Highlights from the episode:
- Ways to increase surface area of luck as an athlete or coach
- Activities or processes to develop your awareness
- Ways to become a passionate coach to build the brand or athlete rapport
- How to reach Core Advantage
Jack: So next up we have founder of Core Advantage located in Melbourne. Durham McInnis will be discussing increasing your surface area for luck. Welcome Durham, and thanks for jumping on mate.
Durham: Thanks for having me. Great to be part of such a crew.
Durham: So I have been incredibly lucky on my career, has been so many near misses where Core Advantage couldn’t have existed.
I think before you even talk about luck, you have to talk a little bit about survival bias, because the reason we’re all here on this panel is because our businesses didn’t die and there’s about five different times, mine cutoff. As I think it’s important to, for people thinking about starting a business, you only hear the success stories mostly.
So sometimes there is just luck that plays into keeping the business alive. We had a nasty situation about two and a half years into the business where if we hadn’t been given an overdraft but I’d probably be off doing something completely different at this point in time. So I think an in, I know quite a few of the guys stories here and is often an important stroke of luck, that comes unto it.
But I do think you can increase your surface area for luck. I think that’s an interesting thing to think about. Do you want me to just rattle on about it Jack or got questions?
Jack: Yeah. Let’s, I mean, trade. I think I know where you’re coming from, but yeah, just for those listening.
Jack: You talk us through from an athlete’s perspective and then also from a business point of view. What are some ways that you can increase your surface area for luck?
Durham: Okay. So from an athlete’s point of view it’s being, you know, if you’re a coachable athlete, if you’re ready to go, if you’re receptive to feedback if you’re putting in that extra work, you’re an opportunity is going to come along and you can just someone, you know, can go down with an injury and you can step into their spot, do amazingly, like, and perhaps more importantly, you can, as an athlete, attract really good mentors that are going to know that investing the time and effort in you really pays off.
So I think, it’s massive. Those coachable athletes, you know, whether it’s conscious or subconscious, there’s just certain people as coaches, you want to give more to those athletes you just want to help. And so I think that’s from an athlete point of view, that’s just making like, is, you know, your best abilities, your availabilities.
So it’s having that durable, robust body. But also just having that, the fact that you’re enjoyable to coach, because you put people at the hard work in, and it’s not just sort of pissing your time away. It’s a really worthwhile thing. So that’s from an athlete point of view.
And from a business and a coach point of view, I sort of think of it, there’s a couple of times of luck. There’s this what luck, which is just a little bit random. So what luck for instance, way 500 meters, I don’t remember the up the road from our gym. They building a brand new grass, athletic strap at the vert up the hall thing that line perfect irrigation, sprinklers and grass athletics.
And they did that in about a month after we decided we were going to start doing rehab for running stuff. And we’re just like, oh wait, can we go? Like, that’s just extraordinary what luck. Like, that’s just really good random luck. But there’s also who luck. And who luck is the people in your life that can make a huge difference to life.
And I think you can really, you can’t influence what luck much, but you can massively change who luck in your favor. And so for me, the most obvious example is probably my business partner, Jacob Tober, @vbtcoach on Instagram. Jacob had finished his internship and had actually no real need to do an internship with me at all.
But a mutual friend knew that we’d get along like a house on fire because of our sort of shared passion and ambitions put us together. And that piece of ended up being absolutely massive for me in my life. Because he’s great all the things I suck at, I’m great at all the things he sucks at. So there’s a really good element there, but you follow that chain through and that ends up leading to a whole bunch of other really good events for us as a business.
We wouldn’t be nearly as well known, if it wasn’t for the early work he put in with his vlogging for a long time. And you know, now we’re on the cusp of launching our Metric VBT our VBT app, which never in a million years where I’ve dreamt up, like, I’m just the guy saying, yes, you should hire your brother, he’s really smart, go do that.
But so that who luck open is huge. And the thing is, there are way you can cultivate insight. I think there’s fundamentally, just a couple of things that you can do that make a really big difference. The first is knowing your weaknesses. Like my ingoing position was, I know I’m actually, I’m as bad at a whole bunch of things as I am good at things like I really suck at quite a few different things.
I’ve got major weaknesses in knowing that I was always really hungry to build a team around me that was better than me. That is a good starting position rather than thinking, you know everything. Having a good vision you know, when I talked about what I wanted to do, I wanted to democratize high-performance for the private sector, which, you know, at that point in time, you know hadn’t really been sort of pushed much.
And yet what he was getting started, he was making a lot of waves and a lot of noise, but apart from him, it was, pretty quiet down here. And then I think there’s an element, so you got to have that vision, an element of generosity of spirit. So just, you know, being a good kind of citizen in the space and being positive and just people will tend to want to help you if you’re the kind of person that’s nice to them, even if you don’t need them.
