Hey, hey! Welcome back to Friday Bullpen Sessions!
I am super excited for this episode, and not just because I’ve got some great tips to help you develop the mindset you need to succeed. Back when I first decided to start this podcast about a year ago, I really wanted to focus on the athletic mindset and how you can use that mindset to have success both in sports and in business. But in the weeks and months since then, I’ve gotten a little bit away from that goal. I’ve been able to tell you some stories from my own experiences in professional baseball, but I’ve mostly been focusing on the mindset of the business person. That’s going to change today.
Starting with this episode, The Bullpen Sessions is making a small pivot. In my Tuesday interview episodes, I’m going to be interviewing some incredible former professional athletes and talking to them about their athletic mindsets and how those have helped them continue to have success after ending their sports careers. And in my Friday solo episodes, I’m going to be focusing on the mindset of an athlete and then translating that into the business world.
So what does that mean for you? If you’re an entrepreneur, this podcast will continue to bring you a ton of value and help you develop the tools, strategies, and mindset you need to have greater and greater success. But now, my hope is that this podcast will reach young athletes to help them also develop the winning mindsets they need to succeed. So, if you know any young athletes — maybe 15 – 22 years old — who you think could get a lot of value out of this podcast, please share it with them!
Now for Today’s Topic…
Okay, let’s get started on today’s topic. Today, I’m talking about the top three traits of a winning mindset. When I was a kid, I definitely did not have a winning mindset at all. Every time my little league team lost a game, I was an incredibly sore loser. I would pout and cry and whine and complain and blame everyone else but myself.
Now over the years, I’ve grown up, matured a lot, and now whenever I experience a loss or a failure, I’m not such a sore loser! But here’s the thing: More and more, I’m seeing young athletes who don’t know how to lose. They have these terrible attitudes, and it shows.
Recently I was watching highlights from college football, and I saw two different players who clearly had never been taught how to lose gracefully. One was during a University of Central Florida game. The kicker missed a very important kick, but instead of supporting him, one of his teammates walked over and started trash-talking him. Then during the Auburn vs. South Carolina game, Auburn’s quarterback, Bo Nix, missed a pass. But instead of playing like a winner, his wide receiver got in his face and started pushing him around to the point that the coaching staff had to separate them.
Seeing those guys act like that discouraged me for a minute, but then I realized — it’s time to flip the script and start actively showing young athletes how to win and lose with dignity and honor. So today, I’m talking about the top three traits that I think winners possess — and these are traits that are going to translate into the business world too. So grab a pen and some paper and get ready to take notes because this episode is going to be good. Let’s go!
Trait #1: Winners Take 100% Responsibility for Their Losses
The first trait I see in winners both on the field and in the boardroom is that they take 100% responsibility for their losses. Think about some of the greats — the Wayne Gretzky’s and Cal Ripken’s of the world — every time they lost a game, they took total responsibility — even if it was completely evident that they personally had nothing to do with the team’s failure. They took responsibility for the moments when they failed to perform at their best or put the team in the best position to win.
I know that 2020 has brought a lot of losses for many of us, and it’s all too easy to start placing blame. It’s easy to point fingers at the pandemic and the economy for our failures, but ask yourself: Where can I take responsibility for your losses this year? Where did I make errors? What could I have done better this year?
I remember when I was a professional pitcher, I might have played pretty well during a game despite my team’s loss, but I would still ask myself: What could I have done better? Where did I make mistakes?
Here’s the bottom line: The whole team only wins if each person is playing at the top of their game. That means that even if you’re the strongest, fastest, smartest, most talented person there, your job is still to keep striving forward and growing. When you focus on your own self-improvement instead of wasting time blaming others for the losses you experience, you elevate the whole team and put yourself in a position for more success in the future.
And this does not just apply to sports! You can take this one straight into the boardroom. Winning salespeople do not spend time pointing fingers when they don’t hit their sales numbers. They don’t make excuses or try to blame circumstances. They seriously evaluate their job performances and ask, “What could I have done better?” And by constantly taking responsibility for their losses, they actually find places to grow and improve and give themselves the opportunity to make adjustments and improve their performance.
