Swimming is the Thinking Mans Sport

How it recently occurred to me that the skills you need to run a business are the same as competing in a race.

I was out this week and lucky enough to meet the Gold Medal winning Olympic Swimmer Adrian Moorehouse. He mentioned something that has completely inspired me in business.

As a competitive swimmer in my ‘early years’ I know the huge amount of discipline that is required to reach a certain standard, and continue on to a high level of achievement. It was only this week that I realised what was happening at the time.

Business is like Olympic training because you need to follow a systematic pattern of processes that result in the final goal. If I want to win a Gold Medal at the Olympics (and unfortunately I never quite had enough stubborn desire to do so) then I would need to lay out careful plans for ALL of the steps to go through that will take me to the final destination.

So…that’s what Adrian did

He worked on every individual area that would come together to be used in the final competitive race. That included things like stamina, diet, mental strength and self confidence.

There is no surprise then that when he applies the same principles to running his business, by focusing attention on every area (sales, marketing, accounts, production etc.) the results are just as impressive.

Think of the goal

By setting the goal of what to achieve, it’s then just about sticking to the regime of doing what needs to be done and to a very high standard.

So I now feel inspired to think of my business in the same way. Not to try and win the race right away, but build up towards the ultimate achievement.

And in the words of the great athlete himself, “there’s nothing else to do except think when you have to swim all those lengths”.



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