No fear and play with freedom

No fear and play with freedom
Something happened last week during the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge that I think should be a massive inspiration to all of us in business.

I’m talking about the amazing performance by Australia’s 19-year-old rookie Ashton Agar, last Thursday when he defied the odds to come in to bat as last man, save his team and make a stunning 98 runs in his Test debut.

When Agar took to the crease, the Aussies were a whopping 98 runs behind England. By the time he left the field they led by 65. He became the highest scoring number 11 batsman in Test history.

So what gives?

What gave this young guy, the ‘cojones’ to stand up to an England side that had skittled out the rest of his senior colleagues for just 117?

Well, according to his father’s post-match interview, it was all down to two things: fearlessness and dedication to playing the game his way.

John Agar told reporters about his son’s motto: “No fear and play with freedom, if the ball is kept up, I don’t see why I don’t hit it”.

What a great example for all entrepreneurs.

I mean, how easy would it have been for a young guy to go out there and concentrate on not failing instead of succeeding (There’s a big difference, by the way!)?

If he’d listened to the know-nothing armchair pundits who said a teenage number 11 had no chance against the rampant England attack, would the outcome have been the same?

Not a chance.

Instead he was brave; he weighed up the risks and traded the possibility of failure in exchange for a shot at glory. And boy did it pay off!

He played with an unshakeable confidence in his own talent and vision and he got his reward – a place in cricketing history.

They say fortune favours the brave (trite but true!) and it’s definitely the case in business. It’s the guys and gals with the brass balls, the ones who do things their way, who succeed. In contrast, the ‘play it safe’ merchants sit by and miss opportunity after opportunity. Their lives – and lifestyles – compromised.

Of course, not everything you try will come off, and we are not endorsing cavalier risk-taking either. Betting the farm is rarely a smart strategy but this in itself is a massive part of what sets the super-successful apart. After all, what did Agar do when he was caught out just two runs short of an even more remarkable century? He gave a shrug and smiled. He knows he’ll be back.

Some business owners wait a lifetime for opportunity to come along. When it does, you can either have “no fear and play with freedom” or you can check your balls at the door…

Great to watch such a momentous achievement, but even better that England came out victorious in the end!!

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