Welcome to the Terminal Value Podcast
Nov. 23, 2020

#11 Career Transition with Michelle Charles

#11 Career Transition with Michelle Charles

Career changes are an inevitable part of life. The way we deal with these transitions will guide the way our life unfolds.

Doug and Michelle discuss the dynamics of careers in the current economic environment and the factors that press many people into career transitions.

When these career transition points come, it is important to embrace the challenge with an open mind and can-do attitude. Michelle helps people who are going through career changes to find entrepreneurial opportunities that are a fit for their personal and professional background.

You can connect with Michelle at mcharles@esourcecoach.com

Doug's business specializes in partnering with companies and non-profits to create value and capture cost savings without layoffs to fund growth and strengthen financial results. 

You can find out more at www.TerminalValue.biz

You can find the audio podcast feed at www.TerminalValuePodcast.com

You can find the video podcast feed at www.youtube.com/channel/UCV5a4QbT-dXhpgb-8HJHdGg

Schedule time with Doug to talk about your business at www.MeetDoug.Biz




Welcome to the terminal value Podcast where each episode provides in depth insight about the long term value of companies and ideas in our current world. Your host for this podcast is Doug Utberg, the founder and principal consultant for Business of Life, LLC.

Doug: Welcome to the terminal value podcast, I have Michelle Charles on the line. Michelle is actually an entrepreneurial career consultant. And she has the auspicious honor of being the person who initially presented expense reduction analysts to me, which of course is my core business and helping companies, nonprofits, education institutions, reduce their overhead costs, you know, without you know, without needing to resort to layoffs to do it. And so Michelle actually brought her on line, because we're going to talk today about about people's career, and the, you know, the the bumps in the road that a lot of people run into. Michelle, please tell us about yourself a little bit.

Michelle: Oh, hi. Hi. Great to be here. Thank you, Doug. Well, I am a career or worship coach, I grew up, I was born in a tiny island about Trinidad in the West Indies, migrated to the United States, I eventually joined the military. And once I retired to the military, I was living my next step, after 25 years, and I decided, you know, I always had an entrepreneurial drive the motivations for, that's what I wanted to do. And that's where I started exploring Priyanka. And I found a path that led me to, that's quite my life. 

Doug: Yeah, that's outstanding. Yes. And first of all, for 25 years, and it was in the army, correct? 

Michelle: Correct. Yes. 25 years.

Doug: 25 years, the US Army, thank you very much for your service, and quite a bit of it at that.

Michelle: Thank you, as well to your service.

Doug: I guess so yes, I was also in the Marine Corps Reserve, not for 25 years only for six. But but still those. Those can be long years? 

Michelle:  Oh. Definitely. 

Doug: So Michelle, tell us a little a little bit about some of the things that you've observed in, in helping career coach people. I mean, just because I can tell you what I've what I've observed. But people on the podcast hear enough of me talking and they want to hear you.

Michelle: Well, I found that in light of the recent pandemic, a lot of people being forced out of their comfort zones, and they're exploring alternative career options, and just basic self sufficiency. 

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: And they now at this point in life, they want to be more in control of their lives, their destiny, their jobs, because the job market is so uncertain that all the. The trouble is happening.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: So I'm wondering, flooring options and just being self sufficient or self reliance?

Doug: Yeah. Well, and I know from I think that's, that's exceptional. And I know, that was conversation that we had multiple times. From my perspective, just one of my observations is that, you know, of course, there are a lot of people who I think you talked with are very ambitious and motivated, and ambitious and motivated people will tend to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. Well, of course, what happens when you're doing that is, you know, the, you know, the structure of corporations are basically shaped like a pyramid, which is there are a lot of people at the low levels. And every step you climb up the number of people, that level gets smaller and smaller. Well, of course, of course, what happens is your competition gets higher as you go further up the pyramid. That's how it's structured. But what I've noticed is that as you get to progressively higher and higher levels of the pyramid, is that your, if enough time goes by, there's going to be a string of layoffs. At some point, some companies have been able to go for quite a while without needing to do layoffs. But in a lot of cases, they're they are inevitable. They're coming. You know, and, and unless you're the person who's making the decisions about who stays and who goes, you're at risk. And the higher of a level you get to, the more you become at risk. Now you can theoretically get to the point where you're the one making all those calls. But that requires a lot of luck and a lot of political maneuvering. And so a lot of times what will happen is, you'll have somebody who may end up being moved out, not necessarily a lot of people will say it's because it's because of ages and it's because people are older. I don't know that that's necessarily the case. I think it's more that, you know, people at the higher responsibility positions of a corporate pyramid are expensive. And so a lot of times they'll be moving out somebody who's been an incumbent in that role for a while to make room for somebody who's a new up and comer. But I think the point of all of it, is that you can't is it people can't expect to be able to have a nice long, unbroken career. progression path. And the further up you get in that corporate hierarchy, the harder it gets to be rehired somewhere else, because of course, you're very expensive. And there's an intrinsic bias toward internal talent and a lot of those higher level positions. At least that's my observation. Let me know if you've seen anything different or if there's anything you'd like to augment those thoughts with?

