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How to Be a Hall Of Famer

How to Be a Hall Of Famer

By: Jim Fannin

Yes. This is a 54-year old statue of me as an eleven year-old Little Leaguer with dreams of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was then I became aware of this shrine of 306 Hall of Fame members (68 members are still living). These men are the greatest baseball players ever. I’ve wanted to go to this museum in Cooperstown, New York for over 50 years. Finally, I’ll visit the Hall for the first time as an honored guest of my client Frank Thomas. I’m feeling like a kid again.

What is greatness? How does one become a Hall of Fame member? Physical and mental talent is needed. That’s for sure! However, there were thousands of men with exceptional talent that never graced this shrine of excellence. Thousands more with amazing prowess and skill will fail to be honored as an all-time great. Is there a formula for greatness?

I’ve learned that greatness is reaching a high daily standard over a long period of time. The differential between one’s best and worst performances must be small. Any long period of inferiority will surely mar one’s chances of being one of the all-time greats.
What is your standard of performance? This is a minimum requirement for a satisfactory performance. What would you call a standard day?

Most professions and all sports have metrics to measure performance. A salesperson can measure closing ratios and a golfer can measure greens in regulation to showcase how each measures up to the rest of the performers in their field. You know when your performances are poor and inferior. You know when you are in the Zone and your performance is over the top. It is your daily standard, however, that is the true measure of your greatness.

Attitude plays the most significant role in reaching your high daily standard. How you react when things don’t go your way dictates reaching this minimum requirement for a solid performance. The mental balance of self-discipline, concentration, optimism, relaxation and enjoyment is crucial for reaching this performance state.
Too many times my clients try to reach their ultimate state of performance. This “try” factor gets in their way every time. Allowing for the Zone to arrive is the key. Reaching your minimum standard is paramount.
This past weekend professional golfer Rory McIlroy won the British Open. In his press conference he mentioned it was “the process” that helped him win his third major title. By having solid mental and physical routines before, during and after a performance one can more readily reach a daily standard. Do you have these routines in place in your life?

Frank Thomas had a series of routines that he enjoyed during his illustrious baseball career. Even before he entered the on-deck circle, prior to his next at bat, his routines were being checked off. These routines of mental and physical preparation kept him confident and always ready to reach a solid performance.
Inspect your life and see what routines are in place. Do you have morning routines before work? Do you have routines before any management, school, sales, sports or other performance? Do they help you get off to a solid start? Do you have routines of adjustment if something goes wrong? Do you have routines after you are finished? What routines do you have before you go to sleep?

Frank Thomas had great routines that he adjusted throughout his career. His self-awareness and visualization skills were both utilized to help him prepare, adjust and evaluate every performance. Why not you?
As I embark on my Cooperstown journey, the Hall of Fame members that I’ll meet all have one thing in common. They reached a high daily standard over a long period of time. I look forward to saluting them and their achievements.

The six newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will take their permanent place in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 27, highlighting four days of celebratory events and programs for baseball fans of all ages, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend this July 25-28.
The Induction Ceremony will feature six Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees. They are Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and my client Frank Thomas. They will be enshrined at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 27 at the Clark Sports Center – with the Induction Ceremony shown live on MLB Network.

Thomas, who was named on 83.7 percent of all ballots cast, hit 521 home runs over 19 seasons in the big leagues, batting .301 while driving in 1,704 runs. Thomas won back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1993-94, led the AL in on-base percentage four times and captured the 1997 AL batting title. The five-time All-Star posted seven straight seasons (1991-97) with at least a .300 batting average, 100 RBI, 100 walks and 20 home runs, the longest such stretch in big league history. Thomas, named on 478 ballots in his first year on the ballot, is the first player elected to the Hall of Fame who played the majority of his games as a designated hitter. I was there every step of the way. As Frank makes his way to the podium to deliver his acceptance speech, I’ll be the one in the audience with a tear in his eye. It seems surreal. Over 20 years ago I asked Frank Thomas the same question I’ve asked over 1500 professional athlete clients, “What do you want and why am I here?” Only three have said, “Hall of Fame.” This Sunday, our journey will be complete and my childhood dream will be realized.

