I didn't always want to pursue esports when I was a kid. There were a lot of challenges that prevented me from actively thinking about it when I was growing up.
The first few things that come to the mind is the stigma related to this profession and the amount of risk.
My parents were very unhappy with my attachment to video games growing up. It was upsetting because gaming was one of the main things that brought me joy in a life. I dealt with bullying from my peers in school and lack of self-confidence as a young kid. I felt a great sense of empowerment from being good at games that I could not replicate in real life. Yet, many people view gaming as an anti-social activity that doesn't amount to much. Even now, I feel that esports is stigmatized by the general community and seen in a negative light compared to traditional sports.
In addition to that stigma, I am a very risk averse person in my life. Risk is a difficult thing to navigate - you fear negative consequences, you loathe what happens if you make the wrong step. Risk can be a thrilling experience, but it is not for the feint of heart.
Knowing these, you think an introverted and risk-averse person like me would never start a business in this category!
So, how did I get here to this point where I am tolerating risk and overcoming this stigma?
the power of motivation
There is a strong body of research on the influence that motivation has on our decision making. Motivation by itself is a fleeting emotion, but it carries enormous strength for people to overcome obstacles in their life. It gives people a sense of reason and belonging. For some, they are motivated by wanting to do what is best for their family. For me, it has always been wanting to be meaningfully involved in the esports industry.
The feeling of motivation is in part produced by the release of the neurotransmitter known as dopamine. Dopamine is widely referenced as the feel good chemical in our brain that makes us feel good and improves our mood. Beyond feeling good, it helps encourage us to seek out the things that we enjoy. Our brain recognizes what we like and associates long term memories of things that make us happy as "rewards".
Let's say, for example, you are having an awfully busy day at work. Despite the stress, you think about getting through the work day and eating a delicious slice of cheesecake that is currently in your fridge. This reward of the cheesecake helps keep you motivated to stay on task because you are reminded of the sweet release of dopamine that is associated with your cheesecake. You can find the full research study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3032992/
How esports motivates me to pursue what I love
As someone with ADHD, I've felt the impact of emotional irregularity on a pretty constant basis. Things that seem too easy or pointless fail to produce enough dopamine for me to actually work for it. In my ideal world, I would be doing something that I deem very important based on my values and interest. I never felt like any job i've had previously satisfied that need.
The reason I am motivated to run this business is because I highly value the esports industry and want to see it grow. I also learned from coaching that teaching others and helping them achieve things gives me a great sense of purpose.
To summarize - I normally would have such a hard time attempting to make this leap that I am doing now. Luckily, I have some incredibly supportive people in my life that believed in me and helped push me to this point.
So, i'm going to tolerate the risk and stigma, and continue pushing forward until I can make this business something that brings value to families and colleges nationwide!