Career Archive

Small Beginnings, Huge Success

Posted February 2, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I walked into the local Applebee’s, eager to meet new people, citizens of Missouri. As is my custom, I went to the bar. It always provides an open atmosphere with a family feel. And it’s guaranteed to provide lots of fodder.

Shortly after Melanie took my order, a couple entered and sat next to me. They were about my age and we instantly  struck up a conversation. Since Elise is the shipping and receiving manager for a very large retailer, we had a lot to talk about.

She’s been with this company for over thirty years. I marveled at that since with my sense of adventure, I can’t imagine being in any one place that long. But I became completely captivated when she told how this company got started.

Over forty years ago, a guy named John loved fishing and made his own lures. People who fished with him noticed he always got the catch and encouraged him to sell them. So, he made up a batch and put some in the only “store” he knew of, his uncle’s bar. They sold more lures than drinks and the bar finally had no more room to increase the inventory.

John decided to start his own business. He worked at it, not because it was a business but because he loved it. People flocked to his store because it was one place in town they could get a really great experience, quality products that worked, and be waited on by someone who loved what they did. 

Apparently, that is what people were looking for back then because John’s business literally boomed. He took a few lures he made in his garage and sold in bars, and turned them into a multi-million dollar industry.

Elise beamed with pride as she told me the story of how her boss, John L. Morris, turned his modest beginnings into the overwhelmingly successful Bass Pro Shops. She’s been a part of growing that company for three decades. Throughout the conversation, she never once referred to the company by it’s name. Instead, she said, “we…”, “our”, “us”. Their entire supervisory staff has a minimum of fifteen years of service and most of them well over two decades.

As I walked back to my truck, I was struck by the fact that John did not set out to be a successful business man. He didn’t have a business plan and didn’t have a business degree from Harvard. He didn’t have a five or ten year plan. Instead, he literally took what he loved to do- fish- and found a way to make a living at it… and a handsome living if I do say so.

I’ve heard hundreds of people who say things like this can’t happen to them. They say success comes only to those who were born into certain families and dwell among the elite. I disagree and I’m sure John would as well. 

Any one of us can be wildly successful if we find what we love to do and figure out a way to make a living at it. Don’t you remember the last time you went to a business and the person genuinely loves what they do? Sure you do because it’s that memorable. 

What do you love to do? I love adventure. That’s why I can’t be tied down to one place. An office–even the corner office–feels like a prison to me. So I live on the open road. I’m at home. Like me, there is something that you LOVE to do. A place in this world where you feel at home. It’s where you fit into the puzzle called life. 

Find that place. Your place. Pursue it with gusto and passion. You may just find that that small beginning might just become a huge success.



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2014 Road to Freedom: It’s All About YOU!

Posted January 6, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I spent most of 2013 preparing for and pedaling across America on the Road to Freedom Tour> I was able to help women across the country who are victims of violent assault. It was the most amazing adventure of my life. I will never be the same.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Thank you for your support, your prayers, your love and encouragement as I took this message on the road. It’s what kept me going when times got tough. You gave me the strength to face each obstacle and endure every challenge. As I reached out to these women, I was your hands outstretched.

I’ve prayed long and hard about the next steps for Road to Freedom. While I don’t yet have all the answers, I have come to one conclusion. I MUST help you set and reach your bold goals. You deserve to live your dream. The world needs your unique message.

To that end, during 2014, the Road to Freedom blog will be devoted to helping YOU. Pure and simple. I will encourage YOU. I will provide insight and tools to help YOU live your dream. I will help YOU get beyond those roadblocks and to scale those mountains that stand in the way.

Dream Road

I’ll share stories of those who overcame. I’ll inspire you to reach beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving. I’ll walk with you this year just like you pedaled with me last year. I’m so grateful for you. This is my way of giving back to you. 

I look forward to a wonderful year together. I expect to hear from you. I want to know about your successes, your disappointments, your challenges. I want to celebrate your wins with you and let  you cry on my shoulder during those inevitable times when you fall short of the mark you set for yourself. 

Thank you for an amazing 2013. Thank you also for allowing me to pay it back in this way in 2014. 

Have you set your 2014 goals yet? If not, please do that this week. If you don’t, you’ll blink at it will be April.

Who do you know that would benefit from this encouragement and inspiration? Please invite them to join my mailing list so I can send it to them automatically every day.

"The Beginning" Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

What are your biggest challenges you face this year? Send me an email at I’ll be sure to address those in upcoming blog posts and offer sound advice.

Together, you and I will make this the most amazing and successful year yet. 

What are your goals for this year? Did you write them down yet? Share them here.



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Today’s podcast is about, well, podcasting. As you’ll hear, I wasn’t always such a raving fan of podcasting. I’m a bit resistant when it comes to new technology but once I finally realized the huge benefit of podcasting, I jumped in with both feet.


