Today's Reading




The Alter Ego Effect was built to support ambitious people doing hard things. It's constructed to help you be more resilient, creative, optimistic, and courageous. I've had a sports science and peak performance training company for twenty-two years, and what you're about to unwrap is based not only on the work I've done with thousands of amateur, pro, and Olympic athletes, but also the art and science of how we work.

It's been shaped by the data collected from the more than seventy-five thousand business owners and professionals who have implemented this strategy. Their reports back about the wins, successes, and breakthroughs along with the tweaks and changes they've made have all been used to refine this strategy.

A final note: Since I started my practice and began working with more elite athletes, I made a commitment to privacy. I protect my clients. Some of the world's great Olympic and pro athletes as well as entertainers work with me because I promise never to use their names for personal benefit. Why? Because trust is the most essential currency I can trade. Everyone wants something from these people, they use them as a way to grab the spotlight, and it causes them to trust no one. I recognized it, and I knew it would prevent me from being the trusted advisor and coach they needed and wanted. I've worked with top business professionals as well, and the promise is the same. I hold that trust and promise sacred. But I also know how valuable and important it is to share their stories to help illustrate points and to make the ideas in 'The Alter Ego Effect' spring to life for you.

Throughout the book, I have tried to balance the need to share my clients' stories with you, the reader, with my vow to my clients. To achieve this, I've sometimes changed details like names, a sport, an industry, and other identifying factors. In the end, these factors are actually irrelevant. As you're about to find out, the Alter Ego is a tool anyone, in any situation, in any profession, in any moment can use to bring forth their Heroic Self.

Todd Herman

Chapter 1

What's Your Phone Booth Moment?

Standing in the greenroom looking at my notes, I waited to be called onstage before a crowd of coaches from the world of sports. As I was reviewing my presentation, a man built like a powerful bulldog walked into the room. I'd played him on Nintendo as a kid. He strolled over to me with a big smile, reached out, and said, "Hi, I'm Bo Jackson."

I laughed and said, "Hi, I'm Todd Herman. I know who you are, Bo. I'd probably lose all credibility if I worked in sports and didn't know the only two-sport all-star in the pros. Plus, you helped me win a lot of games on Tecmo Bowl!"

He chuckled and said, "Yeah, you're not the first to say that. And thanks. Are you speaking today, too?"

"Yeah. I'm up next. But maybe I just got bumped for you." I laughed.

"No, you're good. I just came early to see a friend," he said. "So what are you gonna talk about?"

"I'm going to talk about the mental game, but, specifically, I'm going to share with everyone how to use Alter Egos and Secret Identities to perform at your best."

Immediately, he cocked his head to the side slightly, squinted his eyes as if someone had just struck a deep chord inside him, and then smirked. He shook his head. After a few seconds, he said in a hushed, serious tone, "Bo Jackson never played a down of football in his entire life."

If you don't know Bo Jackson, he's the only athlete in the big four of major North American sports to be an all-star in two of them, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He was a phenom who transcended sports in the 1980s and, for a sport-loving kid like me, a superhero.

My eyes widened as I smiled and said, "Ooookaayyy . . . interesting. Tell me more."

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