Think being a park ranger is about as far from the business world as you can get?  

Jody Maberry says the time he spent as a park ranger gave him a solid education in public relations, public speaking, negotiation, and the customer experience.  He traded the cubicle for the great outdoors, got his MBA, and discovered that not only could business lesson be applied to the parks system but the parks had lessons to share with the business world too.

Along the way, Jody discovered his ability for storytelling and now helps entrepreneurs market themselves and their brands through telling their stories.

  • How even seemingly drastic career changes, like say, financial analyst to park ranger – ARE possible if you are patient, persistent, and willing to work for it!
  • You’ll also hear how important a role relationships play in finding and landing the opportunities you want
  • And, you’ll learn why you should NEVER underestimate humble beginnings…

The Jody Maberry Show

Creating Disney Magic Podcast (with Lee Cockerell)

The Park Leaders podcast – (you may recognize the voice in the intro!)

Want to hear the “squirrel story”?

For more info on finding the work that fits you:

Get in touch with Jody!

Twitter:  @JodyMaberry



Twitter: @htycbiz and @scottabarlow 

Follow us on Facebook






Come join us over on Facebook in our Work You Love OneStop group! 

Get the support, information, and encouragement you need to move to work you’ll love!


For helping finding YOUR signature strengths, enroll in our FREE 8-day video course at!

Introduction 00:00
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, Episode 125. What's your story?

Jody Mayberry 00:09
When you are faced with two options, choose the one that will make a better story. I kept one foot on each side of the fence and wasn't doing well with either one. I sat on the couch for three months. Heck, I didn't even know the proper way to hug a tree.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:29
Hey HTYCers, if you've been struggling to figure out work that fits you then join our eight day free mini course, all you have to do is text HTYC to 38470. That's HTYC to 38470 or simply visit, that's See you there.

Introduction 00:56
This is Happen To Your Career, we help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and then make it happen. Whether you're looking to do your own thing, or find your dream job, you've come to the right place. I'm Scott Barlow.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:16
Hey, this is Scott Barlow, and you are listening to Happen To Your Career. This is the show that helps you figure out what work fits you by exploring other stories, we get to bring on experts like Matt Kincaid, who's quite frankly, an amazing resource on leadership and he helps companies build say anything cultures, and people that have also pretty amazing stories like Dr. Lynn Marie Morskie, who quit her way to her dream career, believe it or not, and also people just like you that have gone from where they are to what they really want to be doing. Now you can find all of those people and more in the back episodes of Happen To Your Career, I would highly encourage you to go back and listen to Dr. Lynn Marie Morskie, or Dr. Matt Kincaid. And you don't have to be a doctor. Because you know what, anybody can do this if they actually do the necessary steps, and they can be steps and there are people that have followed these steps already and that we get to showcase on the show, and there are people just like our next guest. And in my conversation with him, you're gonna get to find out how, even seemingly drastic career changes like say, I don't know, financial analyst, Park Ranger are completely possible if you are persistent, and willing to work for it. And we're going to show you exactly what that means. Because it's easy to say, persistent and willing to work for it, right? It's much harder to understand what that actually looks like. So you're also going to get to hear how important a role relationships play in finding and landing the opportunities that you want. And what that even means, what that looks like. And finally, you're gonna learn why you should never underestimate humble beginnings. So think about being a park ranger. And if you think that that's about as far from the business world as you can get, then I want you to think again because my guest says, the time that he spent as a park ranger gave him a solid education in public relations, public speaking, negotiation, customer experience, he ended up actually trading the cubicle for the great outdoors. Then he went and got his MBA and discovered that not only could business lessons be applied to the park system, but the parks had lessons to share with the business world too. He's a master storyteller. He's the host of the park leaders podcast. Not a surprise, right? But he also hosts Creating Disney Magic that podcast with former Disney Exec Lee Cockerell, who is a past guest on this show, go and find his episode. And he's also recently launched the Jody Mayberry show. I want to welcome Jody Mayberry back to the HTYC podcast. He's one of the only people that we've had on here multiple times. And yeah, I think you're gonna love this one. Take a listen to my conversation with Jody Mayberry.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:18
Your kids got... my kids in a really weird way because they did not interact with each other with the exception of my youngest child, now my kids are watching, what is it Lego... I can't remember the name of it, Lego. Oh, I can't remember it. So your son has like the Lego toys with like the big guys move around, they get swords. What are those called? I can't remember them. I can see them but I can't...

Jody Mayberry 04:54
Is it... it could be Hero Factory? It could be Bionicles?

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:58
Yep. Bionicles. Yeah. So now they're watching Bionicles.

Jody Mayberry 05:04

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:05
Yeah. So... which is actually pretty good. I watched a view and...

Jody Mayberry 05:11
Yeah, of all the things that kids watch, what Lego puts out usually decent.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:16
Well, Legos, kind of like Disney, actually. And maybe this is where the episode starts. We're not gonna do a formal start to the episode. So this is where it begins, Jody. And it began. Yeah, Lego puts out stuff along the lines of Disney. Like they have the same level of quality, I would say. Yeah, in everything that they do. They don't targeted towards kids too.

Jody Mayberry 05:41
They do a great job. And in fact, they have teamed up because Lego has a lot of Disney sets.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:45
Oh, that's true. I forgot about that. That is true. Did not think about that. So we purchased, oh, yeah, actually, so when you were over here, and your kids were there and my son was trying to put together, like, that off brand Lego?

Jody Mayberry 06:01
Yes. Yeah, it was like Lego spelled backwards, wasn't it?

