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the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 185: 4 Keys to Reinventing Your Career and Your Personal Brand with Pete Wilson | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

On today’s special recap episode, Rory and AJ get together to discuss their interview with their former pastor, Pete Wilson.

We hear from AJ about why she is so passionate about the concept of reinvention and why she believes that we are all in a constant state of reinvention in some area of our lives.

She shares how a behind-the-scenes conversation with Pete gave her an insight into how he sees himself and his accomplishments, versus how other people see him, and how we can all benefit from seeing ourselves through the eyes of others.

Rory unpacks the beauty of a blank slate and why we are never truly starting over since we all have a past set of skills that we can realign to serve our current purpose. For all this and more, tune in today!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Rory and AJ discuss their top takeaways from their conversation with Pete Wilson.
  • The relevance of the concept of reinvention.
  • Why the obstacles blocking your path are, in fact, shaping your path.
  • AJ shares her second takeaway from behind the scenes when she reached out to Pete.
  • Recognizing your skills when you are reinventing yourself.
  • You are never starting over from scratch; you bring all your past skills with you.
  • Learning to reapply your skills to a new endeavor.
  • Why the beauty of the blank slate is Rory’s second big takeaway.
  • AJ’s final takeaway on how to align your calling with your work and what that means for your quality of life.
  • When you change your mission, you need to change your metric of success.

Tweetable Moments

“The things that you think are blocking your path are not. Those are the things that create your path. They are your path.” — @aj_vaden [0:03:51]

“If we could see ourselves the way that others see us, how much further along we would be? With all of our dreams and all of our passions and all of our goals.” — @aj_vaden [0:10:13]

“A chance to go: What do I want my life to be right now? What do I want most right now? That’s the beauty of a blank slate.” — @roryvaden [0:14:02]

“I truly believe that, at some level, every single person at every single phase of their life is in the process of reinvention.” — @aj_vaden [0:20:09]

About Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson is former senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Under Pete’s leadership, Cross Point was one of the fastest growing churches in America growing to reach more than 10,000 people each weekend through its seven campuses located around the Nashville area, and online. 

Pete has published four books with publisher Thomas Nelson, including his best-seller, Plan B

In 2019, he started Good Vibes Management; an organization that partners celebrities with corporate brands and nonprofits to pull off inspiring press-grabbing projects while also giving a renewed purpose to the celebrity’s platform. Good Vibes has worked with country super stars like Kane Brown and Tim McGraw, and brands like The Boys and Girls Club of America, the NBA, US Bank, Marathon and the YMCA to name a few. 

Pete is also the co-host, alongside his wife, of the Good Talk Podcast, where they hope to inspire people to become healthier, happier and more purpose-driven versions of themselves through their weekly episodes. 

When he’s not speaking or developing his business, Pete spends a good bit of his time these days as a life coach, helping his high-capacity clients live their best life by filling the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, thus reaching their highest goals and dreams. 

For the people Pete leads on his teams and does life with, he is an inspiring leader, emotionally generous communicator, and an approachable friend. These characteristics easily translate when Pete speaks and are apparent in his writing and coaching. 

Links Mentioned

Pete Wilson on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

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RV (00:02): Hey, welcome to the special recap edition of the influential personal brand podcast. Although I guess it’s not necessarily a special recap. We do a recap after every episode, but one thing that is special is that my co-host and wife and our CEO brand builders group, AJ Vaden, is here with us today. She’s, she’s been out for a couple of these. And so she’s here, we’re breaking down the interview with Pete Wilson. Long-Time personal friend of ours. You know, as you probably listened to the episode, he was our pastor for several years. And I mean, for a decade. Yeah. I mean, and what a powerful episode age at like it was, it was it, I was blown away. So I’ll kick it over to you to sh to share you know, some of your highlights. Yeah. AJV (00:50): Honestly, there are so many good nuggets and one-liners, and it’s hard not to just brag on the whole episode because of how much I really love Pete, but I will narrow it down to the three biggest ones. I think that are really important. And so much of the whole episode is about reinvention. It’s about where are you going next? And I just love that because I know so many of the people listening to this podcast are in some version of reinvention right now, right? It’s, you’re leaving a previous career to start a new one, or you’re doing this whole new thing. That’s really a passion or a calling on your heart, this mission and it’s new. And for others, you’ve been doing it for a long time, but now you want to talk about a new subject. And I just kind of feel like this is relevant because it touches every single person, no matter where you are, maybe you’re reinventing and your personal life, right? All of these different stages of life that we go through just by the nature of growing as humans, we are always reinventing. And so he said something earlier on in the interview that I just thought was so, so important. And he said, and I won’t get it right. So I won’t, I’m not going to try to quote this, but this is my paraphrase version. AJV (02:09): Is that the things that you think are blocking your path are not, those are the things that create your path. That is your path. And I think so often, at least in my life I think so often you see these huge barriers as the things that are preventing you from going to the next level or from doing the next thing. Or in many times, they’re just excuses of why you, can’t, why there’s not enough time or resources. He’s going no, no no, these are your path, the challenges and the, what you consider the blockades that no, that is your path. That is your journey. And so it’s not to try to avoid them. It’s to no, it’s actually to lean into them because that is the path and whoever you’re going to be on the other side is, is a part of this reinvention and this journey altogether. AJV (03:02): And I just, I love that because so often I think, at least for me, you want to avoid the pain. You want to try to sidestep it as much as possible. And all you want to see is progress, progress, progress. When in truth. So much of Pete’s interview is like, no, it’s not always forward motion. A lot of times it’s backpedaling to figure out what direction you need to go in. And it’s not always forward motion, but that doesn’t mean you’re not moving forward. It just means you’re not feeling like you’re not moving forward. But in, in truth, that is the process of reinvention to begin with. So I just, I loved it. I thought it was just a cornerstone of the whole interview. RV (03:39): Yeah. I wrote that down too. And I actually put the same note. I’m not exactly sure how he said this, but something about that, you know, the things that you think are blocking your path, they aren’t blocking your path. They are the path. And like when I look at our life, you know, me and you, and whether it’s in business or personal, everything that has felt like, you know, a challenge that’s like, oh, this thing’s in the way, like I got to get out of the way. It’s like, that’s the actual thing that grows you and develops you and builds you into the person you need to become for the next level. And I definitely like that was so profound for me personally, in this interview that I think my approach to problems has been more of like, how can I get them out of my way versus how can I go through this? What am I supposed to learn from this? Who am I supposed to become by this? And I mean, just like you said, it’s one reason that we’ve, we both love Pete so much is he’s just got such a profound wisdom and ability to like, create those little distinctions. So, so that was my first takeaway too. So I, I actually don’t, I don’t really have any, anything else to add. So what was your second AJV (04:56): One? Yeah, for my second takeaway, actually didn’t happen in the interview and these are in no order. So this could have been my first takeaway, but it wasn’t about anything that happened in the interview. So this is more of a behind the scenes of how the interview came to me. And I follow Pete on Instagram and social media and just like his little one-liners and to get his perspective on things. And, and I reached out to him randomly, what, I don’t know, couple months ago. And I said, Hey I love this new brand that you’re building. And a lot of it is with his wife and so resonate with that being in business with my partner or my husband. And I said, I really love this new take on all these things that you’re talking about. And would you ever be interested in being a guest on our podcast, the influential brand podcast and his very first responses? Well, I don’t know if I have anything to share with your audience. What are you thinking? What do you mean it’s? You are a, like literally a professional presenter presenting brand new speeches every single week for almost 20 years. He did that on a weekly. It’s like you’ve got successful books. You’ve been on huge tours. You’ve been a part of these enormous