July 27, 2021

Ken Coleman

On this week’s episode of Trevor Talks, you get a live look at America’s Career Coach in action! Ken Coleman is a nationally syndicated radio host and the bestselling author of The Proximity Principle. Ken believes that no one should have to choose between profession and purpose, and his upcoming book From Paycheck to Purpose will walk readers through seven steps to clarify their personal mission— overcoming imposter syndrome and doubt in the process. You’ll hear those principles in action as Ken talks with Trevor about his own passions.

On this week’s episode of Trevor Talks, you get a live look at America’s Career Coach in action! Ken Coleman is a nationally syndicated radio host and the bestselling author of The Proximity Principle. Ken believes that no one should have to choose between profession and purpose, and his upcoming book From Paycheck to Purpose will walk readers through seven steps to clarify their personal mission— overcoming imposter syndrome and doubt in the process. You’ll hear those principles in action as Ken talks with Trevor about his own passions.


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Trevor Tyson  0:01  
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. Today's guest is a one for all of us to learn from, whether you're just getting into the workforce or you've been running the race for decades, there is always space to grow. Ken Coleman is America's career coach and the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, the ken Coleman show. And he's also the author of his number one national bestseller, The proximity principle, which is available everywhere now. And he's also here to share about his new book from paycheck to purpose, which is coming this fall, and he is here to share it with us first, if you are ready for a career shift or anything, like we said earlier, this is the episode for you, Ken, thank you so much for joining us today.

Ken Coleman  0:51  
Trevor, good to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Trevor Tyson  0:53  
Yeah, so I am just intrigued by your book that's coming out in the fall from paycheck to purpose is something that I'm definitely passionate about just seeing people jumping out of the rat race that they call the American dream and pursuing something a little bit better for their self. So can we just start off with talking about the message behind that?

Ken Coleman  1:13  
Yeah, well, you know, the title really encapsulates what the book is about, we want people to stop working just for a paycheck. Certainly work is something that we do to be able to make money to live, right. That's the basic basis line for work. And that, sadly, were millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of adults have viewed work, their whole life is just Well, I do it for a paycheck to be able to live. And if there's a little bit leftover, we can make some memories, yada, yada, yada. And I want people to see work as a way that they contribute to the world. It isn't purposeful contribution. So from paycheck to purposes, I make the income I need and desire. But I also make the impact that I want to make, is it possible to use your talent what you do best to do work you love that you're passionate about to produce results that are very missional? For you they connect to your values? The answer is absolutely. So the book from PageRank, the purpose is a walk through the seven stages. Think of it as a climb up your professional mountain to the pinnacle. The dream job is not just about status, and dollar signs. It's really about that significant contribution that you make, and the significant feeling you have about your work, to where you get excited and pumped up on Monday. And when you go home on Friday, it's not in celebration of I get to spend two days trying to reinvigorate myself, because it's been a drudgery, but I am resting and recharging, so I can get back at it. On Monday. That's what the book is about.

Trevor Tyson  3:14  
I love that. And they call you America's career coach. And from the get go, that title can seem kind of intimidating. So I'm curious to know, the story behind you becoming america's career coach, as we're talking about before we started recording, you just did a surprise spot on the Dave Ramsey show. And you've just been going out and going at it. But you still have a smile on your face. So what's the story behind you becoming the ken Coleman you are today from childhood up the significant memories you have that led up to you becoming america's career coach?

