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Planning for 2021: Advice for Entreprenuers

Watching Seahawks practice is part of job, and something I look forward to throughout the season. It’s not as glamorous as watching a game but it does give me some insight – as long as I’m not watching the ball.

It’s a habit I developed when I was high school football official. If you watch the ball as an official you’ll miss what’s really going on.

As I stood at practice this week contemplating the Seahawks upcoming game and my own business planning and goals for 2021 I realized that was one of a few lessons from my time as an official that I still use as an entrepreneur and a broadcaster. Here are three officiating fundamentals I’ve inadvertently incorporated into how I make decisions and set goals for the upcoming year.  

Planning for 2021: Advice for Entrepreneurs 

  1. Stop moving to see clearly. If everything is moving or in flux you can’t possibly get an accurate read on what’s going on. As an official it’s not ideal to (try) to run alongside a player and make a call. You’re in a much better position if you can get set and let the play come to you. 

Here’s another way of saying it: You add to the confusion and uncertainty of a situation if can’t get still and focused.


  1. Take your eye off the ball. As an official I know the game happens and plays are made while the ball is air. Watching the ball is a distraction officials can’t afford to get caught up in because if they don’t watch the field they’ll miss everything that’s really happening in the game. 

Here’s another way of looking at it: Sometimes the thing everyone is looking at or talking about is a distraction. Politics and a pandemic could be those things in 2020-’21. Yes, they’re important and of course they grab headlines, but your business is what’s happening day-to-day. Be knowledgeable without getting distracted on what really moves the needle for your business.  


  1. Strong fundamentals give you more credibility. It was an uphill battle to convince people (male coaches, players and anyone in the stands) that a girl knew enough about football to officiate Friday night games. Winning them over started with the fundamentals. Being sharp with my mechanics, hustling on the field and being in the right position to make the call. I knew the rule book, but they weren’t going to see that until I had to make a call. They could however observe my fundamentals on every single play.

Here’s another way of thinking about it: Big moments don’t happen as often as the moments in between. The message you send in those moments gives credibility to everything else you do. Do you respond to emails in a timely fashion? Do you show up on time for meetings? Do you follow through on what you said you would do?


Every day is filled with seemingly little actions that can increase your credibility if you treat them as fundamentally important to your business. 


Sometimes it helps to get a different perspective on conversations you’re used to having, either with yourself or others. Sports can provide surprisingly relevant ways of looking and business challenges because everything that happens in sports happens in a traditional work environment. I should know, I’ve been a sports broadcaster for 20 years and an entrepreneur for 12 years and my company provides conversation strategies based on my experiences on the sidelines and inside locker room.

In fact, I just released an on-demand video series called Asking Better Questions that takes you through the process I use in developing questions for live TV and radio interviews.

Asking Better Questions helps you become a better listener, lead more engaging conversations and get the information you really want. We’re ramping up to the big release, but you can take advantage of the $49 introductory rate. The series includes seven videos that range from 4-11 minutes long, making it the most efficient way to upgrade the questions you’re already asking and start seeing results.


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