From Job Rejection to Top Speaker and Author

Here’s Dorie Clark’s Story:

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Questions that we’ll answer today 👁‍🗨

  • How can I get more done in less time?

  • What’s the most powerful asset I can own today?

  • Why do I need to start making opportunities for myself?

A while back, I interviewed Dorie Clark over LinkedIn Live. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since my university days and she caught my eye as one of the very first personal branding thinkers online that was doing compelling work. Our chat was so good I wanted to re-share my favourite takeaways. 

[Bonus Question: Was I pondering on a new question for Dorie or looking off to the distance below? 😂]

Say Hi 👋

Dorie is the world’s #1 communication coach, an entrepreneur, a thought-leader, a keynote speaker, and author of 5 brilliant books. Her innate drive to help people find their voice is contagious.

She’s been collaborating with the world’s leading change-making organizations like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IBM, Google, and World Bank to help leaders enhance their mindset and reinvent the way they communicate and lead. 

One of the most essential takeaways from conversing with her was: We’ve all got to start looking out for ourselves. No company can be our stewardess. Our personal brand empowers us to own 100% of what we build. And as one of my Maven students, Adam Gale says, “Your brand follows you regardless of what field you work in.”

The setup: Why you need to start making opportunities for yourself.

JH: What was the initial spark in younger Dorie that made her decide that she wanted to move from philosophy and theology to starting her own business? What stimulated that pivot?

DC: The pivot was a result of the greatest and the most common of the ways … which is by falling on my a**. 

I tried to follow the path of philosophy. I wished to become a university professor and specifically, an English Literature professor with a focus on religious literature. After my master’s, I applied for graduate school, and I got turned down by every single program. That was a jerk on my head - I had to figure something else out. So I started reporting and a year later got laid off from that job. 

I’ve had to keep inventing and reinventing until I found something that stuck. 

Oftentimes, all the pieces don’t click into place at once. There are a lot of detours along the way. 

But eventually, you do find what fits. 

The setup: Train yourself to do more in less time. 

JH: In your book, The Long Game, you highlight, “Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but how they choose to use them, influences the trajectory of their life.” How do you structure your day to get the maximum out of it?

DC: A couple of thoughts: 

A few years ago I did a time-tracking study on my own self to understand my time usage. For an entire month, I literally chronicled and tracked how I was spending my time in 15-minute increments. I needed real data to assess myself. 

I discovered that one of the most productive things I was doing without even realizing was, what I now call strategic multitasking. The common conception is that multitasking should be avoided. The problem, however, is not multitasking. It is doing two similar types of tasks simultaneously like doing a conference call and writing an email. Both tasks involve the same part of your brain and that lowers your productivity. 

But if you combine a physical task with a cognitive task it can prove beneficial for you. Like listening to an audiobook while doing the dishes.  

By simply making an effort to be strategic about what two tasks you combine together, you can actually get more done - I was able to increase my time by 30%! 

Another great habit that I built around a year ago is taking Fridays off. It’s very hard to do this because you have to put up a lot of boundaries. It’s very easy to say, “Let me just take this one meeting.” But stepping away and taking time to yourself is truly difficult. 

Part of why I’m so vigilant about Fridays is that if we really believe in restoration and in the fact that we don’t have to work every single day, we need to actually fight for it. As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to keep doing things. But taking a pause is crucial and very very hard. 

The setup: The best asset at hand to create some waves in the world. 

JH: If younger Dorie was present in 2021, with all the digital tools at her hand and you’re starting out from ground zero. How would you navigate through the world?

DC: One of the best strategies that I would recommend to anyone who’s trying to build their career and their personal brand is — content creation. The reason is simple, we are making ourselves discoverable by other people. 

The natural questions people ask are, “But what do I write about? What do I talk about? I don’t know if I’m an expert.” 

The amazing thing is - You don’t have to be an expert, you can just interview someone else! It’s so easy because you’re highlighting the person you are interviewing and you become the interlocutor who is drawing out the insights of someone whose thinking you admire. 

Starting to do something like this helps you make connections in your niche and also get known in the process of it. 

JH: If you’ve been wondering: “How can I make a contribution to the world? How can I get my talents recognized?” Dorie’s books, speeches, and courses are where you’ll find your answers.

Her recent book The Long Game circles around developing a long-term mindset in a world where everything changes too fast. 

Get your copy here and send a selfie to Dorie or me when you get it in person.


Handing you the baton … 

  • Set a weekly time to take a pause from work and restore your creativity. 

  • Try out strategic multitasking... finding what works for you is essential.

  • Tell me where you are in your personal branding journey and where you are headed.


Internet find of the week is the 2021 Drone Photo Awards. Not many people know this but my first side hustle was drone videography for realtors. So….. Let’s do a flashback and take a look at one of my favourite photos from the awards: Shark Companion by Ido Meirovich.

Thanks for reading till the end. I try to make it a newsletter you look forward to each week, so if you have any suggestions you’d like to see or ideas that sparked, let me know:

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Stay outta’ trouble and catch you next week.

✌🏻 Joel

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