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The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary in Golf, Business, and Life

The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary in Golf, Business, and Life

May 10, 2021
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*This is a recap of the April Webinar with Tina Fox, CEO of Women on Course, and Vijay Khetarpal, Owner, Integrity Financial Group, LLC.

Jen Dalton:

Thank you everybody for being here today. Again, as I said, this is being recorded. I'm Jen Dalton. I'm our moderator for today, and the topic for today really is around understanding, what does it mean to be extraordinary? How do we get there? What does that look like? What's that little difference between ordinary and extraordinary? And we're going to talk through a couple of different dimensions. We're going to look at it from a golf lens, from a business lens, from a life lens, and I couldn't be happier than to have two of my good friends as our guests, featured guests. Vijay Khetarpal, the webinar sponsor from Integrity Financial Group. Vijay, if you want to kick us off with a quick introduction, then we'll move to Tina and jump into our questions.

Vijay Khetarpal:

Thank you so much for having me. I have been in the financial advisory space for 38 years and a golfer, a passionate golfer for about 20 years. And I find so much similarity between golf, life, and business that we'll talk about, and glad to be joining you today. And happy to see so many people on the program.

Jen Dalton:

And Tina, welcome. We're excited to have you. Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom and insight. Why don't you introduce yourself to the group also?

Tina Fox:

Well, it's always a pleasure to connect with you and also my new friend Vijay. So I'm the CEO of Women on Course, and also, I'm the founder of Fox Paradigm Consulting. I know a little bit about the golf course, probably not nearly as much as Vijay, but I certainly have a lot of fun. And in connecting with him, not only did we figure out we had that passion, but we also have this passion for trying to be extraordinary in life in general, so looking forward to today's talk.

Jen Dalton:

Well, I am thrilled to be able to bring both of you together. I love it when different worlds collide in a beautiful way. One of the things you have in common of course is being business owners, entrepreneurs, and traveling that journey. To give attendees on the call a little bit of context, I'd love to learn a little bit more about your story and specifically, what was that pivotal moment that helped you launch your business and get you where you are today? So Vijay, why don't you kick us off?

Vijay Khetarpal:

I used to work, when I first started in this business, with a company called New York Life. They taught me the business, but at some point, I realized that it was very important for me to branch off on my own. Although they were a good company, no one company, no matter how big or how good, can have all the answers to all the client's needs all the time in a cost-effective fashion. And in order to be truly independent, I had to start my own practice, and that was a pivotal moment from a career standpoint. I've had many pivotal moments, such as leaving India for Africa and so on, but I think from a career standpoint, that would be it. That was about 26 years ago.

Jen Dalton:

And Tina, how about you? What was the pivotal moment that helped you decide, I am venturing out into the entrepreneurial journey?

Tina Fox:

It didn't start off that way. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. I always thought I had an entrepreneurial spirit, but like a lot of people, I graduated from school and I ended up going into corporate America for 22 years, started a family, and when my boys got to a certain age where they recognized that my career path which was taking me on an 85% to 90% per week travel situation, my five-year-old at the time, he caught me packing yet again for another east coast, west coast flight. And he said at 4:30 in the morning when he woke himself up, only in his very innocent little boy voice, he said, "You know, mommy? You've been gone too long." And that really struck a dagger in the heart as to what my selections were in life and how I was going to create a world in which I could satisfy my career and family.

Tina Fox:

And it wasn't easy. It took a couple of years of figuring that out and flying around the country. But opportunities arose. I ended up actually starting off with demotions. I demoted myself nine different levels in business just to get to a stable place where I could think, and then an opportunity with my husband popped up for us to start our own business in the world of title and settlement. And so I became the co-owner at Cobalt Settlements in Virginia, and from there, we built that out. And then I decided to begin my own company, Fox Paradigm and partnered with Donna Hoffman with Women on Course, and that's where I am today.

Jen Dalton:

And when you look back over your career, who were the people that played a really important role? I mean, I know we all can probably a dozen people that really made a difference, but in your mind, as you think about being a leader, Tina, who stands out for you as you look back on your career?

Tina Fox:

You know, I would venture to say most people have had bosses, and I certainly had my fair share. In that 22 years in corporate America, I had 25 bosses, so there was no shortage of rotation. And reflecting on that, there was really one that stood out among everybody else, and his name is Manny. The reason why he stood out is that he was a champion for me. He was somebody who would go to bat for me, and I always felt like everything that he talked me through was for my benefit.

Tina Fox:

The other thing he did was he was always in communication with me, not from a micromanagement standpoint, but really from the standpoint of understanding what it is that I was trying to do with my career, what it was that I was working on at the time, who I needed to be connected with. He was a rare individual who worked outside of the boundaries of his management title in order to become my friend and my ally, and so I never forgot that and I carry that forward as to that's what a really good manager of people should look like.

Jen Dalton:

And you've mentioned that one of the things that you and Manny had in common were values and how important that was. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I think that's an important takeaway for people to really hear and internalize, that having a great manager, is very rare but there are some things to look for to help you identify who that might be.

