Moscow’s month of football mania is over. France won. Much back slapping for Putin, even if he left important guests drenched in the rain. And the bloggers are still occupied with finding ways to link this sporting orgy to clever messages.
So permit me to join this game for a couple of minutes, as a business coach and mentor.
England’s latest hero is Harry Kane. Finally, the country has at least one player who can actually put the ball into the net. A “model student” at school, who excelled at several sports, he has worked his way up through a series of junior sides. However, what all his professional admirers have pointed out is his burning desire to put in the hours – to practice and to practice some more until he gets it right.
Intrigued by this determination, I looked at some other heroes of the tournament. For example, Luke Modric, Coatia’s brilliant captain, grew up during the cruel war in the Balkans in the early 1990s. Football provided a way to escape from – in more ways than one – the horrors of battlefields. His first shin guards were made of wood. To be blunt, not even a round of bullets aimed at his family could stop him progress.
And the French striker, Kylian Mbappe, is the son of immigrants from Africa. Barely four years ago, he was still sharpening his skills on gravel pitches just outside Paris. Yesterday, he was probably the most skillful person on the most important stage for world football.
I was able to bring together my thoughts on these players and others, when I was meeting with a client in my office in Jerusalem. He has been pondering a wonderfully creative idea that can be nurtured from the garage to, hopefully, a much wider business operation. He has already validated the concept commercially.
And now comes the challenge. He has to apply his passion – and he loves his subject – to a business model. That means much hard work; checking multiple suppliers, learning production processes, investigating facilities, creating a pricing structure based on a clear profit, and so much more.
My point is that all these aspects are very doable, but may not be easy for each individual. For example, as a modest person, he does not like bothering others to obtain information. He has to be encouraged to call outsiders. Similarly, making a large profit is an anathema to him.
This contrasts sharply with out three footballing heroes. Each one grew up with their own hang-ups. Who am I to assess them here? What is clear is that they have been able to put them aside in the name of their dreams and their passion. That is what their various coaches taught them along the way to their successes.
Bottom line. You may have skills, sporting or in business. However, you have to learn how to apply them. This takes time, patience, pain – over and over again. It is important to realise this as early on in the process as possible.