March Madness for Entrepreneurs: Lessons from Norfolk State & Lehigh

For entrepreneurs, every month is March Madness and every day is the witnessing of an upset or Cinderella. In case you've never watched NCAA Basketball in March, the beauty and captivating aspect of March Madness is that all teams that enter the tournament have one shot to be the new Cinderalla. That team has been Butler for the past couple of years, but Friday it was Norfolk State shocking Missouri and Lehigh shocking Duke. There seems to be no other sport that captures the spirit of the Underdog slaying the Giant like the NCAA tournament.


Similarly, entrepreneurship and business is all about upsets and underdogs taking down large established companies. With the constant changes in industries, evolution in technology and even the economy, there are always opportunities for new start-ups to challenge larger and well-established businesses. Today is the day when an entrepreneur with a smartphone an a non-stop motor and relentless nature can challenge a company with thousands of employees and numerous offices across the world.

Here are 5 things entrepreneurs can learn from Lehigh and Norfolk

  1. Be Confident Enough to Believe You Can “Shock The World” – Norfolk believed they would shock the world before they stepped on the floor. If they didn't believe they could win, they wouldn't have won. Remember if you don't have the belief that your venture will succeed who will? Maintain a confidence and a hunger each day related to your venture. 
  2. That's Why They Play The Games – No one truly knows how things will end up and that's why they play the games and that's what makes the Tournament so special. Norfolk State and Lehigh showed up and they did the unthinkable.  10 Years ago, who would have thought something called Facebook started by a Harvard drop out would have a larger network than most countries? Who would have thought that 180 characters would transform the way we communicate? Remember, the only way you are guaranteed to “lose” is if you don't show up at all. 
  3. Use Your Strengths and Forget Your Weaknesses – For Lehigh, their guards C.J. McCollum and Mackey McKnight were simply better and faster. They used this strength to exploit Duke's lack of foot speed. Remember use your strengths to gain an edge over your competition. If you're good with speaking with people, get from behind a computer. If you're smaller, ensure that you beat your competition with stories. 


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