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Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Slow Down, Take a Breather

“The average golfer misses short putts because of fear (and the lack of concentration).”

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime In Golf by Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake, page 106

Some things should just be a “given.” They should just work. They should be a forgone conclusion. They should be a “piece of cake.” But sometimes they just don’t turn out that way.

Today’s quote pertains to every man, woman, and child who sets out to accomplish just about anything. It is particularly relevant when attempting to grow a business. Fear has no place in your future, and concentration is king.

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime In Golf"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime In Golf”

Some tasks are without question more difficult than others. Writing a detailed Marketing or Business Plan might be a good example of this. Sending an introductory email to a potential prospect falls under the “easier” category.

Both are essential tasks. One just happens to be less time-consuming than the other.

But there remains a common denominator when undertaking these, or any other tasks. In order to accomplish the task, regardless of its degree of difficulty a level of concentration is called for. This may sound obvious, but in truth it is an elusive trait.

In the fast paced, multi-tasked, “get-it-done-fast-and-get-it-done-now” world, concentration is a practice that is not often practiced. The reason for this is because we are into quantity more than we value quality.

“Look how much I accomplished in such a short time?”

Bull-&*%^.

“Look how much you screwed up in a New York minute?”

Slow down. Focus. Concentrate. Take a deep breath. Aim at your target, and make that four-foot putt. Then, and only then, begin thinking about your next shot.

In golf, it is essential to make those four-foot putts. In basketball, it is essential to make those free throws. In football, it is essential to make those extra points. In baseball, it is essential to use both hands when catching an easy fly ball. (Apparently, this is not so essential, but it should be.) In all cases, it is essential to concentrate on the task at hand. Danger lies within if you allow your mind to wander away from what it is you are trying to accomplish at the moment.

A missed putt, errant free throw, missed extra point, or dropped ball comes with a price. A missed piece of business comes with a huge price. It doesn’t have to happen if you just concentrate on what it is you are trying to do.


Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive monthly invitations send Mike an email with the words “business training” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.

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