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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk with Nii Codjoe (COO at Personality Hacker) about how to figure out what to do with your life and his experience in navigating his own career as a millennial.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Nii Codjoe – ENTJ
  • Adaptability is one of the essential skills needed in the world today.
  • People who are graduating from school today struggle with adapting to the changes in the world.
  • Emotional & psychological adaptability.
  • Create an educational program to survive in the world today.
  • Invite successful people to coffee and ask them questions about how they became successful.
  • At the end of the “coffee chat”, Nii would ask, “Is there anyone else you would recommend I talk to?”
  • This is how he built a tribe of people who were more successful than him.
  • Learn how to learn.
  • There is a process to learning things and turning knowledge into wisdom.
  • Understanding persuasion, sales and marketing, and communication are potent tools to have.
  • These people aren’t larger than life. They are human.
  • What is the formula for turning knowledge into wisdom?
  • The first level is awareness and exposure – there are things out there you aren’t aware of. Keep seeking.
  • Accelerate learning by getting into action and implementing new ideas immediately.
  • Get your hands dirty.
  • Gain data from multiple mistakes.
  • Fail as much as you can to learn the fastest.
  • Books can’t teach you everything.
  • Read a book then take the knowledge and immediately test it in the outer world.
  • Refine the knowledge.
  • Go back and reread the book and see how your understanding has changed.
  • Passion project = 1-3 month projects
  • Approach someone who has some knowledge you can use to improve your data.
  • Patterns start to emerge.
  • Begin to see the same principles emerge over a wide array of concepts.
  • Career paths are often an emergent we discover over time.
  • Adaptability is important.
  • The wrong question: “What should I do with my life?”
  • Some jobs we may excel at don’t even exist yet.
  • Instead of focusing on passion focus on developing skills.
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You” Cal Newport?
  • Focus on developing rare and valuable skills.
  • Career capital.
  • We tend to be passionate about the things we are good at.
  • The most effective way of landing a job is through these coffee chats.
  • Write down a list of people you know who are in a situation about which you are curious.
  • Start with your parents or family friends, former professors, classmates who are in the field you are interested in.
  • “I’m just exploring my options…”
  • “I’ve noticed you have a really successful career in…. I would love to buy you a quick cup of coffee to pick your brain and find out how you got into your career.”
  • Create an email template and mail it to a few people on your list.
  • Write down questions you would like to know:
  • How did you figure out what you wanted to do with your life?
  • How much education did you get?
  • Always buy them coffee at a location convenient to them.
  • Build a relationship.
  • Ask them how they got where they are.
  • Take notes.
  • Review.
  • “Who are two other people you would recommend I talk to learn more about this subject?”
  • People are more open to passing on a legacy than you think.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of relationships.
  • You are the average of the five people you hang around.
  • Write down the five people closest to you.
  • You are the average of those five people.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk with Nii Codjoe (COO at Personality Hacker) about how to figure out what to do with your life and his experience in navigating his own career as a millennial. #podcast #goals #careeradvice

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Steve
    • Steve
    • June 11, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I’m a 59-year old professional who mentors young people (from 22 to 54) whenever the opportunity presents itself, which is not entirely infrequent since ‘round about 120 of them cash the checks I sign. Some of you will regard what I’m about to present here as naysaying, but it’s really not offered in that vein at all. In fact, I think “Coffee Chats” is an about-face made into a long-overlooked direction—our glorious past. It also advances a perspective I’d dare say would resonate broadly among my fellow sun-setters (many of whom sport boring STEM degrees and rose through the ranks applying elbow grease, overtime, and—brace yourself—used mostly traditional communication means). Nii, my only problem with what’s presented here is Joel and Antonia not reminding listeners up front that there used to be another name for “Coffee Chats”, which was something called “face to face interaction”. This most basic of social concepts is seemingly being reintroduced in this podcast as the latest Millennial career selection strategy, which is not at all surprising at a time in our history when devices and their inescapable ubiquity have robbed a generation of the ability to simply communicate face to face with other human beings. My advice to listeners (and readers) is to enthusiastically embrace Nii’s concept and then resolve to elevate it to the next level. Put down your phones, step away from your keyboards, and go out into your communities (churches, pubs, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, the VFW, etc.), look each other in the eye and communicate. That’s the first thing. The second is a more generic comment relating to career selection and all this angst-ridden introspection over what we’re going to do with our lives (e.g. should I chase my passion or chase the money, should I get a STEM degree or go for that music therapy major, isn’t it evil to work for a company that’s building compounds used in the components of components that go into drone components, etc.) It’s literally enough to drive anyone bat-**** crazy—no wonder kids are so confused. Try this and see how it works for you: instead of “Discover your passion and then find a way to get paid for it”, let’s go with “Look around at what needs to be done, and get busy doing it”. The money will follow—every single time. A plumber I know (we were interacting at the time, face to face—weird, right?) commented that his was to be the last in what had been generations of tradesmen because he and his brothers had all educated their children to become white collar professionals. None of his progeny, he lamented, were the least bit interested in the family business, which is still booming and earns him and his partner solid six-figures per annum. Why? Manual labor and butt-crackery, entry-level pay at entry level, messy work environments, bad smells, that sort of thing. Contrast this with my 50-something educator friend down the street who shared with me (during yet another unscripted face-to-face interaction) her own career paradigm-shift to that of “tradesman”—she was no-kidding dropping her teaching gig to accept a welder apprenticeship in the local shipyards. And why? Bone tired of dealing with youth who are basically non-communicative, incorrigible, narcissistic, and who seem firmly convinced that their only possible contribution to society must earn them six figures out of college or they’re simply cheating themselves. I could go on, but suffice it to say that there’s much to be said for following a maxim from the past: “Let your work fund your play time, and let your play time be spent pursuing your passion”. Old school, I know, but there’s a lot of real, lucrative work to be done out there during those eight to twelve hours in the day when we’re not out chasing our dreams. All you have to do is look around you—it’s literally everywhere.

