Dr. Marvette Lacy Ph.D., (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Qual Scholars where she helps higher education folks finish their dissertations and start a profitable consulting business.
In this weeks episode of Office Hours, Dr. Lacy talks about thinking positively about finishing your dissertation. Marvette encourages you to think about how life would be if your dissertation and finishing it worked out the way you wanted it to.
Hey friend, the time has come to finish your dissertation, graduate and become doctor. Welcome to office hours with Dr. Lacy where we talk about how to finally master this time management thing so you can stay on top of it without losing your mind. Every Wednesday you can find a new episode wherever you listen to podcasts, make sure you hit the subscribe button to make sure you never miss an episode. I’m Dr. Marvette Lacy, your dissertation writing strategist here to be with you along every step of the way. I would like to thank you for coming to today’s office hours. Let’s get started on today’s episode. Hey, how’s writing going? I know you don’t like the question, but let me tell you, when you join the finish your dissertation program, you will love that question. Clients often report feeling excited and joyful to go into their process even before they even get to the dissertation process, and that’s what I’m inviting you to do. I’m inviting you to come inside the group and join us so that you can get the structure you need and the tools that will help you to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to Marvette lacy.com/apply and sign up for the wait list and you will be the first notified when doors are open. See you soon.
Hello. Welcome back to a new episode. It has been a couple of weeks since I recorded a live episode, but I wanted to just share some of the fun that we had at the write your dissertation live event. And so you would have heard a recording from last week’s, um, for last week’s episode. And then the week before you heard a recording from the event we did in August. And if you’re really sad, like, I know you are, if you did not join, then you definitely should join us this summer. So we will be doing another, write your dissertation live event. Um, summer more details will be coming out shortly, but we just want to wrap up, um, the event from this month first, but I am here. Um, I have all the intentions for this being a short podcast episode, but we’ll see how it goes. Um, it was just something on my heart that I wanted to share with you all. Um, but first like a life update, I had moved once again to a new apartment, but I’m staying in this apartment for a full year. So for those of you who are new, who, or you’re just not aware. I, in October, moved from Maryland back to Illinois, to Chicago, um, and I was in a temporary apartment. And then this past weekend, I moved to my permanent apartment and I will be here for at least a year because I signed the whole lease. So, um, that is what’s been going on at me. I am surrounded by boxes and bags and things, my place is in disarray. But this week I will be spending some time unpacking and getting things together. Um, But you know, moving is moving and I’m over it. I don’t want to move ever again, but I most likely will be moving again next year in January. Um, but anyway, send me some good vibes, please, as we adjust. And for those of you are worried about Sir, the puppy, he is fine. He’s living his best life. He got more space to run around in. I am the one who needs all the help and the good vibes. I know y’all are really worried about him, but he’s, he’s good.
Um, But yeah, so that’s, what’s been going on with me and we’ve also been welcoming, so many new students inside of the finish your dissertation program. They have been getting started. They have been getting acclimated and just hitting the ground running. And it’s just such good energy in the group right now. And if you are thinking about are on the fence, I want to invite you to join because the doors are open, but they won’t be open for long. We will be closing down enrollment on Sunday, January 24th. So if you are listening to this podcast in real time, then you need to get inside the group, get inside the group, um, because we will, we will welcome you with open arms. So we won’t be opening again and probably until mid to late spring. So again, if you’re on the fence, you need to get in.
What If It Works Out?:
Today’s episode It’s just something on my spirit and it’s titled what if it works out? I’ve been having a lot of conversations with many of you, um, especially because enrollment is open in the finish your dissertation program. Most of you are sold. You’re like, yeah, this sounds like exactly what I need. It sounds like the support I’m looking for. It sounds like the structure I’m looking for. I believe it’s going to help me be consistent, but there’s still something holding you back. And you know, you may think, Oh, I don’t have the time or I don’t have the money or, or, you know, like what if it’s not for me? And we are really good. Like our brains are really good at going through this process of coming up with all the reasons as to why something might not work out. Right. And we can come up with all the reasons, right. And we call it, we have to be careful because we call it being realistic and, you know, making, you know, making a thoughtful decision and making sure we’re not biting off more than we can chew. And on the surface, those things sound like very logical. They sound like, Oh yeah, absolutely. You should do that. But what I want you to know, whether, you know, you’re making a decision about this program or you’re making a decision about something else. What I want you to know is that it’s not how it sounds. That is you operating in fear and you spending too much time on the side of it’s not going to work out. And because it’s not going to work out, I need to come up with something else. What I want to invite you to do from this episode is as much time and energy you are giving to the reasons why something won’t work out.
