What business lessons can we learn by exploring just a portion of Vick's public life? Here are just a few. Though Vick received lots of accolades and was widely touted as one of the best quarterback's in the NFL, his off-camera activities related to dog-fighting landed him jail. The golden boy was no more and was publicly ridiculed and hung out by his toenails to take his punishment. One by one, Vick lost endorsement deals, fans, self-respect and was often talked about as the most vile person for his mistakes. In fact, because of this set-back, he was back at square one with his public, private and professional image. He had to endure and persevere.
Vick served time in prison impressing some with taking responsibility for his part in the debacle and showing up earlier than he was scheduled to to begin his sentence. Once he came out, Vick began the painstaking task of trying to rebuild his image. For his hard work and tenacity, the Philadelphia Eagles picked him up. That decision was not without its conditions. It was to be expected given Vick was such a sore topic among the masses especially animal rights organizations.
In his attempts to put his troubles behind him, he focused on proving to himself and others that he could change. Though I'm not a football fan myself, I can remember hearing how well Vick was performing in the NFL, how he stayed healthy and was moving back into the good graces of some of his fans. Why do I say Fame is Fleeting? A good example would be Vick's treatment in the past (warranted or not) and what I heard today on one of the most respected sports channels, ESPN, where approximately 642,000 viewers tune in. According to reports, Vick now holds the franchise record where he leads the NFL with 9 turnovers so far this season. I'm sure Vick can take the heat but would rather be on the side of accolades rather than criticism.
As a business owner, this is a lesson to learn as well. You are only as good as the last satisfied client. In the age of social media and word of mouth advertising, you need to be on your P's and Q's at all times. The unwritten rule is to under promise but always over deliver. Each time you have an opportunity to gain a new or prospective client, be willing to go the extra mile, listen to see what you can do to engage and keep customers happy. As Cornelia Hicks of MatterMaxMedia said in her presentation on Branding and Marketing, provide a Superior Experience. In the event that your rising star takes a hit, try to prepare for it as best you can and execute an action plan that helps change the perception.
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