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:05
It was, basically. It was some kind of backwards Lego. Actually, it probably didn't even deserve to be Lego spelled backwards. But yeah, man, it was terrible. Like a whole different level of quality. So I used to, I had the conversation with Alyssa not that long ago, where it's like, "wait a minute, $150 for a Lego set? Are you serious?" And now after the kids got some of those for Christmas, which are like seven bucks or whatever, five bucks or something, I know, I'm willing to pay, you know, $150 for like I said, or 20 bucks or 40 bucks, or whatever it is. There's a distinct difference.

Jody Mayberry 06:43
There is... Lego is expensive. But often you get what you pay for, which is the case in Lego, you pay for wonderful marketing and very precise bricks.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:57
So on the note of you get what you pay for, that's what I want to talk about. Actually, that's not at all what I want to talk about. But I couldn't think of another transition. What I do really want to talk about is, I want to talk about your story, because you've had, in just before we were able to get on Skype and you know, hit the record button and everything like that, we were talking about a saying that you, shall we call it "birth" and I think we should start with that. Because I think it's very fitting for this conversation. Now, can you say it again, this will be third time.

Jody Mayberry 07:28
Third time? Yes. When you are faced with two options, choose the one that will make a better story.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:34
So I think that you've done that, I think that knowing you and your background, you've done a pretty amazing job of that. So you've had a very varied career, at the risk of too many varies in one sentence. And I think that'll be really, really interesting for not just your stories, because I think you've had a lot of people already interested in your stories. But I think it'd be really, really interesting to talk through today. One reason is because you and I haven't really gotten talked through a lot of that other than occasionally. So I'm curious, there's some things that I want to ask you and dive deep into, if you want to call it that. And at the same time, I think that it'll be really, really helpful for HTCYers. So I would love to hear about, how on earth you became a park ranger in the first place?

Jody Mayberry 08:30
Yeah, I don't think you and I have ever talked about that, Scott. I was, well first of all, most boys and nowadays, a lot of girls as well, dream about being a park ranger when they grew up, especially if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors with me and doing family vacations in national parks as a kid. You dream about being a park ranger, but you grow up thinking, you've got to do real life, which is what I did. I went to, I'm gonna skim through this part of the story real quick, I am, went to Illinois State University, got a degree in finance, got a degree in marketing, and then spent three months on the road living out of a tent because I knew I was going to work the rest of my life. But during that travels, I came out to Washington State and knew after what I have seen and done, I couldn't really return to Illinois. But I did return to Illinois, but only long enough to pack my belongings into my car and move to Washington State. So we'll fast forward a little bit, and I am a financial analyst at a commercial bank. And we just built a house in Mount Vernon, Washington and a friend was helping us move and she said, "you know what? I know you spend all your time hiking at Deception Pass State Park, the Washington State is hiring Park Rangers, you should really think about that." And I couldn't shake the idea that, oh, I wonder if I really could become a park ranger. And I looked at the qualifications, and I didn't qualify because I didn't have enough credits in natural sciences. However you interpret that history and rocks and whether whatever falls in that category.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:24

Jody Mayberry 10:24
Yeah. So what I did is, I went back to school at night, I didn't tell anybody at the job I had, because, you know, Scott, you spend a lot of time in the corporate environment, if they know you're moving towards something else, then they will find someone more willing to do your job. So I did that all at night and didn't tell anybody. And then finally had the credits I need and I applied to become a ranger. And it took one year from the time I decided I was going to do it until I got a job offer. One year of going to school at night and in the process was really long, because in Washington State park rangers carry firearms. So it's rightfully a long process. So that process took six months. So six months of schooling, six months of going through the process, and then became a park ranger and spent eight years doing that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:27
Okay, so that's really interesting, because it makes a great story now. And we're not even done with the story, like we're just getting into the story, right. But most people would not be willing to commit to that. Most people, and I've heard a lot of this because I have a lot of emails this way. And this is not to say that this is bad but I think that's a different reaction than what most people would have. Because I think most people would say, "Well, I don't know if I'm going to be able to become a park ranger. So why would I put the time into the schooling?"

Jody Mayberry 11:59
That's true. It was, if you look at it that way, it was a risk. But let me tell you this when the last regular job, and I'm doing the air quotes, or as they say at Nashville Predators games, they call those Fang Fingers, which I don't get it, but that's what they call them. So last time I had a real job, the owner's son had a high up position in the company, but decided he wanted to be a firefighter. And he set out to do it. Well, he was determined that no, this is my new career, and I'm gonna make it happen. And I have to say I was jealous, not because he was becoming a firefighter, I had no desire to be a firefighter. But to see him set that goal, and devote months and months to make it happen, that's what made me jealous, because I remembered how rewarding that was to have a goal. Your days are different, when you're reaching for something that you're not even sure if you're going to get but you're so determined to make it happen, your days are different. You don't, yeah, maybe you don't like your job but how exciting is it to know you're working towards this bigger thing. And so it took me a year, like I said, from the time I decided to do it until I got the job offer, it was exactly 12 months. And that was a wonderful year, because I had that coming up. And really, maybe what it was, was hope, the hope that this could happen and it made days delicious. Can I say that on the air?

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:42
Delicious? I believe that you can, I don't know. Josh will edit it out. If it is, you know, a little too risque for our show. I believe it'll be okay.

Jody Mayberry 13:55
Okay, so that's what it was. It just... it added some more flavor to my days and my weeks and my months to know that I was working towards a dream.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:08
Okay, so that's really interesting to me, because, you know, I totally understand the hope in working towards something, and I think that, you know, just like when you plan a trip in advance, like Alyssa and I are taking the kids and we're going to, and I know you know this but for everybody else's benefit too, you know, we're going to go live in Europe for six weeks here coming up. And, like, that's something we talk about regularly and we look forward to and we're making plans for it and we're doing stuff in anticipation of it in order to make it happen and you know, it's actually... it's created a lot of work for us, really, but it's also a lot of fun, it's delicious...

