275: Successfully Pivot Your Career with Jenny Blake

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Making a successful career pivot is about creating connections based on what you already know about yourself, where you are in your life, and where you want to be in your career.

Sound like a process?

It is.

But, it doesn’t have to be a complicated one!

Many people find a sticky point before they are even able to start to take action on their new career journey.

So many of us hold ourselves back from the next steps to our career change because of our fears of failure, lack of confidence, and just waiting to have all the time in the world for things to change. 

But, things don’t just change.

And, they won’t change on their own.

Don’t let you own self-sabotaging ways get in the way of making those career moves.

Jenny Blake, a career and business strategist, international speaker, and the author of the books, PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One and Life After College, shares strategies for those moving through their career change process and even those that are just beginning to evaluate where they are in their particular situation.

When you find yourself stuck, take a deep breath and follow the process below to regain your career pivot perspective.

#1: FOCUS ON YOURSELF

The process of your career change is intense and can take you into a place of deep overwhelm, where you may even be so focused you begin down one path and develop tunnel-vision until you get to a result (even if it’s not truly the results you’ve mapped out for yourself).

You may become so invested in making the change that you lose sight of your overall career and life goals.

So, take a moment or two…or three… to step back regain your perspective on what matters to you. What you value and what you really want out of your next career.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who am I? What do I like to do? What don’t I like to do?
  • What does success look like for you?
  • How much you want to be making?
  • What time do I want to wake up every day?
  • What types of people do I want to surround myself with?

Be as detailed as you can be when you create this Ideal Day Map.

The more detailed you can get with your ideal day, the better you can focus your energy to actualizing this vision.

#2: SCAN FOR PEOPLE, SKILLS, & PROJECTS

Once you map out the vision of your ideal day, begin the scanning process.

People

Think of who you can connect with that is either in the same place as you – looking to make a change, someone that is already in the industry or organization that you would like to work, or someone that knows someone that can offer you advice, help, or provide you with an ‘in’ into the next stepping stone of your career.

You can also look into starting a ‘friendtor’ relationship with one of your like-minded friends for accountability and support during your career transition. ‘Friendtors’ have the capacity to be so valuable to your career journey. It’s another place where people put pressure to find a mentor, but staying accountable with your friends can go a long way.

Skills

Do you know how you want to grow?

If you are at a pivot point in your career, you have room to grow which is more than exciting.

If there is one thing about the majority of successful career changers, they have a huge capacity to learn. They enjoy growing by conquering their challenges.

So, ask yourself, where do you want to grow? What skills do you want to improve on?

Projects

After you scan your skills, think about and look for tiny micro-experiments to dip your toe into a potential career.

This could be anything from volunteering your knowledge and skills to test out a type of job or getting an internship to get a feel for what it would be like to work for a particular organization.

#3: MAKE YOURSELF DISCOVERABLE

Network. Network. Network.

The goal is to let people know that you’re looking for a new career and what type of job and industry you’re looking to work in. So, be intentional and put yourself out there.

Whether you send emails out to your friends, family, and colleagues, or start your own website to promote yourself, you need to take the initiative to demonstrate your skills in a public way.

If you don’t know what to say, we’ve provided sample emails below for you to use as a template to get your networking emails started.

Here is a sample of an email you can send if you are looking to switch up your career:

If you own your own business and are looking to expand outside of what you know, send an email similar to this one:

Follow this 3-step framework and stop holding yourself back from your next career opportunity.

Be more intentional with your career pivot and push past your sticky points to successfully move forward with your career transition.

Career change is difficult stuff. That is why we’ve created the Career Change Bootcamp program that was created to guide you to build a strong foundation that will go even more in depth to help you determine what it is you want out of your next career.

Read more about it here or visit our Career Coaching resource for a more personalized one-on-one career advisor.

Jenny Blake 00:01
Anytime you find yourself saying, "Well, only if then, or only when this happens then I can do XYZ." That I always, always stop and question it. It may end up to be true somehow, but most of the time, there are ways around it or there are ways to start a smaller version of that from right where you are.

Introduction 00:27
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.

Mike Bigelow 00:48
I'm an engineer who was living in Portland, Oregon, and was moving up to Seattle, Washington to support my wife's career change.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:54
This is Michael, he's made career changes before but this one was different.

