Jake Thompson | Dallas Keynote Speaker and Peak Performance Coach

How to Manage Your Gap

How Competitors Manage the Gap

I think a lot of people can relate to the idea of starting fresh and starting over.

The “getting ramped up and getting moving” sucks. For example, when I started my professional speaking career, I quickly grew frustrated because you are emailing, contacting and reaching out to people – and you’re not getting any responses. It’s like any sales job. You hear NO 10,000 times just to hear one YES!

You are constantly reaching out to others, just trying to get some momentum forward. You book a speech, and then you wait a  long while, and then you finally book another one, and then another one. It’s a slow build, and with today’s hyper “highlight reel” focus, especially in social media, you can’t help but see everyone else online “winning” while you’re slow getting out of the gates Like most industries, you’re connected with others in your space. You see them out there and (assume) they’re only just winning – and the whispers start to build in your head of the GAP – between where you are right now and where you think you should be.

But it just doesn’t work that way.

You have to start, and the start can be slow trying to build momentum and ramp up. It takes time. As my mentor and I were discussing this – and the frustrations internally you go through in what feels like a constant beating of your head against the wall – he made a solid point.

“Every person out there that you know that are doing what you want to do and where you want to be started in this exact same place, with zero gigs and just a dream. They just kept working and didn’t give up until they got it.”

The two of us laughed because it’s just part of the process you have to go through.

You have to do the outreach. You have to be willing to grind. You have to endure the monotony.

It’s easy to do outreach and make calls. But it’s not easy to keep pressing forward when you are constantly rejected or you start to focus more on the GAP of where you think you should be than on the work you actually need to do.

Everyone can do the work – but not everyone will. That’s what separates the greats.

Great speakers practice their craft. They are on the hunt to get better and work at it. They outreach like mad – they’re constantly building relationships and reaching out to people. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

It’s not a year one thing.

It’s a year two, three, four, and five.

In the midst of the frustrations, it can feel like forever. Six months of building leads can feel like forever. But over the course of 10 years? Six months is barely a blip on the map. It’s 5% of your decade.

And who wouldn’t handle 5% of difficulty for 95% of success?

Don’t be stressed by the current frustrations of seasons and don’t allow the current situation deter you from reaching your final desired destination.

If I told you, “10 years from now, you are going to be doing everything you want and all your goals are going to be met. You are going to be living your best life, having reached your goals, and having done exactly what you want to do.

“But hey, it’s going to cost you 6-12 months of getting rejected, of dealing with “NO” and constantly hearing ‘Not interested,’ ‘Not you,’ ‘Not now.'”

I’m betting you would be OK with that because that’s still 9+ years of you crushing life.

But too often we get caught up in the six months, the year of frustration, and the early grind.

Last week kicked off the NFL preseason. Every year going into training camp, guys show up in-shape. They are jacked, focused, ready to go. Their movements are sharp. They know the playbook. And they are ready to play.

But every year – from the NFL down to high school – a guy (or multiple) show up out of shape. You can’t miss them, they’re the ones in the corner throwing up during practice. They are not ready for the workouts, they are not ready for the heat, and they’re not ready for gameday.

The difference between those two people are what they did in the off-season.

The winner is the guy that showed up ready to roll because they were the ones rocking it in the off-season.

They grind in the off-season so they’re can shine and get their glory in-season.

But you can’t get the glory, and you can’t shine during the season unless you are willing to sweat, work, and compete in the shadows of the off-season.

If you want to be a Competitor, you’ve got to be willing to grind through the off-season. You’ve got to be willing to work in the shadows where no one is watching.

The work can be easy but it’s monotonous, it’s rejection filled, it’s not always fun. It’s not fun constantly sending emails and making cold calls. It is fun being on stages and speaking.

But you can’t get on the stages, and you can’t do the work that impacts, unless you do the work that gets you there.

Remember this:

If you are in the middle of that off-season, and all you feel are constant rejections & setbacks – all the pain –  while success continues to elude you, keep competing.

Keep working, keep hustling during this current off-season of life because your time is coming. The longer you stick with it, the more ready you are going to be when your season finally arrives.

But if you quit now? You’ll be like that person puking at practice – completely missing your opportunity to play on gameday.

Be inspired by your GAP and focused on a strong off-season grind so you can grab that in-season glory.

 

 

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