paNASH blog


How to Make Career Choices That Won’t Destroy Your Personal Brand

In several blog posts I’ve talked about the importance of personal branding. Your brand is key to success in every area of your life. It requires consistency and self respect.

But sometimes you can put your personal brand at risk without realizing it. Especially during any vulnerable point in your career. This can include a downsize or layoff, a slow start to a new business venture, or any other unanticipated time when there’s financial instability.

There is the temptation to take just any job or client that comes along. During the slow times of the year I personally face the temptation of taking on projects or clients I know are against my better judgment. Luckily with practice I’ve gotten better at resisting such temptation.

Other examples of putting your brand at risk include:  saying “yes” to every opportunity, giving away your skills and talent for “exposure,” and taking jobs you’re overqualified for in the hopes of just getting a foot in the door with a certain company or industry.

However, you must keep in mind your career choices, just like your personal choices, reflect on you as a person. (And your business if you’re a business owner.)

Don’t Give Away Your Name

Well-known personal development and entrepreneurship blogger Tim Denning explains this in his post entitled “Don’t Put Your Name On Anything That Makes You Look Cheap“.

He shares examples of how easy it is to make this mistake, such as accepting a job or project that goes against everything you believe in. He refers to this as “giving your name away”. I’ve seen this happen with people who take a job just for the money or out of fear.

If you do any of the above (i.e. agree to do a project for free or cheap, settle for a less than ideal job, etc.), then people expect you to continue doing so. Therefore, it becomes harder down the road to ask for what you’re really worth. This includes not just money, but also time and respect.

The point Denning drives home is this:

“Stop saying yes to everything!”

This doesn’t mean you say no to everything, but just to the things putting your personal brand at risk.

How to Say “No”

Saying “no” may sound very difficult to do, especially for people-pleasers.

However there is a way to stop saying yes to everything and to learn how and when to say no. It all starts with a mission. Your mission is the foundational piece to your personal brand.

What is your mission you want to accomplish in life and why? It’s necessary to have a deep knowledge of your mission if your goal is to take responsibility for and ownership of your life’s purpose.

A personal mission statement of how you want to use your talents to accomplish your vision and goals serves as a filter in making important decisions. You use it to filter out the opportunities that don’t support your mission statement. As a result, you know which opportunities to say “no” to.

The opportunities that support your mission statement or get you one step closer to your vision are the ones you can say “yes” to.

How to Write Your Own Mission Statement

Since your mission statement helps you better discern opportunities, it’s important to put some thought into it. Writing one is more of a process than just jotting down some pithy statement in two minutes.

You should take into account all your strengths, limitations, unique differentiators, potential audience, and more. Think about the following things:

  • Who are your various audiences? I use the plural form of audience here because you’ll have more than one audience for each endeavor.
  • What is your audiences’ biggest challenge or problem they face?
  • How do your unique strengths and skills solve your audiences’ problem?
  • What are the additional benefits of your skills for your various audiences?

Protect Your Personal Brand

Having a mission statement is just one piece of your personal brand. In order to protect your personal brand from bad choices, you must have a clear understanding of what your brand is.

What do others think of when they think of you and your work ethic? Are those the things you want people to think about you? Or is there another message you want to convey through your goals and mission?

To gain control of your brand and to build one that’s strong and will take you where you want to go, check out my on-demand course on personal branding. It will give you all the tools you need to attract the opportunities you’ll want to say “YES!” to.

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personal brand

What Are the Best Resources for Setting Goals in the New Year?

A few weeks ago I came across a vision board I created for the year 2011. It was the first year I’d ever done a vision board.

I vaguely remember tucking it away at the end of 2011 feeling somewhat discouraged. Only half (or slightly less than half) of the things on my vision board came to fruition.

When I recently re-discovered the vision board, I was excited to see all but one of the items have now come to fruition!

I can also look back at my goals and vision boards from the past three years and see so many things I’d written down have come to pass. It’s true what they say. People who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t.

Of course, most of the goals I’ve set I have some control over and can easily achieve as long as I’m committed and persistent. Others depend on forces outside my control. All of them require some level of faith for full achievement.

Goal-setting for those who hate goal-setting

There are all kinds of ways to set goals and several resources available for goal-setting as outlined below. I personally have used various ways such as vision boards, mind mapping, lists, and my Passion Planner calendar.

But maybe goal-setting isn’t your thing. Perhaps you’re more of a problem-solver instead of a planner or goal-setter.

Well, just recently I heard about a simple way to set goals from a problem-solver’s perspective according to Bob Biehl. It’s a great method for those who cringe at the thought of setting goals but light up at opportunities for troubleshooting.

Here’s how it works:  create a chart first listing 2-3 problems in your life you want to solve. Then think about what goals would help solve those problems. Finally list the opportunities you have surrounding those problems and goals. The opportunities are the steps you would take to solving your problems and, as a result, will achieve your goals.

