Archive for the ‘Peak Performance’ category

Do you know why it’s easier to get your dream job than most other jobs? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

July 22, 2011

One reason I got a front-office job in the NBA at such a young age (while being rejected or ignored by other opportunities that had much less competition) is because of how badly I wanted the job in the NBA.  This burning desire oozed out of me when I was networking and when I was interviewing, and it made me a much more appealing candidate. 

On the other hand, when I applied to jobs I learned about through job boards or career fairs or on-campus recruiting (i.e. opportunities I had absolutely no interest in), it was incredibly difficult for me to sell myself in a compelling manner.  I had to fake my interest, and employers were not fooled.  In hindsight, I’m VERY thankful those organizations blew me off!  If they had hired me anyway, I would have ended up like most young professionals who hate their first job out of college.

Most people find job searches draining because they are going after the wrong jobs!  When you are going after your dream job, your job search can actually be enjoyable (crazy thought, huh?) because of how excited you will be by what is waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. 

You will be much more motivated during your job search if your goal is to get your “dream job” than if your goal is to get “a job.”  Your motivation will lead to a more resourceful, positive mindset than if you just do what everyone else does and aim low.  A better attitude will also make you more appealing as a job-seeker.

It is incredibly satisfying and empowering to go after your dreams with every ounce of your energy, and even more amazing when you reach your destination.  Sadly, few people ever experience this phenomenon because they don’t understand the relationship between desire, motivation, and performance.

If you ever find yourself lacking motivation (during your job search or your career), it’s probably because you are not aiming high enough.  Believe it or not, you are more likely to succeed when you aim high…

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You!” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

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Do you know why doubters can HELP you achieve your dreams? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

July 15, 2011

Whenever you try to do something big or something for the first time, people will doubt you.  Do not be surprised when this happens.  This is the byproduct of most people aiming way too small with how they live their lives.  More specifically, there are 5 main reasons why people will doubt you can achieve your dreams:

  • They think they are helping you.  This happens often with our family and closest friends.  As a student, one of my family members told me I should be “more realistic” when it came to my first job out of college.  Even though this bothered me, I knew her heart was in the right place.  She thought she was doing me a favor by not letting me get my hopes up only to be disappointed (since she thought I would fail).
  • They don’t believe they could succeed. Another reason people will doubt you is because they don’t believe they could do what you are trying to achieve, either because they tried and gave up, or because they have never tried.  Several years ago, I went to lunch with a group of professional speakers who were much older than me.  During our meal, I shared my dream of publishing a book.  Immediately, the entire group shared their stories of being unable to get a publisher to offer them a book deal, and a few of them implied how “impossible” it would be for me to publish a book “at this stage of my career.”  Let me emphasize one point.  I was at lunch with a group of motivational speakers.  These people are supposed to inspire others for a living, and they were shooting down my dream!  Since I ultimately made it happen, I think this is actually pretty ironic and humorous.  Anyway, the message is this.  Most people (even some motivational speakers) have allowed life to beat them down.  Never allow someone else’s failures, insecurity, or lack of faith to dictate whether you believe your dreams are possible. 
  • You are trying to succeed faster.  Other people might doubt you because they make the mistake of thinking that it’s not possible for someone else to get somewhere sooner than they did.  When I was a senior in college, I shared my dream of working in pro sports with a senior executive from a team in the NFL.  He had been unable to get a job in sports right after college, so he told me it would be “impossible” for me to do it.  He then suggested I get experience in another industry and consider applying for jobs in sports 5-10 years later.  (This is an example of one of the terrible pieces of advice given to me as a young professional.)
  • They don’t like your dream. Don’t expect all of your friends or family members to be excited about your vision.  I don’t know your particular situation, so all I will say is that when you reach adulthood, it’s time to make your own decisions.  One of the biggest recipes for unhappiness is to bury your dreams in order to make other people happy.  As long as your dream does not hurt you or anyone else, then go after it with everything you have.   
  • Some people actually don’t want you to succeed.  This is also known as being a “hater.”  Yes, this sounds jaded, but it’s true.  Some people incorrectly believe there is a finite supply of happiness or success available in the world.  As a result, they think that if you are happy or successful, it somehow makes it less likely for them to be.  The truth is that there is an infinite supply of success and happiness available to anyone willing to put in the necessary effort.

The overall message is this: do not expect everyone to support your dreams unconditionally.  Instead, use doubts or criticism as added motivation.  In a way, I got my first dream job (to become an NBA executive) and my second dream job (to become a published author) because people doubted me, not in spite of people doubting me.  I used doubts from other people to ignite my conviction that I would succeed.  Doubters made me want it more and gave me an “enemy” to fight against.  The challenges unleashed my competitive juices and my desire to win.  I learned at an early age that your ultimate success has nothing to do with what other people think about your dreams.  Your success or failure will be the result of how you respond to fear, what you tell yourself is possible, and the subsequent actions you are willing to take to make your dreams a reality. 

Have you ever used doubts from other people as extra motivation to achieve one of your dreams?  If so, please share below!

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Do You Know This Secret for Career Success (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

July 8, 2011

One of the greatest secrets for career success is your out-of-office life.

Most career books miss this altogether or barely address it.  Most employers will not care what you do in your free time (as long as you don’t do anything to embarrass them).  However, your life outside the office has a huge impact on your life inside the office.  Being proactive with your out-of-office life will make you happier and increase your performance at work.  I often wonder how much better my experience could have been with my dream job in the NBA, if I knew then what I know now about taking charge of the other areas of my life.

Make sure you are headed where you want to be in every area of your life, not just your career.  If not, determine what you need to change to get there and create a plan for making it happen.  Instead of just setting New Year’s Resolutions, look at your goals in monthly increments to make them more manageable.  Most importantly, spend 1-2 hours every weekend (all year long) reflecting on the previous week, planning the following week, and thinking about the overall direction of your life and your contribution to the world.  I could have enjoyed my twenties a lot more (and achieved even more professionally) if I had started this practice as a student. 

If you don’t think this weekly ritual is worth doing, what are you doing in your free time that is more important?!  Most people unfortunately spend more time worrying about the lives of their favorite celebrities or athletes than they do in planning their own lives.  As you get older, your values will also change.  Mine certainly have. 

If you don’t stop along the way to make sure you are headed in the right direction, you can end up far away from where you really want to be.

When was the last time you spent 1-2 hours to think about and map out your future?

 

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Do You Bring Excellence To Your Career? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

June 22, 2011

Excellence is when you always do what you say you will, and a little bit extra.

Excellence is when you do the right thing, no matter how it will impact you in the short-term. 

Excellence is when you do the right thing, even when you think no one is watching.

Excellence is when you take pride in your appearance, even when you think no one will see you.

Excellence is when you never make excuses, complain, or feel that you are “above” any task.

Excellence is when you never need to be asked more than once.

Excellence is when you treat every person with respect, regardless of who the person is.

Excellence is when you make every person or project around you better.

Excellence is when you pursue mastery and always strive to be your best.

Excellence is when you can admit when you are wrong and learn from your mistakes.

Excellence is rare.  It never goes unnoticed, and it is always eventually rewarded.

When you are a person of excellence, word travels fast, and you become indispensable in your organization and industry.  Your reputation will travel with you throughout your career, so make sure you develop a reputation worth having… 

What’s an example of a time when you or someone you know demonstrated excellence at work?  Please comment below.

 

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

-Pete Leibman (Pete@IdealizeNow.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

What Can The 2011 NBA Finals Teach You About Achieving Your Dreams? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

June 14, 2011

Many people fail to get their dream job because they have a back-up plan.  Think about this logically.  By having a back-up plan, you are telling yourself that you might not succeed, which is exactly what you should not be thinking. 

Before I start to get letters from pessimistic parents or career counselors saying that this is bad advice to give students and young professionals “in this economy,” let me make sure you understand my message.

I am not saying that you should target one organization and remain unemployed rather than work for that employer.  Having any job is better than being unemployed given the stigma of being out of work.  What I am encouraging you to do is to commit to getting your dream job, no matter what it takes.  Sure, in the meantime, you may have to stay in a job you don’t love, or you may have to get a temporary job to pay bills.  However, you must commit 100% that you are going to get your dream job eventually.  No excuses.  No doubt.  It is going to happen.  It’s only a matter of when, not if.  It is that mindset that will actually help it happen because you will be more resilient and persistent.

If you knew you would die a slow, painful death if you did not get your dream job in the next six months, you would find a way to get it.  You would do absolutely whatever it took to get hired.  Why not approach your dreams with the same vigor? 

That probably sounds crazy, but most people completely miss the point of life and work. Don’t “plug along” in some job that you hate; go after your dreams with everything you have!  Hold absolutely nothing back, and you will succeed. 

A back-up plan is actually a plan for failure.  When you are willing to do whatever it takes, you will eventually achieve your dreams.

If you follow the NBA, you just witnessed Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks stun the world and knock off Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and the almighty Miami Heat.  Before the season started, no one expected the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA title this year.  Well, no one except Jason Terry, shooting guard for the Mavs.  Before the 2010-2011 season began, Terry got a tattoo of the NBA Finals trophy on his right bicep. How’s that for committing to your dream?!

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

 

-Pete Leibman (Pete@IdealizeNow.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

The Magical Power of “Why Not?” (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

March 23, 2011

Beautiful, blond hair. 

Striking blue eyes. 

Long, perfect legs. 

A smile that could make a linebacker weak in the knees. 

