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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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Resources:

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