EP 88 – Time, Effort, and Money: The 3 Investments For Your Success

Welcome back to another episode of the Bullpen Sessions! We’re going to dive into a very important topic today — we’ll be talking about the ultimate secret to creating a successful business and life!

If you ever wondered what the secret ingredients for a successful life are, you don’t have to wonder anymore! These three secret ingredients aren’t much of a jaw-dropping revelation, but the real magic is in HOW you execute them in your life and work. When you master that, you can launch the business of your dreams and live a wonderful life in the process.

Before we get into the details though, here’s one really important thing you must understand. In order to have a successful life, you have to invest in yourself

Ten years ago, I had no clue what investing in yourself actually meant. Quite frankly, I was just looking for the cheap way out of everything. I wanted to climb that success ladder as fast as I could. I surrounded myself with successful people and tried to understand what they did in order to become successful. If I could just get enough information, I would be successful, right? 

Not exactly. You see, there isn’t a fast track to success. At the end of the day, if you truly want to live out your full potential and meet lofty goals in 2021, you have to invest in yourself. In this episode, I share three ways you can invest in yourself and start seeing results in your business and life. Let’s get into it! 

#1: Invest in Yourself Through Time

What goals have you set for yourself in 2021? Are they huge, out-of-this-world goals? Or are they little, inconsequential goals?

Guys, I want you to set HUGE goals for yourself this year. One of the biggest failures you can make in life is setting a goal so low that it’s easy to achieve. I see a lot of insurance and business professionals just setting these really easy goals, and while there’s nothing wrong with celebrating small wins, if you really want to reach your full potential, you have to set big goals. 

To achieve those huge goals, you have to invest time

Ask yourself, “What am I even doing with my time? Am I spending time on pursuing my goals? Am I allotting time to hone my craft?” 

For example, maybe you want to become an influencer. In order to be a successful influencer, you need to be proficient at public speaking, right? In fact, public speaking skills are essential in any sort of business that you’re in. So, instead of just hoping that you’ll “get better in front of crowds,” designate time blocks throughout your week to practice public speaking. By investing time in yourself, you’re unlocking your potential, and you’ll achieve greater things than you thought possible! 

You also need to invest time in your business — I know this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised. Some people idly wait for a sale to pop up. When you are doing nothing, do something! Find partnerships, build your network, enhance your social presence, etc! These things take time, but they give your business the upper advantage! 

Lastly, make sure you take time to rest — overworking can lead to burnout and exhaustion. I am all about being productive, but when it starts to wear on you, take a break so that you can fill yourself up. 

#2: Invest in Yourself Through Effort

Friends, do not expect a successful business or a happy life if you’re not even trying.

Back in 2014, my career and life drastically changed. Amy and I decided to move to Colorado and I began my career as a salesman in an insurance agency. At that time, I had no idea how to grow a personal brand. I didn’t know a thing about marketing. 

In this day and age, if you don’t know how to do something, it’s easier than ever to learn how. You just have to put in effort. My favorite way to do this was by reading books, which didn’t require a huge monetary investment on my part! 

Self-education is a great way to invest in yourself and your business. If you don’t know something or want to improve a skill, there’s a book on how you can do just that. By reading books from thought leaders, business executives, and other successful individuals, Amy and I have taken our careers and lives to the next level. 

If you’re not an avid reader, you can try listening to podcasts or audiobooks! The point is, you want to consume information that will increase your knowledge and give you perspective about your career and life. 

It’s great to invest in some books that relate to your job or work, but don’t forget to also read books on spirituality, health, fitness, and lifestyle. If you want to live a truly great life, you have to consume knowledge on different areas of your life — outside of your business. Yes, consuming information requires effort, but it is effort well spent. 

#3: Invest in Yourself Through Money

Let’s be honest — you’ve gotta spend money to make money.  

About two years ago, I was listening to the For the Love of Money podcast by Chris Harder — an amazing human who has been a mentor, coach, and friend of mine. The episode was about money mindset and dismantling limiting beliefs around money. After listening to the episode, I checked out his Fast Foundations Mastermind — a six-month Mastermind dedicated for startup entrepreneurs. 

I’ll never forget when I made that call to Chris. It was a $6,000 investment, and it was scary as hell to invest in something that I wasn’t sure would bring me results. But I ended up laying down the $6,000 and trusted in Chris’ process. 

Ever since that day, I’ve never looked back. I’ve made so many more monetary investments in my own growth, and they’ve all yielded amazing results. After the first Mastermind ended, I quickly enrolled in the second one, excited to keep pursuing my dream as an entrepreneur, and I plan to do so for years to come.

Here’s the lesson here — if you want to be successful, you’ll have to spend money on yourself. I don’t regret a penny that I’ve spent on self-development. In fact, I recently re-enrolled to the Fast Foundations Mastermind, and I invested some money into Kyle Depiesse’s Reach Beyond Experience. In a matter of two days, I invested between $15,000 to $20,000 in my own personal growth. 

Don’t get me wrong — I experienced a fair amount of doubt and anxiety after laying down the money. But the next day, I woke up and made a commitment to myself and the universe. I’ve invested this money to become a better entrepreneur and version of myself, and that’s what’s going to happen. 

And guess what? It did. I’ve made so many valuable connections which have led to more business opportunities, and I’ve learned essential skills that I’m applying to my business coaching program. Back in November, I made the decision to stop working in insurance entirely and become a full-time entrepreneur. And as soon as I made that decision, it was like the flood gates opened wide, bringing in so many coaching opportunities and business. Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful.

Invest in Yourself Today!

There you have it, folks! The three ways you need to invest in yourself this year — time, effort, and money. 

Where can you start investing in yourself? Do you need to spend some time and effort in listening to podcasts or reading self-development books? Should you make a financial investment in a Mastermind or business coaching program? I know that decision can be a scary one, but I promise you, it’s worth doing.

If you’re looking to invest in the growth of your business and life, I want to tell you a little bit about my new coaching program: The Broker Branding Academy! This Academy is for insurance professionals who are focused on HYPER GROWTH! If you want to blow your 2021 sales out of the water, you MUST have a personal brand. Your prospects are buying you — not the logon on your business card. I’ve designed the Broker Branding Academy to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years … but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here

And if you felt inspired by this article, make sure to check out the full podcast episode! Also, if you would subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts and leave me a 5-star rating, I would be incredibly grateful! And don’t forget to share this episode with someone who needs to hear it! Tag me, @andy_neary, on Instagram and let me know about your greatest takeaways!

Until next time — go out there and start investing time, effort, and money in yourself. 

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EP 86 – Get Back To The Basics

Hey, hey! Welcome back to Friday Bullpen Sessions. Have you set some huge and inspiring goals for 2021? If so, you’re in the right place! Today, I’m sharing my number one exercise to achieve audacious goals without being intimidated by them. 

What I’m going to share with you today is actually how I came up with the name for my podcast, the Bullpen Sessions. Every week during baseball season, I went to the bullpen to work with my pitching coach. We took that time to get back to the basics. I didn’t have any batters to face, and the game wasn’t on the line. I could screw up, try new things, and fail. It was my chance to work on my follow-through, delivery, and pitch selection. 

Looking back, I’m confident that if it weren’t for my weekly bullpen sessions of going back to the basics, I would not have been the successful pitcher I was. And, I can guarantee you that anyone you admire and look up to in business, relationships, or sports has developed a habit of going back to the basics. 

Today, I’m going to help you put together a game plan to achieve your big goal by going back to the basics. This tool has helped me stay motivated, avoid discouragement, and absolutely crush my goals. It can do the same for you. So, let’s jump in!

Leave Your Ego at the Door

I don’t care how successful you are, the first step is to check your ego at the door. You are never too good for the basics. Ego can be our best friend. It also can be our worst enemy. And if you think you’re too good to get back to the basic drills — what, in sports, we call the blocking and tackling that makes you successful — you need to do it even more.

Probably the greatest college basketball coach in history won by this principle of going back to the basics. So, I’m going to tell you his story. John Wooden won ten national titles in 12 years at UCLA. Think about that — ten national championships in 12 years means that he won 80% of the games. 

It is almost impossible for a college basketball team to go undefeated. I know some of the Yukon teams and the women’s basketball teams have gone undefeated, but a winning streak in college basketball is almost never done over a 40 game season. And, John Wooden did it FOUR times!

Now, why do I share this? Because this man is possibly the most successful college basketball coach — every single year, no matter how successful his team was the previous year, they spent the first few practices working on the basics.

He literally had his players relearn how to put their socks and shoes on. Guys like Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton — some of the greatest college basketball players we’ve ever seen at UCLA — spent their first few practices every season learning how to put their socks and shoes on. And here’s why. Because John wanted to send this message, “I don’t care how successful we were as a team last year, we are not too good to get back to where we started. We are not too good to get back to the foundational principles that have made us so successful.”

So, I’m asking you the same thing in the first month of 2021. Are you willing to go back to the basics? You might be happy as hell that 2020 is over, and you get a fresh start. Maybe you’re trying to keep the momentum going because you had an extremely successful 2020. Either way, can you check your ego at the door and go back to the basics with me so that you can get hyper-focused and outperform your competition?

Reverse Engineer

There’s a huge difference between being productive and being busy. The most important thing you can do at any moment is to make sure you’re taking appropriate action every single day. You very rarely need to do a LOT of things. More than likely, you need to take massive action in one specific way. So, the second step to this process is clarifying what your goals are. 

What I want you to do right now is grab a piece of paper and a pen. Now, write down your goal for this year. I’m talking about your big, hairy, audacious goal. In my coaching community, we call it the B-hag. What is the number one goal you want to accomplish this year? Imagine it’s December 31st of 2021, and you’re looking back over your year. If you only get one thing done this year, what do you hope it is? That’s the goal I want you to write down. 

It can be a sales goal, relationship goal, or weight-loss goal. Whatever it is, write it down! 

Now that you’ve got the goal written down, I want you to reverse engineer it. For example, let’s say your goal this year is to sell $500,000 in new revenue. The next step is to break your goals down into quarterly goals. In other words, where do you need to be on March 31st so that you can say to yourself, “I am absolutely on track to meet my 2021 goal”? Whatever your answer was, write it down, too. Do that again for June 30th and September 30th. 

