Ex-athletes often tell me they want to do something similar to what I’ve done.
Have a brand name, do speaking engagements, coaching, write books, sell programs, and the rest. The idea is to use basketball as a launching point for business.
This can definitely be done; I and many others are proof of this, even from other sports. What I’ll share in this post are the other, non-sport skills necessary to make this goal happen. I’ll also share the reasons for each.
- People skills. Business is the exchange of resources between people. All your business’ money will come from people, whether customers or investors. You need to know how to deal with all different types in all different situations.You’ll also want some people on your team. Your ability to deal with your staff directly reflects in what your customers experience. If your staff feels valued and secure, they will make sure your customers feel the same way. Bad customer service is a direct reflection of bad staff service (by management and ownership).
Athletes who can’t deal with other people limit their own sport success. Without any extra sets of eyes or ears, the athlete misses out on opportunities and valuable information. You can also create enemies who could have been assets to your cause.
Having no allies is a position of weakness. There is only so much one person can see or hear or do alone. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]Having no allies is a position of weakness.[/shareable]
- Communication. Working in concert with your people skills, your leadership’s foundation is your ability to communicate with others.Can you get your point across? Do your people understand what you want from them – and why? Are the lines of communication, both up and down the chain, open? Can you relate to people of varying personalities and energy levels?
Do people – your customers, colleagues and staff – feel they can talk to you when/if there is an issue?
You cannot lead in sports without strong communication skills. Your teammates looked to you in tough game situations, and you had to clearly communicate when needed to be done.
Business is the same as sports in this way. The only difference: the game is always happening.
- Mastering of Monotony. Building a business can be a rollercoaster ride of bad a good. A lot of business is boring, though!By boring, I’m referring to the monotonous work you’ll be doing. Updating CRM systems. Writing and editing posts. Hiring and training staff. Inspecting and improving business processes.
It has been said that the successful man has mastered monotony. Meaning, you can deal with the boring, tedious work necessary to get you where you want to go. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]The successful man has mastered monotony.[/shareable]
Basketball players master the monotony of making post-workout free throws, or walking through the team’s plays in practice – again. Swimmers swim ungodly numbers of laps in pools, day after day. Baseball players field ground balls for hours on end.
Use this mastering of monotony skill in business as well.
- Patience. It may take awhile for you to be recognized or compensated for your efforts. There will times when you don’t know if or from where your next dollar is coming. You’ll see people who are at, or close to your level, enjoying success which has not yet visited you.Do you have the patience and discipline to stick to your work? Without it, you’ll make bad decisions. Like changing your business model to leech off of what’s popular in the moment. Or overreaching for quick rewards that cost you more than you gain. These mistakes will kill your business faster than anything else.
You used patience in sports, waiting your turn to play more or to even make the team in the first place. When your season didn’t end the way you wanted it to, you had to wait months for a new season to redeem yourself.
Be patient – but not lazy – in business. Know things take time, but continue doing the right things.
Athletes, take what you learned in your sport and apply it to what you do in business. Though it is a whole new sport, many of your current skills are welcome in business.