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January 10, 2020

Just Win, Baby

By: Nick Beil

Everyone loves a fresh start.

A new year allows the clock to reset, the mind to reflect and the body to prep for a new race. It’s the time to set your mantra or theme for the year. 

January also happens to represent the final stretch for the remaining NFL hopefuls chasing for the Super Bowl. In the spirit of the NFL playoffs and the Kansas City Chiefs’ quest for a LONG overdue Super Bowl appearance (can you guess who I am pulling for?), I want to offer a simple mantra for 2020 that I encourage everyone to embrace: “Just win, baby.”

For those NFL lovers, you will recognize that quote. Al Davis, the former owner (RIP) of the Oakland Raiders franchise, is known for that simple statement.

I find it to be refreshing and simple but packed with so much meaning – and something I am going to use to guide how I operate in this new decade. For entrepreneurs like me, it is a MANDATE. 

So what does this mean to me? ‘Just win’, means that you have to stop telling yourself lies about the reasons you are or are not winning. It means no f’ing excuses. No bullshit. Don’t rationalize away your losses. Just win, baby.

This is my commitment in 2020.

Here’s why.

When building a business, there are a few key groups that you hold yourself accountable to. These are the people that want to see you succeed, and believe in you. They’ve made a bet on you. The people that you want to make proud.

The first is your investors. They have supported you both financially and psychologically. They believe in your mission and your quest to disrupt the status quo. They are patient — to a point. In the end, they don’t really care about anything, other than winning. How do you address that? Just win, baby.

The next is your people; your employees. Many of which you hired. The ones you’ve worked with for years, or the ones that are starry-eyed and just starting out. They BELIEVE in your mission. They are completely bought in and have invested their precious time in and out of the office in full support of what you are trying to accomplish. They believe in the future that is possible because of your company. However, they don’t really care about the reasons that your marketing strategy isn’t working. They don’t care about the reasons that your customer churn is creeping up. How do you serve them? Just win, baby.

The next is your network; your believers. These are your customers and partners. They have bought into the paradigm shift and the future that is possible because of your product. They have not only made a financial investment, they have made a career statement by aligning with your vision for the future. They don’t care about the reasons that your new features are late or buggy. They don’t care that there are a lot of other customers and partners asking for different features. They don’t care how technically challenging this problem is to solve. How do you show how much they mean to you? Just win, baby.

The last is your family. They are the ones that have been there from the very beginning. Your family has supported your quest. They are the ultimate champions of your mission. They have sacrificed so much for your dream because they believe in you and your vision. They show unconditional support for your risk-taking strategy as you continue to invest so much of your time and money into this mission. But they don’t care that it is keeping you up all night with stress. They don’t care that timing is so important when taking a new way of doing things to market. They don’t care that you are living with self-doubt, nor do they care that you are living on Pepto-Bismol tablets to deal with the nausea. So what do you do? Just f’ing win.

To all of the founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs out there, I know how it feels to want to show gratitude to all of these groups of people that mean so much to you. I know how hard it is. I know how stressful it is. All of the examples above are things I think and feel every single day.

If you are in the same boat as I am – stay strong and don’t EVER quit. Just win, baby.

And, of course…GO CHIEFS.

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