Why Having a Chip on Your Shoulder Could Be the Best Thing for Your Success

Why Having a Chip on Your Shoulder Could Be the Best Thing for Your Success

Hey, what's your problem? What's wrong with you? Why are you so obsessed? Why do you have a chip on your shoulder?

Be careful how you answer those questions. Having a “problem” or a “chip on your shoulder” might just be the best thing you could have if you want to be majorly successful in life.

Want to listen? There's an audio version below

chip on your shoulder good thing

One of my friends, coach of coaches, Marc Mawhinney, shared a book he'd just finished with the members of his Coaching Jungle Facebook group. Marc said that The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, by Hank Haney was one of the best books he'd read about the profession of coaching.

So, I picked it up.

I've been playing golf on and off for almost twenty years. I'm not that good, but I'm familiar with both Tiger Woods (who isn't?) and the famous Hank Haney.

Tiger Woods

Net Worth: $740 Million (Source)

From the beginning of the book, Haney talked about Tiger with clinical detachment. Haney mentioned that even as a young man Tiger acted as reserved, uninterested, and mentally isolated from what was going on around him. It was Haney's belief that the chip Tiger had on his shoulder was one of the reasons for his success.

Tiger had something to prove.

Haney continued. He mentioned the names of several young golfers who showed great promise, but whom ultimately fell short of their potential.

At the time Woods made the transition from amateur to pro, several coaches and golf experts predicted that Tiger Woods, like all of the other hopefuls before him, would come up short. However, Hank Haney predicted that Tiger would have the greatest first-year earnings of any player before.

When everyone predicted he'd fail and told him he wouldn't amount to much, Tiger Woods excelled. He as able to use his reserved demeanor, uninterested attitude, and ability to mentally isolate and insulate himself from his surroundings to great effect, tuning out the world, and focusing on the task at hand.

Tiger Woods had a chip on his shoulder. He had something to prove. And, if you want to be successful, you should find the biggest chip you can find, and mount it firmly on your back.

Here's why…

Why Having a Chip on Your Shoulder Could Be the Best Thing for Your Success

After reading Haney's description of Woods, I began to remember all of the other successful people I've read about who also had a chip on their shoulder.

While some people might tell you to “get over it,” or tell you “it's just a game,” I'm going to tell you to find your frustration, dig in deep, and let the chip on your shoulder drive you to amazing success.

Here are a few examples.

Barbara Corcoran

Net Worth: $80 million (Source)

If you and I've ever spent any time together, you probably unearthed my love for the show Shark Tank (aka Dragon's Den outside the United States). In fact, I think Shark Tank should be mandatory watching for entrepreneurs.

One of the “Sharks,” Barbara Corcoran began her business with a chip the size of Manhattan on her shoulders. Not only was she a female in a male-dominated industry, she was also dyslexic. And, because of her dyslexia, she was labeled stupid as a child.

Barbara had something to prove.

In a recent episode which shared the history of each Shark, Barbara shared how being labeled as stupid as a child is a primary driver of her success today. Every day she wakes up wanting to show people she's not dumb.

Vince Flynn

Net Worth: $8 million (Source)

Also dyslexic, and also likely labeled as stupid growing up, Vince Flynn was one of the most successful fiction writers of his time. And, he's one of my all time favorites. Every one of his novels hit #1 bestseller status on the New York Times, and one of his books, American Assassin will be in theaters in the fall of 2017.

Before his success as an author, Flynn resigned from his job as a salesman with Kraft Foods and enlisted in the Marines to become a pilot. But, because of his dyslexia, he was medically disqualified.

Vince had something to prove.

To overcome his dyslexia, Flynn committed to read and write every day. He put in the work and got better at his craft. He poured thousands of hours of work into proving he wasn't dumb and could do everything he wanted in life.

With thirteen #1 bestsellers, I'd say the chip on Vince Flynn's shoulders served him well.

Other Examples

And Woods, Corcoran, and Flynn aren't the only successful people with a chip on their shoulder.

Podcaster, entrepreneur and millionaire owner of Entrepreneur on Fire John Lee Dumas was told his daily podcast would never work. Daymond John, the founder of F.U.B.U., was teased for not being great in school and likely teased for his interest in fashion. Meryl Streep was told she was too ugly to be in movies. Ronald Reagan was told he didn't look presidential. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team because he was too short.

Sometimes the words that hurt the most are the ones that drive us. I think it's 100% possible that the chip on your shoulder might just be your key to success.

Do you have a chip on your shoulder? If so, what is it?


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