Billionaire Under Armour founder Kevin Plank aims for nothing less than having his company become the US leader in sports apparel and equipment.
Under Armour is expected to report another successful year, with $3.91 billion in estimated 2015 revenue, up 27% from 2014, and $408 million in profit, up 15%, according to the Motley Fool.
But it was a lesson he learned when he was at the absolute bottom, with a product prototype and not a dime to his name, that has helped drive him through any hurdle.
Plank launched Under Armour with its flagship synthetic fiber athletic shirt in 1996 with his $16,000 in life savings. After he and his friend, and now Under Armour CMO, Kip Fulks found some collegiate customers, he partnered with a textile source and manufacturer to get the business going.
Plank soon found himself with $3,500 to his name and $6,000 of bills that needed to be paid. In what seemed like a good idea at the time, he took all but $100 out of the bank and headed over to Atlantic City to gamble. He lost every cent.
Plank found himself on his way home to Maryland from Atlantic City, stopped at the toll booth of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, begging for mercy from the toll operator. “It was the single worst moment of my life, having to face that poor toll booth operator, waiting for her two dollars,” he told “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John for Johns’ new book “The Power of Broke.”
“I was so broke, I couldn’t even check for loose change in the ashtray, in the seat cushions,” Plank said.
He told John that he couldn’t keep himself from crying. The whole experience stands out in his memory, however, because of what happened next.
A day after his blackjack trip, Plank dropped by his mom’s house for dinner. He told her the business was going great, but he was thinking that he’d just made the biggest mistake of his life.
After eating, he went to the post office to check the P.O. box he was using for Under Armour, and inside was a $7,500 check from the Georgia Institute of Technology — the athletic director had owed him the payment for awhile, but Plank didn’t expect to get it in time to cover his own bills.
As he told Men’s Journal about the moment in 2013, “That was the last time I doubted the company.” He told himself, “Wipe the tears away, stand up, be a man, run your business, find a way.”
It taught him two fundamental lessons that he continues to pass onto new entrepreneurs: Don’t blame forces outside of your control for misfortune, and tough it out in the early days rather than taking on investments and giving away equity.
He’s taken his optimistic view to Under Armour’s global team, as well. “Everywhere you go, you hear people talk about how the world is falling apart,” he told John. “Everybody is an expert. But at Under Armour, I want people to control what they can control. Leave the pontificating to everyone else. Leave all that negative talk to everyone else.”
Today I am believing in myself and my ability to create for myself the dream life I have always wanted and that I know, now, that I deserve and that I am worthy of.
We’ve all done it at least once, come up with that great idea or plan and exuberantly have told everyone we know about it. I’m going to write a book, get fit at the gym for that marathon, start a new inspired school for the town! No harm in sharing the excitement right? Shouldn’t you announce your goals, so friends can support you? Isn’t it good networking to tell people about your upcoming projects? Shouldn’t you visualise the goal as already yours and state your intention in lines with the ‘law of attraction’?
Don’t do it! Tests done show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen. Announcing your plans to others simply satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.
He stated that in 1933, researchers found that if a person announced the solution to a problem, and was acknowledged by others, it was now in the brain as a “social reality”, even if the solution hadn’t actually been achieved.
“(Take) a mother who talks about all the great things she’s going to do for her kids — help them do better in school, get better test scores, give them extra training — while all the other mothers nod in approval,” says Gollwitzer . “The chances are high that she won’t do as much as she could to achieve those goals because she’s already viewed as an ideal mother just by sharing her wonderful intentions.”
He explains the intentions function as a symbol of possessing the desired identity. This is evident in the statement of a “high-order goal,” such as losing weight to become a healthier person, but not in planning to drop three pounds to fit into a dress.
Whether you plan to cure cancer, lose weight or be the world’s best parent, results of a the study suggest you’d do well to keep your mouth shut about it. And not just to avoid annoying other people either. Researchers report that when dealing with identity goals — that is, the aspirations that define who we are — sharing our intentions doesn’t necessarily motivate achievement.
On the contrary, a series of experiments shows that when others take notice of our plans, performance is compromised because we gain “a premature sense of completeness” about the goal.
In a time when funding is scarce and we often have to go public with our plans in order to get them off the ground and over sharing on Facebook is rife, the decision to reveal all needs to be carefully considered as a longterm tactic.
In the research four different tests of 63 people found that those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.
Read: Define and Achieve your Goals by Asking Yourself These 3 Important Questions
It may seem unnatural to keep your intentions and plans private, but try it. If you do tell a friend, make sure not to say it as a satisfaction “I’ve joined a gym and bought running shoes. I’m going to do it!”, but as a high order goal and in dissatisfaction “I want to lose 20 pounds, so kick my ass if I don’t, OK?”
