Entrepreneurs Montana Motivation

Don’t Quit: David 2, Goliath 0.

Everyone supposedly roots for the underdog. This weekend, there was a lot of underdog action going on.

On Friday, the unranked Razorbacks surprised #1 ranked LSU 50-48 in Baton Rouge’s “Death Valley”. It was the first home loss for LSU in 19 games on a field notorious for dropping opponents with a lethal combination of humidity, heat, and the loudest fans in the country. The game brought back fond memories of an unranked early 1980’s Arkansas team hosting the then #1 ranked Texas Longhorns, who left Fayetteville that evening without their #1 ranking thanks to a 42-11 spanking the Hogs gave them.

In Saturday’s NCAA Subdivision playoffs, Wofford (1400 students) defeated the Grizzlies of the University of Montana (14000 students), 23-22. Wofford, a tiny school from the warm climes of South Carolina ran an unusual “give the ball to anyone” option offense in 20 degree Montana weather and kept the Griz defense on its heels much of the game.

All of this reminded me of a clip I saw last April about a kid with an attitude named Brock and a wicked football drill called “The Death Crawl”. When I first saw the Brock clip, I didn’t know it was from a movie, I thought it was just a motivational clip from a video production company.

Turns out it was from the Feb 2007 movie, Facing the Giants.  The movie as a whole sometimes gets a little high on the sappy-meter, but it’s worth watching. I think it struck a chord with my wife and I because of our early struggles to have kids, while the football theme and the business lesson also kept it interesting for myself and my youngest son, the Apprentice fan.

In the context of the scene’s location in the movie plot, the scene is even better. For now, this 6 minute clip taken out of context will have to satisfy you.

After my son leaves for Missoula (he’s in the Griz marching band) to end his Thanksgiving break a little early, we watch the movie (it’s on Starz Family). It’s the night before the Griz-Wofford game, and as the movie plays out Im thinking “just like Wofford”.

I’m guessing the only people on the field who thought that Wofford had a chance to beat Montana in 20 degree weather on Montana’s home field was…Wofford’s coaches and players. They didn’t quit.

It’s no different with you and that franchise or that big box store. Whether it’s Starbucks or WalMart or Pizza Hut or whatever, one of the best weapons in your arsenal is being the only one who thinks you’ve got a chance to win. To you, it’s personal.

Management Mark Riffey Motivation Scouting

Dropped the ball? Pick it up.

A few weekends ago, I stood at the front of a young man’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor (ECOH).

An ECOH is the celebration of a young man’s effort (and his family’s booting him in the keester) and persistence (ditto the boot) in completing the requirements for the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts.

It takes 21 merit badge (9 of those have to be certain ones), a bunch of community service hours, time, and work. Plus a big community service project that the boy must come up with, plan in minute detail, organize, get approved, manage and execute with the help of other Scouts, community members, etc.

In some ways, it is an exercise is “how to deal with adults”, but the goal is a first, substantial taste of leadership and the demonstration thereof.

Quite often, it is also a taste of “Plan B”…

Motivation Strategy

You can’t read this post. It’s too hard. Probably ought to just quit right now.

Runners on a steep climbUsually when you hear people say things like “It’s too hard” or “I can’t do it”, it really means “I’m not willing to work that hard”, or “I’m not willing to get back up after a setback”.

How many things are really “too hard”, as opposed to simply “requiring sustained effort” despite encountering failures/difficulties along the way?

My guess is: not very many.

So many of the battles we have with ourselves in business, much less personally, are mental battles. The 4 minute mile is a shining example. It isn’t as if Roger was the first guy in history to have the lungs and legs to run that fast. Was he the perfect physical specimen? The quintessential runner? Nope. He was a medical student.

It’s easy to bail out on a project when it gets tough – especially since that’s what people expect. New, challenging projects are often the hardest just before a big success. The irony of that is, of course, that this is when most people give up.

Next time you catch yourself thinking “It’s too hard” or “I can’t do it”, come back here and view the video below.

The boy in this video was born three and a half months premature in the summer of 1994. Weighing only one and a half pounds at birth, he was left with no eyesight in his left eye and only 15% of the vision in his right. It would have been easy for this boy, as well as his family, to give up and think “It’s too hard” or “I can’t”.

Instead, he plays Jimi Hendrix (and more), perhaps like no one else before him, except Jimi. His name is Conrad Oberg.

At age two, Conrad taught himself to play the piano, and again taught himself the guitar at age ten. In this video, he is 12. I suspect that Conrad hasn’t got quitting, can’ting bone in him.

What’s stopping you? More often than not, it’s just you.