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"It's time we steer by the stars, not by the light of each passing ship." - Gen. Omar Bradley

The one constant in the Universe is change. Throughout our lives, we transition from simplicity to complexity; from a moderate to a more enhanced understanding of ourselves and the world; from endeavors of lesser engagement, to ones that offer greater challenge, creativity, and greater purpose.

Perhaps no other state in our lives offers the opportunity for more clarity, incisive visioning and accurate implementation than the state of transition.

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The Next Step is a direct, vision-driven, no-nonsense and completely out of the box approach to vocational (and thus personal) transition. The Next Step offers a map and a clear route through the ambiguity (and sometimes fear) of change. Not about incremental change but a more total and complete shift in orientation, the Next Step program provides a way to help people envision – and reclaim – the most important components of their work life:

  • Timing

  • Contribution & Legacy

  • Vision  

  • Implementation

The Next Step...

  • Inspires Optimism – the conviction that one can Determine His or her own work life

  • Evokes Curiosity – Brainstorms most efficient and elegant ways of approaching new possibilities

  • Reclaims Agency – The capacity for self-motivation

  • Restores Meaning – to one’s work and personal life

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Who I Work With

Over the past seven years I have successfully coached, trained and empowered C-Levels and business owners in the following fields:

  • entrepreneurial & Start-up Ventures

  • disruptive Hospitality/Sharing Economy

  • Commercial Real Estate

  • Mobile Security

  • Clinical Medicine/Urgent Care Delivery

  • Legal Services Delivery

  • Finance/Investment

  • Elite Sports

  • Creatives, who are successful:

    • Visual Artists: International Filmmakers, Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, Digital Artists

    • Writers & Researchers: Fiction and non-fiction

    • Musicians & Composers

    • Choreographers


How Do I Know I May Need a Next Step?

  • I am quite successful but something is missing-Less engaged; Perhaps even bored at work

  • Relationship to one's work life is off - Living to Work instead Working to Live

  • A chasm between work and meaning seems to be widening

  • Anxiety and depression; sleepless nights; distracted at work and home

  • Consistent feeling of a deeper challenge or purpose not being addressed at work

  • feeling stuck or trapped; sense of despair of things changing for the better       



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Dr. Richard A. Heckler is recognized as a trusted and renowned leader in the fields of motivational psychology, organizational consulting, psychology and psychotherapy. With a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and 21 years as the owner and director of a preeminent psychotherapy training institute in San Francisco, Dr. Heckler has lectured and led training programs throughout North America and the U.K. He is also the author of two books, the internationally acclaimed – "Waking Up Alive", and "Crossings" – and has been featured on Good Morning America, 20/20, and NPR. 

Dr. Heckler has 25 years of experience as a professor of Graduate Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, The California Institute of Integral Studies and The Union Institute of Experimental Studies in Cincinnati, OH. His offices are located in San Francisco and San Rafael, California.

A believer in the beauty of a life well-lived, well-read and well-explored, Dr. Heckler has also developed a rich creative life filled with art, music and writing. He is an accomplished fine-art photographer (the photos featured on this site are a few examples), specializing in western landscapes and cultural portraiture in Asia; a world-explorer, spending time in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and Indonesia; a novelist, guitarist and a father.

I am fortunate to spend my time in the company of visionaries - executives and artists who choose to lean into their edges and endeavor to master their craft; those unafraid of hard work and dedication. I’ve spent my entire career guiding people through personal and professional change. I know something about the Next Step.
— Dr. Richard A. Heckler

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Richard Heckler has been one of the most significant influences in my life. He led me through a transition that has brought insight, inner strength and peace. I have been able to leave a successful career in Emergency Medicine in order to open a group of Urgent Care Centers without hesitation and with only joy and confidence.
— Kurt Kunzel, MD, Medical Director, Golden Gate Urgent Care

It was when my destiny changed from being a startup founder with a successful exit to an abrupt “What’s next?” that Richard provided the means to embrace this change. His interdisciplinary methods are truly visionary, incorporating his vast knowledge and experience. His deep inquiry illuminated my core values and what I would like my life’s contribution to be. Expanding my vision through The Next Step has radically and delightfully changed my journey towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
— Theodora Titonis, Founder and CEO, Marvin Mobile

My work with Richard enlightened me to the fact that I have reached a stage in my career and life where I now need to shift my focus in two fundamental ways: leadership instead of actual production and composing my teams using a more “strengths” based assessment of their skills. In addition, through discussions with Richard, I also was able to get to the root of a certain work-based anxiety, recognize it, and relieve it. This clarity has been incredibly liberating in all facets of my career and personal life. I have physically felt better, felt lighter, have even slept better, and have been a generally more fulfilled person.
— S.L., Commercial Real Estate Executive, Dallas, TX

Richard Heckler offers simple steps for profound personal and professional results.
— Christy Pines, Sr. Manager, Learning Services Corporate Human Resources Division Canon, USA, Inc

We asked for Richard’s counsel in helping craft a framework with which we could engage with our family business clients, a genre of business that requires careful attention to family dynamics. His wise and grounded advice, delivered with warmth and humor, helped us to approach our clients with greater inclusion and care, resulting in extremely successful projects and ongoing contracts.
— K.W., CEO, The Institute of the Southwest

Keenly insightful, open and available, Richard’s guidance in taking my next steps was pivotal. His work is direct, penetrating and at times, breathtaking in his creative approach to problem solving. His skill as a consultant is rivaled only by his heartfelt interest in empowering his clients to reach the highest iteration of their goals. I am ever grateful for his wise counsel.
— W.J.M., Creator of Learning Innovations for the 21st Century Classroom

I sought help from Richard at a time of transition in both my work life and my family. Little did I know that he would become my teacher, leading me to look at who I am, helping me to awaken, sharing his broad knowledge, and his own learned prowess. I am profoundly grateful for his counsel and support.
— R.L. Family & Divorce Attorney

‘When the student is ready...the teacher appears’, so the saying goes...and Richard appeared... with his humor and wisdom and an uncomplicated approach to a labyrinthine set of challenges. He gave me the tools and the torch to help me light my path into the future.
— L.S, Senior Reverse Mortgage Specialist