What did we Learn from the Super Bowl?

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

As a former coach, I typically view games through a very unique lens.  While most might be watching for the excitement and thrills of the game, I am watching for teachable moments.  Things we can learn from moving forward.  While watching the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history last week, I picked up on a few things.  Here are three things that I learned from Super Bowl LI.  Enjoy.

  • Power of perseverance. The Patriots were down 28-3 in the second half of the biggest game of their lives.  In any sport, that is normally an insurmountable deficit to overcome.  They stuck to their game plan and persevered through unlikely odds to come out victorious.
  • Sticking together in adversity. Some might say the definition of adversity is being down 28-3.  The Patriots could have folded, but they stuck together and remained calm as a team.  Had they panicked, there would have been zero chance for a comeback for the ages.
  • Failure to adapt. The Falcons, on the other hand, did not do a great job at adapting to the flow and style of the game.  Had they done a better job playing with the lead and recognizing their situational surroundings, they could have been in the winners’ circle.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his anniversary version of his book in honor of the 11-year anniversary (February 15th) of the J-Mac game on March 1st.

Life Tip #32:  The harder you work, the luckier you get

Do you Have a Financial Independence Plan?

What is your financial independence plan?

In order to achieve financial independence and wealth, much like anything else, we must have a plan to get there.  In my younger years (teens and 20’s), I did not see the value in saving or starting a retirement account.  I wish I had.  Starting your retirement account 5-10 years sooner can result in a significant amount of money when you retire.  Below are some other financial tips for you to include in your financial plan.  Enjoy.

  • Set a financial goal. What do you wish to earn?  What do you wish to have when you retire? What percentage should you invest?  All of this is specific to you and your life, so make sure you set your goals sooner rather than later.
  • Pay down your debt. Student loans, car loans, and even your mortgage can burden you for a long time.  Make sure when you come into some extra cash, you pay down these debts as it will save you much more in the long run.
  • Seek ways to increase income. Whether it’s at your current job or your dream job, find ways to increase your value and ultimately, increase your pay.  Don’t settle for your current situation.  Maybe start a side job to earn extra income.  Live the lifestyle you can afford.  How can you increase your income?
  • Seek advice. Your parents, coworkers, or even other friends can be a great resource of information and advice for you.  Make sure you utilize their knowledge to create your own plan.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson was a late bloomer when it comes to investing and saving.  He didn’t start a retirement account until he was 33 years old.  It’s never too late to start!

Life Tip #4:  Pay yourself first, make it a high priority to start a retirement account

How do you use Adversity to your Advantage?

When is the last time you faced adversity?

Adversity presents itself to us throughout our daily lives very frequently.  There is nothing we can do about it except embrace it and attempt to use it to our advantage.  Think back to when the last time was that something unexpected happened that may have thrown off your plans to achieve something.  Did you harness the adversity and grow from the experience?  Or did you crumble under the stress of something going off-script?  Here are some tips for you to turn adversity into a positive experience.  Enjoy.

  • Use it as motivation. Improving yourself is never easier than when experiencing adversity.  It forces you to make quick decisions and think in a different manner than if everything was going according to plan.  Learn from the adversity and embrace the change.
  • Adopt a ‘never give up’ mindset. This will force your brain to never shut down and always keep fighting.  Whatever it takes to get the job done.  When is the last time you did “whatever it takes” to achieve something?
  • Build confidence. Small accomplishments can add up to an extremely productive day, week, or month.  As long as you form daily habits that will help give you the sense of accomplishment needed, you will be able to stay confident as a person.  How do you build confidence?
  • Continue to search. Growing your mind is something you should never stop doing.  Search for new ideas and learn how to make improvements on your life.
  • Surround yourself with great people. Success attracts success and after a while, the people you surround yourself with will start to rub off on you.  Who do you surround yourself with?  Are they helping or hindering you?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is going to James Malinchak’s Big Money Speaker Bootcamp in a few weeks.

Life Tip #79:  Learn from the past, live in the present, and plan for the future

Be Grateful for Unexpected Opportunities

When was the last time something unexpectedly GREAT happened to you?

Being grateful for the unexpected is more of a mindset than anything.  It is crucial for you to be aware of the opportunities that come your way.  The harder (and smarter) you work, the more opportunities will fall into your lap.  When they do, you need to be grateful for them.  Here are four of my personal opportunities that have unexpectedly come my way.  As you read them, know that I am forever grateful for each and every unexpected situation that comes my way.

