How Do We Define Success?

How Do We Define Success?

Originally published on LinkedIn by Renee Lo Iacono.

A few days ago, I received an email from a gentleman who I met at a party the previous weekend. Two former pharmaceutical sales colleagues hosted the party and the majority of the people in attendance were somehow connected to that industry.

I was flattered when I read in his email, “It’s great to meet someone who’s been able to make a way for themselves without falling into the traditional norms of “success” which made me think about how we define success, especially in American culture.

While I was in high school and college I wanted to be successful because I didn’t feel as if either of my parents were. At the time I didn’t realize that both of my parents grew up in poverty–my mom in the Philippines and my dad in Sicily–so living a middle class lifestyle in Southern California was success for them.

Growing up I defined success as making six figures before the age of 30 and wearing suits. Well, I soon learned that suits, when worn every day, were quite uncomfortable and that a six figure salary was hardly enough to buy a home in a decent area in Los Angeles. Additionally, although most of my friends and peers considered me to be successful, I somehow felt bored and craved something more challenging and meaningful.

In 2007, while at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood on my 29th birthday, I saw a gentlemen on his laptop while lounging by the pool and thought Aha! That’s what I want! I want the freedom and flexibility to live and work from anywhere in the world on a laptop–nowadays, I prefer an iPad. Even though I was making the most money I had ever made in my life, I thought success would be having complete mobility. Tim Ferriss and Rolf Potts, two of my favorite authors, talk about this in The 4-Hour Workweek and Vagabonding.

That day at the Mondrian Hotel I confided in my two best friends that on January 1, 2009 I was going to quit my job to travel the world and 18 months later I did. After I left my successful pharmaceutical sales career, I moved onto other goals.Goals like living in a foreign country, learning how to kite surf or learning how to speak a foreign language and, I suppose, I was successful at those things too. I learned how to speak Brazilian Portuguese in four-months–my high school and college Spanish classes helped tremendously–and have since lived in Brazil and Spain.

You may also enjoy reading 7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Solo at Least Once or 7 Steps to Save $70K in 18 Months to Travel the World.

Now, I’ve reached another phase in my life where success would be a combination of healing my hip–I suffered a serious snowboard accident when I was 18 which is now requiring my attention or full hip replacement–and finding a meaningful relationship so that I could eventually start a family. So, success can be defined however we want to define it. In the US we traditionally define success by the amount of money we make, the career we have and the things we own. In Brazil, Costa Rica and Spain, people don’t seem to dwell on success as much as they do, let’s say, happiness or quality of life.

I’ve seen and lived among some of the poorest people in Brazil and they seemed happy. They danced, they smiled, they went to the beach and walked to the top of the sand dunes to sit and enjoy the sunset. Yes, it’s a simple life but overall they were content and can’t that also be considered success?

Regardless, each of us has the right to choose what we define as success. Over the years my definition of success has evolved and perhaps yours will too. The important thing is to be true to yourself and live a life that you want in accordance with how you define success.

Costa Rica 2015 Earth Day Yoga Retreat

April 2015, Costa Rica: 7-Day Earth Day Yoga Retreat and Coaching Workshop

Initially, yoga was a purely spiritual practice utilised to help achieve enlightenment and prepare the body for meditation. Coaching, on the other hand, originated from sports is still used to help top athletes reach their full potential.

Nowadays, people practice yoga for the physical, mental and spiritual aspect. Similarly, many people work with a life or business coach to help them transition from where they are now to where they would like to be, personally, professionally, romantically and so forth. When we combine the calming aspect of yoga with the practical and action-oriented approach of coaching, the synergy helps us to reach our goals with greater confidence and ease.

Join American coach, author and speaker, Renee April 22-28th 2015 for a 7-Day Earth Day: Mind, Body and Soul Yoga &Coaching Retreat in one of the most peaceful, beautiful and natural places on earth, Costa Rica. For more information or to reserve your place today, please email

During the 7-Day Earth Day: Mind, Body and Soul Yoga &Coaching Retreat we will:

  • Start each day with a 90-minute energising yoga class and finish each day with a 60-minute relaxing yoga class
  • Enjoy healthful and tasty fresh, seasonal and mostly locally produced vegetarian cuisine from Costa Rica (gluten-free and macrobiotic options available).
  • Daily coaching workshops focused on relationships, health, lifestyle, success, empowerment and more
  • Leave with a 90-day Challenge to implement and followup on after the retreat
  • Enjoy the beautiful Costa Rica and all the country has to offer and more!