Here’s what the chart looks like:

By starting with a focus on the problems first, you’ll be more motivated to set goals since this approach matches your skills and your preferred method of working.

Even though I’m not one who gets excited about problem-solving, I decided this year to use the above approach. It actually helped me think of some goals I may not have considered having not followed this approach. It was even flexible enough to allow me incorporate some of the other goal-setting tools I’ve used in the past.

The Best Resources for Setting Goals in 2019

No matter how you prefer to set your goals for 2019, I encourage you to utilize the resources I’ve provided over the years that have also helped me achieve my own goals. These resources include:

Who knows. Maybe by using the above resources and putting your goals in writing you’ll also look back one day and see just how much you’ve accomplished.

Oh, and the one thing on my 2011 vision board that didn’t get fulfilled? Well, I’m choosing to believe since all the other items were fulfilled in God’s time, that final item eventually will be too.

Happy 2019!

setting goals

Sunday Inspiration: How to Get a Vision for Your Future

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2 KJV

A vision is a picture of what “can be” rather than “what is”.

Your vision may be to bring health where there is sickness – like the vision Albert Schweitzer had for Africa. Or of education where there’s ignorance – like the one that motivated Gilbert Tennent to help establish Princeton University.

It may be a vision of freedom where there’s oppression – like the one that made William Wilberforce give up a life of privilege to eradicate slavery.

Or your vision may be smaller and simpler – like being the first one in your family to graduate from university, or becoming a great parent to your child even though you yourself never had one.

Or breaking a bad habit before it breaks you…or moving to a different country…or spending your t most-productive years traveling the world.

Thoreau said,

“If you’ve built castles in the air…put foundations under them.”

But having a vision isn’t enough; there has to be a commitment to act on it. That’s called a mission – and it requires setting specific, measurable steps to achieve it.

Those steps are called goals; they establish a plan for accomplishing your mission and thus fulfilling your vision.

You’ll generally have one vision, but many goals. And each goal you reach brings you a step closer to fulfilling your vision.

And here’s the really good news: when your vision comes from God, He’ll give you the strength, wisdom, connections, relationships, and resources to make it happen because He’s “the author and finisher of our faith”.

Source: http://w4u.ph/ask-god-for-a-vision/

How to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets


Like most people, my biggest regrets in life have been the things I didn’t do as opposed to things I did do.

One of my biggest regrets was not doing a study abroad experience to Australia while I was in college. I’d waited too late to inquire about it, when I had only one semester of school left.

This was a big regret because I’d always wanted to go to the land Down Under ever since I was a little girl.

Since I didn’t get to go in college, I tried to make up for it several years later by taking a month-long vacation to Australia as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Cons

There were a lot of reasons not to go on the trip.

Like the fact that it cost a good chunk of money.

And that I was in the midst of a new relationship.

Or that I would have to go by myself since none of my friends could take off that much time from work.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Pros

But there were also a lot of reasons for me to go.

The trip would occur during my birthday. I’ve always wanted a summer birthday, and in the Southern Hemisphere I’d get to have one.

I’d be gone during winter break, the same time my students at the college I worked at would also be away. Therefore I wouldn’t put an extra burden on my co-workers.

I had enough time built up to take off 7 weeks from my job at the time (and still had an extra 10 days of vacation left over).

Also, being single with no children made travel and travel planning easy. It could be another 18–20 years before I’d have that kind of freedom again!

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory

Not Letting the “Maybes” Cloud My Judgment

I can remember my initial thoughts when trying to decide to book the trip or not. They went a little something like this:

“Maybe I should wait until I’m married and go to Australia on my honeymoon.”

OR

“Maybe I should wait until I’m retired when I have more time and money.”

I quickly pushed those thoughts aside.

I knew there was no guarantee I would even be physically able to go when I retired.

And why in the world would I want to wait on some man to take me when I can do this now?

So, I hopped online, did a little research, and found a very reasonably priced flight.

I still wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for a month-long excursion, but I had 9 months to figure it out.

I gave myself a few days to sleep on the information I’d researched. And then I booked my trip.


Uluru/Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

No Regrets (Except One)

I’ve never regretted my decision.

In fact, if I hadn’t done it then, I would’ve spent the past 15 years regretting it.

My only regret?

Not doing it sooner.


Kata Tjuta/The Olgas, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

8 Ways to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets

1. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

“Most people settle for ‘good-enough.’ Their diet, dating partners, job, income, and relationships are all merely ‘good-enough.’ But since their choices are common, that’s what their life becomes.” — Anthony Moore

I could’ve settled with my “maybes.”

I could’ve blindly accepted my initial thoughts of deferring the trip until I was married or retired.

And I could’ve rationalized those thoughts were a “good enough” plan.

