Football players might have a flair for the melodramatic, but there’s nothing wrong with the game itself. We’ve unpacked five unexpected life lessons from the beautiful game, and show you how they’ll help you as a contractor.
A football player can easily run up to 10 kilometres in a single game, sprint for up to 1200 metres and accelerate between 40 and 70 times in a game, often changing direction every five or 10 seconds. Managing your own business or contracts can be just as taxing. Sometimes slower than you’d like, sometimes manic, and sometimes leaving you breathless and wishing someone would blow a whistle and let you sit down for a while. To be a successful contractor, you need to be mentally strong, make quick decisions and have the stamina required to work hard and keep working hard until you reach your goals.
When you take a tumble, don’t make it worse than it is
In business – just like on the football field – things don’t always go your way; sometimes you trip up, even through no fault of your own. But crying about it isn’t going to get you any prizes, so don’t wallow in your misery or complain unnecessarily. Get up and keep moving towards your goals.
Look the part
Have you noticed how many girls are interested in football these days? Noticed how handsome and well groomed most of the football players are? Coincidence? We think not. People are simply more drawn to people who look sharp. Whether you’re an IT professional, plumber or graphic designer, dress like you’re the absolute best in the business and notice how people start treating you as if you are. A modern haircut, quality clothes (clean and ironed) that fit you properly and a confident demeanour can go a long way to getting people to remember your name and want to do business with you.
When in doubt, use your head
Have you ever watched a game where there are only a few minutes left and your team is flailing, when suddenly, from out of nowhere, someone jumps up and smashes the ball with their head and it flies through the air and straight into the net? Contracting can be like that. If you’re stuck, bored, or struggling to find good contracts and you’re ready to give up, use your head. Brainstorm ideas, come up with a solution to your problem and then implement it, with your end goal in mind.
You’re only as good as the rest of your team
No football player can win a game alone, no matter how many people they bite. Surround yourself with positive, hard-working people who understand your business and want to see you win. This includes your clients, suppliers, agencies, umbrella company, accountant, and even the guy who prints your business cards. Make sure you trust and can communicate effectively with every single person who becomes involved in your business. It’s also a good idea to network within your industry and build up a solid base of people you can call on when you need support.