at the time, I had only ever run a 5K).  I ran my first half marathon this past April, and though I am taking the summer off to stay out of the Texas heat, I start training again this September – this time for two half marathons that are a few weeks apart.

My running has impacted my fitness writing in a way I didn’t expect.  I knew it would help me understand the lifestyle and dedication of athletes, sure, but I had no idea that it would ignite this passion that I was previously lacking.  I spent time as a local Race Ambassador for my last half marathon and, with Molly’s encouragement, I am working with a local running store to start up a similar program to build community at the store.  I’m also developing my personal brand as a freelance writer with the help of Brandkit (owned by my wonderful friend Andrea, who you all may remember from Season One).

Even though a lot of these things were already in the works, Molly gave me the extra push to really get them off the ground.

Stratejoy has given me so much – from the Joy Equation to the Scholarship to my friendship with Andrea (I emailed her after visiting her Season One posts and we hit it off immediately) – and it has also given me a new-found feeling of authenticity.  I used to be the girl who apologized for everything and now I own my feelings and actions.  I used to carry around so much anger from the past and now I am the girl who is happily living in the present (and living it with my boyfriend).  I used to be the girl who only saw the negative things in Austin and now, though I do miss my friends and family in California, I am finding things I love about the city and have committed to be here for at least the next few years. 

Basically, I used to be someone who got in her own way instead of embracing change and opportunity and just trusting that I had what I needed to truly live a life I loved.

I may not have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place yet, but I am well on my way, and I have learned that the journey is making all the difference.

Ashley, 24, will always identify herself as a Californian, even though she now lives 1,300 miles away in Texas.  She graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2008 with a degree in Communications, packed up her car and made the grueling drive to Texas.  Fond of a great pair of running shoes, her latest impulse e-reader purchase, ampersands, Helvetica and Pacey Witter, you will usually find Ashley running, reading, writing or watching old television shows on DVD (Dawson’s Creek, anyone?!).  Slowly digging herself out of her Quarterlife Crisis, Ashley is working on her freelance writing career, living with her boyfriend while dreaming up ways to turn their guest bedroom into an office, running around town and learning to love her new home in Austin.


It’s here!!

I’m every kind of excited to announce that the first ever Stratejoy Scholarship is open for applications!

Wanna get six sessions with me for zero dollars? This is your chance.  Seriously.  Apply now for a chance to win $600 worth of coaching with me for FREE.

No catch.  Just 3 months of coaching for one lucky, deserving winner.

Who’s it for?

What?  You mean, besides you?

Soul seekers.  Passion addicts who want to turn dreams into action.  Gutsy girls jonesing for a big change.  Quarterlife Crisis sufferers. Wannabe entrepreneurs.  Women stuck on “I want more” without a clue what that means.  Burnt out babes on a budget.  Battlers of big decisions.  Freelancers with big goals.

If you’re ready to really start living your life on your own terms, with a juicy balance between internal growth and external achievement, then this application is for you.  Get started.

All applications are due by Sunday, March 27th at midnight PST.  I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday, April 4th on the blog.

Can’t wait to work with YOU.  Let’s get this party started, eh?


p.s.  I said this last week, but this scholarship is inspired by my friend and colleague, Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach.  She’ll be offering her 3rd Annual When I Grow Up Scholarship soon!

So, I got this email from an amazing girl whom I’m going to call Gina.

Why Gina?  Well, that’s her name.

I cried when I read it because 1) I was so happy for her and 2) I was totally touched by her words.

I want to share it with you.

(If you don’t want to read it, you should at least skip to the bottom of the post where I announce something exciting…  Exciting as in a 3 month coaching scholarship… As in free Stratejoy coaching from yours truly… No strings attached!)

In Gina’s Words.

Hi Molly,

Happy Saturday! 🙂

Just sending you another update… PROUD warning: This is a long, long, long one! I think you’re going to really enjoy it.

I’d imagine that what I’m about to share is the type of rewarding progress that makes a life coach feel really good. Well, you should!! All your coaching has been amazing so far, and you’ve been patient with me, asking the right questions, pushing me, and inspiring me (I’m looking forward to continuing to work with you).

And, of course, I’m also proud of myself for seeking out this self-work in the first place… But you made it possible, so thank you!!

Witthout further ado, I’d like to present my BIG FORWARD MOVEMENT, PROGRESS and SENSE OF PURPOSE revelations…

*drum roll*

1. Wants & Needs Change.

Things change. We change. It’s important to do a self-assessment of our wants and needs at this moment in time (Joy Equation and your coaching have been instrumental in this). I think part of my struggle has been that I’ve been making decisions based on the person I was four years ago, and didn’t realize that I’ve changed or, rather, EVOLVED (I’m so grateful to be able to say “evolved”).

Professional development used to be my number one priority… I put any kind of spiritual needs aside, and eventually forgot about how important it is to me. At 27, I can say that spirituality is the most important aspect of my life. What does that mean for me today? Spirituality right now consists of living in the moment, being grateful, focusing on the now, a greater sense of awareness, and maintaining my health and well-being.

I’ve already started doing this, and it’s making a huge difference.

2. Big Discovery.

I now understand what a significant part of my struggle has been: I’ve been evaluating my progress based on goals that aren’t as important or no longer speak to me.

Here’s an example:

I was focused on moving up in my career, working for someone else and moving up the corporate ladder. Approval and recognition were SO important to me. My “not receiving an adequate enough amount of that” at my current job was distressing. (Note: I’ve always been a person who takes responsibility for my life. I know that the only person who controls my life is ME). I attempted to work harder… but my heart just wasn’t into it.

“What’s wrong with me,” I’d ask myself. “Have I lost the power?”

When I really think about it, I wonder “Has my career EVER made me that happy?” Yeah, I love marketing. I love business development. I love writing (when I’m writing about something I’m passionate about). Yeah, I’ve always been an ideas gal, an entrepreneur at heart, a strategy addict.

