Leaders Share about Dreams and Callings-A Frontline Festival

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. Our November Festival is all about Dreams and Callings.  Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Finding Our Dreams and Callings

“There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?'” – Robert Kennedy

The call to lead sometimes whispers very softly or it can trick you when it’s really a desire for more money, power or position. Mary Jo Asmus  of Aspire Collaborative Services advises us to listen carefully.  Follow Mary Jo.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Managment Improvement has discovered the lasting impact of a particular person in his life, and carries on that dream and calling in his own. Follow John. 

Tom Eakin of BoomLife encourages us to make our big idea an experiment and start doing what it takes to rise above the confounding things that distract you from doing what it takes to live your dream. Follow Tom.

Examining Our Dreams and Callings

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

What if I told you that most people don’t even know what their true dreams are? You may have goals and aspirations, but do you know the things deep down inside that drive you? That’s what Matt McWilliams of Mattmcwilliams.com asks us. Follow Matt.

What makes you come alive? Leadership Coach Julie Pierce of Empowered by Pierce helps you take notice and find your leadership passion.   Follow Julie.

Jesse Lyn Stoner of Seapoint Center  shares that if you’re not clear about what you really want, you are likely to set goals that will not be truly satisfying once accomplished. If you look below the surface of your dreams, you might find that what you thought you wanted is not exactly what you truly desire. Follow Jesse Lynn.

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership challenges us that if you want to do even greater things with the rest of your life, there is one critical step you must take. You must CHOOSE. Follow Susan.

Jeff Harmon of Brilliance Within Coaching shares that the most important leadership practice to connect with your calling and the deepest part of yourself is solitude.  This is not only the place where you will meet your calling, but also a source of contentment.  Follow Jeff.

What is your life quest? What will you create and curate? How will you manage conflict? Key questions to answer for your life quest, according to Jon Mertz of Thin Difference. Follow Jon.

As we head into the New Year, use these questions to plan how you will transform your leadership, your workplace and your world. Thanks, Linda Fish Thornton of Leading in Context. Follow Linda.

Lisa Kohn of Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents “It’s never too late” where she shares that when we give ourselves time to reflect on what we’ve always dreamed of, or what would make us our “best selves,” we allow ourselves to become who we want to be. Follow Lisa.

In this post, Mike Henry of the Lead Change Group opens up to his readers about how his personal calling has shifted in the past few years and reminds us that, “…our highest calling inflates or inspires us to rise to new heights and achieve great things.” Follow Mike.

Overcoming Challenges to Dreams and Callings

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

Jeff Miller of the Faithful Pacesetters shares that somewhere along the line we stop dreaming so much…and we start turning into planners.   There’s great importance in planning, but constant planning takes us away from unconstrained dreaming. Follow Jeff.

When life gets tough, it’s hard to look truth in the eye according to LaRae Quy of Mental Toughness Center. We’ve all paid a heavy price to get where we are today, and we need mental toughness to keep this important promise to ourselves—that if we keep looking for positive alternatives in our life, we will find them.  Follow LaRae.

Life makes demands of us when we want to achieve something in life.  Here David Brown of Avis and Brown shares his learning from experiences on his journey towards his calling. Follow David.

Alli Polin of Break the Frame says there is one thing standing between this moment and what you most want to create...hard work. Follow Alli.

Sharing Our Dreams and Callings

“A dream you dream alone is a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – Yoko Ono

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership reminds us that you can’t just persuade people to change. You have to share the dream. Follow Wally.

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer Leadership takes a look at how our dreams serve as both the inspiration and drive necessary to fuel our organization’s growth and long-term prosperity. Follow Tanveer.

Michelle Pallas of Michelle Pallas, Inc. remind us that as leaders, it’s up to us to inspire others to hope; otherwise they never create the dreams that propel them forward. Follow Michelle.

Call for Submissions. January’s Frontline Festival is about Confidence. Please send your submissions no later than January 9th. New participants welcome.  Click here to join in!

Dreams & CallingsI’m so grateful for to Larry Coppenrath for creating this beautiful visual map of the the thinking in this month’s Festival.

