Do You Have a Plan For Success? Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

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Do You Have a Plan For Success? Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan with Mary Sullivan

Mary believes being fearless means taking risks, and holding herself and those with power accountable to be their best. She encourages everyone to learn and evolve no matter where they are in their life stage. Learning is a journey, not a destination. And specifically for women as they maneuver in becoming leaders, whether it’s corporate or entrepreneur.

About Mary

Mary Sullivan is a former executive leader in the financial services industry with over 30 years experience. She began her career after completing her Masters in Spanish and undergraduate in Political Science. Mary has held many leadership positions that involved starting new businesses around the globe, architecting service models and leading bilingual call center teams, all with business and leadership development at the center.

With her passion for helping women and other underrepresented groups, Mary has been an advocate for organizations that support and promote all women, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Rock the Street Wall Street, #IamRemarkable facilitator and many others.

Mary believes being fearless means taking risks and holding herself and those with power accountable to be their best. She encourages everyone to learn and evolve , no matter where they are in their life stage. Learning is a journey not a destination and Mary has continued her professional growth at Harvard Business School and Cornell.   To keep living that belief Mary along with her co-founders established

At Sweet but Fearless, we believe in the supportive spirit of professional women. In truth, we’re passionate about it! Building a platform where we could bring women together to share their unique ideas, similar experiences, challenges faced, and accomplishments achieved became our mission. Having access to these conversations can influence your career development and help you to connect with women who can be peers, mentors, and advisors.

We also recognize that today’s career path is no longer a linear journey and offer resources, training, and straightforward guidance to help you get over that hump, get out of a career rut, or achieve a long-held goal.

Visits Sweet But Fearless Website

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Do You Have a Plan For Success Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan with Mary Sullivan

Sat, 9/4 12:59PM • 40:15


people, entrepreneur, business, mary, learned, helping, thinking, career, women, skills, resume, corporate, job, interview, roi, podcast, strength, reach, fearless, employer


Mary, Roy Barker

Roy Barker  00:07

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that bring you a wide variety of guests that can talk about a lot of diverse topics. You know, we want to help our small business entrepreneurs, solopreneurs. We want to try to help our audience to maybe think about some things that they haven’t thought about that could help them or if they are having some struggles, we want to point them in the right direction. And so today, no different we have an awesome guest Mary Sullivan, she is an executive leader in the financial services industry with over 30 years of experience. She began her career after completing her master’s in Spanish and undergraduate in political science.

Mary has held many leadership positions that involve starting new businesses around the globe. Architects servers or architecting service models and leading bilingual call center teams, all with business and leadership development at the center with her passion for helping women and underrepresented groups. Mary has been an advocate for organizations that support and promote all women, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rock the Wall Street Hashtag, I am Remarkable Facilitator and many others. Mary believes being fearless means taking risks, and holding herself and those with power accountable to be their best. She encourages everyone to learn and evolve no matter where they are in their life stage. Learning is a journey, not a destination.

And Mary has continued her professional growth at Harvard School, Harvard Business School and Cornell. Mary, welcome to the show. Thank you for taking time. And I did want to mention that you now are with Sweet But Fearless and y’all help women, whether they’re entrepreneurs or in the corporate world. Y’all just help them to gain the skills in order to advance to wherever they want to go.

Mary  02:04

That’s right, Roy, thank you so much for inviting me on the show. I’m so excited to be here. And exactly right. You know, after pivoting from corporate to entrepreneurial, I learned so many things, so many things through interacting with other entrepreneurs. And specifically, yes, helping the women as they maneuver in become leaders, whether it’s corporate or entrepreneur, all the different skills, they need to level up right to get to that next rung on the corporate ladder on the entrepreneurial ladder. And there’s so much interfacing between the two that, you know, I just think of myself as an entrepreneur now.

Roy Barker  02:42

Right, exactly. No, and I think, you know, that’s great, because, actually, I had, in a previous conversation I was having this morning with somebody, we were talking about just that value of collaboration, it’s not only to learn, you know, like from a mentor perspective, but sometimes it’s just being able to bounce ideas off of people you trust. And, you know, I love the what I call that brainstorming phase is you know, somebody throws out A, and maybe A is not the answer, but A plus B, you know, maybe B or C is but being able just to have that person to talk things out is it’s invaluable.

