AoL 013: Unseen Motivators That Keep Entrepreneurs Going With Dennis And Claudia Haddix

For many of us, it’s hard to tell whether we’re a creative or just pretending to be. Whether we’ve had to become one out of necessity or rather we’re one naturally, many times it might be a struggle to carry on – especially if you’re just starting out. You might even sometimes wonder, “Why am I doing this?”.

For me, personally, I can’t see myself doing anything else. Ever since I was in LTD and later heard Pat Flynn, I realized that my calling was to be an entrepreneur. More specifically to help people with their online business – in what ever form that might be.

I think it could go earlier than that, however.

Being someone that has always excelled at technology, it occurred to me that I’ve always been useful to others when it came to teaching them how to use many forms of it. On top of that, I’ve had a knack for connecting with people online and, furthermore, those people with other people and ideas. (Who said gaming wasn’t useful?)

In today’s chat with Dennis and Claudia Haddix, Brian and I chat with them about business. Not the metrics and how-tos of what they do. (Even that’s what I was prepared to do!) Instead, we talk about what makes them tick as entrepreneurs. Why they do what they do.

Dennis and Claudia are experienced eCommerce entrepreneurs and have been running the Makarios Group since 2008. How I met them is through their meetup where they help others do what they do. Free of charge.

So it’s obvious, to me, they have a passion. And I think that those of us who have this natural calling to create and add value to others is something that if we neglect, we’ll always wonder what could have been.

If you currently own a business or (maybe thinking of starting one) and wonder what might keep you going over the long haul, I think it might be worth your time to see things from a veteran’s perspective. It’s an awesome conversation, and I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. Enjoy!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How they started doing eCommerce
  • What they did before starting the Makarios Group.
  • What all our various reasons are for being entrepreneurs.
  • Why the impossible isn’t actually impossible.
  • What a day in the life of Dennis and Claudia looks like.
  • What it’s like when a hobby becomes a business (and what they believe the hardest part is about that transformation).
  • What it’s important to understand what a couple’s roles are when starting a business.
  • Why Dennis and Claudia feel people “hire” them.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The Makarios Group
  • eCommerce Indy Meetup Group
  • 99Designs – Great option to get help with graphic work.
  • Fizzle  Our go to community for building online businesses. First month is free!

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

This session’s show note extras are all eCommerce related. We didn’t really get too much into this during the conversation like I hoped, so I thought I’d drop some other’s reviews on you here.

First off, here is what got me interested in eCommerce. Pat Flynn has interviewed several people about their experiences with Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA). Going from what is called Retail Arbitrage to Private Labeling. Both can bring in a good income. Just depends on how much you want to hustle vs planning ahead and executing.

Personally, I’d check out Retail Arbitrage first as it will show you what Amazon is like. You might even try something similar on eBay as well. See if you like that better. One big difference between the two is that with eBay, you actually get a chance of getting your customers emails for future marketing. Amazon, not so much. (This will be discussed further in the later videos after the SPI section.)

Smart Passive Income Podcasts on FBA:

SPI 099: Buying Stuff and Selling it on Amazon (For 6-Figures a Year!) with Jessica and Cliff Larrew (Retail Arbitrage)

SPI 127: Building a Successful E-Commerce Business and Private Labeling with Ryan and Daniel

SPI 144: Building a Million Dollar Business in 12 Months – with Ryan Moran 

Amazon is not perfect and in some cases might not be the right choice for you to pick for your business. So below you’ll find a review on Amazon to sell products as well as a review on Shopify (which is one of the largest “competitors” of Amazon).

Pros and Cons of Using Amazon 

Pros and Cons of Using Shopify

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

AoL 012: Living A Life Of Adventure With Marianne Jennings

Have you ever wanted to do something so different that almost as soon as you thought about doing it, you thought “Nah, that’s just not me.”? To go on some some sort of adventure? I know I have.

