Category: Blog Posts

10 Ways To Improve Your Team Culture

Culture isn’t a “sometimes” thing – it’s an all-the-time thing.

And one place that understands that is the University of Notre Dame.  Whether you are a fan of Notre Dame or not is not important.  This email is to share with you a blueprint for your own family and business culture that I created after visiting the Fighting Irish this week.

Last weekend, I drove the 660 miles to South Bend to drop off my oldest back at school after her first fall break.  The difference about this trip was instead of just one daughter, all the Rooney girls made the trek to Indiana.

Since this was the first time my three other daughters were visiting Notre Dame, I was interested to see how they would respond to the experience.  I was worried after all they had heard about the school, maybe “ND” wouldn’t live up to the “hype.”

But knowing about the culture there, I should have known better.

After the 11-hour drive, we parked in front of the Compton Family Ice Arena, got tickets to the game, and within 10 minutes of leaving the car, we were cheering on the Notre Dame team with the thousands in attendance.  As the band played the Notre Dame Victory March after each goal (and Notre Dame won 6-0!) I could already see the traditions of the school were having an effect on my daughters.  At the end of the game when we all swayed arm-in-arm singing the Alma Mater, my kids were already asking for hockey jerseys and when we could come back for another game.

Culture isn’t something you see – it’s something you feel.

On Saturday, we woke up and toured the campus.  The grounds were buzzing with excitement even though the USC – Notre Dame night football game was still over 10 hours away.  We knelt at the Grotto, explored the Sacred Heart Basilica, took photos in front of the Golden Dome and Hesburgh Library, and then visited the one place to make their cultural immersion complete: the Hammes Bookstore.

To fully feel part of any culture, you have to look the part too.  

As a big college football (and Notre Dame) fan, you might have thought I was nervous about the game.  Since the USC – Notre Dame rivalry is one of the oldest in the sport and has led to upsets over the years, I had reason to be uptight.  But that feeling was nothing compared to the apprehension I experienced when I let my wife and daughters loose in the bookstore.  As an expert group of shoppers that closely resembled a black-ops military mission, they all bolted in different directions, and retuned with arm loads of gear they deemed absolutely necessary to properly represent the Fighting Irish.  To maintain the integrity and morale of the trip, you can be sure I didn’t dare press my luck by saying, “no.”  As the leader of the culture in your home, you must learn to choose your battles wisely.

To wear a uniform means you don a certain jersey.  A uniform culture means everyone acts a certain way.

During the football game, my daughter asked why the player’s didn’t have their last names on their backs.  I answered that when you wear a jersey at Notre Dame, you don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey, you play for the team; for the history and tradition of the program.  If you are going to represent the traditions of a culture the right way, you have to follow the rules and expectations that culture demands.  When that type of uniform behavior happens, the culture is easy to see – and defend.  Not everyone will always uphold the values, but that is when culture works at its best.  That’s when the person or persons not living up to the expectations is reminded “that’s not how we do it here.”  When that type of regulating occurs, you know you have a special culture.

A culture must stand for something or fall for anything.

Over my career, I have been lucky to visit, consult with and coach at many universities.  At each place there was a different “feel,” uniform and traditions that defined the culture of that school.  Now having visited Notre Dame numerous times (and my daughter living there for over two months), I can say there are obvious things they stand for to maintain the culture “Under the Dome.”  Even during the football game, the crowd was reminded the university is not just about sports, but also about academics, faith and service.

If there is one kind of service your culture should not be into, it is lip service.

Values shouldn’t just be things on your lips – they should also be in your heart. If you do want  to work on your culture, you can’t just talk about it – you have to be about it.  To help you get your culture right, I created the following ten steps for you.  Whether it is for the culture of your business, team or family, here’s a blueprint to help design the culture you want instead of ending up with the culture you get.


10-Step Blueprint For Building and Maintaining Culture 


1.  Define It Clearly

You won’t get the culture you hope or wish for, you’ll get the one you define. The first step in building your culture is to develop clarity about the culture you want.  As the leader, you must precisely clarify the values for which your company stands and identify the behaviors which will and won’t be tolerated.

2.  Teach It Intentionally

If your culture is ever going to be “caught” by your people, it must first be properly “taught” to your people. In particular, you should make sure processes are always in place to on-board and indoctrinate new people while always having regular ongoing forms of cultural continuing education present.

3.  Train It Purposefully

Some values are easier to talk about than they are to do. There’s a big difference between understanding something and doing it.  Once the expectations of your culture are set and taught, they must then be practiced.  Over time, rituals and traditions will develop.

4.  Drive It Publicly

Your mission and vision shouldn’t be kept a secret from your people. The best cultural leaders lead from the front.  As the leader you must constantly communicate your culture to the team.

5.  Live It Daily

Culture isn’t built in a day, but it can be lived on the “daily.” Culture is not created by talking about it, it is created by living it.  If you preach what to practice, you must also practice what you preach.

6.  Check It Periodically

Like a doctor, the leader must regularly examine the culture. Like any living thing, your culture is also going to require systematic check-ups.  These are required to place your finger on the pulse of the health of your culture.

7.  Uphold It Continuously 

Your culture is like a garden, and like any garden, your culture will require constant nurturing.  Like a gardener, you need to constantly fertilize and stimulate your culture never forgetting that a great culture can take years to build and only minutes to destroy.

8.  Change It Occasionally

Like a detective, the leader should be on the lookout for changes because while change of your culture is mandatory, positive change is optional.  As times and technology change, you must always be prepared adapt.

9.  Share It Inclusively

Culture doesn’t begin in the workplace.  Culture starts in your home.  Keeping your home and work life separate is a big mistake.  Include the people you love with the work you love.

10.  Enjoy It Thoroughly

If you follow the recipe for a great culture, you can’t leave out the “fun.”  The ultimate goal for your culture is to produce an environment and having fun doing it.


The highest level of culture is when you feel part of something bigger – something that feels like “Family.”

On Sunday went to mass in the Basilica and then went to breakfast with the whole family.

That meal included a huge Dutch pancake and I knew it would be the last one for all of us together until Thanksgiving. As my family were all laughing and carrying on the way we do it in the Rooney culture,  I sat back for a second and watched them all.  That moment was my greatest gift from the trip to Indiana because it helped me realize once again that family is everything.


Throwing you a big High Ten!

Martin Rooney

P.S.  Want more lessons how to build a great team culture?   Then it’s time to finally read High Ten.

Would you like to be better able to coach for culture?  I promise you will benefit from the easy-to-read and entertaining stories within High Ten.  Thousands of coaches around the world have gotten the lessons within these two books.  Don’t miss out!

Get High Ten Here


20 Coaching Lessons from 20 years at the UFC

Hindsight really is 20/20.  Especially after 20 years.

This past weekend in Las Vegas, I cornered UFC fighter Jim Miller for his record-breaking 38th fight in the Octagon.  As I sat down in my office thinking what to write about the experience, I noticed something interesting about a trophy on my desk.

The fact that it was a UFC Fight of the Night trophy wasn’t what made it interesting – instead it was the date engraved on the trophy – September 28th, 2001.

That day in Connecticut, Ricardo Almeida became the first UFC fighter I ever cornered to receive Fight of the Night honors.  He got the award and honored me as his coach by giving me the trophy.

On this past Saturday night, Jim Miller also won the award (the 13th time he has done it over his career!) almost 20 years to the day later.  Instead of a trophy, however, Jim won an additional $50,000!

Days can drag, but decades fly by.

The date on the trophy was what really surprised me. It’s hard to believe over two decades have flown by since I’ve been coaching mixed martial arts fighters.  As I reflected on all the fights I’ve cornered in-between those two Fights of the Night, I realized a lot of things about the sport of MMA have changed.  Thinking about those last twenty years, I also recognized I’ve been lucky to have learned many of my most important coaching lessons. Those cage-side lessons have made me a better parent, person and coach.

To be asked to corner someone is one of the greatest honors, but accepting the role makes you responsible for one of the scariest jobs – to physically and mentally prepare a fighter and then stand cage-side while he or she goes to battle.

