Reflection: Taking a Step Back to Go Forward | Arren and Pete’s Best of Show III

Reflection: Taking a Step Back to Go Forward | Arren and Pete’s Best of Show III

As always, we share our favorites from past shows, and this episode we focus on the topic of “reflection.” Listen to leaders are they share their advice about their past. Their advice could save you a couple of mistakes.

Check out this blog post [coming soon] to see the specific quotes we shared!

Transcript:

Josh: Good Sunday morning, Jacksonville. My name is Josh McCarthy, here with News 104.5 WOKV, and I want to welcome you to another weekend of the Ask the Experts Weekend. This experts show is dedicated to the workforce of today and tomorrow. Pete “The Job Guy” Langlois introduces his listeners to Jacksonville’s most innovative companies, and he explores the career journeys behind some of Jacksonville’s top influential individuals. This is all done, all of it, with an honest and entertaining filter that is unique to Pete Langlois, the Hard Work-ah himself.
Josh: Take it away, Pete.
Pete: Good morning, all you Hard Work-ahs. Man, am I glad that you joined me here this Sunday morning. It’s a wonderful day. Guys, you’re making a great decision. I always commend all of you. You know why? Because you could do anything you want. You could be sleeping right now, or you could be out … I don’t know, you’re not shoveling snow, you’re in Florida. You could be out doing anything.
Pete: But right now, you’re listening to Hard Work-ah with me, Pete the Job Guy. Why are you doing that? Well, a lot of you know, if you’re regular listeners, that I give career advice and tips and information that’s going to help you to be more effective and productive in your work life, or it might help you avoid a pitfall that maybe I wasn’t smart enough to walk around, or my guests weren’t smart enough. We always tell you everything, and there’s going to be some information that’s going to help you along the way.
Pete: Now, if you’re old-school like me, you get out a pen and a paper, and you write down some things today that you hear. If you’re new-school or if you’re a millennial like my co-host Arren Mills, you’re going to get your thumbs ready and write down some information using your thumbs on whatever handheld device du jour that you have. But the notes that you’re going to take are going to be things that you’re going to do differently as a result of the time that you spend with me here this morning, because it will help you. It’s for your own betterment, so get ready to write down some things.
Pete: Now, today we’ve got a really, really, really special show. First thing I want to talk about is when you’re a kid, you might get a little bit too close to the fire and you get burned, or you reach up on the stove and your mom says, “Don’t put your hand on the stove.” But maybe you’re not bright enough or responsive enough to your mom, and you get your hand a little bit close to that heater thing, and you burn yourself. In your mind, you get all this negative stimulus. You say, “Ow. That hurts me.” Then your mind takes over and says, “You know, don’t put your hand on the stove again,” because you just learned a life lesson. You learned not to do something through negative stimulus.
Pete: Then maybe you do something else in life, and you do it really, really well, and someone says, “Great job, Pete. Good job, Peter. You did a great job. You’re a hard worker.” That positive reinforcement tells you, “Wow, if I do that again, I’m going to get more positive reinforcement. I’m going to do it again.” I always say at this point in my life, I’m really, really happy with who I turned out to be. But life had a bunch of curve balls for me. I wasn’t always happy. I had a lot of those moments where I’ve had life lessons, learning moments, don’t do this, or yes, do more of that, and then it changed my behavior.
Pete: It changes the way you think, too. This is what reflection does, or hindsight. You can kind of look back on things and say, “Wow. I’m never going to do this again,” or, “I’m going to do more of this,” to achieve the results that you want. It’s great, because I can sit back and say, “Man, if I was 21, if I had only taken that right instead of going left, life would have been a whole lot better for me.” Maybe. Maybe it wouldn’t have. Maybe I would have taken that right turn when I was 30 or 35, because I didn’t have that learning moment.
Pete: You guys know, if you’re regular listeners, I ask all my listeners all the time, and it’s usually one of the last things I ask them, and I say to them, “What would you, future you, right now, go back in time and tell your 21-year-old self? What would you tell yourself to do differently or a little bit more of?” They share stores, and we learn from those. The reason why we share these stories is because you, as the listener, can sit back and say, “Wow, I heard Pete say,” or, “I heard Pete’s guest say that they did this, or we should do more of this.” You can mold your life. That’s the benefit of reflection.
Pete: Reflection is something I do, I’ll tell you, in my personal life. I sit back at the end of the day and I kind of think, “What went right about my day? What didn’t go so right? How can I modify my behavior accordingly to achieve the results that I’m looking to achieve?” I’ll give you an example. I noticed when I come home from work, a lot of times I’m wound up like a top, and it’s typical that most people lead in with, when you get home, there’s your spouse, your significant other … In my case, it’s my wife Angie. I would come home to Angie. She’d say, “How’s your day?” One of the first things I’d go to is the negativity. “Oh, this happened,” or, “Oh, I have to deal with this,” or whatever. “I blew this one deal that I was working on,” whatever.
