What I Learned Outside the Classroom — Lessons from the Court, Field and River

Fun fact: I was a student athlete for most of my younger years, with a lot more emphasis on “athlete” than “student.”

Sports profoundly shaped who I am. As a kid, successfully juggling practice, classes, games, matches, homework and meets is a surefire way to develop personal responsibility and time management skills, but I also learned way more than that.

• Play with people who are better than you.

My high school tennis coach pushed me to not only run wind sprints until I puked, but also to “level up” and step outside my comfort zone.

Now, I try to aim high, be brave, and partner with amazing people like all my friends from Titanium Worldwide.

• Teamwork makes the dream work. 

I was a rower in high school and college, and that’s the ultimate team sport. If one person doesn’t show up, your eight-person boat just goes in circles.

And now, let me tell you — if it wasn’t for my amazing team who’ve helped me grow Southpaw, I’d be going in circles all damn day.

• You win some, you lose some; be a good sport regardless. 

At Southpaw, we get about 95% of our work through word of mouth. That said, we still respond to competitive RFPs.

We recently lost one I was really hoping for — a great client and super interesting study, partnering with an agency we adore.

They went with someone else, but instead of disappearing or just writing an email, my counterpart at the agency called me directly and gave me some really good, helpful feedback.

I admire how brave and kind that was, and it made me want to try again to work with her. Now we’re partnering on a proposal for an even bigger project, and it all goes back to good sportsmanship, the first thing I learned in Tot Soccer.

Coach would be proud.

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