Read time: 3 minutes
Ever feel like you’re operating at a fraction of your potential?
Like the external environment just swallows you up?
Today’s issue is for YOU.
“Corporate is hiding you from the world.”
That realization rocked me to the core.
Sure, I was a badass inside my company.
A killer mix of hard and soft skills.
• Direct reports
…they all sang my praises.
And I received the rewards you’d expect.
I was masterful at office politics and positioning for promotion.
INTERNAL positioning: that was my laser focus.
I did everything possible to rise WITHIN the system.
But 7 years ago, my coach verbal-smacked me:
“Your talents don’t matter if we can’t find you.”
Yes, I was a gifted box-checker ✅
But in the grand scheme:
…I was ignoring my potential
…I was succumbing to mediocrity
…I was gravely under-compensated
The INTERNAL positioning game was killing me.
It was blinding me to the possibilities “out there.”
Everything changed when I invested money, time, and energy to be around world-changing entrepreneurs. Their worldviews rewired my brain.
They taught me to stop with the internal positioning game.
Instead, they redirected my focus to EXTERNAL positioning.
Anything I’d ever done publicly (on stage, on social, etc.) was associated with my company.
I was just a megaphone for my employer.
Now, my coaches and mentors were urging me to develop my voice.
Fear, doubt, and writer’s block paralyzed me for months.
But I leaned in:
• Published my thoughts
• Pitched myself to podcasts
• Designed my “1 of 1” category
At first, I was scared of what my company’s leadership would think.
“What’s all this stuff Matt is talking about?”
I heard all the chatter.
Month after month, it became easier.
I turned away from competing and proving myself internally at my company.
Instead, I put my job on autopilot and redirected my best energy toward EXTERNAL positioning.
And it completely changed my life.
Freedom, income, and impact have all soared for me.
Listen, I’m grateful for my 15 years of ladder climbing.
It gave me a foundation and perspective.
But within just a matter of months, I’ve established myself “out here” as a global authority: helping people leverage corporate for entrepreneurial freedom.
And it all came from shifting my positioning from internal to external.
How to establish external positioning
Shifting externally is a process of uncaging, clarifying, and committing. I’ve seen people shift from corporate (internal) to entrepreneurship (external) in just a few weeks.
The determined few will make a rapid and radical shift.
1. Invest in a new tribe
The default (existing) people in your life will encourage you to do what you’ve been doing. Instead, invest money, time, and energy into curating a new community — coaches, mentors, and peers going where you want to go. Let their gravitational pull make your growth inevitable.
2. Gain clarity on your ideal future self
Do the reflective work of envisioning the career and life you want. Articulate the beliefs and behaviors of that person — your future self. Then, start adopting that identity now.
3. Determine your zone of genius
Your talents aren’t what your employer pays you for — they’re far more expansive and energizing than that. Right now, your gifts are hidden and untapped. You must surface and infuse them into your external messaging to the broader world (e.g., LinkedIn posts, podcasts, newsletters).
4. Clarify the transformation you want to be known for
Everyone has an entity (“person” or group) in mind that they feel compelled to help. What’s that entity’s current hell? What’s their version of heaven? Anchor on hell and heaven. Speak to those points relentlessly and draw a stark contrast. And then start framing yourself (and what your business will eventually offer) as the bridge — the solution.
5. Use languaging to design your personal category
Languaging is the strategic use of words to implant a new set of emotions and perceptions in the minds of those you aim to influence. With calculated language, you can start talking about your personal category — the place where a different future exists. It will repel most people, but it should activate and magnetize your people. (See Lomi as an example — they created the category of sleek countertop composting).
6. Get in the creator gym (build long-term habits)
Your employer never rewarded you for being an externally-focused creator. Social posts, podcasts, or videos expressing your views are punished more than rewarded. But to your future self, building these habits and rhythms is everything. Build your creator muscles. This is how you make yourself recession-proof. This is how you open exponential opportunities in your life.
Corporate success is foundational. Just don’t let it be final.
Once you're well established and have runway, pivot your energy from internal positioning to external positioning.
This is how you leverage your corporate past for entrepreneurial freedom.
“Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.” —Naval Ravikant
Activating Mindful FIRE: Adam Coelho (host of the Mindful FIRE podcast) joins me to discuss the unique intersection of mindfulness and financial independence. We discuss how to make work optional and accelerate the manifestation of a life we love. Enjoy!
That’s it for today, my friend! I appreciate you.