Episode 89 – The Will To Win: Let Failure Fuel Your Confidence

Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston. Ali knocked him out. May 25, 1965. It’s one of the most famous photographs in the history of sports. There was controversy about it because nobody saw the punch landed. Even the referee was confused as he watched Ali stand over the fallen Liston and yell, “Get up and fight, sucker!”

This was the second fight between the two boxers. The first took place on February 25, 1964. After the 4th round Ali returned to his corner, after he had clearly taken it easy that round, and declared he couldn’t see. Something was burning his eyes. Perhaps it was something Liston’s cut man used to prevent bleeding – and had transferred to Liston’s gloves. Perhaps it was something intentionally put on Liston’s gloves. Who knows? This much we do know, Ali wanted to quit.

According to fight reporters, Angelo Dundee refused to let Ali quit. “This is the big one, daddy . . . we’re not quitting now!” He washed Ali’s eyes (then known as Cassius Clay) with a sponge, then pushed him off his stool to begin the fifth round. Witnesses said Dundee hollered at Ali, “Get out there and run.”

By round six Ali’s sight had cleared. Liston went to the corner at the end of round six complaining he’d hurt his shoulder. He didn’t answer the bell for the seventh round. Ali was declared the winner by technical knockout. Victory for Ali occurred just two rounds after he wanted to quit.

I have no idea how hard it is to fight for the world championship in boxing’s heavyweight division. I sure don’t know what it would be like if you were unable to see clearly. Ali did it.

He only had to do it for two rounds, but do you suspect he could have gone longer if needed? Sure. His will to win was evident. His cockiness and confidence were unquestioned, but even “The Greatest” needed the voice of a coach, Angelo Dundee, telling him to keep going. Don’t quit.

Today, I’m going to play the role of Angelo Dundee. You be Ali.

Referred to in today’s show:
News about Facebook and Google
• Episode 5 – Leaning Toward Wisdom

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Episode 88 – Share, Don’t Solicit! (The World Needs To Know What You Have To Offer)

You hate selling. It embarrasses you. You feel like a lowlife…like you’re wearing a polyester leisure suit.

You’re an idiot. Not because you’re selling, but because you feel like dog meat when you do.

If our founding fathers hadn’t shared their beliefs and convictions…our constitution would have never been written or adopted.

The cool stuff in your house – that stuff you really love – wouldn’t be there if somebody hadn’t sold it to you.

No, there’s no difference in the two sentences above. One is an idea. The other a product. But the fact is, if neither had been shared, then others wouldn’t have benefited. Neither would have spread. Or succeeded.

I love Field Notes. You can check out episode 87 and see a picture of 5 of them. I have dozens more. I’ve spent way yonder too much money with these cool kids in Chicago who market and sell Field Notes notebooks.

I bought my first 3-pack when they were first introduced. Since then, I’ve found them irreplaceable. Moleskines don’t replace them. Reporter’s Notebooks won’t either. Field Notes are unique. And I never knew I needed them until they told me I needed them. And until they shared with me why I needed them. Boy am I glad they shared the story – otherwise, I’d have never known about them.

Marcus Sheridan is known as The Sales Lion. He and some buddies started a swimming pool company, River Pools & Spas. Marcus started blogging about swimming pools. He wasn’t shouting, “Buy a pool from us!” He was simply sharing his insights and expertise on swimming pools. Every day his company encountered people who had questions about having a pool built, owning a pool and maintaining a pool. What to blog about? Marcus had a made-to-order content strategy  – he set about to blog the answers to all those questions. Selling was sharing. Sharing was selling.

On Tuesday, May 10th Seth Godin posted a blurb over at The Domino Project entitled, “The paradox of the paid PDF ebook.” It’s applicable to today’s show because it’s also about the power of sharing.

The world will never know the value of your offer if you refuse to share. The world needs more value. The world needs the benefits you bring. Start sharing. Freely.

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Special Episode – What Do You Do To Improve Your Mental Toughness?

Are you a Super Hero?


Are you a wimp, easily defeated by any obstacle?

Do you think about your mental toughness?

Some people think we’re just wired a particular way. It is what is. Others think we can alter most everything in our life.

I’m interested in hearing what YOU do to improve your tenacity.

Leave me a comment after listening to this special outside (literally) The Yellow Studio episode…or leave me some voicemail feedback at (214) 736-4406.

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Episode 87 – Are You A Character Who Wants Something?

I keep lots of notebooks. It’s a lifelong habit. An addiction even.

Above is a picture of a few I recently dug out to re-read. I know people who write notes, but never look at them. What’s the point in that?

Moleskine, Field Notes and Reporter’s Notebooks are all around me. And I regularly look at some of them. Collectively they form a bit of a timeline for my life.

A few days ago I broke out the 5 Field Notes you see in the picture. As I flipped through the pages one particular page caught my attention. It caught my attention because the word STORY was written with a box drawn around it, followed by three question marks.

Story telling is an art. I don’t profess to have it down cold. I have studied it for many years though. It began in junior high, followed me through high school and on into college where I studied journalism.

Books on crafting stories are all around me. Some are covered in dust from years of being on my shelf. Copyright dates from the 1960’s or earlier are on some of them. Even if you’re not interested in writing or speaking, I’d encourage you to read books on crafting and telling stories. It’s the stuff of life. Stories make it all interesting.

It’s ironic how many people I know who want a nice lake house where they can sit idly and just relax. They want tranquility, peace, quiet. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t make for a very good story. Boring. Dull. Hardly exciting.

What about your life? Look closely at what I wrote below STORY – “Will Randy get his life together?

It’s not likely a question you care about, but I do. To make it more interesting, let’s make it person. Insert your name in place of mine!

Will YOU get your life together?

That might be an interesting story…especially if you’re a character who wants something interesting?

One thing I want is the easy pronunciation of remuneration. Enjoy a laugh at my expense. Just listen and you’ll understand. You’ll also see that part of my story is not hiding or faking it. I’m Popeye – “I am what I am.”

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Episode 86 – Really Simple Stuff About Business Building: Don’t Try To Church It Up!

Watch this short video clip from the movie, Joe Dirt. Then listen to today’s show.

Business building is part art, part determination (a big part) and part plan (think systems).

I consistently encounter business people who have veered away from the foundational elements of business building. Maybe they never learned them. Or maybe they forgot them. It happens. Been there, done that.

Questions are the vehicle for clearer thinking. First year journalism students learn the best questions to ask. They form the basis for every good news story. Even feature writers know how important these questions are because every good story answers these questions. They also form a solid basis upon which to build – or revamp – your business.

While the order may not matter I think it’s important to start with, “WHY?”

None of these questions is particularly difficult, but any one of them (or more) can stump us. Devote some time and mental energy to the process of answering these questions. The time you spend up front will return rewards to you time, and time, and time again. The process will also help you develop habits of staying on course with simplicity that can propel your business forward while everybody else is spinning their wheels over-thinking stuff that doesn’t matter.

Clarity and simplicity are your allies. Treat them right. Favor them. Your business will benefit.

Other resources mentioned in today’s show:

• Kevin Kelly’s post about 1000 true fans

Thanks for listening,

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