Tag Archives: Relationships

How To Get Unstuck from a Job You Hate

I receive a lot of emails from folks about feeling stuck in jobs, marriage, and money situations. Of late the bulk seem to go like this: ” Help! I hate my job!! I need to get out here asap! What can I do?”  So today, we focus on getting unstuck from a job you hate.

The first thing you have to do is dial back the hate big time. I know, I know you deserve to kick and scream and vent. But I’m here to tell you after 18 years in the recruiting business, hating your job won’t help you find something better. Sorry to ruin the pity party but it’s true. Now don’t think I’m getting all “judge-y” with you. Heck, I fell into that trap myself. I hated my job as a lawyer from day two and I stayed there hating and telling everyone that I hated it for two whole years. All that hating just made me feel stuck, unable to move forward and very miserable.

We see this phenomenon in other areas of our life. Dr John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute has performed decades of research on couples’ relationships.  Gottman has found 4 kinds of negativity , which he calls “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”. The research shows that  4 horsemen literally destroy relationships. They include:

  1. Criticism;
  2. Contempt;
  3. Defensiveness; and
  4. Stonewalling.

So what does couples research have to do with job search and career fulfillment? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit.

Criticism and contempt are often present in individuals thinking about or undergoing a job search.  With criticism, it is certainly easier to focus on what’s wrong with our employer or boss. Contempt rears its ugly head in all sorts of ways including sarcasm, cynicism, put-downs.  Defensiveness and stonewalling seem to run rampant in the workplace.  God forbid we take responsibility for our situation and communicate!


So how do we get past the 4 deadly horsemen and get unstuck?

Again, we can learn from Gottman’s research. One of the first things Gottman does is to challenge couples to communicate 5 positive comments for every negative one. Try it in your relationship; it’s not so easy!.

For me, the career lesson learned was that when I stopped criticizing and hating my job, things began to shift in my work life. No, it didn’t magically change, gates didn’t fly open and birds didn’t start chirping from the heavens above, but things did shift and eventually change dramatically.

So this week when you catch yourself hating on whatever, I challenge you to try “the Gottman”and see what starts to unfold.

And as always, if you would be so kind as to share your story/struggle/advice with others below, we’d be most grateful. Heck, you might even help someone get unstuck!

With Love,
Patty Comeford Adams



Filed under Self Help

How To Sell Your Business & Walk Out The Next Day: Part 2

Having something valuable to sell does not translate to having a buyer. Why? Because to attract the attention of buyers, you must be visible—to the right people. While a good product or service makes you visible,  entrepreneurs have  to raise awareness themselves.

Here some tips:

Ask yourself—Who needs to notice your company?

Your competitors are an obvious market. They do what you do; maybe they want to buy your company and do more of it. So, go ahead and identify large industry players, but go the next step as well. Identify what companies might want to add your business as a competitive advantage to their portfolio. Case in point–the company that acquired my business had a portfolio of HR-related companies and had just begun building legal and accounting divisions.

Once you have done your research, you are ready to start networking. I’m not talking about taking the easy way out and emailing or tweeting them. I’m talking about actual face to face contact. What conferences do they attend? What contacts do you have in common? Who could introduce you?

You can obviously start with those charged with acquisitions. But don’t stop with the obvious targets or assume you have to start at that level. . The reality is that you never know where a contact—whether social or professional—will lead. I knew I was going to sell my company some day, and I wasn’t shy about sharing that bold idea with anyone who would listen!

Ask yourself—How do I make the company visible?

I’m dating myself here, but I was operating pre-social media. The acquisitions person that called was someone I had reached out to early on in business. I had read about him, sent him a handwritten note, later chatted. Don’t kid yourself. The “old ways” still work because few are doing them.  Today’s entrepreneurs have an entire new arsenal of tactics at their disposal via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.  Turn those imaginings into action. No excuses!

Here are a couple ideas from my playbook:

  • Give lots of free, valuable advice consistently. As I mentioned in my last post, we wrote trade and magazine articles, career tip sheets, employer tip sheets, spoke at national and local conventions, participated in roundtables, joined committees, and sat on boards. We also reached out beyond our business world and did things like sponsor concerts and speakers. And yes, all this took time. A lot of time. My personal rule: I dedicated 50 percent of my time to this kind of marketing.
  • Build trust relationships with reporters. I believe one of an entrepreneur’s duties is to speak for the company (primarily for brand consistency). It shouldn’t be delegated to a public relations firm or someone who isn’t in senior management. Thus, I reached out to local and national reporters with story ideas. Importantly, those story ideas were not about us, but were trend stories, up-and-comer stories, career success stories, and client stories. They not only helped establish the company as an expert in the field, but also helped the reporters succeed in their jobs. Reporters are always looking for ideas. Try it, you will see!
  • Hired a team to put together impeccable financial summaries. As they say, part of success is knowing what you are not good at. Consequently, I hired two people I respected to help me showcase our financials in detail. I presented the financials at my first “casual” meeting with the acquisition’s lead. I thought he was going to faint. He told me it was not uncommon for them to have to go through shoeboxes filled with data to figure out the kind of information I presented! To this day, I believe our showcasing efforts were key to establishing credibility in our negotiations.

