The Greatest Coach Who Never Played The Game
I want to talk about a friend of mine named John Vandermule. And John does a bunch of things with Amazon. That is his business. So he has products that he creates. One of them is called Wild Birds of Joy, it’s a bird feeder. So, he’s building and growing his business and he’s also doing consulting for other businesses and their products so that they can get their product sold on Amazon.
And in our mastermind, we’re so intrigued by what he’s doing because he’s got a lot of connections in this world. He has so much knowledge and information on this, so much experience. And me and the others talked about could you run a community for people that buy and sell on Amazon? And you bring these people together so they can learn from you, learn from other people doing the same stuff that are trying to learn the same things that he’s doing and that other Amazon experts are doing?
It was a fun lively conversation but John has all this information and all this experience and he’s friends with so many people in the Amazon world. But every time he came back to this idea about the community, he doubted himself. He kept coming back to the idea that he needs to learn every aspect of the Amazon business before he could bring a community like that together. And we were explaining that he doesn’t need to be the expert
on every part of the entire community, on every part of Amazon. He doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of retail arbitrage and everything to do with it. He needs to be the leader of the community. He needs to be the one that brings the right people in to find the right experts to teach to them and to make sure the people in the community are getting a tremendous amount of value for what they’re paying.
And I could see him getting hung up on the idea that he’s not an expert in every aspect of this and that he didn’t feel like he was qualified because he hadn’t done at all. And so often we let fear and perfection stop us from starting.
So for some reason my coaching examples often go back to football and it’s so weird because I hardly ever watch football anymore. But having shot at all those years and having been in the locker rooms and been on the sidelines, I’m amazed at how much I pulled out of it to use and what I do today.
And I gave the example of Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots head coach. Now love them or hate them, it’s hard to argue that Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history at this point. I mean the guy’s won 6 Super Bowls as a head coach, has also lost 3 Super Bowls so he’s been to nine Super Bowls as a head coach and also won 2 Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants back in the 1980s. So since 1986, there have been 33 Super Bowls played and he’s been a head coach in nine of them and an assistant coach in two and has won eight of those Super Bowls.
So why do I use Bill Belichick as an example for John Vandermule, thinking that he’s not qualified to build this side of his business. And my point was this: Bill Belichick is the greatest coach ever in NFL history and he has never thrown one pass as an NFL quarterback. And not only that, Belichick has never played a down in the NFL.He has never been an NFL player yet he’s the greatest coach of all time.
So, what makes him think that he can tell Tom Brady how to throw a pass? What gave him the confidence to tell Lawrence Taylor, who was the best defensive linebacker in the NFL back in the 1980s, how to play the game of football? Being that Belichick and never played quarterback or never played linebacker, couldn’t they have just dismissed him and said “Dude you don’t know what you’re talking about. You never did what I’m doing so I’m not going to listen to you.”
To be the best NFL coach Bill Belichick could possibly be, he didn’t need to play linebacker and play it at the top level to be able to coach it. He didn’t need to play quarterback in a Super Bowl to be able to win the Super Bowl as a coach. Bill Belichick understands the game of football and studies the game of football better than anybody else in the world right now. He doesn’t need to know every bit of it to be able to coach it. He knows how to build a team. He knows how to bring in the right assistance to coach the right things.
He understood that being a great coach means you have to be a great leader and his ability to lead has nothing to do with his ability to play the game of football. And because he studies that and because he understands the intricacies of the game better than anybody else, he’s able to out coach everybody else and he’s not getting hung up on the perfectionism of thinking that he needs to know how to play every position on his team before he’s able to coach the team.
So for John Vandermule it’s the same thing. He understands the game of
Amazon. He studies it. He knows how it works. And most importantly he can show other people how they can do it better. And as he keeps growing he’s going to be more and more equipped to teach so many people that want to get into this as well. But if he gets hung up on perfection and having to have done everything himself before he can show other people how to do it, he’s going to get hung up on perfectionism.
And this was taught to me as I started coaching cause I went through a whole lot of the same emotions and feelings like who am I to do this?
And I heard somebody say some time and I couldn’t remember who was they said to be a great coach you don’t need to be perfect and know everything. You just need to be a few steps ahead of the person that you’re coaching. Because really that’s all your client needs. They don’t need you to be absolutely perfect and know everything. Because the funny part of that is, if you did know everything and you were perfect, the people hiring you right now couldn’t even afford you. Because you’d be so sought after and your prices would be so high. So, you’re doing them a favor by doing this because they need help to get to the next step and they simply can’t afford the people that know everything.
So if you’re in the position that John is and you’re questioning your value. Just realize that there might be people a couple of steps behind you that are eager to learn from you. And if you don’t start now, you’re robbing yourself of an opportunity to get better and you’re also robbing them an opportunity to learn from you so they can get better.
By the way if you’re new to the podcast, thank you for listening. If you are interested I make the audio version of my book Freelance to Freedom, available for free to anybody that wants it. So if you want to go to our Web site Totallifefreedom.com/f2fbook and go download it, listen to it and hopefully you enjoy it. You get a lot of great nuggets out of it and I will be back with you tomorrow