In his induction speech, Emmitt Smith gave us the golden key to success in business; in fact, the nugget Smith shared is the golden key to success in any endeavor. He distinguished between dreams and goals. A dream can be born within you but it will only remain a dream unless you write it down. As a young boy growing up on Pensacola, Florida, Emmitt dreamt of becoming the leading rusher in the National Football League (NFL). However, he knew that just dreaming wasn't enough. Some how or the other, Emmitt knew that to move that dream from his mind and heart, he had to actually write the dream down. Once he wrote the dream on a piece of paper, he then set goals that would ensure that his dream would become true.
Not only did Emmitt Smith dream of playing in the NFL as a running back but he specifically recalled that how as a 6-year old boy, he remembers watching a Dallas Cowboys football game with family and he turned to the adults in the room and said, "One day I am going to play professional football and I am going to play with the Dallas Cowboys." As I listened to this speech, I was awestruck, dumbfounded and speechless. It was truly an "aha" moment for me - a light bulb moment - an epiphany of how to become great in my business, in my relationships and in life.
Emmitt Smith enjoyed a wonderful college football career with the Florida Gators and a stellar - almost untouchable - career with the Dallas Cowboys. During the Hall of Game football game, as he was being interviewed by one of the announcers, he turned to the camera and ended his interview by stating, "I want everyone out there to know that if they set goals and devise a plan to reach them, they can enter the Hall of Fame of Business, the Hall of Fame of Life, the Hall of Fame of whatever."
Many self-help gurus and motivational speakers have created systems, given speeches and have become quite wealthy sharing the "secrets" to success. But it took Emmitt Smith, the soft-spoken, easily moved to tears, fearless football warrior to really get my attention. I had never heard anyone share such a simple, succinct but incredibly powerful description of how to go from humble beginnings and a dream to becoming a multi-millionaire and enjoying one of the most successful football careers of all time.
Do you have a business dream? If you answered "yes" then half the battle for you is won. All you need to do is write the dream down and the steps for how you will achieve the dream and take action. These steps are your goals. If you answered "no" then you have some serious work to do. You purpose is encased in your DNA; you are for a reason and it's tied to your dream and yes, you can earn a lucrative living using your purpose to serve others helping them achieve their dream.
When you were a child, you dreamt this dream but life's hard knocks, fear of failure, rejection and fear of success has buried your dream but its still there. Dig it up, dust it off, believe that it's possible, and ask God (or whatever you call the Higher Power) for guidance and courage and then write down the steps you must take to achieve this dream. Remember, these steps are your goals. Once you have them written down, take action to achieve them; act quickly and decisively.
Copyright Carmin Wharton, 2008