How I Always Profit From Experience

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My basketball watching-to-playing ratio in the 8th grade was about 40/60. 

Meaning, for every four times I got a chance to play, there would be six lunch periods where I didn’t get picked. I even remember one bad day when I got kicked off the court in the middle of a game for making too many mistakes. 

The girls on the sideline watching said, “that’s a shame!” 

The players who’d kicked me off said, “he keeps messing up!”

I kept coming back, hoping to get picked again. 

One day I challenged the best player in the 8th grade to a one-on-one game. We played 4 games. I lost them all. 





I figured it would be wise to ask him for some advice on my development. 

“Buy A Game.” 

Along with “stop playing scared,” this was the wisdom imparted on me by my 14-year-old middle school classmate Brandon. In addition to being the name of my first book, “Buy A Game” morphed into “Work On Your Game” and everything I do now. 

One thing about me is I’ve always been a “sponge:” I notice, take in and remember situations, stories and sayings that I later use for my own purposes. 

The manager at Hat World, where I worked as a freshman in college, described me as a “brain picker” because all I’d do when we worked together was ask her question after question about her background in retail management. It had always been hard for my friends and me to get jobs at the mall, and she had made a career of getting hired. 

I’m still a brain picker; the good thing is now I have a microphone and can take all this stuff that I’ve picked and share it back with you. 

This episode is the first of a 2-part series: #938: Best Lessons I Learned From Basketball Players, Pt. 1

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