Create your lifestyle brand
How many of you often drift into a daydream at work, wishing you were riding your bike, surfing in Nicaragua or exploring the backcountry on your skis? Do you have a burning desire to create more financial and time freedom in your life?
If you’re like me, your drive to explore and adventure runs deep and is likely ingrained in your personality and consumes the majority of your thoughts. Guess what, sport is a lot like business. If you’re an athlete considering a leap into the entrepreneurial life, then read on! Because you’re already on the road to success.
Entrepreneur Cross Training
If you’re an athlete I’m going to guess that failure is not part of your mindset. You know setbacks are never considered a failure, just feedback and a learning opportunity.
As an athlete, you’re rarely defined by skill alone, you have a combination of physical and mental capabilities that allow you to thrive when the stakes are high. You’re practiced at blocking out distractions, ignoring pressure, being self-disciplined and are skilled at executing the task at hand. Hmmm…these sound a lot like The traits of a successful entrepreneur.
Why you’d kick ass at Adventurepreneurship
First off, when you’re an athlete you think outside the box to get ahead of the competition. That’s why you’re going to be an Adventurepreneur, not just an entrepreneur. You want to work to live not live to work, am I right? Or am I right? Following your passion and building your dream life will be your greatest ongoing adventure.
You’re practiced at self-discipline
As an athlete, you know discipline creates motivation rather than requiring it. Like getting up early in the morning, the reward is your relentless passion for growth and improvement and what keeps you focused and on track. Athletes know how to establish routines that ensure no time is wasted.
The best athletes know it’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. Success is only possible with a lot of hard work outside the spotlight. An adventurepreneur is equipped with the energy to push through fatigue, sweat it out a little longer and handle temporary pain.
You believe pressure is a privilege
What separates good athletes from extraordinary athletes is often their ability to perform in high pressure situations. Being an athlete means you’re practiced at dealing with pressure. You’re able to think faster and more accurately than the average person when under pressure. In the case of rock-climbing or bike racing for example, athletes are conditioned to negate dangerous situations and make split second decisions.
The same traits can be found in thriving entrepreneurs. When your coach sends you into the game, you’re chosen to lead your team or navigate a difficult course and that means they believe in you—it’s a privilege. When entrepreneurs are put in a pressure situation by clients or customers they understand it’s an opportunity to step up to the plate and shine.
You’re use to taking responsibility
An athlete’s mentality can be summed up in three words: I own this. Successful athletes are use to taking responsibility for things. When something goes wrong, they don’t blame others, they don’t sugar-coat and they don’t make excuses. Athletes remap the course and decide how to get the job done—and then they do whatever is necessary to make it happen.
You are relentless
Athletes have the determination to keep pursuing a moving target. They’re not self-entitled and they know they must earn it everyday, prove it, and sacrifice to stay at the top.
Entrepreneurship is never a straight line and has its fair share of ongoing challenges. Successful entrepreneurs are resilient people who fail fast and fail often—but their defining skill is the relentless ability to always get back up, dust themselves off and push on.
You’ve got the grit
Athletes learn from mistakes so they can win the next time. You know what it’s like to lose, but you also know how to keep trying until you find success. Sports help to foster grit at a young age and if you’ve been an athlete for many years, you can count yourself very lucky!
Entrepreneurs need the endurance and toughness to withstand long hours and relentless challenges in order to get a business going. Grit is an outlier skill seen in many entrepreneurs because if you are not a little persistent or stubborn or you tend to quit easily, you’re done. Even if you are creative and driven. Lack of grit is the entrepreneurship killer.
You feel fear, but know how to remain calm
Athletes run towards fear instead of away from it. They understand the payoff is worth it so they work through the discomfort.
Successful entrepreneur (and Kiteboarder!) Richard Branson’s motto is Screw it, let’s do it. Branson, like many athletes, knows that hesitation or being over-cautious can cause mistakes or missed opportunities. Whatever your dream is, go for it. If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win.
You have the right balance
Poor nutrition and sleep deprivation will not contribute to a winning performance. As an athlete, you understand the balance of health, sleep, energy levels, scheduling and nutrition that sets you up for success.
When you run your own business, you’ll already know how to focus on tasks, be self-sufficient, manage your schedule and hit deadlines. You understand that overtraining or working 24×7 in this case is only going cause burnout and loss of gains.
You know teamwork
Great athletes listen, are are open to new things, take constructive criticism and respect coaches and teammates. Team players understand the importance of motivating others and working together if they want to be successful.
As an entrepreneur you’ll need to work with customers and may need to hire employees. With your team skills, you’ll be better able to create a harmonious working relationship, resolve issues, relieve tensions and create the synergy for a killer business.
Take the plunge into Adventurepreneurship
Many people get stuck fantasizing about a better job, a better boss, a different spouse or healthier life and they believe they are powerless to move. They ruminate on the idea of a glorious finish line, but quickly follow up that image with failure and throw in the towel—Not something a winning athlete would ever do.
Successful athletes use vivid, highly detailed mental images and imagery scripts of the competition from “Point A to Point Z.” They engage all their senses in their mental rehearsal, combining their knowledge with positive self talk as a way to train their brain to feel and understand what it takes to win. Visualizing is training your mental muscles and like all training, it requires practice. If you can’t picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are you won’t.
If you’re an athlete considering starting up your own business, know that simply being an athlete means you’ve already got many tools for success. Look at your idea from the perspective of sport. Start by setting goals, training, mentally preparing strategies for different scenarios, and then get hustlin’!
Life is short and time is the one thing we’ll never get back. Working for yourself gives you the ability to balance your time and do something you’re passionate about.
If you’re thinking of dropping in to entrepreneurial life, make sure you invest in the development of your brand. Like a great team, you need to know who you’re playing for and why—You need a rally cry. An internal maxim that energizes your brand. …A cute logo simply won’t do anything if there’s no meaning behind it.
Think about why you buy into brands you like. Arc’teryx for example, believes that curiosity takes us into uncharted ground. As such, their logo is of the first dinosaur to have demonstrated evolution toward flight, reached toward a new way of being in the world with the growth of a single feather.
*For more insights on branding for your business, feel free to drop me an email or check out my branding studio in Squamish, BC