NFL player Richard Sherman ruptured his Achilles at the age of 30. Most defensive backs don’t come back from that injury, especially at what is an advanced age for football.
Sherman has been a great player for years, though, so someone gave him a shot. He signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Prior to signing, Sherman had determined that he didn’t actually need an agent to negotiate his deal: he’d negotiate it himself, and keep the 1.5-3% fee that most players pay to agents out of their playing contracts.
Sherman negotiated an incentive-laden contract that had hefty commissions: the possibility of making 50% more money based on performance bonuses.
Many people said Sherman had negotiated a bad deal, that he was another example of why players NEED agents for their contracts.
The season came, and had now went.
Sherman played well. Very well, in fact.
I don’t even follow the NFL too closely, but the news even made it to me.
Sherman hit all of the performance bonuses in his self-negotiated contract, earning an additional $4 million for doing so.
As is the norm now for defiant success, Richard Sherman took a social media victory lap, relishing the chance to rub his success in the faces of the media people who said he’d done himself a disservice with the negotiation.
Richard Sherman had bet on himself, performed, and now he’s won. And you can do it too!, goes the story.
They’re not wrong. You can do it too.
Maybe you’ve already bet on yourself and won.
I’ve done it — hell, I’ve written books about it.
Here’s what no one talks about, though, in the midst of celebrating the winning bettor: a bunch of other people bet on themselves, too, and lost.
Richard Sherman isn’t the first player to negotiate his own contract, one that had a ton of performance incentives in it. He’s just the one who hit all of his incentives, thus he becomes the story.
The guys who hit none of their incentives? Those who ended up out of the league after an Achilles rupture and shoddy performance the following season?
They don’t get to take victory laps. We don’t hear their stores. For every one Richard Sherman, there are ten of those.
I’m not telling you this to discourage you from betting on yourself. You wouldn’t be reading this article if I hadn’t ever bet on myself.
I’m telling this to you because people often ask me for advice: is it smart for me to keep going after my dream, or am I a fool to keep going after it? How would I know?
Here’s the answer: you WON’T know.
Not until the story is over.
When you bet on yourself and lose, you’re discarded and forgotten and no one cares about how it happened.
When you bet on yourself and win, you’re Richard Sherman: everyone celebrates you and cite your story as the reason why they and others can do the same.
The ending of your story determines whether you’re a delusional fool or a visionary prophet.The ending of your story determines whether you’re a delusional fool or a visionary prophet. Click To Tweet
Consult the following MasterClasses on vision and how posterity will see your story:
#961: How To Maintain The Vision As A Leader
#954: How To Develop Tunnel-Vision-Level Focus
#927: Why Vision Is Greater Than Facts
#1211: The Difference Between Vision And Delusion: The End Of The Story
#861: Is Your Goal Worth The Effort?
#820: Be Greedy In Going After Your Goals
#784: Tension-Relieving Vs. Goal-Achieving
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