In high school, my best friend was on the wrestling team. He would burn mix CD’s and listen to them before every match. The first song on each CD was not a song at all. Instead, it was a 4.5minute movie sound bite of Al Pacino’s infamous Inches Speech from Any Given Sunday. If you haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to give it a quick watch before you read on.
I always thought it was odd that my friend would listen to a football coach before competing in a wrestling match. Recently, I was going through some old CDs(to throw them away of course!) and I came across one of his old mix tapes. Again, I listened to Pacino’s speech and it finally clicked.
Pacino says “the inches we need are all around us.” I would like to put this into perspective for you– an entrepreneur.
The game of football is restricted to 100 yards (3,600inches) between goal posts. Conversely, the game of entrepreneurship has a limitless playing field (see SpaceX). The uncontrollable factor in entrepreneurship is time. There are 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86400 seconds in a day. Minutes are the entrepreneurs “inches.”
We entrepreneurs love actionable advice– here’s how you use “inches” to win:
1. Pick one goal
My goal right now is to find the right investor for RoverTown. After I achieve this, I will create a new goal. What is your goal? Write it down and put it on your wall.
2. Recognize the opportunity
There are 1,440 “inches” in a day and you can grab every last one. Your goal is the first thing you think about when you wake up, your last thought before falling asleep, and the subject of your dreams.
3. Make it happen
No excuses. Grab every “inch” you possibly can. If you let an inch pass you by you might notice an unsettling feeling. Do you feel that? That’s your competition ripping that inch out from under you. They are relentless.
As in football, an entrepreneur can both gain and loose inches. It’s perfectly acceptable to loose inches. Just understand, if you don’t make up for that loss, your competitors will.
“when we add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the difference between winning and losing.”
– Al Pacino, Any given Sunday