Archives June 2014

Facing the contractor’s dilemma


Have you heard the story about the contractor? He builds, makes additions to, and repairs homes and he’s amazing at it. In fact, he’s the best in his area. But, he has a problem, his own house has leaky faucets, a few wall cracks, and his patio needs refinishing. Still, he pushes forward, convinced other people’s homes were more important than his. Suddenly, his faucets hit a constant stream. His wall crack affects the ceiling and his patio starts to lose boards. Still, he pushes forward. His pipe breaks. His ceiling starts flaking. Part of his patio gives way when someone steps on it. He has to stop helping others to help himself.

As people who serve others, in whatever capacity, as employees, business owners, husbands, wives, mothers, we are susceptible to the contractor’s dilemma. Yesterday, I wrote about trying to give from an empty vessel. The contractor’s dilemma is similar. Only, in this dilemma, it is others who can serve you. There is no shame in asking for help. There’s a reason we weren’t born superheroes. We may perform small acts of heroism throughout the day, but we can’t do it all.

Daily Exercise: Where are the cracks in your walls? What can be patched? Who can help you patch it? Do you need more help around the office or home? Do you need to set clear boundaries? How can you head that dilemma off at the pass or stop ignoring yourself or your business?

Our contractor has a happy ending. By hiring a plumber, he was able to fix his faucets. That plumber, in turn, sent him more business by referral. By setting boundaries with his clients, he was able to free up a weekend to patch the cracks in his wall and ceiling. With the extra business from the plumber’s referrals, he got someone to come look at his foundation to make sure it was OK. He engaged his family, after he fixed the broken boards, to pick a new stain and paint the patio as a family activity.

What is your dilemma today? Comment below.


Why you should never stop dating… yourself.

I was married for 16 years. In that time, I did what I thought every good wife should do – give herself fully to her husband. I took the “one flesh” part of the Bible to heart and I did everything with my husband. If I was there, he was too. If he didn’t feel like going, I didn’t go. Little did I know that this behavior would result in me losing the one thing I needed the most to be a good wife – myself.

dating myself

There is a Chinese proverb that says, ““You cannot give from an empty vessel. To give to others, you must fill yourself.” This is what dating yourself is all about. When you continue to date yourself, whether you are married, in a relationship, or single, you allow yourself to stretch and grow as a person. You also allow yourself indulgences, like belting “I Will Survive” at the top of your lungs, that help you return to your other relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, even co-workers) refreshed and energized… ready to give.

Daily Exercise: How will you date yourself this week? Plan some time to go out, alone, and do something. Spend some time with just you, even if its in a group setting (like a painting class).

This weekend, I am going to Van Gogh and Vino to paint a flower for myself. The word Love is in the painting which, to me, symbolizes the love I must show myself in order to continue to give to others: as a coach, as a friend, as a daughter, and a sister. All of these relationships require me to fill my vessel first.

Other activities I have planned:

I challenge you to find some place new you have never explored before, even if its a park in your neighborhood. When you discover new things, you discover something new about yourself as well.

Sit down and spend some time with yourself. It’s a steady relationship. Nourish it!

Is staring at Facebook negative meditation?

Facebook depression I have a number of spiritual practices I do every morning to start my day off right. I write in my journal. I read a passage in a book of meditations for women. I will occasionally read some tarot cards. These practices make me feel good and, after I say “thank you” for the messages I received, I go about my day. However, today I was hit with an a-ha moment. I realized I have another morning and night practice. I check my Facebook page.

Watching myself for the past week, I realized a significant shift in how I felt after my spiritual practices if I picked up my phone and checked my Facebook page. I realized anything I uncovered through my other positive practices was significantly dulled if not replaced by other feelings. I was sucked into doubt, fear, anxiety, or elation, joy, and motivation—entirely based upon whatever people decided to share that day.

This led me to the question: Is staring at Facebook negative meditation?

If I am spending each morning and night, ritualistically looking at other people’s walls, scanning my news feed, and reviewing my past posts, am I essentially meditating? Am I opening a channel and receiving random messages?

In meditation, we quiet our minds and we open ourselves up to a message. We hope in this practice that the messages we receive will be beneficial to our lives.  I meditate in a number of ways, depending on how I feel. I read a passage and reflect. I listen to music, quiet my mind, and listen for the message. Or, I will just sit on the shores of Lake Tahoe and listen to the sounds of nature.

