Have you ever wondered why so many professional athletes move on to found their own businesses and create successful products that quickly become household names? Yes, there’s something to be said for name recognition, but you could venture to say that there are more people today who know about the George Foreman grill than who know anything about George Foreman’s career as a heavyweight champion.

Now, I’m not saying that all athletes are entrepreneurs or that all entrepreneurs have to be athletes. But there are a few traits that the most successful entrepreneurs and athletes share, and these could explain why we’ve seen so many former athletes transition into entrepreneurial endeavors so easily.

THEY HAVE GREAT ENDURANCE

Every successful entrepreneur knows that building an empire is a marathon, not a sprint. They understand that you need to put in a lot of effort to get started and to build your brand, but if you go too hard or too fast, you’ll burn out and won’t have the energy or drive to continue. They also understand that you have to keep pushing, even when you aren’t feeling as motivated as you’d li
ke.

Professional athletes train every day, rain or shine, whether they’re feeling great or they’d rather be lying on the couch watching TV. Successful entrepreneurs prioritize the most important tasks and do something every single day to build their business and their brand to achieve success, even if they’d rather be lying on the couch watching TV.

THEY AREN’T AFRAID TO FAIL

How many times have you heard a pro athlete say something like, “You can’t win ’em all,” or, “You win some, you lose some”? Sometimes the other team just played better. Sometimes the market wasn’t quite right. Sometimes your idea was just a bit too ahead of its time. As a successful entrepreneur, you don’t give up and go home when your team doesn’t win. You regroup, figure out where your mistakes were and how to fix them, and you go out again the next day to try again.

THEY’RE AGILE AND ADAPTABLE

Whether they’re stealing second base, evading a linebacker, adapting to market needs, or negotiating with an investor, athletes and entrepreneurs value agility and adaptability. Physical agility allows athletes to make plays that would otherwise seem impossible. Mental agility and adaptability will allow you to make the changes your business needs to survive.

COMPETITION IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR

Even the best athletes in the world have competition. The whole world watched as Holly Holm did the “impossible” and beat undefeated Ronda Rousey last year, but does that signal the end of Ronda’s career? Muhammad Ali had a similar streak until Joe Frazier became the first of five men ever to beat Ali in the ring. But when you ask anyone on the street who the best boxer in history was, most will immediately say, “Ali!” and few will even know Frazier’s name.

In other words, your competition should drive you to excel in your field. If you think that you have no competition, chances are good that you either haven’t done your homework or there just isn’t a significant market need for your product or service. Great entrepreneurs and great athletes thrive on competition and use it as inspiration to grow and make the necessary changes to succeed.

So, are you the Muhammad Ali of your industry? Are you ready to work through the times when you don’t feel motivated, adapt when you need to, and welcome competition? If so, then you’re on the way to becoming an incredibly successful entrepreneur.

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