After my son graduated from college, I began remembering his days as a little leaguer. He had just finished a four year baseball career as a scholarship athlete. I wonder what influences someone to do what has to be done in order to compete at that level. Then I remembered. Little League.
He was blessed to have a coach who really understood the game. More importantly, he understood how to work with 11 & 12 year olds. No harsh words, no extra practice. Just encouragement for everyone no matter what their level of play. But, it was the beginning of my son's first year that this coach made all the difference. He not only taught these boys, but I believe he left a lesson for everyone who paid attention.
That previous season ended with only one win and the players were starting off with a lot of doubt. The month before practice began, this coach handed every member of the team, T-shirts. Grey shirts with a baseball diamond on the front and a quote on the back. For some reason boys can wear a T-shirt for days on end if they like it. I wonder if this coach knew that. But, it wasn't so much the shirt as it was the quote on the back. My son asked me what it meant.
It simple said, "NEXT YEAR IS NOW!"
As I explained it to my son, I could sense a change. Not so much in him, but in me. What I told him was, if he wanted to have a great season, the time to begin preparing was not when the next season started. You prepared for the future you want by taking action today. You began readying yourself, your game, and your mind today so that when next year did arrive, you were really ready.
What about your career? In many areas of the country people are experiencing a down market. But, what seems to be forgotten is that the only way to know it's a down market, is to have experienced an up market. And, we all realize what comes after a down market. But, do we all realize how to maximize our career when that happens. As I see it, you can simply wait and when the market turns, make up for lost time and money. Or, you can prepare like, "NEXT YEAR IS NOW!"
Those who take it upon themselves to put in some extra effort, get more creative with both buyers and sellers, and really use their imagination to create solutions for their clients, will experience success in the current market and stardom when the market turns. Those who prepare starting now will win the war of attrition because they actually had prosperity during a slowdown. Your skills will be recognized because your success could only occur if you were solving client problems when many of your competitors were throwing up their hands at the mercy of the market.
Whenever, I'm doing training for offices, or seminars for individuals, I make sure to tell them, "If you want instant, make pudding. If you want long-term success, make commitments." Success in any career is a process not a result. Once the commitment is made to do what it takes, success arrives. When you complete your goals, then you are successful. But, if you're looking for a better future...
"NEXT YEAR IS NOW!"
John Fuhrman - Author, trainer, speaker - Has written and published 9 books on topics like the fear of rejection, goals, sales, leadership, and personal finance. He works with offices who want to take their agents beyond the mandatory continuing education requirements. Many of his programs are available by contacting http://www.mygreenparachute.com. He has just signed on to be their exclusive training development director. (c)2007 John Fuhrman - You are hereby granted permission to reprint this article provided it is in its entirety including this contact and copyright information. You can reach John at firstname.lastname@example.org.