Podcast

Episode: 435 |
Sharath Jeevan:
Motivation and Growth in Business:
Episode
435

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Sharath Jeevan

Motivation and Growth in Business

Show Notes

Sharath Jeevan is a leading global motivation expert helping organisations and individuals reignite inner-drive. Sharath has addressed large global audiences at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Lego Ideas Festival in Denmark, WISE Summit in Qatar, Draper Richards Kaplan Convening in San Francisco, Varkey GEMS Conference in Dubai, and the Lemann Conference in Sao Paulo. He is also the author of Intrinsic: a manifesto to reignite our inner drive. On this episode, he talks about his book and some common misconceptions he has encountered in the business world. You can learn more about Sharath and his book at https://www.intrinsic-labs.com/.

Key points include:

  • 03:56: Purpose, autonomy, and mastery
  • 11:27: A framework for purpose
  • 18:47: Motivation tips for parents
  • 23:57: Intrinsic relationships

 

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

 

433: Sharath Jeevan

 

Will Bachman 00:03

Hello, and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman and I’m excited to be here today with Sharath Jeevan, who is the author of intrinsic a manifesto to reignite our inner drive? Drop. Welcome to the show. Thanks. Well, great to be here. So let’s start with some misconceptions. What are some common misconceptions that you encounter in the world of business? about motivation?

 

Sharath Jeevan 00:35

Great question. Well, and I think that there’s a really fundamental one. And that is that I think we often think that what really motivates us, is the opposite of what D motivates us. And we repeat that. So I think we often think that what deeply motivates us is the opposite of what D motivates us. And we find out that 30 years of research shows that’s just not the case. So there’s a really important concept in motivation, theory and thinking called hygiene factors. These are things that, you know, so in the world of work, they may include things like our pain, how good the coffee is, in our office, for example, how gleaming the office building is, that’s when the days where we’re working from office, mostly, these were kind of classic hygiene factors, they’re really important. So you know, it’s important for us to be able to pay be paid well to put bread on the table and feed our family, and also very important to be paid fairly, relative to other jobs like the one we’re doing. But beyond the point pay stops being a deep motivator, the same thing happens for working conditions, many of these other examples. And so I think where we get in trouble well, is that we keep ratcheting up these hygiene factors more and more. And we kind of see that in some of the tech, you know, tech companies where you’ve got these incredibly fancy campuses and so on. Again, these are these are nice things. No one, no one would argue against that. But they’re not the source of deep motivation. Well, we know that to really get deep motivation, we’ve got to go internal work, or intrinsic, if you like. And think about, you know, motivation is something that comes from within. And that’s why these ideas of purpose, autonomy, and mastery are really important concepts. But we take a pause there and just check that that sort of makes sense.

 

Will Bachman 02:23

It’s helpful. So yeah, sort of a very kind of limited or incorrect understanding might think, oh, if I just pay my sales force, give them an incentive to do this particular behavior, then they will be these utilitarian rational beings, and they’ll, like optimize their behavior to to maximize their own income, and just start doing exactly the things that I’m paying them to do. But but that’s, that’s not really the way things work in practice.

 

Sharath Jeevan 02:57

Exactly. Well, and that’s one of things I we talk a lot about intrinsic is this idea that we’re not these rational, you know, economic robots that just to respond to every incentive, or every carrot and stick. And I think there’s good reasons why that’s, you know, that we don’t do that we’re much more complex beings. And if you look at, you know, our understanding of positive psychology over the last 20 years, everything from resilience to grit, growth mindset, all of these aspects, were much richer beings and that and so we’re much more complex people. And so it’s gonna take a lot more effort and thinking it doesn’t take a lot of money, actually, that’s the nice thing. That takes a lot more effort and leadership to create environments and organizations or if we’re working ourselves as independent professionals to create that intrinsic motivation.

