IAM1050- Founder Helps People Discover Their Passion

Podcast Interview with Chris Meister

Chris Meister is the owner and founder of Reimagined Potential, a career exploration and consulting group that helps individuals to better discern the people they are meant to be. By offering opportunities for self-understanding, mindfulness, reflection, and tools to notice everyday patterns, Chris helps you discover what your passion is and what drives you as you have the confidence to take the next steps in a fulfilling career. Chris founded this company during the pandemic and has a passion for talking about people's gifts and what they want to do with their lives!

  • CEO Hack: Networking and listening to a podcast of the BNI business group
  • CEO Nugget: Find a community that helps  you grow into a better business person
  • CEO Defined: Being able to express myself with what I do


Instagram: @ReimaginedPotential 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReimaginedYou

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00:24 – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

00:52 – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Chris Meister, a reimagined potential Chris. It's great to have you on the show.

01:01 – Chris Meister

It is so great to be here, Gresh. Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity to talk with you.

01:06 – Gresham Harkless

Yes, absolutely. I truly appreciate you for taking some time out so we can dive in a little bit deeper to hear about all those awesome things that you're working on as well. And before we do that, I want to read a little bit more about Chris so you can hear a little bit about some of those things. Chris is the owner and founder of Reimagine Potential, a career exploration and consulting group that helps individuals to better discern the people they are meant to be. By offering opportunities for self-understanding, mindfulness, reflection, and tools to notice everyday patterns, Chris helps you discover what your passion is and what drives you as you have the confidence to take the next step in a fulfilling career.

Chris founded this company during the pandemic and has a passion for talking about people's gifts and what they want to do with their lives. Chris, great to have you on the show again. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community? Yes, I am. Awesome. Well, let's do it then. So to kind of kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about how you got started with what I like to call your CO story.

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01:59 – Chris Meister

Sure. Thank you for that question. Thanks again for having me here. In thinking about my own story and how I got to this point of having a business, of working with people to figure out what kind of careers they want. I have to rewind about, I would say 10 years ago, I was teaching actually in Chicago public schools. And a lot of my, the thing that I love most about my job was not necessarily actual teaching but when I was the swim team coach, and I loved coaching because I was able to talk with the swimmers and be able to help them reach the goals that they wanted.

And I think that was so crucial to all of this development, as well as just with students outside of the classroom when they would ask me questions about what they wanted to do when they graduated from high school, the careers that they wanted to have. For me, that coming-of-age story, that idea of who am I and what I wanna do with this gift that I've been given. And that was really planted the seeds for all of this. After I taught in Chicago Public Schools for 4 years, I was actually training to be a Jesuit priest. I was studying in that, lots of conversations there too about discernment, conversations about careers, conversations about people's potentials and their gifts.

And then I was working at 2 different, I would call them group homes in a way, group homes, different community-based homes, I would say. And a lot of the conversations there too, 1 was with individuals that had been previously incarcerated. A lot of those conversations were about, okay, what now? Let's talk about the gifts and skills that you have. How is that going to translate into those next career steps? So all this brings us up to the present day where I, during the pandemic was thinking about well, what now I've done a lot of these really intense, difficult jobs.

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And the joy has been in those side conversations that aren't necessarily focused on the job. Those conversations about careers, gifts, and who you want to be. And just as many of us had time during the pandemic to think and have some time for self-reflection, I too thought, well, if I've been enjoying these kinds of conversations, this kind of work for this long, I have this experience of talking to people through discernment, of talking through them what their gifts are and what they wanna do with their lives, Why not make this into a business?

Because I know a lot of people, even a lot of my peers that are struggling with that. I thought if people in my network are struggling, I know other people are too. There's no official start date, but I would say October 1st, I guess would be the official opening day for Reimagined Potential. On October 1st, 2020, started the company and we've been going forward ever since. I think it is 1 of the best decisions that I've ever made.

