On the Record with Heidi Morgan

SYCAMORE – Heidi M. Morgan of Sycamore has many titles: wife, mother, corporate professional, aspiring guitarist – and “The Life Designer.”

Morgan, 46, is CEO at her own limited liability company, Design the Life You Want. Her business goal is to help others attain a healthy work/family balance, reduce stress, think positively, realize desires and enjoy the moment. To achieve these goals, Morgan has created a signature wheelhouse of tools, which she has put together based on her 22 years as both a scientist and sales professional. One of her business slogans is “I will change the way you think.”

Morgan describes life designing as a method, process and lifestyle, a set of tools she has developed to teach others to become a positive, energetic force, becoming the best – and happiest – person they can be.

Morgan offers a variety of services, including corporate and business mindset presentations and workshops, mindset reset Lunch & Learn or Coffee Hour presentations, women’s confidence and mindset presentations and workshops, custom presentations and workshops, one-on-one coaching, teen girl’s workshops and senior workshops.

She also has written an e-book to specifically help women design their lives. She is working on a mindset e-book for teens and young adults, which will be released soon.

For more information about Design the Life You Want, visit www.designthelifeyouwant.org.

Morgan spoke to MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton to discuss what it means to be a life designer, and easy changes to make to be happy.

Milton: What does it mean to be a life designer?

Morgan: I help people design the lives that they want based on their experiences, where they’re at in life and where they would like to go in the future. I help them realize their purpose and ultimately help them be happy. Sometimes people have a hard time being happy and figuring out how to be happy. A specialty of mine is finding their ultimate happiness, whether it’s in themselves, helping others or through their work or service in the community.

Milton: How did you become “The Life Designer?”

Morgan: I always loved helping people. I’ve always been the person anyone could talk to, from adults, peers, friends and strangers. When talking to others, I make people feel good, give good suggestions and am never too critical. In 1999, I received my master’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from Northern Illinois University. Pfizer hired me immediately after college. I worked there as a biochemist and drug discovery scientist in St. Louis. In 2010, they shut down my division. I loved my job, and it was a great learning experience. I then got a job in sales support in the corporate world supporting the sales of scientific instrumentation. I was able to travel all over the country and all over the world, including to Germany, Sweden and Japan. In 2017, I was the top sales person in my company and I achieved all sales goals. I traveled 48 out of 52 weeks that year.

Milton: What was it like working in the corporate world?

Morgan: My life felt extremely out of balance. I felt ill. A regular customer asked me, “What happened? You don’t look well, you don’t look happy.” I felt ill, I wasn’t happy and I lost my glow and my spark. That’s when I realized I had to balance my life, find the tools needed to help me heal so I could be the best mom, wife and worker I could be. Now I’m one of the happiest people, all the time.

Milton: How did you regain balance in your life?

Morgan: I wrote an e-book, “The Design the Life You Want Mini Guidebook for Women,” and created my signature presentation, “How to Design the Mindset You Want.” My tools from the e-book and presentation are what helped me heal so I could be the best mom, wife and worker I could be. My training is myself, and I always tell people, “I’m just like you.” I am very relatable. I teach off of my own experiences and the fact that I am, and have been in, the corporate world for so long, 22 years. I am writing another e-book, “The Design You Want Mini Guidebook for Teens and Young Adults.” My plan is to write more books, including one for seniors. The e-books are great, because they’re something people can look at, read and think about in their own time. People might be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. I want to change that thinking. It’s good to get your feelings out and address your problems. The premise of the book for teens and youth is to tell them the story about being a salesperson so they’re not tired and exhausted when they’re my age. I don’t want them to have that same experience. I want them to be happy their entire life.

Milton: What advice do you have for teenagers?

Morgan: With teens, it’s important to address their mental health, reminding them not to compare themselves to peers or what they see on YouTube. I advise them to have hobbies that are off their phone and off their computers. Their minds and bodies are changing, and some don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. It’s important to keep their anxiety at bay, for them to develop better communication skills, understand from the perspective of others, and to be patient and kind.

Milton: What advice do you have for seniors and people approaching the retirement age?

Morgan: I gave a presentation to the Sycamore Rotary, and there were a lot of veterans there. One person spoke to me after my presentation and said, “Everything you just said re-applies to me now because I’m retired. When I was working, I had a different mindset. You gave me a new perspective that my mindset will change over time.” Initially when you retire, it’s a vacation. Then two weeks go by, you’ve done everything you wanted to do, and you don’t know what to do with the rest of your life. That’s why it’s so important to find hobbies, things you like to do and a purpose in life.

Milton: How do hobbies and a purpose lead to happiness?

Morgan: When you find your inner purpose, your inner life designer, you find happiness. Ultimately, people want to be happy. They don’t want a big house or a lot of money, they want to be happy. People are happiest when they are feeling fulfilled, their own personal needs are met and they’re helping others. … I use my “Signature Wheelhouse of Tools,” tools to provide people with so they know when their life is off-balance and they need to revisit the tools. The tools can help anyone get through anything in life, any problem they might encounter, whether it’s a big problem or a small problem. If you use the tools often enough, it becomes a habit.

Milton: What is one of the tools?

Morgan: One of the tools is “Being Present in the Moment.” The first step to happiness is being in the moment. You can’t worry about the future or think too much about the past. Enjoy every sip of your coffee, every song you hear. Stay in the moment, and if you do, you won’t be anxious about things. It’s very hard to address goals and get into a frame of mind if you have anxiety and worry. People are very worried about what’s going to happen, whether it’s the pandemic, vaccines or travel. We need to stay off of social media, spend less time watching TV and spend more time working on ourselves. Work on personal development, read a book for 15 to 20 minutes a day, gain some knowledge. It doesn’t have to be a lot.

Milton: What’s the next step to happiness?

Morgan: The next step is really making some changes. I don’t suggest making big changes all at once. Choose one goal: be healthier, workout, learn a new hobby. Don’t pick too many things at once. Dig deep down and pick one thing. Figure out one thing you can change, one thing you can do to make yourself happier. How to be successful is focusing on yourself, not what everyone else is doing. When you’re solely focused on what you’re doing, you’re getting yourself into a frame of mind doing self-care. Anybody can be better, there’s never an end to improving.

Katrina J.E. Milton

Award-winning reporter and photographer for Shaw Media publications, including The Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek newspapers in DeKalb County, Illinois, since 2012.