On the twenty-first installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, picks up where she left off when it comes to discussing the six I’s of transformation. Remember, the first three I’s were intentionality, initiative, and investment in improvement. Listen to the full episode to hear what the final three I’s are! She also talks a bit about the three values she’s established for her coaching business – clarity, confidence, and control.
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Latesha: Hello, hello. Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha. Today we are talking all about transformation. This is the year of transformation for you, for me. I am claiming it all the way. And this episode is the second part of a two-part series. So the last episode I talked about the first three I’s of transformation, so if you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. Over the past five years, my company has grown from zero clients to 1,000 clients in a variety of industries all over the world, internationally, domestically. My clients have landed at some pretty amazing companies. They completed transformed their lives. Some of them have gotten significant salary increases, and I’m proud to say that one of my clients got a wonderful job opportunity with an $80,000 signing bonus. Like, that is unreal. [laughs] When she told me that my mouth literally dropped, and my clients have been able to achieve some really dope things in their career to the point where I just think, “Wow, I actually had something to, you know, do with this success, to do with their success.” Being able to play a role in that is extremely, you know, fulfilling and rewarding for me as their career coach. When I started my business five years ago, I had no idea it would transform into what it has become today, and one specific day–this was just a few months before I started my business–I realized that I was living life on auto-pilot. I realized that I was just going to work, getting my check, going home, you know, going on vacation here and there, living the American Dream, right? ‘Cause that’s what they tell us to do. “Get that degree, get a job, and you’ll just be happy forever,” and I found myself being completely unfulfilled. I was bored, and I felt like my talents and my skills were being underutilized. I didn’t know what exactly that looked like at the time. So I went on this journey and I said, “Enough is enough. I can’t let this become my life.” So I’m saying all that to say the six I’s that I’m covering on today’s episode, what I covered on the last episode, are the themes that I realize that have occurred as I have went along this journey of transformation, from being unfulfilled to starting a business and to now scaling that business to serve even more clients. There was a lot of self-reflection. There was a lot of getting out of my own way and getting out of my comfort zone, and that’s what I want to share with you all today. So make sure you listen to the last episode, but I do want to cover the first three I’s again and then I’ll go into the second. Those first three were intention… so I want you to set intention. Set a mental image of what you want to be. The second I is initiative. Take ownership of your career. Now that you’ve set that intention, right, you have your eye on the prize, it is up to you to start creating some action to get there. So you have to take ownership, you have to take the power back. Don’t leave that power up to your employer, to lackluster leadership, to your boss that doesn’t care about you. He or she may only care about their own personal success. Three was investing in improvement, so investing in improvement, investing and improving something about yourself at least daily. But you have to be committed to getting better and better and better each and every day. So those were the first three I’s, and so I’ll go into the fourth I and the fifth and the sixth. So the fourth I is impact. When you think about making a transformation and you know that you are not maybe at that level that you want to be at, but you’re not sure where to go next, what to do next. I want you to start thinking about the impact. How do you want to show up in the world? How do you want to contribute to the world with your gifts, with your talents? So think about that impact, and start with the people around you, your family, your friends, people at church. If you are a part of any professional associations, get involved. Don’t just go to the meetings. Don’t just go to the events. Get involved. Join the board. Find opportunities to allow yourself to give. Start with the people that are there with you every single day. When I started my business, it started from me helping people that I went to school with, helping family members, helping my sorority sisters, and I did not know that it was going to grow into what it has become today. I promise y’all. Like, if you’ve ever heard my story and listened to past episodes, I talk about how my business started as a hobby. It wasn’t something that I said intentionally, “I am going to be a career coach one day and help people land these great jobs,” and it started with me being so involved on campus that people started coming to me for advice on how to–well, let me take a step back. I was so involved on campus, that led to me having five internships, getting a full-time job offer right after school that led to me, you know, going straight into graduate school, and when it came to, you know, the professional thing, I had that on lock. I had that on lock, and so people started coming to me for advice, like “Hey, can you help me get into grad school? How’d you get that job? Can you help me get this job? Can you help me get this internship? Can you look at my resume? Let’s work on my personal statement. Can you give me some advice about networking?” And I realized that 1. I love helping people with this stuff, and I said, “Okay, I’m starting to see some results here.” Like, it’s working. People are getting into grad school. They’re getting these great jobs. They’re getting salary increases. Whoa. Okay, if you’re getting more money, then I can get some money from this. [laughs] So my business started with me being focused on giving and making an impact. I promise y’all that’s how my business started. It’s so funny to me, now looking back, just seeing how it’s grown. #5 is integrity. #5 is integrity. When you want to make a transformation, having high integrity will get you so far in life. You want to know what your values are. Ask yourself, “What are my values?” Your values are simply the things that are important to you and the way you live life and the way you work personally and professionally. If you don’t have values, I encourage you to, you know, even just Google life values, right? Google values and create a list of the top 5 to 10 values that resonate with you. One thing that I do each year is I have a theme for the year. I have a theme for the year, and that is–if you are the type of person to have a theme for the year, that is a value, okay? So think about what your values are, and you want to stick to your values with every decision that’s made. The more that you go through life, you experience life, you