Brad Cochrane: Facing Age Discrimination by Leveling Up!

After a layoff, Brad Cochrane ran head first into serious age discrimination. Motivated to return to the corporate world, Brad spent years pushing to get back to his old life.

As he realized that his corporate days were over, Brad took an honest look at himself and the world. In a moment of inspiration, he realized that he had some huge to offer. In his words, he "leveled up," and begin to change the world.

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Video Transcript

Shea Oliver: Hi, I'm Shea Oliver, welcome to The Priority Paradigm. I'm sharing stories of amazing people who have made radical changes to their life for something more important. Today, I'm with Brad Cochrane from Seattle, Washington and he's got a great story to tell. So without further ado, Brad, take it away.

Brad Cochrane: Well, good morning, Shea. It's so great to be here. So let me tell you a little bit about my background is I had a background in broadcast television. Got to meet a lot of interesting people, had a lot of interesting adventures. Then I went to the corporate world working for a major software company and I absolutely loved the job. I loved the people. I loved learning all the time. I loved the challenge. I loved the continuous work that I was doing in the big projects that I was doing. Well, the great recession happened and eventually I was laid off and so I knew that I had to take charge of my own life, but my number one goal was to get back into the corporate world just because I loved it so much.

Brad Cochrane: And after years of trying, I realized a couple of things that yes, there is age discrimination that younger people tend to not want to hire older people. Now instead of it just being kind of like, oh, we don't like old people. I realized that it was really generational. I'm a baby boomer and as a baby boomer I for me, because there were so many of us, it's all about developing relationships and to me developing relationships is success. With the Gen X'ers who came after me, who became my new bosses. For them it's about getting things done. It's about filling out the spreadsheet. And so what really happened, it wasn't so much as age discrimination as it was a cultural discrimination where I would spend my time trying to build relationships with them and they just wanted me to do a, b, c, or d.

Brad Cochrane: Success to me is about relationships. To them it was about filling out the spreadsheet. So the second thing that happened was that I was going on a lot of these interviews and I'd show up and we go through the interview and it was rarely about the job they want to know about my background, my TV adventures, who I'd met, this kind of stuff. And before too long I realized that they had already chosen the person they were going to hire, but they needed to interview other people and do quote due diligence and I realized that I was really nothing but interview fodder that they were looking to fill the time and they didn't have to interview somebody and they said, hey, this is an interesting guy. Let's interview him. So I had this realization, Shea, that if I'm going to be the wise old man with all of these stores than they, Gosh Darn are going to pay for it.

Shea Oliver: I love it.

Brad Cochrane: And when I had that realization, that's when I moved in into professional speaking and consulting and writing books and all of this other path that I've been on is I realized that I wasn't going to go back to the corporate world because of the age discrimination. And number two is I actually had something to offer. The people that were interviewing me were telling me, boy, I'm interesting. They will take my advice. And by the way, they take some of my advice and put it into practice. And so I decided just to shift my whole world. And that's what really got me started.

Shea Oliver: That's fantastic. That's actually. So how long were you a quote unemployed?

Brad Cochrane: Well, I was working every opportunity I could for four years.

Shea Oliver: Okay. So it took you a little while to kind of go through the transformation from being, I'm a corporate guy and my world is around the corporate to wow, I have something more powerful and more important to offer them being the corporate guy.

Brad Cochrane: Absolutely. And when I realized that, that I was working down by trying to go to the corporate where I really needed to level up. You know, there's a saying that I really love that I really took to heart is that sometimes the only way out is up. When I realized that that's really just when I needed to up level past some of the old, as you'd call them, cultural norms of what you're supposed to be doing.

Shea Oliver: Right. So as you, as you kind of went through this process, what was it like for the people around you, your family, your friends as you're struggling to get back to the corporate world? What were they experiencing? What were they telling you?

Brad Cochrane: Well, it's interesting because, you know, everybody expects you to do things in a certain way. And for people around me, they kept expecting me to go back to the corporate world and they were got very frustrated because it was like, why can't you just get a job? And it was like, okay, I'm trying to get a job and it's just not working for them. It's very, been very difficult, but they've seen the other side as I've come through the other side and now they're very impressed with it. Is it a lonely journey? Absolutely. Isn't going into the Wilderness for 40 days? Absolutely. But there's something on the other end of it.