 

Will Bachman 03:44

Great. So you mentioned three areas. mastery, autonomy, and I’m sorry, and

 

Sharath Jeevan 03:56

I prefer we’ll start with this. So the sacral pattern, so you know, if you think you’ve got an arm Pam, or anyone like that, I’m starting with purpose first, because the reason why I think it’s important to start with purpose is that we need to know what are we motivating ourselves for? And I think a lot of times what’s happened is we’ve sort of tried to think of motivations, okay, we’re going to go after the same goal, let’s just do it a bit differently. But I think they’re often deeper questions, what are we actually trying to achieve in the first place? So if you take the world of say, you know, independent, professional, you know, their purpose, often or our purpose, I would call myself in a way in that in that very much in that tribe. It’s not just to make the highest level of income that’s important, motivated, for sure. But I think for many of us, we want to really make a profound difference the clients we serve. And I define purpose in almost any field, as that sense of us really being able to see how our work helps and serves others. And I would argue that all work pretty much is purposeful, right? It’s All about serving others ultimately. But because we’ve been able to, you know, in large organizations put so many kind of silos and divisions and business units and all that corporate mumbo jumbo in, we’ve ended up distracting from our core purpose. One of the things, I think, really exciting as an event professionals that we can directly serve clients, and ultimately see the fruits of our work and the impact of our work into real change for them, and really seen our clients being nurtured and progressed in a very different way. So, for me, it’s always very important to start with that concept of purpose. And think how can we try to create our professional lives in a way that tries to, to maximize that principle first?

 

Will Bachman 05:46

Exactly. So I’ve certainly felt that myself, even going from a large consulting firm to my own independent practice, when you are personally signing up to a client to get the work done, it feels very different than if you were just got that project opportunity from a, you know, one of the professional development staffing people that like the project kind of just rain from the sky, that’s one of the list of things you could do where if you’ve personally committed to that is a very different relationship to the work, where you know that there’s actually someone who really cares and is paying to get it done and really needs it for their business. So you feel you’re really helping someone out?

 

Sharath Jeevan 06:32

No, it’s really profound what what you said there. So I fully agree, and that the idea of this is that this idea really of us, you know, if we’re an independent professional, are we nurturing our client. And what I, what I talked about in the book a lot is that we’ve kind of entered in as well, where we have a lot of Michael, talent managers, people who are happy, they’re like, almost like judge and say, is that person at the right level, you know, the classic sort of management sort of practices, what we don’t have in the world is a lot of nurturance, who really are focused on helping people get to places they wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. I think as an independent professional, we’re nurturing our clients, we’re helping them be successful, we’re seeing our success through their success. And in a way, I think we’re quite humble, we’re often a bit like the kind of ant on the elephant right there, it’s really about the elephant success were that tiny, and that sort of, you know, bites in the right place, but physically and helps it helps nudge a client in the right direction. But I think we help our clients be the best versions of themselves they can be, and I think I would have ended up with a few that would be true of yourself. When I look back on my best, you know, projects with intrinsic labs, you know, I work with the economist group, or the London School of Economics are very, very clients, I think I felt the most sense of purpose and impact when I felt that the clients I was coaching and working with, they really took a different direction. And they were able to find the courage and the the conviction to follow a direction they wanted to go in. And they knew how to do so. And they felt incredibly motivated to do so as well. So as you said that, that really deep personal relationship with our clients, that’s what often, I think, is the core of our motivation. as professionals, and you know, there’s even studies showing that, you know, when we send invoices, actually, they’re more motivated on salaries, because there’s a sense of like you’ve sent, you’ve done a piece of work, someone has proactively had to go and pay you. That sense of that, that sort of feedback loop coming back, is a very powerful one for us to draw on further.

 

Will Bachman 08:41

Yeah, I’ve often felt that getting paid. And well, you know, some people probably rightly criticize time and materials type billing, I found that, let’s say that you are on a daily rate, it feels very different than just getting paid an annual salary prime, which is kind of so big and abstract, it’s kind of a hard number to actually get your head around what that means. But if you’re getting paid, like 1000 or $2,000 a day, then, like that’s, it’s really meaningful, because you can imagine like, okay, $1,000 that’s like, today, I earned enough to go out and buy like a, I don’t know, a big screen TV or something, right? Or, you know, pay X percent of my my rent. I mean, it’s a meaningful number and more human scale. It’s like, each day feel so Well, today, I need to figure out a way to deliver that much value to my client. It’s not just over the course of a year doing some theoretically something that’s helpful, but like, every day, you need to earn it and deliver.

