Tag Archives: mentoring

Add to your toolkit for success?

What an honor and privilege to speak to Parents and Educators yesterday @

http://gettpa.org event. If you missed it, watch for it in 2018!

While learning about STEM careers, participants also learned what the theme of the event “ My Future is Bright” means. Each of the amazing speakers touched on the importance of face-to-face connections, self -awareness, confidence, and being open to new opportunities.   Our conversations focused on the value of learning success skills, not just academic success like GPA’s and SAT’s.  Academic achievement is key to demonstrate aptitude, commitment and desire to learn. But there are other indicators of life long success.

Focusing and doing well on your SAT score will get you into the college of your choice. But it doesn’t help you choose a career path or college major or get a job and it doesn’t improve the 3 C’s employers are seeking: Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking.

Seeking opportunities to develop these success skills will be a gift to you that will last a lifetime.

Some examples of great skills to add to your personal toolkit:

  • Knowing what you want
  • Knowing how to ask for it
  • Networking skills
  • Empowerment to Ask for Help
  • Public Speaking Skills
  • How to Share Your Brand
  • You Are What You Post, think before hitting enter
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Learning how to engage a Mentor or Accountability Partner
  • How to find a job shadow or internship opportunity

This is especially true for women. A recent headline from the WSJ : As Skills Shift for High-Paying Jobs, Women See Advantages

Research paper shows top-paying occupations require more interpersonal skills such as collaboration and managing others.


There are many workshops and programs to improve your 3 C’s, find what speaks to you.   My Spring & Summer student success workshops are now open for registration @ http://www.marchforwardconsulting.com/for-students

 The Time Management Workshop for students on April 2, still has openings, last day to register is March 28, 2017. Sign up now.

To view a sample of a Young Empowered Speakers workshop student click here:

Rhea: The Simple Solution

It is my hope that we can make an energy shift away from having people identify themselves based on measurements such as GPA’s and SAT scores, we are all so much more.  Neither number is an indicator of success. There are so many potential paths to take as an adult and if you limit your possibilities solely based on your perception of your academic success in your younger years, you may miss a great opportunity or not fulfill your true purpose.


Lessons from Linda Ron


I had the amazing privilege to hear Linda Ronstadt share her life story @ WCU’s speaker series. I feel so fortunate to have so many opportunities being close to WCU.

Linda reinforced this Life Lesson for me:

Keep learning, trying something new, and staying positive!

From Rock N Roll to Country to Opera on Broadway to Mexican Music to writing her book Simple Dreams, she was always exploring and trying something new. While she had so many hits singing Rock N Roll, she was always ready for a new challenge. And even now that she is not able to sing due to Parkinson’s, she focuses on the positive and how she can give back.

This is an important lesson for all of us!  

Many of my coaching clients resist change because they have always done it that way or an unexplored fear is holding them back.

What you discover when you try a new process or procedure in your business or personal life, you will get a new and improved or streamlined result.

What is the overused cliché definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

It’s not easy to form new habits so try something new. Here are 10 simple ways for you to discover and develop new habits and skills:

  1. Take a class to learn a new skill or explore an area of curiosity
  2. Engage an accountability partner to question and challenge you
  3. Research areas of interest for your next career move
  4. Start a conversation with someone new in your field of interest
  5. Schedule an informational interview with a person you admire
  6. Volunteer for a non-profit or charity that interests you
  7. Write a blog post about something you are passionate about
  8. Read a book by someone you want to emulate
  9. Re-connect to a hobby or activity you enjoyed at a young age
  10. Join an intramural sports team or a gym or try a new routine

Experience is the greatest way to learn, so keep learning, trying new things, and staying positive!

This is my favorite of Linda’s many hit songs: Long, Long Time.




