I did some travel for work this week. On behalf of Nashville FC, my partner Chris Redhage and I went out to San Jose for the MLS All Star Game and met up with all the owners of the teams in the USL. It was a great learning experience and a great time. The MLS and USL are both first class organizations.
I’m learning that the soccer industry is one of the healthiest industries in the world, and I don’t mean financially. I mean in terms of culture. This is an industry of good people, working together (even across franchises) toward a common vision: Making the United States a great country for Soccer.
Reflecting on this trip made me think about the power of being the underdog and dreaming big. Soccer is one of the few things globally where the US is truly an underdog. Germany, France, Spain, Brazil and a host of other countries are all significantly ahead of the US in terms of soccer.
It’s one thing to want something that no one else has ever done, that’s called pioneering. Like when JFK declared that our county would land a man on the moon. But what is more common and likely more applicable for most of us is that our desires can be proven achievable with real world examples. Like the dream of the US Men’s team winning a World Cup.
The great stories of triumph and achievement in history typically involve individuals and teams who embraced the fact that they were underdogs, and dreamed big. Consistently.
This recipe is infectious. It attracts people to want us to succeed. It gives us the confidence to perform at our best. It turns every victory into proof that our dream is not just a dream, but is destiny.
Embracing our underdog status makes the setbacks we encounter just a part of our story, something we expect and are un-phased by. Dreaming big makes the goal we desire worthy of the kind of focus and dedication an underdog needs to be successful.
But unless we do these things consistently, a big dream can crush an underdog.
We cannot waiver in our belief of our destiny. We must be consistent in it.
Fans of the US Men’s National Soccer Team faithfully watch year after year, singing in unison “I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!”
After spending this week with my new colleagues across the soccer industry, I am sure that one day… We will win.
What’s your big dream? Whatever it is, believe that you will achieve it. Everyday.
To the underdogs with big dreams… On the Grind.