Shea Oliver: So, you had the realizations that you went through. How much of these happened when you were alone? Just contemplating or sleeping or in the shower and how many of them came with actual interactions with other people around you?

Brad Cochrane: You're talking about the realization?

Shea Oliver: Yeah, the realization that you needed to go this path rather than corporate.

Brad Cochrane: Well, I think it's both. I really think it's both. A friend of mine was very wise and he told me one time when I was expressing frustration about not getting jobs and realize that this point I was, I was like, listen, just get me a job in a hardware store, right? Is I just need something and I couldn't even do that. He said to me, look me in the eyes and bread, they don't believe you. And what do you mean? They don't believe that you're the guy that can work in a hardware store. They believed that there's something more to you and that's why they're not hiring. They're actually doing you a favor. And through interactions like that and you know we're even though we feel alone, we're not really alone. We have a lot of support groups, a lot of friends that believe in you, a lot of friends that don't understand what you're doing, but love you anyways. Even though it feels lonely, we really are surrounded by a support group.

Shea Oliver: Say more about that.

Brad Cochrane: Say more about that? Well, let me give you an example is I was invited into an executive networking group. Now these are a whole bunch of people have very high powered, intelligent, smart people that have gone through a layoff. And so we get together once a month and we talk about our journeys and what we're doing. And the next thing and something I really noticed with that group is many of them were defining themselves as their job. In other words, the next job they were looking for was something exactly like the job they had done before and I realized that they were trying to go forward. They were trying to steer their life by looking in the rear view mirrors to see where they were instead of where they were going. Now that was some of the people in the support group and I got a lot out of that when I realized that, wait a second, I need to put down the rear view mirrors and there are other people that we're talking about their forward journeys and about how they were upleveling to the next step and just knowing that I was with other people like that was really, really powerful.

Brad Cochrane: I really believe in a strong support group of like minded people and in a sense, you have to find your people. You want me to go into that a little bit more?

Shea Oliver: Yeah, I'd love you to.

Brad Cochrane: Okay. So, I'm a professional speaker, but I started off almost by accident by doing. People had asked me to speak a little bit, and I realized that this was the path that he needed to go, but I was very alone in it and I felt like I was out in the middle of, you know, just by myself doing this, and I'd heard about this group that was interesting how I heard about this group because there was this person that I knew, that I had worked with. She was on Linkedin and she had talked about public speaking and about how she was doing this. That sounded interesting. She had a Christmas party. I invited myself to that and she looked at me. She kind of went, yeah, you're the guy I don't like. And honestly I don't like her either.

Brad Cochrane: So I'm at this party and she sort of, you know, giving me a little bit of a stink eye and I say I cut right to the chase, you know, and I did the courage thing and I said, okay, I'm going to go forward with. And I said, listen, you know, I know you don't want to talk to me that you're doing the speaking thing. Can I talk to you about this? And she basically said in kind words, no way in heck am I ever going to talk to you again. In order to get rid of you. I'm going to talk about this different group. And that was the National Speaker Association. They were having a Christmas party. The next week I invited myself to that drove to this dark neighborhood, no street lights. I knock on the door and the store opens up and this woman says, come on in.

Brad Cochrane: And it was the National Speakers Association, the local chapter. And I had found my people and I had been with them ever since. The point here is you need to find your people wherever they are and they might show up in the most unexpected place.

Shea Oliver: That's actually a very cool story. I love that. So out of curiosity, have you had any interactions with the woman who didn't like you since then?

Brad Cochrane: No, absolutely not. But that's okay because I got what I needed from her from that relationship. Here's the thing is it's like we all think we should be friends with everybody and whatever, but you know, it's okay just to, just to realize that, you know, we don't have an affinity for each other, but we can still help each other.

Shea Oliver: Very nice. Very nice. Well cool. So as you were working through this change. What did you find that was important to you before the change that isn't important after you've made this change?