For more information, the full yoga retreat PDF or to reserve your place today for, please visit or email Double and single room options available.

"It Woman" 2015 Retreats


Marilyn Monroe didn’t become a cultural icon and major sex symbol overnight. Ever wonder how she transformed from plain jane Norma Jeane Mortenson to  Marilyn Monroe, the seductive Hollywood sex goddess?

Spend a weekend with like-minded women preparing yourself to be your own personal It Woman” in 2015.

Join Renee – American coach, speaker and author for an empowering and seductive women-only weekend. Set in the peaceful and secluded Catalonian wine country, just one hour outside of Barcelona, where we can freely explore our sexuality, femininity and tap into an aspect of our womanhood some of us have yet to reveal.

The “IT WOMAN”2015 women-only retreats includes 3-days of:

  • Seductive dance classes
  • Kundalini yoga classes
  • Coaching workshops focused on sexuality, love, dating, flirting and relationships and more
  • Traditional Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine
  • Spanish wine tastings and more!

To reserve a weekend for you and your friends or for more details  and program agenda, please email Bachelorette and birthday parties welcome.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Vagabonding: 30 Inspirational Quotes About Long-term Travel With Rolf Potts

Have an extended trip you’re planning? Want to be a travel writer? Feel like long-term travel isn’t possible with your current lifestyle? Then keep reading.

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of meeting Rolf Potts, then please allow me to introduce you. Rolf’s the author of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade of a Post Modern Travel Writer and Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. The former being a collection of Rolf’s best travel stories–he’s reported from over sixty countries–and insights for travel writers, or aspiring travel writers. The latter being a must read for anyone who values life experiences over material possessions and long-term travel over a life society deems as “normal”.

Whether you are interested in becoming a travel writer, planning a year abroad or looking to become a full fledge vagabond, below are 30 inspirational quotes from Vagabonding.

  1. Long-term travel isn’t about being a college student; it’s about being a student of daily life.
  2. Vagabonding is about looking for adventure in normal life, and normal life within adventure. Vagabonding is an attitude — a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word.
  3. Vagabonding is about time — our only real commodity — and how we choose to use it
  4. Vagabonding is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate.
  5. Vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility.
  6. However you choose to fund your travel freedom, keep in mind that your work is an active part of your travel attitude. Even if your antisabbatical job isn’t your life’s calling, approach your work with a spirit of faith, mindfulness, and thrift.
  7. Quitting a job to go vagabonding should never be seen as the end of something grudging and unpleasant. Rather, it’s a vital step in beginning something new and wonderful.
  8. Indeed, the freedom to go vagabonding has never been determined by income level; it’s found through simplicity — the conscious decision of how to use what income you have.
  9. Simplicity merely requires a bit of personal sacrifice: an adjustment of your habits and routines within consumer society itself.
  10. On a basic level, there are three general methods to simplifying your life: stopping expansion, reining in your routine, and reducing clutter. 
  11. Vagabonding is, was, and always will be a private undertaking — and its goal is to improve your life not in relation to your neighbors but in relation to yourself.
  12. Vagabonding is not just a process of discovering the world but a way of seeing — an attitude that prepares you to find the things you weren’t looking for.
  13. The key to preparation is to strike a balance between knowing what’s out there and being optimistically ignorant.
  14. Fortunately, you don’t ever need a really good reason to go anywhere; rather, go to a place for whatever happens when you get there.
  15. Whatever the original motivation for going someplace, remember that you’ll rarely get what you expect when you go there — and this is almost always a good thing.
  16. The slow, nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty countries.
  17. The secret to staying intrigued on the road — the secret to truly being different from the frustrated masses — is this: Don’t set limits.
  18. Vagabonding is like a pilgrimage without a specific destination or goal — not a quest for answers so much as a celebration of the questions…
  19. Unlike a simple vacation…vagabonding revolves around the people you meet on the road…
  20. On the road, a big prerequisite for keeping your sense of humor is to first cultivate a sense of humility. After all, it can be hard to laugh at yourself if you swagger through the world like you own it
  21. Even in an indirect way, try to give as much as you take when you travel — even if this means taking an attitude of generosity home with you.
  22. Having an adventure is sometimes just a matter of going out and allowing things to happen in a strange and amazing new environment..
  23. What better way to discover the unknown than to follow your instincts instead of your plans?
  24. It’s important, even on a personal level, to not just look at things as we travel but to see things for what they are.
  25. “Seeing” as you travel is somewhat of a spiritual exercise: a process not of seeking interesting surroundings, but of being continually interested in whatever surrounds you.
  26. Interestingly, one of the initial impediments to open-mindedness is not ignorance but ideology.
  27. We all have stuck in us deep somewhere a keenness for excitement…
  28. The person who strikes off for himself is no hero, nor necessarily even unconventional, but to a greater degree than most people, he or she thinks and acts independent independently.
  29. As new experiences and insights take you in surprising new directions, you’ll gradually come to understand why longtime travelers insist that the journey itself is far more important than any destination.
  30. Without all the rituals, routines, and possessions that give your life meaning at home, you’re forced to look for meaning within yourself.
New York Times Square

