Career decisions can be daunting. The right choice is often unclear, and the trade offs uncertain. Should you stay in your current role or go look for something new? Is it in your best interest to move cities and re locate or double down on your current market? These big decisions can leave us paralyzed.
And yet, one of the ways to break through that paralysis is by soliciting the opinions of others. As the legendary troublemaker, author and blogger, Luvvie Ajayi Jones says, “the best decisions are not counsel decisions. Career and life choices are bet made by you and you alone.” However, by sourcing a broad range of career advice, what you end up with is a constellation of possibilities through which to draw from.
Links to episodes mentioned during the show:
- James Altucher: James Altucher on Accelerating 10,000 Hours to Mastery
- Steven Kotler: How to Shatter Limitations and Achieve Your Dreams with Steven Kotler
- Martha Beck: The Path Back to True Self with Martha Beck
- Arianna Davis: Words Can Take You Anywhere with Arianna Davis
- Luvvie Ajayi Jones: How to Tackle Fear and Live Boldly with Luvvie Ajayi Jones
- Marc Randolph: That Will Never Work with Marc Randolph
- Nicole LePera: How to Do the Work & Heal from Your Past with Dr. Nicole LePera
- Mel Robbins: Mel Robbins: Powerful Habits to Ease Anxiety & Boost Productivity
- Sarah Stein Greenberg: Creative Acts for Curious People with Sarah Stein Greenberg
- Apolo Ohno: Olympian Apolo Ohno: 40 Seconds to Fame or Failure
Listen to the Podcast
Chase Jarvis: I've been thinking that almost all major life decisions and certainly all career choices, they can be hard, right? And that is one of the reasons that we have friends and mentors and coaches. And this whole idea, if we solicit outside input, it's going to save us time, right? It's going to save us from having to make mistakes in some degree. And the confusing part is that you will definitely get conflicting opinions and perspectives. But here's the punchline, is that it's from these perspectives, even the conflicts within those perspectives, that you will be able to. If you are in tune with yourself, you'll be able to draw the inspiration and the wisdom that will help you navigate these crossroads in a way that's best for you.
Chase Jarvis: I want to welcome you to another episode of The Chase Jarvis Live Show here. In today's episode, we are going to crowdsource a handful of perspectives that I believe will be radically useful for you. This is a collection of career advice that is aimed at serving the bigger picture of The Chase Jarvis Live Show generally. But I wanted to dial in specifically on this idea that there are... Whether it's through a podcast or books or your personal mentors in real life, I want you to practice extracting the nuggets of wisdom that are relevant for you and simultaneously letting go of the things that don't serve you or that you may not need in your journey.
Chase Jarvis: So today we have a handful of these perspectives around career strategy that I think ought to help. So if you're ready to begin, here we go. I want to dive into initially my friend James Altucher. Now James is a... I don't know how many books he's written. He's written a number of books. I consider him an author and an entrepreneur. He's also started lots of businesses and talks openly about making and losing tens of millions of dollars across his career. His idea about being able to be in the top 1% of any field in order to make a living and a life with the craft of your choosing is I think radically interesting. So let's take a second, listen to James about how to make your creativity a viable piece of your life and living.
James Altucher: If you are interested and passionate about something, it's okay to pursue it. It's not that hard to get in the top 1% of your field. You don't need 10,000 hours, you just need to get into the top 1%. Not in the top 10 humans, but the top 1%. Let's take photography as an example. There's probably a hundred million people on the planet who love photography and who consider themselves photographers. So the top 1% means being in the top 1 million of those hundred million. It's not in the top 10, it's in the top 1 million. And my conviction is that if you're in the top 1%, you can monetize it in some way, whether you're a photographer, whether you blog about photography, or podcast about it, or have a newsletter about it, or sell photography equipment, or... There's a million ways, we're just riffing. And so I wanted to write a book, how to quickly learn... how to find what you're passionate about, learn enough so that you're in the top 1%, which is not easy, but it's not as difficult as people think, and then how to monetize it.
