530: How Your Fixed Mindset Is Blocking Your Path to Career Change

Changing careers isn't just about getting a new job; it's about overcoming the fears and beliefs that hold you back from going after what you really want.



Larry Chase, Brewer & Financial Coach

Larry took his knowledge from his career as a head brewer, combined it with his love of finance, and become a financial coach, consulting breweries on how to be financially successful.

on this episode

Changing careers is about way more than just switching jobs. There are many fears and limiting beliefs that can hold you back from going after what you truly want.

Do you find yourself giving up on an idea before you even start simply because you’re afraid of all of the “what-ifs”?

When your progress hits a roadblock, are you filled with defeat?

If you’re nodding your head, you may have a fixed mindset that is holding you back from experiencing the changes you need to make to find fulfillment in your career and life!

Learn how a shift in Larry’s mindset allowed him to realize his passion as a career brewmaster was no longer fulfilling him and that he didn’t just need a new job, but an entirely new career!

What you’ll learn

  • How to know if you’re operating from a fixed mindset or a growth mindset
  • Why sometimes it’s about changing as a person – not just a job or career change
  • How Larry transitioned from working in a brewery to finance
  • Why you may need to look outside of your hobbies and passions to discover your ideal career

Success Stories

I would definitely say that I could not have put all the pieces together. The tools and techniques were important, but maybe more so than that, the mindset and the confidence. So I really, really needed that extra input and confidence boost and reassurance that I had a lot of strength and a lot to offer in the future. And I was feeling so rough because I was in a bad fit, stuck situation. Even though we all also recognized that situation wasn't inherently terrible. I would recommend, if you're starting to have that feeling like, either I'm crazy, or the situation, you know, is not that this bad, then I think that's a cue to reach out and get some, some guidance and a community of people that are struggling with the same things. And then suddenly, you'll feel that you're not crazy, after all, and it's just a tough life, situation and challenge, but you'll be able to get through it with that support, and accountability and confidence boost.

Jenny -, Research Scientist/Assistant Dean, United States/Canada

If you're looking for a change, if you're somebody who is feeling unsatisfied in your work, and you're not necessarily necessarily sure why that is yet, I feel like, that's a great way to kind of figure that out, just because of how the program is structured. I don't think that I would have necessarily gotten to where I am now without the program, especially when it came to the resume and the interviewing portion, because I feel like those are the hardest two areas for someone who's trying to switch into something that's completely different. Having that coaching and that information, and, you know, all those resources available to me to prep me for to be able to present myself in a way where, you know, I'm talking to the hiring managers, and they're like, hey, well, you know, she doesn't have, you know, experience in this, but, you know, being able to explain why I'm still a valuable person and why, you know, my other skills are still good fits for, you know, the job that I was applying for, I don't think I would have had that tools and that skill set and, you know, the roadmaps and the guidance that I would have, that I had with being part of the program. So I'm super, super grateful.

Alyson Thompson, Client Success Specialist, United States/Canada

Larry Chase 00:01

I was really tired of doing some of that day to day work. There was a second side of it too, is that the organization that I was in was very unhealthy.

Introduction 00:18

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast with Scott Anthony Barlow. We hope you stop doing work that doesn't fit you. Figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that is unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you feel like you were meant for more, and you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:43

Raise your hand if you've ever wanted to leave a job. Okay, I know my hand is way up. Pretty sure I heard all of yours go up too. We've all been there. Right? One thing that I've learned over many years of helping people make career changes is that it's about way more than just changing jobs.

Larry Chase 01:03

My mindset was not where it should have been. And mindset was a huge part of why I was not making any progress forward on my own.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:17

That's Larry Chase. After discovering the love for beer, he ended up working in breweries for 20 years. He got to know every single aspect of beer, becoming an expert in all things– beer and breweries. He loved it for many years. However, more recently, he realized he wanted something different, something more, not just a job change, though, but an entire career change. Now I want you to listen in for how he was able to figure out the very next step in his career evolution. But first, I want you to listen to where Larry started out. Here's Larry sharing what led him to the beer industry in the first place.

Larry Chase 01:56

So I was a biology major in college, and did not know what I wanted to do with that major when I left college. I had gone to seminary. I was going to be a Lutheran minister. After one year of seminary, though, I realized that this is not for me. And the short version of the story is that I found my higher calling. And that higher calling was brewing beer.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:22

Love it.

