The no regrets tour: Exec turned caretaker turned coach

TackMaster goodforkcaterer
10 10 2,249

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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.

10 responses
Moderator Meckell

You should be so proud of yourself @goodforkcaterer, this is truly an amazing story!

TackMaster LZDNVG

I love this message and the advice is so open and honest. It's such a good reminder that we're never going to be perfect and we rarely have it all figured out before we get started. Staying positive and seeing a slow start (or a slow period) as a chance to improve instead of a failure is essential for all entrepreneurs and small businesses. Congrats on Top Pro 2019!

Community Manager DustiO
Community Manager

@goodforkcaterer You are so incredible!

Community Newcomer

My name is Gay Mullins and I am a terrific house cleaner .I will do whatever I am asked to do .I live in Whitehall ark  I am new to this thumbtack .But just give me a chance and I will show you I would like t o get the job at Robert S. In Redfield

Moderator Meckell

Hi there @Motley1958Gay and welcome to Thumbtack. I'm not seeing a Thumbtack pro account connected with your Community profile, have you been able to get that started? Do you have any questions for me? 

Community Regular

@DustiO Hi, Dusti! I'm curious how you became an employee of TT? Can you message me or brief me here? That was my question for Marco last night but I didn't get to ask it. Not you per se, but how exactly does Marco build a team of reps from each category that are actually qualified to "represent" that industry? It seems to me (coming from a long background in the restaurant/catering industry) that the folks on the other side of the catering curtain at TT don't really know anything about catering. Pardon my frankness, but it would behoove everyone involved (client/pro) in any category to put the knowledge cart before the horse. I feel like the questionnaire (if you can even call it that) when soliciting a caterer on TT is a far cry from what it should be. Every time I complain/suggest offering my expertise or consultation services I am told to just explain my business better in my profile. Hmmmm....that is assuming after I pay an exhorbitant rate for someone who might take the time to read my entire bio explaining the ABC's of catering the person might then realize AHA! I can't afford this at all which I hate to say is about 60% of all so-called leads. Catering isn't cookie-cutter takeout ordering. And you can't have your wedding catered for $15 per guest. I feel like this is something that clients would value if they had more information on a Catering Landing page. I could write an amazing How-To and it wouldn't need to list my name or company. Just to educate and save everyone time! I feel like I waste more time and MONEY explaining how Catering really works and all the costs involved only to have most realize they had no idea what the actual cost would be out the door. Even giving the ranges now is costing me money because clients don't understand what all goes into that price. The simple "Per Guest" cost means so many different things. It is so frustrating. If a client goes to TT (and trust me I have done it to get their total experience) they literally click on a few boxes and Boom they are done. That's like asking a Contractor to build you a new house and giving them 6 boxes to check. Do you  like the two-story or the single-story? Do you want a big house or a little house? Do you want a fireplace? Pool? Okay, you're done. Now wait for the Contractors to laugh while they try to not go broke spending all their TT budget educating the so-called homebuyer. 

My question: How do you get a job or get on a team for TT to be a consultant? I think this is what's missing. Have you ever eaten in a restaurant that a new chef opened? They assume because they are a great cook that they can open a great restaurant. The food is ususally great but the restaurant typically fails because the chef knows how to cook but nothing about running a restaurant. Two completely different jobs. If you haven't worked in a restaurant (a lot of them) then you won't know how to run one. Period. I feel like TT is trying to "run" a platform for industries that it doesn't know about. I just want to help TT so TT can help me. I'm sure each industry on TT has a plethora of Pros that would do the same thing for TT. For Free. 

Community Manager DustiO
Community Manager

Hi @GailGutenmann, to answer your question about me - I live near our Salt Lake City office and I used to make a lot of cakes for Thumbtack. I also came into the office to speak about my experience as a pro several times a year for a few years. I was looking to shift out of making cakes full time, and get some weekends back so I could spend more time with my family. I found an opening at Thumbtack and applied - and voila! 

As for pricing in specific categories - the best thing you can do as a pro is give very specific feedback on pricing, customer journey, etc --- How would you price jobs, what questions would you ask customers, etc.

We have also recently launched a program where we are enlisting our very best pros across the country to host meet-ups in their home towns, connect with other pros, support one another, and also to hear feedback and bring that feedback to Thumbtack - like a pro advisory council. We are doing everything we can to bring the pros' voices to the table to help shape the future of Thumbtack.

We are also visiting cities across the country to host events and to hear feedback directly from our pros. Keep your eyes peeled here in our online community for future meet-ups!

And of course, we have this forum in which we gather feedback every day!

If you have any more questions, feel free to DM me.

Thank you!


Community Regular

Thanks Dusti! 

I really appreciate your feedback. I missed the first two meetups in Vegas because I had events. But I hope to make it to the next one. I love any opportunity to gather as a group. Does TT have an office in Vegas? Sorry I posted on the wrong thread earlier. Didn't realize I was on a blog post. Yikes. 

Community Manager DustiO
Community Manager

@GailGutenmann We don't have an office in Vegas, but we do have a local pro who helps put together the meet-ups! @perrysto if you want to shoot him a DM he can tell you more about upcoming meet-ups!

Community Veteran

@GailGutenmann Couldn't have said it any better than you did. Thank you!