I have a tremendous amount of respect for professional athletes. Not only do they have God-given abilities that I will never possess, they have a dedication, determination, persistence, perseverance, work-ethic and focus that I strive to attain every day. It might not be on a field, pitch, court, or in a weight room, but rather, at my desk, my office, when building my professional network, and when interacting with my friends, family, colleagues and mentors. I seek to start each day with the mentality “This is MY game day” and ask, “What am I going to do to kill it?” I have been given my own talents and abilities and aim to take the gifts I have been given and use them, grow them and develop them to become the best role model, motivator, professional communicator, leader, and sports-charity woman I can be.
Athletes run the track until they fall over, hit the squat rack until they can’t get out of bed the next morning, throw pitches until the sun goes down, or study playbooks and game film until they fall asleep, so we have no excuse not to show the same dedication as young business people. Cardio, weightlifting, stretching and resistance training is to athletes as networking, volunteering, resume updating, early mornings at a conference and late nights at the office is to you and me.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get”
- Gary Player, PGA golfer
I have quickly learned that in pursuit of the “dream job,” people don’t just get lucky. Well, a few do. But, most don’t. By waking up each day ready to give ‘er (at your job, in your job search, while volunteering, on the treadmill), by offering nothing less than the best of yourself, by acting like each day is a job interview, by striving to better the lives of those around you, by building your network, by putting yourself out there, by telling others about your aspirations, by surrounding yourself with people who support you, by showing up ready to play, you create your own luck. People will see your hard work, dedication and personal vision, and seek to join your journey and help you reach your goals. They will connect you with employers, introduce you to upper management, give you networking opportunities, and vouch for you in reference letters, LinkedIn recommendations and follow-up calls. Interviewers and hiring managers admire evidence of hard work, a personal career vision, risk taking, passion, and perseverance, and can see it in candidates’ experience, stories, and enthusiasm for their future. They want these individuals on their team.
“This is the door to your life. Don’t just open it, own it.”
Don’t be fooled by the all-too-popular phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I firmly believe this phrase is completely misleading. When our university professors told us that the job market was rough and that grads became successful because of who they knew, they totally misled us. That phrase makes it seem like if your Dad isn’t the president of a major bank, if your uncle doesn’t know a guy in the music industry, if you best friend’s Mom isn’t the make-up artist for Lady Gaga, or if your neighbour doesn’t work for the Leafs, you aren’t going to make it in banking, music, make-up artistry or the sports biz.. I had zero connections in the football industry and zero connections in baseball and I made it. Really, the phrase should state, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you connect with.” Determine what your dream is and GO AFTER IT. Only you are responsible for making your own connections. Only you are responsible for creating your own opportunities.Only you are responsible for writing your own success story. Take control of your future. No excuses.
In one of her recent blogs, Digital Royalty founder Amy Jo Martin encourages women to “own it!”, innovate their approach, keep their eye on the ball and get out of their own way if they want to get a job, earn a promotion, be recognized in their industry, and ultimatley, become successful business people. I highly suggest all young businesswomen (and men, for that matter) check out this post.
So, to my readers in Ontario, enjoy Family Day, rest up and get ready to kill it tomorrow. To my friends sitting at their desks, determine your goal for the day and get after it!
“Eventually some people are going to stop, some people are going to quit, and some people are going to start going slower, but the people who can finish and finish at the same pace or stronger than when they started, those are the ones who are going to succeed; those are the ones who are going to be great.
Those are the ones who are going to have an impact in this world
and on the lives of others around them.”
- Tim Tebow
Today’s your game day. Tomorrow’s your game day. Show up ready to play. No excuses.