Mary  03:24

You know, that’s one of the number one skills that I’ve learned that has transferred over from corporate to entrepreneur. And that is building your advocacy team, building that trusted, you know, advisor group. All of those colleagues that may be as an entrepreneur, especially if you’re a solopreneur, by yourself. I’m blessed. I have two colleagues with me working, but you don’t get to those meetings that you used to have in an office. You’re not sitting around a table, chatting and brainstorming. You may be sitting around the zoom table or the podcast table. But it is more that you have to learn how to reach out to others in your industry. And when you’re in the corporate world, I don’t know if you’re doing that as much, you know.

I wasn’t always reaching out to other, I did on some committees. But you weren’t always reaching out to other financial analysts and financial relationship gurus to find out, you know, what stocks they’re picking. Or what they’re advising. You were kind of keeping those secrets to yourself, right. But I have found in the entrepreneur space. Oh my gosh, specifically with all of the great social media, that people are willing to share. And to teach you how they started their business. Or what they stumbled through when they first began. So that you don’t do the same. I have found this to be just a wonderful community. And I’m so glad that you bring that skill, right? You bring that skill of mentoring from your previous into the entrepreneur or any skills that you wanted to.

But wow, yeah. Collaborating and relying on others. You just have to do it. It’s a must.

Roy Barker  04:59

Yeah, yeah. That’s a good point that we don’t really take this into account. But even when you’re in a company, you can always find, you know, they call it different things. But sometimes they set up a council of peers or maybe, you know, skip levels where it’s multiple people. If it’s a mentoring or just where you can not feel alone. And we, if you transition to the entrepreneur world, we need to think about recreating that as well. Whether you know trusted advisors, kind of like a, you know, maybe a board, an advisory board that you put together. And I’ve even heard of some groups of competitors or close competitors in a market that they meet and have a roundtable.

Because it’s like, they may have a prot, you may have a problem that they’ve had in the past. So instead of you struggling by yourself, you can be collaborative with other people. So a lot of ways to solve that. But it definitely helps, especially as you transition. So when you transition from the corporate world to more of the entrepreneurial area, you know, what were some challenges that you personally ran into?

Mary  06:10

Oh, there are many challenges that I ran into, because it wasn’t my first rodeo. I tried to transition from corporate to entrepreneur back in the early 2000s and it was right before the 2008 crash. So it just didn’t work out. I started a coffee house, okay. And I made probably the typical mistakes that most people do when they try to open up a eatery or a food business No. And, you know, I invested in the real estate, I invested in a lot of tables and chairs and a lot of things that wouldn’t pay me back, right, versus trying to start small, and then go big. So I learned from that. And so this time around, when I was pivoting from corporate to entrepreneur, I kept my day job while I was getting the entrepreneur business going.

So that was the first lesson I learned is, uh, make sure you have some income coming in as you’re learning new things. That was lesson number one. And number two was really do something not only that you’re passionate about, but that you know about, right, that you really have a deep, not only connection. Because I think a lot of times people maybe take a hobby into a business. I didn’t want to do that this time, I wanted to take a strength into a business. And so that’s why I focused with my colleagues on career counseling on helping women and men level up in their career. Because that’s what I did for 30 years, right, I helped 1000s of people get promoted. So why not do that now as my own business?

One I learned stick to something you know, and you know, well, yes, that you also love. And number two is to do a lot of research. Yeah, I’m kind of an impetuous person. So I probably jumped in previously to something too soon, without doing a lot of research and just thinking my confidence and you know, grit would get me there. I learned over the years. Yes, that’s a good start. But you also need knowledge and, you know, understanding of how everything works in the entrepreneur space. So I did a lot more research, this time around ROI that has made a difference. And just like you said, I did create an advisory board. I didn’t go into it thinking I know everything.

I went into it thinking I know a little and I need to know a lot more. But I can get started. I’m not going to wait till I know everything. And I think that’s what a lot of entrepreneurs do. They wait until it’s perfect. No way. I wasn’t waiting till perfect. But I did wait until I had a better understanding. So those are three things I feel I learned this time around. And that kind of as I was pivoting, yeah.