How have you handled your losses this year? Have you been blaming 2020 for your mistakes? Or have you taken 100% responsibility? Remember: Winners take responsibility for their losses, and they use those experiences to learn and get better.
Trait #2: Winners Never Trash the Competition
The second trait I see in winners is that they never, ever trash the competition. They never try to put anyone down — even if their competition deserves it. Instead, they actually put their competition up on a pedestal and give them respect.
Why is this important? Here’s an example: If you’re sitting in a meeting or on a Zoom call with a prospective client, and you know that they’re currently working with one of your competitors, and you start trashing them, you’re immediately going to lose their business. You’re going to put that prospective client in a position where they feel the need to defend their choice to work with that competitor of yours, and they’re going to totally lose interest in working with you because of your negative attitude toward your competition.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a fantastic illustration for this: He says, “If you want to build the tallest building in town, you can do it two ways: You can just flat outwork the competition and build the tallest building in town, or you can spend all of your time tearing down all the other buildings in town so that you now have the tallest building.” You can either commit to working harder and becoming better than everyone else — which takes enormous respect for your competition’s talents and abilities — or you can spend your time and energy trying to break them down and make yourself appear to be better without actually building a taller tower.
People with winning mindsets don’t want to tear anyone else down. They recognize that their competition has talent, and they commit to working harder and becoming better so that they can have more success. They never tear anyone down — they focus on becoming the best and most successful versions of themselves.
I’m ashamed to say it, but if I’m honest, when I was first starting to develop my personal brand and grow my business, I found myself in conversations where I wasn’t speaking nicely or respectfully about my competition. Now, I regret that I would have those conversations, and I make it a point not to do that anymore.
How have you been talking about your competition? Do you spend time trash-talking them to your friends, family, and prospective clients? Or do you lift them up and show respect for their talents and success? Remember — winners are successful because they outwork the competition, not because they cut the competition down.
Trait #3: Winners Don’t Spend a Second Complaining About a Loss
The third and final trait of a winning mindset that I want to talk about today is this: Winners just don’t waste time complaining about or dwelling on a loss. I know this sounds like an offshoot of Trait #1, but it’s a little different, and here’s why: Trait #1 is about taking personal responsibility for your losses, but Trait #3 is about immediately picking yourself back up and getting back to work.
Winners don’t make excuses — they just don’t. True winners — in sports, business, and any other area of life that you can think of — don’t waste time. They know that complaining and whining waste valuable time they could be using to reevaluate their strategies, get back to practice, and start laying the foundation for future success.
Here’s a great example: Think about what the taxi companies did when Uber came out. When Uber first became a popular way to get transportation, what did the taxi companies do? Did they immediately regroup and say, “Okay, this new thing is really powerful. How are we going to change our strategy to better compete with Uber?”
Nope. They spent all their time complaining about how unfair it was that Uber had come into their space — and they’re still whining about it today about a decade later. They can’t compete with Uber simply because they continue to waste time complaining instead of figuring out a new strategy to make them more competitive.
It’s true that 2020 hasn’t been an easy year. You’ve probably experienced losses. Some of you may have missed out on playing your sport because of the pandemic. Others of you may be struggling to get your sales numbers up because of the receding economy. But whatever losses you’ve experienced — how are you reacting? Are you wasting time complaining about blaming all the circumstances around you? Or are you back at work doing what you need to do to level-up your game and start succeeding?
How Will You Spend the Next Four Months?
I want to give you just a little bit of encouragement right now: If you’ve realized, as you’ve been reading this post, that you have not had a winning mindset this year — 2020 is not over yet. Maybe you’ve realized that you haven’t taken responsibility for the moments when you didn’t perform at your best. Maybe you’ve noticed that you’ve been trash-talking your competition. Or perhaps you’ve been wasting time dwelling on your losses instead of getting straight back to work to put yourself in a position to start having more success.
If that’s you — don’t worry. You can choose right now to shift your mindset. There are still four months left in 2020! You can start operating from a winning mindset and make the most of these last few months. You can turn 2020 around and put yourself in a position to succeed.
Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.
You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.
Thanks again for joining me today, guys! Remember — when clarity and confidence collide, action happens. Go make it happen today!