The Next Step:  Visioning for the 21st Century

“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~

What is The Next Step?

The Next Step is a direct, no-nonsense, practical 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.  We help people gain clarity about and reclaim the most important components of ones work life:


                                    -Contribution & Legacy


Who We Work With:

 Over the past seven years, we have worked successfully with C-levels and business owners in the following fields:

                                    -Insurance & Estate planning

                                    -Disruptive Hospitality/Sharing Economy

                                     -Commercial Real Estate

                                    -Digital Security

                                    -Clinical Medicine/Urgent Care Delivery



                                    -Elite Sports

 And with Creatives, who are successful:

                                    Visual Artists –International filmakers, painters, sculptors, photographers, digital artists

                                   Writers & Researchers – fiction and non-fiction

                                    Musicians, Composers & Choreographers



      The Next Step draws from research and practice in:

                                     Motivational & Organizational psychology

                                      Latest advances in Neuropsychology


                                       A Unique Model of the Vocational Life Cycle

                                      Good common sense gleaned from decades of practice



About Richard – I am very fortunate in this life to have been able to successfully pursue many interests. I was a collegiate athlete. I have been composer and guitarist for an ensemble in NYC, which included an internationally renowned concert flutist and a Tony-Award Winning Broadway actress. I’ve worked as a newspaper and fine-art photographer, specializing in western landscapes and cultural portraiture in Asia. I maintain a fine-art photographic business and continue to sell my work today.  I owned and directed one of the pre-eminent psychotherapy training institutes in San Francisco for 21 years, before I sold it.  I hold a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology,  have lectured and held trainings throughout the U.S. and England and I recently completed 25 years as a professor of Graduate Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, The California Institute for Integral Studies and the Union Institute for Experimental Studies, in Cincinnati, OH.  I have published two books, one receiving international acclaim and for which I was featured on Good Morning America, 20/20, and many NPR affiliates.  And, I have just completed my first novel. 

Visionaries; Executives who choose to lean into their edges and endeavor to master their craft; Those unafraid of hard work and dedication...I consult to successful professionals-in-transition throughout the world.  I know something about the Next Step.



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

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




Some Additional Thoughts about The Next Step:

How Do I Know I May Need a Next Step?

     -I'm quite successful but something is missing-Listless, bored at work; feeling stuck or trapped; sense of despair of things changing for the better
     -A feeling of enslavement to one's work - Living to Work instead Working to Live
    -A chasm between work and meaning
    -Anxiety and depression; sleepless nights; distracted at work and home
    -Consistent feeling of a deeper purpose not being addressed at work                                                                        


Typical Difficulties in Taking the Next Step

  • Clarity – some people have significant challenges becoming clear about what they want.
  • Effectiveness – some people are fairly clear, but have a hard time taking effective action.
  • Satisfaction – some people are clear, and can take action, but are not nourished by what
    they do. The result – a lot of scattershot activity that doesn’t reach deeply; doesn’t satisfy.
  • Rest –The least understood stage in taking effective action. True rest allows for reflection and    contemplation. This allows for re-evaluation, and greater precision for the next steps after that.

What The Next Step Offers

    -Inspires Optimism – Something new is possible
    -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


For Scheduling either in person or on Skype, and Costs: