Kristie Jones | Midlife Fulfilled Podcast

Ep 164 Harnessing Your Inner Superpower to Achieve Career Fulfillment in Midlife

Kristie Jones shares how her superpower of generosity has influenced her career transitions and personal growth, in her professional and personal life.

In this episode, Kristie Jones shares her BF to AF journey. Kristie discusses her transformative career journey. She shares her story of leaving the corporate world to pursue a path aligned with her values, the pivotal moments that shaped her professional growth, and the unexpected opportunities that led her to her current fulfilling role as a sales consultant, author, and speaker. Ultimately, Kristie discovered her superpower of generosity and she explains the role it has played in her career transitions, personal growth, and both her professional and personal life. If you’re seeking inspiration and insights into navigating career changes and finding purpose, this episode is for you.

Three key discussion points from our conversation:

1️⃣ Embracing Change: Kristie’s transition from the corporate world to a small business was a pivotal decision that led to personal and professional growth. She embraced new opportunities that leveraged her skills without regard for a job title.

2️⃣ Networking Pays Off: Building genuine connections with business owners opened doors for Kristie to unexpected opportunities and shaped her fulfilling career path. She shares insights on the power of genuine relationship building with an attitude of doing the right thing and the right things will happen.

3️⃣ Her Superpower of Generosity: Kristie recognized that her superpower is generosity with her time and knowledge. She shares how she always has 30 minutes for anyone who wants her help, expecting nothing in return. Her superpower has benefited her in many ways without seeking personal gain.

When you listen to this episode you will be inspired to harness your superpower either to a new level, or maybe for the first time!

🔥 My affiliate link to Castmagic, which I used to help produce these show notes. 🔥

Connect with Kristie Jones:
Sales Acceleration Group Website
Selling Your Win In YouTube Channel
Selling Your Win In Book Website

Watch this episode on YouTube

Click or tap here to download the 5-Step Career Reboot Checklist.

Episode Transcript

Bernie Borges [00:00:00]:
Christy Jones, welcome to the Midlife Fulfill podcast, a BF TO AF episode.

Kristie Jones [00:00:06]:
Bernie, thanks so much for having me. I’m looking forward to our conversation today.

Bernie Borges [00:00:09]:
So am I. So am I. Thanks for joining me. Well, Christy, we are gonna do a BF TO AF episode. Obviously, that is before fulfillment to after fulfillment. I know just a little bit about your story. Before we dive in, why don’t you tell our listeners, since this is the Midlife Fulfill podcast, what, what decade are you in?

Kristie Jones [00:00:30]:
Bernie, I am about a well, we’ll turn 54 in the next, 30 days.

Bernie Borges [00:00:35]:
Alright. Well, happy you know what? By the time this episode publishes, you

Kristie Jones [00:00:40]:
will I will be 54.

Bernie Borges [00:00:41]:
Celebrated your birthday. So happy birthday.

Kristie Jones [00:00:44]:
Thank you.

Bernie Borges [00:00:46]:
Well, great. Well, Christy, where would you like to begin your story?

Kristie Jones [00:00:50]:
Yeah. I think the the probably the beginning story kind of goes all the way back to maybe my first job out of college where I willingly joined a Fortune 500 company. And then 8 years career, realized that that really wasn’t kind of for me. The corporate world, it sounded it sounded great, and it was very, you know, structured, which, you know, which I loved. I’m very competitive. So I, joined a department store out of college, and that department store was a small like, actually, privately owned, you know, family business, actually, out of the Midlife. They called the Jones Store Company. Most of the stores were in the Kansas City area.

Kristie Jones [00:01:29]:
They had about 7 or 8 stores in the Kansas City area. And I left that I left that company to go to work for the May Company, which was a huge department store that is now what you know as Macy’s. Macy’s purchased it years ago.

Bernie Borges [00:01:43]:

Kristie Jones [00:01:43]:
And I my whole dream was to be a buyer. I desperately, I I have a journalism degree, but the only people who wanted to hire me out of college were the Jones Store Company and Kmart, and I’m sort of grateful I didn’t do the Kmart route for reasons that now probably seem very obvious. But I moved I moved and did everything. So I I left Kansas City. I moved to Saint Louis to take the job at the May Company in in the hopes of, you know, fulfilling my dream to be a buyer. I got the opportunity to do that. And but I but I found myself not really excited about getting up and going to work every day. And there were some things that happened along the way.