Pete: It always seemed to start out with the negative. Then when that happens, and the conversation reciprocates, and I start talking to Angie, what does she lead, “Oh, my hip hurts,” or, “I dropped this today,” and we start off the conversation negatively. Okay. One of the things that I decided in this point of reflection is I’m going to do my best to walk through the door in a good mood and begin with positive statements. “How was your day?” “Oh, let me tell you, wow.” You lead in with the positive, and then our conversation seemed to become more positive.
Pete: On my blog, I wrote not too long ago that I made a conscious decision years back to smile more. When I walk into any room, watch, I’m usually smiling, because that’s the face I choose to show everybody. You know why? Because people smile. I had someone tell me at the gym the other day, “You’re always happy and upbeat.” When they said that to me, they had a smile on their face, because it’s infectious. This is part of reflecting. You know why? Because I had a boss a while ago that told me I had a tendency to scowl a lot, bite down on my jaws. He said, “If I didn’t know it, you’d have a negative disposition, and then I got to know you and realize you just walk around with the mad face.” That was Steve Cass that told me that, and it was around 2000 or 2001, and I was in his office in Orlando. I remember he told me that, and that’s when I made the conscious decision years back to smile more, and it’s infectious.
Pete: Now, today, guys, with me … I’ve got to tell you, Arren Mills, my co-host, is a slacker. Arren, you’re a slacker. You’re not with me today. She’s probably sleeping. You know what? She’s millennial. If you didn’t hear the show last week, my gosh, it was great on millennials. But the one topic they didn’t talk about, because I was going to call them out on it, is my gosh, do millennials need a lot of sleep. I don’t know what happened. Somebody said they need 15 hours of sleep a day. Arren must sleep at least 15 to 20 hours a day. I can’t see how she gets anything done.
Pete: While she’s sleeping today and not hearing this, I have our producer, the world-famous Josh McCarthy. Woo-hoo, Josh, welcome to the show.
Josh: Yay.
Pete: Josh, what do you think about reflection? I mean, do you do it? Is it part of your life?
Josh: I definitely reflect pretty frequently, yeah. It’s a good way to just realize what you would have done differently, as you said. As I was listening to you talk about Arren, I’m sure she’s reflecting that should would have been here today, because I know she took little digs at you last weekend because you weren’t here.
Pete: Oh, I heard it.
Josh: Yeah, she was stabbing at you here and there.
Pete: Last week, Kaytie Zimmerman, if people didn’t … You were on it, too. It was the three of you guys talking about millennials. I always say I’m an expert. I give career advice because I’ve been running staffing companies, have been a headhunter recruiter for over 20 years, and I’m an expert at what I do, so I think I’m qualified to give advice. You read all these bloggers and, “Here, let me give you career advice,” and I look, and they got one year here, and they had maybe four total years in business, and I always consider my source.
Pete: I don’t mean to demean anybody, put anybody down, if they’re looking to help people, but sometimes I think some folks are just shameless self-promoters and they’re dispensing advice. I say that because last week was all about millennials. The only thing I know about millennials is I have one. My son’s in the workforce. He’s in his 20s. I’m not the guy that’s going to dispense advice, so I wasn’t on my own show last week. But you guys did a fantastic job. I had my headphones in and I was running across the bridge out on Beach Boulevard and I listened to it. It was compelling. It was informative, and I learned a few things about dealing with millennials, so it was good.
Pete: You were pretty funny, sir.
Josh: Thank you. Thank you.
Pete: All right. I want to go back to Harold Stankard. Harold runs all of Fidelity Investments here in the Southeast, really, really good guest. When Harold was on, I asked him that very specific question, what would you now … If you could go back in time and give advice to your 21-year-old self, what would you tell yourself?
Harold: That is an awesome question. I first probably would have said work on your jump shot more. Maybe things would have gone a different route. But I think two things come to mind. One is maybe one thing that I did fairly well throughout my career. I’ve done fairly well. One is another that I think I’ve had to learn by taking my lumps along the way. One thing I’ve done fairly well, that I look back and it’s paid dividends, that I really encourage people to do is to take a few leaps of faith with your career.
Harold: Sometimes there’s an opportunity presented to you that looks good and exciting, enticing, but you’re not sure. Maybe it’s not your area of expertise. Maybe it’s you have to move. Maybe it’s an industry you’ve never been in before. Whatever it might be, do the right consulting, research, ask, but be willing to take that leap of faith.
Pete: Wow, that was great information. Harold, got to work on that jump shot. We know that. But taking the leap of faith in your career, trusting that you’re going to make the right decision, and you can’t let fear hold you back, because a lot of times in life, with risk comes reward. I asked that same question, like I said, to a lot of my guests, and recently from Suddath Corporation we had Allison Gwisz, and Allison’s director of human resource. I was so happy to have her on, and I asked her that very question. What would you go back in life and tell your 21-year-old self?
