Why you Should Develop a Product you Know Little About

Katie Corbett holds the book, "Start With Why"

By Katie Corbett

Sometimes, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of your job that you forget your purpose. I found this to be true at my first job out of college. I went to work and did the same thing day after day. Part of the reason I hated that job was because I was there to make a paycheck and knew it wouldn’t be a long-term gig. The other reason I hated it was because making a paycheck wasn’t a compelling reason for me to work the job in the first place.

I was so focused on the “how” of my job that I couldn’t keep close to mind the “why” for my being there. Author Simon Sinek points this out as a pitfall and potential reason for failure. When companies—and people—forget their purpose, they start throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. Often, he says, this leads to disaster. Sinek’s book, “Start with Why,” gave me a great idea for defeating that possibility: Be the “why” person; hire the “how” people to work for you. I decided to apply this in my own life by jumping into activities, even when I didn’t know exactly how I would do them.

About a year-and-a-half ago, I thought of an idea for an apparel product. It’s still under development, so I won’t give away too many specifics, but I’ll say that my knowledge of the apparel industry was limited when I started. I knew this product was in line with my “why,” because it would help people overcome a specific challenge and that they could be happier and more fulfilled. I wanted it to be created. I just needed to find the people who had the tools and knowledge to make it happen.

Through networking, recommendations from others, and by accident, I found the people I needed. I’ve brought on board a textiles consultant who is helping me plan and strategize, a seamstress who is assisting me with the design and will create prototypes, a web developer who will be working on my web presence and e-commerce store, and a branding expert who will support me as I market my product.

All the while, I’m able to keep a clear vision of my “why.” I’m excited to learn and to see something that started as an idea in my mind turning into a real product. I’m eager for the journey. And even if this venture doesn’t succeed beyond my wildest dreams, I’ll know why I undertook it and will have learned a lot in the process. To me, that’s worth the risk. Why not think of a way you could try this for yourself?

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

Feeling Obligated? Apply the Celery Test

Katie Corbett holds the book, "Start With Why"

By Katie Corbett

Confession time: I’m a people-pleaser who avoids conflict. I often used to find myself saying yes to people and projects simply because I felt obligated to do so. Resentment would build, motivation to accomplish tasks would wane, and I would be left feeling annoyed and grumpy that I had agreed to do things I had no interest in doing, all because I couldn’t say no. Developing a purpose statement for who I am and what I do changed everything.

Getting clear on your “why” can keep you from taking on projects that don’t inspire you or line up with your life’s purpose. In “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek, the author describes this process as “The Celery Test.” Sinek applied this test in the business world.

The celery test goes something like this, to paraphrase Sinek. People will tell you many things are good to try in your business. Some will say, “You should get M&M’s in your business; everyone likes those.” Others will say, “Oreos! Success lies with Oreos.” Still others will say, “Celery! That’s the way to attract customers.” You could go to the store and buy Oreos, M&M’s and celery. Would someone looking at your shopping cart know why you are in business? That, of course, will depend on your “why” statement. If your “why” consists of being all things to all people—which is not sustainable or desirable—then this might work. But if your “why” is to provide healthy snacks, the Oreos and M&M’s would make no sense. If, however, you walk by with celery and granola bars, anyone who peeks into your grocery cart knows healthy food is important to you.

I’ve applied this test as an individual with liberating results. When I’m asked to volunteer for a nonprofit or take on paid projects, I evaluate them through the filter of my “why.” Will this project encourage people to overcome challenges? If so, then great; I’ll consider it. If not, I can say no with confidence that I’m making the right decision for me.

After you’ve discovered your “why,” apply the celery test the next time you’re asked to do something. You’ll know right away if the task doesn’t fit with your skills and interests and can say no with confidence.

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

How to Develop a “Why” Statement

Katie Corbett holds the book, "Start With Why"

By Katie Corbett

Ever had one of those days when you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” On a microscale, it can be productive to evaluate the purpose for certain practices such as job hunting methods, interviewing techniques, and wording used on a résumé. If you find yourself questioning your vocational goals on a grand and frequent scale, however, development of a “why” statement, or purpose statement, can bring clarity, help you find like-minded people and provide vigor and steadfastness during times of uncertainty.

