Another Furman grad, Wehman Hopke and I knew each other in school but recently connected when I moved back to Greenville. Although he's no longer in town, his career path caught my attention and when I learned his plans to move from professional golfing to corporate America, I knew I had to reach out. I think you'll find his story both impressive and moving.
What’s the biggest room in the world?
I have spent the past 3.5 years of my professional life chasing a little white ball around a field or to put it simply – playing professional golf. My career is now transitioning from professional golf to business, after accepting a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Charlotte, NC.
After recently making the difficult decision to move on from golf, I was given some time to reflect on certain attributes that golf has taught me, and how those lessons will be useful in my new role with PwC. Despite seeming simple in nature, playing professional golf presented many opportunities to grow as a businessman, honing in on a unique perspective of one's professional development.
Golf, as a profession, yields brutally honest feedback. It is easy for anyone following your career to track your progress as scores and tournament results, which bluntly portrays your growth as a golfer. Additionally, profit margins on mini-tours are razor-thin. Most of the time, failing to finish inside the top-15 meant uncovered expenses for the week and being unable to crack the top-5 also meant uncovered expenses for the month.
Due to the cutthroat nature of golf, I was forced to identify the small but weak areas of my golf game, which needed to be improved upon. The statistical analysis not only identified where you succeeded but also where you could improve. Most players really enjoy practicing and improving their strengths, but very few focus on their weaknesses. Deep down I knew this applied to me, so I began to configure ways to practice the weak areas of my golfing game. In 2019, I applied my ideology to my own play, and began focusing on putting, wedge control, and long iron play, which in return, finally became a few of my strengths.
So, again I ask you. What's the biggest room in the world? And how does this relate to golf? The biggest room in the world, is the room for improvement. Golf didn’t lead me to the answer, but it did help me find the key to improvement. The key can be as simple as slowing down one's own thoughts and becoming introspective, or absorbing criticism positively. Whatever job, endeavor, or dream you are working on, applying the room for improvement is always possible.
Diagnosing areas of improvement doesn't just come from within oneself. Business partners, mentors, and colleagues inspire introspection which is why I’m excited to see where the YoPro Know is headed. Connecting with other young professionals will foster opportunities to solve problems and create innovative business practices that will define our generation and make the world a better place. Let’s get to it!
The YoPro Know's Takeaways:
– In any profession you're in, there's always room for improvement
– Becoming introspective and taking in criticism is the most valuable thing one can do
– Regardless of how drastic or minor your career transitions, there is always something valuable gained from the change
Connect with the author here: Wehman Hopke