Allison: I think I turned out okay, Pete. But if I was going to give advice to someone who was just starting out on their career, again, I would say be committed. Find something that you’re passionate about or that you at least really enjoy doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time at work, and most of these folks that are just starting are probably going to work for another 40, 45 years. Get comfy and cozy.
Pete: That’s not me, by the way. I don’t have 40 or 50 more years on this planet.
Allison: Well, if we backtrack a little bit. I would also say when you’re at work, work smart and work hard so that you can go home to your family and do home.
Speaker 1: Yes, I like that.
Pete: Well said.
Allison: Or yourself. Do your time and your family when you’re home. Really make a strong effort to get your work done while you’re at work, and then enjoy your family when you’re home.
Pete: What great advice Allison gave us. That’s fantastic. Understanding you chase your passion, you do something that’s rewarding, that feels good for you, and you get all into it. You get behind it. She also said when you go home, you do home. You work hard buzzer to buzzer at work, enjoy your work, but when you’re home, you work on family. That was great advice.
Pete: Now, guys, I got a special treat for you today, okay? I’m calling one of my best friends in life. This guy that I met 1985, his name is Danny Mullin. He’s up in Boston. We joined the Navy at exactly the same time, and I remember before we left to get on the plane, he is sitting there kissing his girlfriend. They’re hugging and crying together so bad. Well, fast forward about 35 years or however long that is. They’re still married, kids growing up, kids getting married. He’s a great guy, and welcome to Hard Work-ah Danny Mullin.
Danny Mullin: Hello, guys. How are you?
Pete: Yeah, we’re all good. Hey. Hey, kid. We’re good. Hey, listen. Congratulations. Our Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Did you get to see any of the series, or did you see any of the party that’s going to go on for the next year downtown Boston?
Danny Mullin: I did. I’m a huge Red Sox fan, go all the time, was at the ALCS game one, went to the World Series game one, never been before. It was quite an experience. It was a lot of fun.
Pete: It had to be crazy. Did you see the duck boat parade and all that?
Danny Mullin: Yep, I was on the parade route, Boylston Street, Tremont. It was pandemonium.
Pete: Now, down here, most people don’t know what a duck boat is unless they visited Boston at some point, or New York, or somewhere. What is a duck boat and what’s the duck boat parade all about?
Danny Mullin: Well, picture a World War II amphibious vehicle made for storming the beaches, and all kinds of Red Sox players and their teammates, about 16 of them in a row, the Dropkick Murphys on a flatbed singing Dirty Water, all the good ones, and confetti going everywhere, and about two million fans going up one-way streets and just celebrating. I like to say been there, done that before, but every year it gets better and better. I’ll never miss it.
Pete: You got a lot of winning teams up there, right? I mean, you don’t just do it for the Red Sox. You’ve got a lot going on, right?
Danny Mullin: Oh, yeah. We’ve had 11 championships parades in the last 15 years, so I’d say Boston is title town. I can say that and have anybody else argue with me.
Pete: I love that dirty water, oh, Boston, you’re my-
Danny Mullin: Boston, you’re my home.
Pete: … home.
Danny Mullin: You got that right.
Pete: The whole show today we’re talking about reflection, Danny. We’re just talking about how at the end of the day, for me, I like to sit back and say what did I do right, what did I do not so right, and then I try to make adjustments so that my next day is going to be a little bit better than this last day.
Pete: One of the themes of the show, and I know you listen to it once in a while, is to say what advice would you give your 21-year-old self, if you were kind of looking back, and you say … You’re future Danny, and you look back to past Danny and say, “Hey, Danny, don’t do this,” or, “Do more of this.” What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Danny Mullin: I’d say pay attention more, more attention to detail, and just … I’d like to do it all over again still not knowing what I know now. That way it goes right together. Just pay a little more attention as it’s going along. You know how it is. We’ve been doing it a little while.
Pete: You’re my age. You’re 53. Yeah, we’ve been doing it a long time. What I say, too, is you’re in a good spot. You’re like me. You’ve lived a good life. You’ve got good family. If you change too much, go back in time and change too much, maybe you wouldn’t be the same person now. I’m with you. Just pay attention a little more, but don’t change too much, because doggone it, I like where I’m at.
Danny Mullin: Right? Don’t we all?
Pete: How is your family?
Danny Mullin: I mean, you mentioned my wife. Yeah, we’ve been married for 32 years, like your beautiful family, everything’s … We’re very blessed. Everyone’s doing well.
PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:16:04]
Danny Mullin: Everyone’s doing well. You’re the job guy. You’re the hard worker. You know how we do it. I’ve been working for the same company for 30 years. It’s a family-owned business. The same family’s owned it for 125 years.
Pete: What is the business?
Danny Mullin: Pardon?
Pete: What do they do? Tell us about your business.
Danny Mullin: We’re one of the larger mechanical contractors in Boston. We do plumbing, fire protection, and HVAC.
Pete: Okay.
Danny Mullin: I’m in charge of the labor for the fire protection.
Pete: What’s the name of the company?
Danny Mullin: It’s E.M. Duggan. It’s out of Canton, Mass, and very good company to work for. They’ve been around for 125 years. They got one of the best names in the business.
