Applying the Athletic Mindset in Business: Insights from James Brown

By Jevon Wooden

In a recent episode of Design Your Life & Business – The Leaders Podcast, host Jevon Wooden welcomed former All-American track athlete and business expert, James Brown, to discuss how the athletic mindset can shape business decisions.

Throughout his career, James has successfully applied the athletic mindset in business, leveraging the power of relationships to drive success. He brought his concept of ‘the xchange zone’ to the fore, using it as an analogy to describe business as a relay race, emphasizing the importance of not ‘dropping the baton’ with customers.

For those looking to employ an athletic mindset in business, James stressed the need for self-awareness. Understanding your skill set, the value you bring, and how you can assist your teammates is key. Once you grasp these elements, you can leverage them for business success.

The podcast conversation also highlighted a key shift from transactional to relational thinking in business. This perspective is a cornerstone of the athletic mindset in business, where relationships trump mere transactions. James explained this by drawing on common experiences, such as choosing a familiar coffee shop over other options, emphasizing that familiarity and trust often guide our choices.

At the heart of the athletic mindset in business is the customer-centric approach. James reminded listeners that customers form the lifeblood of any business. But he expanded the term ‘customer’ to include internal teams or departments, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all business components.

Sharing personal experiences, James detailed how cultivating relationships played a significant role in his success. He stated: “You need to understand who you are. What is your skillset? What do you bring to the table? What is your value? What is your resource? What can you provide? And then you understand who your teammates are. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What do they provide?”

The episode concluded with James urging listeners to apply the athletic mindset in business by focusing on relationships, listening to customers, and valuing each ‘relay’ in the business race. In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, James’s insights underscore the enduring importance of human connection and genuine relationships for lasting success in business.

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Jevon Wooden, CEO of BrightMind Consulting Group, is a business coach and consultant, keynote speaker, author, and Bronze Star Recipient passionate about marketing, sales, technology, and helping motivated entrepreneurs and businesses increase clarity, confidence, and cash flow while having more time to focus on what matters.