Larry Chase 02:23

Now there were... It didn't quite happen that quickly. What did happen, though, is that during college, I didn't drink beer. I didn't care for the flavor. And it's really the beer that college students certainly drank 25, well, 25-30 years ago, I just didn't care for it. I got to seminary, I was in a larger metropolitan area. And the craft beer scene was really starting to kick off. So I can still remember the first couple of beers that I had, Pete's Wicked Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, were two of my introductory beers, two beer with flavor. And I said, "Wow, I like this. Wow, what's going on?" And being a science major, I was curious about the questions of how do you create all of these different flavors, because that's not what I was familiar with.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:14

That's not what you were used to in college.

Larry Chase 03:17

Right. And so this is all starting to happen at seminary. And people always laugh out of it. The best theological discussions took place at the bar on Wednesday night. And so I probably partied more in seminary than I ever did in college. So I got to the end of that year as a seminarian, I'm not going to go back, I had a goal to travel Europe. So I worked for two years. One of those years was literally working 4 jobs, 80 hours a week to save money. And when you work that much, you don't spend so you save fast. And I did. I went and I traveled to Europe. And people would ask me, "What are you most looking forward to when you go to Europe?" And it was "I want to experience drinking beer in the British pubs." And it was fantastic. Drank beer in Germany, learned about it there, ended up, didn't realize Oktoberfest was going on when I got to Munich. And boom, I've been to Oktoberfest in Munich. Fantastic experience. I got back to the States. I ended up traveling for three or four months around the United States. And as I go, we would stop in at these little breweries and brewpubs everywhere I went. And it was in one of those places, I picked up this beer paper that was in one of these brew pubs and I saw this ad for the American Brewers Guild of Brewmaster. And all of a sudden it was "ding!" "Oh, I could go do that." And so I got done traveling and I was living with my parents at home flat broke because I just spent all my money traveling and I remember my dad take me out for lunch looking at the across the table from me and saying "Larry, what are you going to do now?" And I looked right back across the table at him and I said, "Dad, I'm going to brew beer." And, you know, this fit, you know, in mid 20 years old, I didn't know how I was going to make that happen. I didn't know what the steps were, which is a lot of what you go through in this career change, right?

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:26


Larry Chase 05:27

And so, for some reason, though, it was much easier. At mid 20s, I had nothing to lose. I didn't have a job, I didn't have any money. I just got to go figure it out. And I did. I started this very little internet at the time, I think America Online was the only thing going on in about '96, '97. So you really couldn't go and research places and what's out there. And so I just started stopping in the breweries in the places that I knew. And it was one of those times I was back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is where I went to college. A friend did call me and said, "Hey, we're moving out of this house. You gotta come get your stuff." And so I did. I popped into the brewery, talked with the brew master. I was doing informational interviews. That's really what I was doing, just asking lots of questions. And by the time we got done with that conversation, he said, "Well, would you be interested in a job?" Whoa, wow, heck yeah. And I didn't even walk in expecting to get a job. I was there asking questions. So shorten that story up. That was my first brewing job, I worked part time learning on the job as a brewer. The other part time, I bartended at the place. And I was so fascinated with it. I read voraciously all the texts and the magazines that they had. And anytime there was downtime I was reading. So anyway, I had that job. And I've been a professional brewer for 20 plus years. And have worked in the Midwest, in Oregon for eight and a half, nine years at a brewery. And in that time, I got involved with the Brewers Association. I'm a real big proponent of the association and how they support small and independent brewers. And because of my interest in Financials, which I think we'll get to, when we talk about my career change story, I was on the board of directors for the Brewers Association, and served that for eight years and for five of those years was treasurer of the organization, and did a lot of work in bringing the BA along with their investment portfolio, creating investment policy statements, and guiding the financial side of the organization.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:51

That is a wonderful story. And really appreciate you sharing, especially where and how it began. That's so fun to hear some of the origination of what ends up setting the stage for many years. And what I'm also curious about too, and I recognize that you and I have talked before, this is not the first conversation that we've had, but I don't know the entire story for what caused you to want to change. You got into the beer industry and brewing industry by chance, almost, in one way or another. Faded chance, maybe. However, also you decided at some point along the way that once, you know, what was a wonderful situation for you, was no longer as wonderful in the same way. So I'm curious what had caused you to want to change.