Brad Cochrane: So I think what I've found is. Well let me put it this way, let me, let me talk about the stuff that, that I thought was important that wasn't. There's, there tends to be like, right when you're laid off is like, oh my gosh, I've been out of work for a week and a half. I have to find a job by the end of the week. Well, it just doesn't work that way. It takes time. And so for me it was about letting go of that impatience in doing the work, even though I wasn't seeing any outcome. And eventually things would come back to me. Now I don't always have control about how they come back to me, but they do come back just by putting the effort out there. Can I talk a little bit about the mission statement? No, absolutely. Okay. Because this is, this is so important that I know that companies have mission statements and they tend to sound like a lot of corporate gobbledygook.

Brad Cochrane: And that's not what I'm talking about at all. I am talking about a personal mission statement as Simon Sinek says, the why behind the what you do. In my executive networking group, people all talked about the, what they did, they were supply chain managers, et Cetera, et cetera. But very few people talk about why they want it to move on to the next step. And those people were successful. So, I had thought about this and I had written my own personal mission statement. My personal mission statement is to champion storytelling because of the way can change how people think, feel, and act.

Brad Cochrane: Right. And that was very important to me. And I'll tell you exactly why, because I had a I let go of having to take on every single client because I had taken on every single client and I had worked on a project that, how do I put this kindly? Went sideways, nothing worked out. And again, it was some generational things and I got through that and I was just feeling like I was a complete failure. Right? I was lost. I didn't know what I was doing, but I did the work and something I did is I started cleaning up my office because there was nothing else for me to do. And I came across my mission statement, my mission statement to champion storytelling because of the power to change how people think, feel, and act. Four months later, I had my first book published.

Brad Cochrane: Right. And it was based on a lot of talks that I had done. But when I realized that that's my mission, that organized everything and it's driven my professional speaking, the books I'm writing, I'm writing another book and, it's all driving me forward and I'm getting rewards out of that. Now, before what I had to let go of was this idea like, oh, I just need to throw everything on the wall and hope something sticks. That's what one of my best friends told me. Throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks. Well, if you do that all you end up with dirty walls, and it was when I embraced one thing and cut everything else out that I really started to see some progress and success.

Shea Oliver: Awesome. Very, very cool. So what's the name of your first book story?

Brad Cochrane: Story First Marketing

Shea Oliver: Give us a little sense of what the book is about.

Brad Cochrane: Story first marketing. Well, it actually comes from my time in the software marketing business where we were trying to reach clients by saying, well, we have this software, works this fast, it does this, and all we would do is we would hit them over the head with features and then if they didn't want to buy, we'd say, wait a second, here's more features. Buy from us. No, wait, here's even more features. How come you're not buying from us? And I had this realization, it's because we were throwing things at them, we were triggering the left parts of their brain and the left part of the brain, the logical part of the brain is fantastic assorting sorting things and most of the things that sorts out is no piles. And so I realized we had to reach people through storytelling first to trigger the aspirational brand. So that's what the book is about. It's about reversing marketing 180 degrees. So we start with stories, we connect with people first, and then all the details, all the, all the benefits and features. Those are just a back, just to back up our decisions.

Shea Oliver: Very cool. You're an example of a concrete example that you've seen. So I'm a marketing guy at heart. Marketing and sales was where I spent a chunk of my career. Can you give us an example from your book of where a company went from trying to feature sell to telling a story so that you know that maybe we might all know

Brad Cochrane: Okay. Let. Let me personalize this a little bit because I know a lot of people that are watching are going through their own crystal transitions, so let me bring it back to I'm a woman that I knew that we were in this networking group. And every month she would. She would go through her resume and she would say, all right, I was a project manager on this where we project manage this kind of thing with this kind of product. And she went through the whole list and she wasn't really connecting with anybody. She was very frustrated. Well, I happened to show up early to the meeting one day and I noticed that she had also shown up early and she was rearranging all the chairs and I asked her, why are you rearranging the chairs? And she says, well, because I want everyone. She said, everyone needs a place to sit. And I said, that's your story right there. Which she had done. She had gotten caught up in her resume and all the features, but actually her why. The thing that actually drove her was I want to make sure everybody has a place to sit. So I started talking to her about how she product project managed and her whole thing about project management was making sure that everybody worked together. Everybody had a voice that everybody got on the same page and moving forward in the same way, and so we just did some exercises through, through a workbook that I have, and at the end of that she said, okay, I finally get it. Two weeks later she had a job.

