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Beating the Odds

The Lessons of Watermelon

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” — Vincent Van Gogh 

Have you ever had a Wal-Mart watermelon day?

In case you’ve never heard the story, many years ago the opening of a new Wal-Mart store turned into a disaster when 115-degree weather, some bursting watermelons and a donkey combined to produce an unsavory scene.

The disastrous start could have meant a disastrous end. But it didn’t. The store wound up thriving, with a lesson for everyone.

Sometimes in your career you will face a disaster. It may come in the form of a shocking loss, or getting cut from the team, or any number of setbacks. In that moment, you must confront the disappointment and decide how to proceed.

Some people decide that what’s in the store (themselves) is not a very good product and simply give up.

Other people will realize that what’s in the store is just fine, and proceed to clean up the mess. These people are called winners.

In fact, any time you see a Cinderella team, or a great upset, chances are that at some point, the team looked at disaster and handled it perfectly.

Coach Tully’s Extra Point: Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton lived by what has come to be known as the “10-foot rule.”


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