We are back… as many of you are watching Yellowstone, like my wife and I. I always leave the show thinking. While it’s driven with action and filmed in the heart of a breathtaking landscape, it’s the dialogue and sometimes lack thereof, that drives the show and causes you to think.

So, we’ll dive back in here in a moment but just wanted to thank you for listening or watching. My name’s Thomas Joyner and I’m a business coach here with Business on Purpose. 

If you haven’t seen this week’s episode of Yellowstone, I am going to discuss a scene from it. So, if you need to pause this so you don’t freak out at me and get upset for spoiling a 30-second scene…that’s on you.

At the end of this past episode, Jimmy, one of the guys who’s kind of being redeemed over the past several seasons. Going from meth addict to miserable stable hand, and now sent to Texas to learn how to be a cowboy, is at the end of a long workday. 

The last conversation with his boss, they’re sitting there watching someone work and he looks at Jimmy and says this. “Jimmy, if you really wanna be a cowboy…learn to rope.”

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So that night, Jimmy comes home to his little bedroom. Eats the plate of dinner left for him and notices a rope on the wall. He picks it up, walks outside and pulls the little fake bull into the yard, and starts practicing.

As the scene progresses, it’s daylight. First throw with the rope? A miss. Second, a miss. Third, and fourth, and fifth. All misses.

This goes on for hours as it’s late into the night…more and more and more misses. Until finally, the last shot is him roping the bull and pulling it tight.

Now, what are we supposed to take from this? 

What does some fictional former Meth head turned cowboy learning to rope have to do with you running your business?

I think it’s all about what work are you willing to do in private. What work are you willing to do when no one is watching?

THAT…is the work that truly matters. That truly gives you a leg up. 

In the scene with Jimmy, they zoom out and there’s no one watching. No one encouraging him. It’s just him. Because he knows deep down that the only way to be the cowboy he wants to be is to put in the reps. To put the work in. To do the stuff that’s no fun and so far from any type of predictable success that it’s frustrating and downright discouraging.

So, what work are you willing to put in that no one may ever know that you do? Is it taking the time out of your week to pour over your books, your numbers, to make sure you’re making wise choices? 

Is it the hard work of recording your systems and processes to be able to train your team in a repeatable and accountable way? Maybe it’s getting in to work before anyone knows you’re there to map out the day and logistically save your business money by getting everything organized.

Or maybe you, like Jimmy, just need to put in the technical reps to get better at your craft. To take rep after rep after rep knowing that there is no shortcut to success.

I think if I could take something from this scene it’s that there’s no shortcut to success. No get rich scheme out there. There are businesses out there promising that you’ll crush it if you’ll follow this 5 step program. It’s all fake!

There is no shortcut. You have to pay the price and put in the reps.

But here’s the good news. The encouragement in all of this. One day instead of stringing together one success it will be two. And then three. And then onward and upward.

I’ll never forget the story of Kobe Bryant before a scrimmage at the Olympics in 2008. He called his trainer at 4:15 am and asked him to come to the gym with him. Even though they had a noon scrimmage. So, they got in a 90-minute workout and Kobe told the trainer he could head out if he wanted to.

The trainer left, went and got a few hours of sleep before the scrimmage and when he got back to the gym he went up to Kobe to encourage him on a great workout that morning.

“Great job Kobe!” Kobe just looked at him and said, “Huh?” “Great job this morning. What time did you get back to the gym?”

Kobe just laughed. “I actually stayed here. I wanted to make 500 jumpers from the corner before I stopped and then just decided to make 800 instead.”

Kobe, a guy who was born with more talent than probably anyone, realized the value of putting in the reps while no one was watching. He didn’t just put up 800 shots, but actually MADE 800 corner 3s BEFORE a scrimmage to make sure he was prepared.

Because here’s what Kobe knew…and what Jimmy is in the process of learning in Yellowstone. You don’t rise to the challenge. That’s myth. You fall to the level of your preparation.

What are you doing when no one is watching to raise your level of preparation to a place where everyone else notices when it’s time to perform? 

That’s the important question.

Have a great day everyone!

Thomas Joyner is a business coach in the Lowcountry of South Carolina specializing in liberating business owners from chaos. He is a weekly contributor to The Business on Purpose podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com