Business Articles

Think Like an Olympian

The Olympics have rolled around again, which means a return of the armchair experts on diving, badminton, fencing and Greco-Roman wrestling (and arguments about whether synchronised swimming is really a sport). At some point though, most of us watch the Olympic competitors with awe, and muse about what it must take for them to compete at that elite level.

Most small business owners are not so different from our Olympians. It takes stamina, commitment and many hours of hard work to build and grow a successful business. If you have been in business for longer than two years, you are amongst the ‘elite’ – and you have many similarities to Olympic competitors.

There would be few (if any) Olympians who have not experienced setbacks. To get where they are, they have learnt to be resilient, to ignore the critics and to bounce back from negative experiences. These are all extremely important attributes for business owners. Firstly, it is being aware that there will be setbacks (business, like life, is not perfect!) and then it is being determined not to let those experiences defeat you.

All Olympians know that it is not enough just to have ability. Passion is vital: it is what will keep you going and willing to jump through hoops. Without passion, your business will become ‘just another job’ and won’t survive the long term.

Ian Thorpe, one of our best known Olympians, had a wonderful attitude before one Olympic final, when he was allocated Lane 5 (historically the ‘fastest lane’ is Lane 4). His response was “There is water in every lane, so it is OK”. It is this sort of pragmatism that is important for business owners too. There will be times when it appears that we have missed out on the best pathway to success, but sometimes we need a dose of pragmatism to realise that we need to make the best of what we have in front of us.

And to end with a classic Aussie way of viewing things, here is a quote from Olympic shooter Russell Mark: “A silver medal gets you as many free beers as a gold medal does”.

 


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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