Sunday, November 8, 2009

Moving: What a Challenging Event!

Moving. For any of us who have moved from one location to another, whether domestic or international, we know it is exhausting...physically and emotionally.

Physically, the packing, the living like a vagabond during the interim session, then the unpacking. Let's just face it...exhausting, which even frays our nerves.

Emotionally, the, how many can a person take? Another exhaustion.

Ok, let's throw in a few more elements: a spouse with a new position, children, schools, and throw in those friends and family who you have left behind that are planning their vacations to your new home, and you haven't even found the dry cleaners or Urgent Care! You are just one step from screaming.

So what to do?

First, I suggest that you gently, yet firmly, inform your friends that you need real time to adjust to your new surroundings before ANYONE comes to visit. Yes, even though you are feeling rather lonely, time for the whole family to adjust and get into a routine is so necessary. 'Tour Guide' should be down the list quite a ways.
Second, take that time to settle in, rest when you can, but yet get your bearings, find the necessary places...the grocery store, the kid's school, etc. Center yourself each morning with positive thoughts and lots of deep breathing. Staying calm helps everyone, including yourself.

Ok, so enough for instruction, today. To my newly moved friends, time to focus on your family and yourself.

Right now, accept your new season. Drink it in. Give yourself time to adjust. But today's point is: give your family the attention needed, and know the separation from the past is really not so separated (when you consider emails and cell phones). Hey, you know that, but try giving yourself some space.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Wearing many hats...keeping all the balls in the air...
being professional person/spouse/parent/friend/home task person...
This list could go on and on and it is the same!

As ExecuMate, we are more than the person married to an executive. We have many roles to fulfill, and often it becomes overwhelming. Sometimes it is not just an emotional ride, but a physical one that leaves us exhausted and admittedly 'out of it' some days.

In a recent conversation with an ExecuMate, shoulders heaved a big sigh of their own struggles just before they broke into laughter after hearing my story.

I sometimes feel that I have made it to a level of success in this crazy subject of multi-tasking. That's when life takes on a big hand palm and sweeps me right down to the ground in defeat, making me realize that it is just a daily task...a weekly experience that either I win or lose...or often as I express to those around a game show of hitting the buzzer just before the game ends before proceeding to the next level.

It was a great morning, as I had planned. Every morning to me is a fresh and fabulous start. I had spoken with a reporter in Canada and all was well. Well, until I threw in that decision of doing a simple laundry task. Now I know that I am a person who needs to focus on home chores or working on my business, but....maybe not both.

Flipping on a faucett to hand wash out a couple of items in the laundry room, my cell phone rang. It was business which led me to my computer upstairs in my office, which then led me to check on an emails...yeah, you see where this is going...

Upon returning downstairs thinking life was on track, I was met by (let's see, what river shall I call it?), Sheer Panic! My feet didn't even know which direction to move as I think I went into all directions!

Ok, so the story doesn't end at just solving the problem, but unending calls in which I pleaded which most responded, 'but it has rained for 10 days here and all our people are out on calls'. Yes, someone did come, but all I could think of was...I will NEVER do this again.

Well, it was a non-damaging lesson to learn, but in one lesson, it made me put my self back on track of realizing, knowing, and embracing, that I am not the multi-tasking expert I thought I was.

Those who have heard my story (with more details) just start laughing. Why? Because they say that they have done similiar things, and recently, but told no one. Am I the only one who shares my shortfalls? I do know that I am sharing it for this reason...

This life is a journey, and the things we go through daily is school. No one has it all together every day, all the time. I know. And just when you think you have graduated to the next level, some humanizing experience just lets you know that you are just doing the best you can and it nevers feels like it is enough.

Multi-tasking? It is difficult. Find a bit of forgiveness for yourself if you come up short one day. Find a new route to take. Slow down a bit to regroup. Learn a lesson. I did.

