David Brim on business, marketing & life.

17 Startup Lessons Parenthood Can Teach

Contributor: David Brim May 7, 2018

Recently my wife Lindsay and I were blessed with our greatest adventure yet…becoming parents.  In our case we were blessed with a two for one deal and had twins! A beautiful boy and girl.

Our journey to parenthood wasn’t easy, we “tried” for over 5 years, followed by a complicated pregnancy which included my wife being hospitalized for six weeks and followed by a 28 day stay in the NICU for both of our babies. Everyone is healthy and happy now and we feel so incredibly blessed!

Nothing can truly compare to the feeling that comes along with being a parent, and the love that you have for your child, or in our case children. However, during a recent conversation Lindsay and I discussed the similarities of parenting to co-founding startups. While we are new to being parents (and do not consider ourselves experts by any means), both Lindsay and I know what it is like to start a business and get it off the ground. As we continue down our journey of parenthood, we couldn’t help but notice they have a lot in common.

We decided to co-author this post together. We hope you enjoy it! Without any further delay, here are our 17 lessons learned from our two little startups.

 

1) Expect lots of late nights and hard work

Having a newborn means getting little to no sleep and working around the clock to make sure their needs are met. Both babies and start ups are completely dependent. If the parent doesn’t change the diapers and feed the baby, that does not get done just as if a founder isn’t working day and night to get their start up off the ground, no one else will. Parents and founders need to buckle up and be all in.

 

2) A strong commitment is needed to reach their potential

Good founders and parents both have a strong commitment to help their little startup(s) reach their potential. They put the needs of their little startup or child above their own so that they can grow. However, the commitment for a startup can be full of pivots, or even closing down one startup to focus on another – parenthood is a full commitment for life.

 

3) Both take on the culture of the creators (founders or parents)

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Whether you’re talking about a startup, or new little babies, their behaviors as they grow will be greatly influenced by the culture set in place by the parents (or founders). So be intentional about creating the right culture for your startup or kids. Remember if you’re cool, generally speaking your kids will be too.

4) The goal is to raise an outstanding adult / mature company

Any parent or co-founder has the goal of ensuring that their little one can not only survive, but thrive in their environment. You want to raise a startup, or child that can become an outstanding adult or mature company. One that is self sufficient,  and can provide for their family.

 

5) They don’t care about your agenda

Startups need what they need when they need it. Just like babies. A baby doesn’t care if you are sick, or have a proposal to write, if you haven’t showered in 3 days, or are hungry. They care about their needs being met. The same is true with startups. Constant attention is required and there are no days off. If you do take time off, you better make sure you have someone watching that you trust. Your startup is either growing or declining – our job as parents of children and startups are to ensure our little ones have what they need to grow…all the time.

 

6) Don’t go at it alone – build a team

Raising a child, and starting a business is hard work. Thankfully you don’t have to go at it alone. Work to develop or leverage a support system or team to help you. Find good service providers, or managers to oversee your startup. Find family members or babysitters that you trust to watch your kids. The key is to delegate to people you trust that are capable. Be willing to ask your network for help and accept it when offered. I’m sure you heard the phrase “It takes a Village”, this is true for both startups and raising children.

 

7) Be on the same page with your partner

In business it is important that you have a vision that is clearly articulated and adopted by your team and partners. Abraham Lincoln once said a house divided cannot stand. When you have two forces pulling in different directions, for example founders with different agendas or goals, the startup suffers. The same is true in parenting. Ensure that you and your partner communicate, resolve differences of opinion and are on the same page – both working for the common good of your child(ren). Start this process before you even bring your startup, or children into existence.

 

8) Nobody will love your children or start up like you

The moment we laid eyes on our little miracles, something within us changed. We felt a love like no other. No one is going to care about our kids the way that parents and often grandparents do. The same is true with our startups. The founders have to be the example for working hard on the start up. As founders, we have to realize that our “employees” are not going to love our business like we do and it is our job to inspire them to work hard. Our love for our children is very personal and Entrepreneurship is very personal as well.

 

9) Don’t be defeated

Sometimes you can try your best and things still don’t work out as you’d like. It’s important to realize that both startup and parent life will not always go your way and you will likely get frustrated. It’s important through all the setbacks that you are able to pick yourself up, stay encouraged and move on with the same optimism and hope as when you started.

 

10) You need to learn & adapt as you go

Both new parents and new founders don’t have all the answers when they start on their journey. There is no “instruction manual”.   It is important to learn quickly and be able to adapt as you move along. For your business, incorporate new concepts, tips and tricks you learn from other founders. For parents, follow your doctors orders and seek advice from fellow parents. In both instances,  see what works for you and ditch what doesn’t.

 

11) Be ready for big financial investments

Babies gotta eat, and if you want them to grow properly they need to obtain all of their proper nutrients. They also regularly outgrow their clothes, may need medicine, fresh new toys and much more. That’s before we even think about college funds, or cars down the line. All of this costs money. Startups also have many requirements for growth, and someone has to pay the bills! It often falls on the parents or founders. Finding the right talent, or specialists to help you with your startup, or work with your child can be expensive, but can provide a great return on investment!!!

 

12) You need a strong foundation – Take time for your self

They often say on airplanes that “In the case of an emergency, parents should put their masks on first before doing so for their child.” This is because if the parent isn’t able to breathe, they won’t be very effective while helping their kids. The same is true in the world of startups. Often times both founders and parents are in a Go, Go, Go mode. If the health of a founder or parent declines and they get knocked off their feet, the child or startup will also suffer. As a parent of a child or founder of a startup, be sure that you do set aside time for you. Seek to maintain your mental and physical health. This could involve reading a book, going to the beach, having a nice dinner with your significant other, going to the gym or setting aside some time weekly to do something you love. For my wife that is spending time with our horses. For me, it’s going to the gym or on hikes.

 

13) Always measure key indicators for growth

Both children and new businesses should be measured to see how they are performing. Are they keeping up with their peers, or lagging behind. There are many different indicators that can be measured. For children, some include: Height, weight, milestones (like rolling over, crawling, walking, talking, solid foods, being potty trained, etc). For startups, some include: sales, profitability, customer growth, acquisition costs, employee growth, and much more. By measuring various indicators founders and parents can become aware of trends and potential risks, equipped with this information they can seek to address potential problems to ensure the startup or child continues to grow properly.

Here is our kiddos at their six month mark. Healthy, growing well and a long way from their 2 lb 10 oz days.

