How Underdogs Became Extraordinary And So Can You

How Underdogs Became Extraordinary And So Can You

Have you ever wondered how some people reach high levels of success and others don’t? Jim Roddy, the author of The Walk-On Method, is going to share his 5 step process that has helped underdogs reach extraordinary levels of success and it can help you do the same.

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How Underdogs Became Extraordinary And So Can You



Tim Fitzpatrick
Have you ever wondered or thought about how some people reach extraordinary levels of success and others don't? Today, we have a special guest who's going to share a five-step process, he calls the Walk-On Method that has really helped underdogs reach extraordinary levels of success and it can help you do the same. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am really excited to have with me today Jim Roddy, who is the author of The Walk-On Method. Jim, thanks for taking the time to join me.

Jim Roddy
Tim, great to be here today. Thanks for having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Absolutely. I'm excited to dig into this. I learn something new every time I do these interviews. And we're going to do a very different conversation than I've had with most. So I'm looking forward to learning a ton of stuff. Before we do that, I'd like to ask you some rapid-fire questions. Help us get to know you a little bit better. You ready to rock?

Jim Roddy
I'm ready. I've stretched out fully before this, you're throwing at me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You've warmed up.

Jim Roddy
Yes, I have.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Jim Roddy
So the thing that I love to do best is coaching youth sports. Did that with my younger brother. He was adopted. He was sixteen years younger than me. And then I have a daughter now who's fifteen years old. So I loved coaching them in basketball and soccer from the very early stages, like even prekindergarten all the way through. And I don't like it because I'm not one of those coaches who's, like, super focused on winning. Like, of course I'd love to win, but that is way further down my list. Like, I like teaching kids the skills and seeing them improve and then teaching them the principles that go into getting better that can apply to your life like hard work and teamwork. Like one of the principles we always had was and I borrowed this from from John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach, was leave the place cleaner than you found it. So if we would go to our soccer sideline for a game and the prior team had left their water bottles or juice boxes or whatever there when we left and cleaned up, we say, "Pick up your stuff and pick up their stuff, too." And so I hope that sticks and in kids heads. And so we try to make it a great experience for them and then also for the parents. And the great thing was kids who we coached prior, they wanted to play for our team the next year, like the last year that I actually coached, I had more kids than I was allowed because a girl got put on another team and she was disappointed in that coach. And so she just brought her old uniform. And instead of having fifteen kids, we had sixteen. We're like, no one's going to notice that we have two no elevens or something like that. So that was that's a thing that I really like about the coaching, is seeing the kids develop and making sure it's a great experience for them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, that's awesome. I love that you had demand and that was not by accident. So I love that. What's your hidden talent?

Jim Roddy
You're probably hoping for a fun answer to this question.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I'm totally agnostic here.

