The best way to get someone to call you from your LinkedIn profile is to put Confidential in the employer field. You might be wondering: Who does this?
For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Melissa, I will now summarize a hundred blog posts about her like this: Melissa, Queen of Reinvention, finds jobs almost anyone would kill for, they are disasters, she leaves. Then she repeats, but in a way that is different enough that I have trouble yelling at her for making the same mistake twice.
This is true with men, too. And this is a good time to tell you that the bankers in Melissa’s life—her former life, to be clear—are plagued by the idea that there is no difference between their porn life (very successful since they travel a lot with their laptop) and their real life (very unsuccessful since real women do not want to have their hair pulled out).
Are there any twelve year old boys reading this post? Listen to your mom! If you look at porn you will ruin sex for yourself.
(Oh, wait. The only twelve-year-old boy reading this post is my son: Don’t worry, Melissa is okay. She will be back on the farm for Thanksgiving.)
1. You can be known for lots of things. Don’t be known for the stuff about you that’s annoying.
Melissa speaks Chinese fluently. She is confident enough about her fluency that when she was working as a recruiter for a Chinese COO, Melissa said to her, “I know the way you tell Americans to pronounce your name isn’t correct—because I know how to pronounce it in Chinese.”
And the woman said, “No. I like it the American way. That’s the right way to pronounce it.”
And Melissa said, “No! That’s wrong!”
You’d fire her, too, right?
If Melissa likes you she stalks you. The way she stalked me made me first think she’s a weirdo but then I realized that I would die if I couldn’t have her around because she is so smart and interesting.
So she launched a recruiting business because she knows everyone, and so many startup founders wanted to hire her for their assistant and she couldn’t be everyone’s assistant. In fact, she couldn’t be anyone’s assistant because she can’t hold down a job for more than a few months, but she is great at knowing what someone needs in an assistant.
She first found this out because she put on her resume that she was my assistant. She left off the part about how I fired her three times, because really, you guys, your resume is not your life story. Use only the good parts.
Then people wanted to hire her. And because Melissa and I spend like 500 hours a month researching personality type, she always knew exactly what the person needed.
2. Find your secret sauce.
Melissa and I spend a gazillion hours studying personality type because it works. And knowing all that makes us look incredibly smart. Incredible even to ourselves. As soon as we know someone’s type we know enough about them to give them very good career advice (me) or give them a perfect match for an assistant (Melissa).
So Melissa was blowing through personal assistant jobs for startup founders, which, by the way, often pay in the low six-figures. She was starting the job, straightening out messes and then hiring the perfect person to replace herself. Then she stopped taking the jobs and just started hiring the perfect person first. She just gave people a personality test, met them in person, and made matches. And then she got this huge startup-founder referral business.
And this is a good time to tell you that the startup founders are such incredible egomaniacs. Melissa would never say this because they are paying her a lot of money to tell them that they are an ENTP and they need an INTJ to keep their life in order. The egomaniac startup founders are suited for their job, and crazy is a good trait, too, and Melissa would always say to the founder, “Oh, I’ve had really crazy difficult bosses. It’s my specialty.” And she’d always mean me.
The startup founders think their executive assistant is an accessory. Like a smart watch. Potential investors need to see that the founders have a good one. So the founder will pay a lot. Melissa charges $10K to find an assistant. And she has a waiting list.
3. Ignore sound advice.
But then one day, she got a call and learned that [a super incredibly famous person who you have for sure heard of] needs an assistant who speaks Mandarin.
I told Melissa, “Don’t take the job. You will ruin [famous person’s] life when you leave.”
Then Melissa gives my name as a reference. And I talk to the famous person. I try not to think about how I am talking to this person and definitely I should be pitching the person to get money. And then I’m thinking, “Oh God, I need a startup idea for China right now.”
But before I can formulate my pitch, famous person is asking me if I would recommend hiring Melissa. And I say, “Yeah. If you have a project that lasts six minutes. Because that’s Melissa’s attention span.”
I tell famous person that I love Melissa and my kids love Melissa but Melissa won’t keep a job. Everyone gets pissed when Melissa leaves.
Famous person is blown away by Melissa’s insight. About everyone. I do not tell famous person that you can just hang out at my house and learn personality type and then you’ll have blow-away-insight as well. I tell famous person to give Melissa big bonuses for staying.
So Melissa signs up to get a $50K bonus for every six months that she stays. Melissa is making $50K in a single month from her recruiting business. But even the fact that she doesn’t need the money does not keep Melissa from taking the job.
4. Expand your network in surprising ways so you can expand yourself in surprising ways.
The access Melissa has to famous people is now so huge that I stop calling her to find links, or find blog posts that I know are there somewhere on my blog but I can’t find. I stop calling her to remind me how to put a url in the save bar. Or whatever it’s called on the browser.
I really just wait for her to call. From rooms full of people who blow me away. I try to be calm though. “Whatever,” I tell Melissa. “I read about that guy. He’s a jerk to women. I wouldn’t want to be in a room with him.”
Then Melissa quits. Of course. I hope famous person remembers I told her so.
But famous person loves Melissa so much that famous person connects Melissa to more famous people, including someone I love so much that I actually stalk online like she’s my high school boyfriend or something.
Summarizing: Melissa is now hiring executive assistants to the biggest startup founders and the people you read about in the magazines in your doctor’s office. And she’s doing it by pegging everyone’s personality type and then matching them with the personality type that has the skills necessary for the job the job of compensating for the boss’s personality type. (Or working around it.)
Melissa had to pick between living close to New York famous clients or Silicon Valley famous clients. She picked the latter, packed up the NYC apartment and the dog, and drove cross-country with her boyfriend who is still her boyfriend.
I will remind everyone now that if you stop picking jobs that are horrible for you, then you just sort of naturally stop picking men that are horrible for you. And vice versa. It doesn’t come all at once. It comes slowly. But Melissa is running her own business, and she has a boyfriend who is smart and loyal and honest.
He is an ISTJ. Did you know that ISTJs hate personality type so much that most of the ISTJ information on the Internet is “what it’s like to date an ISTJ” instead of “what it’s like to be an ISTJ?”
5. Reinvention takes years, and it’s a process that never stops.
Remember how I said Melissa is so rich I can’t even ask her to do stuff for me any more? Well, I told her she has to do the my personality type master class with me because it’s so fun to do with her. But also, because Melissa was so incredibly lost. Really. I’ve been writing about her being lost for five years. And she found her perfect career by understanding first her own personality type and then all the peoples’ around her. She made herself extremely valuable.
And this is what I’ve done, too, with my coaching business. And we realize that anyone can do this in their career. Personality type is a secret key to the door to your perfect life. You can tell me that I sound like a crazy person. But Melissa and I have been sounding like crazy people for years. And we’re making a lot of money. And we love what we’re doing. And you can, too.