What can an athlete teach you about going for the gold?
I don't know how it happens, but somehow I find extra time in my overpacked schedule every two years to watch TV. Like, lots of TV.
What can I say? I remember the 2016 Olympic Games bringing out the best in me just like they do for the athletes.
Well, almost just like that.
What Does It Take to Take Gold?
When that summer Olympic season ended, I was expecting it to be difficult to get my head back in the game…er, I mean work.
But to my surprise, the Olympic spirit had actually gotten into my head.
Yes, I was inspired by their medal-winning, record-setting performances, but I was even more inspired by their backstories. These people aren't born winners–they achieve it through a few key habits built up over time.
Usain Bolt came on the scene as a record breaker–the 2008 Olympics crowned him the fastest human ever timed. But like everyone, he gets older. Experts noted that his times were getting slower and slower. A lot of people speculated that this Olympics would be an anticlimax.
What did Usain Bolt do? He decided to set a new record. The Rio Olympics saw him become the first athlete ever to win the 100 meters event three times. Not only did that win make him the most decorated sprinter of all time, but it also let him close his Olympic career with a 100% win record in finals.
You want to see results of more pay and more profit. You've got a plan to get you there. But there's a crucial step between setting your goal and carrying out your plan. That step is making a decision.
A decision that this is your goal. A decision that you're going to work on this plan. A decision that you're going to keep making decisions every day that move you in the right direction.
Simone Biles won the hearts of fans with her effortless grace and her adorable smile. But it takes more than that to win gold. While Biles' natural talent is undeniable, what really got commentators talking was her mind-blowing ability to hit her mark every. single. time.
As the BBC reported, “Biles flips and spins on the four-inch-wide balance beam as if she were on a pavement…no-one can match her height, execution, and consistency.”
How do you win today, and again tomorrow, and then again each day thereafter? By being consistent every single day.[Tweet “The math is simple. Consistency = wins.”]
Olympic athletes don't pick a sport and immediately rise to the top. They have to decide how they could best contribute to the sport. They have to show up and work their plans with focus and discipline. They have to go over the most basic skills every day to create a strong base for the heights they wanted to achieve.
Shooting for gold isn't something we do one time. We achieve gold through consistent practice. Once you make a decision that will impact your bottom line, you have to find and implement proven strategies, not once but consistently.
Eyes on the Prize
Without a vision/ mission/values to guide you on your business and life journey, what's going to keep you going every day?
One of the most inspiring stories to me was the Olympic team that had no country. 2016 was the first Olympic Games to feature a team made up of refugees. Selected from refugee shelters in Africa and Europe, the team includes swimmers from Syria, runners from South Sudan and judo competitors from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
These athletes aren't in it for personal glory–their prize is the opportunity to rise above the horrors they have suffered, and to inspire the world with a reminder of our shared humanity.
Chasing more money or financial health just for the sake of saying “I have a great bottom line” won’t likely keep you going on days when you just don’t feel like doing it. You need a source of inspiration to keep you on track. Keeping this inspiration in front of you serves not only you–it also serves your team. When people see the vision you see, it motivates them to stay in the race and go the distance with you![Tweet “You need a source of inspiration to keep you on financial track. “]
Of all the Olympic stars this year, I think Michael Phelps is an excellent parallel for the journey to financial success. Michael Phelps had some setbacks since his last Olympics, from personal issues to performance setbacks. But he beat those odds and solidified his Olympian status by withstanding the tests to face another race and win.
It reminds me of this great quote from Dr. Eric Thomas:
“A setback is a setup for a comeback.”
At some point or another, we’ve all experienced financial setbacks. Most are likely due to personal issues or baggage around money. Statistics show that more than 80% of all small businesses fail, whether it's because of not having enough money, money mismanagement, lack of timely action, or all three.[Tweet “”A setback is a setup for a comeback.” –Dr. Eric Thomas”]
At The Bottom Line, our goal is to always help small business owners succeed. We've made it our mission to raise the 20% success rate of small business owners because we believe that partnership, plans and the power of strong financial systems can move anyone past their failures to help them become champions of their own business.
The Bottom Line
Some people have been calling this year games the best Olympics ever for Team USA. From the new and improved basketball Dream Team to the adorable women's gymnastic squadron, it was such an exciting display of reward to see those races run. The unity was incredible as they stood on those stands with their medals while our National Anthem played. They competed hard against each other, but they also cheered each other on.
That’s what we should all do in business and life. No one does anything on their own. It can be hard and even humbling to seek out the help we need. But when we get the support we need to create a plan and put it into action, our reward is that much greater. Success is always sweeter when we get there together.
[Tweet “”Success is always sweeter when we get there together.” — Jess Stafford #TheBottomLine”]