When I read The Mind of the Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae, I felt like my brain caught fire. I wanted to do that! I wanted to be a strategy consultant!

I’d sort of fallen into my jobs in financial market data and trading systems, but this work – strategy consulting work – sounded like everything I wanted to be doing.

However, there were several issues.

The first was I didn’t have a MBA and had no interest in getting one.

The second was Excel gives me hives.

Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out how I could get into one of the big consulting firms, so I continued to work in sales.

Flash forward to being laid off from Sharp Electronics, which was to be the first of three layoffs in four years, and wondering what I was going to do next. I was sad because I really loved that job. I was getting some interviews, but was floundering around a bit. And I was getting divorced.

I’ll never forget walking around my neighborhood on a nice day when my phone rang. A former vendor who I worked closely with at a previous job said he needed to hire me. He then said he was currently working at KPMG. (!)

I started laughing. I said I didn’t have a MBA and I couldn’t balance my checkbook, much less work at an accounting firm.

Did I mention that Excel gives me hives?

He wouldn’t listen to my excuses and told me he needed someone with knowledge of the capital markets who could manage projects and who could write well. I could do all of that.

I felt like the biggest fraud as I went through the interview cycle at KPMG. How the heck was I going to pull this off?

But I did it. I got hired and achieved my dream of working for a global consulting firm. I got in through the side door.

I was later hired by Arthur Andersen and Deloitte as an employee (and did project work as a contractor with Navigant Consulting, Protivity, and RGP) because I did, in fact, have the mind of a strategist.

My job with KPMG sent me on a new path doing work that was incredibly challenging and felt valuable to me.

Ten years ago, I started my company, Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. What I love about my work now as a career transition coach is helping people to see possibilities. Often, my solo consultant clients can’t see a way forward, or feel like they don’t have the right skills or experience.

I know there is often a side door. I also know that fortune favors the bold.

If you’re feeling paused right now, let’s talk– because you always have options (but you might not be able to see them).

What you might need is an outside set of eyes and the mind of this strategist to help you uncover your right next step.