126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency

Home/Podcasts/126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency

126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency

Dorie Clark Show Notes

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Dorie was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small-town retirement community, she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible, so at age 14, she left to attend Mary Baldwin College, and later transferred to Smith College.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18, and then earned her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20.

After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to, she became a political journalist, and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign, which both lost.

She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy nonprofit, which taught her how to run a business. In 2006, she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm.

Today, she writes (her two books are Reinventing You and Stand Out), and consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University, and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and is a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album.

Today, she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so they can share their best ideas with the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats, Heath and Phillip.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @dorieclark and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“Want to be really smart, think of your job as just one stream of income.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet

“We put ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Experiment on the side to give yourself more economic flexibility.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Start to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you at least do something, you’ll get data to learn and adapt faster.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“It takes a while to build a strong personal brand.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you persevere you are so much more likely to be successful.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“I was forced to master resiliency early on in my career.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Advice for others

Look to develop ways to generate multiple streams of income.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I’m a bit of a micro-manager. I need to work on delegating more.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Do not pay for an office.

Secret to Success

Forcing myself to do things that I do not want to do.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Schedule Once, a calendar software that cuts out the back and forth on when to meet.

Recommended Reading

Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

Contacting Dorie

Website: http://dorieclark.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doriec/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dorieclark

Resources and Show Mentions

Stand Out 42-page Self-assessment Workbook: Learn how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency 

 

Intro Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. And I’ll your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the guests that we have on the show today is really going to help us with a career imperative. Dorie Clark was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small town retirement community she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible. So at age 14 she left to attend Mary Baldwin College and later transferred to Smith College. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18 then earned her Master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20. After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to she became a political journalist and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign which both lost. She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy non-profit which taught her how to run a business.

 

In 2006 she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm. Today she writes, her two books are Reinventing You and Standing Out and she consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and is a producer of a Grammy award-winning jazz album. Today she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so that they can share their best ideas in the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats Heath and Phillip. Dorie Clark are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Dorie Clark:  I am so ready Jim.

 

Jim Rembach:   Good. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes absolutely and I’m going to give you the North Carolina salute because everyone looks at the Fuqua School of Business and I can’t even tell you all the ways that they want to mispronounce it and you just nailed it right there, so congratulations on that. But, yeah, what I’m working on right now—I actually have a new book that’s going to be coming out in October which I’m very excited about. I submitted the final edits of it yesterday. So, I am done with that sucker so I can start promoting it soon, It is going to be called Entrepreneurial You it’s coming out from Harvard Business Review press and it is about how to monetize your ideas and develop a multiple income streams for your business, so, I’m very excited about that one.

 

Jim Rembach:  I listen to you talking I’m really excited that you actually have a new book coming out so that I can put that one on my shelf. We often think that today entrepreneur means someone who is independent. Not beg to differ because a lot of our listeners are actually career folks and I think when you start talking about benefit to the company, benefit to you, security net, you have to think like an entrepreneur working in an organization.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, I think that’s really right. Obviously if you work for yourself that’s fantastic but the argument that I make is that if people want to be really smart these days about how to take control of their career if you do work within an organization that is terrific but you should start thinking of that as just one of your streams of income. It’s just like stock market investing if you put all your money in one stock we all know that that would be a stupid idea. You’re supposed to diversify your portfolio, you’re supposed to buy an index fund or a mutual fund or what have you and similarly we are putting ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream and that is your company. I got laid off as a journalist I know early in my career one day I had a paycheck the next I didn’t I never saw it coming. And so if people are able to be entrepreneurial even in small ways starting a side venture just experimenting on the side that is incredibly powerful in terms of both giving yourself more economic flexibility and also giving you new skills that actually make you more promotable inside your company.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up a really interesting point too like for me I’m guilty of one problem when you start thinking about something that you mentioned and standout is that  you really have to focus in on your niche. And listening to all the folks who are—I guess you’d say marketing gurus and experts and entrepreneurial experts—they talk about niching then you niche again then you niche again and then when you think you’ve actually gone too far in niching you niche one more time, you have to really focus in on carving out your niche. Now, for me I always say that I like chasing shiny objects, I’m going to watch myself and then I start dabbling in way too many things. Even if I’m thinking about dual income or multiple income streams benefit to me really adding value and as I progress in my career do I really want to veer too far off of my core?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes, it’s a good question and a good point. But I think that it doesn’t have to be a sort of reckless allocation of resources. I mean, I think if you were doing ten different things and not making progress on any of them then yeah you could argue that it’s a waste of time or a diffusion of your energy. But I think of examples—I wrote a piece a few years back for the Harvard Business Review called A Campaign Strategy For Your Career and I featured in a guy named Lenny Achon who at the time was the head of communications for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. And he had a really interesting story he actually started as a nurse which is not at all where you would think they would be hiring their communications director from. But he was able to work his way up in the organization and the way he did it interestingly enough was he started an app business on the side. He just got fascinated by technology by his social media, you know what? I want to start an app and so he researched it he did what he needed to figure out about how to hire the coders and do all the stuff news pretty far outside is day-to-day duties. He did this in one day and he gets called in to his boss’s office and he thinks—Oh! No. Did I do something wrong? Was there some policy that I didn’t know about? What it’s going to be? And instead of being criticized, instead of being fired he was worried that’s going to be, his boss said, Hey, I heard you created an app. And Lenny said, “Yeah, I did.” And the guy said, “Do you want to run social media for the hospital?” Lenny said, “Yes” They just said Internet, they didn’t have a deep bench of expertise in that and Lenny was someone who knew the hospital and he had shown enough initiative that they said, you know what? Let’s give it to him. And so for there  was able to expand out his portfolio and eventually head up all the communications for the hospital but it was because of just independent skills building he did on his own dime.