I leave for Cooperstown tomorrow. Dreams come true.

Word of the Week: Prowess (noun). skill or expertise in a particular activity or field. “She has great prowess as a salesperson.”

Fanninism: “Greatness is reaching a high daily standard over a long period of time.”

Zone Fact: Trying and definitely over-trying will repel the Zone as opposed to letting the Zone come to you.

Mr. Caudill’s Apples

Mr. Caudill’s Apples

By Jim Fannin

“Dad, can I have a dollar?” He replied with a laugh, “I don’t have a dollar. You’ll have to earn your own dollar.” “Well, how do I do that?” I asked with the utmost naiveté. My father looked me in the eye and said, “You can’t make a buck until you sell something or do something. That’s a job!”

With that thought I walked to the nearby gas station and asked for a job. The man looked at me and laughed, “Your Dad know you’re here?” “No sir,” I politely replied. “Well, I’ll pay you ten cents a day to wipe the car windshields.” After four attempts that took too long with poor results, he gently fired me. I was too short to provide the “something to do” to make a buck. And it would’ve taken me forever to make a buck. Providing a service was not going to get it done. I was almost eight years old at the time.

A few days later I was trying my best to help my father wash his old, beat-­‐up Buick. It was 1957 and he wished he had a nicer car. In fact, my Dad wanted to drive a brand new Thunderbird convertible. He dreamed of being behind the wheel of this exquisite automobile. “Why don’t you get that car?” I innocently asked. “That’s a rich man’s car,” he replied. “How do you get rich?” I pondered aloud. “Forget rich, I can’t even get a job,” exclaimed my father. “Me neither,” I thought. I didn’t tell him because I wasn’t allowed down at the gas station. Of course, he later found out anyway. We lived in Morehead, Kentucky and everybody knew everybody’s business. However…in just a few minutes, I was about to learn all I needed to know about getting a job and even more importantly…how to get rich.

My father broke it down like this. “Look across the fence, Jimmy. That’s where the money is. Mr. Caudill owns the lumberyard in town and everybody needs lumber. He’s rich. We’re poor. Everyone on this side of the fence rents a house. Everyone on the other side owns a house. If you want to have money, you need to go where the money is. The money is over there.” “Hmmm.” And that’s all I needed to know.

The next day I took my red wagon and filled it with apples I found on the ground by a small orchard down by the creek. Then I knocked on Mr. Caudill’s door and when he answered I said, “My name is Jimmy Fannin, would you like to buy some apples?” Stunned by my size and diminutive bravado he asked, “How much?” And with all of the courage I could muster I said, “You can have them all for $1.” He immediately left the doorway and came back with a buck. My first sale was made. Of course Mr. Caudill would later laugh while telling the story of buying his own apples from his orchard from Jimmy Fannin for a dollar.

Capitalism at its finest. This is probably how Wall Street got started. Don’t they still do it like this?

Later, my mother was reading a copy of Life magazine. When she finished she threw it in the wastebasket. “Is it still good? I asked. “What do you mean Jimmy?” asked Mom. “Is it still good to read by someone else?” “Absolutely,” replied my unsuspecting mother. In fact, she had just helped me launch my second business.

The next day I went to the rich side of the fence and asked the rich if I could have their old magazines after they read them. All said yes. I collected them like a trash man and loaded them in my red wagon. Then I went to the poor side and took orders for weekly and monthly deliveries of the most popular periodicals. Of course, I sold them for half price and delivered them about a week after the rich had read them. I controlled the supply and there was plenty of demand.

The United States unemployment rate in May 2015 is at 5.5% with 8.7 million people out of work. Most believe these statistics are way too low. Our economy can definitely be better. Considering all of the global woes, the future is scary and unknown. There are plenty of reasons why the world is in this mess.

Look at our country’s economic situation from your perspective. Understand your personal situation with its unique conditions and circumstances. Here are some points to ponder.

