I am big Roger Federer fan. I believe the 17-times grand slam champion is one of the iconic athletes of our generation and an example to follow off and on the court. I was obviously very happy when Roger defeated Andy Murray on Sunday’s Wimbledon final. However, despite the loss, it was Andy who captured the admiration and hearts of fans at delivering a very emotional speech at the end of the game.
For the ones of you who don’t follow tennis, Wimbledon is one of the four grand slams of the professional tennis circuit. For British players, Wimbledon has becomes a sort of a white whale since no local player has won the man singles finals since Fred Perry did it in 1936. In that sense, Andy Murray wasn’t just looking to win a grand slam title, he was chasing history.
Andy’s tearful speech wasn’t the expression of a great athlete that had just lost the biggest match of his career but reflected the character of a person and went all the way to try to give British fans one of the biggest moments in their lifetime. His admirable effort, passion, openness, transparency and obvious commitment to his fans have not only won Andy the love and respect and admiration of people all over the world but has increased the value of his brand!
How is this relevant to startups?
Well, as Andy Murray, some startups are chasing big dreams most of which are going to be unachievable. Remaining loyal to your principles, honest to your customers, transparent to your team and putting the best effort and sacrifice every day to move closer towards the dream will gain your company the admiration and respect of the people around you whether those are customers, employers, investors or the industry in general. If you are chasing the big dream, chances are that, like Andy Murray, you might end up in tears from time to time. However, as long as you remain honest to your values and principles, you will move on to your next challenge enjoying a bigger support and reputation than you ever had before.