The “Great Unknown” in this episode is the question, “what am I going to do now, after my career just ended?”
Minette Norman had a 30 year career in the IT industry, for the past 20 years with the same company and the last 5 as a VP. Leadership changed, and as often happens when leadership changes, she was now an outsider of the new leadership group. The environment became very uncomfortable until she finally decided it was time to leave.
Now what? Friends had ideas. She had the belief that she was not entreprenuerial, and after much soul-searching, she stepped into the fear and started her own leadership consulting practice.
We talk about rebuilding confidence after a job loss.
We talk about the importance of continuous learning.
We talk about her new book, The Psychological Safety Playbook, that will come out in February of 2023.
And we talked about asking yourself, “Can I give that a Whole Body Yes?”
1. We are not done yet, unless we want to be. We still have so much to give.
2. Never stop learning!
3. Be open to new experiences
4. Embrace “what if…” Treat everything as an experiment.
Thanks so much for listening.
You can email me with questions or comments at email@example.com
– Wendy Green is a Certified Life Coach, working with people going through the sometimes uncomfortable life transition from full-time work to “what’s next.” Find out more about Wendy’s 6-week “What’s Next Transition” Coaching workshop
Welcome to the Hey Boomer Show. My name is Wendy Green and I am your host for Hey Boomer. And we go live every Monday at 1:00 Eastern Time on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Hey, Boomer is a show for people who believe that we are never too old to set another goal or dream, a new dream. It is for lifelong learners who are finding meaning and purpose in their lives and living their best life at this next stage of life.
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Today, you know, we’re going to talk about stepping off into the great unknown. And I thought it would be good to give you a little background for myself. In February of 2009, my beloved father passed away. Within two years my second marriage ended. I moved out of my beautiful home. I sold my business for a loss. And I found myself sitting in a group program about being grateful. And at the time, I was struggling to figure out what I was grateful for. I was depressed. I felt depleted. My heart was closed. I just didn’t know what I was good at anymore or what made me happy.
I rejoined the corporate world. And then in 2017, I got laid off because of a corporate merger. Took another job. And then in March of 2020, the pandemic shut down the place I was working, and there I was again. What was I going to do? But this time I decided I was going to start a show that was going to inspire people and help all of us through that time. So I started, Hey Boomer, in April of 2020, and it wasn’t long after I started, Hey Boomer, that I experienced this amazing sense of freedom. And it came over me that I could say what I wanted to say. I could be authentic. It was my show. And if people didn’t want to listen to what we were talking about on the show, they could turn it off. But it was finally an opportunity to really be authentically myself. And it felt great. And I think that is what stepping off into the great unknown will do for you when you find that passion. It can be very unsettling. It can be terrifying, but if it matches your passion and as you settle into it, you will begin to feel that sense of freedom also. And that is what we’re going to talk about today. I am going to bring Minette on because I’m super excited about this conversation. Hi, Minette.
So glad you could join us today.
Thanks for inviting me.
Yeah. Let me do a quick overview of your background and then we’ll get into more detail. So Minette spent decades in leadership roles in the software industry. Her last role before leaving the company was as vice president of engineering practices at Autodesk. She began her consulting practice, Minette Norman Consulting LLC in the spring of 2020. Her passion is to develop transformational leaders who create inclusive working environments with a foundation of psychological safety. Minette was named in 2017 as one of the most influential women in the Bay Area business by the San Francisco Business Times and as business role model of the year in 2018 by the Women in Silicon Valley Awards. And she is a recognized leader with a unique perspective. Minette is also the co-author of a book about psychological safety for leaders. The Psychological Safety Playbook: Lead More Powerfully by Being Human, which will be published in February of 2023. Oh, boy. And she’s also finishing up another book on inclusive leadership. So you’ve been busy since you left your corporate job?
Yes, I have. Absolutely.
Well, let’s start there. Like, why did you decide after 20 or 30 years in the industry that you were going to step out?
