Sunday, July 10, 2011

What Fran Tarkenton Learned About Winning in Business From Losing in Football

I have to admit to not being a big football fan back in the day when Fran Tarkenton was playing. I do remember him on Monday Night Football and on "That's Incredible." More recently though, due to a good friend who is involved with one of his companies, I know much more about him as a businessman. She gave me a signed copy of his book "What Losing Taught Me About Winning."

This has been an interesting read. If you liked Fran Tarkenton as a football player, or if you were a fan of the Vikings or the Giants (or football in general), or if you are a small business owner looking for encouragement and inspiration, you're going to enjoy this book.

Since I didn't know much about his career, I had to look up Mr. Tarkenton's record. Despite losing his three Super Bowl appearances, he is far from a loser - in football or business. I thought it was funny that the tone of the book almost downplayed his football accomplishments until I realized that he's far more enthusiastic about small business and the success of small businesses than he is about touting his football record.

I recommend watching some clips of him on YouTube so you can read the book and imagine his voice in your head. His enthusiasm will make the many, many stories in the book come to life. And that's one of the things I enjoyed about the book. It has some good advice for entrepreneurs presented in the form of story after story. Football stories, business stories, other people's stories. It's worth reading just for the wealth of stories.

There are two stories that appealed to me (as the Networking Motivator) in particular. One is how he came up with the idea of advertising on airline ticket jackets. He was able to directly call a friend who worked at Delta Airlines corporate headquarters. But then he had to cold call printers to find one who had the capacity to print. Hm, wonder if that's part of the story or if he didn't think of using his network to find a printer?

The other story is about how he tried to call the CEO of AT&T about another business idea, but instead he got the run around. He quipped "So much for my 'celebrity pass' to the highest echelons of business."

You'll enjoy this book. Find a friend who is in Pre-Paid Legal or and see if they can hook you up with an autographed copy. Then everyone will be a winner.

Beth Bridges has attended over 2,000 networking events in the last 7 years as the Membership Director and Chief Networking Officer of a large west coast chamber of commerce.

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Copyright Beth Bridges, 2011

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