Did you receive this advice growing up?
Get a degree … get a job … work there loyally for 35 years … pay your dues
Retire on the beach in south Florida and live out the rest of your life (what’s left of it) swinging golf clubs and sipping margaritas while listening to Jimmy on the radio?
Wake up call my dear friends. Check the headlines of any newspaper and you will find announcements of layoffs and jobs on the chopping block. What do I know about this?
Well, at the time of writing this article I would bet that I have had just as many jobs and career changes as Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. I started working in construction with my pops when I was a little kid. You probably don’t count that one but I returned in the summers and many times through college and failed jobs and businesses.
Here are a few other jobs and careers I have had, not in any specific order … landscaping, sold shoes, made pizzas, wore out phone books cold calling while at Morgan Stanley, sold real estate, did construction again with dad, wrestled alligators, did flooring, drove an ambulance, worked in a doctors office, washed dishes in a nursing home, worked at a moving company, worked at a marketing research institute, was an adjunct professor, worked at boys and girls club, did construction again, worked at a venture capital fund, was a fire fighter paramedic, startup ceo, opened up a real estate brokerage… closed a real estate brokerage with the real estate collapse, became a certified personal trainer, sold roofs, consultant, waiter, investor, coach, sold sponsorships, strategic/syndicate partner, and there are probably a few more that I forced out of my memory. I think they call those repressed memories due to high levels of stress or trauma.
I’ve quit jobs, been laid off, been fired, and have seen companies close their doors. Talk about stress eh? Have you ever lost a job or had to scrape pennies together to pay for gas to get to interviews? Have you gone days without sleeping praying to God that you land the job so you can buy baby diapers and formula?
I know that writing this article will reveal failures in my life and career journey but I am willing drop my guard and mask because I know there are others hurting right now and can benefit from my experiences. Even if it helps one person, this was worth it.
Going through this many jobs, careers, and businesses you get really good at a few things. I became really good at getting interviews, moving through the interview process, and getting job offers. And, there were times when there were no jobs available and I had to become a consultant / freelancer overnight to pay the bills. When your back is up against the wall and you have a beautiful family you want to feed, it is amazing how good you get at knocking on doors and cold calling businesses. Motivation? Probably more like fear and trying to avoid more pain.
When you get kicked in the guts enough you can either fall down and quit or start building some gut muscles to take the shots better. To tell you the truth, I remember standing on a bridge in Jacksonville, FL at maybe 4 in the morning thinking about quitting and jumping because I felt like a failure. My startup failed, we lost all of our money, we had no insurance, my pregnant wife was just hit by a car the day before, and I couldn’t get a job for the life of me. I was turned down for a valet parking job and pool cleaning job because I have tattoos on my leg and couldn’t get a job at a grocery store because I was over qualified and too entrepreneurial according to their 10 question test…. obviously I didn’t swan dive off the bridge because I had just one small ounce of hope to see my future daughter and to hold my wife again.
(side note: I didn’t expect to write this but something in my heart made me… if you are at that point on a bridge, just got laid off, failed a business, or whatever it is… jumping won’t solve the issue. Get some help like I did. Get plugged into a church or a community and tell them what your going through. Ask for help… it may not always come the way you wish but if you ask enough and the right places, I believe that people will try and help.)
Alright, so I didn’t jump and I went back to finding work and opportunities. I had to learn to pivot in my life and developed more grit than sandpaper. I’m not John Wayne where nothing phases me. I have cried many times and have had to ask for help from friends and family because of hard times. Even though my wife says I am a sensitive man, I am pretty damn tough. This is an important thing to learn when transitioning in life. Be tough and fight and fail forward, rinse and repeat.
Ok, so enough with the set up of the story… Josh, where are you going with this?
The future of the workforce is changing drastically and I believe that it my purpose to help people make that transition. Jobs and pensions are on the chopping block and people must learn to work differently now and into the future. Cars are driving themselves, people are checking themselves out at the grocery store and at fast food restaurants. Sure there are high level jobs that will probably be around for a while like doctors but the world only has enough room for so many docs. The future of jobs are on the chopping block and we must be prepared for it.
The future workforce will be made up of consultants, agencies, partnerships, freelancers, and entrepreneurs (I call us, Jockies It is people who build businesses and ride these unicorns and ideas to the finish line!) We must create and sharpen our personal value propositions and learn to add value to others. We must become experts and specialists in our niches in order to make money to buy food provide for our families.
Like I said, I am leveraging my successes and failures to help others pivot and create businesses and help other businesses grow.
I am building a human incubator to launch entrepreneurs into businesses… it is called Bet The Jockey.
Like in the movie with Bill Murray, I am taking baby steps and I may only be on step one or two…
Baby Step # 1: Show Me
I created a podcast called Bet The Jockey to interview entrepreneurs, consultants, agencies, freelancers, and investors to show people that it is possible to build something or maybe to help others build and grow their business. Showing people that it can be done gives hope that they too can do something. It is a small step but I believe it will give people hope and just one ounce of hope saved my life so I think it is powerful.
So if you would like to listen in on these interviews or share your story with others, check it out here … http://www.betthejockey.com/podcast/
Baby Step # 2: Who AM I
The first step is for people to discover their value proposition based on their talents, passions, and purpose. This is really important for me to share because there have been times where I felt worthless and I think that is one of the worst feelings a human being can bear. I created a tiny map or guide to help me remember my value and my purpose. I visit it and use it frequently and want to also share it with you my friends You can get it for free here http://www.betthejockey.com/expert-secrets
Baby Step # 3: Teach Me
When people see, they can believe it. The next step is to teach them how they do it. I am building courses and mentorship programs to help teach people how to leverage their value propositions to create businesses or help other businesses grow. I think we should learn with and from others who are doing it well. The first course I created was to show people how to leverage LinkedIn to find opportunities or more customers. LinkedIn Training
Baby Step # 4: to be continued
Hope this was helpful. Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know your story, how I can help, or how you can pitch in.