Business is an Olympic Sport

Photo of Olympic Rings against a cloudy sky

The recent Olympics, above all, was a display of the power of determination, dedication, and the endurance that it takes to perfect a skill and become the best. These are also the exact ingredients needed to become successful in business.

In athletics, natural ability plays a vital role in winning but is not what gets them to the podium. According to Bill Beswick, it also takes “mental strength.”

Beswick should know, he is a performance psychologist for Adam Peaty, the 26-year-old British swimming phenomenon who currently holds the 100m breaststroke record. Beswick has worked with Peaty since he was 17 and said, “Adam’s winning mindset is the best I’ve seen. He follows a mental ritual to get in the zone ahead of his 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. training sessions each day.”

As a result, Peaty is one of the fastest swimmers in history and won his first Olympic title in Rio 2016. No one has even come close to his world record time of 56.88 seconds.

A prime example of how mental strength affects performance is Gymnast Simone Biles, who was a gold medal favorite before the games. Biles withdrew from several events due to issues of her mental health and a case of what gymnasts call “the twisties.”

Just as athletes fight to stay focused during their regular training, many employees face the same struggle as they work through repetitious daily routines or take on complex tasks.

How do you build the mindset that allows you to push past all the noise?

If you asked every athlete at the Olympics, chances are they would all have similar stories of dedication along with the training and support they received in their quest to become the best. Their appearance at the Olympics proves that the adage “You can do anything you set your mind to” is true.

“There are two major factors to becoming a champion,” stated Beswick. “Being physically capable and having the attitude to compete, train, and win every day. You can get away with less talent and a great attitude, but you can’t get away with a bad attitude.”

In business, attitude might equate to confidence and the ability to work through failures.

One of the ways mental health professionals recommend building confidence is through self-talk. Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. People are becoming more aware that a positive self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence and curbing negative emotions. In addition, people who can master positive self-talk are thought to be more confident, motivated, and productive.

Positive self-talk and a more optimistic outlook can have other health benefits, including:

  • increased vitality
  • greater life satisfaction
  • improved immune function
  • reduced pain
  • better cardiovascular health
  • better physical well-being
  • reduced risk for death
  • less stress and distress

But be careful that positive self-talk does not devolve into rumination.

Perhaps the most challenging task in today’s world is filtering out the noise that surrounds us. The medical experts at Healthline have developed ten practical tips on how to stay focused.

  1. Get rid of distractions – While you can’t do away with everything, you can make an effort to reduce or get rid of as many distractions as possible.
  2. Coffee in small doses – Drinking coffee, or other caffeinated beverages, in small amounts may have a positive impact on your ability to focus, according to a 2010 study.
  3. Practice the Pomodoro technique – This timing method helps you train your brain to stay on task for short periods of time.
  4. Put a lock on social media – If your idea of a break from work is checking Facebook or Instagram every 5 minutes, you may want to consider an app that blocks social media.
  5. Fuel your body – To keep your brain focused, your energy levels up, and your emotions on an even keel, make sure you don’t delay or skip meals.
  6. Get enough sleep – The recommended amount of sleep for adults aged 18 to 60 is seven or more hours a night. However, older adults may need up to nine hours.
  7. Set a SMART goal – SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.
  8. Be more mindful – According to the Mayo Clinic, being mindful means you can maintain moment-to-moment awareness of where you are and what you’re doing — which is excellent news when you’re trying to stay focused.
  9. Make a to-do list – After you make your list, choose two or three essential tasks and put them at the top. Then rank the rest of the items in order of importance. This allows you to tackle urgent tasks when your brain is fresh, and your energy levels are high.
  10. Focus on similar tasks – pick similar tasks, group them together, and do one at a time. This makes transitions smoother, and you may find that you get a lot more done by not jumping from one type of task to another.

At Business Finance Corporation, we understand that developing a successful business requires the same amount of time, focus, and discipline as an Olympic athlete. While owning and managing a business may seem like a solo sport, winning is a team effort. For information on how accounts receivable factoring can benefit your business, go to or call 702-947-3800.

Your partner in success,

David Cabral