Many of us who are used to the daily grind, be it a job or school, are so used to our routine that we find it hard to step out and do something new. We’re afraid of loss. We’re afraid that whatever we’re going to attempt to do isn’t going to work out, so why try to do it in the first place? Why put the good life we have now in jeopardy of doing something that might not work out?

For me, when I was in college, I wanted to travel abroad. I wanted to go to bowl games. But I didn’t. I think back now that I could have and should have. But at the time, either I didn’t want to put in the extra effort to get money for a trip or I thought it would throw my plan to get of college on time.

Now, I realize that Purdue hasn’t gone to a bowl game since I was in school AND as it was, I was in school for 9 years. Going on these little trips would have been great experiences that I passed up because I wanted to stay comfortable.

It’s because of people like this session’s guest, Marianne Jennings, that I have been able to see opportunity for what it is. I believe that by the time that you’re done listening to our chat, that you’ll want to add more variety in your life too. I truly think that she could motivate a lot of people to step out of their daily habits and do something that most would seem extraordinary.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • What she got out of being in The Foundation
  • What she’s currently doing that is entrepreneurial.
  • Exactly what her day job is and how she got into it.
  • Why it’s important to remember that you can start something and course correct along the way.
  • The inspiration for doing the Fjallraven Polar
  • What you, as a Angles of Lattitude audience member, can do to help her out.
  • Why it’s awesome to get married after your 20’s.
  • Why it’s important to go after once in a lifetime experiences.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Some really cool videos from Kyle Cease about reclaiming your identity and relearning how to play.

Why People’s Opinions of You Aren’t Real

Evolving Out Loud Trailer

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

AoL 011: Embracing Your True Self with Kate Chaplin

Kate Chaplin, this week’s guest, is a great definition of someone that has not only found what their natural creative state is in (aka their passion) but she has actually made great strides in making it her career. Being not only a podcaster, but an author, and film maker, she has had a lot of experience creating. I thought it would be great for her to come on the show and share how she’s gotten to where she is in life, and possibly drop a couple of nuggets of wisdom.

There many types of creators. Some build software and some make videos. Others make art while others help share other’s messages. In one way or another, we’re all creators. However, many of us create in a way that might not be our natural creative state. How do you find that state? I think it differs from person to person.

If you’re on the hunt for a new beginning in your work, maybe Kate’s story will help you get started in the right direction. She explains how she determines what kind of work she does, what lessons she would share with her 10 year old self, and what the inspiration is behind her business.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Where the name Karmic Courage came from.
  • How she determines the types of work she does.
  • Where her love of movies came from.
  • Where she came from and how that inspired her in what she does today.
  • What she would tell her 10 year old self today.
  • Why it’s important to not stifle other’s creativity.
  • What’s behind the branding of Karmic Courage.
  • What her next movies, Wig’d Out and Shoki’s Bag, are all about.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Here are the INDYpendent Show Awards that she won. Find more about the INDYpendent Show here.

If you’re into podcasting, check to see if there’s anything like it in your area!

Kate’s Personal Site – Find all of her past movies, books, and how to get ahold of her for your upcoming idea!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Planning a Monthly Calendar

 

Here’s a phrase that I’ve been working on as I’ve been getting better at planning my time in the past year. “If you can show me a person’s calendar, I can tell you their view of their future.”

It came from two older quotes that I hear quite a bit.

“Show me the stubs in a man’s checkbook and I will tell you what kind of man he is.” – G.K. Chesterton

Which I think it’s a play off of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s quote,

“Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art.”

As I’ve come to realize over the years, both of these statements are true. Many times we see people who have to have the newest and the best things having the lowest self esteems. It makes sense, I used to be that way. I just wanted to fill a hole in my life. What I found out was that those who hold on to things and fix them when needed, tend to be happier. I can proudly say I’m part of the second group now.

The second quote, is another way of thinking about the saying “You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.” Again, very true. Whether or not you realize it, you’re being influenced by the attitudes and mindset of those that you’re around the most. This is why support groups and  masterminds are so important.

