My Latest Story
Funny story, how I got here, a startup entrepreneur, writer, and executive career coach who’ll have run from the law, his only tangible credential, for 20 years this August.
I was a pretty good lawyer, a trial lawyer, which is nothing less than a professional storyteller, and between that and pure chance I didn’t lose a case or a major motion in my seven years in the law. But even I, often late to listening to myself, was able to figure out that I didn’t enjoy it.
I suppose one clue was the weekly Sunday ritual, in which my mood, all day long, was indistinguishable from clinical depression – because it was the last day of “my freedom,” as I put it, because I would have to return to the law firm the next morning.
I was eventually able to see that red flag of the lack of fit between my work, on the one hand, and my true strengths, my passions, and my values on the other.
Just like you
But what else could I do? I didn’t want to be a lawyer (I'd gone to law school in order to go into public service), but I was only trained to be a lawyer, and few other professions or jobs I was interested in cared much about my having legal training.
I didn’t grow up with any money around, and my family had a lot of anxiety about that. I inherited an ancestral fear of not having money, and a debilitating belief that I’d never have enough.
At the time, of course, I didn’t have a clear and definite career plan. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I didn’t know what I could do that the market would also want me to do. Probably a lot like you.
Ultimately, when you don't enjoy something you are good at (aka "skills" and "prior experience" in the world of hiring), you'll stop being so good at it. Your motivation wanes, you show up later, leave earlier, or check out more often, your productivity suffers, the opinions your colleagues and clients have of you declines, and you actually stop being what we could call good at it.
It’s normal to fear change, but you can learn to manage it
No real change ever does come with a plan, though, and if there’s one thing I would pass on to you as a coach, it would be simply this: all real acts of creativity and self-creation take place during, and actually require, a period of uncertainty, which means doubt and anxiety. That is normal, but it’s not defective, not something that makes you different and somehow less.
Trust me, I’ve coached people at every level of business and government and life, and when we’re embarking on change, we are all scared. The good news? I can teach you to manage your fear of the uncertainty, your terror of the unknown, your notions of failure.
We’re always scared when we’re not sure what our story going forward will be. What is the meaning, the story, of my life? What will I do, where, with whom? What kind of work is for me? Will I make enough money to keep the respect of the people whose respect I want to have? Can I create a great brand, or reputation, for myself?
When we don’t know how we’ll do these things, it’s scary.
Brand is just a subset of story
For a long time, in fact, you may have resisted the decision to look for a change in your work. If you think about it, it was probably evident to you long before today that your job wasn’t really your passion, not really the place where you could reliably get into Flow.
If you’re seeking career direction, branding, or interview preparation, you’re looking for your Story. Let me tell you mine: I’m an interpreter of people and organizations, and an educator and communicator of their stories.
Your personal brand is made up of stories, backed by evidence. At High Performance Story, we start by asking you questions.
Ask for a free strategic conversation now. We’ll tell you candidly whether we can help you as much as or more than any alternatives you’re considering, and how, and we guarantee we’ll end with more strategic direction and tactical recommendations than you started with.
You don’t have to wear a squirrel suit at work to get into Flow.
Get our free ebook on why Flow is what the happiest and most productive people are optimizing their lives around - and how you can join them!