1938 – Pivoting with Purpose: Empowering Mid-Career Men to Thrive with Anna Urnova

Unleashing Potential: Transforming Mid-Career Stagnation into Success

In a recent episode of Josh's podcast, he sat down with Anna Urnova, a career coach helping mid-career men pivot to thrive. Anna, who has worked with executives and leaders at top companies like PwC, Siemens, Visa, and Unilever, shared her expertise on how professionals can navigate the often challenging mid-career phase. This blog post delves into the key themes and actionable advice from their conversation, providing a comprehensive guide for mid-career professionals looking to make a meaningful change.

Anna explains that many of her clients, typically men aged 35 to 55, experience a sense of stagnation and lack of motivation, often referred to as the mid-career plateau. This period can be characterized by feeling stuck, a lack of energy, and a desire for change. One of the central themes Anna emphasizes is the importance of aligning one's work with their purpose. She argues that this alignment can be a powerful remedy for burnout and lack of energy, as professionals who find work that resonates with their core values and passions are more likely to feel invigorated and motivated.

Anna's approach to helping mid-career professionals pivot involves a structured system that she outlines in her free masterclass, “Do What You Love: 5-Step Formula.” The steps include gaining clarity about one's strengths, values, and passions, exploring new career possibilities, repurposing existing skills, creating a strategic plan, and executing with adaptability. By following these steps, mid-career professionals can find renewed purpose and energy in their careers. For more detailed guidance, consider exploring Anna's free masterclass and take advantage of her free calls to discuss how the system can be applied to your individual situation.

About Anna Urnova:

An award-winning Career Coach dedicates herself to helping professional mid-career men break free from feeling stuck, stagnant, undervalued, and burned out in soul-sucking jobs. Her mission is to guide them toward discovering their purpose and successfully pivoting to thrive without having to start over or return to school, even if they've attempted and failed before.

Running her online coaching business marks her third career endeavor. Previously, she served as a high-profile executive coach, collaborating with esteemed institutions like INSEAD, The London School of Economics, ESMT Berlin, and the Centre for Creative Leadership. Prior to that, she accumulated over 15 years of corporate HR experience with Fortune 500 companies.

Her coaching successes have earned awards and recognition, with her groundbreaking research on family patterns affecting careers frequently cited in publications like Harvard Business Review, Quartz at Work, and many other global business periodicals.

She holds an MSc Degree from the London School of Economics (1996), a Diploma in Clinical Organizational Psychology (2008), and an Executive Master’s Degree in Consulting and Coaching for Change from INSEAD (2014).

Currently residing in Berlin, Germany, she works globally while cherishing time spent with her family.

About Anna Urnova Coaching:

Our company specializes in facilitating transformative career changes for our clients. We have a proven track record of helping individuals achieve significant milestones in their professional lives, such as:

  • Securing a larger role and a 50% salary increase after experiencing redundancy twice within the same industry.
  • Attaining a coveted promotion to the C-suite level.
  • Relocating to work in a new country, fulfilling a long-held dream.
  • Leveraging sabbaticals or parental leave to reinvent and propel their careers to new heights.
  • Successfully launching a start-up from scratch, even after years of previous attempts and failures.
  • Transitioning from a traditional 9-to-5 job to running a thriving consulting practice, while enjoying freedom and global travel with family.
  • Transforming a struggling side-hustle into a multimillion-dollar business venture.
  • Undertaking a comprehensive mid-career overhaul when the current path reaches a conclusion, a dead end, or loses its meaning.

Through personalized coaching and strategic guidance, we empower our clients to navigate these pivotal career transitions with confidence and success.

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Anna Urnova Coaching website at

Check out Anna Urnova on LinkedIn at

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Speaker 1 (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us right now. Anna Hanover. Anna, I am really excited to talk with you. You are a career coach helping mid-career men pivot to thrive. And you, and you end up working with a lot of people that I talk with on this podcast.

