Self Development Design 2: Why I say I was "raised" in New York Part 2
Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we're thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don't show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin', no matter what - Steven Pressfield
I was an amateur a few times during my time in New York. More on that later. One of my first memories is helping Evan put up the tent. Now, the tent and I became good friends over the course of 3 years. We probably spent upwards of 60 plus hours together. The sides had to be taken down for outings, put back up for banquets and weddings, and put up really quickly if it started to rain. Understand this tent was bigger than most houses but the rope to latch onto the main part were super small hooks. I sometimes miss that tent.
My second vivid memory was my first assignment. I'm not sure if I was just not listening in college or if it's my millennial brain, but I thought I'd be doing some cool management stuff my first year. HA! Understand this: your degree doesn't mean a thing. Your experience is what matters. I had virtually none in hospitality. So, my first assignment was recycling. Taking the bottles and cans from the golf course and sorting them into different piles. My parents paid how much for my degree? This taught me a valuable lesson though. Well two. One in humility and one in practicality. Practically, this was step 1. I learned that Coke products, bottles from everything except Coors Light, water bottles, and Coors Light bottles and cans need to be separate because that's how we get our deposit back correctly. See, in Ohio we don't have to pay a deposit on those materials. In New York, you absolutely do. 5 cents adds up when you are dealing with thousands of units a year.
Amateur moment #1: I am not going in any particular order in this post, more of a lesson by lesson approach so ignore any timeline I may be painting. So, I believe this was our third wedding on the road my first year. The first on the road wedding I single handedly saved it from being burned down. Wedding invitations should not be that close to the candle centerpiece. The second on the road wedding I lost 10 pounds of water weight in one hour (roughly). More on that later. This third wedding I kinda made a conscious mistake. I'm doing clean up in cocktail hour of the giant yard the wedding was in (probably 30-40 acres in Long Island $$). I had been up since 7, worked a full day, and then came to this wedding. After what I considered bitch duty with two other guys who were part of our international work program, I was mentally done. It was probably 10-11 at this time. I knew I had to be at work at 8 the next day. I overhear they plan on having an after party that will start after midnight. Meaning the cleanup probably won't start happening until after 1. Self-preservation kicked in. I heard from one boss if I got clearance from another I could go home. Guess who told a white lie? My perspective was: we have about 20 agency kids to clean the rest up, I have worked my ass off all day and need sleep for tomorrow. I got chewed out for this. I was wrong. I should have stuck it out. That's what being a professional is. I learned from that.
Profesional moment: Over the course of 3 years, I learned how to do basically everything at that club. From bartending which was my main gig, to setting up and tearing down events, setting up a buffet, basic accounting, member relations, concepts about turf management, the culinary side, and a lot of the pro shop and bag room duties. Dennis said to learn I could so you know as a GM for two reasons: to know how to show someone and know it's being done right and to know you aren't getting screwed over. I still firmly believe that and take this attitude into the world of human performance and business. I have so much to learn but I chip away at it everyday.
Doing this also taught me a few key aspects I still use today: how to treat people with the utmost respect, doing everything you can for a member or client, doing your best work with strength and stamina, and most importantly how to talk to people. I think communication is the number 1 business tool to success. Adlerian psychology believes that all of man's and woman's problems stem from an inadequacy of interpersonal communication. I believe that more and more everyday. I know when I'm communicating well and I know what needs done, I will plan for it and get it done. When things aren't communicated the best way possible, frustration sets in.
So take this for what it's worth: strive to become a professional. Do the things you don't want to do, stick it out when things get hard. It does pay off. Patience is something that is hard to practice in today's day and age. We have these pre-determined markers in life that society has shelled out for us and if we don't reach them, we are underachieving or "we are too picky" or whatever. I'll speak more on generations in another post but in essence this generation has been given 100% freedom to do whatever the hell we want. We've been told we can be anything. We've been given the technology to communicate instantly with other people from around the globe. We see daily of people just killing it on Instagram in their jets and their expensive cars. What isn't shown on a daily basis in the grind because it's not sexy to show that. It's scary in itself to document your life because "what if it doesn't work out?" or "who the hell cares?" creeps in. Patience is what those successful people had but never showed to the public (minus a few that got into the documenting game). You gotta have that same patience to the macro. Unlike everything else around us, success doesn't happen overnight.