This isn’t rocket science, but so few people do it. They create this lofty goal, and they do nothing to figure out what they need to be doing every single week to hit it. They set it, forget it. Three months into the year, they look up at this huge goal and think, “Oh my God, I’m never going to hit it!” They end up feeling behind before the first quarter is even over. That’s why going back to the basics of reverse engineering your goal is the most important thing you can do. 

Let’s go back to the analogy I shared a little earlier. If your 2021 goal is half a million dollars in sales by June 30th, you need to be at $250,000 in sales, right? Come March 31st, you need to be at $125,000 in sales. It’s simple math, but whatever your goal is, reverse engineer it back to where you need to be on March 31st. 

Once you have reverse engineered your goal by setting quarterly goals, you need to do it again for weekly and monthly goals. So, if you need to be at $125,000 by the end of March, you need to be at $42,000 sales by the end of January. And weekly, you need to hit $10,500 in sales. Do you see how we broke down half a million dollars into $10,500 goals? That’s much more manageable, right?

Guys, I used a financial goal because I come from the health insurance industry, so that’s really relatable for me. But maybe you’re a college athlete, and you want to make the starting team. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who wants to book their first speaking gig. Maybe you work for a corporation and want a promotion. Reverse engineer the steps to getting where you want to be so that instead of feeling intimidated by your B-hag, you can be inspired and motivated to use your days well. 

Get Clear on One Thing

If you’ve read the book, The One Thing, this next step may sound familiar to you. Decide on the ONE thing you need to do daily to reach your quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. What is the one thing that is going to move the needle towards your goal the most? Pro tip: It’s usually the most basic task and thing you least want to do!

In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller talks about the power of focus, managing your willpower, and what it takes to truly succeed. I love what he said about how some people get more done in their day than others: 

“If everyone has the same number of hours in the day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others? The answer is they make getting to the heart of things the heart of their approach. They go small. Going small is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.” – Gary Keller

This book is absolutely a must-read, especially at the beginning of the year. It’s a powerful reminder that we’re human and have a limited amount of hours, but if we use those hours well, we can accomplish near-impossible things. So, what is the one thing you need to do each day to move you closest to your goal? Write it down. 

You have to reverse engineer those big lofty goals all the way back to the basics — exactly what you need to be doing each today. Because big goals are great, but when there’s no game plan, there’s no action. You don’t need to get to the end of this quarter and feel behind and defeated. So, figure out what your priorities are and start taking action. You are capable of having your biggest, most audacious goals yet! Don’t let it slip away from you because you didn’t make yourself a gameplan!

Why You Need to Go Back to the Basics

Going back to the basics, reverse engineering goals, and setting hyper-focused priorities is what all the greats do. The ones you want to be like who are having massive success in business and life get back to the basics every year. That’s why, in baseball, they call it spring training. You have to get back and do the basics. 

But my point is this: If you want to have massive success this year, and I hope you do, whether you had it last year or 2020 was an absolute struggle for you. You need to get back to the basics and figure out what you have to do every single day to create that success you want.

The more you level-set you are, the better your results will be year in and year out. So my advice is to get back to the basics and do the boring, monotonous stuff your competitors don’t want to do because they want quick wins. While they’re busy, you are going to be productive. Be patient, get consistent, invest in the basics, and you, my friend, will have massive success! 

Before you go, if you’re an insurance professional who wants to crush your 2021 sales goals, I have something for you. The Broker Branding Academy! This is my new coaching program for insurance professionals who know it’s important to show up online but don’t want to waste their time trying to figure out what works. In this program, I’m going to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years…but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here!  

Thank you for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Session. If you know anyone in your family or personal life that might benefit from this, please take a screenshot of this and post it on Instagram. Tag me, @andy_neary, and let me know what your B-hag is! If you have three minutes, could you do me a favor? Go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give Bullpen Sessions a five-star rating. I’d be extremely grateful if you did. 

Last thing, do you know what happens when clarity and confidence collide? Massive action. Now, go make it happen today! I’ll catch up with you next week. 

Andy Neary Signature


EP 79 – Michael Dash: Chasing The High, A Story of Addiction and Triumph

Hey hey! Welcome back to the Bullpen Sessions! I’ve got an amazing guest for you all today, so put a smile on and get ready to take tons of notes because you, my friend, are about to go on a wild ride!

Today I’m joined by Michael Dash, a man I am excited to call a friend and colleague. We met last year in the Fast Foundations Mastermind, and I can’t wait for you to be inspired by him. When I heard his story of going from addiction and building a multi-million dollar company to following his intuition and helping entrepreneurs create fulfilling lives, I knew I wanted to have him on the podcast. 

In this interview, we’re diving into how addictions — even seemingly benign addictions — can rob us of true joy and fulfillment and how to steer clear of them. We will also discuss how to trust your intuition and live a life you’re proud of. I think you’re going to be really encouraged by Michael’s perspective and inspired to live a more balanced life. 

Let’s get started!

Who Is Michael Dash?

Michael grew up on the East Coast in a family that was constantly striving for more. At an early age, Michael developed an addiction for achieving, which eventually turned into an addiction to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and, finally, money. He was always chasing the next high — anything that would give him a shot of adrenaline. 

This led him down a path of unhappiness and feeling unfulfilled, even though his financial score said he was winning. After spending some time behind bars, Michael knew something had to change. About that time, he took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Bali, where he learned about manifesting and synchronicities for the first time. Shortly after, he decided to make the rest of his life about accumulating happiness instead of wealth. 

Since then, he’s started MD mentoring and coaching, where he helps highly-successful entrepreneurs double their revenue while reclaiming their sense of joy and connection in life. He recently published his first book, Chasing the Highs, chronicling his experience from addiction and transformation to living in true freedom. 

I think today’s message will be super valuable to you because I believe we all struggle with addiction in one way or another. But the good news is that we all have the power to overcome addiction, and that’s exactly what Michael shares today — how to overcome addiction and live your most epic life!

Michael’s Story: Trapped in Addiction to Following Intuition

For as long as Michael can remember, he focused on accumulating money. As the son of an entrepreneur in New York, he grew up thinking that if you worked harder and longer, you could outwork your competition and succeed. He believed that happiness meant being rich, owning a company, driving a fancy car, and living in an epic house. That’s what he thought would attract women and applause and make him feel like a real man. 

“I convinced myself that in order to be established, looked up to, respected, and successful, I needed all those things. … But eventually, when I had them all, I was miserable. I was not happy whatsoever.” – Michael Dash

Even though Michael experienced success at a young age, it took him a while to realize that there was something more for him in life than accumulating wealth and accolades. Michael’s first adventure into the entrepreneur world was as a bookie — someone who facilitates gambling and pays out winnings on other people’s behalf. Since being introduced to gambling at age 11, he quickly noticed that the bookies always won. So he decided to do the same.

He began experimenting with drugs in college, and it wasn’t long before he became a drug dealer. After graduating college in New York City, he started selling sports advertising to companies who wanted to be featured in game-day football and basketball publications. He did this for 500 universities around the country. All the guys he worked with gambled, did drugs, and partied, which exacerbated his addiction. He continued in this lifestyle until his early 30s.

Michael didn’t have a typical rock-bottom moment like a lot of people in addiction do. In retrospect, Michael said he probably hit it several times, but it never registered with him. He was arrested twice — once for a DUI and once for possession of a substance called GHB. Both times he bailed himself out, hired high-priced attorneys to plead down his case, and did his 100 hours of community service. 

“[Both of these experiences] were completely humiliating and embarrassing for me — but only to me because nobody found out about them. … I still was not in tune that that was my rock bottom. I still was not in tune that feeding my ego was more important to me than actually being honest.” – Michael Dash

Michael said it wasn’t until almost four years ago that he knew something had to change: 

“I had just bought my business partner out of the business that we built together. [It was] doing about five million in revenue a year. We got into a lawsuit right after … because she violated the agreement. … So [I ended up] in a five-year lawsuit at the time, running a business … that was running me. … I came to hate the very business I [had] built. I resented my employees.” – Michael Dash

Around this time, he saw an invitation on Facebook to attend an event in Bali. Since visiting Bali was on his bucket list, he jumped at the opportunity.   

At the retreat, two people talked about living in a state of flow and making decisions by listening to your intuition instead of your conscious mind. Growing up in a family who lived by the mantra “outwork your competition,” Michael chalked it all up to a bunch of BS. 

But when he got home, he said he kept asking himself, “Could it really be that bad to try to live differently — by intuition instead of my conscious mind?” The more he thought about it, the lighter he felt physically. So, he spent $1200 on the course he learned about at the retreat, and it changed the trajectory of his life. 

Why Being Laser-Focused Might Not Be a Good Business Strategy

The word “addiction” typically comes with a negative connotation because people tend to talk about being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or sex. But I think we can get addicted to things that make a positive impact or even seem healthy — things like work, making the next sale, or being that master networker. Just because an addition may seem healthy doesn’t mean it is. 

Michael pointed out that addiction, by definition, is an unbalanced passion, which means any addiction is eventually unhealthy. 

“I feel like obsessive behavior to the degree of addiction is unhealthy in any manner. It’s not sustainable, right? If you took the word ‘addiction’ out and you just say, ‘Wow, he’s got an unhealthy passion for building a business.’ [That means] it’s really detrimental to your life, to your growth, to your sanity, to your health, to your wealth.” – Michael Dash

Michael noted that even if you’re addicted to something like having a healthy body, you’re still spending a lopsided amount of time in that area, which means another area in your life will suffer.  

“If you’re not taking care of yourself physically and emotionally on a daily basis, then it’s going to catch up to you in some aspect of your life. And you’re going to end up being an unbalanced person.” – Michael Dash

In other words, you have to be at your best to bring your best. You can only cover up and hide your not-best-self for so long. Many people go into business with the mentality of being laser-focused to get their business off the ground. It takes a lot of work to have a successful business, but in more cases than not, it takes a lot of time, too — sometimes years!

If you’re going into business or building a business right now with a laser-focused perspective, here’s a thought Michael said you need to consider:

“Most people talk about, ‘[If] you want to build a successful business, you’ve got to be laser-focused.’ But if you take the flip side of that, [and say], ‘Okay, what are you not focusing on because you’re so laser-focused? [How is that] detrimental to your wellbeing?’ Like you have to incorporate that into your life because the business will break down when you break down if you’re building it without the key components of fulfillment.” – Michael Dash

An unbalanced life will catch up with you eventually. It could be before you reach success, or worse yet, you could wake up one day, like Michael, literally living your dream, but being unable to enjoy it because you resent everything.

Michael pursues being the best version of himself and caring for his fulfillment levels by taking time to fill several different “buckets” each week. Each “bucket” contributes to his sense of fulfillment. These buckets are things like community, being in nature, creativity, making money, and taking care of his physical health.

“For me, [those key components of fulfillment] fall into buckets. I believe fulfillment is made up of all these [different] buckets. And I try to fill half of them on a weekly basis. [That’s how] I have fulfillment — they’re all filled to a certain extent.” – Michael Dash

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your life, it’s probably not because your life is miserable. You’re probably just not taking time to give yourself a sense of fulfillment. In the next three days, sit down with a piece of paper and write down five areas in your life that make you feel alive. Now schedule an activity for at least three of those areas in the next seven days. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy your life and feel excited to work after participating in those activities!

How to Live from Your Intuition

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a highly driven person, a go-getter. This means that living from your intuition might feel as bizarre and impractical as it initially did to Michael. Since Michael has transitioned to following his intuition he believes that it is one of the most important skills to master if you want to live a life of success and fulfillment:

“There’s nothing that will serve you more in your life than following and trusting your intuition. … Intuition is a powerful force. It’s an energetic field that will pull you into the direction that you’re meant to go. It might not actually make logical sense at the time — the reason might not appear right then to you — but when you are able to tap into it and trust it and follow it, everything unveils itself at the right time. … And then it all makes sense.” – Michael Dash

Michael explained that following your intuition should just happen. If you’re second-guessing yourself, you’re not following your intuition. 

“Don’t think about it. … Just take action. Quit contemplating, quit pondering. Just take action on whatever your gut is telling you. Go do it, and it’ll lead you in the right direction.” – Michael Dash

If following your intuition feels scary, that’s most likely an indication that you’re on the right track because following your intuition requires trust. You don’t always know where your intuition is leading you, but as you practice, you get better at it and begin to see that it’s pointing you in the right direction!

Why You Should Listen to This Michael Dash Podcast Episode Right Now…

Guys, you need to start following this man if you’re not already. This interview was enlightening and motivating. The best part is that this just touched the tip of the iceberg of what Michael has to offer. So, make sure to buy his book, Chasing the High, for more in-depth advice on everything we discussed today. And don’t forget to connect with him on Instagram and learn more about the work he does on his website

If you learned something today, please pass this along to someone you know! Just take a screenshot of this and share it on Instagram. Tag us both — Michael Dash, @mdash1, and me, @andy_neary — and let us know what your biggest takeaway was. And, if you have three extra minutes, please leave a review and rating on Apple Podcasts — I’d be extremely grateful! 

Before I go, I want to tell you a little bit about my new coaching program: The Broker Branding Academy! This Academy is for insurance professionals who are focused on HYPER GROWTH! If you want to blow your 2021 sales out of the water, you MUST have a personal brand. Your prospects are buying you — not the logon on your business card. I’ve designed the Broker Branding Academy to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years … but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here

Before I sign off, let me remind you that you are capable of living an incredibly successful life that makes you feel fulfilled. If you feel out of balance or lack joy in your life, take a step back and invest a few hours of your week into the things that make you happy. There’s more to life than money and accolades, my friend. Now, go make good things happen today! 

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EP 78 – The One Career Decision I Regret The Most

Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! Each week, I deconstruct my journey and struggles through my professional baseball career. I take the lessons that I learned and help you apply them in your work and business so that you can live a life of purpose! 

This week I am going to get really vulnerable with you, guys. I’m going to share a moment in my life that I really regret. So grab your glove, hold your ball, get ready to take the mound — this is going to be interesting. 

Make sure to keep reading throughout this whole post because this story has a twist. It’s about a decision I made in my pro baseball career that had a much bigger impact on my life than I realized. With that, let’s get started.  

Spring Training 2001

Let me take you back to my spring training in 2001 when I was playing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Each day I got to the spring training complex before sunrise and kept my stuff in the locker. Your locker could be next to someone playing AA or AAA who is just one step away from making it to the Major Leagues. It’s a great way to learn from guys who have been where you are and beyond!

Although, the thing about spring training is that it is very monotonous. Each day you go down for breakfast alongside the rest of the Minor League camp, you come back, relax, put on your uniform and head out for stretching and calisthenics, followed by eight-nine hours of practice. And if you don’t enjoy the entire process, it is going to get to you quickly. 

And I admit that I probably did not enjoy the process as much as I could have. I allowed myself to view the game more as a job than a hobby or a passion. Yes, it is a business at that point, but you can still give yourself space to really enjoy the process of getting up every morning to play ball while getting paid for it. 

But that year, I knew that if I stuck around spring training long enough and if I didn’t get cut, I had a chance to go break camp and pitch for the Beloit Snappers. The Beloit Snappers is a single A team in the Milwaukee Brewers organization located in Beloit, Wisconsin. And Beloit was just 50 miles away from where I grew up, which is why it was such a big deal to me! If I spent the summer pitching in Beloit, my friends and family could come and watch every single game that I played, and boy, was I excited about that! 

So every day, I got up and worked on my mechanics. I might not have enjoyed the process much, but I did not take anything for granted. And I remember entering into the last week of the spring training, days away from breaking camp, and I felt good. 

Two-three weeks into the spring training camp, you start playing games in the afternoon (sometimes teams will come to your spring training complex or vice versa). And on this particular day, we were heading over to the Scottsdale area to take on the Oakland Athletics. It was a beautiful complex, and I was pitching that day and had a really good outing. I didn’t give up any runs in the one or two innings that I played, and that made me feel really confident about what that summer was going to look like. I was excited about the possibility of my friends and family watching me play professional baseball consistently. 

After the game, I headed over to the practice field, ran my sprints, and did my cool-down workout with the trainer. On the bus back to our spring training facility, I was sitting next to Billy Hall who at that time was playing AA or AAA, and we had an inspiring conversation. Everything was looking good for me, but then that all changed.

The Pink Slip

When I woke up the next morning,  it was like any other day. But when I reached the spring training facility that day, there was something different. As I walked into the locker room, hanging on my locker was a pink slip. It was a very awkward moment. When you’re given a pink slip, everybody knows that you are being cut and let go, and so they tiptoe around you, pat you on the back trying not to offend you, and tell you how it has been a joy playing beside you.

I grabbed my playbook and took a walk of shame down to the Director of Personnel’s office. And here’s what was interesting — when I entered his office, I wasn’t just talking to the Director but also to two Minor League coaches who were sitting on either side of him. What were they doing there? And then it struck me — when some people are cut, they absolutely freak out. Those coaches were there for the Director’s protection. 

They thanked me for my time and service, passed over a list of independent teams to me, and asked me to pick a team that I wanted to play for. They would make a call and refer me to that team.  These independent teams are professional baseball teams but are not affiliated to any Minor League or Major League baseball teams. I could have spent the next summer playing in the independent leagues, and who knows another major league team might have shown interest and signed up a contract with me. 

And so at that moment, I made a terrible decision. I told them that I was glad that I got the chance to play professional ball, but I already had my finance degree, so it was time for me to move on with the rest of my life. It was not this decision that I regretted the most, but it was a bad one nevertheless. I was 22-23 years old at the time, and I could have taken a year or two to play independent ball, enjoyed the travel, and had fun since I did not have too many responsibilities at that age. But my pride was hurt, so I wasted that opportunity.  

If you are a young athlete reading this, then I have a piece of advice for you: Savour the joy that your sport brings you, regardless of whether you’re the MVP or not. If you have a chance to continue playing in independent leagues or have any other opportunity to pursue your sport, then don’t be so quick to end your career so abruptly as I did! 

The Decision I Regret the Most: Letting That Experience Impact My Business Career 

Now, this is where we get to the lesson that I want to teach you with this episode today. Here’s what I did regret the most. When somebody had literally fired me and told me that I was no longer good enough to play a sport that I had been playing since age four, that message impacted my business career for well over ten years. But how?

  • Reason #1: I struggled with feeling good enough about myself. My self-worth was rock bottom for a long time. This definitely impacted my early career when I was selling financial planning or insurance. Am I good enough to win at this new game I’m playing? For a long time, I didn’t think so.  
  • Reason #2: I was never satisfied. Instead of looking back and seeing what I had accomplished as a 5’9” pitcher in professional baseball, I looked at myself as a failure. And again, this transitioned into my business career. I was never satisfied with my work. This is something I still struggle with today. Recently, I’ve really been trying to take the time to reflect and celebrate my progress about how far I have come in life! 
  • Reason #3: I know one of the reasons I was let go was because of my stats, or lack thereof. I also was considered “old” for the level I was in at the Minor Leagues. My stats the previous year were good, and so were my stats on the mound and the spring training, but they weren’t great. And I allowed that judgment of my abilities (based on some stats) to impact my business career. I was always tempted to compare my own stats to others, and I had this constant feeling like other people were judging me. Of course, now it was not about run averages or strike-outs, but about sales numbers, pipeline opportunities, or the amount of revenue I was bringing in. It was just a different type of stat.

Let’s face it —it stings when someone tells you that you are not good enough to play something that you have played all your life. It sucked. But what I really regret is letting that experience destroy my mindset. And as a result, for ten years, my business career suffered. 

