Special Guest Expert - Melissa OHara

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Brigitta Hoeferle:
How many times have you said to yourself, I'm going to succeed? And yet you keep coming up short? You probably noticed that high achievers with heart do things differently, but you just can't put your finger on it. You're curious about why high achievers accomplish more and have more satisfying relationships. It's because success is the result of your mindset and the consistent actions you take. This show is designed with your success in mind by revealing these powerful patterns of our dynamic individuals and guest experts, you can model what they do and apply it to your future success. Now let's roll up our sleeves and get started. My name is Brigitta Hoeferle and this is the Success Patterns Show. And Happy Tuesday everyone. Here is a Success Patterns Show with the Golden Nugget. Success patterns are more valuable than ideas. Let me explain. Ideas, while very powerful, require trial and error. A lot of time to put into action. Just think about manufacturing. First you have an idea, then a proof of concept, then working prototype, then small production batches, and finally a full scale production. This may take months, maybe even years. And you may have met some people that are full of good ideas and maybe collector of ideas, but they do little else. Forget everything you've learned about ideas. You're not looking for ideas. You are looking for success patterns. Success patterns are different. Success patterns are better. Well, why? They're proven. They have a logical sequence of steps to follow. They have an action imperative and they deliver consistent results. In today's content rich program and the Success Pattern Show, you're going to learn valuable success patterns from our very special guest today. And we're going to talk about the power of choice. Do you realize that most people don't take action because they're just not certain by having a framework of try before you buy? Individuals are able to gain clarity which will gain certainty about what potential paths you have in front of you, and then they feel empowered to actually go and take action. In our Success Pattern Show today, I have Melissa O'Hara. She's an experienced business professional who is passionate about inspiring others.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
You know, after a career and climbing the corporate ladder here in the United States in HR and business. She found herself being how did she say it was easy for her just to stay and be complacent and retire? And she realized that there is more. And that's when she founded the O'Hara Solutions Group to help individuals and organizations to solve complex problems. As an expert facilitator and coach with her holistic approach, she guides her clients to see new possibilities, find flexible solutions, and achieve accelerated results. Melissa has provided live workshops throughout the United States, Canada and the UK and facilitated virtual events all across the globe. And I'm so honored and excited to have her with me here on the Success Pattern Show. Hello, Melissa. Thank you for being here.

Melissa OHara:
Hey, Birgitta, It's so, so great to be here. So you have.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Quite the bio and quite the resume. Tell me about 30 some years of of climbing the the corporate ladder to then decide, actually, you know what? I'm going to do something different.

Melissa OHara:
You know, it's interesting. Within corporate, there probably were a couple of big pivots in my life. One of them came while I was in corporate and that was probably about 20 years in. I'm in finance. I'm managing like a half $1 billion of expenses. I'm good at what I do, but if I'm honest, it doesn't get me out of bed on Monday. So what I decided to do was actually make an in company career change from finance to human resources that was when I finally, for the first time in my life, I said, Wait, this is what I was meant to do. And that's where work became easy. And I think one of the things is so many people focus on their weaknesses and are always trying to, you know, develop an area that's weak. This was a place where I was really strong. I was excited to do the work. I wanted to do it and I was good at it. And so all of that came together well. After a decade of doing that in corporate, I just felt like there was more so I could have, you know, a great job, great company. I could have stayed there, like you said, to retirement, but I felt like I could be making a bigger impact with more people in in a bigger way. And that's what I wound up doing by leaving and starting my own company.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So you gathered. I would assume that's an assumption on my part. You gathered all of this knowledge, all of this information, and kudos to you for, you know, kind of taking a step back or taking a step inside and go, there's more. Because what happens I've interviewed I've interviewed several women already that have come from the corporate world to then go and and build their own business out of the richness of information and knowledge that they have gathered. But that's hard.

Melissa OHara:
You know, the day, the day I came in work and I said to one of my colleagues that I was retiring, I was going to be starting my own company. And she just looked at me and she said, You're my hero. Right? Because it is hard. And so one of the things about talk about success patterns is the pattern of trying it before you buy it. And that's one of the things you said earlier. So I went from, okay, I feel like I can do something more, but what is that like? What do you do? Where do you go with that? And so what I started to do was design very deliberate experiments that said, What are my unique gifts and talents? I love coaching, I love facilitating, but there's lots of ways that that could play forward. I could be a college professor. I could actually coach people in school or elementary school. I could start my own business or become an entrepreneur. And what I did was I then designed very specific and small experiments to decide did I like either of those paths? So, for example, I started looking at university experiences. And what I love about this concept, Brigitta, is you break it into the smallest piece possible. And let me give you an example. So adjunct faculty could have been something that I decided to do, could have kept my day job, maybe taught a professor, you know, a class or two at a local college. But that would take a lot of time and energy to get the class, get the job, learn the curriculum, teach it a lot of time and effort. So what I did was I actually just had conversations with people who did that were in the field as adjunct faculty. And from those conversations, it became very clear that that was not the right fit for me. And there was one question I asked one person that made it clear, and I said, if on the first day of school you can give everyone an A and no one came to class, how many students would take the A? And she said to me, probably about 80%. And I said, Great.

