The Wheel of Life

Zig Ziglar's Wheel of Life
Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. A roadmap for success in life.

With so much “self-help” and “personal development” information out there, it’s no wonder most of us are left thinking there’s something wrong with us.

Everything we read, everything we watch and everything we hear is telling us that we’re not good enough…at anything. Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing “wrong” with you no matter how imperfect you may seem. As the saying goes, “none of us is perfect,” and that’s quite alright with me.

I believe that it’s our unique traits we should focus on and share with one another as special gifts to the world. Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely aspects of our lives we should be constantly trying to improve upon and adapting and evolving and changing overall; it’s the balance of the pursuit of these changes and adaptations be kept in check.

One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie, The Shawshank Redemption(affiliate). “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin.” Basically the message is that you’re doing one or the other; there is no middle ground. If you’re not growing, learning or improving some if not most aspects of your life, you’re missing out on what it means to be human. You’re dying. If not outside, then definitely inside. Life is meant to be lived and there are so many wonderful, beautiful things in the world to experience that unless you’ve got an open mind and open heart, you’ll miss out on most of that and end up shriveled, dehyrdated and malnourished.

Certainly these maladies in a physical sense are extreme and provoke intense imagery, but when used to describe a person’s soul the imagery are even more devastating. So all this talk about living and dying, improving or shrinking brings me to the point of this post, and in a way, the point of this blog in its entirety. Why reinvent the wheel when it already exists?

Enter – The Wheel of Life. Originally created by Zig Ziglar, it’s not the solution to your problems in and of itself, but certainly an excellent outline for organizing your life. The 7 spokes of the Wheel of Life are:


When thoughtfully considered, each is just as important as the other and none is more valuable than any other. At different points in your day, week, month or year some areas will seem more daunting or important and require more attention, however you must not lose sight of the big picture. Each spoke must be of equal importance in order to live a fulfilling, satisfying life. In the next few posts I’ll go over what I believe these spokes on the Wheel of Life mean and how you can structure goals for self improvement around each one of these values.

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Go Forth!

Money, Trust, Referral

Customers pay in three ways: Money, Trust, Referral
That’s it. That’s how they pay. Here’s a bit more of an explanation.

Sure – this is an easy one. Sales. Customers give you money for what it is that you give or do for them. Whether it be service, products, or experience, when a customer gives a sport organization their money, they’re asking for something in return – and in sports they are mostly looking for a story. Most of the time a great sporting event is a great story – everyone they see who wants to know what they did will hear that customer’s story of how the event went down. That customer will have some sort of story about how the play on the field was or how the experience in the stands, concourse, and parking lot was. That customer will have some sort of an opinion and hopefully a positive one that will keep them coming back.This leads me to my next point:

A customer’s trust is their attention. Their attention is how much of you they let fill their mind and their life. Trust and attention lead to more money for you. Because the team-fan relationship you’ve been building is much like the rest of the relationships you have, based on trust and authenticity, even though you may not be perfect, you’re doing your best trying to put your absolute best product on the floor. The reality of this is just that, you’re not perfect. People are not perfect and neither are the organizations those people build. No matter how hard you try, something will go wrong at some point. That’s not to say that you should be satisfied with mistakes – no way. Rather you should be demonstrating to your fans that you’ve always got their best interest in mind when it comes to giving them what they want – a great story to tell and one in which they can play a part. Give them your trust as much as they’re giving you theirs.

Finally, referral. Referrals are every business owners dream. Referrals are a customer’s way of telling you that they love what you do so much they wanted someone else they trust to be a part of the experience too; and by doing so, they’re putting their own credibility on the line too. They share with someone else they trust a story about your organization so compelling that that person ends up giving you their money and trust as well.

By doing and applying the things you do in your personal relationships on a business level, your customers will respond in a personal way – by giving you a piece of their precious resources: money, trust, referral. Today’s world gives us more options of things to do and ways to entertain ourselves than any other point in history. Whatever your interests are, there is someone else out there leading the way in whatever that thing might be. As a result, if you’re not doing everything thing you can to be remarkable in today’s digital world, you’re falling behind. Don’t get left behind. Money, trust, referral – remember these.

Go Forth!

Make it Personal

Make your business personal.
Make your fan interactions personal.
Engage with your customers on a personal level.