10 Random Types of People You Meet While Visiting New York City

If you’re headed to New York City for the first time this summer, there are probably a few things you haven’t planned on seeing in this magnificent city. Like the smelly waste collection vehicles with rain and dirt drenched teddy bears tied to the front bumper or the exotic food trucks that serve Indian, Chinese and Thai infused cuisine or the matte orange Maserati GranTurismo that is randomly parked behind a warehouse on 50th Street. I’m sure you’ve heard all about the obnoxiously loud cab drivers, but have you heard about the surplus of tinted window, black SUVs flooding the city?

So why do millions of tourists flock to New York City each year? Well, in addition to all the breathtaking skyscrapers, the Broadway shows, the 5th Avenue shopping and, of course, the pizza, part of what makes New York City so special is the people. And, at least in my opinion, oftentimes it’s the people you meet while traveling that makes traveling so unique.

Although New Yorkers are not considered to be the friendliest of people on the globe, the city brings together a rich subculture of individuals. Collectively, these people help bring New York City to life. So let me share with you the 10 different types of people you could meet–that I personally met–while visiting the Big Apple:

  1. The French couple who welcomes you to share the $70 cab fare–$57 plus $18 in tolls which the cab driver doesn’t mention until you get into the cab–from Newark Liberty International Airport to Times Square even though they are on their honeymoon and barely speak English.
  2. The unfriendly taxi cab driver that appears to be ripping you off–and still may be–when he adds an extra $18 to the cab fare to cover the costs of the tolls, including the Lincoln Tunnel, which connects New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan. But you happily discover he’s not ripping you off when he gladly hands over (I requested the receipts for expense purposes) each of the toll receipts proving that it did in fact cost extra.
  3. The group of monks in orange-coloured robes who are patiently waiting in front of the subway entrance for their tour guide to buy their MetroCards, yet whose tour guide doesn’t seem to have the slightest idea of how to proceed to the subway because they end up asking me. Unfortunately, I was just as clueless as everyone else.
  4. The two Asia women who had seen me helping a French couple (same couple as above) buy a MetroCard  who then immediately proceeded to hand me money. First a twenty-dollar bill with instructions to add credit to one of their MetroCards followed by a ten-dollar bill with instructions to credit another MetroCard. Luckily, the two Asian women returned the favour soon after when the MetroCard machine declined my international bank card (later I found out that the zip code for international bank cards is 99999). However, before the three of us could part ways, the two women got stuck in the turnkey at the subway entrance together because none of us realised we couldn’t use the MetroCard a second consecutive time.
  5. The group of mature looking women who I overheard in the Hotel Elysée’s Club Room while having some late night tea and cookies–both of which are complementary for hotel guests throughout the day along with other snacks–who were arguing about who Charlize Theron is and what movies she had been in.
  6. The dark-skinned, bushy haired African-American gentleman who wore an afro hair pick on the side of his head and low hung jeans who I shared a urine scented elevator with in the subway station at Times Square. Even after he verbally threatened to “beat” the seemingly drunk Chinese gentleman who also shared the elevator with us, he politely held the elevator door open for me and allowed me to walk out first.
  7. The young couple from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who I sat beside in The Library Hotel Reading Room during the hotel’s 3-hour complementary wine and cheese reception. Who I also interrupted after hearing the word “Spain” mentioned in conversation since I live in Spain and thought I could offer some helpful travel advice. However, I was soon informed that it was in reference to a person’s last name and not the country. Needless to say, no travel advice was needed.
  8. The New York businessman who stopped to offer me directions while walking up Madison Avenue near 41st Street when he noticed I was still lost even after consulting the map on my iPad.
  9. The nice Archivist and Historian for the Waldorf Astoria who, on a busy Saturday morning, kindly gave me an impromptu tour and history lesson of the Aster family, the Dewey Decimal System–the system used by libraries and The Library Hotel (where I was staying at) for classifying books and the Waldorf Astoria itself.
  10. The 80’s and 90’s hip hop singer who was discreetly waiting for her US Airways flight to the West Coast at John F. Kennedy International Airport when her flight (our flight) was delayed. This had a ripple effect causing her to be late for a performance she was scheduled for later that evening and me to be late for my mom’s 60th birthday party.
Cup and Cake-Barcelona