She was physically beautiful, and I was not the only person on campus who took notice.  Veronica was THE girl at Johns Hopkins University when I was a student there.  All the girls wanted to be her, and all the guys wanted to date her.  We met briefly in a class at the start of my sophomore year (when she was a freshman), and I was blown away by her appearance.  The thought of dating her literally never even crossed my mind even though she sat near me for months in 2 of my classes. 

In hindsight, I had a decent amount going for me at the time (other than a horrendous wardrobe consisting largely of t-shirts and sweat pants), but I had barely talked to girls in high school, and I wasn’t much smoother during my freshman year in college either. 

Fast-forward to the end of my sophomore year, and I found myself waiting for a bus ride on campus. Veronica walked up to the bus stop with a friend, looked at me, and said “Hey Pete,” as she gave me a look and eyebrow raise that seemed to add “Didn’t think I’d remember you, did you?”   

She was right.  As she gave me that look, I thought to myself, “Wow, I didn’t even think this girl knew my name.”  We talked for a few minutes as we rode the bus, and then we went our separate ways.  The following week, school ended, and I went home to New York for the summer. 

She crossed my mind a lot over the next few months.  As summer came to an end, and I got ready to go back to college for my junior year, I thought to myself: “Why not?  She remembered my name.  That has to be worth something.”  More importantly, I thought, “What the heck do I have to lose by asking her out?  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  At least I wouldn’t wonder what might have been.”

When I got back to campus, I still lacked the confidence to ask Veronica out, especially since I didn’t even know if she had a boyfriend.  However, I realized that one of my friends was friends with her, so I asked him if he knew what her deal was.  Unbeknownst to me, he asked her what she thought about me.  She told him to tell me to call her.

The day after learning this, I excitedly mentioned it to one of my other friends, who responded by saying, “Dude, she’s totally out of your league.  You could never get that girl.” 

I thought about what my 2nd friend said and nearly blew her off, but I reminded myself that she had told my other friend that I should call her.  Still somewhat shocked by this development, I told myself again, “Why not?” 

When I saw Veronica at a party the following weekend, I asked for her phone number, and magically, she gave it to me.  Several weeks later, we started dating. 

Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have the happy ending you might have expected, as Veronica and I only dated for a few months.  However, that experience was one of the best learning lessons of my life.  I realized that when you say “why not?” and are open-minded, anything is possible.   Even a shy, quiet guy who had barely dated could get THE girl on campus. 

As crazy as it sounds, it was that experience that ultimately gave me the confidence to go after my dream job to work in the NBA when I was an inexperienced, 21 year-old kid lacking any relevant work experience or connections.  When other people doubted that dream, I just said to myself, “Why not?  They were wrong about Veronica.  Maybe they will be wrong again.” 

They were…

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

6.5 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity and Skyrocket Your Career (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

March 16, 2011

Find creative ways to make your organization better, and you will be an extremely valuable, well-compensated employee.  Despite what many people think, creativity is a skill that can be developed.  Here are 6.5 ways that you can be more creative:

  1. Think outside of your box/cubicle.  It’s hard to think outside the box when you are inside a cubicle that is the size of a box!  Want to be more creative?  Go outside.  Even better, find a scenic, expansive place to do some thinking.  Many of my best ideas have come to me when I’ve been outside at a lake, in the mountains, at the beach, and so on. 
  2. Get away and explore.  Time away from a project will leave you refreshed when you come back to it.  You will often be able to look at the project from a different viewpoint.  I’ve had some of my best ideas while traveling, exercising, or while trying out some kind of new experience.  (Luckily, there is no video footage of my “new experience” as a student in a hip-hop dance class…)
  3. Ask the right questions.  When you ask the right questions, you get the right answers.  Instead of thinking to yourself, “why am I not more creative” or “how come I never come up with any great ideas,” ask yourself empowering questions that get your mind headed in the right direction.  3 simple questions that can unleash your creativity are:

a. How can I/we do __________ faster? 

b. How can I/we ­do __________better?

c. How can I/we make __________ more profitable?

4. Brainstorm with others.  You will never reach your creative potential alone.  There is tremendous value in brainstorming with other people in your organization/industry AND with people from totally different backgrounds.  An outside perspective can often provide a fresh source of ideas missed by people within the same organization/industry.  

5. Get messy.  Creativity only happens you draw outside the lines…

6. Read.  One of the reasons I love to read is because of what happens in my mind as I am reading.  Ideas magically seem to pop into my head.  Read quality material every day for at least 15 minutes, and watch your creativity skyrocket.

6.5   Write down your ideas.  Make sure you have a way to collect your ideas as they pop into your head.  This could be through a document on your computer, a note-pad, and/or a digital recorder.  An idea is worthless if it is forgotten after conception!

Creativity will propel your career (and your bank account) to new levels!  Like this post or got something to add?  Please comment below!

P.S. To learn more about how you (or your group’s members) can advance their careers, please visit my web site at www.IdealizeNow.com.

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman