Start With A Win

Our guest on this episode of the Start with a Win podcast is 4-time (and aspiring 5-time) Olympian Ruben Gonzalez. Ruben shares so many great insights from his experience training, maintaining, growing, and excelling in the sport of luge, which are more broadly applicable to the lives of listeners in the business and real estate industries. He talks through the practical steps he takes each day towards reaching his goals and shares his key concepts for listeners to take away.

Show Notes

Ruben Gonzalez is a 4-time Olympian in the sport of luge, and he talks with Adam about the winding road that brought him to where he is today. Ruben has dreamt of participating in the Olympics since he was 10 years old, but after riding the bench in soccer throughout high school, he realized that he needed to find a different sport. Always one to accept a new challenge and never back down, he decided to pursue a sport that has a high turnover rate due to injuries: luge.

Living in Houston, he knew he would need to train elsewhere, so he wrote a letter to Sports Illustrated and – surprisingly – received a response. He talked to a coach in Lake Placid, New York, about his ambitions, and was laughed at for attempting to start an Olympic career from scratch at the age of 21. However, as Ruben told the coach his life story and mentioned that he was born in Argentina, the coach suddenly got excited and agreed to coach him if he would compete for Argentina. The sport of luge had been declining in participation, but an athlete from South America would breathe new life into the sport.

After cramming 10 years of training into 2, Ruben qualified for his first Olympics. The lessons he learned began with that first phone call, which instilled in him the importance of perseverance. Over the years, he also learned to be mentally tough in preparing for the fight ahead of him, from the next curve to the next race. On a daily basis, Ruben writes down his goal (which right now is “Beijing 2022”) and he focuses entirely on doing whatever needs to be done to get there. Specifically, he works in 90-minute increments which allows him to be extremely disciplined and productive with a sole focus during that time without being tempted by distractions.

Ruben tells the story of his coach telling him after 20 years that he is still too tense. Ruben changed his focus from avoiding the walls on either side of him to a spot 30 feet in front of him, putting on blinders to not even acknowledge the presence of the walls and instead just keep his gaze ahead. He describes this concept of “changing the focus changed the experience” in the business sense as well, encouraging listeners to consider focusing on what is in their sphere of influence rather than being distracted or discouraged by what is going on around them.

Finally, Ruben simply states the key concepts that he wishes to convey to listeners: be a student of success by reading biographies and focusing on personal development and by carefully deciding who you spend time with. Those who you allow to speak into your life have the potential to greatly help or harm you.


“Think and Grow Rich”:

Connect with Ruben:


“The Courage to Succced” book:

“Dream, Struggle, Victory” book:

Connect with Adam: 

What is Start With A Win?

Every day you have a choice. You can wake up and choose to give in to mediocrity and complacency, you can choose bad habits and poor choices, and you can do the bare minimum to get by and fly under the radar. Or you can choose to make today the day that sets you apart from the crowd, you can choose to start doing the right things, the things that will set you up for success. You can choose to create a life that is worth living, worth waking up to, and worth sharing with the world around you. Today You can choose to start with a win.