Enjoy Sweet Treats At These 7 Fabulous Barcelona Cafes

Originally posted on Huffington Post by Renee.

Summer is practically here and millions of tourists will be packing their bags to visit Barcelona, one of the top 5 most visited cities in the world according to Trip Advisor in 2013. If you and your friends or family will be vacationing in this coastal Mediterranean city, then here are 7 of their sweetest (and my personal favorite) cafes that are an absolute must.

When it’s time to take a relaxing break from all the sightseeing, be sure to stop by one of these cafes to enjoy a cortado – small coffee with milk — and serving of something sweet.


Cafe Santa Eulalia is a secret gastronomic space with a garden terrace hidden away on the second floor of the Santa Eulalia luxury boutique centrally located on the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia. After trying on a pair of Christian Louboutin’s sexy, red-bottomed stilettos, sneak away to their secret café to have some tea and macarons by Enric Rosich which are not only delicious but much more affordable than anything else in the shop.


Bubó is a bakery and chocolatier whose creations are carefully crafted by award-winning Catalan pastry chef Carles Mampel. Each of Bubó’s pastries and chocolates are prepared with exquisite attention to detail to ensure that each of the five senses are aroused during the sweet experience. Their original location is located in Born, however, they have a few other locations throughout the city. If you’re in the mood for something with caramel, try the delicious Reus with a cup of their fresh coffee.


Cup & Cake is the first cupcake store in Barcelona with 100 percent handmade cupcakes. Visit their centrally located, cottage-style bakery which smells of sugary cake batter and homemade cookies. Enjoy one of their beautifully decorated cupcakes-crema catalan and red velvet are two of my favorites — or a delicious, giant chocolate chip cookie with a cup of coffee or tea. They have two locations in Barcelona, as well as two other locations with a slightly different menu — Brunch & Cake and Travel & Cake.


Boldú is a family-owned bakery that was born in Barcelona in 1939. Their promise to their clients continues to be that all of their bread and pastries are handmade daily with the best locally produced ingredients using their family’s very own recipes. Although I have yet to try one, their adorable artisanal bolduman and boldugirl glazed, doll-shaped donuts, they look sinfully tempting. You can enjoy one of Boldú’s sweets with a cup of coffee, tea or fresh juice at a handful of locations throughout Barcelona.


Think Sweet is a cozy cupcake bakery centrally located in Barcelona and walking distance from the lovely, tree-lined and shopped filled Rambla de Catalunya. The idea originated in Sydney, Australia where the founder first became fascinated with the delicacy and elegance some of the best cake decorators in Sydney used. Enjoy one of their fancily decorated mini-cupcakes with some coffee or one of their various teas.


Cosmo Cafe & Art Gallery is a quaint cafe located about a ten-minute walk from Plaça de Catalunya — one of the three main plazas in Barcelona –that serves a delicious vanilla chai tea with soy milk. If you’re in the mood for something a little on the healthier side, they also offer a small selection of fresh juices. Sit outside on their patio or enjoy a cool breeze at one of their comfy tables near the front entrance.


We Pudding is a child-friendly cafe that serves an amazingly delicious, carrot cake. Their carrot cake is moist, creamy and filled with large chucks of walnuts. One slice of their carrot cake can easily be shared by two or three people. If you don’t have children, you can still enjoy a quiet cup of tea or slice of cake towards the front of the cafe in their semi-enclosed tea room. If you do have children, there’s a toy-filled playroom downstairs where they also organize birthday parties.

