Let me start by saying I am neither, a fanatic football fan or a super smart sports analyst. When it comes to football I typically attend one or two preseason games (because the tickets are cheap) and I watch the Super Bowl game in February.
I am, however, an experienced business owner who tries to glean a lesson from all things. My husband and I watched the game at home last night. When it ended I immediately thought about how this game represents life, more specifically, the life of many entrepreneurs.
Here are the three things I feel business owners can learn from Super Bowl LI:
While I know this isn’t a profound statement, it has to be said. I watched the entire game and the Falcons team that played the first 3 quarters is not the same team that played the last quarter of the game. I know for a fact the “fans” were celebrating “too soon” because I saw it all over my Facebook timeline. I also believe the players did too. For some reason, they stopped doing what it took to get those points on the board (and keep the Patriots points off the board) to win the game.
The same happens with business owners. Many of them stop doing the things it took to build their businesses and as a result, their businesses die. If you had to network consistently to get clients, you have to keep networking to keep a steady flow of new clients or prospects in your pipeline. If your business has become known for exemplary customer service, you must continue to provide that level of service to keep your new and existing clients happy. The bottom line is, whatever it took to get there, it takes the same (or more) to remain there.
Fans are fickle
I live in Atlanta so there was a great amount of pride in the city to see the hometown team make it to the Super Bowl. I’m sure the excitement experienced around the city helped the moral of this very young team as they ventured down to Houston for their Super Bowl appearance. Everywhere I went this weekend I saw a sea of red. People who had never been a fan before were adorning Falcon’s gear, showing their pride and support.
The same is true with your business. Many of the people who are close to you (family and friends) in most cases are not always your ideal clients. They typically do not need or want your products or services. And many of the ones who do will probably get those products or services from someone else. That is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. BUT if you make it to the Super Bowl (in business this could be a TV interview, a celebrity endorsement, major product launch, etc.), they will all brag about how they know you and will quickly become one of your biggest fans. Pay attention to how those on the “Falcon bandwagon” quickly jumped off when the Patriots took the win in overtime. The same will be true for you in your business. The lesson is both fan types are necessary, just know the difference.
It was said that the Falcons were “out-coached” by the Patriots and I would have to agree. The Falcons had a twenty-five point led in the third quarter and they ending up losing the game in sudden death overtime. The Patriot coaching staff capitalized on the weaknesses of the Falcon and uses it to win the game. The one thing the Patriots had over the Falcons was experience. The Patriots had been here before and they knew what it took to win the game.
The same is true in your business. You will need coaches to help you navigate through the challenges of entrepreneurship. The coaches who win are the ones who have been there before. They can show you the way because they know the way. One of the major differences in business is you get to decide. Instead of a coach picking you to “play” on their team, you get to pick the coach. When you do, make sure you pick someone who truly knows the way.
Making it to the Super Bowl is not something that happens to teams who are lucky, it happens to those who put in the work. The reality is, the other thirty teams (and their fans) were home eating chips and watching the same game. I would like to congratulate the Patriots on a great comeback and win. I would also like to congratulate the Falcons for making it to the dance.