Last night was the opening reception for the Association for Women in Sports Media convention. As I was trying not to embarrass my native Buffalo with my bowling game at Lucky Strikes, we had a break in the action for our guest speaker, Kathy Goodman.
Kathy is co-owner of the L.A. Sparks of the WNBA. She and her friend, Carla Christofferson, bought the team in December of 2006. Both were season ticket holders. Both felt a strong connection to the team and to the game.
And both would jokingly complete the phrase, “well, if we owned the team …”
Eventually though, the running joke became a possibility.
Really, what if they owned the team?
Goodman had been an independent film producer and is still a high school English and social studies teacher while Christofferson was an entertainment attorney.
The Sparks were for sale, Goodman told the convention crowd. But they kept pursuing ownership.
“We thought eventually someone would tell us no,” Goodman said. “Then we were having a press conference to announce that we had bought the team. I guess no one told us no.”
Along the way, people would ask them why they were trying to buy the Sparks, why they wanted to get into the WNBA business in the first place.
Their response: Why not.
What Goodman did was actually a brilliant attitude strategy. She would act excited and eager and make other people think they were crazy for not wanting to own a WNBA team.
“What, you mean you DON’T want to own a team? How weird is that?”
It wasn’t even that she was visualizing success, thinking about what she wanted as a way to manifest it in her life. She was visualizing its normalcy. She attacked the naysayers not with counter-arguments or statistics or even with anything remotely presenting as an “attack” but rather with the simple matter-of-fact vision of well, why not?
My friend Karyn likes to tell me normal is as normal does.
And she’s right.
My friend Sam responded to my recent Facebook status where I rhetorically asked, “why did I think doing a Half Ironman in April was a good idea?” with the simple phrase, “why not.”
Sometimes, you need to hear the same thing in different ways, different styles, before it sinks in.
Goodman’s energetic, entertaining and humorous style cut right through my jet lag and hit me where it counts.
I find myself hedging my bets less and less these days, certain of what it is I want even if I don’t quite know the precise form and timing it will take. Does that sound like a contradiction? Might be. But what, you only go after the things you completely understand are there and already exist?
It’s not just about saying “why not” — although that’s critically important. It’s about acting as if what you’re doing already exists, already has come to fruition and already is the greatest idea ever. In part, it’s about convincing everyone else they’re crazy for not supporting your idea. And by doing that, you reinforce to yourself that your idea, goal, ambition, desire, is not only worthy of your time and effort but vitally important to pursue.
Just keep going until someone tells you “no.”
And make sure that person who says, “no” isn’t yourself.
P.S. I bowled a 70, which is probably what my average is. And the good news is I didn’t fall flat on my face while doing it.