In the age of social media and “big data,” what good is all the information we have if we don’t try to use it to reach people on a personal level? I was listening to yet another podcast recently (can’t remember which one) that said that the one thing people want the most is to be missed when they are gone. People want to feel like they belong and feel like if they weren’t there that they would be missed. That is a pretty powerful insight that we can’t ignore.

One way to do this is to set up an auto-email program that sends them a message when their tickets don’t scan at the game. Film one of your coaches or players telling them they missed them at the game and hope they will see them next time.

You can also mention your fans on social media, post their public tweets and pictures on your jumbotron during game breaks and encourage your athletes to sign autographs after every game.

Sport organizations have one of the most valuable assets to market – people – and you can’t get more personal than face to face conversation. By encouraging interactions between your athletes and fans, you are building a personal network around your sport and your team. Of course there is possible reason for concern, as athletes are people and susceptible to social pressures and making mistakes, which can be a slippery slope. If however, you are recruiting and hiring people of sound moral judgment and upbringing, training them to handle the pressures of being in the public eye, and addressing mistakes appropriately when they happen, you should be able to lessen your liability. The more deeply held your fans’ connections are to your team, the more likely they will start to see their favorite players as real people and real humans who miss them when they are not in the stands, cheering for their victory, and are likely to forgive them when they make mistakes.

Many sports fans tell surveys that sports are their “outlet” from real life – work, stress, problems, etc. In this regard, sports are entertainment, but unique from all other forms of entertainment as well. There are very few forms of entertainment that allow people such an engaged relationship throughout the year and at such close proximity to the entertainers as sport organizations do. In addition to that, sport organizations exist to exercise and enforce community relationships and social values which provide an even deeper personal connection to your fans.

National, state, local, and community pride rituals and showcases are often held during sporting events, making the sport organization the center for these types of celebrations. Over time, the sport organization becomes an avenue for people to come together to celebrate what it is that binds that community. This relationship is also in some way expected, as many sport facilities are built using public funding sources. As a result of being built with public funds, there is a very real financial connection to the community in addition to the other more social and philosophical connections.

So what is your team doing to make your interactions more personal and specific to the individual fans supporting you? Consider sending them pre- and post-game emails with recaps, interviews and messages from your players and coaches. Host fan appreciation days and encourage your sponsors to be especially generous during those activation opportunities. Engage your fans personally on social media where it is natural and appropriate to do so. Thank your fans with freebies, coupons, and discounts for acting a certain way or performing certain tasks, like arriving early to games or mentioning the team on social media. Create these bonds with people at every step of the sales funnel, as discussed in yesterday’s See, Think, Do post.

Use the data you already possess to learn more about the people who are already committed to your organization and what you stand for. Figure out who those people are and look for more people like them. Digital marketing today is becoming increasingly easier to perform and measure, so you really shouldn’t have anything holding you back except time. Reconsider how you are spending your ad dollars and integrate more into the digital space, even if that means only local search. Learn, engage, measure, repeat.

I hope I’ve shared something valuable with you here; if you would like to receive emailed updates from Bill’s Sports Business Blog, you can do so by entering your email address in the box to the right. If you learned anything new or have any comments, please enter those in the box below. Thank you for reading Bill’s Sports Business Blog and come back soon.

Go Forth!

On Communication

The cause of and solution to most problems is communication.

It’s true in personal relationships.

It’s true in work relationships.

It’s true in fan relationships.

Develop your emotional intelligence. Practice gratitude. Be honest.

I’ve been thinking about communication a lot lately and have been reflecting on how stress affects our ability to communicate with each other. When you are overwhelmed, it is very likely that you are probably not communicating as well as you could be. I have been really focused on thinking about how I react during stressful times. I have also been observing how other people are affected as well. This is very closely related to my recent post on perspective. Somewhat unrelated, one communication method I find very fascinating is advertising – how the words and images are trying to tell us something. Maybe trying to get us to buy something. Maybe just giving us information.

As an organization, everything you do, write, say or publish can last forever. Every tweet, email, billboard, screenshot could be taken the wrong way, misread, or altered or be simply misunderstood. Think about these things every time you do something and especially every time you are on the phone with someone – you never know!

Go Forth!