Volume 6, Issue 2 | January 22, 2010
www.shift-it-coach.com | [email protected]



  1. A Note From Christina
  2. Events Calandar
  3. Article: Shift to Self-Employment - Plot Your Plan
  4. Recent Blog Entries
  5. More Links & Resources


Dear %$firstname$%,

My BFF (best friend forever) Julie is visiting me this weekend from San Francisco.

We went to grad school together and were roomies many moons ago. 

This weekend we are hanging out (i.e. going to restaurants, movies, the gym, etc) and also doing lots of good ol’ brainstorming (we’re working on a biz plan for her … she just left her corporate job as an organizational development manager for a U.S. health care company and wants to create an internet based lifestyle next).

Given my close proximity to Julie … and several clients who are in the same boat, I’ve opted to write this issue’s article on the shift from working inside an organization to ‘going out on your own’ – becoming an independent solo practitioner and/or small business owner … and how to plot your plan to do so.


Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach

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SHIFT-IT School (upcoming courses):

7 Saturdays, Jan. 16 - Feb. 27, 10-11:30am Pacific
Registrations OK Up to 2nd Call (Sat. Jan. 24th)

Ready to hop on the SHIFT-IT train and dramatically change your life for the better?  Joining this beginner 7-week online group is your perfect first step … where I’ll help you (and like-minded people from across the globe) clarity your personal vision and next steps … and demolish the erroneous thinking, self-sabotage and blocks that currently stand in your way!  Participate from the comfort of your own home via easy webinar technology.  Includes digital version of The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit (with my 17 Merkley Maps). This group is fun, organized and very, very effective.  Click Here for Full Details and Online Registration

12 Sundays, Feb. 28 – May 16, 10-11:30am Pacific
With the SHIFT-IT foundation in place (a clear personal vision, action plan, understanding of your own resistance and introduction to Law of Attraction principles) step now into advanced practices.  Move beyond the conceptual into REALLY living compatibly with the Law of Attraction in all aspects of your life.  Includes instruction in the outer world tools of using the internet and virtual teams to build your own successful creative based lifestyle.  Click Here for Full Details and Registration

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May 20-22nd, Victoria, BC, Canada
Attracted to working visually?  Have you discovered the world of graphic recording and graphic facilitation/coaching and want to learn these highly effective and in-demand skills yourself?  As a master teacher and practitioner (17 years experience) I gently and strategically build your foundational skills – no matter where on the visual spectrum you want to play.  This apprentice-type training draws keen attendees from across the globe (our graphic tribe) Space limited to just 20 participants, seats go fast! No art training required. Full Details and Online Registration

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Online Training: Tuesdays, April 20 – June 22nd (10-11:30 am Pacific)
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After years of being asked – its finally here!  Learn my SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching System® (17 visual maps) to use in your own coaching, counseling or other helping profession.  87% of our clients are visual learners – work with them in the methodology they (and you!) most prefer. This highly effective, ready-made system and suite of materials lets you quickly add the power of graphics to your own practice – giving you more range, more clients and more fun!  Get in on this one-of-a-kind opportunity. Full Details and Online Registration


(Now Recorded!) To Listen to My Audio of This Article, Click Here)

We recently had a new moon, a new year and a new decade … the perfect time to make a clear and committed intention for what you want next. 

In this energy I launched one of my online SHIFT-IT Groups … with 30+ participants from around the globe (North America, U.K., Belgium, Italy, and a first … Kenya!).

Many in this group are already consultants, coaches and other types of helping and creative professionals and/or small business owners – and some, are in that exciting, confusing and sometimes scary process of creating that kind of independent lifestyle.

And, as I’ve also got my BFF (best friend forever) Julie visiting me this weekend from San Francisco (she just left her corporate job as an organizational development manager for a U.S. health care company and wants to create an internet based lifestyle next) I’m jotting down some quick tips for those of you making this same kind of SHIFT. 

1. Don’t Do Anything Rash
Different people have different levels of tolerance for risk and ambiguity and, varying levels of emotional and financial support. If you have a high tolerance for risk and a supportive situation, then by all means … take a running leap and just go for it!  However, if you (like most of us) don’t exactly thrive on adrenaline and your support isn’t 100% iron clad, then it behooves you to slow down and plot your plan.

2. Educate Yourself
Before resigning, Julie spent several years contemplating her SHIFT and educating herself about her options.  She talked to consultants (in her previous position she often hired them to do projects within the organization), she attended networking groups for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and she read books, bought educational products and attended different kinds of learning experiences (mine and lots of others). 