Larry Chase 08:50

Things that caused me to want to change. I wanted to change out of the role that I had. I'd been a head brewer for 20 plus years. And I'd always, for the most part, been a head brewer in brew pubs. And as a brew pub brewer, you're a department of one, generally. And as a department of one for anybody who has been their own independent business person knows, you get to do it all. And while brewing definitely still excites me, I get stoked about stainless steel equipment. I get stoked about the technical side of beer, the flavor of beer, how you create it. There's a lot that goes into being a brewer in a small brewery that I was just tired of the work. You know the joke is that you spend 85% of your time cleaning. Actually, I shouldn't say joke because it's true, it's what you do. And it was the nitty gritty daily tasks and the cleaning that I was tired of doing it. And I wasn't interested in going and finding a job in a larger brewery, on the operational side. I certainly could, I've got the chops to do it. But that didn't really appeal to me either. And so I was really tired of doing some of that day to day work. And there was a second side of it, too, is that the organization that I was in was very unhealthy. And I had come out of now, three organizations over my brewing career where it was great to start. And I think a lot of that was the honeymoon period. And then things change organizationally. And it became a place that I didn't want to be. I dreaded going to work. I didn't want to be around some of the people and the leadership, and there was no direction coming from the leadership. And there were things that I saw that I could do and help out. And I was really putting my place every time that I would reach out and try to do more. And I'll say, "I hated this", but it was kind of like, "Well, you're just production. And that's all we want you to do." And it tore up my soul because I saw so many other things that I could go in and do. And so it was time to leave that company. And so I left. And the question was, "well, what's next?" And I thought I'd figure it out. And six months went by, I worked in a winery during harvest and crush with a friend who is the winemaker. Fabulous experience because I got to learn about wine and how the similarities and differences between making wine and brewing beer. Great. Yet, I always thought I'd open my own brewery. And I'd been thinking that for 15 years, but I could never come around to actually making it happen. And we could dive into all kinds of reasons as to why that is.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:04

Well, I'm curious, you know, what do you think were some of the... Looking back now, what do you think were some of the most prominent reasons why you decided not to? Either real or, you know, what was stopping you, however you want to look at it? What were those?

Larry Chase 12:24

I have a, especially at this time in my life, I have a fear of not succeeding. And I think that's what a lot of us are up against. And because I've been around the brewing industry for 20 plus years, I know how difficult it is to start a brewery and to make it successful. And part of it is that I know that it's really important that you have partners in that, that can help because there's so much that has to happen. And the type of brewery that I wanted to open, you're almost three different business models. So that's not easy. And you need people to help. Well, I didn't have people who I really wanted to be partners with. Like I didn't even know names of people to consider. So the difficulty of doing it is very daunting. The financial side of doing it is very daunting, because a lot of people will try to bootstrap their breweries. And I was just talking with a friend we're standing with right now, he was talking about a brewer here in Eugene, who is very proud and will boast to everybody that he hasn't paid himself in nine years. And I'm thinking "Dude, that's not something to be proud of. You've been doing a hobby for nine years. And that's not a business." And so I know how challenging it is from the work that has to go in, the financial side of it. And you got to go out and raise money. And it's just all these things that I could never bring myself around to just diving in and doing and making happen. So I think that was a big part of it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:12

That's really interesting. So then, I am so curious, as you started about figuring out, "okay, what is next?" and you started embarking on, "hey, what is this change for what's next going to look like for me?" What would you encounter along the way? And what I'm really interested in are, you know, what are some of the parts that you feel like were surprising to you that you didn't expect?

Larry Chase 14:42

So it felt early on that I'd be able to figure this out on my own. That's what I thought was going to happen. I take this time. But one year went by. A second year went by. And I'm still sitting here without a job, and my wife and I are making it work, yet I was, I wouldn't say miserable but I really was afloat, drifting, not really knowing where to go. And I think it was the realization, then you said, you know, I can't remember your specific question now, but it was the realization that I'm not figuring this out on my own. I don't have the tools. I don't have the, for some reason, even though back 20 plus years ago, I said, I want to be a brewer, but I didn't know what I wanted to do. And that was the challenge. How do you go... You can't go figure out how to do something if you don't even know what you want to do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:41


Larry Chase 15:42

And so, and again, I was at a point in my life where I think that I felt I had more commitments than I probably did that first time around, and that I couldn't just go and do because of these commitments. I know, too, that my mindset was not where it should have been. And mindset was a huge part of why I was not making any progress forward on my own, for sure.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:13

In what way?

Larry Chase 16:14

So I really latched on to the conversation in our coaching, the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset. And I had read Carol Dweck's book "Mindset", and I really latched on to it. But at the time, as I read it, I'm thinking, "Yeah, I've got a growth mindset." Because as you read that book, you know, the fixed mindset, we've all got fixed mindsets. We've all got some growth mindset. It's kind of a continuum of where do you land? And I viewed myself as having "Oh I'm mostly all growth mindset." Yeah, of course, because that's the good thing. That's where you want to be.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:55


Larry Chase 16:56

Of course.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:57

Of course.

