My obsession with successful people

An insight into the mind of our Co-Founder and CPO, Tom Carrington-Smith.

Not many people know this but I go through phases of getting obsessed by certain people. I call it ‘studying them’, but really it’s an obsession.

The people I get ‘obsessed’ with often come from different fields of expertise, like Clay Christensen and JK Rowling. Recently it’s been Phil Knight of Nike and Eddie Jones from England Rugby.

I end up consuming absolutely everything they’re involved in. And I mean everything. All their talks, books, documentaries, articles, interviews with them. It’s weird, I know.

It normally fades after a couple of weeks (just in case you think I need help) but I love studying what makes these people tick and why they’ve ended up where they are.

I was reflecting the other day, as I listened to Eddie Jones giving a press conference about Japanese rugby, as to why I did this. One lesson I took from all my home-schooling about these people was that they all had such belief. Belief in their ideas, their ways and overtime, themselves.

It leads me to think about my own belief. I puzzled over the times I’ve done well, and the others when I’ve failed spectacularly.

I remembered back to being part of successful sports teams when I was a kid and the feeling of walking out to play knowing there was no way we were going to lose. It’s a hell of a feeling. Being able to look to the left and right of you, see your team member and just know there is no way we are going to lose today. It’s formed by coaches and players who just gave us unshakeable belief.

I thought about times I worked with companies I didn’t like and feeling dead inside. Or developed ideas that I’ve not been 100% convinced about and ended up despising them to boot.

Belief, I realised, was the key.

Running a startup means you’re challenged at all times, especially on your views of the future. This reflection made me realise that I really believe in what we’re currently building at Charlie.

I have a special place in my heart for people who start businesses. They are often good, ordinary people who decided to take the risk of starting something they believe in. And it is often these ordinary people who have the biggest impact in the world around us.

I really believe there is way too much admin involved in running a company, and there should be software that makes it as easy as playing a game like Football Manager. I believe that if we can give teams more time to do the things they love, they can have a greater impact on the world around us.

Reflecting on what makes these amazing people tick, and the times I done something well in life, I realised what ties them both together is belief.

Belief. I’ve decided that is the reason I studied these people so intensely. People can sense belief and they wanted some of that belief for themselves. Belief is irresistible.

Neo Sepulveda

Neo Sepulveda

Software engineer at CharlieHR 💻. I like climbing things quite a bit 🐒.

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