  • All kids need a job. That’s right! Start them early. It could be mowing the lawn or cleaning the basement. Teach them how to think. Teach them about money. Teach them the basics of making money, getting a job and developing a
  • You make money by selling a product or a Simple enough!
  • You get rich by selling a whole lot of inexpensive things or a smaller amount of really expensive things.
  • It’s not the gross sales that make you It’s the amount of money you keep after the expenses have been paid. Ok…that’s 101.
  • Whoever takes the most risk in money and time should get the biggest Period.
  • To get and keep a job you need to understand that you will be hired or are hired to impact profit for a Income comes in and expenses go out. Hopefully, there is a profit left over that warrants the sacrifice of time and money for the owner. That’s how you keep a job and hopefully get a raise. Which part of the equation (income or expenses) does your job impact? Maybe it’s both. Whichever it is, maximize it. Make yourself valuable. Make yourself indispensible. Help the owner make money.
  • If there is great demand for a product or service and the supply of it is small then the price will rise. The opposite is also true.
  • Experts make more money than non-­‐experts. This is true especially when the expertise is needed.
  • Show another man how to make money and he doesn’t mind giving you a little money. I’ve made a fortune with this concept.

How do you get a job? How do you get rich? Go sell Mr. Caudill a lot of apples.

Look them in the eye! - Life, Business & Sports Coaching

Look them in the eye!

By Jim Fannin

My father always told me to look a person in the eye and then tell him or her what I wanted. Be direct while holding their gaze.  Of course, this is not for the faint of heart.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, why can’t I take a peek?  What are you hiding from me? Is it me?  Or is it everyone that you meet?  If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what am I hiding?  What am I afraid to reveal?

When you look another person in the eye long enough to discern eye color, a small bond occurs.  One moment in time says I want to know you and you can know me.  Maybe you won’t know me totally, as in all of my private thoughts, but it is a good start.  Eye contact comes from the heart and soul.  It is usually genuine.  Eye contact takes trust.  Eye contact takes confidence.

Now…if you look into someone’s eyes longer than to discern eye color, they may think you’re a little freaky.  Don’t push it.  Stalkers, listen up!  Stop doing this!

Eye contact in today’s society is increasingly rare.  We are fast becoming a distrusting nation.  The media and our experiences have embedded a fear of the unknown.  What is the unknown? Another person’s hopes and dreams are unknown to most. Only one’s intimate family or friends get to peer behind the drawn curtain of the mind.  Even then it can remain closed.  Is the unknown a hidden agenda?  That can be scary.  Especially if they don’t know they have one.

It is the unknown reaction to our concealed thoughts and feelings that causes eye contact trepidation.  We’ve been burned before.  We’ve walked down the short path of trust only to find a dead end of scorn, doubt, ridicule and abandonment.  No way I want to walk into that alley of never-ending false hope again.

Some eye contact is only fishermen or fisherwomen’s lures.  They cast their bait into the waters of loneliness and try to tug the unsuspecting eyes into their boat of lies and deceit.  It makes one want to never venture into the sea again. “Don’t look him in the eye,” our inner voice pleads and begs.  “Look away,” says the whisper from within.  It counsels us on the “hunter with hidden agendas.” We’ve waked away with deaf ears from the intuitive voice of reason on many an occasion.  “I knew it,” we later acknowledge to no one in particular.

Eye contact, however, has so many great benefits.  It can uplift a senior citizen lost in an airport terminal, unsure of their departure gate.  It can encourage a young athlete as you tell them “you can do it.”  It inspires a team as you sweep the assembled participants with a one-by-one look of hope and possibility.  It can soothe a loved one as they crumble to the news of a fallen family member.  It can caress a significant other with a blanket of knowing that all will be good again.  Yes…eye contact is something to wield like a wand of positivity.

Know when to look.  Know when to look away.  Listen to your gut. Then peer into the soul behind the eyes in front of you.

Come on.  Be bold.  You have an army of positivity ready to unleash its power through the front window of your soul.

Look them in the eye!

© Copyright.  All rights reserved. Jim Fannin Brands, Inc., 2015.

15 Business Tips for Uncertain Times

15 Business Tips for Uncertain Times

By: Jim Fannin

Chaos. Uncertainty. Confusion. Bedlam. Doubt. Negativity. Instability. Unpredictable. These words reflect the thoughts of many businessmen and women in today’s vast marketplace. What does one do to secure profits in uncertain times?

