5 lessons an entrepreneur gains from sport
You don't have to be a Harvard Business graduate to have a successful career as an entrepreneur.
Similarly, you don't have to be an intense CrossFitter to get in shape, but there are many ways to get a strong body and mind, both in life and in business.
We often underestimate how strong we are physically and mentally. Many of us lack the confidence to put ourselves to the test. But to achieve our goals, we must empower ourselves, trust our instincts, and be disciplined to strive for what we want. To win big, start with a trip to the gym.
Here are the five lessons you'll learn when you're as committed to the gym as you are to your business.
1. You are tougher than you think.
It takes a lot of work to transform your body or your business. When you do the hard work in the gym, it improves your energy and stamina and helps you stay focused. But more than that, getting a good sweat can actually make you more resilient to stress.
Exercise reorganizes the brain so that stress and anxiety have a harder time interfering with brain function. Essentially, exercise can make your body and mind stronger and more flexible. The harder you push yourself, the more you realize that you are stronger and tougher than you think.
We all know that resilience is a cornerstone of building a successful business. The ability to get out of a difficult situation is key to moving forward and eventually thriving. An entrepreneur needs to stay sober during the lean times as well as when the business is prospering.
What better way to learn and juggle priorities than to keep your body fit at the gym? Along the way, you will build confidence and gain adaptability and flexibility.
2. It's about the mindset.
Every year around January 1st, when people ask you what your New Year's resolution is, many will say they want to get in shape or lose weight or be healthier. But how many people actually achieve this goal?
Many fail because they don't put themselves in the right frame of mind to achieve their goal. They fail to develop the right attitude.
You will likely keep setting yourself the same goal - and keep failing - unless you do something to change things and change their habits. If you want to be successful, you have to believe that you can. Then you've made a real change to put you on the right path. After all, you have to keep going for the long haul.
The same goes for an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business. Often there is not much difference between one entrepreneur and another. Their mentality and determination is what sets them apart. If you want to create a successful business, you have to stop fear or lack of confidence. You must have purpose and vision to be successful.
3. With a strong core, more is possible.
When you exercise, you need to do more than just train your arms and legs. To really get in shape, you need to build your core muscles. Without a solid core to support you, you will end up with a lot of physical ailments and injuries and not be able to reach your training goal.
The same goes for business. You need to build the core of your business. Why are you doing this? Who are your customers? What makes you special? You have to decide what your business will focus on and then make sure you can keep that focus even as you add new things.
With a strong base, you can expand as needed as the market fluctuates. If you don't find your core, you are more likely to fail.
4. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
You can't just show up on day one and expect to rock it. That's not how it works in business or in the gym. Your strength and endurance can only be built up continuously.
If you go too far over your limit, you can suffer burnout before you reach your goal. It comes down to being persistent and showing up day in and day out. Sometimes the greatest achievement is putting one foot in front of the other and moving closer to your goal.
You have to know when to push, when to gain strength, when to slow down and when to go all out. Any transformation you go through will be painful. But if you want to achieve your goals, you have to endure the pain.
It's easy to do nothing: sit on the couch and accept being average. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be there for the long term. The same goes for the gym.
5. Let your creative juices flow.
When you exercise, you give your body the opportunity to feel energized, relieve stress, focus on the here and now, and let go of issues that plague you.
A good workout can be a chance to cleanse your body through sweat, but it can also cleanse your mind. Exercising reduces stress and helps you focus. But more than that, it's also a great way to open yourself up to new ideas.
The gym can be a great place to get both your brain and body working outside of the office. It can give you the mental spark you've been looking for. A study shows that those who exercise regularly do better on creativity tests than those who are sedentary. Moving your body allows you to break through mental blocks and dig deeper into a problem.
Scientists have found that intense exercise helps the brain produce brain-derived neutrophil factor - an important protein that helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells.
So - what else do you need to convince yourself to go to the gym?