We had the good fortune of connecting with Jackson Markham and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jackson, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think risk is something to be embraced. When you really get down to it, everything has a certain level of risk. Staying at a job is risky, leaving a job is risky, pursuing you dreams is risky, not pursuing your dreams is risky. Trying to avoid risk is simply impossible.

I take the approach that you should always calculate the risk, but never let odds or the probability of failure deter you. As a professional golfer, playing week to week with no guaranteed income is a very high-risk career. There are times when you play bad and can go two months without making any money, but surely the solution is not to be paralyzed with fear and give up. I believe you must keep going and learn from your mistakes. Risk will always be there, to get the desired results you must embrace the process and accept the situation you are in.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After graduating from SMU in 2020, I turned pro and am now playing professional golf full time. I’ve had many highs and lows already in just my first two years of pro golf. I’ve already won my first pro event in the fall of 2021, but for every success and win I’ve failed 10 times over to get there. Golf is a sport where you lose a lot more than you win. Only 1 person holds up a trophy at the end of a tournament and the other 163 are considered to have lost. But that doesn’t mean you can’t come away from failures with valuable information. What’s carried me through the low moments and toughest times is loving the process. It’s very easy to be obsessed with the result and disappointed when you don’t achieve it. The result/outcome is out of our control, so it’s important to not be attached to only that. Staying present and embracing where you are in that specific moment, good or bad, is the most valuable thing I’ve learned so far in my career.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I have someone coming into Dallas for the week here’s what we would do:

If it’s NBA season, I’m taking them to a Mavs game without a doubt. Luka is the future of the league and I’m obsessed with the Mavericks.

For food and drinks, we would be at Banditos, Katy Trail Ice House, Milos Butterfingers, Little Katana, pizzeria testa, and Town Harth if we wanted to get fancy.

I also love Karting, and Lonstar Kart Park is really fun to go racing at out at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was a freshman at SMU, I took a class called Coaching and Leadership, taught by Dr. David Bertrand. Dr. Bertrand really poured his time and knowledge into me that semester. We stayed in touch over my time at SMU, and eventually I took his Advanced Coaching and Leadership class my senior year. It was in that class where I developed and clarified my core beliefs, identity, and purpose.

After college I started working with Dr. Bertrand and brought him on as my performance coach. He’s one of the best in the world at pinpointing problems and solutions for high performance athletes. He’s like a fountain of wisdom and anytime I’m around him I’m just trying to scoop out a little bit to take home with me. We’ve gone through several books together, we’ve done masterclass meetings with other professional athletes, and many one-on-one sessions taking a deep look into how to get 1% better. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his help.

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