(By Bob McCurdy) No matter where we are in our careers today, there are a few decisions that we can make immediately, that if positively acted upon, could greatly impact it moving forward. One of the best things about the future, besides being where we will all be spending the rest of our careers, is that the past need not have any impact.
The decisions involve a three verbs: “becoming,” “be,” and “do.” Embrace and act upon them and good things will follow. The reason for their importance to any career is pretty straightforward as, if we haven’t made the commitment to “become,” we’ll never actually “be,” and if we aren’t what’s required to excel in our jobs, it will be impossible to consistently “do.” We can’t paint a celebrated work of art if we’re not a great artist, perform a successful operation if we’re not a surgeon, or provide our clients with sound marketing advice if we aren’t a proficient salesperson and marketer rolled into one.
“Becoming” professionally doesn’t happen by accident and requires commitment, which we all tend to define differently. One individual’s definition of being committed might seem like retirement to another, so make sure your definitions are rigorous enough to actually enable you to actually “become.”
Understand that, once we’ve we made the decision to pay the commitment price to “become,” there will be sacrifices to be made and things to which we must say “no.” Things we must walk away from. Things we will need to deny ourselves on the path to “be.” Our commitment to this quest must be greater than our desire for personal and professional comfort, particularly in the short term, as “being” a world-class performer in any profession, costs. Anything worthwhile always does.
Once we’ve made the commitment, we need to determine what exactly we want to “be” professionally. Each of us must take ownership of our answer and be sure to bring a little resilience and discipline along for the ride, as they usually separate those who end up “being” from those that don’t. Also be meticulous in mapping out the skills, experiences, and knowledge required to “become.” Acquiring them might take some time, and that’s okay, as there’s great satisfaction and confidence that comes from the pursuit of a meaningful personal or professional goal.
“Becoming” and “being” must be followed by “doing,” i.e. performing and walking the talk. Paying the price of “becoming” and “being” is a waste of time, talent, and effort if we don’t ultimately execute or “do.”
In the end we go through all of the trials and tribulations of “becoming,” “being,” and “doing” so we can ultimately “have”: have the life we want for ourselves and our families. There are no short cuts. It’s a necessary progression in which steps can’t be skipped. We’ve got to “become” before we can “be,” and got to “be” before we can “do,” and need to “do” before we can “have.”
The most effective way to continue “having” is to always be in a state of “becoming,” as, professionally, it’s best to never “arrive.” Success in business, like failure, is a temporary condition, so never assume we’ve arrived or failed. One of life’s greatest joys is striving to live up to our own potential and narrowing the gap between who we are and what we’re capable of becoming. Enjoy the ride.
Bob McCurdy is Vice President of Sales for the Beasley Media Group and can be reached at [email protected]