Roy Barker  08:49

And it does make it a little easier to ease into it to well, not only to do that research. But also, if you’re able to keep that day job or a part time job to have that income to help you in that startup. Because any business, you know, in, well, if you’re starting from zero, any business is going to take a little bit to get up and running. And unfortunately, you know, I’ve done a lot of pro forma work in the past in our pro formas are typically very optimistic, though, you know, we always think we’re going to get ramped up in the first month or two and sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way.

So it’s a it’s a very good thing. And it just it adds a little peace of mind where the other thing is, you’re not always worrying about paying this month’s rent or the car payment or whatever. Because you need that creative energy if you’re starting a venture you’ve got to have basically everything to give to it.

Mary  09:46

You know, Roy you should see my books on what we projected for revenue this year. Yeah, right. We need to, you know, kind of back that up a little bit. Be a little more realistic. Yeah. But, yes, you have to have those high goals and Then the reality of the bills and I was fortunate, I mean, I was laid off. So on one hand that was unfortunate to be laid off in January 2021. But I was fortunate in knowing that in advance, right, so I had time to prepare as well as you know, received a severance. So that was also very generous and nice, because that does give you a little cushion, as you are going forward in your entrepreneurship, because it’s, it is hard. Yeah.

Because it’s, it’s really hard when you’re transitioning to go from income coming in to only going out, you know. All you are doing is paying and then you’re like, Oh my gosh, when am I gonna start making money. And then I think we start making poor judgment, right, we start utilizing poor judgment, because we’re nervous about income coming in. So that’s another piece of advice is if you can, if you can save as much as possible. So you know, relieve some of that stress. But also think of a product or service that maybe can go out quicker.

To enter, to inject some revenue for yourself, whether it’s a service, like we offer ebooks or courses, or whatever your entrepreneur business may be, that’s one thing I learned too, is, maybe get something smaller out there to generate a little income, to at least hold off, you know, we’re giving up right, as you’re getting ready for your bigger product or bigger service or our coaching or whatever you’re doing.

Roy Barker  11:24

It’s a high wire act, because, you know, you made a good point earlier is that sometimes we have analysis paralysis that we want to wait until we have every answer for every conceivable possibility, you know, if the sun came up in West tomorrow, you know, how would it affect this, and, you know, you’ve just got a balance between that jumping out there, but, you know, still making it very calculated on how best to put you know, you still want to jump but you might need to make sure you parachutes work into

Mary  11:55

strategic Miss. Article risk taking, you know, we have all those corporate turrets for that, but it is that is true, right, jump and have a parachute.

Roy Barker  12:06

So, you brought up something that’s good, I think we can touch on it. I don’t know why it evoked this thought for me, but when we talk about planning, this works for the entrepreneur, but it also works for the person that’s in the corporate. And one thing I’ve seen before, and I, you know, I was guilty of in my younger days is not really having a plan. Even in the corporate world, you just think things are gonna happen. People are gonna take care of you. And it’s just the way things go. I saw a lot of people get hurt, because they didn’t have a plan. And you know, the old saying, What? Work? What is it, plan your work and work your plan.

And so you always have to be thinking, you know, where do you want to end up? And how am I going to get there, and that it really true in the entrepreneur proneural space, but we can’t forget that when you’re in a corporation too, because you will get left behind.

Mary  13:04

Oh, right. You are definitely speaking to the choir here. You know, I mean, I’ve been laid off twice, so I have experienced that. And a lot of our what we call our fearless nation and sweet but fearless. We talk about that, because that’s a lot of how it started was how can we help women and men who have recently been laid off, whether it was due to acquisitions and mergers as mine was, or whether it was due to COVID, or the pandemic, for whatever reason, you are at your lowest because your confidence has been, you know, really struck hard. But at the same time, you can be at your highest because now you have the freedom to do what you want. If you have a plan.

