Each one of us has unique giftings and skills that we have been given by our creator.
The challenge sometimes is figuring out how to get them in line with our careers.
In my case I feel like I stumbled around for many years in job to job doing things I was working really hard at, but just wasn’t gifted to do. And it was an incredibly frustrating feeling.
A little like the Einstein quote:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
And then, by the grace of God, I found my way into what I am doing now, and it just fit like a glove.
So, in this interview I chat with Grant Baldwin who is a very sought-after full-time speaker on topics like this. We talk about the first step to finding work you love, tricks to finding out what you are truly passionate about, if it is ever too late to make a change, and a lot more.
Additionally, a while back I wrote an article called what to do when you hate your job, and I recommend checking it out if you are in that situation.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11 NLT
5 questions you need to ask
If you are needing help in this area, I encourage you to sign up for Grant’s email list and get his FREE PDF with the 5 most important questions to ask to find the work you love.
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Bob: Hey guys. I’m excited to bring Grant Baldwin on today. We’re going to talk a little bit about what to do when you’re looking to get out of a job that you hate or finding work you love and that whole process. I went through a little bit of that myself. Grant is … I don’t know. I think he’s an expert in this area. I mean he travels all around the country speaking and talking about this and things like this. Anyway, I’ll let him go into a little bit more of what he does, but he’s a runner. You run marathons I believe. Is that right?
Grant Baldwin: I have ran marathons. Yeah, ran marathons I guess. I wouldn’t consider myself a marathoner as an ongoing experience but I have crossed the finish line for a few.
Bob: Well, that’s awesome. Then you’re also a magician. Is that right?
Grant: No. I’m fascinated by it. All right? You’re just going through all the good stuff there. I get so much grief from my family because I learned a couple of decent card tricks and they’re like, “You’re adorable but what are you doing?” I’m like, “Ah, I’m just intrigued by it. I’m fascinated by it.” I could do a card trick or two but that’s about the extent of it.
Bob: Okay. My father-in-law is a magician. I mean he does magic shows and things like that so yeah …
Grant: Does he reveal anything to you?
Bob: No. It’s against the rules, isn’t it?
Grant: Yeah, yeah. I mean I didn’t know if it’s with family he can tell you or
Bob: Yeah. He might have told my wife one or two but I think it’s against the rules, but anyway. Okay. How about this? Tell us and the readers a little bit more about yourself. I went into a little bit of it but just chat a little bit about yourself, what you do, and then we’ll go from there.
Grant: Yeah. The nutshell of me, growing up, my youth pastor had a real big impact on my life and so I wanted to be a youth pastor. I went to Bible College, did that for a bit. Parts of it I liked, parts of it I didn’t. One thing I really like there was I really like speaking. I really like working with students. I left that position at the church and just trying to figure out like what do I want to do now, what do I want to be when I grow up.
It was a really difficult transition because I’d gone to college for this one deal. I didn’t really enjoy it. Again, parts of it I did, parts of it I didn’t. I didn’t really want to go back and find a different church to be a youth pastor again. It’s just kind of felt like I was back to the drawing board of what do I do now. That kind of set me on a journey of just trying to figure out what do I want to do with my life.
For the past about eight years or so, I’ve been a full-time speaker so I travel all over the U.S. speaking primarily to high school and college kids just helping them think through or prepare for life after high school, kind of where their life is going and a lot of motivation stuff with that like your life can be whatever it is you want it to be but it’s up to you to make it happen.
That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve got a podcast now called “How Did You Get Into That” where we’re just interviewing people just figuring out what is their story, what is their journey because one of the things I’ve noticed is there’s far too many people that are doing work that they hate and they just live life with like “Thank God it’s Friday. Oh, God, it’s Monday.” They just live life like that. That’s a just a bummer. If we can help people figure out what it is that they were put on this planet to do, it’s a fun journey to help with.
Bob: Yeah. That’s brings up a really good point. I wrote an article awhile back entitled “What To Do When You Hate Your Job” because I was well-acquainted with that. I have had multiple jobs I think that I really … I mean some I didn’t like and a couple that qualifies maybe hating where every Friday it’s like the most glorious thing in the world because I have two days when I don’t have to be in my job and then Sunday afternoon, it’s like, “Oh, it’s coming. It’s coming. Monday is coming.”
