The Superbowl, concussions and books about the grind

Hey folks, back for another solopreneur blog update. Hope your week went a little more energetic than mine.

Largely because Sunday night I stuffed my face while watching the Superbowl. 

Here’s what I thought about the game:

It was a very good and entertaining game, until the refs blew it by making that holding call against Philly near the end. Not only was it a bad call, but it took the ref in the back corner of the endzone an extra 5 seconds to even throw the flag.

And to have such a big game decided on a play like that felt crappy, but hey, I’m not really a fan of either team, so not going to lose sleep over it.

For the record, I also thought the halftime show was good – not great. The big floating stages were pretty cool, but otherwise there wasn’t much to it.

I think American football is an interesting topic these days. It’s been in the media a lot more recently, largely because of the debate around contact sports and the damage it can do to peoples brains.

There’s been an endless number of former NFL or college football players that have committed suicide, and even a 2015 movie starring Will Smith called Concussion.

I don’t think tackle football is bad in moderation – I played it for 3 years growing up, and I think it taught me a lot and has a lot of overlap with solopreneurship and building businesses (teamwork, hard work, and it’s a humbling experience to get your ass knocked to the ground a few times).

But the reality is, at least for now, it’s too entrenched in American life and makes too much money for it to go away.

The NFL, and even college/high school football, continue to be uber popular and generate so much money, that until attention fades, people will continue to play and support it. I don’t watch it much anymore, but it’s still fun to get together with friends once a year, stuff our faces and have a good time.

Anyway, back to business, or at least talking about business-related things. I recently re-read a great business memoir.

If you follow me on LinkedIn, you probably already know what book I’m talking about here, but it was a great re-read.

The book is called Grinding It Out, written by Ray Kroc – the man behind the fast food chain McDonalds.

They also made a movie about it called The Founder, but as is the case 99% of the time, the book is always better. And if you disagree, please respond with ONE good example of a movie that is actually better than the book.

Anyway, back to business.

There were a few big takeaways I had from reading the book:

First, Ray’s story about McDonalds doesn’t even start until he’s in his 50s. His 50s!!

Now I’m not saying we should all sit back and twiddle our thumbs until we’re that old (no offense to anyone in that age group…), but it’s almost a comforting takeaway to realize that a lot of successful solopreneurs really don’t “make it big” until later.

I think this was also the case for the founder of Costco, and maybe Starbucks too – but not all huge businesses are started by 19 year olds in their dorm room. In fact, that’s usually the minority.

Second, Ray got by on mostly hard work and perserverence.

Of course, this is a very common theme in successful solopreneurs, but he didn’t do much “rocket science” type of work, or any fancy maneuvers. And he admits to not being the smartest guy out there. He found a business that he believed in, set some core principles to follow, put in place an equation that worked, then worked like hell to build it, hire good people, expand, out-perform competition, etc.

It’s nothing any of us couldn’t do, if we tried as hard as he did. Which was very hard.

In summary, it wasn’t easy, but it was simple. That might sound contradictory, but it’s not. Something can be simple to do, but hard to execute – over and over, for days and months and years on end.

And of course, stressful too. But it just comes with the territory.

Reminds me a lot of Shoe Dog to be honest, another amazing read.

If you need a kick in the ass, or a taste of what real entrepreneurship tastes like, read both of those (Shoe Dog and Grinding It Out).

Have a great day, make sure to jump on my email list to get my best content right to your inbox, and keep grinding.

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