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EP 72 – Stop Making Excuses and Giving Up Your Power

Hey, hey! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!

What do you think of when you hear the word “superstition?” It’s easy to think of Friday the 13th, right? Do you remember those movies? They’re those horror movies with Jason and the hockey mask that we used to stay up late watching in secret when we were kids. Those are fun memories, but Friday the 13th also has a different connotation — bad luck.

We throw the word “luck” around a lot these days. “Oh, you’re so lucky you got that promotion!” “Wow, my sales numbers are down — I guess I’ve run out of luck.” We blame luck and superstition for the bad things that happen in our lives. 

But here’s the problem with that mindset: When we blame “bad luck” whenever something goes wrong, we train ourselves to make excuses. We don’t take responsibility for our mindsets and work ethics, and we wind up feeling hopeless. We give up our power, and we end up believing that we’re not capable of success.

If that’s you, I want to encourage you today. We’ve been through one hell of a year, and we’re coming off a big election. Emotions are high, and many of us are not where we wanted to be at this point in the year. But that does not mean we just have bad luck, and it doesn’t mean we should give up the fight. We’ve got a month and a half left in 2020, and I want to help you make the most of it to shift your mindset and get ready to make 2021 great. Let’s go!

Are You Superstitious?

Let me tell you — when I played professional baseball, I was seriously superstitious. If I knew that I ran my poles, ran my sprints, did my jump ropes, and got the long toss in, I knew I was locked in. I believed I would have good luck during the game and pitch my way to a win.

But if I didn’t do my whole pregame routine, I started to feel doubt. I would psych myself out and begin to believe that I would have all kinds of bad luck during the game. I placed my expectations for my performance during the game totally on whether or not I’d completed my pregame routine.

I think a lot of us are doing the same thing right now. This year has been tough. It’s so easy to blame everything on the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us had fantastic goals at the beginning of the year that we just haven’t been able to reach, and the fact that we’ve been scrambling to adjust to working during a pandemic hasn’t helped.

We’re also just coming off a major presidential election. I don’t care who you voted for — this race was intense. And for those whose candidate didn’t win, I understand you’re probably feeling disappointed and angry right now. 

Listen, I hear you. I’m not going to try to convince you that this year has been easy — it hasn’t been. And if you — like most of us — are in a position right now where you haven’t reached your goals in your career or personal life right now, I want you to give yourself a little grace. 

But I don’t want you to make excuses. I don’t want you to chalk up any shortcomings you see in your life this year to “bad luck.” The pandemic didn’t make things any easier, and the election has been stressful for many of us, but neither of those things are excuses to stop playing the game. You may have had to make some adjustments this year, but if you’ve stopped learning, fighting, and growing in your business or life, that’s on you.

Right now, I want you to take a minute to assess yourself. Have you been making excuses? Are you blaming other people or circumstances for the goals you haven’t reached this year? If so, you are letting things you can’t control rob you of your power.

You Can’t Control Everything…

In life and in business, there will always be things you can’t control. You couldn’t control the outcome of our presidential election this year. You couldn’t control the pandemic. You can’t control it when your boss passes you over for a promotion or when you’re not picked to play during a game.

And I get it — it’s frustrating. Sometimes bad things just happen. Sometimes you’re hit with a decision or a diagnosis or an election result or an email that you weren’t prepared for and don’t know how to handle. It sucks. But here’s the thing: There is never a situation where some outside force is causing you not to have the results you want.

Let me give you an example: When I played professional baseball, I used to hear people make excuses like this all the time. People would say things like, “Oh yeah, my brother had the opportunity to play professional baseball, and he had the skill, but his coach hated him, so he never got to play,” or, “Yeah, I had the chance to play at that next level, but I hurt my shoulder, and I just couldn’t continue.” But at the end of the day, those are just excuses.

When you say things like, “I could have played professional sports, but the coach hated me,” you allow that coach to take your power away. You give up all your power and blame someone else for your failure to reach the results you wanted. Just think — instead, you could have sought other opportunities to play professionally. You could have had a sincere conversation with that coach to learn how to improve. Or, if you seriously felt the coach was unjust, you could have sought support from higher-level management.

The same thing applies to the COVID-19 pandemic. You could say, “Well, I was on-track to success, but then the pandemic happened.” But if you do that, you give up your power. Instead, you could say, “You know, the pandemic threw me for a loop, but here’s how I regrouped and learned to create success in these new circumstances.”

If there’s one thing in life you can count on, it’s that crazy things will keep happening. There will always be unexpected obstacles and excuses you could make. But there is one thing you can always control: your mindset.

…But There’s One Thing You Can Always Control

Even in the absolute worst of circumstances, you can control your attitude. You can control your mindset. You can control how you show up every single day to keep fighting and creating as much success as possible.

The biggest thing that is blowing me away right now is how often I hear people who truly believe that this election is going to determine the fate of your future. Now it’s true, certain policies might change as a result of this election, and you might not be happy with all of the changes. But does the outcome of the election affect the way you show up every single day?

I hope not. No matter who is sitting in the White House, you can wake up every single morning with that fire, passion, and drive you need to succeed. You can keep pushing and fighting. Sure, you may have to make some adjustments depending on whatever obstacles life throws your way, but if you maintain a strong success mindset, you can never call yourself a failure.

