Progress Doesn’t Need Perfect Circumstances (Danielle’s Story)

Ep: 217

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake welcomes Danielle to share her powerful story of perseverance. Just after joining the program, she was given some devastating news about her health that made her think about taking a step back. But after deciding to move forward and give it her all, she found an instant support network while also gaining clarity about her path forward.

In this episode, you’ll hear how Danielle didn’t let less-than-perfect circumstances stop her from creating the change she wanted in her life. You’ll hear what motivated her to push through the program, despite the health and life circumstances she was experiencing. She shares how the instant support network helped her not only gain career clarity, but also how it made her a better, more efficient time manager. You’ll hear the biggest mindset shift from the program that instilled in her the confidence and self-recognition that she deserved, and how it continues to inspire her today.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What wasn’t working in Danielle’s life before she joined the program (4:00)
  • Why things can feel different on the inside than they appear on the outside (7:24)
  • What happened when she got thrown a health curveball just before starting (9:56)
  • Why your life circumstances don’t need to be perfect in order to create change (13:57)
  • What Danielle learned about herself from the program (17:14)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. It’s very easy for us to go into a guilt and shame spiral. We ‘should’ be happy, we ‘should’ be grateful. But that’s the lie because we can be grateful and then we can also want more. –Blake
  2. If I’m getting a new lease on life, what do I want to do? Am I creating the life I want, spending time with the people I care about, and growing and becoming the person I want to be? That was my takeaway from the program. –Danielle
  3. We can get into a black-and-white perspective about needing it to be the perfect time or having the perfect circumstances, or needing to do everything perfectly to be successful. And that’s the lie. –Blake
  4. I feel like we’re all driven to do what we need to do. But sometimes you just need that extra push of accountability to stay on the path. And I think the duration of the program really helps with that because you finally have built the habits, and then you’re accountable for them every week. –Danielle
  5.  I have figured my way out of every situation. So regardless of what happens, the good and the bad, I’ll figure it out. And I think that has been the biggest mindset shift from the program. –Danielle

Additional Resources:

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Danielle 0:04
I was 100% committed, all in, showed up for the group calls. And then I had a random physical from a doctor’s appointment and had some very earth shattering news. So then I kind of rewind it back because I was like, I don’t know if investing my time in this is really worth it. I need to take care of my health. But honestly, it ended up being a supportive thing. The group calls were really supportive, because you find relatable things that everybody’s going through what you’re going through, like you’re never alone, and then just repositioning what is important to me, what do I want to spend my time doing? And what do I enjoy doing? Because if I’m getting a new lease on life, what do I want to do to where I am creating the life I want, spending time with people I care about, and growing and becoming the person I want to be?

Blake Schofield 0:55
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 1:29
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment®. Today, I’m super excited to have my client Danielle on, to share her personal story and journey. And one of the reasons I invited her was watching how inspiring her journey has been for me personally, and I think for a number of women in the program, there’s something really beautiful when you have the ability to manage so many challenges going on in your life and yet show up and continue to learn and continue to seek guidance and help, and achieve really amazing things while through all of it. And for me, that was a huge inspiration to watch you do this. And so I’m excited for you to be able to share some about your personal journey and The Bridge to Fulfillment® what you’ve learned about yourself, and what sort of transpired through that journey. But I also think one of the beautiful things about your story is often we can think that we need to have perfect circumstances, the perfect time to be successful, creating change or doing something in our lives, and you did not have that. And you are a testament to show that when you put your mind and your focus behind creating change, you don’t need perfect circumstances, because you don’t. That’s the lie our brain tells us. And so I guess that it was an honor and inspiration to be a part of this journey with you. And I’m excited to sort of dive in and share a little bit of that with our audience today. So with that said, Welcome to the rest of affiliate podcast, Danielle!

Danielle 2:52
Thank you for having me. Excited to be here.

