I like to skate into people. I play roller derby and my favourite position is jammer. It’s an exhilarating, fast-paced, full-contact, athletic sport on wheels. It’s also a lot like starting a business!
My team is Hell’s Wives in the Northland Nightmares club and the jammer position involves skating fast and hard, through the opposition to score points.
Like most skaters (or entrepreneurs), I watched others from the sideline for years – never considering myself to have the skills or confidence to do it. In my business, I got frustrated when I saw how things could be done better. Man, did I cuss and swear!”
I couldn’t understand why nobody saw what so obviously needed to be done!
I worked close to starting a business – as a business editor, but always feared that strapping on my big girl boots and joining in would get me smashed up!
There are times in business, and roller derby, I still ask myself “What the feck was I was thinking – signing up for this madness?”.
But you know what? Getting smashed up is bloody good fun and most of the time, I’m skating through the pack and scoring points.
Starting your own business is not for everyone! Roller derby is not for everyone!
You need a particular skill set for both. Mental endurance and self-belief by the bucketload, a good sense of humour, and a complete trust in your teammates.
So, I got to thinking about how roller derby has helped me prepare for business.
Be a roller derby, kick-ass entrepreneur!
1: Prepare for a tough game
Don’t expect it to be easy or have any sense of entitlement. Work hard and then, work smarter. Pick yourself up and keep trying!
2: Want mental endurance
How do you just get that? You start with a willingness to do anything you need to do in order to have it. That’s where! Then, you suck it up and get on with it.
3: Don’t lose speed
If you want to score points, don’t slow down as you approach the pack. Keep on skating and back yourself. You’ve got this!
4: Pass the star
If you’re all out of steam, delegate to a teamie.
5: No timewasting
Stop dilly-dallying behind the pack while the clock is running. Get out in front and grab those points when you’re on the track. You can rest on the bench.
6: Make every jam matter
Don’t just turn up in your business. Switch on! Make a commitment to be present with your clients, reminding them how you can score them points too.
7: Have a plan
Yes, have a darn good strategy but be prepared to ditch it for a better one if you get stuck.
8: Hug your opponents
Too many SMEs and sole traders are petty when it comes to chatting to or about the opposition. See if there are ways to work WITH them and strengthen the wider industry.
9: Have a strong defence
Companies get all sorts of insurance these days. Professional indemnity, public liability etc. But they fail to protect the foundation of their business – their brand. Having a media plan in place and securing a strong profile for your company in the media, strengthens your brand and can future-proof your place in the market.
10: Master your own protection
You wouldn’t dare jump into a full-contact sport without protective gear. So, don’t let your business face its challenges without protection. A media plan also protects you from anything that might threaten your brand – say, a disgruntled customer on social media who catches the attention of the local or national papers.
So, there you have it! Any tough sport is like running a business. But we do because we love it!
(By the way, on Saturday we traveled to Hamilton to play our first game of the season and scored a massive 246 – 149 win over our hosts. I just thought I’d share that!)
Contact Christine Allen for a free, initial consultation and see how you can smash your way into the limelight and protect your company’s reputation while scoring all the points!