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Fawn Germer - Stay Relevant and Change When the World Changes

Earning a living is something that most of us have to do. Many people dream of being their own boss but often stay in a job that they don’t love, because they think they have security. Sometimes this works out fine and sometimes that security is ripped out from underneath us. This is why I’m such an advocate of self-employment.

My guest today feels the same way. Fawn Germer is a best-selling author and global leadership speaker. She left a job that she thought was very secure and ended up writing her first book. This book earned her an entire file full of rejection letters. She hung in there and not only got published, but the book became an Oprah book.

Fawn is the author of nine books including the Oprah book Hard Won Wisdom and her new book Coming Back. She has been a keynote speaker for more than 80 Fortune 500 companies and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times for her work as an investigative reporter. She has interviewed some of the most accomplished leaders of our time.

We talk about how empowering it is to be in charge of your own future. Fawn feels like self-employment is a gift and her mantra is that self-employment is a privilege that has to be earned. She shares so much wisdom from how to deal with doubts to how to stay relevant. We also learn why you have to commit, why you always need a plan, and so much more.

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Everything you need can all be found at

Fawn Germer thank you so much for being here!

Remember, you might be in business FOR yourself but you are not in business BY yourself.

Be your best self. Be proud and keep changing the world.

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[02:27] Fawn's new book called Coming Back came out a week ago. So far, she's done 19 interviews, and it's a really great moment in her life. She's been an author for 20 years and still has it in her.

[03:56] Sometimes people become self-employed, because they feel like they don't have any choice. You are in charge. You know your boss. You know you'll get hired. It's empowering to be in charge of your own future.

[05:51] Our world has changed so dramatically, that there are things people can do to get income immediately.

[06:02] Fawn feels that self-employment is a gift. She came up with the mantra that self-employment is a privilege that needs to be earned. Everyday she would ask what she was doing to move herself toward her goals.

[06:53] There is an incredible surge of joy and power in creating your own business and career.

[09:26] Self-employed people create their day everyday. Fawn will write down everything she has to accomplish for the week and the day. She also has the freedom to go kayak during the day if she wants.

[12:38] To make the leap, it's necessary to have a plan. Have a plan and then understand that things may turn out differently. Judge yourself by who you become when things get tough.

[14:38] Fawn quit her job and wrote a book and started getting rejection letter after rejection letter. She has an entire file full of them. She kept going and reformatted her book and eventually it sold.

[16:17] She traveled the country and kept writing letters to Oprah. Her first book became an Oprah book.

[16:56] Keep moving forward, because your biggest enemy is doubt.

[18:33] When you have doubts, realize that no career is a straight shot upwards. The bad times will end. Fawn’s strategy is accept, cope, and adapt.

[24:04] Fawn shares a great story about not letting security be your dangerous anchor. She quit a more secure job for a new job. The only real security is our belief in ourselves.

[27:54] The idea of relevance. When the world changes you need to know it's changing and figure out your place in it. Self-employed people need to see the trends that are coming.

[30:20] We need to be insatiable and curious to learn what we need to learn. Always keep learning about the future of your chosen field.

[31:47] Read what interests you but also scan the headlines and see what's important to you.

[35:49] Understanding the buying patterns of Gen Z will help many businesses future-proof.

[37:27] Make up your mind and commit. You're either in or out. You need to be really in it to see success.

[38:18] Have a list of goals for each day and week. Fawn always has some type of business plan. She might create a table in Word and write down what she needs to focus on to give herself daily direction.

[39:26] Whenever you hit a wall, look at your business plan to see what's not working. Be willing to be honest and know when you need to recalibrate.

[40:49] Expect obstacles. Get really good at seeing obstacles. If you don't believe in yourself, no one will believe you.

[42:12] You never know how close you are until you turn the corner. Keep going forward a little bit at a time.

[42:44] Don't waste money on anything you don't need and always live beneath your means. Make sure what you are doing fits your lifestyle and what you actually want to do.

[44:10] Enjoy the roller coaster.

[44:26] Fawn tackles the Rapid Round. We learn she always starts her day with a long walk in the woods and more.

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Host Jeffrey Shaw is a Small Business Consultant, Brand Management Consultant, Business Coach for Entrepreneurs, Keynote Speaker, TEDx Speaker and author of LINGO and The Self Employed Life (May 2021). Supporting self-employed business owners with business and personal development strategies they need to create sustainable success.


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