I remember Dan Miller wrote that book “No More Mondays” and it just resonated with me just the idea of not having to dread Monday is just an amazing thing and so I’ve been there. I know the feeling. I’m sure lots of people you talk to, lots of people I’ve talked to have that same kind of thing that they’re trying to work out, maybe something that they want to do, feel called to do or whatever. What do you suggest as a first step starting to work out of that?
Grant: Yeah. I mean realistically nobody who’s in a spot where they … I think some people they really just hate what they do and other people are like, “I hate it. I just don’t love it and I don’t know what I’d rather be doing instead.” I think there’s a couple of things. One, just realizing that the process takes some time and so things that are marinated taste better than things that are microwaved so let things simmer and stew.
If you just ponder and think of it, that’s good. It’s a step in the right direction because realistically you won’t quit a job that you hate on Friday and on Monday you magically wake up and it all just works out if you found this thing. It just doesn’t work like that.
I always tell people and I asked them a couple of questions. One, what is it that you’re passionate about? What is it that gets a reaction out of you? What are those hot buttons, soapbox issues that you just get fired up and you’re like, “Don’t even get me started on this. I will go off on you.” What is that thing for you? It’s just like, “I don’t know. I just get stirred up.” Maybe it’s environment. Maybe it’s the planet. Maybe it’s nutrition. Maybe it’s kids. Maybe it’s health. Maybe it’s … It could be any number of things. What is that thing for you that you just really get passionate about?
A second question I ask people is what are you good at? What are the things that just come easy to you? What are the things that you just get, they just click, it just makes sense for you? Because I believe we all have talents. We all have abilities. We all have gift things. I mean there’s a parable of the talents. It’s just like everybody got something. It’s not like you got short-changed and all these people are always all blessed and you got the chaff. It doesn’t work like that. Everybody has something, so what are the things for you that just naturally come to you?
Another question I ask people is what do you enjoy doing? Again, there’s far too many people that are doing something just for the sake of a paycheck. We’re all going to work, we’re all going to make a living, got to get a check somewhere. I’d rather do something I enjoy. I want to look forward to Mondays. I know that so many people do as well so just figuring out what are you passionate about, what are you good at, what do you enjoy doing and then how do those things begin to translate into careers. I think that’s a great place to start.
Bob: Yeah. That’s really good advice. Since these bring up the thing about finding out what you’re passionate about because a lot of readers I’ve talked to, have asked aren’t sure about what it is that they’re passionate about and they … I don’t know. It’s like they haven’t … They can’t figure it out or whatever. One of the things that I’ve always suggested to people is if you don’t know what you’re excited about, maybe you should ask the loved ones around you. Ask your wife or your husband what they think you’re excited about and a lot of times that will reveal some clues. I don’t know. Are there any other tips that you have or suggestions for people as far as figuring something out?
Grant: No. I mean that’s what I was going to suggest. I think that’s a great thing is sometimes we’re too close to ourselves to recognize what’s obvious to other people. Think of it like this. If you had a best friend who had something about life issue going on, you may be really good at giving them advice for that situation but if you had the exact same situation in your own life, you’d be a disaster at recognizing the advice for yourself because you’re right there.
I think the same thing is true as just talking with … find five people that really know you well, people that really are in the trenches, they care about you. Talk to them and say, “What is it that you just recognize about me?” Now, having said that, I think you also have to weigh that with your own feelings because they may say something, they’re like, “You seem really passionate about this” and you’re like, “No. That doesn’t resonate with me at all.” Or they may say something like, “Wow, you know I hadn’t thought about it but now that you mentioned it that totally clicks with me.”
So, you have to run that through your own frame of reference, on your filter, but yeah, I think getting outside perspective is a great, great thing to do.