You know, that question could be the whole podcast that we’re doing today. It’s a really long, it could be a really long answer. So I’m going to try to try to give you a succinct answer to that question. But maybe I’ll start by saying I had this amazing career. I spent three decades in the software industry. I didn’t expect when I started in 1989 as a technical writer at Adobe that I would end up 25 years later as a VP. I just never considered that. But I did. I had this amazing run. And I guess the short answer is that I had a fabulous career that ended really badly, and the way it ended badly was it was kind of insidious. I didn’t quite see what was happening, but with hindsight I can see it very clearly. There I was in this VP role. I was appointed by an SVP who was kind of my sponsor. And when he left the company, that was really the beginning of the end. But I didn’t see it so clearly at the time. I got a new boss who was a former peer and he was the peer I got along the least well with, of course, and suddenly he was my boss. And then after I think maybe a year, he brought in a new VP.
And so basically the new VP was my boss. I was moved down a rung. And then what happened? This was really the unraveling was this new VP who was my boss. Gradually he did a big reorg and almost all of my responsibilities were taken away. And I had this I had had a very large, very impactful role that really was a wonderful role. And I loved it. I worked with like 3500 people around the globe. I had a big staff, I had big responsibilities, and those were taken away. And at the same time, what I didn’t see and that I can see so well now is that basically they were just they were trying to get me to leave because I was now, you know, when the leadership change, they no longer really needed my services, but they didn’t say that explicitly. And instead I got some really unpleasant things happen in that I won’t talk about because I’ve signed one of those non-disparagement agreements, so I just am not going to say what actually happened, but it resulted in me leaving and I didn’t plan on leaving when I did, but I did. So there I was in 2019, late 2019, and didn’t have a plan.
Yeah, and that is so common when leadership changes that everything gets shook up and they don’t want you. So you didn’t have a plan. And, you know, one of the things that we’ve talked about before we are doing the show live was so how did you feel? What did you do? What do you mean? That’s pretty scary.
Yeah, I really I didn’t have a plan. So, you know, it’s kind of interesting when you leave under those conditions, you’re always leaving to pursue new opportunities. That’s sort of the verbiage. You know, Minette is leaving to pursue new opportunities. And one of the things that was in my mind had been sort of planted by a good friend of mine. And we were attending a nonprofit gala event and we were sitting at a table and he said to me, You know, Minette, you’d be a really good executive director for a nonprofit. And, you know, he’s a good friend who’s known me for a long, long time. And I thought, what a great idea. And so I started looking around and I got really far into an interview process with a local nonprofit that was looking for a new ED. And it’s very good that they ended up picking someone else. And the process took a really long time because midway through it I realized this is not what I want. You know, this was sort of like someone else’s idea of what I should be doing, but it wasn’t what I really wanted. And I knew this because I’d been on a nonprofit board for several years, and I know what the ED goes through and how hard it is to work with a board and all of that. And I thought, No, I don’t want to do that.
So that idea sort of faded away. And then, then I was back to Now what? Now what? And one of the things yeah, one of the things that I really knew, like in that last job that I had for five years, I had been, you know, my on paper description was to transform engineering practices across the company and really modernize how we develop software. But what I was actually doing was changing the culture and changing how people interacted. And really I was doing a lot of work on diversity, equity and inclusion and trying to have more inclusive leadership. And in my mind, that’s really what was important to me. And I was spending more and more energy on that even when I was in the job. So as I was doing some soul searching about what I might do next, I thought, well, well, maybe I can do that work working for somebody else, right? So whether it’s another company or another. Consulting firm. I definitely never thought I’m going to start my own business because, you know, there was part of the self talk that we do. I said to myself, I am not entrepreneurial because I’ve always worked for somebody else for my entire career. So, you know, the words we say matter. I’m not entrepreneurial. I believed that. And so then I was introduced to another woman who was starting a consulting firm, and she wanted to hire a group of women.
