ENTERPRISE54 – At the end, 36.77% of votes- a majority- cast were for Cristiano Ronaldo and so it was that he was crowned FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014.; an award for the best player on the planet. It will not surprise many from Madeira, Ronaldo’s hometown, that the former scrawny kid has conquered the world with
ENTERPRISE54 – At the end, 36.77% of votes- a majority- cast were for Cristiano Ronaldo and so it was that he was crowned FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014.; an award for the best player on the planet. It will not surprise many from Madeira, Ronaldo’s hometown, that the former scrawny kid has conquered the world with nothing but a ball. Why? Because he had always said he would do it.
Perhaps that is the first lesson that the Cristiano Ronaldo story teaches; self-motivation.
The Portuguese has pushed himself to limits to become the best and despite being often misconstrued as arrogance, Ronaldo’s never-ending quest to be better than before has, embedded in it, many lessons for everyone.
Specifically though, how can entrepreneurs learn from Ronaldo? Here are three vital lessons which lie beneath the perfectly gelled hair and countless endorsement deals.
Competition can make you better
For pretty much all of his career, Ronaldo has had Lionel Messi to contend with. At the height of his powers, Messi was, in many senses, untouchable and reachable. While reaching Messi’s level was in itself an incredibly difficult task, surpassing him was thought to be unthinkable. Yet, in typical defiance of obstacles, Ronaldo chased and finally caught up with Messi. Still, catching him was not enough as Ronaldo has now firmly established himself as the best player with back-to-back Ballon d’Or wins. Where many bowed at Messi’s majesty, Ronaldo improved his game and focused solely on being better than his greatest rival. In business, competition can do two things: stifle or motivate. Take a leaf from Ronaldo’s playbook and strive for the latter.
Cut out the bullsh*t
As a teenage prodigy under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Ronaldo was famous for his many tricks and flicks. Years later, after lots of refinement (mostly self-motivated), present-day Ronaldo hardly looks anything like the teenager who was more keen to beat a man than pass or score a goal. Simply put, Ronaldo cut out the bullsh*t and focused on what was more important. These days, he is likened to machine. A goal-scoring machine.
In the age of many start-ups where many founders tend to focus more energy on aesthetics and abstracts than on functionality and sustainability of their businesses, cutting out some of the bullsh*t won’t hurt anyone. Aesthetics are important, yes- just not as important as delivering the results and having a properly functioning business.
Attention to detail
A lot of people think Ronaldo is too much of a commercial entity. His every move is scripted, his media appearances are carefully regulated and sometimes it is frankly annoying. A prime example was the excessive celebration for a quite meaningless penalty in the final of the Champions League in May to put Real Madrid 4-1 up. In truth, those excesses were deliberate. Ronaldo was shooting a personal movie on himself and his life. The celebration was, much like everything else in Ronaldo’s life, pre-planned. There has also been lots of talk about how the Portuguese spends lots of time in front of a mirror minutes before a game to put every strand of hair in place. A tad annoying? Likely.
Still, many entrepreneurs will do well to pay such keen attention to every detail of their businesses. Attention to detail keeps the vision clear and in focus. Long and short term reports on business to track progress, monitor traction as well as identify lapses all make tiny details that wholesomely make for a successful business.
Forget what the media says about him being a difficult prima donna, Ronaldo’s drive and ambition are commendable and even though the idea of a grown man spending so much in front of a mirror tends to rub off most people wrongly, the lessons that the Cristiano Ronaldo story can teach entrepreneurs do not.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Yomi Kazeem. Yomi is the Creative Director at Elev8 Sports Entertainment- a sports media and marketing consultancy in Nigeria. Connect with him on Twitter: @TheYomiKazeem