Why Playing Big?
They know it’s time to expand.
“I feel ready to share my work with more people.”
“I’m emerging from a period of cocoon and now…”
“What I’m doing now is okay, but I have an inkling I am meant to do something bigger.”
“I put my real work on hold for a while, but now it’s my time.”
Some want to play big with a career transition.
“I am longing to start that business.”
“I’ve finally made a transition from less fulfilling work to work I love, and now I want to play big with it. I know I need support.”
“I would LOVE to support myself and my family — to bring real money in to our household — doing this — the thing I’m passionate about. Is that possible?”
Some want to teach what they’ve learned.
They’ve learned powerful lessons through experiences of illness, recovery, grief, marriage, divorce, adopting, parenting, and other life passages.
Others want their art back.
They know it’s time to reclaim a creative passion. Or they want their art to become a bigger part of their lives. In the Playing Big journey they find the tools and support to honor the creative part of themselves again.
Jodi Riddick, Interior Designer
Julie, Environmental Scientist and Writer
The Playing Big Program Is:
- An entirely unique program created and taught by expert on women’s leadership and wellbeing, Tara Sophia Mohr
- Delivered via phone, video, and written materials so you can participate from anywhere in a way that works with your schedule
- A three-month women’s leadership and professional development journey, September 2013 – December 2013
The pioneering curriculum is:
- Part inner work to help you overcome fears, end procrastination, and clarify your vision
- Part practical training in skills for world-changing: communication, negotiation, getting media attention for your work
- Part supportive and dynamic community of creative, visionary women ready to support each other in Playing Big
Playing Big is for you if:
- You feel a calling or longing to play bigger, but you feel afraid or unsure about the next right steps.
- You want to make a positive difference in the world but feel held back in some way.
- You sense that being part of a supportive community of like-minded women would help you play bigger.
- You suspect it would be a whole lot more fun to play big. (YOU ARE RIGHT.)
Amanda Vella, Yoga Teacher and Writer
Ariane Hunter, Photographer & Blogger
Natalie Galea, Corporate Project Manager
If You’ve Been Playing Small
If you have been playing small, it’s okay. Most of us don’t play big naturally, on our own, without any support.
From my own journey to playing big, and from my work helping hundreds of women in their journeys to playing big, I’ve learned we need tools, support, training — a process — to help us play bigger.
The Playing Big program brings together the tools that I’ve seen be most transformative in helping women play big. You’ll learn the most powerful and efficient practices that create real results.
Allison Bloom, Interior Designer
Results: After Playing Big, you can expect to:
- Take bolder action and reach more people with your work
- Feel more confident in everything you do
- Increase your earning power
- Stop feeling too young, too old, or not expert enough to do what you want to do
- Access your own inner wisdom quickly and reliably
- Express your own voice and put your unique contribution out into the world
- Feel less dependent on the approval of others — at work AND in your personal life
- Deal with the criticism that comes with doing important or innovative work.
- Know how to get GREAT media exposure for you or your company — in TV, magazines, web, & radio
- Be comfortable with difficult conversations and have a sound and reliable approach for negotiating
- Stop undermining yourself with your own words, and have more influence and impact when you speak
- Get the speaking gigs you want
- Have a remarkable circle of women colleagues and collaborators around the globe will buoy you up time & time again
In their own words, women share their Playing Big results:
As a result of playing Big, I published a book, got a new website up, moved beyond some old energies of inner critics, and stopped caring so much what others might think of what I’m doing. —Playing Big Participant
I went from having 1 client to 9 with a waiting list of 8 more… I took a bold step into the field I was playing very small in— and only had the courage to really do it because of Playing Big. I raised my hourly rate. I am comfortable in negotiations whereas before I was terrified of them! —Playing Big Participant
As a result of Playing Big, I got the best teaching evaluations I’ve ever gotten this last term. I got a new job that I’m very excited about, after over two years of looking out for the right one. The Playing Big lessons were vital to the process of getting that offer, and then (just in time!!) helping with my negotiations. As to my goal of making a big contribution to global sexual violence prevention, this new job will be a great place to keep pursuing that goal, using all of these new tools. —Playing Big Participant
As a result of Playing Big, I created and am teaching a course that is built around sharing what I know/the wisdom I’ve acquired. —Playing Big Participant
I was advised to do Playing Big by my boss and many people have noticed how my confidence has increased at work. Many, many, thanks. —Playing Big Participant
As a result of Playing Big, I am telling my story fully and seeing this show up in unexpected and powerful ways, personally, professionally, and in my writing. My voice is becoming bolder because I am not hiding part of my story. -I am trusting my own knowledge and inner wisdom—including reaching out to thought leaders and executives. I am being received for the quality of my content. —Playing Big Participant
I finally said the words “I’ve trained long enough. I can help people now, without another workshop, another class, or another certification. People are waiting for me to bring this to them. I start today’. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Playing Big has brought me the peace and wisdom I needed to live from my native bliss and beauty. It has changed my life forever. —Playing Big Participant
Playing Big Curriculum
“Tara, you have structured the course so thoughtfully; each section has had it’s own character. Your materials are superb.”