Mike Bigelow 00:58
A lot of the folks I talked to using sort of my normal channels were often saying, "Hey, we'd love to have somebody like you on the team. Unfortunately, we just let three or four people just like you go because there's not enough work to go around anymore."

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:11
Listen for Michael's story later in the episode to learn how he use coaching to help him figure out what fits him and make the change to work he loves.

Mike Bigelow 01:18
You have somebody in your corner, who's looking out for your best interest. They're pushing you to be best version of yourself and to stretch and grow yourself consistently towards that best self.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:31
This is Scott Anthony Barlow, and you're listening to Happen To Your Career, the show that helps you figure out what work fits you by exploring other stories. We get to bring on experts like Andy Molinsky, who helps people stretch outside their comfort zones, or people that have pretty amazing stories like Jessica Rhodes who started her own virtual assistant business, and stay at home with their son. These are people that are just like you, they've gone from where they are, to what they really want to be doing. And they're also people that are just like our next guest, Jenny Blake.

Jenny Blake 02:00
I primarily say I'm an author, that I wrote a book called 'Pivot' and I do coaching, speaking and consulting related to that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:09
You might have... Jenny's conversation, you get to learn how to actually stop holding yourself back by waiting to have all the time in the world for things to happen to you. And even in particular, how to use constraints that a day job puts on your career change as a positive rather than a negative and make it easier rather than harder to make the change. And how and why creating an ideal day map for yourself will help you pivot to reach that success, and that's pretty cool. Take a listen for that about three quarters of the way through the episode. And even the importance of the scanning process for your career change, they didn't even know the scanning process actually is and how it can help. So all that, plenty more.

Jenny Blake 02:52
So I realized that what I really love are big ideas, and simplifying complex topics like change, like how to answer the question what's next. And from those big ideas, come everything else that I love to do and that I do to earn a living. And one of my favorites is keynote speaking actually. So...

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:11
Really?

Jenny Blake 03:11
I love keynote speaking more than I enjoy the process of writing a book. But I like of course, having written a book and then have the platform.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:20
That's so funny. I've talked to so many authors. And, I don't know, I've probably... we've got a lot of books that we've shared with our audience, but haven't necessarily gone through the publishing route. And we plan on doing that over the next... about a year and a half, 18 months. So I've been asking authors, and I keep getting that same response as, like, "Well, I love having written a book." And that apparently seems to be the common theme with a lot of people.

Jenny Blake 03:46
Yeah, although I've been writing my whole life, I don't identify as a writer. It's never come easily to me to just sit down. For example, even marketing Pivot. I loved doing podcasts. It was so fun to jump on a podcast and either for my Pivot podcast or to be a guest on other shows like yours. But when it came to writing, even if it was writing an article for Fast Company or some really prestigious site, I would procrastinate. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt like I was completely spent from working on the book. Whereas my friend Dorie Clark, for example, she could turn out 2-3 articles a week, no problem.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:20
Yes. I'm more on your side of the fence then on Dorie's, as it turns out. I have some friends as well that's like, "Yeah, that's my thing. It's no big deal. I can do that with my eyes closed." I'm super curious, though. Because you haven't always been doing this. You haven't always been keynote speaking. You haven't always been marketing new programs and things along those lines and helping people in a variety of different ways. So where did this all start for you? Let's go way back.

Jenny Blake 04:46
Interestingly enough, when you say I haven't always, even when I was a kid, I would make my brother play school. So whatever I was learning in school, I would make worksheets for him.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:55
Oh, really?

Jenny Blake 04:55
Instead of playing house or any imaginary games, we would play school or we would play business. And he's two and a half years younger. So even in those early days, I really loved learning, kind of, getting to understand something and then teaching it. And in the business, I always loved creating things. And even I started a family newspaper when I was 10, which I carried out all through high school, all the way up until I graduated high school it's called the monthly dig up. And even there, I loved seeing what's out there, curating information and stories and technology trends. And I charged money, I think subscriptions were $5 just to cover printing and postage. But that was, kind of, my early form of blogging, if before blogging was a thing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:39
So, wait a minute, that people outside the family were reading this too? For the family newspaper...