Jody Mayberry 14:57
That might get edited out.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:58
At the risk of it getting edited out. But so I can totally understand what you mean when you say that. Was there a thought in your head about what happens if it doesn't work out? Or what was that like for you? What was your headspace like at that time? I'm super curious about that, because I've never really gotten talked about this.

Jody Mayberry 15:19
I don't know if I considered it an option that it wouldn't work out but there were a lot of hoops. So to become a Ranger, I had to go back to school, I had to score high enough on the civil service exam, I think that's what they call it. The bar is pretty low at a 70. But I had had such... I had had no experience in the type of thing they were looking for. So the absolute minimum to get considered as a 70, and I think I scored a 74. So I just barely made it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:54
Squeaked by.

Jody Mayberry 15:55
Squeaked by. So that happens, and then you have to do a medical exam, a fitness test, a psychological exam, a polygraph. And once you get through all of that, and you could fail at any one of those steps, then you begin the interview process. So you've made it that far, and you still might not get chosen. And I recall a couple of times worrying that Oh, man, this is a big step or what if this doesn't happen, but I never considered that it might not. Just like if you're going to Europe, you're just planning on this is happening, and you're moving towards that. But you don't work out though, well, what happens if we don't go to Europe? That was my mindset.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:47
I was thinking about, so like, I mean, obviously, you know a little bit about my transition and everything like that, because started Happen To Your Career on the side. And when you started listening to our show way back when, you know, I was doing a day job and everything like that, by the way, we should probably tell that story how we met here, too. So quick piece of background, you were... I don't have no idea how you found our show. Maybe I can ask you that question. But then you reached out to me on Twitter, I think. How on earth did you find? How do we even know each other, Jody?

Jody Mayberry 17:19
I think I first discovered Mark Sieverkropp. And I'm trying to remember how because it's been a long while. Probably through like Chris LoCurto's blog or something along those lines. And then Mark Sieverkropp and I, we bantering back and forth. And then that's... somehow you came up, and that he's like, "Hey, you got to meet Scott Barlow with his dreamy voice and great hair." And that's how it happened.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:56
I'm sure it was just like that.

Jody Mayberry 18:00
Well, I gave you the movie version.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:01
Yeah, that's the movie version. So interestingly enough, though, I think that I can kind of relate to that, because I'm thinking about my own transition. And people have asked me all the time, it's like, "what happened if your business didn't work out?" And I, similar to what you were just talking about with your transition to park ranger, I just never considered it an option for it not to work. It's like more a question of, is it going to work this month? Or is it going to work six months from now? But it wasn't an option. So I say all that to ask the question of, do you think that that has to be a mentality? Or do you think that there's other ways to get there?

Jody Mayberry 18:46
There are likely other ways to get there. I wonder if you would be as tenacious or determined if you thought there were other options, though. I don't know the answer to that. But once I was determined to become a park ranger, I was doing whatever it took, including having the patience and the determination to wait one year for it to happen. And if I thought, well, I could be a park ranger or I could go for a promotion here at work or you know what, there's another bank that I could probably get a job there and make some more money that I want to spread myself in all three directions, rather than still doing a great job at the place where I'm employed, so I always recommend doing that. But then, all the rest of my energy was pointed towards the completion of my goal of becoming a park ranger. And as you ask these questions, I realize usually when I tell the story about moving from financial analysts to park ranger, I glanced over that part I tell it like it just happened. But it was quite a process. And then after I became a park ranger, I moved to Spokane, Washington and my wife still lived on the other side of the state for a year. And I would come home on weekends. So not only did I... and I also don't want to glance over the impact me becoming a park ranger head on my wife that year long process and then afterwards, a year of living apart with me just coming home on the weekends, but I drove was six and a half hours one way, every time, every weekend, so going back and forth. So still, I was determined to make it work out even after it happened.

Cindy 20:54
I was sure that I needed to make changes in my career. But there was so many options that I was stuck.

Joshua Rivers 20:59
Cindy, is a Chief Financial Officer for a small nonprofit in Fresno, California. While completing the exercises, she made a discovery.

Cindy 21:09
I knew about myself in advance was, I need to look for improvements, I need to make those improvements. And I also know, I don't do maintenance. What I didn't know there was an underlying theme between the two. The reason you need to make the improvements is because I work hard not to get bored. It was an epiphany.

Joshua Rivers 21:29
However, it seemed that the she was the last one to find out.

Cindy 21:33
I took my shiny new discovery to my family. And they were happy to validate. Yeah, that's the reason that they thought I did these things. Without the exercises, and the figured out eight-day course, I would remain blind to a clarifying truth that everyone else thought that I already knew. And that's why they were talking about it. I'm now concentrating on work in consulting industry, that will be project based so I can complete things and move on to the next thing, alleviating the boredom.

Joshua Rivers 22:03
The HTYC eight-day figure it out course helps Cindy realize something that was obvious to everyone but her. What could it do to help you discover so that you can make an impactful change for your life and career? To take the course for yourself, text HTYC to 38470, that's HTYC to 38470 or just simply go to, that's

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:39
I don't know if I knew that part. Maybe you've told me that in the past. But I don't think that I did know that part that you guys were living in different sides of the state and everything along those lines.

Jody Mayberry 22:49
Yeah, my wife was a schoolteacher. So she had to put in one more year.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:54
Oh, you know what, I do think that we talked about that. Because the same way, Alyssa and I, when we first got married, she promptly moved to Moses, Lake Washington, which, oddly enough is where we live now and where both of us happen to be from. But then she took a teaching job over here for a year. And then I was still living in Spokane finishing up college and then running a totally different business at the same time. And that was a really difficult way to spend first year of marriage. But I guess knowing that and applying that to your story, like it's, you were pretty determined to do this thing. Is that fair to say?

Jody Mayberry 23:40
Oh, that's fair to say. Yes. I was determined to make it happen.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:43
Determined. Thank you for getting slipping that in there.

