The Finch Effect – Interview with Nacie Carson
Note from Phil: Last year I met Nacie Carson at a conference and we spent 2 days sharing a table and exchanging ideas. She told me she was writing a book and after our conversation, I was super excited to learn this book came out just a few weeks ago. I knew I had to share Nacie with you as soon as her book was done, mainly because she is a very unique soul, someone you meet and immediately connect with and realize she has so much knowledge inside her, you just want to sit and listen for hours. Her book The Finch Effect is now done, and it’s an amazing book. It’s about change, business, your career and on so much more. Though this interview doesn’t do Nacie justice, I’m confident it offers you some insight into who she is and what this book is about. I hope you enjoy this interview (and this book) as much as I did!
Phil: Nacie, please tell us, what is the Finch Effect?
Nacie: At its core, The Finch Effect is the ability for modern professionals to rapidly adjust to changes in the job market. It is named after Darwin’s finches, the birds that Darwin encountered during his trip around the world in the 1800s – he observed that the finches of the Galapagos Islands had the ability to quickly adjust to changes in their environment and as a result thrive. Their example not only laid the foundation for his theory on evolution, but also provide modern professionals a great model for how to handle our careers.
Phil: What inspired you to write the book?
Nacie: I felt called to write this book because of the frustration, anger, and fear that I observed in friends, family, and even myself in the years after the recession started. So many wonderful, intelligent and capable people seemed to stall after Lehman Brothers collapsed with little idea of what to do next. As a result, they sat and waited for things to change or get better, and lost precious time in the process.
I realized that there had to be some people out there who were still finding success and moving their careers forward, and I wanted to find out who they were, what they were doing, and how they were doing it.
I embarked on a 2 year journey interviewing people around the country in all kinds of industries and with all kinds of career backgrounds. And what I discovered is that those people who are moving their careers forward and thriving – like the finches – were all implementing a set of similar strategies which have become the foundation of The Finch Effect.
Phil: You state early on this isn’t a book to help you spruce up your resume. Isn’t that all one needs to get a job now?
Nacie: Some career centers or counselors might tell people that, but the truth is that the resume is simply a vehicle to share with an employer or client what you have to offer as a professional. If you aren’t clear on that, the resume can’t fix that.
Phil: You left a “safe” job to go out on your own near the bottom of the economy. What gave you the courage to do this when so many others feared for their jobs?
Nacie: It was a case of serendipity, actually – I had planned to leave my corporate role to pursue my passion, what I saw as my highest and best use in this world: writing. It’s hard to explain what gives you the gumption to make a change like that – for me, it was realizing that I couldn’t spend every day of the rest of my life trading my talent and career satisfaction for security and stability. As a young professional, the rest of my career seemed to long to resign myself to that fate so early. My first full week as a full-time freelance writer was the week the stock market tanked, but ironically I found that I was less vulnerable than my corporate friends because I wasn’t worried about losing my job or benefits…those things were on me anyways as a freelancer.
Phil: You’re a personal development writer. How is this book different (better) than just personal development and positive thinking?
Nacie: Great question! The biggest difference is that this isn’t personal development at all…it is career development and business. The book starts by analyzing the economic landscape and what is happening in the job market on a macro level, then focuses on the individual professional and what they can do concretely to keep their careers moving forward in the context of these economic trends. There is certainly an element of personal growth and positive thinking – studies show that those are key to resilience, which is in turn key to succeeding in this new economy – but the book is actually very business focused. My goal was focusing on strategic and practical solutions with a positive, inspirational message.
Phil: Who or what inspires you to get up and write every day?
Nacie: Another great question! There are many things that inspire me – mostly a passion for my message, a great connection with my online community, and a strong belief in the power and capabilty of individuals to improve themselves and the circumstances of our world. But my mother is probably my greatest inpsiration for writing – she is an incredible and intelligent woman who received her psychology PhD at Harvard while my brother and I were growing up. She has such grace and enthusiasm for life, and so much love that she shares with everyone, while being a world expert in her field of study. She’s just set this example of a truly comprehensive, powerful, but selfless woman and I will be lucky if I grow into half the mother or professional she is.
Phil: What did I not ask that I should have?
Nacie: You’ve asked great questions! I would like to just reinstate that we are all capable of change and adaptation, not just in our working lives but in our lives as a whole. Change is always such a scary proposition…most of us spend our lives trying to resist it in some form or another. But we are creatures of this earth, and as such we are able to do what all life does – adapt and thrive. And that is a very comforting thought.
Phil: Ok, Nacie, one more question: Where can we find more about you and buy this wonderful book?
Nacie: You can find The Finch Effect at your local bookstore or through this link at Amazon (available in Hardcover or for your tablet!) – http://ow.ly/aAxg5