The following is an introduction to my second book set to publish this summer.
Since I am in the development stages, feel free to email any feedback (positive or constructive) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also - if you haven't already - make sure to check out Learning Curve as the second book will follow the same structure and serve as a compliment to the first book.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
-FROM Run to Daylight
By Vince Lombardi
“You’re just not ready.”
Those were the superintendent’s words when he informed me that I did not get the middle school principal job.
This was not the first of these calls. I had applied for three principal jobs within this particular school district. And all three times I was told “you’re not good enough.”
The year was 2014 and I was in my sixth year as an assistant principal. Whereas many similar-aged peers were getting opportunities to lead buildings ... all I was getting were rejection calls.
Upon hanging up the phone, I sat motionless in my tiny corner office. Sick to my stomach and unable to focus, I said “screw it” and left work early without saying a word to anyone.
When I got into my 2005 Yukon, I grabbed my case of burned CD’s and pulled out a disk that had “Revenge” written in black sharpie. During my drive to the gym across town, I blasted Linkin Park’s Numb, Eminem’s ‘Till I Collapse (NSFW), and Tupac’s Hit ‘Em Up (definitely NSFW).
During my workout, several thoughts went through my head:
What am I doing wrong in my interviews?
I guarantee I’m better than whoever they selected!
Do I have what it takes to be a principal?
Someone at the district office must really hate me!
Should I just quit education all together?
The next few days were more of the same. Feelings of embarrassment, anger, inadequacy, and jealousy cycled through my mind like a washing machine on spin cycle. These constant negative thoughts made it difficult to eat and impossible to sleep.
Eventually I reached a point of extreme mental fatigue which forced me to stay home from work. Staring blankly at the ceiling while lying in bed, I realized I was at a crossroads:
Do I quit education and transition to another profession?
Or, do I continue to grind and trust that I’ll get my chance?
I grabbed my laptop and searched several job sites looking for opportunities outside of education. “Website developer – I could do that.” I thought to myself. “Ooohhh - personal training sounds fun!”
After going down the job-search rabbit hole for far too long, I switched my attention to YouTube. Searching for inspiration, I typed “how to move up at work” into the navigation bar.
Three pages-worth of results later, I stumbled upon an interview of comedian Steve Martin. During this video clip, Martin was asked how he experienced so much success. The following was his response:
When people ask me, “How do you make it in show business?” what I always tell them is not the answer they want to hear. What they want to hear is, “Here’s how you get an agent ... Here’s how you write a script.” But what I always say is, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If you are really good, people are going to come to you.
Little did I realize that Martin's advice - more specifically, "Be so good they can't ignore you" - would be the exact words needed to get my mind back on track and jump-start my stagnant professional career...