12: Hustling to Find Your Passion

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Career Advice for Aspiring Leaders: Hustle & the Perils of “Busy”
In this episode, Misti Burmeister explains why and how to hustle to get to know yourself; find your passion; and advance your career. She shares a model for personal development and advises aspiring leaders to develop people the same way you mine for gold. She draws from those who have inspired her. Her energy and advice will leave you ready to hustle to advance your career.
Misti is an award-winning author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Her passion, humor, and direct approach has inspired audiences from coast to coast - from convention halls to C-suites. With a blend of humor, heart, wisdom, and grit, Misti makes audiences laugh, while connecting to the heart of what creates high-performing team members. She is the host of the Provoking Your Greatness Podcast. Visit MistiBurmeister.com for access to interviews, blogs, and additional resources to help you identify and share your greatest talents.

HR Studio Podcast Misti Burmeister QuoteKey Learnings From This Episode

  • The role of hustle in launching a career. Hustle involves going after the things that are meaningful to you. Whether that sense of meaning comes from inspiration or passion (which is where most people look for it to come from) or whether it comes from anger and irritation. Misti’s came from the latter. She did 150 informational interviews and cold calls, describing one memorable interview with a CEO and how it launched her career.
  • Looking for potential versus finding problems. Everyone wants to succeed and often times we just don’t know what we need to do to be successful. We do and say things we don’t intend to cause us friction and get in our way and stop us from succeeding. Our intention is very good. We just don’t get it. Remember what you’re focused on. Are you looking for problems or are you looking for potential?
  • Developing people by looking for gold versus dirt. Andrew Carnegie was at one point the wealthiest person in America and had 43 millionaires working for him. A media person came to him and asked him how he attracted 43 millionaires. He said “no, they weren’t millionaires when they first came to me. They became millionaires here.” He said “well what have you done to develop them so they are worth millions to you?” Carnegie said “you develop people the same way you mine for gold. You don’t go in looking for dirt; you go in looking for gold.” Dirt isn’t hard to find – it manifests as looking for challenges, self-limiting beliefs, not pushing hard enough and not believing in oneself versus looking for greatness and natural talent. The best leaders are the ones who focus on the potential rather than the problems. 
  • Advice for aspiring leaders. You don’t have to hate your life to love your life. Hustle is about following your passion and giving every ounce of what you have to give because you love what you’re doing and you love what you’re moving toward and love the contribution you get to make and love being part of a community. Half a percent of the best leaders on the planet are going to go out of their way to give people opportunity. You have to dig in and look for opportunities. If you’re in that brand new position and you want to do more, the best thing you can do is begin to get yourself some exposure.
  • Misti’s “ERA” model for personal development.
    • Expose yourself: You have to keep growing and you have to keep learning. What can I expose myself to? What am I curious about? How can I do things differently and better? How can I have more fun doing this? If you’ve lost that curiosity, expose yourself to more people, it will come back.  
    • Reflection: We will study everything we need to know to learn about something important to us (like learning how to use a new phone) but pass ourselves by and expect others to tell us how great we are. We have to stop and reflect on the themes that are starting to show up in our lives. Did I like that experience? What did I like about it? What did I not like about it? Reflection on your own life gives us so much access to knowing our own talents and experiences; where to put more of our time; and where you need to put less of our time. Gather knowledge over time so when the right opportunity presents, you will know it.
    • Action: Change doesn’t have to be urgent and immediate. Slowly over time you gather all this knowledge about yourself so when the right opportunity surfaces you go for it.
  • The perils of being busy. Because we live in a culture of doing, most people don’t stop long enough to think about what they like and are interested in. Busy is one of the killers of greatness inside an organization. We’re so busy that we don’t even know what we’re busy doing. Misti discusses three sources that promote reflection and growth. 
    • Michael Singer’s books: The Surrender Experiment and The Untethered Soul.
    • Rich Sheridan who is the CEO and co-founder of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor Michigan is distinguished for his leadership skills. He advises that you have to watch what you’re rewarding (as you get what you reward). Our language by itself rewards things. If we’re talking constantly about how busy we are we’re only ever going to get busier. Something we might consider instead of saying we’re busy is “I’m working on this.” Being focused on a specific outcome is far more meaningful then speaking about being busy.
    • Kevin Cashman’s Leadership from the Inside Out asks profound questions of leaders.
  • How to pivot into a new position. When you get in a position, start looking for a way out of that position by training someone else or making the role obsolete. Keep saying yes. If you want to pivot into a new position, get in there and start doing it without getting paid to do it. It’s an additional task on your plate that hopefully is exciting and fun and rewarding for you. So if you start to do the work that you want to ultimately do, stepping into it is a smooth transition. Money follows value. Start helping someone you can help, without any expectation of anything in return.  

“Hustle to get to know who you are”.   
– Misti Burmeister

Recommended Reading and References from this Episode

To Follow Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister’s Question to HR Studio Podcast Group Members

What is it in your life that causes you to want to hustle?

Misti Burmeister HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Misti Burmeister HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Monday, August 22, 2016 - 8:00am
Kyle O'Connor
Misti Burmeister
HR Studio Podcast