Kristie Jones [00:02:18]:
And the retail business is very, you know, it’s very challenging. It’s very, you know, numbers driven, for those who are old enough, based on your generation or your decade, as you would say, or old enough to remember having to balance your checkbook, every month as you were paying bills. We did what we called an open to buy. So I called it the balancing checkbook. We had to do that every Monday to see whether or not we were overdrawn or whether we had money to buy. And so, you know, I think there was a there was a lot of challenge in that. A lot of the skills that I use even today, I gained there. So, you know, no better negotiation than going into retail and having to negotiate with vendors in New York and other places, who are all about the money as well.

Kristie Jones [00:02:59]:
A lot of leadership things came out of that. And and, again, really just analytical skills because, you know, no one was calling me to Paris to design next season’s fashions. It was all about making sure you didn’t run out of white T shirts and bell bottom jeans in the sizes that people really needed. Right? So it was really all about math and assortment. So but after 8 years, there were some things that were going on at the organization that were, unethical in transparency. And I was being asked to do things that I was not no longer comfortable doing, and that really soured everything for me. And so I made an interesting decision, and I and I describe it this way to my friends. Because a lot of the friends that I had were lifers, so to speak.

Kristie Jones [00:03:39]:
Like, they they only knew known retail, and I had only known retail as well. And they thought, like, you know, the only thing that I’ll be able to do is get another retail job. But I knew that I had developed skills, the ones I just mentioned. I knew that that that retail job, the at the buying job, had really given me skills that I didn’t have coming out of college. And I knew that those would be valuable to some company or someone. I just didn’t know who that would be. So when I started my search, I thought to myself, like, I’m not really looking for a job. I’m looking for a company.

Kristie Jones [00:04:11]:
And I think it’s because of the kind of sour grapes that I had coming out of the current situation where I wanted to make sure that I was getting myself aligned.

Bernie Borges [00:04:19]:
That was a conscious thing? You you you consciously thought you were looking for a company, not for a job?

Kristie Jones [00:04:26]:
Yeah. I thought if I could find the right fit company that because I was having a value issue. Right? I was having a character integrity value issue.

Bernie Borges [00:04:33]:

Kristie Jones [00:04:34]:
And so I knew if I could find a company that I thought fit my character integrity and value system, that surely something in that company, you know, like, would fit my skill set. But it was more the very first thing that was important to me, you know, I you know, now we would call it you know, now I’m in the sales arena. We call it fit. And so fit for me wasn’t a particular job or a title. It was actually a value system. And one of the things that I made another conscious decision about was that I was about done with the corporate world and public com publicly traded companies. And so I had grown up. My family had owned a real estate franchise, a Cold War Banker franchise growing up.

Kristie Jones [00:05:13]:
And so I kind of come from that small business world. My mom was a top agent. My dad was the owner broker. So, like, I say my brother and I got our MBA at the kitchen table at night as we heard my parents debrief their day about buyers and sellers and commission and and listings and those type of things. So I kind of had felt really comfortable in that world, and I and I wanted to get back there. So, Saint Louis is a really small, big town. And so, and I was not somebody who had grown up here, and my preschool friends didn’t live around the career from me as many people who grow up here, still have their preschool friends that are close to them. So I had to do some networking.

Kristie Jones [00:05:49]:
I really needed to get out. I really didn’t know a ton of people here, and so I really needed to get out and network. And so I started networking with business owners. It just so happened that my husband at the time was a private baseball instructor, and he was instructing children of people who owned fitness. So I said, give me a list of all of your clients who you know own a business. And, you know, I started reach just literally blindfold calling these these, clients of his and introducing myself. And, you know, tell asking if they would have coffee or if they would have lunch with me. And I stumbled across a husband who, or a father who owned a company.

Kristie Jones [00:06:27]:
And, you know, I really wanted him. I knew he was a big golfer. For some reason, I thought he must have really good, like, you know, good business owner friends because he was in he golfed. Mhmm. So I you know, back in the day, we had paper resumes. Right? So, I mean, I put him on the best parchment paper, and I took a stack to lunch. I gave him 20 and told him what I was looking for. Yeah.

Kristie Jones [00:06:48]:
I was, like, I well, I was sure he was you know, I mean, every, you know, if you if you go off once or twice a week with a foursome, there was, like, you know, 6, 7 other people that he could be handing these out to. So, I did I told him what I was looking for, and I told him kind of, like, you know, I said, like, here are all the skills I have, and here’s the type of company I’m looking for. And I don’t have a job title. Like, I don’t know what that job title is in a smaller or Midlife company, but here’s kind of the vibe I’m looking for. And so, then, you know, couple weeks later, I followed up with him and call give him a call and ask how many res you know, did you need more resumes? Like, have you given out all the resumes at the golf course? And he was like, no. Not really. He’s like, but I would like to have lunch again. And I said, okay.

Kristie Jones [00:07:29]:
And so we met for lunch, and he and his business partner had recently parted ways, something that I did not know at the time when I’d first met with him. And so he said, you know, like, the company needs a few things, and one of them is an HR manager. Like, I think, like, what do you think about HR? And I said, oh, you just that’s so sweet, but you don’t know me well enough yet. Like, that’s probably not a good fit for me. Of all the of all the things I did have skills in, you know, tact and and, not shooting my mouth off or firing people for, you know, reasons that they probably needed to be fired for, but people didn’t fire people for that, I thought I said, this is really not a fit. And about 3 weeks after that, he called me again and then said, let’s have lunch again. So we did. And he said, I’ve parted ways with my business partner, and, like, now I’m overwhelmed.

Kristie Jones [00:08:14]:
Like, it had probably been maybe 8 weeks at that point. And and they had kind of it’s all good cofounder.

Bernie Borges [00:08:19]:
What what business what business was he in?

Kristie Jones [00:08:22]:
Yeah. So this was a really interesting business. So he was in the learning and development training business. So, I’m so old that, we used to have a video a VHS lending library.

Bernie Borges [00:08:33]:

Kristie Jones [00:08:34]:
So other small companies across the country bought a membership to our lending library of training resources, everything from, you know, a plus plus certification for IT to OSHA to soft skills to, customer service, to sales.

Bernie Borges [00:08:50]:
Kinda kinda like the original Netflix.

Kristie Jones [00:08:53]:
That kind of like the original Netflix. That’s right. More yeah. A little bit fitness for Blockbuster for fitness, is what we used to how we used to describe it. But your membership fee was based on the number of resources you wanted to have checked out at any time, back to sort of the library concept.

Bernie Borges [00:09:06]:

Kristie Jones [00:09:07]:
And I jokingly and it’s not jokingly, but I’m like, the UPS man came every day and dropped off packages, and they came back at 5 and picked up packages. And we were literally shipping things across the country. Then, VHS went to DVD, and then DVD went to e learning. Right? And then we became an elearning company. But but finally, he said, like, you know, I need some sales help, and I need someone with more maturity than I kind of have in the building. He’d been hiring what I affectionately called kids out of college. And he said, like, you know, at that point, I’d had 8 years of business acumen, as I would say. And so I said, well, what do you want me to do? And he says, I’m not sure yet.

Kristie Jones [00:09:44]:
I just know I need help. And I was like, I don’t okay.

Bernie Borges [00:09:48]:
And apparently, he had gotten to know you well enough to have this conversation and well enough to say, I think you can help me.

Kristie Jones [00:09:57]:
Yeah. And I and, really, you know, I initially and I tell this story a lot a lot, and I say, initially, like, I thought this was a really big risk for me. Now I understand how big a risk it was for him. But I took a job that without a title and without a job description, and, I took the big leap. Like, we negotiated the salary and whatnot. I think, initially, he’s like, let’s give you a title of director of operations. And I said, oh, okay. I didn’t even know what that was.

Kristie Jones [00:10:27]:
That didn’t mean anything to me. And so for the first two weeks, I literally just followed him around. Like, every meeting he went on you know, this was back, you know, when we actually got in the car and went and met with people or, you know, got on a plane and went and met with people. And so I literally followed him around. And then his wife was doing all the HR benefits, payroll, that type of thing. And about a month in, she comes in with this big armful of 3 ring binders and puts them on my desk. And I said, what is this? She goes, yeah. I’m gonna give you HR and benefits.

Kristie Jones [00:10:59]:
I was like, I’m not qualified for like, I told you not no HR. And so, literally, 3 ring binders, all this paper. She says, I’m gonna keep payroll, though. And I was like, okay. Well, that grateful for that. And that turned into a 10 year relationship professionally and personally. And, I went from literally pretty much no title to, I say, you know, if you were if we ran out of Post its, that was me. If the copier was jammed, that was me.

Kristie Jones [00:11:28]:
If the server needed to be, you know, rebooted, that was me. Oh, and by the way, at some point in the 1st 6 months, I took on the sales team and became the 1st sales leader. And it was truly everything that I had wanted. Like, it ironically, because I think of the family situation, I was back where I had started. It felt very comfortable.