conferences, and you’ve got this following and you are reinventing, didn’t RV (06:17): He speak at woman of faith conference? Wasn’t he one of the, like, that’s a AJV (06:21): Monster. He’s now got this podcast and he’s doing this whole personal brand thing. And he’s got this coaching program. I kind of thought to myself, what are you talking about? And that’s why I gave him like 10. I was like, well, you could talk about this or this or this. I said, what I’d really love is to talk about reinvention. And during that whole process, what I wanted to do is take a step back and be like, do you not realize the breadth of knowledge and wisdom that you already possess in this field? Like you have had multi book publishing deals, you have spoken thousands, thousands of times to huge audiences. Do you, you know, all these things. And then it made me think about how often for all of us, it’s so easy to see the beauty and others, but not see our own power and our own strengths. AJV (07:15): Because we don’t view ourselves the same way. Wow. I thought this was such a great reminder to myself and to everyone. It’s we, we de-value our own accomplishments and forget that. No, truly through this process of reinventing it’s like you already have these skillsets, you already have the skillsets to produce great content to interview people, to share a message, to do whatever it is you want to do. We just have to realign how we view the skills that we’ve accumulated over the years and apply them in a new way. That doesn’t mean you don’t have them. It just means they’re being applied in new and different ways. And it got me thinking if some of our other clients who have said similar things of like, well, I’m, you know, here I am, you know, 30 years later in my career and I’m mid fifties and I’m starting over. AJV (08:10): And you know, Pete said this too is like, you’re never starting over. Hey man, like you have spent 30 years growing into who you are that allows you to be exactly where you are. And it’s like, no, we’re not starting over. You may be starting a new thing, but you are not starting over. You can do this, you already have the skills to do it. And so often we don’t see that in ourselves, but it’s so easy to see it in the people around us. And it’s like, you know, sometimes I just wish if we could see ourselves the way that others see us, how much further along we would be and all of our dreams and all of our passions and all of our goals. And I think so much of that came out and not just this interview, but even in my approach of getting him to be on this show was well, there’s at least 10 things I can think of immediately. That would be so genuinely helpful for our audience. And just again, at this thought to myself, how many of us live in that seat where it’s like, I mean, I’m starting over. I don’t know what to do. And it’s like, no, no, you do. You just have to learn to apply those skills in a new way, but you know what to do and you can do it. Or you just got to get a different perspective on how to use the talents you already have. RV (09:29): That’s such a great perspective. I mean, that’s the, that’s the word and thanks for sharing that. Cause I know you, you reached out to him. I wasn’t even in the conversation and it was like on the calendar. I was like, oh, we’re talking to Pete. That’s so great. And that’s so, so powerful for me. My second takeaway actually I have to say was a mix from both Pete and you a day, like it’s, I’m going to call this. The beauty of the blank slate was, was really my big takeaway. And I think what, what Pete said was basically I want to do some things that I did before, but do them in a healthier way. And that really spoke to me because of our personal situation. I mean, to what you were just saying, it’s like brand builders group has come really far in three years. RV (10:21): And part of the reason is because it’s not been three years, we, we had, even though we started over, we had a lot of relationships and knowledge and et cetera that we, that we were building from. And then something that you said, you know, it’s kind of in this context of like just appreciating the beauty of the blank slate versus being scared by it or intimidated or frustrated by it where you said, I didn’t want the life I had before, so why do I miss it now that really hit me hard because I think a lot of people do that, where we go, we think about the old days, like they were the good old days, but it’s like, there was a lot of pain back then. Like there was a lot of hardship that, you know, when you, when you’re, re-inventing, there’s this beauty that you can create it to become whatever you want it to become. And I think one of the most important decisions that we have made in this phase of our life personally, was when we started BBG, we very deliberately said, if we can’t build it between nine and five, we’re not going to build it. Like we have to be able to build this business between the hours of nine and five, you know, and God gave us a couple of kids to help hold us accountable to that. So that has helped. And for the most part, yeah, AJV (11:36): I have been held also accountable to that. I mean a lot better. Yes. Much better. It’s definitely a more concerted effort. RV (11:45): Yeah. We, we’ve not been perfect about it. No doubt about it. But, but anyway, it’s just that, that concept of a chance to go, what do I, my life to be right now? What do I want most right now that’s the beauty of a blank slate. And I think a lot of times we look at it as like this massive setback and in reality, it’s this beautiful kind of blue ocean. And so anyways, that was a nod to both you and P cause that that really hit me hard. Yeah. AJV (12:11): Well, mine is my third point is somewhat similar to that, but I’m just a little bit just slightly different. And one of the things that I thought was really important that he said that both, you know, I think struck a chord with me, which is why it was my third point was something along the lines of, I did so many things wrong