I also regret not taking the moment to celebrate victories. It’s good to be ambitious, but if you never reflect on everything you’ve accomplished, you’ll eventually burn out.  And lastly, I  regret the fact that I allowed myself to be judged because at the end of the day the only person that impacted my happiness and my success was me

If you’re a young athlete, I gotta speak straight with you. At some point, your sports career is going to end, and you will have to move on to Chapter Two. You’ll have to start something new. And the advice that I want to give you is never to doubt your own abilities. Know that you are good at what you do but that your work doesn’t define you as a person. Be happy, find something that fulfills you, and enjoy the process. Celebrate your victories and the progress that you are making. 

And what’s more, don’t let other people’s judgments impact you. Don’t get caught up in the comparison because at the end of the day, this is what kept my business away from success for far too long. And I don’t want you to make the same mistake.

Why You Should Listen to This Episode Right Now…

Guys, I leave this with you today — whenever a transition comes in your life, have faith in yourself. Enjoy the process and the journey to whatever your next chapter in life looks like. And most of all don’t let other people’s opinions determine your self-worth. Just stay in your lane, and know that success is coming just around the corner. 

My man, thank you for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Sessions post, and don’t forget to listen to the episode as well. If you are enjoying these episodes,  please go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give me a five-star rating — I’d be really grateful. Also, share this episode with a family member, friend, or coworker who needs to hear it, and tag me on Instagram, @andy_neary, with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, 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.

Remember — when clarity and confidence collide, action happens. Go out and make it happen today!


EP 77 – Chris Ross: Million-dollar Sales Secrets

Hey hey! Welcome back to the amazing Bullpen Sessions! Today’s episode is incredible — I’m bringing you a  special guest who will rock your world with great insights, value, and game-changing directions for your life. So, sit back, relax, and don’t forget to take down notes as we unveil the million-dollar sales secrets our special guest will be sharing in this session.

Today, I’m excited to introduce to you Chris Ross — he’s the popular podcast host of the Win-Win Effect (check out Episode #72 with yours truly!). During that interview, Chris told me about his life’s journey from childhood. Early on, he was faced with financial and family problems, but now, he’s earning a strong income while making an impact in other people’s lives. His life story is too inspiring enough not to share, and I knew then that I needed to have Chris on the Bullpen Sessions to personally share his expertise in the exciting world of sales with all of you. 

In this interview, we talked about what it will take to excel in sales in 2020 and beyond. We also discussed how we can become 1% better every single day. Right now, Chris Ross is one of the sought-after motivational speakers, helping salespersons and sales teams how to reach the top 1% in sales. If you’re someone struggling with poor sales numbers, you’ll be astounded by what Chris has to share to get to the top.

So, let’s get the ball rolling!

Who Is Chris Ross?

Chris Ross is the founder and creator of TCR Consulting Agency, or TCR Education, whose educational TCR programs are used by more than 60 trade schools in the United States of America. Graduates of their programs have excelled in their respective careers when it comes to driving revenues and increasing sales. 

As a host of the top-rated podcast, the Win-Win Effect, Chris Ross is instrumental in preparing top corporate executives for the radical transformation of the business development process, benefiting both sides of the seller and buyer relationship. It’s a “win-win effect” — both parties experience exponential revenue growth! 

After assuming the board’s Chairman role of TCR, Chris further ventured to the podcasting powerhouse business, creating Winject Radio, which gained more than a million downloads in the first year. As a CEO and co-founder of Winject, Chris continues to add more shows to the network to sustain its growth by injecting a winning mindset into corporations, into their sales, their marketing, and their operations.

Despite all his success today, Chris didn’t start at the top. He experienced an extremely hard childhood, and his family constantly battled with financial insecurity, but through all those challenges, Chris was molded into a great man. Keep reading to learn how!  

How Great People Are Molded from Challenges

To put it simply, the early days of Chris Ross were not lived in luxury. But all those challenges tested his limits and molded him into the man he is today. 

“We were not in a good financial situation. But all the things that I learned throughout my younger years were molding me for my future success. And [I] went into the military after my older sister passed away. … She passed away when I was 16. She was born handicapped, and she had a lot of complications. …My parents … could not afford [her care], and [we] didn’t have a really good health care back then in those days. So, [my dad]had to work two to three jobs sometimes to provide for his family. And that’s where I get my crazy work [ethic]. …I’m not scared of hard work.” – Chris Ross

As Chris Ross said, his life was full of struggles. His family was poor, and his sister experienced several health problems due to her disability. When she died, the family was devastated, but Chris did not let that terrible situation determine the course of his life. . Instead, he fought back with a positive mindset. After running away from the pain for a while, Chris decided to move on — he joined the military, took other jobs, and took a great leap forward, knowing that every difficult experience was molding him to become successful.

“I picked the job that my grandfather, my mom’s dad, had, .. and I drove a SEAL boat … before 9-11 happened. … So I learned from great leaders. … [Joining the military] was probably the best decision I ever made because it got me away from my surroundings. And I was exposed to a lot of cultures from there. … [I also] made a sacrifice to be able to go to college. Back in those days, you had to get at least a four-year degree to make something of your life.”- Chris Ross

As new opportunities unravel before him, Chris took every chance to meet with people and learn from their expertise. His exposure to different cultures, traditions, organizations, and corporations molded him to become great. If you find yourself stuck in your current career (or want to start a new one), the key to moving forward is networking — when you meet new people and experience new things, you open up the door for endless opportunities to come your way! 

“If you’re great at what you do, you don’t have to tell people you’re great.” – Chris Ross

Despite his massive exposure to different types of jobs, Chris knew that he needed to polish the fundamentals — the knowledge and skills to succeed. He made a lot of sacrifices to complete his bachelor’s degree, which later served as his ticket to the corporate world.

Eventually, Chris ended up in sales (which many of us can relate to!). He took several sales gigs, and he viewed each as an opportunity to meet new people and practice his communication skills.  Chris also spent time studying the traditional sales techniques and adapted them to applicable strategies that work today! 

Chris was fortunate enough to get proper sales education in 2008, and since then, he was involved in education sales, achieving small successes. But this wasn’t a stopping place for Chris — he did not stop learning but continued to hone in his skills to achieve greater heights in his career. From starting as a missions rep to becoming a regional director, Chris collaborated and connected with top executives and popular personalities in lead generation. And what’s truly amazing is that all of this happened BEFORE the social media boom.

Creating an Impact in the Sales Landscape 

It’s no secret —  the internet and social media have completely changed the sales and marketing landscape. When this change started happening, Chris adapted to the evolution by going online, which expanded the global footprint of his business. He taught people how to enroll in coaching programs that will teach them how to succeed, making an impact in their lives. 

“I was good at what I did, but I knew that I could be great. And I had to put myself in a situation where I was forced to be great. … I’m a guy that makes an impact on companies, corporations, or individuals. That’s what I do for a living. … I’m there to make an impact and a lifelong impact if they’re willing and be receptive to what I have to say.”- Chris Ross

If you’re looking to have a career in sales, you may be wondering, “How can I keep the focus on impact while also making a steady income?” It’s easy to get focused on the monetary compensation side of sales and ignore the impact, but Chris believes that focusing on impact is the way to go: 

“Whatever the [sales] situation is, … I’m going to ask [the client] really detailed questions. And I’m going to ask a lot of other questions [that] 99.9% of salespeople aren’t going to ask. Why? It’s because I’m looking for the barriers to entry. I’m looking for information, and sometimes maybe, they’re not telling me. And I’m going to ask ‘who, what, when, why, how’ questions. And these questions lead me to diagnostic questions. … ‘Why do you feel that you need that product?’ … Nine times out of ten, it’s not even that product they actually need. They want the product. They don’t need that product just yet because there are different levels to this. I reverse the table. I take it away from them. You no longer have the ability or the freedom to buy what I’m selling you because it’s not available yet.”- Chris Ross

While the majority of the salespeople are focused on commissions (how much earnings they will get from an account), Chris focuses more on providing value and making an impact in their lives. He sets him apart from the rest by taking a different approach. He flips the tables on the customers by checking their fit for the valuable services he’s offering. This helps not only the company he’s working for but also the customers themselves! It ensures that they are getting the service they truly NEED.

“Have them beg you. I’m telling you, man, there are times I’ve had people get on the phone with me, and then I completely flip it in about 15 seconds, and they’ll go, ‘Whoa, I didn’t expect this conversation to happen.’ I’m like, ‘Well, the reason why we’re having this conversation is because I’m looking for X, Y, Z. Can you fit these requirements? If you can. Great! I’m not saying you have to meet or exceed these requirements. I’m saying this is my standard. In order for you to get this, you’re going to have to come up to my standards. … If you want my help, I will help you. But you’re going to have to put forth the effort and have the right attitude.’”– Chris Ross

So there you go! Chris just spilled the secrets you need to be successful in sales. Hard work and a positive mindset will get you to your goal. You have to be willing to be taught and not just understand the lessons but turn them into actions with a winning attitude. This goes for both the seller and the client! If you’re trying to sell a product, ask the client questions to really gauge if that product is for them. And if you’re looking to invest in a coaching program or purchase, do your research to know if that product is really for you. Will it be a waste of money? Or will it help you reach your goals? 

Applying an Athlete’s Mindset to Business Values

Since I love hearing life stories of successful people, I shifted the conversation back to the days of Chris Ross’ life when he joined the Navy. He actually was offered a  baseball scholarship with Charleston Southern University, but he didn’t take it. While he was good at baseball, Chris was also an avid fan of football. However, he lost interest in sports when his sister passed away. After finishing his stint in the Navy, he attended Clemson University of South Carolina.

Since he is a huge football fan, I asked Chris if he thought Clemson is going to be successful this season. Chris said that he is CERTAIN that Clemson will not lose a game, and he is 100% confident in this because they are true to who they are and their core values.

“You have to have a 100%live and die by your choices and decisions; a 100%! And take full accountability of your life.”– Chris Ross

He further added that no one in this life can save you. And it’s going to become way easier for you when you realize that. Whether good or bad, you have to live with the repercussions of your actions. Taking full responsibility for your actions is the first step to future growth. Once you have set your mind on your goals, you can start connecting with people and align them with your goals.