She was very deliberate about hiring a group of women who would be leadership consultants and that we would help build better workplaces. And so I thought, well, this is perfect. I don’t have to start my own thing. I can go work with her. And so I actually spent a few months meeting with her and meeting with the small team she had assembled, and I was ready to sign on. And then she offered me an agreement. It was a legal agreement of how we would partner. And as I’m reading the fine print, I see that it says that she and her firm would own all perpetual rights to anything I created, whether it was a workshop, a talk, written materials, blog posts, whatever. And honestly, one day that was the aha moment for me where I realized, okay, this is what I have. My intellectual property is really all I have. And people are interested in hiring me because of this experience and knowledge. And I can’t give that away. I absolutely cannot give that to anyone. I have to own that. And so I realized, okay, if you want to own it and you want to make the decisions yourself, that means you’re going to have to start your own thing. And so that’s what I did.
There’s so much in what you just said. Minette So when did you actually leave the company?
I left Autodesk in August of 2019, 2019.
So it took you a little over a year to kind of figure out what you were going to do next and go through that journey.
It was actually about it was about six months, I guess, because it was like August. And then by kind of the same time you were starting this podcast, I had decided to launch my business. So that’s like what, six, seven months? And of course, both of us doing this right at the beginning of a pandemic.
The pandemic. Right. That’s what we do. Yeah. So you talked about some of the self-talk, you know, like, oh, I’m not an entrepreneur or, you know, or I mean, I think our self-talk can definitely get in our way. And how did you manage to shift that to Oh, well, I could be an entrepreneur and I am an entrepreneur.
You know, that’s a I don’t have, an easy answer to that because I think it was all a very gradual process. Part of it was getting over the fact that my self confidence was so shaken I had to. So when I left when I left Autodesk, I really felt very damaged because I felt like I thought I had a bunch of credibility and that manager that I had made me doubt that. And so I had to really kind of rebuild my my strength and my my belief in myself. And part of that for me is always talking to people that know me like I have I have really good close friends, but I also have a network of trusted ex-colleagues and friends I’ve made through work and really just talking to them about like what really went down. Am I seeing this clearly? I also I will tell you a little sort of a funny story that when I left Autodesk, because I’d been there 20 years, I knew a lot of people I’d I’d had a very big platform those last five years. So many people had heard me speak or knew me. And I got all these emails as you do when you leave a company you’ve had a long time. So before I left, I get I had I mean, there were well over maybe there were 100 or 200 emails and I’m like, I can’t I don’t want to forward all these to my personal account. So what I did is I went through them and I actually copied and pasted some of them, the ones that were like the most meaningful to me.
And I put them into one document. So I had this sort of encouragement document of like people who said, you made such an impact, you were really a role model, whatever it was. And I, I went back to that document, however corny that sounds, I would sometimes read the comments in there just to realize that like, okay, you didn’t imagine that you, you, you were a good leader and you really did have a positive impact on many people’s lives and careers. And so kind of just gradually rebuilding my confidence, I would say, took several months and I was kind of a wreck when I walked out of there. And by the beginning of of 2020, I was starting to feel better. I remember it was just before the pandemic shut down. I did a speaking engagement in San Francisco, and that went really well. And then someone I knew from Salesforce invited me to come in and do a workshop, and it was a leadership offsite. And I did a workshop and it was completely in my wheelhouse and in my comfort zone. And it was. Was great. It went really well. And that gave me that confidence of like, okay, you’ve just had two wonderful experiences. People wanted you to come in, they appreciated what you had to share. And I was very energized by that. And that that experience was like, okay, well, there’s something here. Let me explore what that was and what that is and what that might be. And the first thing I did, because I’d been in tech for so long as well, let’s, let’s just build a website not knowing what I was getting into.
But I thought, well, if I have a website, I have a business. And so I built my first website which I have since turned over to an expert. But at the time that was like, let me do something tangible. And that just sort of got me going. And the other thing that’s funny about that, though, because of the timing is I had a website, I had announced my business and every budget was shut down because of the pandemic. So that’s right. Right. Everyone I reached out to was like, Oh yeah, we’d love to bring you in, but all of our budgets are frozen. So in a way that was kind of good because it gave me that 2020 period to figure out what is my offering going to be, what is my sort of, as they say, the value proposition that I uniquely can provide. And I took I took a class that was being offered by someone who has his own leadership consulting practice, and he’s really successful. How how? Adler And I took this class with him, and he gave us very practical tips for like, how do you run a leadership consulting business? And that was so helpful to like even just practical things like how do you do proposals, how do you do invoicing, how do you do marketing, etc.? So that kind of built my confidence. And then going into the end of 2020 and into 2021, I got my first client and then, you know, it starts to go from there.