Ken Coleman  3:47  
Well, you know, that could be a really long winded answer. Nobody wants to hear that. So the short version is, as a kid, I was always very driven and ambitious, to figure out what is this thing, and at 16 began to get some real clarity, feeling that it was going to be the serve the public in politics, a desire to make people's lives better through policy, so I pursued that direction. And in pursuing that, that urge, it was leading me all along to being a broadcaster, for the same purpose, to speak life into people and to coach people to be the best versions of themselves. So along the way I go from politics into broadcasting is how it happens over times very long story. It's a journey that I you know, really went through a season of uncertainty, otherwise known as fear. Some impostor syndrome, otherwise known as doubt, so fear and doubt crippled me and held me back for about three years or so. After feeling like hey, there's a shift from politics to broadcasting, but the same passion of communicating, connecting, influencing, and the mission of, you know, transformation. So, it was just a weird journey in the sense that I was always going forward on the path. But I thought that I had wasted so much time, and then realizing that I was going this way. But now I'm going to go this way. But the roads still leading to the same place that I wanted to communicate, to connect for the purposes of influencing people to be their best to live the life that they're supposed to live. And that really came from an appreciation of history. Certainly my faith, that there's a reason behind all of this, that none of us are this big, giant cosmic accident. And that we all, at some point, wrestle with the question, Why am I here? What should I do with my life? Nobody teaches you that. So that tells me that we are spirits, we are souls, and there's a soul craving to make a difference in the lives of others.

Trevor Tyson  6:08  
That's amazing. And you touch on fear, doubt, impostor syndrome. Those are three things that we talked about a lot here on Trevor talks. And you said, you went through three years of letting fear cripple you down which I did the exact same thing down to the tee, walked into corporate America thought I was living the American dream, but it just wasn't satisfying for me. So what are some ways that you got over that fear? And you overcame the doubts that you were struggling with? In your mind?

Ken Coleman  6:37  
Yeah. So we have to get really, really clear, if fear is telling us the truth, if Dad is telling us the truth, and protecting us, or is fear and doubt holding us back. So a little simple process for overcoming fear and doubt that I've learned from my own journey, is I always loved this. There was a I was a child of the 80s and 90s. So there was this old legal show with Andy Griffith entitled Matlock, and he was this lawyer, right. So it was largely a courtroom drama. And so I've always enjoyed legal movies, A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise and that whole legal Korean thing. And so if you if you got a favorite legal drama, you know, the analogy here is, is you need to put fear and doubt on the witness stand. So if fear is telling you something, you're going to fail, don't do this. Or doubt is saying, you actually aren't good enough to do this. And you're going to create failure as a result of you know, whatever it is, whatever fear and doubt are telling you. You got to put them on the witness stand, put them up there. And go alright. Fear is saying this, that if I go after this career switch, and I don't do well, I'm going to starve underneath the bridge, homeless with my family. All right. Is this true? Well, let's look at this. What would have to happen for me to end up in the place that fear is telling me I will end up and we just break it down? Is fear telling you the truth? Sometimes it is. I mean, if I go right now to just outside the national area that's beautiful falls all over the place and I go up to the top of a fall and I tow the edge. And fear tells me if you're not careful, you could slip and fall break your neck and die. Is fear telling me the truth there? Absolutely, it is. I that could happen. So fear is protecting me. My brain is going hey, this is dangerous. Whoa, slow down, Sparky. But if I am qualified, and I've got the talent to do something, and I go after it, my fear is going if you do this, everybody you know in love is gonna make fun of you. They're gonna disown you. Is that the truth? No, that's not the truth. So I'm having some extreme examples. But you'd be surprised how many times I hear that on the radio from callers. So we want to put fear and doubt on the witness stand and we want to figure out is fear protecting me is doubt protecting me? Or is it lying to me? And if in fact, it is lying to us, we have put fear the voice of fear and doubt on the witness and and we've deconstructed it. So once we deconstruct and find out it's lying to us, what do we do we focus on the truth. The truth is I do have the talent to do this, the truth is, I have the passion, I love this type of work. And the truth is, it is missional to my soul these results that I will create doing this work I love connecting my values. And so now I know I'm on purpose. I'm using what I do best to do work I love to produce results that matter to me, that's purpose. And the debt sentence right there that purposes, is like a giant neon blinking arrow pointing out into the business world. The Marketplace shows me different jobs, different career paths that all are in that sweet spot where I use what I do best to do work. I love to produce results that matter. So that's how we overcome fear and doubt.

