The other night I watched the NFL draft (something I never do) and was impressed by the production. But the highlights were seeing these young players excited as their names were called and chosen to a team to play in the NFL. I am new to football but there are only 32 teams and 53 players on each team. That means you only have 1 in 1,696 chances to make it to the NFL.
Each player that is waiting to be drafted is surrounded by family and friends hoping to hear their name. It is not guaranteed that they will be selected to play in the NFL. For the last 8-10 years of their lives, they have worked for this very moment. Fans, coaches, and family members were glued to the TV waiting to cheer on their player. Each time a player’s name was called the family and supporters would jump up in excitement and some would even start crying.
The one player that stood out to me the most was Takkarist McKinley from UCLA. He was selected to play for the Falcons. Now I’m a Falcons fan so I could be biased but his story was amazing. He walked on stage with a picture of his grandmother. On her death bed he told his grandmother he was going to the NFL and fulfill his dream and 30 seconds later she passed away. He walked on stage holding her picture and could hardly contain himself during his interview. I was trying to be hard but I did drop a few tears. He was so passionate and I was so happy to see his dreams realized.
As I watched his interview I started to think about our journey as entrepreneurs. Years and years we work hard to build our brands hoping to be ‘scouted’ out by clients and that perfect opportunity. It isn’t guaranteed and you have the battle scars to prove it but you hope and wish for your success. You watch everyone else’s name get called and you wonder when it will be your turn. You want to give up but there is just something inside of you that keeps you going. When that opportunity finally comes you look around and see who is cheering you on. You think about all the training, practices and relationships you have lost following your dreams.
The great thing about entrepreneurship is there are more than 1,696 opportunities to make it. Your destiny is not determined by who calls your name to be on their team. With hard work and determination, you can obtain success and build your own dream team. Entrepreneurship is not easy but just like these young men, it is our passion and commitment that will get us to our destiny.