By Pedro Martin Gómez
During July we experienced a sporty hurricane called Tokyo 2020, and it is quite impressive how it seems that business and sports are worlds apart, when in reality both have a lot of things in common, more than people could ever imagine.
Behind each gold medal won in Tokyo, I am convinced that there is a great story of hard work during a whole lifetime. Exactly the same is true for companies, as there is a big story behind each successful company in the world.
However, unlike sports, when successful people in their businesses stand out, we tend to think that it was a stroke of luck. Maybe “they were in the right place at the right time, they are sharks, their family helped them,” or perhaps another series of cliches that detract from the success of big business people.
What is the business world, if not, another level of competition such as the sporty one?
I have been fortunate enough to experience both worlds; the world of sports and the world of business. Over the last 6 years I have been in charge of a subsidiary of a leading European consulting firm in Mexico (Devoteam), which I have had the opportunity to work on from scratch. I am confident that I would not have achieved what I have, if I had not acquired part of my skills from the sports world. I trained in soccer for 11 years and in triathlons for more than 8 years. In one of them I learned what teamwork and leadership mean, and in the other I’ve learned about my “no” limits and discipline.
What are the strengths that I’m used to applying in business every day and have learned by participating in sports over the years?
- I don’t believe in luck! I do not know anyone who can run 1 km in 3 min by chance. You can only meet your targets by working hard and constantly day to day.
- I don’t believe in overnight success. Take for example, when I started running Triathlons I ran at 5.30 min per km. In order to be able to run at 3.30 min per km in a competition, after 1.5 km of swimming and 40 km of bike riding, I assure you that it is not a piece of cake. I had to work very hard every single day for years in order to achieve this. Life is very fair and hard work really pays off, but things happen in their own time. That’s why patience is the virtue of strong people.
- Keep moving! Motivation only lasts for a while, and then you will need discipline, perseverance and planning, for example, to wake up at 6 am each day to do something that will involve a great deal of effort.
- Define long, medium and short term realistic goals and a specific plan to carry them out.
- Define a goal you can fulfill! I always have a really clear, measurable and achievable goal, if it didn’t exist, I would just be drifting around. If the goal is unachievable or too ambitious you will probably give up before you even start.
- Where am I exactly? I always need to know with real indicators where I stand regarding my goals. This is the best way not to cheat yourself regarding your current performance, and modify your plan at the right time.
- Dare to fail! We need failure to be successful. Of course I’ve always taken advantage of learning from my failures. The most important thing is not to avoid failures, it is to learn really quickly from them and not to fail again in the same area. Human beings are the only animals in the world who repeat the same mistakes over and over again expecting different outcomes.
- Analyze your failures from different points of view, above all please don’t try to blame others for your mistakes. If you do that, you’ll never learn, and you’ll fail again.
- No excuses ever! Your brain can always find an excuse to give up, and it’s always the easiest way. Don’t allow your lazy side to take over!
- Always enjoy the process more than the results! Be successful during the process and as a result, you will then be triumphant at the end of the process! It is not only a matter of doing your best, you have to be sensible at the same time in order to maintain the right course towards your goals.
- Change hurts! Any change will be a challenge, but the harder the situation is, the more opportunities you will have to be the best at what you are doing.
- Keep learning! This is the origin and cause of everything. You must be humble to keep learning, because life is a continuous process of education. Anyone can teach you about something that could enrich your life.
Above all, when something costs you a lot of work, the reward is usually at the same level of effort. That is, the more you work on it, the more you will enjoy your success.
Nobody gives you anything for free. If you want to do something great, you have to make an effort according to what you want to achieve. The difference between you and the one next to you, will be the effort that you are willing to invest.
This is the reason why when I have to choose someone to be part of my teams or my life, I’ve always bet on people with great competence more than people with knowledge. I am always looking for talented, hardworking and ambitious (in a good way) people. Sometimes a different way to discover these skills could be by looking into their hobbies. However this is something that people don’t usually include in an interview.
In conclusion, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about a successful athlete or a successful business person, I am 100% sure that they are working on their success much more diligently and cleverly than the rest of the competitors around them. As a result the only way to achieve something is by working harder and more sensibly than your competitors. This is the only one way to be successful in life. As my dear friend @Amaro Huelva Betanzos always says;
“If it were easy, everyone would do it!”
In short, being successful in life is up to you. Special thanks to EnglishSmart for motivating me to write this article, and thanks to Miss Dani who challenges me every day to improve my English skills as part of my learning path in life