Hard Work Equals Freedom
Let me tell you a secret: I’m not a natural athlete. I’m not now, and have never been. In school, I was always more interested in making friends than playing sports. But then my mom took me skiing for the first time. I was hooked. I still wasn’t an athlete, but for skiing, it was worth being tired and sore.
Years later I had nearly graduated from high school, and all I wanted was the freedom of the ski slope. In my mind, there was no way I was trading the sort of freedom I got from whipping down the French Alps for a university education.
When I informed my mom of this, she didn’t miss a beat. She responded, “That’s fine Chris. Then you can pay for your own ski vacations.”
Mothers really know how to ‘hit you where it hurts.’ Truly, this only motivated me and I decided to train to be a ski instructor.
But remember, I’m not an athlete. Sure I could go on ski vacations a few times a year and be fine, but to be a ski instructor I’d have to train hard, and I’d have to train a lot.
I practiced 20 hours a week on a dry ski slope in Bracknell, Berkshire. This meant four nights a week after work, and at least once on the weekend, you could see me practicing on this plastic brush slope. I was dedicated. I took courses, practiced, and honed my skills. I was tired, I was sore, and at times I thought I was hopeless. But I stuck with it and worked hard.
At the time it seemed like a big buy-in, but looking back it was a bargain. My hard work resulted in me becoming a ski instructor which meant I got to go skiing five seasons straight. Being an instructor was a non-stop job, so it gave me a strong work ethic. We only had one day off a week, and we’d use that freedom to go skiing!
This experience also led to other opportunities and became the foundation of my career. I didn’t have sales experience or a degree like everyone else at IBM - instead, I went skiing - but I did have life experience.
Now I run my own business and had the freedom to relocate to San Diego. I’ve kept my clients from around the globe and created a local audience, too. The secret is I still work hard. But I also have freedom.
Setting Yourself Free
I’d like you to do a quick exercise. Grab a pen and paper and sit comfortably and answer the following questions:
What would freedom look like as a lived experience, and what actionable steps can you take to get there?
Focus on your steps, and your future is sure to follow.
Chris Stock, CEO & founder of DevEvo, is an International Sales Trainer, Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker with over 20 years of sales experience. He has developed the salesforces of global companies such as Google, BMW, Sony pictures and Fujitsu. Hailing from the UK, Chris is currently enjoying the SoCal lifestyle, where actual sun can be found on a beach.