The issue with Facebook (or any social media site for that matter) is it is a dumping ground for all emotions, all points of view, all reactions, and all personalities. Opening my feed now, I see happy family photos, throwback pictures, updates on personal tragedy, and emotionally-charged political rants. That’s just the first few posts I see in my news feed. It’s funny they call it a news feed because I “feed” off of these emotionally and take action accordingly. I contact friends. I feel happy, sad, hurt, proud, or inspired by what I see. I apply things to my life.

The a-ha moment came when I realized that anything I uncovered through my other practices was significantly dulled if not replaced by other feelings. Today, I have decided to test the assumption that Facebook is negative meditation for me and is a subtraction, rather than an addition, to my routine.

For one week, starting today, I am not going to open Facebook in the morning or at night before I go to bed. I am going to let my spiritual practices stand alone and monitor the effects on my life and business.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

How the universe took control of my life.

By: Diane Dye Hansen

Sometimes, when what you want is being denied at every turn, doors are slammed in your face, “no” is the only word you hear, and you are being beat down in various ways every day, maybe it’s the universe whispering not so subtly that you need to go another way. Some people call the universe their God, Buddha, Allah, or Higher Power. Whatever you call it, there’s no denying there is something out there that took control of my life in 2011 and continues to guide me to this day.

Time Hop Homeless

It wasn’t until I was living in a motel room in Minden, Nevada with nothing but my dog Porsche and what my few possessions my car could hold that I began to wake up. How I got there, from being a marketing manager in Los Angeles making six figures, I had no clue. Maybe I was being punished in some way. Little did I know I was being given the biggest gift of my life.

It all started in 2008.

After being laid off, I did what every laid off manager did back then. I hit the pavement. I had brief contract positions, but nothing else was panning out. I went on interviews and they said they loved me. But, there was always someone a little bit better. One day, my husband, who was also unemployed, got a notice. We were being sued by a creditor. Debt renegotiation had failed and they were taking us to court. At the same time, we received a notice from our property management company in Texas that our renter was moving out of our home in Garland, a nearly 4,000 square foot monster on Lake Ray Hubbard. With the lawsuit and the soon to be vacant house, it was clear what we had to do. We had to move back to Texas and file bankruptcy. So, in June of 2010 we packed everything up and hit the road.

Once back in Texas, I grew my consulting firm as much as I could. I threw out resumes in California like wildfire, totally convinced we would be going back soon. A few months later, the call came. A studio I had interviewed with two times before wanted to talk to me. This was it. I was going to get my life back. We took off together with Porsche in the floorboard of my little BMW Z3.  The interview process dragged on and, as a result, my dog and I opted to stay with my mother-in-law.  My husband returned to Texas to prepare the house for rent. He was sure, as I was as well, that the house would rent, I would get a job back in California, and all would return to normal.


As the process dragged on, I began to interview again. Once again, I came in second at more companies than I could count. Then, it happened. My mother-in-law fell walking my dog and shattered her pelvis. Porsche and I couldn’t stay there anymore. I still hadn’t heard back from my one “ace in the hole” company. It was one where the COO, a colleague I had worked with off and on for years, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, you’ve got this. We’re a public company; we just have to post the position first.”

I picked up the phone and called one of my clients, the publisher of a travel magazine in the Reno/Tahoe area. I was the editor-in-chief of the magazine at the time and needed a place to go. I thought the timing was perfect for an editorial visit. A few days later, I was on the road, dog in the floorboard once again. Memorial Day came and went with little fanfare and no news. One day, on the patio of a restaurant overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe, the news came.

“I’m sorry, Diane. We found one candidate who just fit the position a little better.”

I screamed the F word loudly, in public, when I read that. Tears streamed down my face and I ran to the bathroom out of utter embarrassment for my behavior and shame for the realization I had. My publisher and the editorial team, who I was meeting with at the time, look at me like I was crazy. I felt crazy.

I had nowhere to go.

I couldn’t return to California. My dog wasn’t allowed in my mother-in-law’s house while she was recovering from her fall. I couldn’t go back to Texas. The house was being rented and I had no job prospects there. It was then I made a decision. I would stay in the Reno/Tahoe area.

