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Ace the Business of Life


Remembering back, it was a difficult yet exhilarating practice. High school football was in full swing, my coach, upon leaving the practice field, pulled me aside. “I’ve finally figured you out Mark,” he said, in response to the workout where I practiced Fullback, Center and Linebacker. He continued, “you are a lot like me as I played in college a jack of all trades but an ACE at none.”

My adolescent, testosterone filled brain raced for a few seconds, deciding on how to respond. I respected him as my coach and for all intents and purposes he had a successful small college football record. I thought to myself this comparison is an honor. However, I couldn’t help it – my mind raced to the ending of his comments. “I am an ACE at none.”

This was not the kind of thing I wanted to hear.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are given some encouragement that stung? What about your leadership life, have you found yourself being, like me, a jack of all trades and ACE at none? For whatever reason, I have found myself in this exact position often. Here of some examples of my jack-like moments.

  • I ran two half marathons this year – My times were very average.
  • I have lost 30 pounds this year – Then gained 10 back. (While running)
  • I looked at my guitar at least twice – wishing I remembered how to play it.

The realization that struck me is that I am, in fact, an ACE at the things I hold closest to my heart. This is great news for everyone because, if I, the jack of all trades ace at none, can learn to become an ACE so can you. You see, I realized that becoming an ACE takes intentionality and passion.

How to Become an ACE in the Business of Life

  • Acquire Knowledge – Becoming an expert means that you must acquire the necessary knowledge. Don’t assume others around you are doing this. Many will get a general understanding, but the ACE will dig in deep. Find information sources and read, interview other ACE performers and go that extra 20%. This will make sure you acquire and understand the knowledge attained.
  • Care Passionately – I have said this before, but you must care more than your competition. I know myself well enough to understand that I will never care more about running than most other runners. However, I do care passionately about spending time with my son. The shared experiences we have had will last a lifetime. The “road time” we have spent together built a bridge of trust between us. It’s nice to trust and be trusted by your teenage son.
  • Equip Others – Learning and Caring will take you a long way. However, you will not become an ACE until you gain the necessary skills to pass on your knowledge and passion. (This is why I love to be a coach)

Having a wide base of knowledge is very helpful in the business of life. Becoming and ACE simply requires you dig deeper into the areas that your most passionate about. Becoming an ACE also requires that you give yourself enough grace to run without condemnation. Run the race well but remember what your really running for.

Lets share some ideas: What is your top strategy for becoming and ACE?  (This is a great time to practice Equipping Others, please leave your answer in the comment section below.)

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