Have you ever met an overachiever — someone that performs at a completely different level? Immediately you feel their presence! Do you know what I’m talking about?
You may wonder why they think the way they do, and why they have the level of energy they do.
A lot of people say that I’m different than a lot of people online and that I present things from a different perspective. They want to know who I look up to and admire, and who I get my inspiration from.
That’s such a great question, so I decided to make a video on it.
In this video I cover the five identities of an entrepreneur.
I grew up watching and respecting athletes. So I asked myself why I respect athletes. Here are the six things every entrepreneur can learn from athletes.
When I think about work ethic, I think about baseball.
I look at Cal Ripken Jr as someone every entrepreneur needs to emulate. He was a baseball player that played for the Baltimore Orioles. He was a leader.
He was a guy you wanted representing your brand. Here’s why. He broke a record that may not be broken for a long time to come. Lou Gehrig played 2130 games in a row without missing a single game. Let me tell you exactly why that’s so important. Every year in baseball they play 162 games, not including playoffs and preseason games. They play 81 at home and 81 away from home.
Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record –he play 2131 games without missing a game. In the game where he broke the record, Bill Clinton, the President of the United States came to recognize him. The entire stadium lit up, the players pushed him out onto the field. He was so humble he didn’t want go to out, but everybody wanted to shake his hand.
If you want to be inspired, watch this 20-second scene.
There’s a part of the story that most people don’t know. He was married during that time, and he and his wife had three kids. With one of his three kids, his wife was in the hospital, in labor while he was playing baseball. And in baseball, you have to play five innings for it to count. His wife said, “Go to the game!” She supported the record. Everybody in the stands knew that his wife was in the hospital. When the fifth inning came, he ran out and everyone was in tears. He left and his baby was born. The entire major league baseball family knew and wanted this guy to win.
By the way, he ended up playing 2632 games; 16 years of not missing a single game.
I recently spoke with an entrepreneur that decided to take the day off on Memorial Day. I told him, “You’re an entrepreneur. You’re in sales. What do you think you’re doing taking the day off?” He was so upset with himself. I love his energy, because he came from a place of wanting to improve, rather than having an attitude of “I can do whatever I want.” He came from a place of wanting to raise his game.
Why? That leads into my next point.
They play on Christmas day. Everyone else is home, opening up gifts. But athletes are playing on Christmas day.
On Memorial Day everyone is out having BBQs; they even forget what Memorial Day is all about.
On the 4th of July, athletes play. New Years. Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition for athletes to play on holidays.
I love the mindset of an athlete because athletes play on the days that the average employees and regular people take off.
I don’t want to be the spectator. Everyone else can be a spectator. I’m not judging anyone else that does. But I prefer to do so because that’s not my standard. I chose to change it up at 23 or 24 years of age.
Athletes have to stay in shape. If you don’t stay in shape, you lose. Why do you need to stay in shape? It’s a competitive environment. Everybody wants your position. Regardless of how good you think you’re doing, if you put on weight, you’re out.
In every single sport, you have to stay in shape.
Athletes have to practice. If they don’t, they lose their edge.
Believe it or not, I’m more interested in interviews than the actual game. You’ll see me on my phone at 11:30 at night watching the interviews. That’s what I’m interested in because I want to know how they handled the loss or victory, and how they handle someone talking smack about them. I want to see how they communicate with their competitors and how they took it from the coach challenging them, and what the other player said about them. And I like to see how the coaches handle things, whether or not they take the heat or call someone out.
I like to see the interviews because I can see the athlete’s mindset.
I love the fire of a competitor. Athletes have some fire in them. There’s something about that competitive nature that you have to love. I’m fascinated by competitors. And I think that sometimes entrepreneurs need a source of inspiration.
If you want to be inspired, watch this video of Michael Jordan in the Bulls vs. Knicks playoffs. Watch Mike Ditka interviews.
You’ll get fired up by how bad these guys wanted to compete.
#2: Head Coach
As an entrepreneur I look at a head coach that had to learn a few different things when building a team. For instance, how to handle team conflicts. The head coach has to create unity and alignment. They have to be willing to ask people to leave the team, be willing to recruit other people, to sell the possibilities. They have to challenge players, put people on the bench and see how people respond.
When you watch coaches, you learn how they inject belief, their strategies, and how they calm people down when needed. You can see how they set expectations and build leaders.
I wanted to think like a coach so I watched great coaches to see how they led their teams and I brought that into my business as an entrepreneur.
You may say, “Isn’t an entrepreneur a CEO?” Not necessarily. An entrepreneur may start off as an independent contractor, selling something. But I wanted to think like a CEO.
A lot of people are so proud to be a CEO in title. Anyone can be called a CEO. You can call yourself whatever you want. You can go on YouTube right now and call yourself a “business guru” and there aren’t any regulations against that. You can go online and call yourself a millionaire coach. There are so many people who do that who are barely making $36,000 a year. You can get away with that. But I wanted to know real CEOs and how they thought.People like Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison from Oracle.
Why CEOs? Because of vision. They’re always looking at their next move, finances, leadership, responsibility, taking the heat. As a CEO, if good things happen, you take credit. But if bad things happen, it’s your fault.
Accountability goes with being a CEO. A CEO doesn’t have breaks. They aren’t CEOs just five days a week; it’s a seven-day a week position. I wanted to be and think like that, even when I was in my third or fourth year.
Listen in here for my thoughts on how an entrepreneur needs to think like the leader of a nation.
Look at people who are being chased. Where did that feeling and emotion come from for me? When I lived in Iran, there was always the fear of being attacked by Saddam. It created a feeling of “someone’s after us.” What emotion does that create?
It created being alert. If you don’t think someone is after you, you don’t have your guard up and you’re not ready.
When 911 happened to America, a big part of that was that we were not alert. We weren’t ready. We didn’t expect it. We weren’t fully prepared to protect our nation and the World Trade Center. And then boom! That event took place because we weren’t alert. “Oh, it’s never going to happen to America. It’s never going to happen to us!” And then boom!
Maybe you were doing so well in business, and you became so comfortable, and then lost everything. What happened? You were not alert.
If you think you don’t need to be alert in business, you’re fooling yourself. Someone could come after you and take everything you’ve got.
I understand faith, trusting and positive thinking and all that other stuff. But as much faith and positive thinking I want to have, if I don’t have my guard up when I’m fighting you and you catch me, boom, I’m gone regardless of what I believe in. You have to also do your part.
It’s important to have a healthy amount of paranoia.
Listen here for a story about a man who fell off a horse and and how his loss of memory impacted him.
It’s a powerful story because we can all create whatever identity we want for ourselves. Don’t allow the world to create an identity for you.
At any point, you can drop your bad habits and replace them with good ones. You can drop your low standards and replace them with high standards. You can go from being a lazy person and become a hustler, if you choose to.
This morning we had a conference call with a group of guys that I’m coaching. I said, “I believe that everybody can change. But it’s so strange; only a few do.” Why? It takes work, effort, and discipline.
If you truly want to compete at the highest level, you’ve got to think like the people mentioned above.
If you do so, your competitors will respect and treat you in a whole different way, and the people who work for you will follow you in a whole different way. People from around the world will want to work with you. When you compete at a high level, amazing things happen.
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