Business lessons we can learn from the Olympics

Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. administrator Posts: 1,137 Site Admin
edited August 2016 in Business Planning
Hello, all!

With the Rio Games upon us, I read an interesting article on StartupNation's website over the weekend. It was authored by former Olympic athlete-turned-business/life coach, Inga Stasiulionyte. Stasiulionyte competed in the Beijing Olympics as javelin thrower. She now helps run an online motivational coaching program called onbotraining.com.

I wanted to share this article with you, which I have linked below, but first I wanted to add a few points of my own regarding business takeaways we can learn from the Olympics:

-Never underestimate your competition. In the Olympics, every athlete there is amongst the best in the world at what they do -- even if they ranked lower than the well-known contenders. In business, it may take one brilliant idea for an entrepreneur to position his/her business, products, services, etc., as a must-have. Even if you consistently out-sell somebody, or have never heard of a business, it is important to do your market research and continue to keep up with or surpass the competition. The Olympics sees up-and-comers shine out of nowhere, as does entrepreneurship.

-Perseverance and persistence pays off. Olympians train year-round. They spend countless amounts of money on coaches, equipment and other necessities. They spend even more hours of their lives perfecting their craft. Sound familiar? Starting a business can be the exact same thing. Actually, whether you are launching a business, growing a business or managing it, it takes most of your waking hours to make sure it is successful. If you are doing things in the correct manner, are able to have a good branding and marketing strategy and have quality goods and services, your perseverance is likely to pay off. Not everyone can win a gold medal, but there is no shame in trying -- you may just wind up on the podium.

-Success is not just for the individual. While many of the Olympic athletes compete individually in sports like track and field, swimming, fencing and many others, each athlete is part of a team and represents their country as a whole. They work with coaches and peers on a daily basis. This is true in business, also. You have a team of employees you work with, you have partners, you have investors, etc. Even if you are a one-man operation, it is vital to connect with people and gather advice and ideas. Many businesses fail at an individual level within the senior management. Remember the overall goals for the business are always much more impactful than any individual agenda.

Here is the link to the article:

https://startupnation.com/start-your-business/achieve-the-impossible/?utm_source=community&utm_medium=12021&utm_campaign=new-topic

Community, what lessons do you draw from the Olympics?
Ryan O'Bleness
Community Manager
StartupNation, LLC

Comments

  • Cara O'BlenessCara O'Bleness Birmingham, MIadministrator Posts: 68 Site Admin
    These are some great points!

    There are a number of lessons from the Olympic Games that correlate to small business practices. Both commitment to sport and business require passion, dedication, hard work and keeping your eye on the prize.

    Read all about small business lessons from Olympians-turned entrepreneurs in this StartupNation article, which highlights sports and business superstars Steve Mesler, Debbie McCormick and more:

    https://startupnation.com/start-your-bu ... g-topic%20
    Cara O'Bleness
    Content Director
    StartupNation
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. administrator Posts: 1,137 Site Admin
    Thank you, Cara.

    This is also an intriguing and relevant article. With the Olympics at top of mind right now, and everybody focused on them, it is funny to think how many connections there are between athletics and business. Some more of the many similarities that come to mind are the need to have thick skin, the need to set yourself apart from the crowd and the need to execute.

    In both business and the Olympics, it all does come down to one thing, though: passion. The drive to get you there. The ambition to get things done. The willingness to give it everything you have and then some.
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • Rohit_webGuyRohit_webGuy subscriber Posts: 12
    All of these are great things to learn, understand, and to apply in our life and business.

    Business is all about ups and downs and every notch gives something to learn. We just need to listen to our business.
    Learning from inspiring people is what happens inside a chemistry lab; you can see the outcome.
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. administrator Posts: 1,137 Site Admin
    All of these are great things to learn, understand, and to apply in our life and business.

    Business is all about ups and downs and every notch gives something to learn. We just need to listen to our business.
    Learning from inspiring people is what happens inside a chemistry lab; you can see the outcome.

    Great points, Rohit. I think it is important not only in business, but in life, to have inspiration. Watching the best athletes in the world compete against each other can give someone the motivation to strive for greatness. As you mentioned, there are a lot of ups and downs in business, athletics and life itself. Those who can push through adversity, learn from mistakes and make tough decisions are the people who will be successful at whatever it is they are pursuing. Even when things don't work out in your favor, you'll never know unless you try.

    So the question is, what drives you to be as great as you can be?
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • Martha GrahamMartha Graham subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    Great points! The Olympic games can be a huge driver of business, in a variety of industries.
    business includes up and down stages . but we need to learn from our mistakes.
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