Colleen Read

Colleen Read

Colleen, Motivated and Motivational!

Married to her better half “Rocky” at the age of 19, and then having five children by the age of 26 kept Colleen busy raising their children (and a few others) for many years. She worked off and on in office jobs, along with a few part-time businesses of her own in housekeeping, pet-sitting and beauty product sales. At age 35, Colleen started college, and she graduated at the age of 40 with a Bachelors degree in Accounting. Her career since then has been focused mainly in the business arena, including positions such as Office Administrator, Human Resources Director, Accountant, and currently, Asset and Property Manager for a real estate development company. Colleen found that she enjoyed smaller entrepreneurial work environments where she could see the effects of her contributions.

Through the years, she noticed that many people were dissatisfied with their lives for any number of reasons. Some just needed a friendly ear to listen to them, or a different perspective to consider. Some needed a cheerleader or coach to help them along. Though she talked with people of all ages, the concentration of dissatisfaction she noticed was among young adults.

For many years it has been Colleen’s belief that we should “think about what we think about,” and that our thoughts are the seeds that grow our lives. A new PERSPECTIVE (or changing your thoughts about a particular subject or issue) can change your situation, or the way you react to it. She continued to study the writings of many authors in this area, and she attempted her own writing on the subject. Positive feedback on her efforts came often enough to keep her encouraged that she was on the right track with these beliefs.

A few years ago Colleen became frustrated in her efforts to write motivational material, and she was stalled in developing a plan for moving forward. During this trying period, she became unsure—was this really her true calling? She asked God to take away her desire to teach in this area if it was not his plan for her. Amazingly, he answered instantly, saying, “Who do you think put the desire in your heart? It is already yours, just reach out and take it.” Talk about a confirmation!

Since then, Colleen has changed her approach by thinking a little smaller. She discovered that one of the factors defeating her was that she was trying to take on “big” projects, when working on smaller projects was more productive. She set up a defined work space, started carving out smaller but more frequent chunks of time for writing, paid more attention to those who were already doing what she wanted to do, and joined Toastmasters International. Her biggest accomplishment was to let go of her fear and uncertainty about her efforts, and understand that, though there are many others who teach on the same subject, her voice would be unique and it would connect with those who are meant to hear it.

Colleen enjoys her current job, and according to her employer, she does it well, but still job dissatisfaction had crept in over the last year or two. Fortunately, her employer is very supportive of her motivational speaking efforts, and since she has moved toward her own vocational goals, her job dissatisfaction has disappeared.

“Once I decided to move forward and press on toward my desired vocation, encouragement in many forms has come into my life. A local computer store owner asked me to conduct an employee training session on communication, and I found an encouraging and enthusiastic Toastmasters club. Just last week I met someone from the neighborhood where I grew up, and he said to me, “Have you ever thought of being a motivational speaker? You’d be great at it?” I replied, “Well, as a matter of fact, I have.”

What can we learn from Colleen’s story?

Just changing your perspective can give you new direction and energy for a more fulfilling life