My obsession with the 2014 Winter Olympics is well underway. I love high stakes sporting events where every move, every act counts toward the ultimate honor in athletic competition. As someone who has chronically lacked any real athletic ability, I am fascinated by how individuals can push themselves physically and mentally to be the best in the world. What is it about these people? Where does their mental toughness come from? Every time I watch our world’s most accomplished athletes compete, I am in awe.
While parallels between world class competitors and your small business may not seem apparent at first, here are 4 key components of an Olympic athlete’s success that your business can learn from:
1. Opportunity & Innate Ability
Every person in the world does not have an equal opportunity to become an Olympic athlete. Some people have more opportunity than others and while that might not seem fair, it is true. Young girls in the United States are encouraged more and have a greater opportunity to participate in sports than in many other countries.
Just look at what happened in the 2012 London Games...
The USA won 46 gold medals in the Games, more than any other nation. Women won 29 of them. Were U.S. women their own nation, they would have finished ahead of every other country's total gold medal count except China and tied Great Britain
Christine Brennan USA Today
It’s not enough to just have the opportunity presented to you, you have to be born with the goods you need to succeed. My short legs ensure that I will never be a hurdler. Body type matters in most sports; that’s why you don’t see any 5 foot tall players in the NBA. For whatever evolutionary reasons, some people are born with certain traits that allow them to participate in certain sporting events and be the best in the world.
The same thing is true in business. Opportunity and innate ability play a huge role in our success. Look back on your life, whether you realize it or not, this combination of qualities is probably how you ended up doing whatever it is that you do. Maybe you saw a gap in the industry you were working in and decided you could start a business to fill it. You saw an opportunity and you had the ability to fill that gap. If you are a detail oriented programmer who processes through every single detail thoughtfully before you can come to a concrete conclusion and point and you started a children’s storytelling service, you are probably not going to be very successful and will more than likely bore a ton of children to tears.
Asking yourself what opportunities are available and what you or your employees are already good at could help you come up with new ideas to grow your business.
This is how Click & Mortar Websites was started. It’s what happens where a web developer, a graphic designer, and a tech consultant are all in the same family and all love helping small business becomes successful without selling their kidneys on the black market (please don’t do this, we can help you).
When opportunity and ability meet, a successful plan can be developed.
2. Dedication and Passion
It’s not just enough to have opportunity and ability, you have to want it. Don’t take my word for it. Take it from these Olympic winners:
Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.
Kerri Walsh, beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist
If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then will power is no longer a problem. It’s raining? That doesn’t matter. I am tired? That’s besides the point. It’s simply that I just have to.
Emil Zatopek, winner of 4 gold medal at 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games
How bad do you want your business to succeed? Do you have the dedication and passion you will need to go the distance? Wilma Rudolph, USA gold medalist in track and field, thinks you do...
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
If you can tap into what is already inside of you, you can and will see your goals achieved.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure no one has ever accidentally won an Olympic gold medal. These athletes haven’t just stumbled into success; no one picked them up off the side of the road on their way to the stadium and then they had an amazing performance.
Olympic athletes have goals. They want to be the best in the world and that is exactly what their every move in life communicates from their diet, to their workout routines, to the amount of sleep they get. They know their goals and they are willing to go the distance to achieve them. Just ask Kristi Yamaguchi, gold medalist in figure skating...
Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life.
Do you have concrete goals for your business or are you planning to stumble into success?
If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.Yogi Berra, former Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager
Know where you want your business and life to go and then, do #4, make a plan.
Not only do Olympic athletes know what they want and have the passion and drive to see their dreams come true, they make a plan and they stick to it. They surround themselves with people who support them and help their achieve their goals.
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
Jesse Owens, USA track and field gold medalist
Does your business have a plan? Do you know how you are going to reach new customers? If not, it is time to stop shooting in the dark and wishing for success. Making a plan for your business can be complex and while we can’t help you determine the direction your company needs to go or all of steps necessary to get there, but we can help you with a few essential marketing pieces we guarantee your business will need to meet your goals.
1. You need a presence online that tells an accurate story of what your business does and why it does it well.
2. You have to be able to be found online.
3. People need to be able to see your information clearly on mobile devices.
4. 2 words that you might be tired of people cramming down your throat - SOCIAL MEDIA.
If these online marketing techniques are not in your plan to achieve your goals, it’s time to add them. We specialize helping those small businesses who aren’t at the place where they have the thousands of dollars to put down on a website. No more excuses, let’s get to work!