At some point in our lives, most of us have heard it: You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. And even if you try, greatness won’t come from you.
Many of us hear and feel these messages growing up as kids and then throughout our adult lives in business. I heard it the first time as a 7-year-old kid from Homestead, Pennsylvania, who dared to say I wanted to grow up to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Today, I have lived my dream, not only as an NFL quarterback for my hometown team, but also as a founder of the Best of the Batch Foundation and a sports commentator.Today, I am also an entrepreneur, partnering with universities to bring breakthrough health and wellness technologies to market.
As such, I’m the very antithesis of those early lies about low expectations that I countered as a boy. While it wasn’t always easy getting to this point, I eventually learned — with support from friends, family, coaches and teammates — to “throw the challenge flag” at those lies and doubts I had allowed to grow within myself. I found a way toexpect my best, which in turn has allowed me to lead and succeed. Here are the three parts of my formula:
1. Be ready.
Being ready means putting in the work daily that others do only occasionally. As the backup QB for the Steelers, I learned to take the reps I could get on the practice field, and take mental reps when I was on the sidelines. That physical and mental preparedness took me to three Super Bowls.
2. Be resilient.
We all get knocked down; it’s how you get up again that counts. When I was a student at Eastern Michigan University, my younger sister Danyl was shot and killed in the crossfire of gang violence. When I made it to the crime scene, I had a choice: Retaliate or be resilient. I chose resiliency and created the Best of the Batch Foundation. Today, each year we help more than 3,000 kids prepare for brighter futures.
3. Be the pro.
Being the pro means stepping up and taking responsibility, treating others with dignity and respect and giving back to the communities that have given us so much.
When you expect your best in business and in life, amazing things can happen. Ask yourself, “What is your goal? What is your personal Super Bowl?” Then be ready, be resilient and be the pro to lead and succeed.