 

 

 

5 Reasons I Quit My Day Job to Pursue My Dream

Yup, I really did quit my day job to purse my dream full time. No, this is not an April Fools joke. Although last year’s was fun in case you missed it. I will spend my days helping companies eliminate destructive, energy-sucking leadership practices and instead grow confident, competent and creative leaders at every level.

I’ve been engrossed in a 45 day transition to ensure my team doesn’t miss a beat. The true sign of leadership is what happens when the leader walks away. Although the “walking away” part is heartbreaking, the running toward is exhilarating. I will miss my magical team.

As news has spread through my teams at work and with the external strategic companies with whom I partner, nearly everyone has had a similar reaction curve.

  1. Shock – Are you kidding, no one walks away from a great gig like that. What about those long-term incentives you’re leaving on the table?
  2. Sadness – I’m blessed to have built deep connections with so many people whom I care about deeply. We will really miss one another and the outcomes of our collaboration.
  3. Stirring – Wow, look at your eyes when you talk about this. You really are following your calling. I know this your true passion. Good for you.
  4. Support – How can I best help you?

Thank you to all who have been on this curve with me through the last few weeks.

Building Momentum: From Dreaming to Doing

I’d like to say that the last few years of writing and speaking were all a deliberate strategic building towards this moment. But the truth is, I felt the pull and stayed open to possibilities. The exhilaration of the momentum became too hard to resist. I began waking up early and rushing to the computer to see what my email would bring. I felt alive and full of meaning with the growing connections of kindred spirits and leaders needing support.

A less than belligerent commitment is a curse.
~ Eric Maisal<?div>

The long hours and travel to do my leadership role well and the time needed to serve the LGL pursuits became too much to sustain. I had to choose. It was time to do what I felt most called to do. And so I offer some of the behind the scenes decisions that helped turned the dream into reality.

  1. Building A Financial Foundation – When I was in my late twenties with a small baby and a big mortgage, my husband lost his job. My salary could not cover the mortage payment, let alone the other expenses, and our entire savings had gone to the down payment. We ate a lot of noodles. That early experience taught me to never let my lifestyle outgrow my savings. I vowed to save enough that my bags could be “packed,” and not be overly dependent on any company. I shared this philosophy anonymously on Greg Marcus’, Idol Buster blog, in my 2012 post, Bags Packed & Ready To Lead.
  2. Building Genuine Relationships – The most exhilarating part of this journey has been the amazing kindred spirits I’ve met along the way. I have strong leadership values which sometimes leave me swimming upstream. It’s been awesome to connect with other schools of like-minded fish fighting the same battle.
  3. Building On The Basics – For the last 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with some amazing human beings in other companies as I’ve led our Strategic Partnership Channel. For the first time, more of my time was spent thinking about other companies and the leaders inside them, than at my own company, and it was FUN!  With an incubator of over 25 call centers and 10,000 human beings, I can now absolutely prove that the centers that are led with fear and pressure can’t sustain results, and some have collapsed.  But when leaders empowere their people, built great cultures, and lead with transparency, the results all trend upward, the scorecards become balanced, and employees care about their work. Great frontline leaders and the systems to support them is the foundation of real success. I’m humbled to have been a part of some amazing turnarounds. I feel called to share these gifts more broadly.
  4. Building Bridges – Read any book on graceful exits and they’ll tell you not to “burn bridges.” What this experience has taught me that the real secret is to build and care for strong bridges throughout your career. Help as many people as you can. Treat everyone you meet with deep respect. Care about the whole person and their scene. I’ve been amazed at how people are surfacing from every stage in my career with offers of help and support. “Let me introduce you to…”, “I can help you build your business plan…”, “My wife and I would be delighted to take vacation and come sell books in the back of your conference.”  Cheerleaders are everywhere with open arms.
  5. Building Confidence – It’s never going to feel like exactly the right time. If I wanted to have been talked out of this, there were plenty offering to do that. The “have you thought about” and “what if” questions could easily have scared me back to security. I finally realized that the real risk would be to not offer the world what I now feel I must give.
We must be willing to be shaken up, to submit ourselves to the dark blossomings of chaos, in order to reap the blessings of growth.
~ -Gregg Levoy, Callings<?div>

Amen. Thank you to my wonderful LGL community who have been a large part of this journey so far. Game on. Stay tuned for more updates on what’s next in the coming weeks. Namaste.