Shea Oliver: Wow. That was awesome. So you've got a mission statement. Yup. You love the stories.

Brad Cochrane: I love the stories.

Shea Oliver: How do they relate for most people when you look out at people and say, okay, I'm going to help somebody create a mission statement. How do their personal stories relate to their mission statement?

Brad Cochrane: How do their mission stories related to their mission statement?

Shea Oliver: Yeah. How do I, how do you help them? Or how do you say, okay, you have a mission statement. Your mission statement is, you know, the power of storytelling to get people to change how they,

Brad Cochrane: You misunderstood my mission statement, but let me repeat it to you again. My personal mission is to champion storytelling. Why? Because of its power to change how people think, feel, and ultimately act. So storytelling's is a means to an end. Storytelling is the means. Change takes place. And so that's how I really get in it. I don't just tell people, hey, you should tell a good story, which by the way, personal peeve, there's a lot of storytellers out there that will say, I'm a storyteller. You need to tell a story, but nobody tells you how to tell stories. Nobody actually helps you find out what your personal stories are. So that's, that's how I'm different and that's what I do. And with this woman is I dug into where I kept asking her questions until she was able to articulate her own story. And by the way, her story goes all the way back to not just rearranging chairs, but how she used to organize her dolls when she was a kid. And she would do like the tea party thing and she made sure everybody, everybody, meaning all of her dolls, had a place to sit at the tea party. Very interesting. So that stuff that really, you know, takes you back to something that's really true that you've been doing a pattern, you've been doing your entire life, you find that pattern, you embrace that pattern and that pattern will not only get you to the next place, but it will keep you going through all the tough times.

Shea Oliver: Hm. That's a really cool perspective in a way to look at things. So as you went from Mr Corporate, Mr Corporate, Mr Corporate, out there in the corporate world,

Brad Cochrane: Excuse me, in the corporate world, we have to be non-gender specific. So I would say that would be Captain Corporate.

Shea Oliver: Oh, Captain Corporate. Okay. Are you sure you're a baby boomer? I don't think you're old enough if you make statements like that. So, as you, went from Captain Corporate to who you are today, what was the biggest obstacle that you faced in changing yourself to make that change?

Brad Cochrane: Oh, the biggest obstacle I think is the expectations of other people. This is really huge and this can be a underestimated or overestimated. So look at it this way, I grew up in a fairly small town where everybody knew each other After college I went off and saw the world, lived in a different place and I had gone through major changes. When I came back, everybody treated me as if I was the same person that I was in high school. That's a very tough thing to overcome and I know more than one person feels that that, "Oh, I can't do this because of what other people expect me to do." So coming from the corporate world, I had expectations of the way that I was the way I should behave, looking in their rear view mirrors, and that was the really the biggest obstacle to overcome is to realize that I had my own way to go and I to define myself.

Shea Oliver: What was the experience like in doing that and how did that affect the people around you?

Brad Cochrane: The experience of doing that was, was very tough because suddenly I made no sense to other people. You know, they were like, we expect you to be this way and now you're acting this way. Let me give you an example. Say That when I was, when I was working on my book is I would frequently have to go to the library. You just sit there and think and work through some problems and do all of this stuff. And at the end of the day, the question always was, what did you do today? And I said, well, I just sat there and I fiddled around on the computer. The response wasn't as good at as, well, I sent out 15 emails. So because of the expectation is I was finding myself sending out resumes and applications that my heart wasn't in because I was expected to do that. Now we find this both in our, in our family culture, but also in the government culture. I'm sure that some of you that have been laid off, have gone through the process of getting unemployment checks. To earn your unemployment checks. You have to send out a bunch of resumes for jobs that, you know, you'll never get. This is backwards thinking and I wish there was a different way that we, that we could measure success so that each of us could get on the right path we need to get on.

Shea Oliver: Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. The unemployment thing and the unemployment experiences - not a fun one.

Brad Cochrane: And I think it's counterproductive, actually. Really counterproductive to make people jump through the hoops just to collect the data without any doing any real work.