Jim Roddy
OK, all right. Well, good. Because you won't be disappointed then, because I see my hidden talent is organization. And so I've worked with a lot of people over the years and I kind of I don't like painting people with broad brushes, but we all tend to fall into one or two buckets for the most part. One is operationally inclined and another one is people aren't operationally included. So if your operation inclined, which I squarely fall into that bucket, you think about systems, right? You think about how can I map this out? How can I stay straight? And I could pick up my camera and show you all around how organized I have been here. But I'll give you an example. When I travel, I have an actual checklist of everything that I need to bring with me and I check off and cross off and things like that. So a lot of people like I'm traveling, weee I'm going to have fun. I'm like, well, let me pull this out. Let me print this up and make sure I have everything going on. But for me, it gives me peace of mind. So when I travel, I don't forget things because there's nothing to forget. Right? Because the list is on there. And so that has helped me become as a client for people, as a them being my client, as a coworker, I'm seen as reliable because of that. I'm organized. So if I'm not on time for something people don't say, "It's probably Jim blowing things off." They're like, "Is there a glitch on my end?" Right? Or, "Is his leg caught in a bear trap or something like that?" And so it really builds trust. The more organized you are, the more reliable you can be and you build up trust with people in the long run.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Oh, Jim, this is scary. You want to cut from the same old. I have I use Evernote and I have a tag in Evernote called Checklists. That's where all my checklists are. I have a skiing checklist. I have a travel checklist, I have a paddleboard. Anything I do, I'm like, dude, I hey, I just want to make it easy and I want to leave the house knowing that I haven't forgotten anything. So, yeah, we're cut from the same old people are like feeling good, Tim that like Jesus you guys are so anal. Yes we are. But we don't forget anything. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Jim Roddy
Three words. Character is destiny. Right? And so the character that you build, the character you display will be the destiny for you to be successful. And so when I say character does a lot of times. People think character means while telling the truth, being honest, but it's really a longer list of character traits, I've kind of been trained on 18 different character traits. Some of them are like fortitude, prudent, so having good judgment, ambition, work ethic, service, and those provide a really sturdy foundation. And so you might be able to get away with things when nobody's looking. But sooner or later, right? That character is going to be your destiny. My college basketball coach, Bob Dukat, some folks might know me coach at St. Peters University. Then he coached at Marquette. He coached me when I was at Dan and he would always say, like, if I turn my back in practice and you're dogging it, like you can get away with that now, but in a game, they're going to smell you out. Sooner or later, they're going to smell you out. So that was his way of saying your character is your destiny.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's a great one. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Jim Roddy
It used to be my age, like before like when I was 30 years old or right around that age, I published a sports magazine and I would drop it off in high schools because we covered local high schools here in northwest Pennsylvania. And if people think I was a student, right, I was 10, 11 years high school. So I don't get that as much anymore in terms of surprising. And so the one thing I guess if it is and it might tie in with that organization is if there's a worthy task or outcome, I am persistent, I am relentless in making sure that I achieve that, are doing everything I can to get as close as I can. You mentioned my book, The Walk-on Method. So we feature thirt- one underdogs who became extraordinary. I was one of those folks in there, so that was easy for me to get my story. But the other 30 people I had to reach out to well over a hundred people in order to get the right 30 and get in contact. And those 30, I didn't only reach out to them one time, it was over and over and over across a span of five years. So it's that relentlessness. One of my favorite quotes is the weak never started and the cowards died along the way. And I do not want to be weak. I do not want to be a coward. So if I get something in my mind, if I get a goal, I'll keep working and working until we get what we wanted.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. What success mean to you?

Jim Roddy
I'm going to quote John Fetterman, so I'm in Pennsylvania, as I mentioned, he's our attorney general. He's actually going to be running for Senate. And so his quote and I have to look off camera because I have it in three places. All right. And it's if you're good, help someone else get to good. And I just think that's a great thing like that is what success is. It's not the money. It's not the fame. If you're helping somebody who's not good or they're short in something, get to good. That, to me is what success is all about. And that's part of why I wrote the the Walk-On book. It wasn't for, again, the money or the fame and thinking like, I'm going to be a millionaire. It was just a message that I really wanted to get out to folks because that message helped. What I learned helped me get good. I wanted to help other people get the good as well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Jim Roddy
It ties in with sports, so it would be at the Gannon University Center, that's my alma mater in Erie, Pennsylvania. And so any time there's a basketball game at the Habermehl Center. So I've played college basketball there. I coached a boys club team that would play there. I would broadcast on the radio and TV games there. Now, Habermehl Center is not like some posh arena with a digital screen or something like that. It's built in 1949, wooden bleachers at the top, cushioned seats closer to the floor. Fans sit in folding chairs even closer to the floor. But it is just a phenomenal atmosphere for a basketball game. And when I'm there and you can hear the squeaking of sneakers and the ball being dribbled and the smell of popcorn like that is my happy place. And that's why during the pandemic, it was even harder for me because I have not experienced that feeling in, you know, moving in on close to two years now because games were closed to the public. So really looking forward to getting back this fall.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I imagine that that brings you right back to playing there.

Jim Roddy
Well, when I sit down, it brings me back to playing there because I didn't get on the court as often as many other people see. When I do take my seat, I actually get a better view than I did sitting way at the end of the bench during my days there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Jim Roddy
As you might have picked up so far? A sense of humor, right? I like people who are poking fun of themselves and able to take things to not take themselves as seriously as maybe they should. But at the same point, you know, somebody who has intellectual curiosity or who wants to dig into stuff and really understand new concepts. And then I'd also say somebody who's humble and they don't think about themselves as better than other people, even as accomplished as they are. And I'd say another big one is empathetic. You know, people are just out for themselves. I just can only tolerate that for so long and so long, being measured in seconds, if not milliseconds. So sense of humor all the way on the end of being empathetic and really caring for other people. And again, I think that John Fetterman, quote, ties in with it as well. Like, you've got to be looking at other people good. Not pat yourself on the back.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So tell us a little bit more about, you know, Walk-On Method, what you're doing, you know, why did you write the book?

