Posted on: September 21st, 2017 by Jen Mueller

You control so much more than you think.

When you don’t control what you can control, you have no one to blame but yourself. Some of the most successful people I know, ones I work with daily, subscribe to this mantra.

Throughout the course of my career as a sideline reporter, I’ve conducted thousands of postgame interviews. After tough games or particularly hard losses, I’ll often try to offer an athlete an excuse or way to explain the outcome:

“Did the field conditions play a factor?”

“Did the opposing team run something different than you saw on film study?”

“Did the hit you took earlier in the game affect your ability to run the route?”

They’re legitimate questions. They’re also softball questions that offer a potentially easy way out. After all, a lack of success could be the result of any number of outside factors.

Except that’s not how athletes view it. Elite players don’t buy into that line of thinking. Their response usually sounds something like, “That’s no excuse. That’s not why we lost.”

They’ll go on to explain the number of things they could have done better to produce a different or more favorable result.

It’s one of the things I love about the mindset of an athlete. Of course there are outside factors. Officials miss calls, people get hurt, and playing in subzero temperatures can cause problems…but you know what? The top athletes don’t care. In the end, athletes believe if they control what they can control success will follow.

Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner explains it like this:

“There’s no room for excuses or anything of that nature. I think the best leaders are the ones who not only hold others accountable, but hold themselves accountable. There’s no room for excuses because excuses stop things from getting done.”


Excuses stop things from getting done.


That statement is true in football and life in general.

You might not even realize you’re doing it, because some excuses start off as facts. For example:

Fact: I don’t like talking to groups of people.

Excuse: I can’t lead a team of people because I’m not good at presenting information to a group.


Fact: I don’t have as much time in the organization as two other people on my team.

Excuse: I don’t have enough experience to apply for a new job opening because there are people in the organization more qualified than I am to do the job.


Fact: I don’t have a business degree.

Excuse: I can’t start a business or be on a management team because I haven’t taken business classes.


The excuses, not the actual facts, are getting in the way. Just look at those same facts presented differently:

Fact: I don’t like talking to groups of people.

What It Actually Means: I would prefer to lead small teams or find a role that allows me to work one-on-one with someone, because I’m not comfortable talking to large groups of people.


Fact: I don’t have as much time in the organization as two other people on my team.

What It Actually Means: I don’t have much time in this organization, but I do have ample work experience on my resume from my previous jobs, which means I’m qualified to apply for this opportunity.


Fact: I don’t have a business degree.

What It Actually Means: I’ll bring a different perspective to the business after honing my skills for 20 years in a specific industry.

From here on out, enough of the excuses. Stop waiting for someone else to win the game for you. Take the actions needed to get the win yourself.

It's easier to blame someone else than admit you failed to get the job done. Control what you… Click To Tweet

Controlling what you can control, starting with your communication skills. Did you know your ability to communicate is a top predictor of success in your career?

Jen can help you improve your overall communication skills and put yourself in a position to showcase your expertise, raise your profile and increase your influence in her new book The Influential Conversationalist. She’ll literally break down one conversation strategy each chapter, provide action items for developing that skill and ways to reinforce that concept by watching and talking sports. Download a free chapter and order the book here.

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

Technically I didn’t just write a book. I completed my third book. Typing that sentence is weird. I’ve written and published three books, and yet this is the first time I’m actually telling people about my books.

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself: I enjoy the writing process, but hate telling people that I’ve written a book (or three.) After writing the first couple books, I hoped that people would ask me about them or stumble upon it all by themselves. (In case you’re wondering, people don’t.)

Here’s what I’ve realized. It’s too dang hard (and a waste of time) to write a book and then keep it secret, especially when I’ve got people in my corner who are willing to help.

Friends like comedian Craig Gass, who you might recognize from Sex and the City, King of Queens, or perhaps you’ve heard his voice on Family Guy and American Dad. Either way, he’s willing to help me get over my issues. While I might not follow his approach/advice – he certainly gave me a few things to think about.

And if you’re ready to check out the book. Here’s where to go to pre-order your copy, download a sample chapter and learn more about what it means to be The Influential Conversationalist.


Posted on: September 16th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

For the last few months, I’ve posted occasional quotes under the title of “The Influential Conversationalist.” You knew they were quotes related to communication, leadership and business development. What you didn’t know is that those quotes were from my new book with the same title. I’m really excited to announce The Influential Conversationalist launches October 4th.

There’s a lot of great stuff in the book including Influential Conversation Strategies at the end of every chapter, as well as, ways to reinforce the communication concepts throughout the book by watching and talking sports.

I’m thankful to so many people who helped with this project including, Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin who wrote the foreword. He and his teammates provided some insight throughout the book, and friends like Erin Andrews were willing to endorse the book and me.

You can download a sneak peak of the book here and pre-order your paperback copy that comes with a few cool things (like a lower price tag) you won’t get if you wait until it drops on Amazon.

Here’s the other thing you could do, join the Thunderclap campaign I started to spread the word about the book launch. All it takes is 10 seconds to click this link to join the Thunderclap. It’s 100% free and a one-time message that will let your audience know conversations don’t have to be hard.

Thanks for your support!

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