Early Exploration  by Olivia Hunt

The photo above is the amazing group of students that I was fortunate to advise this summer.  They came together as a team from all over the state to spend a week exploring potential careers in business @ PFEW.  Enjoy the blog below written by Olivia about the importance of Career Exploration.  ~ Brenda

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase, “junior year is the most important year of high school,” I would be able to pay my college tuition in cash, and buy a boat. While this idea has great conviction and solid reasoning behind it, I tend to disagree. But what about SAT’s? AP classes? Extracurricular leadership roles? Don’t colleges pay the closest attention to your grades junior year? Yes, yes, yes, and yes; these are all vital aspects of creating a solid path to college. But what about a career? Maybe you aren’t choosing to attend college, or just want to better understand what’s out there so you can select an adequate major. With the SAT’s, AP classes, extracurricular’s, and the pressure of grades, finding time to devote to self-exploration is incredibly tough. That’s why I would recommend starting this search as early as possible. For me, the process began near the end of freshman year, but it really took off as a sophomore.

In the last month of my freshman year, I discovered the existence of the almighty and ever so helpful career center. I decided to see what it was all about, so wandered on in and came across a bulletin board cluttered with ads for internships and part time jobs. Fast forward a year and a half, and I have been an intern for March Forward Consulting ever since. The first step to figuring out what you want to do with your life is deciding to do anything at all. I had no aspirations to become a blogger, businesswoman, or publicist, but I did end up realizing that I’m not so bad at writing, (and I even sort of liked it). I ended up in a creative writing class my sophomore year and fell head over heels for it. With each unit, I learned something new and exciting about the ways I could write, and it finally clicked during “playwriting”. Choosing a class that allowed me to explore a potential career interest was the reason I discovered what I hope to do professionally. If you have interests in subjects you’ve yet to explore; explore them. Sign up for the class, join the club, and pop it into Google. The more that you uncover about it, the better you can understand whether or not it could become your occupation. If you don’t end up liking it, so what? You learned something new, and you can cross it off the list of possibilities.

The earlier you can start, the better. As I mentioned before, junior year is tremendously overwhelming. Between academic and social responsibilities, free time is not frequent. Quite commonly, juniors refer to free time as “sleep”. Personally, I’d have to agree. My responsibilities in school include Student School Board Representative, Student Producer for the musical, Publicitor of French Honor Society, Student Council, National Honor Society, Best Buddies, Dance for Lives, French Club, Theatre Club, Student Life Committee, Food Committee, and probably something else that I honest to god cannot remember. On top of that, I take three AP courses, a level three language, calculus, and more. I don’t even have time for a lunch period. If I went on to tell you about my part time job, internship, competition dance team, and service work, you would probably stop reading, (if you haven’t already). “How do you have a social life?” This is a question I’m asked quite frequently by faces painted by expressions of horror. Somehow, against all odds, I still do. I juggle my time between a boyfriend, best friends, and even friendly acquaintances, but it is not easy. Yes, my case may be a little extreme. However, most juniors are at least half, if not nearly, as busy as I am. Crippling stress and mental breakdowns over tests, (literally, just tests), are not uncommon. So before it gets to that, all I can tell you is to use your time wisely. If you’re breezing through freshman and sophomore year, then devote your extra time to really going out into the world and experimenting with your interests. Let them pull you in all sorts of different directions and just see where they take you. Who knows, you might end up with a part time job or internship that guides you to exactly what you’ve been looking for. Look at my path to playwriting: it wasn’t a direct shot. Actually, I hope to pursue screenwriting, which is in a completely different business that I’ve yet to delve into. Upon my entrance to high school, I thought I wanted to be an architect, so I took the residential architecture class and started watching House Hunters. I soon realized that I was gravely mistaken. Then, I wanted to become an English teacher. This was a bit more on cue, but then again I realized that working in a school wouldn’t be a great setting for me. Bingo: writer. Cue further exploration, cue taking classes, yada yada yada… two years later and three of my pieces have been published in a professional literary magazine, as well as one in a book, and a chapter on the way. Testing out your interests is truly the only way to discover your passions, so don’t waste the time you have now just waiting for them to come. After all, you may not get the chance, (or time), again.

Wishing You the Gift of Feeling “Forever Young” This Holiday Season!

This is a photo from a family Christmas a few years ago, my 3 amazing children are now Happy, Healthy, Self-Supporting adults.  I miss those days but love our new relationships and conversations.  They are all grown up but I hope they still feel Forever Young.

