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We all enjoy winning. In life and in business, winning is fun and rewarding. (Charlie Sheen would agree. #winning) But sometimes you have the unique, painful privilege of losing in the finals of not one but two fantasy football leagues. (Not so surprising, full disclosure, I suffered multiple close championship defeats last weekend). It’s been said that 2nd place is 1st loser, but considering that approximately 75 million Americans play fantasty football, it sounds like I have some company.

So what can we learn from fantasy defeat that can be applied to real life? Whether it means nailing the big new biz pitch or preparing a presentation on how to seize your market with a product launch, let’s turn this speed bump into a launching pad for success.

  1. Stick with what got you to this point. Your team earned this moment, so remember who you are and what has made you successful. Be careful not to act like someone you’re not or feel pressured to bring in someone new. (I’m looking at you Ty Montgomery. Thanks for the Week 15 tease and then subsequent let down after I picked you up on waivers.)
  2. Beware the 11th hour tinkering. (So maybe moving Alshon Jeffery to my bench just before kickoff wasn’t a bright idea.) Recognize that the work you put in leading up to the big meeting shouldn’t be scrapped on account of fear or a last minute “brilliant” hunch. Trust your disciplined approach.
  3. Remember, concept testing is valuable, but your interpretation of results is key. (So text messages to my 3 savviest fantasy football friends revealed new considerations, but my ability, or inability, to piece it all together was what mattered.) So be open to ideas, but don’t expect focus group and survey participants to do you job for you.
  4. Sometimes, you just run into a hot hand. (Thanks for nothing, Mr. 3 TD against the stout Seahawks defense, David Johnson.) Lurking around the corner may be market conditions that shift overnight or a game-changing idea from a competitor – things you can’t do anything about. So focus your energy on what you can control.

Much great effort often goes unrecognized – Merry Pitchmas! But perhaps it’s only losing if we don’t learn something from it. With these quick lessons, let’s win in 2017.

Have a winning weekend and Happy New Year, everyone!
-Your overanalyzing fantasy sports friends at Brokaw.

Remember, concept testing is valuable, but your interpretation of results is key.

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