You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Keep the Rookie's Zeal No Matter How Far You Go Successful people find a way to keep the enthusiasm they had when they launched their careers.

By Marty Fukuda

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In the Drake song, "0 to 100," the obvious theme is reaching a point of success at a fast pace. A few lines later, there's a lyric, "I'm the rookie and the vet."

It's a great line. Imagine possessing the best qualities of the enthusiastic up-and-comer with the wisdom and experience of an industry lifer. The key to success in life and business is to combine the best qualities of both the rookie and the veteran. Here's how:

The rookie.

Approaches with the beginner's mind. This is a beginner's attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions even when studying a subject at an advanced level. Rookies are always looking for information and experiences that will help them accelerate their professional development. They are the antithesis of the "know it all."

Is willingness to pay their dues. The enthusiasm that comes with being the newcomer usually partners with a "bring it on" approach. Unfortunately, for many experienced leaders, cynicism and complacency too often replace that unbridled enthusiasm. As a veteran, revisit the "pay your dues" mentality. You'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish with an attitude change.

Related: What Failure Can Teach Entrepreneurs

The Veteran.

Utilizes accumulated knowledge to make strategic decisions. The great advantage of experience is having a history to draw upon. Effectively utilizing collective knowledge from the past and relating it to current dilemmas is a veteran's play not available to the rookie.

Keeps cool under pressure. Since rookies are encountering most experiences for the first time, it's easy to let the imagination run to the worst-case scenario, which is hardly productive. The veteran shouldn't be rattled by a fork in the road. Rather, he or she can use experience to focus on what's really important – making the right decision and following up with corrective action.

Knows whom to ask for advice. For the rookie, knowing where to go for answers can be half the battle – but deciding whom to trust is another matter. On the other hand, an experienced executive knows where to go and more importantly, whose advice to weigh more heavily than others.

Aim to strike a balance between the zeal of a newcomer and the savviness of a seasoned player. If you can harness the best traits of both the rookie and the vet, you'll reach MVP status, accelerating your success.

Related: Your First 5 Days as a New Manager

Marty Fukuda

Chief Operating Officer of N2 Publishing

Chicago native Marty Fukuda is the chief operating officer of N2 Publishing, overseeing operations at its corporate headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. He first joined the company as an area director in 2008 after working in the direct sales and print industries. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Business News

Some Costco Stores Are Now Selling a Frozen Item That Looks Just Like a Trader Joe's Fan Favorite

The Frozen Kimbap is a Trader Joe's cult favorite, and now a version can be found at Costco, too.