Larry Chase 16:57

When in reality, I had a lot of fixed mindset. And that's really what was holding me back from.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:07

How did it show up for you? When you say, "Hey, in reality, I had a fixed mindset in..." sounds like more areas than what you had previously thought. How did you see that show up for you?

Larry Chase 17:22

The way that I saw it show up best, there's this exercise called old agreements, new agreements. And you write out what are all of the agreements that you have with yourself right now. And that was hard work, for sure. And getting it down on paper, and for sure you think about it and get it down on paper. But once we got it down on paper, and there was probably six or seven different ones that I came up with. And as we started reading through the old agreement, and then comparing that to the new agreement, in a particular area. And as I would read through all of the old agreement, the words were all very fixed mindset terminology.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:11


Larry Chase 18:12

But when I realized it, I'm like, "Oh, my gosh." And I start looking through each of these old agreements that I had with myself. And so much of it was a fixed mindset. And so my wife has a very positive how-can-we-make-this-work-figure-it-out attitude always has. And one of the things that I am really good at, is when an idea comes up, and this is where I overuse one of my strengths. When an idea comes up, I will immediately look to how it won't work.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:52

Let's say all the reasons why this will not work or can't work or needs to. Yeah.

Larry Chase 18:57

Exactly. And that I forget which strength that falls in. That's the overuse, that analytical side of it. It's good to have that, yet, when you take it way too far, you never end up seeing the positive. Instead of using the analytical side to look to how it can work, right. But I would always go to how it can't work. And that frustrated my wife immensely, because every time she would bring up an idea, my immediate response was to start talking about how it won't work. Well, when she is 100% always "how do we make it work" and I'm always this downer about how it won't work. And we were these two opposites. So that's how it was coming out, you know, this fixed mindset side of me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:47

So what I'm curious about and the question I wanted to ask you is what do you feel like helped the most? Because I think it's just difficult. It's difficult to do over a period of many years, let alone, a period of months. So really nice job. And what helped you along the way, aside from what we've already talked about?

Larry Chase 20:08

One of the things that I did, and I can't remember how it came out, but I started practicing meditation, sometime in this realm as well. And what I did, I took all of the new agreements that I've written for myself. And after, every morning, after my 5 to 10 minute silent meditation, I would take that piece of paper with all of those new agreements. And every single day, I would read them out loud to myself. And that repetitiveness to try to put it in my head of this is how I think, this is how I am going to approach the world, the empowering language piece of it as well, I found a great one page or document online that really outlined instead of this word, instead of saying "I need", say, "it's important to", and by doing that daily and helping to cement it in my head, one was some of the words, I'm now at the point where if I recognize I'm about to say, "I need to do this", or "I should do this", which is disempowering language, I can catch myself before it actually comes out of my mouth. And I am able to flip it and say, "it's important for me", or "I want to", or "I will do this." And that has a huge impact on how your mind approaches the world when you change the language that you use and when you do it out loud. So that was speaking it out loud and speaking it daily. I've gotten out of that practice right now, in those first two to three, four months, that's really what was helping me make that change.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:13

That is pretty awesome. And again, I just want to reinforce, as people listen to this, as you're listening to this right now, it can easily be glossed over that this might not sound like a big deal. But this is something that I would advocate is a much, much harder part of any type of career change, that often people don't realize. So many people show up in our world where they believe it's going to be more about a job and company and work change. But really, what we see over and over again, is that it's about becoming a different person and becoming the person that you want to be along the way. And I just think that you've done a really, really nice job with that, Larry, and I want to acknowledge that out loud. And also, you know, one of the other things that makes me very curious about too, is what else happened for you? Or what else did you do that you found to be very helpful in getting to the point that you are now? And would you mind spending just a moment sharing what you are transitioning to? Tell me a little bit about that.

Larry Chase 23:29

Sure. So I'm transitioning into being a certified coach for the great game of business. So this gets to that financial peace that has been an interest of mine for a long time. In fact, I still have my name tag from my junior year of high school when I was the junior class treasurer. So there's been this financial side that has been an interest to me for a long time. So I am in the process of getting my certification to coach that and to help companies. And then my primary realm that I want to serve is the craft brewing world. Because even though I don't want to be a hands on brewer every day, I still absolutely love beer. I love the people in the brewing world. I've got contacts everywhere that I can call upon as I grow this new business of mine, which that's a whole nother realm. I'm now figuring out how do I build my own independent business. And that's not where I anticipated going when I started the coaching. So that's the change that that's where I'm headed.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:46

That is fantastic. And here's the part that I love about that. It incorporates so much of what you are really wonderful at and really just gravitates towards in so many different ways. And I think anyone listening to this right now can tell that just in how you've talked about your story leading up to this, just how you are explaining what it is that you are doing or get to do now. And I think what's really cool too is this isn't just a, "Hey, here's what I'm going to do now." You already have your first client too. Is that right?