Jody Mayberry 23:48
I did, I was going to happen to my career.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:51
Okay, that's too much. Cross the line.

Jody Mayberry 23:55
You can edit that out.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:59
If we're not careful, we're gonna have to edit the whole show out here. We'll see what happens. So what happened from there? So you got into being a park ranger. And we should probably you know, eventually we'll get to the point, you're not still a park ranger now. And we'll talk through that because I get all kinds of questions. I want to ask you about that too. But, you know, what was it like after you got in there and you've been working for this thing for a solid year, it's been at great cost to you and your family and, you know, also you're getting to look forward to it, too. So it wasn't entirely cost wise, but what was that like initially when you got in and started actually working as it? What surprised you? What didn't surprise you? Help me understand that.

Jody Mayberry 24:43
Well, there are a few directions to take that question because there was a lot I probably didn't think through. For example, when I applied to become a park ranger, I didn't even know they carried firearms. So that was an element of the career, the law enforcement side, I hadn't thought through a whole lot until you become a ranger. I didn't anticipate which would have been obvious to figure out the financial impact it would have because I took a significant pay cut to become a park ranger. And then living apart from my wife, so all of that is going on, but the job of being a park ranger is as wonderful as you think it would be. Unless you don't like trees or bugs or whatnot. But I came from a finance background working as a financial analyst, and now I'm a park ranger. And there was a lot I didn't know about the culture, about the job, about how to relate to people, how to work with park visitors versus sitting at a desk wearing a tie all day as a financial analyst. Heck, I didn't even know the proper way to hug a tree. So there was an extend on the very first day of job, somebody drowned in the river. And I remember thinking this is not... but the first week, there were several traumatic events, someone drowned in the river, there was in the campground an incident that was kind of gross, that I thought, well, last week, I sat at a desk and now all of this is happening. So it was quite an adjustment. But like I say, though, it was as wonderful as you think it would be, being a park ranger was a great job. But it also is very like me to, I'm going to work it in again, Scott, to happen to my career. So I started already setting my sights o, well, first, I want to learn the job. After that, then what's next? And so I began rather than just say, "Okay, I'm satisfied being a park ranger, I started looking for the next opportunity" which for me was getting promoted to the head ranger of the centennial trail, which was by far the best job I've ever had. Because during the summer, I wrote a bike eight hours a day. So that was wonderful. Then I ended up getting promoted to the assistant manager of a park, which required us to move to the other side of the state. And the thing about being a park ranger is the higher up you move in the chain of command, the less time you actually get to do what drew you to become a park ranger anyway. But that's probably true in a lot of jobs, I guess.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:46
So two questions. One is do you think that that could be changed? And then the second question, I want to ask you, and I'm going to tell you before I forget, because I think it's an important one is, is that part of what caused you to leave eventually too, that you got further away from the reason why you signed up for the gig in the first place?

Jody Mayberry 28:06
I will answer the second one first. And that is I'm sure it had a small part in it and that the job wasn't as fun as it used to be. But there were a lot of other factors as well. But when you take in that, these other things were happening, and the job's not as fun, then it probably did help the decision. Now for that alone, I likely never would have left being a park ranger, but it certainly did factor in. And then the first one can it be changed as yeah, probably I mean anything. You can determine how much time you get to spend out in the field. But you also move into dealing a lot, well, once you supervise people all your years in HR, you know what a headache that can be, so. That you end up dealing with people instead of squirrels. And it does change the job a lot. Not that it was bad, it just was different.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:11
I would say that people can be more difficult to manage than squirrels. However, you have had one or two or seven run ins with a squirrel but one in particular.

Jody Mayberry 29:28
I'm not... I don't think we should go there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:30
I don't think we should go there either. But I'm curious if you want an insanely comical story, where could people find that? Do you have like a, what's the best place to find that? Because I've heard you tell that story. And we don't have time for it because there's like a 40 minute rendition of it. You have had your run ins with squirrels.

Jody Mayberry 29:49
Yes. So probably the easiest place to find it is Episode Seven, I believe, of the Park Leader Show. I start that episode with the story of the squirrel.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:01
So for frame of reference and background, Jody started a show called the Park Leaders Show. And it's actually really, really good. I say actually, like it wouldn't be or something along those lines, but I have listened to it. I have a listen to the squirrel episode. When you get an extra 20 to 25 minutes, go there, check it out, and we'll even link up to it. We'll put it in the show notes.

Jody Mayberry 30:29
The squirrel story itself is probably only about six minutes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:33
It seemed like a good 25 minutes in a good way, in the best possible way. Okay, so you ended up leaving, and what did you ended up like, you'd worked a year to make this happen, you absolutely loved it, you started moving up in the ranks, this other stuff is happening, you don't get to do exactly what you originally wanted to do. And you end up deciding to leave. How did that happen in the first place? And what else prompted that?

Jody Mayberry 31:03
Well, now we're on the other side of the state. And when I should clarify that it was my choice to move up the ranks. That's what I wanted, I wanted to eventually end up a park manager. But still, that means less of doing why you become a park ranger. But that's what I wanted. So we're on the other side of the state. And the job isn't quite as fun as it used to be. And I, now had a family, I had two young kids. And my schedule just didn't allow me to see much of them. I worked nights and I worked weekends. And it just didn't line up with my family schedule. So the quality of my family life wasn't as good as it could have been. The park that I worked at was interesting, what some of the staff dynamics it was, maybe I'll just leave it there, it was... the staff dynamics were interesting that made it not a desirable place to be. And with the...

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:14
As in people didn't get along? Or as in...

Jody Mayberry 32:16
Oh yeah, people didn't get along. That's right. It would have made a good daytime TV show probably.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:26
Perfect. Okay, so.

