Anyone who follows football will know that the last few years have been a rollercoaster ride for the NFL. From domestic violence scandals to drug violations, social media controversies and a whole host of other issues, it’s fair to say that the league has struggled in recent years. It’s also fair to say that I am no longer playing professional football. Let me explain.
Football Career to Fintech Company Co-Founder-When I was growing up, my dream job was always professional athlete. I played college football for four years and took every opportunity I could find to improve my game. But as much as I loved playing, there was always something missing from my life: passion. Some might call it an “inner drive” or “adrenaline junkie side”; but whatever you call it, football doesn’t give you that feeling – at least not enough of it.
Football Career to Fintech Company Co-Founder-After spending all my time focusing on becoming a better footballer, I started questioning what else is out there in the world, what makes me happy and what would make me love going to work every day? That’s when I decided to stop playing…
Football is not my end game
I’ve played football all my life, so I understand it very well. The beautiful game brings people together and is a great source of entertainment, but what I love about it the most is how simple it is. While the game itself doesn’t need any bells and whistles, football is still a very complicated business.
This was something that really stuck out to me. In a world where people are so focused on technology, it shocked me to see that the NFL still uses paper to track stats. It’s something that every fan can relate to, nobody understands and is seemingly looked over by the powers that be.
Finding the problem you’re solving
As I was transitioning into the career of my dreams, I was able to put my past experiences to good use. I took a step back and realized that the NFL’s lack of technological advancement might be something that I’d be able to help with. This realization was the start of my entrepreneurial journey. I began asking myself, “What would I do if I were in charge of the NFL’s data and statistics?” I wanted to solve this problem, not only for the league itself, but for its stakeholders as well: players, fans and the media-Football Career to Fintech Company Co-Founder
Players are looking for a more data-driven approach to their game. Fans want to connect with the sport through statistics and data, not just stories written about teams. The media want to be able to track and report stats in a better way. And this is where the idea for STATS came from.
Finding your startup’s value proposition
Part of starting a company is choosing a name and getting a good logo, which is something that you’ll have to do no matter what industry you’re in. But what really matters is finding a way to quickly and succinctly tell people what you’re all about. If you ask someone what the NFL is, they’ll say it’s a sports league that is mainly focused on American football and is one of the biggest sports in the United States.
If you ask someone what your startup is all about, they need to be able to understand it from one sentence. This is where your value proposition comes into play. For example, at STATS, we want to become the official sports data company. We want to be the go-to source for sports data and statistics. This is how we would explain ourselves.
Is there a market for your idea?
While your idea might be great, it’s important to make sure that there’s a market for it. In other words, you need to make sure that there are customers out there that want what you’re selling. There are a few key metrics to watch out for when it comes to finding out if there is a market for your idea.
First, you’ll want to find out how many people are interested in the product or service that you’re selling. Second, you’ll want to find out how much they’re willing to pay for it. Third, you’ll want to find out how easily you can reach these people. If you can answer “yes” to all three of these questions, you’re on the right track.
The day you quit football (and started a company)
When I decided that I was going to quit football, I was actually pretty calm about it. My parents were worried about how I would make a living, but I was confident that I would be able to find something. I knew that I wasn’t ready to give up on my dreams just yet.
I thought about what I loved and what makes me happy and I realized that business was my true passion. I decided to take my life’s savings and start my own company. I quickly found a co-founder, got a great office space and started working on STATS full time. I have zero regrets and would recommend this path to anyone who has ever thought about starting their own company. It’s hard work, for sure, but it’s extremely rewarding.
Final words-Football Career to Fintech Company Co-Founder
If you’re reading this and dreaming of starting your own company one day, I want you to know that you can do it. Yes, it’s going to be tough and it’s probably going to be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done. But if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. You’ll find a way to make your dream a reality.