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Will you be the next Lin-sation?


Please indulge me, as a died-in-the-wool, loyal-as-they-come, lifelong dedicated fan of the perennially underachieving New York Knicks basketball team.

Even if you are far from a rabid basketball fan, you may have heard of the overwhelming media sensation that is Jeremy Lin, who has come from absolutely nowhere to taking the NBA completely by storm over the past couple of weeks.

Yes, the lowly Knicks, one of the sorriest franchises in all of pro sports over the past four decades, have suddenly and inexplicably become a team to be reckoned with, all thanks to the miraculous emergence of this previously-unknown, unwanted and unappreciated point guard who has amassed record statistics during his first few games as a starter.

Those records include most points scored, most assists, most wins by his team – and also the league’s current top-selling jersey.

This, after going completely undrafted, getting dropped by two previous NBA teams and being a fixture near the end of the Knicks’ bench for the first 23 games of this season – playing a total of only 55 minutes over that span and nearly being dropped from his third professional roster in less than two years. As recently as last week, he was sleeping on a couch in his brother’s one-bedroom apartment, fully expecting his NBA career to come to an unceremonious and abrupt end at any time.

Finally, when given a chance to contribute only because of injuries to several of his teammates and the overall dismal performance by the Knicks (who had lost 11 of their last 13 games before he got his chance to play), Lin started coming through in a far more spectacular way than anyone could have imagined.

Let’s face it: Being “only” 6’ 3” tall, of Asian descent and graduating from Harvard is not what is generally considered to be a standard pedigree for an NBA superstar.

But Jeremy Lin is dazzling the doubters, exposing the “experts” and firing up fans from coast to coast, leading the Knicks to victories in 8 of their last 10 contests, including a nationally-televised matchup against the defending World Champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, attended by an all-star cast of celebrities among a raucous, rocking, rejoicing New York crowd.

“Lin-sanity” has captured a nation, much like “Tebowmania” did in the NFL just a few short months ago.

And for longsuffering Knicks fans like myself – I even worked as a food vendor in Madison Square Garden for three years as a teenager – he’s given us something to celebrate and cheer about for the first time in years.

So what’s this all got to do with Chicagoland entrepreneurs and small business owners, and specifically you, loyal reader? Here’s what I think every time I see more non-stop media coverage of Jeremy Lin…

Have you been struggling in your business?

Barely hanging on?

Thinking (and/or having people telling you) that it may be time to give up and “get a real job?”

If so, perhaps it’s time for you to get “Lin-spired.”

You might choose to be thrilled by Jeremy Lin’s miraculous emergence and exciting on-court exploits, or you might totally ignore all the hoopla surrounding his out-of-nowhere Cinderella story.

Or you can objectively follow his mystifying, meteoric move from mediocrity to mastery, and decide once and for all that you, too, are Lin-vincible.

I made that decision myself, about 20 years ago, after I bankrupted my first multi-million dollar business. For a short time I found myself homeless – but never hopeless. In the midst of the dreadful Carter Recession, I vowed to bounce back and pull myself back up from poverty to prosperity – no matter what it took (which in my case was nine years of door-to-door sales, traveling from city to city all across North America).

As a recent Deloitte white paper pointed out, “Sixteen of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Index were started during a recession. It is economics 101: recession drives a buyer’s market.”

I rebounded from my own most severe personal and business failure during the Carter Recession. Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin rose from being neglected nobodies to become the toast of the nation when each was on the verge of becoming forgotten, former players.

The sports world needs more Tim Tebows and Jeremy Lins.

And our nation’s economy needs the business version of these never-say-die heroes more than ever.

Will you answer the call?

I’m rooting for you to experience your own personal re-Lin-carnation starting RIGHT NOW, fellow entrepreneur! Go for it!

9 Responses to Will you be the next Lin-sation?

  1. Phil B Reply

    February 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    And the great news is that if you are an entrepreneur in the Chicago area who needs a coach who can recognize your potential, get you into the game, and make you a perennial starter…Steve Sipress is the guy! He walks the walk and talks the talk, will tell you what you NEED to hear, and will outwork you in your own business to help you become successful.

  2. Steve Sipress Reply

    February 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for those very kind words, Phil!

  3. Thomas M. Henry Reply

    February 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Steve great post but of course it begs the question where does a sole proprietor struggling to keep their head above the waves start with the new found sense of optomism to tough it out. Like the saying the devil is in the details how do we turn this motivatrion into profits that help build our respective business? It is a lot easiier if you have loads of capital or excess income but what about the struggling guy where does he get the break to be able to break out of the hanging on crowd to get into the mainstream and then up to the top as he desires to do so? What is the next step? A doubtful Thomas in Peoria! Tom Henry

  4. Steve Sipress Reply

    February 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Interesting question, doubtful Thomas.

    1. Dan Kennedy and I have help for you:

    2. I’m not advocating any need for a “new found sense of optimism” — just for recognition of the fact that anyone can end their struggles and make things happen for themselves with the right strategies and dedication.

    3. I never had “loads of capital or excess income” when I turned my life around (although I agree that might have made the journey easier — although far from guaranteed). What I did always have was loads of determination and belief in myself that I would do whatever it takes to raise myself from failure to success.

    (And by the way, I never advocate any “ladder of success” thinking — no need to lollygag in “the mainstream” on the way from struggling to the top.)

    I’ve shared much of the “next steps” on this very blog.

    Once you read through the archived posts, Tom, please post another comment if you still feel a lack of certainty or confidence that you can do it, too.

  5. Dusan Reply

    February 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    You’re right, Steve. It’s about a decision. You decide one day you want something, and then decide again the next day and the next day and, of course, each day you decide again, you do something about it. But, first, you have to keep deciding you want it. Which means, you have to know why you want it.

  6. Mary F. Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The decision is just the starting point! The hardest part for most entrepreneurs is the Implementation. It’s easy to decide that you want to be successful, but not so easy for most to Take Action to become successful. Just wanting it isn’t enough. You need to have systems in place to make it happen.
    If this sounds hard and you need motivation Steve Sipress is the guy who can “Pump You Up” and keep you motivated. He has dedicated himself to helping the Small Business owner, Mentoring and Sharing his extensive marketing knowledge with Chicagoland’s Sharpest Entrepreneurs at monthly celebrations.
    Thanks Steve, I for one, am glad you are my mentor!

  7. Steve Sipress Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I’m with you, Dusan, and with Mary for taking it a BIG step further.

    As I’m famous for saying, “Ideas Make You Feel Good, But Only ACTIONS Make You Money!”

  8. BonnBonn Baby Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Thanks so much Steve for the great article! Great inspiration!

  9. Steve Sipress Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    My pleasure, Baby. Looking forward to hearing your success story!

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