And in our podcast as well, we talk about that we have a lot of guides on it as well. Really talking about thinking through while you have a job. What you would do if you didn’t have a job, right, that plan you’re speaking of what if do a lot of what if scenarios, because again, your mind is freer to think through it because it has doesn’t have the stress of I don’t have a job on your shoulder, right? You have a job, or at least you have some income coming in. So you can be a little freer in what you’re thinking, write it down, plan it out, what would it look like draw it? Some people are very pictorial, right? They want to draw everything or speak it into a microphone, whatever will work for you.

But it’s do it, act on it, because you said that if the inaction will never get you in, right, you have to take action that we learned as well as, frankly, not giving all your heart and soul to the company. Right? Right. You just can’t give up everything of yourself. Can’t sacrifice all your family time. You can’t sacrifice all of your own personal interests for this entity that at the end of the day will always make the business decision they need for themselves Exactly. And their shareholders if they’re publicly traded, you will be at the bottom of it. So give your great work to them. But Don’t give your heart and soul a little bit of it for you. Because you’re going to have to rely on it to get you forward.

I learned that the next the second time. The first time I was devastated, I was 17 years working for a firm, top performer, a leader and you know, they cut me. I got an email telling me I was laid off, I was devastated. And I was hurt, I guess, like people going through a divorce or, you know, I was just really blindsided. And I vowed I will not be blindsided again. So yeah, I would say the same thing in your entrepreneurial space. I don’t wanna say have an exit plan, in case things don’t go wrong, because you have to go be all in, but do have some kind of plan for if things aren’t going the way you want. Right? What will you do to get it back on track?

Roy Barker  15:46

Yeah, and kind of that next step with that thought is, sometimes as entrepreneurs or professionals, we, you know, we hate to say ego, because it’s, I don’t know that that’s the right word. But basically, you know, we let our ego get in the way that we know what we’re doing, we know this path that we want. And we put blinders on to, you know, as we talked earlier about this council of help, but also just listening and watching for those signs that, you know, maybe if we’re, you know, if we’re a good plumber, marketing may not be our thing. So, reach out to somebody who does marketing and, you know, get some tips from them, it’ll be money well spent, or, you know, whatever that looks like, but we have to be have an open mind to listen to get that input.

Mary  16:35

And also, I think Roy, in addition to that is, even if you are good at it, maybe you should be spending your time elsewhere. And that’s another thing I’ve learned in the entrepreneurs spaces. Where is the space where I can make the biggest impact and or revenue, right, the biggest impact on my business, and that’s where I need to spend 80% of my time, and only 20% in all the other things, even if I like all those other things. Yeah, if I’m not spending 80% of my time in the spot that only I can do, because I have two colleagues, right? So they also have their strengths, right? I need them doing their strengths. And I need to stay in my lane so to speak.

Because it’s easy to drift or see the shiny Penny and go chase it, or, Hey, I heard a new way to grow my email list. Let me go do that. Yeah. And it’s like, well, let’s come back to it it is it? Is it in our zone? Is it what we should be focusing on? Because it’s really hard, because you are getting a lot of advice from many wonderful people. Yeah, you just can’t implement everything you do need to stay focused and stay on your plan. Yeah, as much as you can.

Roy Barker  17:40

Yeah. And that I think that even goes for the position that we take, because a lot of times that what I’ve seen before was a guy that started a business that was awesome in sales. Once the business grew, he, he hired salesmen, and then he tried to manage it and do the books and stuff that he could do, but it wasn’t his strength. And so you know, that when we just tried to reposition him and say, Look, you can hire somebody that’s good at books to do the books, but sales and selling your product or your service, that is your strength, you’ve got to go with it. And you can, you know, you don’t always have to be that that manager person you can be, you know, out front doing what you do best.

Mary  18:23

Right. And it’s the same thing in the corporate world, right? When you moved up from, you know, being a frontline manager, to a senior manager, you had to pivot and use different skills. The same skills that got you the first job, where maybe you were really the best at what you did executing. But if you want to move up to the senior director level, or a VP, etc, you have to start bringing more of your relational skills, more of your strategic skills forward. And being the expert at something maybe goes down a little lower. So it’s all about moving different things forward. It’s not that you don’t have those skills. It’s how we use them.