You are the Schedule that You Keep

It seems to me that those that plan the less, always let their circumstances plan out their day, their week, and maybe even their year. All they ever do is things for the now and the near future… not 5 or 10 years down the line. I think that comes from formal education failing them.

If there is something that formal education of the past is really good at is getting people to be followers. However, it doesn’t really help build leaders.

Even to this day I struggle with making a calendar. For me, every week is the relatively the same. I write my blog post, publish the podcast, do any marketing, and work on any upcoming products. When I’m not actively learning, I’m spending time with Maria. I think other people have similar structures of their week too. When they’re not at work or the gym, they’re hanging out with the family or getting things done around the house.

It really takes a miracle for something new to be added to our calendars.

However, by the end of this post today, I think you’ll have a little more guidance on how you can slowly change your life simply by planning it out month by month, week by week. It’s really helped me move forward in life, I expect it to do the same for you.

In fact, I don’t think I would have ever gotten to where I am today if I didn’t start making a calendar as I previously mentioned in my guide to planning a productive week.

Making a Monthly Calendar

Living a life to your full potential is all about intentionally deciding to live that way. We need to choose what you’re doing each moment. However, most of us are not used to living like that. One of the reason’s that jobs are so appealing, I think, is because we’re used to handing those choices over to someone else. Again, thank you formal education. (Side note: I think it’s important that we give kids options as they’re growing up. The more we do, the more they start thinking what consequences choosing one option over the other will have. Otherwise, they’re not going to know how to choose to do things when they’re older.)

So let’s make a monthly calendar to give ourselves a chance to better ourselves and our lives. How do we do that?

It’s actually fairly simple. You simply add themes, challenges, objectives, major events, and connect those all with the weekly plans that we’ve already talked about.

Let’s start with the important “large stones” first.

Major Events (Events Related to the Rest of the World)

You know what these are, and most people put these on their calendars if they keep them anyway. However, let’s look at what all we should include.

  • Birthdays (Yup. Of course.)
  • Anniversaries (Yes. This one is important.)
  • Weddings (Hey, you’ve probably known for awhile. Just write it down.)
  • Holidays (Any that you’re doing differently than what Google Calendar already does for you)
  • Vacations (You’ll want to do this just to make sure you’re seeing what you need to compress into the few weeks before hand.)
  • Extracurriculars (This might involve moving, adjusting to a new work schedule, having a kid, doc and medical visits, etc. You’ll have to adjust the actual dates based on when these happen.)

Whatever you can think up, you should mark it down. If you have a anniversary that’s going to include vacation time, mark it down. Specifically what it is and how long it’s lasting. Also, realize that if you’re having a kid, then there’s going to be time associated with adjusting with newborn. Likewise with vacation. More than likely you’re not going to do actual work on vacation. Figure out how much time both might take and communicate it with any people who need to know. You don’t need to cause yourself or them any confusion.

Themes, Challenges, and Objectives (Events Related to Your Life, Work, and Study)

Ok, now is the additional stuff that is going to really help you figure out how you’re shaping your own future. Each one of these will be broken down into further pieces, the weekly plans and then each day (again, what we’ve already covered).

  • Themes When you think of a theme, think of the highest level of things you’d like to change. Here at New Inceptions, we categorize themes as The 5 Pillars of Happyness. These Pillars are Relationships, Health, Purpose, Finance, and the Little Things. The first four are pretty easy to understand, the Little Things is anything that makes you happy (travel, shopping, gaming, etc.). So perhaps with relationships, you’d like to get married. Ok, well, we’re going to have to make time to find someone. Come up with strategies to do so, and then come up with times to date. Obviously that’ll come one step at a time, but you see where I’m going. These tend to relate to seasons and years.
  • Challenges and Objectives – These are essentially the same thing. Challenges are done for fun, while objectives are done for work purposes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s one or the other. (Dating would be a good example.) But, say, if you wanted to do a triathlon, that’d be a challenge. An objective would be losing so many pounds. Ideally these relate better with months, while their smaller counterparts, projects and tasks, relate to weeks and days, respectively.

