Are We Preparing to Win?

Are We Preparing to Win?

Stephen Carter
February 5, 2024
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I’m a huge fan of MasterClass and most recently I finished the class from Coach K (I watched it in preparation to hear him speak at the EntreLeadership Summit in a few months). I was struck by his proclamation:

Everyone wants to win but not everyone wants to prepare to win.”

Ouch. Truth does not couch itself in soft padding and this one hit me especially hard as I think about how to meaningfully teach the entrepreneurial mindset. Am I helping students PREPARE to win? Of course, everyone wants to win—winning is the result, the end goal, the moment of praise and celebration. But winning takes work and the willingness to do this work is what often separates people.

In the end, this comes down to a principle. Results do not appear on their own; instead, they are driven by behaviors. But our behaviors are driven by our beliefs. This means, if we really want the results, we must start with our beliefs. What we believe to be true will guide our behaviors and our behaviors will guide our results. As with all principles, this is true whether we choose to accept it. After all, consistency compounds—the things we do each and every day shape who we are and who we become.

In the end, it is about discipline. Earl Nightingale, in his famous recording “The Strangest Secret,” defines success as “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Progressive is the key word here—results don’t just magically appear but rather stem from the hard work of behavior that is driven by beliefs. We have to start by believing that we CAN and then believing that we WILL.

If we want out students to achieve success, we must help them embrace these principles which are foundational to the entrepreneurial mindset.


Coach K, “Everyone wants to win but not everyone wants to prepare to win”



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Imagine your culture infused with growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking. Imagine your team acting and thinking like entrepreneurs.

Stephen Carter

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