Bernie Borges [00:11:47]:

Kristie Jones [00:11:48]:
My brother and I had been sort of, like, involved in the real estate business, you know, by osmosis. And this small company felt very comfortable for me. And, I needed to, like, make a lot of, you know, I’d learned a lot of things. So, one of the things I did because I didn’t know anything. I mean, I knew about retail sales, but I didn’t know about software sales or, you know Right. Service sales that was, you know, was software as a service back then, but it wasn’t in the cloud initially. Right. And so I reached out to a recruiter friend of mine and said, I need your Rolodex of every small business sales leader in the in the city.

Kristie Jones [00:12:23]:
And I reached out, and I found a group, and we became I’m I created a sales leadership roundtable group of 8 of us. And every month we met, we met at a different office every month, and we just brought our problems to the table. And I remember we solved things like, I have my 1st pregnant sales rep, commission commission sales rep. How do I pay her during her maternity leave? Like, we covered everything. Most people didn’t have a handbook. We built a handbook together. So, you know, we I took and then then these people are still in my life today. I’m having drinks with one of them on Thursday.

Kristie Jones [00:12:56]:
And so and, you know, one of them became a future client when I started my consulting business. But that, like, that part of, you know, going from that private so I would say that was my first part of, like, not being fulfilled, not really being happy, and, you know, and having some value system issues to being very fulfilled.

Bernie Borges [00:13:14]:

Kristie Jones [00:13:14]:
But at some point, you know, at some point, that, you know, I I needed a little bit more. And so

Bernie Borges [00:13:20]:
Let me let me let me let me pause you there. Before you you continue the story, I wanna reflect on a couple of things that you’ve shared here, Christy, so far. One is the fact that your story so far is around the pillar of career. Right? You know that I speak of the 5 pillars of midlife. Right? Health, fitness, career, relationships, and legacy. So so far, your story is about career. Mhmm. Obviously, career is a big part of our lives.

Bernie Borges [00:13:45]:
We spend most of our waking life in our career. Totally get that. And I’m I’m intrigued by the fact that at a young age, when you were a college kid yourself or coming out of college, you thought you wanted to be a buyer. I can relate. When I was coming out of college, I thought I wanted to be a product manager at Procter and Gamble. Oh.

Kristie Jones [00:14:04]:

Bernie Borges [00:14:04]:
didn’t I didn’t even spend one day in in the b to c world. I spent my entire career in the b to b world. Yet in college, I wanted to be a buyer at Procter and Gamble, which is a business to consumer company. Right? So I get that. And so after 8 years, you said you were done with, like, the big corporate scene. And at that point, I mean, I’m doing simple math here. You were all about 30 years old at the time.

Kristie Jones [00:14:28]:
I was exactly 30.

Bernie Borges [00:14:29]:
Yeah. Right. So you had come to realize something at a fairly young age, at the age of 30. Right? We can all look back, you know, at age 30 as being relatively young compared to where we are in this season of life. So, first of all, I just wanna give you a big, you know, applause for that just to Thank you. To have that level of maturity and self awareness. That’s the main point that I really wanna drive here with you in this conversation. You had that self awareness at age 30, and then you took action on that.

Bernie Borges [00:15:02]:
So and then I love how the story unfolded and how you had lunch with this gentleman several times and then eventually landed a job without a title other than a salary. He didn’t really know much more.

Kristie Jones [00:15:13]:
No. Right.

Bernie Borges [00:15:14]:
But it’s it’s worked out great for you from what I’m hearing. Right?

Kristie Jones [00:15:17]:
Yeah. Actually, everything that great that has happened to me since that 10 years with that individual, that owner, can all be tied back to him. I’m I’m a very big kind of, you know, when the universe speaks, listen person. And that one decision, I would not be here today, and everybody can say that. But, I mean, truly, like, the things that have happened later in my life as, you know, the after keeps kind of happening in stages, if you will, because the fulfillment piece like, I really do feel that way. And and you and I didn’t talk about this kind of the first time, but I feel like the fulfillment, like, there are stages for fulfillment. It’s sort of like I I have a thing about people. Like, you know, people come into your life for reason, season, or lifetime.

Kristie Jones [00:15:59]:
And I think the fulfillment for me has been sort of seasons. And the first season, you know, I I stayed for 8 years, but I really didn’t enjoy. The second season, I very much enjoyed, and I think there was so much learning from that 10 years that I spent. And, again, back to your point, you know, in this day and age, you know, people out of college don’t even even in that even at my thirties, 10 years with a company is, like, a lifetime. I feel like, when are you leaving? Yeah. But I but every day, I was fulfilled, and I got more and more fulfilled. And and I think, like, the other things that you talk about, like, I got a little more I I was there was not a lot of work Midlife balance in the retail world. Right? I had been an athlete in in high school and college, a highly competitive, racquetball player who played tournaments on the weekends for prize money.

Kristie Jones [00:16:47]:
So all throughout high school and through college and even after that. So but the retail but retail is unforgiving from an hours perspective and particularly as you know around the holidays. So, you know, making this leap benefited me in a lot of ways, and I had made a life transition. So I’d gotten married at 27 and had, my child at 29. So all of that had just happened sort of when I made the leap and decided to take a risk and go work for somebody I didn’t really know that well in a business I didn’t know at all, as you pointed out, you know, trying to manage and and figure it all out kind of on the fly. But I think, you know, I I love the book Grit by Angela Duckworth. And, like, I I’m just gritty. Like, that’s just, you know and and there’s no reason for it.

Kristie Jones [00:17:30]:
When you read her book about the reasons why people become gritty and how grit gets established, I don’t have any of those, like, traumatic things in my past that have, you know, made me gritty. But I do think I I again, I can attribute everything back to those kitchen table conversations. And, you know, things were very transparent in my in my house. I knew when my dad was and wasn’t taking a paycheck. I knew what every one of my mother’s commission checks were. So money was never something that my parents hid from us as children. It was actually very, very transparent. And, you know, so I knew when dad wasn’t taking payroll to make or taking a paycheck to make payroll or he wasn’t taking a paycheck because my mother’s quarterly taxes were due, those type of things were very transparent.

Kristie Jones [00:18:12]:
So so, again, like, I think that that first job that I took the risk on, I think it just felt real comfortable. I think the owner of that company, I had, like, felt sort of like the company that we had been running growing up, and he had a little bit of my dad’s characteristics. And so, you know, I took a leap of faith, but he really took a big leap of faith as well. Yeah. And it worked out for both.

Bernie Borges [00:18:34]:
So what I’m hearing, though, Christy, is that that job were you there 10 years? Do I have

Kristie Jones [00:18:39]:
that right?

Bernie Borges [00:18:40]:
I was.

Kristie Jones [00:18:40]:
What did you say? Okay. 10 years. Yep.

Bernie Borges [00:18:42]:
From 30 to 40. So what I think I’m hearing, and I’m hearing this for the first time, right? We didn’t discuss

Kristie Jones [00:18:47]:
these details

Bernie Borges [00:18:48]:
previously, is that the impact that it’s had on your life is beyond your career. That’s kinda what I’m hearing.

Kristie Jones [00:18:54]:
Oh, yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:18:55]:
So you wanna elaborate on that a little bit?

Kristie Jones [00:18:57]:
Yeah. It’s interesting. I yeah. I just I just recently gave a keynote out in San Diego a couple weeks ago, and I talk about my superpower. And the superpower I didn’t didn’t know I really had and how everything sort of tied back to that first owner whose name is Dean. But my my superpower is generosity. And somewhere in that period of time when I got, you know, again, was getting more fulfilled and was getting more comfortable, I truly kind of felt like I was becoming an expert in my field. And this roundtable group really helped and gave me confidence, and we gave each other confidence and advice and and really health.

Kristie Jones [00:19:32]:
I think everybody’s business was better for the roundtable group. I think that was a big key. Me making that decision to to I’ve always been a lifelong learner. So when I don’t understand or know something, puts me in an uncomfortable situation. And so going out and seeking knowledge wasn’t unusual for me, and it was something that was comfortable. But this group, like I said, to this day, you know, that was 30, and now I’m 5th gonna be 54. That’s a long time for a lot of these people to stay upstate in my life. But at some point, I started people started reaching out to me.

Kristie Jones [00:20:01]:
And and particularly because of kinda they thought I’d taken a risk in doing what I’d done. And and, you know, my buyer friends who, you know, were going through some turmoil situations and other people started reaching out, like, why did you how did you do that? Why did you do that? Because people thought it was a little you know, people are, like, thought maybe it was crazy, maybe. And so I started telling my story, and I started I my my motto is I have 30 minutes for everyone. Mhmm. And people really take me up on that. And I I I jokingly say, but it’s like, all of these things are true. But I’m like, you know, if you need career advice, call me. If you need somebody to review your resume, I’ve got a journalism degree, call me.

