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When something happens once, then it can be called a fluke. When it happens a second time, a person should take note of it. When they happen back-to-back, then it’s time to sit up, take notice, and act accordingly.

I had been struggling the past few months on what I wanted to do with my life now that I’ve moved into independent consulting after deciding to “retire” from the corporate world after nearly 30 years at the same company. I had set up a meeting with Jim, my career coach, to discuss how I could build a catalogue of successes and services I could bring forward to put on my consulting shingle. Things didn’t turn out the way I had expected to happen during this meeting. Not by a long shot.

I had gone in looking for a mechanical process to build up this silly catalogue of services. Through the conversation, he let me discover that I really want to work not on the specific technical tasks in the oil & gas industry. I had defaulted to these two confining areas because that is all I had worked in during my career. As we talked I found myself caring less about the what and more about the why. Why did I want to do any sort of work. Why would it be fulfilling to me?

He summarized some key points which left me feeling rather gob-smacked. Resumes won’t get you a job. Network will get you in front of someone, and then the resume backs up your story. What does your story have to say? It summarizes you and why you love doing what you want to do and why you love doing it. Cool stuff I thought as we finished up the meeting and I strolled the handful of blocks down the street to a professional masonic luncheon with a guest speaker.

As I ate my lunch and bantered about with light conversation, two things drifted around in my psyche. Foremost was my mind was still digesting and extracting the nutrients of my previous meeting. Secondly, that I was not enjoying the light and trite conversation. I need substance in my discussions and conversations. I have started to build up my working tools on this, but have yet to put it into a successful application.

Then Simone, our guest speaker, stood up and opened her mouth and my worlds collided in a massive explosion of singularity. She talked of her why, about how we each needed our why, and how our companies need to know its why. As Simone talked, she opened up and told us her story. Not all the blah blah blah stuff of her life, but what really matter to her and how it impacted her. She talked of her discovering her “why” and how she listens to and feeds her limbic portion of her brain. Her work is based on Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” pricinple with its “Golden Circle.”

This doved-tailed in perfect with what I had just discovered with Jim before hand. If I thought I was energized by my time with him, I had no idea how high my excitement would be after Simone was done talking. These two have made me realize that I need write my story to discover what it is I want to do when it comes to my consulting. It’s there for me to capture, I just need to pull it in, tidy it up a bit, make it comprehensible, and get it out to everyone.

At the end of the day, if I don’t know why I have to do things in my life to make me feel good & whole, then I cannot express it to others. If I cannot express it to others, there is no way they can help me to find consulting contracts that fit into the wheelhouse of my excitement and passion.

My focus on a hard copy of this in the form of a resume, consulting services catalogue, or whatever you want to call it was all wrong. It took the one-two punch of Jim and Simone and a group of Freemasons to beat me upside the head and get this point across.

See, sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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