Get out of Teaching

Get Out of Teaching Podcast Season 4, Episode 7, Jonathan Laloz (CEO of Self Plus Plus)

August 25, 2021 Elizabeth Diacos Season 4 Episode 7
Get out of Teaching
Get Out of Teaching Podcast Season 4, Episode 7, Jonathan Laloz (CEO of Self Plus Plus)
Show Notes Transcript

Jonathan Laloz is the founder and CEO of Self++, a coaching service that helps people with autism and other disabilities transition to a meaningful career.  Jonathan self-identifies as autistic and has over 20 years experience working in small business, private and government sectors.  

When he’s not helping people find their desired career, he can be found tearing around the local mountain bike trails or building wacky and wonderful LEGO contraptions that he exhibits throughout Australia.



Aired on August 25th 2021


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Elizabeth Diacos  0:02  
Welcome to Season 4 of the Get Out of Teaching Podcast presented by Larksong Enterprises. This podcast is for teachers who are considering leaving Education, but feel like they have no options. I'm your host, Elizabeth Diacos. I'm a Career Transition Coach who guides overwhelmed teachers through a 5-step process, out of Education, and into a life they love. I'd like to see a world where the work of teachers is valued and respected, and that teachers have a career pathway that enables them to continue to offer value to society, beyond their work in the classroom. So in this season, we'll be speaking to other experts, who help people to change careers, as well as a few ex teachers who forged a pathway into something new. 

So come along for the ride as we get out of teaching. Episode Seven. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the show. On today's show, I'm very pleased to be interviewing Jonathan Laloz from CEO Self++, and Jonathan is a disability coach, and he helps people build their capacity, their life skills, and their career skills so that they're able to live independently. Welcome to the show, Jonathan, thanks for coming on The Get Out of Teaching Podcast. 

Jonathan Laloz  1:19  
Hi, and thanks for having me. 

Elizabeth Diacos  1:21  
So Jonathan, I feel like I've told everyone what you do. What is the day in the life of Jonathan look like?

Jonathan Laloz  1:30  
Well, no two days are the same really. So as a small business owner, I do quite a lot of different things, I wear so many different hats. So one day, I could be doing some marketing, I do a lot of networking on LinkedIn. Another day, I could have a session with a client, helping them prepare for a job interview. At the moment, I'm also helping another client set up a small business. So working with them, with some local business advisors, to get the foundations in place for that all the way through to handling crises. So if a client is having a bit of crisis, then I'll work with my team and external teams, external agencies, psychologists, mental health professionals, to help resolve those issues and make sure that we have a positive outcome. So yeah, there's there's no real typical day in the life. It's basically, I get thrown in the deep end each morning, but I love what I do. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Elizabeth Diacos  2:35  
It sounds like you're very fulfilled in your work, actually, whilst you were talking, I'm like, "Oh, I work with people to help them find new jobs and also set up small businesses if that's what they decide to do." So when the client comes to me they, they say, I want to get out of teaching, but they don't always know what's going to be next. And so yeah, it sounds like we have actually quite similar days. So we were talking just before we started the recording about the kinds of clientele that you're working with. Do you want to can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Jonathan Laloz  3:06  
Yeah, so our target demographic is people with autism and other mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. But so we started around the age of 15, as they're leaving school, Anywhere up to 22 is our main target. But we do have a few clients that are above that age so in their 30s, and 40s. So whoever needs help, we're willing to provide assistance as long as we're able to actually provide a benefit to them.

Elizabeth Diacos  3:35  
Right, and you're registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme. So you're able to, that they they get funding to use however they like. And that's your one of the services they access? Is that how that works?

Jonathan Laloz  3:48  
So we're not actually registered with NDIA. But we can take on self and plan manage participants?

Elizabeth Diacos  3:54  

Jonathan Laloz  3:55  
We did. I've been working with a an NDIA, small business consultant over the past two years or so. And we came to the conclusion that it's not really viable for us to invest the money to become certified given the target demographic and moving away from agency manage participants to more than self and plan manage, but we still do have lower quality controls in place. And there is still the NDIA code of conduct that we abide by.