The book, “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek, along with the “Start with Why Podcast,” outlines how to develop a statement of purpose. Complete the sentence: My purpose is to _____________, so that __________. For example, my “why” is to encourage people to overcome challenges, so that they can find happiness and fulfillment in their lives. This is why I’m a career coach, and this is why I’m writing this blog. I believe both these pursuits give me a tangible outlet for my purpose.

It’s important to note that developing your purpose statement isn’t going to happen overnight. When it comes to purposeful accomplishment, the motivations for our behaviors originate in the emotional portion of the brain. This region is not part of the rational area responsible for language and can therefore make it difficult for us to discover and process why we do what we do. Take a few days to think about your reasons and motivations. Talk it over with a friend to help you find the right words to express your “why.” It’s worth taking the time and being thorough in your search.

This process can assist individuals and businesses alike. In his book, Sinek explains how developing a “why” statement helped Apple remain on top of the technology world. Wal-Mart isn’t what it used to be because it hasn’t consistently stuck with its “why.” TiVo completely failed because it’s founders and advertisers didn’t discover and use its “why” to attract ideal customers. I won’t go into specifics here, but let’s just say that success and developing a strong and clear “why” can mean the difference between succeeding against all odds or failing miserably. Read the book for more details, and get working on your “why” statement. When times of uncertainty hit, you’ll be the one who knows why you get up in the morning. Won’t that be a great feeling?

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

Fun Product Friday: DoTerra Hand Sanitizer (Review)

Katie Corbett holds DoTerra Hand Sanitizer

By Katie Corbett

Today is Fun Product Friday! On the last Friday of each month, I review a product that has changed my life!

Did you know that doorknobs and desks are the most germy places to touch? I’m not an extreme clean-freak, but this makes me cringe! And ninety percent of avoiding illness is the simple act of washing hands. Sinks and soap are not always available, though, so what can be done when you’re on the go but still want to keep clean? I found the solution in hand sanitizer. From sessions with clients, to networking events, to errands and hang-outs with friends, I’m always on the go. I never leave the house without this hand sanitizer from DoTerra. It smells good, is all natural and healthy for skin, and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue on my hands.

Watch this video to find my review of DoTerra’s Hand Sanitizer!

Want to pick up a bottle for yourself? Click this link!

https://www.doterra.com/US/%C2%ADen/site/larkgibson

It’s not affiliated or anything. It will take you to my friend, Lark, who is a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. She’ll be able to answer any questions and help you place your order.

Enjoy!

Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

When I was unemployed, I had the idea in the back of my mind that starting my own business could be fun. Besides, I had just come from an experience at a job where I’d had an awful manager, so the idea of being my own boss was very appealing. I had also just read, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, and was enchanted by his carefree lifestyle. I wasn’t sure if I had the grit to make it as a business owner, so I was relieved when I found an assessment test in “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt.

 

When I took the assessment, I realized I wasn’t comfortable not earning a steady paycheck, wasn’t sure I was up to the strategic analysis I would need, and didn’t feel I had a viable business idea yet. The result I got was to move forward slowly.

 

I got a part-time job so I could pay the bills while I started my business. I connected with other entrepreneurs who could support me in my journey. I found fellow career coaches and interviewed them about how they made coaching work. I recognized that my strengths didn’t lie in video production, web development, or graphic design, so I hired other freelancers to work with me on those aspects of my business. I’ve been reading sales books and attending workshops about how to get more clients.

 

It has been a slow process. I haven’t replaced my income yet to a point to where I’m comfortable enough to leave my job. I’m happy with my progression and I’m a firm believer that when it is time, things will fall into place.

 

Do you wonder if you have the passion and perseverance to start a business venture? Why not pick up a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and find out. As it did for me, the assessment will guide you to what you need to work on to get yourself to a place of readiness and confidence.

 

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

 

Home is Where the Heart Is

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

Throughout my life, I’ve had various opportunities to consider moving to Denver, Colorado, San Diego, California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Richmond, Virginia. Each opportunity boasted an exciting new job, a chance to meet new people and try novel experiences. (I’ve also developed a great love for The Philippines and Filipino culture, and hope to someday go there on a trip, if not live there.)

 

In spite of these chances, I still haven’t left Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve often wondered what holds me here. Is my love for cheese and Culvers Frozen Custard really that strong? (Yes, it is, but I’ll save my rant about insufficient amounts of dairy products in other states for another day.)

