There are some people whose work ethic, dedication, maturity…they define what I feel everyone should aspire to. One of those people, someone who has inspired me during every day I spend trying to make it as a small entrepreneur in America, is Derek Jeter. Flawless, fairy tale career with the New York Yankees. One of the few greats honored with the title of Captain of one of the most storied sports franchises in American history. Someone who never, ever made excuses, never behaved like a jerk, never embarrassed himself or the brand he represented.
He was always “inwardly arrogant” (his father’s words) because in his heart he knew he could beat you and he was focused on doing so. That being said, no one has been more humble in success when expressing himself.
There are two quotes that I maintain as my “signature statements” to set the tone of my online presence. One is from Teddy Roosevelt, and the other is from Jeter. That is how highly I regard his wisdom. That quote?
“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”
That. If you know me, you know how I feel about opportunity, success, all of that. How my stance is your success or failure is on you, and on no one else. I hold that if you’re interested in success you work, and you work hard, and you never give up, never quit. You don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when the mission is accomplished, and you don’t try to shirk your personal responsibility for your success or failure.
Today Derek’s number 2 will be retired by the New York Yankees. I just listened to his pre-event interview, and he was asked a compelling question and, of course, his answer didn’t disappoint. The question was what he’d like some grandparent to tell their young grandchild when asked who was Derek Jeter. His answer?
Someone who respected the game, who worked hard and who never made excuses.
How can you improve on that? That is, no question, the recipe for success in everything. That is the ideal I strive for, the lofty goal I know I won’t perfectly attain but which compels me.
I contend that should be what drives anyone.
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