What is your system for making really difficult decisions?
For most of us, it includes pros/cons lists, collecting information about it thru research and of course the old standby: avoiding the decision and putting it off at all costs.
While I’ve been there (embarrassingly I didn’t choose my Best Man until the day of my wedding… then he had to make a speech on the fly), we know that pushing off difficult decisions ends up in worry, stress and really just isn’t that helpful to anyone. (Sorry Brandon!)
And what about the smaller decisions?
You know, the ones that are easier to make but eat up your energy and bandwidth throughout the day!
Ever heard of decision fatigue?
What if you had a system to handle ALL of your difficult decisions?
(At least the decisions that don’t involve selecting toothpaste, picking which brand of all natural peanut butter or deciding which restaurant menu item seems to be more healthy.)
How much easier would life be?
I bet you’d have less worry, stress and freaked out Best Men on your wedding day!
Plus, of course the added benefit of making better difficult decisions.
This is exactly why we brought on my friend Pete Mockaitis of “How to be Awesome at your Job”.
Pete has a two-step decision-making framework that he uses as he’s trying to optimize a career (or life) decision in front of him.
If you could use a stunningly simple and wildly effective system to make these difficult decisions, keep reading.
Pete’s 2-Step Difficult Decision Making Framework
Part 1: identify what’s most important to you.
The first part of Pete’s framework asks you to cut to the heart of the matter when weighing a potential decision. He asks:
“What must be true for this to be a good move, good decision, and wise path? What are the key ingredients?”
Let’s break this question down for a career move.
Let’s say you’re considering accepting a new job offer. You’re comfortable in your current job, but not elated, and looking for the next opportunity to grow and stretch you that also meets your needs in terms of flexibility and income. You have the flexibility and freedom to be picky and choosy for an ideal next step in your career path, and you’ve just started interviewing for a company that caught your attention.
If you pose yourself the question of: “What must be true for this to be a good move, good decision, and wise path?” you can see the key ingredients, based on the assumptions above about what I want, are:
- Will this opportunity stretch and grow me in ways I’m excited about?
- Will I get more flexibility in this next role in the ways that are most important to me?
- What kind of salary will I pull down here?
- Will the work be at least as much fun as what I’m doing now?
- What are the other tradeoffs (visible and invisible) involved in taking this opportunity?
Once you outline the questions, they are much easier to answer.
Some of them, you already have the knowledge or information to be able to answer, like “how long would the commute be?” or “. Some of them require you listening deeply to your gut instinct.
For other questions, though, you will need to do more research and due diligence work to get to the answers, like “Will I enjoy working with this team?”
To wrestle with questions like that one, that’s where Part 2 of the framework comes in.
Part 2: validate before you trust your gut completely.
For the questions where the answer isn’t obvious, pose yourself this follow-up question:
“How do I test those things? How do I get a sneak peek or preview to see if it is the case?”
For example, if your success ingredient is that the new job opportunity must be more fun for you, but you don’t have enough data to know if that’s the case, asking yourself “how can I test it?” can be a powerful question.
Some ways you can test if a job would be fun for you include:
- Doing some of the tasks it will require of you on your own
- Asking if you can shadow with the team for a full or half day
- Doing the job in a freelance or contract capacity before upgrading to permanent full-time employee
- Write out a list of all the things that have been fun for you to do in the past and see if there’s overlap with the responsibilities in this role
Taking the time to test it out now before you make a big move can help you counter some of the risk of making a transition, and also give you more street cred and relevant experience to bring into the next job or opportunity you pursue.
With this framework, you can start approaching difficult decisions in your life with a new sense of confidence and assuredness that you’re gathering the right information to make a good decision for you.
If these ideas get you excited, comment below and tell us: what difficult decisions in your life are you agonizing over? When you apply this decision-making framework, what kind of questions do you need to test and validate before you decide?
