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Business is My Sport

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We all have those defining moments, those events that stick with us forever. For me, it was on the basketball court during my junior year in high school. Our record…

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We all have those defining moments, those events that stick with us forever. For me, it was on the basketball court during my junior year in high school.

Our record was a flawless 21-0, a perfect season, and we were ranked second in the state. It was the first time our girls basketball team made the state playoffs and the entire town of 300 rallied to support us.

I’d like to tell you that we emerged victorious, with our names forever etched on the town’s welcome sign, but that’s not what happened. We didn’t just lose, we squandered a nearly 20-point lead. We were devastated.

As much as I wanted to point fingers at everyone else, I knew I played my worst game of the season. I felt like I had let both myself and my team down. It was a bitter defeat, but it helped shape the entrepreneur and business leader I’ve become.

It’s easy to draw parallels between sports and business.

Both are arenas where success must be earned, where sometimes even our best efforts don’t pay off, and where we must accept responsibility and not try to pass the buck. Here’s what that looks like:

Clear goals

In sports, we play to win, to secure the prize. In business, our goals may not be a championship trophy, but they are equally vital. Whether striving to expand your company, increase profits, or revolutionize your industry, you can’t drift into success; you must lay out your plan and vision.

Preparation


Joe Louis said, “Champions are not made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.” Athletes spend countless hours training, honing their skills, and preparing for the big game. In business, preparation is equally essential. Continuous learning, staying updated with industry trends, professional development, and mastering your craft are keys to success.

Resilience in the face of defeat

That painful loss at the state tournament could have crushed me, but it didn’t. Yes, it stung for a while, but I didn’t quit basketball. I continued playing in high school and then at the collegiate level, and I got better with every season.

In business, we don’t quit because a deal falls through or we’re faced with unexpected obstacles. It isn’t just about bouncing back from adversity; it’s about growing stronger. In business, we’ll deal with setbacks, financial challenges, market shifts, and even pandemics. But like a resilient athlete, we’ll adapt, learn, and come back stronger.

Self-discipline and focus

In sports, discipline means the difference between average and exceptional. The same applies to business. Distractions are all around us, but success demands unwavering focus and self-discipline. Just as an athlete trains rigorously, we must stick to our strategies and execute with precision.

Long-term perspective

Great athletes and successful business leaders think beyond the immediate game or deal. They understand that true success is measured over time. Like an athlete’s career, building a sustainable and enduring legacy in business requires a long-term perspective.

Breaking through limitations with God

The young shepherd, David, was prepared for a grand battle when he faced Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior. David had spent years in the wilderness, guarding his flock from lions and bears. Little did he know that those seemingly ordinary days of protecting his sheep prepared him for the extraordinary moment he would face the giant. David’s faith, trust in God, and past experiences all played a part in his triumph over Goliath. It reminds us that God often prepares us in ways we cannot fully grasp for the significant challenges we will face in life and business.

Business is the ultimate game of perseverance and triumph.

Just like in sports, it’s not about how many times you fall but how many times you rise. Embrace the challenges, learn from the disappointments, and keep pushing forward. Remember, with man, it may be impossible, but with God, all things are possible!

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