Jeremy Lin’s ‘Small Business Advice’

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It cannot be denied that a lot of hype has surrounded Jeremy Lin these past few weeks.  The 23-year old Asian-American went from an unknown benchwarmer to a player in the prestigious NBA Superstar Weekend.  His explosion of popularity led to the coining of the term, “Linsanity”.  Now, his Facebook fan page which he began only on February 20 has over 1.3 million subscribers and his Twitter page has over 600,000 followers.

Jeremy Lin serves as an inspiration to millions of people, from aspiring basketball players to even (yes, you heard it right) business owners.  Here are some wonderful lessons that small business owners can learn from the great Jeremy Lin:

 

Jeremy Lin’s ‘Small Business Advice’ image

Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images)

It pays to be hard-working and persistent

Jeremy Lin’s success did not come to him because he was blessed with all the necessary qualities of a star basketball player.  He currently stands at 6 foot 3 which is much shorter than the average basketball player and his lean frame is not as naturally powerful as those of other players in his team.

So how was he able to go from someone who was seen as a letdown by both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets to the player who led the Knicks to an amazing 7-win streak?  All his past coaches agree that even though Jeremy Lin started off as a relatively weak player, he was always exceptionally hard-working.  He cultivated his skills over the years by coming to trainings on time and working his ass off to correct his mistakes.

The same goes for businesses: There may be times when your ideas fail or you may not find immediate success.  But if you pick yourself up after failures and persistently work at correcting mistakes, then success is inevitable.

Seize opportunities when they arise

Lin did not get his big break for any other reason than that the Knicks had sustained a lot of injuries so they were short on players.  However, when he was sent to play, he did not buckle down under the pressure, he completely owned it.

In the business world, there will be times when a spectacular opportunity will arise that you may not have mentally prepared yourself for.  But seize the opportunity when it’s presented and make sure that you tackle that opportunity intelligently and with determination.

Play on your strengths

Jeremy Lin wasn’t known for being an exceptional player.  His coach, Keith Smart even said that before, Lin couldn’t shoot at all!  He trained religiously of course to become a better shooter, but for the most part, Lin’s strengths lay in his ability to pass the ball to people who were in better position.  This helped make the whole team play better as a whole.

Not everyone is built to be a business magnate.  There are people whose qualities are more suited for providing creativity, inspiration, guidance, or for executing projects.  Whichever strengths you may have, work them to your business’s advantage and learn to work well with your team.

Don’t overlook the talents of others

It cannot be denied that Jeremy Lin’s talent was often overshadowed for many years.  He was often seen as a weak player and was never given a lot of playing time.  And given his Asian background which is not known to be particularly suited to basketball, most coaches doubted him.  However, he continued to work hard at honing his skills until he became an amazing player who averaged 27.3 points per game in the first 4 that he played.  This was something that had never happened before since the NBA joined with the ABA in 1976.

In the work field, it’s easy to make assumptions about others simply because they don’t look as talented or stereotypically intelligent as what you were expecting.  However, take the time to really assess what a person can contribute to your team and take a gamble sometimes by giving someone responsibilities that will give them a chance to shine.  It would be a shame to let amazing talent slip by you.

Be humble about your successes

It’s a well known fact that before Lin became a basketball superstar, he was sleeping on his brother’s couch because he couldn’t afford his own place.  However, even with his newfound fame, he still has not gone all out and squandered his money MC Hammer-style.  He’s been said to have sub-leased an apartment of David Lee in Westchester and has maintained his squeaky clean image by managing to stay away from partying and girls.

Similarly, when your business has finally tasted success, try not to go overboard with spending your money.  Businesses have their ups and downs and you have to be prepared for when trouble comes.

In addition, Jeremy Lin continues to review clips of his mistakes to see what areas he can improve on.  Even when you’ve been successful so far in your own business, keep your eyes open for weaknesses and things you can improve on.

 

Related blog post:

Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks: Business Success
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Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks – The Asian American Effect
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