And that’s something I’ve definitely learned in the entrepreneurial space is that I have to find out more what the women that want to level up and move up in their career. What do they want? Not always just what do I think they need? Right? Right, right. I have to stop that thought and go to what do you want? Tell me exactly what you how do you want it delivered? When do you want it delivered? Because it can’t be just what I think it should be. I’ve learned oh my gosh, you have to really survey and ask a lot of questions to make sure you don’t just go out with your own thinking and then then yeah.

Roy Barker  19:36

Yeah, that’s a perfect analogy also to you know, just sales and listening to our consumer or our prospect to see what do they really, really need. So I think that message translates that. Yeah. What is it? We got? God gave us two years and only one mouth so we should be listening twice as much as we’re talking. That’s hard to do as a podcast host but it’s good. It’s good. Live by because you do learn a lot, sometimes you pick up those little keys. And I actually had a gentleman on not long ago that was a, like a body movement expert, he could, you know, kind of read things in and he said, not only two ears, but two eyes.

So we have to pay attention to all of those, all of our sensories, I guess, in order to get that, but one thing I was gonna ask is, so what have you seen? Or what are people struggling with the most now, whether it’s in the corporate or whether they’re, you know, stepping out to entrepreneur, what have you been kind of providing the most help with?

Mary  20:37

All right, that’s a great question. And I would say right now, specifically for my audience. The Sweet but Fearless audience has been all about the COVID-19. Returning to office, the kids going back to school or not going back, it has been a rough year. And they were struggling a lot with balancing their careers and being either the mother in the home or maybe a caretaker of elderly parent, or just a woman, you know, with all that was going on with the illnesses, etc, and being a nurturer in their family nucleus. So that was the biggest struggle was how to keep moving forward in my career when all these other priorities are now pulling at me. And a lot of the data that we’ve been reading is reinforcing that that four times the amount of women have left the workforce than men.

Now, I hope a lot of them are like me and are trying something entrepreneur and are really taking advantage of that potentially, and saying, Well, now let me do something for myself and my family and my community, right in my nation, let me do something. But I’m also a realist, and I know a lot of them are and they’re going to be struggling to get back into the workforce, and not having to start over and that’s what they’re telling me is, hey, Mary, I don’t want to start over. Yeah, I shouldn’t have to start over. I didn’t take six months vacation. Right? Exactly. Yeah, because there was an illness or because I got laid off, or I got furloughed, I’m trying to be a, you know, productive citizen in the workforce helped me out. And that’s what they’re wanting.

Roy Barker  22:12

And that’s something I really haven’t thought about till just now is that, you know, so many people, if they do return to a job. You know, to go find a job, they’re probably going to be starting all over maybe a new position, maybe a new company. You know, hopefully things will open up fast enough, we might can find our way back to where we were. But I mean, that’s a that’s kind of a real threat, is that, you know, that I would hate to think at my age, I was have to starting over. But you know, the the other part I was going to mention too, is that, you know, knock on wood.

This is the first time in life that it’s been a blessing to be old, because you know, my kids are grown and gone. But I can’t even imagine these young people that have had to deal with working at home, if they’re lucky enough to work, but maybe even not working, having kids at home trying to educate them. I mean, what a trying time for so many people.

Mary  23:04

Right? I say, you know, my statement is, we were all in the same storm, right. The COVID-19 storm, but we don’t have the same boat. I had a different boat than others, right? I, my son, too, is older on his own, you know, his his own career. So I didn’t have someone that I needed to take care of other than myself. And then yes, you have these women in their 30s and 40s. To have children at home and having to balance, keeping them, you know, occupied and teaching them and being that primary teacher. And just all of the different things that we’re pulling on them that.

Yeah, I just feel that we all have to be aware of each other’s tools that they had to get through it. Yeah. And what can we do to help them? Right, that is why we started our business because we wanted to help others that maybe weren’t in a yacht. Right? They may be in that little canoe, paddleboard, standing up trying to just get by, you know, and we have to help them.

Roy Barker  24:04

Yeah, and the other thing that you mentioned, too, is women typically tend to be the primary caregiver. I know that I’ve worked in the senior living field for a long time. And usually it’s the daughter in law that takes care of everybody. And so now, you know, we’ve got the kids at home, and a lot of these women have had aging parents or aging parents in law that they’ve also had to provide care for.

