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Leaving An Executive Role To Become A Teacher

Ethan Evans is a retired Amazon VP who now teaches managers how to break into executive levels. He was at Amazon for 15 years, and he became a VP in 2013 until he left in 2020.

Ethan could have spent several more decades in high-powered engineering leadership roles, but he chose to leave his lucrative career at Amazon to focuse on personal development coaching and teaching.

Reason for leaving Amazon:

  • Ethan found more satisfaction in helping people develop than building things. He actually wanted to scale his impact beyond at Amazon with the role of upgrading the whole eng team.
  • Amazon wasn't receptive to his ideas for talent development initiatives. they told him the best bet was for him to become the VP of Eng for the HR products.

Today, Ethan is focused on teaching individuals for career development. He creates and shares free content (e.g., daily writing on LinkedIn) and then offers paid coaching and training programs for high-potential individuals.

Motivation for charging for some services:

  • Belief that people value paid services more than free ones.
  • Desire to focus limited time on highly motivated clients.
  • Money is not the primary driver but it is important for reaching a wider audience and sustaining the work.
  • Charging for high-value services from those who can afford it is ethical and practical.

Ethan is now pursuing his passion to help people grow and achieve their career goals. He's adopted a hybrid approach of free and paid services to maximize their impact and reach.

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