Have you ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally?

It’s a hoot, especially the part when they’re on the phone and Harry tells Sally…

“When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends.”

Well, in that gulp-inducing spirit, I want to share with you the very last official chapter of my book The Zebra Code.

(Technically, the last chapter before the Appendices.)

See, this past weekend, on Saturday morning, between 4:00 AM and 6:30 AM, I finished recording the audiobook.

It took me several takes to get through this particular chapter. Probably because I kept getting choked up on the lines.

At 6:30 AM, my wife tippy-toed down the stairs. She heard silence in my office, so she tapped on the door. Opened it gently and saw the waterworks.

She asked, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “If one person reads this and it lights a fire under their butt (omitting actual word to keep PG-13 rating) to go out and chase their dream, I’ll know it was worth every ounce of pain I endured to get this out into the world.”

So, here you have it.

Chapter 21.

And, remember…You’ll need to put in the invisible work that no one will ever see. Have faith that true champions are made in the darkness. They’re the ones that practice before the sun rises. They treasure that time and know their effort is what will help them make a better life for themselves and others…


— The gift is in the giving.

Before you head out to build your skills and practice them, I’d like to give you a parting gift. This isn’t the kind you unwrap and instantly know what it is. That wouldn’t be as fun as you might think. This gift is the kind that requires you to give. Indulge me for a few more minutes.

Imagine all the events that needed to take place for you to be reading these very words. I’m not talking about how you surfed Amazon or walked into a store to buy this book. I mean all the events that needed to take place for your parents to meet, date, get married, and bring you to life. Of course, the same goes for me. You can go back further to Grandma and Grandpa and so on and so forth.

Think of the struggles you’ve gone through in your life and career. Consider all the aspirations you have that motivated you to get this book. How about my aspirations that set me on a path to learn these lessons and build these techniques for you? How about the effort it took to write the book and get it published so you can buy it and read it when you need it most?

We could go on for days regarding everything that led to your and my convergence. It wasn’t a straight line and I’m guessing it’s been quite an odyssey for both of us. Even so, however you size it up, it was meant to be. How do I know?

Have you ever woken up on any given day and asked yourself, “How the heck did I get here?” I did that this morning as one of my four dogs was licking my face! How on Earth do I now have a wife and four dogs when I was single until I was forty-nine years old?

Take a moment to think back on your life. Go as far back as you possibly can and consider it as objectively as you can. Think about your entire evolution. It makes no difference how old you are. Whether you’re twenty years old or seventy years old, look back at the common thread or theme that seems to permeate through every single thing you’ve done. It’s there. I promise you.

Here’s an analogy from my life to help you with this. When I think back to my childhood, I remember school and playing organized sports. I was a good student, but I didn’t really care about the subjects all that much. What I remember most was not the lessons and the grades, but helping other students with their homework. What I remember most about playing sports was hanging out with my friends and teaching them my practice routines and how I developed my game.

— Ohm’s Law this ain’t. —

When I got to college, this is where I recollect my first big “mistake.” Since this was the first thing I ever got to choose in my life, it would stand to reason I’d have a hiccup or two. Instead of studying the subject matter I loved, such as something people oriented, I enrolled in electrical engineering because I was strong in math and science and figured this was a good way to pay my inevitable bills. Today, I’m not sure it’s possible for me to care any less about Ohm’s Law other than I want the electricity in my house to work.

As I graduated and was about to embark on my professional career, I realized I didn’t want to be an engineer. I knew, from a self-awareness standpoint, this wouldn’t be congruent with what would make me happy. I decided becoming a technology consultant would offer me a chance to leverage my degree to get a job and also enable me to focus on what I enjoyed most. That would be helping people and companies. I went on to rationalize how it would give me a chance to see a variety of companies and industries and meet a lot of diverse people. In hindsight, I never cared about the technology I implemented. The joy, for me, was always in the counseling part. Helping people and companies improve are what really energized me.

I had that wake-up-one-day-and-wonder episode seventeen years later. I could no longer stomach being a technology consultant. It was time for a change. That’s when I decided to start my recruitment firm, milewalk®. This brought me one step closer to making helping people my primary focus. It’s what also led to me eventually becoming a career coach, which is perhaps the capacity in which you know me.

— Lightning in a bottle.

When I look back at my entire life, there was one constant for me. That is, helping people and getting them to where they want to go. Whether that relates to their career or opening a business or living a more fulfilled personal life. This is my gift.

Now, I want to help you find your gift. When you look back on your life, what is the common thread that permeates every single thing you’ve done? Keep in mind, your gift is something you give this world to make it a better place!

If it isn’t yet apparent to you, let’s take another step and focus on your present. This will offer you another clue to finding your gift. It relates to passion and energy.

First, let’s not confuse your gift with your passion. Of course, I want you to be passionate about what you do and what you offer this world. I’m passionate about what I do. I get enjoyment from helping you. That passion, in the act of helping you, is actually for me. My ability and desire to help you is my gift to you.

I also don’t want you to just “follow your passion.” That’s some of the worst advice ever and typically a recipe for disaster for most people. Instead, let’s work our way into becoming passionate through exploration and what energizes you.

Second, understand, one is not born with passion. I didn’t come out of my mother’s womb and then all of a sudden want to be a career coach. Passion is something you discover between the time you were born and now. It’s something you found, and through repeated interaction with it, you fell in love and developed a passion for it. Perhaps you enjoyed it instantaneously. To develop a real passion, however, requires you to do it or be in touch with it over and over again.

The easiest way to find your passion is to consider the parts of your life that energize you. If you focus on what gives you energy, you’ll likely discover your passion. In turn, this discovery has a way of helping you notice your gift.

