The no regrets tour: Exec turned caretaker turned coach

TackMaster ChefPaulStaley
30 15 3,894

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Deb Goldstein left a successful career to take care of her mom. Then she had to figure out what came next.

We are naturally comfortable with the “What” and “Where” of what we do. But it should start with the “Why”.

For the past 10 years I’ve been on a no regrets tour.

Before that I was a Division President at IDG. Many people know IDG for the self help For Dummies books. For a long time the business grew exponentially, but by 2006 the economy weakened and media was splintered. At the same time, my mother’s health started to decline.

So I left my job and took care of her full-time for five years. Caring for an elderly parent, or anyone, is a marathon. It was a horrible/wonderful thing. And I’d do it all over again.

After she passed, I wanted to continue living a life with no regret. And what I wanted to do most was to help people.

I decided to become either an Elder Care Manager or a Career Coach.

It was a hard choice. I felt strongly about what I saw and learned while caring for my mother, but I had always been a coaching manager at work. I didn’t want to throw that away — I wanted to use it and play to my strengths. I decided to become a Career Coach and started my practice in 2013.

I love it. And I’m able to use all the lessons I’ve learned from my career in the corporate world and as a caretaker. Here’s the lesson that sticks with me:

At some point, no matter what you do, or how you try to avoid it, you’re going to do something unbelievably stupid. The test is how you learn from it, how you recover and turn it into a positive.

There are always issues that create negative impacts on us personally or professionally. Instead of those issues, it’s about how you cope and overcome. This is what coaching is about. Forward momentum.

15 responses
Moderator Meckell

You guys are amazing @ChefPaulStaley. Thanks for sharing your story!

Community Newcomer

Very inspiring .KUDOS.

Community Newcomer

Way to go guys! Especially being Foodies! A great and needed service! What is your specialty these days?

Community Regular

This is wonderful story it goes to show when you believe and have faith there no stopping you ! God bless

Active Community Member

@ChefPaulStaley Another pro success story crushed by the new TT promote system.  So sorry to hear this; if you follow most of the comments on the community board, there are hundreds, if not thousands who have similiar stories.  The system has been changed to be tailored to the client, and paid for by the Pro...whether they get hired or not.  

Active Community Member

I read this story and I am in amazement. These are the results you get when you believe in yourself...

Active Community Member

@AutumnElectric @ChefPaulStaley

I feel both of your pains. I am in the same position. I am beginning to use other sourcing websites. The new Thumbtack system does not help us at all. My opportunities dropped and I am so frustrated.

Community Regular

True soldiers in the Chef's world.  Keep pressing forward!!!

Community Regular

What an amazing story!! You give people hope! Congratulations on your business success..

Community Regular

What an incredible story ! 

Community Newcomer

i only hope i have the sucess you have i know i have the determination 

Community Regular

The American dream is how I see it. I started my business 8 years ago. I was unemployed for three years living with my parents. I had a nine year old daughter of my own who is now 17. We walked out of their house with $20 in my pocket. I made $547 the first three months I was in business.

but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Stay positive. Didn't listen to anyone who told me I couldn't do it. I've never asked anyone for a dime since the day I left my parents house. Anyone can do this. You just have to find the job that you do well.

There's no magical secret formula. Be on time dress halfway decent. Act like you know what you're doing. That's it

Moderator Meckell

Your story is extremely inspiring @ErrorUnknown

Community Newcomer

You two are the backbone and what this country was based on. Faith, Honor, respect, honesty, and good old American hard work. I'm assuming your faith was in Jesus Christ.

Community Newcomer

So inspirational. I find myself saying look there is another small buisness owner like myself who hasnt had a vacation in years and who works everyday. Thanks I feel normal now. 

@ChefPaulStaley wrote:

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When we first got started, we were homeless. Our very first event was a craft fair, and we had to make our chocolates and confectionaries in a hotel room. We used the hotel kitchen microwave and bought a heating blanket to keep the chocolate warm. It was completely on the fly, but we had to make do. We ended up selling most of the chocolates and got our first client from the event. She hired us to do her wedding cake. It snowballed from there.

Before we were homeless, we worked in the culinary industry. I managed a couple of restaurants, Stephanie worked for a catering company. When the economy tanked in 2008, people tightened their wallets and luxury restaurants didn’t do so well. We lost our jobs. The only thing we could find was a gig through a former colleague of ours working at a fishery in Alaska. But we had to leave early due to awful working conditions, and when we came back, we had no jobs and no home. That’s when the adventure started.

We aren’t formally trained. I'm a self-taught chef. So building our business from the ground up, while living through a stint of homelessness, has really been crazy. There aren’t any days off. No matter what happens, we have to work through it. I haven’t really taken a sick day in 8 years. The only day we allow ourselves off is Christmas, and even then we’re open to clients. We’re working this Thanksgiving — being a chef, it isn’t that different working through Thanksgiving as opposed to taking it off. Either way we’re going to be in the kitchen all day making food. So whatever we make for the clients, we make extra for ourselves and have our Thanksgiving dinner when we get home.

We work every day pretty much through early November to late January. Our friends and family struggled a lot with the fact that we have to work through holidays at first. Even now we have to remind people: “You like to have parties, to host your holidays and have fun. Well, you need people to make the fun happen. And we’re those people.” But we’re thankful that we get to do what we love for a living. It’s a rarity. Not everyone has got the resources, and we didn’t in the beginning. But we had the faith that we could do it. We’re grateful we can bring so much joy to the people that we do this for. It’s all worth it.