I had no idea where to go or what to do. My publisher set me up doing hotel reviews where I would stay at a partner hotel a week at a time in exchange for a review. That lasted for two hotels. I tried to find a roommate, a search that was more than a little frightening with a budget of $400 a month.  I had little income from the agency I was trying to build and my options were wearing thin. Gratefully, my publisher and his wife offered my dog and I a room in their home free of charge.

Finally, I found a position that would pay well, working as a writer with the wealth expert Loral Langemeier, who was featured in the movie version of “The Secret.”  This in itself was freaky because, right before my drastic upheaval, I had watched the movie for the first time. Afterward, I delivered a simple request to the universe.  I wanted “radical positive life change.” I thought this meant I would get a position in Los Angeles and I would have my old life back. The universe had other plans.

After Loral hired me, life got good. My income returned. The house in Texas rented. It was time to invite my husband up to Carson City. He came and all he could do is complain about our new situation. To me, it had gotten drastically better. I considered the recovery to be a gift. All he could think of is how to maintain our lifestyle. It was a wakeup call.

Here’s the part of the story I haven’t divulged yet. My husband then is not my husband now. In fact, I’m 38, single and proud. My 16-year marriage had its moments, but was far from good. We were one of those couples whose lives were fabulous on the outside. Inside, though, it was a mess. Throughout the marriage, he was emotionally and mentally abusive. Eight years into our marriage, I got pregnant. He said he was a “30 year old boy” and didn’t want a child. I did not feel equipped to raise a child alone. Reluctantly, I placed my daughter up for adoption and stayed married to him. The last three years of our marriage, he was financially abusive and controlled all the money. He controlled the finances our whole marriage. To this day, I don’t know where our once-six-figure income went. I felt like a work horse. Earlier in our marriage, he would throw food at me if the fast food restaurant got his order wrong.  I remember being in the kitchen, mid-fight, and I got hit with a head of lettuce. He slapped me for the first time in 2010, just before the universe said, “Enough is enough” and did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

I realized, after four months of living in my publisher’s home, having nothing but the ingenuity I had to start a business from scratch, the support of people who cared about me, and my dog, that I was happier having very little than having the fabulous place to live, the enviable job, the husband, the BMW Z3, the Harley-Davidson, and all the outer trappings of a successful life.

I wasn’t successful. I was bankrupt in more ways than one. On January 2, 2012, I asked my husband to leave.  In August of 2012, I quit my full-time job and became a contractor.  October 2013, after more than a year and a half of separation, I was granted a divorce.

No matter how many ways life was going wrong, back then, I believed I knew better than anyone. Battered and bruised, I finally let go and let the universe take control. The results were amazing then and continue to be nothing short of miraculous.

By the way, Porsche, that dog who rode patiently in the floorboard of my car en route to my new life, is still alive and well at 13 years old. We live in Carson City, Nevada.  Her being by my side is a daily reminder of how far I’ve come. I realize today that the Universe isn’t a fast food window. I can’t just “order up” what I want in my life. But, if I just have faith, it will serve up some tasty experiences!

Faith and gratitude—that’s what keeps me going today.

Be part of our new book!


Sometimes, the idea is right and the timing is wrong. In 2009, I started a book about people who have climbed the ladder of life and succeeded despite some of the most challenging circumstances. The response I got was amazing. The response that still hangs in my mind is John Paul DeJoria. You would be stunned by the environment he rose out of to become not only one of the most well-known names in hair products, but also the co-founder of The Patron Spirits Company.

open book

Now, the time is right and I have started putting the word out. This book will happen.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Celebrities
  • Business Owners
  • Every Day People

These people have risen out of stunning situations and have beat extraordinary odds to reach the top of their game (whatever that game may be).

If that sounds like you, please, email me personally. Tell me your story. This will be the first in a series of inspirational, functionally useful, books based on real life stories. Your story will be told and a What Works Coaching practice will be applied to it. I’ll also be creating a supplemental workbook to go along with it.

