I am not anywhere near what you will call a football fan, neither am I as educated in the game as a lot of people out there. However, I do know a life principle when I see one.
e a few weeks back, in my home country, everyone had something to say about the Super Eagles; our National Football Team, the comments were largely consistent; most of it was negative. The tournament started and the mood remained the same two draws and a win by the skin of our teeth ushered Nigeria into a Quarter final battle against the most prominent African time, Cote d’ Ivoire. Almost everyone, was very sure that we were finished where football was concerned as a nation. Then the worst happened. The Coach, Stephen Keshi; for me one of the most purposeful ex national players for Nigeria, released the list of the members of the team that were going to be playing Ivory Coast and he had a number of home based players! It was like he poured petrol into an already raging fire, everyone wanted his head! Surely, he had no idea what coaching was all about!
I didn’t watch any match prior to yesterday’s and I didn’t watch yesterday’s either, but you cannot be in Nigeria and not know what’s up if the national team is playing… so I heard all the commentaries from my brothers to my neighbours to people buildings away from us. As you know Nigerians are pretty passionate people. Even though I was in my bedroom trying to catch some much needed sleep, it was impossible to miss the fact that Nigeria had won the match.
By this morning, all of Facebook and Blackberry world had been overtaken by Nigerians who always ‘knew’ Nigeria had what it took… everyone suddenly is very proud of our national team and are expressing belief in Stephen Keshi’s strategy. I am not going to try and pick holes in their sudden change of heart and belief but I do know that if you are pursuing a dream, then you can learn a thing or two from this experience.
THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM AT THE TOP:- In discussing this subject with my husband this morning, (he is a football aficionado) he told me that Clemens Westerhof had pulled this same feat off in the past, (in AFCON 1990). But he was pretty sure that a foreign club side does not make the player, what makes him is his talent and his commitment to success. Just like everyone wrote the team off because it had more home based players than internationals, people may look at your small dream now and write you off. But if you have the same hunger for success like those young men had yesterday, even a savvy and favourite tournament team like the Elephants will not stop you.
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR FRESH EVEN WHEN THEY DON’T KNOW IT – As with most things in life, when we get used to stuff, venturing out in any other direction can be very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that when we get ‘fresh’ we are relieved. The home based players were fresh, inexperienced at that level maybe; but fresh. Even with your businesses and dream, the key is to be fresh. Give them something extra in unexpected doses or fashion… even if you are pursuing a dream in a field others have excelled, what makes you stand out is not doing it exactly like they have, but in presenting your own to them fresh.
FRESH HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE – When everyone kept castigating Coach Stephen Keshi’s choice of players, I wondered what their problem was… basically, if these internationals were that good and they are, why will they risk tarnishing their image and reputation on a team most say has been jinxed for nineteen years? What will playing at AFCON bring them that they don’t already have? Fame? Money? What? The home based players on the other hand, were green and fresh, probably never been outside the shores of Nigeria… maybe dreaming to adorn themselves in the national kit was even a tall order. But here is opportunity thrown on their laps… in my experience people like these have something to prove! It is why I will prefer to do business with a young up and coming ‘start up’ any day over an established structured one, especially when I need someone to give me great service. All of us small businesses and new dreamers on the block have something to prove. What this means is we go the extra mile. So the next time someone asks you why they should trust you to deliver, tell them because you have something to prove.
Well I did say I was no football buff per se, but I do hope you can draw these parallels between the Super Eagles and you; trying to chart a course for your dream and create a world class business. In the final analysis, just like the Super Eagles went on to surprise even their most ardent supporters, you too can go on to surprise even yourself.
Remember no matter what they say, you will make it NeverTheLess!
Here is to your success!
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