Tina Fox:

Yeah. So one of the values really centered around how you treat people. He's a very outgoing personality and he'll tell you... And he's from New York so there was no shirking on what he's going to tell you or the truth of the matter. But in that, he always did it with kindness, and again, he'd always did it in a way where he knew the other person would be able to accept it. And so we shared that value because I really enjoy connecting with people. I'm very curious about people, and so we shared our values.

Tina Fox:

Now, that's not to say that we didn't have our battles too. So if one of us felt like the other one was a little bit out of alignment, because of that value of respecting people, we wanted to make sure we heard each other, even in the difficult spaces. But we kept it respectful, we kept it above board in business, and we always had a really great relationship. So that was a key, having that shared value.

Jen Dalton:

And Vijay. How about you? Who really shows up in your mind?

Vijay Khetarpal:

I was thinking that there are a couple of situations that point out making a big difference. One was about 25 years ago, I had the fortune and good fortune of getting involved in some business coaching. And I had been putting it off because it was kind of expensive, at least that's what I thought. However, I cannot say enough good things about a business coaching program in general, and specifically about the Strategic Coach program that I participated in. And my coach was Gina Pellegrini, and she basically changed my life. And to be honest, in the beginning, I felt that I was just spending all this money and not getting any returns, but she said, "You signed up for three years." And after about a year and a half, I started to see a big turnaround, and it changed my life.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I went from a person who was working very hard in the business, to working on the business and having the balance that most entrepreneurs crave. And today, for instance, we're talking about golf, life, and business. When I plan my schedule, what goes on my calendar first is my family time and my golf and my travel and my vacations, and then the business comes around that. And it's amazing because it's a mindset change, and it took a while to do that. So I cannot say enough good things about using a business coach.

Vijay Khetarpal:

And the second thing in my particular case was actually an institution, and the institution I'm referring to is my boarding school. I went to a boarding school in India, arguably India's premier boarding school, and it taught me the importance of teamwork. You never do it alone. And it also made me independent. I have always had the feeling that I can pretty much conquer any challenge because there is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone. You've got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable until it becomes second nature to you, so that's been my experience.

Jen Dalton:

I always love your -isms. When you think about mentoring others, and you were just talking about, I think both you and Tina, that nothing comes easy. It always takes work. There's no quick win, easy path. So when you think about mentoring future leaders, just as these individuals mentored you, Vijay, what's important when it comes to being a mentor? What have you learned? What do you try to put in place as you develop future leaders or even just mentor people you work with and collaborate with?

Vijay Khetarpal:

When I think of mentoring, I'm obviously mentoring people that work with me, but I'm also mentoring allied professionals, I'm mentoring, to some extent, even our clients. And essentially, the conviction convinces. So if I feel very strongly about something, it gives me enough inspiration and motivation, and determination to see it through, to convey that to other parties that might potentially benefit from it. But beyond that, I think it needs to be a two-way street. You cannot force something on someone. They must want it. But what I have found in my particular case is that almost always, the teacher actually learns more than the student, and I'm an ardent student of our industry. And I believe I will continue to always be interested in supporting others who want to improve their financial life, whether they are clients or allied professionals.

Jen Dalton:

Well, hopefully, I would imagine most entrepreneurs and business owners always remain students, because there's always something more to learn when it comes to running your business. Tina, how about you? When you think of mentorship, what's an important conversation people should have that maybe they're not having?

Tina Fox:

Well, first, I'm going to agree with Vijay. I think as a mentor, I gain more sometimes than the student, so I completely agree with that. For me, mentorship didn't come easy and I didn't seek it, quite honestly. When I came out of school, I came from parents who said, "You just put your head down and you work really hard." There was never a, "Hey, put your head down, work really hard, and seek out help from other people who've gone before you to help you." That was never discussed. So it never occurred to me that I should do that.

Tina Fox:

And as I continued on the path, I saw a lot of my male counterparts getting a lot of daily wisdom from folks in the organization, and so I sort of missed out on that until very late in my career. That exposure piece was very important. I was always focused on the performance piece. And as I came into this recognition, I started realizing, you know what? I don't want anybody else like me to have to go through the school of hard knocks if there is available human resources to tap into. And so creating a mentorship program, whether it was with women in business and Women on Course...

Tina Fox:

Whether it was with women in business and Women On Course, or even with my alma mater, became of great interest to me. And in doing so, I found that it's not just mentorship which is really great, shared values, supporting someone over maybe a long period of time, but not necessarily on a daily basis. But then there's this other concept of sponsorship that came out, which is, as you mentor people, sometimes people are in a position to not just mentor you but they're able to pull you through in an organization. And help you gain access to promotions, better pay, whatever the case is. And then I also noticed, and I had a huge miss on this too, was there were champions. These are the people in the organization that you feel are the untouchables, right?

