Breaking Out of Shawshank

March 31, 2014

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb



I am very excited about this week’s podcast with my friend Kary Oberbrunner, where we talk about his new book Day Job to Dream Job. If you haven’t already listened to the podcast, click here to catch the episode on iTunes. I guarantee it will inspire you.


I realized in doing the interview with Kary that we share a common and profound passion for freeing people. Kary calls it jailbreaking. Now I can assure you that neither of us is moonlighting at the local penitentiary, but we do find great joy in freeing people from the things that are holding them back from working in their strengths – their “sweet spot” as my friend Scott Fay calls it.


It has been my pleasure for many decades now to help people discover their strengths and move into doing work that allows them to operate in their strengths zone. For some, this has brought results in their jobs that they may not have otherwise achieved. For others, it has led to a path of self-employment. As I go about my daily activities and travels, it is a delight to come across those who are now free and to know that I was able to use my strengths to help them find theirs.


Does the job you are doing give you energy or suck the life out of you? Do you look forward to going to work on Monday, or do you begin to feel physically ill on Sunday evenings at the very thought of it? If you’re simply going through the motions until you get old enough to retire, thinking then you can finally do what you want, think again. Think – and act – before life passes you by. Here are some preliminary steps you can take to start whittling away the wall that confines you.


  1. Learn who you really are.
    Many of those who come to me seeking more suitable work are in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. As we work through the Discover My Best Focus program with them, many realize their true strengths for the first time in their lives. I love witnessing those “Aha!” moments.
  2. Seek to actively apply your strengths to your work and life.
    We all have to work, and that’s not such a bad thing, as long as we enjoy the work we do. Doing work that doesn’t fit is like imprisoning ourselves. You really can work AND be free, even if you are employed.
  3. Ditch the excuses.
    We all have excuses for why we don’t act. My dear friend, Nick Vijucic, has a ton of good excuses if anyone does – and yet he never plays the excuse card. Instead, he followed his passion for being a motivational speaker and lives that passion daily. I’m here to tell you – that dream you’re thinking of is very likely possible. You just have to pray, work, and bury some excuses in order for it to grow.


So here’s the question: Are you going to serve a life sentence doing what you hate, or are you going to free yourself to do what you love?


  1. cathy says:

    Thanks, Deb. Keep talking. Your message today is one of many waters softening the rock known as doubt that I truly can break out. Been talking to others, some with worse junk that I have in my past, training me to fully grab hold of the truth of Phil. 4:8.