Yeah, no. And I appreciate your vulnerability about that because, you know, I felt the same way when I got let go in 2017. I was building a training department, I’d built their online university, I was enjoying my job, and then it just went away. And it does rock your world. It does shake your confidence. And it’s so funny that you said about your list of positive comments that you got because I did the same thing with you. I did. I did the same thing. And, you know, every once in a while, I, I still will go back and look at things that people have written to me or that I’ve written to to recenter myself. Because I think as human beings, we sometimes do get off center. And I think fear is a big thing that gets in the way of people. And I was just curious about, you know. Of like fear. There’s an acronym. Fear is false evidence appearing real. Right. So we we look out and we go, oh, people are never going to buy our product or they’re never going to sign up for what I’m doing. And then you have to step into it. Right. And so some of what you did was, like you said, you took a class. You talk to people. You know, I think part of what people have to realize, we’re not alone. Right. So how how are you working that network now and still stepping into that courage that you have to continue to have as a solopreneur?
You do. You do. Because I honestly especially because I still feel I’m very new to this this consulting world is that each new engagement, each new potential client, each new introduction is like, okay, can I do this one? Like I did the last one that gave me a little bit of a confidence. But can I can I do this engagement? Is this so? I remind myself, I often remind myself of what I’ve done before that has worked and that was good and and also what went badly. I haven’t had any absolute disasters in my consulting so far, but there are definitely things that didn’t go as well as I wanted or things that I would do differently. So just that continuous, like what? What went well, what can I repeat? What can I learn from? What can I do differently? But I also I really I’m a very social person. And so being a solopreneur wouldn’t work for me unless I did have this really supportive network. And so I talk to people a lot and I bounce ideas off of people and I’ll talk. I know we’re going to talk a little bit about the book that’s coming out, but I now have this fabulous colleague in Germany who’s my co-author on this book that I wrote, and she’s also a leadership consultant. And so she’s someone when I’m working on something, I bounce a lot of ideas off of like, how would you do this? How have you done this? And just having someone to talk to when you’re in business for yourself is really helpful.
And I have others as well. And, and even how this person, his company is called Leadership Landing. And I remember like I had gotten a potential client soon after I took his class and I had no idea how to price something. Right. Pricing is actually really hard, especially when you’ve worked inside. Like I remember when I used to hire consultants when I was a VP and we’d pay him $25,000 for a one day thing, you know? And then when I was out on my own, I’m like, How could I possibly charge that kind of money? Right? So I had no idea how to price my offering. So I actually remember shooting at Hal a text and like I have a proposal to write. How would you even think about pricing this? So having a group of trusted people in the somewhat the same space has been really helpful and has given me confidence. And I remember when I, when I did my first engagement and it was someone who I had worked with at Autodesk and she brought me into another company she was working with. And I totally underpriced. I completely underpriced when I realized how much time I would have to spend on it. And that’s that’s okay. That’s a learning experience. Like, okay, now I need to charge more next time.
None of it’s fatal, but it’s just like you learn as you go and you keep iterating.
It is a learning experience. I think that’s part of the journey that we’re on and that’s part of the confidence to right. You start to price yourself a little more as you gain your confidence.
You realize how good you are. So let’s talk about your book, Psychological Safety. And I’m curious what it is. And then I know it’s geared to the corporate world, but I’m wondering if there’s an application for it as people are moving into this next transition in their lives.
