We lined up for sprints, left foot on the line and coach would call out someone’s name. That person would then say, “On your mark.. get set.. GO!” and off we’d run. Each time, I was certain he would call my name. Each time I was already wound up like a spring ready to bellow out “GO!” without any of the preamble, and take off. I was so ready that my name became the trigger; “Geo-…”, he would say, and my own, “..GO!” bled into each other.
I was ready. Poised. I was so proud of myself.
Just yesterday, I was bragging to a friend that we ‘entrepreneurs’ were that breed of person that saw opportunity where others only saw obstacles or problems. I went on and on about being in that mental space where ideas seem to percolate and pop, where connections are made that never occurred to anyone before, and where the chance to do something amazing presents itself seemingly out of nowhere. It’s the vital energy of creative thinking and progress.
So you might imagine how horrible it feels to have such a moment thrust on me when I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t paying attention or I got nervous. When I got this great chance to talk about things I know about, and offer some helpful thoughts and insight from my own experience, but instead I shrink, I doubt, I stammer.
I wasn’t ready.
Being hungry and being driven and being ‘on’ means having my toe on the line and waiting, listening, and looking for that cue or that moment when it’s on me. Holding my breath in anticipation and almost falling over the line with the excitement of the inevitable – I’m going to get called on and I’m going to be ready – it’s going to happen. It means having all the pre-requisite work done already and only that final piece remains – wound up like a spring and ready to shoot off into the distance.