Shea Oliver: Absolutely. So what were the things that helped you make that change to overcome that continuous looking in the rear view mirror? Worried about what people around you thought, worried about, man, I'm going to go say I sat in the library and pondered what, what helped you

Brad Cochrane: when you say that it, it, even today, it sounds weird!

Shea Oliver: But you know, 100 percent relate. So I wrote a Scifi novel a few years ago and I approached it like a, you know, an entrepreneur and you know, I actually had a spreadsheet with the goals for each week of how many words to write, blah, blah, blah. And what I would do is if I got stuck, I go hiking, I'd say I'm done for the day, I'm leaving and I would just go into the mountains and hike. And it was this productive. It was, I found it was, you know, for me personally, it was this change of wow, now I realized that where there were family members and friends and other people going, "you I did what?" I went hiking. I let my mind knew what my mind needed to do to get me forward. So what helped you make that shift for them? Gosh, I don't have to do what other people think to who you are today, doing exactly what you want to do.

Brad Cochrane: Two things. First of all, you have to get real with yourself, right? And it's this, it's a very personal thing where you have to take a hard look at who you actually are. Right. I mean, we all want to be Michael Jordan, right, but there's only one Michael Jordan and I think for me, coming to that realization, facing myself and realize that there's only one Brad Cochrane and there's some things you can change and some things that you can't, right. I am the proverbial square peg trying to fit into a round hole. What do you end up with? You end up with broken shoulders if you try to do that. So for me it took a lot of meditation. It took a lot of thinking and honestly it took a lot of courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. It's about understanding the fear and doing it anyways.

Brad Cochrane: So for me it was just about, okay, I'm going to go for it. Now. Another thing that occurred is that I'm of a certain age. I know that I only have so many years left. I can't mess around, which means that I have to take the bull by the horns. A mentor of mine, an early mentor of mine, he said, and it was so funny because he was about the same age that I am now, and he was sitting there enjoying a wonderful day and he looked at me and said, Brad, you're never going to get rich working for somebody else. He retired at 58. So I realized, okay, I have to take control of my own life. Now. These are all very personal things that nobody understands and nobody can tell you to do. You have to realize that for yourself. So that shift happened internally. Okay? So the shift happens internally. How do I keep going? The second part of this community, this is when I ran into my community with other speakers and I realized that we all thought differently in the same way. So when I would say to them, oh, I spent the morning pondering in the library, they go, "Wow, that's fantastic! You got a lot done." So, to boil it down, it's two thing. It's, it's, it's coming to that internal understanding, having courage of who you are and deciding to go forward and then finding a group that will support those ideas.

Shea Oliver: So let's touch a little on that second part. You were obviously surrounded by people, family, friends and a community that had a, you know, a corporate mindset and was used to seeing you as a corporate person

Brad Cochrane: And one of those other members of that community was myself, that I had to be a person in a corporate way.

Shea Oliver: Absolutely. Did you lose any friends or distance yourself from any family during this period so that you could make the change?

Brad Cochrane: Yes, I think emotionally I did. I got very quiet with myself and I became less communicative because I just didn't want to spend all the time trying to explain what it is that I'm doing. And I know that's a sad thing to say to go forward, you have to cut yourself off and I'm not advocating cutting yourself off quite the opposite, but sometimes you need to keep your own counsel. And I learned how to keep my own counsel.

Shea Oliver: Very, very cool. So here you are today. Having made a change, would you say that your happier today or more fulfilled today than you were when you were in the corporate world?

Brad Cochrane: I would say that it's a different kind of fulfillment. But yes, ultimately I'm a lot happier. My blood pressure has gone down.

Shea Oliver: Alright. So you can measure it!

Brad Cochrane: And all of these things that used to stress me out don't stress me out a part of that acceptance, but a lot of it has to do with the environment that I'm in. You asked me if things are different. Oh, I know what I was going to say. So I want to be clear here that I'm not one of these people that found myself in the corporate world that said, Oh, I'm terribly unhappy. I'm going to go follow my bliss and, and I'm going to change the world. I'm going to do all this wonderful thing. And I made these huge sacrifices. And look, it all worked out. No, quite the opposite. I was perfectly happy in my corporate world. I was, I was on a path. I was headed towards my ultimate goals. I was feeling good. I was, I was having a steady income. Everything was great, and then my world got shoved to the side and my world got shoved to the side. That's when I had to pick myself up off the floor. Figure out the right direction, which was not back to the corporate world, but head forward and climb the canyon walls until like out of my canyon.