And I don’t know why I succeeded that. Like, you know, sometimes in frustration you do the wrong thing. But I think if you do that and particularly in passion, like you’ve got to earn whether the passion is loud and, outspoken, or whether it’s the passion is expressed through attention to detail.
I’m not sure it matters, but that passion to actually do really good stuff. And so, yeah, I’ve found time and time again, that combo things has been really helpful. And so Jacob was, it was a good example of that. You know, another classic one, was Jack when I first met you. So Brit Smart dragged you down to our gym to say, because she knew you and I would get along.
And you mentioned, I’m not sure what it was called then, but is now the Melbourne Athletic Development Coaches Network. And I didn’t know that I was like, why, what are you talking about? I never heard of this thing. And he was like, hey I’ll get you on. And I found out about this great event where, you know where James Russell was hosting events bringing the community together.
And I reached out to him, said, hey, anytime you ever want to do it, feel free to do it at my place. We’d love to have you there. And I did it because he was just doing great thing and I wanted to find a way to support that. And that was great. And that ended up, we had Brett Bartholomew come and presented at our place, which was really cool, and that was great.
But then that also directly was a key lead into us forming a partnership with Iron Edge, which was a really huge thing for our business. And so some people would go, oh my God, these guys are so lucky. And it’s like, yeah, we were really lucky. And I certainly didn’t chase any outcome from that, but I just want it to be part of something that I thought was really cool.
And so there’s that sort of generosity element to it as well. And I reckon the last piece though, is, you know, the passion element and, you know, you’re like Lockie has done an incredible job with these plyometric. Like he’s really stamped his authority on that concept because people look at that and there are intellectual rigor that’s gone into it that they’re like, if he’s plyometric continuum, is that good?
How good must everything else be as well? Like I think there’s a real credibility marker you do with that. And I sort of did, a must lamer version of that without warmup. So I got a gig in 2006 with the Australian Sapphires and I felt very insecure. About getting this gig over a couple of AIS coaches that probably more deserving of the role.
And I said, I want to make the best warmup in the world. When we go into the world championships, I want the best warmup in the world. And so I put a truckload of work into this, a simple thing, like a warmer, but that still pays dividends to this day because people see that. And that’s a signal, it’s a signifier of your work that you do.
And then that generates more luck for you as well. So I think, you put those things together, and you’d be surprised that sort of compound interest on those things collectively.
Jack: Yeah, that’s just,
Durham: To further the monologue.
Jack: That was good. I was captivated even forgot that I was hosting something for a second here, but that was that did ring a bell, that I do remember Brittany Smart bringing me down and seeing your facility and yeah, just being able to meet you and seeing what was going on, which at that time I hadn’t been in a space that was doing that.
So it did open up my eyes. And it’s funny now, yeah, James, his partner passed the baton over to my partners who’s chatting on a little bit later on. It’s just funny how these things do work, but like you mentioned, let’s unpack the self-awareness aspect of it first out, like how you broke down passion as well.
I think that, ties in with what he was talking about, being authentic and not trying to be something you’re not. And you mentioned that you can be passionate and loud.
Durham: What are you so lucky that he’s authentic self is such an attention grabbing or thing? Cause I’m my authentic self, but I’m just a little bit dull and sort of now you can see it from both points here.
That’s not getting any play. I love how Woody’s authentic approach is also really captivating. I think it’s great. No. Sorry, go on.
Jack: Yeah. So, so self-awareness and knowing your weaknesses and your strengths, what are some activities or some processes, I guess, for, for coaches and athletes to develop that area?
Durham: I think one of the most important things, and it came to me later in life than it should have, was trying to cultivate an awareness of what the Me experience is for other people. Because so often, you know, we’re going around our life and we just experienced what’s coming in at us and how the situation is, whereas really having a thought of, okay, what’s the Me experience going to be like for other people?
So for instance, I’m pretty relaxed about me, because I’m not worried about me judging me because I’m pretty secure and chill. But interns coming into our place, were fucking terrified of me. Like people, you know, we had an intern once I was talking about today with that team. Athletes’ Authority did the thing where I have interns present at the end of the internship, which is a great idea.
We did that too. And we had one that had a panic attack that was so bad that she went blind. She couldn’t see. Like she literally lost visual cause she was so stressed about doing this great presentation. Like we had a really intimidating environment early on, because people thought, I thought they had to be perfect. And it took me quite a few, took me a lot, much longer than it should have to go actually.
I’m freaking people out a bit. I should be a bit more relaxed and allow them more room to make mistakes, so that self-awareness of what’s. And Jacob too, like he’s fully intimidating, because he’s crazy smart. And he doesn’t, he took him a while to realize that he wasn’t getting the best out of people because they were actually, they’re above that sort of peak arousal curve.
