She Decided Negativity and Stress Had to Go


A negative mindset permeates and poisons the environment with a toxic veil of frustration, disappointment, negative words, and constraining energy. The great news is that mindset can change and evolve into a life affirming way of thinking. My next guest blogger shares her story of transformation and change. I have known Bonnie since 2011 and what I love about her is her desire to be better every day and her commitment to self-development. Here is her inspiring story:

Bonnie’s Story 

bonnie2011picMy name is Bonnie Gortler and I am a stock market guru. Financial fitness for 31 years is what I know best. The challenge of the market has kept me thriving and alive on the outside, but I was in pain on the inside. I felt sad, angry, and numb after losing family and friends, one by one to cancer including my mom at the age of 62. I was shaken and had difficulty accepting that she could only be in my heart and I would never see her again.

Another tragedy occurred and in an instant my life changed unexpectedly. My mother-in-law, who I love dearly, almost died right before my eyes. An important message was given: life is short, live life to the fullest. Most doctors gave up on her, but she continued to fight for survival, recovery, and to joyfully do what she desired.

Then, a new world opened for me which included a home based business. I wanted to support my mother-in-law, if it became necessary. My life as an entrepreneur began. Immediate success turned into immediate failure, which ultimately became the ultimate breakthrough for me. I was asked… “Why are you so negative?” In that moment, I knew that the fearful, non-confident, stressed woman I was, needed to change, but I did not know how.

Hearing leaders speak with passion and confidence is when I realized how important personal development is. Negativity and stress had to go. Change was necessary!

Committing to my own personal growth had begun and became a priority.

The biggest gifts that I have received from my coaches are having people who patiently communicate with me and people who hold me accountable to move forward. I was inspired and challenged to grow, learning that there is more to life than fearing the world and keeping everything bottled up inside.

The transformation ball was rolling. I began first by changing my words, my attitude, and raising my level of awareness. I never gave up on myself, no matter how much pain I felt. I would cut, shape, mold, and polish to find my inner voice. My coach suggested opening a Twitter account. My circle of influence expanded and a huge shift took place.

I blossomed into a passionate networker. I was intrigued by a trainer and I learned that self-care is necessary. I found a mentor that inspired, supported, and believed in me, more than I believed in myself. I realized that my new-found spirit would overtake my fears.

I added journaling to my hobbies, which helped to let go of the past and the beliefs that were limiting me. I changed my vocabulary from “I can’t,” “I won’t,” and “I fear,”… to “I can!” I became an experienced weight loss champion, losing over 70 pounds since 2009. I achieved my goal the healthy way – slow and steady. Investing in my personal development has given me the confidence to realize that I can do anything I set my mind to. This is a universal lesson that pays high in dividends, so it is worth reminding yourself over and over again that … You CAN (whatever it may be) do it too!

Bonnie’s story shows that we really can do anything once we make up our minds and get the support we need and want.

Please share about a time in you life when you made up your mind to change something.



Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD

The Inspired Action Success Coach

How she overcame a fear of public speaking


We have been discussing overcoming challenges in my guest blogger features this month. Today, I am sharing Monica Bourgeau’s story with you. She is a brilliant woman with a very accomplished career, yet a fear of public speaking could have cut short her success. Find out how she overcame here fear of giving presentations and speaking in public.

Monica- Tell us your story about overcoming your fear of public speaking?

“When I was 29, I just started a new job at an insurance company. It was my first executive-level position and I was working many long hours on complex but exciting projects. I had just finished leading a series of small group employee meetings in preparation for writing the corporate strategic plan for the next year. My boss had been on vacation for the past week and just returned in time for the annual company-wide meeting.

As we were in the car on the way to the meeting, my boss turned to me and said, “Oh Monica, I was planning on having you talk briefly about the strategic planning process if you don’t mind.”

It was my worst nightmare. I was expected to present on stage in front of more than 200 people with no time to prepare. Even though I had taken a college speech class and was in debate in high school, I had never presented in front of a large audience.

A giant lump swelled up in my throat and I thought I was going to be physically sick. My palms were sweaty and I just couldn’t think straight. What was I going to talk about? I had just 20 minutes before my section was up. I was doing everything I could to remain calm and professional but inside, I was a complete wreck.

Somehow I made through the presentation. I’m honestly not sure what I said but I could feel every eye in the conference hall on me. It was the single most stressful event of my career and one that made me realize I had to conquer my fear of public speaking.


Today, almost ten years later, I often present to executive teams, have given several workshops and seminars, and was a keynote speaker at a women’s symposium and a CEO forum.  Presenting in front of large groups still causes some butterflies in my stomach but I am confident enough now in my ability that I can work through those. It took some work and some practice, but here are the steps I took that can help you too

Be Prepared:  Whenever possible, prepare your presentation early there is time to practice, practice, practice.  The more prepared you feel, the more confidence you will have.

Know Your Material: When you speak about a topic you know well, it is easier to feel confident and answer unexpected questions. It also helps to choose topics that excite you and that enthusiasm comes through to your audience.

Have a solid opening and know it inside and out: If you have a strong opening to your presentation, it helps your confidence and sets the tone for the rest of the presentation.

