October 2, 2011

Bring Home a Winner

Monday Morning Match is a quick post - maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea - intended to spark some motivation inside each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

Are You Ready for the Big Finish?

In a long season, game, event or fiscal year, the actions and results that occur early mean just as much as those that happen later. It's just that when the finish line is within reach, it seems that every step feels that much more important.

Last Wednesday we saw what many are calling the "greatest day of action in baseball history" as four teams played in do-or-die games with their playoff lives in the balance. St. Louis and Atlanta were tied for the wild card spot in the National League and Boston and Tampa Bay were deadlocked in the American League for their league's wild card spot.

St. Louis cruised to a victory over the hapless Houston Astros, insuring themselves of no worse than a one-game playoff at home to attempt to secure a playoff spot. The other three games were epic in their unfolding with Atlanta losing in extra innings, Boston giving up a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 9th inning and Tampa Bay snagging the last spot in the playoffs with a dramatic 12th inning home run (after a 7-run comeback late in the game to send it to extra innings). If you stayed up and watched it all happen like I did, it's a night you're sure to remember for a while.

It should be noted that those games played Wednesday night (the 162nd game of the season for all four teams) counted the same as their games played back in April. Had they each just won one more game earlier in the season, the drama wouldn't have been near as intense...or fun.

The same is true in golf - a bogey on the first hole counts the same as a bogey on the 18th hole but if the match was on the line when you were standing on the 18th tee, it seems like a much worse score, right? You'll think about that missed putt on the last hole a lot longer than you will think of that bad drive back on the first hole. Geez...that was almost 5 hours ago, right?

When Do You Really Start to Focus?

When we make mistakes, skip business development opportunities or lose listings early in the year we may find ourselves subconsciously saying "I'll get the next one" or "there will be more as the year goes along." While that is probably true, wouldn't it be better to get every deal (closing, hit, run, touchdown, win, etc.) when you can?

When you can see the finish line you seem to heighten your awareness of your efforts. I know when I am on a long run, my legs seems to pick up energy when I am just a mile from the finish. Sometimes I even pick up speed, turning in one of my better mile times on that last mile as my mind tells my legs how good it will feel to be done.

The back nine at Augusta on Sunday feels just a little different each year at the Masters than it feels on Thursday. In fact, watch it next spring and wait for CBS's Jim Nantz to say it when the leaders finish putting on the 9th hole. "The Masters doesn't start until the back nine on Sunday."

The crowd rises to it's feet when the home team comes up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, trailing by one run. They know that the team must execute now or it will be too late and another loss will be entered onto the bad side of the win-loss ledger. If that happens too often there will be little chance of achieving the goals set at the beginning of the year.

It's Crunch Time

Is it time for a "Hail Mary"?

Do you want the ball in your hand for that last second shot?

Will you be ready to make the field goal in "sudden death" overtime?

It's almost closing time. Don't let the bartender's "last call" leave you thirsting for more.

The clock is ticking down but there is still time for you to call a timeout, design a plan that is sure to result in some positive results, and make something happen. Homes will be listed and homes will be sold every day between now and 2012. 

Are you ready to build some relationships, solve some problems and have some fun?

Raise your fingers. It's the fourth quarter.

The game is on the line. Go out there and bring home a winner.