It’s okay. You’re not alone. Nike’s controversial new ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick of former NFL fame who gained notoriety far beyond the gridiron for kneeling at the American national anthem was chosen as the spokesperson for this mega company’s 30th anniversary of their ‘Just Do It’ slogan.
The catchphrase that roared around the world like a raging inferno read:
Believe in something; even if it means sacrificing everything.
Let’s leave the politics of this issue outside, in the heat and humidity where it can sweat off a few pounds from its over-bloated ego for a while.
Let’s get back to the title of this article, shall we?
If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re someone who is striving to build a successful business, then this title might sting a bit. If you’re not, then what are you doing here? No, it’s okay. We welcome you. Why? Because you could very well be another incredible success story we share tomorrow!
What Does It Mean to ‘Sacrifice Everything?’
There are so many different perspectives on what ‘sacrifice everything’ actually means. For some, it means giving your life to a cause in which you believe. For others it may mean skipping playtime with friends or parties to spend it working out on the field or court or in the gym to improve your strength, dexterity, stamina, or skills.
To an older generation it might harken images of men, 18, 19, 20 years old storming the beach at Normandy in World War II, half of them feeling -in the final moments of life- metal ripping through their bodies, tearing them apart.
To a younger generation it might convey an idea of marching in protest, risking arrest and jail time to rise against an authority they know is wrong in their heart.
But what about to you, the determined businessperson?
You don’t have to throw yourself in front of a moving train or leap from a cliff to be successful in business. What you do need to do, however, is take full advantage of the prime opportunities when they come along.
That could mean putting in 3 more hours one evening when you are completely wiped out. It might mean skipping that vacation you promised your husband and kids because an unexpected opportunity arose. It may even mean ignoring the critics and pushing ahead with your plan because you know in your heart it’s the right thing for your business.
Let’s take a quick look at three people who took a chance, made a sacrifice -or essentially did what they had to do- to grab onto the success they wanted.
Craig Handley, ListenTrust
You’re at a convention and the keynote speaker is a billionaire entrepreneur. You want to meet him. No, you need to, but so do the other 5,000 people in attendance. What would you do?
If you were Craig Handley, you’d put on a ‘security’ jacket, go backstage, and introduce yourself when Richard Branson came off stage. Oh, and you’d hand him your business card wrapped in a $20 saying, “This is the first $20 we’ll make together.”
Could he have been kicked out? Sure. Could he have been arrested? Maybe. But he took a chance and it paid off. He was given Sir Branson’s personal email address and they did make money together.
Tim Draper, DFJ
When the Internet was in its infancy, Tim Draper and his team of venture capitalists (VCs) were in. While everyone else was out, they bought in. It wasn’t the first time.
Tim has gone against the grain, against industry advice, and won time and time again. They could have lost everything, but seeing the bigger picture he stayed true to his beliefs.
Com Mirza, Mirza Holdings
Com Mirza saw a marketing opportunity: plenty of empty billboards throughout the city. So he made an offer of 10 cents on the dollar for his ads. He got it, so long as he forked over the hundreds of thousands of dollars up front.
He failed with eight straight companies, but his ninth is worth 9-figures now with 600 employees.
Where will your sacrifice lead?
Are you willing to sacrifice everything? Well, are you at least will to sacrifice something? If you are, then business success might be just around the corner for you.
Why don’t you take a look?