A Recipe for Success

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Olympic gold medallist Marnie McBean outlines a strategy for setting and achieving goals that can be applied to business – or any aspect of life

By George Hartman | June 2012  for Investment ExecutiveHow often have you set a goal and achieved it? Chances are this has happened to you a number of times. Feels good, right? Now, how often have you set a goal that others have said was too high for you – beyond your grasp and capabilities – and achieved that one? Not as often, I bet. But how good would that feel?

Marnie McBean, three-time Olympic gold medallist and winner of numerous other championships, knows all about setting audacious goals and, more important, what it takes to defy the limits that are imposed on us, either by ourselves or by others.

In The Power of More: How Small Steps Can Help You Achieve Big Goals, McBean describes her journey to world dominance in the sport of rowing – the dreams, the challenges, the pinnacles of success and the depths of disappointment. Part autobiography and part confessional, the book also is invaluably instructional and inspirational for anyone who has set their sights on personal accomplishment in sports, business or life.

As the title suggests, the book’s theme is about breaking large goals into smaller pieces and doing “just a little bit more” when the task seems too difficult. That is, pushing yourself one notch closer to your goal, whether it is connecting with that elusive new prospective client, perfecting an important presentation, completing a tedious project, climbing the CN Tower or running your first 10-kilometre race. (Which, coincidently, I did one week after reading this book, with McBean’s words – “Just one more step” – carrying me to setting a personal-best time.) Continue reading

One week later – The Power of More has launched

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Power of More Book launch at Ben McNally's books

Signing books at my book launch. Yes that's a Corona by my side and yes - that is Cdn author, Peter C Newman waiting for his!

On May 17th, at Ben McNally’s gorgeous bookstore in downtown Toronto I hosted a little party to celebrate the publication of my book. (Really, if your downtown – pop in. 366 Bay St. 2blks south of Queen. St. It’s kind of a magical place for books.)

For me- it was a very special night. Not just because my book was actually real and being sold but because so many people came to show their support for me. People from so many different corners of my life; my partner, our families, friends from rowing, university, my GirlImpact trip to Africa, the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid, my Tuscany trips, other Olympians and journalists – who came not to work, but as my friends, and so many others.

The plan was to begin greeting people at 5pm and then at around 6:30 I would address the group after that I’d sign books. Corona (Thank you Courtney and CoronaExtra!!), wine and some hors d’oeuvres would be served – I wanted this to be a celebration! As people began to arrive, all my worlds were colliding!  I felt as if I was a dog in a squirrel park! I didn’t know where to focus. How was I to keep everyone happy? Ben McNally, the book store owner, had warned that once I sat at the autograph table I would be stuck there – with no chance left to wander and gab through the crowd. Turns out – that was the perfect thing for me – at the table I only had one person to focus on and that was who ever it was who handed me a book!

I acknowledged a few special people who had come. My parents of course, and Deanah’s parents as well as her sister-in-law and her adorable two nieces. I thanked my aunt and uncle for coming from Vancouver. (It was their 50th anniversary but I was sworn to not make a big deal of it – Happy Anniversary Woody and Sherrill!). Peter C Newman and his wife had come, he’s written 24 books and sold over 2 million copies. I said I’d be happy with a mere million. I got a raised eyebrow and a laugh in return. Brian Williams was there; he’s the legendary canadian broadcaster – he’s covered 13 Olympic Games and I will have the privilege of working with him this summer at the London 2012 Games where I’ll be a Studio Analyst.  Continue reading

My 1st book review!!

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By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Marnie McBean adds author to resume that already includes mentor and champion

TORONTO – On a recent Italy trip with Canadians who had purchased the “Under the Tuscan Sun” package at an Olympic fundraising dinner, Jim Cuddy and Barney Bentall provided the music while Marnie McBean, Curt Harnett and Chandra Crawford served up the inspiration.

When it was McBean’s turn to talk during “Olympic Athlete Night,” the three-time Olympic rowing champion pulled out her Canadian uniform from the opening ceremonies at the 1992 Games.

The outfit, in her words, was horrendous — technicolour puke. But it remains a valuable teaching tool two decades later.

Coach Al Morrow reminded his disappointed rowers that ugly uniforms and spartan accommodations were not at the heart of their Olympic journey to Barcelona.

“Our rowing was the only thing we needed to worry about,” McBean writes in her new book “The Power of More.” “Everything else was just filler.”

The anecdote comes under the subhead “Remember What Matters.”

McBean’s book is crammed with such nuggets — unique, often off-the-wall anecdotes and life lessons. Continue reading

The Month of Wow

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This is one crazy month! I’m getting to start it off with an amazing adventure in Italy and then I’ll come home to launch my book. There is a word here for that… fantastico! ( it’s Italian for wow!)

This is my third year being part of the support for an auction item that was sold at the national dinner series, Gold Medal Plates. These dinners which simultaneously raise money (6 Million dollars so far) for Canadian athletes (through Own The Podium and the Canadian Olympic Foundation) and select the Canadian Culinary Champion. They really are unique gala dinners but the auction items are incredibly special opportunities. This one, “Under the Tuscan Sun” has cyclist Curt Harnett, x-country skier Chandra Crawford, and myself cycling around with the guests in the morning and then after everyone has enjoyed a fabulous afternoon / evening of Tuscan wine and food, Barney Bentall and Jim Cuddy entertain everyone in our Relais and Chateau 5-star resorts hotel bar.

The guests are from across the country – NFLD to Vancouver Island – and it’s (as always) an amazing group of curious, creative and active (varying levels for sure!) people. What a treat to be here! Continue reading