Speaker 1 (00:01:23) - So, Anna, I can't wait to get into your area of expertise. Anna, you're found on the web, by the way, at Anna or Nova. Com to our friend, this listening just kind of click around in your app and you're going to find where you got the show notes. These. This is very important because it's where we always put our good links and important things that you want to take a look at. But you'll find a direct link, Anna, to your website. And thank you for joining us there.

Speaker 2 (00:01:47) - Hello, and thank you for having me on your show. Really excited.

Speaker 1 (00:01:50) - Yeah, you're based in Berlin, but you work with a very global audience. and I should I should point this out. lest anyone think that Anna is small potatoes. Nay, nay. She's working with executives and leaders at companies like PwC, Siemens, visa, Quiksilver, Unilever, Johnson Johnson, PepsiCo, PayPal, Novartis, Deutsche Bank. you are very well respected. You're very good at what you do.

Speaker 1 (00:02:16) - Anna, in your words, let's share just a bit about the impact you have and the work you do.

Speaker 2 (00:02:21) - Thanks, Josh. Well, you're right. I've been in coaching for, well, almost two decades now, and, I found myself specializing on a certain niche, so to say. And, happen to be professional men at mid-career midlife point, roughly 35 to 55 years of age. And I initially I started working in, executive contacts, like for the companies you've just mentioned. And then I started specializing and just niche niche and more individually on the clients and their needs. And I found that these, these, people, this audience, have very specific needs at, let's say, mid-career midlife points that have to do with them needing some sort of change. That's why I said pivot to thrive. A lot of men at this point find themselves somewhat stuck. They're professionals. They are the successful. They've had at least 15 years of professional experience, either in corporate or as entrepreneurs. And then something, something happening, you know, and, they got stuck.

Speaker 2 (00:03:23) - They got stagnant. Things stop making sense. They find themselves maybe experiencing low motivation, low energy, sort of losing their mojo, as they say. And there's one. And they start dredging some, you know, somehow something they like to only yesterday they don't like it anymore. Start resenting it. Maybe they they work their clients, their customers, whatever. Whatever happening, there's somehow there's a switch in energy and motivation. And at the same time, a lot of them telling me that they start having this feeling, persistent, feeling that there may be more, there must be more to life than than what they were doing at the moment. And they have a bigger purpose on their heart. And they they feel they have unrealized potential. And it's that very, start be aware very acutely of the, you know, time, being, not forever and that tick tock and that, that there's a running out and, and they feel like they need to change in order to thrive again and make the impact and income they really want.

Speaker 2 (00:04:23) - So and that's where I come to help them. And I develop the system that, I see really helping, men make sense of this period and then really uncover their purpose and, you know, start having more fun.

Speaker 1 (00:04:36) - You know, this is a subject that I really enjoy. And I'm a big fan of, you know, thinking of our lives and stages. Right. And, you know, I think when we're at this stage, you know, maybe if we've had kids, the kids are getting a little bit older. So, you know, now maybe parenting is just a little bit different. You know, I can speak for myself. My youngest just graduated high school. So I think, you know, very intimately well where I am right now. Now, I will say that, my boys, are still at home and they're attending college, which is just up the road. So we get a little bit more time with them. But my oldest is already, you know, kind of into her career and, you know, in a different part of the country, you know.

Speaker 3 (00:05:21) - Well done.

Speaker 1 (00:05:21) - Just about I'm hoping. Anna, you can just let's talk just about this stage and life and why, sometimes this really becomes a, a a an inflection point, or we find ourselves at a crossroads and and again, I think a lot of times we're talking professionally, you know, say you get into your 40s and early 50s or something like that, and you know, what's going on in our brains given kind of the the typical lifestyle pattern.

Speaker 2 (00:05:51) - Yeah, well, what I found, more by by experience, let's say. And then I already started, you know, doing reading all sorts of research on this subject. And I found that, yeah, there is something special about the midlife period, so to say, I and why also men write the men because I think men also have a maybe specific needs. I, I worked with women as well, but I found that women and I myself, a woman, and I navigated my career crisis as well. But I found that somehow the needs are different.