Kristie Jones [00:20:36]:
If you need to prep for that big interview, call me. You know, if you need to work through a personal or professional situation and you need somebody to bounce that ideas off of, I’d call myself a professional firefighter, call me. And then I say, and if you need me to edit that career John email to your soon to be ex, again, I’m happy to use my journalism degree that way as well. But all of those things, like, you know, I have been giving, I think, since that time period. And I just and I my other motto is do the right things, and the right things will happen. And Dean and I did part ways after 10 years, and the parting our parting of ways wasn’t as smooth as either of us had wished it had been. Things had been gotten a little bit rocky, and I, you know, went and searched for a job and then and got an amazing job with working for an amazing boss at an amazing company. But the the thing that I didn’t the the thing that I did do that we that everybody did right in this situation was a few months after I’d left the company, he called and asked if I’d have a beer.

Kristie Jones [00:21:32]:
And I didn’t really wanna have a beer. I was my feelings were hurt. My heart was hurt. Again, the partying had not been had not been, you know, as amicable as it should have been. And so I thought it was very generous of me to give him 30 minutes of my time. But because of my motto, I decided to do that, and we put our and we put our relationship back together. And then if you fast forward a few years, I stayed in that I stayed in that SaaS world. So I continued to stay in the SaaS world.

Kristie Jones [00:21:57]:
I evolved into working for venture capital backed companies. And then one day, I found myself out of a job. And my boss had flown in from San Francisco and had, like, a his plane was running late. He was coming to Saint Louis. I was so excited about his visit because I didn’t know why he was coming. He’d never been to the Saint Louis office. He’d never met my team. I’d been able to build a sales team from scratch in the St.

Kristie Jones [00:22:20]:
Louis office. And he was flying in for the first time, and I couldn’t wait. I was, like, so excited. And he says his plane was running late. Could I wait for him at the office? And I said, sure. And he showed up about 6 o’clock and told me that the company was gonna be doing some restructuring. And as a result, the team that I was leading was gonna be, disbanded in Saint Louis and rebuilt and moved under the marketing umbrella from the sales umbrella and put and the marketing team was out of Phoenix. And he basically said, you know, some of your employees will be able to interview for other jobs in the organization.

Kristie Jones [00:22:53]:
Some will be let go, and you will no longer have a job.

Bernie Borges [00:22:57]:
And then be tough.

Kristie Jones [00:22:57]:
He asked. Yeah. I mean, I yeah. I said it takes every took everything I had not to cry in front of him because I have pride and I didn’t wanna do that. But it came out of nowhere. Like, I knew that the team should be under the marketing umbrella so much so that I had been talking to the CMO and had been sitting in. He’d invited me to sit in on their marketing weekly meetings. So I knew that was the right thing for the organization.

Kristie Jones [00:23:18]:
And I’d actually been advocating for that. But and no and no no circumstances did I envision that I would no longer be leading the team. But the CMO had people he wanted to you know, this you know how this is. Yeah. The CMO had people he wanted to bring in that he, you know, had connected with in Phoenix. And and so one of the first calls I made was back to Dean. And so, you know, at that point, I that was 2016. So that was 8 years ago.

Kristie Jones [00:23:43]:
So I would have been in my mid forties. I was 40 about 45. It happened not happened in December. I was 45, and one of the first calls I made was to Dean. And he said, you know, let me introduce you to a couple of people I think you should know. And so and those introductions snowballed. I said it was a series of dominoes that fell that I could have never anticipated. But all along the way, I tied it all back to, you know I say Dean is my Kevin Bacon because everything everything goes back to Dean.

Kristie Jones [00:24:15]:
But when I really thought about it so, again, you already know the, you know, the punchline to the story, but I went in search of another VP of sales position in a SaaS startup and instead ended up starting my own consultancy. And again, like, I didn’t feel unfulfilled at that point, But, again, this was another chapter, so I think it’s another it’s another series of fulfillments having done what I did.

Bernie Borges [00:24:39]:
And, and you said that was 2016?

Kristie Jones [00:24:41]:
Yeah. It was 2 I started my I I was I was told I was gonna be let go in December of 15, and then they they offered me a 3 month severance if I was willing to stay on for 3 months to keep the boat afloat in Saint Louis while they rebuilt the boat in Phoenix. I did agree to do that because I you know, that was gonna buy me some time and give me some income while I was searching for my next gig, if you will.

Bernie Borges [00:25:03]:

Kristie Jones [00:25:04]:
But the the very first person that Dean introduced me to was a a managing partner at a venture at the largest venture capital company in Missouri. And I had breakfast with him and and told him what I was looking for and thought nothing more than to just have made a new contact. And if he could keep his eyes open for me, that would be great. And about a week and a half later, he called and said that they’d invested in a cybersecurity SaaS startup. And they need to build out their sales team, and the cofounder really doesn’t know how to get started. And would I be willing to have coffee with him and give him some advice? And I said what I always say. Sure. I’ve got 30 minutes for everyone.