So here’s my advice for you today: Think about what you can control. You can’t control the outcome of your next sales call. You can’t control what your boss says to you. You can’t control the outcome of the presidential election. But you can control your mindset. And when you consistently show up with a strong mindset, you will create momentum, and eventually, that momentum will make you unstoppable, and you’ll start seeing the results you want.

And remember — as much as “bad luck” doesn’t exist, “good luck” doesn’t either. If you see a family member or friend or coworker succeeding, it’s not because they just have good luck — it’s because they’re hustling to create that success in their lives. And if you keep your mindset strong and your attitude positive, you can create that success for yourself, too.

Stop letting bad circumstances that you can’t control take your power away. Don’t make excuses and let anything or anyone else make you feel like a failure. Instead, take responsibility for the one thing you can control — your mindset — and start getting results.

At the End of the Day, You’ll Get the Results You Want

Are you ready to have all the success you want? Shift your mindset. Stop pointing fingers and blaming your circumstances for the results you haven’t gotten. This year has been challenging — but you don’t have to let the pandemic, the election, or anything else force you to quit. You can go out strong, and you can make 2021 your greatest year yet. 

I hope you got a ton of value out of today’s episode, everyone! If you did, please let me know on Instagram! Share a screenshot with your biggest takeaways, and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary

And if you have an extra minute today, please leave this podcast a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. Help us get the word out — every review helps!

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.

Until next time — stop making excuses. Take responsibility for your mindset, and get ready to be amazed at your results. Have a great weekend, everybody, and I’ll talk to you on Monday!

Andy Neary Signature

Resources:

EP 71 – Marshall McFadden: From the NFL Trenches to the NASCAR Pits

Hey, hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions!

If you’ve been here a little while, you know that my mission is to look at what it takes to succeed as a top athlete and translate that mindset into the boardroom. I want to give great advice to young athletes and current business people so that we can all achieve massive success. And when it comes to mental toughness and having a success mindset both on and off the field, there’s no one greater than Marshall McFadden.

We’re going into much more detail in a minute, but to sum it up: Marshall is an inspiration. Growing up in a single-parent home with four siblings and not a lot of money, Marshall didn’t often look forward to future opportunities. But he worked hard and showed up in the moments he needed to most, and as a result, he created massive opportunities for himself — ultimately landing in the NFL.

But when his NFL career ended, did Marshall decide to kick up his feet for the rest of his life? Of course not! Instead, he made a pivot, and probably not one you’re expecting — today, Marshall works as a member of the pit crew with the Chip Ganassi NASCAR team. That’s right! The football star has become a NASCAR gasman — and a fast one!

This conversation was so much fun, and I know you’re going to get a lot out of it. Marshall and I talked about his journey to success and the mindset he’s taken with him throughout his journey. Let’s dive in!

Who Is Marshall McFadden?

Marshall McFadden is a legend in more ways than one. Growing up in a small town in South Carolina, Marshall didn’t really have any big NFL dreams. He knew he liked playing football, and he played for his high school team, but that was about it. His school was particularly small — they only graduated 53 kids Marshall’s senior year — so they didn’t often see recruiting scouts come out to the games. But all that changed when Marshall was selected to play in an all-star game.

Marshall played in a much bigger arena at the all-star game, and suddenly he was getting attention from college scouts. However, Marshall’s family had never been to college, and he’d never had any expectations of going to school after high school. So when the scholarship letters came pouring in, he decided to simply follow his friends to South Carolina State. Who knows what might have happened if he’d played for the South Carolina Gamecocks or the Clemson Tigers?

Nevertheless, out of college, Marshall was recruited to play in the NFL. Over the course of his incredibly successful career, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders, and the St. Louis Rams. He played in the NFL from 2012 to 2015, but at that point, he decided to make a little career pivot.

Instead of retiring from football and making a change to a boring desk job, Marshall decided to do something a little bit different — he’s working on the pit crew for Chip Ganassi NASCAR team. I can tell you from experience that that’s extremely challenging work! I recently had the opportunity to participate in a simulated pit crew competition as part of a men’s retreat, and I can tell you that it is TOUGH! Marshall works as the gasman, and he has to get the tank filled up with gas in just 12 seconds!

Marshall is an incredibly inspiring dude. He has truly beat the odds to become a legendary football player AND an incredible pit crew member! You might not think that football and NASCAR typically go together, but this man has mastered both. I was so excited to sit down and have a conversation with him today! 

The #1 Lesson Marshall McFadden Learned from His Mom

I would call my upbringing perfectly average. I was a fairly normal kid, and both of my parents were teachers. They were wonderful, and they cared for me. We didn’t have a ton of money, but we weren’t poor either. We were a pretty average family across the board. I didn’t have too many obstacles to overcome on my journey, in that sense.

But as I mentioned earlier, Marshall, on the other hand, didn’t have the easiest upbringing. He grew up as one of five children in a single-parent household. His mom worked hard to raise her children as best as she could. She worked long hours, made minimum wage, and always did everything she could to provide for her kids.

And her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. As a young athlete and even today, his mom’s ultimate tenacity and perseverance in difficult circumstances continue to motive Marshall and drive him to succeed even when he feels too exhausted to carry on:

“Football is a physical sport, and you gotta train. And most people … go through some situations where [they] think about giving up in football, you know, because [they’re] going to play against bigger stronger, faster [players.] … [There] are times out there where you just don’t have anything left, and you just want to talk away, or you feel like you can’t compete, … but I always go back to that moment where I did have a single-parent mom. She was making minimum wage, and she had to carry five kids. … I can take away from that … if she can do it, why not me?” – Marshall McFadden

From the moment he had that realization, Marshall knew he no longer had any excuses. He may feel tired during a workout, he might get a little winded out on the field, but he recognized that his mom had endured so much exhaustion to raise her kids. If she could work so hard for so long, he could handle being a little winded.