Jim Roddy
Sure, so there's a few things that I guess go into why I wrote the book. So it's a lesson that I learned, I guess, the hard way. And so I was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2002 and had surgery then. And then 10 years after that, I wrote a book called Higher, like, you just beat cancer. And so it talked about how, you know, me being pulled away from the business maybe really serious about hiring and about team building and things like that. So when the book came out, it was the first time. There's a lot of people in the business world. I've been president of a company. I'm a business coach now. I also do marketing, blogging, podcasting, content creation. So it was a first time a lot of people even knew that I had cancer because it's kind of not the thing one weaves into a conference call. Right? Like, where are you from? I'm from here and by the way, I had cancer, right. And so I had people say to me, like, "Oh, now that I know you had cancer, I understand why you're wired the way you are. I understand why you're so relentless with what you do." And I remember saying, like, "Thank you." But like, I don't wake up every day thinking about myself as a cancer survivor. So when I look back, I said, well, "Why do I behave this way?" And I realize the root of that was the way that I attacked. Walking on to the Gannan University men's basketball team, Sugano was a small college powerhouse back in the day. I mean, they had guys six foot nine, six foot 11, six foot six, like these all-American small college kind of guys. And here was me, you know, five, ten, one forty-five soaking wet. And so I had that drive in order to make that team. And I realized that was the formula that was successful to me making the team, to me starting my own business, to me moving up the ladder to become president of a technology publishing company for our organization to move forward and get all sorts of accolades and awards. So I wanted to share that. Once I realized that I started jotting down the Walk-On Method and then the five steps and then I said, "Well, if this works for me, I wonder if it can work for other people as well." So I reached out to a whole bunch of walk on to see if they would prove my hypothesis. And oh boy, did they ever. They were loud screaming successes. So that's what really drove me to write the book to get that formula success. Not just that I would keep it and hold it and maybe share with a couple of people, but share with as many people as possible.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So let's dig into the book what's what's the core message of the Walk -On Method, and how can we apply that to leaders and small business owners today?

Jim Roddy
Sure. So as I touched on earlier, we featured 31 underdog athletes. So for those who don't know what to Walk-On is it's a nonscholarship player on a team that has everybody else has a college scholarship, essentially. Right? And so they use their college experience. So a lot of times when people think of college experience, it's like sleeping in drinking, skipping class. But these folks were on the opposite end. They were scrambling to make a team. They were scrambling to stay on a team. A lot of them got no playing time, had no uniform, or if they got a uniform, it didn't fit, you know, no respect, no attention. They were really forced to serve others because coaches weren't really paying attention to them and focusing on team goals. So they took that experience and that attitude and then applied it to their career and then they became wildly successful. And so the book goes farther than just, you know, interesting stories like how about that? But it shows anybody can learn to walk on attitude and then follow the Walk-On Method to change your behavior and succeed in their career. Right? Not just from an athletic standpoint. So we've seen kids were in high school going into college, say, "OK, this is a formula to his success." Or oftentimes it's their parents saying, "Johnny or Betty, here's the formula to success." Right? Because they see how it is somebody who's new to the workforce. This is the way to really move up in an organization. It's not being political. It's not kissing up to people. It's this five-step formula. We've also seen longtime employees use it because they say this is a way for me to really move up and get more out of what I'm doing. And then a lot of times I've had entrepreneurs say to me, because that's who I work with the most, they see these are the elements that remind me of what made my success and these are things that I can teach my team. So the gist of the book you asked is it's an ordinary people, even underdogs and maybe especially underdogs. Ordinary people will accomplish extraordinary feats when their energy is properly channeled. And so the way that these walk ons behave now is second nature because they were forced to behave that way, to survive as a walk on it. So the book is you can tell it's accessible, it's not academic. And this is a great tool that we've seen to help leaders groom their future leaders. Right? To teach individuals inside the organization the actual attitude they need to take the actual approach and the actual actions that need to take in order to become a better performer, as opposed to just kind of these softer things that folks try. That's more of a gimmick or something to that degree. These are like really getting down to the nuts and bolts of how you need to behave to be a good performer.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So it's really they're taking those five steps and not only using it for themselves, they're using it for their entire organization and the people that are in their team.