Chase Jarvis: So that little nugget of wisdom from James is truly one to be bookmarked. And if you didn't catch that episode, it's an incredible episode. He also tells a great story about his daughter not getting into college and then leaving to pursue a career in race car driving only to then use that in a follow-up application where she got into the college of her choosing. Specifically, we understand that pursuit of radically different things can help us in our vision and our vision quest by the way. All right. So if we wrap up with James, I want to next introduce Steven Kotler. Now, Steven also and your friend author of a book titled The Art of the Impossible.
Chase Jarvis: Steven is one of my friends who knows more about flow states. And you're aware of flow states from your own experiences in life. That feeling that you get when things are effortless, whether that's giving a speech in front of people or in sports is a place where it's often realized, or even in writing or creating you feel this flow state. Steven is one of the foremost experts in the world on this. So I want to listen to this clip here from Steven Kotler.
Steven Kotler: What the research shows is certainly we don't stop wanting money, sex, and fame, right? After we get just basic income. But from performance perspective, money, sex, fame are not the motivators you want to reach for then. Then you want to reach for intrinsic motivators. And what the research shows is there are five that are the... There are tons more, right? We could spend the next four hours listing all the shit that motivates us, but there are five big ones on an internal level. Curiosity is the most basic foundational human motivator. And we'll talk about what that even means in a second. But curiosity is designed biologically to be built into passion. When we say passion, what do we really mean? We mean the intersection of multiple curiosities plus dopamines you get from little wins playing at that intersection of those multiple curiosities. That's how you build passion.
Steven Kotler: Once you have passion, the system wants you to have purpose, right? It wants you to align that passion to a cause greater than yourself. Basically the idea is, at the level of passion, your biology says, "Oh, you've got passion. Now you're getting enough resources for yourself. Now is the time to get more resources for your tribe, your species, your family, people outside yourself." Thus the motivator gets linked to purpose. Once you have purpose, what does the system want? Autonomy, the freedom to pursue your purpose. And once you have that freedom, the system demands mastery, which are the skills to pursue that purpose well. This is not to say that you can't start working on mastery before you cultivate curiosity, passion. You know what I mean? But if you do it in this order, you get the best results.
Chase Jarvis: And the takeaway from Steven is, well, first of all, you should take away from that whatever you felt in that moment. But one thing that was intriguing to me is this idea of moving through steps in our career, right? For me, I was able to dive deep into photography because it was an area of very clear passion and awareness and energy and something I wanted to focus my life on. But it was fascinating how that depth mastery of photography turned into my understanding of personalities, my understanding of entrepreneurship, of deconstructing the lives of others in order to enrich my own life. And it moved me from being a photographer and mastering that to again starting a venture funded business that we grew and engaged tens of millions of people and then sold that. Did that whole entire cycle.
Chase Jarvis: And what underpins each of these things is a passion and a purpose that's larger than ourselves, right? That was the transition for me from photography onto building businesses. It was first. It's like I was acquiring skills, acquiring knowledge, acquiring experience only to realize after mastering photography that I wanted the next chapter of my life to be about helping others. So this idea of a purpose larger than ourselves definitely fueled my journey. And it's the journey that I'm still on today. It's one of the reasons that I do the show, it's one of the reasons I write books, and continue to contribute and grow creative life. All right. Next up is Martha Beck. Now, if you're in the wellness, the person development space, or you're tuned into that, Martha Beck is a legend in this space, author, life coach. And this clip is about pursuing success versus fulfillment.
Martha Beck: As long as it's pulling you into joy, into peace, I've got no argument with you whatsoever. It's interesting, right? At the beginning of the Divine Comedy, Dante's lost in these woods and he sees a mountain that's bathed in sunlight. It's really beautiful and people are climbing it and he thinks, "That's the way out of my confusion." And he starts climbing and he's so tired, but he fights his way forward. And then he starts running into wolves and bears and leopards and things, and nothing works. He's feeling miserable. He's climbing as hard as he can but things keep coming at him. And there are always metaphor for emotion states in the Divine Comedy itself. So if you're climbing and pulling on that rope and you're feeling joy and lightness and beauty, then keep it up. Great. But if you're suffering and the higher you get on that mountain the more you suffer, and the harder you pull the more you suffer...