Marshall McFadden’s Advice for Young Athletes

One of the things I was most excited to ask Marshall about was his advice for young athletes. I sincerely hope that this podcast can serve young athletes and help them develop the mindset they need to succeed in their chosen sports. I loved what Marshall had to say in response to this question.

You see, growing up, Marshall never really considered college as a serious opportunity. He didn’t have plans to go to college at all, but that changed when he was selected to play in the all-star game. Suddenly, recruiters from all over wanted him to be on their teams. They told him everything a young football star might want to hear — things like, “You’ll be the star of our team!” But when Marshall got to college at South Carolina State — a small, historically black school — suddenly he was the low man on the totem pole. He quickly figured out the importance of being humble and continuing to work hard.

“Don’t believe the hype. … Sometimes parents and relatives can hype it up so much and spoil [young athletes] to a certain extent to make them out to be something they’re not. … When I go to these schools, … I tell people, especially kids — you work hard, and you’re pretty good in the little division you play in, but do you understand [that there are] a million more people across the world doing the exact same thing?” – Marshall McFadden

Confidence is essential, but overconfidence is detrimental. Each time you step up into the next league, you have to be prepared to be the lowest man on the totem pole and work hard to deserve a place at the top. That doesn’t mean you’re not talented, it just means that you can’t show up on day one of the next level of your sport and expect to be treated like the most important person on the team. You have to work hard, be a team player, and earn the respect of your teammates and coaches. Once you do that, you’ll have achieved the success you desire!

From Football to NASCAR — Taking Your Skills into the Real World

One thing that happens to athletes too often is that they find their whole identity in their sport. Their whole lives revolve around their athletic career, and for a while, they may not really notice. But when they retire, it can be challenging to transition into a new career. 

But the good news is that you can take the skills and mindset you’ve learned as an athlete and apply them to your new post-sports life! That’s what Marshall did. He started working as a FedEx manager for a while, but then one day, a friend encouraged him to check out the pit crew practices happening right up the road at NASCAR. 

Marshall noticed the camaraderie among the pit crew most of all, at first. Those guys have to be perfectly in sync to change all four tires and refill the tank with gas in under 12 seconds, so they have to build really strong relationships among themselves as teammates. Team build is something Marshall’s familiar with as a former football player, and the idea of working in such a close-knit group like that appealed to him.

But then he noticed something else: Recruiters and managers who hire for pit crew positions don’t just look for people who know how to work with cars. Today, the want athletes on their teams:

“Now you talk about changing four tires, a full tank of gas, and make adjustments [in] under 12 seconds — that’s impressive. And you got no room for error, you know? And so how you make those times faster, you go and get faster people.” – Marshall McFadden

When Marshall retired from the NFL, he had no idea he was going to end up on a NASCAR pit crew. He had no experience working with race cars! But he was fast and good at cultivating relationships within a team, and that made him the perfect fit for a job he never would have expected. When you retire from the professional sports world, keep an eye out for opportunities to use the skills you’ve learned — you may be surprised by the opportunities you find!

Why You Should Listen to This Marshall McFadden Podcast Episode Right Now…

I was so inspired by Marshall’s story! Throughout his career in football, he kept going, remembering the incredible hard work his mom put in when he was young. Then, after retiring from football, he found a new way to use his skills, and today, he’s in a career that makes him truly happy. I’d say he’s been pretty successful, wouldn’t you?

I think this quote from our conversation sums up all of Marshall’s best advice:

“Sports in general don’t last forever. … Eventually, one day, as an athlete, you gotta walk away from the game. And it may be in high school, it may be in college, it may be in pro, but at the end of the day, it is what it is, and you gotta move on with life. So I like to tell people …  — find something else that you enjoy, and in your free time, when you’re not playing football or [during] an offseason, figure it out. Prepare yourself for the future.” – Marshall McFadden

Stay humble, work hard, and develop skills that you can translate into a future career. That’s fantastic advice for any athlete.

Thank you guys so much for joining me today! I truly hope you got a lot of value out of this episode. If you did, please share it with your friends on Instagram! Post a screenshot of the episode, and make sure to tag Marshall, @mmcfadden5, and me, @andy_neary, and share with us your greatest takeaways from the episode!

And please, if you have a minute, I would appreciate it so much if you could leave this podcast a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. If you’re finding these episodes valuable, help us get the word out so more listeners can find us!

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.

I’ll talk to you guys again on Friday! As always — go make it happen today!

Andy Neary Signature

Resources:

EP 70 – 3 Steps To Crush Your 2021 Sales Goals

Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! This is going to be a really fun message. We’re going to talk about how the routines I developed as a professional baseball player helped me build a thriving insurance business. 

I think we can all admit that this will be one of the craziest holiday seasons ever. Our habits, daily rituals, and time management skills have all been tested this year, haven’t they? Now, we’re heading into the holidays, which will end up being virtual celebrations for many of us. At uncertain times like these, routines are absolutely priceless when it comes to feeling good about what you’re doing — whether that’s keeping your body in shape, cultivating relationships, or building a business. 

