In my work with Beyond The Game, I spend time with over 30 former professional athletes, mostly guys that played in the NFL. Nearly a million high school kids play football every year in America, but only 300 new players get drafted each April. It takes a certain mindset to beat the odds and make that cut. The athletes that make it to the top of their sport have an attitude of never letting anything stop them. They work hard and have crazy focus. They keep a positive attitude when things don’t break their way, and they have an undying belief in themselves. It is amazing to be around such a driven group of people.

There is another type of person that needs these same qualities to succeed, and now I’m talking to you startup founders. Millions of new business start annually in America, and over 90% of these will fail in the early years. If you want to beat the odds and build a successful company, then you need the same qualities that allows an aspiring high school kid to reach the NFL.

Throughout my career, I had built multiple successful businesses within large investment banks and at a boutique shop, and I had modest success as the second founder at Aquina Health. When I started Sportal as a solo founder, I was driven to prove I could build something on my own. This time I wanted to take something I had a ton of passion for and do it my way. I pushed through a ton of obstacles, pivoted the business twice, and worked myself to the bone.

While that business didn’t work out the way I hoped, I met my co-founders from Beyond The Game through my work with Sportal, and I couldn’t be happier with how I spend my time now. So find something you have passion about, and bring grit, determination, positivity, and more of those great athlete mindset qualities to your work every day.

Thanks for reading today’s Founder Coach post, I hope you enjoyed it.

Advice for startup founders on strategy, growth, and capital raising. #FounderCoach