Tina Fox:

The company group chairman, or the CEO, or the president. And depending on where you are in the organization, you think, ah, that's not somebody that I should go and talk to. I certainly shouldn't ask them to mentor me. But they can be champions if they know of you in the organization, and they've heard from your mentors and/or your sponsors how well you're doing. Those champions, they say one word, it's like the old EF Hutton commercial when EF Hutton speaks, everybody listens. And so they can be huge allies in that regard. But that whole mentorship/sponsorship/championship thing took me a long time. I figured it out finally. And it's very important in life.

Jen Dalton:

So for both of you, since I do think entrepreneurs sometimes, and I think people in general, but definitely entrepreneurs, I think we struggle with the ask. Right? We struggle with asking for help. And in your mind for both of you, and Tina we'll start with you. What's a great way for someone to either ask you to mentor them or what would you recommend as you think about asking someone to mentor you? I mean, even now we all need mentors at every point of our life. What does that ask look like for each of you? How would you say this is a way to approach that, and what to specify in your ask?

Tina Fox:

Well, flattery will get you everywhere. So let's start with that, right?

Jen Dalton:

Your golf swing is amazing. Would you be my mentor?

Tina Fox:

It's funny because the more I realized that I could ask, the more I heard yes. I always thought you had to “do” before you could ask. But if you're asking somebody to be a mentor, and you're asking them to do nothing more than to share their experience and/or wisdom, you're actually giving that person a gift, is what I have found in my experience. Because more often than not, that person is not being asked for their experience and wisdom, they probably have a ton of it in their brain. And it's easy to expand. It's not something that they have to think too hard about. They just need to share a bit of themselves.

Tina Fox:

And so to be curious about, how did you accomplish this? Or, I've been watching you on this and I find this really interesting, and I'd like to learn more. I think a lot of people, and again, it's flattery, but it's honest flattery. Because you have a curiosity, they have the expertise, and you're looking to glean from that. So I think that the more genuine you can be in your approach, the more you've looked into what it is that you're trying to ask and ask cleanly and succinctly, I think you're going to get a yes just about every time. It's very rare that somebody says, "I don't have time for this."

Jen Dalton:

Vijay, how about for you? How do you coach people on making an ask?

Vijay Khetarpal:

Well, I think it's very, very important to recognize that the most important resource that each one of us has is time. So when somebody's willing to give that time, it's important for the recipient to take that seriously, because that's one resource that we can never, ever refill. And I think when I have someone committed to their success, willing to listen to you, willing to use your expertise. Instead of, like my dad used to share, he used to be a pilot in the air force. He said, "Look, in the air, you cannot learn from other people's mistakes. Because you make a mistake as a pilot, that's the last mistake you're going to make." They made you learn from other people's mistakes. I have pretty much learned from other people, and I want to give back. I find that the best people, whether it's clients or allied professionals, are the ones who ask questions. You have to embrace criticism and look at it from every different point of view, and I think that way you can get a better outcome.

Jen Dalton:

One of the things that I think you need to ask, or have to ask for mentors, is a network. You have to have access to people. And a lot of times people don't reach out and build a network. So Vijay for you, what are a few networks that have helped you build those deeper relationships? Where they could serve a lot of different purposes, it doesn't have to just be for business it could be more broadly. But what are a few networks you recommend, or how do you think about networking? And that would help folks on the call.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I have been involved over the years in many different networks. The one I can gladly talk about is the Rotary International organization. It is a remarkable organization. I've been involved with the Rotary Club of Potomac for almost 20 years. And it's basically a situation where you feel good about helping others in a one-to-one peer service setting. And I did not join Rotary International for business reasons. I wanted to give back. I wanted to meet other people in the community, and so on. But over the years it actually has been very good for me, because people see how you behave, how you react, how you serve. And when they see that, and they see that genuine setting, when they have a situation where they need input, they're willing to share that with you. There's something about breaking bread with someone on a weekly basis, except for COVID, with Rotarian you get together every week.

Vijay Khetarpal:

And similarly, I've been involved in networks from my school and college. And over the years, apart from great friendships, you get to also make some clients. All that I can say is that get involved in whatever cause that you are passionate about, without spreading yourself too thin. But get involved for the cause, not for the business. It'll pay a handsome dividend. And I'm very involved with my industry and an organization called the Million Dollar Round Table. And they have actually, shall I say, supported some of the causes that I worked on because they see that I'm passionate about that. So I think it goes both ways.

Jen Dalton:

Tina, how about you? You're very mindful of where you spend your time. So what networks matter to you, and how do they show up?

Tina Fox:

That mindfulness is driven out of necessity. Because when you're trying to be an entrepreneur and when you're a mother of two boys in elementary school, you really have to figure out your time quickly. But I agree with Vijay, I put it in the comment in the chat section. And if anybody has any comments, I'd love to see them in the chat section. When it comes to networking, I fully agree with don't spread yourself too thin. You need to commit yourself well. So in that being thoughtful of where to go, what I have found is I do like that blend of fun and business. Obviously, right? Because I'm the CEO of Women On Course. Women On Course is a company, it's an organization, national organization, that leverages the game of golf for business networking.

Tina Fox:

And so it checks a lot of boxes in that regard. But when you are out networking, the first thing you have to do is you have to show up. And I think a lot of people will click the box or will pay the money and then they won't show up. And I've never understood why be a member if you're not going to show up. And I also firmly believe that when you show up at these networks, don't be an attendee, be a participant. Right? If you can participate, and even enter into a leadership role because then you find out all the ins and outs. And you're almost put in a position where you have to network more because you're in a leadership role. I have always found that throwing myself all into those things has really gotten me connected very well and very deeply in a quick manner, as opposed to having to wait a year or two. So that would be my advice in networking, is show up, don't spread yourself too thin, as Vijay said. And go all in with networking.

Jen Dalton:

So you talked about golf helping build a network. What made you get into golf?

Tina Fox:

Business. I mean, the long story short, I mean, here's my story about golf. So it's me and I worked in a predominantly male-dominated industry, it was the medical device industry. And so there were 95 men and five women, and none of us played golf. But every year we'd get together at this national sales meeting and we'd always be at some beautiful golf course. And I, not knowing how to play, I'd go back up to my room. And I'm thinking my boss is going to love me because I'm going to be pounding away at the computer, I'm going to be putting out all this work. And five o'clock would roll around and that was happy hour time. We're all supposed to go down and have Happy Hour and have dinner, right? So I went down for happy hour and I was coming in ice-cold.

Tina Fox:

I mean, everybody else had a wonderful day now we're working on the course. And I had a horrible day in “my hotel office” trying to figure out how to do some spreadsheets. And so I realized, it took me three years, believe it or not, this is how resistant I was. Took me three years to finally go get lessons and to go out and play. And wouldn't you know it, the day that I showed up and I was paired with three men. So they teed off first, I teed off from the forward tee. The day that I showed up, I'm thinking I'm going to play with great players, like Phil and Tiger and Arnold. And it was, Bob and Jerry and Matt, and they had no idea what they were doing either.

Tina Fox:

And that's when I realized, oh, this isn't about the game of golf, this is about networking and connection. And so that's what got me into the game. And ever since then I was like, okay, if nobody's really taking this seriously but we're all trying to move things forward with proper etiquette, I know how to do that. I'm very good at that. I can do that. And I've loved the game ever since. I'm still not good, but I have a blast playing.

Jen Dalton:

I think you probably undersell yourself. Vijay, How about you? I know you talk about good days and bad days, and golf as a metaphor for life. But what got you into golf?

Vijay Khetarpal:

So thank you Jen for that question. I used to play squash competitively for India at a junior level. And I continued playing squash when I immigrated to the United States. Until I injured my knees, had some knee surgery, and I could not play competitively. And my body would not allow me to play competitively, even my mind was sharp enough to play squash. But I decided, as I'm getting older I need to find a new sport in my old age. That's when I discovered golf. But prior to that, I said, "Why are these guys hitting the ball? And just walking after it and hitting it again and walking after it." It was too slow. But then once I got into it, and once I made a commitment to it and I took lessons, then I got clubbed fitted. And I tried to play with people who were better than me, and I was learning and getting better at the game.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I realized a number of lessons. Number one was the fact that you can learn more about a person with four hours on the golf course with them than you can in four hours of meetings with them. Because you can see what kind of personality they are. Because how you do anything is how you do everything. And some people take the game more seriously than others. Some are more aggressive when they play. Some are more conservative. Some people don't keep score properly. Some people don't like to wager. There are all kinds of people. I'm not making a judgment, but I think if you're observing, you will know what kind of person you're dealing with. And so it's a great way to informally determine whether somebody is a suspect, a prospect, a potential source of the first center of influence to others over the course of the round.

Vijay Khetarpal:

Apart from getting to know them. Additionally, with respect to golf, I think what's important is that, as you said, golf is a metaphor for life. I wrote a paper on it. Essentially, some days are good, some days the bad. Today's a windy day, there are different elements. Someday you lose your way. And that's how life is. Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you lose some money in the market, someday you make money. And so I find that it gives me perspective, it gives me the place to be at peace with myself. To have the time away from the office. To me, it's almost like a temper, if you want to think of it that way. And so I try to play a few days a week. I have to, obviously, jiggle my schedule to make them happen. And maybe that's another reason why I'm an entrepreneur because I couldn't do that if I was working for somebody else. Regular job. So that's my golf story, hopefully, that helps.

Jen Dalton:

It does. Anybody in the meeting, please drop comments in on golf. Especially on this next question. What's your favorite club and why? So Vijay, what's your favorite club?

Vijay Khetarpal:

So there are two ways to answer that question. One is the actual club itself. I use a four hybrid, I can show it to you if you like. This is my favorite club. If you can see that, it's a four hybrid by Ping. And I find it gives me the right balance of sufficient distance, sufficient forgiveness, as well as accuracy. So if I have to play the whole course with one club, supposing there is a rule that you have to only have one club. Then I would use this four hybrid. I can use it like a putter as well. The other question is, what is my favorite club? Obviously, I live at TPC Avenel. I've got to know the people here. It's a good facility. Allows me to play at other TPC courses. Having said that, I visited some really good courses at Pebble Beach, at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. It's a goal someday, thanks to you, to get to Augusta for the Masters.

