You may have been like me and millions of other people the past five weeks in watching the ESPN documentary, The Last Dance. You don’t have to be a basketball or sports fan to marvel at the brilliance of the Chicago Bulls winning six championships in eight years.
Michael Jordan, arguably one of the greatest athletes in sports history, is the focal point of the documentary. As a sports fan and former high school basketball coach, I marvel at his thirst for competition; for his undying quest for winning, and his demanding the same for his teammates. To say he was tenacious would be an understatement; in fact it bordered on tyrannical.
As an entrepreneur myself, and someone who works with CEOs and small business owners, I was riveted to his uncanny ability (and discipline) for staying in the moment and focusing in winning. There was a scene in one of the episodes of him playing a shooting game with teammates during a practice. The shots were being launched from about 45 feet away and one Bulls player after another missed. Finally, Jordan steps up and calmly drains it to win the competition. The scene has Jordan on the voice over being interviewed today and he says something terribly important for all of us. He says, “The downfall of most players is thinking of failure. They think about missing shots they haven’t even taken yet.”
The downfall of not just players, but business leaders and humans – is thinking of failure. Those that can’t fight through and overcome that eventually end up living that self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Those that can focus on positivity and success end up winning in business and life.
Fear of failure is destructive for people, especially those in business. Entrepreneurs by nature are a little crazy (me included). We take on a huge amount of risk with dreams of the rewards of financial freedom and charting their own paths – in other words being unleashed from the bonds of working for someone else. It turns out this journey isn’t very easy and will offer plenty of opportunities for self-doubt, failure, and fear.
It’s much like the transition from a child to an adult. As children, we were fearless. I see it in my own two granddaughters who have boundless confidence, great curiosity, and a fearlessness that brings fear to their parents and grandparents! As teenagers, we kept pushing boundaries, but started hearing from adults about the consequences of being too bold. We could lose money (although we had none), career opportunity, or reputation. Then we ventured into the work world and again kept hearing about consequences of being too adventurous. If you start that business, you may fail and then you’ll have no money and look bad. It’s like thinking about missing that shot you haven’t yet attempted…
That fear continues to creep in and manifest itself in many ways, in both business and life. One can become so fearful of failure that they stop enjoying running their business and it turns into a job. Events like the pandemic we currently are working though only exacerbate those fears and throw a proverbial wet blanket over innovation and our own talents. Unless you’re like Michael Jordan…
The lesson we should learn from him is to not think about failure as an option. There are going to be obstacles and challenges, so we can preemptively determine how to prevent, respond and quickly recover from them. However our mindset should always be on making that basket in our own game of business and life.
Our next shot will be the recovery phase of COVID-19 and we have a clear choice in our thinking. We can worry about failing – loss of revenues, employee challenges, government regulations, and customer pressure. Or we can think about succeeding – new innovation, new opportunity, and new challenges to overcome and beat.
We can be as tenacious as MJ. Are you ready to bolt through that fence of naysayers and negative thinking to be unleashed in a brave new world? It’s your shot…
Be unleashed and be well.
Quote of the Day:
“Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.”
~ Norman Cousins (20th century American author)
I can help you with strategic planning and implementation. I’ve got plans and programs that offer monthly and deferred payments during this time. I can help you make decisions to increase your ability to generate revenue and enhance protection for your business and loved ones. Call me at (360) 271-1592 or email me. Let’s just talk. No obligation. This is my area of expertise. I am ready to help…
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