Maybe you know you could start a successful business... if you just get the funding to try. Maybe you know your pitch would kill... if you could just get in front of the right VCs or investors. Or maybe you know you could do a better job than your boss... if you could just get the chance to try.
Millions of people are convinced they have the talent, the skills, and the smarts -- they just need the chance to prove it.
Ross Chastain is a perfect example of how true that can sometimes be.
JDM is a relatively underfunded team that, barring a minor miracle, is unlikely to ever win a race. Yet Ross managed to qualify for the playoffs ahead of a number of drivers from better-funded teams, using a combination of strategy, determination, and race craft to wring every ounce of performance from the car.
That caught the attention of the Chip Ganassi Racing XFINITY Series team. And of DC Solar founder Jeff Carpoff and his wife, Paulette. Together they gave Ross an incredible opportunity: Drive the CGR #42 -- a truly top-level car from one of the best teams in the series -- in the Darlington, Las Vegas, and Richmond races. (Here's the full story of how that came about.)
He led the Darlington race until contact with Kevin Harvick took him out of contention; Ross put himself in the news after a little Dale Earnhardt (Sr.)-style payback.
Then on Saturday he won the Las Vegas race -- his first victory at the national series level -- in comprehensive fashion by sweeping the first two stages and leading 180 out of 200 laps.
Proving that if he was just given a chance... he more than deserved the opportunity.
"Holy cow! I'm just a watermelon farmer from Florida--I'm not supposed to do that," he said moments after the race. "This shows you anything in your life is possible."
That's true for you, too.
You Can Choose Yourself
Once you had to wait: To be accepted, to be promoted, to be selected... to somehow be "discovered."
Not anymore. Access is nearly unlimited; you can connect with almost anyone through social media. You can create your own products, start your own business, attract your own funding, build your own network...
You can do almost anything you want -- and you don't need to wait for someone else to discover your talents. The only thing holding you back is you, and your willingness to try.
You Can Choose to Stay the Course
And your willingness to stay the course. Most people give up in the face of adversity -- even if they are smarter, better connected, more talented, or better funded than you. But they won't win if they aren't around at the end.
Sometimes it makes sense to give up on ideas, projects, and even businesses -- but it never makes sense to give up on yourself.
Take Ross: His career appeared to be over in 2014 when he was let go from his ride in the truck series. In fact he was told to quit.
"I got fired... and told to go back to the farm and told to quit racing," he said. "That was tough. And it made me stronger."
And You Can Choose to Bet On Yourself
Ever heard someone say, "If I got promoted, then I would work harder"? Or, "If the customer paid more, then I would do more"? Or, "If I thought there would be a bigger payoff, I would be willing to sacrifice more"?
Successful people earn promotions by first working harder. Successful businesses earn higher revenue by first delivering greater value. Successful entrepreneurs earn bigger payoffs by first working hard, well before any potential return is in sight.
Most people expect to be compensated more before they will even consider working harder.
Ross isn't getting paid a salary to drive the #42 car. The deal was the opportunity to prove what he can do -- not compensation for doing it.
That's a deal he was more than happy to accept: Successful people see compensation as the reward for exceptional effort, not the, no pun intended, driver.
Bet on yourself. Take less than you think you're worth. Do a little work for free just to prove how talented, how capable, and how skilled you really are.
When you see an opportunity, do anything you can -- sacrifice anything you can -- to seize that opportunity.
Then you can not only show what you can do... and also prove what your skills, talent, and expertise are truly worth.