A positive attitude is not a panacea for your exports and imports, fierce competition, shrinking margins and higher costs. But it’s a start and it definitely helps. Even with extreme optimism you can still struggle to overcome depression, anxiety and fear when scouring your P/L statement.

You need more business. You need to hold costs. You need loyal and productive team members. You need to focus on today with an eye on the future.

Now unhinge your jaw, breathe, relax and review the following 15 tips to swim like a business champion in a turbulent sea of uncertainty.

  1. Think. Carve out some regular free time to think, ponder and solve challenges. Get alone and clear your mind. No phone or email. No interruptions. Think solutions. Finally, gather your inner circle to help plot your future and think with you. Think out of the box. “What can we do to capture more market share?” Zero in on key challenges. After imagination and creative dissipate to reality, choose a few directions and focus on them. Assign ownership with deadlines.
  2. Dig main income streams deeper and wider. This is a basic. Keep an eye on creating new streams of profitability but don’t dismiss your core income stream. Deal from strength. If viable, get back to the product and service basics that your company was founded. Upgrade your best products and or services.
  3. Circle the wagons around your best customers. All customers matter but start with your best. Contact them. Visit them. Reach out to them and offer them something for nothing. It doesn’t have to cost money. Throw them a bone. Loyalty in uncertain times is a must. Be loyal to them and they will return the favor.
  4. Know your best customers. Ask about their future and ascertain their goals, challenges and major concerns. Mentally invest in their dreams. Become their partner in helping them make more money.
  5. Improve internal communication. Create (if not already) a weekly internal e-letter that espouses the company’s values and successes. This 1-2 page missive can have birthdays and anniversaries if your company is small. This “Inner Voice” communiqué (if consistent) will bolster pride and employee loyalty. The individuals in your company want to be an integral part of something greater than his or herself.
  6. Maximize all processes. Implement or shore up your processes for sales, customer service, hiring, firing, internal communication, etc. Do you have the “XYZ Company” Way?
  7. Customer experience is more important than ever. Follow your prospective customer through the entire customer relationship experience. Your customers might be having chaos and uncertainty as well, so make your relationship a seamless, easy experience. See from their eyes. Feel what they feel. Do not take this for granted.
  8. The leader needs to lead. Inspire your team to a place they won’t or can’t go by themselves. Divide and conquer works here. Conduct 30-45 minute, one-on-one meetings with each key employee. Ascertain their hopes and fears. Ask their unfiltered opinion on macro subjects that impact the bottom line. Give each an important assignment (with stringent deadline) that will impact the whole.
  9. Upgrade your work culture. Add civility and a champion attitude to your workplace. Eliminate the word “problem” and replace it with “challenge.” Purge your company of negative body language and words. Reward the champion attitude. Help eliminate the victim and the judge mentality. Avoid politics, religion and other topics. Hire a coach or bring in a positive speaker.
  10. Create “special ops teams.” Have an odd total of team members (3,5,7) independently search for solutions to company challenges. These special ops teams can have a cross section of employees from different departments. They meet when they choose and select their own leader. A reporting deadline is set and they deliver a written recommendation for positive change.
  1. Pick a fight. Instead of focusing on your challenges and concerns, focus on crushing your competition in terms of market share, client acquisition, and profitability. This especially works when a company is having internal conflict and low optimism. Get your team to rally around this external challenge.
  1. Foster decision-making. Mandate that if you have a problem challenge that you would like to bring to your boss, only walk it in with at least one viable solution. If the challenge arrives without a solution dismiss the person and have them return with one.
  1. Stress runs downhill. Create a 90-day plan and push it downstream. Macro-manage your company and stay out of the things that don’t serve you. Provide directives with well-defined guidelines and deadlines. Hold each person accountable. Be decisive. Leave business at work. When you go home, fully engage with your family. Taking negative stress home just adds to your family’s stress. Control your breathing below 15-17 breaths per minute. Set your phone several times a day to remind you to breathe and relax. When you slow down you’ll think more clearly.
  2. Empower your team. Write the responsibilities, accountability and authority for each direct report and have them write up their own. These are the three legs of empowerment. Review them with your direct reports and have them do the same. Compare their list to what you think. Push this downstream.
  1. Be the leader your team needs. In uncertain times your team needs a beacon of hope. Be active in your industry and learn and share with your team. Walk through your company offices and or factory and make eye contact with all you meet. Call each person by name. Ask questions. Give praise where it’s warranted. Ask how each person is doing personally. Engage!