Trevor Tyson  10:00  
Wow. And that can be applied into so many different ways, whether it's from a mental health standpoint, whether someone's working a nine to five that they hate just to feed their family and such. But I kind of want to touch into that, because listening to some of the episodes from your show, which is also a podcast as well. You take a lot of phone calls, you talk to a lot of people around America and all over the globe that call in. They're really looking for a career shift. And some people it's detrimental to their health that they get out of the career that they're in. But they're struggling with that fear, they're struggling with that anxiety, they're struggling with that tug on them that, hey, I have to provide for my family, I have to do this, I have to do that. But there's no real blueprint to success that everyone can go by. So when it comes down to it, someone that hates their job, it's terrible for their mental health, it's ruined in their home life. What are some simple steps that we could take without overthinking it to get out of that career position?

Ken Coleman  10:58  
Well, first of all, we got to figure out what the clear path is, right? So. So this idea of leaving something that I know, even if it's miserable, this is so hard. I mean, listen, people, unless it says, I'll be honest with ourselves, how many times in your life have you realized that you would rather stay in something that's making you miserable, as opposed to doing something that will make you uncomfortable, right, you know, I'm miserable here. But in order for me to leave misery, which I know everything about, and I've managed to kind of maintain, I've managed to kind of deal with it. But if I move over here, which I can see is a better future and everything's better. But it's going to require me to be uncomfortable and face things that I don't know. I'd rather be miserable than face the unknown. Okay, so that's the first thing, know that that's not a you thing. That's a wee thing, that's a human thing. So okay, I know, I'm dealing with that. And that's where fear and doubt are going to rear their ugly head again. So I've got to have a very clear path forward. What I mean by clear path is I see the steps I must take, what I don't see, even with a clearer path is the timing of everything. But I do see the clear path. And so that's why I wrote the seven stages, the way that we wrote them and I clear created this clear path, I've got to get clear on what I'm moving from to so if I want to leave this stage when I can walk you through the seven stages, because that's the answer. So I'm here in this miserable career, or just a block career doesn't have to be miserable, but I hate it. But I'm blah, or I'm miserable. What do I want to do? I got to get clear, I go back to the three indicators that we all have talent, passionate mission, talent, hard skills, soft skills, passion work, that I really love to do, I have high emotion and devotion for it. Okay? Finally, Mission results that matter to me. So when I begin to go, here's my purpose statement. Alright, I take Ken Coleman's get clear career assessment, which is coming very soon. And in 20 minutes, I'm going to fill out my professional purpose statement. And it's going to go I Trevor was created to use what I do best blank, blank, blank. To do work, I love blank, blank, blank, to produce results that matter to me blank, blank, okay. Boom, I look out in the marketplace, I go, Oh, I could be a physical therapist. I could be a nurse. I could be a doctor. I mean, what I'm making this up. And we see all the possibilities now unclear. But now I do a little bit more research, which is just clarifying. Verify which one of those do I want to do most? And let's say I find out I want to be a physical therapist. Now I move into stage two, what do I have to do to get qualified? College? What maybe? Sometimes, yes, for physical therapy? Yes. But to be a programmer, no, I do not. I need some online training to become a programmer. So I asked myself, What do I need to learn what I need to do, how much is going to cost how long it's going to take, and I got a plan to get qualified. So I'm in stage two, I get qualified while I'm getting qualified. I'm using Ken Coleman's the proximity principle and stage three, which is about getting connected. I'm making connections I'm hanging around people that are in physical therapy, I'm going to places where physical therapy is happening. I'm observing I'm watching I'm hanging out getting to meet people, maybe I can work for them one day since I get qualified. That stage three get connected, at some point an opportunity presents itself and I take it I start that stage four get started. Once I'm in a bus in it, crushing it, trying to win the now so I can get to the next which is stage five get promoted. I'm going to stay in stage five for a while because now I'm on the ladder but I'm moving up but I'm still in stage five. This wrong this wrong this wrong. This wrong. At some point I move from stage five to stage six I get the dream job in my done no, I've been climbing this whole time going up. I get to the top of the mountain my professional Pinnacle where I am right now in my dream job but I'm not even close to done. My vision changed. I was looking up the whole way. Now I'm looking out I'm on top the mountain I'm looking at I'm expanding my vision. I'm essentially repeating the seven stages again, right? Get clear, what's the next mountain? What do I need to do to be qualified to climb that mountain? You know, it starts all over. And so the idea here is, is that we are moving from stage six, into stage seven, which is give yourself away. Now I'm not working for income, income as their, I'm not working for notoriety, or awards, I'm working for impact only its legacy. Those are the seven stages. So you asked me, How do I get out? It's those seven stages