To read more articles by Reneelearn about lifestyle coaching or to learn more about her soon-to-be released book, Lucky Coincidence: The Uncommon Guide to Getting Coincidentally Lucky, please visit here.

7 Steps to Save $70K in Order to Travel the World

7 Steps to Save $70K in 18 Months to Travel the World

Originally posted on Huffington Post by Renee.

When I was transitioning out of the corporate world in 2008 to travel the world, several people I spoke with similarly expressed how they would love to quit their jobs to travel. However, the number one excuse people had for not quitting their job to travel was the lack of money. If you are transitioning out of the corporate world, read more here.

The illusion of not having enough money is the most common excuse I hear from people who have a dream they want to realise or a goal they want to achieve. Whether it’s quitting our job to travel the world or starting our own business, most of us get stuck on this illusion of money. How do we overcome this?

Recently, I wrote an article for Bootsnall-an indie travel website that promotes longterm travel-explaining “How I Overcame the Obstacles to Travel the World.” However, the original title was “How I saved up $70K in 18 Months to Travel the World.” The title was changed because people pointed out that, although the article was inspiring, I didn’t address the main objective of the article: How I saved up money.

Therefore, below I outlined the seven steps I took that helped me save up $70K in 18 months so that I could travel the world which can also be applied in your life.

Step 1. Calculate how much we need to travel.

With a little research about the places we want to visit, we can estimate how much we need to travel based on our travel preferences. I wanted to travel longer rather than luxuriously so I opted for the cheap to moderate travel budget. Next, I determined that I needed about $1,200 per month (meaning $14,400 for one year), plus airfare (approximately $5000), plus visas, equipment, shots and so forth (about $1,000). Overall, I needed about $20K (I rounded down) to travel for one year plus an additional $35K to pay off my outstanding debt.

Step 2. Establish a time frame.

When do we want to accomplish our goal by? What is our time frame? I established a departure date for my trip first which pushed me to take immediate action. This gave me a time frame of 18 months to save up $20K to travel and pay off the $35K in debt. Meaning I needed a total of $55K to reach my goal.

Step 3. Create a savings plan.

Next we need to create a savings plan within the allotted time frame that allows us to reach our goal. For me I opted for a monthly savings plan. I came up with a monthly savings plan for the $20K which rounded down to $1000 ($20K / 18 months = $1,111/month). This determined how much money I needed to save for the trip. Because I worked in sales, I guessed that if I worked hard (refer to Step 6) I would be able to pay the $35K in debt with any bonus money I received. If the bonuses weren’t an option I would have taken the total $55K I needed and divided it by the 18 months ($55K /18 months = $3,055/month) and sought out different ways to save/earn/find an extra $3,055 each month.

Step 4. Where does our money go?

Before we save money, we need to know what we spend our money on. Therefore I tracked every single dollar I spent for a few weeks to see where all my money was going in order to see where I could cut back. Things like Starbucks ($80), dining out ($300), Jamba Juice ($50), going out to bars ($300), weekend getaways add up.

Step 5. The big question, how do we save money?

I’m not a savings expert, however, after we find out what we’re spending money on we can start to eliminate those extra expenses. I set up a separate savings account and each month I transferred $1,000 to this account. In the beginning I had to continuously borrow money back from the account and it took months before I was able to eliminate enough miscellaneous expenses to reach the monthly goal. Note: If we want to save $1,000 a month, it may be easier to break it down into days. That ends up being only $33 dollars a day for 30 days. What could we do to make $33 a day?

Step 6. What would we do to reach your goal?

When we have a big goal, we have to ask ourselves, what are we willing to do to achieve it? Eighteen months is a long time to wait. It wasn’t easy and I almost quit nine months early. Keep the big goal in mind and put in the time and dedication. In order to focus on the bigger goal, I transferred out of California to Chicago to help keep myself motivated. The sales territory I took was in the bottom 10 percent of the company, meaning making no money and no bonuses. In nine months I was able to bring it into the top 10 percent nationwide and thus make a bonus. How? I woke up at 5 a.m., worked until 5 p.m., had business dinners most evenings until 11 p.m. and got home around midnight. Not the easiest way to make a living but I had a bigger goal in mind.

Step 7. Travel and enjoy.

Self explanatory. Additionally, here are 7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Solo at Least Once.

Going through a career change? Dream of traveling the world? Want to start your own business? Email to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation today!

