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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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