What can entrepreneurs learn from leading athletes? US sprinter and Olympic Silver Medalist, Manteo Mitchell, explains!

Ah, “athletes”. What a broad term. Most only see the athletic prowess displayed on the court, field or track. What’s not typically seen is the attributes that lead an athlete to success and dominance on and off the field. These same principles can and should be implemented by entrepreneurs.

While there are many reasons that contribute, here are four:

TRAIN — It’s without a doubt that to be an elite athlete you must train consistently. Athletes prepare themselves before and during the season to condition themselves for the challenges that lay ahead. This ensures that they stay at the top of their game and enables them to perform their job. The best entrepreneurs train their minds and are conditioned to properly adjust to an ever-changing competitive environment.

SACRIFICE — We’ve all seen the sacrifice bunt in baseball right? It’s something strategically used to advance a runner into a scoring position. Entrepreneurship relies in part on those same sacrifices for the team. Just as in sports, sacrifice is a critical role to the success of the team and the business. You have to go in knowing that a significant amount of sacrifice will be needed in order to reach your goals.

THE MOMENT — Competition becomes very fierce. You’ve probably heard the phrase “in the zone”….? All of the training and sacrifice for a moment that lasts a fraction of the time put into it. That golden opportunity to do the unthinkable. It is imperative to focus on the primary task at hand. Athletes do not become elite without learning how to turn on in an instant — tapping into their full mental and physical potential, while doing their very best to not crack under pressure. Entrepreneurs must stay in the moment. They will be pulled all sorts of directions along their journey. The ones who stay in their lane will see success.

RESULTS — I am certain that at least once in your life you have witnessed a commercial selling a product that changes your body. Maybe a supplement or an article of clothing. What do they say at the end in the smallest print known to man? “RESULTS MAY VARY”. Some athletes train harder than others. Some train smarter. There are even athletes that do totally opposite workouts in route to hitting the same goal. Individual results stem from the work you put in. Entrepreneurs must know and remember what it is you are trying to achieve. Don’t fear the pressure, learn from losing (and winning) and drive the competition.

It’s your race to win.

Now go and just do it.

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