Readers from Cleveland won’t like this article.
Let me just state for the record, I take no pleasure in bringing up the story of “the fumble.” I’m not a fan of the Broncos – even though our ETR office is in Denver. The story simply serves an important lesson for us all.
For those of you not familiar with this moment in NFL history, let me explain.
On a cold winter’s day in January of 1988, the Cleveland Browns visited the Denver Broncos for a playoff game at Mile High Stadium. At stake was a chance to play in the Superbowl. I was 12 years old, and remember watching the game with my father on our farm up in Canada.
With just over a minute to play, the Browns drove to the Broncos 1-yard line. A touchdown would have given them a surely insurmountable lead and a big win for the city of Cleveland.
Then came “the fumble.”
Cleveland’s running back, Earnest Byner, was stripped of the football as he came oh-so-close to crossing the goal line. The rest, as they say, is history.
The city of Cleveland endured nearly three decades of heartbreak until its next championship (thank you, LeBron). However, the Browns have never fully recovered. They remain in the doghouse and are expected to have another losing season this year.
What does this mean for you?
Like the Cleveland Browns, many people suffer the same fate in life.
They go through life hoping to succeed.
They do the work.
But when it comes time to cross the goal line, they just don’t finish the job.
Here’s my prediction. Those folks will continue to struggle. They’ll go through life always thinking about what could have been, but never was, simply because they weren’t willing to hang on tight and grind out that last yard to get it over the goal line.
And so they struggle, wondering what went wrong.
On the other hand, you have high achievers, champions in the game of life, like yourself, and last year’s SuperBowl Champions, the Denver Broncos.
When the ball was is put in your hands, you hang on tight, and do everything in your power to get it across the goal line. Nothing stops you. It might not be pretty, but you finish what you started.
My prediction: You’ll continue to get ahead and go far in life when you commit to this approach.
But enough with the football analogies, you’re thinking. Show me a real world example. Here’s one from my Mastermind group. In this group, we coach people to start an online business. We show them how to create their product and write a sales letter, and how to outsource website creation to a low-cost website designer.
All of this can be done in just a few weeks. That gets our clients to the goal line. All they have to do is take one more step to score. They just have to ask for the sale. But then many of them drop the ball or stop short. This inability to finish it off, to cross the goal line, holds them back from the success they deserve.
A recent conversation went like this:
Mastermind Member: “Craig, I’ve submitted my product to my web designer. I am waiting on them to add my product and connect the shopping cart so I can sell my product. I feel like things are taking forever. I feel frustrated.”
Me: “Congratulations on getting this far. But you can’t wait around for anyone. Have you picked up the phone to contact the designer directly? Have you asked other Mastermind members for an introduction to a faster designer that might be able to help?”
MM Member: “No. I’ve just been waiting around and getting frustrated.”
Me: “Ok, I want you to call them right now. You need to take action. You can’t wait. You have to realize that your website designer has a 9-to-5 mindset. They aren’t invested in your business, so they aren’t in the same rush that you are in. You need to be more aggressive. Don’t wait. Don’t take no for answer. Push harder. Ask them to move faster.”
Do you think Elon Musk, Sara Blakely, Tim Cook, Oprah, or President Obama wait around for someone to do things on their schedule?
They get someone to do the work, get it done, and carry the ball across the goal line.
Here’s an example of how to take the ball across the goal line in your business.
Recently we filmed some important videos for a new Early to Rise product. Our team member in charge of the filming was handed the ball and didn’t stop short. She organized the day, gave marching orders to everyone on the team, showed up early, stayed late, and kept us on track. And when the film crew needed snacks to power through the day, she went and bought out the entire grocery store to make sure no one went hungry.
That’s what a championship player does.
They take the ball across the goal line.
And when we do, we act like we’ve been there before and that we’re going back.
We don’t dance. We don’t taunt. We don’t spike the ball in anyone’s face. We simply acknowledge the effort of our teammates and then we get back to work.
That’s the approach you must take to your work. You go all out to get your work done and you finish what you start. It’s one of the many values distinguishing you as the best when compared to the rest.
For example, if you want to write a book, you don’t just dream about it. You don’t stop after brainstorming a table of contents. You don’t write twenty pages and then put it aside to die. Instead, you get it done. You take that project across the goal line.
Keep that reputation for your work in mind in all that you do this week, next week, next month, and for the rest of your career.
When you’re creating or editing content, stay focused until the last word.
When you’re leading a meeting, don’t end until everyone is clear on the next step.
When you’re helping your customers, keep supporting them until they leave with a smile on their face.
As the Superbowl Champion Broncos know:
Success is simple once you accept how hard it is.
When you accept the fact and brace for the fact that you will have to do hard work, that you will struggle, that it will be an uphill battle, and that the defense will fight harder the closer you get to the goal line, only then will you have the right mindset for success. Only then will success be a ‘lock.’
“I will do this” is the only attitude that works. “I’ll try” or “I think” doesn’t work.” – Kekich Credo #76
With this Championship mindset, you will dig deep to find rituals, routines, and solutions to overcome your obstacles.
Accept the sacrifices.
Do the work.
And take the ball over the goal line.
Never give up until the job is done.