 

Weekly Planning

This is what we’ve already we’ve already learned about (again, here’s the link).

It’s the glue of the month. However, they are simply a reflection of planning projects. Not actually planning meaningful action. Just because you have a theme, challenge, and/or objective identified, doesn’t mean you have the actual time allocated to get it done.

Homework:

How’s your planning going? Have you been using the weekly planning guide? If so, how’s it working for you? I really hope this helps you add another level to your planning. What do you think about monthly or weekly planning? What have you seen as a result since you’ve started implementing it yourself? Would love to hear from you below, on Facebook, or Twitter!

How to Raise Your Standards

Great standards to strive for, right? Brendon always makes me think about things in a new light.

You know, we’re all trying to strive to higher levels. One of my all time most visited posts is this one I shared about 21 Standards that we can live and work by. However, since then, I’ve talked with a few readers who have thought that a person with all of those standards is someone who is completely unlike them.

They believe that they’re just too different. And those differences will prohibit them from ever reaching that level of success in their lives. They’ll never be like that expert… that ideal or model person. That person is just way too different.

They might even say, “I don’t trust them. They’re fake.” or “It’s easy for them to say, they don’t get where I’m coming from.”

And believe me, I can see where they’re coming from. In fact, I’ve been there. And what I found out is that there’s two parts in how you can raise your standards.

Add New Habits and Standards In (One by One)

This self limiting belief that “I’ll never be able to be successful” is one that I hear too often. Be the ideal person that they’re comparing themselves to is someone like Joe (the original author of those 21 standards) or another “ideal person”, they simply don’t see themselves being able to shed their old self. Again, I can relate. (I mean, as you guys know… I had a HUGE problem with having a positive attitude all the time. But in retrospect, it was a good exercise for me to have gone through.)

A person that has a life full of standards is one who has been working on making themselves better day after day. Each standard that they live by, they more than likely developed it separately from the others. They practiced it daily until it became automatic. Then they started working on another personal standard.

For example, when I first was in college, I simply didn’t make good grades. Part of this could have been the fact that my major was one of the hardest on campus. However, I think the problem was mainly the fact that I didn’t know how to study. And because I didn’t know how to study, my test taking was horrible as well. (Why should I know how to study? I was able to cruise through high school by simply fumbling around the test and getting by with B’s and A’s on my report card.)

I knew I was a good student. That I had it in me to get good grades. I just had to figure out how to play the game. I knew I had to raise my standards.

So when I realized that the material wasn’t the problem, but, instead, was the actual practices I used to “study” back then, it was certainly nice to know what the problem was. (My studying habits were “do the ones you know how to do and if you don’t know how to do them, then copy off of someone else.” This practice would soon almost get me kicked out!) Essentially I was looking at the problem as a whole and not breaking the questions down (as I’d later find out in my study group).

As I got better at studying, I got more comfortable with the material that was being taught in class. In fact, by the time I was in my second senior year (of 3), my test taking skills started going up as well. Why? Because I was no longer having anxiety during the test. I realized that most problems that I had were a matter of knowing a process to break them down. Prior to that point, I was constantly second guessing myself as to whether I really knew the answer or not before I even attempted breaking it down.

So when I finally knew the material and what the patterns were to solve the problems, I actually performed fairly well on tests after that. (I hope that relates to some of you who majored in a STEM field. If your major involved a ton of writing… I always did well by just writing down everything I knew and/or thought about a given subject and then linking them together.)

How does this apply here? The same strategy can be applied to other practices in life.

Let’s say you want to have better health. First, you need to start telling yourself that you are a healthy person. Do this regularly. Especially when you have cravings for a snack. Telling yourself this will help you from jumping off the wagon.  You do this because your mind starts believing things the more it hears it. Next, change your diet. Once that becomes natural, then start getting more sleep. Then after that, try to exercise more. Do one for 30 days, then add the next for 30 days, and then add the next. After 90 days, you’ll have three healthy habits you’ll find hard to quit. Spoon feed yourself these new habits or you’ll choke and not accomplish any of it.

