The Road to Success: Entrepreneurs and Olympians

Forbes recently ran a great article in which entrepreneurs are compared to Olympic athletes. What perfect timing, right? Its author, Naveen Jain, contends that although the two groups have a lot in common, they can also take valuable lessons from one another on their road to success. We couldn’t agree more.

To achieve at either feat, you’ll need determination, a solid plan and unwavering focus. It isn’t easy to be the best, and not all of us can be “gold-medalists” in our given fields, but those who are would probably agree with Jain’s lessons for success in and out of the boardroom.

Below are some of the similarities and differences Jain outlines between Olympic athletes and world-class entrepreneurs.

Similarities

According to Jain, both entrepreneurs and Olympians must:
1.      Be passionate about what you are trying to achieve
2.      Focus intently on the mission
3.      Follow your gut instincts
4.      Listen to your inner voice
5.      Simplify your objectives
6.      Surround yourself with smart people
7.      Put in the hard work that you know it will take to reach your goal
According to Jain, what separates entrepreneurs from Olympians is the fact that:

Entrepreneurs must constantly overcome undefined and unpredictable challenges in business. They will generally have little idea what they will encounter along the way.

Olympians train for specific events and conditions.

The goals for an entrepreneur keeps moving, with hurdles coming in all shapes and sizes at varying intervals.

The goals for an Olympian are clearly defined, and the rules of their given sports are rigidly adhered to throughout the world.

Jain ends his column with this sentiment, which we hope you’ll keep in mind long after the closing ceremonies.

“As the Olympic spirit takes hold and propels our competitive spirits and national pride over the coming weeks, we should reflect on the special skills and training that serve as the foundation for excellence.”

God bless America!