BullCon 2020 Speaker Claire O’Connor, “No Dream Too Big: How to Reach Your Kick-Ass Goals”


BullCon 2020 is a women’s leadership conference where career badassery and feminism intersect.  BullCon operates on the belief that leadership is not a position or a title it is action and example, which is why it is the place for feminists who want to make the world and the workplace better.

We are incredible excited to have Claire O’Connor, accountability coach at The Bullish Society speak at this years BullCon.  We realize that not everyone has had the pleasure of getting to know Claire as the members of the Bullish Society, so we sat down for a little Q & A.

Hi Claire, first we’d like to express how happy we are that you’re joining us for BullCon 2020!  We LOVE having you in the Bullish Society as you really help us keep the ball rolling in both our personal and professional lives!  Can you share how you came to be an accountability coach and what keeps your inspired?

Hey Jen, I’m so happy to be speaking at BullCon 2020! I love working in the Bullish Society, and I’m so pleased I’ll get to meet some amazing Bullicorns in person! I believe in going with gut instinct, and when Jen first approached me about being an accountability coach for the Bullish Society, I knew it would be an amazing opportunity (and I wasn’t wrong!)

When I became a coach in 2015 (which I talk about a bit below), I knew I needed to find a niche, as coaching is such a broad field. I had started using an accountability coach myself with my business, and it made a HUGE difference: I went from plodding along, not knowing what I was doing, to making consistent progress and seeing real growth. It struck me that I wanted to be doing that kind of work too; I’ve always been the one cheering on my friends, encouraging and supporting them with their goals.

At the same time, I was trying to get up earlier each day, and a friend offered to text me each morning to make sure I was up and about. It worked like magic… but when her texts wound down a few weeks later, I found it much harder to keep going. It made me realize 1) how important accountability is, and 2) what a difference paying for a service like this is… friends mean well, but have their own struggles and obstacles to tackle – whereas your coach will be there week after week, no excuse 🙂

These two situations confirmed that accountability coaching was the way forward for me… and I haven’t looked back since!

In terms of keeping inspired, it sounds super cheesy, but my clients and the people I work with in the Society actually keep me inspired. I love hearing their wins, and I thrive on their successes (sometimes as much as them, I think!) I also take a lot of inspiration from being in nature, being out with friends, and having strategic “me time” for planning and daydreaming.

Can you tell us about the Bullish Society Programs that you lead?  What has been your favorite challenge to date?

Absolutely! I lead the Accountability Group in the Bullish Society, which means I help keep members accountable and making progress with their goals and projects. I check in with them at the end of each week to find out what they achieved, what they plan to do the following week, and if they have any learnings they want to share. I also write a mid-week motivational post which includes tools and tips to keep moving, and once a month I share my Tips From a Coach, with topics like “10 ways to feel less overwhelmed”, an “A-Z guide to decluttering”, or “12 ways to boost your happiness quotient”. Last but not least, I run a bi-weekly Live Chat in the Society, where we talk about productivity, getting through your to-do list, and other ways to keep sane in a busy world!

My absolute favorite challenge was when I asked the members of the Accountability Group to post a photo depicting something from the week – it was so cool to see what everyone got up to, and get a snapshot of their lives! We have members from California, to the Netherlands, to New Zealand, so the photos were so varied and inspiring.

Can you tell us more about your BullCon Presentation, “No Dream Too Big: How to Reach Your Kick-Ass Goals”?  Who should attend your talk and what will they learn along the way?

I think everyone could benefit from this talk in some way! It’s for anyone feeling like they’re not making progress with their big goals and dreams, or people who aren’t really sure what their true goals even are – so often we find we’re following a path that society has prescribed for us, and not doing the things that are important to us deep down. My talk will help you get clarity on what your big goals really are, and then plot ways you can move forward with them – even when life is busy.

Over the past few years, I’ve run two half-marathons, quit alcohol, became an “extra” in movies, moved countries, found my “purpose”, and set up my own business, among other things. Through these experiences, I found a key set of tools/strategies, which I now use every time I’m going after a new goal.

So often, we don’t make progress on the things we truly want to do, because the little things get in the way. I’ll be sharing ways to tip that on its head, so we can live a life we’re really proud of.

Can you talk to us about an impactful moment in your career?

Probably the most impactful moment in my career was the moment I decided to ditch my 9-5 job, and figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life (which led to me discovering my passion/”life purpose” of coaching). I was working as an events planner, in a good job, but it wasn’t something I desperately wanted to do. I fell into the industry and always felt like something was missing in my career – like I didn’t quite fit in.

I was on track for a promotion to Assistant Director, but a question kept niggling at me: did I want to continue down this path to Events Director and eventually retirement, or did I want to finally discover the career that was right for me?

One day at work, feeling frantic and stressed, I had a moment of clarity: would the 70-year-old me be proud of continuing down this path… or would she be prouder if I took the time to discover my purpose in life?

I knew the answer straight away, and luckily, I chose to do some serious soul-searching. Thank goodness I did, because my life has changed and opened up in so many ways… I saw a career counselor, discovered life coaching, enrolled in a coaching program, started a blog, set up my own business, and created a working life I love (flexibility, amazing clients, working with my passion – and no one telling me what to do!)

And lastly, can you tell us one quirky or unexpected thing about you?

I speak five languages (one native level, one fluently, one intermediate level, and two conversationally) – oh, and a bonus fact… people are usually surprised by how tall I am (I’m super tall!)

Come to BullCon!


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