today on beyond six seconds when I'm at Starbucks like nine o'clock,
10 o'clock at night,
writing a resume,
I try and remind myself like the work I do impact people's lives.
It is just a resume,
but it's also so much more because when that person gets that job,
they're about to make money,
pay their mortgage on their kids to call EJ.
They're happy with the light.
It's exciting that the resume right is able to play a small part in their journey.
Welcome to beyond Six Seconds,
the podcast that goes beyond the six second first impression to share the extraordinary stories and achievements of everyday people.
I'm your host,
On today's episode,
I'm speaking with Kyle Elliot.
Kyle is the career coach behind caffeinated tile dot com,
where he helps people find jobs they love or at least tolerate. He's also an official member of the invite. Only Forbes touches town SEL and has had his words featured on Forbes, the Muse and Fast Company, among many other publications. Kyle loves toffee in case you couldn't tell writing and eating the same thing at different restaurants. Kyle, welcome to the pod test. Thank you so much for having me today. Absolutely happy to have you here. So how did you get the inspiration to start caffeinated? Kyle dot com? Yes. So this really came from a love of always helping people. I always knew I wanted a career. I'm around helping people.
But I wasn't really sure what that career would look like. Um, I first started helping people that Danny is a server. I went to college and studied nursing. I switched the health education. I then went to grad school for Health Care Administration is only to run a hospital. I then switched public administration cause I wanted to do no profits. So I always have this love for helping people. And I also always had a love for working. I worked at Denny is my works throughout undergrad and grad school. I've been working full time since I was 16 So I ended up combining the two. Over time, people would reach out to me because they knew I loved helping. They also knew I loved working, so they would say, Okay,
you're really good at finding jobs. Help me find a job. So I hope that what their resumes cover letters there. Lincoln on It was always just the sight hustle. And then over time, I realized, OK, I'm in college. I need to eat, huh? You don't pay my rent. So I ended up helping people and turning it into a his nest and then caffeinated Kyle just came from me. Always bring him coffee. I love coffee. I usually have three coffees a day and then also caffeine eating people's careers. I feel like that's what I really do.
I work with people who are awesome. They do amazing things that they often just need a little jump start their career to their life, to take it to the next level. Okay, you mentioned that you do love coffee, and I know from your Lincoln profile in some of your writings that you're a big fan of Starbucks in particular. And I'm just curious. You know, I know a lot of people love Starbucks, but why Starbucks? What's the meeting with that for you? Yeah, I left Starbucks because of the consistency. I have O. C. D.
So I think it's thing that's just super consistent is what I love. My leg room seems so. It's helpful when I'm having a busy day to be like you let me center myself. Let me go to Starbucks every day, no matter what's on my schedule and make time for Starbucks. So it's just that self care and making sure, Um, I make time for myself and I'm really meaningful about my Starbucks around. That's not what I'm grabbing coffee. It's no I'm dedicating the next 20 minutes to caring for myself. S O is more than just the coffee, but it's caring for myself and consistently reminding myself to care for myself. So wherever I am, when I was living in Seattle, when I looked at him in New York for a summer, when I'm back home visiting my parents,
there's a Starbucks so I could be consistent and caring for myself and really doing that. And Starbucks allows me to do that. Oh, yeah, I can totally see that. So tell me a little bit about the kinds of service is that you provide yeah, ranges a lot. Some people come to me on and they get a lot of interviews and then they get to the interview and then they don't know how to talk about themselves for other people. They've applied 2000 jobs, not exaggerating, and then they don't get any interview, so they need help with their resume. So I'm not just a shop where I bust out a bunch of resumes for people and send out 100 resumes a week. Two people on my meat, each person over the phone, Skype in person.
And I learned where they are in their career, where they are in their life and what they need help with and then help them. They're so some people so resume other people just identifying what they want to do with their life. Some people is practicing self care. A lot of people struggle with that. I worked with a lot of really high performers, so they're doing great at work. They love their job, but they don't know how to balance work in life. So it really varies depending on the person. But typically it's centered around their career, but with that, it also bleeds into life. We spend so much of our time at work that if we're not happy at work, we're not happy with our life. So I work with people to hopefully of jobs they love him.
