Let’s say you’ve just been invited to be a participant on a new game show called The IMC.

Everybody is talking about The IMC. Last week you saw a lady win $100K in less than one minute.

Thousands apply to get on the show. By the luck of the draw – today is your day!

Couple of qualifiers –

  • First, the game is a series of questions – answer them correctly and you bank the cash. If you advance through all 20 questions you win a quarter of a million dollars.
  • Second, you get to pick the two categories the questions will come from. And in advance!
  • Third – you have 8 seconds to answer each question. But you have to answer at least 10 to earn ANY money.   Get 10 and you’ve won 100K and can choose to take the money and go home.  If you decide to go forward you put everything you’ve earned at risk.

Simple concept, isn’t it?  So you’ve just been pulled from the crowd to play on tonight’s show. Four hours to airtime.

Now, this is where things get interesting.  The IMC tells us they’re three general approaches most contestants take once they get the word they’re going on the show.  In fact, the producers allow them to choose which “Door” they would like to go through to maximize their chances for success once they’re pulled from the general audience.

The Door 1 Sign reads as follows, “Excited to play. I probably have a good idea of what The IMC is going to ask since I pick the categories. My chances of winning depend on what questions they ask. Let’s roll and see what happens.”

The Door 2 Sign reads as follows, “Excited to play. I think I can win but I’m going to try and increase my chances. I’ll take my computer and maybe do some basic reading up on US History and the politics of Panama…I’m a rock star with both.”

The Door 3 Sign reads as follows, “Excited to play. I’m going to crush the 20.  I’ll research past IMC question patterns, finalize my 2 categories, and deep dive my research.  No one will be more prepared on the mating habits of the barn owl and The Battle of Little Big Horn than me.”

OK, you get the picture – 3 general groups – 3 general approaches on how they will play The IMC.

With few exceptions – most of us – when we read the game rules for The IMC – have no problem in saying which Door we would choose as the 4 hours to game time tick down.

Door 3 – right?  Who the heck stumbles into Door 1 and says, “Let’s just see what happens?”

Here’s your answer – MOST of us.

And I can prove it.

The IMC is set up as a pass-fail “winner take all” game by design – same for the “you pick the category” caveat and the four hours and counting build-up.  It is a metaphor for a much larger game that virtually all of us are already playing – and many are losing.

Don’t believe me? Here’s some Straight Talk for you to consider.

  • If the faucet in your kitchen goes out today – unless you’re handier than me – you’re going to call a plumber to come out. Charge – 125 per hour.  If the air conditioner goes on the fritz – probably 75 per.  In fact any skilled craftsman – mechanic, plumber, etc commands a hefty figure for their expertise.
  • The value of your time – if you really want to put a number on it – and you are engaged in a profession – $100 per hour. Debate that figure if you want to but anyone who has invested in a college education has every right to place Fair Market Value at $100 per. And yes, that figure should go up as you advance in your career.

OK, you say, I accept the premise here. So what?  Here’s the so what.

For most of us – our career will span some 40 years. Start when you’re 22 and hope to walk when you’re 62.

  • If you’re lucky enough to only work 45 weeks per year and 50 hours per week – at minimum you will have worked 90,000 hours of your life in building your career.
  • Now, here is the reality. No one gets 7 weeks off per year or works only 50 hours per week. And few can retire at 62 and live on a pension.
  • The reality – expect to invest well over 100,000 hours in your career.

Got your attention?

  • 100,000 hours (conservative figure)
  • Assume $100 per hour (admittedly a low ball number because the value of your time should increase)
  • Take that 100,000 and multiply it by 100


The biggest financial investment of your life is your career.

There is not a close second.

And yet, most treat that investment with the same perspective as the Door 1 participants on The IMC.  They don’t treat their career like an investment at all – they treat it like a roll on the roulette tables or yes – a game show!

“Let’s just go out there and see what happens!”

That’s why so many lose the game.

They don’t understand the game.

Even those who profess, “I am Door #3 all the way.” More often they talk right (Door 3) and walk left (Door 1).

No real critical thinking as regards their career path.

They just show up.

That’s why up to three quarters end up in careers they never anticipated.

That’s why a majority describe themselves as disengaged.

That’s why most – at best – endure their careers.  They don’t win their careers.

That’s why I wrote The Compass Solution.

Oh, and The IMC – that stands for It’s My Career.

If you’re serious about winning the game, I can help you.

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