You have probably heard in order to be successful in life, you need to focus on what you can control and forget about what you can’t.   Although that sounds easy in theory, that may be the most difficult job for a cornerman and coach to practice.  After spending months guiding a fighter for an event that will take a maximum of 15 minutes, when the cage-door closes, you realize those 15 minutes are the ones you cannot control. That slamming of the door on Saturday night again reminded me how scary it feels to be out of control.

It’s not always if you win or lose, but how you play the “game.”

During my years as a coach in MMA, I have cornered over 100 fights both big and small.  Regardless of the size or name of the event, they were all equally important to those fighters in the cage.

Few sports I have been involved with have produced the “highs of highs and lows of lows” like I have experienced in mixed martial arts. I have leapt in exhilaration from a victory and wept during a 16-hour plane flight home after a defeat.  I’ve openly carried the same fighter around the ring on my shoulders after a win, and held his hands while his face was stitched closed backstage after a loss. I’ve felt fearless and have been scared to death.  I’ve stayed in incredible hotels and cities around the world, but missed holidays at home with the family.  In the process of trying to help dismantle our enemies, I have built lifelong friends through finding my meaning in someone else’s.

But through all the ups and downs, there were always coaching lessons to be learned.

Over those 20 years, I was also able to achieve my black belt in judo.  That belt is also something that sits on my desk as a constant reminder.  To me, the belt represents the fact that a black belt is not someone who hasn’t made mistakes – it’s the person who has made most of them – and just doesn’t make them any more.  That belt sits on my desk to remind me that many of the coaching lessons I have to share came from my mistakes and losses.

The following are 20 coaching lessons I’ve learned over the last 20 years attempting to be a black belt coach.  Many of these lessons came not from big wins and fights-of-the-night, but from the biggest challenges and catastrophies.  Only now looking back, can I see their true value.

It’s my hope that you can begin to apply these ideas to your coaching so you don’t have to learn them the “hard way” like I did.  Then when you’ve reached your black belt level of coaching, it will be time to pass on your lessons too.


20 Coaching Lessons from 20 years of UFC 


1.  Accept responsibility.  You are there to fix the problems, not the blame.

2.  Criticize wisely. Focus on the process of the fight, not the personality of the fighter.

3.  Give praise.  Recognize the power of recognition makes what gets rewarded gets repeated.

4.  Have faith.  Believing in them more than they believe in themselves shortens the distance between now and then.

5.  Dream big.  Set expectations high by seeing them as they can’t yet see themselves.

6.  Pursue improvement.  Don’t seek ways to make them tired, seek methods to make them better.

7.  Make it about them.  Direct your enthusiasm in the their direction if you want to properly direct them.

8.  Give.  Never stop asking yourself, “What can I contribute here?”

9.  Serve.  Don’t forget the four most powerful words of a coach: “How can I help?”

10.  Leave no stones unturned.  See if there really is any traffic on the extra mile.

11.  Keep things simple.  Never let the basics get boring or the fundamentals get less fun.

12.  Grow.  Invest in others, but never forget to also invest in yourself.

13.  Assess.  Be critical of your victories and let your losses be your biggest teachers how to win.

14.  Stay positive. Exude confidence, even when you don’t have it.

15.  Constantly ask, “Why?”  Experiment with new things to make your past ideas pass the test, so your competition doesn’t pass you by.

16.  Cheer them on.  You are their advocate, not their adversary. Act like their greatest fan.

17.  Be a serial optimist.  You have to first see the possibility before you form the plan.

18.  Get interested in them. Know your person’s dreams and what most inspires them.

19.  Seek efficiency.  Remember your job is to figure out how to make their life easier, not harder.

20.  Stay curious.  Keep learning with the understanding there will always be more wonderful teachings that exist.


Now that you’ve read the list, I hope you recognize these lessons aren’t just for fighters.  They are for anyone who is helping someone else fight the “battle called life.”  So whether you’re a coach, parent, boss, team leader or family member, I challenge you to give the items on this list a shot and see if your life doesn’t improve as you improve the lives of others.

A coach’s most sought after trophy is someone else’s.

As I sat staring at the UFC trophy on my desk, I realized it isn’t what I got.  The trophy is a symbol of what I have given.

That trophy validated what I was doing as a coach when everyone else didn’t believe in me or the sport. Yes, instead of the $50,000 you get now, it’s just a piece of glass.  But to me, that trophy is priceless and a reminder of perhaps the biggest lesson:  coaching is not something I’ve done to all my athletes over the years.  It’s something I’ve done with them.

Throwing you a High Ten,


P.S. Want more coaching lessons?   Then it’s time to finally read Coach to Coach and High Ten.

Would you like to be a better coach?  I promise you will benefit from the easy-to-read and entertaining stories within Coach to Coach and High Ten.  Thousands of coaches around the world have gotten the lessons within these two books.  Don’t miss out!

Get Coach to Coach Here

Get High Ten Here


50 Success Lessons From My 50 Years

I can’t believe I’m writing this:

Today I’ve officially been alive for half a century!

That’s right – 50 trips around the sun.  I know, I know.  I can’t believe it either, but it’s true. Some people might not be excited to say,  “I’m 50 years old,” but I feel really good about it.


After all, I’ve jammed a lot into the last 18,250 days.


Over my 438,000 hours, I’ve been a lot of things: a son, an infant, a child, an adolescent, a student, an athlete, an adult, a physical therapist, a bobsledder, a black belt, a record holder, a coach, a business owner, an investor, a speaker, a writer, a podcaster, a husband, an uncle and a dad.


Now I can add one more thing to the list: quinquagenarian.


Along my semicentennial trip, I’ve logged almost two million air miles and my feet have touched-down in a lot of places.  My adventures have led me to 47 US states and 37 countries.

On the journey, I’ve used my five decades to push my body on the track, in the weight room, on the field, across the ice, over the mat, and in the water.  Perhaps one great 50 feat is still being the same weight as when I was 18.

In addition to my body, I’m even more proud of the way I have used the semicentury to test my mind.  During the educational portion of my life, I’ve accumulated 3 degrees, read over 2000 books and written 12 of my own.  I also have had the privilege to have taught tens of thousands of people in my courses around the world.

While I share these “accomplishments,” know that the half-century road has been far from smooth.  I cannot forget all my achievements would not have been possible without all the mistakes I’ve made.  The setbacks. The tragedies.  The catastrophes.

In addition to all the good stuff on my resume, I’ve been some less desirable things too.  I’ve been over-confident while being under-prepared. I’ve been impulsive and abrasive.  I’ve been selfish.  I’ve been absent of compassion.  I’ve been angry.  I’ve been filled with doubt.  I’ve been broken-hearted.  I’ve been alone.

But I’m thankful looking back on all my challenges and weaknesses because the adage is true: with age comes wisdom.  I am grateful for what my mistakes have forced me to become.

To examine my last fifty years, I spent time over the last few weeks reflecting on the wisest things I’ve discovered – the important things I’ve learned “the hard way.” During this process I asked myself couple of questions:


“What would be 50 pieces of success advice I wish I knew sooner?”  


“What could be some of the best success ideas I could share to make your trip easier?”  


Those questions led to the following list for you.  While it isn’t all-inclusive or in any particular order, I think there are some great ideas to help you.  At worst the list will be inspiring to read.  At best certain items will push you to take action on a current issue holding you back.  Either way, they represent a very important success idea: your life will not be measured someday by what you got – it will be measured by what you gave back.  

So here’s my gift to you on my birthday:


50 Success Lessons From A Quinquagenarian


1.   Don’t believe everything you think.

2.   You are a success when you stop wishing to be SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE or SOMETHING else.

3.   Since you can’t focus on two things at one time, make the most important thing the most important thing.

4.  Be present. Make sure you don’t let your yesterday’s and tomorrow’s ruin your today’s.

5.  Where you are in life is exactly where you are supposed to be as a result of either the things you have or have not done.  Do the right things.

