Winning Gold Medals in Our Businesses
While watching the Olympics, I was treated in one evening to gold-medal performances by two amazing Olympic athletes: Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. I quietly applauded their success and went to bed at almost midnight.
The next day, with their victories still fresh in my mind, I thought about six key parallels between Olympic success and business success:
#1: Keep Moving Forward
As Lindsey Vonn stood at the starting gate at the top of her run, she was visibly nervous and shaking uncontrollably. But as soon as she started her run, her nerves came under control. She just had to keep moving forward.
Being nervous is natural - especially in today's business climate. But it is imperative not to let anxiety or fear hold you back: success in business is dependent on remaining consistently active in the market place. When you feel your nerves begin to tingle, keep moving forward - your confidence will soon return.
#2: Be Flexible
In order to reach her goal, Lindsey had to adjust to the conditions of the course. For instance, she used men's ski to help cushion the bumps and to gain better control as she descended the mountainside.
The economy, and therefore the business world, is experiencing significant upheavals. It's not the ideal ride we would all prefer. In order to navigate through the bumps and rough spots of the sales and business cycles, we need to stay flexible with our approach, our processes, and our resources.
#3: Don't Give In
It was sheer determination that propelled Lindsey down the course and through the gates to win the gold medal even though she was suffering from a shin injury. She was in pain, but she didn't let it hold her back.
We need the same determination and grit to succeed in our businesses. Will there be times when things go horribly wrong? When our business is truly hurting? Yes. That is reality. But pain doesn't signify the end of the course - if we push through, an astonishing victory may be waiting just on the other side.
#4: Aim High
Lindsey came to the Olympics with big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG): to win a medal in alpine skiing. Her goal was flexible in that she did not care what color the medal was - she just wanted to win a medal. She ended up walking away with the gold for her efforts.
Likewise, we need to aim high in business. We need to set goals that will stretch us and push us beyond our comfort zone. But likewise, we need to be flexible within those goals - success doesn't always come in exactly the form we anticipate!
#5: Don't Get Comfortable
The same evening that Lindsey won her gold, snowboarder Shaun White took his second gold medal in the halfpipe. It would have been easy for Shaun not to compete in the 2010 Olympics - he already had an Olympic gold to his name. But he wasn't satisfied with what he had done in the past. He burned to be the best he could be - and to prove it again to a watching world.
No matter how successful your business has become, it's important not to get comfortable and to rest on your laurels. Remember, every day, every week, and every year is another opportunity to prove yourself worthy of a new gold medal!
#6: Pursue Innovation
In order to stay on top of his game, Shaun had to be innovative and invent a new trick. His competitors were already mastering the tricks he had created four years ago. He did it - with the amazing Double McTwist 1260.
To succeed in business, we must constantly reinvent ourselves and keep our products and services new and fresh. Remember - the competition is always watching! If we rely solely on what worked in the past, we'll find ourselves left in the dust!
The commitment to move forward. To remain flexible. To go on no matter what the cost. To aim high. To be the best. To break new ground. The same qualities these two remarkable Olympic champions exemplify will help us exceed our business goals and win our own personal gold medals!
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Sales Solutions, Inc.