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Back in the “dot com” days, I was US employee #3 at a small startup. We were one of the successful few, because our founders actually built a product before starting the company.
We opened our office at a complex in Scotts Valley, CA (near Santa Cruz), with an onsite gym where there was a futsal league.
Futsal is soccer played within the boundaries of a basketball court. A special ball is used that does not bounce.
The sport fit my skill set, except for one thing. I was about 15 years older than everyone in the league.
So coming in, I don’t think the others expected much from me.
One of my first games, I made a memorable impression.
With the score tied against the best team in the league, and less than a minute left I pulled off an almost silly but miraculous goal.
With the goalie coming right at me, and a defender on either side, I pumped faked a shot with my right foot. Instead of striking the ball, I put my foot on top of it, and rolled it to my left foot.
Normally, I would then plant my right foot and shoot with my left, but there was no time to get the right foot back on the ground.
So, with my right foot still airborne I leaped with my left foot, and used my toe to flick the ball with all my might towards a tiny space I thought I could get past the oncoming goalie.
Miraculously it worked. And we won.
I turned to our captain Paolo, probably the guy I was looking to impress the most, and he gave me a ” that was crazy” eye roll and then a hard friendly shove.
He was a great player and he was impressed. Turns out he was also a spy.
As I got to know everyone in my new environment, Paolo’s story was the most interesting.
Apparently, I was a little naive about how companies work in Silicon Valley.
Paolo worked for an information security company that sold their services to other businesses. His role?
He set up fictitious businesses, in order to have his real company’s competitors demo their products for him. He learned their tech specs, what their sales pitches were, how they sold against his company and so forth.
I remember saying I didn’t realize companies actually did this.
Turns out they do.
That is why I love online entrepreneurship. Those who might be competition in the real world are most likely potential partners for you in the digital business world. There are no need for spies (as cool as that may sound).
You can meet those types through collaboration. Leap. Love. Grow.
Ray Brehm
P.S. This week we are opening up our author collaboration for COACHING INC, an anthology book about the tips and habits of of coaches. If you want to find out more about joining as an author, and the investment, check it out here: https∶//co-author.me (https://email.e.berserkermail.com/c/eJxFzstugzAQQNGvsXdFnjH4sfAiVZQ2f4C6QX4MAQUwMq6q5Oubrird9dVJbsQxtchnhwJRAGiwACCbLhAYSV3U2gZhPWsFNYHKQeVOZfXz0sS88slJUGY0HrHDLgSrlAnJa6tIWG0SWr64qdb9YPLE8PIq5jf_XadcmpWYvAzDno-5znkbBibPgtPf_NMfk7P24xrw3N8esv9JJ8jq673nMW_Vx3pNTkEbQlKkILVAMiWInUBjeHHFP8KSb9jk8f4020v_9Pv8D_8F2j5M9A) Copyright © 2021 Ray Brehm. All Rights Reserved. No part of this
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