Limiting and/or Removing Old Standards and Habits

You probably wondered when this was going to happen. I mean, the last example I gave with being more healthy, you were probably thinking, “Well, if I add more sleep and exercise more, how am I supposed to keep on top of all my TV shows in the evening?” or something similar. There are only so many hours in a day, right?

This is true. However, let’s think about two contrasting thoughts here.

  1.  You don’t have to be an exact replica of that model person you’re aiming to have similar qualities with. Just because you’re trying to be healthier, doesn’t mean you have to cut out all of your unhealthy habits. You can still binge on sweets, TV, video games, etc. (Just not like you used to…)
  2. As you change more and more and come closer to that model person that you want to be similar to (but not exactly like), you’re going to make more and more comparisons (micro-comparisons, even?) in what you do with your time and effort vs what they do with their time and effort. It’s natural as we grow as a human. In fact, you probably won’t notice the transformation as it doesn’t come over night. But if you keep a journal and/or analyze the thoughts you have right now vs the thoughts you had before you started your journey to the new you, they’re going to be crazy different.

Essentially, one side of you wants to remain YOU. The other side wants to change just enough to get their results.

Here’s the deal with those two thoughts. One one side, I think it’s inherent that you’re going to want to keep doing some of the things that you believe make you, you. I mean, after all, you don’t want to be that like that know it all expert, right? They don’t seem real. You want to make the transformation on your own terms. I totally get that.

The other side of you is like “Uh, I really think we need to be better at drinking water. That know it all expert actually does that pretty well. You always see her with a bottle. I wonder how she trained herself to drink water all the time.” Eventually, what you might come to find out is that the reason you might not have trusted or disliked someone at first is because they made you feel highly uncomfortable at the beginning. They were too alien. They were too good to be true.

However, now that you’re closer to them in multiple ways, you see them not only as a teacher, you actually start thinking of them as a person. And you might even start seeing some of their faults. They’re not as perfect as you once thought they were.

When you hit this level. You’ll get a different perspective not only on them and their actions, but on your actions as well. Knowing that this person puts on their pants one leg at a time just like you, you’ll start realizing some of the sacrifices they’ve made to get as far as they have.

This is when you ask yourself, do I want to have the results they have? If the answer is yes, then you’ll make the sacrifices they have. If the answer is no, then you’ll keep those old parts of your life as you see fit.

And just so you know when it’s right to be an “expert” for other people. I personally believe that this is the point. When you have learned all that you can from that previous ideal or model person, have gotten some of your own results, and can understand their actions might contradict what you want your end goal to be… that’s when you’re now in the teacher’s seat.

Homework:

What’s one subject that you know quite a bit about now that at one point you were clueless about? Maybe you had no idea where to start when you first began? Perhaps you were afraid to start? Do you remember where and from whom you learned the knowledge you have now? Let us know below. You might even gain some new students!

AoL009: Ideas to Improve all the Tomorrows of your Life with Jim Vaughan

Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, Tim Ferriss, even Tony Robbins. These are names that we can picture when we think about being successful in climbing their respective career mountains. We all know these names because they share, on a regular basis, how they got to where they’re at and what they’re currently doing. One thing that they all have in common is that they’re releasing new content all the time. That’s what makes them popular, I’m sure.

They all are people we’d consider to be extraordinary and able to give lots of information in how we can be great like them. However, the idea of being great and teaching others to be the same isn’t new. Would you believe that Tony Robbins wasn’t the first big self-help star out there? He had to learn from others… but who did he learn from? Who was popular in that time?

These were questions I continually searched when I first learned about the self-help field. I know Tony mentions a few in his books, but I always wondered if there were others that were popular at the time. If you know Tony’s story, you know that he started out pretty normal like most of us. So it wasn’t like he had special access to any insider information.

When I met Jim Vaughan in 2012, he helped shed some light on this mystery. With the site that he had at the time, I was able to go into this vast library and learn from some of these past rock stars of success. Some of those names included Earl Nightingale, Paul J. Meyer, Andrew Carnegie and others. These are people who he considers part of his Personal Board of Directors. These were people that I was sure that could have impacted Tony’s education!

