Fan Favorite Kelley O’Hara Reveals Her Habits to Become a World-Class Athlete with Mo Bunnell

In the opening episode of Real Relationships Real Revenue, Kelley O’Hara, one of the top athletes on the planet, reveals her secrets of focusing on what she can control to perform at a world-class level. Mo Bunnell applies Kelley’s principles to developing relationships and growing a book of business. Together they cover how to have a learning mindset, set up tracking systems, stay motivated through challenges and how to prepare for high-stakes events. Whether you perform on the field or in the boardroom, this episode will elevate your game.

  • Mo shares a slightly embarrassing story of how he and Kelley met at Mo’s book launch party for The Snowball System.
  • Kelley has had an incredible career culminating in winning multiple Olympic and World Cup gold medals, but it wasn’t always easy. Kelley had the defining moment of her career when she was at the World Cup but not getting onto the field. Just like in business development, she made a critical choice to focus on what she could do and what was in her control to get on the field instead of feeling like a failure and accepting the way things were.
  • Kelley took stock of the situation and identified what actions were in her control to move forward. Taking action taught her a lot about being confident in herself and her skills, and her story as a world class athlete has direct parallels in the world of business development.
  • Eventually Kelley got onto the field in game 5 of the World Cup when she was put in as a starter. They won that game and went onto the semi-finals against Germany, where Kelley scored her first goal on a national team and sealed the deal to get into the finals of the World Cup.
  • Anything really complex is both learned and earned. There are plenty of people who are bigger, faster, and stronger than Kelley, but that didn’t stop her from honing her skills and becoming a world class footballer. Mo relates Kelley’s ideas to the way many professionals say others are “born with it” when it comes to business development, and how those who do are thinking about it all wrong. Just like the technical skills of a sport, business development can be learned.
  • Kelley breaks down how she approaches learning the skill of football and the key mindset of top athletes that allows them to push through failure and stay motivated and how that applies to business meetings across the boardroom table.
  • You’re never going to have a “perfect” game. Similarly in business, becoming better and honing your skills is a constant refinement towards perfection. Being conscious of all the various elements that contribute to your success is a key element to becoming an expert at anything.
  • Every time you practice your skill, whether athletics or business related, get feedback that answers these two questions: What’s one thing to keep? What’s one thing you would change about what I did?
  • Kelley talks about a business she’s involved with called Tame the Beast and how having a focus outside of soccer has actually made her a better player.
  • Most business people think in terms of annual goals, but very rarely break those goals down into daily actions. Kelley’s approach to being a better athlete is very similar to Mo’s system for business development. Kelley talks about the key metrics and methods that athletes track to drive improvement.
  • Weekly goals are the “how” of achieving your annual or ultimate goal. If you want to have an undefeated season you need to win every game, one game at a time and approach every single game like it’s all that matters. The same applies to business development. Take each meeting one at a time and focus on making each one a win.
  • Tracking something important subjectively is better than tracking something unimportant accurately. Mo talks about the MIT (Most Important Things) process and how it can help you understand what to track over time.
  • When you’re picking your three MIT’s make sure they’re BIG (Big impact, In your control, and Growth oriented). If you accomplish those things consistently over the course of a year, your life will completely change.
  • It’s important for the person that is striving to get better to collect the data and review it themselves instead of giving it to another person to do. Data is the feedback you need to understand if you are where you need to be and what you need to get better at.
  • Mo talks about his tracking system for his MIT’s and how he knows whether his week was a valuable week or not. They can include a number of different things from phone calls made to time spent in the gym.
  • Food plays a crucial part in the life of an athlete. Kelley talks about her goal of writing a cookbook and her plan for taking it from a document on her computer and turning it into a real physical object. Her method for getting the writing done can be applied directly to any business or project.
  • Preparing for high-stakes games is very similar to preparing for important business development meetings. Kelley’s coaches focused on practicing particular set pieces and scenarios to the point where the team could execute the plan without thinking about it. When you prepare for something to the point where you can do it in your sleep, you actually become even stronger in adapting to a new circumstance or variable.
  • Preparation shows confidence, although many people believe it will make them robotic or disingenuous. When it comes to business development, being prepared shows that you put in the time and you actually care about building a relationship.
  • Kelley reveals how she recovers from making mistakes and how she uses little wins to get herself back into the game when things aren’t going the way she hoped, a technique that can be applied to business development meetings when they start to go off the rails.
  • Don’t let your expectations dissuade you, bring it back to the little things you can do right now to get back on track.
  • Kelley tells the story of how habits have affected her life and how they can help you get through the valleys of your life. She also talks about how doing the mental work can help you be more effective with the physical work. Putting in the mental effort before a big meeting can drastically increase your odds of success.


Mentioned in this Episode:


Kelley O’Hara on Instagram

Kelley O’Hara’s favorite BEAST® products

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