Jessica Murphy | Staff Writer

Image by Teresa Callies
Image by Teresa Callies

In Minnesota, sports are a big deal to a lot of people. There are people who follow up on many sport teams, and they crave the experience at either a Twins game, Vikings game, or even the Wild game. Some people even try out to play on one of the most well-known teams, but not everyone is cut out for that. Ross Bernstein, a bestselling sports author and inspirational business speaker, visited Century College on Feb. 7th in the Nest to talk about how to be successful and his books he wrote.

Bernstein started out his presentation by talking about quality of relationships within business. Learning about people and how to deal with them was one of the key points he discussed. “Hang out with people who are better than you” said Bernstein. People will gain more knowledge and understanding in the field when they do so.

Along with learning about people and how to deal with them, there are a few things that are helpful to know about being successful. Bernstein gave a list of 13 most important tools to help gain success: find passion, keep coming up with new ideas, be willing to adapt and change, roll with the punches, leverage expertise, find currency, think charitably, invest, take risks, rethink accountability, provide customer service, keep the momentum going. Some simple steps can go a long way. If you fail, it doesn’t matter. “Failing is okay” said Bernstein.

According to, Ross Bernstein grew up in a small southern Minnesota town of Fairmount, and he attended the U of M, but after graduating college he lived in Chicago and New York. Within 5 years, he became the Vice President of marketing for a children’s entertainment company, but he soon figured out that he didn’t want to do that for the rest of his life. Later, in 1997, he moved back to Minnesota and started writing sports books.

However, before he started writing any books, he tried out for the Gopher team, but he didn’t make it. Yet, he made the spot of being a mascot because of how foolish he looked when he tried out. Becoming the mascot led Bernstein to his first book called “Gopher Hockey” which he published himself. “I had to find my own way of publishing because I couldn’t find anyone who could publish for me” said Bernstein.

Being an author can be risky and a tough business, which is why it is crucial to keep in mind the 13 steps to success. “Books can’t just be books” said Bernstein. He went on to talk about how book stores like Barnes and Noble are going out of business because nowadays people rely on their smart phones, Ipads, or kindles to read books.

Why keep writing books? Well, Bernstein decided after writing his 30th book he would speak at different venues about how to succeed in business. “It’s depends on the week. Last week I was in 5 different states.” said Bernstein. One of the books he wrote is called “The Code,” and it reached an all time high worldwide sales ranking of No. 17. Bernstein featured on many T.V shows and Radio programs promoting his work. “Being on T.V gives me motivation” said Bernstein.

Bernstein also shared a signature story of meeting one of his inspirations and it was Herb Brooks, who was an inspirational coach and led the US Olympic hockey team. Brooks himself asked Bernstein to write a couple books for him. After Brooks died, Bernstein wrote “America’s Coach” and “Remembering Herbie” in remembrance of his work and skill. Bernstein stressed to the audience that Brook’s passion was to grow hockey. By writing these books, Bernstein passed on Brooks’s passion of hockey.

Yet, there is more to a book than its story. The writing process is just as important. Authors always have some sort of process that they go by to easily get down their ideas. “I go by chronological order of each event that happens. I do a lot of research on each athlete before interviewing them” said Bernstein. He uses a foot pedal as he types out his ideas on paper. Bernstein writes about 2 books per year.

Maybe it’s time to realize what we really want to do with our lives. It’s always good to hear someone’s side of the story because getting to see a different perspective can create a positive outcome. What’s really our passion in life? It’s never impossible to shoot for something you want to do for the rest of your life.