When I was approached about selling The Esquire Group, I was not in the market to sell, but forced myself to listen to the offer. In hindsight, I realize this was not a fluke, but a consequence of doing more than selling a good service.

  • We advised others.
  • We shared our good fortune.
  • We knew who we were and who we were not.

All that made us an attractive purchase.

My commitment to advising did not end with the closing of the sale, however, so please comment below, or message me privately.

Remember…You’re Never Stuck!

With Love,

Patty Comeford Adams

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Filed under Acquistion, Business, Career Coach, Employment, Entrepreneur, Jobs, Self Help

The Busy Myth

I am struck by just how busy we have all become.  How we actually embrace “being busy” as if it’s a good friend that we like to hang out with.  There are even people who buy vanity plates (especially in Scottsdale……geezzzzzzz) for their cars so they can let everyone know just how truly busy they are. I am even more struck by WHY people (including me at times) keep themselves so busy.  In other words, the reasons people choose to stay busy.  Yes, it is a choice– a big choice. I learned that through the work of Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Louise Hay, Debbie Ford and Karen Casey.

I’ve also learned this being busy thing is a “story” we tell ourselves.  I call it “The Busy Myth.”  Now this “choice and story stuff” was pretty hard for me to swallow when I first heard it.  I resisted and so do many of my clients–at first. But stick with me here, and read the quick examples of how we made a different choice and turned this around for ourselves.

Busy Myth 1: It won’t be like this when … (Fill in the blank with your “story”:  I finish school/college, the house is clean, I’m out of debt and bills are paid, the kids are grown, hit xxx in revenues, the board meeting is over). 

You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes, it will. You and I created this busy-mess all by ourselves.  If you create something once, chances are you will create it again. Unless… you consciously choose differently.  Choosing differently requires that we recognize the “Story” we are telling ourselves (the above fill in the blanks are just some of the stories).  Choose your Life. Your life is now.  Don’t miss it.  You may be proud on some level of how much you’ve accomplished so far, but you may also regret big time what you’ve missed out on life’s relationships with family or friends.  Sounds trite but wouldn’t you rather look at your life in terms of  much love, kindness, laughter and time you share?  And if you define love by how much you accomplish?  SOMETHING IS WRONG, needs to change and yes, you can do it.  I beg you not to wait. Your health depends on it.

Busy Myth 2: I can’t change this.

You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes you can. You always have choice.  It took me a ridiculously long time to learn that. One of the ways I got there was to self talk/affirm that I always had a choice. It took a long time for this to sink in my noggin’ but it did eventually.

Busy Myth 3: I don’t have any control over how busy I am.

You’re Never Stuck Choice: Again, yes you do.  If you are talking about work or your boss, read the book Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship With Those Above You by Rosanne Badowski. If you manage up, you will have more time, be even more successful and enjoy your work hard.  I know, because I had my own employees do this and they LOVED IT.  And by the way, this works on spouses too. Hee-hee.

Busy Myth 4: I don’t have enough time.

You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes, you do. Really. There are a variety of tools that can help you make this choice.  For example. Louise Hay reminds us that  is just a thought, and a thought can be changed. (She uses affirmations to change it.) Byron Katie reminds us that this too is just a “story” and helps us change that thought by taking us through inquiry of 5 questions. Karen Casey in her fabulous book, Let Go Now, uses the Al-Anon principles of detachment and reminds us that often times the first step is just “being willing” to experience life differently.

Busy Myth 5: You don’t understand… (Fill in the blank…because you don’t have kids, you don’t have a sick parent like I do, you aren’t broke and need to make a house payment.)

You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes I understand. I used to run myself ragged. I still do at times.  I have to self check all the time and pull myself back from The Busy Myth.  But I and my clients have learned is that there is always a solution to this busy stuff. Maybe getting some paid help. Or asking a true friend (who won’t charge you), a family member or  a neighbor for help.  I talk of this in my book, Lessons From  A Headhunter…With Heart!  Trust me on this: at their core, people like helping other people.  So don’t make my mistake and be afraid to ask.

Okay, that’s enough “being busy” for the day.  I think I must practice a bit of self-care and take a nap now.  Practice what you preach and all…

With Love,

Patricia A. Comeford

Author, Lessons from a Headhunter with …Heart!


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Filed under Kindness, Law of Attraction, Life, Martha Beck, Personal Growth, Relationship Related Blogs, relationships, Stress