How Running Your Own Business is Like Being a Professional Athlete

Written by Zac Johnson
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Some people might think that comparing the professional sports to running an internet business might be silly, but they are actually a lot more alike than you think. Accomplishing the goal of becoming a professional athlete is not only extremely rare, but it can also be compared with many of the same tasks and goals that a business owner might deal with in finding success. The goal of making it from a amateur athlete to becoming a pro at any sport, is much like taking your business from a simple start up or hobby, to a full time income and business.

In today’s economy it’s more important than ever to stick with your dreams and goals and if you have a business of your own, you can already appreciate and know what you have put into it. Sports is one of the biggest revenue generating niches in the world, so I thought it would be a fun write up to do a comparison between the goals of athletes and business owners alike.

What does it take to run a business and compete in the world of professional sports?

Knowing What You Want

First of all, no one just succeeds in life without having a driving force within them to achieve a goal. Just like professional athletes train most of their lives to get where they are today, business owners have a driving force within them to take the path less chosen and build their own future. Whether your passion is sports, business or anything else, you will still need the key components to succeed and be successful, both in life and business.

What traits do professional athletes and business owners both share that give them them the winning qualities to succeed? Determination, discipline and perseverance are key!

Determination

Running your own business will test you time and time again. Through all of the stressful times to the best of times, your determination will play a huge part in the success of your company, and will also test your inner strength. There is nothing easy about making the leap from an amateur athlete to making it in the professional leagues, nor is running your own business and staying profitable over the years. There are only a small amount of people that have the determination to make their own futures and rise above the competition.

Discipline

In addition to having the inner determination to find success, you also need to have the discipline. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but when your business is in a struggle or at it’s highest points, you still need to keep your head in the game. Discipline is the ability to keep oneself in accordance with rules, while also improving in one’s skills and abilities. A must have quality for any athlete or business owner.

Perseverance

The third component to any successful athlete or business owner is perseverance. Best described as a steady persistence in a course of action; all business owners and sports stars can relate in their never ending desire to bettering themselves and reaching their goals.

Building the Perfect Athlete and Business Owner

There is no perfect plan or guidebook to follow for when you are trying to grow your own business, just like there are no set drills or exercises you can do to guarantee an athletic success. All of the skills and talents listed above are different for each person, along with how each of us will act differently in different situations. Some people are born with the passion and drive for business, while others are born with the perfect bodies for athletic success… yet there are also those born with neither, who still find that drive and passion to allow them to succeed in either world.

Just like sports players have coaches and teams surrounding them, it’s just as important for those in business to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, have a multi-million dollar business or are even an individual affiliate marketer or blogger. Surrounding yourself with the right people and keeping with your dedication and drive to succeed, you will find success.

For more comparisons between being an sports athlete and a business owner, be sure to check out the Visa Small Business Facebook Fan Page, which is full of great articles on the Olympics, business tools, advice and much more.

I am blogging on behalf of Visa’s Go World Olympic Campaign and receive compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. This post was sponsored by Visa Small Business. From now through August 31st, visit https://www.inc.com/visa-business-of-the-olympic-games/ to learn about Team Visa Olympic athletes who are also dedicated small business owners. Visit Visa Business’s newly-launched Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/visasmallbiz) for more details, and follow @VisaSmallBiz for ways to help make your small business more efficient and successful. Discover more at https://visa.com/business.

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19 Replies to “How Running Your Own Business is Like Being a Professional Athlete”

  1. i think Discipline and Determination is important part for bussiness
    this is how i do daily my bussiness :
    1. Get up at 6am EVERY DAY.
    2. Focus on ONE activity at a time.
    3. Complete the most important task FIRST.
    4. Evaluation my daily activity 🙂
    My recent post Be Careful of Blog Comment

    1. No doubt about it. It's way to easy to get lazy when you have your own business, especially on the internet. These are key factors for anyone who wants to succeed. Nice list!

  2. Very right. Running own business is like being an athlete. There are lot of risks as well as possibilities of having loss and profits. So one must do business with proper care

  3. There is definitely a difference between a business owner and an employee, discipline and determination are traits that I think are on the decline in society but those who have it and use it will be rewarded for their efforts. Perseverance again is another trait that is lacking in this society of 'I can't do it' 'I cant be bothered' or 'I give up', maybe it is worse over here in the UK as youngsters expect to be given everything, but those who actually do the work are the ones to watch out for.

    My recent post Protected: How To Make A Podcast For FREE.

  4. Determination is a major point. Staying the distance especially when you lose money as is always the case in any business. Doubt starts creeping in and lets not forget how loss of finances can hurt many badly.

    I think the best athlete to compare to running a business is the marathon runner. The marathon runner has all the right qualities. 26 miles! lets do it!
    My recent post How to Make Money from Private Label Rights Articles

  5. Determination is a major point. Staying the distance especially when you lose money as is always the case in any business. Doubt starts creeping in and lets not forget how loss of finances can hurt many badly.

    I think the best athlete to compare to running a business is the marathon runner. The marathon runner has all the right qualities. 26 miles! lets do it!
    My recent post How to Make Money from Private Label Rights Articles

  6. Determination is a major point. Staying the distance especially when you lose money as is always the case in any business. Doubt starts creeping in and lets not forget how loss of finances can hurt many badly.

    I think the best athlete to compare to running a business is the marathon runner. The marathon runner has all the right qualities. 26 miles! lets do it!
    My recent post How to Make Money from Private Label Rights Articles

    1. Definitely. Business owners will come across much more failure than successes, but having the determination to keep going is what makes those owners even better.

  7. I think this is perfect explanation between a professional athlete and a business owner. The things are somewhere balanced and same but they have different criteria to put in use.

    1. It's always great to see when athletes can turn their names into huge brands as well. Just look at what players like LeBron James and Jordan have done with their brand names!

  8. I really enjoyed this comparison between sports and internet business, and this post really helped me understand a little better about it. I hope to follow these and other tips in this site in my endeavors. I live in Brazil, and in my country it is difficult to find help in this segment. Thanks for the tips!

  9. Role models, coaches and friends are always a great inspiration for anyone starting out in business, especially if they have been successful over time.

  10. I guess that you should know not only the thing you want personally, but also the things your audience or potential clients want. I guess that such knowledge is the key one, and will lead to success

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