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Mark McIntosh, ‘Comeback Coach’, at the Startup Junkie Underground

Former Sportscaster and current contributor to KUSA-TV’s “Colorado and Company” Mark McIntosh delighted the DaVinci Institute audience at August’s Startup Junkie Underground with an enthusiastic and energetic presentation of his three strategies to success in the face of adversity. According McIntosh life is “not about adversity” but rather “it’s the outcome.” A star high school athlete recruited to play quarterback at the University of Missouri and expected to be a first round selection in the amateur baseball draft, McIntosh had his athletic career abruptly ended by a collision in a high school basketball game that limited his depth perception and left him deaf in one ear among other injuries. After this incident, McIntosh says he “lost [his] identity” for several years, partying his way through college and beginning his career in a variety of “dead end sales jobs.” McIntosh’s life began to turn around when he saw Ron Zappolo interviewing John Elway in 1983 and decided to enter graduate school to pursue a career in sports casting.


Since that time McIntosh has still faced challenges across his professional and personal life – including two painful divorces – but has developed strategies he believes essential to creating positive outcomes from challenging situations. McIntosh went on to explain three keys to success while liberally sprinkling in personal anecdotes to illustrate each point.

  • Keep a healthy attitude toward change – Those who maintain such an attitude can thrive as “students of experience” instead of perishing as “victims of circumstance” when change does occur.
  • Teamwork is key to success – McIntosh defined teamwork as generally helping and supporting others, stated a belief in the “law of circulation” – that a good deed done for another will be eventually repaid
  • Put fear and self doubt aside and go for it: To this point, McIntosh noted that a friend of his once commented on how much humans could learn from turtles who “[don’t] make any progress until [they] stick [their] head[s] out.”

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In conclusion, McIntosh noted a three pronged test to assess whether an idea or opportunity is worth pursuing. If the opportunity “honors you, nurtures those dependent on you, and adds value to the community you serve” then it is one worth undertaking.

Following the presentation, panelists joined McIntosh on stage for a discussion moderated by Mike Cote of ColoradoBiz Magazine. The panelists were:

  • David R. Johnson, Partner & COO at Catapult Growth Partners, LLC
  • Jonathan Erb, Chief Marketing Officer at Cocona, Inc
  • Mike Faber, Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Certified Professional Coach

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The panel maintained the positive attitude initiated by McIntosh focusing on the application of the general principles discussed to startups. Among the concepts covered were the necessary personalities to thrive within a new business. Johnson, who joined telephone giant Sprint early on, noted an essential yet often overlooked role of a startup CEO is to serve as head cheerleader to ensure that everyone is “sharing a vision.” Erb commented on the need to surround oneself with employees who “bring solutions along with problems.” Faber stated that “too many people give themselves no credit for victories,” a challenge since recognizing the small wins each day can help build momentum towards something grander in scale.

The DaVinci Institute produces a variety of events designed to share the knowledge of most talented thinkers and seasoned veterans who have fundamentally changed the business landscape. The next Startup Junkie Underground will take place on September, 28 at the MADCAP Theater in Westminster.

Via Rocky Radar