I want you to give the equal amount of time and energy to coming up with reasons for why it would work out. Now, this is going to be very challenging because your brain is used to thinking of reasons why it won’t. And so if you actually sit down or even right now, if you gave yourself a few seconds and think about a decision that you’ve been weighing back and forth, try to come up with 10 reasons why it would work out. Most of you will struggle to get to five. And I don’t say that to discourage you. I say that to demonstrate how challenging it is and how much we don’t have practice thinking about what if it does work out. And usually when you start to go down the road of what if it does work out, you’ll start to probably experience more anxiety, more fear because your brain isn’t used to it. And it’s kind of like, well, I don’t want to get my hopes up. Like, that’s, that’s me thinking about if it would work out as creating like hope and excitement and I don’t want, right? Like we’re trying to avoid the let down that we think is coming. If we get our hopes up, if we allow ourselves to believe that it would work out where like, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to be devastated. And so you’re trying to protect yourself and guard yourself against the inevitable let down that’s coming. But what if a letdown isn’t coming? What if the worst case scenario doesn’t even happen at all? What if the best case scenario happens?
As strange as it may sound, usually that’s where people like spin out or that’s where people have the most trouble. When things work out the way they thought they would, or when things work out according to plan, or when you sign up for something and it gives you exactly what it said, it was going to give you a lot of people don’t know how to handle winning. They don’t know how to handle being successful in that way. Right. And I hear this all the time. Like, well, like for instance, like if I get to graduation, I’m not going to care. And let me tell you, if you haven’t spent any time practicing what it will feel like when you get to graduation, what your life will look like once you get to graduation, what you will feel like at graduation, if you haven’t spent any time preparing for that, you are in for a rude awakening. A lot of, I would encourage you to go talk to people who have graduated and asked them how that six month period was after. Right a lot of people experience like, Oh, that was anti-climatic. I thought it was going to be fireworks. And I was going to feel so great at graduation. I thought the money was just going to be rolling in. I thought I was going to be doing all these things and sure the pandemic has some impact on that for the people who graduated in the past year. But I want to normalize that. Nope, most people that’s, their experience is like, Oh, okay, got hooded. I’m done. Now. I don’t know what to do with myself. And that six month period afterwards is like a black hole. And the reason why is because people’s attention has been so focused on getting to graduation, that they didn’t think about what happened after graduation.
Right. And I get that, like, sometimes you’re like, I just need to make it there. Cause I don’t even see myself making it there. But the closer you get to making it there, I highly highly encourage you to think about what do you want to happen after graduation? Like what’s the best case scenario, allow yourself to dream it’s okay. But this is just this concept of equal air time, about giving as much time and energy as you did about like worst case scenario, given that same time and energy to best case scenario and what you want to happen and how that’s going to feel, what is that going to look like? Right. Like getting really granular and detailed with that. If you allow yourself to make decisions from that place where you give both sides equal airtime, I promise you that your experiences will be much different, much, much, much different.
Client Spotlight: Margaret
Right? And so I want to end this episode because I did not do the client spotlight and I intentionally left it til the end, because I want to talk about a client who demonstrated this just perfectly. So today’s client spotlight is Margaret Sebastian and Margaret Um, when we started working together in March of 2018, wow. It’s almost three years. So in March of 2018, she was, um, in the middle of her comprehensive exams and her exams is a six week process, take home two questions. And she had got to the middle to the end of the third week and had a lot of notes, but had about like a few, like two to, I dunno, it was something like two to five pages written with the goal of it being a 50 page document. And so we started to work and then I, you know, she came to me being like, I’m going to fail because I can’t finish this. And I said, not only will you finish in three weeks, but you will be proud of the, what you produce in these three weeks. And as most people do, when they first started working with me and she looked at me like I had two heads, like, how am I supposed to do this in three weeks? But we met and we came up with a plan and we, um, helped her to provide some support and um, some accountability in that process. But what what’s coming up for me now? What I think is funny is her first assignment was to take, I made her take like some days off and that probably sounds counterintuitive because it was like, I’m already going to short time and you gonna tell me to take time off. Yes. Because it’s let me go on a rant. You can not force yourself.
