Posts Tagged ‘sports’


January 30, 2010

Whether a team is winning or losing…it’s inevitable…half-time WILL come. It’s a time when sports announcers  banter with each other and aggressively give their take on what’s happened in the first half. It’s a time when advertisers unashamedly flaunt their wares with multi-million dollar ideas. It’s also a time that coaches have to lay groundwork for the second half of the game.

Coaches are well aware that they have only 15 minutes at half-time to:

  • Analyze the competition and make necessary adjustments
  • Refresh, rest, and rehydrate the team
  • Motivate and focus on team strength’s
  • Keep their game face on while players offer feedback

Half-time often comes to businesses too. You’ve gone through the opening kick of start-up, you’ve toiled through the downs of marketing attempts and client interaction, and have more than likely reached the goal line of an increased client base and referrals.

Now, half-time comes and you find yourself needing to do all the above bullet points. I’ll break them down so you can go into your second half, revived and ready to give your all.

  • Analyze the competition and make necessary adjustments. Have you looked at your competitors’ websites lately?

Their call to action? Special offers?

Are there any adjustments you can make to keep yourself ahead of your competition?

Perhaps a website copy analysis? A press release to announce your latest product/service offering? A revised auto-responder to draw in a greater number of respondents and increase sales?

  • Refresh, rest, and rehydrate. How many hours a day/week do you work? I’ve consistently worked more hours than I ever have since I’ve been an entrepreneur. I attend a 6:00 a.m. resistance/strength training class to energize me for the first part of the day. I take an afternoon break during my body clock’s dip time, then it’s back to work until around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.

The more I move up the field as a self-bosser, the more I realize I need to aggressively take time to relax and refresh myself. I have to make a conscious decision to get up at least once an hour and stretch, I need to re-fuel with food every 3-4 hours, and drink plenty of water.

I’m talking to myself when I tell you to take a break and read for 30 minutes. Go for a short walk. Eat a little chocolate (I don’t have any problem with that one). I’ll often take Friday afternoon off to pick up my 6-year old granddaughter for a sleepover. Of course, the piggyback rides and chasing games serve to exhaust me to new heights.

  • Motivate and focus on your strength’s. You’ll find plenty of ways to motivate yourself, you just have to look around. A simple Google search will produce millions of results of motivational content to uplift and inspire you. Also, make a list of your strengths.

It took those strengths to start your business and it takes your strength and talent to manage it. After all, what do football players think about…how inadequate they are? That they have no talent? Huh, I don’t THINK so or they’d have a one-way ticket out of the NFL.

  • Keep your game face on while others offer feedback. If you want to improve your business, you’re going to have to ask for feedback from your clients, your peers, and your mentors. How do you react to feedback when it’s less than what you expected? What if the feedback comes from a trusted source and is still not what you wanted to hear?

Do you keep your game face on or fall apart?

Do you get mad and hurl negative comments back?

Do you wince and glare with nonacceptance of critical comments, even when they’re meant to improve your game?

You can do whatever you want to with your game face in private but keeping your game face on in public is essential to show that you’re a professional – teachable and humble.

Half-time can be a time of commiserating, re-hashing mistakes, mishaps, or a symphony of woe-is-me’s, or it can serve as time well spent. How will you spend your next half-time?


Fanatical Fans

November 16, 2009

Last week I was at the Chicago Bears/49ers game at Candlestick Park. I had a pre-game field pass for this particular game and it gave me an entirely different vantage point from which to look at the fans in the stands.

It started me thinking about what makes sports fans all over the country holler till they’re hoarse, paint their faces in an array of colors, sit in snow and rain for hours to watch games, spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars for tickets, and anxiously hold out footballs, jerseys, and other paraphernalia to be signed by their favorite players.

I also thought about what has made me a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan and the reason I have no less than 10 Cowboys t-shirts, plus jerseys, jamies, sweatshirts, ticket stubs, signed hats from training camps, and even earrings.

Ponder how the following sports fan traits relate to your business success:

1. Loyalty to a group – People have the need to feel like they belong. They need connectivity. Fair weather fans come and go but loyal fans attend games, buy season tickets, purchase apparel, and follow the team on television and on the Internet. They’re proactive in supporting their team.

Think about what loyalty means to you in your business. Are you loyal to your vendors, your clients, and your networking circle? In balancing work and play, are you a loyal friend? A loyal spouse? Are you loyal to your own journey of success?

2. Observing Examples of Excellence – I believe another reason we see fanatical fans is that they realize in a deep way, the effort, guts, determination and sheer hard work it takes to play and excel in their sport. It’s not all glitz and glitter; there’s constant preparation, both mental and physical; it’s moving beyond average into greatness with every single decision.

Think about examples of excellence you’ve observed from people in your own sphere of business and personal relationships. Who has spurred you onward to your own pursuit of greatness? Who has inspired you to move past your challenges and to not allow them to penalize your own determination? Have you thanked them lately for being part of your team?

3. Because of the “great ones” who have gone before – When I think of great ones, I tend to think of the legendary coaches of times past like Tom Landry, George Halas, and Vince Lombardi. Of course, there are players who will forever be etched in my memory for their consistent excellence on the field; players like Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice.

Think about the great business and entrepreneurial mentors of times past as well as current ones. Who can you “adopt” as a personal mentor, whether through books, DVD’s, e-newsletters, or seminars? Whose example can you follow to take your own business success to the next level? Who can YOU be an example to?