I am always fascinated by high performers and people who are at the top of their game like Michael Jordan and his new documentary The Last Dance. I love to study what they do, their habits and how they achieve their goals. Oftentimes it looks from the outside that they are superhumans, but when you dig below the surface a bit more you realize they just are the hardest worker in the room and they are still working when no one is in the room. The out perform, out work, out think, out smart, out study their competition.
After watching The Last Dance I couldn’t help but make parallel to entrepreneurs so I thought I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned from watching the documentary.
1} Be Present – In the documentary Michael Jordan said, “Why am I going to worry about missing a shot that I haven’t even taken yet.” WOWZA did that hit home with me. In my own life and especially in my business I have spent so much time worrying about all these different scenarios that may play out in my head instead of just being in the moment. All of Michael’s coaches and teammates commented about how he stayed so much in the moment and how incredible that was in terms of his performance.
2} Become obsessed with being the best…Michael was one of those people who was insanely focused on being the best Basketball player of all time. He studied his opponents, he studied the game, after practice he would practice. He had tunnel visions for being the very best.
3} Give yourself permission to take a break – while in professional sports this is harder to do because of the season in the entrepreneur world it can be easier to take a vacation and unplug or take some time off of work to reignite your passion. For Michael, it was something that he did when he was tired of all the turmoil in the basketball world.
4} He kept score – now I will say Michael Jordan’s obsession with people who said thing about his game or that they were a better scorer or rebounder or whatever is borderline unhealthy, it is interesting to make mention that this was a motivating factor for him. As someone who studies high performance, I find this to become among athletes and other high performance folks. They keep mental score of those people who doubt them or didn’t believe in them to use it as motivation to move them forward. David Goggins talks about this in his book Can’t Hurt me as well.
5} Practice, practice, practice – Live and Breath your profession and create a legacy. I found that Michael Jordan and other professional athletes also practice after they just practice. They stay late and practice, they come in early, they study what other professionals are doing. They become a continual student of their craft and always practice. Look at Tom Brady or MIchael Phelps as other examples. Keep practicing what you do so you can be the very best.
6} Show up even when you don’t feel like it – In the documentary, there was a crucial game in one of the semi-finals where Michael had food poisoning and had been up all night sick. He showed up and gave it his all. As entrepreneurs it can be easy to shy away from showing up when things get hard or when you face your fears…show up even on the hard days. Show up in spite of fear or overwhelm or self limiting beliefs.
7} Build Trust with your team which I find super fascinating especially since so many entrepreneurs prefer to DIY’IT which often costs them valuable time and money….Michael took the time to build trust and relationships with his team and once he knew he could rely on you he did. Trust takes time to build but building that trust and having a team you know will be there for you and give it there all is key to success.