Blake Schofield 2:55
So happy to have you. Can you share a little bit with our audience what was going on in your life when we connected and just a little bit maybe about your background as well?

Danielle 3:04
Yeah, so when we connected, I had actually just switched jobs. And that was about four months into kind of a new career path. But before that, I’ve spent 15 years in escalating roles of different merchandising and planning categories on the retail side. And then most recently, I had switched to the supplier side, to kind of see if maybe that was the balance I was looking for. And it wasn’t. So I was like, You know what, I need to figure out what’s going on. And I had had a friend who gone through your program, who recommended me to you, and that is how we connected.

Blake Schofield 3:37
I love it. And often that happens where I have women who have made a change on their own, and usually within nine to 12 months end up here and go okay, this thing didn’t work. How did you know? Because four months is pretty quickly? What were the symptoms for you where you’re like, oh, this didn’t solve my problem. And yeah, I see I’m having a pattern where I need some help to see things differently.

Danielle 4:00
You know, I think it was the parts of my old job that I did really love were not a part of this job. And it was more the parts of this job were the parts I didn’t necessarily love about my old job. So it just magnified much quicker. And part two, I moved when I created this new job back to where I was from. So I thought, you know, hey, you know what I’m moving jobs, I’m going to be where I want to live, everything should skyrocket from there. And living here has been great. So that part was solved. But then I was still feeling unfulfilled at work. And you know, I have always loved working like, since I was a child like started babysitting and everything so to not have any sort of fulfillment out of that. Not that it needs to be my main fulfillment, but was kind of a challenge for me.

Blake Schofield 4:47
And so when we connected, how did that go for you? And what were some of the questions that you were sort of sorting through? Because I think anytime we reach this sort of crossroads or moment when we’re saying hey, I’m actually thinking about investing myself and getting help. We all go through our own personal journey, the things we think through the questions we have, what was that like for you?

Danielle 5:08
I was maybe in a little bit different position, because I did know somebody who had just recently completed your program. So I felt a little more confident in the program than if I had probably just found you off LinkedIn to be totally transparent. But I do think like, you know, a lot of the questions were like, around time investment, really choosing myself first, probably the timing just really worked out for me, because I think I was finally at a place where I was like, You know what, I have to do this, like, something’s got to change. So I do think those were there. And I think also, just like, I would have probably asked more about, like, credibility and success stories. I mean, I think we talked through some of your success stories. But just as I had a personal recommendation, it wasn’t as hard hitting on those as I probably would have been. But.

Blake Schofield 5:51
So you mentioned that and yeah, what I remember is, you had a lot of questions around how much time does it take for the program, you had to travel, would you have enough time to do this? Obviously, you had just moved. So that creates its own host of time, and financial challenges, and then.

Danielle 6:07
The house like three weeks before I started this program, too. So that’s what I was like, but invest all this money. I’ve just literally paid a ton of money. So I do remember, you’re right. I forgot about that. But yes, that is a good point.

Blake Schofield 6:18
And I think often we can allow those things to stop us from taking the action. We know what’s right for us. What was it for you that allowed you to step into it, despite all of the things that you had going on, despite the challenges, despite the travel, despite having just moved? What was it for you that said, yeah, it’s the right thing. And I’m gonna even though my circumstances aren’t perfect, I’m gonna move forward.

Danielle 6:38
I think I was just tired of feeling at a plateau. I mean, I technically was not at a plateau in my career, I just switched jobs. I’ve been promoted in the last few years, like there was still a lot of upward mobility. But like, emotionally and mentally, I felt kind of plateaued, like I’m doing this, but I’m not really invested in it. So I think it was more like I have to regrain some sort of drive around what I’m spending the bulk of my hours doing every day.

Blake Schofield 7:07
Yeah, I’ve always been like you, where I have a passion and a joy around working can’t ever imagine just like sitting home that sounds.

Danielle 7:16
I would be broke if I was sitting at home because all I do would do is spend money because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. So.