Vijay Khetarpal:

And maybe if I can get to Whistling Straits someday, that'll be good. But that's my golf club story. If I may share one other thing, and that in the golf bag, I just noted there are 14 clubs, right? And again, that's a metaphor for life. I own a financial advisory business. You don't have, in the financial space, you don't just have one account like a bank account for all your financial needs. So you need essentially a defensive club, think of that as a bank account. And you need a driver, which is an aggressive club, think of that as let's say a brokerage account, investment, or stock account. And you need a whole lot of things in between, whether it's insurance or bonds, annuities, or what have you. So I think golf has taught me more about business and life and financial planning than anything else. And I try to impart that to others.

Jen Dalton:

Follow that one, Tina. What's your favorite club?

Tina Fox:

As I said, Vijay knows golf better than me. And he's actually smart because he chose that hybrid because he probably could use that for everything. I'm going to start with the club as in the location. So as CEO of Women On Course, I don't think I'm allowed to say one particular club. That would be a no, no. 

Tina Fox:

That's right. That's all right. So I have to keep that under lock and key. But I would say that I really am a fan of any club that is rolling out the green carpet for the underserved. And the underserved being, in a lot of cases of course, women. It's been primarily a man's game. I'm really happy to see that it's opening up to the world. I think Tiger Woods did a lot for that as well. So that's my favorite club.

Tina Fox:

All right, as far as the club in my bag. So this one is personal to me conquering fear, and something that I just couldn't do. So my white too hot two-ball putter was my favorite club in my bag. Because it was controlled, it was easy to use. I actually got it- because it was controlled. It was easy to use. I actually got it as a gift from some of my students at one of my companies. But I kept looking at that driver, and I would try it every now and again. It was just a disaster. It was always a mess. So that thing was always staring at me, and it has this cute little cover on it. So it's always beckoning me, and I would just say, "Nope, not today. I'm not going for it. I'm not falling for it." Then when I finally took lessons and I figured out how to hit a driver, the driver became my favorite club, because I overcame fear and I was able to use it. But I do have a hybrid that my husband bought me recently, and I love it. I love it.

Jen Dalton:

I know one of our attendees, Ronald, says if you want to score, learn to make the putter your favorite club, which, Vijay, you brought up as well in our past conversations about if you can put well, that's a lot of the course. Tina, you and I had worked on a piece about golf, and one of the interesting facts you shared was that 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf. 80% of them say that playing golf helps them establish new business relationships. So they may not go on the course, per se, for business, but that is, of course, an outcome. As we think about golf, I think we've covered some good stuff, to get around the course. What does it mean to be successful more broadly in business or in life? 


Vijay, why don't you go ahead and answer that question? What does it mean to be successful, and what do you think people sometimes get wrong?

Vijay Khetarpal:

So first of all, I don't think success is a destination. It is a journey. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy idea, and the road to excellence is always under construction. We have to remember that all that you want to do is give yourself the best shot when it comes to business and in life. I believe that proper planning prevents poor performance, the five P's, as I call it.

Vijay Khetarpal:

In terms of success, a lot of times, people get misdirected when they see someone who may be flaunting, if you want to use that word, perhaps a big home or an expensive car or they fly first class or what have you. But as a financial advisor, I often find that people who are very successful, at least in the financial sense of the word, are actually people who are very modest. Think about the book The Millionaire Next Door. That's about some of the people who you may think are rich, that they are well to do, but actually not so well to do when it comes to the financial statements. I've seen it both ways. I think at the end of the day, money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. So you've got to find the right balance, and that's different for everyone.

Jen Dalton:

You said proper planning prevents ... I'm trying to get all the alliteration, all your five P's. What is that one more time?

Vijay Khetarpal:

Proper planning prevents poor performance.

Jen Dalton:

When you think about the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, I know that's something you and I have talked about a lot. Tell me a little bit more about that, and what does that mean to you?

Vijay Khetarpal:

Well, it's a loaded question, but I'll try to address it by way of an example. So we're going to have in a couple of months some horse races, Kentucky Derby and so on. If you think about it, at the Kentucky Derby, most likely, these horse races are literally a nose finish, if you may, that the horse that comes in first by a nose might win, let's say, 10 times the amount of money that the horse that comes in second. Okay? Does that mean that the horse that came in first is 10 times better than the horse that comes in second? I don't think so. I think it's a little bit of an edge. So as a competitor, as an entrepreneur, I'm always trying to shape that edge. I guess sometimes the edge is the information. Sometimes the edge is preparation. Sometimes they are just connections. But at the end of the day, whether it's for golfers, it could be nutrition. It could be in putting. It could be in equipment. It could be the swing. So it could be the environment.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I think the point I'm making is that I always try to stay sharp on the education in my business. I try to stay sharp on having the right mindset. I think it comes down to having the right mindset, the right skillset, and the right tool set. So utilize that to its capacity, and in the long run, we're all going to be successful, I think, to the extent that you associate with the right people. That dictates some of that.