—2011 Playing Big Participant
Part I. The Foundation: Your Voice. Your Mission. Your Message.
- Session 1: You Enter the World Called: How to Identify, Trust & Answer the Calling in Your Heart
- Session 2: This is Your Brain Off Of Self-Doubt: Quieting Your Inner Critic So You Can Play Big
- Session 3: Your Internal Mentor: Tapping into the Life-Transforming Source of Wisdom in You
- Jennifer Louden, bestselling author of The Women’s Comfort Book and creator of the Savor and Serve project.
- Jessica Jackley, founder, Kiva.org, the world’s first online mirco-lending website, and founder & CEO of Profounder
- Tracey Clark, photographer & founder, Shutter Sisters
- Marianne Elliot, author, Zen Under Fire; human rights advocate, and yoga teacher
Part II: Slaying the Dragons that Keep Us Stuck
- Session 4: Getting Wise About Fear: Simple, Everyday Practices for Getting Fear Out of Your Way
- Session 5: Leaping: A Framework for Sparking Bold Action
- Session 6: The Freedom of A Thick Skin: Unhooking from Praise. You’ll learn how to become less dependent on praise and other people’s approval so you can do revolutionary work and stay true to you.
- Rick Hanson, psychologist, Buddhist teacher and author of Buddha’s Brain
- Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, The Happiness Project
Part III: Critical Skills for World Changing
- Session 7: Unhooking from Criticism: 4 strategies smart women use to cope with backlash and deal with fear of negative feedback
- Session 8: Can’t I Just Run the Other Direction? Navigating Negotiations and Difficult Conversations. An easy-to-use roadmap that takes the stress out of negotiations and difficult conversations.
- Session 9: How to Stop Undermining Yourself with Your Words: 8 Rules for Speaking with Confidence and Impact
- Session 10: Headlines & Front Pages: Securing Media Attention for your Work
- Carrie Gallant, executive coach, law professor and expert on women & negotiation
- Delilah DeLaRosa, founder of D Consulting, media relations expert (and the woman who booked me on The Today Show and in numerous other media outlets)
Part IV: Moving Forward
- Session 11: Building Your Success Architecture: My 12-part framework for getting anything big done–no more relying on luck or “self-discipline.” There is a better way
- Session 12: Our closing session, full of inspiration to keep you moving forward.
Part V: After the Course
- After the course, all the materials and the online discussion group continue to be available to you, so that you remain part of the Playing Big community for years to come. You’ll have access to the network of Playing Big women and can ask for support, celebrate milestones, get feedback on challenges, and much more.
Beth Molnar, Professor and Researcher
Sara Ellis Conant, Leadership Coach
How it Works
The Playing Big course is entirely virtual: based in phone, written, and online formats, so that you can participate from anywhere in the world, and in a way that works with your busy schedule. The Fall 2013 session will be a special intensive version of Playing Big. We’ll move at a quicker pace with 12 modules over 13 weeks. Playing Big includes:
- a three month journey (September-December) with twelve power-packed modules
- four interactive calls with Tara each month. This isn’t one of those programs where all the material is pre-recorded. I’m live with your group every Thursday for a dynamic call that includes teaching, exercises that allow you to apply what we learn to your life, Q&A and discussion. You can participate live on our calls Thursdays from noon to 1:30pm PST, or listen to the recordings at your convenience. If you can’t make the calls live, no big deal. Many women listen to the recordings throughout the course and get the full value of the program.
- a written guide and set of worksheets for each module
- two additional, “open floor” Q&A calls with Tara to dive deep into your questions
- inspirational poetry, wisdom teachings and personal stories from Tara to support you along the way
- guest interviews from incredible experts who know a thing or two about “playing big” — like bestselling author Jen Louden, Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, and Kiva.org founder Jessica Jackley.
- an online forum where you can connect with other participants, get support, ask questions and get feedback in between sessions. The online forum will stay available to you long after the course ends–you’ll have this network for years to come.
- optional small groups: you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in small groups of three that meet regularly for accountability, support, and connection.
You will also receive three bonuses that share my lessons learned from my own journey to playing bigger.
Bonus #1: My Journey & Lessons Learned
In this bonus audio, I share my story. I’ll answer your questions about my journey and we’ll talk about:
- The path I walked from an inner-critic-run life to a life guided by my passions and aspirations
- How I reclaimed my lost artistic passions.
- The daily rituals and practices that most help me stay centered so I can play big.
- The 3 most precious lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Bonus #2: Getting Things Done
In Getting Things Done, I’ll share my favorite productivity and self-care tools, how I structure my work day and my help team, and the most critical pieces I’ve put in place to ensure there is time and space in my life for playing big.
Bonus #3: Getting Your Message Out
If you have a business, art, or a message you want to share - now or one day in the future, this module will give you a roadmap for getting there. I share the nuts and bolts stories of how I started blogging for Huffington Post, started sharing my message in major media, and grew a blog from 38 friends and family subscribers to one that now reaches tens of thousands of women around the world. I’ll talk about exactly how I overcame my own fear and inner critic enough to submit my writing to major publications, and show up confidently for those media interviews. If you are a blogger, entrepreneur, coach or creative, these lessons will help you – but they will also help you if you are working inside a large organization because playing big – for almost all of us – involves finding a way to share our individual perspective widely – whether in major national media or in a smaller industry or company publication.
Why Do I Do This?
I have been coaching brilliant women — talented, visionary women like you, with amazing gifts to share.
I started to notice that these women really couldn’t see their own brilliance. They couldn’t see that they were actually ready now to play big, that they could be leaders in their industries and in their world. I recognized that I actually had had the same struggle myself, and I thought—this—brilliant women not seeing their own brilliance, brilliant women holding back — this has to end.
It has to end because the world needs our voices.
When I look at the newspaper, it’s clear that the people who are in charge in our world don’t have the emotional intelligence, the wisdom, or the ethical integrity to use the power they have for the good.
I want all those brilliant, visionary, compassionate, ethical, wise women I know to be alongside men, leading and holding power — because they are going to bring our world into balance and sanity.
My secret agenda with Playing Big is to to create world where the kind of people that you and I want to see leading and in power are leading. A world in which wise, compassionate, centered, purpose-filled leadership takes center stage.
We could call Playing Big a course or a program, but it is really a movement.
Women like us playing big is going to change the world.
I bring to this program:
- Fifteen years of experience helping women empower themselves and achieve their dreams. I’ve coached hundreds of women to start shining brightly and doing their unique work in the world, boldly.
- With me, you get a very unique hybrid. You get the the practical, grounded in the ‘real world’ side: I received my MBA from Stanford University, one of the world’s top business schools. I have extensive training in leadership, negotiation, communication, entrepreneurship, and business. My undergraduate degree from Yale University is in English.
- You also get the psychological and spiritual side: I am a certified coach, spiritual seeker, poet, and a woman with an understanding of the inner transformation needed for playing big.
- And then there’s my personal journey. I’ve walked my own personal journey from playing small to playing bigger. Of course, I’m still growing, but I’m happy to say I’ve left what felt like a compromise career and created a life that feels wildly aligned with who I really am and the legacy I want to leave.
Tara Sophia Mohr is an expert in supporting women to share their authentic gifts with the world — for big impact and knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park careers.