Some of you may be fortunate enough to be surrounded by the unbridled and positive energy of young children this season. If that is the case, I hope it’s contagious. If not, try to recall that feeling of excitement and anticipation from your childhood. Most young children are open to all possibilities; they don’t worry about the outcome.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rush and potential stress of the shopping, cooking, decoration, and social obligations. But take a deep breath and relax and enjoy each little moment, connection, and conversation this holiday season. Be open and excited for any possibilities put before you,  without thinking about the outcome.

As my book coach shared last week:   “Small conversations can lead to big things.”

And as you all know change is an unavoidable constant. And small conversations can lead to big change. You never know what re-connecting to your inner child and re-connecting to friends and family members can bring for you.

While we all go through life trying to find Our Dharma: That which we must do”, and it often finds us if we stay open.

Bob Dylan never thought when he wrote his many hit songs, that one day he would receive a Nobel Prize for literature but he wasn’t focused on the outcome.  In his acceptance speech he wrote: “If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon,”.

While Dylan’s “Forever Young” is not a typical Christmas song, this lyric is what I wish for you this Holiday Season!

May your heart always be joyful

May your song always be sung

And may you stay

Forever young

Listen to Dylan’s Forever Young:

And ENJOY every moment without considering the outcome !



What is The Most Important Project You Will Ever Work On?

I hope your answer is: Me.  
I hope that YOU are The Most Important Project You Will Ever Work On.
The Project of You: Beyond High School
Always make time for taking care of yourself.  No one else has the ability to access your subconscious or conscious mind and know precisely what you need or want.  Only you can  find ways to be happy and healthy in your present moment.
In my practice doing executive coaching and leadership development programs, I am  reminded that everyone has a desire to learn and grow.  Change is constant and inevitable.
The majority of frustrations within most organizations can be solved with CPR, improving Communication, Perception/Process, and Relationships.
I have also worked with many emerging adults and young professionals who have benefitted by learning the key skills for success to become HHSS – Healthy, Happy & Self-Supporting.  It is never too early to start mastering these skills.
Want to give a Young Adult the Gift of Empowerment this holiday season?

The goal of this book is to provide you opportunities to spend small amounts of time in regular intervals to decide on the perfect life path for you to become

HHSS – Happy, Healthy & Self – Supporting.

By completing the readings and exercises in this book, you will:

• Learn to budget time for your exploration • Increase your self-awareness about your vision for your future

• Find your why and connection to the world beyond high school

• Improve your personal communication skills

• Acknowledge your core values to help you make future choices; and

• Begin developing ideas around the direction you want to head as an adult.

Does the process of choosing your path beyond high school feel overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Like many things in life the key success skills are simple to understand, yet not so easy to develop. Read and complete the exercises within and make it easy for yourself through guidance and practice. Use our process and take away your overwhelm with making your Project of You plan. Be ready for your future beyond high school!

What project could you possibly be working on that is more important than understanding and deciding what’s next for you beyond high school? You can use this book as a guide to begin your career exploration at any age. The five key skills will always be a resource for you. These are skills that you will use throughout your life no matter what path you choose beyond high school.

Everyone’s path is unique to them and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do next after high school to start on your path. Exploration, experience, and digging deeper will help you make a decision most closely aligned to your strengths, goals, and purpose.

This book can be used as an individual coaching tool with students or as the basis for a group coaching or classroom based setting. The lessons in the book can be used and selected as needed to create a custom program for a specific target goal or the lessons can be covered sequentially to establish personal success habits with students.

Contact Brenda@MarchForwardConsulting.com today to discuss Train the trainer programs, student classroom based programs, student group coaching or individual workshops based on The Project of You for your student, school or organization.

How can you move up?

