By the time you read this, I'll have ducked into an unmarked van at 5:30 in the morning, been driven 4 hours southeast of Quito as the sun rises, stuffed my 25-lb weight allowance into a teeny tiny prop plane, soared east over the Amazon basin, and paddled a canoe deep into the territory of the Achuar people -- one of the last tribes inside Ecuador's borders that hasn't yet sold out to the oil industry.
At this very moment, I might reluctantly be chewing a piece of cuy (AKA roast guinea pig) which would definitely be confusing for someone who had two pet guinea pigs growing up.
Anyhow, I'll get back to you next week with more of the Amazon jungle story.
For now, I'd like to share with you something that SHONE THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF THE SUN into my morning a few weeks ago and affirmed, once again, the absolute freedom, personal power, and -- most of all -- REAL-WORLD RESULTS that tend to make themselves available as a direct result of learning how to OWN your story.
This email comes from a dear friend and Career Masterclass student who had gotten his M.B.A. and moved to Europe, where he was getting increasingly frustrated:
"Pitching the career switch -- telling and retelling and retelling the story, having to convince others of the value in non-linear experiences, and feeling the need to apologize for the unorthodoxy of my resume."
If YOU'VE ever felt like you had to explain an unorthodox resume or apologize for a non-linear career path -- I invite you to pay close attention to what happened next:
I have some news to share!
Thanks to this strange new professional self-confidence that I've been nurturing and projecting ever since taking SOMEONE'S masterclass...
I have done a CRAZY thing.
After turning down TWO full time job offers, I signed a contract this week for my first engagement as an independent consultant and I am VERY EXCITED...
About the work, but about a thousand times more about the mindset/lifestyle/professional shift that I think is starting to happen.
I'll be consulting for -------------- , an EU-funded program that provides advisory services to renewable energy developers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Oh and by the way -- after getting 2 too-low-for-me-but-competitive-for-Amsterdam salary offers and not budging on my sense of value...
Both came back and met my price, which was TWICE as much as their initial offer. Funny how that works!
AND on top of that, I already have a number of hot/promising leads on potential clients thanks to some super fortuitous networking!
A selection of fun leads:
1) I'm going to offer paid mentoring/coaching services on all things finance to startups at Amsterdam's main accelerator program
2) I'm talking to a very cool entrepreneur about helping her develop the finance curriculum for her sustainability-focused startup bootcamps
3) That same person is co-founder of a Greek e-commerce startup, and she wants me to meet her CEO (who helped build and sell the main Dutch e-commerce platform to Ebay for nine figures)...
To discuss being a part-time C.F.O. whaaaaaaaaat!
SO. For so many reasons this feels like the right thing to do, and it's already seeming like the path -- albeit one that requires constant work, but hey -- to designing the career and lifestyle that I want, and have talked so much about.
All of this is to say, there was a perfect confluence of things that led me to do this, and your insights, work wisdom, and your own professional example are front and center.
I can't overstate how much my thinking has changed.
All of the stuff around recognizing value, the notion of an equal exchange, of understanding power dynamics and the fact that you bring something truly valuable to the table in professional contexts -- all of these learnings have really helped me reframe how I look at pretty much everything work-related.
It's almost COMICAL how differently people are responding to this new attitude. My networking conversations have taken on a completely different tone, where I'm far more in charge of the narrative.
I've been generating interest ("I don't know how we'll do it but I know we have to work with you!" -actual quote from a meeting yesterday),
As opposed to being in the position of 'hi I would like a job'.
Things are worlds different, and for that I can't say thank you enough.
I hope you're also taking the time to remind yourself of your own teachings/lessons, and that you recognize and remember the value of what you're doing/have to offer.
The word that captures it best for me is transformative.
Be still, my heart! I mean, can you feel the exuberance radiating from that email?
And to top it off, I just got another update:
He DID get that part-time C.F.O. gig, like a BOSS.
What I find amazing about this story (besides the fact that I get to read and re-read it whenever I am tempted to despair that nothing I do has any import in this vast and cold and uncaring universe which we all occasionally feel sometimes LET'S JUST BE HONEST) --
Is that it comes from someone who originally just wanted "a job" -- ANY job.
And now, within MONTHS of reframing his story, he's turning down MULTIPLE JOB OFFERS for EXACTLY HIS DREAM SALARY, in favor of a riskier but more fulfilling path that FEELS right and exciting on all levels.
Which, in my mind at least, begs the question:
Regardless of HOW he got there -- what does it say for ALL of us, that he did?
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you devote some time this week simply to wondering -- at the immense possibilities that the unknowable future may very well be holding for YOU.