But guess what? Fifteen years later I’m still not married and I’m not even close to retirement.

In fact, since then, I left the security of a job with retirement benefits to start my own business (something else I don’t regret).

While today I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, undoubtedly due to leaving a 9–5 job working for someone else, I know I wouldn’t have the energy I had when I was 30 to do all the rock climbing, hiking, and snorkeling I did in the 115 degree heat of the Outback and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Every day I’m so glad I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

I encourage you not to settle for just “good enough.”


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

2. End the wrong relationships.

So what about the relationship I’d just started a few months before going to Australia? It ended one week after I returned.

Even though it was heartbreaking, looking back I’m so glad the relationship didn’t work out. (What a regret that would’ve been if it had!)

Don’t wish you hadn’t wasted time in an unhealthy relationship.

Instead, start the year knowing you can make it on your own and you’ll be available for an even better relationship before or by the end of the year.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

3. Say no to opportunities that don’t support your life mission statement.

Speaking of relationships, I’ve written before about how I had to make the decision to end a relationship a little over a year ago because I recognized it didn’t allow me to fulfill my mission in life.

Having a life mission statement in place will help you to say no to choices you’ll regret later.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

4. And say yes to opportunities that do support your life mission statement.

A life mission statement will also help you say yes to some pretty cool things you hadn’t previously challenged yourself to.

Even if nothing materializes from these opportunities by the end of the year, you can know it wasn’t time wasted because these things will have led you further in fulfilling your mission in life, which may lead to something even bigger and better down the road!


Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

5. Learn something new.

Don’t let another year pass having not learned the one thing you’ve always said you wanted to learn.

Instead, end the year knowing you’ve developed a new skill.

I personally have always been a big believer in lifelong learning and continually encourage my clients to embrace also it.

Just recently I signed-up for a six-month Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense program. And in February I plan to take a class on investing.

I hope by the end of 2019 I’ll be more knowledgeable about stock options, and become quicker in my reaction time to defend myself if the need ever arises.


Mount Tyson, Queensland, Australia

6. Start that side hustle or passion project.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

If there’s something you’ve wanted to start, whether a hobby, a side business, or a passion project, what are you waiting for?

Just start!

Don’t put any pressure on it to be perfect or even successful. Just let it be a creative or fun outlet for you from your everyday routine.

Let it evolve and be open to what it might grow into organically.

For instance, a few years ago I started writing a blog about my adventures in stand up paddling and the spiritual parallels of those adventures. It was really just a place for me to record and preserve my thoughts. I didn’t promote it at all.

My little side project turned into my 2nd published book, which eventually helped fund my 2017 mission trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil.

You never know what can happen with your own passion project. And you’ll definitely never know if you never start.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

7. Turn your side hustle into your full-time gig.

If you start to see some momentum with your side hustle and discover a market for it, it may be time to consider turning it into a full-time gig. Especially if you already know how to think like an entrepreneur.

It was much easier for me to start my own business after working it part-time for 9 months before going full-time with it.

But, eventually I had to pull the trigger and take a leap of faith because I knew it would never be the right (or perfect) time to leave my job and pursue my business full-time.

While being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, if you’ve got the desire to do your own thing and you’ve calculated the risks and counted the costs, this year may be the year to give it a go.

If it doesn’t work out, you may have some regrets, but you won’t die.

And you’ll never have to live with the regret of never having tried.

You may even experience freedom and success like never before!


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

8. Develop your positive self-talk.

You’ll never be able to accomplish the above if you keep listening to your negative-self talk.

What if I had listened to my “maybes”?

What if I had told myself I couldn’t go to the other side of the world by myself?

Well, I don’t have to wonder “What if?”

Instead, I have memories of the places I visited, the beauty I experienced, the wildlife I saw, and the people I met. Some of whom I still keep in touch with to this day.

When you start to hear the negative thoughts that are determined to keep you in just a “good enough” existence, re-frame them with positive self-talk.


En route to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

Stepping Out in Faith

Shortly after I’d stepped out in faith and booked my dream vacation to Australia, things started to fall into place.

I found a fun part-time gig to help me earn a little extra money for the trip.

Also, I received a sum of money previously owed to me which covered the remainder of my cost for the trip.

And remember how I said I was able to take 7 weeks off of work and still have 10 vacation days left over? This all occurred because at the time I worked for a state university and for two years in a row we didn’t receive a raise.

To compensate us for it, we were all given 20 extra vacation days on top of our annual 3 weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees.

Add in to that the vacation I’d already accrued and amount the holidays we all got off during winter break and I had it made!

I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family before leaving for Australia.

Then I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Down Under.

Finally, I was able to have a week for some much-needed rest and time to readjust my internal clock before returning to work, just in time for the students’ return to campus.

