Why It Pays to Make the Career Change You Seek

With the Easter holiday, I decided to take some time off and explore Oxford, London and Amsterdam.  (You can follow the highlights of my travels on Facebook and Twitter.)  On the plane ride across the pond, I picked up a copy of USA Today.  In the midst of NCAA Basketball March Madness (of which I am a fan), I was immediately immersed in an article about Brad Stevens head coach of the Cinderella team Butler.  

Butler, a mid-major school located near Indianapolis where the championship game (versus Duke) will be played tonight was not predicted to go this far.  In fact, many have likened them to the fictional team in the movie Hoosiers.  However, in reading about their coach and his mid-career change, I’m not surprised this team has exhibited so much courage and had so much success.  Here’s his story…

Coach Stevens played college basketball but chose a career in Marketing and was on the fast track with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.  (I once interviewed with Eli Lilly for a pharmaceutical rep position and found the firm to be invested in employee career development.)  For Stevens, who had been an economics major at DePauw University, it seemed he had it all – a great career at a great company.  

But sometimes things are not what they seem.  

Despite his success, Stevens "chucked all that" and took a job as an assistant coach at Butler in 2000. For those of you not familiar, assistant coaches don’t usually make the salary of corporate marketers. But he followed his dream and after the departure of his two successors (who went on to coach at even bigger programs), Coach Stevens had the head coaching job at Butler in just three years.  Not only that, in those three years, he racked up the most wins by a Division I coach.

When you follow your dreams, success follows you. 

According to his players, it’s Coach Stevens who keeps his team from getting rattled in close games (Butler got into the championship game with a 2 point victory).  "He leads. We follow." says Veasley, a key leader for the team on the court.  

Tonight, the Butler team will follow their coach into arguably the biggest game in college basketball against one of the best teams.  Whether they win or lose, Coach Stevens and his players have already achieved more than anyone thought possible.  Well not anyone.  I’ve seen people go further and farther when following their passion.  I’m sure he would have reached great heights in Marketing but now the sky’s the limit for Brad Stevens.  Good luck Bulldogs!

To what heights would you like to go?  Share your dreams by commenting here.  By writing down your goals and ideas, you increase your chances of achieving them by three times.  You increase your chances by ten times when you share your dreams and goals out loud –call into my radio show this Friday at 4pm ET at 866-675-6675 and I’ll be ready to listen.

(Photos courtesy of Digital Sports Daily and The New York Daily News respectively.)

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