A motivational speech from a successful business entrepreneur on how business and sports have many parallels.
So here I am in LA right now. I flew my family down to Palm Springs for the spring break. We went to a Lakers game last night. I watched the San Antonio Spur’s destroy the Lakers. I had my boy on the Jumbotron cheering away and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more excited. He’s been playing basketball this year, so he’s into the sport and he’s into cheering for it.
There are great parallels between business and sports.
There’s this one kid on my son’s team, he’s about 7 years old and his number is 40.
This kid is incredible to watch. The kid takes it out almost to the three point line, where every other kid in that age range has got to be right under the net and chuck it up with every thing they’ve got just to get it to net height.
This kid is putting in three point after three point after three point, and your jaw just drops because you can’t even believe he can get it that far. And of course, his dad is the coach of the other team and I’m sure he had three little brothers and they do nothing but play basketball. You can almost hear his internal monologue, as you watch the kid in action: “If I’m going to be good, I’ve got to play, I’ve got to play, I have to keep playing.”
Because this kind of skill doesn’t happen by luck and it doesn’t happen by nature and it doesn’t happen because of good genes. The kid practices.
So my boy says, “Hey dad, can I be as good as number 40?” And I tell him, “Of course you can, absolutely. It just takes practice.” In fact, when I was watching the NBA game last night I told my son, “You can be on the NBA if you want to. You can be like Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant. You can do it! It just takes an unusual, extraordinary amount of discipline and a dedicated work ethic. It takes more hours of concentrated work than almost anybody else. You need to do more than almost everybody else is willing to do. To go to that level, you need to be a little bit of a freak in as much as far you’re willing to push yourself, how much you’re willing to do in order to get to that level of ability. It’s not that you’re not talented enough. It’s comes down to who has worked hard enough.”
When I listen to anybody who has done great things in business, or stories of people who have done great things in sports… they will all tell you stories of heartaches, stories of hardships, stories of when they pushed through.
I have a friend who is this tiny little woman, probably about 110 pounds, and she went off to Croatia to do her military training. Just a very sweet, tiny woman… who ended up in harsh circumstances. Every other guy around her in her post basically said she couldn’t do it. She had to carry the same work stacks as everybody else, climbing up massive hills, just climbing for miles and miles and miles and miles. They’d get back and after less than two or three hours of sleep, they were up doing the same thing again the next day, with nothing left in the tank. Bigger guys that were in better shape were dropping around her, but she kept going because she had this will that couldn’t be beat… and all this from a tiny little French girl!
This is the story of how sometimes when you have less strength, you push yourself harder mentally so that you can keep up and excel.
When I think about people who have gone to the military and the stories I hear about how much further your body can actually go than you believe it can go… just when you think your tank is empty and there’s nothing left in it, God made you in such a way that you can overcome and do way more than you ever thought you could.
If you set your mind on repeat saying, “I can, I will, I can, I will…” and your body will believe it too.
It’s mind over matter. You need a larger purpose to get through the pain you feel in the short term.
Believe. Practice. Practice more. Keep going. And you will be great.