SPORTS Analogy: Realistic Goal Setting, Strategy and Tactics

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

I played football for only a short while in high school.  I did not follow it after that.  I preferred baseball and basketball.  Sports is a good analogy to assess your abilities to 'play' any game or operate a business and to judge whether you will succeed.

Something is very clear in football: there is a goal marker on either side of the field.  The field is 100 yards long.  You have four chances to either run, kick or pass the ball and get it over that 100-yard distance.  There are boundaries and rules to play.

You score points for taking the ball across 100-yard line and the team that gets the most points in the end (a timed game)-- wins.  The team switches possession of the ball every four 'downs'.  Four tries to get the ball moved towards or over the goal, then it's the other team's turn.

The decision on what plays or maneuvers to make in each of those four chances is made by the quarterback.  The rest of the team understands their roles and act accordingly.  

That's the basic idea.  But what can we glean from this game?

Each side has a clear 'aim' to achieve: get the ball over the final yard marker on the opposite side or kick to clear the goal posts.  Each team member has a specific role and must act to further the 'aim' of the team, while fending off the opposing team (which has exactly the same 'aim' in mind).

A.  So in life or business, there are fixed 'goals' set by others to play 'their' game or some established routine that leads to an end, or it can be a 'game' or goal you wish to put in place. 

In order to get an academic degree, you must take courses and past tests to receive a diploma.  In order to win at basketball, you have to make more baskets in four 15 minute quarters than the opposing team.  In order to be a musician, you must practice daily and play more complicated pieces of music to expand your technique and repertoire.  In order to be a successful (conventional) professional, you must follow a program of education and day to day practice.  Years of experience or the quick application of skills and management mean that you can charge more for your services or products or that you can deliver them faster and better thus making more money at least.  Satisfaction gained from serving others well is also an intangible reward.

B.  To conclude: you must make realistic goals based on your personal abilities, have available time and resources to learn your craft or skill, and motivation to succeed.  There are always seemingly attractive shortcuts and quicker ways to 'make big bucks'.  A profession is not built on shortcuts though. 

You cannot achieve any goal by a lack of ability or means, by not taking the time to hone your competence or expertise, and by not motivating yourself to set a schedule and step by step program to achieve your goal.

 

There are three basic scenarios that will lead to failure:

1. Having a dreamy goal to be 'rich and famous' without the attendant means and effort -- which will not get you anywhere. 

2. You may have the means and goal in mind but do not wish to 'pay your dues'.  Same result: you cannot reach your goal.

3. You may have time and energy to make a go of it but do not have the necessary foundation to move forward or a clear goal in mind.  You will not succeed.

 

You may learn, after following one or two of the three activities above that something is not working and you are not getting closer to a level of achievement.  Many of us flounder after getting the foundation and do not continue to apply our skills.  

Get additional information and tactical knowledge from sources beyond the typical educational system.  A mentor may be ideal.  Seminars, articles, blogs, books, and private testimonials on cutting to the quick is also in order.

 

That's it. 

 

As I related in an earlier post, my sons were tall and motivated to play basketball.  They were encouraged by coaches who saw their potential.  The younger son found the pressure too much and quit in his Junior year in high school and eloped.  The older son pushed hard and realized in early college play that there were too many competitors who were much better than he was.  He could have stayed 'in the business' and coached or become a sports physician, etc.  But he switched tracks completely.

  

 Sports and music - the entertainment world - is a high stakes game where some early 'talent' can be whipped into stardom.  The risks are very high, the rewards high but the failure rate is astronomical.  Even with great motivation, but without superior ability and staying power, you cannot succeed.  And in these high reward big money enterprises there are, unfortunately, managers and agents - publishers and attorneys - who are there to cut out a huge part of the winnings.

 

In business, the road is clear on what needs to be done.  With preparation and motivation and ability you can 'make it'.  In sports games there is 'strategy' and so in business.  Strategy is developing a plan of action to achieve an aim.  Tactics is harnessing the available resources to follow and execute the strategy.  The rest is psychological.  You can call it a determination or will to succeed, self-motivation.  Think about the locker room talks coaches have with their players.  It is about motivation. 