 

Jim Rembach:  I think you bring up a really interesting point about the whole fear factor component. I think it’s possible that a lot of folks really choose to stay or nest or stay in a particular spot because of that whole fear of termination but I almost have to say that the bigger fear is being affected by surprise. So, what would you say to folks that are actually sitting in that spot to where they’re saying, Oh, Gosh! If I actually veer out, if I do something  I might get caught and get in trouble versus—Hey, I need to think about really planning for my family, my future and things like that and making myself a stronger free agent so to speak.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, well I think the truth is there’s very few things that you can get in trouble with if you’re doing them in your free time and not on the company’s time. As long as you’re not creating something that is somehow a competitor to your company you’re providing intelligence other people as long as you’re not doing something that would be so horribly embarrassing to your company it’s your free time and you’re able to make choices about how you want to spend it. Now there’s a lot of things that I think most of us recognize as being good things there’s a lot of people that go back and maybe they get a part-time MBA, people might take a course of some kind, leadership or time management, maybe they’re taking a continuing ed course or they’re signed up for an online course of some kind you could even just be reading books those are great ways to build your skills. In a lot of ways when the rubber meets the road it’s actually starting to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself that’s the ultimate test where you’re able to gauge your progress and say, no I’m actually building in some options from myself now. So, it’s not really the first thing you do out of the gate but it’s something to consider as a form of professional development.

 

Jim Rembach:  Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point is that oftentimes we think a professional development means that I have to take a step up and those don’t often exist but it should not stiney you or prevent you from  finding some other way of growing, so that’s a good piece of advice. Now I know you have yourself done a lot of things in regards to interviewing other experts and your pursuit to become one as well as a lot of research when it comes to writing but all of that when you we start thinking about this standing out there’s a lot of emotion in that and one of the things that we look for on the show in order to find some emotion are quotes, is there a quote two that you can share with us that gives you some energy. 

 

Dorie Clark:  One that I have always liked is by Theodore Roosevelt, we live in very uncertain there’s even there’s a little genre now sometimes people talk about VUCA situations. It’s like, what’s VUCA? It’s a whole genre, it’s Volatile, Uncertain, Something and something—but it’s literally the sub-genre referring to all the chaos and uncertainty in our lives. And with that in mind Theodore Roosevelt’s quote he says—in any moment of uncertainty the best thing to do is the right thing the next best thing to do is the wrong thing and the worst thing to do is nothing. And so I am a believer in forward action and forward momentum you’re not going to get anywhere including just you’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything. If you at least do something you will get data whether positive or negative and you can learn and adapt faster. So, I think to me that’s kind of an encouraging quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:  That that is a very encouraging quote. I say all the time and said sometimes you have to allow yourself to take two steps back just to take one forward and the fear though from taking those two steps back is prevalent in society as well as for us as individuals. One of the things that I really got a clear understanding of and it kind of helped ground me a little bit when I was going through the book Stand Out is that this doesn’t happen fast it’s just not a quick fix I wish I could walk into a room and flip a switch and get to the old surprised and say hey it’s all there that’s just not the way it works. So, if I’m a person who really hasn’t done a lot in regards to standing out and building my platform finding my niche what can I expect as a timeline?

 

Dorie Clark:  I think you raised a really important point Jim. This is a good and bad thing I’m an impatient human being I always want things to happen way sooner than they do but also the silver lining of the fact it takes a while to build a strong personal print it takes a while to become a recognized expert in your field if you could do it instantly who wouldn’t do it the competition would be insane you wouldn’t be able to advance simply because there would be so many people just in line queuing to advance. What happens instead is that we think that it’s hard to become a recognized expert because you say—oh, there’s so many people, oh, there’s seven billion people, five hundred thousand lawyers whatever—how can I stand out? The truth is yes at the starting gate there’s everybody but almost everybody drops off and that is the secret because by the end you are not competing against five hundred thousand people you are competing against ten thousand or a thousand or a hundred people and so your chances of success are so much better. 

 

One study that I thought was really fascinating actually there’s an analysis done of podcasts, speaking of you, and in this analysis it showed that the average podcast only existed for 12 episodes and then hang over a six month period usually people were able to keep approximately a biweekly schedule for six months and then nothing. And you think about you think—oh, there’s hundreds of thousands of podcasts but you know what, most go defunct because their hosts just can’t or won’t keep it up. If you are one of the people that is a survivor, if you survive simply because you persevere and you make a decision to do it you are so much more likely to be successful and the competition is actually very thin at those upper echelons. 

 

Jim Rembach:  You’re exactly right. For me I have over a hundred plus episodes doing it for a couple years and my wife will always say—and so now it used to be like why are you doing this? I release the show on Wednesday mornings, Tuesday evening I’m up in my office and I’m queuing everything up to have it be released for Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. because Wednesday what? Hump Day, of course. And she’s like, why you doing this? Now she’s like, don’t you need to go to your podcast?  She’s telling me that I need to get up there. But you’re right, I have had people tell me, and I probably got about five or six PR companies that are constantly giving their clients to me as potential guests on the show and so now I don’t have to really try very hard to go get guest I really cherry pick on who I go after but you know what? Many of them told me said, we don’t even touch podcast until they’ve had 100 or more because there’s many out there. 

 

Dorie Clark:  That exactly right. Yeah, the attrition rate is enormous.

 

Jim Rembach:  It is. I know with that though there’s a hot a lot of humps that I’ve had to get over in order to persevere and do that and everybody has some say need to get over and for us there’s a lot of learnings in that. Is there a time that you can share with us and you had to get over hump? 

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah. A big one for me was getting laid off and losing my first job as a reporter that was probably something that was a defining incident for me. Because I enjoy being a reporter and I thought I would probably just make that my career it seems like a reasonably good fit for myself. I liked I like reading and writing and asking people questions it was something that that I imagined I could do the rest of my life and instead of doing it the rest of my life, Oh, nope I’m going to do it for a year and then get laid off and ultimately I had to adjust. I thought it was just a problem with my newspaper and a recession and I tried to find jobs at another paper and I couldn’t no one was hiring and of course retrospectively it was because the industry was entering this contraction but which was an enormous contraction. In fact, forty-two percent of American journalists lost their job between 2000 and 2015 so it was a near universal experience it was like the Black Plague of journalists. But I had to readjust not willingly I would have been happy to just cruise into another newspaper but I had to adjust because circumstances demanded it and that actually turned out to be a good break for me. Because it meant that I was forced to master the skill of resiliency early on in my career and that actually led me ultimately to writing my first book, Reinventing You, about professional reinvention and how to adapt to career change or job change or setbacks of the ilk.

 

Jim Rembach:  Well I think for you that was like a sink or swim or I mean you lived that it was real. So, when you were actually going through and doing  research for that book how were you able to separate your own situation from giving people advice? Well fortunately I wrote the book a number of years after all this had happened so it’s sort of like writing a memoir. You don’t necessarily want to write the memoir like the day after somebody dies or you enter rehab or something like that you need you need a little while to get the perspective so that you can narrow the story in an appropriate way and kind of make sense of the overall context. And so for me I got laid off in 2001, in fact,  the great historical irony for me was the day they laid me off was Monday September 10, 2001, so of course next day was quite a day to be an unemployed journalist but which made everything that much more confusing and frightening and complicated. But I ended up getting the book contract in 2011, about 10 years later and then the book Reinventing You was released in 2013 from Harvard Business Review press. So I had a while in between I was to able settle into my new career and I then cool stuff in the interim some which you mentioned the bio working for presidential campaign, as a spokesperson running a non-profit, starting my own business, so I had that context but it was it was interesting and instructive for me for writing reinventing you to interview dozens of successful professionals who had made career trenches transitions for themselves because I was able as a result sort of extrapolate best practices from what they did and a lot of ways write the book that I wish that I had because I just kind of (20:20 inaudible)my way through it and it would have been a lot more helpful to have a roadmap for it, so, that was what I sought to try to provide other people in writing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, you even talk about that and standout where you have to have some type of framework in order to be able to operate on. But I know like now you talked about new book coming out you finish that got it to the final edits to the publisher that should be coming out soon but you’ve got a lot of things going on. If you were to think about all of those things what’s one goal you have?

