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Are You Betting on Yourself?

How does your future look? Are you betting on yourself? Are you taking control of your future or are you letting others control it?

In March of this year, Aaron Judge, the New York Yankee’s outfielder, faced a weighty decision about his future. He was entering the final year of his contract with the Yankees, and the team offered him a 7-year extension worth $213.5 million (that’s about $30M a year), or a 60% pay raise from his current salary. Judge turned it down and took a big risk; he bet on himself, he bet on his skills and abilities, and he bet on his confidence that he would have a great year and get an even bigger offer at the end of the season.

Well, for Judge, it worked out as planned. He had a tremendous year and is set up to possibly be the highest-paid professional baseball player.

This whole situation made me think about if I am betting on myself and my future. Would I sign a contract that would give me a 60% increase in my income or would I pass it up and bet on myself knowing I am worth more? And then I realized that I have been betting on myself for quite a while. Being a business owner who solely relies on clients to hire me, is in a sense ‘betting on myself.”

Of course, I can bet on myself because I am confident in my abilities. I am confident because I set myself up for success early, and throughout my career… and continue to do so on a regular basis.

As leaders (especially new and aspiring leaders) we need to do the same to set ourselves up for success so that we can bet on ourselves in our careers.

The best way you can set yourself up for success is to bet on yourself right now. You can do this by investing in yourself and your future. Today, there are more ways than ever to set yourself up for success, but many leaders fail to seize the moment. Many leaders are waiting for their companies to invest in them, and far too many companies are not doing so. This is evident by the data that shows 70% of leaders have little or no training to successfully lead.

You can change that by taking matters into your own hands. Take advantage of the numerous training and development opportunities that are available. There are more now than ever and most cater to what works for you!

Leadership will never be a ‘one and done’ training class or conference; it’s a continuous learning process that will continue until the day you die. We are always experiencing new things and with new experiences come valuable lessons. Each person we lead is uniquely different and they all offer us learning opportunities.

I mentioned above that I have been betting on, and investing in myself for quite a while. I read about twenty-five books a year and listen to leadership podcasts. I also invest in a variety of leadership development programs such as online leadership communities, mastermind groups, online classes & video courses, conferences, and networking locally with other leaders where we can share experiences with each other.

Being a leader is like being in a close-knit society. When we share experiences, we learn and grow together. We are always willing to help and support each other because we know how challenging it can be at times, and anyone may be able to offer guidance that will help.

I know that investing in yourself seems expensive, but the return is immediate in so many areas. Some leaders have told me that investing in yourself is selfish. However, I disagree! I believe it’s one of the most unselfish things you can do because as you invest in yourself, you become a more effective leader and that in turn, helps everyone around you.

So, let me ask the original question again. Are you betting on yourself? Are you betting on yourself and taking control of your future, or, are you letting others control it?

Let’s all bet on ourselves! Let’s set ourselves up for a successful future by investing in ourselves so that we can confidently lead others. And… maybe, someday we will even be able to turn down a big contract extension.

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