before and was working 70 and 80 hour weeks and not getting enough quality family time and, you know, putting work first and just all these different things. And it just stuck with me around like how often we do that and how all of a sudden our, our, our job becomes the number one thing in our life ahead of all others. And, but what if our job was really more of our calling, that was the mission that we were built for. AJV (13:03): It was a passion that we felt within us, where there was no real line between, you know, personal and professional because they were the same. And how would that change the way that we saw things and the way that we did, you know, quote unquote work and the way that we talked about things and would that create more stress or less stress, more overwhelm or less overwhelmed, or would it create more energy, more happiness? Because we were actually living out the thing that we were put on this earth to do versus a thing that we are doing to make money, to then get to do things that we think we want to do. And it just something around when he said about the miss prioritization of time and money and resources, and we we’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. In some regards, I spent 12 years of my life doing that. AJV (13:57): But if you really say, no, it’s like, this is my calling. This is what I felt like I was born to do in this world. Then what it really feels like work anymore. And it’s like, how much more dedicated and relentless would we be to fulfilling that calling if that’s how we really viewed it. Versus I have this passion that I’m working on, part-time on the side after hours, what would it look like if that was actually what you did all day, every day and this just removing this line between work and all other things, because it really isn’t work. It’s your calling, it’s what you were meant to do. And, you know, he talked a little bit about the process of finding that. So I’m not going to get all the secrets away from the interviews. I really think you should go listen to it. But I thought it was just a very good introspective question, but then also a take on how we do things versus how we’ve done things. And if you just shift that what a difference that it will make in, in your work. RV (15:02): Yeah, that’s good. Like the, the, the, the less sharp that line is probably the less stress you feel, even though you might be spending more hours on it, it’s like you’re doing, it’s not work. It makes me think of this happened to AJ. And I recently, like this last week, we were on vacation and this email came through at literally 10:00 PM at night. It was a media request and it said, Hey, you know, yada, yada, we heard about your personal branding study. We’re running a story. We’d like you to comment on it. It’s for T it’s for it’s for tomorrow. I think it said for TV for, for tomorrow morning. And my first response was, well, I was actually going, well, no, this is family time vacation. Like, we can’t do it. And I, you know, AJ was like, what are you reading? And I said this, and she’s like, oh yeah, we should do this. And so there was something in the way it was worded that it must’ve felt like to you. It was like, no, this is more of like a calling this isn’t like working in and we did it. So we took the time we did this at like 11 at night. They ran, AJV (16:09): He did it because I looked similar to right now. I know many of you listening can’t see me, but I didn’t have a makeup. Didn’t I had my hair done, had to spend 12 hours traveling with two toddlers. And I was like, yeah, I’m going to go ahead and have you do that. You go do that. I’m going to get ready for bed. It’s more of what happened, RV (16:27): But, well, yeah, so, you know, but it was your decision to do it. Like you said, Hey, we should do this. And you, and, and, and it was like, Hey, go ahead and do this. And so we did the interview and y’all, they, they aired it and then it got picked up by good morning, America. And the next morning we didn’t even know someone texts us back and was like, Hey, did you see this on good morning America? We had no idea. And, you know, just anyways to that blend of like, if something feels like a calling versus just like, you know, it’s this corporate thing, I’m all a job. That’s super powerful. And, and, you know, so anyways, my third, my third point is super quick, but it was, so this was really important. And I, I’m pretty sure this is a verbatim quote from Pete. RV (17:09): He said, when you change your mission, change your metric. And that was huge because it was like, how often do we go? You know what, I’m going to take this job because I want less stress and I want more passion, but then we go, oh, but I’m not making as much money. And then we let stress creep in. Cause it’s like, we’re not making as much money. And it’s like, you changed your mission. Like your mission used to be money, or it used to be followers, or it used to me promotions or job titles, or it used to be all these things. And then we change it. And then we, we strap ourselves. We kind of like imprison ourselves to the metric of success of the old versus being able to freely pursue and, and, and live in the metric of, of the new thing, which is, which is the blank slate in the reinvention. So that’s just a quick one that I wanted to mention. That’s good. That’s good. So anything else you want to add AJ? AJV (18:08): It’s good. It’s really good. Not just because it’s on our podcast because we’re biased, but because I truly believe that at some level, every single person at every single phase of their life is in the process of re-invention. And he really talks about these three steps, these three phases that are just naturally occurring when you’re reinventing and they appeal to you right now today. So highly encouraged. It’s worth a, a 40 minute. Listen, RV (18:38): Do that, go listen and keep coming back. We’re so grateful for you. We’ll see you next time on the influential personal brand.

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