Martha Beck: I've worked with people who are at the very top of the pyramid socially. I mean really close to the very top. And one person perfect life, famous, wealthy, gorgeous, everything, was taking 200 Oxycontin a day because the pain was so intense. That's how bad it is. So Dante goes, "All right, well, that's not it." And then he goes back down into the forest and ends up going finding the gate of hell. And it says, "Abandon all hope you who enter here," which doesn't sound all that fun. But what it means is the caterpillar never makes it out alive. If you go the way of transformation, it's all going to burn, but you'll not only survive it, you'll come out of it with magic. You'll come out of it with brilliant new colors and wings and things you can do that the caterpillar never even imagined possible.
Chase Jarvis: If you're new to the show, then this idea may be new to you. But if you are not, you have for maybe 10 or more years heard me talk about the idea of fulfillment versus success, right? My idea of personal hell it would be being successful without being fulfilled. And that is why I pay extra attention to it. I highlight it every time a guest on the show features that or leans into that. And it's because I think it is critical and that's why I'm highlighting it now. And I'm emphasizing it so that you understand that this idea of pursuing success without some deeper meaning, without a purpose, without something that warms your soul and cultivates the light that guides us, then I'm telling you having spoke to hundreds of the top performers in the world, you will be left empty. If you do not have a purpose that is bigger and outside yourself, when you get to each of the mountain tops in your career, you will realize that they are lonely, empty places.
Chase Jarvis: Now, I don't want that to be taken out of context because pursuing success for success sake may serve its purpose for some. Once you have an understanding and you are attuned to your personal fulfillment as a guiding light, the question then may become, how do you stand out? You've heard me say you can't fit in and stand out at the same time. Well, it turns out that standing out in this new ever changing rapidly emerging digital world turns out it's critical, right? Especially when you scroll your Instagram or you read any number of articles on your phone while you're on the subway sitting here or listening to a number of podcast. And it can sometimes feel so saturated with stories. That is why that your personal experience, your story is the vector for you to stand out. And that's a natural transition to our next clip here in this particular show from Arianna Davis. Now, Arianna is the editorial director of The TODAY Show. And she's an author of a great book called What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly.
Arianna Davis: The best writing is when you can feel the you in it, whoever is writing it. Anyone can write I think. And there's so much writing out there, especially with the internet now. But what makes a story a story and what makes it unique is the person who wrote it and what they're injecting into it. So I would say anyone who's looking for advice on honing that craft, just the more you can write for yourself, the more you can write for fun. I always like to just reread things I've written a couple days later. And it's always interesting to be like, "Wow, the me three days ago really used the word like a lot." And just reading what your own words and thinking like, "Here's how I would change this now. Here's how I would edit it. Here's how I'd perfect it." Sharing with friends, having friends give you feedback, and I think that that is also really key in the craft of writing for sure.
Chase Jarvis: That brings me to my next clip that I want to share with you from Luvvie Ajayi Jones. I first met Luvvie Ajayi Jones on a panel. She and I were on a panel with Richard Branson in San Francisco. It was an awesome panel. And I quickly after spending two hours with this woman just devoured everything that she'd ever written. I completely deconstructed her blog, read all of her posts and all of her books. She's an outstanding author and she's a great speaker as well. I highly recommend. If you see her on a conference lineup and you can attend, I recommend it.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones: The thing that you thought you were going to do for your whole life, when you realize that's actually not what I'm supposed to do, it's uneasy because you're like, "Well, I'm about to disappoint a few people." And you know that viscerally. You're like, "I'm about to do something that a lot of people are going to disagree with. So how am I going to handle that?" So there was a moment where I actually... When I realized I wasn't a doctor, I think I compartmentalized it for a hot second. I said, "You know what? I'm still going to get my degree in psychology. The doctor dream is dead." And I actually didn't tell my mom that I dropped my pre-med major. She found out at graduation. I don't recommend it to everybody. Yeah, she found out at graduation. Yeah. She found out. Because I realized very early and I didn't realize I did until I looked back.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones: I realized very early that my best decisions, the best decisions for me are not council decisions. They're not group decisions that require somebody else's input. So I knew I didn't want to receive anybody's input. So I actually didn't seek it. Once I knew what I wanted to do, I didn't necessarily look for other people's approval in it because I knew they would disagree, because oftentimes if your vision for yourself is different from what everybody sees, you don't want to have to sit there convincing them.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones: And when you do, when they still tell you we don't see it for you, all it does is add doubt to your dream. All it does is it pours water not gas on your fire. And you want somebody to pour gas on it. So I was like, "You know what? I'm just going to keep it to myself and go." I'm just going to move. And in the process of me moving and me not also asking for people's feedback, I also wasn't receiving people's questions. So I had to realize that, okay, this pivoting, this life where I'd removed myself from somebody else's world and put myself in mind, all I did was I just honored myself by doing what I felt like doing without doubting it and question it and not doing it.