05:02 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I absolutely appreciate you for, you know, drilling down into your story and telling each of the aspects because I imagine that you probably have these exact same conversations with the clients that you work with where I feel like any time we're going, you know, starting a business or going to that next stage in our career, in our lives, we often think that we're starting from ground 0, but I love how you kind of talked about, you know, the experiences that you have, but also how they help you out with everything you're doing through Imagine Potential. Cause I think so many times we forget the gifts expertise and talents that we've been cultivating. And even though it may not be the exact same as our previous position, our previous job, our career, whatever that might be, it does have an application to what we're often doing at the next step.

05:43 – Chris Meister

Absolutely. And I think too, with you saying that, it also makes me think just that my own journey had a lot of different discernment moments, a lot of different turns where I was, I've been working in many different spots. And I think that experience is part of why I do this too because I want people to know, Hey, it's okay if you switch jobs, it's okay, if it takes time, If you're not doing what you want to do right now, let's keep searching and learning how to better discern what we should be doing with our lives, what we really want to be doing, what we're passionate about.

06:15 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I'm a big believer that a lot of times we may not realize what we're going through in life, why we're going through sometimes these steps or this journey, but like you said so well, and you can see it in the work and hear it in, you know, your passion for everything that you do. Sometimes it's not just for us, it's sometimes for us to understand, but often we have that opportunity to kind of help so many other people out.

So I love that you're able to kind of do that and have those discernment conversations with people. And so I know that's probably a part of, you know, how you work with your clients and how that process goes. Could you take us through a little bit more about that and how you serve the clients you work with?

06:45 – Chris Meister

Absolutely. And my big thing with every client is we're talking about what kind of career you want to have, how you want to use your gifts, how you want to use your skills to really do work that is fulfilling, do work that fits with who you are. With who you are. And so the biggest way that I do that and help people to recognize that is through a thing I call the 15-minute mindfulness guide. It's really what I like to call my signature tool because it's free. It's for everyone. You can go to my website and you can sign up for a copy of it. The 15-minute Mindfulness Guide helps to cultivate a habit of reflection in your everyday life.

That is something that I have all my clients use because that's where our conversations come from. If you're not noticing, if you're not paying attention to things that are happening every day, we're not gonna be able to move forward in what kind of career you're really thinking that you're passionate about and wanting to dive into. And the other way that I really help people is through one-to-one discernment meetings. So the 15-minute mindfulness guide, you can get that, you can do that on your own. If it's helpful, great. A lot of times though, things come up that are important to talk about, and that's what I'm here for.

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So I have 50-minute one-to-one discernment meetings. And in those discernment meetings, I break it down into 6 different meetings. It can be more. I like to not have less because you really need those 6 meetings to get to know each other and to really have that trust to have those deeper conversations. But in those meetings, we start off basically the first 2 meetings are getting to know yourself and also allowing me to get to know you more. The really first week or 2 is understanding yourself and allowing me to better understand you too. We explore the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs personality test.

And then weeks 2 to 3, we're really looking at understanding how to notice your day. So we're diving deeper into that 15-minute mindfulness guide and figuring out what should you notice and how is what you're noticing affecting you. And then the end of this time, around weeks 4 to 6, I give all these in generalities of my process, but we're processing that awareness and seeing how it translates into your career. So we're really learning at the base level and better idea of who you are. Then we're deepening that self-understanding by learning how to notice more things every day. And then by the end of that, we're processing those things and thinking about what you notice reveals the kind of career that you want to have.

09:25 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. This could be for yourself or the business or a combination of both, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

09:37 – Chris Meister

I think what sets me apart and makes me unique is the holistic approach that I take with career exploration, and career consulting because the biggest distinction is I'm not a career counselor. They really help you to find new or different employment. Here at Reimagine Potential, that holistic approach really focuses on discovering and explaining what career best suits you, professionally, personally, and spiritually. So we're taking, as I mentioned, that holistic approach.

We're really looking at all the aspects of your life and how that affects you and what career is really a good path for you. And I think that this method helps people to reach professional goals while better understanding the person they're meant to be. And I really believe worth is an expression of who you are as a person and not just a paycheck. And having this more holistic approach, looking at the professional, personal, and spiritual aspects of your life helps to really give, I believe, a stronger and more solid answer to what kind of career you wanna have.