Jody Mayberry 32:27
So that's happening, and the state was going through severe budget problems. And state parks was going to take a brunt of that. And the park I worked at had already been put on the list for closure twice. And each time my family's thinking, "Oh, my goodness, where are we going to end up? We're not going to get a choice." And that impacted us. And now it's heading into its third round of bad budget problems. And they were going to deal with this one rather than threatening and close parks, they were going to lay off park rangers and I think over 80 some park rangers ended up getting laid off out of 200. And I had high rank without a lot of seniority. And it looked likely that I would get bumped somewhere else. And at the exact same time, someone I knew locally in the private sector offered me a job and the timing lined up and we loved the area. So we said okay, it's time to move on. So it was not an easy decision, though. And it took a couple of months probably to come to terms with that it was the right thing to do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:51
What ended up making the final decision? Like clearly, I understand the circumstances and everything like that. But for you, I mean, this is like an interesting sort of culmination to this whole journey as a park ranger. Because you got into it, it's like totally exciting and exactly what you want to do and then as you've made these choices yourself to be able to move up the ranks, based on environment and everything else, it's less and less and less desirable. And then all of a sudden, you're faced with "Hey, look, it's not a desirable environment, and they're probably gonna, you know, move me or lay me off" or something else along those lines, anyways, so I get all that but you know, it still took you months to be able to make that decision. What else hinged on that factor? Why do you finally say yes? Was there a tipping point?

Jody Mayberry 34:45
I think it came with the offer of work outside, without me seeking work. I had not gotten to the point where I was actively looking for work outside of part. So I think it came with that job offer to say, oh, look there's an option that would allow us to stay local. So I think with everything else happening the way it was, it was that final piece that once that slid in, then it just seemed like a good time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:22
So this is so interesting to me, because like, you took all this action and everything and life happens and all kinds of things outside your control happen. And then it sort of slowly slips into this other section of your career and everything like that. So what happened from there, you ended up taking this job, which allowed you to stay in the in the area. And what happened at that point?

Jody Mayberry 35:46
Oh, a few things did Scott, I went back to school to get an MBA, which was a two year process. Which wasn't... it really wasn't all that fun. Because I had made the decision, I wasn't going to let my school impact my kids and my family life. So I would stay up till two or three doing homework because I wouldn't do homework until my kids went to bed. And then I get up at seven to go to work. And I realized now, you hear that and you think, well, how can that not impact your family when you walk around like a zombie for two years? But it made sense at the time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:26
It was so maybe less impact?

Jody Mayberry 36:30
Yeah, maybe that's it. So I was going to school to get an MBA during this. But I worked for a company that it was a wonderful, small family owned company that built luxury homes. I learned a tremendous amount from the owner and the family. It was a real neat opportunity. But a couple of things happened is with it being a small company, my... it's not like you just had one job assignment there, I was a project manager. But I also did all of the marketing jobs, marketing director and project manager, and then eventually moved to when the controller of the company left. And it's... I don't mean controlling personality, that was the job title. I moved into that role. So then I started doing payroll and all the accounting and the financial reporting. And so I took care of all that. So I had a lot of roles in the company. But two things happened is one, about midway through my time there, I unexpectedly got laid off, times were tough for the company, they just went through this dip. And I think it was a Friday, like mid afternoon on Friday, I was told not to come in on Monday. And then it would only be a couple of weeks. And it turned into three months. And that was really an eye opener that a job working for one person is not or one company is not very secure. Even though it feels like it, you're putting everything into their hands. And I had felt that with state parks, my park getting on the closure list a couple of times, the potential of getting bumped. It always was in someone else's hands. But I didn't do anything about it. I just... I would never do this now, Scott. It pains me a little to say it. But I sat on the couch and moped for three months, until I got called back to work. And now boy, if that happened to me now, I'm a different person now, I would have made a lot of things happen during those three months. But back then I didn't. So I ended up back to work for them. And later in this story, a wonderful opportunity came up where the owner of the company realized he benefited a lot when I'm focusing on marketing and not finance. And he wanted me back into that role, but knew there was... I couldn't do both. But there also wasn't enough to justify having a full time marketing person. And we discovered together that that was a great opportunity for me to leave the company and work as an independent contractor, however you want to look at it. So essentially do the same role I had been doing in marketing, only I wasn't their employee. And then I was free to do it for other people. And many people that start their own career or entrepreneur career, they don't get that opportunity to start. And I was fortunate enough to have somebody basically prop me up a little bit and hold my hand as I did it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 40:11
So, what happened then after that point? Because that's... you and I met a little while after that, and when you and I met, well, two different things. One you're in almost entirely different business, really, with what you do. I mean, it's all different types of marketing and stuff. But really, it's totally changed over business, you know, outside looking in, at least, maybe it doesn't feel like that. But then you were, when you and I met a couple of years ago, and at the time, like, when you and I met, like, things were not as good as they are now for you. So there were a lot happen in between that. So I think that that is one side really, really great that you had, you know, you built in client. On the other side, like, I think there's a point in time where you were kind of like, scrambling for work, or trying to decide what this business was going to look like to.

