How to Channel the Olympic Spirit as an Entrepreneur

With a handful of records broken at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, I am still in awe of these amazing athletes. It’s fascinating how much passion, dedication, commitment and focus these athletes have to compete at such a herculean level.

Being an entrepreneur also takes passion, dedication, commitment and focus. However, “what separates sports from entrepreneurism, is that in business we constantly have to overcome undefined and unpredictable challenges,” said Naveen Jain, a contributor for Forbes. Athletes train for specific events and conditions and perform in predictable and defined settings. Entrepreneurs can’t train the same way as Olympians do because they don’t know what challenges they will encounter in their careers.

Although the end goal of an entrepreneur is different than an Olympian, the mindset of an Olympian can be applied to the business world to achieve career goals. With the right attitude and behavior, you can channel the spirit of an Olympian to prepare for the unexpected twists and turns in your career.

Passion and Dedication

You have to have passion if you want to succeed. Many Olympians, like gymnast Simone Biles, have trained since a young age and choose to be homeschooled so they can dedicate their time to training. They make sacrifices such as giving up a normal life and missing big milestones to have the chance to compete in the Olympics.

Entrepreneurs aren’t on the same level as Olympic athletes, but they make sacrifices too. Some entrepreneurs may not have a personal life; others may lose sleep or financial stability. It’s a sacrifice entrepreneurs must make to propel themselves forward. With the passion and dedication like an Olympian, the sacrifices you make will help you reach your goal.

Stay Committed to Your Team

“I would rather lose with you guys than win with any other group of players,” said Emanuel Ginobilitold, an Argentinian basketball player, to his teammates after losing to the U.S in basketball. Ginobilitold is an NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs and it was a hit to his self-esteem that he lost to the U.S. when he played for his home country of Argentina. However, he stood by his Argentinian team after the loss.

An entrepreneur needs people who complement their skills by excelling where they struggle. It’s virtually impossible to do everything on your own. For example, although you may be a CEO of your company, you need to rely on your CFO for company finances and CMO for your business marketing strategy. Win or lose, your team is important and committed to supporting you to help make your business successful.

Focus on Your Dreams

“This is how I wanted to finish my career,” said swimmer Michael Phelps after winning his record-smashing 23rd gold medal and officially announcing his retirement. “I’ve lived a dream come true.” In an interview with Bob Costas, Phelps says he lost focus for the London 2012 Olympics. He retired after the London games, then came out of retirement for the Rio 2016 Olympics “to do it the right way, and that was the only way

[he] was going to come back.” Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals.

Phelps wasn’t happy about his performance in the London games. He stepped away from the sport then came back to do better in Rio. If you lose your focus and get off track from your business plan, it might be a good idea to remove yourself from the situation to take a moment to think, pause and reflect. You will be happier when you come back and will have a clearer picture of where you want your business to go next.

Passion. Dedication. Commitment. Focus. These four similarities between entrepreneurs and Olympians highlight how the same attitudes and behaviors can be used in two vastly different settings. With the mindset and spirit of an Olympian, any entrepreneur can navigate unexpected challenges to achieve their business dreams.

2017-06-19T15:03:46+00:00 September 2nd, 2016|Blog, Entrepreneur|0 Comments

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