By Earsa R. Jackson
Partner, Head of Franchise & Distribution Team, Strasburger & Price, LLP

I am a big proponent of sports. Basketball and track taught me some valuable lessons which have translated well into my professional career. First and foremost, I developed the attitude that failure is not an option. The true champion always goes the extra mile to outwork the opponent. Performance doesn’t just happen once you hit the court or the field, it begins when there is no crowd cheering you on, just guts and determination to train quietly so you can compete at the top of your game.

I learned to never be comfortable. To be the best, you have to continually work to stay at the top. One must make a lifetime commitment to excellence to be successful.

Sports taught me teamwork. That skill has carried over nicely into my profession as I frequently must put teams together for client projects. Each client, like each game or competition, is different and requires special attention and preparation. No two clients are the same and should never be treated as “routine.”

Sports taught me how to deal with adversity and challenges. Will you rise to the occasion or sit paralyzed thinking about the obstacle? The true champion needs no outside applause or cheer but is always able to dig a little deeper to overcome the challenge.

Every day in my profession, I am presented with my clients’ problems and challenges. I must find ways to help them overcome obstacles. I must design a game plan uniquely suited for the particular challenge. I have to understand the client’s end game before I can develop the best plan for my client.

I owe much of my professional success to sports. I attack each problem with the attitude that failure is not an option. Because of this attitude, I deliver superior outcomes for my clients.