Tag Archives: tennis

Marinating

This is one of my most favorite words in the personal vernacular that Husband and I share. Yes, we use it as it’s supposed to be used, in terms of marinating some piece of protein before it is cooked. In our world, on lazy weekend days, the kind where you can’t even remember if you’ve taken a shower or not because it’s just too cozy to stay in jam-jams all day, we “marinate.”

The marinating started when we woke up to catch the latter half of the Australian Open final, an epic battle between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In the end Djokovic prevailed, but suffice it to say that there were no definitive “losers” in the match in the sense that both men left their greatness on the court. All of their training — physical and mental — was put to the test in a ridiculously high-level five-set challenge. Since I am not a tennis player, I can only imagine what it takes to go against someone solo while staying mentally tough. At least in a sport like golf, you are ultimately playing against the conditions of the course, and the same goes for skiing: you against the mountain. Though the match had to come to an end, I was actually in awe for a bit afterward in thinking about what it takes to become an elite athlete, or an elite whatever, for that matter.

Later in the day, I came across an article posted on Facebook: “15 things successful CEOs want you to know” (yes, that lack of capitalization is correct). I include it here because these various successful business owners have answered my question:

As a young CEO of a growing company, I find that the most valuable insight I’m gaining these days has been from other CEOs. Certainly this realization isn’t revolutionary – YPOEOMindshare and a host of other organizations are set up just for this kind of knowledge exchange.

But who has time for that? This is a social media world. We’re live in 140-character sound bites. So I decided to ping my favorite CEOs via Twitter to see what kind of wisdom they could drop on me. Here’s the great advice they shared.

Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify

Figure out what the top five most important stuff is, focus relentlessly on that and keep iterating. Less is more.

Dennis Crowley, CEO, FourSquare

Don’t let people tell you your ideas won’t work. If you have a hunch that something will work, go build it. Ignore the haters.

Sarah Prevette, Founder, Sprouter

Just do it. Get it out there, absorb the feedback, adjust accordingly, hustle like hell, persevere and never lose your swagger.

Sarah Lacy, CEO, PandoDaily

Follow your gut. it may be wrong, but you won’t regret it if you fail. You’ll regret it if you ignore your gut and fail.

Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist

Treat people like you want to be treated. Apply to customer service.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, VaynerMedia

Do work for your customers, not for press or VCs. The end user is what matters long term.

Matt Mullenweg, CEO, Automattic

Only reinvent the wheels you need to get rolling.

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Fab.com

Pick one thing and do that one thing — and only that one thing — better than anyone else ever could.

 Alexis Ohanian, CEO, Reddit

Make something people want. Then give more damns than anyone else about it and you’ll make something they love.

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works

Buy @ericries’s book. Beyond that? Build a platform. This is the big year.

Matt Howard, CEO, ZoomSafer

Startup wisdom: The number one job of a CEO is to not run out of money.

Brian Wong, CEO, Kiip

Always be learning from others. Whenever you meet someone, you don’t want something from them, you want to learn from them.

Seth Priebatsch, Chief Ninja, SCVNGR and LevelUp

Something my dad taught me: Ask forgiveness, not permission!

Hooman Radfar, Founder, Clearspring

Give away the wins, own the losses. Your job is to curate greatness.

Alexa Hirschfeld, CEO, Paperless Post

Users and employees are key predictive indicators of a company’s success; press and investors generally months behind.

Got some other great wisdom for your fellow CEOs? Leave me a comment!

Peter Corbett (@corbett3000) is the CEO of the creative agency iStrategyLabs, and is the founding organizer of DC Tech Meetup.

What resounds for me when I read these snippets of advice is that people who become great at what they do are not hesitant. They don’t give in to doubt; instead they stay focused and believe in themselves and the goal before them. When I watched the championship match today, that quality stood out intensely: these men each believe with every single ounce of their being that they were destined to win. So they played like it — they were aggressive and maintained their poise and self-confidence, even when they had to come from behind. Most of all, they each stayed in the moment and let go of the good and bad points alike, because there was always a next serve coming. Are we not all called to live with a similar kind of intention and purpose that guides us forward, even through difficult times?

Of all the above ideas, I love this phrase the most: “Your job is to curate greatness.” Enough said.