Elizabeth Diacos  4:26  
Right. I see. So, so it sounds like you're servicing a similar community, but maybe the ones who were making that decision for themselves that they want to develop their capacity using help like yours. Is that right? 

Jonathan Laloz  4:42  
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So people that want more flexibility. So there's a lot less flexibility when it comes to working with NDIA registered providers. So because there's that limited subset, but there is a lot of, a lot more flexibility outside of that.

Elizabeth Diacos  4:56  
Right. Okay. Interesting. So, one of the things that when I saw your book, when you sent me your bio, when I put the call out for people to come on the podcast for this season, was that you working in this disability sector. And I felt that often I come across teachers who've been maybe in the in the career for quite a long time. And they've got some significant mental health issues as a result of either bullying or just being burnt out and overwhelmed. And they feel like they have limited capacity to move into a new career. And I just thought I could just see a resonance there with what with the work you're doing. So I guess what, what are the kinds of things that you do to help someone build capacity when they they feel like maybe they're, you know, behind the eight ball, and they're not really in a good position to represent themselves?

Jonathan Laloz  5:54  
Yeah, so one of the most important things, couple of most important things are building confidence, and also tapping into what, what someone loves doing. So what one of the core principles I work on is a Japanese concept called Ikigai. I don't know if you've heard of that?

Elizabeth Diacos  6:12  
I have heard of that. Actually, one of my very first career transition clients, pointed me to the book about that. 

Jonathan Laloz  6:19  
Okay, did you want me to give you a quick overview?

Elizabeth Diacos  6:21  
Please do yeah, I think that'd be really great for our listeners. Thanks. 

Jonathan Laloz  6:24  
Okay. So it's basically made up of four elements. The first one is something you love doing, something you're good at doing, something can be paid to do, and something the world needs. And then where all those four things intersect, that's your "Ikigai".

Elizabeth Diacos  6:40  
Nice, okay. So how do you help people find that because that seems like a big ask.

Jonathan Laloz  6:46  
It is, it is. So we run them through a series of exercises, so we'll do quizzes. Also, another one is work experience. So we're starting up a work experience program, where we do, we have a participant in working different businesses, different local businesses, and just give them a taste of what they like to do. And also, we'll get to know them a bit more through interviews, as well. So just find out what their daily routines are, some of their hobbies, and I will participate, like side by side with them while they do their hobbies, and just see what really makes them tick. And then once we find something that makes them tick, then we work to leverage off that, and then do some confidence building exercises, such as the work experience with as well.

Elizabeth Diacos  7:40  
Right? And so with that Ikigai principle, those principles, do you find that that people are able to find something that actually does really make their heart sing when they go into their work?

Jonathan Laloz  7:53  
It's not an instantaneous process. So it does take quite a bit of time to find out, it took me 37 odd years to find mine, which is in the work I'm doing now. But with the exercises that we do, it sort of accelerates that a little bit. Also with the work experience as well.

Elizabeth Diacos  8:12  
Mmm. And so what, what did you do before you when you were doing this?

Jonathan Laloz  8:17  
So, I used to have done many things in my, in my past life. I've started doing as a refrigeration mechanic, done computer repairs, real estate, taxi driving. Then I moved into corporate IT. So I've done an IT implementations, IT support. Then I moved to IT projects and did some work for the within ICT Education and doing some big scale, large scale it rollouts there. And I was a toxic environment. So I've got mental health issues myself and the environment I was working in really, I guess, aggravated that. We had new management and basically went from a really good place to work, to a place with really high turnover and my mental health went downhill and I wanted, I basically wanted to jump ship, I've always had a bit of an entrepreneurial flair. 

So three years ago, I started a second, another business that I'm running, which is selling Lego online. And so I basically started doing that. Which led me into my current business through my friend's son, who's on the autism spectrum.

Elizabeth Diacos  9:40  
Wow. Okay. And you're selling Lego online. 