When you don’t have clarity and routines for each step towards your goals, your confidence wanes. When your confidence suffers, you don’t feel like doing the right things. When you don’t do the right things, self-doubt creeps in, and all of a sudden, you have fewer sales opportunities, and you’re winning less at business. 

Before you know it, you’re in a mental dumpster fire, and you feel like you don’t even know what you’re doing. I know because I’ve been there plenty of times in my career. But I’m taking this time today to share with you my routines as a starting pitcher that later equipped me to win sales as an insurance agent. And then, I’m going to walk you through three questions to help you create your own solid sales routine.

If you’re ready to own your days and your business in the midst of our weird holiday season, this is a message you don’t want to miss!

My “Go Time” Pre-Game Pitcher’s Routine

When I was pitching for UWM, I made or broke my performance by whether or not I practiced my pre-game routine. It didn’t matter how crazy my life has been that week. If I went through my pre-game plan and recovery regime between games, I would feel good about my performance when the game ended. 

I spent most of my pitching career at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee as the starting pitcher. As a starter, I had a very defined plan of action — a very clear routine to build my confidence and make sure my attention was locked in for the game. 

My routine started about 45 minutes before I even stepped into the bullpen to warm up. First, I jogged from pole to pole. If you imagine a baseball field, I would slow jog on the warning track from the left-field foul pole, all the way over to the right-field foul pole. I jogged that pattern for about ten minutes. Then I would find the foul line, and I would run sprints.

If you know anything about pitching, you know that if you have a leg problem, you also have an arm problem. So I spent a bunch of time making sure my legs were at their best as well as my pitching arm. After the sprints, I would jump rope about 500 times. Random, I know, but it was my go-to. Next, I would stretch out my legs and arms. Then it was time to start playing catch. 

I would start in the outfield with the catcher, maybe 30 or 40 feet away. Gradually, we would work back to 60 feet, then 70, until we were about 120 feet apart playing long toss. I was literally throwing the ball as hard as I could from 120 feet out. After all that was done, it was finally time to go in the bullpen.

Once we got into the bullpen, I had a set routine for that, too. I would throw in front of the pitcher’s mound in sets of five, then do it again standing on the pitcher’s mound, and again behind the mound. I would repeat that whole set — focusing on accuracy. 

So, why did I do all that? Because I knew that when I performed that routine from start to finish, I was locked in — my body was ready, and my head was in the game. It gave me the confidence to be like, “All right, it’s go time!” Later, this same principle became a key ingredient to my success as an insurance advisor. When I had a solid sales routine, I interacted with clients with more confidence and authenticity. As a result, my business grew! 

Part One of a Successful Sales Routine

If you’re in sales, you’re trying to grow, right? To grow, you need confidence in yourself, and you need to get people’s attention. If there’s one thing business owners learned from COVID-19, I think it’s the importance of having an online presence. Overnight we went from talking to people face-to-face and attending networking events to being limited to our homes, phones, and internet. 

Moving forward, you’re always going to need an online presence if you want to succeed in business. At least, that’s my prediction. So, the first step in your sales routine needs to be, “How am I going to get people’s attention?”

In the old days, we taught people to cold call, right? I still think cold calling is a relevant part of a sales plan, but it can’t be your only strategy. Think about how many spam calls everyone gets. Very few people pick up their phone unless they recognize the number. Cold calling implies that your number is not one that the person you’re calling knows. So, you’re going to have to make even more phone calls to get one person to pick up.

But what if you could get the attention of 20, 70, 100, several thousand people at one time? They might not all buy insurance, but they would see you and what you’re doing. Pretty sweet, right? That’s the power of leveraging technology and social media. Instead of trying to get the attention of one person at a time through cold calling and going door-to-door, you can get the attention of exponentially more prospects at one time. 

So, my question to you is, do you have a clear plan of action for gaining the attention of your prospect?What is your strategy for leveraging social media? Are you hosting webinars? What kind of emails are you sending out? It is easier today to grab the attention of your prospects, but it’s also harder than hell because everybody’s doing it. So you have to be consistent and find a way to stand out!

Part Two of a Successful Sales Routine

Now, I didn’t just have a pre-game routine. I had a routine for every time I took the mound. This was important for two reasons. First, if I wanted to last all nine innings, I couldn’t throw too hard, and I needed to throw accurately. Secondly, I needed to keep the batter guessing. So, I had to tweak my game plan every single week. And I had to tweak it based on who was up to bat. 

Let’s relate this to your business. Once you have someone’s attention, how are you going to earn their business? Every time you get a new prospect, do you feel like you’re recreating the wheel? I believe that you need to personalize your pitch to each prospect, but you should have a foundational plan that you tweak. 

See, if every time I took the mound, I tried to recreate the wheel, I was totally screwed. Instead, I had a basic plan that slightly adjusted according to who was in front of me. You can and should do the same in business. When a prospect comes into your pipeline, you need to know exactly which steps you’re going to take them through. Then, based on their different challenges, desires, and goals, you can tailor the steps to them.

Once you have your plan in place, never stop innovating —know its conversion rates, which sections really connected with your prospect, and which ones felt like a filler. Continue adjusting and improving it as you go!

Part Three of a Successful Sales Routine

After my game was over, whether we won or lost, I had to keep my body in shape. My arm needed to rest, rehabilitate, and rebuild. My post-game routine started with icing my arm right after the game. The next day I would go for a long run to get the lactic acid moving and leaving my body. After a day or two of rest, I would start pitching again and have bullpen sessions with my coach.