5 Ways to Keep the Erotic Spark in Your Relationship

5 Ways to Keep the Erotic Spark in Your Relationship

Originally posted on Huffington Post Weddings by Renee.

Some psychologists maintain that the feeling of intense romantic love only lasts about 18 months to at most three years, however, I’m sure many of us know at least one couple where the sparks still seem to fly decades later. In fact a few years ago after arriving in JFK, I remember sharing a shuttle ride into the city with a lovely couple who had been married for 60 years. When I asked the elderly gentleman how long they had been married for he replied, “Not long enough.” His response warmed my heart.

So how do some people manage to keep the passion, romance and love alive in their relationship, while others don’t? I’m sure it’s easy for couples to fall into a less than fantasy-filled relationship rut after years or even months of being together. I have been guilty of falling into this trap at times in my relationships. Lounging around the house in an oversized T-shirt — which can be less than sexy unless, of course, you’re Eva Mendes — not taking initiative in the bedroom and working late when I should be snuggling up in bed instead.

What can we do to overcome the lulls in our love life and keep the erotic spark going?

Here’s what five experts suggest.

Maintain the desire.

Psychotherapist Esther Perel says in a TED Talk that there are a few things that erotic couples do to maintain the erotic spark or desire in their relationship. Some of the things include giving each other a lot of sexual privacy. Meaning they understand that there is an erotic space that belongs to each of them. Another is that they understand that foreplay isn’t something that you do five minutes before the real thing; instead, it basically starts the moment you finish with the previous orgasm. Also, they create a space for intimacy outside of the responsibilities of everyday life — like not bringing work to bed. Perel says that responsibility and desire just but heads.

Sustain the “positive illusions”.

In a survey of 470 studies on compatibility, psychologist Marcel Zentner, PhD. of the University of Geneva found only one combination of personality traits that men and women who continued to believe that their partner is attractive, funny, kind and generally still thought their partner was their ideal mate also continued to be content in their relationship.

Demystify the idea of spontaneity.

Ms. Perel says that couples who maintain the desire in their relationship understand how to demystify the idea of spontaneity, saying that committed sex is premeditated, willful and intentional. Sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman says that one way you can create a little spontaneity in your sex life might be to schedule sex dates. Although it may not sound spontaneous, you can use it as a tool for creating the spontaneity in your love life. For example, if you have a sex date scheduled, you could send flirty messages throughout the day to your significant other before the actual date.

Remember your story.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Markway says that when a relationship goes stale, one approach she has found helpful — even with couples on the brink of a divorce — is to talk about the beginning of the relationship. She says that by remembering our own love story, it helps to remind us about the attraction we felt for each other in the first place. This also helps us to recall that the bond we created within our relationship didn’t magically happen one day, but was built over time.

Make it mentally stimulating.

Sex and relationship expert Dr. Ian Kerner says that “sex happens not just in the body, but also in the mind.” So before we get to the part where we’re stripping off articles of clothing, enjoy the kissing and teasing without the pressure of sex. He says that not having intercourse can make the experience more creative and fun. Also by using the power of anticipation, it helps to make the sex that much more enjoyable when we finally get to it.

Looking to improve your relationship with your significant other? Want to work or maintaining the romance or erotic spark? Contact Renee at to schedule your complimentary online relationship coaching consultation today! If you live in or near Barcelona, coaching is also available in person and you may call +34 600 601 075.

7 Steps for Transitioning Out of the Corporate World to Find Your Bliss

Originally posted on Huffington Post Healthy Living by Renee.

Many business professionals, top executives and people who earn a comfortable living struggle with the security of having a consistent pay check vs. pursuing the lifestyle or career they dream of having. Likewise, before I opted for lifestyle and career satisfaction over stability, I was faced with a similar dilemma.

If you work in sales, you probably know that pharmaceutical sales is one of the most lucrative industries to work in. That is, next to medical device sales where (I’ve heard) top-paid sales representatives can make upwards of half a million dollars a year. However, what many people don’t know is that it takes an average of six months to a year to break into this trillion-dollar industry. That is, of course, unless you know someone.

Before I succeeded in breaking into the industry in 2005, I spent nine months pounding the pavement. I interviewed with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world–Johnson&Johnson, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Takeda, Forest, Shire and so forth. (The first three being amongst the top five, earlier this April Novartis signed a series of multibillion-dollar deals with GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly). Talk about big, big money.

