In 19 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 go when the starter pistol fires.
It’s interesting to watch at the beginning of an event. The athletes are focused, in the zone, and eager to start. Every muscle is tense. Their eyes are fixed on the finish line. They’re not thinking about anything else except the moment. And when the starter pistol fires, they start. Years of training, study, effort, long hours, pain, sweat, and sacrifice coalesce. They’re on autopilot: Every muscle does the thing it’s supposed to do. The mind is supporting the body, perhaps by thinking ahead to what needs to happen next. The athlete isn’t wondering if they left the stove on or what happened on yesterday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. They aren’t even thinking about the crowds. They’re focused. And they’re producing results.
Entrepreneurs struggle with focus. Olympic-level entrepreneurs do not. When they sit down to do their work, it’s like a starter pistol fires and they are focused for the moment on completing the project at hand. And, it’s not just about focus but about on-target production. Just like the athlete, every thought, every movement, is an efficient effort to produce the work needed to be done – it’s the culmination of the training, effort, long hours, and more that goes into creating a business. Do you go when the starter pistol fires? When you sit down to work, how is your focus? While you’re working, are you that zone or do you struggle to stay on track? Are you watching the crowds? Are you thinking instead about something off-topic.
Obviously there will be times when this kind of focus/productivity is not appropriate. However, there are lots of small businesses that are struggling, not from a lack of customers but because the owner isn’t focusing on peak performance during the event.