Model your business career after the Pittsburgh Steelers if you want your windfall in life!

The Pittsburg Steelers know how to run a business. If you measure an NFL team by Super Bowl wins they are number 1. They epitomize hard work and execution of a long term plan. More on them in a bit…

Starting Over in Business

It’s hard to get ahead in life if you are constantly starting over. Sure, you can receive some short term gains by switching jobs in salary, but in the long run, being a job hopper is not a good way to make your windfall. Short term gains are eaten up by taxes, moving expenses and, most importantly, the steep cost of learning.

We hear all the time about the start up jockeys in Silicon Valley hopping from startup to startup all the while cashing in on wild stock options and retiring at the age of 35. I’m sure that there are some people in this boat but most of the people trying this are gambling and end up losing. The winners are the ones who get publicized in the news. According to LinkedIn, young people have switched jobs 4 times by the time they are 32. For every startup lottery winner there are hundreds of people who are starting over every 3 or 4 years with a new job or venture.

Let’s take for granted a couple of things:

  • First, I want you to pick something that you like doing. It won’t matter what you do in life or what opportunities you may miss by switching if you hate your job.
  • Second, there are times when it does pay to switch. There are opportunities that are too good to pass up. No problem there. Just take your time and be sure of your decision.

And, it is scary to stick with it at times. I can speak for most entrepreneurs and say that I worry about the future. Am I on the right track? Have I made the right decisions? This is why you have to go back to my previous paragraph and a) make sure you like what you are doing and b) take your time to make your decisions.

What is the Career Formula?

Talent in life matters, but the most important factor in getting ahead is trying very hard and sticking with it. It takes practice to get good at something. This takes time. Then you have to give yourself time being good at it to reap the rewards. It is hard to do this if you are constantly on the move. You don’t give yourself time to become an expert.

In the incredible book, Grit, by Angela Duckworth, the author has a success formula:

Talent X Effort = Skill

Skill X Effort = Achievement!

By taking the time to become an expert, you will get ahead if you are working in a place where you can be rewarded for giving great value to your company.

Angela goes on to say “Well, for one thing, there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time — longer than most people imagine. And then, you know, you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people. Rome wasn’t built in a day”. — this is great advice and hard to attain if you are always switching between jobs, businesses etc.

Back to the Steelers

So, how did the Pittsburgh Steelers master this? They have only had 3 coaches in almost 50 years. Chuck Noll was there 23 years. Bill Cower, 15. Current coach, Mike Tomlin is on his 10th year. The Rooney’s, who own the team, have put a plan in place and given it time. They don’t jump from coach to coach hoping to find the next magic worker. By comparison, the Cleveland Browns are on their 5th coach in the last 7 years. Their winning percentage? About 31%. Pittsburgh’s is double this. It wasn’t easy for them. Chuck Noll was 1-13 in his first year and they didn’t have a winning record until year 5. They stuck with the plan and the rest was history.

Find something you love. Become an expert. Stick to your plan. Be successful.

Please contact me if there is anything I can do for you at