Life is too short. Make today Count! RIP James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

Wednesday the world learned that James Gandolfini, while vacationing in Rome, died of a heart attack at the young age of 51. While age is relative, 51 is too young for such a great talent to end his time on earth and a sad reminder of how tomorrow is promised to no one. In hearing the stories and memories of friends and colleagues, it’s refreshing to hear that while he played such a big narcissistic character Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini seemed to have been one of those rare gems, that was humble, modest, generous, compassionate and genuine. It begs one to evaluate their own life and to think of their legacy.

Your career and legacy are not created and managed in an instant. It’s those daily interactions, those moments that you stepped up and did the right thing, especially when you thought no one was watching. Not to encourage paranoia, but especially in today’s technological landscape, the world is watching. We have cameras on street lights, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, cookies, your digital footprint at work and at home. It’s the tending of the garden. Are you consistent in your message, branding and daily interaction? Time passes so quickly, it’s so easy to get caught up in the minutia of to do lists, chores, errands and running on your personal hamster wheel that before you know it months, years, and decades pass. Are you living the life you thought you would? Is your career where you want it to be?

What can you do different today to make your world or the world at large a better place?
In learning more about James Gandolfini in the media, there are few relevant lessons in managing your career. He didn’t do interviews because he felt he wasn’t any good at them. He did sit with James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”
Actors, musicians and artists are the consummate job seekers. It’s level set and understood as they are looking for a role, their employment is a gig and it’s about filling in the gaps to pay the bills until they land that dream job and even then they are always looking towards their next opportunity.  In today’s landscape, you can’t expect to be in the same job for 20 years.  You need to manage your career and look to your best next step while bringing your A-Game to your current role.
-During an interview, do your best and drop the self doubt – In auditioning for the role of Tony Soprano he didn’t think he would get it. He thought that they would want someone more suave, more smooth!!!!! Who was more suave or smooth than James Gandolfini?
Be kind to everyone. In hearing the feedback from colleagues, the consistent theme was that James Gandolfini was a really great guy and treated everyone kindly. Until doing this blog, I never thought about it, but being from Jersey, especially North Jersey, I can’t tell you how many bars and restaurants have autographed pictures of James Gandolfini. Some of them are from when they shot a scene for the Soprano’s at their location, but when you consider all the stories of celebrities that “don’t sign autograph’s” it’s refreshing.
Network, network network. Whether you are in business or the arts, staying connected and networking is so important to managing your career. When you work with someone and enjoy great chemistry or success, they are a known commodity, it’s easier to say yes I want to work with you again. Brad Pitt worked on three films with James Gandolfini. While your reputation and skill set do play a part, knowing someone will be a good fit on your team, makes all the world of difference. I can’t tell you the number of hiring managers that when speaking about who they would hire, said “I just like that person.”
Play to your strengths. Early on, he was consistently getting roles of a thug, mob guy. In watching the interview “Inside the Actor’s Studio” it seems that James Gandolfini struggled with some of the scenes in the Sopranos. He felt the fear and did it anyway.

There is countless wisdom we can take from the life of James Gandolfini. While sadly James Gandolfini’s legacy is included in the obituaries this week, it reveals he packed a lot of life in his short years. I send prayers and condolences to his family and friends. It was cute, in his Actor’s Studio interview when asked what he would want God to say to him when he got to heaven, James Gandolfini replied: “Cover for me I’ll be right back”. I hope as his journey continues beyond this earth, he feels fulfilled.
For the dear readers of this blog, my wish for you is that you are happy and healthy. If you’re stuck in your career management, looking to make a change, need help in strategizing your best next step, reach out and let G45 Consulting help you succeed.
Work with passion…. Live inspired!

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:
If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!
Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!


Sharing some of Dad’s Wisdom for Father’s Day

Marina fall 2009 modified

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!!!  Happy Father’s Day to Father’s that are still here with us, those that have passed and to Moms that are both Mom & Dad!

When I think of Father’s Day, I love to think about the relationship people have with their Dads.  While I have volumes of wisdom from my Dad, I think of a shared wisdom I have with a good friend that I used to work with.  Almost daily, we used to go grab a cup of coffee and strategize on how to successfully navigate the competitive, cut-throat environment we were living in.  His father had recently retired, so almost as if he intuitively knew we were on break would time his daily call during our coffee.  Each day, Dad would open the call with the same question:  “What are you doing to bring value today?”  My friend would point at the phone, mouth the word “Dad”, smile this great special smile held for his fiancé and Dad, and give the 30 second briefing. Afterwards we would giggle about it and honor our fathers by developing our plans for value for the next interim.   My dear Dad has been gone many years, yet in some bizarre way, it feels like we communicate daily, whether it’s a memory, something I think he would’ve liked, or the execution of a lesson he imparted on me so long ago.  In those daily calls, I recalled a similar question from my Dad.  To this day, it warms my heart when I talk to my friend and we ask each other that same question- “What are you doing to bring value today?”