We are in uncertain times. Get disciplined. Narrow your focus. Renew your confidence and optimism. Relax. Love what you do and do what you love.

Get your team in the Zone.

Never Too Late To Learn! YOUniversity classes begin right now.

Never Too Late To Learn! YOUniversity classes begin right now.

By Jim Fannin

You have been enrolled into a major university for advanced studies. I bet you didn’t know this. There are no ivy walls. No old brick buildings with Greek facades. No immaculate grounds. This university is special. It is unique. The entire campus is approximately 23 inches in circumference, six inches in width and weighs about 10 pounds. It is the learning center of your mind…The YOUniversity.

After your mandatory, formal education you are automatically enrolled. There are no admission tests. There are no rules. The curriculum is your choice. There are no formal classrooms. The faculty is ready when you are ready to learn. You determine the class schedule. Homework? This is your option. Of course, if you seek expert status in a subject you will need to put in the time. And best of all, you are enrolled for a lifetime. There are no drop-outs. However, there are better students than others.

So, what do you want to learn? Foreign language? Manners? Anger management? Psychology? How to close a sale? Learn the art of intuition? Understand and apply the S.C.O.R.E. Success System? Excel in a sport? Yoga? Learn to become proficient in arts and crafts? Wow…how cool is this place! There is no limit to the knowledge you can obtain. None.

Choose a curriculum that you love. Select it wisely. The curriculum is far more vast than the list below. Remember there are no rules!

Now choose the college from The YOUniversity where you would like to start. Of course, you can select courses from each college and work on them simultaneously. The colleges are Life, Business and Sports.

In the College of Life, you can choose from the following curriculum:

  • Parenting
  • Relationships
  • Personal wellness
  • Computer skills
  • Family management
  • Personal finance
  • Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Foreign language (Your choice)

In the College of Business, you can choose from the following:

  • Leadership
  • Sales
  • Management
  • Office politics
  • Entrepreneurship

In the College of Sports there are:

  • Tennis (singles and/or doubles)
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Hiking
  • Scuba diving
  • Bridge
  • Chess
  • Poker
  • Many other activities.

So…what do you want to learn? It’s time to go on a massive, personal educational odyssey. Improve thyself. We are all evolving. But are you evolving at a calculated speed that will take you to the whole purpose of The YOUniversity…..learning about YOU.

Know thyself. Enroll full-time in The YOUniversity today.

A True Champion in the Crowd

A True Champion in the Crowd

By: Jim Fannin

What a concert! I had waited weeks to see Earth Wind & Fire in person. It was at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, legends from decades ago combined forces to rock the house. The crowd was alive and in the moment. With center seats in the second row I could see champions of music get in the Zone as they performed hit after hit.

As the concert neared its finale, ushers let fans move toward the stage. There… a man with graying hair moved with the beat with his young daughter in his arms. He helped her onto his shoulders and the sax player from Chicago grasped her tiny hand while flickering a welcoming smile. I barely noticed. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” I thought.

However, this father was different. He was overly attentive to his daughter’s every need. He stroked her hair. He looked into her eyes. It was obvious now that he was here just for her. Then he sat down in the front row and rubbed her aching legs. Cerebral Palsy had crippled this young fan of rock but it did not take her spirit away. She smiled as her father picked her back up and they continued dancing to every beat.

Suddenly this proud papa turned around and our eyes met. I mouthed the words, “You are a great father.” A quick tear came to his eye and he nodded, “Thank you.”

True champions are amongst us. They remain alone in the crowds. These are great fathers, mothers, friends, soul mates and siblings. They soar higher than the greatest athletes and business icons. They balance life’s many arenas. The price is never too high. They go above and beyond the normal in all they do.

