Did you watch the XXII Olympic Games? Inspiring! Perhaps you’ve been moved to improve your physical fitness. Substitute fruit for potato chips. Go for a run. Do some yoga. Train for a springtime race and dream BIG! You may be inspired to dream BIG about your business, too. Here are 4 Olympic Lessons for you, dear Biz Owner!
#1. Relax. Sage Kotsenburg took it nice and easy and won the Gold Medal in the Snowboard Slopestyle event. While others pushed and pulled, he sailed to first place with a big grin. Yes, you have to train and learn and make mistakes. When it comes time to DO it…just DO it. And enjoy it. Be unattached to the outcome. While achieving the goal is important, consider this: You set a goal because you think you will be happier if you achieve it. What if you pursue happiness first? Live in gratitude. Be of service. Have fun and laugh at all of life’s absurdities. In this state of happiness, you make better decisions and reaching the goal becomes inevitable. We so often have this backwards. That if we stress and strain and somehow reach the goal, THEN we will be happy. It doesn’t work that way.
#2. No one succeeds on their own. It takes a family, a village and a country to support every athlete. Don’t you love the Olympians’ background stories? One Gold Medal performance, or heartbreaking fall, is shared – and appreciated – by so many. And we all love the redemption story. Your success, in business and in life, is a win for us all. Ask for help when you need it and loan a hand when you can.
#3. This too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever. At some point, you are too old to be an Olympic athlete. There are four years between the events…and sooner or later, you are going to do something else. Your business exists to help you achieve your life goals. When it no longer does so, you can fix it or sell it or leave it. And what works today, may not work tomorrow. This is especially true in marketing! (RIP Yellow pages.) You win some, you lose some…and getting the t-shirt is what matters. Everyone who stood on the podium has his or her share of humiliations and successes. Be willing to let go of what no longer works. And, don’t assume a win today is a win forever. Alas, a Gold medal may no longer be in Shawn White’s future. He had a great Olympic ride but it’s time to move on. I bet he wins big in business…or maybe on Dancing with the Stars!
#4. Press on through the criticism. I’m setting the politics aside, and applauding the people of Sochi for putting on the show. If you are going to make your business different and better, you are going to take some risks. Some will pay off. Even those will be met with criticism. At a seminar the other day, an attendee said, “Everyone complains about raising my prices. They call me a gouger.” I responded, “Who? Who is calling you a gouger?” “Well, my competitors. I don’t want that reputation.”
What if you ignored that criticism? What if you charged what you need to, what you want to, and decided to do what you do with joy and skill and Olympic excellence? Maybe some people will criticize you. Others will say, “Would you please work with me?”
Go for the Gold!