Come Out of Nowhere: Inspiration from Nike to Inspire Your Hustle

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Get Ready to Work Harder than Everyone Else.

Big rings and blockbuster novels only go to those who put in werk.

I was talking to a family friend over the internet last week. They are a writer. And not only are they a writer – but a published one at that. So you KNOe  that they must have some special sauce or trade secrects. And one thing they said to me via Facebook Messenger that needs to be top of mind for every writer and athlete is this: hard work beats talent every time. 

Simple, true, actionable.
Because if you don't have a goal, you can't achieve it.
If you don't get up, you're doing it all wrong.
If you wait for people to come to you, they forget who you are.
If you rest on your laurels today, other people are out there workin' their game, getting ready to beat you at yours tomorrow. 

Writing is about getting your ass in the chair. Fitness is about getting your ass out the door.
In both cases, the brightness of your future rests on your ability to just drag your sorry self somewhere and get started. 


Maybe it means rolling up to a local park and practicing lay-ups until the sun goes down. Maybe it means lacing up your sneakers and doing hills until you're seeing stars. Maybe it means barricading yourself in your room and pounding your keyboard into submission instead of going out. Maybe it means staying up until 2am every night. Or maybe it means getting up at 5. Whatever your style, it's really about that age-old and oh-so-simppe truth: what's easy isn't worth doing. What's hard has the biggest returns. Stop procrastinating. Stop avoidibg. Start somewhere and build on it. 


Wellness and writing for me have always been linked. 
Both are a daily practice. Writing requires that you show up for yourself everyday. It requires that you do it regularly and consistently. It's not just one work-out or crash diet. It's a lifestyle and a way of thinking and a way of pushing yourself. Just like  being in good physical shape, writing requires sacrifice, going without, and scheduling the time to get after it. And then, once you finally get there, you gotta grind it out and stay up later and try harder than everyone else. 
Really big rings and really nice things (as Drake would say) only go to a select few for a reason: it's a slog and it's difficult but it's worth it.

For your body and your mind and your work to improve, you have to show up everyday and stop procrastinating (god-damnit! )
You also have to stay so determined, tenacious, and hopeful that others think you're a downright fool. 

So fuck all that noise that you're not supposed to be here.
If you write, you're a writer, just like the others. If you ball, you're a baller. What you do is what you are and who you become.
Own your story and stay hungry. Forget all that self-defeating talk and the outside critics.
Forget all that talk that you're not good enough to be published. Forget what others may think about your ability to write for money r you ability to make it to the major leagues of your craft. 
Why can't you do it? Why wouldn't you do it? Who else BUT you should do it?

A lot of people on their way to something bigger stop. Why? Because it gets difficult. But fir those who gut it out and come out the other side — that's something triumphant indeed. 

So if performance isn't living up to your expectations or if you're jealous of someone or mad at yourself, ask yourself: why. Your answer will most likely tell you that you're not working hard enough, or you're not pursuing the right path. But the good news, is that both of these things are within your own control to augment. 
What do you need to do in your daily routine to get to a better place? What do you need to accomplish today so that tomorrow you can start on something you care about?

So if you got critics, or if someone is keeping something from you, just remember that the haters are only blockin' your shots because they know you're 'bout to ball in these fools.

Want more of yourself. Demand more of yourself. Get after it everyday. Sweat. Write. Repeat.

If you're in need of more inspiration to stoke your inner fire, I recommend checking out the below pieces of branded content from Nike. They are all from the last couple of years. Whether you find inspiration from the visual mastery of the directors who lent their talents to capturing these athletes,  the copywriters who basically wrote poetry in the form of commercials, or King James himself, there's something here for everyone. 

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Sweat. Write. Repeat

Really nice things, and really big rings rarely come with no strings. (Sorry Drake!)

Daily hard work + sustained effort + relentless drive = the only equation for success I know. 

Lebron's husky growl is the VO for this spot. As young kids from across North America battle it out across courts and shoolyards against insurmountable odds (in #23 Cavs jerseys no less,) the King keeps on repeating the same self-defeating, critical remarks others have flung at him since the start of his career. At the end, we see Lebron's towering figure entire the court of an NBA basketball court, triumphant. Further proof that when you try and salt his game, that sauce still got plenty of flavor. 

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland) 


Did you ever think that at some point in her life Serena Williams was an underdog? Or that, as a young girl, she was someone who didn't know or own her own power?
Yeah, I didn't think so either.
And yet, here in this spot, we see a young Williams practicing. Slight, short, and sylph-like, she seems worlds away from the Olympic champion we know today. And yet – as we hear Serena talk about how she has trained everyday for the past 30 years, we see first-hand what can happen after years of sustained work and tenacity. 
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland)

I always felt like an under-dog. I was really small for my age, and I was Venus William’s younger sister. I always felt like I was just fighting to make it. I never thought I would be great one day. Training every day for thirty years is really difficult. And I also think ‘someone else is out there, and they are working really hard. And there’s a post on their wall of me, and they’re working to beat me.’ With that I get up, I go, every day I’m sore, but that’s the life I chose. So there’s obviously days where I don’t feel like training. But there’s no day that goes by that I feel like losing.”

– Serena Williams


Did you ever feel like giving up? Yeah. But I didn't. 
Against rigorous physical challenges transgender triathlete Chris Mosier rises to the tops of the ranks to triumph by tapping his inner tank of unlimited courage. 
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland) 


A young boy named Dante loves basketball. He battles it out during his teenage years and gets drafted by Duke. After choking near the end of a game he comes back with a passion and a fervor for the game that gets him signed to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is all just a fantasy for the young boy, but he's willing to go after it all for the battle of the mind, proving that athleticism is just as much about ones mental strength as their physical stamina. 
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland) 


Bold and beautiful. 
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland)


So true. Get off your phone and go for a run or write something, why don't ya?! 
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy (Portland)


The Nike Women's Fall 2017 Style Guide  a llittle Ken Burns action I put together for your viewing pleasure.

All images © 2017 Nike, Inc.