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Going for the Gold: What We Learn from the Olympic Athletes

It’s interesting, when I look at Olympic hopefuls, I can’t help buy consider what it takes to be one. If you were to see many of them, just walking down the street, you might not be able to pick them out of a crowd. Sure, there are those who have had wonderful opportunities to represent certain companies, but for the most part, they go on faceless and nameless. Yet, they are among the best in the world.

While many business owners don’t envision themselves as being the best in the world, I suspect most aren’t living up to their potential. When I look at many of the largest companies in the world, they started out like many of the Olympic athletes but they, like many of the athletes, did something to set them apart.

Consider this, if you will:

  • Self Assessment: While it probably took a bit of trial and error, especially early in life, to learn what they were good at, at some point, it kicked in. Whether it was gymnastics or volleyball or basketball, they found something they loved, could do very well and could be passionate about.
  • Focus: Once they discovered that passion, they poured their energies into it. The gymnasts didn’t spend half their time playing football; the swimmers didn’t play ice hockey on the side. They remained focus on their given sport.
  • Specialized: My wife, a former track star, tells me about her training. Her specialties were hurdles and relays. That is what she did and that’s what she did well. When she was asked to run races that were outside of her specialty, she didn’t perform nearly as well. When her substitute trainer had her run distances, her performance suffered. However, when her coach had her focused on the exercises that would make her stronger and better at what she was great at, she excelled.
  • Vision: Every Olympic hopeful started off with a vision. Now, it may have started off that they wanted to be the best in their school, or in their club, but it started off with motivation to be the best at in their particular sphere.
  • Plan: As with anything you do well, they plan to get better. Think about Olympic bodybuilders who have to train a certain way every day.
  • A Coach: While athletes often have natural gifts, a coach can spot the imperfections in technique, provide motivation and help the athlete reach far beyond where they could have achieved on their own.
  • Discipline: Outside of the presence of their coach and everyone else in the world, the discipline to do the right things right is the key to achieving desired goals
  • Going the Distance: Getting started is often easy. Sometimes giving up when things get rough is easier. In order to reach the goal, to attain the vision, going the distance requires all of these attributes.

While this list isn’t conclusive, it is easy to see how applying these attributes to yourself and your business can give you something to shoot for. Admittedly, no one can do it all themselves. While it takes all of these attributes to be successful, having a coach or a mentor is what will make the difference between an amateur and a professional.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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