Survival. Success. Soul.

October 29, 2023

Survival. Success. Soul.

May 29, 2023

Once upon a time, there was the younger version of you.

The one who graduated from college. And who had interned here (or there). But “life after diploma” kickstarted your way-too-messy business journey. In the early years, you didn’t get to choose much. You didn’t have the luxury of picking that first company you worked at. No one asked you if that first boss was going to fly with you. You were just happy that someone actually paid you to do a job. It wasn’t ideal. It was all too fast. It was a scrappy “just don’t get fired" start. Those first 5-7 years of business life I call survivor mode. 

Along the way, you started to make sense of it all. Experiences turned into “experience” — and work life began to slow down. You survived, “I learned what to do by watching what not to do." You shared board rooms with a few peers who always made your head nod. So much, that when you (or they) left this company, you promised to keep in touch. A few years later? You made sure to work with them again. Sure, you had to sift through tons of “opt out” bosses and coworkers; by doing so, you found those select few who made life easier while making you better. What came of these partnerships brought kinship, truth, mutual respect and prosperity. This next 5-15 years of business life I call success mode.

As time went on, you saw a changing of the guard. You were less involved — or needed — in the day-to-day. This wasn’t a bad thing; rather, it opened you up for a new role. It gave you the ability to share what you learned with others. There was leadership. Mentorship. A transfer in wisdom. Purpose played a bigger and more intentional role in your life. You realized business didn’t have to be “all business"; it could stem out of something genuine and personal. This third phase of business life I call soul mode.

Survival. Success. Soul.  This was the business path for many of us.  

But I don’t believe it's the business path of this next generation.

The business path of today’s workforce has changed. Today, it goes like this: Soul. Success. Sustain.

I always joke that the next generation want to have their cake, they want to eat it too, and they want the cake to be gluten free. Oh, and of course, it has to be mouth-wateringly delicious! 

They want it all. 

If they don't buy in, they're out.

And this is a good thing for all of us. 

As a leader, my job now is to create that environment from the start.

That’s the funny thing about change. "Soul. Success. Sustain" is a change to “us”. But it just “is” to this freshly-minted workforce. 

The older I get, the more I realize everyone — and I mean — everyone is doing the absolute best that they can. 

When you’re in the business of fear-fighting, you come to realize that so many of us are stuck, scared, stale or safe. The only way to overcome all those fears that land you in one of those states is by unlocking a bit of inner courage. 

It’s hard to be courageous when you're cloudy. You can’t see the North Star on a cloudy night as much as a Captain striving to see its beckon of a lighthouse through a fog. 

When we find the thing that stirs our soul — and we can get compensated for doing so — the skies open up. 

Good news is it’s never too late or too early to figure out that course correction. 

Once upon a time, I was an ad executive who learned from some of the very best on Madison Avenue. Today, I passionately get paid to tell the courageous truth to some serious executives and their teams.

Not living your purpose? Get to it. 

So we’ll end with a tint of advice I hope you carry with you:

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t…stop thinking so much. Just start.”


When it’s all said and done, courage is regret insurance. 

-Ryan

Ryan Berman is the founder of Courageous, the author of “Return On Courage” and the Host of The Courageous Podcast and he’s an MEA alum. Ryan believes that change IS hard; but the hardships that come from not changing are far harder. He has spoken on the topic at Google, Snapchat, Kellogg’s Europe, Procter & Gamble, Discover Card, charity: water, and many others. Ryan believes “Your future is safe with change” and his company helps those who have been stuck, scared, or safe liberate their business forward. You can learn more at www.couragebrands.com

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