Touchdown! Fourth quarter! Second down! If those words were just words to you, you’re probably not excitedly anticipating the upcoming Super Bowl. You’re not alone! There are many of us who don’t know the first thing about sports, and we’ve been fine with that our whole lives. Amy Buchan Siegfried, co-founder of Last Night’s Game, wants to change that. She believes a general understanding of sports just might become your new “secret weapon” at the office.
4word: Tell our readers a little about yourself!
Amy: While I write about sports, I am not known for my sporting ability. The highlights of my only soccer season included the experience of being kicked in the face, tears, and lots of halftime oranges. Continuing with dance classes was a much safer bet. I learned to appreciate and love sports because I had no choice. I spent years of my life cheering on my brother, Scott, in whatever sport he was playing. That learned love for sports came in handy when I embarked on my career path which began in professional sports. My incredible husband and I have lived internationally and continue to travel anywhere and everywhere, which provides a global sports perspective.
I consider myself a master of small talk, bringing people together, and the handwritten note (the art is not dead). You can often find me not sweating the small stuff while embracing my budding inner domestic goddess or talking sports with my brother and co-founder.
4word: Where did you get the idea for "Last Night's Game?" What has the process been like to get your idea off the ground?
Amy: I had the idea for Last Night’s Game about fourteen years ago when I was working for a professional baseball team. One of my girlfriends and I were at a game, and she asked, “What’s an out?” I was flabbergasted that she didn’t know the basics, but it dawned on me that there is a whole world of people out there who don’t know a lot about sports and are missing out on the sports conversation in the office, on a date, or around the dinner table. Nothing existed that broke down trending topics in sports in an easy to understand and unintimidating way. I called my brother, who was still in high school, with the idea but neither of us ever had time to actually execute it. In November 2015, it finally became a reality.
I think there’s this perception that starting a business shouldn’t be that hard; print some business cards, meet with some people and boom! You’re in business. In all honesty, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had. We have taught ourselves everything from creating a website to trademarks with YouTube videos and step-by-step guides. I have been adamant we do these things ourselves because so many startups get stuck in the expensive vortex that is a website designer, creative agencies, etc.
With all that being said, every day when I roll out of bed I am grateful for this adventure with a company whose mission is my passion. It’s also a gift to get to work alongside my brother, our official sports nerd, who has taught me so much more than just sports.
4word: What has the response to "Last Night's Game" been like?
Amy: We started Last Night’s Game with the goal to empower our readers to join the sports conversation, and the response has been resoundingly positive. Across the globe, sports bring people together, and our readers love that they have additional topics to talk about with their co-workers, spouses and their children. Our readers have learned that you don’t have to regurgitate statistics about wins and losses or touchdowns to sound sports savvy, that having a general idea of what’s going on pays off.
Sports can be like a whole other language – it’s intimidating with all of the acronyms and statistics. Our readers love that we’re not trying to be ESPN; we’re the "CliffsNotes" version of sports with a little humor involved. No one learns if it’s boring!
I am the biggest fan of The Rundown (our email triweekly publication) because it has saved me from some awkward business lunches and helped me strike up conversations with just about anyone.
4word: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? What advice would you share with hopeful entrepreneurs?
Amy: I come from a family of doers. My dad is a small business owner, and I have always admired how he grew his business and how people valued his honesty and integrity. I saw how hard he and my mom both worked to instill proper values and provide their children with the best education possible along with activities that would enrich our lives. (Although they probably should’ve requested a refund for my aforementioned soccer season.) Having grown up in that environment, I knew I could do anything I set my mind to. I spent the majority of my career working for someone else. After being laid off from a corporate job, I took what was left of my pride and my severance pay, and started a consulting business. For years, friends had been saying, “I wish I could afford to hire you,” so I figured there was no time like the present. I ran that business successfully until my husband and I moved internationally.
People often tell me they wish they could make that leap into entrepreneurship but it’s not the right time. It’s never a good time. There’s never a right time to take on something that big. If it’s truly something you’re passionate about, then go for it. Like any big moment in life, it can be overwhelming if you look at it in its entirety. Surround yourself with the right people and as we say in our household, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Keep your head up. Reading Jesus Calling is one of my favorite times of day because it puts everything in perspective.
I work out of the most amazing co-working space, 36 Degrees North, where I am constantly astounded by what the people around me are doing. Not only are they doing great things, but everyone is supportive by lending their expertise to others. Help is not a four letter word – use it! So many cities have phenomenal resources for startups from how to start a business to funding, and a quick internet search should help you find them.
4word: As an entrepreneur, how important has it been for you to build relationships? Do you have any tips for initiating and cultivating lasting relationships?
Amy: I was bullied in middle school - I tried so hard to fit in and it didn’t work. It certainly didn’t happen overnight but I pride myself on being… myself. When you honor your authentic self, that confidence shines through. A few pointers on creating lasting business relationships include:
- Early in my career I had a boss who told me that no one else can take away your reputation.
- Always work hard, take the time to help others and do as you say.
- I understand that in business and in life, you’re going to meet people that are disingenuous about their intentions but it’s up to you to faithfully represent yourself.
- Expand your horizons – read, try new things, travel. I always say I know a little about a lot and that has helped me to conquer small talk and relate to most people I’m meeting with.
4word: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Amy: ‘Do one thing that scares you’ (Eleanor Roosevelt) is one of my favorite quotes because no matter what we face in life, whether that’s following your dreams or simply speaking up for what’s right, we can’t grow if we don’t push ourselves.
We’d love to share the world of sports with you. Go for it – subscribe to our triweekly publication, The Rundown, for an easy to understand and unintimidating breakdown of the trending topics in sports. We promise it’ll be the best decision you’ve made all day.
The world is your oyster.
Do you have a big idea like Amy’s that just won’t leave you alone? If you’re itching to jump out on your own into the world of entrepreneurship, learn from Amy and go for it!
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Amy is the quarterback and co-founder of Last Night’s Game,www.lastnightsgame.co a site for the sports curious; a safe haven to empower women who want to learn about the world of sports but don’t know where to start. While her athletic participation was short lived, Amy fell in love with the world of sports. That learned love for sports came in handy when she embarked on her career in professional sports. She’s lived internationally and continues to travel anywhere and everywhere. A master of small talk, bringing people together and the handwritten note (the art is not dead), you can often find this married lady not sweating the small stuff while embracing her inner domestic goddess or talking sports with her brother and co-founder.