Kristie Jones [00:25:40]:
And that 30 minutes was 90 minutes, and he filled his notebook with all of the good advice I gave him. And then as we were packing up, he said, this was amazing. Unfortunately, I’m not capable of doing almost anything you told me to do. Do you know anybody who can help me? And before I could stop myself, I said I can. And I thought, what am I you know, what this is what am I doing? But I think something about I think the way I felt when I was the expert in the room, and someone who, again, had a you know, was a high risk taking individual as health, because all start up founders are high risk takers. I didn’t know anything about cybersecurity at all, but I knew about sales and how to build sales teams and how to interview and how to find them. And so that was, like, kinda domino number 1.

Bernie Borges [00:26:24]:
So so became your first client?

Kristie Jones [00:26:27]:
Yes. So the cybersecurity that he wanted 10 hours a week of my time, was willing to actually pay me. So he became client number 1.

Bernie Borges [00:26:34]:

Kristie Jones [00:26:35]:
And then a couple weeks after that, I got a call from one of the guys in my roundtable group who actually was also a reseller. We were reselling his elearning content. He had a company called, at that time, the telephone doctor. Now it’s called service skills, but he had customer service online learning. And he called and said, can we have lunch? And I said, sure. Got 30 minutes for everybody. And during lunch, he let me know that business had been suffering. He’d not been profitable for the last 2 years, and he didn’t really understand why.

Kristie Jones [00:27:03]:
And he asked if I would be willing to, you know, take a look or talk to some people in the organization or see if I could help him figure it out. And so I said, sure. Because helping him was the right thing to do. Right? I went back to do the right things, and the right things will happen. And we’d had a 10 year relationship. He’d been not only a channel partner, but also part of my roundtable group as an owner. And so I spent a weekend with he and his accounting person, and it didn’t take long to figure out what some of the problems were. And so health him turn that around, and he and at that point, I shared with him my situation because I hadn’t shared with him my situation at that point.

Kristie Jones [00:27:33]:
Okay. And, he said, well, while you’re looking for a job, will you come in and do some sales training for the sales team? I was like, sure. I mean, I knew them. Right? I mean, at first off, I’d been in the elearning world, and I knew them as part of the they lived in the city. So I did some of that training. And in the meantime, I was interviewing for a VP of sales job with the other person that Dean had introduced me to, a husband and wife team who had an AP Automation SaaS company. They were a Fintech company. And, after I did some training for David, the channel partner, he called me up and said, this is what you should be doing.

Kristie Jones [00:28:07]:
I think you were born to do this, and I wanna help you get started.

Bernie Borges [00:28:10]:
I was like, it’s part

Kristie Jones [00:28:12]:
of doing what? I’m like, you know, I had this again, I had this little cybersecurity guy, but and I told David about it, but I was like, it’s just my little side hustle, 10 hours a week until I got their sales team built out. And he was like, no. I think you need to be a consultant, and you need to be training sales teams. And I wanna help you do that.

Bernie Borges [00:28:27]:
There you go. So, Christy, you had to be told that

Kristie Jones [00:28:31]:
I did.

Bernie Borges [00:28:31]:
For for you to kind of embody that. You were doing it already, but you had to be told that to really embrace it and just say yes. And at that point, was it a humongous light bulb for you, Christy? Was this light bulb going off saying, everything that’s happened in the last 10 plus years is a cumulative effect. It all adds up and it gets me to where I am now because you’ve been doing that ever since. Right? Now Yes. 6 years. Is that right?

Kristie Jones [00:29:03]:
8 years. This will be yeah. 8 years this year.

Bernie Borges [00:29:05]:
Okay. I’m bad at math. So to me, it just sounds like it was all meant to be. I mean, all the pieces health in place so naturally. It was just all meant to be. That is so fantastic. So needless to say, you’re very fulfilled now,

Kristie Jones [00:29:24]:
and you’ve been doing this for

Bernie Borges [00:29:25]:
8 years and having a blast.

Kristie Jones [00:29:27]:
Yeah. This was really like, I wasn’t unhappy. I I really wasn’t unhappy before. I the the job I’d had, I loved. But now I’m, like, now I’m helping, like, you know, 20 ish companies a year Yeah. Do what I was helping one company do. And, you know, and everybody’s so grateful. Right? I mean, I have information that startup founders who just got funding don’t have, and most startup founders are tech founders.