Jody Mayberry 41:11
Yeah, that did happen there. Because, unlike you, Scott, who was deliberate, your journey to being self employed was a lot like my journey to become a park ranger. But my journey to being self employed happened quickly, and without a plan. And it was great that I had a built in client from the beginning, who still I do a lot of work, we have a great relationship. But I didn't have a plan beyond that. And I struggled to find work for a while. And I struggled to find the identity of my business. So there did come a point where I had called you and said, Scott, I'm going back into the workforce, and I need to hire you to help me get a job. I'm sure you remember all this well. And I went through your coaching, and by the end of the month, now I'm boiling this down, of course, but you said, "you really should focus on your business and not go out chasing the job." And that was a tremendous help. Because once I had stopped looking for jobs and think, gosh, what's next? Where am I going to end up? How do I find a job? Oh, my goodness, it relieved so much pressure, and allowed me to really focus on what I was doing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:41
That's interesting. And that's kind of you to say in the first place, but that's interesting that it's almost like when you're talking about becoming a park ranger, all of a sudden, you have a plan again, and now you've got something that you're working towards. And now you're kind of more single focusing, it was just kind of what I heard you say there too. So but what I hadn't heard you say before, is the relieving part. So that's what was really interesting to me. I also remember like when you and I were working together a little bit for that period, there was this really strong pole to going back and find a job well, what was that for you? Because I don't know that I ever asked you that at the time. But we talked through all the things that you were really wanting in your life at the time and 100% of them or on nearly 100% of them pointed you in the direction of look, really you should be doing your own thing, your own boss, your own business. But you also had this really strong poll that was coming from someplace saying no, I think the answer is going back to the workforce.

Jody Mayberry 43:51
Well, the really strong pool was the pretty blonde lady I live with. And not in the sense that she was telling me "Hey, go get a job." it was in the sense that I have a wife and two children that I need to provide for, and my business was not doing it and it's hard to break the traditional mindset. So to me, it meant, "Okay, I have to go get a job." Not that I have to focus on my business and make this work. My mind had changed to, I need to go find a job. And the impact that had is I kept one foot on each side of the fence and wasn't doing well with either one.

Scott Anthony Barlow 44:43
Like have you ever thought about this in this way? Like where this is like a theme for your entire life almost where when you, Jody Mayberry, start single focusing like you just bust through walls like crazy. That other... it seems like other people wouldn't be able to or wouldn't do but as soon as you're not single focusing then that is, I don't know, not going as well for you.

Jody Mayberry 45:08
I've honestly never thought of that, Scott. I kind of feel like I should lay down on a couch telling me this.

Scott Anthony Barlow 45:16
It's just... I mean, you and I have the advantage of we've known each other for a couple years now and everything like that. But I don't know, that's kind of what I'm seeing for you. But you can get up off the couch. It's cool.

Jody Mayberry 45:28
Well, you do have a point because once I focused on my business, and was determined this was going to work. I mean, it's been... now that didn't happen right away after I made the decision, but neither did becoming a park ranger. But after I made the decision and focused on this, we advanced to now and things are tremendous.

Scott Anthony Barlow 45:49
Yeah, so what happened, like, take me through that. First of all, help people understand what it is that you do, because I think it's really, really interesting, what you do in the first place, and you make a living out this, I believe that what you said at the very beginning about choosing the route that tells the better story, I think that this certainly tells a better story, but what is it that you do? How do you describe that?

Jody Mayberry 46:10
Well, I have been using the line lately that I help people market and mobilize and master their message. And that has come in different forms. Through copywriting, I do that way to help people get their message out on through their websites or sales letters, or I've helped people write ebooks that they put out. So that's one way. But I think the way that you're bumping me towards because it's people find this story fascinating is I also help people with their podcasts. So people bring me... they have a message, they realize podcasting will be a powerful way to get that message out. And I help them with that with show production. I do a lot of podcast hosting, I coach them to create good content, what might make good content, how to talk while they're doing a show, so they connect with their audience. So it's that sort of thing, helping people get their message out into the world. And sometimes it's through product launches. Sometimes it's through blog posts or websites. I've got a team that I work with that when somebody is new to this and they need a website or they need their website redone then I have... I don't do that work myself. I bring someone in to help with that. But yeah, that's the big package of it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 47:47
What really got you moving down that road in the first place? Because that didn't just happen, because two years ago, at this time, you were doing like Facebook and stuff for local construction companies and other local companies and all kinds of stuff. So you're doing a tiny bit of that now. But it's not the bulk of your business by a longshot. So what transpired to move you that direction, because you went like telling the beginning of story like you've moved into your own business, and you had one client and yeah, maybe had a couple other clients and everything like that. But things as a whole aren't going that well. You started single focusing, things are going in a better direction with the single focusing, but what really propelled you down that path?

Jody Mayberry 48:34
Well, I'm going to give a two part answer. And first is when my business was struggling, I was trying to stay local in my area. And at some point, I realized I could be bigger than that. And I could be a, rather than a local business, I could be a personnel. I'm trying to think of how to describe it, but I could just be a personality that is doesn't have to stay local. And so that was one way that my business was impacted. And then the other is I had the Park Leader Show going out. I have to give credit to Jared Easley. I never would have started podcasting without Jared Easley. He's the host of the Starve Of The Doubts podcast. And I recommended a guest to him. And he said, "I will have this person on as a guest." That was James Woosley. "I will have James Woosley as a guest if you'll be my co host." And I'm... like I said, two options. Choose the one with a better story. And I thought, "oh, that'll be a good story. I can tell people I co hosted one episode of a podcast." So I did it and I did a lousy job. But Jared was gracious enough to keep inviting me back as a co host. And that showed me that I could do this. I could start my own podcast. That led to the Park Leader Show, which was my way of giving back to the park community that I love. I love parks as much today as I did when I became a park ranger.

Scott Anthony Barlow 50:10
And now you have park leaders or park, yeah, park leaders and people that work in parks and people work around parks all over the world that listen to this thing too.

Jody Mayberry 50:18
Oh, yeah, it has. It's been tremendous. I mean, I get, speaking engagements, I get invited to come to a lot of conferences. I've had dinner with the director of the National Park Service. All of it has come from a little show for park rangers. It's been tremendous.

Scott Anthony Barlow 50:34
That's cool.