“I’m just all about connecting with others. And if you connect with others, you can drive people to do anything you want them to do.”– Chris Ross

As you connect with people you want to impact, you also need to train their mindset to match yours. His entrepreneurial mindset and firm belief in abundance made a huge shift in this life, allowing him to build the corporations and the businesses he is doing right now. While most people shy away from challenges due to fear of losing, Chris loves challenges as they allow him to grow and improve his skills. His winning formula is 80% mindset and 20% skills

While skills are important, it’s more important to prioritize your mindset to manifest success.  It can be hard to change your mindset at first, but when you slowly take away the negativity, you will start experiencing positive changes in your life. But first, you must determine your desired outcome before you can manifest those changes.

“ You can create and manifest a beautiful life, hundreds of million dollars of whatever success [means] to you. And if I told you that I could help you, get you there quicker, you would pay me anything”– Chris Ross

What’s your desired outcome? What goals do you want to meet this year? Due to COVID-19, many of our goals have been set aside or even forgotten as we try to navigate this pandemic. However, Chris had some amazing advice on how we can still make positive changes in the middle of this chaos! 

Getting to Know your Desired Outcome During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I asked Chris how sales professionals, who are way behind their sales goals due to the effect of the COVID pandemic, can prepare themselves for 2021 and get their momentum back.

“One — get organized.”– Chris Ross

You have to get organized with your daily routine and operations and remain focused on the tasks at hand. Even if these things don’t excite you, you will learn to love the process because it is the pathway to your success. Instead of complaining about the mundane tasks, try to make a challenge out of them by finding ways to make an impact on whatever tasks you are doing. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and start peeling back the layers. In the end, it will still bring you back to the primary question — what is the outcome you are seeking? It should be your genuine outcome and not the desired outcome of your boss or superiors. 

“What is your outcome? And then you start peeling back the layers on how you’re going to get to that outcome from your daily task. And that’s what you focus on. When you start seeing some type of growth, and you move that needle a little bit, then it’s going to motivate you.”– Chris Ross

According to Chris, most people spend their time the whole day doing things that they don’t like to do. However, Chris doesn’t do that because he knows his worth and value. He is getting paid for his value — not by his time. One of the reasons why many people fail is because they cannot handle the monotony of success. But if you keep track of your desired outcome, you will learn to love what you are doing. 

So, instead of complaining about why things are happening this way or why sales are low this year, make a complete shift in mindset by learning from the experience. Get back to your desired outcome and start working on the action plans that will get you there. When you know what you are doing and why you are doing it, no one can beat you!. 

“When God’s behind me, there’s nothing going to stop me, if I’m in my right frame of mind.”– Chris Ross

Do you love what you do? Are you focusing on the end results? Do you have goals in mind as you work toward the finish line? If you’re not clear on these things, your work will be much less enjoyable and less impactful as a result. Today, I want to encourage you to take some time to get clear on your goals (either for this year or the years to come). COVID-19 has definitely thrown a wrench in things, but we don’t have to let it stop us. 

Why You Should Listen to This Chris Ross Podcast Episode Right Now…

Before we ended the interview, I asked Chris one more question about sales — “What advice would you give to somebody today about how to gain the attention of your target audience?” Here was his answer: 

“[The secret] comes from your heart. If there is one thing in life, you can never fake, it is passion. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll eventually find the answers.”– Chris Ross

If you have a passion, you can develop skills and eventually become good at it. And what’s more, people notice passionate people and are attracted to them. If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, you are so much more likely to sell more of it. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to be you.

“Don’t be me. Don’t be Andy. Don’t be someone named Steve. Don’t be them. Don’t try to do what they’re doing. Do what you want to do. And eventually, you’ll find the answers. But it’s going to take some time for you to really sit down and really go into your core values. But once you’re plugged-in to that energy source, man, it’s not going to stop you.”– Chris Ross

If you want to learn more wisdom from Chris, make sure to listen to the full interview to hear all of his sales secrets! I know that I learned so much from our conversation that I’m going to start using it in my own business, and I hope you did too! You can also catch episodes from Chris Ross on the Win-Win Effect. He also has live Q&A sessions from the show on YouTube. And if you wish to meet him personally for a life-changing session, you may contact Chris Ross through his official website!

And if you enjoyed the interview, be sure to let us know! You can tag Chris, @thewinwineffect, and me, @andy_neary, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways! We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, 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.

To reach your goals in 2020 and beyond, you need to first determine your desired outcome and put forth actions to achieve those expected results. But this must be also coupled with the right mindset and attitude. So, friends, don’t give up 2020 just yet. As long as there is a day left in a year, you still have a chance of ending the year at a respectable level while also gaining the necessary momentum to start the next year with a big bang. 

I believe in you! Until next time —

Andy Neary Signature


EP 76 – How To Grow A Brand In 2021

Hey, hey! Welcome back to Friday Bullpen Sessions!

I’m on the edge of my seat as I speak today because I’m going to talk about something imperative to making 2021 the best year you’ll ever have. We’ll be talking about your personal brand. I’ll also be giving a few tips on how you can build it!

I know you might be thinking, “But wait, Andy. I’m not even into business. Why would I care about a personal brand?” Well, I used to think the same thing. I never really thought of the impact of having a solid personal brand to my life in general. It was not until in my career as a professional baseball player for Milwaukee Brewers that I realized that I was fed up with getting unnoticed by scouts and receiving evaluations that do not represent who I am. If you are currently in the same position where I was years ago, then keep reading, because this might be beneficial to you in the long run.

I am going to share with you personal experiences that helped increase my self-awareness and eventually build the brand that I am proud of. It is through this personal branding that I was able to grow my business quickly in a span of just a few years. Whether you’re a 22-year-old just entering the business world for the first time, a college athlete trying to prove yourself, or an insurance agent trying to win a piece of business, a solid personal brand will help you win opportunities and succeed in life. Also, if you belong to that last group, keep on reading because I have surprising news at the end of this post.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is a Personal Brand? 

Before discussing what a personal brand is, I would like to know how your Thanksgiving celebration went amidst the pandemic. Did you choose to spend it in person with your family in the same room or did you go the safer route and spent it with your loved ones virtually? How did the people around you react when you made your choice? Did their reactions make you feel proud of your decision? Regretful? Uncomfortable?

If you are wondering why I am asking these questions, it all has to do with personal branding.

To start, how people see you or the impression you give them is your personal brand. Your experience, skills, actions and achievement in life, work, or at home, shape their perception of who you are. It has everything to do with your words, actions and it might be reflected in the decisions you make on a daily basis. The way you speak, the food you eat, the books you read, and the actions you take, reflect your personal brand. It makes you the only you there is, and that makes you special.

However, having a personal brand does not only relate to a positive sense of self. It can also impact your career. Let me share my personal experience so I can explain this.

Back in the day, I joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization as a pitcher. And we all know what that means right? As a pitcher, people’s eyes are on me because they see me as the most important person in the game. I have the most impact on whether our team would win or lose. However, because I was not comfortable sitting in my own skin, I never tried to stand out. So, I became a target of baseless judgments and opinions. These were the biggest source of frustration I had throughout my professional career. I also started counting all the lost opportunities and hated each one of them. There was even a time that I started pointing my finger to the scouts who came up with evaluations that didn’t match who I was or what I could do. 

I call myself the “Milwaukee Brewer Misfit.” It was only after many, many years that I realized that there was no one to blame but me.

Looking back, I now realize that the reason why I never left a mark is because I lacked a personal brand. I kept showing up different versions of myself on different days, and those around me never really knew who I am or what I am made of. I kept on twisting and bending my personality because I thought that it would appease my audience. I went unnoticed.

How did it happen? All I did was to mold myself into whatever environment I am in. I was afraid of other people’s judgments. I failed to represent myself consistently. I allowed the judgment of others to persuade me into doubting myself and the things I can do. I let others’ opinions doubt my decision to do my best and just live in the present.  

Practical Ways to Develop a Personal Brand

We all have that moment when we try to match the words that come out of our mouths or the actions we do to the perception of those around us. Many of us do this because we are afraid to get rejected or hurt. We don’t want the world to see our imperfections, our vulnerabilities, because we fear we’ll never reach their expectations. Sadly, we lost ourselves in the process of pleasing others. So if you catch yourself in a similar situation to where I was once before, I’ve got two major tips to help you navigate the road to developing a personal brand.

#1: Take time for self-reflection. Take advantage of the pandemic to start working on your self-awareness. Focus your attention to your behavior, character traits, and feelings. In this way, you can control what you want to project in front of other people and what your personal brand should be.

If you find yourself struggling, I personally suggest for you to ask yourself this simple question: If you weren’t in the room, and your friends, your family, your target audience — we’re all talking about you. What do you want us to say about you? By asking that question, you’ll discover what your personal brand is.

#2: Be consistent. Once you have identified your personal brand, make sure to show up and match your actions to the words that come out of your mouth. When all of these are aligned, magic happens. Your business will grow faster than it’s ever had. You will finally gain the attention of that recruiter, that scout, that school you have always dreamt of getting into. 

Lastly, when you finally achieve a solid personal brand, hold onto it tightly. Do not let yourself slip away from it. By holding tight to your personal brand, you will always attract the right people into your life. 

Why You Should Listen to This Episode Right Now…

Guys, take this holiday season just to know who you are. Be 100% self-aware of what your brand is and show up every single day as that one version of you. Whether others love it or not really doesn’t matter. The realization that showing different versions of me on different days is hurting my brand was absolutely instrumental in finding my own voice and just being comfortable with who I am. 

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I have some surprising news for all insurance brokers reading this Friday’s Bullpen Sessions post. I am inviting you all to the relaunch of the Complete Game Mastermind. This will show you the fastest way to create the brand awareness you need to grow your business. We’re only taking 20 people right now and seats are getting filled pretty quickly. You have to get on this list by texting 2021 to (414) 622-1462, so you can secure early access and sign up for it at a significantly reduced rate. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to jump on a call with you to talk it through! Just send me a DM. 

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.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Sessions post. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and don’t forget to give it a five-star rating. If you know of anybody in your life, whether family members, your friends, business, colleagues who are working very hard to build a personal brand, share this post with them on Instagram and tag me, @andy_neary, with your best takeaways. 

