Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sports but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cristian Sonzogni, Game Strategy Officer of Game Comunicazione & Media, located in Milano, Lombardia, Italy.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My partners and I have been working in the world of sports communication for over 10 years. We help sports clubs and associations, professional athletes (especially in the world of tennis, padel, and golf), and coaches to promote their image, communicating all the news concerning them in the best possible way. The main goals are basically two. The first is to transform communication into a marketing tool, to give value to customers and do a job that is not only pleasant but also useful. The second is to protect clients from any complicated situations in relation to the press. We are, first and foremost, journalists, and we know what the needs of both sides are in approaching the news.
Tell us about yourself
I've always considered myself a freelancer by nature. I never could stand the idea of having to do the same thing every day, following someone's directions, even when you don't agree. Then I discovered that the customers are the real chiefs, but with almost all of them, I was able to establish an excellent relationship even beyond work. Where I failed this goal, it seemed logical to me to end the partnership. I have been a freelancer in the world of journalism, communication, and press offices since 1999. The Game Communication & Media project was born in 2012 and has grown year after year to involve increasingly prestigious clients. What motivates me the most is customer satisfaction, their ability to evolve with us, and meeting new communication challenges with enthusiasm and confidence. Those clients who confirm their trust in the company year after year demonstrate that the work is going in the right direction.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Game Communication & Media is my main business, but I have undertaken other projects throughout my life. Some have done well, and others have not. In all cases, what gave me the greatest pride was the fact of knowing how to put myself on the line every day, regardless of the results. Doing business when everything goes according to plan is very easy. To me, the true entrepreneur is seen when something starts going wrong. Then, we need to understand what are the possible changes to make, always maintaining a strong sense of responsibility towards everyone: partners, employees, customers, and colleagues.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur, in my view, is managing private time. If you like a job, and even more so if you own the company, you tend to sacrifice everything else, including the passions you grew up with. This is a mistake, but often we only realize we were wrong when someone points out our absence. Private time management, in general, is the biggest challenge for every entrepreneur, regardless of the success or otherwise of their business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Open up and confront each other. Having doubts is always more important than having many certainties. Comparison with other professionals – possibly better than you – further increases the chances of success.
- Consider that talent is basically repetition. Whoever works harder gains more experience, and whoever has more experience can show better skills. It applies to every sector. Even if you are the boss, don't just make decisions. Work hard and possibly try to do at least one time all the employee jobs.
- Find your balance in patience. You have to be patient because success doesn't come immediately. But you shouldn't be too patient to avoid the risk of getting lost in projects that don't work. Find your time and – when you understand that the project doesn't work for some reason – abandon it. You can start again for another project with extra experience to use.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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