Jim Roddy
Exactly. They're getting down to like, you know, we have the five-step Walk-On Method. We have 31 underdogs who became extraordinary, who we profile then of the back of the book, we have a section called Forty Three Walk on Workplace Do's and Don'ts. And it gets down really to specifics in terms of promptly respond to all emails, even if you don't have the answer that you say to the person, "I got your email, but I will need until at least Friday to work on this." That is so good for the other person because they're like, did that email go through? Do they not care? Are they showing up at work, especially now that people are at home, like, are they out mowing their lawn or they goofing off? Right? And so it really gets down to those things that make somebody a stand-out performer with their coworkers, with their clients. Again, really gets down to those nitty-gritty points.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So I know we're going to get into the five steps before we jump into that, I know one of the things the book focuses on is building character. Let's talk about that a little bit. I mean, how does a business leader help individuals on their team build character? And how have you used that to help you?

Jim Roddy
Well, I'll tell your listeners to brace because I don't have a magic wand. I don't have, like, these seven words and suddenly people are high character. Right? There's no silver bullet to doing that to build character in individuals, and then throughout your organization is a multifaceted journey that you're not going to solve in days or weeks, or months. It's going to be quarters. It's going to be on the long haul. Right? This is a marathon. This is not a sprint. So I guess a formula to put together is first, people talk about having a vision and a mission for the organization, and that's important. But that's not it. Like work towards that. And then everybody goes, "OK, I'm going to do it because they're not sure exactly what to do." So I believe in having a list of character traits that you make very public that you will hire based on you will promote based on and you will fire based on. Right? And so I list in my first book, like I mentioned, how like he just beat cancer, the full list of 18 character traits. If somebody wants that, they can email me at Jim at Jim Roddy cba dot com. I'd be happy to send that list over to them again. Jim at Jim Roddy, R-O-D-D-Y, CBA, Dotcom. And so first you have to have those character traits. You say here's what we're going to do it based on. Then to build your team, you have to have a hiring system that holds out for high character. Don't just quiz people based on their skills, ask them questions that are going to lead towards and uncover whether they have high character, low character, or they're just too new to really understand or have been tested with it. So once you start building a team of high character people, they are going to make the other high character. People feel more welcome. They'll make the lower character people feel out of place. That's all kind of what a culture is about. And then if those folks who feel out of place, it's not like you get rid of them. You give them the boot. Right? You have to hold them accountable. If they're falling short, you start with teaching them because some people just don't know any better. They've been trained incorrectly, but if they're unwilling or unable, you have to remove them at some point from the organization. So you're left with really only the high character people or people who are in earnestly moving towards that. And then once you have those people, it's not just like we're done here. I've got the high, high character people. I can go take a nap. You have to invest in their development. So through outside guidance, books, podcasts, Facebook live streams. Right? Spending time together with them as their teacher and their coach, not just their boss telling them what to do. Right? And so one thing that I've really learned is because I've done a lot of coaching over the years with teams, the best keep getting better. They do not get to a point where they say our customer service is good enough. I guess we're not going to do any more customer service training. Right. This is an ongoing journey, an ongoing thing that the Merry-Go-Round never stops on this one. OK, and then the last couple of things that I would say related to to building this is you need to have frequent one on one meetings with the folks who are your direct reports or they have managers, they have to have frequent one on one meetings. Even if somebody is a super high performer. I've personally made this mistake before. I think they're OK. They're good. I'm just going to be meddling. I'm just going to be getting in the way. They want to know that you care. They still have things that they want to bounce off of you. And quite frankly, I love the phrase that iron sharpens iron. If you're there with somebody is a good performer, they're going to make you better. Right? They're going to ask you tough questions. You in turn ask them tough questions. You both walk out of that room better together. So I've said this phrase, I don't know if I'm the one who came up with it, but I can't find somebody else who can. So I'll take credit or blame for it. But there's no substitute for competent manager getting closer to situation, no substitute at all whatsoever. So you have to be that person. And then I'd say the last step that I have in the general categories of how you build a high character organization is you have to reward high character behavior. The way that we did that at my prior company was for the sales team, every month we would give it away award called the Viking of the Month. And it was somebody went above and beyond and really exhibited stellar character traits on the operation side of the business. We had a warrior of the month, same criteria. We just wanted to be able to have two people get an award as well. We also did 360 reviews based on not just how the person performed on their job, but on the character traits. Everybody would get the list. So it's John Smith's review. Here's an email. Here's the list of character traits. Please tell us where you think John is strong and where John can improve from that. And that really helped reemphasize those character traits. And that's what a lot of the review was based on. And then the awards that I mentioned, we would have those at a monthly company lunch celebration. Right? We'd say here are the nominees for Viking of the month or warrior the month. Talk about all the great things they did tied in with character traits. And of course, one of them would win. They get their picture taken, one hundred bucks, things like that. But also at that company lunch, we would have open-book management. We would tell them, here's where things are going. Well, here, the struggles that we're having, what questions do you have? And so I was a company president in the Great Recession as that started, as that went on, as all the pain that went through it every month, I'd have to get up and say, "OK, what questions do you have?" And so we had a very open book management discussion there. Did everybody did all this stuff happened Shangrila in a matter of weeks? No, this is a journey. But if you focus on those things, you can get there. But again, it all goes back to having those character traits you're aiming for and holding people accountable to those. So I know that's a lot of data there, but I hope that answers your question. Can we get a fuller picture of how to build a high-character culture.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it does. And it reminds me of one of my mentors always said, you know, when it comes to culture, you've got to gently and relentlessly beat the drum. And you're just so it's just over and over and over again. You can't let it slide. You just have to be consistent. You keep talking about it. And when you do overtime, things will change. But like you said, this is not a sprint. It's a marathon. And we just need to keep doing it.

