I was reading a paper recently and I saw that Owen Hargreaves was due to line out for Manchester City. It got me thinking, here was a guy whose career was written off due to the ravages of injury and who was only being considered for the lower leagues, most notably Leicester City.

What struck me was his determination, like all winners he had a self-belief coupled with steely determination. I distinctly remember Owen Hargreaves making a YouTube video of a personal trainer putting him through his paces. The video was an unusual one for a professional footballer to do. But by producing the YouTube video, he effectively removed all doubt that he was injury free, thus leading to his surprise move from Manchester United to Manchester City.

So what can we learn from this? Here is a great example of how rejection should be handled. Sir Alex Ferguson let him go and said he was not part of his plans. It’s a bit like being made redundant, someone decides your role in the company no longer exists and you are suddenly without a job. Does that mean that you are redundant or that the role is redundant? Owen Hargreaves pretty much answered Sir Alex by getting a contract with Man City, Utd’s greatest rivals.

Being made redundant and business failure is tough. There are many reasons why things don’t work out. Owen Hargreaves went out and proved his weakness (injury) was not as weak as Ferguson had surmised and that he did indeed have something to offer. It turns out he scored the winning goal.

Another person who had something to offer and who stood out from the crowd was “Jobless Paddy”. You may remember this guy who paid for a billboard and made it happen for himself by advertising himself for employment with what little money he had left. He found himself in the middle of a media storm, and also landed himself as job with Paddy Power, who admired his brave move. This is another great way of standing out from the crowd and getting people to take a chance on you. People love ingenuity.

A man who definitely got people’s attention is John Concannon of JFC. You may remember John from his role in “The Secret Millionaire” aired recently in RTE. I had the pleasure of meeting John several times and he likes to tell the story of how his Late Late break was the making of him.

John did not have a marketing person or PR expert to get him a job interview. By being determined, persistent and ingenious, he got his big break on the biggest gig on TV. He called into the studios in RTE repeatedly, six or seven times he recalls, each time leaving a bucket. He did not allow rejection to stop him. Eventually the buckets started to clutter the place and that staff at RTE realised he wasn`t going to give up, so he was given a one minute slot. That was the start of his success story.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen – Michael Jordan

The legendary Jordan himself was dropped from a team. He used that episode to drive him for the rest of his basketball career, probably one of the greatest careers in the history of the game. Every one of these examples is an ordinary person – who did something extra. This in turn made them extraordinary.

  • What will you do to achieve your goals?
  • What business would you like to start?
  • What is the job you want to get?

Are you extraordinary, do you need support realising your potential? If you want to follow through, contact William Corless on 086-6080194 or william@yellowwood.ie.

About the Author

William Corless is the Managing Director of YellowWood.ie. YellowWood aims to improve business performance and optimise individual potential through NLP, Coaching, Training and Business Solutions. For more information check out www.yellowwood.ie