6.  Before you list all the reasons why something won’t work, start by thinking up ideas how it will.

7.  You can’t control events, but you can control your thoughts and actions in response to them.

8.  Successful people get most excited when things get most difficult.  Learn to get energized by difficulty.

9.  Get going. Your actions will change your attitude faster than the reverse.

10.  Being honest with yourself is one of the hardest things to do. To blame one’s circumstances on outside forces is much easier than holding oneself responsible.

11.  No matter how good you get, don’t try to drown the people who taught you how to swim.

12.  Even though there are times you may feel like giving in, that doesn’t mean you have to act like giving up.  To succeed, often you have to act differently than you feel.

13.  Visualize what you want. You will never BE IT if you never SEE IT.

14.  The greatest mistake is to make the same mistake over and over again and never learn from it.

15.  If you don’t have a dream, you can never have a dream come true.

16.  If you want something, don’t let it be the start that stops you.

17.  If someone is going to give you a “no,” at least don’t let it be you.

18.  Since only you can create your thoughts, create thoughts from the mindset you cannot fail.

19.  Welcome your challenges always remembering no great story ever happened without a great problem.

20.  Get your reps.  With enough repetition, the currently uncomfortable will become the comfortable.

21.  Addressing “small issues” before they become “big problems” can change and or save your life.

22.  You must recognize delayed gratification is not about willpower.  It’s a learned skill.

23.  Your past is not a forecast because your past does not predict your future.

24.  No matter how heart broken and how tough life is, there will always be a NEXT.

25.  A person with a great attitude makes the best of it when they get the worst of it.

26.  It’s not how big your opportunity is, it’s how big you are to your opportunity.

27.  You don’t lack most of the abilities you need to succeed: you block them.

28.  Ask life for what you want.  If you don’t, the answer is always “no.”  Don’t ask, don’t get.

29.  When there is a lack of communication, negativity, apathy or anger will often fill that gap.

30.  Success isn’t knowing what to do – it comes from doing what you know.

31.  A crisis will often clarify your priorities.  Identify them because your priorities will clarify your destiny.

32.  Success comes less from wishing and more from working.

33.  The best way to find your meaning is in someone else’s.

34.  It is always ok to say, “I don’t know.”

35.  Get good at making a contribution and giving someone either a compliment or the credit.

36.  Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.

37.  Don’t be so busy putting out everyone else’s fires that you are unable to start any of your own.

38.  Don’t only look at what it costs if you take an opportunity, but also at what it costs you if you don’t.

39.  It is not where you live, it’s how you live that counts.  Success can come from anywhere.

40.  One of biggest mistakes is to spend your life doing something you don’t love.  Find and chase your passion.

41.  Your comfort zone might feel like a nice place, but wellness doesn’t grow there.

42.  To be more successful, improve your ability to make people feel better about themselves.

43.  The most powerful way to become stronger is to lift someone else up.

44.  One of the best gifts you can give a person is to let them know you BELIEVE in them.

45.  Listening is one of the most important success skills you can develop.

46.  Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing.  You’re pulled up or down by the influential people around you.

47.  Trust and work well with others.  Many hands really do make work light.

48.  Every piece of food you put in or word that comes out of your mouth, every breath you take or thought you make, your actions all add up.  In the end, there are no little things.

49.  Life is cumulative. Your life will be composed of a number of events. Some will go to plan. Some won’t. You will learn is not one event, but the sum of all your events that count.

50.  Whatever you do or don’t do will add up to who you eventually become. It’s up to you whether your life will or won’t stay the same.  DOn’t waIT!

I hope you enjoyed the list and found some personal favorites you can immediately use to s take the next step toward a current problem.

If you’ve enjoyed my list of success wisdom, I’ve packed more ways to become successful into my two books Coach to Coach and High Ten.  If you haven’t read the books, there are dozens more powerful lessons how to be a better person and build a stronger team waiting for you.

Finish the summer strong with some reading.

Now in kindle and audio versions too!

Thanks again for reading my work, and I look forward to continuing to share for the next 50 years!

Throwing you a High Ten,


Should A Coach Ever Say This?

Have you heard the news?  My new book Coach to Coach officially released yesterday!

As you can probably imagine, just like having a new child, I have been dreaming of where this book will go and the people the book will someday meet.  As a result of my new “offspring,” I have also been talking about it with anyone I meet.  After telling them about my first parable book, a common question I keep receiving about Coach to Coach is:

Who is this book for?

I guess you can believe I get some confused looks when I answer them with:

This book is for me!

On the surface, this answer may sound superficial and materialistic as though I wrote the book in hopes of making money or some best-seller list.  Anyone who knows about the book industry, however, knows that’s not the case.  Since few people ever make money from or bestseller lists with their books, many people write a book for a similar reason: they felt compelled to put their ideas to paper and share it with the world.  So, I wrote the book because I had an intrinsic purpose that would not let me go to the grave without freeing the coaching information I had inside.  Especially because I knew it that could help so many people.

The book, therefore, is for me not because of the hope for extrinsic gain, but for the goal of  intrinsic fulfillment.

Rooney Rule:  When your motives are intrinsic, you will pull out your best work from inside.

OK, my initial answer wasn’t exactly complete.  Although I told you this book is for me, I have to admit I also wrote the book for you.

Coach to Coach is for any coach, parent, spouse, boss, co-worker, teammate or family member who wants to do a better job at positively influencing the people around them and help those people get closer to reaching their dreams.  It is a book for anyone hoping to inspire someone else.  So, what started out as a book just for me is really a book for anyone.

Over the last year of the book’s development, there were many points when I wanted to quit.  Just like with you and your work, there are probably internal reasons that keep you going when the going gets tough.  And like the yearly studies that state workers are rarely driven to their best by money and bonuses, you have also probably discovered that the extrinsic carrots rarely carry you as long or as far as those intrinsic rewards.

Every year there is another study that proves money is not why people keep a job.  Eventually people make the discovery that fulfillment and alignment are more important.  I have held a number of previous jobs that just didn’t align with my ultimate purpose.  As a result, I may have gone through the motions for the immediate extrinsic rewards, but it was not only never my best work, but each one of those rewards was also fleeting.  They might help fill your monetary bank account, but they can deplete your emotional and spiritual ones.

I am not saying not to generate money.  Or that money is not important.  But I am saying that how you make that money and the work you produce will be maximized when what you do is aligned with what is most significant to you.  So here are the first 3 of the 5 big questions I have for you to answer today in order to find more significance:

1.  What is driving you right now?
2.  What are you passionate about that could bring out your best?
3.  What would be the perfect alignment of your drivers and passion?

Do your work and career seem uninspired?  Perhaps you are focusing more on the extrinsic than the intrinsic.  How do I know?  Because it was happening to me.  I was spending a lot of my time counting “likes” and reading “comments.”  I was measuring myself and value in “followers” and “posts.”  It was empty work that was not sustainable and rarely left me feeling good inside.

But my gut was calling for something more significant.  Something evergreen.  It knew there was an intersection of what I was passionate about and what the world needed.  By finally listening to that calling, my intrinsic needs forced me to sit down to write.  And ever since typing the first few words, I have been on fire for the project.  (That again is why I mentioned at the start that Coach to Coach is partly for me.)

To write the book, I had to go from the extrinsic to the intrinsic.  Without that shift, the book would still be sitting in my head as I chased another dollar or download.  When you make that change, that is when your magic will come too.  But you have to first ask yourself what is driving you.

Here are two more classic life questions to answer:

4.  “What would you do if you had all the money in the world?”
5.  “What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?”

Although those may sound cliche, these questions are the ultimate roadmap how to remove the extrinsic rewards from your life to discover what really intrinsically motivates you.

So instead of just reading them, I am challenging you to spend some deep thought and time and answer them. “What really would you be doing on a daily basis if you had all the money in the world?”

And don’t answer too fast.  Of course, at first your answer of having you feet in the sand on an exotic beach may sound inviting, but as I have learned from mentors much wealthier and productive than I, “24 hours is a long time to have nothing to do.”  In fact, each one of these people shared with me that once they had removed the extrinsic demands of just trying to make a buck, that is when their true greatness emerged.

Me?  What would I do if I had all the money I needed?   I would still love to travel, coach, workout, spend time with my family and write.  Those are the things with which I am motivated intrinsically and therefore again explain my original answer why Coach to Coach is for me.

So what intrinsically motivates you?

My advice would be to ask yourself these same questions, create your answers then start taking steps to make sure you spend as much of your life there as possible.  When you do, your greatness and experience of true success will have no choice but to shine through.

Success isn’t how much money you have.  Success is discovering the intersection of your passion and something the world needs and then spending your life’s work doing that with people you care about.

If you want even more tips on how to find that intersection, you have to read Coach to Coach.

I promise it contains another important exercise that will help you to not only be at your best, but also how to bring out the best in someone else.

I really know it can help you increase your significance in the life of someone else.  And that is why I wrote it for you.

Happy Birthday Coach to Coach!


P.S. If you would like multiple copies for your team with a great discount, click here:

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5 Ways A Coach Can Get Rid Of Excuses

What has happened has finally become a dream come true.

And the best dreams don’t come from your brain, they come from your heart.

For the last few weeks, I have been sharing with you about my new book Coach to Coach.  Even though I was sharing the news, even I had not seen an actual copy of the book yet!  So everything up until the point of having the book in my hands still meant that the book remained nothing more than an idea.  But now that has all changed.

I have finally gotten my first copy and the book is EXACTLY as I imagined it!  And why is it the exact replica of what I imagined?  Because as you will learn today, you have to have a very precise idea about what you want to do before that idea can ever be known as a “dream come true.”

During the time leading up to the launch of Coach to Coach, I have been sharing how I am getting a number of common questions about the book.

When I was showing off the book yesterday and explaining the story contained in the book to a former pro athlete I used to train, he said, “This is amazing!  How did you get such a great idea for the book?”

I kind of laughed and said, “I have lots more ideas like that, man.”


And his question and my answer got me thinking.  I realized from that conversation that many people don’t spend time during the day thinking up ideas.  And even when they do, those ideas are like wishes and dreams.  Even when most people have them, not many of those people do much about them.

Do you have ideas about how to make more money and improve your life?

Well I have news for you: Everyone dreams of more money, better health, better relationships and more happiness. But so few ever do what it takes to make those dreams come true.  Today, but using my book as an example, I want to remind you it is the taking action on your ideas that groups you with either the have’s and have not’s.

Now that Coach to Coach has gone from dream to reality, I realize the book didn’t happen because I had the idea behind it. Coach to Coach also didn’t get completed because I had the idea of being a published author or a dream of seeing my books in bookstores.  And all the amazing coaches behind the book didn’t happen because I made a “wish list.”  All those things about the book happened because I took the necessary actions on those ideas to bring that book to life!


Rooney Rule:  The problem is people think dreams are for when you are dead asleep and then never try to live them when they are wide awake.


To be clear, a dream is when you spend your time just thinking about or wishing for something.  A reality is when you have acted on a dream long enough until that dream comes true.

Want to know where I believe many of the the greatest books, movies and screenplays are? Would you like to know where to find the greatest inventions and business creations?  Well, those can all be found at the same place, not to mention all the most amazing relationships and adventures right along with them.

Where is this place?  And no, the answer is not on the internet.

Unfortunately, this place is the grave yard.  And why do I believe that the cemetery holds so many of these amazing treasures?  Because people throughout history have gone to their deaths with those treasures still inside of them.  Those people, just like you, had a lot of ideas and dreams.  They just never took the actions necessary to make them a reality.  And as a result, we will never know the beauty, inspiration or change those treasures could have created.

After hearing that, I know what you are thinking:  Why do so many people give up on their dreams?  Why would so many people choose to never bring out the greatness inside of them waiting to come out?


Rooney Rule: You can’t dream if you are only awake to your past failures and current limitations.


Now the two big questions:

Do you have any big ideas?
Is there a dream you constantly find yourself thinking about?


If your answer to both questions was “yes,” what are the “problems” stopping you from making them a reality?  (And don’t forget, only people in cemeteries have no problems, so you should be happy for the ones you have!)

Now that I have been asking a lot of the people around me those same two questions, here are some of the reasons I keep hearing:


“I don’t have the talent.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I don’t have the resources.”
“I don’t have the connections.”
“I don’t have the energy.”


Do any of those sound familiar?  If so, before you go buying into them, I want to offer my objections to each one of those excuses:

“I don’t have the talent.”

You ideas don’t not come to life because of a lack of talent.  There are tons of talented writers that never put a book together.  Whatever it is you want to achieve, you just need to practice and the talent you need will come.


“I don’t have the time.”

You have the time to do whatever you want to achieve.  In fact, you have the same amount of time every other superstar has had in history.  24 hours is a long time; you are just spending it on other things that you are making more important.


“I don’t have the resources.”

Whether it is financial or human capital you need, there are ways to get your dreams done.  Instead of coming up with the reasons you are missing them, plan out the ways to create those resources in your life.


“I don’t have the connections.”

You dream isn’t lacking an agent or editor.  Everything is so easy today, there really isn’t anything you can’t do on your own.  And if you can’t everyone is reachable within a couple of contacts.  Don’t forget they aren’t called “connections” until you first “connect.”


“I don’t have the energy.”

Whether you feel you are lacking either the mental or physical energy, I challenge you to get moving.  Momentum toward anything can’t happen if you aren’t moving first!


If you didn’t notice the pattern, I will make it easy for you:  every one of my objections listed above had a common denominator:  TAKING ACTION.

The antidote to all of the excuses above is GETTING STARTED.

I had a lot of dreams about my new book Coach to Coach for a long time.  The only reason it exists now is because I did something about it.  I started taking action on my ideas. I had ideas before. The only reason that this book now exists is that this time I just committed to those ideas and carried out the necessary actions to make them real.

And the great news?  You can do the same thing too!

What is something you have been dreaming about?
What is one small way you can get started?


Take that small action.  Yes, there may be a few setbacks.  Every action isn’t going to lead to immediate success.  But the more little failures you have, you will get better at  getting back up and see your dream become a reality.

I couldn’t be more proud of Coach to Coach.  And I am not just proud of the ideas that are in the book, but the fact that I finally got started on the idea of creating the book in the first place!

I am proud say that the dozens of people of influence who have already read it love the book and have immediately put the ideas inside to use.  I hope if you are looking for an idea or two how to be a better coach to someone else, you will read the book and help make someone’s dream a reality.  That could be the easiest way to get you started on taking action on your next great idea.

Now that the book is finally being read, another idea related question I have received is,   “How long did it take you to get the idea?”

The idea for Coach to Coach?  That took me a second.

Researching and writing the book?  That took me 20 years.

Why?  Because big ideas are EASY.  The little actions to make those ideas real are HARD.


The great news?  If you want the book, you don’t have to wait 20 years!  The book can be yours this week!

One of my favorite things to do is to give a book I enjoy to someone else.  I know you know someone who can benefit from this book.  Whether it is a coach, parent, co-worker, manager or teammate, this is a book filled with ideas they will be thankful you shared. To help you do just that for your organization or team, look at this:



Get Coach To Coach for your Team!

Couldn’t be more proud of how my latest book turned out.  If you are looking for a great team building guide and easy-to-read book that will create an organization of better coaches, you need a copy.

Below are special bulk pricing and free international shipping links if you are looking to save big for your team!






And if you just need one copy get to Amazon, here you go:

Coach To Coach on Amazon

One of my dreams for you is to use my philosophy to create your greatest work.  Want to help make another one of my dreams come true?

All you have to do is take a little action that will actually make your day and someone else’s brighter too.

Thank you and enjoy the book!

Yours in Strength,


Are You Committing This Coaching Crime?

Rooney Rule: You are a product of your priorities.  And so are the products that you produce!


Now that my new book Coach to Coach is coming out in a few days, a lot of people are asking for my advice how they can take on a major project like writing a book.  When I tell them the list of things they have to do in order to get something like a book done, many give me a classic excuse: “I am too busy to do that!

That is when I smile and ask if it is ok for me to play forensic investigator for a moment. (As you may or may not know, forensic science is used to examine the evidence of a scene to help determine the innocence or guilt of a suspect.)

If they say “yes,” then I do a little exploring into their lives and the supposed reasons behind why they are so busy.  We usually discover that time was never the criminal behind why the books they wanted to write or the goals they wanted to achieve are not being completed.  The evidence usually shows these people have the time.  Their crime is not being busy; it is their lack of priority.


Now how about you?


If I did a forensic investigation of your life over the last 6 months detailing everywhere you spent your time, what would I find?  Imagine I had a log of all your internet searches, your social media surfing, the TV and movies you watched, and the apps and texts resulting in your screen time.  What would it tell me about you and your priorities?  Does the thought of me peering into your life like that make you nervous?  Well, not only would the evidence tell me how much time you were spending per week on those things, but the details of what you were doing would also tell me what you value as the most important use of your time.

And if the thought of the results of this investigation sounds a bit scary, then that fear should be all the more reason that a change in your priorities might be long overdue.


“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”  Goethe


Even though my book Coach to Coach is releasing, I know you may not be interested in ever writing a book.  But I am sure you have something different in mind that you would like to achieve.  Most people I meet also usually want to lose weight, make more money, learn a musical instrument, develop a new skill and or improve their relationships.  But then when I investigate those same people’s actions with them, those same people spend little or no time on any of those things.

The crime again isn’t a lack of time or a lack of ideas; it is a lack of priority.


Would you like to do any of the things listed above?
Is there some achievement or skill you really want?
Well what are you currently doing about it?


After examining how you are spending your days, if your answer to the last question is “nothing,” then maybe you don’t really want it as bad as you think.  Or maybe you just have to be reminded to get your priorities straight.

And even when you have your priorities straight, they are eventually going to change again.

Once my new book was written, I thought I had done the work.  Then I was quickly reminded by the publisher that the work hadn’t even started yet!  There were websites to build, testimonials to get, podcasts to secure, speeches to book, blogs and emails like this to write and much more.

As you might expect, I told everyone I was too busy.  I didn’t think I had the time.

And then luckily a mentor of mine not only did a little forensic science on my own life to prove I had more time than I imagined, but he gave me the following story which I needed to hear in order to help me reset my priorities.  And ironically for me, the story had to do with 5 simple things.


The Jack Canfield “Rule of 5”


You may have heard of Jack Canfield.  If not, then you are surely familiar with his series of books that he co-authored with Mark Victor Hansen called Chicken Soup for the Soul which now has over 225 books in print and a total sales of over 500 million copies worldwide in 47 languages. Today Jack is a world-renowned speaker on a number of business related topics.  But back in the early 1990’s, he was an unproven author trying to figure out how to sell books.

He and Victor Hansen thought they were trying everything.  They were seeking advice from other authors and were given even more ideas.  As a result, as you can imagine, they too thought there wasn’t enough time to create a best-seller.  They too decide they were “too busy.”

Confused with all the choices of how to spend their time, Canfield and Hansen received a simple, yet profound lesson from a spiritual teacher. To teach the lesson, he used this analogy of a lumberjack chopping down a tree:

“If you go every day to a tree and take five swings at it with an axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to fall down.”

Using this idea, Canfield and Hansen created what they called “The Rule of Five.” The idea behind the rule was they would commit to taking five daily actions that would sell some books. So, every day after that, the authors would do at least 5 different things each day that would move the book forward.  They had not only made making that list a priority, but with The Rule of Five, they insured they would be taking actions each day that aligned with the priority.

Those 5 things could be anything, but had to match somehow with the priority of becoming a best-seller.  They sent books out, they did interviews, they made calls and talked to anyone who would listen.  5 things a day; day after day. And just like the teacher had predicted, the large tree fell. Today that series of books that no one was originally interested in became known as “the publishing phenomenon of the century” by Time magazine.

Did you do everything you wanted to do yet?  Is there still something great inside of you waiting to come out?  Is there a large tree out there still waiting to be chopped down?  Where you are in life is exactly where you are supposed to be.  Where you are and what you have right now are a reflection of what you have made a priority up until this point.


Using another analogy, only what you water will grow.


Want to do a better job getting what it is your desire?  Well, whether it is chopping down trees or watering them, both actions require consistent action.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, take a page out of Jack Canfield’s book and start doing 5 things a day until you have what you want.  Need a little direction?  Here is my Simple 5-Step Priority Formula:


Step 1: Decide What You Want.
Step 2:  Make It A Priority.
Step 3:  List 5 Things Per Day To Get Closer To The Thing You Want.
Step 4:  Do Those 5 Things Consistently.
Step 5:  Don’t Give Up Until You Get What You Want.

If it sounds too simple, give it a shot.

It is not only exactly what I used to research and write my latest book Coach to Coach, but also how I sold the book, got the testimonials, did the marketing and got the word out in emails like this to you.

Why did I do it?  Because the book was my biggest priority.

How did I do it?  With a little list of 5 things everyday.

Start doing the right 5 things every day and you will welcome the forensic scientists to investigate how you became such a success!


Rooney Rule:  What you value in life will eventually determine your value.


My new book Coach to Coach is just a few days away!  Did you order your copy yet?  As special incentive to order before the March 10 release, I have created value for you in my “Get One, Give One” special offer.

If you order two copies and email me your receipt for the purchase of of Coach to Coach, I will personally send you my “15 Daily Exercises For A Coach” and my “Coach’s Creed” which are both never-before-released PDFs that will be valuable reminders of your special job.


Only a few days left!  If you value the power of a coach, please join the movement of making a world of better coaches and one of your 5 ways to do that today is to help me with an order of Coach to Coach.

Can’t wait for you to read it!

Yours in Strength,


A Coach’s Hidden Place To Create Your Best Work

Successful people find the best place to pay things forward while the unsuccessful wait aimlessly in hopes of a payback.

If you haven’t figured it out from all my latest emails, I am obsessed with books.  Over the years, as my love for books grew, I didn’t just become interested in reading them, I became very interested in the process of writing them too.

Yes, I am proud of the books on my shelves that I have both read and written (Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”), but I have also traveled the world investigating the “magic” behind what has made some of the most famous books in recent history possible.

Some examples of my writing adventures include:

I have been to The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland, and sat exactly where JK Rowling would nurse a cappuccino and wrote her Harry Potter series.

I have been to Ernest Hemingway’s writing room in his house in Key West, Florida and also sat in the chair where he wrote in Paris, France.

I have stood in awe in the home in Amsterdam, Holland where Anne Frank was hidden behind a wall and wrote her classic diary.


After those experiences and many others, I questioned whether I had the “right stuff” in place to write my best book.  Maybe in order to be more like those other authors, I wondered if I too had to find the right place or time for the “magic” of inspiration.


Maybe I needed the perfect chair?
Or was it the perfect weather?
Perhaps I needed an office with perfect view?
Or would inspiration only come with the perfect challenge or life threatening circumstance?


I was sitting around for years waiting for “perfect” to happen.  Because everything never felt “just right,” I delayed myself with the same excuses people use when wondering whether to start a workout program, fix a relationship or change careers.  I always stalled in the faith that the perfect moment would eventually show itself and I would just know when the time was right.

What a sham!

The book gnawed at me.  For years, Coach to Coach would say, “Now!” and I would battle back and say, “Not yet!”  But when I finally gathered the resolve to write my book, I had an epiphany.  I realized there was only one “perfect place” to write it.

Like every other author before me, I discovered the only place I could have created my best work.  And I am happy to share with you that your perfect place or time will have nothing to do with the chair or weather.

The only perfect place I could write the book was IN THE NOW!

The only reason I didn’t write the book sooner was because I was spending too much time in either the past or future coming up with reasons why I wasn’t ready.


I looked back into the past and I would be blocked from writing by fear.
Then I would look ahead into the future and I would be blocked from writing by anxiety.


Fear and anxiety, as I have come to understand them, are just worrying or stressing about something that may or may not happen.  When I started to see that neither one is real, I decided to stop spending my time there. It was only until I left those two places and joined the NOW that Coach to Coach was written.

The past can be a trap.  So can the future.  Until I decided the NOW was perfect, I was spending all my time digging through my past to write blogs.  I would also spend so much time thinking ahead and worrying about future podcasts and events.   Both of these acts took my thoughts and actions away from the only place I could do anything about it; from the present.

I instead started to examine the “here and NOW” and found my greatest work inside: Coach To Coach.

You have probably heard the classic story about the battle of the Two Wolves.

I had a battle going on inside of me too, but my battle was between three wolves, not two.  Even though there were more characters in this story, the moral was the same:  The wolf that is going to win is the one you feed all the time.

Which one of these three wolves are you currently feeding the most?


This wolf would constantly remind me there was a time I wasn’t a writer at all.  And it would ask questions like, “Do you remember all your weaknesses and the struggles involved with getting a book done?” and  “Remember all those failures and setbacks you’ve had?”  This wolf would challenge me to question whether I was ready to have this book fail too?

And all those old thoughts in the past would keep fighting for my attention to distract me from the now.


This wolf would constantly remind me I might not be able to write a good enough book.  And it also would give me questions like, “What if no one likes it?” and “What if you make a fool of yourself?”  This wolf was also great for constantly challenging me about all the work, editing and marketing that would have to be done.

And with all those thoughts on the future would keep fighting for my attention to distract me from the now.


This wolf was much more positive than the others.  This wolf would remind me, “you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do!”  This wolf would challenge me by saying, “Let’s take some action now and see how it goes” and “If you don’t feel like it, get started and maybe you will feel like it.”  This wolf would challenge me that the past isn’t real anymore and the future isn’t real yet either.

The past and the future are both illusions that stop you from doing something now.

Your past does not dictate your future, so stop fearing it.
The future isn’t real yet, so stop worrying about it.

If you don’t have what you want, ask yourself WHICH WOLF ARE YOU FEEDING?

Now with Coach to Coach being released in a few weeks, I have learned if you feed Wolf #3 and do the things you know you need to in the NOW, you will be happy about how your past and future turn out.  In fact, if you do it right, they might just turn out perfect.  I hope this email has inspired your to take action. While you are feeding Wolf #3, a perfect time to order my new book Coach to Coach is NOW!


Yours in Strength,


P.S. If you want more inspiration and want to hear these emails come to life, check out my Into The Roar Podcast.

If you would like to find out how to have me present for your team or your business, Write Me Here.

5 Best Gifts A Coach Can Give

Martin Rooney

Now that you know I have a new book releasing in 3 weeks, you may wonder if it was “hard or painful” for me to write.

If you can believe it, writing my new book Coach to Coach wasn’t painful; it was actually a pleasure.

After all the writing I have done over the years, I have come to enjoy the process of writing and editing.  It may sound crazy, but I not only enjoy looking for errors and ways to make my work grammatically correct, but I also relish looking for new ways to more positively affect people with my writing style.

So, to me, sitting down for hours creating and editing is not painful.  Just like someone who may sit down at the piano and play for hours for the joy of it, writing to me is pleasure.  The story in Coach to Coach had been trapped inside me for so long, it was actually invigorating to finally let it out.

There was, however, one part of every book I have ever written that is the toughest.  This is the one section in which I am always afraid I will make a major mistake.  And that mistake has nothing to do with my ability to understand grammar or punctuation.  That mistake has everything to do with my understanding of people.

So, what is the hardest part of a book for me to write? 

The Acknowledgements!


The Acknowledgements is the section where, after all the hard work of doing your best to show the world what you’ve got, you have to be humble and show gratitude to all the people who helped you out.   When I was writing the acknowledgements for Coach to Coach, I realized the process was like making my Gratitude Journal public.  And because of that, I was afraid to leave anyone out.

As I was writing my Acknowledgements, I spent time looking at every stage of my life and did my best to identify the key people who helped me to be able to write the book.  As the list got bigger and bigger (it eventually spanned over 200 names) I realized two important lessons:


#1  You never do anything alone.  You have a lifetime of people to thank for the things you have achieved.
#2  After you put the names on paper and publicly thank those people, you actually feel better.


On your road to success, it’s easy to forget the people closest to you who helped with the construction.  It is easy to think you reached your goals all by yourself, but this exercise of reviewing my life and thanking the people who have made my success possible was a real eye opener.

What is your Acknowledgements page?  When was the last time you reviewed your life and created a list of people to thank?  As I hinted in #2 above, not only will it make your relationships stronger, it can actually make you healthier too!

Don’t believe it? Well here are some interesting facts about having an “attitude of gratitude” you should know.

Numerous studies on the benefits of gratitude have shown keeping a gratitude journal and or thanking people can increase your long-term happiness by more than 10%.  Research on gratitude has also discovered writing in a gratitude journal can even your reduce blood pressure by 10%.  In addition to those heart benefits, research has also shown keeping a gratitude journal also caused improvements in exercise patterns and a reduction in physical ailments!  And if those weren’t enough to get you thanking people, gratitude is also linked to decreased depression and improved recovery times from traumatic events.  So, if there is anything you should take from the stats above, you should spend some time each day on being thankful for what and who you have in your life by building your own acknowledgements page!

Now that you have heard some benefits, how are you currently showing gratitude on a daily basis?

Are you taking advantage of the health benefits mentioned above?


I get it.  Maybe being gracious doesn’t come naturally in your fast paced day.  Maybe you weren’t raised in a home where gratitude was the prevailing attitude.  And yes, it can be tough to figure out where to start.  Well, I have created the following gratitude primer to help you.

The first place you can start is by writing your own Acknowledgements page!  Even if you haven’t written a book, I suggest that you still do it.

Use the first two steps to make sure you don’t leave anyone out.  And then I will give you 5 simple ways to make sure all the important people you remember know about it too.

How To Write Your Acknowledgements Page


1.  Break up your life into easily designated sections.

a. Start with your School Years

Start with your grade school, then middle school, then high school, and college.  Think back on each section and make a list of the people you need to thank for helping you at every stage.  Teachers and mentors should comprise a lot of the list.

b.  Next break down your past Jobs

Examine all the jobs you’ve ever had.  Look at how your current career has been built up according to jobs or years on the job.  Bosses and co-workers should add more names to your list.

c.  Think back on the all your Teams

Did you play any sports or were you part of any clubs growing up?  Make a list of the teams and then a list of all the coaches and teammates who made you better for today.

d. How about your “Besties”

Who were your best friends growing up?  How about during school and different stages of your life.  Although you may no longer be in contact, they are still worth thanking for helping you.

e.  Did you have Hobbies?

Was there ever a music, martial arts or Girl or Boy Scouts program in your life?  If there was, the odds are the people running them had something to do with who you are today.

f.  Anyone Famous in your life?

Just because you may not know them personally does not mean a person hasn’t helped to shape you.  Are there any authors, actors, sport stars or tv personalities who have influenced you positively?  List them.

g.  Don’t forget your Family

The easiest names to remember are also the most common people leave off the gratitude list.  Just because your family “should know” they have helped you doesn’t mean they know it.  List every one of your family members who has been a person of influence.


2.  Spend Some Time Detailing Out Your List

Once you review sections a-g above, you should have a big list of names of all the people who have helped you in your life.  Go through it again to make sure you didn’t leave anyone out.  Take your time and more names will magically appear.


3.  Thank Them!

So, now that you have your list, it is time to do something about it! With that big list you have created, now you can and should reach out to each one of those people and offer some thanks.

This exercise should have helped you recognize the power and influence the people have had on you from your list. If you really spent the right amount of time on it, you should also have discovered that the real goal in life should be to get on as many of other people’s gratitude lists as possible.

One of the greatest hungers a person has is to be appreciated; to be acknowledged.  Knowing this, it is one of the best gifts you can give someone else.  And as you are about to see, thanking someone is not just about writing down their name on a piece of paper.  There are better ways you can show your Acknowledgements.

Want to make someone else’s Acknowledgements page?  Here are 5 surefire ways to do it:

5 Ways To Live The “Attitude of Gratitude”


1.   Send An “Acknowledgement” Card

Once you have your list made, one of the best “old school” ways to let someone know how they have helped you is to write a note or card to them. Although everyone seems to know this one, few people do it. Think about the power of getting a note of appreciation in the mail. Now think about how you and the other person will feel when you do it.  Get some cards, envelopes, and stamps and get going.