endure things, that is meant to get you to where you are meant to be. And then having these values will help to drive your decision-making with every move that you make. Having values keeps you grounded and focused, and it’s a way to measure whether the decisions that we make, like, the things we say yes to or the things we tolerate or the things we don’t tolerate, aligns with what is deeply important to us. So having these values ensures your actions align with your dreams. It is all about alignment. Transformation is really all about alignment. When we talk about themes, like, alignment was one of mine for 2019, and integrity allows you to demand the best for yourself, and it keeps your needs at the forefront. Speaking of values, the values that I have established for my coaching business are the three C’s – clarity, confidence, and control. The first C is clarity, and all of my clients know this, because having these values has allowed me 1. just to be able to articulate to them, “This is what drives me as a coach. This is what I instill in my clients,” and through everything that we do, every decision that we make, every conversation that we have, we will always go back to this core set of values. So the core set of values are the three C’s – clarity, confidence, and control. The first C is clarity. I want to make sure that my clients are clear on what it is they actually want out of their life. Not what they want to do, but what they want out of their life. What type of environment do they want to work in? What type of leader do they want to work for? What type of leader do they want to be so that they can find a career that will complement that lifestyle? So 1. clarity on what they want, but clarity on what they bring to the table. This also leads to the next C, which is confidence. If you have clarity on what it is you bring to the table and you know what it is that you want out of your life, you are going to be confident in going after it because you will know that you deserve it. And then the third C is control. Now that you have that clarity, now that you have that confidence, let’s talk about control. How do you continue to stay in control of your career and not leave that up to your employer or leave that up to leadership, as we talked about earlier today? So those are the three values, clarity, confidence, and control. The sixth I is being impeccable, being impeccable. Everything that you do should be done with high quality. You should do everything with a high standard, and you want to always have a high expectation of yourself and also have high expectations of others. This also comes with knowing your worth, knowing that you do deserve the best from others and that you, within yourself, can give your best. I didn’t say perfect, right? I didn’t say perfect. I said “your best.” There’s a saying that I’ve heard a lot recently, which is “Done is better than perfect,” and that’s cool. Like, I get it, but you can still make sure that whatever you put out is exceptional. You should never just settle to push something out or to do something, and you never want to [?] down on the standard that you set for yourself. So being impeccable will push you to operate from a place of excellence 24/7. The thing that they say about Kobe Bryant is that he always operated from a place of excellence, always. One activity that I have implemented in my day that has allowed me to really live out these six I’s of transformation is journaling. I am a journal junkie. And I’ve always loved to journal. Like, it’s always been something that I’ve enjoyed, but I recently started to pick it back up when I started going to therapy about seven months ago. My therapist said, “I just want you to pull out your journal randomly throughout the day and just journal your emotions, how you’re feeling, your thoughts,” and that has helped me 1. to be able to better process, to not just live in my head, because I am definitely the type of person to just overthink and live in my head. So I want to share this specific journal activity that I’ve started to do. At the end of the day, I journal three things that went well, three things that could have went better, and three actions that I will take the next day to make a transformation. Remember, one of the I’s was investing in improvement, and this allows me to do that. This allows me to set that intention. So, you know, things that could have been better are usually around me not committing to certain things. Like, maybe I went out to eat when I had food at home. [laughs] I think we all kind of do that sometimes, right? Or maybe I didn’t go to the gym. Maybe I didn’t get through all of the emails that I planned to. I didn’t send that, you know, follow-up email that I went to or that proposal, I didn’t get that out, or maybe I, you know, just really sat in a funk that day and down-talked myself because of–you know how we just get in those moods. So I write those things down because I want to be cognizant and aware of what my actions are, what my thoughts are, because if you can identify the problem, you can identify the solution. You know, you go to the doctor, if you can tell the doctor your symptoms and what’s going on, they’ll prescribe the medicine. Same thing. So I have to identify what’s going on wrong first so that I can be committed to improving. I have some questions for you. What gifts do you have that the world needs? When are you going to let it show? What story and narrative are you giving yourself? What are you telling you about you? I want to make sure that you recognize that this is your journey to walk when it comes to this transformation. It is your journey to walk, not your parents, not your coworkers, not your boss. It is your journey, it is your story, and you have a whole lot of future out there. So what do you need to release on this day moving forward? What relationships do you need to release to move forward and move towards transformation? What narratives do you need to release? Maybe you’re telling yourself you’re not good enough, you’re smart enough, you’re stuck. You can’t do that. You’ve been in this career for five years. You know you hate it, but you can’t go anywhere. No other job will want you. What are those self-defeating and self-limiting doubts and beliefs that you need to release? Sometimes we’re in our way. We can be our biggest enemies. So there was this tweet that I saw on Twitter that I absolutely just loved, and I wanted to print it out and write it on my or tape it on my forehead, but it said, “Whenever I worry about the future, I remember that I make it myself.” That is so powerful to me. That is so powerful to me. Remember that when it comes to this transformation. I want you to commit to making a transformation, and recommit as often as you need to. Just don’t stop believing that that is within your power, to chart your course. So I wish you the best with making this transformation. I am on this journey with you. I can’t see you, the listeners out there, but I’m here with you. I feel you, and I want to know how you will commit to making a transformation, ’cause I’m committed as well, and I’m committed to recommitting as much as possible. All right, guys. Talk to you soon. Thanks for listening.