Creating a Career Beyond Traditional Practice with Bill O'Hanlon

Topics Covered: Bill’s career trajectory from being Milton Erickson’s gardener to creating online courses (1974-the present), how work impacts life, busyness, the impact and influence of online courses, feeling your way in the dark to something new, being in flow, when bliss and energy take you in new directions, tips for expanding your work.  Length:  55 minutes

Class Notes

Bill's Background

Bill O’Hanlon is a therapist and author of 35 books and has spoken at over 3500 events all over the world. He studied under Milton Erickson (hypnotherapist and brief therapist) in the years before his death, and also appeared on Oprah.  He has been practicing since 1974. 

Bill’s 3 main “silos” (courses):  Nonfiction books, hypnosis, solution-oriented change.


Inspiration (quotes from Bill)

  • If you want to make a difference in the world, keep changing.

  • People are resourceful and can change.

  • I had to get so excited about something before I could do it.

  • I’m not driven. I’m pulled.

  • I learned to follow what I didn’t want to do anymore and what I did want to do.

  • Milton Erickson: “If you fall on your face, at least you’re headed in the right direction.”

  • Your desires and “pull” are not an accident

Being "Pulled":  The Four Energies

Four energies that drive or pull you: 

  • Bliss: What do you love?

  • Blessed: Who has blessed you or seen something in you and encouraged it?

  • Pissed: Who has disrespected or hurt you?

  • Dissed: What in the world angers you, or makes you righteously indignant?

Wounds can lead to compensatory skills that are strengths (Bill’s example:  confusion to clarity)

How to use the four energies:

  • Notice which energy is pulling you

  • Have the courage to step out (or let one of those energies pull you out)

  • Dissatisfaction is a sign to make a change

  • Ask yourself, "Does fear run the show?"

Creating a career beyond a traditional therapy practice

  • Find a mentor. Find someone that’s been there and done that. Shorten your learning curve by hiring coaches that have accomplished things (in your field of learning).

  • Have something you’re passionate about and have a unique stance on it.

  • Invest money to make money.

  • Immerse yourself in the new “thing”

  • “Stick with your own truth and your own vision”

  • Make yourself visible. Put things out in the world. Build a platform.

Advice and Ideas

  • Having a mission (which can change throughout time) will help motivate you to take your career further than you could ever imagine.

  • Don’t change who you are - this is your wiring. Pay attention to what gets you “out” of that and pulls you so you can change your life.

  • Don’t be afraid to write to those that you admire to ask for help. Keep it short. Ask one thing.

  • Separating time from money - the concept of earning money without your presence being required.

  • Sometimes we just have to do stuff for us--things that awaken our soul, that make us feel more alive and energized so that we can go and serve and help.


Books by Bill

Links + Bill's Online Courses

The solution-oriented change online course information is not currently advertised, but stay tuned to Bill's site for more information.