Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health thought leader and Animal Health executive recruiter Stacy Pursell provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about two big factors and six action steps for Animal Health and Veterinary success. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I am glad to be here. I hope you had a nice Independence Day holiday. I just got back from visiting one of my client’s ranches in Oregon. It was beautiful out there.
Julea: That sounds fabulous! So, Stacy, we recently finished a series about wisdom from Napoleon Hill and his formula for success. Why have you decided to tackle this topic again?
Stacy: That’s a good question, and I’m glad to answer it. I want to tackle this topic again because I believe that it’s extremely important, especially now, with everything that’s happening in our country and around the world. I’m a big believer in the basics and the fundamentals. I believe that a person can experience success no matter what is going on or what is happening around them, and one of the ways to do that is to focus on the fundamentals and do the things that are necessary to be successful.
Julea: Okay, that sounds good. Where would you like to begin Stacy?
Stacy: First, I want to address what we won’t be talking about today, and that’s intelligence.
Julea: Intelligence? Why is that?
Stacy: Because intelligence or IQ does not ultimately determine whether a person reaches their full potential or how successful they are. In fact, skills and experience are not the ultimate factors, either. If there are members of our listening audience who think that intelligence, skills, and experience are all you need to reach the top, then I want to dispel that notion. That is a myth.
Julea: Okay, fair enough! How would you like to dispel this myth?
Stacy: With two factors, both of which are more important than a person’s intelligence. The first factor is motivation. A person’s motivation is more important than their intelligence. That’s because they reason that a person is motivated has a direct effect on something else that’s extremely important.
Julea: What is that?
Stacy: How hard they’re willing to work, which we’ve addressed in one of our recent podcast episodes about Napoleon Hill. The amount of effort that a person puts forth is critical in determining how successful they will ultimately be. I think we’ve all known some very smart people in our lives who were also very lazy people.
Julea: Yes, they seemed to “coast” through classes at school and did not put a whole lot of effort into things. Is that what you’re talking about?
Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. This is where motivation enters the picture. Unless a person is properly motivated, then they will not reach the level of success that they want to reach. This is also known as The Power of Why.
Julea: The Power of Why? What’s that?
Stacy: This speaks directly to motivation, or why someone is doing something. Everyone is doing what they’re doing for a reason. As I like to say, nothing happens without someone having the desire to make it happen, and motivation and desire are closely linked. I have a personal example that I’d like to use.
I have used The Power of Why numerous times during my life and during my career as an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter. When I started my own firm, The VET Recruiter, my motivation for doing so was my family. I wanted to make sure that they were taken care of and they would have a good life. My motivation was also the desire to help people find new and better employment opportunities so they could also improve their quality of life. So I had two powerful “Whys” and they overlapped each other.
You’ll notice that both of my “Whys” centered on other people and not myself. That’s an important distinction.
Julea: Interesting Stacy, why is that?
Stacy: Because the most powerful “Whys” are the ones that involve other people and not yourself. Think about it for a minute. People are willing to work harder and work longer and they’re willing to “go the extra mile” if they’re doing it for other people, especially people they care about.
Sure, there are some people who excel and are successful because their Power of Why revolved around themselves. However, I believe they’re in the minority. Most of the time, a person’s greatest source of motivation is they want to help someone else, including they want to improve the quality of someone else’s life.
Julea: So, it is important for Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to know what motivates them?
Stacy: Yes, it’s important. If you don’t know what motivates you, then you don’t know your Power of Why. And you can see how motivation can trump intelligence and IQ in the workplace. Someone who is properly motivated an outwork someone who is not motivated but might be more intelligent or smarter in terms of IQ.
Julea: What is the second factor for today.
Stacy: The second thing is something that we’ve also alluded to before on the show, which is grit or being resilient.
Julea: Grit? You mean being gritty and not giving up when the things are going badly or seem to be going badly?
Stacy: Yes, and there are many different ways to describe it. You can call it grit or perseverance or resiliency. There is a direct correlation between how gritty a person is and how successful they are. I know that gritty is more of a slang word, but it I think it accurately describes how a person should think and how they should approach their career.
There are two big reasons why being gritty and preserving is so important. The first reason is that adversity is inevitable. It’s going to happen, and you can’t avoid it. And it doesn’t matter how much your parents tried to shield you from it when you were younger. Sooner or later, it’s going to find you.
So the question is not whether adversity will find you, but how you will react once it does find you. If you react poorly, then it’s not going to matter how intelligent you are. It won’t matter what score you got on the SAT. The only thing that’s going to matters is that you reacted poorly. That will dictate your success, what you do in the moment, how you act. How smart you are means nothing, unless you persevere, take action, and apply your intelligence to the situation.
And the role of hard work and effort is crucial throughout this entire discussion.
Julea: Stacy, can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: I certainly can, and I’d like to draw upon the work of psychologist Angela Duckworth to do so. She is the author of a book titled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
According to Angela Duckworth, raw talent is not enough. Even if you have natural talent, you have to apply effort to turn that talent into a skill set. And even that is not enough, not if you want to truly succeed. That’s because you have to apply even more effort if you want to turn those skills into achievement. And as we’ve discussed, you’ll experience adversity along the way.
