I listen fascinated as the mountain of a man in front of me (president of ACS Premium & Premium Basketball Sibiu), tells me in detail about U10, U12, Baby Basketball and many other things I have never heard of in my life.
As I ask him questions for the interview and (to better understand, to my shame, what this thing is about), I realize that something doesn’t seem to fit and I say firmly:
– Listen, when passion has guided your life for so long, I don’t think you can call it a business anymore!
I’m talking about a professional basketball player and coach who started his career in this field almost THREE decades ago and one of the most organized people I’ve dealt with. Do you have a question? He’ll explain everything to you until you understand it completely.
What should you know about Premium Basketball Sibiu (ACS Premium)?
Do you want your little one (boy or girl – girls can play basketball too!) to be so good at basketball that they can participate in competitions and even win them, along with their team? He trains the children for years, following a precise scheme, which leads them to that point. Yes, he’s that good at what he does!
I took a look at his training plans and I can honestly tell you that I would try my luck too. But, there are some conditions to be able to learn how to train others and I am convinced that I do not meet even one, haha. Plus, I woke up a few years too late.
Cristi (Cristian Crăciun), together with Eduard Marinca, who I quote “is one of the most dedicated and promising young coaches”, organizes basketball training courses for children at the sports club – ACS Premium, founded in April last year.
When the financial factor is there just because it needs to be, and the ultimate goal is to bring value to others, you don’t even think you have to run a business, you just try to find the best solutions – in this case, training the little ones aged 6-12, so that they are disciplined, strong, healthy, and, if that’s what they want, even play basketball professionaly. But Cristi can tell you more about it.
Let’s get to the interview!
And now, the most interesting part: let’s see what Cristi has to say about entrepreneurship.
Manu: How did you decide to start this business?
Cristi: I worked at CSU Sibiu, as a professional player, for more than 15 years, although I have been playing basketball for 25 years. While I was playing, I realized what my career would point me into a different direction – that of a coach. In this sense, it all started with the first team, the 2005 generation, which I coached. There were children that I took from Mini Basketball and – from the 42nd place, I led them in the first year to the 10th place, and in the second year, they finished in the 4th place, when they played against a team from one of the best sports clubs in Romania.
The children I work with are the image of my work and what I leave behind, from a professional point of view. When I decided to end my career as a player, it seemed natural to me that the next step should be to set up a sports club, through which I can share the experience I have gained during this time. I don’t consider it a business, because what I do, I only do it with my soul.
M: Did you ever think about giving up?
C: Of course, there were many moments that were harder than others. We dealt with a lot, our doors closed. The roads weren’t exactly smooth, but perseverance can help you get everything done. We always find solutions!
M: What is the biggest challenge you face, as an entrepreneur, in your field?
C: Let the child get to a first workout. Because the moment he takes his first step in the gym, he will definitely like it so much that he will come to play basketball with pleasure.
M: What do you do on days when you can’t find the motivation for the work you have to do (to keep your business afloat and help it grow)?
C: I don’t have days when I can’t find my motivation. For me, it is continuous work. My motivation, in the short term, is to make basketball – a great activity for children. In the medium term, I do my best for the little ones to have a goal and fun while playing basketball. And, in the long run, I want to make the best changes that this sport can undergo. So, I work, learn and keep myself informed.
M: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since you started your own business?
C: To be patient. Fortunately, I am surrounded by many positive people and I have a lot of support from of family and friends, who guide and help me in this regard.
M: What do you consider to be the most notable difference between being an employee or an entrepreneur?
C: I was nothing but my own employee, but in my opinion, the biggest difference between being an entrepreneur or an employee is the fact that the entrepreneur takes responsibility for some risks and has some employees under him who depend on these risks.
M: How would you characterize your sports club – ACS Premium (Premium Basketball Sibiu), in a word (except “quality”)?
C: Education (through sports).
M: What would you advise an entrepreneur who is just starting out?
C: If you have an idea, follow it no matter what. There is no failure, there is no “I can’t”, there is no “I don’t want to”.
MY CONCLUSION – Support Small Businesses
After this interview, I realized that when you start a business with your soul, you no longer see the financial factor, and you or your desires are no longer part of the priorities. Instead, the value you offer to others through knowledge, experience, and the services associated with your business will bring you to the heights of success, slowly but surely. Cristi’s words – “immediate gain does not facilitate healthy growth”.
If you have a business or want to start one, the Marketing101.eu team can help you with an all-in-one solution for your business: a personalized strategy, branding, an amazing & affordable website, SEO content, and online advertising.