Sometimes, in the pursuit of our BIG dreams—or what I love to call, ridiculously impossible dreams—we often look to others to endorse our dreams. The end result of seeking those endorsements usually come in the form of: “Who do you think you are?” “This has never been done before.” “You’re delusional.” “No one will take you seriously.” “Are you kidding me?”
Do not feel badly when people who only dream inconsequential dreams frown at you when you talk about your BIG dreams. BIG dreams intimidate small-minded people. And the reason for that, is, your dreams serve as a mirror that remind them about their lack of intestinal fortitude and executional prowess.
But it does not stop there. Your BIG dreams are also viewed as a threat to other dreamers. But these are not your average dreamers. These dreamers made it to the top of their industries. They are the major brands and influencers. These dreamers set the industry trends and are the model of innovation. Everyone worships at their feet by opening their wallets and purses.
Here’s the context of where I am headed. Lavar Ball, father of three sons who are basketball phenoms, was recently rejected by Nike, Adidas and Under Amour, as it relates to landing a shoe deal for his eldest son who is expected to be a top-five pick in the National Basketball Association (NBA) upcoming draft. For those of you who follow professional sports, you understand that this is a big deal in that it is unprecedented for a high lottery draft pick not to enter his rookie season without a multimillion-dollar offer or deal from a major sporting apparel and shoe company.
Do not downplay your ability to achieve the impossible.
The reason Nike, Adidas and Under Amour do not plan to sign Lonzo Ball to a lucrative shoe deal (at least, not immediately) centers on the following. First, these companies do not want to license the Ball’s family Big Baller Brand because they are unsure of the unintended consequences of such an approach. Co-branding with a signee’s company would be an unprecedented move in the history of sports since there has never been an athlete who had just turned pro who came to the negotiating table with his own brand—not even the GOAT, Michael Jordan. FYI, the Jordan Brand was later created by Nike and belongs to Nike.
Secondly, Lavar Ball’s epoch-making and pioneering step to partner with either Nike, Adidas or Under Amour under the family’s Big Baller Brand, meant that the company that signed, would not only be splitting profits, but would also be setting a precedent that could later undermine their long-term value and profitability.
In those companies’ minds, if they licensed the Big Baller Brand, what would stop other upcoming athletes from creating their own brands and doing the same thing. So, from a business perspective, it made perfect sense for the big three not to open pandora’s box. I guess they thought it would be unwise to feed and nurture an upstart brand that could later turn out to be a major competitor.
Here’s the takeaway. When you are a pioneer and trailblazer, do not expect the masses to cheer for you. And in this context, the sporting apparel giants have no interest in rooting for an underdog, the Big Baller Brand, whom they believe could one day grow into a dominant alpha. But, from what I have learned about Mr. Ball, he will eventually get one of two things. He will either convince a major apparel brand or investment group to be a co-partner with his family’s company, or he will venture on his own, as he is accustomed to, and set the world on fire by launching the Big Baller Brand Z01s (a name I made up).
I hope Mr. Ball does the latter simply because he had the audacity to dream a ridiculously impossible dream. It’s his pie in the sky and he does not need anyone’s endorsement. Keep in mind that executives in the taxi and hotel industry also dismissed Uber and Airbnb, which are presently worth a collective $90 billon. So, do not discount what the Big Baller Brand could potentially become. And most importantly, do not downplay your ability to achieve the impossible.
Photo Credit: -http://technology.inquirer.net/files/2016/12/Pie-in-Space-1024×767.jpg-