One of my responsibilities with Ron Wolforth’s Texas Baseball Ranch and Pitching Central is that of Director of Marketing. Each year around this time I attend a 4-Day Marketing Conference. I just got back from Dallas, the site for this year’s event.
Each year the hosts bring in a “celebrity” speaker, someone well known and more importantly successful in business. Past celebs have included Ivanka Trump, Gene Simmons, Joan Rivers and of special interest to us, Cal Ripken. Sticking to their Country Western theme and being in Texas, this year’s celebrity speaker was country music singer/songwriter John Rich of the duo Big & Rich.
His story is one of rags to riches. He grew up in a trailer park in Amarillo, TX and now has a home in Nashville with a pool on the roof. On the surface you might think, “Wow, how lucky is he!”
Yet, once you listen to all he did on “his way up” there’s no doubt he deserves every bit of his success and it certainly wasn’t about luck. For example, he wrote 500+ songs before he had one become a hit. That’s right, 500+. There are a lot of aspiring songwriters who have written 50, 75, 100 songs with no success. They then throw up their hands saying, “It’s just not meant to be” or “I’m not getting any breaks” or “I’ve worked so hard and people just don’t appreciate my talent.” We can always come up with excuses. John Rich did not.
He shared many things about his business and career but the most interesting comments to me were his thoughts on what you do once “the ball starts rolling”. You know, when you get over the hump and things start to go your way. When you’re seeing and reaping some success.
For a lot of us, we give a big sigh of relief. We’re pleased. We take note of what’s going on and work at staying on course. Other people (and what I often see with many athletes) have the attitude “I’ve arrived. I no longer have to work as hard. I don’t need to prove myself”. This as Zig Zigler says is “Stink’n Think’n”.
John Rich took the concept and catapulted it. He said, “Don’t watch the ball roll, KICK IT! After you’ve kicked it, strap on a rocket and light it.” In other words, supercharge it. Use the momentum and go to overdrive. When hearing this I thought “of course”. Yet, I realized, I personally can do better in this area.
He also made another point related to this that I believe is critically important. He said, “Once the ball is rolling and YOU can’t keep up to kick it, GET OTHERS to kick it for you.” Again, I believe this is very important and a lesson I’ve had to learn. As you grow and expand, you’re going to have to ask for help to continue that growth.
Let me be absolutely clear though. First, you’ve got to do all that you can do. Remember, it’s your ball that’s rolling.
So, here’s to all of us getting some really good leg workouts!