Business Articles

Lessons from Competitive Sport

With the conclusion of the 2016 Olympics, conversations in Australia range from pride for those who competed, to disdain at the number of medals won in relation to the public money spent. Whatever your stance, most of us can appreciate the astounding accomplishments of ‘Triple/Triple’ gold medal winner Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps with his record-breaking 23 gold medals. Many of us can also appreciate the accomplishments of those who didn’t win medals but overcame enormous hardship and difficult circumstances just to compete at the Olympics (such as those in the refugee team).

There are many lessons we can learn from Olympians, regardless of their (or your) final ‘results’:

  1. Being in business is an accomplishment in itself. Have some audacious goals, but keep in mind that your little steps along the way are significant.
  2. Have faith in yourself. Even when it seems like you are failing or in a slump, have faith that you can get through it.
  3. Know your competitors. Find out what others are doing. Work out how you can do it better.
  4. Be coachable. You can’t do it all by yourself – no athlete has ever become an Olympian by themselves. They understand that to get the edge on their competitors, they need someone else who can give insight into strategy. Likewise, you need to look for people who can not only cheer you on but can tell you what you need to hear.
  5. Understand the need for work/rest cycles. No-one can operate at maximum capacity at all times. Olympians understand that they can burnout and plan their performance so they are in peak condition when they need to be. We all need to incorporate rest and relaxation so that mentally and physically we can rejuvenate ourselves to keep running the race.
  6. Use failures as a learning opportunity. Even Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps probably lost a few races along the way to becoming record-breakers. Use ‘losses’ to better understand how you can improve what you do and view them as challenges to be overcome.

Above all, view your time in business as a journey – earning a ‘medal’ is all well and good, but the hard work along the way should be rewarding in itself.

Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Shel Design
PO Box 8142, Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
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Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm
ABN: 88 695 161 542

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