 

Sharath Jeevan 09:39

Yeah, I really like that because it right because it is that kind of it’s much more incremental, right, in a way and much more like bite sized. So I think and I think we’re all thinking okay, how we have really helped and served our clients well enough to earn that. And then when you get to I think when the invoice comes in, you know, there’s that psychological boost because we feel Yeah, someone is actually valid. My work whereas if it’s in a, you know, some big corporation where it’s on a payroll, that happens anywhere, right, whether we know that that sort of idea is in the short term, is there. So I think you’re right, that idea of how do we link that, that desire for purpose with the way that we almost, you know, it’s very mundane and the way that we invoice clients, it, these things are really linked together. And I think we do really well we try to bring these systems, together with how we see our purpose in work.

 

Will Bachman 10:26

As you thought about these three aspects, and let’s talk about purpose, have you thought about come across maybe some good taxonomy, or different, maybe different types of people are motivated by different types of purpose? An example, you know, one person might be motivated to seek to understand the world. Other people might be motivated to kind of share what they’ve learned with others, or to build physical environments in which people thrive, like, get people or just to express some inner, you know, inner observations, you know, someone who’s has a real creative drive, have you thought about Is there like a taxonomy or thought about? There’s not just one, but several different types of purposes? I don’t know if there’s a good nisi sort of unique kind of framework to think about purpose?

 

Sharath Jeevan 11:27

Yeah, that’s a really great question. Well, so what I found with people who are most motivated, I’ve done dozens of interviews for the book for intrinsic. Also, my work with real clients, of course, as well, whatever else I’ve noticed, is a common pattern, that people are most motivated and passionate about what they do, they tend to fall in love with a what I call a wicked problem. And so it’s really interesting, like I sort of do sympathize a lot with what Scott Galloway and others say about this kind of idea of following your passion, can very quickly become indulgent, we may not be you know, it starts from you, right, the follow your passion stuff, what I find what is more powerful is think about, pretty follow your problem or follow the problem you’re passionate about, if you if that makes sense. So follow the problem you’re passionate about. That what that does is you get so lost in a problem that over time you It’s such an enormous problem, there’s no easy technical solution, which is what much of one work focuses on. Now. If we find that problem, what we can do is think about how are our contribution to that problem, how we self help and serve others. And that sense of purpose, we talked about how that can evolve over time. So let me give you a practical example. And I got lost in this whole question of motivation. It became one the reef fascinated me, I spent 10 years running a nonprofit organization working in places like India and Africa, motivating, reigniting the motivation of about 200,000 teachers in those regions. So I approached it from that lens, right, I was a founder, I was an entrepreneur, that was one one kind of incarnation. Now what I’m doing, I’m still fixated by the same problem. But I’m trying to come in more as an advisory level and thought leadership level, helping other people to think about this issue much more broadly, writing coaching, consulting, rather than managing a large organization. But it’s still that that problem that I’m really obsessed about, and I wanted to try and make a meaningful contribution to that over my career. So I think what it is like, you know, our, our sort of how we express our purpose can vary and change and evolve over time. But I think finding a problem will keep us busy for a while. And we might move to another problem, you know, five or 10 years later, but it gives us that really strong North Star, that sense of personal mission statement to keep us motivated.

 

Will Bachman 13:54

Now, when we chatted before, you, you, you mentioned that you’re obviously aware of and kind of built on the book by Daniel Pink drive, which, which covers some of this ground. Talk to me about a little bit about your books, relation to Dr. And sort of, in what ways you are building on that and how your book expands on that on that thinking?

 