You’ll also notice you won’t tire of what gives you energy. For example, I do a weekly, free live coaching show on my YouTube channel every Thursday. Each month, I perform many more group and individual coaching sessions for members of my paid programs. I’ve been doing this for several years. There’s no way I could fake this in front of a camera for that many hours every month. I’d be miserable if I did!

— Has anyone seen my mirror? —

Much like my coaching sessions, you’ve got something that energizes you and keeps you motivated. I’d also be willing to bet you love the fact it benefits others. That’s a key part of your gift—you keep going because others pull you toward your gift. Whether it’s your customer or a person you serve or your loved ones, these people will see you differently than you see yourself.

We can be our own worst critics and we don’t always recognize how good we are at something or how valuable it is to someone else. The reason we don’t recognize how valuable our experiences and gifts are is because we forget what it’s like not to know what we know. We don’t think what we offer is valuable because we consider the value to ourselves instead of thinking about the value it’ll have to someone else!

As a final clue to helping you find your gift, let’s pay attention to external feedback. Do people tell you, “You’re really great at this” or “Thank you! That helped me so much”? If you’re hearing remarks like this, it’s a pretty good indication you have a gift.

— Where do I find out what the latest inheritance tax is? —

Nothing helps you live a more vibrant life than dying. I know. That’s a splash of cold water, but it’s certainly out of love. Have you thought about what kind of legacy you want to leave? What do you want to be known for?

Most people I work with think of these questions in terms of their families, children, and grandchildren. You can have that for free. It’s a given.

If you’re reading these words, I’m talking to you and not most people. If you’re reading these final pages, I know you have major aspirations and want to leave something behind from a career standpoint. I know you want to make a positive impact on this world.

For me, I’m indifferent about being known as a consultant who helped companies put in technology systems. I want to be known as someone who went all-in on helping people build better careers and lives. I do that day in and day out and I give it everything I have every day. I constantly remind myself my words will echo in places I will never visit, but I have faith they will have a positive impact on the people who hear them directly as well as the people to whom they pass on the lessons.

— Does anyone actually know how many TV shows Steve Harvey hosts? —

If you put in the effort to find your gift and give it to this world, I know it will be a huge success for you and have a major impact on others. No major positive impact exists, however, without needing to overcome big hurdles. You will encounter challenges.

You will have failures. Keep going. When you trip, remember a (single) failure does not make you a (complete) failure. I hope you embrace these bumps along the way as part of the process.

You’ll need to put in the invisible work that no one will ever see. Have faith that true champions are made in the darkness. They’re the ones that practice before the sun rises. They treasure that time and know their effort is what will help them make a better life for themselves and others.

Steve Harvey, the comedian and TV host of a bajillion shows, said, “Your gift is the thing you do the best with the least amount of effort.” In part, I agree with his statement. It’s yet another clue to helping you find your gift, but I want to challenge you.

If you want to manifest your gift to the level it deserves, the least amount of effort won’t get you there. It will take more. Instead of asking, “What’s the least I can do?” ask yourself, “What’s the most I can endure?” What are you willing to work hard for? What are you willing to sacrifice for? This will be an even better clue leading to your gift.

I didn’t want to learn how to use a camera or what it takes to build a podcast or any of the other mediums I needed to learn to make my lessons available to the world. I’d rather sit in my pajamas all day and write books. Even so, helping you, to me, is worth taking the time to learn new tools and other vehicles, which are uncomfortable for me. That’s because I’m willing to endure that to offer my gift to the world because I’m passionate about helping people.

This world needs more of you, not less. There are people who need you to do what you ache to do. That’s the part of you, you need to give them. That’s the part of you I’d love to see. That’s the part of you the world wants.


…put people first, results second.

PS: Head here to become a Zebra for free. I mean the dollars and cents version. To become a Zebra will require cost in the form of hard work.



You can grab my FREE, awesome booklet on how to develop your career and build the right skills for your profession and take an assessment to see how you stack up and much more. This booklet will be a great supplement for today’s YouTube video as well as how you manage your overall career growth!


HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF: Free download here.
RESUME TEMPLATE: One that actually gets job interviews! Download here.
ACE YOUR JOB INTERVIEW EBOOK: Download here and master the best answers to the 14 most effective job interview questions


SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for new career and life videos every Tuesday and join me Thursdays for Live Office Hours
SYNC YOUR CALENDAR: Never miss any of my live shows by syncing our milewalk Academy Live Calendar of Events to your personal calendar of preference.
MORE FREE CONTENT: For much more, see my training and coaching site: milewalk Academy!


JOB SEARCH: Find your dream job fast with my Job Search Coaching Program.
LEADERSHIP + CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Achieve more in your career and life with my monthly Leadership Coaching Program.


I believe in being there for you wherever you are!

Join my email list
Get my books and training
Subscribe on YouTube
Join me on Facebook
Tweet with me on Twitter
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Zip through my pics on Instagram
Listen on my iTunes free podcast (I’m on all podcast platforms if Apple isn’t your thing)
Grab bite-sized videos on TikTok


Andrew LaCivita, a globally-renowned career and leadership coach, is the founder of the milewalk Academy®. During the course of his distinguished career, he has impacted over 350 companies and more than 100,000 individuals, spanning nearly 200 countries, helping them unlock their full potential. As an award-winning author with three books to his credit, he first gained international recognition with his groundbreaking work, Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired. He further revolutionized the world of recruiting and hiring with his publication, The Hiring Prophecies: Psychology behind Recruiting Successful Employees. Both of these seminal works, along with his celebrated vlog, Tips for Work and Life®, consistently earn top spots on career-best-of lists. Andrew remains actively engaged across various social media platforms and generously shares his expertise through his weekly Live Office Hours on YouTube every Thursday.