There's no getting away from the fact that some of my favorite memories come from my time playing football professionally. It’s also fair to say that the immense highs, have been accompanied by some of the toughest periods in my life. Injury, bad performances, contract renewal are all part football, we accept that. But that doesn’t make these things easier to deal with as a human being
Interestingly, it is these low points that have really helped me in my business career. I am now finding that some of the skills I learnt as a player – resilience and perspective - are now shaping my life in business.
I'd like to share some of these transferable tips with you, so this month, I’m looking at #BouncingBack and how my career in football has helped me to become more resilient.
"One bad moment doesn’t define your career”
Why are we so hard on ourselves when we do something wrong at work? I see it every day, talking to people from all walks of life. Football taught me, from an early age, to pick myself back up quickly, following any mistake or set-back. As players, we know that as long as we remain on the pitch, there’s still time to turn a bad performance or mistake around and win the game. Look at Sergio Ramos, David Beckham and Ronaldo. They’ve all made mistakes that have cost games – but they’ve not let this define their careers. It’s important to learn to keep calm when faced with adversity and keep focused on moving forward.
"Don't take things personally”
I love the security of knowing that setting up my own business is a long-term option for me and my family. One thing that all footballers face is that football is a game of opinions.
This may seem sad to people outside the game, that one person can make or break your career but there are some positives to take from this. You learn to develop thick skin. More than that, you soon learn to realise that decisions made about whether you make the first team, sit on the bench, or whether your contract is renewed are not always a reflection on your character and in some cases your ability, just a matter of opinion.
This is something I have brought with me into the business. It means I don’t take things personally and helps me focus on growth and development.
“How you deal with failure is as important as how you celebrate success (Never too High, Never too low)”
I love it when things go to plan – when objectives are met and business is going well. But what I did learn as a footballer, is that all successes are short-lived and all set backs are temporary. Yes, I acknowledge and celebrate milestones when I’ve met them, but I keep everything in perspective and never take my eye off my end goal. Success or failure, I reflect and review my performance then move on to the next task. As a footballers you learn to always look at the big picture rather than agonise over the smallest of set-backs. I find at work, if I’m humble in the good times and less critical in the bad times, it’s easier for me to stay focused and keep moving forward towards my end goal.