Jen Dalton:

So Tina, we were just talking through what does it mean to be successful? If you want to answer that and then just sort of follow into what does it mean to be extraordinary versus just ordinary, how do those show up for you?

Tina Fox:

Sure, sure. So the success thing, I was trying to say that that's a very personal thing to a lot of people, but one thing that has really never failed me in seeking out whatever success means is being authentically curious. I was a military brat. We moved every six months to three years, and therefore I was an outsider. In many cases, whether it was another city, another state, or even another country, as an outsider, you need to learn how to assimilate quickly and try to connect with people. So that whole situation helped develop my keen sense of just being authentically curious and getting to know people, know their customs, know their way of life, know what matters to them, and I became very good at asking questions, I think hence why I ended up in sales. But that has worked a lot. As a leader in a company, I think when you're authentically curious about who you're working with, who your customers are, what matters to them, and you're always seeking to be that way, you are going to find your edge.

Tina Fox:

So that sort of leads me into your second question, Jen, about ordinary versus extraordinary, which is sort of the overview of this topic. It's very subtle, and it's very obvious. Vijay and I had talked about this before, and I think he just gave the example of a horse winning by just a nose. It's that subtle, and what I've noticed is that if you show up, that goes back to the whole just show up, right? With networking. If you show up, if you care, and then you follow up with another action and you just repeat that cycle over and over again, I mean, that's a very simple cycle. Anybody can do that cycle. I think that that will start moving anybody from being ordinary in anything to becoming extraordinary in something. So it's that simple. It's show up, care, follow up, repeat that action over and over again. So not too tough, but it takes a lot of work, especially in the followup. That's probably the one where I think people, they take a nosedive in the followup, because it's hard. Otherwise you're going to end up starting all over again.

Jen Dalton:

It's hard, and then if you miss the followup, you know you missed it, they know you missed it, and then you're embarrassed to now follow up, because you know, you didn't follow up when you should have in the first place.

Jen Dalton:

It's almost like, "If I ignore it, it won't be true." That's not how that happens.

Tina Fox:

Right. Very awkward situation, and then you're like, "Well, I'm not going to approach that person again. Maybe I'll just go" ... The ego says, "Just go find somebody new to connect with." Well, that's a lot of work.

Jen Dalton:

Yes. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Before we move into Q and A, as you think about what you've learned or just sort of final thoughts as we sort of wrap up this journey we've gone through, golf, business, life, what's a final thought, Tina, in your mind that you've learned about yourself that's really meaningful that you want to share with folks?

Tina Fox:

So this is my own personal experience as a woman in business and coming from a family that had a Chinese tiger mom and a military father. Okay? So that's my background, for those that I don't know. With that kind of background, it was a very strict path with no deviations. So therefore, most of what I did in business was very from the mind. It was from the head, and it needed to be logical. What I realized and what I gravitated towards with certain leaders is that they led from the heart, and I thought that that was very unique.

Tina Fox:

Now, Brene Brown has since made this whole concept of vulnerability out for all the public, and I know that she even works with the military. So who would think that the military would want to be vulnerable? But there's a certain aspect of showcasing an authentic side of yourself that may not be perfect, but it's very real and genuine, and people want to connect with that. So I'm still learning that for myself, because my parents would have me say, "No, no, no. Just do this." So I'm sort of stepping out a little bit. Sometimes I'm a little goofy. We'll see how that works. But at least I feel like I'm being more my authentic self. So that's my parting thought on being extraordinary.

Jen Dalton:

Well, and I think vulnerability can be and is being thought of as the new edge, right? If you're brave enough to venture there. How about, Vijay, for you?

Vijay Khetarpal:

I'd like to pick up where Tina left off. I think you cannot let perfection come in the way of excellence. The point I'm making is that you get started, and just like golf teaches, no matter how bad a shot, you've got to live it forward. You've got to play it forward. So life teaches that lesson of what happened in the past, but we have to live life forward. So it's the same way. My approach on this is do the best you can, have fun, and go out and execute. So I call it the triple A formula, which is your attitude, not your aptitude will determine your altitude. You might've heard that somewhere before. I don't know who said it, but I've never forgotten it. Once, Tiger Woods was asked, "What's the most important golf shot during the course of the game?" He said, "The next one."

Vijay Khetarpal:

So the point of this is you've got to be in the presence and play the situation as it is, not as it has been or as you might encounter later. The most important thing to deal with is right now. So I go by what is called the WIN formula, which is what's important now. Then also when it comes to business, it comes to planning, I go by the WIT formula, which is W-I-T, whatever it takes. Short of anything illegal, unethical, we will do whatever it takes. We tell our clients, we tell our friends, we tell our colleagues, I tell my family members, "We'll do whatever it takes to make it happen," right?