Remember — having 100% self-awareness could be the best gift you could give yourself in the beginning of this year. 2021 is all about making a new you. So go out and share your personal brand with the world!

Until next time, folks!

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EP 75 – Brett Lorin: Former MLB Pitcher Turned Successful Entrepreneur

Hey hey! Welcome back to Bullpen Sessions! This week on the show, I have another abundant thinker who is absolutely crushin’ it in life. This episode is for athletes, parents of athletes, and business professionals who want to understand an athlete’s mindset and utilize it in any sport or business. So get your pen and paper ready to take some notes because you, my friend, are about to go on a wild ride.

My guest today is a former professional baseball player turned successful entrepreneur — Brett Lorin. Brett had all the talent and the ability in the world, and he fully leveraged his gifts and his mindset to reach where he is today. In our interview, I asked Brett to talk about his rise through high school and college baseball and the mindset shift that athletes experience when the unexpected happens. 

In our 75th episode, we took a closer look at the ups and downs in Brett’s career as a professional athlete. We discussed his transition and the lessons he has learned from sports and how he applied them in his franchise business and sales career. Brett’s persistent attitude and his passion for life both shaped his personality to be a successful entrepreneur. Sound like something you could benefit from as well? 

Let’s learn how Brett did it!

Who Is Brett Lorin?

Brett was a professional Minor League Baseball pitcher who fell just one call short of Major League Baseball. He played for teams such as the GCL Pirates, the Bradenton Marauders, and the Reno Aces

Brett had been pursuing a career in baseball since high school, he had the right mix of talent and discipline that allowed him to reach new heights. When Brett failed to make it to the big leagues while being at the top of his game, he decided it was time to move on and utilize his skills and experience in other fields.

He was disappointed that he didn’t make it to the Major Leagues, but not allowing this setback to deter him, Brett went on to operate a Jimmy John’s franchise for almost three years, before taking up a career in sales with Sunrun, a company which brings clean, solar energy into houses across the U.S. 

Brett met his fair share of failures and rejection in his sporting career, but instead of being depressed about it, he took it as an opportunity to seek success elsewhere. This gutsy transition from being a top-class player to now having a successful career in sales is what makes Brett’s story so inspiring. 

I know that so many of you out there will relate to Brett’s message — I know I did.

The Importance of Having Both Talent and a Healthy Mindset 

Let’s go back to his early days in California, where Brett played both baseball and basketball year-round. Playing multiple sports as a kid allowed Brett to better his mobility, range of motion, and trained him to become an all-around great athlete. 

“If I just played baseball all year round, I might’ve gotten burnt out … with it, but … having the balance of both basketball and baseball was good for me. I think you should play … [everything] until you are … 12-13 years old, and then you … start [figuring] out what you want to do. [By trying different sports,] … body-wise you are using different muscles, … [and this also helps you in becoming] a complete athlete.” – Brett Lorin

By his senior year, Brett had really stepped into his potential as an athlete and was sure about what he wanted to do in the future. Even after having a few offers from D2 and junior colleges for basketball, Brett chose to pursue baseball in college. He analyzed his prospects and felt that he had a better chance of playing baseball and making it big in the sport. He was playing some travel ball while getting lessons for pitching, and he even sent pitching videos of himself to colleges to pique their interest. It took a while to get noticed, but his patience eventually paid off, and he was recruited by the University of Arizona.

“I love the sport, … but honestly I didn’t want to … commit to basketball. I just made a business decision and went with baseball …. I could play basketball for four years at a D2 [college], and then that’s it for my sports career, but I really saw something in baseball. … [I also thought that I had a chance to make it big]. I’m tall, I got some leverage here, and I can grow into my body a little bit. So I just chose to go the baseball route, and it was the right decision overall.” – Brett Lorin

However, pursuing baseball didn’t come easy. In his first semester in college, Brett had to make a lot of adjustments maturity-wise, and he was also redshirted — he wasn’t going to be made a star right away because he was not on scholarship, and the college hadn’t invested in him. All the same, Brett wasn’t about to give up. He knew that he had the talent, but he also had to work hard to get where he wanted. 

“That’s why I’d tell most high school players, unless you get drafted really high and the money is something you can’t refuse, I think everyone should go to college and learn to grow and mature. … Assuming you get drafted your junior year, if you’re good enough, you’ll get drafted again.” – Brett Lorin

After spending the first year as a redshirt and getting a chance to play only nine innings in his second year at Arizona, Brett decided to transfer to Longbeach State. He took a gamble of switching from one big program to another, but he knew that he needed to pitch and he had to do something about it to make that happen. The timing was also key since this was also the last summer that he could transfer without sitting out a season.

“I got two years at the University of Arizona with [just] nine innings, [so I started questioning myself] — if I am not going to pitch [then], how am I going to get drafted …? … Just because you pick a school, it doesn’t mean that’s where you’re going to end up. … I could have stayed all four years and been a college kid, had fun, and barely played, with no … exposure for pro scouts. … But I had a goal, … and [I wanted playing time, and I just had to get seen] … Longbeach had shown interest, … [and I needed to move and get some more exposure]. … It was a turning point in my career, so I’m glad I did it.” – Brett Lorin

It was at Longbeach where Brett finally got some real pitching time and learned how to use his height and body as leverage. Out of all the 25-30 guys on the Longbeach college baseball roster, half the team went into the top seven, including Brett himself, and by the end of the semester, he ended up getting drafted in the fifth round. He pitched in multiple roles that year, and, as his pitching improved, he started hearing a little buzz about himself around high-level scouts. 

“[For a new guy, getting into the top ten was a big shift] … I think you always have to be realistic, …  and I knew my stuff can get hitters out, … and I just needed some mechanical tweaking. … I hadn’t gotten the instruction yet from somebody at that level, and once I did, I started to refine my delivery and my mechanics.” – Brett Lorin

After college, it was time for the Minor Leagues. Playing in the Minor Leagues was very different than playing college ball, which was actually way more structured. From here on, it was just playing about playing baseball, working out, and preparing his body and mind for success. 

“A lot of guys have already been in the system … [for a while], and [by] being the new guy, you will be a threat to them. … So there’s a lot of stuff you have to get used to and just be a pro about. … [In college, you have] your coaches on you about getting your classes and making sure your grades are up. And there’s only so much you can do when you’re in pro ball. It’s way more on you to make sure you’re going to succeed.” – Brett Lorin

For Brett, there were a lot of unknowns too, like learning to play alongside guys from different cultures and backgrounds. The Minors also have a very competitive environment — everyone is essentially playing against one another to hopefully be promoted. However, through it all, he understood that he needed to leverage his talent and mindset to make a name for himself in a competitive field. 

“You’re living with guys that you’re competing against. … The organization is going to make all the moves, [and] all you can control is what you do on the field. … The Minors are all about developing players, they don’t … care if you win, … [and] everyone is out for themselves because you have to move up by outperforming everybody else.” – Brett Lorin

It’s not easy to live in a high-pressure environment where one is constantly expected to outperform their peers. But with talent, a little competitive spirit, and a rock-solid mindset,  you can make strides towards your dream. Brett knew this very well, and this is what made him rise in his career. 

Pivoting Away from the Major Leagues

Despite all his hard work, however, the Majors seemed to get farther and farther away. Eventually, Brett was traded to Pittsburgh and then to Arizona with well-known players. He felt a little held back at Pittsburgh, so he grabbed the opportunity and moved over to Arizona to improve his chance of scoring big. And it was while playing with Arizona in 2012/2013 that Brett reached the AAA level in the Minor League —  that was just one step away from being called into the Major League. But unfortunately, that call never happened.

“… The following year after AAA, I … [got] released. … I had a great last year [but I couldn’t understand why I was being let go]. … But you know, once you are on your third team, you’re just a number at that point, unless you’re outperforming the league.” – Brett Lorin

After his stint with Arizona, Brett even played independent ball with the Long Island Ducks for a year. This was his last shot at getting signed back for pro ball. He spent a great year at Long Island, but he never got a shot to go back to the Minors.

“… I think it was a little refreshing [to play independent ball] … to be around the guys, [and] there was a lot less stress and a lot less structure. … So independent ball was fun, but I knew it was done…  I was not going to be a baseball lifer. If I didn’t get picked up this year, I was … [going to walk] away, [and] that was enough for me. I didn’t need to just keep playing independent ball for another five years just for the fun.” – Brett Lorin

For Brett, talent is important, but having a strong mindset is even more important. After not making into the Major Leagues, Brett could have easily given up on everything. But when he saw that the Major Leagues weren’t an option, he started thinking about how he could pivot into a different field. He had that strong, competitive spirit, and rather than letting that diminish, he decided to channel it elsewhere. 

“You can’t make it that far in professional sports [or business] without having a very competitive mindset … and a little bit of fire in you. … Even if you’re a good guy off the field, you’ve got to have a little bit of that edge when you get out there. … You also can’t let [the] outside factors steer you away from your goals [either]. So you have to make sure you put yourself in a position to succeed.” – Brett Lorin

Do you have that competitive mindset in your career? You don’t have to be in sports to have it — you can use this competitive mindset in your business or work as well! After Brett decided that his baseball career had ended, he decided to use his athlete’s mindset to help him succeed in the business world. 

Brett Lorin’s Pivot from Sports into Business 

Brett is now in the second phase of his life, and he’s doing incredible things. Post his baseball career, Brett started running a Jimmy John’s franchise with his cousin and operated a bunch of franchises for three years. Now, like many of you, Brett is working in sales. 

However, the transition from being a professional ballplayer to becoming an operator-owner of a franchise was a difficult one for him. 

“The transition was hard [because] I spent my college and pro ball years not building a resume for real life. [I spent] years perfecting a craft, and once it got over, ‘What does that get?’ … [People my age were already] years ahead of me, … and because I went into franchising so quickly, I didn’t have that downturn where I was just looking to let other things affect me.” – Brett Lorin

Even though this transition was hard at first, baseball taught Brett how to handle failure, how to deal with adversities, and how to work with people. He took to his business just like the way he used to attack hitters on the field. There were so many parallels to his baseball career to his new business career, and he used his athletic mindset to his advantage. Running a business is all about communication and pushing through failure, and these are skills he learned in baseball.

