The #1 Key to Success in Our New Economy

via Alvin Toffler

via Alvin Toffler

I rarely ever do guest posts these days but I felt like Drew provided a compelling story that should be shared. Drew Tewell is a recruiter, author and blogger who helps people navigate the world of work. He’s also authored a book, The Dream Job Program. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter.

I was born to do this. tweet

I was 21 years old and working at a job that I loved. I was helping people, regularly learning new things, and I also had the opportunity to express myself creatively on a variety of projects and tasks. I thought I would never do anything else professionally.

But the reality was, this was my first real job out of school. I had a lot to learn. I still do. I’m now 35 and doing things I would not have even dreamed of fourteen years ago. My professional focus is helping people with work. I have a day job as a recruiter, where I work with job seekers and employers on a daily basis.

In my spare time, I am an author, blogger and coach. My goal this year is to land a book publishing deal so that I can eventually reach another goal, becoming a New York Times bestselling author.

How did I get here? Let me tell you my story…

It all started when, at age 24, I left the job that I loved. I had just gotten married the year before and my wife and I decided to move out of state to an area just Northwest of Chicago.

I had been working on lining up a position in my field, but it didn’t work out. So I ended up working various jobs and finally landed a job selling credit cards. I didn’t really like it, but it paid the bills. Then I got fired.

As I started to look for my next job, I took some time to think through what I wanted in my next position. Then, I looked for jobs that lined up with what I wanted. Using this strategy, I landed a job at a community center that matched exactly what I was looking for.

Not only that, I was now working as an instructor for career planning and job search, and as a case manager, helping people with work related issues. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had found a new direction to throw myself into professionally. But it was not going to happen anytime soon.

After working at the community center for over a year and a half, my wife and I moved back to Ohio. This time, I didn’t look for job based on what I wanted or what would be a good fit for me. Instead, I was more focused on getting a so called ‘good job’, a position that paid well and had good benefits. Bad idea.

I landed a position at a well-known, industry leading company that paid good, and had great benefits. So again I got what I was looking for, money and benefits, but I knew the job was not a good fit for me as far as the type of work I would be doing.

Four years later, I was taking short term disability because of the stress and anxiety in my life, which my job only magnified. I would come into work and within 15 – 20 minutes, I was as stressed as if I had worked a full eight hour day. After my short-term disability ended, I decided to turn in my resignation and quit.

The year before I quit the ‘good job’, I started a personal coaching business. I had come up with the idea not to long after turning 30. As I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, helping people through coaching seemed like it could be a good fit.

The only thing was, I didn’t really have any idea how to get customers. After six months, I landed my first client. Then within a couple of weeks I landed my second client. But then it took another six months before I landed client number three.

During this time, I also started writing a book based on the material that I created that I took my coaching clients through. But it would be another year before I self published it through Amazon. Then, I decided to take my business to the next level.

On December 1st, 2011, I started doing my business full-time after leaving another day job all together. The only problem was that my wife was not on board. That was a big problem.

The first month went well and I surpassed all my goals. The second month didn’t go so well. Not one new client and not one dollar made. This didn’t go over well with my wife. Did I mention we had a one-year-old son? The next month, we split up.

So with my 34th birthday coming just around the corner, I now had a business that was not doing to well and more importantly a marriage that wasn’t doing any better. So I went back to work.

Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning

Eventually, my wife and I got back together. Around this time I also got serious about blogging. I started writing two posts a week. I also started connecting with other bloggers. Things were going ok and then it happened. I got fired. Again.

Same as with my previous job searches mentioned earlier, I landed the job I wanted and was looking for, my current job as a recruiter,. This is a job that goes well with what I’m doing as a writer. And speaking of what I’m doing as a writer, this year has been amazing.

At the beginning of 2013, I decided that I was going to write a guest post (article) every week. With the first half of this year just ending, I have now written 26 consecutive guest posts for 26 different sites for 26 strait weeks. This post is # 27.

I have also interviewed New York Times best selling author Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of her own leading career blog Penelope Trunk, and tomorrow I’m going to be interviewing another New York Times best selling author, Dan Pink!

So what can you learn from my story so far? If I could give you one piece of advice it would be this: Never stop learning.

Try new things, read books, talk to other people doing what you do now or what you want to do down the road. I believe learning is the number one key to success in our new economy. And like I mentioned earlier, I still have a lot to learn. But I sure am having fun learning it.

Question: What have you been learning lately?

  • Drew Tewell

    Thanks for having me over, John!

    • John Saddington

      thank you!

