296: Debunking the Career Change Myth: You Don’t Have to Start Over

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YOU CAN BE HAPPY. Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of CCB students move from less than glamorous roles to careers they love. At some point, almost all of those people felt like you do: stuck, with no obvious solution to get unstuck. They couldn’t fathom starting over.

Their barriers to happiness sounded like this:

“I don’t want to go back to school. I’m still paying off loans from the first time around!”

“I’m too old and I’ve worked too hard to start at the bottom of any company. I can’t take the pay cut. I have too much pride for that.”

“Would I like to consider another industry? Sure, but I don’t have any skills for that.”

“I don’t love my job, but I can’t bear the thought of throwing away all my years of experience.”

Sound familiar? Well, what our CCB students soon found out is that exactly ZERO of those excuses are valid. When you move to a happier career, it doesn’t mean you have to start over. Your past career experience can help you figure out what pieces you have (examples: flexibility, working with great people, supportive boss, etc) that you want to keep and then sub out the stuff you don’t want! Figure out what’s missing, and then substitute what you don’t want for more of what you do want.

Most people believe they need experience or schooling to make a massive change, and that’s certainly a (potentially long, difficult, and expensive) path to happiness. However, we have a different route that saves time and money.

 You can get unstuck WITHOUT:

  • going back to school
  •  starting at the bottom
  • surrendering your experience
YOUR STEP-BY-STEP PATH TO GETTING UNSTUCK AND LOVING YOUR CAREER

Most people fall into 1 of 2 categories:

  1. They say, “I just need someone to help me articulate my skills and experiences and make them transferable and help me with my LinkedIn profile and resume.” 
  2. Or they think they need 5 years of new experiences before they can find a role they really want to be in. 

The first one isn’t how it works in reality, and the second usually isn’t true either. Career change is hard, but so is staying in a job that’s not a great fit. 

IF IT’S GOING TO BE HARD EITHER WAY, YOU MIGHT AS WELL CHOOSE TO MOVE TOWARD A CAREER YOU COULD LOVE.
(SETTLING NEVER GETS EASIER.)

Consider Laura’s story:

From the outside, someone looking at my resume would be impressed, but I hated it. I wasn’t proud of anything I’d been doing because I wasn’t happy doing it. It didn’t mean I didn’t understand there were impressive things on there, but it didn’t feel like me or impressive to me because I didn’t like the process of doing it. That lack of confidence is tied into that anxiety of trying to figure it out. What if there is nothing for me? What if I’m always unhappy at my job?

Hear that fear? Listen to what she has to say after her career change:

I’m happy at work, I’m challenged at work, I’m proud of the work I’m doing and lessons I’m learning. That’s counter to the state I was in before, where I was getting down on myself for not making a change. It impacted the rest of my life because I was feeling a loss of confidence, loss of motivation, and general discouragement overall.

We helped Laura use her existing skills, experience, knowledge, and degree to make a transition into something new. We also helped her identify what she already had that she was unwilling to give up. This usually includes flexibility that allows you more family time or a great salary. 

We call these priorities “Career Keepers.

Here’s what the math looks like for your ideal career transition:

EXISTING EXPERIENCE + CAREER KEEPERS + MISSING MUST HAVES = YOUR IDEAL TRANSITION

At Happen to Your Career, We use a tool we call the “Ideal Career Profile.” The Ideal Career Profile helps career changers define unique expectations, skills, and desires. We only focus on those areas that they enjoy immensely or those that complement what they want to move into. 

We do this because people’s skills, experience, and knowledge is far, far more transferable than they realize. 

DON’T FALL PREY TO THE SUNK COST FALLACY

Consider Jenny’s story: Jenny was a research scientist. Even though Jenny was dissatisfied with her job and knew she needed a role where she could teach and share her love of investigation and science, she felt compelled to stay in her role.

I didn’t want to let down my family (which is full of scientists and academics), my advisor, my professors, my peers, and other women in science. I felt like I needed to live up to their expectations and fulfill the investment we all made in this research track. 