Brad Cochrane: Now on the other side, am I following my bliss? Yeah. Am I making the world a better place? Yeah, but I didn't intend to start out doing that. It happened after the fact, and so the problem that I have with this whole follow your bliss idea is that people throw themselves into the bottom of the canyon and they go, well, this isn't very much fun. How I follow my bliss out of this in, and it doesn't work that way. You have to put in the hard work, the struggles, the setbacks, the climbing up, until you find yourself on the other side of the canyon, but you're in a much, much better place than you were before.

Shea Oliver: Very cool, very cool. So now that you're in a much better place than you were before, let's take you today, what would you tell corporate you 15, 20 years ago, would you, what would you want to tell him so that he could get through the change either easier or quicker, or would you say, would you even say anything?

Brad Cochrane: Well, there's a couple of things. I would say first of all to the corporate me with that I had made it and that it, that everything was hunky dory is things change. There's a saying that I like this too shall pass, which you tell yourself when things are going terribly, but you also need to tell yourself when things are going well, this too shall pass. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my corporate world is I didn't prepare myself for the possibility that I may no longer be in my corporate world. I didn't keep it my contacts up. I didn't keep my learning up. I just was coasting and it it. It gave me a bad start when I had to rebuild because I had no foundation. I had to start from scratch. The second thing was, for me, the realization for years, I was saying my number one goal is to get back with the company I got laid off from. My number one goal is to do that. Well, that didn't happen. The job that I had, that I was laid off, from when they got funding for the job, again, they reopened the job. They wouldn't even give me the courtesy of an interview because they had decided that they wanted the younger person. Yes. Right.

Brad Cochrane: And today it hurts. That's was a really tough truth. But until you're prepared to face those hard truths that you know what, they're not going to call it, call you up and say we made a mistake. You can have your job back and we're going to send a limousine for you. That only happened with Steve Jobs right. That hard realization is what got me going in the right direction that I couldn't go back. So until my corporate self, you know what, if the change happens, you're not going to be able to go back. You just have to find something else to do.

Shea Oliver: Very cool. Very, very cool.

Brad Cochrane: Am I getting specific enough for you Shea?

Shea Oliver: Absolutely. Yeah. This is really, I think a lot of people that are going to watch this are going to be in similar situations. I mean, I'm also part of the layoff club. I'm also part of the spend years trying to get back to where I was club. Have a feeling there's going to be a whole lot of people in that same boat, some who have been there for awhile and some who may have just shown up in that boat and you know, what I really like about a lot of what you're saying and what you pointed out is that you didn't make the choice to change things changed around you and you realized you had to change and then it became a very proactive process and I think that that's, you know, certainly it's going to be. I know this is going to influence kind of how I present some things for this entire project I'm working on here. So yeah, I think this is, this is fantastic. Just a couple more questions. Let's see. What was. No, let me ask you. Sorry, I have got a list of questions I asked them if appropriate. Some of them not, but as you, as you moved through this process, who inspired you to keep going and to figure it out?

Brad Cochrane: Who inspired me? Well, let's see. My inspirations are actually Steve Jobs From him, I had actually, by the way, I'm one of the few people or maybe one of the many people that have been personally yelled at by Steve Jobs.

Shea Oliver: Congratulations.

Brad Cochrane: Thank you very much. What people don't understand about Steve Jobs was that he was famous for yelling at people, but he wasn't yelling at people. He was yelling at engineers and he was on the side of the consumer because the engineers wanted to make a computer that had a black screen with green block type. And he said, no, we need to make it readable. It has to just work. And for me that's been an inspiration for everything that I've created. It has to just work. So He's been a big inspiration for me. Also I think I'm drawing a blank. Shea, I'm so sorry.

Shea Oliver: I'm putting you on the spot.

