This question was submitted by a very young, exceptionally gifted and talented top performer who wants to know, “how he can live up to his potential”.
I am very young (23) and was radically accelerated through college \ graduate school.
By next year, I will have a BA (Math \ Religion), MBA (Management Consultancy), MSc (Business IT), PhD (Computing & Mathematics), and PhD (ABD), in IT from leading universities, as well as 9+ years IT experience, with 5+ years BA experience with stellar recommendations.
I do not want a career in university teaching or research … could you suggest a few viable directions to move my career forward in IT business analysis?
I feel “painted into a corner” and now am not certain which way to go at this point, as a Senior Analyst.
Just a few alternatives would be helpful.
Best regards and thank you.
How To Fulfill Your Potential
The first of the three most important challenges facing talented people is that of identifying their passion. This is a big challenge because talented folks can do almost anything and succeed at it.
Another challenge facing talented folks is not doing what they love and / or following the money trail!
Because talented people can easily get high-paying jobs and get paid a lot more than their colleagues, they can be easily derailed from what should be their true objectives … being true to themselves..
Following the money trail is bad because it eventually leads to mediocrity. Regardless of how talented one is, it is not possible to achieve your deepest potential if you do not identify your passion and do what you love.
The final challenge that talented people face is not taking their passion to market.
They pick vocations where they are unable to serve their community or their world because of money concerns or because of poor career recommendations.
Discover Your Passion
The first and most important thing that you have to do: “is to discover your passion“.
Your passion is something that you are deeply interested in doing because you love it, you have strengths in it, you enjoy thinking, dreaming or even speaking about it.
Your passion is not necessarily what promises you job security or what promises you lots of money.
Money and Job Security are used as the primary basis of making career recommendations and yet, they don’t truly matter because … guess what?
If you do what you truly love, the money will surely follow!
Discovering your passion is an exercise of the heart and not of the head.
You must be able to dream or envision your passion in your heart first and then use your head to figure out what to do.
Good folks get this heart and head mixed up all the time! Your heart is your instinctive, sensing personality and your head is your rational, logical person.
Do What You Love
The second thing that you must do on the path to self actualization is to: “Do What You Love”.
Doing what you love means working very hard at something that you love.
But it also means more than that … it means training yourself the way that world-class athletes do!
Though you can do several things exceptionally very well, you should concentrate on a few disciplines and hone your abilities in those alone.
You want to become so good in your chosen field, that your work in those areas will stand out in comparison to that of any others in your chosen field.
Think about this for a moment: world-class athletes have to invest considerable amounts of time into just training and honing their skills.
They understand that even through they may be exceptionally gifted, they cannot win unless they are much better than the competition or other equally gifted and talented folks.
And also get this … no world class athlete depends on their exceptional talents or giftedness alone!
Instead they put themselves through the most rigorous, skill-advancing training that they can find so that they can live up to their potential.
The issue is not really whether you are gifted. The true issue at stake is whether you will live up to your potential? I will advise that you read these two books:
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Amongst other things, these two books point out that to become a world class player, you will have to invest a solid amount of time into just doing nothing else but honing your skills and abilities!
Take Your Passion To the Market
Starting a blog and getting on Social Media is the starting point for taking your passion to market.
The next thing that you have to do with your passion or the work that you love is: “Subscribe to the Publish or Perish” mantra which you are already used to coming from academia.
The main purpose of your blog is to create a market for your passion or connect your passion with an existing market on the internet.
Your market is the readers or subscribers of your blog and what you must do is: help them, talk to them, connect with them using your blog as your premier publishing or speaking platform.
Without sharing your passion with other people who love the topics that you care about, your passion dies with you … which is the definition of being boxed in!
Not having a blog means that you are not others learn or grow. It also means your own growth is incomplete because you are closed off from the feedback of your industry … and no one can develop your passion in isolation
Starting a blog does not mean that you must offer a service or sell a product.
Starting a blog does means that you have decided to make your world a better place by serving humanity with your gifts and talents.
The lesson here is that being wired or connected to others using blogging and social media is now considered essential for success!
One person that comes to mind in that regards is Jacob Nielsen, the world’s numero uno usability expert!
For several years, he has been conducting researches on usability and publishing his findings online.
From those findings, he has written books and he conducts training seminars around the globe.
You can see that Jacob is deeply passionate and extremely knowledgeable in his field and that he publishes more than most people in his field.
Do these 3 things (discover your passion, do what you love, take your passion to market) and you will succeed.
Jonathan, when you break into stardom, don’t stop telling people how I helped you, ok 🙂
P.S. I am sending you my new ebook titled “Discover Your Passion, Do What You Love, Take Your Passion To Market“.
Best Wishes and Lots of Success in your Career
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