2021’s “Wise Words Roundup” for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Are Doing With Their Lives
Some guidance from this season’s guests on What Should I Do With My Life? to more confidently lead us into 2022.
Seasons may come and go, but one thing stays the same: none of us know what the hell we are doing with our lives. From the Great Resignation to an unclear Future of Work, there is a lot that is yet to be figured out, and a lot of unknown to be blindly navigated. As we wrap Season 2 of What Should I Do With My Life?, here are some nuggets from our guests that will most definitely help you start the year off on the right foot, despite the uncertainty ahead!
Episode 1: Anthony Ware, Founder and Principal of AWare Catalysts and Founder Mental Wealth
When it comes to the subject of “going all in” and dropping everything to start a new venture, Anthony urges that as long as there is no conflict of interest, let your employer be your angel investor. If you’re going to start a business and are currently working somewhere, Anthony suggests to work there as long as possible, in order to underwrite your new venture, get clients, and push off needing to get investments and loans.
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Episode 2: Noa Matz, Startup Psychologist & Operating Partner at F2 Capital
When it comes to giving yourself your own job title, you need to embrace the “who the hell do I think I am to be doing this?” Noa believes that the core of being an entrepreneur, of being someone who starts something new, is this whole “who do you think you are?” attitude and chutzpah. Noa fully embraced calling herself a startup psychologist, and despite the uncertainties and vulnerabilities, she took it, owned it, and went forward with it.
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Episode 3: Stephanie Lee, CEO & Founder of SELFMADE
Stephanie understood and understands the power of her story and the positive impact that it has on others. Through the ups and downs, the thick and the thin, Stephanie uses her story as a vehicle and tool to empower and help others. From being the child of immigrants and overcoming a mental health crisis as a woman of color, to pivoting from beauty to politics and launching her own company, Stephanie realized that sharing her unique journey could be extremely empowering to others. We each have a powerful story to share that can be extremely impactful to someone else. We just need to be brave enough to share it.
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Episode 4: Richard Bachmann, PhD Student in History at the University of Michigan
While one person can make such a huge impact, one person can also really be a small speck in the context of the world. Richard says that reminding ourselves of the greater context can help us put things in perspective and take off some of the pressure when something doesn’t go our way or if we make a mistake. At the same time, Richard’s story in itself shows us the power we have as individuals. Whether it’s this way or that, choose the approach that fits your narrative, and go for it!
Episode 5: Amy Mullins, CEO & Founder A Courageous Voice
Helping others work through their trauma and being a life coach was a major source of healing for Amy. Working to empower others to find their voices was critical for Amy to find her own. Amy’s story shows us the strong impact the act of helping others can have on our own personal growth and healing. We should all tap in to the power of helping others and make more of a deliberate effort to do so.
If you are someone you know has been sexually abused, you can find resources and support at www.acourageousvoice.org/resources
Episode 6: Ava Szilagi, Entrepreneur, certified pilates and yoga instructor, Zumba teacher, 305 fitness instructor, personal trainer
So many people talk about the notion that if you can live your passion and get paid for it, you “made it.” Newsflash! Getting paid to “live your passion” is not always what it’s cut out to be. The competitiveness and intensity of being a professional dancer helped Ava realize that this wasn’t the right path for her. The grueling hours, rigid schedule, and fierce competition even diminished some of her flame for dance (understandably!) While she made a pivot and stepped away from becoming a professional dancer, Ava learned to incorporate her love for dance and movement in her personal and professional life in other ways. Ava’s story encourages us to be very honest with ourselves, and to be creative in separating and preserving our passion from our career.
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Episode 7: Vanna Sann, Owner, Dorsu, an ethical garment manufacturing brand
While many of us are nervous when starting a new job, Vanna says that the first few weeks and months should be about checking to see if we fit in with the vibe, purpose, energy and mission of the company. Vanna shares how critical it is to ask ourselves: Are these my people? Does this feel right? Do these values align with my values? Do I fit in with this energy and mission? While it’s so easy to get caught up in worrying about making a good impression or proving our value when we start a new job, we should really be observing and absorbing to see if this opportunity is the right fit for us.
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Episode 8: Dani Sarusi, Brand & Documentary photographer
A pivotal moment in Dani’s career journey was when she worked with a life coach and had to ask herself the hard questions: Mainly, “Why Am I Getting a PhD when I deep down don’t want to do this lonely, grueling work?!” After hashing out the tough stuff, Dani realized that she wasn’t on her current career journey for the right reasons. In order to make sure that our career goals line up with what we really want, we all need to ask ourselves the right questions, figure out our motives, and be brave enough to change course and take a different path if necessary.
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Episode 9: Erica Davis, Marketing Design Senior Specialist at SAP
During her experience playing professional basketball abroad, Erica at times felt like she was falling behind her peers who had “jobby jobs.” So many of us are looking at where others are, comparing ourselves, and trying to keep up. Even people who are doing amazing and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (like Erica!) can still be challenged by this phenomenon. In our professional (and personal!) journeys, we all need to work on being where we are, feeling good where we are, and focusing on the now.
Get in touch with Erica
Episode 10: Meg Wagner, The Goal Guru, Leadership & Team-Building Coach
Meg says that we will never going to know what to do with your life! It is really made up of what we do every day, in small ways. If you feel like you don’t know what to do or what steps to take, Meg suggests that at the end of each day, write down the 3 highlights or 3 things that you most enjoyed. These can be experiences that you are grateful for, enjoyed, or lit something in you each day. When you feel lost, use these experiences as the grounders to help pull you out of the fog and anchors to keep you on the right track.