The #1 Key To Success

The #1 Key To Success

In April of 2006, I finished my college basketball career and embarked on my first job as a loan officer. By the end of August, I was already searching for another job and found myself selling gym memberships for 24 Hour Fitness. I initially thought, because of my athletic background, that selling gym memberships would be a great fit and I was completely wrong. I quickly found myself upside down financially and sleeping in my friends’ attic for several months. I finally applied for a job as an insurance agent and was hired, but never started because I failed the insurance exams. The next job was cold-calling realtors and selling them ads over the phone. That job lasted 4 months and ended with me getting fired. As you can tell, my transition from college athletics and education to the professional world was quite rocky. It would continue to be rocky for almost a decade.

In 2017, in the midst of what appeared to be another failed attempt in trying to build my own business, I sat in a parking lot frustrated with the results I was having in my first few months of entrepreneurship. Instead of getting out of the car to make my cold calls, I decided to call one of my mentors to get his perspective on what I should be doing with my career. With tears streaming down my face, I listened to him explain all the challenges he faced when building his business. This conversation spurred me back into confident action as I realized that the frustration I was experiencing wasn’t uncommon, and is the story for many young entrepreneurs trying to get their business off the ground.

In March of 2021, I celebrated my 4th year in business. I’ve had the opportunity to work with extremely successful entrepreneurs and organizations in my local market, while also continuing to grow my network of clients and partners across and outside of the United States, something that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t make that call as I considered quitting on myself.

As I reflect on the obstacles I faced in discovering my strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as a former athlete turned entrepreneur, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the clients that believed enough in me to give me a chance to earn their business and the close friends and personal advisors that have been there for me during the difficult times. I also recognize the decisions I made that led to tremendous amounts of pain and frustration.

The #1 Path To Success

As hard as I’ve worked over the years to figure out what my strengths were and where I should apply them, nothing I’ve personally done has been the key to me finding success after sports. Every breakthrough I’ve had personally and professionally can be tied to a specific relationship I had with someone who I trusted that had an answer to the challenge I was facing at the time.

Yes, I had to be humble enough to seek out help and advice. Yes, I had to build the relationship to have the opportunity to ask for advice. But, if I didn’t have the right relationship to call at that time of crisis in 2017 to seek guidance, I easily would’ve made the wrong decision as I did dozens of times prior. One of the best decisions you can make as you look to find success is to build quality relationships with peers and advisors that can help you break through to higher levels of success in your personal and professional life.

When I sit down with successful entrepreneurs in various sectors, they always attribute relationships as being their #1 secret to success. If you’re looking to reach a new level of success, maybe you don’t need any new skills or talents, perhaps you’re only one relationship away from a major breakthrough.

If you’re ready to build a strategy to attract the right quality relationships to your network, let’s talk!

Personal Innovation, How To Achieve In 2021 & Beyond

Personal Innovation, How To Achieve In 2021 & Beyond

The world we live in is changing rapidly as it pertains to how we will experience politics, culture, and, equally as important, our work and professions. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing, and now COVID-19, to name a few, are all driving what the future of work will look like.

We cannot, regardless of our current profession, hide from technological innovation. This technological change not only shapes how we work, but when combined with political, social, and global demands, will impact where we work, how we will be compensated, and our ability to succeed within our desired profession. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinsey Global Institute estimated that between 400 million to 800 million individuals would be displaced by automation by the year 2030 and would need to find new jobs. These shifts in technology all contribute to what has been called Industry 4.0, or rather The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which was first introduced by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The Challenge

The major disadvantage and challenge many face when it comes to achievement planning is using old world methodologies and frameworks of thinking without considering the threats that may prevent them from reaching their outcomes. As the pace of technology continues to change professions, our thinking and our approach to crafting our future within the new world economy also needs to change, enabling us to thrive within Industry 4.0.

Understanding The Future

One principle I believe is critical for every individual is the awareness of thought leadership that is being designed for and delivered to organizations in their specific industries of interest. If you are working within the manufacturing sector, what is the future for the need of the products being manufactured?

If you are a real estate agent, what are the future needs of buyers and sellers as it relates to the real estate transaction or real estate assets? If you work in the hospitality sector, what will the future demand of the hospitality sector?

Each of these sectors have thought leaders that forecast the direction of these industries.

To position yourself as a leading candidate for the role of your dreams, or as a leading entrepreneur in your sector, it is important to understand who the leading thought leaders are in your current and desired sector, what they are thinking, and what leadership are they providing your clients or potential employers.

Personal Innovation

As you seek opportunities that are in alignment with your personal and professional goals, you must consider ways to differentiate yourself as a candidate or entrepreneur. This differentiation, I believe, cannot rely exclusively upon traditional education or your previous job roles, but should also include your ability to build human capital, understand technological change, and operate within a philosophy of work that enables you to thrive in Industry 4.0.

To begin your journey of personal innovation, here are a few questions to consider as you determine the direction you want to go personally and professionally:

  • What are your values?
  • Who do you want your work or values to impact the most from a professional perspective?
  • What industry or industries will you pursue, and what direction is that industry going?
  • How will you integrate your values with your work?
  • How will you integrate the people you want to have an impact on with your work?
  • What skills do you need to strengthen to prepare for technological change?
  • What type of professionals do you need to add to your network?

Answering these questions will help you not only gain clarity on why you’re pursuing your chosen profession, but will allow you to gain the knowledge, skills, and differentiation needed to thrive while also achieving your most important outcomes and goals.

This is my perspective on personal innovation and how to achieve in 2021 and beyond.

If you have questions about designing your Philosophy of Work, let’s talk!