Here’s my production timeline:

  • Gather and sort stories: June/July 2014
  • Notify and gain permission/releases from participants: August 2014
  • Write the book: September/October 2014
  • Gain page approvals from participants: October/November 2014
  • Finalize and release the book: December 2014

Its a tight schedule, but I’m excited to make it happen. The workbook will be released either in conjunction with the book or a few months later.

Again, if you want to be part of this or are a publicist with a client you feel would be a great fit, please, email me personally.

To your ongoing success,

Diane Dye Hansen
Chief Inspiration Officer
What Works Coaching

Bored? Get Brilliant!

I remember my FUNimation Entertainment days, where airport delays were frequent and convention schedules were booked back to back. I kid you not. I had a $20,000 expense report once! (How I got CitiBank to give me an AAdvantage card with a limit that high at age 28, I will never know.) During our delays, we wouldn’t just sit in the corner and read. Oh no! In fact, my brilliant coworker Lance Heiskell started a mini airport convention and turned it into a viral campaign! It didn’t get as much publicity as Richard Dunn’s recent lip synch of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” in the McCarran International Airport (fabulous Las Vegas) – but it was a great use of time. In fact, any time you can turn time you would have spent bored off your gourd into brilliance is time well spent. In this case, jumping on the viral opportunity and publicizing this bit of work has given McCarran International Airport more ink in a single day than most minor celebutantes.



If you haven’t seen the video, click here and enjoy.

Now, back to the brilliance. To create brilliant things in your downtime you must have one of the following items – but the more the merrier: 1) business cards to network wherever you are bored (really, you can meet a client anywhere), 2) something to take notes – a genius book of sort to write down wild and crazy ideas as they come, 3) a phone or laptop – something connected to the Internet to either capture or get the idea out there and happening.

I have done a lot of work in airports. Some of my best ideas have come to me while walking, sitting doing absolutely nothing, or talking to a complete stranger. One day, I met a client on an airplane that turned into a $5,000 coaching contract. I’d call that profitable boredom, wouldn’t you?

I’m not a reporter. So I don’t know if McCarran orchestrated this video or if they just grabbed the bull by the horns and promoted it like crazy. Maybe some fine reporter can dig and find that tidbit out for us. But one Facebook search on the trending topic of McCarran International Airport brings up coverage from FOX, NBC, Thrillist, The Huffington Post and other A-Listers of media. I would call that a success any way you slice it.

Daily Exercise: Go somewhere alone, aiming to be bored. Take at least two of the three suggested items above with you – making sure at least one of those items are your business cards. What happened? What results did you see? Report back in the comments below.


Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

I use Facebook every day, to keep up with friends, find inspirational content for others, communicate with loved ones, and do research for clients. Today, I was hit by a startling headline “Charles Manson Granted Parole.” This headline and story was greeted with comments expressing everything from distaste for California politics to outright fear. My first reaction? Google it and get back up confirmation. I found out that it was indeed… a hoax. Internet hoaxes are becoming more and more common, from celebrity deaths to fake news. News sites say its all in good fun, but with the proliferation of social media as how people get their news more and more people are spreading misinformation unknowingly.


This rings true for business content as well. If someone says something works, great! Do the research. Has this worked for anyone else? Google whatever topic you are searching for and the word “scam.” You are likely to find all the negative consumer reviews you can handle. Now, Google whatever topic you are searching for and these words: success, results, testimonial. This will give you the whole picture about what you are looking at. Take my former boss, Loral Langemeier for example. You can find a lot of results when you type in Loral Langemeier scam. But too many people stop there! Type in success, results, testimonial, products… anything that relates to what you are looking at. If you see the same page pop up on all of the keywords, it’s likely someone has a vendetta against the product, service, or person. Keep digging. Consume some free material if any exists. Decide for yourself.

The key to discovering things on the Internet is to do your research. Don’t take things at face value. I made the horrible mistake, once, as a magazine editor to research my stories using the Internet before I sought a real world experience. The result – lots of closed businesses, a less than editorial-worthy experience, and time wasted when I thought there was time savings.

Daily Exercise: If you see a claim made on social media, dig deeper. Find out more. Perhaps you will be able to relieve some scared Internet users like I did today.

The Internet is a playground rich with information. The thing is, everyone plays here… even the naughty kids who throw tantrums and bully the younger kids. So be vigilant and be comforted – Charlie Manson is still in prison.