3 Ways to Be "Like Mike"
When Michael Jordan was at the top of his game, he was the epitome of dedication to continued learning and self-competition.
Realistically, I'm not big on this whole "Sports Star Culture" we've created and live in so for the most part, I ignore sports in general. But my coach is a sports fan, and he told me stories about Michael Jordan from the get-go that gave me a huge amount of respect for, what I've been told, is the greatest player in the history of basketball!
Two stories stand out to me.
The first time I heard my coach talk about Mike he told me about how every off season Michael would hire the best coach he could find, and every season he'd hire a different coach. Not because he couldn’t find the best coach out there, but because he would hire the best coach for one thing, master it, and move on.
The second time I heard him talk about Mike was telling the story of Michael Jordan at the 1992 Olympics with the Dream Team with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
The Dream Team was so dominant that the night before they were set to play Spain, the team captains decided to go out on the town and have some fun but when they went to find Michael Jordan, he was nowhere to be found.
When they finally located him, shooting hoops in the gym he taught them a lesson that sunk in deeply for me and I hope will for you too...
#1: Hire a Coach
Before I get to the point Michael taught his team at the Olympics, the first key that I learned from Michael Jordan and that first story was to hire a coach.
No one. Anywhere. Ever. Has claimed to have gotten to where they are today without the help of a mentor or coach. Someone wiser and more experienced to help you avoid pitfalls of life.
Why? Because some mistakes are really hard to recover from and, as Napoleon Hill put it, "The view from the bottom is not so bright or enticing!" If you can avoid getting pushed to the bottom by your mistakes, it's a lot easier to succeed at a higher level!
"In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men's years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men."
-Og Mandino "The Greatest Salesmen in the World"
So I don't care who it is, but get someone, somewhere to can help you avoid the pitfalls, learn faster, move further.
And sometimes, you have to pay to get attention from some of the top players.
Get over it! Interview your coach carefully, and hire someone who can help you make that money back!
#2: Tackle One Skill At A Time
If anyone coined that silly cliche "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time..." It might have been Mike.
They key to his massive success was not necessarily incremental improvement at every piece of his game. The key was that once he achieved some level of general competence, he work on perfecting one piece of his game at a time. Footwork, blocking (did Michael Jordan ever block?), 3-pointers, dunks, left hand, right hand, dribbling.
Look, I don't even know that much about basketball and that's at least seven years of work right there!
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time...
How many of us are just looking for the quick fix? The quickest path to success?
So why do we sit there and hold ourselves to a different standard and expect the same results? So often I see that we expend 10% of our energy on 10 different pieces of the business required to be successful.
Why do we expect to either learn things "in general" and become a super star like Michael? Or expect that somehow, without great effort on our part, we'll become superior at the key pieces needed to succeed in our different worlds?
I get it! If you’re anything like me, it’s freaking tough. I’m not the most patient person, and I hate all the years that I kind of frittered away. But I’m slowly learning that if I focus and dominate one section of life at a time, it adds up.
And for those of you who just straight up can’t wait, my trick has been to bring people on my team that are the expert in the areas I’m lacking so they can make up for it. It just takes some time to interview & find those experts!
#3: Compete With Yourself
Lastly, when the Dream Team found Michael Jordan practicing in the gym the night before they were about to crush one of the least competitive teams in the Olympics that year and asked him what on earth he was doing he replied that he was not playing against Spain the next day. He was playing against himself.
We are constantly measured up to those around us by the media (social and traditional), so our tendency is to do the same. But realistically, I remind myself daily that I don't have to be Tony Robbins or Chloe Madanes today. I just have to be the best version of Stephanie that has ever walked this planet.
You have the same calling!
So here’s my challenge for you today:
Sit down today and write down the pieces of your business or your life that you know you want to improve at. Pick one per month, or one per year if you’re super dedicated, and focus 100% on that area!
Make it rock!