Golf Lesson Learnings

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Episode #29: Golf Lesson Learnings

I was recently playing golf, and I thought there were some really great analogies between golf and entrepreneurship. So here are eight rules from golf that apply to the business world.


When I look at my week, I look at my Rock sheet and see what my goals are for my quarter. This helps me work daily or weekly on my quarterly goal. Just like golf, you have to practice to get better. You have to practice at your goals to get better at them.


Have fun! My golf instructor said, “I am creating golfers and golfers have fun.” When you have fun, you relax, and more ideas start to flow. Have fun creating amazing products and don’t get too focused on where you want to go that you forget about enjoying yourself.


When we think about working with organizations or our employees, it’s the same setup. The same setup to get someone motivated is the same for person A or person B. We should be focused on what our strategy or setup is so that everyone is on the same page. When you golf and change the club, that doesn’t change your game. You’re just changing your tool.


Slow down. Everything worth it takes time. If you’re feeling some nerves, that’s great! It shows that you care.


Your call to action this week is to think about these 8 items:


  1. Where do you have a system that’s working for you?
  2. Where are you practicing?
  3. Where are you feeling a little bit nervous that shows that you care?
  4. Where are you having fun?
  5. No matter what the club, the setup is the same.
  6. Slow down in order to speed up.
  7. Don’t kill the birdie.
  8. It’s not about the ball or the goal. It’s about the person you become along the way.
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Hello and welcome to episode number 29 of the Strategy Corner where a goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michelle Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. On today’s episode I’m talking to you about a strategy that I learned while playing golf lessons or while playing golf I would say. I just started taking lessons with a friend a couple of weeks ago at a local golf course called Dubsdread and the gentleman that does the golf lessons is amazing and right away in our first lesson he had us sitting around in a half circle and telling us all about golf and all I could think about was how much all of his lessons that he was teaching us were related to business and strategy. So, I decided to do a podcast that actually focused in on what he was sharing and specifically what things related to strategy and business.


I hope you enjoy this episode because I think it’s a lot of fun. You hear so many times people using sports references for business development and for growth within organizations and I personally have never really played a sport. I did more dance when I was growing up. So, I never was involved that highly into sports, nor was I really trying or thinking about how that relates to business. But while I was sitting there around this half circle with other individuals, I was in the mindset of how can I relate this to work? And things just really started showing up for me. So, I’m going to begin. The first one that he talked about was system. So, he was saying that everything starts with your system. And when he said that, I thought about how I utilize EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system, as a system to help people strategize, to figure out where they want to go and how they can get there.


And in this situation, he was talking about a system when it comes to golf, how you have to have a system in order to play well. The system could be specifically, you know, how you show up in the morning, what’s your system for, you know, getting to the golf course when you get there. Do you have a system for possibly drinking coffee before you go out or how do you set yourself up to make sure that you do the best golf or create the best game you can? So, the first thing he talked about was system. And I just really loved how that associated with not only the system that I utilized for EOS, but the systems that I utilize in my life. When I wake up in the morning, I have a system for getting myself started in the day, in the evening, I have a system of ending my day on a right note.


There are so many systems that individually we create throughout our life and we don’t really realize how they really affect or they affect our effectiveness or our ineffectiveness. So, it’s really noticing your system and realizing if it’s working for you. The second thing he talked about was practice. Now, you’re not going to get any better without practicing he said. And with that, I thought about that as well. Because practice to me when it comes to golf not only is it the Saturdays when I go out and I practice with the coach, but it’s even practicing out my front yard. He showed us really simple tactics where we could actually put a ball down or put like two balls down and leaving some space in the middle where there’s no ball so you could practice your swing. So, right away we think, well practicing, I would have to go back out to the range.


I’d need to figure out time to get there. When in reality I could practice on my side yard and get some practice there and really practice the fundamental thing to golf, which is a swing. He also showed us how to practice not looking or how you keep your head down and when you turn you don’t move your whole body. So, he showed us how we can practice that at home, that motion. So, what this really had reminded me of when it comes to work and business was in EOS. We have a thing called a level 10 meeting. So, every week the leadership team gets together and they follow this particular outline for a meeting. It’s a 90-minute meeting, but they practice working together better. They practice solving issues, they practice being more connected and actually rowing in the same direction. Same with if you have an individual meeting, a lot of you out there might own your own businesses like myself.


