Run Your Business Like An Athlete

06/15/2017 11:50 am ET

Take some time and think about human spirit. We as human beings are capable of seriously incredible things.

I always am so inspired when the Olympics roll around and we watch athletes from around the world compete for their countries. It’s the spirit, the drive and the dedication to their career that amazes me.

The accomplishments they achieve are truly great. What does that say about human spirit? Stop and realize what we are capable of when fully committed to ONE goal. When we decide that we really want something in life, we are capable of extraordinary things.

A professional athlete decides to pursue a career and go after the ultimate honour of being an Olympic champion – just like you decide to chase your dream of being a business owner. What if you trained in your business, like they do for the Olympics?

Would you get up earlier? Would you hire a coach? Would you concentrate on your mindset?

Whether it’s business, or athletics – it requires the same types of discipline and the same approach.

The most recent Summer Olympics, there were three Olympic athletes that really stood out for me.

  1. Kathleen Baker. She won a silver medal for swimming and I have so much appreciation for her because she has Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is the perfect excuse not to get in the pool and strive to be an Olympian. It is the perfect excuse to stay under the covers at home because your stomach hurts and not to live fully on so many levels. Despite those potential excuses, this young woman now has an Olympic medal because she has chosen to not let her debilitating illness get in the way of what she really wanted. As an entrepreneur, what excuses are you making that’s stopping you from getting in that pool and pushing for what you want? Do you love what you do? Pay attention to your mindset!
  2. Usain Bolt. He is a three-time gold medal winner. What is amazing about Usain is that while he is running, he’s smiling. He is the fastest guy out there and he is smiling mid-race. Why is that? Is it because he loves what he does, or is it his mindset?
  3. Simone Manuel. She is the first African-American to win a gold medal for swimming. I see this woman win, I see the tears and I read the background. She has just defied the odds. If you’ve ever been told you couldn’t do something in your life or in your business because of your economic background, or because of where you live, you need to read Simone’s story. You can do anything, you can achieve greatness in your business despite what anyone says.

How can you take the lessons from Olympic athletes, and apply it to your business?

I believe there are three things that need to be applied as heavily in business as they are in professional athletics.


Do you think Usain Bolt has ever run before? He takes impeccable care of his body on a regular basis – he exercises, eats well and is focused on what matters the most to him. Those are habits, things that become second nature when you do them enough. Creating small positive habits can leave a huge impact on your long-term success.


Many athletes have a pre-competition ritual. Things they do over and over to prepare themselves for the competition. They train their mind with specific rituals that help them perform to the best of their ability. What ritual do you practice on a regular basis? Things like looking at your numbers every week, marketing your business on a regular basis, finding ways to exceed your customer’s expectations, and figuring out systems and ways to build your business.


Your mindset is crucial for success. You need mental toughness in everything that you do if you want to build a world-class business. If you want entrepreneurial freedom, you need to cultivate strong habits and rituals that you can action in your business every single day.

These athletes are committed to the end result, they know what they want and what they’re trying to accomplish.

Do you KNOW what you want in your business? When you are confident in what you are trying to accomplish, your habits, your rituals, and your mindset are aligned with making that happen.

Look at Erica Graham. She is an incredibly talented figure skater. She is so young that she isn’t able to compete in the Olympics until 2022. When I look at a young girl like her and see the dedication that it takes to become a champion figure skater… I feel like I’m being a slacker in my business.

If I were as dedicated, disciplined, and worked as hard as Erica Graham does, I’d be running a multikazillion-dollar business.

Something else that all of the Olympic athletes have in common is this: they all have a coach.

Every single one of the athletes hires a coach because they understand that they need help learning the techniques and skills required to achieve greatness. Not only do they hire a coach for the athletics but they also hire coaches to help them with mindset and motivation. They need someone to push them physically and mentally.

Why is business any different?

Invest in yourself to do better. Start to build some muscle around your character and your capacity to cultivate good habits and rituals on a daily basis.

There’s not one successful business person that I know that didn’t have to put in the time and hard work. They all had to cultivate the habits. They all had to work on their mindsets. If you decide to do those things, you become unstoppable.

Leave a comment and let me know how you can apply the mindset of an athlete, to your business.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.