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4 Invaluable Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can learn from Lionel Messi



4 Invaluable Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can learn from Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi came into the limelight in 2005. It was during the Fifa World Youth Championship finals, and he played for Argentina against Nigeria.

The Nigerian team was great in the tournament, and I was expecting them to win the World Cup. Nobody expected to see a mysterious young boy turn the game around singlehandedly that day. He had such a magical control of the ball that you would think that the football was a part of his feet.

Lionel Messi did a lot of magic on the field that day, and my Nigerian home lost to the Argentinean side. They did their best, but the magician was always two or three steps ahead. After watching him play for a little over ten years of my life, I have been able to put together these four invaluable lessons below, which I believe are the secrets that can make every entrepreneur an outstanding success.

Here are 4 invaluable lessons you can learn form Lionel Messi:


1. Train until your potential becomes high asset skills

Potential is everything you can be that you are not. It is everything you have the ability to do, that you are not doing. Too bad, but nobody will pay you for your potential. You can’t put a price tag on it. What you get paid for is your skill. I once watched a video of one of Messi’s training sessions. He tied heavy weights to himself and attempted to run with them. This obviously made him run faster than most players when he is on the field.

His speed, shooting, dribbling and passes are incredible. But behind all that, is a secret of intense training. He has great potential and talents, but he didn’t rest on his oars. He trained his socks off until those potentials became invaluable skills.

What you should do

Do not relax because you have certain talents. Those talents can prove to be valuable to your career. But until you train yourself to the point where your talents become high asset skills, you cannot be the ‘Messi’ of your career. The trainings you go through serves as the fire that will refine those talents and bring out the gold in you.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

2. Set a high record then beat it

Messi is not just remarkable for his dribbling skills, but equally for his ability to net the ball. I can bet that when Barcelona brought Messi on board, his job description did not include scoring over 60 goals in a single season. However, he set that target for himself, and was able to beat it.

Over the years, he has won multiple awards and accomplished so much in his football career. But the most admirable thing about him is that once he accomplishes a feat, he aims higher. Setting a new record or breaking one doesn’t stop him from pushing to set higher records.

What you should do

It is not enough to be the best. You must continually strive to be better in what you do. To succeed like Messi does, you can’t afford to be satisfied with your past achievement. Stop competing with anybody but yourself. Remember that progress is continuous, and success is never ending.


3. Be the jack of one trade and master of one

Messi is known for only one thing in the world today, football. He is not a musician who studied Engineering and is trying his hands on professional football while he interns for a construction company close to his fashion designing business.

He doesn’t play football on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then manages his real estate company between Friday and Monday. He is not divided among many interests that spread him thin. He is a footballer who plays football.

What you should do

Try to be the best in one thing. Think of Henry Ford, and Michael Jackson. These people are known for one thing alone, and that is why they became the success they were. Having multiple streams of income is great, but you have to be a master in one thing.

The popular advice is not to put all of one’s eggs in one basket. But to succeed like Messi, the practical advice is to put your eggs in one basket and then jealously guard that basket as if your life depends on it, because it does. You can still be an architect and a web designer (which are obviously related). But make sure that you are known for one major thing.


4. Be the best you can ever be

One thrilling thing about watching Messi’s games is that you can never be bored. There is something electric about his style of play. From his masterful ball possession, his breathtaking dribbles, to his incontestable goal scoring skills, Messi always keeps his viewers and fans on the edge as he plays.

He understands that there is no second chance for him to be his best, so he maximizes all his chances. He doesn’t wait for a better opportunity or a greater audience to watch before he brings out his best.

What you should do

Don’t wait for better chances. Do not wait for bigger opportunities. Be the best you can all the times you can as much as you can. Remember that there are no second chances for first impressions. The only time you have to be the best you can be is now.

If you have the opportunity to solve a problem, design a program, write a proposal or represent your organization, do it as if it is the best you will ever have.

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best position for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

What are you talented in? What lesson can you learn from Messi to turn your talent to a successfully rewarding skill in your business?


  1. David Kweku (Snape) Addy

    Jul 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Awesome! I strongly believe in everyone of the points you’ve stated. Thank you Toby for taking the initiative to write and share this awesome discovery with the world.

  2. Toby Nwazor

    Nov 12, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Hello Ernie, you are right about the opportunities we have each day. But like someone said , being successful depends a lot on one’s ability to say ‘No’ to a lot of ‘good things’

    Good luck in your book.

  3. Ernie Ayon

    Nov 11, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Beautifully said! The thing that resonated with me the most is your emphasis on focus. Those that are highly skilled got there by focusing and working at that one thing very hard. As entrepreneurs, we’re prone to seeing opportunities everywhere and the temptation to work on many things at once is always strong. I’m working on my first book and currently writing the chapter on skills. How fitting to come across this article!

  4. Toby Nwazor

    Nov 11, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Hello Rachel, you just about summarized it in a better way. THink and Grow Rich is a wonderful book by the way. I have read it before and I can never get enough out of reading it. Equally wonderful is ‘The Master key to Riches’ by the same author.

    Thanks so much for the nice words Rachel, you are evidently on your way to mega success

  5. Rachel

    Nov 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Hey Toby,

    What an exciting post. I agree with number three with everything I have. Don’t stretch yourself thin. Pick your area and excel and if you can’t immediately excel practice until you can. Guard that nest and never give up on it and only then opportunity will present itself.

    Currently I am re-reading, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill an amazing book that talks about your number three and Henry Ford.

    But back to your post – What can I learn from Messi? – that the behind the scenes work counts more so than the opportunities to shine. Without putting on those heavy weights and running (without anyone watching), he would not be able to dart around the field being twinkle toes, captivating is audience with awe.

    My talent seems a little odd to explain but I am in the process of producing it. I have a unique skill of being able to read human behaviour. All will be revealed in six months. Once again you have inspired me – thanks for a wonderful post.


  6. Toby Nwazor

    Nov 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I am glad you did Mishael

  7. Mishael Sagacity

    Nov 2, 2015 at 5:41 am

    That’s a very nice piece.i think I grabbed a few lessons from this…

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