WHAT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN TAUGHT ME ABOUT RUNNING MY BUSINESS
I’m sure you know by now that I LOVE sport. I’m no athlete myself but am partial to playing whichever sport presents itself to me. I’m currently learninghow to play tennis. Mainly because my children can beat me and I’d like to at least be able to have a rally with them (secretly because I find it VERY annoying to be beaten by an 8 year old!)
When it comes to spectating sport I could honestly watch anything. Sure, I have my favourites but if the conkers world cup was on TV I’d probably pour myself a brew and get stuck right in.
You see it’s not just about the actual game. It’s really about the people. The commitment and dedication that professional and budding sports people show is what REALLY gets me. It’s this that has me bawling in tears during acceptance speeches and has me backing the underdog with all of my heart. Because the grit it takes to be at the top of your game is so far beyond the comfort zone of most people that they are practically on a different planet.
My children love sport. And even at the tender ages of 9 and 8 they are learning the benefits of hard work, dedication, commitment and rejection. Yes it’s hard to see the face of a 9 year old who lost a match they so desperately wanted to win but these are life lessons that are quite honestly, essential. At some stage in their lives they will experience rejection. And if they are unclear on the power of commitment and dedication then the gaps will certainly appear.
These last few weeks I’ve been glued to the Australian Open. Mainly because we all love tennis in our house and a grand slam is a highlight for us. But also because I just LOVE watching people put every ounce of their being into something that they’ve worked so hard for.
Most of us can’t really imagine the life of a sportsperson…. up every morning early to train for goodness knows how many hours, carefully scrutinising every morsel of food you consume, missing out on fun things that your friends are doing because you have to sleep/train, putting all of your eggs in a basket which could quite possibly tip over at any second, pushing your body to limits that you’re not even sure is possible and losing something that you’ve worked for years to achieve by the finest of margins.
But you know what keeps them going? Because they WANT it with every single ounce of their existence. And when you really and truly want something it is possible to break all sorts of boundaries and limitations.
So in that sense, being a top class tennis player isn’t really so different to being a regular business owner, is it?
* We might not be getting up stupidly early to get on a tennis court but you can bet your bottom dollar that we will pull some crazily late nights to finish a clients job.
* We might not carefully scrutinise every morsel of food we consume but I bet sometimes you miss meals in their entirety when you are pushed for time and want to complete a project.
* We might not miss Christmas parties with our friends because we’re travelling to a tournament but I bet you can think of a hundred times where you’ve said no to your kids and husband because ‘you have work to do’.
* Losing by margins?! Oh yes, us entrepreneurs could write books on this. We know all about losing a booking to someone else ‘even though it was a close and very tough decision’.
* And as far as putting your eggs in one basket – I bet there are a significant number of people reading this who took a plunge in their business that even now terrifies them.
So heck, we’re actually all just like world class athletes!
Oh but hang on, maybe there are differences….
Do you have a team around you?
OK maybe you’re new in your business and aren’t quite ready to employ the help of other people but let me be straight here. The best time to get help is before you actually need it! Think about our top tennis player – they are SURROUNDED by people. Is that a sign of weakness? Of course not, they are doing it because they want to be better. Would you outsource your weak areas to people who can do it better? Sure you would, pop it on your goals list.
Are you getting paid to do what you love?
Now I know what you’re thinking here – I’d love to get paid £1million to play a tennis match. And being absolutely honest with you, that says more about your money mindset than anything. The road to being a world class athlete is way more complicated than you can ever imagine. Including years and years of actually paying to travel in an attempt to make money. Sound familiar?! Who has paid to be part of a showcase or fair in an attempt to make money? Not so different are we?!
So be honest. Are you running your business like a world class athlete would? Do you WANT your own success with every ounce of your being? Are you willing to make sacrifices to get yourself there? Do you push barriers and comfort zones on a daily basis?
If not, maybe you could learn a thing or two from athletes.
At the very least, please don’t forget your own glory moments. It’s kind of hard to compete with receiving a trophy in a stadium surrounded by hundreds of people cheering and clapping but find yourself a tribe of people who will listen to your acceptance speech and will weep with joy for you. Because you simply can’t put a price on that.
P.S – I’m running a webinar on 14th February at 12pm to talk about 5 ways to get you more bookings. It’s free and I’d love you to join me. Click the button below to register for a space.
with love, faye x
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