Whether you like football or not, you cannot escape how many similarities there are with the beautiful game and the struggles of business.
Supporting a team in the premier league or even championship is hard. We win games, we lose games. We are taken on an emotional roller coaster, our resolve and loyalty tested.
Our players can be team players or want the limelight themselves. The emotions and passion is real but sometimes it just doesn't go your way. The highs are really high and lows make you want to throw in the towel.
Let's take my team; Arsenal. We've had a bad run the last few years. We had problems within the team and problems within the coaching/managerial sectors. Much like my business, it wasn't going too great. I was struggling to get noticed, struggling to get orders, some days were great others were bad.
Then this season some magic started to happen. My business was getting noticed. I was getting lots of press attention, the Bar of Crisps was getting noticed, it was on TV. Likewise Arsenal were coming together, they were working hard, not giving up, showing solidarity, the manager was supportive, encouraging, relentless. The passion was crystal clear.
I felt that magic too. I felt like my hard work was paying off. Then around 8 weeks before the end of the season, I started to wain. My motivation was really low. Orders were slowing off. Arsenal started losing, we didint look together. The passion was still there but the belief was wavering. Same with me. I still had passion and determination but I felt like I was getting stopped at every stage. It became so hard to find the motivation to keep going. It was hard to believe what I was trying to do was even possible. I could see that in my team too. I think pressure has a lot to do with it. With a young team, the experience of dealing with immense pressure was absent. A certain team in light blue with solid experience behind them were hot on our tails. With me, the lack of experience of dealing with buyers, retailers, wholesalers was starting to test my resilience and determination. Its so easy to give it up. So easy to throw in the towel.
What I've come to realise is, it's down to strength. We need strength to survive life! We need strength to carry on each day when things are really tough. When you're losing, when people are against you, when people say you can't do it. You have to dig so deep to find that speck of belief and set fire to it again. How boring a story would it be to say 'yep, it was so easy I made it in 6 months'. For others to see your struggles, to see your fight is inspirational. This is why no matter what happens with Arsenal, no matter what happens with my business, we both tried. We tried everything. We gave our all. When people say Arsenal are rubbish, I question why? We are at the top of the table, we have fought and come a long way. Of course luck plays a part, it does with every success story. If we didn't win the league it would be heartbreaking but I'd still be proud of the boys. If the Bar of Crisps didn't make it where I want to get it, I'd be upset but I know I tried.