Guess what? I run a company.
You may think my full-time job is “tennis player”. I’d argue my real full-time job is actually “company director.”
Being a pro athlete is not a one-man show. It’s an enterprise. You’re backed by a whole team of people working towards a goal: to ensure you’re at your best, so you can be the best.
Come game time, yes, it’s only your hand or your foot that scores the points, and so it’s only you who gets all the glory. But those winning points are really a culmination of the work of many people behind the scenes.
On my team, I’ve got two tennis coaches. A physical trainer. A mental coach. A physical therapist. A community manager. A graphic designer. A video editor. Writing coaches. An agent. An assistant. It’s truly like being the CEO of a small company—except it’s the employees who give the orders, set the goals, and review my performance. 😂
I think part of the reason I’m interested in corporate entrepreneurship is because I feel like I’m already doing it every day, both in the role of leader and team member.
On one hand, I’m a manager: overseeing budgets, helping set expectations for my team, checking in regularly, pushing them to do their best, encouraging engagement and creativity, working on my own HR skills to make sure everyone is happy at work…
On the other hand, I’m their employee: trusting their expertise, pursuing the goals they set for me, and following their instructions. (Yes, coach, I did the drills.)
It’s pretty satisfying: a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. My foot is on the gas, their hands are on the wheel. They nourish me, I nourish them.
And like any organization, we’ve got a company culture with our own set of values. (Though I’ve never explicitly defined them, I’d say they’re: good energy, active involvement, and directness.) I can instinctively feel when someone fits the culture: some might call it “assessing organizational fit”, but I just call it “feeling the vibe”. 🔥 And when someone new joins the team, I and the other people on my team help ‘onboard’ them—whether that’s setting up dinner, inviting them to a training session, or just getting to know them on video chat.
And as in any company, sometimes, there are tough discussions, but even those are enriching to me: I learn something every time.
Who knows—maybe my future is in the corporate world 😉
Until next time,