Success and Sports

"Stay ahead of the competition. Be the first across the line. Go the distance." The business world is full of euphemisms taken from the running and sporting world. Rightly so. It is not just the healthy lifestyle and outlook that businesses borrow from. Amatuer and professional athletes are examples of dedication, development, goal setting and hard work towards the attainment of their goals: qualities needed in the corporate world and shown by companies and individuals that succeed.

Gauging Success

Success is more easily gauged in sport. It is winning. Doing a personal best. Making the podium or just reaching the finish. It is harder to pin down in business. It might mean becoming number one, achieving growth, increasing profits, bringing out more products or any number of things. Clients, for example, will often say ‘I want to be more successful.’ Being successful is a very broad term, everyone implies different things by it. When you ask ‘what does that mean to you?’ they will start to formulate some more specific ideas. It often comes down to implementing new projects, more balance between work and life, impacting on the organisation.

Goal Setting

Examining where you are and where you want to be is critical to success and whether it’s running or business, you have to set measurable and precise goals. Success is largely guided by this goal-setting and then finding the inner and outer resources to achieve these goals. There is always scope for improvement and the biggest corporate growth comes from constant innovation and taking up challenges.

In a marathon, you set a goal time, then set a pace and follow that through to the desired result. You have challenges to overcome but if you focus, you can ignore the tempting thoughts to stop, take a break or decrease your speed. Many great business strategies fail on the implementation stage – where you have to make the first real steps, one after another until you reach your goal. Using a 'never give up'atttitude that many people apply in athletics and sports can certainly help businesses get through these difficult phases and arrive at the goal of success.

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Grahak Cunningham is a Business Motivational Speaker  and four time finisher of the world’s longest race, the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. He has times ranging from 50 days to 43 days, winning the event in 2012. When he is not running he runs a successful business and consults in sales and marketing in the health care industry.

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