Go All In

A proud sponsor of LaKesha Womack’s #MyFutureFocus Tour for first-year college students, I was asked to finish the sentence “If I knew then what I know now …”

After scribbling a three-page list of ancillary shouldacouldawouldas I learned on my quest to Dream Job Land, I’ve narrowed it down to these four lessons.

1. Undecided is not an option.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, experiment. But focus that experiment to elicit and extract everything you can. What are you connecting to? What do you do with the reaction you have to an exemplary performance, book, song, technological advancement, or anything else that makes you FEEL something?

2. Become an expert and an entrepreneur in your craft.

photo credit: Joi via photopin cc
photo credit: Joi via photopin cc

Make a choice, and invest in it. GO ALL IN. Learn everything you can about one particular topic.

If you don’t know the answers – and you won’t – you MUST know how to find them. Quickly. Patience is not a virtue when it comes to hard deadlines.

Becoming an expert requires three things:

  • The right mind set: Embrace a teachable spirit, determine to discover a skill that edifies you and seek opportunities to demonstrate initiative.

  • The right skill set: Deliberate practice and a deliberate strategy lead to a perfect performance in any field.

  • The right mentor: If you feel strongly toward a particular subject, ask the most difficult professor in that area to be his or her research assistant. Research is critical, as is being coached by someone who will sponsor your advancement.

3. Your gift is not for you.

We so often talk about all the things we don’t have. What are you doing with what you DO have? Many of us harbor our gifts because we fear judgment or failure, or maybe we simply don’t want to put in the work. But why keep these gifts hidden?

4. Know your audience.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc
photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

Your ideal following is looking for you. They need you. Find them, take a genuine interest in them and serve them.

You are nothing more than the result you produce for someone else.

Now it’s your turn. 

How would you finish this sentence: If I knew then what I know now …

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