And when I say education, don’t believe that what I’m talking about has anything to do with what you find in formal education. You know, K-12 and college. So much of that knowledge is a complete waste of time when it comes to actually being successful in life. I mean, outside of those who graduated with a STEM related major, it’s insane how many college graduates don’t have a job in the field they went to school for. However, I’m sure you know this. (Hell, you might even be one of those people. I feel your pain. I went to school for a STEM related major… and used it for a whole two years before I realized that it didn’t fit what I wanted to do.)

So, if you feel that you’ve been lead astray in your career (and life in general) and want to really learn from proven old-school life advice, I’d check out what Jim has to say. He’s been listening and implementing a lot of it for a good part of his life and is now dedicated to passing that knowledge along. It might just help you be the next Tony Robbins in your field.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Why Jim started listening to success masters and how they amplified his career.
  • How Jim got hired to do DJ work at the White House (yes, that White House).
  • How you can change your thought process to get to where you want in life.
  • What kind of impact Jim wants to make with his businesses.
  • How Jim came up with the idea for the IQ Morning Report and what it consists of.
  • Why he believes it’s so important to keep learning.
  • Some of the great tips he’s learned through the years including the easiest way to become a people magnet.
  • Proof that you don’t need a formal education to do well for yourself in life.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Here’s some popular YouTube videos and other media related to Jim’s Personal Board of Directors:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Tips For Finding, Hiring, and Working with a Career Coach

It’s November and many people’s minds are on winter coming up. I know as I’m looking out the window, it’s already that wintery gray with occasional yellow leaf still hanging on a tree. While gazing out there, I find myself asking, “Didn’t we just have winter? What happened to summer?!?”

For many people, the changing of the seasons suggests that change is needed in their lives. They could be thinking a number of things. In fact, you might place me with the bunch that says “I’m not taking another one of these! It’s time to move south!” However, some people actually make the jump.

Another jump that might be made during the change of the seasons, and more specifically in the fall, are career changes. For whatever reason, people regularly change careers in the fall. (Personally, I don’t know why that is. Any thoughts? Is it related to the fiscal year ending?)

Like many transitions in life, there are professionals that are available for hire that can help you with your change of career. These people are called Career Coaches.

Signs You Need a Career Coach

You know, I believe that if you want to be someone you’re not, then you’re going to need help to get there. There are different types of people who can help you get to the next level. Those that are direct and those that are indirect. Examples of people who are more direct in helping others are teachers, managers, and leaders. Examples of indirect helpers would be counselors, mentors, and finally coaches. Coaches being the most extreme of being indirect. To me, a coach is someone who can take another person where they can’t take themselves. I say this because I think people can teach themselves how to do stuff. However, I don’t think they get out of their own head and look at a certain situation from another perspective too well.

I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if we could fix mental blocks we might have and be better at something? To give ourselves that extra push to get out of a particular comfort zone? The truth is that while we like to believe that we’re great at making ourselves better, more often than not, that isn’t always the case. If we knew what was keeping us from going to the next level, then doesn’t it make sense that we would have made that adjustment already and gotten there?

That said, here are a few signs you should be able to recognize as a signal that it’s time to get a career coach.

  • You feel like you’re spinning your wheels in your current career or position.
  • You feel like you’re not given a chance to prove the person you believe yourself to be.
  • You feel like you have problems with meeting new people in professional settings.
  • You’ve been out of work for a long time and feel that you might run out of runway to get another job, or start a new career.
  • You feel like your job and your co-workers jobs are possibly about to be cut.

While this list isn’t extensive, I believe it kinda gives a valid barometer of the things you should be asking yourself “Do I feel…”. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start looking.

