What Jerome Bettis’ Hall of Fame Speech Taught Me About Business

I’ve always been one to thoroughly think through advice – whether it be life or business advice – to understand it at different levels, and I try to find meaning in indirect messages as well.  I think most people do this to some level.  Being a small business owner, I’m always looking for an inspirational saying, a check list, something that makes me feel I’m on the right path – and I found that last night watching Jerome Bettis in his Hall of Fame speech on August 8th, 2015.

My wife, Ashley, is a Steelers fanatic – I’m not sure there is much that makes her happier.  She reads and listens to anything about the Steelers all throughout the year, knows all kinds of stats, follows teammates on Twitter, and does anything to stay up to date with the team.  We go to a game every year, and I’m sure she would do anything to be able to go more often.  When we think in a fantasy world where we win the lotto or PCH, part of our master plan is to attend all of the Steelers games – in a box, of course.  We play Publishers Clearing House every week online and off, so we hope for the odds to play in our favor =)

Jerome Bettis played for the Steelers from 1996 – 2005.  Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, with plenty of support from a close family, he advanced from playing football outside with his childhood friends, to playing in college, and getting drafted to the Rams, playing for a short period before completing his career with the Steelers.  He’s learned a lot, played a fierce game, and to top it off, has some entrepreneurism, having his restaurant, the Jerome Bettis Grille 36.  In his speech last night, he had some words of widsom, or should I say greatness.  He said…

Greatness is not a sports term – it’s a life term.  There are 4 things to get you to greatness.

  1. Sacrifice – you may have to sacrifice relationships of those who are close to you
  2. Pain – physical or mental, you need to find a way to endure
  3. Failure – Understand that you’re going to fail, but it’s how you recover that matters
  4. Love – If you love it, it’s not a job, it’s a passion…you’re willing to sacrifice for it, go through all types of pain for it, and are willing to go through that failure and understand you’re going to be successful

If you can understand and handle those, success is in your path and greatness is available to you.

I find these words very inspiring and feel this can be helpful for those small business owners who need inspiration, or a checklist to help them know they are on the right track.