But have I ever loved those things while at an actual 9-5 job? No, I really don’t think so. I loved those things in school. I loved those things at my internships. I loved those things in any freelance work or projects I’ve done. What I now realize is that I loved those things when I was doing them for ME (MY project, MY freelance work, MY helping-a-friend-with-their-business, etc.). I LOVE those things when they’re MY babies… When I hold the cards… When the world is my oyster!!

It’s no wonder I’ve been so unhappy, so confused, so stumped, so lost!

So what’s this mean for me right now? It means I need to be grateful for the job that I have – not only because it’s provided and continues to provide an income, benefits, etc., but because of the lessons it has taught me and is currently teaching me… Without this experience, who knows how long it would have taken me to realize what I really want (to make my mark through some concept, business or service I create and provide.. and it has to be something that empowers others).

I feel more confident that I’ve been making the right decisions. These decisions have taught me lessons, provided me with the bridge to my true self. This particular life-chapter (this last year, during which I’ve been more lost and confused than I’ve ever been) was rigorous… but my soul needed it. I needed it to find myself again… to meet ME, greet ME on a daily basis, and unleash ME. I thank the universe with every part of ME for this experience… for the tears, pain, confusion and obstacles. Without these struggles, I wouldn’t have questioned myself…

And my spirit was ready to question itself.

3. My Legacy.

I took my current job because I wanted to empower people, because empowering people is my calling – I know it is. I feel it in my soul. I want to empower people to be better, to live better, to enjoy life to the fullest. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do this or in which way, but I know my medium will be writing, and I know that marketing will be very important in building whatever my legacy is.

I’m ready to embark on the expedition to discover my legacy. I know the expedition is going to take some time, and I understand the importance of being patient while it comes to the surface.

4. What’s Next?

In addition to whatever work you have me do, I’m going to make sure that I’m owning the moment in all areas of my life… I’m going to reevaluate how I spend my time, continue to spend more time doing quality things (i.e. reading, Sunday day trips, etc.). I’m going to continue cultivating relationships with the people who bring out the best in me, who provide value to my life, and who I provide value to. I’m going to open my mind and explore new things. I’m going to spend less time getting mad about political things, except the couple of issues that are VERY important to me and that are worth fighting for (but in the empowering sense, not in the nobody-wins way).

I’m going to embrace this chapter of my life and every chapter after that… I’m going to listen closely to the wisdom of the universe, and the wisdom already within me; and I’m going to stop seeking other’s approval instead of my own – Approval doesn’t matter. It’s about being true to MYSELF.

The only things that matter when it comes to how I live my life is how an action makes ME feel (if I feel good about the energy I’m sending out into the universe. then it’s the right action). Because I am a good person with good intentions and integrity, I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about hurting the world as a result…

Love,  Gina

My Reaction

Yes. Yes, yes, and yes.  This is why I do what I do.  For Gina.  For you. For everyone who is seeking to create meaningful change in their life through a focus on joy, authenticity, and living life on your own terms.

Soul seekers?  Passion addicts?  Gutsy girls?  Those craving more happiness in their day-to-day?  Women who want to share a message with their community/city/world?


And I want to help.  I’m going to be opening up my first annual Stratejoy Scholarship next Monday for 3 months of coaching (6 biweekly, private 60 minute sessions) for those of you who can’t afford it on your own.  It’s a $600 value of clarity and movement.  There will be an application to complete, but that’s about all.

Stay tuned sunshine.  Let’s rock your world, eh?

p.s.  My inspiration for this scholarship? My friend and colleague, Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach.  She pushes me to grow and give with more heart everyday. Thanks Michelle, for being you.

[photo credit : Miss Yellow]

You guys!  It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote a personal post and updated you on what’s actually going on in my life.  HELLO LOVELY!!

So, to really get caught up- we’re going to have to resume the update after my whirlwind time conference hopping in November!  I wrote a bit about how I was recommitting to the trip and then seriously, 2 weeks later, I decided I needed a break from living out of Stella (our lovely car/home).  Not happy!  Not having fun!  Missing quiet time to work!  The final decision came in Florida after a miserable night of being eaten alive by invisible bugs and getting zero sleep and then having to take a cold shower.

I know it doesn’t sound completely tragic, but I was done.

The Big Man wasn’t done however…  With employees helping him keep his business running, he had found a better balance between traveling/playing/working than I had managed, and was having a blast on the trip!  So, although the trip was partly a “honeymoon”, we decided when we flew home to Index (1.5 hours outside of Seattle) for the holidays, I would just stay until I felt caught up and ready to rejoin him.

Why Index?  We don’t have a place in Seattle anymore, so it’s the only real home base we have right now!

Going Home

We had some magical snow and family time in the cabin, and then on January 12th, the Big Man flew back to Miami to rescue Stella from the slightly sketchy garage and head West. I flew off the next day to Big Sky to visit my parents and go skiing.  And then I cozied up in the Index cabin, launched the Season 4 Bloggers, started new coaching groups, got creative with my personal theme and goddess book, began working with 5 new one-on-one clients, and made some substantial progress on my new journaling program.  (Joy Juice!  Coming soonish!)

I also drank green smoothies every morning, meditated, and caught up with my pals and sister in Seattle over dinner parties, coffee dates, and hikes.

Did I get lonely without my husband in a cabin in the middle of nowhere?  Yes.

Did I feel like I got a handle on my business, my plans for 2011, sober January, and my friendships?  Yes.

Back on the Road

So where am I now? Well, at this exact moment, I’m typing this from our Best Man’s pool cabana in San Diego!  I flew down on Thursday to meet the Big Man and Stella and continue the West Coast portion of our trip.  It’s been gorgeous here.  I’ve eaten a million fish tacos, caught up with another sorority sister and her family (Hi Ang!), met all sorts of adorable kids, and cruised Pacific, Ocean, Solana, and Del Mar Beach.

Also, I absolutely love conducing coaching calls poolside.  Win.