 

Dorie Clark:   Yeah, so one goal that I that I have for myself just to pick one thing I’m excited about is I’m actually starting this year to experiment with live workshops and that’s the first time that I’ve really done that. I did a pilot session last summer for a small group, 10 people, did a kind of mastermind day. And as a result of that it went well I began to kind of learn more about what it took to put an event like that together and so I have organized a couple of open enrollment workshops that I’m doing for my readers and  people in my community this year. And so I’m excited about that just learning the process of creating content and sharing that efficiently. So, one is about rapid content creation about how—we all know we should be blogging for instance but a lot of people they’re not sure what’s great about the—it take some ten hours to write a post so this is really taking my methodology which allows me to very quickly create content within 60- 90 minutes tops just kind of bang it out. So, sharing that methodology with people who know they need to create content and want to be able to do it more effectively. And then the other one, the other workshop is basically based off of my new book it’s going to be piloting some of these concepts in a workshop format and it’s about how to create multiple income streams from your business. So, especially for people who are primarily relying on one stream with their coach, their consultant etc. what can you do to lay the groundwork and begin to open up other revenue streams so you can diversify successfully.

 

Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor: 

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improved customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Alright here we go Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dorie the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us some robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dorie Clark, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Dorie Clark:   Oh, yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Dorie Clark:   I think something that quite likely holding me back is that I am a micromanager which is not a bad thing since I’m self-employed but I think I could delegate more and I could probably be more efficient about it. So, that’s something I’m thinking about how to do.

 

Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Dorie Clark:  The best leadership advice that I ever received was actually not to pay for an office. I have worked from home for 11 years and as a result I have probably saved well over six figures from it, and I spend quality time with my cats so I love it for that reason.

 

Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Dorie Clark:  I am incredibly good at forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do. And so I don’t really procrastinate or more specifically I do procrastinate but by doing other things that I will need to do eventually and so I don’t waste a lot of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:  What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Dorie Clark:   One tool that I use a lot and really recommend is called Schedule Once and it is a scheduling software similar to calendar which is another alternative and it just test out all the back-and-forth about when and how to meet, so, I find it really helps my efficiency.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’ll put a link to Standout on your show notes page as well.

 

Dorie Clark:  Thank you. One book that I think doesn’t get the press that it deserves but I really liked it a lot, it’s called Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rummells who’s a business school professor at UCLA. It’s one of the books that I’ve read about corporate strategy and how to be more strategic in your business.

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information which will include a 42 page self-assessment workbook on how to stand out on the show notes page for Dorie Clark that you’ll be able to find at fastleader.net/Dorie Clark. Okay, Dorie this is my last Hump day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Dorie Clark:  What I would take back Jim is that I was very focused when I was younger and building my business on building up social proof and credibility and name recognition and things like that and all is important but what I didn’t think about at all was building a following. I was reliant on other people’s outlets, on other people’s turf and I didn’t specifically focus on building email list. I’ve come to realize with the increased fragmentation of the media landscape you really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you, you need to be communicating directly with people which is why getting people to opt-in to your email list is so essential and I would have clued into that a lot sooner.

 

Jim Rembach:  Dorie, it was not her to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Dorie Clark:   Thank you so much Jim. Well, if people want to learn more if they would like to dive into my move so to speak there are a lot of opportunities. If they they go to my website which is dorieclark.com there are more than 400 free articles available there that I’ve written for places like Forbes and Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur. And as Jim mentioned on my website, dorieclark.com you can get the free download of the Stand Out self-assessment workbook which helps you figure out how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

 

Jim Rembach:   Dorie Clark, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot.

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

2019-12-08T06:53:09-05:00June 21st, 2017|Podcasts|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Be on our Show?

Interested in being a guest? Great! Just call me at 336-288-8226 and introduce yourself.

Did you register for offers and tips?

We all need help to get over the hump...so sign up.