Karen Kahn, is the Founder and Managing Partner of Threshold Advisors, LLC, as well as a certified coach, psychologist and consultant.
I just had to meet Karen after my mentor Wendy Bernero gave me Karen’s book to read.
The book, Daunting to Doable, helps lawyers become successful at developing relationships and business through a series of small, daily actions that can be woven into the typical flow of your personal and professional life.
I have used principles from the book in everything I’ve done since meeting Karen five years ago.
Karen is a Women Who Wows for many reasons, including pivoting into this career later in life, showing us all that it is never too late to do what you love. She is also humble, kind and generous with her time and advice. Learn more about Karen.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
If I list how hard my younger self worked to be “the best” at everything it would take days!
Whether it was running races in elementary school, spelling tests (impossible!) grades (of course)—you name it, the quest for the allusive top spot occupied my energies and plummeted me into many hours of depression and tears.
Now, I would tell myself many things about being number 1. First, it is an illusion—only exists in the minds of very small minded people who can’t see the multitude of gifts everyone out there has Second, instead of defining yourself in such a limited way let’s get a good sense of the strengths that you have and figure out the many ways you want to use them.
Finally, you really are lovable and fantastic when your score on the “board” isn’t as high as others —some people have strengths you don’t have, not because they are better but because they are different, that’s the cool thing about the world. There is a place for everyone. Let’s find yours!
What are the keys for success today?
Knowing what is really most important to me and holding that front and center as I contemplate what to do and how to do it.
Until I was about 50, maybe a bit less, I never asked myself what a “wonderful life” would look like and what did I want. It was as if I was in automatic pilot to pursue the “standard success things” like money, external beauty, traditional kind of relationships and lots of stuff.
One day, likely in response to readying something, I realized that I didn’t know the answer to “what do I really want.” This ah ha moment propelled me into a deep period of contemplation, life review and letting go of old expectations.
Realigning to what psychologists call “an internal locus of control” has opened me up to saying, “no,” and holding myself accountable to take action, after all, if I don’t want to do something I really don’t have to do it….and if I truly want something, then I am choosing to act.
Every day has become an ongoing inner monologue about “what do I want to do today” and, “what would I LOVE to do.” When I am doing something that I don’t really want to do, I ask myself: “why don’t you want to do it?” Realizing that the “ugh task” is in service of something I value moves me forward –after all, not every moment is a peak experience. With this in mind, I ask others who rely on me, what they want.
I now find myself in wonderful position, personally (with family) and professionally, to find ways to support others in their quest (usually complex) to bring their values, dreams and wants into their lives and challenge them (and me) to create my unique definition of success.