Jonathan Laloz  9:43  

Elizabeth Diacos  9:44  
As a, like a distributor? Or as secondhand?

Jonathan Laloz  9:48  
Most aren't new. So what we do is we buy the sets, and then we separate the parts, and we sell the parts to people who want to build stuff like what they see on TV - Micron Lego Masters.

Elizabeth Diacos  10:00  
Oh, okay, so you're creating like new sets? 

Jonathan Laloz  10:03  
Yeah, yeah. 

Elizabeth Diacos  10:04  
Nice. That's really clever. And I mentioned that there's a market for the weird pieces.

Jonathan Laloz  10:11  
Yeah. So they're always coming out with new pieces. And there's also the little minifigs. So the miniature figurines, they can be quite, some of them can be quite hard to find. And so there's there's quite a bit of demand for those as well.

Elizabeth Diacos  10:28  
How innovative? And is that? Is that business going well?

Jonathan Laloz  10:32  
Yeah. So that's being basically being run from my, by my friend's son who's doing the day to day operations. 

Elizabeth Diacos  10:38  

Jonathan Laloz  10:39  
So we started, I started him off a few years ago, when he approached me he was having behavioral issues at school. He didn't really fit in at the special school he was in but he wasn't getting the support that he needed at the Learning Support Unit at a different than mainstream school. 

Elizabeth Diacos  10:56  

Jonathan Laloz  10:57  
So I took him on, started doing some work experience with him, starting with very basic skills, like separating Lego and then built built him up over three years to the point where he's running day to day operations. He can fill orders, and he's also taking others to do what he does.

Elizabeth Diacos  11:15  
Fantastic. And so I guess you realized when you while you were doing that, that this could be a career for you as well.

Jonathan Laloz  11:21  
Yeah, yeah. So I was part of a masterminding session back in December 2019. And that's where we came up the idea for Self++.

Elizabeth Diacos  11:31  
Wow, so you've only been doing this for a couple of years. Not even. 

Jonathan Laloz  11:37  

Elizabeth Diacos  11:37  
Wow. In the middle of a pandemic. 

Jonathan Laloz  11:40  
Yeah, but I've got a lifetime of experience. 

Elizabeth Diacos  11:43  
Right. Of course. Yeah. That's great. Wow, that's amazing. Oh, thank you for sharing that. So getting back to my teachers who might be feeling a bit sidelined by maybe because they've been, like a lot of the people I work with, and women who've been out of the workforce for big chunks of their life having children or, you know, or being underemployed or on contract, or, you know, for whatever reason, they've often missed big chunks of, you know, a potential career. And so then they don't have a lot of superannuation, they feel like they need to keep working for longer maybe then they really want to, and, but they also don't want to be teachers anymore. 

And so they will kind of wake up one morning, go, "I've got to get out. But I don't know what else to do. And I don't know how to create something new for myself." What advice would you give to someone in that position? Because I'm sure you see similar things in your sector, even though the clientele might be quite different.

Jonathan Laloz  12:41  
Yeah, I guess. Ask yourself, what... What could you do that you wouldn't need to be paid for? What something you love doing every day? That that comes back down to the Ikigai concept? Just reading a saying earlier, by Mark Twain, "If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life."

Elizabeth Diacos  13:09  
Mm hmm. Yeah, great quote.

Jonathan Laloz  13:10  
Yeah, so just tap tapping in to what you love doing, and have faith in yourself. So despite all the hardships that I've endured in the past, with mental health issues, and the, I guess, autism, like undiagnosed autism, it's taking me a long time to build up the confidence. And it's by being able to hang out with the right people. That I've got to the point where I am now or I'm confident in running my business and I guess taking the extra steps that I am to help others. So I guess another big one is hanging out with the right people, read the right books, a lot of self development stuff.

Elizabeth Diacos  14:06  
Until apart from Ikigai, what else have you read recently, that might be good, good for our listeners to tap into?

Jonathan Laloz  14:13  
I think the book that started off me down the self development path was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Elizabeth Diacos  14:23  
Oh, yes. Yep.

