Countdown to the Olympics: How to be an Olympic-level entrepreneur #10

The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, British C...
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In 10 days*, the 2010 Winter Olympic athletes will compete to be the best in the world. Entrepreneurs compete for a similar pinnacle of success every single day. This series of blogs will countdown to the Olympics with 31 ideas about what it takes to achieve gold in your business.

To be an Olympic-level entrepreneur, you need to slow down only after you’ve crossed the finish line.

Olympic athletes in speed-measured sports (like speed skating, as opposed to judged sports like figure skating) know that competing in a race means two things: (1) Getting up to speed as quickly as possible; (2) Maintaining that speed through the finish line. Racers in every sport know that you shouldn’t slow down in front of the finish line. Slowing down ahead of the finish line lets others speed past you. It’s like fighting in martial arts: The most effective punch is one that tries to strike 6 inches behind the subject. And, it’s like an effective swing in golf: The greatest distance is achieved when the player has a good follow-through.

Olympic-level entrepreneurs have a similar opportunity for greater success by charging full-speed ahead and not slowing down. When you sit down to work, your focus should be on a few key things that you do well and you need to work on doing those things with excellence throughout the day. It can be tempting, as you cross off goals throughout your day or as you reach a certain level of success in your career, to pull back a bit. But dialing your effort down isn’t the best thing to do until after you’ve surpassed the goals you’ve set for yourself.

* Disclosure: I was traveling recently and didn’t always have access to the internet, so I missed a couple of publishing dates. This blog has been published and back-dated to keep the countdown sequential.

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