Larry Chase 25:27

Yes, I do. And that's a little bit longer story of how that came about. That connections are absolutely amazing. I got my first client, because the owner of the brewery saw me post on the Brewers Association daily forum, asking about any breweries out there that are currently practicing open book management, and specifically along the lines of the great game of business. And he saw that post, and he said, "Uh huh, this is interesting." He looked into it further and realized that this might be the missing piece that he's been trying to figure out for his company. But anyway, we made that connection. And as we continue the conversation, I'm now gonna have a contract to be a support person for them, who has the knowledge to help them implement the system.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:28

That is pretty fantastic. I love how life works when you start to become very clear on what you want, which direction you go, and who you want to serve. It isn't magic, but sometimes it seems like it in a variety of different ways.

Larry Chase 26:43

Thank you. The challenge now, though, is it's only beginning. You said earlier how a lot of people come in thinking that, you know, it's simply about a career change, a new job, a different role. You know, for me it was, I went for six months, we didn't even talk about a job or role where I want to do. It was that mindset piece that we really had to work on first before I could even get to the point of considering what's next.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:21

I think that's amazing. And I am curious, you know, as you said, your journey is now just beginning. But I think the part and I think the part that really is amazing about is even though it is just beginning, it is now on a different track that clearly you diagnosed years ago was what you no longer wanted to be on that same track. And you've gone through something that is very difficult. Most of the people in the entire world don't do this. They don't identify what they want to be doing, and then actively make it happen in the real world. So again, just kudos to you. But then the other question that I want to ask you is, what advice would you give? What advice would you give to those people who were where you were several years ago, and you know that you no longer want to be doing what you were doing, but aren't quite sure where you want to go or how to make it happen? What advice would you give?

Larry Chase 28:20

There's a few things that come to mind. It's one, my wife likes to say, and it's "leap and the net will appear." Really, really difficult to do. I get that. Really, really difficult to do. Yet, if your mindset is thinking positively in that direction, it happens. I think another piece of advice is don't wait. Because I didn't talk about how it took me... probably it took me way too long to leave that last job even though it was probably two or three years that I knew I needed to be out of there. And yeah, don't wait. It may seem really really difficult that you can't and you gotta wait this out. Yet, you will feel so much better. And it's not the first time. I've left two jobs under duress. And the first time I did it, it was, "I should have done it sooner." And this last time, "I should have done it sooner." So don't wait.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:31

Hey, if you love this story where we talk through and walk you through step by step how someone got to more meaningful work, then you'll absolutely love our audiobook– Happen to Your Career: An Unconventional Approach to Career Change and Meaningful Work. I even got to narrate it, which was so fun, and something that I really enjoy doing and will definitely do for future books as well. But it also contains firsthand accounts from career changers on how they made the move to more meaningful work. Just like we include on the podcast here and actually has been called the best audio book experience ever by some reviewers. You can find those reviews and the book itself on Audible, Amazon or any other place where books are sold. Seriously, just pause this right now and go over to Amazon or Audible or wherever you want and download it. You can be reading it and started on your career change in literally seconds.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:26

Now, here's a sneak peek into what's coming up next week, right here on Happen To Your Career.

Speaker 3 30:31

You already have a network no matter where you're beginning, and people often underestimate that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:37

As people find the Happen To Your Career podcast and begin exploring what an ideal career could be for them, they tend to ask questions, understandably so. And a bunch of those questions sometimes are all about reaching people and building relationships, or often what they refer to is "networking" in new industries, new areas, and new careers. These questions usually go something like "How do I reach out to CEOs or managers or other busy people?", "Are they going to think I'm a pest if I reach out to them? Am I bothering them? How do I get them to want to talk to me in the first place? How do I convince them that I'm worth their time?" Well, I understand the reasoning behind these questions. And I want to give you a different way to think about it because we've been teaching this and how to do this for many years. But because we get these questions so often, we wanted to bring on another person who has a lot of expertise in this topic. So you're going to hear a conversation with Darrah Brustein where we talk about how to reach out to busy people, and more importantly, how to form meaningful connections with them. It turns out, networking doesn't have to be as awkward as it seems. And it can actually be organic, natural, and dare I say, enjoyable.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:59

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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