Blog Archives

Winning in sports… winning in business

I’m a huge sports fan and find tons of inspiration from coaches and players that show great leadership qualities. There’s Mark Messier, Herb Brooks, Derek Jeter… the list goes on. Tom Coughlin is another person that leads by example with words and actions. The two-time Super Bowl winning coach of the New York Football Giants released his new book on March 5, titled “Earn the Right to Win.”

As a person that subscribes to being a “student always” (thanks to Stephanie Florence for that), I began reading the book, which is like a manual of how to prepare for and achieve success, based on Coach Coughlin’s decades of coaching experience. The great thing is that it can be applied to your business as well.

As you all may know, I am a big Giants backer. However, when I’m looking to improve myself, team loyalty doesn’t matter. Coach Coughlin’s book can really teach you something about how to better yourself and be successful. It’s the first book that I highlighted sentences and points as I was reading (thanks Nook!).

Tom CoughlinHere are a few things I’ve taken from Coughlin.

Create a Structure- Without this, how will you ever begin to succeed? You need structure in your life and business. Any successful entity has set a foundation for future success. This starts with hiring the right people or working with the right clients that are interested in achieving the same goals. Speaking of goals…

Set a Goal or Goals- Coughlin says, “Achieving any goal begins with thorough preparation.” He’s spot on. When we are trying to win a client or project, we can not just give a half-hearted effort. If you are trying to set a goal of having three full-time clients by the end of 2013, then prepare to give it all you’ve got. Show a potential (or current client) you are willing to go above and beyond your retainer.

Go All In- Tom Coughlin learned a life lesson from his father after a loss in a high school football game. “If your going to do something, do it to the best of your ability- or don’t waste your time.” That is the same way we should be as we conduct ourselves as solo professionals or in an agency/firm setting. Give that client project all you’ve got. If you don’t get the client, at least you know that you did everything possible. If you don’t, you’ll always wish you could have done more.

Go with Confidence- This is something I subscribe to as a business owner. Coughlin’s point here is the more confidence you have in yourself and your preparation, the better you will perform. That, in turn, will help your confidence in your own ways and abilities. Don’t doubt, BELIEVE!

All four of these tips can go a very long way in helping you earn the right to win. I recommend Coach Coughlin’s book for new and current pros who want to be- or continue to be- a success. I read the book in one night and since it is on my Nook, I’ll be carrying it with me for inspiration and wisdom for years to come.

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Don’t Stop Learning or Believing

Last week, I submitted a post for The3Six5 project. In it, I talked about hitting a point in my life where I wanted to be more entrepreneurial.

I always want to keep learning and being challenged. The minute I hear “you can’t do that” or “no way that will work,” my juices start flowing. I fully believe the minute we stop learning or being challenged is the time when we begin to think we are better than we really are.

Based on those thoughts, I also came to another realization: I want to go back to school and get a Masters degree.  In all honesty, it’s been kicking around my head for the last few months.  I’ve seen my wife attain her Masters and now she is going back for her PhD. It’s incredibly inspiring to me.

The one thing that strikes me about this whole thing is that I absolutely hated school growing up.  I loved certain subjects like history, mass media, and english. But it never truly felt right to me.  Even in college, I could have been so much better.  This time though, things feel different. Over the weekend, I finally put it all together.

I never want to settle for just being “there.”

More and more in my life, I like challenges and asking “why not?” The fact that I could go back to school and do a great job is an awesome feeling. Why shouldn’t we all work hard and feel inspired to do great things?

As I talked with the admissions dean from the university I’m interested in, my juices really started to get going. That’s something I hope everyone can feel at one point.  The feeling that “I can do this and I’m not going to let anything stop me.”

Now, just because I want to go back to school doesn’t mean that you have to. Your path will be much different, as it should be.  The overarching thought here should be that you should never stop learning in life.  You should also never stop believing… in yourself, your dreams, or your ideas.

Many of you are getting close to graduation.  While this chapter is closing, the next one is opening. It also means more chances to learn.  Your new job is an opportunity to show what you’ve got and expand your horizons.  Be YOUR dream and make it happen!