“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I love watching the Olympics. As a physiotherapist, I can appreciate the athletes’ hard work, dedication, and the sacrifices they have made. Many of them have suffered injuries and setbacks, yet returned to “run their race.” Most have made many sacrifices to get to their level of competition. They each had a dream and a goal to achieve. As I watched athletes run the 100-meter race, jump from a 10-meter diving board, or run a 50 km marathon, I thought about the effort they put in over the years and how they stayed focused on doing their best. I could not help but compare their effort to win a gold medal to a business owner’s effort to run a good business. As I continued to watch, I saw many similarities between their quest for success in the athletic world, and my quest to own and run a business which honors God and blesses others.
Below are my top five comparisons between a gold medal athlete and a “gold medal” business owner. There is much we can learn from the commitment of the elite athletes we watch compete, win and lose. How many can you apply to your method of running your business?
5 COMPARISONS BETWEEN A GOLD MEDAL ATHLETE & A “GOLD MEDAL” BUSINESS OWNER
Have a specific goal? Olympic athletes have a specific goal they are aiming to achieve, whether it is swimming the fastest, jumping the highest, or getting the most goals. This is what they work toward, focus on, and spend their time on. Your Mission Statement should reflect your focus, and your time should reflect the specifics which will allow you to achieve it. A gold medal swimmer will focus on activities that make them a stronger swimmer. A successful business owner will focus on activities helping them offer a stronger product or service. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
Choose your coach carefully? Every athlete has a coach advising, supporting, and encouraging them. A coach influences the athlete, helps them make the right decisions, and remains at their side. Finding the right coach is a crucial aspect of being a successful athlete. As Christian women in the workplace, we are thankful God is our ultimate coach. He advises, supports, and encourages through prayer, His Word, and people in our lives. We consistently need to allow Him to influence all aspects of our lives and businesses. “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Have a good support team? Most athletes have a team to help them reach their goals. It may be a dietitian to help ensure they are optimizing their food intake, or a psychologist who assists them with the stress of competition. Business owners also need a team. It could be an informal group of like-minded business owners, or a formal board of directors. A solid support system will provide business advice and encouragement to continue to help you achieve your goals in the most efficient way possible. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
Do your best? Athletes are successful due to natural ability, combined with learning about and using the latest research. They are constantly learning new ways of doing things to improve their performance. It is the same with a “gold medal” business owner. They are continuous learners who use Quality Improvement Approaches to enhance their business, services and staff, by ensuring all their decisions are based upon God’s Word. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Stay positive and not lose heart? There must be times when an athlete is disheartened, especially if there have been injuries, losses, or unfair practices. However, to achieve their goals, they must pick themselves up, refocus and stay positive. It is the same for a business owner. There will be difficult times such as financial losses, a serious complaint, or an unusual circumstance such as COVID-19. An athlete needs to be positive and not give up on what they think they should be doing, and a business owner should do the same. “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7)
I hope these five comparisons have been helpful and stay tuned next Monday for five more!
Have a wonderful week, and God bless! Bonny, Christian Women at Work