A few generations ago our ancestors began trading their family businesses and farms for the upward mobility offered by the corporate top residential architects in Miami. The tradeoff seemed to be a success. The middle class grew and there was prosperity. Little could our great grandparents have known how unsatisfying and soul-voiding this way of life would become for many in future generations.

The good news is that today technology and skills learned in the corporate world are making new self-directed lives possible. There is a renaissance in entrepreneurship. People are leaving the corporate world in growing numbers to pursue their own vision for their lives. They are creating lives of fulfillment and financial security by following their bliss.

There are a plethora of books and coaches out there promising to help you find that bliss. However, I recently became aware of a particular book that really delivers. It places the keys for your new life firmly in your hands.

“I felt stuck and didn’t know what to do about it. My heart had been absent from my work for a long time. I had a fuzzy idea about what I really wanted to do, but I couldn’t even imagine how I could possibly make it happen. So I continued to hold on to the job that was attached to my paycheck.” … “I felt dead inside. It then dawned on me what I was doing – trading the precious hours of my life for money and a piece of security. This revelation brought me to the understanding that the life I had created was one I was no longer willing to tolerate.”

So writes Susan Hanshaw, in the introduction to her latest book Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live.

With those words, Hanshaw captures the feelings of millions of people who trudge off to jobs each day attracted by the gravitational pull of the paycheck and the inertia of the obligations that have grown up around that paycheck.

Hanshaw was vice-president and second-in-command of a thriving direct marketing firm. She was making good money and “living the American dream.” The only problem is that she wasn’t happy. Her work had become meaningless because it was not aligned to who she wanted to be.

Maybe you have felt that same sense desperation and wondered if there is a way out. You have “tried” a side business or two; or dabbled with your great American novel.

Your heart was in the right place, but the truth is you didn’t really have a plan and your momentary energy turned to disappointment when things didn’t go as you hoped. You found yourself back in your cube less confident and more confused than ever.

Thankfully, Susan Hanshaw chose not to go back to her office. Instead, she writes, “I wrote my resignation letter that night and handed it to my boss the following day.” Thus began her journey of self-discovery and hard-earned lessons about what it really takes to move from the corporation to the life of your dreams.

“Yes,” you say, “I want to follow my bliss, but how? How can I abandon the paycheck? How can I develop the confidence? How can I change my vision of myself? How can I develop a plan for success? How can I stick to my plan?”

Inner Architect is a step-by-step master’s guide to charting a course for pursuing your heart’s desires and creating success on that path from someone who’s been there and done that. Susan Hanshaw consciously offers encouragement and wisdom through inspiring material and workbook exercises. The exercises are designed to draw out the knowledge, wisdom, and courage necessary for you to answer your questions and to claim your life back.

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