“I think because baseball is a game of failure, you have to handle failure [and] … deal with adversities, … injuries, … rehab, [etc]. I [have met] people from all over the country [and] the world … [and played with them on a team, and even communicated] with them somehow… [So I learned how] to work with people. … A lot of athletes can become great leaders just because you have to deal with so much.” – Brett Lorin

Brett’s sales career started way back in high school when he was sending his pitching videos to colleges to try and get their attention. And much like baseball, his sales career in solar energy too has had its share of rejection and failures. 

“I believe in [solar energy]. … It is good for the environment, but sales is [difficult]. Outside sales [are] very hard, you get a lot of rejection … [and] failures. So how do [I] handle [it]? I am not [a] pushy [salesman]… I try to do a lot of factual selling versus pushy selling [so that my clients trust me].” – Brett Lorin

I think Brett brought up a good point — when you’re a salesperson, people are much more willing to buy from you if they trust you. If you’re pushy and bossy, it can be a huge deterrent for your business. 

And if you are transitioning over to the next chapter in life like Brett did, then you need to find your passion or something that you enjoy doing. There is nothing worse than working in a career that doesn’t light you up and inspire you. It may take time to be successful at it, but if you put in the hard work, then you’ll get there. 

“Especially … with COVID, a lot of people have … had time to take a step back and figure out what they’re passionate about or what they enjoy doing. I know [at times] it is hard to [find] money in your passion, … but find an industry that will get you out of bed every day… You [will] never have all the answers, but try [different things and eventually focus on what is meaningful to you].” – Brett Lorin

Friend, you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing — because if you can’t get up every day and find value in what you’re offering, you will never be able to put in the amount of energy that you need. And what’s more, your passion and belief will inspire others around you! 

Why You Should Listen to This Brett Lorin Podcast Episode Right Now…

Guys, this interview with Brett taught me so much about being persistent and never using failure as an excuse to give up. If any of you need any advice or any motivation, then definitely check out Brett’s podcast Too Tall Sports, or find him on LinkedIn!

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this interview, let us know over on Instagram! Tag Brett, @TooTallSportsPodcast, and me, @andy_neary, with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways! And if you love the Bullpen Sessions, please subscribe and leave a review over on Apple Podcasts! Every review helps us reach more listeners like you! 

And remember — when clarity and confidence collide, action happens. Your age or your background doesn’t matter — it is your positive outlook towards life that makes each failure become just another pillar of success. Seek meaning in everything that you do in life. Go out and make it happen today!

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EP 74 – My Birthday Wishes For You

Hey, hey! It’s Friday — that means it’s time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!

But today is an extra special Friday because today happens to be my birthday! That’s right, I am 43 years old today! And I just want to say — I’m feeling great. In fact, I feel even better now than I felt 20 years ago!

I remember being 21 or 22 years old — just a young buck starting out in professional baseball. I was in pretty good health then, but you know what? I think I’m in even better health now. I’m taking care of my body, and, just as importantly, I’m taking care of my mind! I’m growing a business, learning a lot, in a healthy and committed relationship, and I’m happy even though this year has been crazy! What more could I ask for?

So on my birthday this year, I’m going to share my birthday wishes for you! And we’re keeping it within the theme of 43 — I’m going to share four observations that I’m seeing right now in everyday life, and then I’m going to share three words of wisdom to help you. My hope is that this episode gives you the encouragement and inspiration you need to end the year on a high, build some momentum, and leave 2020 ready to make 2021 your best year yet.

I’m not going to lie, parts of this episode are a little emotional. And maybe a few of the things I’m going to say are a little bit controversial! But you know what? I don’t care. I want to share my authentic self with you today and hopefully offer you the bit of wisdom you need. So with that, let’s get started!

Four Observations

Over the past year, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. I’ve looked back on my own mistakes, and I’ve observed the world around me. And while both the world and my life have changed a lot over the last 20 years or so, there are a few patterns that keep coming up time and again. I want to share these four observations with you today.

As you read, consider whether you’re falling into any of these patterns. I want to challenge you to do some real reflection with yourself. If you discover that you’re doing something that reinforces a weak mindset, this is your chance to become aware of it and make some changes. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

#1: You’re Not Showing Up as Yourself

I see it all the time — in real life and on social media. We live in a world where if you say something, you’re wrong, and if you don’t say anything, you’re ignorant. No matter what, you can’t win, so it’s best just to be silent, right? 

Wrong. Here’s the problem with that mentality: It’s causing you not to show up as yourself. Too many of us are showing up as different people — different versions of ourselves depending on the friends, family members, colleagues, or business partners we’re around. It’s all in an effort to people-please, and that’s a really tough place to be in. It doesn’t set you up for success, I can tell you that.

I remember being 25 years old and brand-new to the business world. I tried so hard to literally become the people I was hanging around. Now, there is nothing wrong with having mentors or role models, but when you’re trying to mirror or copy someone else exactly just to please them or fit in, you are in a rough place.

But you don’t have to be. It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and it may make some people uncomfortable, but you have the power to show up as your authentic self. You can choose to show up as yourself every single day, and I want to encourage you to do it!

#2: You Feel Guilt When You Feel Good

The second thing I’ve been observing is that too many of us feel guilty when we should be feeling good — and I’m guilty of this myself. At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I feel great here at 43, and I meant it! But too often I find myself feeling guilty for celebrating when things are going well for me.

2020 has been a crazy year, and a lot of people have struggled to make it through. But if you’ve gotten to a good place and you’re happy with where you are in your business, relationships, health, or anything else, you absolutely should not feel guilty about that! 

So right now, I’m giving you permission: Feel free to feel happy! Be glad you’re in a good place, and instead of feeling guilty, use your good mental state to help others as we all shift into this next phase. I have no doubt that the craziness of this year is carrying us into a new phase of existence, and if you’re in a great place, you have the ability to help bring others along. We’re all in this together, so feel that happiness and help others to feel it too!

#3: You Are Too Focused on the Outside World

Take a look at the people who are thriving right now: They’re not worried about the chaos, fighting, and restrictions that we’re experiencing in 2020. They just don’t care what other people think. They’re working on themselves and doing the tough inner work it takes to get into a strong success mindset.

If you want to go out of 2020 with a bang and make 2021 the best year ever, you’ve got to get to work on your mind. Elections, riots, restrictions — those things can’t control your future. You can. So take your power back and start working on your mind.

We often use the expression “haves and have-nots” to define those who have money and those who don’t. I guarantee you that when we come all the way through this pandemic, election process, and economic struggle, the new haves will be the people who focused on their own self-development, and the have-nots will be those who sat in fear and worry. Choose to work on yourself and your mind, and you’ll come through on the right side of that dichotomy.

#4: You Are Making Too Many Snap Judgments

There are way too many people making quick snap judgments about others. I’ll give you a quick example: Recently I was at a grocery store, and because they’re required in our county, I was wearing a mask, and so was the woman standing near me. But while we were shopping, another man from a different county tried to enter the store without a mask. An employee stopped him at the door, and he calmly explained that he lives one county over where masks aren’t required. Unfortunately, he was turned away at the door, and he politely left. But then, I overheard the woman nearby comment to one of the cashiers that this man was a horrible human being for not wearing a mask.

Now, you may be thinking, “Does Andy believe in masks? Does he not believe in masks?” Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t, but here’s the point: Regardless of whether that man was wearing a mask, that woman made a snap judgment about his character without even speaking to him. She attacked his character and called him a horrible person because of something as simple as not wearing a mask. 

If that’s you right now, I want to challenge you to look in the mirror. This is a strong point, but I think it’s important: You must judge your own actions before you judge anybody else’s. There is way too much judgment going on in the world today with us adding to it, so let me challenge you to take a hard look in the mirror and judge your own actions first.

Three Words of Wisdom

Those are just four observations I’ve made about the world, but now I want to share some advice on how you can break out of those patterns and start living your life at your fullest potential. You don’t have to be a prisoner to the negative thought patterns of the world around you — you can overcome them, work on yourself, and create an abundant and successful life. It only takes three things:

#1: Show Up Consistent

The first word of wisdom I have for you today is this: Be consistent. When I think back to 23-year-old Andy, I remember that that guy was looking for easy answers. He wanted silver bullets and quick fixes that were going to get him to the finish line overnight. But let me tell you, folks: Life does not work that way.

It’s great to create goals and dreams for yourself, but if you don’t show up every single day ready to take action and make progress toward those goals, you are never going to reach them. In sports we call it, “taking a play off.” If you take too many plays off, you’re never going to score.

I get it — we all want to be LeBron James making the game-winning shot in the NBA finals or Aaron Rogers throwing the touchdown pass in the super bowl, but here’s the thing: Those guys endure boredom every single day to have those highlight-reel moments. They do the same monotonous activities every day because they know that consistent action creates success. 

Quit trying to reach your goals tomorrow. Instead, play the long game. Show up every day and bring the consistency. Over time, you’ll get where you want to go.

#2: Show Up Kind

I’m just going to put it out there — there is absolutely no reason to be a dick. There’s just not! This goes back to my fourth observation about making snap judgments — we’re too often quick to be mean and judgmental, but what the world needs right now is more kindness.

I want to give you another challenge: Before anything comes out of your mouth, I want you to ask yourself two questions: “Is it the truth?” and “Is it kind?” If you can’t honestly say, “yes,” to both of those questions, do not say it. 

One of the things I love most about being a coach is that I get to choose who I work with, and I have one rule of thumb: If you want to work with me, you can’t be a dick. I want to help good, hardworking, kind people — so be kind! And trust me, I’m talking to myself here too. I remember Andy from 20 years ago made plenty of mistakes and got into some mean-spirited and gossipy conversations he shouldn’t have. But today is a new day, and there is no excuse not to show up being kind.

#3: Show Up as You

We say it so often it’s started to sound cheesy, but it’s true: Authenticity is key. This goes back to my first observation — too often we show up as someone else just to please others, but it is essential that we show up as ourselves.