But I put that cabby on there, at least tolerate. Just for some people, a job is just a job, and I'm okay with that. And I think for some people, it's OK for that job to just be a job. Not everyone is made to love their job, to be the best thing in the world outside of that else, to do a lot of workshops and trainings, my backgrounds and health education. So I love working with people that owe understand topics like Career Service is on LGBT plus advocacy, mental health. There's a lot of different areas of interest I have, so I like doing those workshops because it plugs into those different areas of interest. I happen allows me to pull from the different work experiences I've had and share that knowledge.
People write. And it really, to your point earlier, really looks at people's lives holistically. So not just career. You really have to kind of look at your whole work. Life balance and mental health and issues like that are really all part of being human and looking at our lives holistically like that exactly exactly. Even if I'm doing a Lincoln Workshop, for example. People often talk about the stress of a job search and their mental health and how they're not caring for themselves. So regardless of the workshop, I d'oh let me a moment If there's a set of picket, often goes well beyond that because I like looking at the whole person, not just one aspect of them, cause we don't exist in silos. We don't say.
Okay, here's my work Self. I'm gonna clock in. You forget about the rest of my life, are okay. I'm gonna go home and not think about work. Our minds don't work that way. They're all integrated and they all blend together. Yeah, I was curious to see if those topics, if you ever combined them or kind of how the Intersect with each other. But it sounds like you have specific topics that you primarily talk about. And then the other types of topics like career and and health and and self care are part of that presentation or that workshop. Is that a fair statement? Yes, absolutely.
And I think it depends too on the audience. I specifically, when I do workshops, that would be a little bit vague or broad don't allow people to lead it. I don't like single key. Here's a power point with 20 bullets on each slide, and I'm gonna throw information at you. I am stood like saying where people are at and allowing them to share with each other. If there's 20 people in the room, I shouldn't be the only one talking. We should all be talking, engaging, asking questions and sharing our knowledge because they're 20 people in the room. That's right. 203 104 100 years of work experience. So why would I be only one sharing?
So I love when everyone shares provides their experiences with work and just with like, if I think that makes it such, I'm we're rich experience. Yeah, absolutely. So you mentioned that you worked at a variety of different jobs as you were trying to figure out and find your direction in terms of what you wanted to do with your own career. How did your previous jobs prepare you for running your own business in general and then running this particular business that you're running now? Yeah. I've done a lot of different things. I've done them not an entry level, either. So I think that's uniquely prepared me for the work I do now. So it novels, for example, one of the largest providers of mental health service is in Washington. I did marketing and fundraising,
so it's a big piece of what I do now. Rear coaching. I market. My own service is and then I hope my client's market themselves when I worked at San Francisco State and meanders three of their residence halls. So there's a lot of counseling with students. There's a lot of career coaching. I'm at a team of over Sonny's, and now I have a team. Now that I managed, my undergrad was in health education, which was all about behavior change. So when approaching people, I'm coaching them on changing their behavior. My Masters was public administration, which is really similar in an MBA, but just not focused on having any revenue.
Make sure I do have a revenue. So all of these different experiences, I feel like when you look at them individually, you're like, Oh, that doesn't really make sense for a career coach. But then, when you bring them all together and then make sense and you're like, Okay, see how each of these experiences when you put it all together, makes us really beautiful, like Mosaic. That's really prepared me for wearing. I'm now and especially with career coaching when I was looking for jobs myself were when I was trying to advance my career. I try to read up on different advice, and I feel like in some ways there's conflicting advice,
and it's well, in this case, this might work or in some other case, some other type of behavior or type of thing might work. You know, you said you were giving people career coaching and help is a side hustle for a long time before you started your own business. How did you figure out what advice was the right career? Advice to give? Yeah, I think oftentimes people come to me and they want answers, and I usually don't start with the answers. I start with questions because people have to have the answer already where they've started working toward an answer. So I found my best career advice is not giving people really good answers, but asking really questions. So I feel like that's where I give the best advice. People come to me and they say I have this important decision.
What would you do, Kyle? And instead of telling him what I would do, I instead say, Okay, what are the different options available to you? Okay. What are some pros and cons? Okay, what's the worst case scenario? What's the best case scenario? Okay. How does this the line with your values and beliefs? How does this line with your long term goals and I go through and asked people these questions and they usually come down? Answer on the road. So I found my career advice isn't really career advice.