Sharath Jeevan 14:22

Yes, I’m, I’m a huge fan of Dan Pink’s work and references in my book as well, of course, well, and of course, Dan, built in about 30 years of research from some really well regarded psychologists and scientists Richard Ryan is one of them, who was the father of modern motivation thinking, I think what’s very different, what are intrinsic tries to build on drivers that I think when drivers written about, you know, what, 1212 or so years ago, there was a sense I think that capitalism and sort of our system was going in roughly the right direction now We needed a just a different way of motivating people towards the same core purpose, if you like, I think we’re obviously in a world now where we’ve seen no huge issues from Capitol Hill being swarm last year to, you know, the existential threat of climate change. We know the world as we know, the pandemic, of course, on top of that, the world that we’re, you know, we’ve been living so far is not sustainable, we need to change and change our mental models. And so what intrinsic tries to do is take a radical view on purpose and say, what does it really mean to be to find motivation of work? What does it really mean to find purpose in our careers, to have good relationships, to be good parents to be strong and active citizens? Let’s look at that purpose question really strongly. And really attack it from a number of different lenses. So I looked at a whole range of you know, behavioral science, economics, philosophy, and neuroscience, the whole gamut of that, there’s been a lot of new research has also come out, there’s also been able to be harnessed, but it’s also a very global book, it talks about people’s stories in these areas, you know, as parents, as workers, as citizens all over the world. And finally, I think the other piece is very important is that, I think, Dr. was a fantastic summary of the research and what it tells us about these concepts. What I found very difficult when I was leading stir the nonprofit I mentioned, how do you put this stuff into practice? What are the trade offs you’ve got to make? How do you think about sequencing to a life that’s built on on these principles and motivation, there was almost nothing out there to guide me. And so what intrinsic is trying to do is try to provide that real practical Manifesto. apply these concepts in the key areas of our lives today.

 

Will Bachman 16:46

Let’s, we, we started going through Pam, dark about purpose, let’s get to the A and the M.

 

Sharath Jeevan 16:53

So if I had to use a car analogy, well, I think about purpose being you know, that that sort of a destination we put into the GPS, right? That’s that sense of a Northstar. That sense of again, how that happened, what we do helps and serves others and whatever we do. autonomy, you know, again, imagine you’re in the car, it’s that real sense of us being at the wheel, there’s no backseat driver telling us how to drive, we’re fully at the wheel and in control of the journey in the way we want to go. And I think the key thing with autonomy is that it’s not the same as anarchie, or chaos, you can still have structure, you can still have some, you know, this concept of guided autonomy. So for example, you can still be a highly autonomous individual, a professional consultant, for example, but also respect an organizational value and diversity for a pioneer working with. But it’s that sense of you being able to be in control of your career and your life, it’s so important for us, especially in today’s a tribe, we want to have that, that sense of ownership and that sense of, of control really over over what we’re doing. So that’s a very powerful piece. The third pillar is around mastery. And again, if you think about the car analogy, it’s about us becoming a better and better driver, as we go on the journey. No matter what we’re kind of navigating against pedestrians or cyclists or whatever. How do you become a better more patient driver and become the best version of yourself, you can be in that domain of life, whether it’s your work or your work, or as a as a parent, for example.

 

Will Bachman 18:27

destek Let’s talk through some of the parts of the book. Tell me a little bit about the parenting chapter, actually. So you go into intrinsic parenting, how to create motivation, your younger kids, what are some tips you have there for parents?

 

Sharath Jeevan 18:47

So I think one of the things that’s really interesting one is that link between First of all, I think today, we’re often very confused as parents, like I say this, I’m the father of two young boys, I have that I face many of the same struggles, right? And one of the challenges I think, is that we have, we’ve kind of adopted this kind of practice of helicopter parenting, it’s all over the world. Now, many countries of the US, I think, especially as well. But we’re really I think we kind of we hover in at any time, any side trouble. We’re very dare to try and almost take away obstacles from our children. And if you think about the, you know, the USC college admissions scandal from a couple of years ago, that’s even one more extreme than helicopter parent. It’s kind of snowplow parenting, where we’re trying to literally take away everything off the field. So parents, our kids have a very straight and easy path in life. The problem with that approach, though, is that there’s a lot of evidence now that’s leading to anxiety, depression, even suicide among young kids, and the kids are out to get our kids and Pato I looked at in the book is how can we try and move away from that model and adopt a more, a more progressive and a more intrinsic approach to parenting and At the core, I think it’s about three thinking the purpose of parenting, I think what’s happened is we’ve thought about now a good childhood, and a good, you know, adolescence or teenage period, as being, you know, does my kid get into a top pop college? Do they get the good, good grades, and almost everything else is kind of negotiable. So in some ways, I think what I was talking about in the book is how do we try and reorientate towards a view which says, look, the world out, there is a really choppy, choppy world, it’s more like a zigzag than a straight line, as these last 18 months have shown? How can we try and think about, you know, our role as parents as motivating our children, to be able to conquer that zigzag of life, be comfortable with that know how to adapt, be kind and caring through it. And maybe the things that we thought were really important may not be that important. What’s much more important is they can they can master that zigzag? And how do we role model that as parents and how we show up to our children? And that meant that does mean some changes in our parenting behavior?

