April 4, 2018

Valuable Life Lessons from Sports for Entrepreneurs

A businessman on a track ready to run
Life Lessons from Sports for Entrepreneurs

Excelling in the world of professional sports requires a robust combination of talent, discipline, and determination. It takes talent to channel formidable skill into performance. However, talent alone won’t get the job done. Discipline is required to put in the time to harness that talent to its highest level, and determination is what drives top athletes through the most challenging times, keeping them focused on the prize.


The attributes that allow elite athletes to excel and perform at near super-human levels are just as useful in the boardroom as on the playing field. Step up your game by adding these life lessons from sports to your professional playbook.


The attributes that allow elite athletes to excel are just as useful in the boardroom as on the playing field. Share on X


Have Clear Goals.

Whether it’s winning a gold medal or taking their team to the championships, athletes are always striving toward very specific goals. They dream big and lean on their drive to keep pushing their objectives forward, even when things get tough. Whatever success looks like for you, having a clear vision of your goals gives you a tangible reason to fight through setbacks and overcome obstacles. Whether you want to upgrade your infrastructure, grow your business by 200% in three years, or create a sea of change in your industry, write down your goals. Set and prioritize your objectives, define your benchmarks for success, then go for it.


Be Willing to Fail.

Some of the world’s biggest success stories started out as unremarkable failures. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team. That didn’t stop him from becoming one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen. Shrinking away from challenges or trying to avoid failure is the surest way to fail. There are bound to be difficulties on the road to success, and not everything will work out as you plan. But as Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so don’t fear failure; embrace it! Setbacks are a natural part of any challenging journey and they bring valuable lessons that help you grow as you move closer to your goals.


Practice Discipline.

Reaching the pinnacle in your field requires getting up every day, having a game plan, following it diligently, and resisting distractions that do not further your goals. Athletes stick to their training regimens, no matter what, because they understand the importance of being prepared and sharpening their skills. Driven entrepreneurs concentrate on a vision and do not waver in their resolve.


Believe in Yourself.

Having a winning mentality is a life lesson from sports to be used in all aspects of life, regardless of the career you pursue.  You have to be able to visualize your success and believe you will achieve it. Vision is an essential trait in business, and self-confidence is the necessary fuel that drives that vision forward. If you aren’t “all in” with your mission, you’re going to have a difficult time inspiring anyone else.


To win at business or sports, you have to be able to visualize your success and believe you will achieve it. Share on X


Trust Your Team.

No matter how much talent, discipline, and determination you can summon, you still can’t do it all yourself. Even the most famous sports stars know that they need to trust their fellow team members to throw them the best passes, protect them from tackles, and clear the way for them to score. You need to be able to place the same confidence in your team that you have in yourself. Resist micromanaging and instead, empower your team with tools that emphasize personal accountability. Promoting a company culture that encourages open communication and the sharing of ideas will help motivate others as you lead by example.


The journey athletes make from rookie player to champion paints a perfect image of the long and challenging path to success as an entrepreneur. Often, it is an individual’s competitive spirit that will determine how close they’ll come to achieving their dream. Don’t spend your time fearing those edging up behind you. Use them as inspiration to work harder, do better, and get there first. After all, thinking like a winner is the first step to becoming one. Implement these life lessons from sports to achieve success.



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