Show Notes:

Episode 007 Show Notes

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5 Steps to Exploring Your Perfect Career

Posted May 13, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Little Girl on RoadYou may be in a job you don’t like. Okay, I was being diplomatic. Let’s face it. You hate it. It’s a drudgery to drag yourself out of bed each morning. You live for paychecks and paid time off. I know many women like that. That’s why I became a women’s entrepreneurial coach.

Perhaps you know your days are numbered at your current employer but you don’t know what you’d like to do with the rest of your life. You fear that going to work for another employer is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. But you have to do something. Life is flying by.

Below are suggestions I have for you that will help you in your search for your new career. These really apply to anyone, but particularly entrepreneurial women.

1) Determine what you do that makes you truly happy. Sounds overly simple, yet so many worker bees are so focused on their job for their employer, they don’t take the time to explore it. This is action oriented. Sitting in the recliner with a bowl of popcorn watching reruns of Amos and Andy does not suffice. 

2) Think of ways to make money at what truly makes you happy. Love to play tennis and help people? Well, youDream Road could teach or coach tennis. Love to wood carve but don’t think anyone would buy your trinkets? There’s always a market somewhere. Hey, if rednecks can build a Duck Dynasty  from duck calls, you could sell your carvings.

3) Figure out what a day or week would be like working in your dream career. It might be helpful to talk to those already in the field. Before I became a coach, I spoke to entrepreneurial coach, Rhonda Hess. I really understood what I was getting myself into. So will you.  If your dream career involves a store or office, make arrangements to shadow someone doing what you want to do.

4) Make a list of pros and cons. Being your own boss might be appealing to you. Not having group health insurance may not. Be careful not to allow these to scare you off from thinking about doing your own thing. Clearly, you want a change. This is just a count the cost and know what you’re up against exercise. You’ll go in with eyes wide open.

COMPASS-AND-NOTEBOOK1.jpg5) Settle on Something. Unless your entrepreneurial dream is to own your own dry cleaning business, most likely your business will evolve. No doubt you’ve got at least a billion great ideas for what you want to accomplish. You have to start somewhere or you’ll start nowhere. So, you must settle on a place to start. You won’t be locked into doing that one thing for the rest of your career. It’s just a place to line up and begin your new career.

Really take the time to go through these. Give them some thought. Keep a notebook or journal. Taking steps in the direction of your dreams will boost your morale and help the day job be more tolerable. It will also gear up your heart, mind and soul to transition into your dream career. Go ahead. What are you waiting for?

What is your dream career? Are you having trouble figuring out what it is? Share it here.










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30 Seconds to Live

Posted May 6, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

stopwatchImagine that you were told you only have 30 seconds to live. What would you do? Call your spouse? Kiss your children? Write a paragraph? Drop to your knees and beg for more time?

One thing’s for sure, you wouldn’t waste it doing something that doesn’t matter. No way you’d squander those precious moments. You’d live them to their fullest. Make them count.

Well, you DO only have 30 seconds to live… in a particular moment. There’s someone right there where you are who needs your help. You have what it takes to solve their problem. Yet, so often you (and I) sit there as those seconds tick by unused.

Once time has passed, you cannot get it back. The opportunity is lost. You’ll NEVER have that moment in time again.

So what should you do about it? Live each moment as if you only had 30 seconds to live. Make the most impact in that moment. Do the most good. Live that moment to its fullest.

If your clock were ticking, fear of doing something wouldn’t even enter your mind. You’d just do it. You’d ride that bull or jump out of that plane. You’d tell that person how much you love them, or give your last moment of time to enrich their lives.

You wouldn’t worry about what they thought of your actions. You’d reach out with the best of YOU.time square at night in manhattan

Time waits for no person. It ticks away, taking opportunity with it.

One of the greatest 30 seconds in my life was when I was given a diagnosis of cancer. It suddenly placed in the forefront of my mind the truth we all live with each day:

None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

During those 30 seconds, when faced with the reality that life could evade me, I made a decision to live each moment to its fullest. I’d make a difference today more than yesterday and if I was granted a tomorrow, I’d do more. Be more.

ELDERLY WOMAN THROUGH WINDOWWhat is it that you’ve dreamed of doing but you haven’t? Maybe you were waiting for the all-illusive “someday”. Amazing how that day isn’t on the calendar. You have 30 seconds right now. Ready? Go!

What will you do with that? Live your dream, or sit idly by while the seconds rush by? I hope you grab your dream by the reigns and ride it into reality. You deserve it. The world needs it. Just do it. Now!

What would you do if you only had 30 seconds? Share it here!

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Some Days You Win, Some Days the Mountain Wins

Posted April 18, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Mountain womanYesterday I decided to do a longer than normal run, quite a lofty goal since 1) It was very hot and sunny in mid afternoon when I love to run and 2) I’m just two weeks on the other side of re-injuring my foot that had just healed from a dislocation and fracture on December 21st. (yeah, I was in a space boot for Christmas).

