No one wants to train you

I speak with people every month who just want a chance. They want a chance to learn how to apply their knowledge in the real world.

Maybe this is you.

These are often people who are early in their career. They all have a four year degree. Most of them have an MBA.

Sound familiar?

What they don’t have is experience and an understanding that most of their education doesn’t matter. A college degree, an MBA, doesn’t mean much. It’s like thinking that reading books will make you a great writer.

That’s not how it works.

To be a great writer, if you even have the aptitude, you need to write. Every day. You need practice, you need repetition.

The same goes for being a great accountant, chef, doctor, marketer, police officer, sales person, whatever. You don’t become great by learning something.

You become good great at something by doing it!

That’s the problem. College, and university are heavy on learning, but light on doing. The practice you do get is spent on things that don’t move the needle in the real world.

This gets worse when you start to realize no one wants to train you.

Companies are no longer investing in professional development and training programs like they once did. Even those that do make these investments, if pressed, would prefer to invest in other areas.

Remember, training you costs the company money.

It’s expensive to train people. This is why people lose out on jobs to those with more experience. It’s why people are so desperate to find a place where they can practice their craft.

No matter how many degrees you possess, if you have no real experience applying your learning, good luck thinking you’ll find some sympathetic corporation to sponsor you.

This is a trend that will only get worse.

So where does that leave you? You should stop waiting for others to give you the experience you need. You must go get it yourself!

You can gain valuable experience on your own. You can do it at any age.

Take on some freelance projects with small businesses. Launch a side project Website about your industry. Volunteer at a non-profit helping them with their books. Participate in hackathons and make something tangible.

Heck, start your own business.

Anything, really. It’s not that hard to gain experience doing whatever you want to do in the future. If you stop thinking that the corporate fairy is going to come along one night and leave a decade of experience under your pillow.

Remember, no one wants to train you.

What you can learn from a Super Bowl MVP about stepping up and winning

It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to step up. It’s not something you can plan for either. You have to be ready, and willing, to capture the moment when it comes.

Want a great example of stepping up and taking on an opportunity?

All you have to do is look at Nick Foles, the Philadelphia Eagles backup Quarterback. Foles entered the 2017/2018 season an afterthought. He left it last night as the Super Bowl 52 MVP.

Talk about capturing the moment!

What is all the more impressive is that no one saw it coming. Until his opportunity arose, Foles had been an average player, one who was close to quitting just a year ago.

When Foles was originally called to step up and capture the moment, Philly fans went as white as the cheese on their favorite sandwich. How could a journeyman Quarterback who was ready to quit take the Eagles to the promise land? Perhaps only Foles believed it was possible.

I’ve been fortunate to have a few of these opportunities to step up in my career. One that really stands out happened early in my career. A few weeks prior to the largest trade show of the year, our CEO fired our entire marketing team. This left a big hole…and a lot of responsibility.

I’d never lead a marketing department, let alone a huge trade show event, but I believed enough in myself to think I could execute. It was stressful, it was trying, but in the end we delivered a winning presence that further catapulted the company into the industry spotlight. I’m no Nick Foles, but this was winning the big game for us.

Imagine if Nick Foles would have listened to critics and fans. He wouldn’t be the most beloved man in Philadelphia today. If I hadn’t had the belief that I could do the job of someone with more experience than I, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today.

It seems that’s the secret to stepping up and winning in these fleeting moments: believing in yourself.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Nick Foles. Super bowl champion, and MVP, Nick Foles.

I immediately thought of you 🤔

How many times are you hearing this each year?

I’ll bet this weeks salary that if you hear this frequently, you’re probably successful. (Or your Mom really, really, loves you.)

Why do I know this? It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. That’s what really determines your success these days. Give that some thought for a second.

You can have all the friends in high places you want, go to all the networking events you can pack into your week, and tweet until you’re blue in the face. None of that will matter unless people think enough of you to remember you can help them.

Some may call that adding value, or being likable, or setting a great first impression. Call it what you want. It matters. Big time.

Unless people think of you when they have a problem or need a solution, you’re going to be constantly chasing clients on the business treadmill. On an incline. That’s a lot of heart pumping, breath shortening, sweaty, work.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just have them think of you? The question now, is how.

How to Fail Less at the Start

Starting anything from scratch is no easy task. The odds are stacked against you.

While starting companies, divisions, departments and even a new role will always come with a high likelihood of failure, there’s more than a few things to be said about putting yourself in the best possible position NOT to fail.

From years of failures, usually 20 or so before I hit paydirt, there is definitely a number of things that you can do to help yourself out.

Here’s 10 things to think about when it comes to failing less at the start.
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Focus on Behaviors, Not Goals, in the New Year

Put down your New Year goal sheet for a minute.

A client of mine, GradFly CEO Oscar Pedroso, shot me an interesting article yesterday about setting goals.

Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

If you have time, take 10 minutes read it in its entirety. It’s well worth it.

Goals are good, but is there something better?

You know the traditional business speak about goals and goal setting. That goals are the basis of any plan and that without a goal, you have nothing that you are striving for.

Is that always true?
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