10:47 – Gresham Harkless

That's extremely powerful. I love kind of that redefinition of worth and kind of an expansion of the definition I think as a whole as well and I almost feel like it as you said like a lot of times when you go to career counselors is more about these are the different options that are available to you but it definitely sounds like your exploration is a lot more about going deeper and deeper into what sometimes is the only place that you can find all the answers, which is within ourselves. And I think when you start to do that exploration, that deep work, it sounds like that's where really a lot of times those opportunities come from.

11:15 – Chris Meister

Absolutely. Absolutely. And career counselors are great and they definitely play an important role I think I give a different frame of reference for what you're looking for.

11:28 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, and I feel like often like I'm a big believer and sometimes we are quick to look externally for the answers when sometimes we don't do the internal work. And I think that it's really hard, in my opinion, to get the right answers. If you don't really know like yourself, you don't really know like those, how those things kind of coupled together and lead you towards where you want to be and I think so many times we will Skip over that internal work to hopefully get an answer and are kind of left feeling unfilled when we get the answer But it's not quite in alignment with who we are

12:00 – Chris Meister

So true that without the internal work, and if you're just changing externals, you're absolutely right. It's really not giving you that deeper movement that you're looking for. Absolutely. I 100% agree with what you're saying.

12:14 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, That makes so much sense. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

12:26 – Chris Meister

2 things really have helped me to be more effective and efficient. And I think it's really working with 2 organizations and listening to their podcasts. And 1 of the organizations is B&I, Business Networking International, or excuse me, Business Network International. The organization is called Courage and Clarity, and I took a class with them called Crickets to Customers. And BNI was super helpful with the podcast because they're really teaching me how to better network and how to better ask for referrals and to bring in new business through word of mouth and through building relationships.

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Crickets to customers through Courage and Clarity has been so helpful because it really helped me to focus on what is my business. Courage and Clarity releases podcasts that further help to dive in on, how you focus your business. Who is your target audience? Who are you really trying to help with your business? And I think both of those things really work hand in hand and have helped me a lot. So looking at the resources, the podcast, and I think at the same time finding this networking group and also finding a really a business development group has been super helpful.

13:45 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

13:56 – Chris Meister

I think this nugget really goes back to the hack because both BNI and Cricket's Customers Group with Encouraging Clarity, are solid communities. And I think that that is something so important, finding a community that can help you grow, not just a community that supports you, but a community that helps you grow into a better business person.

14:21 – Gresham Harkless

Truly appreciate that nugget. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Chris, what does being a CEO mean to you?

14:32 – Chris Meister

I think being a CEO means being able to express myself through the work that I do. It makes work personal and powerful because I'm really using myself And that's all my gifts, all my wrinkles, the good, the bad, to really help ease the load that others carry and help to make this world an easier place to live in.

14:57 – Gresham Harkless

Truly appreciate that definition. And of course, I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best I can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:10 – Chris Meister

Great, yeah, thank you so much. 1 thing that definitely I want to connect with listeners to is my free 15-minute mindfulness guide, you can find it at www.reimaginedpotential.com backslash mindfulness. From there, you can, if you go on my website, you can connect to my Instagram, my Twitter, and you can get all the resources that you need to either get that 15-minute mindfulness guide or to reach out to me for a discernment meeting. If you're feeling that you may wanna change careers, I'm happy to talk with you.

15:47 – Gresham Harkless

Nice, Well, Chris, I truly appreciate that. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well, too. It's so interesting. A lot of times, it's counterintuitive to realize sometimes during transformational or disruptive times like we're living in now, that there's a tremendous amount of opportunities to kind of shift and understand where you're going in a different way. And I love, you know, the work that you do and the offer, you know, that you have as well too for that 15-minute, you know, kind of opportunity because I think that when we start to do that work within, we start to see that there's a lot of opportunities that are around us and doing that work, allows that opportunity for that to be a little bit clearer for us. So thank you so much for of course the time you took today and of course the work that you do. And I hope you have a great rest of the day.

16:26 – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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