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Bob Beaudine’s 4 Rules for Reinventing Yourself

The ‘most influential man in sports you’ve never heard of’ has changed how we all do business


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Bob Beaudine
Nigel Buchanan

When Bob Beaudine was the “King of Spuds,” selling frozen French fries, no one, least of all him, expected that he would become a pioneer in the professional sports industry or that his firm would become the top recruiter in business, sports and entertainment.

Working as a brand manager for Carnation Foods was a great career, and Bob was doing just fine. But his father, Frank, had started something that would become bigger than either could have imagined, and Bob could not resist the pull of the opportunity.

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The elder Beaudine had asked his son to work for him in the executive recruiting firm, Eastman & Beaudine, he had founded in 1967. Sure. Today you think, So what? But back in the day, no such service existed to match would-be executives with high-dollar corporations. In 1980, when Bob was deciding whether to join his dad, he knew he wanted to build something that had never been done.

“[My dad] wanted to know where I was going, and I said, ‘When I do a search for a president of a manufacturing company, at the end of the search I get a tour of the plant. If I did the head of marketing for the NBA, we’d get an All-Star weekend,’ ’’ Bob told me recently on my Chiseled podcast. Sure enough, Bob ran with his idea. He went on to become one of the largest names in sports, earning himself Sports Illustrated’s designation as the “top front-office matchmaker in sports” as well as the “most influential man in sports you’ve never heard of.”

Bob gained this honor by shaping the senior leadership teams and management offices across all four major league sports — football, basketball, baseball and hockey. In addition to university athletic departments nationwide, Bob’s experience extended to the PGA Tour, the U.S. Tennis Association, Professional Bull Riders, U.S. Olympics, NASCAR, UFC and several sports-related nonprofits, among others.

Bob changed the way recruiters in almost every field look at candidates. He focused not only on skills but also on relationships, and coined the term “the Power of WHO,” which emphasizes that the people who know you best are the most willing to help you find the position that’s right for you. Conversely, but as importantly, Bob also encouraged employers to invest time and resources in their employees’ careers to improve retention rates and promote from within their own teams. Seems obvious now, but it wasn’t always!

But Bob didn’t stop there. Years ago, Bob’s dad told him he would write five books. Bob has since written two, The Power of WHO: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know, which describes how to harness friends and family to help you succeed in life, and Two Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything, which teaches you how to have an out-loud conversation with God, who will give you the best advice you could ever want.

“I believe God provides us clues to get us back on track for our assignment, purpose and destiny,” Bob told me. “Anyone on a great quest is looking for [these clues] to guide them. Most people, however, are so overwhelmed by their circumstances they can’t see the clues right in front of them. I tell people, don’t squint, don’t use a magnifying glass, just relax your mind’s eye and just begin to look around.”

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Now 68, Bob has not lost a beat. He is currently working on his third book, and he is sharing what he says are his secrets for living to your greatest potential throughout every stage of life.​​

1. Regain Your Equilibrium

How? Take a three-day break from the world, from technology and from people so you can sit and talk to God about what you were “always” supposed to do. Sometimes it just takes a simple question like, “What do you want to do? What do you love?” This begins the flow that brings all those tributaries of thought into a common stream.​​

2. Discover Your Recurring Dream

Each of us has an assignment, a purpose, a dream all our own that we need to discover or rediscover. Your dream is unique to you, and the fact that you still have this dream should speak loudly to you. The idea of change makes most people squirm. You’ll feel resistance when you start telling others about your dream. When you start reminding yourself what’s holding your attention, what keeps resonating with you, that’s a clue! Your dream is the fire that energizes you toward your destiny.

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​​3. Harness Your Gifts and Talents

What are you naturally good at? You’ve always been good at it. It comes easy to you. It’s not uncommon for people to overlook their unique gifts and talents simply because they don’t see them as any big deal. Big mistake! Talk to your true friends. They have a perspective on your gifts and talents that you’re unable to see! What you’re good at and what you enjoy are major clues to connecting with your destiny. Don’t minimize their importance.

​​4. Do What You Love

At every speech, I tell people: Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated! If you’re going after your dreams and goals, you’re going to have to do some things you’ve never done. How badly do you want it? Are you willing to do what you’ve never done to have what you’ve never had? Remember, whatever you do has a transforming effect on you. Living the life you love has the almost magical quality of keeping you young, vibrant and healthy. Go for it!

Share Your Experience: Have you ever had to reinvent yourself? What did you change and how did it turn out?

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