There’s only so much you can push yourself to do, or just like, you know, make yourself, show up. Your brain will stop working on you. And you will just end up staring at the computer for hours, not being able to type anything. That time would be much better served if you just allowed yourself to take the break. And so I believe she like went, she was living in Colorado at the time and she went to go look at the mountains and she took a drive because you need some separation. And when she came back, she was ready to hit the ground running. And Margaret is one of my, like really overachiever clients. I will say, Margaret, write a page. She will come back with three pages. And I’m like, why? I love that, that we have a plan going on. Um, but I, I not only want to say, did she finish her comps. She walked into her defense so confident. Um, and I was able to, to watch some of it. She walked in so confident. So poised. I tell my clients all the time. I want you to walk into your defense with the attitude like I wish, uh, uh, I’m not going to curse, but I wish somebody would try me today. That’s the spirit. I want you to walk into the defense with because when you have that spirit, you feel confident, right? You feel like I know what I’m saying. I know my answers. I know where I stand. If I don’t know something, I know how to respond to that as well. And so she passed and then I want to fast forward, right? Cause that was March, 2018, um, this past summer. So she had been working on her proposal and doing some other projects. Um, and in between that time of her, her comps and her proposal, she had moved to a different state.
She has a different job she’s she was doing some studying abroad or not study abroad but she did like a trip to Ghana. And she just had a lot of life things happening. And this summer she was like, all right, I need to finish this proposal, but I need to switch my topic. And so I, I believe we were working together for, I think she signed up for a 12 week one-on-one package because that is an option. Like once you’re in the finish your dissertation group, you can always upgrade your, um, your agreement to a one-on-one agreement. Um, and so she signed up for 12 weeks and I was like I was like, again, you can not only rewrite proposal in 12 weeks, but you could also do some other things. So let me, let me step back. I feel like I’m all over, but I feel like she finished that proposal in like eight weeks. And we spent the rest of the time talking about her, um, building her own business. So that is another thing that I talk with clients about, right. Most of you are coming into doctoral land because you want to be a consultant. You want to be a speaker, right? And you want to use your research as a platform for you consulting and speaking. And so I work with clients to do that as well. And Margaret was getting into editing and dissertation coaching. What more perfect person than me to help her? No, I’m just kidding. Um, but we used the rest of our sessions to talk about that. And so in a 12 week period, listen to me in a 12 week period, she rewrote a proposal, a full proposal. She had started a business and she made I want to say it was $6,000.
Let that sink in. And the reason why I’m spotlighting Margaret is because throughout this whole process, she would say all the reasons why none of that was possible. She didn’t think it was possible to finish her comps in three weeks. She didn’t think it was possible to rewrite her proposal in 12 weeks. She didn’t think it was possible for her to even have her own business, let alone get clients. And in our coaching session, we intentionally spent time thinking about, but what if you could finish your comps in three weeks? What if you could finish your proposal and rewrite it in 12 weeks? What if you could start a business and get paying clients? What if you could? And, um, and it wasn’t like she got off the coaching call and she was like, yep, it’s going to happen. It was a process, but with us working together and intentionally coming back to the reasons of why it would work out, she was able to take action from that place and get the results that she has. Now. I’m not saying that you want to rewrite your proposal in 12 weeks, or you want to start a business. What I’m saying is learn from Margaret, right? Borrow some of Margaret’s courage and just, just sit down and think about what if it did work out? What if I did get what I wanted.
So that is where I will leave you today. Again, you can come over to Instagram and we have a link in the bio. If you want to sign up for the finish your dissertation program, um, as well as, um, if you want to come over to the Facebook group, qualitative dissertation made simple right now, our websites are down. We are getting them redone. So you probably won’t be able to access that. But if you go to Instagram or Facebook, you’ll be able to sign up for the program and we will be able to help you. I hope you have a great week. I will talk with you next week. Bye for now.
Join Finish Your Dissertation:
Hey, you ready to take this work further? Then it’s time for you to join the finish your dissertation program. Finally get the tools, resources, and structure. You need to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to MarvetteLacy.com/apply and join the finish your dissertation wait list. I’ll see you there. Bye for now. Thanks. Thank you for joining in for today’s office hours. Make sure you come on Instagram and tag me at Marvette Lacy. Let me know what your thoughts were on today’s episode until next time. Do something to show yourself some love. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.