Why Defense Wins Championships

Have you ever heard the phrase, “defense wins championships”? This nugget of sports wisdom asserts that offense, while glorified and exciting, will not actually determine who comes out on top. If your team wants to win they are better off laying a foundation and protecting the home turf. But defense-heavy strategy is often frustrating to fans and players alike. Defense is the smart way to play, but offense is more fun. Charging the line, racking up points, and playing aggressively is exciting. It gets the adrenaline pumping and makes the players feel like champions, but it will never yield great results by itself.

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Interview with Blake B Johnson

I was recently interviewed by a major publication on my entrepreneurial experience and the importance of tenacity and perspective.

Here are a few sound bites pulled directly from the piece:

“I start every deal from scratch – from the scouting (i.e. what business to get into next) to the financing. We only do one thing at a time, so we have no distractions and only two options – to fail or succeed.

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Winning the Genetic Lottery

Congratulations! You are a winner. If you have landed on this blog post and are reading these words, then I can immediately deduce a few important things about you, and I am happy to inform you that you are jackpot winner. For example, I can instantly tell that you are literate, that you have electricity, and that you are enjoying an Internet connection. Those three simple things automatically make you one of the luckiest people alive.  

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The Ingredients in Happiness

What leads to happiness? When asked that question, a lot of people list off pleasant, aspirational things. Things like loving relationships and financial security. Some people have a sum of money in their head that they think will unlock happiness forever. Other people bank on finding their “soul mate”, as if one single connection will solve all of their problems. Those things are definitely nice, but they are not what happiness is made of. Incredibly, happiness is born of struggle.

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No One Wants To Catch A Falling Knife

In business, hubris can serve you extremely well. Confidence in your mission, your capabilities, and your opportunities can separate you from the pack. A healthy ego can make or break a businessman, and I often encourage the people I work with to move through their career with self-assurance. But while hubris and ego can help get a project started, I have seen it become a liability more times than I can count.

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The Season of Giving is Not When You Think

When someone refers to the “season of giving”, most people conjure up images of roaring fires, volunteers in Santa hats ringing donation bells, and ample amounts of family time. The holiday season calls generosity forward in a way that helps unite communities in a beautiful way. I know that I personally, always find myself in a giving spirit around that time of the year.  

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Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?

A few weeks ago I came across an article that completely transformed my thinking. The piece is titled This One Question Will Make Every Decision In Your Life Easier, and you can find it on Medium.com. The article profiles the British rowing team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. They started out as a mediocre team, but once they started asking themselves “Will it make the boat go faster?” they completely turned themselves around and wound up taking home the gold.

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How Public Blockchains Can Take the Guess Work Out of Giving

Have you ever donated money and thought, “I wonder where that’s really going?”  It is a sad reality that donated funds do not always wind up where we think they will. In fact, you can actually find entire charitable organizations whose sole mission is to help you find other charitable organizations worth giving your money to. This phenomenon of your money not going where you think it will happens at every level. Some organizations spend most of your donation on operational expenses, some are outright scams – even the guy asking for change on the corner probably won’t be spending that money on food.

The trick is finding reputable organizations that will use your money responsibly. You want a charity that is transparent.

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Getting Back to Basics

When people hear that I am an entrepreneur, images of power suits and beautiful office suites often pop into their heads. After all, when we see entrepreneurial success on network television, it almost always takes the form of someone in designer clothing dashing across a busy city street in order to make it to their swanky office in time for the big meeting. All decisions are made mid-stride and everyone you see is confident and successful. You know what they don’t show you? Someone crouched over a computer 12 hours a day drinking cheap coffee and pouring over spreadsheets, relying on cold hard facts rather than their gut.

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When Opportunities Change

A few months ago, I spoke with a writer at Inc. about how entrepreneurs can stay open to new opportunities, both in business and in philanthropy. You can read the full piece here. In the article, we discuss how good entrepreneurs look for openings and needs within different markets, and how working harder and longer than your competition is what will ultimately get you across the finish line. The piece more than covers why it is important to look for new opportunities, but it falls short of what a good entrepreneur does when an opportunity arrives. Here’s the big secret; that opportunity is going to change.

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Mindful Philanthropy

I am an entrepreneur. At least, that is how most people see me. I launch, grow, and sell businesses, and I have been lucky enough to enjoy some success. But while I love what I do – there really is nothing like the thrill of getting a new business off of the ground – if I am ever asked do define myself, I prefer to call myself a philanthropist. I have been focused on giving back for my entire life. Ever since the Boy Scouts taught me to value generosity, I have looked for ways to bolster others. It is the reason I seek financial success so aggressively, and why I began The Blake Johnson Alliance.

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