Ok, friends, you can stop laughing now. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Corporate Move the Executive, you are doing great in your job! You are maximizing assets and minimizing problems. You are a superstar! Now, for doing such a great job, you get rewarded by the company...

(dramatic music, please....)

The Corporate Move!

So, most of us have been there: offered, accepted or declined. Statistics show that 60% of corporate moves are being declined due to 'family issues'. Oh my. That could prove to be a list! (and funny, I've known couples that moved DUE to family issues!)

Regardless, it is real, it is difficult, and it has recently been brought to my attention to address it.

First we must ask, are you the person delivering the news or hearing it for the first time?

My point today is: regardless, be ready to sit down with paper and pen, make a list of the pros and cons, gets the facts, make the plan, and then make the ADULT decision. So what does that mean? Just as I said, 2 adults making the decision, not the children getting a vote.

Now why would I say that 'cold' statement? Because, in all my 21 years as an educator, and my continuing education as a parent, it is a matter of the couple making the decision, and then 'selling' the positives to the children (after research and being quite prepared) for their new adventure.

Let me ask you this question: Who is more adaptable? Adults or children? Children, of course.

So, when your time comes to either pitch the corporate move or hear it, know that it is truly a decision that is made considering your children (and I know there are special circumstances), but knowing the facts, and then moving forward as a team....

ExecuMate: The power of 2!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


This is the last of the small series of 'Believe, Achieve, Receive'.

In review, believe in yourself, achieve the path, and now...

Receive that you are in this journey for the long haul. This journey that is full of life experiences, full of rapid changes, full of bumps along the way, is here to stay. Just as in marriage when you say 'I do', it is all about the journey.

This is the ultimate gift you can give yourself: receive. Accept you are going to do your best and learn from your experiences.

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, September 14, 2009


This past week I had the fabulous experience of visiting Atlanta, GA, in the role of ExecuMate speaker and seminar leader. What great folks with true Southern hospitality! Thank you!

After addressing the 'Believe: physical, mental, spiritual' aspect, focus is then turned to the 'Achieve' aspect.

Through an exercise, ExecuMates learn how to identify or confirm their passions...those things that fill up that cup of happiness inside. So what is a passion?

As a child through college, I played classical piano. Even as a youngster, if my mother would settle me long enough to sit on a piano bench, then the rest was a breeze. It would be time that would literally fly away...

So, this is how I describe passion to those who are trying to identify it: Something in your life that you engage in that makes time fly. You enjoy it so much you cannot believe something else requires your attention as hours have passed.

After identifying your passion, make a plan for the vehicles that get you from point A to point B. It could be education, resourcing others, the internet, or just digging in that gets you to your passion. Discover how it will be useful.

Filling one's happiness cup is essential before spilling it over to the relationship. I like the analogy of being on the plane, and when the oxygen mask falls, you must put it on yourself before helping others.

Accountability is critical. The first sign of immaturity is blaming other for your unhappiness. YOU discover your passion; YOU make the plan; YOU carry it through.

Enjoy the new adventure, the new conversations, and the improved YOU!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Believe; the Spiritual Aspect

The past 2 posts addressed the physical and mental aspects of believing in yourself. We review that to have good self-esteem, some plan for exercising the body, eating right, and maintaining good health is essential. The second is to continue your learning, to expand your knowledge by keeping up with the news, current events plus finding that passion you can take ownership of and learning more about it.

The third component is the Spiritual Aspect. I am convinced that everyone needs to find that higher power that is bigger than themselves or their world. Praying and/or meditating every morning plants us firm on the ground and braces us for the up-coming events. That personal spiritual relationship can calm us and help us sort out who we are and how we are going to handle the day.

(If you do not have a spiritual aspect to your life, I propose you ask yourself this one question, after reading this statement: when something so great comes along in your life that you are grateful for, and there is no particular person, purpose, for it to happen to you...who do you thank? Who are you grateful to?)

