The sports industry is a competitive business. There are no surprises here. What kid would not want to work for his favorite sports team he has been following his whole life? I know I would.
Too often, people hold themselves back from chasing their dreams because of fear. It sucks to fail at something, and this leads us to take less risks. We settle for second best and often live with regrets and wonder what could have been. While I can empathize with this mentality to some degree, I realize that you only get one chance at life, so you might as well make it count. I would rather live having tried and failed at something than not having tried at all.
I think what it all boils down to is the attitude you bring to breaking into the business. You need to develop a winning mindset that will not allow you to take “no” for an answer. This is no easy process, but it is one you need to dedicate yourself to perfecting. You are bound to make mistakes along the way, which is all part of the learning curve.
Based on my experience so far, I would recommend the following pieces of advice to help you develop that winning mentality that will propel you to the career of your dreams:
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Latch on to peers and mentors who are ambitious, honest, trustworthy, and confident.
2. Set goals for yourself, both personal and professional. Develop a plan to accomplish them and make sure you execute. Have your friends and family hold you accountable to them.
3. Accept that everything happens for a reason. If things do not go your way, do not complain or let failure deter you from pursuing the job of your dreams. Learn from your mistakes and get better.
4. Read books about successful people and/or the subject mental toughness. I just finished The Greatest, a biography of Muhammad Ali. Talk about a guy who overcame adversity and became one of the best champions sports has ever seen. In the past, I read Jim Murphy’s Inner Excellence, a book that helps you get in the zone and develop that winning mentality that sets you up for success.
5. Believe in yourself. The only thing holding you back from attempting to do the impossible is yourself. Perhaps Muhammad Ali said it best, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”