This question doesn’t propose that you dress in sweats, start chewing tobacco, and take ice baths for sore muscles. (Those things are all optional.) Instead, what if we adopted just a few of the habits of an elite athlete into our lives as a business owner?
Whatever your business, art, or area of expertise may be, you should never stop practicing and honing your craft. The average professional athlete spends 5 - 6 hours a day, 6 days a week in practice. Yes, practice. That doesn’t even include games, press obligations, and travel time. College athletes also spend 30 - 40 hours in practice each week. So, even though they may already know how to do a lay-up, hit a driver, or pitch a ball, they continually do these drills over and over again to improve their skill level. They know that the better they are at the basic skills, the higher their chance of overcoming any obstacle will be.
So many times, we get stuck in our ways—a “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” mindset—and that can be detrimental to improvement. I guarantee you that Venus and Serena Williams are constantly watching and researching what changes they need to make in their own game to combat any fresh new talent or technology they face. The road to the top is constantly changing, and so is the competition. Never stop looking for ways to stay ahead of the game, even when it comes to changing something that may have worked for years. Change hurts sometimes, but it’ll be worth it.
Athletes don’t have just one coach. Very often, pros have a team of coaches, trainers, agents, and managers that hold them accountable to their goals and schedules. “But I wanted to be independent so nobody would tell me what to do” That’s great, and you may actually succeed, but what if instruction, accountability, and being held to high standards are the keys to catapulting you to heights you never imagined? Just a thought…
Elite athletes have nearly endless routines—what time they wake up, what they eat, when they practice, what they study, etc. They don’t wake up each day and think, “I wonder what I’ll do today…” I’m fairly certain they don’t sleep in late, take extended lunch breaks with friends, or stay out late filling their body with processed garbage. Food, sleep, and physical fitness are not reserved for athletes. Our physical body is our tool, no matter what our business is. Feeding your body what it needs and giving it the rest it requires is just as important to you (okay, almost as important to you) as it is to Olympic athletes.
I would love to see you adopt one habit per month that helps you improve in one of these areas. What do you need to focus on right now? How can you run your business like an athlete?
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