[November 4, 2018] Today’s global entrepreneurship scene is busier than ever before. Today’s leaders are able to tap into a wide range of different disciplines from meditation and yoga to behavioural economics and predictive analytics.
At the same time, stress and burnout are real threats that can affect all of us. That’s why entrepreneurs are starting to think more like sportspeople at the highest level.
1. Warmups are important
Professional sportspeople warm up before the game to reduce the likelihood of injuries and to promote peak performance. Entrepreneurs can follow in their footsteps by preparing for the day with some light meditation and reflection.
2. Passion wins games
As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you’re already passionate about what you do, but that passion needs to be contagious if you want to inspire the same levels of passion and performance from your employees.
3. Make marginal gains
Team GB cycling coach Dave Brailsford has much to do with the popularisation of marginal gains (making a series of small improvements that have a big effect over time). In Brailsford’s case, they tested the aerodynamics of different helmets and clothing. Take advantage of every edge you can.
4. Know when to play by the rules
Rules are rules for a reason, and a good sportsperson knows when to abide by them and when there’s a little flexibility or room for interpretation. Entrepreneurs need to know the rules in the first place if you want to break them.
5. It’s a team game
Sometimes entrepreneurs try to take on too much. Sports teams remind us that there’s no point having a star player unless they’re playing as a part of a team. A well-disciplined team will always beat a field of star players who all want to hog the ball.
6. Substitutes are okay
Sometimes we don’t quite have the team in place that we need for a specific task. When that happens, instead of hiring an entirely new team for a single job, we can substitute in a freelancer. That applies whether you’re hiring a user experience specialist from Upwork or a copywriter from EssayOnTime.
7. Training makes a difference
Every professional sports team has a coach that helps them to perform at the best, and the same should be true in the business world. Smart entrepreneurs provide ongoing training across all levels of the organisation.
8. All you can do is try
Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose a match. In both sports and the business world, there are a lot of different elements at work which all affect the end result. As an entrepreneur, you need to accept that all you can do is try.
Simply recognising that you can learn from sports teams isn’t enough. Instead, you need to take what you’ve learned today and to apply it to your life. The key is to find out what works for you and to stick with it.