2.  Give A Compliment

In my new book, I remind you that a big part of coaching is to actually recognize and reward people for a job well done.  A great way to do this if you don’t want to send out notes is to give out compliments. You can make someone’s day by giving out compliments on little things that you may take for granted. If you see something you like, let a person know about it. You will be surprised how it helps both you and them.  Make an effort to give out 5 compliments a day for the next week and see if you can stick to it.

3.  Make A Public Announcement

Let someone know exactly why you are grateful to have them in your life and do it in front of other people. Make sure the Acknowledgement is specific and planned out.  Giving out praise in public is always an amazing way to make someone’s day and create a moment that person will never forget.

4.  Throw A High Five

It is my firm belief that everyone can use a high five. That doesn’t just mean people you work with, it means your family and friends too. When you give the high five, let the other person know that you are grateful for having them in your life. A great place to start might be with one of your best coaches!

5.  Offer Your Congrats

Too many people want to save the “good stuff” for themselves as if by recognizing great acts there is less “good stuff” for them.  Wrong!  When someone you know is celebrating a cool achievement, offer your sincere congratulations and be genuinely glad.  Spend each day looking to congratulate someone on a job well done and it could be the most valuable habit you develop in 2020.

Now that you should be well on your way to becoming a master of gratitude, I want to conclude by offering some gratitude to you.  As a reader of my work (and if you have made it this far into the email), I am grateful you took the time to listen to what I have to say.

If you have enjoyed my emails, you are going to LOVE Coach to Coach and I promise if you get a copy, you will want to get a copy for someone else too.  That could actually be the best way to thank someone for helping you!

I created my “Get ONE Give ONE” special with this in mind.  If you order two books, I will send you 3 free coaching bonuses as a special gift. Just sent the receipts to me and I will send the  back to you with a note of thanks.


I promise the book makes a great gift and is going to help a lot of people.

Thank you for joining the mission of making a world of better coaches.

Yours in Strength,


The Most Important Decision You Will Make Today

There are people better, faster and more enthusiastic than you at things that either waste your time or you don’t like doing!

After a couple decades of building businesses and coaching people, I have found that the toughest thing isn’t doing the hard work.  My biggest challenge was freeing up my time to do the hard work that matters most.

Speaking of hard work, in just a few weeks I will be releasing what I consider my best book, Coach to Coach.  It is an easy-to-read parable about coaching that is going to change the way people interact.  Because it is going to create the successful coaching mindset that many coaches were never given, it is also going to improve the lives of people who read it as well as the lives of the people around them.

The more people I tell about Coach to Coach, the more questions I receive about the book.  One I was asked recently was, “What is the single most important decision that led to writing the book?”


Was it deciding on the college I attended?
Was it deciding on who I married?
Was it deciding on the career path I selected?
Was it deciding to give up my original career as a physical therapist and help people around the world with Training For Warriors?


No, it was none of those.

Although those were all big decisions that in some way contributed to my new book, perhaps the single most important decision that led to the book was deciding NOT to mow my lawn!

Confused by how such a small thing could lead to such a big development?  Let me explain.


Rooney Rule:  In order to have what you want, you may have change your current relationship with the value of your money and time.  And that may involve one of the hardest things to do: Delegation.


My delegation story that made Coach to Coach possible began almost 15 years ago.  At that time, when I would come home from a full day of work at the gym, I would be subtly reminded by my wife that I still had to mow, edge and weed my ever-growing lawn.

This weekly reminder and the act of mowing was nothing new.  I had first been given the job of mowing my family’s lawn when I was about 11 years old, so after 20 years of weekly mowing, weeding and edging, the job had become a habit.

In terms of the mowing, I was pretty efficient at it and I have to admit, I never minded getting outside, clearing my mind and doing some yard work.

But as I was trying to further my career, I realized I never had enough time left at the end of the week or month to do the bigger things I wanted to accomplish.  And, as a coincidence, I also didn’t seem to have enough money left either.

So as I started researching in books and courses how to make more money, I kept hearing how the best leaders delegated certain types of work.  I also learned building the right team could free up your time for the important things to finally get done.  I memorized words like “efficiency” and phrases like “return on investment.” But those ideas only took root when I was forced to identify what my time was worth.

Even though it didn’t seem like the 3-4 hours a week I was spending on my lawn was that bad, I started to realize my time could be better invested.  Especially when someone else could do my lawn faster and better for just 25 bucks a week.

Although that may not sound like much money and a no-brainer to trade for my time, that 25 dollars was hard for me to pay at first.  After all, I had mowed my lawn since I was 11 years old and with two kids (at the time) and trying to save for their futures, every dollar mattered.

But I had to understand that there was a more valuable way to use my time.  At 25 dollars for my 4 hours spent, there had to be a better way to earn more than 6 bucks-an-hour.

In order to justify paying someone else to mow, I had to come up with ways to spend my time that was worth more than 6 dollars an hour.  So, I uncovered a pretty simple 4-step process: I had to value my time, find something more valuable to do, DELEGATE the unimportant and then do that more valuable thing.

Although those 4 steps and an extra 3-4 new hours a week don’t sound like much, they add up if used wisely.  4 hours a week turns into 16 hours a month.  16 hours a month turns into 192 hours a year.  And 192 hours a year turns into 1920 hours in a decade.

What could you do with almost 2000 hours to focus on a topic?  That is almost fifty full 40 hour-work-weeks just on one topic!  Now looking back, this trade of about $12,000 allowed me to increase my value and skills so I could eventually write Coach to Coach.  This trade of money for time freed me up to read.  After I had read for years, I also used those hours to learn to public speak and to write.  And after thousands of books read and almost a dozen books written, Coach to Coach and the skills I have developed are worth much more than what I traded in dollars.

Rooney Rule: You must be strong enough to carry out the little things today if you ever want to carry home the big awards tomorrow.
So, where did the book all start?
It started with my lawn and a hand-me-down lawnmower.


I was strong enough to mow, but not to stop. It took me too many years to learn to say “no” to the things that mattered least. You need to build the strength to say “NO” to the things that are stealing your value or wasting your time.  And you may actually have to pay money to do it.  But that is ok as long as you are trading that money for an even greater value (so, freeing up time doesn’t mean watching more TV or social media!). So, my challenge to you is to delegate something starting now.  But then you must also fill that time with something much more valuable.


What is something more valuable you always dream of doing but never have the time?
What is it that you are wasting your valuable time on that is stopping you from your dream?
What big project would you do with 4 weeks of free time this year?


What shouldn’t you be doing?  Here are 4 quick ways to discover if you should be delegating something from your life:


1. The easiest way to know if there is something you shouldn’t be doing is that you hate it.
2.  In addition to disdain, you have no interest in getting any better at it.
3.  During the activity you keep finding yourself saying, “why am I doing this again?”
4.  You could have someone else do it and this act would save either money or time.


If any of the above are true, time to figure out your value, get a plan and DELEGATE.

Yes, I mowed for 20 year and was good at it.  Yes, it gave me a chance to “zone out,” but unlike the grass I was cutting, I was never growing.  When I think about how many thousands of hours I spent over my life mowing lawns, I wish I could have them back.

I could have read.

I could have written.

I could have learned another language.

No matter what, I could have used those hours to become more valuable.

After I finally paid someone else to do my lawn, I found valuable time I never knew I had.  And those hours that were freed up were worth much more than the 25 bucks I was paying.  And what has that decade and a half of free time been worth to me since I used it wisely?  A lot more than 6 bucks-an-hour and both my new publisher and I can guarantee you that!  And when you read Coach to Coach I bet you will believe it.




Delegating work can be tough to do.  My advice? Don’t think about the reasons you can’t afford to do it. Instead think about the reasons why you can’t afford not to do it.  And don’t forget you are helping two people when you delegate.  Delegating not only gives other people an opportunity, but it also gives you your opportunity too.

Pick something today and hand it off to someone else.  It could be something simple that leads to your greatest work 15 years from now.

Something simple like mowing your lawn.