It was difficult for this father to maneuver the crowd with a handicapped child. You could tell he had done this many times before. He has made up his mind that nothing would stand in the way of his daughter’s passion for living. Nothing.

The concert was awesome! But not as awesome as witnessing a true champion in the crowd.

Inside Golf in the Zone

Inside Golf in the Zone

By: Jim Fannin

Have you ever made two birdie putts in a row? Three in a row? Have you solidly struck your driver and the result was a lengthy laser in the middle of the fairway? Remember getting up and down for a big win? Do you remember your best round of golf?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re probably experienced the phenomenon called the Zone.

It has been described by my clients as a “purposeful calm.” When you are in the Zone everything is possible. Your intuition reads your putts. It over-rides logic and selects your next club. You have more length off the tee and the center of the cup has your name on it. If fact, the cup may appear larger. Nicknames abound like clickin’, hot putter, in the flow, on all cylinders, dial-a-wedge, on fire, etc.

For thirty years, I’ve assisted clients in reaching the peak performance state of mind called the Zone. Using my S.C.O.R.E.® Success System, over 2000 professional athletes and executives have reached the top in 10 professional sports and 50 industries.

At the cornerstone of my program are five ingredients that, when balanced at a high state, the zone mindset will arrive. They are: Self Discipline, Concentration, Optimism, Relaxation and Enjoyment. They form the acronym S.C.O.R.E.®

Here are just a few tools to help you manage your S.C.O.R.E.® and be the best golfer you can be.


  • Break your round into three, six-holes segments. Holes 1-6 open the round. Holes 7-12 are obviously in the middle and holes 13-18 are where you close the round. Set goals for each segment. The PGA players I coach seek 4 birdie opportunities (25 feet or less) per segment.
  • Before your round, play the last three holes and the first three holes on the range. Complete your pre-shot routines and take ample time between shots. Mentally engage yourself in the moment. No judging, coaching or instructing.
  • Make any adjustments in your middle segment. Use a swing key or just simply change your behavior. Pick up the tempo or slow it down.
  • Close the last six holes like a champion. Two players of mine shot 71. One was happy and one was upset. The happy one opened the round poorly but birdied the last three holes. The upset golfer opened four under but closed bogie, double, bogie. They had the same 71. Closing strong is crucial to winning an event. It helps you go to bed happy and wake up the same. This is how you thread good rounds together.


To insure great concentration, be mindful of the 5-second Ruleä. You are only as great as the five seconds AFTER each shot. This must be prepared. After every shot you have three and only three options. They are:

  1. Act like the shot never happened.
  2. Briefly shut your eyes and mentally see the shot exactly like you wanted.
  3. Think…where’s my next target. Send your mental energy there.

If you roll your eyes, grimace, mutter under your breath, toss your club or become a judge, you have violated the 5-second Ruleä. Prepare for this rule. It’s easy to get ambushed by an errant tee shot or poorly rolled putt.


  • Use the Light Switchä Keep your chin up! That’s right… at no time during the round will the champion drop his or her head. Try this: Place a bad thought in your mind with your eyes shut and your head down on your chest or sternum. Keeping your eyes shut with the negative thought now raise your head above parallel. Repeat this several times. After three decades, over 75% of my seminar attendees reported when the head was down the negative thought was robust and clear. But with the head up the negative thought went away or was difficult to see. Try it! Mom was right. Keep your head up at all times.
  • Use positive “I” statements (thought or said during adversity) is the mark of a champion. “I drain.” “I hit solid.” “I close.” “I’m accurate.” Keep a few of these power statements in your golf bag. Use as needed.


  • Breathe on impact. Exhale just as you make contact with the ball. This allows you to release the shot and strike the ball smoothly. Holding your breath causes increased grip pressure at the moment of impact and in turn the club face will slightly move.
  • Unhinged your jaw. Relax your jaw, face and tongue. Keep these body parts relaxed during the round. Be aware of their tension. The Zone will not arrive with the molars grinding and the jaw tensed. That’s why Michael Jordan stuck his tongue out when he went for a dunk.


