Paul's Story

Finding Your Path to Passion, Purpose and Prosperity
Paul Smaby Story

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have found yourself at a cross-road in your career and possibly your life.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. – Friedrich Nietzsche

That was then

Are you in the middle of an extremely challenging time where you are questioning many of your underlying assumptions about your career and perhaps other aspects of your life? My guess is you are feeling a gamut of emotions from fear to excitement, confusion to clarity, and hopelessness to hope.

In 2000, I was running a company that became a casualty of the bursting dot.com bubble. I found myself without a job, without an income, and without a clue as to what to do next. Three months later, I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and radiation. As if that was not enough, six months after that, I separated from my wife and subsequently divorced her.

This was a profoundly stressful and scary time in my life. The three pillars of my lifemy job, my health, and my marriagewere yanked out from under me in a matter of months. The very foundation of my world was rocked and it shook me to the core.

It was starting to dawn on me that the Universe was trying to tell me something and it appeared as if there was an endless supply of 2x4’s with which it intended to make its point. I found myself asking the same questions over and over again, “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did I let things come to this?” “Was there anything I could have done along the way to prevent this?” “What does it all mean?”

I would subsequently come to find that I was suffering from a massive case of the kind of stupidity that the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was referring to in the quote that I opened with. It has been fourteen years since the wheels fell of in my life during a time that I can now say was the most difficult and rewarding period of my life. During the past several years I have done an enormous amount of soul-searching.

I went back to school and earned my master’s degree in counseling psychology to compliment my undergraduate degree in economics.

Paul and Elizabeth Smaby

This is now

My health is great. I married an amazing woman, Elizabeth, who has become my traveling companion on this incredible journey of life. We are blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Sander, after three long years of struggling with infertility. I found my true passion in life and I get to express it every day through my work.

The idea for this program actually snuck up on me one day and tapped me on the shoulder and fortunately I was actually paying attention this time. An executive with one of my organizational clients called and wanted to get together to talk. As we settled in over our cups of coffee, Chris stated that he wanted to hire me – with money out of his own pocket – to help him figure out what he wanted to be now that he was supposedly all grown up.

I was quite curious as to why my client thought I would be able to provide him this service. He must have seen the rather confused look on my face so he chimed in. Chris said that he had been impressed with how much I seemed to enjoy my work and how passionate and engaged I was in life. He said that he wanted to experience something similar and thought I would be able to help.

Wow. I was flattered, excited, and a bit anxious because I was going to have to make it up as I went.

I told Chris I would love the opportunity to work with him and that if he was willing to be a guinea pig I would do my best to provide him a program that met his needs. We shook hands and off we went.

I am happy to say it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life and I didn’t even have to think it up on my own. In fact, my guess is the harder I would have tried to sit down and try and think up this program prior to my meeting with Chris, the more it would have eluded me.

What you will find as you explore the pages of this workbook is a highly developed version of the original program I offered to Chris in 2001. I have since worked with hundreds of individuals like Chris to help them find their passion and purpose in life and achieve the level of prosperity (in the fullest sense of the word) that they have always dreamed of. In short, they found their dream jobs.

Thank you for placing your trust in me much like Chris did on that fateful day a number of years ago. I am equally honored and excited. I don’t claim to know what your life’s work will turn out to be.

Our Family

Only you can uncover that by going inside and connecting with your true self to find your passion and sense of meaning. I do believe, however, that I have created a program that will serve as your guide as you embark on what I hope is an amazing time of self-discovery, culminating in a life of challenging and rewarding work. I often joke, quite seriously, that this program is for those of you who are still trying to figure out what you want to be NOW that you are all grown up.

Today you may feel hopelessly stuck in your current job, uncertain which way to go, dreading that you will spend the rest of your life in a dead end career that brings you little joy.

You may feel a nagging sense that there must be more to your existing work, some way to evolve beyond its current confines and reach a new level of challenge, satisfaction and impact. In many cases you simply feel that you were meant to do something different, more meaningful…something that gives you a deep sense of purpose that takes full advantage of your many talents, feeds your curiosity and energizes you to the point that you truly look forward to going to work in the morning.

I have come to firmly believe that each and every one of us has a purpose in life, a reason to be here and that we have an innate drive to fulfill that purpose through our work, our relationships and through the kind of person we are. I have also come to firmly believe that we get sidetracked from that purpose, often times early in life, and experience what Nietzsche declared to be the commonest form of stupidity, which is to in fact forget that purpose.

I was one those people. After several years as a corporate climber in two Fortune 50 organizations and as an entrepreneur at the helm of a dot.com bomb, I was chasing the American dream. I was hoping to make my millions and then I would go on to do what I really loved, a statement that I have heard countless times from my clients. To say that I had gotten sidetracked was a gross understatement. I had lost my job, my health and my wife. The wheels had come completely off my little red wagon and I hit the ditch…hard! Although I had been experiencing all the symptoms of a miserable job including Sunday-night-it is, not wanting to get out of the car when I arrived at work, my work day passing very slowly and a deep sense of dread, I was lying to myself about just how unhappy I was. I had seen the indications all along but I rationalized them away and convinced myself that the “bridge out ahead” signs didn’t apply to me.

Do you feel like you are at a crossroads in your career? Feeling stuck? Uncertain where to go from here?

Are you thinking back to how many times you were asked as a child WHAT you wanted to be WHEN you grew up? It seemed like you had your entire life to figure it out. Now you are older and you are wondering if you are going to waste the rest of your life in a job you cannot stand but have no idea where to go from here. I can help. I understand how you feel. I have been in your shoes and truly understand how miserable it can be.

I have designed this Career Transition Program to give you a step-by-step process of practical action items that you can DO immediately to begin the process of realizing your full potential and pursuing your life’s purpose.

This program is based on the fundamental idea that it is about WHO you are, not WHAT you are. As long as you continue to search “out there” for the perfect job, you will forever feel the way you do now. It is much like chasing the mirage in the desert or trying to reach the horizon; it forever recedes into the distance.

Once you figure out who you are “in here”, inside yourself, the what takes care of itself. As one of my favorite modern day philosophers, Ken Wilber is fond of saying, “We go inward not to go backward, but to go beyond”.

The WHAT has been illusive precisely because you have not been you–your authentic self. Instead we tend to develop what the psychologists refer to as a reflective sense of self, that tries to become what we think everyone else wants us to be, not who we truly are or who we want to be.

No wonder we get sidetracked and forget our purpose. When you have the courage to go inward, and clear away all the stuff that we are force fed by society, our parents, our friends, our colleagues and the media, and get rid of what you think you should do, then you can discover your true self and your true work.

This program is about going beyond and creating your dream job and your new destiny.

Over the past several years I have worked with countless people like me, like you, to help them discover their passion, what they love to do most, and then help them create their dream job. Then they can express that passion and purpose every day through their work and achieve a level of prosperity that they did not think was possible.

I highly recommend Paul’s career transition program as a unique approach to evaluating your career. He helps his clients understand who they truly are; including strengths & intrinsic values & how those factors do or do not align with the career track you’re on. There can be an amazing disconnect! Paul helps his clients align your values, strengths, true interests & passions with a lifestyle & career path that is much more rewarding. It truly is an exhilarating & life changing experience.

Tanya P.

Director of Marketing and Businesss Development, Clark Engineering