Michelle: No, I definitely completely agree. Once you get to that level, and have that much experience and there's nowhere else to go after you get to the top position. And of course, a lot ageism, I think does play a factor in as well. Well, because I've noticed a lot of clients that I work with, they don't necessarily put timelines on their resumes based on that, because they don't want to be prejudge when they're applying for a position.

Doug: Interesting.

Michelle: Similarly to where they were, what they were doing before.

Doug: Interesting. Okay, well, and because I think that's, that's one of the things that, that I've, you know, I've observed what, you know, again, what could be considered ages? And but then, of course, there's a part of me like, Well, you know, I, you know, I don't want to assume it's that unless I have really strong evidence, and because, but of course, you may absolutely be correct. So But anyway, I think the way that we met, of course, was that, you know, it was I was in a corporate career path. And of course, COVID happened, and that created chaos. And so I was trying to figure out, right, do I want to go back to looking at the corporate ladder? Or do I want to go after a more entrepreneurial auction. And of course, the reason why we're talking today is because I'm going on an entrepreneurial option, specifically, in my case, going after expense reduction for companies and nonprofits, because I really like the idea of helping these companies, education institutions, etc, to reduce their overhead, and do it in a way that will help them continue to fund their mission. But of course, the way that that our process works is that it's 100% on contingency. So we don't build anything until we find savings. I like that, because it provides a really great value to the companies we're working with, and to our partners, which that kind of thing is very important to me. And I know, in your case, you know, of course, you're creating value for your clients, helping them find their next entrepreneurial step, that's really important to you as well. Just to tell us a little bit about your kind of how you go about finding the right opportunity for people.

Michelle: We use more of like a coaching discovering process, we start off by trying to get the individual goals and working with to kind of identify what their goals are.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle:  Gonna be only 5% of Americans actually write their goals down. When you get to that discovery place where you actually see the goals written on paper, it becomes realistic to.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: I also help identifying what you think your strengths, opportunities, weaknesses are.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: And what you're facing in the market. So that's step one, trying to figure out where meeting the client where they are meeting them, individually, getting to know them, and some of the goals or what they can bring to the table. And then just helping them reach their goals. And we use different job vehicles to get to your goals. One of them might be staying in the job market.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: Another might be investing in a business from scratch, or investing in the system business by investing in a franchise concept. 

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: I help them explore those different approaches until they get to their point of clarity. This was the inside out approach.

Doug: Okay. All right. Well, and so you you mentioned point of clarity. And that comes up and and that came up in a number of our conversations. Can you expand on that idea a little bit?

Michelle: Yes, it's out when the clients I work with are a mess up point. But aha, this is what I see myself doing. This is the point, my aha moment where this is something I'm passionate about. And it's something I'd wake up every day doing. Maybe like yourself, you're helping small businesses. And there's a great need for that right now.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: Especially with all the small businesses or medium sized businesses that's trying to get back to where they were and reduce their costs and expenditures.

Doug: Correct.

Michelle: Everything that they've lost within the last 10 months. It's just a given back to having a passion to do what you want to do something that not only you don't have to you love it, you're building your wealth of equity and building your financial goals. 

Doug: Well, I think that's, that's actually one of the other things at least that that was really impactful for me was the idea that, you know, not only are you doing something that's really, really meaningful to you, because of course, that's important. But another important part is that, you know, as an entrepreneur, you decide when you're done, you don't have that imposed on you. Now, of course the flip side is that a lot of times it takes two to three years to build a book of business or to build a brand or reputation and sometimes and a lot of people are afraid of that transition time, you know, but of course, you know, if you go through that transition, then eventually you'll, you're going to get to the point where you're essentially charting out your own destiny. And you know, you can continue your if you structure properly, you can continue working, doing something you enjoy for as long as you want to. And I think that's another thing to remember too is that, you know, whenever you're in that proverbial corporate ladder, there's a shelf life on any job. And at some point, it will get very, very difficult to go and find a similar level of employment. Or if you do, it will involve a lot of hours, a lot of stress, possibly a lot of travel, and you will, unfortunately, have very little control over what you do and how you spend your time. I mean, you know, let me know, kind of, you know, have that is that that's something that your clients have experienced also.