Just like I needed a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to play a successful game, you need a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to succeed in business. So, after you’ve gotten the attention of your prospect and walked them through your sales process, you need to keep them happy. 

A lot of people spend so much time trying to win new business and recreating the wheel that they forget to keep their current clients happy. I don’t want that to be you! So, my challenge to you is this: Do you have a clear annual plan to ensure that your new client remains a happy client year after year after year?

It can be a birthday card with a $5 Starbucks gift card or a simple phone call to see if they have any questions. But whatever it is, you need to have a system to provide them value and let them know you haven’t forgotten them!

What Game Plans Have to Do with Winning During a Lockdown

Whether we acknowledge it or not, what we do routinely paves the way to our success. When the lockdowns forced us into a different way of life, they disrupted our roadmap to achieving our goals. That’s the main reason I think many of our goals flew out the window this year — our routines and action plans were rocked in a significant way. 

But I truly believe that if you set up a solid sales routine, you can start making strides in your business again and increase your confidence. Remember, as a salesperson, your priority is to have a clear plan of action to gain your prospects’ attention. Secondly, create a few basic steps for leading them from being an unhappy prospect to a happy client. Finally, have a system for keeping them a happy client for years to come. 

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.

Secondly, I want to help you recover the remaining days of this year, so I created a ten-day holiday challenge. Every day for ten days, I’ll send you a coaching video to help you establish the daily habits and mindset you need to take control of your business and life! If that sounds helpful to you just text the word “challenge” to (414) 622-1462. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

That’s my advice for you today. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something! If you did, please do me a favor — go to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and leave a review! And if you know of anybody in your life that might benefit from this, whether it’s a family member, friend, or colleague, please share it with them. You post a screenshot of this on Instagram, tag me, @andyneary, and let me know what you learned!

Until next time, folks!

Andy Neary Signature

Resources:

EP 69 – Paige Lawrence: Stepping Into Your Olympic Moment


Hey, hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! As you guys probably know, this podcast has been undergoing a pivot recently. I want to really focus on the athletic mindset and how it translates to business. To do that, I want to interview some top athletes to learn more about the mindset tips and strategies that helped them get to the top. 

Today, I have the perfect person to help me do just that. Paige Lawrence is an Olympic-figure-skater-turned-expert-business-coach, and she is KILLING it in business right now! Like me, she comes from a sports background, but now, she’s finding that the strong athletic mindset that took her all the way to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia is invaluable in business as well. She’s teaching her clients how to have that same mindset, and today, she’s sharing her wisdom with us!

Paige absolutely believes that we are all capable and deserving of our own moment of Olympic glory. We may not all get to compete among the top athletes in the world, but we all deserve the success and acclaim that go along with being a top performer. But it’s going to take the right success mindset to get us there. If you’re ready to learn how to get into the mindset of an Olympic athlete and have your epic Olympic-glory moment, read on!

Who Is Paige Lawrence?

Paige Lawrence grew up in the small town of Kennedy, Saskatchewan in Canada. When she was just four or five years old, Paige’s parents put her in skating lessons mostly because there wasn’t much else to do during those cold Canadian winters. But Paige quickly fell in love with the sport, and at age nine, she began training with the coach who would eventually take her to Sochi.

At just 15 years old, Paige started skating with Rudi Swiegers, and the two became pairs skaters ready to take on the Olympic competition. They were a perfect match — they’re both left-handed, which means that they can easily perform spins and tricks in the same direction on the ice. They quickly learned to work well together, and their partnership took them to incredible heights of success!

But Paige isn’t only an Olympic superstar. After the Olympics and her retirement shortly following, Paige experienced what she called the “post-Olympic blues” for a little while. However, it wasn’t long before she got back on her feet and created a new career for herself in business!

You see, Paige recognized the power of her athletic mindset, and she realized that many of the same lessons and skills she’d picked up on the ice could translate into the business world. So, she decided to launch her very own coaching business!

Today, Paige is an expert performance coach, and she’s helping her clients to reach their maximum potential and consistently strive toward their goals. She’s translating her biggest lessons from the skating rink to the boardroom, and today, she’s sharing her wisdom right here on The Bullpen Sessions!

In our conversation, we talked about two of the top lessons Paige learned as a professional athlete. We also talked about the top two lessons Paige likes to teach her clients that she draws from her sports experience — I can’t wait to dive into those today! And finally, I’m going to share a couple more valuable lessons I took from our conversation that I think is going to get you fired up and ready to succeed. Let’s go!

Lessons from an Olympian

I asked Paige to share with me a couple of key lessons she learned during her time as an Olympic-level athlete, and she did NOT disappoint! Here are the most important lessons she learned in her sports career:

#1: Take Responsibility for Your Work Ethic

In sports, it’s absolutely essential to take 100% responsibility for your work ethic. You have absolute control over the results you achieve. Your ability to succeed or fail entirely depends on how you show up for yourself and your team. 

“That’s something that I learned at a very young age from my parents, two hardworking people, and from my coach, who expected excellence every single day. And when things didn’t work out, that’s a direct reflection of what I did. … There [are] things you can’t control, right? That happens, but it still comes back to, ‘What do you want to do about the thing you can’t control?’” – Paige Lawrence

That’s so true. Sometimes in sports, unexpected things happen. Maybe you or one of your teammates get injured, and you have to put training on hold for a couple of weeks. Maybe something crazy happens, like a flight gets delayed and you miss a competition. Unexpected things happen, but you can control how you react to those things. And your actions and reactions determine your success or failure. 

