Have you been watching the Olympics this summer? I have. These athletes have been training for years and are at the top of their game. They are ready to compete on the world’s biggest stage. You spend a lot of time and effort learning, training and working to be the best in your business. You may not earn a medal for it, but you are proud of what you have accomplished. So why not let some of these Olympians teach you a little more.
Here are 5 business takeaways from the Summer Olympics:
1. You are never too old to do great things. American Kristin Armstrong became the oldest female Olympic cycling gold medalist, her third gold medal in cycling, one day shy of her 43rd birthday. It doesn’t matter how old (or young) you are to have great ideas and make a difference. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something because of your age. Which leads me to…
2. Not only do you need a goal, but you also need a plan. Do you think these Olympic competitors got to where they are just by saying they want to be an Olympian? No. Whether or not they earned a medal, they had to work hard to get to the Olympics in the first place. They had to study, learn, train, study more, learn more, train more. You need business goals, but you also need to back up that goal with a plan to get you there. Start with ‘SMART’ goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound), but make sure you know HOW your business will achieve this goal. Does it involve new training, technology, or procedures? The ‘how’ is as important as the ‘what.’
3. Be ready to work individually or as a team. Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky are dominating their sports. They set new records and have firmly planted themselves as American phenomes, both individually and as part of a team. They would not have some of the medals that they do if they had only wanted to go it alone. In your business you will likely need to do things on your own and as part of a team. How you accomplish tasks and reach goals will differ, but you need to know how to do them both equally well to be successful.
4. Don’t be afraid to break new ground. Simone Manuel became the first black female swimmer to win an Olympic medal for America by tying for gold in the 100m freestyle. She also won a silver medal for the 50m freestyle and a gold and silver in each of 2 relays. This 20 year old is now in the history books; not for the medals themselves, but because she was the ‘first.’ It is something her children and grandchildren will be proud of years from now. No matter who you are or what you do, don’t be afraid to do something no one else has done before. Be different. That is how you, and your business, will stand out.
5. Don’t be afraid to change directions. Although there have been many people already hoping he will compete in Tokyo, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, said he has swam his last race. Could he medal in Tokyo? Maybe. But there are other things he wants to do with his life. He is going out on top and feels that he has accomplished what he set out to do in Rio. Do you feel like you want to take your life and/or business in a different direction? There are a lot of things to consider, but don’t be afraid to change directions if you have another passion. As Phillip Hatfield, motivation speaker, has said, “Our career is what we are paid for. Our calling is what we are made for.” Live your calling!
Although most of us will never be Olympians, we can learn a lot, both personally and professionally, from what they do, or don’t do. There are other lessons to be learned from these Games, so keep watching and learning!
Pam Albrecht is a social media and marketing manager at Albrecht & Associates. She works with small business owners who don’t have the time, desire or knowledge to execute the details of a marketing plan by providing virtual marketing support.
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