I’ve been thinking about my podcast interview with Topgolf COO, Craig Kessler. Craig climbed to the top of Topgolf within ten years — almost unheard of in a sports and entertainment company.
We all want to learn and grow from taking the experiences of someone else and adopting their principles. Personal growth seems to occur faster by watching and learning from what someone else has put into practice — that way, there’s no reinventing the wheel.
Craig had gigantic success on several levels, and I’ve been looking at his past and wondering what and how he gained those success levels so quickly. Craig gives an excellent road map to follow in this podcast.
One thing I really appreciated from the podcast is seeing the moves that Craig Kessler makes in his life and the positive change he has brought about in the world.
As an aside — if you haven’t tried out Topgolf — you’ll want to hop on that goal and create a great experience for yourself. I’ve gone myself with a buddy, and we took our team to Topgolf a few months ago — Wow! What an experience that everyone is still talking about.
What Can You Learn from Private Equity to Help Your Life?
Craig learned a lot from private equity, as I have. First of all, many people don’t understand PE (private equity) and how you can actually make money from it, and along the way, you learn how to run your life with the same principles.
When you build a legacy with your children with your advice, a dad can begin helping their children build a better life using PE principles. Taking the approach to learning how to develop our own best lives and help others build their own best lives is great advice to spread around.
So the basics of PE is that you buy a company, make it better and make it worth something, then sell the company and hopefully make a little money from all of your efforts.
As a dad building a legacy of learning and caring about others with his children, you are, of course, not buying a person. But you will buy in (physically and mentally) to manage in a specialized way about that person or friend; then you’ll “add” to them by listening to them and helping them be their best self.
Lastly, you can teach your kids to have a legacy of “making money” from all their efforts. What is the money they are making from their friends? Can you buy friends? Can you buy loyalty? Can you buy true love and caring? No. What you actually “get” for all of your efforts is a true blue friend for life — one that will be there for you through the years.
A Legacy is a Gift that Takes Time to Teach and a Positive Example
A legacy like this is a gift that takes teaching and a positive example from parents, and these things don’t just happen. You will want to be
A legacy takes time, effort, and usually many many mistakes that have to be overcome, and you can teach your kids how to accomplish this big goal with their friends and family. In addition, when you begin building your legacy with young kids, it will grow with your children, and you might even have an easier time with them as teenagers if they have learned how to treat people well.
Take Your Life and Add to it — Make it Worth Something
Craig took hold of his life, added to it, and made it worth something — and we can all learn from his processes. Take your life or find something in your life that you want to add to and make better. Work on that small piece of your life, step-by-step, then hopefully, the end product will be worth something to you and to the others that share your life with you.
From the VC point of view, I watch so many things in life — where we pick up and make dreams come true in the startup world. One thing I learned from Craig is how PE firms relate to life and being human.
Life — Finding the Value-Adds and Applying Those Where We Can
A PE firm looks at a business that’s been running for a while, but because of inefficiencies, that company begins to falter. A PE is a value add firm — they find the inefficiency and build the “add” by helping the company find their faltering issues, and they turn things around.
And, really — that is life — finding your faltering issues and turning them around. In life, we have to find the value-adds that can occur by carefully watching for them and applying any new knowledge we have gained from the last time we thought about our direction and goals — and then “just do it.” Private equity processes can shape up the inefficiencies in our lives.
What Does it Take to Appy a Value Add to Your Life?
Craig built his business in about a ten-year stretch to get to where he is today. I tuned in to one of his concepts statements as I listened to the podcast again today. He said, “That ten years (in business) was an unbelievable Navy SEAL-type boot camp effort.”
I got a great visual that boot camp effort means learning how to evaluate businesses and help them grow. But what does that process look like in life, and how will you teach this as legacy advice to your kids?
Navy SEAL-Type Boot Camp Effort
Suppose we will toss words around like “Navy SEAL-type boot camp,” which does not sound simple. Indeed, can a boot camp be simple? No. Can a Navy SEAL-type boot camp be simple? This answer would be more like — no, no, and heck no. Applying a value add to your life will take a significant effort, planning, and deep strategy planning. Craig has done this in so many parts of his life, not just at Topgolf.
I want a peaceful (yet exciting) work/life balance that we’re always talking about for all my family and friends. Craig says that we all know the concept of flipping houses: buy the house, fix the house up, and sell the house. Got it. Now how do we apply this PE principle to life?
Culture Eats Strategy and Execution for Breakfast
As you read this post, I hope you see that almost any business concept can also make our lives better. Therefore, we should study business concepts and apply the processes and strategies to make our lives better.
The Unique Concepts to Apply
Craig Kessler’s company studied many remarkable concepts to better the culture and hospitality in his company. So taking the same idea and applying those to life — we should likely do the same thing. What we want to do better in life we can study from a business point of view. We’ll progress by doing the “thing” we want to do and applying those precepts as a goal in our lives.
Leadership at Craig firm studied Disney, Ritz Carlton, Southwest Airlines, and Four Seasons. These businesses do pretty well with hospitality, and he (and the whole team) wanted those qualities in Topgolf.
The Training Opportunity
So, the senior team developed a training/growth plan and opportunity to instill in the whole organization where all frontline associates would have a rally cry. But, of course, the rally cry would represent what they wanted the Topgolf team to represent.
The rallying cry for them is to go above and beyond to make a difference in people’s lives. It is something you think about every day and present to the world.
What would this world be like if every father left a legacy of advice to his children?
What’s Your Rally Cry?
When you get out of bed, you are on the playing field of life and begin creating the moments that matter for you and everyone. You start your day with the idea that your job will make a difference in other people’s lives — especially your own.
What is MY Rally Cry?
My question to myself is: have I made my rally cry? Have I learned enough to set myself up with the tools to carry my rally cry to everyone I meet? Have I empowered myself, my family, and my associates to carry out a life that has a meaningful rally cry?
Have I built a legacy of advice that my kids can carry forward and make this world a better place?
I hope so.
Image Credit: Julia M. Cameron; Pexels; Thank you!