The same thing applies to the business world, right? Crazy, unexpected things happen, but you can always control the way you react. Your actions determine the success you achieve, so always take 100% responsibility for those actions. (If you want to hear me talk a little more about the importance of taking 100% responsibility for your actions, check out Episode 44!)

#2: It’s Not About Resources — It’s About Resourcefulness

“It’s very easy to get lost in what you don’t have around you and how that puts you behind or puts you at a disadvantage. It’s very easy to look at what other people have and how that contributes to their success, rather than just looking in yourself and seeing … what you have and figuring out what you can do with it. So tag onto that. … Be solution-focused.” – Paige Lawrence

For all you athletes reading this — how many times have you been envious of another athlete? It’s easy to do, right? So often, we look at the people around us and wish we had their talent, their money, their strength, or their speed. But being jealous of others doesn’t get us anywhere. We have to be resourceful and use what we have to the best of our abilities.

And, of course, the same is true in business. It’s easy to be jealous of someone else’s platform, income, or success, but we can be a lot more productive toward our own goals if we focus on the solutions to our own problems and find creative ways to use our unique skills.

Two More Lessons — It’s About Mindset

Those were two of the most valuable lessons Paige learned during her time as an Olympic-level athlete, but I also wanted to ask her about the lessons she imparts to her clients. What mindset tools and strategies has she translated from the skating rink to the board room?

#1: Learn to Love Failure

“One recurring theme I’ve seen a lot of is taking messy action. … That’s something that I think a lot of people struggle with in the business world … making mistakes with purpose. … So one of the things for me is helping people fail purposefully [and] … learn to love failure.” – Paige Lawrence

In both sports and business, you’re going to make mistakes. What makes the difference is making those mistakes purposefully. When you take action and find that things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, don’t write the experience off as a failure. Take a closer look, reevaluate yourself, and find the lessons you can learn. 

Your failures can be your greatest teachers if you let them — and that’s how you can learn to love failure. If you have the mindset that failure is always bad, then it will be. But if you can get yourself thinking in an abundance mindset, you’ll realize that failures always bring opportunities to learn. Remember that it’s essential to take responsibility for both your failures and your successes. Continue taking action, and through trial and error, you’ll figure out what strategies work best for you and your business.

And if you need help getting into the right mindset, don’t hesitate to ask for it! During her skating career, Paige sought help from a sport psychologist to help her reach her full potential and get into the strongest athletic mindset. If you need to get in touch with a coach or mental health professional, do it — you’ll be glad you did.

#2: Deliberate Training

“What else would be notable? I mean, I think it’s creating consistent habits, right? In sports, we call it ‘deliberate training.’ It goes into those 10,000 hours. It’s not just … practice. It’s not just being busy in what you’re doing. It’s [having] a plan and [asking,] ‘How do these actions feed into that plan?’ so that you’re feeding into your bigger goal.” – Paige Lawrence

In sports as well as business, we use the word “hustle” a lot. We’re constantly talking about hustling toward our goals. We work from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM just to accomplish our goals, and we have jam-packed every minute with work. But have you ever asked yourself, “Is all this work truly contributing to my progress toward my goals?”

Let me put it this way: When you’re learning to play a sport, it’s absolutely possible to pack your training schedule with things that just don’t need to be there. You can spend hours and hours every week practicing skills you already have, and while practice is great, constantly focusing on the things that you’ve already mastered isn’t going to move the needle for you.

Likewise, in your business or career, spending all day, every day checking your email and doing busy work is not going to help you reach the success you desire. You have to take action with purpose. It’s about being deliberate and developing the right skills to help you move the needle and achieve success.

Three Final Takeaways

Paige had so much brilliant advice to share, and I loved hearing about the key lessons she learned in sports that she now translates into her business and into her coaching. But believe it or not, those specific lessons she mentioned weren’t the only major takeaways I took from our conversation! Before I sign off until Friday, I want to share with you a few major takeaways from my interview with Paige:

#1: Make Your Team a Well-Oiled Machine

As a sports nerd, I truly enjoyed hearing Paige share some insider knowledge about the world of figure skating. One of the things she talked about was the importance of finding a partner with whom you can work seamlessly. If you’re going to skate as part of a pair, you have to learn how to anticipate each other’s movements and actions.

“The tricky part that comes with really time and effort is the nuances of a pair. … It’s like, the girl puts out a hand and the boy’s right there. It’s those subtleties that really define attention to detail, trust, commitment, and longevity of a career.” – Paige Lawrence

Paige and her partner Rudi had to learn how to work together and essentially skate as a well-oiled machine. I recently had a similar experience when I got to have the experience of pitting a NASCAR race car with a team. A pit crew has to be totally in-sync. They have to anticipate each other’s movements, perfectly play their parts, and work together to make the team succeed. 

The same is true in business, right? If you’re a business owner, you want your team to gel together. As a boss or CEO, it’s your job to create an environment and build a team that allows for that kind of unity and synchronization. When your team works like a well-oiled machine, you’re sure to succeed.

#2: It’s Okay to Suck at First

Let’s face it: When you first start something, you’re just going to suck. You’re not going to walk out on the field with all the skills mastered — that takes time, effort, and patience. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get to work to do what it takes to succeed.

