Posted July 6, 2020 in Podcast
Undersized yet Undefeated with Lamar Hall
Failure is not avoidable. It happens to everyone, but it doesn’t have to crush you. It’s actually what you do in the light of failure that truly defines you!
Let’s be honest — it’s not easy to keep faith during difficult times. Maybe you feel inadequate as a parent, as an employee, or as a friend. Perhaps you find yourself on the verge of giving up on your dreams. Setting up and sticking to a rigid schedule is a struggle, and you don’t feel motivated about anything after failing.
Does this sound familiar? If so, keep on reading because my guest today has a lot of insights for you on how to overcome challenges and failures and open the door to new opportunities!
Friends, I’m so happy to have Lamar Hull on the Reaching Beyond podcast to share his story with you all. In this episode, we talk about his journey from basketball to marketing, how not giving up after a failure will lead to better opportunities, and how he defines success. If you’re struggling to find motivation right now, this interview is for you.
Let’s get started!
Who Is Lamar Hull?
Lamar Hull is the Founder of Med Rank Interactive, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in local SEO work, exclusively for dentists, independent positions, and multi-location medical practices. Lamar has his MBA in internet marketing and spends a lot of time learning new strategies in the field of online marketing and healthcare.
Lamar grew up in a small town called Maiden in North Carolina and now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he runs his marketing agency. He attended Davidson College, where he played basketball for legendary coach Bob McKillop. In his day-to-day, Lamar enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, playing basketball, reading, and leading an amazing team of digital marketing ninjas.
I decided to name this episode, “Undersized yet Undefeated,” because Lamar was actually really undersized for being a college basketball player. But he never let that stop him. He’s one of the most resourceful and talented guys I know, and in this interview, he shared so much about how he never gave up despite the odds that were stacked against him. We all love an underdog story, and today, you’re going to hear a great one. Let’s dive in.
Persevering in the Face of Difficulties
Growing up, Lamar lived with his grandparents, and it truly shaped him into the man he is today. He said that his grandmother, especially, has had the largest impact on his life. She taught him a lot about having the right mindset around success and how he should approach the challenges that come his way.
“She never allowed me to accept mediocracy. I remember at one point in my life, maybe third or fourth grade, a teacher told me that a ‘C’ was good, and she almost spanked me for believing that a ‘C’ was good from an academic standpoint.” – Lamar Hull
That may sound harsh, but Lamar’s grandmother really taught him to believe in himself and not accept failure as a stopping place. Instead of giving up in the face of failure, she taught him to at least understand and learn from failure as an opportunity for growth. She stressed to him that you have to excel and be above average in order to succeed in life.
As a kid, Lamar’s older brothers and cousins were much better at basketball than he was. Even though he was smaller and less skilled at first, Lamar wanted to get better and knew the importance of persevering and learning. So he went on Google (back when Google wasn’t even a big thing yet) and looked up how to get better at basketball.
“That’s where everything started, from a basketball standpoint [and] based on my environment there, but then also being able to search Google to find the results and the information that I wanted and needed [is what helped me get better].” – Lamar Hull
From a young age, Lamar just fell in love with basketball. He played all throughout high school, and he knew he wanted to keep playing in college. So when he went to Davidson College, he immediately tried out for the team.
“I didn’t know how I wasn’t prepared for college basketball. I went through the workout; it was an individual workout, just me and the coaches, and what they try to do is they just try to kill you when you [go] through drills or you’re sprinting, doing suicides. And after the first workout, [which] was only 45 minutes, I was throwing up.” – Lamar Hull
Needless to say, Lamar didn’t get in. He had some skills, but he wasn’t skilled enough to help the team be successful.
“It almost crushed me that summer. I almost didn’t go back to Davidson. I mean, it was one of those moments in my life [when] I came to this crossroad, and I was like, ‘What’s next for me?’” – Lamar Hull
Here’s the key to Lamar’s success: He didn’t give up. He took all the training and advice that they had given him, and he worked on his skill set. He spent a lot of his time that summer conditioning, working on endurance, and so forth. And he went back the next year, tried out again. And guess what? He ended up making the team.
“[It] taught me persistence [and] resilience. Also, the foundation [with] my grandmother really helped me understand, not just resilience and persistence [make you succeed] but [also] hard work.” – Lamar Hull
Lamar went through some adversity and challenges just making the team, but those difficulties set him up to be successful in what he is doing today. It built that preserving mindset in him that he later on used to manifest his success. He explained how hard it was to juggle academics with sports, but this challenge actually helped him develop better habits:
“So, [I] wake up early and work out to prepare for the season, and [I] still have to go to class. I was a biology major, so I had a lab [class] then. So I went from class or workouts to class, lab, basketball, practice, eat, study, and then do that all over again. So that cycle and those habits that I’ve developed through that rigorous schedule has really helped me.” – Lamar Hull
Throughout college, Lamar worked hard despite not getting a lot of minutes on the court. He understood that he was there to make the team better, which would make him better as a result!
“So every day that I came into practice, knowing I’m not going to get a ton of minutes, on game day, I push everyone to make them better, and that made me better. It really helped me hone in on my skills [and] develop my basketball IQ.”- Lamar Hull
I really think that Lamar’s mindset is admirable and that it’s made him a successful businessman. Running a business, as you probably know, is extremely challenging. There’s a lot of ups and downs. If you’re not consistent — if you don’t continue to wake up every single morning with the mindset of success and constantly look for things you can improve on — your business may not succeed. It’s essential to set a schedule and develop the right habits to stay consistent and, of course, persevere through any challenge!