Michelle: Oh, definitely. I, that's part of the process to help them identify, what would they like to focus more on what to do what to spend more time with family, because they've been working 60 hour weeks.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: Or traveling a lot for work? Now they get to manage their time, their flexibility, depth to focus on things that matters the most and meet customers meeting their lives and prioritizing that?

Doug: Yeah. Correct. Correct. Well, and so Okay, so now, if people are interested in learning more about, you know, about their own entrepreneurial journey, or how they can take the next step, what would you recommend, you know, what's the best? What are some of the best resources for people? What's the best way for people to learn more?

Michelle: Well, as I say, working with a coach like myself, I can help them explore it, and there's no cost, no obligation to my services, they can go through the entire process and decide, this is not for me, not the right timing. 

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: I believe the timing is everything I've been, I've planted a seed in their heads. Now they know that there's possibilities, there's options. There's other opportunities that they don't have to think but don't live within inside the box.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: They can think outside of the box. I have resources that they can have on hand. At any anytime.

Doug: Okay, well, excellent. Well, okay, well, so next, don't leave us hanging. Michelle, how do people get a hold of you? And how do they, How do they learn a little more about your resources?

Michelle: Well, my email is mcharles@esourcecoach.com you send me an email, give me a call. I'm also on LinkedIn, where they can connect with me, I'll be one of the primary ways.

Doug: Excellent, well, I will put Michelle's email in the show notes. And also, if you're watching this on YouTube, you're already seeing it on the screen. So.so alright, so any other thoughts that you'd like to share? Michelle? Or is there any, any other insights for people who are looking on kind of on, you know, looking at making that entrepreneurial journey of their own.

Michelle: I think the biggest part is fear of the unknown. But you have to have the passion, only 75 of the population actually have a desire to become an entrepreneur. And out of that, 75, only 5% actually pulled the trigger, and go ahead with that.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: You have to have the drive, and the motivation. And with anything else in life, there is also always going to be fear.

Doug: Yeah.

Michelle: Just put yourself outside of your comfort zone to get what you want.

Doug: Absolutely, absolutely, yes, that I think that, you know, there's the whole idea of, you know, go outside your comfort zone, you know, that's the kind of thing that you would ordinarily see on like a corporate motivational poster, but it you know, it really is true, which is that, you know, there's, you know, you sometimes you just have to decide that you're going to do something that is outside your comfort area, and you're just gonna keep with it.

Michelle: Absolutely. The greatest, most successful people, that's what they have to do.

Doug: Yeah. Absolutely. Alright, well, hey, I really appreciate your time, Michelle, and yeah, everybody, I definitely get a hold of Michelle to have a conversation. And even if now isn't the right time, then, you know, then just do get some resources, you know, kind of, you'll get, you'll get your own personal moment of clarity. That way, when it is the right time, you will be ready to make that you're ready to make that entrepreneurial transition. 


Michelle: Thanks Doug.

Doug: Alright.

Doug: Following up on that conversation with Michelle. I think the labor market of the future is, of course, going to be very, very unique. And the reason why the I think the labor market piece is important is because a lot of the people who are going to be contemplating becoming entrepreneurs, historically had been people who were in the labor force for a certain amount of time. And then for whatever reason, either due to frustration or being displaced by layoffs, we're you know, we're almost backed into an entrepreneurial and jump. And I actually think that there are going to be more people and more age brackets, who come into that entrepreneurial journey. The reason being that I think that there are a lot of young people who are going to find the old entry level jobs not really there anymore, especially because a lot of the roles that you have people came into right out of college or right out of high school, have really been done away with by all the lockdowns due to COVID. And similarly, a lot of the the mid level and executive roles have also been just cut out, just because companies are tightening their belts, and they're trying to figure out how are they going to get through the cash flow downturn. And what all of this ultimately means is that people need to figure out how to be very, very creative, and how to come up with new ideas, new strategies, and implement the O's in a way that is going to obviously generate a living for you, but really benefit the people who you're working with. And ideally, the value that you're providing to the people you work with, should exceed what they're paying you by great multiples. And I know that's the philosophy that I take into my business. Because in my business with expense reduction analysts, what we do is we come in and we help businesses reduce their their overhead costs, not by having layoffs, but by renegotiating and optimizing their contracts for overhead items like office supplies, Telecom, etc. But what's unique about our model is that we don't charge anything upfront, it is 100% percent...