Here’s the great thing about showing up as your authentic self: You can never say the wrong thing to the right person. When you’re showing up as the best version of you, the right people are automatically attracted to you! People want to hang around and do business with authentic human beings, so when you bring your authenticity to the table, people can’t help but notice.

Let’s Make 2021 the Best Year Yet

That’s where I want to end today: Show up consistent, show up kind, and show up as you. If you do those three things, you can’t help but succeed! By doing the work it takes to achieve your goals and by showing up with kindness and authenticity, you create the mindset and relationships you need to have the happy and abundant life you’ve always dreamed of. 

Now, I’m going to go enjoy celebrating my birthday! And tomorrow, I’m going to show up with more consistent action, kindness, and authenticity because I want to create the momentum I need to make 2021 my best year yet. And friend, you can do the same! I want to encourage you today to create that same momentum you need to make 2021 great. We’re about to get a fresh start in a brand new year, and I have no doubt it’s going to be amazing!

If you learned something from this episode (or you just want to share some birthday wishes!), I’d love to hear from you! Share a screenshot on Instagram and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary. And don’t forget to leave a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, 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, everyone! I’ll talk to you guys on Monday!

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EP 73 – Scott Hairston: A Family Tradition of MLB Success

Hey, hey! We are back for The Bullpen Sessions, and today, I have a guest whose family has made a lasting impact in MLB for three generations. This interview will absolutely blow your minds away! 

Today on the show, I have the honor of introducing you all to Scott Hairston. For all you diehard baseball fans, this name may send chills down your spine (the good kind). Scott has spent nearly a decade in Major League Baseball, and his family is one of the only three in MLB history to have three generations play in the big league. The last team Scott played for was the Washington Nationals.

In this interview, we talked about Scott’s early life in a family surrounded by baseball lovers and how it shaped him. We discussed his achievements and how the sport helped him succeed off the field. Along with his grandfather, father, and brother, Scott made a huge difference as a professional baseball player in the big leagues. 

This conversation will help you understand how athletes handle pressure and come out on top to be winners (and how you can too). 

Let’s dive in!

Who Is Scott Hairston? 

Even though Scott Hairston is such a big name that he needs no introduction, I want to share a few of his accomplishments with you all just the same! 

Scott Hairston was a professional baseball left fielder for major MLB teams during his ten years in the sport. He has played for Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, and the Chicago White Sox throughout his sparkling career. He has been involved continuously with MLB and is currently coaching his son’s baseball team.

Scott’s grandfather, Sam Hairston, played in the Negro Leagues Baseball and Major League Baseball. He was the first African American player to play for the Chicago White Sox.

Scott’s father, Jerry Hairston Sr., played 14 seasons in the Majors, and most of them were for the Chicago White Sox. And Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott’s brother, played 16 seasons during which he helped the New York Yankees win their 2009 World Series. The Hairston’s were the only family to have three generations play for the same team: Chicago White Sox. Talk about a huge legacy!

Outside sports, Scott is currently working with a fantastic craft winery in Texas called Scout & Cellar. Scott is using his elaborate experience in sports to grow a steady and quality wine business. He’s a testament to how an elite athlete’s mindset prepares you for the business world, which is what we’re all about on this show! 

It was such an honor to have someone as inspiring as Scott Hairston on The Bullpen Sessions and hear his story. I know it’ll inspire you, so let’s get into it!

Scott Hairston: From the Early Days to the Major Leagues

Being the son of a professional baseball player and another’s grandson, Scott spent a lot of time in the clubhouses and dugouts. He was always surrounded by big names like Carlton, Fisk, Harold Baines, etc. In short, he was immersed in the world of baseball. 

At home, Scott would listen to his grandfather’s and uncle’s stories both on and off the field. His grandfather, Sam, had 11 siblings, and he was the eldest of them all. And being the oldest meant he had to provide for them and then raise his kids. These stories taught Scott how privileged he and his brothers were, and they made him work harder to make a name for himself.

Scott had to face a lot of competitiveness in the family when he was growing up. He has two older brothers with whom he spent time playing baseball, football, and basketball. Scott was three and four years younger than Jerry and Justin, and he was always playing against them. It made him raise his game and toughen up since his brothers never wanted him to be around their older friends. The whole situation allowed Scott to gain confidence and determination that later helped him around kids his age. As he got older, stronger, and wiser, he made his way into the arena of professional sports. 

“I grew up in a clubhouse, so with that along with being around older siblings [and] older relatives … inspired me and then just motivated me to just kind of follow and continue our family tradition. And … I was the last male in my family. So that just made me want to just finish the … [family] story.”  – Scott Hairston

Scott Harison is such a testament to the fact that if you work hard, anything is possible. He had huge shoes to fill as a Hairston, but with enough determination and drive, he was able to make it to the big Leagues and beyond. 

And let’s be honest — no one makes it directly to the Major Leagues. It is always a huge step up from T-ball to middle school league to junior varsity to varsity and to college ball.

Scott felt the same way when he got to make the jump from the Minors to Majors. When Scott made his Majors debut, he noticed how “everything was faster and more refined.” From pitchers to hitters, all the players are more established and polished. When you witness a Major League Baseball game, the whole atmosphere has a different vibe, with players performing at the highest level surrounded by a substantial diehard crowd on famed grounds. 

For Scott Hairston, his most significant moment as a rookie player came when he had a hitting streak for 14 games straight. He was only 24 years old, and it was a phase when Scott was still trying to understand himself as a player and his abilities. And when he helped his team win matches with vital strikes, that’s when Scott realized that he belonged in the Majored. It motivated him to practice harder and push his boundaries to reach his fullest potential. 

The Importance of Being an “All-Rounder” 

After retiring from Major League Baseball, Scott is now coaching budding players from age group 14 and under. And during all these years coaching, he has realized how important it is to be a utility player or an “all-rounder.”

“I coached at 14 and under, … and I have several players that are hopping around … my son as well. Both of my boys play multiple positions, and I kind of want it to be that way. And there’s so much of an advantage … [when] you can play multiple positions. You don’t want to be that player nowadays that says, ‘Okay, I’m just a shortstop; that’s all I play.’ And then you wind up, you go to high school, and then there [are] two other shortstops competing for the same position. And then if you don’t know how to play another position, that can be detrimental to you as a player.”– Scott Hairston

Scott feels that playing at different positions allows you to adapt and change according to the game’s nature. It makes you versatile and raises your value as a complete package! I feel like this can easily translate over to business as well — how can you be a well-rounded employee, boss, or entrepreneur? It’s great to operate in your zone of genius, but you’re more valuable if you have other skills as well. Scott explained how being a “all-rounder” helps in baseball: 

“But if you go into a situation where [you can say,]  ‘Hey, I can play shortstop. I can play second base. I can play third base. I can play centerfield. I had that experience early on in life, and I can jump in and help my team in that aspect,’ [then you’re going to be a more valuable player]. I think it’s so advantageous for kids to learn multiple positions, and then [that] helps with their versatility of learning the game as well. … That’s what I preach — learn multiple positions. Learn[ing] how to play multiple positions is gonna, go well for you [and] for the rest of your career.” – Scott Hairston

Are you an all-rounder? Do you just stick to what you’re comfortable with, or do you try to do new things? Always venture out of your comfort zone — you learn more skills, have more experiences, and like Scott said, you’re a much more valuable player for the rest of your career. 

Scott Hairman’s Life Outside Baseball: Scout & Cellar 

Scott had a stellar baseball career where he broke records and gained fame like no one else. He has continued feeding his passion for baseball by mentoring young baseball players, including his kids. But Scott has not stopped there. 

He is now using the mindset he learned from his baseball career to become a businessman, teaching people about craft wine.  Scott is working with Scout & Cellar, a craft winery based in Texas that’s dedicated to showcasing the authentic form of wine made without using chemicals and additives. 

“I just educate people just on clean, crafted wine. There [are] many people out there that are unaware of how wine is made. … And so, unfortunately, here in our country, there [are] a lot of approved additives that are added into wine. … And then [most] vineyards are sprayed with pesticides, and those pesticides seep into the grapes. And then in the winery, more additives are used, and those additives can be harmful, very harmful to our health.” – Scott Hairston

Scott explained how playing professional baseball has taught him to be passionate about what you do, and he is certainly passionate about educating people about healthy craft wine. This job has also allowed him to interact with people during wine tasting, and through these interactions, he’s able to help people without expecting anything in return. One instance of this is when he helped his friends start enjoying wine again:

“I like helping people get better — like whether it’s baseball or wine. … I’ve had a few friends of mine that had to stop drinking wine. They had [gotten] strong headaches. … And so they stopped, and then they came across my Instagram or whatever, and they [said,] ‘Hey, what’s the Scout & Cellar stuff?’ … And [they have] no side effects, no nothing. … This is why I do it — for that reason to help people.” 

There’s no question that Scott is a very skilled baseball player and businessman, but what I appreciate most about him is his desire to serve people. He doesn’t want to just be successful — he wants to have an impact. When you have an impact that fuels your passion, you’ll be unstoppable. 

Why You Should Listen to This Scott Hairston Podcast Episode Right Now…

Scott Hairston is a huge inspiration — both on and off the field. His records and numbers themselves are capable of showing how great of a sportsperson he is. His whole family is the pinnacle of ingenuity and sportsmanship. Now, Scott is inspiring even more people through his work at Scout & Cellar — this exciting venture into winery showed him how much he loved helping people. I was so honored to have this inspiring man on the podcast today, and I’m sure you learned a lot from him! 

As a top-level athlete, Scott is an example of how perseverance, hard work, flexibility, and open-mindedness to new things can lead you to a successful life! If you want to learn more from Scott, you can follow him on Instagram or you can message him on LinkedIn

If you found this episode useful, then share your thoughts with us! Tag Scott, @scotthairston12, and me, @andy_neary, with a screenshot of the episode and the most impactful thing you learned from this podcast on Instagram. And while you listen to this podcast, remember to share it with your family and friends on social media, and give it a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts 

Before I leave you, I want to say this: Always persevere! Do what you are passionate about and pour your heart and soul into it. You may fail today, but consistent hard work and dedication will always pay dividends. Keep crushin’ it!

Thanks for reading!

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