- I’m at a coaching clinic and I am training my gymnasts alongside other coaches working with their kids. We are sharing ideas and acting like we are not listening to every word the other coaches say to their gymnasts, hoping to hear a new cue, a new drill, or a new way to explain a technical correction. I overhear another coach say to her gymnast “see that girl in the red leo, just do what she is doing, and you’ll be able to get it.” (she was training a double back tuck).
- I listen to Tony Robbins. Despite a few pitfalls he is usually pretty informative, and his advice is usually akin to my way of thinking; mainly get off your bum and get it done. But at one point he suggests that you find a successful role-model and do what they did, then you will be successful too.
- I am chatting with a friend in the gymnastics industry, a fellow gym owner, and she went to a prominent business training where the presenter gives you step by step detail of how he started out and how he grew to have a multi-million-dollar gym program. He tells attendees that all they need do is follow the step by step, and they will also be equally successful.
None of that adds up. When we derive our goals and plans based on what someone else did, we will not succeed. Period.
We don’t have the same basics to suddenly achieve a multi-flipping skill just by emulating someone else. Did we train the same skills prior to a double? Did we do anything for strength development? Technical understanding? As a younger gymnast did we have a coach that instructed and guided us to develop skill, or a coach that shirked development by telling us to “just do what someone else does? If we don’t have the same past, or same present we have no right to expect the same future.
When we emulate others in business, or in anything, we cannot take into account what they have done previously, we will not be driven by what drove them. We don’t know if they did many things right, a few wrong, and had a lucky break at some point. We don’t know if they work harder than we do, or if they just got lucky once and made it work after that one stroke of good fate.
We cannot copy what someone else did to be as successful as they are. My business is operated out of a suburban Wisconsin city; how does that compare to someone opening a gym in urban Los Angeles? Or Rural Nebraska. If I did what those gym owners did I would guarantee my failure.
But we can gain by watching others. As coaches or business owners we advise each other off things that went right and things that didn’t. As coaches we learn new ways to deliver our lessons by listening to others. Some things work and sometimes we hear things and think “well I know what NOT to say.” But either way, it’s learning.
The problem with thinking we can achieve the same results as others by just doing what they did is that: we may start focusing more on doing what they did and losing site of what we need to do. Again, since we don’t have the same baggage, so to speak, we must stay more focused on our situation and not on what someone else did.
When we realize that we are not having the same outcomes we either 1. Double down and try harder to emulate someone who is NOT us, or 2. We feel a failure and give up. Neither of which are acceptable. If we double down, we expect all things to happen instantaneously and again, when we realize that it’s not so quick, we arrive at the same two possible outcomes. Double down or quit. That cycle can continue until ultimately we fail.
In the end we need to realize that, though at times it feels like we are having to reinvent the wheel, we need to cut our own path. We need to realize that nothing, copied or original, can happen without hard work, long hours, patience and perseverance.
In conclusion: keep in mind that you are the one that defines success. So, making the comparison to someone else’s concept will never get you there. The investment of your time, your mind, and your own work will always payout. After all, if they did it, and they’re not so special, then so can you; on your terms, in your way, in your time.