What’s next? After being on the road for 3 months, I was “home” a bit over a month and a half, and now it’s looking like we’ve got another month ahead of us!  And then what?  Honestly, I have no idea.  With the flexibility we’ve both built for ourselves (hello location independence!) we could go anywhere…

Do YOU Live on the West Coast? I’m super looking forward to meet-ups in Los Angeles (probably this Thursday!), the Bay Area, and Portland in the next month.  Sorting out details now, but if you’d like to be on the invite list- just shoot me an email (molly (@) stratejoy (.) com) with your phone number so I can text out the plan!

And now…. The Photo Update you’ve been waiting for!

Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  A favorite place, for sure.

I’m a stationary whore.  Letterpress shops are my heaven.

As Fisherman and Geisha, we spent Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts in the middle of the madness.

Eating a block of Tea from 1773 (?) on our walking tour of Boston.

You know where…  Obligatory White House Photo Op!

On the water, just outside of Charleston.  And look!  Short sleeves!

Long Key State Park in the Florida Keys.  This is the Big Man’s version of heaven… Killer campsite, eh?

Good thing we like Long Key…. Got stuck there for 3 more days while Stella went to the “hospital”.

South Beach!  Sunshine! Art Deco everywhere!  Men who still catcall!

From the beach to our cabin in Index.  Shock to the system for sure!

Walking to the Post Office to mail Joy Equation Workbooks!  One of the exciting moments in my day…  🙂

Chilling in Pacific Beach with my honey on Friday. And yes, a month was a long time to be apart!

Sunset at Solana Beach.  Love me some West Coast.

p.s.  I’m putting together a hand-picked Get It Off the Ground Group for Tuesday evenings (maybe 7 pm PST), starting in a month.  If you’re interested in applying – I’m doing intake calls this week and next.  I want the right group- really motivated, positive women.  You?  Get in touch.

What follows is a whip smart and revealing guest post from Laura, one of the amazing women who took part in the inaugural Get It Off the Ground Group Coaching Program.  (Which reminds me, cupcake!  The 2011 Groups are starting NEXT WEEK!  There are a few spots left-  but you need to register NOW!)

I’m honored to host Laura (aka Big L) on Stratejoy today and excited to let her “share her thing”!  And if you’re lucky, she’ll explain what’s up with Richard Simmons! Without further ado….
“Let’s transform your thing into our thing!
Have you ever had an idea so big that it occupies your thoughts every day? Have you ever been so focused on a vision – on the “I wish” and “What if” – that you made little or no progress toward actually achieving it?
Have you ever tackled something – a project, business, invention, book – with such fierce independence and ownership, you were unwilling to ask for help?
Have you ever felt so passionate about something that you went so far as to close yourself off to others’ advice? Not because you lacked respect or love for the people giving it, but because you wanted to do it your way. You wanted to make your own mistakes and decisions; take your own risks and leaps of faith.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have something in common.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, we have a lot in common!
Good news, right? Because you’re not alone. And you’re not crazy (and neither am I), phew! But the better news, as I recently learned from our fearless tribe leader Molly Hoyne, is that you can change.

Why would you want to? Because when you replace a need for independence, protection and productivity with a desire for sharing, exploring and honesty, you become a hell of a lot more efficient. Not to mention, your feelings of accomplishment, confidence, clarity, and fulfillment skyrocket.  But if you’re like me – or like I was before signing up for Stratejoy’s inaugural Get It Off The Ground (GIOTG) group coaching session – you feel as though you have those things already.

That’s why mindful productivity is the benefit of GIOTG participation I want to touch on. The concept is output-oriented, so it appeals to our need to strive, but it’s still rooted in emotion and intention. Thanks to Molly, and the five other women who formed our intimate entrepreneur group, I learned a lot about it. Things like:
  1. Rather than numbingly checking things off the To Do list, you’re better off asking yourself whether they deserve to be there in the first place.
  2. You don’t have to figure everything out yourself or create absurd expectations in order to be successful. Being thoughtful, taking the time to plan, and loving and listening to yourself are actually way more important.
  3. When you find yourself avoiding doing something for days, weeks or months, try pausing to ask yourself what you’re afraid of. That is worthy of your time.
  4. Instead of moving puzzle pieces around in your mind, where you’ll inevitably lose some, put your thoughts on paper. You can still move ideas and tactics around, and pause and resume as you need to.
  5. Small steps add up to big accomplishments.
  6. If you’re waiting for huge chunks of uninterrupted time to make progress, you probably never will!
  7. When you’re your toughest critic (and you probably are!) it gets in the way of your progress. It does not make you better.
  8. Articulating what you wish for yourself and your life makes working toward it a lot more exciting.
  9. Connecting with your desires and intentions will allow your outputs and outcomes to really shine!
  10. Other people might not see the specifics of your mindful productivity – a lot of it is behind the scenes stuff – but they’ll feel it!
The result of all of these learnings? I journaled, thought about and realized things I never had before. I made short term and long term plans that felt realistic. I established new systems for how to keep my work, ideas and To Dos organized. I learned to lead with my intentions, desires and goals, and follow with my actions and outputs. I gained confidence and a new perspective that I don’t want to lose.

Best of all? I learned how to workshop through A Thing.

My thing this time was, ironically, a self discovery project called 30 Things.

In a nutshell, it’s a commitment to saying yes instead of no 30 times in a one-year period. My BFF and I both did this, blogged about it along the way, and over the course of the year, our outlook on life totally changed. From slowing down enough to shop at the Farmer’s Market, to singing karaoke and going zip lining. From starting my own business, to discovering yoga and getting engaged.  And yes, there was that thing with Richard Simmons…
The journey was loaded with self discovery, realization and fulfillment.

My vision is for other people go on the journey, too, in their own way, to create their own invaluable experiences. Aside from all of the tools and insights GIOTG gave me, it led me to create a Ning community called My 30 Things, where my BFF and I hope to build and support a community of people who want to embrace Yes in their lives. 30 Things will show you how.
And if you’re interested in checking it out (and I hope you are!), you have Molly to thank.