Believe in yourself, find self-esteem, by those three tools:

So what are you working on?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Believe in Yourself; the Mental Aspect

How do we believe in ourselves, mentally? You might be thinking, what does that mean, Colette?
In trying to complete a rounded 'self':

1) Be Organized.
There is nothing quite like the feeling after cleaning out a closet, a desk, a room, a garage...the purge. When we purge, we are taking out the unused, the unwanted, the 'stuff' that we once thought was important, and organizing what is left to look, feel, and useable good.
My suggestion: do it in your physical life, and then do it in your mind. Life needs organization.
2) Expand your knowledge.
Find interest in what is going on in the world news; charities around you; school for your new interest; even a trip to the hardware store to learn how to expoxy your own garage floor (hey, I did it). Push your limits and boundaries outward.

In being an ExecuMate, it is more inviting for your Executive to come home to organization (they will notice). Plus, over that quality time you have set aside for the two of you, at each opportunity, you will have an interesting conversation that is much more than 'what happened with the children today' or 'what went wrong at our work today'.

Keep yourself interesting and perhaps you can draw your spouse into your world, your new passions. It will be refreshing, and the enthusiasm can become contagious!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Believe in Yourself; the physical aspect

I would like to address a small series of 'tools' to use in creating a happy Execumate, a happy Executive!

Today, we start with the word, 'believe'. Believe in yourself. So how do we do this?

1. Take responsibility of yourself? How??
2. Have you had a physical lately? Work towards being healthy, start at the base, being responsible for yourself.
3. Exercise. A must. Make a plan; take action. A great ExecuMate time is simply taking a brisk walk with your partner. It is quality time well spent, physically and mentally.

This is the first step. Believe in yourself by addressing your health!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Associated Press Article/Agenda Magazine

Heads up, everyone! The news of ExecuMate is spreading!

Many thanks to reporters, Jaime Stengle and Josh Martin, for seeing the value of ExecuMate. If you wish, you can Google "Colette Young ExecuMate" and read the articles.

Balance of life and to get to the top! I was golfing a couple of days ago while visiting with my brother. We were matched with 2 great guys. For those of you who do not golf, if there are 2 of you, often the pro shop places 2 more players. Although you do not know each other, it is a game of focus on the game, and side conversations are held off to the side, yet some fun conversation is held between the 4.

As we passed the 9th hole, the conversation came around to careers and everyone's daily life. When the guys asked about ExecuMate, they were firing questions wanting to know the answers, like ASAP!

I smiled knowing they were just loading their 'tool box' with the right equipment to handle their life jobs. They were starved for information.

Education is a great thing. If we prepare our children with all the 'tools' to handle difficult situations, why are we not do the same for ourselves.

I love this business. I am off to the super hardware store with my spouse!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Morning Texas!

Many thanks to Pat Smith who hosted me on her television show; Treasure You! In talking with Pat who is a high profile woman in her own right, and also married to celebrity Emmit Smith, leads by example. Women admire and respect her. Why?
Pat has many past laurels, is a wife & mother, but at this time in her life has found her new passion...a new purpose to fulfill herself, while also helping others. One avenue is her television spot every Monday morning on Good Morning Texas.
See, this is what I am talking about in ExecuMate. New found purpose.
Visit Pat's website: and enjoy seeing this woman of God, beautiful inside and out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Home

As I returned to Missouri this past week, I had the opportunity to visit with friends of 20+ years. I am still amazed that conversations can be picked up left from a previous time, so easily. It is like opening that classic book with an earmarked page. The story is strong, legendary, and can stand alone. You love it just as much as when you pick it up again, continuing the read, as when you previously had to set it down. The time in between is soon forgotten.

As a spouse involved in a corporate move, we have opportunity to go back to visit where we once lived, even what was called 'home'. It is comforting to enter that past story, but soon it is time to put in the 'book mark' and leave.

Friends, places and memories are precious. My heart is warmed by the positive changes in my friend's lives. I am always assured there is a place earmarked for me when I return...and the story continues. Soon, the time comes to set that story down and return to the adventurous corporate journey. That journey is a time to learn and grow again. I admit it,...I love both places. I need both places.

