Unpause Your Dreams
Meet Charlene Ridley the transition expert
As children we all had dreams and aspirations. As adults, many of us tend to put those dreams on hold or completely forget about them.
OnePoll conducted a survey of 2,000 Americans for Zety, a resume-builder service. The results revealed that 67 percent of adults don’t have the job they wanted as children. Among those respondents, 58 percent said they felt bad that they didn’t pursue those goals. Additionally, 82 percent reported not working toward their dreams at all as an adult.
We sat down with Charlene Ridley, a transition expert who helps people realize their dreams and step into them seamlessly.
•Can you tell our readers about your background?
Charlene: I am a divorced mom of 3 originally from Albany, NY. I grew up in a not so perfect, working class two parent home. I lived in 8 states. Have a Bachelor degree from the University of MD, MBA from Benedictine University. I have a range of professional experience including licensed trader, realtor and a managing consultant for a top consulting agency. I have coached hundreds of people and have a passion for helping people win and live the lives they dream of.
•What inspired you to start your business?
Charlene: I am the queen of recreating myself and have transitioned into so many different roles, titles, and places in my life. Some of those transitions were pretty rough and left me with bruises; others were much easier, smoother, transitions. I constantly recreate myself so people frequently called me for advice on how to navigate life changes. I always loves helping people and seeing them win so creating a business out of the two seemed logical and is a dream come true.
•What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Charlene: I have had many challenges in life but I don’t really believe in weighing them and spending energy deciding which has been the biggest. They have all defined me in some way and as a result I am grateful for the lessons. One of which was moving cross country as an unemployed military spouse with a 14, 2, and 5 month old. My ex-husband decided he wanted a divorce and I had to figure out what was next for me and the kids. For a bit, I threw myself a pity party. I was angry. I blamed him and even fought for awhile to maintain the security that marriage had given. Then, it was like one day a light went off and I remembered that I CAN DO ANYTHING. I shifted and my behavior changed. I got a job, was promoted in the first week. I enrolled in Grad school. I raised my kids, built community and established a life for myself. I took full advantage of the gift of being thousands of miles from home as time to work on and get to know me. Out of what seemed like a challenge I blossomed and became the woman I am now.
•How do you stay focused?
Charlene: I use a couple of strategies to focus. I create a to do list and then tackle the “heavy lift” items during the times of day when I have the most energy and am most productive. When my energy is lower, I get all the smaller/easier lift items done. I listen to classical music or jazz to keep the creative juices flowing and keep me in the zone to produce high quality work.
•How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
Charlene: There are a lot of coaches out there. Many have similar coaching strategies, courses and approaches. What sets me apart is my unique background, approach and gifts. I am intuitive and incredibly good at getting to know people deeply, uncovering areas they may be stuck/frustrated in and being able to create strategies plans that help them step into their visions. I use 1x1 coaching, group coaching, workshop and retreats to assist clients in transitioning seamlessly into the lives they have dreamed of.
•What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Charlene: Connecting with people, creating impact and gather testimonials has been monumental in growing my business.
•What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Charlene: A great resource that I recommend for new businesses is SCORE. It is incredibly beneficial to have mentors with real world experience guide you in creating a solid foundation for your business. As a business grows my most trusted resource and greatest recommendation is coaching. Having a professional to connect work on specific aspects of personal development, business strategy, marketing and a host of other topics helps catapult business to new levels of success.
•Who is your business role model? Why?
Charlene: Oprah. Every episode of her show, podcast, and all aspects of her business are done with clear intention and give of her gifts in ways that uplift the world.
•How do you balance work and life?
Charlene: I had a trouble maintaining balance for many years. I worked hard and never turned work off. Until one day, when my son was 7 and we were at a doctor’s appointment for a standard physical. As the doctor explained his percentiles, I responded to work emails (without breaking eye contact with the doctor). My son gently grabbed my phone and asked me to “pay attention…because this is important, mom.” That day stayed with me and I began creating boundaries to have a healthy work life balance. I have work hours and I stick to those hours. Any hour that I am not at work is dedicated to self-care, family and to personal enjoyment.
•What’s your favorite way to decompress?
Charlene: Decompressing for me is getting quiet and doing something that recharges and fills my soul. This can be enjoying nature, spending the day at the spa, painting or reading.
In 2022 with all the uncertainty in the world we think it’s an amazing time to unpause your dreams.
To connect with Charlene visit her website