GIOTG helped transform 30 Things from a vision to an achievement; from my thing to our thing.

Laura, 27, Nova Scotia, Canada: Runner, continuous improver, ideas junkie, yogi, and the strategist and storyteller behind Red Balloon Relations. Check out her life-changing 30 Things Project or find her on Twitter.

That’s right ladies.  We’re going through some big changes over here at Stratejoy- but the 20/30 something Quarterlife Crisis bloggers will continue!

Season 4 is so on.  And I’d love for YOU to apply.

Let’s continue this amazing community, honest discussions, and safe place to celebrate the ups and commiserate on the downs of being a Gen Y woman, a Millennial, a gutsy girl suffering from a bad case of the “Quarterlife Crisis”.

It all started back in June 2009 with a fabulous Season 1 with Robyn, Kendra, Marisa and Andrea. We followed their journey for six months of ups and downs: new relationships, job searches, terminations, travel, self-reflection, and lots of growth. Then we did 6 months of the amazing Season 2 with Nicole, Heather and Katie. We’ve saw jobs ditched, freelance lives created, books under way, depression tackled, new love and big moves.

And, of course, we’re smack dab in the middle of Season 3 with Renee, Doniree, Alisha, Lindsay, Marian and Nikki. This season has brought gobs of international living (London, New Zealand, a sailing trip through the Caribbean), our first mommy & married bloggers, several freelancers, lots of travel, grad school, a Hollywood actress, yoga, feminism, and soul searching big questions about money and religion.

I love our guest bloggers.  And I have a feeling I’m going to love YOU.

Interested in building our community? Polishing your web writing skills? Currently in the midst of conquering your Quarterlife Crisis?  Wahoo!  Read on.

Just in case you miss this at the bottom: APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29th.  NO EXCEPTIONS.


Here at Stratejoy we value Inspiration, Joy, Authenticity, Guts, Accountability, Clarity, Camaraderie, and Honesty. The ultimate vision is a thriving “authentic happiness” movement that reaches Quarter Lifers worldwide, with both an incredible online and offline community.

That’s where you come in! I want to share your story. I think it’s vital to share our tales of “hitting bottom” in our Quarterlife Crisis, as well as the journey we are on to carve out life on our own terms. As a generation, we don’t want to be preached to… We want to recognize ourselves in the stories we read and feel a sense of connection.  We want to see that others go through the same struggles and be inspired by their success.  We don’t want to be alone.


I am looking for 3-6 women to guest blog once a week on Stratejoy for a minimum of 6 months. The posts will go live in February 2011, but the writing begins in January. I have had an amazing amount of interest thus far and are looking to find the right fit between diverse bloggers, a growing community, and reaching MORE WOMEN!

Position is unpaid, but super cool… You would be doing it out of love or some need to document this part of your life. I would appreciate you, support you and give you access to all tools, courses and inspiration I have available. Promise.


* Attitude. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have your own blog, but I need you to have sass! Or humor!  Or soul! Or an amazing authenticity! Or an unique perspective on the world! Or some such combination of fabulousness…
* Desire to share your story in real time in order to inspire other Quarter Lifers.
* Tech savy with WordPress or other blogging software.


* Honesty. The struggles, the doubts, the celebrations and the breakthroughs.  This is not the place to pretend you’re perfect or create an online “brand”.
* Mad writing skills. Complete and utter love of the written word.
* One post per week with photo(s). Some will be posed questions/themes, most will just be personal updates from your life and require original thought from you.  Posts need to be completed on time and with your best effort.  If you’re applying, you’re telling me you can commit to the workload.
* Posting with your first name, age, city and photo. Last name NOT required.
* Conference call monthly (or at my discretion) with your proud mama (me) and the other bloggers.


* The reason you want to guest blog on Stratejoy is to promote your own business. It’s totally cool with me if you talk about your biz since it’s part of your life and your QLC, but that cannot be why you want to be a part of this project.
* If you feel totally and radically finished with your QLC. Good for you! But not good for sharing a real time journey…
*You are a life coach.  Sorry dolls, I’m running the show on this site! Can’t pretend otherwise. That said, I am always looking for collaborators/affiliates/business partners who want to get “Stratejoy” certified- so get in touch if you’re interested!


I want to hear from you! If you’re interested in blogging for Stratejoy, please send the following information by Wednesday, December 29th, 2010.

1. Name, day job, job-you-do-out-of-love, city, age, Twitter/Facebook links, website (if applicable)

2. Photo that expresses your most authentic self

3. 250 words on “Why I will make a Rockin’ Stratejoy Blogger”

4. 500 word introduction to you and your story. Great chance to tell me about your QLC…   Pretend you are writing your very first blog post!

5. Phone number & best time to reach you

It would be most awesome if you created a word document/PDF with all the information so I can easily print and review. Hurrah! Also, if you applied for Season 1 or 2 or 3, it’s fine to apply for Season 4– but I do need a new application from you! Just let me know that you applied for a previous season.

Please know that each application is absolutely considered. Final bloggers are chosen at my discretion and based on several factors: writing skill, current situation, diversity, personality, and unique contribution.

Send all info to molly [@] stratejoy [.] com by the deadline. I am so ridiculously excited to read/memorize/adore your application and put together an amazing team for Season 4.


p.s.  Not interested in blogging, but interested in an “online internship”?   I’m putting together a virtual team for 2011 and looking for women to contribute in the following volunteer positions…  Graphic Design, Public Relations/Media, Website/SEO Madness, Social Media, and Promotions/Marketing.   Hit me up if you’d like more information!

p.p.s.  Registration for the 10 week group coaching action programs is OPEN and FILLING FAST!  Is it a fit for you?  Find out Now!



My business is dedicated to helping you figure out your definition of success.


Because getting really fucking clear on your definition of success is insanely useful.

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You know what and where to aim, and you can celebrate your own path instead of continually comparing yourself to someone else or getting sidetracked by the next shiny object.