So this New Year when you are setting your new goals and plans. Keep them to yourself. Follow this and success could be just a shhhh away.
Have you ever announced your great plans and never completed them? How did it make you feel?
What are your tried and tested secrets of completing goals? You can share that, at least, with us below..
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. -William Blake
Life doesn’t always go our way but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being fired from a job today might mean you finally push yourself to make your dream a paying reality. Much of life is like art…it is in the eye of the beholder. What one person sees as a tragedy another might see as an opportunity.
Changing your perception of life is easier said than done, but then again, so is everything. It is much easier saying I want to write this article than it actually is to write it. But if even one person feels better after reading this, it was completely worth the time and effort.
Here are 10 Signs You’re Doing Well In Life Even Though You Don’t Think So:
1) You’re alive!
After all of your trials and tribulations you have faced in life, it hasn’t knocked you out. When I think of life, I am reminded of Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. Despite this horrible situation he was able to find the silver lining. I highly recommend researching into this man!
2) You have a roof over your head.
This is something I try to remind myself of on a daily basis, especially when you consider:
On a single night in January 2013, there were 610,042 people experiencing homelessness in the United States, including 394,698 people who were homeless in sheltered locations and 215,344 people who were living in unsheltered locations.
That statistic gave me a new appreciation for sleeping in my bed.
3) You’re working to improve yourself.
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. -Bruce Lee
Bruce has it right. There are no limits, only plateaus. Perhaps you feel like you’re stuck on a plateau, but just being conscious of that fact is HUGE. It means you know a change needs to happen.
4) You dream big.
The world you see today was created by dreamers. Before reality takes hold the process of imagination and dreaming must take place. Some of the greatest minds in the world came up with their best ideas through dreaming.
5) You are forgiving.
Holding onto anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life. -Joan Lunden
Forgiveness is one of life’s most important lessons. Those that can learn to forgive tend to live in more peace, and it is important to remember that forgiving yourself is just as important.
6) You are loved.
Few things are more beautiful in life than having friends, family, or a significant other that loves you. Never take these relationships for granted and always take a moment to thank these people for being in your life.
7) You have clothes.
You don’t need much in your wardrobe. I only have enough clothes to fit in one suitcase, but I also don’t allow myself to get sucked into the world of fashion. Be happy you have sufficient clothing for your life.
8) You have clean water.
The UN released a report that shows:
783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation
Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. If you have clean water you are very fortunate.
9) You are genuine.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde
Staying genuine in a society surrounded by false advertising is difficult. If you know who you are, what you want in life, and refuse to sell part of yourself for monetary gain be thankful. Some have no idea who they are even with all the money in the world.
10) You have traveled to another country.
Truly great experiences come to those who stay open to possibilities. Being able to experience life in another country is eye opening and will benefit you far into the future.
I remember when it first hit me, when I was first introduced into what I was going to do at least for the next four to six years. I was excited, overwhelmed, and for the first time in three years that childhood sensation of believing I could do whatever I wanted to do came back!
After going through the motions throughout my whole High School career I could never seem to actually choose what I wanted to do. When the day came and I actually had to choose and apply for college I just picked something that I thought I would like the most, a High School teacher ironically. I hated High School and for my 4 years there I couldn’t wait to get the hell out! But I wasn’t going to make it into the NBA and my dreams were very small at this point. Three months off in the summer and eventually becoming the Head Coach for the basketball team were the only two reasons I went with this. Thank God I got into trouble and never made it to college because I never would have ran into what I truly wanted to do. I would be in debt up to my eyeballs doing something I was only partially passionate about. I think this happens way to often in the world we live in today and you can definitely see the pain in most college graduates eyes. We only get to live this life once right? Why not find your passion then just do that!
I’m passionate about helping people. That’s it. I say this a lot but I just want people to thrive. To actually feel euphoric and clear headed about where they are heading. Somehow along the lines it became acceptable to work 40 hours per week for 40 years of your life just to retire on the money that you couldn’t spend during your youth. Light weight acting like a machine in this thing we keep trying to spin around called our economy. I mean come on just hearing that the average age for retirement is going to be at 72 years if I were to go that route is a strait up scam. Why would you ever trade time for money? What’s more important honestly?
As I said before my passion is helping people. Giving people the opportunity to become their true selves because that’s when the magic happens. Everyone here on Earth has a purpose, I full heartedly believe in this. Surround yourself with the dreamers, the free thinkers, the people that are going to make you a better person. Success is 80% mental. So, if your going through a tough stretch in your life right now don’t be afraid to contact me. I may be able to introduce you to another way of life.
Last but not least check out the documentary, “Finding Joe”. I just finished watching it and it relit that fire in me! It will surely motivate you to break free of those chains you have holding you back!