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Reaching Business Goals: Drawing Inspiration From the World's Greatest Athletes
  • 08 February 2018
  • Eric Michaels

Reaching Business Goals: Drawing Inspiration From the World's Greatest Athletes

There is something about international athletic competitions that inspire and motivate people all over the world. During broadcasts of highly anticipated games and championships, we learn the backstories of competitors and see exactly what it took to make the cut. By the end, we feel connected through the struggles they overcame and how they persevered through difficult times to become an inspiration to everyone.

Business owners can take a cue from the world's best athletes. As you marvel at the heights of athletic achievement this winter, draw inspiration for reaching your own business goals and overcoming obstacles that stand in your way to success.

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Trust the process

When we hear about the makings of a great athlete, most of us are impressed by their training processes. These stars' achievements come from years of early rising, hard work, and absolute dedication to improvement. Oftentimes, these top athletes have had to make major sacrifices in order to become the very best. Ask yourself: What are you willing to give up to achieve your business goals?

It all begins with trusting the process. Every top athlete in the world bought into the idea that hard work and devoted training will yield results, and it’s no different for business leaders. It takes an immense amount of work to build a successful small business, and if you cannot dedicate yourself completely, success will be hard to find. While you may not have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to train, you do have to commit to showing up every day (figuratively and literally), building a trusting community with your employees, and pushing hard to make a positive name for your brand.

Believe in your teammates

Have you ever watched a sport that involves two or more athletes, and marveled at the communication and synchronization between the athletes? Whether it’s an ice skating pair, a bobsled team, or even a larger ice hockey team, each individual must depend on their teammates in order to execute. Incorporating this concept into your business can be easier than it may seem.

As a business owner, it’s your job to set the tone in the workplace. Think of yourself as the captain of a great team. If your team doesn’t trust and believe in you, your group will not advance very far. Look for ways to build a positive company culture. Create a collaborative and positive atmosphere from top to bottom by showing gratitude to your employees for their work, recognizing outstanding accomplishments and projects, and keeping your employees engaged with a specific goal or motivating idea. When you are transparent with your employees and encourage them to work together, you will end up with a team-oriented atmosphere that pushes the group to work together to achieve success.

Deal with adversity

Another common trait amongst the world's greatest athletes is the ability to persevere—even in the face of major setbacks and challenges. Before standing on the biggest stage in their sport, they have often overcome injuries, bouts of insecurity, and questions about their motivation. The athlete you see on the international stage has typically journeyed very far to get to where they are today.

Likewise, every business owner faces obstacles on the way to success. It’s important to understand that you will need to overcome challenges you never expected along the way. Stay motivated, organized, and dedicated to pushing your business to the next level. Every day may not be a win, but as long as you keep moving in the right direction, there will always be a reason to celebrate. Success often begins as a state of mind.

Know your strengths

No team can win without a leader who understands what each player can contribute to the group. As a business owner, this may be the biggest challenge you face. Can you get to know your staff well enough that you understand each individual's greatest strengths and weaknesses? Do you know how to apply these strengths to improving your business, and how to work on the weaknesses to create positive change within your company? Are you able to help your employees acknowledge their potential and confront their own biggest challenges at work?

Finding a way to get the most from your team is never an easy task. It requires empathy, firmness, and sometimes tough love. But every small business owner has to become a leader if they hope to succeed, and that means showing employees how to push themselves by working alongside them. Establish open communication and look for suggestions on how you can improve as a leader. If you don’t know the unique skills of every teammate, driving your business to new heights will be impossible.

You can learn a lot about reaching business goals and fostering perseverance by watching the greatest athletes in the world. Use their stories of dedication as inspiration for the next successful phase of your business.

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