Olympians and Entrepreneurs (Sports and Business) – an unlikely comparison to begin with, don’t you think? However, my anticipation and excitement of the upcoming London Olympic Games this year has got me thinking about some of the significant similarities between business owners and Olympic athletes. Although ambiguous and confusing at first, there are just several things about being triumphant in the world of entrepreneurship and being successful in sports which are very alike.
Oprah Winfrey, Jenny Thompson, Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps, Mark Zuckerberg, and Usain Bolt. These individuals may have different fields in sports and business, yet they have a lot in common than you think. Many thriving entrepreneurs and triumphant Olympians have utilized their talents, skills, and knowledge without fail in order to achieve winning results. While successful entrepreneurs are experts in conceiving, developing, launching, and marketing a product or service, proud Olympians are skilled in delivering particular actions and developing attributes which boost their chances of winning.
Similarities of Entrepreneurs and Olympic Athletes
Weaving success in a given field demands a lot of things from an individual. This is why Olympic athletes and business owners possess and share a number of traits and qualities which took their “game” and “business”, respectively, to a higher level- SUCCESS.
One of the most basic secret in achieving success in sports and business (or for any other field for that matter) is to have real focus. If one has a clear view of what he or she wants to achieve, the focus will allow him or her to accomplish anything towards success.
For Olympic athletes, their athletic abilities have certainly played an important factor in whether winning or losing. However, skills are nothing without genuine focus to succeed. Having a “tough mind” and determined focus can mean a difference between “just playing” or engaging in the game to win the medal. Many decorated Olympians maintained focus during their years of preparation and even until the Olympics have concluded.
For entrepreneurs, they need to be focused. They should be focused on their business objectives towards trying to build the business they aim for. Since their mission is to develop and market a product or service which has a value to a specific target audience, successful business owners concentrated on accomplishing strategies which allowed them to make their own brand, invite customers, close sales, and increase revenue.
Objectives and aims keep entrepreneurs and Olympians in real focus. These intentions have kept them on course and averted them away from any distractions which can take their eyes away from the prize.
Often, entrepreneurs and Olympians are asked this question – Where do you see yourself and your business/field of sports in the near future? This question simply asks an entrepreneur’s or Olympic athlete’s vision or dream for his or her chosen career.
For Olympians, their dream is to get on that podium and receive the coveted gold medal. It will be a big bonus if they can register a world or even an Olympic record in their sporting event. Yet, dreams are just dreams if one will preserve it only to their imagination. This is why most successful Olympians dreamed and lived their dreams. They didn’t keep their dream only in their minds, but they worked hard to achieve their vision.
For entrepreneurs, the vision to take their company to another level is one of their priority pursuits. Having a vision kept successful entrepreneurs to be motivated and inspired to work hard. The limitless possibilities to take their business have them continuously yearning to achieve further whether more customers, increased sales, or wider networks.
Since athletes and business owners can’t achieve their dreams or visions alone, they need to communicate their clear pursuit to others. Successful Olympic athletes have achieved distinctions with the help of their coaches. Famous entrepreneurs achieved their success stories with the support of their employees and investors.
Passion, Dedication, and Drive
Without authentic dedication and real passion, the drive to accomplish things will not be evident.
Successful business owners have always been passionate and dedicated to what they are trying to accomplish. The dedication and passion they poured upon all their business ventures have fuelled their drive towards achieving the peak of business triumph. They were willing to commit themselves to whatever is needed of them. Because of their dedication and love of their business, they persisted through trying times and fought to achieve the mission and vision they have set.
Olympians are very passionate. They are passionate about their sport, fervent in representing their country, and eager about competing and winning the medal. Just from being able to qualify for the Olympics reflects the dedication, passion, and drive of all Olympic athletes.
Oftentimes, even the business/sports itself will drain and weaken the drive of an entrepreneur or Olympian. However, at the end of the day, what matters most is the passion and dedication to build a business/earn an Olympic medal even if the road towards it was hard and tedious.
Strong Work Ethics
Olympians didn’t achieve the chance to compete in the world stage without countless days and limitless hours of preparation. In order to master their sports, they had to dedicate considerable amount of time and energy in the gym, field, or training camp with their coaches. It took them a lot of work to qualify and much more to win the gold medal. They sacrificed even their weekends just to make sure they will be on tip-top shape come game time.
Similarly, in order to build a successful brand and business, thriving entrepreneurs devoted a lot of their effort and time to get to the top. These business owners have even created marketing strategies during their leisure time or sacrificed holidays just to make perfect business plans.
It is the extra effort and strong work ethics that separates successful Olympians and entrepreneurs from mediocre ones. These are weapons in achieving their prime goals – climbing the top of the industry faster than any other company for entrepreneurs or getting to that podium and earning the gold medal for Olympians.
Commitment to Practice and Pushing The Limits
Olympians made sure they are good at their sports through perfect practice. Practicing day in and day out is one of the secret to achieve that medal-winning performance. Ask any decorated Olympian and he or she will tell you about his or her practice games, countless repetitions in the gym, a number of trips up and down hills. Apart from practicing to build up a fit body, Olympians also conditioned their mind for the right concentration and mindset during the Olympics.
Successful business owners didn’t just sit when their business is at its peak. Even when their business is booming, they didn’t forget to “practice.” Recreating their websites, starting a blog site, revamping customer service, upgrading product manufacturing, etc. are just a few day-to- day practices which successful entrepreneurs have been doing.
Accomplished Olympians and business owners have step out of their boundaries in order to achieve more than what is expected of them. Pushing their limits is the name of their game and they are serious at it!!
Even with the passion, drive, and determined preparation, one will not succeed without the confidence.
Olympians didn’t just have the determination, but also the confidence that they will succeed. If they didn’t, they would have fallen short from what their teams and fans expect and depend upon them.
Business owners often choke up without real confidence in what they are doing. Successful entrepreneurs had their fair share of failed business strategies. But, with their confidence that they can overcome adversities, they have stood up and carried on. It was important for them to believe in themselves and into what they are selling.
Without confidence, one can undervalue one’s skills and the ability to succeed. Learn from the self-belief and self-reliance of successful Olympians and entrepreneurs.
At every performance of an Olympian, he or she is taking a risk. The risk of failing and even getting injured is always there. They understand that not all of their games will end up perfect, yet in order to grow in their sport, they can’t be complacent.
Flourishing companies has an owner which is a risk taker. They had to set their brand apart from others by taking calculated risks. If not, they will remain in the sidelines instead of being an authority and innovator in the industry which they have chosen.
These remarkable parallels between entrepreneurs and Olympians have opened all of us to the reality that we can certainly learn from them. Being a business owner is not that different from being an athlete (or vice versa) after all. Both can learn from each other’s experiences and journey’s towards success.
Who knows? Maybe when you watch the London Olympics, you can discover bits of entrepreneurial ideas. Or perhaps when you tune in to an interview with a winning entrepreneur, you can find some motivations for your athletic dreams.