TACTICS for Business

A. The quick break: see an opportunity and act quickly to get ahead

B. The fake: your competition will read you going in one direction while you take a better route to your goal

C. Full court press: resist your competition man to man, hold them at bay while you maneuver to your goal.

D. Forward pass: while the competition is rushing you, operate above and beyond their ability to block you, bypassing their strategy.

E. Steal the ball: while your competition is mismanaging their tactics, take the opportunity and position yourself to get your services contracted.

F.  Drafting: stay right behind the leader as he/she breaks through the pack and gain momentum, timing, and speed.

G.  Keep your head in the game: maybe one of the most important to keep in mind.  You cannot forget the game and be distracted or complacent.  You cannot 'set and forget'.  The game is ongoing and the players change and rules are altered, like laws.  Nothing is immutable.

H. Be flexible and adapt: Technology changes, the market changes, competition increases, resources may dwindle, politics and social mores affect how people think and act.  Keep on top of your game at all times.

 

The coxswain (or simply the cox) is the member who sits in the boat facing the bow, steers the boat, and coordinates the power and rhythm of the rowers - by communicating to the crew through a device called a cox box and speakers. (Wikipedia)

I.  If you are in charge: Keep your staff informed, educated, and motivated.  Make sure they respect you as you lead your company.  Reward them when they do well and coach them back when off track.

 

We are surrounded by competition who is mastering every possible way to brand and market goods and services to gain a larger and larger percentage of  'market share'.  The corporate companies have huge budgets and the small players are marginalized.  Creating your niche may be a way to overcome this disadvantage.  

Have you heard the idiom: "level the playing field"?  It is about playing by the same rules.  But the 'rules' in business can be broken in legal and illegal ways.  We have to watch out for those who are unscrupulous.

 

Right now, after ten or more years relying on digital methods, I see more opportunity and success in going back to the tried and true methods: personal contact and relationship building.  Physical and psychological persuasion through print ads, flyers, mailers, cold calls, etc.

That is not to say abandon the internet, social media, SEO, etc. -- because there is a coming generation that was babysat and raised with digital devices, and now believes in their use explicitly and operates day to day using mostly these methods alone and we need to use them also to make connections.  This generation actually prefers the text, email, and social media in many of their pursuits and entertainment over human interaction.

Digital media and communications is actually a cost-effective way of posting your business and marketing it.  The question is: how effective is it per hour and dollar vs. personal contact and physical advertising.

 

Best wishes for a positively motivated, strategically planned and tactically successful life and business~~~!

If you would like more ideas on strategy, tactics, and motivation by members of AR see the Mother Of All Blogs here!

 

++++++++++++++++++

 

And if you are motivated to build but don't have a strategy or tactical plans (blueprints!) you will need to consult an architect to create the best design for your investment, keeping in mind the many steps and items required to make your vision a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 02/12/2019 01:00 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Tags:
setting realistic goals
strategy motivation and business tactics
business analogy to sports

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Rainmaker
801,248
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good morning 

Thank you for sharing your information with us John Henry 

Have a great day.

12/02/2018.  

Dec 02, 2018 07:45 AM #1
Rainmaker
2,844,466
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello John Henry,  Great blog and lots of lessons to be learn from it.  Can I reblog it sometime?

 

Dec 02, 2018 08:07 AM #2
Rainmaker
475,659
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
In Tune with your Real Estate Needs - Olympia WA

Wow - there is a lot here to consider! Thanks for your very thoughtful post, and great timing for the year ahead.

Dec 02, 2018 09:15 AM #3
Ambassador
3,577,256
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John- I'm still trying to take this all in!!! Since I'm a huge sports fan (football ) I relate to sports analogies. Larry had a co-worker who could have played pro golf if he had the desire. And that was it...he had the skills and talent but lacked the desire. 

We have another friend's son who played baseball and college football (on a scholarship) He was good but not great. Where he was smart was in recognizing who he was. He got a masters in sports management and went to work for the Texans. 