Okay. So let me first explain the basic definition of psychological safety, which is and it’s not it’s not only for the corporate world, it is basically a team phenomenon. So any team, any group you a part of and what it is, is that you have the belief in this group that this is a safe place for you to ask a question, for you to take a risk, make a mistake, and really show up as yourself without fear of embarrassment, humiliation, rejection, ostracism. Right. So that you can in this group, you can challenge someone in the group. You don’t have to agree with everybody. That’s the basic concept of psychological safety. The research around it, which has one of the biggest researchers in the space, is Amy Edmondson from Harvard, and she’s written a book about it called The Fearless Organization. The research has shown that when you’re in a psychologically safe environment, you’re more innovative because people can share those wild ideas, right? People are not afraid of sharing their ideas because it is a safe place, but also that teams perform better when you have a safe environment and when you don’t have it, what happens is that people feel compelled to agree with everyone else. You get this conformity bias because it’s not safe to be the one who descends and who says, you know, I have a different viewpoint on this. So that’s that’s the basic concept. We we decide so how the book came to be.
And then I’ll talk about your I’ll answer your question about your personal and your personal world. So so the how that how the book came to be is I, I hid under under stood the concept back when I was at Autodesk. And in fact I had found Amy Edmondson research. I tried to hire her as a keynote speaker at one point, so I had found her research. Google did a huge study called Project Aristotle that was written about in the New York Times around 2018 or 15. I forget one. So that came out and people started to understand the term beyond academia. So I had understood it, but I had also lived and breathed the absence of it. Right. And I had I had been in and it wasn’t just like a toxic environment that I ended up in at the end, but it was. Even being part of a leadership team that was fairly functional. We were really careful, like we were careful with what we said and what we didn’t say and we didn’t challenge the leader of the group even though he was a good guy, but he didn’t invite challenge. You know, he kind of you kind of needed to agree with him. And so it wasn’t many of the teams I was a part of were not particularly safe environments. And I remember this feeling of like holding back, being in a meeting and having something I wanted to say and then just holding back and go, God, I don’t dare, I don’t dare, you know, or and when I did, sometimes, you know, a couple of things would happen.
Sometimes people would just ignore you because they didn’t want to hear it, and sometimes you’d get an eye roll or just it often wasn’t a good situation. So I had definitely been aware of the term, I had experienced it. I had been in rare teams where there was a high level of psychological safety and realized like how powerful that is and how much you can get done when everyone can fully contribute. So I was a real believer in it. And then speaking of classes, so in last year, last spring, I signed up for a class that was based on Amy Edmondson, Zork, and it was to do psychological safety assessments. So basically it was a certification program in her methodology to be able to go into a team and run an assessment on psychological safety. In this class, there were probably about 20 or 25 of us, and we were divided up into smaller groups. And in my smaller group was this woman named Colleen Helbig, who’s this leadership consultant in Germany. And she and I just hit it off. And I was on a podcast with another of our students, and she heard it and she emailed me and said, We have to save this email forever because the title of the email said Crazy Idea.
And she wrote to me and she said, You know, Minette, I heard you on the podcast and you said, There’s not much material that’s practical, like how leaders can actually increase the level of psychological safety in their teams. And she goes, I feel that too. And I have this crazy idea. What if you and I wrote a little she wrote pamphlet. The word she used was, What if we wrote a little pamphlet about it? So that was the beginning. And we got on a zoom call and we set up an online whiteboard, or she did, which was great, and we just started brainstorming and we ended up collaborating on a short, deliberately short, but it’s not a pamphlet, a full book on how to increase psychological safety. It’s called The Psychological Safety Playbook lead more powerfully by being more human, and it’s coming out next year. And the idea is that it’s really something that you as a manager or a leader in any field could pick up off your shelf, turn to any page because it’s got discrete tips in there and and pick up a tip that you might want to try out with your team. And so that’s how that all came to be. And we’re excited about that. But I do want to answer your question about developing. I think your question was, can we have psychological safety for ourselves? Is that what it was?
Yeah. And let me give it a try.
Okay. Because listening to what you said and here we are, we’ve stepped into this great unknown. We’re solopreneur as we’re trying to build our business. And I would think like I have a board now of advisors, and so I run ideas by them and I feel very safe running my ideas by them. And sometimes they go, Yeah, that’s a really great idea. And other times they’ll say, Oh, I think you really need to think that. So I think for personally in my own business, I can see psychological safety. In your personal life, there are certainly going to be people that it’s not safe to be say things with. That’s absolutely right.
