Is It Time To Change Your Story?


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

Marianne Williamson

I was stuck. It was that kind of stuck common to many wanna-be entrepreneurs. You think you’re moving in the right direction, but can’t be sure. You might even be fortunate to have some revenue coming in the door, but don’t know why or how it happened.

I called myself an “accidental entrepreneur.” I had been a freelance writer and marketing strategist for many years, but always as a side gig. I never had the confidence to make the leap from corporate security (is that an oxymoron?). I was in one of those corporate gigs when a friend called about an amazing freelance opportunity, one that would require a significant commitment of time and energy. I thought maybe this was one of those signs from the universe that Oprah talks about. So, I cut my nine-to-five ties and decided to try my hand at being a full-time freelancer. Before long, I had several clients and was on my way.

Yet, something didn’t feel right. I didn’t have a website or business cards. I didn’t have a plan as to how I would grow my business. I was stuck in this strange place: I had work, but nothing felt very stable. That’s when someone introduced me to Power 7.

Power 7 is a three-month, six-session group-coaching program, ideal for people like me who were stuck or in career transition or struggling to find their way in a current job. As an avowed cynic, I questioned the value of group coaching. Actually, I questioned the value of coaching of any type. I’m one of those “I can figure this out for myself” kinds of guy. You know, the kind of guys who DON’T figure it out for themselves!

I decided to set my cynicism aside and jump in. I’m glad I did. Power 7 was transformative. I was one of those people Marianne Williamson referred to in the opening quote. My inner monolog focused on my inadequacies. The Power 7 program gave me both the guidance and tools to recognize my negative thought patterns while tapping into an inner sense of purpose and power I didn’t know I possessed.

On the eve of another Power 7 session (beginning September 6), I tracked down Sam Wilder, who developed the program in concert with his partner, best-selling author and acclaimed personal development speaker and coach, Mike Monahan. Sam has been a successful entrepreneur, who created and published HouseTrends Magazine, among other endeavors. A cancer diagnosis at 50 prompted a reassessment of his priorities. He became a Certified Life Coach through the Life Purpose Institute and has since helped numerous people discover their unique life purpose.

Here are a few excerpts from my wide-ranging conversation with Sam:

DOUG SPAK: What are the pillars of Power 7?

SAM WILDER: Power 7 is all about helping people acknowledge what they really want in their life and then constructing a plan to make that happen. We focus on seven core principles, of which time is at the center. Getting a handle on how we use our time is a key component to our happiness and success. In our culture, we’ve been trained to put a dollar value on time and equate our worth based on the time we invest in our work.

DS: So, we discount everything else outside of work?

SW: Exactly. We might talk about the importance of family and health, but we are focused on the value we deliver based on our work. That’s why time is at the center of Power 7, but we also focus an equal amount of energy on six other factors that define a full and happy life. Obviously, career is one of them. But we look at prosperity or your attitude toward money. We talk about relationships and health. Education, or how you continue to learn is often overlooked, but an important pillar in our program. Finally, we build in a discussion of the importance of spirituality, in whatever way you may define your own spirituality.

DS: Let’s talk about what motivates people to want to consider something like Power 7. I’m guessing people are stuck in some way, like I was. In what way are people most often stuck?

SW: People don’t think big enough! They don’t have enough confidence to do what they really want to do. Inherently, most people know exactly what they want to do, but never express it. Part of what we try to do in Power 7 is get people to say it out loud in front of others. We have to really dig deeper, to get at the core of why people don’t feel they deserve more than they have. That’s a huge part of Power 7. It’s fascinating to listen to the stories we tell ourselves, stories that hold us back, stories that are primarily untrue. We create those stories to keep us safe, to permit ourselves to stay stuck and not expand beyond our beliefs.

DS: So, if we’re going to make up stories about ourselves, why not make them positive stories?

SW: Yes, why wouldn’t we? Even the most dynamic and successful people can wake up in the morning with tremendous self-doubt. But then they have a choice: to stay mired in that story or simply acknowledge, shake it off, then move through their day living the story they know is true.

DS: What’s the value of a group coaching process?

SW: Over our six, two-hour sessions, we dig deep into what people really want. It’s helpful to be in a room with nine other people for two reasons. First, it empowers you to be brave and honest with others. The vulnerability can be transformative. Second, it is helpful to listen to other people work through their struggles and challenges. Hearing other stories helps you to frame your own challenges and create a vision for how you can overcome them and find the power we know is inside of you.

DS: Other than a newfound sense of personal empowerment, what else will I have when I graduate from Power 7?

SW: A plan. We do a lot of work on your long-term vision. But we then help you to develop a detailed plan, with concrete action steps, starting with what to do in the first year. Most people don’t have a plan and have little idea as to how to build one. Planning is an integral part of our process.

DS: How does someone maintain the energy and momentum they may have coming out of a group process?

SW: Good question. First, during the six sessions, each person is entitled to four, one-on-one coaching sessions with either Mike or me. Those are designed to keep each person on track and to answer questions. Part of the Power 7 program is to help each person develop a circle of influence to keep them on task. The circle includes three role players. First, a mentor. This is someone with success in your chosen field that can provide valuable insights. Second, an ally, someone who believes in you and will be with you through thick and thin. And finally, an accountability partner. This is someone who is constantly reminding you what’s important and what needs to be delivered for your plan to be successful.

DS: If someone is interested in the next session, what should they do?

SW: The best thing is to call me at 614.506.8474. We can meet for coffee and they will get a free coaching session while learning about Power 7. Or, send me an email at [email protected]   Or, they can visit our website: and look for the tab on Strategic Coaching.

To my readers: if you live in the Cincinnati area and feel you’re at a career crossroads or may be starting a new endeavor, consider Power 7. It’s an excellent value and, I’m certain, will deliver breakthroughs in your life and career. By the way, in case you are wondering, I am not compensated for this testimonial. It’s the real deal. I just launched my website this week; something I’m sure wouldn’t have happened without going through Power 7. I’m a believer.