Brad Cochrane: It's all me! I've done it all myself!!! Somebody is going to say that to me someday and I'm going to say "Really?" So, other than Steve Jobs. Who else are your heroes?

Shea Oliver: Who were my heroes? Let's see. Okay.

Brad Cochrane: My heroes are a very select group, Arctic explorers, believe it or not, people like who subsisted on a winter eating a mos to stay alive. Shackleton. I've read a Shackleton's whole stories about Shackleton. He took a group of explorers down to the South Pole, probably got their boat stuck and they spent two years surviving on the ice through incredible odds. How did you survive? Because they had enough supplies? No, because he knew how to manage people and get the best out of people. This idea of the endurance in the perseverance and looking at the larger picture a, these Arctic explorers really had it figured out and you have to realize they went out into the middle of literally nowhere, no idea that they'd ever survive and not only do they survive, they came back and they'd go back again. So for me it's about the wilderness explorers who have really been an inspiration to me because they've taught me perseverance, they've taught me, how you take what you've got and you turn it into something else. And I think that's the big lesson for me.

Shea Oliver: So if you were in a position where you can tell somebody who is facing either either being laid off and forcing the change or in a position where they were uncomfortable and wanted to make a change in their life, what would be the most, the one most important thing you could tell them

Brad Cochrane: You will survive. That's the most important thing that you need to know is you will survive. Now honestly, it's not going to be easy. It's not going to be sunshine and lollipops the whole time, but there's a real satisfaction of the struggle, of the learning, and making your way through and getting to the other side. And by the way, it really is a journey, not a destination is you're never going to get to the other side, only going to get further along.

Shea Oliver: Absolutely. Perfect. Perfect. Well, hey, so if anybody wanted to learn more about you, what are the best ways to learn more about you or contact you or websites, etc.

Brad Cochrane: Great. Well, well thank you. Number one, Go to my website. This, what am I?

Shea Oliver: We say it too often out!

Brad Cochrane: So it's really easy to reach me. Go to my website, StoryFirstSpeaker.com. Send me an email. I'd love to connect with you. Now I'm working on this current project called Your Seven Hats, the Solopreneur Survival Guide, and this is based on the idea that as we're starting out, as we're doing this stuff, we're, everyone's shooting advice at us. When we have to realize that we're not just doing the job we think we're doing. People say, "Oh, you're a professional speaker." Well, actually that's only one of the hats I wear. I wear an executive hat, I wear a manager hat, I wear a broker hat. I have all these different hats and I've learned that if I understand to a to separate those hats and that anything I'm doing at any given time means I'm putting a different hat on. It helps me center myself and get a lot more done. So I'm creating a whole guide book to that right now and I'd love to hear from any solopreneurs and about your experience also. Yes. So you can go to storyfirstmarketing.com or storyfirstspeaker.com. They'll take you to the same place.

Shea Oliver: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I always like to end with the same question, which is what question did I forget to ask you?

Brad Cochrane: Honestly, I've, I've, that I've covered it all. I really have. Let me think about this for a second.

Shea Oliver: Yeah. This, this often takes people a little by surprise because you know

Brad Cochrane: I knew it was coming and it still takes me by surprise.

Shea Oliver: Well, it's, you know, we all do the same thing. We get ready for these things about playing it in our brain before it happens.

Brad Cochrane: Well, if I could leave, if I could leave everybody with with a little bit of advice. Perfect. One. Number one, you have to have courage. Yes, it's fearful. Go ahead and do it anyways. Number two, you can't do it all at once. You're going to get all kinds of advice, but just pick one thing, concentrate on one thing, do it well, master that and then move on to the next step, and number three is ultimately there is a pot of gold at the end of the, at the end of the rainbow. It takes a lot of work, but there's satisfaction, there's a feeling of getting something done and you really feel a lot better about yourself and you actually can change the world, so go out and do it.

Shea Oliver: Awesome! That is fantastic advice and we're absolutely going to wrap up right there because that's a perfect way to end. Thank you so much for spendIng some time with me today, Brad. I really appreciate all of your advice, your stories. This has been wonderful. Thank you very much.

Brad Cochrane: Thank you so much Shea. It's been a pleasure being here today.

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