That yeah, absolutely. I mean, you ideally you want to surround yourself with people with whom you can be real like that you can always be real and that you don’t have to hold back. But of course, there are people in your lives where you do, you are cautious and you you choose your words wisely. And that’s normal, too. I think one thing is in your personal life is that is maybe not about psychological safety, but it’s like, what do we give ourselves permission to do? You know, that’s that’s more the way I think about it for yourself is. Yeah, yeah. What do what do we let ourselves do and not do? But in terms of our relationships, there’s that. Can I. Can I be real with this person?
Yeah. And you know what? That makes me think you brought this up earlier too, about the shoulds and the expectations. And I think a lot of the time that we follow those shoulds and those expectations that people have of us, it’s because we feel it’s safer. You know, it would be so much harder to say to them, oh, that’s not really that doesn’t really fit me or Yeah, I don’t know that that’s what I really want to do. It’s easier to just say, Well, if that’s what you think I should do, okay, I’ll go ahead and do that. So I think it plays out there too. And, and having the courage, that was a big thing. Having the courage to say, you know what, it’s my time in life now and I don’t have to do it. Everyone expects I have to do what I expect, what I feel good about. So, I mean, you’ve experienced that transition, too, right?
Totally. And, you know, I think about you like I’m going to start a podcast, right? Like, did did anyone try to talk you out of that or did you just say, I know I want to do this in my heart of hearts?
Sure. A lot of people I mean, a lot of people said to me, how are you going to make money with that? You know, and I wasn’t sure at the time, and I’m still developing ways to make money with it. But I knew in my heart minute I knew I had to do this because I knew that there were going to be a lot of people that needed this positive, inspirational, inspiring stories of other people in similar situations. Yeah. And so I just had to do it and, and I just it gave me the strength to say, don’t worry about it, I’ll figure it out, you know, and it will happen and it will grow. And yeah, it was scary.
But it is. It is, you know, it’s it’s very interesting. I didn’t know this term until Caroline introduced me to it. And I think it’s from the conscious leadership group. The term you may have heard is can you give it a whole body? Yes. And you heard that term?
No, I love that.
I do, too. We were talking about Caroline and I were talking about what we might and might not do to promote our book. And she said, like, I don’t want to waste time on things that that sap our energy. I want to spend time on things where we can say with our whole body, yes, yes, we want to do this. We’re all in on it. Our heart, our mind, our spirit, we all want to do this. And so I really like I ask myself that when I’m hearing the shoulds in my mind, like you should be you should be sending out some emails this week to try to get some more clients. And I’m like, Do I really want to do that? No, I actually want to work on this project. Right, right. And my whole body is saying yes to this and not to doing prospecting emails. Right. That’s not what I need to be doing. I want to be doing. So I know and it’s not so much that other people are telling me what to do. It’s the voices in my own head saying that you should be doing this and doing that. And, you know, we’re hard on ourselves. That inner critic is is active all the time.
Well, and we’ve both been leaders and companies. And so when you are used to all the shoulds that things that have to get done, the goals that you have to meet, yeah, you definitely do that to yourself. And I like that whole body.
The whole body, yes. Yeah. The book that that’s in is is I think I think it’s called The Conscious Leader 1515 Tips for the Conscious Leaders from the Conscious Leadership Group. And it’s a really good book.
That’s what it comes from. And then I think there’s a book, another book called The Whole Body. So anyway, it’s it’s a known term now, but I’m I’m embracing it, definitely.
Yeah, I really like that because it’s. Yeah. When you’re when you. You know, I make a to do list every week for the whole week and then I do have to prioritize. Know what is it? I guess I look at it two ways. Mannat and tell me if you do something similar. First of all, I look at it and say, what do I want to do? What’s going to make me excited? And then what do I need to do to bring in more business? And then the rest of it can kind of go by the wayside and study. I also am studying all the time.
