I am so glad my sons were older when the "here's your trophy for showing up" phase of childhood sports began. I grew up at time when the team who won the game received the trophy, and the kids who didn't left the field mad, dejected and determined to get that blasted trophy next season.
Losing can be great motivator. It can create a determination within you that will drive you to work
harder, practice more often and prepare more wisely. Please, no offense to all the parents who raised their children during this new phase of things, but the truth is that kids build self-esteem when they accomplish things and succeed at tasks. They don't build self-esteem because you got them out of bed, and you made sure their uniform was neatly pressed and you drove them to the ball diamond.
My parents both worked when I was a little league
baseball player. That was the norm then. They may have seen 1 or 2 games out of my five years of minor league and little league baseball. Did that cause me to be a whimp? Did it cause me to have low self-esteem? Not at all. I didn't need my parents there to cause me to become a baseball player. Their presence was always an added bonus, but it wasn't the key to playing the game. I needed my own self-determination and desire to be a ball player and to be the best ball player I could be. I watched baseball on TV to learn how the pros did it. I read books, played on the sandlot and envisioned doing my best.
I walked to most games alone. I played my heart out, and if we won I walked home with a big ole grin on my face and skip in my step. If we lost, like everybody else on the team, I walked home frustrated but with a new determination to play better next time.
That meant I would spend the next week hitting more, throwing more and catching more. I would visiualize every mistake I made, if any, and try to determine what I could improve upon. My team needed me. Not just to show up, but to show up ready to be the best I could be.
I see a lot of business people who are shocked at how rough and tumble the business world can be. I approach things a little differently as a broker, but as an investor, I regularly ate the lunch of the "I got a trophy for showing up" competitors. They didn't learn how to use loss and disappointment as leverage to spur exceptional performance in the next game. They knew they would get a trophy whether they showed up or not. Well, that's not the way it works in the game of life.
Friends, only the winners get the trophies in real life. And, if you're not one of those winners today, there will always be another game next week. Take the time in between games (deals) to sharpen your skills. Get better at the
game of business. Show up ready to compete every time, and know that there is someone out there that is looking to beat you at your game. Make a determination to win because you earned it and not because you showed up.