Choosing A Coach

Just like there are many kinds of doctors, there are many kinds of coaches. And believe me, they come with all kinds of shapes and sizes. While many of us can help with general stuff (resume and coverletter writing, interviews, networking, etc.) many us specialize. For me, I like working with millennials who want more in life and are thinking about eventually doing their own thing. Other coaches might focus with people with ADHD or people interested in a STEM field. Yet others might focus with women or those who are thinking about being semi-retired after they leave their current position.

So think about what kind of person you are first. Then think if the coaches you’re looking at fit that description.

Next, think about what you want to get done. What do you want them to help you with? As I said, I like working with people my own age who are wanting to be an expert in the work they have a passion for. And while I can help you do general job hunting stuff, it’s not my bread and butter. In fact, when people want to acquire a job in a field I have no clue in, I generally pass them on to other coaches.

So get a list of 5 coaches that might be able to help you with what you want to get done.

Once you have that last part figured out, you need to interview them. Many of us offer discovery sessions if we expect to be working with people for 6 or more sessions – so that would be your opportunity. (If they’re only going to work with you for 3 to 6 sessions, you might need to find another way.)

Questions that you might ask during this interview include:

  • What should I expect from working with you?
  • Can you share success stories? (Focus on whether they’re describing you in these stories.)
  • What’s your fee structure like? (Find out if they charge by session, by hour, by month, or a combination of the three.)
  • How would you describe your coaching style? (Again are they more direct like a teacher or are they going to help lead you to your own answers? Which one do you have time for?)

Working with a Coach

Once you have selected your coach and it’s time to start working with them, there’s a few things that you ought to do to make your time count with them.

Prepare for every session. You’re paying for this session. So think about how you’re going to get the best of it.What kind of learner are you? Do you like to write notes? Do you need to record the sessions? Maybe you should get any resumes or past documents you’ve prepared in getting a job. Come prepared with a list of questions, ideas, and/or notes you’ve been thinking about.

Keep communication lines open. If you have any personal challenges with something, let your coach know. Are you having financial issues? Perhaps you’re going through some relationship problems. Or maybe you’re struggling with something the coach said. These are things that they need to know to help you craft the best plan possible. So let your coach know about them in a tactful way.

Assessments aren’t everything. If you know me, you should know I’m a huge fan of personality assessments. The main reason is because I think they helped me realize what I should have gone to school for. However, I need to make sure I emphasize “helped”. Everyone is different. And just because you have the same personality type, or the same believes, or the same values as someone else, doesn’t mean you have to be a carbon clone of that person. You’re going to have different experiences, skills, and thoughts than that other person. Let all of those combine to figure out what you’re true calling is.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. When building a skyscraper, construction companies will spend just about as much time building the foundation as they do building the actual building itself. Why is that? Because it needs to support all that weight.

This is true of coaching (and many other processes in life that are worth pursuing), too. Sometimes we’re building something so big we won’t realize it. We’ll hit a plateau and be frustrated one day, and the next we’ll feel that we’re making great strides in our life. The thing is that there’s so many variables in making a career transition that it’s really hard to tell exactly how long it will take for any particular individual – let alone everyone. So results will vary.

Expected Results vs Actual Results

Again, results will vary. Everyone is different. Realize that just like a player on the field will accumulate 120 yards one day and another receiver in that same system will go only 15, there are many different variables as to why that happened. Perhaps the player didn’t have as many opportunities to catch the ball. Or perhaps he dropped one or two of the passes that were sent his way. At the end of the game, they’re on the same winning team and they still won.

Likewise, your coach is putting you through the same system they’ve put others through before as well. However, you’re going to be starting from a different starting point and have different motivators. While your coach is giving you the strategies and guidance to make great plays, in the end is up to you to be that MVP. You’re the one that has to complete what is asked of you.

Homework:

Like all my other posts, here’s something for you to do right now with what you’ve just finished reading.

I want you to think of 3 things that you’re happy about from your current position. Then what are 3 things that frustrate you about your career.

Now, from those 3 things that frustrate you, what is one thing you’d love help with? List that one thing below. We’d love to see what kinds of things you guys are struggling with. Hopefully we’ll be able to help! (If you want our help in particular, you can find out more about our services here.)