Can you see the emotion in these statements? Behavioral economists have a name for this phenomenon. It’s called the sunk cost fallacy

The sunk-cost fallacy points out that it really doesn’t matter what happened in the past or where you invested or didn’t invest. This has no real bearing on your reality in the future; it only FEELS like it does. These feelings and emotions makes us do things that don’t make any sense. 

Here’s an example close to home: 

My father-in-law just recently retired as a cabinet maker and general contractor, so I helped him post his tools and equipment on Craigslist. Over the years, he had accumulated a lot of equipment, and originally, he paid top dollar for it. For example, he had a $3500 planer that he bought 20 years ago. He had a lot of offers for it at $800, $1000, and $1200, but he said that he’d rather haul it to the dump and set it on fire than sell it for less than what (he felt) it was worth.  

Of course, that makes no rational sense. He should accept the $1200 instead of setting it on fire, but that’s the type of thing that we do as humans. We don’t always behave rationally.

In Jenny’s case, she felt like she had achieved a lot, not just for herself but also for women by working in male-dominated areas of research science. For this reason, it was important to her that she was still getting to use much of her background as a scientist. At the same time, she had experience as a teacher and knew she loved that more. 

So how then do you combine all of these needs, feelings, and wants along with reality? 

In the end, Jenny accepted a role leading a university’s scientific outreach programs. 

Here are the steps Jenny took to find career happiness:

  1. We helped Jenny identify what she’s great at and what’s most important to her. 
  2. We then helped her use this information to build an initial list of organizations. 
  3. She began the process of getting to know the people in these organizations. 

The difference in our approach is that YOU have total ownership. YOU are the person seeking out the organizations (not them seeking out candidates). YOU are the one deciding if they stay on the list or get removed.

It’s backwards from the conventional approach almost everyone uses to find their jobs where you submit a resume and hope to receive a callback.

If you’re doing what almost everyone else is doing to get their next role, you’re going to get what almost everyone else is getting: a job that doesn’t fit as well as you’d hope.

BUT HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR CAREER GOAL IS IMPOSSIBLE?

When it comes to role changes, some career coaches use a ranking system for difficulty. For instance, if you swap industries, that’s one level of difficulty. Looking to swap industries and jobs? That’s a deeper level. Adding in a potential move to a new city or state? According to these (wrong) coaches, your dreams may need to die…

These career coaches drive me crazy. The best coaches don’t show you obstacles; they show you a path to opportunities. I want to share four stories of successful career changes that just might blow your mind. Keep reading for the 4 most common types of career transitions.

THE BRIDGE JOB

Jason: I just started a new role where I oversee how we sell our products and how delivery takes place. As part of the product offerings, there is a big focus on training. I have a couple training developers under me putting together e-learning and training guides, and then training our consultants. I run that portion of the business.

This is a great role for me. It allows me to develop skills to branch out on my own. I know this is a shorter term game—I know I’ll move on to something on my own. It’s a good gig along the way.

HERE’S HOW JASON LANDED THE GOOD GIG:
  1. Jason figured out that his current job was no longer a great fit, and that he wanted to create an experiment to figure out if he should be running his own business.
  2. He had an honest conversation with his boss and told them that he would likely be leaving in the next 6 months. At the same time, he suggested that he work on a project that would benefit the company. His boss thought this was a great idea and temporarily shifted part of his role to that project. 
  3. Jason began looking outside the company for potential jobs that would be helpful in getting him to his own business. 
  4. He also continued to have open conversations with his boss about what he was interested in and where he saw opportunities for those interests to benefit the company. 
  5. Jason learned he was actually really enjoying the project he was working on and asked his boss if it could be his full time job, pitching the results that they were getting as solid evidence to help him create his own position.
  6. Several months later, Jason had himself a bridge job that was perfectly designed and created with him in mind.  

Listen to Jason’s whole story here

THE SAME CAREER, BUT BETTER

Tanya: I work with Wanderlust, which started as a yoga studio but now produces festivals and events throughout the world. I can’t say I was lucky because it took a lot of hard work and perseverance. I got myself into a position where I am now part of the production team bringing Wanderlust into Europe and the United Kingdom. It’s full steam ahead.

HERE’S HOW TANYA GOT THE TRAIN MOVING:
  1. She clarified what she actually wanted. She worked with our team to do this over a few weeks but paired down her search to producing events for a company that she felt in tune with the mission. 
  2. With new clarity, she began building a list of her ideal companies
  3. Next, she used LinkedIn and Gmail to reach out to people that were in her network that appeared to have a connection to these organizations.
  4. Tanya leveraged the power of introductions.  
  5. Then she conducted test drive conversations
  6. The top company on her list was Wanderlust. Tanya learned through her test drive conversations that they needed an events person. Since she was already in contact with the organization, it was easy to simply continue the conversation and ask how she could be considered for the role. 
  7. She went through an informal interview process and both she and Wanderlust felt like it was an amazing fit. 

Listen to Tanya’s whole story here

THE LOCATION CHANGER

 Rebecca: This is about finding what is my best fit for my skills. This is about finding the next best step in my career for me to be successful, where the average person might put in 100% and get 100% back, but maybe I put in 100% and get 150 to 200% back because I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do. That’s what I’m looking for here… What’s most important is I focus on finding this, the next best step for me.

HERE’S HOW REBECCA MADE IT HAPPEN:
  1. We initially helped her define what she really wanted.
  2. She originally anticipated that she wouldn’t want to continue to practice law, but we realized that many of the things she wanted could be achieved by simply making a location and company change. 
  3. She began having conversations with people working on the West Coast in California—where she wanted to end up. 
  4. She also began finding organizations that needed her skill set and experiences. 
  5. She made a list and began both reaching out to and applying to those organizations. A lot of this took place over the phone since she couldn’t simply go to coffee with people living across the country.
  6. Since she focused only on the location and organizations she knew she was interested in, she began having her conversations and interviews relatively quickly. 
  7. By focusing on this small pool, when she received her job offer, she already knew that it would be a great fit. 

Listen to Rebecca’s whole story here. 

THE INDUSTRY CROSSOVER

Louise: I’m a commercial manager. I just started working for a great company, actually a radio station here in Australia. It’s a completely different industry than I’ve worked in before. 

HERE’S HOW LOUISE DESCRIBES HER TRANSITION:

For me, there was a couple of key buckets. When you look at the culture of a company and the location, you know whether there is a different type of industry and whether flexibility plays a part. 

I started talking about where I wanted to go, and one lady asked me to create a pitch. Lisa worked with me to create this five or six-page deck that would explain who I am and what I want very succinctly and effectively. All these things really helped me sell myself better in the interview but also helped me recognize that I didn’t want to work here anymore.

And so at the end of last year, this opportunity came up at a radio station. It’s a different vibe. I’ve gotten into a situation now where I ticked off five of my main boxes of what I need including company, location, and the culture. The culture at the radio station is amazing and everyone’s friendly. This sounds so small, but I was in the kitchen making myself a cup of tea and people were coming up introducing themselves saying, “Welcome, we haven’t seen you before.” Whereas in past companies I’ve been in a situation where people are just walking past each other without smiling.

Listen to Louise’s whole story here. 

Tanya changed countries AND industries at the same time. Rebecca and Louise changed locations and industries. Jason ended up creating his own job and now also has a startup working with some partners on top of it. 

What does that mean for you? 

DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE TELL YOU SOMETHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. 
WHY YOU’RE STUCK AND WHY YOU *THINK* YOU’RE STUCK ARE VERY DIFFERENT REASONS

The reasons you think you’re stuck and the reasons you’re actually stuck are two completely different things. That said, people’s perception of being stuck is enough to stop them from continuing to try. 

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF CAREER CHANGERS:

Group 1 says, “I’m going to make this work for me.”

Group 2 says, “I hope this will work out for me.”

That difference revolutionizes the experience and the pace of success. It’s not just about having the right mindset at the time of entry, though. For Group 2, it’s about training yourself to become the type of person who says, “I’m going to make this work for me.” And for Group 1, it means pushing yourself to stay in that mindset.

You have to train and practice to feel like you have more control over your life. When you feel like you have more control, you find more ways to influence your life. 

HERE’S WHY PEOPLE *THINK* THEY ARE STUCK:

What’s stopping me is having the actual face-to-face connections.

I’m waiting for financials to start a business

No one’s offered me a job.

Lack of time

What do you notice about all of them? Each person is focusing on events that are external to them that they can’t control. 

On the other hand, people who are rapidly progressing toward their goals often place their focus on things that they CAN control or influence. 

In our research, this shows up in statements like:

I’m the only thing stopping me right now.

I’m working on figuring out where I can be an asset to companies.

Clarity in what it is I desire.

Even though these statements are still about being stuck or what’s stopping them from moving forward, they are inwardly focused. 

Scientists and psychologists call this inward or external focus your “locus of control” This means if you are more inward focused, you believe you have higher control or influence over most of the situations in your life. If you are external focused, you believe much of what comes your way is determined by external forces.

Want to know the crazy thing? People that believe they can influence a situation are often the ones that do. People who don’t believe they have influence waste their time and energy waiting on external factors. 

3 WAYS TO UNSTUCK YOURSELF

So here’s what it all comes down to. We recommend three steps to getting yourself unstuck:

  1. Practice feeling in control.
    • Recognize when you are blaming external factors for your situation. Reframe your circumstance from an internal lens and believe you WILL change your career for the better.
  2. Develop a plan.
    • Follow the steps Justin, Tanya, Rebecca, and Louise followed.
  3. Build momentum. One small action per day will move you forward.
    • You must keep moving. Every time you get a small victory—the scheduled interview, narrowed focus on companies, conversation with a potential coworker—you must celebrate and keep going. (Here’s a post on momentum.

If any of these steps are too much on your own, get help. Whatever you do, don’t stay stuck. 

Life is too short to be unhappy with aspects of your work and your career. If you don’t know what to do, email me at scott@happentoyourcareer.com

Scott Barlow: Welcome back to Happen to Your Career. This is Scott Anthony Barlow. I’m always excited, but I’m especially ecstatic today. Before we hit the record button I was telling our guest how much I’ve been looking forward to this conversation and every conversation we have. He is someone who has allowed us the privilege of participating in his journey along the way. He has done a nice job over the years and lately in developing his career and a business on the side. I wanted to share his story with you. Welcome Matt Toy.

Matt Toy: Hi Scott. I’m doing great. I’m also looking forward to this conversation. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard your voice and interacted. It’s great to be here.

Scott Barlow: It’s been more than a few months. Four or five months. Give people an idea of what you do now. How do you tell people about that?

Matt Toy: Nowadays, the most exciting thing for me, is I have a few things going on in the yoga world. I teach Man Yoga: Yoga for men. It’s a group of men that wouldn’t normally go to yoga class and I teach them the foundation of yoga. It’s helped me a lot over the years. I’ve started Instagram trying to do a re-education of what yoga really is; not just about your body but deeper. We do some events trying to teach and spread yoga. I’m a father and I co-own a bakery. Lots of things, busy, but life is full.

Scott Barlow: I know you haven’t always co-owned a bakery or teaching yoga for men, or had participation in these businesses or always had a family. I know a bunch of your story because we’ve interacted for a couple years I think. How long has it been?

Matt Toy: It’s been at least a year and half. The coaching program was six months which may have been six months ago, I’d have to look at my calendar.

Scott Barlow: Oh my goodness, at least 18 months and so much has changed for you in that time. I would love to go way back and learn the parts of the story that I don’t know about. Where does this start for you, for your career?

Matt Toy: I’m sure like many of you, especially if you are a millennial, have read Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss or heard about it. Way back, maybe in 2012, I was burnt out working a typical 9-5 job. Drudgery. My buddy says check out this book and it blows my mind. I need to do an online marketing business. For like three years I focused on this and kept failing, kept pivoting, and never committing to one thing. I never asked, do I want an online business? I found Scott through a Facebook group for a different online course. Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch, basically a step-by-step process to create an online business. I saw a post you made and I thought I needed to connect with you. I had failed over and over again in three to four years of creating an online business. I had been working different jobs but not falling in love with any of them.

Scott Barlow: What were some of those jobs?

Matt Toy: I’m glad you asked. Out of college, where I got really burnt out, I was managing farmer’s markets, logistical stuff. Being onsite two days a week was great because I was offsite interacting with people, but the remainder was office work - making sure the books were straight, farmers were showing up, that they knew the drill, and different tasks to organize a large events. The biggest market was 200 vendors. There were some perks. It’s hip to be in the food scene especially in the bay area. The relationships with the CEO and co-workers weren’t good not just mentally but emotionally and wore me out.

My buddy introduced me to Four Hour Work Week and I quit that job almost immediately. I was so pumped up with the concepts. I’m out of here! I started working for a bakery while still in school. Food is a huge part for me. Connection over a meal is a fantastic thing. I fell in love with the business but didn’t see much room for growth. Still having a fantasy and hope that I will somehow make money online passively. I was more frustrated with my inability to grow in the bakery business and failing at all these new business ideas over and over again.

I worked landscaping for over a year. It was all over the place. Career-wise it’s been a bunch of different things. The good thing is I gained a bunch of different skills, especially people skills and the ability to connect with different people. The farmers first, the bakery, and how to manage a team and connect with customers directly, and landscaping - how to interact with clients with huge budgets. Throughout this time, where yoga comes in was I continually did yoga and it saved me along the way. It kept me sane and with my long term girlfriend that is now my wife and kept me from pushing away friends and kept me out of depression when I kept failing at the businesses. Thinking, this isn’t working what is wrong with me?

Scott Barlow: When did you start yoga?

Matt Toy: In College. Before I went to school my martial arts instructor told me I needed to do yoga because I was going to meet so many women. I didn’t know what he was talking about then. Whatever. I took a yoga class whether or not it was for the women. I fell in love with the practice it was so challenging, hard, and subtle at the same time. I continued to practice. That was ten years ago. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Scott Barlow: You had yoga going on this entire time keeping you from tearing apart at the seams with these different jobs and different variations of the fantasy of what you thought you wanted for the online business. I’m curious where that evolved. Someplace in this you met your girlfriend now wife and traveled abroad. How does it all fit in?

 Matt Toy: There are a lot of layers. Career-wise I told you how that progressed. I was practicing yoga and trained to be a teacher in yoga. It’s interesting. My life has been a pendulum of stuff I want to do in my core. When I sit in silence it’s the stuff I want to really do with my life, the things no one else is telling me to do. One of those things is travel. I’ve traveled many times to Europe. I studied abroad there in college. I’ve been back almost every other year. I’ve been to Mexico, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. I’ve had travel experience and fell in love with the connection to people, learning new languages, the new cultures; all of that. It’s always been part of it. It’s the positive part of the pendulum. When I return home to the job I wasn’t in love with that I couldn’t contribute my gifts to it swung the other way. What skills do I have? There were a lot of questions. I would switch jobs, try something new and travel again and they pendulum would swing back to the growth phase.

Scott Barlow: That is an interesting way to put it. I’ve met a lot of people who have gone through it and never thought of it as a pendulum swinging back and forth. I’m curious on your thoughts on that going through it multiple times. It seems like when the pendulum swings one way its sweet but when it goes the other way it’s not in alignment. For me, when I’ve had tastes of that, it didn’t click for me. I thought I had to tolerate the one side to get to the other side. How do you think about that?

Matt Toy: The way I describe it it’s not always positive or negative. It swings to one side where life is easy, you are in flow. There is a challenge. It was for me, what is my career or what business will I create online, do I want to marry my long-term girlfriend, do I want to have kids. These challenges. When faced with it you are forced to make a decision or stay where you are. If you make a decision you’re moving if you stay where you are you are tolerating it even though it’s painful. You learn a lesson that either you are taking action and changing your circumstances, or maybe I’m just sitting here, and maybe it’s my emotional state and it doesn’t feel good but I’m going to stick with it because it’s what I’ve decided to do. It goes both ways and there is always a lesson no matter where it swings. Maybe in the moment it’s uncomfortable, I really hate my job, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know if I want to get married. There is a lesson in there to be learned it’s just hard to see while you are in it.

To give you an example, with my wife, a few months before I proposed I was in a rough place. I didn’t know what I was doing with my career, wasn’t making much money, I felt like a loser. Then this thing clicked for me. I read a book called The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. And it was a complete mind shift for me. The pendulum was on the negative side. I realized I wanted to marry this woman she is amazing and beautiful. All the other issues and problems I have don’t exist. They are a creation of my mind. I went on a 500 mile pilgrimage by myself across northern Spain. Walking 500 miles over a month. I came back solid and strong knowing who I was and what I wanted to do. I wanted to marry this women. It was beautiful and amazing. It took a mental shift.

Scott Barlow: What was the name of the pilgrimage?

Matt Toy: It’s called the Camino de Santiago. The way of St James in English. I’m not Catholic, my wife is. It was more of a soul searching, self-discovery thing.

Scott Barlow: What is the pathway?

Matt Toy: There are many pathways. One goes through Portugal. You probably saw some of the signs. Mine started in the border of France and Spain on the France Side, the northwestern part of France. You jump over the Pyrenees and continue through the Meseta of Spain, a high plateau, and eventually get into Galicia which is green rolling hills, just gorgeous, and finally you get to Santiago. There is a huge cathedral. It’s an amazing experience for anyone who needs to take a vacation that is good for body, mind and soul. I actually wrote a book on it.

Scott Barlow: I was going to say didn’t you write a guide for that. Small plug if you are going to take that. I know a great resource.

Matt Toy: It’s called the Preparedness Guide for the Camino de Santiago. If you aren’t an experienced hiker and do not know what gear to get it will be helpful. You can get it on Amazon.

Scott Barlow: That is awesome. I didn’t realize that is where that came from. We had a conversation. I said I was going to Portugal and you told us about that journey but I didn’t realize it sparked you coming back and marrying your now wife and everything else that happened. What happened from there?

Matt Toy: Think of the pendulum. I was at the center and it switched over to the positive side. I got married, took a two month honeymoon in Europe. Come back and I’m like “oh Shit” - love life is great, relationship fantastic - Career. I still have these different fantasies I can’t let die of this online business. I started the landscaping job to make money, it paid really well. I wasn’t coming home happy and energized. I tell people in my yoga class, I want you to be tired but energized at the same time. If you feel down emotionally it isn’t working and we need to change something. It means you’ve done work but its good work. I wasn’t getting that. I started searching again. I popped into Ramit’s page and found you. I signed up for your coaching course. The main questions I needed answered were: what am I good at? What am I going to contribute? What will I make great money doing but do what I want and love to do in a way that I shine through the rest so my competition doesn’t even compare to me because this is my niche or what I excel at? These people excel at other things and that is there market. I had been teaching yoga but I had never really considered it to be the thing that would satisfy all of it; which is funny and ridiculous.

Scott Barlow: In hindsight it kept you sane all these years and you kept coming back to it and you loved it. I remember having the conversation early on about yoga. And you were like no I don’t really want to do that, but maybe.

Matt Toy: It’s pretty ridiculous when you look back. I remember I asked some of my closest friends through a nice email to tell me my strengths and them to be completely honest, not just an ego boost. What would you say at my funeral? It’s interesting because all the people said something about yoga. There was a distinct pattern and for some reason I just wouldn’t see it. I think the fantasy of having the online business with the “freedom” was enticing and yet my story and path was this yoga one that I was failing to fully see and embrace it and own it. That’s kind of a snapshot of what I was going through in the program. Do I do yoga, or coach?

Scott Barlow: What was that like because if I remember it took four or five months to circle back around and begin to be comfortable with that. What was it like on the inside?  I think people are going through that when they are interested in starting a business and I think we have a tendency to see what other people are doing and grab onto it and say it’s for me. When we talked it was apparent you needed the personal interaction with people to have a minimal level of happiness and it didn’t fit with the online business.

Matt Toy: I’m glad you asked. The short answer was it was horrible. I was waking up every day and wondering what am I going to do today. What are my goals? Waking up and feeling lost and analyzing over and over again and getting the same answers. Yoga wasn’t part of the discussion in my head. It’s looking outside of yourself and saying oh that looks cool that is exactly what I want to do. Like the Four Hour Work Week book that is exactly what I want to do. The risk is, let’s say I did have a huge level of financial success doing online stuff, it would bring me some degree of satisfaction but at my core I need the personal touch. I need to be involved face to face with people. Over time it would have worn me out like every other job because it’s not me. It was extremely painful because it’s looking and asking over and over and analyzing until it came full circle; hey dummy yoga is the thing.

Scott Barlow: What caused you, and I know it was a series of events, now looking back, which is always obvious looking back on what career you should start, it becomes so obvious you question how you ignored it. What took place for you to stop pushing it to the side or ignoring it?

Matt Toy: That is a great question. A few things come to mind. I’m not sure there is one thing. The coaching course stopped and I felt like I didn’t have anything to show for it. It was highly valuable to me but I felt I had little to show compared to the other people in the group. It made me want to take action. I did throughout the course which I think is the biggest thing. I got paid to coach one guy for a couple weeks. It was okay, because I thought I wanted to be a coach during the program. Or other things.

Once you start to take action you can cross things off the list. They are no longer hypothetical. I started doing research and connecting with these people and there was no interest and you can cross it off. I kept crossing things off the list because of my action. The course ended so I did what I did best, taught yoga, talk about yoga, have people look within and live deeper lives. Friends came up to me to ask me to teach them yoga. Basically it was like that until I realized that was what I needed to be doing. It was a variety of things.

The biggest lesson is to take action, do something. I remember you telling me it doesn’t mean you will do that thing forever. You can change. I’ve changed multiple times. I was first just teaching men but now teach men and women. I recognize the pattern of people that come to me. They want strength, stillness, body and mind not just the flowery stuff. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without taking action. That is the biggest lesson. Take action. Do something.

Scott Barlow: That is super interesting for many reasons. Particularly as you were going through this and you were doing it with other people getting coaching at the same time. I didn’t realize at that time that there was a comparison or feeling of pressure. That is interesting for me putting on my coach hat. We had some people doing really well and far along in bringing in money. I didn’t realize that. The second thing is the work you were doing was something everyone needs to go through and it takes different amounts of time. I haven’t found anybody that can put it on a particular track record to check of each step. For you that was going through and crossing things off the list that were in your head to make sure they weren’t what you wanted to do. Everyone has to go through some variation of that for it to feel good about what you do choose. And settle into that market and feel like it is you. There is a question there somewhere. How do you think about that going through that process?

Matt Toy: I think you are right. Everyone has a different way going through that process and getting to the core of what they are here to do. It can be relationships, career or anything. What is interesting, and I didn’t tell you, but anytime I would be calm or sit in stillness, my mind was whispering hey Matt, yoga is what you are supposed to be teaching. I’d get a rush of emotion, and not fleeting that this was my purpose but then my mind kicked in again.

Scott Barlow: Logic overriding the heart.

Matt Toy: Exactly. There is a balance of logic and heart. But that feeling of fulfillment and happiness that people want doesn’t come from the mind. I had to listen and sometimes I couldn’t. Let’s say that logic is correct, let’s create a list of possible things to take action. That is what I’m paying Scott for and he told me to do. I started crossing things off. I’m sure other people have other ways of challenging the mind and coming up with what you really want to do but for me I didn’t have anything else to cross off. Let’s do yoga.

Scott Barlow: I think that is good for a variety of ways. So many of us want to rush right to the thing. How do I get to the right thing, the right business, how do I choose correctly? It puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on us and when you look at it that way it defeats the purpose and you can’t get to the thing and when you get there it will evolve. In your case, once you became okay with I need to stop ignoring this side what were the scariest parts of getting to your first clients and thinking of it from starting a business?

Matt Toy: That is a good question. It’s my biggest fears. The biggest one was when I held my all male yoga class which I dubbed Male Yoga. Would anyone show up? I knew three to four guys would. I think fifteen guys showed up and that was minimal marketing. Mostly mouth to mouth and my network and their friends. It felt so good fifteen guys showed up to learn yoga. Most hadn’t done it before. The fear was there but you have to keep going and act in the face of fear. It takes courage to run a business and take that first step from thought to reality.

Scott Barlow: That is interesting. That event I remember talking and emailing about. You were really apprehensive and didn’t want to do it if I remember right.

Matt Toy: I don’t think I did. What was interesting was after the course we were still in contact and also with people in the group and they were like you just need to do it. I was like fine I’ll do it. I’ll teach men yoga. I had a vision in my mind I wanted to do it but something was holding me back. I think it was the fear that no one would show up. Then it was that thought that if no one showed up I wasn’t worthy or good enough. We internalize these things that are BS. I went through with it and it worked out. Just take action.

Scott Barlow: I think that is the theme here. I think without continually doing something about it. We designed experiments for you for lack of a better phrase to test the different markets and you went out there and learned they weren’t what you wanted to do which was so cool. I heard you say failure. I think some people would look at those interactions as failures. But I don’t. I’m proud of you for doing that. It escalates getting to a spot you feel really good about faster. If you hadn’t done it how long do you think it would have taken?

Matt Toy: I don’t even know how long. You can’t put a time limit on it.

Scott Barlow: Would it have happened?

Matt Toy: I think that is the bigger question. And the answer is no. It wouldn’t have. Things don’t just manifest. You have to take action for it to come into play. That is why yoga is so great. You move your body and breath and take action, you find stillness and calm and things arise but you took action first. The same with your career. If you’re stuck and trying to figure out your strengths go do the research. Those tests you had me go through were fantastic. Here are my strengths that makes sense. It gives you the confidence boost to take action and do something. I think that is the theme today. Just take action with whatever you have even if it’s not the perfect idea or business plan.

Scott Barlow: That is super cool. I’m curious what advice would you give people that are in this same place as they are going through this, because you have a unique perspective on this one piece. Building business or changing a career or path of any kind is hard and taxing. What would you suggest with your expertise?

Matt Toy: One of the things that comes to mind is habits. What I loved about your course is the master schedule. Looking down and saying what does my schedule look like on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to see where I’m losing time and not being effective. Where am I sitting by myself thinking and analyzing and judging? That was helpful to look at and see when am I going to take action and growing a business am I still going to the gym and eat well and do yoga. You allocate time to all the things that keep the machine going and gas in the tank. The downfall or pitfall I’ve seen especially for younger people in their 20s or 30s is they get all hyped up and go full-fledged. Whether it is the right idea it doesn’t matter. They go full-fledged and burn themselves out. They are kind of stuck. I think it’s a learning process and okay but if it is to happen you have to take care of yourself. Sleep, nutrition, fruits and vegetables and for me yoga and moving my body. Don’t lose the core principles while you build a business. It is challenging to build a business. There are a lot of unknowns and puts you in a frantic emotional state. The better you can get on your health and wellness the better. That will go back to the effectiveness and efficiency of how you run your business and the decisions you make.

Matt Toy: Yeah go to my website which is matthewatoy.com with two t‘s. You can book a class which would be the best thing. Come meet me and the group of guys or do a private if you aren’t well versed in yoga. Follow me on Instagram that is easy to do @MatthewToyYoga. Those are the two best. Sign up and stay connected through email on the website.

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