Mike rucker - Q&A
Mike has agree to answer our questions. So, let’s get started.
Q1: Hi Mike, thank you for sharing your time with us. You are very knowledgeable in the field of health and wellness.
you encourage individuals to utilize the power of fun. Could you give
us an example or two of how one could incorporate that into our daily
One way is to bundle an activity that you might not consider fun with
one that is fun. For solopreneurs, that might be something like inviting
a fellow solopreneur, or alternatively a friend that has the
flexibility to work remotely and invite them to share their workday with
you in a co-working space.
Another way to incorporate more fun is
to reframe tasks that are not traditionally fun into something that you
consider more fun. For instance, simply approaching a situation with
the attitude “I am going to have fun with this” vs. “this really isn’t
going to be fun” can make all the difference. With a fun mindset, you
focus on and amplify the fun aspects of an experience. Conversely, when
you approach a task believing it won’t be fun that mindset can become a
Q2: Following up on the need for fun, we all run into periods of
stress in our lives. This is true when a person is making a job
transition and especially a career transition. What suggestions do you
have for a person considering a career change?
Remember the adage, "This too shall pass." None of us are immune to
periods of stress. We cannot control the curveballs that life throws at
us, but we can control how we react to them. Being unsure of our
livelihood can be extremely stressful. The biggest mistake I see people
make is not adding constraints into whatever system they’ve formulated
to get through the transition.
The remedy is to create a system
(that moves you forward) and incorporate fun as a reward when tasks in
your system are complete. Let’s say you are searching for client
opportunities. This is a task that could potentially be
never-ending—when you are hunting for something there are always more
“things” to find—but certainly spending your entire day trying to find
opportunities will have diminishing returns.
A better way is to
define what success looks like in any given day. For our example, let’s
say success is finding ten really good prospects (in one day). Once
you’ve decided you have landed on ten really good leads, reward yourself
with something you consider fun. This will create an engaging habit
loop that will keep you coming back to the task, provide some rewarding
experiences that mitigate your existing stress (through fun), and ensure
that the prospects that you are mining are of quality (by shifting the
focus on 10 quality leads over the highest quantity you can get it in
one day). [Editorial note: Consider speaking with one of our Mentors experienced in your desired career to give you insight into your new career field.]
Ideas For Career Change and For Life (Photo courtesy of Mike Rucker)
Q3: Many individuals are moving toward solo entrepreneurship
(solopreneur) these days. A person may be building a business online and
working at the keyboard most of the day. What dangers do you see in
that instance and what should the solopreneur do about it?
Mike: There is a great book by Paul Jarvis on this topic called the "Company of One".
In the book, Paul discusses the need for solopreneurs to create a set
point for what success means to them. Similar to my answer from the
previous question, having a constraint regarding what you are trying to
achieve means instead of endlessly looking for more work, you can
determine the amount of work you need to accomplish to reach your
beauty of clearly defining success is that once you know what you are
aiming for, you can craft your day around reaching that specific goal.
If you are trying to mitigate the danger of working at a keyboard all
day, ask yourself, “what can I do differently so that my output moves me
towards my target, but I am limiting the time sitting in front of my
keyboard?” For instance, as a content creator if I don’t feel like
typing anymore I use a service like Rev.com and dictate my copy while
walking in the sunshine and have them transcribe it for me. Without some
sort of constraint, you will always be on the keyboard, because without
forethought the work of a solopreneur is unbounded.
Q4: A number of us are at midlife or later. You previously wrote an article entitled “Why You Need More Fun in Your Life, According to Science”. Could you provide a short summary of the points you raised and how do they apply to those 50+?
Mike: As we age, staying connected to our friends and family becomes an increasingly important component of our well-being. Making sure we engage in fun activities (especially with others) improves our relationships. As such, make sure to prioritize fun with friends and family accordingly. Engaging in challenging, yet fun, activities have also proven to keep us sharp as we age. The science is called cognitive plasticity, and the secret here is to make sure you not only engage in fun but also add variability into your daily activities. It turns out variety is not only the spice of life; it is also the elixir.
Mindful Listening is the Key for Mentors (Photo courtesy of Mike Rucker)
Q5: Career Redo provides Mentors, experienced in various career
fields, to help our visitors understand more about the career field in
which they desire to enter. What advice to you have for our Mentors as
they work with their clients?
The best piece of advice that has helped me when I engage in the role
of coach/mentor comes from Dr. Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand,
then to be understood.” I believe Dr. Covey has stated it is the single
most important principle of his Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People. It is easy to see other people through our lens and overlay
solutions that would work for our particular circumstances but would
never work for the particular circumstances of our clients.
listening is a hard-won skill that takes a lot of deliberate practice,
but in my experience, this ability to listen empathetically is almost
always the difference between a mediocre mentor and an amazing one. [Editorial comment: Check out our List of Mentors to start your discussion right here].