It's more career dieting on guiding them forward. Any answer that they may have in mind, worthy of answer and minds, at least making sure their answer is informed. So I've found that's really where I excel at asking people really good questions in guiding them on that path. I see along those lines, you know, you talked a little bit about how your previous stops prepared you for running this business. What would you say are the most important stills that you've developed over time that you're now using to run this business and I'm sure coaching is one of them and asking good questions. Yeah, I think the coaching and asking good questions is a really important skill that I've brought here. Um, I think also, patience is really important. Something that some people struggle with Is that patients piece. So you may work on a marketing campaign.
I'm to get new clients, or you may be working with a client and you want some progress to be made immediately. But people take time. Our habits are deeply ingrained enough, and it takes time to change those habits. So patients is so boredom and then also being able to deal with ambiguity. When you run a small business, I'm especially one like mine, where there is not work oring revenue. You have a client, you work with them and especially with my clients, are looking for a media solution. So they want to come to me, get a job. So if I'm doing a really good job, there's a super high turnover in my business.
So there's a lot of ambiguity about where is my next HR gonna come from? Okay, get a client. And the next week I have to start all over and get more. I am. So I think, what, being one of the most important skills I've learned. It's dealing with that ambiguity, not knowing what's gonna happen. So when I worked at San Francisco State, for example, I would be on call. We would rotate being on call for a week at a time for all the dorms. So that night, whenever my home I would have a phone call.
And if there was an emergency about one of the resident advisors can handle, they'll call me. So it too, and I'll get calling. They'd say. OK, one roommate threw a chair at the other roommate. Help me. What? Ideo. There's no manual for what happens when a roommate for is the chair of the roommate. We have general policies and procedures around violence. Some stuff. Well, there's no specific policy for a chair being thrown in a roommate, so I have to decide what to do in that situation.
I'm so I think that really prepared me for dealing with the ambiguity and just saying, Okay, here's what I think would work. Well, let me ask questions. Okay. Why did they throw the chair? What's happening right now the police think all. So I think being able to deal with ambiguity isn't really great skill for someone who is in any field that's creative or fires you to really just go out there and deal with people in general. Wow. Yeah, And I can imagine that that particular still that you honed, which you're describing is dealing with ambiguity. It also reminds me of another important still, which is thinking on your feet, which was always kind of an obscure concept to me.
But you described it really well. It's dealing with ambiguity, asking good questions and then making a decision quickly or helping other people to come to a decision quickly. Mmm mmm mmm. Exactly. Yeah, It's really just thinking on your feet and being ready to kind of make a decision and stand by it or make a decision and then see what happens. And if that doesn't work out, then say, Okay, that didn't work out. Let's try something different. So in your current business, now can you tell me a little bit about the biggest challenge you faced in either launching a running your business and how either did you address it or How are you still addressing it for me? Except they have a lot of ideas. I drink a lot of coffee,
and I'm also just a very anxious person. So I tend to get a lot of ideas all the time, and I think they tend to be good ideas. Um, and some of them are bad ideas, but I get a lot of ideas that I wanted You and I want to do them all immediately. That's part of the reason I wanted to start a business was because they had all these ideas and they weren't happening. So that's the most challenging part for me. I'm like, Okay. I want to create a course on a create a workshop series on a do webinars. I wanna write a book. I wanna put something on Amazon. I wantto go to these conferences. So for me, it can get a little overwhelming having all these ideas and not being able to implement,
um right away or feeling like I can implement Emel all right away and then getting a little overwhelmed. So it's been hopeful for me is I'm a visual person. Several wal where I write things on a post it and put it up on the wall so I can see it all and get it out of my brain. Uh, gets all jumbled in my brain and I put up on this wall and I write a date on, like in 2019 Revisit. That were in May. I'll think about that. So that's really helped to me because it can get overloaded myself. I can get overloaded with all these ideas, and I know a lot of people who start out businesses get overloaded, which is all the tasks they have to dio. I might work with a lot of freelancers or small business people that reached out to you for advice. They're like, Oh my God, I have to start it L L C Open.