So, friends, whatever problem you may be facing right now, follow Lamar’s example and keep persevering! Keep working hard and develop your skills and talents. It may take time, but you’ll get there! Remember — it’s okay to fail as long as you get back on your feet.
Lamar’s Pivot from Basketball Player to Marketing Expert
Lamar didn’t always run a marketing agency — while he’s been building this business for about five years and currently trying to expand his business, he started out with a deep love for basketball, but this didn’t go as planned.
Lamar has faced a series of challenges and closed doors in his life, but this did not deter him from moving forward. He wanted to play professional basketball before after college, but when that didn’t work out for him, his mindset was one of abundance and not of lack.
“I look back at those doors closing as another door open[ing]. If those doors didn’t close, where [would] I be? What would I be doing? Would I still have an agency or still be a boss in the corporate ladder?” – Lamar Hull
Lamar didn’t give up on himself. He believed that closing doors meant that other opportunities would present themselves! What doors have closed recently in your life? Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted or had to change some plans due to COVID-19, but these closed doors can actually be other doors opening in disguise.
“I do know that [the closing door] call[ed] me to pivot and change in my life. It helped me understand what I’m passionate about and what I want to do.” – Lamar Hull
Are you stuck at the moment? Did you not achieve your goals this year? First of all — 2020 has been a crazy year, and if you’re feeling disappointed, know that you’re not alone. However, rather than viewing this situation as a time to give up, maybe it’s just time to pivot! It’ll allow you to see a different perspective and possibly help you figure out what you’re truly supposed to be doing and what you’re good at.
“[A closing door] also [do] some things that you don’t expect. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. Because when the door closes you, a lot of people think, ‘Hey, it’s the end of the world,’ or you know, they may switch careers. … But when the door closed for me, it was just an opportunity for me; it gave me more faith, gave me more confidence to pivot. Any advice I can give anyone is being able to be agile and pivot in any situation. So when these doors closed, I pivoted, and I was agile, and I had the right mindset, and I just hustled. It was just a lot of hard work.” – Lamar Hull
Friends, this is the key to success. Do not give up. Just because it didn’t work out for you in one career path doesn’t mean you won’t succeed in a different one. Learn to shift your focus. Adapt. Look for whatever opportunities are presenting themselves. Don’t be deterred by your situation right now. All of our experiences will make sense in the long run.
What Success Really Means
Let’s be real — success is not all about money or status. It’s also about family, community, and connecting to different people. In our interview, Lamar explained how he thinks about success from a business perspective and how that relates to his family. For him, success has always been about his impact on other people and about his faith. He wants to change and help people’s lives the way God has been able to impact his.
“For me being happy with my growth and my intentions with my faith [is] how I deem success. – Lamar Hull
Even though Lamar loves running a business, he mostly focuses on being able to encourage others around him who may not enjoy their job as much. He wishes to provide new opportunities for them, maybe to network with somebody else that’s in his circle or provide them an opportunity in his business! This is important to his definition of success because it means impacting another person through his faith.
While working hard to achieve your financial goals is great, it’s important to always remember what you value in life. For Lamar, his business is all about connecting with people. It’s not about how much money he is making. It’s about his values in life.
So ask yourself, how do you define success? Do you define success as having a good family life? Do you define success as pursuing your passion? Take a moment to think about what you value in life, and define success around those things because if “success” doesn’t bring you happiness, then what’s the point?
Reach Beyond with Lamar Hull
Friends, this interview with Lamar Hull was a blast — I know it will especially help those of you who are struggling and doubting your own journeys. There are so many pieces of wisdom that you can take from this interview to increase your motivation, stay optimistic despite closed doors, and pursue your passion — listen to the full episode to hear more of Lamar’s wisdom!
Before I end, I want to share something Lamar said. I asked him what the topic would be if he had to give a TED Talk on something he wasn’t known for, and this was his response:
“Most people know me for playing basketball and running a marketing agency, but a lot of people don’t know I love to coach. … So if I could, honestly, have a TED Talk about anything, it would be how to coach and how to add value based on the experiences over time and you know, what can really help the trajectory of anyone that’s looking up to you.” – Lamar Hull
Lamar has always been passionate about helping people improve their lives and get past any challenges that they may face. I think it’s admirable and something we should all try to do more.
“So, honestly, it would be a TED Talk on all the things that we talked about, both [on] providing coaching and valid next steps for people to not be afraid to take those next steps because I think that’s where a lot of people get hung up. They don’t know how to take the next step, but then even after they do find out how to, they’re afraid to take them.” – Lamar Hull
I think we can all agree that Lamar is an amazing human being and is making an impact in the world. I am inspired by his intentions to passionately help those around him. If you want to connect further with Lamar, you may contact him through his LinkedIn or email him at email@example.com. He’s open to those of you who wish to ask him for help. So, go right ahead!
If you enjoyed the interview, tag Lamar, @lahull20, and me, @kyle_depiesse, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways. We would love to support you on your journey to success!
Thank you for joining me today! If you found value from this episode, it would mean a lot to me if you would take a few seconds, write a five-star review and maybe share it with some of your friends on Apple Podcasts. I’d be so grateful!
Until next time — cheers to your success! I’m rooting for you.