A winning mind-set is widely accepted as key to the ability to excel professionally, as an entrepreneur and in practically any other field of endeavor. However, while winners can inspire and serve as role models, it’s not easy to gain direct access to the way they think, and exactly how their mind-set drives the outstanding results they so consistently deliver.
Providing access to the thinking of eight such proven performers is the goal of the book The Mind of a Winner by Steve Canal, founder and CEO of The Brand Executive. A member of the 2017 cohort of B.E. Modern Men of Distinction, Canal wrote the book to distill the thinking and habits of the exceptional people he is privileged to spend time with, as a corporate and entrepreneurial brand marketer, into a winning mind-set that others can leverage to achieve their own goals.
“It all started with having the opportunity and being blessed to travel the world and meet some amazing people along my journey,” says Canal. “And along that journey, I realized that not a lot of people have access to what I call this ‘high-level security clearance’ to these minds, the minds of our era. When you look at Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, and 2 Chainz, who is a Grammy Award winner, I wanted to give people access to their mind frame of, when they failed, how they overcame failure. So, The Mind of a Winner isn’t your typical biography or marketing book. I’m really giving you access to their minds.”
“I wanted to be able to share this content, these methodologies, these power moves,” Canal explains, “so if you want to be the best mother, the best athlete, the best in corporate America, these are habits and methodologies you can incorporate into your life.”
Canal shares the following insights into what it means to have the mind of a winner:
WINNERS LEVERAGE THEIR DIFFERENCES INTO ADVANTAGES
A winning mind-set requires you to see the strength in what others may view as a weakness. For example, “Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, and I talked about dyslexia,” says Canal. “Daymond had dyslexia; I have dyslexia. Not a lot of people know that one in five people have dyslexia; one in three American entrepreneurs have dyslexia.”
“A lot of people view this as a negative thing,” Canal observes, “but we dig deep and talk about the positives of dyslexia, and how people who have it are big thinkers, and ways to take advantage of that.”
WINNERS ARE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY LOVE—AND WHAT THEY HATE
People with a winning mind-set are emotionally aware and clear about what factors will carry them toward their goals, and what will push them further away.
“Barbara Corcoran started her business with $1,000 and ended up the No. 1 real estate agent in New York,” says Canal. “She spoke with me about how she does certain things every day [in the context of] love and hate—the things that you love that are getting you where you need to be today, and the things that you hate that are stopping you from getting there.”
“A lot of people don’t take a step back to acknowledge that,” Canal asserts. “It’s important to write those things out and put a bird’s-eye view on your journey.”
WINNERS FOCUS ON PURPOSE TO FUEL THEIR DETERMINATION
Canal points to former NBA star and Emmy Award-winning basketball analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith as an example of a person with a winning mind-set, driven by a determined sense of purpose.
“Smith is a great example of, once you know your goal, and where you’re going, there is no reason why you shouldn’t fuel that journey with determination to achieve it and to getting there,” says Canal. “At the end of the day, you need to do something that you love and are passionate about, because that is your purpose.”
“A lot of people will identify what they want to do, but [their minds] are still clouded with all of these other distractions that will stop them from achieving that goal,” says Canal. “But the mind of a winner, that mentality, will help you find ways to get over that hurdle, to get over that bump in the road, and realize that closed door is just one less door you have to try and open. There are so many others that you can attempt to open in order to get where you’re trying to go.”