I was thrilled to again this year be a facilitator at the Business Education Partnership Luncheon.  Each of our 9 student speakers were amazing and shared the value of their experiential learning through internships, job shadowing and PFEW business camp.  
Being part of the link between local businesses and local school districts to help students be educated, experienced, and empowered is a passion of mine.  These students are learning that you need to develop new skills and challenge yourself to move up and be ready for the next step.
In my work with local businesses doing executive coaching and leadership development programs, everyone has a desire to learn and grow.  Each of us even as adults are never fully baked as Seth Godin reminded us in his 9/29 post:
Fully baked
In medical school, an ongoing lesson is that there will be ongoing lessons. You’re never done. Surgeons and internists are expected to keep studying for their entire career—in fact, it’s required to keep a license valid.

Knowledge workers, though, the people who manage, who go to meetings, who market, who do accounting, who seek to change things around them—knowledge workers often act as if they’re fully baked, that more training and learning is not just unnecessary but a distraction.

The average knowledge worker reads fewer than one business book a year.

On the other hand, the above-average knowledge worker probably reads ten.

Show me your bookshelf, or the courses you take, or the questions you ask, and I’ll have a hint as to how much you care about levelling up.

I think Seth’s message is a great reminder to all of us that we should be lifelong learners especially if “you care about leveling  up”.
What skill do you want to learn at this point to become better in your current job or to start a new career path?
Go for it!
It’s never too late and you are never fully baked.
If you want to learn more about the BEP’s work check out the article from the Daily Local News:


Reminder what matters

waitinginthewings    (My company at PFEW waiting in the wings before their marketing presentation)

Another reminder that it’s all about building and deepening relationships, giving back and working together.

As you may have read in my last blog post, I spent an entire week volunteering in Williamsport PA at PFEW, a non-profit educational organization. https://www.pfew.org

I work with students and young professionals to help them develop their “Project of You Plan: The most important project you will ever work on”.   I also work with businesses to improve processes, productivity and increase profits through individual personal leadership development and strengthening interpersonal and team communication skills.   In all my work, I consistently acknowledge that no one is an island and we all need to build and deepen our relationships.

Given this fact, I wanted to share this letter with you from the student who was elected the CEO of my team’s company at PFEW. I received this note the day that I arrived back home to my office, exhausted and deluged with e-mails and getting back to business. It made my day and re-affirmed that even though I wasn’t being compensated for my time, I was doing something valuable.

Grab a tissue before you read this:


Thank you so much for volunteering as a company adviser at PFEW this past week. It was extremely gracious of you to take off a week of work for the sake of teaching young men and women about the business world and themselves. You were always there for our team, calm and uplifting, willing to help us with our struggles. This was especially helpful and comforting for me. The first day that I was elected CEO of our company, I was very stressed and was not sure if I could do it. I expressed these feelings to you and you calmed me by telling me that I already had so many great ideas, that I was capable of leading a team, and most importantly, that you would be there to help me when I struggled. I cannot express how comforting it was to hear your kind words and willingness to help me succeed. Another instance that you helped relieve my worry and disappointment was the last time that I talked to you. I was very discouraged that after all of our hard work, we won nothing. You talked to me alone and told me that I had gone out of my comfort zone and lead my team very well. Reminded me that I had worked very hard and should be proud of myself. In a time that I was very disappointed, you uplifted me. It is obvious that you truly care for each and every member on our team and for that, I cannot thank you enough. You taught us a lot about business and the workplace such as having good communication with your team, but more importantly, you taught us about life and ourselves. You explained to us that we should do something in life that we are passionate about. Told us if we did follow our passion, we would be successful. You set an example of how to care for others and make them the best person that they can be. For your generosity, kindness, and care, I cannot thank you enough. You were a huge part of what made PFEW such a great experience for me. You have truly impacted me.


Nick Duer

I feel very fortunate that my business is going so well and my clients are so understanding and flexible that I am able to close my doors for a week to give back. Many of you also donate your time and expertise to help others grow and you know how great that feels.

I truly believe that we are all here to help each other be the best we can be, right?

This student was not receiving a grade or extra credit for this letter.                                       Nick is a 3- sport student athlete, so his time is valuable. He took the time out of his busy summer schedule to thank me and deepen our relationship. It made my day since I had shared with my group the importance of making connections and deepening relationships.   Do you take the time to thank the people who help you along the way? Nick’s heartfelt letter was a great reminder to me what really matters!