Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pursue a Master(y) of Sports Business

If I had a dollar for every student that came to my office over the past 15 years to express their desire to work in sports business, I am pretty sure I would have a lot of dollars. Many students are attracted to sports business as a career opportunity given their affinity for sports as a fan and/or participant. If I were a student today, I would be one of those persons showing up at my professor's door to profess my desire to work in sports, too. Thousands of students across the country have those feelings, too. In other words, there is a great deal of competition to land the "dream job" that you want.

Don't Rely on Your Dream
It has been said that a dream without a plan is just a wish. You cannot wish your way into working in the sports industry (or any industry, for that matter). So how do you avoid making sure the emotions that guided you to consider a career in sports business are supported with action. Within you resides the potential to bring your dream to life. One way that you can do this is described in the book Drive by Daniel Pink. A significant intrinsic motivator is mastery. Pink defines mastery as the desire to get better at something that matters. A commitment to continuous improvement nudges us to move closer to the top of whatever field in which we are competing. Pink shares a quote from Olympic distance runner gold medal winner Sebastian Coe in which he describes how he practiced mastery:

"Throughout my athletics career, the overall goal was always to be a better athlete than I was at that moment- whether next week, next month or next year. The improvement was the goal."

When you adopt a mastery mindset, the goal of improvement is a moving target. You reset improvement benchmarks as they are reached.

Striving for Mastery in Sports Business
For college students on the cusp of launching their professional careers, now is the time to commit to a mastery mindset. What can you do to earn a master(y) of sports business? Three priorities are:

  1. Read - See yourself as a sponge that wants to develop as much knowledge about the sports industry as possible. Books, magazines, blogs, podcasts, tweets- consume information on sports business from all available resources.
  2. Share - Participate on social networking sites by sharing some of the insights you obtain through your continuous learning efforts. Share links to articles, interesting infographics, or inspirational quotes, whatever you find interesting and valuable others will, too.
  3. Meet - Continuous learning cannot occur in a vacuum. Your commitment to mastery will benefit by putting yourself in front of other people, both in face-to-face and online environments. Remember that Charles "Tremendous" Jones said "you will be the same person in five years that you are today except for the people you meet and books you read." 
Sign up today to pursue a mastery of sports business. The potential benefits for your professional development are immeasurable yet undeniable.