Building a Champion Mindset

Ever since the creation of time we have witnessed a natural competitiveness that’s driven mankind to do many bad things together with good things in their preference to learn how to win.

With the advancement of online coaching, nowadays it appears to be people have some secret to share about developing the best mindset so as to win.

What separates a winner from a loser? Sometimes a fraction of a second, sometimes a tiny lapse in thought yet others a plain shortage of desire. 

For several years, we’ve been checking out the steps involved in winning and many have spoken, taught or coached around the notion of getting started. Simply draw a line in the sand and move over the line. It is a great concept and one that certainly starts the journey – but if it were as common as that we wouldn’t see so many failed business start ups.

As we analyse success, the actual true grit, bit between your teeth success we understand there’s some character traits that cause success.

In fact, as we study the concept more, what we see is that the desire to get to the finish line has more to do with success than the power to take the initial step. 

Of course, regarding a mindset, we simply cannot end until we have begun, so stepping over the start line is paramount. But what about getting to the summit on the mountain? What about finishing the Ironman Ultramarathon? What about getting your business to profitability?

Many of these successes speak more to the finish line than they do the start line.

So perhaps, in exploring the deep secrets of success, the starting step pales in to insignificance when compared to the finishing step. The last foot on the summit of Mount Everest.

If you study endurance athletes the concept often referenced is “don’t stop”. When your body is screaming that it is in pain and everything in your mind is battling with your will to keep going, the most important aspect is to not stop.

Famed endurance runner Ray Zahab talks of this concept in his first ultra marathon event which he decided would be in the Arctic. 

Not being a runner and not being familiar with arctic conditions did not deter Ray but it did lead him to taking equipment that was inferior compared to his competitors. Ray became nervous on the start line and sure enough within the first several kilometres of what was to be a long event through the night, Ray quit. At least for a short while. He sat on a tree stump in frigid arctic temperatures and cried. His equipment was short of requirements, it was his first event and, as an amateur, he was lined up against pro ultra marathoners backed by major corporations. 

What Ray came to realize during the brief moment of pitying himself was his desire to succeed could get him the next 100m. After that he knew he could do another 100m. What he could not believe was that he could run the full distance in snow shoes. 

So gradually 100m by 100m Ray moved and didn’t stop. In the early morning hours, he arrived at the small warming hut by the finish line. It was deserted and while Ray was happy to have taken the last step on the finish line, he was disappointed that he missed the festivities and everyone had left. 

As he was recapping his adventure and how he could improve in future events, the custodian of the cabin came out to congratulate him on his first place finish. Ray had just won his first ever Ultramarathon – by not quitting when he wanted to.

He kept going to the last step.

Ray’s story is an analogy for all of us. 


  1. He started his journey
  2. He didn’t know the solutions but he knew he could figure it out.
  3. He never stopped once he realized the short goals were achievable
  4. He took the last step over the finish line and as a result – won.

champion mindset

What does it take to have a mindset to win

It is often the case we think that folks are born lucky or having a champion mindset. 

In my opinion however even though genetics may have a small role to play, learning how to win is only a mind set.

There exists a saying that you can’t stop a loser from losing and you can’t stop a winner from winning. I might say it is actually accurate. 

There are many folks that I have delivered online coaching to who will listen, make notes, make inquiries, participate in debates yet as a result of quitting mindset, they fail to act upon any of the information which was delivered to them.

This may not be at all unusual. If it were, there would not be a profession for keynote speakers. Repeatedly people return to the same conventions and seminars to get somebody make them feel much better when winning and succeeding has little to do with feeling good.

The individual that wants to feel good, the one that has a champion mindset, will do so despite the pain, discomfort and feelings on the way. Visiting the gym is a prime example for lots of people. If we were honest we would admit that we don’t like going to the gym. I know I personally dislike running. What I do like is the effects of running. The fact that I drop some weight, feel healthier and can run faster all lead me to want to continue running.

Life is no different and business is no different. We wish to succeed however in many instances we don’t desire to take the good with the bad.

I would absolutely advise that the bad is what makes the good – “good”. Flowers don’t grow in the desert where the sun shines but the rain never comes. We need the good days to provide contrast for the bad.

So what it take in my mind to win, is to have a commitment to a system. We need to remove the notion that success happens overnight, it does not. The most important step in success may in fact be the last one. The one when we have already climbed several false summits believing the next one is the real one. The step we take to speak to one more investor after several refusals. The one more time we get up to run again and rounding a corner to see the finish line. These are the steps that define success from failure. 

Today there is a proliferation of protectionism with our children. There is a strong desire to protect them from losing. The truth is if we never have the option to lose, we never experience the joy of succeeding. 

It is a cruel juxtaposition that we are in. The pain of knowing we might lose if we try compared to the relative comfort we have of never trying.

I think if we polled people who were on their final few weeks of life and asked what they would have wished more in their lives, it would have been to accomplish more, to try harder, to have lived more courageously. I don’t believe you would find a person with an adventurous spirit saying they wished they had spent more time in their LayZ Boy recliner watching TV.

If you want to develop a winning mindset, trying yourself not to quit.

