How Can You Create a Business Hot Streak?

My son plays college hockey so, needless to say, I’ve seen quite a few hockey games over the years. Lately I’ve been wondering about the phenomenon of “getting hot.” A player scores and then he goes on a streak of scoring. It’s as if he’s seeing the ice and the net differently all of a sudden. Hot streaks happen in all sports and they are enviable. The same happens in business. You close one sale and then three others close. It is like magic. But what is it really, and how can it be recreated?

I did some searching to find research that quantitatively defines the origin of a hot streak.


Recently an article was published in Nature called “Hot Streaks In Artistic, Cultural, And Scientific Careers” by Liu, Wang, Sinatra, et al.  The article states that a hot streak is loosely defined as ‘winning begets more winnings’ and where performance is substantially better than normal. The research basically found that hot streaks are random, in other words not predictable. However, the research did find that often one success leads to a boost in recognition and confidence which may lead to more successes. But not really helpful if you are trying to create your own hot streak.


Jason Selk, author of 10-Minute Toughness, and the Director of Mental Training for the St Louis Cardinals, says that confidence is the number one variable in all of human performance. He also says that confidence can be strategically enhanced. In an article in Forbes, Selk says there are three proven ways to develop confidence:

  1. Create your game plan and work on your 3 most important activities each day. Knowing these 3 most important activities will streamline confidence.
  2. Attack the “1 Must” in your 3 most important activities. This will have you feeling accomplishment.
  3. Recognize your done wells by writing down what you have done well throughout the day. Forcing your mind to focus on what is being done well increases the likelihood of doing well in the future.

Ultimately, Selk is talking about focusing your mind on preparing, executing and celebrating to improve confidence and get your hot streak kick-started. Worth a try I think!

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