The World Cup and Your Business

About one month after the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we think it’s important to reflect on how sports might relate to entrepreneurship. The skills that are cultivated on a playing field are very similar to those skills required in starting a small business. Entrepreneurs may want to look at the basic principles of organized sports in order to ensure a greater level of success. Let’s take a look at what these principles might be!

1.      Building a Team
Similar to how a sports team cannot rely on a single player to lead the team to a win, a single player needs a support system of teammates in order to collectively lead to a win.  It is therefore important for you as an entrepreneur to surround yourself with business teammates who will both supplement your individual talents as well as celebrate your successes and support your visions. Furthermore, you should make sure to have teammates you provide you with encouragement as well as critical feedback—like sports teams do with their teammates.

2.      Find a Good Coach
Often times what happens in team sports is that the teammates themselves lose sight of the entire game. This is why teams always have a coach or a group of trainers guiding them and constantly giving them feedback and teaching them multiple strategies that can lead to a win. Likewise, an entrepreneur and his team should work closely with someone (or a group) of likeminded individuals not involved in the actual development of the business (similar to how a coach does not play the sport on the field). This will allow you to gain an outside perspective on your business plan and also gain insight on how you might improve your strategy.

3.      Setting Goals
Athletes tend to have multiple goals. Whether it’s becoming better at a particular position, winning that week’s game, or making it to a future championship game. Similarly, entrepreneurs should set both short-term and long-term goals. Setting goals increases one’s focus, which is essential in any team-based setting. By setting goals, entrepreneurs will constantly be required to review performance and adjust strategy in order to make sure that those goals are eventually met. This will also allow you to identify areas of opportunity or future growth—if you are successful at meeting your goals, how might you increase your success rate even more by altering your strategy or business plan? Or, should you keep it the same?

Have you or someone you know applied your experiences as an athlete to your business? Share your story!

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