Mary  24:29

We call it the sandwich. Yeah, right. The the mother sandwich, or the woman who has still kids or maybe even older kids have come back home, right? The basement dweller or, and they have the adult parents that they’re taking care of. And we call it in the sandwich because they’ve got that both going on. And they’re probably at the prime of their career. Yeah. Whether it’s entrepreneur or corporate. They’re in that prime spot in their career. Now they’re like, Oh, my gosh, I have all of these competing priorities.

Roy Barker  24:58

Yeah, or some that are on lucky to have partners like me that are probably you know, worse than they’d Trade Me for a 10 year old in a heartbeat.

Mary  25:07

And the spouse, right. Hey, we know we can’t do anything without our allies. Well, sweet, but fearless talks about women and supporting women. We believe me, we are all inclusive. And no, it does take a village. Yeah, exactly. Oh.

Roy Barker  25:24

So I guess the other thing I was gonna ask is kind of a predictive question more or less. But so what are y’all seeing it as women and men come to y’all? Are you seeing people that are going back to work more? Are they just preparing to go back? Do we think things are, you know, are Corporation starting to hire again for I guess, mid level to higher level jobs? Are y’all just seeing like everybody flooding back into the entry level? Or kind of what is that looking like?

Mary  25:57

Definitely, we are seeing the corporations opening up. So that has been wonderful, right. But, you know, I think a lot of people thought, well, due to the COVID, they’re not going to go back into the offices, so they won’t need as many people. And in my experience, and right now, I know in the financial services industry, they’re opening up offices, and you know, safely and properly. But they’re going back into the offices and working and they’ve even elevated their hiring. So more opportunity is out there. I think it’s just gonna be a different kind of opportunity ROI in different roles. Okay. And that’s what we’re helping people do is be prepared for those new roles.

Yeah, you know, elevate certain skills, right, make sure you know how to bring those forward. But also the art of the interview. Yeah, a lot of people were laid off or displaced. And now they’re having to go interview and sometimes it’s for the same company, sometimes it’s for newer company, and those interview skills are rusty. That’s what we spend a lot of time helping people is, let’s help you prepare for that interview. And, and when the first time or the second time, so you don’t get into that rut of 25, 35 interviews and you get discouraged ecetera, we really want to help build that confidence through interview skills.

Roy Barker  27:10

Yeah. And I was talking to a younger guy the other day that was telling me about the, about the, I guess, the machines that recruiters and companies run these resumes through. It’s an auto API, APS. Anyway, something. Yeah, yeah. Basically, it’s an automated machine. I think it’s important for people, especially of my age is, you know, we made resumes that were pretty and functionable that you took in. And you actually handed it to somebody. But you know, from what I’ve picked up lately is that you got to really in. I’ll let you speak to this, but you basically almost have to have two.

You’ve got that one that you submit electronically, that can make it through this automatic tracking system. But then you need the nice one to actually carry in if you you know, get an in person call to give to somebody. So can you speak to that just a little bit?

Mary  28:12

I sure can. And APS, right, that automatic system? Yeah. And everything’s algorithms, right? Whether it’s marketing online, or in your marketing online when you’re finding a job because now no one really walks any hands. Everything’s online, screeners, right? The recruiters are going through that. And definitely we talk about a lot in our courses, and in a lot of our free downloads, so people can feel free to do that is how you make sure that your resume matches the job description, right? I know, it seems like 101 ROI. But you find out that many people because they haven’t interviewed a lot, right? They haven’t had to do it or not thinking of Oh, the job is asking for project management.

So let me find a way to say it five different ways in my resume so that however you describe project management, it’s going to come up, right. That’s what we work with people on ensuring that their resume does match the job they want. Yeah, right and match the needs of the company. But we also go a little further and we make sure that you are applying for the right jobs. And what I mean by that is not the ones you’re going to get automatically, but applying for the ones you truly want and that match your interests match your skills and your passion and that you’re not trying to fit the circle into the square and knowing if you’re applying for a company that maybe their guiding principles are totally against yours.