Melissa OHara:
It's not not what I want to do. I want to work with highly motivated individuals who want to do better, who want to change, who want to grow. And so I knew that that wasn't going to be the environment that fit for me. And every know, you talk about choices, every note is just as important as every. Yes, because what I could do is rule out that in my time and energy could be spent elsewhere to then say, Well, could I be an entrepreneur? And then design very specific experiments around what does it mean to start up a company and form an LLC and to form the organization? And those were the small pieces. I did well before I decided to leave my corporate job so that I felt when I finally made that choice and I went in and I resigned, there still was, you know, little pit of your stomach, but it was like I absolutely need to do. There was no doubt and extreme confidence in the choice that I was making.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So there were several pieces. And all of this leads to your success pattern. I really want to dive, dig into that. First of all, you're one of the very few women that I know that are not identifying with the position that they're in in their corporate job. Right. Because it's easy to fall into that trap. Very easy. And when you are identifying with your position in your job, no matter where you are, maybe even, you know, in your own job, in your own business, it's easy to fall into that trap of being identified with that and not taking a step back or taking a step to the side and go, Who am I? What do I stand for? Like, what gets me up, like you said on Monday morning to move the needle. So the identity is one piece and then the purpose you were you were wise enough and you were courageous enough to look at what am I really interested in? What what makes what makes me be fulfilled. So talk to me more because there's there's there's patterns there that not just you have, but that you're able to teach to others.

Melissa OHara:
Exactly. Here's one is you have to be incredibly honest with yourself about what excites you and motivates you. And, you know, I say it shouldn't come from a should. So should I always say is could with shame. So if it's I should do this. I was working with one woman and, you know, she should be in a certain title or a certain position because of her education. She was incredibly unhappy, though, and she was getting all these messages from everyone else about what she should be doing. And she wasn't honest with herself about where she got joy, energy or passion. And so that's the first step, which is how do you be really, really authentic with yourself about what you like and what you don't like? So as another example, I really want to be the person who like, goes and works at a homeless shelter and feeds people, right? I want to be that person. I'd like to say that I do that, but if I'm honest with myself, I just really don't like doing that. But I love coaching and guiding people. So when I'm doing philanthropic work with emerging leaders, teaching them how to be better leaders, that feels like 100% in my lane. So I can use my gifts and talents in a way that helps other people. And I'm just being really authentic about how I use my time and energy and do that in a way that is consistent with the things that I get excited about.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So there's consistency. There is. There is clarity, there is. There's I like this word inventory. And you said it earlier looking at, you know, I could do all of these things with the knowledge that you have. There are many things. I'm pretty sure the list was endless.

Melissa OHara:
Exactly.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
But what is it that I really not just what I want, but how do I serve humanity? That is a success pattern that I'd like for you to to describe. And there's a whole methodology that you have created out of your own learnings, out of your own feedback, out of your own process of going from corporate America into creating O'Hara Solutions Group.

Melissa OHara:
That's exactly right. This this Horizon life design process, which I used myself, which I coach other people on. And it is it's a pattern. It is a framework that allows you to break things into pieces. And it does start with reflection. It starts with this piece that says, okay, who am I? Who, Where do I want to go? What's important to me? And being incredibly authentic about that. Then it's identifying what things can you do to move forward. One of the things I see the most, and it's a it's a sticking pattern, it's a pattern that prevents people from moving forward is obstacles that they perceive are getting in their way. And so one of the things that I do with myself and with my clients is reframe what those things or those limiting beliefs might be. And it really is important to for people to understand what might be holding them back, why that is, and to reframe it. So I'll give you an example for me. One of the things coming in to starting my own company in this back of my head, it was like, Oh gosh, it's going to be so hard to separate work and home when I am always working from home. And this was before Covid and and it's going to be incredibly hard because if I don't work, I don't make money. And, and so I had that mindset around being an entrepreneur and that kind of was very weighty. And what I did was I reframed it. And the reframe for me is, as my own boss, I have the ultimate in flexibility about how I spend my time. And that is a whole different way for me to look at things. And so now when I take the day off and spend the day with my mother or visiting my parents or wherever I might be going, that feels exciting to me. And that is a whole different change. So that reframe is another pattern that I think is really critical to unlock what's holding people back.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
I love that you say that because as we are having this show and we always have this show live, I am also having a training. It's a it's a four day training and then we're going to go right into coaching certification. It's an NLP training because we have the center of NLP, which was established in 1986. And that's exactly one of the strategies that we're talking about tomorrow is reframing. It's it's becoming aware of the frame of mind that one is. And then going, is that really is it supporting my well formed outcome where I want to go or is it limiting? And if it's limiting it, what can I do different? So Melissa, did you take any NLP training?