Like I have the wrong, the wrong spot of that to actually perform. So yeah, that’s, I think that’s step one. Yeah.
Jack: Yup. And then you mentioned passion and let’s delve into that a little bit more. So for those that are listening in and want to be passionate and showcase that in social media to build a brand or in their coaching for athlete rapport, whatever the purpose is.
What are some ways that you’ve worked out fairly on in your career that recognize am I going to be a loud coach? Am I going to be you know, attention to detail? And obviously the area.
Durham: Well, firstly, whatever you do, just do the exact opposite to what I do on social cause my socials weakest. But I think for me, I get very excited about the kind of the compounding effect of 1% is about doing these things where you start to add them together, people’s athletic ability gets better and better.
So getting the details in place so you can really get them faster, stronger, better. And what I think I’m good at is conveying my excitement at all around the future potential of the work they’re putting in now. Like if someone nails that trap bar deadlift, I’m really excited because I’m like this.
If we just kept going down this path, you are going to get really. So I think, and it’s, I look up I’m from a background as a lot of arts degrees in my family and a lot of teachers, and I love, I enjoy telling stories. So I’ll, you know, I’ll tell someone the story of, if you put a gun to my head and he said, you’re stealing my entire gym, but I can only get one piece of equipment.
That’s going to be the trap bar. I love it. It’s awesome. Here’s why it’s going to make you run fast, jump out, blah, blah, blah. And so I’m as passionate about, selling the thing, various stories I’m about doing it. And I think that helps too. Because you’re athletes, you don’t have to rev them up each week.
Cause you’ve kind of incepted them with why they should love being good at this thing. And I enjoy that as much as I enjoy the coaching. It’s the influence on them, to have them be as hungry for excellence on their trap bar deadlift.
Jack: Yeah, because, you know, they’re probably not going to know that about a trap bar deadlift the same as well, the panel.
But hearing that they’re going to jump higher and run faster. They probably will have some, it makes a lot of sense. What about from a like you mentioned with COVID hard times and how important it is to put in the work early to sort of set yourself up for success and increase the other topic.
So yeah, what you mentioned good values and knowing you know, how to do good work and that will sort of set yourself up wherever it leads you. You won’t necessarily know, but good things will come through that. Is that something that you’ve sort of had ingrained in you growing up? Is that something a mentor has helped you develop over time and you’ve trusted that concept. And then now you’re starting to see that it has paid off, or is it something that you,
Durham: I wish it was considered a really sickly, what it was I had, I’m a recovering perfectionist, like I actually had problematic kind of OCD level perfectionism straight that I had to really kind of bash out. Like I had to get rid of that.
And so that was just, it was just like, I would have trouble going half into a task. So when I was at the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL women’s national basketball league, I was getting paid 12K a year to do that gig, and you know three. And I was probably putting in a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of my time.
Cause I just couldn’t have. And that wasn’t some grand strategy that wasn’t some noble thing. It was just like, it would just drive me crazy to not do it properly. And it’s only, you know, like I’m 48 now. It’s only with, probably in my mid-forties that I actually being a perfectionist was crippling at progress as a business.
So it wasn’t, I think it was just a bit of in the same way that, you know, would he loves getting into a fight or an argument or, you know, getting up and around, like, that’s not a cultivated thing. That’s just kind of who he is. My sort of OCD tendencies were who I was. But now I’m definitely chasing being an awesomist rather than a perfectionist.
But fundamentally a perfectionist is a stupid strategy because you never get anything done. And so my brother’s a CEO, he yells at me about it. And Jacob yells at me about it a bit as well, and keeps me in line.
Jack: Awesome mate. Well, thank you for jumping on and sharing your wisdom with us in terms of like what you mentioned you were the first one that we seem to be aware of at this stage. Anyway doing it and grew up in Balaclava, so fully aware of the what was it?
Durham: Bodyworld Balaclava.
Jack: Yeah. The most school look in gym you’ll ever see. Yeah. But yeah, talk us through for athletes listening to the podcast, as well as coaches. It was a way to get in contact as well how you work at Core Advantage.
Durham: So yeah, so coreadvantage.com.au. It’s got all that info around training with us. And you can follow me @durham.mcinnis, m, c, i, double n, i, s, and core_advantage is our account. At least equally interesting, much more interesting is Jacob’s account, @vbtcoach. He’s putting out some great stuff that is really doing great with them.
Jack: Yeah. I’m loving your app as well, guys. It’s great.
Durham: Awesome. Thank you.
Jack: On the phone. And get the boys getting competitive with their velocity-based training so it’s a lot of fun.
Durham: Thanks for having me Jack. Appreciate it.
Jack: Thanks Durham