    • Dewitt Robinson

      Inspirational post. How did you get started writing your guest posts? Was it a simple email request?

      • Drew Tewell

        Thanks, Dewitt! I got started writing guest posts by contacting people I already knew via email and maybe Twitter. After that, I kept connecting with new people and continue to do so, mainly through Twitter and other blogs.

        • Dewitt Robinson

          Thanks for the feedback.
          Just followed you on Twitter.

  • Wil Morales

    Great post by Drew! Good to see that he didn’t give up and is pushing forward. Awesome.

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Wil!

  • Nick Christian

    I like what you said, “I got what I was looking for, money and benefits.” Sometimes, we do find exactly what we want, but fail to realize that we wanted so much more. Your admonition to keep on learning is spot on. Not only should we learn about our trade, but about ourselves as well. Thanks for another great post!

    • Drew Tewell

      Good point, Nick! Learning about ourselves is vital to our success.

  • John Saddington

    every. single. day.

  • Alex Barker

    Wow. What an amazing story and really encouraging post Drew. I’m glad you stayed with your wife and family.
    I have similar goals to interview those celebs for my podcast. Now time to get crackin’ like you!

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Alex! Looking forward to our conversation.

  • Drew Tewell

    Trial and error. It works. Thanks for joining the conversation, David!

  • Charles Hutchinson

    What a great story. Thanks for the wisdom of “learning is the number one key to success these days” So true.

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Charles! Good to hear from you.

  • Dan Black

    Personal growth is essential for lasting success and achievement. This is such a good and personal post Drew! Thanks for sharing it and thank you John for allowing him to guest post on your site.

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Dan! John has been gracious to share his platform.

      • Dan Black

        Your welcome:)

  • Jacob Miller

    Great story. It really hits me hard since I am in my mid twenties. Makes me wonder where I need to go next and the steps I should be doing to make it possible. Inspires me to never give up on pursuing a life of learning and building great relationships.

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Jacob! You mention learning and building great relationships. In this post I say that learning is the #1 key to success in our new economy. Relationships have the #2 spot.

      • Jacob Miller

        There is a definite balance between the two. You have to value relationships based on their investment too sometimes. Those investments can sometimes be just as valuable as any teaching we can learn, because the relationships teach us along the way.

        Glad we have connected. It’s awesome to discuss things like this.

  • Brent Peterson

    Everyday is indeed a new learning opportunity! Good post my friend. I’ve been fired before in my career. It happens to us all and those who grow from the setbacks are the ones who actually succeed in the long run!

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks, Brent! It’s funny how a lot of times being fired or other setbacks, though hard to swallow at the time, end up being the “one of the best things that ever happened to me” parts in our story.

  • Sutton Parks

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. I’ve got plenty of failures and struggles but like you, I keep swinging. Learning new information is the key. I don’t want to be stuck on repeat. Lately I’ve hired a coach who has helped me tremendously.

    • Drew Tewell

      Like the title of one of John Maxwell’s books, we must keep “Failing Forward”, right? Thanks for joining the conversation, Sutton!

  • Lci Maranatha

    Great tips. I’ve however come to learn that success is based on principles and one of the principles is following people who have had true, long lasting success. An example is Solomon, the richest man who’s ever lived. Dag Heward-Mills expounds on the principles that brought success into the life of this man. Check out his book “Solomonic Success” and receive the success God has in stock for you! Be blessed! :)

    • Drew Tewell

      Here’s a quote for you to consider. “If you want to impress people, share your successes. If you want to impact people, share your failures.” (John Maxwell)

      Solomon is a great person to learn from. And he is a great example of someone who learned by trial and error (see the book of Ecclesiastes). The most successful people tend to have more than their share of failures. Failure is not a bad thing, it’s one of the best teachers that we have. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check out the book. :)

  • Mary DeMuth

    I really resonated with this post. As a professional writer over a decade, I am constantly learning, tweaking, and changing direction.

    One small encouragement: You might want to proof your posts before you hit publish. There were a few grammar issues and typos. Normally that stops me reading a post, but your content was so good that I kept at it. A good edit will make your message even more powerful and compelling.

    • Drew Tewell

      Mary, thank you for your kind words and encouragement! Coming from you, it means a lot. As a member of Tribe Writers, I heard your interview with Jeff Goins a while back. You made my day!!!

      • Mary DeMuth

        Cool! How great that you’re in Jeff’s Tribe Writers. :)

  • Michael John Beil

    This post hit home. Your journey is an inspiration. I believe relationships and learning go hand in hand.

    • Drew Tewell

      Thanks for your kind words, Michael!