Jim Roddy
Tim, this will show how old school I am. So I remember a podcast. I listen to Jack Welch. I think it was called The Welch Way. So this was soul. This is before I could put podcasts on my phone. A friend of mine would listen to it on his computer, burn it on to a CD, and he would give me the CD that I would go and play in my computer and listen to. I remember Jack Welch saying to, you know, people would ask him questions. He said, "You have to say your culture, right. Your character traits, your principles so frequently that you were just choking on those words." Because you were saying them for the thousandth time, but you realize you're hearing them for the thousandth time, but that person might only be hearing them for the first time or the tenth time of the 20th time, you have to be relentless about your culture. Like you said, in a general way, it's not grabbing people by the lapels, but you have to be passionate about it. You have to be very clear, like this is our standard. If you can do better than the standard, great. But we are not going below this standard.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Let's jump into the Walk-On Method. What are these five steps?

Jim Roddy
Sure, I was going to say brace yourself for a long answer, you're be probably like, well, based on your past 15 minutes, I'm already bracing myself.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, this is good. This is awesome stuff, Jim. So I appreciate you sharing.

Jim Roddy
Sure. Happy to do it. So step number one is take a big shot. And so that means don't sell yourself short when you're setting your next career-related goal. Don't contemplate what you really want and then aim for something far less just to play it safe. Right? Anybody can do that. Anybody can make a layup in a basketball game. Instead, take that big shot. And a great example that we have in the book, Colleen Healy. So she accepted a scholarship to play basketball Division two school New Haven in Connecticut. But after one game, she said, "I want more." She dropped out of school. She hopped in her car, drove home through a blizzard. Her car got on fire. Right? She had to call her parents and say, "I dropped out of school and the cars on fire." But she said, "I don't want to be 30 years old and wonder if I wasn't good enough to play for the University of Connecticut." Which if anybody follows women's basketball, college basketball, that is like the premiere program. So what she did was she forgo her for for gave her scholarship, went to UConn as a camp counselor called Geno Auriemma, now a Hall of Fame coach on her rotary phone. Right? And he said, "I can't guarantee anything the best as you could be a manager for a year, and then we'll see what happens." So she goes from a scholarship athlete to sweeping floors, filling water bottles, turning on the lights. Well, she made the team as a walk on. She worked on her defense and her hustle. Not only did she sit on the bench like me, she actually played. She was a key role player for three NCAA tournament qualifying teams. And you might think, well, that's a good story. How does that apply professionally after graduation? She never thought she would leave Connecticut, but she said, "I'm going to move south." She pursued a career in medical sales. She advanced to senior positions at two multibillion-dollar companies across 22 years. But she's not done yet. Taken a big shot. She's always looking to do something bigger. She left the medical field to become a consultant and that she co-founded a leadership organization, where today, she speaks to corporations, student athletes. She's been brought to the women's final four, you know, across the United States. And she tells those people she speaks to, "You never know when your day is going to come." Right? So you've got to take that big shot. You got to be ready to follow through on it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So I'm taken a big shot. What's my next step?

