Last week I was at the Chicago Bears/49ers game at Candlestick Park. I had a pre-game field pass for this particular game and it gave me an entirely different vantage point from which to look at the fans in the stands.
It started me thinking about what makes sports fans all over the country holler till they’re hoarse, paint their faces in an array of colors, sit in snow and rain for hours to watch games, spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars for tickets, and anxiously hold out footballs, jerseys, and other paraphernalia to be signed by their favorite players.
I also thought about what has made me a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan and the reason I have no less than 10 Cowboys t-shirts, plus jerseys, jamies, sweatshirts, ticket stubs, signed hats from training camps, and even earrings.
Ponder how the following sports fan traits relate to your business success:
1. Loyalty to a group – People have the need to feel like they belong. They need connectivity. Fair weather fans come and go but loyal fans attend games, buy season tickets, purchase apparel, and follow the team on television and on the Internet. They’re proactive in supporting their team.
Think about what loyalty means to you in your business. Are you loyal to your vendors, your clients, and your networking circle? In balancing work and play, are you a loyal friend? A loyal spouse? Are you loyal to your own journey of success?
2. Observing Examples of Excellence – I believe another reason we see fanatical fans is that they realize in a deep way, the effort, guts, determination and sheer hard work it takes to play and excel in their sport. It’s not all glitz and glitter; there’s constant preparation, both mental and physical; it’s moving beyond average into greatness with every single decision.
Think about examples of excellence you’ve observed from people in your own sphere of business and personal relationships. Who has spurred you onward to your own pursuit of greatness? Who has inspired you to move past your challenges and to not allow them to penalize your own determination? Have you thanked them lately for being part of your team?
3. Because of the “great ones” who have gone before – When I think of great ones, I tend to think of the legendary coaches of times past like Tom Landry, George Halas, and Vince Lombardi. Of course, there are players who will forever be etched in my memory for their consistent excellence on the field; players like Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice.
Think about the great business and entrepreneurial mentors of times past as well as current ones. Who can you “adopt” as a personal mentor, whether through books, DVD’s, e-newsletters, or seminars? Whose example can you follow to take your own business success to the next level? Who can YOU be an example to?