6 Business Lessons We Can Learn from Olympians
Time after time, Olympians have shown admirable dedication and skills that keep them at the top of their game. A passion for greatness allows them to surmount any obstacle as they look forward to the ultimate prize. As a small business owner, you can take many valuable lessons from athletes to maximize your company's success. Here are six crucial traits Olympic athletes can teach us about running a highly successful business: 1. Take smart risks
Athletes consistently face new challenges as their competitors strive for recognition and success. Much like the Olympians we admire, small business owners step out of their comfort zone in pursuit of a dream that may ultimately not come to fruition. While dreaming big brings a greater chance of failure, it also means reaping greater rewards.
Assess your small business obstacles to successfully create a plan of attack and ensure that you are aware of and educated on any potential risk. 2. Set realistic goals
While Olympic athletes continuously strive to win the grand prize, their success relies on setting small, manageable goals. Their training process may start off shaky and some may even feel uncertain, but it is these small achievements that help them improve over time.
Similarly, your business may have long-term projects that are simply too big to achieve without breaking them down. This is especially crucial for newer small businesses, as they must first construct an actionable business plan and work with limited resources. It is okay to think big—in fact, it is even encouraged—but you should remember that taking it slow and steady will help you win the race. 3. Have the right mindset
Generally speaking, other small business owners have received the same training as you. However, many start-ups fail because their leaders lack the right mindset. While failure can be blamed on various, unforeseen scenarios, having the right mindset about your small business can help you get out of particularly difficult situations. This is the competitive advantage that forces you to think outside the box and put your best resources to work. Likewise, only the most determined Olympic athletes succeed through long hours of training, assessing their environment, and undeterred optimism. 4. Never stay down
Olympic athletes are occasionally faced with tragic or unexpected setbacks, such as an injury. What sets them apart is their uncanny ability to bounce back and face adversity head on. Competitors in the Special Olympics, in particular, show admirable determination.
When business goes bad, the ability to find an ideal solution is what will define your experience and success. Your business may face internal conflict or financial difficulties, or take much longer than expected to bring in a profit. Regardless of your situation, develop the mindset of an Olympian to swiftly bounce back and move forward. 5. Embrace competition
Olympians compete against one another for the gold medal, but they truly admire fair and productive competition since it helps them improve their skills. Similarly, someone will always attempt to take your place and win over your customers, which should motivate you to offer better services and maintain your winning position.
In the event of failure, the success of a fellow athletic competitor inspires others to reassess their strengths and weaknesses. No matter how you look at it, there is nothing to lose by embracing competition and learning from it. 6. Keep your reputation in mind
Olympians, much like other athletes, are proud of their abilities and serve as role models to those who follow them. The lesson for small business owners here lies in leadership skills and delivering the very best you can to your customers. Employee professionalism, customer service, and ideal communication are just a few traits that will help you ensure that your business's character remains strong.
As you start your new business, remember that, like Olympians, you should celebrate success and failure. Keep these six values in mind, and remember that every experience—good or bad—provides ample opportunity for growth.