How Hungry Are You?

Two young upstarts were once trying to get investor buy-in for their brilliant business idea. They had managed to get a meet with a potential venture capitalist. All their hopes were really riding on this deal going through because in the real sense, genius without resource is dead in the water. As the meeting progressed, they began to feel relieved. He had asked them the usual questions, queried them on their strategies, financials etc. Their competence was not in doubt. Then he asked a usual question. You see successful people have certain qualities but if you ask most of them, one single quality seems to tower above the rest.

Years ago, fresh out, I plunged into the labour market to make a mark. I secured employment with an Information Technology institute. They were the biggest name in the industry for that sector (training). Well I started out on the lowest rungs. There were other new entrants too. I needed much more expertise to handle the caliber of people whom I would be instructing but I was new. I had practically no experience but I was hungry. My hunger shone. It was evident. I was hungrier and more desirous than any wolf in the pack. This made me go the extra mile. Work gruesome hours. Engage in excruciatingly long lab sessions with my students. Stay up all night going at a new technology I discovered and trying to get real-world application for it. It was hard.

Thinking back to those days, I laugh. Just last week a friend asked me, “What do you even do?” I was taken back. “Of course you know what I do.” She retorted, “I see you sitting at your computer all day doing nothing but getting paid.” I laughed so hard and assured her I wasn’t an internet fraud maestro. You see, she happens to be working in the hospitality industry. Most times, she is on night shifts…long excruciating hours. She felt she deserved better and wished for my job. I mused over this. If only she knew. If she knew how much I sacrificed to get to the point where I could just sit at my computer and “get paid”, I doubt she’d still want my job.

So he asked the question, “Why should I give you my money?” There was this long pause and one of them replied, “You should because we are hungry.” He whipped out his check book. Of course there are other qualities which make for success but if you do not desire it, you would lack the motivation to pursue it.

We all know the current internet sensation Anthony Joshua. He is the hero of the people. Bringing down legends and behemoths alike. When I took the time to profile him, I realized that he was hungry. He had something to prove. You see, klitchko had that hunger a while back. But now, he’s “just sitting at his computer” taking it easy. So the 27 year old kid made him pay. At the workplace, what do you contribute? How do you make yourself seen? And I’m not talking about “The Art of Whistle Blowing.” How much do you want it? What would you do for it? How much sleep loss for PMP certification? Basically, how hungry are you?

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