Transcript from Episode
Scott Barlow: Welcome back to Happen to Your Career. I am ridiculously excited, delighted, and just appreciative to have on our guest today. I have with me someone who has become a friend over the last six months and we met in person recently in California. Pete Mockaitis. I am so, so, I can’t think of a descriptive word enough to describe how excited I am to have you here. And finally have this conversation.
Pete Mockaitis: Me too Scott. It should be a real treat. I’ve been looking forward to it.
Scott Barlow: We established before we hit record that you have on your raring and ready to go blue shirt. That is exactly what we are going to do, get ready to go. I’m excited today because we are going to dig into a decision-making framework and how people can apply that to their career and entire life. We will dig into that. And you have an interesting past and background. I do think it is interesting. How do you tell people what you do now?
Pete Mockaitis: It’s funny and in some ways I should take time to hone the elevator speech a little but I tell people I run a small training business. They think personal training, oh I’m flattered if you think I look like I can be a personal trainer. The body mass index says I’m two pounds overweight and I resent it. Training in terms of people development. I teach individuals and teams how to sharpen their problem solving, thinking, and communication skills.
Scott Barlow: Very cool. I know from talking to you that you haven’t always done that. Take us way back to where this begins.
Pete Mockaitis: In some ways I have always wanted to do this. As a teenager my hero was tony Robbins. The super tall motivational dude. I read his books and wanted to be him. Being a speaker would be the coolest career in the world. I got a rush from speaking. I was on speech team in high school. I told my mother I wanted to be a speaker when I graduated college. What should I study, maybe communications. And she said maybe you should get some expertise first so you have something to speak about. That makes sense. I learned a little about the management consultant industry by accident because I was serving on an organization called the Student Advisory Council to the Illinois State Board of Education. The SAC if you will. I did meet a couple girlfriends from the organization. They’d say how did you meet her? I’d say in the sac. They thought it was funny so it worked out. In that organization we were basically consulting, figuring stuff out, and presenting to important decision-makers. It was really cool. They implemented some of our suggestions like putting the ACT assessment on the statewide achievement exam. I get to work with really smart people think and solve challenging problems and get to be a speaker when we present. This is awesome and there is a whole industry that does this. It pays well and you travel. I was hooked on day one entering Illinois Urbana Champagne University. I will be at McKinsey and Company, the Boston Consulting Group, or Bain and Company upon my exit from this university. I was a weird college kid.
Scott Barlow: What happened through college?
Pete Mockaitis: It was interesting, I pursued different clubs and organizations, had fun with model United Nations and wrote a book about leadership in student organizations. I self-published and did some speaking engagements around it and still do a few here and there. Keynote and college campuses. College folk are energetic and enthusiastic. Ultimately the opportunity for internships came around. I befriended someone at Bain. It was the first guy I knew doing what I wanted. Tell me all about it. He would say you know how in class you just wait for people to stop saying dumb things? That just doesn’t happen here. I was so enchanted. I studied and studied this beast called the case interview which is a format that consulting firms subject their candidates to. You have to solve a case right before their eyes clarifying questions putting out a structure, brainstorming, calculations, and synthesizing. It’s kind of stressful. The pressure is on and your hopes and dreams are dependent on it. I did a lot of prep and came to enjoy solving the problems. It was fun for me I got to play puzzles for the job. Ultimately I did my five interviews for the internship and they went well. I remember the day I was MCing a date auction fundraiser for model United Nations. I was that cool. I got a call from unknown which was always them on my phone. I had the microphone and handed it off to someone to take over. I stepped off to the side.
Scott Barlow: Mid auction? Hold on.
Pete Mockaitis: I was starting to introduce someone. Crystal is… Actually you introduce Crystal. I got a call from Dalton who gave me the news. I was so excited. My friend Emily was there in her puffy red coat. It’s one of those memories you remember. I gave her hug. I was living the dream that summer in the Sears Tower, or now the Willis Tower in Chicago.
Scott Barlow: That was the simultaneous beginning of new dream and end of MCing date auctions?
Pete Mockaitis: I resumed it. It was like what the heck, this guy must think he is so important.
Scott Barlow: What was that like? I’m assuming you accepted, you had the hugs, what was that like in terms of what you expected versus what surprised you?
Pete Mockaitis: In a way it was thrilling when they extended the invitation over the phone I said God bless you Dalton. There is a 20 year old professional. That is what I felt I was delighted. I was super excited and it was edifying for me. My mom and I always got along way. We are getting deep into the family stuff. I didn’t know either. You are a tricky interviewer. My mom and I got along well my whole life and I think she is so wonderful, supportive and great. The one time we scuffled when I was a senior in high school and we were figuring out college. I had fallen in love with Duke. The campus was amazing. I didn’t follow sports but decided I’d be the ultimate Duke Basketball fan. I had a crush on my admissions officer and I got the acceptance. My admissions officer wrote a nice little postcard. Later I learned admissions officers are basically salespeople for universities. My mom, who ran a credit union, said you don’t want that debt on your shoulders. I had a full scholarship at the University of Illinois and I did not at Duke. I thought I worked so hard at school and everyone said I can do and be anything and I have this college I want to go to and my mom is putting the kibosh on it. I could have said forget you I’m going but I heeded her advice. It was cool because when I got the letter stating who the interns would be we had some from Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern and one from Duke. It looks like I got where wanted to go even though I was disappointed about Duke. My mom liked that when I told her she was right and I’m sorry.
Scott Barlow: You’re not really a dream killer mom. I take it back.
Pete Mockaitis: That was fun. Once I got into the thick of it there were some surreal moments looking out the Sears Tower. I even made an email newsletter for my friends and I was enjoying making slides and stuff. What surprised me was that I was in an environment where everyone was brilliant and I was no longer the smart one in the room. I was often the dumbest one in the room and at times I was uncomfortable. At the midpoint of my internship I was in doubt whether I would get the offer because I had made a bunch of errors and not rocking the spreadsheet in the most helpful ways like pivot tables, filters, slicing and dicing, and slide creation. Making little mistakes oops there is an extra 0. Uh Oh, this isn’t a fun little internship this is like for real. This isn’t a done deal and can be lost. That was intimidating at times and I had to learn the recruiting team wanted you to have an amazing experience but your case team wanted you to do great work and be low maintenance. It was funny because I listened to their perspectives equally. The recruiting team was like get out of here have fun, don’t work too long. I should ignore that input because they are going to worry I won’t have an amazing time and tell my friends to not work for Bain. I should ignore that input and if it requires to stay an extra 2, 3, 4 hours to make it great that is what I need to do. I had a shift of not staying here past 5 because that is what the recruiting team said. They just want me to have fun but what matters for the offer is doing amazing work and have Kyle, the guy I’m working with, recommend that I’m great. It’s a big distinction.
Scott Barlow: What caused you to have that realization? I think so many of us have a tendency to take what is in front of us for feedback and roll forward. You’ve got someone in authority saying go and have fun, why aren’t you out with your friends? What caused you to pay attention in a different way?
Pete Mockaitis: I was thinking in my midpoint review, and in conversations with folks, there was nothing on there about being concerned about working too long for too many hours. There was one moment, Kyle was awesome, which I loved about the firm, coaching, he was awesome and I saw an exchange him and the recruiting team had. You had him here until 10pm? Look we had to fix some things. It was one night, it’ll be okay. So I thought hmm that is what really matters. Getting clarity on what winning means here. That Kyle says this guy is solid and worthy of an offer and recommends they extend that offer. He sees me day in day out where the managers and partners had less exposure.
Scott Barlow: How old were you?
Pete Mockaitis: I was 20.
Scott Barlow: Very astute. Behind that comment I’m mentally jealous because I suspect I would not have recognized that.
Pete Mockaitis: I didn’t want to work a ton. One message I liked a little more when getting two. But it was like oh no Pete there are times where you must hustle. Forbid to work past 5.p.m. From time to time it’s necessary and okay.
Scott Barlow: What I’m taking away from it is at the time probably he wanted to have the work finished. If it took a long time that’s great. If it didn’t great. But having the wherewithal to recognize that and say what do these people actually want/need. That is useful any place, any time, or age.
