Vince Lombardi & Success
Vince Lombardi is perhaps the most famous coach in American sports history. In 1959 he took over as coach and general manager of the lowly Green Bay Packers and in a few short years created a football dynasty. Vince Lombardi became so respected and admired that the championship trophy that is handed out to the winner of the Super Bowl is aptly named the Lombardi trophy. Recently, Lombardi was remembered on the 100th anniversary of his birth. This occasion gives us time to reflect and celebrate the life of a man, not for his wins and losses on the gridiron, but for the example he set and wisdom he passed on to future generations.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” ~Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi has many famous quotes attributed to him. When you read a collection of Lombardi quotes, a picture is painted of a man that was relentlessly driven, was willing to make sacrifices to obtain success, and would persevere through all hardships to achieve his goal. As a football coach, each week that goal was to obtain a victory on Sunday. However, Lombardi knew that the game was never won or lost on Sunday but was decided in the days that led up to that game. Because of this, Lombardi attacked each week with relentless vigor as he planned, prepared, and put in the work that would lead to victory on Sunday.
On Sundays, football success is measured through wins and losses on game day. As real estate investors, financial market traders, and entrepreneurs, you also have your game-day moments where you put your knowledge and skills to the test. These game-day moments might be placing a trade, negotiating a real estate deal, or making a presentation to investors. Similar to football, how you prepare for these game-day moments will have a tremendous impact on how successful you are when the moment arrives. How Vince Lombardi prepared for his game day can provide a tremendous amount of insight and guidance on how you should approach preparation for your own game-day moment.
“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” ~ Vince Lombardi
On the Monday after a game, Lombardi would bring the team together and review what went right and what went wrong in the game the day before. Regardless of whether the team won or lost, he would obsess about every detail that was not performed flawlessly in the previous game. He realized that perfection was not obtainable, but that in order to become great one must relentlessly pursue perfection. By identifying the mistakes that were made, and working persistently to correct these mistakes, his team would be better prepared the next time they hit the field.
Regardless of our chosen entrepreneurial field, we will make mistakes from time to time. One of the greatest strengths of Rich Dad Education’s elite trainings and mentoring programs is that they are taught by experienced trainers and mentors. Through their years of experience, they can help you avoid some of the common mistakes that investors make, provide guidance, and help identify your areas of weakness. This guidance leaves you better prepared to succeed in your chosen investing area.
While your game-day moments are likely to occur multiple times during a week, you should take the time to reflect on your performance. Evaluate how you performed at these key moments and attempt to identify areas in which you did not perform flawlessly. Since you are judging your performance by an incredibly high standard, you are likely to find many flaws. Realize this is an opportunity to identify areas where you can improve to be the best investor and entrepreneur that you can possibly be. If you beat yourself up too much, remember what Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Tuesday through Friday
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi
During the week, Lombardi would implement his game plan and put his players through a practice routine that would make grown men cry. There were never moments where he let his team simply go through the motions. Time was limited and every moment had to be maximized to increase the chances of success. Plays were run over and over and over. Players were put to their physical extreme each day so they could have the best chance possible to succeed the following Sunday. Hard work was a given and the players were expected to treat every moment of every practice like it was a game-day moment.
Too many novice investors feel that they are entitled to success with even a minimal effort. They think that if they read a book, or take a class, then escaping the Rat Race should be a given. Obtaining the proper knowledge to succeed is a critical component to success – but it is not the only one. The hard work you put it, and seriousness in which you approach your chosen entrepreneurial activity, will often be the determinant of whether you succeed or not.
As Lombardi said, it is not just about putting in hard work and practice. If you truly want to “catch excellence,” then you will take your study and preparation very seriously. Each time you sit down to study or practice a technique, approach it with the goal of becoming perfect at what you are studying. If there is something you don’t quite understand, then take the time to dig deeper until you do understand. If you are practicing a stock trade, then do it time and time again until it becomes second nature to you. If you are going to make a presentation to potential investors, then take the time to make your presentation perfect. At times this may grow tedious, but it is a small price to pay for the potential rewards that await you.
Lombardi made his players pay the price during the week but on Saturdays, as the game was approaching, he loosened up and even joked around with his players. Lombardi knew that his team had used their time wisely in the previous days and was fully prepared for the coming game. He wanted his players to play loose and be confident that the work they had just put in would pay off. As you put in your own hard work, you will gain this same level of confidence.
One could analyze the life of Lombardi and argue that to him winning was secondary compared to the dedication, perseverance, and discipline that went into the preparation process. He even commented that he regretted saying “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” as that wasn’t a true reflection of how he felt. Lombardi knew that success and winning were simply the inevitable outcomes of this process. If you equate escaping the Rat Race with winning, then focusing on how to prepare for your game-day moments will greatly increase your chances of escape.