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Give your message momentum.

When it feels you are walking alone after defeat.

As many people know, I’m a Liverpool fan. Unfortunately, this week I’m getting used to our first loss in 2022 to the second most successful club in England, and ouch, it hurts. The inevitable rollercoaster of Tweets gathers momentum of how players, manager, recruiters and owners can do better.
Feeling sorry for the leadership at Liverpool I leave Twitter to return to my (much simpler) life away from the crescendo of public opinion. Experiencing defeat reminds me of the importance of celebrating wins. I’m also reminded of the fact that I don’t celebrate wins nearly enough and that, throughout my life as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned more in defeat than at times when I thought I was winning.

One way to avoid the peaks and troughs of entrepreneurship is to live life in neutral. You know, maintain a level of balance and not celebrate too hard or get too down. There’s nothing worse than a football fan calling for the removal of owners, only to go quiet when a) they get a new signing and b) they win a game! For me though, not celebrating in the moment robs my joy and getting too down robs my perspective.

I remember losing a ‘video pitch’ many years ago and it frustrated me as we could clearly deliver a superior product and experience. When I asked for feedback on why we missed out we were told that although we were exceptional, the way the ‘other’ agency pitched themselves piqued their interest. Now I could go into a thousand reasons why that decision was blinded by tech, but in fact, we learned from it and it changed the way we pitched! From that day on we moved all our proposals from .pdf’s to online software and brought our pitching up a notch. What’s more, the end product that the ‘winner’ delivered didn’t match the wow factor of their pitch and we were invited back to do the job with the right level of investment. One loss became two wins: our new approach to delivering proposals and being invited back to ‘show’ what we knew we could do.

Here are a few things that I’ve learnt about the ups and downs of a high pressured life, as a football manager (did that too for a local league), and as an entrepreneur.

Perspective is everything

Not winning and being perfect can paralyse progress. If you didn’t win, what can you learn? What actually went well, and where could you improve? And if you did win, what did you do well, and what could you improve? It still rings true. Keep your feet on the ground because even though the battle may be won, the war is ongoing. When building for the long term, progress trumps perfection. Learn to enjoy the moment but don’t get caught in it so long that you lose momentum.

Celebrate winning

Winning uncovers jealousy, so watch for those who don’t clap when you’re winning. When I took risks and didn’t sell and didn’t make a lot, it hurt me and my family and it affected my ability to make good choices. Then, when I started hitting it and all my hard work started paying off, certain voices started to get vocal. It was the people who had not been prepared to take risks themselves and they were angry with me that I had! Well guess what? It doesn’t matter, time tells. So, as my coach keeps drumming into me, celebrate the wins, and don’t worry about those that are trapped in the crab bucket, they’ll become someone else’s dinner.

Learn from losses

It hurts, but learn from it. Time is a healer, but only if we learn from the circumstance. There are many ways to deal with defeat but talking it out or writing it out allows us to process our thoughts, feelings and actions. They key is to keep our sense of identity. We have to take responsibility for our part in the loss and make adjustments. Be radically honest with yourself, and graceful to others. Remember, you might lose the moment or the contract, but don’t cut yourself off from the conversation, stay connected. Unless of course the loss is damaging to your reputation, your family and your future choices. Then, RUN, far away!

Know your team

Your team are the people that share your values but not always your perspective. That is healthy. You don’t want echo chambers and some of the worlds worst abuse cases resound with the voices of ‘yes’ men and women. We share a common goal of wanting to win and being consistent really does help. Consistency comes from a value led approach. If you find your values compromised then make a promise to yourself and move on. Clare and myself have had to make some big calls in that area, and the best thing we ever did was reflect on them and make decisions based on values. Values make you valuable. If anyone tries to buy your silence that is too high a price to pay. For us, peace is a priceless gift and my team help me to keep it. Together we make decisions that don’t compromise our values. Those are the kind of people you want and need in your life. Invest in them and it will always yield a significant return.

Haters hate

In any sport, there will always be haters, end of. Hurt people hurt people. Taking time to heal is so important as if you don’t, you’ll always end up playing the victim, not the victor. You need to process defeat, and if you have been wrongly accused, spoken ill of, or done badly by, you have to make a choice to adapt and see it as an opportunity to be better. Haters hate, they will do anything to see people fail backwards, not forwards. It makes them feel better about their lives. Regardless of the haters, recognise opportunities to resolve what you really want, continue to enforce your values and transform the test into a testimony.

You don’t have to walk alone

There is a time that you will feel alone, but there’ll always be more people for you than against you. You just need to let a few people in. Thankfully, I also believe in God, who gives me the help I need through what I read. Facing life alone as an entrepreneur is hard, it’s easier when done with others. So, whatever you are going through right now, pick up a phone, send a text, a message, even a letter… reach out and know that the situation you find yourself in is subject to change.

Today, I’m thinking that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and I am sure as I get on with my life as an entrepreneur, Liverpool will get on with theirs. There will be some inquiry and changes will be made, but one thing is for sure, valuable judgments will only be made at the end of the season because then you’ll have the real data to make informed decisions.

I don’t walk alone and neither should you. DM me today and I’ll see how we can help you through!


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If you have a business based in the South West, making connections is about to get a whole lot easier with the arrival of Introbiz Bristol this October.

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