Pete Mockaitis: I was so appreciative of Kyle. He stayed there with me and did it side by side. You want a shake from Potbelly’s; they are delicious. He was a star. I had a discussion with him, I said is it the manager or partner that says this person should get an offer and then I said wait a second am I supposed to be dazzling you? We were just buddies and had a good working relationship. He said I’d like to be dazzled and I will be the primary input of whether you get the invitation.
Scott Barlow: What happened from there?
Pete Mockaitis: It was good, with that paradigm shift I could take a break and say from time to time ignore the input from recruiting. It would be great to leave before 5 and do fun Chicago activities but right now I screwed something up and I need to go fix it before someone else sees it. I stayed later from time to time and put more attention into double checking work and got input from third parties. I think it makes sense, but does it really, and they would tell me. I got great words of encouragement. Ultimately they gave me an offer and I was thrilled to take it.
Scott Barlow: The culmination. But you’re not still there? What was the winding road that caused you to get there and then eventually decide that wasn’t where you wanted to be long term?
Pete Mockaitis: Once I had the offer in hand I thought this is cool. They are amazing. If I’m going to do consulting I’m going to do it with Bain. I saw them up close and personal and loved it. The question was am I going to do something else. I liked to speak and train. I had the book released. Maybe I should go entrepreneurial full time right here right now. Maybe I should help people more. I considered the priesthood. Being a Catholic priest was on the table. Maybe seminary? I sorted through a lot of stuff, prayer and thought, analysis. That was my conclusion at the end of the day a lot of people consult for two or three years and go to another adventure and they are better for it because of skills, network, and money saved. You can glean from that puts you on a good path. That was my takeaway. I really like this I’m intrigued, I might have regret if I don’t do it and I can still do anything else, whether it’s nonprofit, priesthood, entrepreneurship if I started with consulting. So I did.
I took the job and I enjoyed it. I met great people I was challenged and did great learning. I had a variety of experiences in industries and business challenges. It was so good. To this day I’m awed about the review process. Every case, every six months, you’d get a four page, single spaced document with specifics on what you did well, what are your development opportunities, examples, how you stack up at your level and all of that. I appreciated that level of input and feedback and support of colleagues. In the background I’d occasionally do a speaking gig.
There is an organization called Hoby, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership. A bunch of high school sophomores assemble and I’d speak about smart goals or another topic and it was such a rush. I would return to consulting and say it’s pretty nice but wow that was a thrill. There were a number of instances where that occurred. After three years it was standard, not scandalous, to leave. What are you thinking? Do you want to keep at it, go to business school, or something else. I wanted to do people development. It seemed like the right move. I would see speakers not impress me much and still collect a hefty fee. It was what I liked to do. That was my main thing. I dug consulting, the long hours and travel and the luster wore off a bit. But I do not hate it. It’s a fantastic pathway. I noted for me what I get most jazzed about is people development work as opposed to profit increase work. I saw that with recruiting and managing people at Bain. As well when there were cases that had a people element for the business we were helping. Those were my favorite moments there. Why not reposition to a career doing that all the time?
Scott Barlow: You were experiencing little portions of things you recognized you absolutely had fun with and you had the excitement and some of the initial luster wore off from consulting so you started leaning into the smaller areas that were new and fresh and exciting giving you the same level of panache.
Pete Mockaitis: That is a great summary.
Scott Barlow: So many people think about their careers as I’m going to go find the thing and do the thing for the rest of my life and it will be awesome once I find the one thing. Then one of two things happen. One it’s too much pressure because you won’t find a perfect situation anywhere the second is based on all the data and people we work with it doesn’t work like that. It works like you just described. Someone consistently progressing and getting closer to what is great for them. Paying attention and leaning into the smaller areas that light them up.
Pete Mockaitis: I totally agree with you there. That notion about forever, I had a great guest Moe Carrick, on the show, How to Be Awesome at Your Job podcast. Couldn’t resist.
