The best all have some things in common! It doesn’t matter whether it’s sports, entertainment or business, the people at the top don’t get there by accident. 

If you’re serious about growing your business, take a look at how the best sportspeople in the world
do it…

Djokovic wins Wimbledon

1. Put the hours in

It can take a whole lifetime of trying to be the best at sport. All of the big hitters I know started their training when they were just children, putting in long hours of practice and training and working their way up.

You might not have spent your childhood growing a business (although I started early, competing with my school tuck shop to cater to the time poor customers who didn’t want to queue!) but it’s never too late to start working hard.

What are you spending time on that’s NOT helping your business grow? Think about how you could be smarter with your time to maximise the amount of effort you put into growing your business.

If you feel like there’s not enough hours in the day – get up earlier! Find the pockets of ‘dead time’ like commuting and put them to better use, so instead of just scrolling through your phone or watching Netflix, you’re actually learning something new, or working on your business. You have to make sacrifices to hit your goals!

2. Visualise your success

Elite athletes train their minds to see exactly where they want to be – lifting the trophy, winning the match, taking the title. Having a clear picture of what success looks like is the first step on the way to achieving it. If you’re just slogging away with no real focus or goal you’re not going to get anywhere fast.

Top sportsmen and women know exactly which title they’re aiming for at every stage in their careers, and play the long game to get there. If you want to win the World title, first you work towards being the best in the county, then the country, and so on. In sport it’s unrealistic to just show up and expect to play with the big hitters – you’ve got to earn your place there.

In business, it’s exactly the same. If you’re clear about your business goals, you can make sure you’re taking the right actions to tick them off one by one. It’s fine to aim to be the best-selling business in the world for your field, but be realistic about all the smaller goals you’re going to have to smash on the way to getting there first!

Visualise your success

3. Get the right team

Behind every Wimbledon winner, there’s a team of trainers, sponsors, partners, coaches, sports psychologists and nutritionists who are all working towards the win just as hard! Talent will get you so far, but without the right support it’s going to be an uphill battle. 

So in business, choose your team carefully. If you think you’ll be able to do everything alone, you’re kidding yourself! It’s so important to make sure that the whole team know exactly what they’re aiming for, and that everyone is pulling their weight (and being kept accountable!).

I got to play on court at Wimbledon thanks to my team – my network!

4. Overcome your injuries

If you’re playing any sport at the highest level, there’s always the risk of injury. When your entire career success depends on not getting injured, top athletes take every precaution to stay in the best shape, no matter the cost. It’s an investment in success! If the worst happens, they take the time to fully recover, working out how to prevent it happening again.

In your business, you need to be aware of all the potential ‘injuries’ you might face when you’re pushing yourself. What can you put in place to limit the chance of things going wrong? Will you be able to spot problems early enough to make sure a little niggle doesn’t turn into a major problem? How will you get back on track if things do fail? Have a plan, and monitor it closely all the time to make sure you’re operating at the highest level you can.


5. Believe in yourself!

It’s not just talent that sets the top athletes apart. They all have the ability to believe that huge success is not just possible, but actually GOING TO HAPPEN FOR THEM! It comes down to having the right mindset. Being the best means complete discipline, mental and physical, whatever the cost.

So if you’re having a bad day and ‘just don’t feel like it’, imagine being an athlete. They have the same feelings too; the difference is that they don’t let ‘feelings’ get in the way of the ACTIONS they know they have to take to stay on top.

No-one feels motivated all the time, but staying in control of your mindset, refusing to accept negativity and training yourself to overcome any limiting beliefs or problems you come across is what’s going to set you apart from the rest of the pack.

If you want to hear more about the mindset and focus of the professionals in sport, check out my interview with Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek. We chatted about what it takes to be the best, and his top tips to help you guys in business too!

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