It struck me on the weekend while watching the footy that there are a lot of things we as business people can learn from elite athletes.
Footy players (whatever the code) are dedicated, committed and successful. Here are five habits of elite athletes that promote success in business too.
1. Learn from somebody with relevant experience
Athletes rarely succeed without a good coach. Successful small business owners and franchisees often work with a business mentor who functions in a similar capacity. This person can be a friend, fellow businessperson, an old colleague, or another franchisee. The ability to seek guidance from someone with experience and perspective is invaluable.
Consider seeking advice from specialised ‘coaches’ for different parts of your business too – in the AFL, players receive guidance from forward coaches, defensive coaches and strength and conditioning coaches as well as the assistant and head coaches.
2. Have a solid support network
Athletes seek advice from a whole team of professionals, including sports doctors, physios, nutritionists and teammates. Similarly, small business owners and franchisees should have a solid support network. Talk to business consultants, financial experts and owners of similar businesses to make sure you are on the right track. Don’t forget family and friends either – A personal support system is critical to get you through the tough times and help you celebrate accomplishments.
3. Learn from mistakes
Professional athletes spend time studying past games and thinking about what worked and what went wrong. Business people can adopt the same habit, learning lessons from past mistakes to make better decisions in the future. You’ll often see football teams in the stands watching their next opponent the weekend before. This applies to business too – a bit of recon on competitors never hurts.
4. Recognise that everything won’t always go your way
Elite athletes participate in many events and consequently face failure on a regular basis. The same can be said for business owners and franchisees who understand failure is part of life. You must be equipped to deal with failure and take it in your stride as your strive for success. Footy teams don’t get to the Grand Final by giving up when they fail, and you won’t be a successful business owner by throwing in the towel either.
5. Celebrate your victories – Think Mad Monday
When the hard work does pay off, athletes take the time to celebrate their wins before throwing themselves into the next challenge. It’s important to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication you put into achieving success. Remembering the moments that make it all worthwhile will help you continue to aim high for success in future endeavours.
About the Author
Gavin Culmsee is Chief Operating Officer of Bedshed, one of Australia’s largest specialist bedding and bedroom furniture franchises with a network of more than 30 stores across the country. A robust industry in Australia, franchising takes a lot of the risk out of starting your own business. Bedshed has grown steadily since it started in Western Australia in 1980 and is currently expanding on the eastern seaboard. Follow Bedshed on LinkedIn here.