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3 Lessons Competitiveness in Sports Teaches about Success in Business




Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are highly competitive. It’s no coincidence that many of the most successful entrepreneurs are also athletes or former athletes.

Speaking personally, sports have played a huge role in my success. I was a pole vaulter in highschool, I earned a college track scholarship, and became a high school coach. Through all of this, I developed an internal measure of success and was able to hone my mental and physical discipline. Without my athletic background, I wouldn’t have achieved the level of business success I enjoy today.

But one mistake people make about competition and business is thinking of winning only in comparison to others. Falling into the comparison trap can actually be self-defeating because we forget how little we know about others’ success. We don’t see the 10 years of effort behind the “overnight success.” We don’t see the grinding quietly in the shadows that preceded the explosive launch.

Instead of competing with others, the biggest lesson my athletic background has taught me is that we entrepreneurs should focus on competing with ourselves. Key to my success has been competing with who I was yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. So let’s talk about three other lessons competitiveness in sports can teach us about success in business.

Make Every Moment Count

My dad was my first coach. In high school, he would give us an epic speech before every track meet. He would talk about how we have to make every event count. From the first 4×800 meter relay to the closing 4×400 meter relay, he would tell us we had to “scratch and claw” our way through the entire meet. This taught us that while winning feels great, what you learn on the way to winning is even more important.

The same is true in business. You have to scratch and claw your way through the days when you don’t feel like working. You have to scratch and claw your way through the mishaps and misfortunes, the natural ebb and flow of running a business. Are you going to fall down? Of course. Over and over. But if you keep your eye on the prize and focus on making every moment count, you’ll find your path.

Hold Yourself Accountable

When I talk about how it’s more important to compete with yourself than to get distracted by comparing yourself to others, I’m talking about holding yourself accountable. One of the challenges of owning your own business is that no one is there to hold your hand or look over your shoulder to see if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. If you don’t find a personal source of motivation, you can easily fall on your face.

I was fortunate to learn this lesson early in my career. Once I graduated from college and stopped pole vaulting, I missed the competitive outlet. Being a high school coach and teacher just didn’t give me the same fire. I knew I wasn’t done competing, though. I simply needed to find another competitive outlet – somewhere where I could direct my discipline and mental fitness.

Starting my Amazon store became that outlet and I channeled everything I learned throughout my years as an athlete into growing my store. The fire was back and the fire made it easy to hold myself accountable. What stokes your fire?

Adjust Your Path, Not the Final Result

Once you develop solid habits around making every moment count and holding yourself accountable, you’ll see another important component of entrepreneurial success: momentum. And the great thing about momentum is no matter how bleak things might look, you’ll stay committed to your dream. While the path may need adjustment, the final result will remain the same.

For example, during the early days of starting my Amazon store, I made a mistake that cost $18,000. My back was completely against the wall. I hadn’t yet told my family about my endeavor and I was afraid I would have to reveal this huge mistake without the successful ending I was hoping for.

I was in a place where I was in danger of losing all momentum that I had built to that point, but I would not give up on my dream — and neither should you.

Because I had developed solid habits and because I had faced similar situations with my back against the wall in sports competitions, I knew I couldn’t give up. My only real option was to scratch and claw, bust my ass, and compete to be the best in the Amazon space, so I could get out of the hole I had dug for myself. I knew if I could do that, I could propel myself into  something better. And that’s exactly what I did.

I stayed focused on the end result. I focused on improving my systems and processes day after day. And now, we sell on Walmart, eBay, Shopify stores, and Facebook Marketplace. Sounds like winning to me.

So the next time you get down on yourself because you see someone you perceive as a competitor beating you, go back to your end result and recommit to competing with yourself.

The entrepreneurial path won’t always be easy — it certainly hasn’t been for me. But if you stay focused on your goal and compete against yourself to better your best from one day to the next, you will eventually get to your destination.

Ecom Automation Gurus, founded by Kirk Cooper, creates a fully automated eCommerce store for its users to assist in making passive income. Cooper has been featured in Success Profile magazine, and is an contributor. To check out their services and book a call, visit their website here.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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From Contracts to Counsel: Your Essential Guide to Hiring a Probate Attorney in Chicago




Like many people, you’ll come across the term probate after a loved one, such as a parent or spouse, passes away. So, what is probate, and why do you need an attorney for it? As defined in Forbes, probate is a legal process that occurs after death. It entails transferring the assets of the decedent (the person who passed) to beneficiaries named in their last will. 

With that in mind, having a probate lawyer by your side is essential. The last thing you want to do is deal with the legal complexities of settling a loved one’s estate while grieving. A probate lawyer oversees the validation of the deceased’s will and the fair distribution of assets among family members. One challenge lies in finding a top-quality probate lawyer.

