Recently I overhead someone talking about last night’s NBA Draft and how “those guys are becoming instant millionaires overnight. Can you imagine?” The one leading the conversation was not incorrect, the first round picks are guaranteed an NBA contract good for at least three years. The top pick will make at the least twenty million dollars over the first three years and the 30th pick will make at least 4 million dollars. These amazingly gifted athletes sign their contracts shortly after being drafted thus making them instant millionaires.
But the hard work, dedication and God-given ability did not happen overnight. I saw an interview of Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant following his game three victory over Cleveland in the NBA Finals. He had hit a clutch three-pointer down the stretch of the game and was asked what was going through his mind when he took that shot. And rather than a direct quote like a real journalist, I will paraphrase because I was watching it live and I want to keep my amateur status. He said that he saw the way LeBron James had moved back a few inches behind the three-point line and also noticed he was leaning on the back of his heals. He said then he looked and all he could see was the bottom of the net. He finished by saying I’ve practiced that shot my whole life.
Boom. That final sentence stuck with me!
Twitter blew up with how Durant might finally have lifted the so-called monkey off his back by moving closer to his first championship and in that moment was seen has someone who was now instantly clutch because of that moment. However, Durant to his credit knew that it was much more than just that moment.
It was the hours of watching game film and knowing that when he had LeBron on his heels backing up is when he could pull up and shoot uncontested. It was the focus that he has trained himself to do over time to only see the bottom of the net while thousands of Cavalier fans shouted “Defense.” And it was the thousands if not millions of shots he practiced throughout his life that made this one feel like a layup. Here is the shot he made in game 3. And for you basketall fans, I found a real gem here. This is a video posted of him working out with Lebron in 2011. You can watch the workout or you can fast forward to 4:20 where he hits the same exact shot in practice.
- Famous business leaders or entrepreneurs are in many ways no different than Kevin Durant in this example. Durant didn’t wake up and suddenly have the ability to average 30 points per game in the finals and hit huge shots. In fact, Durant has spent the last few years being criticized for not being able to win the big game. Likewise there is story upon story business leaders and entrepreneurs who failed prior to becoming successful. Here is quick article and list of five famous entrepreneurs and their stories. Also worth reading is this list of the climb to the top of these seven millionaires.
- But what about you and me- the average people who aren’t in position to be millionaires and just want to be great at what we do so we can provide for our families and hit our financial goals? Yes, even we have to continuously learn, grow and prepare for success if we want to obtain the kind of meaningful and rewarding careers we desire. And of course it’s what you desire…. you’re reading my blog. So, for the sales person out there check out this Blog from PersistIQ titled “The 5 things that the top 1% of salespeople do to prepare for success.” I’ve always felt that there are sales people and sales professionals. The professionals research and practice their craft delivering quality to their customers. Doctors, lawyers, engineers and many other professionals must constantly study and train to keep up and improve. Sales professionals are no different.
- Music is one of those industries that because the way a song or album can spread so quickly there are countless stories of overnight fame. But typically the success and artistry was something that was being worked on over time. Talents like Taylor Swift can come up and create hits effortlessly and it seems she was born to write songs and perform. Then there are other talents that take a little longer like a singer John Mayer calls the best song writer alive. There is buzz about a singer songwriter from Alabama named Jason Isbell, so I decided to take a listen. There is no doubt he writes some powerful songs. Watch an interview here that CBS did with him recently. He’s expecting the birth of his first child. Imagine the types of songs coming soon.
Finally, I’ll end my little soap box session on how preparation is the key to success with what many of us consider to be the most important job we will ever have: parenting! Nature allows us nine months to prepare to be parents. Talk about a job that requires much more than that….