Have you ever heard of the Wrexham AFC? If you haven’t, you soon will.
The Wrexham Association Football Club is the beating heart of the working class community of Wrexham, Wales. They live and breathe for their team – the Red Dragons. It’s been said, “Football isn’t life or death. It’s more than that.”
In 2011, when it looked like the football club was going to go under, the fans banded together and purchased the team for 1 pound sterling. Half of the stadium workforce were volunteers.They kept the club running by sheer grit and love of the game. A decade later, mid-pandemic, they found themselves struggling to keep their local football club afloat.
Enter Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, two Hollywood A-listers.
Ryan and Rob purchased the team in February 2021. At the time of the purchase, they had never actually met in person. They had only connected through social media.
But the thing that brought them together was simply…their growing friendship.
Both had admired each other’s work. Both are businessmen who have invested in their hometowns – philanthropically and in businesses. Both are funny. And both are storytellers.
In short…they like each other. And Wrexham was a story that they wanted to tell together.
They decided to join forces and invest in a project that was fun, challenging, and had the power to change lives. In 2022, they were finally able to attend a Red Dragons game in person creating a small media frenzy. Their friendship has unleashed renewed hope and connectivity within the community after the pandemic, creativity both in their own lives and the football club, and multiple corporate partnerships.
Not only have they revitalized the club and are committed to its long term growth, they are releasing a documentary on FX about their first year of ownership later this month. They are letting the world get in on the story too.
What is it that gets us glassy-eyed over the thought of two buddies working together to bring about hope and change?
It may be the fact that we are all wired for friendship.
Or it may be because we all love a good underdog story.
Or it could be the fact that we long to have that same type of connection with those that we partner with in our work life. We would like to have fun doing what we do, make an impact on the world around us, and have someone to cheer us on towards success.
When it comes to your business and friendships – connection, creativity, and partnership may be the secret sauce you are looking for.
Can We Be Friends?
Dale Carnegie, the renowned author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that, “Winning friends begins with friendliness.”
In a world where reaching out and connecting with people can feel daunting, the truth is that we need each other. According to Live Science, a good friend can increase your health, extend your life expectancy, sharpen your mental capabilities, and help you deal with disappointment and rejection. These life-giving qualities are vital and needed as you are building out your business and finding success in your career.
When you reach out to someone as a friend, you are inviting them to shape your opinions, influence your lifestyle, and even change the course of your life.
When Ryan and Rob connected, they probably weren’t expecting to launch a business partnership. But their openness to friendship with each other created a powerful business opportunity not just for them but for the whole town of Wrexham. Their friendship makes sense.
Your brain is wired for being connected.
Dr. Lauren Brent says, “If interacting with friends feels good, if it relieves stress, and releases dopamine, it motivates you to do that behavior another time. The chemicals in our brains make us behave in certain ways…to make us do the things that are good for us.”
When you are connected, you feel better.
You are healthier.
And you are a kinder person.
A good friendship unlocks the best in you. When you make this connection in a work setting, it also increases your creativity and productivity.
CNBC reported that, “70 percent of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life, and 58 percent of men would refuse a higher-paying job if it meant not getting along with co-workers.”
Your ability to connect in the workplace could actually unleash your next big dream.
Why Not Dream Big?
Have you ever noticed that having a conversation with a good friend can bring on a burst of creativity? That a colleague’s encouragement can fill you with hope? Or that you see a problem in a different light after confiding in a pal?
Friendship fosters creativity. Plain and simple.
Enrico Moretti, author of The New Geography of Jobs says, “When you are in the business of creating new products, ideas, or technologies, you need to be close to other people who are in your field.” According to Moretti, the exchange of ideas and conversation is critical to creativity.
Or Silicon Valley.
Or Washington D.C.
You want to be in the room where big dreams happen.
Ryan and Rob’s big dream is taking Wrexham AFC from the National League to the Premier League – no small feat. But as they said, if you are going to dream, “Why not dream big?”
They are cheering each other on. They have started investing in that dream in several ways, one of which is focusing on the women’s team and building up their program. They have also partnered with TikTok as the team’s new sponsor. The club says that, “The partnership could be one of the most innovative in entertainment and football history.’
Innovation and business growth go hand-in-hand.
Think about it for a minute.
Who in your workplace stimulates your creativity?
Who can you bounce ideas off of?
What friend or colleague challenges you to think outside the box?
These fun brainstorming sessions could lead you towards your next big dream, the next step in your career, and offer life-altering partnerships.
CCB & Friends
Here at CCB we are all about partnerships and we love sharing our friends.
We have partnered with some of the most exciting, dedicated companies across the globe.
And we see our friendships as the connective tissue of our business. Time and time again we have found ways to join forces with friends in business, life, and ministry.
It’s not about networking.
It’s about building life-long connections that continue to grow and flourish in new innovative ways. When you invite us to partner with you, you not only gain access to our excellent creative team, but we invite you to connect with like-minded friends, those who are as passionate about business and growth as you are.
With connection and creativity, our joint impact on the world around us can be exponential. We would love to team up with you and see your dreams grow bigger, your impact be greater, and your partnerships go deeper.
We can’t wait to get started…this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.