Jody Mayberry 50:35
Another thing that came from that, though, is I wanted to talk to somebody from Disney to find out how they operated parks. I did not have a Disney connection. But Amazon told me that Lee Cockerell had written two books and Lee ran Disney World for a decade. And he's a big deal at Disney, still. He's got a window on Main Street. He's very great career at Disney. So I thought, well, I wonder he's got a book out. I wonder if he'd want to talk about what parks can learn from Disney. And he jokes with me today and says that, "before you called me I didn't.." or "before you reached out to me, I didn't even know what a podcast was." So I invited him on the show, didn't know at the time that his sister in law had been a ranger with the National Park Service for 30 years. So he had an interest in coming on the show. And it went really well. You've had him on your show. And I got tremendous feedback from the park community about Lee being on the show. Because for one, he's a great guest. And then he's really fascinating. So I had tremendous feedback. And I just wanted to be nice and let Lee know that I've heard great feedback. So I reached out and let him know, "hey, I've had great feedback about your show." And he appreciated that. And I thought well, I just wonder because I love listening to podcast, "Lee, have you ever had thought about having your own podcast?" And he said, "Well, yeah, it'd be an interesting idea. But I'm 71, I'm retired, I want to feel like it." So this was not my intent when I called him but I saw there was an opportunity right there. So I said, "Well, what if you just show up and I do everything else?" I already showed Lee, I was good at that. Because he was a guest on the show. And a couple weeks later, he called me and he said, "let's do it." So there we go. Then there's a lesson hidden in there, Scott, that you can connect with people, like people want to connect with the influencers, just in the hope that, I don't know, that it rubs off or something. But the approach I took there is I had something specific to offer. So it wasn't just a... if you ever need any help, let me know, it was "Hey, Lee, this is what I can do for you." So we did the Park Leader Show, yes, he was a guest on the Park Leader Show that led to creating Disney Magic. He had a big following. So it's a popular show, a lot of people hear it. And I was just able to leverage that into other opportunities.

Scott Anthony Barlow 53:26
So hold on, there's a... and I know we're starting to get short on time here and everything like that. But I think there's a couple other interesting lessons in there too. Because if I remember correctly, you had some people tell you, yeah, you shouldn't do this. Like it's gonna take up a bunch of your time. And like you're not, you started out not charging any money for this stuff, right? Like when you initially reached out to Lee, your intent wasn't, "Hey Lee, I'm gonna charge you know, 1500 bucks per episode or 2000 bucks per episode" or anything like that. So at this point in time, you weren't making any money off of this.

Jody Mayberry 54:00
Yeah, that's right. When we started, that's how it was. And again, though, if you look at the two options, wouldn't it make a great story to have done a podcast with Lee Cockerell? And it did and it does. And so that's why I did it. I do try to keep that in mind given two options, what's going to make the better story, so I was willing to do the work for free when we started and it's, my goodness, it has paid off. Because in a lot of ways and it can't be taken lightly that now, I have Lee Cockrell as a client, a business partner, a mentor, man, that has been tremendous. I will tell you I have learned more working with Lee Cockrell than I did in Business School, getting an MBA it's been that impactful.

Scott Anthony Barlow 54:57
So that's super interesting because I think most people, again, just like your park ranger progression story, most people are not going to be willing to put in all that work for free and not understand the benefit of doing that. I would just like to go on the record saying that , I said it would be a great idea.

Jody Mayberry 55:17
Well, you're officially on the record.

Scott Anthony Barlow 55:19
I know we are on the record. So that works out. I'm so glad it actually turned out to be a great idea.

Jody Mayberry 55:27
Because we could have been having...

Scott Anthony Barlow 55:29
Yeah, we could have been like... Jody, why didn't you do that? Well, you told me a good idea. Well, why did you listen to me? But I think that it really does go to show though that when you're adding value to somebody in a way that's beneficial to them, I think that's probably the word, you know, definition of word value. But in doing something that's really useful to them, that you can also do for other people, like, starting out for free is a really okay way to do that and build a ton of credibility and I mean, how much did you pay for a business school? Like roughly?

Jody Mayberry 56:10
Oh, my goodness.

Scott Anthony Barlow 56:11
10s of 1000s of dollars, probably right?

Jody Mayberry 56:12

Scott Anthony Barlow 56:13
Okay. So you just told me that that was more valuable than that. The short time that you spent in last couple of years with Lee has been way more valuable than, you know, 10s of 1000s of dollars. So but I think most people aren't looking at it that way. Most people are looking at like, well, that's going to take up my time. And I'm not getting paid for that.

Jody Mayberry 56:32
Yeah, and don't tell my wife that I'm telling you this, but that has actually changed my view, that when kids get older, if they wanted to, not go to college, now, I will encourage them to do so. And we'll enjoy it if they do. But if they decide not to go to college, I would be fine with that, so long as they had a deliberate plan of making something happen, because I see that the benefit of it that college doesn't quite give. If you're deliberate and make something happen and find non traditional ways to learn, it can have a bigger impact.

Scott Anthony Barlow 57:20
Yeah, this is something to listen, I've been talking a lot about lately. Because I mean, we have college funds for the kids. And, you know, we've been saving for a while for them to go to college at this point, you know, our kids are eight, seven and, and five. but we've been talking a lot about that, too. And, you know, is college a necessity for one thing, because I think we've considered it a necessity for a long time. And two, does it even make sense when you're looking at it from a return on investment standpoint? And I don't know the answer to that question. But I think that's something we should do. Maybe that's another episode or something down the line. But that would be really interesting to chat about a little different date. Jody, here's what I'm curious about, you know, as we wrap things up, because you've done all of these pretty amazing things. I don't know if it feels amazing to you, but outside looking in, I think it really, truly is amazing. And I think that you should give yourself credit for that. And I also think that it's really valuable for other people to be able to hear how this stuff can happen, not just that it can. So I appreciate you taking the time to do that. But what I'm curious about is any advice that you'd have to other people that want to make a career transition, since you've made so many? And even though none of them were easy, you've made a lot. So what advice would you give to somebody who's in that place?