How To Become A More Energetic Leader

Your team needs you to show up strong, energetic, and ready to go. It’s hard for your team to run out of steam, when the leader they admire keeps showing up strong. Energetic leadership is contagious and inspires results.

I’ve been observing the most energetic leaders I can find, and looking for themes. I’ve also been paying close attention to those who show signs of burn-out (the biggest sign is they tell me so).

4 Causes of Energy

  1. Calling
    Feeling deeply inspired to a passionate calling ignites fires even the worst days can’t extinguish. When you’re connected to a deeper calling, setbacks stoke the flame. Look for the deeper meaning in what you do. Almost all work has meaning when done well. Engage your team in that cause.
  2. Commitment
    Is it a job, or something more? Feeling a deep commitment to outcomes drives energy. Commit to personal goals you must achieve. Committed marathoners train in the rain. Discover what you’re willing to wake up early and slush through puddles to achieve.
  3. Connection
    Energy is contagious. When work sucks, deep relationships save the day. Invest deeply and build lasting relationships. Build professional intimacy. Invest in light connections with every person you encounter. Smile more, help strangers, the energy will multiply.
  4. Comeback
    The most exciting game to watch is the comeback. The underdog leaves it all on the field, and pulls it out. That can be you. Put your rally cap on, garner your resources, and give it another go. Celebrate the small wins, and go for another. Nothing is more energizing than turnaround success.
  5. What would you add as #5?

Real leadershipThis post is the 3rd of 4 on Energy, as part of the REAL Leadership Model. Stay tuned by entering your email address to subscribe. Already part of our community, invite 2 friends. Let’s grow the conversation and our leadership together. Namaste.

Begin With An Open Mind

It’s hard to argue with Stephen Covey’s 2nd habit “begin with the end in mind.” Wise wisdom. But. Heads down, full steam ahead comes with risks.

Chartered courses without open minds lead to missed opportunity.

Sir Captain Don’s Story

Last week I met Sir Captain Don Stewart on our vacation to Bonaire, in the Dutch Caribbean.

Captain Don.

  • Was named one of the world’s greatest explorers by Life Magazine
  • Was recognized with National Geographic Society’s highest award
  • Was knighted
  • Led conservation movements and policy creation, including the elimination of spear fishing in Bonaire
  • Led the transformation of the Bonaire economy by creating a viable tourism industry
  • Made 25 expeditions to the Antarctic, and was recognized when a National geographic feature “the Walsh spur” was named after his contributions
  • Was appointed by Presidents Carter and Reagan to the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere
  • Was aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste when it made a record maximum descent into the Mariana Trench on January 23, 1960, the deepest point of the world’s oceans

BUT before all that Don.

  • Didn’t make it as a hollywood actor
  • Had his screenplay rejected
  • Survived cancer
  • Was broke
  • Patented a method that made it possible to fit screens into sliding glass doors
  • Developed a highly successful screening company
  • Floated the Mississippi on a raft
  • Taught himself to sail
  • Was a spear fisher
  • Collected exotic fish and sold them for aquariums
  • Sunk his sailboat

Captain Don began with an open mind. One thing led to another. His passion emerged. He shared that he was encouraged by a hollywood friend to, “live his script.”

Begin with an Open Mind

open mindDon’t get stopped by…

  • Good but not great
  • False starts
  • Success
  • Failures
  • Setbacks

How To Start A Start-Up: Podcast With Sqwiggle Co-Founder Matt Boyd

Got a great start-up idea, but don’t know where to start? Take some advice from Sqwiggle co-founder Matt Boyd. Sqwiggle is new online workroom for remote teams. Listen to our interview by clicking on the podcast.

Matt Boyd Interview

How to Start a Start-Up Podcast Highlights

Find others who share your passion: “We’ve all been nerds since we were younger. Tom was a co-founder of an app called Buffer.. I worked at company called Zillow. We’ve all worked remotely and found it a lonely experience. It just kind-of sucked.”

Spend your time well: “If you wake up every single day and think where can the things, I’m doing today lead me in 5 years, you really start to prioritize what you’re going to do today.”

