Thursday, February 22, 2018

My Secret to Success Came from Judo but It Could Have Come from Bobsledding

It's been a while since I posted here because I've been getting settled in Chile. If you didn't know I was in Santiago setting up what we fondly refer to as 7 Generation Games South, then clearly you don't follow closely enough on social media.

You can find THIRTEEN 7 Generation Games Social Media accounts here and several of the personal accounts of our founders here. It's almost as if we are encouraging you to stalk us but

A. No, we're not into stalking, and
B. There is no B.

Santiago Art Museum

However, you are welcome to follow any of our accounts in a friendly, non-creepy stalker-ish way and then you will know things like the I am in Santiago working on getting our bilingual games into the Latin American market and meeting all kinds of crazy challenges. For example, today I was practicing giving the pitch for our start-up in Spanish. Afterwards, the person I was practicing with asked me (in Spanish, so I was rather proud of myself that I understood it all) :

"You were a world champion, your daughter is getting inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame, your other daughter is a CEO, you'll turn 60 years old in Santiago working on your start-up. You have a Ph.D. What is the key to success?"

I asked her,

"Success in what? In sports? In education? Parenting? Business?"

She said,

"Anything. You pick."

I thought about it for a while and I finally said.

Perseverance. I think not giving up is the key. For example, today was not my day. I was working on something for two hours and the whole thing got wiped out and I had to start over. Just a lot of things went wrong. Everyone got on my nerves. I missed a meeting because another meeting ran late. I didn't get back to several people because I was recreating the site that got deleted.
We've been working on this company for a long time and the first few years were just making the games and getting them not to break, making sure that kids were actually learning. That took THREE YEARS of development, fundraising, testing and data analysis. Now it's been another year and a half of trying to get people to notice our games, download them, try them out and we're just now set to hit 10,000 users.

At a computer? You can play Forgotten Trail and maybe be our 10,000th user!

Why Forgotten Trail? This does relate to my point. Mid-way through the game, when a main character, Angie, gets discouraged, Ronda comes running up the hill, sits down and gives her a heart-to-heart talk. Angie says,

But it's just so hard to walk all the way across the country. I just want to give up.

Ronda tells her,

Where did you start from? At the bottom of this hill? No? North Dakota? Well, look how far you have come. You don't expect to run one 100-yard dash and win the Olympics, do you?
Ronda, as a game character

This gets to my point which by now you think I don't have, oh ye of little faith.

It took me 14 years from when I started judo to when I won the world championships.

There were a lot of naysayers during that time. A lot of setbacks.  I was ranked number one in the U.S. when I got pregnant and Eve went to the world championships instead of me. Two years later, I had knee surgery three weeks before the world trials. I still won - and yes, of course it hurt, really badly.

Plenty of people who were not as successful at judo, business, education or parenting worked very hard but they didn't do it as consistently. When they had a day like today, they said, "Screw it!" and took the rest of the day off instead of doubling down to fix what needed to be done. They worked really hard 80% of the days and that 20% they didn't feel like it, they slacked off.

It's like winter in North Dakota, most people think they can handle it if they come for a few days, even if it's 20 below. They don't realize that it isn't how cold it gets in North Dakota that drives people crazy (although that's pretty bad) , it's how LONG it goes on.

The secret to success is getting up every day and starting with the same enthusiasm, no matter how things went the day before, and doing that day after day after day.

Have a game on us! Making Camp runs in iPad, Android, Chromebook and any computer with a browser. Learn about Ojibwe history, outfit your wigwam and brush up on your math skills.


kodulehe valmistamine said...

Good post! Business is all

Mike said...

Great wisdom..