After a few years of pushing drugs and consistently being ranked among the top five percent of the sales force, I came to a point in my career that many of us come to. I realized that I had lost the passion for what I was doing. Sure, the money and benefits were great, however, at the end of the day I wanted to help people and I didn’t feel like I was doing that. Not to mention, I had been dreaming of taking a year off to travel the world for nearly a decade and was ready to finally take the leap.

Transitioning out of the corporate world to pursue other personal or professional goals may be challenging, however, with a little focus and perseverance it’s definitely doable. Below are seven steps for transitioning out of the corporate world to help you find your bliss.

1. Make a choice.
We have to choose what we really want out of life. When we realize we no longer have a passion for what we’re doing, it’s time to take a step back to figure it out. In 2007, I decided I wanted to travel the world and 18 months later I was on a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires.

2. Set a deadline. 
As soon I made the decision to take a year off to travel, I gave myself a deadline. I established an unofficial, “quit-my-job” date which helped me to better focus on my goal and gave me a time frame for which to achieve it.

3. Create a plan. 
I didn’t leave pharmaceutical sales overnight just like I don’t expect you to leave your job next week. It took me an entire 18 months to organize my life and my finances. Yet once we commit to a deadline, it’s a lot easier to establish a plan of action.

4. Do something every day. 
It doesn’t matter how big or small our goal is, all it matters is that we do something each day to move ourselves closer to achieving it. Each day, I researched places I wanted to visit, studied Spanish, reviewed my finances or made some other effort to move myself one step closer to quitting my job.

5. Really commit. 
By doing each of the things above, we are committing ourselves to our goal, but really committing can be taken even one step further. Really committing means that at any decision that impacts our goal moving forward, we have to ask ourselves, “Will this get me closer to reaching my goal?” When the answer is no, we need to remember the goal and make decisions accordingly.

6. Be uncomfortable. 
Often times, when we really want something, we have to do things that are outside of our comfort zone to achieve it. What was challenging for me was traveling the world alone. It wasn’t how I envisioned traveling the world, yet I wanted to travel more than I wanted to wait for the perfect travel partner to show up. So I started dining out and going to the movies alone to prepare for my trip. It wasn’t always comfortable, however, the commitment was there.

7. Keep the vision. 
When we have a long-term goal, it’s essential that we continuously keep the big vision at the forefront of our minds. During the 18 months, there were several times I wanted to quit my job before I had all of my finances in order; but I remained focused on the big picture and even transferred out of state so that I would stay on track.

Transitioning out of the corporate world? Taking your career in a new direction? Contact Renee at to schedule your complimentary online lifestyle coaching consultation today! Also, be sure to connect on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

22 Inspirational Quotes for Women

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. –Albert Einstein

Regard of where you are in your life, it is never too late to start focusing on what you really want and to start making the changes necessary to get it.

Below are 22 inspirational quotes for women to help you get started on your journey to creating the life you truly desire.

  1. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. –Coco Chanel.
  2. I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship. –Louisa May Alcott.
  3. I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles. –Audrey Hepburn
  4. One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go. –Sheila Murray Bethel
  5. It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine. –Byron Katie
  6. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. –Thich Nhat Hanh
  7. Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else. –Alison Boulter.
  8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  9. Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. –Ingrid Bergman.
  10. How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself? –Anaïs Nin
  11. Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you –Caroline Myss.
  12. You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are. –Melissa Etheridge
  13. We can do no great things, only small things with great love. –Mother Teresa.
  14. I always thought that people told you that you’re beautiful–that this was a title that was bestowed upon you…I think that it’s time to take this power into our own hands and to say, “You know what? I’m beautiful. I just am. And that’s my light. I’m just a beautiful woman. –Margaret Cho
  15. If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. –Katharine Hepburn.
  16. I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint–and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. –Oprah Winfrey
  17. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker.
  18. A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts. –Nancy Rathburn
  19. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk more. –Erica Jong.
  20. A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want. –Madonna
  21. When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane. –Steven Wright.
  22. A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong. –Unknown

Have a personal or professional goal you would like to achieve? Contact Renee today to see how working with a coach can help you reach your goals even faster. Email to schedule a complementary online coaching consultation today.  Also, be sure to connect on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Renee Lo Iacono | American Coach, Consultant and Author of the upcoming book, LUCKY COINCIDENCE | Barcelona, New York, Chicago, London, Los Angeles