I'm a business bank account. Have to get insurance And I was like, Just write it all down everyday. Tackle one item. It could be helpful, but getting it out of your brain out of your mind and seeing it visually can be really helpful in it. At least for me, it's been doubtful. Yeah, that makes sense. I myself I'm a to do list person, and there is a certain level of relief and joy of writing stuff down and checking it off are moving it into a time frame. So I can definitely relate to that. Yeah, and, um,
that's honestly been the biggest challenge of It's still something I struggle with. Also thing that's been good as my staff. I'm I sent a picture of my post its and I have six of them that were priorities for 2018. And I said, If I send you any tasks outside of these six reply No Sam, a lot of do it So they've been holding me accountable, and one of my staff kind of manages all the projects, and she's been replying, know or she's like, Oh, do you really want to focus on this? So that's been helpful on then. Any time I spend money, I'm on anything that's more than a few $100 After calling my mom, Um, I don't actually have to color me on the dole my own money,
but that's kind of a check. I call her and say, Hey, Mom, bonus from this money and she's like, Is it within your six priorities? So I found it really helpful to have people hold me accountable and make sure that I'm staying in line with what I promised myself. That's awesome. You know, in big corporations and businesses, there's all that built in management procedure that looks at and keeps that. But when you're you know, when you're on your own, I can see how it could be potentially overwhelming when you have so many ideas and you want to go in so many different directions. But that's what a great system to help keep you, as you said,
keep you accountable to your priorities. That's awesome. It's been really hope. Look, it's like you said. I think a lot of big businesses have those checks and balances for a reason. Like any check over fact 1000 years, a second signature right there, a small business. You don't have that, and you're like, Oh, it's great not having all this red tape. But then I'm realizing some of that red keep really was helpful. So maybe I need a little red T home myself. So what's been your most meaningful success story with a client so far?
A lot of people come to me super frustrated. I'm with the job search They have often applied to a lot of jobs, a lot, a lot of jobs and not heard anything back or they hear back. And it's just Ah, thanks, but no thanks. So people come to me often when they're super frustrated and add a defiant The came to me and they'd applied that company that they wanted a workout made, applied, like 10 times and not heard back. And then I helped them in the resume handling 10. They applied to the job again, and the next day they got an interview on and then ended up getting higher. So I think that was exciting. They were super defeated. They had applied a lot of jobs,
especially this stop they were excited about because they had applied up 10 times home. So it wasn't just so another job that wanted this one. It was exciting being able to help them and done CIA results so quickly. And what I always remind myself about with the work I do is I'm not just like writing a resume, but I'm affecting people's lives. And I think when I'm a Starbucks like nine o'clock 10 o'clock at night, writing a resume, I try and remind myself like the work I do impacts people's lives. It is just a resume, but it's also so much more because when that person gets that job there about make money hey, there, more good. Send their kids to college. They're happy with the light. Our careers play such a big part in our life, and it's exciting that the resume right is able to play a small part in their journey.
Wow, that's wonderful. And just thinking about all the different things that go into a successful career search these days. Are you also a very big advocate of networking or informational interviewing? And is that part of some of the career advice or coaching that you give people? Sometimes? Yes, all the time. Everyone, Pride gets annoyed with me, does not stop talk about not working and how rewarding it us. But I encourage everyone to network network network. A vast majority of jobs are achieved by way of not working, so I think it's important that people network I'm big on Lincoln. I'm on there all the time talking, but the key is to move it off,
lengthen toe, have phone calls with people to meet people for coffee and network and get to know them. And I think it really comes down to developing meaningful relationships with people when you don't need them, so that later when you're looking for a job, you can call on them and say, Hey, I'm looking for a job. Can you help me? Or Hey, I see there's an opening at Google. You work at Google. Can you refer me for this position? So I'm huge on networking cause Personally, I've gone four jobs by way of networking. A lot of my clients have gone jobs by way of networking, and it's just one of the easiest way is not easiest ways,
but it's one of the best ways to get a job. Absolutely. Yeah, and networking is worked well for me in the past in my job search, too. Sometimes I think there's a little confusion around networking. I think everyone kind of knows it's important, but a lot of people are at least know speaking from myself when I started doing it more regularly, just aren't really sure what that means, and I think sometimes it feels like you out and you're asking for favors of strangers and things like that. But it seems like, you know, in some ways networking is all about just meeting and asking questions to get to know people is, you said. So you just ask questions and you don't kind of lead with your sales picture demands and things like that. Do you have any general advice for what good networking looks like?