Jim Roddy
Sure. Step two is make a passionate statement. So that's passion with a P, not with an F. I am not going to give anybody counsel or guidance on fashion, completely unqualified for that. So to make a passionate statement as three steps to it, prepare with passion, practice with passion, and then play with passion. Right? Too many people just wish that their dream is going to come true, but it's not enough to give your all. Only when the moment presents itself. So we say, "Don't wish for your dream. Don't wait for your dream. Walk on to your dream." Right? So of course, you see these walk ons. They play with passion. They're diving on the floor. They're doing all this stuff. But people don't see the preparation they put into it and the practice that they put into it in order to get to where they are. Quick story about that. Sean Bedford. He was a walk on at Georgia Tech. And the only way he made it as a walk on extra time in the weight room, extra time on the practice field, extra time in the film room, even when he was on the scout team. So what that meant was he was going to play in the game on Saturday, but he was scouting the other team so he can give his teammates a better look in practice. And so he worked his way, worked his tail off, ended up switching to offense, ended up becoming a starting center, ended up being all conference for two years. And then he took that same attitude. And after graduation, he applied his walk on attitude. He wanted to go to law school and he got wait-listed. And so nobody knows who that is. They're like, "We don't really want you." If these other people say they'll come, you know, we'll take them. But if they say no, we'll I guess we'll have to get you. And so instead of him saying, "Oh, this is terrible, maybe I shouldn't do it." He took the attitude and said, "Hey, what I did is a walk on. I'm going to apply that to law school. I'm just going to outwork everybody." And in fact, he ended up finishing the top 10 percent of his class before he was in that that waitlist group. Now he's a patent attorney. And so he has that same relentless I'm going to leave no stone unturned approach to every single case. And that ties in with step three. It's run uphill. And so we're taught to avoid obstacles, right? We're taught when somebody's placed in front of us, like we should be scared. We should close our eyes. We should be apprehensive. Right? And so these walk on knew at the other end of a difficult experience that they'll be battle-tested because those obstacles, they're going to take longer, but they're going to make them stronger. So step three is run uphill. And it goes back to when I was a youth athlete. And so I was running cross-country races. When you saw a hill, that was a time that everyone would slow down. And what do you do up a hill? You trudge up a hill, right? Well, I took the attitude of what if I convert this into an opportunity? And I just actually every hill I sprint up the hill and I run as absolutley fast as I could. So, you know, there's one thing about passing somebody in a race that is demoralizing for them. When you pass, somebody's going uphill. They are looking at you like you are some complete psycho. Right? So when you see obstacles, embrace those obstacles. They're going to make you stronger the more you learn from them. So that's kind of combining steps two and three together, make a passionate statement and then run uphill, embrace those obstacles.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So the passion statement, um, it's not necessarily a statement as we necessarily think about. It's just making sure that you're preparing, practicing, and playing with passion all the time? Did I get that right?

Jim Roddy
You know, so there's a quote and I actually learned this when I was coaching fifth and sixth grade basketball way back in the day. And our assistant coach would say it, "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." Right? And so everybody wants to hit the game-winning shot and be the hero. But who's getting up early on a Saturday morning or staying late on a Sunday night under the lights, working on their shot, relentlessly working on their shot, sprinting and right and doing drills and working on their left hand in order to set yourself up to the game-winning shot. So that's what we saw in all these walk ons. It wasn't just on game day that they shined. They actually put so much focus showing up early for practice, staying late after practice, pushing their teammates that made their teammates more successful, made them more successful as well in the professional world.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it's so interesting because, you know, you can't expect to hit that game-winning shot if you're not doing that outside of the game. Right. You have to be you have to prepare for that opportunity to actually happen.

Jim Roddy
Exactly right. Yeah. I just actually saw a clip of Pat Ewing, you know, Georgetown legend. Now he's a coach there. Player took a bad shot, he'sike, "When have you ever practiced that shot? Like, why would you take a shot you never practiced before?" And that's what I think people see the tip of the iceberg, somebody successful and they like, "Oh, man, overnight success story." They don't see all the long, long hours that person put it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It's like you see the tip of the iceberg. You don't see the rest of the stuff below the water.

Jim Roddy
Yeah, exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, so we're we're taking a big shot. We're making a passion statement. We run uphill. Right. Embrace that challenge. What's the fourth step.