Hand in hand with this wisdom from my Dad was: “To do the job right, you need the proper tools.”  In managing your career, there are a number of slight changes you may not even be aware of that when timed correctly, could tee you up perfectly to your next best step. This is where the use of a career coach can bring value.  Sure, luck and skill may have played a big part in your navigation thus far, a coach can help catapult you beyond what you currently imagine for yourself.  As I shared in my last blog… we are not islands.. it’s all about relationship and “You get by with a little help from your friends.” (The Beatles)  What’s your vision?  What’s your next step?  Are you equipped with all the proper tools to get the job done right? I can help you.  I get it, maybe you’re a person that likes to do it yourself… that’s fine too!  We can develop a custom fit coaching program to help you overcome whatever obstacle your facing.  I or my team of experts can help… give us a shot.  Why stay stuck?  Why keep pushing the same strategy to achieve mediocre results?  Isn’t your time, your life worth more than that?

If you find you need help with networking or would like to learn of some books you can read to sharpen your saw… drop me a line, call into the radio show or sign up for a Career Yenta Boot Camp TM  .

Feel free to share wisdom from your Dad and the impact it has had on your life.

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!


Career Yenta TM 

Rock 2013!!!


“You get by with a little help from your friends” The Beatles


Bon Jour !!!  Welcome Back!!!!  It’s June, the month of May is over.  As I shared last month, in reflecting on my life, May historically presents “opportunities for me to grow”.  Some change always occurs in my life- big or small- but impactful. By the time June arrives, I have accepted this event, reacted to it, gone through some preliminary planning and am ready for action, in great part because of my friends!  Granted I take credit for having the fortitude to get up, dust off and begin again down the road, as I was taught by my Dad… but friends, whether they realize it or not, have held that little nugget of gold- wisdom- inspiration or fuel to get me over the finish line.

 The definition of a friend per the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is:

    1. one attached to another by affection or esteem
    2. acquaintance
    1. one that is not hostile
    2. one that is of the same nation, party, or group
  1. one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
  2. a favored companion
  3. capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker

 It’s interesting that some folks say they don’t have “friends” at work.  That’s fine… but as per above, my scope of people I call friends, is in line with the definition, can be in my personal, professional (or both) worlds (although I’m not sure if I know any Quakers). There are people I have met through professional networks that have become very close friends, great treasures.  Another thought that comes to mind is that poem by an unknown author

People come into your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

 When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.

 When someone is in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

 They have come to assist you through a dificulty…

 To provide you with guidance and support…

 To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…

 They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.

 They are there for the reason you need them to be.

 Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

 Sometimes they die…

 Sometimes they walk away…

 Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….

 What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…

 Their work is done.

 The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

 Some people come into your life for a SEASON.

 Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

 They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

 They may teach you something you have never done.

 They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

 Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

 LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.

 Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.

 Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

 It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

 Thank you for being a part of my life…

 Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime

 ~ unknown author

 June is an amazing fun month for me, as generally I become engrossed on my latest May challenge, and wonderful people enter (and exit) my life.  This is a year of blessings from lifetime friends.  Old friends have been appearing out of nowhere!  I don’t know if it’s the effect of the Cicada’s ( .  I’ve been running into some of these friends at the grocery store.  What makes it bizarre is we’ve been going to the same store for a few years and just never ran into each other… until now.  I don’t care why now, I’m thrilled and grateful for many reasons.  There’s another wonderful saying.. The best mirror is an old friend.  As you go through a challenge, especially if you haven’t seen this friend for a few years, if you’re lucky, an old friend knows you and loves you unconditionally.  They see beyond the “current flaws” or missteps and can really serve to remind you of how wonderful (and not so wonderful) you are.  As the poem shares.. friendship is clairvoyant- they mysteriously just know what you need and how you need to perceive it.  There’s no competition, jealousy, malice…. just pure joy and hope to see you be happy.

 Now you may be asking yourself… what does this have to do with managing my career?  Darling… everything!!!  Whatever you’re doing-  It’s all about relationship!!!  While there are those folks that love to fancy themselves as loners, we are not islands, we need relationship.  Even Michael’s character in Burn Notice, ( ) a spy, gets by with a lot of help from his friends (and family).  Let’s not forget Tom Hank’s character in the movie Cast Away ( ) had Wilson.

It takes guts to open yourself up, take a chance and be out there… but the reward, richness and return can far outweigh the risk.  In helping people in the Career Yenta Boot Camp TM  , many people really struggle with networking, whether it’s the connecting through social media, making that connection at or after an in-person networking event, or even in the interview.  People really have a tough time with overcoming whatever obstacle they have created for themselves inside their head.  The beauty is that once you allow yourself to conquer this hurdle, a wealth of experience can be yours.

 I can’t convey to you, the level of exhilaration I feel when I am able to help someone overcome that obstacle, give them that little push.  I am genuinely happy for and proud of that person that they pushed themselves to go outside their comfort zone and expand their world.

My Dad used to say… to do the job well, you need the right tools. Beyond old school- bumping into someone at the grocery store, today we have Linked In, Facebook and countless other methods to re connect.  You never know what gift or lesson this friend will have for you that will help bring you closer to your goal or increase the quality of your life.

 So my hope for you is that you rekindle relationships with old friends, enrich the time with current friends,  explore and meet new friends.  To have friends, you need to be a friend… so pick up the phone…. Send the email, send the friend request… worst case… it’s bad timing- it’s not your season…  Sow the field, plant the seed, water it… care for your garden of friends.  When the time is right… you will reap the harvest.

 If you find you need help with networking or would like to learn of some books you can read to sharpen your saw… drop me a line, call into the radio show or sign up for a Career Yenta Boot Camp TM  .

 Feel free to share comments about your great stories of connecting to old colleagues/friends and how they have helped you

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!


Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!