Get yourself in the right mindset: Listen to music, meditate, or practice visualization before the presentation.

Visualize Success: When you think about the event, instead of allowing yourself to feel worry or stress, try to visualize yourself speaking with confidence and having applause and happy faces in the audience when you finish.

Be Authentic and Connect with the Audience:  My good friend Michelle gave me an excellent piece of advice when I was preparing for the symposium. She said you need to be authentic with the audience and share who you really are with the audience.

Find Friendly Faces in the Crowd: No matter how serious the group, you will find that there are always some friendly faces in the crowd.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously: Once the presentation begins, relax and go with the flow. Don’t stress too much or apologize if something goes wrong, just pick up where you left off and continue. When I was presenting at the women’s symposium, the battery on the laptop died for the last couple of slides so there was a black screen. I didn’t let it ruin the presentation though and the audience chuckled with me.  I carried on from memory for the conclusion and the audience appreciated that.

Monica HeadshotsPublic speaking has gone from something I feared to something that I seek out and enjoy and you can too. ”

Monica Bourgeau is a Life and Executive Coach at Life Ohm LLC

I deeply appreciate Monica’s story about conquering her fear. What fears are holding you back from your highest good and sacred success? Have you addressed and conquered a fear lately?





The Inspired Action Success Coach

Dr, Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD. 

Overcoming Challenges- Did Her Breakdown Equal a Breakthrough?

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”  William James

Facing challenges is a part of every day business. I am often asked when is it time to “pull the plug” and try something different. Only the biz owner can know for sure. I do know that when biz owners are full of self-doubt and are not seeing success in business, it is a crushing feeling.  After all, the owner thinks, “If the biz fails, what do I have to show for all of this work?” or “I am love what I am doing- How can I go back to not loving what I am doing?”. In reality, I feel there is no failure- something is gained from every experience and if your current biz model is not working the way you want it to- it doesn’t mean that the only alternative is doing something you hate for someone else. You always have choices. You can shift what you are doing. You can tweak your biz model and shape into something that works for you.

Often we gain Insight from hearing the stories of other people.


Today I am featuring a smart, savvy Biz Owner with a great story of how she overcame a breakdown regarding her business. Please enjoy:

Overcoming Challenges Feature Story from guest blogger Tricia Dycka


Did my break down equal a break through?

While we were in FL, I was working my fingers to the bone. Money was dwindling, business was….well, I can say it just a hobby. Although at the time, I felt I was in business. I had no clients and was going backwards in a lot of ways. Yet I was convincing myself that everything would work out because I was doing what I wanted.

Slam on the brakes. I just couldn’t do it anymore. The bills were piling up and the hubby thought I had lost my mind. Had I?

I was convinced that I was going to make it big and it would happen immediately. At least that is what I was seeing from the internet. In the real world, I did not have any clients and the group program I had just rolled out brought me no sign ups. Well, what the hell was I doing wrong? I was following the brightest and best in the industry. If they could do it why the hell was it not working for me?

For starters, I was doing something that I felt completely inadequate even doing on the advice of one of the up and coming super stars. When the program I was involved with was over, I was completely disillusioned and on the path towards a complete breakdown. I was scrounging to come up with the money for her monthly program and trying really hard to get ONE client.

My hubby wanted me to get a job. While looking and sending out resumes, nothing was coming – not even a response to my job search. I thought this would work out IF I could get my first client. IF IF IF IF!!!! IF was not happening, it brought me up short and at the cross roads of a huge breakdown. You know the one – where you are completely hysterical and you feel the world is ending. Where there is a big L on your forehead (LOSER).

I hated myself, the program and anyone that crossed my path. I was at a really low point in my life. Of course, accepting responsibility and understanding that by following an idea from someone else who thought was good for me was really not a great idea. Of course, this was something I needed to come to grips with.

I hit the floor screaming, ranting and raving at God, the universe and life in general. I was absolutely DONE! I had nothing left to give – even myself. It was probably one of the lowest points in my life. I was very disappointed as I watched others achieve and I just sitting on my hands getting absolutely nothing accomplished.

My experience led me to understand how I can move forward and accept that it didn’t work out. I realized that I was not doing what I was meant to and watching others succeed led to getting stuck in a comparison trap is no way to move forward.

Breakdowns actually cleared away for me what did not work. Made me question the path I was on and answer the question will lead me to the life I want to be living. Breakdowns do equal break THROUGH. It was not my first and probably not my last.

If you are in the midst of a breakdown, allow it to just be. When you come through it, the opportunities will open up. It clears away what is not working, shows you the path to take next and brings forth the people who are meant to walk it with you.

Tricia Dycka  is an intuitive coach, Reiki Master, bestselling author, teacher, speaker and enthusiast.
Tricia’s mission in life is to help others understand the emotional roller coaster we all go through as women business owners. That feeling of being alone and nobody understanding is just a thought in your head. Every break down come before a break through either in your personal or business life. As an intuitive coach she helps you in your business as a source of support, helping you deal with doubts and define blocks that keep you from going where you want to go. You are not alone. You can reach Tricia at her website Click Here 

I love Tricia’s focus on allowing and clearing.



Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD.

The Inspired Action Success Coach