What Most People Are Lacking In Their Careers

What Most People Are Lacking In Their Careers

In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey has a meaningful chat with Michael Gardon. Our guest, straight from Madison, Wisconsin, is the CEO and podcast host of Career Cloud. The talk revolves around aligning careers with your life plans, creating opportunities, and being in the driver’s seat of your own professional journey.

Covered In This Episode

Are you happy with your work as an entrepreneur? Do you know if your employees are satisfied with their careers? There is no better time to assess your career satisfaction than now! 

Matt’s discussion with Michael helps you reflect on your career happiness gauge. They also discuss how to create career development opportunities for work changes. Moreover, they express their thoughts on side hustles, creative outlets, and career pivots at any given age.

Get Started with Full Scale

It’s always the right time to level up. Enjoy this episode with great insights on how to be really intentional about the overall life you want to live.

Business Podcast for Entrepreneurs

Highlights

  • Michael Gardon and his journey (02:24)
  • Having a passion for the work you are doing (06:10)
  • Self-actualization and alignment of careers (09:56)
  • An employer’s mission (12:20)
  • Things that you can and cannot control in your career (16:35)
  • What happens when people are in the wrong seat (18:10)
  • Career Cloud Radio (21:27)
  • Thoughts about having side hustles and a full-time business (22:43)
  • If you don’t know what to do, strategize a plan to realize your career (34:54)
  • Ideas about investing in yourself and following the right careers (40:18)
  • Advice for every entrepreneur in terms of your development (41:50)
  • Team member and employer transparency (47:14)

Key Quotes

The right time is never coming. If you’re sitting around waiting for the right time to do what you really want to do, you will find yourself waiting for a long time.

– Matt DeCoursey

I’m going to do finance because I like numbers and I like stock markets and stuff like that. But I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I think a lot of people are like that. So with that reality, you need to impose it on yourself to figure it out. You need to impose some strategy to get exposure to a bunch of different things, which includes doing a bunch of different things.

– Michael Gardon

If you don’t know the future, you need to create options for yourself. But you can’t have too many options; max three. You need to have like max three projects that you’re working on. Or max three skills you’re trying to acquire at any one time.

– Michael Gardon
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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00

Matt DeCoursey

And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation that I’m hoping helps your business grow. Are you happy with your career? Are your employees happy with their careers? And are the people that you’re trying to get to come work at your company happy with their careers? The probability is they’re probably not. That’s just a little bit of stats from here in America and worldwide. But we’re going to have a pretty deep conversation about what most people are lacking in their careers. And before I get into who I’ll be chatting with today, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Wix. Yes, our friends over at Wix know a thing or two about turning the scrappy startup team into a global organization that serves millions of people. And they want to share what they’ve learned with Startup Hustle listeners in their new micro-podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix. When you tune into Ready for Takeoff by Wix, you get to hear from Wix founders and company leaders. They share super short lessons to help you build better programs and teams faster. Hey, that’s a topic I can get behind. So subscribe and follow the Ready for Takeoff by Wix Podcast wherever you listen to the show. With me today, I’ve got Michael Gardon. And Michael is the podcast host and executive editor at Career Cloud. He knows a few things about careers and what people might be happy with or not happy with, so let’s just go ahead. Welcome, Michael, to the show. Straight out of Madison, Wisconsin. Welcome to Startup Hustle, Michael.

01:32

Mike Gardon

Thanks, Matt. Happy to be here and talk to your listeners.

01:36

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, I’d like to go ahead and begin our conversation with a little bit more about your backstory. So let’s just jump right in.

01:42

Mike Gardon

Yeah, sure. So I’m one of those guys that really has never had a career calling. I remember in college, my dad saying, you know, this is maybe, I’m a sophomore or junior in college. And I don’t have everything quite figured out. And he says, well, what are you going to do? And I said, you know, I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to do a whole bunch of different things, and I’m going to find success along the way. So I’ve kind of come at career from the lens of how do you figure out how to sort of thrive and adapt in a world where you don’t necessarily have a foot-in-front-of-the-other calling. So I started my career in Chicago as a proprietary futures trader, kind of in the world of trading power oil, all sorts of different markets. At the end of about five years of doing that, I kind of woke up at 28 and said, wow, I can’t do this for the rest of my life. So career pivot number one, you know, what are you gonna kind of do next? I got into the world of startups. I’ve started a couple of different companies, raised some money, got into the world of content marketing, and joined a startup called http://reviews.com. Building online content, reviewing all sorts of products and services, and learning, kind of, the SEO and content marketing game. I did some after that company was sold in 2016 to a private equity company. I got into the world of corporate consulting. I ended up helping a large insurance company here in Madison, Wisconsin, learn how to build new products and services for their customer base. And then, I said, you knew in 2018 or so I said, the corporate world isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be for me. I want to get back into working for myself, and I ended up purchasing the website Career Cloud and have been working on it ever since. And really developed a kind of a passion for helping people figure out what they want to do with their lives or helping them execute a change in their careers. That could be anything from getting a different job to doing something completely different in the world of entrepreneurship.

04:06

Matt DeCoursey

So when we talk about what most people are lacking in their careers, I mean the one thing for me that comes to mind is you could say passion, and that’s because a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to or they haven’t found the opportunity. To show up every day to a job and do something that they’re passionate about, and I think that that’s a huge problem when it comes to if you look at I’m not going to drag up a bunch of stats about you know out of 100 people surveyed how many people said they hate their job because it’s a high number ran. It’s really high and. And you know, but it’s because if you’re not waking up and doing things that you’re passionate or interested about, I mean it truly is a job at that point you’re sitting there waiting for you know that that you know the clock to hit five pm and then you’re out the door like you know you just started the hundred-meter dash at the. At the Olympics, I mean, when you think about what most people are locking in their careers, I mean, what’s one of the first things that come to mind or one couple things that come to mind.

05:11

Mike Gardon

Yeah, so I do think passion is a part of it. I don’t think it’s the whole story, and so what? How I think about it is actually I use the word alignment. Um, I think people are just not aligned with the work that they’re doing, and you can get alignment from a number of different things. Areas right? I mean, yes, of course, passion for the work that you’re doing, right? I mean, the best plan is one that you can adhere to, so if you have passion and interest in what you’re doing. You’re more likely to continue to do those things, but you can get alignment from the company that you work for. Being aligned with the mission that they’re on and the values and all of those types of things, you can get alignment from just being good at something. Um, I do think passion and being good at something do go hand in hand. But when you develop a skill, I think you can develop a passion. What you’re doing, um, and then I think you know a lot of people are just lacking creativity in a creative outlet and sort of more control over what they do day-to-day or the product services offerings that they create, and you can kind of find alignment that way. Um. And I’ve talked to a lot of people who find alignment or build alignment through entrepreneurship. Maybe they find a creative outlet through having a side hustle or something like that or that, or they’re able to turn that into, you know, a full-time job. Um, but I would say. Figuring out and having clarity around, you know, the things that I do and the person that I am and what I do every day, having those things be, um, pretty aligned is the biggest thing I see lacking.

07:00

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, I think psychologically humans want to feel like they’re moving forward, and you know, when you look at alignment, I mean, I think that’s ah, a subset of it. They want to feel that they’re aligned with something that’s going to advance them forward now for the skills thing I couldn’t agree with. Couldn’t agree more on that part, and that’s something I run into a lot at Full Scale. So I employ um, you know None plus software developers, and I will tell you that the overwhelming number of them are more concerned about what they’re doing than what they’re getting paid to do it and. A lot of that has, and then you know, ah the at our organization, we have senior-level experience overwhelmingly, and one thing that we learned pretty quickly is the alignment is out of whack. End up with unhappy clients and unhappy employees. For example, you have, as you know, there are millions of types of coding, and if you don’t really understand what you’re doing when you put someone on an assignment, you get them misaligned. It’s like the idea that you hire a new sales guy, and then they show up in Kansas City, and you’re like, okay, congratulations, you’re now in charge of France, and they’re like yeah, but I don’t speak French yeah, but yeah, but you know sales, so you have to know how to sell in France, and that’s a shitty alignment you know, and that and that and I think different people have a different. Desire and level of excitement to learn something new now on the flip side of that there are definitely people at our company that would show up and be like hell yeah I’ve always wanted to learn french but not, you know, but overall it creates a lot of friction and um, you know you look at some of with the. Advancing and moving forward. You just get back to some of those basic psychological principles, and you remember Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and you know that the fifth one, the little pinnacle at the top, is that self-actualization. It’s really hard to get and maintain. But that’s the feeling that you’re doing what you’re capable of doing and how many people get to do that at work, and I think that that’s not always the case. So how do you fix it?

09:14

Mike Gardon

Yeah, I think ah, you’re. You’re totally on. I mean that self-actualization piece, right? Like organisms are built to grow, right? Ah, grow physically. Um, and I think as humans, we’ve evolved to where we’re trying to grow. Psychologically emotionally, um, and it monetarily and kind of added all of these other ah elements of growth ah to that and so doing something where you do feel like you’re growing is extremely Important. Um. Fixing it, I mean, you kind of alluded to the issue that you have at your company which is on some level. The organization has to be that coach and the peace Mover um to get people aligned with them in the right jobs and in the right situations. Um, you know that’s one piece to it. Um, I think the other is ah, you know it’s just ah, it’s just a Self-discovery Journey. I think you have to be a person that thinks very deeply about ah and is very truthful about the things that you do. Like and don’t like, and it’s all okay, like we’re all different. I’m not everybody’s entrepreneur. Not everybody’s a salesperson, that’s all, okay, but being very truthful with what you like, what you and I think almost more importantly, what you don’t like, um.

10:43

Matt DeCoursey

As well as what you’re good at and what you’re not. Because I run to it all the time, people like, hey, I want to, I want to be. I think I should be in this position. You know, whatever ABC, and you’re like, well, you don’t have any experience doing that.

10:47

Mike Gardon

Absolutely.

10:57

Matt DeCoursey

And then you get this is always that chicken and egg issue with employees and employers. Well, how do I get any experience if no one will give it to me, and you know we’ve all been. We kind of go through and read different books and do different audibles in the leadership group, and we just read through the book traction, which is. Ah, great book, and he uses the acronym GWC people have to get it. Want it and be capable of doing it, and that’s a problem because I think a lot of people want to be in roles, and they get really upset and frustrated. Ah, the downtrodden feel shorted or went looking for other jobs because they didn’t get a specific opportunity and when I think about an employee. It’s not you know there’s it’s I think it’s an employee’s it’s an employer’s job to provide ample opportunity and training. But as an employee. I can’t force you to learn it. I’ve had all kinds of instances where I’ve put people in roles and given them the tools, the guidance, or whatever, and you end up three months later, you’re still sitting there. You know, trying you’re dragging people along, and sometimes that becomes ah ah, becomes burdensome. So at what point.

11:52

Mike Gardon

Um, right.

12:08

Matt DeCoursey

I think we all kind of control our own destiny as employees on many days, at least when it comes to learning. That’s not something that what? What? They always say. You know the efforts are free. It’s something you can control with attitude and a couple of other things. So. Yeah, sorry, I couldn’t help but jump in on that one.

12:30

Mike Gardon

Yeah, I mean, I think ah attitude and effort, right? Yeah, those are those that are totally in control of the employee, and I think a lot of times an employee you’re dead on wants to see people see the great opportunity, right? They see more money, the more responsibility, maybe cooler work or something like that and don’t necessarily look at the jobs to be done right in front of them and how you do that super-duper well um, and I think like there’s just. Maybe it’s, um, maybe it’s a transparency issue or something like that. But the people who I think really grow are the ones that say, okay, I’m going to, you know that’s in the future that is something that I have to work towards there’s a delayed gratification aspect to it. Um, and they say. Job number one is to execute this thing and be really damn good at it. Um, and so I think you know people need to be able to figure out how to get the proper feedback, right? Hearing that from a boss that um, okay. Buddy, you took on this role. The performance isn’t up to par with where we need it to be, and here’s why like that’s very constructive, but people need to be able to see the instances of like what’s the expectation and why have I not met that expectation. And so there’s kind of like that circle between what you know where the employee’s responsibility and the organization’s responsibility in terms of the kind of coaching ah that person into the right role.

14:11

Matt DeCoursey

That’s a tough thing to do too. You know, I had someone earlier this year. Um, we gave this person feedback, and they were really upset about the feedback, and that resulted in someone showing up and quitting on the spot. And and and that’s a tough thing. You know you get back to that psychological aspect. Some people need to be pushed, some people need to be pulled, and I think that as an employer or the leadership side, I think it’s really important that you understand.

14:35

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

14:42

Matt DeCoursey

This works with the person you’re trying to communicate with because so I’m someone that if there’s certain I mean, we all have certain things that are going to drive us nuts, and certain personality types just stew on certain things and aren’t able to. You know, get that out, and they can become people. Can you talk about a career and say, oh, they’re so critical of everything that I do are that they are that you know, and it’s I think some of that is a tough thing to get over. I think yeah, my book balanced me one of the very right there on page one. It says if you’re not ready to admit that, you might be part. You might be your biggest problem just putting the book back because I can’t help you.

15:31

Mike Gardon

Yeah, yeah, um, it is very difficult. Um, yeah, again, I think ultimately hearing that feedback, and it is going to hopefully be. And even having this bad experience where the person quits, right? Hopefully, for that person. It’s going to be a great growth experience. But yeah, you’re right. I mean, again, going back to what we can control and what we can’t as the employee, you can. Yeah, one of the things that we didn’t mention was kind of Open-mindedness. And truth around your skills, capabilities, and interests, and if the organization has put you in 3 different roles and tried to coach you and help you and you’re still feeling that same way, you do need to look in the mirror and just go back to the alignment thing, at the very least. Okay, maybe this isn’t the right spot for me ah in a company even and then going out and taking it upon yourself to either get you to know, take that feedback to heart and learn from it. Or if you really, yeah, if you really feel like you’re sort of the wrong party in the whole thing. Do you know you got to try to find a different cultural fit for you? Um, and you know if you’re not willing to change. You’re probably going to end up experiencing the same. Issue and problem you know in the next place as well.

16:59

Matt DeCoursey

I think an important thing to remember is that now look there are bad bosses. There are bad leaders. But for the most part, people that are yeah for me owning the business. No one. No one benefits more from your success. Then me, I mean on many days as well. As one of you as the employee, it could be the client, could be all of us, and we at Full Scale. We try to create what we call it. We refer to things in a circular way a lot, and sometimes that’s related to communication. Can’t just have communication between the service provider and the company we provide service for might you know their needs. There’s another angle to that because we have management and leadership, and that completes a circle, and it’s the same thing. It’s like if you find someone, we do a lot of training. We actually just took someone that you know had. A lot of experience but didn’t have specific types of certification. Um, and put this person through a three-week training course that wasn’t quite honestly wasn’t that expensive to provide and got them certified on a lot of Google cloud-related stuff. It’s a different topic, and one of our clients jumped right on getting this person added to their team. We have a happy client. We have a happy company. We have a happy employee, and that’s a circular win. So I think that when it comes to feedback growth, I think you said something earlier. That’s pretty important as this isn’t an instant gratification thing. On the flip side of that, as an employer, I have definitely noticed over 15 years and now, hundreds of people that have worked at my companies that people are usually good at stuff right away if they’re going to be good.

18:47

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

18:49

Matt DeCoursey

Um, I and I would challenge many of you listening to try to find an instance because we all know you know you worked for someone. They showed up, and you’re like, wow, this person is got a long way to go to even be average. Is that ever really the person that later you’re like, man, they’re an All-star World Class Performer. It’s not. It’s not so, but I think that’s a reflection of having people in the wrong seat, wrong opportunity Wrong alignment.

19:16

Mike Gardon

Yeah, I think I think when you hire for a specific role and a specific to get a specific job done, right? It should be very clear. Um, right away, whether or not that person can execute that thing. That’s a different problem from saying, ah, ultimately, this person. You know you can grow and evolve into a really solid great contributor in another way, right? and I think, um, so I definitely agree with what you’re saying. I also agree that people absolutely can change absolutely because I’ve seen it with the right feedback and the right. Alignment people can end up being stars at something different, but there’s a lack of alignment right away in the job that they’re being hired for in that specific instance.

20:06

Matt DeCoursey

One thing that I think you can probably count on is knowing that our friends are over at Wix. Yes, the website and business-building platform know a thing or two about turning a scrappy startup team into a global organization that serves millions of people. And they want to share what they’ve learned with you in a new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix, where the company’s founders and leaders share super short lessons designed to help you build better products and teams faster. Subscribe and follow Ready for Takeoff by Wix right now on Apple Podcast Spotify or wherever you listen to this show now speaking to podcasts. Ah, you’ve got a show. Don’t you, Michael.

20:44

Mike Gardon

Yeah, it’s called Career Cloud radio, and what I’m trying to do. There is really talk with people who have different people that have wide-ranging experiences in their careers. We might talk to entrepreneurs and software developers. Um, I’m talking to ah one of the former CEOs of Bridgewater Hedge fund actually later today and what I’m trying to do is give my audience, really? Ah, you know, inspiration into the different types of work that’s out there in the world. To help people. Um, really, just look at and plan out their life. A little bit differently and say you know what, I might not be doing the right thing, but here’s an example of a person that what they have. They have a life set up for themselves, and they do meaningful work. That’s really interesting to me, and I had never heard of that, you know that work before and so um, just trying to give people a broader perspective on work and trying to channel that into helping people plan and think long range about. Ah, the life work that they do.

21:58

Matt DeCoursey

So you mentioned earlier you’re talking about side hustles, and you know what’s your take on how to make a side hustle your full-time business because None thing you said earlier that I actually wanted to kind of challenge. A little bit was that maybe a side hustle would fix you. Your opinion ah feel what you’re missing in your career I feel like that’s kind of a band-aid I feel like getting doing something different to fix the other thing that you’re doing like sometimes that might work but um for a lot of people if they already feel like they’re working a lot doing something else. That’s additional work. It might kind of make it even more stressful. I mean, my personal opinion is you find this balance between your personal, professional, and physical life, and if someone’s doing a side hustle, that can pull away from some of the other things like taking care of themselves, exercising, or family matters. But you know when it comes to you know. I’m not also not opposed to the side hustle. I’ve had several in the course of my life, so you know. How do you bridge the gap by the way the side hustle is usually how it’s someone orbiting around things that they like or that they’re passionate about? You typically don’t start a side hustle. Well, I mean, I’m wrong if I say overwhelmingly because there are a lot of people who might clean houses or do some other stuff. I don’t think people are inherently passionate about cleaning toilets. But maybe they are good for you, and please reach out because there’s always a role for that at my house. But how do you take that from side hustle to full-time business?

23:36

Mike Gardon

So first, I think you’re right in pushing back on that. I mean, I think it depends on what the person is lacking, and so for this specific reason, I brought that up as sometimes people are just lacking a creative outlet. They may be really good at what they do, but. Are you bored or just looking for something of your own or whatever that might be? I think that doing a side hustle can be a good creative outlet. Um, where it becomes a problem is if you’re trying to take if you’re just selling your time on the side. Like that’s not scalable because you have a full-time job. You maybe have ah ah kids and a family and in health as you ah alluded to that. That’s all going to take away from, but I don’t see any problem with going after and pursuing kind of, you know, these little creative outlets that can sort of be scaled. Ah. In terms of taking it. You know the full-time I’ve done this? Um, and so I have a kind of a specific track in doing this, and I think the number None thing is you have to be extraordinarily, in my opinion, extraordinarily patient. Um, and long in thinking long term on it. Because it’s very difficult to work a full-time job, as you said, like work a full-time job and just spend all of your other waking time, um, to get that going, right? Takes away from everything else. So what I did was I kind of said. This was when I was working consulting for 500 companies. I said I wanted to change. I want to go back to the world of content marketing and the internet, and I took ah I basically started with what I do not want and what I am not going to. Putting up with what is not going to what is going to be too big a time sucks on my time in terms of the business, and I set it up that way. So I went, and I purchased a couple of businesses. I said I don’t know which one was going to work out, but I purchased Career Cloud. I purchased a few others, and I said. I’m going to create a content team that can execute what we need to do to build those businesses together. I wasn’t building three separate teams, I was building one that could execute on all three, and then I said okay in order to cash flow that. I need ah I basically need a bridge I need one really big ah digital marketing client, and because I’ve been in the industry I had we had the reputation, and we’re able to kind of go find one client to be able to fund these businesses. Um, because I don’t want to be in the agency game. So I don’t want to. I don’t want to have 5, 10, or 15 clients because that’s not the ideal lifestyle for me. That’s not a way that I get that’s not a scalable side hustle. So once I got none or one client, I completely left. The ah consulting job and I worked full time on that, and the whole time I was building, I was taking working capital from the services I was providing for that client and funneling it into the business, and once I had that big enough. Ah, to where I could pay the whole team and do all of that. I left the client because I didn’t want to be in that client game. So this whole process took a year and a half or so, from the start from when I started working. And saying yes, I want to leave this, and I want, and this is my path out and executing that so about eighteen months or so um, full stop. So I think it’s like one, you know, finding sort of a product-market fit like what is the product that you have and that you want to do. And determining if it is big enough to replace. Ah, my job. You know, anyway, like if it’s not, that’s not really, you’re never going to take it full-time and then thinking about what are the transition points out like what are the one or three things that have to happen in order for you too. To get out of this now, certain people can just quit their job. You know, cold turkey and start there. Ah, so start working on their side hustle full time. I’ve got three kids. I’ve had a wife got, you know, ah responsibilities. I didn’t want to take that type of risk. Um, so I tried to engineer like. The entire path out, if you will.

28:26

Matt DeCoursey

A couple of responses there so that the last part we use that falls into for so many people that’s the right time to meet people. It’s not the right time. The right time is never coming. If you’re sitting around waiting for the right time to go, do what it is that you really want to be doing. You’re going to find yourself waiting for a really long time, and I want to caution people that find themselves saying those phrases. It’s not the right time. It’s not the right time because, as I said, there’s very. Few instances where perfect timing exists. I mean, that’s a luxury piece, especially when it comes to starting your own business. There’s never really a truly right time to do it. You can always find a reason to avoid it when it’s not the right time. Okay, you’re having a new baby in two weeks, right? You just lost your job yesterday. That might be the right time to start a business. I mean, I know so many people that accidentally started to be very successful. Enterprise and business are partially out of necessity, partially out of being bored, and that’s what I want to do. What else I want to reply to is when you talk about the side hustle thing. So if you’re not successful in your current career, it may be due to a lack of. Specific types of education training or experience going and doing something else. That’s not related to the skills, experience, or education that you need to acquire is going to probably move you further away from it, and you know if. I don’t know what it is for those of you that are listening. I don’t know what you do. I think most people that listen to this podcast are either entrepreneurs or want to be, but you know, the move away from distracting yourself from the things that you really need to do aren’t always a good thing, I think. As I just yesterday turned 47, I’m getting old, and I think it. Thanks, man I got father’s day and my birthday on the same day, so it was like a 2 for one, and then I asked my wife as well. I was like, and I think I now know what Christmas babies feel like.

