What Kobe Bryant Taught Me About Tax Season

Kobe Bryant died yesterday, and tax season officially starts today.

Those two facts may seem unrelated.

Kobe Bryant and tax season are directly, eternally related for me.

For 20 years straight, Kobe and tax season happened together.

In January, we’d start rolling–new journey, same goal.

In February, we’d put up 40 per day (or however many you needed from us), and we’d put everyone on notice.

By March, we’d be fatigued in body and soul, playing through pain and more than likely squabbling with a teammate or two 🙂

By April, we’d be gearing up for The Championship Run, about to earn our big money by putting it all on the line, every time out, knowing that 110% effort combined with copious amounts of hard-earned skill will get the job done one way or another.

8 Things Kobe Bryant Taught Me About Tax Season

I’m sharing this with you because I think if you take a moment to reflect on this list, you’ll start your tax season strong, and you’ll finish it even stronger.

  1. Show up early.  Kobe was well known among his peers for his notorious early morning work outs.  When you’re there before your teammates, they know they better be ready to play.  True leaders set the example.
  2. Family matters, immensely.  Your job is NOT more important than your family.  Kobe’s 13 year old daughter, Gianna, died with him yesterday.  Make time for your family, no matter how busy you are.
  3. It’s OK if some people hate you.  Kobe was never much of a people-pleaser.  Let your work speak for you.  You don’t like me?  Come get this work then.  You’ll like me even less after you come get this work!
  4. When you make a mistake, apologize and repent, and you can be forgiven–and you can recover to be better than you were before.  Unlike other celebrities and public figures who offer half-apologies, insincere apologies, or no apologies at all, Kobe was not above apologizing and repenting.  He used his mistakes to become a better man.
  5. You’re not who they say you are; you are who you prove you are.  They said he’d hate retirement, he wouldn’t know what to do without basketball.  He started a production company, won an Academy Award for his first film, was highly active in charity work, and much more.  Other people’s perceptions don’t define you.  Define your own identify by doing the work.
  6. Appreciate and give back to America.  After the USA basketball team lost in the Olympics in 2004, Kobe decided to play in the Olympics in 2008, and recruited other top NBA players to do the same.  In 2008, we brought the gold medal in basketball back to the US, where it belongs.  And where it still remains.
  7. Have God in your life.  When you’re rich and famous, it’s easy to be deceived into thinking you’re a god.  As a practicing Catholic, Kobe avoided that trap.  He made it a point to have God in his life, as a top priority.
  8. Control your inputs to create your results.  Many things are out of our control.  If we focus on controlling our inputs, though, we can determine to a large extent the results that we get.  Do the right things, at the right time, in the right way, and you’ll be a winner.

We’ll have our best tax season ever, if we do our work like Kobe did his.

And we’ll inspire others to be their best, too.

LONG LIVE #MambaMentality