Blake Schofield 7:22
I cannot fathom that. So I think often, people who aren’t wired like we are don’t understand, but the importance of I get up and I spend a huge chunk of my life doing this thing. And I want to feel passionate about what that is. And I think we’ve talked about being plateaued. Yeah, technically, you weren’t plateaued, you were growing. And I think often that happens to women. And they’re saying all their friends and family are like, well, what are you talking about, you have this great career, you’re continuing to get promoted. But internally, that can feel like a plateau when it’s like, wait, I’m not learning and growing anymore. I’m not passionate and excited and energized. And I just want to stop here for a moment and say that, you know, if anytime we experienced that, it’s very easy for us to go into a guilt and shame spiral and we quote unquote, should be happy, we quote unquote, should be grateful. But that’s the lie.

Blake Schofield 8:15
Because we can be grateful. And then we can also want more.

Danielle 8:20
Right. Agree.

Blake Schofield 8:21
And it’s okay to want more. And I would say that that’s the inner voice actually telling you there’s misalignment in what I’m doing. And it’s an opportunity to really step up and level into something even better. And so I love how you did that. So we’ll talk a little bit about that. And in a little bit, but I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey. So you decided, yeah, I have a friend that’s in this program, I’m ready to do this thing. I’m tired of being plateaued. And I’m gonna jump in and kind of get started. And I’d love to hear, you know, as you came into the program, and you got started, what were you expecting walking in? And then How was the journey different than what you expected?

Danielle 9:01
I think okay, so walking in, I think my expectation was, it’s going to be very, like you’re doing a class, of course, at school. So I was come in, there’s like a curriculum essentially, to an extent there kind of is, but you do the curriculum. And then we have the meetings and chat with others. And that is kind of more like a small discussion group is kind of in my mind what I had envisioned. And then at the end, you’re like, Okay, this is where I’m going. It’s kind of what I had envisioned, or this is what I’m worth, from a negotiation standpoint is something that extent. I would say, technically, those things did happen. But I think I started in the program. And I was like, one of the personality tests is like, what kind of person are you or what how do you operate and I’m like, dive in. 1,000% pretty much every single thing I do all the time. I mean, that validated that. I mean, I kind of already do that about myself. I’m all in at the very beginning.

Danielle 9:56
So like the first few weeks, I was 100% committed, all in, showed up for the group calls. And then I had a random physical from a doctor’s appointment and had some very earth shattering news, I would say from a health perspective. So then I kind of rewind it back because I was like, I don’t know, if investing my time in this is really worth it, I need to take care of my health. But honestly, it ended up being a supportive thing for both. Because I think the group calls or from what I was saying the class discussions were really supportive because I think, like one you find relatable things that everybody’s going through what you’re going through, like you’re never alone, I didn’t necessarily talk a ton about my health on those calls, because it was more of a distraction than dealing with my other shoes. But I think the just the support in the community, I think there was a lot more around like just getting my life organized to where I could maximize my productivity and still have time to deal with the things I needed to deal with. So I think the time commitment thing went away a little bit, I did probably slow down a little bit more than I anticipated, just because I had to go to a lot of doctor’s appointments, and then during the program, just repositioning what is important to me. And I think one thing that I since I was going through kind of a health care that was very terrifying. I really maximize the more like what am I want to spend my time doing? And what do I enjoy doing? Because if I’m for lack of a better word, getting a new lease on life, what do I want to do to where I am creating the life I want, spending time with the people I care about, and growing and becoming the person I want to be? So I think I did take away all of that from the program?

Blake Schofield 11:33
Yeah, I think, first of all, thank you for sharing, I think these are the realities of life, because while you were in the program, and it was not just you that had health problems, I had two or three other women with some major health problems. And I’ve come to really see the link behind the pressure and hustle, and all of the things that we do for decades, that eventually catch up with us many times in our late 30s, 40s, and 50s. And we often don’t realize how much those things impact our life and our health, because it’s just the way it is. And everybody just has, everybody’s exhausted every day. This is stuff I used to say, Well, when I got shingles at 28. And I thought whether or not an old person disease, and they said, well, the only way you can get that stress and I thought, well, I’m great at handling stress, clearly I was not. And then I found other people who were also young, who had it. And so I went, Oh, not that much of an outlier. And when I had huge knots in my shoulder all of the time, because of the stress I carried, I found other people that had the same problem. And I said, Oh, not that bad. And so I think often, it’s the silence cost that we’re missing, of leading the life, this misaligned of the levels of stress and anxiety of the pressures that we put on ourselves that show up. And like I said, you I’ve had probably at this point 15 or 20 clients in the last five years go through some major health cares while in the program. And I can see and connect the dots back to the lack of self care and the push, push, push that just eventually caught up. And to your point, it’s a beautiful moment to then stop and say how do I want to make a difference? And I do have a new lease on life? And how do I use that to my advantage.

Blake Schofield 13:13
And I think you did that with such incredible grace, because (A) through the majority of the program, most of the women did not know what you’re going through and were inspired by the action and the progress you were making. (B), you were really great about saying to me, this is what I’m going through, and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with it. And you allowed me to be that partner to you to say okay, how can we do this, because I knew that this work was going to help reduce your stress, was going to help you be better equipped to deal with your doctor’s visits and your health challenges, was going to help make sure that you had the right foundation. And I appreciate it the whole way throughout that we were in partnership together about how is it going and what do we need to change, and what really matters in this process for you. And, again, I think we can get into a black and white perspective about I need this perfect time, I need these perfect circumstances, I have to do everything perfectly to be successful. And that’s the lie.

Blake Schofield 14:07
And that’s what what I think is so beautiful about your story is you didn’t have the perfect circumstances coming in, then you got hit with something that certainly wasn’t the perfect circumstance. And in that journey, you learned how to prioritize what matter do you learn how to prioritize your health, while doing your day job, while going through this program, and while learning to give yourself grace in a different way. And I just like I said it was very inspirational to me. And then towards the end of the program when you were through that and able to share with a number of the women. I know how I watched how inspirational that was to them. And I just want to shine the light on that because it’s really beautiful. And I think you truly are an example of how you can go through challenges with grace. And a huge part of how you went through that with Grace is taking a partnership and not doing it your own, really stopping and saying what matters to me instead of it having to be this perfect scenario, perfect circumstance. And I think we can all learn from that.

Danielle 15:04
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. You know, I think honestly, if I hadn’t probably been in the program, the health situation would have been way worse. I mean, not, I would have handled it significantly worse, I do think you’re right to the point of the partnership, that’s not something I’ve always been great at is being a very direct person in general. So, I usually just say the point and move on. So building that vulnerability in an appropriate way, I think was a huge thing for me. So I do appreciate the partnership as well.

Blake Schofield 15:33
So you said one of the big things that you learned was to like manage your time more efficiently? How has that changed your life? Since you’ve been doing that now for a number of months? How has that impacted your day to day life, your stress levels, and what that looks like?

Danielle 15:46
My stress level is very low, I, at this moment, still do have a full time job. I’m started my little business on the side. But I am so much better about one, put creating boundaries with others at work when I need to do a project actually work on the project. And even when people call me 47 times during the middle of that project, I just don’t answer. And I’m like, I’m working on this. I’ll call you back when I’m done. So I think implementing boundaries around the times I was doing what I need to do every day. And then I’m just so much more efficient, because I don’t feel like I need to answer every call and do everything as everything’s on a fire drill. So I think that’s all pretty significantly.

Blake Schofield 16:28
Yeah, and the life of everything as a fire drill, we get so used to that. But we don’t even understand the amount of cortisol and literally chemicals in your body that are making you sick living life that way. So just to even be able to move from a place where everything was rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, like no, there’s a piece in a calm, there’s again, a huge hidden benefit underneath that, that we don’t always see. But you do feel as you feel more calm and more centered and more focus. You mentioned a little bit about launching a side business. That was one of the things when you came to me that you were like, hey, in this ideal world or down the road, I might want to launch this thing. Can you share a little bit about your journey to clarity, about figuring out oh, this is why I’m unfulfilled and what I need and what and how that sort of come to fruition for you.

Danielle 17:14
You know, in my 15 ish years on the retail buying side, like there were aspects of my job that I really loved. And I think, you know, I continue to put myself through the rat race, and continue to be super committed to that, because there were aspects that I really, really enjoyed. And I don’t know that I would have identified those aspects on my own, I think going through the program and, you know, really reflecting on like, hey, when I used to be excited to go to work on these days, it was because we were doing this, this, and this. So coming to clarity of like, these are the five items I like to do. And then one thing that’s great about your program is you know, you don’t have to go off on your own, you can do it, find it within another company.

Danielle 17:52
But I’ve decided I really want to help smaller retailers who are trying to scale and they don’t have the tools or the knowledge from being at large corporations, where I have predominantly been a very large corporations and have all that skill set. So how can I train them and teach them to do the processes so it can make their life easier to run whatever their businesses or if they’re trying to grow their business? How do I help them scale to grow their business appropriately. And I think I just definitely get way more fulfillment out of that than doing it for a large company. So I did think part one that was there from clarifying what I actually liked about my job. And like you said, I saw other women who liked certain aspects of their job, but we’re making it a completely different career path. And watching them change, I think also gives you some more assurance that like you can do this. And then I started, it also gave me some strength as far as Okay, I’m going to do this. Now I need to like take the steps and start the networking process to find some clients to really more validate, this is what I want to do. So I think both of those aspects happen. It’s I found a client and I have one client right now. I’ve been working with them for about two months, kind of on the side, just to make sure like I’ve, since I had the health issues and everything, I want to make sure that I’m fully set up to leave and still pay my medical bills.

Blake Schofield 19:14
100%. 100%. And that was such an exciting moment when everything came together for you. And again, every single woman’s journey is different in the bridge moment. I think that’s a really important thing to understand. Because when you are lacking clarity, you start looking at this person as my background and they did this so maybe that’s the thing I should do. But you found your correct path. You one of my favorite periods of time together in this journey was really working with you on bridge stories and on how to really understand the value you bring and communicate it and be able to feel confident in positioning that. What are some of your learnings or some of your favorite moments looking back on what you gained from that experience?

Danielle 19:57
Yeah, no, I mean, honestly, that process is really great. I can’t keep limited mention it, because I think to the point of where I said earlier, like I’m a fairly direct person. So I have always spoken bullet points very like this is XYZ. And I think the bridge stories was really great because it really forced me to tell the story around like the thought process and what makes me different. And I’ve had a lot of really complex situations in my career, that I’ve done a ton of different things, wear a ton of different hats, and I wasn’t necessarily giving myself credit for that. So building the stories to have the credit that I deserved. And then part two having that information available for when I’m pitching to new clients. Now, it’s much easier, I have a Rolodex of stories that apply to 4700 different situations. So communicating that is much easier.

Blake Schofield 20:45
Awesome. Yeah. For me, it was fun. I love the process a lot of times, because it is tailored. And by nature of that it’s like, oh, how are you looking at this? And how do people perceive what you’re saying? And for me, it was a beautiful situation, because there were times as we went through that, that I think you had the AHA moment of like, oh, that’s why I didn’t get what I wanted in the past. Or, Oh, I now understand why I got pigeonholed and XYZ, or, Oh, I now see how this person got that thing I wanted. Because I now see the gap between how I was communicating what they want. And there’s such huge power in that. I mean, to me, that bridge straight process is one of my absolute favorites, because it’s like I get to equip you, with these amazing tools to really understand how to showcase who you are, and your value, and ask for what you want. And that to me, when I learned those skills, it totally changed the game for me and my career and life, and the level of confidence and ability that you have, after that as well as just to be more present in your conversations with people, so that you can relate more, and you can adapt more in the moment. It’s a beautiful thing when I watched you, like connect and get that. And it was not very shortly thereafter, once you got it that you ended up going to this networking situation. Ended up getting your first client I was like, oh, yeah, she’s got it now. And now it’s like, Look out, World. She’s got it.