Melissa OHara:
I did not, but I have had lots of training and certification over the years. So that's definitely something that that has has helped because what I find is people get stuck and unless they get unstuck, they can't make progress. So that's a really critical piece in the in the process. The next step in one of the things that's really interesting or unique is I want to build on what you said. Most people identify themselves as their title. I am a accountant, a project manager, an HR lead, whatever that that title might be, and that limits them in terms of the opportunity or the areas that they might even pursue based off of that limit. What's different here is you say, What are my unique gifts and talents? Then you imagine multiple ways of playing them out in the world. So a lot of the the life design is based off of the design thinking methodology. And one of the phrases there is you fall in love with the problem, not the solution. Because what I find for most people is they come up with what they think is the right answer. They're always looking for the right answer, and there is no right answer when it comes to your life, especially, there's no one single way but when you start to get really curious about what are all the ways that someone who's a coach or a facilitator could use their gifts and talents in the world, then it really comes up with lots of different options. And that I think, is helps unlock people into more possibilities and frankly allows them to dream again. Because as adults, you know, it's been beat out of us when we were kids to, you know, oh, get your head out of the clouds now we want to actually put your head in the clouds because that's where we're real magic and real power can happen.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
I'm glad that you said that, because my next question for you was, what was it like to be little Melissa? Like, how did you grow up and how were these values and these beliefs already instilled in you when you were little?

Melissa OHara:
Well, two things, right? One, I will say it's something I have as a parent now. My father would always say, you know, a parent's role is to give their children roots and wings. Right? And so I feel like that's my role as a coach and as a facilitator as well. Give people roots the tools, the techniques and the foundation and then the wings so that they can do this on their own. You need to enable people so that they can take charge of their own life and give them the tools. And so whether it's as a coach or as a facilitator, that right from my childhood and then I also had an incredible role model in my mother. My mother was the first woman to run for mayor in our town. She was a stockbroker in the 70s when that wasn't very common. And so I truly believed and still believed to this day that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
What an incredible. Example and testimonial that you just brought, because we often hear it on the other side. We often hear how children have heard from their teacher or their nanny or their parents or their siblings. You're no good. You can't do that. You shouldn't, don't do that or you're stupid or you're too thick or too thin or too whatever. Right? So that's what that person that's a belief system. I call it a BS in this case that that shapes that person. Now, that's a negative, a non-supportive belief system. And yet you're you just demonstrated that it actually works on the flip side just as well. So as as adults, as thought leaders, as teachers, as coaches, as parents, it is our not just an opportunity. It's our duty to uplift. Whoever is in our care, no matter how old they are, because it will shape that person.

Melissa OHara:
Absolutely. I believe every day, every interaction I have with anyone, whether it's someone at the gas station or whether it's someone that I'm coaching, that is an opportunity to make a difference one person at a time, you know? And so I really look at it that way, whether it's it's saying hello to someone, giving them a smile that pays forward in lots of different ways. And so I really do believe that you can create that belief system in a positive way. And it is absolutely a a duty and obligation for us to to do that with others in our lives.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah, I agree. So you you are you have your office where you live. I don't know if you have that now, but when you started, how did you create that, dare I say, work life balance? Like or and how do you do that now?

Melissa OHara:
Um, you know, one of the things that was really challenging was going from a corporate setting, right? When you're an entrepreneur, it's a little bit more of a roller coaster. It's very predictable when you're in corporate, right? This is what you get paid every two weeks, and this is the work that you have. These are the deliverables. And so it is definitely a little bit different. And so there's actually three measures of success for the company. The first one is revenue because, you know, we are a business so you have to make money. But the other two are what drive kind of the day in and day out. And the second one is number of lives impacted. So am I on a day in and day out basis impacting lives. But the third one, and it relates to your balance question is number of days of play actually color code them on my calendar as a day of play, I measure them. I go back last year, I took 85 days of play and I'm also finding places to intersect those things. So for example, last year I did a retreat in New Mexico, right? It's it's a it's a gig, but it's also an opportunity for me to so when I can go to really cool, interesting places, combine that with the work that I love to do, that's just a home run.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Love that. And I put it here in the comments as well, or I post the comments here. I love that it's being reiterated and that we can show it because there's such incredible, juicy and wise nuggets. I want to do a little bit of a rapid fire with you, Melissa, and I'm going to say a word and then I'd like for you to say the first thing that pops up mindset.

Melissa OHara:
Um, powerful.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Travel.