Jonathan Laloz  14:24  
That's an oldie but a goodie. And also another one that's had a real big impact on my life is Slight Edge.

Elizabeth Diacos  14:32  
Slight Edge. I haven't heard of that one. Who's the author? 

Jonathan Laloz  14:35  
Oh, hang on. I'll look that up. Been a while since I've read it. Jeff Olson.

Elizabeth Diacos  14:46  
Jeff Olson. Jeff with a J? 

Jonathan Laloz  14:48  
Yeah, Jeff with a J. Yes.

Elizabeth Diacos  14:50  
Okay. And what was it about the Slight Edge that that sort of resonated with you or had an impact?

Jonathan Laloz  14:57  
So the Slight Edge it's it's basically, you're you're at a tipping point. And you can either go 1% better each day, or it could be 1% worse each day. So you don't have to take one huge step. To get to where you you want to be, if you just take a little bit each day, just like 1% each day, over 365 days, adds up to be around 370% better. But if you go down 1% each day, then like, for example, it's just it's about building the right habits. So if you start smoking or drinking alcohol or doing other bad things, so your life will go down, down, down, but if you take good, like positive steps, reading books, just taking action towards what you want to achieve. Just bit by bit, it'll compound over time. So it's like compound interest. But, you might not see that the time but you look back to where you were one month, two month, three months ago. And you'll see that you've actually come quite a long way.

Elizabeth Diacos  16:11  
Yeah, yeah, that actually, that really rings true for me, I about this time last year, I started on a, like a health and fitness program. And the coach said to me, "You need to do 5000 steps a day, like before breakfast. So not in the whole day, more than that for the day. But before breakfast." That's about 15 minutes of walking, and it wasn't you had to walk. Like he said, "You can't just like get on a push back or something you've got to walk." And I'm like, "Oh, it's winter. It's cold, it's dark. And it's Melbourne, so it's raining as well." And it's just like really unpleasant. And I do that every day now like I just it, the habits there now for me. 

And this morning, I I went for a bit of a walk, because I knew it was gonna rain. So I had a bit of a walk in and I came home. And I'm like, "Oh, it's still pretty early. And it's not raining yet. I'm gonna go again." So it's, like by lunchtime, I done 16,000 steps, because it was just like it was, you know, I can do it. I've got time, and it's not raining. And so it was just such a nice start to the day, you know, I feel really like, "Look at me go." And so even though, you know, the weight loss aspect hasn't been quite as successful as I'd hoped, the fitness aspect has really picked up. And I had I was sick earlier this year for many weeks, just with a you know, cold. 

And my heart rate started to creep back up. And it's just creeping back down again now. So I'm really pleased about that, too. So there's other ways to measure success than just weight loss. In my case, there's the heart rate and the fitness and you know, the other thing, so yeah, great, great point. So, Jonathan, I guess I want to ask you, if you said that if someone's working towards a goal, then I do have the slight edge is really important. If you were thinking about you know, a teacher, sorry, I'm just gonna... Sorry, just my voice just decided to go. 

Jonathan Laloz  18:30  
It's okay.

Elizabeth Diacos  18:30  
So, a lot of the teachers, as I said before, are sort of feeling overwhelmed, they're stressed, it's hard for them to see possibilities. How would you structure a day like, what do you suggest to people who are maybe going to, they've already left or excuse me, they've gone on disability or something like that? Because they've got mental health issues after being bullied in the workplace or just the stress? How can you structure a day when you don't actually have a job? You got any suggestions or help for that idea? 

Jonathan Laloz  19:06  
So I've got another book suggestion. It's called The Miracle Morning. Found it. Can't remember the name. Oh, it's Hal Elroy I think it was. Hal Elrod, so Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. 

Elizabeth Diacos  19:28  
Okay, is he the guy that says to make your bed?

