Originally published on mensphysique.com on Saturday, 08 February 2014
The enticing waters of the competition world can truly rule a competitor’s life, especially when a national qualification is won at local and regional shows and the national stage beckons. In fact, most of you probably already have your national contest strategy in place and are prepared to hit contest after contest to maximize your chances of getting a Pro Card.
Every year competitors continually squirm through that national level bottleneck in an effort to go Pro, accommodating and prioritizing the NPC national contest schedule and scheduling work and vacations around it. Believe me, I can relate. The national contest lineup was so etched in my brain over the last few years that I would maneuver my work schedule and everything else around it, year after year.
A profound shift seems to occur for many competitors as they pass into the Pro ranks. When I went Pro in July of 2013 at Team Universe, everything in my life took a radical shift. I am sure many of you who are IFBB Pros understand what I am talking about. Suddenly you are cast into a wide ocean, with more contests, more opportunities, and more ventures. It can be downright confusing, overwhelming and a bit depressing once you realize that the battle you waged to slay that dragon is now over, and that unless you wish to slay a bigger dragon by earning a spot on the Olympia stage, you might not know what to do now.
Probably the best advice I can give to new IFBB Pros is to enjoy the moment and float on the cloud for a while, then be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work. I honestly believe that becoming a Pro actually means you have to work harder to reinvent yourself and make your mark in the world. You are in an elite group, surrounded by many driven and incredibly talented people. How will YOU stand out?
Maybe competing is still very much in your blood and you want to collect wins and points, or you want to remain relevant in the competition world. That’s fine, but just make sure to look at the bigger picture. The people who didn’t give you a second glance when you were an amateur might suddenly be fussing over you, but don’t let the attention get to your head. You need to leverage your Pro status and your unique talents and position yourself in such a way that you truly make an impact on your followers and potentially build business and a name for yourself. Think beyond the stage, push your brand and your message, and you may indeed become one of those Pros who really stands out.
Get out there, PRO!