Obviously, in my own life, I try my very hardest to practice what I preach.

I’m teaching action planning? 
Then I’m implementing my own action plans.

I’m coaching about expanding your social circle to find the true friendships that you crave? 
Then I’m doing it in my own life as well.

I’m writing about falling head over heels in love with yourself?
Then you better believe I’m blowing myself kisses and shimmying in the mirror to admire my rockin’ moves.

In that spirit, I want to share a two very specific examples of how my own definition of success has supported me in times of trial.


Yes, babelicious, this is the trick to saving your own life.


Story One (The Relationship One)

One year ago, I was spending Thanksgiving with one of my bff’s and  her fiance at her parent’s house on the coast near the Canadian border.  I was laying low, taking care of my tender ego, and trusting my heart with all that I had.  The key question here is: Why wasn’t I with the Big Man?

The short version is that I was giving him space to figure out his version of his best life. We had been together for over 4 years when he told me that he wasn’t sure if kids were in his future…  The hardest part?  Kids were definitely in MY future and I had never been quiet about that point.  Having those little people, building a family, and being a mom have always been major players in my definition of success.

The Big Man and I had hit the largest bump in our relationship.

Having kids were one thing that I wasn’t willing to give up or leave to a maybe…  But I also realized that if they weren’t part of his best life, there was no way I could force it.  What good did that do us? And I really wanted him to live the life he wanted for himself, even if that didn’t include children or me for that matter.

People asked me if I was making the right choice — should I really put a desire for children before this man that I loved?

I understood the point they were trying to make.

The Big Man and I had an amazing relationship.  We really supported each other in our desired lifestyle and crazy traveling habits and freedom seeking vibe.  We made each other laugh, stood up for one another, and worked hard at making things work.

But kids were in my definitely in my version of success and he wasn’t quite sure.  Stalemate.

I moved out for a couple of months in 2009, giving him time and space to figure out what he wanted.

I was so certain that my best version of my life included a family that the decision to leave was hard, but also very clear.  And I wanted to make sure that he was making the right decisions for himself.

So, in-the-throes-of-unannounced-sobbing and my-whole-life-is-falling-apart-answers-to-how-are-you-doing-questions mode, I spent last Thanksgiving and Christmas apart from the Big Man.  I slept on an air mattress at my sister’s house (thank you to all her amazing roomies).

I cried, and journaled, and asked the Universe if I was doing the right thing.

Deep down, I knew that I was doing what I had to do for myself.

And that I needed to allow him to do what he needed to do.  That certainty was freeing and saved me from all the second guessing and regret that tends to come major decisions like the one that I had made.

Obviously, there is a happy ending to this story.   I’m not going to pretend to know the work or prayers or  therapy that Big Man went though to uncover his choices, but we got engaged last January and married in August, and are now traveling around the country on our very extended honeymoon.  I imagine, once we settle down somewhere, it will be just about time to get down to the baby-making business!

My definition of success was my rock. All the work I had done to get clear about my desires and place in the world made “trusting my gut” and “standing up for myself” possible.

Story Two (The Lifestyle One)

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that this trip has been an interesting experience for me…   I’m living out of my car, staying in guestrooms, arriving in cities without knowing where we are sleeping, eating way too much crap on the road, having amazing adventures, driving and biking and walking a lot, and trying my very best to grow this amazing business I love so I can serve more women who need me.

For those of you who know me ever better, you know I’m a planner at heart. To be this free-spirited and free-wheeling actually takes quite a bit of concentrated effort on my part. I am getting a daily dose of staying in the moment practice, instead of obsessing about my future.

After a month on the road, I stared pining to go home.  I wanted to wake up and meditate.  I wanted to drink green smoothies.  I wanted to work my butt off on my Fierce Love product and guest blog for million cool people and form lucrative partnerships and figure out how to reach all those 20somethings who need me.  I wanted to be have a plan and be able to execute it without the daily concerns of  “Where are we going to eat?  Where are we going to sleep?  What do you what to do today versus what do I need to get done?”

Basically, I started freaking out. I wanted more control.

And then, after two super inspiring pump me up conferences for women entrepreneurs, I REALLY wanted to go home.

It was time to conquer the world!  It was time to monetize like crazy!  It was time emerge as a mix of all my heroines and kick some ass and beef up my writing skills and starting volunteering for hospice and decorate my new home and have imaginative hot sex with my husband and get in ridiculous shape and…  And…

Yes.  I was falling under that trap of “I’ll be happy when…” story.  You’d think I would know better, eh? 😉

Luckily, I have a partner who reminds me of my own bigger picture when I lose my vision.

And I have amazing friends who remind me to enjoy this special honeymoon and the freedom I’ve created in my life thus far to be able to do it.

And I have wise mentors who remind me I’m literally living out a huge dream of mine to be location independent, to make friends all over the country who share my thirst for a (slightly) unconventional life,  to travel with my husband collecting memories, and still be able to work on my passion-fueled business.

And my clients?  They are the best reminder of all.  As we create their definition of success together, I am forced to revisit mine.

A few weeks ago, I was losing touch with my own definition of what it means to be successful.

When I started admitting it, I was forcibly reminded by those around me that my goal isn’t to lead an easy life.

My goal isn’t to have a suburban home and a steady paycheck and a closet full of wrap dresses.

My goal isn’t to exert control of every situation so that I can operate comfortably.

My goal isn’t to be scared of challenges or to shrink back from adventure.

My definition of success is to live an extraordinary life. And part of that adventure is being open to new experiences, to live in the moment, and to really celebrate life!

After a week of processing and revisiting my big goals and dreams, I’ve realized I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. What I need to be doing…   I’m building a business that supports and inspires women to rock their own lives.  I’m building a relationship that is open to exploration and personal growth and learning through experiences.   I’m checking off my Lifetime List NOW instead of waiting for someday.

Though it took a little prodding by others, I was able to save my own life by returning to my personal definition of success.

Hot damn.

The Wrap Up

Actions items?  Do whatever it takes to get really, really clear on what success looks like for YOU.  Hire a coach.  Take a bunch of inspiring eCourses. (Say, for example, the still awesome Joy Equation!) Go on retreat with nothing but a journal and your favorite pen. Talk it out.  Map it out.  Cover your walls with vision boards.  Study warrior role models.  Surround yourself with like-minded folk.

Define success in your words, in your way.  It’s a lifesaving tool.

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**Question I know is coming:  Of course your definition of success will shift and change as you grow and experience new things and discover new truths. That doesn’t mean you should spend time really diving into it now. Create it, capture it, and return to it whenever you feel lost, confused, or overwhelmed by the need to make decisions.


“All we have is now. If it doesn’t drive you, or delight you, stop doing it right now, and start doing something you love. If there’s someone who inspires you, let them know. If there’s someone you love, tell ’em. You have absolutely NO time to waste.”  -Birdie of Bonne Vie

You know when you get so far down a certain path, you forget why you started?  Or where you’re heading?

Well, my loves, it’s a bit scary how easily life can feel like that.  We can wake up in the morning and continue about our day, our week, our year, or hell–even our life–without taking stock, without even realizing we’re running on autopilot, without ever letting ourselves dream of being truly happy.

Sometimes the evaluation of our life is so damn depressing that we just ignore it and carry on. We feel like change is hopeless, like we’ve backed ourselves into a corner that has no escape.  We believe we can’t make a change because we’ll fail, or it’s too uncertain, or that people will think we’re crazy.

We’re held in place by that thought that this might be all that’s in the cards for us and we might as well get used to it.

I mean, isn’t life supposed to be hard?  Aren’t we supposed to suck it up?

Maybe you feel stuck in a relationship or a job or a group of friends.  Maybe it’s in your entire career choice, or your city, or your marriage.  Maybe it’s how you treat your body, or your employees, or your planet.  Whatever the case may be, you’re avoiding any deep thinking about it because some part of you knows when you admit to yourself how wrong “it” is, you’ll have to do something about it.

And doing something about “it” is hard.  And scary.  And you’re not sure you have the energy, or plan, or focus to actually make a change or new choice.

Sometimes that evaluation of our life and our happiness is tricky because we’re not sure what it is we do want. We know we desperately want a change or a new focus, but we just don’t know what the hell that is…  And that thought freaks us out even more.  How am I supposed to move forward, make more deliberate choices, if I don’t know what it is I’m moving towards?

This sort of uncertainty can be paralyzing for most of us.  We’re seeking a sign, trying things on for size, and throwing out new ideas almost as soon as we try them.

We typically don’t give ourselves enough time or freedom to explore, to play, or to follow our wildest dreams because it doesn’t seem practical. We’re scared we’re going to run out of money, be seen as flighty, burn bridges, and be accused of being unrealistic.

Passion?   Fulfillment?  Who actually feels that way?

Here’s what I know for sure, doll.

1)  You are not alone if any of the above sounds familiar.  You are not alone in feeling confused, or lost, or uninspired, even if you do all the “right” things.  You’re not alone if you’re faking it with a “happy face” and feeling like one little crack in admitting the truth will cause the whole charade to come crashing down. You’re not alone if the pressure to keep up the appearance of doing well is driving you crazy.

2)  You absolutely deserve to live a life that lights you up.  A life where you deeply feel love, fear, excitement, sadness, joy, peace, the whole gamut.  A life that fits you in all your individual quirks and strengths.  A life that allows you to share your gifts with the world and be present to all the fantastic fucking wonder that is out there.

3) Though it may sound counter intuitive, accepting and loving yourself in your current situation is absolutely the first step.  Love it up where you are. Utterly and completely embrace the current version of your life. It’s the only way to grow and change in a sustainable way…

4) Deliberate growth is absolutely possible with the an intrinsic, sexy, motivating PLAN.  With unending SUPPORT.  With accountability, and systems, and a sense of greater PURPOSE.

I was reminded this last week of my purpose.  I was in the presence of so many women truly living their passions, calling the shots in their own lives, and serving the world in such a powerful way.  It reminded me of the words I wrote over 2 years ago, when Stratejoy was still “Company X”…

“This is life.  This is it.  Are you being who you want to be? Doing what you want to do?”

And you know what?  That’s still my purpose. I help women explore those questions through coaching, through groups, through writing, through connecting with YOU.

And my clients?  My amazing inner circle?  They grow.  They kick some ass.  They connect with themselves in way that’s never happened before and leave our work together feeling stronger, more confidant in their own choices, and comfortable in their own skin.  They start businesses, and go back to school, and leave abusive relationships.  They travel the world, find rockstar jobs, and take more pleasure in the small things.

They are YOU.

“I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when school ended today, but I surprised myself by being really at peace and proud of myself for making a deliberate, good decision for myself. I think that this is the first major decision I have ever made totally for myself.  I wanted you to know what a powerful influence you’ve had on my life in such a short time.  It is a real talent to be able to guide people to know themselves better in a way that is both non-intrusive (you don’t do the work for your client), but very reassuring all at the same time. I am so grateful that I found you and that you knew what the heck a quarterlife crisis was :)”   -Erin

“Molly, you are one of those fabulous women I feel like I’ve known my whole life.  I was at a point in my life where I wanted not only a coach but a mentor (and at times a big sister) to help me get to the next level in my personal and professional life.  You have the ability to connect people to their own personal power, truth, and the joy of living an authentic and meaningful life.  With your help, I was able to get  unstuck, break the cycle of old habits and start taking big action steps on my dreams.  I feel so blessed to not only have worked with you, but to call you my friend.”  -Nicole

“I felt inspired to write you a HUGE THANK YOU email for everything you have done on these coaching calls.  I have been opening up to my close friends about participating in the group coaching session and how much of an impact they have made to my life in just 6 short weeks! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you are doing. I wouldn’t be where I am without you. I have a new-found confidence in my abilities to run a business and whatever the outcome may be, I will be so happy that I tried. So thank you thank you thank you for your endless energy and constant positive re-enforcement.” -Meredith


For the rest of 2010, I’ll be offering one-time power sessions for $100. I want to make this as easy on you as possible.  You buy one with the button below, we set up a time to talk for 75 minutes, and you fill out a quick intake form so I know what you want to jam on.