So off I went. It was Heaven. My feet pounded the pavement and I sweated like an ice cube in the microwave. I’m in the Blue Ridge foothills right now so there are mountains! Okay, so they’re not really mountains but any incline seems that way to a flat lander. 

After running for over an hour an a half, I faced what I call, Mount Almond. It’s not quite as high as Mt. Mountain runnerEverest. Well, it’s really only a steep hill that ascends for about 200 yards. My legs were melted jello and my heart rate soared. I knew I’d never make the run up. I conceded that some days you win, and some days the mountain wins. I walked up. 

When I arrived back home, a friend asked how my run went. I said, “it kicked my butt. Mount Almond won today, but wait ’til tomorrow!” 

As I lay on the floor stretching out my aching muscles, I realized that’s exactly how being an entrepreneur is. Here’s what I learned:

Mountains Reflecting in Calm Lake1) There will be days when you won’t win. The mountain will. Get over it. 

2) Even when you lose, you still win for lacing on your shoes and running the race.

3) There’s always tomorrow and it’s an equal playing field. Just because you lost today, doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. 

The day before I whooped Mount Almond. It didn’t give up, pick up its pavement and run home. It stayed in the game and was right there waiting for me to challenge it the next day. And tomorrow I’ll attack that hill with all I have.

That’s the spirit of the entrepreneur. We lace on our shoes and run the race. Sometimes we make it to the top. Other times we don’t. man overlooking enormous riverSome days you win,  some days the mountain wins. That’s just the way it is.

When I hobbled upstairs to the shower, a peaceful satisfaction permeated my soul knowing I gave it my all and I left everything out on the road in my longer-than-normal daily run. 

That’s as it should be. That’s how you should live your life, and run your entrepreneurial race. Some days you’ll feel invincible. Other days you’ll get your butt kicked but it’s all good. It’s the wonderful life of an entrepreneur!

What mountains do you have in your life and career? Do you stare it down and give your all to scale it? Or do you decide to not lace on your shoes and run the race? Share it here!

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What I Learned About Business Success From Running

Posted April 15, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Butterfly and PollenWhere I am right now, we have yellow snow. Umm, not that kind. The pollen kind. I could swear we’ve had an inch fall since Friday’s rain. This is the third spring I’ve experienced in my travels this year.

Saturday I went for a five mile run. It was amazing. The fragrances were unforgettable. Families were out in the park enjoying a beautiful, sunny weekend. Yellow butterflies fluttered around my high viz yellow running shirt and bumble bees chased me away from their nectar. 

The hills were quite a workout for this flat lander. But I made it up each one, albeit huffing and puffing. I looked like a 55 year old lady trying to hobble up hills. Oh wait. I AM a 55 year old lady trying to hobble up hills.

All too soon my run ended and back to work I went. Within moments after my shower my eyes began to water and I started sneezing. Runner in HillsAnd sneezing. And sneezing. And… well, you get the picture.


Fortunately, sneezing finally stopped just in time to tuck myself into bed. 

Yesterday I could not help myself. I just had to be a part of the incredible afternoon so I laced on my running shoes and out the door I went. This time I ran farther… over six miles. As I sprinted up the last hill before home, two things became very evident:

1) The hills were easier to climb than yesterday, even with the added distance.

2) The pollen didn’t bother me.

Know why? In 24 short hours, my body adapted to both. It came to the next run ready for whatever I dished out to it. It naturally overcame the challenges from the day before and performed as if hills for a flat lander and inches of pollen were normal occurrences. 

Me at Iron Girl Finishing the Race!

Me at Iron Girl Finishing the Race!

Your spirit is exactly the same way when it comes to your entrepreneurial dream. It might be difficult at first. It’s new and you’re not yet conditioned for it. But before long you’ll adapt and you’re heart, body and soul will take on whatever challenge you give it. 

If you are hesitant to start working toward your dream in life because you’re afraid you don’t have the energy or guts to see it through, you need to lace on your running shoes and get to it. Seriously. Today. Right now if you can.

You will adapt. You are capable of incredible things if you will:

1) Believe in yourself and the gifts God has given you.

2) Run your race today. Just worry about today. Tomorrow will be another run. Just do it today.

Have you learned to adapt? Are you more fit for entrepreneurship than you were? Are you sitting on the couch? Share it here!



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Pat the Post Office Lady, and Why You Should NOT be Like Her

Posted April 12, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Postman delivering mailI got up early to run to the post office. Who knew they’d changed their hours to opening at 10:00am?! The blinds finally came up and the door unlocked. I prided myself for being first in line, and for reserving my new PO box online. This was going to be a quick and easy task to cross off my list. All I had to do was present my two forms of ID and get my key. Well, and as it turns out, survive Pat.

