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Competing Like Olympic Athletes – Business Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs

January 10, 2013

Competition is A Good Thing

olympicgirlsCompetition is a word most women entrepreneurs are not comfortable with. Although we want to own a piece of the market, increase our annual sales and hopefully grow our businesses to the million dollar mark and beyond, we are not comfortable “competing” against others. It’s not in our traditional feminine spirits to beat someone else.

This past summer as Olympic swimmers Missy Franklin and USA gymnastics teams competed for gold in the 2012 London Olympics, their triumphs and tribulations provide insight as a “competitive” woman entrepreneur today. Their high hopes, triumphant celebrations, disappointing personal performances and pure grit resonated with my 17 year journey as a business owner. I have certainly felt the pleasure and pain along the way just like these athletes have in their journeys.

The Olympic Games provide excellent business wisdom for today’s entrepreneur – especially the subject of competition.

We Can Lose By the Smallest Margins – Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals are won by the smallest fractions of time. Who wins and loses can be determined by one half of a second. The Olympic competitors don’t know whether their athletic performances are good enough for gold until they look at the scoreboard. Entrepreneurs on the other hand have the advantage of conducting competitive research anytime to see where they are priced and positioned. If you are worried about your competitive edge, conduct competitive research to discover your position in the marketplace.

Embrace Competitors – The swim and gymnastic teams are constantly competing against their own teammates and other competitors. The most successful athletes embrace their competitors understanding their value to propel them towards their own victory. If you are threatened by competitors in the marketplace, look to these elite athletes to learn how to embrace competition to propel your business further.

Disappointment Makes You Stronger – Olympic athletes train most of their lives for one shot at gold. Blood, sweat and tears are poured into every day, year upon year. When the chance comes to finally compete in the Olympic Games, some fail to reach their goal. Television shows highlight their heartache. But the next time the fallen athletes have to perform, they put the loss behind them and become more determined to win. Entrepreneurs can learn from this powerful lesson when business disappointments like losing a major client or letting employees go causes heartache. Learn to put the loss behind you and try again.

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