30:31

Mike Gardon

Um, happy birthday. Yeah.

30:44

Matt DeCoursey

You know, because you know you always look at the people that have the birthday like a few days in the Christmas you’re like did that always get bundled into one I have two kids that are born like ten days apart obviously different years, but you know we finally have the discussion we’re like okay, we’re going to have to have they’re Goingnna have to have separate birthdays this year ah but look what when it comes to so much of that is is is the reason I bring this up is fifteen years ago I was trying to do a bunch of different things, and I want to talk to you about your take on optionality, and for me, as now I’ve got to. I have been very self-actualized a couple of times in life, and I’m experiencing that right now with a business. It’s four years old, and it’s coming up on its three hundredth employee. I feel like we’re doing what we’re capable of doing there.

31:31

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

31:34

Matt DeCoursey

But in order to get there, I had to put blinders on so many different things I had to teach myself, so I’m an ADD guy, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs are, but you got to stop chasing every shiny thing. And it was my business partner at Full Scale, and I often co-host here on Startup Hustle, that will often say Matt, it’s just another thing to do. It’s just another thing to do, and the thing is if you’re going to. Be truly world-class and excellent at something, then you have to decide what that is and maybe focus on it because you only have so much bandwidth, so much time, so much energy, and so much opportunity and if you want to be really good at being average then try to get good at like 60 different things.

32:19

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

32:20

Matt DeCoursey

That’s usually not the way that it works, and if you’re capable of being world-class at 60 different things, and you’re like yeah, but I could do it. Okay, how good would you be at a few of them if that’s what you focused on now once again? You know, birthday reflects. The day after birthday reflection and thinking about where you might have been fifteen years ago, I don’t think I would have said that, but um, I really think that that laser-sharp focus and that commitment to being really good at stuff which also involves a lot of setbacks whether you’re the employee or the employer like you don’t wake up every day and win. And I think the key is that you just have to not you need to try to break the losing streaks and just be a little bit better. I mean, if you get a little tiny bit better at everything you do every day, you can be pretty darn good at some stuff in a hurry.

33:09

Mike Gardon

Um, yeah, I agree with that. I think like I guess the nuance I put on it is, um, I think so many people come out of college. Yeah, the decisions made in terms of their career track, right? or what they’re going to go into, and I think a lot of people don’t end up sticking with that, or they change. So I think the reality is much earlier in the process. We need a system to figure out and get people better alignment and so on in the absence of that, right? Like we don’t have broad-based um, ah you know. In apprenticeship programs like that, you can just really cycle through a bunch of different things really fast and figure out what you want to do? We don’t like we just don’t really have that, and so I was again I was one of those kids that were like all right? Yeah, I’m going to do finance because I like numbers and I like the stock market and stuff like that. But I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I think a lot of people are like that. So with that reality, you need to impose it on yourself in order to figure it out. You need to impose some type of strategy to get exposure to a bunch of different things, which includes doing a bunch of different things. But then betting heavily, more heavily on what’s working and getting rid of the stuff that you know basically stops very quickly. The activities that ah that aren’t producing so I kind of have a rule I would like if you don’t know the future. You need to create options for yourself, but you can’t have too many options, max three. You need to have like max three projects that you’re working on or max three skills you’re trying to acquire at any one time. It’s hard because you have to take more input. It takes more of your bandwidth. But if you have three, the likelihood that of them that you’re going to find some signal on one of them and that you can drop the other two and bet more heavily on that one. Um, I think I think the odds are with you to cycle through things. Ah. More quickly. The other. The other option is if you want to do a bunch of different things, you have to just sequence them. You have to try number one, and only number one, kill it or continue with it and then go to 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and you know have that structured approach for me, my mind I’m. I’m more of a horizontal thinker. I like to have a few different things going on at the same time. So again, when I built this business and engineered my way out of corporate consulting, I was like, I need a portfolio. I need to buy three sites or create three sites or do whatever you know. Have three different small businesses to incubate because I didn’t know which one was just going to take off, and then when we figured out which one was going to take off. We sold the other ones, and so I’ve been working that way. You know, I engineered my way into Career Cloud, and in speaking on this topic and really developing a passion for helping people with their careers was through that process of doing three things at the same time, cutting my losses and betting more heavily on the winner. Um, that just kind of but.

36:30

Matt DeCoursey

You can do three things at the same time that are still well within the lane of like still being good at one thing or a few different things, and that’s what I want everyone to listen to.