 

Will Bachman 21:04

What sorts of changes do you would you do recommend,

 

Sharath Jeevan 21:08

so I just had a very close friend who just lost his job in a large corporate, right, and I was talking to him, I were just having a chat I’ve seen if I could be helpful, he hasn’t told his son, that he’s lost his job. It’s been about two weeks now. And I can see why right, because I think he was worried about he’s gonna, you know, basically, stress his kid, cause worry, anxiety. The challenge is that if we sort of pretend as if our lives right where the adults are perfect, or these kind of perfect straight lines, I think what it makes it very difficult for our kids to do is when when they realize that life isn’t like better, they experience life to be the zigzag. They think they’re failures. And, you know, this kind of fear of failure, is what I hear again, and again, in talks with so many young people these days. And I think so it’s really important that we, as adults are vulnerable, and show on vulnerability that show that we’re also you know, very, very susceptible to the same things that aren’t your kids are going through. So I think often we’ve thought about parenting as a war, we say to our kids, I think a lot about parenting is about how we behave in front of them, and how we role model some of these key aspects. So they know, the kind of world they’re entering into are under no illusions and almost embrace that uncertainty as a as a plus point.

 

Will Bachman 22:29

Yeah, I mean, that’s a powerful lesson of resilient for your kids to show that, you know, career interruptions happen. And you know, that you know, that you can deal with them. And you don’t have to be embarrassed about it, you need to ask people for help and so forth.

 

Sharath Jeevan 22:48

Yeah, absolutely. So for example, when I was writing the book, I had many times where I had some pretty tough feedback. My publisher had a great editor well, as well, she was very demanding of the book and is fantastic. But there were certain times I was like, I’d never written a book with this kind of level of ambition and the amount of range it tried to touch on and I will tell you, my son’s Look, this is it’s gonna be a very tough couple of months and a bit worried about this aspect. I’ve applied for things I didn’t get to maybe it might have been fellowship, etc. So I try to be very honest with them about those setbacks because that’s the real world we live in. And I think a lot of success today is about be able to bounce back and still love doing what we’re doing, despite those setbacks, not doing the thing because of the reward. But doing it because we love the intrinsic value of the activity itself. And I think the challenge with so much about parenting today is that we see one thing and we do another, and I think we’ve got to reconcile that, you know, what comes out our mouth, how we behave, if you want to read provide that right? Right. encouragement to our kids. Yeah.

 

Will Bachman 23:50

Talk to me about intrinsic relationships. What what are some of your, your thoughts on that?

 

Sharath Jeevan 23:57

So what’s happened, I think, is that we’re we’re more and more kind of retreating and Urkel, Robert, Robert Putnam, of course, wrote about America a couple decades ago, by this idea of kind of Bowling Alone, right with you know, you go to a bowling alley now and you see, lots of people are on by themselves bowling,

 

Will Bachman 24:13

that would be like, I’ve read the book, by the way, but just think about it. That would be like the saddest thing in the world to go bowling, actually, like, obviously, just actually Bowling Alone. Think about how boring and sad that it’s

 

