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Top Three Learnings I Took Away From Being an Athlete and into the Executive World

For eighteen years I got up every day with a goal in mind! There was always a goal, a next most important race, a new benchmark or number to hit. Every day I had to organize and harness all the parts of my training to hit the goal. There was the actual training of course but then the nutrition, supplementation, sleep, recovery, mental approach, body maintenance etc. I was on a podcast recently and the host, also a former athlete, was asking about the differences between training and competing as an athlete and business. Of course there are many but I started identifying three aspects which I found led to success in racing (occasionally) and my time competing to now my time in business. So what do I do with this knowledge? I spread it and hope someone else picks up a gem or two.

Here they are:

  1. Stay organized. Whether it was an online platform that scheduled, tracked and stored all my training, body metrics and racing data to writing out my race morning routine and taping it to the bathroom wall, organization was crucial. Now in the office world it's more a matter of being on top of consistent schedules, maintaining a clean CRM system, having concise communications and an organized system to store assets.

  2. Understand there's always peaks and valleys! Whether I was in a race over ten hours long or just swimming 1000 yards there will be peaks and valleys in how you feel and it's important to remember that just because you're in a valley doesn't mean you won't be on a peak again soon. Always maintain your composure and focus forward. I learned this the hard way many times when I let a situation get the better of me. The same goes in business each day, going through a project or working on a large sponsorship deal there can be times of frustration, discontent and also elation so keep the emotions in the middle and work the situation pragmatically and positively to get to the solution.

  3. Build a great team around you! You can't achieve the best alone! I had many great people around me who helped me as an athlete. So many!!! My masseuse, nutritionist (wow, so vital), sports psychologist, coach, mechanic and physio to name a few. Now, finding the right people for your team can be difficult but once you do you can really soar. Having great strategic thinkers, creative staff, designers, data miners, consultants and assistants around me is the team I rely on. And no success now and no success back then would be possible if it wasn't for the team effort!

Those are my takeaways from many years of failing, succeeding and building which I've found resonate so well in the business world. Thanks for reading.

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