I am huge fan of American Football. I love to watch both college and professional football. I admire the game and its athletes so much. Football is a game of inches and requires maximum effort to not only win, but just to achieve a new set of downs. You get four tries to move the ball a mere ten yards yet, opposition is always there to stifle you. You are met with maximum force and must earn every inch you gain.
At times, starting a business feels a lot like playing a game of football. Maximum effort is put in for what seems like minimum gains. Sometimes, you get tackled for a loss. But, like every tackled player, you have to get back up, get set, and get ready for the next play. There is no sitting out because you are feeling down or frustrated. You have to persevere if you are going to win the game. We all have a self-defined game clock. Maybe it is to show a profit by a certain date or to get some sort of cash flow before a maxed-out credit card’s bill shows up. Whatever the case, you have a clock and there is no time to waste.
One of the worst things that can happen in a game is the Quarterback gets sacked. The leader of the team goes down with the ball in hand and everyone gasps. Is he OK, he is slow to get up. I get sacked all the time. I got my Facebook page deleted and I had about $200 in ad spend with no results to show for. No reason given, no second chances. I was on my back like a quarterback that just got up close and personal with an all-pro defensive end. Maybe I will put another Facebook page up and maybe I won’t but, I got back up and changed strategy and I am moving down field. You can’t mope and have a “woe is me” attitude because, nobody cares. That is what losers do. Name the last 3 runners up in the Super Bowl without searching. If you can name them, you are in the minority. Most people can’t name the winners, and they are Champions. Why? Because nobody cares about the losers but the analysts. They breakdown why a team loses. That is the only benefit of defeat, to learn from your mistakes and to not repeat them. But you have to persist, you have to keep going, no matter what tackles you in life.
Maybe you didn’t thoroughly research your market. Maybe you have a bum partner. Maybe you are just learning and need experience. Perhaps a close loved one died unexpectedly. You have to get up and get set for the next play. Just like the elite running back that takes a hard hit. You muster strength and courage and you show no mercy, no fear to the opposition.
Celebrate the small wins and occasionally look back. Yes, I said look back. Some will tell you to never look back. But, I ask, how will you know how far you have come? As long as you never lose sight of where you are going. It’s first and 10 and the ball is in your hands. Go win.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments if you have faced a setback.