I started playing team-handball when I was 11 years old.
I played for Steaua, Bucharest.
A lot of people here in the US have no idea about this sport. It’s easily confused with the American handball (hitting the ball against the wall with your hands).
Team Handball is quite complex. To get a glimpse of it, here is a youtube video showcasing the best goals:
Anyhow, the point is that I’ve always been very interested in business, negotiation, new projects, etc and most importantly, winning.
I remember my real profitable business was at only 6 years old.
You see, my parents took me to practice karate, and took classes for about 2-3 months. Soon enough I realized that (for me) the moves and skills were not really helping me in a street fight (defend myself 🙂 ) situation. At only 6, I needed to be Bruce Lee, or so I thought. And the karate lessons were not offering those type of results I such a short period of time.
Now, without bragging, I do have a great visual memory. So I could remember and reproduce almost every lesson I attended.
And because the lessons were so expensive back then, it made me feel like I wasted my parent’s money.
So I decided to take as many kids I found in my neighborhood and convinced them to take karate lessons from me at a discount.
I set up classes after hours in the kindergarten yard which was open for us as a playground anyhow. I managed to make good money until my client’s (6-8 years old as well) parents found out where they were spending their money. After a chat with my parents, the business went bust.
For some of you, and especially for the youngsters now a day, it sounds unreal to have money at only 6. But back then, and in the eastern European culture, we were kinda independent at that age and yes, we had small allowances to buy a juice or a snack. Nowadays, that kind of freedom and independence does not exist anymore.
Although, my girls (one almost 6 years old and one nearly 7 years old) have their own money for the last two years and they buy their own toys. My girls earn money by doing chores, doing great in school and being an example all around.
They understand money, profits, loses and most importantly, the value of time. This is perhaps a blog for another time. About how to raise your kids for success.
I am as grateful for my athletic background, as I am also am for my young entrepreneurial experiences and opportunity.
Even after all these years, I think I still have the athletic skills.
Check this long basketball shot I scored out of two tries:
Moreover, I am continuously applying the skills and trades I’ve learned from all those years of being an athlete, a leader, a team player. I learned how to win and most importantly, how to lose. I learned that losing only makes me more focused and motivated. I worked harder and became better every day.
I am applying the same strategy in business. If I ever lose, I don’t waste any time crying about it. I am learning whatever there is to learn from my losses or mistakes, and I focus on getting better and go back to win my prize.
I also learned, that if you want something very much, you have to be laser-focused on the prise. There is no room for error.
I am as competitive in real life as I was in sports.
I figured that when others are looking to rest and take time off, I have an opportunity to get ahead. Train harder, work harder, learn more and practice more.
It works for me, and I am sure it can very well work for you in anything you put your mind to.
In many instances when I get in the competition mode, I really want to make sure that my opponent (company) stands no chance. I will think, watch and analyze every single angle.
It is really hard for anybody to compete with an obsessed company or person. Think about it.
You will have to have no rest or any other problems and definitely no days off to compete with me. And in that case, is only great for the market as the services or products will only become better and more advanced.
You hear people saying that competition is good. Competition is not good from the earnings perspective but, is great from a motivational standpoint.
You are much more likely to give your best if you have a competition breeding down your neck. Vs owning the market and have no reason to grow, change and improve.
Be competitive, be enthusiastic and be passionate every day.