It’s Winter Olympics season! I for one love
am obsessed with the Olympics, both Winter and Summer. There’s just something about the camaraderie, the unison of the entire world coming together to share in their talents, and the love pride that comes with representing your country. One of my favorite parts of the Olympics is getting to hear the stories behind individual athletes and how they got this exciting opportunity to compete for a medal. Several of my favorite stories in particular and some of the commercials that shared those unique stories made me think of how much entrepreneurs can learn from Olympic athletes. Below you’ll find my two favorite lessons that I’ve learned from watching the Olympics so far, and hopefully what you as entrepreneurs can take away them both.
Don’t let lack of funding ruin your dreams.
Emily Scott has been traveling down a pretty tough road, one that eventually brought her to her dream: competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Emily is a speed skater from Springfield, MO., whose mother is incarcerated and whose single Dad works seven days a week. When Emily found out that her living expenses during training would be cut in half, she realized she was going to be living below the poverty line, and had to apply for food stamps. Not thinking much of it at the time, she told the story of her dream to make it to the Olympics one day on a crowdfunding site called Go Fund Me. What happened next was shocking: she received a huge outpouring of donations of people she didn’t know, wishing her well in achieving her goals and someday making it to the Olympics. Fast forward to present day, Emily is happily competing in Sochi, winning first place in one of the heats. You could see her there, with her father cheering her on from the stands, a big smile on both their faces.
What does this tell us as entrepreneurs? Don’t lose all hope when you don’t have startup funding or continued funding to make your business dreams happen. There are a multitude of resources, websites, grants, competitions, and individuals like Angel Investors that can share your story and connect you to the right people. To be brutally honest, if you aren’t ready for doing what it takes to make this happen like developing a business plan, doing research, and making sure your numbers line up, then you don’t believe in your dream enough. You need to be willing to go for the gold and have that humble yet powerful story to share like Emily Scott did. Make your story worth listening to, make your business plan solid, and oftentimes the funding will follow.
Pay tribute to those that support and mentor you along the way.
If you haven’t found a partner, a supporter, or a mentor somewhere along your entrepreneurial journey yet, you need to get right on it! There is nothing more important that having the support of those around you that you can count on when times are tough, and those you can learn from and look to for resources. There are parts of your journey when it’s important to stop and take a moment after you’ve reached a milestone or goal and thank those people that have helped you get to where you are.
Before coming to Posh, I had only heard the term “coach” be used in an athletic sense. After meeting so many incredible individuals in this space, I’ve found out that there are many different kinds of coaches: life coaches, businesses coaches, wellness coaches, and creative coaches. Just as Olympic athlete’s coach is integral in the success of their athletes, an entrepreneur’s coaches, mentors, and supporters play that same role. Therefore, take the time to look back on your journey and what lies ahead. Make sure to recognize those that have taken time out of their lives to help you get to where you are today. See if there’s anything you can do to help them in return, if there’s anyone new you can connect them to, or if there’s simply some way you can show your gratitude.
A brilliant way in which P&G has shown tribute to one very important type of supporter for Olympic athletes, is in their celebration of mothers. If you haven’t seen it already, you must! You can take a look at the full commercial here. Another show of how powerful love and support can be? Just think back to Emily Scott’s story; her dad flew a gruelling 98 hours for his first time overseas to be able to watch his daughter from the stands in her first Olympics. Now that is deserves a gold medal in itself.