No further obligation, no mind twisting pitches.

Just you + me + a supportive, inspiring, creative strategy session about YOUR LIFE. Maybe you want to talk 2011 planning… Maybe you want to talk starting your own business…. Maybe you want to talk leaving a miserable situation…. Whatever it may be, I am here for YOU.

All we have is now, sister.

p.s.  If it’s not the right fit for you, stayed tuned…. All sorts of new Stratejoy goodies are on tap for 2011.


I’ve never believed that the internet actually reflects real life. Though I swear I do my best to be as real and honest as I can here (and encourage my bloggers to do the same!) it’s still carefully chosen phrasing, moments of gloom wrapped up into “lessons learned” posts, and lots and lots of undying enthusiasm.  I mean, really, why would I blog about the backache my period brings each month that almost takes me out of commission? Or the fact that I rarely wash my face before I go to bed because I’m basically too lazy? Or that my father once grounded me from life for leaving a spoon with peanut butter in the sink, instead of the dishwasher?

Those details, that much “honesty” has nothing to do with my business and my ability to help you live life on your own terms–so it remains unsaid…

Yet, that is life. My life. Messy, real, and full of daily challenges and moments of grace. Just like yours.

So, what’s my point today? Well, it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot, and something I think I may unwittingly promote, regardless of my true feelings.

Fact: The internet is a land of false extremes. It thrives on boxing you into one side or another- pushing you out of your comfort and into someone’s version of the perfect life. It survives by making you yearn to clearly be on “the right side” of options, in line with your heroes. Bloggers, product peddlers, life coaches, and all versions of inspirational speakers promote living on one side of an extreme, or another…

(Yes, I know it seems like I’m shooting myself in the foot.  Keep reading.)

See if this sounds familiar, sunshine…

Are you a domestic goddess, happily settled in into your adorably decorated apartment/house/cottage on the ocean, creating trinkets of love for Etsy, becoming an ace photographer, while also managing a lover, a full-time job, and the ability to appear completely precious in each and every photo ever taken of you? And you definitely love life and probably bake things too!


Well, that’s okay! As long as you are an adventurer. You’re living a location independent life, blitzing on and off of your social media accounts with tales of new sights, new friends, new ways to make tons of money, while appearing never to work, right? Devoting yourself to minimalism, meditation, and inspirational quotes, while secretly obsessing about your online guru status and ways to avoid appearing conventional? No?

Still not familiar?

Try this one on for size. Perhaps you worship at the alter of corporate success… You climb the ladder with perfectly pulled together big girl outfits, glamming for networking photo booths, themed cocktail in hand, don’t you? No one knows much about your “real life” (even you!) as you make poster child appearances for your company and their brand- a virtual social butterfly, slavishly devoted to your paycheck as means to new handbags, fancy vacations, and high end yoga studios. The good life? It’s yours!

Are you reading this going, “Molly? That is so offensive! How dare your pigeon hole people with such stereotypes? And anyways, Molly, you are totally a paragraph 2 pusher, so who are you to talk?”

I know. I know. That’s the point. Who am I to tell you how to live your life?  Who is “The Internet” to push an extreme version of someone’s perfection wrapped-with-a-big-bow definition of success?  Imagine that life is one of those bar charts you studied in stats class.  The online representation of “life” tends towards the outliers, when in actuality, most of life happens within the bell curve. The bell curve? The boring bell curve of reality?  Really?  Yes.  It just does- that’s the whole point of those damn charts!

People get big online when they have a distinct voice, a specific point of view or lifestyle that seems romantic, or exciting, or perfect to the rest of us. And when you hit “online rockstar status” with a certain take on life, you stick to it and promote it as gospel for your readers, clients, followers. Whether your offline life really reflects it or not.

So, I’m here to tell you to stop listening to the Internet to tell you how to live your life.  Live your own life!  Stop comparing your “boring bell curve” life to seemingly perfect online lives!  Create a mish-mash, hodge- podge, perfect reflection of YOU and all your beauty and all your “imperfections.”

‘Cause that’s real life.

Learn how to stand up for what you think is right, to make your unique mark, to have such utter fierce self-love that you can captivate others with your sheer passion.  Make your own rules- and if that means playing by the rules- fine!  You get to choose.

Don’t forget that life changes. Most of us will flip flop between extremes, or find comfort in the middle, or change our minds multiple times on “what we want to be when we grow up”. Most of us don’t fit neatly into one of the above descriptions of an epic or awesome or extraordinary life…

Myself included.

It’s true that I’m living on the road right now, trying my hand at location independence, waking up to daily adventures.  And parts of it are awesome:  biking along Lake Champlain for hours this morning, meeting hilarious old men who invite us to come canoeing in Florida over Christmas, meeting so many members of this small Tribe at workshops, getting to really practice living in the moment.  But also, parts of it suck:  not knowing where my next shower is coming from, continually being a slave to free wifi, not having room or space to just hang out, worrying about what happens when the honeymoon is over…

And though I adore Stratejoy and coaching and writing for now (and YOU!  Hello YOU!)– I try to remember that I can do something different tomorrow. I can start painting.  I can tackle baking and playing with puppies and actually finishing a 365 challenge.  I can get a kick ass corporate gig and learn how to walk in heels again.

I can change my mind.  I can follow my whims.  I can live a life that is not neatly defined on the Internet.

And so can you.

So tell me, what is your “bell curve” right now?  What’s life ACTUALLY like to be you?

Fact:  The Quarterlife Crisis is a real experience of Gen Y, of women in their twenties and early thirties.