Speaker 2 (00:06:19) - What I found basically Josh, that maybe, for whatever reason, a lot of men were taught that somehow, they need to self-sacrifice in the field of work in order to provide for the families, you know, pay the bills. And somehow a lot of men believe that that's the purpose to sell self-sacrifice, so to say. And at mid-career, they become aware that they're missing out on something. I mean, they're doing it and they're doing it and they're doing it, and and they even have success a lot of them telling me I look successful on paper, good business or good career, but something is missing. And, then they realize there's something more. The purpose is something more, but somehow they believe. That they only can afford, you know, doing something purposeful or being on purpose or serving the higher purpose, so to say, when they've paid the bills. Somehow these, these two things kind of live in separate boxes. And I believe that mid-career and midlife is is an opportunity and let's say, maybe even a last call, if you will, where men can actually put the two together, they can get on purpose.

Speaker 2 (00:07:28) - And at the same time make income with it. Because being on purpose is will provide value, and value translates into income and money, right? So instead of thinking, well, I have to sell, sacrifice, pay the bills, and then maybe when I'm retired, then I will have, you know, do something for fun or more purposeful or whatever. Leave my dream. I invite men to ask themselves, why not now? I mean, if I have a purpose, why would I postpone it? Right? And so basically, midlife is the time where this purpose is almost knocking on the door and saying, I think it's time that you use your creative self at work, your authentic self at work, and we find a way to use your skill sets that you've already acquired in the previous 15 years and this purpose together so that you can create impact and income you really want.

Speaker 1 (00:08:17) - Yeah. All right, so, Anna, what would you recommend if someone says, you know what? I just I'm feeling exhausted.

Speaker 1 (00:08:27) - I'm feeling burnt out. I'm questioning where I am professionally. I'm like, I just feel unsettled. Like what? You know, let's say that they're not working with you. And let's just give some really great advice. for some, maybe some questions that we can ask ourselves. Maybe it's an exercise. It's a thought exercise or something like what would you recommend someone could do immediately?

Speaker 2 (00:08:48) - Well, first of all, I see direct link between purpose and energy. A lot of people think that purpose is something I think about something that looks good on paper again, but it's not. I think the first, sign that a man is on purpose is that he's energized intrinsically. You know. And and that's why it's actually I believe it's the great remedy for burnout and the lack of energy. Because when you're on doing something purposeful and you feel that that's I'm what I'm meant to be doing, that's how I'm using my skill sets, my abilities, and the best way to benefit humankind, so to say, help people and all that, that's actually energize them.

Speaker 2 (00:09:30) - And so the burnout becomes less of an issue, right? Rather than you self-sacrifice ten, 12 hours a day and then you try to, you know, have a hobby to maybe gain some energy back. I believe being on purpose, actually, you know, creates a very positive spiral where you're naturally energized by bringing yourself to work. Right? So and I believe that will be my first advice. Watch if your lack of you can argue with anything, but not with lack of energy. If energy goes, that's the first sign that you lack in purpose that you somehow not on the right path. And Josh, you know what surprises me about, the the generation that are currently in, midlife and mid-career time, they still somehow assume their career should serve them the lifetime.

Speaker 1 (00:10:18) - Yeah, yeah. I mean, because I think that that's, you know, again, that's an older concept. I could see that as being a very popular concept still with a lot of Gen Xers, which I am a part of.

Speaker 3 (00:10:30) - I think.

Speaker 1 (00:10:30) - Millennials and, you know, your Gen Z's probably don't think of it like, you.

Speaker 2 (00:10:37) - Know, these. No. But millennials, I find with big surprise whenever they hit a snag or a brick wall or derail, they actually feel now the I have to get my career back, you know, on track. And when I suggest, listen, why don't you think that maybe it's a dead end, maybe that's a signal that you are meant to start a new path. People are shocked. Although we were taught right, we were just entering Gen. So I'd say my second tip, my second advice would be, recognize that maybe your career just ran out of steam, and maybe it's actually a great opportunity that you can pursue a new path. I know it's scary. I know it's uncertain, but there are ways right to do it. And and there are steps to take to do it. But just first say, well, it's normal maybe. And now I can embrace something new.

Speaker 1 (00:11:26) - Yeah. And and what if someone says, Anna, I would have this conversation with you. I don't want to start all over. I'm in my 40s right now. Why would I want to start from square one?

Speaker 2 (00:11:39) - I know that's the biggest misconception about mid-career. Josh is like, if I start a new career, it will be all over. And I'm saying, guys, you're mid-career. This is like you traveling. I don't know, Josh, you were traveling from the US to Europe, right? You traveled across the Atlantic and then got a bit lost on the way to your hotel from the airport. And instead of just figuring that out, you're like, okay, now I have to go all the way back to the U.S. to start my journey all over. Right? That would be crazy. So yes, you would need, in a way, to be a beginner at something, but you will not start from zero. You will not start from zero. And, and and that's the biggest fear men have.

Speaker 2 (00:12:14) - And and that's just not true because you have you have skill sets, you have experiences, you have failures, you have winds, you have natural traits as well. You have all of that. And the idea is repurpose it. you need to claim it and then repurpose it for the new path. So you, my clients, for instance, I work with, I see that every single man actually can repurpose his skills as an experience to jumpstart his new path. No one needs to go back. No one needs to go invest all over into new degrees. Go back to school. Yes, you will need to experiment with new things. And there you will have this, you know, beginner mindset, so to say. But it's not about going back to zero. Like for instance, I, I am not an experienced podcast guest. So I joined this pod match who matches and I joined and I was like 2700 to 6 600th person on the list, right? And I was like, oh my God, where am I now? But my experiences, you know, started getting me invited on podcasts.

Speaker 2 (00:13:19) - And so before I knew it and it just took one month and now I'm like top three, 4%. That's that's the example. I mean, I got there as a complete beginner. I was telling I am new here, but my, my skill sets, my experiences, you know, jumpstarted me. That's exactly what happens in mid-career. No no need to go over start from zero.

Speaker 1 (00:13:41) - Right. And so some of these shifts are like I would not necessarily recommend Anna that someone say, well, listen, I've been working as a engineer, I'm burnt out. I'm going to go and start a food truck. I mean, I guess that's.

Speaker 3 (00:14:00) - A that's on purpose for you.

Speaker 1 (00:14:02) - Yeah, but but but banana there are, there are lateral moves or there are moves that you can you can still retain nearly all of your authority and expertise. And I am a huge fan and I'm wondering I love your take on this. listen, if you're really good at what you do, there is a really legitimate opportunity in most fields to consult, and I'm sure consulting comes up quite a bit with you and your clients.

Speaker 3 (00:14:30) - Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (00:14:31) - Yes, yes. And then you example, if an engineer, says I want to open a food truck, I would ask, so what do you really want. And probably person wants somehow be involved with well-being and feeding people, nourishing people. The question would be well as an engineer, you know, what are the niches where you can't find yourself doing that? Yeah. Or applying that because often people just say this label, you know, well, I want to be an astronaut. I want to be this and that, but there is a deeper purpose behind it. And once we uncover that purpose, we actually can find many other options where you can still use everything you acquired so far and, and jump start that new path without, again, downshifting, you know, or making this extreme pivot that you just described. Right. There are there are ways. But the key thing is just to be open to it and trust that if if purpose is calling you, then you're better off with it than without it.

Speaker 2 (00:15:30) - And fighting against it.

Speaker 1 (00:15:32) - Yeah. And on your website you have a, you have a book here, a booklet. it's called Do What You Love five step formula. or it's actually a master class. can you tell me a little bit about that? by the way, to our friend that's listening. watch this class. again, you can go to Anna or That's. You are Anna or And then, right at the very top here, you'll see where you could watch this free masterclass. If you feel stuck in your work life and you have a five step formula, you mind sharing just a bit more about that.

Speaker 2 (00:16:07) - Thanks a lot, Josh. Yeah, absolutely. This is, by the way, my free training, my free masterclass where I've put together like over 15 years of work with my clients into 45 minute show, so to say, where I explain what mid-career midlife is about, show some signs that you might be stuck and actually provide this five step system.

Speaker 2 (00:16:28) - How you can start pivoting to thrive at mid-career without taking risk, going back to zero, or doing other things that people are scared about. I also give real examples of three clients of different walks of life. How they did it step by step. So so you can get really inspired. And the best thing about it as well, that if it speaks to you, if it resonates, I also give free calls to go with it so you can book a call and you can basically check with me without any obligations or anything. whether you are you actually how to apply these five steps. First of all, whether you really, in the case of midlife and mid-career crisis and whether the five steps apply to you and how right this is honestly there. And the only thing with this course that they limit is unfortunately, because I am only one. But once people, mentioned on their forum for the for the booking call that podcast or I heard about you on podcasts, I will make sure to find time for them and accommodate them because I find it really important.

Speaker 1 (00:17:29) - Yeah. All right. So Anna or Nova com, Anna. and then just do you mind maybe just sharing just real briefly around what coaching with you looks like? is it how do you typically meet? Is it ridiculously expensive? Is it, you know, like, what does someone who's not maybe hired a coach who does what you do? What does it look like?

Speaker 3 (00:17:52) - Yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:17:53) - Well, first of all, I would really recommend watching watching the, the, the masterclass, the free training we just discussed because the five step system is actually exactly what I'm doing with my clients. Right. It's exactly it. We we, you know, figure out your purpose and their exercise that take you through. That's proven to help you with that. And then we I take you through step by step by this, these five steps. So it's exactly it. There is no there is no like a hidden agenda or anything. And then if you get on the, on the, on the call that I recommend again I will do exactly that.

Speaker 2 (00:18:24) - I will see what's not working. what do you want to do instead? And can we apply the five step system to you. And then if I see that I may be over, you know, help further, I will tell you how I can help. And I always very honest and transparent. If not, I will I will refer somewhere else. Right. I just, I just, and say that any man who is serious about being successful in their career, they absolutely can afford it is is not crazy. But I also will never sell you on my program. If I don't see I can help. Right? Or because the last thing I want is, is someone who is unhappy and and we're stuck midway and we can't make it work. Right. And if I can help you on the 45 minute call and don't discount, I really had man who had a huge moment. And you know, I have a ton of thank you letters from men who okay, I took the action, I did this, I did that, you clarified it for me.

Speaker 2 (00:19:18) - I wouldn't discount that. And Josh, you know, funny thing, often men get very suspicious about three things. I don't know what it is. I even get letters saying nothing is free. What's your agenda?

Speaker 1 (00:19:29) - Oh, no.

Speaker 3 (00:19:30) - Oh, yes.

Speaker 2 (00:19:31) - Yeah. Getting on this podcast. I actually thought this podcast is free.

Speaker 3 (00:19:34) - Yeah.

Speaker 1 (00:19:35) - Absolutely. This is this is how stuff gets done, right? We're just folks getting to know each other. I mean, that's how and and listen, you know, as someone who has hired many, many coaches in my life, I don't like I like a little bit of getting to know you before I make a decision. That's what this is. Ultimately, you, as you know, as a coaching recipient, it's your call. And the only way to kind of figure that out is to spend time virtually and then have a quick chat and you'll know you'll it's either a fit or it's not, but Anna or Nova, let's again your website Anna or Nova com right on there it says do what you love.

Speaker 1 (00:20:15) - Five step formula. Yes. Sign up, watch the masterclass. But Anna, it has been a joy having you as a guest. Thank you so much for the work that you do and thank you for joining us.

Speaker 2 (00:20:24) - Thank you very much, Joe. Josh, that was a pleasure for me to be on your show. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (00:20:34) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful leaders. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this program, if you're looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients, I have had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video that you can watch right now with no opt in or email required, where I'm going to share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales.

Speaker 1 (00:21:32) - What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Make sure to hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes every single day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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