Julea: So, perseverance and resiliency are necessary because a person must put forth a tremendous amount of effort in order to acquire skills and then achieve things with those skills?
Stacy: Yes, well put. So you can see why motivation and The Power of Why, plus grit and perseverance are all more important than raw intelligence. It’s not how smart you are, it’s what you do with your intelligence and how you react to adversity that counts the most.
Now that we’ve discussed the two big factors for Animal Health and Veterinary success, it’s time for us to turn our attention to our five big steps for success. And they’re rooted in something that we’ve discussed before, which is the difference between the growth mindset and the fixed mindset.
Julea: Yes, we discussed that topic in podcast episode #158! How does it pertain to what we’re talking about today?
Stacy: First, allow me to recap the differences between the two mindsets. People with a fixed mindset are more focused on maintaining the status quo. When the status quo is disrupted, their top priority is to regain the status quo instead of adjusting or adapting to their new circumstances.
A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, does not bother with trying to regain the status quo. They realize that the status quo is useless. Instead, they’re focused on meeting their situation and their circumstances head-on. People with a growth mindset are motivated and resilient, and as you’ll see, they also take the steps that we’re about to discuss.
Julea: What are those steps?
Stacy: There are five steps, and we’re going to address them one at a time. The first step is viewing adversity as a challenge or opportunity instead of focusing on the adversity and wallowing in it.
Julea: Wallowing in it?
Stacy: Yes, some people have a “poor me” attitude, and that attitude does not lend itself to a growth mindset. People who have a growth mindset typically do not also have a “poor me” attitude.
The second step is to be passionate about what you’re doing.
Julea: Why is that important?
Stacy: When you’re passionate about what you do, you’re just about already in a growth mindset. That’s because people who are passionate don’t let anything hold them back. In fact, not only do they not stop themselves, but it’s nearly impossible for other people to stop them, either. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then Animal Health and Veterinary employers will want to hire you. It’s almost impossible to be passionate about your work and your career and still have a fixed mindset.
So my advice would be if you’re not passionate in your current role, then you need to find an employment opportunity that truly excites you. If you have a fixed growth mindset and you’re also in a job that doesn’t excite you or on a career patch that doesn’t excite you, then you could be in trouble. When you’re in that situation, it can be easy to fall into a career rut. And once you’re in a rut, it’s difficult to get out of it.
The third step on our list is to be flexible.
Julea: What does that mean? Being flexible in your thinking?
Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. People with a fixed mindset focus on their problem and not much else. Instead of focusing on what is, you have to start thinking about what could be. That’s because at the heart of the growth mindset is the ability to solve problems. The kind of flexibility that I’m talking about is the flexibility to think of solutions to problems. This is basically the difference between focusing on the problem and instead focusing on possible solutions.
Julea: That does make sense. What’s our next step?
Stacy: The next step is being proactive, which is something that we’ve discussed multiple times on this podcast. The reason we’ve talked about it so much is that it’s very important. Just thinking about doing something is going to get you absolutely nowhere.
You have to be decisive and take action, and this means taking action in pursuit of solutions to the problems that you face. One my favorite sayings is, “Nothing happens until something happens,” which really means, “Nothing happens until you make it happen.” You can’t yearn for the status quo or try to return to it, especially if it’s not possible to do so.
And there’s something else that keeps people from taking action.
Julea: What is that?
Stacy: Fear, and that’s our fifth and final step, not allowing fear to rule your emotions and make your decisions. You can’t base your decisions on fear or on the thing that you’re the most afraid of. Those kinds of decisions rarely work out well. I’d like to once again reference the acronym that I use for fear, which is:
If you have a fixed mindset and you’re in the comfort zone, then you act reactively instead of proactively. And if you act reactively, then you’re limiting not only your opportunities, but also your options. The people who enjoy the most professional success are those who have a growth mindset and who proactively take advantage of their opportunities.
Julea: Stacy, what about people who say they are just “waiting for the right time” to do something?
Stacy: You’ll have to forgive me, but I think that’s a bunch of baloney. If you wait for the right time to do something, you’ll soon find out that there will never be a right time. There will always be a reason for why you didn’t do it. More accurately, you will always come up with an excuse for why you did not do it. You must act now.
Julea: Stacy, we are just about out of time. Is there anything that you’d like to add before we end today’s episode?
Stacy: Yes, there is. I’d like to say one more thing to our listening audience today. If and when an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter contacts you about an employment opportunity, at least listen to what the opportunity is. You don’t have to pursue it, but at least listen to what it’s about.
If you at least listen, then you’re displaying the traits of someone who has a growth mindset. But if you don’t, then you’re stuck on the fixed mindset, and people who are stuck in that mindset do not maximize their careers or come close to reaching their full potential.
Julea: Stacy, thank you once again so much for all this great information. And for those people who are considering a job change, there are plenty of employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website, aren’t there?
Stacy: Yes, there are. For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We have a ton of employment opportunities available on our site, and new ones are posted all the time. For animal health employers or veterinary employers who need to hire talent now reach out to us as well. We have the largest database of talent in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary industry.
Julea: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: It has been my pleasure Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!