January 18, 2020

Getting Unstuck Phase II (with Butters)

Hello again!

I know a few of you are curious about what’s been happening since my last blog on getting unstuck in my business.

But I know most of you really want to hear about Butters the Goat! (Hang on, he’s coming).

Let me tell you, a good way to get unstuck is to make your situation public – nothing like a little pressure to get the gears in motion.

A long time ago I had an Australian tennis coach. He loved to tease me right before I’d serve by yelling out in his charming accent, “No presshah Heathaar, no presshah!

Right now I’m hearing his voice ringing in my ears, “No presshah Heathaar!”

Let me fill you in on what’s been happening…

If the first phase of getting unstuck was, Preparing the Launching Pad, this next phase is turning out to be The Phase of Exploration.

I’m calling this The Phase of Exploration because this part makes me think of some of the things the great explorers must have dealt with before embarking on their grand adventures.

There is research to do (lots), guides to hire, money to spend, mistakes to be made, and likely some wily critters to be reckoned with.

Lewis and Clark are high on my list of esteemed explorers. In his book, Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose describes in great detail about all the preparations that took place before Lewis and Clark departed on their epic journey. Before launching into the unknown, Lewis spent countless hours learning from Thomas Jefferson, as well as the leading scientists and physicians of the day.

If only Lewis had had some podcasts to listen to!

For me, so much of my learning and research is coming from binging on podcasts. I’m listening to podcasts on online course creation, marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), copywriting, webinars, membership sites, and even podcasts on podcasting.

Holy cow! It’s incredible how much you can learn from podcasts. Through this little Bluetooth in my ear, whole new worlds are opening up.

What’s starting to shift for me is being able to picture what’s possible for my business in addition to what I’m doing already with the one-to-one coaching. Before, all I had were vague ideas. Now I have more concrete information and can see some actual steps. Getting closer to the possibilities through gathering information has bolstered my energy and sense of direction.

I realized what I needed next was a guide.

Finding a Guide.  I needed a Sacajawea. A Yoda. A Gandalf. Maybe all three. Since the things I’m considering doing, I’ve never done before, I’m eager for help – especially with all the tech stuff. Ugh.

Instead of one guide, I’ve found a lot of different experts whom I’m learning from through the podcasts and getting help from in different ways.

– I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B School, which teaches the fundamentals of having an online business.

– I am learning an incredible amount from Amy Porterfield’s podcast. And I’m also in her B School Bonus program which is fantastic.

– Although I have not gotten very far, Pat Flynn’s podcasting course is excellent.

– I found a local vocal coach to help me with the issues I’ve had for a long time with my voice.

– I’ve hired a web designer to help me update and bring a fresh new look to the Doctor’s Crossing website.

I’m looking at all the learning and changes as an investment in myself and the business. No matter how much I spend, it will still never come close to the cost of my medical education! So I’ve been….

Burning the Credit Card

I’m more than happy to pay for help. Expert guidance saves a lot of time and money in the end. But there can be some trial and error in knowing who and what you need and when.

Making Mistakes

With all my binging on podcasts, I’m hearing about all these cool online courses and programs for business owners. I went a little crazy and bought a number of courses in a short period of time. I’m not normally much of a shopper, but this was EXCITING! However, four courses are too much to do all at once (at least for me). And there was quite a range of quality. Several I would NOT buy again.

However, I’m discovering what makes for a great course and learning experience. And I’m also learning I need to tell myself, Slow down Nellie because it’s easy to lose focus and get too far away from the basics that need to come first.

And finally, this brings us to….

Butters the Goat.

Down the street from my house is a coffee shop called, The Civil Goat. If you go for a cup of joe, you’re likely to meet Butters, the resident goat who’s not always the most civil of characters.

Don’t corner him or he may butt you out of the way. And don’t let him inside the shop like I did. Eeks! When I tried to go out on the patio, Butters pushed through the door and before I could blink, he was up on one of the tables knocking everything off.

Coming to the rescue, Butter’s “dad” grabbed his goat and shoved him back outside. I sheepishly slunk out to the patio with my tea. Outside, the miffed Butters tried to rifle through my purse. I think he wanted me to buy him an expresso.  Maybe next time if you don’t embarrass me, buddy!

