Hey Folks! Tommy “Tahoe” Alaimo here. Welcome back to The Weekly Six-Pack where I share the six best things I’m enjoying, thinking about, and experiencing each week.
Quote of the Week
“You are neither right or wrong because the crowd disagrees with you.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Here are the 6 things to check out this week:
- I had a lot of haters when I started my blog and podcast 3 years ago. The above quote has helped me to stay strong and not listen to the crowd.
- I was honored to be part of the Beer With a Brunch podcast this week. It was a great mix of fun, humor and inspiration. Check it out here or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
- As I’m preparing for my new role, I decided to invest in myself and subscribe to JB Sales online course. It’s been great so far and I highly recommend it if you’re looking to stay sharp (which you always should be).
- I’m not a big TV guy (I don’t have cable) but my girlfriend and I binged The Defiant Ones this week. A 4-part tale of how Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre worked through the music industry and eventually sold Beats to Apple for $3.7B, it is super inspiring for anyone creative or entrepreneurial. You can snag it on HBO or paid on Amazon a Prime Video.
- 2 content creators I’m diving into. For my SaaS people, I’m heavily following Jason Lemkin on Twitter and reading his articles on SaaStr to up my knowledge. For my basketball fans, the All The Smoke podcast from Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes is fantastic.
- This is the type of feel-good content I’m on Twitter for.
Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. As a notoriously intense competitor, there were questions as to how he would adjust to being retired at such a young age. With many superstar athletes becoming depressed, going broke or living a less fulfilling life after their sports career, the critics had ground to stand on. But Kobe handled the transition beautifully.
What made Kobe unique is that he treated his new career as a new mission. In 2018, Bryant won as Oscar for his short film “Dear Basketball”, depicting a poem he wrote about his basketball dreams and moving on to the next chapter in his life. If it weren’t for his tragic death earlier this year, I’m confident that he would have made a major dent in the media industry (and any other industry he wanted) for decades.
Kobe isn’t the only athlete to successfully make this transition. Deion Sanders and Pat McAfee have become media moguls, Martellus Bennett is writing children’s books for POCs – hell, even Gronk had some entrepreneurial success in between his time with the Patriots and Buccaneers. There are countless other examples that debunk the myth that athletes were made to just “shut up and dribble”.
The journeys of these athletes, and Kobe’s in particular, have left me feeling inspired.
I’m thinking about my career right now as two bodies of land separated by a river. In order to get from one side (my college graduate self) to the other side (my full purpose), I need to cross the river. And each project is a stepping stone helping me to cross to the other side. Some projects will be quick hops, others will be long leaps into new industries, some may be a big fat boulder I want to stand on for a decade.
Let’s make this personal. I recently left my job at TechTarget after 5+ years of dedicated service. It was hard to explain why I felt compelled to leave, but I recently read a quote from “The Way of the Superior Man” and found this applicable:
“You may take on a business project, work at it for several years, and then suddenly find yourself totally disinterested. You know that if you stayed with it for another few years you would reap much greater financial reward than if you left the project now. But the project no longer calls you. You no longer feel interested in the project. You have developed skills over the last few years working on the project… there is the possibility that you have completed your karma in this area. It is possible that this was one layer of purpose, which you have now fulfilled, on the way to another layer of purpose, closer to your deeper purpose.”
In other words, I learned a lot in those 5 years. I came in as a college grad hungry to make a name for himself. I was so fired up for years that I had trouble sleeping at night. I met amazing people.
But almost suddenly, poof: the fire was gone. I’m grateful for the experience. I had a choice: stay around and collect checks or turn down money to go find my next purpose. For me, I choose purpose all day long. I know the world is abundant and money will follow me.
If this is foreign to you, then by all means stick with your current project and double down on your efforts. Sink your teeth in.
But maybe that book quote spoke to you and you feel that you’re in a similar spot. When you’re alone, you hear a whisper telling you to try something new. I’d advise leaning into that feeling, that inner knowing.
Try viewing your career as stepping stones across a river. Should your next project be directly related to your current one or traverse to a completely different field? Should it be 1 year or 10? These are questions I don’t have the answers to.
The key is to never look too far ahead. Focus on your current (or changing) stepping stone. What is the mission? What’s the goal? What skills am I learning, people I’m meeting, money I’m making that can help me get to the next step?
I’d suggest you write down your current mission. It can be financial (Buy a house, earn $X this year), accomplishment (Salesperson of the Year), learning (Become an industry expert) or otherwise.
Without a defined mission or goal, it’s easy to keep floating through life. Things in motion stay in motion. Maybe you look up and years or decades have passed and you feel like you wasted a big chunk of time. Damn.
Once you accomplish the mission, look up and ask if there’s another mission calling you at this company or if it’s time to move on.
My grandfather once told me that “there are a million ways to live this life”. That’s true. Everyone has different goals, dreams and aspirations. The key is to stay true to those dreams and make sure you’re constantly moving in the right direction.
Remember, life is short and we only get 1 shot.
Go make it happen today and work on getting to that next stepping stone.
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