Who isn’t watching the Olympics this year? With 3,600 hours of programming available in the U.S. and more coverage than in all previous Olympics, it’s hard to escape watching these exciting Games. But what, you may ask, do the Olympics have to do with small business owners?
As a small business coach and consultant to entrepreneurial women starting up businesses worldwide, I have found the 2008 Olympic Games to be both personally and professionally inspiring.
This year’s Olympic Games are a great model of success for small business owners. From the impressively choreographed opening ceremony to the individual and team competitions, the Olympics are full of powerful examples of what it means to be a successful small business owner in the world today.
15 Ways the Olympics Exemplify Success for Small Business Owners
- Be consistent. Become the very best you can be. Then deliver that level of excellence time and time again. Whether your event is table tennis, kayaking, or Taekwondo, practice your shot, stroke, or move until you can do it consistently well.
- Be disciplined. Nothing takes the place of discipline. Not hard work. Not a perfect physique. Not even luck. Getting up each day and committing yourself to your improvement and the betterment of your sport is what it takes to win gold.
- Come back from defeat. Don’t let defeat keep you down. Whether you have fallen from your horse, cracked your head on the diving board, or tripped while running, get back up. Keep going.
- It takes a team to raise a champion. Even an athlete competing in an individual sport does not do so alone. Behind your success stands a whole team of supporters raising you up.
- Listen to your inner knowing. Tune out the crowd. Whether they cheer or boo, go inward. Don’t listen to what others say. Tune into your strong inner knower, what I call your Inner Samurai, and let that be your guide.
- Pay attention to details. The slightest nuance will add or deduct tenths of a point. Pay attention to details. You can bet that’s what your competitors are doing.
- Stay the course. No matter how long it takes, stay the course. Don’t give up on yourself, your vision, or your goal. So what if it takes many years to realize your dream? The feeling of achievement cannot be measured in years.
- Do your personal best, no matter what. Even with water in your goggles, sun glare in your eyes, and fists flying at you, do your best. Then be proud that you did.
- Have a game plan. Have a game plan and stick with it. Know how many strokes you need before the flip turn, how many paces between each hurdle, and when to pull up on your horse to clear the gate.
- Be strong. Be strong physically, mentally, and emotionally. In spirit, thought, and word. Stand strong. Land strong. Stay strong.
- Have heart. Have heart and don’t be afraid to show it. Scream, shout, and cheer your way to success. Put your heart into everything you do.
- Finish what you start. Even if you know you are coming in dead last, finish the race. Complete what you’ve started. Let the world know you mean business.
- Work with your nerves. Not against them. Nerves mean you care a lot about something. Embrace them. Let them fuel you toward greatness.
- Prove them wrong. When you hear negative things said about you, rejoice! These negative words are a powerful ally adding fuel to your inner fire. There’s nothing quite so sweet as proving you can do what others say you cannot.
- Leave a legacy. The Olympic athletes have shown the world that they know they are fencing, boxing, or rowing for more than themselves. They do this for their country. For those who have gone before and for those who come after them. For all that is right and good in the world of competition.
With gold, silver and bronze medals at stake and bragging rights for the taking, this year’s Olympics are much more than just Games. Within each event, on every team, and in every individual athlete, you’ll find a shining example of what it means to be a successful small business owner in the world today.