Bob: Okay. This is a challenge because I’m sure some of the people who are listening or watching are maybe in a situation where they’re pretty far along in their career. They’re established and they feel like they’re at a point of no return. “I’ve been doing this for 15, 20 years. I really don’t like it but how do I get out of this situation? How do I get into scuba diving instructor or whatever that I really, really love and then passionate about? What would you say to somebody like that?
Grant: Yeah. There’s definitely plenty of people in that spot and obviously the older you get, the deeper that you’re in, the more dependence that you have, that you’re trying to feel, the more difficult it is to make a change. If you’re a single 20 something, yeah, it’s pretty simple to start figuring out what your extra strategy is but if you’re in a high level in a company, and you’ve been doing it for a while and you got three kids, it can be a little more difficult for sure so I don’t want to take anything away from that.
That being said, I know it’s not impossible to do. For example, we had just interviewed recently a guy in our podcast who is a successful lawyer. He’s been a lawyer his entire career. He was probably in his mid-upper 40s or something when he was just like, “I’m just burned out. I’m tired of it.” He was a criminal defense attorney defending murder trials, big hard core stuff, really stressful stuff, and so he ended up leaving that role as a successful attorney and started a chocolate factory. Today, he’s a chocolatier.
We were even just talking through that transition of how do you make that leap. I was like, “What do people think? You’re a successful attorney. You’re at the top of your game and now all of a sudden you want to become Willy Wonka? Are people just worried about you? What are people thinking?” He said, “I couldn’t keep going down this path that made me miserable in order to keep everybody else happy.” So, yes, it’s much more difficult to make that transition at that stage in life but it’s not impossible.
I think you have to think through your extra strategy, what your plan is. Typically, people will either figure out, I need to figure out what my living expenses are and just figure out how much I have in savings and what my runway is or just figure out what that thing is that I’m going towards and being able to build that up on the side so that realistically for a season you’re working two jobs. I’ve got my business but then I’m also building up my new thing over here until it’s at a point where I can cut back on my job.
You can do it one or two ways. Again, a bad plan is just to be like, “Well, I don’t like this job. Forget this. I’m out” and then just like, “I’m going to go find myself.” Okay. But you still have to eat and live indoors and so you have to have something that’s still coming in on a regular basis. I think that’s where you can make the transition but you just have to be more strategic and think through how you’re going to actually make that transition.
Bob: Yeah. That’s really good. It’s a good point you bring up about the practical side of the financial aspects of this because that really can help if you think through this rather than just jumping ship like … I love this “you have to eat and live indoors.” It made me think of ..
Grant: Those things are important
Bob: It made think of a couple of these wilderness shows where people don’t live indoors. Anyway, that’s a good point. Okay. All that said, what do you have in mind or what do you recommend as far as additional tools and resources? I mean maybe some books you’ve read or things along these lines that have proved to be very helpful?
Grant: In our own transition a lot of Dan Miller stuff was very impactful and helpful. “48 Days To The Work You Love,” “No More Mondays” were great books, great resources.
I think one thing that was really helpful for us that I don’t think a lot of people take the time to do is writing. I don’t consider myself a writer but … Whenever we say writing a lot of times we think like it’s this thing that has to be published and it’s the thing that’s going to be read and [inaudible 00:11:55]. No. Sometimes the point of writing and journaling specifically is more just getting thoughts out of your head.
One of the things that I found is that when you’re carrying around all these different thoughts and ideas in your own head, you’re carrying around a lot but I’ve noticed when I get things out on paper, whenever I scribble stuff down or type stuff out, it creates space. Think of it like a computer. You’ve got only so much memory in that computer and so the more things you have running, the more ineffective everything runs, but the fewer things that are up there, the easier and smoother everything operates.
Maybe you’ve had it happen and I’m sure some of the viewers and listeners have had this happen where they have a conversation with someone and they spew out everything that’s going on in their life and they’re like, “Oh, I feel so much better now just talking it through.” Even if the other person didn’t say anything, they’re just getting it off their chest, they’re getting it out of their head.