Jim Roddy
Fourth step is it's no fuss, all MUS. So no fuss means control your emotions, especially the negative ones. Right? As you're advancing your career. So if you get a pay raise that was lower than you would hope, instead of saying like, "Well, I'm just going to coast, I'm going to give them what they want." Say, "Darn, I wish it was more." But go and work overtime, right, go do whatever you're going to have to in order to improve your company, improve your skills, improve your company's bottom line, because more money your company brings in, the more money is going to be available for a pay raise. Right? And so that's part of the no fuss. Get over those emotions and get to work right away. And then all MUS. MUS is people are probably saying, "I don't really understand that word." It's an acronym and it stands for Maximize Unique Strengths. And so most of the walk on we profiled in the book, they were shorter, skinnier, or slower. Then they're more gifted scholarship athletes. I was two of those three. I was clearly shorter, definitely skinnier, but I was actually fast. I only had one of those going for me, but they figured out what their special ability was or their special attitude, and they brought that to the team to maximize and benefit them as a whole. And a great example, that is Brandon Landry. And so it's super easy to tie his walk on experience. Who's professional success because he's a co-founder, the co-owner and the CEO of Walk on Sports Bistro. Anybody who's watching this in the Southeast, that's a very fast growing restaurant franchise. And so, like Drew Brees actually just became a part owner of them. So here's Brandon's essentially his athletic career in a nutshell. He tried out for his high school team and he got cut. And instead of saying, like, "I guess basketball isn't for me." He said, "I've got to work harder." He came back, made the team, became one of their best defensive players. He wanted to walk on at LSU. He got cut instead of saying, "I guess I'm not going to play here." He said, "I've got to work harder. I got to play more. I got to get stronger. I have to do the things I need to do to make this team." And that's what he did. Then they just brought him back as a practice player so you can get a uniform. Right? To be played in the games, I just needed him as fodder for that. Or he realized the first two practices like, "I'm getting manhandled." Well, guess what his attitude was? He didn't cry. He said, "I got to work harder. I got to get better, got to work, got to get stronger." He attended there off Season Work and strength program and then did additional things as well. Ended up making the active roster. But even that he had no name on his uniform. Right? For several games, a coach, even his name, he just called him walk on. Right? So right. So it's and it's funny because when he started the restaurant walk ons, John Brady, who was his coach, said, "Do I get any credit for giving the name of the restaurant? Because that's all they called you for the three years you were here." But his restaurant is now a super, super successful franchise. But the first six banks they went to all said, "No, no, no, no." The seventh bank said "Yes." And I asked him, "What if the seventh bank said no?" He's like, "We would have found an eighth. "Right? "Like we were going to do whatever it took to get this thing off the ground." So that's what gets into that no fuss, all MUS. Right? You're going to have some emotions, have those for a minimum period of time, but then go take action and maximize your unique strengths.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. What about step five?

Jim Roddy
Step five is really, really easy to comprehend, it's never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever quit. And the term that we put in is make them throw you out of the gym. Don't throw yourself out of the gym. That's one thing that we found is a lot of these walk ons, people told them, :I don't think you should play." An d they're like, "I'm going to do it." And other people are like, "Are you crazy?" And are like, "I'm going to do it." Well, they had on campus people who are much taller, stronger, faster, more gifted than them. But those people threw themselves out of the gym. "Well, I am too busy to do this. I'm probably not going to get a lot of playing time." They made all sorts of excuses and they quit before they ever started going down that path. And so it's you know, you've got to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever quit. Once you're on a path, don't give up. And just a quick example that Megan Lightfoot, she was a rower for UCLA, but before she was a rower, she was a lifelong athlete. But she said, "I'm never not going to play volleyball or swim or basketball at UCLA. I'm going to look for a different sport." Went into the rowing office. And a lot of times people think, "Oh, they're going to wine and dine you as a recruit." So she talked to the assistant coach there and he said, "Here's the process but you're probably going to quit." And so she could have walked out of there going, like, "I guess it's not for me." But she said, you know what, "I'll show him." And she ends up ramping up her commitments, goes through all the grief and pain of everything you have to with rowing and the blisters in the salt water in your face and the mental fatigue. But she said, "I'm going to keep at this." And sure enough, enough girls quit and somebody got sick. She ends up in a boat for the first-ever race her throughout her career, she moves up into the varsity boats. She becomes a team captain. She gets a partial scholarship because she had this mindset of I'm going to keep coming back and I'm going to keep my mind inside the boat. And she parlayed that in effort to her career, where she was very young applying for, she got her law degree and she wanted to be an attorney. And so she's talking to an attorney firm in Northern California. And they said, like, "Yeah, you're probably too young to do this." And she said she used her walk on stories, an analogy like, "I know I'm inexperienced. I know you're interviewing people who have way more years of experience. But here's what I did. I have a lot of bumps along the way, but I know I can get myself to a high level." And so she's been very successful. And then I love the title of her chapter. I didn't come up with. It's a quote of hers. It's your actions perpetually inform people about who you are. And that's what she did, right? She didn't quit because she said, "I am not a quitter." Right? The only thing that makes you a quitter is quitting. So she never quit and that's what made her not a quitter. So, again, those are the five steps for the Walk-On Method to career and business success. And I can almost guarantee you every single example that I gave there, nobody was like, "Oh, I know them. They're famous,." Right? These are all people who operate anonymously. Right? And they get things done. Those are the folks who really succeed. They might not make it onto a cover of a magazine, but that's a formula for success.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to ask you about never quitting, because I think, I think there are a lot of people that quit long before they should and that's why they don't reach success. But at the same time, I also think that not quitting doesn't mean that you're not going to change course at times. Right?