Network fearlessly: “It’s crazy because I’ve been sending emails to people who I thought would never,ever, ever respond to me. But they do. People read email. People care.”

Work hard: “It’s probably the hardest thing you’re ever going to do.”

Invest yourself: “Sleep on some couches. Be scrappy.”

Even if you’re not ready to start a start-up Matt’s story will inspire you to start what you’ve been putting off, today.

Who Says You're Not Qualified?

“I’m not sure I’m qualified.” “I don’t have experience.” “I’m too old to try that now.”

Negative self-talk smashes dreams. We look for data to corroborate our fear.

Big Starts Small

I always wanted to run the Boston marathon. The only issue, I hadn’t yet run a 10K. I was decidedly not qualified for that dream. I wasn’t a real runner. I was busy exec and mom. I could have easily talked myself out of it. I’m sure I could have found plenty of friends to affirm my self-doubt. I didn’t ask for opinions. I started running. A few laps around the neighborhood. A 10K, a half marathon, a couple of marathons, many lonely miles in the woods with a timer. On my 40-something Birthday, I ran Boston.

Sometimes, Nike is right.

Forget Qualified, Just Start

What’s your dream? If great seems too crazy to articulate start softly. John Acuff, author of START shares 3 questions fear conveys to “every person who dares to start down the road to awesome.”

  1. Who are you to do that?
  2. You’re too late
  3. It has to be perfect.

I asked John, What is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of starting?

“The biggest obstacle is fear. I’ve never met anyone who told me, “I’ve never had a single dream, idea or passion.” Regardless of your age or job, everyone has had a dream at some point. What gets in the way most often is fear. We hear these voices of doubt that say, “Who are you to do that?” We feel unqualified. We fear failure but also success. In moments like that we put our dreams back on the shelf for another day or another week or even another year. One day we wake up and say those five powerful words, “How did I get here?”

Start by

  1. Working at it every day
    In her research-based book Mindset, Carol Dweck offers example after example of the unremarkable beginnings of remarkable people. Darwin, Tolstoy, Beethoven, Edison, became great by believing they could, working hard, failing, and getting better day by day. Renowned blogger Seth Godin wrote his 5000th post this week. Want to feel optimistic about getting better with time? Read his early stuff.  Seth Godin got great at writing by writing.
  2. Get experience
    Volunteer.  Give work away. Take a part-time job
  3. Get help
    Ask for feedback. Find coaches and advisors. Learn from every one you can. I love it when I get feedback on my posts. This week a friend wrote, “Strong post with a weak start. You can do better than this.” And then asked some provocative questions. I fixed it with gratitude. When you’re open to learning, people will help.
  4. Avoid the “haters”
    Acuff shares, “someone is going to hate what you do.” That’s not a maybe. That’s a definite. And I don’t mean dislike. I mean hate. With energy and vitriol and a passion that surprises you. Haters are inevitable. Your response is up for grabs.” Learn to manage your trolls.
  5. What would you add?

Start your dream. It’s not too late. Start small, build to amazing.

 

Who Says You’re Not Qualified?

“I’m not sure I’m qualified.” “I don’t have experience.” “I’m too old to try that now.”

Negative self-talk smashes dreams. We look for data to corroborate our fear.

Big Starts Small

I always wanted to run the Boston marathon. The only issue, I hadn’t yet run a 10K. I was decidedly not qualified for that dream. I wasn’t a real runner. I was busy exec and mom. I could have easily talked myself out of it. I’m sure I could have found plenty of friends to affirm my self-doubt. I didn’t ask for opinions. I started running. A few laps around the neighborhood. A 10K, a half marathon, a couple of marathons, many lonely miles in the woods with a timer. On my 40-something Birthday, I ran Boston.

Sometimes, Nike is right.

Forget Qualified, Just Start

What’s your dream? If great seems too crazy to articulate start softly. John Acuff, author of START shares 3 questions fear conveys to “every person who dares to start down the road to awesome.”

  1. Who are you to do that?
  2. You’re too late
  3. It has to be perfect.

I asked John, What is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of starting?