“I talk about my failures or my mistakes, and then [it’s] like, ‘Oh, the big wins!’ So you don’t have to actually sit in the suck, but getting from that point of … compet[ing] on the Olympic ice was really fricking hard, you know? And I think it’s important for us to talk about amongst ourselves more. … It’s okay for the hard to be really fricking hard.” – Paige Lawrence

Nothing worth achieving comes easily. It’s hard to succeed in sports, and it’s hard to succeed in business. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet with instant success, and don’t give up too quickly. Stay at it, plan for the long-term, embrace failure, and eventually you’ll achieve the success you’re after.

#3: Stay Connected to What Brings You Joy

“I had this beautiful realization right before I took the ice [at the Olympics]. … Essentially it was a reminder of that little four-year-old … that started skating because she loved it and how in awe she would be of this opportunity. And it’s like, ‘What would that little girl do?’ … That little girl would show up, step on this ice, … and have fun and strut her stuff with no extra thoughts. And that thought really … put me back in my skates. I turned to my partner, and I’m like, ‘We’re just figure skating.’” – Paige Lawrence

Do you remember that child-like joy you had as a kid? You didn’t feel the same pressure you do today — you pursued your dreams and did what you love to do. When did that stop?

I know that in professional sports or in business, the decisions you make every day are often more high-stakes than a four-year-old’s first skating lessons. But that’s no reason why you shouldn’t attack each day with that same energy and joy you had when you were little.

Guys, stay in touch with your childhood selves. Remember that joy you had when you were little, and let it give you the confidence you need to keep striving forward.

Why You Should Listen to This Paige Lawrence Podcast Episode Right Now…

Paige Lawrence is an icon and an inspiration. I learned so much from my conversation with her, and I hope you did too! She is a brilliant business coach, and I admire the way she’s transformed her life and continued to use the mindset skills she learned in her skating career.

If you loved this episode as much as I did, please post a screenshot of Instagram! And make sure to share your biggest takeaways — you’ve heard mine, now I’d love to hear yours! Don’t forget to tag Paige, @paigelawrencecoaching, and me, @andy_neary, so we can hear about your biggest takeaways!

Also, if you have a moment please head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to The Bullpen Sessions, and give us a five-star rating and review. Help us get the word out so more outstanding athletes and business owners can find us!

And finally, if you’re interested in working with Paige, I’d encourage you to head over to her website! She’s running a free diagnostic coaching session right now — all you have to do is take this short assessment, and Paige will pinpoint the areas where you could improve and help you create and execute a plan to improve them. This is an incredible opportunity, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it!

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.

Until next time — go out there and make it happen, guys!

Andy Neary Signature

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EP 68 – The Greatest Advice You’re Not Getting

Hey, hey! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!

Do you have a meditation practice? Meditation can be a powerful tool to help you get calm and centered in your head, and that’s important for achieving the clarity and focus you need to succeed. I’ve started meditating myself, and it’s been amazing! I recently had a particularly powerful meditation experience, and I want to share the lessons I learned with you today.

You may have heard of Jay Shetty — he’s a very popular thought-influencer right now. In fact, he’s just released a new book, Think Like a Monk, which I can’t wait to dive into. But Jay Shetty is not only an author — he also creates incredible and inspiring YouTube content. Recently he’s been posting videos every day as part of a 20-day meditation series, and I’ve been following along.

I had been listening to Jay’s daily meditations for a few days, and I was getting a lot of value out of them. But then, on about the eighth day, Jay walked his audience through an exercise that surprised me. I was not ready for the experience I had, and I got some advice from a very unexpected source. I’m excited to share that with you today, so let’s get started!

Talking to My Childhood Self

In one of his typical meditations, Jay walks you through some calming breathing exercises and helps walk you through some visualization. However, on this particular day, he did something a little different:

On day eight of the 20-day meditation journey, Jay started by asking me to close my eyes and go back into my childhood. He asked me to pick any age to imagine, and my mind immediately went back to my 11-year-old self at my parents’ house. I could clearly picture my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at the table on the back porch at my parents’ house. And boy, that brought up some old insecurities.

You see, when I was 11 years old, I was an overweight kid. Do you remember the “husky”-sized pants? I had to wear “husky” pants. I was so chubby, and as a result, I had a lot of self-confidence issues. I was constantly worried about being picked on by the other kids at school or in my neighborhood, and I had a lot of problems with insecurity and self-worth.

When I pictured my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at that table, all of those emotions came bubbling back up to the surface. I felt for that kid, and I experienced his fear all over again. Nevertheless, I continued with the meditation.

In the first part, Jay asked me to give my 11-year-old self some advice. We’ve all tried to answer that question, right? What advice would you give your younger self? I told my 11-year-old self all about how things will get better and how he’ll actually get to play professional baseball. But then, Jay flipped the script in a way that made me say, “Holy shit!”

After I gave my 11-year-old self some advice, Jay asked me to let my 11-year-old self give me advice. He wanted me to let my childhood self do the talking for a moment, ask me his questions, and offer me his advice. And guys, what my younger self told me had me in tears. I definitely got emotional because his advice was incredible. 

So today, I’m sharing with you the three pieces of advice my 11-year-old self shared with me. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me! Let’s dive into #1…

#1: Are You Happy?

As I imagined myself sitting across from 11-year-old Andy, the first thing I heard him say to me was, “Andy, are you happy?” And man, that made me pause to reflect. Am I happy? Am I happy with who I am? Am I happy with what I’m doing? Have I been taking the time to find joy in the little things in life?

