We had the good fortune of connecting with Colette Carlson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colette, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work-life balance is dead! That statement often perks up the ears of my audience during speaking engagements, and let me explain. When most individuals visualize balance, the judicial scales, with both sides equal, often come to mind. Unless you are independently wealthy or retired, I find that no one’s life represents this visual. The goal is to feel your life is balanced over time, not necessarily daily, so I believe we should call it work-life integration or simply life! A marathon represents a more accurate depiction, as some days you will run hard. Other days rest, rehydrate and eat a power bar. Only you know the pace you have to maintain to stay in the race based on your own goals, values and priorities. Dare not to compare others running faster than you, as they may be running in a different race. For example, when my children were still under my roof, more attention went in their direction, so I had to scale back in other areas. Comparing myself to someone who had more support in that area, only robbed me of joy and wasted my energy. I do believe you can have it all, but not all at the same time, unless you have the means to hire help to buy back time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a child who grew up on the south side of Chicago wanting to be a teacher (like my mother), I never would have imagined one day I would speak to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. For that matter until I went to work for two national sales trainers delivering presentations throughout the country on their behalf, I remained clueless this career path existed. Once bitten, I knew I would never look back. This career combines my my genuine love of learning, people, personal development, and desire to communicate in a fun, memorable way. Dreams that become reality require focus, passion, and action, and my dream was no different. Anything done well demands consistent effort and energy, yet since I was doing what I loved it felt less like work. Although now a speaker agent supports my efforts, I invested many years building the business solo, making daily outgoing sales calls, writing content, speaking anywhere I got the chance even if they did not have a budget. Because my programs connected with audiences, opportunities followed and through the years I developed a solid business built on referrals and relationships. With that said, lessons learned along the way included patience, persistence, and daring not to compare myself to others (notice a theme, here?!). As I believe school is never out for the pro, I went back to night school to earn my masters in human behavior which helped me create a more powerful message and platform. Currently, I support individuals in changing behaviors that impact their relationships, revenue and results all wrapped in the power of connection.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego’s offerings could fill up an entire month! Balboa Park, including the museums and zoo, never fails to hold my interest. Always enjoy a cocktail on the Prado’s deck. As a walker, I would encourage them to join me on the 7 Bridge Walk, finishing at the restaurant, Trust in Hillcrest. Moving north, we would walk along the Mission Beach/PB boardwalk and grab a beer from Lahaina’s. Jose’s in La Jolla is always festive before checking out the coastline and smelly seals. A healthy morning hike in Torrey Pines provides breathtaking views, and a sandwich from Board and Brew in Del Mar never fails. If you like pizza, you can’t miss Besta Wan in Cardiff, and downtown Encinitas is loaded from one end to the next with options, although Herb & Sea has become a favorite.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To get anywhere in life requires the support of many, and therefore there are too many to mention…especially when you stay connected to everyone going back to elementary school! With that said, on a personal level, my older sister blazed a trail that left me more confident and capable to take risks and keep going. I have always said my two daughters have taught me more about love and life than I could ever teach them. After 18 years of marriage to their father, he remains a dear friend. Just because you divorce, does not mean you cannot continue to love someone in a different way. For the past eleven years, my sweetheart, Scott, continues to bring me joy, laughter and he’s the cook in the family! On a professional level, the National Speakers Association and members provided the guidance to grow my business and those colleagues have become my dearest friends.