Ahhhh…. Golf!

“It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. It took one afternoon on the golf course.”

I totally resonated with the last few words famously quoted by former Baseball Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron.

Not having picked up my golf clubs for quite a few years, I wanted those statistics to change.

And the decision to shift my thinking happened when packing up to move to the USA. With a limited baggage allowance and space at a premium I made a deliberate commitment to replace a pair of designer heels for my hardly-worn, FootJoys.

It was time to get back on the horse… at least the golf course!

So imagine my delight when my sister-in-law and avid golfer, Lindy Waldman, joined me from San Diego for a game at my local golf course [Raccoon Creek Golf Club], where I was able to put my money where my mouth was and don those shoes and my skort and take to the fairway once again…

Having had zero practice prior…. plus having Mo, an experienced golfer and retired CEO, join us … was a little nerve-wracking to say the least, but I swallowed my pride and ponied up for my first shot in 20 years!


And missed again!

‘Dammit!’ I muttered, ‘Not again!’

Then…whack! The sound of my driver hitting that ball was seriously like music to my ears… albeit 50 feet of music!

And that’s when these FOUR!! lessons really began!

⛳ Accept the misses and look for the learnings

At each miss, my higher self stepped in to ‘have a chat’ to my victim self. ‘Bernadette‘, I said, ‘you are playing the par, you are not playing Mo or Lindy. And they don’t care what your swing is like or how many shots you take or how awkward you feel you look, because they, too, are playing the par. Their own par!’ The learnings are found inside our own thinking when we choose to get honest with ourselves and elevate that thinking to be more philosophical than emotional. In our role as salespeople, we might appear to be on that metaphorical fairway with our team mates, yet we are really all just playing the par – we are playing against ourselves and making sure to get that deal home in as few shots as possible.

⛳ Decide your direction and then keep your eye only on the ball

Mo was amazing, he noticed that I had a really good stance but I was watching where the ball was going instead of keeping my body still, my eye on the ball and letting my swing do the work. And it made me reflect on how often we fixate on the end result so much that our judgement on the day-to-day activities is clouded and prevents us actually getting to the end result. Where we stress about what we AREN’T doing, where we get distracted and beat ourselves up for what we SHOULD be doing and where we stop focussing on the ONE THING that will create the game-changing momentum. Keeping our eye on the ball is the long game – it’s the day-to-day commitment to focus on the little things that will bring the bigger results home.

⛳ Realise your body and mind are both intertwined

Talk about zigging and zagging. I mean… why on one hole does your body tense up and on another you play as smooth as liquid gold. Why on one shot are you high-fiving with a confident, ‘Yes, I’ve got this‘ and on the next you’re wondering what loser just inhabited your body? We tense up for any number of reasons when it’s our turn – to do anything! And I don’t mean just playing golf! But performance-wise. It could be… 

  • A lack of hydration to loosen up the connective tissue around our muscles and organs to help keep our body out of fight and flight mode
  • Too many micro-thoughts creeping into our nervous system without us realising from prior stresses that haven’t been addressed,
  • Not enough sleep, not enough socialising, over-thinking and pressure to be perfect or
  • A lack of faith in our ability to lighten up and trust ourselves.

We owe it to ourselves to listen to our mind, body and spirit.

⛳ Find Your 19th Hole

Finishing my first game in years was a goal accomplished and deserved a celebration and yes, in my case, it was a lovely Pinot Grigio overlooking a gorgeous lake. It was not only me spending time with someone close to me, it was also me getting back on the horse. 

How often do we fall off the horse in our role as sales leaders or salespeople and are too proud to get back up or take too long to do so?

  • Whether it be prospecting activity where procrastination rules.
  • Whether it be defaulting to the same conversations without stretching our curiosity.
  • Whether it be falling back into the same victim mindset when things don’t go to plan.

However you play your game… make sure one of your rules is to finish the day by relaxing and celebrating all the things you did right, in the way that best aligns to your values.

And as usual,

Stay Bold, Brave and Brilliant! 

Keynote Speaker - Bernadette McClelland - Sales Leadership and StorySelling Speaker Selling in the Connection Economy. A 5-step sales philosophy for franchises, associations and corporates


EVENT ORGANIZERS (Video below) – As a speaker, my programs help CEOs of future-focussed sales organizations, who are concerned as to how to help their sales teams stand out more in a heavily competitive environment, gain the lead by securing more profitable and purposeful sales.

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