Posts Tagged ‘success’

The Uniform

September 12, 2009

How do you dress for work?

If you’re a college or pro football player, you wear protection from head to toe. For safety. To avoid injury to important parts. To cushion the falls.

As entrepreneurs, we don’t think much about that in our daily business lives but maybe we should. Let’s take a look at the various elements of a football players’ uniform to see if we can’t relate it to our own internal and external attire.

Helmet & Facemask

The helmet is obviously meant to protect the head against concussions. The facemask acts as a rolling bar for the player’s face to protect against pokes and hits and damage from falling on his face.

My guess is that you don’t wear a helmet during your workday. You’d look pretty ridiculous if you did and the nice people in the white coats would probably take you away.

But, what about starting your day with meditation, prayer, positive thoughts, a thankful spirit, and reading the Bible or other devotional book?

Doing those things on a daily basis protects your mind from potential injury from circumstances or various outside influences that come your way on a daily basis. It might even cushion you from mental and emotional falls.

Shoulder Pads, Hip Pads, Knee Pads, Flak Jackets

Again, all meant to protect different body parts. Football is a game about the power of muscle, not the ability of the body to absorb everything.

Do you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Is that what your shoulders were meant for?

Do the pressures of your business keep you up at night? What purpose does that serve?

Are you chained to your desk for long periods? Are your muscles so tight that you groan when you get up to take a break? Your body was not designed to be in a frozen position for long periods of time.

Do you take regular breaks during your work day to revive and restore your mind and body? Protect yourself from wear and tear…nobody else will do that for you.

Have you taken the time to strengthen the power of your own muscles with regular exercise, strength or weight training and cardio? If not, start today.

It’s all about the Shoes

Players wear different types of shoes for different playing surfaces. Depending on the playing surface and condition of the surface, longer or shorter cleats are worn. The bottom line is that cleats give players better traction in varying field conditions.

As an entrepreneur, have you adjusted your approach to clients, depending on the circumstance?

Some clients are firm; I call these ½” cleat clients – you need to be business-like, no-nonsense, and to the point.

Other clients are just average; 5/8” cleat clients – you can give a little leeway with your terms and be a wee more relaxed with communication.

Still others are mushy (touchy, feely, emotionally-charged); ¾” cleat clients – you’ll need to balance that out with some bottom-line statements, a firm stance, and maybe a little humor.

Then there are the 1” cleat clients – they are messy and muddy (temperamental and demanding) and cause miserable playing conditions. You’ll have to remain strong in your stance, not slip in their mud with any verbal giveaways, and not be afraid to take them out of your game.

Outer Wear – Jersey, Pants, and Socks

These are the outer clothes that players wear on the field. Many specific rules are linked to a players’ uniform but all for a reason. They don’t call it a uniform for nothin’. The uniform is governed closely by the NFL. If violations occur, the player is fined.

All those rules make me glad I can wear any old thing while I’m working at my desk at home. However, when I’m meeting with clients, some rules apply.

When you have a client meeting, do you show up, dressed for success, with a professional demeanor? Hair groomed? Nice aroma? Clean, pressed clothes? Minty breath? Notepad and pen ready to work?

All these seem like a no-brainer but I’ve heard horror stories about client meetings with vendors showing up, looking like they just rustled themselves out of bed. I’ve also heard about entrepreneurial folk answering their phones with the first phrase being, “Hey, I’m stepping out of the shower, can I call you back in a sec?” Oh my, these things ought not to be people.

If you’re meeting with a client in a casual setting…sure, ditch the suit and tie and go business casual. Depending on the client, dress the part…wear your “uniform” to the game. Don’t penalize your credibility for your appearance. Show your client you’re on his team all the way.

I’ll ask you again…How do you dress for work? Make sure your internal attire…your mental attitude, your emotional well-being…is in check. Also make sure your outer attire…your appearance for clients…is fit for the occasion.

Hurray! Football season is here! See ya’ll on the field.

Advertisements

Cocky vs Confidence

July 30, 2009

There is a big difference between being cocky and having confidence.

Cocky is bold, brash, and brazen along with sassy and saucy. There is self-confidence well hidden under the behavior but it manifests itself rudely most of the time.

Self-confidence is confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. It’s being secure and having assurance in oneself. Self-confidence is sexy. Self-confidence is classy.

When we look at many athletes, we only see their cocky side; their swagger, the sly smirks on their faces, revealing arrogance and pride. What we often don’t understand is, that’s just a misguided mask of “real” self-confidence without a place to rest.

What’s more important for an athlete is possessing true confidence; when he knows for certain his abilities and strengths and how to fully utilize them. Every athlete needs an abundance of confidence to rise to the top in his sport.

As entrepreneurs and business people, confidence is absolutely essential to our business success. We need to know who we are, what we are capable of and what talents we have to successfully execute our tasks. Take a few minutes to complete the following exercise:

  • List your three top character traits.
  • Complete the sentence: I never shy away from _________.
  • List your three most valuable strengths.
  • List five life-talents you have (what you’re naturally gifted at).

See…you’re pretty terrific, huh? Stand tall in who you are and what you do best. Focus on those things and more abundance of every kind will flood into your life.

We should still also seek to improve our weak points and develop into a better, more balanced, enriched person. Focusing on our weaknesses though will stall our game and cause us to lose yardage. There I go with football analogies again, but you know what I mean.

Being cocky turns people off. Being confident attracts people to us.

Give confidence a permanent home in your heart and mind today.

Mixing it Up on the Playing Field

July 11, 2009

A basic fact about football is that an 11-inch long ball bounces funny. How does a coaching staff develop a strategy that compensates for an odd-shaped ball that bounces funny? Depends on the coaching staff. Some like to run, some like to pass, some like to mix it up.

Teams that can both run and pass are the most successful. Teams that can play effectively in icy weather as well as scorching weather will have a better chance at victory. Teams who have superb running games in cold weather will most likely dominate, just as teams who play in domes on artificial turf will have an edge with faster players. Of course, it also depends greatly on the talent of the team. Combinations are important: Consider the former combined talent of Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Brett Farve and Dorsey Levens, Joe Montana and Roger Craig.

The best way to plan a game strategy is first to know the “personality” of your opponent, both strengths and weaknesses, and then for the offensive line to ask the question: What do we do best, run or pass? After all, those are your only choices to move down the field, no matter what your strategy.

On the business field we must ask ourselves what our strategy is on a daily basis. We need to know as much as possible about our opponent (competition) and how a strong game plan can dominate our arena.

Ask yourself the following questions to analyze your game and make it the best it can be.

What do I do best?

Am I focusing on those things?

Are you reading industry-specific playbooks to further your field knowledge and motivational books to keep you and your team going?

Do you use combined talent with those you partner with?

Do you mix it up on your playing field by choosing a combination of running and passing strategies (creative problem-solving) outside the box?

Do you conduct business on a mundane and predictable basis?

The truth is: Life bounces funny. There’s never just one way to accomplish a task or solve a problem. Start using a run/pass game to mix it up on your playing field and I bet you’ll find the spark you need to win daily success.