Q: I am a casual football fan and have never heard of Richard Sherman before last week. Now that is all I hear about! Turn down the volume. I think a guy like that is bad for the Seahawks, bad for the NFL, and bad for business.


A: I beg to differ.

I think every business needs a Richard Sherman.

But before I explain why, let me state that I too am a casual football fan, I’m writing this before the big game and so we don’t know who won yet, and I would prefer not to take sides so as to not alienate fans of either team. And with that public service announcement out of the way:

Go Seahawks!

But let’s get to the gist of the matter. To some people, Seattle Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman is everything that is wrong with sports today. To others, he simply took a page out of Muhammad Ali’s playbook. To me, he is the kind of guy I want on my team, and my team happens to be a business team.

When he was interviewed by Erin Andrews after Seattle’s win last week, did he sound like an obnoxious jerk, an egomaniacal blowhard, a passionate player, or a guy caught up in the moment?


He was all of that, and more. My kinda guy. Here’s why:

Passion: There may be all sorts of people on your team:

  • The competent doer
  • The quiet underachiever
  • The dude in it for the paycheck

And, if you are really lucky, you have someone in it for the right reasons. They get your vision for the business, they see how their career aligns with that, and they are in it to win it.

Just like Richard Sherman. You simply gotta love a teammate who is so passionate, so into it, so willing to lay it out there and go to the mat for the team.

Even if he is a loudmouth.

Publicity: This is something I am wont to say a lot, so I guess I will say it again: There is a ton of competition out there. You have people in your city, in your state, and indeed, around the world, not only wanting to take customers away from you, but actively vying to keep new customers from going to you.

So you have to give people a reason to remember your business. You have to be heard above the din of websites, blog posts, social media outrage, television, signs everywhere, and Google taking over the world.

It is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and while I bet Chris Christie begs to differ, the fact is, publicity is usually beneficial. Publicity gets you noticed. Publicity gets you remembered. Sort of like “I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me!”

Smart: Richard Sherman is crazy like a fox. I don’t know whether his rant was planned or not, but what I do know is that I would love to have a smart, passionate, talented, Stanford grad on my side of the ball.

Committed: Getting to the top of your profession is not easy, whatever your profession is. It takes talent of course, but also a lot more. There are plenty of talented guys not playing in the NFL. Malcolm Gladwell says it also takes commitment – 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill (and by that reasoning, I should just about be getting pretty good at this column writing stuff right about now.)So you need teammates who are both talented and committed.

The Right Stuff: Finally, succeeding takes the right attitude, a winning attitude, which seems to be a combination of positivity, emotional intelligence, smarts, and vision.

You can find all of that in a guy, like, well, Richard Sherman.

Today’s Tip: In this interconnected e-world, more people than ever are interested in creating a global business. One of the best ways to do that is by exporting. While exporting used to be the domain of huge multinational companies, today, thanks to the Net and new shipping and logistics solutions, anyone can export goods and services globally.

Want to know how? Then pick up a copy of Exporting, The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably, by Laurel Delaney. Delaney’s excellent book truly is the definitive guide. It easily and thoroughly explains everything you need to know. Steve says check it out.

For more great small business articles, check out TheSelfEmployed.com!