I recently went to the theater to see Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in “Draft Day.” Don’t worry, I won’t ruin the movie for you by exposing key details but I will share the undertones that added fuel to the entrepreneur fire inside of me.
As you probably already know, this movie is about football. It’s also about entrepreneurship. There are recurring themes in this movie that should be a recurring theme in every entrepreneur’s efforts.
At first glance, this is a bad word. You’re thinking “I’m not desperate.” Truth is you should be. Dictionary.com defines desperate as “having an urgent need or desire.” What’s more urgent than accomplishing your goals? As an entrepreneur, your number one goal is to desperately accomplish your goals. The best entrepreneurs go from desperate to temporarily satisfied and back around. I want to highlight the word temporarily as true entrepreneurs are never really satisfied. We like to keep building and innovating until death do us part.
I’ll make this short and sweet. Never hear “no.” Always hear “no, not right now.” Once you’ve heard that, take into consideration their feedback. Probe their rejections. They may help along the way. Go back to the drawing board and make it impossible for your prospects to utter “No, (not right now)” to you ever again. Help your prospects see the true value of your product or service. A professor once told me, “Make a list of all the questions you could be asked by a prospect. Answer them all. Once you’ve done that, you ready to pitch.”
If you weren’t into taking risks, you would have never struck out on your own. From that point on you are expected to take risks when meeting with investors, negotiating contracts, assembling a team and any other tasks involved with building your business. Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox, once said “take risks…fail fast and move on.” Be absolutely impatient and take risks. The worst thing that could happen is that you don’t progress and you’re exactly where you started but at least you tried.
Football is all about teamwork and trust. Like any successful entrepreneur, you will have to assemble a team. As the team’s owner and General Manager, be sure make it a team that you can trust. As the coach and, often times, the quarterback you will have to delegate responsibilities to your team. Don’t be afraid to pass the ball to someone more qualified to run it back. I know you’ve been Tim Tebow-ing it for a while but make decisions that ensure a quality product or service for your fans (customers). Much like the Browns in real life and in “Draft Day” you may lose but you have not lost unless you have given up.
“…Cowards do that and that ain't you.” – Rocky Balboa
This video opens with a quote from Aristotle that states “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Be desperate. Negotiate. Take Risks. Build, grow, and trust your team. You can do this!