Jonathan Laloz  19:33  
I think it was a military guy. So Hal basically what he does in the morning, I just caught a few different things. And for me, that varies a bit. One of the things that helps out quite a lot, especially when I'm in a slump, like mental health slump is meditation. So make time to get up early. Do some meditation, do a bit of exercise, get into nature. That habit has helped me quite a lot in the past come out of my anxiety slump. So it's like, insomnia stress related. But I'm just taking time out for yourself to look after yourself.

Elizabeth Diacos  20:16  
Okay, and so, if you had a day, like stretching out ahead of you where there was nothing, like because you you're not employed, and I, you know, I talked to lots of people in this situation, how do you like so, in the morning, you might, you know, go for a walk, as you say, get in to nature. That's the morning covered, then what? How do you structure your whole day? Like, it's hard, if you if you don't know where to begin.

Jonathan Laloz  20:44  
So I like to begin with the end in mind. So my business, I use a planning process, which starts off with the purpose of my business. And so purpose of my business is to help neurodiverse people succeed. And then that works down to our 10 year mission, which is what's called a big, hairy, audacious goal. And so that's to have a certain amount of revenue to help a certain number of people in 10 years, and that's something that scares the pants off me. And that should scare the pants off me. I may not break that down, I'll do an annual planning for my business once a year. And then that gets broken down into quarterly. And then that gets broken down into weekly and daily goals. 

And so this is exactly where the slight edge comes into it. So by doing, say, three weekly goals that link into my quarterly goals, that sort of, that's the 1% towards that goal, and then that's helping me move more towards my, my 10 year goal. And then I'll adjust that as necessary. So I, I basically base my day. So I've got operational stuff at the moment, but it's just do something that moves you towards your goals. And if you don't know what those goals are, then take some time out. Have a think about the things that you love doing, whether it's painting or something you did as a kid, hobbies that you like doing. Just find a way that can that some something that I guess lights you in a fire, and then set those goals and then work backwards, and then do something each day that contributes towards those goals.

Elizabeth Diacos  22:41  
I love it. I really nice systematic approach. So really, the only way you can do that is if you have a goal in mind. 

Jonathan Laloz  22:48  

Elizabeth Diacos  22:49  
Can't just be sitting on the couch without a goal. You've got to actually come up with something. Yeah, I like that. Thank you. That's very helpful. And it sounds like really good business practice too to, to think about those things. So I was listening to Glen Carlson's podcast, often, but he often talks about how we think we'll get more done in a day that will then we actually can, but we get more done in a year than we think we will. So we're always more productive over the course of a year than we think we will be. But in a day, we often overestimate how good we're going to be. So I like the idea of having those small goals that that contribute to quarterly and then yearly goals. Nice one. Alright, so as we wrap up this interview today, Jonathan, I'm just gonna ask you one final question. What's your favorite song?

Jonathan Laloz  23:42  
That's probably it's a bit of an obscure one, but it's called, it's by Axi. It's called Raptor Attack, it's more ah, I guess, dubstep dance music sort of thing. So like a lot of very fast music. Without Words, do that. That's probably there's probably some ADHD in there. Again, undiagnosed. But boys, my brains always going, going, going, going, going, going, going, and just love listen to really fast paced music that has really good button. I can just dance along tool.

Elizabeth Diacos  24:19  
So it's energizing for you. Is that what we're what I'm hearing? 

Jonathan Laloz  24:23  
Yeah, yeah. 

Elizabeth Diacos  24:24  
Mm. Nice. All right. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show. And thank you for all the work you do. It's really interesting. And I guess I feel really privileged to talk to someone who's working in this space because I think there's a young man at the church that I go to who's trained to be an audio technician. COVID happened, he lost the job that he lined up, and he just can't find more work and it's so frustrating. And yet, you know, to talk to him, he's, he's bright as a button. He's got a physical disability, you wouldn't even know. And it's so frustrating for him like, and I just think, "Wow, look at you doing this work and helping people actually find that Ikigai that you spoke about and being able to have a fulfilling and productive life where you're really increasing their capacity and helping them to become independent. That's awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show, Jonathan. 

Jonathan Laloz  25:21  
No, thank you. 

Elizabeth Diacos  25:24  
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