36:36

Mike Gardon

Um, yes, yes, yes.

01:13:29.80

Matt DeCoursey

Don’t think it’s not like, hey, and I can only do one thing because you know what drives me nuts is people. If you really want to focus, you have to quit multitasking. Well, I’m like, I have to have a couple of different things going on because if something’s not quelling my ADD, something other than Adderall. Ah, don’t you know, fixing my ADD. It’s like, you know my wife would tell me she’s like I don’t know how you do? Yeah, sorry, I listen to music a lot because it actually quiets my thought process because it provides enough distraction to let me focus on other things. But. I think it’s the same thing. Yeah, you know, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re an entrepreneur. The idea that you’re only going to have. You’re going to have the luxury of only focusing on one thing today. Get out of here that I would laugh that out the door. Hey, my biggest problem is I can’t focus on any one thing as an entrepreneur because I’m telling you right now that a couple of decades later, I haven’t found a different reality. It’s not about what I want to do today. It’s often about what I have to do today.

37:38

Mike Gardon

Um, yeah.

37:51

Matt DeCoursey

You know, I wake up every morning with a list of things that I would like to do that I want to do that are my priority, and if I look back at the end of the day and say, did this really happen. It’s big. It’s a strong maybe on a lot of days and sometimes just a hard no because you don’t know. What’s going to happen when you hear the phrase putting out fires and stuff like that, and you talk about some of this experience, and it seems like a good time to once again thank Wix for being the sponsor of today’s episode of Startup Hustle if you’re an entrepreneur or founder trying to figure out how to successfully navigate the rocketship that hypergrowth is thinking about? Do you want to take control over your company’s online presence internally or externally? Friends over at Wix Enterprise can help. Wix Enterprise is a platform that helps provide businesses with an all-in-one solution for all types of growth and business needs. Create high-performing websites for your business, all of which are backed by enterprise-grade security as well as expert support to help you manage and scale online head over to http://wix.com for more information. There are links in the show notes to that Career Cloud and a whole lot of other stuff. Now I like to end my episodes of Startup Hustle. I say my episodes. You know I’m not the only host of the show. So make sure you tune in for Lauren, Andrew, and Matt Watson’s weekly episodes. I have some new series with Matt and me coming out. Soon as well. But I end my episodes with the founder’s freestyle which I like to give my founder guests, and you qualify, sir, a chance to go back and have a little freestyle moment at the end of the episode if there’s anything we yeah, you know we race I’m sure. Yeah. With the feedback you got on your podcast, as well as the man that went by quickly, I like to give everyone a chance to kind about what did we miss? What did we like? What do we or I mean? I’ve also had people like truly Freestone had people rap and recite poetry. Your time, bud. It’s your time, Michael, so here’s the mic. Ah.

39:50

Mike Gardon

All right? Well, I’m not going to rap for you. But I think, um, you know, our conversation can kind of be really looked at through personal investment in yourself lens, and so I talk a lot with people who are trying to figure out what. Their lane should be, um, what they should spend more time on. You know this idea of the circle of competence, and understanding what your current circle of competence is really important, and you can do that in a number of ways you can. Straight up, ask people you can create surveys and try to understand from other people’s perspectives like what you’re good at and then looking at the edges and figuring out where the growth opportunities are but staying within that circle of competence, and the other concept is. What’s your highest point of leverage? So what is the thing that you do well within your circle of competence that you can look out, close your eyes and look out into the future and say, if you know if I can lever this up, but I can spend more time and effort on it, and I can get growth out of it and everything else? You can deal with it in another way and delegate it to stop doing it. Um, or you know, have other people do it or whatever, but those are my sort of my None favorite concepts because you have to figure out what you’re good at today. Not what you’re good at and sort of where you want to go tomorrow. And then figure out how to expand that circle by applying more and more pressure to your highest point of leverage, and you’re going to create lanes for yourself, and doors are going to open up when you do that because you’re good at something. And then you’re figuring out how to get better at it and grow it and apply it in another direction. So those are just, I guess, the two biggest takeaways ah concepts that I would like to leave your audience with.

