Success, No Surprise!
by Jeff Pinyot
I am excited to return to writing my monthly column, The Marketing Minute. Thank you PT for giving me the opportunity to share my twisted mind and altered vision with your constituency on a regular basis. For the record, I am this way having never inhaled.
I was reflecting on Indianapolis, the city that I chose to live in many years ago. Indy is the nation’s largest city without a navigable waterway. Yes, when canoes were the method of water transportation, it was navigable, but not like Pittsburgh, my hometown, which has three rivers and a “confluence.”
(Seriously, guys, in geography class back in middle school when on a test you were asked what a “confluence” was, aren’t you glad that the Steelers were so good and on TV so much that you got to learn that a confluence was the connection of two rivers forming a new one? You got that question right and the girl sitting beside you didn’t know the answer. Who’s a dumb jock now?)
Many years ago, Indianapolis had a vision, and community leaders sold that vision effectively. The vision was to become the Amateur Sports Capital of the World. Indy moved toward that dream by hosting the Pan American Games, by building a world-class tennis center, a natatorium, an international track and field center, and by luring the NCAA to move its headquarters to the city.
Never enough from visionaries to meet a goal and stand on it, Indy set a new goal, become the Overall Sports Capital of the World. Eli Lilly, a hometown hero, put up money to help fund a new domed stadium, the Hoosier Dome, in an attempt to lure an NFL team.
With incredible community support, and because city leaders showed their ability to deliver on a previous goal, Indy moved to advance toward achieving its new goal. I doubt that anyone in the community is surprised today at what we have accomplished.
From the largest attended sporting event anywhere in the world, the Indy 500, to the best ever Superbowl in another new stadium, Lucas Oil, to an NCAA Men’s Final Four every four years, the city has achieved the goal of sporting immortality.
One important ingredient to achieving a goal is to first visualize it, to see yourself in a victorious position. I learned this many years ago.
One late Sunday night, I was taking a face-off in a recreational men’s ice hockey game beside my own goal. The score was tied, and there were 10 seconds on the clock in the third and final period. Knowing there was no time to count on anyone else or to communicate my plan, I visualized my next three moves and predicted the moves of my opponents.
I had won most of the previous face-offs in the game, so I planned on losing this one on purpose, guessing my opponent would mishandle the easy puck. I assumed, therefore, that the defense would move in toward me as they had all night.
Because I let my opponent win the draw, he mishandled it, and I jumped to his back and grabbed the loose puck that had predictably slipped between his legs, and easily beat the defenders advancing on me (as I had predicted).
Like a hot knife through butter, I bolted down untouched and scored the game winner. What a great feeling!
It was a great feeling because it was not lucky; it was planned.
Twice while coaching high school lacrosse, I specifically told a player who was struggling in a game about “my hockey story” – two different kids, two different games.
I challenged “Jackson,” on his next shift, to predict the next three opponent moves by what had occurred previously and to finish with a shot on goal that he visualized going into the goal. Not to my surprise, but to his, he scored.
Colin had simply wanted a Coke at halftime, and I bought him one. He attempted to pay me, and I said, “Not with money! On the first shift, I want you to score and then point directly at me once you do.”
I said, “See yourself score before you go into the game.” He scored on the first shift of the second half and pointed at me, then he continued to point at me all season as he went on to become one of our scoring leaders. Today he is playing college lacrosse.
When you talk about your product or service, see yourself winning the deal. It can make a difference.
Contact Jeff Pinyot, Co-Founder of ECO Lighting Solutions
and President of ECO Parking Lights, at