Ken frequently hosts The Dave Ramsey Show, the third-largest nationally syndicated talk radio show. He has done thousands of hours of live career coaching on national radio, helping people find their next ideal job. In this capacity, he has helped many veterans and came on the show today to share what he’s learned in this process.
Ken Coleman is a #1 national best-selling author, career expert and nationally syndicated radio host of The Ken Coleman Show. Pulling from his own personal struggles, missed opportunities and career successes, Coleman helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality. The Ken Coleman Show is the a caller-driven career show that helps listeners who are stuck in a job they hate or searching for something more out of their career. His second book, The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead To The Career You Love, released May 2019. Connect with Ken on Twitter and Instagram at @KenColeman and online at kencoleman.com or facebook.com/kencolemanshow.
StoryBox- People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
The Leadership Podcast - Have you ever wondered how you could become a more effective and balanced leader? Or how to find a team with a high degree of trust that performs at a level you’re accustomed to? Check out The Leadership Podcast where they study what makes the best leaders tick - including many who have moved "beyond the uniform" to reach new levels of success and fulfillment.
Transcript & Time Stamps:
Joining me from Coleman, Tennessee is Ken Coleman. Ken Coleman is a #1 national best-selling author, career expert and nationally syndicated radio host of The Ken Coleman Show. Pulling from his own personal struggles, missed opportunities and career successes, Coleman helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality. The Ken Coleman Show is a caller-driven career show that helps listeners who are stuck in a job they hate or searching for something more out of their career. His second book, The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead To The Career You Love, released May 2019. Connect with Ken on Twitter and Instagram at @KenColeman and online at kencoleman.com or facebook.com/kencolemanshow.
Where did your passion for helping the veteran community come from?
I was raised in a household that loved America. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about helping the veteran community. I don’t think there’s a higher calling than the men and women that are willing to put their life on the line for our country.
I have also come across many veterans in my career that struggle to find their next step after leaving the military. That puts a fire in my soul because I want to show these men and women that there are so many opportunities available to them in the civilian sector. The same things that made you successful inside the military will allow you to succeed in the corporate world.
I haven’t quite figured out why there is such a disconnect and why more veterans don’t understand what a value add they will be in the civilian workforce.
How can veterans discover what they are passionate about outside the military?
Your work doesn’t define you. However, your work life is a major part of your life. The average American will spend over 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. There is an intrinsic connection between the work you do and the life you live.
We all want to matter, everyone wants to help people. You are created to fill a unique role and you have a duty to find that role. Inside the military, that role and mission is often very clear. It might becomes less clear after you get out but you should look for places where you can combine your passions and talents. Passion alone isn’t enough and talent alone isn’t enough either.
Think about things that you are gifted at. Then think about what work makes you come alive and gives you satisfaction. You want to find a job that will allow you to do both of those things.
Recently, I was speaking with a woman in the military. She told me that she was very good at logistics and planning. I walked her through those things that she was really good at. We then thought about things that she was passionate about as well. By doing that we were able to narrow down potential roles that could be a good fit for her after she leaves the military.
Once you have that clarity you will have more confidence in stepping out of the military. You will know what companies and roles you want to target and what will be a good fit for you.
You wrote a bestselling book - The Proximity Principle. Can you talk about what the proximity principle is?
The proximity principle says that in order to do what you want to do, you need to be around people that are doing similar things and in places where those things are happening. The right people plus the right place equals opportunity.
The most famous line from the Declaration of Independence is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Thomas Jefferson’s writing was influenced by John Locke. The Greek word for happiness is a word that translates to doing something that gives you purpose. That’s also what Jefferson meant when he used the word happiness in the Declaration of Independence.
Getting what you want is all about being around the right people in the right places. The saying “Being in the right place at the right time” is completely wrong. It implies that there’s a lot of luck involved when in reality, it’s not much about luck and much more about surrounding yourself with the right people.
My book gives you bite size things you can do every day to take the intimidation out of this process. If you do these things, the return to your life will be phenomenal.
How would you advise people on how to use their passions to guide their career?
I advise people to find their sweet spot and find that unique role they are meant to play. Don’t just follow your passion. Find what you want to do that you are also good at. That’s operating in your sweet spot.
There’s so many executives out there that make seven figures but they’re miserable. They might be good at the work but they don't have a passion for it. And passion isn’t enough either. If you’re passionate about something but you’re not any good at it, you’re going to end up like a kid on American Idol that we all make fun of. They might be OK but they don’t have what it takes to be world class.
How can people make sure they’re not defining these things too superficially?
The the case we were talking about previously with American Idol, I think part of the problem for a lot of people is that they like the idea of being famous but they really don’t love the craft of singing and doing what it takes to be very good at that.
I think if your ‘why’ doesn’t make you cry, then it’s not really your ‘why’. So really think about those things that you have a passion for that you’re also talented at.
There are times when I’ll be in a meeting and I’ll get choked up. I get choked up because in those moments, I really see that I’m able to help people that I really want to help. Those are tears of joy that I’m getting to do what I love after a lot of hard work for many years to get here.
Do you have any advice for people about how they can be honest with themselves about what they really want?
You have to let your heart override your brain. You need to find a quiet place. Get out a pencil and a piece of paper. Write down who you most want to help. The next question is what problem you most want to solve and what solution you most want to provide. Your heart will start to reveal things. Think about why you gave the answers that you did. It can be very revealing.