Jody Mayberry 58:49
Well, I would say, persistence, you become an overnight success after years of hard work usually. So persistence is definitely a key. Don't... what's a good way to say that, don't think poorly of small beginnings. A foot in the door is incredibly valuable. One part of my story I didn't tell is when I became a financial analyst, I started with a foot in the door. I wanted to work for this particular company. And they didn't have a job open that I wanted or felt I should have. So I took an entry level job as a loan servicing specialist. And I thought once they see me and see what I can do, I'm going to get promoted and six months later, I got promoted. And that's a pattern that I believe you'll see throughout my life and my career that I'm willing to persist and I'm willing to take that risk of maybe going for less than desirable just to be able to prove what I can do. And when I do it, it's paid off.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:00:11
That's amazing. Very, very cool. Hey, thank you so very much for making the time. We... a little bit more background behind the scenes, we get to chat on a weekly basis, because we've got a standing, well started out as an accountability call has kind of moved and evolved into a little mini mastermind type call. But either way, I appreciate you sir. I appreciate you making some extra time for me this week to chat about you and your story. If people want to hear a Park Leader Show, if they want to catch the squirrel episode, we'll certainly put all these links on the show notes. And you can go to Happen To Your Career and click on podcast and be able to see that but where else can people get in touch with you if they're interested in more Jody Mayberry, or they need some copywriting or they need a podcast host or anything else?

Jody Mayberry 1:01:04
Well, first, let me say that if you listen to an episode of the Park Leader Show, you will recognize the opening voice because Scott Barlow is the announcer, the opening voice of the park leader show. So you might find that a treat because every week he says something just a little different and quirky. So beyond that, you can find me at I would love if you connect with me on the Twitter, find me on Facebook. And not too long ago, I started my own show, the Jody Mayberry show. So this is the show that after helping lots of other people with their shows, and doing park leaders for a couple years, I said "okay, this is it. I'm starting my own. And this one I'm putting my name on." So for me, this is the show I wanted my own name on to help people market, mobilize and master their message. So you can check that out as well. The Jody Mayberry show.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:02:05
Very cool. Hey, thanks again.

Jody Mayberry 1:02:07
Thanks, Scott. It's been tremendous. You're one of my favorite people.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:02:11
Right back at you, sir. Appreciate it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:02:22
So I'm super curious, what options are you considering in your life right now. And which one of those actually makes for the better story, just like Jody was saying. Now, if you need a little help figuring out what your storyline should be, then our figured out mini course can help give you that overview and give you the tools and resources to begin finding the work that suits your unique strengths and skills and help you move towards it. And here's how you can sign up for that very, very, very easy. Not easy work, though. But we can help you understand at least what that pathway looks like and begin getting you down the path. So I want you to text HTYC to 38470 or simply visit that's Or like I said, stop it right here. Pause. And text HTYC to 38470. All right. Next week, on the Happen To Your Career podcast, we've got another great episode for you. And even more that's going to help you move down the path for figuring out what you want, and how some other people have done exactly that. So I want you to take a listen right now for what's coming up.

It's very much I think, a struggle for many of us, especially in North American business, culture, and society, even here to identify who we are with what we do professionally in the world. And I really used to struggle with that over the years of like, "Okay, how do I... what do I put on this form?" To describe what I do because it would often change. I guess at some point, I just like you know what, it really doesn't matter that much of what I call myself, what matters is the value that I provide to people in the world.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:04:21
All right, that and a whole bunch more next week on Happen To Your Career. Thank you so much for spending your time, taking the time, making the time to come and be here with us on the show. It means a lot to me. Plus, the more that you listen, the more other people actually get to listen to. And if you want to do even one better because we only have smart people listening to this show that want to be able to contribute back to the world. Well, here's what you can do, you can go over to iTunes or go over to Stitcher and we would absolutely appreciate if you took the time, 60 seconds or less to leave us an honest review. You know, that would helps other people find the show, and then we can get even more people into work that they were meant to be doing. Alright. We'll see you next time on the Happen To Your Career podcast. Adios. I'm out.

Jody Mayberry 1:05:30
Well, that's kind of like getting your testimonial test demised. Nobody wants to hear about Spokane estate. Yeah, they saw Scott Barlow on the screen and said, Whoa, he must be up to something that Scott Barlow.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:05:45
You can edit that out. If we're not careful, we're gonna have to edit the whole show out here.

Jody Mayberry 1:05:51
And my schedule just didn't allow me to see much of them. I worked nights, and I worked weekends. And it just didn't line up with my family schedule. So the quality of my family life wasn't as good as it could have been. I wonder if you would be as tenacious or determined if you thought there were other options though. But I drove was six and a half hours one way, every time, every weekend. So going back and forth. I did. I was going to happen to my career. And the timing lined up and we loved the area. So we said okay, it's time to move on. Work as an independent contractor, however you want to look at it. So essentially do the same role I had been doing in marketing, only I wasn't their employee. And then I was free to do it for other people. Yeah. Although I know to be careful what I talk about right now, because last time I told you a funny story when we were done recording and ended up in the episode.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:06:57
That is also something that we do although I am not the only one that does that. Josh Rivers also find that just as amusing as I do.

Jody Mayberry 1:07:05
Yeah, so last time, I told you...

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:07:07
I remember in the southouse sandwich story, I believe, right?

Jody Mayberry 1:07:11
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, but this time, I don't know if my flagship joke has ever made it on your show.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:07:18
What is your flagship joke?

Jody Mayberry 1:07:20
What do you give a cannibal that's late for dinner?

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:07:23
What do you give a cannibal that is late for dinner?

Jody Mayberry 1:07:23
The cold shoulder that's something.

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!