 

When I read, “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt, I was delighted to learn they had a test for pinpointing the most desirable aspects of location. When I took the test a couple of years ago, I determined these eight factors to be the most important to me when considering relocation:

 

My Top Eight Location Requirements

  1. Friends
  2. Family/Significant Other
  3. Religious/Spiritual
  4. Public Transportation
  5. Cultural Amenities
  6. Education
  7. Community
  8. Varied climate/mostly warm

 

I know what you’re thinking. “Wisconsin? Mostly warm? Are you nuts, Katie?” I know, I know, Madison can seem like the Frozen Tundra on cold winter mornings when it’s five below zero—and that’s without wind-chill. Is Madison ideal? Nope. But having seven out of eight qualities isn’t bad. No city, as far as I’m concerned, is going to be the best place on Earth. (Not unless I can put all my family and friends in a blimp and take them to San Diego with me.)

 

It’s critical to evaluate what’s important and take those location qualities into strong consideration when deciding whether to move. For each of my potential moves, I’m glad I went through this process before getting somewhere and realizing I hated it. It saved me a lot of sleepless nights, not to mention the stresses of moving constantly and the time and money involved.

 

Are you interested in finding out the most crucial criteria of your natural habitat? Grab a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and discover it for yourself.

 

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

 

Do you know your EQ Score?

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

Everyone is familiar with IQ. It’s basically a number received on a test determining how smart you are. Turns out, there are several types of intelligence aside from book smarts.

 

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, measures a person’s ability to be aware of and regulate emotions, motivate themselves, and relate to and communicate with others. Here is an excerpt from “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt, which gives a breakdown of the five components of EQ. I’ve also included the scores I received when I took the test a couple of years ago.

 

Self-Awareness: (At the time I took this test, my score was 24/25.)

“These items indicate your ability to know what you are feeling at the moment; use that ability to guide your decision-making; realistically assess your own abilities; and promote a well-grounded sense of self-confidence.”

 

Self-Regulation: (At the time I took this test, I scored 20/25.)

“These items indicate how well you handle your emotions so that they facilitate rather than interfere with the task at hand and how well you recover from emotional distress.”

 

Self-Motivation: (At the time I took this test, I scored 18/25.)

“These items indicate how well you use emotional self-control to guide you toward your goals and how well you take initiative, strive to improve, and persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations.”

 

Empathy: (At the time I took this test, I scored a 25/25.)

“These items indicate how well you sense what other people are feeling, your ability to take their perspective, and how well you cultivate rapport and attunement with a broad diversity of people.”

 

Social Understanding: (At the time I took this test, I scored 23/25.)

“These items indicate how effectively you handle emotions in relationships, how smoothly you interact with others, and how accurately you can read social situations in order to persuade, lead, negotiate, and settle disputes.”

 

Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can change over time and be improved. Research has indicated that the higher a person scores in EQ, the more successful they will be on the job, in their personal relationships and at life in general. So even if you take the test and don’t get as high a score as you might like, you can work on your EQ and take the test again later. Pretty cool, right?

 

Wondering what you would score on an emotional intelligence test? Grab a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and find out!

 

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

 

The Manager Effect

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

I’ve often been told I’m a good leader. I’m adept at breaking projects down into manageable pieces, creating synergy amongst group members and providing the idea that sparks a project into action. If this describes you as well, you might wonder how to apply these skills in your career. I did, too.

 

Although I’ve never been in management in a formal capacity, I’ve had the thought, “I might be good at that.” I wanted objective proof. I wanted someone—other than my mom—to tell me I had what it took to make it in management. I discovered this first spark of hope when I read “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt. The tests in the book–while only self-assessments, which cannot take the place of real-world experience, knowledge of specific jobs, and other factors—served as a confidence-booster for me because they lent an outside source of validation to my internal musings. And yes, they had a test about managerial suitability.

 

When I took the test, my total score was 130 points out of 144. I scored highest in the areas the book called Vision and Motivation of Others. Vision is described as “ability to understand the big picture, the direction of the organization, and goals of the project.” Motivation of Others is described as the “ability to encourage and inspire employees to achieve goals and objectives.” I scored lowest in the areas of Communication and Self-Awareness. If I wanted, I could look back at the items with the lowest scores and work on self-improvement in these areas. I haven’t decided if I will do this yet, but who wouldn’t benefit from growth in communication skills and self-awareness?