I’ve had people who sent me emails who’ve said “Just writing this email out has helped me to process this whole thing.” I always tell people when we talk about those questions earlier, what are you passionate about, what are you good at, what do you enjoy doing. It’s one thing to just sit down and like, “What am I passionate about? What am I … , but it’s something totally different to … I’m going to stare at a blank screen and I’m just going to start puking on paper here, puking on the screen of what am I actually. If I could do anything, if time, money, location are all irrelevant, if I was guaranteed success, what is it that I would want to do? Taking the time to actually do some writing, I found to be really, really helpful.
Bob: Yeah. You know it’s interesting. I was just thinking about this as you’re saying that. I’m thinking back to something you’re saying a little bit earlier but as far as the financial aspect of this I think a lot of people will find … One of the books that I read that I found really helpful is “Your Money In Your Life” or something like that.
One of the exercises they had in there was figuring out your “real salary”. That was basically calculating in your drive time, your cost of clothes to go to your corporate job, the day care, all these different things to actually figure out what you’re actually making.
It’s an astounding exercise particularly for people maybe working in corporate jobs or in jobs that have a lot of requirements and things like that, additional expenses that come with them. What it does is it shows you that you’re earning possibly a whole lot less than you thought you were and you could get by salary on a whole lot lower doing something else.
Anyway, it’s caused me to look at things differently when I went through this process. I remember figuring out how much money I need to survive and it ended up being so much less when I was working from home than when I was driving 30 miles to my corporate job and I had to have a really dependable car because if it broke down I couldn’t make it to work and then the world comes to an end type of thing.
Anyway, that’s something that I assume that you’ve had that experience or seen people who’ve made this transition kind of maybe step down to a lower salary and have been okay with it. Right?
Grant: Yeah. I think that’s a great exercise to figure out just from a budgeting standpoint. Before you make a budget you got to figure out where does your money actually go. I always tell people where you think your money goes, where your money actually goes are two totally different things, but you don’t know unless you actually keep track of that, unless you actually write it down. Once you figure out what’s your base is then you can backtrack and figure out what do I actually need to make it work.
A lot of times people are nervous about leaving the safety and security of their current gig knowing that well, I don’t really know what I’m walking into in the unknown but if you really boil it down to what’s the absolute worse that could happen, I mean absolute worst that can happen, what are the chances that that thing actually happen is really, really small.
The tradeoff there is I leave the safety and security of what I’ve known, which I think we could argue and debate whether or not that is safe and secure, but if I leave that thing that I’ve known and go to the unknown and let’s say that worst-case-scenario I make less, but I’m happier and I enjoy my life more, I found that most people would rather make less but love what they do than make a lot of money and hate their life.
There’s a lot of rich people that hate what they do. Money is nice and I’d prefer … If I’ll go to work, I’d rather make more than less but I’d rather really, really enjoy what I do as well.
Bob: Absolutely. I still remember my transition. I was building up this website. ChristianPF, and I’ve been working at about a year, a year and a half and then I had gotten laid off from my job and I decided I’m going to go at this full-time. We’re making a little bit from it but I wanted to just push it and see if we can make it a full-time gig. I remember it’s the first and second day of after being laid off and my “freedom” and I remember thinking this is so amazing. It’s like, “I don’t care if I make $8 an hour in my entire life. Just the freedom of not having to go to a job I really didn’t like was worth it.” It’s absolutely true to that that it’s so much more important than money. There’s so much more there.
Grant: Yeah. For sure. Again, leaving … Anything in life, in business, in relationship and whatever, going from the known to the unknown is a massive, massive leap but I think that’s part of the journey of fate. You don’t always have it all figured out. Some of it you just blindly follow through and stumble through and figured out as you go.
Bob: Yeah. Absolutely. All right. Tell everybody where they can find out more about you and … yeah.
Grant: The podcast is called “How Did You Get Into That”. We do two episodes a week just again interviewing people, just interesting, inspiring people like the lawyer turned Willy Wonka, people just doing interesting types of work just to hear their story and journey of how they got into what they’re doing. You can find all that at grantbaldwin.com. Hit me up on Twitter @grantbaldwin. Feel free to email me as well at grantbaldwin.com. Anything I can do to help you and support you, let me know.
Bob: All right, Grant, I appreciate you being on. I think this is really good and I’m excited to share it. Thanks for being here.