Episode 3: Be Learning or Earning | JT Ibe

In this week’s episode of MoC JR and John have a great conversation with JT Ibe, former college football player at Rice University then the University of South Carolina before a stint with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. After breaking in to sales at HashiCorp he’s currently working as an Enterprise Account Executive at StrongDM, helping companies secure their valuable resources.  JT blew us away with his thoughtfulness and mindfulness. Tune into the podcast to hear what makes JT a true sales pro and read on for JR’s insights on this very thoughtful conversation.

You hear “elite football player” and you may think you have some sense of what that person might be like. If that’s the case, all it takes is a few minutes with JT Ibe to realize that your assumptions likely are only partially correct. JT is in fact competitive and disciplined and driven. But JT is also a big-picture-deep-thinker who makes his moves thoughtfully and deliberately. I don’t know whether JT plays chess, but if he did I’m not sure I’d want to play him—he definitely thinks about life a few moves ahead!

JT talks fondly about his former teammates, and invokes the name of “B Mac” frequently. According to JT, B Mac was wise beyond his years and was “next level” in his views on life—he believed in the power of singular focus, that to be successful you can’t chase two things at once. You can’t have a Plan A and a Plan B in play at the same time. If Plan A doesn’t work, then you focus on your Plan B. This approach might not be for everyone, but it worked for JT. We tend to gravitate toward the people we want to be like and to emulate them. I’m not saying JT wasn’t focused on academics—I’m merely saying that football was JT’s Plan A. It’s so important to find a mentor who is successful in the ways that matter to you and take as much as you can from them. Ask lots of questions. Find your own style, uncover your own foundational values. Then build on those as you learn and grow and shift from Plan A to Plan B. This is clearly what helped JT get his feet under him as he was starting life after football.

Know what’s important

JT readily admits that he is still transitioning from college, but that doesn’t mean he’s all over the road—it means he’s still adjusting, and he’s ok with that. He talks about his biggest shift, moving from a world in which everyone thinks alike to having to learn to work with different-minded people all the time. He had to adapt to being in situations where he couldn’t feed off the energy he had grown accustomed to—the collective energy generated by a group of people focused on a shared goal. JT developed a very sophisticated process assess opportunities as he was transitioning—and interestingly enough, his highest priority was not finding the thing he missed most. The key takeaway here is that everyone needs to develop a process, but it doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. Find your fit based on the things you value. You can hear all about how JT did that in the podcast.

Stick to your routine

As part of executing with a single focus, having a good routine is critical. JT’s morning trip to the gym is non-negotiable, but his workout regimen might surprise you. No heavy barbells. No music, alone with his thoughts. A spin on the bike, some work with dumbbells, and a few hangs is what he needs to get him into the day. It’s what gets his brain rolling with positive thoughts and allows him to achieve what he calls “breakthroughs.” Having a strong mental game that delivers clarity is a key contributor to JT’s success; it gives him the focus he needs to be strategic about each and every move. Starting his morning at the gym is the first piece of a consistent operating rhythm that gives JT a structure and momentum that is crucial to his success.

“Be learning or earning”
JT is perpetually curious—he was a guest of ours but he took the chance to turn the tables and asked us some questions while he had us on the line, reinforcing the value of asking questions and taking advantage of whatever resources are available to you.

Tune in to the podcast to learn all about JT’s process for prepping for and evaluating offers, how he’s grown his career, and how he plans to get to his ultimate goal. Be prepared to take notes—this guy has some amazing tips you won’t want to miss.

Post Tags :

Share :