Articles written by Zeeshan

What Entrepreneurs Should Learn from Athletes

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So many people look up to professional athletes. Growing up, we remember seeing our favourite players on hockey cards or cereal boxes, and even as role models on and off the field. But did you know that there are parallels to pro athletes and successful entrepreneurs? In this article, I would like to discuss a few lessons that budding entrepreneurs can take away from athletes by – having a training plan, thriving on adrenaline, and learning from failures.

Have a Training Plan

Athletes undergo rigorous training to become masters of their sport, and it should be no exception for entrepreneurs. Finding the best of the best to teach you what they know is a way to learn as an entrepreneur. Good coaching will help you avoid pitfalls, become more strategic, and anticipate future challenges. Lean on the experience of the pros and you will become better.

Back when I competed in Taekwondo, I would train 6 days a week and spar with people who were technically experienced than me. I soaked the knowledge and experience and it truly allowed me to advance to a black belt and compete at a national level. As an entrepreneur, I always ask for advice from mentors who are experienced in the game and apply to my business. Part of having a training plan is goal-setting. It’s not enough to want to become an entrepreneur or start your own business. You need to assess your work by setting short and long-term goals, an execution strategy, and indicators to measure whether you’re succeeding or failing. Athletes may measure their strength or speed, entrepreneurs on the other-hand will measure revenue and customer reviews.

Thrive on Adrenaline

If you talk to any pro athlete, they will tell you about the rush they feel when they step onto the court, prepare for a face-off, or hear the bell ringing. Entrepreneurs need to get excited about that same rush, that same adrenaline when it comes to their business. To do so, you need to have a competitive spirit. For example, what are other entrepreneurs doing in your space, and where are they succeeding? What are they doing differently and more importantly, what is your core competency that sets you apart? Strive to be the greatest of all time. Being driven by this motivation is what propels athletes to compete, and its what pushes entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into their business. Use visual cues to help you get into this drive by imaging yourself racing towards the finish line, preparing a KO upon your opponent, slapping a puck towards the net, etc.

Accept Failure, But Learn from It

Perhaps the most important lesson that entrepreneurs can learn from pro athletes is to embrace failure and grow from it. Most athletes face failure regularly, but they know how to draw lessons from their failure and improve their work. This resilience is essential to success as an entrepreneur. There will be failures, some that seem insurmountable, but it’s so important to view it as a natural process of growth. However, it’s essential to never be comfortable with failure because you’ll be in stuck in a vicious cycle of never progressing. Always challenge your failures, learn, and grow.

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