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Do You Have What it Takes?

Do you have what it takes to achieve your greatness? Too many are naive to the hard work, fear, blood, sweat and tears one must experience to create the life and career they have always dreamed of.

This hard work isn't just for the entrepreneurs or elite athletes it is for anyone who wants to achieve their goals, move up the ladder, break records and make a name for themselves. I am fully aware that, for some, a career is not where they will define their greatness and that is something I admire. For those who do have a talent for their profession and are beginning their journey or haven't quite achieved their full potential, I have a story to tell you...

Chapter 1, There was little girl who loved playing tennis and was quite good at it. She practiced and she played as much as she could to, one day, be the best in the state. Her drive and strength to achieve her goals were relentless. Through injury, fear, wins and losses she had finally made her dreams a reality. Not just once but three times.

Chapter 2, Now it was time for this girl to become a woman and transition into her role as a collegiate tennis athlete. It was a new environment and new level of tennis. Did she have what is takes? Would she be able to find the ambition and drive again? She not only proved to be a fighter and positive influence for her team but she discovered a gift that would help launch her into the next chapter of her life.

Chapter 3, She knew it wouldn't be easy. A woman, in a male dominate field, would need skill and persistence to be successful. The odds were stacked against her, she was not a top player in the nation, she did not go to a big D1 university and males dominated both men's and woman's collegiate tennis coaching. Once again, she would have to harvest the inner drive and fearlessness she had before.

Chapter 4, Her name is Lauren Longbotham-Spencer and the rest of her story is where patience and careful deliberation takes place. She had already established some coaching experience through her involvement with Texas A&M University Tennis Camp but her career didn't officially began until she graduated college. Lauren started by building her resume at a facility in Dallas. She then sought out a position with Southern Methodist University as the volunteer women's assistant tennis coach. Due to her preparation, they offered her the position but she still had to pay her bills so, she took a job with a top tennis facility in Dallas. She knew it would take time to build her credibility and the days were long but nothing she had ever done in life had been easy.

Chapter 5, Four years had past with SMU and Lauren had grown into her fully paid role as Women's Assistant Tennis Coach. She created friends within the tennis community, gained knowledge in recruiting players from all over the world and most importantly, developed coaching techniques that would later prove to be the most important asset in her career. She was putting in the work and the dedication to prove herself as a collegiate coach. Then... one day, she was faced with an unexpected opportunity. The head women's tennis coach at SMU was leaving. It would be the opportunity she had been patiently waiting for.

Chapter 6, Her dream was made into a reality as she became Interim Head Women's Tennis Coach for SMU and then Head Women's Tennis Coach for SMU. Lauren directed the Mustangs to a school record three-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2009-11 and was named C-USA Coach of the Year in 2009. Her team won Conference USA Championship, which was the first league tournament title in school history. This list of achievement could be extended but even more impressive, Coach Spencer did this all while becoming a wife, recovering from the loss of her sister, and battling infertility. Her career was at a high point and yet her personally life was a roller coaster. That strength that carried her through her journey in becoming a collegiate coach would now have to be the anchor for her personal life.

Chapter 7, It was time in her life to make a move, start fresh and take on new challenges. Lauren thrives in challenges, so she went full force to achieve yet another big career goal. Auburn University was looking for a Head Women's Tennis Coach. This university had the support from the athletic department and alumni that she had wanted. Lauren spent HOURS creating a portfolio that the Queen herself would be impressed with. She gathered her army of references and headed to Auburn. Long story short, she landed the job. Not only did she get the job but found out, after many years of infertility, she was pregnant! Again, her hard work and patience had paid off :)

Fast forward six years. Lauren is still the Head Women's Tennis Coach for Auburn University. Where she is the winningest coach in Auburn Women's Tennis history. She has a beautiful extended family and loves her life as a collegiate coach. Did I mention that she is my sister? I am very proud to tell you her story because, in all of Lauren's chapters, she has had to work hard to get to each step. Non of which happened over night!

This level of success takes never ending networking, freely giving up your weekend and nights, and researching others who have paved the path before you. It will not always look the same nor will it be as flawless as others may make it seem. It will be messy at times and interfere with you personal life, BUT that is why you have to have the support in your life that understands and encourages. If you do not have that, you can find it in a LIFE COACH. I would not have accomplished half of my goals without my Life Coaches. If you are unsure what direction to go in your career. That too can be discovered through Life Coaching. You can start creating your future one day at a time.

Now, take one out of the many chapters of Lauren's life and WORK!

Photo credit, Auburn University

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