Sharath Jeevan 24:25

an epidemic. I think we see it everywhere in the world, not just the US Now, of course, well, so that’s just one example. But what’s happened i think is we’ve retreated into our family units a lot. And also pandemic has perhaps even increased that pressure. What we’re finding is that as a result, we’re now looking for our if we’re in a romantic relationship, if we have you know, we’ll have kids or not have kids. We want our you know, girlfriend or wife or boyfriend, husband, whatever it might be, to be kind of almost all things talk to talk to us, right? We want them to be the life coach, the confident the soul mate. Be the chef and you know, be great in lots of other ways, as well as I won’t go into all of these. So I think we have these crazily high expectations of who we want to partner with. As a result, I think what’s happened is that it’s very hard to find that person. And especially now, if you look at online dating, as how many you know, many of us now in the world, meaning our partners, you’ve got that kind of Paradox of Choice where that perfect person may be out might be out that somewhere website might be out there somewhere. But it’s hard, you know, we’ve always got that nagging feeling of even if you meet a nice person, is someone better out there? I think what would be much healthier for a motivation point of view is to think of our relationships as a place of safety. How did that how does our sort of our romantic partner create that sense of safety in our lives where we feel able to, to master that world of unknown unknowns and know that they’ll be with us, whatever, whatever happens, and to know that love, if you like, is unconditional. its intrinsic, in the sense, it’s not based on our job or our career, get to give you an example, when I met my wife about, what about 17 years ago, now, I was in a very high flying consulting job, top consulting firm in the world. Very well paid went on, you know, first class flights, all that kind of stuff. I then went and spent, you know, 15 years working in the NGO in the nonprofit sector, in a very different kind of lifestyle. And now, I am an independent professional writer, and so on as well. I’ve had a lot of different identity changes myself, and what’s been important is to have my wife support that, that love is there, irrespective of what I decide to do. I think a lot of people out there today, if they were really honest with themselves would say, I’m not sure when my partner would approve that change, or whether we would support me of that change. And it’s very scary, because we have to change the world. And if you don’t have that, that source of emotional safety, it’s a very, it’s a very tough world to navigate.

 

Will Bachman 27:04

So true. What are some of the exercises that you would suggest, across any of these areas, whether in work or parenting relationships, for someone that wants to maybe isn’t feeling motivated right now at work? Or were in some other aspect of their lives? You know, do you have some kind of suggested exercises to, for people to maybe reflect on sources of motivation and deepen their intrinsic motivation?

 

Sharath Jeevan 27:37

Let’s let’s take the word Quine as an example. Because I do think a lot of work is a good place to start, because it is one of the main places now in our lives, where we help and serve others. So I think if we get our work motivation, right, I talk about this a lot in the book, it has a really important spillover into other parts of life. So I think a lot of the, you know, you see a lot of little league going up parents who are living their dreams to their kids, honestly, right. And that’s because they themselves haven’t found that motivation in their own work. So I do think it’s an important place to start. And there, I would say, start with this idea of a personal mission statement. So let me give you mine Well, just to make it a real example, I help organizations and individuals, reignite inner drive, and solve deep motivation, challenges by writing, consulting and coaching. So we repeat that I help organizations and individuals, reignite inner drive and solve deep motivational challenges by writing, consulting and coaching. And so in one sentence, if we can express who we are what we’re trying to do in the world, police in our work selves. That’s a very powerful like North Star. I mean, we we do this for companies, but the irony is that if you’re an independent professional, you may not have thought about a mission statement for yourself. I think writing that down took me quite a while to do it, actually. But once you write that down, you kind of know, okay, well, if I’m if a client, this client wants to work with me on that one wants to work with me, is that congre of where we want to go or what I’m trying to do here, if I’m trying to build this skill set of this project, I know it’s building towards that long term idea of a personal mission statement. So I think that can be a very powerful way to just think about what really is important to you, and what difference you want to make in the world. And from there, I think it can really help guide you in terms of what direction to take, what skills to build on etc. I think what happens if we don’t have that what we tend to use is use money or revenue as our as the North Star, then it becomes about just how to get more sales and all that stuff on become sell, sell, sell. And that’s usually deeply but demotivating in the end.

 

Will Bachman 29:48

How do you suggest people go about creating a personal mission statement that’s yours is quite crisp, and and sharp, and I think a nice thing about it is it Helps tell you when something would be fall outside that so it helps you know what to say no to in advance. But maybe from either the process of creating your own or just in general, what are some tips on how to go about that process.