“The biggest obstacle is fear. I’ve never met anyone who told me, “I’ve never had a single dream, idea or passion.” Regardless of your age or job, everyone has had a dream at some point. What gets in the way most often is fear. We hear these voices of doubt that say, “Who are you to do that?” We feel unqualified. We fear failure but also success. In moments like that we put our dreams back on the shelf for another day or another week or even another year. One day we wake up and say those five powerful words, “How did I get here?”

Start by

  1. Working at it every day
    In her research-based book Mindset, Carol Dweck offers example after example of the unremarkable beginnings of remarkable people. Darwin, Tolstoy, Beethoven, Edison, became great by believing they could, working hard, failing, and getting better day by day. Renowned blogger Seth Godin wrote his 5000th post this week. Want to feel optimistic about getting better with time? Read his early stuff.  Seth Godin got great at writing by writing.
  2. Get experience
    Volunteer.  Give work away. Take a part-time job
  3. Get help
    Ask for feedback. Find coaches and advisors. Learn from every one you can. I love it when I get feedback on my posts. This week a friend wrote, “Strong post with a weak start. You can do better than this.” And then asked some provocative questions. I fixed it with gratitude. When you’re open to learning, people will help.
  4. Avoid the “haters”
    Acuff shares, “someone is going to hate what you do.” That’s not a maybe. That’s a definite. And I don’t mean dislike. I mean hate. With energy and vitriol and a passion that surprises you. Haters are inevitable. Your response is up for grabs.” Learn to manage your trolls.
  5. What would you add?

Start your dream. It’s not too late. Start small, build to amazing.

 

What’s So Great About Shopping at Walmart?

It was Sunday afternoon, I needed to find a picture frame fast to complete the gift I was about to give. The closest solution was Walmart.I am usually not brave enough to go there this time of year.

The stories can be scary.

I reluctantly made my way through the hectic parking lot and the crowded aisles. When I got to the checkout, I made small talk with the smiling gray-haired woman behind the counter.

“How are you,” I asked?

FANTASTIC. It’s Sunday afternoon during the holiday season and I’m working at Walmart.

I checked for sarcasm. There was none. Not in her voice. Not in her eyes.

Now if you are like me, you probably can get through a long list of ideas of what to do with your Sunday afternoon before you get to “gee it would be fun to work the cash register at Walmart.”

I had to ask. “Why do you like working here?”

More surprises.

All of my customers are so nice.

Okay, this time I let my inside voice come out. “Seriously?”

Oh yes. That’s what makes this job so fun. I talk with them. I make them laugh. I get them smiling and happy. There is nice in everyone you just have to find it.

She was skipping to work. She seemed to be following her calling. She was changing the climate. 

I left smiling. She was right, she made it easy to feel nice.

I stood watching for a while, and each customer she served left smiling.

I left, forgetting my picture frame.

Of course she gladly ran out to the parking lot to ensure I left with what I came for.

Indeed I did.

What's So Great About Shopping at Walmart?

It was Sunday afternoon, I needed to find a picture frame fast to complete the gift I was about to give. The closest solution was Walmart.I am usually not brave enough to go there this time of year.

The stories can be scary.

I reluctantly made my way through the hectic parking lot and the crowded aisles. When I got to the checkout, I made small talk with the smiling gray-haired woman behind the counter.

“How are you,” I asked?

FANTASTIC. It’s Sunday afternoon during the holiday season and I’m working at Walmart.

I checked for sarcasm. There was none. Not in her voice. Not in her eyes.

Now if you are like me, you probably can get through a long list of ideas of what to do with your Sunday afternoon before you get to “gee it would be fun to work the cash register at Walmart.”

I had to ask. “Why do you like working here?”

More surprises.

All of my customers are so nice.

Okay, this time I let my inside voice come out. “Seriously?”

Oh yes. That’s what makes this job so fun. I talk with them. I make them laugh. I get them smiling and happy. There is nice in everyone you just have to find it.

She was skipping to work. She seemed to be following her calling. She was changing the climate. 

I left smiling. She was right, she made it easy to feel nice.

I stood watching for a while, and each customer she served left smiling.

I left, forgetting my picture frame.

Of course she gladly ran out to the parking lot to ensure I left with what I came for.

Indeed I did.

