top of page

How to steal victory from the jaws of defeat

As you know by now—hell I’ve sent you almost 300 emails by this point, so you should know by now—that I root for the Pittsburgh Steelers (and I generally enjoy NFL football and other sports).

Well, in the land of the Steelers, I’m a bit disappointed with how the offseason has gone.

If you’re reading this way into the future, I’m writing this email about 2 weeks after the NFL season ended.

So, why am I so disappointed? And more importantly, why should you care?


The Steelers underperformed for most of the 2022 season. We started at a brutal 2-6, which became a 3-7 record heading into the bye week.

But then, we flipped the proverbial switch, and got red-hot after the bye.

We finished the season with a 9-8 record. We had to go 7-2 after starting 2-6 in order to save Mike Tomlin’s 15-year record of never having a losing season.

But yes, we missed the playoffs by one game because of our poor start. But that ain’t why I’m disappointed.

The real reason?

Matt Canada.

Matt Canada is the Steelers’s offensive coordinator. And I don’t know if there’s a more unqualified person for the job (besides a handful of freelance copywriters I won’t name).

Media personalities, former players, and talking heads think so too. In fact, one former player called his play calling “Saturday-ish,” meaning designed for college ball, not professional ball during the season.

Every Steelers fan I know expected Matt Canada to get the boot during the bye week. It never happened.

The entire fanbase also held their breath after the season ended, waiting for the Steelers to fire Matt Canada.

Not only did it not happen immediately after the season, in what people in the know dub “Black Monday” because of all the firings which happen, but it also ain’t happening until at least next year.


This guy led one of the worst offenses in the league. We couldn’t run, couldn’t pass, couldn’t design plays to get our talented players the ball in space. Even during the second half of the year, where we went 7-2, we didn’t score a ton of points.

And yet, Matt Canada will return to Pittsburgh for at least next year.

In other words, Matt Canada stole victory from the jaws of defeat.

So, how did he do this and how can you apply what he did to your business and career?

Well, one of the things Matt Canada did, which anybody reading this can also do, is this:

He showed up every day with “his eyelids cut off.”

What does that mean?

Everyone hammered for Canada to get fired the entire season. He didn’t impress anyone last year, in Ben Roethlisberger’s last outing, so many fans wanted him gone before the first snap ensued.

Yet, Matt Canada didn’t let it get to him. Or if it did, he didn’t show it when he showed up in the Steelers organization each week.

Instead, he tried to get better. He showed his higher ups that he wasn’t gonna quit on himself even though everyone and their brothers were quitting on him.

And that is at least part of the reason he’s still employed.

Of course there are other reasons too:

We played better the second half of the season. We improved the running and passing game. Our rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, threw fewer and fewer interceptions. And we looked more like a professional football team than we did at the beginning of the season.

Plus, you don’t want your rookie quarterback to have multiple offensive coordinators in his first two years.

And you know what?

You can apply each of these “lessons” to your clients or your business if you open up your brain a little and do some thinking.

Did an email bomb?

It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But how are you going to respond? Will you tuck your tail in between your feet and give up? Or will you use it as a learning opportunity and avoid making the same mistake again?

Did you piss off a client?

It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But how will you respond?

Did a new product you introduced not make any sales?

It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But what are you going to do to prevent this from happening again? (I have some ideas that are too good to share for free on that part.)

So on and so forth.


I’m running out of real estate here, so I’ll leave you with this:


4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Unboxing the Sonos Beam Zyn sent me

I just checked my email after an extensive editing session of 24 emails and found an unusual email: UPS sent me an email saying that a package had been delivered. “Hmmmm, I don’t remember ordering a p


bottom of page