  • Play your heart song. Many of my clients played their best tournaments when they played their favorite song in their mind as they walked the course. Make the song rhythmically and upbeat. It is your personal soundtrack for the day.
  • Love the challenge. The course is designed to give all of us problems. However, eliminate the “p” word. Champions have challenges that inspire, motivate and elevate. Believe you’re a great challenge solver. The players that believe this have the greatest chance of succeeding.
  • Skip. You heard me… skip. One quick skip down the fairway and you will smile and/or laugh. PGA pro David Frost has skipped down the fairway. Result: three birdies in a row. This one isn’t for the meek. The bottom line is- flood your body with dopamine. When we are being too self-disciplined or focused, sometimes we just need to skip.

Five major keys to unlocking your potential on the golf course. These five ingredients form a domino-like chain called S.C.O.R.E.® You are only as strong as the weakest link. You are responsible for all repairs. Keep your S.C.O.R.E.® balanced.

Be in the Zone! tm

Be a Super Hero

Be a Super Hero

By Jim Fannin

Yes…Superman, the Man of Steel, lived in my hometown of Ashland, Kentucky. Pretty cool, huh? Actor George Reeves, aka Superman, played the superhero in 104 episodes on the hit television series, The Adventures of Superman from 1952–1958.

Remember the show? I was glued to the TV in my pajamas for most of those episodes. Here’s the transcript of the opening of the show:

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! (“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s Superman!”)… Yes, it’s Superman … strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman … who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”

Didn’t you love watching Superman jump out the window of the Daily Planet building? He was always off to save Lois and Jimmy from some crime predicament?

What about you? Do you have a superhero lurking inside? Who could you save today? What would your character look like once your civilian clothes were cast aside? What powers would you use to fight crime and injustice? What good deeds would be left behind once you left the scene?

Today, you are a superhero! You have uncanny powers of self-discipline, concentration, optimism, relaxation and enjoyment. Anyone lacking these intangibles obviously needs your help. You can get into the Zone with the speed of a bullet. You can reverse a “bad day” with the blink of an eye. Your capability to be cool in the face of adversity is legendary. You can defuse a volatile situation with your power of silence or a well-placed word.

Spread discipline to the unruly. Increase focus for the wandering mind. Reverse the negative ways of the pessimist. Calm the heart and mind of the worrier. Revive the soul of the sad.

Go onto the Earth and do “good” for mankind. Rake the leaves of a bedridden, elderly neighbor’s lawn. Cheer up an entire children’s wing at a local hospital with your toys and super smile. Lend a hand to the needy. Mentor a junior co-worker. Motivate the uninspired. Volunteer at a grassroots charity. Be the voice of reason in a sea of emotion. Share your expertise to a local civic organization like the Optimist, Rotary or Kiwanis clubs. Be the beacon of hope for the downtrodden. Uplift a stranger with an unsolicited smile. Introduce courage to the meek. Give your powers a test.

What will you be called? Zone Man? Captain Focus? The Optimizer? Expectoid? Believer Man? Captain Confident? The Passionator? Make-it-happen Captain? The Human Palm Tree? Cheetah Woman? Goal-Girl?

Be a superhero today!

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s YOU!”

Big Dreams Do Come True

Big Dreams Do Come True

By Jim Fannin

It was a muggy, overcast day in August of 2002 and Steve Landek (my client and the Mayor of the Village of Bridgeview, Illinois) was giving me a tour of his 7.15 square mile fiefdom. Eventually, we drove past open fields of vacant land and I asked, “Who owns this?” and Steve replied, “The Village owns all of this land.”

Instantly, a lightening bolt vision of a 20,000 seat outdoor arena popped into my mind. I saw the stadium exterior with fans walking into the venue. I envisioned the field and the packed seats of fanatic fans. “Steve, as the ZoneCoach® to two star players for the Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer franchise), I know they need their own, customized stadium.”

“This is the perfect place!” I exclaimed.

“Playing in their current home of Soldier Field makes the Fire’s 14,000 fans look anemic on television within the iconic 60,000+ seat stadium (where the Chicago Bears play),” I stated as a matter of fact. Plus, there are no other 20,000-seat arenas in Chicago and a venue this size could draw world-class concerts, festivals and other prominent spectator experiences. Steve laughed out loud bellowing, “You’re crazy!” Maybe I was. “Come on Steve. Shut your eyes, unhinge your jaw, and see your new stadium.” With eyes shut and a toothy grin, he replied, “I see it. I see it.”

