Betting On Yourself Is Essential For Your Success. Richard Sherman Says Why

Some people feel the need to hide their true self and put on a facade of who they think other people want them to be in order make it easy for themselves. This often leads to individuals making decisions that don’t benefit them as well as society at large. Richard Sherman, an NFL cornerback with Seattle Seahawks, sets out why learning how you handle your own success is essential for your success.


This week, Richard Sherman had a little fun. 

“I save all of my receipts.”

Sherman, for those who don’t know, is a three-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, and was just voted Pro Football Focus’ finest cornerback of the decade. He grabbed the NFL world by storm in the early 2010s with his high-level defensive performance and abrasive character. He is a Super Bowl Champion and a legendary trash-talker. He was once generally regarded as football’s top cornerback, smashing passes and humbling opposing quarterbacks with his ball-hawking talents for the Seattle Seahawks.

Sherman ruptured his Achilles tendon during the 2017 season, causing him to miss the balance of the season. His long-time team let him go soon after. Then he did something very unexpected. 

Sherman signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers the next day, with the aid of his wife. He declined the services of an agent, instead putting together his own contract, which drew unprecedented scrutiny from sports experts, front office officials, and even other NFL players. The following are the terms of the agreement:

  • $39 million over three years
  • Only $3 million is assured (guaranteed money is a coveted contract component in the NFL)
  • Performance-based contract, in which the value is determined by performance.
  • A one-year agreement for $7 million without incentives

Richard Sherman has cashed in on almost every incentive built into his contract and re-solidified himself as one of the finest cornerbacks in the National Football League one year after hearing it from nearly every professional covering pro football. Here are some of his achievements this year and how they affect his contract:

  • All-Pro Second Team and Pro-Bowl Honors
  • $5 million incentive bonus triggered 

He celebrated by remembering on Twitter about some of the nasty remarks regarding his contract construction decisions sent by fans and NFL pundits. Here’s how he reacted to NFL pundit and former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas’s comments on the transaction (Warning: tweet replies may be NSFW).


  • Put your faith in yourself and your ability. 
  • Recognize the worth of not just yourself but also your ideas.

Sherman was voted Cornerback of the Decade by Pro Football Focus. AP Photo/John Hefti

Put your faith in yourself and your ability.. Richard Sherman was willing to withstand the noise and able cash in on a big payday, despite his entire professional community scrutinizing him for it. In business, one of the most significant obstacles we face is the fear of what others will say about our ideas. The ability to go against the grain and take a leap of faith is difficult but can pay off tremendously, as it did for Sherman.

Finally, recognize your worth and the worth of your ideas. Sherman certainly did, and here’s what he had to say about it:

“It’s about believing in myself as a player while also coming back from a significant injury; it’s about players understanding their ability and believing in themselves.” More [and more] athletes have unattainable incentives that are negotiated by agents.” 

Sherman, Richard

Believing in our ideas is critical, and Sherman’s struggle with NFL contract structuring conventions parallels the challenges faced by aspiring company owners and entrepreneurs. Let us take his words and try to put them into practice as best we can.

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