The Cost of Mastery

I recently watched a suprisingly insightful interview with professional basketball player Kobe Bryant. In the interview he shares his personal pursuit of mastery; his drive to be the best at what he does. The interview is worth watching regardless if you are a basketball fan or not. There is a lot to learn from anyone that is committed to becoming a master.

If you’re building a business and feel like there is no time for anything else, you’ll find comfort in Kobe’s perspective. Kobe wanted to be the best basketball player of his time at all costs. He’s asked in the interview why he isn’t more social or more this or that. He simply responds, “I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the time away from basketball to do those other things.”  He practiced far longer and harder than the rest of the players in the league. His love for the game and competing at the highest level trumped all other activities.

In other words, he was focused. He was willing to pay the price to be a master at his craft.

This had me thinking about how much are we, as budding entrepreneurs, willing to give up in order to produce great work, a great product and ultimately a great business? Do we have that drive to be exceptional? Are we willing to take on the challenge of mastery? Or are we on a path to fall into a life of mediocrity in the pursuit to be “good” at everything?

I don’t know about you, but I’m with Kobe. I want it bad. I want to create a significant difference in my industry. I am willing to commit to the path of mastery, even if it means I’m not the most well-rounded person. Well-rounded? I’m not 17 applying for colleges here. I have no time to waste. I’m not getting any younger and life is too precious to not build and leave a legacy behind.

If you’re interested in watching the interview with Kobe Bryant, I’ve included it below. I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.