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Women Who Went for It! is a bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Career Change Agent, Sara McArdle. The show features inspiring chats with successful industry changers who share how they found the clarity, courage and motivation to step into a deeper vocation and a life of meaning and fulfillment. We hope you'll see just how many before you have GONE for it—and they're eternally grateful that they took the risk!

Feb 16, 2020

Women Who Went for It Podcast Guest: Susan Goodkind Wideman
In this episode, Sara talks with her former client, Susan Goodkind Wideman, about Susan's journey from elder law attorney to life design coach for Mid-Lifers and Baby Boomers. Susan shares that, after she burned out from investing almost every once of energy she had in her law practice, she discovered the Women Who Went for It! podcast, connected with Sara for career coaching, and pivoted her path at age 62. Susan is a mom, an elder law & estate planning attorney, an entrepreneur, a widow, a divorcee, an empty-nester, a Yooper, a dog lover, a cross-country skier, a mountain biker, a baby boomer, and now a life design coach running her own coaching business, Goodkind of Life.
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.
Sara and Susan Discuss:
  • Susan's original intentions of pursuing figure skating and fashion design
  • Getting her degree in design and environmental analysis
  • Moving to New York City and working for a design magazine
  • Going on to work directly for a designer
  • Working in marketing for Herman Miller in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Her team getting laid off when Herman Miller changed directions
  • Deciding to go law school
  • Getting into elder law & estate planning
  • Moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  • Working for an elder law firm
  • Deciding to open up her own firm
  • What she loved and didn't love about owning her own business
  • Becoming a widow at age 52, with a 12 year old son
  • Throwing herself completely into her work and becoming "super mom"
  • Irritability impacting her relationships
  • Burning out and being exhausted
  • She and her second husband divorcing
  • Stepping away from work to rest and refresh
  • Selling her law practice to her partner
  • Spending 4 months healing
  • Her fears about career change at her age
  • Realizing the imbalance in her life and her lawyer identity
  • Deciding to become a coach and pursuing training
  • Starting her Goodkind of Life coaching business to support Mid-Lifers and Baby Boomers
  • Recognizing the power of her legal background and how much she enjoys connecting with clients
  • How her understanding of what coaching is has evolved
  • How she recognized coaching was right for her
  • Transitioning her identity from lawyer to coach
  • Not being ready to retire
  • Feeling her spark of creativity reignite
  • The value of a niche
  • How Susan's experience of coaching turned out to be an "industry experiment"
  • The importance of aligning her life with her values
  • Putting herself out there as a coach
  • How she responded to someone else's unsupportive sentiments
  • The benefits of being older in her career change
  • Figuring out her own sequencing for announcing herself as a coach, taking clients, and getting coach training
  • How she picked a coach training program and what she learned
  • The piece of advice that she'd give to someone who's thinking about changing careers at midlife or beyond
  • ...and more!
Susan's Full Bio:
At 62 years young, Susan Goodkind Wideman is a mom, a life design coach, an elder law & estate planning attorney, an entrepreneur, a widow, a divorcee, an empty-nester, a Yooper, a dog lover, a cross-country skier, a mountain biker, and a baby boomer.
Susan graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Design and Environmental Analysis and went on to work as Editorial Assistant at Industrial Design Magazine. From there, she was hired by Herman Miller, Inc. as a marketing communications specialist. When her department at Herman Miller was eliminated, she spent time as a pharmaceutical rep—work she did not enjoy. So, motivated by the promise of prestige and stability, Susan decided to go to law school at 33. Three years after finishing law school, she opened a successful Elder Law & Estate Planning practice. Her practice grew, she took on a partner, and they became well-known and respected.
About five years ago at the time of this recording, Susan was finding herself angry, irritable and short-tempered. She worked more, slept less, and in 2018, she burned out. While law was lucrative and she provided a valuable service to her clients, it didn’t make her happy.
When she started exploring her options, she found Women Who Went for It! and was so inspired that she reached out to me (Sara McArdle) for one-on-one coaching. As a result of the work we did together, Susan realized the imbalance in her life, and decided to train to be a coach, herself.
In 2019, Susan founded Goodkind of Life, a life design coaching business supporting baby boomers & midlifers who are struggling in the second half of life like she did. She understands their grief, loneliness, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression because she’s been through it. Through Goodkind of Life, Susan helps her clients understand and manage their thoughts and feelings, connect with their core values, and create a life worth living.   

Connect with Susan Goodkind Wideman and Goodkind of Life:
Her website:
Connect with Sara McArdle and Women Who Went for It:
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Phone: 503.893.2043
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.