If people are a little unclear of how to do it? Well, yes, I think, like you said, it's really about getting to know people on building relationships. If you're going into networking, just wanting something from someone, they're gonna know that you're really tell real quick. So I think it's better when you're really just trying to get to know someone learning about them, who they are and understanding their story. And then if something comes from a great if not, that's so good. So if you see success as just meeting someone in knowing their story, that's true networking. If you only see success if you get something out of it that's tangible,
like a job or or for all, then that's not good networking. So I think that's a good way to look at it been going about it? I would just reach out to people to get to know them and say, Hey, I want to get to know you and really focus on that and focus on what you're truly curious about. A lot of people reach out to me saying, Hey, what questions should I ask during this networking meeting? And I say, Well, ask whatever questions you're curious about. Like if you want to know what their careers like, asked that if you want to know with their favorite sports, our asset after whatever you're genuinely curious about. So it's meaningful not just asking questions because they're poor didn't put the right questions to ask.
Yeah, that's great advice. So how long have you been working on caffeinated Kyle dot com? When did you start your business? I've been doing it for a four and 1/2 years, so it's a side hustle for three and 1/2 4 years, and then, about nine or 10 months ago, on my left, my full time job to do it full time. I'm so left an earful time, but about four and 1/2 years total. Ah, very exciting. What are your goals for your business. Where do you want to see a grow,
too? That's such a difficult question, because I honestly number and Mia imagine that career coaching would be a career for me. Maybe a year ago is the first time I ever thought that career coaching would be something I do full time. A year ago, I was offered to renew my contract in San Francisco state because every year you have to renew your contract and I renewed it. So I said, Yeah, I'll come back on. And then about a month after I renewed it, I was getting so many referrals through my business that I was like, I can't do both. I need to choose Captain into Kyle dot com or working full time. So I ended up choosing working full time for my business. I'm so I never even imagined a year ago. I'm that I'd be doing this full time,
so I honestly have no idea where I see this going. But I do know that I want to be using my skills. My experience, my passion to be helping people always throughout my whole career has come down to helping people and it usually has something to do with careers because I love helping people with their careers because I'm so passionate about working. I love working. I do. I work for fun. When I have free time, I usually do something for work. So I think I see myself doing something, helping people with their jobs. I just don't know what exactly they all look like. That's great. As you said, even a year out, Sometimes we wind up finding opportunities or finding ourselves in situations that we couldn't have even anticipated.
So I think that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, yeah, I think it's so hard to predict the future. And I found I used to be a huge planner. I'm still a huge planner by used to be this huge planner in regard to my career. I was like, Okay, I want to be a hospital administrator. Here's what I need to do and get this internship, this class, all that. And then as I started just allowing things that happened as they were meant to be as I started just putting positive energy into the universe and allowing him to come back, I've been so much happier, just allowing things to work out how they're supposed to be. Very good.
So how can people get in touch with you to learn more about caffeinated? Kyle dot com My website is a great place. So, captain Kyle dot com I mean, if people go in there, I have a free five day job search course, so it covers resumes. Cover letter linked, um, networking. I'm in that on LinkedIn. I'm Kyle Alia. It's only that I'm always on their side. Encourage people to connect with me on that. Perfect. And as we close out the podcast today,
is there anything else that you'd like our listeners to know or anything that they can help or support you with? I think I'm Lincoln. I would just love for them to connect with me and engaged. I really thrive on helping people, and I thrive on the community that Lincoln has allowed me to have my work from home. So I think it's so fun when I'm able to lock on, lengthen and interact and chat with and connect with hundreds of people all over the world. So I think that's honestly, the biggest help people can do is just connect with me and engage with me. Allow me to share my knowledge and share my passion. That really brings me a lot of joy in life. That's wonderful. So, yeah, I will put a link thio your website as well as your LinkedIn profile in the show notes of the podcast so that people can find it there as well. Wonderful.
Thank you so much. Great. Thank you yet. Thanks, Tile. Thank you so much for being a guest on my show today. It was really great to talk to you and learn more about your story and your business and wish you continued success. And best of luck with every opportunity that you're finding with your business in the future. Thanks for listening to the beyond six Seconds podcast. Please subscribe to the show in iTunes for your favorite podcast player so you won't miss any episodes.