People love to hate Tom Brady. He ranks number five on the list of “Most Hated NFL Players of All Time.” I used to hate him too. Most people would say they hate him because of the “Deflategate” scandal, where Brady was caught using underinflated footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game. If we’re honest, NFL fans know there is something more subtle going on.
Why People Hate Tom Brady
Now, I’m not about to say that all NFL fans are a bunch of haters. That’s an oversimplification. Some people may be able to make a legitimate case about Deflategate, but the truth is that Tom Brady played better when he used the properly inflated balls. I also don’t buy that people don’t want Tom Brady to succeed because he’s “won too many times.” Most people love Pixar, and they’ve won 8 out of 11 Oscars for Best Animated Feature.
The real problem is that when Tom Brady wins, our team loses, and that directly affects us. When our team loses, we eat more junk food and even question our identity. People don’t hate Tom Brady because he is great. Most people recognize and appreciate his skill and mastery of the quarterback position. It is less about him winning and more about our team losing. His success depends on the loss of the team you love and, simultaneously, your loss. In short, Tom Brady makes our lives suck.
Your Win is Their Loss
Here’s the thing: Entrepreneurs are the Tom Brady of the working world. On average, entrepreneurs are happier than employees. Full-time entrepreneurs make more money than regular employees as well. More than 90 percent say they have happy and fulfilling personal lives and that leads to a lot of envy from others. As your business grows, many other people look at their lives and wonder, “Why haven’t I started my thing yet?” Or even, “Why am I not my own boss?” Many people feel that your success somehow takes away from theirs. Your win is their loss, even if you don’t mean for it to be.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are many people and organizations that are incredibly supportive of entrepreneurs and small business owners. But some people will want you to fail because they think it enhances their success. It’s discouraging, but you have to keep working.
Just Keep Working
Tom Brady doesn’t apologize for being great. He rarely addresses his detractors. Instead, he has one of the most disciplined schedules in the NFL. He doesn’t brag about how good he is. He brags about his work ethic, his teammates, and his coach.
Entrepreneurs can learn from that and continue to work to improve their businesses, despite the detractors. Focus on your customers and your community. Surround yourself with people who will celebrate your successes and push you to achieve more. And don’t waste time comparing yourself to others.
Tom Brady’s Record Super Bowl
In a few days, Tom Brady will make history as the first quarterback to play in seven Super Bowls. If he wins, he’ll also be the first to have five Super Bowl rings. Hundreds of thousands of people are hoping he fails in that quest, but Brady is just practicing and working hard. You should do the same.