If I’m honest, the answer to a lot of those questions is “no.” Don’t get me wrong — I’m not unhappy. But for the last 15 months, as I’ve been hustling to grow my coaching business, I’ve definitely been guilty of not taking the time to enjoy my life. And for that reason, this question made me a little emotional.

It’s funny — my own business coach, Christina, recently asked me that question, but it definitely impacted me in an unbelievably powerful way coming from my 11-year-old self. And now, I want to ask you the same thing: Are you happy? Are you happy with who you are and what you’re doing? Are you taking the time to find joy in the little things?

Take a moment to reflect on that. Because here’s the thing, folks: If you’re not happy, what are you hustling for? If your current situation isn’t lighting you up and fueling your passion every day, something needs to change. So ask yourself: Are you in the right job or career? Do you have hobbies that you enjoy? Do you have happy, loving, supportive relationships in your life?

As I recorded this episode, I can tell you that I sat calmly with a cup of warm coffee in my hand, watching the snowstorm blow around outside. I’m finding joy in the snowstorm we’re experiencing here in Colorado, and I’m hoping that it will be just what our firefighters need to stop the crazy wildfires from continuing to grow. I’m finding joy in small things, and I’m taking the time to appreciate the beauty all around me. I’d encourage you to do the same.

#2: Live for Today

The second piece of excellent advice I got from my younger self was this: “Andy, live for today.”

One of the biggest things I challenge my clients to do is to think and plan for the long-term. After all, business is the long-game, and you have to be prepared to grow slowly and steadily over time. However, it’s also essential to be present right here and right now. We’ve got to live for today.

One of the absolute best ways to do that is to express gratitude. Every day when you wake up, I want you to be thankful. Take a moment just to be grateful that you get to wake up every day and play this game, whatever this game is for you. It could be raising your family and being that father, that husband, that mother, or that wife. It could be building your business and being the best employer you can possibly be. Whatever the game is for you, be glad you get to play it.

Let’s face it: 2020 has been full of uncertainty. It feels like we haven’t stopped talking about it! But it reminds me of a powerful piece of wisdom: The future really is uncertain. And when the future is uncertain, the only thing left is today. No matter what tomorrow is going to look like, no matter how things are going to change next weekend or next month or next year, we have to live in the present and be here today.

So I want to challenge you: Take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to be present today?” It could be spending time with your children or having a date-night with your significant other. It could mean taking the time just to take care of yourself, meditate, or spend some time outside. Whatever it’s going to take for you to live in the moment, I want to encourage you to do it.

#3: Leave It on the Field

The third and final piece of advice that my 11-year-old self shared with me was particularly special because it really got me pumped up. After hearing him say this, I was absolutely ready to go out there and crush all of my goals. The third thing my younger self said to me was, “Andy, I want you to wake up every day and just play all-out. Leave it on the field. Don’t take plays off today in preparation for tomorrow.”

How often are we guilty of that? Have you ever thought, “Well, I’ve got this big meeting tomorrow, it’s going to be a really big day, so I’ll just take it easy today?” I know I have! But here’s the thing: That’s not how the greats play the game. The greats are hustling day-in and day-out. They bring their all to the game, and they leave everything on the field.

Think about those summers when you were a kid. Do you remember those? If you were anything like me, you were outside playing at every waking moment. Your mom probably had to come outside and call you in for lunch just so you could run in, eat as fast as possible, and get back outside to play. And the same thing happened at dinner, right? I remember my mom used to ring the bell to call me in for dinner, and I always raced in to eat as fast as possible so I could get back out and play “kick the can” with the other neighborhood kids. (Remember, “kick the can?” Those were the days!)

Are you applying that same mindset to your work? Are you attacking each day with the same joy and energy and enthusiasm that you used to take outside with you during those childhood summers? Are you applying that mindset to your relationships? If not, I want to encourage you to level-up. 

I have talked to too many people recently who are just riding out 2020 and waiting for 2021 to get here so they can start being productive again. If that’s you, I want to tell you right now to knock it off and start playing all-out every single day. Whether in a relationship or in business, I want you to wake up, go all-out, and literally have to be dragged back in every night because you are so excited about your work.

It goes back to what I was saying earlier about gratitude: We are so blessed to have the opportunity to get up and play the game — why not play with as much energy and joy as we can?

Spend Some Time with Your Inner Child

And there you have it, folks — three pieces of brilliant advice from my 11-year-old self. I am so glad I participated in Jay Shetty’s meditation that day, and I’m grateful to my younger self for sharing his wisdom with me. It rocked my world, and it’s inspired me to keep showing up, living in the moment, and creating my happiness. I hope it inspired you to do the same!

And if you haven’t checked in with your inner child recently, I want to encourage you to do that. Talking to younger Andy was an incredible experience for me, and I feel as though my life has changed for the better. Your inner child might have some incredible wisdom for you, too — it’s worth getting in touch with them!

Thank you so much for joining me today, guys! I hope you enjoyed this episode and got some incredible value from it. If you did, please share it with your friends on Instagram, and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary, and tell me about your biggest takeaways from the episode. And if you have a moment, please make sure to subscribe and leave me a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. Your reviews really do help bring new listeners to the show!

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. Now I want you to get out there, play the game as hard as you can, live in the moment, and create your own happiness. Go make it happen today!

Andy Neary Signature

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