Growing up in south Philly
Growing up in Philadelphia a block away from the sports complex I always dreamed of someday working for the Philadelphia Flyers.
As a 16-year old I was inspired by the story of Ed Snider after reading a magazine article about him and his business philosophy. I just knew working for the Flyers was my destiny. But after writing 44 letters of application and along the way completing my college degree at the University of Scranton, I was still no closer to my dream job. Their 44 kind letters of rejection made it clear I needed to prove myself and bring something more to the table than a college degree
Gaining some success in retail advertising at Gimbels , Wannamaker’s, and Strawbridge & Clothier along with a chance meeting working late one night turned into the opportunity of a lifetime. What seemed like a normal Wednesday night preparing Sunday’s ad copy turned into meeting Milt Beaver, a senior executive who later opened the door to my dream job and incredible 18-year career with Comcast-Spectacor. I was excited every day of work then and every day I go to work now as Senior Vice-President for Spurs Sports & Entertainment in San Antonio, Texas. I am so very proud to have my name next to the Iconic Spurs logo on my business card and I never take that blessing for granted.
Secret to Success
My secret to success is there are no secrets. As Colin Powell said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”
The recipe to success is the same for me as it is for you. I love the word-picture of “Pound the Rock” by the Danish American social reformer Jacob Riis:
“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing. Yet, at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I will know that it was not that blow that did it but all that had come before.”
What I’ve learned since moving from that street row house in south Philly to one day working for one of the best franchises in pro sports is this: Everything you need to succeed is under your control. All you need to do is inspire others.
What does it take to inspire others?
Here’s my Top 10 list of ways you can inspire others. All of these are completely up to you. Do them and you’ll succeed. As Steve Mariboli says, ““When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.”
- Be passionate.
- Have a positive attitude regardless of road blocks.
- Make others great around you.
- Think Tim Duncan.
- Be loyal.
- Loyalty to others builds your brand reputation.
- Work hard.
- “Most people have the will to succeed, but few have the will to prepare to succeed.” ~Bobby Knight
- Embrace change.
- Change is opportunity dressed like a problem.
- Speak up. Be heard.
- “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~Bobby Kennedy
- Never stop learning.
- Like Walt Disney, practice an Hour of Power: 20 minutes learning something new; 20 minutes of meditation, and 20 minutes making someone smile.
- Give back.
- “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar
- Have fun.
- At least once a day!