Jim Roddy
One hundred percent. One of my favorite books is called Getting to Plan B, and it talks about you have your plan A, but you haven't really tested it in stress tested it against reality. And so getting to plan B says, throw yourself out there, keep trying, keep aiming on the best outcome. But the actual tactic or the end of place you're going to be is probably going to be more than that Plan B, because you just don't have enough information when you get plan A, right? And so I always say don't quit until you get what you came for. Right? So if your goal. So Tek Dike is a great example in the book. So he was a walk on for the football team at the University of Washington. He was a quarterback. He was on the team for 4 years. Guess how many minutes he played? Guess how many snaps he took across those 4 years? Zero. None whatsoever right. Right? You think that's crazy? Like, why would somebody do that and all that extra work that you have to do? But his end goal was, "Man, I want to be an attorney here in the state of Washington. Playing football for UW, that's going to introduce me to so many people and be a great conversation starter. I'm going to be a four year player here. I'm going to get a great experience." And he knew like they were recruiting all-American quarterbacks every year. He knew what the deal was, but that was his goal. And so, again, he didn't quit until he came, until he got what he came for.

Tim Fitzpatrick
This has been awesome stuff, man. So I just want to highlight these five steps one more time. So we got to take a big shot, make a passion statement, run uphill, no fuss all MUS, and never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever quit. Doesn't mean you won't change course, but you're not going to give up on your end goal there.

Jim Roddy
Exactly right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
This has been fantastic. Jim, do you have any last-minute words of wisdom, thoughts you want to leave us with today?

Jim Roddy
Sure. A couple of things. One is you don't need to be an athlete to embrace the Walk-On method, right? If you're a sports fan, the book will really speak to you and a whole bunch of different ways, like, you know, hearing great stories and maybe some athletes and coaches that you've heard of before. But when I started writing the book, I wrote of the first few chapters and test-marketed them with entrepreneurs who were actually averse to sports. Right? They have no sports background, their kids weren't in sports. They actually didn't like sports at all to see if it resonated with them. And they were like, this is awesome. Like keep it coming. Like they were able to relate to it at a business level, at a human level, and not just at a sports level. So and the other thing is so tying in with that, you don't have to have a sports background. You don't have to have any advanced degree or anything to take a big shot or prepare with passion or maintain emotional control. Right? And so, you know, to youngentrepreneurs out there, you hear the principles that we shared here today. Wouldn't you love to have a team of people who embrace that walk on approach as opposed to one or two people? You're like they're really stand out. They're really hard workers. They do all these things right. You can build this up with a team. This is something you can teach. Then anybody can embrace it. I'll also say I'd be happy to share a free chapter and that list of 43 Walk-On Method workplace do's and don'ts. So folks just have to email me. You see that you are all there. Jim Roddy cba dot com. Just email me at Jim at Jim Roddy cba dot com. You'll be able to see how the principles and the walk on workplace do's and don'ts really tie in with actions related to tie character.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. So, guys, if you want to get more information, go to Jim Roddy, CBA. So and that's R-O-D-D-Y and then C, B as in boy A is an apple dot com. Or email jim, be happy to get you that for your chapter. Thank you for you. You've dropped a lot of value bombs on us here today, Jim, so I really do appreciate that. And guys don't just remember that last step. Never, ever, ever give up. So thank you for tuning in again, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you want to gain some clarity on where to focus your marketing right now, hop on over to our website, Rialto Marketing dot com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O marketing dot com. Click on the Get a free consultation button. Guarantee you will get a ton of value from that call and walk away having some clarity on where you need to focus right now to get the best return. Til next time. Take care.


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About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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