3. Make Preliminary Changes
A year before she completely quit, Julie had a huddle with her boss and explained her need to make some changes.  She applied for several shorter-term assignments within the organization and landed one that required her to commute to another state (thankfully it was Hawaii so it had some perks!).  This opportunity allowed her to step away from her usual day-to-day but also keep a stable income coming in.  And, it bought her a little downtime on the weekends she didn’t commute back home to see her boyfriend – downtime that she used to ponder and research her shift (even when we don’t think we are doing anything our subconscious mind is working away on our dilemma). 

4. Buy Yourself Some Time
When you are making the SHIFT from employee to self-employment or small business creation – time (and your energy) become the key. Most employees nowadays have very full lives, and like Julie, sometimes work way beyond the so-called normal workweek of 40 hours.  In order to break this cycle, you need to figure out how to create more time for yourself (and the development of your venture) … by either keeping your present job (and implementing boundaries) or by leaving it. 

Implementing boundaries means leaving your work at an agreed upon time and sticking to it (like 5 or 6pm … and being sure to take the breaks coming to you (including all your vacation days) – even if others in your corporate culture frown upon this).  Or, even better, negotiating less work hours (like going to a 3 or 4 day work week or an abbreviated day --- many employers are particularly open to this during a down economy).  Or working more from home (to reclaim some of those wasted commute hours).  In the time that is saved, you also must be disciplined to use it to create and execute your business development plan for your new venture.

5. Enlist Those Closest to You
Once you have created a draft of a basic life/business plan (see my SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit as a good resource to do this), its now time to discuss your desired shift with those closest to you and to enlist their support and help (emotionally and/or financially).  Chances are if you are partnered, you and your significant other have already discussed this to some extent.  Now is the time to show them your more advanced thinking and to involve them in your vision and action plan. 

Ideally, your partner will support your decision and together you plot your course  (thankfully Julie’s boyfriend Michael is thrilled she has finally left the corporate world … as he’s been self-employed for years and was worried about her long-term health with the load she was carrying). 

It’s not unusual for couples to do dual plans.  One person makes their shift and gets themselves stabilized and then they support the other partner to make his or her shift – really displaying partnership and resourcefulness to work together to keep each person satisfied and fulfilled in work and life. 

Unfortunately, not all partnerships are so supportive.  Some people encounter resistance and even hostility when engaging their partners with their shift plans.  Sometimes this resistance softens over time, as the resisting partner sees their partner walking their talk and doing what they said they would – they literally win them over step-by-step (by creating a legitimate, ultimately income producing practice or business).  Other times, the resisting partner never changes their tune.  And, the shifting partner is faced with making decisions about their relationship – stay, go or somewhere in-between.  

If you are single or do not have significant others in your life there are different pros and cons.  You have the pro of not having to negotiate with another person at that intimate level.  But then you also have the cons of not having others to potentially support you during your shift.   However, if you are lacking foundational support, you can identify this weakness in your business plan and build it in accordingly (like getting a coach, enlisting in a mastermind group, seeking out local small business development resources, etc).

6. Have Realistic Expectations 
Anybody who has created independent work will tell you that it IS possible however it takes considerable time, effort and investment. People new to it can often underestimate the amounts of all three that are required (especially if they have listened to the more unscrupulous of the teachers and so-called guides out there).  Your shift to self-employment or small business will take time and a lot of effort …even, or especially, if it is primarily internet based.  As you are learning and putting your products and/or services and related systems in place, you will need to figure out how to support yourself in the interim (if you aren’t independently wealthy or have someone to financially assist you) … and/or get comfortable with accumulating some necessary, strategic debt that you will eventually have to repay (all part of that good, informed business plan). 

7. Accept Your Timing
When you make your shift, do me a favor and don’t knock yourself for how long it takes.  You are a unique individual with your own unique set of circumstances.  DO NOT succumb to your temptation to compare yourself to others, especially if you don’t have access to the true inside scoop of their tale.  Also, do not criticize yourself for being more cautious or apprehensive given the economic course correction that our global economy is navigating its way through – your pace is most likely the very best thing to do, for you.  You will make your shift in your own perfect timing.  When you do, I look forward to hearing about it!

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© 2010 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working.  For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com


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Ready for your SHIFT? There is a HUGE TRANSITION going on in the world today both at a spiritual and physical level. Many people are feeling the call to ascend to a crisper, cleaner and more soul satisfying life - are you one of them? Enlist me as your personal transition aid. Define your vision, bust through your interfering resistance and start taking action. Pioneering Graphic Coaching and Law of Attraction methods.

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Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach

Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, she guides individuals, partners and conscious companies in defining and getting what they really, really want.

A teacher of Law of Attraction, she is also an expert in visual meeting techniques, strategic planning and visioning: having worked for such notable companies as BBC, Readers Digest Funds, eBay and Stanford University. After a move from San Francisco, she now lives in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - where she maintains a vibrant coaching, facilitation and training practice.

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Copyright © 2004-2010 Christina L. Merkley. All rights reserved.
60 Dallas Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 1A2, Canada