Yeah. Why are you applying for there? Yeah, and there’s ways that people can research this for free and find it out. So we really helped them kind of put the puzzle together so that when they go into the interview, that’s just icing on the cake. You know, they’ve already done all that research and reflection and now they’re ready to just be them be themselves and knock it out of the park.

Roy Barker  29:56

Yeah. Yeah, the other thing too, I think that There’s been a shift used to the resumes tended to be task oriented. And now we are more accomplishment, or you know what goes on? Yeah, outcome oriented?

Mary  30:12

Yeah, definitely that as well as even in the interview itself, right. I think everybody’s heard of the behavioral interview question, tell me about a time when, right? And so everybody knows, they’ve got to prepare and have at least, you know, seven or eight examples and stories that are going to, you know, hit on different topics are going to hit on their communication strengths, their collaboration, strengths, their problem solving, and etc. So everything has become more about the outcome. And they even call it a star format. And you can Google that sta er, and it’s all about setting up the situation, the task, your action item that you did in it, and then the result, okay?

They even grade you on it and say, Well, if you don’t talk about the result, then how do we know what you did with it. So even in the interview format, is that outcome as well as the resume, they want you to list your accomplishments. And to be very specific, so make sure your audience knows to be very specific, not just, I lead a large team, right? I lead 500 people in three divisions with, you know, 3 million budget, be very specific, so that, again, when they’re interviewing you, and having that conversation with you, there’s a story there you can talk about, and you can differentiate yourself from others. Yeah.

Roy Barker  31:36

Yeah, I’m glad. I’m glad that I am not out there. I know it is tough. And, you know, the, I guess, when we have this initial scrum, with everybody, making the mad dash, you know, probably for the first few months, it’s gonna be really tough and really rough out there.

Mary  31:51

Well, that’s why a lot of people recommend a lot of us, you know, specialists, career specialists, we recommend, don’t wait until you’ve lost your job to go find a new job. Start, always be networking, right, right. Use your LinkedIn, use your podcast, connections, use all of your network and make sure you are building relationships. Now, with confidence, because you have a job. So you’re much more confident, do it now. So that when it does happen, and it will happen probably in everybody’s life, some kind of career pivot that you’re ready, and at least you have a head start, right.

Roy Barker  32:23

Yeah, and you know, employers are, should be open. This is something that I preach all the time. Because I do a lot of work on employee retention, is that as the employer, we don’t need to wait till the slot comes empty to figure out who we want to plug in. That we need to do the same thing. We need to be reaching out. We need to be networking, talking, you know, that way it gives us kind of, I think it gives us that honeymoon period. Is that I’m not having to make a decision on you. Because you walked in my office 10 minutes ago, it’s like I can watch your social media, maybe we interact, even once things opened back up, we can go to a conference and see how people interact or you know, different things like that.

But, you know, definitely tell employers, you know, recruiting is not posting a job on the internet. So you know, get out there. And so if you’re on the other side, if you’re the employee, don’t be scared to reach out, because you’ll be doing the employer a favor by getting in touch with them and starting to that networking process.

Mary  33:27

Make it easy for them to say, yeah, let me make it easy to say yes. You know, part of the role I had when I was an executive in the financial services industry was recruiting. Right. All leaders had to recruit and get the bench strength that you’re referring to. And, you know, oftentimes, we were, you know, held accountable to having a deep bench because of the turnover. And you wanted to make sure that you didn’t have a six month lag time between getting someone hired and on boarded, because that does take at least six months for someone to be on board and properly. So having that bench strength was so important.

Now, what companies don’t allow us to always do is hire ahead. Yes, I learned that one back in the early 2000s. That got him in trouble and had to layoff people because they hired too many ahead, but don’t usually give you a month or two leeway most companies to if they see or know that someone’s leaving, then for you to hire someone and get them on board. And so yes, having that been strength, whether you’re the one hiring or you’re the one wanting to be hired. Yeah, network network network.

Roy Barker  34:32

Exactly. Exactly. Well, Mary, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to drop by and see us before we wrap up, you know any other first off any other parting tips that you want to put out there? Before we go?

