Basketball legend Michael Jordan is one of the most decorated and iconic athletes of all time. He wasn’t just respected for his talent on the court. It was his unbreakable mindset and knack for thriving under pressure that won him the respect of fans, players and coaches alike. What set him apart?
He was obsessed with getting better. The Chicago Bulls superstar paid a private statistician to watch him play, and pay close attention to the things he did wrong. He was always looking for opportunities to learn from his mistakes. He wasn’t just shoring up his weak points – he was constantly trying to build on his strengths and his success, too.
Michael Jordan was firing on all cylinders and at the pinnacle of the sport, he wanted to be even better. When he won his first NBA championship, he held up two fingers, not just the one, to signal the ring he was going to win the following season. When he won his second championship, he held up three fingers. Always looking to the NEXT conquest. Never, ever, satisfied with what he’d accomplished up to that point.
The fact is that whether you’re an NBA Superstar or a Trade Business Owner, if you’re in the game, you’re going to make mistakes.
Whether it’s growing and scaling your business, quoting, operations, being on the tools, or any other facet of your business, you’ve got to change your relationship with mistakes and failure – because no matter how good you are, they’re coming.
This article is going to help you cultivate the Michael Jordan mindset of failing forward.
We’ve all had those times in business, or life, where you just can’t put a foot wrong. Maybe you’ve met that special someone, business is booming, the sun’s shining, or you bought a house in your dream location. Other times, everything seems to go pear-shaped. Whether you’re booming or struggling, you need to be switched on and moving forward.
First, let’s look at failure. What if every failure was an opportunity for growth?
Now this might sound like a motivational cliche – but it’s a very, very powerful mentality if you’re really living it. The first thing you need to accept is the pain and suffering that inevitably comes with messing up.
Rejection hurts. And so it should. Why? Because all great things are built from a place of pain. If it was easy, everyone would have a multi-million dollar trade business. Everyone would have 6 NBA Titles. The immense hurt you feel drives you to make something better.
Academy founder Greg Allan almost went out of business on three separate occasions, before he got his systems right and skyrocketed his trade business – but each time he came back stronger, learnt lessons, and made his business better.
It’s through the pain and hard stuff that tradies actually push through and find better solutions. In any form of growth, there is some element of pain, and some element of getting stronger. You go through a big situation, you’re demotivated for a few days.
That’s an opportunity for growth. It’s an opportunity to put your business back together, to put your life back together, put your staff management back together, put your processes back together, put your systems back together, so they’re a little bit stronger next time. Remember, when Michael Jordan was having an off-day and missing a lot of shots, he didn’t go missing. He kept demanding the ball, and kept trying to score.
This can be tough for a tradie who’s been rejected over and over and over again. It’s normal to start questioning yourself – but here’s the bottom line.
The tradies who push through the feeling of rejection and keep going, are always going to beat the ones who don’t.
Growing pain is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot – there’s a reason we don’t call it growing joy. It’s meant to fucking hurt.
How do YOU respond to hardships in business, and in life?
Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. What’s your mindset when the good times are rolling?
Many tradies aren’t concerned with getting better when things are going well. What we’ve actually identified in the Academy is that lots of tradies actually have a fear of success. We see it turn up all the time in goal-setting. Their objectives are modest. For whatever reason, tradies often don’t comprehend their true potential.
You’ve got to be learning during success and failure, not just when you’re failing. What are the things that are going well? Maybe you’ve unlocked the formula for scaling within your business, but you might not know it yet because you’re not thinking about it.
That’s why your goal needs to be massive.
Look at where Tesla and Elon Musk were just five years ago. Look at them today.
Never get stuck looking down or backwards, always focus on your future vision, and ask yourself the right questions. At the end of the day, be the person you were always created to be. Successful, encouraging, kind, and hard-working.
Michael Jordan’s personal coach Tim Grover was famous for this handwritten message to a superstar client; “The only way to have what you truly want, is to be who you truly are”.