14) It gets easier then harder again – there are cycles

Sometimes things just click and go smoothly. It’s great when they do. But the ups don’t last forever, sooner or later you’ll have a dip. Your child or startup will misbehave and you’ll experience challenges. Then before you know it you’re back to smooth sailing again and amazed by the progress.

 

 15) Nurture unique gifts & talents

There are lots of children and businesses born every day. Not to mention the substantial amount of them that already exist. This being the case it is important to stand out. As a parent this involves recognizing your child’s unique gifts and talents that they may not even see in themselves. Nurture these abilities and help develop them. By doing so they can differentiate and find their space in a crowded world.  The same goes for startups. Nobody wants to be a commodity that has no differentiation or competitive advantage. Find what makes your startup or child special and focus on that.

 

16) Advice – take it or leave it. Everybody has an opinion.

Everywhere you turn someone will have an opinion on how to raise your child. “You should do this, you shouldn’t do that”. I find this to be very similar to entrepreneurship. Even those that have never ran a business will have an opinion. Advice from people who can totally relate to what you are going through as a parent or who understand your business and you trust should always be considered. Remember, as a parent or a founder, the choice is yours! In both cases, you may need to let advice/opinions go in one ear and out the other and that is totally OK!

 

17) Time will tell what your creations will evolve into

When we look at our children we can’t help but wonder what they will become. Will they be a doctor, or lawyer? A singer, or maybe an athlete? Maybe future entrepreneurs?All we know is that they have potential and we as parents want that potential to be realized. Many founders start a business and end up in a business that is very different than what they initially anticipated. In the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg said (referring to Facebook): “We don’t even know what it is yet, or what it can become. We just know it’s cool!” That’s how parents are. Mark Zuckerberg’s startup worked out very well for him!  We’re excited to see what heights our little startups reach!

This post was a co-written by my wife Lindsay and I. Lindsay Brim is the co-founder of Crossroads Corral, a non-profit 501(c)(3) based in Central Florida that promotes personal growth, hope and healing through the use of horses.

My Journey to Living my Dream (Guest Post from my wife)

Contributor: David Brim October 3, 2015

The following is a guest post written by my wife Lindsay. Earlier this year she co-founded Crossroads Corral, a Central Florida based nonprofit, with the mission of improving lives through horses. The progress that Crossroads Corral has made in such a short time is truly remarkable and due to the passion, commitment and drive of Lindsay, her fellow co-founder Julie, and the wonderful herd of supporters, volunteers and donors they have developed. This is her journey to making her dream a reality.

My Journey to Living my Dream

One of my favorite quotes states, “If you cant figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”- Bishop T.D. Jakes. For me, I have always been passionate about helping people and I’ve had a love for horses since I was a little girl. I always dreamed that one day I would be able to use horses to help people and that dream is coming true.

Lindsay Crossroads Corral

Let me take you back to the beginning.

Lindsay and Freedom

Lindsay and Freedom

I got my first pony, “Freedom” when I was eight years old. My parents were smart and made me “work” for that pony. I cleaned stalls and learned how to care for horses so that I could see the amount of responsibility it takes to have your own horse. When you are a horse lover I truly believe it is in your blood and you are born to own horses. YES, they are a lot of work, YES they are expensive to care for and YES they ARE worth it. I quickly developed a love for competing and showing and got heavily involved in 4-H. I learned so many important life skills and made so many wonderful friends through the 4-H program. I am forever grateful for my parents who nurtured and supported my love for horses.

Lindsay and Roxy

Lindsay and Roxy

Throughout my life I have owned some incredible horses, each one different and each one has challenged me and brought out the best in me. In high school I saved up money and was been able to rescue and train a 6 month old wild filly, “Roxy” who we raised until she was 5 years old and then we sold her to a forever home. I won a state Championship with my horse “Toby” who I still proudly own today. I have had some heartache with horses too. My beloved horse “Mac” who I got as a 13th surprise birthday gift passed away of colic when I was 16 and I was devastated. My sweet “gentle giant” Jiggy has a Neurological disease that we constantly battle every day. Horses are not a “hobby”, it is a life long love affair. Today, my husband and I own 4 horses (3 quarter horses and a miniature horse).

Older_Horse_Show_Pic_-_Lindsay_Brim

Left image: Lindsay with her father Gary & Mac. Right Image: Lindsay & Toby

When I went to college I wasn’t completely sure as to what career path I was going to travel down. I knew I wanted to work with people and work in the medical field helping others in some way. I was in a car accident in high school and I received Physical Therapy. I realized that this was the perfect path for me. I would be able to use my 2 hands and my big heart for helping others to help people heal and improve their lives. After I graduated from College, I moved to Florida with my boyfriend (now husband) and I got a job with Brookdale Senior Living doing Home Health and Outpatient Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Fast forward a few years, ok….. 8 years.

Last November, my good friend and fellow horse enthusiast, Julie and I were sitting in our barn after a trail ride talking about life. We discussed what would be our perfect “job”. Both of us agreed that if we could use our horses to help people in our community that would be our calling. We did some research, gained the proper certification (www.okcorralseries.com), applied and received our 501 ©(3) and co-founded Crossroads Corral.

Crossroads Corral Banner

The founders of Crossroads Corral: Julie Hester & Lindsay Brim

This all happened very fast, because I believe it was truly meant to be. At Crossroads Corral we conduct Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy activities. We use our horses and work with at-risk youth as well as Veterans and their families transitioning home from deployment. Many people ask us about the term “at risk youth”. We define this group of youth as kids who are at risk of falling behind in society. Maybe they have a learning disability, maybe they are in the foster care system being bounced between homes, maybe they may have medical needs that cause developmental delays, etc. We are not a therapeutic riding facility. Our 7 horses get to “work” and give back to people in need, which they enjoy because horses also need a purpose and job. It was very interesting to me to learn a little bit more about myself during this whole process. I have always been interested in physical health but I have quickly developed a passion for mental health. At Crossroads Corral we have partnered with a Licensed Mental Health Counselor to begin Equine Assisted Psychotherapy work and I could not be more excited.

tobyandbrims

Lindsay and David Brim with Toby

I am very lucky to have a supportive husband (David). He is an entrepreneur and owns his own
Marketing Agency. His Agency, Brand Advance and his wonderful team also donated and designed our logo, website, marketing material, etc. which was huge for us. David understands first hand about the fire that develops within a person when they start something. He is also extremely supportive because I have left my full time, good paying job to be a full time “volunteer” Executive Director of Crossroads Corral. As Executive Director, my daily duties are caring for our 7 program horses, business development, volunteer management, event planning, fundraising, building community partners/relationships, client session facilitation, etc. Luckily my “other half” as I call her, Julie also manages our herd of horses, does daily barn care, works with clients and more. Another favorite quote of mine is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”. This was a scary leap of faith for us when I decided to leave my full time job but we know that this is part of the road I have to walk down. Many people have a hard time understanding non-profits. What I have learned from many educated people in the Non-Profit space, including professors at Rollins University is that if you do not run it like a business you will fail. Did you know that most non-profits and businesses fail because they charge too little? No, we do not have any paid staff members or have any sort of profit but yes we do charge for our services. We have to or else we would not have the finances to manage our herd of horses and then we would not be helping one single soul. Our goal is to have enough funding to cover our horses expense/year (which is about $56,000.00) so that we can provide all services free of charge.

Angel, Buddy and Connie

Jiggy, Moose, Retta and Toby

We also have a goal to one-day rescue horses from kill pens and then our clients and horses can work together to heal each other.

At Crossroads Corral we have been so blessed to have incredible volunteers who are passionate about what we do and help us in so many ways. We have a supportive board of directors, a beautiful farm to call our “other home” and patient, happy and loving horses. I can truly say that I am living my dream.

Crossroads Corral Saddle up Saturday

Crossroads Corral: Saddle Up Saturday in September 2015

I challenge you to find your calling if you have not already. Your life will be forever changed. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.”- unknown

 

16 Uplifting Ways to Soar in 2015

Contributor: David Brim January 1, 2015

There is something about being high up in the sky that really changes your perspective.  You see far more than you do on the ground. Last week my wife and I were on a flight back to Orlando from Pittsburgh. As we traveled over 500+ mph through the air we covered a vast amount of ground very quickly. In a single glance from the plane window we observed land as far as the eye could see, bodies of water, thousands of homes, big buildings, and specs of light moving from tiny cars driving on the roads below.
town from plane window

I couldn’t help but think about all of the people far below us living their lives. People facing good times and bad. Some dealing with joyous heart-warming moments and others figuring out how to face the world amidst a tragedy or loss. Some people making good decisions and moving in the right direction, while others flirt with disaster or remain stuck by their restricted thoughts, environment or situation.

It is easy to get wrapped up in daily life and routines. Many people turn on auto-pilot and do not take time for meaningful “high level reflection” that could lead them to a change in perspective resulting in a more fruitful reality, whatever that may be for the individual.

Here are 16 Ways to Soar to New Heights in 2015

 

    1. Determine your final destination (Have a clear vision)If you do not know where you want to go then how will you know when you get there? There are unlimited possibilities and opportunities in this world. As Sun Tzu said, Opportunities Multiple as they are seized.” If you decide to travel down a given path and seize a certain opportunity then related opportunities will present themselves. This being the case, it is very important to have clarity and know the type of life you want to live. This clarity doesn’t mean that you will always know what decisions to make to bring that vision into existence. That is where your values come in.

 

    1. Ensure your compass is calibrated (Define your core values)Years ago I had the opportunity to work with an extremely successful entrepreneur named Peter Thomas (Founder of Century 21 Canada, Venture Capitalist, CEO of Thomas Franchise Solutions, Developer of the FourSeasons resort in Scottsdale Arizona, and many more impressive accolades).

      One thing he regularly expressed is that your decisions are much easier when your values are clearly defined. Having clear values is very much like having a calibrated compass. Your values can help guide your life in the right direction.

      In this circumstance, rather than think about moral values (another topic), think about values in terms of what is important to you. I defined my values after my conversation with Peter as – Health, Integrity, Wisdom, Freedom and Abundance. This is not to say that other things are not important. It is just my belief that the other things that are important to me will all flourish if I remain true to the core values I shared. For example – If I have good health, a sound moral compass of integrity, wisdom and freedom then I can create abundance in my life and those around me (family, friends, those in my community in need, those I work with, entrepreneurs, etc). This abundance could include nourishing experiences, positive seeds of wisdom that can bear fruit, financial upside and more. If you haven’t taken the time to do so yet, define your core values. It truly does make your decision making process much easier. If you have a significant other it helps to understand their values as well and define shared values for your relationship.

 

    1. Make sure your auto-pilot is functioning properly (Develop uplifting habits)Habits can be your best friends or worst enemies. Routines of behavior become habits. Assess the current routines and habits you have in your life. Are they supporting your overall vision, life goal, or health? Understand what new routines you can work into your life that will create new habits to add value to your life…then stick to them. Discard negative routines and habits.

 

    1. Travel with the right crew (Surround yourself with good people)My wife Lindsay is starting an equine assisted learning non-profit organization called Crossroads Corral with several others. She recently attended training in Texas and told me of an exercise called “Temptation Alley”. In this exercise she and another girl were tasked with getting a horse down a path filled with treats, food and other distractions. They couldn’t touch the horse at all and if the horse grabbed any food or got off path they would have to start over. Lindsay thought this would be impossible, but her and another girl came up with a plan. They decided to stand on each side of the horse, get excited and encourage him to move then run along with him down the path. To everyone’s surprise they completed the exercise in record speed.

      After the facilitator commended the two girls, another trainee rebutted….I don’t think it was that impressive. The horse didn’t even see the temptations along the path. To that point Lindsay replied…

      “When you run with the right herd they can stop you from noticing temptation. The temptation may still exist, you just don’t even notice it.”

      Just like Lindsay in the temptation alley horse exercise – those you run with should excite you, keep you focused on your path to accomplishing your goals, and help you stray away from temptation. It is important to assess those you spend your time with and determine if they are the right crew to take your life to new heights.

 

    1. Travel outside of your comfort zoneI have certain relatives that are scared to death of flying. They have never boarded a plane and didn’t even attend my wedding in Florida years back because of this phobia. Consequently they missed out on one of my biggest life moments and one hell of a party! It is easy to stay nice and cozy while living inside your comfort zone. However, if you do this you are really cutting yourself short. Take a chance in 2015. More risk, more reward. Of course that risk should be assessed and the decision should not be impulsive. If the decision seems too risky…consider building a runway.

 

    1. Build yourself a solid runway to help you take offRunways give you the room to prepare for take off to accomplish your goals. For instance, if your goal is starting a business there are many types of runways you can build. Personally in the early years of my business career I built the following runways: Leveraged my time and the resources available in college, purchased a duplex in the early years of my business with my fiance (now wife) to decrease our expenses, started a marketing agency to give me flexibility and provide low cost resources to my tech venture, joined the technology incubator to provide low cost rent early on, etc. All of these runways gave me the freedom to explore, take advantage of opportunities and take off. There are many other runways that can be built or utilized depending on your goal and current situation.

 

    1. Seek higher ground if you need a more fertile environment to growIf your environment is not fertile to support your goals, values or vision it may be time to for a change. This higher ground could mean a change in your employment or overall profession, living situation, romantic relationship, friendships, etc. Some changes may be small, others may be large. In 2006 I made a decision to Orlando thus leaving all of my friends, family and girl friend to put myself in an environment I felt was more fertile for my success. This was one of the best decisions of my life. Though many did not agree with this decision they understood my reasons for the change and the ones that matter are all very supportive and happy for the success that this difficult change has brought me.

 

    1. Re-program your mental computerYour thoughts shape how you experience, interpret, feel and act in the world. Just like a computer, it is important to instill the right programs and information in your mind to improve your “operating system” and life. There are many things that you can do to accomplish this mental reprogramming. Meditation, self affirmations, reading, writing, developing new habits, speaking with inspiring or experienced people, etc. About six months ago I crafted a page long personal affirmation statement. I committed the statement to memory and say each morning and night. I did this so the affirmations can soak deep into my subconscious mind and ensure my thoughts, words, actions and consciousness all align with the life I want to live. I’ve noticed a big difference and suggest that if you are looking to bring about a change in your life that you give this a try.

 

    1. Be a good pilot (Know your strengths and weaknesses)Over the last few years I have taken several well-known personal assessments: Meyers Briggs and Strength Finders. My wife Lindsay also took the assessments as well as many of our friends. If you have not taken the time to take these assessments and better understand yourself then 2015 is the year to do it. Learn more

 

    1. Stay focusedThere are a lot of distractions that can deter you from reaching your final destination. It is important to stay focused. To a large extent this goes back to many of the other suggestions that were previously discussed – having a clear vision, understanding your values, developing good habits, being around those that will support you, etc.

 

    1. Get to know other passengers (build new relationships)I’m amazed by the great people I meet when experiencing life. It is true you can meet great contacts at networking events, but too often people neglect to start up conversations with new people they encounter in their daily lives. I’ve met some wonderful people on flights, shopping, at the gym, etc. Great entrepreneurs, politicians, non-profit directors, etc. I’ve really enjoyed my conversations with many of these people. In some cases it may even lead to new business or referrals to others in my network who can add value to their efforts. Take time to talk with those around you. You never know what you’ll learn, what introduction it could lead to, or how you could help one another.

 

    1. Stay motivated through turbulent timesEveryone encounters challenging obstacles in their life at one time or another. Learning to pick yourself up and move forward during difficult times is an essential asset to pack on whatever trip you are taking. Understand what positive triggers can give you an extra boost or lift you when you face set-backs.

 

    1. Get rid of excess baggage (Declutter your world, space and life)When getting caught up in the daily activities and routines of life it can be easy to accumulate clutter, or excess baggage. Removing what you don’t need in your home, car, computer, email, drawers and life can be time consuming and hard at times. However, it is a great feeling once it is over. A decluttered environment can make you feel good, increase your productivity, improve your mental clarity and more. This not only relates to physical clutter that you may collect, but also emotional clutter, past negative experiences and toxic attitudes. Ditch the excess baggage in 2015!

 

    1. Don’t forget to watch your belongings (Be thankful for what you have and treat it as such)Take time to be grateful for what you are thankful for in your life. This could be your health, skills, people you value, your time, clothes, car, house, animals, job, clients, business, etc. When you are in a mindset of gratitude you tend to find ways to express that appreciation. This expression could be taking better care of what you have, giving thanks to those you value or keeping what you value top-of-mind. All of which could inject more appreciation and joy into your life.

 

    1. Enjoy your trip (Take time to relax, have fun and enjoy your life)While striving to grow and reach our potential it is easy to forget to “take time to smell the roses” as my mom always tells me. If you’re like me you love what you do and it doesn’t really seem like work, but it is. This is especially true to those around you. My wife is great and truly supports my entrepreneurial activities. This didn’t happen initially, but through the course of 10 years of being together and many conversations. Through that time I also came to understand what she enjoys and was able to find more balance (this is often hard in startups, but gets easier as your business and team grows). Regardless of your stage of business it is still important to set aside time for fun, relaxation and enjoyment. Many people think that you cannot have a balanced life as an entrepreneur. The thought is that you must sacrifice your health, relationships and fun for the price of success. This is not true. It is true that sacrifices must be made at times, but I know many successful entrepreneurs who have abundance in various aspects of their personal and professional life. It is very possible. You just have to have the vision and values to support the life you want to develop.

 

    1. Upgrading yourself through reflection can lead to rapid rewardsTaking quiet time to reflect on your life and various situations can lead to great improvements. Many think that if they are not working on something tangible that they are not being productive. Granting yourself the upgrade of assessing your situation can lead to rapid rewards. Learning from various experiences can often be one of the most productive things that one can do. Don’t ignore it.

Final thoughts…

I hope that you enjoyed this post. If you have a clear and consistent vision along with the values, thoughts and habits to support that vision you are more likely to bring it into existence.

You may be wondering why I chose to share 16 suggestions and not 15. This goes back to vision (the first point). In order to excel in your current situation you have to have the vision to see past it. 16 therefore is a metaphor to encourage you to think past our current situation and time. Think big…just like when you look out from that window on an airplane.

I hope that all of you have a safe, healthy and prosperous 2015. Make it the best year yet!

7 Real Ways to Make Money Online

Contributor: David Brim June 21, 2014

Over the last couple weeks several friends have asked me about ways to make money online. I thought I would take the time to write a post on the topic. I want to mention that all of the ways to make money included in this post are very real. I know because I have personally made money online in all of these ways. I’ve also been directly involved in the development of many internet properties, campaigns, or projects that resulted in making someone, or multiple people money online in these ways.

There are a lot of people making A TON of money online everyday in these ways. I hope that with the help of this post you can be one of them!

Let’s get into it…

1) Online Advertising – Put display or text ads on your website

One of the most simple and straight forward ways to make money online is through your web property by utilizing online advertising. The website eHow is estimated to make $500k per month through Google Adsense, an ad network that puts display ads on your website. If you’d like to be motivated browse the list of the top earners through Google’s ad network.

What it is: Advertisers, or an advertising networks, display ads on your internet property (website, blog, app, game, etc) and you’re compensated. Here’s an example…

How it works: Typically the advertiser will provide an image and link, or snippet of code for you to add on your website. If you’re using an ad network you would place a snippet of code in your desired ad location and the ad network would display relevant ads to your visitors or users.

How compensation works: There are several ways that you can be compensated for ads on your website.

1) Charge a flat rate for the ad placement for a given period of time.

2) Charge based on CPMs (Cost per thousand impressions).  CPMs are a common way that ads are charged.  Every 1,000 times the ad is shown = one CPM.

So if you’re charging $5 per CPM and your website gets 10,000 page views per month and the brand’s ad shows each time you would charge for 10 CPMS.

(10,000 ad views /1,000 = 10 CPMs)

10 CPMs x $5= $50 / month

If your online property received 150,000 page views per month at a $5 CPM then you would generate $750 per month, or $9,000 per year.

The prices you can be paid per CPM depend on your niche, relevancy to the advertiser, available inventory / demand, etc.

3) Cost Per Click (CPC): Being compensated on a CPC basis is very common. An advertiser’s ad would display on your internet property free of charge and you would be compensated a certain amount each time the ad is clicked.

What you need to get started: A website, blog, online software or tool that attracts website visitors or users.

Suggested steps & resources: If you’re looking to launch and monetize a blog I suggest utilizing WordPress, a popular content management platform that will enable you to publish articles and content easily online. Create good content and share that content with your social circle, or those who would be interested (other bloggers, members of online groups, etc).

If you already have an internet property that generates traffic…congratulations!

I highly suggest that you start your monetization process by applying to Google Adsense. Once you have been been approved for Google adsense you will be able to create various types of ads and will be provided a snippet of code for each ad. Once the code has been added onto your website your website visitors will begin seeing ads on your website and you will be paid for each click.

You will be able to log into your Adsense account and see a report of all the money you’ve earned!

2) Affiliate marketing – Get paid to refer customers to online retailers

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money online. I have been, and currently am, an affiliate for a number of advertisers. I have also been on the other side and ran affiliate marketing programs where we paid affiliates for leads or sales.

What it is: Companies agree to pay their affiliates a certain amount of money for a desired action to occur – typically a sale or lead. This is often a great way for a company to generate online sales being that they only incur costs when something of value occurs.

How it works: Many companies that sell online have created affiliate programs. Typically you’ll see a link for affiliates, or an affiliate program in the footer. Amazon, Ebay, Macy’s, PetSmart and many other retailers have affiliate programs. Below you’ll see a screen shot that I took from Target’s website.

Target Affiliate Program
Many online retailers utilize affiliate networks to manage their affiliate marketing program. These affiliate networks typically have many advertisers for affiliates to choose from.

Once you have selected what retailer, or product that you would like to promote you will receive a unique link. This link will include your unique affiliate ID.

When someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase you will be compensated a commission for referring the sale. Typically you will get compensated not only for the sale that just occurred, but also any other purchase they make on that website within a certain period of time.

How compensation works: Affiliate commissions, or referral fees vary greatly depending on the retailer, what you are selling, and your history /success with the merchant’s affiliate program.

What you need to get started: Certain affiliate programs restrict the ways that people can promote their links. For example, some Merchants may not want you to use Paid Search (Google Adwords) to promote your landing page with the offer.  Others may only accept those who promote their affiliate offers via email, or the web via a blog or value-added website.

Suggested steps & resources: If you do not have a blog, value-added website /online tool, large social circle, strong email list or really understand paid search there would be little you can do to make money through this method. I would suggest starting off by creating a website that people frequent.

If you do have a foundation and are ready to monetize…congrats!

I would suggest by applying to a number of affiliate programs that are relevant to your website or desired niche.  You can do this by directly searching for “X retailer name affiliate program” or signing up for a number of affiliate networks.

Some Affiliate Networks I suggest are:

NeverBlue

ClickBooth

Share-a-sale

Link Share

Amazon

Test various offers and see which convert the best for your audience. Remember to stay true to the mission of your website or brand. Do not promote products that you don’t believe will add value to your website visitors, email list, or social circle.

3) Sponsored posts, conversations and product reviews

Bloggers and social influencers typically have established great trust with their audience or followers over time. An endorsement, review or conversation around a given topic can have great benefits to brands.

What it is: Companies compensate a blogger, or social influencers (Power user on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or other social site) to review their product, discuss an issue related to their product (or a problem it solves) or educate their audience about one of their offerings.

How it works: A brand will reach out to an influencer, share the product they are looking to promote and work together to develop a sponsored conversation campaign. There are companies that specifically handle sponsored conversation campaigns. The leading sponsored conversation company is IZEA founded by Ted Murphy. In 2008 and 2009 I worked for IZEA. My role was to build our network of premium influencers. Brands such as Sears, Armani Exchange and many more would come to us to develop a sponsored conversation campaign. I would identify relevant premium influencers that were a good fit for the campaign and reach out to them with details. Many times these campaigns also included some sort of content or give-a-way that was ran on a number of blogs.

How compensation works: Typically an online influencer is paid per post or a flat fee per campaign. In other cases they are paid as an affiliate or a CPC model. If the product is highly relevant to the audience of an influencer they may accept the product as compensation and share an honest review with their audience.

What you need to get started: In order for companies to find enough value to compensate you for a sponsored conversation or product review you need to have a decent sized audience either on your blog or social network. The audience also needs to trust you and you have to have the ability to identify which opportunities, brands and products you should stand behind. Trust is something that takes a long time to build and can be destroyed if you are no longer true to your brand or what is in the best interest of your audience.

Suggested steps & resources: If you have a strong audience on your blog or social network you may want to consider signing up for a network that connects brands with online influencers or creators. I would highly suggest visiting IZEA to learn more.

4) E-commerce: Selling products & services online

Depending on what kind of product that you’re selling, exploring e-commerce could be a very profitable endeavor.

What it is: Selling products online through a website.

How it works:  An e-commerce website is created that contains various product. Visitors visit the website and add products to their shopping cart. Once they are ready to check-out they enter their credit card details, or PayPal information, and purchase the products.

On the back-end – the site owner can see the orders that have occurred. If the product is digital, the site would ideally send a unique download link to the purchaser to access their product. If you’re selling a physical item then the site owner, someone on their team or a drop shipper would mail the product to the consumer.

Drop shipping is an arrangement that can be very beneficial for online re-sellers. In this sort of arrangement a re-seller partners with a wholesaler or manufacturing company that agrees to send products that are ordered directly to the end consumer. This saves the online re-seller the need to hold their own inventory, which can be costly.

How compensation works: You make money by selling products over the cost you pay for them and any operating costs you have.

What you need to get started: An e-commerce website, products to sell, drop shipper (optional), payment gateway and merchant account. A payment gateway authorizes credit cards for your e-commerce transactions. A merchant account essentially stores your funds temporarily and transfers it to your bank account.

Suggested steps & resources: Find a good niche. Identify what products you want to sell or create. Products could include online software, e-books, actual books, tangible products, etc. Develop an e-commerce website and add your products. Set-up analytics and test your website’s layout and elements to improve your conversion rate (Percent of visitors that result in a sale).

Side note: I’ve also utilized e-commerce for software as a service (SAAS) ventures. In these types of ventures customers pay a subscription either monthly or annually to access your software tool. The great thing about SAAS ventures, which is also a big negative at times, is that much of the costs are incurred in the development of the venture up front. Once the software is live often times the solution is very scalable and whether 100 or 1,000 people are using the online service there are little additional costs. This equals much higher potential profit margins.

5) Paid directory sites

Niche online directory websites can be a profitable way to make money online.

What it is: A website that lists specific types of companies, events, items or individuals. Charge companies (or whoever you’re listing on your directory) a fee either to be listed, for an upgraded listing or for premium placement.

How it works:  Create a website that is highly focused around a topic, industry or geographic location. To help you understand how paid directories work I’ll give you a real example. One paid directory site I own is for University of Central Florida apartments. We listed all of the apartments on the directory for free with basic information: short description, map to location and one picture. We then sell upgraded listings that include more pictures, longer descriptions, video, floor plans and the ability to obtain leads of those interested in scheduling a tour. We also charge apartments to have premium spots on our home page and side-bar.

When utilizing this model you can benefit from all the free listings on the site, which help you gain more organic traffic. You should then ensure that your website is optimized further for SEO (search engine optimization). The more organic traffic you get the more focused visitors you will obtain. The more visitors and page views on your niche directory the more value you will deliver to those willing to pay for upgrades and premium placement.

How compensation works: Compensation is typically a fixed amount annually or monthly. Specific pricing depends on the niche, your traffic and the available supply of premium ad spots on your website.

What you need to get started: A fruitful niche. An online directory, sales collateral and someone to sell.

Suggested steps & resources: Identify a niche that is under served online. High search volume and low competition is ideal. The niche you choose should be one that you know something about. If you’re passionate about it…that’s a plus. I typically utilize and suggest using a customized wordpress based directory. This will make it very easy to update listings and your premium placements.

6) Buy and sell domain names.

Domain names can be very valuable. I have friends that have bought and/or sold domains for six figures. I have sold domains including one for 5 figures. There have been many domain names that have sold for seven figures and even some for 8 figures. The domain Sex.com was previously bought for $13M! If you’d like to get motivated you can review a list of the highest selling domains of all time!

What it is: Buy great domain names at auction or through a domain registrar. Sell it to a private buyer, at auction, or through a domain broker.

How it works:  Purchasing a domain names is easy. Finding extremely valuable domain names at a great price is not so easy.  Many one and two word domain names are already taken therefore it can be difficult to simply purchase them through a registrar like Godaddy. Similar to real estate purchases  – many people would love to acquire high-value domain names at unbelievable prices. However, if it was easy…everyone would be making thousands and in some cases millions of dollars buying and selling domain names.

Negotiating good deals for domains directly with owners is the best way to get domains for a good price.

Selling your domains through a domain broker, at auction, or on a website like Flippa.com are all viable ways to sell your domain.

How compensation works: Buy quality domains as low as possible. Sell them for as high as possible, or build out a niche website that you will monetize in other ways on the valuable domain.

When selling your domain, or websites, I suggest using a third party escrow service. I’ve used Escrow.com in the past and found the service they provide to be valuable. Through Escrow.com you or a buyer set-up a deal and articulate the terms and compensation. The buyer deposits funds into the escrow account. The seller does what is needed to transfer the ownership of the asset.  Once the asset has been transferred and confirmation has been made the funds are released to the seller.

What you need to get started: A great domain name that you would be willing to sell. Time to search for and find high quality domain names that are valued at a good price.

Suggested steps & resources: If you’d like to get into buying and selling domain names you can visit domain auctions, browse domains for sale on Flippa.com or contact domain brokers to inquire about their inventory. You may also get lucky once and a while by picking up quality domain names that someone has let expire through registrars like GoDaddy.

7) Get paid for leads or calls generated for a company

Obtaining new prospects, or leads is very valuable for businesses. Working out deals with companies to compensate you based on leads you generate can be a very profitable business endeavor.

What it is: Internet entrepreneurs can get paid for leads they refer to companies. Typically leads are either phone calls or form submissions that meet certain pre-determined qualifications.

How it works:  A deal is worked out with a company who agrees to pay a certain bounty for each qualified lead you generate to them. Website traffic is driven to a lead generation website or landing page. A certain percent of those visitors call, or fill out a form.  Leads can also be generated via social media, joint registration, or email blasts.

The leads are tracked and each month the company pays you based on the terms agreed upon.

How compensation works: I previously utilized this model with a debt settlement company. We agreed upon $70 per lead for legitimate phone calls over a minute and valid form leads. It ended up costing us about $40 per lead so we made $30 profit for every lead generated. The price you can charge per lead depends on the industry and the deal you put together.

What you need to get started: A lead generation website, meaningful social circle, or large focused email list.

Suggested steps & resources: Speak to a company and see if they would compensate you for leads you refer to them. Build a niche lead generation website with a capture form to gather relevant and mutually agreed upon information. Remember that the more information you ask for the less likely the visitor is to fill out the form. Set-up a phone number that tracks and records the phone calls from your website. Ensure that the company you have an arrangement with is alright with you recording the phone calls before using the call-record feature. We have dealt with certain companies that prefer not to record the calls for legal reasons. Begin driving traffic to the website through social media, search engine optimization, email marketing and online advertising.

Ensure that you’re monitoring your website’s conversion rate and other important metrics. Seek to improve your website based on experiments and data to increase your conversion rate (the amount of visitors that call or fill out a form). This will result in your website generating more leads from the traffic you’re sending. This = more money for you!

Final thoughts

I hope that you have found these proven online money making activities to be helpful!  There are definitely other ways to make money online such as taking online surveys, online focus groups, etc. I have not done these activities therefore I didn’t want to include them as focal points in this post.

In my next post I will share some common tips to help you make money online no matter which strategy you choose.

Stay tuned!

If you found this post to be valuable please consider sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Facebook.

33 valuable life lessons I learned from basketball

Contributor: David Brim April 5, 2014

With the NCAA basketball tournament winding down I couldn’t help but think how many seniors played their final college basketball game. I know how it feels. Though several athletes will be fortunate enough to make it to the next level, most will not.  My basketball journey was full of excitement and disappointment. Fun and frustration. Hope and despair. Looking back on my journey I would not trade it for anything. It has made me who I am and there were many lessons I learned along the way that I carry with me today.

I took some time to reflect and organize these lessons and thought I’d share them with you. Here are 33 lessons that I learned from my time on the hardwood…

1. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

Don’t let the fear of not succeeding stop you from pursuing the opportunity in the first place. As you learn to act despite fear, or act in pressure situations when others would freeze you step out of your comfort zone and can raise to new heights.

David Brim-Cheshire

2. A clear vision and burning desire spawns determination and passion.

If you have a clear vision of what you want to bring into existence in your mind and truly desire to make it happen you’ll be energized with determination and passion. That passion can fuel you with the energy and focus you need to accomplish your goal.

3. Work hard to improve those things that can be changed. Don’t fret about things that cannot.

This was a quote from one of my basketball mentors Dick Devenzio who was a starting point guard for Duke University in the 70s. He would often reference players that turn the ball over and complain or “droop”. He explained that often times if your immediate action is positive – for example – get back on defense instead of pouting – you may be able to make up for that mistake. Things won’t always go your way and you can’t always control the outcome, but what you can control is how you respond to it.

This is an important lesson that relates to many aspects of life, business and sports.

4. If you want to be great…do extra.

When I was in middle school I told my dad that I wanted to be a great basketball player. He explained to me that if you want to be great at something you have to put the time in. Often times simply doing what everyone else is doing will not be enough. This being the case I was known as the first one in practice and the last one to leave. After my team practice was over my dad would often come to the gym and do shooting drills with me for another hour or two. We would often work out on holidays and when the weather was not ideal. The logic was – if you can operate in these hard situations – game time would be much easier. In addition to this – it gave me comfort to know that I was working on my game when others were not. Consequently I was a three-year high-school starter, Fab 5 player in my area and even went on to play for a while in college.

5. Build up personal skills to improve yourself and the team

Investing in your your personal, industry or professional skills not only helps you improve, but adds value to any team you are a part of as well. Investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do. Nobody can take skills or knowledge learned away from you. If we improve as individuals we can share that knowledge and ability with the world. I would venture to say that if you’re not investing in your personal growth in some way you are short changing the team you play on. That team could literally be a sports team, your co-workers, your family or even society as a whole.  Keep in mind – The game you are playing may not be the same as others. One person may be seeking to be the best mom they can be.  If that is your game – develop and improve those mommy skills!

6. Seek out the best coaches…and be coachable.

My dad is excellent at this and this also became a trait that I also picked up. He sought out people smarter than him in respective areas to help me and we both learned from them. I had numerous coaches, not just coaches for teams I played on, but experts in agility, weight lifting, ball handling, shooting, 1 on 1 play, former D1 coaches, former pro players, etc. Being around all of these different coaches really helped me improve my game. Today I still seek out experts to learn from and build relationships with in nearly everything I do –  Entrepreneurship, sales, technology, Real estate investing, specific industry experts when exploring a new market and more.

7. Recruit and/or develop highly capable players

Figure out where you want to go (strategy) then get the right people on the bus to get you there. Recruit the best talent to fit the strategy and existing strengths/weaknesses of your team. Remember that not everyone needs to be like you. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs go into business with friends that share very similar skill sets. This usually ends badly. Understand what your team currently has and what you need…hire, recruit or train people that can take your team where you want to go.

8. Be able to collaborate with teammates even though different personalities may exist.

People see the world through their lens of experience, knowledge they’ve obtained, and goals they have. Everyone is different and sometimes it may be hard for individuals on a team to get along all the time. Despite this fact everyone still needs to come together when it counts, realize they are part of a collective, effectively collaborate and complete the individual responsibilities necessary for the team to win.

9. Develop and implement solid plays

Once you have a capable  team in place it is important to develop solid plays to help you win. Plan, practice, execute and measure the success of your plays. Optimize the plays as needed and develop counter plays to achieve even greater success.

10. Love the game you play…it will show in your performance.

me-dunking

When you love something the passion you have will show in your performance. No matter what game you’re playing this applies – whether it be a sport, or a business venture like – stock investing, real estate, tech start-ups, etc. When you want to be great at something you’re likely going to invest a lot of time into your game. You’ll also face set-backs at times. It is very important to love what you do because that passion will help get you through the tough times. If you don’t have passion and love for what you do…it becomes a lot harder to get back up each time you’re knocked down. If you can relax and just have fun during “game time” you won’t put as much unhealthy pressure on yourself and often times perform better.

11. Learn from your losses and move on.

Losses can be big, or small. Game changing, or fairly insignificant. Personal, or collective. Whenever you experience a loss, learn what you can, pick yourself up and move forward.
12. Develop ways to inspire and pick-up yourself when you feel discouraged.

This lesson goes along with my last point. It can be challenging at times to pick yourself up after a big loss. Develop positive triggers that can adjust you mood and make you feel better. This could be talking with someone special, listening to a certain song, writing, working out, creating or reviewing a dream board, looking at your past successes, etc.

13. Encourage your teammates when they are discouraged

Sometimes others will experience set-backs just like you. Be a good teammate and provide assistance and words of encouragement when you can. Always encourage others to improve their skills and get better.

14. Keep your head up when you dribble – Don’t be so focused on you  that you forget what is going on around you.

One of the first skills a guard learns is ball handling. When handling the ball it is important to keep your head up and see what is going on around you. Often times less skilled players will have to look at the ball to make sure they don’t lose it and in the process will miss opportunities and threats. This is a great lesson and one we should all remember. There may be times in life that we are focusing so much on what is happening in our world, or at a specific time to us that we miss the bigger picture and great opportunities.  Seek balance in being able to focus on what you need to do while being aware of what is going on with competitors, other teammates, your industry, your family, etc.

15. Know your strengths and weaknesses

It is important to know what you’re good at what you’re not. If you understand your strengths you can leverage them to help you win. If you know your weaknesses you can work to improve them, or seek to collaborate with other individuals who can make up for your weakness.

16. Scout the competition

If you study a defender, or competition, in advance usually you can uncover some sort of weakness that you can exploit.  If a defender is short – you can plan to shoot over him. If he is big and slow you may plan to drive around them. If he is overzealous he may easily fall for fakes.  If one off-ball defender helps out often your teammate may be wide open. In addition to scouting and understanding their weaknesses it is also important to understand their strengths. This way you can plan how you can put the defender in difficult positions to not take full advantage of their best assets.

17. Read the defense and situation. Take what is given

In addition to understanding your competitor you should also analyze the current situation to determine what circumstantial weaknesses that can be exploited. For instance, if the defender has one foot up on defense and you can get around that foot and get him on your hip you have the advantage.  If he shifts his balance too far one way, cut the other. If multiple defenders collapse on you, someone else is likely open for an easy shot.
The key to remember is that it is very difficult to do everything well all the time. Understand what weaknesses your competitor has and exploit them either directly or indirectly to help you win.

18. Utilize misdirection and fakes to cause your opponent to lose their balance

Getting an opponent off balance gives you the advantage. A simple head fake in a basketball game can send the defender sailing. Think about how you can conceal your intentions when in battle and utilize fakes to help you and your team win.

19. Move without the ball / leverage the power of movement

“Move without the ball” is a phrase coaches often scream on the court to their players. They don’t want their players just standing around because this makes their offense easy to defend. When you cut, screen and move without the ball opportunities arise. Just like a shift in the defense, a shift in a market or industry creates opportunities for those who are prepared and threats for those who are not. Plan your movement, analyze other’s movements, and move towards your goal.

20. Give and Go – collaborate for success

The first play I ever learned in basketball was the give and go. In this simple play – one player passes the ball to a teammate then cuts to the hoop.  The first player then receive a pass back from their teammate and puts up an easy lay-up. This is collaboration at its finest. Be on the same page with your teammate(s) and work together to score.

21. Be a good rebounder

Shots will be missed, but being a good rebounder will give you more opportunities to score. You can even turn your mistake (missed shot) into a easy bucket with a little bit of hustle. Box out (hold back) your competition and then work hard to receive loose balls (follow-up opportunities). rebound_pic

22. Leverage the power of the 6th man

Fans, or brand advocates, can be a great asset for your team’s success. Seek to cultivate and engage with brand enthusiasts. The energy they can provide can be a powerful force and contributing factor to your success.

23. Have strong defense

If the other team can’t score they can’t win. In the business world a great defense to me could involve: developing an unbeatable customer experience, patents, trademarks, unique processes, technology, powerful partners / aliances, etc.

24. Steal the ball from opponents and gain market share

When an opponent has the ball they have the opportunity to score. When you have the ball you do. Getting the ball in my eyes is like gaining awareness and attention in the marketplace. If you have a great defense (unique value proposition, patented technology, better offer, powerful partners, etc) you can ultimately gain attention over competitors from their customers (steal the ball) and score / close the deal.

25. Put the full court press on to rattle the competition

In high school we often utilized a full court press. The opposition would often be rattled by the change in tempo. Everything seemed to be rushed for them…they would make quick decisions and lots of mistakes that led to turnovers causing us to get the ball back. In business offering a great promotion or deal, or implementing a well planned advertising campaign can cause the competition to feel this same pressure and make mistakes. These mistakes can help you land even more customers.

26. Don’t under estimate opponents

Each year in the NCAA tournament there are many unexpected upsets. Never underestimate the power of an opponent even if you are favored greatly. Remember if this is the case, your opponent may have nothing to lose.  Everyone expects them to lose so their level of pressure is lower than yours. They also may have a chip on their shoulder and something to prove the world, which can fuel them with more energy and drive than your team.

27. Simulate game scenarios in practice

Mistakes during a game can be costly. Practice is the time where you can make mistakes freely and learn from them. As entrepreneurs you should be testing your idea before game-time. Invest your time into testing the viability of your venture. For example if you have a software venture you’re considering – Develop wireframes or a prototype of your  to share with your key prospect before investing a lot of money into creating it. Ensure you understand the decision making process and that your key prospects has the budget to purchase what you’re planning to build. When you have invested time into many high quality practices, game time will be much easier.

28. Don’t foul out and avoid technical fouls

When a player gets 5 fouls in a game they foul out. They can no longer play in that game and hurt their team as a result of this.  In the world of business this could be doing something illegal. losing your cool (getting a technical foul) or making extremely damaging mistakes that cause you to lose a client. Be sure not to foul out.

29. If a foul is called realize that what you did looked like a foul…even if it wasn’t.

Let the refs do their job. Realize that if they called a foul on you, even if what you did wasn’t a foul…it looked like one. If you are doing something that others perceive to be dishonest, even if your intentions were good, many will believe you are dishonest. Try to think about how others will perceive what is being done before you do it if they have the ability to impact your results.

30. Have a good point guard or “on floor” leader.

Having a great point guard, or leader, on the court is a major asset for success. This leader is essentially an operational manager and should be the voice and presence of the coach on the court. The point guard needs to ensure that everyone is involved, engaged and motivated. They must be aware of problems and opportunities that arise and make the best decisions for the benefit of the team.

31. Learn by studying the best players and teams

Regardless of the game you are playing there are winners and losers. Study the winners and “all-stars” and understand what makes them great. There is much that can be learned from learning from those who have walked the path you seek to walk. If you can develop relationships with these winners, talk with them and listen to their advice. You can also study winners of the past – read biographies, watch documentaries or think to yourself how would this winner handle this particular situation.

32. Don’t get out hustled…give it your all!

In basketball each play is an opportunity. You want to maximize that opportunity and ensure that you do what you can to get the most of that play. When there is a loose ball don’t get out hustled. It is a very bad feeling when you lose and know that you didn’t give it your all. Leave it all on the court.

33. Know when to re-direct your energy

As athletes we are often conditioned to have a never give up attitude. It is a good quality to have, put potentially destructive as well. You have to understand the bigger picture and what “game” you are really playing. It is the game of life. This being the case you need to determine the risks and the rewards that continuing to play a specific game will have on your overall game of life.

If you hold on to that one dream too long and ignore bigger signs of things occurring, possibly outside of your control, you may be putting yourself in a very bad situation. This could be related to a relationship, entrepreneurial venture, or sports.

One of the hardest things that I went through was realizing that my dream of being the best basketball player and reaching the NBA was too risky to continue pursuing further. I invested so much passion, energy and time into this effort for years, but I didn’t want to be that washed up athlete that held on to his sports dreams for too long with no real work experience, quality degree or foundation for a greater life to fall back on.

I wanted to find somewhere fertile to invest my passion, energy and time.

It took a lot of soul searching to determine the best direction to go, but I settled on business and couldn’t be happier.

Through my experience with various ventures I’ve realized that the lessons I’ve learned in sports have really impacted and helped to shape the way I handle and think about business.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found something contained will add value to whatever game you choose to play.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now go get your game on.

🙂

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