  • Nii Codjoe
    • Nii Codjoe
    • June 4, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Hey, thanks for your kind words, Jess! Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

  • Nii Codjoe
    • Nii Codjoe
    • June 4, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    ​Hey Mandee,

    It’s Nii, here. Thank you for your ​thoughtful comment and question. I’m ​happy you enjoyed the podcast.

    And you bring up a fair point: broadly speaking, extraverts are going to be more comfortable setting up coffee chat than introverts are. You’re right.

    So let me offer another perspective: I believe coffee chats are well suited for introverts.

    Here’s why.

    The most common alternative for ​exploring your career option​s​ ​is to go to a networking event — where ​you’re locked up in a​​ room with hundreds of extravert​s​ that are eagerly ​​​passing out ​their business cards and resume.

    And asking you for your 30-second elevator pitch…as if you were a guest on Shark Tank​.

    ​For most introverts, or those with social anxiety, networking events are hell on earth. ​
    The loud music. The small talk. The frenzy.

    So instead of attending a networking event to explore your career options and cultivate new friendships, have a coffee chat instead. They’re more intimate. Less overwhelming. And more fun.

    I could be wrong, here, but I bet having coffee with someone is ​easier ​than ​sparking up small talk with ​a ​stranger​​ at a noisy business event​.

    Which would an introvert prefer?

    Going to a networking event or grabbing coffee with someone.

    I’ve noticed that introverts have fewer coffee chats than extraverts when exploring their career options. And that’s okay. If you’re getting career clarity, at a pace you’re comfortable with, that’s a win.

    But here’s the leverage point. If an introvert can muster up the courage to have their first coffee chat, having a second one doesn’t feel as scary as it once did.

    Often, their responses are, “Oh, that wasn’t so bad. I kind of liked it. And I learned a lot.”

    Luckily, those coffee chats will lead them to new jobs, purposeful career paths, relationships, mentors and a more interesting life. And introverts can have this without ever setting foot at a networking event.

    You asked a fantastic question. I loved your insight!

    And I hope you find this perspective helpful.

    So what do you think, Mandee?

    (And to anybody else reading this…)

    Does this make sense?

    How does it resonate with you?

  • Mandee
    • Mandee
    • May 31, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    As an ENFP, I love the valuable information Nii talks about in this podcast. As previously mentioned (by a few INFPs), I also put a lot of stock in finding and developing my passions. I think it’s why Nii’s advice is equal parts painful and exhilarating. I appreciate his practical and concrete advice when so much of the rest of life and my mind are made up of anything but this.

    I do however have a question more on behalf of a few INFPs in my life struggling to know how to find passion and how to create change in their lives. I know fully well that while this episode invigorated me, to my INFP spouse and sister, it would terrify them. I just observe that while completely valuable, coffee chats are much easier to seek and participate in for extroverts as opposed to introverts. I can hear my husband now speaking to that this advice is completely within my flow state, while it would make him anxious beyond belief. What advice do you have for introverts wanting to make a change, but also still grappling with the fact that Nii’s advice is much more easily suited towards an extrovert?

  • Jess Visher
    • Jess Visher
    • May 18, 2018 at 4:18 am

    Loved the truth that you just have to get your hands dirty to really gain wisdom on it. Great podcast!

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