Tara is the author of the forthcoming book Playing Big which will be published by Penguin in the US and by Random House in the UK in January 2015.
Tara is the creator of 10 Rules for Brilliant Women and is the author of Your Other Names: Poems for Wise Living. She’s a repeat guest on The Today Show, a columnist for Huffington Post, and a regular guest on Daily Dose with Jillian Michaels. Tara’s writing on women’s professional success and personal fulfillment has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, CNN.com, MariaShriver.com, More Magazine.com, the International Business Times, Ode Magazine and in numerous other publications.
Tara was named a “Girl Champion” by the Girl Effect organization, in recognition of her work supporting education of girls in the developing world.
Past Playing Big participants say…
Playing Big was a priceless experience. This is by far the BEST online/ecourse I have ever taken — and I’ve taken a bunch!
I can’t WAIT for you to do another Playing Big course so I can send it to all my friends. This has been one of the most AMAZING courses I have ever done in my life. I loved it. Thank you so much.
A huge thank you. Financially a stretch for me but SO worth every penny. Seriously — this completely changed my life! xoxo
Playing Big is a godsend. Pure and simple.
What Would Change for You With More Support?
I know you’ve got lots of wonderful people in your life, but when it comes to this work of Playing Big, are you finding that you want something beyond that familiar circle?
Many, many women find they need a unique set of allies to step into playing big.
We need allies on a similar journey.
We need people who won’t judge or hack apart what we are working on when it is in that early, tender stage.
We need kindred spirits who share that desire to have an impact, not people who are threatened by it.
The Playing Big tribe is here to give you that.
Sign up to get early information and early bird discounts on the next session of Playing Big!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get recordings if I can’t attend the course calls live?
The program is designed to work whether you can attend live or not, and call recordings will always be posted right away. You’ll still get to participate fully in the program and can always ask your questions or participate in discussion via the online forum.
I’m not sure if online learning would really work for me?
It’s a great question. Many past participants have been surprised at how easy and engaging the online format is. Here are a few things to keep in mind: The course materials are always simple to access. The course combines written materials, worksheets and exercises, phone-based live calls, and recorded audio and video learning. The variety of formats means you’ll be able to digest the material in ways that work for you. The pluses of a distance-learning approach are that you’ll connect with like-minded women from all over the world and that you can learn/participate in a way that works easily with your schedule.
I work inside an organization or company. Is playing big mostly for entrepreneurs?
Not at all! One of the amazing things about this program is the mix of women entrepreneurs and women working inside organizations. In fact, last session, we were an almost even mix - 49% entrepreneurs, 51% women working inside organizations!
The topics we cover in playing big – from quieting your inner critic, to learning how to communicate and negotiate more powerfully, to “unhooking” from criticism and praise – are transformational for women across all kinds of careers. Here’s what some women who took the program when working for organizations had to say:
I started Playing Big at the same time I moved into a corporate senior management role – a huge leap from the isolated desk research role that I had been in. I have been running into my own old habits turning into obstacles. I turn to the Playing Big lessons when I find a new struggle that I can’t resolve and the content leads me to look at situations in new ways, opening new solutions and opportunities. Playing Big has increased my confidence and effectiveness, while lowering my stress and worry. Perfectly delivered to help me grow into the leader that I have been asked to be. – Yvonne Juarez
I’ve experienced significant changes because of this program. I am able to put my learning, qualifications, and skills to best use because I communicate more clearly. I find that others are more clear about my role and contributions, which means they know when to come to me for input and when the request should go elsewhere. My profile is also growing in the industry, which is positive for the organization I work for. I manage my time better because I understand my role and worth, so delegate tasks more easily when appropriate. I also communicate more confidently with senior managers and with the people who report to me. I am generally more professional, happier, and putting energy into areas that align with the organization’s mission, as well as my own values. – Joelle Adams
My company sponsors professional development. Do you have something about the program I can send to my employer?
Yes, we have a document that provides an overview of the program, participant evaluation results, and testimonials from women working within large organizations who speak about the business results achieved through their participation in the program. Email email@example.com to request this document and we’ll send it right over to you.
Tell me more about this intensive version of the course.