Vijay Khetarpal:

The point of all of this is that at the end of the day, Golf teaches us there are times when you want to be aggressive. There are times when you want to be conservative. I happened to have taken a golf lesson yesterday, and he said something to me which is very, very important, which was particularly at my course, which is extraordinarily difficult within the TPC program, and he said that you want to play very aggressively, but to conservative positions. Okay? So if you apply it to life, it basically says that whether you are doing business or you're doing investing, there will be, obviously, things of the extreme. But the vast majority of your effort should be where you have a 70% better chance of success by playing aggressively to conservative positions. 


Tina Fox:

Vijay, will you remind us of the quote you said one time about the reach?

Vijay Khetarpal:

Tina and I were talking about how do you set a goal in life and business and so on? When I first started in the business, at one time, I had to make a very lofty goal. Then I found out at the end of the year that I didn't even come to 20% of it, and I felt really bad. Then the following year, I set a small goal. Quite honestly, it was too easy. I had no growth there. So I shared earlier that there is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. So the question of how do you establish that, and I finally came up with this pointer with the help of a coach again, which was that your goal should be beyond your reach, but within your grasp, right?

Vijay Khetarpal:

So if you think about it, if a doctor asked you, you went to a physical therapist, and he said, "Well, move this way. Stand still and move this way," and you would go ahead. He says, "Can you do a little bit more without moving your feet, body?", and you do that. So you can always reach a little bit more, and that's essentially what Tina and I were talking about. Thank you for reminding me.

Tina Fox:

I love it. I'm going to use it.

Jen Dalton:

Absolutely. I have a visual of I can reach my hand up, and then I can jump. Whatever I can jump and really get to, to me, that's that visual representation. I'm just short, so that's the only problem with that. Let me open it up to questions from attendees, because there have been a lot of gems in this. Ronald-

Jen Dalton:

Because there have been a lot of gems in this. If anybody wants to ask a question of Tina or Vijay you can drop it in chat. You can unmute, turn your video on either way. If not, I'll throw in some hard questions, but I'd love to make this a bit more of a dialogue as we have the next 10 minutes to really chat.

Ronald Drescher:

I have a question.

Jen Dalton:

Go for it.

Ronald:

Thinking in terms of golf and business and networking and what not. And this may seem silly. A silly question, but actually I think it's a meaningful question. Do you think there's value in giving up your own pleasure in golf and playing from a different set of tees? For example, let's say I want to play from the blue tees or from the tips, but everybody else in the group is playing from the white teas, or let's say I'm playing with women and they're playing from the forward tees. What do you think about the strategy of just saying, I'm just going to, this round is not about my score. This round is about making a connection.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I can take that question, Jen. And my thought on it, I'm reminded of a trip to St. Thomas many, many years ago, my wife and I had gone there. And I just happened to play with somebody that I'd never met before until I got to the course. And we were playing from the equivalent of the blue team, whatever it was. And my handicap at that time was I think 14 or 15. And I don't know what the gentlemen handicap was, but he certainly was taking a lot of shots. And so I happened to ask him, don't you think we should play from the, after the front nine, I said, why don't we play the back nine from the forward tee? We'll enjoy it more. He said, "No, no, no. I think I want to play from these tees because I get more for my dollars. I get more shots from my dollars."

Vijay Khetarpal:

So everybody had a different perspective on it. The point of it is, sometimes and some coaches, they suggest that if you are handicapped in certain games, play from certain tees, and so on. But at the end of the day, if there's nobody behind you and you're not holding up, you should play the tee that you want. It's about satisfaction for yourself.

Tina Fox:

I would agree wholeheartedly. So obviously being a woman who plays and a lot of times I play with men, I'm not playing from their tees. And so I just, I play from my teas that I'm comfortable with. But I would say that it all depends on what kind of game you're playing, right? So if you're playing a game where score matters, then you should play from where you need to play. But if this is, if it's a scramble or if it's just for fun, if it's for charity, if it is Ronald for networking purposes, then you just have the discussion. And I think everybody can play from where they are. But I agree with Vijay, it's really more, and we saw a 30% uptick in golf last year. So tee times we're back up to kingdom come. So I would say it's really more about just keeping pace of play, because if you do that, everybody's going to feel good. Nobody's going to be sweating it and you're going to have a good time. So right now that's probably the biggest thing to just keep the pace.

Vijay Khetarpal:

Also along the same lines, depending on the environment, for example, tomorrow morning, when I'm playing, it's going to be below 50 degrees I'm told. I'll play from what is called a front tees, okay, we get the ball there. And in the summer months, I may play from the back tee. So I think as the situation dictates, I don't always play the same tee.

Jen Dalton:

Do you find that learning that flexibility... Oh, go ahead, Ronald.

Ronald:

Where the player who is the least skilled, I typically play from the same tees that they play from. Because I play golf with my wife. And when we started playing with my wife, we had a lot of conflict because I wanted to go out and play for a score and get better. And she was less skilled. And we had all sorts of conflict. And then one day I realized that when I play golf with my wife, it's not golf. It's a golf date. And at that point I said, you know what? I'm going to make her feel as comfortable as I possibly can during this round. Whatever she wants to do, that's what I'm going to do. And since I made that decision, we have a much better time playing golf together.

Ronald:

And I've started bringing that over to the business context as well. There's only one thing that I will always do. I insist that I'm here to walk the course, even if the people I'm playing with want to ride. And COVID was, it was easy to do that during COVID. But in the future, I think that, and I've found that many people will say, "Yeah, okay, I'll walk too." That's the only area where I really feel like jeez, you know what? II feel like it's just so much more enjoyable.

Vijay Khetarpal:

You're a smart man, Ronald, because I tell you, my wife is a winner no matter what happens because she has to deal with me, believe it or not. When I go out and I wager with other players, if I win it's hers, and if I lose it's on me. So she wins either way.

Tina Fox:

I want you to know that my husband has never been on any of my Zoom calls, webinars or anything, but for some reason today, he decided to join. But Ronald, the only thing I would add is that I think it's a huge courtesy when somebody decides to play at the tees with the least skill. I think that's great. I would however clarify because I've seen this with women too, they don't want charity. So if you've got a good game and your good game is at a white tee or a blue tee, then it's almost like you're giving yourself a major advantage if you're teeing off from the forward tees, or the red tees. So I would say ask, "Hey, do you mind if I join you up here? I think it'd be more fun because we're all together versus having to split teas," or, "If it's okay, I'll just hit from my tees."

Tina Fox:

And I think that way you save yourself because I can see somebody saying to you if you're going out professionally, "Hey, are you trying to get an advantage on me?" So that would be the only thing to watch out for. But you're definitely a smart man for supporting your wife in the game because not a lot of women play and you want to keep them playing. So I think that that's a good strategy.

Jen Dalton:

Thank you for sharing Ronald, any other questions from folks? I feel like there's so much flexibility you learn in golf that I wish we carry over more into real life. Don't get upset. Just ask, have a conversation. I wish you could see more of that in real life, but thank you for all of those examples.

Tina Fox:

I'll make a final pitch on golf because again, I don't even have an established handicap, but what I have found golf gives me is one, it gets me out of the office and gets me outside, which really helps with the overall wellness of my being. It certainly gives me the opportunity to exercise, especially if people are going to walk courses. That's brilliant. It allows me to connect, not only with folks from a professional standpoint, but I have to say, one of the coolest things that I do is I play with my boys who are 10 and 12. And it's very rare to see a mother-son combo out on course. And so we get a lot of looks and we get people that ask, "Oh, you guys are playing golf together?" And it's very special. So I get to do that with my family.

Tina Fox:

I get to play with my spouse who is far better than me but seeing somebody who's really good at what they do, is the best. So there's a bonus in that. And then of course there's charity. A lot of charities have tournaments and I wouldn't be able to participate in being able to give back in that way if I didn't know the game. And so there's just a lot of buckets that golf checks for me. And I'm very grateful for the experience.

Tina Fox:

Because our name is Women On Course, the majority of who join us are women. However, we do have male members. We love our male allies because they support the empowerment of women. So anybody who wants to empower women by leveraging the game of golf, then we'd be happy to have you join us. The virtual offer that we are going to be giving away on this webinar is basically what we offer. Every month, we offer three different virtual series. It's an opportunity to dip your toe into our community. And then we have over 800 live events throughout the United States each year. So our virtual community is one where every month we do a golf Zoom cast where we'll do something like "12 steps to better business golf" or "the art of business golf". We'll do golf vocabulary or things that you need to know. Strange rules.

Tina Fox:

We do one called The Success Series, which is very much like this type of a Zoom cast, where we're bringing on outstanding guests throughout the United States. My focus this year is on women leaders who are gutsy and who are making a positive impact on big stages. So I had a European champion on, and I've had somebody from EY come on, who's part of their diversity and inclusion entrepreneurship program. And then we also offer a virtual series on fashion and I'm wearing one of our fashions. So we have a lot of partners that offer discounts. So that is what we're offering to our audience today. That's so thanks for joining.

Vijay Khetarpal:

I have an offer to give a signed copy of my book called Optimized Outcomes for anybody who's interested. Just send me an email with your address. We'll arrange to get it across to you. And I think that the book is going to be helpful to some of you to bring up some topics that should be discussed with financial advisors, but they often don't. It's not a substitute for a meeting with a financial advisor. It looks like this. However, you can get it on Amazon, but I'm going to send it to you if you send me your address, personally signed by me. And thank you for doing this. This was wonderful. I made some new friends as I said. There are no strangers among golfers, only friends we haven't met. Thank you again.

Jen Dalton:

Absolutely. Thank you, everybody, that was a great dialogue. Great questions. 

I put a link to the Women On Course fence. You can go check it out, but of course, stay in touch and you have Vijay's email in the chatbox as well. So I'm going to go ahead and close our webinar. Thank you again, everybody, for joining us, we really appreciate it. It's been fantastic seeing you all. We will make the recording available once it goes through a couple of compliance hoops, but hopefully, that won't be too hard since we talked about golf and life. Have a great rest of your Wednesday and thank you again.