Trevor Tyson  15:37  
is beautiful. And I love that use the word legacy, because that's something that we've been talking about a lot in the previous episodes is, what legacy are we going to leave behind? And I'm just I read, I skim through the proximity principle, I'm excited to start your next book, you have so many resources available, especially with Ramsey solutions, you've got the every dollar budget, you got Ramsey plus, now there's so many things for so many people. But you mentioned a course that you're going to put out or a little questionnaire type thing to help people navigate their career path, right? What is what is something that they can do right now. Like, I want to leave this job, I want to get my wife out of the bad job that she's in, my kid just got out of college and figured out they don't want to use their degree, no matter what the situation is, is there like a mindset shift or something that we can apply right now, to just break that fear, break that anxiety and break out of the corporate rat race?

Ken Coleman  16:36  
Well, you know, I mean, I hate to keep going back. But I mean, if that's you, right, now, you got to get clear, you got to help your wife get clear, you got to help your kid get clear. And, you know, as we're recording right now, I mean, again, they can go to Ken, the assessment is going to be available, this is going to be if you've ever taken Strength Finders, where Strength Finders 2.0 gave you your top five strengths. That was it, we're gonna give you, we're gonna give you your top three talents, you'll see the rest of the how you score on the rest of the universal talents, there's 12 of them. All work skills can basically be grouped into 12 talents. And you can get clear on that you can figure out, we're going to tell you exactly the type of work you love. And then we're going to show you the mission result that most drives your work. And you're gonna get a purpose statement. It's a bad a 20 minute assessment, about a 25 page report this beautiful and specific. I mean, that's a tool that your audience needs to check out. I mean, it's called the Get clear career assessment. But besides a tool like that, you got to first decide to do this to say, Hey, do I think there's more? Do I think there's more to this. And even though it might take me time, and cost me some more money, what's the alternative? The alternative is to get to the end of your life and look back and regret that you didn't do the thing that your heart was telling you to do. Versus decide today might take me a little bit longer. But I'm not going to lick my wounds and say, Oh, I spent all this time at college and all this money on a degree that I'm not going to use who I'm going to worry about what other people say. I mean, look, dude, I was 3233 years of age. And I told everybody I knew I was not going to go into politics. That's what they all expected. And I was a successful businessman, I was set up to run. And just out of nowhere, I'm going to pursue broadcasting, I don't have a degree in broadcasting, I'm never going to have a degree in broadcasting. I mean, you know, it was It was horrifying, terrifying to kind of put that out there. But you got to decide, you got to decide. And when you decide to get clear, and you don't have to take my assessment, the assessment just does the hard work for you. But if you just sit down and go, What are my top talents? What do I do best? What have people always complimented me on what's come easy for me? Those are the tools by which I'm going to be able to match up to work that really makes me excited. I mean, let's put you on the spot. Give me two or three types of work that you actually look forward to you're not even doing it yet, but you get excited thinking about it. And then when you're in the middle of it, time seems to disappear. What is it?

Trevor Tyson  19:14  
Social media, content creation, and podcasting, just like we are now?

Ken Coleman  19:21  
Yeah, so that's the work you love to do. So let's go backwards. I'm doing this out of order on purpose. So what would you say? Or what would everybody that knows you Trevor told me if I interviewed them and said, What are Trevor's top two or three talents? What would they say?

Trevor Tyson  19:38  
Probably encouragement and staying consistent. Yeah, but

Ken Coleman  19:42  
there's more to it. Those are character traits I like but what else I'm talking about an actual talent, a hard skill, soft skill. What would you what would they tell me? Oh,

Trevor Tyson  19:52  
sheesh, I am on the spot. Let

Ken Coleman  19:53  
me help you out. I'm gonna help you out. Let's go. I do this for a living. So based on your answer of the type of work you love, I'm good. And to take a guess as to the s of the talents you have the way I word them. You ready? I'm gonna say that you have a talent of communication. Yep. All right. And I need you to respond like, very positively or no, you're kind of off because I'm okay. You're okay. Communication is one. Yes. I'm also going to say connection. Very different. Yes. All Look at his face, folks. Did

Unknown Speaker  20:23  
you see it? Can they see your face? And this? This is Yes, yes. You really resisted. Now,

Ken Coleman  20:28  
the first one I warmed you up because you started going? Well, am I a great speaker? I didn't say that. I said, Do you have the ability to communicate? Right? To be clear, and to listen. But then when I said connection, you went? Oh, I connect with people people tell you that you connect with them. Yeah. One more. One more. I'm going to say that you have the talent of imagination. 100% cite a second. How is it that I know this? What am I read in your mind? Am I Am I spooky?

Trevor Tyson  20:54  
What's hap write this in the book. Now this the

Ken Coleman  20:57  
new book, this isn't the new book. But this is the assessment I'm talking about. Here's my point. I asked you what work you love. And based on the answers you gave me, I was able to tell you what your top talents were. We did not talk beforehand.

Trevor Tyson  21:11  
We've never talked prior to this. Okay, here's how I

Ken Coleman  21:14  
knew that. We as human beings have been given talent, which are tools. It is the tools we use to do the work that we love. Do we as human beings, Trevor like to do things we suck at? No? Oh, you're right. So I was able to say wait a second, Trevor loves this work. I'll bet I can figure out what his top talents are. Now, this is the fun part. We went out of order. Normally, we want to identify talent first, because it gives people clues as to the work they love. But you know what you love and you're doing it. So it's this is easier for you. Now let's talk about mission. All work creates results True or False?

Trevor Tyson  21:58  
True, whether they're good or bad? That's another question.

Ken Coleman  22:02  
That's That's how we're talking about. When I work, I create a result. Maybe a crappy result may be a good result. But it creates a result, alright. There are six intrinsic motivators behind what we do intrinsic motivation means no one has to reward me for doing it. No one has to threaten me to do it. I do it because I want to as a parent, I tell my kids go clean the room or you're not going to your friend's house. That's a threat. If you get all A's, I'll give you this much money. That's a reward. Okay. Intrinsic motivation is I do it without anybody suggesting it. I love to do it. Okay, based on what I've heard from you. Okay, I think I know the answer. But what is the result of the work that you love? What's the result that you most want to produce in the world to contribute through the work you just described?

Trevor Tyson  22:54  
generosity, I want to be able, like going back to legacy at the end of the day, like everything I do during the day for work, whatever, is to where one day, I can give generously, I can give extravagantly and help them get out of tight financial spots.

Ken Coleman  23:12  
Okay, so, wait, so the answer, so the answer is influence. That that's your number one mission result of your work. You use what you do best communication, connection and imagination. Okay. To teach advise, I don't care what whatever saying we create. Okay, creating advising, teaching. to influence people. Influence is about changing people. That's your purpose statement. Right? That's your professional purpose statement. So that means you could be a podcaster, it could be an author, could be a blogger, could be a writer. You could design websites that deliver that result. It doesn't matter. As long as you're using what you do best those premium tools to do work that you just forget the result. You just love the work. But then when we add the mission or result to it, it's like are you kidding me? I feel like I'm stealing money from somebody. So that's I just wanted to break that down. I know I took over your podcast for Oh, it's great. I want people to understand the unbelievable simplicity of what I'm teaching. This isn't. This isn't hard to understand. But it actually is crazy. When you think about how simple what it is. I just walked you through. And yet how crazy scary and mythical? The answer feels for people. What am I do with my life? Oh my gosh, it feels so intimidating. Am I right? Yeah. 100%. But what we just did, folks is I took Trevor and I used him as an example. And Trevor provided all All the answers to me. I didn't do anything other than dig.