Scott Barlow: I’ve been on your show and it was fantastic.
Pete Mockaitis: Thank you and she was talking about work fit and I bought a point she made, the job that is a fit for you now may or may not be the fit for you in 5 -10 years. I think that is so true in terms of fresh out of college bring it on let’s travel, dig in and do a lot of stuff, hustle, build skills. And now, settling into family life, that doesn’t sound appealing to me. Things evolve as your life evolves.
Scott Barlow: What you wanted at a certain point in your life may completely change and will likely completely change as you are in a new season and area and it’s weirdly expected and okay. On that note the decision-making that goes along with going from one area of your life to another – should I do it? Is it the right thing? All the pieces of that are incredibly difficult which is probably putting it mildly. I’m super curious because you do a great job as you decide to take on new projects, pieces, seasons of your life and sections of your house you are developing for offices, you do a great job of putting intention and thought into what those decisions look like. You’ve talked about hypothesis driven thinking. What is that?
Pete Mockaitis: Sure thing. It’s funny, my wife recently gave me useful feedback and said that sounds complicated and hard and I don’t know if it’s attractive. So on my podcast, How to Be Awesome at Your Job, when it’s a holiday-ish like Columbus day or Labor day, people are not commuting or listening to a guest so I hate to put a guest there that gets half of the listens because no one is in their car but I keep it going the rest of the week. I put out a reflection on these days a mini episode with the 2 questions that improve every decision. That is really what it boils down to and my wife said that is much more approachable so thank you honey for that input. Hypothesis driven thinking is a little bit of a paradigm shift. If you are trying to solve a case, a murder, there is a murder Scott and you are a suspect…
Scott Barlow: It was the candlestick, in the bedroom or the I don’t know.
Pete Mockaitis: The way I think most of us approach questions or problems is we jump in and look around. There is a body, some blood that is trickling out, some things are broken you are looking around. Was there a struggle, a weapon? That is one way it occurs, you just look around to see what you see and figure if you can figure something out. The hypothesis thinking is more focused with you zeroing in on a particular test and you want to see if something is true. Is the victim poisoned? You will take a sample of blood and send it to the laboratory and get results with the toxin screen and that will tell us. We are testing a hypothesis that the victim is poisoned. Is someone after them for financial reasons? We take a look at their financial records, banks statements and see if there are unusual activities. Zero in your focus on high probability things and testing them. The great way to apply this to a decision is take two key questions. 1) What must be true for this to be a good move, good decision, and wise path? What are the key ingredients? 2) How do I test those things? How do I get a sneak peek or preview to see if it is the case?
Scott Barlow: Let’s say I’m not a member of NCIS or I don’t happen to work for the police force or have detective on my business card. Give me an example of where or how this can work.
Pete Mockaitis: It’s funny Scott as we are speaking right now I’m on a sit to stand desk. I’ve been seated but you’ve got me excited so I’ll stand. The dual motors in action.
Scott Barlow: We were on video and it looks awkward. He’s a tall guy.
Pete Mockaitis: Now I’m standing. Here is what’s up. There was a time before I had this desk and I wondered if I should buy it. Are they a gimmick or fun thing I think matters but doesn’t. I was torn up. Do I part with $625 for this sit to stand desk or not? I said Pete we will run it through like I do with my clients. What must be true to acquire the sit to stand desk to be a good move? You can brainstorm. My space needs to be able to accommodate it. There has to be some true benefits that exceed the costs, third buying this desk needs to be superior to the alternative options. I feel pretty good with that set of categories. If I can prove those true then it holds up and I should make this purchase. So then we think how do I test it.
Does the space accommodate it? Does it need a special outlet? How long is the electrical cord does it reach? What are the measurements? Measure my space. I can test that and my space accommodates it.