Breaking in to the keynote speaker industry

Learning to be a Keynote Speaker


The initial step if you intend to be a motivational speaker would be to initially make up your mind. Sounds simple right? Your decision will be the easiest part of your journey as you set about a career as an entertainer, trainer or speaker. 


Keynote speakers are not born, they are made. A decision to become a speaker or trainer is very straightforward. In many ways it is liking saying you are contemplating doing the most important cliff jump in to the local lake. However until your feet have left the cliff, you aren’t committed.


The persistence for transforming into a keynote speaker is imperative. Canadian speakers work typically in a smaller market than their cousins to the south and it is a competitive market. You must consider why would people pay you to communicate with their organization? That answer will become the secret to your success.


Making the very last step count


Surely, if the 1st step is the decision, the last step comes after the decision not to quit the speaking industry. It is definitely not uncommon for speakers to be working on the sidelines waiting for the career to take off and it takes a few years to arrive at that point. If you knew it would take a long period to build your career, might you stick it out? 


Frankly, if we knew the runway to success we’d plan for it and stick it out. Additionally we expect everything to happen quicker than it does and we quit in year five without knowing that we could have a very successful year if we had hung around for one more year. 


There are so many stories from keynote speakers of people who even had agency representation yet did not create a “career” in speaking for seven or eight years. In addition there are many stories of speakers making several hundred thousand dollars a years. Are you prepared to wait that long?


The steps to success


One of the first steps is to join your national speaking association which will have regional chapters that can provide a lot of help and support on your journey to success. 


The networking you can do at these meetings with other successful keynote speakers is essential for your future direction. You will have the opportunity to hear what is working as well as, what is not. 


The speaking industry is often challenged with organizations who are looking for free speakers. While it may be tempting to drop your fee to court a potential client who really has no budget, you must remember there is a big difference between a free speaker and a professional speaker. 


Once you have created industry ties and learned the ins and outs of a speaking career, it is time to promote yourself. While the digital side of things is very important and cost effective, nothing beats getting on the road and talking to clients directly. 


At the point where you have a few clients under your belt and have delivered some compelling talks, you can start talking to agents who may be willing to add you to their roster. 


The important point to remember with regard to agency representation is they will typically account for only a small percentage of your overall bookings. Be careful not to rely too much on agency representation and focus on carving out your own success.


In the end, the important take away is that there is no shortcut to success. Stick it out, learn and grow and don’t quit. That will become your story.

entertainer

Top Five list of Keynote Speaking mistakes

Avoid These Costly Speaking Mistakes

If you’re a motivational speaker, then you certainly want to avoid costly mistakes in the phase where you are seeking to secure a booking, but most importantly during the presentation.

The nice news for aspiring speakers is that every person has stories to share. The not so good news is that some people need coaching in order to share those stories.

Once you have found your inspirational speaking coach and invested time and money into figuring out how to do a good presentation, you want to stay away from the major pitfalls of being a speaker.

So in no particular order, listed here are the 5 key mistakes that you ought to avoid if you are getting in to a speaking career.

1.    Not researching your audience.
Either gearing up your talk for a well educated audience in your area of expertise or dumbing it down could mean the main difference between success and failure. Ensure you know what is at stake before you go into the room. 

2.    An early connection is critical.
Frankly if you have not put the audience on the edge of their seat in the first minute they already responding to texts. More importantly the organizer just left the room! 

3.    Lead them to water…. I know we can’t make them drink. So you had a great point, and it may have worked in your daily life, but how does it help your audience – explain what and how it’ll make a difference in their lives. 

4.    Don’t use lots of slides and don’t read slides. Lets face it, people came to hear you not look at you reciting lives of drivel on a slide. Most speakers may have only a photo on a slide. Their point is to engage the audience with their talk not kill them with a slick power point presentation 

5.    Go out with a bang. You may have just delivered the best keynote an audience has had the pleasure of seeing, but if you do not close leaving them gasping for more, you killed the proverbial goose.  

Positive Motivational Speaking Tips

Many canadian speakers that I know have the process of designing a keynote down to a fine art in order that they easily coverthe above points. 

The important take away is the an ounce or prevention is worth a pound of cure if you don’t get it right…

For  me, I like to at least have a conference call with the even organizers to get a read on their expectations for the speaker. 

Secondly I will arrive early and meet the delegates and again take the opportunity to interview them and find out what makes the difference between a good speaker and a bad one from their perspective.

Finally, it’s an art to read the audience from the stage. You should learn to think on your feet, understand how to wake an audience up and be dynamic.

Don’t structure your keynote in such a way that you can’t pivot when needed.
One of my events was a booking for an automobile club. The drivers had been out all day racing their cars and by the end of the day they simply wanted to socialize and drink. 

I was scheduled to be on stage at 7pm. By 9:30pm after many apologies the organizer asked me to take the stage. I looked over at my wife and said “There is no way I can do my keynote, they’re way too loud”. 

I took the stage and indicated I was simply going to share some stories of how I had nearly died 5 times on adventures. The listeners immediately quietened and listened intently as I regaled some silly stories of mis-adventure. At the end of the night it was one of the better applause I have ever received!