Sunday marked the fourth and final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament. The last 9 holes of the tournament took a dramatic swing and the 22 year-old Jordan Spieth who was in the lead by 5 strokes saw his chokehold on back-to-back Masters wins fade away. He bogied the 10th and 11th holes, then quadruple bogied the 12th. He never recovered from that hole. Instead, Danny Willet, a 28-year-old from Sheffield, England who had been even at the start of the day (and hadn’t shot below 70 all tournament), won the green jacket at five under par.
If I lost you at Masters Tournament, you can tune back in. I can’t promise I’m done talking about golf, but I promise to explain why I introduced the blog post this way. I want to talk about the lessons learned from Jordan Spieth and Danny Willet and how in the world they relate to this episode of Profitcast! Brian has a lot of guests who talk about putting in a lot of hard work in order to seem like an overnight success; the true overnight success is a rare commodity, and something to neither hope nor aim for in a realistic scenario. Managing our expectations going into a business venture means being prepared for a variety of possibilities, including for nothing to turn out the way you expect it to.
Starting a podcast for fun is a totally valid and totally honorable enterprise. Starting a podcast for fun and wanting to monetize it begins to make it a little trickier; is what you qualify “fun” something other people will want to pay for? Brian and guest Nadia Finer get into the weeds surrounding this issue, nailing so many of the fine-print caveats to a business-driven podcast that can get in the way of profiting. I’ll leave that discussion to them, because they cover it so well, and I want to highlight the value in refining your skills, technique and focus, then leave you with some action items.
Even if you’ve never played a round of golf, what I’m about to describe will likely resonate with you on other levels. Golf is as much a mental game as it is a game of technique and skill. For most sports, when you’re having an off-day, there is still some ability to fall back on routine and skill in order to get you through a game. Golf, being a solo sport, can be tricky that way…in that routine and skill can be so heavily influenced by a poor mental state. And I think in that sense it is a lot like podcasting.
One golfer isn’t going head-to-head with another, even if they are matched up to play a round together, but each is still aware of what is required of them in order to win. While golf isn’t a one-on-one sport, like tennis can be, or a team sport, like most other sports, it still requires the winner to have the lowest score of any competitor. Obviously in a sport like basketball or soccer, the team with the most points wins (that’s kinda how it’s gotta work, right?); what makes winning a round of golf so challenging is that a golfer has to play consistently well in order to maintain a low score in relation to the other competitors. Every course has a par, telling a player what the minimal total effort should be, but that is not ultimately the final score they aim for.
Isn’t this how podcasting feels a lot of the time? We compete with other podcasters in our niche, and there’s sort of this baseline for what is required from us (consistency, entertainment, value), but no clear definition around what will make us intrinsically better than anyone else out there. We do what we do, but we keep a wary eye on our competition in order to stay in the running.
In the final round of The Masters, Spieth bogied at hole 5, then birdied the next four holes making him the clear leader. But then it went down hill fast, as I described in the opening paragraph, and he went from 7 under par to 3 under par in almost a half hour. He might have lost the lead, and ultimately the championship, but there is a lot to be said about the effort Spieth put in there at the end.
The results of Spieth’s excellent play through the first 3 1/2 rounds gave him cushion for the back 9 of the final round. In spite of gaining 4 strokes in 3 rounds, Spieth still had the ability to tie the leader in his final 4 holes, but it was his competitive edge in the first three rounds that made Danny Willett uncertain of his victory until Spieth bogied on the 17th hole. As podcasters, we have the ability to give ourselves a little padding when things are going well so that when things go badly, there is a cushion there to soften the blow. Even in looking at how Brian is taking a sabbatical this month, he’s still able to provide content while he’s away because of his ability to think ahead and prepare. Action item: how can you start building up some cushion now for potential problems down the road?
Have the confidence to bounce back. Granted, Spieth didn’t bounce all the way back in the end, but look at this: after his terrible 12th hole, the next four holes were birdie-par-birdie-par. Even though that wasn’t enough to win it for him, when you zoom out and look at it in perspective, he still matched the score he put out in round 3 and he didn’t let the terrible play of hole 12 get to him. Action item: when things feel really bad, zoom out and take a look at your relative success.
Don’t be afraid to take wins when they come. Danny Willett should not be overlooked in his efforts to win the first Majors title of the year. He played excellent golf, going bogie-free in his last round and shooting 67 for the day. He deserved this win. Perhaps a lot of it was owed to Spieth’s sudden breakdown, but…we’re only responsible for what we can do, not what others can or cannot do. Willett stayed sharp and played well and stayed in it, knowing that the lead was Spieth’s to lose. Action item: don’t let your mid-range lead prevent you from playing your heart out! When you love what you do, you owe it to yourself to be standing at the end, because it might just turn out that you’re standing at the top.
- Nadia Finer
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