Kristie Jones [00:29:51]:
And so they don’t really know about sales and marketing. And so, yeah, I really, not only the the 10 years prior to that, but, like, everything that would happen all of that happened before, I say, my 3 months was up with that company and it was gonna be turned back into a pumpkin. All of those things happened, and I had 3 clients before those 3 months were ever up. Mhmm. David was, again, the I mean, David’s generosity went beyond. He said to me, I want 10 hours of your time a week or I want 10 hours of your time a week too. But until you’re fully up and running, I’ll take 30 and pay you accordingly. And so I affectionately call him my business sugar daddy.

Kristie Jones [00:30:31]:
But he I mean, he basically financed Midlife, you know, somebody that I had a 10 year relationship with, mostly professionally, and as part of the roundtable and as a channel partner, was literally willing to, like, back me.

Bernie Borges [00:30:42]:

Kristie Jones [00:30:43]:
And so I tell people, I’m like, I didn’t have, like, the the hustle struggle story that a lot of people who go out on their own had. But I but I told people, I’m like, I’m not lucky. I’ve been doing the right things by people all along, and that all came back to me tenfold. It all just happened very quickly. Like, it all happened in a 3 month period time where all of these weird things started to happen. And like you said, like, I knew something was bigger. Something bigger was at play. And I knew that saying no, you know, even though I honestly, because of the what my parents had been through, because real estate’s a really unforgiving industry to own a company in and, you know, we’d had a fire at the building that we owned.

Kristie Jones [00:31:19]:
You know, half of the office had left and started a REMAX organization. You know, you know, my dad’s secretary had stolen from us. Like, all of these really awful things that happened. And so I had told anybody who would listen that I never will own my own business. Like, you know, my dad had bypass surgery at 53.

Bernie Borges [00:31:34]:
Oh, wow.

Kristie Jones [00:31:35]:
And I was, you know, convinced that that was all stress and and cigarettes that were caused this you know, stress was causing him to smoke cigarettes, and cigarettes were causing the heart problem. But there was no denying that something bigger was at play.

Bernie Borges [00:31:48]:

Kristie Jones [00:31:49]:
And, like, in my life now, like, honestly, I’m like, the the blessed life that I lead today, you know, is a culmination, like you said, of all of the other things that have come along.

Bernie Borges [00:31:58]:
Yeah. Wow. It’s a great story. It’s a great story. I and I love what I love about these these BFTAF episodes is that I’m hearing it for the first time, so I get to really react to it, in the moment, and it’s it’s it’s wonderful. We’re at that point in the episode where I wanna invite you to give us just a brief closing thought and then share with you your contact information should anybody listening wanna just connect with you.

Kristie Jones [00:32:25]:
Yeah. I think the moral to my story, and when I tell the story, the moral to my story that I want people to walk away with is, like, you know, sometimes you need to be hyper aware of what of what is going on around you and the signs that you’re getting. And, you know, sometimes you need to give into that and get rid of the resistance that might be there. If it feels like something’s at play, then something’s at play. And and maybe you could should take a risk. Like my dad said, you know, I could always I could have always gone back and gotten a w two job if it hadn’t worked out. But what if I hadn’t taken the risk and lived the life that I’m leading today? So, you know, I always you know, it it’s never really maybe in my sometimes, you know, people’s risk tolerance is different. But when all of the, you know, roads are converging to 1, there’s a reason.

Kristie Jones [00:33:08]:
And and I believe that the people who are, you know, who are who listen to that and who take action on that probably don’t regret doing so.

Bernie Borges [00:33:16]:
Yeah. Couldn’t have said that better. And how can people connect with you, Christy?

Kristie Jones [00:33:21]:
I love getting people to connect with me on LinkedIn and dropping me a little note when you send the connection request that you heard me on the podcast, and I always love to know what your one takeaway was.

Bernie Borges [00:33:30]:
Fantastic. Well, my listener knows that your LinkedIn profile will be linked up in the show notes. I’ll also include a link to your website. What’s the name of your website?

Kristie Jones [00:33:41]:
Oh, so two places you can go,, or, my I have written a book that’ll be released later this year. So selling your way as health. If you’d like to get information or preorder the book, you can go to that website. Either one will work.

Bernie Borges [00:33:58]:
Fantastic. Well, Christy, again, that’ll be linked up in the show notes. And I just wanna thank you for joining me for, this episode of the Midlife Fulfilled Podcast, a BF to AF episode. Love your story. It’s inspirational to me and I know inspirational to our listeners. So thank you so much, Christy.

Kristie Jones [00:34:15]:
Thank you so much for having me on and letting me share.

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