Fact:  You are not alone. If you feel disconnected from your life, not sure what the fuck you’re supposed to do next, disappointed that your day-to-day isn’t living up to all the expectations you had for it, have that eerie feeling that there should be something more, are overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there, don’t know how to start and stick with something, or just feel totally unlike your awesome self–Yup, we get it. Been there.

Fact:  It’s a slightly silly term for a real period of change.  Of seeking.  Of sorting out our best lives, on our terms, with the resources we have.  The term might be silly, but the process of growth is anything but.

Fact: The Quarterlife Crisis is the a Rite of Passage. Embrace it. Use it to grow and learn and laugh hysterically.  Use it to affect positive change, or polish some rough corners, or make some major shifts in how you live your life.  Hey, it’s YOUR life!  DIVE IN!

If you’re a familiar face around Stratejoy, you know that we’ve been featuring guest bloggers for an entire year!  Season 1 consisted of  Robyn, Kendra, Andrea and Marisa writing about their day to day experience of conquering (or at least surviving!) their QLC 6 months.  Season 2 feature Nicole, Heather Rae, and Katie rockin’ and rollin’ their way through self employment, major moves, new relationships, and the ups and down of the finding themselves…

Well, today it’s time to welcome six new women to “Season 3″! Without further ado, I am thrilled to introduce you to the amazing girls who will be writing on a weekly basis here at Stratejoy:  Doniree, Nikki, Marian, Alisha, Renee, and Lindsey.   We’ve got married bloggers, a grad student blogger, a mommy bloggers, self-employed bloggers, nomadic bloggers, a living-at-home blogger, an actor blogger, 20something bloggers, and a feminist blogger…  It’s a diverse bunch and they’ll each bring you their story of coming face-to-face with their version of a Quarterlife Crisis.

Season 3 Guest Bloggers

These woman are gutsy. They’re helping spread the word that the Quarterlife Crisis happens to the best of us and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that fact.  They’re helping challenge the stigma that this “crisis” is considered a failure and that somehow we could have avoided it, if only we had everything figured out.

Those of us who have experienced/are experiencing a QLC haven’t failed.  We are not selfish Gen Yers wallowing in some perceived notion that life should be handed to us on golden platter. We’re not blaming our parents and our education for encouraging us to go after it all.

We’re simply admitting we don’t have it “figured out” at a time in our lives when we thought we would. And we are gutsy enough to take control of our happiness.

And as long as you don’t allow your Quarterlife Criris to take you down and out, you will be stronger, healthier and happier for it.  It will force you to really think about your life, to challenge expectations and to carve out your own definition of success.

These women are living proof of that.

What I ask of you?  Participate! Join in the conversation here on the blogs. We all HEART comments and promise to do our best to respond, interact, answer questions.  Become part of the community on Facebook. Interact with Stratejoy on Twitter. Let your voice, your opinion, your experience be heard.  Share, learn and laugh your ass off with us.

Why six women? I know, it’s a change!  But there were so many amazing applications this season, I couldn’t stick to four.  What does that mean for you?  A new post will be going live EVERY SINGLE DAY here at Stratejoy.   I’m taking Mondays, and the girls will post Tuesday through Sunday.  It’s a plethora of inspiration, questions, and real time stories of what it takes to find your best life.

Who’s excited?   If you’re a loyal reader or a new reader, why not introduce yourself on this post (in the format of the blogger bios)?  That way we know YOU!

Mucho besos, my lovely lovies.  You kick butt.

Thanks to the gals at Shatterboxx Media for the Season 3 Bio Boxes!

The breaking point in my Quarterlife Crisis came this past summer, when I left an emotionally crippling job and took off on a three month backpacking trip across the country. Traveling was harder than I thought it would be, proving the cliche but oh so true saying that, “wherever you go, there you are.”

Constantly on the move, one of my biggest challenges was staying balanced and trying to maintain an emotionally grounded life while all of the physical aspects of it were constantly in limbo.

A few weeks into my trip, before I ever knew I’d wind up blogging over here at Stratejoy come 2010, I signed on to complete Molly’s happiness course, The Joy Equation: A 30 Day Guide To Living Life On Purpose. Going through this course, which includes journal prompts and audio sessions and a 40 page Joy Plan Workbook, put me in touch with myself at exactly the right time, gently challenging me to think about who I am and who I want to be, and what I have to do to bridge the ever widening gap between the two.

Throughout the 30 days, The Joy Equation inspired me without being preachy, made me think without being overwhelming, kept me interested without requiring a huge time commitment, and remained consistently fun. My favorite part about the course was that it inspired me to evaluate and reevaluate my definition of happiness and really give pause about what it means to show up for the world every single day.

During week three of the course (the part where you’re examining your big dreams), I came across one of the most thought provoking quotes in the Joy Plan Workbook, a quote that said, “Failure’s hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you’re successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, about how much easier it’s been to get over the things that haven’t worked, the things I haven’t succeeded at, than it has been to walk away from situations that I excelled at, but didn’t love. I think a lot of people experience this same feeling, actually, the feeling of being trapped by things that are just good enough to not require an immediate fix. That’s what settling is, right? Accepting something simply because it works and it’s there and we’re either too lazy or too afraid to climb one rung higher on the ladder of unknown possibilities to see what we could have instead.

With my 25th birthday only a month away, I think it’s time for another authentic happiness gut check. I’d really like to start all over again with this course and go for round two of Nicole Gets to Know Nicole, especially given how much has changed in my life since my initial foray into happiness exploration.

You should do it too. And then we can all talk about it. Over margaritas and hugs.

p.s.  Editor’s note:  Um, yes. This is some subtle foreshadowing of the “Big Announcement” on Thursday!  If you’re not on the Jolts ‘o Joy eNewsletter list, make it happen.  Upper right corner.  And then just sit tight, because some help with the “pricing” (hint, hint) of the Joy Equation Course is coming soon.  A.K.A. Thursday…

photo credit: alicepopkorn