You’re probably wondering what does this goat have to do with my process of change?  Right. So my recent encounters with Butters reminded me of when I sold my dermatology practice and people would invariably ask, “What are ya gonna do next?”  My reply was,

“Maybe something in international health, or perhaps I’ll try goat herding.”

Yep. That’s what I said.

I did try goat herding for a day. But the truth was, I didn’t know what my next career was going to be, yet I did have faith that if I gave myself the time, I would figure it out. My plan was to not have a plan so I could have time for exploration. Hmmmm….. I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Butters reminded me that it’s OK to not have it all figured out in advance. He also reminded me to have a sense of humor and keep things fun and quirky. As doctors, we can get caught up feeling like we have to be serious and “professional” all the time. It’s OK to kid around (pun intended) and step out of the box.

Is there some way you’d like to step out of the box more? Butters and I would love to know!

I’d love for you to take this short 2 minute (7 questions) survey to tell me what changes you’d like to see at The Doctor’s Crossing! Your opinion matters greatly to me. 

Click here to add your voice and have an impact!

In the next blog on May 15th, you get to find out what “Dr. Gigi” of the Career Transition Posse, is doing in her new career AND who she really is! Can’t wait for this!

I’ll be touching base again in late June with an update on my own progress and perhaps some more stories about Butters.

Thank you very much for reading, and hurry back!


If you want to see more photos of Butters, you can check out his Instagram site @buttersthegoat.

The top photo is used by permission from @kateandadamsaustin.









  1. Dr. MindHacker says:

    As usual great article dr. Fork. Thanks for sharing you journey and the difficulties you go through to make things work. I am a book person myself but now I think I ll take your advise and listen to more podcasts. As fulfilling as medicine is, I think having another calling in life adds value to you are. Please keep sharing, it really help guide me towards my own calling.

    • You are too kind Dr. MindHacker! Made my day. I hope you find some podcasts you like – please let me know what resonates with you. There seems to be a podcast now for almost everything. I’m really cheered to hear that the posts are helping you in finding your own calling. Would love to hear more anytime you want to fill us in! Lots of joy and laughter for your journey.

  2. Sue Zimmermann says:

    Hi Heather – I appreciated your comment about planning to not have a plan. I think there is pressure (from within, and from others) to always be doing something. It seemed as if people were constantly asking what I was going to do next after I left my previous position. When I started my current job, I had to “explain the gap in my CV” – which really annoyed me because it implies that taking time off is somehow bad or irresponsible! Thanks again, Sue

    • Heather Fork says:

      Hi Sue! You are so welcome. Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience. Yes – it is challenging when we are trying to figure things out for ourselves and everyone wants to know “what’s next?” It’s a very normal desire on the part of others, to be curious and want to ask questions. We just have to be comfortable with letting people know where we are at and not feel like we have to have answers – for them – or for ourselves. When someone gets divorced, people don’t usually ask, so when are you getting married again? It is understood that that person needs time and space to figure out if he or she even wants to date again. I hope with time we can become more accepting of the fact that a lot actually happens in the in-between time, and in the gaps. Actually an incredible amount. I’m glad you took time for yourself!

  3. Hi Heather,

    Loving your series from the ‘inside’! So many of us go through these creative struggles and search for answers – I so appreciate your candidness. I consume a lot of similar podcasts etc too and wonder if you’ve ever come across Zen Courses (https://www.zencourses.co/show) with Janelle Allen? She does a great job getting practical on leveraging online platforms with her guests.

    Looking forward to your next update!

  4. Heather Fork says:

    Hi Sara!

    Awe, thank you so much! This blog took a lot of time trying to get some good photos of Butters, so I’m glad you like it and the series. I really like Janelle Allen! She seems very down to earth and has some great guests on her podcast. All the best to you and Colin!

  5. Gail Miller says:

    Love the article – although I’m not surprised as I would expect nothing less than insightful and creative from you! Such a helpful reminder that not having a plan is ok – rather than feeling inadequate for not having life all figured out.

    • Thank you Gail! You are so very kind. I’m humbled. Having a goat to write about really helps liven up any content! I think I will need to make Butters a regular – if he will comply. Life is an adventure, and if it were all planned out, if we knew exactly what we would be doing every day until we died, that would be so boring. The mystery and excitement and antipation would all be gone. You are so not inadequate if you don’t have it all figured out. No one does as no one really can, nor should they.

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