Five business lessons from elite sport

Sports and business have the same thing — we can learn more from them as we get more experienced.

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The CEO Institute director Steve Stanley. Source: Supplied.

Starting a business can be intimidating especially when you’re young. You might have learned about business and entrepreneurship from school, books or practical advice from online sources, but there’s a big difference between understanding business fundamentals on paper and gaining wisdom through actual experience.

As you go along running your own business, you’ll have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and hundreds of lessons, but there are some lessons that you should learn early on.

First of all, you should learn how to know the worth of the people around you. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to build a successful business by yourself. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, there will be mentors, partners, vendors and peers alongside you helping you achieve your long-term vision.

Therefore, you should recognise how valuable other people will open you up to more opportunities, help you keep an eye out for new contacts no matter where you are and make you more discerning in decisions – examples of these decisions are hiring and committing to long-term deals.

Another important lesson you should know as early as possible is the fact that you’re going to fail and that is fine. Failure is going to be inevitable in any kind of business no matter how much you know or how much you prepare. Your business may become successful overall, but there will be individual strategies and campaigns that crash and burn, and ideas that fizzle out entirely. Facing failure with the realisation that it is, in some contexts, unavoidable, makes it easier to accept.

In business, learning is limitless. No matter how much you know, or how much you think you know, there’s always more information to learn. You’ll always have room to be a better leader and a better entrepreneur, and there will always be new skills and abilities to acquire.

To learn some more business lessons, read this: https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/leadership/lessons-elite-sport/