In the past the Playing Big course has been six months long. This Fall I’m running an intensive three month version. We cover all the same material, but at a quicker pace. This is a great fit for you if you are interested in a shorter course. All the materials are available to you for a year after the course ends so you can also work at your own pace and catch up on anything you’ve missed.
I feel ambivalent about the very idea of “playing big.”
You are not alone. Many women share these mixed feelings about the notion of Playing Big. Many of us worry that playing big will mean leaving behind things we love — free time, or the quiet and simple parts of our lives. Many of us worry that playing bigger would mean we’d somehow stand out, or stand apart, from the people we love- and we don’t want that. Many of us feel fatigued by our culture’s need for everything to be big, bigger, biggest. We know that’s not sustainable for human beings or the planet. We don’t want to perpetuate that kind of thinking.
All of these ambivalences are very normal — and in my view, they are precisely the reason why women need a context and a journey to redefine and reclaim playing big for themselves — to find a playing big that is aligned with their values, allows them to stay in community and relationship, and that’s good for the earth too.
In the Playing Big program, each woman defines playing big on her own terms. For most, Playing Big does not mean owning an empire or getting overtaken by a drive toward success. Playing Big means courageously going for your personal dreams and longings and having the positive impact your heart wants to have in the world.
What’s the schedule?
The course begins on September 26 and runs through mid-December. We have live calls on Thursdays from noon to 1:30pm PST. You can attend the calls live or listen to them at your convenience.
What’s the investment?
You can pay monthly over six months with an investment of $164 per month, or you can pay for the full program up front and save $100.
When’s my next chance to take Playing Big?
After this session I’ll be busy working on the forthcoming Playing Big book (Penguin, January 2015) and providing the Playing Big program privately to some companies and organizations. I’ll next be offering Playing Big open enrollment in the Spring of 2015.
What if I sign up and change my mind, or what if my life just gets super busy?
First things first: Playing Big has a more than 99% completion rate, with fewer than 1% of participants finding they don’t want to experience the full journey.
Second, all program materials are yours for life — so even if an unexpected change in your schedule happens, you can still get the full value of the program when you are ready.
However, if within the first 30 days of the program, you find the program isn’t working for you, and you have completed the program materials and worksheets we’ve done so far, let us know, and your tuition will be refunded.
I’m having technical trouble signing up.
No problem. We can help. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you all set up.
Honestly, I feel intimidated and nervous about signing up.
You aren’t alone. Many women hear a voice in their head saying “You won’t fit in with this crowd of women” or “Who do you think you are?”
Here’s why: The part of you that loves perfectionism and the familiar, the part that keeps putting off playing big for just another couple years…? That part of you is shakin’ in its boots, knowing that signing up for Playing Big will mean shaking things up.
Signing up for playing big is a significant first step toward playing bigger. Fear and the inner critic will naturally come up.
By the end of the course, you’ll be such an expert in how to deal with this you’ll be smiling looking back at this moment.
But for now, can you notice this scared and critical part of you but not take direction from it?
Let your aspirations, your passion, your hopes — not fear or the inner critic — be in charge of the decision to sign up.
What if I don’t know what I want to Play Big with?
That’s okay. Some participants come into the course with a specific idea of what playing bigger looks like for them. Other’s aren’t sure, but find that the skills and tools we learn in the course allow them to play bigger in all areas of their lives and support them as their next passion or professional direction emerges.
I’m just not sure.
Well, if you were my coaching client I’d ask you to:
- Check in with your body: How does the idea of registering feel in your body — good and exciting? Good but scary/exhilarating? Those are good signs.
- Notice what part of you is hesitant: Your inner wisdom? Listen up. Inner critic? Voice of fear? Not good voices to listen to. Question what they are saying. Especially question any voices telling you you somehow don’t measure up to being in this group, or won’t be able to “do it right,” or that the time to do this has to be just right.
- Explore: Is there a particular fear or worry you have? If so, write it down and examine it in the light.
- Ask yourself: If you knew you couldn’t fail at this, and that you’d fit in beautifully with the group — what would you do?
- Reflect: What are your intentions for the coming year? Does this feel well aligned, or not?