 

Sharath Jeevan 30:15

So I think what I think is especially important for the consulting consulting consulting community is that it’s very easy to become, you know, sorry for my language, but almost like a bit of a body shop right there where a client says, do this, you can do this, you can do a bit of that. The problem with that is that you end up and I’ve seen this happen with many of my friends who left the big corporate world in their 40s, they became independent consultants, what happens is you can end up kind of drifting, right, because you kind of go from one client piece to another. And you’re just kind of almost in reactive mode, right? Whatever the client says, you sort of can do it. And most of my you know, many of us are very talented so we can adapt ourselves and do it. What was really transformational for me was this concept of, yes, no, I’m an advisor, as well, I coach, I consult. But I want I have my own mission statement as well, I have my own kind of organization, it’s called intrinsic lab, it’s got its own mission and purpose also. And I’ve only worked with clients where there’s a congruence where basically what they need is in line with where I can actually help them. But what that means is you’re building a knowledge base, you’re building an expertise, you’re building a deep passion, a fascination with whatever that can be in a management accounts, it can be anything. But whatever that is, I think it’s it really helps hone you and also feel like you’re building up something that’s deeply valuable to the world in terms of its social value.

 

Will Bachman 31:41

And this is this, this is such a common theme on the show, David A. Fields, who’s been on the show a bunch of times, talks about the very first chapter of his book, The irresistible consultants guide to winning clients is about determining what is your impact, or coming up with your fishing line. So it’s a different way of expressing it, but it’s very similar idea of, you know, don’t just be sort of, oh, anybody can do this. And I’m anybody or, or any alarm of McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc, could do this, and I’m an alarm. So I’ll do it. And you end up just going from project to project and not really having any, you know, specific focus, right? That’s not a recipe for long term, really building a practice. So totally, totally agree with, with what you’re talking about. Another episode that we’ve done not too long ago was with David fields, who talked about how to create a fishing line. So So really, really very much agree with with your point here.

 

Sharath Jeevan 32:48

Thanks for that. So I went back into the book, I looked at this whole question of the talent world we’re in right and often we were in this kind of winner takes all world where in you know, say the consulting business. You know, a lot of the big firms who have a lot of the World Cup, right, and often as independent consultant, we feel we’re on the, on the outskirts trying to try to sort of muscle into that, etc. Well, I went back to even reading like Charles Darwin, right. And he had that really famous term like survival, the fittest and I think what that has made us think often is we need to do something 5% cheaper than McKinsey, or BCG, or whatever, you know, whatever it is, actually, I think what he was talking about was this idea of diversity that, basically, the more diverse our population is, the more likely they’ll survive, and the create these new traits will be passed on. So really, I mean, I looked at everyone from you know, how top chefs are created to top entrepreneurs. And what was really striking in that is modern talent war is that this idea of being really different and standing out. And so if you find that distinctive edge, so let me give you an example. I have an accountant, he’s an independent professional. He does the management counts, fine. He does my you know, files, mining accounts, and so on. But he’s incredibly personable, and really likes, that personal connection is very good about making entrepreneurs feel comfortable and able to help them, see how they can link this to their business goals. That’s the strength. That’s what he really sells everything else. Other people can do as well. But he’s got that really, that distinctive part to him that really makes certain types of clients really want to, to work with them. So you’re trying to find that really, that really helps us stand out. And that’s very distinctive to our own unique purpose. And it’s very important.

 

Will Bachman 34:29

Well, it’s rather I want to point people to where they can find out more. You mentioned that you do have a website let’s let’s share that and any other links that you want to give for people who want to follow up and learn more about this work or or reach out to you.

 

Sharath Jeevan 34:47

Thanks well, so I please visit my work at intrinsic labs.com that’s intrinsic labs. And please follow me on LinkedIn I write and post regularly on motivation, related topics around work. Around parenting relationships, entrepreneurship, you name it, as well. And my, my book is all on the website, but intrinsic is coming out soon. And it goes really deep into these areas as you allude to well, as well in terms of these and had some very practical suggestions. But also, I hope is a really engaging book that is tell some amazing stories and very inspiring stories of how all of us can make a difference in our lives. And I try to see our lives as very holistic and very interconnected. And, you know, we’re not just people at work, we’re not just consultants, we’re also fathers and husbands and, and citizens, right? How do we think about our motivation, that broad sense? So I hope the book intrinsic will also be a real inspiration for ideas of things we can do here.

 

Will Bachman 35:46

Fantastic. So we’ll include those links in the show notes. Shroff, love, love this discussion, and this idea about really figuring out what drives us. Thanks so much for being on the show. Thanks. Well, my pleasure.

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