Labor Day Reflections: A Saturday Salutation

Labor Day was first organized in 1882 by labor unions as a celebration of the contributions of working class Americans. Although not a big union supporter, Grover Cleveland formalized it as a National Holiday in 1894. There is some good background here for those who want to know more Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day has always seemed to me to be one of those unsung holidays where the meaning gets a bit lost. As a child I mostly remember it as the first day off school, and the day my mom made me stop wearing my white shoes to Sunday School. Teaching Your Kids About The Meaning of Labor Day.

What Does Labor Day Mean Today?

So where does that leave us today? For some, this holiday still carries much of its original meaning, and a good time to reflect on history and progress.

For the many of us, the idea of defined working hours and schedules has morphed not due to changing rules or regulations, but because of the nature of our work, the virtual connectivity of our remote teams and expanded real-time technology. Many leaders and vital contributors (myself included) are always connected, and even on labor day will have their phones by their sides available as needed.

Labor Day Reflections

And so, I offer this Labor Day exercise as an opportunity for reflection as you celebrate your work, and the work of your teams.

  • What brings you energy in your work?
  • What has been your most significant accomplishment this year?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • Who are you most proud of on your team?
  • How do you rest?
  • Is it enough?
  • What’s next?

I would love to hear your insights on your labor day reflections through your comments.

Some upcoming topics: Leading and Following in Remote teams, Large Group Innovation, and Humility.

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Saturday Salutation: Spirited Warrior

I first really met this spirited warrior, Matt on a (yoga) Mat. Our arms and spirits intertwined as we breathed through warrior poses. That was when I began to understand his powerful and joyful heart and spirit.

Oh sure, we had been working together at church on our “Quest” before that, me as advisor and he as “Quester” trying to figure as much of “it” out as we could. “It” being what we believed. about God, and values, and life. And what he would share about those beliefs with our congregations.

The real deal is, he made a permanent impression on my spiritual journey.

Matt lives with full-on joy. At every minute it oozes from his spirit. His muscles don’t always listen to his spirit, but he never says “I can’t. If he needs help, he asks for just enough, but not an ounce more than is vital.

There is much to be learned from a man like that.

If you attend any of his high-school drama productions, he is lighting up the stage with full on animation, full on spirit giving everything he has to that moment.

I asked him about that joy, “I think that because I am able to do so much more than before, I do not give up”

I think that’s what makes him so wise

‘I will tell anyone to not stop, do whatever you want no matter what/who may stand in your way.”

Amen and Namaste.

Missy Franklin: The Cincinnatus of the Olympics (a guest post from Greg Marcus)

My favorite character from Latin class was Cincinnatus – he was a farmer who became Dictator to lead the Roman army against invaders, and then returned to his farming life after the war. The fame and glory did not prevent him from continuing to be who he wanted to be, and he willingly gave up almost absolute power to return to a simple life. Cincinnatus was revered as an exemplar of civic virtue, someone willing to work for the greater good without accumulating personal wealth and power.

“I am pleased to present a guest post from Greg Marcus.

After ten years as a scientist, and ten years as a marketer, Greg Marcus, Ph.D. is a stay-at-home dad and author. If you are interested in more of his writing you can find it by clicking here, or you can find him on linked in.  Greg reminds us of the constant choices we make as we pursue our dreams, and balance them with the rest of our lives”

Missy Franklin is not a general, but a swimmer on the US Olympic team. Unlike many Olympians, she elected not to leave home and move to a training center to work with a high-powered coach. She stayed with her childhood coach, and in fact turned down endorsement deals to maintain eligibility for her high school swim team.

I think its safe to say along the way, some thought her crazy for not making the most of her talent by moving to California, swimming full-time, and getting the best coach available. But Franklin showed that a move to the next level of achievement does not require sacrificing who we are, or the people in our life. And I strongly suspect that without her family, Franklin could not have achieved what she achieved.

Franklin won four gold medals and one bronze, in London, second only to Michael Phelps in total medals. Now, Franklin is faced with a choice – does she go back to the life she had, swimming for her high school team and then on to college, or does she take advantage of the millions of dollars in endorsement deals that she could get as an Olympic Champion? For now, she is leaning towards college because she says that is what will make her a happy girl, but she will consider all the options. It’s a real dilemma.

One of these choices represents a once in a lifetime opportunity.