I have what I call a “Superman” complex, thinking that I can do it all and do it well and effortlessly. No matter what the task big or small, he can swoop in and handle the situation. I can attend every meeting give insightful input, acquire and manage clients, hire and manage vendors, hire and manage employees, deal with the everyday fires that come with being a driven professional. Be a great dad, a good husband, provide for my family, be financially stable, manage my credit, plan for retirement, workout six times a week, be a good son and brother, live up to all the expectations that you’ve set for yourself and people have set for you.
Next week the 2012 Summer Olympics will begin in London England. For a few great weeks thousands of athletes from all over the globe will compete in everything from Basketball to Track and Field. 90% of these athletes are virtual unknowns to most of the viewing public. Once the summer games are finished this level of notoriety or lack thereof will not change for most a select few will Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt themselves into stardom, but for most part once the summer games are finished it’s back to their normal lives as students, working professionals, parents etc. To become an Olympic athlete is no small feat most of these individuals train their entire lives for this moment, countless hrs. of training early mornings, late nights willing to sacrifice everything short of their own lives for this moment. And when that moment arrives either they seize the moment which is possible b/c of the preparation leading up to the Olympics or they fold under pressure fading off into Bolivia as the illustrious Iron Mike Tyson once put it. Our professional careers can take a very similar path as your traditional Olympic athlete. Whether you’re a corporate professional, work for a government agency, entrepreneur or solepreneur you will spend a tremendous amount of time energy and effort cultivating your career. Some obtain multiple degrees in order to climb the corporate ladder, others make commitments to government agencies at a very early age and stick with those agencies for many years, entrepreneurs such as myself sacrifice time, money and in some cases health in order to see their businesses thrive. Similar to Olympic athletes most professionals will get their moment to shine the lucky well prepared and super skilled professionals will get multiple moments throughout their career to display their talent and skills and flex their intellectual muscles. The question you should be asking yourself is: I’m I ready for my moment?
I know what the answer is for me unequivocally and emphatically YES! What’s your answer? A fellow WVU alum and friend once told me that a working professional gets one opportunity in their careers to double their salary. I’m not certain where he got these facts from or the scientific basis for this hypothesis, but for arguments sake let’s assume this is true. When your moment comes to drastically change you and your families and loved ones lives for the better will you be prepared to do so? Have you been training as if your life depended on it as if you knew that despite being ignored and disregarded 99% of the time there is still that 1% when your number is called and the spotlight is on. Will you freeze in the moment or seize the moment?It’s up to you as the individual to take personal responsibility and control over your professional career no one is going to do it for you, and no one is going to invite a subpar performer to the big show. Unlike the Olympics which an athlete knows is going to be every 4 years as a professional you’re not certain when you’re moment is going to arrive, you have to be on point at all times ready to seize that moment when it comes.
As you watch the Olympics over the next few weeks think about these athletes in the context of your career. Ask yourself the questions I’m I taking my career seriously? I’m I training harder and longer than the next person? I’m I prepared for my moment? If the answer to any of these questions is no, I suggest you get to work if the answer is yes you should have no problem seizing your moment.