What We Can Learn from Tom Brady About Success

Before the holidays, I ended up reading an awesome article about Tom Brady, the legendary quarterback of the New England Patriots on SI.com. I’m not a big sports fan, but for some reason, I’ve come back to this article a few times and have thought about it repeatedly. I am now fascinated by Brady and think we can learn a great deal from him.

The article highlights how Brady thinks and prepares for his job:

“The flat screen in the lobby is tuned to SportsCenter; next to it are jars of whey protein and knee braces for sale. Brady is away at the stadium, deep into his routines by now. Forget, for the moment, the supermodel wife, the movie cameos, the designer clothes. That’s celebrity camouflage. That’s Brady and that’s not Brady — not as it relates to football. His career is built on, defined by and prolonged with routine, even if his life is anything but that.”

Tom Brady is 37 and has been playing professional football for fifteen years. During this time, he has taken the Patriots to the Super Bowl five times and has led the team to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history. He works in one of the most competitive environments and continues to excel with each passing year.

What is his secret and what can we learn from him?

From the SI article:

“Let’s start here: Brady is a quarterback whose daily schedule, both in and out of season, is mapped clearly into his 40s. Every day of it, micromanaged. Treatment. Workouts. Food. Recovery. Practice. Rest. And those schedules aren’t just for this week, this month, this season. They’re for three years. That allows Brady and Guerrero to work in both the short and long terms to, say, increase muscle mass one year and focus on pliability the next. “The whole idea is to program his body to do what we want it to do,” says Guerrero. “We don’t let the body dictate to us. We dictate.”

Brady has a daily schedule, which is planned in advance for several years, and he follows this schedule rigorously. This schedule was designed to help Brady excel for years to come. This led me to start thinking about small business owners. Do we have long-term well-rounded schedules designed for us to excel? Do we follow these schedules rigorously?

“We don’t let the body dictate to us. We dictate.”

Damn.

Brady plays against some pretty big dudes who are trying to take him out of the game. He gets hit, tackled and pummeled, but will not let his body dictate what happens?

Think about how this might relates to you…

“We don’t let the real estate market dictate to us. We dictate.”

If we were to follow Brady’s approach ourselves, we would be prepared for whatever happened in the real estate market. We would design our businesses to excel despite market conditions.

Everything Brady does is calculated and designed for his success. Everything – all year round.

“Guerrero describes a typical vacation day, in the offseason: Brady wakes up, works out, has breakfast with Gisele and their two kids, hangs at the beach, naps on schedule, surfs, works out again. He goes to sleep early, eats well and for the most part avoids alcohol. The in-season portion of his regimen is designed to run through Super Bowl Sunday; if New England’s campaign ends in a playoff loss (excluding that 2008 season, he has missed the postseason just once), Brady completes every drill, every throw, anyway.”

Think about this for a minute. Brady is following a specific schedule every single day throughout the entire year. Even in the offseason!

“When Rodney Harrison played with Brady, the safety showed up at 6:40 a.m. to lift weights. “Good afternoon,” Brady said to him. So the next day Harrison showed up at 6:30. “Good afternoon.” Then 6:20. Then 6:10. Then 6. “Good afternoon” each time, until Harrison finally said, “Screw you, Tom. I’m not coming in any earlier.”

Just this week as I write this, the Cleveland Browns fined quarterback Johnny Manziel for being late to a team meeting. Apparently he was out late with a few friends partying two days before the Brown’s last game. Now, I realize Manziel wasn’t going to play in the game due to an injury, but I can’t help but to compare him to Tom Brady.

If Tom Brady were injured, would he be out partying two days before a Patriots game? I don’t think so. Oddly enough, Bradys entire routine and schedule is designed specifically to minimize injury and to keep him on the field.

My instant thought is:

Am I operating like Johnny Manziel or Tom Brady?

“The week after the Patriots fell to the Ravens in the 2013 AFC Championship Game, Brady showed up for workouts with his trainer, Gunnar Peterson, a Band-Aid still on his arm from some game scrape. “This guy is year-round,” says Peterson, who has worked with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, and who took on Brady after the ACL tear. “No wasted movement. No plays off. No days off. Everything is purposeful. And that includes the people around him.”

Am I a year-round guy?
Do I have wasted movement?
Do I take days off?
Is everything I do purposeful?
Are the people I surround myself with purposeful?
Is what I read and study purposeful?

(Even if you’re not a sports fan, take a few minutes to read the full Sports Illustrated article here. As you read the article, pay very close attention to what Brady does. How would your business look if you copied Brady’s approach in real estate?)

3 Comments

  • Jane Tecklenburg

    Reply Reply December 30, 2014

    You are so right on. As Realtors we shoot ourselves in the foot everyday. Because most of us are relationship people we do not discipline ourselves to succeed in business. Take responsibility for your business. Don’t blame the market or anyone else. Our business lives and dies by the decisions we make. Thanks, Rob!

  • Dan Weis

    Reply Reply December 30, 2014

    Rob, I love your insight to Tom Brady’s short and long-term routines. We can all learn more by studying successful people outside of our industry. Keep your powerful posts coming!

  • Tara Jacobsen

    Reply Reply December 30, 2014

    What a great post!! I love how you have taken Brady’s sports routines and made them simple for small biz owners to understand…:) Sharing with my peeps!

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