The land where my visual intervention took place is strategically located 12 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. With easy access to major roads, a world-class airport and one of the greatest cities in the world, this facility could survive and thrive.

Within a few weeks, meetings were orchestrated with my three clients of Bridgeview Bank, Chicago Fire and the Village of Bridgeview. A deal was struck, money was raised for construction, and a vision was swiftly turning into reality.

On November 30, 2004 the Village of Bridgeview broke ground on the state-of-the-art Toyota Park and it officially opened on June 11, 2006. “It is amazing that one thought resulted in a $100 million, 20,000 seat stadium on the south side of Chicago,” noted Mayor Landek, “despite the fact that many disbelievers doubted this project from its beginning.”

When I attend an event at Toyota Park it is incredible that the former vacant land underneath was transformed into a venue for the likes of entertainers Eric Clapton, BB King, Phish, Korn, Kenny Chesney, Pitbull, Jimmy Buffet, Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea, Bob Dylan, Demi Lovato, John Mayer, Slipknot, Chris Brown, Vince Gill, Marilyn Manson, Ariana Grande, and of course the Chicago Fire.

Steve Landek is a civic visionary and with his leadership and perseverance this big dream came true. They do. Why not you?

Stay in the Zone,

Are You A Legend?

Are You A Legend?

By Jim Fannin

He ran hard every play. His endurance was undeniably his strong suit. Nothing ever fazed him. 100% effort was a given. He was possessed to reach high daily standards. Problems were only challenges for this athletic performer. Negativity bounced off of him like the linebackers that tried to stop his momentum.

He is a legend

She seemed to be everywhere in the neighborhood. Gangs respected her. She disciplined her brood of eight with an iron fist. She even disciplined the neighbor’s kids if they got out of line. How she held two jobs while managing five teenage boys and three pre-teen beautiful daughters was a mystery. She produced six college graduates and two officers in the military. It was her greatest accomplishment.

She is a legend

He could sell anything if he believed in it. Motivating buyers was his calling. Every sales call was a positive experience. Customer service was extraordinary and word-of-mouth praise was viral. Customers felt like his business partner. Even with price hikes and delivery delays his book of business increased. Everyone loved him. He visited them in the hospital when they were sick. He celebrated their corporate anniversaries and milestones. He even attended their children’s weddings, graduations and other special occasions. For decades he led the nation in sales.

He is a legend

It was an old-timers reunion at Fenway Park in Boston and two former stars were discussing the great Hall of Famer and Red Sox hitter Ted Williams. They were discussing his physical height and both thought he was 6’3” or even 6’4” tall. When the “The Splendid Splinter” Mr. Williams walked onto the field it was obvious he was only 6’0” tall.

Ted Williams played larger than life itself as the last man to hit for a .400 batting average in 1941. Before the final two games of that season he was hitting .39955, which would have been officially rounded up to .400. Red Sox manager Joe Cronin offered Ted the chance to sit out the final day, but he declined. He said at the time, “If I’m going to be a .400 hitter, I want more than my toenails on the line.” Williams went 6-for-8 on the day, finishing the season at .406.

Ted Williams is a legend

Are you a legend? What will people say about your parenthood after your children are grown? What will be the word on the street when you are at the end of your athletic career? Will your sales career be talked about at the water coolers? Will whispers of respect and awe permeate the talk of your peers? Who are you? What characteristics that spawned your accomplishments will define you?

Right now your personal legend is within your heart, mind and soul. It is usually wrapped around a simple truth. At the core could be your tenacity, honesty, decisiveness, gratitude or perseverance. From this innate seed grows the legend within.

Begin to know your inner strengths. These positives come easy for some. However, most are hard earned over time with many trials and tribulations. They definitely require consistent usage. They need awareness. They need commitment.

Personal legend is the aftermath of a life of passion, perseverance, panache and verve. The seeds are within. Maybe they need to be sowed. Maybe they have sprouted. Nurture them. Let your legend grow!

Stay in the Zone!

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