Chase Jarvis: All right. This idea of honoring one's self by doing the thing and trusting in that intuition that we all have in us, that is an unlock to every person I've ever had on the show. They have in some way at some point had to begin to trust themselves deeply. And that is not something that in our culture comes easy. And that's one of the things that I want to change with this show. And I hope that you take this to heart. This trusting, this intuition is an intelligence and intelligence that's built into you. So go on this journey, learn to trust yourself. And again, if you can get more of Luvvie in your life, you should. She's great for this idea of trusting and honoring yourself. Okay. Next up from Marc Randolph. Marc is the co-founder of that little service that you've probably heard of called Netflix. He's also got a great podcast and a book called That Will Never Work. And in this clip, Marc talks about what he thinks is the most critical skill in entrepreneurship.
Marc Randolph: I started off selling seeds door to door. But way back, this is back in the sixties.
Chase Jarvis: Wow.
Marc Randolph: It was the American seed company and it was probably the closest thing in the United States to indentured servitude where basically if you sold 17,000 packs of seeds, you could earn a whistle or a stopwatch or something like that. But what it was basically was door to door salesmanship. And you walk to the front door and you get it slammed in your face nine times out of 10. And you either go running home to mommy or you go, "I'm going to figure this out." And fortunately, I was in that ladder category and I'm going, "What can I do to try and actually get them to open the door? And then once they've opened the door, what can I do to get the order? And then once I've got the order, what can I do to try and increase the order?" And it was this foundation for I'm going to figure this out, and I'm going to figure it out by trying stuff, and I'm going to do things that maybe make me feel a little bit uncomfortable.
Marc Randolph: And so that's looking back. I mean, at the time it wasn't like I was thinking, "Oh, I want to be an entrepreneur and I want to start a big company. And this is a great foundation." It just was what I was drawn to. And that really never went away. In high school and college I was always the person who was saying, "Let's start a club to do that. Why don't we launch a magazine? Why don't we have a sale where we sell these things?" I just would always see these opportunities and go, "Someone has to fill that." And then lo and behold, that ended up being me. And extremely luckily for me, that skillset ended up being something you could actually make a living with.
Chase Jarvis: I think this idea that willingness to persist, to not give up. And as I say, cover your ears this may be a little crude, the willingness to outlast other motherfuckers is key, has been key to everything, whether it was my personal experience with photography or entrepreneurship. The journey just keeps going. And if you can learn to love the process, love persisting, it's very difficult to not win, to not gain value, gain experience, gain wisdom, gain trust. And then to put each of those attributes back into the system, those are the ingredients rather of success. And the ability to love the process, that is part of the fulfillment, because then you are doing things that fire you up that have meaning beyond you. In this combination, again, of success and fulfillment, this idea of outlasting others in your field of going beyond what you thought was possible over and over and over again. So many things on this show, it is a muscle that we build, and that muscle is critical for living your dreams.