In this guide to hiring a probate attorney in Chicago, we’ll discuss the tips to identify the right legal professional for probate proceedings. 

Understand the Responsibilities of a Probate Lawyer

It’s difficult to hire a talented probate lawyer when you don’t know what they do: Start by understanding the roles they play. 

When you work with a Chicago probate lawyer, some tasks they might do include: 

  • Act as an estate executor or administrator 
  • Collect proceeds from the life insurance policies of the deceased
  • Identify and secure the decedent’s assets
  • Get an appraisal for the deceased’s estate
  • Pay debts and resolve estate tax issues
  • Prepare and file documents required in probate court
  • Transfer assets to rightful heirs
  • Represent you in litigation proceedings if someone challenges or contests the will

A probate lawyer could also help you and your family navigate state inheritance laws if a loved one dies without a valid will. That way, you can avoid unnecessary taxes or other ramifications of not creating a will, such as losing ownership rights of the deceased’s business or financial support.

Search for Lawyers Online and Offline

You’re probably thinking, where do I find the best lawyer to hire? You could seek referrals from friends or colleagues. Friends who worked with probate attorneys before might provide important details, such as how the lawyers communicate and handle the probate process. 

Alternatively, do a simple online search using the terms “probate lawyer near me” or “probate attorney in Chicago.” Go through various websites or online directories and write names of lawyers with positive ratings and customer testimonials. Then, contact the potential lawyers to set up free consultations. Note that not all legal professionals offer free consultations, so make sure to ask before setting a time in your calendar. 

Ask the Right Questions

A free consultation provides opportunities to ask questions to better understand if the lawyers in question have the qualifications to handle your probate case. 

Four questions you might ask attorneys during the initial meeting may include:

  1. Do You Have Experience in Probate Law? 

When evaluating lawyers, prioritize experience. An experienced probate lawyer is aware of common pitfalls that can result in the probate petition being postponed or dropped by a judge. To feel more comfortable about an attorney’s expertise, ask them if they’ve handled probate cases similar to yours before. 

For example, let’s say the deceased owned a substantial estate or had complicated assets like royalties and mineral stocks. Working with an attorney with a track record of successfully handling cases like that could save you time and money in the long run.

  1. What Do Other Clients Say About You?

Experience alone doesn’t make a probate lawyer perfect for your case. Look for someone with an outstanding reputation. These reviews likely live on Google next to their business profile or are featured on their website. If you can’t find any endorsements, ask for testimonials written by past clients. 

One point to focus on is what reviewers say about the lawyer’s efficiency and speed. Beyond that, does the lawyer offer expert guidance, conflict mitigation, and proper asset management during probate? 

A probate attorney in Chicago, IL, should be an efficient expert in asset preservation. This can be crucial to helping avoid hefty taxes and excessive debt claims. Additionally, if the lawyer receives positive feedback on conflict mitigation, it suggests they have experience in resolving or mitigating family conflicts that tend to stall the probate process. 

  1. How Long Does Probate Last? 

One way to test a probate lawyer’s knowledge is by asking them, “How long does probate last?” While the numbers vary, probate can last for a few months to over a year in many states, including Chicago. When highlighting factors that affect the duration of probate, your counsel might mention things like estate size, family disputes, debt and taxes, absence of a will, and state laws.

A knowledgeable lawyer can explain clearly why your probate case could last a few months or even years. A lawyer that makes too brazen or hard-set of promises might not be the most honest. 

  1. How Do You Want Us To Communicate? 

There’s no hard rule on how you and your probate attorney communicate. You can talk via text messages, email, video calls, or phone calls. More importantly, check that the attorney communicates in simple language to help you understand your case. 

In fact, one essential of a lawyer’s dos and don’ts to gaining clients’ trust is to avoid making clients feel clueless. If a potential lawyer uses complex legal terms or avoids communicating directly, search for probate services elsewhere.

Conclusion: Finding a Probate Attorney in Chicago

Reviewing the will of a loved one after their death and ensuring fair distribution of their assets often involves complex legal issues. For this reason, consider hiring an attorney who specializes in probate law. 

To maximize your chances of finding the right probate lawyer, familiarize yourself with their responsibilities. Next, search online for lawyers within your state or ask for recommendations from people you trust. Then, interview prospects to help ensure they possess experience, a remarkable reputation, communication skills, and knowledge of probate law.

Settling the affairs of a loved one who has passed on can be an overwhelming time. A probate attorney can help lift some of the pressure off your shoulders as you focus on grieving and healing. 

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