If you are a spouse that is moving soon, put your fears aside and look forward to the opportunity ahead of you. Yes, you can always go back visit. Your comfort level will grow as you experience it more. You will soon find that you absolutely enjoy...both places!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fortune Magazine; July 16 issue

It was my great 'fortune' to be included in a by-line regarding the article, "The Best Advice I Ever Got". The Price for Advice...

So what is the price for advice? I mean, GOOD advice?! And then, what is good advice?

I believe that living through an experience, taking the walk and even taking notice of the road not taken, leads to a broader look of the journey. Finding someone who has been down that road, and is honest in telling you about it, leads to good advice.

Looking back, I am not so sure why I was that kid who listened to their elders. However, to this day, I seek out my friends who have gathered wisdom by experience when I am making decisions. As a matter of fact, I invited my 90 year old friend to lunch tomorrow (she was insistent upon driving her own car). She always gives me insight during our conversations. Extremely sharp and current in events, educated by years of experience, I respect and value her advice.

So what's the price of advice as you are looking for help in some decision making? Maybe it's the price of lunch, or perhaps in an email, it is free.

ExecuMate was born out of helping others. It is built on advice given from a veteran corporate spouse.

So, if you are looking for a speaker for your non-profit or faith group, the good news is, the advice (speaker) from ExecuMate is free. Yes, just as stated in Fortune Magazine. Have a very good day...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Boys & Girls Club of America

Imagine being 17 years old, living with 7 younger sibling, sharing a single bed with 2 of them, attending school, volunteering in the community because you want to make a difference, mentoring and parenting your siblings, grocery shopping and cooking for them, working a summer job to put food on the table, and then working at the local BGC while donating hours, too, because you want to 'give back'.

Resonating so clearly in my head was my company's line..."balancing life and work together". At the recent BGC Awards Dinner in Dallas, Tony Spears won the Regional Youth of the Year Award. Congratulations, Tony! And great job, finalists!

It was my privilege to be one of the 5 judges who heard 8 stunning stories that day from young men and women who all were their state's winner.

My goodness! I had to refect on myself in terms of balance. And that energy...and motivation!! It became perfectly was what they could offer up to put themselves in a better place. Being in a better place is what drives them. The direction and content came from the beautiful people at the local Boys Girls Club.

Thank you, all, for giving me refreshed perspective on motivation, energy, and balance of life and work! And say, if you need a refresher course, just visit your local BGC and you might just find yourself joining in!

Happy Birthday America!

When I think about Independence Day, I think about the variety of men who put their heads together in one purpose. Now, let's think of the women (their partners) who probably had some input, too. That could possibly double the power of numbers. The power of 2, the power of a team who signed the document, the powering up for a new country, new ideas.
Not only did these men align themselves with the idea, but they put themselves aside to form that team. Is that what your corporate team is doing? Are you building your company or are you building your career? Also, are you using your most valuable resource, your spouse for powering up yourself and your team?
Happy Birthday America! Let's grow in power of teamwork!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ExecuMate: the power of 2. When I watched the Tony Awards Sunday night, I was impressed by all the musical numbers, excerpts from plays, costumes, sets, etc. But when I heard award recipients using words that were on my list, 'balancing my life', 'made my career possible', I stopped my multi-tasking and sat down to watch. Gregory JBara accepting for 'Billy Elliott', the Musical, actually brought his wife on stage, praising her for her part of the success, that she was in L.A. raising their sons so that he could focus on his work, demonstrating that she was part of the award; director Mathhew Warchus, "God of Carnage" lovingly recognized his spouse; and incredibly impressive was Oskar Eustis, acceptor of "Hair" award, addressed his wife as the person keeping calm and harmony in the home. As he emotionally caressed his wedding ring, he stated that equality matters now. Impressive to say the least! Balance of life and IS noticeable!