Yours in Strength,


P.S. Dont miss the FREE BONUSES and COACHING EDUCATION that comes with buying your copies of Coach to Coach before March 1st.

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5 Steps For A Distraction “DETOX”

“Beware of distractions disguised as opportunities.”

This past weekend, I traveled to San Francisco to present on the power of coaching.  In addition to the presenting, workouts and social media pics and videos, there was one thing you didn’t see: the 5,000 miles of flying.  Now that the new year has started, I looked back on my 2019 and found I again logged over 100,000 miles in air travel.  That total consisted of over 80 different flights that took me to a number of different countries and allowed me to experience different languages, food and cultures.

After deeper reflection on 2019, although some of the new places I visited like Cyprus and Kuwait were unique, there was one thing I found to be constant at every one of the places I visited this year: War.

Now before you get the wrong idea, the war I saw waging had nothing to do with people’s beliefs or differences.  And even though the weapons that were being used were often handheld, they were probably not what you would expect.

In fact, I would be so bold to say that if you are reading this, you are fighting in this same war too.  Actually, you are fighting it right now.

The war I am describing is the war for your attention.

Did you know the world is fighting for your attention?  Every day, the moment you turn on your phone or computer or TV, the battle begins.  And that battle isn’t being fought against amateurs; you are waging war against some of the best and brightest minds in the world desperately trying to distract yours.  This war, as you may have experienced in the last year or two, often feels like a losing battle.

But before you think I am contributing to the problem, I want you to know I am on your side.  Today I will give you one math formula how to successfully fight and win this war.  With this formula, you can regain control of not only your attention, but also your life.  And I know it works because it worked for me.

If you are familiar with some of my personal philosophy, for a long time, I have been stating the most dangerous word in the English language is “busy.”

After all my travels this year, however, the word “distracted” is now running a close second.

If you are like me, you are more distracted than ever.  If all the things going on in your life (work, family, hobbies) aren’t enough, society has now added a layer of social and virtual distractions that are making you feel more busy, stressed and depressed than ever.

And why do we feel the stress?  Because we are spending our time on NUNI at the expense of the NUMI.  We keep being distracted by Non-Urgent Non-Important things that keep us from the Non-Urgent Most-Important things!

And how do I know?  Because I have fought on the front line of this war for the past few years too.  And even as this fight pushed me nearer to distress and depression, this battle only increased in intensity by asking for even more of my daily attention.

But there was one thing last year that helped me battle.  One thing that helped me fight against the stress and distraction that gave me back a sense of composure and control.

What was this magical device?  That one thing was a piano!

If you haven’t heard (or been reading any of my emails!), I am releasing my new book Coach to Coach.  This book is the one that I had been talking about writing for years, but now I realize that unless we had gotten an electric piano for my third daughter this year, I don’t think the book would have ever have happened.

Why hadn’t I written my book?

I was distracted!

For the last few years I told anyone who would listen I was going to write a parable book about coaching.  I told my colleagues.  I told my friends.  I told my kids.  We would even discuss the characters and storylines.  In my head, I had it all planned out.  I even started taking notes and had an outline. I knew what I wanted to write and I knew the book would help improve people’s lives.

So why couldn’t I do it?

Because of the constant distraction!  I used to tell people that my ability to focus was my strongest asset.  And looking back, I was slowly losing both the war and control of my greatest strength.

Hours a day were being spent on things that were neither important or urgent.  Whatever “shiny object” or fire that needed to be put out that would pop up on my phone or computer screen would have me spending my day totally reactive.  Sometimes I would even forget why or what I was looking for in the first place.  And as a result, I just couldn’t find the time or energy to get down to writing the book I knew I needed to share.  I was continually falling prey to the minefield of distractions that the war was laying out there for me.

And then my daughter gave her father a taste of his own medicine.

My kids have phones and computers too.  And as a result, they are also caught in the middle of the crossfire for attention.  And the problem is they are much younger than when I started serving in the battle.  So, my wife and I are trying our best to control screen times and websites visited in order to best keep our kids focused.  But even that has been more of a losing battle.

One day, in an effort to steal back her attention, I told my daughter she needed to practice the piano more.  We had gotten it for her and she really wasn’t spending much time on it besides her weekly lesson.  And in comparison to the time she was spending on her phone, the piano was losing the fight.  But after my suggestion for more practice, she challenged me:

Well, if I am going to play the piano instead of being on the phone, what are you going to do?

I blurted out that every time she played the piano, I would write that book I was always talking about.  She didn’t believe me.  This lack of belief both called me out and woke me up.  So we made a deal and shook on it.

As she sat down at the piano, I put away my phone, got out my computer and started writing.  And once I got my focus back, I just didn’t stop!  Coach to Coach was completely finished not long afterward and I learned all it really took was a little inspiration and a math formula.

So, what is the Simplest Battle Tool I Can Give You? Addition by Subtraction!

Rooney Rule:  Sometimes you have to remove something little in order to gain something big.

In my case, I had to remove a number of distractions, and those had to do with predominantly my phone.  I just had to have the discipline to subtract this one distraction from my life and then writing the book became easy.

What did I do?

I made a schedule of the time I would write.

I kept the phone completely off for the hours I was writing.

I turned my email off on my computer for the hours I was writing too.

I stayed consistent and focused during the times I scheduled.

Without the distractions, I fought back and finally got my most important work done.


What are your biggest distractions?
How much time do those distractions really cost?
What or how can you subtract something to make a big addition to your life?


My suggestion is to make the list of your biggest distractions that are holding you back.  Next make a list of ways you can subtract those distractions.  To make things even easier for you to fight the war for your attention, here is my 5-step “Distraction Detox” program that can get your time consumption problem under control and you focused on the things that really count:


Your Distraction “Detox”
Step 1:  Recognize The Distraction

Before you can decide where you want to go, you have to know where you are.  And if you want to know what is currently holding you back from where you want to go, you have to identity the distractions that are stopping you.

Action Item:  Make a list of all the things that are leading to you wasting your time.

Step 2:  Just Say “No”

Simply recognizing the distraction is not enough.  Once you have identified how certain things are distracting you, you have to make the conscious decision to give them up.

Action Item:  Set a hard schedule for yourself in order to best avoid the distraction.

Step 3:  Get Rid Of The Distraction

For some distractions just saying, “No” won’t be enough to stop them.  Your phone is designed to get you addicted and the same goes for other powerful distractors in your life.  So, just saying you won’t look at social media may not be enough to get away for the time you need.

Action Item:  Lock away or remove the distraction for an allotted time per day.

Step 4:  Subtract The Distraction From Your Life

If #2 and #3 still don’t work and your distraction is just too powerful, your last choice is to remove the distraction completely.  Will power may not be enough.  For instance, if I have peanuts in front of me, I can say I won’t, but I will still eat them.  So how to I avoid eating too much? I JUST DON’T BUY THEM!  So, if your distraction is TV, cut your subscription. If it is social media, leave the platform.

Action Item:  Commit to completely remove the distraction from your life.

Step 5: Add Something Worthwhile To Fill The Space

Once you have found the successful way to remove your distraction, you have to make sure you don’t fill this open space with other unproductive distractions.  Think about your big goals.  Use this free time to fight back and do something worthwhile.

Action Item: Make a list of the things you really want to do and do them.


What else do you need to subtract?

How did I write Coach to Coach?  In addition to removing distractions, I also subtracted my excuses.  I used to make excuses that I had to be on my phone and computer all the time because of my business. But I put my phone away.  And I put my excuses away too.  And then I was finally able to forget the small screen and see the big picture.

Have you read a good book in a while?  Or have you been distracted?  I hope you read Coach To Coach and agree that it was better than me scrolling through my phone or cleaning up my email inbox.  If nothing else I am sure you will agree it was worth paying a little attention.

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After you read it, I hope the book itself inspires you to continue to fight the war for your attention and leads you to your next great work. I also hope you distract some other coaches and parents you know and share the lessons inside.  This book is not disguised.  It really is a good opportunity.

Yours in Strength,


P.S.  Want to hear these emails come to life?  Check out my INTO THE ROAR podcast for more inspiration.

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