  • John Calipari. Yes, the college basketball coach.  Back when Coach Cal was coaching at UMass, I reached out to him with a hand-written letter asking for his advice on how to turn my high school basketball program around.  A few days went by and my phone rang.  Coach Cal on the other end.  We proceeded to chat for 15 minutes and he gave me some tips for changing the culture of my squad.  He also reached out to me after the J-Mac game, which really meant a lot.
  • Jeffrey Gitomer. In 2011, I read his book The Little Book of Leadership and felt compelled to connect with him via LinkedIn.  This lead to speaking on the phone with this award-winning sales trainer and speaker for 30 minutes.  This was very unexpected, but would not have happened without me reaching out to him first.
  • Kate Holgate (my Manager). Kate and I met in Orlando a number of years ago at the annual National Speakers Conference.  As I sat down at a table for lunch, Kate was already occupying the table.  When we got to chatting, she was looking for more clients and I was desperately looking for a manager.  It was an unexpected perfect match.
  • Doug Potter (my Marketing Coordinator). Doug is a young man who played in the J-Mac game back in 2006 and was actually on the opposite team (Spencerport High School).  After a number of years, we reconnected and in 2013, he became my Marketing Coordinator.  Doug also is instrumental in the production in this very blog.

Life Tip #59:  Send people written congratulations for their accomplishments

Did You Know?  Coach is now back speaking full-time and delivering his Leadership Keynote across the country.


Coach’s Corner: Personal Finance Books

What are your favorite financial development books?

Reading books is a great way to grow your mind.  For me, I try to read at least 30 minutes each day.  I have already given you my list of top leadership and inspirational books that I have read.  This week in my #CJJblog I am going to give you my list of top Financial Development books.  What are your favorites?

  • Millionaire Success Secrets – James Malinchak
  • The Road to Wealth – Suze Orman
  • What Your Financial Advisor isn’t Telling You – Liz Davidson
  • Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason
  • The One Minute Millionaire – Mark Victor Hansen
  • Money Matters – Tony Robbins
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle
  • The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley

Having read the books above, I have gathered some commonalities amongst them.  Here are a few thoughts I have when it comes to personal finance and achieving financial independence:

  • Pay yourself first
  • Stay out of debt
  • Increase your value to the marketplace (industry) to in order to increase your income

Did You Know?: Coach is now talking to college students around the country about financial independence and goal setting.

The students were highly motivated and inspired to make changes to their lives after listening to Coach Johnson’s informative and enlightening talk on financial independenceI believe, now more than ever, the institutions and students should proactively start the discussion on financial independence that will lead them to better manage their life.”

-Rehnuma Karim, Ph.D, Professor, SUNY Brockport –

Life Tip #5:  Tithe at least 10% of your income to worthy causes (charities, non-profits, etc.)



Staying Committed to your Fresh Start

How is your “Fresh Start” to the New Year coming along?

As we are nearing the conclusion of the first month of 2016 and in the spirit of fresh starts, it might be a good time to take a look back to where you were about a month ago.  The end of 2015 and the new you 2016.  What were you excited about?  What sort of changes were you planning on making?  Are you sticking to the plan you put into place to improve your life?  I, like many others, needed a little boost and some strategizing to help stay on track.  Here are some tips I put together to help you stay committed to your fresh start:

  • Develop consistencies. Whether it’s a silly ritual you have every morning, or a set time that you eat lunch every day, it’s important to have some consistencies throughout your day-to-day life. It helps you develop positive thoughts about your progression and allows you to get into a routine that you feel you cannot break. What consistencies do you have in place throughout your day?
  • Take care of yourself. While it’s important to eat right and exercise, make sure your mind is in a good place as well. Focus more on what you have accomplished and less on what you need to accomplish. This will help build up your confidence to where it needs to be to continue pushing forward. Also, make sure you keep promises to yourself. Treat your time to exercise as an appointment that you cannot miss. How are you taking care of yourself?
  • Seek motivation. It’s a near impossible task to take on these life improvements by yourself. Seeking motivation from outside sources can help immensely. Other people/experts, audiobooks, and videos are all great options. What motivates you?

The basketball season is going very well and I am extremely proud of our team and how they have continued to stay the path we laid out at the beginning of the year. We are getting ready for the big night on February 11th as we are having the 10-year anniversary of the J-Mac game.  It will be a great event and I hope to see you all there!  Have a great day and, as always, let me know how I can help.

Life Tip #4: Pay yourself first

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