In the game of life, it’s easy to crumble under the pressure, but some people manage to not only survive, but also thrive in high-pressure situations.
For this week’s Secrets To Your Success, we headed to New Jersey to interview Olympic basketball champion turned Wall Street success story, Gail Marquis. She shared her remarkable story behind this surprising and rewarding second career.
BREAKING GLASS CEILINGS ON THE COURT
A true pioneer, Gail is not only the proud winner of a silver medal at the Olympics for basketball, but she is part of the first ever USA female basketball team to participate in an Olympics Game, in 1976, an honor she carried with as much pride as the medal itself.
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When Gail first fell in love with the game as a youth she had no idea there would be a female Olympic basketball team, let alone that she would be one of its trailblazing members. It was just months before the games that she was told that she was up for consideration and the once in a lifetime opportunity of going from College basketball to the international stage. After tireless training she finally made the cut and went on to Olympic glory.
THE GOAL POST KEEPS MOVING
Once Gail had “arrived” and had a shiny silver medal around her neck, she found there weren’t that many places to go from there. It was then that she looked for her next big challenge, which she found in the most unlikely of places, Wall Street!
“To reach such a high level in sports for a man, maybe he would have gone into the professional leagues, for a woman I found there was no place to go. So I found the most competitive situation for me to be was to be on Wall Street in the financial planning and the financial world. And I actually just loved it,”
PROVE ‘EM WRONG
When Gail first entered the financial planning area, she was acutely aware of the stereotypes people had of former athletes. Oddly enough, those limiting thoughts were part of the allure of the position. She taped into the same motivation she’d used on the basketball court…the thrill of proving people wrong.
“The reason I went there was because it wasn’t expected. There weren’t many women, especially women of color who worked there. I worked hard not to be a dumb jock but to be a very gifted and knowledgeable person in the financial field.”
A CHAMPION IS A CHAMPION, NO MATTER WHAT ARENA
The very same skills that Gail had applied to her illustrious basketball career, she was now applying to her second career on Wall Street. Not only did she embrace the highly pressured work environment, but she also focused on learning all she could.
EXPERTS NEVER STOP LEARNING
The first thing Gail did, was the very same thing she’d always done on the basketball court- learn everything she could. She then continued moving between different brokerage firms and working her way up the ladder, but it didn’t stop there. “What I think, the solidifying piece was going to the University of Phoenix and getting my MBA, that really tightened it up.”
WINNING BEGINS AND ENDS WITH THE THREE D’S: Desire, Dedication and Discipline.
“I took them right off the basketball court and brought them into my work and it keeps me focused when I want to get things done.”
Talk about a champion!