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Lessons Learned from Lance Armstrong....
So often, top athletes provide business owners with wonderful examples of what it takes to be the best.
Take Lance Armstrong for instance.
He is a 7 time Tour de France cycling champion - the toughest test for long-distance cyclists in the world. He did this after being diagnosed, then treated for cancer.
He is back at it again. At 37 years of age, Armstrong is training to win the Tour de France an unprecedented eighth time.
In a recent race in Spain, Armstrong was involved in a crash of riders and broke his collarbone - severely. While this bone heals relatively quickly, he will feel pain for some time to come, particularly when he gets up off the bike and stands on the pedals, bearing more of his weight on the handlebars.
Most people would be depressed and lament on the lost training time or even take this accident as an omen to quit.
Armstrong, instead, almost relishes the accident. Sally Jenkins, (Wall Street Journal, Mar 25) writes: "He views pain as corrective, and cleansing. At a time when so many people seek shortcuts to wealth, and crave indulgences and exquisite personal comfort, he voluntarily seeks out severe discomfort because he likes what it does for him. He wants things the hard way -- in the cold, and rain, with his backside on a bike for six hours at a time -- because he finds it clarifying. He knows exactly who he is: He's the guy who can take it. "I have the will to suffer," he says. "I do have that.""
So - what is the connection for business?
Several things really. But let's look at the "pain" aspect in particular.
To achieve success down the road, it is critical that you focus on the 1 or 2 most important tasks that you need to do to achieve your long-term goals. Often, the most effective, important thing a business owner can do to move his business forward is something that he actually feels uncomfortable doing.
Let me give you two examples:
In both of these cases, the business owner does not do the necessary work that he knows will help his business. Doing this kind of work takes him out of his comfort zone as it is different or new. It is "painful" to do.
Dr. Phil, love him or hate him, has this great line he directs at those folks who continue the same behaviour - hoping for a different and better result. He says: "How's that working for you!?"
If you want to improve or change the results of your business, you need to be open to and embrace the "Pain" required to try and implement new ideas and tactics. Adopt this mindset and you too can achieve "Lance Armstrong" like greatness in your business.
Wishing you business success,
Certified Business Coach
P.S. The second key lesson from the Armstrong example, though not visible in this story, is that he sets goals, then works backwards and designs a daily plan, that he follows with great discipline.
I have discovered a great online tool that will help any business owner in setting and writing down goals, assist with drawing up plans to achieve them and then provide a documented trail of what was done to achieve the goal.
Hugh Tafel is a certified FocalPoint Coach in Alberta, Canada.
If you'd like to contact Hugh about this article or on any business improvement strategies, you can email him here.
Thanks for joining us,