Melissa OHara:
Love it.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Wealth.

Melissa OHara:
More than money.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Modeling.

Melissa OHara:
But duty.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Passion.

Melissa OHara:
Who am.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Acceptance.

Melissa OHara:
Working on it.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Hate.

Melissa OHara:
Should not be a word.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Thank you for that. Yeah, I agree with I agree with you. You said something about success and I would love to hear your take on success. Success means something for everyone in a different way. How would you define success for you? How do you know at the end of the day that it was a successful day?

Melissa OHara:
You know what, One of the one of the things that I do is part of the life design work is a process called energy tracking. And what you do is you you're very thoughtful about what brings you energy, what kind of brings you up, gets you excited and what drains you of energy. And so for me, at the end of the day, if I feel like I've had a day that on average is bringing me energy, is exciting, is enthusiastic, then I feel like that is an absolutely great day. If I'm making a positive difference in the lives of others, you know, I'm lucky in the work that I do. People send me thank you notes. They tell me how much I've actually impacted or changed their lives and that not everybody in every job gets the opportunity. So when I get feedback like that, when I have the opportunity to feel like I'm making a difference, and when I have a chance to feel like I am really doing things that make a difference, then that feels like a really awesome day.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah. How do you move the needle? And sounds like you know very well how the how the needle is being moved and what it needs to move the needle now. Other people want to move the needle too. Yeah And they have an opportunity, actually, to work with you. And you came bearing gifts.

Melissa OHara:
I did.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
I did. Tell us about the gift that you came with.

Melissa OHara:
Yeah. So for one lucky viewer today, if you send me an email, you'll actually get a 60 minute life design consultation. And I'll work with you for 60 Minutes talking about some of the elements that we've talked about here, some of the success pattern or pieces. And if you are interested in, just email me and think Birgitta's going to bring up my email address. And then one lucky winner from the people who email me will actually get a free 60 minute coaching session.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So there's one winner that was one selected for 60 minute life design consultation. We have it here in the little clicker down here with Melissa. It's a $495 value, I would say. Everyone get your pen and paper ready because I'm about to tell you what the email address is. And you already see it here in the in the screen as well. The email address where you're going to send your email to is Melissa. Melissa at O'Hara Solutions Group. So h I'm sorry. O'hara Solutions group so O'Hara solutions group.com the whole email again Melissa at O'Hara solutions group.com make sure that you're sending her an email in the subject line you're going to put in what do they put what do you want them to put in the subject line? Success patterns. Success patterns. It's that simple, you guys success patterns. Send it to Melissa at O'Hara solutions group.com and get with Melissa on social media think you're on LinkedIn.

Melissa OHara:
Right yeah LinkedIn is the primary we have Instagram as well. There's a YouTube channel out there Also if anyone wants to follow, we post videos from time to time if you aren't a winner. There also is a workshop on Horizon Life Design that's coming up on September 30th. That's going to be at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and in person only. That is an in-person workshop. Yes, that is an actual live in-person workshop, which I'm excited to do as well. But if anyone has any questions, follow up today, I'd encourage you to email me as well.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yes. So please get with Melissa. Find her on LinkedIn. She's an incredible, wonderful person that you want to follow, that you want to learn from. Melissa, what are your parting words for today? What do you want to leave us with?

Melissa OHara:
You know, I think it is the power of choice where we started that there's no one clear path for any one of us. But the more that you can look at different options, break them into small pieces, make a really good choice, and choices are impermanent. So you know what? If it's not a great choice, you just make the next one.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah, we're not. We're not a tree. We. We can change at any moment. And those are my two favorite words. Change and choice because we can. And it with the the work that we do Melissa it is fun. It's long lasting. It is successful. And I thank you for being here. Everyone that's watching may be the live show today or any recording that you find get with Melissa O'Hara. Melissa, thank you for being on the show today. Thank you for bringing such incredible wisdom and and and valuable nuggets to us and the Success Pattern show.

Melissa OHara:
Thanks, Birgitta. It's great being here.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Fantastic. And for everyone else, please tune in again next week, same time, same place, invite others, share what you're finding about the success patterns. Share it with others. Don't keep it to yourself. Don't be that person. Invite others on the Success Pattern Show and tune in again next week, same time, same place. Until then, ciao. Thank you for tuning in and you will notice opportunities to apply success patterns daily while eagerly anticipating next week's content rich success patterns.

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Melissa OHara

Melissa is an experienced business professional who is passionate about inspiring others. After a career in business and HR, she founded the O’Hara Solutions Group to help individuals and organizations solve complex problems. As an expert facilitator and coach with her holistic approach, she guides clients to see new possibilities, find flexible solutions, and achieve accelerated results. Melissa has provided live workshops throughout the US, Canada, and the UK; and facilitated virtual events across the globe.

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