6 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Can Learn From an Olympian

Now that the Rio Olympics have ended – let’s see what we can learn from the world-class athletes who competed there.

These athletes are working to go to the pinnacle of physical achievement; this means whatever lessons you learn can be applied to achieve entrepreneurial or sales success.

1. Prepare to the Best of Your Ability

This lesson is the most important and fundamental lesson you can learn from an Olympian. Do whatever you can to prepare.

Gather information by reading the bestsellers or joining networking events. Work tirelessly on your projects. Work out the kinks by going through the process again and again. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the company or way of work.

Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity” – Seneca

Olympians prepare for every scenario and outcome, and so should you. Work down to the last detail and you will have maximized your chances of luck working in your favor.

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2. Adjust to the Circumstances

It is not uncommon to find, despite your preparations, things aren’t going your way. It is necessary to be able to improvise and keep going when your plans fail you.

You can see it is a common occurrence with rhythmic gymnasts to keep going and finish the routine when they lose or drop their apparatus. They know that their slip up will cost them valuable points and time, but it is even more important to salvage what time is remaining and complete the routine.

So it is that you too must keep going if and when a mistake happens. But it can be helped by some of the preparations you’ve made. Being knowledgeable and familiar with your work makes it easy to improvise and get back on track. Do not be discouraged!

3. Find a Mentor

Every athlete looking to compete on the world stage has a coach. Their coach trains them, provides them with knowledge accumulated through the years, has necessary connections, and much more. Why would you forgot a mentor as well?

This lesson is important for the young generation as well as the experienced. An instructor allows you to observe techniques and skills in a live environment. You will get first-hand experience and knowledge from the source. You’ll also be able to save a lot of time from trial and error through mentor teachings. With another person present, you’ll have the ability to bounce ideas off of them and compare notes to track progress. Remember to learn from them!

The second option, if a mentor is unavailable, is to join a group of peers who share the same interests and goals as you do. You’ll be in constant competition, keep up to date with current trends and ideas, and have help available to you if you fall short.

A side effect of having peers with the same goals is that it keeps you on track and avoids procrastination or other distractions. You’ll be improving because the group will be improving. It is a similar dynamic to Olympic teams; teammates push each other to do better constantly because there are limited spots available in an event.


Related: Why Many People Fail to Achieve Their (Sales) Goals

4. Work In Cycles

Our bodies naturally perform in cycles. The most common cycle is the circadian rhythm. Our body’s natural clock functions in a daily cycle; this means the body functions in 24-hour periods. We work, eat, sleep, and do whatever else we need to do in these 24 hours. This idea is true for people on earth as it is for astronauts in space.

Olympians know that rest is vital to their performance because it is necessary after a day of training. So, this too applies to the salesperson. After working a long day, trying to close or learn a new technique, you must set aside time to recover. Take a break and don’t think about work. Do anything but work. Remember, work and then rest. On and off.

5. Always Set Goals

Athletes prepare for the Olympics months and years in advance. With this long period, it is easy to lose sight of your goals because what you want isn’t in the immediate future. Now, what do athletes do to stay on track each day?

They set goals for themselves. Long term goals that are years away can be made easier by breaking them down into monthly goals. Then, those goals are made more precise into daily tasks. Now, you have small checkpoints to know you’re keeping on track.

Do not underestimate the power of this technique. Spend some time to do a small task and it will be easier to do more. Then, do it every day and you’ll have reached your goals sooner than later.

Related: Reports and Summaries: The Two Ingredients for Your Business Success

6. Assume the Sale

If you have watched the Olympics, you will notice some athletes definitively stating they will take home the Gold. You will almost always see this type of declaration in Boxing. You may ask yourself, how can they say this and not worry about backing it up?

What is important to note here is the mentality these athletes have. They already assume they’re going to win, and so they shall as the saying goes. It even helps them because if they have made such a bold statement, then there is no choice but to make it come true.

Take sales for an example. It is the case that assuming you will get the sale naturally leads to the sale. Your mind focuses on the goal, and your body acts accordingly. It is a powerful tool and useful reference point for you to have when you are working.

Related: Lost (And Won) Deals: 3 Things to Take Into Account

In conclusion

If you follow these six lessons, you will see an increase in your productivity and results. Do all you can to prepare; then lady luck will be on your side. If, in the slimmest of chances, fate goes against you, adapt to the circumstances! Learn from an expert, or from the like-minded. Keep in mind that, work and rest are two sides of the same coin. Use goals as a tool to keep on track for long-term ventures. And when all of that is complete, have the mindset of someone who has already won.


Abe Dearmer

Abe has a vast experience running multiple SaaS companies and is an expert on all things Sales, Marketing and SEO.

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