“Freedom on the inside comes when validation from the outside doesn’t matter.” ― Richie Norton

How prepared are you for your next big professional opportunity?

Would you be able to hit the ground running if you were to be presented with the opportunity of a lifetime?

To determine your level of preparedness, why not analyze the investments you've made in your professional development over the past few years?

You would have done your due diligence if you had paid more attention to enhancing what is in you than what's on you. After all, it's what's in you that will move you from here to there.

No, I’m not advocating that you ignore your appearance—how you look. But I’m encouraging you to invest more in your professional development than in your personal appearance. Remember, the value of how you look pales in comparison to the value of how you think, speak, write, and relate to others.

While personal appearance is important, it will carry you only so far. But when you enhance your professional development, you build yourself a solid foundation on which to build a successful life.

That said, professional development doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, and it doesn't have to take forever. It could be as simple as regular visits to the non-fiction section of your local library or by attending a one-day seminar.

It could also involve you interviewing a successful person in your neighborhood about their road to success, watching a well-produced documentary, or by joining and becoming active in a professional organization.

That said, you shouldn't start any professional/personal development endeavor before determining where you are and where you would like to go. And you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to do that. Remember, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there," Lewis Carroll.