We’ve all caught the coverage of the Olympics over the last few days. Lying on the sofa, gorging on another handful of crisps while watching a gymnast at the peak of health complete a perfect routine. Well, that’s how some of us have been watching it.
Rather than using the 2016 Rio Olympics as an opportunity to indulge in a little self-loathing and regret concerning your ability to throw a javelin successfully, you should focus on the valuable lessons that athletes can teach us.
With their successes both in and out of the sports field, it’s difficult to ignore the similarities between athletes and entrepreneurs. Here are some of the crucial lessons all business owners need to take away from the Olympics.
Don’t be afraid of failure
Rule number one. If your plan is to go for gold in the pole vault, you don’t expect to be able to make a 6m leap on your first go.
Likewise with entrepreneurial success, creating a successful company isn’t something that can be done correctly the first time round. Entrepreneurs should expect, and even look forward to failing because it’s a sign of eventual improvement.
Having failures in your career means you’re learning to improve, which eventually leads to success. Even if you don’t get gold, don’t be afraid of getting the bronze – because at least you competed!
Competition is healthy
If you’re competing at the Olympics, the chances are you’re not afraid of a little competition (to say the least). Athletes have competing down to a fine art, and if you’re a business owner, you should too.
Go ahead and start up your company, even if the market is a little overcrowded. It will mean that you have to think of inventive ways to market your brand, and make yourself stand out of the crowd. You might be in danger of losing business to competitors, but competition is a healthy motivator, as all athletes know.
The pressure of others’ excellence can be the motivation you need to make your business go further, and force you to try harder.
Thrive on adrenaline and stamina
Being a couch potato won’t win you any medals if you want to become the next Usain Bolt, so unless you’re ready to live for adrenaline, entrepreneurship may not be for you.
Athletes spend most of their waking hours focusing on their physical fitness, diet and training regime, and it’s just as well if they want to compete in the Olympics.
Unless you’re passionate and excited about your business, the late nights at the office aren’t going to amount to much. Both successful athletes and entrepreneurs thrive on the excitement of their profession, and use it as a way to become more productive.
Always seek to improve
There will never be a point where an athlete thinks they’ve hit their peak. That is, unless they’re still jogging at 70, in which case they may admit they’ve passed their best of physical fitness. However, that won’t stop them trying to beat last weeks’ time.
By always training and experimenting with new regimes and diets, athletes are doing what entrepreneurs should; always improving.
Keep sharpening your company assets by bettering your own skills and giving the business more to offer. Don’t let numbers slip through your fingers and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news so you don’t miss any opportunities.
Time management is key
Think you have a busy schedule? Try being an athlete. They’ve got a lot going on at one time, and if they haven’t got good time management skills, then they simply won’t make the cut.
Being able to manage your time effectively will make all the difference when you want to build a successful business. Being the director of a limited company is a sure test of your time management skills, so don’t be afraid to outsource work to free yourself up; an athlete won’t try to be the best in every event after all!
Are you watching the Olympics this summer? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!