Oh, yes, yeah. No. And that’s I think that’s one of the most important things that I am reading voraciously and listening to podcasts and listening to audiobooks. Because in reading articles, because I feel like, you know, I actually, I, I was going to say imposter syndrome and I hate that term, so I’m just going to leave that one out. But I always feel like there’s more to learn and I don’t want to feel like I’m stagnating in terms of what I know and what what my body of knowledge. And so I’m I feel like that reading and listening and and informing ourselves is just a constant part of this work. And, and I enjoy that. That’s not something I feel like you should be doing. Although there are times when I’m like, I want to read a novel and I should be reading this business book. And so balancing that is an act sometimes, right?
It is. So I have my novels by my bedside, my schedule, and I get up early to do some of my early morning. Work type of reading. But you’re right. I mean, there’s so much to learn. And and and some of it is just reinforcing stuff that we know. That’s right. And in fact, I was talking to my sister about this the other day, you know, that we we read something and we learn what we’re ready to learn at that moment. And then we go back and look at it another time. Maybe a year later, two years, and you’re like, Oh, there’s so much more here. You’re now ready for more.
That is absolutely true. And I have I’m pointing down to my floor here because my shelf is over here. But I have like this stack of business books that I recently ordered that I want to read. And I found one that I had read quite a while ago that I picked up again. And it was like, Oh yeah, I just totally have a different perspective on it.
Interesting, deeper understanding of what what that’s.
About. Yeah, it’s so interesting how that happens. So where are you finding the best places to kind of reach out to the audience that you’re looking for?
Oh, so the the whole social media question or.
Social media in person networking.
What are you. Yeah. I have not been doing much in-person stuff yet because of because of COVID. I mean, honestly, just I haven’t I’ve had like two in-person speaking events this year, but the rest has all been virtual. So I’ve mostly been doing LinkedIn as my primary platform for connecting with people a little bit on Twitter. I use Facebook for personal stuff. And you know, it’s really interesting now because the personal and the professional have blurred so much like I know an author that I met who does everything everywhere. So her Facebook is all about promoting her work and I haven’t done that. So I mostly LinkedIn for my for my work. But, you know, it’s so interesting with this book, these books coming up because the first one is in February and then the inclusive leadership will be out later in 2023. And so building an author platform is a whole thing that I’m just getting started on. And so, you know that that’s where my energy is, honestly, right now is like not as much client work as much as trying to build this author platform. Although I have a client engagement with a new client this week. So yeah, it’s a it’s a mix. And of course everywhere I meet anyone, I’m talking about the book and we have a URL for the book so people can sign up for our mailing list and things like that.
But you’ll definitely have to let us know when the book comes out. So I.
I can promote it to my audience, too.
Oh, I will, I will.
Yeah. And the social media thing is, you know, I’ve been taking some classes about promotion and podcasting and growing the audience and and, you know, they say pick two to get really good at. Exactly right. Don’t spread yourself across all of the different platforms because they’re all different the way.
They are all different. So what are your two that you use for the podcast that are your go to ones?
Yeah. So I use Facebook because I also have a private group on Facebook for people that are going through this transition to what’s next. And so it’s a place where we can share ideas and ask questions and that kind of thing. So I really love having that. And then LinkedIn is, you know, there’s so many people on LinkedIn that are now in our stage of life. Yeah. And either they’ve been pushed out or they are thinking about what’s next. And so I think LinkedIn is. You know, I think LinkedIn is an interesting place because you have to combine the personal sometimes with the professional so that they get to know you as a person.
You know, you and didn’t you and I connect because in my viral post about turning 62, that’s how we connected, right?
That’s such an interesting story because I had until then been very work focused on LinkedIn. Like when I would post, it was always about my work, those client work or whatever. And for some reason I had turned 62 in June and I had this compulsion to write a post on LinkedIn about anyway, it was personal, but it was also about like ageism in the workplace and, you know, having the freedom to be my own boss and that sort of thing. So I posted that the day after my birthday and it is the first time a post of mine ever went viral. And I had like 1.5 million impressions and 25,000 reactions in 2000 comments and hundreds of shares. And I’m like, What was that? And how am I ever I mean, since then, I haven’t had any posts even close to more than 10,000. So yeah. How do you get the 1.5? I would love to get 1.5 million when I start talking more about my book.
