Morning Fewell – Secret to my Success | Jesse Fewell

Morning Fewell – Secret to my Success

By June 7, 2016Blog

A question that people have been asking me a lot lately is, “Jesse, what’s the secret to your professional success? How is it that you got to be in the position where you are at. Where you’ve started your own business, and you travel the world for work?” The answer is really simple. If you are ready for it, here it comes.

If you want success in your career, you have to get involved outside the office.

That’s it. Simple, but also exciting, because it’s actionable. Let me tell you more about what I mean.

Some Examples

Getting involved outside of your office with respect to your career means you have to go to a conference. You have to start attending that meetup that’s down the road. You have to start posting your ideas online; maybe on Twitter, or start a blog, or a couple posts on LinkedIn. You have to start getting your name out into the industry as someone who is kind of good at this. If you are an engineer, or you are a tester, or you’re an analyst, or you’re a project manager, find those conferences, those meetups, those social channels that are talking about what you want to talk about and what you want to be good at.

The Tradeoff Considerations

When I started mentioning this to people, there was one project manager who wanted to become a consultant and she was asking me this question. When I started talking with her about it, she said, “Sure Jesse, but every time I ask my boss to go to a conference, the request is declined.”
Then I said, “Okay. Do you have PTO? Do you have some paid leave?”
She said, “Yeah.”
I said “Well, you’re going to have to take it! Maybe you’re going to have to take a weekend and go to a weekend conference.”
She said, “Well, I can’t do that, because if I do that, that’s going to take away from family time, or personal time.”
…silence…
Then I responded, “yes, that’s true. In fact,”

If you want to play, you have to pay. If you want a get ahead, you have to make an investment in yourself.Steven King

The Transactional Career

This comes down to where your mind is at. My question is, “Do you have a transactional mindset with respect to your career?” That is, are you in a “me versus you” approach to looking at the business? Me – the employee, versus you –the employer? “I’m working for you. You should be doing this. You should be approving my requests going out to conferences. You should be giving me time off of my regular assignments in order to go to a meetup. You should be reimbursing me for these things.”

It’s a fair approach to take. It is indeed their responsibility to make sure that you’re good at your job to get the results that they want. However, I’m here to tell you, there’s a price to pay for that approach too, which is your time.
“Sure, I’ll spend $5000 on you this year to go to a conference….
Sure, I’ll give you couple of hundred bucks a month to reimburse you for the cost associated with that meetup that you drove across town and had to pay parking…
Sure!”
If you wait for your boss to come to that realization, that “aha” moment, then you’re going to be waiting a long time, maybe even years.

The Transformational Career

Instead, you might want to start thinking about having a transformational mindset, the one where you start taking ownership of your career, where you start getting out there and meeting people.

It could be argued that, when I look back at specific inflection points in my career, I owe all of my success to going to conferences. Does that cost me money? Yes, it does. Does it cost me time away from my family and a lot of travel? It does. Sometimes, I take them with me. Sometimes, the boss is so impressed with what you accomplish outside the office, you get new opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise. Sometimes, because of those new opportunities, the extra income allows me to take extra time off to recover the family investment.

That’s how I’ve gotten ahead; getting involved, getting to conferences, posting your stuff, writing a blog, writing an eBook. Do something. Get out there. If you want to play, you’ve got to pay. It’s going to take some skin in the game. For you to get ahead, get outside of the office.

4 Comments

  • Gary K Evans says:

    Excellent guidance, Jesse. Employees do not have an “invest in myself” mindset, generally. Independents like us do. The transformation from employee to consultant mindset can be adopted voluntarily, or it can be forced by a layoff. Getting outside one’s cubicle is absolutely the single biggest ROI one can pursue. Good stuff here. Thanks for posting.

    • jessefewell says:

      Thanks, Gary. I’m glad you mention being “forced” to get out of the cubicle. I can’t say enough about the professional value of getting laid off or getting fired. Both have given me incredible insights into how business works. Heck, i think you just inspired my next video

  • Ashokkumar Seeniraj says:

    Amazing guidance blog this Jesse!! Thanks for reminding me once again the importance of realizing the value of myself and inner potential. I recently lost my job and was dejected for a while. I started learning more about Scrum from Scrum.org about the same time and earned 4 Certificates to my credit now. However I was still not having the courage to take a risk and start a new career move yet. But now after I’ve seen this video, I got little motivated towards doing something great pretty soon. I’ve been long thinking of writing at least one blog/article in LinkedIn or somewhere about something that I experienced in my life thus far. However I was still hesitant to start anything of that sort until now. But now I got inspired by your guidance to write that pretty soon as well.

    Thank you once again!!

    Cheers!!

    Thanks & Regards,
    Ashok

    • jessefewell says:

      Thanks for your post, Ashok. I strongly recommend a strong professional growth technique to anyone who listens: get fired or laid off at least once. The trauma creates both the incentive and focus needed for deep learning. I’ve been fired twice, laid off once, and gone out of business twice. Failure is when you find your true self. Well done for choosing to continue evolving.

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