Decisions are a part of everyday life. While some can affect lives for a day, others affect a lifetime. There comes a time in one’s life when he will need to select a career or a certain field to concentrate in, in order to make a living. A career that is most suited for a person’s desires can be chosen after making a conscious effort to review the positive and negative sides of both options.
The fields of football and business are difficult to have careers in. There are many obstacles and steps involved in getting into either field. Most business managers will not hire an unmotivated, unskilled, unreliable worker, they want, “intelligence, passion… enthusiasm, ability to cope with turbulent environments, and marketing experience.”(Martin) These traits only come to those who wish to achieve. For football however, there are two ways of getting in. Some people are just born with a knack for football. The parents are 5’11” and 5’10’ and their kid will grow to be 6’5”, with speed like a cheetah and hands that seem to have glue on them. The other possibility on how to get into the NFL is hard work. Getting down to the nitty-gritty and pushing your mind and body to its limits are the attributes useful in achieving success. As well as personal characteristics, there are some physical characteristics that go with both fields. According to lawyer Norman Katnik, an associate of Katnik & Katnik Law, “Anyone can be a business man, short, fat, tall, skinny, white, black, anyone, but not everyone can play football. Typically linemen are 6’4” 280 pounds, running backs are usually 200 pounds and quarterbacks are usually 6’2”.” Another way to get in to either field is by a persons performance, such as degree in Business Administration or, for the athletes, finishing four to five years of college. The accomplishments will allow business officers and general managers to recognize those that have achieved the things that will distinguish them in their specific fields.
There are requirements needed in order to start a business. “Sometimes times are rough, you’ll need ‘stick-to-itiveness’ and you’ll need to put blinders on and focus or you will lose track of what you were trying to achieve,” said Katnik. “I was even forced to work sixteen-hour days, which amounted to over seventeen hours a week. It seemed as though my family had become second to my career and I realized that no job was worth putting my family second,” said Katnik. Family is something that must be giving up in whichever field a person chooses. In Mr. Katnik’s case his sixteen-hour days limited time that he could be spending with his family. In football many hours are spent preparing. Many hours are spent working out, watching film, practicing, and studying game film all of which take away from other leisure activities and other career opportunities. “If players were smart they would use their time and status to market themselves so when they get out of the NFL they will have something to fall back on,” said Katnik. An example of this is NFL player Trevor Pryce of the Denver Broncos who used his popular status to begin a record label. He says that music will be his career after football. There are many hours spent that must be strictly dedicated to football. During “Hell Week” practices are held twice a day, sometimes three times a day each of which can last two hours. A typical NFL player’s schedule is bed check at 10pm, waking up at 6am, attending a mandatory breakfast, going to a mandatory stretch session at 8am, light lifting at 9am, heading to the dorms at the practice facility and finally they begin practice at 11am which will last to 1:30pm. They then eat lunch at 2pm, attend physical therapy at 3:30pm, then they lift again at 5pm, eat at 6pm, and then practice between 8pm and 9:45pm. It takes a tremendous amount of time. Mr. Katnik was asked if football took so long that it became un-enjoyable. He replied, “Heck no, I like the work ethic involved.”
Business also consumes a lot of time. An owner must go through the financial aspects, set up business plans, decide what advertising will be used, how marketing will be spread out, who they will hire, and tons of other ins and outs. Mr. Katnik thinks, “Business takes as much time as you want it to take. You can work less if it makes you happy, stop working, or work as much as possible.” It all depends on how much a person wants to make. “The sacrifices I made in the beginning [sixteen hour days and giving up family time] have really paid off. Now I can take more time off and I wont be endanger, but it was a lot of hard work.” When asked if business took too much time, Mr. Katnik responded by saying, “Not necessarily because the harder you work the more you will make.” When asked if reducing time would be detrimental to business he said, “No. Reduction in hours greatly improved my attitude. When it took longer I didn’t really like it that much and there comes a point where a person must realize that things are taking too long and you need to take it easy. You cannot conquer the world in the first ten years.”
For a person to start a business many things must be taken into consideration. Would starting or pursuing a business in a persons current home town be more beneficial than having to relocate? Does it matter where a business is located? Depending on what type of business a person wants to start, he should consider moving to a place where the demand for the service or product that the business provides is highest. For instance a person who lives in Orange, California and wants to be a ski instructor would have to move to a place where it is possible to ski since you cannot be a ski teacher without snow. So if “Joe the ski instructor” has his heart set on being a ski instructor and feels it is his passion, he should move. On the other hand, some people feel that location does not matter and although resources are scarce, they feel as though there will be no difference between staying and leaving. Josh Beggs, a co-founder of web development company Raspberry Media, lives in a town of 7700. He feels that even though his resources are not abundant and the amount of resources he has will not affect where he chooses to do business. The choice to stay in a small town forced Beggs to overcome many obstacles, “We had a skunk problem for about a month. Then there were difficulties of getting a T-1 line out in the boonies.” The possibility of being forced to stay in a location because of whatever reason may cause more of an uphill battle to begin a business.
There are also many difficulties in pursuing a football career. Football begins as just a sport in high school, but as players go onto college or pro it becomes more of a business or a job. It is difficult to obtain a job because no matter how hard a player works he is only as good as his team. Because of this it is difficult to stand out and be noticed. When Joe Montana played for the Kansas City Chiefs, he had already been deemed as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He was great, but his team’s record was horrendous. So even though he was there, and he was great, his team brought his performance down. Another obstacle players must overcome in their journey to succeed is injuries. Injuries can range from small pain to deadly collisions. Mr. Katnik believes that in football a player has a higher possibility of being injured then a business has of failing. He says that, “Even if you fail in business, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying since you can always start over.” Studies performed by the University of Florida have shown that over a twenty five year period NFL teams averaged 12.7 significant game related injuries and 5.0 major injuries a year. Significant injuries were injuries where a player was forced to miss at least two consecutive games and a major injury was when a player missed eight or more games including career ending injuries. In a report done by Dunn & Bradstreet from 1986 to 1996 a total of about 1036 businesses failed, a total percentage of about 10.36% out of 10,000 businesses. Compared to a major injury rate of about 8.7% of football. Mr. Katnik believed that the injury rate was higher than the business failure rate. He also believed that football would be more profitable as a career. “If you can avoid a career ending injury and have a long NFL career, you can make reasonably more than in business,” said Katnik. On average NFL players make a base salary of $410,208 per year, not including incentives or signing bonuses. The average manager of an Internet company for example earns about $73,382.
Another factor comes into play when making a decision in choosing a career. Love. Rarely do individuals succeed without loving what he or she does. When Mr. Katnik was asked whether or not he loved football he said, “Yes. I enjoy the team atmosphere. I definitely miss my teammates since they made is so much fun.” When asked if he loved business he replied, “Absolutely, I love the challenge. Everyday is something new, challenging and exciting. Trying cases is gratifying.” Unless you love your job you most likely will not excel at it. Ex high school football player Skyler Champion was an exceptional running back. He set the all-time rushing record for a single game. Yet he never practiced with passion, enthusiasm, or love for the game. He went off to college and played for about four months before quitting. He quit because he “Didn’t love the game anymore since it seemed like a job.” Skyler never loved his “job” so he never got very far with it.
Football and business are two careers that involve many factors, and both seem like beneficial professions. Each individual interested in these fields should base their choice on their opinions of the things needed to fulfill the duties of the occupation, as well as fulfilling their desire for the occupation.