Jenny Blake 05:43
I would say, extended family and friends. So cousins, uncles, godparents, and then parents friends. It was about 50 people by the time the subscriber reached, by the time it was done. 50 household. Yeah, it was really fun.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:57
Oh, so then what happened from there post-family newspaper and post high school? Where did that end up leading you to as you got out of high school and began moving on?

Jenny Blake 06:08
I thought that I was going to be a journalist. And so in high school, I was the California journalist of the year, top four finalists in the country. And my first pivot in life was getting rejected from every journalism program that I applied to out of high school. So of course, know that it was a pivot at the time, but I just felt, like, what on earth? This is the thing I had been planning to do. I was the editor in chief of my high school paper. What do you mean I just got rejected from Columbia,Tufts, Northwestern? I mean, every program, so, I ended up getting into UCLA, which I was very excited about, even though I plan to go to school on the east coast. And I wrote for the daily ruin for a year and then just realized, "You know what? Maybe I can broaden my horizons beyond journalism." And deadlines were stressful, I noticed that everyone in the editorial staff had completely failing grades, they were exhausted, they were burnt out. It just didn't seem that nourishing for me. And so that was the first thing that I really had to say 'no' to. And although it was so closely tied to my identity at the time, and then go from there, and so that's when I started studying political science. And that got me my first job at a startup with one of my professors when I was still at UCLA. And it, kind of, everything happened from there. And then of course, blogging and writing the books brings back the journalism skills just in a different way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:26
Yes. Notice some recurring themes and patterns here, just from what I know about your story, too. So you went to the startup, why did you and got you that job? But there's probably other things you could have done to. Why did you end up taking that versus anything else?

Jenny Blake 07:40
That opportunity came at the start of my junior year. So I wasn't even looking for full time jobs yet. I had been interning at Rock the Vote for a little while, which I enjoyed tremendously. But it's not like I was exploring all my options and what should I do for a career. This just kind of fell out of the sky, and it happened... the company happened to be in my hometown at Palo Alto. So I just decided, well, now whatever, like, I'm gonna take a leave of absence from school, why not go be the first employee there and it's in my hometown, I can stay at my mom's house, like, get things figured out. I did that, I moved home and my friends were kind of like, "What are you thinking? You know, you have 60 years to work. Why would you cut your college experience short?" But I learned so much at that startup. And I later went back to finish and graduate with my class because I was ahead in school anyway. But the startup was so fun. I mean, as employee number one, and watching and helping it grow to 30 people, I got to work like five hats, marketing director, webmaster, office manager. And that then set the foundation for why I started "Life After College", the website, and later the book, because I wanted to help other 20 somethings who felt as lost as I was because I was entering the working world, before any of my friends and I didn't know what it was all about, what to wear, how to save money, how to pick a health care plan. Like there's so much that confused me at that time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:02
All of the decisions that go along with, well, yeah, aptly named "Life After College", as it turns out.

Jenny Blake 09:10
Exactly, right. My first tagline was, "no one said it was easy". That was my first tagline. And then later, I realized, maybe that's a little pessimistic. And I changed it to, like, what was it... something like, "Wake up, live big, love the journey." That's what it then became.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:24
That's what I was gonna ask, what are the ones that didn't work out prior to"Life After College"? That's perfect. Where does Google fit into this?

Jenny Blake 09:31
After two years at the startup, felt like I was hitting a plateau there. And I was too young to really know how to talk about that with the founder. So my first and last career conversation was me giving two weeks notice, which I regret. I mean, to this day, my work is dedicated to helping people have career conversations. And I had been managing our Google AdWords accounts at the startup and I pivoted to become an AdWords product trainer at Google. And so I trained over 1000 people in my first year there and that really, was, had my long term goal in mind of being an author and a speaker someday. And even though I used to get turned bright red when I would have to speak in front of a group, I knew that if I took this job at Google, it would set me up for what I wanted to do later on, and it definitely has.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:14
How did you identify at that point that that was what you wanted to do later on? What took place for you to be able to saw that?

Jenny Blake 10:22
It's a great question. There was never... just wasn't a question. It was more about, when could I be an author? I thought maybe in my 50s, or something. Like, what is a 20 something have to say about anything? But then the "Life After College" idea felt within my grasp what I could do, and I was assembling tips, quotes and questions. So it wasn't just for me, it was kind of what's all the wisdom that's out there. And I'll break it down for people. So even then I saw myself as a curator, not, like, the end all be all expert at the ripe old age of 25. Even as a kid just loved creating things, I don't know who I first saw to get the idea of being a keynote speaker, it wasn't Tony Robbins, although I was reading a lot of personal developments. I think even Dan Pink was one of the first that I saw and just seeing authors come to Google, and I don't know something about it. But it was before I went to Google that I had that urge. So I can't say, I just know that I've always been very clear. And especially since I left Google six years ago, I just haven't looked back, I had a hunch at that time, that doing this full time would be what I wanted. And it's just... there hasn't been one second of one day that I regretted leaving, even though I loved my time there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:28
That's so interesting in a variety of different ways. First of all, what I heard out of that, or what I took out of that was, hey, you've clearly identified some pieces even very early on for what you wanted to do, then it was more a case of how it's going to become a real possibility. And it sounds like, I'm gonna call it stair steps, like, stair step type of events happen, like, one thing led to "Life After College", and then all of a sudden, you know, everything else appeared that much closer as you were going through some of the work there. And then all of a sudden, you know, I'm making the assumption you're not 50 now.

Jenny Blake 12:02
True. I'm 33. At the time of this recording.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:06
Yeah. But, you know, at one point in time, you thought maybe some of this will happen at 50. And clearly it didn't.

Jenny Blake 12:13
Exactly. It's I think, sometimes we're waiting for permission for someone to say, "Okay, you're qualified now." And I certainly was, too. Even when I set up the Life After College website, I set it up in 2005. And I started blogging in 2007. And I remember the fear of just, "Oh, gosh. Who am I to put my ideas out there? Who am I to raise my hand and say, 'I have something to say.'?" And the same with the book. But then you realize, who are we waiting for? And why? And to think that, yeah, of course, sometimes getting an advanced degree or more education or more experience is a good thing, 100%. Things like going to coach training school, I firmly believe in it. And at the same time, how can you start right where you are? How can you start without any permission at all? Or silence those voices that say, "you're not good enough, you're not ready, you're too young, you're too old, you're too dumb, you're too smart." I'm sure we all have them. And a key is to hear them, know that they're going to come up anytime you're doing something really important or significant and keep going.

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:11
So let's talk about that for a minute, then, as far as how people can actually do that, because one of the questions that we get emailed constantly, it has to do with this. And it's that, well, I think that I want to do this thing that, you know, whatever it might be, I think that I want to write. I think that I want to move into environmental. I think that I want to, or I know that I want to, but I don't consider it a real possibility for me for one reason or another. And essentially, what I have taken from, I don't know, probably, like a thousands to those type of emails, is that we are essentially waiting for permission or don't quite see how we can have permission or how it could be possible.

Jenny Blake 13:55
Yeah, that we live in a nonlinear universe. That anything can happen at any time. And if anytime you find yourself saying, "Well, only if then, or only when this happens, then I can do XYZ. That I always stop and question it." It may end up to be true somehow, but most of the time, there are ways around it, or there are ways to start a smaller version of that, from right where you are. So anytime we're putting a limitation, but I just don't think that's possible. I mean, I'm dating and living with a painter. He's a full time artist and a painter, most people would say, you can't earn a living that way. And that's true. There are a lot of starving artists or starving painters out there. But it's something we often talk about, but, like, why does that have to be you? If you put some intention behind it and some strategy and, of course, everyone I believe has a different soul blueprint and kind of path in this world. So it's not to say that, just because you want it, you're guaranteed to be Jeff Koons and make a zillion dollars either. But, why listen? Just because society or some concept that we have that's outdated, says, "Oh, you can't do that, or you can't earn a living doing that."

Mike Bigelow 15:06
I'm an engineer who was living in Portland, Oregon, and was moving up to Seattle, Washington to support my wife's career change.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:13
Remember Michael? We already told you that he'd made some career changes before. But this one in particular, it was different.

Mike Bigelow 15:20
A lot of the folks I talked to using sort of my normal channels were often saying, "Hey, we'd love to have somebody like you on the team. Unfortunately, we just let three or four people just like you go because there's not enough work to go around anymore."

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:33
Michael realize that this was not an opportunity for a change the location.

Mike Bigelow 15:37
This could be not just a lateral move from one city to another, but it could have the opportunity be of promotion, as well. Leading projects to potentially leading teams of technical people. And that is sort of been where I want it to be for a long time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:50
As we work with him, he began to explore a much bigger picture.

Mike Bigelow 15:54
It wasn't just about finding a job. It was about finding my place in a community and being able to show folks that I wasn't there just to find something. I was interested in our conversation beyond the "Mike needs a place to land in Seattle."

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:09
He put in the work to really connect with people and made it happen.

Mike Bigelow 16:13
As we're speaking now I sitting in my new apartment, having unpacked most of it in a gap week between when I left my old job, when I'm starting my new job.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:22
Congratulations to Michael and finding work he loves that fits his family's needs. If you also want to figure out what work fits you and find that fulfilling career that lights you up and gives you purpose, find out how coaching can help you step by step, go to happentoyourcareer.com and click on Coaching to apply or pause right now and text MYCOACH to 44222. Again, just pause right now, we'll send over the application. Text MYCOACH to 44222.

Mike Bigelow 16:49
And what was wonderful about working with the Happen To Your Career team was that I was able to learn so much about how to go from good to great in that career transition.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:03
I almost feel like when you get to that situation that you've described, where you're saying, "If I only had or if I only had the time. Or if I only, you know, had the four year degree" or whatever else it might be, first of all, having that be a trigger point for you to stop and say, "Yeah, there's probably another way to do this. Absolutely love that concept." But then from there, if that's something that you want, I almost feel like it's an obligation to yourself to explore that in one way, shape, or form or another. Otherwise, I don't know, that borderlines into knowing that you're going to set yourself up for regrets later. And for myself, I can't fathom going down a road where you know that you're going to set yourself up for regrets.

Jenny Blake 17:47
Afraid. In my book, I talk about how... we don't have FOMO, we have FONT (Fear Of Not Trying). So the bigger regret would be that if we weren't to try. That selling ourselves short before we ever even have a chance. I don't know about you, Scott, but for anyone listening, I would rather try and fail and know that I tried and keep going. And of course failure stings. It's not fun, especially if money is associated, you lose money doing something. But, so what? At least you know you try to, at least you can live with yourself. Whereas what you said not taking any steps toward that thing you feel called the "Do" can become soul crushing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:21
Soul crushing, I think is the right word for that.

Jenny Blake 18:24
Totally.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:25
Absolutely. So let's talk about what people can actually do about that then. In your book, you describe some actual strategies to be able to move through this, I'm going to call it a process. But also, you know, for people that are starting in that place where they already have an inclination or a clue or something to be able to hold on to and are evaluating it from... if I only have this, then I could do that type situation. And they've got those triggers, like what do they do that? How can they go from that space to being able to get to a place where they can begin to make it happen?

Jenny Blake 18:58
Yeah, well, this is where I really got stuck. I had left Google, I was a year and a half into running my own business. And I just did not want to be, I'd become known on podcasts and interviews as the girl who left Google and the girl who left college. So everything I was talking about was just leaving. That wasn't that inspiring to me. And I wondered, like, "Who am I? What do I stand for? What's next? How can I help people? How can I create an impact? What can I build meaningful body of work around?" And I really struggled. And the thing that kept me struggling to the point where my bank account balance dwindled down to zero, was focusing so much on what I didn't know, what I didn't have, and what I didn't want. And it wasn't until I had to solve this question, or go get another job or leave New York, neither which I wanted to do, that I realized, and this analogy of a basketball player came to me that when a basketball player stops dribbling, they plant one foot that's their source of strength, stability, their foundation, and then they can scan for passing options with their pivot foot. So for somebody who is currently scanning, and just getting discouraged by what they can't do, what's not going to work, I encourage you to go back to that plant foot and say, "What is already working? What am I already great at? In what small tiny way am I already doing this?" And what does success look like? If I were to attempt this new thing, where would I want to end up in a year?" And that can be really inspiring and motivating to push through some of the fear that you described, Scott. And then from that place, look for related, so don't stretch too far, as much as I used to adopt the motto, like, take great leaps, you know, now I'm actually more pragmatic, like, especially when I'm the one footing the bill for all this searching. It's more connecting to... based on what you already know and right where you already are, what are some small experiments that you can run? Tiny ones. Take the pressure off to have the answer. Maybe if someone wants to write a book, you're writing for 15 minutes a day, that's it, or 15 minutes a week, there's no reason to wait until you have all the time in the world, and all the financial resources. I think a lot of people even think to themselves, well, if only I didn't have this stupid day job, then I could do a trillion things. But actually, the constraints that a job puts while footing the bill, while incubating these side projects and ideas is quite valuable. And those creative constraints on time are helpful, because I'll tell, you the times where I've gone to a week long romantic sounding retreat in the woods to write, I don't even click open the computer. I'm just, like, paralyzed by the abundance of time. So I realized to stop holding myself back waiting to have all the time in the world for things.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:38
That's so interesting. First of all, did you play basketball?

Jenny Blake 21:40
I did, but only in seventh grade. I then moved on to softball and volleyball.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:44
Okay, that still counts. Second of all, I love that analogy. Because I believe it helps break it down quite a bit, obviously, it helps break it down. Right? Thanks, Scott state the obvious. But what I particularly like about it is that so many of us do get stuck in what you call, the scanning phase. And a lot of people that are listening to this show right now, that are HTYCers out there, that's where a lot of you are. And what I would love to do in this case is push you a little bit Jenny on a couple of these areas in terms of for somebody who is in that scanning phase, what are two or three strategies that they could use right now to be able to move into the next phase, and be able to get them out of the dang scanning.

Jenny Blake 22:28
Totally. Again, just to be in scanning doesn't mean you spent enough time looking at what's already working and what success looks like a year from now. So counter intuitively, the number one thing you can do if you're stuck in analysis-paralysis or comparing to spare of scanning is refocus on yourself: Who you are? What does success look like a year from now? Really paint that picture. And I have on my website an Ideal Day Mad Lib, that I think is a really fun way to just dig into this, just be so detailed with what time you wake up, who you're surrounded by, what type of work you're doing, how much you're earning, what kind of impact you want to make, what are you learning and growing, how are you growing? And then scanning is about people skills and projects. So people, who is already doing what you want to do? Who can you connect with? Who are some friends that you could set up friendtor relationships with for accountability?

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:20
A friendtor, is that what you said?

Jenny Blake 23:21
Exactly. Yeah.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:23
I haven't heard that. I love that.

Jenny Blake 23:24
And because friendtors have been so valuable to me. There's another place where people put pressure to find a mentor. But when, really, just accountability with your friends can go such a long way. And skills, how do you want to grow? Inevitably, if you're at a pivot point, it's likely that you have room to grow. And that's what's exciting. That's what we all live for at the end of the day is learning and growing and feeling challenged. And then projects and also making yourself discoverable. So if you're scanning and you're super clear, at least generally, where you want to end up, it may be the case that just nobody knows that you're looking. So I have on my website too, like, a Network Email Mad Lib where you fill in the blanks, regardless of my steps, it's just about... the reason I created that was I had so many clients where they would get to a point in their searching, it became time to email their network and say, "Hey, friends and family. I met a pivot point. Here's a little bit of what I'm up to. This is what I'm looking to do. These are my strengths. This is the type of organization I'm looking for." Or if you're working for yourself, "These are the types of clients I'm looking for. Here's what I do, here's what we can do together." And that helps make yourself discoverable. Think about Bluetooth devices. It's so important. You've got to be discoverable so people know that you're looking and what you're looking for. And even things like blogging or what I call public original thinking, you don't have to have a blog, but can you post content? Can you demonstrate expertise somewhere in a public way so that people come to you and line up for you rather than the other way around?

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:52
That is awesome for a variety of different ways.

Jenny Blake 24:56
I'm hearing that. Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:57
Flipped out for a second. Josh, you can cut that out and post production. The Perfect Day exercise, what are a few things on your perfect day? Super curious.

Jenny Blake 25:07
Yeah, I call it Ideal Day, just I'm, like, super weird with the word perfect. Because in a way, every day is perfect, right? Because we're breathing and...

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:15
Exactly.

Jenny Blake 25:16
Yeah, so ideal... I like even the concept of Ideal Average Day. Because ideal day might be, like, I'm vacationing in Tahiti with a piña colada in my hand. So Ideal Average Day, for me, includes... as I had today, I feel fortunate to have had wake up, sleeping, no alarm, roll out of bed, meditate 20 minutes, have tea and read and I give myself permission to read for as long as pretty much as I want, I'll maybe started answering email about an hour before my calls start. But I love feeding my brain something interesting in the morning and like getting inspired by ideas. And even this morning, I was reading a book about how to look at art. It's not like it has to do with careers or business, always necessarily. And then some amount of strategic work and projects, building something, I love building things and then connecting with friends later in the day is nice and also exercise. If I could fit all of that in and eat healthily, that's a win.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:14
Very cool. Actually I have a copy of my perfect day on a bulletin board like right behind the screen that I'm looking at right now.

Jenny Blake 26:19
That's so cool. What's on yours?

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:21
A couple of different things. One is I've had this fascination with getting to the point where I am working out four hours a day. So I'm not there yet.

Jenny Blake 26:31
Fascinating.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:32
Yeah.

Jenny Blake 26:33
What would you do in that workout?

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:34
It wouldn't be one workout. So recently, I've started a couple of different things. So I do parkour and strength training. And now I've layered in stand up paddleboarding every single morning.

Jenny Blake 26:45
Love it. That's so awesome. How relaxing and challenging.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:49
Yeah. So, like, this morning, I woke up at 4:45, and at 5am went stand up paddleboarding, watch the sunrise on the lake, which we live on 300 feet away from the lake. So it's easy to just go down through the board. But yeah, so a few things like that. And then some other pieces in terms of how I spend my day. And interestingly enough, your piece on fascination with big ideas, that's something that we have in common. So that is how I enjoy spending a portion of my day, at least every day, in one way or another.

Jenny Blake 27:20
That's so cool. Yeah. I realized the output is less important to me that part of the reason I was hitting my last pivot year/crisis, total complete breakdown, was I had a book, I had a blog, I had courses, but there was no big idea that I really, really believed in. And that's actually how I realized how important it was that I just became super clear that vague, original as original as possible. Ideas are vital, like my oxygen for my career.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:50
Oh my goodness, it's so interesting, because I swung both sides. So when you were working at Google and building this on the side, I was doing the same type of thing. And every single day, I was reading and listening to podcasts and doing all of these other things to have those inputs. And then I swung the opposite way when I took my business full time. And it was a case of, wow, I don't feel like I have time to read a book. And, you know, I went for months without reading a book. And then I cut out podcast because I didn't have a commute anymore. I was working from the front portion of our house. And I realized that I was missing that. And it was stunting a few different things, it's stunting some of our business growth, but it's also stunting me in terms of what I wanted, and I was missing some of those pieces that I really loved about being exposed to big ideas and ultimately creating and acting on big ideas too. So...

Jenny Blake 28:41
Totally.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:42
Oh my goodness been on both sides.

Jenny Blake 28:44
Yeah. And it's interesting how just because we quit a job doesn't mean you can't become your own worst boss. So it's interseting how, no matter what your work structure is, it's so easy to say, "Oh, I don't have time." I do this too. "I don't have time to exercise or meditate or read books." Like there's no time for that. When really those are the things that are so energizing, and re-charging...

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:04
And rewiring everything else. Yeah.

Jenny Blake 29:06
I feel everything. Yeah, I'm with you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:08
Oh, my goodness. I feel like we could talk for hours about this. But I am super curious about a couple other things, too, that you mentioned. First of all, did you come up with the friendtor?

Jenny Blake 29:19
No, I came up with it. And then as with many things in my book, I would Google certain concepts that I thought. like, yes, I just came up with this great idea. And then of course, it's like someone has used this term before. But I pretty much feel that at least it was a simultaneous innovation type situation. Because I will tell you, it's really crazy to write a book with access to so much information because every time I thought I was coming up with something unique or original that truly came from my brain, but then if I would Google or research, that stuff was already out there. So there was just so much that it's, kind of, discouraging. It was different than the first time around where I didn't quite feel, like, wow, every day and articles coming out. It says the exact same thing as my book like, what am I doing here?

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:05
Yeah, I know that feeling, that discouraging/frustrating feeling. It's like, "Oh, this is great. I came up with this." And then 10 minutes later realize that seven other people have heard.

Jenny Blake 30:15
There's so much information. That's why story is so important, personal story, because information... Derek Sivers is the one that said, like, "if information is not the problem, otherwise we would all have six pack abs and a million dollars in the bank." So it's not information alone. And I had to remind myself that too, it's actually sharing struggles and challenges and stories and how your brain uniquely solves problems that move things forward.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:41
Absolutely. So on the friendtor then, what does somebody look for in a friendtor? Give us a few different pieces, how do I know that they're actually going to be a good friendtor for me? I'm gonna say friendtor as many times as I can, because I'm fascinated by them.

Jenny Blake 30:54
I love it. Look for someone who you are both genuinely excited to get together. And when you do get together, you can barely stop talking, that you have a mutual love of resources and brainstorming. And you don't even have to have the same goals. But just be excited about supporting each other, and holding each other accountable. And having weekly calls or bi-weekly or once a month. And just somebody who you resonate with someone who, yes, they're a friend, but what makes them a friendtor is that they also have great ideas, give great advice, connect you to people. So there, you can benefit each other in many ways beyond just someone to kind of kick back and relax, let's say.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:36
I love it. And I didn't have a name for it until this moment. But this is something that's been a huge benefit in my life in business. And now I've got a title for it. Thank you so much for that, Jenny. Appreciate it.

Jenny Blake 31:49
I love it. I'm so glad. I know it's such an untapped resource and it's free, as opposed to signing up for masterminds or coaching. And of course, we both read coaching businesses, like I'm all for it. But why not have a coach and a friendtor or a friend or mastermind group at that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:05
Oh my goodness, it can be such a compliment to any work that you're doing with a coach or any work that you're doing many other places.

Jenny Blake 32:12
Totally. And then you can share what you're learning from your coaches. So that's kind of fun, too. Like, oh my coach had the best question for me this week or piece of advice, or in one of my mastermind groups, we would come and say, "what have you learned in the last two weeks?" Like, did you attend any conferences or read any books? So it was just such a great shortcut to knowledge.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:29
Absolutely agreed. This is super cool. This has been a fascinating conversation. And I very much appreciate you taking the time and making the time. I know that, I think we've been coordinating this between my travel schedule and your schedule for like five or six months now.

Jenny Blake 32:42
Yes, probably. I know I took a big post lunch. After the book came out, I was, like, and you need a break now. So I thought it would be, like, two weeks off, and it turned into three or four months. But I'm back now. So I'm really glad we can do this too.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:57
Absolutely. Thank you again for making the time. For people that want... interested in more Jenny Blake, where can they get more Jenny Blake?

Jenny Blake 33:05
The best place is that, pivotmethod.com/toolkit. There's a ton of free templates and resources for everything we talked about today. And then if there are any side hustlers, or solopreneurs. out there, I have a private community called momentum. And I do Q&A calls twice a month. And there's a great Facebook group. And we do workshops every month. So it's a lot of fun, it's a great way to keep in touch in an ongoing way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:29
Very cool. I would head on over there and check it out. I've had your stuff shared with me from so many HTYCers out there. So I have it shoved in my face, but started looking at it. And I've just been really impressed with what you've put out into the world. So I would absolutely encourage you to go over, check out anything put out by Jenny. Get the book, the book is Pivot, and where can people pick that up as well?

Jenny Blake 33:53
Anywhere books are sold at Amazon as well. There's a couple Pivot books. So just search for Pivot Jenny Blake.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:01
Hey, thanks so much for listening to the Happen To Your Career podcast. I really, really appreciate it. And I appreciate you. And guess what? We've got plenty more coming up next week, right here on Happen To Your Career. So take a listen to what we've got in store for you next week on the Happen To Your Career podcast.

Matt Toy 34:20
You allocate times, all the things that keep the machine going, to keep gas in the tank essentially.

Laura Morrison 34:26
Particularly as someone who has been successful, it's hard to admit to myself, it was hard for me to say I couldn't do it by myself.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:35
That's right. All that and plenty more next week. It's here on Happen To Your Career. I will see you next week. I am out. Adios.

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