What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Olympians
By Adrea P., Startup America Communications Intern, @startupamerica
Everyone loves Olympians. Gathered together before television screens across the country, we get goosebumps when they win and cover our eyes when they lose. We admire the tenacity of the athletes and applaud their grit and determination. We bask in national pride, inspired by these American heroes. However, it is entrepreneurs who have the most to learn from Olympic athletes. In fact, the skills needed to be an Olympian closely resemble those required to start a company. What can entrepreneurs learn from our 2012 Olympic athletes? A lot.
Lolo Jones, Perseverance:
Lolo Jones arrived at the 2008 Beijing Olympics ready to fight. As the favorite to win the 100-meter hurdles, she led the race when she clipped the final hurdle and watched her dream dissolve before her. Rather than finishing an Olympic champion, Lolo returned home without a single medal. Over the past four years, Lolo’s failure has motivated her to work even harder. Upon facing more disappointment after finishing fourth in London, Jones states she will be back in Rio in 2016. What can founders learn from Lolo? Keep trying. Transform defeat into determination. Let failure drive you forward.
Female Gymnastics Team, Teamwork:
Of course, the Fab Five display incredible skill on the beam. Their true ability to balance, though, is between individuality and teamwork. They acted like fierce competitors as they fought to win a spot in the all-around individual finals. Two days later, Jordyn, Aly, Gabby, Kyla, and McKayla joined hands when they won the team gold medal. What can founders learn from the Fab Five? Use everyone’s strengths to further the team. Treat each other with respect, and together you will win.
Michael Phelps, Determination:
After finding success in Athens and winning eight gold medals in Beijing, many wondered if Phelps would return to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. Sure enough, Phelps is back, and his stack of medals is only getting taller...than anyone else’s…ever. Phelps has an important lesson to teach founders: if at first you DO succeed, keep trying anyway! Climb to the top, and then keep climbing. Identify your talent, and never put it to waste.
Of all the athletes and startups in America, only a few will take the gold; but to participate--to get out there and support our country--takes guts and passion that the Startup America Partnership celebrates. Olympians and entrepreneurs are all national heroes, and they are making America proud!
Miss some of Adrea's recent blog posts? Check them out below!
Access Connections, Expert Insights, and Exclusive Deals. Click the button to join the movement: