Laurie Swanson Blog

Impulsive + Disciplined = Career Change Success

This Friday kicks off the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.

Who is not in awe of the abilities of these athletes and the commitment it takes to compete at this level?

Which got me thinking about my nature.

I like to think of myself as an impulsive intuitive.

If you have ever done the Kolbe Assessment Test I am an off-the-charts, Quick Start. I jump in and get going.

I’m a risk-taker.

No testing the waters, gathering lots of info first, being patient and disciplined for me.

I just go for it. See sidebar below for more Kathy Kolbe’s Assessment.

I embrace this side of myself.

I believe my impulsiveness has led me to starting my own business. If I had thought too hard on it I may easily have focused on all the ways it might not work and stayed in a job that was draining me.

Being impulsive feels like I am following my intuition. I am not afraid to make mistakes and have things get messy. I figure if my impulsive intuition led me here it is for a good reason and it will help me find my way through it.

And that usually ends up being true. (Except when it comes to that antique, French walnut armoire…but that is a blog for another day.)

Bottom Line: Being an intuitive impulsive is good. It lights a fire and can get you moving forward in your career and your life.

Being impulsive naturally fosters change.

Then I saw this picture of my good friend Mark, who came in second at the recent NorCal Masters CrossFit tournament.

I was like, “S**T, he is so disciplined.”

I need me more of that!
I realized that in order to be at the top of your game in your career you need to be a mix of the impulsive intuitive who instantly, intuitively makes a move without much thought to consequences that could set you up for a BIG win along with being a badass, uber-disciplined person committed to self-mastery.

Q: Do you lean towards impulsive intuition or focused discipline? 

If you are already a strong mix of both GREAT! To have that balance feels a bit like the secret sauce.

But, if you tend to lean towards one end of the spectrum or the other, join me in my own brand of the Olympic Games.  


Pick the area you would like to strengthen and look for ways in your everyday life to become more impulsive or more disciplined.

Impulsive Intuitive Building Blocks:

  • A little voice pops into your head that says “hmm, I wonder how Jane is doing? “  Pick up the phone and call her.
  • A recruiter sends you a message-don’t hesitate-reply and set up a time to chat
  • You feel an urge for Kung Pao chicken-go get yourself some and put the planned dinner off until tomorrow night.
  • A job seems enticing-apply!
  • Those shoes look stylish yet comfortable-Zappos here you come.
  • If you see something you admire, say something.

 Focused Disciplined Building Blocks:

  • Make up your mind to go to bed 5 minutes earlier and then do it.
  • After dinner and before Netflix-commit to 15-60 minutes focused on your career-update your resume, search for jobs, email me at
  • Put your fork down and leave one bite on the plate.
  • Set your alarm 10 minutes ahead of your schedule and journal, meditate, walk etc. for at least 1 day this week.
  • Raise your awareness. Say to yourself, “It would be a disciplined behavior if I did this (fill in the blank)”. 

Do you feel the impulse to switch jobs? Then contact me at  We can set up a focused plan to get you where you want to go.

Kathy Kolbe and the Kolbe Assessment Test

Kathy Kolbe developed an instrument – the first ever devised – to measure the instinctive action and problem-solving styles of individuals. This dimension of the mind, called "conation," determines the way in which each individual might feel most comfortable and perform best in undertaking any action. She determined there are 4 modes of behavior a person uses and everyone falls on a scale of 1-10 in each mode. The 4 modes are:

Fact Finder - the instinctive way we gather and share information.

Follow Thru - the instinctive way we arrange and design.

Quick Start - the instinctive way we deal with risk and uncertainty.

Implementer - the instinctive way we handle space and tangibles.

You can learn more at

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