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How Success Begets Success

My mom turns 80 this month and has decided to learn Portuguese.

She models how age is relative, the value of responsible risks, and the gift of a growth mindset. Want a roadmap for success? Let’s go!

First, let’s address a common roadblock I hear in coaching: age. Whether you see yourself as too young or too old, the fact is, you’re right. If you think you’re too old to learn a language you are. That’s why coaches call these roadblocks limiting beliefs. You expand or contract to the limit you set for yourself, based on your belief system.

Today I read of a 99-year-old swimmer from B.C. who broke three world records last month. 99 years old.  Then there’s 21-year-old Greta Thunberg: “I believe that one person can make a difference.” 1

You are capable of more than you think. And “think” is the operative word here. What you think gets manifested in your actions. The quality of your thoughts matter. Quality thoughts lead to quality actions. You can identify a quality thought by its relationship to self-transcendence (click here to learn more). Feel good? That indicates quality. So does positive energy.

Let’s add nuance to this “discussão.” See? You’re already learning Portuguese!

Responsible risk lives in the continuum between powerless and powerful. It’s about taking the next step, not the final one. Canadians are really quite risk-averse as a population. I can see the stark contrast as I coach Americans and Canadians. We Canadians often struggle with any risk so we seek ways to minimize – and ideally eliminate – it, instead of finding ways to take more risks responsibly.

Responsible risk is a term I learned at our children’s grade school. It provides a useful framework for moving from powerless to powerful.

  • Risk means uncertainty by its very nature. Yet uncertain doesn’t mean bad unless that’s the significance you ascribe to it. 
  • Responsible is having control and authority over something or someone and the accompanying duty of care toward it or a person.

By navigating uncertainty alongside the desire for control, you empower yourself, thus creating the conditions necessary for success.

Carol Dweck’s work on the growth mindset continues to resonate today. It permeates workplace culture as an ideal leadership trait.  Having a growth mindset involves the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through personal effort.

Benefits include increased resilience, boosted confidence, adaptability, reduced fear of failure, and enhanced problem-solving skills.

Learning a language fosters a growth mindset.

My mom is really good at languages. She speaks four of them and taught two (French and Spanish) as a high school teacher. I remember going to an exhibit with her at Ste-Marie-Among-the-Hurons where a Wendat speaker taught interested attendees how to say certain words. My mom picked up on how to say the words easily and the Wendat speaker marvelled at it.

Success begets success.

At 80, my mom is willing to take a responsible risk to learn another language.  She has done it before so she knows she can do it again. Age isn’t a limiting factor. Her empowering belief that she will succeed is what matters.

To succeed, she needs a Portuguese speaker to practise what she’s learning through the Babbel app. She’s got a ready teacher in my brother’s wife, who is Brazilian.

My mom will do it.

Age, risk, growth mindset. All of them are perspectives and you get to choose which one(s) to adopt.

Happy birthday, mom.

Header Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.