 

I have since done research on what else it takes to be a manager of people and have decided that it’s not something I’m interested in pursuing right now. It often involves working long hours, having more work than can get done in a day, and talking with subordinates about difficult topics, such as the need for performance improvement. It’s encouraging to know, however, that I’m well on my way to developing managerial capabilities.

 

If you wonder if you have what it takes to manage people, grab this book and take the test to find out. You might be surprised by how suited you already are. Plus, learning about yourself is fun! You might discover you’re adept in skills you didn’t know would be useful beyond getting good grades or developing cooperation for group projects.

 

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.

 

Fun Product Friday: Jamberry Haircare (Review)

Katie Corbett holds Jamberry Hair product.

By Katie Corbett

 

Today is Fun Product Friday! On the last Friday of each month, I review a product that has changed my life!

 

This month, my posts have focused on changing your thinking. But what about what’s on the outside of your head? Shouldn’t you take care of your hair, too? I say, “Yes!” And with all-natural, yummy-smelling haircare products from Jamberry, it’s never been easier!

 

Watch this video to find my review of two of Jamberry’s outstanding hair products! I’ve tried natural hair products before with results that were “meh” at best, and I’m happy to report that Jamberry’s got the real deal! This stuff works!

 

 

Want to pick up a bottle for yourself? Click this link!

 

https://sarahabrown.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/products/jambeauty-hair-care-kithttps://sarahabrown.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/products/jambeauty-hair-care-kit

 

It’s not affiliated or anything. It will take you to my friend, Sarah, who is a Jamberry consultant. She’ll be able to answer any questions and help you place your order.

 

Enjoy!

Update 10/24/2018: Unfortunately, this product is no longer in stock. The company has promised to release another hair-care line in the future. When they do, I’ll be sure and do a review of it for you.

How To Turn Failures into Success

Katie Corbett holds "The Magic of Thinking Big" book

By Katie Corbett

 

When I got fired from my data entry job at the end of 2013, it could have been easy for me to think my career—and my life—was over. Luckily, I picked up “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz, and found some ways to overcome this challenge and move forward. No matter what setback you’re facing, I know these suggestions will help you, too.

 

Step 1: Study Setbacks to Pave Your Way to Success: After I lost my job, I thought long and hard about why that happened. One thing I regretted was not approaching supervisors sooner when I was struggling. I continuously remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything on my own. What lessons can your failures teach you? How can you do things better next time if you find yourself in a similar situation? Are there ways you could avoid putting yourself in a similar situation altogether?

 

Step 2: Have the Courage to Be Your Own Constructive Critic: When I’m trying to do something and it’s not working—or I wish there was a better/easier way to get it done—I take the time to stop and think about why things aren’t working out. I give an honest assessment about the parts I’m responsible for, what else is going on in my workload, and how I could do things more efficiently. What things are you doing now that could be done better? What would it take to improve on your processes?

 

Step 3: Stop Blaming Luck: When I lost my job, it was important for me to remember that everything happens for a reason. Blaming my job loss on chance or fate wouldn’t take away from the people—including me—that caused my job loss. Why do you think your setbacks happened? Who is responsible? (Be sure to take on any blame that’s yours. None of us is perfect.)

 

Step 4: Blend Persistence with Experimentation: Sure, I’d lost one job, but that didn’t mean I was doomed to fail. I realized that data entry wasn’t for me—three months into the ten months I was in that job, if I’m being honest. I’ve since tried many other career paths before finding coaching: camp counselor, freelance writer, DoTerra Wellness Advocate, Web Content Specialist, Administrative Assistant. There are tons of career paths out there. If one doesn’t work out, what else are you good at? What else do you enjoy doing? Don’t be afraid to try!

 

Step 5: Remember There Is A Good Side In Every Situation: After I lost my job, my first realization was, “Yay! I don’t have to enter another purchase order ever again!” Then, I realized this experience gave me something in common with other people who had been fired. I could empathize with them and help them on their journey toward healing and a new career. Throughout my recovery and job search process, I learned many tips and tricks I can now share with other people—hence this blog. What are the bright sides to your most recent failure? What can you do differently or better because of this failure?

 

I hope that by following these tips you can see your failures as opportunities to learn, grow and keep trying. I know I have, and I wish the same success for you! You can do it!

 

Want to get this information sent right to your in-box? Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll never miss a post.