Pete: Well, good. You know what? We’re going to put that up on our website, and put some information, and put a link to the website, too. Danny, I appreciate you coming on the show. You’re a freaking great man, and I appreciate you.
Danny Mullin: Pete, you’re the best. You’re the hardest worker I do know. We’ll be in touch and I’ll call you again.
Pete: All right, my man. Take care. Have a great Sunday.
Danny Mullin: All right. Thanks, brother.
Pete: It’s always a pleasure to talk to the world-famous Danny Mullin. My God, that guy is fantastic, funny. I really enjoy having him on the show. We’re going to get some regular Boston updates from Danny here, so he’s going to start being a more regular contributor to the show, so really happy to talk to Danny and get the Boston updates with the thick Boston accent.
Pete: Going back to our show, now, not long ago I had an officer recruiter on the show for the United States Navy, and that was Lieutenant Clemmons, and I asked him that same question that I ask my other guests, is what would you tell your 21-year-old self? What advice would you give? Let’s hear what the lieutenant has to say.
Lt. Clemmons: I thought long and hard about this. I actually asked a friend of mine what he thought when you proposed that question to me the other day when we spoke. Honestly, the first thing I’d say is nobody’s a self-made man. There’s always somebody there who’s helping you out and helping you along the way. My recommendation would be to anyone, pay attention to what you’re doing. Listen to those people. Do the best you can. Just understand that every decision that you make today will affect every decision that you make in the future.
Pete: Boy, the lieutenant is so well spoken, very poignant. I mean, he gets his point across clearly. He’s an exceptional communicator. I love the advice he gives. Nobody’s a self-made man. There are people along your journey that are going to help you, and be ready to accept that help. He also says that probably the best thing is every decision that you make today, the things you do today are going to have an impact on your future. Has to. Cause and effect. Great. Well said. Well said.
Pete: Another guest that we had on recently was Katie Norton. She’s an independent agent with LegalShield, and she had … Same question. What advice would you give your 21-year-old self? I want you to pay specific attention to what Katie says. Let’s listen to Katie Norton.
Katie Norton: The main thing I’d probably tell myself is to be open to being an entrepreneur, because the nine-to-five cubicle space was not for me. I don’t sit still well. It just wasn’t for me. College as never an option that I was aware … It just wasn’t something I took advantage of. My family wasn’t in that position to put me through college, and I didn’t really look at any other avenues. Being an entrepreneur, once I discovered it, even as a part-time basis, because that’s how I started … I mean, I was with Mary Kay Cosmetics for 10 years. I drove a pink Cadillac.
Pete: Oh, you earned the pink stuff. You weren’t just the average seller there.
Katie Norton: No, I did a great job with it, but I started part-time on the side as a plan B with some extra income. Then whenever I discovered the power of residual income and was looking for that, that’s whenever I discovered LegalShield, and I went over to this business, and it’s been great because I’ve been able to work in that space of a corporate environment without having to be there every day. It’s super nice walking down the hallway in my pajamas to go to my office.
Pete: The commute’s heck, right?
Katie Norton: The commute is fantastic. But have a plan B. Don’t be afraid to have something in addition to what you’re already doing, and to find something that you really love.
Speaker 2: [crosstalk 00:20:08] love that.
Katie Norton: I’d say the last thing would be to always be ready, because in some moments whenever I didn’t … Maybe I was in between jobs. I still got up every morning and I got dressed like I was going to go to work in case I got a call from a resume, or I got a call from a staffing agency, or I got a call to do some temp work, whatever it might have been. I’ve had some of my best sales whenever someone said, “Hey, can you come right now?” Just to always be ready.
Pete: That’s great advice from Katie. She talked about having her side hustle, boy, with Mary Kay for 10-plus years. That goes right back to the millennials last week. That’s big for the millennials, having the side hustle and how to get set up with that. Katie Zimmerman is the person to talk to. If you’re looking to get a side hustle, you go to Katie Zimmerman. She’s the one. But I appreciated Katie Norton’s thoughts and her sharing that with me. Always be ready. That’s fantastic.
Pete: Guys, I want to remind everybody, if you have a question, you need some advice, maybe you want that next step in your professional career, you just reach out to me, Pete@PeteTheJobGuy.com. Send me a note, and I’m happy to answer your questions, to help you find a job, or if you’re an employer in town and you need temporary employees, or you need to make permanent hires, you can reach out to me. I work right here in town at SNI Companies. Our number is 904-713-2550, and I’m Pete the Job Guy. You can call up that number and ask to speak with me specifically if you’d like. I’m happy to help you.
Pete: But we have an army of recruiters here, and they’re all fantastic, and they’re all very specialized. If you have technology needs, you’re going to talk to somebody who can talk techie. If you have accounting needs, you’re going to talk to somebody that’s an accountant or has been an accountant at some point in their life, and they understand debits, credits, and how to balance the books at the end of each month. That’s what we do. We help you.
Pete: If you just need another set of hands for a defined or undefined period of time, you need some help, maybe your receptionist is sick and you need a replacement for one day, for two days, for a week, you call SNI Companies, 904-713-2550, and we’re happy to help you out. We’re right here. If you know where Dave & Buster’s is, we’re in the concourse right next to Dave & Buster’s in town. Easy access to people. You come in, we help you with your interview skills. We help prepare your resume. We help you find jobs. We also help the employers.
Pete: I’ve been doing staffing for so long, doggone it, I love this. Years back, I found out … I kind of ambled, stepped into this career, and all day long I help people. I help people sometimes when they’re at a vulnerable point in their lives. The need an income stream, right? They need a job. I help them, and I help employers find talent that maybe they couldn’t find on their own, they couldn’t find it as fast on their own, and I find qualified candidates, and I really enjoy it. This is a business where, as you’ve heard some of our guests say, the advice they give to their 21-year-old self is find something that you’re passionate about, something that you enjoy, and then go all at it.
Pete: Guys, that music right now is telling us we’re coming to the bottom of the hour. You’re listening to Hard Worker with Pete the Job Guy.
Pete: Welcome back, all you hard workers. What a great Sunday morning we have. We’re talking all about reflection, looking at what we’ve done and analyzing. Is it good? Is it bad? Can we do more of this to achieve a certain result or less of this? In the reflection, as you know, if you’re a frequent listener or if you just listened to the first half of the show, we ask all our guests at some point … We say to them, “What would you tell your 21-year-old self, knowing what you know now? If you could go back in time and just give yourself some advice, what would that look like?”
Pete: We have heard from some of our guests this morning. It’s kind of like a “best of” show where I’m picking this question response from a bunch of my different guests, and I just love it. It’s great advice. It’s going to help us, maybe you, me, or somebody listening, avoid a pitfall, or maybe just be more effective, more productive, so it’s always great to get that information. I love asking that question.
Pete: But now we’re at a point in the show where it is my absolute most ridiculous favorite number one part of the show. You get your pen and paper ready to take down some notes or get your thumbs ready on your handheld device, because right now we are going to go to Coach Larry and get some leadership lessons.
Pete: Take it away, Coach.
Coach Larry: Today I’m going to talk about a silent killer, an epidemic. It happens one conversation at a time. You know what it is? It’s the lack of being present. It’s the lack of being in the moment. The lack of being in the moment, it’s bad for building trust. It’s bad for relationships. It’s bad for your career, and it’s bad for business. Let me start out by telling you a story about a former boss. His name was Bill. We go into Bill’s office, sometimes one on one, sometimes it didn’t matter, it’d be five people.
Coach Larry: We’d be having a meeting, and the phone would ring, and he’s like, “Oh, hold on a minute.” He’d turn around, look at who it is, then look back at us, then look at the phone again, then look back at us and say, “I’m going to take this. I’ll just be a minute.” He’d answer the phone, have sometimes a five-minute conversation, laugh, then hang up and say, “Sorry,” and off we went again.
Coach Larry: I, as a leader, often was distracted as well. You’d come into my office. I’d be typing as you’re talking. It’s okay, I’m listening. I can multitask. The reality is, and neuroscience tells us, you cannot multitask. The brain is very serial. It does things one step after the next after the next. Not only that, what message are you sending? Last week, we talked about executive presence. Today I’m talking about being present. What message are you sending? Well, what you have to say is not important. People know that when you’re not being present with them. Therefore, they’re not going to trust you.
Coach Larry: Today, I’m going to talk about how can you be more present with the people in your lives; specifically, your work lives. One of the tips that I have for you is to get really good at making lists, and here’s why. Greg Thompson, one of my colleagues, he’s the president of a company called Bluepoint Leadership Development, he says that he’s gotten really good at making lists, and here’s what happens. Someone comes into your office, or you’re in the middle of something. You have these great ideas in your brain. You’re in the flow, as it’s called. You don’t want to lose that, so you keep doing that, and you try to multitask and let someone else get your attention.
Coach Larry: What he does, and I even started this practice, I write things down. I write exactly what are my thoughts, what I want to do next, what are the key points here, before I engage in a conversation. Once it goes from my brain to the paper, I am no longer worried that I’m going to forget something, and I’m able to fully concentrate on you. That’s one thing. Take a moment, pause, write things down. Capture where you are. Then focus completely on that person.
Coach Larry: Another thing I hear time and time again is about external distractions. It could be your laptop. It’s your phone. It’s all those things that are around us when we’re trying to have a conversation. One thing I recommend is to take that phone and you could put it on silent, you could put it in the drawer, but get it out of your vision and even get it far away from you so you don’t touch it.
Coach Larry: My wife went to the library to listen to a storyteller. Yes, they actually exist. This storyteller told everyone to turn off your phones. I’m like, “Isn’t that extreme?” But no. You know that your phone is constantly trying to get your attention. It’s beeping, and buzzing, and blinking, and burping, and doing all those things to get your attention. Even better, put it in the drawer, get it away from you, so that you can fully concentrate on this person.
Coach Larry: Your laptop. I was coaching someone today, and he said, “You know what I’m going to start doing, is I’m just going to close my laptop when someone comes in my office.” Great practice. But you could say, “Larry, I need to take notes on this very important conversation.” Okay. That could be true. But there’s some recent research that shows that when you type something, as opposed to write it down with pen and paper, the act of typing actually does not help you synthesize and internalize the information. This is true. Try it yourself.
Coach Larry: As opposed to if I write something down, then I’m internalizing it as I’m writing it, because I’m capturing the key points. Once I start typing something, whether it’s on my phone or on the computer, then it goes from internalizing and listening to becoming more of a transcription. Transcribe when you need to transcribe, but if you’re having a conversation and you’re taking some important notes, I encourage you to do that on paper. Get yourself a nice leather notebook or something to that extent and just carry it around with you and take things down on paper. You’ll notice a big difference. That’s the second aspect, distractions.
Coach Larry: The third aspect and the third tip I have is more about internal. What’s going on in your brain when someone’s talking to you? Did you ever notice that if you go from meeting to meeting to meeting, when you’re at that next meeting, where are you? You may be physically there, but mentally, at least for the first 10 minutes, you’re in that last meeting. Someone may have said something. You might have some action item or some deliverable, and you’re starting to stress out about it. It’s very important for you to realize that, have that self-awareness mentally, and bring yourself back.
Coach Larry: There’s an exercise on presence that helps bring your focus back to that person in front of you, and it’s a breathing exercise, and I know it might sound woo-woo and all that, but I practice this from time to time. Just focus on your breathing, and listening to your breathing, and just what’s going on internally as it pertains to your breathing. When your mind starts to wander, and it does, “Ooh, I’ve got to go get a haircut,” or, “I need to go to the store,” or whatever it is, or, “I forgot to pick up my child,” I don’t know, but bring back your attention to your breathing.
Coach Larry: This practice of constantly, when you get distracted, your mind starts to wander, and bringing it back to your breathing, that’s building that muscle. When you’re in a meeting and speaking with someone one on one-
PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:32:04]
Coach Larry: And when you’re in a meeting and speaking with someone one-on-one, you’ll become better and being aware that you’re getting distracted and saying hey, I need to pay attention and bringing it back to the speaker. So, I encourage you to practice being present through this breathing exercise but also when you’re speaking with someone one-on-one. Your mind wanders, bring it back and say hey, I need to pay attention. So, presence, the three tips once again. Tip number one, get really good at writing lists. When you do that, it goes from your brain, and it lessens that cognitive load by putting that load on the paper. Number two, get rid of physical distractions. Even if someone pops in for five minutes, put down the laptop screen, put that phone away and get it as far away as reasonably possible so that you won’t be distracted. And remember, writing things down on paper works far better than transcribing. The third thing is, practicing being present. When someone’s speaking to you, bring your brain back and keep being aware of where is your mind wandering and bringing it back to I need to fully present and fully listening to this person.
Coach Larry: So those are my three tips and I encourage you to start practicing them and let me know how it goes. Let me know on Linkedin. Send me an email. You can go to my website, www.mendozaandobrien.com and have a great weekend. Thanks Pete. Thanks Erin. Back to you.
Pete: Boy Coach Larry. Every week he’s telling the story, like he sees my life. He’s got a window into my life and sees what I’m dealing with and he gives tips and lessons that are gonna help me. ‘Cause I’m gonna tell you something, right? When you walk into a room, look how many people are on their hand-held devices. I mean, Josh is sitting right here with me and he’s over here texting something to somebody. Just showing me how relevant I am, you know. Everybody is somewhere else and you surrender so much to people when you ignore them or when you’re not entirely engaged. And Larry tells us we’re losing that presence. Right? When you’re not there. You’re just not there.
Pete: You know, I always say, I make a list of top ten distractions that we have in the workplace and two of one is texting and the other’s email. And you think ’cause no matter what conversation you’re in, let’s say I’m talking to somebody right now, and this happens, because it happens to everybody, all of a sudden, ping. Okay? When you hear that ping, you’re like, “Oh, I just got a text.” So what people naturally do is grab their phone and look at it. They want to read the text or the email. Okay? What that’s telling the person that you’re engaged with in a conversation is you just lost your priority status with me. Whatever conversation that we’re having, no matter how important it might be to you, it’s not more important than me looking at my phone and disengaging with you and giving you less of my attention that was available to you before the ping.
Pete: Okay? That happens all the time, guys. And at work, I see people all the time. They check their email. Always checking email. 90 plus percent of what comes into our email basket is not revenue producing stuff. It’s not work related to the point where it has to be read right now. So when you map out a plan for your day and I’m a big planner. Before I leave for the day, every day my next day is planned to the best of my ability. And one of the things I make time for is time to check my email. I can’t stay on email all day because I have other tasks that are higher in priority then checking my email. And I tell my wife and my family, call me at this time. If you want to call to check in, call me from 11:30 to 1:00. It’s the best time that I’m going to be taking calls. Unless it’s an emergency, of course I’m gonna take that right away.
Pete: But I condition people to know that my work time is my work time and it’s very valuable to me. And I set priorities at my work that can’t be interrupted unless it’s an emergency. It’s just the way it is. Guys you want to give yourself some more time at work, is limit your distractions. Email? This is what I say, email and texting are right up there. And I think texting takes priority over email. I could be writing an email, I get a text, I’m gonna look at my text. Okay? That’s the way it works. We all know that.
Pete: Another enormous distraction at work and some people are going to kick me in the head for saying this, but relationships. Your personal relationships are an enormous distraction at work. Now, what do you mean by that Pete? Well, if your home life is balanced, you work outside… excuse me, your life outside of work is balanced and it’s good. It’s stable. You’re less likely to get that call where you’re having a fight. Ever see that at your office or maybe if you work outside, someone’s over on the cell phone and they’re kinda yelling with their significant other or they’re continuing the bad conversation that they had outside of work yesterday? And it’s taking up productive time at work. It’s not one of those calls, you can say, yeah call me between 11:30 and 1:00. You know? You get these calls that interrupt the flow of business because the personal life isn’t in order.
Pete: That’s something that I tell folks, if your relationship is sour right now, not everybody’s in a mutually rewarding, awesome relationship. There’s hiccups and bumps along the way, but unless your name’s on the sign outside, which that doesn’t happen with everybody, you have to check your baggage at the door. Check your emotional baggage at the door and give your undivided attention to your job and to your employer because that’s what you’re paid to do. You have to perform the essential functions of the job to the best of your ability, if you want to maintain employment, right? So you’ve got to get your relationships on the outside of work life as stable as you can.
Pete: Guys, in keeping with the theme of the show today, we’re asking our guests, previous guests, we’re kinda doing a little bit of a best of thing today. I ask all of my guests, what would you tell your 21 year old? If you could go back in time, give yourself some advice to tell make your life a little better, easier, more productive, whatever it is. What advice would you give yourself? And recently we had two folks in here from S&I company’s. We had Erica and Taylor and they were fantastic guests. And asked them both that, Erica and Taylor, we asked them what would you tell your 21 year old self. Josh why don’t you play that now.
Erica: I can tell you, I think I would have told myself what a recruiter is and what they do. Because when I was 21 and I went to UNF, I had no idea that a staffing agency existed. I had no idea that there were people out there that, pending graduation, were able to assist me and that it would be so simple for me to have the door opened to all of these companies that I never even heard about. And that’s what I really preach to current UNF students, current JU students, FSEJ, whatever. There are resources out there and we are sitting right here and happy to help you and it’s no cost to you. And I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up and if not for S&I and being recruited into this job, I don’t know that I would still know what recruiting is, so.
Pete: Right, it’s kinda funny because look, you don’t go out and get a degree in staffing or recruiting.
Erica: Right.
Pete: No 12 year old says, “When I get older, I want to be recruiter. I want to be a staffing professional,” right? We end up here. And then you end up here and you guys are fortunate. You started in this business younger. I actually got in a little bit older and it was like a hand fitting in a glove. I help people all day long. I help companies when they need to find talent that they couldn’t find on their own, they couldn’t find it fast enough on their own. I help people that sometimes are in a difficult position. They’re in a vulnerable spot in their lives. They need to generate income. I help people that need to find that next step in their professional career. I help them get closer to home, better benefits or help put them at a company where there’s a career track.
Pete: And it just seems the more people I help, the more money I make. I’m a capitalist. There’s no shame in cashing a big check in life. There isn’t. I help people. There’s a lot of different ways to make money in life, but I found that recruiting and staffing, it’s a feel good moment. When my head hits the pillow, the more people I helped during the day, the better I feel. I love it. It’s a great profession. Taylor, I’m gonna ask you the same question. Get your face right up next to that microphone.
Taylor: Okay.
Pete: What would you tell your 21 year old self?
Taylor: One, it’s gonna be okay.
Erica: I love that. Putting that-
Taylor: You will find a job. You will figure out what you want to do with your life. But I think really, I think that Erica spoke to it really well, where if I had known there was going to be a resource for me coming out of college, I probably would have been more comfortable. I was one of the students who took every class, changed my major four times. I had no clue what I wanted to do, and I think I could have probably gone to a recruiter or a staffing firm and said, listen this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and this is what I hope to make in life. And I could have figured out that I was going to be doing this at 21.
Pete: And more great advice. Erica and Taylor, thank you for that. This is a show that I really like. Josh, you’re here with me too. Look, we’re hearing from all these people and guests past, what would you tell your 21 year old self? There’s a lot of different direction and people reflect on it for a minute. Some of them know that I’m gonna ask that because they listen to the show and they know he’s gonna hit me with this and they come a little more prepared than others. And then you have other people just kinda sit back and say hmm, I don’t know. Where do you fit in this Josh? What would you tell your 21 year old self?
Josh: My 21 year old self, I’m not exactly sure what I would do differently in my life. If I can go back a little further to maybe a 16 year old self?
Pete: Yeah, go back.
Josh: I would tell him to definitely keep playing high school football.
Pete: There’s a story there. What happened? You just-
Josh: Oh, I always wanted to be Roger Staubach cause my dad’s a big Cowboys fan. So I grew up in that. So I was always wanted to be a quarterback. And then I quit playing high school football when I got my first job as a bus boy at [Sonny’s 00:42:24] Barbecue.
Pete: So that like $5.85/hour was more important then.
Josh: Yeah, it was. I wanted my own money. The first time I held my own cash that I earned. I had my little pile of dollar bills on my dresser.
Pete: Right.
Josh: I would have liked to have kept playing and see where that would have gone.
Pete: Right, ’cause you would have gone all the way.
Josh: All the way. Yeah. I would have been Tom Brady who? It would’ve been me.
Pete: Right, right, right. And the Jaguars might be in a different spot right now.
Josh: Exactly yeah. And this UCF alum instead of that guy playing right now.
Pete: Right, right, right. And you know, it’s hard to think about. You’re one of those that’s in a happy… you’ve got a good job, you got a good home life and it is hard to say, man I’m not sure I want to derail any of that by giving myself some information.
Josh: I’m wondering what life lesson I would’ve learned differently if I would’ve done a major life event differently.
Pete: Right, right.
Josh: If I wouldn’t have gone back to college after that one semester or something like that.
Pete: Right. I’m kind of like that too where you know, you had a good spot and I don’t want to go back and reset too much, because I might not end up here. And even if I avoid the pitfall, like we’re talking about, don’t put your hand in the fire, you’re gonna get burned. Sometimes you need to get burned a little bit to know, don’t put your hand in the fire.
Josh: Right, right. Exactly.
Pete: When I think about what I’d tell my 21 year old self, it’s kind of hard because by then I was already in the Navy and the Navy did a world of good for me, paid for my college, taught me all about attention to detail, respecting those that are superior to you or above you in the food chain, unquestioned reliability, all those things, commitments. It was great. I guess what I would kind of tell my 21 year old self maybe, is pay attention a little bit more to what’s going on around you. Stay focused. I’ve always been a little bit silly. Sometimes I’ve been a little bit too silly, but that’s part of who I am. Maybe I could dial down the silly a little bit at different times in my life. I don’t know though.
Josh: I like silly. Silly is good.
Pete: Silly is good.
Josh: Silly keeps a smile going that you were talking about at the beginning of the show.
Pete: Right, right. So I don’t know. I don’t know if I would change too much now. We got to talk about something important right now is this mid-term election. That’s right on. I’m not gonna get all political on anybody. I’m gonna tell you guys, you live in a great country where you have the ability to shape things. You have voting rights, okay. You gotta express yourself. You’ve got to get out there. You don’t have to be incredibly passionate about the particular candidate, but you have to become educated. Don’t just let somebody spoon feed you an opinion and you just say, “Ah, yeah, that’s mine. I’m gonna do what this person says.”
Pete: The attack ads on t.v. are killing me. I mean, I can’t watch t.v. without, all of a sudden, one candidate is trying to poison our water and trying to take away every benefit we ever had or this one’s corrupt or whatever what have you. TH attack ads are just insane. When you talk about we’re a divisive nation, you just watch these ads. I’ve never seen so many finger pointing. I mean, some of the things these folks say about each other. If they were in a room, they should just take the gloves off and just punch each other in the face. That candidate is a liar. That person wants to eat your children. I mean, it is incredible.
Pete: So where’s this divisiveness come from? Look at the way the candidates portray the other individual. You can only believe about maybe 10% of what they’re slinging at each other. But you have power guys. You have power. You still have time to educate yourself on the issues, on the amendments, on the candidates themselves. And once you become educated, use your power. Do not allow yourself to let this week go by and say I shoulda coulda woulda when it comes time to voting. It is important. You have a voice. You must exercise it and get out there and vote.
Pete: Guys, this is the Hard Work-ah’s show with Pete “The Job Guy”. I’m happy to come to you every Sunday morning. You guys get up, you have your cup of coffee, put the dog out, and you spend some time with me. And I hope you wrote down some things today. My fantastic guests in the past gave you some advice to maybe help you avoid that pitfall. Maybe help you steer clear of making a bad decision and get you right on the right track, but you have to commit to doing something differently as a result of the time we spent or you just sat there and got entertained, which isn’t such a bad thing, but there’s more to this show then just that.
Pete: I appreciate Danny Mullen coming with us. We’re gonna get Boston Danny back to give us a Boston update once in a while. He did a great job. Guys, it’s Sunday. You guys have a great rest of your weekend and go out and make this week a big week, hard work-ahs.
PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:47:19]

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