41:46

Matt DeCoursey

Well said, and for my freestyle, I’ll snap a couple of pieces onto that because, as I said, I think that’s excellent advice. I think one of the things whether this my freestyle is going to apply to entrepreneurs because your if your career as an entrepreneur. All this stuff applies to you. Think it’s important too. You know, much like Michael was saying, talking about the things that you might do well. But what are the things that you really don’t enjoy doing, and let’s try? You know you mentioned the term delegation. That’s the stuff I need to delegate to other people now. Am I capable of doing most of the jobs at my business? Yes, I am. Do I like doing all the jobs at my business? Certainly not am I the right person or to be doing most of those jobs. Absolutely not, and does it make me happy to look back at the time that I spent and go wow. That’s what I spent my day on. No way. And if you can get that stuff out, I was just talking to my wife about this because one of the things someone asked me the other day they said, what’s it like to be the CEO or founder running a business that’s grown as quickly as. Full Scale has, and you know, like I said, like one employee and for we had one employee after a year so and the none thing that came to my mind was someone running down the street trying to fill up a bowl of milk and cereal while they were running. Right? And it’s, and I don’t know why that came into my head, but I was like wow, and you know, so it’s splash, and everywhere it’s messy. There’s never; it’s never really in the bowl. You’re certainly not going to eat it very well, and you know, I was thinking recently, and by comparison with that was, you know. There have been so many roles that our leadership has had to slide into, and I feel like sales is one of them. Sales and account management because we provide software services for all; go to FullScale.io if you want to know more about what we do, but you know, but. I’ve had to jump into the sales role a number of different times and fill these gaps, which you know is obviously a key ingredient to our growth without sales and revenue. Not much else happens at a business. But that’s not really the best role for me long-term because when I’m not doing that, I get out and find business other types of ways which I’m happier doing so I was just telling my wife because I’ve got you to know a couple a new sales leadership and some new salespeople that have started this year and I was saying you know I really feel like I’m getting my life back. And that’s worth it, and yeah, here’s the thing, Michael. If I wanted, I could save a lot of money and be a salesperson and put that in my pocket. I would much rather pay someone else to do that, and that’s actually something I’m good at and that I’m passionate about.

44:27

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

44:38

Matt DeCoursey

But it’s not the right role for me. It’s not the right thing to do for the company, and with that, I’ve kind of coined this term this year of organizational honesty, and I think this applies to yourself as a leader like I’m all for. Giving your loyal employees an opportunity to do things that might be out of their comfort zone, but you have to have organizational honesty at a lot of points, too, where you say I’ve got the wrong person in the wrong role, I’ve got I’m doing the wrong role, and I think that that back to that circular concept of being open and honest. You also have to encourage people to understand that if you’re an introvert, you’re probably not going to be a great salesperson. It’s just the way it is. You’re going to have to constantly fight yourself to make an effort to be outward and sell stuff.

45:22

Mike Gardon

Uhuh.

45:31

Matt DeCoursey

And if you’re not going, to be honest with yourself about that, then you’re, and it’s the same thing, and even on personal levels, people like, well, I don’t have a problem drinking. Why were you hung over four times last week? You just have to be honest with yourself. They say if you what? They tell you what a friend told me.

45:47

Mike Gardon

Um, yeah.

45:50

Matt DeCoursey

That when you go to try to get help for stuff like that, you know it’s like if you don’t can’t admit that you have a problem. You’re not going to fix it, and that same thing goes to professional bounds and everything now if you want to try to overcome stuff. You have to take it upon yourself. It’s like you go back to being an Introvert and sales. It’s really what you want to do, and your heart tells you. That’s what you need to do then. You need to embrace your maybe rather than a side Hustle. You might need to join Toastmasters or something. There’s a lot of things out there that are still aligned and and and hey.

46:18

Mike Gardon

Right.

46:24

Matt DeCoursey

I’m all for it. Fix the problem, make yourself feel better, and be more confident. But you gotta be honest about it along the way. And, I think that if employees are honest, there’s a transparent level and nature between the relationship between employees and employers. If one of my employees came to me and said, hey, I’d really love to get some training on this. I think I can provide a lot of value. Can we talk about it? I would say, yeah, here, when can we start all that? So don’t be afraid, as an employee, to ask for the opportunity, to ask for the education, and to ask for the exposure.

46:47

Mike Gardon

Yeah.

46:57

Matt DeCoursey

And then, also as an employer, don’t be afraid to offer that. Because I’ve given that, do those things for a lot of employees. And then, they’ve come to me a couple of weeks later, and you’re like, you know what, I really thought this was the thing for me. It’s not that I think I’d rather go back to doing that other thing, but I think it all hinges and revolves around honesty and communication. And, you know, if you’re good at it, you’re going to be happy. You’re doing something else. Yeah, oh God, infinite. And if it’s really that bad where you work.

47:26

Mike Gardon

Yeah, and there’s plenty of things out there to do, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly, yeah.

47:34

Matt DeCoursey

You don’t think you’re getting what you need or what you want. Go do something else. It’s pretty simple.

47:39

Mike Gardon

Um, yeah, exactly.

47:41

Matt DeCoursey

It’s probably a good place to end the show, right? Let’s go do something else. I’ll see you next time, man.

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