Dec 02, 2018 04:55 PM #4
Rainmaker
3,848,529
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Business can be compared to many sports.  All take training and planning to be successful

Dec 02, 2018 06:30 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,643,353
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John.

What a great post this was.  I've got to get this one bookmarked to share with our agents.  Carol Williams here you go, one to consider for Saturday 

Dec 03, 2018 01:18 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,043,078
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hello John - I did not participate much(as in NONE) sports in school or in fun but the analogies are still beneficial.  In ActiveRain and in life. Signed, the last one chosen for the team.  The learned lessons as well as the observations while sitting on the bench can be/are invaluable. 

Dec 03, 2018 06:56 AM #7
Rainmaker
4,957,624
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

You have packed much advice and and many recommendations in a single blog. Well done!

 

Dec 06, 2018 10:53 AM #8
Ambassador
3,577,256
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                              

                                           Thank you, John. 

Dec 08, 2018 05:45 PM #9
Rainmaker
3,638,065
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning John Henry,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah" moments for the week! It was a lot to take in and a lot to walk away with. Your analogy's are so appropriate. In our family we have some wonderful athletes. My son was a competitive swimmer earned a scholarship to Clemson. He is a marathon runner and completed 2 Ironmen competitions. He is disciplined, a pro at setting and attaining goals. He is compassionate, a wonderful father, husband and son and a astute business man with his own real estate company. This all came about by having faith in his abilities, being loved and encouraged but most of all by keeping his mind and head in the game of both life and business. Yes he is a digital pro BUT he understands this business is a people business and his interaction and one on one face meetings are the best business. People love and respect him. They know what to expect everytime...the right thing to always be done! Integrity..an asset not everyone displays. Wonderful post John as always!

Dec 09, 2018 05:37 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,674,911
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hello John - I also found your post on this week's "ah ha moments" of Kathy Streib .

Your post is full of take-aways. This point rings especially true to me:

"you must make realistic goals based on your personal abilities, have available time and resources to learn your craft or skill, and motivation to succeed.  There are always seemingly attractive shortcuts and quicker ways to 'make big bucks'.  A profession is not built on shortcuts though. "

Dec 09, 2018 07:10 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,442,703
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

John, there is a lot to unpack in there. Great tips for anyone who wishes to be in business.

Dec 09, 2018 01:48 PM #12
Rainmaker
927,446
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

The greatest take away was "I see more opportunity and successi n going back to the tried and true methods" although it may not apply to sports as much as it does to business. It's a trend that's been growing for a decade or more.

Dec 09, 2018 02:35 PM #13
Rainmaker
588,990
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Your post is lengthy and covers a lot of ground.

One thing that I gleaned is that natural talent is a blessing that will take you only so far. Talent must be combined with hard work, training, goal setting and perseverance in order to be successful.

Dec 09, 2018 02:57 PM #14
Rainmaker
454,436
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

WOW! So much to think about!

Analogies are a great way to relate. Very thoughtful presentation, John Henry which will be helpful in sorting out business future goals.
Bruce

 

Dec 09, 2018 07:59 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,183,971
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Wow!  I'm blown away by the depth and magnitude of this article, John Henry ... congratulations on such a wonderful piece!  Being a sports fan (and old athlete), I enjoyed the message and analogies immensely ...

Gene

Dec 10, 2018 10:55 AM #16
Rainmaker
254,505
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
California Homes for Sale in the East Bay

Hi John! Great Post! Definitely thought-provoking, realistic insights. Looking forward to your next blog!

Dec 10, 2018 01:14 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,295,625
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Thanks for another in-depth and thought-provoking post. In our businesses, I agree that preparation, motivation, ability, strategy, tactics all play into success. Thank you.

Dec 11, 2018 04:29 AM #18
Rainer
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Janet Rickstrew
Zowee Products - Englewood, CO
Customized Closing Gift that generates referrals

Excellent blog and perspective all the way around!  Thank you John Henry.

Dec 11, 2018 08:18 AM #19
Rainmaker
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Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Shall we call this post a slam dunk? Congrats on another feature.

Dec 11, 2018 12:05 PM #20
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