Shawn Harper is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. Harper was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1992. He also played for the Houston Oilers, the Indianapolis Colts, and three years in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals and Frankfurt Galaxy. Shawn Harper appeared on the hit MTV show Made. He has helped transform thousands of corporate environments, built leadership, trained teams and impacted youth development in schools, and churches with high energy keynote speeches that activate winners. 

Shawn Harper is the bestselling author of The Winning Edge: 8 Principles That Will Bring Out the Winner in You! and founder/CEO of American Services and Protection, which has provided Ohio small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, municipalities, non profits, government agencies, colleges, and universities and organizations with a wide range of security solutions that focus on providing highly-trained professionals, tailored to the specifics of each job. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Shawn Harper? 

For Shawn, it’s very hard to define who he was looking back from today’s perspective. We tend to gloss over the story in the process of becoming who we are. Shawn was plagued with setbacks and adversities in his youth, he was actually voted most likely to fail in school.

Adversity can make you or break you. Shawn’s school days were tough and early on he believed himself to be the loser that everyone else thought he was. It wasn’t until he changed his mindset from victim to victor that everything changed.

Never allow people to create your world because they will always create it too small. When Shawn made the decision to focus on his dream of playing in the NFL instead of listening to what other people thought he was capable of, nothing was the same. Once you change your focus, you change your life.

  • What was the transition like from playing football to the world of business?

In the case of the NFL, there is an established system in place for growth and development. For many people, when they leave that team and system to go do something else on their own the result is usually failure. Even superheroes have friends and support to help them achieve their goals. When athletes leave the game, they must build a team and find mentors to help them in the new arena. That was the secret to Shawn’s later success. 

It took years for Shawn to come to that realization. All success in life comes from people having a team around them. 

  • Playing To Win

We are created to win. Your perspective is everything in this regard. We are attracted to winning and nearly everything we do is geared towards winning. In third or fourth grade we are introduced to a different concept called success. Success teaches you production, but winning teaches you re-production. Successful business people are productive, but winners scale their business.

A lot of people get dismayed, depressed, and angry because they know they are successful but deep inside they know they are not winning. Winning has been hijacked by success.

The secret is to start moving, get out there and start connecting with people in whatever domain your win happens to be in. If your win is mentoring small business owners, start connecting with small business owners!

The way you motivate or encourage one person, is not how you will motivate or encourage another. You have to find your team’s pain points and motivations and learn how to speak to them as a leader, because everything comes down to people. 

  • Is where you are today something you could have envisioned?

Shawn had no idea he would be where he is today. There is a major difference between your image and your identity, but if you’re not careful you will buy into other people’s perception of your image instead of who you really are. Most of Shawn’s life he was caught up in everyone else’s image of himself. It wasn’t until he started building skill sets to define his identity that things changed.

If you can walk in and apply your concept of winning a little bit every day, then your perspective on who you are and what you manifest changes. All actions stem from thoughts, and all thoughts from belief systems. Your belief system is nestled in your self concept and you always manifest your self concept. Don’t let missed opportunities define you, stay focused on your goals.

  • Getting Past Failures

One of the greatest advantages athletes have is more than just experiencing failure on a common basis. It’s the team around them that keeps pushing them on and encouraging them. When we’re alone, we’re much more likely to hang up the cleats when we fail, but a team can provide the motivation we need to push through. Even leaders need encouragement from their team.

To have that person in your life that believes in you is vital, because without them life will chew you up and spit you up.

Reference: The Winning Edge: 8 Principles That Will Bring Out the Winner in You!, Shawn Harper

  • Shawn’s Takeaway

Three words haunt Shawn: Wish’a, Could’a, Should’a. You can not live life comfortably, because if you’re not careful your comfort zone will become your casket. You will get knocked down but failure is your friend. Learn from the failure and get back on the bike. The average millionaire has filed for bankruptcy three times, don’t give up.


How To Win Friends And Influence People


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