Many of us must watch with interest and sometimes bewilderment how some of the greatest sportsmen and women can still be playing and putting their bodies through some punishing regimes of work in their late 30’s (age of retirement for top sports people). The same for Warren Buffett at 89 years of age with assets worth more than $86 billion as at March 2020. Most of us might have been tempted to relax and just enjoy the fruits of our labour, but not the people chasing their own legacies. And if you are living your dream, then there is no point in stopping, you are not working, you are living.
The tennis champions
Serena Williams, the tennis player, at the recent Auckland WTA finals on the 12th January 2020 showed the essence of following our dream. She chased every shot like it was her first win, not her 73rd trophy. This meant a lot to her because it was her first trophy in 3 years, having lost no less than 3 grand slam finals in 3 years. For most players, it may have been the signal to pack things off and move into retirement to enjoy some of her $180m earnings. At 38 and the second most successful female tennis player of all times, no one would begrudge her if she decides to go into retirement, but no ma’am, she played with a lot of hunger to win the 73rd title of a glorious career.
It came a massive surprise when I realised that Serena was paid a measly $45,000 for the win in Auckland. A small change compared to the millions of dollars paid to them for playing in the grand slams or sponsorships, but she probably used the tournament as a practice session to get into shape for the Australian Open which she again lost this time before she got to the finals. A big shout-out to Roger Federer as well who at 39 is still enjoying his tennis. Both of these champions have reasons to get up in the morning. The road to the top is lonely and full of challenges.
Great entrepreneurs are like great sportsmen and women, they must keep working hard and focus on a legacy bigger than them. Do you have the same reason to get up every morning and look forward to a wonderful day at work?. Would you have been happy to get up in the morning if money was no issue?. It is especially important during very challenging times like the current pandemic to find our illusive passion and pursue it with vigour.
How can you find that ‘sweet spot’ that will allow you to continue to be motivated, that will get you fired up every morning come rain or sunshine.
The current lockdown is an opportunity to recalibrate and rethink our future plans. We must keep positive and keep planning ahead. Tough times don’t last, so keep preparing for the good times, they are surely around the corner. A lot of lessons from this pandemic.