Chase Jarvis: All right, next up is Dr. Nicole LePera. On Instagram she goes as the .holistic.psychologist. And I have to say this episode was one of the surprise breakout episodes of the past year. Not because I didn't think that Dr. Nicole's work is groundbreaking, but mostly because I wasn't sure that culture was ready for her very powerful but difficult to wrangle message. She is the author of a book, How to Do the Work. And this book and her work in general focuses on the fact that we all have childhood experiences that shape us, and our willingness to go back and look at those childhood experiences, not just the positive ones, the difficult negative ones as well. How to look at those and reconcile that with who we are today and or who we want to be, right? Even if I just say that, it sounds hard, right? But I don't know too many people that have this aspect of a fulfilled life that haven't done this work. So, now let's play this clip from Dr. Nicole.
Nicole LePera: There's a big part of me. Even like I was saying, the fact that I'm sitting here speaking to you on a show, CreativeLive, I never imagined myself, never resonated with the concept or the title of being a creator. So very intuitively for as long as I can remember, I had a fascination with people, what made people similar to myself, what made people dissimilar to myself. So, before long I was marching the pathway to become a clinical psychologist. So one might say it came from a deeper space, but I wouldn't have described it, Chase, as lighting me up or as my passion or as my purpose.
Nicole LePera: I actually have a very distinct memory reading a book from Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of his first books. And I was reading it several years ago before I began my own healing journey. And he himself was talking about being a clinical psychologist like myself. So I resonated with that part. Though he went on to share having an awareness of a deeper passion or purpose, and then obviously shared his journey living into embodying that passion and that purpose. And when I was reading that book, I could not resonate at all with that second concept, this idea of passion and lighting me up. It just didn't feel like I had that chip. So it's not something that was intuitive to me. And I now understand why. I think so many of us are prevented or stuck, not accessing our creative ability that I like you believe every human has from birth because many of us are living in conditioned habits and patterns most often embodied or formed in our childhood keeping us stuck from accessing that state of consciousness really.
Nicole LePera: So I like to share my journey because I'm not someone who intuitively was like, "This is my passion, my purpose, I'm going to go ahead and do this." I was walking a journey and I felt really empty. Though I checked a lot of boxes. There was something missing and it wasn't until, like I said, I really began to peel back my own onion. And I discovered all of the layering of conditioning that was keeping me from accessing that state of consciousness that allows us to be creative.
Chase Jarvis: For those who are willing, there is much reward. And this is a huge blocker for so many of us in our creative endeavors. I detail this in my book, Creative Calling, right? How the concept of the cloud of anxiety can both fuel us, but if not well managed can cause more problems. All right. Shifting gears, many of you I would say maybe one of the most popular questions I get from my text group... If you're not on it, again, it's (206) 309-5177, shoot me a text. You'll get an auto response. And then from that text forward, it will be me and my films on the other end of this. A popular question that I get from that community is how do I know what to pursue and what to not pursue, right? In a world where our time is limited on this planet, how can we be in touch with our intuition and our values such that knowing what to do next will emerge for us rather than we have to go digging, and kicking, biting, scratching through all of the material to make an in the moment decision.
Chase Jarvis: So that means it's time to call on my dear friend, Mel Robbins. Historically, Mel was a journalist and she has now transitioned into an internet force. She's got a couple of great books, one called The Five Second Rule and the other, The High 5 Habit, an amazing class on CreativeLive. I want you to hear what Mel Robbins has to say about what to pursue.
Mel Robbins: Discovering what's meant for you next is an energy thing. And so I just pay attention to what I'm drawn toward. If the energy around something, whether it's a person or it is an opportunity or it is anything in business is expansive, might be scary, might be intense, but if it's expansive, it feels like there's growth there, I lean towards it. If the energy around something feels very depleting or shrinking or constrictive, I step away from it. And so I have for the last decade, I have leaned toward things that feel like growth. I have said no to things that start to make me feel constricted.
Chase Jarvis: All right, next up is Sarah Stein Greenberg. Now, Sarah's the executive director of the Stanford d.school. And she talks to us today in this clip about how creativity is a critical unlock for the future of work.