Danielle 22:09
Yeah, no, I agree. I think one of the big things is that I never noticed how much I said like, I think or, and that comes across like very, like not confident and an expert like, I never even processed that. So now I’m very conscious to not say, Oh, I think XYZ it’s more like I did XYZ.

Blake Schofield 22:30
And even to the big thing for me, for you, from what we went through is like how you were describing what you were doing, you are really into some of the very low level tactical things. But you were ignoring the big huge strategy things that you actually did. And so to your point, you weren’t giving yourself credit, because you were showcasing the things that you executed well, but without the bigger higher level strategy and approach would never have been successful. And so it was a shift for you when you were like oh, yeah, I actually do do all these things. And yes.

Danielle 23:05
Because I think one day you were like, Okay, so did you do this? And I was like, No, I was actually leading like a team of 12. And you were like, what? Was like, oh, yeah, so yes, you’re right. That was a huge change for me as well, because you’re right, the strategy part is what I want to do. I don’t want to be entering POs, for example, but I do know how to do all that. And I have done all of that. So you’re right, that is a very valid point of how I’ve changed the story of what I’m telling others to the actual I was doing.

Blake Schofield 23:33
Yeah, you’re giving the much more well rounded understanding of the impact that you’re making, versus what I think a lot of us are taught, which is like, how do I show you the tangible tactical stuff. But the reality is, the more you move up in your career from a higher impact, the more you need to be able to show that global impact and the total picture. And so that ability for you to see and understand that right is a huge dent, like up for everything to come. So it’s been so much fun reconnecting with you. I’m so glad to hear the consulting gigs going well, and your stress levels are down, and you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Let me ask if there is there anything that I haven’t asked you so far that I should have, or anything that’s just really on your heart that you want to share that you haven’t already?

Danielle 24:20
You think one thing the program also adds that I probably haven’t included is like more just accountability. Because I feel like we’re all driven to do what we need to do. But sometimes you just need that extra push of accountability to stay on the path. And I think the duration of the program really helps with that because you finally have built the habits, and then you’re accountable for them every week. So I do think that’s one thing that is a very important aspect that I didn’t really think about when I was going through the program that that would add for me, but it did.

Blake Schofield 24:48
I love that. If I was going to ask him to throw in one more because it just came to me. If I was going to ask you one thing that your perspective has changed on as a result of going through this journey, maybe the thing that the mantra or the thing you now know to be true, that maybe you didn’t before you joined The Bridge to Fulfillment®?

Danielle 25:07
I think I have a lot less fear, I guess, because one of the group sessions we kind of talked about, like, when you’re going through something like think about all the times that you’ve actually done it before. And I have figured my way out of every situation. So, regardless of what happens, the good and the bad, I’ll figure it out. And I think that has been the biggest, probably mindset shift from the program.

Blake Schofield 25:32
And I love that mantra, regardless of whatever happens, I’ll figure it out. And what a huge piece of gold because when you can believe in yourself in that way, it enables you to step into whatever it is that you really want for your life, even if it’s completely unknown. So thank you, Miss Danielle. It’s been an honor and such a pleasure. And I just appreciate you taking time to share your journey and help inspire other women.

Danielle 25:57
Thank you. Appreciate it.

Blake Schofield 25:59
So thank you for joining us. And until next time, have a great week ahead.

Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener, identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!