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May 24th
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What entrepreneurs can learn from Tim Tebow

aroraRohit091311_optBY ROHIT ARORA

Tim Tebow-mania has gripped the country, and whether or not he wins the Super Bowl, he has already proven that he is a winner. The Denver Broncos quarterback has been called a role model for young players and sports fans. He certainly is a great role model for small business owners. Famous for his religious beliefs, Tebow inspires through Faith, Hope, Love, and Charity, as well as by showing some Muscle and demonstrating Optimism in the face of adversity. These are qualities that are important for any entrepreneur.

Faith - Tebow's prayer pose has inspired tons of imitators and an equal amount of ridicule. He encounters mocking, disbelief, and competitors wishing for him to fail; many entrepreneurs can relate to this. However, the adversity doesn't seem to impact his performance. Entrepreneurs, who frequently encounter disbelievers among friends and, unfortunately, from potential funders, can appreciate Tebow's faith in his abilities. "Tebow's play - particularly when the game is on the line - has quickly built trust among his teammates. They have faith in him as a leader, which is an important part of success in football or any other sport," said Jed Hughes, Vice Chair and Global Sports Practice leader for executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry and a veteran football coach who served under five Hall of Fame head coaches.

Hope - As a devout Christian, Tebow hopes for a greater reward at the end of his days. Successful entrepreneurs also do the best they can on a day-to-day basis and hope their efforts will be rewarded in the end. Barry O'Donovan, owner of Kilkenny House in Cranford, NJ, had many down days in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The storm flooded his basement with 12 feet of water and ruined his hardwood floors in the main dining room. While the challenges were great, he never lost hope that he could reopen in six weeks. Each day lost during the busy fall season, meant thousands in lost revenue. "I rode my contractors hard and paid them cash up front to get the job done in amazing time," O'Donovan said.

Love - Tim Tebow clearly loves the game of football. He loves being on the field and competing. For an entrepreneur to be successful, he has to love what he is doing. Dr. Michael Jackson, a Brooklyn-based dermatologist, delegates aspects of his business operation, such as securing capital and refinancing high cost capital, so he can focus more on what he loves most: taking care of patients.

Charity - The Tim Tebow Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children in Florida and internationally, reported this week that the charity will raise more than enough money to meet its $2.5 million annual budget by its June 30 fiscal year end. Countless small business owners can attest to "doing well by doing good." Shaun Clancy of Foley's NY Pub & Restaurant attributes much of his successful 2011 to giving back to the community. The pub owner has held fundraisers to benefit Tuscaloosa tornado relief with New York Yankees pitcher David Robertson, 9/11 rescue worker health care with former Giants star George Martin, prostate cancer awareness, juvenile diabetes, and other causes. "Supporting charity builds good will with customers, and it's the right thing to do," Clancy says.


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