If you watched any of the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, you know how inspiring the personal stories of Olympians can be. They've worked hard, stayed passionate and focused, overcome obstacles and beat the odds to live out their dreams. Successful small business owners have done the same. And although every business owner — just like the Olympic athletes — must ultimately find his or her own path to success, you can give yourself an edge by learning from highly successful competitors. Olympians and entrepreneurs succeed when they:
Stay focused. When you have challenging goals, you need to focus on what's required to achieve them. You can't get distracted by the daily stress or the possibility of failure. Olympic mountain bikers know that even as they're forced to adapt to tough and varied terrain, they can't look down or at what's immediately ahead of them. They steer with their eyes and focus on the destination. Go for the gold: Create a plan for your business and review it regularly. Success can only be achieved when you can focus on the end goal.
Persevere. With tenacity, you keep working toward your goal, no matter what obstacles arise, like Olympic kayaker Ashley Nee. She qualified for the U.S. national team at age 17 in 2007. But a shoulder injury kept her out of the 2008 Olympics. She just missed making the U.S. team for the 2012 Olympics. This summer, she not only made it to the Olympics, she advanced to the semifinals of the women's kayak single slalom event. Analogously, a Deluxe Corporation survey of small business owners found that 77 percent would rather learn from failure than not try at all. Go for the gold: Be scrappy and resourceful; find a way to overcome setbacks and unexpected obstacles.
Relish competition. Neither Olympians nor small business owners can be content to rest on their laurels. Fair and productive competition helps you improve. You can even learn from failure by analyzing how your competitor won and reassessing your strengths and weaknesses. Go for the gold: Improve your products and services and do more to please customers.
Remain passionate. According to the Deluxe survey, 20 percent of owners started their small businesses out of a passion for what they do. This core strength can give you the drive to keep going when challenges arise. Go for the gold: A passion for what your product or service can do for customers will drive you to learn what makes customers tick and how best to meet their needs.
Take risks. Olympians and small business owners alike step out of their comfort zone to take smart risks. Dreaming big can mean a larger chance of failure, but it also means reaping greater rewards when you succeed. Go for the gold: Be aware of and educated about the risks you take.
Stay optimistic. A positive attitude can help you succeed. Having the right mindset can help you get through difficult situations, preparing you to bounce back from setbacks and face adversity head on. Go for the gold: Think outside the box and put your best resources to use.
In addition to these personal characteristics, Olympians also understand the value of a good coach. Cardinal Capital brings seasoned experience, customized financial financial solutions to help you achieve your goals and milestones.
Source: 2016 Rio Olympics, NBC, California Bank & Trust