Will the benefits exceed the cost? I was hoping to be more energized and productive. I wanted more than someone’s word for it. I’m a little obsessive at times with research. I found a number of studies that used this tool the profile of moods state that showed the folks that used this desk versus not and they saw it reduced fatigue by 25%. If I can reduce my fatigue by even 5% that would be worth loads. That is how I began thinking about it. What studies showed it boosts mood. And they do they reduce tension, confusion, anger, fatigue. If I had less fatigue I could do a couple more coaching sessions and get this paid for quickly. I believe the benefits exceed the costs.
Is it superior to the alternative options? I went deep with video reviews, side by side comparisons, profiles, and other sit to stand desk options like putting boxes on top of my desk. That didn’t work. Doing this I said this seems like a superior desk to the options. The three things proved true. I felt good about moving forward. I purchased it and I’ve been pleased. It’s not perfect, there are other things I wish I would have considered but overall it was the right choice.
Scott Barlow: Here is what I really love about this. I’m a huge fan of standing desks. Following a similar framework for decision making we built for about $50 a small test version just to trial prove it before changing and customizing our studio where everything is standing. I just walk around the room. Although I have not dumped it in a spreadsheet I’d say it’s a good 25 -30% less fatigue. I think this is something that can be very versatile. It works for more than just standing desk purchases and solving murders. Those 2 questions I love. That can apply to a lot of things. Financial decisions or areas of your health. You just gave a good example of health and work.
Pete Mockaitis: And I love the creative approach you had there. You did a small scale test there. I love the untraditional approaches to getting test input. A real quick example we just bought a home, doing all kinds of renovation. A new world for me. I didn’t know anything about paint sheens. We got this quote for windows and one was way cheaper than the others so much so that we didn’t trust it almost. How can we test this that the contractor is any good? We can look at Yelp and review sites. And you can message people on Yelp and say hey, you were pleased with your windows some years ago. Have they held up? And they said they are great and solid. It’s so cool. You can call someone, message someone, just be a little bold and creative and you can get a preview before you invest your time and money and reap regrets.
Scott Barlow: That is super interesting, not just the part of Yelp, I didn’t know that. I’m curious one of the things that occurs to me is you could spend ample amounts of time applying the framework to all decisions. Where do you decide to apply this and what isn’t worth the time and energy/ opportunity costs to put it through this framework? I have probably spent 30 -40 hours investigating different types of televisions to buy. It was absurd. I bought the silly television and loved it and only years later did I realize that 40 -50 hours spent there was a huge diminishing return and probably not a great way to spend my time. How do you decide where to apply this?
Pete Mockaitis: With any decision you can give it a one minute version of this. Get out the legal pad or envelope and go through the questions. Should I go to dinner here? It needs to affordable, they have to have space for us and be available at that time. You can do that under one minute. Your detailed investigation I think it boils down to is it fun for you? You spend 40 -50 hours on that television research. If it was a stressful, hair pulling, freaking out, and worried then that is a different story than it’s really fun to see the different technology and who thought televisions can do this. If it’s enjoyable. Some people go shopping for fun. That is entertaining. If it’s enjoyable as a hobby then it’s a different game. Doing it recreationally for amusement versus something that needs to be done for an outcome. If it’s that I would challenge yourself to say what would be the downside if I got a suboptimal television. I spent $200 extra dollars I missed some pixel resolution and am I okay with that. Would doing an extra few hours be worth it for it not to happen? You just have to take an honest look at how big a deal a suboptimal outcome would be.
Scott Barlow: You can almost use this framework to decide if you can use this framework. I heard you describing that. At least the amount of time you are devoting to it.
Pete Mockaitis: Certainly. I think it’s interesting that often the downside can be minimal. Like I have to return it to Amazon. That isn’t a big deal versus the downside is after I have quit my job and moved my family across the country I realize this new job I accepted isn’t the thing I wanted at all, oops. That is a bigger downside. Be more thorough about your research.
