7 Entrepreneurial Skills Learned From Sports
Elite athletes from various sports are known to push their minds and bodies to the limit. Although not everyone can be an athlete, these sports figures possess skills that can be applied in every field, most especially business. If you are a budding entrepreneur or a person mainly looking for inspiration to develop a new product, here are seven skills mostly used in sports that can help you with your business venture:
1. Passion is more important than ability
Every person has potential but there are times that potential is never met resulting in talent and skill being put to waste. This is true for athletes, oftentimes relying on ability alone and failing to put in the necessary work to find consistent success. There is a reason why a select few athletes, and in this case entrepreneurs, are able to separate themselves from the pack and become more successful than the peers: passion.
Passion is what keeps individuals going despite the numerous struggles they face along the way. Passion is also the reason why people stay successful for longer periods. With passion, even the people with limited skills are able to succeed, even succeeding more compared to those who are technically gifted but lack the drive and discipline to achieve their goals. As Sports 1 Marketing Co-founder and former Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment CEO David Meltzer once said, “living life on the extra mile and putting in extra effort will help you get where you want to go."
2. Stay focused and determined
Passion mostly comes with staying and determined. Finding success can be very difficult at the very beginning and sustaining success is even more difficult knowing that there are numerous circumstances that prevent you from staying at the top for a long time. The road has never been easy for those who want it all, but the ones who did persevere have definitely experienced success far greater than those who gave up in the middle of the journey.
Remember that focus and determination also comes with attainable goals. For example, a basketball player doesn’t immediately score 30 points or a tennis player being able to sweep multiple sets each game at the start of their careers. Too much work exerted at the beginning can be draining on both the mind and body. Instead, exert the same effort while trying to meet small goals. This will help condition your physical and mental strength and prepare you for bigger struggles later on.
3. Use competition to find success
The importance of entrepreneurship skills is that it doesn’t only help business persons become more successful financially but also successful in terms of having a winning mindset. The qualities of an accomplished entrepreneur are only highlighted when they are faced with competition. Similarly, this is also true for sports especially when the best athletes are pitted against each other on a daily basis. In other words, competition simply brings out the best in everyone.
You’ll never gauge how good you are if you’re the only one in your field. Although competition can be stressful at times, it is also beneficial as it keeps you motivated while it allows you to regularly develop strategies and innovations to leave the competition scrambling.
4. Learn from winning and losing
There are always lessons learned from winning and losing. If you thought that adjustments are only made when you get beat, it should surprise you that adjustments also need to be made when you win. Athletes are known to watch films from previous games whether they’ve won or lost. No one is perfect, so even in wins, they may have made some errors that led to sloppy plays on the other end. Additionally, watching films from games that they’ve won also prepares them to utilize similar strategies when facing their next opponent.
Much like in sports, there is a constant learning curve when it comes to business. From adjusting to customer needs to finding a better component of a specific product, learning experiences are helpful for entrepreneurs as they are constantly faced with an ever-changing business environment.
5. Communication is always key
Famous entrepreneurs and sports athletes share multiple traits. One of them is communication, which is also one of the most important entrepreneurial competencies. Having the ability to communicate with peers and colleagues is a key skill that helps individuals get where they want to be. It also helps them forge relationships with other individuals, not just personal relationships but also professional relationships which is beneficial for networking.
In a business sense, there is no faster way for an individual to fast track his career than getting the right contacts and building the right network. And the only way to build the right network is through communication, making yourself available to customers and clients while also taking in advice from industry experts.
6. Avoid making comparisons
When striving to be the best, always avoid comparing yourself to others. This isn’t only helpful for your mental health but it also distracts you from working on the goals you actually want to achieve. It’s not a coincidence that people are discouraged to make comparisons even at a young age; it is a negative trait and can be very harmful when left unchecked.
When it comes to starting your own business, it can be difficult not to check on your competition every once in a while. But constantly checking on your competitor’s products and revenue should never define how you run your business. Instead, focus on developing your product and services and maintain a close relationship with your customers.
7. Make the most out of opportunities
Student athletes are always to taught to dream big and make the most out of the opportunities given them. Although they won’t immediately become successful athletes at the beginning of their careers, at least they are given some life lessons to keep them on their toes. The same goes for striving entrepreneurs looking to pitch a business idea to investors or planning to start a new business. But it is also important to do some research first before taking an opportunity as not all opportunities result in a favorable outcome for the entrepreneur and his eventual/existing business.
Speaking of making the most out of opportunities, numerous professional athletes have also gone to become successful entrepreneurs. Among these athletes include Michael Jordan, Oscar De La Hoya, Venus Williams, and LeBron James. Williams, considered as one of the most accomplished female athlete entrepreneurs, is the CEO of two companies: athletic apparel brand EleVen and interior design company V Starr Interiors. But although the athlete to business route has become the norm for athletes, it has not panned out for every sports personality trying to make it big in the world of business.
The importance of entrepreneurship skills cannot be underestimated if one looks to find consistent success in business, whether it be developing an innovative product or closing a deal with external clients. So if you are looking to be successful in whatever venture you’re undertaking, take a key from the sports-related skills listed above and you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals in no time.
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