Pat found every way to make my life miserable. Though I had taken care of everything online, she snarled and informed me that she also had to have her own paper trail and required me to fill out the same form I’d done on the internet. But she couldn’t find any record that I had an account because she didn’t listen when I provided her my phone number to look up the account. She incorrectly keyed the number and no one on the planet had reserved a PO Box in this small town using that phone number. 

Pat got in trouble. Her supervisor witnessed the exchange and, while I went to the outer lobby to fill out the same form she had an Jack Russell Terrier Snarlingelectronic version of right in front of her, Pat’s boss gave her a tongue lashing. 

When I returned, even though she still made me go around the block seven times hopping on my left foot, she’d replaced the snarl with a smirl (that’s a smile pasted over a snarl). 

Here’s the deal. Pat just genuinely hates her job. Once I got the key to box 94, I really felt sorry for her. She’s obviously burned out and would rather be doing something else, yet this morning, she begrudgingly put on the blue uniform of an organization she’s probably been with for decades and headed into to what she surely feels is a thank-less dead end job. The result? Exceptionally bad customer service.

I know a lot of Pat the Post Office Ladies. In fact, I used to be one of them. I can still remember how much energy it took for me to drag myself out of bed each morning and head into the job I hated. It’s a horrible way to try to exist. I faked it for a while but then I couldn’t hide my negative feelings, I had to leave. It was best for me, but also for everyone I would have come in contact with on my job.

portrait of a young woman smilingIf you are going through the drudgery of a job you hate but don’t see a way out, please know that you have options. There is always a way out and a way to a new life for you and your family. You just have to find it. You’re not stuck standing behind the counter making an unconscious decision to inflict as much pain as you can on others. There is a way out. And the escape is worth the time it takes to find it!

Have you recently met your own Pat the Post Office Lady? Have you recently become Pat the Post Office Lady? Share it here!






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Audacity: Someone Repaved Memory Lane!

Posted April 10, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Little Girl on RoadI don’t know about you but I like to be nostalgic on occasion. I moved around a lot when I was a kid and find it settling sometimes to revisit old stomping grounds. A couple of years ago I was in Atlanta and headed up to the find the old homesteads. I have an uncanny sense of direction and had no trouble at all locating what should have been my old back yards.

Norcross Elementary School had been torn down and replaced by suburbia. Brookhaven Elementary had long since gone to that red brick school house in the sky. A state-of-the-art recreation center boldly stood in its place. Ok, so it wasn’t all bad!! J The Marta train system shook the ground beneath my feet where I’d once trod as it roared right through what used to be the woods where I’d built forts and tree houses. I was saddened by it all. While I was away, people just barged in and repaved Memory Lane!

It made me sad. Let the violins play a funeral march while I wipe the tears from my tender young cheeks. It really was disturbing. You Hilly Roadknow why? My mind’s eye viewed my world and me “the way we were” rather than who we’d come to be. It’s a natural tendency. We like things to remain the same. We resist change. We all see the past as it filters through our memory, not the way it actually was.

What I just described is precisely what prevents many people from living their dream. They try to keep their world intact when in fact, that world no longer exists. 

Our memories have a way of blocking out all the negative stuff.

When that happens, what we remember is pretty much a fairy tale. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but not when you’re planning what you’ll do with yourself for the rest of your life.

Women entrepreneurs become them many times as a result of facing the reality that the world they knew has been torn down and they’re standing smack dab in the middle of Interstate Today where Memory Lane has always been.

Perhaps that’s happening for you right now. It can be a sad moment for you but there is a way out of that gloom. You can move on to greater things in life… the life of being an entrepreneur.

"Here & Now" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.When I was wandering around all choked up in what used to be my familiar stomping grounds, I saw happy families with children laughing as they enjoyed life. Only then did I realize my memories were not an accurate recap of what really happened, but rather an embellished fairy tale with princes and queens. I’d created a memory that was perfect and that made the loss excruciatingly painful. I began focusing on the beauty in the new reality and my heart was lifted. I admitted Memory Lane needed to be repaved and the new reality was actually pretty darn great!

What about your memory lane? Does it need to be repaved to make room for the interstate highway to your successful second half of life? I encourage you call the pavers and get started today!

What in your life needs to be repaved? What’s holding you back? Share it here!

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[Podcast] Why Women Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Posted April 10, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Women of my generation were taught to keep quiet, not get noticed and don’t step on anyone’s toes. That makes it really tough to think about striking out at your age to live your entrepreneurial dream, doesn’t it? Or does it?

Photo by Mary Denman Mary Denman Photography

Photo by Mary Denman
Mary Denman Photography


Join me for this week’s podcast. Just scroll down and click to listen!

Episode 002 SHOW NOTES



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