And I just incorporated the practice of sitting down with myself every Monday and reviewing my calendar for the week. You know, writing down what I really want to accomplish for the week. What are some fun things that I have that are set up for the week? So, what it does is it helps me to see if I’m going in the right direction, I know where I want to go, right? It’s just do I have things on my calendar that are going to get me there. And it also aligns with what I have this individual meeting. I also set rocks for my company. So, rocks is another term that EOS utilizes and most people call it goals. So, when I look at my week, I want to look at my rock sheet and to see what do I actually wanna accomplish this quarter? And then I make sure that I’ve got something on my calendar that aligns with those things.


My big thought and idea is that when you have a goal for a quarter, you don’t just wait until the last week to go ahead and take care of that goal. If you do little chunks, like every week, maybe even just take 30 minutes to work on that one particular thing. In the end you’ll be able to accomplish the goal, the rock, and you’ll do it in a more relaxed and effective manner. So practice, I could definitely see where yes, you have to practice golf to get better and you have to practice these key things that you do within your organization and your life to get better as well. Number three, nerves. He said nerves are totally normal. And he said, it just means that you care about something. So, his question was, how do you live with nerves? And that’s where he was sharing. You know, the more that you practice, the more that you have a system, the more that those nerves can subside.


And I know this relates to business as well because, and life, I think we all get nervous sometimes because we care. And when he said you get nervous because you care, it made it not mean anything about me, about how I wasn’t maybe living up to my potential because I was nervous, but more like this is something that everyone feels, he was even giving examples of how highly successful golf players still feel nervous when they get up to the tee. So, that made me feel normal. That made me feel like this is totally something that’s supposed to happen. Not something that’s going wrong, but something that’s totally happening. And I related it back to it’s because I really care and I do really care. I want my clients to succeed. I want my family to succeed. And I sometimes do get nervous when my daughter maybe is competing in a match or when my maybe a group that I’m coaching and a group I’m working with where they’ve got some really tough challenges ahead of them and some issues they need to work through.


I do get nervous that the team might not be able to make it or the team might get frustrated and give up. I do get nervous because I want every company to succeed that I work with and I want every individual to succeed. So, I do get a little nervous about that. But realizing that that’s totally normal, helps me to realize and helps me to understand how I can work with those nerves and still be effective. Number four, have fun. He quoted said, I am creating golfers and golfers have fun and it’s a learned trait. For me when I hear I’m creating golfers and golfers have fun, it really makes me realize that we shouldn’t take each other too seriously because it is all about having fun. And when you have fun, you relax and more ideas come up and you’re more of yourself and you can really get in the zone of creating amazing work, creating amazing products, creating an amazing golf round.


So, have fun was something that I really loved that he shared because it’s very influential in creating the things that we want to create. We just sometimes forget that we get so focused on where we want to go that we totally forget that we need to have fun along the way. Number five, no matter what the club, the setup is the same. So, what he meant by this and what he explained to us was that some people think that when they have a different club in their hand, they need to act differently. Now, he says that your hands will slightly change on the club itself, but for the most part the swing is the same. And so what I loved about that was when I work with individuals or when you work with people within your organization, that just helps you to understand that no matter what the organization is the organization, the setup is the same.


It’s how you interact. It’s naturally how you engage with others. Same with developing a strategy and getting everyone rowing in the right direction. So, when we think about working with organizations, working with our employees on getting them back on track, it is the same setup. We know that in order for people to get things done, they have to go ahead and write it down. They need to get agreements from their employees. They need to get commitments from themselves. The same things, the same setup that it takes to get someone motivated is the same thing when we’re dealing with person a or person B. So, it doesn’t matter that they’re different. It matters that we approach them in a manner that we know will get results and we know what the setup is. I mentioned getting everyone rowing in the same direction. EOS also has a system where we talk about, you know, getting the leadership to row in the same direction, getting the right people in the right seat.


We need to always be focusing on what is our strategy, what is our setup so that we can go ahead and approach things n a professional manner and ensure that we get the results we’re looking for. Number six, slow down, have realistic expectations. Everything that is worth it takes time. Now, this is a big one for me because I can be someone who can easily fall into that doing category, doing this, doing that, doing this and I know to be more effective in what I do, being is more important than doing. I mean I always do things, I’m always completing what I say I’m going to do, but when it comes to being, that’s where you get into slowing down and really having a chance to think about your clients, to think about your employees, to think about your boss, like what would be best for me to do in a certain situation.