Sarah Stein Greenberg: The future is always uncertain. The future is actually exactly as uncertain as it always has been, because it's the future and that's the nature of the future, but it feels much more complex. The rate at which our society and our culture and even the planet is changing around us is accelerating. And that creates this level of anxiety and pressure about how am I going to navigate, how am I going to get through that journey from not knowing to knowing. It used to be a shorter journey where you could show up with more expertise and actually be equipped. And now I think it's all about the opposite. It's showing up with curiosity and showing up with the ability to rapidly learn about a new context as it's unfolding and continuing to change.
Chase Jarvis: Obviously creativity underpins virtually every aspect of this show, not just this particular episode but the entire podcast and maybe even my career. But this idea that creativity is as critical basically as nutrition, as breathing, as water. But let this be a reminder to you that the active pursuit as often as possible being aware of pursuing your creativity in every endeavor is the best way to strengthen the muscle that will help you create the living and life of your dreams. All right. Last but not least, I want to share a clip from Apolo. Ohno. And you're probably familiar with that name because he is the all time most decorated US winter Olympian. He's a speed skater. And in this clip from Apolo, he talks about imposter syndrome during a career transition.
Apolo Ohno: Psychologically, we've been conditioned to often operate in fear of what other people think about us, both in terms of our coaches, our peers, our businesses, our parents, and that in itself is something that has I think also become handcuffed and restrictive in the way that we can really operate. I went against the grain entirely and I did things that I had zero experience or perhaps even right to doing, right? So the imposter syndrome was obviously very front and center for me many times. Where I'm looking around the room, I'm like, "Oh shit, I do not believe that I actually am supposed to be here. As a matter of fact, I should probably excuse myself before I say something really dumb." But I stuck with it, man. I'm here. And that's become a really cool part of my own personality, is just obsessiveness around my own internal warrior mentality, Chase. Like, "Hey, you know what? I'm going to do something even if the other people around me say that it can't be done."
Chase Jarvis: I just think it's fascinating that coming from someone who's won multiple Olympic medals, multiple golds, that he's able to acknowledge imposter syndrome in any area of his life. I think it's fascinating that if someone like that, of that level of performance goes through that, hopefully it's a little window into how of course this should be understood as part of the process and more than acceptable for you. And also embedded in there is that little idea of what to do better, right? To not take your foot off the gas, to not be willing to define yourself or rest on past success or failure, and decide every day, every morning, to start from square one, to have a childlike approach to life where everything is an opportunity, everything can be done new and different and better. And what happened yesterday, positive or negative, does not define you.
Chase Jarvis: All right. I hope you enjoyed this curation of a handful of wisdom nuggets from a number of guests we've had on the show all around this idea of life decisions and specifically career choices. Now, if this has been valuable or you've got some ideas on how it could be better, some clips that you've found that are powerful and interesting to you, please, of course you can hit me up on social at Chase Jarvis on everything. But I would encourage you to join my text community at (206) 309-5177. That's actually my thumbs tapping out those messages. You send me a text, you get one automated response, and then from there out it's yours truly.
Chase Jarvis: All right. I hope you've enjoyed this episode. All kinds of show notes and links to these episodes and the people that I cited are available at chasejarvis.com/blog. All right. Well quick, hey, before you go, if you know anything about me or my work, you know how deeply I believe in the power of creativity. It's so core for a successful fulfilling life. I mean that life cannot be built by accident, right? That's only an accumulation of intentions and daily choices and actions and the stories we tell ourselves about what it's possible with this one precious life.
Chase Jarvis: Well, I want you to know that I wrote a book specifically about this. And if you enjoy the show and you don't yet have the book, I think you ought to, because I think it's an incredible companion to all the work, the 10 years we put into making this show. The book is called Creative Calling. You can get it of course at Amazon, or your local bookshop, or anywhere books are sold, or at creativecalling.com. But there is a creative process. I outline in the book a series of daily habits. It's very actionable.
Chase Jarvis: And again, wherever you are on your path, whether you're just starting out or you are a veteran, if that book doesn't add value to your life... I mean, there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of five star reviews on Amazon. So if that book doesn't add value to your life, then you can message me personally and I will get to your 15 bucks back for the hardback edition. I just want you to know that if you're new here or you haven't checked out the book, please do and let me know what you think. All right. Thanks again, and we'll see you the next episode.
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