Trevor Tyson  25:06  
Wow. Well, welcome to the ken Coleman show just there's one last thing I want to break down. But before we do that, that is yet so simple yet so effective, you had me thinking, like, I didn't go into this thinking I was going to get assessed, but now everybody knows my talents, and etc. So if you're trying to come from my job, now you can because you know what you need to be qualified. But we have a bit of a crisis on our hands that I know you and the team over at Ramsey solutions talk about quite a bit. And it's the college debt crisis. For the people that are listening in, and the majority of them are thinking about going to college in the future. What would you say to that person that is uncertain about what they want to do in their life, yet, they feel like they know what they want to go to school for. So before they invest the money into going to a big fancy school, getting $130,000 in debt, no shamed anybody that has done it, but we're trying to save people the stress of all those student loans. What would you tell them before they pull the trigger and go to college like that?

Ken Coleman  26:12  
Yeah, thanks for asking me this. Because I'm crazy passionate about this, you have to answer these two questions. Since I know what I want to do. It's got to be based on this, you know, the profession you're heading towards, you have to ask the first question is, is this the only way to get there? If you are going into the medical field, you must have the undergrad and then the advanced degree. You want to be a lawyer, you're going to need the law school degree. These are two examples we all understand. So if it's that and it's like, is it the only way? The answer is yes. Now your decision is made for you. If you get a no, is it the only way and you get a no. Then the next question applies? Is it the best way? Let's go do a research is going to for your school, the time and money involved there? While it's not the only way? Is it the best way? If the answer is a very clear, yes, then college is the path. But if it's not the best way. Then forget college forget what everybody else thinks. Forget what your mom and dad think I know that freaks some people out. I'm not saying dishonor and disrespect your parents. But I'm saying it's time to put your big boy pants on. A lot of moms and dads have bought the message that millions of other moms and dads have bought because it's been crammed down our throats. that college is the best way to success that's been crammed down our throats from the federal government and higher education institutions for a very long time. And by the way, it's increasingly wrong.

Trevor Tyson  27:48  
Man this episode is jam packed with just so many resources. We're gonna link in the description the assessment for everyone to go check out go check out the proximity principle and stores everywhere and be looking for Ken's new book in stores this fall can work we find you on social media.

Ken Coleman  28:07  
Yeah, at Ken Coleman on Instagram Ken Coleman show on Tik Tok. We just had a viral video on tick tock I can't believe it. Also, the ken Coleman show. It's at Ken Coleman show on Tiktok Ken Coleman Show on Facebook. And of course at Ken Coleman on Instagram, all those links, LinkedIn, everything, Twitter, all of it. It's at Ken Coleman dot

Trevor Tyson  28:32  
amazing and we're gonna link all that in the description below. Be sure to go pre order from paycheck to purpose, also in the description below. Ken, thank you so much for joining us today. Hopefully we'll have you back soon.

Ken Coleman  28:43  
Yeah, Trevor, I enjoyed it. Thanks for having me.

Trevor Tyson  28:45  
Awesome. Thank you so much. And thank you to new release today for making this episode happen. We're super thrilled to be a part of their podcast network and we will talk to you guys next week.

Transcribed by

Ken ColemanProfile Photo

Ken Coleman

Ken is America’s Career Coach, the #1 bestselling author of The Proximity Principle and host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Ken Coleman Show. Every weekday, he helps callers discover what they do best so they can do work they love and produce the results that matter most to them. Whether you’re looking for a complete career change or you’re just unsure about what step to take next, Ken Coleman will help you get unstuck and on the path to doing meaningful work.