And this also in golf, slowing down means when he was explaining it to us, it’s you have a swing but you don’t need to rush through it and how you really could slow down to actually get better at golf. And I think it was just a great analogy to make me realize and remind me to focus on slowing down every day in my life because I know I’ll get better results not only in golf but also in the people I work with and then my family as well. Number seven, don’t kill the birdie by holding on too tight. So, our coach was explaining that he gives examples, especially to the juniors about like something about a hotdog in a bun or something, but in this case he was telling us, don’t kill the birdie. So, what that means is when you’re holding the golf club, don’t squeeze it so tight that you kill the bird.


And I think that it was a great analogy because I know for myself as someone who is very motivated, someone who you know sets things and gets things done, I can tend to hold on too tight, hold on too tight to an outcome that I was expecting. Hold on too tight to getting to my next appointment. Hold on too tight when I’m talking with a prospect and hoping it goes well. When in reality if I just let go and loosened up my grip, I’ll have a much better outcome when it comes to all of those things I described. Plus, I won’t be stressing myself out. So, when he talked about holding the golf club, he just reminds us to don’t kill the birdie. And so I actually utilize that in my life now when I feel like I’m holding on too tight. And you know when you’re holding on too tight, right?


Like your back starts to her, you get a headache, you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. Just let go and say don’t kill the birdie and that will allow you to get back to reality and realize you’re living, you’re breathing, you’re healthy. Check. Don’t kill the birdie because everything’s gonna work out just fine. And then the eighth thing, which I really, really loved, was it’s not about the ball. And to me I referenced into is not about the goal as well. So, it’s not about the ball, it’s not about the goal in the situation with the goal. It’s the person that you become along the way. When it’s in relation to the ball. It’s not about the ball, it’s how you swung. Where did the ball go? So, in both of these examples, who did you become to hit that ball? You had to slow down, you had to have a practice, you had to have a system, all these things that you had to do in order to actually hit that ball really well.


Same with having a goal. You know, you might have a goal to, again, I use weight loss because it’s so easy to think about. But if you have a goal to lose 10 pounds and in the first quarter and you didn’t make it to 10 pounds, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means that you didn’t meet the goal. Okay? So let’s think, what did I actually do? So, you can look back and see, well I didn’t lose 10 pounds, but maybe I lost five and I’ve actually cut out eating sweets at night. And I’m a person now who goes to the gym three times a week. So, we so many times look at a place we want to go and if we don’t actually get there the way we thought we’re going to get there, we can see that as a failure or a loss, but in reality we’re always winning because it’s not about the goal, it’s about the person you become along the way.


It’s about that person who realizes that they don’t need to be eating chips at nighttime. It’s about that person who now goes to the gym and wakes up fresh in the morning, excited about the opportunities that are coming that day. So, we can get so hung up about was our golf swing the best? Was the goal? Did I achieve it? And we forget about the person that we become a long way. The person who now goes and practices in their side yard and enjoys fresh air. The person who now goes and golfs on Saturday and can play with their dad now because they’ve learned how to play and they won’t embarrass themselves. Yes. That’s what I’m trying to get to so I can actually play with my dad and not feel like I’m holding everybody back. So, to be continued on that, but again, it’s not about the ball.


So, now it’s time for your call to action this week. Think about these eight things that I shared and notice. Where are you? Number one, have a system that’s working for yourself. Number two, where are you practicing? Number three, where are you feeling a little bit nervous and can realize that it’s because you care. Number four, where are you having fun or where do you need to create fun to move the ball forward, to have a good time while you’re accomplishing your goals? Number five, no matter what the club, the setup is the same, so no, what you want to achieve, a lot of times the setup is the same. Don’t overthink it. Number six, slow down. Where in your life do you need to slow down in order to speed up? Number seven, don’t kill the birdie. Yes, release your hands, relax and enjoy yourself.


Life is not that tough. Number eight. It’s not about the ball or the goal, it’s the person you become along the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed my sharings of my first couple golf lessons and the amazing things that I learned that totally relate to the business world and to strategy and to all the things that I really enjoy. Now, please go to iTunes, Stitcher, Google play, and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. Go to my website,, and sign up to get my weekly blog posts, which also has a link to the latest podcast. Until next time, remember through action and growth progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you and create an amazing week.