Fun fact, I love golf. Sagan’s spouse “Mr. Science” and I play a round of golf every time he’s back in town and I enjoy watching the professionals play whenever I can get the chance. For those of you who don’t follow golf (and I don’t blame you), the 86th Masters Tournament was on this weekend—and what an amazing show it was.
I won’t bore you with too many details, but it was a star-studded event filled with today’s big names, from Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler to golf legends like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. The then-leader, Patrick Reed, said before the last round on Sunday (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I’m not out there to challenge Rory [McIlroy], but to go out and play golf and have a great Sunday.”
As I watched this past weekend, I realized a few things that could apply to new business owners:
1) You’re fighting against yourself
There were a lot of players that had a bad stroke or a bad game. Sergio Garcia, the 2017 defending Masters champion, broke a new record that I imagine he wish he never broke. He hit five balls into the water to score +13 on a single hole and receive the highest score ever on that hole. In the end, he went from a +2 to a +10, and was cut from playing the rest of weekend.
Vegas gave Sergio Garcia a 35/1 odds to win the Masters while the leader going into Sunday Patrick Reed was given a 50/1. This goes to show that it’s not about two players going against each other: rather, it’s about the internal struggle you may have against yourself. World famous golfer, Ben Hogan, once said that “the most important shot in golf is the next one.”
If you have a bad golf stroke, client pitch, whatever, it could easily affect your next move, job, or correspondence.
(By the way—here’s how you can learn how to have a better client pitch.)
You’re always fighting against yourself; not the success of someone else. If you have a bad “stroke,” pick yourself up and concentrate on the next one.
2) Take your time
When the pros set up for their next shot, they take a few practice swings off to the side and then approach the ball. Once they’re ready to make that shot, they ease themselves into a rest position to take the swing.
We’ve established that you’re going up against yourself and nobody else, so if a task takes you a day or a week, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get there in time. Sagan and I face this issue quite often because she’s working on Juxta full-time, while I’m working on transitioning out of my 9 to 5 job slowly; I can’t dedicate full-time work to a part-time job. This may make things frustrating as we’re the type of people who prefer to take action on our ideas as soon as we have them, but what matters is that we get there eventually… and you can benefit by doing the same.
3) The work behinds the scenes gets you to the pros
There is no way in hell I’m going to make it to the Masters golf tournament in my lifetime and, while it would be amazing, that’s not my goal. The past three years I’ve been trying to score my first ever birdie (one stroke under par) but have yet to succeed. I’ve had multiple attempts but never converted.
In just the last year, I’ve started taking pictures of my scorecard and tracking the results in a spreadsheet so I can compare my current scores to the previous week, month, and (soon) year. I want to get better and achieve my goal by practicing. Once I score that birdie, I then plan on building on that success by being more consistent with those birdies (like one per game perhaps). To give you an idea of what this looks like, the average score of the Masters winners of the past 10 years is -10 (or 10 under par), which means a potential winner would have to score a birdie every 7.2 holes.
So if you’re looking at someone who you believe has has “overnight success,” I can almost guarantee that is not the case. Instead, they’ve been achieving micro-successes over and over again to make it to where they’re at today.
This is the true for business, too. It’s small steps that you make which add up to the end result. (We help you do that in the free Begin Your Biz Challenge.)
4) You do this because you love what you do
Let’s face it, nobody is playing golf because they’re forced to do so. They’re playing golf because they love the game. That’s why we start our own businesses, too—we love what we do and we do it because we truly enjoy it.
A couple months ago I signed onto a new job so I could learn something new and get away from a toxic work environment I was previously in. One month into my new job, I realized that working at this job wasn’t going to get me to where I want to be of working full-time on my own business (Juxta). So I decided to go accept a position at an old job (which is non-toxic and more in line with my business goals) four days a week, which enables me to spend at least one full work day each week on Juxta Communications.
If you love what you do, then starting a business is going to be a lot easier for you than just thinking it’ll be a “get rich quick” idea.