Mary  34:45

I would add to everyone that’s listening, whether again, you’re an entrepreneur or corporate, it really doesn’t matter because you are talent, and you are trying to be successful in whatever space you’re in right now. And I would say Just make sure you really do know your interest, and build your confidence. And if you’re struggling with your own internal confidence, surround yourself with those that do love and support you and believe in you, because they will, they’ll help build you up. Yeah, use them, especially as an entrepreneur, you need it more than ever, right? But do know that there’s people that support you and let them let them give to you and let them support you. Yep,

Roy Barker  35:24

sometimes that’s fine. Sometimes that’s hard, we have people that are around us that want to provide us help. And we don’t want to bother them or whatever the reason is, but just be open to letting people help you because they they truly do. And people, you know, I found that people are so giving of themselves, whether it’s their time or their knowledge that they will help. So that’s alright, so what is a tool that you use in your daily life could be a habit, it could be a, an app or something, but something that adds a lot of value to you professionally, or personally,

Mary  35:59

I would say the tool I use the most, and it’s probably gonna be, you know, obvious when I was talking about career advice, but truly is LinkedIn. And that is a tool I use. Because not only when I was looking for a job, it was very helpful. But recruiting people, it was very helpful. And now I’m learning in the entrepreneur space, which I wasn’t in before. So I didn’t see it through that lens. It is amazing place to connect with people in groups, and inventory have articles and information that can help anybody no matter what your business is, right. And they’ve even started adding new life functions and features. They’re trying to evolve, right? They don’t want to be left behind.

Yeah, so they’re evolving. And they’re competing with clubhouse and Facebook and all sorts of other apps and sites. So that’s one that I would say, I use every single day all throughout the day. It’s helped me and I know it’s helped many, many people that follow me and are in the industry. So I really like it

Roy Barker  37:07

no matter what, what side of the table, you’re on the employee, employer or the career path or the level. Because I just get a lot of good information. I’ve got a lot of contacts. And you know, part of my litmus test is, you know, eye contact with people who are a lot more a lot smarter than I am and a lot more successful with them because they’re putting out a lot of good information and things that I can certainly learn from so yeah, definitely a great tool to use.

Mary  37:34

You can repost them, it’s not plagiarism, because of course, you’re gonna give them credit. Right, right. But you can repost things as you’re building your own business and your own credibility and your own voice. You can help leverage others voices, just like you said, we’re much smarter than me much more talented. I leverage them all the time in one piece I’ll leave you with is. Recently I saw an article on there from Harvard Business Review. And I thought, Wait a minute, I did a podcast on that very topic three weeks ago. So I posted it and said, Great minds thinking alike. So anytime you can tie yourself to someone a little higher. Yeah, go ahead and do it.

Roy Barker  38:13

All right, Mary. Well, thank you so much. Again, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. So tell everybody, you know, it’s Sweet But Fearless. What are y’all? Who Are y’all helping? How are you helping them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you.

Mary  38:26

So I definitely invite everyone over to We have lots of PDFs, and ebooks and Eguides and lots of free information to really help anybody going through a career transition who maybe wants it to be a career transformation, right? That just haven’t happened to them, but be part of what’s your dictating how you move forward. So we have a lot of things over at our website, We also have a podcast the same name Sweet But Fearless. And of course we’re on you know, LinkedIn, Instagram, everything under Sweet But Fearless. So we welcome you to come over and get to know us join our mailing list. And if there’s a connection, there’s a connection, we’ll see how we can help you.

Roy Barker  39:11

Alright, awesome. Y’all reach out, see how Mary can help you. Like I said, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the corporate world. If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re an entrepreneur going into the corporate world or somebody in the corporate world going to entrepreneur, reach out, see how they can help you there, you know, especially if you’re of a certain age things have changed so much that never really hurts to get a little refresher kind of see what’s the latest and greatest. And you know, as we talked about some things the maybe some different hurdles that you’re going to need to cross as you do this.

So, again, thank you and that’s gonna do it for another episode of the business of business podcast. You can find us of course at www.the business of business We are on all the major social media networks as well as the major podcast platforms Stitcher, Google, Spotify, iTunes, If we’re not a one that you listen to regularly if you’ll reach out, I’d be glad to get us added to it. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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