Scott Barlow: We get so many, and I bet if you are listening to this right now, you have been in this situation you get really excited about something in the moment, an opportunity, job offer or something. It’s happened to me too a while back with a company that was going to pay me well, remote work, there were a number of good things and I hadn’t done some of those at that time. I was looking at those great things being excited about. I failed to stop and ask the question of what must be true for this to be a good move. When I started applying that I realized quickly that it’s not going to let me continue to build my business even though its remote there is a high learning curve and all I really wanted to do is build this business and that would have been a distraction. I spent a good two weeks being excited about it. It was early in this business. If I would have stopped and applied the framework I probably wouldn’t have wasted two weeks being caught up in it and it would have been simple to move on and say not a good fit for me.
Pete Mockaitis: You are heading somewhere nicely talking about our automatic responses. Oh good opportunity I should do it. I think about financial things. When I was at Bain I had similar ideas and thought about starting my own thing later. I was maxing out my 401k contribution. I guess you can deduct up to 25% of your salary. I can put that money there and saving is good. Yeah. I like to do things, if it’s important I should do it to the maximum. There is a shortcut in my brain. It has served me well and poorly like that auto reflex. If it’s good do as much as you can. Later it occurred to me that what was important with my financial goals was I have a year’s worth of runway to not have an income as I build my thing. Putting it in a vehicle where I get penalized for accessing it early is not helpful. And they weren’t giving me a match on my investment so I should scale that back. In the moment I almost felt like I was doing something wrong. I am not being a good saver but in fact I would be better served to put a more modest amount in. I’m glad I did.
Scott Barlow: That is possibly the biggest power of this framework. It allows you to be less reactive and more intentional and proactive. That is very helpful in all areas of life. Thank you for coming on and talking us through this, not just for standing desk purposes but other purposes. I so appreciate it. I do have a couple important questions left. One, what do you find is the most useful purpose for owning a fulltime superman costume?
Pete Mockaitis: I just had a feeling that it would shift to a funny direction. I’m ready Scott to earnestly reply to the important question. You can feel free to edit this down but the backstory was I was talking to my mom one day. I loved Superman as a kid and wore Superman pajamas everywhere I went. My brother would make fun of me you know those are pajamas right? I was appalled, this is my outfit. With the little Velcro tabs for the cape. I wore it everywhere I went. It was a fun childhood. I wept when I learned that it would be impossible for me to fly. That feels poetic. The biographers in the future will comment on this. Mom, David Copperfield is flying. Well Pete that is an illusion, he’s not actually flying he’s a magician.
Scott Barlow: Dream killer.
Pete Mockaitis: I thought if I could just get the perfect Superman costume that is what I want to be every year for Halloween. From time to time I’d Google looking at it. I was appalled, I said mom you can spend over $300 for an adult Superman outfit and it doesn’t even come with boots. Isn’t that outrageous! What are you paying for? One day I had gotten dumped and I was sad. This was around October. In the mail I had a package my mom sent me and it was a pair of red boots. It was immediately clear what needed to happen next. I looked around.
Scott Barlow: No decision-making framework there.
Pete Mockaitis: It was so clear. I looked around and saw this guy made costumes on eBay. It looked like what I wanted. I wanted Christopher Reeves style. This is just right but the size is wrong might you have… And he said tell me your measurements and I’ll make it for your measurements and it was awesome. That is my Halloween standard attire. It is the costume made to my measurements with the boots mom gave me. It is still one of my favorite things to wear and I wish I could wear it more in a socially acceptable fashion.
Scott Barlow: That is fantastic and I appreciate you going into the full story and taking the time. Every conversation we’ve had has been a ton of fun. Thank you for doing it again.
Pete Mockaitis: Thank you Scott. I totally agree, it’s been a delight. Keep doing what you are doing, happen to it.
Scott Barlow: I certainly will. More to come. For people that want more Pete or more Pete as Superman, or more decision-making frameworks or the other good stuff you offer where can they find you?
Pete Mockaitis: The brand, website, podcast is How to Be Awesome at Your Job. Go to beawesomeatyourjob.com or search awesome job in iTunes or any podcast catcher and it should pop right up with the friendly yellow logo and away you go.
Scott Barlow: Perfect. Thank you again, I really appreciate it.
Pete Mockaitis: Thank you.
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