My Second Act Begins

by | Apr 10, 2020 | second act | 4 comments

August 2017

I connected with Jennifer on LinkedIn, a fellow HR professional with an impressive profile. Clearly, she was where I WISHED I was in my human resources career. She graciously agreed to speak to me. I recall saying to her – as if it were yesterday – “I am trying to figure out how to get from where I am to where I want to be.” Jennifer asked if I’d heard of Jack Canfield and his book The Success Principles. I knew of the “chicken soup” book series, but hadn’t heard of that book. When I bought The Success Principles book on Amazon, I didn’t realize it is subtitled How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Wow. So, this is where my second act journey began – in August of 2017 in a conversation with Jennifer and a book by Jack Canfield called The Success Principles. This book changed my life.

I knew I was deeply unsatisfied with my professional life

Having an amazing office with a beautiful view of downtown through floor to ceiling windows, a best friend at work and a perfect work schedule wasn’t enough to counter my heartburn over a co-worker who worked MUCH less and made MUCH more than I did. Sadly, multiple conversations with my boss over an 18 month period didn’t change anything. I knew I had a choice to make: staying and adjusting my attitude or leaving the company. My exit strategy was nine months in the making…but it didn’t turn out quite the way I’d planned…

Milestone Birthday September 2017 = Two Week Hawaiian Vacation

BEST TRIP EVER! The weather was amazing the entire time, and it was the perfect balance between doing fun, touristy things and relaxing. Working out is a huge part of my life so we did loads of walking, hiking, biking, stand up paddle boarding (yes, this is FUN). I haven’t slept so well SINCE this trip!

Milestone Birthday September 2017 = Two Week Hawaiian Vacation

BEST TRIP EVER! The weather was amazing the entire time, and it was the perfect balance between doing fun, touristy things and relaxing. Working out is a huge part of my life so we did loads of walking, hiking, biking, stand up paddle boarding (yes, this is FUN). I haven’t slept so well SINCE this trip!

Press RESET! San Diego, here I come!

Because my best friend agreed to be my roommate, I decided to leave Virginia Beach and relocate to San Diego, CA – WHY? BEST WEATHER EVER! When I returned from vacation, I started my job search. I applied for seemingly a zillion jobs and got some virtual interviews. Employers and recruiters said “contact us when you get here (to San Diego).” Fast forward to mid-March 2018…still looking and applying…no offers…Decision time. My soon to be roommate agreed to my giving notice to vacate my apartment at the end of May, although I didn’t have a job lined up in San Diego. Hallelujah!

Whirlwind of packing and preparation

I strongly dislike asking my friends for help, so I did 99% of packing the apartment I’d been in for three years – by myself. #PAINFUL. But that wasn’t even the worst part. In case you haven’t moved across the country, let me warn you, it’s NOT FUN, especially in a 26 foot truck towing a vehicle (which ends up being slightly shorter than a semi-truck). I kept my “eye on the prize” so to speak and believed in my heart that moving to San Diego was going to be AMAZING.

YAY! I made it! New state, new home, new job

I arrived in San Diego on June 5, 2018. In the midst of unpacking and settling in, I was back at my job search. I met with some of my local HR contacts and everyone told me to be prepared to be unemployed for at least six months. NOT AN OPTION! I went on a bunch of interviews, was offered a job and I started in August, a little over two months after my arrival.

Is this REALLY “where I am supposed to be?”

Remember my “ah-ha” about wanting to get from where I am to where I want to be? I found myself in a job that was far from a dream job (again!) – it made me physically ill, caused insomnia that lasted for months, and kept my stress levels in the stratosphere. And I nominate my boss for casting in the upcoming “Bad Bosses” movie! Since the age of 15, I’ve worked in corporate America for some highly recognizable and successful companies. I’m sad to say I didn’t “climb the corporate ladder” in the traditional sense and I wasn’t fortunate enough to work for respected and admired supervisors. For many years, I’ve dreamed of being my OWN boss, but never had the courage to take the leap of faith. That decision was made for me in October 2019, when I lost my job (blessing in disguise!).

My desire to help others on a deeper level

I want to help others in transition identify their passion and purpose to have a successful second act of their own. Over the last six months, I’ve been learning everything necessary to start my own business. I spent two months completing Marie Forleo’s B-School, which is honestly one of THE BEST investments I’ve ever made. It was an amazing experience and taught me so much about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur – but no guarantees. That’s the scary part!

Act 2 Success Solutions and website LAUNCHED!

Since you’re reading this blog post, I completed a huge milestone in my “second act”: launching my business and publishing my website. YAY! If you’re a “recovering perfectionist” like me, you understand how incredibly challenging this was. I’m grateful to have such an amazing community of intelligent, inspiring and talented women supporting me and helping bring my vision to life. While this is incredibly exciting for me, I admit that my daily success habits help keep the insecurities at bay! I believe in my heart that I was put on this earth to help others.

You’re NEXT!

Now that my second act is under way, I want to help YOU identify your passion and purpose, and turn that into a passion project or a successful Second Act career. Let’s connect on a call. Click below to get my free Goal Guide – an easy way for you to pick a goal and get started TODAY! I’ve included an example and some reminders.

Get started on your success journey with
my free goal guide

5 Stellar Success Tips to Achieve Any Goal

Make your SECOND act your BEST act!

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4 Comments

  1. Anna

    You are so brave and courageous! Your kind heart shows through your writing and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us on this journey.

    Reply
    • Susan Barr

      Thank you, Anna for your kind words! They mean a lot to me!

      Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Susan,

    Somehow I knew we were meant to connect and now I know why.

    Our sandals may be different our journey is similar.

    Well done B-Schooler you’ve got this!

    Reply
    • Susan Barr

      Cynthia – Thank you for your kindness and encouragement. I AGREE we were meant to connect. I’m so grateful and I look forward to growing on our journeys together!

      Reply

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