All the time. And it’s my friend Laura that’s on this call right now that that pointed me to your post. And.
You know, you’ve got to connect with her. And of course, the minute we connected, I was so excited and I felt like a kindred spirit.
Absolutely. And you know, what was so interesting about that post is how many people reached out to me through private messages. And I ended up having several Zoom calls with people, women who were dealing with the same thing at this stage of their life. Some younger, some a little older. But like, what’s next? I’ve been forced out, you know, trying to reinvent. And there’s so many of us. There are so many with so many. Talents and so much energy and so much wisdom and so much to give. And everyone’s trying to figure it out. Right? And the ageism is rampant.
And it is. And we are not done yet.
We are not done yet. Very interesting. Many of the comments were about diversity, equity and inclusion. And several people said, you know, DEI is so popular now and yet no one talks about ageism. When they talk about aspects of diversity, that’s the one that seems to be left out.
That’s right. That’s right. So I always like to ask my guests at the end of the interview if they have two or three takeaways. Now, there’s been so much we’ve talked about, so I know it’s going to be hard to narrow it down, but do you have a couple of things you’d like to leave with people today?
Yeah. I think the first one has to be that you are not done yet no matter who you are and where you are. Like you have so much to give and it’s really figuring out what’s what’s important to you and what is that whole body. Yes. That you want to move forward with and what can you cast aside? And so so you’re not done yet unless you want to be. And if you want to be, then embrace what that next phase is. If it’s truly retirement and that you want to enjoy time with friends and family, that’s cool. But if you don’t want to be done, you are not done. And I guess I mentioned it earlier, but I think that what’s so important to us is that we never stop learning. And I am absolutely convinced that continuous learning is what keeps us vibrant and relevant and engaged in the world. And one of the things that I learned about taking classes is that it’s not only what you’re going to learn, but it’s who you’re going to meet in those classes. So I met my co-author in Bonn, Germany, and an online class, right? Who knew we were going to be friends and colleagues and write a book together? You just never know who you’re going to meet in a class.
And I’ve met some amazing people in classes, and they are people who help me with my work going forward. And so maybe a third, you said two or three. I think my third and final would be that one of the things that made our collaboration so successful for Caroline and me is she often would say things like, What if we da da da and she’s like, What if we set ourselves a little deadline? And it would be very non-threatening, but to embrace the idea of what if and like treat everything like an experiment. And what if I tried this and what if I did that? And learn from what works and what sticks and what feels good and cast aside the rest and that what if and that treating things like an experiment is very freeing and very it’s not as scary as like I’m going to. Instead, it’s like, what if what?
That’s a brilliant. Those are brilliant. And those with tie in together the continuous learning and the what if because you’re learning and that whole body. Yes I love that. Thank you. Thank you. I’ve been sharing how to reach you. You can certainly email minute at but at minute at minute, Norman And you can check out her website at Minette. Norman So get in touch with her. Let her know how much you liked this and sign up for her next book.
Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. It’s been great to talk to you and I’m looking forward to staying connected with you as well.
Me too. Me too. Me too. Just remind everybody. Join our walk to end Alzheimer’s. Hey, Boomer team. I see that Kathy joined while we were doing the show, so thank you, Kathy. It’s active ALS dot org slash go to slash hey boomer and connect with us on the Callan Leon well on hey boomer dot biz slash coaching or sign up for a 20 minute free session to just kind of talk about where you’re at where you want to be, how you might want to get there. And you probably don’t even know yet. So so let’s have a chat next week. Next week should be interesting. My guests name is Deborah Benfield and Deb is the founder and owner of Body in Mind Nutrition, a group practice of registered dietitian nutritionists. Deb contends that there is an a just diet wellness culture that leads to a lack of body respect in the pro aging movement. And Deb wants to blaze a path to elder hood without the scales. So we stop worrying about how much we weigh and what we’re eating and those kinds of things. And I want to leave you with the belief that we can all live with passion, live with relevance, and live with courage. And remember that you are never too old to set another goal or dream. A new dream. My name is Wendy Green with Minette Norman. And this has been. Hey, Boomer.