I’ve always had faith that if you trust in the process everything will work out in the end.
I’ve just been reading a great email. It was from a speaking agency wondering if I would be interested in delivering a Keynote Speech for a ‘blue chip’ company, one of the major players in the world finance market.
“Would I be interested”? I know there’s no such thing as a silly question but that one wasn’t so very far off! That email was, for me, further verification of what I am doing with my life and work at the moment, the business and the network that goes with it that I am developing every single day.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I took the very deliberate effort to leave my previous career as a professional footballer behind. Not, I hasten to add, in terms of forgetting it altogether as there are a lot of parallels between football and business that I like to draw upon in my work today but I didn’t want to walk into a room and hear people say “…that’s Paul McVeigh, he used to be a professional footballer”.
I don’t feel there are many positive aspects in being remembered for what you used to do. I want to be someone who is known for what they are doing in the here and now.
So I walked away from my media work and gave away all of the football shirts that I’d collected during my career in the game and went back to school to do my M.Sc. in Sport Psychology. This was, without doubt, one of the worst periods in my life. Did I enjoy it? No. But I knew, all along, that it was a means to an end. It was part of the process of reinventing myself. I admit there were times during that period of study when I was asking if what I was doing would ever come in handy or lead to something tangible. But I trusted the process. I knew that, eventually, it would and that I was spending my time wisely.
My friend and colleague Gavin Drake has a great answer to anyone who asks him for a bit of advice:
“Live life with thought, passion and enthusiasm….because if you don’t have enthusiasm for your life, who will?!”
That is what I was doing. That is why I was studying. To make the most of my time then in order to make the very best use of it today. Next week, next month, next year.
I said earlier that I regularly use my career as a professional footballer to draw parallels with my work today. This works well for this analogy as the period locked away for that 2 year study period was, for me, like the first few weeks of pre-season training.
I don’t think I know any ex-pros who enjoyed it. Infact, most of us hated it with a passion. You should have heard the grumbles in the changing rooms and on the pitches. Yet, for all the blood, sweat and tears, we knew it was something we needed to do. It had a purpose that, come the 80th minute on a wet pitch somewhere the following February or March, we’d be the ones feeling the benefits of all that hard work. It was part of our process and for all the moaning and griping, we trusted in it implicitly.
So make the most of your downtime and trust your process, regardless of what you are doing with your life. There may be days for you, just as there were for me, when you end up wondering if all the preparation, the reading, the studying, the constant picking up of the phone to talk to someone who doesn’t even know he or she wants what you are about to sell to them is all worth it.
It is and I’ve just been reading yet another email invitation that proves it.