Without the vacation compensation, I probably wouldn’t have had so much time to really relish the experience.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

The timing turned out to be perfect and “the stars aligned” for it to all work out. But I had no way of predicting all those things would happen. I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me it would all work out.

I just had to take a chance while at the same time being smart about it. And I’m all the better for it.

Now I have no fear of traveling alone (or doing anything else alone for that matter).

I have more knowledge about the history of one of the most fascinating continents on earth and a new respect for its native people, the Aborigines.

I no longer have a fear of bugs. (Sleeping on the ground in the Outback where the spiders are the size of your fist will help you overcome any fear of bugs pretty quickly!)


Sydney, New South Wales

If you can commit to all eight, you’ll likely end the year with no regrets.

And who knows where that will lead you in the years to come!

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All photos by Lori Bumgarnerno regrets

Are You Where You Wanted to Be At the End of 2018?

Can you believe 2018 is coming to an end? I can’t. This year has gone by so fast!

paNASH and many of paNASH’s clients have had so many great moments in 2018.

I worked hard this year to create more community among my clients by hosting a client-mixer in May, conducting monthly group coaching calls, and establishing a private Slack channel for my clients to serve as a resource for each other.

Also, paNASH was once again named one of the top 10 best coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the second year in a row.

Client Successes for 2018

Several paNASH clients are ending 2018 very differently from how they started it. They’ve experienced some major wins and successes.

These wins include leaving old jobs and landing new jobs, furthering their education, starting side hustles, and some even starting their own businesses.

For example:

New Jobs

One client left her previous job where there were no growth opportunities so she could attend coding school. A week before her graduation she landed a position with a well-respected company. She’d previously interviewed with this same company several years ago prior to receiving coaching but didn’t get an offer. Once she made a career change, the doors at this company opened up for her.

Another client who has a passion for politics landed a job with the Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and said goodbye to her old job that was causing her extreme burnout.

Just last week, a client accepted an offer for his dream job. During his coaching sessions he repeatedly said, “I REALLY want this!” And he got it!

Side Hustles

You’ve already read this year about my client Robert who came to a crossroads of having to choose between a well-paying job that made him miserable and an opportunity that would grow his side hustle in animation and possibly turn into a full-time thing with one of Disney’s former top animators. (Click here for that amazing story!)

Speaking of side hustles, another paNASH client discovered a side hustle through our coaching sessions she’d never considered before: voice-over work. She’s started taking voice-over lessons and has already landed a few paying gigs. This allows her to make extra money and provides a creative outlet her current full-time job doesn’t provide.

Business Start-Ups and Creative Outlets

And speaking of finding creative outlets, another client who used to sing gained from her coaching experience the confidence to get back on stage, this time in a lead vocal role of a production of Little Shop of Horrors. She says:

Last year when I started on a new journey, I was apprehensive, and pretty freaked out. When I first met with Lori, she asked a lot of questions that I wasn’t totally sure of the answers. I went home after the first meeting and really pondered on these questions, and came to the conclusion that I needed help.

The first few sessions felt like I was going around in circles. As our time progressed, I began to feel like I was moving forward.

This past year I have really begun to open myself up to the possibilities in my life. I’m in the process of starting my own business. And I was presented with the opportunity to join the cast of Little Shop of Horrors.

I began to really think about when was the last time I’d taken a risk, and I was shocked. It had been ten years since my last risk which was moving to Nashville not knowing anyone.

So, I took a deep breath and said yes to the role in the musical which would allow me to pursue my passion for singing that I had lost after graduating from Belmont’s music program.

paNASH’s coaching has helped me rediscover my former passions and discover new ones. But most of all it’s given me the confidence to pursue them. This year has proven to be astounding.

A few months after the stage production, my client took another risk by adopting a 13-year-old girl with her husband!

Then there’s the client who got married and started a business with her new husband that’s growing so fast they can barely keep up with the demand. The business not only lines up with both of their experience and passions, but also has a strong market.

I always get excited when I see my clients successfully pursue their passions by using the skills and courage gained from their coaching sessions.

What about you?

As we close out 2018, can you look back on the past year and see that you’ve made some major inroads toward your own goals?

Are you where you wanted to be at the end of 2018?

If not, why? Is it simply because you’re still working toward those goals?

Or is it because you haven’t started yet? If you haven’t started, why not?

Do you really want to find yourself in the same place again this time next year?

The Good News

The good news is, come January 1st you get a clean slate of 365 days to work with. Start by trying to answer these three questions:

  • What’s one new experience you want to have in 2019?
  • What’s one way you can step out of your comfort zone in the new year?
  • What goals do you want to achieve in 2019?

Don’t let another year pass you by. Learn how to achieve all of the above with a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter.

If you’re already a subscriber, then perhaps your next step is to try some coaching sessions. To learn more, complete the paNASH intake form. There are no obligations to filling out the form, so you have nothing to lose!

Happy new year!

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2018