4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From Sports

Do you have friends who are full of great advice, but you have never seen them take any risks? I’m talking about that unsolicited wingman with whom we share what we’re excited about doing and they punch tons of holes in the dream like a prize Mayweather fight! I used to have a few friends just like that. (Yep, used to have.) They had plenty to say while they lived life as an employed zombie chained to the almighty time clock of the dreaded nine-to-fiver.

One guy I grew up with had his MBA, passed the bar, and took some undergrad accounting. He was one of the most educated Duke-kind of guys I knew from the ‘hood. Here’s the punchline: He worked as a bike mechanic in a Schwinn shop until he finally owned his own bike store. I asked him why he let his folks spend a motherlode of tuition for all that school and he had a great answer. “I followed the path my parents wanted until I was finally strong enough to follow my dreams.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Nine-to-five isn’t a bad gig for those who want it. In fact, someone has to do it – it just ain’t me! I simply can’t thrive in that life. I’ll use an awesome sports analogy I got from a church pastor to show you what I mean. He asked this, “Are you really in the game?” Sports gives a great view of the few types of people in this world who are ready to give business advice:

  1. The Spectator – This guy just loves showing up, sitting in the stands, and watching the game. He’s a great audience. He’s along for the ride!
  2. The Participator – This guy loves showing up, siting in the stands, and knows every stat, and watching the game. He plays hoops on the weekends and is just happy to be a part of the sport he loves.
  3. The Poser – This guy loves showing up, sitting in the stands, knows every stat, yells and shouts and throws tantrums, takes credit for when he suggests plays to the guy next to him and the team wins, but he never ever – and I mean EVER – played the game.
  4. The Player – This is the guy who has such a passion for the sport, knows all the stats, dreamed of playing it, and did everything he could to do just that. This guy took a risk, put himself out there, took the beating, kept on going, and played his heart out.

What does this have to do with online marketing? EVERYTHING, my dear friends. Everything.

Online marketing is not something you can just putz around with. Do you think Michael Jordan or Walter Payton just putz around? The keyword is COMMITMENT. You will get out of it what you put into it, just like an athlete. That is the difference between the guy that plays hoops on the weekends and the guy that made millions playing and doing something he really loves! So tell me, which guy/gal are you?

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